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URUK Net 6 April, 2009

Last updated: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 9:12

Iraqi babies for sale: people trafficking crisis grows as gangs exploit poor families and corrupt system
Afif Sarhan, Guardian
Corruption, weak law enforcement and porous borders are compounding a growing child trafficking crisis in Iraq, according to officials and aid agencies, with scores of children abducted each year and sold internally or abroad. Criminal gangs are profiting from the cheap cost of buying infants and the bureaucratic muddle that makes it relatively easy to move them overseas. Accurate figures are difficult to obtain because there is no centralised counting procedure, but aid agencies and police say they believe numbers have increased by a third since 2005 to at least 150 children a year. One senior police officer said at least 15 Iraqi children were sold every month, some overseas, some internally, some for adoption, some for sexual abuse…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53196

NATO backs US escalation of war in Central Asia
Chris Marsden
The NATO 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany, ended with a headline commitment for Europe to provide “up to” 5,000 additional troops for Afghanistan. This was the smallest commitment the European leaders could make without delivering an open rebuke to the United States. Nevertheless it paves the way for an escalation of the war in Afghanistan and its extension across the border into Pakistan—aims which are at the centre of the foreign policy of the Obama administration. While keeping substantial troop forces in Iraq, President Barack Obama has championed the shift in military focus long demanded by sections of the US bourgeoisie towards Central and indeed Southern Asia, which is a strategic focus for US imperialism…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53202

International Seeds Day on April 26,
to advocate for Patent-FREE seeds, biodiversity, farmers rights and to challenge Order 81
Institute of Near Eastern & African Studies (INEAS)
…Historically, the Iraqi constitution prohibited ownership of biological resources. Farmers in Iraq have operated in a mostly free-to-little-regulated, informal seed supply system. Farm-saved seeds and the free exchange of planting materials among farmers have long been the basis of agricultural practice in Iraq. Yet all of this has become history. On April 26, 2004, Paul Bremer, the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), issued and signed Order 81, which prohibits farmers from reusing seeds harvested from new varieties registered under the law. When ownership of a crop is claimed, seed saving will be banned and farmers will have to be pay royalties to the registered, so-called seed owner…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53218

Lost in the Buffer Zone
Eva Bartlett | In Gaza
They’re always shooting at us. Every day they shoot at us,” says Alaa Samour (19), pulling aside his shirt to show a scar on his shoulder. Samour said he was shot on Dec. 28 last year by Israeli soldiers positioned along the border fence near New Abassan village, east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. “We were cutting parsley like we do almost every day, and the soldiers began shooting. We started crawling away. When I got out of the line of fire I realised my shoulder was bleeding and that I had been shot.” A month later, out of necessity, Samour was back in the fields. Like many other impoverished labourers from the Khan Younis area, Samour is employed by farmers to harvest parsley, spinach and pea crops in the fertile eastern region. He brings home 20 shekels (five dollars) per day of labour, his contribution to a family where the father cannot earn enough to cover their food needs…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53211

Israel on a piracy mission
PT editor
In a new piracy mission the Israeli Occupation arrested eight fishermen and confiscated their boats off the Gaza shore. The Palestine Telegraph reporter was informed that Israeli gunboats intercepted five Palestinian boats while fishing in the northern Gaza strip. The Israeli forces seized the boats and arrested eight fishermen who were on board. A Palestinian official said the Israeli army usually arrests fishermen to be transferred to Ashdod port where they are being interrogated about the nature of their work. After that they are photographed before release forfeiting their boats…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53205

Video: Gaza medic distraught after Israel’s war
AlJazeeraEnglish
Dozens of Palestinian medics died while trying to save lives during Israel’s war on Gaza. Al Jazeera met one paramedic who was injured when an Israeli shell hit his ambulance. While Ala Sarhan survived, his colleague did not. This is his story in his own words…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53204

Year 7 in a Musical Ballad…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
An online friend, Ed, composed a musical piece with the lyrics from my post Year 7. His son Joshua is on the piano. It is quite painful to hear one’s own words in music…more so than writing them… Ed and Joshua, am really touched and I love it. Thank you both and Bless you…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53200

