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URUK Net 5 February, 2009 Part 2

Last updated: Saturday, February 7, 2009 7:44

IRAQ: No Unemployment Among Gravediggers
Dahr Jamail
Amidst the soaring unemployment in Iraq, the gravediggers have been busy. So busy that officials have no record of the number of graves dug; of the real death toll, that is. “I’ve been working here four years,” a gravedigger who gave his name as Ali told IPS at the largest cemetery in Baghdad, a sprawling expanse in the Abu Ghraib section of the capital city. “In 2006 and some of 2007, we buried 40- 50 people daily. This went on for one-and-a-half years. “Twenty-five percent of these were from violence, and another 70 percent were killed by the Mehdi Army (the militia of Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr).” Only a few appeared to have died from natural causes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51557

THE BBC, IMPARTIALITY, AND THE HIDDEN LOGIC OF MASSACRE
Media Lens
Writing in the Independent last week, Robert Fisk commented on the BBC’s refusal to broadcast an appeal for Gaza by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC): “The BBC’s refusal to handle an advertisement for Palestinian aid was highly instructive. It was the BBC’s ‘impartiality’ that might be called into question. In other words, the protection of an institution was more important than the lives of children.” Even taken at face value, then, the BBC’s decision was monstrous. But the idea that it was primarily motivated by a commitment to impartiality makes little sense…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51558

Palestinians dumped by road in no man’s land, their plight ignored by all
By Catherine Philp in al-Tanf , Times
Arab solidarity is not a phrase that Salim Ahmad wants to hear any more. On a battered television inside a windblown tent he watches with scepticism as the crowds demonstrate in the streets of Damascus over Israel’s war in Gaza. “If they really cared anything for Palestinians, they would not leave us here in this terrible place,” he said, gesturing around him. “Don’t tell me about solidarity when nobody cares that we are here at all.” For the past three years this desolate spot between the Iraqi and Syrian border posts has served as home to hundreds of Palestinians fleeing persecution in Iraq… “This is a prison, get us out of here,” were the first words of Adnan Abdullah. His family were driven from their house in Baghdad by a Shia landlord after the fall of Saddam and they moved to an impromptu camp in a football field in the city. The camp was attacked and closed in 2005…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51554

A New Administration, Tired Old Policies
Stephen Lendman
In Part I of his year-end analysis, money manager and market strategist Jeremy Grantham assessed the global economic crisis: “Greed + Incompetence + A Belief in Market Efficiency = Disaster. Greed and reckless overconfidence on the part of almost everyone caused (risk avoidance) to a degree that is probably unparalleled in breath and depth in American history.” The aftershocks hit everywhere. Tremors continue. No safe harbors exist. Buckle up. Turbulence and convulsions are ahead. Grantham is worried and angry…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51549

Video: Israeli ambassador gets the shoe
Laila El-Haddad
A shoe was thrown at Israel ’s ambassador to Sweden, Mr. Benny Dagan, when he was giving a speech at Stockholm University today. The shoe hit its target. It was followed by two books and a note pad, all hitting the severely embarrassed ambassador. The two protesters, a young woman and a young man, shouted “Murderers!” and “Intifada!” while pelting Dagan with the objects. They are currently under arrest, suspected of assault and public disturbance…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51546

Israeli army says shelling of house where girls died was ‘reasonable’
Rory McCarthy, The Guardian
Israel’s military last night admitted that one of its tanks killed three girls at their home in Gaza during last month’s war in a case that shocked the Israeli public, but said the shelling was “reasonable.” The Israeli military said two shells had hit the house of a Palestinian doctor, Izz el-Deen Abu el-Eish, on 16 January, killing his daughters. Moments after their death the Hebrew-speaking gynaecologist was interviewed by mobile phone live on an Israeli television channel, screaming with grief in an extraordinary scene…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51555

FAIR Study: Human Rights Coverage Serving Washington’s Needs
FAIR finds editors downplaying Colombia’s abuses, amplifying Venezuela’s
Steve Rendall and Daniel Ward and Tess Hall, FAIR
Any evenhanded comparison of the Colombian and Venezuelan governments’ human rights records would have to note that, though Venezuela’s record is far from perfect, that country is by every measure a safer place than Colombia to live, vote, organize unions and political groups, speak out against the government or practice journalism. But a new survey by FAIR shows that, over the past 10 years, editors at four leading U.S. newspapers have focused more on purported human rights abuses in Venezuela than in Colombia, and their commentary would suggest that Venezuela’s government has a worse human rights record than Colombia’s. These papers, FAIR found, seem more interested in reinforcing official U.S. policy toward the region than in genuinely supporting the rights of Colombians and Venezuelans…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51553

