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URUK Net 27 March, 2009

Last updated: Sunday, March 29, 2009 10:55

IRAQ: Poor sell kidneys just to survive
Nizar Latif,
Abu Zahra arrived in Baghdad two years ago, coming north from the city of Amarah. He brought along his wife, three daughters, a son and his dreams of getting a job that would end their life of poverty. He found work, washing cars, but with earnings of less than US$10 (Dh37) a day, it did nothing to make them richer. So he is planning to sell one of his kidneys. “I had hopes at first, but things were no better here,” he said. “We lived in small, dirty rooms, I had this idea that I would be able to save a little money and slowly build myself up…Another immigrant to Baghdad from southern Iraq, 27-year-old Ihsan Mekad, said he had also decided to sell his kidney after years of scraping by with manual or menial jobs. “A lot of workers are doing this,” he said. “It’s a way out. I’ve got a rich family with a man who needs a new kidney and they’ll give me $12,000 for mine. It’s something I’d rather not do, but I will…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52960

A Barefoot Dance…
Layla Anwar, Uncensored Arabwomanblues
You know something ? I love dancing…and am told am a good one too. And ONE of the reasons, I find the current regime in Iraq not only corrupt but borrrrrrrrrrrring is because they have banned dancing places. Dancing is no longer allowed in Baghdad…except in the Green Zone, of course --- leisure therapy for the poor worn out brave boys and girls from the Wild West. I remember the good old day in Baghdad, we could dance…You name it we danced it. No one thought we were “loose” because we danced…and boy did we swing…

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Fundamentally Flawed: Militant Religion and Modern Atrocity
Chris Floyd
The fighters gather to celebrate their victory in a recent campaign against the enemy infidels. Singers are called in to raise an anthem in praise of the warriors. Suddenly, there is outrage, consternation. Dozens of the fighters get up and stalk out of the celebration, along with their commanders. They are all deeply insulted, their religious faith has been assaulted, they have been exposed to a filthy evil which they cannot, will not, abide: Some of the singers are… women. Just another day in a Taliban encampment? another example of the virulent woman-hatred and primitive fanaticism of Islamofascist zealots? Of course not. These were Israeli soldiers and officers, who fled the celebration because of “their belief that halakha, or Jewish religious law, prohibits them from hearing a woman sing,” Haaretz reports. The Paratroop Brigade had come together in Haifa to mark its service in the glorious triumph of “Operation Cast Lead” — Israel’s all-out military assault on the densely populated Gaza strip, which killed hundreds of innocent civilians, many of them deliberately, as revealed by reams of testimony now emerging from Israeli soldiers themselves. But the program featured the brief appearance of a few women among a group of singers — a gross insult to God Almighty that triggered the righteous walkout…

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Gaza’s phosphorous legacy
AlJazeera.net
Three months have passed since the war on Gaza and for many people life is regaining some form of normality. For others however, the fallout from the conflict continues to affect their daily lives. Sabah Abu Halima has weekly physiotherapy sessions and regular visits to the Shiba hospital for treatment on her injuries from white phosphorous sustained during the war. “I was burnt from head to toe, my face, my legs, my back were burnt,” she says. “I am still in pain, I have not recovered yet, I massage my arm where they operated it on it but it’s still stiff. “I can’t even pick up a cup of tea now, my life will never be the same.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52942

Video: Israeli settlement building threat in West Bank
AlJazeera.net
Just a day after promising to be a partner for peace with the Palestinians, Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister-designate, appears to be preparing to build Israeli settlements on more West Bank land. Israeli media is reporting that Netanyahu has struck a secret deal with his coaltion partner – the far right Yisrael Beiteinu party – to build more settlements. Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports from the occupied West Bank area of E1…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52940

We Are all Palestinian
Joharah Baker for MIFTAH
Yesterday, March 24, clashes broke out in the Palestinian-Arab town of Um Al Fahm inside Israel between the residents and Israeli police and right-wing demonstrators. The incident was an accident waiting to happen, so to say, given the players involved. Apparently, a group of right-wing Israelis had received approval from Israel’s High Court to march within the municipal borders of Um Al Fahm but not inside the city. While the actual intent of the march still remains unclear, it seems Israel’s right-wingers – many of them settlers living in Hebron – want to force Israel’s Arab-Palestinian residents to express their “loyalty to the state.”…

