Ten servicemen with the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) for Afghanistan were killed in separate incidents yesterday, the alliance said.
On June 7, the day Afghanistan became America’s longest-ever war, the New York Times reported on an ongoing investigation poised to prove that private security companies "are using American money to bribe the Taliban" to fuel combat and thus enhance demand for their services. The news follows a "series of events last month that suggested all-out collusion with the insurgents," the Times said.
Workers in Greece today stand in the forefront of the converging European class struggles against big capital's attempt to make working people pay the costs of its crisis.
Vast underwater concentrations of oil sprawling for miles in the Gulf of Mexico from the damaged, crude-belching BP PLC well are unprecedented in "human history" and threaten to wreak havoc on marine life, a team of scientists said today, a finding confirmed for the first time by federal officials.
BP is being accused of trying to manipulate the search results on sites like Google and Yahoo, as it attempts to salvage its battered image following the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. The company is purchasing terms such as “oil spill”, “Deepwater Horizon” and “Gulf of Mexico”, so that when a user types these words into the search engines, the results prominently feature a “sponsored link” to BP’s official page on its response to the spill. Critics have described BP’s move as unethical. Maureen Mackey, a writer on the Fiscal Times, an online news site, said: “What it effectively does is that it bumps down other legitimate news and opinion pieces that are addressing the spill... and \[BP are\] paying big money for that.”
Israeli naval commandos stormed the Irish-owned Rachel Corrie aid vessel on Saturday, detaining its eight crew and eleven activists from the Cyprus-based Free Gaza Movement, including Irish Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire, former United Nations assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, and Malaysian parliamentarian Mohd Nizar bin Zakaria.
After gushing untold thousands of barrels of oil per day for more than six weeks, the environmental disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig collapse has become manifest in oil covered beaches, dead and dying birds and sea turtles, and destroyed wetlands along the coast of Louisiana and Alabama.
A month and a half into the worst oil spill in US history, frustration and anger directed towards both the oil giant BP and the US government are soaring. Among the principal factors leading up to the April 20 oil rig explosion, and the subsequent uncontrolled eruption from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, was the absence of any regulations on the profit-driven operations of the energy industry. Government agencies under both Bush and Obama pushed for the expansion of deep-sea oil drilling and rubber-stamped all the decisions made by BP.
Barack Obama's record spending has prompted warnings of a debt super cycle America's $13trillion debt is set to overtake the country's GDP within the next two years as economists warn of a 'debt super cycle.' Forecasters predict the U.S. debt will grow to surpass gross domestic product in 2012, based on data from the International Monetary Fund.
Iran sought to push Israel into a potentially explosive confrontation in the Mediterranean Sea after a charity close to the Islamic regime announced plans to send two aid ships to Gaza. The Iranian Red Crescent Society said 8,000 volunteers had enlisted for an attempt break Israel's maritime blockade of Gaza. The latest challenge to Israel's hold over the enclave comes just days after its naval commandos shot dead nine pro-Palestinian activists on a Turkish vessel that attempted to run the blockade last week.
Pressure for the Israeli government to agree to an international probe into its attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship seems to be faltering as the Obama Administration has reportedly significantly revised its initial call for such a probe. Now administration officials are said to be demanding that the probe, if one happens at all, preclude any questioning of the behavior of Israeli soldiers, and instead focus on investigating the Turkish aid group responsible for the ships.
An "international rescue mission" to tackle Britain's pollination crisis has suffered a setback after a shipment of bees due to be imported into the country died just days before their release. Natural England, the government's countryside agency, chose the short-haired bumblebees from New Zealand because they were originally from the UK, but have since become extinct in their homeland.
A US cruise missile armed with cluster ammunition was used in an attack in Yemen in December which resulted in the deaths of 52 people, more than half of them women and children, according to a human rights watchdog.
Thirty five women and children were killed by an American cruise missile armed with cluster bombs which struck an alleged al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, according to a study. The deaths, immediately prior to the discovery of Yemeni links to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the alleged "underpants bomber" who tried to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas day, caused outrage across the country. The Yemeni government, anxious not to stir anti-American feeling, denied initial claims that the attack was carried out by the US.
Polluting factories in rural communities are forming a deadly toxic cocktail for villagers, leading to surging rates of cancer. Zheng Gumei thought she was down with a cold until the doctor told her to wait outside the room so he could talk to her son alone. "I knew then that I must have a serious illness," the 47-year-old farmer recalled, wiping away the tears and then staring into the distance. "I'm having treatment now. See, my hair has fallen out," she said, taking off her hat to show the side-effects of chemotherapy.
