October 31, 2013

Asa - 360°

Sunshine sets on remote Norwegian town thanks to mirrors



For the first time, winter sunshine lights up the remote Norwegian town of Rjukan as mirrors high on a mountainside illuminate the town's main square and its residents.

So how does this all work? Well, the sensor-equipped mirrors, which are powered by wind and solar energy, will automatically track the sun so it can continually shine on the town's main square.

PressTV

Portuguese metro workers on strike to protest austerity measures



Transportation is disrupted in the Portuguese capital Lisbon as subway workers go on strike in protest at government's austerity measures and spending cuts.

Lisbon's metro train system was closed on Thursday. This is the fifth time the metro workers go on strike this year. The strikers are angry with the government's new austerity measures proposed for 2014. Portugal is in its worst economic recession since the 1970s. The government has implemented a number of painful austerity measures to contain a budget shortfall.

PressTV

Related,
Unemployment drops slightly to 16.3% - Portugal News

Euro area unemployment rate at 12.2%

The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.2% in September 2013, stable compared with August4. The EU28 unemployment rate was 11.0%, also stable compared with August.

In both zones, rates have risen compared with September 2012, when they were 11.6% and 10.6% respectively. Read more (pdf).

Eurostat

Protestors clash with police in Rome, officer injured

Demonstrators climb aboard armoured van

(ANSA) - Rome, October 31 - Police fired tear gas to dispel protestors on Thursday after clashing with them in central Rome. Read more.

ANSA

Related,
Roman Rumpus: Violent clashes erupt as hundreds rally for affordable housing (video) - RT

Geoengineering the Climate Could Reduce Vital Rains

Oct. 31, 2013 — Although a significant build-up in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would alter worldwide precipitation patterns, a widely discussed technological approach to reduce future global warming would also interfere with rainfall and snowfall, new research shows.

The international study, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR),.. Read more.

ScienceDaily

Related,
Geoengineering Could Disrupt Rainfall Patterns - ScienceDaily

CIA's Wash Post Leaks Aimed At Silencing Drone Critics



Gareth Porter: CIA leaks to the Washington Post alleging Pakistani support for drone strikes a ploy to prop up increasingly unpopular program

TRNN

Related,
Secret memos reveal explicit nature of U.S., Pakistan agreement on drones - Washington Post

Abbas vows there will be no peace agreement unless all prisoners go free

PA leader also blasts Israeli building announcement.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that there would be no agreement with Israel as long as even one Palestinian remained in Israeli prison. Read more.

JPost

State continues to shorten detention periods for Palestinian minors

High Court of Justice told by state that trial period policy changes have become permanent.

The state announced to the High Court of Justice in a response on Wednesday that it had further shortened periods of detention for.. Read more.

JPost

Related,
Ending a 1.5-year boycott || Israel resuming cooperation with UN Human Rights Council - Haaretz

1,500 Units To Be Added In Settlement, Israel Says

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government announced Wednesday that it had given final approval for 1,500 new apartments in a particularly contentious Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem and moved forward on plans for a controversial park and tourism center here, prompting Palestinian accusations that it is not taking the Washington-brokered peace talks seriously.

The construction approvals were an expected attempt to appease Israeli politicians and citizens.. Read more.

NY Times

Related,
In 'offset' to prisoner release || Israel advancing plan for some 5,000 new homes in West Bank and East Jerusalem - Haaretz

Netanyahu's Greater Israel Based on Expulsion and Annexation - Blumenthal



In this episode of Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, Max Blumenthal, author of Goliath - Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, looks at PM Netanyahu's strategy of ethnic cleansing and negotiations without end

TRNN

Related,
Max Blumenthal's Goliath, Life and Loathing in Greater Israel Pt1 (video) - TRNN
Ethnic Cleansing and the Israeli "Center " - Blumenthal Pt2 (video) - TRNN

Meet Noam Chomsky, Academic Gatekeeper



Is Noam Chomsky an anarcho-syndicalist or proponent of the Federal Reserve? A fearless political crusader or defender of the Warren Commission JFK orthodoxy? A tireless campaigner for justice or someone who doesn't care who did 9/11?

Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we examine some of the subjects that Chomsky would prefer you didn't think about. Read more.

Corbett Report

October 30, 2013

Boiling Point: Iraq seeks US military tech, aid to counter terrorism



Drones, fighter jets and military helicopters. Iraq's Prime Minister is traveling to Washington with a hefty shopping list of equipment he wants to help fight the sectarian violence engulfing his country. But some US Senators are warning that it's the Iraqi leader himself pushing the country into civil war.

Just today, 12 people were killed in twin suicide attacks targeting solders and anti Al-Qaeda militants. Let's talk to Jeremy Corbyn - chairman of the Stop the war coalition.

RT

Related,
U.S. senators accuse Iraq’s Maliki of sectarian agenda - Al Arabiya

Canadians Seek Dick Cheney's Arrest For War Crimes During Upcoming Visit

An international volunteer organization urged Canadian authorities to arrest former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on war crimes charges when he visits the 2013 Toronto Global Forum later this week.

Lawyers Against the War argued in a letter dated Sunday that Toronto Police Chief William Blair and Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen have a duty to arrest Cheney.. Read more.

Huff Post

US drone strike leaves three dead

MIRAMSHAH: Three suspected militants have been killed in a US drone strike in Miramshah Bazaar in North Waziristan Agency late Wednesday night.

