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Thursday, September 27, 2012

AlJazeera 'presuring' military intervention in Mali?

Published on Sep 26, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish : Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has reacted cautiously to a call from French President Francois Hollande for military intervention in Mali. That West African country has been in political disarray since March, when a military coup pushed the last president from power. Then in early April, the main Tuareg separatist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), declared independence in the north. But it was pushed out by armed groups Ansar Dine and a local branch of al-Qaeda. They began destroying religious shrines and arresting women for not wearing the veil. And just three days ago, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS agreed on a deployment of troops to help Mali's government reclaim the north, however, there are still no boots on the ground.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pepper-sprayed UC Davis students awarded $1 mln

Pepper-sprayed UC Davis students awarded $1 mln

Pepper-sprayed UC Davis students awarded $1 mln
College students and alumni that were injured when a police officer at the University of California, Davis, discharged military-grade pepper-spray in their face during a peaceful protest last year will split a settlement of roughly $1,000,000.
Members of the UC Regents board agreed earlier this month on a settlement to be split among the 21 demonstrators targeted by a campus cop since removed from the force, but the final amount was not disclosed until now. The Sacramento Bee reports on Wednesday that the board had decided behind closed doors on a figure of roughly $1 million.
"We did an injustice to our students that day at Davis, and some amount of recompense is appropriate,” UC Davis student regent Jonathan Stein told the Los Angeles Times after their meeting earlier this month. “More importantly, it's time for us as an institution to publicly acknowledge that's not the way we should treat our students; we were wrong, and we are moving forward.”
The terms of the settlement were unsealed in federal court Wednesday morning and, assuming the appropriate papers are authorized by a federal judge, each of the 21 plaintiffs in the case are expected to receive $30,000, totaling $630,000 in all. Additional plaintiffs are invited to come forward and file claims in order to collect from a pool of $100,000 set aside for a class action suit, and $250,000 will be handed to the attorneys who handled the case.
Lt. John Pike, the officer who injured the protesters during a peaceful demonstration that was caught on tape and took the Internet by storm, was placed on paid administrative leave for several months after the November 18, 2011 sit-in on the Davis campus. Student and alumni had gathered at the school to protest rising tuition fees.
The internal affairs investigation alone into Lt. Pike’s actions cost the university $230,256.73, the Bee reports.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'Free speech? Let Obama talk to Bradley Manning about it'

Published on Sep 25, 2012 by RussiaToday : Barack Obama stated US won't block anti-Islam film for reasons of free speech. RT discussed Obama's speech in UN with journalist and anti-war activist Don DeBar.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

the findings of the Roundup/GM cancer trial

Experts discuss the findings of the Roundup/GM cancer trial

Published on Sep 19, 2012 by TheGrocerChannel : The world's best-selling weedkiller, and a genetically modified maize resistant to it, can cause tumours, multiple organ damage and lead to premature death, a new study has revealed. Its results are published in The Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal in New York. Here, experts discuss the significance of the findings.

Monday, September 17, 2012

UK housing collapse to leave 1.7 million families homeless

Published on Sep 16, 2012 by RussiaToday : Britain's suffering its worst housing crisis in modern history - with the number of new households increasing faster than the number of homes it can build. Over 1.7 million families are waiting for a place to live.

Friday, September 7, 2012

World food organizations warn against rising food prices

Published on Sep 6, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews : FAO, IFAD and WFP have recently released a joint statement in which they warn that the recent sharp increases in staple food such as maize, wheat and soybean, could lead to a repeat of the 2007-2008 world food crisis.

Zimbabwe: Simba Makoni - run again for the Zimbabwean presidency.

Simba Makoni intends to run again for the Zimbabwean presidency.
Simba Makoni is the bespectacled former Executive Secretary of SADC turned Zimbabwean Finance Minister (2000 - 2002), turned Presidential candidate in 2008 as leader of his own MKD party. It was with his MKD hat on that Makoni spoke on Tuesday night at SOAS in central London.
By all appearances, Simba is working himself up for another shot at the Presidency - informally announcing his candidacy to an audience of Zimbabwe watchers and members of the Zimbabwean diaspora - found in strength in the UK.
Given past experience, Makoni's chances of beating both Robert Mugabe (ZANU-PF) and Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC) to the top job are slight. Makoni finished third in 2008 with around 8 percent of the vote. He originally wanted to stand as ZANU-PF's Presidential candidate, but was denied this by the continued supremacy of President Mugabe within the party. He remains proud of his former associated with ZANU-PF, stating that 'everyone [his] age had to join ZANU if they wanted to be involved in politics.'
He also has no regrets concerning his involvement in the 2008 election when some, as argued by RAS Director Richard Dowden, have suggested that his candidacy split the anti-Mugabe vote and allowed the veteran President to remain in power. Makoni rejects this argument, stating that he does not believe that the people who voted for him would have voted for Morgan Tsvangirai. Makoni was also able to "introduce new messages to the political campaign" and if he hadn't won the right of a seat at the table "we probably wouldn't have got the Global Political Agreement." (GPA)
The GPA saw the creation of the Government of National Unity in which Morgan Tsvangirai became Prime Minister and MDC figures took up key ministerial portfolios including the Ministry of Finance, now under Tendai Biti. Official dollarization of the Zimbabwean economy took place in 2009, which stopped the hitherto uncontrollable process of hyperinflation, and stabilised the economy.

