Bless the large numbers of Ethiopians,
the many good people in Indonesia, and
the folks of Russia, Greece and Egypt,
who are now playing it.
100% CERTAIN 9/11 WAS MOSSAD OPERATION
Most US people polled believe that 9/11 was an "inside job", but what would they feel if they found out that it was designed by Zionists who deliberately killed thousands of innocent US citizens to drive the US into wars on Muslims?
They'd be angry, right?
Fernando Imposimato, the President of the Italian Supreme Court, calls for a criminal investigation of 9/11, comparing the attack to false flag incidents carried out by the CIA in Italy: Operation Gladio.
"The 9/11 attacks were a global state terror operation permitted by the administration of the USA, which had foreknowledge of the operation yet remained intentionally unresponsive in order to make war against Afghanistan and Iraq," Imposimato declares in a letter published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies.
Ferdinando Imposimato is the Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy and a former Senator who served on the Anti-Mafia Commission in three administrations. He is the author or co-author of seven books on international terrorism, state corruption, and related matters, and a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.
As a former state prosecutor, Imposimato has extensive experience in investigating high-profile crimes, including the kidnapping and assassination of Italian Prime Minster Aldo Moro and the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. He also worked on the Anti- Mafia commission as a Senator, giving him a wealth of knowledge on the inner workings of organized crime syndicates.
Imposimato points to several facts contradicting the official 9/11 story, including the free-fall collapse of WTC Building 7, the report that the CIA met with Osama Bin Laden in a Dubai hospital in July 2001, and the overwhelming evidence of insider trading before 9/11 that didn't lead to any criminal charges, reports digitaljournal.com
The following is an excerpt from Imposimato’s letter published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies on Sunday:
The reports of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), November 20, 2005, set forth the following conclusions: The airplanes that struck each of the Twin Towers caused a breach as well as an explosion evidenced by a giant fireball. The remaining jet fuel flowed onto the lower floors, sustaining the fires. The heat from the fires deformed the building structures and both towers collapsed completely from top to bottom. Very little that was of any size remained after these events except steel as well as aluminum fragments and the pulverized dust from the concrete floors.
The World Trade Center 7 also collapsed–in a way that was inconsistent with the common experience of engineers. All three buildings collapsed completely, but Building 7 was not hit by a plane. WTC7’s collapse violated common experience and was unprecedented.
The NIST report does not analyze the actual nature of the collapses. According to experts at the Toronto Hearings (Sept. 8-11, 2011), the collapses had features that indicate controlled explosions. I agree with architect Richard Gage and engineer Jon Cole, both highly experienced professionals [from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth – now numbering 1,700 strong], who have arrived at their conclusions through reliable tests, scientific proof, and the visual testimony of people above suspicion, including firefighters and victims. The authoritative theologian David Ray Griffin has described very precisely why the hypothesis of controlled demolition should be taken into consideration. Various witnesses heard bursts of explosions.
According to NIST the collapse of Building 7 was due to fires provoked by the collapse of the twin towers. Chemist and independent researcher Kevin Ryan, however, has demonstrated that NIST gave contradictory versions of the collapse of Building 7. In a preliminary report NIST declared that WTC7 was destroyed because of fires provoked by diesel fuel stored in the building, while in a second report this fuel was no longer considered the cause of the building’s collapse. Additional comments on the NIST version of events have been made by David Chandler, another expert witness at the Journal of 9/11 Studies Letters, September 2012 Toronto Hearings. Despite NIST’s claim of three distinct phases of collapse, Chandler pointed out that many available videos show that for about two and a half seconds the acceleration of the building cannot be distinguished from freefall. NIST has been obliged to agree with this empirical fact as pointed out by Chandler; now understandable by everyone.
The only possibility for achieving justice is to submit the best evidence concerning the involvement of specific individuals in 9/11 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and ask him to investigate according to the articles 12, 13, 15 and 17, letters a and b, of the Statute of the ICC, recalling also the preamble of the Statute:
“Recognizing that such grave crimes threaten the peace, security and the well being of the world,”
“Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at the national level and by enhancing international cooperation, ”
“Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and thus to contribute to the prosecution of such crimes, recalling that it is the duty of every state to exercise its jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes." reports infowars.com
More and more people from all walks of life and all professions seem to be questioning the “official” narrative of what happened on 9/11. Those who are questioning the events of 9/11 may be moving under the radar of the corporate media from being labeled “conspiracy theorists” to legitimate investigators with legitimate questions and concerns, reports examiner.com
Theorists believe that the World Trade Center buildings were demolished by bombs, phone calls from the planes were made up, and the former President George W. Bush secretly profited from the attacks, reports newsone.com
The World Trade Center collapse appeared similar to a controlled demolition. Many speculate that the towers were in fact blown down with explosives placed in selected locations. Some witnesses heard explosions inside the building as they attempted to escape. Many architects and scientists maintain that plane fuel couldn't produce enough heat to melt the steel frame of the buildings that collapsed, reports newsone.com
US is again ranked world’s biggest military spender, despite 6% decline.
The US was cited in 2011 as the world's largest military spender by a huge margin.
The United States in 2012 is again ranked by far the world’s largest military spender, while the troop drawdown from its Afghan war is being cited in a report as contributing to a rare drop in global military spending.
The US still accounted for 39% of global military spending, much more than any other country in the world, although its recent budget cuts and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan was credited for a 6% decline in US military spending compared to the previous year, according to the latest report on global military spending, released today (Monday) by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
While reporting the first annual drop in over a decade in 2012 on global military spending, the report underlines that military spending across the world is still higher, in real terms, than its peak at the end of the Cold War, due to huge investments by the US and its allies in armaments.
According to the report, while military spending dropped last year in the US and throughout Western and Central Europe, it climbed in Russia, China, the Middle East and in North Africa.
SIPRI says military expenditure in western and central Europe declined by 1.6%, adding that Russia’s bid to modernize its weapon systems contributed to a 16% surge in its 2012 military spending.
China’s military budget, meanwhile, rose by nearly 8%, a figure identical to the rise in arms spending in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Persian Gulf state of Oman is cited as showing the largest hike in its annual military spending, registering a 51% increase, according to the report.
The US-backed Arab states in the Persian Gulf are among the biggest purchasers of US weaponry.
Latin America’s military spending also increased by 4%, while Asia and Oceania registered a 3% rise in armament expenditure.
According to the SIPRI report, however, overall military spending across the globe fell by 0.5% in 2012.
The latest figures include spending on armed forces, peacekeepers, defense ministries, paramilitary forces and military space activities.
US HATRED OF MUSLIMS IS FEEDING THE 1%'s WARS
An 18-month-old girl is taken off a JetBlue
Airways plane in the USA... because her name
appeared on a no-fly security list.
The parents of the toddler, who were also taken
off the plane, say they were humiliated by the
security officials action.
We were put on display like a circus act because
my wife wears a hijab, Riyanna's father told
WPBF 25 News, ABC's local affiliate in West
Palm Beach, Florida.
He says the incident was motivated by prejudice
because they are Muslims and of Middle Eastern descent.
A JetBlue spokesperson calls it a computer glitch
and states that the airline is investigating
the incident, which occurred on May 8th at
Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida. JetBlue
has apologised to the family, who live in New Jersey.
We believe this was a computer glitch, JetBlue
says. Our crewmembers followed the appropriate
protocols, and we apologize to the family
involved in this unfortunate circumstance.
The family was eventually 'allowed' to re-board
the flight, but left the airport in protest.
The Transportation Security Agency says that the
little girl couldn't have been on the government
watch list as she'd been issued a boarding pass.
A poll by the Pew Research Centre last year
shows that abuse of Muslims by US airport
security, law enforcement officers and others
has increased considerably since US Muslims
were first polled in 2007.
43% of US Muslims report experiencing harassment
in 2010, a 3% increase on 2007's figures.
Meanwhile, US armed forces are trained to fight
and explode nuclear missiles on Muslim states..
BBC correspondent Jihad Masharawi weeps as he
cradles his 11-month-old son in his arms after he was burned alive during an Israeli rocket attack.
Former Namibian president Sam Nujoma, one of the founding fathers of the Organization of African Union (OAU), today urges Africans to strengthen continental unity with a unique defensive force that guarantees its territorial integrity.
Nujoma calls on African countries to consolidate all the structures of the African Union (AU), heiress of the OAU created 50 years ago, to implement political and military mechanisms that can also defend the territorial waters and airspace of threats from foreign forces.
Sources from the Organizing Committee of the celebrations for the half-century of existence of the AU, explain in the Ethiopian capital that the ex-Chief of State of Namibia spoke in Windhoek, on the occasion of the official launch today of the events for May 25th:
"After almost 40 years of the existence of the OAU and of the independence of Namibia in 1990 and the democratic elections in S. Africa in 1994, it is evident that the OAU as an organisation has fulfilled its goal", stresses Nujoma, of the "total liberation of the African continent".
It was in this context that the African leaders decided to reconstitute the OAU into the AU, which was formally announced at the Summit in Durban, South Africa, on July 9th, in 2002, he recalls.
The veteran Namibian politician now stresses the need for a currency and a unique African Passport, to advance the ideals of 'pan-Africanism and African resistance', the slogan that defines its Golden Jubilee.
The creation of the AU "was a triumph of pan-Africanism, as this transition created continental political unity and was the spine of the African Economic Commission to eradicate poverty, disease and ignorance," he says.
"...we look forward to the next 50 years, to 2063, needing to ask what we would like to see for our continent and what are the primary issues that we need to focus on during that period."
He also urges all Africans to ensure that women no longer die during childbirth and advocates setting as a goal the fight against infant mortality, at the same time defending the strengthening of South-South cooperation and of the non-aligned movement.
"This way", he points out, "we can resist the oppression of foreign forces and ensure that we continue the growth of the infrastructure of Africa."
CLEARING UP THE COLONISTS MESS (on Afro-Colombian National Day)
Colombia's African descendants are to analyze their role in the peacebuilding and post-conflict stage of their country, at a forum to be attended by President Juan Manuel Santos.
The initiative, held on the National Day of the Afro-Colombian, will bring together the diverse voices of this social group to discuss the ongoing peace process between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army, which has met in Cuba since November, 2012.
In statements published by the local newspaper El Tiempo, the director of the presidential program for the development of the Afro-Colombian population, Oscar Gamboa, says the meeting will be an opportunity to tell the country that afros believe in this process and that we are preparing for what is coming.
"We want a country where violence, that has displaced us, and has left many of us dead, is put aside", he says.
The meeting, in the National Library, will be opened by Vice President Angelino Garzon and former president Ernesto Samper, who will start the discussion with a lecture.
According to the program, the meeting will have two panels, one on the impact of armed conflict on the population, led by the president of the Association of Displaced Afro- Colombians, Marino Cordoba.
In the second debate, 'Opportunities for the Afro-Colombian and their territories in post-conflict' will the former senator and human rights defender Piedad Cordoba, journalist and analyst León Valencia, and lawyer and politician Horacio Serpa, among others.
Afro-Colombian National Day was instituted on May 21, 2001 and 2013 is the 162nd anniversary of the abolition of slavery here.
WINNING AFRICA's HEART
North America might be hypnotised by Obama, in a weird attempt to side-line Afro-American activism, but across Central and South America, new moves are taking place that fulfill many people's dreams....
Brazilian Lieutenant General Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz will lead the mission of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), it was confirmed today, in a government statement.
He was appointed on Sunday as Commander of that force by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, replacing Indian General Chander Prakash, whose term ended on March 31st.
Santos Cruz (1952), graduated from the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras in Resende, Rio de Janeiro, and was special adviser of the Brazilian presidency and deputy commander of the Army´s ground operations.
He also graduated in Civil Engineering at the Brazilian Catholic University of Campinas, and was head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, between January 2007 and April 2009.
Santos Cruz's appointment coincides with current expectations of the coming deployment in the country of a UN rapid intervention brigade, approved by 11 African countries and four regional and international organizations.
DM: Iran to Give Crushing Response to Every Possible Enemy Move
The Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi stresses Iran's powerful response to any possible enemy threat, and cautions that enemies will experience a fate worse than that of the former Iraqi regime if they dare to threaten Iran.
Addressing a ceremony to open the mass-production line of a new Iranian manufactured air-defense system here in Tehran today, Vahidi repeats that Iran's military might can repel any possible threat posed by foreign forces.
He points to the Iranian Armed Forces' ability to defend Iran during the 8 years of the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in the 1980s and Iran's recent progress in all military fields, and states,
"The brave warriors of the Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces are prepared to give a crushing response under the command of their Commander-in-Chief (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) to any hostile move against Islamic Iran and make them experience a fate worse than the fate of Saddam's regime."
Last month, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Iranian Armed Forces have the necessary capabilities to bring into action the Supreme Leader's warnings to enemies.
"The deterrent warnings of the Supreme Leader of the (Islamic) Revolution to enemies are serious, and based on the capability and realities of Islamic Iran's defensive power," Jafari says, addressing Iranian border guards units in Iran's Northwest.
Addressing a large and fervent congregation of Iranian people in the country's Northeastern holy city of Mashhad on March 21st, Ayatollah Khamenei deplored Israel's war rhetoric against Iran, and warned that any hostile move by the Zionist regime against Iran would be met by a reciprocally destructive response.
Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the recent warmongering statements by Israeli officials and warned Tel Aviv against any wrongdoing.
"Israel's leaders sometimes threaten Iran, but they know that if they do a damn thing, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground," Ayatollah Khamenei stressed.
FOR KILLING GUATEMALA's MAYAN PEOPLE....?
Guatemala’s top court has overturned the genocide conviction of the country’s former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, ordering his trial to restart.
The move came on Monday, days after a three-judge panel convicted the 86-year-old of genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced him to 80 years in prison.
The constitutional court’s secretary Martin Guzman says that the trial needed to go back to where it stood on April 19th in order to resolve several appeal issues.
His conviction and prison sentence were hailed by many Guatemalans, as it was the first time a former Latin American ruler had ever been convicted of such crimes.
According to the panel, Rios Montt failed to prevent the killing of some 1,771 Ixil Mayans during Guatemala's civil war.
Over 200,000 Guatemalan people were killed in the Guatemalan Civil War of 1960 to 1996, which pitted the US-backed right-wing government of Guatemala against various leftist rebel groups, mainly backed by Mayan indigenous people.
Most of the victims of the war were indigenous people.
In September 2011, Judge Carol Patricia Flores accused Rios Montt of genocide, but could not prosecute him because he had immunity from prosecution as a congressperson.
‘Syria prepares to attack Israel’
The Sunday Times reports that Syria has put its most advanced missiles on standby, with orders to hit Tel Aviv if Israel launches another raid on its territory.
Reconnaissance satellites have been monitoring preparations by the Syrian army to deploy surface- to-surface Tishreen missiles.
An Israeli official tells The New York Times that Israel, which has launched three recent attacks on Syria over the 5 past months, is considering further strikes.
The deployment of the Syrian-made Tishreen missiles, each of which can carry a half-ton payload, marks a significant escalation of tension in the region.
INVASION OF SYRIA "LIKELY" SAYS ASSAD
President Bashar al-Assad repeats that the authorities are NOT using chemical weapons, as argued by Western and regional governments, and that he anticipates a likely military invasion... as this is a repeat of the Iraq build up.
"The accusations regarding the use of chemical weapons or my resignation change every day, and this is likely to be used as a pretext for a war against the nation, he says, in a new interview with two Argentinian media organizations.
"They said we used chemical weapons against residential areas. Now, if they were used on a city or suburb, with the alleged 10 or 12 victims reported, would it be credible?", he wonders.
He says this would mean "the deaths of thousands, or tens of thousands, in a matter of minutes, and impossible to hide."
"The West lies and fabricates evidence to unleash war; this is what they usually do," says Assad, recalling the fiasco of ex US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who swore at the UN that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which were never found, but the pretext was used for the invasion of 2003.
"Besides, it is inadmissible for someone to say that the Syrian President has to go because the US or the terrorists want it so," says Assad, who insists that this decision can only be made "by the Syrian people by their votes in elections called for 2014."
"The country is in crisis. A captain cannot abandon a ship in the middle of a storm. Resigning would mean fleeing," he states.
FOR KILLING ARGENTINA's CITIZENS
Former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla has died in prison, where he was serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity.
Videla, who ruled Argentina during the Dirty War, died of natural causes in Marcos Paz prison, southwest of Buenos Aires, on Friday, at the age of 87.
"Last night he didn't feel well. He didn't want to eat and this morning they found him dead in his cell," Cecilia Pando, the president of the Association of Family and Friends of Political Prisoners, states.
According to a medical report, he was found "without a pulse or pupillary reflex, so an EKG was performed confirming his death at 0825 (1125 GMT) on this date."
Videla came to power in a 1976 coup against President Isabel Peron and led the military junta that controlled Argentina until 1981. The junta was in power until 1983.
The Dirty War -- a campaign against the left and anyone thought to be connected with socialism -- started under his rule. 13,000 - 30,000 people were kidnapped and "disappeared" by the military from 1976 to 1983.
The Dirty War was part of Operation Condor, when Argentina's military cooperated with dictatorships in Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay to share intelligence and arrest each other's political opponents. The CIA played its part in Operation Condor by providing lists of suspects and other intelligence information to the military regimes.
On Tuesday, in a public appearance, Videla assumed "full military responsibility for the actions of the army in the war against terrorism."
He was sentenced to life in prison in 1985 for a series of abuses under his regime, but was pardoned in 1990 by then President Carlos Menem.
In 2010, Videla was sentenced to life for the disappearance of 31 prisoners. Later in 2012, he was sentenced to another 50 years for ordering that any children born to the "disappeared" be abducted and given to regime supporter's families.
Videla expressed little regret for the abuses that took place during his rule.
"Let's say there were seven thousand or eight thousand people who had to die to win the war against subversion," Videla said recently in a prison interview.
1980 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who publicized the junta's abuses, says Videla "never repented of the crimes, and he's taking a lot of information with him."
US main obstacle to world disarmament
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Abbas Araqchi says the US’s opposition and lack of commitment to various international disarmament conventions are obstacles to advancing the issue of global disarmament.
Pointing to the US’s 16-year opposition to bringing up the issue of disarmament at the UN Disarmament Conference, (!) Araqchi says, “The US has, for all practical purposes, taken the conference hostage, and is hindering its effective performance in advancing international peace and security.”
He says that US opposition to the protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention, its non-adherence to its commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention to eliminate its arsenal by 2012, and efforts to prevent global denuclearization, as well as a nuclear-free Middle East, are all part of the US’s black record of non-compliance with its international obligations, and its disrespect for international mechanisms on global disarmament and security.
Reacting to the US's recent decision to boycott the upcoming UN Conference on Disarmament because of its chairmanship by Iran, Araqchi says, “Iran is among the first founders of the United Nations Disarmament Conference, and as an independent country, it has always played an instrumental and constructive role in advancing the objectives of the conference, in particular, that of nuclear disarmament.”
In a statement issued on Monday, Erin Pelton, the spokesperson for the US Mission to the UN, said that the US would not send its ambassador to the conference, adding the US believes the Islamic Republic of Iran should be barred from any formal or ceremonial positions in UN bodies.
Araqchi further notes, “Iran has also played a key role in negotiations on international treaties, including the Chemical Weapons Convention.”
Describing Iran as a victim of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the Iranian spokesperson says that the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with other peace-loving nations of the world, will continue to tap into all national and international potential to contribute to the creation of a WMD-free world.
Iran proposed the idea of a nuke-free Middle East, and is among the flag-bearers of nuclear disarmament, he highlights.
Iran accedes to the rotating presidency of the 65-nation UN Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva, on May 27 and hands it over to another country on June 23, as all take up presidency in alphabetical order.
The conference seeks to reach agreement on global nuclear disarmament and stopping the development of other weapons of mass destruction.
MORE US DEATHS IN ILLEGAL AFGHAN OCCUPATION
Five US soldiers have been killed in a bomb blast that hit a convoy of vehicles transporting foreign forces in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Press TV reports.
Afghan police sources say the powerful explosion took place in the industrial zone of the city at 8am local time (0330 GMT) on Thursday.
NEW AGGRESSION ON AL AQSA !!!
Jewish extremists, escorted by Israeli soldiers, invaded the Al Aqsa Mosque Complex in East Jerusalem for the second time in seven days, today and confronted the Palestinian faithful.
The Jewish extremists entered the complex through the Moroccan Door and were met at the entrance of the so-called Bab El Hutta, according to eyewitnesses.
An Israeli extremist group called "Organizations of the Temple Mount" called on its members through its Facebook page to break into the Al Aqsa mosque, one of Islam's 3 holy places, to celebrate the Hebrew festival of Shavout.
The Shavout, or Festival of Weeks, is a biblical celebration that marks the granting of the Torah to the Jewish people by God.
Since the Israeli military occupation of Jerusalem in 1967 up to the present day, Israeli authorities have avoided encouraging the Jewish people to enter the Al Aqsa mosque, but clashes occurred between the Muslim faithful and Jewish extremists last week, leading to the detention of the mosque's Grand Mufti, Mohammad Hussein.
The Sunni prelate's arrest unleashed angry protests by the Egyptian and Jordanian Foreign ministries to the Israeli ambassadors in Cairo and Amman, and condemnation from the Arab League last Sunday.
On Al nakba DAY !!!
PATIENCE OF IRAN
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says his country's links with Saudi Arabia will be strengthened in the near future.
Our bilateral relations will have a different aspect, says the Foreign minister, when questioned about the results of his contacts in Saudi Arabia during his participation in the ministerial meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation on the Mali Crisis.
Ali Akbar Salehi also says he is hopeful that the continued talks between his country and Saudi Arabia will open a new chapter in bilateral cooperation, reports IRNA news agency.
The Iranian Foreign minister and his Saudi counterpart, Saud al Faisal, held talks in the framework of the OIC meeting.
In a statement after the ministerial meeting, Akbar Salehi says that changes in international relations are often slow.
Both states are part of a four-party committee, along with Egypt and Turkey, dealing with the Syrian crisis, and hold different views about it.
Middle East now conscious, not obedient
Iran’s Parliament speaker says the Middle East is now conscious and not obedient, and that the ‘ Islamic Awakening’ will disillusion the region’s reactionary regimes.
Ali Larijani, speaking in open session at Iran's Parliament, says that “despotic and reactionary rulers in the region will be disappointed to see that their assumptions about providing an opportunity for the Zionist regime in this troubled situation, are chimerical. ”
“During recent days, many US and European leaders have been frequenting international arenas to discuss situation in Syria, and they finally confirmed the political solution for the Syrian crisis - but only after two years of civil war and the deaths of tens of thousands of people, and after they had known that they had no operational competence,” he states.
“Now the question is:- hadn't the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that a political solution would be preferable over bloodshed? Who then are responsible for the wanton killings of Syrian citizens in Syria, using Western weapons?” asks Larijani rhetorically.
“Low-profile countries of the region, who have been playing as the West’s brokers through political lust;- now, what will they concoct as being responsible for the mass killing of Muslims?
Behind the West’s and reactionary regimes’ idiotic adventurism, one thing became obvious; the Middle East is conscious and not obedient,” asserts Larijani, adding that “this is the path Imam Khomeini (RA) opened for Muslims, and God willing, thanks to the conscious Muslims’ efforts, the hands of the arrogant powers will be cut from the region, and the ultimate goal - a free Middle East - will emerge through Muslims’ hard work.”
DEATHS RISING IN AFGHAN OCCUPATION A powerful bomb explosion has killed at least four US-led soldiers and injured several others in the troubled southern province of Kandahar, in Afghanistan, NATO sources say.
An IED ripped through the soldiers’ vehicle - no further details are given.
‘Obama unfit to decide for Syrian people’
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister says the US is in error to assume a post-Assad Syria as a possibility.
Hosein Amir Abdollahian, answering a question on the confirmation by the US president of Al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters in Syria, says the US and UK attempt to create an Assad-less Syria, is none of their business.
He says the US president is not fit to decide on behalf of the Syrian people. "The error of judgment by Obama is that he spoke of a post-Assad Syria as soon as the unrest broke out. This issue had, and has, nothing to do with Obama, and the Syrian people will decide on it in due time and in a democratic arrangement."
“We have frequently warned the US on their tactics of supporting terrorism, sending weapons and destabilizing the region for all,” asserts Abdollahian, adding that “the US and UK have committed many strategic mistakes in the region, especially on Syria, and they WILL be held responsible for the murder of Syrian citizens.”
The Arab-African Deputy Foreign Minister believes that the US recent consideration of a political solution for the region and Syria is belated, but no less important.
“The US should abandon its conflictual policies about Syria and Bahrain, and admit its error in supporting terrorism, citizen’s murders and the destruction of infrastructure, and apologize to the Syrian people."
Dictator jailed for genocide crimes
Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt spent the weekend in prison after receiving 80 years for genocide and crimes against humanity.
A tribunal convicted the 86-year-old of ordering the deaths of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayans during his 18-month rule in 1982-83.
More than 200,000 people were killed as US-backed dictators brutally put down leftist rebellions in a 36- year civil war that ended with a peace deal in 1996.
Mr Rios Montt's reign is thought to have been the most bloody of the conflict.
The three-judge panel ordered prosecutors to continue probing atrocities to ensure that all those responsible are brought to account. Until now only low-level officials have faced justice.
The court meets next to discuss compensation.
Ethnic Mayans sang in the courtroom after the judgement.
Mr Rios Montt is likely to appeal against the ruling and will most likely be supported by President Otto Perez Molina, who stresses that the verdict is "not final" and denies that any genocide ever took place.
Mr Molina also says the army was not responsible for any "confrontation", and it was the guerillas who declared war.
Prosecutors say the mass killings followed similar patterns, showing that they were planned, and that, as head of the armed forces, Mr Rios Montt must have known about them.
Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine Calls for Opening of All Arab Fronts
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- General Command calls upon all factions of the Palestinian resistance to take the initiative and form a unified operation room to coordinate working throughout the Golan front.
In its statement, the Front stresses its support for Syrian popular liberation forces in their battle to liberate the Golan, expressing its readiness to "carry out military operations against the Zionist occupation and settlers, on the way towards liberating Palestine from river to sea."
The statement calls for the opening of all fronts, particularly the Jordanian border, for Palestinian and Arab resistance forces, in the same way that the Golan front has been opened.
At the same time, the military wing of the Palestinian "Youths of the Return" Movement, Ahrar Palestine Brigades, announces the formation of the first military brigade outside Palestinian territories, dubbed the "Martyrs of the Return" Brigade, in commemoration of the martyrs who were killed at the Palestinian borders of the occupied Syrian Golan in May 2011.
In a statement, the brigades point out that the formation of the new brigade is an expression of rejection of the negotiations and concessions to the Zionist entity.
"The time has come for each and every citizen to become a resistant fighter who knows his destination," they say, calling on all liberation and national movements to stand as one against the Zionist enemy.
EGYPT SAYS "WE ARE NOT DIVERTED"
A million-strong march was held in Cairo where the Israeli flag was burned publicly.
Called by several groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Friday's marchers are living proof that the Muslim and Arab world is not being diverted by the West's attacks from their focal point of determined action to defend Jerusalem and the Grand Mufti, and their goal to liberate Palestine.
The Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, says a Hezbollah-style resistance movement has emerged in Syria.
“Thanks to Bashar al-Assad’s strategic role, a popular resistance with the same nature as that of Lebanon’s Hezbollah has taken shape across Syria and is solidifying.”
The top Iranian commander notes that the resistance in Syria has emerged triumphant owing to Assad’s prudence in dealing with the extremist groups and the hegemonic powers, as well as to the nation’s support.
Firouzabadi argues that the war in Syria has come to an end, saying, “Therefore, enemies had better not interfere in Syria’s affairs anymore.”
On Friday, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations said the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorist group had claimed responsibility for at least 600 acts of terror over the past year.
Diplomats have said that the UN Security Council is to add the al-Nusra Front to its sanctions blacklist next week. As a result, the group will be subject to a global asset freeze from Tuesday onwards.
However, the US Central Intelligence Agency has been in direct cooperation with the terrorist al-Nusra Front in Syria. Will this now end?
The Syrian government asked the Security Council to blacklist al-Nusra last month, but the request was blocked by the UK and France, who have been supporting, and thus complicit in, their warcrimes.
ISRAEL TO FACE RESPONSE
Hizbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah says that Israel raided the Syrian capital suburbs for several reasons; one of them was getting Syria out of any conflict with it and besieging the resistance.
But, he argues, Syria's response is fourfold and daring:
"Syria's first response was to tell Israel that it will give weapons to the resistance... the second one was that Syria will give the resistance a special weapon which it has never received before," Nasrallah says, in a speech during a celebration of the silver Jubilee of al-Nour Radio.
He adds that the third response is that Syria has opened the Golan front and changed the threat into an opportunity; while the fourth response is that orders have been given to Syria's soldiers to respond to any further Israeli aggression without referring to the leadership first, and Nasrallah wonders...
"who dares among the Arab regimes to do other than what the regime in Syria has done."
Nasrallah affirms that what has happened in Syria until now indicates that there is strong leadership which runs the war against the enemy with solid nerves and great wisdom, away from "biddings", and this will achieve victory in the near future.
"As Syria stood by the Lebanese people and supported the resistance until they liberated South Lebanon, we announce that we stand by the Syrian popular resistance in order to liberate the Syrian Golan," Nasrallah says.
He adds "In the end, it is shameful that the US - who conspired to destroy Syria - becomes the rescuer to it through the political solution," and he calls on the Arab and Islamic states to seek a solution, as the passing of time means only more blood and destruction.
The UNITED STATES of SARIN
Michael Chossudovsky, Head of the Centre for Research on Globalization, in Montreal, Canada, says the Pentagon trained terrorists to use Sarin as a chemical weapon in Syria.
In an interview with Press TV, Chossudovsky also talks about the Israeli aggression on Syrian sites, saying " The United States was involved in the decision to bomb Syria. This was not strictly an act of aggression on Israel's part acting on its own. It was an act of aggression, which was approved by the United States, namely the Pentagon, as well as by NATO. It is an act of aggression and a violation of international law."
He adds that when Secretary of State John Kerry says 'we' need to reach a solution and presents himself as a mediator we are in effect in a dead alley, because an aggressor presenting himself as a mediator is a non-sequitur.
Chossudovsky points out that CNN just a couple of months ago, confirmed that contractors hired by the Pentagon were in fact training the terrorists in the use of chemical weapons, adding, " Now we have a statement by a United Nations Independent Commission, which has confirmed unequivocally, that the terrorists who are backed by the United States and its allies, are in possession of deadly sarin nerve gas, which they are using against the civilian population of Syria."
Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nasser Kamel says today before the Shura that his country believes in a political resolution to the crisis in Syria, especially after Israel's attacks on the Arab country.
Only stability - through the preservation of the social and sectarian fabric and the reaching of a political resolution to the crisis - will preserve Syria's unity, Vice Minister Kamel, in charge of Arab affairs at the Foreign Ministry says, in a report posted by the State Information Service on its website.
Speaking to the Security Committee of the Shura, the official warns that the "dismantling of Syria could directly threaten all neighboring countries."
The note does not refer to the way in which the resolution of the conflict there could be reached, but it is significant that the statement mentions as its basis, Egypt's position on last week's aerial attack on military installations north of Damascus.
Egyptian authorities had conditioned a resolution to the Syrian crisis on the resignation of President Bashar Al-Assad, but after the visit to Russia by President Mohamed Morsi and the sending of one of his foreign policy advisers to Iran several days ago, it has modified its position and now refrains from mentioning that requirement.
Only the aggressive mediator, the US, and Turkey, now call for regime change !
BRAZIL AND JORDAN BACK CONFERENCE
The US and Russia are arranging a new conference on a solution to the Syrian crisis, as Russian troops remain on guard, operating Syrian air defence units.
Barring 'false flag' operations, a mass war can be averted.
The truly perplexing problem remains Palestine, and most wondered what Hamas role might be as their HQ moved out of Syria to, of all places, Qatar.
Hamas to Qatar ‘leave us alone’
A high-ranking Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, denounces the Qatari Emir’s plan for changes to the Palestinian vision for ‘Arabian peace.’
Hamad bin Jasim, whose country is the president of the Arabian Peace Plan committee, said that “both sides should exchange the disputed lands based on the 1967 borders, and go for a two state solution.”
But Palestinian groups evaluate Jasim’s remarks as legitimizing Israeli settlements, and as indifference to the Israeli attempt to announce that Jerusalem is its capital.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior leader of Hamas, addressing a student meeting in Gaza Islamic University: “Arab Ministers Council decisions in Washington are giving advantage to those who do not deserve it.”
Zahar now says at the Arab Ministers Council:
“If this is your approach, then leave us and the Palestinian issue alone, since we are better entitled to the right of defending it and will sacrifice our lives, and definitely we will be the winner,” he states.
“We will not retreat from our land, and will not exchange part of it for another part, and will not allow those who are not our representatives to give our rights to others.”
“The 1948 occupied territories are our right, and we will not exchange that for 1967 lands. All Palestine belongs to all Palestinians, and we reject the retreat, and state that no-one other than the owners of these lands will live on them, and this is an everlasting principle.”
Analysts believe that Zahar’s statement is a crucial one on Hamas' position, since he is an influential figure, and commander of the Qassam Brigades, which act with his consent.
Zahar’s group is an effective Hamas faction.
Zahar has opposed some Hamas members’ taking sides with Syrian opposition fighters.
Russia "will not tolerate" a second Israeli attack: Putin President Putin has warned that Russia will not tolerate any further Israeli attacks on Damascus and will respond, ‘DEBKAfile’ reports. During his phone call to Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin condemned the Zionist regime's airstrike on Syria. Bluntly, Putin told Netanyahu that he will not tolerate further attacks on Damascus, says ‘DEBKAfile’.
The Russian President also warned Netanyahu and the US against any military attack to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. He advised the prime minister to make sure to keep that in mind, the Zionist news agency says.
Putin also said "we will respond to another attack".
The President did not specify what Russia's response to any further Israeli attacks would be, but: “he has ordered the sending of advanced military equipment to Syria, to accelerate.”
The Zionist news report claims that Russia might be planning to send advanced S300 anti-aircraft systems and 9K720 Iskander missile systems, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, to Syria.
During his phone call to Netanyahu, the Debka file report states, the Russian leader made no bones about his determination not to permit the US, Israel or any other regional force (eg Turkey or Qatar) to overthrow President Assad.
ROGUE APARTHEID STATE BULLIES GRAND MUFTI
The Jordanian Parliament has voted to expel the Israeli ambassador to Amman and recall Jordan’s ambassador to Tel Aviv, after Israeli forces raided the house of Grand Mufti of al-Quds, Mohammed Hussein, and detained him, Press TV reports.
The MPs say they took the decision due to Israel’s recent aggression against al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Jordan’s PM, Abdalla Ensour, today criticized Israel for its systematic deployment of special forces and setting up of military barracks around the holy site.
He vows to demand that the UN Security Council hold an emergency meeting if Israel refuses to end its aggression.
Mufti Mohammed Hussein was arrested at his home today, over suspicions of ‘involvement in Tuesday's clashes in Al-Aqsa Mosque,’ an Israeli police statement says.
The mufti is in charge of al-Quds' Islamic holy sites, including Al-Aqsa Mosque. Some 100 Israeli settlers, with Israeli forces, entered Al-Aqsa Mosque Tuesday. Clashes erupted between the Israeli settlers, soldiers and Palestinians, after the entry of the Israelis. Several Palestinians were reportedly injured, and several others, arrested.
Also late on Tuesday, sixteen Palestinians were abducted by Israeli forces in the West Bank. Israeli officials claim that the men were detained for their alleged involvement in "security-related offences".
The Israeli military regularly raids Palestinians' houses in the West Bank, arresting activists and civilians, mostly without charge. Many Palestinians are then placed in "administrative detention" in Israeli prisons, where they are given minimal access to their basic rights... a sort of imprisonment without trial or charges... allowing regime forces to make arrests without any formal charges for "up to six months". These detention orders are then "renewed" for indefinite periods of time.
Many Palestinian prisoners report being subjected to torture during interrogations by the prison authorities.
Ban Ki-moon Worried Over Israelí Attacks Against Syria
On Tuesday, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, expressed his concern over the Israelí bombings on Syrian territory and called on all parties in the conflict to prevent any escalation of the violence.
In a communique, the head of the UN highlighted the importance of respect for the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of all countries in the region, as well as for the resolutions of the Security Council.
Ban also talked over the telephone on Sunday with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Nabil El Araby, about the Israelí attacks on Syrian soil over the weekend and the risks that it could entail for the region's security.
The government of Syria warned the UN on Sunday that the air raid by Tel Aviv on areas near Damascus in the early hours of Sunday, could lead the region into a large-scale war, risking world peace and security, reports Prensa Latina.
UN REPORT: EVIDENCE ON REBELS USE OF WMD
The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria has not found any evidence that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against militants, commission member Carla Del Ponte says, but has found evidence that Western-backed terrorists did, reports Reuters.
"Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I've seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions - but not yet incontrovertible proof - of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated," Del Ponte says in a television interview.
"This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities," says Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general who also served as prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
News agency reports suggest that Israel is preparing its troops for a mass aggression on Gaza, as Damascus is hit on Sunday by Israeli jets. One is reported shot down.
A probably more accurate view is today's report by the official Syrian news agency, SANA, below:
The Speaker of Iran's Shura Council, Ali Larijani, stresses that Israel's new aggression on the scientific research centre of Jamraya in Damascus Countryside consolidates Iran's stance on the events in the region and affirms that the main goal behind creating the crisis in Syria is to undermine the axis of resistance.
Addressing the Council on Sunday, Larijani says that recent events in the region have showed clearly that the aim behind "the adventure in Syria" led by the US, the Zionist entity and the Arab reactionary sides is to take the Zionist entity out of its isolation in the region through a fake plot.
He adds that the media hype stirred by the US and West, accusing Syria of using chemical weapons, mainly aims at covering the fact that they are truly floundering on the ground, with their terrorist tools in a difficult situation in all the various Syrian areas.
For his part, Iran's Defense Minister, Maj. Gen. Ahmad Wahidi, says the aggression carried out by the usurper entity on Jamraya scientific research centre, jeopardizes the entire region and it is at the same time a proof of this entity's weakness and confusion, due to the latest regional developments.
Speaking in a statement on Sunday, Maj. Gen. Wahidi stresses that the Israeli assault was carried out with "a green light" from America and it again exposes the connection between the armed terrorist groups in Syria and their backers, with the Zionist occupation.
Earlier, Iran's Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Israeli aggression on the scientific research centre in Jamraya, stressing that this aggression would lead to destabilizing the region.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Ramin Mehmanparast, denounces it on Sunday, noting that Israel persists in destabilizing the region.
Israel launched a flagrant rocket attack on the Scientific Research Centre in Jamraya in Damascus Countryside earlier on Sunday in a clear attempt to lift the fading morale of the armed terrorist groups after the painful blows the Syrian Army has inflicted on them, and after the Armed Forces made major advances towards restoring security and stability to Syria.
In the '80s, after Vietnam, the US paid terrorists across the globe to bring down governments and the soviet backed Afghan leftwing dream became a bloody nightmare. South and central America also felt the full USA terror in Nicaragua, where "contra" terror involved deliberate acts of horror.
Now Syria faces US terror and below is a full front-line report - from the brave Syrian army...
A unit of the army on Saturday clashed with al-Qaeda- linked terrorist groups in the surroundings of Kweris airport in Aleppo countryside, killing most of them.
An official source tells SANA that among the terrorists killed were Abdul-Razak Masaad al-Wasmi, Mohammad al-Wasmi, Abdul-wahab Khashelih, Yousef Ahmad al-Mihshi, Hussein Jneid, Abdul-Rahman al-Haji, Mazen Hamada, Mohammad al-Mheimid and Abdul-Rahman Karaout.
The source adds that another army unit confronted armed terrorist groups which tried to attack Ming airport, killing a number of terrorists and injuring many, and destroyed their criminal equipment. A military source states that an army unit also confronted an attempt by an armed terrorist group to attack one of the military posts near al-Mismiya town in Daraa countryside, and killed most of them.
The source adds that what has been broadcast by the Western controlled media - a partner in the Syrian bloodshed - about terrorists encircling a military post in al-Mismiya, is mere rumour, untrue and baseless.
Syria makes no comment about the widely publicised Israeli fighter jet attack on "gamechanger" arms, and Russia Today suggests that they were destined for Hizbollah, and were attacked on Lebanon's border. Iran denies this.
*SWAG = Satan's War Against Governments.
This state-sponsored terror will lead to World War if we fail to act with courage and determination.
... here are two news items highly unlikely to find space in the so-called "free" media:
UN - 'FORCE-FEEDING IS UNETHICAL ILLEGAL TORTURE'
The UN human rights body censures the force-feeding of hunger striking captives at the US military prison and torture camp in Guantanamo, Cuba as “torture”, and a violation of international law, as the number of inmates being force-fed there, climbs to 23.
“If it’s perceived as torture or inhuman treatment - and it’s the case, it’s painful - then it is prohibited by international law,” says the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) spokesperson Rupert Coville, as cited in an AFP report on Friday.
Coville notes that the UNHCHR take their position based on the ethical standards of the World Medical Association (WMA), an international organization which monitors ethics in healthcare, and which amended its standards in 1991, describing forcible feeding as “a form of inhuman treatment” and “never ethically acceptable.”
“Even if intended to benefit, feeding accompanied with threats, coercion, force, or the use of physical restraints is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment,” the WMA document states. “Equally unacceptable is the force feeding of some detainees in order to intimidate or coerce other hunger strikers to stop fasting.”
The WMA has 102 members, including the US.
The development comes as 2 more Guantanamo hunger strikers are added to the 21 inmates, out of an officially-reported 100 on hunger strike, who are already being force-fed by the US Navy’s ‘medical forces’ through nasal tubes.
The force-feeding process is described by hunger strikers subjected to the measure, as extremely painful and degrading. Those that refuse to heed prison guard demands to take meals, are strapped to a chair while military medical officers forcefully insert tubes through the victim’s nose into their stomach and feed them liquid nutrients.
An attorney representing a 35-year-old Kuwaiti detainee at the Guantanamo military prison, Fayiz al-Kandari, says that his client has been tube-fed against his will for a week, charging that US military medical forces use an “unnecessarily large feeding tube.”