Although Israel successfully controlled news of its deadly commando raid on the Free Gaza (FG) flotilla during the first crucial 48 hours of media coverage, emerging evidence from witnesses and survivors is challenging the Israeli government's version of events. These include claims of medical treatment being withheld; beatings and abuse of passengers who never resisted; the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) doctoring audio and selectively editing videos.
Istanbul In 2002 I initiated the TJP Human Shield Action to Iraq because I knew that the invasion of Iraq had been planned well in advance, that it was part of a ‘Global Spectrum Dominance’ agenda as laid out by the Project For A New American Century. I knew that protests had no chance of stopping the invasion, and that largely these protests were just a way of making us feel better about the coming mass murder; by being able to say “I protested against it.”
Jewish Boat to Gaza is sailing soon In a harbour in the Mediterranean a small vessel is waiting for a special mission. She will be sailing to Gaza during the second half of July. In order to avoid sabotage, the exact date and name of the port of departure will be announced only shortly before her launch. « Our purpose is to call an end to the siege of Gaza, to this illegal collective punishment of the whole civilian population.
Thousands died after toxic gas leaked from the Bhopal plant. A court in India has sentenced seven ex-employees of the Indian unit of US chemicals firm Union Carbide to two years in jail after finding them guilty of negligence over a deadly gas leak that killed thousands in 1984. The court on Monday also ordered those convicted to pay a fine of $2100 each for the disaster that struck the central Indian city of Bhopal. Rights activists, however, said the ruling was a classic case of too little, too late.
Iran's Red Crescent is getting prepared to send two relief ships to the Gaza Strip. Two Iranian aid ships carrying humanitarian relief and medical supplies for the people of Gaza will set sail for the coastal sliver in the upcoming days. Iran's Red Crescent announced Monday that the cargo will include food, medicine and appliances and it will be accompanied by a group of Iranian doctors and relief workers.
The entire world joined with Israel in 1972 when Black September radicals murdered Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich. The world was never told of the torture prisons in Israel or the truth about the 1967 War, the "land grab" and the ethnic cleansing that followed. Even still, the Munich attack was an unthinkable horror, one Israel has now duplicated with the execution slaying of peace activists and humanitarian aid workers. The Israeli paper, Hareetz has published the autopsy results.
As the tv networks here give unlimited airtime to its apologists, the message rolls out that Israel is permitted every illegal act in the lexicon of international law, from acts of violence against a civilian population (the people of Gaza, starved under permanent blockade) to piracy on the high seas and the lethal attacks by Israeli commandos on the relief flotilla. The guiding purpose in this tsunami of drivel is that the viewers should be brainwashed into thinking Israel somehow has the right and the duty to act at will as the mad-dog of the planet.
UN-proposed commission into flotilla raid is dismissed as global pressure grows for Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza. Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, today dismissed a UN proposal for an international commission to investigate last week's assault on a flotilla of aid ships.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a special meeting with his cabinet to discuss the growing international demands for an international probe to investigate last week’s Gaza aid ship attack. An Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara left at least nine aid workers killed and several others wounded. The US, as well as the entire UN Security Council, have demanded an international probe into the incident, though earlier today Israel insisted it would not allow this to happen.
Barack Obama, the US president, has made a third trip to Louisiana to meet with officials involved in the oil clean-up operation in the Gulf of Mexico. He warned British energy giant BP on Saturday not to shortchange local residents who have lost their livelihood - while paying out billions of dollars in dividends to company shareholders.
Israel has begun deporting passengers and crew it seized on board an aid ship aiming to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Eleven activists and eight crew were detained on Saturday after the Malaysia-funded Irish ship, the Rachel Corrie, ignored warnings to divert to the Israeli port of Ashdod
Christopher King argues that beneath Israel’s litany of crimes against the Palestinians, and most recently its murder of humanitarian workers aboard the Gaza-bound international aid flotilla, lies the fact of its own illegality. The true nature of the so-called freedom-loving, democratic state of Israel is now clear to the world following its military attack on Gaza, its illegal blockade of Gaza with terrible suffering of its population and now the murder of nine humanitarian activists in course of pirating the Free Gaza Flotilla in international waters.
Uzi Dayan, former deputy Chief of General Staff in Israel, says the Jewish state should consider a possible Turkish military escort of Gaza aid ships an act of war. “If the Turkish prime minister joins such a flotilla,” Dayan told Israeli army radio, according to the Jerusalem Post, “we should make clear beforehand this would be an act of war, and we would not try to take over the ship he was on, but would sink it.”
