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URUK Net 10 November, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, November 12, 2009 8:36

Talking Blues: Gitmo Gets Harsher Under “Progressive” Rule
Chris Floyd
November 10, 2009 – Talk is cheap; actions speak volumes. And it seems Barack Obama is compiling quite a volume for himself at America’s flagship concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay. As Andrew Wander reports, conditions for prisoners at Gitmo have grown worse since Obama took office: Guantanamo conditions ‘deteriorate’. Of course, Gitmo is by no means the worst pit in America’s worldwide gulag, which Obama has kept wide open for business, while fighting strenuously in court to retain all of Bush’s authoritarian powers over the lives and liberties of anyone the president arbitrarily deems a suspected terrorist. And of course, he hasn’t, uh, closed Gitmo, as he made a solemn promise to do within a year of his inauguration. But whether he eventually gets around to the PR show of shutting down this one camp, the fact that his administration has imposed an even harsher regime on its denizens of limbo is, literally, atrocious…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59932

UK scholars linked to ‘stolen’ bowls of Babylon
Suppressed report reveals archaeological treasures were dug up after Gulf war
Vanessa Thorpe and James Doeser
November 10, 2009 – A secret report on the chequered history of priceless Aramaic bowls loaned to a leading university has exposed an apparent attempt to cover up UK academic connections to a potentially deadly trade in stolen Iraqi antiquities. The findings of the study, which was suppressed by a controversial legal agreement in 2007, have at last solved a long-standing archaeological mystery. Commissioned by University College London in 2005, it confirms the expert view that the bowls were stolen from the historical site of Babylon and should be returned to Iraq or handed over to the police. The report was completed in 2006 but suppressed a year later in a legal settlement made between the university and the putative owner of the bowls, the multimillionaire Norwegian collector, Martin Schøyen…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59931

Video: Taliban fighters display ‘US weapons’
AljazeeraEnglish
November 10, 2009 – Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive footage showing the Taliban in Afghanistan displaying what appears to be US weapons. The fighters say they seized the arms cache from two US outposts in eastern Nuristan province. Days after the alleged assault, the US military pulled out its troops from the area…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59916

Guantanamo conditions ‘deteriorate’
By Andrew Wander
November 10, 2009 – Obama presidency. “Everyone was very hopeful; people were saying he was going to change things, that he would close the prison,” Gharani, who was released in June, says. “Even the guards were telling us that if he won, things would improve for us.” They were to be disappointed. A year after Obama’s election win, Al Jazeera has learnt that despite the new president’s pledge to close the prison and improve the conditions of detainees held by the US military, prisoners believe that their treatment has deteriorated on his watch. Authorities at the prison deny mistreating the inmates, but interviews with former detainees, letters from current prisoners and sworn testimony from independent medical experts who have visited the prison have painted a disturbing picture of psychological and physical abuse very much at odds with White House rhetoric on prisoner treatment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59918

Iraq: Kurds Are Threat to Minorities, Rights Group Says
By SAM DAGHER
November 10, 2009 – The policies and tactics of Kurdish authorities are exposing minority groups in northern Iraq to “another full-blown human rights catastrophe” unless the minorities receive better protection, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch. Members of the minority groups are being singled out by extremist insurgent groups and also are caught in the middle of a struggle for land and resources between Arabs and the central government on one hand and leaders of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region on the other, said the report, which was released in the Kurdish region’s capital, Erbil, and focused on Christians, Shabaks and Yazidis in Nineveh Province…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59934

Palestinians adrift five years after Arafat death
AFP
November 10, 2009 – Every time Nader Ismail comes to Ramallah he makes his way to the white mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, the father of the Palestinian struggle for statehood, to say a prayer. “President Arafat is a symbol of the Palestinian revolution, and I cannot come to Ramallah without reading the fatiha (Koranic verses) over his tomb,” says Ismail, who lives in a small village 50 kilometres (30 miles) away. Five years after the leader passed away, the Palestinians are fiercely divided and no closer to their dream of statehood, with the divergent paths of peaceful negotiations and armed struggle both at an apparent impasse.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59937