Another foreign captive from Yemen, amir Naji al Hasan, describes the force-feeding process as ‘extremely painful’, in a New York Times article published on April 15th.
“There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach,” writes Moqbel...... “I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.”
The hunger strike originally began in early February and has grown in recent weeks. The detainee’s refusal to eat came as an effort to protest at the searching of their Quran and other personal belongings by prison guards... as well as at their indefinite detention without charge or the right to trial.
US authorities claim that 100 of the total 166 Guantanamo inmates are on hunger strike, but lawyers of the foreign captives report that 130 detainees have joined the protest effort.
After failing to fulfill his presidential campaign pledge to shut down the Guantanamo prison by 2009, US President Barack Obama once again promised, this Tuesday, to 'press US law- makers in Congress to close the facility.'
'SHUT DOWN ILLEGAL DRONES', SAYS UN
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) calls for a global freeze on the use of drones as the US killer drone strikes continue to take innocent lives in several countries.
The UNHRC report published on May 2nd seeks a moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of fully or semi-autonomous weapons including drones and robots, until an international forum can establish rules for their use. The use of drones violates international law, the report states.
Christof Heyns, a South African professor of human rights law and author of the report, says that the US, the UK and the Israeli regime in particular, have developed killer robots dubbed Lethal Autonomous Robotics (LAR) that can attack targets without any human input.
“Decisions over life and death in armed conflict may require compassion and intuition. Humans - while they are fallible - at least might possess these qualities, whereas robots definitely do not. [Robots] should not have the power of life and death over human beings,” Heyns states.
The UNHRC report was drafted after strong protests by several countries including Russia, China and Pakistan.
The United States carries out drone strikes on Pakistan’s tribal regions regularly, with the US claiming that militants are the targets. But casualty figures clearly indicate that civilians are the main victims.
The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism says in their report in February, that the US has carried out over 360 assassination drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004, killing nearly 3,500 people.
The US is also criticized for its drone strikes in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen, while Israel keeps violating the Lebanon's airspace almost daily, using aircraft and spy drones.
The findings of the UNHRC report are scheduled for debate at the Human Rights Council on May 29th.
ISRAEL SAYS NO TO 'PEACE FOR LAND'
Hopes for a restart of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks after a meeting between Arab foreign ministers and the US Secretary of State John Kerry, were blown away by an Israeli minister.
Israel will continue refusing to negotiate on the basis of a complete withdrawal from the lands captured during the 6 Day War in June 1967, states Gilad Erdan, minister without portfolio in the exclusive security cabinet, and close friend of PM Benyamin Netanyahu.
"If we go to the negotiation table having agreed in advance that the negotiations will be based on 1967 borders, there will be not much to negotiate", he says.
The minister's words follow notices issued after a meeting in Washington of Arab Foreign Ministers and US Secretary of State John Kerry, on what Washington calls its "silent strategy" to solve the Middle East crisis.
The Arab Foreign ministers said that there can be no changes to the "Arab initiative", promoted by Saudi Arabia for nearly a decade, on the principle of the return of occupied Palestinian territories in exchange for security guarantees for Israel.
The main Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, received the initiatives' rejection by Israel with sorrow, describing it as "merely a declaration of the Palestinian position that accepts minor border changes agreed in advance."
TERRORISTS USE WMD AGAIN IN SYRIA
Syria’s Ambassador to the UN says foreign-backed terrorists in Syria have again used chemical materials against civilians during an attack on a town near Idlib.
Bashar al-Jaafari said at a press conference on Tuesday that the militants spread the contents of plastic bags containing chemical materials during the attack.
Many residents were affected by the armed groups’ “heinous and irresponsible act,” the Syrian envoy said, warning that it was an attempt to “implicate the Syrian government on a false basis.”
Some of the victims were transferred to Turkey for treatment, Jaafari added.
The envoy went on to say that 'today or tomorrow Ankara and the Western media will launch a new propaganda campaign against Damascus and claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people.'
Reports say that two people were killed and 20 injured in the militants’ chemical attack in Idlib.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama says Washington did not know how chemical material was used in another recent attack in Aleppo.
The Syrian government requested the UN to dispatch a fact-finding mission to the country after reports circulated that the foreign-backed militants had used chemical weapons against civilians in Khan al-Assal district of Aleppo province on March 19th. Over two dozen people were killed and over 100 injured in the chemical attack.
Obama said at a press conference on Tuesday: "If I can establish in a way that not only the US but also the international community feel confident in the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, then that is a game-changer."
DEAD SOLDIERS NAMED
3 soldiers occupying Afghanistan were killed by an IED in the south, ISAF said last Tuesday.
“Three ISAF service members died following an IED attack in southern Afghanistan today,” said the military alliance in a statement on Tuesday.
ISAF did not give information on the exact location of the deaths or nationalities of the deceased soldiers.
Now, officials say that the three were British soldiers from the Royal Highland Fusiliers.
WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL?
Egypt has withdrawn from Non-Proliferation Treaty talks in Geneva in protest over the failure of the international community to implement a resolution for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.
On Monday, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the country ended its participation in the two-week talks over other nations’ failure to implement the 1995 resolution, which calls for the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.
“We can’t wait forever for the implementation of this decision,” the ministry’s statement said.
The walkout is meant "to send a strong message of non-acceptance of the continued lack of seriousness in dealing with the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East," the statement points out.
The second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons started on April 22nd and continues until May 3rd.
The meeting is to review progress in implementing the 1970 NPT, on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology; promoting cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and furthering the goal of world nuclear disarmament.
On the first day of the conference, the former Egyptian Ambassador to Geneva, Hisham Badr said, "Egypt and many Arab countries have joined the NPT with the understanding that this would lead to a Middle East completely free of nuclear weapons.”
"However, over 30 years later, one country in the Middle East, namely Israel, remains outside the NPT."
Cairo has repeatedly urged Tel Aviv to sign the NPT and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its nuclear facilities.
Israel reportedly maintains between 200 and 400 atomic warheads, but under its policy of so-called nuclear ambiguity, it never denies nor confirms its possession of the weapons of mass destruction.
The Israeli regime has never allowed any international inspection of its nuclear facilities.
Tel Aviv has also refused to join the IAEA, which limits members to civilian uses of nuclear technology.
OVER 100 GITMO HUNGER STRIKERS
Even the US now admits that the hunger strike in Gitmo is determined and growing. Their response? To send a 'medical force'. Still, Obama doesn't close it down. Shame!
HUMANS V ASSET STRIPPERS
Turkish protesters are starting to act against their current government's policy in Syria, and on Sunday demonstrated in the southern province of Hatay, near Syria's border, to condemn their government.
A number of Turkey’s social figures and lawmakers attended the event in the city of Antakya, located about 680 kilometers (423 miles) southwest of the capital, Ankara. The demonstration was organized by the Turkish Peace Association and the International Peace Council.
The demonstrators praised the Syrian government’s firm resistance against the more than two-year-old foreign-backed militancy in Syria, stating that the country is withstanding Western imperialism and defending its national sovereignty and identity.
They also denounced Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s policy vis-à-vis the ongoing crisis in Syria, and voiced their outrage over Ankara’s interference in Syria's internal affairs. The spokesperson for the Turkish Peace Association, Edmir Guler, denounced on TV this weekend, the mercenary gangs operating in Syria, for looting factories and warehouses and then escaping into Turkey with their loot.
The activist blames the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for allowing such events, and calls on the people of his country to reject what he considers a cruel and sordid plot against the Syrian people.
TVs in Turkey echoed with the interview, broadcast on Turkish Oda TV, by Guler, from a Peace Conference in Istanbul and Antioch, held from April 25th to 29th.
Armed gangs are crossing into Syria through the Turkish border and plundering the country's wealth, and this should be investigated by the World Peace Movement, Guler insists.
The activist denies that what is happening in Syria is a civil war, as some claim, but states that it is a war being carried out by the US, NATO, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and other countries.
He says Damascus is suffering an international siege which usurps its people's right to self-determination.
Guler highlights that most of the Syrian people reject any interference in its internal affairs, as well as the crimes and acts of terrorism by irregular groups paid and armed by Western and regional governments.
In early March, the Federation of Syrian Industry demanded, at the European Court, that the Turkish government be indicted for looting, robbery and the dismantling of factories and industrial plants in the northern city of Aleppo.
Earlier, on January 10th, Syria's Foreign Ministry denounced the stripping of about 1,000 factories from the once economic capital of the country.
In letters to the Security Council and the Secretary General of the UN, Damascus describes the act as illegal and equivalent to an act of piracy, and an aggression against both the infrastructure and the Syrian people's standard of living, which now requires an international response.
OUR BEST HOPE?
Since the UN Security Council is paralised by Western control, almost all attempts at human progress through the UN now rest on the UN General Assembly.
The Iranian Ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaei, calls for a concerted effort to ensure maximum international engagement at a UN meeting on world nuclear disarmament, due to be held on September 26th this year.
Khazaei, who's also the head of the Non-Aligned Movement at the UN, met the President of the UN General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, yesterday, to discuss key issues. With them were the permanent UN envoys of Egypt, Venezuela, Cuba, and Indonesia, plus experts on world nuclear disarmament
The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution, proposed by NAM member states, to hold a high-level meeting in 2012.
Khazaei called on Jeremic and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to devote their efforts towards holding an organized and comprehensive meeting, with the extensive participation of the world’s heads of states.
The NAM representative pointed to the nuclear stockpiles of some world powers, and underscored the need for nuclear disarmament across the world, especially in the Middle East.
He stated that Iran, as the rotating president of the NAM, will adopt any measures required in the lead-up to the UN nuclear disarmament meeting in September.
Jeremic, for his part, expressed gratitude to Iran and NAM for their efforts, and repeated his readiness to cooperate in convening a successful meeting on nuclear disarmament.
STOP THE WAR !!!
UK anti-war campaigners, Stop the War Coalition, say the recent allegations by the US and UK about chemical weapons being used in Syria are an excuse to stoke the war in Syria to remove Syrian president Bashar al-Asad, "reshape" the region and weaken Iran.
The Stop the War convenor says that the US and UK governments are making claims about the "'probable' discovery of missiles using the chemical sarin" in clashes between the Syrian government and terrorists near Aleppo.
Lindsey German says the allegations - when considered in the context of US president Barack Obama remarks last year that the use of chemical weapons will be the "red line" for the Syrian government - raise fears that the US & UK are fabricating a scenario against Damascus.
"The ominous quote from a senior British official in the Financial Times today that 'It is increasingly likely that sarin was used by the Assad regime' demonstrates that a case is being put together to justify overt military intervention on top of the widespread but unofficial intervention that already exists," German says.
She adds that the US/UK are "pushing Syria down into hell" by using the "alliance" of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Israeli regime, Turkey and Jordan along with the western powers, to aid the Syrian anti-government terrorists with "arms, finance, provision of control centres and troops" and all under the pretext of a "need for humanitarian intervention".
German stresses that the western powers' intervention in Syria is "not humanitarian nor democratic", as is clear from their support for the "regimes of Saudi Arabia or Qatar, or their friends in Bahrain and Jordan".
"The alliance of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, Jordan and the western powers, has in its sights the taking out of Syria as a key ally of Iran, and with it Hezbollah in Lebanon. The aim is nothing short of a transformation of the Middle east aimed at permanently weakening Iran and its allies."
Analysis plus paralysis cannot stop this - act now!
MARCHERS IN JORDAN SET US FLAG ON FIRE Demonstrators in Jordan now condemn the sending of US troops to Jordan & any intervention in Syria.
Mehr News quotes Al-Alam's report, that people in the capital city of Amman and other cities, have rallied to show their opposition to any possible deployment of US military forces at Jordan's borders with Syria. Demonstrators congregated in two marches, assembling after Friday prayers at the King Hussein mosque in Amman, before marching off in opposition directions.
The demonstrators chanted anti-US slogans and set on fire the US flag. They emphasized that the presence of US forces in Jordan is a violation of the sovereignty of their country, and those "who brought the US forces, should leave the country along with the US forces."
Demonstrators in the northern city of Irbid and the eastern city of Al-Zarqa also condemned the US forces presence and chanted yesterday that "Syria will remain free forever."
TURKEY 'GIVES CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO SYRIAN TERRORISTS' The Syrian Ministry of Information says Turkey has given chemical weapons to the terrorists infiltrating Syria.
Emran al-Zaabi says that the chemical weapons used by the terrorists in Khan al-Assal in Aleppo’s suburbs, had their source in Turkey. "The rocket that targeted Khan al-Assal, was fired from a region under terrorist control, which is in the vicinity of Turkey's borders," he states.
"Syria has agreed that Russian experts investigate the use of chemicals in Khan al-Assal, and has sent them a request to do so," says al-Zaabi.
He points to Western claims on Syria’s use of chemical weapons against the 'opposition'. "Their claims are totally baseless. Such claims are made by those who are themselves responsible for chemical traces in Khan al-Assal, and hide themselves behind this claim," says the Minister, accusing the US of countless terrorist operations around the world.
"The US is seen red-handed in anti-Syrian terrorist acts, due to its support for the terrorists and silence about their crimes, and the financial and logistic support by Qatar and other Gulf countries for the rebel fighters."
Al-Zaabi believes that the constant repetition of such baseless claims is "to repeat the Iraq experience".
Members of the Canadian Che Guevara solidarity brigade are demanding the release of the five anti- terrorist Cubans who are unfairly held in US prisons.
In remarks to Prensa Latina, Johanna Lanfranco, a 2nd-time visitor, says that many Canadians are joining initiatives to understand Cuba, and to fight for the release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez.
The Cuban Five, as they are known worldwide, were detained in the US in 1998 and given harsh prison sentences, just for monitoring Miami-based terrorists.
Rene Gonzalez has served his sentence, but is now on a 3-year 'supervised release' punishment.
From the Julio Antonio Mella international camp, in Caimito, Artemisa province, in western Cuba, Canadian Taizo Shinkoda says he thinks it is unfair for these anti-terrorists to remain imprisoned.
He criticises the US for the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed on Cuba for 50 years, as it affects other nations links with Cuba, like Canada's.
Dave Thomas, the brigade's coordinator for 3 years, says that the best way to know first hand the island's reality, which is distorted by the Canadian media, is by visiting the Cuban capital and its other provinces.
A first batch of the Che Guevara brigade (over 40 members) arrived in Cuba yesterday. They are scheduled to meet with representatives of different sectors of society, do voluntary work and attend the International Workers Day celebrations there.
SOME 'MORE EQUAL' THAN OTHERS?
Indigenous people in Canada accuse Ottawa of snubbing their history, and call on the government to correct the history books in schools, to include the truth about native peoples there, Press TV reports.
A petition was launched in March calling for Harper’s government to require that all Canadians in secondary school be taught the history of the indigenous peoples.. and that it be mandatory.
“We need to recognize and acknowledge aboriginal peoples here in Quebec, in Canada, and in the rest of the world,” says Aurelie Arnaud from Quebec Native Association, adding that the process starts in schools.
She says denying “the mere existence of aboriginal peoples in Canada” is still part of colonialist policies.
Meanwhile, the Canadian city of Montreal is set to host the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which plans to record native accounts of the Indian Residential Schools which were set up by the Ottawa government, and the impact that they had on aboriginal children.
Over 150,000 First Nations children were taken from their families and placed in these schools, and many still suffer from the emotional, physical and sexual abuse, overcrowding, unhealthy food & poor sanitation.
The Canadian government faces growing criticism over violating the rights of most First Nation people.
Canada’s 1.2 million First Nation people say they are frustrated with Ottawa’s failure to address the social and economic grievances facing their communities.
Many live in poor conditions, with unsafe drinking water, inadequate housing, addictions, high suicide rates, and an overproportionate number in prison.
In a report released on December 19th, in 2012, Amnesty International called on Canada to stop rights abuses there, and, in particular, the human rights of indigenous peoples.
"Jordan completes its betrayal of Palestine"
The Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran says that the Kingdom of Jordan has completed its betrayal of Palestine. Major Gen. Seyed Hassan Firuzabadi says Jordan has done this by providing the Zionist regime's fighter planes with the full use of its airspace. “Opening the borders of Jordan to Al-Qaeda terrorist fighters to kill innocent Syrian citizens has also severely discredited the kingdom in the eyes of Muslims,” he states.
Firouzabadi points to the cooperation between Jordan and the Zionist regime and western-backed occupiers. “After the awakening of some of Syria's neighboring countries, Jordan’s actions are an indication of a miscalculation by Jordan’s officials of the situation in the region over cooperation with Al-Qaeda” he asserts.
The member of the Supreme National Security Council says that “while the Arab League believes in a political solution for the Syrian crisis, Jordan’s conduct is a stain on the Arab world, which threatens the Islamic Umma.”
Major Gen. Firouzabadi points to the failure of the rebel terrorists in different fronts inside Syria and addresses the political leaders of the countries in the region, sayig: “Jordan's leaders are naïve about the Zionist regime’s greedy hands reaching out to occupy part of Jordan’s land.”
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture says he is “deeply disappointed” that the Manama regime has practically “canceled” his planned visit to Bahrain.
On Wednesday, Juan Mendez said the Bahraini regime was trying to “avoid responsibility” for the torture of demonstrators by deciding to indefinitely postpone his visit, which had been planned for May.
Bahrain claims it has postponed the visit due to ‘delays in the ongoing national dialogue...’ However, the UN expert says that the move by the Bahraini regime on Tuesday is “effectively a cancelation”, rather than a postponement.
“This was a unilateral decision by the authorities. Unfortunately, it is not the first time the government has tried to avoid responsibility for the postponement of my visit, which was originally supposed to take place over a year ago,” Mendez states.
The Bahraini regime canceled Mendez’s first trip, which had been scheduled for February 2012.
Amnesty International slams Bahrain’s move and says the Manama regime is clearly “not serious” about implementing human rights reforms.
The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011, when people started holding massive demonstrations.
The Bahraini regime promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.
Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses tending the injured.
Bahrain, of course, used to be part of Iran, until the UK stole it, then gave it to the US to use for its fleet. Shame!
UK rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling on the United Nations Committee against Torture to hold the UK accountable over cases of “complicity in torture”, including by its military forces overseas.
HRW says in a memorandum to the UN Committee, ahead of its review of the UK in May 2013, that London is not complying with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in a number of areas.
The rights group says it has urged the UN committee to hold the UK government accountable for “complicity in torture”, “lack of an independent inquiry into UK complicity in rendition and torture overseas”, “abuses by UK forces in Iraq”, “expanded use of secret hearings in civil cases”, “breach of the principle of non-refoulement [rendering a true victim of persecution to their persecutor]”, “reliance on ‘diplomatic assurances’ against torture” and “reliance on material obtained under torture for intelligence & policing purposes”.
As for the latter, the organization says the UK government has still not made it clear whether or not it has accepted the global application of the Convention, especially to its armed forces and officials, who may commit, participate in, or be complicit in, torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
“As long as the UK refuses to clarify its position, it is not clear whether it considers itself under a duty under CAT to investigate and prosecute those persons responsible for torture or complicity in torture which took place anywhere in the world,” it adds.
According to HRW, the government has been complicit in a number of torture cases following the September 11, 2001 attacks, based on evidence from victims in Pakistan, Libya and Iraq, among others.
The organization says they have evidence that shows that a Libyan, Sami al-Saadi, his wife, and his four children were forced onto a plane in Hong Kong, in a joint UK, US and Libyan operation, in 2004.
They were handcuffed, hooded, and their legs were tied up with wire. Al-Saadi’s wife and children were imprisoned for two months in Libya before being released, while he was kept for 6 years in prison where he was repeatedly beaten, subjected to electric shocks, and given death threats.
HRW adds that the UK government has compensated the victims in out-of-the-court settlements, but refuses to accept the responsibility for torture and extraordinary rendition.
The UK has also recently been accused of supporting, or involvement in, acts of torture in Indonesia, Cyprus, Argentina & Zimbabwe over the course of the 20th century.
While the UK government has prevented many of the cases being raised in the courts by out-of-court settlements, it has never introduced the perpetrators behind the crimes, nor has it ever charged any of them with torture.
Tobias Kelly, who is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, said back in 2011 that no British citizen has ever stood in court accused of the crime of torture.
“At times, commentators have come close to the claim that if an act is carried out by a British citizen, it cannot - almost by definition - be torture, as the British simply do not behave that way,” he said at the time.
I remember the 1970s, when the election of a communist to the ASLEF union executive would have led to a leftwing majority at the TUC, until he died in a mysterious shunting "accident".
ISRAEL's ILLEGAL AGGRESSION GOES ON & ON
Israeli tanks and bulldozers have conducted another incursion into the Gaza Strip, days after inflicting airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave.
EGYPT SEEKS SYRIA's PEACE
The Egyptian government has changed its stance on the resignation of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, favoring instead, negotiations between the authorities in that country and opposition groups, an official spokesperson says today.
Last weekend, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi proposed increasing the four-party committee created in September 2012 in Tehran during the Summit of Non Aligned Countries after a visit to Russia, where he met President Vladimir Putin.
The reshaping of the stance is explained by Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamal Amr, as due to the "need to reach a political solution for the Syrian crisis that guarantees the preservation of the unity of the Syrian people."
The two Orthodox archbishops kidnapped by foreign- sponsored terrorists in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo, have been released, a church official says.
"The two are on their way to the patriarchy in Aleppo," Bishop Tony Yazigi of the Roman Orthodox Church says, from Damascus, late today (Tuesday).
Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo Paul Yazigi were captured by "a terrorist group" as they were "carrying out humanitarian work" in a village in Aleppo governorate on Monday, SANA reported.
Terrorists intercepted the bishops' car in Kafr Dael village, took the driver out of the car and kidnapped the bishops.
According to Aleppo residents, Ibrahim went to pick up Yazigi from the rebel-controlled Bab al-Hawa crossing with Turkey. Their car was intercepted on the way back by militants who kidnapped them and killed their driver.
US PEOPLE TRUST IRAN's LEADER MORE A member of the Scientific Panel Investigating 9/11, in response to the Iranian Leader's condemnation of the Boston bombing, says: "Every day more and more Americans come to the conclusion that what Iran's supreme leader says is much more realistic and more honest than what they are hearing from their leaders in the US."
Kevin Burt, the founder of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth (MUJCA) adds: “Americans now have reached a greater understanding of the duplicity of their government, because polls show that one third of the American people do not support the wars of aggression that their government is waging."
Burt's stated purpose is to improve interfaith dialogue, promote mutual understanding and improve coexistence between the followers of divine religions after 7/11.
The Supreme Leader of Iran, after the terrorist bombing in the Boston Marathon said: The Islamic Republic of Iran following the logic of Islam, opposes and condemns any bombing and killing of innocent people, whether in Boston, the USA, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria.”
SYRIA 'DEFEATED SFA - NOW FIGHTS AL QAIDA'
The Syrian President says his government has defeated the SFA, and says that "now, we are in a battle with Al-Qaeda." In a meeting with a Lebanese delegation, Bashar al-Assad reassured the delegation about the situation on the ground.
According to the Lebanese newspaper ‘Al-Safir,’ Bashar Al Assad expressed his dissatisfaction with the policy of "self- restraint" taken by the Lebanese. "It’s just like a man who is trapped in a ring of fire, and the fire is getting closer and closer: he can no longer be restrained," Assad says.
"I really do not know what exactly this policy means? Does it mean that the Lebanon should move to Africa, from its current location? Go there, wait for the end of the Syrian crisis, and then return to its natural place?"
On the battle ground situation, the President guaranteed the direction of developments in the country, and said: "What was known as the ‘Free Army’ is already finished, and we are currently fighting against Al Qaeda. The fighters of this organization are foreign nationals from 23 different countries who are fighting in our country.”
BAHRAIN USING POISON GAS
Al Khalifa forces are using poisonous gas bullets to target protesting citizens and to kill them directly, rather to disperse the crowd. Bahrain’s Al-Wefaq party’s freedom and human rights office publishes a new report, saying that Al Khalifa forces are using "suffocating poisonous gas bullets for killing citizens rather than to disperse them."
This has lead to injuries, or the feeling of being suffocated, for a number of protesters.
International human rights organizations call on the party to defend the Bahraini people’s rights against vengeful acts by Al Khalifa forces for simply opposing the regime.
The freedom and human rights office also adds that the use of poisonous arms and gases is restricted by rules countries should observe, but the security forces of the Al Khalifa regime violate the simplest restrictions on the use of these arms on humans. "They fire these bullets directly into citizens’ homes on purpose."
Ali Javad Al Sheikh, aged 15, was shot from a short distance away and killed. His death is quoted by the report as first degree murder. Ahmad Shams, also 15, met the same end. Also, an old women and a man of 31 suffocated when inhaling these gases on March 25th 2012.
The most recent similar killing is that of Mahmud Al Jaziri, who was directly shot in the head by Al Khalifa-backed forces on February 14th 2013.
ON THE SAME PAGE?
As Kerry ups "non-lethal" aid to rebel forces, the Syrian opposition he is encouraging calls on it's international supporters to deploy drones in Syria and carry out "surgical strikes" on launch sites used by government forces.
"It is the moral imperative of the international community, led by the Friends of Syria, to take specific, precise and immediate action to protect Syrian civilians from the use of ballistic missiles and chemical weapons, (sic)" the 'Coalition' says in its statement.
The UK and France are pushing for the European Union arms embargo on Syria to be "modified" when it expires at the end of May. But Germany and the Netherlands are against the change, because they fear it would lead to further bloodshed. US officials have said they support "testing" the lifting of the arms embargo.
The 'Friends of Syria' also issue a statement criticizing Russia for its stance on Syria, and say Moscow "doesn’t understand" the way history is unfolding in the Middle East.
A spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry, Aleksandr Lukashevich, says that Russia is urging the ‘Friends of Syria’ group to abstain from pursuing their own ends, and instead, to direct their efforts toward fostering a dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.
The spokesperson stresses that Russia supports a “peaceful settlement to the crisis in Syria by means of a country-wide dialogue free of foreign interference and direction.” In other words, Russia supports peace.
Yet 'The Friends of Syria' say in their statement:
“Russia is looking at things through a narrow, military point of view and doesn’t appreciate the deep historical changes, which are taking place as a result of the Arab Spring”.
Kerry says he wants the Syrian opposition and the US and its assorted allies to be on the "same page"...
Same page? Not even the same planet!
YEMEN PROTESTERS END CAMPS AFTER 'VICTORY'
Today, two people are assassinated in Yemen by US assassination drones as calm returns to city centres across Yemen for the first time in well over two years, as activists decide to end their protest camps.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets on the day Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak resigned in February 2011, calling for their own President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.
Mr Saleh agreed to end his 33-year grip on power in November 2011 after daily protest marches and rallies across numerous cities in Yemen.
His vice-president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was elected unopposed the following February.
Still protesters stayed in their camps, (called 'Freedom' and 'Change' Squares) calling on Mr Hadi to enact full-scale reforms and purge the state of Mr Saleh's relatives and supporters.
They held a "Friday of Victory" rally last week after a shake-up of the military removed Saleh loyalists from key positions.
The Organisational Committee of the Popular Youth Revolution and Youth Groups announced the dismantling of the camps this week.
Committee member Habib al-Ariqi says the groups are committed to "revolutionary oversight" of the Yemen National Dialogue - a 6-month series of talks involving most sections of Yemeni society, aimed at redrawing Yemen's political structures. But, he warns, the option to return to the squares is "open."
Nobel peace prize-winning "mother of the revolution" Tawakol Karman, says protests are starting a new phase.
"We declare that we toppled the rule of the family forever and we have a new revolution to cleanse the state from corruption," she states today, as camp activists withdraw.
TREACHEROUS ARAB LEAGUE DROPPED
Lakdhar Brahimi, international envoy for the Syrian conflict, has just requested the exclusion of the Arab League from the negotiations for a peaceful solution for the conflict, since it is thought that the Arab League has been more of an obstacle than a supporting element.
REFUGEES DEMAND RETURN FROM "RAPE CAMPS"
Syrian TV says that about 5,000 Syrian refugees have returned to the country's southern province of Daraa.
Most of the returnees are families and children coming from al- Zatari camp in Jordan, al-Ekhbaria TV says today (Saturday), claiming that the Jordanian authorities have stripped returnees of their identification documents "in order to keep acquiring aid under the name of those refugees."
This comes the day after 10 Jordanian policemen are reported wounded as a riot erupted in al-Zatari after a number of Syrian refugees tried to break out of the camp, which is located near the borders with Syria. The Jordanian government says tens of Syrians hurled stones at the Jordanian policemen and that the authorities responded with tear gas.
The camp houses around 150,000 Syrian refugees who fled the violence in their border towns and sought refuge in Jordan.
However, the refugees have repeatedly complained of deteriorating conditions in the camp and many have now asked to be returned to Syria.
In Indochina, during the US wars on Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea, the refugee camps were full of women and youngsters.... who became easy prey as rape victims and often bought in "arranged marriages".
A friend of mine went to provide aid and said that aid workers also preyed on girls there.
So many reports are coming out of camps in Jordan and Turkey now, of similar atrocious conditions.
Conditions in the camps in Jordan are particularly cruel, as they are deep in the desert, so are burning hot in the Summer, and freezing cold in Winter.
“The Obama administration does not intend to send a witness to testify at a Senate hearing next week on the legality of the U.S. targeted killing program,” McClatchy reports the White House as saying.
Yet President Barack Obama pledged in his State of the Union speech in February, to provide greater transparency into the drone operations.
“We do not currently plan to send a witness to this hearing and have remained in close contact with the committee about how we can best provide them the information they require,” Caitlin Hayden, a National Security Council spokesperson, emails to McClatchy.
The spokesperson declines to say why the President refuses to defend the legality of his drone war in a Senate hearing.
The administration’s refusal emphasizes yet again that not only is the drone war itself secret, but its legal rationale is secret too. Judge Napolitano says, “How can a legal argument be classified?”
US District Judge Colleen McMahon: “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”
The leaked Justice Department memo that summarizes the legal (if you can call it that) justification for the targeted killing program brazenly declares that even when there is no active intelligence indicating targeted individuals carrying out a specific terrorist attack, the administration can still bomb groups of unidentified individuals.
Standard rules of international law demand that an imminent threat of an immediate attack is required in order to legally initiate the use of force in self-defense, but the Obama administration effectively rejects that, as it refuses to allow checks, balances, or openness.
Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, says that the drone war in Pakistan is illegal anyway, because it violates Pakistan's sovereignty.
Since the drone war rests on a questionable legal basis, Obama is refusing to even publicize a legal opinion on it.
If he were to make it public, it might face judicial scrutiny. And facing legal and public scrutiny when you’re engaging in criminal acts is the last thing you want. Antiwar
The US has carried out over 360 assassination drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004, killing about 3,500 people, states a recent study by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
A report by researchers at Stanford and NYU schools of law, found in September that the drone program is “terrorizing” the people of Pakistan and is having “counterproductive” effects. Antiwar
"The number of 'high-level' militants killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- estimated at just 2% [of deaths]", says the Stanford/NYU report.
The US carried out more drone strikes last year in Afghanistan than it has during its eight-year-long air war in Pakistan, launching 447 strikes and killing thousands. RT
The US government is accused of hiding the truth about its drone program after leaked intelligence files revealed that it is targeting unidentified militants who pose no immediate threat to the US.
Straight after Barack Obama won the US presidency, drone strikes escalated and began occurring almost weekly, later nearly daily, becoming a permanent feature of life for those living in the tribal borderlands of northern Pakistan.
Six times as many drone strikes in Pakistan in Obama's first term - more than the Bush administration in both its terms - according to tallies from the nonpartisan New America Foundation. WSJ
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution subcommittee was to have held its hearing this Tuesday on the legality of targeted killings, those who can be targeted and the creation of a “transparent legal framework for the use of drones.” That session was postponed until April 23rd to allow more time for the White House to agree to send a witness. McClatchy
But, reports RT, President Obama has no plans to show Congress the legal rulings that justify his use of drones to kill US citizens, or any others, despite urging from members of his own political party.
EU MORE VICIOUS THAN USA
South Africa lashes out at the US and EU for imposing oil sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program without consulting major importers of Iranian energy.
South Africa’s Energy Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, who is in India for the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting, said that such decisions have geopolitical implications and mostly affect "the poorest of the poor" - in dire need of energy supplies and with no alternative.
"When decisions are made at bilateral or unilateral levels that have serious geopolitical consequences, we need to engage seriously," Peters says.
"When we had to look for crude of the kind we got from Iran, it came at a premium," she adds.
"It has a multiple knock-on effect, especially on the poorest. When these decisions are taken, they must always consider the impact and consequences of their decisions at the geopolitical level. Or at least involve other countries, so that, when the decision is made they can say South Africa is taking it consciously. They have calculated the impact on themselves, but not on others," the South African minister accuses.
Peters says that the petroleum industry is now a victim of financial sanctions, which include US sanctions on dollar -denominated trading and EU sanctions on insurance for shipping companies.
On December 8th, 2012, the US added China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan to the list of countries exempted from sanctions for another six months.
But Peters stresses that the US 18-month exemption for Iran oil sanctions has not benefited South Africa at all, because the EU has refused to grant any waivers to anyone.
The EU Parliament - completely corrupt or completely powerless?
VIETNAM STARTED BY DEMOCRAT PRESIDENT WITH US "ADVISORS"
About 200 US military "trainers" were sent to Jordan months ago.
Now US Defense Secretary Chuck (sic) Hagel announces that the Pentagon is deploying about 200 military planners to Jordan near the border with Syria.
But the troops could be the forerunner of 20,000 or more US troops deployed, if the Obama Democrat administration decides to interfere even more directly in the 2-year-old Syria unrest, senior US officials tell the Los Angeles Times.
Jordan's leaders have spent furious hours saying that they want no war in or with, Syria.
But aren't they just slaves?
Today's announcement of 10 billion in arms sales to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to "counter" Iran, strips almost bare the completely subservient role (serving Israeli and US interests in the Middle East) played by the Saudis and the UAE.
Any advanced arms sold to the Saudis and UAE, MUST, the Israeli regime insists, be inferior to Israel's weapons, and MUST be okayed by the US before they can even be used.
USA STILL "MORALLY SICK"
The degrading treatment to which inmates are subjected at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where 100 are on hunger strike, is damned by the Mexican press today.
In an article published today entitled "Guantanamo: State terrorism and double standards," the Mexican newspaper La Jornada says that the situation there is a shameful example of the criminal network set up by the White House during the George W. Bush era.
Guantanamo and what happens there are indicative of the political, legal, and moral degradation from which the superpower has not yet recovered, the daily says.
The publication also adds that such facts undermine Washington's moral authority to condemn acts of terrorism such as that which occurred on Monday, April 15th, during the Boston Marathon.
La Jornada quotes from a letter by Yemeni prisoner Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, published in The New York Times daily, where he said he had lost more than 30 pounds since February 10th, when the fast started.
The daily also denounces the inhuman practices by prison staff against those participating in the protest, (defense lawyers say there are as many as 100 while prison officials say there are 40), who are still being forcibly fed.
Today, even when US President Barack Obama has said that 87 of the 166 prisoners in Guantanamo do not represent a threat to his country, the US authorities have decided to keep them in captivity.
The same remains true of the shutdown of Guantanamo, promised by Obama during his first presidential campaign ...and never delivered.
The US proposed to the government of President Bashar al Assad that the US would prevent the terrorist war in the Arab country - if it cut its ties with Tehran, the Syrian Ambassador, to Iran, Adnan Mansour, states.
"In the first weeks of the conflict in Syria, the US Secretary of Defense (sic) sent a message to the Syrian government, and said we should cut our ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran if we wanted to stop the war, and stressed that if we did so, they would provide us with whatever we want," says the diplomat to Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, in Qom City.
Mansour says that warmongers from 40 countries are providing terrorists in Syria with advanced weapons, but have so far failed to overthrow the Syrian government.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, where armed groups, led by foreign countries' subjects, have killed thousands of people, including civilians, Army members, and security personnel.
Thousands of Palestinian protesters staged a rally on Tuesday, angry at the Israeli occupiers who expelled Palestinians from their homeland with the establishment of Israel almost 65 years ago, Press TV reports.
Waving Palestinian flags, the demonstrators marched near the city of Haifa in the occupied Palestinian territories on.
They came out in a show of solidarity with Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. Where they marched, they were "not allowed" to be!
"We came to the village of Khubeiza to confirm our affiliation and roots, and to confirm the Arabic identity for this land. I feel proud because most of the participants are young people. It means that our nation will not die and will not forget our struggle," a Palestinian protester said.
Palestinians refer to the May 15, 1948 occupation of Palestine as the 'Nakba Day', which means the Day of the Catastrophe in Arabic, to mark the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948.
Israeli forces have wiped nearly 500 Palestinian villages and towns off the map, leaving an estimated total of 4.7 million Palestinian refugees hoping for an eventual return to their homeland, over six decades later.
Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite UN resolutions and international law, which uphold a people’s right to return to their homelands.
UK PLAN - DRUG BONANZA
Opium poppy production in the Afghan province of Helmand, where UK forces are stationed, has tripled compared to 2006 when the UK army first went there, a UN report says.
The UN says in a report released now that opium production in Helmand is increasing at a record level and “very high” cultivation levels are expected there.
According to the report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), almost half of Afghan opium is produced in Helmand where over 75,000 hectares of land were given over to poppy cultivation last year -- up from just 25,500 hectares in 2005.
“We can't deny the fact that the level of cultivation now is much higher than it has ever been under the Taliban,” Martin Raithelhuber of UNODC says.
The report, “The Afghanistan Opium Winter Risk Assessment 2013”, also says opium production has increased for the third year in a row in Afghanistan with total poppy cultivation standing at 154,000 hectares and will break the 2007 record of 193,000 hctrs in 2013.
The Asian country produced 75% of the global poppy crop in 2012 with the figure expected to take a 15 percent leap this year.
US AND AFGHAN MARCHERS SAY: STOP DRONE KILLINGS
US marchers this weekend called for the illegal killing by drones launched by the US government on six poor countries to stop.
On Monday, Afghan protesters held an anti-US march in the eastern city of Jalalabad to condemn the US-led airstrikes for killing civilian children, Press TV reports.
Shouting anti-US slogans, the protesters, including hundreds of university students, took to streets of the capital city of Nangarhar Province. They carried an effigy of US President Barack Obama and publicly burnt a US flag.
The protesters also shouted their opposition to the presence of US-led foreign forces in their country.
The demonstrators are particularly outraged over the killing of civilians in a recent US airstrike on a village in the eastern province of Kunar, which killed 17 civilians including a dozen children and four women.
Also on Monday, The Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement that the foreign forces should stop airstrikes on residential areas, which are conducted under the pretext of targeting militants, since such assaults cause "more civilian deaths."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on April 13th that Washington violated international human rights when the US military carried out its deadly airstrike in Kunar, where 14 women and children were slaughtered.
IRAQ STOPS TERRORISTS ARMS
Large stores of weapons are confiscated Sunday, as Iraqi soldiers capture over seventy men involved.
EUROPE COULD STOP THESE YOUNG FANATICS
Member of Belgian Parliament Donis Duquerm asserts that her country has become a key centre for the recruitment of young men to send them to Syria and join the opposition armed groups that are fighting the government.
In statements published by the news agency SANA, the Member of Parliament warns that these young men could be a threat in the future to the European nation, when they return from combat.
The legislator says men are also being currently recruited in Germany, France, Holland and other European countries.
According to SANA, the Mayor of the Belgian city of Vilvoorde, Hans Ponte is asking that the Government withdraw the identity documents of those suspects having the intention to go to Syria.
That is a way to stop them travelling to take part in conflict, and it would be easier to control their movements, he says.
On numerous occasions, Damascus has shown evidence to the Security Council and the UN secretary general, of the presence of thousands of mercenaries from 30 countries.
Regional countries such as Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as the US, France and the UK, are financially and logistically supporting these terrorists, who are trying to overthrow the Government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Two Italian soldiers serving in the illegal occupation of Afghanistan are wounded by IED Sunday.On Saturday, the main US base was attacked by rockets. No-one hurt.
CLEANING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Pope Francis has appointed a commission of eight cardinals to advise him on reforming the Roman Curia.
In the first clear indication that he plans major changes in the administration of Vatican affairs, the Pope names cardinals from every continent to the commission.
This commission is asked to "advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia.
The new commission of cardinals is announced today, exactly one month after the election of Pope Francis.
Vatican spokeman Federico Lombardi notes that in convening the group, the Pope is "taking up a suggestion that emerged during the general congregations preceding the conclave."
ON ANOTHER PLANET
US Secretary of State John Kerry says that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is 'unacceptable' as a nuclear power.
During a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Kerry calls Pyongyang's access to and control of atomic weapons 'unacceptable'.
Kerry says that the DPRK is a threat and "the White House is willing to defend its allies and ourselves", the same phrase he used when Yun was in the US.
Kerry is in Seoul for a 4-day tour of Asia, which includes both China and Japan. Pyongyang is prepared for US and South Korean provocations, while they carry out joint drills near the borders of the northern region of the Korean peninsula.
10,000 South Korean soldiers, 3,000 from the US and an unknown number from other countries, including the UK and Australia, are taking part.
"Unacceptable" reality is that a nuclear incident so near China and Russia will make Chernobyl look like frying an egg.
ON GITMO - MAKE OBAMA HEAR !!!
Peter Maurer, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross expresses opposition to the force-feeding of prisoners staging a mass hunger strike at the Guantanamo prison camp and says he urged President Barack Obama to do more to resolve the "untenable" legal plight of inmates held there. ICRC president Peter Maurer made his case in talks with Obama and other top US officials in Washington this week while a team from the Geneva-based group monitored the hunger strike by dozens of detainees at the US Naval Base in Cuba. Many have been held for more than a decade without charge or trial. The US military says 43 of the 166 prisoners have refused food, while defense lawyers estimate that 100 to 130 inmates have joined in. Eleven have lost so much weight that they have been strapped down and force-fed liquid nutrients through tubes inserted into their noses. The protest shines a spotlight on the internationally condemned facility, which was opened by Obama's Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, to hold those they described as foreign terrorism suspects after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US. Obama failed to keep his promise to close the prison within a year of taking office in 2009. The White House insisted on Thursday that he remains committed to shutting it, but offers no new path to doing so in his second term. Signaling growing international concern, Maurer says the hunger strike, which began about two months ago, is a "symptom" of the prisoners' legal plight. Military officers, human rights monitors and lawyers for the inmates have said it reflects frustration at the failure to resolve their fate. "The issue of Guantanamo is politically blocked in this country," Maurer told a Washington news conference. He said his message to Obama and his advisers was that "they should put all their energy" into reaching a compromise on Guantanamo. Maurer says the ICRC's doctors back the view of international medical groups, which condemn the practice of force-feeding. An ICRC spokesman in Geneva said last month that the humanitarian organization is against force-feeding and upholds the principle of allowing detainees to choose their fate. "There is a discrepancy between the position of the United States and the ICRC. That's very much a point on the agenda," Maurer said when pressed. The ICRC depends heavily on Washington for funding and cooperation, and usually maintains confidentiality in its dealings with governments, especially on detainee issues. Maurer said he had pressed Obama, senior administration officials and US lawmakers, to work harder to address the Guantanamo prisoners' legal predicament. He says the main issues include delays in promised regular reviews of prisoners' cases and hold-ups in the transfer to their home countries of those deemed to be "no longer" a security risk.
