December 31, 2011

Qatar-KSA tension rises to boiling point

Following revelations about Qatar's plan to overthrow the Saudi Arabian monarchy, tensions between the two countries reaches a new level over adherence to Wahhabism.

In a recent development, Saudi Arabia's new crown prince, Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, was quoted by Al-Awamiyah website as saying that his country will not allow Qatar to replace it as a religious hub among Arab countries. Read more.

Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam have no acces to a lawyer



During his first interview in prison, Saif al-Islam the son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi denounced that he has not been given access to a lawyer, he also called on international agencies to verify the situation of some Gaddafi supporters who are in prision.

teleSUR

US police arrest over a dozen in Oakland

US police have arrested over a dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters who had returned to their former campsite in Oakland in the state of California, Press TV reports.

“The police, without provocation, came in and began arresting people, violently, with no probable cause and no reason,” said Benjamin Phillips from the Occupy Oakland movement. Read more.


Read also,

EU open to nuclear talks with Iran, without preconditions

Iran reportedly is seeking the renewal of nuclear talks with major powers; most recent round of talks last January in Turkey failed to produce tangible result.

The European Union is open to meaningful talks with Iran provided there are no preconditions on the Iranian side, an EU foreign policy spokesman said on Saturday. Read more.

Paul: Iran no threat to US security

US Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul says he would not launch a strike on Iran since there is no military element in Iranian nuclear program.

Paul told Iowa voters on Friday that he would not initiate an attack on Iran because “they don't threaten our national security,” ABC news network reported. Read more.

Syrians rally to support Asad amid Arab League's visit


Arab League observers continue their work across Syria. They have visited the cities of Homs, Dara'a, Hama, Idlib and the capital Damascus. They also toured Duma and Harasta in Damascus countryside and met the people, talking about the situation over the past several months. The AL observers started a one-month visit to Syria to investigate the situation on the ground.

Meanwhile, large numbers of Syrians have rallied in various Syrian cities to express support for the reform program of president Bashar al-Assad. Read more.

PressTV

Read also,
Arab League observer 'saw snipers in Deraa' (video) - Al Jazeera
Waarnemers zien massaprotest Syrië (audio) - NOS

Mayan doomsday scenario 'exploited for cash'



Final preparations are being made around the world for New Year celebrations but a different scene is unfolding in Mexico and Honduras.

Doomsday countdown clocks are ticking in those countries where, according to a Mayan prediction, the world will end in 2012.

Some experts believe that the apocalypse scenario is being exploited for profit, as about 50 million tourists are expected to visit Mayan sites next year.

UK censures Israel's new settlements

The British government has joined France in condemning Israeli regime's plans to construct more settlement units in areas of al-Quds (Jerusalem) over the 1967 borders.

The condemnation came after al-Quds (Jerusalem)'s Local Planning and Building Committee passed the first stage of the approval process for three controversial construction projects on Wednesday, media reports said. Read more.

The shekel drops / The last supper

As 2011 ends, we must admit that true change has not come; the winners so far are the rich and it looks like they will continue partying.

Ministers and rock stars. Knesset members and regulators. Actors, generals, bank managers, lawyers, accountants. Millionaires and models. Reporters and rival tycoons. The 1,700-man guest list for the wedding of the year read like a who's who of Israeli society. Read more.

Haaretz           

December 30, 2011

Schuldencrisis overwoekert de beurs

Grote en kleine beleggers hebben dit jaar weinig plezier beleefd aan de beurs. Na twee opeenvolgende jaren van hogere beurskoersen sluit de Amsterdamse effectenbeurs het jaar af met een gemiddeld rendement van min 13 procent. De beurs werd in de loop van het jaar overvleugeld door de crisis op de obligatiemarkten, de marktplaats voor staatsschulden.

Van de vijftig belangrijkste beursfondsen in Amsterdam (AEX en Midcap) zijn er slechts vijf bedrijven die nog koerswinst weten te boeken: Vopak (15 procent), Shell (14 procent), Unilever (14 procent), ASML (12 procent) en Ahold (4 procent). Lees verder.


Zie ook,

Depression costs UK ecomomy £11 billion



Britain's economic crisis appears to be taking its toll on the mental health of the nation. According to the National Health Service, more and more people are resorting to anti-depressant drugs, possibly to help them get through periods of unemployment and the mounting economic insecurity.

Homeless charity Crisis has set up several shelters over the Christmas/ New Year period. Read more

PressTV

Linkin Park - The Catalyst


Lyric

Iron and Wine - Boy With A Coin


Lyric

Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption

To date, 16 states have passed medical marijuana laws, yet very little 
is known about their effects. Using state-level data, we examine the 
relationship between medical marijuana laws and a variety of outcomes.

Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with increased use of
marijuana among adults, but not among minors. In addition, legalization
is associated with a nearly 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities,
most likely to due to its impact on alcohol consumption. Our estimates
provide strong evidence that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes.

See Discussion Paper (pdf).

