In the richest of the Occupied lands, Israeli bureaucracy is driving Palestinians out of their homes. Robert Fisk reports from Jiftlik Area C doesn't sound very ominous. A land of stone-sprinkled grey hills and soft green valleys, it's part of the wreckage of the equally wrecked Oslo Agreement, accounting for 60 per cent of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that was eventually supposed to be handed over to its Palestinian inhabitants.
The nuclear industry, once an environmental pariah, is recasting itself as green as it attempts to extend the life of many power plants and build new ones. But a leak of radioactive water at Vermont Yankee, along with similar incidents at more than 20 other US nuclear plants in recent years, has kindled doubts about the reliability, durability, and maintenance of the nation's aging nuclear installations.
Report shows Bush administration lawyers showed poor judgment but will not face sanctions for professional misconduct
Israel has delivered a report to the UN defending its actions in last year's Gaza war and insisting its troops did not violate international law, but has not agreed to hold an independent investigation as demanded. In the 46-page report, submitted on Friday and released late that night, Israeli authorities admitted some "operational lapses and errors in the exercise of discretion". But they strongly denied allegations of war crimes raised by international human rights groups and by two separate UN investigations.
Despite the cold outside…. you can feel the inner warmth of these wonderful people. We spent the day in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem today. 28 Palestinian refugee families are at the threat of being evicted from their homes to become refugees again. Four families have already been evicted and thrown out on the streets of Sheikh Jarrah by Settlers with the support of the Israeli government – Police and Military involved.
We, the public, expected more from this Iraq Inquiry especially on that special day when Tony Blair appeared before the panel. I am sure that we are all now totally devastated when we heard what appeared to be an array of well orchestrated question. As one would expect the response was as if Blair knew the questions to ...
Bush administration lawyers who paved the way for sleep deprivation and waterboarding of terrorism suspects exercised poor judgment but will not be referred to authorities for possible sanctions, according to a forthcoming ethics report, a legal source confirmed.
China has given warning to the US about the severe consequences of its arms sales to Taiwan, saying the move will undermine Chinese-US co-operation. The country's foreign minister, defence ministry and top legislative body have condemned the sale since the US plan entered the final stages on Friday.
The President on Wednesday may have reassured Americans that the state of the Union is "strong," but, just the week before, a group of Vermont secessionists declared their intention to seek political power in a quest to get their state to quit the Union altogether. On Jan. 15, in the state capital of Montpelier, nine candidates for statewide office gathered in a tiny room at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, to announce they wanted a divorce from the United States of America. "For the first time in over 150 years, secession and political independence from the U.S. will be front and center in a statewide New England political campaign," said Thomas Naylor, 73, one of the leaders of the campaign.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s testimony before the Chilcot inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war marks him down once more as a war criminal. His testimony made clear that he collaborated in preparing an illegal war of aggression, in line with the policy of pre-emptive war elaborated by the Bush administration in the United States. Time and again, he directly alluded to his belief that regime change was required in Iraq, even after it was apparent that Saddam Hussein possessed no weapons of mass destruction. His most emotive passage defending his decision to go to war was also the most damning legally.
China lashed out Saturday with a raft of reprisals after Washington announced a 6.4-billion-dollar arms package for Taiwan, escalating the biggest Sino-US crisis yet under President Barack Obama. Berating the year-old Obama administration for "crude interference" in its affairs, China said it was suspending military and security contacts with the United States, and imposing sanctions on US firms involved in the Taiwan deal.
Some of the world's most prominent bankers have come out in favour of a global bank wind-down fund, a concession from the industry after weeks of fighting proposals for new taxes in the US and Europe. Josef Ackermann, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, told the FT yesterday: "To help solve the too-big-to-fail problem I'm advocating a European rescue and resolution fund for banks. Of course, the capital for this fund would have to come from banks to a large degree."
The situation depicted in the report from Marcos, although well written, lacks the obvious: the role of the Jews in the situation. Where are they on the report? Nowhere. It seems the wolves are on vacation from Brazil. Which is far, very far, from the truth.
You can see how seriously Obama is taking the hot populist temper of the American people and their eagerness to strangle every banker in the entrails of every insurance executive. In an altogether welcome departure from past presidential form in State of the Union addresses at least since 1973 (the first time I listened to one) he shoved the rest of the world into less than five minutes near the end of an oration that lasted well over an hour, giving over at least 90 per cent of his time to various pledges for economic clean-up on the domestic front.
Closing Guantanamo is emerging as a never-ending nightmare for President Barack Obama after he bowed to pressure and backed down from plans to try the accused 9/11 plotters in the heart of New York City.
