April 30, 2013

CIA 'Ghost Cash' Effect: Is US main source of Afghan corruption?



Top Afghan officials have been on the CIA's payroll for over a decade, receiving tens of millions of US dollars in cash.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted to receiving the clandestine financial support, but dismissed the sum as a "small amount."

RT

Related,
Karzai confirms receiving CIA 'secret' cash payments - Afghanistan Sun
MPs seek explanation on CIA payments - Pajhwok

Afghan forces suffer heavy casualties during opium eradication

Officials in the ministry of counter-narcotics of Afghanistan on Tuesday informed of heavy casualties incurred to Afghan security forces during opium eradication across the country.

The report regarding increasing Afghan security forces casualties during opium eradication comes amid growing concerns by United Nations over increasing opium cultivation in Afghanistan. Read more.

Khaama

Flow of Tainted Water Is Latest Crisis at Japan Nuclear Plant

TOKYO — Two years after a triple meltdown that grew into the world’s second worst nuclear disaster, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is faced with a new crisis: a flood of highly radioactive wastewater that workers are struggling to contain.

Groundwater is pouring into the plant’s ravaged reactor buildings at a rate of almost 75 gallons a minute. It becomes highly contaminated there, before being pumped out to keep from swamping a critical cooling system. Read more.

NY Times

Related,
Water Leak from the Underground Reservoirs in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station - TEPCO

Fukushima's 'contaminated' rice still in storage two years on - The Asahi Shimbun
- Japan court rejects demand to evacuate Fukushima children - The Asahi Shimbun

Obama: U.S. has evidence chemical weapons were used in Syria

WATCH: In surprise press conference in Washington, Obama says that what is happening in Syria is a 'blemish on the international community', warns that there may be regional objections if the U.S. takes action.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the United States now has evidence that chemical weapons were used inside of Syria, but there is no indication of who used them and how. Read more.

Haaretz

Related,
'US mulls way to hit Syria chemical weapons sites' - JPost
Senador McCain considers invasion of Syria necessary (video) - teleSUR

US seeks 'certainty' on Syria chemical arms - Al Jazeera
Israel joins US-UK-al-Qaeda plot to depose Assad - PressTV

At least 13 killed, more than 70 injured as massive car blast rocks central Damascus (video) - RT

Deadly blast hits Damascus: 'Rebels bomb way to power by killing innocent'



A massive car explosion which hit central Damascus on Tuesday morning left at least 13 people dead and 70 others injured, according to Syrian state TV.

The incident took place in Marjeh district, a historic part of the capital. The blast went off near the Semiramis Hotel and a building which once housed the country's Ministry of Interior Affairs. The ministry had earlier been moved to another site. Read more.

RT

Japan, Russia agree to revive talks on island dispute

MOSCOW--Russia and Japan said on April 29 that they would revive talks on resolving a territorial dispute that has prevented them signing a treaty formally ending their World War Two hostilities, and, wary of China's rising influence, agreed to bolster trade ties.

At the two G8 powers' first Moscow summit for 10 years, President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had China's economic and political might in mind as they launched a new effort to warm up their relationship. Read more.

The Asahi Shimbun

More Osprey aircraft heading to Japan

WASHINGTON — The U.S. will deploy a second squadron of the MV-22 Osprey to Okinawa despite controversy over the aircraft, officials said Monday.

Amid persistent local worries and community protests about the safety of the aircraft, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera said 12 more aircraft will be sent there this summer. Read more.

Japan Today

Post-revolution labour strikes, social struggles on rise in Egypt: Report

Egypt saw almost four times as many workers' protests last year – in both public and private sectors – as it did in 2010, according to new report by local NGO

The Egyptian Centre for Social and Economic Rights (ECESR) on Sunday issued a new report documenting labour strikes that took place in Egypt last year. Read more.

Ahram

Related,
Problem of unemployment likely to worsen in Egypt - Egypt Independent

Egypt walks out of nuclear talks in Geneva

The Associated Press, Geneva - Egypt walked out of a round of global nuclear talks in protest Monday, saying other nations are not acting quickly enough to establish the Middle East as a zone free of nuclear weapons

A statement from Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said the nation ended its participation in two weeks of Geneva talks out of frustration that the zone has yet to be created. Read more.

Al Arabiya

Related,
Egypt withdraws from nuclear non-proliferation meeting in Geneva - Ahram

April 29, 2013

Saudi forces shoot, arrest two activists in Eastern Province

Saudi security forces have stormed the houses of two anti-government activists in the village of Al-Awamiyah in the Eastern Province, shot them, and arrested them.

The regime forces conducted the raids on Monday. Read more.

PressTV

Al Khalifa regime is getting desperate: Franklin Lamb

Press TV has conducted an interview with international lawyer, Franklin Lamb, about the situation in Bahrain.

What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview. Read more + video.

PressTV

Related,
Bahrain arrests 22 over anti-govt protests - RT
‘Something to hide?’: Bahrain blocks visit from UN torture investigator - RT

Hamad al Khalifa van Bahrein op gastenlijst troonwisseling Oranjes - Zaplog

Rule, Britannia? UK 'shadow military' may return to Gulf over instability fears



The UK army is planning to build up a strong "shadow presence" in the Gulf, marking a return to the seat of its old imperial power, a UK think tank said.

