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URUK Net 5 November, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:46

Video: Mohammed Omer on the Hell that is Gaza
November 5, 2009 – On Nov. 5, 2009, at the Palestine Center, in Washington, D.C., an award-winning journalist, Mohammed Omer, discussed the desperate human rights situation in Gaza—the result of Israel/s recent siege and military offensive. His presentation included his personal observations, interviews with the people of Gaza, his photographs and a video. Mr. Omer, now 25 years of age, was born and raised in the Rafah refugee camp…

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Interview: Living under constant fear of arrest Jody McIntyre writing from Bilin, occupied West Bank November 5, 2009 – Mohammed Ahmed Issa Yassen, 20, lives in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where he works in his family’s car garage business as a mechanic. He is also a student at the al-Quds Open University, but since he has joined the Israeli intelligence’s “wanted” list from the village, studying has been difficult. The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre interviewed Mohammed about living under the constant threat of arrest…

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Criminal convictions of 22 CIA agents in Italy The accountability imposed by another country for the CIA’s kidnapping and torture reveals much about our own. Glenn Greenwald
November 5, 2009 – The criminal conviction of 22 CIA agents (and 2 Italian intelligence officers) by an Italian court yesterday — for the 2003 kidnapping of an Islamic cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, off the street in Italy and his “rendition” to Egypt to be tortured — highlights several vital points: First, illustrating how these matters are typically distorted by the U.S. establishment media, note that CNN — in the very first paragraph of its story — claims that the CIA agents were convicted “for their role in the seizing of a suspected terrorist in Italy in 2003.” What did Nasr allegedly do that warrants that “terrorist” label? Did he participate in the 9/11 attacks, or plan attacks on “the American homeland” or U.S. civilians? No…

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Reporters face violence as Iraq cracks down on media dissent Martin Chulov in Baghdad
November 5, 2009 – Iraqis are fearing a renewed crackdown on dissent as a crucial national poll draws near, with several journalists claiming to have been beaten by security forces and ministers issuing warnings about media coverage. Iraq’s communications minister, Faruq Abd Al-Qadir, has introduced a $5,000 (£3,000) licence fee for all broadcast media outlets and ordered the staff of the 58 media and television stations operating in the country to apply for work permits. Observers say the move appears to have been prompted by official anger at recent coverage of a string of devastating bomb attacks on government ministries, which caused about 250 deaths and seriously eroded the government’s security credentials…

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Abbas: I will not seek second term
Ma’an News
November 5, 2009 – Mahmoud Abbas announced in Ramallah on Thursday he would not seek a second term in office. Confirming rumors of his impending retirement, Abbas said the decision came amid Israel’s intransigence on settlements and the international community’s indifference to it. “I have informed the PLO Executive Committee and Fatah’s Central Committee that I do not intend to seek a second term in the upcoming [January 2010] election,” he said in a televised address. “This decision is not up for debate or negotiation.”…

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Bipartisan Attack on International Humanitarian Law Stephen Zunes
November 5, 2009 – In a stunning blow against international law and human rights, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Tuesday attacking the report of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict. The report was authored by the well-respected South African jurist Richard Goldstone and three other noted authorities on international humanitarian law, who had been widely praised for taking leadership in previous investigations of war crimes in Rwanda, Darfur, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. Since this report documented apparent war crimes by a key U.S. ally, however, Congress has taken the unprecedented action of passing a resolution condemning it…

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NATO strike kills nine civilians in Helmand (Photogallery) AP
November 5, 2009 – An overnight rocket strike by international forces killed nine civilians, including at least three children, villagers said Thursday. NATO said the target of the strike was a group of people believed to be planting a bomb and that the alliance was investigating the allegations. Residents of Korkhashien village drove the bodies to the governor’s office in the nearby provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, and Associated Press footage and photos showed at least two children among the dead..

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A “SADDAM APOLOGIST”
Malcom Lagauche
November 5, 2009 – …For years, I have been writing and speaking about the lies put forth about Saddam Hussein that were thrust upon him and his regime by the U.S. government and media. Don’t think for one minute that I have had a smooth and positive experience in defending truth vs. deceit, a much more comprehensive and accurate description than solely defending Saddam Hussein. In the buildup to Desert Storm, I read or heard about so many preposterous atrocities attributed to Saddam that I discounted them. Hindsight shows I was right. Only a duped individual could believe that Saddam enjoyed watching people boil in acid, or that Iraq’s soldiers threw babies from incubators in Kuwait and they died on the hospital floor. I did not realize that the general public would be sucked into such fables. But, in reality, there were millions of duped individuals; more than there were people with clear thinking who use logic. In 1992, I decided to write a book on the buildup to and the execution of Operation Desert Storm. The book, The Sledgehammer and the Ant was published in early 1993…

