The UN human rights council has endorsed the Goldstone report on Israel's war on Gaza, which accused both Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas of war crimes, but was overall more critical of Israel than Hamas. The council's resolution "adopting" the report was passed in Geneva by 25 votes to six with 11 countries abstaining. The Goldstone report calls on Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, to monitor whether Israel and Hamas conduct credible investigations into the conflict which took place last winter. Should the two sides fail to do so, it calls on the UN Security Council to refer the allegations to the International Criminal Court.
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has kicked off a two-day meeting to debate a report on Israel's war crimes during the Gaza conflict. On Thursday, most member states expressed their concerns about the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip, and chastised Israel for failing to cooperate with the UN-ordered fact-finding mission into the December-January war in Gaza. Jewish South African judge Richard Goldstone's report was more critical of Israel than Hamas in committing war crimes in Gaza.
Israel's prime minister warned the United Nations that backing war crimes accusations against the Jewish state and the Palestinians could destroy Middle East peace efforts.
Le Canard Enchaîné, a French weekly newspaper famous for its humorous tone and penchant for uncovering leaks, is reporting on indications that the Israeli military is planning to launch ground strikes into Iranian territory some time after December. The report cites a meeting between Israeli army chief Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi and French Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin in which Ashkenazi reportedly said the military had abandonded plans to bomb Iran, but was considering deploying its elite forces to the nation to launch ground attacks instead. Faster Times: John Bolton Suggests Nuclear Attack on Iran.
The Nuremberg Principles are a set of guidelines established after World War II to try Nazi members who also committed genocide against the Jewish and travelling community in Europe. They were established to decide what constitutes a war crime. The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties and three protocols that establish the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment of the victims of war.
The wiping out of 7.2 million jobs in the US since the onset of the financial crisis is the principal cause of homes falling into foreclosure. This crisis of unemployment is only deepening, with the national unemployment rate set to top 10 percent this month. [Real Unemployment is almost 20%.] A total of 937,840 homes received foreclosure letters, including default notices as well as bank repossessions, according to RealtyTrac, a private firm that tracks foreclosure activity and markets foreclosed homes online. Of these, 238,000 homes were actually repossessed by lenders, a 21 percent increase over the previous quarter. Since the beginning of this year, 623,852 homes have been repossessed. In the worst-hit states, foreclosures have risen to epidemic proportions, with one in 23 housing units receiving notices in Nevada, and one in 53 in Arizona. Fully a quarter of a million homes faced foreclosure in California during the past quarter. The New York Times called the Dow’s rise to 10,000 “a milestone of the stock market’s recovery from the depths of the financial crisis.”
Obama to control your television; brainwashing will be “organically” woven into plots and storylines all next week. Under the auspices of a program run by the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), network TV shows will be used to promote “service and volunteerism” on behalf of the public as part of a “week-long of television programming on all four leading broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and all affiliated broadcast and cable properties as well, and other networks, beginning October 19.”
25,000 Full Time "Insurgents" Fighting in Afghanistan. The intelligence community now believes that the Taliban has 25,000 full time fighters on its side, an increase of 5,000 over the estimate from the previous year and quite a hike considering the the large numbers of Taliban the US claims to have killed on a fairly regular basis.
Pakistan was reeling last night after the Taliban intensified its bloody campaign of violence, launching five separate attacks in a single day, including the first ever with female assailants. WSWS: Pakistan descends deeper into civil war.
The bill also insists on controlling the way the money is channeled, expressing distrust of the Pakistani military and intelligence agency ISI. "Pakistani military or its intelligence agency ceases support to "terrorist groups" that have conducted attacks against the US or its coalition forces in Afghanistan or the people in neighboring countries," reads one clause in the bill. The bill sets several conditions for the aid to Pakistan. Pakistani army has said it was uneasy about "clauses impacting on national security". Critics in Islamabad including the military say the aid package could undermine Pakistan's sovereignty. IBN Live: Obama tags anti-terror terms to Pak "aid" package.
UK media: McChrystal will get his troop surge. Despite a vehement denial from the White House, another British news source is claiming the Obama administration has decided in favor of a significant troop increase for Afghanistan. AntiWar: Report: Obama Poised to Announce 45,000 Troop Escalation in Afghanistan. + Backdoor Escalation: Obama is smooth-talking his way into the Afghan quagmire.
America the land of the free and the home of the brave. Really? Brave, I don't think so. How can we consider ourselves brave when we let the Wall Street elite steal our money and then blackmail us to bail them out and we sit back and twiddle our thumbs like a bunch of wimps?
