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People’s voices and consumer power have Israel worry for its future


by Marivel Guzman

Neturei Karta member in Jerusalem holding a Palestinian flag with the text, “Boycott Israel”.

Israel loves the spotlight of the cameras but this time the spotlight is for Boycott Divestment and Sanction, which recently has been taking center stage in every major news outlet, alternative media and blogging systems. Everyone is writing about BDS and its power over Israel. This time Israel can not control the camera and the narrative, this time consumer power and aware people are making the waves.

“The Israeli government is dependent on a strong export-orientated economy. Europe is Israel’s largest trading partner. Almost 200 organizations representative of a broad spectrum of Palestinian civil society – trade unions, professional bodies such as all the academic unions and associations, medical unions, and most of the major NGOs – have called on the international community to endorse the call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, similar to that which helped to end the apartheid regime in South Africa.” Ireland BDS campaign

Peace activists are directing the tune of the BDS campaign. There is no big money behind the efforts of boycotting Israel products, artists, academia and or financial Israel supporters but a broad movement of activists using social media like twitter, facebook and youtube between others to spread activities of boycott: products produced in any of the 125 illegal settlements like SodaStream

“Israeli Extremism Will Encourage Global Boycott-Israel has elected the most fanatic government in its history. But many Palestinian human rights activists and politicians expect this government, an unpalatable cocktail of right, far-right and fundamentalist Jewish parties, to be the mother of all silver-lined clouds.” NYTimes.com, May 11, 2015

Never in the past newspapers dared to publish news that would tarnish Israel public relations but now days Israel arrogance had made impossible for newspapers and even governments to keep quiet in front of the facts.

“Israel’s Rightward Shift Helps Make It Its Own Worst Enemy,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former director of policy planning for the State Department, It is a difficult and immensely frustrating time to be a friend of Israel, Salughter said for an opinion piece for the NYTimes.com

The boys killed in the beach in front of the international media are images difficult to make up.

The bodies of the four children Mohammed Baker, 9-year-old; Ahed Baker, 10-year-old; Zakaria Baker, 10year-old; and Mohammed Baker, 11-year-old, are seen here being mourn by his male relatives.

The bodies of the four children Mohammed Baker, 9-year-old; Ahed Baker, 10-year-old; Zakaria Baker, 10year-old; and Mohammed Baker, 11-year-old, are seen here being mourn by his male relatives.

Images such this had changed people’s perception of Israel. Last massacre in Gaza put Israel face in the news under its true colors. No public relation campaign could change the images of children killed and entire families wiped out of the map.

Israel Missiles destroys buildings in Gaza city, July 2014, Gaza, Palestine

Israel Missiles destroys buildings in Gaza city, July 2014, Gaza, Palestine

 How can Israel justify bombing entire neighborhood killing entire families and expect the world to support its actions

Finally people said; enough!
When tax time rolls around each year, every American citizen gives $21.59 in military aid to Israel, according to the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation. But that’s not the only way American citizens contribute to the Israeli military, which has occupied Palestinian land for 46 years, and the West Bank settlement project that accompanies the occupation.

Consumers may not know it, but buying products like Sabra hummus and Sodastream helps fuel Israel’s military control over Palestinians. Some companies have factories located in one of the 125 officially recognized settlements in occupied Palestine, which are illegal under international law. Other companies contribute to the maintenance of an occupation through cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose main goal is to protect illegal settlements and exercise dominion over the lives of millions of Palestinians. Buying these products gives profits to companies who exploit Palestinian land and resources. Alternet.org

Israel is suffering the fruits of its intransigence, arrogance and criminal activities in Occupied Palestine. Its friends are abandoning the boat before it sinks.
There should be no surprise, history repeat itself, but, lets be clear on Israel intentions; it will try its gimmicks until the end. There wont be two-state solution, because Israel will be dismantled the same way Apartheid South Africa did. The criminals will start running for cover like the Nazi did after Germany felt to the allies. They will change their names, their religion and will try to disappear into friendly countries  and is doubtful that there will be another Operation Paperclip for Israelis scientists, because as its stand now thousands of Israelis enjoy double nationality. You can have a glimpse of the operation paperclip in the CIA webpage.

Last year the mood was already changing in Czech Republic; the winds of change were started being blown in the press, “At present the Czech Republic’s approach to the Middle East is slowly changing. The nascent Cabinet of the Social Democrats (ČSSD) and the centrist ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) no longer intends to give preferences to the Prague-Tel Aviv axis, Šídlová said in her Analysis: Czech gov’t to shift from Israel


Czech Republic minister in its recent visit to occupied Palestine left some very clear to Israel government,  “As a close friend of yours, it is important for the Czech Republic to say that if the situation does not change it will be hard to maintain our position,” Zaorálek, who was visiting Israel, warned. “We want to avoid initiatives against Israel, but it is getting more difficult with the current government and with the opposition to the two-state solution,” he said. “What is the alternative, to deteriorate towards apartheid?

Israel long time allies are finding more difficult every day to support Israel in the international arena. United States the closest Israel supporter had put the cards on the table.

Haaretz published last week Obama’s interview where the president said that “Stalled peace process makes it harder for U.S. to defend Israel at UN” and showed slights indications that the U.S. won’t veto French resolution on ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the United Nations Security Council.

“Indulging Israel hasn’t worked – maybe the boycott will

How long will Netanyahu act like Putin, Erdogan and Berlusconi, but ask to be rewarded like Nelson Mandela?” Haaretz.com

“Suddenly, again, Israel is seeing new threats everywhere. The latest come not from rockets, the Israelis say, but from students armed with petitions and Palestinians seeking sanctions against the Israeli soccer team.” WashingtonPost.com

Israel is unable to make peace. It has to go forward in domination, expansion, apartheid, and its legitimacy will be more and more contested. And I believe the zioniste state will come to en end.Jacob Cohen, Jewish Moroccan author said in a facebook interview.
The stories are building Israel’s case in front of the world. Israel’s shows of racism, oppression, repression, murder, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, genocide, extreme violence, apartheid, segregation and the wall are sinking Israel’s long propaganda of the only democracy in the middle east.

A report from the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem [link]: “IDF soldiers expel Palestinians from pool in Palestinian village to Enable Settlers to Bathe”

Also mobile Apps are helping in the BDS campaing. Buycoott the mobile is designed to find products in the list of boycotted products. Long Live Palestine boycott Israel campaign has the first place in the buycott app with 417,410 members. Buycott is a tool that lets you organize your consumer spending to help causes that you care for, and to oppose those that you don’t.

Ultimately Israel is its worse enemy and will fall by its own hands.
“When those in power refuse to act to stop this injustice(All of Palestinian occupation) we need a Global Citizens Response to stand along side Palestinians in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality” ‪#‎BDS‬ but this is just the beginning of restoring complete Palestinian’s rights to their land.

A Personal Journey- Photography expression by Jennifer George


by Marivel Guzman

Exposing Scars

Domestic Violence- Trapped in a bubble of indecision, fear and love.

Domestic Violence- Trapped in a bubble of indecision, fear and love.

Last April I found myself inside Orange Coast College Gallery admiring a photography exposition “A Personal Journey-Exposing scars” by Jennifer George a student at Orange Coast College. Admiring is not the right word to say it, because it is hard to watch the horror that every photography denounces; Every photography carries a story of domestic violence whether is physical, verbal or emotional; the scars are deep and painful.

Being there, I meet a lady in her 70s that said, she felt related to the exposition as she was a victim of domestic violence as well.

You can not help but to feel sad and even have teary eyes when you read every story attached to the image of violence.

Some of the women portrayed in the exposition were killed by their husbands or boyfriends, others have escaped the ordeal.

“In the exhibit student photographer Jennifer George strongly exposes the world to domestic violence, giving abused women a voice with her unique style of photography and bold statements through her own experiences.“said Brando Lien, staff writer for CoastReport.com

Click on a photo to enlarge and start slide show

Celebrities for Palestine show their love for humanity through their music – Michael Heart

October 14, 2014 1 comment

From Michael Heart Official Page

Michael Heart, singer and composer of We will not go down, dedicated to the people of Gaza

Michael Heart the singer and composer of “We will not go down, Gaza Tonight” song dedicated to the people of Gaza, Palestine

Michael Heart has no propensity for nonsense. Neither in his life nor in his music. His no-frills approach to songwriting and production work is a clear testament to that. Despite his vastly diverse musicianship skills in different genres (clearly a direct result of having been raised all over the world), he has an affinity for authenticity and purity when it comes to his music. When he makes a Pop/Rock record, you just know it’s a Pop/Rock record.

Such is the case with his debut Pop/Rock CD titled “Unsolicited Material”. Although this record may not necessarily entirely sound like the work of his musical influences, you can definitely hear traces of artists such as Don Henley and Bryan Adams, in a song or two.

His raspy, breathy voice has a very identifiable sound, which commands attention from the listener. The songs are well crafted and the lyrical content is somewhat diverse, yet relevant. He tackles serious topics such as adultery (“Living In Sin”); the challenges of making a living (“Life Goes On”); war (“Damaged World”) and even domestic violence (“Finally Free”). Having said that, once in a while, Michael still lets his sense of humor come out in a song like “Wanna Be Bad”. After all, rock’n roll is about having a good time. And just for good measure, he includes the obligatory, radio-friendly, mid-tempo, Pop/Rock love song, “Lost In You”. Although the moods of the various songs on this CD do vary, there is still a common thread in all of these songs that unify them as a collective work.

Michael’s background is as diverse as can be. Born in Syria and raised in Europe (Switzerland and Austria) and the United States, he has lived a multi-cultural life and absorbed the music of different parts of the world (although his current CD release is purely categorized as Pop/Rock). He started out on piano and guitar at age 10. Shortly thereafter, he began dabbling in songwriting and eventually made the natural progression towards recording.

After earning his audio engineering degree from Full Sail (recording school), he moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and spent the past 20 years working on the local studio circuit both as a session guitarist and a recording engineer.

In that time, he has worked with such artists as Brandy, Will Smith, Toto, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Phil Collins, Patty LaBelle, The Pointer Sisters, Earth Wind & Fire, Rickie Lee Jones, Lou Rawls, Jesse McCartney, Hillary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Paige, Al Jarreau, K-Ci & Jojo, Deborah Cox, Monica, Taylor Dayne, Keiko Matsui, Steve Nieves, Luis Miguel and Tarkan. Michael’s fluency in French was definitely an added bonus when he also worked in the studio with French artists like Calogero (The Charts), Marc Lavoine and Veronique Sanson. Other projects also included work with producers Rodney Jerkins, Philippe Saisse and David Foster. (note: on most of these recording credits, Michael is credited as “Annas Allaf”, his real name, Michael Heart being the stage name). Although most of Michael’s work has been in the recording studio, he has also done some touring (notably back in the early 90’s, when he toured as a Flamenco guitarist in a guitar trio with Juan Manuel Canizares, opening for Dire Straits). He has also recorded and toured with the smooth jazz band Jango.

Michael Heart A Voice for Gaza (Cover of Gaza Tonight)

Michael Heart A Voice for Gaza (Cover of Gaza Tonight)

Michael has also written songs in support of various causes.  The most recent song, “What About Us” was written about the tragic situation in Syria. The song “Freedom” was inspired by the popular protests in North Africa and the Middle East.  His song “We Will Not Go Down” was written about the horrific situation of the Palestinian people in Gaza. Michael also wrote a song called “Help is on the Way”, about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, in 2010.

These days, when he is not working on his own original music, Michael lends his production skills working with local artists in the Los Angeles area.

DOWNLOAD mp3 HERE http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/we-w…
A SONG ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS, NOT RELIGION.

ALL MUSIC RIGHTS RESERVED. Michael Heart Copyright 2009. Please do not use this song in any new videos.

http://www.michaelheart.com/

This is the original video. The very first one that was posted on YouTube in Jan 2009, by Michael Heart, before it spread like wildfire all over the internet. Yes, it is primitive and very low quality, but there it is.

Visit Michael Heart’s official YouTube channel here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZHg…

Check out his 2-part video interview here below:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmgfcL…

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FEgy-…

Thank you for supporting Michael and his music! You can buy his debut Pop/Rock album “Unsolicited Material” here:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/unso…

An open letter to the people of Gaza


An open letter for the people in Gaza

This letter is published under the Freedom of Information Act: “Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.”

Paola Manduca aEmail AddressIain Chalmers bDerek Summerfield cMads Gilbert dSwee Ang eon behalf of 24 signatories

We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years.

On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.

We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression”. In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.

We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.

This action also terrifies those who are not directly hit, and wounds the soul, mind, and resilience of the young generation. Our condemnation and disgust are further compounded by the denial and prohibition for Gaza to receive external help and supplies to alleviate the dire circumstances.

The blockade on Gaza has tightened further since last year and this has worsened the toll on Gaza’s population. In Gaza, people suffer from hunger, thirst, pollution, shortage of medicines, electricity, and any means to get an income, not only by being bombed and shelled. Power crisis, gasoline shortage, water and food scarcity, sewage outflow and ever decreasing resources are disasters caused directly and indirectly by the siege.1

People in Gaza are resisting this aggression because they want a better and normal life and, even while crying in sorrow, pain, and terror, they reject a temporary truce that does not provide a real chance for a better future. A voice under the attacks in Gaza is that of Um Al Ramlawi who speaks for all in Gaza: “They are killing us all anyway—either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose—we must fight for our rights, or die trying.”2

Gaza has been blockaded by sea and land since 2006. Any individual of Gaza, including fishermen venturing beyond 3 nautical miles of the coast of Gaza, face being shot by the Israeli Navy. No one from Gaza can leave from the only two checkpoints, Erez or Rafah, without special permission from the Israelis and the Egyptians, which is hard to come by for many, if not impossible. People in Gaza are unable to go abroad to study, work, visit families, or do business. Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialized treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited.3 Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade.3 They have run out now. Likewise, Gaza is unable to export its produce. Agriculture has been severely impaired by the imposition of a buffer zone, and agricultural products cannot be exported due to the blockade. 80% of Gaza’s population is dependent on food rations from the UN.

Much of Gaza’s buildings and infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, 2008—09, and building materials have been blockaded so that schools, homes, and institutions cannot be properly rebuilt. Factories destroyed by bombardment have rarely been rebuilt adding unemployment to destitution.

Despite the difficult conditions, the people of Gaza and their political leaders have recently moved to resolve their conflicts “without arms and harm” through the process of reconciliation between factions, their leadership renouncing titles and positions, so that a unity government can be formed abolishing the divisive factional politics operating since 2007. This reconciliation, although accepted by many in the international community, was rejected by Israel. The present Israeli attacks stop this chance of political unity between Gaza and the West Bank and single out a part of the Palestinian society by destroying the lives of people of Gaza. Under the pretext of eliminating terrorism, Israel is trying to destroy the growing Palestinian unity. Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas whereas the truth is that the Gaza Strip is sealed by the Israelis and Egyptians.

Gaza has been bombed continuously for the past 14 days followed now by invasion on land by tanks and thousands of Israeli troops. More than 60 000 civilians from Northern Gaza were ordered to leave their homes. These internally displaced people have nowhere to go since Central and Southern Gaza are also subjected to heavy artillery bombardment. The whole of Gaza is under attack. The only shelters in Gaza are the schools of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), uncertain shelters already targeted during Cast Lead, killing many.

According to Gaza Ministry of Health and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),1 as of July 21, 149 of the 558 killed in Gaza and 1100 of the 3504 wounded are children. Those buried under the rubble are not counted yet. As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al-Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatized in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.

The massacre in Gaza spares no one, and includes the disabled and sick in hospitals, children playing on the beach or on the roof top, with a large majority of non-combatants. Hospitals, clinics, ambulances, mosques, schools, and press buildings have all been attacked, with thousands of private homes bombed, clearly directing fire to target whole families killing them within their homes, depriving families of their homes by chasing them out a few minutes before destruction. An entire area was destroyed on July 20, leaving thousands of displaced people homeless, beside wounding hundreds and killing at least 70—this is way beyond the purpose of finding tunnels. None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorize, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.

Weaponry known to cause long-term damages on health of the whole population are used; particularly non fragmentation weaponry and hard-head bombs.45 We witnessed targeted weaponry used indiscriminately and on children and we constantly see that so-called intelligent weapons fail to be precise, unless they are deliberately used to destroy innocent lives.

We denounce the myth propagated by Israel that the aggression is done caring about saving civilian lives and children’s well-being.

Israel’s behavior has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. Even those of us who want to go and help are unable to reach Gaza due to the blockade.

This “defensive aggression” of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity must be stopped.

Additionally, should the use of gas be further confirmed, this is unequivocally a war crime for which, before anything else, high sanctions will have to be taken immediately on Israel with cessation of any trade and collaborative agreements with Europe.

As we write, other massacres and threats to the medical personnel in emergency services and denial of entry for international humanitarian convoys are reported.6 We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated modern military machines. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1·8 million people in Gaza.

We register with dismay that only 5% of our Israeli academic colleagues signed an appeal to their government to stop the military operation against Gaza. We are tempted to conclude that with the exception of this 5%, the rest of the Israeli academics are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza. We also see the complicity of our countries in Europe and North America in this massacre and the impotence once again of the international institutions and organizations to stop this massacre.

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Full-size image (24K) Associated Press
We declare no competing interests.

Supplementary Material

Supplementary appendix
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References

1 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)Occupied Palestinian Territory: Gaza emergency situation report (as of 21 July 2014, 1500 hrs)http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_sitrep_22_07_2014.pdf(accessed July 22, 2014).
3 Gilbert MBrief report to UNRWA: The Gaza Health Sector as of June 2014.http://www.unrwa.org/sites/default/files/final_report_-_gaza_health_sector_june-july_2014_-_mads_gilbert_2.pdf(accessed July 22, 2014).
4 Naim AAl Dalies HEl Balawi M, et alBirth defects in Gaza: prevalence, types, familiarity and correlation with environmental factorsInt J Environ Res Public Health 201291732-1747PubMed
5 Manduca PNaim ASignoriello SSpecific association of teratogen and toxicant metals in hair of newborns with congenital birth defects or developmentally premature birth in a cohort of couples with documented parental exposure to military attacks: observational study at Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza, PalestineInt J Environ Res Public Health 2014115208-5223PubMed
6 Ma’an News Agency4 killed, over 50 injured as Israel targets al-Aqsa hospital.http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=715087(accessed July 22, 2014).
a New Weapons Research Group and University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
b James Lind Library, Oxford, UK
c Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK
d Clinic of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromso, Norway
e Barts and the Royal London Hospital, London, UK

Al-Shujaeia neighborhood military zone


by Marivel Guzman

At least 100 Palestinians and 13 Israeli troops have died across Gaza in the deadliest day since Israel began its operation.

The Spokesman for the Health Ministry in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qudra, accused the Israeli side of preventing the transport of bodies and injured to hospitals. He told reporters “Israeli forces are heavily firing at and shelling ambulances, civil defense vehicles, as well as civilian homes and the number of those fallen cannot be ascertained amid these circumstances.” He described the attacks since post-midnight Saturday as the fiercest since the start of the assault on Gaza two weeks ago.

A new martyr identified as Zakareya Alashqar, 24 Y, .Death toll is up to 502 . #Gaza Abu Yazan Facebook Updates

He pointed out “there is deliberate, premeditated targeting of civilian homes with mortar shells and air missiles,” and “medical crews are desperately trying to reach the victims”. He added international agencies including the Red Cross are contacting the Israelis to urge them to allow ambulances into Al-Shujaeia neighborhood where the greatest number of victims was reported, “to no avail.” “The Israelis had vowed to destroy this neighborhood completely and considers the area a closed military zone and no one is allowed in.” Al-Qudra said reports of deaths and injuries are pouring in from Rafah, Al-Wusta Governorate, as well as Al-Shujaeia.(end) mt.wsa

Dead and displaced in Shuyaiya neighborhood of East Gaza,  updates from Palestinians trapped in the line of fire, have been uploading photos and updates in facebook as the conditions permits.

People fleeing the shelling in the northeast Gazan neighbourhood of Shaja’iya described it as a “massacre”, with many women and children among the dead, said Sky News

Updates from UNRWA office in Gaza put the displaced at 81,000 people whose houses were bombed by Israel missiles since Operation Protective Edge started more than 2 weeks ago.

Distraught civilians are now taking shelter from the relentless violence in 61 UNRWA schools in #Gaza, said UNRWA office, They said to be at least 54 people killed over night. Ten were children – seven boys and two girls. The death toll in Gaza since 8 July has reached 368 people and about 2,295 injured. At least 80 children are amongst the total dead. Official Update  on July 19.

 

According to IDF spokesperson twitter account published at  a declassify areal photos of Al-Shujaeia neighborhood, where they said Hamas used civilian infrastructure to throw rockets.
The twitter photo seems as a drawn photo where no rockets can be seen but red dots, that according to the @IDFspokesperson twitter is a rocket site.
Below is the twitter snapshot, judge by yourself, how much credibility Israel have left after killing more than 500 Palestinians mostly children and women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight with solutions, civil war is outdated and obsolete


Posted on April 13, 2013 by Akashma Online News

by Marivel Guzman

Our modern societies are  socially evolved that a civil war does not need to involve guns and violence.