Five hundred vehicles and 60 ships to break the criminal siege of Gaza Viva Palestina founder George Galloway, speaking to a crowd of around 20,000 protesting outside the Israeli embassy in London, revealed the latest plan to bring about the end of the siege on Gaza. Two simultaneous convoys – one by land the other by sea – will set forth on SUNDAY 12 SEPTEMBER bound for Gaza. Viva Palestina, the International Committee to break the Siege on Gaza and any allies who will join us will organize the two convoys.
The Israeli attack on the international aid flotilla - killing nine and injuring dozens more - is not the first example of non-violent resistance by Palestinians and their supporters being met by force. Israel has, in fact, at different times reacted with repression or even extreme violence to cultural and political manifestations of Palestinian identity.
Six of the nine passengers killed in an Israeli raid on an aid convoy bound for Gaza were shot by a single Israeli commando, who is being considered for a medal of valour for saving his injured comrades as passengers attacked them with clubs, knives and even guns they had taken from downed Navy Seals. Fresh details of the controversial raid, which has led to accusations of “piracy” and “state terrorism” being levelled against Israel, and which wrecked its strategic partnership with Turkey, emerged yesterday. There were reports that passengers who attacked the Israeli boarding party had been dragging three captured commandos into the hold of the ship when the shooting broke out. CNN: Autopsies released for 9 activists who were killed by Israeli commandos, 5 died from head shot wounds, one shot at extremely close range.
The Israeli commando assault on a flotilla bringing aid to Gaza which killed at least nine civilians should be a wake-up call for those who want to believe that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s government is capable of making rational decisions. The flotilla, consisting of nationals from as many as twenty countries, was unarmed and carrying relief supplies that had been carefully inspected by the Turkish authorities. It is now only three days after the Israeli attack and it is clear that the good old hasbara spin machine is working overtime. The story of what actually happened is already vanishing from the newspapers. Instead we are seeing and will continue to see articles, letters, and opinion pieces justifying what Israel did. TPV/Stephen Lendman: US Media's Pro-Israeli Bias: Response to the Freedom Flotilla Slaughter. SOTT: Turkish Prime Minister To Israel: International Community Is "Sick Of Your Lies".
Salon/Glen Greenwald: How Israeli propaganda shaped U.S. media coverage of the flotilla attack. It was clear from the moment news of the flotilla attack emerged that Israel was taking extreme steps to suppress all evidence about what happened other than its own official version. They detained all passengers on the ship and barred the media from speaking with them, thus, as The NYT put it, "refusing to permit journalists access to witnesses who might contradict Israel's version of events." They detained the journalists who were on the ship for days and seized their film, video and cameras. And worst of all, the IDF -- while still refusing to disclose the full, unedited, raw footage of the incident -- quickly released an extremely edited video of their commandos landing on the ship, which failed even to address, let alone refute, the claim of the passengers: that the Israelis were shooting at the ship before the commandos were on board. This campaign of suppression and propaganda worked to shape American media coverage (as state propaganda campaigns virtually always work on the gullible, authority-revering American media).
The Guardian: Israel accused of spinning flotilla story with confiscated video footage. The Committee to Protect Journalists has denounced Israel's editing and distribution of footage confiscated from foreign journalists aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla. The New York-based press watchdog accuses the Israeli defence force of releasing edited portions of confiscated video on YouTube that fail to get across the reality. It refers to claims by the Foreign Press Association in Israel that the military "is selectively using footage to bolster its claims that commandos opened fire only after being attacked." The CPJ has called on the Israeli government to return all equipment, notes, and footage confiscated from journalists.
FINAL AUTOPSY I.
Wayne Madsen: On March 26th 2010, The ROKS Cheonan, a Pohang-class corvette of the Republic of Korea Navy was sunk. This class of ship was designed for coastal defense and anti-submarine warfare(ASW), and Republic of Korea(south) officials have announced that the Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean submarine. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea(north) denies any involvement. Reuters and a South Korean news agency Yonhap News, have reported that ROK officials said, "The metallic debris and chemical residue appear to be consistent with a type of torpedo made in Germany, indicating the North may have been trying to disguise its involvement by avoiding arms made by allies China and Russia.". They identified the torpedo as German made. Further comparrison of this torpedo on display and German DM2 series torpedoes, show that the torpedo supposedly fired by the North may very well be a DM2A3 or DM2A4 heavyweight torpedo. The DM2 series is made in Germany for export to countries including, Norway, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and South Korea.
