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Monday, May 18, 2015

The day of the Nakba 2015

Palestinians participate in a march to commemorate the ‘Nakba Day’ in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 13, 2015. Photo by AFP

Activists now face difficulty in commemorating Palestinian dispossession during Israel’s founding due to Israeli law.
By Patrick Strickland, Al Jazeera

May 14, 2015

Haifa – Each year on May 15, Palestinians across the world commemorate the Nakba (catastrophe), or the 1948 establishment of Israel that led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians being displaced from their homeland.
The estimated 1.7 million Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship and live in villages, towns and cities across the country are no exception. Each year, protests, marches, lectures and other events to mourn their ancestors’ dispossession are held in Palestinian communities across Israel.
Yet, since 2011, Israeli legislation has made mourning the Nakba publicly difficult for Palestinians and others in Israel. The “Nakba Law” authorises Israel’s finance minister to revoke funding from institutions that reject Israel’s character as a “Jewish state” or mark the country’s Independence Day as a day of mourning.
Although the Nakba Law has yet to be technically implemented, human rights groups and activists say it has a dangerous deterrent effect and is meant to intimidate Palestinians and others who view Israel’s establishment as a day of mourning for Palestinians.

The Roots of Inequality for Ethiopian Israelis

Lia Tarachansky (speaker) is an Israeli-Russian journalist and documentary filmmaker who previously reported for The Real News Network on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Born in the Soviet Union, Tarachansky grew up in a settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Full Script here :

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Libya in Flames!

While Libya lies in flames, with thousands of men, women and children, driven by desperation, trying every day to cross the Mediterranean — and many of them will lose their lives – Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano issues this warning: "Beware of the outbreaks all around us," starting with the "persistent instability and fragility of the situation in Libya.” (, July 12)
He forgets, and with him almost all the government officials and politicians, that Italy itself played a key role in 2011 in the “outbreak” of the war against Libya, of which the massacre of migrants is one of the consequences.
On the southern shores of the Mediterranean, across from Italy, there was a state — documented by the World Bank itself in 2010 — which maintained "high levels of economic growth,” with an average increase in GDP of 7.5 percent per annum, which recorded "high indicators of human development," including universal access to primary and secondary education, and for 46 percent of the population, also at the university level. Despite income disparities among individuals, the standard of living of the Libyan population was significantly higher than that of other African countries. Bearing witness to this fact was that nearly two million immigrants, mostly Africans, were working in Libya.
This state, in addition to being a factor of stability and development in North Africa, had used its investments to facilitate the emergence of organizations that one day might have made the financial autonomy of Africa possible: the African Investment Bank, based in Tripoli; the African Central Bank, with headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria; the African Monetary Fund, based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
After having funded and armed hostile tribal areas in Tripoli, which caused the "Arab Spring" in Libya to assume from the outset the form of armed insurrection, and thus provoking the government’s response, they waged a war that destroyed the Libyan state in 2011: in seven months the U.S./NATO Air Force carried out 10,000 attack missions, unleashing more than 40,000 bombs and missiles.
Italy participated in this war, using its bases and military forces, tearing up the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya. "In the memory of the liberation struggles and April 25” - President Napolitano declared on April 26, 2011, “we could not remain indifferent to the bloody reaction of Colonel Gadhafi in Libya: That’s why Italy adhered to the plan of action of the coalition under the aegis of NATO." (Wall Street Italia, April 26, 2011)
During the war in Libya, its enemies infiltrated special forces, including thousands of Qatari commandos, and at the same time funded and armed Islamist groups, which up until a few months before had been called terrorists. It is significant that the Islamic militias of Misrata, which lynched Gadhafi, now occupy the airport in Tripoli.
In this framework, the first nuclei of ISIS formed, and moved to Syria, where they built the bulk of their strength before launching the offensive in Iraq. They acted as a de facto instrument of the U.S./NATO strategy to demolish these states through covert war.
"It is now clear,” said President Napolitano, “that every failed state inevitably becomes a center of accumulation and global spread of extremism and lawlessness." (, June 18)
It only remains to be seen what the "failed states" really are. They are not nation-states such as Libya, Syria and Iraq, states located in areas rich in oil or with an important geo-strategic position, which are wholly or partly outside the control of the West, and which were then demolished by war. They are in fact the major states of the West, which, betraying their own constitutions, have failed as democracies and returned to nineteenth-century imperialism.
by Manlio Dinucci
by John Catalinotto
Il Manifesto (Italy)

Democracy Brazil - a case of Human rights without Human wrongs?