Obama has approved the use of military tribunals to try some of the suspects. But only nine prisoners have been charged or convicted of crimes, according to military records. Guantanamo prison in eastern Cuba reportedly holds 166 men, most of whom have been held without charge for a decade. Although Barack Obama promised to shut down the facility at the beginning of his first term as president, the facility remains open. The U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay is calling on Washington to close the Guantanamo prison, saying the indefinite imprisonment of so many detainees violates international law. Human rights organizations report hundreds of suicide attempts, at least seven of which were successful. Last September, a Yemeni detainee took his life after spending over a decade at Guantanamo. Adnan Latif had been cleared for release by both the Bush and Obama administrations, but was never freed.
UN CONDEMNS NEW SQUEEZE ON GAZA
The United Nations condemns today the new restrictions imposed by Israel on the influx of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip and warns about its impact on the populace.
James Rawley, coordinator of UN humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip, which has been under seige for six years by Tel Aviv, confirms that the Israeli regime has shut the checkpoint at Kerem Shalom.
He also lists the many new restrictions decreed by the Israeli government since February 26th, such as the fishing limits reduction from 6 to 3 nautical miles, a move that affects the incomes of nearly 4,000 families.
HERE's LOOKING AT YOU...
The US' use of unmanned drones to assassinate suspected terrorists both at home and abroad is coming under increasing scrutiny.
A mass of just leaked classified reports confirms what many suspected – US drone kills in Pakistan are not precision strikes against top-level al-Qaeda terrorists, as the Obama administration states.
Many of the attacks are on suspected low-level tribal militants, who pose no direct danger to the US – and for many there appears to be little evidence to justify the assassinations at all.
Top secret documents obtained by McClatchy newspapers show the locations, identities and numbers of those attacked and killed in Pakistan in 2006-8 and 2010-11, as well as the explanations given for why the targets were picked.
The statistics illustrate the range of US ‘drone doctrine’, which has never been defined by any US administration. Between 1,990 and 3,308 people are reported to have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, almost all during the two Obama terms.
In the year up to 2011, 43 out of 95 drone strikes in the reports (which give an account of the vast majority of US operations in Pakistan) were not aimed at al-Qaeda at all. And 265 out of the 482 people killed in those assassinations, were defined only as “extremists”.
Just six – under 2% – were senior al-Qaeda leaders.
Some of the groups include the Haqqani network and the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, which the US did not designate as terrorists until 2012 and 2010 respectively. Neither has ever attacked the US.
The leaked report confirms that attacks during the George W. Bush era, were conducted on targets picked by the ISI, Pakistan’s security agency, which has no obligations to comply with US legal criteria.
In some cases it is not confirmed that the 'targets', were militants at all. The modus operandi revealed behind the strikes, shows that some of the attacks seem to have been based on certain people or visitors being present as certain locations, or just associating with those the US believed were terrorists. This agrees with those who say that the US is carrying out a policy of “signature strikes” – attacks based on behavior, or “signature” that would be expected of a terrorist, rather than any specific illegal activity.
These “signatures” apparently include such suspicious behavior as taking part in a funeral procession or first responding to an initial drone strike. Last year, the United Nation’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, said it’s believed that, “since President Obama took office, at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims and more than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners.”
The US has previously refused to admit that it operates such a policy.
Some assassinations, such as that of, Mohammad, the younger brother of the leader of the Haqqani network, Badruddin, appear to have been simply errors, with the victims branded as terrorists only after the fact.
All this seems to go against the assurance of John Brennan, the former White House counterterrorism chief, and new CIA head, who is the mastermind behind the present drone policy:
“We only authorize a particular operation against a specific individual if we have a high degree of confidence that the individual being targeted is indeed the terrorist we are pursuing,” Brennan explained a year ago.
Obama’s administration has also said all targets are on a “list of active terrorists,” compiled with “extraordinary care and thoughtfulness”. Obama has also explicitly said that drones should not carry out “speculative” killings.
But other than when ordering assassinations of US citizens, the President does not have to give full information to the Senate about the basis for any drone attack, much less give it a legal justification.
The latest revelations have unleashed a wave of protest from experts who believe that the program is extra-judicial, violates Pakistan’s sovereignty, and is counter-productive.
“I have never seen, nor am I aware of, any rules of engagement that have been made public, that govern the conduct of drone operations in Pakistan, or the identification of individuals and groups, other than al Qaida and the Afghan Taliban,” Christopher Swift, national security law expert from Georgetown University, told McClatchy:
“We are doing this on a case-by-case, ad hoc basis, rather than on a systematic or strategic basis.”
Micah Zenko, from the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy think tank, goes further, and accuses the government of “misleading the public about the scope of who can legitimately be targeted.”
He adds: “When there is such a disconnect between who the administration says it kills and who it actually kills, that hypocrisy itself is a very dangerous precedent that other countries will emulate.”
Last month Ben Emmerson, after a secret research trip to the country, announced that drone strikes violate Pakistan's sovereignty.
Emmerson says that the Pakistani government told him that it does not consent to the attacks, (something often challenged in Washington) and fuels mass protests in Pakistan.
Drone strikes were first used after the 9/11 attacks from bases in Pakistan and Uzbekistan, in combat missions inside Afghanistan. Over a decade later, the US has expanded the use of drones to Yemen, Somalia and most of all, in Pakistan.
The US has carried out countless attacks on targets in northwest Pakistan since 2004 through the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Begun by President George W. Bush, the intensity of the missions has increased under the presidency of Barack Obama.
Islamabad publicly condemns these attacks but is known to have shared intelligence with the US and allowed drones to operate from its territory until April 2011, when NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in the Salala incident. WikiLeaks cables also revealed that Pakistan's Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani sanctioned the flights and in 2008 even asked the CIA for more “Predator coverage.”
Ordinary Pakistanis also repeatedly protest against these attacks as a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and because of immense civilian "collateral damage", including the deaths of dozens of women and children. Brennan's confirmation was delayed last month by senators who asked for more information about the US drone program. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) filibustered the vote until the administration "told him" that it could not legally kill US citizens on US soil using a drone strike.
However, the Obama administration believes it can technically use military force to kill a US citizen on US soil in an "extraordinary circumstance" but has "no intention of doing so," Attorney General Eric Holder says.
The Senate Judiciary Committee panel’s Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights subcommittee has announced plans to hold a hearing next week on “Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing.”
VIVA BAHRAIN REVOLUTION!
Bahrainis, in response to their religious leaders call to protest at the destruction of mosques by the ruling US-backed Al Khalifa regime's armed forces, joined en masse for congregational prayers in a destroyed mosque. According to ‘Al-Alam’ News Network, Bahrainis showed up in the local destroyed ‘Brbghi’ mosque, for noon and afternoon congregational prayers.
‘Al-Wasat’ newspaper writes, that the Bahrainis met at the site of the destroyed mosque, in the ‘Alli’ area, by invitation from religious scholars to pray at the site.
Bahrain Human Rights Society also held a conference entitled “Religious Freedom in Bahrain”. One Bahraini activist and scholar, Sheikh Maysam Al Salman, told the audience in the conference, that 38 Mosques out of a total of 739 registered Mosques by Awqaf (Endowment) Department have been destroyed by the regime in Bahrain.
Anti-regime protesters again stage fresh demonstrations across Bahrain, despite the ruling Al Khalifa regime’s heavy-handed crackdown.
Protesters marched across the Persian Gulf kingdom, shouting slogans against the Al Khalifa regime.
An unknown number of demonstrators were arrested by Bahrain security forces on Tuesday, while many others were taken from their homes in different villages.
On Monday, protesters blocked a road in the capital, Manama, by burning rubbish bins, to protest against the Bahraini regime.
On April 6th, a protester sustained head injuries after he came under direct fire from regime forces in the village of Wadian, in the eastern town of Sitra.
On April 4th, Bahraini forces fired teargas and sound grenades at protesters in Manama, who were calling for the downfall of the ruling regime. The protest was being held as a symbolic last day of mourning for Jaffar Jassim al-Taweel, who was killed after inhaling toxic gas fired by regime forces during anti-regime protests on March 25th.
On April 2nd, in the northwestern village of Diraz, security forces attacked the funeral procession for Abdul Ghani al-Reis, who died of psychological shock after visiting a torture chamber where his son was being kept by regime forces.
The Bahraini revolution began in mid-February 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations.
The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from the neighboring Persian Gulf states.
Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested even doctors and nurses for treating the injured revolutionaries.
Two helicopter crashes in Afghanistan. No details given as NATO "secures" the areas where they came down.
G8 MINISTERS TOLD: STOP WARZONE CHILD SEX ABUSE
Save the Children chief executive Justin Forsyth says that underfunding by G8 states has left "huge gaps" in programmes designed to protect children from sexual abuse and to support survivors.
Mr Forsyth calls sexual violence one of war's "hidden horrors," especially the rape and abuse of children.
"Even if they recover from the physical effects of their experiences, many victims carry the psychological scars of their ordeal for the rest of their lives and are often cast out from society.
"Despite all this, there are huge gaps in funding for the work needed to protect children from these atrocious crimes and to respond to their needs."
A report by Save the Children finds that child-protection programmes worldwide suffered a staggering 68% funding shortfall in 2009, after a shortfall of 53% in 2008.
Over half the victims of sexual violence in war-torn regions are children.
In post-war Liberia over 80% of victims of sexual violence between 2011 and 2012, were under 17 years old, and almost all were raped.
In Colombia, where Farc guerillas have fought far-right death squads since 1964, over half of victims seen by the Red Cross in 2009 were children.
Haiti's US-backed coup in 2004, saw nearly one in five girls raped in the nation's capital Port-au-Prince.
LAY DOWN YOUR ARMS !
Kerry congratulates Turkey's current rulers on their role in Syria, the Chair of the US' joint chiefs of staff warns - in a self-fulfilling prophecy? - that Syria "could" become another Afghanistan, and President Assad calls on the foreign armed terrorists to "lay down their arms".
The government makes the demand last Sunday in a text message sent to people across Syria, Xinhua reports.
It says: "to all those carrying weapons against the state, be rational and quick to lay down weapons because the men of the Syrian army are coming."
"Our duty is to protect the homeland, and confronting terrorism is a national and legitimate duty," the text says.
The warning comes as Syrian forces continue mop-up operations against the foreign-backed militants across the country, killing many terrorists and capturing many arms.
Several international human rights organizations accuse the foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes.
In an interview recently broadcast on Turkish television, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said "Turkey's government officially harbors terrorists and sends them into Syria. They're also crossing over from Jordan."
Assad warns that if Syria is partitioned, or if terrorist forces take control of the country, the conflict will spill over into neighboring countries and engulf the entire region ...for decades.
Putin calls for a complete halt to ALL arms shipments.
DIVIDE AND RULE FAILS IN SYRIA
The exiled "opposition" National Coalition has lost clout inside Syria, and extremist Islamists have the upper hand among all factions on the ground, a Syrian newspaper states on Monday.
"The coalition was counting on the Free Army militias to control a number of towns in northern Syria, however, most of the Free army arms stores have been liquidated by the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front," al-Watan newspaper cites a source close to the National Coalition as saying on condition of anonymity.
The source claims that National Coalition members have been discussing these facts in their meetings, but haven't dared to announce them out of fear of losing international backing.
The source also claims that the "moderate opposition figures" who reject the armament of the anti-regime movement have left their posts in the coalition and now accuse it of facilitating the flow of al-Qaida fighters into Syria.
The paper says that no flag is raised in rebellious areas in northern Syria but the flag of al-Qaida, underscoring the bickering among the opposition ranks between those fighters affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and other, secular forces.
Last month, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, the retired chair of the Syrian Opposition National Coalition, recently warned of what he called a "crystal-clear conspiracy" on Syria represented by foreign intervention, to divide the country.
He unleashed a scathing critique of some opposition figures inside the coalition, without naming them, labelling them as " opportunists and blackmailers in politics and nationalism."
In a recent interview with the Dubai satellite channel, al- Khatib said that some opposition figures "are behaving improperly, " and disclosed that "intransigence" is the main characteristic of the coalition's work.
Al-Khatib explained that he has decided to resign for several internal reasons related to the coalition, as well as for other "foreign" reasons.
He said that he made his decision to resign because of the disparities inside the coalition and the criticisms he has towards "our brothers in the coalition."
Also, in an open letter to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Joint Command of the 'Free Syrian Army' said: "We hold you responsible for delaying the victory of the revolution and the fragmentation of the opposition."
The rebels accused the Muslim Brotherhood of undermining the revolt against Bashar al-Assad and trying to dictate opposition politics.
Over the past few months, there have been many reports about fighting among several opposition rebel groups over sharing looted funds which have mostly ended up in several deaths from both sides.
RESISTANCE UNITY BEATS "DIVIDE AND RULE"
Lebanon’s new Prime Minister, Tamam Salam welcomes Iran’s support for the anti-Israeli resistance front in Lebanon.
Tamam made the remark in a meeting with Iran's Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, last Sunday.
Roknabadi congratulated Salam on being chosen as the new Lebanese prime minister and reiterated that Iran will stand by Lebanon, and all its tribes and political currents.
"National unity, solidarity, harmony, preservation of stability and security" in Lebanon are key to confronting the Israeli regime, the Iranian diplomat said.
For his part, Salam reaffirmed Lebanon’s support for the resistance front, saying, "We seek Iran’s support for Lebanon to fulfill these objectives."
Salam, 68, was named the new prime minister of Lebanon on Saturday with support from parties across the political spectrum, including the resistance movement Hezbollah. Salam's father led Lebanon's Sunni muslims for decades.
Salam served six times as prime minister between 1952 and 1973. He will head a new government that many hope will overcome the political deadlock that last month led to the resignation of his predecessor, Najib Mikati.
Mikati resigned after gridlock in his cabinet over preparations for the forthcoming legislative elections in June.
A NEW WORLD IN THE NEW WORLD
The Nasa Indigenous leader, Feliciano Valencia, is nominated as presidential pre-candidate for Colombia's 2014 elections, by the social movement Pais Comun (Common Country), representing a united alternative for Congress and the presidency of Columbia.
The objective of the new organization, as established in its election platform, is to integrate different social processes in Columbia and mobilize the people in "a political expression that projects and shows the decision of communities and peoples to rule themselves".
"We need", say their spokespeople, "a political system based on democratic and self-governing managements in local communities and towns, to overcome the deep inequalities that remain in the country and wipe out exploitation, oppression and discrimination.
"We need also that the end of the civil war succeeds in sparking the greatest popular mobilization that Colombia has ever witnessed, which is the only guarantee of peace building", say the spokespeople.
Former senator and human rights defender Piedad Cordoba, who backed this new political movement from the beginning, says that its foundations have been built through nationwide meetings, after years of resistance and popular struggle.
"Colombia needs to have a different conception of power, to be another country, a fair nation - both possible and necessary - a homeland for everyone. The country that they denied us, the one they intend to take from us", says Valencia.
WHY IS PEACE TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR?
As we hear increasingly from the US regime that the illegal war on Afghanistan and its ongoing illegal occupation is to continue and that Afghans HAVE to bow to their "civilizing" by granting immunity from prosecution, Afghanistan's suffering continues.
Ten Afghan civilians, including children, and one foreign soldier have been killed in an operation carried out by US-led forces in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar, local sources say.
The local sources in Kunar say that foreign forces launched a ground attack and an airstrike on the Shigal area.
Kunar provincial officials say the US-led forces claim that the attack was carried out to target militants. A foreign soldier was also killed in the operation.
On Thursday, six people, including four Afghan policemen and two civilians, were killed in an airstrike carried out by US-led forces in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Ghazni.
Nearly a week ago, 11 Afghans, including two children, were killed in a similar assault by foreign forces near the provincial capital city of Ghazni.
Many civilians have lost their lives in these ongoing US-led operations in Afghanistan over the last decade, with Afghans becoming increasingly outraged at the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults.
Washington claims that its airstrikes target militants, but local sources say civilians are the main victims of attacks.
Six US nationals, three army soldiers and three civilians, have been killed in two separate attacks in Afghanistan, US and Afghan officials say.
The officials said the Americans were killed last Saturday, making it the deadliest day for the US-led war in 8 months.
The officials said that three US troops and two civilians were killed when a car bomber ambushed a convoy of NATO forces in the south. An Afghan doctor was killed in the attack.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says that at least one victim was a US State Department employee. The official also says that about nine other Americans and Afghans were injured during the attack.
Another US national was also killed in a separate Taliban attack in eastern Afghanistan, the US military states.
The US Embassy in Kabul confirms that US nationals were killed in an attack in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province, but does not provide any further details.
"There are American and Afghan casualties," the embassy says in a statement. "We are still investigating the incident and cannot confirm details at this time."
Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousef Ahmadi claims responsibility for the Zabul assault.
BY DECEPTION WE WAGE WAR
The Egyptian Navy is holding a ship sailing under the flag of an unnamed African country, in which were found 105 boxes of weapons loaded in the Israeli port of Eilat.
The manifesto states that the weapons are intended for a security company based in Togo, a small West African country, but it is suspected that they might have another destination.
The Egyptian authorities forced the ship to turn to Ras Safaga Port in the Red Sea, and is holding the crew to complete the investigation, according to the Egyptian newspaper, al Shorouq.
The vessel was captured in Egyptian territorial waters while transporting a large shipment of weapons, according to the newspaper's details, quoting an anonymous security source.
The investigations by the Egyptian authorities are aimed at determining whether the shipment is legal or smuggled, but the country of origin, Israel, makes suspicion all over the world, even greater.
Hours later, a small band of "demonstrators" tried to hoist a Syrian rebel flag on the roof of the Iranian charge d'affairs' recently opened office in Egypt: but failed!
UN TELLS US - 'CLOSE CRIMINAL GITMO'
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, calls now for the closure of the US' infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
On Friday, Pillay says "I am deeply disappointed that the US government has not been able to close Guantanamo Bay. It severely undermines the United States stance… when addressing human rights violations elsewhere."
She says that the ongoing indefinite imprisonment of prisoners in Guantanamo prison is in "clear breach of international law."
"We must be clear about this: the US is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold," she states.
The senior UN human rights official makes her call, as inmates at the US military prison have been on hunger strike for almost two months.
The 166 hunger strikers stopped eating to protest against their indefinite detention without charges. They also demand an end to intrusive searches of their cells and personal belongings.
Reports show that only six of the detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison (one in 28) are facing trial. Although more than one in every two prisoners has been cleared for release, the US still keeps them locked up... and has no plans for letting them go.
RESIST CUTS? - THEN STARVE!
The United Nations has halted food distribution to tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees in the besieged Gaza Strip after demonstrators against aid cuts stormed a UN compound.
On Thursday, dozens of people in Gaza forcefully entered the office of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the blockaded Palestinian territory, calling for the reinstatement of a monthly allowance to poor Palestinian families.
The cash allowance has been cut since April 1st due to UNRWA "budget" cuts.
"We fully understand the impact the decision to suspend cash assistance had on some of our beneficiaries (sic)," the UN agency says in a statement.
It adds that the recent wave of protests has "forced" UNRWA to close many of its depots in the Gaza Strip.
"With the situation further compounded by today’s actions, all relief and distribution centres will consequently remain closed until guarantees are given by all relevant groups that UNRWA operations can continue unhindered," the UN agency statement says now.
However, Palestinian demonstrators say they will continue their protests against the aid cuts.
ISRAEL "PROVOKING 3RD INTIFADA"
The acting Palestinian Authority Chief, Mahmoud Abbas says Israel is provoking a third Palestinian Intifada (uprising) by using excessive force against protesters.
Israel "wants the situation to reach the point of a third uprising," he says on Thursday, DPA reports.
"If it cared about the security situation, it would not have used excessive force against the protesters," Abbas says.
A total of 6,200 Palestinians died during the first Intifada between 1987 and 1993 and the second one in 2000s, which were both fiercely confronted by Israel.
Hours before Abbas’ remarks, the body of a 17-year-old teenager, Naji Balbisi, is found in the West Bank. The boy was fatally shot by Israeli forces during recent clashes near the city of Tulkarm on Wednesday.
Balbisi is the cousin of Amer Nassar, another 17-year-old killed by Israelis in the same clashes.
The clashes come as Palestinians in the occupied territories protest against the death of Maisarah Abu Hamdiah, a cancer- stricken inmate, who lost his life in an Israeli jail on April 2nd due to the lack of medical care.
USA WHIPS UP "ASIA FEAR"
North Korea’s recent announcement that it is prepared to use "smaller, lighter and diversified" nuclear weapons if attacked by the US or neighboring South Korea has prompted US authorities to take precautionary measures.
The Thursday statement by Pyongyang was reportedly aimed at rebuffing the widely publicized US intelligence assessments that North Korean nuclear arms are too bulky and heavy to be deployed on ballistic missiles, The Los Angeles Times reports Thursday.
According to the report, although the US still does not believe that North Korean missile can reach the US mainland or even its Hawaii Island state, its recent deployment of missile interceptors to Guam reflects "growing concerns" that North Korea has improved its missile capabilities in recent years.
Citing a "senior US official" who spoke on condition of anonymity, the daily ties the installation of the anti-missile systems in Guam to major US concerns that Pyongyang has made improvements in the range of its ballistic missiles, "possibly giving it the ability to hit the island."
The North Korean military statement also threatened to react against any US aggression with "powerful practical military counteractions," including nuclear weapons.
"We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating US hostile policy toward North Korea and its reckless nuclear threat, will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means," the latest North Korean statement says. "The US had better ponder on the prevailing grave situation."
The development comes as the US military announced in a statement (on Wednesday) that it would deploy to its Guam Island the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD), which includes a truck-mounted launcher, a complement of interceptor missiles, an AN/TPY- 2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system.
IT'S ALL ABOUT ARMAMENT SALES
The US Defense Department has ratified the sale of advanced stealth fighter jets to South Korea as the war of words escalates between the US and N. Korea.
The Pentagon said on Wednesday it had notified Congress about the possible sale of new military hardware including two competing fighter jets -- the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 stealth fighter, or Boeing Co's F-15 Silent Eagle fighter.
The sales would also include new radars, electronic warfare systems and other equipment, it said.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign military sales, said that the US fighter jets would help South Korea "deter aggression in the region."
Seoul, which is expected to announce its decision about the purchase of 60 fighter planes later this year, should choose between the F-35, F-15 and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The war of words escalated between the US and N.Korea after the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in ongoing joint military drills with S. Korea.
On March 11th, Seoul and Washington launched their annual joint military maneuvres near the Korean Peninsula, despite warnings from Pyongyang. The drills used 10,000 S. Korean soldiers and about 3,000 US troops.
WHAT ABOUT A EUROPE FREE ZONE?
The Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (Celac) repeats at the United Nations its support for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all aspects and demands a world free of those armaments.
Celac also warns about the threat nuclear weapons and their potential use represent, and highlights that the only guarantee against this danger, is their total elimination.
Celac's stance is expressed by the Cuban alternate permanent representative at UN, Oscar Leon, at the beginning of the UN Disarmament Comission debates.
Leon states that the support of the regional organization is for "total, transparent, verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament," and "no nuclear proliferation in all aspects".
He calls on UN member states to show the necessary political flexibility and will, in a new round of talks.
Latin America and the Caribbean was the first area densely populated in the world that declared itself a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Tlatelolco Treaty, says the Cuban diplomat.
He also rejects the improvement and development of new types of these armaments and demands the elimination of any role for nuclear weapons in the strategical doctrines and security policies of states.
Leon confirms the commitment of CELAC to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the application of its main three pillars: nuclear disarmament, non proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
THIS IS CHILD ABUSE
Seven Palestinian children attacked by Jewish settlers in the West Bank remain in Nablus hospital today with injuries.
Two buses carrying children returning from a school excursion on Sunday were ambushed and stoned by Jewish immigrants settled near Nablus in the West Bank. The UN considers settlements such as theirs as illegal.
Seven children who were hit by stones and fragments of bus window glass remain hospitalized, says a Palestinian spokesperson, who adds that the children are aged 7 to 11.
According to the Palestinian Government, the residents of these settlements are mainly fanatical Zionists who attack the autonomous population almost every day, with the protection of the Israeli Army, to force Palestinians to leave the area en masse.
How can the world take the Jordanian leader seriously as he gathers applause for swearing to protect all the holy sites of Palestine, while helping Israel to bring the main resistance government down in Syria...?
On March 17th, Syria's al-Watan daily revealed in a special report that hundreds of jihadists equipped with light and medium machine guns, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, as well as four- wheel drive vehicles had entered Syria from Jordan, through the southern province of Daraa.
"Thus, Jordan has succumbed to the United States and Gulf States' pressure to become, like Lebanon and Turkey, a passage to the jihadists and arms into Syria," the paper said.
YOUNGSTERS SENT TO COMMIT ATROCITIES
Another prominent Syrian cleric is assassinated and his body mutilated by terrorists in Syria...
New evidence on the sending of Tunisian mercenaries to Syria to join gangs fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, are revealed in the Syrian media today.
An article by the Tunisian newspaper al-Shuruk, which SANA news agency reprints, notes that in Sidi Bouzid city, in the south of the country, young people are being recruited by force to send them to Syria to fight in what they call Jihad.
According to the newspaper, a group is already in Turkey, where they are receiving training before entering combat.
Several sources indicate that recruits on Turkish territory undergo intensive training for one month, during which they are trained in handling various types of weapons and in tactics during "irregular" combat.
The source adds that at least a dozen of them have died so far, in clashes with the Syrian Armed Forces.
The source also adds that many Tunisian citizens are demanding that the authorities interfere to save these young people and detect people and networks recruiting them and then forcing them to fight in Syria.
The young people coming from Tunisia are treated as slaves and prisoners in the Syrian mercenary groups, which leads them to escape and return to their place of origin, stresses the source.
In early March, the Tunisian Tanit Presse newspaper described this as a new episode in the Tunisian youth's Holocaust, because there are networks that pay and encourage poor youngsters to fight in Syria, with the official silence of the Tunisian authorities.
NATO's BIGGEST TOOL?
Turkey’s main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, says Ankara has shot itself in the foot with its hostile anti-Syria policy.
Speaking in the southern city of Adana, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) condemns PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stance towards Damascus.
Kilicdaroglu accuses Erdogan of siding with Saudi Arabia and Qatar against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
He says the Turkish government’s stance towards Syria is not in line with his country’s national interests, but instead serves the interests of the US, Germany, and France.
The opposition leader says these anti-Syria policies will leave Turkey isolated in the region. He says Turkey should focus on gaining allies in the region, not turning them away.
In February, Kilicdaroglu criticized Erdogan’s policy on Syria, calling it a "grave mistake." He also said that as a result of Ankara’s financial and military support for the Syrian opposition, increasing numbers of Syrian people are losing their lives.
Protests have been held in Turkey against the Turkish government's anti-Syria policies over the past months.
JORDANIANS DEMAND CHANGE
In Jordan, demonstrators have taken to the streets, demanding that the government make political reforms and take measures to improve the country’s economy.
Protesters gathered in Jordan’s northern province of Irbid, and chanted anti-government slogans.
They called on Amman to take action to reduce prices, including fuel rates.
Activists say a number of protesters were arrested as clashes broke out between police and demonstrators.
Oh, Turkey, Whither Turkey?
Turkish officials say the country’s security forces have seized a huge firearms cache near the border with Syria.
The officials said the weapons were found in a warehouse in a village near the Turkish town of Akcakale, Reuters reports.
The cache, destined for Syria, included over 5,000 shotguns and rifles, starting pistols, gunstocks and 10,000 cartridges
The 35-year-old depot owner has reportedly been detained.
A report by AP says those Middle East countries supporting militant groups in Syria, have dramatically stepped up weapons supplies to the militants who are fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The report cites an unnamed senior Arab official saying that a carefully prepared covert operation involving Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and Qatar, was arming the militants.
The Arab official, whose government is participating in the operation, also states that the number of arms airlifts to the militants has doubled over the past weeks, as those countries, in coordination with the US, are moving forward now, with a "master plan" to seize Damascus.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar provide the funding for the weapons, while Turkey and Jordan both provide land channels for the shipments, the report says, adding that Jordan has denied any involvement at all.
Sweden-based arms trafficking expert Hugh Griffiths says the militants have received some 3,500 tons of military equipment since early 2012. He points to at least 160 airlifts of weapons from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan.
LURCHING TOWARDS CONFRONTATION WITH RUSSIA
Russia says the Arab League’s recent decisions about Syria mean it refuses to allow "a peaceful settlement".
"We have learned the results of the Arab League summit in Doha with regret, I can tell you frankly," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says. "We consider the main meaning of the decisions made, is that the Arab League has refused a peaceful settlement for Syria." Lavrov adds.
On March 26th, the Arab League gave Syria’s seat to its opposition bloc, known as the National Coalition, during a two-day summit held in the Qatari capital, Doha.
The League also authorized its members to send all the means of what it called self-defense, including weapons, to militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Lavrov also points to the Arab League’s recognition of the opposition coalition as the sole representative of the Syrians, saying this casts questions on the position of Lakhdar Brahimi as the joint UN-Arab League special representative for Syria.
"I simply cannot see how Mr. Brahimi could still be considered not only the UN mediator, but for the Arab League as well," the Russian official says.
The Russian minister goes on to describe the League’s decision to arm foreign-backed militants in Syria as an "encouragement" of violence which would have a "bitter end."
"In terms of international law, the league's decision on Syria is illegal and indefensible because the government of the Syrian Arab Republic was and is the legitimate representative member state at the UN," the Russian ministry says.
Many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence that broke out in Syria in March, 2011.
Only a legitimate representative member state at the UN can act as "government" in international arenas. AL is clearly breaching many international laws, but this move came right after John Kerry's direct meting with al-khatib. The US and Israel are using AL to legitimize these illegal foreign-backed armed gangs as "government" to bypass any Russia/China vetoes at the UNSC --- and legitimizing a military intervention is the next step --- because a "government" can call for foreign military intervention, legally. This is a clear US/Israeli step towards the "bitter end" of an all-out-war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an unexpected military exercise involving dozens of ships and thousands of troops in the Black Sea.
Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says that Putin issued the order for the large-scale maneuvers overnight as he flew back from the South African city of Durban, after a summit of the BRICS group of emerging powers.
Peskov says the drill is to test the battle-readiness of Russia’s Black Sea units. "These are large-scale unannounced test exercises. The main goal is to check the readiness and cohesion of the various units,” he says.
The ships taking part in the exercise have already left the Russia-leased Sevastopol port in Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula, the Russian spokesperson adds.
According to a Kremlin statement, the drill will involve 36 vessels, up to 7,000 troops and "a number" of aircraft. The statement does not say how long the exercise will last.
Russian foreign affairs analyst Fyodor Lukyanov, who is also the editor of Russia in Global Affairs journal, says, "It is muscle-flexing, and may have more to do with what is happening in the Mediterranean, around Syria, than in the Black Sea.”
In January, Russia launched its largest naval exercises in decades in the Mediterranean and Black Seas near the territorial waters of Syria.
Moscow said the drills were “held in line with the Russian Armed Forces’ 2013 combat training plan," and focused on the "interoperability of task forces from several fleets while on a mission in a far-off maritime zone.”
In addition to Georgia and Ukraine, Russia shares the Black Sea with Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.
Obama's trip to Israel was followed by John Kerry's direct meeting with foreign-backed armed gangs and AL's illegal attempt to legitimize them as a "government". This is a clear step towards an all-out-war, starting from Syria, probably in Rajab. This Russian military drill seams to be related to these US/Israeli warmongering provocations.
Nobel prize for Obama and the EU! Who's next? Pinochet? A posthumous one for Hitler?
Just before the 2nd World War, millions about to die, were unaware, or chose to ignore the signs.
Will YOU be the same?
Join with others, or act alone, but DO something!
OBAMA THE CRIMINAL?
The plight of hunger strikers at the US’s notorious Guantanamo detention facility has been deepening as the prison authorities refuse to supply the inmates with drinking water and keep them in "extremely frigid" cells.
A group of lawyers states in an emergency motion filed with a federal court in Washington, that the Gitmo guards refuse to provide drinking water to hunger strikers and keep camp temperatures "extremely frigid", to break the strike.
The lawyers also say the lack of drinkable water had led to medical conditions affecting the kidneys, urinary system and the stomach of the prisoners on strike.
Over a hundred Guantanamo inmates have been on hunger strike since early February. They are demanding an end to their indefinite detention.
More than 160 inmates have been kept at Guantanamo without charge since the early 2000s.
Russia Today website says that activists across the world have launched a week- long fast to voice their solidarity with the hunger-striking inmates at Guantanamo.
The campaign, organized by the rights group Witness Against Torture, began on March 24th and is to last until March 30th.
"We will gather for action in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities domestically and internationally to denounce the barbaric practice of torture and indefinite detention and to demand justice for the men at Guantanamo," WAT states.
It took a lot to break African Americans away from their care for humanity and political activism - a token black US President - and now US blacks are as guilty as all !
EGYPT's PRESIDENT: ELECTIONS IN OCTOBER
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi says that Egypt's parliamentary elections are likely to be held in October, the MENA news agency reports on Wednesday.
On the sidelines of the Arab League summit, Morsi met with oversea Egyptians in Qatar's capital Doha late on Tuesday evening, where he revealed that the first session of the People's Assembly ( the lower house of parliament) will be held before the end of 2013.
He expects that the Shura Council (the upper house of parliament), will complete the draft of parliamentary election law within two weeks, and send it to the Supreme Constitutional Court for approval. On Tuesday, the Shura Council approved, in principle, a new draft election law to regulate the elections.
On Sunday, Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court delayed reviewing appeals against the suspension of parliamentary elections due to be held originally on April 7th this year, but cancelled by the Court.
QUEEN TO SIGN UK's PLUNGE INTO FASCISM?
The UK's answer to "rendition", torture and Gitmo is about to become reality, as secret trials approved by MPs at Westminster is passed by the undemocratic "House of Lords".
The UK's Human rights group Amnesty International and the legal charity Reprieve both condemn the ratification of the governments’ secret courts plan by the House of Lords, as a "terrible day for British justice".
The Labour party had tabled amendments to the Coalition’s Bill, known as the "secret courts" proposals, that sought to ensure that the extension of Closed Material Procedures (CMPs) would only happen if a judge ruled that reaching a fair verdict was impossible "by any other means".
But the Lords rejected even that amendment with a majority of 16, thus paving the way for the hugely-controversial plan to become law within a few weeks.
"This is a terrible day for British justice. After fierce lobbying by the government, peers have failed to restore even minimal amendments previously included to this deeply damaging bill," says Tim Hancock, AI's UK campaigns director.
"The cherished and vitally important principle that justice must be done - and seen to be done - has been dealt a serious blow this evening," he adds.
Reprieve's executive director Clare Algar says the secret courts will "do irreparable damage" to the UK’s reputation.
"It is deeply shameful that the government has been allowed to push these plans through parliament, despite the total lack of evidence that they are needed. Secret courts will do irreparable damage to our reputation as a country which respects fair play and the rule of law," she says.
UK officials claim that the Justice and Security Bill is designed to protect national security by preventing confidential information from being exposed.
Amnesty says the plan gives the government the power to "simply play the 'national security' card whenever it wants to keep things secret".
The UK "Coalition" government now only needs the Queen’s assent to formally unveil the secret courts as a new law.Any bets on whether or not she does?
It will draw a dark black stain on her "reign" as Queen, which started with the end of war and freedom for many of "her" colonies, and ends with THIS...
the UK supporting illegal terror abroad, in the name of democracy and freedom, with dark secret trials passed by a corrupt spineless parliament for their beaten, gutless population at home.
If Charles were "king", would he sign this bill?
STUFF OBAMA FOR GITMO
Activists across the world have launched a week-long fast to voice their solidarity with hunger-striking inmates at the United States’ infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
The campaign,organized by Witness Against Torture (WAT), began on March 24 and is scheduled to last until March 30.
The rights group states that some activists are set to fast every Friday until the prison is closed.
Protest rallies are also scheduled to be staged, demanding that Gitmo be closed, and now !
"We will gather for action in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities domestically and internationally next week to denounce the barbaric practice of torture and indefinite detention and to demand justice for the men at Guantanamo," WAT states.
Andy Worthington, a human rights advocate, told Russia Today, "Those of us working to close Guantanamo are up against powerful forces of indifference or hostility to our cause, despite the obvious justice of our position. People should not - must not - be put off by this indifference or hostility."
On March 25, a Gitmo prison spokesman said there were 28 prisoners on hunger strike, up from 21 a week earlier.
Hunger-striking detainees at Gitmo are angry at the disrespect shown to the Holy Qur’an and confiscation of their personal items.
The United States holds about 166 men at the prison. A mass hunger strike involved many prisoners in the summer of 2005, but the protest dwindled after the military began tying people down and force-feeding them liquid nutrients through tubes to prevent them from starving to death.
TWO AND TWO IS...?
When Blair and Bush said that the "War On Terror" was going to last 50 years, they spoke with so much certainty, because they almost spoke the Truth.
As the terror in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, etc, unfolds, we begin to see why. The terror war is being waged all right, and it's going to plan. Our plan. Your - our - government's plan.
The New York Times reports that the CIA have "recently stepped up" their supply of arms to the "armed groups" in Syria, and have been supplying them through Jordan and Turkey since 2012. The paper gives detailed figures.
The group being supplied is largely al Nasra, an extremist Saudi-backed sect, which just used chemical weapons on civilians in Aleppo.
The only thing Bush and Blair "got wrong", when they "predicted" fifty years of terror, was the name:- the 'War On Terror' turns out to be the war OF terror, and if you fail to protest against YOUR government's connivence in this evil, you are also culpable under law.
Don't imagine that, because the USA, the policing super-state is criminal, that YOU are excused.
Act today to stop state-sponsored terrorism, and tell your representative how you feel !
NO TO "PARTIAL" FREEZE
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat rejects any partial Israeli settlement freeze to restart peace negotiations now between Israel and Palestinians.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry met the acting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu separately on Saturday, to talk about ending the four-year deadlock.
There had been speculation that the US would propose a partial construction halt in the West Bank, but US President Barack Obama backtracked on his previous position last week and supported Israeli policy, saying that the Palestinians should return to talks to "sort out" the settlement issue.
Mr Erekat says today that the Palestinians do not seek a confrontation with the Obama administration, but clearly reiterates that nothing short of a full freeze will bring them back to negotiations.
He says they will wait for 'up to three months' to see if the US can come up with a way out of the deadlock.
"We want to co-operate with the US administration, not clash with it," he says, as Israel dismantles the tent camp set up by Palestinians to protest against Israeli plans to build a large West Bank settlement near Jerusalem. About 200 Israeli police officers forcibly removed 40 demonstrators from the camp.
Three protesters were arrested, but no-one injured.
The Arab League (AL) issued a communiqué on Saturday condemning the attack that devastated the Al Iman mosque in Damascus and killed the prominent Syrian cleric, Said Al Buti and several believers.
Such criminal attacks, especially those aimed at the house of God and believers are condemnable in the most severe terms, says the text, signed by AL's Secretary General, Nabil el Arabi.
The statement also demands that the perpetrators of such crimes, be brought to justice.
The communiqué coincided with the opening session of the 24th Summit of the Arab League, on Saturday, with a meeting of top level officials.
If you haven't heard about the Gitmo hungerstrike, due to a blackout in the Western media, go to the top of our Poetry Page, then to our Peace Events page... and then please DO something!
TURKEY AND ISRAEL WATCH AS SYRIA's FIRE SPREADS
Followers of Lebanese outgoing PM Najib Miqati, block the highways leading to the city of Tripoli, in southern Lebanon. During Saturday night and Sunday morning, fights with medium-caliber weapons were reported between followers and opponents of the Syrian President, Bashar al Assad.
Some days ago, the Syrian government warned that it was impossible to keep tolerating infiltrations of armed elements into Syria from Lebanon.
Hours later, the Lebansese authorities reported an attack by the Syrian air force on a building in which elements recruited from abroad are supposed to gather to join the rebels.
Miqati submitted his resignation to Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman on Friday, for the second time since October 2012.
As the West strengthens Israel through engineering Netanyahu's "apology", alarm bells ring as now Turkey and Israeli miltary co-operation through NATO is hugely enhanced, further threatening Syria and most of the Middle East... yet Turkey can also bring strength to support the Palestinians... and, if Turkey's leaders dare to trade too far, they will be replaced.
This "Top down" diplomatic coup by Obama, is matched by public distaste within Turkey.
However, the strengthening position of the BRICS countries continues, with both "top down and bottom up", moves, with a new BRICS development bank to replace the West's 'Troika' of IMF, World Bank, etc, being created as you read this.
The new bank and other arrangements to boost regional bonds, are creating a new world economy based on "win-win", not predation.. and it's being formed in Africa, central and southern America, Asia, and Eastern Europe.
So the West's "solution" of war on Syria, Iraq, Iran, the Lebanon, etc, can only fail or lead to unimaginable wars, while the developing world can now be lifted towards peace.
The new Chinese leadership today stresses sovereignty over Western "intervention", and agrees with Putin to strengthen their interparliamentary union conferences, as will, surely, the many African states now gathered by invitation at the BRICS summit.
PRESCOTT DENIES WARMONGERING
(In an interview with RT News,) JOHN PRESCOTT, former LABOUR Deputy PM:
"We’re not learning the lessons of Iraq. It doesn’t bring peace. Shock and awe might win militarily, but the weeks that follow cause an awful lot of deaths amongst civilians" The former deputy PM argues that the drive to intervene in Syria and Iran is "almost the Crusades again. The West's "superior values" now have to be planted in these countries. I mean, at the end of the day, what are we doing now? We’re providing bullet protection equipment for the rebels [in Syria] while civilians are being killed and driven out of the country."