Soldiers ‘hit and kicked’ Mousa
BBC News
November 10, 2009 – A former British soldier has admitted for the first time that he saw two of his colleagues kicking and hitting an Iraqi prisoner shortly before he died. Garry Reader told a public inquiry how, then a private, he had tried in vain to resuscitate Baha Mousa in 2003. He said he had not told the truth previously, but did believe Cpl Donald Payne and Pte Aaron Cooper had caused Mr Mousa’s death that September…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59929

Abbas may quit Fatah, PLO posts
Ma’an News
November 10, 2009 – President Mahmoud Abbas is considering resigning from his roles on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee, Palestinian officials said on Tuesday. The sources, who spoke on the condition that their names be withheld, also said that Abbas’ announcement last week that he will not seek reelection as president was a serious decision and not a political maneuver as analysts have said. Abbas is also waiting for the appropriate moment to announce his resignation from the PLO and Fatah governing bodies, the sources added…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59927

Video: Security walls divide Iraqis
Aljazeera.net
November 10, 2009 — The presence of huge concrete blast walls on the streets of Samarra and other Iraqi cities serve as grim reminders of the country’s continued instability as it approaches elections in January 2010. The barriers are designed to protect against car bombings and suicide attacks, but many people complain about the segregation of their communities and the problems it causes to those trying to go about their daily lives…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59926

US HOUSE VOTE AGAINST GOLDSTONE REPORT WAS A VOTE OF CONSCIENCE
Steve Amsel, Desertpeace
November 10, 2009 – … There has been much vocal support for the Goldstone Report from pro-Palestinian and anti-zionist groups. Anti-war groups and intellectuals have added their voices of support for the passing of the Report… but nowhere has there been a call for the same type of investigation to be held dealing with the war crimes committed by the United States… NOWHERE! This silence allows the crimes to continue, while only exposing and condemning Israel’s crimes, the US is literally getting away scott free with the ones they commit. The civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are under constant threat…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59925

Afghan Taliban rebuffs any association with TTP
SANA
November 10, 2009 – Afghan Taliban has strongly denied any association with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), says alleged Afghan Taliban commander. The Afghan Taliban commander Abdul Manan Aka Mulla Toor Jan expressed those views during his exclusive media interview wherein he mentioned that al Qaeda has no link with the TTP embroiled in war against Pakistani forces in embattled South Waziristan and Swat district…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59939

Cop who killed five U.K. soldiers ‘a hero’ say locals
By Aziz Ahmad Tassal and Mohammad Ilyas Dayee in Lashkar Gah
November 10, 2009 – “That boy is a hero,” said Khial Mohammad, a resident of Greshk. “The Taleban will treasure him like a flower.” … Some Helmandis welcomed the news of British losses. “(Gulbuddin) is a good boy, and the parents that bore him should be proud,” said Gul Agha, a resident of Greshk. “He should be given a medal. Let the foreigners know the pain of losing your own people. Let them know how death smells.” “Let them know how tragic is the death of a son, a father or a brother,” said Abdul Majid, another resident. “Just last night they bombed innocent people in Babaji. Didn’t they have fathers and mothers? They were just farmers, threshing corn, and they were killed on the spot. All their young sons are dead. I am sure they would welcome that soldier as a hero.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59938

PCHR Condemns Gaza Government’s Decision to Ban International Federation of Journalists Conference in Gaza
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
November 10, 2009 – The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Gaza Government’s decision to ban a conference of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Gaza. The conference was due to be held on 9 and 10 November 2009, and linked to the West Bank meeting via video conference. PCHR stresses that this measure constitutes an assault against the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to peaceful assembly ensured by the constitution. The conference was titled “Declaration of Ethical Journalism Initiative and Standards of Media in Palestine”, and Roots Tourist Restaurant was booked on 9 and 10 November 2009 to host the Gaza event…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59935