Sources said that three people were also injured and that the number of casualties is likely to increase. Read more.

Dawn

Nawaz asks Taliban to join peace talks

LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that his government wants peace not only in Pakistan but the region, and asked the Taliban to join the peace process and become part of the political process.

In an interview with a private TV channel in London, the prime minister said that.. Read more.

PakTribune

Related,
- Pakistan assures full assistance to Afghan peace process - PakTribune
US drone strike leaves three dead - Dawn

Exclusive: Syria peace talks face delay as big powers split

(Reuters) - International powers are unlikely to meet their goal of convening peace talks on Syria in Geneva next month as differences emerge between Washington and Moscow over opposition representation, Arab and Western officials said.

Failure of the main Syrian National Coalition to take a clear stance over the talks,.. Read more.

Reuters

Related,
Brahimi meets Assad in Damascus - Al Jazeera
Lavrov: Geneva accords on Syria's chemical weapons effectively implemented - SANA

Reports: Syria using starvation as war tactic - Al Jazeera
90 tons of medicine, 3700 tons of flour, and assorted supplies shipped to Aleppo in October - SANA

Syria's Assad says support for armed groups must end - CBS
15 citizens murdered by terrorists in massacre committed in Shallouh village, Homs - SANA

Over 1000 People Join Fresh Anti-Govt Rally in Sofia

Over 1000 people have taken to the streets in Sofia to protest against Bulgaria’s government, with Wednesday marking the 139th straight evening of rallies in the capital.

As in the previous several days, the demonstrators gathered in front of Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”.. Read more.


Related,

Non-performing bank loans in Italy reach 75 billion euros

Bank of Italy governor says amply covered by guarantees

(ANSA) - Rome, October 30 - Non-performing bank loans in Italy have reached 75 billion euros,.. Read more.

ANSA

Related,
Italian banks have 39% coverage rate for deteriorated credit - ANSA

Denial File: NSA claims EU Intel agencies willingly shared data



In the U.S., political opinion towards the spying practices that caused a storm of global criticism looks to be shifting. Both Republicans and Democrats have called for reform of the NSA - with lawmakers proposing a ban on the agency collecting data in bulk.

The intelligence community is however strongly opposed. Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, NSA director General Keith Alexander forcefully warned against limiting the surveillance program. This view was echoed by the U.S. Intelligence Chief, who said reforms would lead to greater risks. This is all happening against the backdrop of a growing diplomatic row - with America's EU allies demanding answers over allegations their citizens and leaders were spied on.

Our European correspondent Tesa Arcilla brings the details. NSA claims that EU intelligence agencies willingly shared data are backed by the latest leaks published in Spain. El Mundo - the paper that earlier revealed more than sixty million calls were tracked by the NSA within a month - now says this was done in collaboration with Spanish intelligence services.

RT

Related,
NSA tracked 46mln Italian phone calls - report - RT
NSA Collected Data On 60 Million Phone Calls In Spain Over Course Of One Month: Report - Huff Post

‘AIVD werkt samen met NSA’ - NRC
'AIVD hielp mogelijk NSA bij aftappen 1,8 miljoen telefoontjes' - Volkskrant

Pakistan: US Drones Have Killed 2,227 Since 2008

Islamabad, Oct 30 (Prensa Latina) Minister of the Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stated at the Senate, today, U.S. drones´ air raids in Pakistan have killed 2,227 people since 2008.

Opposite to what human rights organizations and entities, which monitor this matter, hold, Khan noted that 67 civilians died during the raids in that period. Read more.

Prensa Latina

Related,
Drones killed 67 civilians in five years: Pakistan - Dawn
"I no longer love blue skies": Drone strike victims testify before Congress (video) - RT

Rejection at UN to Blockade on Cuba, A Uncomfortable Day for USA

United Nations, Oct 30 (Prensa Latina) The United States lived yesterday a uncomfortable day at UN, when 188 of its 193 member countries demanded again the end of the blockade imposed to Cuba.

Only Israel accompanied Washington in its isolation to the highest UN body, where for 22nd consecutive years,.. Read more.

Prensa Latina

Related,
Cuba reiterates its willingness to establish a dialogue with the US (video) - teleSUR
Impact of US blockade on Cuba (video) - teleSUR

Overwhelming UN vote against US embargo of Cuba - AFP
- Record number of nations oppose US embargo of Cuba in UN vote - RT

Municipality workers conduct more protests in Chile



Municipality workers from across Chile are on unlimited strike to demand better working conditions and higher salaries to Sebastian Piñera's government.

teleSUR

Argentina: Supreme Court upholds controversial media law



The Argentinian Supreme Court has declared the new media law constitutional which seeks to put an end to private media monopolies.

Although the law won an overwhelming majority in Congress in 2009, media conglomerate Grupo Clarin pushed for a judicial appeal, that ultimately did not prevent the law from taking effect.

teleSUR

Related,
Supreme Court declares Media Law constitutional - Buenos Aires Herald
Clarín stocks plunge 21% in London, 5.8% in BA, trading halted - Buenos Aires Herald

October 29, 2013

Cyprus economy in focus again

International auditors forming the so-called troika have gone back to Cyprus to get detailed information about the progress of economic reforms there. The eurozone nation needs to qualify for the next bailout tranche.

On Tuesday, representatives of the European Commission,.. Read more.

