This year, the Save Darfur Coalition is marking the internationally-observed 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, running from November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December 10th, International Human Rights Day.
16 Days of Activism: Spotlighting Namma Nagar
For 16 days, Nobel Women's Initiative will spotlight stories about women activists around the globe.
Each year since 1991, tens of thousands of activists from around the world have taken part in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. The campaign's central messages - women's rights are human rights and violence against women constitutes a violation of human rights - have been a rallying call of the women's movement. This year, thousands of organizations are participating.
Each day we are posting on our site a video, photos, or story about a woman who is doing amazing things to make change in her world. Check back every day from November 25th, International Day Against Violence Against Women, until December 10th, International Human Rights Day, to learn about these incredible women.
16 Days to End Violence; Afghan schools threatened
Nov. 25 marked the 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Two international organizations used the occasion to jointly denounce the use of violence to silence outspoken women, according to a Nov. 25 press release. The Belgium-based International Federation of Journalists and 40 members of the Canada-based International Freedom of Expression Exchange are calling on authorities to investigate cases of violence against women.
Also, in commemoration of this day, the United Nations International Research, and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, or UN-INSTRAW, launched a media kit on violence against women and human security in Latin American and the Caribbean. The agency will also do a study on gender and security sector reform in the Dominican Republic. More than 50 percent of women in the region have been victims of some form of violence.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also unveiled a Network of Men Leaders to serve as role models in a campaign opposing violence against women, BBC News reported Nov. 25. Ki-moon said about 70 percent of women experience some form of physical or sexual violence because of men. The 14 men in the network include Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He also announced $10.5 million that was awarded in grants for 13 initiatives to end violence against women and girls in 18 countries and territories.
Nov. 25 kicks off the "The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence," an international campaign to mobilize individuals and groups around the world to call for an end to all forms of violence against women.
[ ... ]
Girls' schools in Afghanistan face the highest risk of violence, a report by the Atlanta-based CARE, the Washington-based World Bank and the Afghanistan government found, according to a Nov. 23 press release.
The number of girls' schools is half that of boys', but attacks on them account for 40 percent of all school attacks. Schools with girls and boys represent 32 percent of attacks. Twenty eight percent of attacks are on boys' schools.
[ ... ]
An Ozark, Ark., woman gave a police officer permission Nov. 11 to use his stun gun on her 10-year-old daughter, ABC News.com reported Nov. 24. Kelly King called the police when she was having trouble with her daughter, who has a history of emotional problems. The officer said in his report the girl was "violently kicking" and he delivered "a very brief drive stun" to the girl's skin when she kicked him in the groin.
Thirteen women and eight men were kidnapped and killed in the Philippines Nov. 23, in an effort to prevent a woman from filing her husband's nomination for elections next year, Reuters reported.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009
A conversation with Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism adjunct professor Ken Light and Photo Critic and Curator Fred Ritchin. Series: UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism presents.
Hannah Fraser, a professional Mermaid is interviewed on A CURRENT AFFAIR about her globetrotting underwater modeling jobs of fantasy and activism. A real mermaid! Underwater model and actress makes a living form performing as a mermaid. A Current Affair gave permission for Hannah Fraser to use this video of her interview online.
A sleeping place for 1500 activist during COP15, Copenhagen, Danemark, December 2009
The begining of this video, is an audio narrative by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, with images of her, as well as a quote of hers about women in the I.W.W. This narative is commonly used on recordings to introduce the song "The Rebel Girl" which Joe Hill dedicated to Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. The second part, is the song "The Rebel Girl" Writen by Joe Hill, and performed by Hazel Dickens.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Part 8 of 8
The stunning finale to Dr. Albert A. Bartlett's presentation on "Arithmetic, Population, and Energy."
...That is why the easiest way to transform purely visual or informational control into physical control is to cede the task of creating the latter onto external forces, especially those working at the behest of an impersonal and de facto ownerless entity. No other institutions are better suited for such a cession than the institutions of representative democracy--their character allows an envious and greedy individual to merge his own envy and greed with that exhibited by millions of others, and then use it as the material to forge a redistributionist system by the hands of those who can no longer be called robbers hired by Mr. Lazybones to loot the resources of Mr. Diligent, but should be called the executors of the common will instead. As soon as this happens, all potential pangs of conscience and fears of ostracism disappear--acts of plunder and predation (henceforth known as acts of rectification) are no longer committed by any particular, individual person, but only by a vast, collective immaterial entity, whose corporeal representatives are to be regarded as tools of historical justice. The whole process is complemented by far-reaching ritualization of the actions of the abovementioned entity, as well as by the attendant series of semantic distortions, which make unequivocal identification of aggression, violence, coercion, theft and enslavement (let alone successful elimination of these phenomena) incomparably more difficult than it was before...
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The days of police unlawfully collecting and holding personal information on individuals exercising their legal right to protest may be drawing to a close.
That, at least, is the conclusion of protest groups who have themselves been the object of police surveillance in the past – and judging by the response from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), they may well be right.
A key report – Adapting to Protest – was put together by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Dennis O'Connor, and published today. It criticises Police forces that have failed to move with the times when it came to dealing with major political demonstrations, and raises a number of issues with which El Reg readers will be familiar. These include "an absence of clear standards on the use of force" and "inappropriate use of public order powers such as stop and search and overt photography".
Criticism is also levelled at differences between forces in their understanding of the law, inconsistent equipment and tactics and outdated training and guidance.
However, it is in the area of surveillance and data collection that this report may have its most far-reaching effect. It adds, almost as afterthought, that there should be a "Review of the status of the Association of Chief Police Officers to ensure transparent governance and accountability structures, especially in relation to their quasi-operational role of the commissioning of intelligence and the collation and retention of data".
This brings together two issues that have been increasingly troublesome to those who feel that the Police have been exceeding their brief in recent years and even acting unlawfully.
At present, surveillance of demonstrations and the collection, retention and dissemination of information is managed by three units, with an estimated spend of £9 million, set up and managed within ACPO. The largest of these is the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), which runs a central database containing details of thousands of so-called domestic extremists.
Information is fed into this system from Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT), run by individual police forces – and fed back out again to police forces in various formats, including "spotter cards" which provide local police with a handy "I-spy" guide to potential troublemakers.
In addition, ACPO runs the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), which advises companies on how to manage political campaigns, and the National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET), which pools intelligence gathered by investigations into protesters across the country.
Concerns over the legality of this data collection have been raised by the Information Commissioner. A spokesman for his office told The Register: "We do have genuine concerns about the ever increasing amounts of information that law enforcement bodies are retaining.
"Organisations must only collect people's personal information for a proper purpose. We will need to talk to ACPO to understand why they consider it is necessary to hold lawful protesters' details in this way, before considering whether this meets the terms of the Data Protection Act."
