On Thursday, President Obama publicly criticized Wall Street bankers who awarded themselves more than $18 billion in annual bonuses even as their banks collapsed, driving the US and world economy into the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Obama made clear his primary concern: that the behavior of the top financial executives might provoke a backlash against the new handouts his administration is preparing for the finance industry.
More grim figures released by the US Commerce Department yesterday provide further confirmation of the severity of the economic contraction in the US and globally. The US economy shrank at an annualised rate of 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008—its worst result since 1982. The decline followed a contraction of 0.5 percent in the third quarter—the first successive quarterly GDP declines since 1990-91.
It was a party disproportionately enjoyed by high-income Americans, the 400 wealthiest of which actually doubled their share of all U.S. income between 1996 and 2006, new statistics released by the Internal Revenue Service show.
The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.
‘We’re used and abused by greedy employers’ | Q&A: British industrial strikes | Phrase that has come back to haunt Brown | A whole new European world of work
More than one million French workers downed tools yesterday in the first general strike to hit a major industrialised nation since the start of the global financial crisis. Unions said more than two million public and private sector workers took to the streets across France to protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy's handling of the economic crisis, saying too much had been done to bail out fat cats and banks, and not enough to protect jobs and help workers make ends meet. WSWS: Mass strikes and protests in France against joblessness and austerity measures. BBC: Huge crowds join French strikes (Video).
More than 60,000 people in Zimbabwe have now been infected by cholera, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. This figure had been described by the UN's health agency and other agencies as being the "worst case scenario" in the epidemic which broke out in August.
If the security situation in Iraq continues to improve, the number of refugees and displaced people returning to their homes could more than double this year to 500,000, the U.N. refugee agency said Thursday. After years of extreme violence Iraq is now experiencing markedly improved security, said Daniel Endres, Baghdad representative of the Geneva-based agency. "Although this security remains fragile, last year we saw a significant return as a result," he told journalists in Brussels.
Uyghur prisoners at Guantanamo have long been determined to be not guilty of terrorism. But seventeen of these ethnic Muslim Chinese are still imprisoned at Guantanamo after almost eight years. Five were forcibly resettled in Albania, isolated and away from their families. We speak with their lawyer, Sabin Willett, and PBS FRONTLINE reporter Alexandra Poolos, who has followed their story for a new report.
"Only On The Web:" Former U.S. Army Sgt. James Pitts discusses how he killed his wife after returning from combat duty in Iraq. Pitts says the military did little to help with his mental issues.
A huge sculpture of the footwear hurled at President Bush in December during a trip to Iraq has been unveiled in a ceremony at the Tikrit Orphanage complex. Assisted by children at the home, sculptor Laith al-Amiri erected a brown replica of one of the shoes hurled at Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad. Al-Zaidi was jailed for his actions, and a trial is pending.
A directive ordering Nato commanders to begin directly targeting drug smugglers and heroin factories in Afghanistan is being resisted by senior officers in the country.
Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank increased sharply in 2008, despite Israel’s pledge at the beginning of the year to freeze all construction, according to a new report by an Israeli non-governmental organisation. Haaretz: Secret Israeli database reveals full extent of illegal settlement. "The Israeli government has been complicit all along in the outright theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank. They have been negotiating in bad faith for years. Thank you Haaretz." (IMreallyKUMPFy/Reddit)
[A scene of the destruction caused by the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip] Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total Siege on the Gaza Strip. ►A Palestinian farmer was killed by IOF, and two civilians, including a child, died of previous injuries. ►17 Palestinian civilians, including four children and two international journalists were wounded by IOF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. ►IOF conducted 32 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. ►IOF arrested 64 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, including 15 children. ►IOF transformed a house in Battir village near Bethlehem into a military site. ►IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT. ►The Gaza Strip is completely isolated from the outside world. ►IOF troops positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child. ►IOF have continued to take measures towards the Judaization of Jerusalem. ►IOF demolished two houses in Jerusalem, making 53 people homeless.
The time frame for the changes are unknown. However, it is more likely that the changes will be made around the July 4th holiday, in order to dampen any potential backlash. The difference in the oath will actually only be slight. The main differences will be the new phrasing. It is expected that the oath to the Constitution will be entirely phased out within two years.