The words are just words; the meanings of words are given by regular people.
We had been waging a civil war for long time. Since the moment we disagree with the policies dictated by the higher class which controls the governments; we are social and political dissidents of our own societies. So, do not hold fears when you see the words civil war in the same sentence.
Our society goes by economic ups and downs by design. The interest regulated by the federal reserve and the stock market controls our every day lives one way or another. We do not need to own a home or stocks to be dependent on their machinations; machinations done to steal more money from our hard working earning.
We need to be aware of our situation to win this civil war, the only way it is to know how to fight a ruling system that do not benefit us.
We can should not keep a debt that we can not pay. Soon or later the bank that owns the debt will wants to collect, how does it?,  the bank raises the interest rate and you have to pay the whole balance if you don’t agree with the change and pay off the whole amount,  you  automatically  accept the new higher interest rate,  and remember we do not have bankruptcy laws in our side any more, so avoid keeping high balances in your credit cards or better yet, do not incur in credit card debt.

The first step is to stop buying “brands” products; including food, cosmetics, cleaning items, and clothing. This will lower your grocery bill by 30 %. It is like getting 30 % raise in your salary.

Secondly, try to change your diet habits. Most of the products we fill our kitchen with, it is junk food;  junk food that it is very expensive and  not healthy.
Cook with less grease, and eat less sugar.

Substitute your groceries with food with shorter life spam. Start eating more fruit, vegetables and grains. Meats are expensive and full of toxic chemicals. This change will be reflected in your grocery bill; another 10 to 15 % saving, again another 15 % raise in your salary.

Use less electricity doing laundry after 7 p:m, this will lower your electrical bill by 3 %.

Cook measured dishes, counting calories, avoiding wasting food. Take on the habit of saving left over, do not waste food.

Take seriously the political process in your community, country, city, state and country. Getting involve in the electoral process  will guarantee more control in the politicians that sit in the chair of power. Never vote for a candidate that runs too many TV spots, he is probably sponsored by a rich guy or powerful corporation.

Get involved in your community; There are many social issues that can be work out better with the help of everyone in your neighborhood.
If you have children in elementary school get involve in your children school activities, and attend parent conferences and participate in your school PTA.

Make your politicians accountable, attend at least once a month your city meetings and vote in the issues presented.
Citizens, do not allow yourself to be unprepared. Social issues are tackle down if know their roots problems.

There is no space for violent changes. In this modern society we can make pacific transition for a better society.
A violent Civil War is outdated. Say NO to violence

Refugee Status is no Game

December 10, 2013 1 comment

By Marivel Guzman in Collaboration with Omar Karem, from Turkey/Syrian border

 

Syria Refugee Camp Border Turkey
It is very difficult to be Palestinian. You have no rights in your land, and you have no rights in other people’s land.
The Palestinian Nabka since 1948 had left Palestinian without rights. They are denied visas to work, or to visit other countries on the ground of… being Palestinian. Most of the times they refuse them, just because they are Palestinians.

The word refugee is not new for Palestinians. The refugee status of Palestinians is wore as stigma. A painful one that follows them every where they go.

 

Omar Karem in Halab refugee Camp border Turkey Syria
Karem, that victoriously broke Gaza siege last year, had seen the end of his triumph. Now stranded in the border of Turkey/Syria in Alepo, Syria in a refugee camp for displaced people. What to do, when you are Palestinian? . Add your voice to the Palestinian Struggle, let’s help to end the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.

Obama Care


By Marivel Guzman

ObamaCare_Dr_ObamaThe Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare”, is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
It is really affordable when you live on minimum salary, in California is $ 8.75 and 90 % of the work force it is part time. A gallon of milk cost $ 4.75 Reg, $ 6.99 organic means they need 50 percent or more of one hour of work to buy one gallon of milk. I do not need to make the numbers, every one knows how is to survive on minimum salary.
If you work and your spouse work you are already pass the minimum income to get state insurance commonly known as Medical. The bad news are, that even both working at minimum salary they both don’t make enough money to pay all the bills, for this reason great majority of Americans do not have insurance, not because they do not want, but because they can not afford it. So what it is going to happen after January 1, when the insurance it is required?

Get really to roll, as January 1 2014, you can not get a job if you do not have Medical Insurance. I beat you did not know this. And get worse, beside that you do not have a job, you don’t have money to buy insurance, but you still have to pay a fine at the end of the year for not having the mandated medical insurance.
Viva Obama Care.
Now, business started giving their employees the form to fill up with their medical insurance information, because they ain’t going to pay for your insurance, they are not required to give you insurance because they don’t employ you 40 hours, which it is the requirement under the Obama Care. Example only managers in fast food restaurant are full employees and get mandatory insurance, the rest of the work force sorry guys, you are on your own.
Pretty much as owing a car, you can not register the car in your name if you do not have car insurance…same game.
As January 1, 2014 the rain fall of free money of about 200 millions American goes to Medical Insurances that start popping like weed across America, well not new Insurance Companies, only branches of the giants already in place.

And can get worse?

The Obama health care bill under Sec. 2521, page 1,000 will establish a National Medical Device Registry. What does a National Medical Device Registry mean?National Medical Device Registry from H.R. 3200 [Healthcare Bill], pages 1,001-1,008:

(g)(1) The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that:

(A) is or has been used in or on a patient;
(B) and is:     (i) a class III device;

or (ii) a class II device that is implantable, life-supporting, or life-sustaining.

A “class II device that is implantable?”

Then on page 1,004 it describes what the term “data” means in paragraph 1, section B: “(B) In this paragraph, the term ‘data’ refers to in formation respecting a device described in paragraph (1), including claims data, patient survey data, standardized analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of data from disparate data environments, electronic health records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the Secretary.”

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/microchip.asp#WyE37hgqYlcmsmVl.99

Thanks Obama for pushing us to a revolution.

1 Million Truckers to Protest Obama by Shutting America Down for 3 Days in October | Peace . Gold . Liberty

Zionist Congress 1923

September 18, 2013 2 comments

Shared from JTA-Jewish Telegraph Archive

Zionists Adopt Agency Proposal 164 to 87

August 17, 1923

Carlsbad (Aug. 17)

The protracted debate on the Jewish Agency question which has been the principal object of discussion since the first day of the Zionist Congress almost a fortnight ago, was settled in the early hours this morning, when the Assembly by a vote of 164 to 87 voted to approve the proposal to have the Zionist Organization draw in outside forces willing to help in the upbuilding of the Jewish Palestine.

As finally adopted the proposal provides that the representatives of the non-Zionist organizations shall be invited to form a council which with the Executive of the Zionist Organization shall form the Agency. The resolution provides also that within three years a World Congress of Jewry shall be convoked, the Agency serving until this gathering creates a permanent one.

Supporters of the proposal included the orthodox Mizrachi group, which had been among the leaders hitherto in the opposition to the Weizmann Administration and plan. Their action indicating a departure from their demand for an immediate Congress was a surprise to all. Those opposing the Agency on the final roll call were the labor groups consisting of 33 Zeire Zion (Young Zionists) delegates. 9 Poale Zion delegates and 9 Socialist Zeire Zion.

Of the Executive, Dr. Weizmann, Dr. Soloweitchik, Isaac Naiditch and Dr. Georg Halpern voted in favor. Opposing were Dr. Lichtheim and J. Sprinzak, a labor member of the Executive. Nahum Sokolow, M. Ussishkin and Dr. Arthur Ruppin were absent during the balloting. While this absence may have been entirely accidental and due to the hour (2 A.M.) the roll call took place, it is possible also, it is said, that they remained away in order not to commit themselves.

The question of the new Executive is the only matter that remains to be decided before the adjournment of the Congress. The question of the reelection of M. Ussishkin, at present in charge of the Zionist activities in Palestine, is one of the most bitterly fought in the election slate. Dr. Weizmann favors his elimination, Mr. Sokolow, on the other hand, demands the continuance of the present Executive without change.

Indications are that the plan first sponsored by Dr. Weizmann and Sokolow for a “homogeneous” executive will not be carried and that a “coalition” executive will be approved instead. Dr. Weizmann contends that the headquarters of the Executive must remain in London, but that the Palestine office must be increasingly strengthened. It is believed Dr. Weizmann favors for the Palestine branch Dr. Arthur Ruppin as colonization expert and Colonel Kisch, as political representative, with Mr. Ussishkin eliminated. For the London cabinet he is said to favor Dr. Georg Halpern as financial expert and Dr. Berthold Feiwel as organization chief.

While the Permanent Committee was busy drafting the final form of the compromise agency proposal and others busy slating the Executive. Thursday was given over to consideration of reports and adoption of concrete proposals.

The Land Commission, reporting through Dr. Schmarak recommended that £160,000 be appropriated for colonization work, £120,000 to be expended on actual colonization work and the balance used to create a reserve fund for the purchase of land, under the  Keren Hayesod’plan. A plan for the establishment of an industrial bank to provide credit for small industry and agriculture was adopted as also the proposal to extend credit to those engaging in handicraft.Dr. Rufeisen who reported on the credit scheme recommended that at least five per cent of the Palestine budget should be used for such credit facilities for mechanical laborers and that 20,000 pounds should be set aside for credits to suburban residents.

A proposal was carried for an “arbitration court” to be established jointly by the Zionist Organization, the Vaad Leumi and the labor organizations for the settlement of labor disputes and the elaboration of a minimum wage scale.

The report of the Immigration Committee evoked heated discussion, a portion of the Center and labor parties urging the continuance of the present policy of favoring the immigration of Chaluzim The Mizrachi who opposed preferences for chaluzim were voted down.

The Congress adopted a resolution providing for the creation of the office of a travelling inspector whose duty it will be to act as coordinate of immigration to Palestine.

Dr. Sapir on behalf of the Sanitation Commission urged that the Congress ratify the agreement of the American Zionist Organization, the Hadassah and the Joint Distribution Committee under which all three agree to contribute in virtually equal part to the continuance of the medical work in Palestine. The Commission also recommended that the Congress should voice its especial thanks to the Joint Distribution Committee and to Nathan Straus.

Recommendations for the improvement of the service connected with the quarantine activities in Palestine and also improved medical supervision over immigrants were adopted.

A cable from Henrietta Szold, read by Morris Rothenberg, announcing that Jewish physicians of the United States had agreed to give $10,000 for a Roentgen (X-Ray) institute in Jerusalem was received with cheers.

The Forgotten Refugees of Gaza

Palestinians I Love Your Smiling Face: You Overshadowed Gandhi by thousands miletones


Posted on August 03, 2013 by Akashma Online News

While being arrested against Prawer Plan

Palestinians I love your smiling Face.

I love your sweet attitude, your non violent front. You Overshadowed Gandhi by thousands milestones.
Bring it on you Cowards.
Every affront you cause to us, it is a new weapon in our arsenal.
Every insult you deliver, it is a new supporter we recruit for our fight.
Keep them coming Israel, keep digging your grave.
You’re giving the final touches for your grand Finale.
Very proud of our Palestinians brothers/sisters and its supporters taking every day blows of tear gas, dirty boots on their faces, detentions, incarcerations, torture and more.

Adalah

Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

On 24 June 2013, the Israeli Knesset approved the discriminatory Prawer-Begin Bill, with 43 votes for and 40 votes against, for the mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel. If fully implemented, the Prawer-Begin Plan will result in the destruction of 35 “unrecognized”Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Naqab. Despite the Arab Bedouin community’s complete rejection of the plan and strong disapproval from the international community and human rights groups, the Prawer Plan is happening now.
The Prawer-Begin Bill is an unacceptable proposition that entrenches the state’s historic injustice against its Bedouin citizens. Adalah and our NGO partners have been challenging the Prawer Plan before courts, government authorities and the international community, but we need your help to stop what would be the largest single act of forced displacement of Arab citizens of Israel since the 1950s!
Please sign our petition and visit our Facebook page to find out what you can do to Stop the Prawer Plan!
Sign up for Adalah’s Newsletter to stay informed.

What is the Prawer Plan?
Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, inhabitants of the Naqab (Negev) desert since the seventh century, are the most vulnerable community in Israel. For over 60 years, the indigenous Arab Bedouin have faced a state policy of displacement, home demolitions and dispossession of their ancestral land. Today, 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens live in 35 villages that either predate the establishment of the State in 1948, or were created by Israeli military order in the early 1950s. The State of Israel considers the villages “unrecognized” and the inhabitants “trespassers on State land,” so it denies the citizens access to state infrastructure like water, electricity, sewage, education, health care and roads. The state deliberately withholds basic services from these villages to “encourage” the Arab Bedouin citizens to give up their ancestral land. If Israel applied the same criteria for planning and development that exist in the Jewish rural sector, all 35 unrecognized villages would be recognized where they are.
In September 2011, the Israeli government approved the Prawer Plan, the brainchild of former Deputy Chair of the National Security Council, Mr. Ehud Prawer. The Prawer Plan will result in the destruction of the unrecognized villages and the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens. This plan was completed without consultation of the local community, and is a gross violation of the constitutional rights of the Arab Bedouin citizens to property, dignity, equality, adequate housing, and freedom to choose their own residence.
Prawer is Happening Now
Despite complete rejection of the plan by the Arab Bedouin, and strong disapproval from the international community, Prawer is happening now. More than 1,000 houses were demolished in 2011 alone, and civil society observed the same practices in 2012.  Since Prawer was announced, the government announced plans that will displace over 10,000 people and plant forests, build military centers, and establish new Jewish settlements in their place.
The Prawer Plan is today being turned into an Israeli law. On 6 May 2013, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved the proposed “Law for the Regulation of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev – 2013” (“the Prawer-Begin Bill”, after recommendations by Minister Benny Begin were included). On 24 June 2013, the Knesset approved the Prawer-Begin Bill with 43 votes for and 40 votes against. The bill will now be sent to the Committee for Interior Affairs and Environment to be prepared for the second and third readings.
The international community has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the Prawer Plan. In March 2012, the UN Committee on the Elimination for Racial Discrimination called on Israel to withdraw the proposed implementing legislation of the Prawer Plan, on the grounds that it was discriminatory. In July 2012, the European Parliament passed a historic resolution calling on Israel to Stop the Prawer Plan and its policies of displacement, eviction, and dispossession.
Adalah calls on the Israeli government to:
  • Cancel the Prawer Plan
  • Recognize the “unrecognized villages” and the land claims of the indigenous Arab Bedouin community
  • Halt home demolitions and forced evictions
  • Engage in meaningful dialogue with the Arab Bedouin community and the Arab political leadership to justly resolve the land claims
  • Invest in greater health, education, and employment opportunities for Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel
Find out More:
Introduction
Factsheet: Myths and Misconceptions about the Arab Bedouin in the Naqab
Article: Four Reasons to Reject the Prawer Plan, by Dr. Thabet Abu Rass and Professor Oren Yiftachel
Briefing/Position Papers:
Briefing Paper: Understanding the Prawer Plan Law, 2012
Briefing Paper: Analysis of the Prawer Plan, October 2011
Videos:
International responses
EMHRN Statement: Time for EU action on Prawer Bill, 2 July 2013
UN CERD Calls on Israel to Withdraw the Prawer Plan Law, 15 March 2012
European Parliament Passes Resolution Calling on Israel to Stop the Prawer Plan
Press Releases

Whistleblower Edward Snowden granted Asylum in Russia


Published on August 1, 2013 by Akashma Online News

UPDATED

by Marivel Guzman

published in RT

Good News for Freedom, Edward Snowden the American whistleblower  leaves the transit area of Russia.

The words that shook the US on June 9, 2013 when Edward Snowden from a hotel in Hong Kong gave a video interview to Laura Poitras, who made the video public in the interest of society. She published it under the Fair Use Notice Act.

“Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.”
This was the beginning of NSA nightmare for the US officials.
Now the waters are receding for everyone involved, but not for Edward Snowden, he still face very serious criminals charges if he ever is brought to the US.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and is allowed to enter the country’s territory.

This move would allow him to maneuver and apply for citizenship in another country, so he can hold a passport to take a plane to fly finally to the country that offered him permanent asylum.
Good News for Snowden he is allowed to leave the transit area of the airport and finally breath some freedom, at least for now.

He is not completely free, as long as the US consider him fugitive, Snowden it is in risk of being targeted for assassination, and who knows if Israel’s Mossad will lend a hand to their financial supporters in exchange to stir the mood in the EU after they boycotted Israel economic aid against the illegal settlements. But
Knowing the shady political relations of US/Russia we are in the dark as the secret deals these two countries make in behalf of their banking masters.

For now all the eyes are in Snowden and that gives him a cloud of security. The US could not attempt a drone strike in Russian territory, it is not in its best interest, this could open up an ego wound on the pride of Russia. One thing is to have diplomatic relations on the light of the camera, but another thing is to allow US to openly brake the sovereign of Russia flying in its skies.

The whistleblower has been granted temporary political asylum in Russia, Snowden’s legal representative Anatoly Kucherena said, with his words later confirmed by Russia’s Federal Migration service.

“I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone,” he added.

Kucherena showed a photocopy of the document to the press. According to it, Snowden is free to stay in Russia until at least July 31, 2014. His asylum status may be extended annually upon request.

With his newly-awarded legal status in Russia, Snowden cannot be handed over to the US authorities, even if Washington files an official request. He can now be transported to the United States only if he agrees to go voluntarily.

Snowden departed at around 15.30 Moscow time (11.30 GMT), airport sources said. His departure came some 30 minutes before his new refugee status was officially announced.

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights States:

  • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  • (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

His present location has not been made public nor will it be disclosed, Kucherena said.

“He is the most wanted person on earth and his security will be a priority,” the attorney explained. “He will deal with personal security issues and lodging himself. I will just consult him as his lawyer.”

Snowden eventually intends to talk to the press in Russia, but needs at least one day of privacy, Kucherena said.

The whistleblower was unaccompanied when he left the airport in a regular taxi, Kucherena added.

However, WikiLeaks contradicted the lawyer, saying the organization’s activist Sarah Harrison accompanied Snowden.

FLASH: We can now confirm that Edward Snowden’s welfare has been continuously monitored by WikiLeaks staff since his presence in Hong Kong.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 1, 2013

Russia is confident that the latest development in the Snowden case will not affect US President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Moscow, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said.

“We are aware of the atmosphere being created in the US over Snowden, but we didn’t get any signals [indicating a possible cancellation of the visit] from American authorities,” he told RIA Novosti.

Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, came to international prominence after leaking several classified documents detailing massive electronic surveillance by the US government and foreign allies who collaborated with them.

Snowden was hiding out in a Hong Kong hotel when he first went public in May. Amidst mounting US pressure on both Beijing and local authorities in the former-British colony to hand the whistleblower over for prosecution, Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23.

Moscow was initially intended as a temporary stopover on his journey, as Snowden was believed to be headed to Ecuador via Cuba. However, he ended up getting stranded at Sheremetyevo Airport after the US government revoked his passport. Snowden could neither leave Russia nor enter it, forcing him to remain in the airport’s transit zone.

In July, Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia, a status that would allow him to live and work in the country for one year. Kucherena earlier said the fugitive whistleblower is considering securing permanent residency in Russia, where he will attempt to build a life.

President Nicolas Maduro said asylum would be “seriously” considered if sought. Snowden deserves a “humanitarian medal,” he added.

“If this young man is punished, nobody in the world will ever dare to tell the truth,” he stressed.

He’s a man of his word. It’s official. Maduro granted Snowden asylum. He did so on Venezuela’s Day of Independence.  Global Research

Related News to Edward Snowden

AP exec editor briefs UN Security Council on protection of journalists


Posted on July 26, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Kathleen Carroll
Senior Vice President and Executive Editor
The Associated Press
Remarks on the safety of journalists worldwide
United Nations Security Council


July 17, 2013

AP Press Release

 

 

Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll addresses a United Nations Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the protection of journalists, Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

 
Good morning ladies and gentlemen and thank you for the opportunity to talk about an important subject — the right of journalists around the world to work without threat or peril.

Everyone who walks into the main newsroom at AP’s global headquarters in New York passes our Wall of Honor, a softly lit display of photographs and biographies of the 31 Associated Press journalists who have died on assignment since the organization was founded 167 years ago.

I pass it every morning, frequently pausing to look at the faces of the five men killed on my watch as editor:

Nazeh Darwazeh, killed on April 19, 2003, while filming a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Saleh Ibrahim, shot to death on April 23, 2005, as he arrived to cover an explosion in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Aswam Ahmed Lutfallah, shot to death by insurgents as he filmed their gunfight with police in Mosul on December 12, 2006.

Ahmed Hadi Naji, who left home astride his red-and-white motorbike on the way to the AP Baghdad office and disappeared. His body was found in a morgue six days later, January 5, 2007. He had been shot in the back of the head.

