This report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) coincides with the 9th anniversary of the al-Aqsa Intifada, which erupted following the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque (the Holy Sanctuary) in occupied Jerusalem. In the intervening nine years, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have perpetrated grave breaches of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, against Palestinian civilians. They have continued to killed innocent civilians, destroy and confiscate civilian property and agricultural land from the purposes of settlement expansion and the construction of the Annexation Wall, arrest Palestinian civilians and establish military checkpoint, in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law. Additionally, IOF have continued to impose a tightened closure on the OPT, especially the Gaza Strip. Economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated. The international community has remained silent and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 have failed to meet their obligations to ensure respect for the Convention in the OPT and provide protection for Palestinian civilians. The international silence has served to encourage the Israeli government and its occupation forces to perpetrate more war crimes with impunity against Palestinian civilians. According to PCHR's documentation, 6,426 Palestinians have been killed by IOF (4,497 in the Gaza Strip and 1,929 in the West Bank). This figure includes a total of 4,959 civilians (3,248 in the Gaza Strip and 1,711 in the West Bank). The civilian victims include 1,210 children (875 in the Gaza Strip and 335 in the West Bank). They also include 274 women (209 in the Gaza Strip and 65 in the West Bank).
APF web page admits it runs Blackwater-controlled U.S. Training Center, proving that the two organizations are one and the same. Since Blackwater runs the U.S. Training Center, and the American Police Force stated on its own website, before it was deleted this morning, that it also runs the U.S. Training Center, there is no other conclusion to draw but that APF and Blackwater are one and the same. Or in other words, APF is a front group for Blackwater.
Sumatrans ran screaming into the street today as a second powerful earthquake hit the Indonesian island just 12 hours after a devastating tremor struck the southern city of Padang, where thousands are feared dead. Fires raged throughout the city all day, despite torrential rain, as rescuers clawed desperately with their bare hands through the rubble of homes, a seven-storey hotel and at least one hospital that were destroyed. The earthquake was so powerful that it was felt hundreds of miles away in Malaysia and Singapore, causing buildings there to sway. The second quake hit about 150 miles (240km) south of Padang, at a depth of just under 20 miles. The official death toll now stands at 770 with 294 people seriously injured, but those numbers were expected to soar as the full scale of the tragedy unfolds. Al Jazeera: Race to aid Sumatra quake survivors.
Iran emphasizes on the need for nuclear disarmaments in the first round of talks between Iran and the six P5 +1 group nations in Geneva. The Representatives from Iran and the six world nuclear powers have ended the first round of their talks in Geneva, with the second session set to begin in a few hours. PressTV: Iran, six world powers begin talks in Geneva. Al Jazeera: Iran agrees to more nuclear checks. Google/AFP: Israel gets two more German submarines: These subs can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads.
The assumptions most Americans hold about Iran and its policies are wrong. Thursday is a fateful day for the world, as the U.S., other members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany meet in Geneva with Iran in a bid to resolve outstanding issues. Although Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had earlier attempted to put the nuclear issue off the bargaining table, this rhetorical flourish was a mere opening gambit and nuclear issues will certainly dominate the talks. As Henry Kissinger pointed out, these talks are just beginning and there are highly unlikely to be any breakthroughs for a very long time. Diplomacy is a marathon, not a sprint. But on this occasion, I thought I'd take the opportunity to list some things that people tend to think they know about Iran, but for which the evidence is shaky.
One day ahead of talks in Geneva between Iran and six major powers - the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany - on Tehran's controversial nuclear program, a national poll finds that 56 percent of American Jews support a U.S. military strike against Iran. Asked whether Israel should attack Iran, 66 percent of those polled said they would support such a move. Salon: The assumptions most Americans hold about Iran and its policies are wrong: The top ten things you didn't know about Iran.
[Rising number of civilians' deaths in airstrikes has sparked outrage in Afghanistan.] At least nine people have been killed in an airstrike on a compound in southwestern Afghanistan, says a local tribal leader. Ghulam Mohammad Khan said on Thursday that a farmer, his wife and four children were among those killed in the Wednesday evening airstrike in Helmand province. Three guests at the compound also died, he added.
In the eastern province of Logar, a spokesman for the governor said villagers claimed that a US operation overnight killed an innocent shopkeeper. The villagers also complained that American forces had wrongly detained three civilians, the Associated Press reported. Din Mohammad Darwesh, the spokesman, said villagers refused to bury the shopkeeper's body, in order to prove his innocence, and demanded the release of the three men. Since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, there have been plenty of fatalities and casualties among Afghan people.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeve?
Far from being the sickly, underweight shell of man portrayed by the global media, Michael Jackson was in fact relatively healthy before his fatal drug overdose, it was revealed tonight. According to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s report, the 50-year-old singer was just under 10 stone when he died, within the normal range for a man who stood at only 1.75 metres tall.
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