In this photo taken Monday, March 22, 2010, a Chinese farmer walks across a dried-up reservoir in Shuitang village in southwest China's Yunnan province. Emergency wells were being drilled and cloud-seeding operations carried out in southern China, where the worst drought in decades has left millions of people without water and caused more than 1,000 schools to close, officials said Thursday. (AP Photo)
31 Mar 2010
A brave Saudi housewife has reached the final of the Arabic version of the X Factor after lashing out at hardline Muslim clerics on live TV.
Wearing a black burkha, mother-of-four Hissa Hilal delivered a blistering poem against Muslim preachers 'who sit in the position of power' but are 'frightening' people with their fatwas, or religious edicts, and 'preying like a wolf' on those seeking peace.
Her poem got loud cheers from the audience last week and won her a place in the competition's final on April 7.
It also brought her death threats, posted on several Islamic militant websites.
The programme, 'The Million's Poet', is a chance for poets to show off their original work and is broadcast live every week on satellite television across the Arab world from Abu Dhabi.
Most Americans scoff at the mention of conspiracy but their country was created by Freemasonry and they don't have a clue. Freemasons drafted the Constitution and signed the Declaration of Independence. The Indians who dumped the tea in the harbor were Masons. So was Paul Revere and his Minutemen, George Washington and most of his generals. The Marquis de Lafayette was shunned until he joined the Masons. At least 20 of the 42 US Presidents were "Brothers."
Freemasonry is the Church of Lucifer masquerading as a fraternal mystical philanthropic order. It fronts for Illuminati (Masonic & Cabalist Jewish) central bankers who started the US as a vehicle to advance their New World Order.
In the words of Masonic elder Manley P. Hall, "we must also perfect the plan of the ages, setting up here the machinery for a world brotherhood of nations and races." ("The Secret Destiny of America," 1944, p.3)
"Masonry alone undertook to lay the foundation for national unity in America because [as a secret society] it could spread throughout the colonies and work steadily and silently. It created in a limited but very prominent class of people a feeling of American unity without which... there would have been no United States." (p. 230)
"In 1760, there was no town, big or small, where Masonry had not spun its web. Everywhere it was preaching fraternity and unity." (230)
Benjamin Franklin, who was the Grand Master of a French lodge, raised millions of francs crucial to financing George Washington's army. He was the first to submit a concrete plan for military collaboration and political federation to a Congress representing all colonies. He established a chain of Masonic newspapers in all of the colonies. You can imagine where he found the money.
A Greenpeace investigation has identified a little-known, privately owned US oil company as the paymaster of global warming sceptics in the US and Europe.
The environmental campaign group accuses Kansas-based Koch Industries, which owns refineries and operates oil pipelines, of funding 35 conservative and libertarian groups, as well as more than 20 congressmen and senators. Between them, Greenpeace says, these groups and individuals have spread misinformation about climate science and led a sustained assault on climate scientists and green alternatives to fossil fuels.
Greenpeace says that Koch Industries donated nearly $48m (£31.8m) to climate opposition groups between 1997-2008. From 2005-2008, it donated $25m to groups opposed to climate change, nearly three times as much as higher-profile funders that time such as oil company ExxonMobil. Koch also spent $5.7m on political campaigns and $37m on direct lobbying to support fossil fuels.
30 Mar 2010
He hobnobbed with Mexico’s rich and famous, cut lucrative real estate deals and was rumored to travel on occasion with a briefcase full of cash. He fathered at least one child, molested seminarians and boys and is said to have boasted that he had the pope’s permission to get massages from young nuns. And all the while the conservative priest was building one of the most influential organizations in the Roman Catholic Church.
Two years after the death of the Rev. Marcial Maciel, a Mexico native, scandals continue to unfold: Just the other day in Mexico City, two brothers came forward, claiming tearfully that not only was Maciel their father, he had also sexually abused them.
Buffeted by the string of revelations, Maciel’s powerful Legion of Christ is fighting for its survival in Rome, the headquarters of the church. But here in Mexico, where the Legion has long-standing ties with the ruling class and an expansive network of elite schools, the organization remains strong.
Rather than the desertions that some branches of the Legion have experienced in the United States and elsewhere, student enrollment in Legionary schools in Mexico grew by 6% to 8% last year, spokesman Javier Bravo said. The order’s assets are estimated by some to be worth $20 billion.