Anthony Mitchell, headed home to Kenya from a West Africa reporting trip when the plane he was on crashed in Cameroon on May 5, 2007, killing all aboard.

Like those five men, most of the 31 people on our wall died covering conflict, beginning with the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn in the United States.

They fell during the Spanish-American war in Cuba, the Russo-Japanese War, the Korean conflict and World War II – which claimed five AP journalists. Another five died in Vietnam.

Many were shot to death. In an ambush. Or a riot. Shot at a checkpoint. Captured, tortured and shot by the Nazis.

Two were attacked by mobs during civil unrest. Others were mortally wounded by mortars or shells. One went down on a warship, another on a refugee ship.

Others were lost in plane crashes or one of many helicopter crashes, including the 1993 crash in Afghanistan that took the life of the only woman on the Wall of Honor, my friend Sharon Herbaugh.

We bring visitors to the Wall of Honor and it’s important to explain why this is such a special place to us.

These people are part of our professional family. They are in my head and heart each time we send AP journalists off into the world’s many treacherous spots.

But more often, journalists aren’t heading off to an assignment in a treacherous spot. That dangerous assignment is the country they call home and the threat is not from war.

Indeed, most journalists who die today are not caught in some wartime cross-fire, they are murdered just because of what they do. And those murders are rarely ever solved; the killers rarely ever punished.

The Committee to Protect Journalists documents the attacks on journalists each year and their annual accounting is grim indeed. More than 30 journalists are murdered every year and many are abducted and tortured first.

In the overwhelming number of cases — 90 percent — the killers go unpunished. Free to attack and kill again.

CPJ has found that most murdered journalists — 5 in 6 — are killed in their own hometowns covering local stories … usually crime and corruption.

They are attacked by people who know their work, and often know them personally. The journalists are menaced, arrested, beaten again and again; their families or colleagues threatened.

The attacks frequently escalate and some journalists flee their homeland for an exile’s life.
Others are jailed, sometimes for years. Some disappear off the face of the earth.

And many — too many — turn up dead. 12 in Somalia last year alone, 5 in Pakistan, 4 in Brazil, 3 in Syria, others in Russia, Nigeria, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Ecuador, India and the Philippines.

So why should the world’s leaders care about threats against journalists?

Many officials the world over complain that journalists are headstrong and nosy. They ask questions, they write stories and take pictures that don’t always sit well with the powerful people they cover. They aim their cameras at things some people don’t want the world to see.

Yet journalists represent the ordinary citizen … they ask questions on behalf of those people. They go to places the people cannot and bear witness. An attack on a journalist is a proxy for an attack on the people, an attack on their right to information about their communities and their institutions.

It’s true that today, a journalist’s tools are readily available to those average citizens. They have smart phones, cameras, satellite transmissions, and many make important contributions to news coverage.

Indeed, authenticated images and reports from deep inside Syria — some by average citizens, some by partisans — have contributed to the world’s understanding of the fighting in that country in the past two years.

Their work enriches what we learn about the world every day, yet the threat to them can be just as great as the threat to professional journalists.

Who will protect them?

And who will protect the reporters and photographers and editors and radio commentators and television hosts … the men and women who swallow fear every day, who constantly calculate the risks of simply doing their job, wondering if the next breath they draw will be their last.

The safety of journalists is not a political topic or a professional rallying cry for me. It is deeply personal. The journalists we have lost all left families behind, often very young children growing up with only the faintest memories of the parent who never came home.

As much as I want to, I know I cannot personally protect all the AP journalists at work in every corner of the globe. But every day, I try to do it anyway.

Because there are 31 photos on the AP Wall of Honor.

And 31 pictures is enough.

911 Maths-Slavery and the eight veils


From the December 2001 Idaho Observer:


Posted on July 24, 2013 by Akashma Online News


Slavery and the eight veils

akashma awareness

911 Aftermath a new kind of mathematics

 

From the December 2001 Idaho Observer:

by Don Harkins

Over the last several years I have evolved and discarded several theories in an attempt to explain why it is that most people cannot see truth — even when it smacks them in the face. Those of us who can see “the conspiracy” have participated in countless conversations amongst ourselves that address the frustration of most peoples’ inability to comprehend the extremely well-documented arguments which we use to describe the process of our collective enslavement and exploitation. The most common explanation to be arrived at is that most people just “don’t want to see” what is really going on.

Extremely evil men and women who make up the world’s power-elite have cleverly cultivated a virtual pasture so grass green that few people seldom, if ever, bother to look up from where they are grazing long enough to notice the brightly colored tags stapled to their ears.

The same people who cannot see their enslavement for the pasture grass have a tendency to view as insane “conspiracy theorists” those of us who can see the past the farm and into the parlor of his feudal lordship’s castle.

Finally, I understand why.

It’s not that those who don’t see that their freedom is vanishing under the leadership of the power-elite “don’t want to see it” — they simply can’t see what is happening to them because of the unpierced veils that block their view.

All human endeavors are a filtration process. Sports is one of the best examples. We play specific sports until we get kicked off the playground. The pro athletes we pay big bucks to watch just never got kicked off the playground. Where millions of kids play little league each spring, they are filtered out until there are about 50 guys who go to the World Series in October.

Behind the first veil: There are over six billion people on the planet. Most of them live and die without having seriously contemplated anything other than what it takes to keep their lives together. Ninety percent of all humanity will live and die without having pierced the first veil.

The first veil: Ten percent of us will pierce the first veil and find the world of politics. We will vote, be active and have an opinion. Our opinions are shaped by the physical world around us; we have a tendency to accept that government officials, network media personalities and other “experts” are voices of authority. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the second veil.

The second veil: Ten percent of us will pierce the second veil to explore the world of history, the relationship between man and government and the meaning of self-government through constitutional and common law. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the third veil.

The third veil: Ten percent of us will pierce the third veil to find that the resources of the world, including people, are controlled by extremely wealthy and powerful families whose incorporated old world assets have, with modern extortion strategies, become the foundation upon which the world’s economy is currently indebted. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the fourth veil.

The fourth veil: Ten percent of us will pierce the fourth veil to discover the Illuminati, Freemasonry and the other secret societies. These societies use symbols and perform ceremonies that perpetuate the generational transfers of arcane knowledge that is used to keep the ordinary people in political, economic and spiritual bondage to the oldest bloodlines on earth. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the fifth veil.

The fifth veil: Ten percent of us will pierce the fifth veil to learn that the secret societies are so far advanced technologically that time travel and interstellar communications have no boundaries and controlling the actions of people is what their members do as offhandedly as we tell our children when they must go to bed. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the sixth veil.

The sixth veil: Ten percent of us will pierce the sixth veil where the dragons and lizards and aliens we thought were the fictional monsters of childhood literature are real and are the controlling forces behind the secret societies. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without piercing the seventh veil.

The seventh veil: I do not know what is behind the seventh veil. I think it is where your soul is evolved to the point you can exist on earth and be the man Ghandi was, or the woman Peace Pilgrim was-people so enlightened they brighten the world around them no matter what.

The eighth veil? Piercing the eighth veil probably reveals God and the pure energy that is the life force in all living things-which are, I think, one and the same.

If my math is accurate there are only about 60,000 people on the planet who have pierced the sixth veil. The irony here is too incredible: Those who are stuck behind veils one through five have little choice but to view the people who have pierced the veils beyond them as insane. With each veil pierced, exponentially shrinking numbers of increasingly enlightened people are deemed insane by exponentially increasing masses of decreasingly enlightened people.

Adding to the irony, the harder a “sixth or better veiler” tries to explain what he is able to see to those who can’t, the more insane he appears to them.

Our enemy, the state

Behind the first two veils we find the great majority of people on the planet. They are tools of the state: Second veilers are the gullible voters whose ignorance justify the actions of politicians who send first veilers off to die in foreign lands as cannon fodder — their combined stations in life are to believe that the self-serving machinations of the power-elite are matters of national security worth dying for.

Third, fourth, fifth and sixth veilers are of increasing liability to the state because of their decreasing ability to be used as tools to consolidate power and wealth of the many into the hands of the power-elite. It is common for these people to sacrifice more of their relationships with friends and family, their professional careers and personal freedom with each veil they pierce.

Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945), author of “Our Enemy, the State” (1935), explained what happens to those who find the seventh and eighth veils: “What was the best that the state could find to do with an actual Socrates and an actual Jesus when it had them? Merely to poison one and crucify the other, for no reason but that they were too intolerably embarrassing to be allowed to live any longer.”

Conclusions

And so now we know that it’s not that our countrymen are so committed to their lives that, “they don’t want to see,” the mechanisms of their enslavement and exploitation. They simply “can’t see” it as surely as I cannot see what’s on the other side of a closed curtain.

The purpose of this essay is threefold: To help the handful of people in the latter veils to understand why the masses have little choice but to interpret their clarity as insanity; 2. To help people behind the first two veils understand that living, breathing and thinking are just the beginning and; 3. Show people that the greatest adventure of our life is behind the next veil because that is just one less veil between ourselves and God.

 

Video version

 

Snowden to stay another day in transit area, Russian official said


Posted on July 24, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Share from LA times

Edward Snowden cleared to leave Moscow airport — but not today

MOSCOW — Fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden will be allowed to leave the Moscow airport, where he has been holed up for more than a month following a Russian government decision to consider his request for temporary asylum, Russian media reported Wednesday.

“Snowden is passing the passport control now, a procedure that for him, a man without a valid passport, may take longer than just stamping a passport,” a Federal Migration Service officer who requested anonymity told the Los Angeles Times.

[Updated 7:50 a.m. PDT, July 24: The officer later said that Snowden did not have all the documents he needed and will have to stay in the airport transit zone for at least another day.]

The Russian Federal Migration Service issued a certificate Wednesday, in effect stating that the agency was reviewing his application Snowden submitted last week seeking temporary shelter, RIA Novosti reported.

The document reportedly allows him to leave the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo-2 airport, where he arrived with a revoked U.S. passport on June 23 and has been unable to legally enter Russia or leave for elsewhere.

The Federal Migration Service would not confirm or deny the reports. “We don’t have this information yet,” agency spokeswoman Svetlana Gordeyeva told The Times.

Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who was supposed to pick up the certificate, was seen Wednesday afternoon entering the airport and proceeding to Transit Zone E, Interfax reported.

“This certificate will allow Snowden to cross the Russian border and finally leave the airport transit zone,” Kucherena said in an interview  earlier this week, hoping he would get the document on Snowden’s behalf by Wednesday.

In the last two weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said more than once that Russia would not extradite Snowden to the United States but also expressed hope that the former National Security Agency contractor would leave Russia for some other country soon.

It was unclear where Snowden, 30, would stay once he left his airport limbo. Several Russian human rights groups have offered to assist him in his efforts to evade a U.S. extradition warrant seeking his return to face espionage and theft charges.

Snowden revealed in early June that the NSA gathers vast amounts of data on U.S. and foreign citizens’ telephone and Internet communications. His actions have been denounced by some as dangerous disclosures of sensitive intelligence information and practices but hailed by privacy advocates as heroic acts of whistleblowing.

RIA Novosti cited unnamed sources in Russian law enforcement as saying the document allowing him to formally enter Russian territory while his asylum bid is being considered was pending on approval by the border guard service, suggesting he has not yet left the airport.

Yemeni Journalist Who Obama Kept in Prison Is Free


Posted on July 24, 2013 on Akashma Online News

By: Tuesday July 23, 2013 3:27 pm UPDATED February 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Photo posted to Facebook by @aljamal2007 of Abdulelah Haider Shaye, after he was freed from prison

Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who United States President Barack Obama had been keeping in prison, has been released.

Shaye was apparently given a presidential pardon that requires him to remain in Sanaa for two years. This means he would be prohibited from traveling to many of the areas where US drone strikes have taken place while he was in prison or where they will take place over the next two years.

Journalist Iona Craig, a Times of London correspondent in Yemen who had covered Shaye’s case for two years, reacted, “Delighted to say, after two years of covering his case, jailed journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye is free. I can’t quite believe it.”

Craig acknowledged that Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi deserved credit for keeping his word and releasing Shaye. She also praised the organization, Index on Censorship, in the United Kingdom for calling attention to “Shaye’s long-running story” and the threat his imprisonment posed to freedom of expression.

Farea al-Muslimi, a Yemeni youth activist and writer who testified before Congress this year on the impact of US drone operations in his country, reacted, “After FOUR years of jailing him by order from Barack Obama, Yemeni government releases journalist Abdulelah Shaea.” He also said, “Only Barack Obama can compete with Yemen’s dictators (throughout history) in jailing journalists and killing civilians in Yemen,” and, “What a great Iftar Shaea’s kids might be having today; having their father back with them after 4 years in prison.”

The story of Shaye is told in detail by Jeremy Scahill in his book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield. Shaye went to the site of a US cruise missile attack in al Majalah where at least 21 children and 14 women were killed. He also tracked down US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to interview him on how he could support the US Army medical officer Nidal Hasan, who went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood and why he believed Umar Farouk Abdulumutallab, the Christmas Day underwear bomber, was justified to have targeted a “civilian airliner.”

His reporting made him a target the United States wanted to neutralize. According to his lawyer, Abdulrahman Barman, whom I interviewed in May 2012:

[Shaye] is one of those who got all of the information quickly and put it out there for the public. His work actually impacted the Yemeni government and US government in ways where they didn’t want to see it. The Yemeni intelligence were trying to actually recruit Shaye and have him work in the intelligence but he refused. So, after the attack on al-Majalah where so many civilians including women and children were murdered, Abdulelah was beaten up and kidnapped [in June 2010] by the national security agency and he was asked to shut up and be silent and not to talk about these kind of issues.

This did not stop Shaye from practicing journalism.

After he was abducted in July 2010 by Yemeni intelligence agents and went on television to share what had happened to him, US government officials, according to Scahill, began “privately telling major US media outlets that were working with Shaye that they should discontinue their relationships with him. The government alleged he was “using his paychecks to support al Qaeda.”

In  August 2010, Barman told Firedoglake Shaye was kidnapped by national security agency people. He was beaten and dragged to “national security cars.” He was held for thirty-five days incommunicado while activists protested his detention in front of intelligence services and judicial system buildings. These agencies claimed they had not detained him, but he discovered his location through a released prisoner, who had seen him one of the cells. This led to the national security agencies transferring him to another location.

Barman eventually was able to be with him during interrogation and he said there was no evidence against him for the terrorism-related charges he faced.

Shaye was held in solitary confinement for a period, denied access to his lawyer, and subjected to psychological torture and abuse and appeared in a cage before a special tribunal on September 22, 2010. The judge read the charges he faced, which included “being the ‘media man’ for al Qaeda, recruiting new operatives for the group and providing al Qaeda with photos of Yemeni bases and foreign embassies for potential targeting.

According to Scahill, when Shaye heard the charges, he reacted, “When they hid murderers of children and women in Abyan, when I revealed the locations and camps of nomads and civilians in Abyan, Shabwah and Arhab when they were going to be hit by cruise missiles, it was on that day they decided to arrest me…You notice in the court how they have turned all of my journalistic contributions into accusations. All of my journalist constributions and quotations to international reporters and news channels have been turned into accusations.” And, as he was dragged off by security, he shouted, “Yemen, this is a place where, when a young journalist becomes successful, he is viewed with suspicion.”

In January 2011, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison and two years of house arrest in his hometown.

Shaye went on hunger strike in November 2011 and support for his release increased. Yemeni activists protested in front of the US embassy and, finally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen at the time, was willing to release him. But he received a phone call from President Obama who opposed his release.

In May of this year, Craig reported that Hadi had confirmed there was “an order from the president to release” Shaye “soon.” However, no details were given on when he would be released.

Craig recounted how the US Ambassador to Sanaa, Gerald Feierstein, had told her, “Haidar Shaye is in jail because he was facilitating al-Qaeda and its planning for attacks on Americans and therefore we have a very direct interest in his case and his imprisonment,” despite the fact that no evidence confirming this allegation had ever been presented.

She highlighted the effect of his imprisonment on Yemeni journalists:

Yemeni journalists have repeatedly expressed their lingering fear over America’s meddling in Shaye’s case. Many became afraid to report on air strikes. One Yemeni journalist, like Shaye a specialist on al-Qaeda, renamed himself an “analyst of Islamic groups” and refused to do TV interviews especially with Al Jazeera after what happened to Shaye.

It had been said by Scahill that Shaye was “rotting away losing his mind in a Yemeni prison.”

What effect his imprisonment will have on him as he resumes life obviously remains to be seen, but one hopes he has not lost his spirit and commitment to journalism and, despite restrictions on traveling outside of Sanaa, will eventually return to doing what he was doing before he was unjustly imprisoned at the behest of the Obama administration.

It takes courage to do what Shaye was doing before he was imprisoned in Yemen. Sadly, when he wound up in prison, US media outlets virtually abandoned him. He had contributed to outlets such as the Washington Post and ABC News but they apparently did not ever find it appropriate to raise their voices to get answers from the administration on why a journalist was being kept in prison.

In solidarity, it is good to see Shaye be freed. Obama owes Shaye an apology and reparations of some kind for depriving him of the years of his life that he spent in prison and could not be with his family or out in the field doing journalism. Unfortunately, as much as the administration may claim to support press freedom, it is pretty much a certainty that there will not be a peep from the Obama administration where they acknowledge it was wrong to keep Shaye jailed.

More on Drones

Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan

January 29, 2014 by Alice K Ross

The Bureau is today publishing a leaked official document that records details of over 300 drone strikes, including their locations and an assessment of how many people died in each incident.

The document is the fullest official record of drone strikes in Pakistan to have yet been published. It provides rare insight into what the government understands about the campaign.   ….Read More……..

Leaked Pakistani Document Exposes Civilian, Child Casaulties Of Drone War 

London’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism released a leaked Pakistani report on Monday that details numerous civilian casualties by drone strikes in the country’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The document provides crucial new data on civilians casualties of U.S. and NATO strikes in Pakistan.

The 12-page dossier was compiled for the the authorities in the tribal areas, the Bureau notes, and investigates 75 CIA drone strikes and five attacks by NATO in the region conducted between 2006 and 2009. According to the document,

Is Pakistan drone strike hiatus linked to peace talks?

February 6, 2014 by Patrick Galey

Peace talks between Pakistani authorities and the Taliban (TTP) have been delayed or derailed at least four times since January 2013 because of US drone strikes on high-ranking militants, the Bureau has found.

It is now 43 days since the last reported US drone strike in Pakistan – the longest hiatus in over two years. Rahimullah Yusufzai, a Peshawar-based reporter who is part of the team negotiating with the TTP on behalf of the Pakistani government, confirmed to the Bureau that Islamabad had asked the US for a cessation of drone strikes during the latest round of peace talks, which started today…..Read More……………

Obama’s ‘kill list’ critic found dead in New York City

Prominent American blogger and computer prodigy Aaron Swartz, who spoke against US President Barack Obama’s “kill list” and cyber attacks against Iran, has been found dead in New York.

Court Rules that CIA Cannot Deny “Interest” in Drone Program

March 15, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court ruled today that the Central Intelligence Agency cannot deny its “intelligence interest” in the targeted killing program and refuse to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests about the program while officials continue to make public statements about it.

Facebook, Apple, Microsoft Partner With Privacy Groups To Call For NSA Transparency


Posted on July 18, 2013 by Akashma Online News

By

First Published at The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is owned by AOL, which also signed the letter and has denied knowledge of the NSA surveillance program.

A coalition of major tech companies and civil liberties groups on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling for more transparency around a secret government program that collects private Internet and phone records.

In the letter, the companies argued that Americans “are entitled to have an informed public debate” about surveillance requests. The coalition urged the Obama administration to allow companies to report statistics about the number of national security requests they receive from government agencies for customer data.

The letter said the government should also issue its own regular “transparency report” disclosing that information.

“Basic information about how the government uses its various law enforcement–related investigative authorities has been published for years without any apparent disruption to criminal investigations,” the letter reads. “We seek permission for the same information to be made available regarding the government’s national security–related authorities.”

“This information about how and how often the government is using these legal authorities is important to the American people, who are entitled to have an informed public debate about the appropriateness of those authorities and their use,” the letter continues.

The companies addressed their petition to President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, NSA Director Keith Alexander, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper and several members of Congress. It was signed by more than 20 tech companies and more than 30 trade associations and privacy groups — including Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Silicon Valley and privacy groups do not always agree over privacy matters, making their partnership for the letter noteworthy. Tech companies have faced widespread criticism in recent weeks over reports that they cooperated with the government’s secret Internet spying program. Many tech giants have expressed frustration that they are prohibited by law from discussing the surveillance orders.

The nation’s largest phone companies, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless, were not part of the coalition that signed the letter and have remained quiet about their participation in the NSA surveillance program, as Time.com noted.

The letter comes amid growing calls for greater disclosure about the NSA’s collection of phone and Internet records and a push from members of Congress to scale back the surveillance program, which was disclosed last month in a series of stories in The Guardian and Washington Post.