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Afghan Resistance Statement
Why the UN is so disturbed at the Murder of the Western Nationals? Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
November 5, 2009 – A few days ago, a strong reaction came from the United Nations Security Council following the killings of Western nationals whom the United Nations calls its staff members but Mujahideen say, they were organizers of the runoff election. The UN Secretary General said that he would join efforts with other members of the Security Council to find those behind this incident and give them punishment. On the other hand, we have hundreds of examples in which we find the United Nations behaving with the Islamic Ummah unfairly, improperly and pitilessly as far as global and regional issues are concerned. When it comes to the protection of the rights of the Ummah, this World Body, particularly, the Security Council becomes silent at once. They have chosen the way of suppressing and oppressing the Ummah and supporting the arrogant, the invaders and the brutals…

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Gaza: peak hour
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
November 5, 2009 – Children swarming the streets coming from school, men and women going to market, people employed as traffic police, police –many who worked for the former government and continued with the current government –people on bikes, in taxis, afoot… These were the scenes when Israel began dropping bombs all over Gaza on December 27 and kept it up for the next 22 days, indiscriminately targeting civilians at a peak hour, in their homes, schools, cars, mosques, kindergartens… Think of these children, and justice for Palestinians. And ask, what more than supporting the Goldstone report (important, but certainly not marking Israel’s first violations of international human rights) can we do?…

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The Gaza Chronicles: Part 3 – Shattered Minds And The Children of Gaza Aditya Ganapathiraju
November 5, 2009 – Over 40 years of Israeli military occupation have had a devastating effect on Gaza; airstrikes, artillery shelling, ground invasions, jet flybys and their sonic booms have all led to an epidemic of suffering among Gaza’s most vulnerable inhabitants. Soon after the recent winter Israeli assault, a group of scholars at the University of Washington discussed different aspects of the situation in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian Territories. Dr. Evan Kanter, UW school of medicine professor and the current president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, delivered a somber talk describing the mental health situation among Gaza’s population. Dr. Kanter cited studies that revealed 62 % of Gaza’s inhabitants reported having a family member injured or killed, 67% saw injured or dead strangers and 83% had witnessed shootings…

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Killing civilians triggers demonstration in S Afghan province Xinhua
November 5, 2009 – A crowd of Afghans came to the streets of Helmand’s provincial capital Lashkargah in south Afghanistan Thursday and denounced what they described arbitrary killing of civilians. “Around 100 people carrying some dead bodies in Lashkargah Thursday morning accused NATO-led forces of killing nine civilians and calling on the government to investigate and punish those responsible,” a protestor and demonstrator Hajji Hafizullah Khan told Xinhua. He added that a NATO plane dropped a bomb on a family who were busy harvesting corn in their land in Babaji area outside Lashkargah, killing nine persons, including three children…

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The Daily Harassments at Qalandiya
by Natanya Ginsburg
November 4, 2009 – 15:30: We drove past Atarot CP on our way to Qalandiya. Twenty-five vehicles were wending their way slowly past the CP. 15:40 – Qalandiya: Already on our arrival a Palestinian ran to ask us to go into the checking area where an elderly couple from Gaza had had their permit to return home confiscated. We found them and discovered that the man had had an operation (we think he had a stent inserted). A taxi to take them to Erez CP was waiting on the Jerusalem side of Qalandiya, but when they tried to go through the CP, their permit was taken from them and they were told to return to Ramallah. They had no where to go and no money left — the woman was in tears…

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Army: 12 dead, 31 wounded in mass shooting at Fort Hood by Associated Press and khou.com staff
November 5, 2009 — The U.S. Army says 12 people have been killed and 31 wounded in a shooting rampage on the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. The Army says one shooter has been killed and two others apprehended on Thursday in the shooting and all are U.S. soldiers. The victims include a civilian police officer. “This appears to be a coordinated attack against our military. Whether it was directed from a foreign or domestic source it is still an act of terror,” said Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), a ranking member of the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee…

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A Nation of Golems
By William A. Cook
November 5, 2009 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted 344-36 in support of H. Res. 867, a vote to reject the Goldstone Report Findings and Recommendations, thus protecting Israel against indictment for crimes against humanity and illegal acts of war as determined by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s special investigation of the Christmas invasion of Gaza this past year. The House of Representatives, acting as a body, embodies the most heinous machinations of the ancient legend of a mythical beast called the Golem…

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Why Does AIPAC Spy on Americans?
Grant Smith
November 5, 2009 – According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Steven J. Rosen will be allowed to move ahead with his civil defamation lawsuit against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen and fellow AIPAC employee Keith Weissman were indicted under the 1917 Espionage Act in 2005 along with Department of Defense Employee Col. Lawrence Franklin for passing classified national defense information. Franklin pled guilty, but Rosen and Weissman’s case never went to trial — US attorneys gave up (PDF) after the presiding judge made a successful prosecution unlikely…