DW

Related,
Central Bank board meets Troika - Cyprus Mail
Cyprus lenders eye banks overhaul, state selloffs in review - Cyprus Mail

Black Books: EU shadow economy booms as austerity bites



As if austerity, rising poverty and joblessness weren't enough - the EU's facing another crisis from its own shadow economy.

In Spain alone, up to 30 per cent of business is now hidden from government and tax inspectors. And, as RT's Tesa Arcilla found out across the bloc, it's getting worse.

RT

Dutch Rabobank fined $1 billion over Libor scandal

(Reuters) - U.S. and European regulators have fined Dutch lender Rabobank $1 billion for rigging benchmark interest rates, making it the fifth bank punished in a scandal that has helped to shred faith in the industry.

Rabobank said on Tuesday it would pay 774 million euros to U.S., British and Dutch regulators.. Read more.

Reuters

Gerelateerd,
Megaboete Rabobank Libor-affaire (video) - NOS
- Rabo-management in de problemen - Herstel de Republiek

Deutsche Bank Profit Falls 94% on 1.2 Billion Euro Charge

Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Europe’s largest investment bank by revenue, said third-quarter profit slid 94 percent after it set aside 1.2 billion euros ($1.65 billion) to cover potential legal costs and income from debt trading fell.

Net income in the three months through September dropped to 41 million euros.. Read more.

Bloomberg

Occupy finance: Alternative banking?



While many believe that the occupy movement fizzled away after they stopped making noise and holding demonstrations.

The activists have been busy for the past two years coming up with different ways to organize. One of these ways have been through "Occupy Finance", which comprises of smart and economically savvy individuals who have put together an alternative to the capitalist banking system, prevalent on Wall Street.

According to them "We are dedicated to the proposition that citizens are both capable of and entitled to an understanding of how the financial system under which they live operates and that those who corrupt the system should be held accountable for their actions."

PressTV

David Cameron makes veiled threat to media over NSA and GCHQ leaks

Prime minister alludes to courts and D notices and singles out the Guardian over coverage of Edward Snowden saga

David Cameron has called on the Guardian and other newspapers to show "social responsibility" in the reporting of the leaked NSA files to avoid high court injunctions or the use of D notices to prevent the publication of information that could damage national security. Read more.

Guardian

Related,
'Publish & be damned!' Cameron threatens media over NSA leaks (video) - RT

Athens braces for onset of troika

With the troika’s technical teams due to resume inspections in Athens on Tuesday, and mission chiefs due back within a week, government officials have been in back-to-back meetings in a bid to finalize Greece’s stance opposite its foreign creditors amid pressure for more budget cuts.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to pursue a hard line in talks with envoys of Greece’s creditors –.. Read more.

Ekathimerini

Related,
What exactly are we negotiating for? - Ekathimerini

Spanish lender Bankia turns corner after massive bailout

Struggling Spanish lender Bankia has been reported to have logged a profit in the first nine months of the year.

The recovery came after a massive bailout last year, with huge problems prevailing in the lending sector. Read more.

DW

Related,
“Bankia has helped to improve Spain’s image” - El País
Eurogroup president calls on Spain to work more and adopt new labor reforms - El País

Eurogroup president calls on Spain to work more and adopt new labor reforms

Dijsselbloem believes unemployment problem warrants retirement age increase

An increase in the retirement age and changes to working hours — Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem believes Spain’s massive unemployment rate requires more action and has called on the Spanish government to adopt these further measures. Read more.

El País

‘Stop met sollicitatieplicht, er zijn toch geen banen’

In tijden van crisis verdienen uitkeringsgerechtigden steun. Pest ze niet met dwangbeleid, betoogt Ab Gietelink vandaag in een opiniestuk in NRC Handelsblad.

Volgens het Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek waren er in september 685.000 werklozen. Dat cijfer houdt echter geen rekening met verborgen werkloosheid. Lees meer.

NRC

Gerelateerd,
'Geef iedereen een basisinkomen' - Knack.be
Een samenleving zonder stress door inkomensonzekerheid lijkt gezonder en welvarender te zijn - De Morgen

- Geld als dictatoriaal instrument - Visionair

'Geef iedereen een basisinkomen'

Peter De Keyzer, hoofdeconoom van BNP Paribas Fortis, breekt een lans voor een basisinkomen voor iedereen.

Het basisinkomen lijkt meer en meer opgang te kennen in Europa. Lees meer.

October 28, 2013

Bangladesh strike enters second day



Clashes continue in Bangladesh on the second day of a nationwide strike demanding the resignation of the country’s prime minister.

Two more protesters were killed during clashes in the north and southeast on Monday. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
2nd day hartal violence kills 6 - New Nation
- BNP leader killed in bomb attack in Jhenidah - UNB

- Non-stop Dhaka blockade awaits - Daily Star
- PM rules out possibility of army takeover - New Nation

'US drone strike' kills senior Shabab members

Witnesses say two killed as anonymous US official confirms an attack was launched in southern Somalia.

A United States military strike has hit a car carrying senior members of the al-Shabab armed group in Somalia,.. Read more.

Al Jazeera

US airstrike kills at least 3 people in Afghanistan's Maidan Wardak province



A US airstrike has killed three people in Afghanistan's eastern Maidan Wardak province. The US military has confirmed the overnight attack, claiming it targeted Taliban militants.

