"B'Tselem protests the sweeping classification of the situation in the Occupied Territories as an “armed conflict,” which effectively grants immunity to soldiers and officers, with the result that soldiers who kill Palestinians not taking part in hostilities are almost never held accountable for their misdeeds. By acting in this way, the army fails to meet its obligation to take all feasible measures to reduce injury to civilians, allows soldiers and officers to violate the law, encourages a trigger-happy attitude, and shows gross disregard for human life."
$500,000 bail paid before release of Sarah Shourd, as families vow to keep up fight for two still held. US hiker Sarah Shourd has been released. Sarah Shourd, one of three US hikers held in Iran as spies for over a year, was released from prison yesterday as their families and supporters vowed to fight on to bring the other two home.
The Obama administration has responded to reports of an epidemic growth of poverty in America to levels not seen since the 1960s by categorically ruling out any anti-poverty programs like those initiated under the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. In the midst of a week-long campaign of speeches and events aimed at packaging the administration’s pro-corporate policies as populist measures to aid the “middle class,” Obama exhibited callous indifference to the suffering of millions of Americans when he was queried at his Friday press conference about possible anti-poverty measures.
A report released Monday by the London-based human rights organization Amnesty International documents the criminal treatment that is being meted out to Iraqis who were summarily rounded up by US occupation troops, imprisoned, and now, as part of the “end of the combat mission,” have been turned over to torturers employed by the US-backed Iraqi regime.
So, Goldman Sachs’ top econowonk Jan Hatzius — here at MarketBeat central we refer to him colloquially as “Johnny the Hat” — says the Fed may announce a new round of quantitative easing as early as November. (Quantitative easing, at least as recently practiced by the Fed, is essentially printing money to by U.S. debt.)
ROME - Figures the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) presented here Tuesday revealing a reduction in the world's number of hungry people in 2010 for the first time in 15 years should be a cause for celebration. In reality it is a hollow success. It is not that the fall is too small to be significant. On the contrary, the United Nations agency estimates 925 million are undernourished this year, a drop of 98 million on the 2009 level of 1,023 billion, almost 10 percent down.
Economic collapse, world depression, free rides for the banks, more wars...
A Georgia resident who has been an organic farmer for years is now facing $5000 dollars in fines for growing too many vegetables on his OWN land. That’s right.
The following quotes all have something in common: "It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error" – United States Supreme Court decision in American Communications Association v. Douds
WITHOUT WARNING, and to the relief of many Chicagoans, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced at a press conference last week that, after 21 years as mayor, he would not seek re-election. Since his announcement, the mainstream media in Chicago have been busy glamorizing Daley's tenure as mayor and praising his ability to bring the city out of the doldrums of 1980s deindustrialization and create the "global city" that it is today.
The Environmental Protection Agency has begun public hearings in Binghamton, New York on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a controversial technique that mining companies use to extract natural gas from rock formations thousands of feet underground. The hearings are part of a broad investigation by the EPA into the human health and environmental effects of fracking. We speak to Josh Fox, director of the Sundance award-winning documentary Gasland, which opens in theaters across the country this Wednesday, and ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten, who has written extensively about natural gas drilling. [includes rush transcript]
Reading about another tragic life-altering car crash here on Mount Desert Island reminded me of an old newspaper headline. Ten years ago a newspaper in Saskatchewan, which has a population slightly less than Maine’s, ran an eye-popping headline: 165 People Killed! 7,562 Injured! Over $100,000,000 in Property Damage! Provincial Government Helpless! Expects Same Carnage Next Year!”
When US capitalism and its Bush administration planned the occupation of Iraq, they intended Iraqi society to be a poster child for the "free market". Thus it was that the looting of the world-famous museums of ancient Mesopotamian culture – some of the earliest of human civilization – was freely allowed by the US forces. As a top advisor to US administrator Paul Bremer put it, this looting was a form of "privatization" and he thought it was "just fine" and as another advisor put it, this was "the opportunity for a clean slate," (as quoted in Naomi Klein’s "The Shock Doctrine"). Every function of war imaginable was privatized, most with no-bid, cost-plus contracts. Many contracts were not fulfilled, but the companies were paid in full. A typical instance was that of the Parsons Company, which was given a $186 million contract to build 142 health clinics. They built six. Even the administration of the occupation was recognized as having been privatized by a US court...