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Policeman who killed British troops ‘is back with Taliban’ by Jon Boone in Kabul and Matthew Weaver November 5, 2009 – The gunman who killed five British soldiers in an attack in Afghanistan’s Helmand province was today back with Taliban fighters who greeted him with flowers, sources close to the Afghan security forces said. The killer – identified only as a policeman called Gulbadin – was back under Taliban protection, the source said…

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US soldier killed in Afghanistan – NATO
Agence France-Presse
November 5, 2009 – A US soldier serving under NATO was killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan, the force said Thursday. The American soldier, who was part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), was killed in a rebel attack on Wednesday while on patrol, an ISAF statement said. His death took to 460 the number of international soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year, the deadliest of an eight-year anti-insurgency campaign being fought by about 100,000 NATO and US-led troops…

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Stalemate over Iraq electoral law
Aljazeera.net
November 5, 2009 – Iraq’s parliament has met again but failed to agree on a new election law. The stalemate threatens to delay elections scheduled for January 16. Faraj al-Haidari, the election commission chairman, said on Thursday: “We informed the parliament that if the election law is not legislated within 48 hours, it would be difficult and impossible to carry out the elections. The main obstacle has been who should be allowed to vote in Kirkuk, a disputed oil-rich city north of Baghdad…

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Palestinian Women Suffer as Israel Violates CEDAW Mel Frykberg
November 5, 2009 – Palestinian women continue to suffer abuse and denial of basic human rights at the hands of Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is in flagrant violation of Israel’s obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is the first international human rights treaty devoted to the rights of women. According to the Convention, discrimination against women represents a violation of the principles of equality and human dignity, and is considered an obstacle to the participation of women, on an equal footing with men, in the political, social, economic and cultural life of their country…

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UN pulls out half its Afghanistan staff and threatens total withdrawal Tom Coghlan in Kabul
November 5, 2009 – The United Nations today temporarily pulled half its international staff out of Afghanistan and threatened that a complete and permanent withdrawal could follow. Amid an atmosphere of increasing gloom in Afghanistan, the UN Special Representative in Kabul, Kai Eide delivered a pointed warning to the government of Hamid Karzai. “There is a belief among some, that the international community (presence) will continue whatever happens because of the strategic importance of Afghanistan,” he told a press conference this morning. “I would like to emphasise that that’s not true.”…

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Video: Palestinian anger over settlements Aljazeera.net
November 5, 2009 – Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat warned Israel in that continued illegal settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories may mean a two-state solution is no longer an option. The issue of settlements has become particularly heated since US secretary of state Hillary Clinton praised Israel for making what she called “unprecedented” concessions on the issue, even though Binyamin Netanyahu the prime minister, brushed off US and Palestinian demands for a construction freeze…

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UN body endorses Goldstone report
Aljazeera.net
November 5, 2009 – The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a UN-sponsored report which says Israel committed war crimes during last winter’s military assault on the Gaza Strip. The Goldstone report, which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes, has already been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, which sponsored the fact-finding commission. The General Assembly on Thursday voted by a margin of 114 to 18 to adopt the report after debating it for two days…

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Nine million Afghans living on less than a dollar a day – survey IRIN news
November 5, 2009 – The average per capita monthly expenditure of nine million Afghans is less than 66 US cents a day, and millions of other Afghans spend about $42 a month, according to a summary of Afghanistan’s new National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA). NRVA 2007/08 was produced by the government with European Union funding and in collaboration with aid agencies. A bleak picture is painted: * 26 percent literacy rate (12 percent female and 39 male) * 24 percent of all child deliveries are attended by a skilled birth attendant * Less than 30 percent of people have access to safe drinking water * Over 90 percent do not have access to proper sanitation..

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Hillary Clinton gives Obama’s Middle East game away Chris Marsden
5 November 2009 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spent the past days trying to limit the damage from her praise of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for making “unprecedented” concessions to the Palestinians by offering to “limit” settlement construction on the West Bank. Clinton made her remarks after meeting Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Abu Dhabi, where he reiterated his refusal to restart talks unless Israel freezes all settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem…

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Israel proposes work camps for illegal migrants By Dana Weiler-Polak, Haaretz Correspondent November 5, 2009 – The government is considering establishing work camps in the south of the country, where illegal migrant workers will receive shelter, food and medical care, Army Radio reported Wednesday. In exchange, illegal migrants would perform manual labor outside the camps, but would not earn a salary. They would stay at the camp until their asylum claims are decided, which could take months or years. The proposal, part of the effort to address the problems posed by illegal migrants, would place asylum seekers at jobs in communities in the Negev and Arava. Their salaries would go to the state, in order to fund the camps…

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Non-violent protesters begin vigil outside evicted Palestinian family’s home Saed Bannoura
November 5, 2009 – After a Palestinian family was forcibly removed from their home by armed Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, international and Israeli peace activists have descended on the neighborhood to hold a vigil in support of the evicted family. The vigil began late Wednesday when the peace activists brought a tent, food and supplies to the al-Kurd family, and set up the vigil across the street from their now-occupied home…

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