IZA

Zie ook,
Legalisering cannabis desastreus voor bierverkopen - HP De Tijd

Peggy Lee - Black Coffee

Strait talking: Iran gets tough as US fleet looks on



In the stand-off over the crucial oil lane in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s navy drill is to culminate with the launch of long-range missiles. The US says its warships, which crossed the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, are heading to the Arabian Sea.

Iran’s long-range missile systems, including the Shabab-3, cover a distance of over 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) and thus could reach Israel and US bases in the Middle East. Read more.

Occupiers Summon to Big Demonstration at US Congress

Washington, Dec 30 (Prensa Latina) Occupy Wall Street (OWS) summoned to a big demonstration on January 17 at the headquarters of the US Congress, which is expected to be the biggest protest of the movement so far.

Despite the winter low temperatures and festivities for the coming of the New Year, the so-called occupiers try to regain the attention of the US public opinion and give energy again to the movement members, reported La Opinion daily. Read more.


Read also,

KSA forces open fire on Qatif protesters

At least three protesters have been injured in clashes with Saudi Arabian police forces as Riyadh attempts to extinguish the ongoing popular uprising in the kingdom.

The violence broke out on Friday when Saudi security forces opened fire demonstrators in the town of Qatif. Read more.

PressTV

Bahraini protesters torch US flag

Anti-regime protesters have once more taken to the streets across Bahrain, burning the US flag and shouting slogans against the ruling Al Khalifa family, Press TV reports.

Bahraini activists staged protests rallies in several cities in the Persian Gulf kingdom on Friday, showing their rage with what they see as Washington's involvement in the regime crackdown on popular protests. Read more.

Payback for paid revolution? Egyptian police raid US NGOs



Police in Cairo have today raided 17 civil society organizations as the country’s military rulers seek to find out exactly who has been funding the Egyptian revolution.

­As several of the pro-democracy and human rights groups were at the forefront of the revolution that swept through the country last January, Egyptian authorities have become increasingly interested in the foreign funding many of these groups receive. Read more.

'We are Gaddafi. We are Libyans'

At first glance, the neighbourhood looks like many in Libya: rundown and bullet ridden.

But, as I began to speak to people, I heard a chant that I hadn't heard since before the revolution.

"Muammar wbas", which translates as "Muammar, that's enough". It's a pro-Gaddafi chant, implying that now deceased dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is all Libyans need, or needed. Read more + video.

Al Jazeera

Read also,
Anger at slow pace of cash flow in Libya (video) - Al Jazeera

'Diseases kill 200 Somali kids in 24 hrs'

At least 200 children have died of diseases and lack of medicine in Somalia, which has been suffering from famine and the violence that has been plaguing the country for decades, Press TV reports.

Various types of diseases claimed as many as 170 children at the Dolo Ado refugee camp, located on the southeastern corner of Ethiopia and five kilometers from the border with Somalia, over the past 24 hours, a Press TV correspondent reported, quoting a local physician at the camp as saying. Read more.

Anna Hazare breaks his fast


Indian social activist Anna Hazare breaks his fast with a glass of juice offered by a child in Mumbai on December28, 2011. 


Read also,
- Social Activist Anna Breaks His Fast (video) - YouTube

A new plot

Netanyahu's aides think that the recent massive media coverage of various manifestations of violence and discrimination against women are part of a plot to topple him.

Self-deprecating humor is the most essential quality for a politician. A politician endowed with this rare characteristic will be less irksome to those around him, do less damage to his voters and himself and make fewer mistakes. When he errs he will hasten to make right. Yesterday, signs of self-deprecating humor were discerned where least expected - in Benjamin Netanyahu. Read more.

Chavez: Cancer of Latin American leaders could be provoked



Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he is surprised by the cancer suffered by several South American leaders, Chavez stated that he doesn't rule out that the disease has been caused, and asked to investigate his hypothesis.

teleSUR

Read also,
Chavez discusses America's hottest export: cancer - RT

Palestinians offer to renew Israel peace talks without settlement freeze, official says

PA reportedly submits new Quartet offer to restart negotiations, demand Israel releases 100 Palestinian prisoners; Israel rejects offer fearing renewal of only low-grade talks.

The Palestinian leadership submitted a proposal to renew peace talks with with Israel that drops their long-standing demand that Israel ceases all West Bank settlement construction, a top Israeli official said on Wednesday. Read more.

Haaretz           

December 29, 2011

EU blasts Israel on discrimination

European Union (EU) envoys in Israel have criticized Tel Aviv's maltreatment of Arabs living in Israel, a report on the human rights violations says.

"While the international community is focused predominantly on restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, we should see Israel's treatment of its minorities as a core issue, not second tier to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the confidential 27-page study obtained by AFP on Thursday said. Read more.

PressTV

Read also,
EU envoys concerned about Israel's Arab minority - Univision

Michele Bachmann's Iowa chair Kent Sorenson abandons her for Ron Paul

Bachmann's top Iowa aide Ken Sorenson announced Thursday night he is ditching her to back Ron Paul. Minnesota Rep.