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Afghan soldier kills two U.S. troops -military
Reuters
An Afghan army soldier shot dead two U.S. servicemen and wounded a third before killing himself in northeast Afghanistan on Friday, U.S. military said. The Afghan soldier fired at the U.S. soldiers, killing one and wounding two others, one of whom died later, it said in a statement. “One coalition service member was killed … another died of wounds and a third was wounded by an Afghan National Army soldier who reportedly fired upon them,” it said. “The Afghan National Army soldier reportedly killed himself immediately after the incident.”…

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Video: Gazan speaks of white phosphorus use
AlJazeeraEnglish
According to Human Rights Watch Israels use of white phosphorus in their offensive on the Gaza Strip constitutes a war crime”, which Israel strenuously denies. Phosphorus ignites in oxygen in temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius and daily temperatures were much hotter than that when the war was carried out in Gaza in January. It is almost impossible to put out, and if it comes into contact with human flesh it can burn to the bone. Sabah Abu Halima who lost her husband and four of her children in the war, tells her story…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52941

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 12/2009 (19- 25 March 2009)
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law escalated in the OPT during the reporting period (19 – 25 March2009). Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including one child and two journalists, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, on 24 March 2009, IOF troops positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, wounded a Palestinian civilian, claiming that he had attacked soldiers with an iron bar. During the reporting period, eight Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, were wounded when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall. In the Gaza Strip, on 22 March 2009, a Palestinian fisherman was wounded when IOF naval troops opened fire at a number of fishermen in near Gaza Harbor…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52954

One third of Falluja youth illiterate, says study
Omer al-Mansouri, Azzaman
More than one third the young people in the city of Falluja cannot read and write, a new study has revealed. The study by the Cultural House, an independent Iraqi group measuring education and illiteracy in Iraq, also shows a significant increase in the number of dropouts in Falluja schools…Nafai Raheem, a top Iraqi education expert, who took part in the study, said 2008 exam results were the worst in Falluja’s history. “Only 20% of pupils enrolled in Falluja schools passed their exams in 2008,” he said. Raheem attributed the worsening educational standards in the city to U.S. occupation and the rising levels of violence in the country…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52961

Abu Ghraib Torture Suit Against Defense Giant CACI Goes Forward
Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…
In a blow to defense contracting giant, CACI International Inc., U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled on March 18 that a lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of torture victims held at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq can proceed. Denying CACI’s motion to dismiss the former prisoners’ claims, which allege multiple violations of U.S. law, including torture, war crimes and conspiracy, Judge Lee ruled that “[t]he fact that CACI’s business involves conducting interrogations on the government’s behalf is incidental; courts can and do entertain civil suits against government contractors for the manner in which they carry out government business. CACI conveniently ignores the long line of cases where private plaintiffs were allowed to bring tort actions for wartime injuries.”…

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Flim-Flam Obama Man: The “New Democrat[ic]” President’s Wall Street Loyalties Get Clearer Every Day
Paul Street
Many on what passes for a left in the United States have been led to believe that Barack Obama is a “Mr. Smith-goes- to-Washington” character eager and ready to struggle against entrenched corporate and financial interests. A considerable number of so-called “left liberals” make curious bedfellows with right-wing noisemakers (including dangerous reactionary nut-jobs like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Bernard Goldberg) in fantasizing that a leftist has taken up residence in the White House. But, as Harper’s Magazine president John R. MacArthur notes, this “is an absurd reading of Obama,” who MacArthur rightly describes as “a moderate with far too much respect for the global financial class” and as “surely the unleft, unradical, president…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52950

Mhanna: “PFLP offered a third proposal to resolve the issue of stalled internal talks”
IMEMC & Agencies
Rabah Mhanna, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and in charge of PFLP division in Gaza, stated that the Front presented a third proposal that could end the current crisis in internal talks. He stated that the conflicting issues are resembled in the demand that the Palestinian government should be committed to the peace deals signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The initiative states that the government should recognize the PLO as the side in charge of the political process, in accordance to the National Unity Agreement, and that the government should have specific tasks; reconstructing Gaza, reunifying the Palestinian institutions and prepare from presidential and legislative elections that should take place by January 25, 2010…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52952