US drone strikes have been a major source of tension between Kabul and Washington. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly questioned the legality of the US drone strikes. Kabul is demanding an immediate end to the airstrikes before signing a bilateral security deal with Washington.

The deal will allow the US military to remain in the country beyond the 20-14 deadline. The United States carried out over 500 drone attacks in Afghanistan last year.

PressTV

Related,
12 militants killed in joint operation - WNA

NATO planning mission downsize in Afghanistan

KABUL (WNA-Oct. 28, 2013): Senior North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials say they are planning a more minimalist mission, with fewer combat trainers and more military managers to ensure that billions of dollars in security aid are not squandered or pilfered, a report said.

The shrinking ambitions for the postwar mission reflect fears that the United States Congress.. Read more.

WNA

Fresh violence hit Iraqi cities



Fresh violence in Iraq. Deaths and injuries were caused after a series of coordinated bomb attacks hit different areas in Baghdad province.

The bombings targeted busy streets and markets in mainly Shia-populated districts. Read more.

PressTV

'US aims to destroy all independently minded countries in Mideast'



A series of bomb attacks across Iraq has left at least 66 people dead... and dozens more wounded. Most of the blasts targeted Shiite-Muslim districts around the capital, Baghdad. The Iraqi government blames the daily attacks on Sunni Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda.

We discussed the situation with journalist and broadcaster Neil Clark... He believes the U.S. is simply not interested in curbing Al Qaeda's influence in the region.

RT

Over 100,000 Hungarians form human chain, asking for self-governance of Szekely Land

Senate Speaker deems enclave as unacceptable.

Over 100,000 Hungarians from several counties in Transylvania but also from Hungary took part in a protest march yesterday, forming a 54-kilometer-long human chain from.. Read more.

Nine O'Clock

Related,
March for autonomy in Székely Land kicks off - Hungarian Ambiance

1000s Romanians protest Canada gold mine project

Thousands of Romanians have staged demonstrations in a ninth week of protests against plans by a Canadian company to open Europe’s largest gold mine in the country.

On Sunday, approximately 2500 people marched in the capital Bucharest.. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
Ninth Sunday of protests to stop Canadian gold mining in Rosia Montana (photos) - Demotix

Indians of Brazilian Amazon Begin to Suffer “White People’s Ills”

RIO DE JANEIRO – Indians of the Brazilian Amazon no longer suffer much from malaria, which is relatively under control in the world’s largest tropical forest, but now they are contracting illnesses common in the big cities of the “whites,” such as hypertension and dyslipidemia, an abnormal amount of cholesterol and/or fat in the blood.

Such were the results of a Federal University of Sao Paulo study of Indians from the Khisedje ethnicity.. Read more.

Latin America Herald Tribune

Petrobras Workers Call Off Strike in Brazil

Most Brazilian oil workers have called off the strike they began a week ago to press demands for higher salaries and protest the auction of the deep-water Libra field.

The FUP union, which represents most employees of Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras,.. Read more.

Latino News Daily

Related,
The Real Winners of the Brazil Oil Boom - Fool
Brazil’s Oil Sale Could Generate Trillions - Rio Times

Brazil oil-auction protests turn violent (video) - Al Jazeera

October 27, 2013

Brazil's main city again rocked by riots and vandalism over transport facilities and costs

Brazilian police fired tear gas and have arrested scores of protesters in the country's main city Sao Paulo when a march demanding free public transportation for students turned violent.

The protest on Friday evening blocked key city streets and disrupted the public transportation system in the city of 11 million. Read more.

MercoPress

Menéndez sentenced to 20 years in prison

Former officer was considered guilty of abductions and torture in La Rioja

One the most notorious dictatorship chiefs, Luciano Benjamín Menéndez, was yesterday sentenced to 20 years in prison for abductions and torture perpetrated during the last military regime in Chilecito and Famatina, La Rioja province. Read more.

Buenos Aires Herald

First-Ever Case of Canadian Mining Company Going To Trial In Canada For Alleged Abuses Abroad



The trial of HudBay Minerals marks a first-time legal precedent of a Canadian company being held to account in Canadian courts for alleged shootings and gang rapes in Guatemala

TRNN

BP's 'widespread human health crisis'

Toxicologists 'predicted with certainty' that Gulf of Mexico residents and clean-up workers would become severely ill.

New Orleans, United States of America - Peter Frizzell never thought his watersports off the coast of Florida would destroy his health. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Car Explosion in Benghazi

There has been a massive car explosion this morning in Benghazi in front of the Alwiya Hura school (formally known as Alwiya Khadhra) in the city’s Majouri area.

There were no casualties but the explosion resulted in the destruction of five vehicles parked in front of the school,.. Read more.

Libya Herald

Related,
Oil pipline shut down by armed group in Libya - Xinhua
Senior Air Force officer assassinated in Benghazi - Libya Herald

Car bomb defused at Tripoli West power station - Libya Herald

More Chaos in Libya After Regional Autonomy Declaration

Tripoli, Oct 26 (Prensa Latina) Chaos in Libya intensifies after Cyrenaica, a large region in the Eastern part of the country, declared itself as an autonomous region, to weaken the National Congress'' de facto government.

The separatists, grouped in an unprecedented movement called Barqa,.. Read more.