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Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
...The idea that Bush Junior was an anomaly is an illusion that's dying a hard death. Of course, much more than the accepted worldview about George W. Bush is at issue. Indeed, it isn't really about W at all, who is about as relevant as yesterday morning's New York Times.
No, the real reason progressives cling to the falsehood that Bush was the problem is because they don't want to face the fact that Obama isn't the solution.
On the Charlie Rose Show recently, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in his usual half-an-insight-wrapped-in-a-falsehood way, intoned as much. You know that when the “War of Choice” in Iraq man pontificates that the problem isn't American leadership but American citizenry, denial is running out of running room.
Friedman said, “Maybe, as good as Obama is, he can't trump the system.” Waking up is hard to do. Given that Rose and Friedman are the system, there's plenty of irony to go around.
[ ... ]
I still feel that the hinge of history could have squeaked a different way, but both Russians and Americans fell short. As we all know, American capitalism proclaimed a glorious victory over godless communism. Problem was, we had become the godless ones, in a true sense, and so it was a quick and globalizing downhill slide under Bill and Hillary to George and Laura.
The question now is: What is Obama? Sad to say, he's an empty promise, a hyped hope. The proud proclaimer of “I got game” has become the graying thin man of 'it's still the same.'
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Merck's Vioxx scandal widens: Drug maker knew Vioxx was deadly for years before risk was made public (opinion)
(NaturalNews) The Vioxx scandal widened this week as new research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that Vioxx maker Merck held data for three years that proved Vioxx caused an alarming increase in the risk of heart attacks and strokes. And yet Merck chose not to release that data. In fact, it took three more years of patients dying from heart attacks before Vioxx was pulled off the market, and even then, Merck insisted the drug was not dangerous.
This new study was based on a meta-analysis of several unpublished studies that Merck obviously didn't want to see published in medical journals. Drug companies routinely engage in this subterfuge: They cherry-pick which studies they want published while burying the rest. They also choose which studies to forward to the FDA, all while claiming the whole charade is based on "evidence-based medicine."
It is, sort of. If you add the word "selective" in front of the phrase, making it: "Selective evidence-based medicine."
So how were the authors of this new study able to find these unpublished studies that Merck would much prefer remained hidden? They were disclosed in court proceedings against Merck. So many people were harmed by Vioxx, you see, that some of them decided to sue. And in that legal process, many "secret" studies were revealed. Some smart-minded researchers decided to analyze the data in those studies and that's what reveals Merck knew Vioxx raised the risk of heart-related side effects by 35 percent and yet did nothing to warn the public about those risks.
In essence, these documents prove that Merck knowingly and maliciously allowed a deadly drug to continue to be sold to patients for years. It's a clear case of profits before patients from a drug company mired in one scandal after another. (Merck is also the maker of Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine.)
In its defense, Merck says its own scientists couldn't find any link between Vioxx and heart attack deaths. Understandably, it's difficult to find anything when your profits depend on not finding it.
The Merck conspiracy
Now that this data is public, it reveals that Merck's executives and / or employees were engaged in a conspiracy to withhold important drug safety data from the public and the FDA. The aim of this conspiracy was simple: To maximize profits through the sale of a product they knew was killing people.
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A leading Chinese historian and a veteran of the committee that advises on official Chinese history textbooks has broken step with the official Chinese line on historical sovereignty over Tibet and said that to claim that the ancient Buddhist kingdom "has always been a part of China" would be a "defiance of history".
In an article in the China Review magazine, Professor Ge Jianxiong, 62, director of the Institute of Chinese Historical Geography and the Research Centre for Historical Geographic Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, states that while considering how big China was during the Tang Dynasty (7th to 10th century), "we cannot include the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, which was ruled by Tubo/Tufan..."
Tubo/Tufan, notes Ge, "was a sovereignty independent of the Tang Dynasty. At least it was not administered by the Tang Dynasty." If it were not, he argues, there would have been no need for the Tang emperor of the day to offer Princess Wen Cheng in a "marriage of state" to the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo.
"It would be a defiance of history," asserts Ge, "to claim that Tibet has always been a part of China since the Tang Dynasty; the fact that the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau subsequently became a part of the Chinese dynasties does not substantiate such a claim."
Ge's article is an exploration of a larger theme of Chinese identity in history -- and precisely when it evolved. And his comments on Tibet conform to scholarly accounts that acknowledge that the takeover of Tibet during the Qing Dynasty (17th to early 20th century) was the starting point for"Chinese sovereignty" over the region.
Yet, Ge's comments are controversial insofar as they deviate from the official Communist Party line that Tibet has always been an inalienable part of China; in the past China has regarded as any weakening of that theory as "anti-national" and "split-ist". It will be interesting to see how the authorities respond to Ge's scholarly article.
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Translation by Julie Webb Pullman
La Brigada de Observación de la Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad (The Observation Brigade of the Network against Repression and for Solidarity) formed by different groups and organizations reaffirm their support and sympathy for the dignified struggle of fellow adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and the Other Campaign for the defense of Earth and the Territory of their peoples.
In our journey we find that there is a common and recurrent logic that stains with violence the ejidos of Mitzitón, Jotolá and San Sebastian Bachajon:
- Constant pressure from state police and the paramilitary groups Army of God and Organization for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (OPDIC), in the form of harassment, physical and psychological aggression and threats of arrest, death and rape against the inhabitants of these communities.
- Impunity on the part of the three levels of government (state, municipal and federal), which enables the continuation of violence and the sheltering of the perpetrators.
- Dispossession and eviction from their land and territory, in violation of the autonomy and self determination of indigenous peoples based on laws and treaties recognized in our country (such as section 169 of the ILO Convention).
In the Tzotzil community of ejidatarios Mitzitón, Other Campaign adherents have declared resistance against the proposed passage of the San Cristobal-Palenque highway through its territory, affecting 40 hectares of forest (including fir and oak forests), 10 acres of farmland, and 2 wells.
Within the community a religious group called Church of Eagle Wings has appeared, which is clearly linked to another paramilitary group Army of God. This group has declared itself in favor of the passage of the motorway through Mitzitón, leading to confrontation with the majority of the ejidatarios, who have rejected the predatory highway project because it will only benefit the capitalists and the government.
The fighting escalated on 21 July 2009 when the ejido assembly decided to send a commission to review land that had been designated as common land, which it knew had been invaded by Carmen Díaz, leader of the Church of Eagle Wings, and by members of the paramilitary group Army of God.