"Iraq teaches simply", he argues, "that, by getting rid of the leader, it doesn’t bring peace. No." But, he says, the US is insisting, as with Iraq, and despite its illegality, on war after war, without any legal, official UN approval.
Prescott warns that the West must relinquish control to the people in the Middle East to choose their own destiny. ___________________________
US TORTURING THE TRUTH
The US military’s southern command plans to build a new prison quarters at Guantanamo Bay military base for "special" detainees.
The notorious CAMP 7, whose existence and location have been denied, is apparently being replaced....
The US Southern Command has asked for $49 million to construct a new jail at the Guantanamo military prison and torture facility for "special" inmates and other required renovations, "since Congress has decided to keep it open indefinitely," The New York Times reports on Friday.
The amount, if approved, will take the taxpayer's price for upgrading the prison, to an estimated $196 million, the report adds, citing military officials.
The Obama administration has failed to shut down 'Gitmo', despite the repeated pledges made for closing the facility, before and immediately after being elected into office.
On Thursday a NATO soldier is killed by Afghan troops. On Friday, another is reported killed. No details. _____________________
THE MARK OF CAIN
Three US Marines are reported killed in a shooting incident at a major military training base in Quantico, Virginia just south of the capital Washington DC.
The shooting began at 11pm on Thursday, when one individual was reported shot and killed by a suspect who then barricaded himself in the military barracks in a standoff with base authorities, that continued into early this Friday morning, according to a base spokesperson.
The spokesperson, Lt. Agustin Solivan, later announced that as authorities at the base gained entry into the barracks where the suspect had barricaded himself, they found the dead bodies of the shooting suspect, along with yet another victim.
Military officials have so far not identified those killed in the incident, but say that all three were US Marines.
Lt. Solivan says the base authorities believe the suspect was a staff member at the 'officer candidate school' at the military site.
In a "training accident" earlier this week at a US military base in the western state of Nevada, seven marines were reported killed and several were injured.
Shooting incidents across the US keep occurring after the shooting massacre at an elementary school in Connecticut last December, when 20 children and seven adults were killed.
So far, US officials and lawmakers have failed to agree on any laws to control access to firearms in the country.
WARMONGERS UK AND FRANCE SLAPPED
"I have decided to conduct a UN investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria," Ban Ki-moon tells reporters Thursday, specifying that the investigation will focus on the Aleppo attack, "the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian government."
The statement made by the UN secretary-general is in response to the official request made by the Syrian authorities on Wednesday, to appoint an independent investigation into the March 19th chemical attack on the outskirts of Aleppo which claimed the lives of at least 25 people.
The UN investigators will cooperate with experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the World Health Organization.
"I am, of course, aware that there are other allegations of similar cases involving the reported use of chemical weapons," Ban says.
The UN decision to investigate the Aleppo chemical attack as a single case snubs the position of the UK and France, which backed claims by the Western backed Syrian opposition that there were two chemical weapons attacks, one in Aleppo and another in Damascus, and demanded that both be investigated by the United Nations simultaneously.
PROPAGANDA BALLOONS AND GELATINE DOMES
Russia accuses the UK, US and France, of trying to stop an urgent investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons by Western-backed terrorists in Syria.
Russia condemns the UK and France for delaying a UN probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons by militants in Syria at the UN Security Council.
Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin tells reporters that the UK and France want to focus on two alleged chemical weapons attacks rather than the one in Aleppo, as they are engaged in unnecessary “delaying tactics”.
"Instead of launching those propaganda balloons I think that it’s much better to get our focus right and I hope this is what the secretary general is doing," Churkin says.
Syria asked the United Nations on Wednesday to order an "independent" investigation into the use of chemical weapons by foreign-backed militants in the northwestern city of Aleppo, which killed 25 people.
Where, in the UK, are the voices raised to support Syria? Or are all the Liberal voices of the UK colluding again, as they did during the West's aggression on Libya?
Where is "STOP THE WAR"?
AND THE GELATINE DOME?
As US President Barack Obama hails the ‘resounding success’ of Israel’s US-financed Iron Dome antimissile system on the first day of his tour there, missile experts reveal now that the so-called Iron Dome’s success rate during the regime’s November war on Gaza.... was as low as zero.
While Obama used his Wednesday’s tour of an Iron Dome installation, "celebrating a technological wonder built with the help of American dollars" and seeking to showcase US support of the Zionist regime, there was no mention about the "intensifying debate" on whether the promotion of the system's success rate was "more illusory than real," says The New York Times article on Thursday.
Contrary to Israeli claims that the 'Iron Dome' success rate in destroying incoming Palestinian rockets during the regime's massive military strikes against the blockaded Gaza strip was 90%, studies by weapons experts in the US and Israel suggest that the anti-missile system "destroyed no more than 40% of the rockets, "and perhaps far fewer," the report emphasizes.
Many rockets, they argue, were "merely crippled or deflected" but not destroyed as claimed, allowing intact or dying rockets to fall on populated areas.
After the wildly exaggerated claims by the Israeli regime about the 'Iron Dome' success rate, the US Congress also described the system as "very effective," pledging an additional USD680 million for deployments through 2015.
According to the report, Richard Lloyd, a weapons expert who has written a critique of 'Iron Dome' for engineers and weapons designers, and Theodore Postol, a physicist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who helped reveal major Patriot antimissile failures in 1991, have both analyzed new videos on the performance of the Israeli anti-missile system and found that 'Iron Dome' "repeatedly failed to hit its targets head-on."
"It’s very hard to see how it could be more than 5 or 10%," the report quotes Dr. Postol as saying, re the success rate.
The US daily adds that Mordechai Shefer, an Israeli rocket scientist formerly with Rafael, Iron Dome’s maker, studied about 24 videos and, in a study published last month, "concluded that the kill rate was zero."
Meanwhile, the paper underlines, any Israeli decision on whether to take military action against the Islamic Republic of Iran, as it has repeatedly threatened, hinges on the estimate of possible retaliatory costs, "including damage inflicted by rockets fired from southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip," and by Iran's long-range ballistic missiles.
Israel offers its population of settler immigrants from the US, complete safety - under the 'Iron Dome' - from rocket fire from Gaza "as proof" that it can tolerate retaliatory strikes, the report adds, citing the Israeli antimissile program’s founder, Uzi Rubin.
After the Gaza cease-fire last year, the report notes, Lloyd began scrutinizing "hundreds of online videos of Iron Dome in action," looking for "unambiguous signs of success: pairs of fireballs (at night) or smoke clouds (during the day) that formed as speeding fragments blew up a warhead."
"He found very few," the daily states.
Lloyds method of video analysis won scientific backing during the 1991 US-led Persian Gulf war against Iraq, as the US military boasted that its Patriot interceptors, built to protect Israel against potential missile attacks by Iraqi dictator at the time Saddam Hussein, had succeeded 96% of the time.
MIT scientist, however, "analyzed broadcast videos and found only misses," according to the Times' report.
In Israel, Lloyd is supported by Reuven Pedatzur, a military analyst and former fighter pilot, who found an Israeli police report saying that 109 rockets launched from Gaza - roughly twice the military’s figure - hit urban areas.
Pedatzur further discovered "evidence of wide destruction" inflicted by rockets fired by Palestinian Hamas militants. A Finance Ministry report registered 3,165 claims of property damage, "including to cars and buildings in cities like Ashdod and Beersheba, both protected by Iron Dome battalions."
AND PALESTINIANS TENT PROTEST EMBARASSES OBAMA
On Thursday, activists in the West Bank call Obama a supporter of Israeli "settlement" expansion, as he visits Israel, and call on the world to stop Israeli theft of land.
As warmongers create a "culture" of fear and division, with tactical nuclear threat flights by the USAF over Korea, and news today of WMD poison chemical attacks by proxy terrorists in Syria, we can rise above these attempts to create stress neuroses, by listening to the words below...
Ban Ki-moon sends a Nowruz message:
The UN Secretary-General has sent a message on the International Day of Nowruz, expressing hope that people will use the occasion to reflect on the power of culture to promote peace. “On this International Day of Nowruz, I offer my best wishes to those who celebrate, and express hope that all people can use the occasion to reflect on the beauty of nature, the promise of spring and the power of culture to build peace.”
Originating in Iran’s ancient history, Nowruz is celebrated by over 300 million people worldwide on March 21st, the day of the spring Equinox, which marks the sun’s crossing of the Equator and the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Ban defines Nowruz as a special time of the year that brings different people from across a richly diverse region together, in “celebration of the larger forces that unite us.”
Nowruz is one of the oldest and most cherished of festivals, celebrated for at least 3,000 years.
The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010, and the festivities are now celebrated in places as distant as the US & Canada.
Militants carried out Aleppo chemical attack: Russia
Russia says it has information proving that it was militants fighting the Syrian government who used chemical weapons on Tuesday.
According to Syria’s official news agency SANA, at least 25 people were killed and many injured in the northern city of Aleppo, after militants fired missiles containing "poisonous gas" into Aleppo’s Khan al-Assal village on Tuesday. Women and children are reported to be among the victims.
"A case of the use of chemical weapons by the armed opposition was recorded early in the morning of March the 19th in Aleppo province," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement shortly after the attack.
"We are very seriously concerned by the fact that weapons of mass destruction are falling into the hands of the rebels, which further worsens the situation in Syria and raises the confrontation in the country to a new level," the statement adds.
Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi describes the militants’ use of chemical weapons as the "first act" of the so-called opposition interim government.
He also says that Turkey and Qatar, which support militants fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, bear "legal, moral and political responsibility" for the chemical attack in Aleppo.
Foreign-backed militants, who threatened to use chemical weapons against government army forces and Assad supporters just a few months ago, deny using chemical weapons and accuse "government forces" of the crime.
The attack comes just hours after the opposition 'National Coalition' elects Ghassan Hitto, a former US-based IT executive, as "prime minister" for what it calls an "interim government".
The United Nations praises the opening on Wednesday of a trial for genocide in Guatemala against ex president Efraín Ríos Montt and ex intelligence chief José Rodríguez, both ex generals.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, urges Guatemalan authorities to protect from intimidation and reprisal, the judges, attorneys, lawyers and others who are involved in the trial.
In a statement from Geneva, Pillay says this is an historic trial for genocide and crimes against humanity that must bring the "long awaited justice for thousands of victims" of the 36 year-long terror in Guatemala.
She welcomes the decision by the Constitutional Court of Guatemala to deny an appeal on the grounds of unconstitutionality, filed by the defense team, because genocide and crimes against humanity "must never be covered by amnesties."
This is the first time in the world that a former head of State is being tried for genocide by a national court, says Pillay. as she highlights that the trial is being held in Guatemala, 30 years after the events.
The two defendants are considered as the alleged masterminds of the killing of 1,771 native people from the Mayan Ixil ethnic group, mostly elderly people and children, between 1982-1983.
The Obama administration is now openly supporting UK and French warmongers' plans to arm terrorists entering Syria to fight the government of Bashar al-Assad, Associated Press reports.
These terrorists have been involved in rape, extortion, kidnapping, and the planting of bombs in residential areas....
Yet Secretary of State John Kerry justifies it by saying that Syria's conflict is becoming a "global catastrophe."
Kerry says "the world" needs to change Syrian President Bashar Assad's calculations, AP reports.
"If he believes he can shoot it out, Syrians and the region have a problem, and the world has a problem," Kerry says, after meeting Australia's FM, Bob Carr.
"The United States does not stand in the way of other countries that make a decision to provide arms, whether it's France or Britain or others."
Up until recently, Obama and other US officials had said that sending more weapons into Syria would make peace harder. But as the illegal aim of regime change has failed, the US government is now changing the message.
The US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, says al-Qaeda is working alongside Syria’s armed opposition, says Russia Today, as the Los Angeles Times reports that the CIA is collecting information inside Syria for possible lethal drone strikes "later".
Although the US publicly claims its role in Syria is limited to providing food and medical supplies to anti-government militants, a Croatian newspaper, Jutarnji List, revealed on March 7th, that the US has coordinated weapons shipments from Croatia to Syria, and Syrian rebels claim that hundreds of their fighters are being given sophisticated-weapons training, which is organized and authorized by the US in nearby Jordan.
A senior rebel spokesperson, by request unnamed, will not comment on whether the trainers are US military troops or contractors, but does say that 300 fighters have already completed the course, and crossed the border into Syria last Thursday.
The training is said to include the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry, the latter aimed at a vital part of the regime's military power, which has so far kept the Western-backed terrorism in check. More are currently undergoing training, he says.
Asked about the rebel spokesman's claims, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the US doesn't "provide lethal aid to the Syrian opposition."
"But we do provide assistance that is continually ramped up... and we're constantly reviewing our assistance programs to the Syrian people (sic) through humanitarian aid to the Syrian opposition," Carney tells CNN.
Where is the UN on this, or NAM, or BRICS on this, as US state officials are encouraging illegal acts? Can the US, France and UK openly encourage terror on yet another country which stops US/Zionist plans, while our "multi-polar" world refuses to call a General Assembly meeting to stop this evil terror succeeding?
IT'S ALL FOR THE CHILDREN
Cuban President Raul Castro says that the smiles and happiness of children focused the efforts of the revolutionary process started in Cuba on January 1st, in 1959.
"If there was one single reason to justify the struggles we have had for more than fifty years, that would be the happiness of you: only that would repay so much effort," Castro says, after attending a performance of the play "Y sin embargo se mueve" (And yet it moves), by Cuban children's theatre company, La Colmenita.
According to a note published by Granma newspaper, Raul Castro said that "If the only result of all we did was the smiles of our children, we would be satisfied."
In his conversation with the children, Raul Castro recalls a recent encounter with a little girl living in the eastern Cuban mountains.
"Before the Revolution reached those mountain ranges, children died of different diseases, lived in appalling poverty, were illiterate, and covered their eyes as a sign of sadness when any stranger approached them. That's why, if we had to start all over again, we would do it," the Cuban head of State says.
THE STINK IN OUR NOSTRILS
A hunger strike by prisoners at the US’s Guantanamo Bay detention facility enters its 41st consecutive day, as medical experts and lawyers warn of the deteriorating health of over 100 hunger strikers.
Lawyers and medical officials are all concerned about the critical condition of the prisoners, who began their hunger strike on February 6th, after 'Gitmo' staff reportedly seized personal belongings from the inmates, including letters, photographs and copies of the Qur’an while searching cells.
Dr. Mark Mason, anthropologist, says: "They are indeed threatening their own lives, putting their lives on the line in this heroic effort to express a sense of autonomy, outrage at being imprisoned in what can be characterized as nothing less than a kind of American medieval torture chamber."
"That context, where we have individuals incarcerated, isolated from each other, and they don’t know if they are going to get out tomorrow or never. That sets off a circumstance for extreme psychological stress."
Even Guantanamo spokesperson Navy Captain Robert Durand, has said that the hunger strike is a "widespread phenomenon." He confessed on March 15th, that the number of inmates on hunger strike was increasing, but claimed that only 14 inmates were participating in the protest move.
Pardiss Kebriaei, a lawyer for one of the detainees, says: "If the definition of a hunger striker is entirely in their control and is a matter of their discretion, then I think that explains how they are able to say that there are no more than a handful of men on hunger strike."
On March 14th, 45 of the detainees' lawyers sent an open letter to US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to highlight the mass hunger strike and called on Hagel to act to end the strike.
The United Nations recently issued a statement saying that the US is violating international human rights laws, by holding detainees indefinitely and without charge.
US President Barack Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay facility down, before the end of his first term in office. He has failed to fulfill the promise, however.
TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TO ACT NOW!!!
US HITTING REALITY WALL
The United States has cancelled the final phase of its European missile shield plan due to development problems and a lack of money.
At a press conference in Washington on Friday, the US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the fourth and final phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for missile defense... has been canceled.
According to the original plan, upgraded interceptors were to be deployed in Poland and probably Romania early in the next decade, and this was very strongly opposed by Russia.
It is expected that the cancellation of that phase of the plan will reduce tensions between the US and Russia.
The cancellation is part of a restructuring plan, which includes spending $1 billion to add 14 new interceptors to the 26 that are already in underground silos in Alaska, by 2017.
"The purpose is to add to the protection of the US homeland already provided by our current GBIs [Ground-Based Interceptors] against missile threats," Hagel says.
Some experts say the decision could pave the way for additional nuclear arms reductions by the US and Russia.
"Cancelling phase 4 opens the door to another round of US-Russian nuclear arms reductions," Tom Collina, research director at the Arms Control Association, tells Associated Press.
TURKISH PARLIAMENT ASKED TO INVESTIGATE TERROR SUPPORT
A member of the Turkish Parliament, Tan-Tan to, has asked parliament to investigate the support of the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for mercenaries who come to fight in Syria, stresses the media here today.
The Turkish member of the Party for Peace and Democracy, has asked the National Council (Parliament) to form a commission of inquiry to clarify the responsibility of the Justice and Development Party "and that of Erdogan," - in supplying weapons to insurgents and facilities to penetrate into Syria, reports SANA news agency.
During a press conference held at Parliament headquarters, Tan talked about the dozens of complaints by Turkish families over the sending of their children to fight under false identities.
According to the deputy, Ankara's policy toward Damascus has raised fears about the risks the terrorist groups supported by the government pose within Turkey itself, the daily quotes.
Three days ago, another Turkish legislature Orhan Dozjohn, blamed Premier Erdogan for sending youngsters from Turkey to fight in Syria as mercenaries.
According to the parliament, Erdogan's administration has now changed its policy of zero problems with its neighbours, to one of 'zero neighbours'.
VIETNAM, 45 YEARS AFTER 'MY LAI MASSACRE'
In 1968, US troops gang-raped and mutilated women, murdered old men, women and even small babies, in their war on a brave people.
US forces were highly racist throughout the war, referring to the Vietnamese as "gooks".
Today, the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung, approves 'Strategy for Nationalities', (of which, within modern Vietnam, there are 54). By 2020, he says, this plan will have achieved a far higher standard of living for disadvantaged families within all Vietnamese communities.
The plan aims to reduce the percentage of households experiencing economic scarcity to four percent, and reduce poverty in regions with more acute situations, to five percent.
Among its main objectives is to improve the per capita income of ethnic minorities, partly by increasing areas of productive agricultural land.
To develop educational levels, it also includes the creation of vocational training centres to aid Vietnam's industrialization and modernisation.
Economic restructuring, job creation and the exploitation of local potential, with emphasis on the production of coffee, cashew nuts, pepper, rubber and tea, as well as ecotourism, are also included in the strategy.
A proposed amendment to the 1992 Constitution, currently undergoing wide public consultation, also highlights the importance of all 54 nationalities in the greater unity of today's Vietnam.
ISRAEL "EXAMINES" SUNNI-SHIA DIVIDE
Israel's Sunni-Shia Division conference
An Israeli university held a conference last Sunday ...on the Sunni-Shia division in the Muslim world.
The conference, dubbed 'Sunni-Shia Division', was held on Tel Aviv University campus on March 10th.
Such conferences seek to pit Salafists in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, against Shia Muslims in several other countries in the Middle East and other parts of the world.
James Jennings, president, Conscience International:
"When you think about the strategy Israel has used over time, to divide and rule... there is nothing intrinsically wrong with studying such things, as long as one does it sincerely and if you bring people in who represent that point of view, but I’m afraid... this is not that".
FRENCH AND UK NOW OPENLY CRIMINAL!!!
France and the UK wanted to send weapons to terrorists in Syria, despite the arms embargo forbidding EU states from such an action... but the EU said 'no'.
Paris and London asked for the date of the next EU meeting on the Syrian arms embargo to be brought forward, adding that they would arm the militants... even if the EEC said they couldn't.
Germany and Austria said a firm 'no'. But then, they both know only too well, what the result of breaking the Geneva Conventions can be...!
On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned his UK counterpart Hague, that arming the 'militants' in Syria, is a violation of international law.
"International law does not allow, does not permit supplies of arms to non-governmental actors and, from our point of view, it is a violation of international law," Lavrov said.
These 'militants', a recent report by the UK-based Save the Children, says, are using children as "porters, runners and human shields.”
The report also says that one monitoring group has documented the "deaths of at least 17 children associated with armed groups" since the start of the conflict in Syria, over two years ago.
Stop any arrogant criminal war on Syria, especially you who live in the UK or France!
The EU reaffirms this week that the only solution to the Syrian crisis is a political one, and Russia also voices its hope for a political settlement, despite obstacles.
In Brussels on Monday, EU foreign ministers discussed the situation in Syria with Lakhdar Brahimi, of the UN mission and Arab League special representative for Syria.
Ashton, the EU special representative, calls for peace that day, as a UN official is killed in Syria by terrorists.
SUFFER, LITTLE CHILDREN
Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of a hearing over the case of child welfare funding for indigenous children, despite an attempt by the federal government to kill off the issue.
The federal court ruled on Monday, to continue the case hearing at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
Advocates of the rights of First Nations children say the Canadian government is cheating indigenous communities, by giving less funding to child-welfare services in First Nations reserve areas.
Shawn Atleo, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada (AFN), says, "It remains unfortunate that the federal government continues to battle us in court, on a fundamental issue of justice and equity for First Nations children."
The AFN estimates that there are at least 27,000 aboriginal children who have been removed from their immediate families. "The reasons for their removal, relate more to poverty and the social conditions on the reserves," Atleo states.
The Canadian government says the case of indigenous child welfare should not be heard since it is ‘unfair’ to compare federal programs with provincial programs.
The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada first filed a complaint on the rights issue of aboriginal children in 2007. Since then the government has made countless appeals to stop hearings on the case.
If the case goes in favor of the First Nations, the Canadian government will almost certainly be required to fund social services in the reserve areas at the same amount per capita as provinces spend in areas off the reserves - and would reportedly cost the government billions of Canadian dollars.
The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is coming under intense worldwide criticism for its violations of the rights of indigenous people in Canada.
The detainee hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay’s maximum- security prison is a last-resort cry for help from those who have spent years in custody without being charged, and who have no hope of release, anti-war activist Sara Flounders tells RT, in an interview today.
"Most of the 130 terror suspects imprisoned in Camp 6 of Guantanamo Bay may be involved in a hunger strike that started in early March. The protest allegedly started after prison administrators confiscated inmates' personal belongings, including Korans – the overwhelming majority of detainees are devout Muslims from the Middle East.
Prisoners were kidnapped from the other side of the world and brought to Guantanamo [and it] has been horrendous. It is organizations such as the Centre for Constitutional Rights who've fought for the most elementary rights for these prisoners. And their hunger strikes are the only way of making themselves heard over years and years without any hope of release, without any real charges.
It was a Centre for Constitutional Rights study that took the government figures to confirm that 92% of all prisoners held in Guantanamo really had no connection at all to Al-Qaeda. They were sort of bought and sold and brought to Guantanamo as part of the US war on terror, justified as part of that war and with no real standing.
And they are really just part of the thousands of prisoners held around the world in US secret prisons or in prison ships, secret bases. It is an enormous problem and they are also a part of the hundreds of Muslim prisoners in the US, who have been held, who have been framed on charges, who are held in solitary confinement and special management units.
The US’s own publicity, that somehow this is a US base, but off the US mainland, gave them complete control out of the hands of US courts. So its very existence was a challenge - and this is where they claimed they were bringing high profile prisoners. But as I say, 92% of them, I don’t know what kind of a failure rate is that, for those with no charges: and even those with whom they made specific charges, they’ve used all manner of torture, of waterboarding, of isolation and so on, again and again. This really is really in every aspect a crime."
Manning justifies his actions with a firm belief that US government wrongdoings need to be exposed in order to “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.”
In a recording, he goes on to accuse the army of “not valu[ing] human life," comparing servicemen "to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass."
In regards to the “Collateral Murder” video, which shows US Apache helicopters opening fire on and killing civilians, including journalists, Manning said “the most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemingly delighted bloodlust they appeared to have.”
Five Argentinian oppressors accused of committing crimes against humanity against 20 victims held at Campo de Mayo under military dictatorship (1976-1983) were given life prison sentences on Wednesday.
The sentence was ruled by the Federal Criminal Trial Court No.1 of Buenos Aires against ex de facto ruler Reynaldo Benito Bignone and ex commander of Military Institutes, Santiago Omar Riveros.
The Judicial Information Centre also said that life sentences were also given to Luis Sadi Pepa, Eduardo Oscar Corrado and Carlos Tomas Macedra.
Campo de Mayo was a main clandestine detention centre in Buenos Aires. At least 4,000 people are estimated to have been held there.
This ruling comes as 25 oppressors are being tried as part of the Operation Condor case.
They are accused of illegal assembly, to systematically killing political opponents, among other crimes.
AL QAIDA FIGHT "A JOKE"
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday says the US is fighting in Afghanistan with the intention of gaining access to the country’s underground resources, adding that Washington's so-called war on terror is not real.
5 NATO SOLDIERS KILLED IN HELICOPTER CRASH
It happened in the South of Afghanistan. No other details as yet, on Wednesday.
UNREPORTED IN THE WEST
Terrorists fighting against the Syrian government have destroyed a Muslim shrine in the city of Raqqa.
Videos posted online show foreign-backed militants blowing up the tomb of Ammar ibn Yasir, who was one of the companions of Prophet Mohammad.
These Western backed terrorists (let's call a spade a spade), have attacked and destroyed several holy sites, including Shia mosques, since the beginning of the unrest in Syria.
The Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front is being blamed for this sacrilegious act. The terrorist group has links with Saudi intelligence and it is believed that it is being indirectly backed by the Israeli regime.
ARMS AND THE HUMAN BEING
While Egypt struggles to cope with a police force faced with old-regime and counter-revolutionaries armed with guns.... US, UK, German, French, and Japanese exports of armaments, all rise to levels not seen in history, except before world wars.
Countries selling small arms, report huge increases to the US.
For example, the US has become the top market for Turkish arms as exports from Turkey's defense sector increased 38% in 2012, the Turkish media say on Monday.
Analysts say that upcoming gun control measures in the US have led to a surge in the demand for more firearms, which is boosting Turkey's gun exports to the country.
Statistics show that Turkish defense companies increased their exports to 1.3 billion dollars last year, 43% up on 2011.
The US was ranked first buyer, by purchasing 490 million dollars worth of defense products from Turkey last year. The United Arab Emirates was second, with 101 million dollars, and Saudi Arabia came third, with 99 million dollars.
Turkey's defense sector aims to sell 1.5 billion worth of arms this year.
The human race is currently racing to defend itself to death.
VENEZUELA MOVES FORWARD
Venezuela will hold a presidential election on April 14th to vote for a new president after Hugo Chavez' death.
Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Electoral Council of Venezuela (CNE) says this on state television after a meeting of the council’s board of directors on Saturday:
"This election can guarantee the soundness of the electoral system and the whole process… and guarantees the sovereignty of the people through the vote."
The election campaign will run from April 2nd to April 11th.
Acting President Nicolas Maduro will run as a candidate for the ruling party.
Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, executive secretary of the Democratic Unity Roundtable, the main opposition coalition, announces that Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in an election in October 2012, is chosen to run against Maduro.
"We have unanimously agreed to offer the presidential candidacy... to the one who was our candidate in the recent (October) presidential election," Aveledo says.
Maduro took the oath of office as interim president after Venezuela honored the late president.
Before Maduro’s inauguration, over 30 world leaders, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, paid their respects to Chavez at a high-profile funeral.
Canada's government is accused of ignoring a recent human rights report which reveals that First Nation prisoners are treated badly and are arrested more than their colonists.
The group of 21 Philipino UN peacekeepers held hostage by foreign-sponsored militant groups in Syria have now crossed the border into Jordan, say Jordanian officials.
A FINGER IN THE AIR
Hague and Hollande, both with as much charisma as an unsalted potato chip, call for more sanctions on Iran, while spending their electors money on setting the Middle East and Africa on fire, yet...
Foreign investment in Iran has risen by 60% in the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20th, and is projected to reach $4 billion by the end of the year, the head of the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran states.
Some $7 billion worth of foreign investment plans have been approved in the current year, he says, adding that foreign investments in Iran grew by 150% over the past four years, ISNA quotes Behrouz Alishiri as saying.
In September 2012, Alishiri said foreign investment plans worth $10 billion are expected to be agreed with Iran during the current Iranian calendar year.
Foreign investment plans agreed to by Iran last year, he said, were $4.3 billion, 27% up on the year before that.
Iran needs up to $400 billion in direct foreign investment to materialize its objective of 8% economic growth, he added.
Over the next five years, the Iranian government will need new sources of capital sourced through national and international private finance, he said.
He said in October 2011 that the growth of direct foreign investment in Iran ranks amongst the highest in the world.
Despite economic sanctions, over 400 foreign companies are now directly investing in Iran.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN's DAY 2013
The United Nations declares that stopping violence against women is the responsibility of all, an urgent priority, and that its continuation is a disaster that affects peace and progress.
"This is now the time for governments to keep their promises, to protect human rights and respect international agreements and projects they have signed", says the executive director of the agency, UN-Women, Michelle Bachelet.
In a message for Women's International Day the Chilean ex President says "change is possible and it is happening" on violence against women.
There are several voices now to stop silence and indiference over these acts, she notes, and the conscience in favour of women's rights, she states, is growing.
However, she is concerned about the still high levels of discrimination, violence and exclusion, and the frequent cases of victims who expect justice, but do not meet with success.
At a meeting of the UN Comission on the Legal Status of Women, which began Thursday in New York, Ms Bacharat, who is also the general undersecretary of the UN, called for work on a consensus to wipe out violence against women.
She wants a speeding up the necessary changes to eradicate violence, and she wonders how many more women and girls have to be raped or murdered and how many more families have to suffer.
In her message now, Bachelet encourages us all to reject discrimination, domestic and sexual violence, outrages, rapes, trading in human beings, slavery, genital mutilation, child marriage, women murders and impunity towards those who commit such crimes.
"There can be neither peace nor progress, as long as women live in fear and suffer violence", she concludes.
TURKEY ROLE IN SYRIA EXPOSED
Syria has written to the UN over Turkey's role in assigning a special mission to a Libyan ship carrying arms and terrorists to help terrorists fighting the Syrian people.
Syria's Foreign Ministry highlights Ankara’s interference in its internal affairs, in letters to Ban Ki-moon and the current Chair of the UN Security Council, Vitaly Churkin, Syria’s official news agency SANA reports.
According to the letters, Turkish lawmakers have now raised the issue of Turkey’s Interior Ministry assigning a "special mission" to a Libyan ship, dubbed “Intisar,” to carry 400 tons of weapons and hand them over to terrorists fighting against the Syrian government.
The Libyan ship entered Iskenderun Port two months ago, and also carried 250 Libyans to fight with 'militants' in Syria, the letters say.
The Syrian Ministry says the enquiry has been submitted to the Turkish Parliament by Atilla Kart, of Turkey’s Republican People's Party.
The Turkish lawmaker also urges Ankara to explain the reasons behind permitting "three C-130 Saudi airplanes earmarked for military transportation and evacuation to use Turkish airspace to transport weapons and gunmen to Syria," state the letters.
The letters also mention that Cumhuriyet newspaper says that Hursit Gunes, another member of the Republican People's Party, has submitted a criminal complaint against Turkish government officials, over their anti-Syria policies.
According to the Syrian ministry, Gunes said in a press conference that the ruling Justice and Development Party trains gunmen in Turkey, transports weapons to Syria and provides all types of support to armed groups in Syria.
He says a number of militants’ leaders in Syria have provided information in this regard to international news agencies and media.
"This information proves in an irrefutable way that Turkish territories have become a centre for gathering, harboring, exporting, supporting and financing terrorism and terrorists from al-Qaeda to work inside Syria under the supervision of the Turkish government," the Syrian Foreign ministry adds.
The Ministry expresses hope that the UN will fulfill its responsibility of "condemning these acts perpetrated by the Turkish government and by the other countries which support and finance al-Qaeda linked armed terrorist groups".
An administrative court in Egypt has issued an "order" suspending Egypt's upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled to start on April 22nd.
LET US SEND OUR LOVE TO VENEZUELA
Thousands accompany Hugo Chavez' body, including Bolivia's President. Many of the crowd weep and call out encouragement.
Huge numbers wear the red shirts of revolution.
Chavez lives on !
Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro announces the expulsion of two US embassy officials for allegedly spying on the country’s military, accusing Washington of having infected the late President Hugo Chavez with a cancer virus.
Caracas accused the US embassy’s Air Force attache, Colonel David Delmonaco, and assistant air attache, Major Devlin Kostal, of trying to stir up a military plot against the Venezuelan government.
Washington says the two officials were employed at the embassy, saying Delmonaco is en route back to the US, and Kostal is already in America.
Maduro says "We have no doubt" that the President’s cancer, first diagnosed in 2011, was induced by "the historical enemies of our homeland," a thinly-veiled reference to the US.
He compares Chavez' demise to the death of the late leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, who Maduro claims, was "inoculated with an illness."
US State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell says in a statement, that Washington "definitely rejects" the assertion that the US was involved in Chavez' illness.
The 58-year-old Venezuelan leader died after a two-year battle with cancer.
Back in 2011, Chavez accused the US of developing a technology for infecting Latin American leaders with cancer.
Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner Fernandez, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, have all received treatment for cancer.
"Wouldn't it be weird if they developed a technology for inducing cancer and nobody knew, until now?" Chavez said at the time.
We pray that the sorrowing people of Venezuela find the love and strength to overcome any bitterness... and keep their loving hearts open, as did Chavez.
ASSAD: 'CONFLICT COMING TO AN END' The Syrian president, at a meeting with a Lebanese nationalist Arab party, says that the conspiracies against Syria have failed.
Lebanese daily ‘Al-Akhbar’ reports that Bashar al-Assad, in last weeks meeting with members of the Nationalist Arab party in Damascus, said that, currently, the armed rebel groups are fighting solely for their own survival.
A Lebanese party member, who attended the meeting, comments on Assad’s remark. "The Syrian president believes that conspiracies in Syria are coming to an end, corroborating this, by referring to the facts inside Syria."
"The President is very satisfied with the situation, and pointed to important victories in the battles with armed groups, saying that their significance is understood more clearly by regional and international strategists," he adds.
According to this party member, Assad stresses that all attempts by the armed groups have failed.
The president noteds that "the contradictory positions taken by opposition groups are indicative of their failure to attain their objectives." and that the ‘Takfiri’ (Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy) threat in Syria is now evident for international observers
The Al Akhbar report continues, "At the end, Assad finished his speech by saying 'Syria has won the battle, and aborted all conspiracies against itself’," said the party member. ___________________________
WHO CONTROLS WHOM?
US President Barack Obama is going to demand a timetable for Israel to withdraw from the occupied West Bank when he visits Israel later this month, says a report, confirmed in Israel.
The World Tribune quotes an unnamed Israeli official as saying that "Obama has made it clear to Netanyahu that his visit is not about photo-ops, but the business of Iran and a Palestinian state.
"The implication is that if Israel won’t give him something he can work with, then he’ll act on his own," the report quotes the source as saying.
According to the report, an Israeli pullout plan could be part of an imminent US push to form a Palestinian state in the West Bank in 2014.
Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built after the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Violent acts are carried out on a weekly basis in the Palestinian territories, by Israeli settlers.
The Israeli settlements are considered illegal by the UN and most countries, because those territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
The Israeli regime has increased its settlement activities since the General Assembly, on November 29th last year, voted 138-9, with 41 abstentions, to upgrade Palestine’s status, to non-member observer state.
"A single bullet fired in the Persian Gulf, will bring an inevitable US collapse"
The IRGC Navy commander says the US is trying to stop any bullet firing at all costs in the Persian Gulf, because, otherwise, the fall of the US is inevitable. Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi points to the regional and global situation, and the importance of the Islamic Republic of Iran in regional and international equations. He explains the strategic importance of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, and the role of IRGC naval forces in providing security and stability in the area.
Admiral Fadavi highlights the role of the IRGC naval forces during the imposed war of Iraq on Iran. "Despite the bad economic conditions during the war, we were able to achieve great things and change conditions in our favour."
He adds "we cannot compare our situation with the war -time period: our capabilities, our equipment, and our facilities, are far better than then, and the situation has totally improved. Many of our enemies understand this.
"Due to the circumstances the US is in now, it is trying to stop any bullet from being fired at all costs, because of the economic situation in Europe, and America, and the Islamic Awakening in the region. If a bullet is fired, the collapse of the US is inevitable."
On the subject of negotiations with the US, the IRGC Navy Commandant says: "our opposing the US is not political, economic or even about security; on the contrary, it is about right and wrong."
A report says Saudi Arabia is occupying land in Yemen, after the discovery of a large oilfield with considerable reserves close to the border region.
A source in Yemen’s presidential office, speaking on condition of anonymity, says that Saudi border guards have advanced about three kilometers (1.8 miles) over the border into the western Yemeni province of al-Jawf, Arabic website Shaharah.net reports.
The Yemeni source adds that Saudi Arabia also set up eight security checkpoints on the frontier with Yemen in January under the Treaty of Jeddah, which resolved a border dispute between the two Arab states.
According to the treaty, Saudi Arabia and Yemen should undertake necessary negotiations in the event of the discovery of shared natural wealth suitable for extraction and investment along the border between the two countries.
Riyadh has refrained so far from such negotiations and is systematically capturing desert territories in northern Yemen, which have untapped reserves of oil and gas.
In June 2012, Yemeni human rights group Aseer called for retrieving all Yemeni lands that are occupied by Saudi Arabia. The group classifies Najran, Jizan and Aseer as occupied lands.
The group also accuses former Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh of conceding the lands for, what it considered, a 'Saudi occupation,' through the Treaty of Jeddah.
Yemeni opposition groups claim Saleh surrendered the region of Aseer for $18 billion, which was then shared by high-ranking officials in Saleh’s regime.
Yemen has a 1,800-klmtr (1,118-mile) border with Saudi Arabia.
ARGO FILM POISONS THE WELL
Two US former ‘hostage’ diplomats criticize 'Argo' for propagating a negative impression of Iranians and their revolution.
John Limbert, political officer in Tehran in 1979, says the film "does not convey the prevailing Iranian sense of grievance -- real or imagined -- that led to the 1979 attack, and to the emotional response in the streets of Tehran."
In a report in Foreign Policy Magazine, Limbert, recalls that "Americans fail to understand the US role in creating anti-Americanism in Iran and therefore America's responsibility to strive to repair this long-held bilateral animosity.
"Argo highlights the negative attitudes that the two countries have held toward each other for decades," he adds. He argues that the Obama administration has not made any real, substantive offers that could allow Iran to respond.
Laingen also criticizes Argo, saying that "the movie Argo has reinforced negative views of the Iranian revolution in the minds of Americans," adding that "Only sustained, robust, and comprehensive diplomacy based on the premise of mutual compromise can break this cycle, which threatens to enflame the region."
Argo, a Hollywood product, is facing growing criticism for its unrealistic account of the events following the capture of the US Embassy in 1979.
Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, captured the US embassy out of suspicion that it was a US intelligence centre used for interfering in Iranian affairs.
Their suspicians were confirmed when classified documents from the embassy seized by students, revealed that in 1953, Dr. Mosaddeq’s democratically elected cabinet had been brought down by the US, and Pahlavi restored to the throne, ruling until 1979.
A group of Egyptian demonstrators set fire to pictures of Kerry, protesting against his visit to Egypt, chanting "Kerry, you are not welcome here". Demonstrators chanted slogans against the US and Zionist regime. One slogan said “go home, Kerry. Egypt is revolutionary, and prefers to be free.”
With the demonstrations growing, security forces and plainclothes police deployed around the Foreign Ministry.
Kerry arrived in Cairo on Saturday. US officials say Kerry is giving a message to Egyptian officials:- that to receive a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF; Egypt will have to implement painful economic reforms, which the US is proposing.
US ARROGANCE TO BE COUNTERED
Vladimir Putin calls on Russian defense industries to close the growing security gap between Russia and the US, whom he accuses of attempting to usurp the "strategic balance" between the two countries.
“Attempts are being made to upset the strategic balance. The dynamic of geopolitical developments calls for our response to be well-calculated and quick. Russian armed forces must move to a dramatically new level of capability as soon as in the next three, four or five years.”
He singles out the US ballistic missile shield program, the possibility of further NATO expansion and attempts to militarize the Arctic, as key geopoliticalthreats that Russia needs to respond to. FT
BEN ALI DEAD?
Al-Diyar newspapers reports that former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia has committed suicide.
Al-Diyar reports the Ben Ali suicide as by a substance known as "botulism".
The newspaper adds that the Tunisian government has confirmed that the former dictator committed suicide at 6:30 am yesterday, stating that Ben Ali stopped breathing after taking the substance.
Ben Ali’s family has not confirmed or denied the accuracy of the news yet.
Al-Qaeda demon turns and cuts Erdogan?
The discovery of an al-Qaeda group in Turkey is alarming Erdogan’s government, and the government's rivals and critics are stirring.
Turkish authorities announce the arrest of 11 members of al-Qaeda group, and they admit to having seized some explosives from them. These al-Qaeda members had plans to target several locations in Istanbul, including the US Consulate, a church and a Jewish temple.
The release of the news has opened a wave of criticism of Erdogan's government, over its adventurous policies... throwing the country into adventures such as the Syrian crisis, followed by the opening of its borders to elements of extremist groups like al-Qaeda.
The ‘Zaman’ newspaper website writes that police captured 11 members of al-Qaeda in the Northwest of the country, on Wednesday, and confiscated over 22 Kg. of C-4 explosives.
Following the publication of this news, the Turkish media have published critical articles claiming that Turkey, under Erdogan's government, is now an exporter of terrorism.
Erdogan has been using al-Qaeda groups to fight in Syria, and every day, dozens of their members come to Turkey’s airports from other countries, and from there, slip into Syria.
Turkish intelligence organizations control these groups and 'monitor' them.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Peace pipeline will not be stopped "at any cost": Zardari
Pakistan’s president says that, despite US pressures, the gas pipeline project from Iran to Pakistan will not be stopped. Asif Ali Zardari, speaking to the press on his way back from Iran, in Lahore, says "Pakistan will not abandon the gas pipeline coming from Iran to transfer gas to Pakistan, despite mounting US pressure".