The Arab Spring and security fears over a nuclear Iran are among the reasons for the move. Read more.

RT

Related,
British imperial intention to re-occupy Persian Gulf Arab states exposed - PressTV

German police hope to use new spyware

Data Protection | German investigators are hoping to gain greater access to telecommunications data in order to combat terrorism. But there is controversy over the spyware they want to use to keep tabs on private computers.

The application can search a hard drive and download its contents in a matter of minutes. Pages viewed on the internet are saved as screenshots, webcams and microphones can be activated remotely, and all keystrokes are automatically logged. Read more.

DW

April 28, 2013

Official number of Guantanamo Bay hunger strikers jumps to 100

The official number of hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay reached 100 on Saturday – three more than the day before. Twenty of the detainees are receiving enteral feeds, five of whom are being observed in a detainee hospital.

Lawyers for the detainees contest the official numbers, saying that some 130 prisoners are actually taking part in the protest. Read more + video.

RT

EU chooses Spain to start shutting down austerity policy

France and Italy add support to greater flexibility on budget deficits and new focus on reforms

Doing politics is to tell stories. A country — never mind a continent — cannot be transformed without a convincing narrative. Aided by pressure from the markets, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been ruling Europe for the last three years with a tale that blames the crisis on the fiscal misdemeanors of a handful of countries. Read more.

El País

Only Germany’s Merkel backs austerity in Europe: French minister

A French minister has blasted the “failing” austerity policies imposed on European economies, saying the measures are only backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a few others.

In an interview with The Observer newspaper, French Consumer Affairs Minister Benoit Hamon said it was “time to finish with the politics of austerity in Europe.” Read more.

PressTV

Related,
French minister says Merkel's austerity drive has failed - The Guardian

Government eyes loan tranche, shakeup

Amid a tense debate on a multi-bill of “prior actions” demanded by Greece’s troika of foreign lenders, which will culminate in a vote in Parliament on Sunday, the government is hoping next week to get the green light for the disbursement of further rescue funding as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras mulls a reshuffle to bring some order to his turbulent Cabinet.

Athens hopes that officials convening at a Euro Working Group in Brussels on Monday will approve the release of a 2.8-billion-euro tranche of aid.. Read more.

Ekathimerini

Related,
Thousands of Greek civil jobs to be axed as parliament vote looms (photos) - RT

Nazi Debt To Greece Could Ease Crisis

With Greece deciding to press for some 160 billion euros ($208.45 billion) it says it’s owed in WWII reparations for damages and forced loans to the Nazis, a commentary in Germany’s influential newspaper Die Welt said Germany should consider waiving part of Greece’s huge debt burden.

The piece notes that Greek authorities have expressed their determination to press demands for war reparations and “bring the matter to a conclusion.” Read more.

Greek Reporter

Ecology vs Economy: Dirty gold dig split Greeks in Chalkidiki



Citizens' anger isn't just over having their public assets sold off to help banks rather than the actual public - the country's minerals are also open to be exploited by the highest bidder.

But the fear this time is more ecology than economy, as Tom Barton has discovered.

RT

Related,
- Pachtas Scandal (video) - Short Documentary
- Golden Times (video) - Small Planet Documentary

Dirty Gold: Crisis Has Europe Clamoring to Mine - Spiegel

Golden Times - Cassandra's Treasure

The exploitation of the country’s mineral wealth is projected as the most reasonable solution to deal with the economic crisis that plagues Greece

The Greek state has ceded its mining rights over 31.700 ha of land in northern Halkidiki, a region rich in gold, copper and other metals, to the Canadian multinational company Eldorado Gold. Read more & Watch the Movie.

Small Planet

Wealth Gap Among Races Widened Since Recession

WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between white Americans and most minority groups, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.

“It was already dismal,” Darrick Hamilton, a professor at the New School in New York, said of the wealth gap between black and white households. “It got even worse.” Read more.

NY Times

Ry Cooder - No Banker Left Behind

Israel strikes targets in Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire

Israel Air Force craft struck two sites in southern Gaza following rocket fire Saturday night.

IDF Spokesman: 'There will be no return to the situation that existed before Pillar of Defense' Israel struck targets in the Gaza Strip early Sunday morning, following rocket fire on the Sdot Negev region on Saturday night.  Read more.

Haaretz

Related,
- Israel: “Escalation In Gaza Likely To Continue” - IMEMC

BDS takes Arab and Western worlds by storm

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been scoring new successes lately, on and off campus

Scoring one victory after another since 2005, the global campaign of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement continues to play a vital role in exposing Israeli human rights abuses and campaigning for the rights of Palestinians. Read more.

Ahram

Related,
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement - BDS

Libya to help ease Egypt crisis with $1.2 bln oil deal

TRIPOLI, April 28 (Reuters) - Libya will soon start shipping oil to neighbouring Egypt on soft credit terms, two senior Libyan officials said, as Cairo struggles to pay for energy imports and avoid fuel shortages.

