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URUK Net 19 December, 2009

Last updated: Monday, December 21, 2009 17:27

One Billion Go Hungry
by Nick Pell
December 19, 2009 – The UN reported that 1 billion people world wide are currently going hungry. This is the largest number of hungry people ever, up sharply from 2008. There is no food shortage. Natural disasters and local famines account for a tiny minority of the world’s hunger. Indeed, we live at a point in history where the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, and global caloric production is actually up. The cause of hunger, almost throughout the entire world is not a lack of resources. Hunger and starvation exist because food is distributed for the personal profit of the global elite…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61236

‘Israel Poisons Palestinian Soil, Newborns’ – Researchers
Fareed Mahdy
December 19, 2009 – “The 2006 and 2009 Israeli bombings on Gaza left a high concentration of toxic metals in soil, which can cause tumours, fertility problems, and serious effects on newborns, like deformities and genetic pathologies.” These are some of the key findings of a recent study by New Weapons Research Committee (NWRC), an Italy-based group of academics, physicians and researchers specialised in elaborating risk assessment surveys on the effects of the newest “non-conventional weapons and their mid-term effects on residents of areas afflicted by conflicts”. The metals found are mainly tungsten, mercury, molybdenum, cadmium and cobalt…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61239

The murderous face of Obama’s surge
Bill Van Auken
December 19 2009 – “The surge has begun in earnest,” a Pentagon spokesman announced Thursday. While only a few advance elements of a single Marine battalion have arrived in Afghanistan, the escalation in killing and destruction that will accompany the deployment of an additional 30,000 US troops is already underway. A series of events over the past few days have begun to expose the murderous and protracted character of the so-called surge ordered by President Barack Obama at the beginning of this month. Obama said in his December 1 speech at West Point that he was implementing “a strategy that works on both sides of the border” separating Afghanistan and Pakistan. What is becoming clear is that this strategy entails intensified killing in both countries, with the potential for triggering a far more explosive regional crisis…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61231

Israeli doc admits harvesting organs
Mohammed Mar’i
December 19, 2009 – The chief Israeli pathologist and director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, professor Yehuda Hiss, has admitted harvesting organs from the bodies of dead Palestinians without the consent of their families. Hiss said that he and doctors who worked under him took parts from bodies — including skin, corneas and heart valves — in the 1990s for transplantation. He also admitted that the same parts were taken from dead Israelis for the same purpose. Hiss’ remarks came in an interview with Nancy Sheppard-Hughes, a professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley who tracks the organ trade worldwide…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61248

Shaker Aamer: UK Government Drops Opposition To Release Of Torture Evidence
Andy Worthington
December 19, 2009 – Last week, as I explained in a recent article, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, who was seized in Afghanistan in 2001 after traveling to Afghanistan with his friend Moazzam Begg (and their families) to establish a girls’ school in Kabul, won a significant victory in the British High Court. Lord Justice Jeremy Sullivan ruled that evidence in the possession of the British government, regarding his torture in US custody in Kandahar, Afghanistan, before his transfer to Guantánamo, must be made available to lawyers working on his behalf in the United States […] On Wednesday, the legal action charity Reprieve, which represents Aamer in the US, announced that, at a hearing on Thursday, the British security services would argue that they are not required to release the information to Aamer “because he has not been formally charged with a crime.” This prompted Reprieve’s director, Clive Stafford Smith, to exclaim, “Essentially, MI5 are saying they would owe Shaker this evidence if the Americans would bother to charge him. But because Shaker will have no charge and no trial, they say he has no right to any evidence at all and must continue to face indefinite detention with no end in sight?”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61237

Afghan War Costs 101
Tom Engelhardt & Jo Comerford
December 19, 2009 – $57,077.60. That’s what we’re paying per minute. Keep that in mind — just for a minute or so. After all, the surge is already on. By the end of December, the first 1,500 U.S. troops will have landed in Afghanistan, a nation roughly the size of Texas, ranked by the United Nations as second worst in the world in terms of human development. Women and men from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will be among the first to head out. It takes an estimated $1 million to send each of them surging into Afghanistan for one year. So a 30,000-person surge will be at least $30 billion, which brings us to that $57,077.60. That’s how much it will cost you, the taxpayer, for one minute of that surge…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61252

