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URUK Net 6 July, 2009

Last updated: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 16:46

Inquiry agreed into alleged torture of Iraqis by UK soldiers
Government criticised by court for holding back critical evidence
Richard Norton-Taylor
An independent inquiry is to be held into allegations that British soldiers mutilated and murdered civilians in Iraq – and the government has been forced to admit that key documents had not been disclosed.In a letter read out in court today, the defence secretary, Bob Ainsworth, said he “profoundly regrets” the failures to disclose relevant documents. Though he denied the allegations, he said he was now prepared to set up an inquiry under European human rights convention articles enshrining the right to life and prohibiting torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55753

How Cynthia McKinney honored America on the 4th of July from an Israel Jail
FRANKLIN LAMB
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney returned home today after 6 days being held by the government of Israel while attempting with 21 colleagues to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza on the vessel, the Spirit of Humanity. “Don’t sign Miss Cynthia don’t sign!” So chanted a boisterous group of Palestinian teens and pre-teens in Beirut’s Shatila Refugee Camp demonstrating support for the Freegaza Humanity boat abductees on the 4th of July. The students understood that those illegally arrested while in International waters had been offered a “get out of Jail Free” pass if they confessed in writing to violating Israel’s territorial waters… A couple of the students had met Cynthia during her recent visits to Lebanon. When they learned that as a Congresswoman, she had introduced articles of impeachment against Bush, was a consistent anti-war voter during her twelve years in Congress, and that no member in Congress had achieved a more consistent, principled, voting record of issues of civil and human rights, including Palestinian rights, they really connected with the subject of the Freegaza aid boat, the Spirit of Humanity and her travails. “Those supporters of Palestine should not accept a false confession and should stay in Jail if necessary. They are patriots” was a commonly expressed sentiment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55738

7 American troops killed in Afghan incidents
Laura King, Associated Press
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — In the largest one-day death toll in months for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, seven American service members were killed today. The deaths — two in the south, four in the north, and one in the east — were a sign of intensifying conflict in a large swath of the south, where a major U.S. offensive is under way. But they also signaled insurgents’ determination to push into areas that have been relatively quiet, such as Afghanistan’s northern tier, and to keep up pressure on American forces in the east, which borders Pakistan’s volatile tribal areas…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55743

Mohammed, 71 and so threatening he is not allowed out of Gaza for eye surgery
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
The last time I visited Mohammed and Miriam Kahawish and their two children a few weeks ago, Mohammed was out, at the doctors. Today, he was home, and we were equally glad to see one another, catch up. I think he told me over twenty times I was part of their family, like his daughter (sometimes his memory failing him and age playing tricks he’d say I was like his sister. Miriam was quick to correct on my age, but likewise generous in such comments). Today he spoke of the massage therapy he’s getting on one of his legs (he’d fallen a while ago and fractured the leg). He also spoke of how he’d like to leave Gaza for surgery on his left eye, but that the Israeli authorities imprisoning Gazans keep denying him permission to leave, despite his doctor’s notes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55744

Iraq bans visits to Saddam’s grave
Aljazeera.net
The Iraqi government has banned all organised visits to the grave of Saddam Hussein, the country’s former leader who was executed in 2006. The government issued the order on Monday after some schools began arranging trips for their pupils to visit the site in Saddam’s native village of Al-Awja, outside the northern town of Tikrit, a government statement said..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55747

Taliban launch ‘operation’ against Marines
AFP
Afghanistan’s insurgent Taliban movement said Monday they had launched a guerrilla operation to counter a major assault by US Marines on their stronghold in Helmand province. Operation Foladi Jal, or “iron net” in Pashtu, would teach the Marines “a lesson,” Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP by telephone from an unknown location. About 4,000 Marines poured into the southern province on the border with Pakistan in an operation called Khanjar (dagger) that has faced little resistance since it was launched five days ago. “In response to Operation Khanjar by the invading forces, we have launched Operation Foladi Jal,” Ahmadi said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55736

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard takes command
Calling the move “a new phase of the revolution,” leaders insist there is no room for compromise on Ahmadinejad’s reelection.
By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The top leaders of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard publicly acknowledged they had taken over the nation’s security and warned late Sunday that there was no middle ground in the ongoing dispute over the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a threat against a reformist wave led by Mir-Hossein Mousavi.Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the elite military branch, said the Guard’s takeover of the country had led to “a revival of the revolution and clarification of the value positions of the establishment at home and abroad.” “These events put us in a new stage of the revolution and political struggles, and all of us must fully comprehend its dimensions,” he said at a Sunday press conference, according to reports that surfaced today…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55732