Michele Bachmann received a big blow to her GOP presidential campaign when her top Iowa adviser announced Wednesday night that he would ditch her for Representative Ron Paul of Texas. Read more.

Global Post

US sells $30bn in F-15 jets to Saudi Arabia

The United States has confirmed the sale of nearly $30bn (£19.5bn) of fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

The US will send 84 Boeing F-15 jets to its key Middle Eastern ally, and upgrade 70 existing Saudi F-15s. Read more.

BBC

Read also,
U.S. arms sale to Saudis: Jobs and a message to Iran - USA Today

'Israel govt most fascist in history'



Israeli warplanes have launched two airstrikes on what the army called "terror sites" in central and northern Gaza, killing at least one person and injuring ten others. 

The Israeli military earlier confirmed it's preparing for a new large-scale offensive against the Palestinian territory, which hasn't yet recovered from the assault three years ago. To discuss what's developing in the region right RT talks to Professor Haidar Eid from Gaza University.

Over het misbruik van de term antisemitisme

Verdedigers van Israël hebben de gewoonte om de termen antisemitisme en antizionisme door elkaar te gebruiken, alsof het om één en het zelfde zou gaan. Een verduidelijking door Lucas Catherinne.

Antisemitisme is een irrationele haat tegen alle joden, gewoon omdat ze jood zijn. Zelf kunnen ze niets doen dat deze haat kan verhelpen. Dit soort jodenhaat bestaat al sedert het ontstaan van het christendom en evolueerde van een op godsdienst gestoelde haat naar een vorm van racisme die we nu antisemitisme noemen. Lees verder.

De Wereld Morgen

US police arrest OWS protesters in Iowa

US police have arrested several Occupy Wall Street protesters in the state of Iowa and charged them with trespassing, Press TV reports.

Police made the arrests on Wednesday when anti-corporate demonstrators were protesting at the campaign headquarters of the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the Iowa's capital city Des Moines. Read more.

PressTV

Read also,

'Indignant' protestors hit streets in Madrid

The latest call to action from the 15-M movement brought together thousands of people in central Madrid to join the 'Indignant Parade', which oozed humour and creativity and whose organizers wanted to reclaim “the role of citizen participation in politics in front of the markets dictatorship”. 

The indignant parade began in a tenser environment than in other events organized by the citizens' movement, which resulted in a police charge and one person arrested. Read more + video.

Congressmen's incomes triple while America gets poorer

If you feel like Congress fat cats can’t relate to their fellow Americans anymore, the truth behind the matter might just be that they can’t.

While Americans have seen a recession ravage savings accounts, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have only gotten richer. Read more.

Mossad chief: Nuclear Iran not necessarily existential threat to Israel

Tamir Pardo says Israel using various means to foil Iran's nuclear program, but if Iran actually obtained nuclear weapons, it would not mean destruction of Israel.

A nuclear-armed Iran wouldn't necessarily constitute a threat to Israel's continued existence, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo reportedly hinted earlier this week. Read more.

Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza training base, no injuries

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli war planes bombed central and northern Gaza Strip early Thursday, with no injuries reported.

Israeli forces struck a training site of Islamic Jihad armed wing the Al-Quds Brigades in Al-Zahra district of central Gaza, flattening the compound and damaging nearby houses. Read more.

Ma'an

Read also,
Gaza Vu: Israel warns of major attack (video) - RT

PCHR Concerned over Summons and Arrests of Fatah Activists by Internal Security Service in Gaza

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned over the campaign of summons and arrests waged by the Internal Security Service (ISS) in the Gaza Strip, which targeted dozens of members of Fatah Movement who used to be members of former security services. PCHR calls upon the government in the Gaza Strip to stop the summons and the detentions under degrading conditions, and calls for the immediate release of political prisoners to create an appropriate atmosphere for the internal reconciliation.

Over the past week, PCHR has received dozens of complaints and testimonies from activists of Fatah Movement who were repeatedly summoned and detained. Read more.

PCHR

Read also,
Israel continues systematic arrests campaign throughout west bank (video) - PressTV

Negotiations Begin to Free Colombian Prisoners

Bogota, Dec 29 (Prensa Latina) A spokeswoman of the Colombian for Peace Organization, Marleny Orjuela, confirmed contacts with the International Committee of the Red Cross for the eventual release of six prisoners in the hands of the guerrillas.

Orjuela also indicated that in the context of that possible unilateral release operation a meeting with Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón will be requested, who was appointed unique spokesman of the Government to manage and coordinate the process. Read more.

Prensa Latina

PSUV concerned over venezuela public safety deal



The United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Psuv, has raised concerns over an agreement signed by pre-candidate Leopoldo Lopez, and Chacao District Mayor Emilio Grateron, with former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on public safety. The Psuv has denounced that this move would serve as an attempt to import Colombian paramilitary.

The statements came after former Uribe's adviser; Jose Obdulio Gaviria was invited to the country to collaborate on public safety issues with Chacao District's police force and its mayor. Read more.