Disclosure: The Huffington Post is owned by AOL, which also signed the letter and has denied knowledge of the NSA surveillance program.

 

Kidnapped for Christ-Documentary


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Kidnapped for Christ Documentary looking for donations to finish the Film
Kidnapped for Christ follows the stories of several American teenagers who were taken from their homes and sent to an Evangelical Christian reform school located in The Dominican Republic known as Escuela Caribe. The school is run by Americans and is advertised as a “therapeutic Christian boarding school” whose mission is to “help struggling youth transform into healthy Christian adults.” In reality, this school employed classic brainwashing techniques to breakdown and re-build its students.

One such student was David, a gay teenager taken in the middle of the night to the Dominican Republic to be re-programmed into a straight, born-again Christian. Once David’s community found out what had happened to him, they formed a plan to bring him home on his 18th birthday. The struggles they faced to get David released revealed just how far Escuela Caribe (Caribe School) would go to prevent a student from leaving.

 

 

The Impact

This film addresses an issue that very few Americans are aware of, but that has impacted the lives of millions of adolescents and families over the past several decades – the rise of inappropriate and abusive “treatment” in the troubled teen industry. All over the US and abroad, so-called therapeutic boarding schools, boot camps, and wilderness rehabilitation programs take in teenagers with a wide range of issues and use unsafe and often harmful tactics to reform them. Using positive façades, religious affiliations, and substantial amounts of money, many such camps and schools have committed inappropriate and abusive acts behind their guarded walls for decades with impunity.

Few journalists or law enforcement agencies have investigated the considerable number of abuse allegations and even deaths arising from these types of programs. No one has been able to comprehensively document on film what goes on behind closed gates at any of these institutions – until now.

Kidnapped for Christ will tell the stories of students who were sent to one of many similar institutions, so that they may make people aware of the danger these programs constitute for our youth.

Evangelical Christian group admits homosexuality can’t be ‘cured’

The former leader of Exodus International, which had touted a ‘cure’ for homosexual attraction, has himself admitted to same-sex attraction.

Exodus International, an evangelical Christian group based in the United States, has announced that its board of directors has decided to cease operations, “after a year of dialogue and prayer about the organization’s place in a changing culture.” The group has also apologized for once asserting that homosexuality is a condition that can be ‘cured.’ The president of Exodus, Alan Chambers, also apologized and said the movement was misguided and even harmful. The group had operated for 37 years.
“I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change,” he wrote on June 19. “I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly ‘on my side’ who called you names like sodomite – or worse.” Alan Chambers

We were all monitored closely, but a gay student was always under a microscope. I learned this the hard way. On a rare free day I was playing monopoly with several students; my back hurt. Using a machete to cut grass will do that. One of my housemates started giving me a shoulder massage. Immediately, veteran students around us reported this to our house staff. For the next 20 minutes I was yelled at and berated by a staff person for touching a gay student. He couldn’t understand how I could let someone so filthy touch me. I remember the loathing and hate that was in his voice. I remember him saying, “If you only knew who he was you never would have let him touch you.” My punishment was swats on the ass with a leather strap, administered by a 30-something male staff member with others watching. My housemate’s were much worse. Former student of Escuela Caribe

 

BRAZIL: Evangelicals Force Approval Of Bill Legalizing “Gay Cure” Therapy

 

Brazil outlawed “ex-gay” therapy in 1999, but yesterday a congressional commission approved lifting that ban after pressure from evangelicals.

The commission is led by evangelical pastor Marco Feliciano of the Social Christian Party (JMG: above), who has been accused of homophobia and enraged activists by calling AIDS a “gay cancer” in a tweet. His appointment as head the Commission for Human Rights and Minorities in the lower house of Brazil’s Congress was fiercely opposed by gay and human rights groups. “In practice, (the initiative’s) result would be that a person over 18 years of age, responsible for his actions, who is homosexual and wants to reorient his sexuality, can be attended by a psychologist,” said lawmaker Joao Campos, a member of the evangelical bloc of Brazil’s lower house.

The bill must now be approved by other committees in the House of Deputies as well as the Senate.

 

What We Need 

FINISHING FUNDS – Since our last fundraising campaign we have been able to complete the remaining interviews and shoots we needed to get a rough cut of the film done. Now we need funds to complete post production on the film. This includes funds to pay for editing, sound mixing, music composition, color correction, graphics and titles and deliverable for film festivals. Everyone working on this film so far has done so on their own time and without a salary because we all believe in this project, but there comes a point where we need to hire people in order to get the film done well – that’s why we are fundraising again.

Other Ways You Can Help

Spread the word to all your friends and family! Tell your rich uncles, neighbors, yoga instructors, baristas, dog walkers, and blind dates to check out the website and donate even a small amount. If everyone who watched the trailer on You Tube gave just $5 dollars we’d have more than enough funds to finish the film. If you want to see the film donate a little money so we can finish it for you 🙂

Also, if you are a former student of Escuela Caribe or a similar school or camp, we would love to hear your stories. You can contact us at http://www.kidnappedforchrist.com/#!contact.

Donations are tax-deducible through our fiscal sponsor, the International Documentary Association. They also make sure we spend the money according to the budget for the film we submitted to them, so there’s an extra layer of accountability – you can rest assured that your hard earned money is going towards completion of this film and not our bar tabs.

 

Your donation is tax deductible!!! Kidnapped For Christ is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions on behalf of Kidnapped For Christ are payable to IDA and are tax deductible less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation you have the option to simply decline the reward at check out.

2013 EU confirm that will not allow funding for Illegal Israel Settlements


Israel is furious about the decision of EU

By Marivel Guzman

This is part of the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, whether was promoted by the BDS movement or not, not the less add to the efforts to end Israel illegal occupation of more Palestinian Land, which will eventually lead to the dismantling of Israel all together.

The European Union has confirmed that it will no longer allow EU funding to go to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. EU member states will be banned from providing any “grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU” unless Israel guarantees that they will not benefit the settlements.

EU is firmed in its decision to stop funding for Illegal Settlement activities that undermine any prospect for peace.

EU guidelines for Israel Read here

Israel has condemned the move, saying it may harm efforts to revive peace talks.

Israeli Cabinet minister, Silvan Shalom, said: “The Europeans are making a big mistake once again. They always would like to play a key role in the peace process but once again they are showing us that they cannot play a key role because they don’t have a balanced attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

Under its 2000 Co-Agreement Israel-EU,  Israel had  violated its part. Israel agreed to provided an appropriate framework for political dialogue, allowing political developments between the parties. Under this agreements Israel never allowed dialogue, always acted unilaterally without taking in consideration the political repercussions of its actions inside the territories. Now, Israel must face the consequences, EU reached the consensus that no financial aid from its member should be allowed to finance more illegal settlements inside Palestinian Land.

“Given its advanced economic development, Israel is only eligible for a limited amount of bilateral funding under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). However, the country has benefitted from a variety of other budget lines relating to the promotion of peace and democracy.”

EU Commission spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic, defended the EU’s position, saying: “It’s in conformity with the long-running, long-standing EU position, that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and also with the position that I already mention, with the non-recognition by the European Union of Israel sovereignty over the occupied territories.”

Those who live in the settlements say they should not be treated differently.

Rachel Marciano, a resident of Har Homa in the West Bank said: “I am completely against the decision to make a difference between the settlement and Israel. I think that Jews are living over there and we are all of us Israelis. They are Israelis, we are Israelis so there shouldn’t be any difference between us”

The United States wants to get peace talks back on the table but the Palestinians say they will not return to negotiating as long as Israeli settlement construction continues. The settlements, built on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war, are viewed as illegal under international law.

The Palestinians hope to build their state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, where the settlements are being built.

The new guidelines will take effect from next year. They do not affect trade and goods originating from Israeli settlements will still be allowed into the EU.

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EU diplomats propose boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israeli colonialism


by on January 19, 2012
Published on Mondoweiss
bethlehemharhoma
The Israeli settlement of Har Homa overlooking Bethlehem. (Photo: IMEMC)

A report sent to the European Union on Monday by its member countries’ top diplomats in Jerusalem and Ramallah proposed state-level boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel’s illegal colonial infrastructure in the occupied West Bank. These recommendations, unprecedented among Western nations, herald a breakthrough for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Like most efforts opposing only the West Bank settlements, they appear somewhat myopic about the state policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid that stand squarely behind settlers’ walls and guns, while also denying refugees their homes and Palestinian citizens of Israel equality under its laws. But high-level backing for even modest steps can afford many new opportunities.

The Independent reports:

 The European Commission should consider passing legislation to prevent finance generated within its member states being used to support illegal Israeli settlements in occupied territory, the bloc’s top diplomats in Jerusalem and Ramallah have advised …

The finance recommendation has been worded with deliberate vagueness to maintain a consensus among sharply differing views within the EU. But the clear implication is that some of the European Consuls General – ambassador-rank representatives to the Palestinians – want the Commission to consider for the first time whether it has an obligation to legislate on the grounds that the settlements contravene international law.

Under one interpretation of the proposal, the Commission would use legislation to force companies in Europe to break their links with businesses involved in settlement construction and commercial activities. This follows some high-profile voluntary examples like that of Deutsche Bahn, which last year pulled out of electrification of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem rail link because it cut through the West Bank.

The Guardian says that the document

calls on the European commission to consider legislation “to prevent/discourage financial transactions in support of settlement activity”.

Legislation should prohibit trade and business with settlements based on their illegality under international law, rather than a politically-driven boycott, said one EU diplomatic source.

And Ynetnews panics:

The recommendations include the preparation of a “blacklist” of settlers considered violent, in order to later mull the option of banning them from entering the European Union. The document also seeks to encourage more PLO activity and representation in east Jerusalem.

Moreover, the European report advises senior EU figures visiting east Jerusalem to refrain from being escorted by official Israeli representatives or security personnel.

A Western diplomat told Ynet that the Europeans are well aware of the implications of the latest recommendations.

Talk is cheap, of course. But careful organizing and determined action by Palestinians and solidarity activists could make the next steps quicker and more comprehensive. Whatever we think of the two-state “solution” these proposals aim to bolster, they offer us a valuable new arsenal in the struggle against Israeli apartheid.

And speaking of a two-state resolution to Israel’s 63-year occupation of Palestinian land, and ongoing displacement and subjugation of its indigenous people, it appears that these same diplomats, many of whom have spent their lives pursuing it, are nearing despair as its infeasibility becomes undeniable. In an article provocatively entitled “EU on verge of abandoning hope for a viable Palestinian state,” The Independent says:

The Palestinian presence in the largest part of the occupied West Bank – has been, “continuously undermined” by Israel in ways that are “closing the window” on a two-state solution, according to an internal EU report seen by The Independent …

With the number of Jewish settlers now at more than double the shrinking Palestinian population in the largely rural area, the report warns bluntly that, “if current trends are not stopped and reversed, the establishment of a viable Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders seem more remote than ever” …

The 16-page document is the EU’s starkest critique yet of how a combination of house and farm building demolitions; a prohibitive planning regime; relentless settlement expansion; the military’s separation barrier; obstacles to free movement; and denial of access to vital natural resources, including land and water, is eroding Palestinian tenure of the large tract of the West Bank on which hopes of a contiguous Palestinian state depend …

Area C is one of three zones allocated by the 1993 Oslo agreement. Area A includes major Palestinian cities, and is under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Area B is under shared Israeli-Palestinian control.

Although Area C is the least populous, the report says “the window for a two-state solution is rapidly closing with the continued expansion of Israeli settlements and access restrictions for Palestinians in Area C [which] compromises crucial natural resources and land for the future demographic and economic growth of a viable Palestinian state”.

It says the EU needs “at a political” level to persuade Israel to redesignate Area C, but in the meantime it should “support Palestinian presence in, and development of the area”. The report says the destruction of homes, public buildings and workplaces result in “forced transfer of the native population” and that construction is effectively prohibited in 70 per cent of the land – and then in zones largely allocated to settlements of the Israeli military.

While predictably mincing words, the diplomats’ statements coincide with King Abdullah of Jordan, Israel’s last ally in the region, dropping the a-bomb to The Washington Post:

If we haven’t crossed that line, we’ll cross the line sooner or later where the two-state solution is no longer possible, at which point the only solution is the one-state solution. And then, are we talking about apartheid or democracy?

The French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee also accused Israel of using water as “a weapon serving the new apartheid” two weeks ago. And all of this comes shortly after Israel’s public condemnation by every bloc of the United Nations Security Council – with the predictable exception of the United States – in December.

As the one-state reality seeps into the world’s consciousness, we can expect increasing numbers of Israel’s current allies to slowly inch – or, perhaps, quickly run – away from it. These developments offer a moment of opportunity, for Palestinians and all supporters of human equality. What can we do but try to make use of it?

About Joe Catron

Joe Catron is a US activist in Gaza, Palestine, where he works with Palestinian groups and international solidarity networks, particularly in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and prisoners’ movements. He co-edited The Prisoners’ Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag, an anthology of accounts by detainees freed in the 2011 prisoner exchange, blogs at joecatron.wordpress.com and tweets at @jncatron.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. American says:

    Looks like a baby BDS statement. A baby step…boycotting the settlements instead of Israel itself.
    I don’t doubt the EU would like to be stronger on Israel but so far they have haven’t been willing to use their teeth.
    Still it’s better to have statement like this from the EU, along with all the other statements and warnings to Israel previously to build on, when and if Israel pushes their last button also and the statements become calls for sanctions on Israel itself.
    I don’t think they are ignoring the Palestine plight in this, after all that is the main issue with Israel.
    They are, like I said taking baby steps. But will probably be a day late and dollar short as always.

  2. FreddyV says:

    I don’t see why people say the 2SS is no longer viable.

    ’67′ borders. Kick the settlers out. Address the right to return issue. Done.

    I see a 1SS as far less viable with the ingrained racism and mutual distrust. You’ll end up with rich Jews buying land from vulnerable Palestinians.

    It’ll be like going back to the early 20th Century.

    In asking for a One State Solution, you’re asking for a bunch of megalomaniacs with a serious God complex to treat other people equally. That isn’t going to happen and given the ingrained indoctrination they’ve had and total belief that God gave them that land, I think it’s safe to say that as long as my bumhole points downwards, that isn’t going to change.

    The reality will be that Gaza will be Palestine.

  3. pabelmont says:

    FreddyV says it all when he says: “I don’t see why people say the 2SS is no longer viable. ’67′ borders. Kick the settlers out. Address the right to return issue. Done.”

    UNSC-465 (1980) demanded that the (then) settlers be removed and the (then) settlements be dismantled.

    The EU should lead the way to [1] make the same demand agin, today, w.r.t. to today’s much worse situation and [2] to impose such sanctions as seem proper to achieve this.

    But we must also call for removal of the wall, lifting the siege of Gaza, renmoval of internal check-points. And as FreddyV says, address the question of “return”. To this list one must add, equitable sharing of water.

  4. Peacefan says:

    What’s incredible is that there is not mention of this in French speaking medias. At the exception of the assembly report on water, nothing, neither in left nor right press.

  5. I appreciate the effort by those diplomats. Unfortunately, mainstream politicians and media figures in the key EU countries (Germany, France, UK) are just as uncapable of treating Israel as they would have treated South Africa as are their counterparts in the US.

60,000 Congolese flee to Uganda after rebel attack


Posted on July 14, 2013 by Akashma Online News

AP News

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — An aid group says about 60,000 Congolese have fled to Uganda after a rebel attack on a town by the border, stretching humanitarian capacities.

Catherine Ntabadde of the Uganda Red Cross said Sunday that her organization had already registered 41,000 refugees and that 20,000 more are yet to be registered.

The refugee influx continues three days after a Ugandan-led rebel group attacked the Kamango town and killed some people on Thursday, according to Ugandan military officials.

That group —the Allied Democratic Forces —had been hibernating in the jungles of eastern Congo for years since a military assault ousted it from Ugandan territory. It was formed in the early 1990s by Ugandan Muslims who want to install Shariah law in Uganda and who staged deadly terrorist attacks in the 1990s.

BBC News

Thousands of people have fled the Democratic Republic of Congo after a group of Ugandan rebels attacked a border town, aid workers say.

The Allied Democratic Forces raided the town of Kamango on Thursday, according to the Ugandan army spokesman.

At least 18,000 people have crossed into Uganda, the Red Cross has said.

The ADF is based in mineral-rich eastern DR Congo, where numerous armed groups have caused havoc over the past two decades.

Uganda army spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda told the AP news agency that some people had been killed in the attack but did not give any further details.

The rebels kidnapped some people, including a local chief, as they withdrew from the town, local media report.

The ADF was formed in 1996 by a puritanical Muslim sect in the Ruwenzori mountains of western Uganda.

In 1998 it increased its activities and a number of bomb blasts in markets and restaurants in Kampala were blamed on the group.

After years of sporadic raids, the Ugandan army almost destroyed the ADF’s capacity in 2004 and it moved into DR Congo.

However, a United Nations report last year said the rebels had expanded their military capacity and established links with Somalia’s al-Shabab militants.

Aljazeera News

More than 30,000 people have fled their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and crossed into neighbouring Uganda after a rebel group that had been hiding out in eastern Congo attacked a town.

Families streamed across a bridge over a river near the border, clutching belongings. Some carried firewood over their heads, many brought livestock and women held small babies.

Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb, reporting from the Ugandan side of the border on Friday, said people were so desperate to escape that some ignored the bridge and waded through the river.

Video of Refugees fleeing Congo

Fox News

Congolese fleeing to Uganda top 55,000: Red Cross

Published July 14, 2013

  • photo_1373792583399-1-HD.jpg

    Refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo wait after crossing into western Uganda at the Busunga border post on July 13, 2013. More than 55,000 people have arrived in Uganda after fleeing a rebel attack, Red Cross officials say, a dramatic rise from earlier estimates. (AFP)

  • photo_1373794212912-1-HD.jpg

    Refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo arrive at the Busunga border in western Uganda on July 13, 2013. More than 55,000 people have arrived in Uganda after fleeing a rebel attack, Red Cross officials said, a dramatic rise from earlier estimates. (AFP)

BUNDIBUGYO, Uganda (AFP) –  More than 55,000 refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have arrived in Uganda after fleeing a rebel attack, Red Cross officials said on Sunday, a dramatic rise from earlier estimates.

“Given such numbers there is need for urgent humanitarian assistance, as some of the refugees are sick and have left all their belongings in Congo,” Uganda Red Cross official Catherine Ntabadde told AFP.

Read Congo invasion(s) and Colonization(s) : U.S. Military and Corporate Recolonization of the Congo

Press Release: Members of the Organization of The American States


Posted on July 14, 2013 by Akashma Online News

by Marivel Guzman

(Adopted at the meeting held on July 9, 2013)

SOLIDARITY OF THE OAS MEMBER STATES WITH THE PRESIDENT,
EVO MORALES AYMA, AND PEOPLE OF THE PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA

THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,

CONSIDERING:

That the Charter of the Organization of American States establishes that “international law is the standard of conduct of States in their reciprocal relations;” and that “international order consists essentially of respect for the personality, sovereignty, and independence of States, and the faithful fulfillment of the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law;”

That all states must strictly observe the rules and customs governing immunity of all Heads of State, as well as the rules and regulations of international law relating to the use of airspace for overflight and landing;

That the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, through its Permanent Mission to the OAS, reported and publicly alleged that on July 2, 2013, the Presidential Airplane FAB-001 that was taking President Evo Morales Ayma from Moscow to La Paz was forced to make an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria, because of the cancellation, denial, or delaying of previously issued overflight and landing permits for airspaces of France, Portugal, Italy, and Spain, potentially compromising the safety of the Bolivian President and his entourage; and violating international law on the subject matter; and

That the Secretary General of the Organization in a timely manner, through a press release, has expressed deep concern at the decision by the authorities of several European countries that prevented the airplane carrying the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales, from Moscow to La Paz from using their airspace; and at the same time called on the countries involved to explain the reasons for taking this decision, particularly as it put the life of the leader of a member country of the OAS at risk,

RESOLVES:

1. To express the solidarity of the member states of the Organization of American States with the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma.

2. To condemn actions that violate the basic rules and principles of international law such as the inviolability of Heads of State.

3. To firmly call on the Governments of France, Portugal, Italy, and Spain to provide the necessary explanations of the events that took place with the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, as well as apologies as appropriate.

4. To call for a continuation of respectful and constructive dialogue involving the parties, in accordance with the rules of international law and the mechanisms for peaceful settlement of disputes.

5. To reaffirm the full validity of the principles, rules, and international customs governing diplomatic relations among states and guaranteeing peaceful coexistence among all countries comprising the international community.

6. To instruct the Secretary General to follow up on the contents of this resolution.

Video of the Metting

FOOTNOTES

1. Canada cannot join consensus on this resolution. Canada does respect the privileges and immunities granted to heads of State in customary international law. However, in this case, there are conflicting interpretations of the facts surrounding the event. Moreover, the alleged granting or cancellation of overflight authorization is a bilateral matter separate from the question of the privileges and immunities of heads of State. Before bringing the matter to this Organization, those states named in the resolution should seek a resolution through diplomatic channels.