He asserts that, definitely, the project will work, for as long as his government rules Pakistan. Washington has threatened Islamabad with dire consequences, over its cooperation with Tehran on the pipeline. Yet, the project has been launched, and after Zardari's visit to the Supreme Leader, work on it started immediately.
Iran and Pakistan have changed the pipeline roadmap for security reasons, and the pipeline will now enter Pakistan from a coastal region, instead of Baluchistan.
Analysts believe that the US has incited unrest in Baluchistan province of Pakistan in order to stop the "great" project. The multi-billion dollar project will help Iran handle sanctions, and help Pakistan to free itself from a severe energy crisis.
In his meeting with Ahmadinejad, Zardari stressed that his government believes "deeply" in maintaining its bilateral relations with Tehran. ________________________________________
ISRAEL AND US STEALING SYRIAN OIL
The Syrian Foreign and Expatriate Ministry denounces at the UN the concession of the Israeli government to a US company to explore for oil in Syrian occupied Golan.
In similar letters sent to the President of the Security Council and the UN Secretary General, Damascus condemns the act, calling it illegitimate and a violation of existing agreements.
The letters recall that Tel Aviv's actions are a flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolution 497, passed in 1981, which bans Israel from exploiting or changing the natural geographical environment of the occupied territory.
Last week, Syrian media reported that Israel had given permission to the US Genie Energy Company to explore for hydrocarbons in occupied Golan.
The National Youth of Syria was the first organization to condemn the act, calling it a new and flagrant violation of international laws and regulations.
WHY RHONDDA RECORDS EXISTS
As the film Argo further softens our western brains to hate Iran, Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi asserts that most of what is occurring in Syria is the result of a media war, which has been turned recently into an instrument to justify all conflicts against countries.
Interviewed by Prensa Latina, Al-Zoubi explains that the coordination among different global media consortia, which specialize in distorting facts and manipulating truth, is not occurring simply by chance.
In his opinion, the historic period that the Middle East is going through, with its population demanding political-social reforms, has been used by governments and western media outlets to overthrow governments and change the regional geopolitical map to meet their interests.
The top official says that armed groups seeking to overthrow the Syrian Government are following a plan that has been meticulously calculated to destroy the national infrastructure little by little.
The well publicized "revolution in Syria" is nothing more than a struggle between a sovereign State and terrorists supported by intelligence agencies that are financing, training and arming them to spread death in our country, he says.
Their final objective, he states, is to destroy the civic model that Syria represents; its religious, ethnic and cultural diversity.
He also says that thousands of mercenaries belonging to armed groups are entering Syria through the borders of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
However, the State retains its capacity to fight them, through the cohesion of the Syrian Arab Army, he says.
He also warns about the danger represented by supporting Jihadist groups, which call for Jihad or Holy War in Syria, because their advance ultimately endangers the Europe that is giving them so much support today, he says.
He refers to the steps taken by the Government to implement the Political Program, which seeks to put an end to the nearly two-year-old dispute.
In this regard, he insists that Damascus has suggested that all sides involved, with no exception, sit down at the negotiation table, even the insurgents that lay down their arms, with the single condition of accepting dialogue as a premise to put an end to the violence in the country.
DEFEAT IS NOT AN OPTION
Libya''s former Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi has been badly beaten by prison officers who tortured him in a Libyan prison, where he has been confined since 2012, his lawyer says.
According to Mahmoudi's defense attorney, the ally of the late Muammar Gaddafi is in a critical condition and could die from the injuries he received during torture.
In September 2011, al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi fled for Tunisia, fearing revenge from Libyan rebels.
He was later arrested and deported back to Libya, where a court convicted the official of "threatening national security," a charge Mahmoudi denies.
NATO SAYS 'NO PROOF WE DISTURB YOU'
A spokesperson for NATO's illegally occupying ISAF says that so far no evidence had been found that US troops have violated any laws, states the Afghan government.
Last Sunday, President Hamid Karzai demanded the withdrawal of US troops from Wardak and Logar provinces, within two weeks, saying that they cause uncertainty and instability.
In these two provinces adjacent to Kabul, the capital, the US invaders created illegal armed groups rejected by the population because they destabilize daily life, reports presidential spokesperson, Aimal Faizi.
According to the Afghan official, a group led by US special forces kidnapped nine civilians in Wardak and also tortured and killed a student.
NATO says the allegations are 'being taken seriously' and that 'all measures' are being taken to determine what happened, but that, so far, Afghan government accusations 'have not been corroborated'.
SOWING AND REAPING
As terrorists appear on Syrian TV confessing to the rape and slaughter of innocent civilians, and the Palestinian prisoner who died in custody is discovered to have been tortured prior to death, quietly friendships are being formed, that pose a challenge to US and Israeli "exceptionalism".
Guyana is now the first member country of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to establish diplomatic relations with the Palestinian National Authority, Caribbean News reports.
Guyanese Ambassador to the UN, George Talbot, and his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad Manssur, signed a document establishing bilateral relations.
Both countries commit to fully comply with the UN Charter and International Law, promote peace and security, and respect for others' sovereignty.
Guyana is part of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and has always supported the Palestinian cause.
The Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces (SCEAF) is "concerned about the political crisis in the country", said an official source last Friday.
SCEAF members have held meetings in the absence of their nominal chief, President Mohamed Morsi, to discuss internal events and concerns about the political crisis, stated the official daily Al Ahram in a front page article, citing anonymous sources.
The armed forces have repeatedly declared their neutrality in the conflict, deriving from allegations of the FSN that the president favors the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood and intends to Islamize Egyptian society, which contains significant secular sectors.
Weeks ago, President Morsi instructed the Army to maintain order in three northern cities, following the imposition of a 30 day curfew, which the population was disobeying, but the military did not use force to stop the unrest.
It seems that all evil has to do is provoke violence... and wait for those who put their interests first.
Imagine how soon a Hellish world war could be... if good people in all walks of life just give up!!!
OXFORD VOTING ON ISRAEL BOYCOTT
Students at Oxford University voted on a motion to boycott the apartheid regime of Israel this week, despite the proposer and seconder of the motion having received threatening emails.
The Oxford University Students' Union (OUSU) will meet on Wednesday to vote on a possible boycott of the Zionist entity, its companies and institutions, in protest against the regime’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and its continuing human rights violations.
The motion, which would be formally presented at the National Union of Students conference in Sheffield in April, urges the student body to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel over its unfair treatment of defenseless Palestinians.
Reports say both the proposer and seconder of the motion have received threatening emails, leading the seconder to withdraw his support. The proposer is demanding anonymity.
UK Respect MP George Galloway:
"No normalization. Just boycott, divestment and sanctions, until the Apartheid state is defeated."
IN PLACE OF STRAFFING
The UK's Green party leader Natalie Bennett says Labour leader Ed Miliband should apologize on behalf of his party for taking the UK into an “unjustified war” in Iraq in 2003.
"It's little more than 10 years since the two-million-strong anti-war protest took to the streets of London, and a little less since Labour utterly ignored the views of millions and started the Iraq war," Bennett tells the party conference.
"55% of Britons agree that the London marchers were right because the war was delivered on false pretences and delivered little other than bloodshed. But the Iraqi people are still struggling and dying. Yet Ed Miliband, who has apologized for the Blair government's immigration policy, has failed to say sorry for the decision to take Britain into an unjustified war."
Documents declassified in June 2010, show that Blair ignored a warning by former attorney general Lord Goldsmith that invading Iraq would be illegal, just one day before the Prime Minister secretly assured former US President Bush of London's support for an invasion.
Goldsmith told Blair in January 2003 that the UN Security Council had not issued an “express authorization” for resorting to a military option against Iraq.
UNITED NATIONS ACHIEVES PEACE IN CONGO?
Can the UN really end the violence that have been plaguing the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for many years?
UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky says Ban is hoping to get the accord signed in Addis Ababa on Sunday,
by all 11 countries of the Great Lakes region of Africa.
The leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia have been invited, Nesirky states.
The United Nations, the African Union, the ICGLR, and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) will act as "co-guarantors," the UN spokesperson adds.
Meeting in the Mozambican capital Maputo on February 8th, ICGLR leaders approved the deployment of a 4,000-strong peacekeeping force, from SADC countries, to Congo.
The force will be able to combat "whoever is trying to destabilize the situation in the eastern part of Congo," SADC Secretary General Tomaz Salomao says.
The force will be contained within the existing UN peacekeeping force in Congo, known as MONUSCO -- the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Since early May 2012, nearly 3 million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but more than 460,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Congo has faced, over the past few decades, grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east that has dragged on since 1998, and killed 5.5 million. ________________________________
Another NATO soldier is reported killed on Friday in Afghanistan. No further details. _________________________________
FAIR IS FOUL AND FOUL IS FAIR
The Canadian government now defines environmental activists as ‘terrorists’ and a ‘threat to national security,’ a new report says.
Jeffrey Monaghan, of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, says in a new report that security documents released in January show that Canada’s national police force and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, classify as a national security threat, any Canadian who protests against oil and gas production.
"It’s the new 'normal' now for Canada’s security agencies to watch the activities of environmental organizations," Monaghan says.
The security documents were released under freedom of information laws. The documents reveal that any protest against projects like the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project or the controversial process of gas fracking, is now being officially defined as "a form of attack."
In 2011, a man in Montreal, who wrote letters opposing shale gas fracking, was charged under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act.
In a Senate committee on national security and defense meeting on February 11th, the Canadian government admitted that it is more worried about domestic terrorism, and acknowledged that the great majority of its spying is now conducted within Canada.
Monaghan adds in his new report that studies show that terrorism is a non-existent threat in Canada.
Critics say that by labeling activists as terrorists, the Canadian government is trying to overlook the demands of the protesters and strip them of their legal rights.
TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS
On World Day of Social Justice 2013, if we want a peaceful world, perhaps we could all try to respect the vulnerable...
A man with Down syndrome who died after being made to lie face-down in police custody has been ruled a homicide. Robert Saylor, 26, of New Market, Md., was asphyxiated on January the 12th, says the medical examiner's ruling.
A "law enforcement source familiar with the case" tells WLA radio that Saylor "went into distress when he was put face down on the ground."
Police were reportedly called to a Frederick movie theatre by employees who couldn't get Saylor to leave. He had come to the theatre with a health aide, paid admission for "Zero Dark Thirty," but allegedly remained after it was over.
Frederick County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jennifer Bailey says the case is still under investigation and that the three officers involved in Saylor's death -- Lt. Jewell, Sgt. Rochford and Deputy First Class Harris -- "continue to work their normal assignments."
Frederick County State's Attorney Charlie Smith says his office is reviewing the incident and has not decided whether to bring charges.
Police officers internationally lack appropriate training for dealing with suspects who have special needs, says a study by Crisis Intervention Team International.
Other research by disability advocacy groups finds that "law enforcement officers often receive little or no training in the area of intellectual & developmental disabilities & have difficulty recognizing a person who has this disability." ___________________________________________
US AND EU LEADING WORLD ON ROAD TO WAR
Arms sales by the 100 biggest weapons makers have increased by 51% in the last ten years, despite recording the first fall since the mid-90s in 2011, reveals a new study released yesterday.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), says sales of the world's biggest weapons makers totalled $410 billion in 2011... 5% less than in 2010.
"Austerity policies and proposed and actual decreases in military expenditure as well as postponements in weapons program procurement affected overall arms sales in North America and Western Europe," SIPRI says.
Spending fell for the first time since the mid-90's, when defense spending began falling after the end of the Cold War, says Susan Jackson, an expert in the arms industry at SIPRI.
But in the 2002-2011 period, arms sales by the top 100 firms grew by 51%, SIPRI's new report now states.
The US is the leading weapons maker with 44 of the 100 biggest companies and 60% of all sales, while another 30 firms, with 29% of all sales, are in Western Europe.
HUNGERING FOR WORLD JUSTICE
Over 800 Palestinian inmates are now on hunger strike in Israeli jails to show solidarity with other Palestinians being kept in Israeli prisons.
The Palestinian inmates started an indefinite hunger strike after a call by Palestinian political factions.
The initiative aims to challenge the plight of prisoners inside Israeli jails, where a large group of prisoners are being kept for years without going on trial.
Thousands of Palestinians have held rallies in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to show support for all the hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli jails.
Turkey signs a gas import agreement with the Kurdish province of Iraq, which deeply angers Iraq.
TURKEY FOLLOWS ISRAEL
Turkish Labour Party Vice-president Bulent Lassen Davutoglu says his country has become the main path to supply weapons and terrorism to Syria.
He says that the government of PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been working in that direction for 25 months.
Turkish cities have become centres for manufacturing bombs and improvised explosive devices that are being handed over to the mercenary groups operating in Syrian territory, says Davutoglu in an article published on the Turkish website Olossal Bakic and distributed by the news agency SANA.
According to Davutoglu, terror is brought here from Turkey every time the Syrian Arab Army makes progress in combat with the terrorist armed groups.
The vice-president of the Turkish Labour Party asserts that the Turkish border is not protected or monitored properly, something that creates a security problem in that area.
The US could take advantage of the situation to fill the gap, he warns: and this is confirmed by US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland about US' willingness to protect the Turkish bordering crossings with its troops.
The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has told the UN that Ankara's direct and indirect destructive role in the Syrian crisis is a violation of the UN Charter and the laws that rule relations among countries, threatening peace and security in the area and the entire world.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has a diplomatically disastrous interview in the Washington Post. The article that appears is mostly a write up and not a transcript, so perhaps we might note that the Washington Post is NOT famed for its accuracy, and might have edited quotes out of context. Still, it is incredible that the UN Secretary General has allowed its publication:
The United Nations must be decisive and swift in judging whether diplomacy can resolve world concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday, or invite the risk that Iran, like North Korea, will use talks as a cover to build a bomb.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Ban said he wants to accelerate diplomatic talks with Iran and give them new urgency. "We should not give much more time to the Iranians, and we should not waste time," Ban said. "We have seen what happened with the DPRK."
Ban Ki Moon knows that all 16 US intelligence agencies repeatedly and unanimously confirm that, in their opinion, Iran does not have a nuclear weapon program. How can he, as head of the organization tasked with keeping the world at peace, talk such nonsense?
The UN Security Council must "show a firm, decisive and effective, quick response," Ban said, that makes plain to Iran, that the rest of the world is not convinced that it is not seeking nuclear weapons.
WORLD DISARMAMENT - FATWA STAYS
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei calls for the destruction of nuclear weapons across the world, saying that Iran does not plan to build such arms of mass horror and destruction.
"We believe that nuclear weapons must be obliterated, and we do not intend to make nuclear weapons, but if we had not had this belief and had decided to possess nuclear weapons, no power could have prevented us,"
Ayatollah Khamenei says in his address to thousands of clerics, officials and people in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz.
SELF HARMING - STOP IT !
The Egyptian army drowned four main tunnels supplying Palestinians in Gaza on Friday... just before hosting peace meetings between the two main Palestinian factionsin Cairo!!!
In Syria, scores of Turkish officers are found ... caught leading terrorists in Aleppo...
Tunisian radio also confirms that 132 Tunisian mercenaries were killed in Aleppo province as they joined armed groups seeking to overthrow the government of President Bashar Al Assad, says a report broadcast Friday on local TV.
According to Tunisian radio station Express FM, most terrorists killed by the Syrian Arab Army come from Sidi Bouzid province, many of whom joined the al-Nusra Front, an armed branch of the Al Qaeda network in that part of the Levant.
As we see so much despair and disunity, how can we believe in our own species?
If our treatment of women is any guide, then the human race is as sick mentally as UK MPs. (Who now have permanent psychiatric help on tap for them at Westminster)
Ban Ki-Moon launches a campaign to stop violence against women.
As he speaks, police in India report the body of a 6 year old girl is found battered to death and raped.
Israeli tanks and bulldozers on Thursday entered the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opening fire near farmers.
AS ISRAEL IMPRISONS MORE... WORLD REACTS
Israeli forces abduct 10 more Palestinians late at night during an invasion of a village in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Local sources say the Israeli soldiers broke into homes across Beit Doqqo village, northwest of East al-Quds, kidnapping ten Palestinians late on Wednesday.
The kidnapped Palestinians are now at an unknown location. Some have been previously detained by the Tel Aviv regime.
Over recent months, Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike have drawn global attention to the conditions in Israeli jails.
On February 12th, acting PA chief Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the international community to intervene in support of Palestinian prisoners on an open-ended hunger strike.
Two senior UN officials on Wednesday voice their concern over Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody, as several are on hunger strike, and in a serious condition.
Tarek Qa'adan and Jafar Azzidine have been on hunger strike for 78 days to protest against their administrative detention by Israel, while Samer Al-Issawi has been on partial hunger strike for over 200 days, according to a news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"I am concerned about the health conditions of these three Palestinian detainees on hunger strike," states the UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay.
Pillay repeats: "Persons detained must be charged and face trial with judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards, or be promptly released," she says.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abass on Tuesday demanded that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon intervene to save the lives of the hunger-striking prisoners.
Abass says he has sent a written letter to Ban informing him about the critical conditions of the prisoners, urging him to intervene "quickly and seriously to solve the issue."
The Palestinian president warns that things will "complicate and become unruly" if the prisoners' demands are not met.
UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky says that UN humanitarian coordinator for occupied Palestinian territory, James Rawley, gave the same message to the Palestinian Minister of Prisoner and Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe in Ramallah, reporters say.
They discussed the hunger strike, in particular, the critical health condition of Al-Issawi, Nesirky says:
"The humanitarian coordinator repeated the sec-general's position that those detained should be charged and should face trial with judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards, or else should be released without delay," the spokesperson says.
The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights, Richard Falk, calls for the immediate release of the three Palestinian detainees on hunger strike.
"Continuing to hold Mr. Qa'adan, Mr. Azzidine and Mr. Al-Issawi under these conditions is inhumane. Israel is responsible for any permanent harm," he says. "If Israeli officials cannot present evidence to support charges against these men, then they must be released immediately."
The expert notes that Qa'adan and Azzidine are reported to be on the verge of death, "with the threat of a fatal heart attack looming."
Both men were arrested on Nov. 22nd, 2012 and began their hunger strikes on Nov. 28th, after being sentenced to administrative detention for a period of three months. They were transferred to Assaf Harofi Hospital near Tel Aviv on Jan. 24th, 2013, after their condition deteriorated sharply.
This is the second time these two men have undertaken hunger strikes against administrative detention, since they took part in the mass hunger strike of Palestinians from April 17th to May 14th last year. Qa'adan was released last July and Azzidine last June, before being re-arrested.
"Israel must end the appalling and unlawful treatment of Palestinian detainees," Falk says. "The international community must react with a sense of urgency and use whatever leverage it possesses, to end Israel's abusive reliance on administrative detention."
US TROOPS TO SHRINK BACK
US President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address, says that, over the next year, 34,000 US troops will withdraw from Afghanistan.
"Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over."
These reductions take US troop levels there to where they were before Obama!
and... what about the killer drones?
At least 10 Afghan civilians, including women and children, have been killed in an airstrike carried out by US-led forces in eastern Afghanistan.
Local officials say that the attack in eastern Kunar Province killed "five children, four women and a man.”
A spokesperson for the US-led NATO forces says they "have launched an investigation".
Afghans are increasingly outraged at the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults by US-led forces in the country over the past months. The killings are the main source of friction between Kabul and Washington.
In another similar attack on January 23, three Afghans were killed, and two wounded, in Nangarhar province, when a US-led warplane targeted a residential building.
The US claims that its operations target militants, but local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks.
Canada's mine owners arrest minors
Canadian police arrest 36 people, including 9 minors, during a protest against plans for new mining projects.
A rally was being staged on Saturday in solidarity with the Idle No More actions, outside a job fair at Montreal's convention centre, where businesses and workers were meeting to discuss the prospects for natural resources.
Officials say that a majority of the 36 arrested at the Saturday demonstration, are charged with unlawful assembly, as activists did not hand in any protest route in advance, to the authorities.
"We want to keep our resources and protect the environment, and the resources that we have, belong first and foremost to aboriginal people," says one activist.
Politicians are facing criticism from environmental groups about the new mining plans for northern Quebec, which officials say is an attempt to further "develop" the area.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal organized the jobs fair, featuring top politicians & business leaders.
ISRAEL RULES WITH IRON HEEL
The military forces of the Israeli regime on Tuesday, abduct at least 8 Hamas activists in an attack in the West Bank.
The Israeli regime is launching a fresh round of arrests against Palestinians in the West Bank to try to stop a possible "awakening" in the occupied region.
An unnamed Israeli security source says that the arrest operations "started in the past few days and will increase."
"There is a certain (Palestinian) awakening," says the source, adding, "As a consequence a decision was taken within the security establishment to increase intelligence activity and arrests of members of Hamas or activists against Israel.”
Last Tuesday, undercover Israeli forces trying to detain a suspected Islamic Jihad resistance fighter, were reportedly pelted with stones by an angry crowd.
Palestinian security sources also report that dozens were slightly injured when Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets, live rounds and tear gas at the crowd.
Israeli military sources say that the arrest operations are routine. But there is a noticeable change in the Palestinian response to the move.
"What is exceptional is the grave disturbances," Israeli public radio’s military affairs reporter quotes military sources as saying.
The sources say that an operation like this "would not in the past have brought disturbances of this kind."
In December, Israeli troops were forced to give up their attempt to detain a Palestinian policeman in a village in the southern occupied West Bank, when crowds of local residents hurled stones at them.
Israeli sources say "talk of a 3rd intifada is premature."
According to a report on December 16th, Palestinian youths in the city of al-Khalil have reportedly formed a group, called the National Union Battalions, with the aim of bringing about a third intifada in the occupied territories.
Members of Palestinian groups like Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) are the founders of the group.
The Palestinians twice rose up against the Israeli occupiers in their intifadas; in December 1987, and September 2000. A total of 6,200 Palestinians were killed.
Last Sunday, the Israeli Ministry for Military Affairs approved the construction of 346 new settler units in two settlements in the southern West Bank. Two hundred units will be built in Tekoa settlements while the rest will be constructed in Nokdim.
The two settlements are located in the Gush Etzion bloc, south of East al-Quds (Jerusalem). Late last year, the Israeli ministry approved plans for the construction of another 523 settler units in another part of Gush Etzion.
These settlements are considered illegal by the UN and most countries, because those territories were captured by Israel in a 1967 war, and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
Everybody pretends not to understand the way out of chaos in the middle-east and the costs the Palestinians are paying in suffering, humiliation, deprivation, etc.
ISRAEL IS A ROGUE STATE. THE WORLD AT LARGE SHOULD JOIN HANDS TO BRING THAT STATE QUICKLY UNDER ALL CIVILIZED NORMS, TO RESPECT ALL INTERNATIONAL LAWS... this is the root of the middle-east crisis, and WE ALL KNOW IT.
Ask Israel to be a full member of the IAEA, and a signatory to the NPT. Let the USA/EU/ISRAEL stop terrorist activities globally. WORLD PEACE IS seriously THREATENED BY THEM.
10 YEARS ON AFTER IRAQ WAR...
"the same craven, warmongering liars remain"
Campaigners pack Euston's Friends Meeting Hall on Saturday, 10 years after millions took to the streets of the UK to oppose the illegal invasion of Iraq. A delegation of West Bank firefighters receives rapturous applause from the assembled activists.
Labour MP and Stop the War Coalition (StWC) chair Jeremy Corbyn sets the tone, saying that it is not a memorial event, but "a way to mobilise forces" to ensure that Britain becomes a force for moral good and peace, and not war or violence.
Afghanistan, he says, is not the humanitarian intervention it isstill being painted, butis "the First World waging war on the people of one of the poorest nations on earth."
Tariq Ali says that the StWC has been vindicated over all its warnings regarding the 2003 invasion.
These are not "accidental" wars, and they are not necessarily going to stop. "These are effectively imperialist wars backed by the US."
It pains him, he says, when "good people who opposed wars under Bush" become passive about those waged by Obama.
StWC was founded at Friends House in 2001 after the invasion of Afghanistan.
Convenor Lindsey German:
"We had millions of people come out time and time again campaigning to stop war. It is the politicians who have subverted democracy and their decisions have had terrible consequences not just for the people of Iraq and elsewhere, but for Britain too.
We have a government who can "find money for war and weapons but not for health, welfare and education.
"We were right in everything we said. They remain the same craven, warmongering liars as they were then."
Veteran left politician and peace campaigner Tony Benn said that empire had just been accepted in his childhood but that this was no longer the case with the US and its allies' attempts to dominate the world.
The "Islamic threat" justification is merely the same rhetoric used against communism during the cold war and must not be allowed to be used as an excuse for US domination, he says.
"It is interesting that our troops are not described as a Christian threat," he adds, to much laughter.
Palestine's ambassador to the UK, Manuel Hassassian says Palestine is still the issue, and that war will continue to rage across the Middle East and north Africa until the Israel-Palestinian conflict is resolved.
"There is one constant factor destabilising the region - the non-solution of the Palestine-Israel problem."
Palestinians are dying day after day in their quest for self-determination, he says, asking:
"When are the Western powers going to learn that they cannot put victimiser and victim on the same footing?"
He blasts the hypocrisy of the West's portrayal of Israel as a "bastion of democracy," and says: "Israel continues to build colonies, invading our land. Israel has a war agenda, not a peace agenda."
"It has been fooling the PLO for years by claiming it is negotiating, while building more colonies, dividing the West Bank into three parts."
Mr Hassassian condemns US President Barack Obama, who claimed his first priority when elected, was to resolve the Israel-Palestine issue.
"The US is not an honest broker, or a disinterested third party. It is an interested party. The US considers Israel to be a strategic asset," he says.
He demands that Israel move its "apartheid" wall which has been built on Palestinian territory.
"Palestinians don't need your charity," he tells the audience, to huge and sustained applause, "we need an end to the occupation."
PEACE IN THE HEART OF AFRICA?
The leaders of countries in the Great Lakes region of Africa reach concensus on a UN-mediated peace agreement meant to end the interminable cycle of war in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the Mozambican capital Maputo late on Friday, leaders at the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), approved deployment of a 4,000-strong peacekeeping force to the Congo, with personel from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries.
The force will be able to combat "whoever is trying to destabilize the situation in the eastern part of Congo," SADC Secretary General Tomaz Salomao says.
The peacekeeping force still needs UN Security Council clearance. The whole world will watch as the Security Council meets on this!
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete hails the agreement, saying it will lead to "a better situation in the Congo".
"It is a big leap forward for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo," says Kikwete, who heads SADC's security wing.
In July 2012, leaders from the Great Lakes region first signed an accord that called for the creation of a neutral international military force to combat rebels in the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu in the eastern Congo.
That agreement called for the Great Lakes leaders to work with the African Union and the United Nations "for the immediate establishment of a neutral international force to eradicate M23, FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), and all other negative forces in eastern DRC, and patrol and secure the border zones."
May the whole world Bless and embrace this peace move.
Armed Israeli military forces prevent Palestinians from peacefully camping in protest over illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli military officials say 20 Palestinians were evicted early Saturday morning after the activists tried to set up a cluster of tents near the village of Al-Tiwaneh, south of the city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
"We came here to build a Palestinian village upon Palestinian land, and to freely use our land in the way we want, as Palestinians have rights and own this land," says activist Younis Araar.
Palestinian activists have set up four protest camps over the past four months, but all of them have been demolished by armed Israeli forces.
Palestinian activists were impelled to set up an encampment of four tents and to start building a more permanent structure, to protest against Israel's intention to confiscate land near Beit Iksa northwest of al-Quds (Jerusalem), naming their encampment Bab al-Karama, or "Gate of Dignity."
Over half a million Israelis live in 120 plus illegal settlements, built since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds, in 1967.
The UN and most of the world community say that Israel's settlement activities are illegal.
WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON...?
The headquarters of Israeli football club, Beitar Jerusalem, is set on fire on Friday by a group of racist fans, in a protest against the signing of two Muslim players from the Russian Republic of Chechnya.
The arson attack occurred hours after prosecutors filed charges against four Beitar supporters accused of racist chants during their team’s league match on January 27. "The offices were torched in the early hours of the morning and we have opened an investigation," Shmulik Ben Ruby, Jerusalem police spokesperson, tells AFP.
No suspects in the attack have so far been identified.
The Israeli media report serious damage to Beitar’s museum, which holds trophies, championship plates & historic team kit.
The club’s supporters, known for their right-wing political views, reacted immediately to the signing, as the Jerusalem side’s next game was marked by racist anti-Arab chants and banners saying: "Beitar will always remain pure".
After the game, several were arrested for incitement to racism.
Meanwhile, Beitar’s Russian-Israeli owner, Arkady Gaydama, says that signing the Chechen players will still go ahead, as "this small number of racists don't represent the views of Israelis in general."
RACIST CHANTS IN CHILEAN NAVY "GOING ON FOR YEARS"
Chile'sacting Minister of Defense Alfonso Vargas issues a limited statement today to say that the group caught on video chanting xenophobic threats was by 27 marines in part of the engineering area at the Chilean naval academy.
The preliminary investigation was requested to issue the progress update within 24 hours after it began working, and has a 20-day deadline to deliver its final report.
The scandal erupted on Wednesday when a video emerged showing about 40 men appear jogging along a beach, while chanting that they would "kill Argentines, shoot Bolivians and slit the throats of Peruvians". The video has shocked Chile's neighbours and Chile describes the video as shameful, but a deputy says the chants have been present in Chile's armed forces for years.
Bolivia is asking for international condemnation of Chile and wants the military training of Chilean marines altered.
The Argentine's Minister of Defense Arturo Puricelly says the chants of the Chilean navy squad are 'unacceptable and unjustified'.
BAHRAIN WANTS FREEDOM
On the anniversary of Bahrain's Islamic awakening, marchers pour out onto the streets in Manama and countless villages across the despotically ruled island, which the US uses as a huge naval base.
Hundreds have been killed and or tortured, but still, the population insists on true democracy now.
SAUDI ARABIA HOSTS US KILLER DRONE BASE
A secret US assassination drone base in Saudi Arabia comes to light, as President Barack Obama’s tries to install his counterterrorism adviser and architect of his covert targeted-killing policy, John Brennan, as the next CIA director.
CIA terror drones flown out of a secret US base in Saudi Arabia were used to carry out the "only strike intentionally targeting a US citizen", to kill Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son in 2011 in Yemen, The Washington Post reports on Wednesday.
The Saudi base was established 2 years ago "to intensify the hunt" against 'al-Qaeda' (sic) in neighboring Yemen, and Brennan, who formerly served as a CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, "played a key role in negotiations with Riyadh over locating an agency drone base inside the kingdom," the report adds.
The Washington Post had not reported on the Obama administration’s targeted killing operations, for fear of "disclosing the location, at the request of the administration, which cited concerns that exposing the facility would undermine operations against an al-Qaeda affiliate regarded as the network’s most potent threat to the US, as well as potentially damage counterterrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia," the daily emphasizes.
A new US Justice Department white paper argues that the US can lawfully kill one of its own citizens overseas if it finds that the individual is a "senior, operational leader" or an operative of the al-Qaeda group across and poses an "imminent danger" to the United States.
Civil liberties groups in the US describe the white paper as an "example of the kind of unchecked executive power Obama campaigned against during his first presidential run," the daily reports.
"The parallels to the Bush administration torture memos are chilling," says Executive Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights Vincent Warren, accusing Obama of hypocrisy for ordering the release of George Bush administration memos, while keeping secret, his own.
The US assassination drone campaign has so far murdered thousands of civilians and some militants in hundreds of strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
AND A MURDERER YOU SHALL ALWAYS BE
The 25-year-old man accused of murdering the "American Sniper", author Chris Kyle, and another man in Texas, was an Iraq war veteran on "reserve", the US authorities say. Kyle boasted of shooting more Iraqis than any sniper.
The US military says the suspect, Eddie Ray Routh, was a corporal in the Marines from 2006 to 2010, and is listed as on reserve, says the Houston Chronicle.
Routh is charged with two counts of capital murder, for allegedly killing 38-year-old Kyle and 35-year-old Chad Littlefield at Rough Creek Lodge, a hunting lodge in northern Texas, on Saturday afternoon.
Kyle was feted in the US as its deadliest sniper. The retired Navy SEAL served 4 tours of duty in Iraq and wrote his best-selling autobiography "American Sniper" in January 2012. Littlefield was his friend.
ISRAEL ABDUCTS - DOES WHAT IT LIKES..!
Israeli forces abduct over 25 Palestinians, including several senior Hamas legislators, in the occupied West Bank late last Sunday evening, in Nablus, Ramallah and al-Khalil (Hebron).
Palestinian lawmaker Hatim Qafisha from al-Khalil and another legislator Ahmad Attoun from al-Quds (Jerusalem) are among the abductees.
Palestinian human rights groups condemn the abductions, and say that the move is aimed at destabilizing the ongoing reconciliation efforts among Palestinian factions.
Many of the inmates are now in administrative detention.
Administrative detention means imprisonment without trial or charge, allowing regime forces to make arrests without formal charges for up to six months and to then keep renewing the detention order indefinitely.
Palestinian prisoners are also subject to human rights violations, such as being tortured during interrogation by the Israeli prison authorities.
UNITY MARCHES IN PAKISTAN
Thousands of Pakistanis have held a demonstration in the city of Rawalpindi to promote unity among Shia and Sunni Muslims.
The demonstrators denounced foreign conspiracies aimed at creating division among Muslims in Pakistan.
The Muslim demonstrators also blamed the West for sparking violence in the region ahead of a planned withdrawal of US-led forces from Afghanistan.
The Pakistani participants further condemned an anti-Islam movie produced in the US in 2012. The protesters expressed determination to challenge any plot by foreign forces and the West to defame Islam.
Pakistan has been the scene of violence against Shia Muslims in different parts of the country in recent months.
On January 10th, nearly 130 people were killed and many others injured in a wave of bombings targeting both Pakistani security guards and civilians, including Shia Muslims, in the city of Quetta.
Since the beginning of 2012, hundreds of Shias have been killed in Pakistan. The attacks have targeted many doctors, engineers, high-ranking government officials, teachers, and politicians.
PEACE AND JUSTICE
The Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Jalili, welcomes the political approach to solve the crisis in Syria, and confirms Iran’s support for this approach.
He condemns the Israeli strike on Syria, saying Sunday: "Israel has been stupid to attack Syria." He adds that the strike revealed Israel’s aggressive nature and its threat to security and stability in the whole region.
Jalili expresses his hope that the crisis and conspiracy against Syria will soon end.
The Syrian Army is now aiming 4 armed Scud missiles on Tel Aviv, and they are 'ready to fire.' Al-Alam quotes the Lebanese daily Ad-Diyar, that the Syrian Army has positioned 4 Scud missiles with 500-Kg warheads each to target Zionist regime strongholds, especially Tel Aviv.
Ad-Diyar writes that the decision to aim Scud missiles at Tel Aviv, was made after the Thursday meeting of Syrian Army commanders, in response to the Zionist regime's attack on the Syrian research centre.
The Lebanese daily also writes that Russia has mounted pressure on Syria to avoid a response to the Zionist regime that starts a fully-fledged war.
ALWAYS REMEMBER HEROES OF STALINGRAD
The bloodiest and longest standoff of WWII – the Battle of Stalingrad – lasted 200 days and claimed 2 million lives. On Saturday, Russia marked the 70th anniversary of this epic struggle, which became a turning point leading to the overthrow of Nazi Germany, and the collapse of most fascist governments in Europe, (often bankrolled by UK financiers).
The 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the biggest land battle of WWII, was widely celebrated throughout Russia on Saturday.
About 1,000 guests arrived in Volgograd (Stalingrad), to participate in celebrations; eg a military parade, battle reconstructions, fireworks and much, much more.
Just for the celebrations, the city changed back to its former name of Stalingrad. In 1961, following the Soviet policy of deconstructing the cult of personality around Stalin, the city was renamed as Volgograd.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a reception at the Kremlin to honor some 200 WWII veterans, and said:
"We have to do everything we can, so that the memory of the Battle of Stalingrad, the truth about it, will never fade away. From this point – from the unbowed city – our forces began their march to Berlin."
UN KNOWS ABOUT ISRAEL
All Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and contrary to Israeli obligations, reiterates UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The UN chief has also reacted to the report of a Human Rights Council commission which denounces settlement construction as violating the rights of Palestinian people.
A communiqué from the office of the official UN spokesperson says the UN chief "took note" of the conclusions drafted by the HRC fact-finding group that is being discussed by the UN body.
The investigation established that the violations committed by Israel are part of a general pattern of acts characterized by the daily denial of the right to self-determination and the systematic discrimination against the Palestinian population under strict military control to the detriment of the local inhabitants' rights.
The commission cites violations including evictions, demolitions and the forced displacement of people and holds Israel responsible for the construction, development, consolidation and encouragement of settlements in occupied territories since 1967.
VOLTAIRE SAYS CAPTURED HI-TECH WEAPONS FORCED ISRAEL TO ATTACK
The independent website Voltaire quotes an unnamed Syrian source as saying that the Syrian army captured hi-tech weapons and were busy examining them at the science research centre hit by Israeli jets.
ISRAEL RUNNING FROM TRUTH
Why did Israel storm out of the UN Human Rights Council?
A UN human rights inquiry is calling on Israel to remove all Jewish settlers from the West Bank and cease expansion.
The report says settlements violate international law & are an attempt to drive out Palestinians through intimidation.
"Israel must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions," the report says, adding that Israel must immediately begin to withdraw all settlers from occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).
The 1949 Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer of a civilian population into an occupied area – such an act could constitute a war crime if brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC). After the UN's de facto recognition of Palestine last December, Israel announced plans to build thousands of homes in the OPT.
"The mission believes that the motivation behind this violence and the intimidation against the Palestinians as well as their properties, is to drive the local populations away from their lands and allow the settlements to expand," says the report.
In response, Palestine wrote to the UN warning that Israel planned to commit more war crimes by expanding its settlements further into the occupied territories.
The UN investigators interviewed over 50 people who were driven from their homes. They described how their livelihoods were destroyed and their land was confiscated, and how they were subjected to continuous violence from Jewish settlers.
The UN today expresses concern about the rising number of casualties from Israel’s use of live ammunition on Palestinians.
James W. Rawley says in a statement today: "The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator is seriously concerned by the increased casualties resulting from the use of live ammunition by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.”
The statement adds that eight Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank in separate incidents since mid-November 2012. The victims included three minors and one woman.
Rawley calls for "maximum restraint" to prevent any further Palestinian civilian casualties.
"Using live ammunition against civilians may constitute excessive use of force and any such occurrences should be investigated in a timely, thorough, independent and impartial manner."
The Tel Aviv regime recently refused to attend a UN Human Rights Council review, which was taking place in Geneva to examine the Israeli violations of the rights of Palestinians.
The UN Human Rights Council reviewed Israel’s human rights record on Tuesday as part of the Universal Periodic Review process. Israel is not a member of the UN rights council, but it is required to undergo Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The Review, held every four years, was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 to examine the human rights records of all United Nations members.
Israel cut all ties with the UN rights council in March 2012 after the council adopted a resolution condemning Israel’s announcement of the construction of new settlement units.
So the Council has "deferred" judgement. This is the first time in history that a state has refused to take a judgement by the Council, and been given "extra time".
TAKE THEM TO COURT!
Europe's highest court today annulls the European Union (EU) sanctions imposed against the Iranian Bank Mellat two and a half years ago.
"After two and a half years of intense legal work to lift the [EU] sanctions on the bank, [the European] Court [of Justice] has ruled in favor of Bank Mellat," Managing-Director of Bank Mellat Ali Divandari says on Wednesday.
“The Court has also required the [European] Union to cover the costs of [legal] procedures... and found Bank Mellat deserving of receiving all legal expenses, as well as compensation from the EU for losses incurred because of these sanctions," he adds.
Divandari says only vague reasons were used by the EU in July 2010 to impose sanctions against Bank Mellat.
"Given the unanimity-based laws governing the European Court of Justice, I am confident that this outcome will positively affect the legal action taken by other banks and economic institutes of the country," he says.
In December 2012, the Luxemburg-based court ordered the EU to lift sanctions against Iranian private bank, Sina.
NEXT, THE ILLEGAL CENSORSHIP!!
This is why PRESS TV is being censored by the West: (Please paste the following into your browser and read)
The US State Department effectively closes down the office responsible for closing Guantanamo Bay.
Ambassador Daniel Fried is moved from resettling prisoners there, to managing the State Department's efforts to pursue sanctions against Iran and Syria.
Fried will not be replaced, effectively closing the post.
Appointed by the Obama administration in 2009, Fried led efforts to convince other countries to accept Guantanamo’s 242 prisoners. But his efforts produced few results, as 166 inmates remain in the camp despite a 2009 executive order to close it.
In 2012 four prisoners were transferred, largely due to a moratorium on handovers to Yemen by Obama in early 2010. 86 prisoners in the prison are Yemeni nationals.
9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others say they were tortured at Guantanamo, so their lawyers call to preserve the CIA's secret prisons as evidence.
Research by Human Rights Watch suggests that crimes committed at the detention camp could result in the prosecution of top US officials – including former president George W. Bush – as no senior officials have been held accountable... yet.
Andrea Prasow, a senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch:
"The only people that have been prosecuted for detainee abuse has been, first of all very limited number of people, a handful of people – and always low level people, and never the senior officials who created the regime of torture, ordered it, authorized it and implemented it,"
Sara Flounders, the head of International Action Center, says a series of overseas prisons helps the US sidestep the Geneva Convention on torturing prisoners.
"The idea of holding prisoners around the world in secret detention was that they were therefore, according to their twisted logic, immune to any international law, human rights law or conventions that the US had signed," Flounders says.
"The UN report said 27,000 prisoners had been held by the US in secret prisons in, of course, Afghanistan, Iraq, countries throughout the Middle East, countries throughout Europe, in Africa; on more than 17 US ships there were secret prisons. So this is really part of a vast scale, of thousands of people being held with absolutely no rights whatsoever and being subjected to horrendous torture."
CUBA ACCEPTS CHAIR OF CELAC
The new organisation for South America combines all countries for the first time, and excludes the USA and Canada.
IN HARMONY WITH THE EARTH
Marches take place by 'IDLE NO MORE', a group representing Canada's 60 First Nation tribes, across Canada and the world on Monday, to demand that their rights be protected on health, education, employment and environmental land rights issues.