US and Israel may fall out over Iran
Jonathan Cook, The National
The new administrations in the United States and Israel could collide over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, threatening to strain their close, long-standing relationship. The White House under Barack Obama has made conciliatory gestures towards Tehran, culminating in a video statement from the president a fortnight ago in which he appealed for a “new beginning” in relations between the two countries. But since Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as Israeli prime minister on Tuesday, he has preferred to highlight the military option as a way to prevent what Israel and the United States have claimed are Iranian plans to acquire a nuclear warhead under the guise of a civilian energy programme…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53198

AT-TUWANI: Masked settlers beat three Palestinian children, shoot at Palestinian shepherds for the second time in ten days.
Christian Peacemaker Teams
At 4:00 pm on 5 April 2009, Israeli soldiers and the Ma’on settlement security guard took three Palestinian boys—ages ten, eleven, and fourteen—and transported them to the Ma’on settlement. Soldiers delivered the children to six masked settlers who kicked and punched the children. At 4:45, the children arrived back in their village, after the settlers allowed them to leave to walk home through the hills alone. Earlier the same day, settlers shot at a teenage Palestinian shepherd as he grazed his sheep near Juwayya…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53212

So what did we learn about anti-Semitism?
Dima Omar
Well, not much really… Just that when you invite people who don’t consider each other to be “within the pale”, as British columnist David Aaronovitch said, then the discussion on anti-Semitism turns into character assassination. No one expected a calm discussion during the debate entitled “Anti-Semitism – Alive and Well in Europe?”, which was organised by the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. Along with Aaronovitch, the panel included Gilad Atzmon and the Observer columnist Nick Cohen.It’s not clear why Cohen was invited to join at the very last minute when his views, to the naked eye at least, are akin to those of Aaronovitch’s. It would be fair to describe both men as supporters of Zionism who believe that anti-Semitism is on the rise and that much of it is “unfairly” blamed on Israel’s actions. Atzmon’s views, on the other hand, are well-known to those who follow websites on Palestinian activism. He has very strong views on “Jewishness” and “Jewish identity”, and makes a clear distinction between Jews as a people and those who commit crimes in the name of “Jewish ideology”. Both Aaronovitch and Cohen launched an attack on Atzmon…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53208

The Storm Widens
Dahr Jamail
ne week after Iraqi government forces arrested an Awakening Group (commonly referred to as Sons of Iraq, al-Sahwa) leader, Adil al-Mashhadani, head of a patrol unit in central Baghdad’s Fadhil neighborhood in Baghdad, sparking gun battles that raged for hours between US-backed Iraqi forces and US-allied Sunni militiamen that killed three people, militiamen have once again been detained, widening concerns that sectarian violence may once more engulf Baghdad. There are 50,000 Sahwa fighters in Baghdad alone…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53210

Israeli MANIACS Attack Palestinian Civilians
PT editor
As part of the ongoing Israeli measures in Jerusalem, hundreds of Israeli settlers attacked Al-Sadya neighborhood in east Jerusalem. The attackers tried to storm houses of the Al Jabir family. Bloody clashes erupted in the area as the settlers, backed by the Israeli army, surprisingly came into the area on Sunday evening. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered to challenge the settlers who tried to advance into the area. Israel escalated its repressive bloody actions as the new fundamentalist mayor, Nir Barka, recently took office…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53194

Black funeral banners belie Iraq’s declining death toll
By Ned Parker and Usama Redha, Los Angeles Times
The black funeral banner is tacked to a dirty whitewashed wall next to bits of an old campaign poster and a ghostly sign in faded red paint that reads “TNT.” No one pays much attention to the announcement on this industrial street, with its sewage puddles and rows of mechanics shops. The banner will be taken down today, then forgotten. Only if you read the banner, and then visit the nearby church, do you learn that two Christian women, one of them mentally disabled, were stabbed more than 50 times in their home, their bodies discovered by a 9-year-old granddaughter…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53199

Obama’s War on Labor
Stephen Lendman
Voters expecting change keep getting rude reminders of what kind, none they can believe in reiterated again on March 30 in Obama’s remarks to the auto giants. While stating “We cannot…must not (and) will not let (this) industry vanish,” he laid down a clear marker. Labor, not business, is targeted. More on that below. “We (won’t) excuse poor decisions,” he said. “We cannot make the survival of our auto industry dependent on an unending flow of taxpayer dollars.” In rejecting their aid request, he added: “These companies – and this industry – must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state…What we are asking is difficult. It will require hard choices by the companies. (Their plan doesn’t go) far enough to warrant the substantial new investments these companies are requesting.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53201