2. The United States cannot join consensus on this resolution. The relevant facts regarding the incident at issue are unclear and subject to conflicting reports. It is therefore inappropriate for this organization to make statements regarding them at this time. In addition, the question of granting or canceling of overflight or landing permits is a bilateral matter between Bolivia and the countries concerned. It is unhelpful and inappropriate for the OAS to attempt to intervene at this moment.
Reference: S-012

This is Trayvon Martin lifeless body-Not just another black kid


This, Courtesy of MSNBC, Is Trayvon Martin’s Dead Body. Get Angry.

by Adam Weinstein

Trayvon Martin Lifeless body

Trayvon Martin Lifeless body

A reader of mine sent me this photo last night. As the murder trial of George Zimmerman wheezes to its conclusion, the TV networks dutifully pipe in live pool video from the courtroom, as if it is force-fed to them and they have no choice but to excrete it, soft and undigested, into our living rooms, bedrooms, offices. Sometimes, the pool recorder or the networks’ producers don’t switch to a mundane image of lawyers being lawyerly quite fast enough, and we get to see snippets of the human cruelty, stupidity, and frailty that occasion trials such as this.

This is Trayvon Martin’s body. These are the last skinny jeans he wore, cuffed once at the bottoms. These are his stylish kicks, his sockless ankles. There are Trayvon’s taut neck, his slack jaw, his open eyes.

This is what happens. Not just when we input “black” and “teen” and “hoodie” and “night” into our onboard computers and output “DANGER,” but also when we find the aftermath Newsworthy, and must consume it voraciously from start to finish, but insist that we cannot stomach seeing the bones and gristle on our plates.

This image has made its way to the internet on message boards and the like, but not on any notable sites that I could find. The Huffington Post and others have published some images of Martin’s body—covered by a sheet—but none of his face.

I had a brief conversation by email and phone last night with the reader who wanted to send this to me, who felt compelled to save it, but seemed unsure why he had. Before he’d shared the image, I asked him what it showed. Was it newsworthy? He stammered. “It’s… a dead black kid,” he said, disturbed, hoping five words could convey many more. In email, he’d asked me: “What will you do with pic?”

To Trayvon’s parents, Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, I’m sorry that I feel compelled to share this photograph. Were I a slave to journalistic norms, I would say that it’s somehow in the public interest to see him there. I would point out Florida’s sunshine laws, and the TV network’s incompetence, and argue the inevitability that this image would’ve gained a wider audience than it has already.

But those are rationalizations. They don’t explain my motive: Good old-fashioned rage that this kid is dead because my home state empowered a dullard aficionado of Van Damme and Seagal movie cliches to choose his own adventure. Florida literally gave George Zimmerman license to make up neighborhood threats and invite violent confrontations, confident in the knowledge that he carried more firepower jammed down his sweaty fat waistband than every army on earth beheld before 1415.

I wish I were a better person than that, but I’m not. People come up short all the time, after all. I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t have a gun.

Re-Shared from Gawker.com

Gawker contributor Adam Weinstein is a Florida-based writer and editor. You can reach him via adamweinsteinwriter.com.

Florida jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty


Posted on July 13, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Florida Jury set a new precedent for Justice finding George Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder

11George Zimmerman's parents Robert Zimmerman Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman celebrate following their son's his not guilty verdict in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida, July 13, 2013. REUTERS-Gary W. Green-Pool
A Seminole County Sheriff's deputy carries Trayvon Martin's shirt as trial evidence is moved out of the courtroom in Sanford, Florida July 13, 2013 during the trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. REUTERS-Joe Burbank-Pool

By Ellen Wulfhorst

SANFORD, Florida | Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:50pm EDT

(Reuters) – A Florida jury on Saturday found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, in a case that sparked a national debate on race and guns.

The panel of six women deliberated more than 16 hours over two days until nearly 10 p.m. on Saturday (0200 GMT Sunday) before delivering the verdict, which drew immediate condemnation from some civil rights groups.

Zimmerman appeared stoned-faced as the verdict was announced, but then showed a slight smile of relief. His parents embraced each other and his wife was tearful.

Zimmerman, 29, said Martin, 17, attacked him on the night of February 26, 2012, in the central Florida town of Sanford. Prosecutors contend the neighborhood watch coordinator in his gated community was a “wannabe cop” who tracked down the teenager and shot him without justification.

The jury could have convicted him of second-degree murder or manslaughter.

“Today, justice failed Trayvon Martin and his family,” Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the National Association of Colored People, said in a statement.

“We call immediately for the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the civil rights violations committed against Trayvon Martin. This case has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling in the United States.”

The news also drew angry shouts from some of the dozens of demonstrators who had gathered outside the courtroom during the day in support of Martin’s family. His parents were not in the court during the reading of the verdict.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson tweeted within minutes of the acquittal: “Avoid violence, it will lead to more tragedies. Find a way for self construction not deconstruction in this time of despair.”

What happened in Sanford that February night may never have gone beyond the back pages of a local newspaper if police had immediately arrested Zimmerman.

But he walked free for more than six weeks after the shooting, because police believed his claim of self-defense, triggering protests and cries of injustice across America.

It also drew comment from President Barack Obama, forced the resignation of Sanford’s police chief, and brought U.S. Justice Department scrutiny to this town of 54,000 residents not far from Disney World in Orlando.

(Additional reporting by Tom Brown in Miami and Barbara Liston in Sanford; Editing by Dina Kyriakidou and Peter Cooney)

 

Edward Snowden Statement 11 a:m, according to WikiLeaks Team


Update 11 a.m.: Here’s the transcript of Snowden’s remarks,

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

This post has been updated with additional information as it became available.

Edward Snowden Has Accepted Russian Asylum Offer


Published on July 13, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Snowden will have to agree not to continue releasing documents harmful to the US.

Photo Credit: Tanya Lokshina / Human Rights Watch

This article was originally published by This Can’t Be Happening.

Edward Snowden, the bete noir of the US national security state, who has leaked information that the National Security Agency is spying on all electronic communications of Americans, and on hundreds of millions of others around the globe, as well as on the leaders and the embassies of even many US allies, is accepting an offer of political asylum that has been extended by Russia, where he has been spending weeks in limbo in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, unable to fly to asylum elsewhere because of heavy-handed US pressure.

According to an RT-TV report [1], Snowden, in accepting the Russian offer, will have to abide by a condition set by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he not continue releasing documents harmful to the US.

This deal leaves a lot of questions unanswered:

First of all, Snowden has already turned over a huge trove of information to reporters at the Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper in the UK, as well as lesser amounts of documents to Der Spiegel magazine in Germany and to other publications in other countries. It would appear that he can no longer control, at this point, whether or not those news organizations continue to publish articles based on the documents in their possession, It is also unclear what the Russian government response would be concerning Snowden’s protected status should any of those organizations, as is likely, continue to publish embarrassing or damaging disclosures about the NSA. Asked by reporters at an airport press conference whether he would continue to release details about the NSA himself while in Russia, Snowden’s answer was simple: “My job is done.” That “job,” though, was providing the leaked information to reporters. Snowden himself has not publicly disclosed the information.

Snowden also correctly pointed out the distinction between “damaging America,” and exposing the NSA. “No actions I take or plan are meant to harm the US… I want the US to succeed,” he said in answer to a question. Would Putin consider further leaks about the US government’s spying on its own citizens “damaging” to America? Open question.

Liveleak.com video of Friday’s Snowden press conference for Right Group Activists in Moscow airport

In any event, Putin has made clear that Russia would never extradite Snowden. As he put it, “Russia has never extradited anyone and is not going to do so. Same as no one has ever been extradited to Russia.” Besides, the cat’s already out of the bag, in terms of the big revelations Snowden made public.

The RT-TV report also suggests that Snowden and Russia may be looking at the asylum situation there as less than a lifetime arrangement. It appears to be a way for Russia to get him out of the airport, into Russia, to further tweak the US, and to put Snowden in an official status where he could be provided with travel documents as a matter of course, as would an asylum grantee in the US

This could enable him to quietly leave Russia later for another location after some time has passed. The RT story significantly quotes Tatyana Lokshina of Human Rights Watch as saying Snowden is seeking to stay in Russia because he “can’t fly to Latin America yet.”

Three Latin American countries so far–Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua– have offered Snowden asylum without conditions, but he has been unable to safely travel to any of them, given the already demonstrated US threat to force his plane to land. (American authorities exerted pressure on French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish governments to refuse their airspace, in violation of international law, to a presidential plane carrying Bolivia’s leader, Evo Morales, to fly home from a state visit to Russia, forcing it to land in Austria, where the government was pressed to illegally inspect the plane, which the US incorrectly suspected was transporting Snowden to asylum in Bolivia.) At the airport conference, Snowden said he had accepted all three of those offers of asylum, as well as Russia’s. “I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future,” Snowden said, after meeting with human rights lawyers earlier.

 

Second Part of the Original Video made public by The Guardian

Glenn Greenwald: “Snowden has information for more damage”


Published on July 13, 2013 by Akashma Online News

The journalist who received the leaks from the CIA Mole said there are more documents

By Alberto Armendariz | LA NACION

RIO DE JANEIRO. – Smoke and Mirrors. With his striped bathing suit, his white sandals, his jean jacket and a backpack, Glenn Greenwald seems like a tourist walking along the promenade of Sao Conrado, Rio de Janeiro. But it is the journalist, blogger and columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian who surprised the world with revelations about the extensive network of U.S. cyber espionage that was leaked by Edward Snowden, former intelligence analyst for the National Security Agency (NSA ).

“Snowden has enough information to cause more damage to the U.S. government in a minute alone than anyone else has ever had in the history of the United States,” Greenwald, 46, told LA NACION, and since living in these latitudes writes regularly on international security issues which has made him famous, winner of several distinguished awards.

Today, the New Yorker, a former lawyer, is in the eye of the storm. Lawmakers in Washington want to put him on trial, spies of various countries seek Snowden’s secret information shared with him last month in Hong Kong and which he still sends from Moscow through an encrypted email system. He knows he’s being watched and that their conversations are monitored. They even steal the laptop from her boyfriend Rio, from their own home.

Three men wait in the lobby of the hotel Royal Tulip with credentials of a congress of osteoporosis about which the manager has no idea. Are they really doctors or are following Greenwald? Appearances are deceptive.

– Does Snowden’s decision to stay in Russia help him come to Latin America?

– Yes, the most important thing is not to end in U.S. custody, which proved extremely vindictive government to punish those who reveal uncomfortable truths, and in whose judicial system can not be trusted when it comes to people accused of endangering the national security. The judges do everything they can to secure convictions in these cases. He would be immediately put in prison to cover the debate that he helped generate, and end the rest of his days behind bars.

– Does Russia give him security guarantees?

– Not many countries in the world that have the ability and willingness to defy U.S. demands. But Russia is one of those countries and it has been good so far.

– Beyond the revelations about the spying system’s performance in general, what other information does Snowden have?

– Snowden has enough information to cause more damage to the U.S. government in a minute alone than anyone else has ever had in the history of the United States. But that’s not his goal. His objective is to expose software that people around the world use without knowing that they are exposing themselves without consciously agreeing to surrender their privacy rights. He has a huge number of documents that would be very harmful to the U.S. government if they were made public.

– Are you afraid that someone will try to kill him?

– It’s a possibility, although it would not bring many benefits to anyone at this point. Thousands of documents are already distributed and to make sure that several people around the world have the entire file. If something were to happen, those documents would be made public. This is an insurance policy. The U.S. government should be on its knees every day praying that nothing happens to Snowden, because if something happens, all the information will be revealed and that would be their worst nightmare.

– Can Latin America be a good shelter for Snowden?

– Only a few countries, including several in Latin America, China and Russia, have challenged the U.S., and have realized that America is no longer in a position of strength as it did before with the rest of the world, and that the rest of the countries do not have to obey its demands as if it were an imperial order. In Latin America there is a feeling of natural sympathy for the United States, yet there is a great resentment for specific historical policies of Washington toward the region. What happened to the plane of Evo Morales in Europe caused a strong reaction, was treated as if Bolivia was a colony and not a sovereign state.

– From documents Snowden shared with you, is there much more information related to Latin America?

– Yes. For each country that has an advanced communications system, such as from Mexico to Argentina, there are documents that detail how the United States collects traffic information, the programs that are used to capture the transmissions, the number of interceptions that are performed per day, and more. One way to intercept communications is through a telephone corporation in the United States that has contracts with telecommunications companies in most Latin American countries. The important thing will be to see the reaction of the various governments. I do not think that the governments of Mexico and Colombia will do much about it. But maybe those of Argentina and Venezuela will be willing to take action.

Glenn Greenwald / Columnist, The Guardian
Profession: Journalist
Age: 46 years
Origin: United States


Egypt clossing Gaza Tunnels-Hunting “terrorists” in the Sinai Peninsula


Published on July 07, 2013 by Akashma Online News

by Marivel Guzman

Egypt army ‘preparing for Sinai operation’

According to Ma’an News, Egypt’s army is preparing for a large-scale military operation in Sinai, an army official said Sunday, as forces sealed more smuggling tunnels along the Gaza border.
An Egyptian military official told Ma’an the army was preparing for a major operation in Sinai “to clean it up from terrorist and criminal cells.”

The army official said “coordination is ongoing between the Egyptians and the Israelis to bring military vehicles, troops and jets into Sinai to fight terror.”  Ma’an News Agency
I am really sad for the situation of Gaza, we know that part of their life line comes from the tunnels, but analyzing Egypt situation, we need to understand their position.
They somehow depend on US military and economical aid, wanted or not, they are on a short leash.
Adding to that the “peace agreement of 1979, Camp David which is another rope hanging on their neck.

President Sadat was the focus of Islamic extremists primarily for his dealings with Israel. Though he had become a national hero in 1973 for springing a surprise attack against Israel in the Sinai Peninsula, the eighth anniversary of which was being celebrated in the parade, his decision to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 had turned him into a pariah in the Arab world.  New York Times

You know that Egypt lost control control of the Sinai Peninsula, (supposedly Israel gave back to Egypt, but not really) and unfortunately some of the Bedouins had transformed the Sinai in a porous illegal trade of arms, drugs, and human trafficking to Israel.
We understand that also it is used to bring military equipment to Gaza, and of course all the products blacklisted by Israel but, some radical groups not controlled by the central government of Hamas also make use of the tunnels to bring materials to make rockets, off course they do on their understanding to liberate Palestine, but sometimes that undermine Gaza’s government and ability to reach political agreements.
Of course I m not agreeing with their policies of closing the tunnels before to opening completely the Rafah crossing, and guarantee that Israel opens the other crossing to the West Bank, but Prof. how can we blame Egypt?, they are a crippled apparatus of corrupt military old generals from the old regime and under paid security guards.
They want to assure their peace with the stronger neighbor -Israel- and apace their stronger financial supporter-The US.
Egypt is trapped between its moral support for their Arabs’ brothers, the Palestinians, and US money, and Israel’s military might.
They play the cards to better serve their masters, and lately they succumbing to the might of the Egyptian people.
We have to be honest with ourselves, The Egyptian people with so many ties with Palestine they do not support the Palestinian struggles, actually grand part of the Egyptian population had the wrongly programed idea that Palestinians are the cause of all their problems. They are neighbors and they have not organized a great coalition to push their government to open the Rafahs’ border once and for all.
In the big scale they do not support the Palestinians. They see them as ignorant Americans do, that blame the Mexicans for United States economical problems

Egyptian ‘Democratic Coup d’état’ A La Carte


Egypt: ‘Democratic Coup d’état’ A La Carte

July 3, 2013 | by Akashma Online News

UPDATED
Egypt witnessed an unprecedented ‘Democratic Coup d’état’ A La Carte. Egypt has broken all the records in history. From its mysterious pyramids, to their millions of protesters on the streets. Now they witness for first time in the history of any country a ‘Democratic Coup d’état’ A La Carte.
The Egyptian military gave two weeks to the government of Mohammed Morsi to come up with a political and economical solutions to the demands of the Egyptian people that had taken to the streets in the millions.
Normally a military coupe it is prepared in the uttermost secret and done under the shadows of the nights, but not Egypt Military, they announced in advance, that the Egyptian Military wing will take over the control of the country,  and they did. Adding to the uniqueness of Egyptian political situation, this is the first time in history that the people welcome the intervention of the Egyptian Military to work out a ‘Democratic Coup d’état’ A La Carte with hysterical joy.
Off course not everyone is happy about it, the US it is fuming, now that they were getting cozy with The brotherhood’s men, dictating policy that was against of the will of the majority in the country, as usually happen with the designs of the US foreign policy.
 “We are not taking sides on this, this is for the Egyptian’s people and all sides to work this together to comes to a pacific political resolution” Jen Psaki, State Department Spoke woman, July 03, 2013
An Egyptian army helicopter flies over protesters calling for the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on July 3. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Egyptian military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced July 3 that the country’s president, Mohammed Morsi, had been removed from office in the wake of popular unrest. In a short media statement, al-Sisi, who was flanked by the three armed services chiefs, opposition leaders, the sheikh of al-Azhar Mosque and the pope of the Coptic Church, announced that Adly Mansour, chief justice of the Constitutional Court, has replaced Morsi as interim president. He also announced that the constitution has been suspended. Mansour’s appointment is notable in that one of the key demands of the Tamarod protest movement was that he become president. The provisional government will be holding fresh parliamentary and presidential elections.

The arrangement was made without the involvement of Morsi, whose whereabouts remain unknown, or of anyone representing the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has effectively been thrown out of power, must now figure out how to respond. The group probably will not respond violently, but it will engage in civil unrest that will lead to violence. Though the Brotherhood is unlikely to abandon the path of democratic politics, Morsi’s ouster will lead elements from more ultraconservative Salafist groups to abandon mainstream politics in favor of armed conflict.

The overthrow of Egypt’s moderate Islamist government undermines the international efforts to bring radical Islamists into the political mainstream in the wider Arab and Muslim world. Ultimately, within the context of Egypt, Morsi’s ouster sets a precedent where future presidents can expect to be removed from office by the military in the event of pressure from the masses. In a way, this was set in motion by the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, and it does not bode well for the future stability of Egypt.

AP Release Video

The ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is generating significant debate about what Wednesday’s events should actually be called.

Specifically: Was it a coup d’état? or a Democratic Coup d’état

Many supporters of the ouster, including military leaders in Egypt, have denied it is a coup. Many Western diplomats have tiptoed around the issue.

“The definition of a coup is the overturning of a leadership, a legitimate leadership, by other powers, often military,” said Paul Sullivan, an expert in international relations at Georgetown University in Washington. But he said the word “legitimate” is what can generate a significant amount of debate.

“Many people in Egypt do not consider Morsi, or the previous president now I suppose, to have been a legitimate leader. So the use of the word ‘coup’ seems inappropriate to them,” he said. “It depends where you’re looking from.” The Globe and Mail

 

Aids Imported by American Scientists-Chavez was right all along


Posted on July 2, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Cancer an American Made Up disease; Hugo Chavez was right telling the world that US given cancer to all the South American Presidents

Dr. Maurice Hilleman

Merck vaccine scientist Dr. Maurice Hilleman admitted presence of SV40, AIDS and cancer viruses in vaccines.

One of the most prominent vaccine scientists in the history of the vaccine industry — a Merck scientist — made a recording where he openly admits that vaccines given to Americans were contaminated with leukemia and cancer viruses. In response, his colleagues (who are also recorded here) break out into laughter and seem to think it’s hilarious. They then suggest that because these vaccines are first tested in Russia, they will help the U.S. win the Olympics because the Russian athletes will all be “loaded down with tumors.” (Thus, they knew these vaccines caused cancer in humans.)

This isn’t some conspiracy theory — these are the words of a top Merck scientist who probably had no idea that his recording would be widely reviewed across the internet (which didn’t even exist when he made this recording). He probably thought this would remain a secret forever. When asked why this didn’t get out to the press, he replied “Obviously you don’t go out, this is a scientific affair within the scientific community.”

In other words, vaccine scientists cover for vaccine scientists. They keep all their dirty secrets within their own circle of silence and don’t reveal the truth about the contamination of their vaccines.

You can hear this interview at:
http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=13EAA…

Here is the full transcript. (Thanks are due to Dr. Len Horowitz for finding this recording and making it publicly available.)

Transcript of audio interview with Dr. Maurice HillemanDr. Len Horowitz: Listen now to the voice of the worlds leading vaccine expert Dr Maurice Hilleman, Chief of the Merck Pharmaceutical Company’s vaccine division relay this problem he was having with imported monkeys. He best explains the origin of AIDS, but what you are about to hear was cut from any public disclosures.

Dr Maurice Hilleman: and I think that vaccines have to be considered the bargain basement technology for the 20th century.