Spain's parliament approved a law narrowing the scope of a cross-border justice doctrine that had allowed judges to indict people such as Augusto Pinochet and Osama bin Laden,
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he seized the landmark Hilton hotel on Margarita Island because its owners dared to impose conditions on its use by his government to host a summit there last month. "To hold the conference we had to ask for permission... and the owners tried to impose conditions on the revolutionary government. No way," said Chavez. "So I said, 'Let's expropriate it.' And now it's been expropriated." The Venezuelan government was already a majority shareholder in the Hilton on the Caribbean resort island when Chavez took it over on Tuesday.
Rachel Maddow DESTROYS "Americans for Prosperity" President Tim Phillips - 10/15/09. Part 2 HERE. Rachel Maddow to Tim Phillips: "You are a parasite"
When ten French soldiers were killed last year in an ambush by Afghan insurgents in what had seemed a relatively peaceful area, the French public were horrified. Their revulsion increased with the news that many of the dead soldiers had been mutilated — and with the publication of photographs showing the militants triumphantly sporting their victims’ flak jackets and weapons. The French had been in charge of the Sarobi area, east of Kabul, for only a month, taking over from the Italians; it was one of the biggest single losses of life by Nato forces in Afghanistan. BBC: Afghan ambush kills French troops.
Tuesday night 13-10-2009 at around 11 pm local time, Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with rocket shot down an American invaders army helicopter killing all onboard in Tangi area in Ghorak district of Kandahar province. Mujahideen in the region said: the helicopter caught fire after being hit by the rocket in the air, and fell to the ground after a few minutes. The copter was hit when the American invaders were getting ready to launch an operation against the Mujahideen.
“Make no mistake, we are experts in the application of violence.” This statement, delivered by a US Marine commander to troops going into Afghanistan’s Helmand province, serves as the suitably sober beginning of “Obama’s War,” an hour-long documentary aired by the Public Broadcasting System’s “Frontline” Tuesday night. Not considered in the film are underlying strategic objectives: “[We are] there”—in a war prepared well before 9/11—in pursuit of US hegemony in Central Asia, one of the principal sources of energy on the planet. Nor does the film have much use for history. Unmentioned is the fact that US military involvement in Afghanistan began 30 years ago, with Washington providing billions of dollars in arms and funding to provoke and sustain a protracted war against a Soviet-backed government in Kabul. This history is not merely ignored; it is falsified.
An unprecedented attempt by a British oil trading firm to prevent the Guardian reporting parliamentary proceedings has collapsed following a spontaneous online campaign to spread the information the paper had been barred from publishing. Carter-Ruck, the law firm representing Trafigura, was accused of infringing the supremacy of parliament after it insisted that an injunction obtained against the Guardian prevented the paper from reporting a question tabled on Monday by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly. TPV: Guardian gagged from reporting parliament.
[Two children from the al-Tiryaqi family near rubbles of their house which was demolished by Israeli Occupation Forces in Jerusalem on 12 October.] Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose Illegal Blockade on the Gaza Strip. ►A Palestinian child died from wounds inflicted by IOF in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. ►IOF wounded 4 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and one in the West Bank. ►IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank. ►IOF denied Palestinian farmers access to their lands, which are isolated by the Wall, to cultivate olives. ►IOF conducted 21 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. ►IOF arrested 18 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. ►Israeli naval troops continued to attack Palestinian fishers and boats in the Gaza Strip. ►IOF have continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. ►IOF troops positioned at military checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested 9 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children. ►IOF have continued measures aimed at the established a Jewish majority in east Jerusalem. ►IOF have maintained a tightened siege on the al-Aqsa Mosque for the second consecutive week. ►IOF undercover unit disguised as press teams attacked Palestinian demonstrators. ►IOF demolished a house in Beit Hanina village. ►IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. ►Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and prevented them from cultivating olives. ►Israeli settlers burnt at least 100 olive trees in Kufor Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilya.
At least four people have been killed in a new US drone attack targeting a house in northwestern Pakistan, a security official says. An unnamed security official was quoted by AFP on Wednesday as saying that the pre-dawn strike targeted the house of an Afghan refugee in Dandey Darpa Khel in the North Waziristan region near the Afghan border. Six other people were wounded in the strike, officials said.
