KABUL, Afghanistan — Ten members of an international medical mission, including six Americans, were robbed and killed while returning from a two-week trek through risky parts of eastern Afghanistan, Afghan officials and organizers of the aid mission said Saturday.
Taliban officials claimed responsibility for killing the seven men and three women who embarked on the journey to deliver medical aid to residents in a remote valley in Nuristan Province. In a text message claiming responsibility, the Taliban said they killed the aid workers because they were preaching Christianity and spying for Western forces in Afghanistan.
"Instead of remorse, Blair has demonstrated a voracious and secretive greed." Tony Blair must be prosecuted, not indulged like his mentor Peter Mandelson. Both have produced self-serving memoirs for which they have been paid fortunes. Blair’s will appear next month and earn him £4.6 million. Now consider Britain’s Proceeds of Crime Act. Blair consired in and executed an unprovoked war of aggression against a defenceless country, which the Nuremberg judges in 1946 described as the “paramount war crime”. This has caused, according to scholarly studies, the deaths of more than a million people, a figure that exceeds the Fordham University estimate of deaths in the Rwandan genocide
Will there be another Massacre in the Mediterranean; does Israel dare? They said it couldn’t be done, that Americans couldn’t raise money fast enough to buy a boat to join Freedom Flotilla 2 in the fall. But never underestimate American determination in the face of Israeli intransigence and brutality. The launch of the US Boat to Gaza began last night in New York, and Free Gaza was there to participate. Listen to Col. Ann Wright’s eloquent speech at witnessgaza.com.
In recent months, President Obama reversed his campaign promises on trade issues - first by dropping his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA and then by pushing to pass NAFTA-style trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. Now, with the unemployment crisis persisting, the key jobs question is once again front a center in American politics. Specifically: How do we create jobs here at home and build our most valuable 21st century industries?
A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain.... ...If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever. An excerpt from George Orwell’s 1984. If you were to walk into any travel agency office today and ask the sales rep to plan a trip for you to whatever city in the world best fitted this description there’s a pretty good chance you’d soon find yourself with a ticket to Fallujah, Iraq. Fallujah is a picture of the future. Although Fallujah has been a site of human civilisation for thousands of years and was once the site of a Jewish school of philosophy and religion it is known around the world as the site of the 2004 battles between the Iraqi resistance and the US military.
I am a retired US Army reserve colonel with 29 years in the US Army and Army Reserves, and a former US diplomat who resigned after 16 years in the US State Department in opposition to the war on Iraq. I was one of fourteen American citizens on the Gaza flotilla. On June 14, 2010, I delivered to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of American Citizen Services a letter to you requesting investigation of the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla in which one unarmed American citizen was killed by Israeli commandos and fourteen other American citizens were kidnapped from international waters and taken to Israel against their will, imprisoned, and their personal possessions stolen by Israeli commandos.
A giant bus which runs on wheeled "legs" that allow cars to drive underneath it has been designed by a Chinese company.
Arabic singer joins crew of nuns, doctors, lawyers and journalists for humanitarian mission despite Israeli warning. Israel's deadly assault on a Gaza aid flotilla in June led to anger in the Muslim world and beyond. A ship bearing aid for Gaza is preparing to leave Tripoli in Lebanon this weekend in the latest attempt to defy the Israeli blockade – with only women on board. The Saint Mariam, or Virgin Mary, has a multi-faith international passenger list, including the Lebanese singer May Hariri and a group of nuns from the US. "They are nuns, doctors, lawyers, journalists, Christians and Muslims," said Mona, one of the participants who, along with the other women, has adopted the ship's name, Mariam.
According to the Jersusalem Post the IDF told the inquiry that the group on the boat were "well-trained and likely ex-military" because "each squad of the mercenaries was equipped with a Motorola communication advice, so they could pass information to one another". A Motorola communication advice? So these so-called peace-activists were armed with mobile phones! It's a wonder the whole Middle East wasn't set alight. And to think Motorola and other sinister arms dealers such as Nokia and Orange go round trading in this deadly merchandise quite openly.
The dismal US job figures came as the National Institute of Economic and Social Research predicted a protracted depression for the UK economy.
Russia's devastating summer heatwave has cost almost 5,000 lives, according to officials who conceded yesterday that the state was struggling to gain control over the worst wildfires in decades.
