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URUK Net 5 October, 2009

Last updated: Friday, October 9, 2009 12:33

Last Straw for the Palestinian ‘Authority’?
Saree Makdisi
October 5, 2009 – If there were any lingering doubts concerning the status and integrity of the Palestinian National Authority—and its so-called President, Mahmoud Abbas (”so-called” because his term of office, such as it was, expired almost a year ago)—they were surely dispelled once and for all by its decision to drop its support for a UN resolution that would have referred the Goldstone Report on Israel’s post-Christmas 2008 attack on Gaza to the UN Security Council. The 575-page Report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which was led by South African judge Richard Goldstone, confirmed the already densely documented reports published by human rights organizations, including Amnesty International…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58607

Government admits filming torture of Gitmo inmate
Stephen C. Webster
October 5, 2009 – The United States government admitted on Monday that the torture of a Saudi man alleged to be part of the 9/11 plot was recorded on video, according to court documents procured by the Center for Constitutional Rights. The tapes, allegedly showing the torture of Mohammed al Qahtani, 31, have long been kept under wraps, but a discovery motion for video of his interrogations led the court to acknowledge their existence and order their release…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58608

Another injustice to Palestinians
Curtis Doebbler
October 5, 2009 – The Goldstone report on the violence in Gaza is a shocking record of the inhumanity of mankind in wartime. It was assumed that Israel, the main target of its criticism, and its principle ally, the United States, would oppose the report. What was not expected was how the report was suppressed in the United Nations Human Rights Council last week not by Israel and the US directly, but by these two acting in synchronized concert with the Palestinian diplomats in Geneva and their Palestinian leaders from Ramallah…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58612

America resetting its relations with Iran
Abid Mustafa
October 5, 2009 – … The out of character behaviour when measured against the ubiquitous fiery rhetoric that emanated from the corridors of power in Washington suggests to any reader of political events that the two countries are working in cohorts to cement America’s hegemony in the region. America’s reliance on Iran to stabilize Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon is too precious to be squandered by crude attempts undertaken by her closest allies to attack Tehran…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58599

Sarraj calls for removing Abbas from office
Palestinian Information Center
October 5, 2009 – Head of the national reconciliation campaign Eyad Al-Sarraj on Sunday called for conducting an investigation with Mahmoud Abbas and removing him from office because of his decision to delay taking action on the UN report about Israeli war crimes in Gaza. “What happened in Geneva, regardless of the justifications, was a big unforgivable crime against the Palestinian people,” Sarraj stressed. He also described Abbas as a traitor and unfit to be in his post as the chief of the Palestinian Authority (PA)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58600

Guernica Written With the Hands and Hearts of Children
Anne Candlin
October 5, 2009 – Located in the beautiful Well of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is a stunning exhibition, “Loss of Innocence: Gaza Children’s Art”. Rod Cox, who collated the exhibition, drove from Cheshire, through Europe and North Africa to Gaza with the UK humanitarian aid convoy in March, following the 22 day assault on Gaza this year. He stayed to work on an art project with children. A group of younger children taking part in a psycho-social therapy programme and some older children attending a Girls High School, were asked to paint what they had experienced during Operation Cast Lead and what they hoped for in the future…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58603

U.S. Suffering Permanent Destruction of Jobs
Washington’s Blog
October 5, 2009 – America is suffering a permanent destruction of jobs. JPMorgan Chase’s Chief Economist Bruce Kasman told Bloomberg:” [We’ve had a] permanent destruction of hundreds of thousands of jobs in industries from housing to finance.” The chief economists for Wells Fargo Securities, John Silvia, says: “Companies “really have diminished their willingness to hire labor for any production level,” Silvia said. “It’s really a strategic change,” where companies will be keeping fewer employees for any particular level of sales, in good times and bad, he said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58609

In Brief: Afghanistan slipping down UN human development index
IRIN news
October 5, 2009 – Despite billions of dollars of aid over the past eight years Afghanistan has slipped down the latest UN human development index which ranks it 181 out of 182 countries, with only Niger lower. The UN Development Programme has been ranking countries on the basis of access to health and education, life expectancy and living standards since 1990, but the only other time the country was ranked globally was in 2007 when it was listed as fifth from bottom…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58610

FBI Data-Mining Programs Resurrect “Total Information Awareness”
Tom Burghardt
October 5, 2009 – Like a vampire rising from it’s grave each night to feed on the privacy rights of Americans, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is moving forward with programs that drain the life blood from our constitutional liberties. From the wholesale use of informants and provocateurs to stifle political dissent, to Wi-Fi hacking and viral computer spyware to follow our every move, the FBI has turned massive data-mining of personal information into a growth industry. In the process they are building the surveillance state long been dreamed of by American securocrats…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58601