General defends court martial for pregnant soldiers
BBC News
December 19, 2009 – A US Army general in northern Iraq has defended his decision to add pregnancy to the list of reasons a soldier under his command could face court martial. It is current army policy to send pregnant soldiers home, but Maj Gen Anthony Cucolo told the BBC he was losing people with critical skills. That was why the added deterrent of a possible court martial was needed, he said. The new policy applies both to female and male [?????] soldiers, even if married…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61251

Let’s Talk About Torture!
Nick Pell
December 19, 2009 – …The other reason why Obama’s platitudes about ending Bush-era torture don’t much matter is because of the practice of rendition, a practice more accurately described as torture by proxy. This is where the United States under the auspices of the CIA kidnaps someone and has them shipped halfway around the world to a country that tortures with gusto and aplomb. This sometimes includes such ostensible American adversaries as Syria. More frequently, however, the U.S. uses some former Warsaw Pact country desperately in need of brownie points from America or calls on one of their go to guys to vote against resolutions condemning human rights abuses in Israeli. Put simply, the United States doesn’t need to torture. It has plenty of willing accomplices who will do it for them, and more viciously. No reports of waterboarding yet, but there was a fairly vigorous program of child sexual abuse and other torture in Afghanistan on Big O’s watch. Further, his directive does not undermine the legal framework of torture and indefinite groundless detention pioneered by the Bush Administration. Obama’s Administration does not merely refuse to prosecute those who tortured under President Bush, they have consistently and vehemently defended Bush-era torturers and their legal accomplices…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61250

Bomb attack kills US soldier in Afghanistan: NATO
AFP
December 19, 2009 — A bomb attack has killed another US soldier in southern Afghanistan, pushing the death toll of foreign troops to close to 500 during the war this year, NATO said Saturday. The American was killed on Friday “as a result of an IED strike in southern Afghanistan,” NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement, referring to an improvised explosive device. IEDs, which are cheap and easy to make and difficult to detect, account for a growing number of troop deaths in Afghanistan, as the war against Taliban-led insurgents escalates…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61249

O Little Dying Town of Bethlehem
By Joe Parko
December 19, 2009 – During this Christmas season many of us have been singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” but few of us may know that Bethlehem is a dying town that is being strangled by the huge concrete wall that Israel has built around it. Few people know that some 20,000 Palestinian Christians live under a harsh military occupation in Bethlehem and are facing extreme hardship because of the wall that encircles them…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61247

No Road To Jerusalem
Palestine Monitor
December 19, 2009 – The photo exhibition “Existence denied” realised by photographers Andrea M. and Magda C., shows the anguish, humiliation and frustration of the Palestinian worshippers during the period of Ramadan. The exhibition is currently hosted at the Alternative Information Center of Beit Shaour, in Behtlehm. The exhibition documents the ten of thousands Palestinians from all over West Bank who gathered every Friday during ramadan period at the check points in order to enter Jerusalem and pray at Al Aqsa mosque, widely considered as the third holiest site in Islam. Because of hours of queuing under the sun and the risk to be denied to enter, the attempt to reach Al Aqsa can be labeled as an act of heroism…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61253

‘US aided’ deadly Yemen raids
Aljazeera.net
December 19, 2009 – The US provided firepower and intelligence to help the Yemeni government launch a series of deadly raids against suspected al-Qaeda bases in the country, the New York Times has reported. Barack Obama, the US president approved the military and intelligence support after receiving a request from the Yemeni government, the newspaper reported late on Friday, citing officials familiar with the operations…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61254

Iraq sends forces to disputed field
Aljazeera.net
December 19, 2009 – Iraq has deployed security forces to its southern border with Iran to monitor a disputed oil well seized by Iranian troops. Iraqi authorities sent army and police forces to a staging ground about 1km from the well in the Fauqa oil field in southern Maysan province on Saturday, The Associated Press news agency reported, citing officials…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61246

