Pakistan Railways (PR) workers blocked rail engines leaving marshalling sheds on January 30 in a dispute over wages and pension payments. National passenger services were suspended for 10 hours. Employees were also protesting over electricity disconnections at 26 PR housing estates because the service had failed to pay its power bills. Industrial action ended after the government promised to inform workers about the payment of outstanding amounts within 24 hours.
Unions representing health sector workers at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), National Institute of Rehabilitation (NIRM) and the Polyclinic in Islamabad called off five-week strike action last week, after accepting a sell-out deal from the government. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani promised one additional
Following days of talks in which Greece’s governing parties finally agreed to a massive programme of spending cuts, euro zone finance ministers on Thursday upped the ante, demanding an additional €325 million in cuts in exchange for a loan of €130 billion ($170 billion). Without the new loan from the “troika”—the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—Greece will default on its debts of more than €350 billion on March 20. On that date it is required to repay bonds of €14.5 billion it previously sold.
The report advocates a major upgrading of military facilities in Australia’s north and west that would facilitate expanded American naval and air operations in the Indian Ocean and along the vital shipping routes through South East Asia.While the stationing of up to 2,500 Marines near the northern city of Darwin dominated the headlines, the deal provided for extensive access for American warships and warplanes to Australian naval and air bases.
(IPS) - Despite much government fanfare, the drop in Chile's unemployment rate is not enough to satisfy experts or workers, who point to the deeper problems of sporadic work, underemployment and low wages that are aggravating the country's endemic inequality.
Greek unions Friday unleashed a 48-hour strike against new austerity measures to go before parliament and required by the European Union and the IMF in exchange for badly needed aid.According to reports and party leaks, the measures include a 22 percent cut in the minimum wage, a 15 percent cut in complementary pensions and 15,000 civil service redundancies to meet a target of 150,000 layoffs by 2015.
On Tuesday, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, head of the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), was forced out by the military after a three-week opposition protest and a police mutiny. He was replaced by Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, who sided with the opposition.
A week after American Airlines announced 13,000 job cuts in the US, a new round of mass layoffs is hitting workers in the auto, food and mobile phone industries around the world.Many of the job cuts target workers in Europe, where the economic crisis is being used by the multinational corporations to carry out long sought after attacks on the living standards and workplace protections of workers.
The US military opened up some dangerous jobs to female troops but stopped short of repealing a ban on women serving in combat, despite a decade of war where women fought and died on the battlefield.
The Pentagon announced incremental changes that will allow women to serve in more than 14,000 jobs, mostly in the Army and Marine Corps, that had previously been closed to female service members.
Among the documents were guidelines from DHS instructing outside contractors to monitor the web for media reports and comments that “reflect adversely” on the agency or the federal government.As Reuters reported last month, in early 2010 contractors were asked to spend 24 hours monitoring news media coverage on popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks, as well as news sites including the Huffington Post and The Drudge Report.
HR 658, the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, has just passed both the House and the Senate which authorizes the use of 30,000 spy drones over America by the year 2015.If you divide that by 50 states, that is 600 drones per state.If you speak out against the government for criminal activity, or for egregiously attacking our Constitution, you can legally be considered an extremist and a terrorist. Bad news for you, because now you can be hauled away and imprisoned for life, without a trial or your Habeas Corpus rights.Having more than seven days worth of food in your house makes you a terrorist suspect.
The Israel military court has extended administrative detention for two months in addition to three months already detained for civil rights lawyer Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, a lecturer at An-Najah National University and the Cultural Coordinator for the Tanweer Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum, currently detained in Ofer Prison near Ramallah. - This arbitrary administrative detention is legally incompatible with the most basic international standards of human rights, because it is without any specific charge against the prisoner,
Experts concluded that the Government may be preparing to exploit a loophole in the Chemical Weapons Convention allowing the use of incapacitating chemical agents for domestic law enforcement. -that would be banned in warfare under an international treaty .
British and Qatari troops are directing rebel ammunition deliveries and tactics in the bloody battle for Homs, according to an Israeli website known for links to intelligence sources. - Four centers of operation have been established in the city with the troops on the ground paving the way for an undercover Turkish military incursion into Syria.
Every new round of sanctions takes a toll on the civilian economy of Iran and, increasingly, soaring food prices.Corn and rice shipments are down, This has fueled inflation, unemployment.
The volatile situation in Syria generated by the Saudi-Qatar-funded Wahhabi armed group known as the Free Syrian Army and backed by the West is now an accident waiting to happen.To this end, the events in Syria must be so choreographed that they should lead to the overthrow of Assad regime and consequently "result in a strategic debacle for the Iranian government."
“Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force — military force — in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible. We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way.”-Vladimir Putin. China and Russia are well aware of the fact that they are targets of the Anglo-American alliance. Their mutual fears of encirclement have brought them together.
Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin held a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels and, as quoted by Novosti, maintained that: “Russian intelligence had obtained information indicating that the Georgian military infrastructure could be used for logistical support of U.S. troops if they launched an attack on Iran.‘This is another reason why Washington values Saakashvili’s regime so highly,’ Rogozin said, adding that the United States had already started ‘active military preparations on Georgia’s territory’ for an invasion of Iran.‘Georgia’s president is ready to make his nation a virtual hostage of a risky military gamble,’ he said.”
On February 7 Argentine President Cristina Fernandez accused Britain of militarizing the South Atlantic Ocean by deploying a cutting-edge warship and a nuclear-powered submarine off the coast of the Falklands Islands, known to Argentina and the rest of Latin America as Las Malvinas. She pledged to seek assistance at the United Nations to remove British military forces from the region, warning that the heightened British military presence risks a potential clash between the two countries.
On January 31, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security’s Behavioral Science Division pointed to the following as indicators of potential terrorism.Reverent of individual liberty”Anti-nuclear”“Believe in conspiracy theories”“A belief that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack” “Impose strict religious laws on society “Insert religion into the political sphere”“Those who seek to politicize religion”
“Anti-abortion”“Anti-Catholic”“Anti-global” “Suspicious of centralized federal authority” Fiercely nationalistic “A belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in … survivalism” Given that most Americans fall into one or more of these categories, the powers-that-be can brand virtually anyone they dislike as being a terrorist.
The reality, however, is that to make the case for regime change in Syria, the League, currently chaired by Qatar and politically dominated by the US-aligned Gulf monarchies, had to terminate its own observer mission and squelch its report.The report was suppressed because the 166-member observer mission found that violence in Syria was abating, the Syrian government was complying with most of the Arab League’s requirements and the ruling Baathists were faced with an armed insurrection. Qatar, along with Saudi Arabia, played the instrumental role in burying the report, and cutting short the mission, because they are arming the opposition forces and arguing for direct military intervention to depose Assad.The United States, France and Britain, working in collusion with the Gulf States and Turkey, to fuel a civil war and prepare for the installation of a pro-Western Sunni government hostile to Iran.
Anonymous explains ''Protocols of the learned elders of zion''
Health workers in Kilkis, Greece, have occupied their local hospital and have issued a statement saying it is now fully under workers control. The general hospital of Kilkis in Greece is now under workers control. The workers at the hospital have declared that the long-lasting problems of the National Health System (ESY) cannot be resolved. The workers have responded to the regime’s acceleration of unpopular austerity measures by occupying the hospital
The Russian-Chinese veto of a UN resolution paving the way for intervention in Syria has provoked a furious reaction from the United States and its imperialist allies.They see the US posturing as the champion of democracy and human rights as a campaign of aggression aimed at transforming Iran and Syria—both key trading partners with Moscow and Beijing—into neo-colonial puppet states.The “principles” underlying the US initiative—that the major imperialist powers have the right to depose the governments of former colonial countries they deem guilty of violating human rights—stand in contradiction to international law.
As part of its effort to encourage business owners to spy on their customers, the FBI has labeled the bulk purchase of food as a potential indication of terrorist activity, despite the fact that FEMA itself last year purchased $1 billion dollars worth of storable food.A flyer aimed at Military Surplus stores produced under the auspices of the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism project, encourages owners to report people who “make bulk purchases of items to include….meals ready to eat”.According to the flyer, the FBI advises store owners to demand ID’s from all new customers, as well as asking them questions about their purchase and being aware of “suspicious statements”.
The flyer also characterizes paying with cash as terrorism.(FEMA) itself ordered $1 billion dollars worth of dehydrated food in just one instance last year,
UNITED NATIONS, (Reuters) - Russia’s U.N. Ambassador yesterday denounced as lies a report that he had threatened Qatar with annihilation during an argument with the Gulf state’s prime minister over a draft Security Council resolution on Syria that was vetoed by Moscow.Qatar had pushed the Security Council to adopt a European and Arab-drafted resolution backing an Arab League plan calling for Syria’s president to step aside to end bloody repression of anti-government protesters. But Russia and China vetoed the draft on Saturday, saying it promoted “regime change.”