Christian Samaritan for Palestine
Khalid Amayreh, IOL Correspondent
Joy Ellison came from Portland, Oregon, US, last year to promote non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation. Eventually, she ended up at the small Palestinian hamlet of At-Tuwani in the southern Al-Khalil (Hebron) hills where she, along with a number of mainly North American peace activists known as the Christian Peace-Making Teams (CPT), are now living. “I decided that I am not going to be less persevering and less resilient than the people here,” Ellison told IslamOnline.net. Her main daily mission is to escort Palestinian children who can’t go to school and return home school unless accompanied by an Israeli army patrol to protect them from fanatical Jewish settlers…

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War on Terror 2.0
Nicole Colson
Defending government eavesdropping without a warrant. Arguing that prisoners of the U.S. held overseas don’t have the right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts. Claiming that victims of CIA kidnapping shouldn’t have their cases heard because of “national security” interests. These were supposed to be relics of the Bush administration and its attacks on basic constitutional and human rights. Instead, they are among the many troubling actions taken by the new administration of President Barack Obama…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52947

Tough times for university students in Gaza ir
IRIN News
Many university students who lost relatives or whose homes were destroyed during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive are finding it difficult to cope, according to university officials and students. Some have been unable to register for the new semester due to lack of funds; others are still traumatised. Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza said 14 of the 15 higher education institutions in the Strip (most are in and around Gaza City) were damaged by Israeli forces. Six came under direct attack…

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PCHR Demands Investigation into Death of a Civilian Tortured by Members of the Intelligence Services in Gaza
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) demands an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jamil Naser ‘Assaf, 20, from Gaza City, who died yesterday after being tortured by members of the Security Services. PCHR is also calling for the results of the investigation to be made public, and the perpetrators to be prosecuted and brought to justice. According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 01:30am on Tuesday 24 March 2009, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City pronounced the death of Jamil Naser ‘Assaf, 20, from the ‘Asqoula neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. ‘Assaf died after suffering severe kidney failure, resulting from beating and torture carried out by members of the Security Services. The injuries were sustained while Jamil ‘Assaf was being detained at al-Tufah police station on charges of theft…

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Britons ‘to be traded for Hizbullah leader’
Kidnappers of UK citizens in Iraq claim they reached deal to exchange captives
Nicholas Kimbrell, Daily Star staff
A “Hizbullah leader” and nine other prisoners detained in Iraq will be released as part of a deal to free five Britons abducted in Baghdad in 2007, the kidnappers have claimed. In a statement released Thursday on the Iraqi news site, Elaph, the spokesman for the group that says it holds the UK nationals, declared that a deal had been struck with the British government to release the detained prisoners in exchange for the five British hostages. “There is an agreement between Britain and the US and our group,” Abu Ali, the spokesman for the Leagues of Righteousness, told the Web site…

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Obama’s Latest No Banker Left Behind Scheme
Stephen Lendman
On Wall Street, that is. So hyped by advance fanfare, Timothy Geithner unveiled his Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) on March 23, the latest in a growing alphabet soup of handouts topping $12.5 trillion and counting – so much in so many forms, in “gov-speak” language, with so many changing and moving parts, it’s hard for experts to keep up let alone the public, except to sense something is very wrong…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52953

Iraq to move Iranian opposition group: official
By KIM GAMEL, AP
Iraq plans to move members of an Iranian opposition group from a camp north of Baghdad to remote areas elsewhere in the country as it steps up efforts to rid itself of a major source of tension with Tehran, a top government official said Friday… But the Paris-based political arm of the Mujahedeen denounced Iraq’s plan and vowed that the camp’s residents would never leave. “It is setting the stage for a human catastrophe,” the organization warned of Baghdad’s plan, adding that any attempt to forcibly expel the camp’s residents from Iraq or move them elsewhere in the country would constitute a violation of international conventions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52959

March 26, 2009: 1 US Soldier, 28 Iraqis Killed; 51 Iraqis Wounded
Margaret Griffis, Antiwar.com
At least 28 people were killed and 51 more were wounded in the latest attacks. A significant bombing took place in northern Baghdad. Also, a U.S. soldier died of non-combat injuries.. Baghdad, a car bomb outside a Shabb neighborhood maternity hospital killed 26 people and wounded 37 more near market stalls. A second bomb on Haifa St. wounded four people, including a secretary for the justice minister…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52943

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