1346 children lost one or both parents during Israel’s war in Gaza
Saed Bannoura – IMEM
The Islamic Relief Organization in the Gaza Strip reported that 1346 Palestinian children lost one parent or both during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip. Mohammad Abu Darraz, head of the Child Center at the organization, reported that in most cases orphaned children lost their fathers. Darraz stated that there are 5200 orphans in the Gaza Strip, and added that the organization received so far 500 forms asking for sponsorships for orphaned children, but the organization only managed to approve 200…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53206

Unholy Intentions in God’s Holy City
by Joharah Baker for MIFTAH
I have lived in the Old City of Jerusalem for almost 11 years now and this time of year has never ceased to amaze and disturb me all at once. This week marks major holidays for the world’s first two monotheistic religions. For Christians, Easter falls on April 12 and 19 for the western and eastern denominations respectively. For Jews, Passover begins on April 8 and lasts seven days. The festive mood is unmistakable in the ancient alleyways of Jerusalem’s walled city. Throngs of Christian delegations from around the globe retrace the Way of the Cross, or the Via Delarosa, some singing hymns at each station, others praying quietly in reverence of the torturous trek taken by Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago in the name of all humanity. Yesterday, April 5, marching bands paraded through the streets to celebrate Palm Sunday, adults and children alike standing on the sides of the street, cheering them on and holding sweeping palm leaves in a reenactment of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53207

Obama’s Wall Street cabinet
Tom Eley and Barry Grey
A series of articles published over the weekend, based on financial disclosure reports released by the Obama administration last Friday concerning top White House officials, documents the extent to which the administration, in both its personnel and policies, is a political instrument of Wall Street. Policies that are extraordinarily favorable to the financial elite that were put in place over the past month by the Obama administration have fed a surge in share values on Wall Street. These include the scheme to use hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds to pay hedge funds to buy up the banks’ toxic assets at inflated prices, the Auto Task Force’s rejection of the recovery plans of Chrysler and General Motors and its demand for even more brutal layoffs, wage cuts and attacks on workers’ health benefits and pensions, and the decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to weaken “mark-to-market” accounting rules and permit banks to inflate the value of their toxic assets…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53203

Jayyus farmers at the mercy of the occupation
Ida Audeh writing from Jayyus, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine
The wall Israel has constructed on occupied Palestinian land since 2003 has had a devastating effect on the 4,000 residents of Jayyus, a village northeast of the West Bank town of Qalqiliya. The wall near Jayyus separates the farmers from 75 percent of their agricultural land. This is a major disaster for farmers who cultivate seasonal fruit and vegetables, which require continual tending. The placement of entry gates (which remain locked almost around the clock) means that access to their farm lands is determined by whoever controls the gate keys. Almost six years after Israel began erecting the wall and almost five years after the International Court of Justice July 2004 advisory opinion ruling that the route of the wall on occupied land is illegal, the community struggles to survive…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53193

GI Special 7D4: Betrayed And Abandoned [ 5 April 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
The Troops Betrayed And Abandoned: Faithless Recreants Sell Out To The Obama Regime: “The Anti-War Movement Shifted Into Low Gear After Obama’s Election”. “Code Pink Activists Have Shifted Their Target From War To Wall Street”. On Capitol Hill, the once-robust Out of Iraq Caucus has also been largely silent on the troop buildup in Afghanistan. United in opposition to the war in Iraq, liberal Democrats – many of whom have yet to state publicly their view on the buildup – are breaking out more nuanced positions on the war in Afghanistan. Some favor it; some oppose it. All want the president to be successful, and they say it’s too early for a confrontation on the policy.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53192

Baghdad car bombings kill dozens
AlJazeera.net
Six car bombs have exploded across Baghdad, killing at least 34 people and wounding scores more, in what officials say was a co-ordinated attack by al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters. A blast at a popular market in the Shia neighbourhood of Sadr City in east Baghdad killed at least 10 people and wounded 65 others in Monday’s attack. Another car bomb blew up next to a group of people waiting for work, killing six people and wounding 16 more…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53197

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