On the way to the site, the commission was surprised by paramilitaries on board a pickup truck who drove into the community members in a criminal attack, killing one and injuring four more: Aurelio Díaz Hernández died from being run over, and Javier Gómez Herédia suffered a broken left leg and right leg injuries that have kept him incapacitated for 4 Months. Fernando Herédia y José Herédia Jiménez were beaten by Army of God members, resulting in bruising.
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'Moves To Stop Global Warming Are Devastating Tribal People', Says New Report
Measures to stop global warming risk being as harmful to tribal peoples as climate change itself, according to a new report from tribal rights organisation Survival International.
The report, 'The most inconvenient truth of all: climate change and indigenous people', sets out four key 'mitigation measures' that threaten tribal people:
1. Biofuels: promoted as an alernative, 'green' source of energy to fossil fuels, much of the land allocated to grow them is the ancestral land of tribal people. If biofuels expansion continues as planned, millions of indigenous people worldwide stand to lose their land and livelihoods.
2. Hydro-electric power: A new boom in dam construction in the name of combating climate change is driving thousands of tribal people from their homes.
3. Forest conservation: Kenya's Ogiek hunter-gatherers are being forced from the forests they have lived in for hundreds of years to 'reverse the ravages' of global warming.
4. Carbon offsetting: Tribal peoples' forests now have a monetary value in the booming 'carbon credits' market. Indigenous people say this will lead to forced evictions and the 'theft of our land'.
The report calls for tribal people to be fully involved in decisions that affect them, and for their land ownership rights to be upheld.
Survival Director Stephen Corry said today, 'This report highlights 'the most inconvenient truth of all' – that the world's tribal people, who have done the least to cause climate change and are most affected by it, are now having their rights violated and land devastated in the name of attempts to stop it. Hiding behind the global push to prevent climate change, governments and companies are mounting a massive land grab. As usual, where money and vast profits are at stake, the world's indigenous people are being shamefully swept aside.'
~ Source: Scoop ~
Doctor-drugmaker ties: Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Reinstein received nearly $500,000 from antipsychotic drug's manufacturer
Executives inside pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca faced a high-stakes dilemma.
On one hand, Chicago psychiatrist Dr. Michael Reinstein was bringing the company a small fortune in sales and was conducting research that made one of its most promising drugs look spectacular.
On the other, some worried that his research findings might be too good to be true.
As Reinstein grew irritated with what he perceived as the company's slights, a top executive outlined the scenario in an e-mail to colleagues.
"If he is in fact worth half a billion dollars to (AstraZeneca)," the company's U.S. sales chief wrote in 2001, "we need to put him in a different category." To avoid scaring Reinstein away, he said, the firm should answer "his every query and satisfy any of his quirky behaviors."
Putting aside its concerns, AstraZeneca would continue its relationship with Reinstein, paying him $490,000 over a decade to travel the nation promoting its best-selling antipsychotic drug, Seroquel. In return, Reinstein provided the company a vast customer base: thousands of mentally ill residents in Chicago-area nursing homes.
During that period, Reinstein also faced accusations that he overmedicated and neglected patients who took a variety of drugs. But his research and promotional work went on, including studies and presentations examining many of the antipsychotics he prescribed on his daily rounds.
The AstraZeneca payments, filed as exhibits in a federal lawsuit, highlight the extent to which a leading drug company helped sustain one of the busiest psychiatrists working in local nursing facilities.
In an interview and in response to written questions, Reinstein said industry payments he has received for speeches and other engagements have had no bearing on his research results or patient care. He said he does not "accept any money from corporations to study their medications. This eliminates any possible conflicts of interest."
But he does receive money from the Uptown Research Institute, a for-profit business that conducts industry- and government-funded studies on psychotropic drugs to help mentally ill patients.
Reinstein's office in Uptown is adjacent to the research institute, which is owned by John Sonnenberg, a clinical psychologist who describes Reinstein as "a mentor of mine" and "brilliant."
Sonnenberg said drugmakers and others pay his institute to do research, and the group, in turn, pays Reinstein a consulting fee of "under $2,000 a month" and has for many years. A decade ago, Sonnenberg said, Reinstein was an active researcher for the institute but since then has served only as an adviser.
"My research organization is separate from him, financially and organizationally," Sonnenberg said.
While payments from drugmakers to researchers are legal, critics have long argued that they should be publicly disclosed. Legislation to make Illinois one of a handful of states to require disclosure died in Springfield this year but is included in the U.S. House and Senate versions of health care reform proposals.
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Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated — beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then.
As the world has talked for a dozen years about what to do next, new ship passages opened through the once frozen summer sea ice of the Arctic. In Greenland and Antarctica, ice sheets have lost trillions of tons of ice. Mountain glaciers in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa are shrinking faster than before.
And it's not just the frozen parts of the world that have felt the heat in the dozen years leading up to next month's climate summit in Copenhagen:
_The world's oceans have risen by about an inch and a half.
_Droughts and wildfires have turned more severe worldwide, from the U.S. West to Australia to the Sahel desert of North Africa.
_Species now in trouble because of changing climate include, not just the lumbering polar bear which has become a symbol of global warming, but also fragile butterflies, colorful frogs and entire stands of North American pine forests.
_Temperatures over the past 12 years are 0.4 of a degree warmer than the dozen years leading up to 1997.
Even the gloomiest climate models back in the 1990s didn't forecast results quite this bad so fast.
"The latest science is telling us we are in more trouble than we thought," said Janos Pasztor, climate adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
And here's why: Since an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution was signed in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, the level of carbon dioxide in the air has increased 6.5 percent. Officials from across the world will convene in Copenhagen next month to seek a follow-up pact, one that President Barack Obama says "has immediate operational effect ... an important step forward in the effort to rally the world around a solution."
The last effort didn't quite get the anticipated results.
From 1997 to 2008, world carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have increased 31 percent...
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By Al Giordano, narconews
The Gaceta Oficial, (“Official Gazette”) of the Honduras coup regime is now freshly printed and has three new decrees and two orders restricting freedom of the press, the right to bear arms and officially strips Catholic Father Andres Tamayo of his Honduran citizenship, ordering him expelled from the country (the good Padre left for El Salvador last week).
Here are a few of the regime's greatest hits from this week's barrage of repressive decrees which are expressly part of what the coup leaders call an "election" coming up on Sunday:
“Due to growing internal threats,” the Armed Forces will be deployed, in support of the National Police, to guard polling places, the custody and transport of ballots (before and after they are utilized by voters), and 5,000 members of the military reserve were deputized beginning on November 13.
This decree declares a “State of Emergency” nationwide, and places the regime's “Secretary of State” inside the military command to oversee all activities related to the November 29 “elections.” This decree pretty much erases the previous order that the quasi-independent Supreme Electoral Tribunal would exclusively be in command of the Armed Forces in the month prior to the “election.” In other words, not even the window dressing added to give the vote a gloss of pseudo-independence could be tolerated by regime leader Roberto Micheletti, who has now placed a member of his Simian Council at that helm.
