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URUK Net 20 December, 2009

Last updated: Monday, December 21, 2009 18:21

Video: US testing unproven weapons in Afghanistan
RussiaToday
December 20, 2009 – The US is developing new, expensive weapons and testing them on the battleground in Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61261

Video: Iraqi father’s search for justice
Aljazeera.English
December 20, 2009 – The inquiry into the brutal murder of an Iraqi civilian at the hands of British soldiers has finished for the year. But for his family, questions still remain. Baha Mousa was left with horrific injuries while in military custody in Basra. His father has been in London to give evidence, and spoke to Al Jazeera’s Jessica Baldwin…

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Israel admits harvesting Palestinian organs
Ian Black, Guardian
December 20, 2009 – Israel has admitted that pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others, without the consent of their families – a practice that it said ended in the 1990s, it emerged at the weekend…The story emerged in an interview with Dr Yehuda Hiss, former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic who released it because of the row between Israel and Sweden over a report in the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet. Channel 2 TV reported that in the 1990s, specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61277

Amid the carols and decorations, Iraq Christians fear extinction
Alice Fordham, in Baghdad
December 20, 2009 – It could be a scene from a Victorian Christmas card. The young people gather in the church, decorating a tree, while in the background the choir rehearses for Christmas Day — the tune of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen playing out. In the theatre next to the church two clowns are playing musical chairs with hundreds of children, while a bishop and an inflatable Father Christmas look on. The words to the carol are in Iraqi-accented Arabic — Feltestereh qolubikum, ya ayuha al jumoor — “may your hearts take comfort, you who are gathered here”. The church is Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad, and outside is the more familiar Iraqi scene of barbed wire and armed guards. Behind the tinsel and carols lies a fear that Christians in Iraq are a community under threat of extinction. Proportionally more Christians are leaving Iraq than any other group…

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President Saddam Hussein and Iranian POW
Hussein Anwar, The Mesopotamian
December 20, 2009 – …We respected the ethics of the Army even when they are POWs…these orders came directly from President Saddam Hussein. I remember in one of the meetings, where an Iraqi General was speaking, and as he was speaking he said “You know Mr. President how the Iranians are cowards they can’t…” President Saddam Hussein interrupted and said. “Never ever say low things about your enemy, the Iranians are brave men, and the proof is they fought us for 8 years without boredom or feeling tired. and they fought us fiercely”…

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Dameer: Birth defects increased in Gaza due to Israel’s use of chemical weapons
Palestinian Information Center
December 20, 2009 — Al-Dameer association for human rights said Sunday that there is an increase in miscarriage rates and in the number of babies born with birth defects and cancer due to the Israeli use of weapons containing radioactive and toxic materials during its latest war on the Gaza Strip. In a report, the association affirmed that the health and environmental conditions in Gaza is getting worse day after days as a result of the use of internationally-banned weapons during the three-week war…

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SPIEGEL Interview with NATO Head Anders Fogh Rasmussen
‘We Will Stay in Afghanistan as Long as It Takes to Finish Our Job’
SPIEGEL
December 20, 2009 – …Rasmussen: No, no, President Obama did not present an “exit strategy.” He held out the prospect of a gradual transfer of power to the Afghans. Withdrawal, however, is only possible once the necessary conditions have been met. We will not be in Afghanistan forever. We will stay as long as it takes to finish our job…

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Israel jails anti-wall campaign leader
Ma’an News
December 20, 2009 – The Stop the Wall Campaign announced on Sunday that its coordinator, Jamal Juma, has been imprisoned by Israel since 16 December. Juma’s arrest follows what activists say is a military-legal crackdown on popular expressions of rejection of Israeli occupation. Dozens of protest leaders, boycott campaigners, and other civil society advocates have been arrested in recent weeks…

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A clear and present danger: far-right rabbi Dov Wolpe, uncensored
By Ami Kaufman
December 20, 2009 – Last week I saw an interesting interview on TV. It was Avri Gilad hosting Rabbi Dov Wolpe, an extreme right winger. Wolpe heads The Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land, who basically give money to soldiers who refuse to evacuate settlements. The interview itself wasn’t that interesting, we’ve heard extreme right views a zillion times before, and even more extreme than Wolpe.But I thought the whole package was kind of unique in itself. This is semi-prime-time television, where people like Wolpe are rarely seen. They’re rarely given the spotlight. And if they are, it’s usually on the regular politics shows, not the family talk shows with fairly high ratings…

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Top pathologist says doctors also involved in organ stealing
Israeli video confirms theft of Palestinian organs
Al Arabiya
December 20, 2009 – An Israeli video confirmed accusations that Tel Aviv was illegally stealing organs from the dead bodies of Palestinians and justified the practice in the name of scientific research, press reports said Sunday. The news of the harvesting of Palestinian organs was first published by a Swedish newspaper, which an outraged Israel denied, but according to the video corneas, hearts, bones and skin from the back were harvested from the bodies of dead Palestinians without authorization or permission from their families, the Palestinian Maan News Agency reported. The 57-minute video was filmed by Yehuda Hiss, the director and chief pathologist at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine, and explains how he authorized organ theft, gave instructions to doctors to do so and said he would sometimes snatch the organs himself…

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Agent Orange Continues to Poison New Generations in Vietnam
By Martha Ann Overland / Danang
December 20, 2009 – This lonely section of the abandoned Danang air base was once crawling with U.S. airmen and machines. It was here where giant orange drums were stored and the herbicides they contained were mixed and loaded onto waiting planes. Whatever sloshed out soaked into the soil and eventually seeped into the water supply. Thirty years later, the rare visitor to the former U.S. air base is provided with rubber boots and protective clothing. Residue from Agent Orange, which was sprayed to deny enemy troops jungle cover, remains so toxic that this patch of land is considered one of the most contaminated pieces of real estate in the country. A recent study indicates that even three decades after the war ended, the cancer-causing dioxins are at levels 300 to 400 times higher than what is deemed to be safe…

