By Nicola Nasser*
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to start his ninth trip of shuttle diplomacy between Palestinian and Israeli leaders on this December 11. However, the bridging “security arrangements,” which he proposed less than a week earlier on his last trip, have backfired and are now snowballing into a major crisis with Palestinian negotiators who view Kerry’s “ideas” as a coup turning the US top diplomat from a mediator into an antagonist.
Kerry’s “ideas” had provoked a “real crisis” and “will drive Kerry's efforts to an impasse and to total failure,” the secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Yasser Abed Rabbo, said on this December 9.
by Stephen Lendman
Lynne's crime was compassion. She was imprisoned for doing the right thing. She did it honestly, admirably and courageously.
She did it defending some of America's most disadvantaged for 30 years. Previous articles explained.
She's dying. She has Stage Four cancer. She was given 12 months to live. She qualifies in all respects for compassionate release.
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) authorities denied her. Doing so reflects official Obama administration policy. In Lynne's words, BOP "stonewall(ed) since August." "They know (she's) fully qualified." Over 40,000 supporters "signed on to force (BOP) to do the right thing which is to let (her) go home to (her) family and receive the advanced care in New York City, (her) home."
by Stephen Lendman
For millions of occupied Palestinians, diaspora ones, and legions of global supporters, it remains a distant unfulfilled dream.
It's been this way for decades. Rogue Israeli governance prevents responsible change. So does one-sided Washington support for its worst crimes.
Yuval Diskin is a retired high level Israeli official. He's a former IDF commander. From May 2005 - May 2011, he headed Shin Bet.
It's Israel's General Security Service. It calls itself "the unseen shield." It's one of three main intelligence agencies.
The others are Aman (military intelligence) and Mossad (foreign intelligence). Shin Bet duties involve state security and related issues.
By Robert Singer
Obama has promised that his administration will not force us to register firearms, and that they have never even contemplated doing such a thing. However, a recently discovered internal Department of Justice memo paints a dramatically different picture. Entitled the “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies,” the memo was penned by the National Institute of Justice and distributed throughout the Department of Justice in the weeks after last December’s shooting in Newtown, CT.
Here’s a fun fact: The Supreme Court has actually ruled that it is unconstitutional to require felons to register their firearms. Yes, you read that right. I know what you’re thinking… if anyone should be forced to register their guns, it should be dangerous criminals. I mean, that’s what the Democrats keep promising… that gun control is only geared towards criminals. Well, the Supreme Court ruled in Haynes vs. United States (1968) that felons and prohibited persons cannot be forced to register firearms or punished for non-compliance because no citizen can be forced to bear witness against his or herself. You see, the Fifth Amendment ensures that U.S. citizens cannot be forced to incriminate themselves.
by Stephen Lendman
On Sunday, Venezuelans voted. They did so for the 19th time since Chavez took office in February 1999.
They elected municipal mayors and other local officials. Nearly 2,800 positions were up for grabs. Ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates registered impressive victories.
In Caracas' Bolivar Square, President Nicolas Maduro triumphantly told assembled supporters:
"Mission accomplished, Comandante Chavez!"
"The Venezuelan people have told the world that (his) Bolivarian Revolution continues with even more force."
"They underestimate(d) us," he said. "They call(ed) me a donkey. There is social racism. They said (Sunday) was a plebiscite, that Maduro would have to leave the presidency after today."
He urged opposition leader Henrique Capriles to resign. Washington supports him. Generous funding is provided.
by Ellen Brown
December 23rd marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve. Dissatisfaction with its track record has prompted calls to audit the Fed and end the Fed. At the least, Congress needs to amend the Fed, modifying the Federal Reserve Act to give the central bank the tools necessary to carry out its mandates.
The Federal Reserve is the only central bank with a dual mandate. It is charged not only with maintaining low, stable inflation but with promoting maximum sustainable employment. Yet unemployment remains stubbornly high, despite four years of radical tinkering with interest rates and quantitative easing (creating money on the Fed’s books). After pushing interest rates as low as they can go, the Fed has admitted that it has run out of tools.
The recent interim accord between the six world powers and Iran has been hailed as an “historic breakthrough”, a “significant accomplishment” by most leading politicians, editorialists and columnists (Financial Times, (FT) 11/26/13, p. 2), the exceptions being notably Israeli leaders and the Zionist power brokers in North America and Western Europe (FT 11/26/13, p. 3).
What constitutes this “historic breakthrough”? Who got what? Did the agreement provide for symmetrical concessions? Does the interim agreement strengthen or weaken the prospects for peace and prosperity in the Gulf and the Middle East? To address these and other questions, one also has to include the powerful influence wielded by Israel on US and European policymakers (Stephen Lendman
by Stephen Lendman
Pro-EU elements called for a Sunday "March of Millions." They hoped for maximum numbers turning out.
Their plan is a Washington manipulated power grab. It's got nothing to do with democracy. It ignores Ukrainian sovereign rights.
The event's slogan was "Ukraine for Europe." It should be named Ukraine for Western corporate predators.
At noon Sunday Kiev time, Itar Tass estimated about 1,000 in Independence Square. By mid-afternoon, thousands more joined them. Reports differ. AP said "several hundred thousand." Russia Today had a live feed. Visually the crowd size looked large.
by Stephen Lendman
He's no peacemaker. He never was throughout 30 years in state and federal government service. He's one of America's privileged. He's super-rich.
His record shows exclusive support for wealth and power. He spurns popular interests. He's been conducting Middle East shuttle diplomacy for months. He's Israel's man at State.
He's no honest broker. He never was. He's not now. His dirty hands are manipulating dead on arrival Israeli/Palestinian peace talks.
They're more pretense than real. They demand unconditional Palestinian surrender. Israel is all take and no give. So is Washington.
Peace in our time reflects a convenient illusion. Last week, Kerry met with Netanyahu and Abbas. He presented a new plan. It's largely old wine in new bottles. It focused on security issues.
by Stephen Lendman
On Sunday, Venezuelans voted. A follow-up article will discuss results. More on what's at stake below.
Last week, Venezuela's National Assembly (AN) passed Chavez's Second Socialist Plan 2013 - 2019.
It followed his National Project Simon Bolivar 2007 - 2013. It focused on ethics and morals. The new plan goes further. It aims to strengthen and expand existing programs.
It calls for greater participatory democracy. It focuses on grassroots control. It discusses serious unresolved problems.
It aims to take Bolivarianism to the next level. It's fair, ambitious and realistic. It states in part:
"This is a program for the transition to socialism and the radicalization of a pre-eminent and participatory democracy."
The popular notion that anti-Semitism caused the Zionist movement makes the mistake of post hoc ergo propter hoc - "after the fact, therefore because of the fact."
Sixty-six years ago, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 181, which partitioned the land of Palestine into two States: the “birth certificate” for Israel, and the “death certificate” for Palestine.
Native Americans held a special knowledge of the land and its inhabitants, and believed they were only a small part of the whole circle of life, and that each part of creation played a significant role in the contentment and survival of the other.
The assassination of the President of the United States on national television by the “lone” assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald—who according to authorities used an obsolete bolt-action WWI rifle that was not capable of firing bullets fast enough to wound John F. Kennedy—who is then assassinated the next day by another “lone” assassin, is so stupid that whoever is behind the assassination didn’t expect you to believe it.
Would the planet be at serious risk, according to a massive United Nations Environmental Report, due to “the dangers of climate change, water scarcity, dwindling fish stocks and the pressures on the land and the extinction of species,” had John F. Kennedy not been assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963.
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