Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


Purveyor's Journal
Purveyor's Journal
April 27, 2012

No Syrian Crisis Settlement without Russia, China - Lavrov

MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti)

The crisis in Syria is impossible to settle if the international community ignores the positions of Russia and China, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

“I believe there has been understanding recently that the crisis may not be settled if the positions of Russia and China are ignored,” Lavrov told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President al-Assad last March, according to UN estimates.

Russia and China have twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions on Syria over what Russia said is a pro-rebel bias, but supported UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which Damascus also backed.



April 27, 2012

Obama Signs Waiver To Lift Palestinian Aid Barrier

27 April 2012 - 19H45

AFP - President Barack Obama has signed a waiver to remove curbs on funding to the Palestinian Authority, declaring the aid to be "important to the security interests of the United States."

A $192 million aid package was frozen by the US Congress after the Palestinians moved to gain statehood at the United Nations last September.

But in a memo sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, published by the White House, the president said it was appropriate to release funds to the authority, which administers the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In signing the waiver, Obama instructed Clinton to inform Congress of the move, on the grounds that "waiving such prohibition is important to the national security interests of the United States."



April 27, 2012

Refugee Homes, Kindergarten Torched In Arson Attack In Tel Aviv

South Tel Aviv’s African community was hit by five Molotov cocktails last night, as Israelis wrapped up their Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day) celebrations. Four of the Molotov cocktails were thrown into apartments that are home to Africans; one was lobbed into a kindergarten.

No injuries were reported. Police are investigating the incidents that activists call a “coordinated” attack.

The African community in Israel has been the target of numerous acts of violence in the past. In January of 2011, for example, a burning tire was thrown into the apartment five Sudanese refugees shared in Ashdod. The men suffered from smoke inhalation and two were hospitalized.

Also in January of 2011, three teenage girls – the Israeli-born, Hebrew-speaking daughters of African migrant workers – were beaten by a group of Jewish teenagers. The attackers, one of whom was armed with a knife, allegedly called them “dirty niggers.” One of the girls needed medical treatment for her injuries.



April 27, 2012

Israeli Minister: Legalization Of Outposts A ‘Holiday Gift’ From Netanyahu

April 26, 2012

(JTA) -- Israeli Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar called Israel's legalization of three West Bank settlement outposts a "holiday gift" for the nation's Independence Day from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The remark came a day after a spokesman for the prime minister, Mark Regev, was quoted in The New York Times as saying that the recognition of the outposts of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim did not constitute legalization of unauthorized settlements but rather resolution of "procedural and technical" issues such as improper permits and mistakenly building on the wrong hill.


"From this spot, we'll send our recognition to the prime minister," he said, according to Haaretz. "Because the Jewish settlement in the land of Israel is the realization of a right, a return to the right of our forefathers, on which will be intertwined with the Israeli people's right for national security."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he was "deeply troubled" by Israel's announcement on the outposts.



April 26, 2012

Netanyahu Accused After Legalising Settlements

Israel has legalised three outposts in a move that critics say effectively establishes the first new Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land in more than 20 years.

It immediately sparked condemnation from the Palestinians, who accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of pushing the peace process into another deadlock.

Israel's decision will also anger the international community, to which it has pledged repeatedly to dismantle unsanctioned outposts and refrain from approving new settlements, widely viewed as the main obstacle to an independent Palestinian state.

Instead, the current administration, dominated by hawkish pro-settler parties, has scrambled to find legal loopholes to evade court orders demanding the eviction of settlers from communities deemed illegal under Israeli law, and tighten Jewish control over the West Bank, claimed by the Palestinians as the basis of their future state.



April 26, 2012

Robert Fisk: The Children of Fallujah - Sayef's story

Robert Fisk: The Children of Fallujah - Sayef's story

Special Report day one: The phosphorus shells that devastated this city were fired in 2004. But are the victims of America's dirty war still being born?

Wednesday 25 April 2012

For little Sayef, there will be no Arab Spring. He lies, just 14 months old, on a small red blanket cushioned by a cheap mattress on the floor, occasionally crying, his head twice the size it should be, blind and paralysed. Sayeffedin Abdulaziz Mohamed – his full name – has a kind face in his outsized head and they say he smiles when other children visit and when Iraqi families and neighbours come into the room.

But he will never know the history of the world around him, never enjoy the freedoms of a new Middle East. He can move only his hands and take only bottled milk because he cannot swallow. He is already almost too heavy for his father to carry. He lives in a prison whose doors will remain forever closed.