The internet and telecom giants Verizon and Google have reportedly reached an agreement to impose a tiered system for accessing the internet. The deal would enable Verizon to charge for quicker access to online content over wireless devices, a violation of the concept of net neutrality that calls for equal access to all services. The deal comes amidst closed-door meetings between the Federal Communications Commission and major telecom giants on crafting new regulations. [includes rush transcript]
Regulators have shut down a small bank in Chicago, lifting to 109 the number of U.S. bank failures this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday took over Ravenswood Bank, which had roughly $264.6 million in assets and $269.5 million in deposits as of June 30. Northbrook Bank and Trust Co. agreed to assume the assets and deposits of the failed bank.
At a White House briefing Wednesday, President Obama personally joined the growing chorus of war threats against Iran coming from Washington and its allies. Recent threats include remarks from US Defense Secretary Gates, who argued against “another war in the Middle East” in 2008, but stated last month that the US does “not accept the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons.” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said it was “still time for sanctions,” but that “at a certain point, we should realize that sanctions cannot work.”
The barrage of grim US economic data continued Thursday with the Labor Department’s report that first-time claims for unemployment benefits jumped by 19,000 last week, bringing the total to 479,000, the most since April. Like virtually all of the recent US economic reports, the jobless claims figures were worse than analysts’ forecasts.
Economists are still spinning fairy tales so they can celebrate bank bailouts. Too bad everybody's still broke and out of work. It is amazing that angry mobs have not risen up and chased all the economists out of the country. While the greed of the Wall Street gang provided the fuel for the bubble, the economists played an essential role as enablers. This was most directly true for economists in policymaking positions, like Alan Greenspan at the Fed.
It is, obviously, self-referential to quote yourself, but I do it to make a point. I wrote the following on New Year's day, 1994. America 16 years ago was a relatively content nation, though full of political sparks: 10 months later the Republicans would take the House for the first time in 40 years. But beneath all the action was, I thought, a coming unease. Something inside was telling us we were living through "not the placid dawn of a peaceful age but the illusory calm before stern storms."
The OECD's Carmel Cahill: "European subsidies for agriculture continue to benefit the largest land owners." Subsidies for agriculture in the industrialised countries of the world grew again in 2009, benefiting the largest companies and land owners, such as Prince Albert of Monaco and Queen Elizabeth of Britain.
How Big is Huge? A little different subject for this article - still economics - but one that will probably have sufficient material in it to irritate almost everyone. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Navy veteran, served in destroyers of the Atlantic Fleet as an Electronic and Fire Control Technician working out of Norfolk, VA., to the Med, N. Europe, Caribbean and the Middle East during the middle 1950’s. Further, I have a son-in-law who is a retired Navy Chief Fire Controlman who worked 20 years on various Fast Attack submarines in the Pacific, Atlantic and Polar waters. Two Grandsons are Marines. I have earned the right to my opinions whether anyone agrees with them or not.
It has not been a good week for Blackberry users in the Middle East. First came the news that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would ban the devices in October, then Saudi Arabia announced it would block the Blackberry instant messenger function from Friday. Days later, Lebanon said it would be conducting its own review into use of the devices, whose encrypted data transfer services have raised fears they could be used for crime, terrorism or even espionage.
The 92,000 secret documents published on WikiLeaks have dealt a blow to the German government’s propaganda campaign about the war in Afghanistan. They have exposed as lies the claims that what is taking place in Afghanistan is the development of democratic structures, the building of schools and drilling of wells, and so forth. The documents have revealed the brutality of the war being conducted against the Afghan people, and the role played by the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces).
Admiral Michael Mullen - "We do" have a military plan to attack Iran. When Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest-ranking American officer, was asked recently on NBC’s Meet The Press show whether the United States has a military plan for an attack on Iran, he replied simply: “We do.” General staffs are supposed to plan for even the most unlikely future contingencies. Right down to the 1930s, for example, the United States maintained and annually updated plans for the invasion of Canada — and the Canadian military made plans to pre-empt the invasion. But what the planning process will have revealed, in this case, is that there is no way for the United States to win a nonnuclear war with Iran.
I often make reference to “the War Party” in this space: it’s a convenient shorthand, one that evokes an image of something sinister, even Satanic, and this serves my rhetorical purposes well. But if we unpack the concept, and look for examples in real life, what we find is a little more prosaic than Satan with a sword.