The November 29 “elections are under threat by groups that try to block their development with threats of all kinds, creating fear and disorder in the general population.” Therefore, says the decree, a nationwide ban on bearing all types of firearms went into effect on Monday, November 23, “until ordered otherwise.” (Memo to self: Make sure to write the National Rifle Association about Senator Jim DeMint's efforts in Honduras.)
Order number 2169-2009 of the Secretary of Government and Justice
“The conduct of Mr. José Andrés Tamayo Cortez is incongruent with constituional precepts and secondary laws of the Honduran State… that justify his characterization as UNWORTHY to have Honduran nationality and is ordered to be expelled to his country of origin.”
Executive Order 124-2009 authorizes the coup regime's media regulating organization CONATEL to close any media at will.
Dear Mr. Micheletti, members of his Simian Council, and all who back his anti-democracy coup: Have fun with your mock “elections” on Sunday. The only thing more interesting than the week to come – and there still may be some big surprises about to unfold from the ground level – is going to be the week afterward, as you enter your next squalid series of tantrums upon the realization that not even your own populace believes that your “election” was legitimate or worthy of respect. Your game of electoral make-believe will resolve nothing.
By Yoel Marcus, Ha'aretz
The first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, is the one who said Israel should be a light unto the nations. The great powers, who didn't lift a finger to destroy the death camps during World War II, were not only sympathetic to Israel's establishment, but admired its valor in repulsing the Arab states' onslaught.
Renowned foreign journalists came here and wrote glowing reports about this war of David against Goliath, about the young immigrants who were taken from the boat straight to the battlefield, about the Jewish volunteers who arrived to help establish this state that was fighting for its life. They also described the hatred of the Arabs, who in their stupidity refused to reach peace agreements with Israel. Because of this, the Rhodes armistice agreements awarded Israel far more territory than the UN did in its resolution of November 29, 1947.
[ ... ]
Of greatest concern is what is happening on American campuses, which are slowly becoming pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. That is dangerous because this is where America's future leaders are bred. But our opponents are not motivated by anti-Semitism, as our political hacks like to claim. If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, then anti-Semitism is the last refuge of the occupier.
Control over the territories is also taking a heavy toll on Israelis' conduct. On one hand, there is the increasingly brutal treatment of the Palestinians; on the other, there are growing doubts among our soldiers about whether to carry out missions to evacuate settlers. Today, no one is interested in how we became embroiled in the 1967 war, how we survived the Yom Kippur War by the skin of our teeth or how, despite peace with Egypt and Jordan, Palestinian terror continued, producing intifada after intifada.
From a light unto the nations, Israel has become a maligned and ostracized nation. The UN Security Council doesn't condemn Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for announcing his intention to destroy Israel, but Israel, which has been fighting for its life for six decades, has become the most denounced and criticized country on the face of the globe.
Ever since Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, officers in the Israel Defense Forces have been at risk every time they land in an international airport.
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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today marked the 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by launching a Network of Men Leaders, a major new initiative bringing together current and former politicians, activists, religious and community figures to combat the global pandemic.
“These men will add their voices to the growing global chorus for action,” he said, noting that 70 per cent of women experience in their lifetime some form of physical or sexual violence from men, the majority from husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.
“As I launch this Network, I call on men and boys everywhere to join us. Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act. Advocate. Unite to change the practices and attitudes that incite, perpetrate and condone this violence. Violence against women and girls will not be eradicated until all of us – men and boys – refuse to tolerate it.”
Each member of the Network, part of the “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” campaign that Mr. Ban launched last year, will work to support the longstanding efforts of women and civil society organizations worldwide to end violence, undertaking actions from raising public awareness to advocating for adequate laws.
“We must demand accountability for the violations, and take concrete steps to end impunity,” Mr. Ban said in a separate message marking the Day. “We must listen to and support the survivors.”
He cited positive actions that men are already taking, such as judges whose decisions have paved the way for fighting abuse in the workplace, networks of men who counsel male perpetrators of violence, and national leaders who have publicly committed to leading the movement of men to break the silence.
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This syringe is an older model aimed at tagging animals with a much larger chip than shown above. The very small chips now commercially available are small enough to be hidden inside a syringe (numerous reports are coming in stating that the "swine flu" vaccine has to be injected using special syringes). A syringe could be loaded with such a chip without anyone being able to see it with thei bare eyes, even if they searched for it, since it is so small. One would need to search the needle and the container of the syringe using a microscope to be able to find it.
In the human body, we have received reports that the chip are able to function using the electricity within the body and the body's own electro magnetic field. If the syringe used is listed next to the person who received the shot in a database, the tagging would be successful and the individual would now be a subject of an incredible and unprecedented invasion of privacy.
If the shot is not entered into a data base together with the receiver, there are many other possible ways to connect the chip to the host. We have heard suggestions that when using an ATM machine, it could detect the chip and connect it to the card user when standing in front of the machine. Several similar scenarios are also possible.
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Pennsylvania nuclear plant workers exposed to radiation
November 25, 2009 (NewYorkInjuryNews.com - Injury News, Personal Injury Accidents)
Legal news for Pennsylvania Personal Injury attorneys–Nuclear Regulatory Commission probes nuclear plant workers at Three Mile Island exposed to radioactive dust.
LondonderryTownship,PA(NewYorkInjuryNews.com) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NCR) www.ncr.gov investigates Exelon Nuclear Company's nuclear plant, Three Mile Island (TMI), where at least 12 workers were exposed to radiation dust Saturday afternoon, November 21, 2009, according to WGAL.
Saturday afternoon, a few workers were cutting through one their stream generators pipes so that the generator could be removed through a large opening to be placed in the reactor building. The company was replacing the old generators with two new 510 ton generators. While the workers were cutting the pipes, radioactive dust was released. The dust was discovered through a shutdown reactor, reported a TMI spokesman.
A reported 150 workers were in the building at the time of the leak. At the time the radioactive dust entered the air; fans turned on and blew it around inside the building. Sources reported that there was not a threat to the public, and there was no emergency declared. One worker was reportedly found to have been exposed to enough radiation as an X-ray.
NRC authorities and the Department of Environmental Protection (EPA) www.epa.gov continued to investigate to determine that the leak had stayed inside the building and had not entered into the public.
NRC monitors Pa. Three Mile Isl after contamination
NEW YORK, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said late Monday it continued to monitor Exelon Corp's actions in response to a radiation contamination incident at the 786-megawatt Three Mile Island 1 nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania on Nov. 21.