As Polls Close, Brazil's Once Promising ‘Alternative’ Candidate Shut Out of Run-Off
Posted 6 October 2014 5:17 GMT
Woman votes at the electronic booth on Sunday, 5th of October. More than 100 million Brazilians took to the polls today. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
As Polls Close, Brazil's Once Promising ‘Alternative’ Candidate Shut Out of Run-Off

Posted 6 October 2014 5:17 GMT

Woman votes at the electronic booth on Sunday, 5th of October. More than 100 million Brazilians took to the polls today. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
The Brazilian presidential race, one whose outcome hasn’t been so uncertain since 1989, is coming to a close, and incumbent Dilma Rousseff from the Worker’s Party will dispute a runoff with Aécio Neves from the Brazilian Social-Democractic Party. Both had, respectively, 42 percent and 34 percent of the votes.
Marina Silva from the Brazilian Socialist Party, an unexpected name in the campaign who had ranked high in the polls for months, finished with 21 percent, which puts her officially out of the race. Brazilians will also be picking the governors of all 27 states, a third of 81 senators, as well as 513 seats of the lower house of Congress and state legislators.
A first-time presidential candidate and former governor of Brazil’s second most populous state, Minas Gerais, Aécio Neves earned votes from an expressive sector of Brazilian society unsatisfied with the Worker's Party government, who's been in power since 2003. Historically, the Social-Democractic Party has represented conservative sectors of Brazilian's middle and upper classes, as opposed to the Worker's Party, who had its genesis in the working class. However, recently, Rousseff's party has been heavily criticized by progressive sectors, who believe its ideals have been “compromised” by the several alliances it has made with conservative supporters in the last 11 years.
People line up to justify their absence from the ballots. Unlike most democracies, voting in Brazil is mandatory, so whoever is not able to vote has to justify. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
People line up to justify their absence from the ballots. Unlike most democracies, voting in Brazil is mandatory, so whoever is not able to vote has to justify. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
Marina Silva presented herself as an “alternative” to the long-lasting rivalry between the two main parties and maintained second place in opinion polls since she unexpectedly emerged as the candidate of the Brazilian Socialist Party (after the sudden death of its former runner, Eduardo Campos, in a plane crash on August 13),even reaching 34 percent (against Rousseff's 35 percent) in a Datafolha poll on late August. A prominent environmentalist, Silva got her start in politics by working alongside union leader and activist Chico Mendes, fighting against the exploitation of the Amazon, and served as environmental minister from 2003 to 2008 in Rousseff’s Party.
Her drop in the votes has been attributed, among other factors, by not being able to navigate all the contradictions in her campaign. For instance, Silva’s vice presidential candidate, legislator Beto Albuquerque, has had historical connections with the agribusiness, having been involved in 2004 in the approval of a bill that allowed genetically modified soy to be planted in Brazil. This fact has disappointed many environmentalists and former supporters of Silva. Among them, the Syndicate of Rural Workers of Xapuri in Acre state, founded by Chico Mendes, who released a note on August 28 criticizing Marina’s environmental's proposals. An excerpt:
The rural workers of Xapuri (Acre) do not agree with the current environmental policy in progress in Brazil, idealized by presidential candidate Marina Silva while she was minister of environment. This policy is hostage to a preservationist model and to international NGOs. It harms the maintenance of traditional culture of subsistence and forest management and favors big entrepreneurs who, due to the policies’ high degree of bureaucratization, are able to legally devastate the forest while its traditional inhabitants are left with no choice but to commit environmental crimes.
Also, after publishing on her official website a progressive agenda supporting marriage equality, which drew many LGBT rights advocates, Silva stepped back from this position following pressure from religious leaders. Silva is also an evangelist and a significant part of her electorate are connected to evangelical congregations. Silva’s new position on this issue made American actor Mark Ruffalo, a prominent activist on LGBT rights, withdraw his support for Silva, which has had gone viral just a few weeks prior. Marina has been also heavily attacked by leftist sectors, that saw her as a “conservative dressed up as a progressive”. As famous leftist blogger Cynara Menezespointed out, in early September:
“As a leftist, it obviously worries me that we might experience a possible neoliberal spring in the government with her election, since she's assisted by a team of economists who follow that philosophy. I have, however, a stronger reason not to vote for her. Marina's project for Brazil is not the same as mine, but I won't vote for her mainly because I don't trust that she'll govern, being an evangelical from the Assemblies of God church, with the conception of a secular state”
Av. Paulista, Sao Paulo's main avenue, on a unusual, busy Sunday -- typical of elections day.
Av. Paulista, Sao Paulo's main avenue, on a unusual, busy Sunday — typical of elections day. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
Luciana Genro and Eduardo Jorge, from the Socialist and Freedom Party and the Green Party, respectively, were the only ones who have openly supported marriage equality and other progressive agendas (decriminalization of marijuana among them). Genro earned 1.47 percent of the votes and Jorge 0.62 percent. 
Still, legislator Jean Willys, the first openly gay member of the Congress and advocate of LGBT rights in Brazil, was elected for a second mandate in the lower house of Congress. An active user of social media, with almost 1 million followers on Facebook and Twitter combined, he thanked the 145,000 people who voted for him:

It worked, guys! Re-elected! A new era starts now. Thanks, friends, both real and virtual
But social media reacted angrily to the presidential results as well as the most voted legislators. In Rio, notorious homophobe Jair Bolsonaro was reelected as the most voted federal deputy. In Sao Paulo, Coronel Telhada, a hard-line former police chief with a violent history, was the second most voted state legislator. Famed independent journalist Bruno Torturra tweeted sarcastically:

Try to see the bright side of those results. And, if you do, please tell me which is it?
Also in Sao Paulo, the Social-Democractic Party candidate Geraldo Alckimin was reelected in the first round with almost 60 percent of the votes, despite the major water crisis the region has experienced (SABESP, the company responsible for the water supply in most of Sao Paulo, is managed by the state government). Journalist Mariele Góes posted on her Facebook page, in a clear reference to a famed hate-speech case following the results of the elections in 2010:
I sincerely hope that every ‘paulista’ [someone from São Paulo] who's saying northeasterners don't know how to vote take a shower with their own tears when Cantareira reservoir runs out of water on the 27th <3
It's unclear wether Silva will support Rousseff or Neves in the runoff. In 2010, after also losing the race in the first round, she chose to remain neutral.

ori here >>>

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Al Jazeera Investigates - Informants

Published on 20 Jul 2014 | Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit takes you inside the shadowy world of FBI informants and counterterrorism sting operations. Following the 9/11 attacks, the FBI set about to recruit a network of more than 15,000 informants. Al Jazeera's investigative film tells the stories of three paid FBI informants who posed as Muslims as they searched for people interested in joining violent plots concocted by the FBI.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Here’s why some Brazilians want their country to lose the World Cup

Past victories have been greeted with carnival-like celebrations from favela slums to exclusive beach resorts.
But as the June 12 inaugural game of Brazil vs. Croatia nears, thousands of protesters here are saying they are not only unhappy with the tournament but actually want Brazil’s team to lose miserably.
“I’d love to see the Brazil team lose every game and be thrown out in the first round,” says Marcelo Amorim, a university researcher who has been protesting against the tournament since last year.
“We already have five cups so what is one more? Right now there are more important things to worry about.”
Protester Wellington Magalhaes, a resident of a favela climbing up Rio’s hills, says he will be actively cheering for Brazil’s rivals.
“A victory for the Brazil team would be a victory for the government. It would be a slap in the face of the people,” Magalhaes said. “I’d like to see Brazil lose 10 to nothing. Just think of the repercussions of that.”
Such antagonistic sentiments turned into confrontational demonstrations on Thursday, as thousands blocked the roads of Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, burning tires and shouting slogans against the World Cup.
The angers against the tournament and team stem from a mix of grievances both over the World Cup and within Brazilian society generally.
Many are enraged by the government spending some $11 billion on the tournament, while its schools and hospitals are in desperate need of repair.
Others are angered by the corporate nature of the games.
Brazil’s biggest stadium, the Maracana in Rio, has been effectively privatized, rented for 35 years to a consortium including one of Brazil’s richest men.
Meanwhile, police forcibly evicted a group of indigenous squatters near the ground to make room for development.
Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has also come under fire for its aggressive marketing demands. Brazil agreed to create zones around stadiums where only FIFA and its partners can sell goods.
“Football is a passion and a love for people in the favelas. But how does this cup help the poor?” Magalhaes asked. “The Brazilian government uses football as an opium to keep people happy. Well, we are tired of that.”
Perhaps his social commentary is not surprising. Even though millions have climbed out of poverty in recent years during successive left-leaning governments, Brazil still ranks among the world's most unequal countries. Many here doubt that souped-up stadiums for global soccer tourneys and the 2016 Olympics are a huge priority.
However, those wishing doom on Brazil’s team may be disappointed.
Brazil's national soccer team.