CUBAN YOUTH INSPIRED BY MARTI's SINCERE IDEALS
Cuban youngsters on Sunday, staged their traditional March of Torches, to pay tribute to Cuba's National Hero Jose Marti, on the eve of his 160th birthday anniversary.
Representatives of the new generation started a walk on January the 1st from the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, in eastern Santiago de Cuba province, where Marti´s remains were laid to rest.
They carried a flame which arrived on Monday in the capital, to light the fire of thousands of torches the youngsters held in their traditional march from the Colina Universitaria (staircase of the University of Havana), to the Fragua Martiana (Museum of Marti´s forge), in tribute to the most universal of all Cubans.
Youngsters and workers staged similar parades along main roads in their municipalities, in all provinces.
Cuba's activities to mark the anniversary, include the Third International Conference for World Balance, being held at Havana Convention Centre, and attended by some 600 delegates, from 43 countries.
MORSI BRINGS CURFEWS INTO EFFECT
Egypt's President has put security measures in place to stop the violence and sabotage.
IRAN SENDS MONKEY INTO SPACE
Iran has sent a live monkey into space on board a homemade rocket, Press TV reports
Iran on Monday sent a capsule containing a live monkey into space, and later retrieved the "shipment" intact, the Tehran-based Arab-language Al-Alam channel says, quoting an official statement.
Previous attempts by the Islamic republic to put a monkey into space failed.
In 2007, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraqi Shiite marja, issued a landmark message on Shiite-Sunni unity. With the unrest in Iraq, he reissues the message:
"There is no real difference between Shiite and Sunni beliefs, and I am the servant of all Iraqis. I love everyone, and this religion is the religion of love." He expresses his surprise at how the enemy could ever succeed in dividing Islam.
Sistani’s message, sent to the first Conference of Sunni and Shiite Scholars, says that "this kind of conference is highly important, since it helps Shiites and Sunnis find out that there is no real difference between their beliefs, and that the difference simply is on legal (Fiqh) issues."
"Shiites should defend Sunnis' social and political rights before defending their own rights, and we call on everyone to unite," Ayatollah Sistani adds. "As I have said before, Shiites should not call Sunnis their brothers, but their 'souls.'
"We should attend Sunnis’ Friday prayers more than Shiite’s. We do not discriminate between Arabs and Kurds, and Islam has collected all of us [under a common umbrella]," he says.
Sistani also points to Sunni legal issues and says that "we are united in our Holy Shrines, prayer, and fasting."
"During Saddam’s era, I saw many Sunnis convert to Shea'ism. When asked why they had converted, they replied that they converted to Shea'ism in order to attain Ahlul-Bayt friendship," Sistani says: "I told them that Sunni Imams defend Ahlul-Bayt."
THE WEST TRIES TO IGNORE BAHRAIN. WHY?
Anti-monarchy Bahraini protesters clash with police on Friday. The police blocked streets and fired tear gas and sound grenades as protests spanned most of Manama.
The main opposition party Wefaq, had said it was willing to participate in a dialogue organized by the authorities, as long as there is a published agenda and a timetable to enforce the agreements reached.
The epicentre of the protests were the market streets of the old district of the capital, where protesters concentrated and chanted the slogan "No to dialogue with Murderers."
The call to rally was made by the opposition, despite the Ministry of the Interior's ban on it, and the warning that "it would retaliate" against all violators of the ban.
After the opposition announced it would attend talks to resolve all outstanding political issues since the demands for greater democracy started in early 2011, it established a period of calm that lasted just four days.
Bahrain is currently occupied by a giant US naval base, and its ruler backed by Western arms and Saudi troops. Historically, religiously and culturally, it has always been united with mainland Iran - before the nasty West arrived!
AFRICA TO PROTECT ITSELF?
Africa must have a rapid response force in order to rapidly respond when needed, says the Chair of the African Union Commission, Nkozasana Dlamini-Zuma.
He says Africa will be able to deal with existing and new crises much more effectively, as soon as the African Alert Force begins operating.
Given the persistence of crises in Africa, the organization must identify causes and work to eradicate them, he says.
African leaders see that the regions instability occurs for two reasons; institutional fragility and foreign intervention in the internal affairs of states.
UN STARTS TO EXAMINE DRONE LEGALITY
A UN expert begins researching Friday, on the legality and impact of the use of drones and other means to kill civilians.
The research chief is UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights during the struggle against terrorism, Ben Emmerson.
According to information distributed at UN headquarters in Geneva, the research is focused on the legal framework and evidence related to civilian victims of those aircraft's actions.
Emmerson will be presenting his conclusions to the UN General Assembly, with recommendations about states' duties in conducting research related to the legality and proportionality of attacks with drones.
Taliban claim 12 NATO soldiers killed and 2 tanks destroyed on Friday, after they hit a convoy near a bazaar in the North East of Afghanistan.A local police source adds that 4 civilians were also killed by the blasts.
SYRIA COMING OUT OF CRISIS
The Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar says Syria is coming out of its crisis, as evidenced by internal, regional and international reports.
Haidar now calls on all citizens to hold a dialogue that will pave the way to realize a national reconciliation process, a report on Syrian television highlights on Friday.
At a meeting on Wednesday with politicians and civilians in the southern province of Deraa, Haidar emphasized that the Ministry will support the creation of provincial committees to transfer demands presented in each municipality, to facilitate a nationwide dialogue.
The crisis is coming to an end, Haidar points out now.
The minister says the first steps of the national dialogue will be to attempt to create a social security network, completing files on people missing, displaced or arrested, and speeding up the trials and judicial processes against those that have pending issues with justice.
JORDAN RIOTS AS HASHEMITE REGIME FALTERS
The Muslim Brotherhood watch as riots spread across Jordan on Friday, after they urged a poll boycott.
Official figures put the vote at 54%, but people are angry, and accuse the regime of holding on through fraud and led by a king with no serious intention of loosening his grip on absolute power.
The vote is described as too little too late by experts, who see the state as critically placed in the Middle East ...but over-dependent on the West to feed its people.
CANADIAN TRIBAL CHIEF ENDS FAST
Attawapiskat First Nations Chief Theresa Spence has ended her six-week-long hunger strike over aboriginal rights after indigenous groups and opposition parties signed a deal.
She has eaten only fish broth and been living in a tent on Victoria Island in Ottawa since December 11th, until today, says her spokesperson Danny Metatawabin.
Metatawabin says she spent Wednesday night in hospital and that she is now recovering from the fast's after-effects. "She's fine. But her body is tired and weak," he says.
Spence made the decision to eat solid food after opposition parties and indigenous leaders signed a declaration which lists the demands they are to present to the government.
The declaration calls for the government to improve housing and schools as well acknowledge treaty rights for all 600 tribes.
Chief Spence's hunger strike led to protests across Canada.
On January 16th, hundreds of demonstrators called on the federal government to listen to aboriginal concerns.
The protests, after two months, prompted the UN to urge Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government to set up talks in accordance with the standards expressed in the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
UN MUST PROSECUTE ISRAEL SAYS PALESTINE
The State of Palestine warns that Israel's crimes feed their rejection of the path of peace. and calls for urgent action from the Security Council.
The demand is made by the Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, in his address at a session of the UN body devoted to the situation in the Middle East and Palestine.
The Minister says the Israeli campaign of settlement construction in the occupied territories is the main obstacle to progress towards peace based on 2 states (Israel and Palestine) and the previous borders of 1967.
Stopping illegal settlement construction is not a precondition, he says, but is a legal obligation.
We are at a key moment and we must send a strong message to Israel to end its illegal policies 'or take responsibility for their violations and the destruction of the two-state solution', he stresses.
Al Maliki criticizes the Security Council for not acting to stop the Israeli aggression against Gaza and protect Palestinian civilians under international humanitarian law.
Negotiations will not succeed while being sabotaged by a ruthless occupation that makes it impossible to achieve peace, he says in his claim, and that Palestine requires 'clear parameters for a solution and the commitment of the parties' to advance in that direction. Mr Maliki also stresses the importance of the General Assembly's decision to grant Palestine U.N. Observer Status in recognition of the inalienable rights and legitimate national aspirations of the people.
'A new era has started', he says to the Security Council, 'and we hope that this marks a turning point to make peace and security between Israelis and Palestinians come true.'
But he warns that the state of Palestine should occupy its rightful place in the community of nations through the acceptance of the request made last year, to become a full member of the U.N.
Al Maliki also refers to the reconciliation between Palestinian political forces, including Fatah and Hamas, saying he hopes for a speedy realization of these efforts.
A Palestinian woman has been killed after being shot by Israeli military forces in the southern West Bank, Palestinian medical sources say.
The 21-year-old woman, identified as Lubna Hanash, was shot in the face by Israeli troops who got out of a civilian car.
The shooting took place outside a college near a refugee camp about 8 kilometers north of al-Khalil (Hebron).
Israel has set up hundreds of checkpoints in the West Bank and Israeli forces often launch attacks on Palestinians living in the territory from these checkpoints.
UN Sec General Ban Ki-moon, and Lakhdar Barahimi, the UN special envoy, finally speak out against those countries supporting the terrorist gangs in Syria.
Al Manar TV Network quotes Martin Nesirky, the UN spokesperson, as saying that “Ban Ki-moon and Lakhdar Barahimi have voiced their concerns about sending arms to Syrian rebels, since this contributes to the spread of terror, destruction, and killings in Syria.”
"Ban Ki-moon and Lakhdar Barahimi are in despair about the lack of a common international position on Syria - on helping a transitional government to be formed - which adheres to the Geneva Convention," Nesirky tells Al Manar.
The UN special envoy is presenting his report on Syria to the Security Council. In it, he admits that Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have brought a humanitarian disaster to Syria, by arming rebel terrorists.
Saudi Arabia has released 25,000 dangerous prisoners near Syria's borders, and has stipulated jihad against Bashar al-Assad, as their condition for "freeing" Syria.
Dozens are killed in illegal drone strikes in Afghanistan. ____________________________________________
AFRICA - LISTEN TO CUBA !!!
Cuba's representative at a Security Council meeting says that "so-called protection of civilians" is being used to promote regime change, and that outside military intervention violates the UN Charter.
The main responsibility for protecting civilians rests on each individual state, according to the charter, says Cuba's deputy ambassador to the UN, Oscar Leon, at a session of the UNSC on peacekeeping operations.
The diplomat says that any strategy for a peaceful outcome must be based on each nation's experience, & planned in a comprehensive, consistent, integrated way.
In this way, these operations will be able to respond to a country's requirements, in line with the principle of national control and the priorities set by the country's authorities, he says.
"The establishment of new, more complex peacekeeping operations cannot replace attending to and solving, the deep causes of conflicts," stresses Leon.
He also stresses the need to respect the goals and principles of the UN Charter, particularly on sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and non interference in internal affairs.
Leon also insists that consent is necessary, that impartiality must be seen in UNSC peacekeeping, and that at all times the use of force should not be used, unless it is necessary for the self-defense of a peace mission. He says that the Security Council must always guarantee broad participation on who contributes troops, and in designing, enacting and renewing UNSC peace mandates.
He said that the proposed use of unmanned air systems (drones) on an experimental basis in some UN missions must "in no way infringe the basic principles of peacekeeping operations".
Few of these points are being truly followed now in Mali, are they?
The USAF bombs the North of Yemen, killing several people, in illegal attacks.
'SPLENDID' ADVANCES FOR SYRIAN ARMY
The Syrian army has achieved splendid advances in fighting rebels nationwide, the pro-government al-Watan newspaper quotes a military source as saying Monday.
"Very harsh surprises" will greet "all those determined to fight without surrendering to the army in Damascus' outskirts," the paper quotes its unnamed army source as stating.
The army has achieved a "qualitative advance" on many fronts nationwide, particularly in the suburbs of Damascus, where armed fighters from the al-Qaida-linked "Nusra Front" are still trying to keep entrenched, the paper says.
Iran catches US drones one by one
Informed sources reveal that Iran holds yet another advanced US drone... besides having in its possession THREE others.
Nearly a year ago, when Iran announced that it had landed an RQ-170 in north-eastern Iran, many in the West said that the news was propaganda. It was not until Iran released pictures of the drone that everyone believed their claim. At the time, though, many thought Russia was the active force behind it, asserting that Iran was unable to carry out such operations on the highly advanced US drones.
Although the claims by authorities and media were not welcomed by the West, after the news of Iran catching a second and a third US drone, ScanEagle, Iran’s military might in identifying, tracking, controlling, and trapping US drones is now well known to all.
In the most recent operation against US surveillance drones, an informed source says that yet another US drone has been landed by Iran's armed forces.
The source provides no exact details on the drone... it may be an Aero Vironment Wasp III, a Sea Fox, an Orange BQM-74E, or a Dragon Drone.
Regardless of the new captured drone's type, by trapping this third US drone, the Iranian army proves their significant progress and preparedness in modern warfare, something which poses great challenges to the US and other western countries.
Iran sets Bashar al-Assad as redline
An advisor of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution emphasizes that Bashar al-Assad is Iran’s redline, but also believes that this is not to deny the Syrian people’s right to choose their own rulers.
Ali Akbar Velayati tells Lebanon’s Almayadeen news network that Iran’s focus on Syria is to prevent the Resistance line falling against Israel. “If Bashar al-Assad falls as Syrian president, the Resistance line against Israel would be destroyed,” he asserts.
“Iran believes that reforms should be implemented by the Syrian people’s votes, and without US support and recourse to violence, but countries such as Qatar have provided weapons to terrorists and recruited terrorist fighters from Afghanistan and Somalia to overthrow the government in Syria and commit assassinations, which indicates a conspiracy by foreigners,” he explains.
Velayati stresses that Assad is Iran’s redline, and adds that it would not mean any denial of the Syrian people’s right to choose their own rulers. "Syria is a UN member; it has a government and its head. No one would intervene and say that Assad must go or remain,” he asserts.
He expresses Tehran’s concern for the situation of the world's Muslims, saying "we support any Muslim, either Sunni or Shiite, and Iran has proved that well during recent incidents.2
The Supreme Leader’s adviser calls all Muslims to unite and confront their common enemies together:
"Uniting Muslims is highly possible, and their shared interests will help Muslims avoid any schism among the Islamic Umma."
As activists in the West Bank set up another 'Peace Village' to stop Israel building settler enclaves between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which Israel's leaders hope kills off any hope of a functional state for the Palestinian people, Israel has its eye on stealing the Jordan valley... without the world noticing.
The Israeli army has blocked a convoy from delivering humanitarian aid to the residents of the Jordan Valley, in the northern West Bank.
The 300-member convoy is carrying winter clothing, mattresses, food and toys for the storm hit region. About 30 families in the Jordan valley have lost their makeshift shelters recently due to stormy weather.
Israel gives no clear justification for the move, which the Palestinian Authority’s spokesperson Nour Oudeh says is a "very dangerous measure."
Nedaa Yousif, one of the convoy’s members, has organized a sit-in at an Israeli army checkpoint on the way to Jordan valley to protest the move.
The Jordan Valley is about 28.5% of the West Bank and is rich in both farmland and water resources.
Thousands of Palestinians live in the valley, and are unable to cultivate their land, drill wells, build permanent structures, including health centres or schools, cannot access water or electricity and are under the constant threat of being evicted.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, out of the 60,000 Palestinians who live in the Jordan Valley, "some 3,400 people reside partially or fully in closed military zones, and face a high risk of forced eviction."
The Palestinian residents in the area often face compulsory evacuation or destruction of their houses.
Settlers, recently polled, show an appetite to vote in an even more rightwing and aggressively expansionist leadership in the coming elections, saying they feel that Netanyahu is "too soft".
BAHRAIN REVOLUTION "UNSTOPPABLE"
Sheikh Ali Salman, secretary general of al-Wefaq party, Bahrain’s main opposition party, says the revolution there cannot be suppressed, and that it will continue until the demands of Bahrainis are met. He criticizes the Manama regime for cracking down on a popular uprising.
Saudi-backed security forces are attacking anti-regime protesters almost daily, as peaceful protests continue.
The regime's forces fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters in the capital, Manama, injuring several of them.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to help the Bahraini government crush peaceful protests.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed, and hundreds arrested.
US Defense Department documents just released, reveal that the US has been providing the Al Khalifa regime with weapons and combat vehicle parts.
Recently, Bahrain’s highest court upheld jail terms and life sentences for scores of activists.
Despite their foreign-backed clampdown, the Bahraini regime is clearly failing to stop the demonstrations.
PAKISTAN'S FUTURE UNSETTLING?
The officer who was investigating the fraud case against Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is found dead in the federal capital of Islamabad, local media report.
Local Urdu TV channels quoting police officials say that Kamran Faisal, an investigation officer of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), was found dead in his residence in the federal lodges of Islamabad.
Police officials are unable to tell the cause of his death yet. The officer's body is in a hospital undergoing an autopsy. Police and other agencies have started their investigations.
Faisal was playing a main role in the investigation of the Rental Power Projects (RPPs) case that led the Supreme Court of Pakistan to order the prompt arrest of PM Ashraf and 15 others allegedly involved in the scam on Tuesday.
During the hearing of the case in the Supreme Court, NAB refused to take action against the sitting prime minister, saying that the investigation report, submitted earlier to the Supreme court, did not have enough evidence.
The Head of NAB was chosen by the current leader of Pakistan, who has been advised that he can stay in active power even when arrested, but not after any successful conviction. The Supreme Court has now put back the trial until January the 23rd.
Pakistan's government had peacefully ended a four-day sit-in outside parliament house in Islamabad, reaching agreement Thursday with a powerful religious scholar, local media report.
A 10-member negotiation team held talks with Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, who led thousands of his supporters from Lahore on Sunday to protest in Islamabad. "Today is a day of victory for the people of Pakistan and the marchers. Your sacrifices yielded results," Qadri tells thousands of people, including women and children.
Qadri tells Russia Today that thousands of commandos were sent to remove the peaceful marchers, but that they withdrew, confronted by stewards and women...
he also argues that Pakistan has been so corrupt, with 70% of parliament not sending in tax returns, that his movement became necessary for justice.
Both sides agree that both assemblies will be dissolved before March 16th and new elections held in 90 days.
The"Islamabad Long March Declaration" was signed by the government's negotiation team and Qadri, inside a bullet-proof container owned by the religious leader.
The negotiation team took the draft to PM Raja Pervez Ashraf, who also endorsed and signed the accord. Official sources say that President Asif Ali Zardari has also approved the agreement.
The declaration says that all candidates will be pre-cleared to prevent fraud, and only eligible candidates will be able to take part in the elections; and that The Election Commission will clear the candidates.
It also says that the government and Qadri's political party "Awami Tehrik", or People's Movement, will present two candidates for the post of prime minister, who will then lead the caretaker government.
The reconstitution of the Election Commission will be discussed in a meeting on January the 27th.
The declaration also says that electoral reforms will be introduced before the elections to ensure transparent, fair and free elections.
All court cases against the organizers and participants of the march are to be withdrawn, the declaration says.
Qadri, chief of the Tehrik Minhaj-ul-Quran, had demanded that both federal and provincial governments must resign and that the national and provincial assemblies must be dissolved. He'd also demanded a new election commission.
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, leader of the government's team, congratulated Qadri for organizing the biggest and most peaceful march in Pakistan. He said the government had worked sincerely for a negotiated solution to end the march.
Information Minister Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira says the agreement is a victory for the people of Pakistan which also gives a message to the world that Pakistan's leaders can successfully find solutions.
The government had refused to talk to Qadri but started talks on Thursday after his protest disrupted life in Islamabad, and some coalition partners advised the holding of talks with the cleric.
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of PM Raja Pervez Ashraf in a corruption case.
Pakistan's anti-corruption agency on Thursday, refused to arrest PM Raja Pervez Ashraf, saying that the evidence submitted is insufficient, local media report.
On Tuesday the Supreme Court ordered NAB to arrest Ashraf and 15 other people within 24 hours in a case involving private power stations built to provide electricity to energy-starved Pakistan when he was the minister for water and power.
But at Thursday's hearing, NAB Chair Fasih Bokhari told the Supreme Court that the investigation report submitted to in the Rental Power Projects (RPP) case, was inaccurate.
Bokhari also said that the investigation officers worked in a hurry, and did not provide proofs in their report.
The chief justice of the Supreme Court Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry criticizes the NAB for changing its stance and says the Supreme Court can itself monitor the case. The court is now ordering NAB to submit its complete case file.
The top court, in an earlier verdict in March 2012, observed that rules and regulations were violated in these projects, in which the national exchequer oversaw billions in losses.
The Supreme Court has declared the Rental Power Projects illegal and ordered them to be shut down.
Some experts warn that Pakistan faces an attempt now, to re-install army rule.
If Pakistan's elections DO take place, it will be the first time an elected government has succeeded another in Pakistan's entire history.
Native Canadians stopped the traffic on Wednesday, blockading roads, bridges and a main railway line... and halted the busiest Canada-US border point to make theirs.
Their actions are intended to force the Canadian government from undermining century-old treaties which preclude the leasing of native lands to outsiders and give environmental protection from the extraction (stealing) of natural resources.
Hundreds of supporters of the Idle No More movement gathered at the Ambassador bridge in Ontario.
In northern Ontario, a group blockaded a railway line, halting trains between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.
Others obstructed traffic on a Quebec motorway and some stopped a train on a line near Winnipeg.
Natives also stopped traffic using a bridge in New Brunswick, while others blockaded a road north of Victoria for 45 minutes, and others stopped the Canadian National railway line in British Columbia.
The two areas of the world raped most by the West, now organise to strengthen peace and stop looters.
The 7th Ministerial Meeting of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone (Zopacas in Spanish) agrees to strengthen peaceful cooperation in defense.
Delegates from 21 South American and African countries with coasts on the South Atlantic held a two-day meeting here and have signed the Declaration of Montevideo.
Several paragraphs are dedicated to regional defense issues especially in keeping the area free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
Delegates also urge the UK and Argentina to find a peaceful, just and lasting solution over the Malvinas (Falkland) islands.
After calling on London and Buenos Aires to negotiate, as instructed by UN resolutions, they recall the need to abstain from unilateral moves, including the illegal exploration for oil in that "zone".
The declaration of Montevideo refers to the need to put a quick and unconditional end to colonialism in all of its forms. The states all express concern over the reinforcement of a UK military presence there, in violation of UN resolutions.
The document insists on the need to preserve the South Atlantic from wars, nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking and piracy.
The states also discussed governance, economic development, oceanic resources, the environment and the need to combat organized transnational crime.
The association of 24 countries was chaired by Angola, and the chair passes now to Uruguay. The Uruguayan minister of Foreign Relations, Luis Almagro heads the group until 2015.
His message on taking up the chair, focuses on the defense of peace, on dialogue, and on the strengthening of regional integration between the countries of both continents.
Another NATO soldier is killed in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan, Press TV reports.
ISAF says that the US-led occupation soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) yesterday.
The day before, a UK soldier died of wounds suffered in an IED attack in Helmand province, south Afghanistan.
According to the UK's MoD, the soldier died in a hospital in Birmingham, in central England.
The soldier was serving in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand Province, when he was injured on January 14th, the ministry says in its statement.
Since the start of the illegal invasion in 2001, over 3,250 foreign troops, mostly from the USA, have been killed in Afghanistan.
RUSSIAN AND IRANIAN NAVY JUST OFF SYRIA?
Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says the Islamic Republic’s 24th fleet of warships is being sent to patrol the Mediterranean Sea, amongst others.
“The Navy’s 24th fleet of warships will patrol the north of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb, the Red Sea, Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea for three months and will even sail as far as southeastern Asian countries,” Sayyari says on Wednesday.
WITHOUT PEACE, YOUR WEALTH IS NOTHING
As the French "socialist" regime moves troops to the frontline in Mali, protected by the US (shades of Vietnam!), the President of Benin, Thomas Boni Yayi, speaks today with his Angolan counterpart, José Eduardo dos Santos, about the current situation in Africa, marked by conflicts such as Mali's.
"I came to Angola as part of the beginning of a tour of African countries to discuss the issue of instability in countries like Mali, and to find solutions, along with other colleagues, to these problems," remarks the current acting Chair of the African Union (AU).
The AU representative says wars have prevented the development of the African continent, despite its being abundantly rich in natural resources.
He stresses that this wealth is worth nothing if the region does not achieve real peace.
Angola's leader Dos Santos calls for an end to violence in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the Central African Republic, Mali, and in Guinea Bissau.
African soldiers (about 3,300) will soon move to Mali, backed by the Economic Community of West African States.
After Luanda, Boni Yayi is visiting South Africa and Zimbabwe, prior to the next Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The president of Benin highlights the cooperation and strong friendly ties between his country and Angola.
Another Palestinian boy is shot dead by Israeli troops as reports say a boy shot previously has also now died, succumbing to his wounds.
The Taliban say 5 NATO soldiers are dead - killed by Afghan soldiers. No confirmation from ISAF as yet. They also claim another helicopter is shot down inside a US army base. ____________________________________
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD...
As activists hug each other after their 'tent city' is dismantled by Israeli security forces, a spokes- person says "this is just the beginning... now we are to join 10,000 other activists in another 'city'."
Syria's parliament opens dialogue with opposition and insists that this will not stop Syria's campaign to crush terrorists being armed by outside states.
Karzai says the number of US troops to remain will be "very very small", and that a loyal Jurga is to decide on the 'immunity' issue for those.
He and surrounding countries all say that the presence of outside forces is THE cause of instability in Afghanistan.
EVEN THE DEAD CRY OUT!
The families of Shia Muslims killed in recent bombings in Pakistan are now burying the bodies of the victims after assurances over improved security in Quetta.
On January 10th, nearly 130 people were killed and many others injured in a wave of deadly attacks targeting Pakistani security guards and civilians.
The families of the victims in Quetta refuse to bury the bodies of the victims and continued their sit-in until the Pakistan Army assured them over security.
Reports say nearly 8,000 people, including women and children, were sitting in the open with the coffins of over 60 of the dead.
"Quetta has become a killing field and we are protesting to stop targeted killings," said one of the protesters.
"None of my relatives was killed, but I am here to support the families who have lost their loved ones, and they have been sitting in the open in this harsh weather for the past 48 hours."
On Sunday, Pakistan’s PM Raja Pervez Ashraf arrived in Quetta to meet the bereaved families of the victims and hold talks with the leaders of the Hazara Shia community.
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the United States in the so-called war on terror.
Violence has risen against Shia Muslims in different parts of Pakistan in recent months. Since the beginning of 2012, hundreds of Shias have been killed in the country. The attacks have targeted many doctors, engineers, high- ranking government officials, teachers, and politicians.
The Israeli regime forcibly evicted Palestinians from the site of newly-announced settlements in the occupied West Bank, where they had pitched tents, despite an earlier injunction by Israel’s High Court preventing the government from such action.
That Friday marchers commemorating The Prophet Mohammed were shot and teargassed in Bahrain. Not a PEEP from the puppet Arab regimes !!! Not ONE MENTION in any Arab media !!!
The USS Jacksonville, a large nuclear submarine, has broken its periscope after colliding with a vessel which escaped unscathed. This is just the latest collision to involve a US vessel in the tension filled Strait of Hormuz.
The US submarine was on a routine pre-dawn patrol when seamen heard a "thump", says a Navy source who spoke to several news agencies. The crew tried to assess the damage by looking through its periscope, but realized it was not working. The other periscope then showed that the first one had been "sheared off".
It appears that a 'fishing trawler' collided with the 7,000-tonne submarine, without damaging itself, without being noticed at all by the US submarine, and without noticing the collision itself.
"The vessel continued on a consistent course and speed, offering no indication of distress or acknowledgement of a collision," says a statement on the US Navy website.
Authorities insist the USS Jacksonville is "safe".
"The reactor remains in a safe condition, there was no damage to the propulsion plant systems and there is no concern regarding watertight integrity," they say.
The USS Jacksonville has now returned to Bahrain, where its damage will be assessed.
The Strait of Hormuz has been the scene of several collisions since tensions rose between Iran and the US after the more extreme imposition of sanctions on the export of Iran's oil to Western states in the last 2 years.
In response, Iran has threatened to close the strait, which moves a third of the world’s sea-borne oil.
To counter this, the US and its allies have deployed a huge naval force in the crowded passageway.
With ships from dozens of nations, often operating at cross-purposes, collisions are inevitable.
In August last year, for example, a Japanese oil tanker left a three-meter-wide hole in the side of the USS Portera, a naval destroyer.
RUSSIA STRONG OVER SYRIA
The Russian Defense Ministry says vessels from the country’s Black Sea and Baltic fleets are conducting naval exercises in the eastern Med, just off Syria's coastline.
According to the ministry, the drill involves anti-submarine, anti-ship and air defense operations. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says that the naval exercises are "the biggest in the history of the country."
"A tactical group of Black Sea Fleet warships led by the Moskva cruiser is staging a naval exercise in the eastern Mediterranean," the Ministry says.
Russia has a naval base at Syria's port of Tartus. In August 2012, three Russian warships performed maritime exercises in the Mediterranean.
While Russia has repeatedly warned against any military intervention in Syria, Western states have threatened to intervene 'if necessary'.
Russia and the West are also at loggerheads over NATO's deployment of Patriot missiles along Turkey's border with Syria.
THE QUEEN's OTHER KNEE JERK COLONY
Many Australians have watched horrified, as Labour aspirations have been killed off in near coups by the UK's deathgrip on their constitution. An entire left Labour government fell under this... and the present PM stole her position by sanctioned treachery.
Now the truly unelected PM of Australia's governing cabal is expanding economic sanctions against Iran, by pretending that the fault lies with Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program.
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says the new sanctions target Iran’s financial, trade, energy and transport sectors, Associated Press reports.
Carr claims that the sanctions aim to mount pressure on Iran over its nuclear obligations and to force the country to abide by resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The Australian official says that the new measures are in line with EU and "other countries" sanctions, which Russia, China and the majority of world nations through NAM say are illegal.
The UNSC imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran, after months of fabricated 'evidence' from the US and Israel.
But these measures have been followed by a series of illegal unilateral embargoes imposed against Iran's oil and financial sectors by the US, EU and Canada.
Advance, Australia fair!
'WE KILLED UK SOLDIER', CLAIM 'TALIBAN'. Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesperson, tells media that an infiltrated Taliban fighter called Qasim shot at NATO soldiers in Gereshk last Monday, inflicting casualties.
A man dressed in Afghan army uniform shot dead a UK soldier Monday in Helmand an Afghan army officer confirms.
"An Afghan soldier opened fire and killed a British soldier in a military base in Gereshk district of Helmand province on Monday and began fleeing but was killed by other soldiers," the anonymous officer told Xinhua news agency.
Another Afghan army officer, Mohammad Rasoul Zazai, confirms the shooting. "A soldier with the national army opened fire and killed a soldier with the NATO-led ISAF on Monday," he says.
Giving no further details, he says an investigation has been started to determine the identity of the culprit.
ISAF confirms the incident on Tuesday:
"An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against ISAF service members in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing one," it says.
405 foreign soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in 2012, 58 of them in so-called green-on-blue or insider attacks.
As the West's media swings into action to criticise Syria's peace plan, with the UN revealed as impossibly biased as Ban Ki Moon says it cannot work, because the Geneva Accord says he must first resign (a travesty of the truth!), the West still clings to the most obvious lie of all - that ONLY talks with Israel can free Palestine.
The United States says it's "a bad idea" to change the Palestinian National Authority's name to the State of Palestine, insisting that statehood can ONLY be achieved through a negotiated settlement with Israel.
"Our policy on continuing to call it the Palestinian Authority, until such time that there is a negotiated agreement for a state with borders, will not change," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, tells reporters.
"Well you can't create a state by rhetoric and with labels and names," she explains. "You can only create a state, in this context, through bilateral negotiations."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a decree ordering that the name 'State of Palestine' be used on all official stamps including identity cards, driving licenses, documents, passports and letterheads.
It is the first official step taken toward statehood since the UN General Assembly granted Palestinians upgraded status to a non-member observer state in November last year.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says he too opposes the latest moves to statehood, arguing in turn, that a Palestinian state can only be born through a negotiated peace treaty with Israel.
"We're certainly going to tell them that it's a bad idea and it doesn't change anything for the Palestinian people. And if they really want to change things for the Palestinian people, they need to get back to the table."
Israel is announcing more and more illegal settlement building on occupied land since Palestinians achieved non-member UN observer status, and this is provoking verbal criticism in almost all world capitals.
Yet nothing practical has been done, except by Palestinians themselves, who swear now to keep united.
The US and Israel were also isolated, when they alone opposed granting Palestinians even a limited statehood.
Syria’s president outlines a plan to end the conflict, starting with a complete halt in international support to "al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups." The solution proposes a new constitution and government and national reconciliation.
President Bashar Assad says that his government has never refused a political solution, but will not negotiate with terrorists. He stresses that the only solution is for an agreement made between Syrians, to end the crisis.
"The political solution entails regional and international powers halting their support for armed groups, which will be followed by a halt in our security forces' crackdown against them," Assad says, in his first public address to the people of Syria since June.
That will be followed by dialogue with all parties who work in Syria’s interests, in the form of a national conference to form a lasting truce, and the drafting of a new constitution to be voted on by the people. This will form the basis of a new Syrian government.
The final step will bring reconciliation, and include amnesties for those imprisoned during the crisis.
Assad thanks Russia, China and Iran for not "interfering in Syrian affairs," and calls the armed rebels "Western puppets"and "terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda."
"We have terrorists who follow the ideology of al-Qaeda. We brothers fight against these people. Most of them are not Syrian. We will teach them a lesson!" he says.
He called for a national mobilization to fight the "murderous criminals" besieging the country.
"Everyone must defend Syria - the attack is on the entire nation… every citizen who is aware and refusing to join solutions is taking the nation backwards," he says.
In answer to President Assad's demand that the West stop supporting armed terrorists, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said his words are "beyond hypocritical" and "empty promises would not fool anyone."
Assad gave his speech in Damascus’ central opera house to a throng of staunch supporters, who punctuated his speech with cheers of encouragement.
Assad was mobbed by exultant supporters afterwards.
"With blood and soul we sacrifice for you, O Bashar!" they chanted for several minutes, mobbing him as he grinned and waved back.
The Turkish Republican People's Party demands now that PM Recep Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu attend Parliament to be questioned about the presence of Turkish officials assisting armed terrorists in Syria.
MP Bidar Lutfi has filed a parliamentary questioning note, whose content is released by the Turkish media.
The text requires that Erdogan and Davutoglu clarify the role of Turkish officers in the conflict, for their assistance to the self-styled Free Syrian Army, and explain news about the arrest of several Turkish soldiers in Syria.
'Several reports substantiate the arrest of two senior officials by Damascus authorities, and several of our intelligence agents', the note says.
'The two current leaders of Turkey should be asked about how those officers came to Syria, if they were cooperating with the terrorist network Al Qaeda and whether the Turkish armed forces carried out covert operations in the neighboring country', the document claims.
Press reports show that Turkey, bordering Syria, is one of the countries in the region that supports irregular groups fighting the government of President Bashar Al Assad, through financial and logistical assistance, and allowing the passage of mercenaries to kill and plant bombs.
DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
A Welsh soldier is reportedly found hung at his home on leave, after previously escaping from a roadside bomb blast while driving a light tank in Afghanistan.
Robert Griffiths, 24, was one of 3 soldiers who walked away unhurt from a potentially deadly roadside blast in November 2011.
He was found hung at his parents' home in the Gower village of Bishopston, near Swansea, south Wales, on the 29th December, 2012.
South Wales police confirm that they are investigating the death of a 24-year-old man at the location.
A spokesperson says the family have been informed and that the death is not being treated as suspicious.
Griffiths' escape from the potentially deadly IED was highlighted at the time in an MoD online news release.
It followed a time in Afghanistan when UK patrol vehicles were seen as under-protected and putting lives at risk.
Griffiths’s apparent suicide comes after a report by the Daily Mail last year, showed that 9,000 UK soldiers have been treated for mental health problems since 2007.
Their mental condition includes suicidal thoughts, depression, and hallucinations.
Since the start of the US-led (illegal) invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, 438 soldiers from the UK's Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Marines and Special Forces have lost their lives there.
CHANGING THE WORLD
There have been many Welsh who emigrated to escape the UK's cramped culture for other lands, often choosing to ignore the fact that their liberty to do so rested on a slaughter or repression of the original inhabitants...
In Canada, most now recognise Harper's government as corrupt, and a new spirit is being lit and fueled by the awakened hearts of native Canadians.
Canada’s p.m. now announces that he will meet with the country’s native leaders, after aboriginal protesters pledged to keep up their efforts until Ottawa respects the rights of native people.
Stephen Harper makes the announcement in a speech inside the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, where a group of protesters, as part of the Canada-wide ‘Idle No More’ movement, temporarily blocked a road near the plant to voice their outrage.
“Promises have been broken --- First Nations, aboriginal people, Indians, status, non-status, are here to stand up for our constitutional right to have a say in the use of our lands and territories,” says Earl Lambert.
Protests were staged across Canada after the Chief of Attawapiskat First Nations in Northern Ontario, Theresa Spence, went on hunger strike on Dec 11th, 2012, to demand a meeting with Mr Harper.
One aboriginal activist says, "A meeting is just a meeting. I would recommend that people continue the actions up to the point that promises made in that meeting are fulfilled."
Harper’s office says treaty relationships, aboriginal rights, and economic development are the focus of the next talks, to be coordinated by the Assembly of First Nations.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo says natives across Canada are voicing “concern and frustration with a broken system that does not address long-standing disparities between First Nations and the rest of Canada, or address priorities in ways that will provide for long-term solutions and sustainability.”
Atleo says that, after Ottawa made changes to environmental and other laws last month, there is rising anger.
Natives argue that these changes will adversely affect fishing and hunting rights as well as other land rights.
At least eight people are injured in attacks by Jordanian riot police at the al-Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, on the border, SANA news agency reports last Friday.
Clashes started when Syrian refugees demanded blankets to protect them from the cold, after the failure to deliver fuel supplies for heating.
Police forces responded to the protesters' demands by launching tear gas.
According to the UN Agency for Refugees (UNAR), the current conflict shaking Syria has caused the exodus of more than half a million Syrians to neighboring countries.
The UNAR offices in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and North African countries have registered over 510,000 Syrian refugees, although only half of them live in refugee camps.
Melissa Fleming, UNAR spokesperson in Geneva, said last month that 14 Syrian refugee camps are in Turkey, three in Iraq, and three in Jordan.
ON AND ON IN ILLEGAL AFGHAN OCCUPATION
A soldier with NATO forces is killed last Thursday morning in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the coalition confirms in a statement.
"An ISAF service member died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan today," the coalition or - ISAF - says in the statement.
The brief statement gives neither the nationality of the victim nor details about the incident, under ISAF policy.
Rhondda Records can confirm that the victim was Danish.
Ex-Pope Benedict XVI this New Year criticized the egotistic mentality and individualism of "unregulated financial capitalism" and defended peace as an innate vocation of humankind, at the New Year mass.
From Saint Peter´s Basilica in The Vatican, Joseph Retzinger, 85, condemned the inequalities between rich and poor and referred to those social differences as being hotbeds ofconfrontation.
He said that, despite the negative consequences of unregulated financial capitalism, humans have an innate vocation for peace, and he prays for this gift to be realised.
In his opinion, there is good in the world, and "this good is set to win, thank God," though he said it is difficult to understand, as "evil is noisier than good, as brutal murders, violence and serious injustices top the news."
His mass was part of worldwide celebrations to mark World Peace Day, organized by the Catholic Church.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Mohamed Shahed Amin Khan, Head of the International Human Rights Commission criticises the image offered by most Western and Arab media about Syria.
The images broadcast are the very opposite of what is really happening here, says Amin Khan.
The media are liars, because I have seen with my own eyes what happens in Syria; attacks by terrorist groups sponsored from abroad, affecting the Syrian people and State, Amin Khan says.
Damascus is a victim of the same terrorism faced by Pakistan and other countries, because the Al Qaeda network, which fought in Afghanistan against US occupation, is now in Syria, he states.
The IHRC chief urges all parties in conflict in Syria to talk and find a peaceful solution to the crisis, in line with the Geneva Declaration of June 30, 2012, and calls on the opposition to change their approach of supporting terrorism and stop being a tool used and manipulated by other nations. Western countries use the slogans of democracy and human rights only when they suit their own interests, he says
As secularists, Christians, Sunnis, Shi ites, learn that there is only one truth - live in harmony or die in dissent and vanity, Palestinians live in great hope for 2013...
Al Fatah organization celebrated its 48th anniversary in Al Saraya Square, Gaza, in line with the reconciliation with Hamas, say official sources.
On January the 1st, 1965, commandos under Yasser Arafat's leadership blew up the water supply station to an Israeli paramilitary settlement, marking the beginning of armed struggle against the Zionist occupation of Palestine.
Hamas officials addressed the people in the celebration to which every Palestine organization was invited, including 5,000 al Fatah members in the Gaza Strip, said Shaath.
Al Fatah and Hamas had been at odds on their views about the way to build an independent Palestine, but agreed to end their squabbles last November, amidst ferocious Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, that cost the lives of over 170 civilians, half of them women and children, with twice that number wounded.
The announcement coincides with a visit to the West Bank of Nabil el Arabi, General Secretary of the Arab League, who is studying, with President Abbas, the promises to supply to his government a monthly $100M, that have not yet been fulfilled.
Syrian Army troops reportedly arrested four Turkish fighter jet pilots near a military airport in Syria’s northwestern province of Aleppo.
The Turkish pilots were arrested by Syrian troops at the Koerc military airport while trying to sneak into the airfield with the help of a militant group, Arabic- language newspaper Al-Watan reported.
The report gave no further details, but said the incident attested to Turkey’s direct involvement in the Syrian conflict.
Tensions have been running high between Syria and Turkey, with Damascus accusing Turkey - along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar - of backing a deadly militancy that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including security & army personnel.
In an interview with Turkish daily Cumhuriyet in July, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Ankara "has supplied all logistic support to the terrorists who have killed our people."
YOU DIDN'T ARREST BUSH AND BLAIR - SO WELCOME TO THE THIRD WORLD WAR
The International Criminal Court only issues arrest warrents against countries the Zionist bankers see as their enemies.
After NATO smashed the former Yugoslavia, only Serbs were arrested and known Albanian war criminals were installed in their places to run an illegal state (Kosovo).
In the Sudan, South Sudan was destabilised by a civil war designed to break it away, yet Sudan's honorable President is issued with arrest warrants.