Egypt: End Sinai Nightmare for Migrants

Thousands of sub-Saharan asylum seekers and migrants attempting to cross the Sinai have fallen victim to abusive traffickers and other criminals.
Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division
Target Traffickers Who Detain, Torture, Sexually Assault Hundreds.
(New York) – Egypt should use its increased security force presence in the Sinai Peninsula to free hundreds of migrants held for ransom and abused by human traffickers and other criminals. The authorities should detain, investigate, and prosecute the traffickers.
Human Rights Watch has documented the trafficking of the mostly sub-Saharan migrants and asylum seekers in Sinai, who are tortured and sexually assaulted to press their relatives for ransom. Under Mubarak, law enforcement officials did not intervene to protect the victims, although Egypt has a strong anti-trafficking law. President Muhammad Morsy ordered security forces to “impose full control” over Sinai following the August 5, 2012, attack on a security post on the border with Israel that left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead.
“Thousands of sub-Saharan asylum seekers and migrants attempting to cross the Sinai have fallen victim to abusive traffickers and other criminals,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. “Egypt’s new government should use its increased law enforcement operations to rescue victims of trafficking and end these abuses.”
Credible sources in Cairo confirmed to Human Rights Watch a steady increase in the number of trafficking victims who have been tortured, raped, and otherwise sexually assaulted over the past two years.

(Political?) Miscommunication cost lives...

Confusion about the new minimum wage law and tensions between workers and management lie behind the death of a Chinese mining boss in August.
The killing of Wu Shenzai on 4 August and the wounding of his two compatriots by Zambian mine workers demanding the implementation of the newly revised minimum wage were widely condemned throughout Zambia. Wu, a 50-year-old manager at Collum Coal Mine, died after mine workers crushed him with a trolley as he tried to flee underground to escape a wage riot in one of the most dramatic clashes yet between Chinese managers and their local employees. Mine workers had organised a protest at what they saw as delays by Collum in adopting a new revised minimum wage. In fact, the new law, which came into force on 4 July, applies only to domestic, shop and general workers. Union members are not affected as their pay is negotiated by collective bargaining with employers.
President Michael Sata's opponents lambasted his Patriotic Front government for the lack of a clear policy on labour relations with Chinese companies and the failure to deliver on the pre-election populist pledges that ushered the PF into power last September. The opposition is calling for the resignation of Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda, whom they hold responsible for the mass confusion surrounding the revised minimum wage law.
Sata, also known as 'King Cobra', won last year's elections on a platform of holding foreign investors to account, improving the lives of workers and creating one million new jobs but is struggling to fulfil his manifesto. On 4 August, his public appearance at the Agriculture and Commercial Show, also graced by Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, was rapidly curtailed after young protestors heckled and booed Sata, pursuing him around the stands, demanding jobs and more money in their pockets.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Internally 'manufacturing consent', externally 'buying consent'?

US Nears $1 Billion Debt Relief Deal with Egypt's Islamist President

Lina Attalah: Agreement shows US and Egyptian Brotherhood have reached an understanding; President Morsi has consolidated power

Will it be Law? men to pee sitting down!

Left Party wants men to pee sitting down

11 Jun 12 | The Left Party in Sörmland is taking a stand to ensure men take a seat when emptying their bladders in the county council's own toilets.

According to the party, there are two very important reasons for the proposal encouraging men to sit instead of stand when they urinate.

One reason has to do with hygiene and a desire to ensure that no one who uses the toilets at the county council's offices will be required to walk through puddles or residue left by stray urine which happens to splash out of the bowl and onto the floor when male employees pee standing up.

The Left Party also cites medical research it claims shows that men empty their bladders more efficiently when they are seated.

The improved bladder evacuation not only reduces the risk for prostate problems, according to the party, but also helps men who sit rather than stand achieve a longer and healthier sex life, the local Folket newspaper reported.

As a first step in its quest to get men to take a seat, the Left Party proposes labeling toilets which are designated for men who absolutely want to remain standing when they pee.

The Left Party's Viggo Hansen, a substitute member of the county council and the man responsible for the proposal, wants the office toilets to be genderless and as a result, is pushing for the "sit-down only" requirement.