As home nation and with a talented generation of players, Brazil is the betting favorite to take the cup, with average odds of 3 to 1 — ahead of ArgentinaGermany and reigning champ Spain.
But coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has already complained that protests could put players off, “big time.”
“If [protests] are normal, without smashing things up, then that is democracy. But I don't know if it's the right time,” Scholari said last month.
It is difficult to predict how big — or how aggressive — the demonstrations will be.
During the confederations soccer tournament last year, hundreds of thousands marched against spending for the country’s mega sporting events. At times, peaceful rallies have devolved into chaotic riots and brutal crackdowns.
But while demonstrators are organizing against the World Cup games in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, there is little sign of marches in the other 10 host cities.
The protesters also received some bad press coverage when a cameraman filming a rally in February was killed by a firecracker.
Still, protesters understand that with the eyes of the world on Brazil, even small disturbances could make a lot of noise.
A Sao Paulo member of a radical movement known as the Black Bloc said they aim to push through police barriers in the zones around the stadiums.
“They are going to try to get into the exclusion zones by any way, and there are going to be clashes,” said the Black Bloc affiliate, who would only identify himself by the alias A.M. because of the risk of arrest. “There is a clear objective. If they get into the zone, they have won.”
Outside of the protest movement, feelings toward the cup are more mixed.
In a favela in Sao Paulo, laborer Higo Carvalho said he was critical of the World Cup spending but would cheer on the Brazil team.
“Despite the bad things in Brazil, I am still a patriot,” Carvalho said.
General enthusiasm for Brazil’s squad appears to be more muted than in recent years — with fewer people wearing T-shirts or painting the roads with the team colors.
However, some believe that once the party gets started, soccer mania will return.
“People here love to party and they love to be hosts,” said Matias de Padua, owner of a sportswear shop in downtown Rio.
“Once the games start, and people arrive from all over the world, and there is great football being played, people are going to put aside their problems. It is going to be a carnival. And Brazil is going to win the World Cup.”

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The US Army & recent developments (protests & laws)!

A Brief History of GI Resistance During The Vietnam War

Published on 6 Jun 2014 | As the controversy continues over the prisoner swap involving U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, peace activist and author David Cortright recounts the history of U.S. soldiers organizing against the Vietnam War.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hollywood, 'Woefully Out of Touch', too few women involved & exposed!

Hollywood Sign - H 2014

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Onscreen and off, minorities and women are drastically underrepresented — even at a cost to ratings and box office — according to a new report, which targets talent agencies, Oscars and Emmys, among others.

A UCLA study released Wednesday slammed the entertainment industry for its persistent and dramatic underrepresentation of minorities and women onscreen and behind the scenes, with the study’s chief author telling The Hollywood Reporter in an interview that “there are a lot of industries that do a better job than Hollywood” in forging workforces that reflect the nation’s diversity.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The deep state : Egypt's army, its real economic power!