Maciel was dogged for years by allegations that he sexually molested young men studying to be priests, had affairs with women and was a drug addict. He evaded sanction thanks in large part to the privileged status granted him by the late Pope John Paul II. Only in 2006 did John Paul’s successor, Benedict XVI, discipline Maciel by ordering him to stop functioning as a priest; by then, Maciel was 85.
Australia came under fire today from the United States for its proposed internet filtering system, which, if implemented, would be the strictest of any democracy.
A US state department official said that it had raised concerns with Australia over the plans, which are to be voted on by its parliament.
"We remain committed to advancing the free flow of information, which we view as vital to economic prosperity and preserving open societies globally," Michael Tran, a state department spokesman told the Associated Press.
"We don't discuss the details of specific diplomatic exchanges, but I can say that we have raised our concerns on this matter with Australian officials."
Many countries – including the UK – use filtering systems to limit access to outlawed material: in the UK the independent Internet Watch Foundation lists sites internet service providers (ISPs) are asked to block. The list is secret, and frequently updated. In Germany and Canada ISPs use similar blocking systems; in Italy gambling sites are blocked.
But critics say that the Australian plan, which has been proposed repeatedly over the past five years, exceeds what is necessary and strays into matters of free speech.
29 Mar 2010
The Red Cross has appealed for nearly $1 million to help thousands of Mongolians who have lost their herds during a severe drought and harsh winter.
About one-tenth of Mongolia's livestock, an estimated 4.5 million animals, have perished leaving herders desperate for food and other emergency relief.
"Thousands of families have lost their entire flocks of animals, and these are among the poorest and the most vulnerable herders," the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Monday.
"We need to ramp up our assistance to help these families get through the next few months and also to see what their longer term options are."
The IFRC have been distributing food, blankets and warm clothing to 1,200 of the worst-affected families.
But it is seeking $935,000 to help a further 3,400 herder families find alternative means to survive, cope with depression and stress, and learn basic health education.
"It is so hard to have nothing left and I'm so happy to see people coming to help us," Tsendjav Lkhagvasuren, a herder, said.
28 Mar 2010
Three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in a case that prompted an incredulous dissent.
Malaika Brooks was driving her son to Seattle's African American Academy in 2004 when she was stopped for doing 32 mph in a school zone. She insisted it was the car in front of her that was speeding, and refused to sign the ticket because she thought she'd be admitting guilt.
Rather than give her the ticket and let her go on her way, the officers decided to arrest her. One reached in, turned off her car and dropped the keys on the floor. Brooks stiffened her arms against the steering wheel and told the officers she was pregnant, but refused to get out, even after they threatened to stun her.
The officers — Sgt. Steven Daman, Officer Juan Ornelas and Officer Donald Jones — then stunned her three times, in the thigh, shoulder and neck, and hauled her out of the car, laying her face-down in the street.
R-36M/SS-18 is the most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) ever built.
Russian designation - R-36M "Voevoda" ("Warlord")
Designation of NATO - SS-18 "Satan"
Missiles of the R-36M/SS-18 family have never been deployed with more than ten warheads. But given their large throw-weight (8.8 tonnes is the official START number), it is easy to see that they can be made to car More..ry much more than that.
US and Russia announce deal to cut nuclear weapons - The treaty limits both sides to 1,550 warheads, about 30% less than currently allowed, the White House said. (BBC)
A newly leaked CIA report prepared earlier this month (.pdf) analyzes how the U.S. Government can best manipulate public opinion in Germany and France -- in order to ensure that those countries continue to fight in Afghanistan. The Report celebrates the fact that the governments of those two nations continue to fight the war in defiance of overwhelming public opinion which opposes it -- so much for all the recent veneration of "consent of the governed" -- and it notes that this is possible due to lack of interest among their citizenry: "Public Apathy Enables Leaders to Ignore Voters," proclaims the title of one section.
But the Report also cites the "fall of the Dutch Government over its troop commitment to Afghanistan" and worries that -- particularly if the "bloody summer in Afghanistan" that many predict takes place -- what happened to the Dutch will spread as a result of the "fragility of European support" for the war. As the truly creepy Report title puts it, the CIA's concern is: "Why Counting on Apathy May Not Be Enough":
The Report seeks to provide a back-up plan for "counting on apathy," and provides ways that the U.S. Government can manipulate public opinion in these foreign countries. It explains that French sympathy for Afghan refugees means that exploiting Afghan women as pro-war messengers would be effective, while Germans would be more vulnerable to a fear-mongering campaign (failure in Afghanistan means the Terrorists will get you). The Report highlights the unique ability of Barack Obama to sell war to European populations
Also see WikiLeaks
In the build-up to the biggest football show on earth, helpless youngsters are being rounded up each day by South African police and dumped miles outside Durban in a bid to keep the city looking pristine. To an extent it is a pointless exercise, as the children simply embark on the 24-hour trek back to Durban as soon as they are dumped.