Yahya was killed in a raid by U.S. and Afghan forces on Oct. 8. For the past year he had been the target of numerous American efforts to neutralize him and his fighters, who, by most accounts, never numbered more than 200. “Ghulam Yahya was against the murdering foreigners who have occupied our country,” said Amrullah, a young resident of Siyawooshan, while tears streamed down his face. “They promised prosperity, but all they did was set Afghans fighting each other.”
Britain has forcibly sent 39 Iraqi asylum seekers back to Baghdad, a refugee group has said. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (Ifir) has raised concern over the welfare of the asylum seekers once they arrive in Iraq, which has seen a continuation of deadly suicide bombings in recent months. The Ifir said 39 people had been deported on a specially chartered Air Italy flight that left London's Stansted airport early on Thursday. Speaking to Al Jazeera from London, Richard Whittel, from the Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq, said: "People were woken up at the dead of night last night and put on coaches from detention centres and then taken to Stansted airport. "We think they've been put on a plane operated by Air Italy and thought to have been taken to Baghdad. "We're used to the macabre immigration policies of the UK government, and indeed other European governments, but this is an especially malicious step sending people to Baghdad."
Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch lost 155 men in combat. 122 might have lived, if only the U.S. had sent a bigger, badder, better-capable robot army in Iraq. “80 percent of those soldiers didn’t have to die,” he told a recent trade conference. 4,667 1,339,771 ().
The missile wing commander at North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base was relieved of his command Wednesday after a series of missteps at the unit, including two crashes of vehicles carrying missile parts in just more than a year. Col. Christopher Ayres' was not ousted for any misconduct or wrongdoing, but the Air Force said it had lost confidence in his ability to command the base's 91st Missile Wing given recent incidents, which also included three ballistic missile crew members falling asleep while holding classified launch code devices. CLG: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.
Russian opposition parties walked out of parliament yesterday in a rare act of protest against disputed regional elections, with the Communist Party blaming Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for an unworkable system of governance. Walk-out leaders demanded a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev and a recount of votes, after independent observers said that nationwide mayoral, regional and district elections on Sunday were rigged and turnout was much lower than reported.
Guinea, formerly known as French Guinea, has bauxite and the drugs trade.
The combined US troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan have now reached a higher level than existed at any time under the presidency of George W. Bush. This surge past the record set by its predecessor marks another grim milestone in the Obama administration’s escalation of American militarism. In addition to the 21,000 US soldiers and Marines that Obama ordered deployed to Afghanistan as part of the escalation he unveiled last March, another 13,000 “support” troops are being quietly sent to the country with no official announcement, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. This stealth buildup is a replay of the methods used by the Bush administration in its Iraq surge, when it announced the deployment of an additional 20,000 combat troops while saying nothing about the 8,000 support troops sent with them. AntiWar: Report: Obama Poised to Announce 45,000 Troop Escalation in Afghanistan. + Backdoor Escalation: Obama is smooth-talking his way into the Afghan quagmire.
US military spending vs. the World
When I heard Barack Obama had won this year's Nobel Prize for Peace I was sitting at a meeting with an African friend. He is pretty left wing by any standards and loves Barack Obama. He turned to me and said, sotto voce, "patronising, very patronising". I thought the decision was really dumb and discredited, maybe fatally, but I asked my friend what he meant. He screwed up his face and said bitterly: "He only won the prize because he's an African-American".
Behind closed doors in the Nobel Committee: Three of the five members have argued against that Barack Obama should get the Peace Prize. VG can today reveal that both Inger-Marie Ytterhorn (FRP), Kaci Kullmann Five (H) and Ågot Valle (SV) had objections underway.
It must however be said that handing the prize to Obama probably wasn't exactly what the Israelis would have wanted. The Israeli paper Haaretz even goes as far as to pronounce the military option on Iran dead. -Now, how do we make head & tail of all this?