Iraq Christian leader denounces latest attacks
By YAHYA BARZANJI (AP)
October 5, 2009 – The body of a Christian health worker turned up in a field two days after he was kidnapped — prompting several more Christian families to pack up and leave their ancient homeland in northern Iraq. At least 10 Christian families have left Kirkuk in recent weeks, fearing kidnap-for-ransom gangs that have turned their sights on Christians in one of Iraq’s most ethnically diverse cities… The last official Iraqi census in 1987 found 1.4 million Christians in the country. Now, according to the 2008 U.S. State Department report on International Religious Freedom, that number has dropped to between 550,000 and 800,000. Some estimate the number is even lower: only 400,000, according to the German Catholic relief organization Kirche in Not…

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Yemeni leading cleric blames Iran for war
Aljazeera.net
A leading Yemeni religious leader has accused Iran of inciting violence in the north of the country, where a predominantly Shia Muslim group is waging a war against the government. Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zandani, the head of Yemen’s Imam University, told supporters that Tehran was trying to promote the Shia ideology in the country by backing the Houthi fighters…

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Military Resistance [GiS] 7J3: Eight More
Thomas F. Barton
October 5, 2009 – … Iraq Veterans Against the War believes an escalation of the war in Afghanistan will only serve to exacerbate the plight of the Afghan people, destabilize the region, and further the breakdown of our military. IVAW, which includes veterans who served in Afghanistan, opposes President Barack Obama’s planned expansion of the occupation and calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces in Afghanistan and reparations for the Afghan people. “We’re entering our seventh year of war in Afghanistan,” said Jose Vasquez, IVAW’s executive director. “Casualties among the Afghan people are rising while U.S. and Coalition forces are facing their deadliest year since the invasion. “This war dehumanizes the Afghan people and denies them their right to self-determination…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58611

The UN Must Adopt the Goldstone Report: Dissolve the Palestinian Authority
Omar Barghouti
October 5, 2009 – Palestinian civil society has strongly and almost unanimously condemned the Palestinian Authority’s latest decision to delay adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the report prepared by the UN Fact-Finding Mission, headed by justice Richard Goldstone, into the recent Israeli war of aggression against the Palestinian people in the occupied Gaza Strip. A common demand in almost all Palestinian statements issued in this respect was for the UN to adopt the report and act without undue delay on its recommendations in order to bring an end to Israel’s criminal impunity and to hold it accountable before international law for its war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza and, indeed, all over the occupied Palestinian territory. ..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58605

Worst losses for a year as Taleban storm Nato outpost
Martin Fletcher in Forward Operating Base Airborne in Wardak Province
October 5, 2009 – It began before dawn — a devastating, well-planned attack. About 300 insurgents swarmed out of a village and mosque and attacked a pair of isolated American outposts in a remote mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan with machineguns, rockets and grenades. They first stormed the Afghan police post at the foot of the hill in the province of Nuristan, a Taleban and al-Qaeda stronghold on the lawless Pakistan border. They then swept up to the Nato post. The battle lasted all day. American and Afghan soldiers finally repelled them, with the help of US helicopters and warplanes — but at heavy cost. Eight American soldiers and two Afghan policemen were killed, with many injured. It was the worst attack on Nato forces in 14 months, and one of the deadliest battles of the eight-year war. The insurgents seized at least 20 Afghan policemen whose fate last night remained unclear…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58597

But…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
October 5, 2009 – It’s nearly 6 am here, too late to sleep…another sleepless night. Might as well use it, squeeze it, until its last drop before the sun rises and exposes me… Hiding, in her tenebrous folds, I write away…like some thief stealing in the middle of the night…like some lover waiting for his beloved to appear with the morning dew… But am hurrying up… But am snatching the lines…every comma, every full stop, every pause, Greedily devouring the page before the light hits my page a missile, a mortar bomb, an explosion… But, but, but…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58582

Hamas calls for dropping Abbas’ Palestinian ID over UN Gaza report delay
Xinhua
October 5, 2009 – A senior Hamas leader on Monday called for taking the Palestinian nationality off President Mahmoud Abbasover the Palestinian National Authority’s (PNA) request to postpone voting on a Gaza war report at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). “I call on the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to work hard on procedures to strip Mahmoud Abbas and everyone who joined him in this crime off the Palestinian nationality,” Mahmoud Zahar, a member of Hamas politburo, said during a special session for the Hamas-dominated PLC in Gaza city…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58596