The officials told Reuters that Tripoli would supply Cairo with $1.2 billion worth of crude at world prices but on interest free credit for a year, with the first cargo expected to arrive next month. Read more.

Aswat Masriya

Miltiamen blockade Foreign Ministry; demand Foreign Minister be replaced, Moscow embassy closed

Militiamen from Misrtata, Suq Al-Juma and Tajoura surrounded the ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tripoli’s Shara Al-Shatt this morning, preventing staff from entering the buildings.

They also blocked roads around the buildings with “technicals” – vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns. Read more.

Libya Herald

Related,
Bomb hits Libyan police station in Benghazi, militiaman killed in separate attack - Washington Post
- Chad says Libya not tackling 'mercenaries' - Al Jazeera

Ailing Alliance: Years of NATO warfare result in blowback



NATO's top officer has called for more financial help from the EU in order to keep the alliance afloat. NATO has suffered cuts amounting to 45 billion dollars, which equals Germany's entire military budget.

The Western alliance's popularity among European soldiers is also nose-diving as their number in the bloc has plummeted. NATO's survival now depends almost entirely on US spending, which makes up almost 75% of its budget.

RT contributor Afshin Rattansi says the alliance's global activities actually do more harm than good.

RT

Related,
- NATO Collapse Looms? Cuts & 'military irrelevance' hang over Alliance (video) - RT

35 African political parties gather in Sudan

Representatives of 35 African political parties have met in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to establish a joint forum meant to increase unity among the African nations.

"I suggest this meeting will be one of the basic steps to complete the unity of Africa," Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on Saturday during his opening speech to the first conference of the Council of the African Political Parties. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
African political parties meet to boost 'unity' - Ahram

U.S., Syria cautious on alleged chemical weapons use to avoid worsening situation

WASHINGTON/DAMASCUS, April 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. allegations about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army in some areas of the Mideastern country "do not have any credibility," Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said Friday.

Al-Zoubi's remarks came a day after the White House said the Syrian government has used chemical weapons in its conflict with the opposition forces. Read more.

Xinhua

Related,
Syrian Minister Discredits Campaign on Use of Chemical Weapons - Prensa Latina

‘West is using possibility of chemical weapons to encourage intervention in Syria’ - RT
Intervention in Syria inevitable even without evidence of chemical arms use: EU minister - Hürriyet

Chemical inspection stalled: UN team can’t be trusted ‘politically’ without Russian experts – Syrian information minister - RT

Syrian opposition likely to receive military aid - Today's Zaman
Terrorists Suffer Heavy Losses during Army Operations - SANA

Bogdanov: Russia's Stance on Syria Based on Finding Political Solution - SANA

Kurdish peace process to close the 'doors of a dark era': Turkish PM Erdoğan

The doors of a dark era will be closed at the end of the ongoing Kurdish resolution process and a brand new era will start, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said April 27 in his first remarks on the subject following the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) press conference announcing the starting date of the militant's withdrawal.

"What is approaching its end is not only 30 years of terrorism. Read more.

Hürriyet

Related,
Militants' withdrawal will end by autumn: Senior PKK leader - Hürriyet
PKK says withdrawal from Turkey starts on May 8 - KURDpress

- US considers PKK retreat "positive step" - AA
- European Commission welcomes PKK's withdrawal decision - AA

Kurdish forces deploy near Iraq's disputed Kirkuk - Hürriyet
Nechirwan Barzani will meet Baghdad Kurdish ministers and deputies on Sunday - KURDpress

Iraq violence spills into fifth day



Maliki calls for calm and warns against "evil sectarianism" as death toll passes 200 people.

Sectarian tensions have escalated in Iraq, where the death toll from a wave of violence has passed 200, officials and reports have said. Read more.

Karzai sets terms for signing security pact with US

KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai made clear on Saturday Afghanistan would sign a security pact with the US only if peace in the country and strengthening of its forces and economy was guaranteed.

He made the remarks at a meeting with religious scholars, tribal elders and notables from the eastern Laghman province, the Presidential Palace said. Read more.

Pajhwok

Related,
KSA goes to bat for Afghan peace - Arab News

Afghan Taliban declare 'spring offensive' - Al Jazeera
Afghanistan government warned it will face determined action from Taliban - Afghanistan Sun

April 27, 2013

Hundreds of anti-drone protesters march against UK flight-control centre

Marchers protest the navigation from RAF Waddington of unmanned Reaper aircraft in Afghanistan

Hundreds of peace campaigners gathered outside an RAF base today to protest against armed drones being operated from Britain to conduct missions in Afghanistan. Read more.

The Guardian

Germany prepared to enter Mali: Westerwelle

Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle has signalled his country’s willingness to take part in a United Nations-led operation in Mali.

Speaking during a visit to the Ghanaian capital Accra on Saturday, Westerwelle said “Germany is willing to support the mission.” Read more.

Fresh Slovenian protests amid bailout fears

(Reuters) - Around 2,500 anti-corruption protesters gathered in the center of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on Saturday, the first such demonstrations since the center-left government of Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek took power on March 20.

Similar protests helped bring down the previous conservative government of Janez Jansa, which lost a majority in parliament in January over a corruption scandal, although those involved crowds of up to 20,000 people. Read more.