PressTV

Read also,
Chavez: Opposition know they will not reach presidency (video) - teleSUR

Libyan society falling apart without anti-Gaddafi glue



Libya is heading into the New Year with new leaders and hopes. But it turns out, as the immediate post-revolutionary excitement fades, the different factions of the former rebels are turning on each other in what may become a competition for power.

Flying high, but still running low – almost two months after the lifting of a no-fly zone over Tripoli, the city's airport operates far below its capacity. Read more.

RT

Thousands of Towergha citizens in Libya forced into camps



Overcrowded, troubled and making the best out of a bad situation. Tawerghans living in a refugee camp in Tripoli squeeze into their accommodation. It isn't just raining on them right now it's pouring down. Holes in the roof caused by falling celebratory rounds has let winter rains inside dampen and damage walls and peoples hopes.

They're here because they fled Tawergha which in large parts, is uninhabitable. Read more.

PressTV

Read also,
From shelling to selling: The scramble for Libyan contracts (video) - RT

Moroccan police injure five protesters

At least five people have been injured in clashes between police forces and demonstrators in the Moroccan city of Hoceima.

The clashes erupted Thursday when protesters began chanting anti-regime slogans, calling on the government to create more jobs and establish social justice. Read more.

PressTV

China's labour unrest to continue in 2012



Dec. 29 - LG Display workers in Nanjing, China, return to work after a bonus dispute; but expect more unrest ahead, says labour activist.

Jane Lanhee Lee reports

Reuters

Euro hits 11-month low against the dollar as banks hoard ECB cash

Single currency also at 10-year low against yen, but Italy brings festive cheer to markets as borrowing costs tumble.

The euro weakened about 1% percent against the dollar and the yen on Wednesday, the day before an important auction of long-dated Italian debt, while US stocks slid more than 1% on concerns about the economy in early 2012. Read more.

Guardian

Read also,
Euro falls versus yen as Italy debt sale weighs - Reuters
Italiaanse veiling stelt beurzen niet gerust - Beurs.nl

Independent Scotland to become Nordic

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is working on a detailed plan to join the Scandinavian circle of countries including Sweden, Denmark and Norway, when it achieves independency.

The independent Scotland will have its own army, navy and air force copied from its Nordic neighbours, according to the detailed plan by the SNP. Read more.

PressTV

Americans Hungry During the Holidays



This Christmas, you may have seen celebrities and other big names handing out free dinners to the homeless and there were plenty of news cameras to capture it.

But what happens when the Hollywood stars leave and the media forgets about the poverty problem. Unfortunately, the problem persists and those needing help think the media and Washington need to pay more attention at what is happening right under their nose.

RT

Read also,
More Americans seeking food at soup kitchens (video) - RT
Congressmen's incomes triple while America gets poorer - RT

West tries to discredit AL report on Syria



Western countries are trying to discredit the head of the Arab League mission to Syria after he described the situation in the city of Homs as ''reassuring,” a political analyst said.

Director of Center for Research on Globalization Professor Michel Chossudovsky told Press TV on Wednesday that the reason behind recent remarks by a number of Western states about not trusting the Arab League mission headed by Sudanese General Mohamed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi is that he did reported what they wanted. Read more.

December 28, 2011

Greek crisis ups abandoned kids

Economic crisis has risen to new heights in Greece, as some parents are now forced to give up their children and put them in foster care because of poverty.

The effects of the austerity measures approved by the IMF and the EU are becoming more tragic in Greece as there has been an increase in the number of newborn babies dumped outside clinics, and in that of children being offloaded on charities and put in foster care. Read more.

PressTV

Calle 13 - Latinoamérica



Read also,
Music: 2011, the Year for Calle 13 - Prensa Latina

Combating the Global Crisis: Venezuela Participates in Common Market of the South

Venezuela’s entrance as a full member into the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) trade alliance topped the organization’s agenda last Tuesday during a meeting of heads of state held in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo.

“I’m here on the ground, working for the integration and the unity of our America which is the only way to save ourselves from the global crisis”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said upon arriving in Montevideo on Tuesday morning. Read more.

Venezuelanalysis

Chavez identifies subversive groups in Venezuela



Venezuela s president has reiterated that subversive groups exist in the country which are attempting to destabilise the nation through violence.

teleSUR

Zie ook,
Per dag 53 moorden in Venezuela - NOS

Report: Many weapons used by Mexican drug gangs originate in U.S. - CNN
Mexican museum turns drug cartels arsenal into art (video) - PressTV

U.S. Administrations Earmarked Over $200 Million for Subversion Plans against Cuba Since 1997

The figure was released after a study carried out by Just the Facts, a civilian guide to the U.S Government’s spending for Defense and Security Assistance in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The research took place between 2009 and 2010 and it came after critics questioned the efficiency of the Cuba programs, most of which are managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development USAID).  Read more.

ACN

Alexander - Truth


Lyric

World hunger reaches one billion

Nearly 1 billion people in the world are hungry, while almost the same number are illiterate, making it hard for them to earn a living or move out of poverty, the Worldwatch Institute shows.

“Nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry each night, a number that is unacceptably high,” Director of Worldwatch's nourishing the Planet project, Danielle Nierenberg said. Read more.

PressTV

Oil standoff: Iran, West on brink of war?



A top Iranian military official has said blocking a crucial oil export channel will be "easier than drinking a glass of water." Experts say the West should listen, because Iran’s influence in the region has grown significantly.

Iran’s navy chief Habibollah Sayyari said that "closing the Strait of Hormuz for Iran's armed forces is really easy.” Read more.

A Call for Peace: Say NO to America's Military Adventure

With the pace of war against Iran now thundering in all its fury, it is time to mobilize once again to demand peace.

I am delighted to be here amongst all of you lovely people working together for peace. In fact, since we are the Elders for Peace, we are all veterans of the perpetual war against peace. Read more.

Alexander - Let's Win


Lyric

Peaceful Uprising

Israel's army chief hails Gaza war as 'excellent'

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israel's army chief on Tuesday marked the third anniversary of the Gaza war by hailing Operation Cast Lead as an 'excellent' operation.

Lieutenant Benny Gantz made the remarks during an interview with Army Radio. He added that if another invasion of Gaza takes place it must be "swift and painful," Israeli daily Haaretz reported. Read more.

Ma'an

Read also,
Israel preparing for another Gaza war - PressTV
Israel shells northern Gaza - Ma'an

UK protesters rally outside Israeli embassy - Ma'an

Israel, U.S. discuss triggers for military strike on Iran

The Daily Beast reports that the countries are discussing "red lines" in Iran's nuclear program, that if crossed would justify a preemptive strike on its nuclear facilities.

The Daily Beast reports that the countries are discussing "red lines" in Iran's nuclear program, that if crossed would justify a preemptive strike on its nuclear facilities. Read more.

Haaretz

Read also,
Oil standoff: Iran, West on brink of war? (video) - RT

Escobar: Syrian rag-tag bands & tanks to face investigation



Thousands of people have rallied in the Syrian city of Homs, emboldened by the Arab League observers' visit to the country.

But journalist Pepe Escobar says the monitors will have to investigate both the official and the opposition armies.

RT

Qatar builds Wahhabi army against Syria

Qatar has built up a strong army of hundreds of Wahhabi forces to help overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a new report has revealed.  

The forces known as the Free Syrian Army, have 20,000 fighters, and are armed and funded by Qatar, DEBKAfile reported. Read more.

PressTV

Read also,
Qatar builds Sunni intervention force of Libyan, Iraqi terrorists against Assad - Debka
Escobar: Syrian rag-tag bands & tanks to face investigation (video) - RT

Inside Syria - Who is behind the Damascus blasts? (video) - Al Jazeera
Destination - Islamic Emirates: Syria insurgents spark religious war (video) - RT

Should Syria help US figure out OWS? (video) - RT

Colombian guerrilla FARC will release six retained people



The NGO "Colombians for Peace" have managed the release of six retained people by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombians expect this to be the begin of a truly process of peace that ends the war in that South American country.

teleSUR

Read also,
Communique on FARC prisoners to be freed (video) - teleSUR
Dutch FARC member revels death of commander Mono Jojoy (video) - teleSUR

December 27, 2011

Busby: Fukushima 'criminal event' calls for investigation



A newly released report on the Fukushima nuclear crisis says it was down to the plant's operators being ill-prepared and not responding properly to the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

A major government inquiry said some engineers abandoned the plant as the trouble started and other staff delayed reporting significant radiation leaks.

Professor Christopher Busby, scientific secretary to the European Committee on Radiation Risks, says health damage after contamination will be more serious than Japan announced.

RT

Amateur Riot



Dispatch #2 of Stop the Flows focuses on burgeoning anti-nuke movement in Japan, following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Truth be told I had larger plans for this dispatch. But with time and resources lacking, I could only scratch the surface of not just the anti-nuke movement, but of the anarchist and activist scene in Japan.

So what you see here is nearly a glimpse into the world of the folks who will end nuclear power in Japan for good.

Submedia / StopTheFlows

Myanmar's monks remain a political force

Despite the government saying that it wants to become more democratic, monks continue to be silenced in Myanmar. 

The pace of change in Myanmar that has excited certain schools of observers over the past six months evidently isn't enough for some: In November, five monks barricaded themselves on the balcony of a monastery in Mandalay, demanding that the government carry through on its pledge to release the country's 1,700 political prisoners - seen as the key litmus test for determining the genuineness of Myanmar's reformists. Read more.

'World agrees on need for change'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says people across the world have reached a common understanding that there is need for change in the current world order.

“Iran considers the recent development as Islamic Awakening and the Westerners call it Arab spring but the important point is that there is agreement in the world on the need for reform,” Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday. Read more.