Prensa Latina

Related,
Rebel leaders form shadow govt. in eastern Libya (video) - PressTV
On Liberation Day, some Libyans still don’t feel liberated - Libya Herald

Colombian Villagers Blockade State Drilling Project



Citing environmental concerns, central Colombian villages use months of direct action to delay planned state oil project.

TRNN

1000s of Portuguese protest against austerity cuts

Thousands of Portuguese have staged demonstrations against harsh austerity measures imposed by the government under the country's international bailout agreement.

On Saturday, the protesters gathered in the old center of the capital Lisbon and marched towards parliament,.. Read more + video.

PressTV

Israeli minister says Tel Aviv and Riyadh speak the same language over Iran



Israeli minister Tzipi Livni says the Tel Aviv regime and Saudi Arabia share a similar stance and speak a similar language on Iran.

“When you hear the Saudis talking about what needs to be done in order to prevent a [nuclear] Iran,.. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
Israel, Saudis speaking same language on Iran - Livni - Reuters
Livni: Saudis share our concern over Iran - JPost

Mark Stewart - The Puppet Master

NSA 'Stop Watching Us' Protest Draws Thousands In Washington

WASHINGTON -- Thousands rallied against the National Security Agency's domestic and international surveillance programs Saturday, marching from Union Station to the Capitol to call for an end to mass surveillance.

"We've also learned this isn't about red or blue party lines. Read more.

Huff Post

October 26, 2013

Guatemala: Mayan women to reject oil concessions to multinationals



Mayan women of Guatemala are organising themselves to reject oil concessions that were delivered by the state to multinational companies.

 teleSUR

2 militants killed in Kunar drone strike

KABUL (WNA-Oct.26, 2013): At least two armed Taliban were killed during an ISAF unmanned aircraft in eastern province of Kunar, an official said Saturday.

The incident took place in Watapor district,.. Read more.

WNA

Never approved drone strikes, Pakistan tells UN

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan told a UN committee on Friday that drone strikes resulting in civilian casualties violate international law, and that Islamabad did not approve such attacks on its territory.

“It is not justifiable to launch strikes in the context of non-international armed conflict in Pakistan-Afghanistan border area,”.. Read more.

Dawn

Related,
Pakistan's UN envoy censures US strikes in tribal areas (video) - PressTV
Drone issue to settle down soon: Nawaz - PakTribune

- Imran slams Prime Minister on drone remarks - SAMAA

Crying Shame: Bahrain teargas canisters outnumber people



Bahrain's government has been trying to buy huge stocks of tear gas - enough canisters to outnumber the country's population.

That's emerged from documents exposed by a human rights group. Read more.

RT

Related,
In Bahrain, thousands take to the streets of the Manama to call for political reforms (video) - PressTV

Erdoğan says Turkey open to other missile bids only if China backs out

Despite criticism from its NATO allies, Turkey would only give up co-producing a long-range air and missile defense system with a Chinese firm currently under US sanctions if the company were to decide to pull out of the deal, leading Turkey to talk to other bidders, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday.

Speaking to journalists while returning from his Kosovo trip on Thursday, Erdoğan reiterated that.. Read more.

Today's Zaman

Related,
Made in China? Turkey shuns NATO through missile deal with Beijing (video) - RT

Ocalan calls on Ankara to adopt law allowing safe return of PKK militants

The imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan has called on Turkey government to adopt a new law allowing for the safe return home of the party’s militants who haven't been involved in violent acts, the daily of Zaman said in a report.

In a letter disclosed by pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Chairman Selahattin Demirtas on Thursday, Ocalan said.. Read more.

KurdPress

Related,
PKK chief says could convince militants to return home - Today's Zaman

BDP angry with Turkish govt. for backing Al Qaeda



Turkey’s Peace and Democracy party also known as the BDP has in a news conference criticized the Turkish government for throwing its weight behind the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Al Nursa front that is fighting against Syrian government forces.

Press TV 's Serena Shim attended that conference and sent us this report. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
Kürkçü on Syria report released by EU Council - Firatnews
Ocalan calls on Ankara to adopt law allowing safe return of PKK militants - KurdPress

Whoever ends Kurdish bid will pay the price: Turkish PM Erdoğan - Hürriyet
Resolution process: Stop the blame game - Hürriyet

October 25, 2013

Cuban religious leaders urge U.S. to dialogue



Religious leaders of Cuba urged the U.S. government to establish reconciliatory dialogues between the two countries.

teleSUR

Related,
Venezuelan Diplomat at the UN Blasts US Blockade of Cuba - ACN
Blockade to Cuba Ratifies Need of Changes at UN, Venezuela Says - Prensa Latina

Canadian Writers Condemn U.S. Blockade of Cuba - ACN

Pesticide illness triggers anti-Monsanto protest in Argentina

Monsanto pesticides are causing birth defects and cancer in Argentina, according to a new report.

In a farming community near Córdoba, residents say they have been poisoned by pesticides used in soy fields. Read more.

DW

Related,
AP Investigation: Argentines blame birth defects, cancer, on agrochemicals for biotech crops - Washington Post

Argentinians link pesticides to illnesses



Report by doctors claims samples show agro-chemicals in children's blood and that cancer rates have increased.

Argentinian farmers have been accused of using more pesticides then ever, to get larger harvests. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Related,
AP Investigation: Argentines blame birth defects, cancer, on agrochemicals for biotech crops - Washington Post

Colombia blijft landbouwgif sproeien bij grens Ecuador

Colombia zal toch landbouwgif tegen cocaplantages kunnen blijven sproeien vlak bij de grens met Ecuador.