Reuters

Related,
Anti-austerity protests rock Slovenia as fears of bailout grow (photos) - RT

‘Iceland proved there is a way of dealing with financial crisis in isolated country’

Iceland has been praised for its handling of the financial crisis, during which politicians allowed banks to fail, rather than bailing them out. Economic expert Margaret Bogenrief explained why in the case of the EU the solution is unlikely to help.

Iceland is ready to head to the polls for the country’s second presidential elections since the country’s 2008 banking collapse, and there are fears that those responsible could once again be voted into office. Read more + video.

RT

Related,
Vote for us – the politicians who bankrupted Iceland! - The Independent

'Propaganda van de kwaadwillendste soort'

Terwijl in het ene na het andere euroland werkloosheidsrecords worden gebroken, het academische fundament onder het Europese begrotingsbeleid ruw onderuit wordt gehaald, de sociaaldemocratische tegenkandidaat Merkel oproept de teugels te laten vieren en zelfs bezuinigingspaus Barroso begint te twijfelen, draait de Nederlandse pr-molen gewoon door.

Het stoutste staaltje kwam deze week van De Nederlandsche Bank. Lees meer.

Parool

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. Read more.

RollingStone

Bitcoin: world's fastest growing currency migrates off the internet



In Kreuzberg, Berlin, virtual currency Bitcoin has expanded off the internet to become a favoured medium of exchange in real shops and bars.

Joerg Platzer, the owner of bar Room 77 is helping to establish what he believes to be the world's first Bitcoin local economy.

The Guardian

Related,
- Revenue Canada says BitCoins aren't tax exempt - CBC

‘A spectacle of hypocrisy and farce’: North Korea, Iran attack Canada’s human rights record at UN forum

Canada was the focus of critical attacks on its human rights record at a prominent United Nations forum by a cluster of countries with dubious human rights records, including North Korea, Iran and China. 

The delegation from North Korea lamented: “We have serious concerns about continued violations of the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, torture and other ill-treatment, racism and xenophobia.” Read more.

National Post

Canadian government accused of using scare tactics to pass controversial bill



A new anti-terrorism bill, which passed the House of Commons in Canada is not only being called controversial but a violation of civil rights.

The Combating Terrorism Act sat in the House of Commons for months, but this week the Conservative party managed to push it through,.. Read more.

Profits before people, workers disposable - Celente on Bangladesh



Victims both dead and alive are still being pulled from the wreckage of the Bangladesh building where 8 storeys came crashing down on 3 thousand people. Bank staff were told not to come to work after cracks appeared in the doomed complex but garment factories told their employees all was safe.

Gerald Celente, publisher of Trendjournal, joins RT studio to give his perspective on who is really to blame for the 300 deaths and thousands injured.

RT

Related,
- Authorities arrest four in Bangladesh building collapse - DW
Dodentol loopt op in Bangladesh. Honderdduizenden arbeiders tonen woede - De Wereld Morgen

Maduro expresses his will to enter dialogue with the US



In his first meeting as head of government, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro indicated that he was willing to enter into dialogue with the government of the United States.

teleSUR

Related,
Social movements march in support of Nicolas Maduro (video) - teleSUR
Venezuelan Opposition Leader Capriles Withdraws Support for Electoral Audit - Venezuelanalysis

Thousands march in Chilean capital for private university protest

High school students, workers’ unions join protest before clashes with police.

Thursday’s education protest organized by the Student Federation of Private Universities (Mesup) ended in violent clashes after police attempted to prevent demonstrators from reaching the Education Ministry. Read more.

The Santiago Times

Related,
- Chile: Students from private universities clash with police (video) - teleSUR

140 detained in Moscow extremist-Islam raid, 30 reported to be foreigners



Russia's Federal Security Service announced that 140 people have been detained in the Russian capital for suspected membership in extremist Islamist organizations. Read more.

RT

Related,
Putin on Boston blasts: We suffered from terrorists, called 'insurgents' by West (video) - RT

The "Facts" Keep Changing About the Boston Bombings -- And It's Fueling a Conspiracy Theory Industry

Important details like the suspects' weapons, NYC plans and the shootout keep changing

April 25, 2013 | In the aftermath of massive, complicated crimes it’s not uncommon for a bit of crucial information to be immediately put forward by police, only to be contradicted later on. While it’s understandable that initial leads and assertions might end up being wrong in a dynamic situation like the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, wholesale contradictions can encourage skepticism of the motives of those releasing inaccuracies.. Read more.

Alternet

Related,
- 'Why did they need to kill my son?' - Tsarnaev's mother (video) - RT

- Mayor Bloomberg: Tsarnaevs planned to set off bombs in Times Square - RT
- NYC has 'smart' camera network to thwart terror attacks (video) - NBC

The War On Terror Is Over. America Lost.



It has often been observed that the war on terror is unwinnable. After all, how could a war on an abstract noun ever have its “Mission Accomplished” moment? It is, according to this wisdom, meant to drag on forever.

Just because a war can’t be won, however, doesn’t mean it can’t be lost. The truth is that the war on terror is over. And America has lost. Read more.