To the outside world, they appear in desperate need of rehabilitation. But to Durban Municipal Police they are unsightly vermin in need of urgent removal.
The Sun witnessed the police's heavy-handed tactics first-hand, less than a day after arriving in Durban last week. Sun photographer Marc Giddings was detained and interrogated by police for more than two hours after taking pictures of children locked in the back of a van without food or water.
Inside the city's Metropolitan police station, he was shocked to discover a poster on display entitled Operation Beach Clean-Up. It blatantly revealed police tactics in the build-up to the World Cup. Street children were listed alongside vagrants and debris on a register of rubbish to be removed from the city centre.
Marriage between relatives is seen as distasteful within some cultures, but it has been a common feature in many others for thousands of years. However, growing evidence has shown that children born to parents from the same extended family face a higher risk of developing a range of health problems.
Research from 2008 shows that marriage between cousins in the US, Europe, Russia and Australia is less than one per cent.
In countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, more than half of the population marry a spouse who is considered a relative.
Some of these countries and a number of African and Asian countries have the world's highest rates of birth defects - up to 69 cases in every thousand people.
A scientific dictatorship is in its final stages of completion, and laws protecting basic human rights are being abolished worldwide; an iron curtain of high-tech tyranny is now descending over the planet.
A worldwide regime controlled by an unelected corporate elite is implementing a planetary carbon tax system that will dominate all human activity and establish a system of neo-feudal slavery.
27 Mar 2010
The Marine Corps' top officer said he would not force straight Marines to share rooms with gay service members if Congress repeals the "don't ask, don't tell" law and allows gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces.
Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps, told the Web site military.com in an interview published Friday that an "overwhelming" number of Marines would be opposed to bunking with someone of a different sexual orientation. As a result, he said, the Corps might have to ditch its double-bed rooms and offer single rooms to everyone.
"We want to continue [two-person rooms], but I would not ask our Marines to live with someone who is homosexual if we can possibly avoid it," Conway told the Web site. The Marine Corps is the only branch of the armed services that requires its unmarried members to share rooms, a policy meant to foster unit cohesion.
The head of the UN's climate change panel, Rajendra Pachauri, has accused politicians and prominent climate sceptics of "a new form of persecution" against scientists who work on global warming.
In a strongly worded article published on the Guardian website, Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), hit out at those in "positions of power and responsibility" who try to portray "dedicated scientists as climate criminals".
Pachauri also accused critics who have used an error in the 2007 IPCC report to question the scientific basis of climate change of "an act of astonishing intellectual legerdemain [sleight of hand]". Scientific knowledge of climate change, he says, is "something we distort and trivialise at our peril".
26 Mar 2010
North Korea's military accused the United States and South Korea Friday of trying to topple the Pyongyang regime and said it was ready to launch nuclear attacks to frustrate any provocations.
The military General Staff cited a South Korean newspaper report as evidence of "desperate moves of the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet warmongers" for regime change. "Those who seek to bring down the system in the DPRK (North Korea)... will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army," a General Staff spokesman told the official Korean Central News Agency.
Dong-A Ilbo on March 19 said representatives of the US Pacific Command and state defence think-tanks from South Korea and China would meet in China next month to discuss controlling weapons of mass destruction in case of regime collapse in Pyongyang.
There has been no confirmation of the report.
The North has previously threatened nuclear attacks in response to what it calls plots for regime change -- an especially sensitive topic given leader Kim Jong-Il's age and health. Kim, 68, suffered a stroke in August 2008 and is widely reported to be preparing to hand over power eventually to his youngest son. The head of a South Korean think-tank said this week that Kim is also suffering from kidney failure, which requires dialysis. (AFP)
25 Mar 2010
Is the Pentagon ready to “rendition” members of WikiLeaks in order to silence the whistleblower website? “If anything happens to us, you know why,” a recent Tweet issued by a member of the website states.