De Ecuadoraanse boeren zijn daar boos over, want hun regering heeft net een zaak tegen Colombia ingetrokken voor het Internationaal Gerechtshof in Den Haag. Lees meer.

De Wereld Morgen

Related,
Ecuador-Colombia Agreement does not stop spraying with glyphosate (translated) - IPS

'Wiretap double standards: Outcry as elite spied on, not citizens'



Spain has summoned the US ambassador, over the latest reports of NSA eavesdropping. The agency's allegedly been snooping on Spanish government officials and the targets may have included the Prime Minister.

For more on the surveillance scandal, RT is joined live by the leader of the UK Pirate Party, Loz Kaye.

RT

Related,
Bug Off! EU leaders 'lack trust' in US after spying claims (video) - RT
US Spies on Its Allies For Business Intel, Not For National Security (video) - TRNN

Report: Israel's Mossad may have hacked former French president Sarkozy's communications in 2012

'Le Monde' interprets US statement as hint of Israel involvement.

US National Security Agency documents revealed by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden demonstrate that Israel may have hacked into former French President Nicholas Sarkozy's communication network in May 2012, Le Monde newspaper reported on Friday. Read more.

JPost

Syria rebels, Assad forces clash in Golan Heights near Israeli border

Meanwhile, Syrian troops kill dozens of rebels in an ambush near Damascus, and seize control of a rebel ammunition supply route on a highway linking the capital to its eastern suburbs.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposition groups battled for control of a key town in the southern Golan Heights,.. Read more.

Haaretz

Related,
Army regains control over Htaitet al-Turkman in Damascus countryside, al-Sukhna town in Palmyra - SANA

Palestinian official: PA pressing 50 countries to cut business ties with settlements

Mohammad Shtayyeh to 'Financial Times': PA petitioning countries to "withdraw investment or freeze activities”.

The Palestinian Authority has reportedly begun a campaign urging international countries to desist from conducting business with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Read more.


Israel To Issue Tenders For New Settlement Units

Israeli sources have reported that the Israeli Housing Ministry is planning to issue tenders for the construction of hundreds of units in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, this coming week.

Israeli daily, Haaretz, quoted a government official stating that the announcement of the bids will take place as Israeli releases 25 Palestinian political prisoners, part of the second stage of detainees’ release to boost direct talks with the Palestinians. Read more.

IMEMC

Related,
Kerry Asks Netanyahu To “Advance Talks” - IMEMC

Israel denies EU delegation entry to Gaza

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli government on Wednesday denied an official European Union delegation entry to the Gaza Strip, claiming the visit would strengthen the ruling Hamas movement.

Six members of an EU Parliament delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council were due to visit Gaza.. Read more.

Gaza

Israeli Forces Arrest 12 Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli Army troops arrested Thursday, 12 Palestinians from West Bank various cities on claims they are "wanted" by the Israeli authorities and transferred them to interrogation centers.

Coordinator of Popular Committee against apartheid wall and settlement in Hebron,.. Read more.


Related,

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

Israeli forces killed a member of an armed group, who was wanted by them in the West Bank. 4 Palestinian civilians, who tried to take the corpse of the victim from the Israeli forces, were wounded.

Israeli forces opened fire in the northern Gaza Strip, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported. Read more.

PCHR

George Soros going to bat for Hillary Clinton

Liberal billionaire George Soros is lending his name to the “Ready for Hillary” super PAC, donating $25,000 to become a co-chair of the group’s National Finance Committee ahead of a major donor confab in New York.

Soros political director Michael Vachon confirmed Soros’s involvement with the group in an emailed statement to POLITICO. Read more.

POLITICO

Related,
Wealth-X Reveals USA’s Top Public Political Donors - Wealth-X

Wealth-X Reveals USA’s Top Public Political Donors

As the US Supreme Court considers whether to remove limits on individuals’ contributions to candidates, political parties and political action committees, Wealth-X today released a list of the top five public political donors leading up to the 2012 elections and since then.

From December 2011 to December 2012, conservative-leaning business mogul Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands, along with his wife Miriam, were the top public donors with US$96,417,000 in political contributions – equivalent to 0.42 percent of their estimated US$23 billion fortune. Read more + pdf.

Wealth-X

Related,
Four US super rich contributed 133 million dollars to the 2012 elections, says Wealth-X - MercoPress

The Number Of Homeless Students In The United States Hits A Record

More than 1.1 million students in the United States were homeless last year, a record high, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Education.

During the 2011-12 school year, there were 1,168,354 homeless students enrolled in preschool or K-12, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. Read more.

ThinkProgress

Israel's New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land



About 60,000 African migrants have arrived in Israel since 2006, fleeing unrest in their home countries. But upon arrival in the ostensibly democratic country, the migrants have faced intense persecution and have been branded as "infiltrators" by right-wing politicians and activists.

For more, read Max Blumenthal's article, "Israel Cranks Up the PR Machine," Read more.

The Nation

UN drops Black Pete 'racism' charge against the Dutch

Unesco official assures the Dutch that their Santa Claus traditions will not be investigated for racism

The Dutch tradition of Santa Claus and his blacked-up servant, Black Pete, is safe from United Nations interference, a Unesco official has assured Holland. Read more.