Corbett Report

April 26, 2013

Demonstrations in Alexandria to condemn "Brotherhoodisation" of judiciary

Hundreds of activists and demonstrators on Friday marched in Alexandria from al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque to the Judges' Club to denounce what they called the attempt to brotherhoodise the judiciary and the state. 

They also demanded holding those responsible for assaulting peaceful demonstrators and kidnapping activists accountable. Read more.

Aswat Masriya

Related,
- Demonstrators protest at High Court of Justice - Aswat Masriya
- Small protest held outside Morsi's house in Sharqiya - Ahram

Central banks bought record amount of gold before collapse

Central banks went on the biggest spending spree in 50 years, buying the most gold since 1964 last year. Their high stockpiles of devalued metal probably makes them the biggest losers of the gold slump.  

Central banks have bought the most gold since 1964 in 2012 just before the precious metal took a plunge on the stock market, and are now stuck with record losses and a stockpile of devalued gold. Read more.

RT

Related,
- Gold Rout for Central Banks Buying Most Since 1964: Commodities - Bloomberg

Trust in European Union hits record low

European Union | Public confidence in the European Union has hit rock bottom, a recent survey reveals. Since the onset of the euro crisis, Europeans have lost faith in the bloc, even in pro-European countries, like Germany.

Jose Ignacio Torreblanca compares the growing skepticism sweeping across Europe to a virus from which no one is able to escape. The entire continent is infected, the Spanish political scientist says. Read more.

DW

10% of Greeks live in extreme poverty: UN expert

A senior UN investigator says axed benefits has left a growing number of Greeks without health insurance and about 10% of the population living in "extreme poverty".

Earlier on Friday, senior United Nations investigator Cephas Lumina strongly criticized the “excessively rigid” demands of the bailout program,.. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
UN says Greek austerity is taking a toll on human rights - Ekathimerini
- 60,000 Small Businesses to Close - Greek Reporter

UK-based G4S to be urged to end business with Israeli regime

British campaigners are to stage a protest outside the London headquarter of private security company, G4S, in a bid to urge the firm to discontinue all its business with the Tel Aviv regime.

Activists will condemn the British-Danish company’s provision of expertise and security systems to Israeli jails, where the Palestinians are detained, interrogated and tortured. Read more.

IDF breaks up Palestinian march on West Bank settlement

Soldiers in Deir Jareer fire tear gas, rubber bullets to disperse 500 Palestinians participating in march on outpost; procession is largest of its kind for years, follows charges that settlers attacked Palestinians in area.

DEIR JAREER, West Bank - IDF soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse about 500 Palestinian villagers marching toward a Jewish settlement outpost in the West Bank on Friday. Read more.

JPost

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

A Palestinian civilian was wounded during incursions, and a child was wounded near the annexation wall in the West Bank.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank. 3 protestors, and an elderly woman, were wounded during peaceful protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Read more.

PCHR

Israel's army to stop using white phosphorus

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel's army has announced it will stop using munitions containing white phosphorus, for which it was internationally condemned during a military operation against Gaza in 2008-2009.

Shells containing the chemical "will no longer be used," the army said in a statement released late Thursday. Read more.

Ma'an

Related,
IDF to stop using phosphorus for smokescreens - JPost

Jordan remains against military intervention in Syria — official

Washington — Jordan will not play a military role in Syria and will continue its efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in its northern neighbour, according to a senior Jordanian official.

His Majesty King Abdullah’s meeting with US President Barack Obama, scheduled for Friday, is part of efforts by Jordan to arrive at such a solution. The Kingdom does not condone efforts to resolve the conflict through military means. Read more.

The Jordan Times

Related,
- US: Syria chemical weapons case not airtight (video) - Al Jazeera
- Jordanians rally against proposed deployment of US troops - PressTV

UN: No Military Victory for Any Side in Syria - Prensa Latina

Colombia's FARC present four proposals to reform the state



During the second round of peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla, the insurgent group presented four proposals to reform the state and its institutions.

teleSUR

Related,
- FARC thanks US congressmen for peace talks aid proposal - Colombia Reports
- FARC-EP Thanks U.S. Congressmen for Supporting Peace Talks - Prensa Latina

PTI will introduce local bodies system if came into power: Imran Khan

PAKPATTAN: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has said that his party will introduce the local bodies system after coming into power, SAMAA reports on Thursady.

Addressing a public gathering here, PTI chairman criticized Metro Bus service launched with the cost of billions of rupees and termed it waste of public money. Read more + video.

SAMAA

Benazir Murder Case: ATC orders Musharraf's inclusion

RAWALPINDI: Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi has ordered inclusion of former president Pervez Musharraf in the investigation into Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

Musharraf appeared before the court in relation to the case and made three requests, including unfreezing of his assets and bank accounts. Read more.

PakTribune

Related,
- Musharraf wants court to summon his 'collaborators' - PakTribune

US Defense Sec. Hagel 'confident' chemical weapons used in Syria



The US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said his intelligence services have, quote, 'some confidence', that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on a small scale.

He said it's believed the nerve agent sarin was deployed against civilians and rebel fighters.