Now the US is sending troops to Chad, a nearby client state long ruled by the UK's rich and avaricious elite.
When NATO, or Israel (and that apartheid state is all but a NATO member as it serves its interests), kill innocent children, women and the elderly... NO-ONE is ever brought to trial.
We HAVE to stop the little Hitlers of this world !!!
Gazans are calling on the international community to try Israeli leaders for their crimes against the Palestinian people during the three-week onslaught on the Gaza Strip at the turn of 2009, states a report on Press TV.
The victims of the 22-day Israeli war on Gaza argue that Israeli leaders and military commanders are still free years after their deadly war on the besieged strip and not answerable to anyone for the crimes they have committed.
“The Israeli force[s] collected my relatives, including women and children, in a house and then exploded it. Most of them were killed in the explosion. I still call on the international community to bring to justice the Israeli leaders for this crime," says Ahmad Samouni, a Gaza war victim.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) also says it has lodged legal cases in different countries on behalf of the Palestinians against Israel.
Director of the PCHR Raji Sourani says that some European countries have even modified laws in order to prevent the prosecution of Israeli war criminals.
Activists say that Israeli officials are enjoying immunity from prosecution as a result of the West's support for them, giving them a green light to carry out more attacks against Gazans.
UK human rights worker Adie Mormech says:
"Four years on, it is quite clear that there is no justice whatsoever for any of the crimes. Over 1,400 people were killed, including over 300 children and over 5,000 others were injured.
The more Israel has immunity from international laws, the more we can expect further massacres and attacks on women and children, who are the principal victims."
A UN inquiry led by former S African Judge Richard Goldstone detailed Israeli acts "amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity," during Israel's offensive on Gaza in 2008-09.
The inquiry found that Israel violated international humanitarian law. Dozens of Palestinian policemen were killed at the start of the Gaza onslaught, when Israel bombed their stations.
Palestinians were used as human shields and were forced to walk ahead of Israeli soldiers searching civilian areas.
Thousands of Palestinians were killed during the 22 days of land, sea and air assaults by the Israeli regime, during Operation Cast Lead. The attack inflicted USD 1.6 billion of damage upon Gaza's economy.
During November 14th to 21st, in 2012, over 160 Palestinians, including many women and children, were also killed and 1,200 others were injured, in the latest illegal Israeli war on Gaza.
As a small Palestinian village disappears near Bethlehem, surrounded by huge gated settler villages, in permanent illegal and racist land grabs....
The Palestinian Authority (PA) criticizes the US for pressuring Arab foreign ministers to cancel their visit to the West Bank.
The criticism comes after four Arab foreign ministers refused to accompany Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi during his first visit to Ramallah.
"The Americans prevented the Arab foreign ministers from visiting Ramallah," executive member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Wasel Abu Yusef, tells reporters.
Al-Arabi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr arrived in Ramallah to hold talks with Acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas.
Some of the ministers claimed that they called off the visit as they did not want to go through Israeli checkpoints, yet the delegation flew to Ramallah by Jordanian helicopter!
Abu Yusef also says that the US and Israel asked the Arab states to place sanctions on Palestinians in the West Bank as soon as the UN voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as a non-member state.
"The US and Israel are imposing an economic blockade on the Palestinian state and are preventing Arab countries and Western donors from giving Palestinians financial aid. Unfortunately, these countries have succumbed to pressure, intensifying the financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority."
Al-Arabi, who was in Ramallah to discuss the Palestinian financial crisis, failed to offer any badly-needed funds.
"Palestine is in need of material and political support. Arab countries agreed at their Baghdad summit (in March) to an Arab safety net of $100 million dollars every month, but unfortunately none of this has been achieved... yet."
Palestinians are struggling to get Arab support to make up for a $100 million cut by the Israeli regime after the UN move.
The Tel Aviv regime is illegally keeping Palestinian tax funds.
EGYPT FOLLOWS THROUGH
Egypt is allowing building materials into the Gaza Strip - through the Rafah border crossing - for the first time since Israel imposed a blockade on the Palestinian territory over five years ago.
Egyptian and Palestinian officials say that thousands of tons of cement, steel and other building materials have started crossing into Gaza.
A Hamas government official says 20 lorries carrying building material have crossed the Rafah border.
Under former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, no building materials were allowed into Gaza.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, and it has caused a huge drop in the standard of living, with unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty for Palestinians there.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.
USA, NRA, TO OPPOSE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY?
The United Nations has agreed to hold discussions in 2013 on an international arms treaty to stop sales to areas in which armament sales could aid genocide or war/human rights crimes, but the National Rifle Association says that they will step in and make sure the measure isn’t approved.
The UN has put aside 10 days in March 2013 to negotiate terms of the Arms Trade Treaty, an international agreement that would forbid member states from exporting firearms to countries either under an arms embargo or in instances where exporting weapons would facilitate "the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes" or other violations of humanitarian law.
But just 3 days after the General Assembly agreed to hold discussions in the new year, the US's NRA says it intends stopping any such measure from being brought into life.
NRA President David Keene says: "We're as opposed to it today as we were when it first appeared.”
"We do not see anything in terms of the language and the preamble as being any kind of guarantee of the American people's rights under the Second Amendment," Keene says.
The White House says that the proposed arms treaty would not effect the sale of arms within the USA in its current form, but would instead require other UN member states to sign on to restrictions on a par with US regulations regarding the export of guns. The NRA, however, is sticking to their claim that any changes to gun laws, federal or international, threaten US citizens' right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment.
Author Andrew Feinstein says to Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman:
"I have not seen anywhere else in the world a gun lobby that has the same level of influence on its own government as the NRA does in the United States. The US buys and sells almost as much weaponry as the rest of the world combined. So what happens in the US is going to have enormous impact on the rest of the world."
Dr. Natalie Goldring, senior research fellow at the Center for Security Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, tells IPS that the March 2013 conference probably represents the last chance for the UN to reach an Arms Trade Treaty.
"If this conference fails, supporters of an ATT are likely to look outside the UN for the next stage of negotiations, as was the case with the Landmine Treaty," claims Dr. Goldring.
The IPS says all six major arms-exporting countries – China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the United States – voted for the resolution. Even with such strong support, approval of the ATT isn’t likely. The majority of US senators have already asked President Barack Obama to oppose the treaty, and a single veto can end negotiations.
UN delegations can ask for the 193-nation General Assembly to vote on the ATT at a later date, where a two-thirds majority is all that will be required to enact the bill.
SOCIALISTS SUPPORT SYRIA
The PM of Syria Dr. Alhalaki met a delegation from the Arab Socialist Movement, and praised their important, effective role in the world.
The parties of the National Progressive Front and all national groups have significantly contributed to coping with the ferocious attack that seeks to divide our country and Syrian society, to end its role in the region, he said.
Syria frustrates the plots of their enemies thanks to the unity of the people in cooperation with the Armed Forces, he stressed.
The Prime Minister discussed Syria's economic situation, referring to the many acts of sabotage and destruction of armed groups, against the country's infrastructure.
He says dialogue and national reconciliation based on national sovereignty and non-interference in the affairs of foreign countries, will ensure the success of Syria.
al-Ahmad and his Arab Socialist Movement delegation commend the Government's efforts to address the economic situation and meet the demands of citizens.
The visitors say that Syria faces a political, military, economic and social war, and they praise the role of the army in its fight against terrorism, and the restoration of stability and security in the nation.
SYRIA KEY TO WORLD's FUTURE
UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi calls for the formation of a transitional government with full executive powers, that could pave the way for peace.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Brahimi says "We need to form a government with all powers which will assume power during a period of transition."
Brahimi stresses that "this transitional period must not lead to the collapse of the state's institutions." [as in Iraq and Libya]
The Algerian veteran diplomat calls for an end to violence:
"Violence must stop, and for the violence to stop there should be strong monitoring. That could be provided by the peacekeeping process," he says.
"The solution lies in bringing Syrians' points of view closer and if the Syrians are unable to do that by themselves, the international community, their neighbours and all people, must help them," insists Brahimi.
He notes that the Geneva conference on Syria proposes several ways that could help in resolving the crisis.
"We are sure that the Geneva conference that was held in June last year has enough elements to enact a plan that could end this crisis within the few next months," he says.
A meeting of the "Syria Action Group" in Geneva last June proposed a basic roadmap for a Syrian-led power transition.
Asked about the proposal to send peacekeepers to Syria: "Some say that Brahimi is suggesting foreign forces in Syria; No, these are not foreign forces, and would only come after the concurrence of all parties."
He says that once there is approval of a peacekeeping mission, it means that there is international consensus and "that is good".
He denies any Russian-American plan on Syria: "I wish there was a Russian-US project. There is no Russian-US project."
He warns that the political crisis in Syria could turn into a sectarian war that causes the region and further, to explode.
"I don't think that you would disagree with me that time is not on anyone's side and whosoever has the ability to help end this predicament that has hit Syria, must spare no effort."
Russia's Lavrov argues, in a full interview with Russia Today, that so far the West has agreed with the Geneva Accord, but keeps breaking its terms, by backing those who destroy infrastructure and who forced UN peacekeepers out recently.
Lavrov, of course, constrained by decency, doesn't say out loud what all this means - that the US and its allies are hypocritically trying to destroy Syria through terror.
Lavrov stresses that eventually, discussions will HAVE to take place.
We say, only if the West is pressed to do so, morally, by its own decent, good, aware, active people!
EGYPT TO GROW ECONOMY NEXT
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hassigned a decree to enforce the new constitution after its approval, official news agency MENA reports.
Many liberal, leftist and Coptic parties stated that the draft constitution, written by the Islamist-dominated assembly, in their view, did not represent all Egyptians, especially after their representatives withdrew from the assembly due to "unbridgeable" differences with the Islamic side on some of the constitution's articles.
The Muslim Brotherhood says that their priority is to reform the economy, to better ensure Egypt's true independence from those who wish it to remain dependent on US "aid".
YEMENIS SAY "FORWARD"
Thousands of Yemenis march to demand that their revolution continue, shouting: "Death to the US" and "Death to Israel".Individuals in the crowds explain that the US and Israel are blocking their revolution with assassinations and drone strikes, and by keepingold guard figures from the previous regime in power.
The day before, crowds surround government buildings.
STOP THE MONSTERS !
Elite French and US troops are training in Jordan to enter Syria to "take control of alleged chemical arsenals", the German weekly Focus, reports.
Based on information from a NATO officer, Focus' report says that the soldiers are charged with taking lethal weapons away from the Syrian government.
But Russia says loudly now, that they know from close observation that Syria has already moved all chemical weapon stocksto two very secure locations.
Damascus has reiterated on many occasions that it wll never use chemical weapons on its own people.
Russia is saying loudly that it's a pretext whose cover has now been exposed, so is NATO ready for World war?
A second lieutenant in the French airborne regiment told Focus that paratroopers from the French Foreign Legion were sent from the Jordanian border in recent months as reconnaissance troops to Syria, where they pretended to be guarding a field hospital for refugees in Al Mafraq.
The Foreign Legion has many Arabs in its ranks, so it doesn't attract attention during secret missions, he says.
Members of the US Delta Force units and Rangers, trained to fight in desert places, are waiting to be deployed to Syria, the source says, without specifying when.
Also, an Israeli special unit, the Sayeret Matkal, has filtered troops onto Syrian territory for similar purposes, he warns. ____________________________________________
CANADIAN FIRST NATION SAYS "FIGHT FOR CANADA!" ("DON'T BE SATISFIED WITH WELFARE, ALCOHOL AND DRUGS!")
International lawyer Edward Corrigan says the situation of indigenous people in Canada is deplorable, as the government and police show no interest at all in their problems, Press TV reports.
"They are rounded up, they are put on reservations; their traditional lifestyle, their traditional social structures, have all been eradicated. We have basically given them welfare and alcohol and drugs as a replacement, and this is something that Canada should be ashamed of," Edward Corrigan says in an interview with Press TV.
He says the Canadian police do not deal properly with aboriginals as they are considered to be "outside the concerns of society".
On December the 19th, Amnesty International called on Canada to address human rights abuses in the country, in particular, the rights of indigenous peoples.
Amnesty International says that three mandatory reviews conducted by the United Nations in 2012 all found "a range" of "ongoing and serious human rights challenges," especially for indigenous peoples.
Independent UN committees responsible for supervising treaties dealing with racial discrimination, torture and the rights of children, rated Canada's record in February, May and September, and said the government failed to meet its rights commitments.
The UN, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have all critiqued Canada's treatment of aboriginal people." [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government] "shows no interest in the problems facing natives and aboriginals, or even helping them. They take a very neo-con hardline rightwing approach and they don't care about these things; they just want to crack down on crime, throw people in jail and think that is the solution, which is very narrow-minded and, I think, a false way to address the problem." FIRST NATION: "IDLE NO MORE!" First Nations people held peaceful gatherings as part of a Canada-wide Idle No More movement in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Toronto, and Nova Scotia.
Protesting against the federal government's omnibus budget Bill C-45, First Nations leaders denounced the policies of the Canadian government to First Nations people as oppressive.
They argue that by offering major changes to the federal Indian Act, including changes to land management on reserves, the bill cuts the number of federally-protected waterways and will put the lands they depend on at risk.
"We're not just speaking up for ourselves, we're speaking up for the rest of Canada," Nova Scotia aboriginal activist Shelley Young said at a panel discussion.
"We know that our treaty rights protect the waters and waterways. We want to do something about it."
First Nations groups say the government did not adequately consult with them over any changes.
SOLID FOR PEACE
Palestinian refugees in Syria held a massive rally at the entrance to Yarmouk camp in Damascus, pushing for a return to their homes, after days of displacement due to intense fighting there, as armed rebels forced thousands of Palestinians to leave quickly to save their lives.
Local media say that the Palestinians are now moving back as the rebels' withdraw.
The massive rally was called for by many Palestinian organizations in Syria.
The armed rebels, backed by some anti-Syrian government Palestinians, pushed into the camp earlier this week, and fought pitch battles with armed local committees affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General- Command (PFLP-GC), a pro-Syrian government Palestinian group.
The rebels managed to sweep the camp, which houses 1,600 refugees, and over 500,000 Syrians.
Local observers blame the rebels and the al-Qaida-linked al- Nusra Front for the frightening situation in the camp. The anti- regime forces in Syria sought to control the camp to claim more ground in Damascus, and push on from there.
A member of the PFLP-GC says that negotiations with the rebels with the mediation of many organizations are ongoing, and aim to pull all armed groups from the camp and allow displaced refugees to return to their homes.
He says recent talks were for the rebel forces to withdraw from the camp and, in return, the pro-government armed Palestinian committees would also pull out.
The negotiations started the day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the United Nations to allow the Palestinians in Syria to return to the Palestinian territories due to the ongoing violence in Syria.
The right of return for the Palestinians has long been debated but rejected by Israel. Observers believe that Abbas's request pushed the West to place pressure on the rebels on the ground to solve the situation in the Yarmouk camp... to avoid any new international talk about the right of return.
SOLIDARITY OR BUST
While the UK continues to spend money in Afghanistan, and is planning to spend billions there way after 2014, vital domestic services are being cut. Public spending in 2011 and 2012 dropped by 1.58% ($17.5 billion).
The country's healthcare budget was reduced by 1.2% including inflation, about $2 billion, and the education budget cut by 5.7% including inflation, about $5.4 billion.
Cameron is warning that the whole UK must continue with deep cuts to public spending to reduce the UK's budget deficit.
In 2012, local patient care was put at risk when GPs were asked to cut services including childhood immunization campaigns, out-of-hours care and minor surgery.
The funding of arts organizations and museums in England will now be cut by $18.8 million starting in 2013. Over 200 UK libraries were closed this year alone.
The cuts to education have mostly affected children from poor families and one of the repercussions was the closure of primary schools breakfast clubs, which were run by charities that provided free breakfasts.
The UK public are being persuaded to fund wars which actively encourage warcrimes in Syria, etc, and make billions for armaments manufacturers.
While $27.6 billion in public money has now been spent occupying Afghanistan alone, (and may end up being as much as $32.5 billion), the UK continues to slash domestic social services to "reduce its budget deficit".
Prime Minister Cameron says that the UK has no plans to "abandon" Afghanistan:
"We will be contributing £70m a year, to help pay for the Afghan National Security Forces."
The UK has recently announced an accelerated plan to withdraw 3,800 of its 9,000 troops from Afghanistan in 2013.
However, like the US, the UK will maintain an undisclosed number of soldiers in Afghanistan to help local forces with security after NATO's mission ends in 2014.
SLOWLY, SOUTH AFRICA MOVES FORWARD
The recent mining strikes in South Africa exposed, once again, a country freed from apartheid and white minority rule, yet filled with poor conditions still, for the majority of its working class 'ordinary' people.
Yet they are moving forward with a united party, and a leadership backed by its main unions...
but people are to be judged by their fruit, and we join with South Africans in renewed hope, as the 2012 ANC conference elects its leaders.
On Wednesday, the African National Congress voted overwhelmingly to keep President Jacob Zuma at the helm of the nation's dominant political party.
President Zuma beat Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, his only challenger, by 2,983 votes to Mr Motlanthe's 991.
A smiling Mr Zuma took to the stage to say this:
"We are certain that at this course in our democracy we are correct, that what we do at all material times, is in the interest, not just of our organisation, but of our country and its people."
The ANC also voted to install anti-aparteid veteran Cyril Ramaphosa as deputy president of the party.
Mr Ramaphosa is a former trade union leader, and ANC general secretary, during the constitutional negotiations that ended apartheid in 1994.
He then withdrew from politics and has become a very wealthy businessperson as a result of black economic empowerment.
His election pushes Mr Motlanthe, who challenged Zuma, even further away from influence or power.
Around 4,000 delegates voted in the ANC leadership contest at the party's Bloemfontein conferences.
By choosing Mr Zuma, the 4,000 delegates have virtually guarantee him another term as president of South Africa, as the ANC enjoys overwhelming countrywide support.
Four white men face treason and terrorism charges over an alleged plot to kill President Zuma and others.
Prosecutors say they had planned to use mortars and machine guns to kill the movement's leaders. _______________________________________________
TERRORISM ON SCHOOLS IN SYRIA "WARCRIME" SAYS U.N.
U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, calls to stop the terrorist attacks against schools in Syria, and protect its children from violence.
Last week, the official visited the school al-Bteha al-Ula, at al-Wafindin Camp in the province of Damascus, which was targeted by terrorists a week ago, killing several children.
The UN secretary general heard a detailed description of the terrorist act, and its impact on the children and their educational performance.
Zerrougui expressed the readiness of UN to cooperate with the Syrian government to help those children to overcome the resultant effects, by providing psychiatric services, counseling and behavioural medicine for those affected.
The UN secretary general was in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government, to assess the direct impact of that nation's crisis on its children.
Zerrougui held meetings with Syrian officials and representatives of UN organizations there, as well as civil society representatives who protect children.
The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon held talks with the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, about the current situation in the country, confirms the official UN spokesperson, Martin Nesirky.
He says talks centred on "the escalation of violence" in recent days around the country,and on the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, Damascus.
Nesirky says the head of the UN demands an end to these actions and the start of a dialogue for "a peaceful political transition" in Syria.
The official also underlined the need to put an end to bombings against cities and attacks against civilians.
Ban Ki-moon repeats his call to the international community to make every effort to "put an end to violence in Syria and promote a politically inclusive process to find a peaceful political transition."
The West could stop these vile attacks from occurring, but is instead, encouraging them by every means...
WEST "HEADING FOR WORLD WAR"
The deployment of Patriot missiles on the Syrian-Turkish border may be a prologue to global conflict, warn Iran's armed forces. The very future of humanity, let alone Europe, is endangered, their top general tells national television.
The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi warns that the move simply encourages further aggravation of the Syrian conflict.
"Unfortunately, one by one, the Western countries are approving deployment of Patriot missiles to Turkey's border with Syria while they are planning a world war, which is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for Europe itself," General Firouzabadi says.
Commander Firouzabadi advises Turkey and those states promising to deliver Patriot systems to the Middle East to consciously show restraint and reconsider the decision before it is too late.
"The wise and the elite in Europe, the US and Turkey should dismantle the Patriots and take them away from the region before a fire breaks out," Firouzabadi says.
Speaking at a military college, the general acknowledges that Patriot missiles threaten the security of the region.
"Each one of them is a black dot on the map, (setting the stage) to create a world war."
Ankara asked NATO to deploy Patriot missiles along its border. Germany and the Netherlands are preparing to airlift two Patriot batteries each. About 400 German and 360 Dutch troops will accompany the batteries to Turkey in early January 2013.
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta signed an order to deploy two Patriot air-defense missile batteries to Turkey, along with 400 US soldiers to operate them.
Turkey is allowing NATO to establish a new military base in Izmir in early December, and a team of NATO specialists is choosing sites for more Patriot batteries in Sanliurfa, also bordering Syria.
After Turkey announced plans to host the Patriot systems, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovimmediately warned NATO Sec General Anders Fogh Rasmussen by telephone:
"Any provocation may trigger a very serious armed conflict. We want to avoid this."
During an official visit to Turkey in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that accumulating weapons on the border with another country does not contribute to regional stability.
Quoting a famous Russian playwright, Putin observed that "if a gun is hanging on the wall in the beginning of the show, closer to the end it will surely fire."
Putin also said Patriot missiles are now old technology, and therefore "pose questionable safety guarantees".
Iran also keeps warning of the risk to Europe if states blindly follow a US dominated NATO. General Hassan Firouzabadi warned Ankara that, by aiding the Syrian opposition, Turkey risks bringing conflict onto its land.
Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi promises that Tehran will not allow the West to oust President Assad.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran won't allow Western plans and scenarios aimed at overthrowing the Syrian government to succeed," the minister says in a comment posted on the website for Iranian state TV.
A US soldier is reported killed in Afghanistanon the day that President Karzai announces, at a special ceremony thatAfghan armed forces will take full control of Afghan security in 2013.
EGYPT MOVES INTO THE GREEN
"Those who are against the draft constitution claim that it will make the president a pharaoh, although it minimizes presidential power to 40%," an assembly member named Aboul Ela Mady says.
"The new constitution ensures comprehensive medical insurance for Egyptians, and sets a minimum level for salaries and pensions."
Minister of State for Judicial Affairs Mohamed Mahsoub: "There are claims made that the constitution authorizes the president to sack the prime minister, although the constitution states that the People's Assembly has the sole right to question or dismiss him."
WEST WANTS SECTARIAN WARS
Shi ites in Karachi gather in their thousands... to highlight the many 'secret' sectarian killings, now targeting even women in Pakistan's huge port, and which are not so secret to Pakistanis!
A female demonstrator explains that officials know it is happening, but the perpetrators are not punished.
Another Shia mosque was blown up in Syria, Friday. The US & UK arm the terrorists who, as in Iraq and Libya, are currently waging sectarian war in Syria.
It also arms the regime in power in Bahrain... which is majority Shia, yet whose royal family bows to the US, housing its main naval base.
Despite an Al Khalifa regime blanket ban on protests, - enforced by riot police and Saudi troops - tens of thousands of people in Bahrain staged a pro-reform demonstration in the capital city, Manama, Friday.
Demonstrators took to the streets chanting slogans and demanding freedom and reforms.
There have been no reports yet on possible scuffles between protesters and police forces. However, similar rallies have turned violent in the past, with police using force to disperse protesters.
Scores have already been killed demonstrating peacefully, many tortured to death while in custody, and thousands more have been detained, since the popular uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011.
The Bahraini government launched a crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces to help stop the "unrest".
Security forces have arrested hundreds of doctors and nurses, simply for treating beaten or wounded people.
Protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for a democratically- elected government is met.
Bahrain hosts the US Fifth Fleet and is among the Persian Gulf countries like Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, armed and "protected" by the US.
The West's media tries really hard to ignore this!
RUSSIA DENIES WEST's SCREAMS OF TRIUMPH
Russia has not changed its position on the crisis in Syria and the latest comments by the US State Department are a misinterpretation of the facts, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich says today during a media briefing in Moscow.
Lukashevich notes that the US State Department has been excessively enthusiastic about Russia "finally waking up and changing its position [on Syria]."
"I think we want to commend the Russian government for finally waking up to the reality and acknowledging that the regime's days are numbered," US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland stated. "I think the question now is, will the Russian government join those of us in the international community who are working with the opposition to try to have a smooth democratic transition."
"We were never asleep, nor did we change our position," Lukashevich says.
The US State Department's remarks came after the media widely quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister M Bogdanov as saying on Thursday that the Syrian opposition might emerge victorious in the ongoing conflict.
"We cannot exclude the victory of opposition [in Syria]. We must face the truth: the Syrian government is gradually losing control over more and more territory of the country," the media cited Bogdanov as saying.
"They [the opposition] say that victory is around the corner, 'we will control Aleppo soon', 'we will control Damascus soon'," Bogdanov said, adding that recognition of an armed opposition from abroad, the training of opposition militants and the supply of arms, all try to inspire opposition to the Syrian government.
"Despite all of that, Moscow is going to continue to fulfillment of the Geneva Communique and peaceful settlement of the conflict," Bogdanov stated.
Bogdanov reiterated the principal position of the Russian government, in saying there are no alternatives to a political settlement of the Syrian crisis, Lukashevich says.
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson stresses that deputy FM Mikhail Bogdanov has not made any statements or special interviews to the media regarding Russia's position on Syria for the last several days.
Lukashevich points out that comments Bogdanov made while addressing a Public Chamber session on Thursday had merely cited statements made by the Syrian opposition, not endorsed them. Bogdanov further "voiced the principal stance of the Russian government that the settlement of the Syrian crisis has only a political alternative, a position which was generally agreed upon in Geneva last summer.
"The political settlement in Syria must be based on the final communique of the Action Group jointly approved at ministerial level in Geneva on June 30th," he stresses.
UGLY IS AS UGLY DOES
Mercenaries - members of the armed groups opposed to the government - are responsible for the massacre which occurred near the Syrian town of Akrab, in which 233 people were killed, assure residents.
The opposition General Committee of the Syrian Revolution is trying to blame the government for the massacre in Akrad Ibrahim village, about five kilometers from Akrab, which is inhabited by Alawites and Sunni Kurdish.
However, eyewitnesses tell Prensa Latina news agency, that full responsibility for this barbaric act lies with the insurgents.
The mercenaries came from Houla village, in the central province of Homs, and were Arab mercenaries of various nationalities who took control of a Syrian Army checkpoint a week ago, located between Akrab and Houla, they explain.
In that way they reached the village of Akrab Ibrahim where about 300 people were kidnapped from the Alawite sect "religious minority", to which President Bashar al Assad belongs, including children & women who were held in a school, residents report.
The army gave them 24 hours to release the hostages and surrender their weapons, but they responded by murdering 233 of the hostages, including 88 children and women, locals stress.
There are 19 Sunni Kurdish civilians among the victims and also representatives of Akrab town, who acted as mediators to help those imprisoned by the mercenaries.
As well as pumping oil above OPEC set levels, Saudi Arabia is giving 100 million US dollars to aid the "sufferings of the Syrian people," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal announces, at the fourth meeting of a group of countries labelling themselves "Friends of Syria."
Al-Faisal also calls for more pressure from 'the international community' on the legal Syrian administration.
Mouaz al-Khatib, head of the newly-formed Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, requested more support from the 'international community' to enable the coalition to work towards a political transition for a "more democratic and inclusive Syria."
The Friends of Syria recognize Syria's National Coalition for Opposition Forces as "the legitimate representative of the Syrian people."
The draft conclusion says the Friends of Syria see the coalition, formed by Syrian opposition groups in early November in Doha, Qatar, as "the umbrella organization under which the Syrian opposition are gathering."
Obama says the US is to now give arms openly to commit open terror and war on Syrians.(He puts it in nicer language, mind!)The Russians express their ironic 'surprise'; (the US won't understand!)
EARTH UNDER US TAKES WAR INTO SPACE
After the US' recent insistence on militarising space, (breaking yet another international treaty) Russia replies through a senior military official.
"We are getting prepared for any actions... If there are any actions against our homeland, we are not going to stay idle," the Deputy Defense Minister Cnl. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko tells Interfax.
The US can keep its ability to dominate the world only through increasingly breaking treaties, after China destroyed an obsolete space satelite by remote control. But what the US elite most wants, is the ability to neutralise Russia's power by reducing the effectiveness of Russia's nuclear and missile forces.
Cnl. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko says Russia already possesses a brand-new anti-missile defense to replace the current A-135 system protecting Moscow and surrounding areas.
According to Russian Aerospace Defense Forces, the A-135 system is capable of destroying 90% of incoming missiles over Moscow and up to 60% over Central Russia.
He adds that the new anti-missile umbrella will also protect objects outside the Moscow region.. "These solutions could be implemented rather swiftly."
Under the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty signed by Moscow and Washington in 1972, the two sides agreed to maintain one ABM deployment area in each country: the Moscow region in Russia and the Grand Forks Air Force Base in the United States.
However, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2002.
NATO SOLDIER KILLED IN AFGHANISTAM
The ISAF report gives no details.
ISRAEL KEEPS BITING
Israeli forces conduct a 'limited incursion' into the Gaza Strip's southern city of Khan Yunis for the first time after a cease-fire agreement ends the Israeli regime's offensive on the blockaded coastal strip.
Local sources report that Israeli army tanks and bulldozers launched the brief intrusion into the eastern city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.
The Tel Aviv regime's most recent incursion is the first major move by their military since the Egypt-mediated cease-fire put an end to Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip on November the 21st.
The Israeli military has already breached the truce agreement on several other occasions.
On November 23rd, for example, Israeli forces opened fire on a group of farmers in the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Yunis, killing a young Palestinian and injuring seven others only two days after the cease-fire entered into effect.
WAY TO GO !
Hamas holds a celebration in the West Bank and Fatah hold a celebration in Gaza!.
Ban Ki-moon does it again!
The ambiguous position of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, regarding supposed chemical weapons in Syria, is fueling the West's aggression, says political analyst Romulo Pardo Silvalit.
Ban 'warned' Damascus against the possible use of chemical weapons, while admitting that he lacked any conclusive evidence.
The UN Secretary General sent a letter to President Bashar al-Assad warning that use of chemical weapons would be an execrable crime, and would have grave consequences.
On the one hand he says he knows about data and on the other, says this has not been confirmed, comments political analyst Romulo Pardo Silva to TV network Russia Today.
This double game, says the expert, leaves the problem latent allowing the West to keep escalating the problem of chemical weapons, and inventing ever more excuses to "control" them.
SYRIA WARNS OF TERRORIST "FALSE FLAG"
"Terrorist groups may resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian people... after having gained control of a toxic chlorine factory," the foreign ministry warns.
The loud warning comes after accusations by the US and its allies that Damascus wants to use chemical weapons as fighting rages on between government forces and foreign-backed militants.
US Secretary of State Clinton & President Obama have sworn to act if the Syrian Army uses its alleged stockpile of chemical weapons.
Syria rejects having any intention to use chemical weapons against its own people.
"No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, I repeat, will EVER be used, during the crisis in Syria, no matter what the developments inside Syria," says Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jihad Makdissi.
The allegations come as commentators say the US is attempting to orchestrate an 'Iraq' scenario in Syria. Meanwhile, after militants took control of the toxic chemical plant in Aleppo, a shocking video emerges showing them testing chemical weapons in Syria.
HAMAS ENTERS, STAGE LEFT!
Khaled Meshaal, the politburo chief of Islamic Hamas movement, his deputy Musa Abu Marzooq and 3 members of the movement's politburo arrive in the Gaza Strip, through the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza strip and Egypt.
Meshaal is officially received at the crossing by the head of Hamas government Ismail Haneya, ministers and other senior Hamas leaders and militants, and officials and leaders of other factions, including President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
It's the first time for 45 years thatKhaled Meshaal has been able to visit Gaza.
He describes it as his "third birth", and prays to God that his fourth birth will take place soon in Jerusalem.
BLIND MAN's BLUFF
Reports that 10,000 US troops are ready, as the USS Eisenhower anchors of Syria's coast, and NATO chiefs say Turkey is "fully covered", are bluff.
Or, our masters are about to start world war three.
Russia announces its intention to provide the Syrian administration with Iskander Missiles to counter the US Patriots, highlighting the international powers' acute division over the Syrian issue..
Recent reports suggest that Syria's armed forces are beating the Western-backed armed rebels.
Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki held talks with the Iranian Ambassador to Damascus Muhamad Riza Sheibani on the two countries' current situation.
They talked of how to strengthen their strategic relationship and examined ways of expanding cooperation in all fields.
Al-Halaki told Sheibani that after frustrating the plans for military intervention, the enemies of Syria and Iran are now trying to undermine their economies to make them collapse; but, he states, Iran's economy remains strong and Syria's is recovering, as stability and safety at ex rebel strongholds increases for the civilian population.
The Prime Minister of Syria praised the role of the people and Iran's leadership in stiffening national resistance.
Ambassador Al-Halaki reaffirmed his government support for the people of Syria and voiced certainty that both countries' have the capacity to cope with the challenges and rein in Israeli and US' plans against the Middle East.
EGYPT's BLISS AND PAIN- CANADA's ABYSS
As Egypt struggles to protect the demands of the 75% plus who want an Islamic state, First Nation Canadians are physically barred from entering 'their' parliament building, where a vote is taken to strip First Nation Canadians of remaining land use rights.
USA IN DENIAL
The US blows sand in people's faces over WMDs in Syria as the UN General Assembly votes to tell Israel to let in nuclear inspectors.
Israel defies the UN, knowing that US backing gives it carte blanche.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says it has fully extracted the data on the US spy drone it captured over the Persian Gulf.
"Yes, we have fully extracted the drone's data..." the IRGC
PR Department says, referring to the ScanEagle drone -- a long-endurance aircraft built by Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary.
The drone, in addition to gathering military data, was used to attempt to gather energy data, especially the transfer of oil from Iran's oil terminals, the department says.
It says the capture of the aircraft has helped reveal what kind of data they (the Americans) are after.
Regarding the US denial of the existence of the aerial vehicle in its drone fleet, the department says, "The reaction the Americans have to the capture of their drones indicates the importance of this matter to them. This is not something they can easily deny."
It can even be said that the drone's getting entangled in the IRGC Navy's security net is more important than the [capture of] the RQ-170 drone," it says, referring to the Iranian military's last- year downing of an intruding US drone, which was flying over the northeastern Iranian city of Kashmar.
UK soldiers kill boys drinking tea in Afghanistan. The reports all say that there was no military installation or target nearby.
ROAD TO ARMAGEDDON STAYS OPEN
NAM strongly condemns the opposition of the US, UK, Russia, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the conference originally scheduled to be held in Finland's capital, Helsinki, in December, after agreements reached at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
NAM emphasizes that the conference should be held before the end of 2012, voicing NAM members full support for the establishment of a Middle East free of all nuclear weapons.
NAM urges the Israeli regime, the only non-signatory to the NPT in the Middle East, to destroy all its nuclear weapons, place its nuclear facilities under IAEA supervision and carry out its atomic activities in accord with international non-proliferation regulations.
On November 23rd, the US stated that the Helsinki conference could not be held in the Middle East due to "special conditions".
The event was reportedly cancelled over US worries that its long-time ally in the region, the Israeli regime, would be faced with criticism at any such conference from all sides, as it is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
Israel is widely known to possess between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads.
Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei calls for more joint effort to pursue the idea of creating a Middle East region free of weapons of mass destruction.
He says that Israel's nuclear weapons are a real threat to regional and international peace, as the regime already has a dark background of state terrorism and often resorts to aggression, threats and bullying against other countries.
"It is necessary that the international community swiftly, firmly, counters this threat", the Iranian envoy explains.
The Israeli regime rejects all regulatory international nuclear agreements - the NPT in particular - and refuses to allow any of its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.
HEARTS AND MINDS
The Dominican Republic and Haiti have joined forces to modernize and streamline their services in border trade, acknowledge Customs directors, Fernando Fernandez and Jean Baptiste Fresnel.
The official agenda is to strengthen technical cooperation.
According to Fernandez, the Dominican Republic, after February, will have a new team working at the 275 kilometers long boundary of the two states that share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
The two countries have a responsibility to share and ensure security in neighborhood areas, points out Fresnel, as quoted in local media reports.
Haiti is the second largest trading partner of the Dominican Republic --- after the United States.
A MUST READ !!!
below is a full article printed in Russia Today
Why? Because it's a MUST READ !
Not black-and-white: The chess game behind the recent Gaza-Israel war
The recent hostilities between the Gaza Strip and Israel have to be viewed in context of a broader geopolitical chessboard. The events in Gaza are tied to Syria and the US's regional maneuvers against Iran and its regional alliance system.
Syria has been compromised as a conduit for weapons to Gaza, because of its domestic instability. Israel has capitalized on this politically and militarily. Benjamin Netanyahu has not only tried to secure his own election victory in the Knesset through an attack on Gaza, but has used US-sponsored instability in Syria as an opportunity to try and target the arms stockpiles of the Palestinians.
Netanyahu calculated that Gaza will not be able to rearm itself while Syria and its allies are distracted. The bombing of the Yarmouk arms factory in Sudan, which Israel says was owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, was probably part of this plan and a prelude to Israel's attack on Gaza.
In this chess game, sit the so-called "Moderates" a misleading label jointly utilized by Messrs George W. Bush Jr. and Tony Blair to whitewash their regional cabal of tyrants and backward regimes, alongside the Obama Administration and NATO. These so-called Moderates include the desert dictators of the feudal Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Jordan, Mahmoud Abbas, and Turkey. In 2011, the ranks of the Moderates were augmented by the NATO- installed government of Libya and the GCC/NATO-supported anti-government militias that were unleashed in Syria.
On the other side of the chessboard defiantly sits the Resistance Bloc composed of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah (and Hezbollah's partners in Lebanon, like Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement), the so-called Palestinian Rejectionists, and increasingly Iraq. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has emerged as a new regional force, is being increasingly prodded into the Moderate camp by the US and the GCC in an attempt to ultimately play the sectarian card against the Resistance Bloc.
Stark contrasts between Gaza and Syria
Israel's attack on Gaza was a litmus test. All those voices continuously pushing for America's McJihad against the Syrian government in the name of freedom vanished from their podiums or suddenly went silent when Israel attacked Gaza. Al Jazeera's tele-preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and Saudi Arabia's dictator- selected Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz went silent. Adnan Al-Arour, the Saudi-based exiled kooky Syrian cleric who, as one of the spiritual heads of the Syrian anti-government forces, has threatened to punish anyone that says that Al-Qaeda is among their ranks, even berated Hamas and the Palestinians for fighting Israel.
The fighting in Gaza really placed them in a fix. Here we see the contradictions in their Arab Spring. We now see who really pays lip service to Palestinian liberation and who does not. Moreover, the foreign supporters of the Syrian National Coalition, a rehash of the Syrian National Council, are ironically all supporters of Israel.
This is why mentioning the support that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah have provided for Gaza has become a taboo among the supporters of the anti-government forces in Syria. All they can say is that any acknowledgment of the support that Tehran, Damascus, and Hezbollah have provided to Gaza is an attempt to sanitize Bashar Al-Assad and his supporters.
Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah helped the Palestinians in Gaza
The Iranian Fijr-5 symbolically ingrains Tehran's support for Palestine. Despite the fact that Israel and Gaza are by far not equal, it was predominately Iranian arms and technology that changed the balance of power. Tehran has been the main ally and supporter of the Palestinian resistance. The US, Israel, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Iran itself have all acknowledged this in different ways.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is unapologetically pro-Iranian, has openly stated that everything Gaza used in the fight against Israel, from its bullets to missiles, has been generously provided by Tehran. It was reported during the fighting that Hezbollah, using a special unit dedicated to arming the Palestinians, resupplied the Gaza Strip with some of its own long-range missiles.
This has all taken place while the cads in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey have instead armed the Syrian anti-government militias. Egypt and Jordan continue to be major partners in preventing Iranian arms from reaching the Palestinians.
Palestinian fighters have also been trained in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. Ironically, the anti-government forces in Syria are also targeting members of the Palestinian Liberation Army in Syria.
The support that the Resistance Bloc has given the Palestinians puts those actors, like Turkey and Qatar, opposed to the Syrian government in a real predicament. These so-called Sunni states were embarrassed; not only did they fail to help a predominately Sunni population, but their insincerity was exposed. This is why there is an active effort to deny the support that Iran and its allies have provided for Gaza.
De-linking Hamas from Resistance Bloc to start a Muslim Civil War
As a back story to all this, the Israeli attack on Gaza and the Moderate's wooing of Hamas is more than just about neutralizing Gaza. Hamas leaders are being tempted to choose between the Moderate and Resistance camps and increasingly between governing or active resistance to the Israeli occupation. Through this, some form of accommodation to the US and Israel is being sought from Hamas. The aims are to de-link the Palestinians, particularly Hamas, from the Resistance Bloc in order to portray Iran and its allies as a Shiite alliance bent on dominating the Sunnis.
If you are foolish enough to fall prey to it, welcome to the unfolding American fitna (schism) that aims to ignite a regional Muslim civil war between the Shiites and Sunnis. The Obama administration is trying to construct and line up a Sunni axis against the region's Shiite Muslims.
It is a classic strategy of divide and conquer that envisions America and Israel dominating the region as the Muslims are incapacitated by their bloodletting. The Shia are systematically being vilified courtesy of the new media war: Iran, Hezbollah, Bashar Al-Assad (an Alawi who is increasingly labeled a Shiite for the benefit of this project), and Nouri Maliki's administration in Iraq are being portrayed as the new oppressors of the Sunnis. In their place Turkey, with its virtually stillborn neo-Ottomanism foreign policy, and Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood are being presented as the champions of the Sunnis. Never mind that Egypt's Mohamed Morsi has continued the blockade of Gaza for Israel or that Turkey's Erdogan lost his voice for a while when Israel began bombing Gaza.
The US is trying to use Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to control Hamas, because it was Cairo that established a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza. While Iran offers military technology, logistical support, and finance, the Egyptians are being presented as Gaza's ticket to establishing some form of normality & the GCC as alternative funding. This is why Qatar's Emir Al-Thani visited Gaza to tempt Hamas with his declining supply of petro-dollars.
Shiite and Sunni divisions are political constructs
Inside Hamas there are internal differences over this. While Damascus, Tehran, and Hezbollah desired some form of public acknowledgment about their vital assistance to Hamas and the Palestinians, Hamas officials were careful about their statements. When Khaled Meshaal thanked Egypt, Qatar, and Tunisia during an important press conference, he narrowly mentioned Iran.