Dutch historian: Zwarte Piet tradition rests on child slavery

AMSTERDAM—Atop the heated discussion about the Dutch tradition of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) a leading art historian has provided unmistakable proof that the slavish helper of Sinterklaas has his origins in child slavery.

“Both fascinating and horrifying,” Dutch newspaper Volkskrant quoted Elmer Korin on Thursday. Read more.

DevSur

Gerelateerd
Zwarte Piet, Holland's 'Black Pete', In Racism Probe By The United Nations - Huff Post
Dutch use social media to push back against critics who say “Black Pete” is racist - Washington Post

Afro-collectief ‘Broki’ verfoeilt ‘Zwarte Piet’ - NoSpang
Nauwelijks aandacht Sinterklaas discussie in Suriname (video) - NoSpang

- 10 jaar geleden al gekleurde pieten in Suriname (video) - NoSpang

Child Labour in Argentina: Saving the Children of Today, Not Tomorrow

The term ‘child labour’ is defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to their mental and physical development…

In the most extreme forms, child labour exposes children to serious danger, removes them from their families and involves their active enslavement.” Read more.

Argentina Independent

October 24, 2013

Italian banks' bad loan ratio rises to record 9.5%

Up 250% since beginning of crisis, Mediobanca says

(ANSA) - Milan, October 24 - Italian banks' bad loans as a percentage of total credit rose to a new high of 9.5% this year,.. Read more.

ANSA

Cutbacks and PP government’s reform plans fuel students’ strike

Thousands of students from all levels of schooling — from kindergarten to university — stayed home on Thursday in support of a nationwide strike against continuing budget cuts to public education.

Many people also participated in street demonstrations against the cuts and against the legal reform known popularly as the Wert Law,.. Read more.

El País

Bank of Spain estimates economy grew 0.1 percent in third quarter

The Spanish economy left behind nine quarters of shrinking output in the period July-September, marking an end to the longest recession the country has suffered in decades, the Bank of Spain said Wednesday.

In its quarterly report on the domestic economy,.. Read more.

El País

Related,
Unemployment falls due to temporary hiring for summer tourist period - El País
Santander’s net income up 77 percent in first nine months at 3.31 billion euros - El País

Mass Surveillance Of Journalists Due to Skouries Mine Case

Transcripted phone conversations of journalists that work in Greek and foreign media is included in the criminal file of those who are accused for participating in a “criminal organization” in Skouries.

According to Eleftherotypia, phone interviews that the members of the “criminal organization” have given to journalists are documents that could be use against them. Read more.

Greek Reporter

Oktoberbuzz: 'Germany to remain very close to US despite spying'



The scandal around allegations the US is spying on its European allies is snowballing - with Germany becoming the second country this week demanding a full explanation from Washington.

A fresh wave of indignation was sparked by claims the NSA was monitoring the phone conversations of Chancellor Angela Merkel herself. Hugh Bronson, from the Alternative for Germany party, joins RT to discuss this issue.

RT

Related,
'US and Germany can't afford to be separated by chasm of trust' - DW
German foreign minister summons US ambassador over Merkel spying allegations - DW

'Out of Hand': Europe Furious Over US Spying Allegations - Spiegel

US very concerned over Turkey-China missile deal

The United States is very concerned about a missile deal between Turkey and China, US Ambassador in to Turkey Francis Ricciardone has said.

Speaking at the Diplomacy Correspondents Association meeting on Wednesday, the US ambassador said: "There is no secret at all. We are very concerned about the missile deal between Turkey and China." Read more.

Today's Zaman

Massive blackout in Syria after rebels blast gas pipeline



A gas pipeline was attacked near Damascus causing the capital and the southern part of Syria to suffer a blackout, SANA news agency reports. The electricity minister blamed the blast on rebels.

RT

Related,
Oil Minister: Maintenance workshops work to supply Tishreen Electricity Station with gas - SANA

IAEA urges Japan to give public a dose of reality on decontamination work

An International Atomic Energy Agency team is urging Japan to temper public expectations that decontamination work near the devastated Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will quickly bring radiation levels with the national legal limit.

The team said in a report that there is a gap between what the ongoing cleanup operation can achieve and the expectations of residents in communities impacted by the nuclear disaster. Read more.

Asahi Shimbun

Heavy Air Pollution in Canadian Area With Cancer Spikes

Oct. 22, 2013 — Levels of contaminants higher than in some of the world's most polluted cities have been found downwind of Canada's largest oil, gas and tar sands processing zone, in a rural area where men suffer elevated rates of cancers linked to such chemicals.

The findings by UC Irvine and University of Michigan scientists, published online this week, reveal high levels of.. Read more.

ScienceDaily

Holy Logic: Computer Scientists 'Prove' God Exists

Two scientists have formalized a theorem regarding the existence of God penned by mathematician Kurt Gödel.

But the God angle is somewhat of a red herring -- the real step forward is the example it sets of how computers can make scientific progress simpler. Read more.

Spiegel

Younger Brother - Safety in Numbers


Lyric

Shpongle - The God Particle

October 23, 2013

Direct Talks Ongoing Behind Closed Doors

Israeli media sources have reported that Palestinian and Israeli negotiators held over the last four days three direct negotiations sessions, behind closed doors, and without making statements to the media.