Insight: FDA warned PIP on breast implant safety in 2000

(Reuters) - As early as 2000, U.S. health authorities raised concerns about the French breast implant maker at the heart of a scandal affecting hundreds of thousands of women worldwide. That was almost 10 years before the company came under scrutiny from European regulators.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent an investigator to inspect a plant run by the manufacturer, Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), at La Seyne Sur Mer in southeastern France in May 2000. Read more.

Reuters

Read also,
Breast Implants Cancer Link Found, Says FDA - Huffington Post
FDA Advises Women With Breast Implants - FDA

U.S. presidential hopeful Ron Paul isn't anti-Israel, former aide says

Dr. Leon Hadar, an Israeli and U.S. citizen who advised the Republican presidential hopeful in 2008, rejects characterization of Paul by another ex-aide as wishing Israel 'did not exist at all.'

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul is not anti-Israel and does not advocate Israel's abolishment as a Jewish state, a former aide told Haaretz on Tuesday. Read more.

Haaretz

Read also,
Republican Ron Paul fights 'anti-Israel' allegations - Ma'an

Thousands of Israelis protest gender segregation in Beit Shemesh

Rally was originally slated to take place in the courtyard of a girl's school, but the location was changed after Haredi extremists threatened organizers with violence.

Thousands of Israelis amassed near the Orot girl's school in Beit Shemesh on Tuesday to protest gender segregation in a city that has become a symbol for the struggle against religious extremism. Read more.

Airstrike kills 1, injures 2 in the Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- An Israeli airstrike killed one person in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as the coastal enclave marked the third anniversary of the Gaza war.

Abdallah Telbani died and two other Palestinians were wounded by a blast that ripped through a tuk-tuk, or motorised rickshaw, in Gaza City, hospital officials said. Read more.

Venezuela’s 2012 Budget: More Social Spending, Strong Debt Management, Steady Economic Growth

Venezuela’s national Budget in 2012 will grow by 43% to Bs. 297.5 billion ($69 billion), as the nation continues to benefit from construction led growth and improved employment and social development indicators.

Approximately 40% of the budget, or Bs. 116 billion, is allocated to social spending in 2012. This reflects increases in spending on housing (88%), social security (45.8%), health care (43%), science and technology (27%), culture (24%), and education (21.1%). Read more.

Venezuelanalysis

Read also,
Chavez reshuffles his cabinet (video) - PressTV

A Simple Question - Anti-capitalist movements across Europe



In this edition of the show we will be questioning the roots of the anti-capitalist movements across Europe.

Are they what they seem to be? Some say they are specifically targeting the banks, others say they are targeting the system.

Are these movements specifically against banks or are they the symbol of a growing unpopularity of Western governments and their Imperialist tendencies?

US: Outraged Popular Movement Occupies Iowa Caucus

Washington, Dec 27 (Prensa Latina) The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement on Tuesday will begin in Iowa a popular election assembly, a week before the first GOP primaries.

The Occupy Iowa Caucus planned a meeting on Tuesday night in Des Moines, the state capital, some days ahead of the Republican party which on January 3 will hold its primaries, the group said on its website. Read more.

Iran urges stronger Russia role in region



Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs has called on Russia to play a more assertive role in the current major developments in the region, Press TV reports.

In a Monday meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian exchanged views with his counterpart on ways to adopt a constructive position on the current and emerging events in the region. Read more.

Observers in Syria: Time to separate civilians from insurgents?



Dozens of new civilian deaths are being reported in Syria as a group of 50 Arab League monitors arrives to assess the implementation of a peace plan. But are media failing to distinguish between civilians and armed insurgents?

Observers arrived from Egypt on Monday with ten other Arab League officials, marking the first time foreign observers have been allowed inside Syria since internal fighting erupted in March. Read more.

RT

Read also,
Arab monitors finish visit to Syria's Homs (video) - Al Jazeera
Arab observers start field trips in Syria's restive areas amid more clashes - Xinhua

AL observers laud Syria's cooperation - PressTV
Lavrov: Russia welcomes Arab League observer mission to Syria - Champress

China condemns strongly the terrorist attacks in Damascus, reiterates calls for dialogue - Champress
Armed groups blow up pipeline in Syria - PressTV

Brigadier General among Syrian Bomb Victims - Prensa Latina
Huge Masses Gather in Saba Bahrat Square in Condemnation of Terrorist Blasts in Damascus - SANA

Syrian Forces Prevent Infiltration of Armed Groups from Turkey - Prensa Latina
‘Confessional war the only way to divide Syrians’ (video) - RT

Stun rounds used on Bahraini protesters

Bahraini regime forces have fired stun rounds and tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters in several villages across the country, Press TV reports. 

On Tuesday, demonstrators chanted slogans against the Al Khalifa regime. Read more.

Qatar fueling unrest in Saudi Arabia



A prominent political activist says that the Qatari monarchy seek to increase instability in Saudi Arabia by encouraging protests and bribing members of the royal family and military.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the IGA, to further discuss the issue. Read more.

Gaza Massacre: War over, reparations battle rages on



It's three years since Gaza was pounded by a relentless Israeli bombing and invasion that lasted 22 days.