WikiLeaks has told supporters not to worry. “To those worrying about us – we’re fine, and will issue a suitable riposte shortly,” a Tweet stated.
WikiLeaks, the web portal of forbidden information that won Amnesty International’s new media award last year, is under fire for its plan to make public unencrypted footage of an air strike in Afghanistan on May 7 last year that killed 97 civilians. WikiLeaks has promised to reveal a “Pentagon Murder Cover-up” at the National Press Club in Washington on April 5, according to the Mail Online.
“WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation,” another Tweet claims. “One related person was detained for 22 hours. Computer’s seized.”
“We have airline records of the State Dep/CIA tails. Don’t think you can get away with it. You cannot. This is WikiLeaks.”
Also see this leak: U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks, 18 Mar 2008
Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.
Arthur Budzinski, at a cemetery behind St. John's School for the Deaf, says he was first molested in 1960 when he went to Father Murphy for confession.
The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.
The documents emerge as Pope Benedict is facing other accusations that he and direct subordinates often did not alert civilian authorities or discipline priests involved in sexual abuse when he served as an archbishop in Germany and as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer.
Gordon Brown has been ordered to release information before the general election about his controversial decision to sell Britain's gold reserves.
The decision to sell the gold taken by Mr Brown when he was Chancellor is regarded as one of the Treasury's worst financial mistakes and has cost taxpayers almost £7 billion.
Mr Brown and the Treasury have repeatedly refused to disclose information about the gold sale amid allegations that warnings were ignored.
Following a series of freedom of information requests from The Daily Telegraph over the past four years, the Information Commissioner has ordered the Treasury to release some details. The Treasury must publish the information demanded within 35 calendar days by the end of April.
23 Mar 2010
The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is proposing to change the constitution by referendum to give him greater powers as a “directly elected president”.
Addressing supporters of his People of Liberty (PdL) party at a rally in Rome, Mr Berlusconi said that he planned a “great, great, great reform” in the remaining three years of his term.
This would include changes to the judiciary, which he claims is biased against him, a cut in the number of MPs and senators and direct elections for a head of state with expanded powers.
The president is currently elected by Parliament, and has limited powers. Mr Berlusconi did not say whether he would be a candidate but the Italian press said that the announcement was consistent with his populist belief that “the people” supported him despite the “lies” spread by “magistrates and the press”.
German and Dutch leaders have concluded in the nick of time that they cannot defy the will of their sovereign parliaments by propping up a country that lied about its deficits, or risk court defeats by breaching the no-bail-out clause in Article 125 of the EU Treaties.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has halted at the Rubicon. So has Dutch premier Jan Peter Balkenende, as well he might in charge of a broken government facing elections in a country where far-right leader Geert Wilders is the second political force, and where the Tweede Kamer has categorically blocked loans for Greece.
The failure of EU leaders to cobble together a plausible bail-out – if that is what occurs at this week’s Brussels summit – is a 'game-changer' in market parlance. Eurogroup chair Jean-Claude Juncker said last month that such an outcome would shatter the credibility of monetary union. It certainly shatters many assumptions.
There will be no inevitable move to fiscal federalism; no EU treasury or economic government; no debt union. It is Stalingrad for the federalist camp and the institutions of the permanent EU government.
US authorities have arrested a number of anti-war protesters, including high-profile activist Cindy Sheehan, during a demonstration in Washington DC.
Eight peace activists were detained after laying coffins near a fence outside the White House during a Saturday rally in which thousands of anti-war protesters gathered at a park in the area to mark the seventh anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq .
They were demanding the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The protesters directed their anger at US President Barack Obama and demanded action against former President George W. Bush and his Vice- President Dick Cheney.
Sheehan, arrested at the end of the march, had earlier said, "We did lose some momentum when Obama came into office, but now we have younger people that are very energetic. They know we can change the world."
Sheehan, who has been and anti-war campaigner since she lost a son in the Iraq war, may stand trial, reports indicate.
22 Mar 2010
The internet has emerged as one of the greatest threats to rare species, fuelling the illegal wildlife trade and making it easier to buy everything from live lion cubs to wine made from tiger bones, conservationists said today.
The internet's impact was made clear at the meeting of the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).