The sources quoted U.S. Secretary of Sate, John Kerry, stating Monday that Palestinian and Israeli negotiators.. Read more.

IMEMC

Related,
Cabinet Emphasizes That Jerusalem is the Key to Peace - PNN
In seven-hour Rome meeting, Kerry to press Netanyahu for answers on peace talks - Haaretz

Abbas calls on corporations to cease activity in settlements

BRUSSELS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on international corporations Wednesday to cease doing business in Israeli settlements.

Abbas's statement came during a press conference in Brussels after he met with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Read more.


Related,

Israel and US differ on Iran's nuclear file

US suggests safeguards could show Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, while Israel demands effective dismantlement.

American and Israeli officials have differed over Iran's nuclear programme,.. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Related,
Netanyahu airs fears of Iran compromise as he meets Kerry in Rome - JPost

Anti-Government Protests Mark Second Anniversary of Elections

Anti-government protesters gathered in downtown Tunis today on the second anniversary of Tunisia’s first post-revolution elections.

The protest was scheduled to start at noon, but by mid-morning Avenue Bourguiba, the main street in central Tunis,.. Read more.

Tunisia Live

Relatedm,
Tunisia protests urge government resignation - Al Jazeera
National Guardsmen Killed by Gunmen in Sidi Ali Ben Aoun - Tunisia Live

Spain: Students demonstrate on the streets a day ahead of the education strike



Hundreds of high school and university students took the streets of Madrid Wednesday, to demonstrate against budget cuts for scholarships and grants, and increased registration fees.

Protesters gathered at the Puerta del Sol square carrying banners demanding the resignation of the Spanish Minister of Education Jose Ignacio Wert. Demonstrators also chanted slogans such as "we are the revolution".

Around 30,000 university students could not afford registration fees at the start of the last university term. Some universities are considering creating privately funded programmes to partially finance registration fees. The strike started on Tuesday and is expected to continue until Thursday. Similar protests were held in a number of other Spanish cities.

RuptlyTV

Related,
Spanish students goes on strike for three days (video) - teleSUR

Greek public debt rises in second quarter of 2013

Greece’s public debt reached 169.1 percent of the country’s GDP in the second quarter of 2013, compared to 160.5 percent in the year’s first quarter, according to figures released by Eurostat on Wednesday.

The report pointed to Greece showing the.. Read more.

Ekathimerini

Related,
New Cuts and No Pension Before 62 - Greek Reporter
3600 Bank Employees Losing their Jobs - Greek Reporter

Huishoudens geven weer minder uit

Huishoudens hebben in augustus 2 procent minder uitgeven dan in dezelfde periode vorig jaar.

Al ruim twee jaar op rij geven huishoudens minder uit. Lees meer.

NOS

Eurozone debt level rises to 93.4% of GDP in Q2



The debt burden in the eurozone continues to take a toll on the economy despite harsh austerity measures to contain the debt crisis.

Syrian opposition sets conditions for talks

Opposition leader tells 'Friends of Syria' conference in London that President Assad has to go before they participate.

The Syrian opposition will not attend talks in Geneva seeking to resolve the ongoing civil war unless several conditions are met, including the removal of Bashar al-Assad, the president. Read more + video.

Al Jazeera

Related,
Syrian opposition calls for Assad’s exit as basis for peace talks - Al Arabiya
Britain urges all Syrian opposition to join peace talks - Al Arabiya

Syria opposition urged to join 'Geneva II' talks (video) - BBC
‘Friends of Syria’, foreign-backed opposition meet in London (video) - PressTV

Europe concern over Syria rebels, hypocritical: Mark Glenn (video) - PressTV
Syrian refugees in Lebanon brace for harsh winter (video) - PressTV

Prince Bandar: Riyadh to "shift away" from US over Syria, Iran

Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief has said the kingdom will make a "major shift" in dealings with the United States in protest at its perceived inaction over the Syria war and its overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said on Tuesday.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that Washington had failed to act effectively on the Syrian crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,.. Read more.

Al Akhbar

Related,
Spy Chief Distances Saudis From U.S. - WSJ
Saudi to reassess relations with the US - Al Jazeera

Saudi spy chief says Riyadh to 'shift away from US' over Syria, Iran - JPost

October 22, 2013

US: Reassess Targeted Killings in Yemen

Inquiry into 6 Airstrikes Finds Violations, Harm to Civilians

United States targeted airstrikes against alleged terrorists in Yemen have killed civilians in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Read more.

HRW

Related,
USA must be held to account for drone killings in Pakistan - AI
US drones strategy relies ‘too much on killing people, too little on solving the problems’ - RT

Ireland has third biggest deficit in EU

Ireland’s budget deficit for 2012 has been revised upwards from €12.5bn to just over €13.5bn making it the third largest in the EU.

The new figure means that the deficit represented 8.2% of GDP rather than the 7.6% estimated back in April. Read more.

Irish Examiner

Libor Fixing Scandal: Rabobank Braces for $1bn US and UK Fine

Rabobank is on the cusp of being fined $1bn by US and UK authorities for its alleged role in the manipulation of the key interbank lending rate Libor. 

According to three unnamed sources cited by the Financial Times, the Dutch lender is set to pay the second largest.. Read more.

IBTimes

Related,
Rabobank faces near-$1bn Libor fine - FT
"Miljard dollar boete voor Rabobank" (video) - NOS