The Egyptian army controls almost 45 per cent of the country’s economy, German newspaper Die Welt claimed.
Die Welt: Egypt's army is its real economic powerIn a report entitled “The Egyptian army is Egypt’s real economic power” the newspaper said following January 25 revolution which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the military junta led by 75 years old Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi took over power and worked with all of its strength to protect its lucrative economic interests that made the military establishment a business empire and one of the most important factors influencing the country’s economy.
The newspaper claimed the Egyptian army owns hundreds of hotels, hospitals, canneries, clubs and bakeries and employs thousands of workers in at least 26 consumer goods factories which include refrigerators, televisions and computers, train carriages and fire truck factories as well as waste incineration plants and sewage plants equipments.
The newspaper quoted the Middle East affairs expert; Robert Springborg who said “the Egyptian army has become more like an empire which employs hundreds of thousands of civilians and reaps billions of dollars in profit. The military establishment has become a company that does not wage foreign war but works to meet the public’s consumption demands. The defence minister works as the company’s director and instead of thinking about military matters; he is busy all the time managing his business. Investors wishing to invest in the private sector whether in the real estate or tourism projects along the Red Sea for example had to rent the land from the Minister of Defence.
Springborg who is a professor at the US Naval College in California believes the army’s business interests motivated it not to suppress the January 25 revolution from the first moment. “After all, the revolution and scenes of bloodshed in the country are very bad for any entrepreneur.”
Springborg added that the military junta led by Tantawi worked to suppress any real civilian president from reaching power to secure their secret.
The newspaper said that since the Egyptian army ousted the monarchy in 1952 and all the Egyptian presidents come from the army starting from Muhammad Naguib, Jamal Abdul Nasser, Anwar Sadat and ending with Mohammad Hosni Mubarak.
“The Egyptian army’s economic empire flourished in 1979 following the Camp David Peace Accords when the army began investing in everything in the country from the agriculture to construction of roads and bridges, real estate and electronic industries, milk plants and chicken breeding farms, calf and cow farms, vegetable and fruit farms and fish farms,” said the newspaper.
In addition to all of these profitable projects, the army invested in the Egyptian tourism industry where the forces’ top leaders own and manage major hotels and tourist villages in Sharm El Sheikh; a project which the newspaper said, had started during the era of Field Marshal Abdel-Halim Abu Ghazala, Egypt’ defence minister during the late era of President Anwar Sadat and the beginnings of the Mubarak era. Mubarak isolated Abu Ghazaleh in 1989 to exclude all of his rivals; fearing Abu Ghazaleh’s growing popularity and to suppress corruption in Abu Ghazaleh’s economic empire.
Mubarak appointed Yusuf Sabri Abu Taleb as Egypt’s Defence Minister but soon dismissed him in 1991 because Abu Taleb vowed to separate the army from any economic projects that are not related to defence and competes with the private sector. Abu Talib said at the time that he will fight corruption in the military but he was unable to achieve his aspirations because he was soon discharged, perhaps because those intentions.
Abu Taleb was replaced by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi; a man who had refused all attempts to end the army’s economic empire. On the contrary; during Tantawi’s rule in the last ten years, the army controlled many of the state-owned companies that have been privatised or work in partnership with the new owners.
Without a doubt, the military’s economic empire contributed to the social and economic prosperity for many poor Egyptians. Indeed, that empire has achieved prosperity for many leaders including Jamal Abdul Nasser, Anwar Al Sadat, Mubarak and Omar Suleiman who all came from families of moderate means and then became rich.
The Empire provided jobs to thousands of unemployed Egyptians from the 420 thousand soldiers to the hundreds of thousands of civilian workers. It serves as Egypt’s largest employer.
The newspaper quoted German economist Springs Borg as saying: “The real change comes when the power is headed by a civilian president who demands the army to disclose its records.”
The newspaper also quoted a similar statement by Samer Shehata; a professor at Georgetown University who said: “It is essential for any future Egyptian president to break the army’s empire and isolate the generals by all means possible before entering into any confrontation .”

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Pathology of the Rich

- Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself (1/2)

Published on 5 Dec 2013 | with Paul Jay, Chris Hedges discusses the psychology of the super rich; their sense of entitlement, the dehumanization of workers, and mistaken belief that their wealth will insulate them from the coming storms

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Top 5 Conspiracy Theories That Are True!

Published on Oct 22, 2013 | Abby Martin speaks with BTS producer Manuel Rapalo about a few of the most shocking US government conspiracies that turned out to be true.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Saudi Agenda...TRNN discussion

Al Qaeda and the Saudi Agenda - Toby Jones on Reality Asserts Itself (1/2)

Published on 15 Jan 2014 -Toby Jones tells Paul Jay that the Saudis use of terrorism is driven by a fear of democracy and a desire to be the regional and oil hegemon

Are the Saudi's Fueling a Sunni-Shia War?

Published on 16 Jan 2014 | Toby Jones, a Prof. at Rutgers University specializing in Middle East history, tells Paul Jay the Saudis are committed to victory in their rivalry with Iran and use money and sectarian ideology to achieve their geo-political interests

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

China Pulverizes $10 Million Worth of Ivory in Fight Against Illegal Trade

China destroys over 6 tons of ivory in Dongguan, International Fund for Animal Welfare, China destroys $10 million worth of ivory, China is world's biggest market for elephant tusks, illegal ivory trade in China, Chinese black market, China's ivory stockpile, Chinese conservations efforts,

Today China destroyed six tons of ivory from its official stockpile in an effort to discourage the ongoing trade the illicit substance. China is one of the world’s biggest markets for ivory from elephant tusks due to the material’s perceived value as a status symbol and the country’s growing middle class. Even though the Chinese government still has an undisclosed amount of ivory stored away, wildlife groups say the unprecedented move shows growing concern about the black market trade by authorities.