The offensive killed almost fifteen-hundred Palestinians, with many families being wiped out. For many, the battle has now shifted to the courts, as RT's Paula Slier explains.

RT

'Recession to tear Britain apart'



Exacerbating social and economic crises across Britain are expected to push the United Kingdom on the brink of collapse and prompt London to engage in more wars, a political analyst tells Press TV.

“A new recession will rip British society apart; a banking crisis that will impact right across Europe and as that gets worse … I predict we will see further wars as a result of this economic crisis in 2012,” said Chris Banbury, a prominent political analyst in London. Read more + video.

PressTV

US breaks record of deportations during 2011



The anti-immigrant laws approved in Arizona and Alabama, are only some measures of a program aimed to attack that community, in one hand President Barack Obama has promised better conditions for immigrants but on the other hand he militarized the border and deported thousands of people in 2011.

teleSUR

Occupy Monique's house



Millions of Americans are facing a bleak holiday new year as they wait to hear if the banks will foreclose on their homes.

The US economy is still struggling to get going again after the global financial collapse of 2008. Read more.

Pharmageddon: America’s bitter pill



The United States has a passion for pills, being the world's biggest users of psychotropic drugs, consuming 60 per cent of them. And pharmaceutical firms are keen to keep cashing in on the multibillion-dollar market, even if it costs people's health.

America is regarded as a country with a prodigious appetite for consumption. Today, a widespread fondness for pharmaceuticals has turned the US into a nation of pill-poppers. Read more.

RT

December 26, 2011

Luisterpost: De cd-eindlijst van 2011

2011 viel muzikaal nog het best te vergelijken met een caleidoscoop. Er waren enorm veel goede platen, en dat uit héél diverse hoeken.

Daarom niet enkel rock en pop, maar evengoed hiphop, wereldmuziek, nieuwe klassiek, soul, elektronica, dance, experimentele muziek… 60 platen die u verdient te horen. De beste op kop. Lees verder.

De Wereld Morgen

Bon Iver - Holocene


Lyric

Fukushima presenteert ook factuur aan Europa

BERLIJN, 26 december 2011 (IPS) — De kernramp in Fukushima heeft ook zware financiële gevolgen voor de Europese elektriciteitssector. Verscheidene grote elektriciteitsbedrijven en bouwers van kerncentrales hebben daarvoor gewaarschuwd.

Johannes Teyssen, ceo van E.ON, een van de grootste elektriciteitsproducenten van Duitsland, waarschuwde voor de "buitengewone kosten" als gevolg van de regeringsbeslissing om tegen 2022 met kernenergie te stoppen. Lees verder.

IPS

Zie ook,
69 hoogleraren in NRC: stop met plan-Borssele II - NRC

Israeli police clash with ultra-Orthodox men



Dispute over gender segregation in public erupts between Haredi Jews and secularists. 

Increasing tensions between ultra-Orthodox Jews and secularists in areas in Israel have recently sparked violence. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Read also,
'Exclusion of women' in Israel is nothing new - Haaretz

Gaza suffers acute medicine shortage

Gaza hospitals suffer from an acute shortage of medicines and hospital supplies. 

Health officials say this continued shortage has put many lives at grave risk. In recent weeks, only small shipments of medicines were brought into the blockade coastal enclave. Read more + video.

PressTV

Red also,
Tunisian convoy en route to Gaza - Ma'an
Tunisian Scouts Organize Solidarity Caravan For Gazans - Tunesia Live

Netanyahu says no talks if Hamas join government

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he will not negotiate with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

"If Hamas joins the Palestinian government we will not hold negotiations with the Palestinian Authority," Israeli daily Haaretz quoted Netanyahu as saying during a conference of Israeli ambassadors. Read more.

Ma'an

Study: Over 3,000 Palestinians arrested in 2011

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A report published on Monday has found that over 3,000 Palestinians were arrested by Israel's military in 2011. 

Researcher on prisoner affairs Abdul Nasser Ferwaneh said that the average number of arrests in 2011 numbered 276 per month, or around nine a day. Read more.

Ma'an

Farmaceuten geven tonnen aan patiëntenclubs

Organisaties die moeten opkomen voor de belangen van zieke patiënten worden, soms zelfs voor een groot deel, betaald door de farmaceutische industrie. De patiënt weet dit vaak niet en dat is kwalijk, zeggen deskundigen in RTL Nieuws.

De researchredactie van RTL Nieuws deed onderzoek naar de sponsoring en maakt voor het eerst een lijst openbaar met alle bedragen die naar patiëntenorganisaties gaan. Lees verder + video.

RTL

2011: UK's dark year for human rights

As 2011 draws to its close, Britain is witnessing a downward trend on its already dismal human rights records with a handful of major questions on the issue hanging in the air.

The year started with the UK government at loggerheads with the European Court of Human Rights over giving prisoners the right to vote in elections. The Court has ruled that Britain should extend voting to inmates as a legal right. Read more.