RT

Related,
- U.S. Says It Suspects Assad Used Chemical Weapons (video) - NY Times
- What are the pros and cons of intervention in Syria for Obama administration? (video) - The Washington Post

IDF official: Assad regime is using chemical weapons - JPost

Putin on Boston blasts: We suffered from terrorists, called 'insurgents' by West



The deadly bombing of Boston Marathon confirms Russia's position that terrorists are a common threat to all nations and must never be supported for political gains, says Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin was commenting in Moscow during his annual Q&A session on the flood of comments in the US, many of them from common people, which blamed Russia, where the suspects in the bombing were born, over the crime.

RT

President: Worldˈs independent states in same front

Tehran, April 25, IRNA -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the worldˈs independent countries and nations are in the same front, adding that such countries should do their best for freedom, justice, peace and revival of humanity in view of their common stances.

President Ahmadinejad made the remarks in meetings with the new Lebanese, Comorian and South African ambassadors to Iran here in Tehran on Thursday. Read more.

IRNA

April 25, 2013

Venezuela’s Maduro Announces “New Cycle of the Revolution”

Merida, April 23rd 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Speaking last night during the swearing-in of the new ministerial cabinet, President Nicolas Maduro argued that the “new cycle of the revolution” should be focused on “building peace, security, and coexistence”.

“We’re aware that we are beginning a new cycle of the Bolivarian revolution. Read more.

Venezuelanalysis

Related,
- Maduro pledges to restructure social programs in Venezuela (video) - teleSUR
Venezuela's parliament launches probe into Capriles - Reuters

Venezuela's Henrique Capriles issues ultimatum over vote audit - BBC
- US citizen arrested for links to violence in Venezuela (video) - teleSUR

Venezuelan Private Media Try to Cover Up Attacks on Government Health Clinics - Venezuelanalysis

Alternative media in Mexico provide truthful news sources



Telecommunications reform in Mexico has nearly been approved by Congress

The country hopes that the new legislative body has the effect of democratizing the media, while alternative projects throughout the country attempt to distribute information that has been excluded from the national agenda.

teleSUR

The Persecution of Lynne Stewart

By Chis Hedges Lynne Stewart, in the vindictive and hysterical world of the war on terror, is one of its martyrs. A 73-year-old lawyer who spent her life defending the poor, the marginalized and the despised, including blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, she fell afoul of the state apparatus because she dared to demand justice rather than acquiesce to state sponsored witch hunts.

And now, with stage 4 cancer that has metastasized, spreading to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs, creating a grave threat to her life, she sits in a prison cell at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is serving a 10-year sentence. Read more.

Truthdig

Who Is Elisa Lam? | Energy Weapons



Energy Weapons - explores mind control technologies, from cell phones to gigantic radar arrays, global satellite grids, and super computers. Governments of the world have long considered "mind control" to be the ultimate weapon of war - one of mass obedience. Today, these weapons have become unbelievably advanced and they remain completely unregulated and misunderstood.

The technologies are known, the patents exist, and much of it has been demonstrated. Read more.

WhoisElisaLam.org

Record 3.22 million jobseekers in France

Unemployment in France surged by 36,900 in March to hit a record 3,224 million, the Labour Ministry said on Thursday, breaking the country’s previous record in 1997, when there were a total of 3.195 million without jobs.

The number of unemployed jobseekers in France surged by 36,900 in March.. Read more.

France24

Unemployment in Spain passes six-million mark for the first time

The ranks of the unemployed in Spain climbed above six million for the first time ever as the jobless rate hit an unprecedented 27 percent in the first quarter of the year, this despite an easing of the recession in the period.

According to the National Statistics Institute’s Active Population Survey (EPA) for the period January-March,.. Read more.

El País

Boston bombing suspect put on terrorist watch list at CIA request

The CIA asked the main U.S. counterterrorism agency to add the name of one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers to a watch list more than a year before the attack, according to U.S. officials.

The agency took the step after Russian authorities contacted officials there in the fall of 2011 and raised concerns that Tamerlan Tsarnaev.. Read more + video.

The Washington Post

Related,
- Boston bombing suspect flagged on terror databases, questions raised over US govt’s handling - RT

US arming, funding al-Qaeda to harm Iran

As the FBI reels from what now appears to be revelations it was directly involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, a deluge of FBI "success" stories have been "serendipitously" splashed across Western headlines.

Among them was an allegedly "foiled" terror attack in Canada, reported to be the work of terrorists supported by "Al-Qaeda operatives in Iran." Read more.

PressTV

Related,
Analysis: Iran's unlikely al Qaeda ties: fluid, murky and deteriorating - Reuters

Jordan slammed for aiding al-Qaeda to enter Syria

The Iranian military’s top brass has criticized Jordan for facilitating the infiltration into Syria by al-Qaeda terrorists.