With each revelation, or court decision, on US torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo -- or the airing this month of The Tillman Story and Lawrence Wright's My Trip to Al-Qaeda -- I am reminded of the chilling story of Alyssa Peterson, who died seven years ago this week. Appalled when ordered to take part in interrogations that, no doubt, involved what most would call torture, she refused, then killed herself a few days later, on September 15, 2003. LaVena Johnson: Raped and Murdered on a Military Base in Iraq
American ambassador appeals for calm after police fire into angry crowds protesting amid Qur'an-burning controversy in US. More than a dozen people were killed and scores injured in confrontations in Kashmir today following a report on an Iranian TV channel of the desecration of the Qur'an in New York on the anniversary of 9/11. In the worst day of violence in the Himalayan valley since young Kashmiri Muslims began agitating for independence more than three months ago, dozens of government buildings were torched as protesters battled with armed police and paramilitary soldiers.
A new poll indicates that only one in four Americans say they trust the government to do what is right always or most of the time, one explanation for the anti-incumbent sentiment in the country today.
In the early 1970’s, I spent two summers slinging pork loins in a Chicago meat-packing factory. Rose Packing Company paid a handful of college students $2.25 an hour to process pork. Donning combat boots, yellow rubber aprons, goggles, hairnets and floor length white smocks that didn’t stay white very long, we’d arrive on the factory floor. Surrounded by deafening machinery, we’d step over small pools of blood and waste, adjusting ourselves to the rancid odors, as we headed to our posts. I’d step onto a milk crate in front of a huge bin full of thawing pork loins. Then, swinging a big, steel T-hook, I’d stab a large pork loin, pull it out of the pile, and plop it on a conveyor belt carrying meat into the pickle juice machine. Sometimes a roar from a foreman would indicate a switch to processing Canadian pork butts, which involved swiftly shoving metal chips behind rectangular cuts of meat. On occasion, I’d be assigned to a machine that squirted meat waste meat into a plastic tubing, part of the process for making hot dogs. I soon became a vegetarian.
Bill Murphy, the chairman of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, gave chaostheorien.de an exclusive interview, in which he stressed the importance of a clear understanding of the gold market. Moreover, he explained why central banks can’t prevent the gold price from rising anymore, and said: “The Gold Cartel have been winning battles in the last ten years, but they’re losing the war.“
Gold has surged to a new high as the prospect of inflation reared its ugly head in the United Kingdom on bad news from a report indicating a weaker-than-expected eurozone industrial production. Germany and France, despite sovereign debt fears, have been able to manage anemic growth but today’s data signals a slow down. Gold traded as high as $1,261.90 on Tuesday. Photo: Bullion Vault. On Tuesday the gold price traded as high as $1,261.90 and as low as $1,246. “The U.S. dollar index was adding 0.03% to $81.90 while the euro was losing 0.19% to $1.28 vs. the dollar. The spot gold price was rising $14.30, according to Kitco’s gold index,” writes Alix Steel for The Street.
Saudi Arabia is about to buy another $60bn worth of military hardware from the US, and even The Guardian is dutiful in parroting, without question, the accepted western narrative : The sale, under negotiation since 2007, is aimed mainly at bolstering Saudi defences against Iran, which the US suspects will achieve a nuclear weapons capability within the next few years. The transfer of advanced technology, mainly planes, is to provide Saudi Arabia with air superiority over Iran.
A second round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are taking place under the auspices of Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Washington says it hopes the talks will lead to an agreement within a year. When asked whether they think the talks will succeed, some Israelis respond with a cynical laugh, but most reply with an odd mix of apathy, exhaustion and pessimism, coloured by hope.
America and Europe face the worst jobs crisis since the 1930s and risk "an explosion of social unrest" unless they tread carefully, the International Monetary Fund has warned. "The labour market is in dire straits. The Great Recession has left behind a waste land of unemployment," said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's chief, at an Oslo jobs summit with the International Labour Federation (ILO). He said a double-dip recession remains unlikely but stressed that the world has not yet escaped a deeper social crisis. He called it a grave error to think the West was safe again after teetering so close to the abyss last year. "We are not safe," he said.
Shirley and Don Tillman, residents of Pass Christian, Mississippi, have owned shrimp boats, an oyster boat and many pleasure boats. They spent much time on the Gulf of Mexico before working in BP’s Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program looking for and trying to clean up oil. Don decided to work in the VOO program in order to assist his brother, who was unable to do so due to health problems. Thus, Don worked on the boat and Shirley decided to join him as a deckhand most of the days.
In a shock warning to a World entering its third year of Global economic chaos, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, stated today that the unemployment situation facing all Nations has now become a “catastrophic situation” that is “unparalleled” and is fast leading to the creation of a “lost generation” of human beings numbering in the hundreds of millions.
The Federal Reserve will buy about $27 billion of Treasuries and Treasury inflation-protected securities in nine operations from Sept. 15 through Oct. 6, the New York Fed said on its website on Monday.
On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary and in an eerie repeat of Israeli “art student” activity a year and a half prior to the 9/11 attack at the offices and homes of federal government, U.S. military, and even federal judges, WMR has been informed of an increase in similar renewed activity at the homes of current and former federal officials.