Meshaal's politicking was not lost on Hezbollah Secretary- General Hassan Nasrallah, who responded hours later by rhetorically asking who supplied and painstakingly transferred the Fajr-5 missiles into Gaza? Nasrallah asked people to look past Gaza's fair-weather friends, like the Qataris and Saudis who think they can buy their ways into the grace of the Palestinians, but to look at Gaza's tested friends who allowed Gaza to stand on its own two feet. Then the Lebanese leader reaffirmed the ongoing support of the Resistance Bloc for the Palestinian people.
Despite its politburo's position on Syria, Hamas is still a part of the Resistance Bloc. There is a new format now. If Greece and Turkey were at odds with one another as two NATO allies, then Hamas can have its differences with Syria and still be allied with the Resistance Bloc against Israel.
The divide in the Middle East is not a sectarian one between Shiites and Sunnis, but fundamentally political. The alliance of the predominately Sunni Muslim Palestinian resistance movements and the Free Patriotic Movement, Lebanon's largest Christian political party, with predominately Shiite Muslim Iran and Hezbollah should defuse such a perception that the US and its allies are trying to cultivate.
After the US vetoed an attempt to recognise Palestine as a state from its privileged position in the Security Council,
the United Nations General Assembly voted 138-9 to upgrade Palestine's status at the UN from observer entity to observer non-member state.
Now Israel faces being cited at the International Criminal Court for its treatment of Palestinians.
Palestinians celebrate !!!
EGYPT MOVES TO SHARIA LAW
The Constitutional conference has decided that Egypt is to base its law on Islamic law.
OBAMA BACKS TERRORISM IN SYRIA
The US is reported as "considering" arming the opposition, in Syria, says the US media -- as if giving the green light to his Saudi, Qatari and other puppets to pour high-tech arms via the CIA to fuel war, has somehow kept US hands clean.
Syria is the nexus of world events. If Syria falls, we enter a world war.
But the US is locked in a war mind-set. The scorpion can't help stinging... because it's in its nature.
Even on the issue of Palestine, the US clings to its policy of totally denying human rights: Palestinians being treated by the US just like native Americans have been, for centuries.
Yet Syria, again, truly exposes the US.
A spate of blasts rock Damascus in one day, leaving 58 people killed and over 150 injured.
"Look at this massive destruction and these scenes. We have removed the dead bodies and scraps of flesh with our hands and handed them to the Red Crescent," says Abdul-Baset Ramadan, a witness at the blast site.
"Is this the freedom they want? What is the guilt of children and ordinary people?" Ramadan asks.
Jaramana, a suburb dominated by Christians and Druze, has witnessed a series of explosions over the past months, suggesting that the terrorists, as in Iraq, have as their main aim the encouragement of sectarian rivalries.
Just hours after deadly blasts in Jaramana, a car bomb rips through the town of Busra in Daraa province, killing two people and injuring many others.
Also eight terrorists are killed while preparing a booby-trapped car in Damascus' suburb of Hajjira, the state TV says.
Another car bomb blast was thwarted in Damascus' suburb of Qudsaia in al-Wurud district, which is inhabited by people from the Alawite minority, to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and some of the ruling elite belong.
Russia condemns the deadly blasts as "inhumane."
"We resolutely condemn these new evil acts of terrorists, which can have no justification," the Russian foreign ministry says in an online statement.
"Inhuman acts of this kind are traditional methods of international terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida. Their purpose is to undermine any efforts to stabilize the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and settle the crisis by nonviolent political means," says the statement.
The intensification of bomb blasts designed to cause terror comes as the Syrian army is closing in on the rebels and killing or wounding them in Damascus' suburb of Daraya, according to local reports.
The Syrian government says the army is now fighting thousands of al-Qaida fighters in several areas nationwide.
BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL
Remember Haiti? This is a country on an island now split in two. One half has been annexed as the "Dominican Republic" by a US government intent on punishing "uppity blacks", and on the other half of the island, in Haiiti, thousands of US troops arrived after the 2010 quake and put the vulnerable population in tents. Those tents are still up and the US still uses its troops to keep "helping" the Haiitian people.
Once, Haiitian slaves led a revolt against their "superiors" For a while the liberated slaves owned a large navy which threatened the white slavers and the rich white bankers, as they briefly controlled all of the Carribean.
As payback, the US white supremacist ruling class has given poor Haiitians a hundred or more years of military rule, coups, and murderous terror.
What is truly awful is to watch politicians with black skins who are as corrupt as any US Congress huckster, keep following the same racist agenda of their white richrulers.
Cuba, as a racially tolerant society, has also felt US wrath, as it too successfully challenges fascist and racist minds.
The President of Haiti, Michel Martelly, is in Havana on a three-day state visit to strengthen bilateral relations, with the social sector as the main area of cooperation.
Martelly arrived at Jose Marti international airport, where he was welcomed by Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra.
The agenda of the Haitian president includes meetings with President Raul Castro & a tribute to liberation hero Jose Marti at Revolution Square in Havana.
Since 1998, Havana has collaborated with Haiti, after tragedies like the quake of 2010 and the cholera outbreak late that year.
At least 700 Cuban health professionals are still in Haiti giving continuity to a work that includes treating millions of cases and over 300,000 surgical operations.
The two countries also cooperate in education, with over 400 Haitian youngsters studying in Cuba & 1,100 having graduated.
Which best represents the true spirit of the Rhondda, Cuba's solidarity and help, or the hatred of US racism?
According to a report, published by The New York Times, the US under Obama has been drawing up a formal rulebook to justify targeted killings carried out by assassination drones in six countries. The new rules will give the new government "clear standards and procedures" to continue its killing.
But a leading activist in the main US umbrella group for peace says that the administration of US President Obama's policy of assassination drone attacks in other countries, is a "policy of murder."
Richard Becker, an anti-war activist of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), a US-based protest umbrella group consisting of many antiwar and civil rights organizations, says;
"These are violations of the sovereignty of independent states that Washington does not respect, nor does it respect the right to live of people in those states."
The US has adopted a policy of assassination and murder in several countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Libya, where the practice has led to huge civilian casualties, Becker says, adding that the US administration has defied and violated the Constitution of the US, as well as international law.
REVIEWS, NOT ICC FOR BAHRAIN
The United Nations is preparing a team of experts to review the judicial system in Bahrain, and check whether or not human rights are being violated.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) announces that experts will travel to Bahrain as a follow up to investigations made by a mission that visited Manama a year ago.
The group of experts also discuss with the government, recommendations made by a commission that investigated the role of police against participants in last year protests.
That investigation revealed that police used excessive force against demonstrators, as well as carrying out acts of torture and illegal, closed military trials.
The UN team's program includes interviews with Bahrain's ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Interior, human rights, Work, and Education, and with representatives of many sections of Bahraini society.
IRAN COMMANDER: WEST BANK AND JORDAN NEXT
A senior Iranian commander says the victory of Palestinian resistance fighters in the eight-day war with Israel marks the second wave of Islamic awaking in the region, and this now requires the people of the West Bank and Jordan to join with Iran, Egypt, Syria, the Lebanon and Gaza, and move from defeat and collusion with the Israeli regime into the Islamic Awakening resistance camp.
Commander of Iran's volunteer Basij forces Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi hails the unity of Palestinian factions and the contribution of other Muslim nations, which contributed massively toward ending the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.
Nations realized more than ever before that they need to come on to the stage and use all their power and capacities, Naqdi tells a pro-Palestinian gathering in Tehran.
The heroic nation of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip gallantly stood up and the people of Syria have performed their obligation well through their intelligence and by maintaining the resistance front. Today it is the Egyptian people's turn to complete the task and they also have taken high steps, he states.
The commander says the ultimate defeat of the Israeli regime will depend on the alertness and further awakening in the West Bank and Jordan, urging the people there to play their historical role in the liberation of Palestine.
Naqdi recalls the massacre of Palestinian civilians in Israeli attacks carried out under the US green light, noting how many Israelis regret their immigration to the occupied Palestinian territories and are now trying to return to their homelands.
He criticizes the Turkish government for arming insurgents in Syria but failing to support the Palestinian resistance in any practical way against Israel with its seige and constant attacks on Palestinians.
US/ISRAEL AXIS KILLS NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
A major conference aimed at banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East has been cancelled by the USA.
The vital event has reportedly been killed off over US worries that its long-time ally in the region, the Israeli regime, would come under fire as the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
"We would not support a conference in which any regional state would be subject to pressure or isolation," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says, alluding to the Israeli regime (and not, apparently, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, etc, etc, etc!).
Israel possesses between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads, with many aimed at world capitals, as "insurance".
Nuland, however, says current conditions in the Middle East are why the conference, meant to be held in Helsinki, Finland, around mid-December, has now been cancelled.
"As a co-sponsor of the proposed conference, the US regrets to announce that the conference cannot be convened because of present conditions in the Middle East and the fact that states in the region have not reached agreement on acceptable conditions for a conference," Nuland says in her statement, adding, "The US believes that a deep conceptual gap persists in the region on approaches toward regional security and arms control arrangements.
"These differences can only be bridged through direct engagement and agreement among the states in the region. Outside states cannot impose a process on the region any more than they can dictate an outcome."
The UK and Russia, as the other sponsors of the conference, had insisted that all regional countries, in particular Israel, attend the meeting and it appears that Tel Aviv's refusal has, according to reports, led to the cancellation of the major event.
The Israeli regime rejects all the regulatory international nuclear agreements - the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in particular - and refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.
A Palestinian farmer in Gaza is shot and killed last Friday and several others are wounded by gunfire from Israeli soldiers at the border.
Some reports suggest they were checking their crops and land, while others suggest they were trying to cannibalise parts from an Israeli jeep damaged in the recent conflict.
This is the first ceasefire violation.
THE WEST BANK STILL BEING CRUSHED
The Apartheid Israeli regime's forces arrest 55 Palestinian activists in the occupied West Bank, hours after a ceasefire ending eight days of deadly Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military says in a statement last Thursday, that its forces have detained at least 55 people, including senior officials from various Palestinian movements.
The statement adds that the Tel Aviv regime made the arrests after what it saw as a "rise in violence" in the occupied lands.
People in the West Bank staged a number of anti-war demonstrations to protest against the Tel Aviv regime's recent attacks on Gaza.
NOT ABLE TO UNDERSTAND IRONY!
President Obama says "No country on earth would tolerate missiles raining down from outside its borders."
(When the US is currently raining down illegal missile strikes onsixcountries, including Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan!)
PRIDE IN GAZA
As conflict in the Gaza Strip ceases fire, the Israeli army says over 1,500 targets were struck, and Gaza militant groups, led by the Islamic Hamas movement, claim to have fired approximately 1,500 rockets into Israel.
Islamic Hamas finds itself more powerful now than during the last Israeli offensive against Gaza in early 2009.
Official visits by senior Tunisians and Egyptians to Gaza during the hositilities greatly buoyed Hamas, whereas, four years ago, the two countries pressed Hamas to stop its attacks. This time, Hamas was in no hurry to end the engagement.
Despite the fear and sadness that dominated the Gaza Strip, over deaths, there is a feeling of pride among the population that militants were able to strike Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with their rockets, forcing millions of Israelis to hide.
Mourners at a funeral for Palestinians killed in airstrikes, chanted "resistance hits and strikes deep into Tel Aviv." Although 149 Palestinians were killed and over 850 wounded, a poll shows that 83% of Palestinians supported the militants' attacks on Israel.
Hani Ghazal, a 27-year-old Palestinian from Gaza says he has "an endless feeling of glory" because Hamas' armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, and other militant groups have humiliated Israel and created an atmosphere of horror and fear in its people.
"The army of Israel that can never be defeated is now defeated by the Palestinian armed resistance," Ghazal says. "I don't belong to any factions, but I am so happy because the al-Qassam Brigades have risen from the status of defence, to the status of attack."
The war in Gaza "must be so painful and difficult that the terror groups will not think twice but a hundred times before they fire missiles against Israel again," said The Israel National News.
"Destroy and damage infrastructure, public buildings and government buildings. We must make sure that Hamas will be spending many years rebuilding Gaza, and not attacking Israel."
A few days before it said, "The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, only then will Israel be calm for the next 40 years."
Journalist, Gild Sharon, son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in an editorial in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday called for Gaza to be flattened like the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.
"We need to flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn't stop with Hiroshima - the Japanese weren't surrendering fast enough - so they hit Nagasaki too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they'd really call for a ceasefire," said Sharon.
The Israeli Air Force Monday targeted the Al Sharouk compound, which houses local and foreign media outlets, for three days. One person was killed and several more injured in the attack.
The International Federation of Journalists is demanding a full inquiry by the United Nations to investigate "deliberate attacks" by the Israeli military against media buildings in Gaza and to "take action" against the country's government.
"The international community must respond immediately to this outrage. The rights of journalists in conflict zones have been particularly highlighted by the United Nations and member states cannot stand by when one state acts in a reckless and dangerous manner," the group released in a statement.
Six journalists were injured in a previous Israeli airstrike on two buildings in the media compound early on Sunday. RT's office in Gaza was also affected by the attack. RT Arabic correspondent Saed Suerki said the Israeli Air Force (IAF) had intentionally hit the tower blocks, which have housed foreign and local media offices for over a decade. Suerki says 4 missiles hit their office. One journalist had to have both legs amputated.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah criticized those Arab countries who send military equipment to Syria, "but have not helped Gaza with one bullet." Nasrallah said Arab nations should contribute to "arming Gaza and supporting its fighters instead of calling for mediation between it and the Israeli enemy."
Top Hamas and Fatah officials gathered at a thousand-strong rally in Ramallah, the West Bank's political capital, in a show of solidarity. Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub told the crowd "we are ending the division," and Hamas leader Mahmud Ramahi said anyone who mentions the division after today is a criminal."
OIL IS OUR POWER, SAYS IRAQ.
During the war between tiny Gaza and Israel, the Arab League was told by Iraqi minister Azzawi:
"What happened in 1973, when the Arabs stopped oil exports to Western states, is proof that this weapon can succeed in the battle between the Arabs and Israel," Azzawi said, of a decision taken during the October war.
The Iraqi envoy was referring to the oil embargo by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in October 1973, when Israel began a war on Arab states. Oil prices jumped and the embargo forced all Western countries to stop supporting Israel.
An Iraqi official says Baghdad is inviting all Arab countries to use oil as an instrument to exert pressure on Tel Aviv and its Western allies to halt the Israeli offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip.
"Playing the economic card is our most powerful weapon at the moment in supporting the Palestinian people," Iraq's envoy to the Arab League Qais al-Azzawi said in a statement.
"At the moment there is no military potential for the Arabs to defend themselves... which leads us to think seriously about using the enormous economic potential of the Arabs against Israel," an earlier statement explained.
The royal family there says it defends Islam, yet hosts the US 5th fleet and denies a voice to those who even reach out in sympathy.
Medical staff who gave first aid to hurt protesters have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
JORDANIAN PRO-WEST MONARCHY CHALLENGED
Thousands of Jordanians called for King Abdullah II to stop playing with fire, as protests against corruption and a sharp increase in gas and petrol prices erupted in the first ever direct challenge to the puppet country set up by the UK. Now the US lends its support to the Jordanian monarchy, urging protesters to be peaceful.
With over 158 people arrested, 71 injured and one killed since the start of Jordanian protests, in the evening Amman sees an escalation of unrest in a way Jordan has never seen before. Angry crowds shout slogans openly telling King Abdullah to go.
"Freedom, freedom, down with Abdullah," protesters chant, despite the fact that publicly insulting the King is a prison offence.
The Muslim Brotherhood is calling on the Western-oriented King to speed up moves to more fairly reflect the wishes of the people of Jordan, and cancel the massive fuel increases, or step down.
SPEAK LEFT - ACT RIGHT
As Paddy Ashdown tries to restore electoral support for a LibDem party that reneged on tuition fees and colludes now with a Tory party bent on serving the City, through his calling for an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan... reports say 2 NATO soldiers are killed that day by an IED in eastern Afghanistan, no other details given.
CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN ISRAEL CALL FOR END TO OCCUPATION
One hundred Palestinian Christian leaders now urge that Israel end "the system of apartheid" suffered by people in the occupied territories for over 60 years, and demand an end to the Israeli occupation as the only way to achieve true peace.
In an open letter to world opinion, they support the initiative of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO) to move from observer status to non-member status at the UN, and ask the world to support their request - denied by Israel, and supported by the United States, which can place them closer to independence and freedom.
Their document states that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is a sin against God and humanity, because it violates the most basic human rights of the Palestinians.
Palestinian religious leaders also request Europe to take a more active role in the resolution of peace for Palestine, and remember that European countries have been tireless advocates of human rights for all.
The letter is signed by the Patriarch Emeritus of occupied Jerusalem, Michael Sabbah; Archbishop Atallah Hanna, of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, also from Jerusalem; and Archbishop Rafik Khoury of the Latin Patriarchate Seminary.
Other signatories are Sami El-Yousef, regional director for Palestine and Israel, Pontifical Mission for Palestine, and the Rev. Alex Awad, pastor of the Baptist Church, among dozens of other personalities. ________________________
US AND ISRAELI COLLUSION EXPOSED
The UN Assembly voted last month, for the 21st year in a row, to condemn the commercial, economic and financial embargoes imposed unilaterally by the US, against Cuba.
A record 188 member states of the Assembly voted for the measure, while the US, Israel, and the Republic of Palau voted against. The Marshall Islands & Micronesia abstained.
Commentators say the vote exposes the isolation of the US and the Israeli regime, as the two states act as one to carry out such unilateral measures against nations they dislike, for example, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc.
The US imposed a partial trade sanction on Cuba's people in 1960. The measure evolved into a full trade ban in 1962.
As a Russian drilling company arrives off Cuba's coast, perhaps both US businesses and people might reflect on how their elites' trade bans hurt THEIR interests !!!
REFORM SECURITY COUNCIL NOW !
Cuba now demands an urgent and thorough reform of the UN Security Council to make it more transparent, democratic and efficient, as it is the main UN body responsible for international peace and security.
Cuba calls for an immediate extension of the body,
in both permanent and non-permanent members,
and the elimination of the veto privilege,
calling this anachronistic and undemocratic.
Cuba's permanent representative to the UN,
Pedro Nu±ez Mosquera, during a General Assembly
session, says real UN reform will only occur when
the Security Council is democratic, transparent,
and faces global challenges fairly.
Stressing the urgency of the need for changes,
he warns "ignoring this claim is not only harmful,
but an insult to Member States of the organization".
On Cuba's proposal for an immediate expansion
of the Security Council membership, the official calls it unfair that currently there is not a single permanent seat for Africa, or Latin America, even though the UN agenda is full of topics related to those continents.
"Urgent action is needed. We cannot further delay
this debate. Reform of the Security Council
requires urgent real negotiations," he says.
JORDAN's POOR KICKED IN THEIR GUTS
The Jordanian people rose in anger last month, as their lives become harder, against a regime which seems to taunt them.
Marches arose in the capital and at least 12 other cities, blaming King Abdullah II and calling for a general strike.
At least one police division reportedly used teargas.
The demonstrators chanted anti-government slogans, including "Revolution, it is a popular revolution," reports Associated Press.
Thousands marched in spontaneous protests. In Amman, two thousand marchers chanted for the king to go.
They shouted "Freedom is from God, in spite of you, Abdullah", which is actually against the law, as public criticism of the King in Jordan is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Police made no attempts to disperse the crowds and only stood guard outside the government buildings.
In some towns protests turned violent. In Mazar protesters reportedly burnt down the court building, taking service documents, AP reports. In the southern town of Maan, known for its Muslim militants, around 500 protesters blocked streets with burning tires and clashed with riot police, which used teargas.
In the country's north, in the suburbs of Irbid, protesters reportedly burnt down a petrol station.
The protests united parties previously never observed together, like Muslim activists and Marxists, nationalists and communists. Most of the government's opponents are young people.
Hundreds of protesters were also seen in the south, inhabited by tribal Bedouins, traditional supporters of the king. Bedouins now call for the prime minister to go, and are even criticizing the king.
The Jordanian government says it is not their fault at all. The huge price rises on basic needs are blamed - on the Arab Spring!
"The financial situation in the country has been greatly affected by the Arab Spring. The economic situation is very precarious," Jordan's PM Abdullah Ensourn says.
Ensourn says Jordan needs to offset $15 billion, as the gas pipeline supplying gas from Egypt has been blown up so often, making price rises for natural gas and other fuels, inevitable.
He says that petrol prices will go up by 14%, whereas diesel and kerosene for households will get more expensive by 33%. But the worst situation is with natural gas - used for cooking and heating, which rises by a massive 54%
Many now, including socialists, nationalists and Islamists, call for a general strike to oppose the King, as this is seen as the last straw, after he has reneged on real reforms.
Last month the Islamic Action Front, the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing in Jordan, organized about 10,000 people to rally in Amman demanding a more democratic parliament, with broader political representation.
King Abdullah II had to call early elections, but Jordan's multifaceted opposition boycotted the poll.
LIEBERMAN SHOOTS HIS MOUTH OFF AGAIN
The despised foreign minister of Israel wrote openly of "removing" President Abbas as the PNA went ahead with its statehood bid.
Upgrading Palestine's status allows the Palestinians to refer the current apartheid regime in Israel to the UN and ICC.
ISRAEL WANTS WINNER TAKES ALL
La Prensa reports that the rabid Israeli reaction to the request of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to increase their status at the United Nations, is due to its expansionist intentions, President Mahmoud Abbas says.
All issues concerning refugees, borders, Jerusalem, security and water can only be resolved through the UN, Abbas says during a public rally on the 8th anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
To address settlement activity and save the two-state solution it is necessary to go to the international organization, the president says.
In just TWO weeks the government of PM Benjamin Netanyahu has authorized the construction of 3 new paramilitary settlements in West Bank areas that should be in the independent Palestinian state.
The ANP also reaffirms its commitment to end inter- Palestinian divisions, "hold fair presidential and legislative elections" and states that the ANP is the only representative of the Palestinian people.
Presently the ANP governs the West Bank, & the Gaza Strip is under a government led by the Islamist Hamas (Zeal).
RIGHTWING NUTTERS DOWN - SUPER-OBAMA BACK !?!
China's new leadership is calling for China to secure its future by building a navy powerful enough to protect its growing share of the world's productivity and wealth. With signs of the US economy imploding fiscally, and a looming trade war, Obama is going to need great perspicacity and moral courage........ but his first real test is in Syria:
The Syrian state-run newspaper al- Baath says it expects the US to now consider a political solution to the Syria crisis.
"It is expected that the US administration under Obama's 2nd term will consider a political solution in general and the Geneva Convention specifically," al-Baath says in an editorial titled "What after Obama's victory".
The paper quotes a number of factors, but mainly "Obama's rejection of thrusting his country into a new war, which he hinted at in his victory speech when he said that 'a decade of war is ending'."
"After breathing a sigh of relief when his troops had left Iraq. .. Obama will not think of a new military adventure that could inflame the entire region," the paper says.
It also cites Obama's concentration on addressing his country's internal problems, particularly its sluggish economy. "There is no way that Obama could come to a war that would further destroy the ailing US economy," the paper elaborates.
"Obama has admitted that America is no longer the only superpower in the world, and that the international system has become a multi-polar one, meaning that it is no longer easy for Washington to act outside the UN Security Council."
The last factor, the paper says, is that the US can no longer overlook the serious role of Jihadists and Takfiri groups in the Syrian crisis.
Al-Baath concludes by saying that "Obama's second term will probably see an international agreement on a political resolution of the Syrian crisis."
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad tells the BBC that what is demanded of Obama now is to find "fair solutions to the issues of the Middle East after the fatal mistakes that have been committed by the US administration over the past two years in the region."
"Our people expect that throughout the upcoming phase the US will be conducive to finding just solutions to the Middle East, " he is quoted as saying.
Regarding the possibility of foreign military intervention in Syria, Mikdad contends that the US is "still incapable of any new intervention in any part of the world, and we expect the US, in light of the new circumstances, not to undertake such a step, because it would be devastating."
In other words, find a political peace for Syria, or we're all doomed !!!
WEST RISKS WORLD WAR 3 IN SYRIA
Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov says in Cairo that armed clashes are not an alternative to resolving the crisis in Syria, and that some participants in the Geveva Conference are denying what has been approved, and are supporting the opposition in continued combat.Russia opposes the attempt to overthrow a legitimate government through outside armed interference there, he states, adding that Russia backs legitimate peace.
In this regard, the UN and Arab League special rapporteur Lakhdar Brahimi also states that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis, which will, if continued, not remain within the national borders of Syria, but will undoubtedly extend to neighboring countries.
PALESTINIANS REJECT WEST's AL QAIDA GANGS
Palestinian spokespersons denounce attempts by armed groups to infiltrate the al-Yarmouk refugee camp, near the southern entrance to Damascus, where they are being confronted and repelled by local residents.
WORLD WATCHES GUN RUNNER
UK coalition Prime Minister David Cameron and his Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, went to the United Arab Emirates as part of a new tour of the Middle East that once more reveals their hypocrisy in saying that the UK champions human rights, while offering bombs to its abusers.
Cameron met the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Prime Minister of the UAE, to persuade him to buy 60 Typhoon fighter jets that could bring in over Â£3 billion to the UK government.
Cameron's office says his tour was part of efforts to build a reinvigorated partnership with certain Arab governments.
Cameron's government refuses to condemn regional regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, which violate the human rights of their own people and collaborate in crushing democracy protests.
The government has launched an inquiry into Saudi Arabia's involvement in the repression of Bahraini protests, but his bid to sell more killing gear to regional despots, while holding the banner of human rights, exposes the hypocrisy of such moves.
UK arms export guidelines rule that arms can be sold only to those countries which meet defined specific conditions, including respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, no existence of tensions or armed conflict, and for the preservation of regional peace, security and stability.
The London-based human rights group Amnesty International said last April, that the UK should stop its deadly arms trade with Middle Eastern dictatorships.
Amnesty says the UK has been one of the major arms suppliers to dictators around the world, including in the Middle East, in the full knowledge that they are committing atrocities.
US THE ENEMY OF A TOLERANT ISLAM
The leader of the Federation of Islamic Ulemas of the Levant, Mohammed Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti, accuses the West of opposing the moderate and tolerant Islam prevailing in Syria, an official source reports.
During his Friday sermon in the Great Umayyad Mosque, the religious leader says that the West uses all its powers and means to tarnish the image of Islam, reports Syria's SANA news agency.
The Syrian religious leader says that the United States is the agent of that policy, and highlights that most nations near Syria yield to the USA, which uses "extremist Muslims to attack other Muslims in this holy land."
SYRIAN TROOPS RESIST WEST's VIOLENCE
Syrian government troops and a sharply fragmenting opposition fight on as international efforts to ease the turmoil take shape.
Reasserting that a political settlement is the only viable solution in Syria, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi proposed to the UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, a phase by phase ceasefire, and negotiations for a gradual political transition.
When meeting Brahimi, whose call for truce during Eid was ignored by both sides, Yang elaborated China's new four-point proposal, urging all parties to cease fire & begin a political transition at an early date.
Yang urges all parties involved to stop fighting and cooperate with Brahimi's mediation efforts, to appoint empowered interlocutors asap, and to take concrete steps to ease the humanitarian crisis.
Yang also calls on the international community to cooperate with and support Brahimi's mediation efforts and make real progress in implementing the communique of the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group for Syria, Kofi Annan's six-point plan and the UN Security Council resolutions.
For the US, a defeat in Syria will break the back of its hegemony and Iran says it will not allow Syria to fall to the West's plans.
Besides watering down his former tone against the leadership of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan says it is up to the UN Security Council to decide whether or not to impose a no-fly zone or safe passage for people fleeing the violence.
"This subject is something for the UN Security Council to decide... If the UN hasn't made this decision, we have no authority, no right to declare such a zone in northern Syria," Erdogan says now.
UN estimates suggest that over 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria since the country's crisis began in March 2011. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid and over 340,000 have crossed the border to neighboring countries like the Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq
Western attempts to press new Syrian leaders from outside contradict the Geneva agreement agreed by all world powers, a senior Russian diplomat says.
"According to the Geneva communique, a transitional governing body must be formed on the basis of mutual agreement between the government and the opposition," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov writes on his Twitter blog.
The Action Group on Syria has drafted a political roadmap in Geneva to head off the 20-month long violence in the conflict-torn country.
Russia, along with China and some other countries, is unswervingly supporting the mediating efforts of the UN-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, and urges other parties concerned to play a constructive role in the peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.
BAHRAIN SHUTS DOWN
The Bahraini authorities have banned all protest gatherings and rallies until further notice, a day after police cracked down heavily on demonstrators once again. The unrest there has led to many deaths over a 20 month period.
The statement by the country's Interior Ministry does not define any of the measures that could be taken should new protests occur.
A curfew and special military tribunals were introduced several months into the uprising there, which started in February 2011. AP reports that the early period of unrest left at least 50 people dead in the violence.
Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa: "rallies and gatherings will be considered illegal, and legal action will be taken against anyone calling for or taking part in them."
The news comes one day after security forces cracked down on protesters next to the capital, Manama, using teargas and rubber bullets. Demonstrators took to the streets to rally for the release of political prisoners and against the long- standing rule of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
SENDING THE POOR TO DIE
Pat Elder, director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy in Washington, D.C. says that the US military preys on poorer people from the lower socio-economic classes.
"The United States government claims that it has a volunteer force, but we know it's not a volunteer force, it's a force that preys on people from the lower socio-economic class," Elder says.
"If you don't have the resources, if you don't have the money for college, and you don't frankly have the skills, then the Army is a much more attractive avenue to pursue after high school," he said.
The vast majority of young people wind up in the military for different reasons, ranging from economic pressure to the desire to escape a dead-end situation at home, to the promise of citizenship.
US military recruiters have been accused of unfairly targeting the poor and lower middle classes.
Recruiters may not explicitly target "the poor," but there is mounting evidence that they target those whose career options are severely limited.
According to a 2007 Associated Press analysis, "nearly three-fourths of [US] troops killed in Iraq came from towns where per capita income was below the national average. More than half came from towns where the percentage of people living in poverty topped the national average."
THE WAR ON TERROR IS TERROR
A study conducted by Stanford & New York Universities shows that only one in 50 people killed by US assassination drones in Pakistan -- one of the several countries where the US is now carrying out drone strikes -- are militants.
Locals in each country all report feeling terrorised by the drones.
Over and over, in eight Muslim countries fighting for freedom from domination by the West, the West is terrorising civilians - in The War Against Terror (otherwise known as TWAT).
But then, the French and US are no strangers to pretending evil is good, as they killed approximately ONE MILLION Germans after the 2nd World War, by refusing them food and keeping them in open air camps in Winter, without any shelter, blankets, or access to the Red Cross.
(Read OTHER LOSSES, by James Bacque.)
And if you say the Germans deserved it by starting illegal wars of aggression, what do you think WE deserve for our illegal wars of aggression in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc?
It's all for the US military-industrial complex
US veterans call for an immediate end to the War in Afghanistan.
Their appeal comes in a strongly worded statement released by Michael Prysner, Iraq War veteran and co-founder of March Forward, an organization of veterans & service members against war & racism.
In its 11th year, the longest in US history, the War in Afghanistan has been a failure, with over 2,000 US troops being lost during President Barack Obama's term alone, Prysner says.
He also notes that US people are spending 400 million dollars a day on the war, which over 60% of US people want ended immediately.
The Afghan people, he adds, have endured immeasurable suffering.
"The White House admits we are not actually fighting al-Qaeda or even al-Qaeda's allies in Afghanistan. The people we are actually at war against, are people who played no role in the attacks & admittedly pose no threat to the US," he says.
"The Afghan people are not our enemies," he stresses. "The reason armed groups of Afghans all over the country are fighting the occupying forces is because they, like all people, do not want to live under foreign occupation."
He says most US people support an immediate, rapid withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan, which will have the same result as a slow withdrawal lasting up to 2014, but could cut deaths and casualties for US troops by thousands.
AFRICOM STARTS INJECTING ITS POISON
A US military base in the impoverished African nation of Djibouti is serving as the combat hub for the Obama administration's expanding assassination drone missions against countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
US military forces have clandestinely transformed a remote former French military outpost, Camp Lemonnier, into the busiest Predator drone base outside the Afghan war zone, to wage what it boasts as a model war of targeted-killing against a growing tide of anti-American groups in the Muslim world, which the US commonly describes as terrorists, according to a Washington Post article published on Friday.
An Israeli intelligence official has for the first time confirmed that the Israeli military operates in Sudan, the day after Khartoum accused Tel Aviv of bombing an arms factory outside the Sudanese capital, NPR reports.
According to the NPR report, whatever the Israeli military may or may not do is shared with Israel's friends in the West.
The Director of Israeli think tank Begin-Sadat Center, Efraim Inbar also says it is plausible that Israel should have been involved in the recent military operation in the Sudan. Sudan has called on the UN Security Council to condemn Israel for violating Sudan's sovereignty and bombing the factory.
Sudanese Ambassador to the UN, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman said that four Israeli warplanes had attacked the factory before dawn, killing two people.
The envoy also said, "We all know of the Israeli hands in the Darfur conflict" over the past decade. The UN says over 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Khartoum blamed Israel in May for an attack that killed a businessperson and destroyed a car in Port Sudan.
In April 2011, Sudan also blamed Israel for another deadly missile attack near Port Sudan.
The Tel Aviv regime, however, has neither denied nor confirmed its involvement in these incidents.
STOP THE MAD ZIONISTS
The last time Israel and the people of the Middle East went to war, the entire world was plunged into economic recession as nations used oil as a means to control the excesses of the EEC and USA.
Today, the Middle East and one billion Muslims show remarkable restraint as the EEC and US openly allow Israel to flout international laws to bomb armaments factories in the Sudan, or to assassinate Iranian scientists and to regularly bomb and starve Gaza's Palestinians, as they steal land, etc, etc.
In the wake of the European Union (EU)'s illegal sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program, a senior Iranian lawmaker says the Islamic Republic will use oil to counter the hostilities of the 27-nation bloc.
"If Iran intends to retaliate against Europeans, it has the capability to; but we do not want to do that because the European people will face problems," Chair of the Majlis Energy Committee Massoud Mir-Kazemi says.
However, Iran will retaliate if the European Union continues with its obstinacy, he adds.
"When the Westerners use oil as a political tool, they should know that oil is Iran's political tool not theirs, because it is Iran that possesses the oil," the legislator adds.
Mir-Kazemi says that Iran is actively preparing to meet its demands through non-oil resources.
The lawmaker's remarks come after the Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi warns on Wednesday that Tehran will halt its oil exports if more sanctions are imposed on the country.
"If the West continues to add to the sanctions, we will stop our oil exports to the world, and a dearth of Iranian oil in the market will increase the price drastically," Qasemi states.
The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing military objectives with its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
BUILD THEM UP - KNOCK THEM DOWN
A leaked report reveals that the UK military is due to close down by 2014 most of health clinics and schools built by its troops in Helmand in Afghanistan, local media reports now.
The excuse for closing the military built clinics and schools is said to be as part of the UK's counterinsurgency strategy, The Guardian newspaper reports.
According to the report, senior British officials in Helmand are working with Afghan ministers to identify the schools and clinics deemed critical, that should remain open, while most of the rest could be phased out between now and the end of 2014.
Exact figures have not been revealed as to how many schools and clinics will be affected, but it is thought that dozens of facilities are potentially at risk of being shut down, especially ones in more rural areas.
The Guardian comments that the urge to reduce the number of clinics and schools in Afghanistan will be a bitter blow to local civilians, who have come to rely on them. It would also be a blow for British civilians and troops who helped build and restore the facilities in Afghanistan.
CATASTROPHIC ISRAELI JERUSALEM PLANSGO AHEAD
The Israeli regime is planning to construct a military academy in occupied East Jerusalem, reports say.
The anti-Israeli settlement group Peace Now says the Tel Aviv regime is going ahead with a plan to build an academy building on the Mount of Olives.
The Tel Aviv regime approved the construction of the eight-storey structure back in July.
Activists say the building will be used for training military commanders.
On October 18th, the European Union censured an Israeli plan to build 800 new housing units in Gilo settlement in southern East Jerusalem.
Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In his address to the UN General Assembly on September the 27th, acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas condemned Israel's catastrophic settlement expansion as part of Tel Aviv's ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians and its attempt to change the historic demography of the region.
EUROPE REALLY RISKING ALL - FOR USA
Iran's President now points out that the USA has had NO TRADE with Iran for 33 years, so the EEC's illegal sanctions mean the ONLY real losers are the Europeans, as they face real economic collapse.
The other problem with following a USA controlled by Israeli lobbyists is even worse, as Israel is playing "winner takes all" with Palestine... and Iran, Russia, China, Syria, the Lebanon and the Shi ite government in Iraq, are not backing down. This really could start a final world war.
Colonel Igor Gorbul says the Russian army will have completed the installation of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles by the end of this year, on territory facing Turkey's East Anatolia, to check NATO's advance, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reports.
Colonel Gorbul says the new missiles can destroy ultra- stratospheric and ballistic missiles and all types of airplanes.
NATO's missile system has been established, over strong Russian objections, in Turkey's East Anatolia region.
The Hurriyet report comes several days after Turkish fighter jets forced a Syrian passenger plane heading to Damascus from Moscow, to land in the capital Ankara.
The aircraft carried a group of Russian nationals as passengers.
NAM SAYS NOW DEAL WITH ISRAELI TERROR
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is now repeatedly speaking to the UN Security Council about the urgent need to take action against Israel to end its violations of international law, it is reported at the UN.
Just lately, NAM confirmed its support for the petition filed last year by Palestine, to become a full member of the world organization. The shameless impunity of Israel & its disdain for the law is intolerable, said Iran's permanent representative to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, addressing that body on behalf of the group of 120 member states.
The NAM stresses the failure of all regional and international efforts so far to advance the peace process, including the role of the Middle East Quartet, (the US, Russia, the UN and the European Union (EU).
It notes the lack of progress due to Israel's deliberate obstruction, its refusal to respect the parameters of the peace process, and its insistence on changing circumstances on the ground.
Mohammad Khazaee, in his address, denounced the continued illegal Israeli colonization of the occupied territories through the construction of settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and around East Jerusalem.
The NAM demands specific measures by the UN to address the serious impact of Tel Aviv's activities on the Palestinian people.
It also condemns the violent actions of Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and their properties, together with provocations and acts of vandalism at sacred sites, including attacks on mosques and churches.
NAM warns the Security Council to stop the escalating violence, terrorism, racist hate crimes, demolition of houses and other attacks in the West Bank.
It also condemns the new wave of violence and terror along with air and artillery attacks by Israel against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.
WE ARE THE EVIL ONES
As Europe awards itself a peace prize, the EEC continues to promote war and aggression on any state defending the right of people to live in peace !!!
And Tuesday, the EEC passes more sanctions against Syria and continues to arm, fund, and send terrorists there.
ANY state which allows Israeli settlers to beat and burn Palestinian farmers and their crops is pro-terror and is complicit in the wrecking of Human Rights on this planet.
Now, a high-ranking United Nations official says he is concerned about Israeli settlers relentless attacks on Palestinian farmers and their olive trees.
UN Special Envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry says in a statement sent to reporters on Sunday, that Israel must do more to protect Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank, Associated Press reports.
Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in more than 100 colonies illegally built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
According to an Israeli rights group, since the harvest season began on October 10th, the extremist Israelis have either damaged or uprooted at least 450 olive trees owned by the Palestinians.
Every year Israeli settlers, mostly armed, carry out attacks during harvest season. Most of the attacks take place close to settlements in the occupied West Bank. Tel Aviv rarely arrests the assailants.
Just on one Saturday, Israeli settlers torched dozens of Palestinian olive trees in the occupied West Bank.
According to local villagers, settlers torched the trees at several spots simultaneously.
Security officials said evidence pointed to an arson attack by residents of the neighboring settlement of Ee-Lai.
The attack happened a few days after the cutting-down of almost 70 olive trees in the same village.
PEACE IS FORGIVING
Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, has pardoned all political prisoners arrested since the start of last year's popular revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
WHO IS DEFENDING PALESTINE?
Iran strongly condemns the Israeli soldiers attack on the al-Aqsa Mosque and their use of violent force against Palestinian worshippers.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast calls on regional and international organizations to react responsibly toward the Israeli violations.
"Muslim nations and governments are expected to condemn such acts by the usurper Zionist regime and exhaust all their capacities to return to Palestinians their rights and protect the Islamic identity of al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque," he urges.
Mehmanparast calls on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to prevent the judaization of al-Quds (Jerusalem) through continued illegal settlement expansions, forceful demolition of Palestinian houses and displacing Palestinian citizens.
On a Friday, Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and used stun grenades to disperse Palestinian worshippers.
They injured nearly 2 dozen people, including a 16-yr-old teenager.
His family says Israeli police smacked his head to the ground, causing a pool of blood.
UK GOVERNMENT FOLLOWS ZIONIST PLOT
The UK's Defense Secretary openly admits that sanctions on Iran are targeted at ordinary people, and says this is necessary so that Tehran feels an "existential threat" from economic pressure & ends its nuclear activities.
"We can definitely make the pain much greater. Nobody wants to cause the Iranian people to suffer unnecessarily, but this mad scheme to build a bomb has to be brought to an end," he tells the Guardian.
"The only thing that is likely to budge them is if they see or sense an existential threat. If the level of economic pressure starts to translate into potentially threatening disruption and dissent on the streets of Tehran, then they may change course."
Hammond mentions the Iranians repeated explanation that they are enriching uranium for peaceful purposes, but he claims, despite NAM's 120 member position, Russia, China, & Brazil's leaders constant statements, and many reports from the US intelligence community, that there is no evidence of a weapons program... that "Nobody believes them."
His outburst comes straight after the US Secretary of Defense, (sic) Leon Panetta, says he can make Iran suffer worse than Zimbabwe.
Speaking at a media conference in Peru, Panetta said: "the US and its allies have reached an agreement" to impose probably the most serious sanctions, economic sanctions, that have ever been imposed on a nation."
ERDOGAN SAYS "WAR NEAR"
On Friday 5th October, 2012, Mr Erdogan, Turkey's leader, said that Turkey was "not yet at war with Syria", but stated