It's as difficult to write this kind of report as it is to understand the courage of his family. Many of the Fallujah families whose children have been born with what doctors call "congenital birth anomalies" prefer to keep their doors closed to strangers, regarding their children as a mark of personal shame rather than possible proof that something terrible took place here after the two great American battles against insurgents in the city in 2004, and another conflict in 2007.

After at first denying the use of phosphorous shells during the second battle of Fallujah, US forces later admitted that they had fired the munitions against buildings in the city. Independent reports have spoken of a birth-defect rate in Fallujah far higher than other areas of Iraq, let alone other Arab countries. No one, of course, can produce cast-iron evidence that American munitions have caused the tragedy of Fallujah's children.


April 26, 2012

Tensions Flare As Egypt Cuts Off Gas Deal With Israel

Israeli officials have sought to downplay the political repercussions of Egypt's abrupt decision to cancel a 20-year gas-supply contract over a payment dispute amid deteriorating ties between the two countries.

The gas deal, signed in 2005, has emerged as a focus for public ire in Egypt. Once seen as a vehicle for corruption under Hosni Mubarak, the ousted Egyptian leader, it is now viewed as a hated symbol of the previous regime's close ties with the Jewish state.

Israeli officials initially reacted angrily to the Egyptian decision, calling it a "dangerous precedent" that could endanger the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries. But yesterday, Israel back-pedalled on its criticism of Cairo, painting the dispute as purely commercial in nature.

"We don't see this cut-off of the gas as something that is born out of political developments," the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said. "It's actually a business dispute between the Israeli company and the Egyptian company."



April 25, 2012

Israeli PR machine in frenzy over CBS report on Christians

When the Israeli government and its embassy in Washington discovered that CBS News show 60 Minutes was going to run a segment on the increasing departure of Christians from the West Bank, they felt obligated to step in. With Prime Minister Netanyahu’s advice and blessing, Ambassador Michael Oren decided months ago that before the show even aired, he must speak with the network’s chairman in order to make sure the report included an Israeli reaction, delaying the report’s airing from last Christmas to this last Sunday.

The Ambassador claimed he had information the 60 Minutes story was going to do a “hatchet job” on Israel which, apparently for Israeli leadership and diplomatic officials, means any mention at all of the possible suffering of Christian Palestinians in places like Bethlehem, due to the separation wall towering over their homes, or the myriad other hardships and violations committed by Israel’s military occupation.

In this clip from the full 60 Minutes report, Bob Simon tells Ambassador Oren that he has never in all his years of journalism been confronted with such interference in his reporting, before a story even aired.



April 25, 2012

Petition Author: Drug Czar’s Hemp Warning ‘Like Getting Hit In The Head With A Hammer’

In a recent response to a White House petition, President Barack Obama’s drug czar warned of danger in the domestic production of industrial hemp, drawing a stunned reaction from the petition’s author, who told Raw Story on Wednesday that it was “like getting hit in the head with a hammer.”

The claim by former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, his second response to a marijuana-related White House petition, is not surprising as it reflects current U.S. policy toward marijuana. It is, however, simply not true that THC in hemp poses any sort of potential for abuse, as it is impossible to become “high” from ingesting the plant.

“America’s farmers deserve our Nation’s help and support to ensure rural America’s prosperity and vitality,” he wrote. “Federal law prohibits human consumption, distribution, and possession of Schedule I controlled substances. Hemp and marijuana are part of the same species of cannabis plant. While most of the THC in cannabis plants is concentrated in the marijuana, all parts of the plant, including hemp, can contain THC, a Schedule I controlled substance. The Administration will continue looking for innovative ways to support farmers across the country while balancing the need to protect public health and safety.”

Tom Murphy, author of the White House petition and national outreach coordinator for advocacy group Vote Hemp, told Raw Story that he was stunned by Kerlikowske’s response, which he said came only after he’d repeatedly followed-up with them for months.



April 25, 2012

Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 4:13 EDT

Pakistan successfully test fired a nuclear-capable intermediate range ballistic missile on Wednesday, the military said, less than a week after India test launched a long range missile.

The exact range of the missile was not revealed, but retired General Talat Masood, a defence analyst, told AFP intermediate range ballistic missiles could reach targets up to 2,500 to 3,000 kilometres (1,550 to 1,850 miles) away — which would put almost all of arch-rival India within reach.

On Thursday India test fired its long range Agni V missile, which can deliver a one-tonne nuclear warhead anywhere in China.

“Pakistan today successfully conducted the launch of the intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf IV Shaheen-1A weapon system,” Pakistan’s military said in a statement.



Profile Information

Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876
Latest Discussions»Purveyor's Journal