Fired UN Official Peter Galbraith Accuses the United Nations of Helping Cover Up Electoral Fraud Committed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Democracy Now!
October 5, 2009 – Last week, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon fired the top American diplomat at the United Nations in Afghanistan, Peter Galbraith. Galbraith had accused his boss at the UN mission in Afghanistan, Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide, of helping cover up electoral fraud and being biased in favor of Hamid Karzai. Galbraith has described the Afghan election as a “foreseeable train wreck” and says the election has “handed the Taliban its greatest strategic victory in eight years of fighting the United States and its Afghan partners.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58595

Jirga threatens to support Afghan Taliban if drone attacks continue
By Malik Mumtaz Khan
October 5, 2009 – A tribal Jirga of North Waziristan on Sunday threatened to support the Afghanistan-based anti-US groups, including the Taliban, if the US drone attacks were not stopped. Addressing a grand Jirga here, the tribal elders, including Malik Jalal Manzarkhel, Malik Inayat Khan Dawar, Malik Muhammad Nawaz Muhammadkhel and Malik Faridullah, unanimously decided the Jirga would support the Afghanistan-based Taliban if the US did not stop killing “innocent people” in North Waziristan through drone attacks…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58581

Screw It !
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
October 5, 2009 – Some of you may remember the story of Hala, the 65 plus year old Iraqi friend and distant relative who emigrated to Amerikkka. I remember telling you that she ended up in a some godforsaken dump in Missouri, working 12 hours a day, carrying goods in a supermarket, in the Freezer section…
I also remember telling you that I spoke to her a few times and each time she was crying her eyes out on the phone. Here is a woman with a university degree in business administration, and many years of experience in industrial planning now working in a supermarket…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58578

Mercedes Sosa dies at 74
Aljazeera.net
October 4, 2009 – Mercedes Sosa, the Argentine folk singer who became known as the “voice of Latin America”, has died at the age of 74. Thousands of people, many with flowers or Argentine flags, gathered to pay their respects on Sunday at the National Congress, where her remains lay in state. Sosa had been in intensive care in a hospital for days with kidney problems. Her body was taken to the Congress building in Buenos Aires for public visitation and her remains were to be cremated on Monday, local media reported. “Her undisputed talent, her honesty and her profound convictions leave a great legacy to future generations,” her family said in the statement posted on her website. Known affectionately as La Negra, “the Black One” due to her dark hair and skin, Sosa fought South American authoritarian rulers with her voice…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58576

Palestinian factions call for forming committee to probe Goldstone report delay
Palestinian Information Center
October 5, 2009 – Palestinian factions and national forces on Sunday called for forming an independent national committee to investigate the parties responsible for postponing the vote on justice Richard Goldstone’s report on Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip. In a press release, the factions expressed their rejection of all misleading and contradictory reasons given by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to justify its position toward the report. They called on all legal and human rights organizations to continue to adopt the report and highlight it in different international meetings and conferences…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58593

75 Guantánamo Prisoners Cleared For Release; 31 Could Leave Today
Andy Worthington
October 5, 2009 – Last week, the Obama administration finally admitted that it might not be possible to close Guantánamo by the President’s self-imposed deadline of January 22, 2010, when defense secretary Robert Gates told ABC News’ “This Week” that it was “going to be tough” to meet the deadline. The announcement followed what appeared to be strategic leaks by administration insiders, which were designed to blame White House Counsel Greg Craig for the government’s woes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58590

Another PA betrayal
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
October 5 , 2009 – The Palestinian Authority (PA) decision to defer until March a vote on the “Goldstone report” at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva constitutes a huge betrayal of Palestinian people. Likewise, the stupid and disgraceful feat immensely serves the Israeli goal of covering up the Nazi-like crimes the Israeli occupation army committed during its manifestly criminal war on the Gaza Strip nine months ago. Endorsement of the report by UNHRC would probably have paved the way for the prosecution of Israeli war criminals before the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58587

Barack Obama furious at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan
By Alex Spillius in Washington
October 5, 2009 – According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week. The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago’s unsuccessful Olympic bid. Gen James Jones, the national security adviser, yesterday did little to allay the impression the meeting had been awkward…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58585

As US jobless toll tops 15 million
Unemployment crisis shows the failure of capitalism
Patrick Martin
October 5, 2009 – The staggering figures released Friday on the US labor market demonstrate that what has developed since the Wall Street crash one year ago is not a conjunctural downturn or recession, but an historic assault on working class living standards. The official unemployment rate for September was 9.8 percent, up from 9.7 percent in August, amid predictions that the jobless rate would pass the 10 percent mark and remain in double digits for at least the next year. The US Labor Department reported a net loss of 263,000 jobs in September, far more than predicted by government and business economists. Another 571,000 workers dropped out of the labor market entirely, not looking for work during the month because they saw no prospect of finding a job…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58584