What is US foreign policy in the Middle East all about – and for whose benefit is it being conducted? In two short paragraphs, this news story says it all:
"The U.S. confirmed that an American citizen, identified as 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, was killed by multiple gunshots during the Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying activists attempting to run a blockade of the Gaza Strip. "State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the U.S. has made no decision on a response to Dogan’s death."
Apparently official Washington is torn between issuing a mild protest, and thanking them. "Protecting the welfare of American citizens is a fundamental responsibility of our government," Hillary Clinton assured the media, "and one that we take very seriously" – but not seriously enough to issue an official protest. "We are in constant contact with the Israeli government attempting to obtain more information about our citizens." Do they want to know how many holes the IDF put in Furkan Dogan’s head before they make a decision on a response? In reality, the US already made a response in the form of Vice President Joe "Loose Cannon" Biden, who, when asked about the attack on the flotilla, said: "So what’s the big deal here?" Uruknet: Putting Names To Faces.
Planes carrying 520 aid volunteers and nine dead bodies of activists killed by Israeli security forces on Monday returned home on Thursday, with many claiming mistreatment at the hands of Israeli military officers and other officials and additional allegations that not everyone has returned. Activists say some people who were initially on the flotilla are missing. They are also telling stories of horror, carnage and pure barbarism at the hands of Israeli officials. In a shocking account, Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH) President Bülent Yıldırım, who returned on Thursday, said a photographer, whose first name was Cevdet, was shot in the forehead by a soldier one meter away from him. “Our Cevdet [Kılıçlar], he is a press member. He has become a martyr. All he was doing was taking pictures. They smashed his skull into pieces. We soon made out that these were real bullets they were firing. Rubber bullets also kill because you shoot at very close range, between one-and-a-half and two meters.” US Daily: Activists describe "bloodbath" on Gaza-bound ship. The Independent (Ireland): Elderly activist shot and 'let bleed to death'. WaPo: American teenager among those killed in Israeli raid of aid flotilla. Mondoweiss: ‘Al Jazeera’ reporter says Israelis fired from helicopter [Al Jazeera's Jamal ElShayyal]
SOTT: Israeli Arab MP who travelled with flotilla faces death threats, confirms that Israeli commandos shot first, asked questions later. While other activists from the Gaza aid flotilla have returned home, one is left facing death threats and abuse in Israel. Haneen Zuabi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset who was aboard the Mavi Marmara, is now under armed protection after nearly 500 people signed up to a Facebook page calling for her execution. During a heated parliamentary session yesterday Zuabi was sworn at and then shoved out of the chamber amid shouts of "Go to Gaza, traitor". The 41-year-old member of the Arab nationalist party Balad has also received death threats by phone and mail. "I am not scared," she said, speaking from her home town of Nazareth in northern Israel. "This is inherent here, it is not something that started yesterday. It is just harder and harsher now."
NPR: Activist's Account Of Raid Differs From Israeli Version (Audio). One of the passengers on the Marmara, raided Monday by Israeli naval commandos in international waters off the coast of the Gaza Strip, gives her account of the battle on board the Turkish ship that left nine dead and dozens wounded. It differs sharply from Israeli accounts. The pro-Palestinian activists who organized the flotilla to deliver aid to Gaza say they have succeeded in putting the Israeli blockade of the coastal territory back in the headlines.
“The president furthered the oil industry’s plans to drill at depths at which current technology makes mistakes irreparable.” Corporate media pretend to measure degrees of presidential “engagement” with the Gulf crisis – an “oceanic version of Chernobyl.” Such superficial reporting is totally disengaged from the truth that screams from the depths of the sea: “Huge corporations are empowered to seek profits with absolutely no regard for the consequences to Earth or Man.” For purposes of assigning culpability, Obama was fully engaged in setting the stage for the atrocity from the moment of his campaign reversal on off-shore drilling in August, 2008 – after he had the nomination locked up. "My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," said candidate Obama. "If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well-thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage -- I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done." So Obama bent over like a contortionist to pleasure the oil barons. The full scope of Obama’s “compromise” was announced almost two years later, on March 31. The White House gave Big Oil virtually everything it wanted that was politically possible, with no protections for the public or Mother Earth in the form of a “well-thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage.”