The event involved minor contamination of about 20 workers during activities inside the plant's containment building. The levels of contamination were low and did not pose a health or safety concern.
No radioactivity left the site and there was no threat to public health and safety, the NRC said in a release.
The plant was shut for a refueling and maintenance outage at the time of the contamination event.
NRC Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant went to the site over the weekend to review Exelon's response, as did two radiation safety specialists.
With the assistance of these specialists, the Resident Inspectors were continuing to evaluate the company's efforts to identify the source of the contamination and efforts to prevent a recurrence.
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From DC Indymedia
This weekend was a truly inspirational and powerful gathering made possible only by the collective work of thousands of activists like you.
Photo by Linda Panetta.
Yesterday morning, we came together at the gates of Ft. Benning to solemnly remember those killed by the graduates of the SOA. Four carried their witness across military lines and were arrested on the base: Nancy Gwin of Syracuse, NY; Ken Hayes of Austin, TX; Fr. Louis Vitale of Oakland, CA; and Michael Walli of Washington, DC.
Michael is refusing to post bail, and will remain in custody at least until the trial in January 2010. Nancy, Ken and Louis have been released and will soon be headed back to their communities to spread the truth about the SOA/WHINSEC. You can join them! Keep your eyes out for further updates with messages about their journeys.
Following the procession, several hundred activists risked arrest, marching into the street beyond the confines of the protest to carry their message of resistance and people power even further. Puppetistas carrying large puppets of the six Jesuit martyrs alongside Cakalak Thunder and other drumming groups led a march together beyond police barricades to lift of the spirit of life so as to better remember the work and ideas of those who we have lost. Resistencia, Presente!
Breathtakingly innovative contemporary dance.
Sacred Monsters by Sylvie Guillem, Akram Khan, Lim Hwai Min
A nickname used in 19th century France for big stars of the theatre, "Sacred Monsters" is now first and foremost a meeting and exchange of two such 'stars' of the present day dance world.
Sylvie Guillem -- the Paris-born prima ballerina of our times. Celebrated for her stunning six o'clock leg-lifts, Sylvie amazes with immense strength and lyricism in her contemporary work.
Akram Khan -- London's hottest choreographer today. Steeped in classical Indian kathak and western contemporary dance, Akram dazzles with astonishing speed, precision and power.
Exploring the boundaries between two great classical dance forms of ballet and kathak with a live music ensemble featuring virtuoso cellist Philip Sheppard, Sylvie and Akram search and enter a tender dialogue in a union of rare honesty. When opposites do attract, sparks fly!
Lin Hwai-min, eminent artistic director of Taiwan's Cloud Gate Theatre, adds a sublime touch as guest choreographer of Sylvie's exquisite solo.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Part 1 of 3
Lost Books of Nostradamus: on Dec 21 2012 we will be in the constellation Ophiuchus the 13th sign of the zodiac. It is known as the unlucky sigh. At that very same time Sagittarius will be pointing his arrow directly at the galactic center, also known as the Leviathan or Dark Rift. And of course we will be passing through it as well.
Strangely the last known Pole Shift was roughly 11,500 years ago and passing through the Dark Rift is roughly a 13,000 years cycle, again ending [in] 2012.
~ Watch entire movie here. ~
From: Obama's nuclear spring
The talk in Israel, explicit and open – including in the country's leading daily, Haaretz, last week – is about a war in the coming spring or summer. The skies will have cleared for air operations, Israel's missile shields against short- and medium-range rockets will at least be partly operational, and the international community, led by President Obama, will palpably have failed to stymie Iran's nuclear weapons programme. And the Iranians will be that much closer to a bomb.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister, will then have to decide if Israel can live with a nuclear Iran and rely on deterrence. But if they judge the risk of a nuclear assault on Israel too great, Israel's military will have to do what it can to destroy Iran's nuclear installations, despite the likely devastating repercussions – regional and global.
These will probably include massive rocketing of Israel's cities and military bases by the Iranians and Hezbollah (from Lebanon), and possibly by Hamas (from Gaza). This could trigger land wars in Lebanon and Gaza as well as a protracted long-range war with Iran. It could see terrorism by Iranian agents against Israeli (and Jewish) targets around the world; a steep increase in world oil prices, which will rebound politically against Israel; and Iranian action against American targets in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf. More generally, Islamist terrorism against western targets could only grow.
But it is not only Israel's leaders who will have to decide. So will Obama, a man who has, in the international arena, shown a proclivity for indecision (except when it comes to Israeli settlements in the West Bank). Will he give the Israelis a green light (and perhaps some additional equipment they have been seeking to facilitate a strike) and a right-of-passage corridor over Iraq for their aircraft? Or will he acquiesce in putting atomic weaponry in the mullahs' hands?...
From: Israel readying new arms to meet Iran challenge
With cutting-edge anti-missile systems and two new submarines that can carry nuclear weapons, Israel is readying a new generation of armaments designed to defend itself against distant Iran as well as Tehran's proxy armies on its borders.
Having failed to crush Hamas' firepower in its Gaza offensive last winter, or Hezbollah's in its 2006 war in Lebanon, Israel is turning to an increasingly sophisticated mix of defensive technology.
A system that can unleash a metallic cloud to shoot down incoming rockets in the skies over Gaza or Lebanon has already been successfully tested, according to its maker, and is expected to be deployed next year. The army is developing a new generation of its Arrow defense system designed to shoot down Iran's long-range Shihab missiles outside the Earth's atmosphere.
It has three German-made Dolphin submarines and is buying two more. They can be equipped with nuclear-tipped missiles which analysts say could be stationed off the coast of Iran. Israel says Iran, despite its denials, is trying to acquire atomic weapons. It has never confirmed its Dolphin fleet has nuclear capabilities, but senior officials acknowledge that commanders are fast at work devising a strike plan in case diplomacy fails. ...
Israel likely to attack Iran?
Recent Israeli military training exercises have raised fears that Israel could initiate an attack on Iran - potentially even a nuclear attack. Israel may be motivated by fears that Iran's nuclear capabilities could soon surpass Israel's. Can the U.S. use its influence to persuade Israel to avoid such a course of action? Priya Sridhar talks to investigative reporter Wayne Madsen.
Tony Blair's government knew that prominent members of the Bush administration wanted to topple Saddam Hussein years before the invasion but initially distanced itself from the prospect knowing it would be unlawful, it was disclosed at the Iraq inquiry today.
British intelligence also dismissed claims by elements in the US administration that the Iraqi leader was linked to Osama bin Laden, it heard.
Evidence given at the opening day of the inquiry, chaired by the former top civil servant Sir John Chilcot, painted a picture of a Whitehall slowly realising the significance of George Bush's election in November 2000 on US policy towards Iraq.