And it was just recently revealed that Bush appointee Bradley Schlozman, who supervised civil rights and voting rights lawyers from 2003 to 2006, thought his charges were little more than a bunch of "mold spores," "commies" and "crazy libs." RackJite: Still Bushed: John Yoo, We Must Torture: Good Name Though, The Bush System (Video).
Turkey's prime minister has stormed off the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos after a heated debate on Gaza with Israel's president. Sabah: Gündem (Video). Sabbah: VIDEO: YOU ARE KILLING PEOPLE, ERDOGAN TELLS PERES, WALKS OFF STAGE. The Saker: Russian Prime Minister Putin's keynote speech at the Davos World Economic Forum.
A further acceleration of the US economy would in turn drag down the world economy. The International Monetary Fund's revised growth figures it issued on Wednesday—forecasting just 0.5 percent global growth—is already under challenge. New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini has predicted the world economy will experience negative growth of at least -0.5 percent, the first such international contraction since the 1930s great depression. WUFYS: MYTHS WE CAN DO WITHOUT. Kenny's Sideshow: Jobless Sheep.
"The idea to bombard the closing ceremony of the Gaza police course was internally criticized in the Israel Defense Forces months before the attack. A military source involved in the planning of the attack, in which dozens of Hamas policemen were killed, says that while military intelligence officers were sure the operation should be carried out and pressed for its approval, the IDF's international law division and the military advocate general were undecided." Kawther Salam: Israeli War Criminals in Jenin & Lebanon. HERE.
Spiralling violence near Gaza threatened on Thursday to shatter ceasefires that ended a war in the enclave as US envoy George Mitchell headed for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Israeli warplanes bombed tunnels on Gaza's border with Egypt and resistance fighters in the coastal strip fired two rockets into Israel. The attacks, which did not injure anyone, further stoked tensions that have been rising.
“A bomb? Something between Jews” – investigations on personal feuds. The police are working on disputes between the ultra-orthodox Lubavitch, owners of the Chabad House hit Saturday, and the moderate Jews. Help was not called for immediately because of the Shabbat rule against telephoning.
The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement says he has evidence that the Iranian diplomats kidnapped in 1982 are in Israeli jails. Al-Manar: Sayyed Nasrallah: Around 350 Martyrs' Remains Still with Israel.
"It feels uneasy to have a torchlight procession to remember the victims of the Holocaust at this time," Nordin told Swedish National Radio. "We have been preoccupied and grief-stricken by the war in Gaza and it would feel just feel odd with a large ceremony about the Holocaust."
South Africa’s deputy foreign minister has been taken before the national human rights body for allegedly saying that "Jewish money" controls the United States, officials said Thursday. Fatima Hajaig allegedly told a political rally two weeks ago in Johannesburg that Jews "control America, no matter which government comes into power, whether Republican or Democratic, whether Barack Obama or George Bush." "Their control of America, just like the control of most western countries, is in the hands of Jewish money," she allegedly said. MondoWeiss: How the Israel lobby flexed its muscle to destroy New Jersey freeholder candidacy of a Lebanese-American who had expressed sympathy for Palestinians.
There are two kinds of Republicans: ►the rank and file stupid who don't know any better; ►the evil bastards up top who know better and don't give a crap! Senate goppers oppose what may be a last chance to save the US from the Bush/Reagan legacy of idiocy. GOP opposition to Obama's stimulus bill has lambasted a 'debt' that they say will be inherited by future generations.
Voting takes place on January 31. 444 seats in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces will be contested by 14,431 candidates from more 400 parties. Uncertainty and tension are running high in Baghdad ahead of the provincial election due Jan. 31. But this time fears are also touched by a new hope. NYT: Early Voting in Iraq Is Mostly Smooth.
The US envoy to the Middle East will not meet with Hamas officials despite the movement's goodwill gesture towards the Obama administration. Al Jazeera / You Tube: Carter makes Hamas peace talks call: Jimmy Carter, the former US president, has said any future permanent Israeli-Palestinian agreement had to include Hamas, the Palestinian movement that controls Gaza.
Israel will not allow the full re-opening of Gaza's crossings until it has secured the release of Gilad Shalit, the army corporal seized more than two-and-a-half years ago by Hamas and other militants, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told President Obama's new Middle East envoy yesterday.