He insisted, however, that the move doesn't represent political meddling in people's bathroom habits.

"That's not what we're doing. We want to give men the option of going into a clean toilet," he told Sveriges Television (SVT).


Monday, September 3, 2012

Obama should had revised the foreign policy & take all the soldiers home by now?

Why did it come to this? Afghan forces to be re-vetted

Published on Sep 2, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish Training operations for the Afghan Local Police, a security force separate from the Afghan National Police that operates in the more insecure and remote areas, has been suspended by the United States.

The suspension, affecting about 1,000 Afghans, comes in response to a recent rise in insider attacks in which coalition forces have been killed by Afghans in military or police uniforms.

There have been 34 friendly fire attacks this year - at least 15 in August alone - that have killed 45 international troops.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

NAM Summit Resolution Supports Iran.

The final resolution of the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has been adopted unanimously.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad read out the resolution, which included over seven-hundred clauses, in the final session of the summit on Friday night. 

The final communiqué expressed support for Iran's nuclear energy program, rejected the United States' unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic, and called for greater efforts to support the Palestinian cause. 

The need to combat Islamophobia and racism throughout the world as well as global nuclear disarmament were some of the other key issues mentioned in the document. 

In the closing ceremony, President Ahmadinejad hailed the resolution as "effective and historic" and expressed his gratitude to all of the participants of the summit, which he said had a very important message for the entire world. 

The draft resolution had been drawn up and approved during the NAM meetings of senior officials and foreign ministers. 

Over 100 countries sent representatives to the NAM summit, which kicked off on Sunday with a two-day expert-level meeting in the Iranian capital, followed by a foreign ministerial meeting that ended on Wednesday. 

Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term on Thursday, when the meeting of heads of state and government opened with an inaugural speech by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. 

NAM is an international organization with 120 member states that is not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. Nearly two-thirds of the countries of the UN are also NAM members.

Aging Saudi leadership in transition: US expert

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz

The aging leadership in Saudi Arabia is in transition, as King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has left the country for “an undisclosed destination,” a US expert says.

Simon Henderson, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said in a recent article that there are “fresh concerns about health” of the Saudi king, and that there is “widespread speculation” that the monarch “will head to New York City for medical treatment.”

On August 28, the official Saudi Press Agency said Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz was tasked with running the country temporarily while King Abdullah was on a “special leave.”

The agency did not elaborate on the details of the king’s trip.

“Having Crown Prince Salman stand in for the monarch is no particular relief,” Henderson stated, adding that there are “concerns about his (Salman) own health and his ability to focus on detail.”

The Saudi king named Salman crown prince on June 18, two days after 79-year-old Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz died outside the kingdom.

“An additional worry is that the House of Saud has no obvious crown-prince-in-waiting behind him (Salman),” the US expert said in his article.

Henderson also commented on the Saudi Foreign Ministry, saying, “Saudi foreign policy capacity is already strained due to the ill health of longtime Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. ”

source here  | Sept 1, 2012  >>

Poor In India Starve As Politicians Steal $14.5 Billion Of Food

Sanjit Das/Bloomberg
52-year-old Ram Kishen with his government provided ration card in Satnapur Village, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Ram Kishen, 52, half-blind and half- starved, holds in his gnarled hands the reason for his hunger: a tattered card entitling him to subsidized rations that now serves as a symbol of India’s biggest food heist.

Kishen has had nothing from the village shop for 15 months. Yet 20 minutes’ drive from Satnapur, past bone-dry fields and tiny hamlets where children with distended bellies play, a government storage facility five football fields long bulges with wheat and rice. By law, those 57,000 tons of food are meant for Kishen and the 105 other households in Satnapur with ration books. They’re meant for some of the 350 million families living below India’s poverty line of 50 cents a day.

Instead, as much as $14.5 billion in food was looted by corrupt politicians and their criminal syndicates over the past decade in Kishen’s home state of Uttar Pradesh alone, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The theft blunted the country’s only weapon against widespread starvation -- a five-decade-oldpublic distribution system that has failed to deliver record harvests to the plates of India’s hungriest.
“This is the most mean-spirited, ruthlessly executed corruption because it hits the poorest and most vulnerable in society,” said Naresh Saxena, who, as a commissioner to the nation’sSupreme Court, monitors hunger-based programs across the country. “What I find even more shocking is the lack of willingness in trying to stop it.”


This scam, like many others involving politicians in India, remains unpunished. A state police force beholden to corrupt lawmakers, an underfunded federal anti-graft agency and a sluggish court system have resulted in five overlapping investigations over seven years -- and zero convictions.
India has run the world’s largest public food distribution system for the poor since the failure of two successive monsoons led to the creation of the Food Corporation of India in 1965. The government last year spent a record $13 billion buying and storing commodities such as wheat and rice, and expects that figure to grow this year.