Conspiracy theories exist in ‘the realm of myth’, where ‘imaginations run wild, fears trump facts, and evidence is ignored’ [i]. This is according to a website created by the US State Department to debunk a range of outlandish conspiracy theories.
Census figures for 2009, to be released Thursday, are expected to show that the poverty rate soared last year to nearly 15 percent. One out of every seven Americans is now living below the official poverty level, the highest proportion since the 1960s. One in five American children is living in poverty. The Associated Press reported the sharp rise in the poverty rate after interviewing six demographers who have been tracking the preliminary census figures, and finding “wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.”
With each revelation, or court decision, on U.S. torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo -- or the airing this month of The Tillman Story and Lawrence Wright's My Trip to Al-Qaeda -- I am reminded of the chilling story of Alyssa Peterson, who died seven years ago this week. Appalled when ordered to take part in interrogations that, no doubt, involved what most would call torture, she refused, then killed herself a few days later, on September 15, 2003. LaVena Johnson: Raped and Murdered on a Military Base in Iraq
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated week that Mexico and Central America were facing an “insurgency” that requires the equivalent of a Plan Colombia in the region. Her comments immediately raised the ire of the Mexican government and sparked fears of expanded U.S. military intervention.
His achievements are impressive but insufficient, his party is confused. As elections loom, fundamentalists and fantasists are seizing the initiative. Christine O'Donnell, a candidate in Delaware's Republican senatorial primary, is against masturbation and believes that her opponent's supporters follow her home at night and hide in her bushes. For her, last Thursday was a day of mixed fortunes.
In that order. The scary people have already started coming out of the woodwork. The times lately have been mostly uncertain, but soon they'll turn scary, too, as it becomes clearer that the people running things in the USA have no idea what's going on or what they're going to do about it -- and what's going on is an involuntary permanent re-set of the terms of everyday life, from a wet-dream robotic "consumer" techtopia to something more like the first chapter of Tobacco Road, with a family of half-wits reduced by hard times to fighting over a sack of turnips in a roadside ditch. That's the story-arc anyway, and lots of people won't like it. But the theme of dwindling resources is not a pretty one.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says the Obama administration hopes the top House Republican was serious in expressing support for renewing tax cuts for the middle class, adding that GOP hopes to also extend reductions for the rich lack common sense.
I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on Ground Zero. Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.
People often wind up believing their own cover story. Former British prime minister Tony Blair, for example, is trapped forever in the rationalizations he used in 2003 to explain why he was going along with George Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He was at it again last week, telling the BBC that “radical Islam” is the greatest threat facing the world today.
Fresh clean water is essential to all life forms. It seems that a resource so vital should not be corralled, controlled, or corrupted by any corporation or government. However, with fresh water supplies under assault on multiple fronts, governments seek to further clamp down on individual human usage, while doing very little to reduce the reasons for the contamination. At the same time, corporations that repackage water and sell it back to the public enjoy financial benefits from the scarcity of their "product."
British national Ramze Shihab Ahmed went to Iraq to help his jailed son, but was arrested and tortured himself. Iraq is holding an estimated 30,000 prisoners without charge or trial, in contravention of international standards [EPA] On a dull December day in 2009, Rabiha al Qassab, a 63-year-old Iraqi refugee living in a quiet residential area of north London, received a telephone call that marked the beginning of a new nightmare for a family already torn apart by Iraq's political upheavals. Her 68-year-old husband, Ramze Shihab Ahmed, had been arrested while on a visit to Iraq, and no-one knew where he was being held or what, if anything, he had been charged with. "They beat him. They put a plastic bag on his head until he lost consciousness, and then they woke him with electric shocks. They told him that if he didn't confess, they would make his son rape him. They put a wooden stick into his anus,"
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has a new report entitled "Unsafe Space. The Israeli Authorities' Failure to Protect Human Rights amid Settlements in East Jerusalem". The short version: Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, especially the Old City, are increasingly subject to hostility and violence because authorities are joining political extremists in attempts to “Judaize” Palestinian areas. The group's attorney Nisreen Alyan says:
The Wall Street Journal reports the White House will officially notify Congress in the next two weeks of a $60 billion deal to sell Saudi Arabia dozens of U.S.-made fighter jets and military helicopters. If it goes ahead, the sale of some 84 new F-15 jets and dozens of helicopter will be the largest U.S. arms deal ever.
Jerusalem, September 13, (Pal Telegraph) Dozens of Jewish extremists stormed today morning Al Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi Gate, accompanied by reinforced Israeli police forces. The Israeli occupation authorities and Jewish extremist groups exploit times of the early morning, when Al-Aqsa Mosque is free and empty - especially after the month of Ramadan - to break into it and desecrate it.
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