Homeless Palestinians squeeze into tents in Gaza
Andrew Hammond; Reuters
Thousands of Palestinians are living in tented camps after Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip, hoping for a swift end to Israel’s blockade so they can rebuild their homes. Aid workers said on Thursday at least 16,000 people have found temporary accommodation in 10 camps set up in districts laid to waste in a war that local medical officials said left around 1,300 Palestinians dead and more than 5,000 wounded. But conditions are cramped, with several thousands of tents held up at border crossings from Israel into the Gaza Strip…

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Survivor Testimony of Israeli Holocaust in Gaza
Kawther Salam
The Palestinian Center for the Defense of Prisoners confirmed that the Israeli occupation forces committed war crimes in a deliberate and planned way during its aggression “Operation Cast Lead” against the Gaza Strip, which lasted about 23 days. The IOF executed Palestinians who were arrested from their houses in cold blood, either by shooting them directly by launching missiles and rockets at them. The Center reports that the testimonies of survivors of the assault on Gaza confirmed the status of the executions of these “prisoners of war”, and that the occupation forces violated the international war-crime treaties and conventions which clarify the rights of prisoners of armed conflicts. The testimonies confirm that the prisoners were executed a few kilometers away from their houses, and that there were among them children in some cases aged only months, women, and old men…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51550

Evidence of torture ‘buried by ministers’
Judges condemn secrecy over files detailing treatment of suspect by CIA
Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian,
The government was accused last night of hiding behind claims of a threat to national security to suppress evidence of torture by the CIA on a prisoner still held in Guantánamo Bay. An unprecedented high court ruling yesterday blamed the US, with British connivance, for keeping the “powerful evidence” secret, sparking criticism from lawyers, campaigners and MPs, who claimed the government had capitulated to American bullying. Two senior judges said they were powerless to reveal the information about the torture of Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born British resident, because David Miliband, the foreign secretary, had warned the court the US was threatening to stop sharing intelligence about terrorism with the UK…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51548

Israel, Iran, Pakistan World’s Least Popular Nations
Jim Lobe
Israel, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan are widely seen as exerting the most negative influence on world affairs, according to the latest in a series of annual global surveys by the BBC’s World Service on popular perceptions of the world’s most powerful or newsworthy nations. The survey, which questioned some 13,500 respondents in 21 countries around the world, found that perceptions of Russian and Chinese influence also became considerably more negative during 2008…

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Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man near the Gaza-Israel border
Saed Bannoura – IMEM
Israeli military sources reported on Thursday evening that a Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers near the Gaza-Israeli border. The army claimed that the man was armed, and tried to throw a grenade at the soldiers. The Israeli Army said that the grenade exploded near the Palestinian man due to soldiers’ gunfire. The army also briefly invaded the area where the man came from and searched it, Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51559

US Supply Routes to Afghanistan Suffer Two Huge Blows
Tom Lasseter and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers
The U.S.-led campaign against the Taliban suffered two logistical blows Tuesday as the president of Kyrgyzstan announced that he’d shut a U.S. airbase in his country and insurgents in Pakistan blew up a bridge, disrupting the main U.S. supply route into Afghanistan. The developments were the latest reminders of the vulnerability of the long and complex transportation system on which the 60,000 U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan depend for fuel, ammunition, construction materials and a great deal more…

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Corrupt Egyptian system: feeds the IDF, starves Gazans, oppresses journalists
Iqbal Tamimi
Once upon an alleged democracy, the Egyptian government decided a couple of days ago to try the journalist Majdi Hussein, the secretary-general of the Egyptian Labour party in a military court – even though he is a civilian – because he broke the law when he tried to “illegally enter the Gaza Strip”. One wonders what is legal and what is not when it comes to Gaza. It seems the law in Egypt is extremely elastic and can accommodate all manipulations and tailoring of the law to fit different sizes of growing plots..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51545

A Palestinian Knockout: Boxing in a Refugee Camp
By Hussein Al-alak, Palestine Chronicle.
I was first introduced to the Baqa’a boxing team in May 2005, a team that represents over 120,000 displaced Palestinian’s, in a refugee camp that is located north of central Amman. On our arrival at the boxing club, it was discovered that training occurred within a large converted basement underneath the famous Baqa’a Football Club. During 2005, when I was first at the club, I had been treated to a demonstration by two of the camps champion boxers, with a running commentary on their training regime by the coach of the club, who was affectionately referred to as ‘captain’ by the others…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51543

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