Yemen rebels claim territorial gain
Aljazeera.net
November 10, 2009 – Yemen’s Houthi fighters say they have taken control of more territory on the border with Saudi Arabia, heightening concerns about growing instability in the region. The fighters released a statement on Tuesday, saying: “Full control was taken last night over Qatabar directorate and control of all supplies and ammunition as well as buildings and other military sites.” Yemeni officials could not immediately be reached for comment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59924

Bush officials lead Iraq business push
By Roula Khalaf
November 10, 2009 – Senior Bush administration figures including Zalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to Baghdad, and Jay Garner, the retired general who led reconstruction efforts immediately after the war, are leading a new business push into Iraq. The two one-time senior officials are among a raft of former US soldiers and diplomats either leveraging their war experience helping foreign companies to enter the Iraqi market or starting businesses there themselves…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59923

Prisoners center: Medical neglect threatens lives of diabetic Palestinian detainees
Palestinian Information Center
November 10, 2009 — The prisoners’ center for studies has said that the lives of Palestinian sick detainees in Israeli occupation authority jails were in danger especially those with diabetes. The center in a statement on Tuesday quoted one of the detainees in Hadarim jail as saying that the Israeli prisons authority (IPA) completely ignores threats to the lives of sick detainees especially those suffering diabetes. He said that tens of prisoners suffer various diseases such as cancer, heart ailment, kidney failure, hypertension, rheumatism, ulcers, dental problems and weak eyesight among others…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59922

US appellate court blocks lawsuit against extraordinary rendition and torture
By John Andrews
November 10, 2009 – For the second time in two years a federal appellate court has denied Canadian citizen Maher Arar the right to sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other US government officials for money damages based on his “extraordinary rendition” to Syria, where he was imprisoned without due process and tortured for almost a year. On November 2, a divided panel of eleven judges from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which reviews decisions from United States district courts in New York, Connecticut and Vermont, voted 7-4 that neither the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) nor the Constitution itself provides a remedy for someone illegally seized by US authorities while traveling through the United States and sent halfway around the world specifically to be tortured into a confession…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59920

The Afghanistan war on Remembrance Sunday
By Christopher King
November 10, 2009 – … The Afghanistan war is lost, both in law and in the field. US and NATO politicians and services chiefs cannot recognize reality. Over eight years, Afghan mujahideen (freedom fighters) have fought the “most powerful alliance in the world” into retreat with rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and home-made explosive devices. The argument is over. Even if it should be possible to overwhelm the poverty-stricken, poorly armed mujahideen by massively reinforcing the mechanized, hi-tech armies of the US and Europe, it would now prove nothing – except the failure of humanity in those belligerent countries, law having already failed. The mujahideen have won the field. The world has seen and knows it…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59919

Video: Benjamin Netanyahu heckled at major US Conference
SuppressedNews
November 10, 2009 – Speaking at the 2009 General Assembly of the The Jewish Federations of North America in Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was interrupted by shouts from the crowd to which he replied that he was “better received at the United Nations than here.” Protestors shouted “Peace for everyone, shame on you!” as they were escorted out. ..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59917

Obama, Netanyahu meet as U.S. peace bid flounders
By Jeffrey Heller and Matt Spetalnick
November 10, 2009 – President Barack Obama held unusually low-profile talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that failed to provide any sign of progress toward reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. A White House statement after the one-hour, 40-minute session framed the meeting in only general terms, saying the two leaders discussed “how to move forward on Middle East peace” and also spoke about Iran and security issues. A spokesman for Netanyahu declined to comment on the talks and a briefing the prime minister intended to hold on Tuesday for reporters who accompanied him to Washington was canceled…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59933

Portuguese water company’s immoral collaboration with Israel
Adri Nieuwhof
November 10, 2009 – The management of Portuguese water company EPAL recently informed its workers about its collaboration with the Israeli national water company Mekorot on “water security issues.” An EPAL intern who recently visited the occupied West Bank reacted to the news by informing colleagues about how Israel is depriving Palestinians from water, referring to Amnesty International’s 27 October report on the situation. EPAL responded by sacking the intern within one hour. In the report titled “Israel rations Palestinians to trickle of water,” Amnesty accused Israel of denying Palestinians the right to access adequate water by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and pursuing discriminatory policies..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59930

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