Even before Bush's administration came to power an article written by his then national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, warned that "nothing will change" in Iraq until Saddam was gone, Sir Peter Ricketts, a former chairman of the joint intelligence committee (JIC) and now the Foreign Office's top official, told the inquiry.
"We were aware of these drumbeats from Washington and internally we discussed it. Our policy was to stay away from that part of the spectrum," added Sir William Patey, then head of the Middle East department at the Foreign Office.
He revealed that in late 2001 – following the 9/11 attacks on the US – he asked officials at the ministry to draw up an Iraq "options" paper, including regime change. "We dismissed it at the time because it had no basis in law," Patey told the inquiry.
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Dispatches investigates one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel.
Despite wielding great influence among the highest realms of British politics and media, little is known about the individuals and groups which collectively are known as the pro-Israel lobby.
Political commentator Peter Oborne sets out to establish who they are, how they are funded, how they work and what influence they have, from the key groups to the wealthy individuals who help bankroll the lobbying.
He investigates how accountable, transparent and open to scrutiny the lobby is, particularly in regard to its funding and financial support of MPs.
The pro-Israel lobby aims to shape the debate about Britain's relationship with Israel and future foreign policies relating to it.
Oborne examines how the lobby operates from within parliament and the tactics it employs behind the scenes when engaging with print and broadcast media.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
At the dawn of November 24, at 03:55 am, the free social space Buena Ventura (which hosts the assembly of the group Solidarity – Antiauthoritarian Movement) came under attack with a strong explosive device.
The way in which the device was placed reveals much about the morality of the perpetrators, a morality of murderers – since they did not just attack Buena Ventura, but the entire neighbourhood. In short, the windows of neighbouring blocks of flats were smashed by the explosion in a radius of 15 meters, while shattered pieces were whammed all around, posing an imminent danger to the lives of neighbours. Shattered pieces also hit three cars, which also highlights the murderous nature of the attack since any random passer-by could have been hit by them too.
The attack comprises the tip of the iceberg – part of the framework of repression and of the blooming of para-statist action over the decades. It begins with the activity of the para-statist group “Karfitsa” in the 1960s and comes all the way to the placing of the explosive device at Buena Ventura.
It becomes painstakingly obvious that free social spaces are being targeted – as approximately six months ago the haunt of the “Struggle Movement” (Sfentona) was also attacked. The method of the attack and the construction of the mechanism reveals that the perpetrators are the same, naturally raising the question of who will be next and – what scale of attack they will come under.
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...Soon I began to marvel at just how comprehensive the business theology is. There were even sacraments to convey salvific power to the lost, a calendar of entrepreneurial saints, and what theologians call an "eschatology"—a teaching about the "end of history." My curiosity was piqued. I began cataloguing these strangely familiar doctrines, and I saw that in fact there lies embedded in the business pages an entire theology, which is comparable in scope if not in profundity to that of Thomas Aquinas or Karl Barth. It needed only to be systematized for a whole new Summa to take shape.
At the apex of any theological system, of course, is its doctrine of God. In the new theology this celestial pinnacle is occupied by The Market, which I capitalize to signify both the mystery that enshrouds it and the reverence it inspires in business folk. Different faiths have, of course, different views of the divine attributes. In Christianity, God has sometimes been defined as omnipotent (possessing all power), omniscient (having all knowledge), and omnipresent (existing everywhere). Most Christian theologies, it is true, hedge a bit. They teach that these qualities of the divinity are indeed there, but are hidden from human eyes both by human sin and by the transcendence of the divine itself. In "light inaccessible" they are, as the old hymn puts it, "hid from our eyes." Likewise, although The Market, we are assured, possesses these divine attributes, they are not always completely evident to mortals but must be trusted and affirmed by faith. "Further along," as another old gospel song says, "we'll understand why."
As I tried to follow the arguments and explanations of the economist-theologians who justify The Market's ways to men, I spotted the same dialectics I have grown fond of in the many years I have pondered the Thomists, the Calvinists, and the various schools of modern religious thought. In particular, the econologians' rhetoric resembles what is sometimes called "process theology," a relatively contemporary trend influenced by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. In this school although God wills to possess the classic attributes, He does not yet possess them in full, but is definitely moving in that direction. This conjecture is of immense help to theologians for obvious reasons. It answers the bothersome puzzle of theodicy: why a lot of bad things happen that an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God—especially a benevolent one—would not countenance. Process theology also seems to offer considerable comfort to the theologians of The Market. It helps to explain the dislocation, pain, and disorientation that are the result of transitions from economic heterodoxy to free markets...
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By Craig Murray, Mail Online
...Few seem to turn a hair at the officially expressed view that our occupation of Iraq may last for decades.
Lib Dem leader Menzies Campbell has declared, fatuously, that the Afghan war is 'winnable'.
Afghanistan was not militarily winnable by the British Empire at the height of its supremacy. It was not winnable by Darius or Alexander, by Shah, Tsar or Great Moghul. It could not be subdued by 240,000 Soviet troops. But what, precisely, are we trying to win?
In six years, the occupation has wrought one massive transformation in Afghanistan, a development so huge that it has increased Afghan GDP by 66 per cent and constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy. That is a startling achievement, by any standards. Yet we are not trumpeting it. Why not?
The answer is this. The achievement is the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.
The Taliban had reduced the opium crop to precisely nil. I would not advocate their methods for doing this, which involved lopping bits, often vital bits, off people. The Taliban were a bunch of mad and deeply unpleasant religious fanatics. But one of the things they were vehemently against was opium.
That is an inconvenient truth that our spin has managed to obscure. Nobody has denied the sincerity of the Taliban's crazy religious zeal, and they were as unlikely to sell you heroin as a bottle of Johnnie Walker.
They stamped out the opium trade, and impoverished and drove out the drug warlords whose warring and rapacity had ruined what was left of the country after the Soviet war.
That is about the only good thing you can say about the Taliban; there are plenty of very bad things to say about them. But their suppression of the opium trade and the drug barons is undeniable fact.
Now we are occupying the country, that has changed. According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.
Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and 'value-added' operations.
It now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops.
How can this have happened, and on this scale? The answer is simple. The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government - the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect...
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President of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann
Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann (Nicaragua), acknowledging the large scale and interrelated crises facing the world today, called for Member States to seize the opportunity to work together collectively and cooperatively -- not by making speeches and statements of good intentions, but through concrete action based on the “golden rule” that guided humankind’s behaviour.
The United Nations’ illustrious history clearly reflected its many laudable actions. However, the fulfillment of its primary purpose -- eliminating war, achieving disarmament and ensuring international security –- had clearly failed. The pressing and man-made problems of climate change, efforts to privatize water, the build-up of arms, terrorism, human trafficking, the situation of Palestine, humanitarian aid, gender inequality, children in especially difficult circumstances such as armed conflict, as well as the fact that half the world are living in hunger and poverty, could be directly linked to the lack of democracy in the United Nations.