Open Letter to the American People on Independence Day, 4th July
Professor Mohammad Al-Ani, Chairman, Iraqi Consultants Council
…Your government has committee the most evil act against humanity for the sake of controlling the resources of another nation in your name, in the name of your humanity and your civilisation. It tried to legalise this evil crime by initiating a so called treaty with the so called government of Iraq. History will Judge those Iraqis who signed, voted and who are quite about it as having committed high treason against the people of Iraq; it is simply an attempt to legalise the most evil act committed in the history of humanity. I do not mean the millions of orphans, or the millions of widows, or the millions of displaced people, or the crimes committed by your military army against detainees, or the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure. I mean the use of the American military of at least 2000 tons of depleted uranium in the war against Iraq, which has polluted more or less all aspects of the environment in my beloved Iraq. Depleted uranium is the true weapon of mass destruction, especially the way its pollution affects all aspects of normal life, land and water. To find out the true effect of this weapon, go and visit what ever is left of Iraqi hospitals; to see with your own eyes the crimes of your government and military…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55749

UK weapons inspector who was found dead was writing expose: paper
John Byrne
British weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly was writing an expose about his work with anthrax and his warnings that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction at the time of his death in July 2003, according to a report published in a British newspaper. Kelly’s death — said to have been a suicide — has stirred controversy, as it came on the heels of testimony to the House of Commons about a memo which purported that Britain had “sexed up” a dossier on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55748

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard takes command
Calling the move “a new phase of the revolution,” leaders insist there is no room for compromise on Ahmadinejad’s reelection.
By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The top leaders of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard publicly acknowledged they had taken over the nation’s security and warned late Sunday that there was no middle ground in the ongoing dispute over the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a threat against a reformist wave led by Mir-Hossein Mousavi.Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the elite military branch, said the Guard’s takeover of the country had led to “a revival of the revolution and clarification of the value positions of the establishment at home and abroad.” “These events put us in a new stage of the revolution and political struggles, and all of us must fully comprehend its dimensions,” he said at a Sunday press conference, according to reports that surfaced today…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55732

Haniyeh defends ‘security cell’ arrests throughout Gaza
Ma’an News
De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Monday said recent detentions in the Gaza Strip against security “cells” were essential and successful. He did not elaborate on exactly when the suspects were arrested, but Fatah had on 26 June released a report on 210 members it said had been arrested by de facto security services in Gaza. Speaking at the graduation ceremony for Qur’an students, Haniyeh alleged that Palestinian Authority and Israeli forces had been obtaining “dangerous and false information” from the so-called cells. He also said his forces would continue its arrest campaign, and “never allow these cells to shake security and steadfastness,” adding that the seized men had been receiving salaries from the PA government in Ramallah until the moment they were captured. In response to Haniyeh’s speech, PA security forces spokesperson Adnan Ad-Damiry rejected the claims, calling the remarks an attempt to defend his movement from the last few days’ headlines of supposedly exposed West Bank plots, which have included allegations that Hamas intended to attack PA figures and that it was amassing weapons. “These are meaningless statements, nothing but justifications for the detentions of hundreds of Fatah leaders and members in the Gaza Strip, Ad-Damiry added…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55741

The Ruse of a Palestinian State on Offer
Saree Makdisi

To judge by the next day’s headlines, Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy speech last month was a great success. “Israeli Premier Backs State for Palestinians,” declared the New York Times. “Israel Endorses Two-State Goal,” said the Washington Post. “Netanyahu Backs Palestinian State,” announced The Guardian. He did no such thing, of course, unless by “state” one understands an amorphous entity lacking a definite territory, not allowed to control its own borders or airspace, shorn of any vestige of sovereignty (other than a flag and perhaps a national anthem), not allowed to enter into treaties with other states—and permanently disarmed and hence at the mercy of Israel. It would make about as much sense to call an apple an orange or a piano a speedboat as to call such a construct a state, and yet those are the conditions that Netanyahu imposed on the creation of such an entity for the Palestinians (if they get that far in the first place)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55740

Obama’s Public Education Policy: Privatization, Charters, Mass Firings, Neighborhood Destabilization
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
…The general paralysis of progressive movements that has resulted from the election of our first black president stands squarely in the way of a generalized movement against the Obama administration’s continuation of Bush era policies, as does the reliance of traditional “civil rights” organizations and many black politicians upon corporate handouts. A further obstacle to building local and national movements against educational privatization is the lack of local news and the disappearance of local news gathering organizations in most cities and towns across the nation. As Dr. Robert McChesney has pointed out, the lack of reporters to tell the story, and news outlets to print or broadcast it has opened the way to a golden age of corruption in which corporate thieves can steal with impunity, and the public is none the wiser. It’s a bad place. But it’s where we are…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55751