Heavy US troop losses in insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan
By Barry Grey
October 5, 2009 – The United States military suffered its worst single-engagement losses in more than a year and one of the worst in the eight-year-old war in Afghanistan on Saturday, when several hundred insurgents attacked a remote outpost in northeastern Afghanistan, killing eight American soldiers. The attack began at daybreak and lasted for several hours. The target was an Afghan police station at the foot of a hill and a US outpost further up the hill, located in the Kamdish district of Nuristan province, about 20 miles from the Pakistan border. In addition to the US deaths, two Afghan police were killed and, according to the local governor, 11 police were captured, including the district police chief. A local Taliban commander claimed responsibility for the attack…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58583

Rafsanjani’s Deal
by BENDIX ANDERSON
October 5, 2009 – Politicians and officials linked to both Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani have released the draft of a plan to calm the crisis of protests and detentions that have continued since June’s disputed presidential election, according to a September 29 story published by Fars News Agency. “Currently experienced and concerned individuals of the establishment are in the process of designing a blueprint providing a solution for the current situation,” said Rafsanjani in his September 22 address to the Assembly of Experts, according to a translation from EnduringAmerica.com. The fact that the plan exists and was publicized in Iran’s state media marks a giant shift in the public stance of the parts of the government controlled by the Supreme Leader…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58594

Israeli vice PM cancels UK trip over arrest fears
Ma’an News
October 5, 2009 – Israel’s vice premier, Moshe Ya’alon, recently cancelled a scheduled trip to the United Kingdom over fears he would be arrested there, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Monday. In the past, human rights organizations have sought legal action on behalf of 14 civilians who were killed in a strike Ya’alon ordered while he was the Israeli military’s chief of staff from 2002 until 2005, according to the paper…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58579

2 NATO soldiers reported killed in Afghanistan
By RAHIM FAIEZ (AP)
October 5, 2009 — Bombs killed two NATO troopers, including one American, following the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan in more than a year, military officials said Monday. A NATO statement said a U.S. soldier died of wounds suffered in a bombing Sunday in southern Afghanistan. The statement said a second service member died of wounds in a roadside bombing Monday, also in the south, but the victim’s nationality was not released…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58589

Finding pleasure in small celebrations:Nuit Blanche in Gaza
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
October 5, 2009 – Every year around the beginning of October, Parisians celebrate Nuit Blanche, a night when the city is lit up and the musicians and artists crowd the streets. Every year in Gaza, artists and talented Palestinians show their works at the French Cultural Centre in Gaza City. This year saw, in addition to the artwork displayed inside, an array of singers and dancers including: traditional Palesitnian Dabke!; a band comprising oud and guitar players, playing traditional and non-traditional music; the Palestinian Rapperz; Camps Breakerz, a group of youths using breakdancing to express themselves and, as always, the intertwined political messages of life in an occupied land…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58586

Ramallah protesters denounce PA over UN Gaza report
Ma’an News
October 5, 2009 – About 500 protesters gathered in downtown Ramallah on Monday afternoon in the latest expression of public anger at the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) decision to delay action on a United Nations report on alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and the Diaspora have been united in their outrage at the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas for ordering the PLO envoy to Geneva to defer action in the UN Human Rights Council on the report compiled by former war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58588

Audacity of Nope: Obama Disappoints As Middle East Peacemaker
Ira Glunts
October 5, 2009 – Let me make one thing perfectly clear: President Barack Obama definitively demonstrated at the trilateral summit in New York that he will not contribute anything significant to peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians. When Obama dropped his demand for a freeze on Israeli settlement building, all of which is illegal according to international law, and adopted a softer formulation calling for a show of “restraint,” he was telling the world that he is surrendering to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, to his powerful American supporters, and to their wish to continue to suppress any Palestinian aspirations for an independent state.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58598

Training, drug use major issues for Afghan police
By Claire Truscott (AFP)
October 5, 2009 — Lack of training, equipment and mentors are hampering efforts to transfer responsibility for Afghanistan’s domestic security to local forces, US military officials say. Widespread drug use, tribal divisions, corruption and a high drop-out rate are also slowing attempts to create a credible force able to protect the public from Taliban insurgents and tackle general crime. Some of the problems are on display in the village of Golestan, in the rural western province of Farah, where a US military team is training 47 police recruits…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58592

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