Narrator: 50 years ago when Maurice Hilleman was a high school student in Miles City Montana, he hoped he might qualify as a management trainee for the local JC Penney’s store. Instead he went on to pioneer more breakthroughs in vaccine research and development than anyone in the history of American medicine. Among the discoveries he made at Merck, are vaccines for mumps, rubella and measles…

Dr Edward Shorter: Tell me how you found SV40 and the polio vaccine.

Dr Maurice Hilleman: Well, that was at Merck. Yeah, I came to Merck. And uh, I was going to develop vaccines. And we had wild viruses in those days. You remember the wild monkey kidney viruses and so forth? And I finally after 6 months gave up and said that you cannot develop vaccines with these damn monkeys, we’re finished and if I can’t do something I’m going to quit, I’m not going to try it. So I went down to see Bill Mann at the zoo in Washington DC and I told Bill Mann, I said “look, I got a problem and I don’t know what the hell to do.” Bill Mann is a real bright guy. I said that these lousy monkeys are picking it up while being stored in the airports in transit, loading, off loading. He said, very simply, you go ahead and get your monkeys out of West Africa and get the African Green, bring them into Madrid unload them there, there is no other traffic there for animals, fly them into Philadelphia and pick them up. Or fly them into New York and pick them up, right off the airplane. So we brought African Greens in and I didn’t know we were importing the AIDS virus at the time.

Miscellaneous background voices:…(laughter)… it was you who introduced the AIDS virus into the country. Now we know! (laughter) This is the real story! (laughter) What Merck won’t do to develop a vaccine! (laughter)

Dr Maurice Hilleman: So what he did, he brought in, I mean we brought in those monkeys, I only had those and this was the solution because those monkeys didn’t have the wild viruses but we…

Dr Edward Shorter: Wait, why didn’t the greens have the wild viruses since they came from Africa?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …because they weren’t, they weren’t, they weren’t being infected in these group holding things with all the other 40 different viruses…

Dr Edward Shorter: but they had the ones that they brought from the jungle though…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …yeah, they had those, but those were relatively few what you do you have a gang housing you’re going to have an epidemic transmission of infection in a confined space. So anyway, the greens came in and now we have these and were taking our stocks to clean them up and god now I’m discovering new viruses. So, I said Judas Priest. Well I got an invitation from the Sister Kinney Foundation which was the opposing foundation when it was the live virus…

Dr Edward Shorter: Ah, right…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: Yeah, they had jumped on the Sabin’s band wagon and they had asked me to come down and give a talk at the Sister Kinney Foundation meeting and I saw it was an international meeting and god, what am I going to talk about? I know what I’m going to do, I’m going to talk about the detection of non detectable viruses as a topic.

Dr Albert Sabin…there were those who didn’t want a live virus vaccine… (unintelligible) …concentrated all its efforts on getting more and more people to use the killed virus vaccine, while they were supporting me for research on the live viruses.

Dr Maurice Hilleman: So now I got to have something (laughter), you know that going to attract attention. And gee, I thought that damn SV40, I mean that damn vaculating agent that we have, I’m just going to pick that particular one, that virus has got to be in vaccines, it’s got to be in the Sabin’s vaccines so I quick tested it (laughter) and sure enough it was in there.

Dr Edward Shorter: I’ll be damned

Dr Maurice Hilleman: … And so now…

Dr Edward Shorter: …so you just took stocks of Sabin’s vaccines off the shelf here at Merck…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …yeah, well it had been made, it was made at Merck…

Dr Edward Shorter: You were making it for Sabin at this point?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …Yeah, it was made before I came…

Dr Edward Shorter: yeah, but at this point Sabin is still just doing massive field trials…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …uh huh

Dr Edward Shorter: okay,

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …in Russia and so forth. So I go down and I talked about the detection of non detectable viruses and told Albert, I said listen Albert you know you and I are good friends but I’m going to go down there and you’re going to get upset. I’m going to talk about the virus that it’s in your vaccine. You’re going to get rid of the virus, don’t worry about it, you’re going to get rid of it… but umm, so of course Albert was very upset…

Dr Edward Shorter: What did he say?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well he said basically, that this is just another obfuscation that’s going to upset vaccines. I said well you know, you’re absolutely right, but we have a new era here we have a new era of the detection and the important thing is to get rid of these viruses.

Dr Edward Shorter: Why would he call it an obfuscation if it was a virus that was contaminating the vaccine?Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well there are 40 different viruses in these vaccines anyway that we were inactivating and uh,

Dr Edward Shorter: but you weren’t inactivating his though…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …no that’s right, but yellow fever vaccine had leukemia virus in it and you know this was in the days of very crude science. So anyway I went down and talked to him and said well, why are you concerned about it? Well I said “I’ll tell you what, I have a feeling in my bones that this virus is different, I don’t know why to tell you this but I …(unintelligible) …I just think this virus will have some long term effects.” And he said what? And I said “cancer”. (laughter) I said Albert, you probably think I’m nuts, but I just have that feeling. Well in the mean time we had taken this virus and put it into monkeys and into hamsters. So we had this meeting and that was sort of the topic of the day and the jokes that were going around was that “gee, we would win the Olympics because the Russians would all be loaded down with tumors.” (laughter) This was where the vaccine was being tested, this was where… so, uhh, and it really destroyed the meeting and it was sort of the topic. Well anyway…

Dr Edward Shorter: Was this the physicians… (unintelligible) …meeting in New York?

Dr Maurice Hilleman…well no, this was at Sister Kinney…

Dr Edward Shorter: Sister Kinney, right…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …and Del Becco (sp) got up and he foresaw problems with these kinds of agents.

Dr Edward Shorter: Why didn’t this get out into the press?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well, I guess it did I don’t remember. We had no press release on it. Obviously you don’t go out, this is a scientific affair within the scientific community…

Voice of news reporter: …an historic victory over a dread disease is dramatically unfolded at the U of Michigan. Here scientists usher in a new medical age with the monumental reports that prove that the Salk vaccine against crippling polio to be a sensational success. It’s a day of triumph for 40 year old Dr. Jonas E Salk developer of the vaccine. He arrives here with Basil O’Connor the head of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis that financed the tests. Hundreds of reporters and scientists gathered from all over the nation gathered for the momentous announcement….

Dr Albert Sabin: …it was too much of a show, it was too much Hollywood. There was too much exaggeration and the impression in 1957 that was, no in 1954 that was given was that the problem had been solved , polio had been conquered.

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …but, anyway we knew it was in our seed stock from making vaccines. That virus you see, is one in 10,000 particles is not an activated… (unintelligible) …it was good science at the time because that was what you did. You didn’t worry about these wild viruses.

Dr Edward Shorter: So you discovered, it wasn’t being inactivated in the Salk vaccine?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …Right. So then the next thing you know is, 3, 4 weeks after that we found that there were tumors popping up on these hamsters.

Dr. Len Horowitz: Despite AIDS and Leukemia suddenly becoming pandemic from “wild viruses” Hilleman said, this was “good science” at that time.

Article first appeared on Natural News website.

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Journo, Junkie, Hero, Pal DC writer David Morrison’s star burned bright and fast.


Posted on June 24, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Source AndMagazine.com

The word, “heroic” has been tossed around so indiscriminately since 9/11 that it’s long since lost its head-swiveling punch. But if we can apply it to wounded soldiers and cancer battlers, surely we can devote a small measure of respect for a brilliant journalist who fought back back from an addiction to heroin. That would be David Morrison, who was as much a warrior as any solider who ran over a roadside

David C. Morrison photo by Family Photo.

bomb.

Morrison’s luck ran out on June 5, when he died alone in his sleep, age 59, in his Washington, DC apartment–“far too young,” a friend said. There were no signs that the overweight, smoking writer, who had recently lost his job as a columnist at Congressional Quarterly, took his own life, the friend and others said.

“No, he would’ve left a note,” one said, chuckling. “He liked to write so much.”

My guess is he was just plumb wore out.

At the time, Morrison was looking for freelance work, the last chapter of a career that once produced some of the smartest, elegantly wrought reporting on national security issues around, even while he was reeling from heroin.

Like everybody else who cared about intelligence and military issues, I’d begun following David’s work when he was a national security reporter at The National Journal in the 1980s. He had a gift for rendering complex subjects with an uncommon elan.

“The missile defense debate,” he once wrote, “has been as much about faith and ideological fervor as about logic and rational calculation. If the past is any guide, Clinton’s National Missile Defense will probably be stymied by the same technical, diplomatic, and financial factors that doomed Johnson’s Sentinel, Nixon’s Safeguard, Reagan’s Star Wars, and Bush’s Brilliant Pebbles.”

“Morrison’s reporting drew attention in policymaking circles,” the media critic Howie Kurtz wrote in The Washington Post in 1995. “He disclosed major problems with the Navy’s A-12 attack plane, which the Defense Department canceled the following year. He won a New York University award for exploring the difficulties in disposing of chemical weapons.”

A graduate of the the elite Columbia University School of Journalism, Morrison also did pioneering work on the Pentagon’s deeply classified “black budgets,” so much so that The National Journal contested the award of a Pulitzer Prize to the Philadelphia Inquirer for a later series on the same subject.

“Without question, The National Journal’s article and the first article in the Inquirer series are similar,” the New York Times wrote in an in-depth examination of the controversy. The magazine’s protest failed, but the controversy brought deserved attention to Morrison’s work beyond the Beltway.

But it was his extraordinary, anonymous account of his secret life as a middle-class heroin junkie that, ironically, would make him a shooting star in the city’s evanescent media firmament.

ME & MY MONKEY: Confessions of a White-Collar Dope Fiend,” appeared on the cover of the Washington City Paper on Jan. 13, 1995, and caused an immediate sensation.

“Sunday afternoon, June 6,” it opened. “I am going to kill myself. No kidding. This time I mean it.”

An 18,600-word, white-rabbit tour de force of the East Coast professional set’s heroin world, the piece detailed an underground peopled by ghost-like lawyers, judges, Pentagon bureaucrats and, yes, top-performing journalists like himself.

“I’m sick. So sick. My last fix was 45 hours and, let’s see, 20-odd minutes ago. Ancient history. Not a wink of sleep last night. Jumping out of my skin. No way to get comfortable. Every hour is a day. Every minute an hour,” Morrison wrote.

“Marrow sucked from my bones. Ice water in there now. Aching legs flailing. Why do you think it’s called kicking? Snot streams from my nose, tears from my eyes. Rancid sweat pours everywhere. Shivering. Shaking. Every hair standing on end. Goose bumps on my goose bumps. Why do you think it’s called cold turkey?”

Morrison went on to describe his “bizarre double life” as a journalist and junkie.

“Scoring a brick of junk—five bundles, or 50 $10 bags—I’m up in Spanish Harlem, wading through the crack vials that litter 124th and Lex like pebbles on a beach in hell. Deal done, I fix in the john of a greasy spoon on Third Avenue. Heading back on Amtrak to D.C., I don a suit to interview a House committee chairman. One night, I’m compulsively mixing and fixing speedballs by candlelight in a roach-infested shooting gallery on Avenue C. The next afternoon, I’m gassing away on a panel discussion at one of Washington’s more strait-laced think tanks.”

Another day, “I’m settling in for an interview with an assistant secretary charged with prosecuting one front in George Bush’s war on drugs. I start to shrug off my suit jacket.”

Uh-oh.

“Idiot! My sleeves are rolled up,” Morrison writes. “My arms, flecked with needle stigmata, look like week-old steak tartar. Jacket back on, I realize soon into the interview I could have cooked up and geezed a speedball into my jugular vein right there. I don’t think that doughty drug warrior would have had the vaguest clue what was going on.”

He began to take bigger and bigger chances to stay high, shoplifting after maxing out his credit cards.

“Now I’m also geezing dope in the stairwell at work,” he writes. “Needlework is more safely done in the men’s room, I know that. But I can’t smoke in there. One afternoon, ripped and ragged, having filed what I imagine to be a deathless piece of prose, I storm into an editor’s office: ‘Who do I have to fuck around here to get on the cover?'”

Soon enough, things unraveled. Even more fascinating than Morrison’s near stream-of-conscious explication of his own dual life was his persuasive insistence that his twisted existence was not all that uncommon.

“Reasonably well-raised white people with everything to lose are still getting hooked on crack, smack, you name it,” he wrote. “I’ve met scores of people much like me. Journalists. Doctors. Lawyers. Designers. Consultants. Bureaucrats. Executives. Republicans. I have sat in my dealer’s kitchen and watched the evening rush hour of civil servants picking up their $50 bags of junk or chunks of rock.”

Of course, everybody wanted to know who this guy was. Howie Kurtz tracked him down at The National Journal, which–quite admirably at the time–had kept Morrison on after he cleaned up and joined a recovery program.

“Morrison, 41, who has been clean since a week-long hospitalization last June, agreed to discuss his drug problem publicly for the first time,” Kurtz wrote in the Post. “He says he considered going public when writing the piece but had no desire to join the Oprah circuit.”

“I didn’t want to be the center of a flaming controversy,” he told Kurtz. “I didn’t want to be part of the electronic media mulching machine. The machine can get churning and it chews people up… I’m pretty repelled by this orgy of confessionalism. I don’t feel like a victim.”

Michael Wright, The National Journal’s executive editor, told Kurtz that Morrison was “gradually…getting back up to speed. He’s his old feisty self again.”

But not long after, he left the magazine. In 2000, he would pop up prominently again in City Paper–writing about his sexuality.

In “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’” he reflected on “what it is that I simultaneously love and hate most about male homosexuality:

“In broad and general terms, what you often get is naked male sexual energy—predatory, insistent, passionate, and superficial—unhampered and uninformed by the biological, social, and emotional factors that women typically bring to the erotic equation. By no means for everyone, stalking the nocturnal urban jungle in search of that perfect shot of anonymous sex can be a rush beyond compare. And the perils posed by police decoys, gay-bashing beastie boys, and remorseless viruses only perversely enhance the thrill.”

Eight months later, he wrote yet another bare-all for City Paper, an account of his bust for shoplifting in the 17th Street NW Safeway near Dupont Circle.

A Quick Trip to the Grocery Store,” rendered in the same near-hallucinatory yet clear-headed style he had deployed so effectively in “Me and the Monkey,” made me wonder whether Morrison had wasted his talent on filleting government defense policies. He was better than Hunter Thompson, I thought, because he knew when to take his foot off the pedal.

“Safeway imposes a ruthlessly enforced smile policy on its employees,” he wrote.

“The customer is always right.

“But not me. Not today. I am a wrong number. And the store manager, who is built like a massive 12-ounce beer can, is


“Me & My Monkey: Confessions of a White-Collar Dope Fiend,” caused an immediate sensation in 1995.

not smiling. For one mad moment, I think about bolting for the door. But freedom is at least nine aisles away, and there is this 200-pound unsmiling beer can standing in my way. Besides which, my sprinting days are effectively past me. Anyway, even middle-aged scumbag shoplifters have their dignity, however tattered.”

He’s handcuffed and marched out of the store through a gaggle of rubber-neckers. One of the cops who pats him down and takes away his shoelaces asks why he’s shoplifting. “Are you homeless? Are you on drugs?”

If only, he writes.

“No, it was being a freelance writer that lured me back into a life of crime, something they don’t warn you about on those matchbook ads that say, ‘You, too, could earn money with your writing!'”

He’d long ago developed a talent for shoplifting.

“Because I was relatively skilled at it—even strolling away with a 6-pound frozen duckling once—I felt perversely entitled to do it,” he wrote.

“Crime pays, that is, until you get caught. And then it stops paying in a big way. And really quickly.”

David C. Morrison
David C. Morrison

David C. Morrison with President Ford in 1992 after winning the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. | Photo: Gerald Ford Foundation | LINK

“I am embarrassed to be behind bars with six years clean … ” he added. “I am not sure I have ever felt so white and so middle class in my entire life as here in the bowels of the D.C. justice system.”

In 2002, he was looking for a job, and I was looking for somebody to write a column for CQ/Homeland Security, a new online daily I’d been hired to run at Congressional Quarterly. David Carr, a former Washington City Paper editor (and now New York Times media columnist) who had edited Morrison, suggested I call him.

“The heroin guy?” I asked. Yup, said Carr, who would famously recount his own coke addiction in a 2008 memoir, The Night of the Gun. Relapse is always a possibility. Then there’s the shoplifting thing.

As far as he knew, though, Morrison was sober.

The job would require him to stay up half the night scanning the Internet for stories about homeland security and distilling them into a lively digest by dawn, for not a lot of money–not an easy fill.

If I remember correctly, David showed up for his interview in black khaki shorts worn to a shine, an orange-ish rock-and-roll tee shirt and black hiking boots.

I was expecting Brian Ross?

Over coffee he told me he was embarrassed about his string of City Paper confessionals–nearly an addiction in itself, he said. And he’d run out of crimes to commit, he smirked.

I hired him. He performed beautifully in the job, filing bright, snappy copy night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year, never missing a beat. “Behind the Lines” quickly became CQ/Homeland Security’s most popular feature. Management eventually broke it out as a stand-alone product, which continued after I moved on to another position at CQ and then eventually left the company in a mass purge after it was bought by The Economist Group.

“David was such a wonderful guy,” remembered Andy Stone, one of Morrison’s former CQ copy editors. “More than a coworker–we got together a few times. He read a draft of my novel-in-progress (in about 2 days) and was so incredibly helpful and inspirational.”

With his legendary grumpy exterior, Morrison sometimes wielded a caustic wit against stories he thought empty-headed or preposterous. Not everyone appreciated it.

“I just read a column in the Jan. 24, 2008, issue of Congressional Quarterly by someone named David C. Morrison, who apparently makes his living writing little snippets about what other reporters are writing,” one critic railed on the conservative World Net Daily site.

Monkey on my back
Monkey on my back

The term “Monkey on my back” commonly used for an addition. | Photo: Jon Beinart

“Nothing makes me angrier than when some arm-chair pundit writing from his comfortable Washington, D.C., or fashionable New York office smears a hard-working, boots-on-the-ground journalist who wakes up every day determined to put his life on the line in the search for truth.”

Morrison’s slicing and diceing finally did him in at CQ, which removed him from the column in late April-early May. A former colleague said he was offered other freelance work at CQ, which also publishes “Roll Call” and a weekly glossy magazine.

A friend of Morrison’s said he was “devastated” by the loss of the column, not to mention income, but there were no signs in his apartment that he took his own life.

“We have no reason to doubt natural causes,” said Morrison’s brother Jeremy, who added that the family hoped to organize a memorial gathering in July after his remains are released by the DC Medical Examiner.

The executive editor of CQ News did not respond to a request for comment.

“David [had been] clean for 19 years when he died and was a deeply loved and respected member of the NA [Narcotics Anonymous] community,” Jeremy Morrison said.

Indeed, a fellow NA member announced Morrison’s death on his FaceBook page.

“Hi friends of David,” he wrote. “I found David deceased in his bed last night. He appears to have passed peacefully while sleeping. His family has been notified. His cats are well taken care of. There’ll be a hole left in our community that won’t be easily filled. One of the smartest, interesting & kind (under that grump exterior) person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. rip David, I love you man.”

“He was passionately curious about all facets of human life,” his brother added by email. “Omnivorously devoured books about history and traveled a great deal. Animal life too. When he was younger he had an ever-shifting menagerie of small birds, reptiles and mammals in his care.”

Jack Shafer, the Reuters media columnist who brought “Me & My Monkey” into print as City Paper editor in January 1995, commented yesterday that Morrison “had a fluid intelligence to his work.

“He had an literary voice that no editor could duplicate,” Shafer said by email. “Readers were lucky to have him and editors who were fortunate enough to work with him will miss him until we join him.”

“He was a talented and lovely soul,” echoed David Carr, who succeeded Shafer as City Paper editor from mid-1995 through mid-2000.”I loved David,” Amy Austin, City Paper’s publisher, said. “He was wise, funny, and grumpy, all the necessary character traits of great journalists.”Amen. Ditto.R.I.P., Rest in peace, I’ll add, though I can’t possibly imagine him doing such a thing.

At least 20 killed in southern Lebanon mosque complex


Posted on June 24, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Shared from Al-Arabiya

Lebanese Army soldiers advance during clashes in Sidon, southern Lebanon, June 24, 2013. (Reuters)

At least 12 soldiers have been killed in less than 24 hours of fighting between the Lebanese military and Sunni radicals in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, an army spokesman told AFP on Monday.

“An armed group loyal to Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir attacked, for no reason, a Lebanese Army checkpoint in the village of Abra” on the outskirts of Sidon on Sunday, a statement from the army said late Sunday, according to local Lebanese press.

The army was reported to have said it will not stop its fight in Sidon until Assir is detained.

The fighting began on Sunday when Assir loyalists flared up volence, the army said in a statement.

The controversial Sunni sheikh called on his supporters last week to fire on apartments in Abra that he says house Hezbollah members.

Lebanese soldiers attempt to quell unrest caused by the Syrian civil war

Abra is home to a mosque where Assir leads the main weekly prayers on Fridays. The sheikh believes Hezbollah uses the Abra apartments to keep him under surveillance.