Gaza: A Story
by Marryam Haleem
They lived in a place called Peace. But then came the tanks and the guns. So they left, the white flag waving in the air. Nestled in the north of Gaza, close to the Israeli border, Hay As-salaam (Peace Neighborhood) was in nature as in name: A quiet area outside the city. The land owned by a wealthy Palestinian (extended) family, the Abu Eida family. Their 10 family houses gave life to the neighborhood. All were new and large and beautiful, the oldest only built in the early 2000's…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55739

PA uses foreign aid to scuttle human rights, civil liberties
By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
On 11 June, members of the Palestinian security agencies detained Haitham Amr, a resident of the small village of Beit al-Rush, 25 kilometers south west of Hebron. Two days later, Amr, 32 and father of three small children, was found dead in his cell at the Mukhabarat (General Intelligence) headquarters in downtown Hebron . Amr apparently died after he was subjected to an unusually harsh session of torture resulting in a massive internal bleeding. At first, PA security officials claimed that Amr had jumped from the second floor of the building in an attempt to escape. However, the claim seemed to have been totally concocted and contained no iota of truth…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55737

Honduras Coup’s Preconditions Leave Nothing to Negotiate
By Al Giordano
One of the moments of yesterday’s unforgettable drama in Honduras that most sticks in my mind today was the press conference by illegitimate “president” Roberto Micheletti and three aides: the gorilla and his chimps. After befuddling himself with his claims of a “psychological invasion” by Nicaragua, and with various rambling references by his senile wingmen to Luis XIV and events in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Micheletti and his Simian Council then called for “negotiation” with the Organization of American States (OAS), and today sends a delegation to Washington in pursuit of just that. The problem is, that the precondition set by the coup government for said “negotiations” leaves nothing to negotiate. The coup’s “foreign minister,” Enrique Ortez. has repeated this mantra various times: “There is only one thing that is not negotiable: the return of ex-president Zelaya.” Got it?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55750

Honduran troops kill anti-coup demonstrators at Tegucigalpa airport
By Barry Grey
Honduran troops on Sunday fired on anti-coup demonstrators outside the airport in the capital, Tegucigalpa, killing at least two and wounding many more. Thousands had converged on the heavily guarded airport to show support for deposed President Manuel Zelaya, who flew from Washington DC earlier in the day in a bid to return to Honduras and reclaim power. The coup government, headed by former parliamentary speaker Roberto Micheletti and backed by the military, the Congress, the Church and the dominant sections of the business establishment, had vowed to prevent Zelaya’s charter plane from landing. It had ringed the airport with troops and parked military vehicles on the runways. The government, installed following a military coup on June 28 that forced Zelaya into exile, has defied broad international condemnation and issued warrants for Zelaya’s arrest on treason and other charges, should he attempt to return…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55734

Red Cross issues harrowing report on situation in Gaza
By Jean Shaoul
A report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), “Gaza: 1.5 million people trapped in despair,” paints a harrowing picture of a humanitarian catastrophe. Israel’s military offensive against Gaza killed more than 1,300 people, wounded many more, made tens of thousands of people homeless, and destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure. Six months later, the report says, its inhabitants have been unable to rebuild their lives due to Israel’s blockade: “Most people struggle to make ends meet. Seriously ill patients face great difficulty obtaining the treatment they need. Many children suffer from deep psychological problems. Civilians whose homes and belongings were destroyed during the conflict are unable to recover. The quantities of goods now entering Gaza fall well short of what is required to meet the population’s needs.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55733

Saudi denies would let Israeli jets pass for Iran attack
AFP
Saudi Arabia denied on Monday a report that it has agreed to allow Israeli warplanes to fly through the kingdom’s airspace to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. “Of course this is not true. We don’t have any kind of relationship with the Israelis,” Osama Nugali, spokesman for the Saudi foreign ministry, told AFP. Britain’s Sunday Times reported that the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service had held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility of Israeli jets flying over Saudi Arabia for such an attack…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55742

McKinney released, returning to United States
By RHONDA COOK, LARRY HARTSTEIN
Cynthia McKinney’s mom said she’s learned that her daughter is on the way home. Leola McKinney said a friend who contacted the U.S. Embassy in Israel reported that the former congresswoman was released from Israeli custody and taken to Ben Gurion International Airport. “We finally got word that she was released,” Leola McKinney said late Sunday afternoon. “We don’t know what time she is supposed to fly out. All we know is that they took her to the airport…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55731

European Commission: Settlements strangling Palestinian economy
Ma’an News
The executive arm of the European Union on Monday sharply rebuked Israeli settlement-building in the occupied West Bank, according to the AP. The European Commission said Israel’s policy of refusing to dismantle settlements is strangling the Palestinian economy and forcing the Palestinian Authority to rely on foreign aid. “[I]t is the European taxpayers who pay most of the price of this dependence,” including US 280 million dollars so far this year, because settlements prevent the PA from functioning normally, the commission said, according to the AP…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55752

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