Past Lessons and Present Disaster
Kim Petersen
December 19, 2009 – Does Charles Santayana’s dictum1 apply to the United States in Afghanistan today? In Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam, Gordon M. Goldstein examines the role of United States national security advisor McGeorge Bundy in the US war on Viet Nam. (Not a “Viet Nam War.” Why do the media — and even academia — insist on naming acts of aggression against a country with the name of the country aggressed, thereby distracting from the name of the aggressor and the act of aggression?) Lessons in Disaster is laid out as six chapters/lessons from the debacle of US government policy in southeast Asia…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61245

Video: Israel’s settlement subsidy policy
Aljazeera.English
December 19, 2009 – Israel has announced a partial moratorium on settlement construction. Yet, at the same time, it has invested in those already established in a bid to solidify their existence. In the Jordan Valley there are 22 settlements viewed as illegal under international law. But, as Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports, they benefit from a system of Israeli funding specifically focused on kick-starting settler economies…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61242

Iran Acknowledges Prisoners Were Beaten to Death
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 19, 2009 — Iran’s hard-line judiciary acknowledged for the first time Saturday that at least three prisoners detained after June’s disputed presidential election were beaten to death by their jailers, confirming a key claim by the country’s opposition movement. The surprising acknowledgment followed months of repeated denials by police and other authorities that the deaths of protesters in Iranian custody were caused by abuse. In a statement, the judiciary said 12 officials at Kahrizak prison were charged — three of them with murder…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61241

27 Demonstrators Arrested at Protest Against Eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem Neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah
The Alternative Information Center (AIC)
December 19, 2009 – Israeli police arrested twenty-seven Palestinians and Israeli activists in Sheikh Jarrah on Friday, 18 December afternoon for refusing to end a rally against the eviction of Palestinian residents in the East Jerusalem neighborhood. Several hundred protestors arrived to the neighborhood, where a new settlement is displacing Palestinian families the area, marching in small groups from the center of West Jerusalem. Several marchers were arrested by the police before they arrived to Sheikh Jarrah…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61243

Israeli gunboats fire at fishing boats, IOF soldiers detain Palestinian boy
Palestinian Information Center
December 19, 2009 — Israeli gunboats opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Khan Younis to the south of the Gaza Strip on Saturday. PIC reporter said that the gunboats targeted dozens of those fishing boats, adding that no casualties were suffered. In the West Bank, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained a 16-year-old Palestinian boy from Fare’a refugee camp, south of Jenin, on Saturday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61240

Net around Israeli war crimes suspects tightens
Adri Nieuwhof and Ziyaad Lunat
December 18, 2009 – Efforts by human rights organizations, lawyers and activists in Palestine and Europe to hold Israeli war crimes suspects to account have gained momentum over the past few years. Last week, former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni cancelled a visit to the UK over threats of a lawsuit under the country’s universal jurisdiction laws. The Goldstone report on the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, published in September, favors universal jurisdiction as a tool for enforcing international law, preventing impunity and promoting international accountability…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61235

FROM HOLOCAUST DENIAL TO HOLOCAUST PREVENTION
Steve Amsel, Deserpeace
December 19, 2009 – … I am sick and tired also of those Jews that have ‘cashed in on this suffering’ through books movies and lectures. Organisations have been established under the guise of ‘nazi hunters’, they have proven to be one of the most successful branches of the ‘Holocaust Industry’. Instead of the crying or cashing in on the past, I decided at a very young age to live the mantra of ‘Never Again’… TO ANYONE. In midlife I chose to move to Israel to do what I could to make sure the Holocaust against the Palestinian people stops. What happened to the Jews in Eastern Europe does not give a green light for them to do the same to others. Seeing a survivor of those horrors struggle against today’s evils is truly an inspiration. I am speaking of Hedy Epstein, who as I write this, is on her way to Gaza to take part in the Gaza Freedom March. ..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61234

Israeli soldiers assault Hebron family; detain members
Ma’an News
December 19, 2009 – Israeli forces raided the home of the Abu Heikal family in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron on Friday afternoon, detaining five of the men, one family member said. Firyal Abu Heikal, who was in the home during the Israeli raid, said solders beat the men and women of the family. She identified those beaten as sisters Samah and Majd, noting that their aunt Ghadir was also beaten. Male relatives Mohamed and Murad were also injured, she said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61227

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