"The internet itself isn't the threat, but it's another way to market the product," said Ernie Cooper, who spearhead the investigation into the newt for TRAFFIC Canada. "The Kaiser's spotted newt, for example, is expensive and most people are not willing to pay $300 for a salamander. But through the power of the internet, tapping into the global market, you can find buyers." The red and pink coral, of which there are 32 species, is harvested in Mediterranean waters and turned into expensive jewellery in Italy, Taiwan and China, according to the marine conservation group SeaWeb. It is the most widely traded and valuable of all precious corals but has no international protection, resulting in a brisk international trade in the species, the group claims.
21 Mar 2010
A private company offering military support has expressed interest in working with the Icelandic government. Many Icelanders are strongly opposed to the idea.
The company in question is known as ECA Program. They are a private company that works in military training and support for governments around the world, and have most recently worked with India. Their interest in Iceland is apparently strong enough to warrant the use of images from Keflavík - where the NATO base used to be located until it closed in 2006 - on their website. They have already asked the Icelandic government if they can utilize the base for their private air force, and are willing to pay 200 billion ISK to do so.
POLICE STATE 4 chronicles the sickening depths to which our republic has fallen. Veteran documentary filmmaker Alex Jones conclusively proves the existence of a secret network of FEMA camps, now being expanded nationwide. The military industrial complex is transforming our once free nation into a giant prison camp. A cashless society control grid, constructed in the name of fighting terrorism, was actually built to enslave the American people. Body scanners, sound cannons, citizen spies, staged terror and cameras on every street corner — it’s only the beginning of the New World Order’s hellish plan. This film exposes how the “Continuity of Government” program has established an all powerful shadow state.
Much has been written about Richard Dawkins “Pope Nazi” comment at the Global Atheist Conference after a member of the audience asked him about the canonisation of Mary Mackillop. Dawkins now famously replied that the entire process was “pure Monty Python” and went on to deride the process requiring two verified miracles and the accusation that he only targets “the fundamental nut bags”. Dawkins was making the point that real theologians (whatever they are) believe that praying over somebody will cure them of cancer and cited Mary and “Pope Nazi” as examples, and these were the people we are meant to be taking seriously!
The media has misrepresented an off the cuff comment made by Richard Dawkins at the 2010 Global Atheist Convention. Here is the footage so everyone can see the exact words used, which pope was referred to and the context of the comment. LiveLeak
It should be clear to anyone who watches the footage that Dawkins was referring to the ongoing canonisation of Pope Pius XII, who signed a concordant with the Nazis in 1933.
In the historic document the Pontiff stipulated various protections for the Catholic Church, but conspicuously no restrictions where placed on the Nazis to curb their evil, megalomaniacal plans. A force for good in the world? I don’t think so.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon slammed Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip saying it caused "unacceptable sufferings," during a visit to the impoverished coastal enclave.
"I have repeatedly made it quite clear to Israel's leaders that the Israeli policy of closure is not sustainable and that it's wrong. It causes unacceptable sufferings" to human beings, Mr Ban said.
The UN chief crossed into the Hamas-run territory earlier today, expressing solidarity with the plight of the Palestinians and urging Israel to end its tight blockade of narrow coastal strip.
19 Mar 2010
The beauty pageants - which include categories for BABIES - make for fascinating if uncomfortable viewing.
At the Miss Georgia Spirit contest around 50 girls aged from just a few months compete for the title. Chubby-cheeked babies swamped by enormous frilly dresses are carted on to the stage by their attention-seeking mothers and shown off to the judges as if they were dogs at Crufts.
As the cringeworthy spectacle unfolds the compere provides commentary on the likes and dislikes of a child too young to walk or talk.
One of the contestants apparently "enjoys bubble baths, meeting new people and sucking her thumb". Confident girls such as Story, who has been competing since she was three, seem to enjoy all the fuss. In the build-up to competition day she has a French manicure and a spray tan.
Read more: The Sun
A former top U.S. and NATO commander says the Netherlands' inclusion of gays in their military rendered Dutch peacekeeping troops unable to prevent the slaughter of thousands of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995.
Retired U.S. Marine General John Sheehan led the U.S. Atlantic Command and served as the top NATO commander in the mid-1990s, the height of ethnic cleansing in former-Yugoslavia
Sheehan pointed to the Netherlands, which he said embarked on a process of social engineering in the Dutch military once the Cold War ended. "They declared a peace dividend and made a conscious effort to socialize their military. It included open homosexuality. That led to a force that was ill-equipped to go to war," he said.
In fact, the Netherlands was among the first nations to end discrimination in the military based on sexual orientation, affirming the right of gays to serve years before the fall of the former Soviet Union.