We've known for some time that the global elite is split right down the middle -a political Mid-Atlantic Rift, if you like. Again, one probably wouldn't miss by much if one assumed that both Jagland and Lundestad had been contacted by members of the European elite (the Bilderbergers), who are against the Americans' & the Israelis' plans for a World War III. The first effects of the Obama peace prize was but a modest troop surge in Afghanistan. (More "surges" are to be expected; a veritable stealth buildup. 'Stealth' not just in terms of the sheer number of troops that are to be deployed over there, but because Afghanistan is to be a launching pad for the planned attack on Iran.) But there is no such a thing as a "stealth world war" and Israel does want a world war, a real one. The hawks in Israel have no intention of letting a fool like Mr. Jagland stand in their way. -It will be interesting to watch Obama in the months ahead, to see how he will extricate himself from this Nobel nonsense and be free again to start World War III for Israel. But for the moment (for as long as it lasts), we think it's safe to claim that the score card reads like this: Europe 1, USA/Israel 0. The People's Voice: "The True Story of the Bilderberg Group" and What They May Be Planning Now -A Review of Daniel Estulin's book. Vidd / TPV: Formal Complaint about the Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: Nobel Prize for Obama.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the world powers' constant focus on Iran's nuclear program is not fair. "We don't want nuclear weapons in this region and this is what we have always called for. We have also voiced this to the Iranian officials and they stress that they don't have any intention of developing nuclear weapons," Erdogan told Al -Arabiya satellite channel. "They [the Iranians] want to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes because they worry that the traditional energy recourses might not meet their needs in the future," Turkey's Yenisafak newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying on Wednesday. "Besides, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no evidence indicating that Iran is developing nuclear weapons," he added. PT: Barak: "We" Must do Everything to Stop Iran.
The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva began a special session on human rights in the Palestinian territories on Thursday. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) envoy Ibrahim Khreisheh spoke in support of the report prepared by former war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone on Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip last winter. Maan News Agency: France, UK, US, urge Israel to investigate war crimes charges. PT: Israel Urges World: Don’t Adopt Goldstone Report. MediaMonitors: Planet Earth: Israeli Occupied Territory. Desert Peace: Another Holocaust Denmied (Jeffrey Goldberg says ‘nakba’ never happened). WRH: GERMANY 1940 - ISRAEL 2009.
Concerns of facing arrests in Europe shroud Israel's hawkish government as the Goldstone report on Gaza wins more support across the world. The Israeli government is reportedly considering limitations on its officials' travel to Europe fearing that they could be arrested over charges of committing war crimes during the Gaza war in January. Israel's Western allies on Wednesday called on Tel Aviv for a credible investigation into UN allegations of possible war crimes by the Israel Defense Forces during the winter conflict in the Gaza Strip. WRH: GERMANY 1940 - ISRAEL 2009.
Israeli soldiers were portrayed as murderers, Israel says. Israel's foreign minister has ordered Turkey's ambassador to be summoned over a Turkish TV series that portrays Israeli soldiers killing children. Avigdor Lieberman said the programme, broadcast on Turkey's state television, incited hatred against the country. In one clip screened on Israeli TV, an Israeli soldier takes aim at a smiling young girl. PCHR: War Crimes Against Children -A PCHR investigation into Palestinian children killed by Israeli Forces in the Gaza Strip . 27 Dec. 2008 - 18 Jan. 2009 (.pdf). Al Jazeera: More than 80 Israeli students have announced their refusal to serve in the Israeli military: "the occupation is a violent, racist, inhumane, illegal, undemocratic, immoral and an extreme condition that presents a mortal danger to both peoples".
During a conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Yishai warned that if the cabinet rejects his demand that children of foreign workers not be given residency or citizenship in Israel, he will abdicate responsibility for the Immigration Authority, which is currently in his ministry's purview, to the Prime Minister's Office, and foment a coalition crisis to boot. TPV: Statistics on Palestinians in the custody of the Israeli security forces.
A controversial plan by Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuno to lay off 17,000 government workers in the coming weeks, and possibly up to 30,000 in the coming months, has enraged the island's labor force. Stoking the fires, the Governor's administration has now threatened to charge picketing civil servants for engaging in terrorism if their actions during a planned October 15 protest infringe upon the flow of trade at the island's ports.
Parliament's justice and electoral select committee is considering the Search and Surveillance Bill which is based on a 2007 Law Commission report and also brings together police powers which are scattered through numerous statutes. It gives police and other law enforcement agencies increased powers such as the ability to compel people to answer questions, clone computer information and makes changes to searches and surveillance.
Truckers from across Canada were fuming Wednesday night as word spread that police hit a driver with a $305 fine for smoking in his rig, because it's considered a workplace. Essex County OPP stopped the tractor-trailer on Wednesday around noon after noticing the lone driver headed down Highway 401 in Lakeshore with a cigarette between his lips. The officer ticketed the 48-year-old London driver for smoking in an enclosed workplace.
Angry families of British servicemen killed in Iraq told members of the official inquiry into the conflict that Tony Blair must be held accountable for taking the nation to war. Many  blamed the former prime minister for the deaths of their loved ones in an "illegal" conflict, and some even called for him to be prosecuted for war crimes.
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