His supporters clashed with Hezbollah in Abra last week in fighting that left one man dead.

Sectarian tensions in Lebanon have risen since the country’s Shia movement Hezbollah backed Syria’s government in the civil war there.
Witnesses said machine gun and rocket fire shook Sidon, 40km (28 miles) south of Beirut, causing panic among residents.
The army blamed the violence on supporters of hard-line Sunni cleric Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir.
Correspondents say Sidon has been on edge since violence erupted last week between Sunni and Shia fighters who have taken different sides in the Syrian conflict.

Lebanese officials have since been trying to quell the unrest.
However, fresh clashes broke out on Sunday after police arrested a follower of Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir at a checkpoint, sources told Reuters.
Other supporters of the cleric then attacked security forces in retaliation and called on their supporters to take to the streets nationwide, the sources said.    Ammon Voice of the Silence Majority

Lebanese army tanks enter the Bilal Bin Rabah complex in Abra, Monday, June 24, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari) Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2013/Jun-24/221410-lebanese-army-seizes-militant-preachers-complex-in-abra.ashx#ixzz2X7uGNySr (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Assir was unknown until around two years ago, when he rose to prominence over his radical opposition to Hezbollah and its ally, the Damascus regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria-related tensions have soared in Lebanon, deepening sectarian rifts between Sunnis and Shiites.

Shiite Hezbollah supports Assad’s regime, while the Sunni-dominated opposition backs the rebels fighting it.

During Sunday’s fighting, Assir distributed a video message via mobile phone addressed to his supporters.

“We are being attacked by the Lebanese army,” Assir said, describing the military as “sectarian” and accusing it of supporting Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

“I call on everyone… to cut off roads and to all honorable soldiers, Sunni and non-Sunni, to quit the army immediately,” Assir said in the message.

He urged supporters across Lebanon to flock to Abra “to help defend our religion, our honor and our women.”

Lebanese Army seizes militant preacher’s complex in Abra

The sources said despite having taken control of the complex, soldiers were still exchanging gunfire with snipers located on the rooftops of nearby buildings.

9 Tourists killed in Pakistan


Published on June 24, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Militants kill 9 foreign tourists, 1 Pakistani

Associated PressBy ZARAR KHAN and SEBASTIAN ABBOT | Associated Press – 18 hrs ago

Associated Press/Anjum Naveed – Pakistani rescue workers unload the casket of a foreign tourist who was killed by Islamic militants from an ambulance to shift in a morgue of local hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, June 23, 2013. Islamic militants wearing police uniforms shot to death foreign tourists and at least one Pakistani before dawn as they were visiting one of the world’s highest mountains in a remote area of northern Pakistan that has been largely peaceful, officials said. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — At least a dozen Islamic militants wearing police uniforms shot to death nine foreign tourists and one Pakistani before dawn Sunday as they were visiting one of the world’s highest mountains in a remote area of northern Pakistan that has been largely peaceful, officials said.

The foreigners who were killed included five Ukrainians, three Chinese and one Russian, said Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. One Chinese tourist was wounded in the attack and was rescued, he said.

The local branch of the Taliban took responsibility for the killings, saying it was to avenge the death of a leader killed in a recent U.S. drone strike.

The shooting was one of the worst attacks on foreigners in Pakistan in recent years and is likely to damage the country’s already struggling tourism industry. Pakistan’s mountainous north — considered until now relatively safe — is one of the main attractions in a country beset with insurgency and other political instability.

The attack took place at the base camp of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world at 8,126 meters (26,660 feet). Nanga Parbat is notoriously difficult to climb and is known as the “killer mountain” because of numerous mountaineering deaths in the past. It’s unclear if the tourists were planning to climb the mountain or were just visiting the base camp, which is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.

The gunmen were wearing uniforms used by the Gilgit Scouts, a paramilitary police force that patrols the area, said the interior minister. The attackers abducted two local guides to find their way to the remote base camp. One of the guides was killed in the shooting, and the other has been detained and is being questioned, said Khan.

“The purpose of this attack was to give a message to the world that Pakistan is unsafe for travel,” said the interior minister in a speech in the National Assembly, which passed a resolution condemning the incident. “The government will take all measures to ensure the safety of foreign tourists.”

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying their Jundul Hafsa group carried out the shooting as retaliation for the death of the Taliban’s deputy leader, Waliur Rehman, in a U.S. drone attack on May 29.

“By killing foreigners, we wanted to give a message to the world to play their role in bringing an end to the drone attacks,” Ahsan told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.

At least a dozen gunmen were involved in the attack, local police officer Jahangir Khan said.

The attackers beat up the Pakistanis who were accompanying the tourists, took their money and tied them up, said a senior local government official. They checked the identities of the Pakistanis and shot to death one of them, possibly because he was a minority Shiite Muslim, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Although Gilgit-Baltistan is a relatively peaceful area, it has experienced attacks by radical Sunni Muslims on Shiites in recent years.

The attackers took the money and passports from the foreigners and then gunned them down, said the official. It’s unclear how the Chinese tourist who was rescued managed to avoid being killed. The base camp has basic wooden huts, but most tourists choose to sleep in their own tents.

Local police chief Barkat Ali said they first learned of the attack when one of the local guides called the police station around 1 a.m. on Sunday. The military airlifted the bodies to Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, Sunday afternoon.

“We hope Pakistani authorities will do their best to find the culprits of this crime,” the Ukrainian ambassador to Pakistan, Volodymyr Lakomov, told reporters outside the hospital where the bodies were taken.

The Pakistani government condemned the “brutal act of terrorism” in a statement sent to reporters.

“Those who have committed this heinous crime seem to be attempting to disrupt the growing relations of Pakistan with China and other friendly countries,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.

Pakistan has very close ties with neighboring China and is sensitive to any issue that could harm the relationship. Pakistani officials have reached out to representatives from China and Ukraine to convey their sympathies, the Foreign Ministry said.

Many foreign tourists stay away from Pakistan because of the perceived danger of visiting a country that is home to a large number of Islamic militant groups, such as the Taliban and al-Qaida, which mostly reside in the northwest near the Afghan border. A relatively small number of intrepid foreigners visit Gilgit-Baltistan during the summer to marvel at the peaks of the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges, including K2, the second highest mountain in the world.

Syed Mehdi Shah, the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, condemned the attack and expressed fear that it would seriously damage the region’s tourism industry.

“A lot of tourists come to this area in the summer, and our local people work to earn money from these people,” said Shah. “This will not only affect our area, but will adversely affect all of Pakistan.”

The area has been cordoned off by police and paramilitary soldiers, and a military helicopter was searching the area, said Shah.

“God willing we will find the perpetrators of this tragic incident,” said Shah.

The government suspended the chief secretary and top police chief in Gilgit-Baltistan following the attack and ordered an inquiry into the incident, said Khan, the interior minister.

Snowden is not fugitive, given assylum in Ecuador


Published on June 23, 2013 on Akashma online News

 

 

Edward Snowden Whistle blower Proud citizenEdward Snowden is seeking asylum in Ecuador, the Quito government said on Sunday, after Hong Kong let him leave for Russia despite Washington’s efforts to extradite him on espionage charges.

In a major embarrassment for the Obama administration, an aircraft thought to have been carrying Snowden landed in Moscow, and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said he was “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum.”

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, visiting Vietnam, tweeted: “The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden.”
“Apparently he left Hong Kong with no difficulty,” Ratner says, confirming that he is now in Moscow.

 

<blockquote><p>The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Snowden&amp;src=hash”>#Snowden</a></p>&mdash; Ricardo Patiño Aroca (@RicardoPatinoEC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RicardoPatinoEC/statuses/348841761684197378″>June 23, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

“Hong Kong government said that the warrant for his arrest issued by the United States was not valid. That he was free to leave.” Michael Ratner, lawyer for Julian Assange

The United States warned countries in the Western Hemisphere that Snowden might travel through or take refuge in not to let the former spy agency contractor go anywhere but home, a State Department official said on Sunday.

“The U.S. is advising these governments that Snowden is wanted on felony charges, and as such should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States,” the official said in a written statement.

The State Department did not identify any of the countries.

Ecuador has been sheltering WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange at its London embassy for the past year, and Ecuador’s ambassador to Russia said he expected to meet Snowden in Moscow on Sunday.

Snowden, who worked for the U.S. National Security Agency in Hawaii, had been hiding in the former British colony, which returned to China in 1997, Kong since leaking details about U.S. surveillance activities at home and abroad to news media.

On Friday, U.S. authorities charged Snowden with theft of U.S. government property, unauthorised communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorised person, with the latter two charges falling under the U.S. Espionage Act.

Earlier on Sunday, a source at the Russian airline Aeroflot said Snowden would fly on from Moscow within 24 hours to Cuba, although that source said he planned to go on to Venezuela. The chief of Cuba’s International Press Center, Gustavo Machin, said he had no such information though pro-government bloggers heaped praise on Snowden and condemned U.S. spying activity.

Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador are all members of the ALBA bloc, an alliance of leftist governments in Latin America that pride themselves on their “anti-imperialist” credentials.

Ecuadorean Ambassador Patricio Alberto Chavez Zavala told reporters at a Moscow airport hotel that he would hold talks with Snowden and Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks representative.

In their statement announcing Snowden’s departure, the Hong Kong authorities said they were seeking clarification from Washington about reports of U.S. spying on government computers in the territory.

At a summit earlier this month, Obama called on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to acknowledge the threat posed by “cyber-enabled espionage” against the United States and to investigate the problem. Obama also met Putin in Northern Ireland last week.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong government said it had allowed the departure of Snowden – considered a whistleblower by his critics and a criminal or even a traitor by his critics – as the U.S. request for his arrest did not comply with the law.

In Washington, a Justice Department official said it would seek cooperation with countries Snowden may try to go to and sources familiar with the issue said Washington had revoked Snowden’s U.S. passport. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said revoking the passport of someone under a felony arrest warrant was routine. “Such a revocation does not affect citizenship status,” she said.

“It’s a shocker,” Simon Young, a law professor with Hong Kong University said of the case. “I thought he was going to stay and fight it out. The U.S. government will be irate.”

The issue has been a major distraction for Obama, who has found his domestic and international policy agenda sidelined as he has scrambled to deflect accusations that U.S. surveillance practices violate privacy protections and civil rights. The president has maintained that the measures have been necessary to thwart attacks on the United States.

The White House had no immediate comment on Sunday’s developments.

WikiLeaks said Snowden was accompanied by diplomats and that Harrison, a British legal researcher working for WikiLeaks, was “accompanying Mr Snowden in his passage to safety.”

“The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person,” former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, legal director of WikiLeaks and lawyer for Assange, said in a statement.

“What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange – for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest – is an assault against the people.”

WIKILEAKS CASE

Assange, an Australian, said last week he would not leave the sanctuary of Ecuador’s London embassy even if Sweden stopped pursuing sexual assault claims against him because he feared arrest on the orders of the United States.

The latest drama coincides with the court martial of Bradley Manning, a U.S. soldier accused of providing reams of classified documents to WikiLeaks, which Assange began releasing on the Internet in 2010, and, according to some critics, put its national security and people’s lives at risk.

A spokesman for Wikileaks refused to make any comment about possible routes to Ecuador. Asked why Ecuador, he replied “That is something that Mr. Snowden needs to reply to. … It was a decision taken by him. … Various governments were approached.”

Iceland refused on Friday to say whether it would grant asylum to Snowden. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said this month that Russia would consider granting asylum if Snowden were to ask for it and pro-Kremlin lawmakers supported the idea, but there has been no indication he has done so.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper earlier quoted Snowden offering new details about U.S. surveillance activities, including accusations of U.S. hacking of Chinese mobile phone firms and targeting of China’s Tsinghua University.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Snowden needed to be caught and brought back for trial as secrets he was carrying could do a lot of damage to U.S. interests.

“I think we need to know exactly what he has,” she told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “He could have a lot, lot more that may really put people in jeopardy.”

Documents previously leaked by Snowden revealed that the NSA has access to vast amounts of internet data such as emails, chat rooms and video from large companies, including Facebook and Google, under a government program known as Prism.

The head of the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, said he did not know why it failed to prevent Snowden leaving Hawaii for Hong Kong with the secrets.

“It’s clearly an individual who’s betrayed the trust and confidence we had in him,” he told the ABC News “This Week” program.

He said procedures had since been tightened.

“We are now putting in place actions that would give us the ability to track our system administrators, what they’re doing, what they’re taking, a two-man rule. We’ve changed the passwords. But at the end of the day, we have to trust that our people are going to do the right thing.”

Information from The Associated Press, Reuters and AFP were used in this report.

The mask of our democracy is falling: A letter from #Brazil


Posted on June 17, 2013 by Akashma Online News
Source Truth is a Beaver

A contribution from Franco A., an undergraduate student of International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, translated from French

contribution from Franco A., an undergraduate student of International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, translated from French

It’s true: I do think all the signs in Portuguese are a problem for those who wish to understand the protests that are taking place in my country. I hope this article will be useful to shed some light on what is actually happening in Brazil today.

You have maybe already heard the superficial reasons for the recent wave of protests as the media has announced them. A rise of 20 cents in R$ for a bus ticket, leading to a ticket price of 3,20 R$, which is the equivalent of a modest 1,14 Euro.

The pictures that have decorated the international news pages of most of the world’s important newspapers, images of burning trash cans in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, mass mobilization in São Paulo, tear gas grenades fired by the police, overall just images of violence, do raise the question : all of that for 20 cents ? There are many people who have already asked themselves this question.

My answer to all of them is : No, “all” of this not just for 20 cents.

Brazil is still a poor country, inhabited by a population that is generally poor by global standards. The minimum wage, despite successive wage increases over the last years, is still a bad joke : 678 R$, which makes 242 Euros. Many workers live very far away from their workplace, which means they have to buy numerous tickets to get there. At the end of a month, another 20 cents can make the difference between eating and not eating. A number of low-paid workers, when they were interviewed by the media, have effectively admitted that due to the bus fare increase, they would have to go to sleep without eating more often than before.

Nonetheless, the revolt has not started for 20 cents and will not end as soon as the price is lowered again. Similar to the movement of Gezi Park in Istanbul, which has not really erupted because of the decision to build a shopping mall, or the demonstrations in Tunisia, which were not really caused by the suicide of Mohammed Bouazizi, no one in Brazil is revolting because of 20 cents. All of these uprisings share a set of deep-seated causes, which accumulate over the years, followed by a symbolic event which serves as the first spark that ultimately lights the fire.

“If the price doesnt fall, the city will come to a halt”

Like many countries today, Brazil lives through a civil war between the State and the people. This war, up until a few weeks ago, was happening without much noise but in no way more peaceful than now. For way more than a century, Brazil has been governed by politicians who see the revenue from taxes payed by their citizens – those who they ought to represent – as a mere bank account. Whole states (regions) belong to a certain group or a political dynasty, families who, before being elected to office, had already been the feudal lords of enormous latifundios, with family trees as old as the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil. In Brazil, more than anywhere else in the world, the oppressors of today are the oppressors of tomorrow.

The foundation of Brasília, in 1960, has not improved anything. In fact, the passage from the old capital Rio de Janeiro to the new one in the middle of the country, planned and constructed within five years, an apotheosis of modernity, has only reaffirmed the odious tendencies of Brazilian politics. Rio de Janeiro was a cosmopolitan center in those days, inhabited by more than one million people, the heart of a very active workers’ and citizens’ movement. Brasília, in contrast, an artificial capital, did not even have any population before its foundation; even if this has changed over time, it continues to be primarily inhabited by an army of bureaucrats, who will not criticize the government very often, as they depend on it and are well-paid. None of the other metropoles of Brazil has the same political importance and the majority of them is too far away from Brasília for the population to travel there and directly show their indignation to our President.

Brazil is living through a special moment today, it’s true. Some well-applied political programs over the last decade have brought impressive results: economic inequality – a real cancer of which Brazil was practically world champion – has been reduced notably. The program Bolsa Família has had much success to reduce poverty and the investments in higher education for the poor as well as for ethnic minorities have shown encouraging results.

This is not about questioning the things that have worked well. These experiences of the last 10 years under the administration of the PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores, or Workers’ Party) must be protected and enlarged if one wants to create a more just society, with less poverty and exploitation from the forces of the past, like the feudal lords from the Sarney family. This is not just about protesting against the government of the PT, against the President Dilma, or against Geraldo Alckmin, Fernando Haddad or Eduardo Paes. This is about freeing the country from its authoritarian, dictatorial, and cruel heritage.

If, at the end of these protests, the political class of Brazil – a class for itself more than any other – and its army of capitalist crétins who enrich themselves not through work but thanks to their personal connections, its journalists who prostitute themselves in the interest of an elite, its policemen who kill without hesitation, if all these oppressors are removed from power and forced to recognize that an era of true democracy is arriving, then I will be very happy to pay 20 cents more.

Here’s something curious: In Brazil, demonstrations are traditionally seen as something for the “bo-bos,” an entertainment for the children of the rich who have nothing productive to do, an excuse to paint one’s face and to shout in the street.

If the demonstrations are seen like this, then it’s because, to a certain degree, it’s correct. The majority of people who participate in the protests are effectively young people coming from rich families (sometimes very rich) who have a rather leftist political vision that is considered by some as incompatible with their social class. The strange combination of protest chants inspired by worker movements of the 20th century and the not-at-all-worker-like upbringing of the protesters is very often ridiculed by the media and this perspective ends up being internalized by a large part of the Brazilian population, a country where fatalistic cynicism has been lifted to the level of art.

But here’s an interesting situation: When I participated in a demonstration of the “movement of the 20 cents” (using this name seems, at least for the moment, more practical than “movement to reduce the bus ticket price by 20 cents again”), we were stopped near the Central do Brasil, the famous train station which you probably know from the movie of the same name. The demonstration up to this point had been entirely peaceful, a real party of democracy. The majority of us were, in fact, university students from wealthy families, but already then one could see that this movement had a social base that was more heterogeneous: we also had numerous people from independent professions, retirees, and poor workers among us who were dissatisfied by this fare increase. It’s very rare for a protest in Rio de Janeiro to attract more than 200 people but we were around two thousand from several social classes. I began to realize that it was something different this time. The Brazilian people was waking up from its long sleep – and it was furious.

The calm was not there to stay. Special forces from the police, with their shields, their black uniforms, frightening looks, and “non-lethal” weapns had just arrived and started to make a line in front of us. Our group stopped. The songs fell silent. The situation almost seemed like a duel from a Western movie.

All of a sudden, something happened. The people coming out of the Central do Brasil joined us. They were street side vendors, selling fries, or mothers with four children, the children in the street, or hobos and beggars. The poor, the poorest of the city of Rio, came together and positioned themselves right between us and the police.

A few minutes later, the riot police shot at us and arrested 40 people, among them a friend of mine. On the run, as I was trying to seek refuge in the closest metro stop, I saw a man who was crying and seemed weak. He was bleeding – a victim of “non-lethal” arms.

These scenes have repeated themselves innumberale times, at all places where the people have had the courage to lift their voice against a decision which directly affects the majority of the population without ever being consulted. An authoritarian way of doing politics, and a type of politics which is only interested to benefit a cartel of bus companies, well-known for ther connections with the electoral campaigns of the mayor of Rio and other important figures. Bellow all of this: a deaf-mute federal state that takes the people hostage for private companies, financed by public money. The resultats are: bad services, high fares, revolt.

In São Paulo, the police shot at demonstrators who were carrying flowers. Just a couple of days later, they forbade carrying vinegar in the city because it could be used against the effects of tear gas; they simply allowed themselves to search people, looking for it. In Minas Gerais, all demonstrations were banned during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013. One project that is being discussed in the Chamber of Deputies is a bill that would characterize all demonstrations during the World Cup 2014 as “terrorist,” including similarly grave punishments. In Rio de Janeiro, in the wake of a new confrontation with the police on June 16, close to Stade du Maracanã, certain demonstrators tried to flee from the fight by hiding at a friend’s house. The police, then, started to invade the houses in search of these “criminals.” The mask of our democracy is falling and the authoritarian roots of our political establishment have become visible – roots originating in a compromise with the military dictatorship of 1964 to 1985, which ended by bringing those who had fought for democracy closer to the old major figures of authoritarianism.

The symbolic alliance between Lula, the hero of the labor movement of the 70s and 80s, and Paulo Maluf, the last presidential candidate of the moribund military regime, shows that the political class is just interested in power itself and does not have an actual political project to offer. But thanks to them and their watchdogs from the police, the “Movement of the 20 cents” is becoming a movement to say what one thinks, the right to say that one wishes to live in a real democracy.

This is what is happening in Brazil. But this doesn’t stop at our borders – it’s a global struggle, against all dictators, may they come from a Unity Party, that of Moscow or that of Capital. Our world is interconnected and so will be the global resistance against those who believe they can govern us with their orders.

It is winter in Brazil at the moment but, figuratively speaking, we are living through our spring, a spring of popular action and mobilization against injustices. I hope that spring will last – otherwise, it might be the last spring before an eternal winter.