Asked for comment, Dutch military officials expressed astonishment. The spokesman for the Netherlands Ministry of Defense, Roger van de Wetering, told VOA Sheehan's assertions are "total nonsense" and that he "cannot believe that a man of that rank is stating such a thing." He added that he had never heard Sheehan's allegation before from any source in the Netherlands or anywhere else.
18 Mar 2010
What a shock it is to see the Capitalist Press distort, misrepresent and make a huge deal out of 20 protesters in Cuba!
This picture says it all:
What happened is that hundreds of Cuban citizens came out to support the Cuban Revolution. Without a doubt, some of those citizens were informed about the counter-protest by their local CDR. So what? The point of the CDRs -- Committees in Defense of the Revolution -- is to do exactly that. Does that make the opinion of any of the Cuban citizens who came out to support the revolution any less valid?
Then, what happened is that the Cuban police ordered a group of UNARMED, ALL-WOMEN POLICE SQUAD to escort the anti-Cuban protesters away from the mob before violence broke out.
17 Mar 2010
Cuban police have prevented the mothers and wives of detained dissidents from marching on the outskirts of Havana, the capital, forcing them into buses and taking them away, witnesses say.
The so-called Ladies in White were heckled by hundreds of
government supporters as they marched with the mother
of Orlando Zapata, who died in a prison hunger strike in February. As the women began their march on Wednesday, hundreds of pro-government supporters crowded around them, shouting "Long Live Fidel!" and "Get out, worms!"
The government said the hecklers acted spontaneously as a result of disgust with the women, but some believe the government organises them and that many of those taking part are members of state security.
Turkey's prime minister has threatened to deport 100,000 Armenian migrants, amid renewed tensions over Turkish mass killings of Armenians in World War I.
Recent resolutions in the US and Sweden have called the killings "genocide".
Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the BBC that of 170,000 Armenians living in Turkey "70,000 are Turkish citizens". "We are turning a blind eye to the remaining 100,000... Tomorrow, I may tell these 100,000 to go back to their country, if it becomes necessary." Thousands of Armenians, many of them women, work illegally in Turkey. Most do low-skilled jobs such as cleaning.
Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian was quoted as telling parliament on Wednesday that Mr Erdogan's comments only reminded Armenians of the mass killings. "These kinds of political statements do not help to improve relations between our two states," he said. "When the Turkish prime minister allows himself to make such statements it immediately for us brings up memories of the events of 1915."
Hundreds of thousands of Armenians died in 1915, when they were deported en masse from eastern Anatolia by the Ottoman Empire. They were killed by troops or died from starvation and disease.
16 Mar 2010
Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police in two areas of occupied East Jerusalem after Palestinian groups called for a "day of rage" over the reopening of a synagogue in the Old City.
Palestinians threw stones at Israeli police who responded with stun grenades in the Shuafat and Essawiyya neighbourhoods early on Tuesday.
At least 90 people were wounded in the clashes, the Palestinian Red Crescent said, with around 15 people seriously hurt by rubber-coated steel bullets, teargas inhalation and at the hands of Israeli police.
Israel security forces said about eight police officers were lightly injured in clashes that ended with up to 60 arrests.
WikiLeaks better hurry up and move to the Icelandic truth zone. It looks like the Pentagon is gunning for them.
“Wikileaks.org, a publicly accessible Internet Web site, represents a potential force protection, counterintelligence, operational security (OPSEC), and information security (INFOSEC) threat to the US Army,” a secret report authored by the Army Counterintelligence Center and leaked by the notorious truth-seeking website explains.
The leakage of sensitive and classified DoD information also calls attention to the insider threat, when a person or persons motivated by a particular cause or issue wittingly provides information to domestic or foreign personnel or organizations to be published by the news media or on the Internet. Such information could be of value to foreign intelligence and security services (FISS), foreign military forces, foreign insurgents, and foreign terrorist groups for collecting information or for planning attacks against US force, both within the United States and abroad.
Or it could be of use to Americans interested in what their government and military are covertly doing (and often illegally) in their names.
“We believe the Euro will collapse either totally or in part. This is the first of a number of countries, it's not just Greece. They call them 'the pig states' – not a nice term, but they are, apart from Greece, also Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain. Having a 44% unemployment rate among its young, Spain could well be next.”
As EU finance ministers are about to thrash out how they can help debt-stricken Greece, Member of European Parliament David Campbell Bannerman, from Britain's UK Independence Party, foresees the failure of the Euro.