The Obama administration's 2011 defense budget avoids the controversial weapons cuts of last year, according to a draft copy, and continues to shift modest amounts of money to weapons programs such as helicopters, unmanned planes and Special Operations units that are in heavy use Afghanistan and Iraq.
Claims Billions in Funds for New Facilities Part of 'Disarmament Strategy' In a move he insists is somehow consistent with his call for disarmament, President Obama is seeking more than $5 billion in increased funding for America’s nuclear weapons program, aimed chiefly at modernization and building new facilities.
Christopher King argues that Britain's Iraq Inquiry “appears now to be part of a general unravelling of the Blair conspiracy" and has underlined that UK politicians cannot be trusted. He says the lesson of Iraq lies not in whatever the inquiry might report but in the necessity for British people to take on oversight of the political process themselves.
Under cover of darkness, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived at Britain’s Chilcot Inquiry on the Iraq War today, using a side entrance to avoid the mass of antiwar protesters out front. He then delivered what was expected by many to be the key testimony moment of the inquiry. Tony Blair Incredibly, the former prime minister was totally unrepentant over the war, insisting that 9/11 had changed everything and speaking of the “threat” posed by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction insisted “you could not take risks with this issue at all.”
“America’s Liberty Ship is dependent upon the twin mainsails of Morality and Constitutional Government to stay on course.” The End of America?, The Soul of America — Jeff Fenske @ 12:29 am As a result of this total breakdown of basic morality in virtually every distinguished element within the American framework, constitutional governance is also virtually nonexistent. Adams was right: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral . . . people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this week’s congressional hearing into the bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all. Wednesday’s hearing described a secretive group deploying billions of dollars to favored banks, operating with little oversight by the public or elected officials.
This week, a disaster hit the United States, and the after-tremors will be shaking and breaking global politics for years. It did not grab the same press attention as the fall of liberal Kennedy-licking Massachusetts to a pick-up truck Republican, or President Obama's first State of the Union address, or the possible break-up of Brangelina and their United Nations of adopted infants. But it took the single biggest problem dragging American politics towards brutality and dysfunction - and made it much, much worse. Yet it also showed the only path that Obama can now take to salvage his Presidency.
Part of the tab for alcoholic drinks on a congressional trip arranged by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It reads like a dream order for a wild frat party: Maker's Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey's Irish Crème, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey … and Corona beer. But that single receipt makes up just part of the more than $101,000 taxpayers paid for "in-flight services" – including food and liquor, for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trips on Air Force jets over the last two years. That's almost $1,000 per week.
Regulators shut down a big bank in California on Friday, along with two banks in Georgia and one each in Florida, Minnesota and Washington. That brought to 15 the number of bank failures so far in 2010 atop the 140 shuttered last year in the punishing economic climate.
President Obama is planning to increase spending on America's nuclear weapons stockpile just days after pledging to try to rid the world of them. In his budget to be announced on Monday, Mr Obama has allocated £4.3billion to maintain the U.S. arsenal - £370million more than George Bush spent on nuclear weapons in his final year.
US interference in the politics of Haiti and Honduras is only the latest example of its long-term manipulations in Latin America. When I write about US foreign policy in places such as Haiti or Honduras, I often get responses from people who find it difficult to believe that the US government would care enough about these countries to try and control or topple their governments. These are small, poor countries with little in the way of resources or markets. Why should Washington policymakers care who runs them?
Britain inquiry into the Iraq war has been dealt a severe blow by a pro-Israel activist on the inquiry committee who has given an interview to a Jewish settlers’ radio accusing his critics of “anti-Semitism”.The Iraq Inquiry, led by former civil servant John Chilcot, was set up by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in June 2009 in order to “identify lessons that can be learned from the Iraq conflict”. It began its deliberations in November.
Health professionals have observed a raise of mutations at birth in Gaza, since the Israeli offensive last year. One of these, is a story of a child born at the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. The child was born with severe congenital malformations, such as his face, eyes, short stature, flattened nose, reddish-brownish skin discoloration, short limbs with feet and toes severely curled towards the inside in a similar shape to that in gorillas. The baby weighed 4 kilos, suggesting that he was in good health. His appearance showed otherwise. His parents left him at the hospital and refuse to go back and claim him as their own child.The baby, also nicknamed the gorilla baby, is still under the custody of the hospital until his parents return to claim him. The hospital has tried to convince the parents to come and take their child especially that he isn’t in a stable condition and has problems in breathing.