The Afghan government has released the findings of an investigation into a deadly rocket attack by US-led forces in Helmand province last month. President Hamid Karzai's office said late on Wednesday the inquiry shows 39 civilians -- all women and children -- were killed in the attack.
Today (Wednesday) was another honorable and painful chapter in the struggle of the village of Al-Walaja. Apartheid soldiers assaulted children and adults protesting peacefully, injured many, and arrested six Palestinians. The destruction of the beautiful ancient village land was stopped for over 1.5 hours. I was especially touched by the courage of Omar and his two children, one of them was hit by a soldier with his gun on top of his head.
Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street gambled on food. Their bets paid off big time--at the cost of igniting a food crisis that pushed hundreds of millions into the ranks of the hungry. Alan Maass, author of The Case for Socialism, looks at their crimes. LAST YEAR, Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi wrote a damning exposé of mega-bank Goldman Sachs that began by describing the Wall Street giant as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
The drumbeat of calls for repression and violence against WikiLeaks and Private Bradley Manning is a major threat to democratic rights. All sections of the US political establishment, Democratic and Republican, liberal and conservative, are seeking to retaliate against those who are exposing atrocities by the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq, and intimidate all critics of these wars of aggression by American imperialism.
Russia, the world's third wheat exporter, Thursday banned grain exports for the next four-and-a-half months due to a record drought that has destroyed millions of hectares (acres) of its land.
Federal regulators are abandoning efforts to negotiate a compromise on so-called "network neutrality" rules intended to ensure that phone and cable TV companies cannot discriminate against Internet traffic traveling over their broadband lines.
WHAT CONSTITUTES a crime? We are encouraged to see crime as something quite simple: Laws are made so that society can function smoothly. Steal or kill, and you are punished; disobey these laws, and you pay a price. This superficial view fails to explain some glaring contradictions in the law and its application, or the social context in which crime is defined. As Rosa Luxemburg once wrote, bourgeois justice is "like a net, which allowed the voracious sharks to escape, while the little sardines were caught."
A group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site Digg.com have just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, upvote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives. An undercover investigation has exposed this effort, which has been in action for more than one year.
For most people in Britain and the US, Iraq is already history. Afghanistan has long since taken the lion's share of media attention, as the death toll of Nato troops rises inexorably. Controversy about Iraq is now almost entirely focused on the original decision to invade: what's happening there in 2010 barely registers.
Hellish heat is sweeping across the country setting new record high temperatures. A recent university study says to get prepared, because the next thirty years may be more of the same.
Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company operating under federal conservatorship, is seeking $1.5 billion in aid from the U.S. Treasury Department after a 12th straight quarterly loss.
The U.S. Postal Service reported a quarterly net loss of $3.5 billion on Thursday and said it will likely have a cash shortfall going into 2011.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian philosopher and esotericist and founder of one of the key modern spiritual movements in the West. He is best known for his books and lectures before and after World War I, when he founded the Anthroposophical Society with its present-day headquarters in Dornach, Switzerland. After World War I, Steiner and his work were criticized viciously by right-wing nationalists in Germany, which caused him to give up his residence in Berlin. Among the critics was Adolf Hitler, who attacked him in print as a traitor to Germany for his efforts to promote peace.
The U.S. Senate by a 63-37 vote on Thursday confirmed Elena Kagan as the nation's 112th Supreme Court justice and its fourth-ever female member –- but, as predicted, with just a handful of votes from Republican senators.
“The Navy has long had to fear carrier—killing capabilities,” said Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia—Pacific Security Programme at the nonpartisan, Washington—based Centre for a New American Security. “The emerging Chinese anti-ship missile capability, and in particular the DF 21D, represents the first post—Cold War capability that is both potentially capable of stopping our naval power projection and deliberately designed for that purpose.”
Alex Jones is launching a new campaign to inform the public about the toxic chemical fluoride being added to tap water across the country. While EPA scientists and workers are calling for an end to water fluoridation, the government is doing everything in its power to continue and even increase the amount of toxic chemicals being added to public water supplies. Poison tap water in Major USA Cities - Videos A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.
Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Pakistan's Punjab province after some of the country's worst floods. The Pakistani army has been using boats and helicopters to evacuate villages to higher ground, as authorities warn of more rainfall. Fears of severe food shortages have also increased after floods wiped away farmlands and destroyed crops.
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