Over 43 people have been killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in two days of fighting between Shabab (al-Shabaab) insurgent forces, who on March 10 advanced to within one mile of the nation’s presidential palace, and troops of the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government. The fighting has just begun.
The last ambassador of the United States to Somalia (1994-1995), Daniel H. Simpson, penned a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 10 in which which he posed the question “why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time?”
He answered it in stating “Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The U.S. Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for U.S. troops and fighter bombers in Africa.
“Flush with money, in spite of the expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense obviously feels itself in a position to undertake military action in Africa, in Somalia.”
Fulfilling its appointed role, the New York Times leaked U.S. military plans for the current offensive in Somalia on March 5 in a report titled “U.S. Aiding Somalia in Its Plan to Retake Its Capital.” (Note that the Transitional Federal Government is presented as Somalia itself and Mogadishu as its capital.)
Somalia's government has signed a deal with a militia group to bring it on side before an expected military offensive against armed groups fighting to topple the administration.
Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca (ASWJ), which is made up of moderate Sufi Muslims, reached an agreement in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Monday to work together to battle al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam fighters. (AlJazeera)
14 Mar 2010
See the Observations and discussions about this:
My first thoughts on this subject revolve around the breakdown of the prison as an institution. Are prisoners supposed to have identity and personal expression in prison? Fuck no. But in GaGa's video, the prisoners are the most vamped-out, gorgeous, fashion-star people present. To me this represents an apogee of heroic-outsider fascination. Much more on Only Words to Play With
13 Mar 2010
Thousands of workers in Britain's lucrative food industry are being subjected to widespread mistreatment and exploitation, including physical and verbal abuse and degrading working conditions, according to an inquiry published today.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it has uncovered significant evidence of abuse among producers supplying Britain's big supermarkets. The inquiry includes reports from meat factory workers who say they have had frozen burgers thrown at them by line managers, and accounts of pregnant women being forced to stand for long periods or perform heavy lifting under threat of the sack.
It also contained reports from women with heavy periods and people with bladder problems on production lines being denied toilet breaks and forced to endure the humiliation of bleeding and urinating on themselves.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has warned the Israeli prime minister, that his government was putting US ties at risk by failing to take action towards renewed Middle East peace talks, a US spokesman says. In a telephone call to Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday, Clinton expressed frustration over Israel's announcement on Tuesday to build new settlements on Palestinian land.
Clinton's rebuke of Netanyahu came at the end of a week of tense exchanges between the US and Israel, after the latter announced it was building 1,600 new settler homes in an area of the occupied West Bank. The announcement infuriated the West Bank-based Palestinian leadership, which threatened to pull out of US-brokered indirect "proximity" talks with Israel that Washington hoped would be the first step toward relaunching full peace negotiations after more than a year.It also embarrassed Joe Biden, the US vice president, who was in Israel to emphasise the US president's commitment to Israel's security in the face of a possible Iranian nuclear threat. Since then Biden repeated calls for talks despite Palestinian demands that Israel first cancel the settlement project.
12 Mar 2010
A major diplomatic and political scandal is erupting that could have significant import for French-American relations. It involves new research into the mysterious outbreak of “mass insanity” in a village in southern France that affected some 500 people and resulted in five deaths.
According to reliable US sources, the US State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research has been given a confidential inquiry from the office of Erard Corbin de Mangoux, head of the French intelligence agency DSGE (Directorate General for External Security). According to the report the inquiry regards a recently-published account of U.S. government complicity in a mysterious 1951 incident of mass insanity in France in the village of Pont-Saint-Esprit in southern France.
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The strange outbreak severely affected nearly five hundred people, causing the deaths of at least five, two by suicide. For nearly 60 years the Pont-St.-Esprit incident has been attributed either to ergot poisoning, meaning that villagers consumed bread infected with a psychedelic mold or to organic mercury poisoning.
Scientists with the highly respected British Medical Journal were quickly drawn in September 1951 to what it dubbed the “outbreak of poisoning.” After initial thoughts that the cause was bread infection, they concluded that mold could not explain the event or the afflictions that struck hundreds of people in the village.
Scientists dispatched to the scene from the Sandoz Chemical company in nearby Basle, Switzerland also stated that the mold was the cause, but many other experts disagreed with them.
The killing of 1.5m Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during World War I remains one of the bloodiest and most contentious events of the 20th century, and has been called the first modern genocide.