Filmmaker Alex Gibney's new documentary, "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" - an expose of US campaign financing focused on Jack Abramoff premiering at the Sundance Festival this week - could hardly be better timed, so soon after the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision. At the Sundance Festival, American documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney recounts the descent into hell of the former lobbyist with links to the Republican Party, Jack Abramoff, offering an indictment of the corruption that infects political financing in the United States.
Then one day, long after the police and village elders had abandoned their search, a courier delivered a neat handwritten note on Red Cross stationery to the family. In it, Ismatullah informed them that he was in Bagram, an American prison more than 200 miles away. US forces had picked him up while he was on his way home from the bazaar, the terse letter stated, and he didn't know when he would be freed.
Over many decades, the annual State of the Union Address, nominally the occasion for the president to give an accounting to the American people, has acquired an entirely ritualistic character. The joint session of Congress to which the speech is delivered is scripted in every detail. The event has long since become a calculated exercise in cynicism and deceit. President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union speech, delivered Wednesday night, was no different. The main aim of this address was to find a rhetorical bridge between the packaging of Obama as the candidate of “change” and “hope,” and the reality of his presidency, which has been unswervingly devoted to the defense of privilege.
Troops under United Nations command have opened fire on crowds of hungry Haitians seeking food, an ominous sign of impending confrontation between the people of the earthquake-wracked country and the armed forces dispatched there under the auspices of the imperialist powers. On Monday, Uruguayan troops, part of the UN peacekeeping force deployed here since 2004, fired rubber bullets at people who crowded around food trucks, eventually pulling out and leaving sacks of rice to be fought over.
In a speech to the German parliament (Bundestag) on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) pledged to send additional German troops to back the US surge in Afghanistan ordered by President Barack Obama. The German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle (Free Democratic Party, FDP), will announce Germany's new contribution to the US-NATO war to 60 foreign ministers assembled for the London Afghanistan Conference on Thursday.
U.S. soldiers shot and killed an Afghan cleric as he drove Thursday with his young son near an American base on the eastern edge of Kabul, underscoring the dangers facing civilians despite NATO efforts to minimize casualties. The shooting occurred as Mohammad Yunus, 36, approached a four-lane highway with one of his sons, according to police and witnesses. Yunus was struck by four bullets fired at his Toyota Corolla and died on the way to the Wazir Akbar Hospital, according to his son-in-law, Abdul Qadir. His son was not injured. Yunus left two wives and 10 children, Abdul-Qadir said.
Continuing global economic growth "is not possible" if nations are to tackle climate change, a report by an environmental think-tank has warned. The findings in the report also suggested that there was no proven technological advance that would allow "business as usual" to continue. (photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt, via flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography)The New Economics Foundation (NEF) said "unprecedented and probably impossible" carbon reductions would be needed to hold temperature rises below 2C (3.6F). Scientists say exceeding this limit could lead to dangerous global warming. "We urgently need to change our economy to live within its environmental budget," said NEF's policy director.
One quiet, wintry night last year in the eastern Afghan town of Khost, a young government employee named Ismatullah simply vanished. He had last been seen in the town's bazaar with a group of friends. Family members scoured Khost's dust-doused streets for days. Village elders contacted Taliban commanders in the area who were wont to kidnap government workers, but they had never heard of the young man. Even the governor got involved, ordering his police to round up nettlesome criminal gangs that sometimes preyed on young bazaar-goers for ransom.
A contemporary State of the Union address is less an assessment of our national circumstances than it is a collective Rorschach test: an inkblot given meaning by the viewer more than by the subject. The televised pageantry of applause and ovations has little to do with the President's articulation of a policy agenda and far more to do with how his partisan allies and opponents read the electoral viability of his phrases.
There is no doubt it. More and more people all over the world, and probably many of their governments behind closed doors, are beginning to see the Zionist state of Israel for what it really is – not only the obstacle to peace but a monster1 apparently beyond control; and they, more and more so-called ordinary folk everywhere, are beginning to turn against it.
I am not interested in punishing banks,' said president Obama. Barack Obama appeared to temper last week's hard line on banking reform. Global stock markets have pushed higher on widespread relief among investors that Barack Obama's banks clampdown may not be as stringent as they first feared, while the US central bank's cautious optimism also helped boost sentiment.
Russia still considers Iran a valuable customer for its weapons, a top arms trade official said Thursday, issuing a reassuring message to Tehran despite recent indications of Moscow's support for tougher Western sanctions. The S-3oo would present formidable obstacle to any air strikes Anatoly Isaikin, the head of the state arms trader Rosoboronexport, said no international agreements bar Russia from selling weapons to Tehran.
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