There are many ways for sovereigns to sell their bonds or roll over existing bonds, and one of those wrinkles we mentioned last week. We saw European banks buying US Treasuries and that is happening. These euro banks buy Treasuries and then put them up for collateral with the ECB and purchase the three-year 1% yield repos being offered by the ECB. This is really another form of quantitative easing. It may be debt but it is also an expansion of the money supply. This little game allows US Treasury financing and if something goes wrong the ECB, the public, gets caught holding the bag. Obviously this is another part of the Ponzi scheme that the elitists are using to keep the monetary system afloat.
44 US military bases surrounding Iran... Washington has made tremendous preparations for a military assault on Iran. There is speculation that Washington has called off its two longest running wars--Iraq and Afghanistan--in order to deploy forces against Iran. Two of Washington’s fleets have been assigned to the Persian Gulf along with NATO warships. Missiles have been spread amongst Washington’s Oil Emirate and Middle Eastern puppet states. US troops have been deployed in Israel and Kuwait.
The West has sped up efforts against Syria after the double veto by China and Russia over the UN Security Council resolution. Russia has sent its envoy to the country.Though China has a less direct stake in Syria than Russia, the collapse of Syria will result in the West further controlling the Middle East, and Iran taking direct strategic pressure from the West. If war broke out in Iran, China would have to rely more on Russia for energy, bringing new uncertainty to the Sino-Russian strategic partnership.
Talks held Tuesday night between the three parties making up the Greek government of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos failed to finalise the cuts demanded of it in return for a €130 billion rescue package.The coalition parties met in the midst of a nationwide one-day general strike, with tens of thousands protesting in Athens despite torrential rain.
Two senior administration officials told CNN that “options are being prepared in the event President Barack Obama was to call for them.” Support for opposition groups and outright military strikes are among the options being looked at.This type of planning exercise is typical for the Pentagon, which would not want to be in the position of not having options for the president, if and when they are asked for, both officials told CNN. One of them called the effort a “scoping exercise,” with Pentagon looking into what capabilities are available given other US military commitments in the region.
The danger of a US/Israeli attack on Iran was made clear in comments by US President Barack Obama to NBC News on Sunday. Obama not only repeated the mantra that “all options are on the table,” but added that the US was working with Israel “in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this
According to an unconfirmed statement by a senior Iranian military official, reported by the Middle East and Israeli press, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces (Quds) Kassam Salimani, was in Damascus on February 6 for top level consultations regarding military support as well as the possible dispatch of Quds Special Forces to Syria. e Russian and Iranian missions focussed on curbing the armed insurrection, the armed insurrection, which is covertly supported by foreign powers.
"I can no longer stay here in Kano as it rains bombs. The gun battles rattle us... Kano is no longer safe," said pregnant Funke Nweke of her decision to flee Nigeria’s northern state with her five-year-old daughter.
I call myself frayed white collar -- part of the privileged poor. I'm a semi-accomplished, mid-career journalist and writer, but now I'm hurtling precipitously toward poverty. “Mister Cook! Chris Cook? Mr. Cook! Window three!”
A Greek choir of the "disgusted" and the "outraged" predictably greeted BRICS members Russia and China double veto to the United Nations Security Council resolution imposing regime change in Syria. The resolution was backed by that haven of democracy, the GCC League, the organization controlled by the six monarchies/emirates of the Gulf Cooperation Council formerly known as the Arab League.
As if there weren't enough examples of the drug war's rampant hypocrisy and double standards, the director of Tennessee's Alcoholic Beverage Commission was caught with pot, but never charged.
The officialUS/UK/French/Israeli line is that the “Arab Spring” has finally reached Syria. There are the legal authorities of Syria, and there are armed terrorist throngs taking advantage of genuine social grievances and unleashing violence throughout the country, which in turn triggers police repression.In Syria, such groups are in all likelihood profusely armed, trained, financed and abetted by foreign players.Russia and China are not ready to tolerate a re-run of Iraq and Libya.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States and NATO of aiming an antimissile system being deployed in Europe at Russia despite assurances that it is intended to guard against attacks from rogue states. Putin added that "today there is no threat from Iran or North Korea" and said NATO is not offering any guarantees, written or otherwise, that the system is not targeting Russia.
In late 2003, the year of the Iraq invasion, Matthew Jones, a Reader in International History, at London’s Royal Holloway College, discovered “frighteningly frank” documents:1957 plans between then UK Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, and then President, Dwight Eisenhower, endorsing: “a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion (of Syria) by Syria’s pro-western neighbours.” (ii) Syria was to be: “made to appear as sponsor of plots, sabotage and violence directed against neighbouring governments … the CIA and SIS [Her Majesty's Secret International Serivce, MI6] should use … capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.” frontier incidents and (staged) border clashes”, would “provide a pretext for intervention”, by Iraq and Jordan - then still under British mandate.
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