Boston.com: Caught in the oil. A short entry - AP Photographer Charlie Riedel just filed the following images of seabirds caught in the oil slick on a beach on Louisiana's East Grand Terre Island. As BP engineers continue their efforts to cap the underwater flow of oil, landfall is becoming more frequent, and the effects more evident. (8 photos total)
Biden: "USA and Israel have never been closer." US vice president tells Charlie Rose it's legitimate for Israel to say 'I don't know what's on that ship. Hamas is dropping 3,000 rockets on my people'; reiterates support for impartial investigation into flotilla raid. US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday backed Israel's right to board ships bound for Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling, but said Washington remained "concerned" about the plight of Palestinians there. Haaretz: Biden: Israel right to stop Gaza flotilla from breaking blockade. AntiWar: Biden: Israel Right to Stop Gaza Aid Ship --AIPAC Lauds Biden for Support of Israel. + Analysis: Israeli raid may not change US policies. Politico: AIPAC embraces Biden statement. CBS News: Politicians from Both Parties Rally Behind Israel Following Raid.
Craig Murray: June 3, 2010: Why Was the Mavi Marmara Reflagged Just Before Sailing? -Contrary to virtually all media reports to date, it appears the Mavi Marmara was reflagged from Turkey to the Comoros Islands around 20 May, shortly before heading the peace flotilla. This is very important. While the Israeli attack remains illegal, it means that the injured party - and the party with legal jurisdiction over the event - is the incapable Comoros Islands rather than the highly capable Turkey. It also greatly reduces the NATO angle, unless other attacked ships were flying the Turkish flag. But the question must be why on earth was the flag changed just before sailing, and who instigated it? None of this masks the illegality of Israel attacking a ship under any foregin flag in international waters. But bluntly, it was a stupid decision in practice by the protestors to set sail in a Comoros flagged ship. Fortunately the MV Rachel Corrie is Irish registered, and the flag state (Ireland) has already shown it takes its duty seriously by telling the Israeli government it expects the Rachel Corrie to pass unhindered. [ + Why 'San Remo' Does Not Apply]
Craig Murray: May 31, 2010: The Legal Position on the Israeli Attack A word on the legal position, which is very plain. To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare. Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody's territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory. [Emphasis added] PEJ: Israel is in violation of the Maritime Convention (Turkey is also a signatory and should file a case against Israel in the International Court of Justice.)
Dandelion Salad: Israeli International Aggression: White House Thumbs Up To State Terror and Murder. Here it comes – the White House whitewash of Israel’s bloodied hands – an odious act of complicity that flouts international law and sets the scene for more state terrorism and murder of civilians.
The central issue is this: armed forces of the Israeli state forcibly boarded vessels that are the property of foreign countries while these same vessels were in international waters, some 150 kilometres off the Gazan coast; these ships were flying a white flag and had declared themselves to be a civilian convoy carrying humanitarian aid to the suffering citizens of Gaza; the convoy presented no infringement on Israel’s security and did not, nor intended, to enter Israeli waters.
This is the primary and only point worthy of attention – a crime of international aggression perpetrated by Israel. Even if the civilians onboard those ships did respond in the way that Israel claims they did, that does not make an iota of difference. Under international law, they have the right to self-defence in the face of unprovoked armed aggression. What is needed therefore is not an international inquiry, much less an Israeli-controlled inquiry, but rather a legal trial of prosecution against Israeli state terrorism.
A new study by researchers at the Karolinska Insitutet in Sweden has revealed a strong similarity between dopamine production in healthy, “highly creative” brains with that of schizophrenics. Previous research has shown that high creative skills are more common in people with mental illness in the family, and creativity is also linked to a higher risk of the development of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Previous research has also found that certain psychological traits, like making unusual associations, are also shared by schizophrenics and those with a healthy, highly creative brain.
Now, new research has shown that the brain’s dopamine D2 receptors in a healthy, creative brain are strikingly similar to that of a person suffering with schizophrenia. It is unknown exactly to just which brain mechanisms are responsible for this correlation, but according to Doctor Fredrick Ullén of the Karolinska Institutet, the functioning systems of the brain utilizing dopamine mean may be the key. Studies have shown that genes of dopamine receptors are linked to the ability for divergent thought. Dr. Ullén carried forth a study that measured the creativity of healthy individuals using divergent psychological tests with the task of finding many different solutions to a problem.
BREAKING: The Rachel Corrie, an aid ship headed to Gaza, has turned around in international waters to dock at "a port", Adam Shapiro of the Free Gaza Movement said Thursday. Shapiro declined to identify the port but said the ship will be back on the water within a week. [They intend to install special eletronic, monitoring & video equipment plus satellite gear to document the next Israeli attack.]
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