Noting that decisions with the most serious consequences did not go through the General Assembly, and that the wishes and resolutions of 95 per cent of the Organization's Members were viewed as “recommendations”, he expressed his belief that unless this changed, significant progress towards the targets established in the Millennium Declaration would be impeded. Indeed, if Member States did not choose a path of solidarity with one another, the very existence of the human race would continue to be jeopardized. “Either we love one another or we all perish; either we treat each other as brothers and sisters or we witness the beginning of the end of our human species.”
He reminded the Assembly delegations that the peoples of the entire world turned to the Member States and the gathering of Heads of State and Government to be assured of a universal commitment to defend the United Nations, to uphold the principle of the sovereign equality of all Member States, and for all Members to meet their Charter obligations so that the continued and successful efforts towards a world-wide peace be ensured and protected.
Recalling that 2009 was the International Year of Reconciliation, he urged Member States to determine to stop the arrogant attacks on one another and to adopt a mindset of reconciliation, collaboration and courageous forgiveness to those who had caused pain and suffering. “Forgiveness is never a sign of weakness,” he said, emphasizing that achieving broader levels of unity and solidarity would guarantee the possibility of a different and more prosperous world.
Naomi Klein talks about cop15, climate debt, and what will happen in Copenhagen during COP15. Interview by Democracy Now - www.democracynow.org - Amy Goodman
The massive change that is taking place on the internet.
By Nicolas J S Davies, Consortium News
Afghanistan is known as the "graveyard of empires." But just why do empires keep sending thousands of their young people to die in Afghanistan?
American blood-letting in Afghanistan is generally explained in terms of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, but it was the earlier U.S. involvement in Afghanistan (in the 1980s) that led to the emergence of these movements in the first place, not the other way around.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government has used al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks to justify much more than simply retaliation for 9/11 or even prevention of some future recurrence of 9/11. The attacks have served as an excuse for U.S. invasions and occupations (including Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11), flagrant war crimes (including torture), and the largest U.S. military budget since World War II.
To accomplish this, the government has persuaded many Americans that their country faces a unique and unprecedented threat that justifies these extreme measures, not least the savage, eight-year war in Afghanistan.
A Dutch friend of mine tried to have a rational conversation with an American co-worker about 9/11 and the so-called “war on terror,” and was told, "You can't possibly understand. Your country has never been attacked like this."
The puzzled Dutch woman had to ask, "Did you never hear anything about the Second World War?"
Of course, it is precisely the far greater dangers that people in other countries have faced in the past that enable them to put the threat of terrorism in perspective. Paradoxically, it is the relative safety of the United States that makes Americans so vulnerable to panic and propaganda when faced with such a limited threat.
In fact, the response of the U.S. government to the terrorist attacks has been exactly as Osama bin Laden and his colleagues intended. They did not expect to defeat the United States by knocking down a few buildings. Nor were they motivated by some irrational hatred of freedom.
Rather the attacks were designed to provoke a reaction that would expose the hypocrisy of the United States, laying bare the hard iron fist of militarism and violence within the soft velvet glove of Hollywood and soda-pop.
The explicit goal was to goad the American empire into using its vast arsenal of destructive weapons in ways that would gradually undermine its own economic and military power. Bin Laden and his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri understood so much better than America's deluded leaders that this would be a war the United States could not win.
But neither the opportunism nor the hypocrisy of U.S. policy explain why American soldiers are fighting, killing and dying in Afghanistan of all places.
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From Dr Mercola
Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News correspondent and investigative reporter. She's covered Capitol Hill since February 2006 and has been a Washington-based correspondent there since January 1995. She was also part of the CBS news team that received the Edward Murrow Award in 2005 for overall excellence. Additionally, she received an Outstanding Investigative Journalism Emmy in 2002 for a series on the Red Cross.
In case you didn't realize it, Sharyl Attkisson is the investigative reporter behind the groundbreaking CBS News study that found H1N1 flu cases are NOT as prevalent as feared.
In fact, they're barely on the radar screen.
How did this startling information come about, and why is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) painting a different picture entirely? I spoke directly with Sharyl Attkisson to find out.
[ ... ]
Ms. Attkisson says:
“The reason I looked into this is a couple of months ago, I got tips from three or four different segments of public healthcare, with folks telling me the CDC has recommended that they go ahead and stop testing for and counting swine flu cases.
Each different entity that contacted me was concerned, thinking that this should not be happening. They really felt that it was necessary for the swine flu to continue to be tracked in some details. So I went about trying to find out why this decision was made and what the ramifications would be.
… I started by contacting the CDC and the HHS and asking some basic questions. I felt like I pretty much got stonewalled with some of the information I really needed to get at, especially what I needed from the states data, and information on the rationale behind this decision to stop counting and testing for swine flu.”
Because the CDC did not initially respond to Attkisson's requests, she contacted all 50 states directly, asking for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. She also asked states, one by one, to help explain the rationale behind the CDC's decision to stop tracking H1N1 cases.
“One of my good sources within the government said to me that they're either trying to, in his opinion, over-represent the swine flu numbers or under-represent by not counting them anymore. He said, “You need to find out which it is.” And so to find out which it might be, I really wanted to see the data that the CDC had at the time it made the decision to quit counting the cases.”
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"this is a dream that i had and decided to make it a project..it's about a girl who goes for a walk and saves another one that was going to be sacrificed-in a way it's what the church has done to the female sex through the years in the past- that 's how i interpreted it anyway..if you think mary magdalene and the witch ...hunt- some male figures didnt get along with the opposite sex and decided to diminish their wisdom or destroy each and every sight of their pure intentions"
Monday, November 23, 2009
Straight from the high security facility of Korydalos prison, Savvas Xiros, one of the convicted members of the Greek November17 'terrorist organization' has published a book investigating the mathematics of prime numbers. Currently it is only available in the Greek language and may be accessed on Scribd.com. More details will be posted as they become available.
Mario Borghezio, Lega Nord (ITALY), Member of the European Parliament with the group 'Europe of Freedom and Democracy', questions the nominations of Bilderberg and Trilateral attendees for the posts of EU President and EU foreign minister.
Citizens become mutinous after only 4 months of direct rule by UK. Taxes, loss of benefits and dictatorship have citizens up in arms in Turks and Caicos and Caribbean.
London imposed direct rule after a corruption scandal involving former Prime Minister Michael Misick. In response the British swept away any semblance of local democracy. Now British Governor Gordon Wetherell runs the island as a one-man dictatorship.