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Jerusalem mayor cuts health funds for Arab children
By Nir Hasson
December 20, 2009 – Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Thursday rejected municipal recommendations and cut funding for a toddler health-care center in East Jerusalem, while approving aid to a similar center in a Jewish neighborhood. The funds would have gone to opening a branch of the “Drop of Milk” (Tipat Halav) program, which provides prenatal and toddler health-care services in Silwan, an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Last year, authorities from the Jerusalem municipal offices recommended to the mayor to open the aid center in Silwan, which would service around 100,000 residents…

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A call from Gaza
Various undersigned
December 20, 2009 – This week marks one year since Israel began its attack on the Gaza Strip: a year since phosphorus bombs, dime bombs and other weapons of death and destruction were unleashed on a defenseless civilian population. A year since the people of the world demanded that Israel end its attack on Gaza. In this Israeli war of aggression on the occupied Gaza Strip, many of our civilians were massacred by Israel’s indiscriminate bombing, condemned by UN experts and leading human rights organizations as war crimes and crimes against humanity. This assault left over 1,440 Palestinians dead, predominantly civilians, of whom 431 were children…

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Israeli army invades Bil’in
Saed Bannoura
December 20, 2009 – Israeli soldiers invaded on Saturday at night the village of Bil’in, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and broke into two homes. The Friends of Freedom and Justice – Bil’in, reported that this is the second attack in two nights, as the army invaded the village on Friday at night after the villagers and their Israeli and International supporters held their weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall. During the Saturday night attack, Israeli soldiers broke into two homes forcing the families out and violently searched the properties…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61265

Despite aid, hunger still stalks Afghan children
By ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU (AP)
December 20, 2009 – …Afghanistan has the world’s highest maternal mortality rate and the second-highest child mortality rate — and hunger is a major reason why, the United Nations says. This year, centers across the country will feed 100,000 children and 35,000 pregnant or breast-feeding women. Dozens of mothers, many clad in full burqa body veils, crouched in the clinic in Aqcha waiting for rations. The room was eerily silent except for gusts of wind that howled through the open door. Dozens of toddlers in their arms didn’t make a sound. “Most of the children are too tired and hungry, they don’t have the energy to cry,” said Dr. Nasrullah Sulfane, who oversees the program here…

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Shocking revelations about the war on Gaza – Local Arab Press editorial
WAM (Wakalat Anba’a al-Emarat)
December 20, 2009 — Genocide and ethnic cleansing were not the only objective of the Israeli war on Gaza, it had more heinous goals that included the annihilation of the future Palestinian generations, stressed a local Arabic daily newspaper in its editorial today. Based on new revelations about the Israeli aggression on the Mediterranean strip, ‘Al-Khaleej’ daily said that the main objective of the warfare was to target fertility and embryos of Palestinians by way of planting carcinogens in the weapons to wipe out the new generation as Israel had failed in the face of Palestinian resistance…

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Sabotage cuts Iraqi oil pipeline
Aljazeera.net
December 20, 2009 – Oil exports from northern Iraq have stopped following an attack on a pipeline that leads to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Assem Jihad, an Iraqi oil ministry spokesman, told journalists on Sunday that a 55km section of the pipeline was damaged, causing a large oil spillage, around 325km north of Baghdad. “Exports have stopped and technicians from the Northern Oil Company have gone to the site to survey the damage”, Jihad said.

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Israel settlements: rabbis say soldiers’ loyalty to God trumps army orders
By Joshua Mitnick
December 20, 2009 – In Israel, a standoff is escalating between the Israeli defense establishment and religious nationalists over the possible evacuation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. On Thursday, a group of rabbis published a letter saying a soldiers’ loyalty to the divine takes precedence over their commanders. The declaration was signed by dozens of teachers in government-affiliated religious seminaries – known as “hesder’’ yeshivas – after Defense Minister Ehud Barak took the unprecedented step earlier this week of cutting ties with a hesder yeshiva because its dean, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, openly advocates refusing of orders in case of an evacuation…

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Year On, Gaza Still in Ruins
IslamOnline
December 20, 2009 – Like thousands of his fellow Gazans, Kamal Awaja is still living with his family in a tent on the rubble of their home which was razed to the ground during Israel’s deadly onslaught a year ago. “You don’t have anything if you don’t have a house,” Awaja told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Sunday, December 20. The family’s house in northern Gaza was flattened by Israeli troops storming during a three-week deadly offensive last year…

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Iran cleric Montazeri dies
Aljazeera.net
December 20, 2009 – Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Iran’s most senior dissident cleric, has died, official media has reported. Montazeri, 87, was an architect of the 1979 Islamic revolution who fell out with the present leadership. He had been held under house arrest for several years. “Hossein Ali Montazeri passed away in his home last night,” the official IRNA news agency said on Sunday…

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Iraq says Iranian troops left disputed oil well
By LARA JAKES (AP)
December 20, 2009 — A standoff between Iraq and Iran over a remote oil well ended peacefully Sunday as Iranian forces pulled back from the disputed site. In Baghdad, officials approved a preliminary deal with an international group to develop one of Iraq’s most prized oil fields. Together, the events highlighted the economic and diplomatic challenges facing Iraq as it tries to expand its reach in the global oil market…

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