Solidarity from Turkey: “Resist Brazil: We are together in this fight”

Thank you for your article, Franco! Solidarity from France and Germany!

The Giant Is Waking Up:”

Interview with Gonzalo

Gonzalo G. is a friend of our group at “Truth is a Beaver” and an undergraduate student of the social sciences at Sciences Po’s Latin American campus in Poitiers. He comes from Rio de Janeiro.

1) Why are the recent protests in Brazil something new ?

Despite all the big changes in Brazil over the last years, what is still missing is a true social change! This conformism which has haunted the country for a long time has to go, the people have to revolt, go to the street, protest – but nothing of this sort had been done before, the Brazilian continued his day on the sofa, watching Novelas and complaining each time a protest arises that it will make him be late to work. But corruption was always present, just as much as sleeping children in the street has been a normal part of our everyday life. Hospitals in Brazil have still always had a lack of medicine, equipment, and places.

Overall, Brazil is a conservative country. The values of Brazil are still the same as fifty years ago and the old Brazilian thinks like he did in his youth – and a large part of the youth of today thinks the same way as well, unfortunately. I read an article the other day that said all of the recent protests have given back the ability to dream to those older generations who had forgotten how to do it : dream of a better country, of social justice, of equality for all.

These protests started with the bus fare increase of 20 cents and was organized by the the movement Passe livre (Free fare movement). It developed step by step (a bit like in Turkey, which started with a simple demonstration for a park and ended up in a movement demanding the removal of the prime minister) – into a social movement that no one had seen coming! These 20 cents were the drop that finally spilled the cup.

Many journalists have been attacked or arrested.

2) How do the protesters organize ?

How did they actually get started ? Another time : Facebook ! It’s the tool, the tripping divice, of social movements (I won’t go up to the point to draw a direct line between the Arab Spring and this Brazilian Spring in Winter but the principle is the same). Through Facebook, everyone shares information on the protests, even the central slogans on the signs are chossen through Facebook groups with the option to make a survey etc. Also, Facebook has become an important tool to pass videos of police violence along, to share advice on how to protect oneself against tear gas, how to reach doctors or lawyers.

3) What is the role of the police in the development of the movement?

What is funny and another time very comparable to Turkey is the fact that the police agression is the actual source of all of these demonstrations. Brazil has a fascist police, corrupted and badly trained, especially for situations like these, up to the point that people in the streets call Brazil a dictatorship (in Rio they call it “Ditadura Paes,” after the prefect of the Rio region, Eduardo Paes). The protests had, at the beginning, a pacifist strategy and, in principle, still do today but the numerous cases of police violence against the protestors have just re-affirmed their case and given reason to more and more people to not only demand the decrease of public transport fares but also to get involved to change the whole country, which, despite the general belief, still works very badly for most. Look at the videos from Rio or São Paulo and you will see the absurdity of the scenes, the unnecessary force used by the military police, the agressions against journalists, who are there to do their job but end up being shot with rubber bullets and tear gas grenades. Numerous journalists have been injured and hundreds of people arrested.

What’s curious is that a large part of the arrests were made on the 4th day of protest when the cops had the order to arrest all people who were carrying vinegar – a useful tool against the effects of tear gas – in their backpacks or pockets! The absurdity of the situation, the fact that people get arrested for the possession of vinegar – please!) has been widely commented in the media and the response of the people lived up to the same level of absurdity as police and government: they organized a “Marcha para legalizaçao do Vinagre” (a parody of the “Marcha para legalizaçao da maconha” for the legalization of cannabis).

4) What social class is pushing the protest forward?

The rich really don’t care about this question since the public transport system is almost not used by them at all and the poor do not have any time to lose for such questions either, since watching a football match is still a thousand times more important than going to the street to defend one’s rights. Marx said that religion is the opium of the people – in Brazil, it’s football. So it’s the middle class that actually defends the civic rights of Brazilians but it’s not always easy. On one side, you face the manipulative media (O Globo, Rede Record, etc.) and on the other side, you have a conformist population who is not interested in political life. They still try to do their best, showing that one can change a country, and that they want the peace, which has been destroyed multiple times by the military police. Humour is very present in their banners and chants and many people bring flowers to the protests to give them to policemen as a symbol of peace.

5) What can we expect for the time to come?

I don’t have an answer to this, and I don’t think there are many specialist who actually do. The days of action against the fare increase continue, the next one is June 17 and more and more people will be there. Even if the fare increase will not be taken back, at least Brazil will have understood one thing: the people have the power – a power they did not know about but one that becomes more and more present in the mentality of young Brazilians. One cannot foresee how a government could possibly counteract such a process because if a country of more than 200 million people is waking up, that’s going to make noise, a lot of noise. So for once, in a long time, the Brazilian people has an actual reason to be proud of itself.

#vaipraruabrasil

Iran to send 4000 troops to Aid Syria


World Exclusive: US urges UK and France to join in supplying arms to Syrian rebels as MPs fear that UK will be drawn into growing conflict

By ROBERT FISK
SOURCE: The independent

SUNDAY SUNDAY Sunday 16 June 2013

Washington’s decision to arm Syria’s Sunni Muslim rebels has plunged America into the great Sunni-Shia conflict of the Islamic Middle East, entering a struggle that now dwarfs the Arab revolutions which overthrew dictatorships across the region.

For the first time, all of America’s ‘friends’ in the region are Sunni Muslims and all of its enemies are Shiites. Breaking all President Barack Obama’s rules of disengagement, the US is now fully engaged on the side of armed groups which include the most extreme Sunni Islamist movements in the Middle East.The Independent on Sunday has learned that a military decision has been taken in Iran – even before last week’s presidential election – to send a first contingent of 4,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against the largely Sunni rebellion that has cost almost 100,000 lives in just over two years.  Iran is now fully committed to preserving Assad’s regime, according to pro-Iranian sources which have been deeply involved in the Islamic Republic’s security, even to the extent of proposing to open up a new ‘Syrian’ front on the Golan Heights against Israel.In years to come, historians will ask how America – after its defeat in Iraq and its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan scheduled for  2014 – could have so blithely aligned itself with one side in a titanic Islamic struggle stretching back to the seventh century death of the Prophet Mohamed. The profound effects of this great schism, between Sunnis who believe that the father of Mohamed’s wife was the new caliph of the Muslim world and Shias who regard his son in law Ali as his rightful successor – a seventh century battle swamped in blood around the present-day Iraqi cities of Najaf and Kerbala – continue across the region to this day. A 17th century Archbishop of Canterbury, George Abbott, compared this Muslim conflict to that between “Papists and Protestants”.America’s alliance now includes the wealthiest states of the Arab Gulf, the vast Sunni territories between Egypt and Morocco, as well as Turkey and the fragile British-created monarchy in Jordan. King Abdullah of Jordan – flooded, like so many neighbouring nations, by hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees – may also now find himself at the fulcrum of the Syrian battle.  Up to 3,000 American ‘advisers’ are now believed to be in Jordan, and the creation of a southern Syria ‘no-fly zone’ – opposed by Syrian-controlled anti-aircraft batteries – will turn a crisis into a ‘hot’ war.  So much for America’s ‘friends’.Its enemies include the Lebanese Hizballah, the Alawite Shiite regime in Damascus and, of course, Iran. And Iraq, a largely Shiite nation which America ‘liberated’ from Saddam Hussein’s Sunni minority in the hope of balancing the Shiite power of Iran, has – against all US predictions – itself now largely fallen under Tehran’s influence and power.  Iraqi Shiites as well as Hizballah members, have both fought alongside Assad’s forces.Washington’s excuse for its new Middle East adventure – that it must arm Assad’s enemies because the Damascus regime has used sarin gas against them – convinces no-one in the Middle East.  Final proof of the use of gas by either side in Syria remains almost as nebulous as President George W. Bush’s claim that Saddam’s Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.For the real reason why America has thrown its military power behind Syria’s Sunni rebels is because those same rebels are now losing their war against Assad.  The Damascus regime’s victory this month in the central Syrian town of  Qusayr, at the cost of Hizballah lives as well as those of government forces, has thrown the Syrian revolution into turmoil, threatening to humiliate American and EU demands for Assad to abandon power.  Arab dictators are supposed to be deposed – unless they are the friendly kings or emirs of the Gulf – not to be sustained.  Yet Russia has given its total support to Assad, three times vetoing UN Security Council resolutions that might have allowed the West to intervene directly in the civil war.In the Middle East, there is cynical disbelief at the American contention that it can distribute arms – almost certainly including anti-aircraft missiles – only to secular Sunni rebel forces in Syria represented by the so-called Free Syria Army.  The more powerful al-Nusrah Front, allied to al-Qaeda, dominates the battlefield on the rebel side and has been blamed for atrocities including the execution of Syrian government prisoners of war and the murder of a 14-year old boy for blasphemy.  They will be able to take new American weapons from their Free Syria Army comrades with little effort.From now on, therefore, every suicide bombing in Damascus – every war crime committed by the rebels – will be regarded in the region as Washington’s responsibility. The very Sunni-Wahabi Islamists who killed thousands of Americans on 11th September, 2011 – who are America’s greatest enemies as well as Russia’s – are going to be proxy allies of the Obama administration. This terrible irony can only be exacerbated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adament refusal to tolerate any form of Sunni extremism.  His experience in Chechenya, his anti-Muslim rhetoric – he has made obscene remarks about Muslim extremists in a press conference in Russian – and his belief that Russia’s old ally in Syria is facing the same threat as Moscow fought in Chechenya, plays a far greater part in his policy towards Bashar al-Assad than the continued existence of Russia’s naval port at the Syrian Mediterranean city of Tartous.  For the Russians, of course, the ‘Middle East’ is not in the ‘east’ at all, but to the south of Moscow;  and statistics are all-important. The Chechen capital of Grozny is scarcely 500 miles from the Syrian frontier.  Fifteen per cent of Russians are Muslim.  Six of the Soviet Union’s communist republics had a Muslim majority, 90 per cent of whom were Sunni.  And Sunnis around the world make up perhaps 85 per cent of all Muslims.  For a Russia intent on repositioning itself across a land mass that includes most of the former Soviet Union, Sunni Islamists of the kind now fighting the Assad regime are its principal antagonists.Iranian sources say they liaise constantly with Moscow, and that while Hizballah’s overall withdrawal from Syria is likely to be completed soon – with the maintenance of the militia’s ‘intelligence’ teams inside Syria – Iran’s support for Damascus will grow rather than wither.  They point out that the Taliban recently sent a formal delegation for talks in Tehran and that America will need Iran’s help in withdrawing from Afghanistan.  The US, the Iranians say, will not be able to take its armour and equipment out of the country during its continuing war against the Taliban without Iran’s active assistance.  One of the sources claimed – not without some mirth — that the French were forced to leave 50 tanks behind when they left because they did not have Tehran’s help.It is a sign of the changing historical template in the Middle East that within the framework of old Cold War rivalries between Washington and Moscow, Israel’s security has taken second place to the conflict in Syria.  Indeed, Israel’s policies in the region have been knocked askew by the Arab revolutions, leaving its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, hopelessly adrift amid the historic changes.Only once over the past two years has Israel fully condemned atrocities committed by the Assad regime, and while it has given medical help to wounded rebels on the Israeli-Syrian border, it fears an Islamist caliphate in Damascus far more than a continuation of Assad’s rule.  One former Israel intelligence commander recently described Assad as “Israel’s man in Damascus”.  Only days before President Mubarak was overthrown, both Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called Washington to ask Obama to save the Egyptian dictator.  In vain.  If the Arab world has itself been overwhelmed by the two years of revolutions, none will have suffered from the Syrian war in the long term more than the Palestinians.  The land they wish to call their future state has been so populated with Jewish Israeli colonists that it can no longer be either secure or ‘viable’.  ‘Peace’ envoy Tony Blair’s attempts to create such a state have been laughable.  A future ‘Palestine’ would be a Sunni nation.  But today, Washington scarcely mentions the Palestinians.Another of the region’s supreme ironies is that Hamas, supposedly the ‘super-terrorists’ of Gaza, have abandoned Damascus and now support the Gulf Arabs’ desire to crush Assad.  Syrian government forces claim that Hamas has even trained Syrian rebels in the manufacture and use of home-made rockets.In Arab eyes, Israel’s 2006 war against the Shia Hizballah was an attempt to strike at the heart of Iran. The West’s support for Syrian rebels is a strategic attempt to crush Iran.

Top story

Blood on your hands: Putin attacks Cameron over SyriaRussian President rounds on Britain at a Downing Street press conference over support for Syrian rebels, and says his country will continue to arm ‘legitimate government’

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NSA snooping has the world in shock-Demand the US to stop


Posted on June 14, 2013 by Akashma Online News

By Marivel Guzman

?????Europe Union is taking seriously PRISM spying program, they know well that this could very well be use to spy on EU officials.
Now nobody is sure of the extent of this intrusion, and more important, they should be concerned with the Anonymous collective and the other hackivists that could get their keyboards in these mass of information.
Could be Government secrets, private emails, satellite images, memos just name it, all the governments are in shock, not because they did not know, but because they were exposed as well. This is not US only surveillance program, this is a global enterprise spying program. They might call it with different code names, but they all have their own spying on their citizens programs. They could all be coordinating with US and Israel, knowing to be The spying entity number One in the world.

Thomas Drake is one of the few people who understands from personal experience what the future may hold for Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former NSA contractor who exposed the U.S. government’s top secret phone and Internet surveillance.
In an video interview with Tomas Drake ex-NSA official, Andrea Elsal-Esa defense correspondent for Reutter, she asked the hard questions to Mr. Drake.
Drake, a 56-year-old former intelligence official at the National Security Agency, was prosecuted under the Espionage Act in 2010 for allegedly revealing classified information about the agency’s sweeping warrantless wire-tapping program. The government later dropped all but a misdemeanor charge.
He said that Snowden is a whistle-blower and not a traitor. There is no room in a democracy for these types of secrets, he said.
Saying  that the government data can be used for purposes that have nothing to do with terrorism. It’s being used to silenced persons like dissidents,  activists,and those who become enemies of the state, he said.

AVAAZ.org, EFF, and other online petitions sites had started a massive campaign of support for Edward Snowden, and at the same time to demand to the US government to stop its  NSA’s PRISM spying program. Organizations, social groups, and head of states are demanding answers to the Obama administration.
Snowden leak had awaken the people and now are demanding answers, asking the government to terminate this intrusive program.

There has not been so much outrage from the people against the US government since  2004 when CBS News and the New Yorker published photos and stories that introduced the world to devastating scenes of torture and suffering inside the decrepit prison in Iraq.
Not since the  Abu Grabi scandal  people had not shown its outrage and depiction of the US practices and policies.
AVAAZ.org had collected close to a million signatures in its online petition website, that since 2007 had collected more signatures than any other online petition site, surpassing Electronic Frontier Foundation.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

UN Declaration on Human Rights

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberg has also requested Holder for information about the legal foundation of the Prism program.

Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to raise Germany’s concerns about U.S government surveillance with President Barack Obama when he visits Berlin next week. Her government also sent a list of questions to the U.S. government as well as Internet companies following reports of wide-scale American spying, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said yesterday.

Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society.
Tim Berners Lee Wired

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Benjamin Franklin

The National Security Agency’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.
Senator Frank Church, 1975

Show your support

Sign the petition to save Edward Snowden go to

AVAAZ.ORG and demand justice

Now all the congressmen, the president, his cabinet, lobbyist and others know that the snooping is global, and this means that everyone is in this mass of information collected. Just anybody with access of this data can chose and pick and create an scenery that can be used to charge somebody with what ever they want to, to remove somebody from their job, even to remove a President. Every body that is everybody has something hidden in their closet, and the others  the less important are used to create diversion, or simply to send messages of fear to others.

Comes to mind former former CIA Director David Petraeus (peh-TRAY’-uhs) over an extramarital affair, and defending the agency’s performance over the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.
How do we know that they did not build the case of Petraeus out of thin air to take him out of the CIA, after all Benghazi fiasco still floating with answering questions. Obviously he was being spied on also.

Carefully watch the videos I m posting here, assimilate every word you hear, tied the lose ends and see how outrageous this program is, and it needs to go. The citizens of the world, we all need to work diligently in every one of our countries to make sure this programs and others disguise spying programs go, they are unnecessary surveillance programs that need to be scraped from the government agenda. This PRISM spying program makes all vulnerable in little or big scale.

Nothing New is going on, Whistleblowers come and go, some get indicted some don’t. Some are rotten in Jail, some are walking free making conferences in Universities and other public forums, others are hiding and making public conferences and others just underground.

I had been thinking lately really thinking about whistleblowers.
We know that every government, not just the US, but every government that exist in the world had thugs, mercenaries, private eyes, private contractors, private guards,secret service, Able to do ANYTHING..

I mean a real army of snoopers and mercenaries working to protect the interest of the corporations that use the government officials to draw laws and policies that allows them to keep pillaging the nations. ABLE TO DO ANYTHING they want.
Harassed, scare, employ, terminate, indict, incarcerated, set you free, impeach , coup,sit presidents, crown kings. I mean E V E R Y T H I N G

Saying that, I wonder if, ….just if…..the same government OR the people behind the curtain “unleash” once and while these whistleblowers to “expose” the secret of the governments, juts to show the governments WHO IS THE BOSS and the “smart’ ones are walking free and the real heroes are rotten in jail.????????
Whats going on? Are the governments OR THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE CURTAIN ARE testing the will of the people?, or they spreading false information to divert the attentio, or to confuse the already confused people.
I do not know if write in first or third person because I m confused as well. Just like the rest…It is hard being journalist where you are obliged to write what other said, never talk in first person because the article lose “credibility”, I was told by my journalist teacher that being a blogger was not being journalist, because our “sources” are not credible.
So, what you think.
Be the opinion makers, where the truth is the news and you are the Opinion Makers.

Stop Watching US


Stop Watching Us.

Source: Stop Watching Us

The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.

Dear Members of Congress,

We write to express our concern about recent reports published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, and acknowledged by the Obama Administration, which reveal secret spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States.

The Washington Post and the Guardian recently published reports based on information provided by a career intelligence officer showing how the NSA and the FBI are gaining broad access to data collected by nine of the leading U.S. Internet companies and sharing this information with foreign governments. As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with a terrorist organization.

Leaked reports also published by the Guardian and confirmed by the Administration reveal that the NSA is also abusing a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act to collect the call records of millions of Verizon customers. The data collected by the NSA includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information” for millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that other major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, are subject to similar secret orders.

This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that protect their right to privacy.

We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:

  1. Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
  2. Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
  3. Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

US Citizens

This letter was accompanied by the launch of StopWatching.us, a global petition calling on Congress to provide a public accounting of the United States’ domestic spying capabilites and to bring an end to illegal surveillance.

Sign your name to the petition to demand the government to stop spying on us

National Security Letters


Posted on June 11, 2013 by Akashma Online News

National Security Letters

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

Defending Your Rights in the Digital World

Spying EyesOf all the dangerous government surveillance powers that were expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act the National Security Letter (NSL) power under 18 U.S.C. § 2709 as expanded by PATRIOT Section 505 is one of the most frightening and invasive. These letters served on communications service providers like phone companies and ISPs allow the FBI to secretly demand data about ordinary American citizens’ private communications and Internet activity without any meaningful oversight or prior judicial review. Recipients of NSLs are subject to a gag order that forbids them from ever revealing the letters’ existence to their coworkers to their friends or even to their family members much less the public.

The FBI’s systemic abuse of this power has been documented both by a Department Of Justice investigation and in documents obtained by Electronic Frontier Foundation through a Freedom of Information Act request.

EFF has fought for years to spread awareness of National Security Letters and add accountability and oversight to the process.

In 2007 EFF filed Freedom of Information Act litigation seeking documentation of National Security Letter misuse by the FBI. Thousands of pages of documents were released over a period of four years leading to repeated revelations of government abuses of power. An EFF report based on these documents led to tough questions for the FBI before Congress. The documents also helped prompt the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lied to Congress.

In 2008 EFF defended the Internet Archive from an inappropriate National Security Letter. Because NSLs come with a gag order most recipients are unable to ever reveal their existence. However with the help of EFF and the ACLU the Internet
Archive fought back and won the right to speak publicly about the letter. As a result it’s become one of the few well-documented and publicly-known cases of NSL use.

And in 2013, EFF won a landmark decision in the Northern District of California in which Judge Susan Illston declared one of the statutes unconstitutional in its entirety. EFF’s petition, brought on behalf of an unidentified telephone service provider, challenged both the underlying authority to obtain customer records as well as the concurrent gag provision that prevented the recipient from disclosing even that it had receiving an NSL.

EFF has been fighting in Congress for legislative reform of National Security Letters since 2005. In 2009 many hoped that President Obama having run for office promising to reform Bush-era surveillance abuses would work with Congress to curb NSL abuse. Unfortunately the Obama Administration has instead continued to block reform and has even sought to expand NSL powers.