PressTV

From bald eagle to red dragon - Pakistan changes ally



Pakistan has its eyes on the east for future partnerships, with the President now firming-up the country's friendship with China.

This, after a rocky year with the United States, where ties have been all but severed - from the raid to kill Osama bin Laden without informing Islamabad, to last month's deadly drone attack.

RT

Read also,
Anti-US feeling at all time high in Pakistan (video) - PressTV

Biogas technology benefits S Africa's poor



Pilot project that could one day be used across Africa turns organic waste into cheap, clean fuel source.

A cleaner, cheaper form of energy is helping poor South Africans make the most of waste materials while keeping costs down. Read more.

INfocus - Occupy UC Davis



Thousands of students, undergraduate and graduate, have gathered at UC Davis campus to address concerns over the policing of the campus and the possibility of the sky rocketing tuition costs.

They take a vote as to whether they should take a general strike to prevent regions from voting on the measures that would raise their tuition as high as 80 percent in four years to make up for a lack of state revenue.

The gathering is inspired by an incident that is changing the way the students are interacting with the campus and that is helping to fuel a movement happening nationwide. 

Greg Holden - The Lost Boy

Hey, 1% pigs! Go & find real job!



RT

Spain to fall back in recession in 2012

Spain's newly-appointed Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says the country will record negative growth in the fourth quarter of 2011, and it will slide back into recession early next year.

"This quarter the Spanish economy will surely see a downturn and we will return to negative growth," Guindos said during a news conference on Monday. Read more.


Read also,

fiN - The Artisan

Cuba begins banking reforms

HAVANA - Rules allowing Cubans to buy and sell cars and homes, and now, to take out loans, are two of the latest steps taken to "modernise" the economy.

Some 500 bank offices throughout the country began receiving and processing applications on Tuesday for loans in Cuban pesos to non-state workers, farmers and people who need to repair or build their homes. Read more.

Al Jazeera

From Tripoli to Damascus: Arab wild geese take wing



Libya’s former rebels are urging Syrians to follow their revolutionary path. Hundreds of mercenaries, some of them former terrorists, are ready to take up arms again to help overthrow President Assad.

In less than three months, Libyan rebels have gone from being hailed as liberators to being condemned as occupiers, reports RT’s Oksana Boyko. People in the capital, Tripoli, rally almost every week, calling on the armed militia to leave. Read more.

RT

Libya asks Iran to help clear minefields

Libya's Interim Defense Minister Osama al-Juwali has requested Iran's help in clearing minefields remaining from the North African country's revolution.

The interim defense minister said Iranian experts can help Libya clear the fields, IRNA reported on Monday. Read more.

PressTV

'2012: What’s in Store...’

The Private Global Power Elite embedded in major governments is dead set on imposing World Government on us sooner rather than later. Let’s look at 12 mega-processes – veritable “Triggers” – that we infer they are using to achieve their goals.

All roads lead to World Government. This should come as no surprise. London’s Financial Times openly articulated this view in an article by their chief foreign affairs commentator, Gideon Rachman, published on 8 December 2009, whose title said it all: “And Now for a World Government.” These goals are echoed by the Trilateral Commission, CFR and Bilderberg insiders – even by the Vatican. Read more.

RT

December 25, 2011

Norman Finkelstein - Reading, 6 December 2011



Lannan

Read also,

Moroccans demand release of prisoners

Moroccan protesters have once again taken to the streets to demand political reforms and the release of prisoners.

Demonstrators also protested against the country's high unemployment rate. Read more.

PressTV

Hackers attack US security think-tank Stratfor, promise more targets for Christmas

LONDON - Hackers on Sunday claimed to have stolen 200 GB of emails and credit card data from United States security think-tank Stratfor, promising a weeklong Christmas-inspired assault on a long list of targets.

Members of the loose hacking movement known as "Anonymous" posted a link on Twitter to what it said was Stratfor's secret client list — including the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, Goldman Sachs and MF Global. Read more.

Report: Lieberman says no return to 1967 borders

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that there will be no return to 1967 borders and that settlements are not an obstacle to peace.

Lieberman made the remarks while addressing a conference of Israeli ambassadors. Read more.

Ma'an


Read also,
Lieberman: Israeli-Palestinian peace will not be achieved within the next decade - Haaretz
Europe can play a vital role in Mideast peace - Haaretz

Gingrich and Perry fail to qualify for Virginia primary

The former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas governor, Rick Perry, have both failed to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot, Republican party officials have said.

Neither politician, who were both frontrunners for the U.S. presidential candidacy for the GOP, submitted enough signatures from registered voters to stand for the state's Republican primary on 6 March. Read more.

PressTV

Game Change Tease

Qatar to overthrow Saudi regime: clip

Saudi Arabia's monarchy will be overthrown by Qatar very soon, a confidential conversation by Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani has revealed.

The premier said Qatari troops will occupy Qatif in the Eastern Province and Al Saud regime will be disintegrated, according to an audio file circulated on the internet. Read more.

PressTV