In all, 25 concentration camps were set up in a systematic slaughter aimed at eradicating the Armenian people - classed as "vermin" by the Turks.
Winston Churchill described the massacres as an "administrative holocaust" and noted: "This crime was planned and executed for political reasons. The opportunity presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race."
Chillingly, Adolf Hitler used the episode to justify the Nazi murder of six million Jews, saying in 1939: "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"
Yet, carried out under the cover of war, the Armenian genocide remains shrouded in mystery - not least because modern-day Turkey refuses to acknowledge the existence of its killing fields.
The UK Border Agency has failed to properly investigate claims of mistreatment by failed asylum seekers, including a woman handcuffed while undergoing a biopsy on a breast lump, according to an official inquiry report published today.
The woman, a 32-year-old Cameroonian torture victim, was subsequently handcuffed while being taken into the operating theatre for surgery, and again after coming round from the anaesthetic. On each occasion hospital staff asked for the handcuffs to be removed; on each occasion their requests were refused.
11 Mar 2010
Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who is not seeking a new term, decried the war in Afghanistan and the media coverage of the debate in a remarkable display of anger Wednesday on the House floor.
The Rhode Island Democrat -- at times shouting himself hoarse in support of a measure pushed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, that would end the war -- derided the notion that Afghanistan "is a real country."
Instead, he labeled it a "loose collection of 121 different sovereign tribes, none of [whom] get along with each other."
But Kennedy blew his stack in response to a Republican lawmaker who said that ending the war would send a message of surrender to the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan last year.
There are places on this earth that even the most adventurous of travellers are wary of visiting. What makes a place dangerous to visit? There is a range of deterring factors, including war, disease, poverty, high crime rate, and a propensity for natural disaster. While any place you visit can be as safe or dangerous as you make it, based on your behaviour and decisions, there are some spots that a traveller should take special heed of.
These places, while having a dangerous reputation, can be enjoyed, but must be enjoyed with extreme caution. More on essortment.
10 Mar 2010
Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist.
Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".
He added: "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia."
Gordon Brown makes another promise of expanding the UK's police state, but leaving the million innocent people on the DNA database, and promises to expand the database.
In the example he gives of how the DNA database was useful, he says that a person was caught using the database. In reality, as he said, the man was caught after an appeal on BBC Crimewatch, so was not caught by DNA, but by someone recognising a photo or description.
9 Mar 2010
The US vice-president, Joe Biden, promised the Israeli government today that it had the strong support of Washington and said the US was committed to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
"There is no space between the US and Israel when it comes to Israel's security," Biden said, after meeting the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem. Their talks appeared to focus on Iran and its nuclear ambitions, rather than on the new round of low-key, indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians that was agreed yesterday.
Biden, who is the most senior US official to visit Israel since Barack Obama was elected last year, said addressing Iran's nuclear programme was a priority. "We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," he said.
7 Mar 2010
"Bernhard, a secret history" has revealed that the prince was a member of the German Nazi party until 1934, three years before he married Princess Juliana, the future queen of the Netherlands.
Annejet van der Zijl, a Dutch historian, has found membership documents in Berlin's Humboldt University that prove Prince Bernhard, who studied there, had joined Deutsche Studentenschaft, a National Socialist student fraternity, as well as the Nazi NSDAP and its paramilitary wing, the Sturmabteilung.
He left all the groups on leaving university in December 1934, when he went to work for the German chemical giant, IG Farben.
The prince always denied having been a member of the Nazi party, although he admitted that he briefly had sympathised with Adolf Hitler's regime. In one of the last interviews he gave before his death in 2004, he said: "I can swear this with my hand on the Bible: I was never a Nazi."
6 Mar 2010
As population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don’t have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.
This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management. Our policies that encourage high rates of population growth are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both were happy.
But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge. It is in the best interest of the common good to stabilize the population, avoiding an erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment and poverty. However, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, even though per capita consumption goes into decline, total consumption still increases. We now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is not in the best interest of the common good.
5 Mar 2010
A South Korean couple who were addicted to the internet let their three-month-old baby starve to death while raising a virtual daughter online, police said.
The pair fed their own premature baby just once a day in between 12-hour stretches at an internet cafe, the official Yonhap news agency reported.
Police officer Chung Jin-won told Yonhap they "lost their will to live a normal life" after losing their jobs.
He said they "indulged themselves online" to escape from reality.