It was complaints from islanders that alerted the British to the corruption problems in Turks and Caicos in the first place. Initially, most people were quite pleased to see the British take back the reins, but now islanders are beginning to resent the reimposition of colonial rule.
[ ... ]
The editor of the island's oldest newspaper, The Turks and Caicos Weekly News, Blyth Duncanson, initially supported British direct rule. But now he is opposed to it. Duncanson has now said, "Many times we are just shunted aside. And we're not really getting solid information. The interim administration, which is supposed to be run by the governor with the aid of an advisory council and a consultative forum, is operating like a closed shop. It's more like a military junta."
The governor has rejected this criticism. He has made it clear that he sees his job as clearing up after incompetent locals.
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From: Hostility between British and American military leaders revealed
The deep hostility of Britain's senior military commanders in Iraq towards their American allies has been revealed in classified Government documents leaked to the Daily Telegraph.
In the papers, the British chief of staff in Iraq, Colonel J.K.Tanner, described his US military counterparts as “a group of Martians” for whom “dialogue is alien,” saying: “Despite our so-called 'special relationship,' I reckon we were treated no differently to the Portuguese.”
Col Tanner's boss, the top British commander in the country, Major General Andrew Stewart, told how he spent “a significant amount of my time” “evading” and “refusing” orders from his US superiors.
At least once, say the documents, General Stewart's refusal to obey an order resulted in Britain's ambassador to Washington, Sir David Manning, being summoned to the State Department for a diplomatic reprimand - of the kind more often delivered to “rogue states” such as Zimbabwe or the Sudan.
The frank statements were made in official interviews conducted by the Ministry of Defence with Army commanders who had just returned from Operations Telic 2 and 3 – the first, crucial year of “peacekeeping” operations in Iraq, from May 2003 to May 2004.
A set of classified transcripts of the interviews, along with “post-operational reports” by British commanders, has been leaked to the Daily Telegraph.
The disclosures come the day before the Chilcot inquiry is due to begin public hearings into Britain's involvement in Iraq. Among the issues it will investigate is the UK-US relationship.
The leaked documents paint a vivid picture of the clash between what General Stewart described as “war-war” American commanders and their British counterparts, who he said preferred a “jaw-jaw” approach.
General Stewart bluntly admitted that “our ability to influence US policy in Iraq seemed to be minimal.” He said that “incredibly,” there was not even a secure communication link between his headquarters in Basra and the US commander, General Rick Sanchez, in Baghdad.
Col Tanner said that General Sanchez “only visited us once in seven months.” Col Tanner also added that he only spoke to his own US counterpart, the chief of staff at the US corps headquarters in the Green Zone, once over the same period.
Top British commanders angrily described in the documents how they were not even told, let alone consulted, about major changes to US policy which had significant implications for them and their men.
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NEWSWEEK rewinds the first 10 years of the new century, reminding you of the best, worst, and unforgettable moments.
First let me say this: on balance, I would far rather that people in politics were writing poetry than not. Where are the poets in the House of Commons? So let's give Herman Van Rompuy a round of applause.
However, I am suspicious of the haiku as a form. I have read a great many over the years – it is the default form in schools, and children are always being made to write them – and have come to believe that haikus are particularly popular among those who don't have time for poetry.
At its best, the form has a delicacy to it which can be very beautiful. At its worst, a haiku is a miniature place for people who don't like poetry to hide in. When a haiku works, it has a simplicity and brevity which I like – and brevity is close to the very heart of poetry. But if you don't pull it off there is a flatness and banality to the form.
I am not sure Van Rompuy totally avoids that. There is, I'm afraid, a touch of the Basil Fotherington-Thomas in some of his work – an awful conservative, picturesque prettiness.
Some are good, though. My favourite is Water:
for warmth to evaporate.
Water becomes a cloud
He captures an idea of transience here, and of cyclical return – ideas which are central to the tradition of haikus. It is a scene of quietness, but there is threat in it.
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Watch part two
In 1979, Nabeel Yasin fled his homeland with his wife Nada and three-year-old son because he had published poetry that did not conform to the views of Saddam Hussein and his regime, including the work The Poet Satirizes the King.
Branded an 'enemy of the state', Yasin faced imprisonment and likely death if he remained in Iraq. He continued to write and publish poetry from exile in the UK, his works smuggled back into Iraq where they became a popular symbol of resistance.
Now the Iraqi poet is running for the position of prime minister in the upcoming Iraqi elections.
Filmmaker Georgie Weedon tells Yasin's story in his film, The Poet of Baghdad.
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Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and of the West -- and shows how these two fundamentally different sets of beliefs about God, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another.
Conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage frequently employ rape metaphors when discussing progressives or progressive policies. For example, Beck said that New Yorkers are "being raped by [their] government," while Limbaugh, during a discussion of health care, told his listeners: "Get ready to get gang-raped again.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
From: Army faces inquiry over 'Battle of Danny Boy' torture claims
Claims that British soldiers tortured and murdered up to 20 prisoners after a battle with Iraqi insurgents are to be scrutinised at a public inquiry.
Concern that the Army covered up the most serious accusation of war crimes that it has faced has prompted Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, to order the independent inquiry.
Mr Ainsworth is due to tell MPs next week that the inquiry will centre on an incident known as the Battle of Danny Boy. It took place in May 2004 and involved soldiers from the Argyll and Southern Highlanders and the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.
The Ministry of Defence said that 20 insurgents were killed “on the battlefield” after an exchange of fire during an attack on an Army vehicle and checkpoint. However, Iraqi families claim that some of those killed had been captured alive before being tortured and murdered by troops at Camp Abu Naji, a British base.
Evidence indicating torture and mutilation allegedly includes close-range bullet wounds, the removal of eyes and stab wounds, human rights lawyers have claimed.
Army sources say that, at a checkpoint called Danny Boy, heavily outnumbered troops mounted a heroic defence. The battle took place five miles from the town of Majar al-Kabir in Maysan Province, where six British military policemen, known as Red Caps, were murdered the year before.
The Army claims that 20 bodies were removed from the battlefield for identification before being returned to their families, with no evidence of torture. It insists that nine prisoners were taken for questioning and were not mistreated.
Lawyers for the family of Hamid al-Sweady, 19, have demanded an independent investigation into claims that he was killed after being taken prisoner. They also represent five prisoners who claim that they were subject to unlawful interrogation methods, The Ministry of Defence had opposed a public inquiry into the allegations arguing that an investigation by the Royal Military Police (RMP) had concluded that the claims of torture and murder were groundless.
Bill Rammell, the Armed Forces Minister, has insisted that there is no evidence of abuse and murder. “For these allegations to be true, it would have involved a massive conspiracy involving huge numbers of people.”
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