“Opening Jordan’s borders to al-Qaeda to massacre people in Syria has sharply reduced the credibility of the country in the eyes of Muslims,” Iran Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said on Wednesday. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
Prominent Lawmaker: Ending Support for Terrorists in Syria Serves US Interests - Fars

US, Jordan Form Command Center to Watch Syria - Military.com
US ramps up plans for military intervention in Syria - WSWS

Analysis: Iran's unlikely al Qaeda ties: fluid, murky and deteriorating - Reuters
US arming, funding al-Qaeda to harm Iran - PressTV

April 24, 2013

Privatizing Europe



Nick Buxton: A massive European fire sale is one way finance is using the crisis to entrench neo-liberalism

TRNN

Time for Growth: Austerity Has 'Reached its Limits,' Barroso Says

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has said that Europe has reached the political limits of its austerity measures, suggesting that crisis countries should get more time to consolidate their budgets. But Germany warned against changing course on Tuesday.

Striking statements were made by one of Europe's most powerful men on Monday night,.. Read more.

Spiegel

Related,
- EU Austerity Dispute: How Barroso Let His Opinion Slip - Spiegel

Youth unemployment highest since 1977

More than a third of 15-24-year-olds out of work

(ANSA) - Rome, April 24 - Unemployment among Italians between 15 and 24 reached 35.3% in 2012, its highest since 1977, Istat said Wednesday.

ANSA

Brussels to give Spain two more years on deficit as austerity loses its shine

Amid pressure from the IMF and faced with the fact that output in the euro zone as a whole is shrinking, the European Commission seems to be relaxing its obsession with austerity and is moving increasingly toward the idea that Spain should be given two more years to bring its public deficit back within the European ceiling of three percent of GDP.

Setting the tone for this shift in emphasis, EC President José Manuel Barroso on Monday said: "While I think this [austerity] policy is fundamentally right, I think it has reached its limits." Read more.

El País

Portugal 1st Q Deficit Below Limit Agreed With Troika

Wednesday, 24 April: Daily “Público” reports that Portugal’s public deficit in the first quarter of 2013 came in below the limit established in the country’s adjustment programme by the troika of international lenders.

Portugal Daily View

Related,
- State debt continues to climb - The Portugal News

Protesters arrested for replacing Greek flag with banner

Police on Wednesday arrested six people after detaining a group of 69 protesters who had replaced a Greek flag with their own banner outside the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens on the same day.

The banner, which read “Raise your voice against state censorship,”.. Read more.

Ekathimerini

Greece to push claim for German war reparations, foreign minister tells parliament

Greece is planning to pursue a long-dormant claim for reparations from Germany over World War Two, a further strain on relations with Berlin, which foots most of the bill for its 240-billion euro rescue.

The Finance Ministry has compiled a report that takes stock of all relating available documents spanning more than six decades,.. Read more.

Ekathimerini

Militant Groups in Syria Bombard Hermel Again

Two missiles fired by militant groups in Syria exploded in the Beqaa border city, Hermel, causing no casualties.

Al-Manar correspondent reported that at 9 in the morning, two missiles landed at the Lebanese territories causing only material damages. Read more.

Al Manar

Related,
- Clashes escalate on Syria-Lebanon border (video) - Al Jazeera
Syrian Army Surrounds Strategic Town of Qusayr - Al Akhbar

Free Syrian Army Rejects Lebanon Salafists' Jihad Call - Naharnet
- Hundreds of Europeans Fighting in Syria: EU Expert - Al Manar

FARC-EP, Colombian Gov't Resume Peace Talks

Havana, Apr 23 (Prensa Latina) The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) and that country's government will resume talks today aiming at achieving peace after more than 50 years of armed confrontation.

After a month of an active break, as the parties defined in a joint communiqué, the representative of the guerrilla and of the government of Juan Manuel Santos return to Havana's International Conference Center,.. Read more.

Prensa Latina

Related,
UK, Colombia strengthen ties in education, infrastructure, development - Colombia Reports

'US miscalculated provocation of N. Korea, stepping back'



Far from abandoning its atomic program - North Korea is now reportedly seeking international recognition, as a Nuclear armed state. The US had laid out disarmament as a condition for talks. But Pyongyang's official newspaper says if negotiations happen - it will be between equal, nuclear armed nations.

RT discusses the North's atomic aspirations with James Corbett, the editor of a Japan-based news website.

RT

Related,
- US rejects N. Korea’s demands to be recognized as a nuclear arms state (video) - RT
- US rejects N Korea's nuclear status demand - Al Jazeera

NAM urges global commitment to nuclear disarmament - PressTV

Information Minister... Syria Took Decision to Fight Terrorism, Go to Dialogue

MOSCOW, ( SANA)-Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi said that Syria has taken its decision to fight terrorism in one hand and go to dialogue in the other, affirming that the Syrian government seeks to implement the political program to solve the crisis in the country.

"The Syrian people have confidence in Russia, its people and leadership.. Read more.

SANA

Related,
US urges NATO to consider role in Syria - Al Jazeera
- Lavrov, Kerry to talk Syria at Russia-NATO Council - The Voice of Russia

Russia rejects military intervention in Syria - Xinhua

Foreign Ministry: EU Decision Allowing Oil Transactions with 'Opposition' Contradicts the Principle of Non-interference

DAMASCUS, (SANA)- Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Tuesday said the EU decision to allow importing Syrian oil and its derivatives and investing in Syrian oil industry through exclusive transactions with the so-called 'opposition coalition' violates the principle of non-interference in the countries' affairs.