►It is a war crime to lock up 1.5 million men, women and children and to starve them. (See: Foreign doctors say one million people are at death's door.) ►It is a war crime to bomb clearly marked ambulances. ►It is a war crime to deny medical and emergency workers such as the Red Cross the right of access to assist the wounded and evacuate civilians under assault. Starving babies were found by their murdered mothers after four days of the IDF blocking emergency workers' access. ►It is a war crime to attack public shelters - shelters that were clearly marked, and of which their locations were repeatedly shared with the Israeli military command. ►It is a war crime to order civilians out of their homes - men, women and children - stuff them into a building - and once inside bomb it.
A National Court of Spain judge on Thursday, January 29, named an Israeli minister and six high-ranking army commanders as suspects of committing crimes against humanity in the Gaza Stripe in 2002. PressTV: The Israeli defense minister has vowed to halt a Spanish probe into the alleged war crimes of former Israeli military officials.
Israel has resumed its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip leaving eight civilians and a Hamas policeman wounded in the southern parts of the region. PressTV: Retaliatory rocket lands deep in Israel: Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip have fired rockets into Israel after Israeli warplanes pounded the southern parts of the sliver. Al-Manar: IAF Wounds 18 Palestinians in Gaza, Including 11 Schoolchildren. Detain This: The Latest on U.S. and Israeli war crimes.
"The scale of the damage caused by Israel's war on Gaza continues to emerge. Palestinian agriculture officials estimate the cost to the strip's farming sector will be more than 200 million dollars. Al Jazeera's Mike Kirsch reports from Gaza, where many farmers are devastated at having to start again from scratch."
There’s something about phosphorus, the way it smoulders and burns for days, that makes it looks as though the Devil had walked by, leaving fiery footprints in the earth. I saw phosphorus today in a bombed out ice cream factory (did the Israeli gunners think Hamas had paused for a Magnum bar?). A fire was still flickering in the smoky gloom two weeks after the shell had smashed through the ice cream factory roof.
Dr. Norman Finkelstein speaking at the University of Alberta on January 22, 2009. His talk dealt with Israel's responsibility in the situation in Gaza and the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Co-sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Network, Canada Palestine Cultural Organization, Alberta Federation of Labour, U of A Muslim Students' Association, Canadian Arab News, and U of A Department of Political Science. NFB: FOILING ANOTHER PALESTINIAN "PEACE OFFENSIVE": BEHIND THE BLOODBATH IN GAZA.
On Sunday, January 25, CBS 60 Minutes aired an amazing segment exposing Israel's apartheid against Palestinians. The piece is by Senior CBS Foreign Correspondent Bob Simon, who is Jewish living outside Tel-Aviv and produced by Robert G, Anderson.
The editor of the New Statesman, Jason Cowley, has decided "to usher some established columnists, including John Pilger, out of the door." NS: Gaza under fire: Every war Israel has waged since 1948 has had the same objective: expulsion of the native people and theft of more land. But why are we in the west silent on this truth?
Here is just a sample of the latest pack of lies about Israel’s enemies published these last few days by “the world’s largest and most trusted source of independent news and information.” Here’s a lie you will see in every AP report about Israel’s invasion and carpet-bombing of Gaza — a supremely criminal aggression which was meant to terrorize the population and help remove the democratically-elected government of Hamas from power. NewsDay: AP Withdraws Sri Lanka Story on 300 Deaths. Sabbah: Israel Violated Cease-fire 7 Times, NO Media Reports.
Despite calls, questions and complaints to the UK Telegraph as to the purpose and origins of a bizarre, offensive and crudely put together “photo gallery” depicting a nuclear attack on London, the newspaper is now featuring part two of “Blackjack” on its website, which portrays six major cities being nuked before a fascist “Union of North America” is implemented. Prison Planet: Celebrities Pledge Cult-Like “Service” To Obama Government.
Former President John F Kennedy speaks about the Illuminati. He was murdered by them soon after making this speech, which warned America about the secret society that have infiltrated world governments. The People's Voice: John F. Kennedy: Address before the Press (1961) (Text).
Former Assistant Secretary to the U.S. Treasury outlines why he is sceptical about Obama's economic plans. ThisCantBeHappening: The Ugly Truth: America's Economy is Not Coming Back.
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