In two identical letters addressed to the UN Security Council President and the UN Secretary General,.. Read more.

SANA

Related,
- Syria censures EU plan to buy oil from militants - PressTV
EU governments ease Syria sanctions on oil to help rebels - Reuters

- Rebels battle with tribesmen over oil in Syria’s east - Al Arabiya
Israeli Licence to Cheney-Linked Energy Firm on Golan Heights Raises Eyebrows - IPS

Car bomb destroys French embassy in Libya

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius vowed to track down those responsible for Tuesday's "heinous attack" on France's embassy in Tripoli after it was targeted by a car bomb that injured two guards and damaged surrounding buildings.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius toured France’s devastated embassy in Tripoli on Tuesday,.. Read more + video.

France24

Related,
- Car bomb hits French Embassy in Libya, 2 guards injured (video) - RT
- France vows to punish Libya embassy attackers (video) - Al Jazeera

April 23, 2013

'US backed Chechen 'freedom fighters', faces fallout of 'enemy's enemy' policy'



Despite being of Chechen descent, the alleged bombers spent most of their lives in the US after their parents applied for asylum. Both were rare visitors to Russia, but this didn't stop Moscow from raising the alarm over possible terrorist intentions of the older brother. RT's Gayane Chichakyan reports on why the concerns failed to prevent the Boston tragedy.

Also, James Petras, Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, believes the US is walking on very thin ice, when it backs questionable armed factions elsewhere in the world.

RT

UK bars Shell from paying Iran debt

The British government has blocked the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell from paying its $2.3 billion debt to Iran to prevent a boost to the Iranian economy.

While Shell has been trying for months to pay its debt to Iran without violating anti-Iranian sanctions,.. Read more.

PressTV

Anti-transnational group meets in Ecuador



Leaders from a number of Latin American countries met today in Ecuador in the first administrative meeting of the Anti-Transnational Front, a group of ALBA countries that will look to minimize abuses by transnationals in Latin America.

teleSUR

CIA interventions in Uruguay



Press TV's documentary program investigates the illegal detention, torture, and killing of Uruguayans by the CIA during the Cold War and conduct interviews with former Uruguayan politicians.

PressTV

April 22, 2013

Time for Union, Says Colombian ELN

Bogota, Apr 22 (Prensa Latina) Top leader of Colombian National Liberation Army guerrilla, Nicolás Rodríguez, called today to create a large national movement for peace grouping all organizations and parties.

In a videotape sent to delegates of the Congress for Peace and Decent Life,.. Read more.

Prensa Latina

Related,
ELN, Colombia govt peace talks could begin in May - Colombia Reports

IAEA: Japan nuke cleanup may take more than 40 years

A U.N. nuclear watchdog team says Japan may need longer than the planned 40 years to decommission its tsunami-crippled nuclear plant and is urging its operator to improve plant stability.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency team, Juan Carlos Lentijo, said on April 22 that damage at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is so complex that it is "impossible" to predict how long the cleanup may last. Read more.


Related,

Gorleben returns as nuclear disposal possibility

Nuclear Power | The German government wants to find a site to store nuclear waste - just not in Gorleben, for many years the preferred location. But many politicians are revisiting the battles of the past.

It was a day to make Peter Altmaier happy. The sociable German environment minister is considered a bridge-builder, a Christian Democrat (CDU) who can do well with the environmental specialists of the opposition. Read more.

DW

Britain's nuclear future at risk, experts warn

Writing in today’s Telegraph, 18 leading nuclear scientists suggest that plans to build five new plants by 2030 could be under threat due to a lack of progress on the first of the projects.

Building a "fleet" of new power stations could lower household bills, provide a much-needed source of low-carbon energy and position Britain as a world leader in the global nuclear market, they claim. Read more.

The Telegraph

Iran, IAEA have agreed to meet on May 21: reports

TEHRAN – Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have agreed to hold a new round of talks over Iran’s nuclear program on May 21 in Vienna, Iranian news agencies reported on Monday.

Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh will head the Iranian delegation in the talks and IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts will lead the IAEA delegation. Read more.

Tehran Times

Related,
'Iran to meet UN nuclear watchdog on May 21' - JPost
Argentine Rafael Grossi, key man in IAEA nuclear agency reshuffle - Buenos Aires Herald

Hagel: Israel has unilateral right to strike Iran

JERUSALEM, April 22 (UPI) -- Israel has a unilateral right to strike Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Chuck Hagel said ahead of talks in Jerusalem Monday on Iran's nuclear program threats.

"Israel is a sovereign nation and every sovereign nation has the right to defend itself and protect itself. Read more.

UPI

Related,
- Hosting U.S. defense chief, Israel hints at patience on Iran - Reuters
- Hagel, in Israel, Presses U.S. Agenda on Deterring Iran - NY Times

- US defense secretary backs Israeli war rhetoric against Iran - PressTV

NAM urges global commitment to nuclear disarmament

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has criticized disarmament policies of nuclear-armed countries, urging them to fulfill their denuclearization commitments.

In a statement read out by Mohammad-Reza Sajjadi, Iran’s UN envoy to Geneva, the NAM underlined the need for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Read more.

PressTV