Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Syria’s military and security forces have committed crimes against humanity, including murder, torture and rape in their brutal crackdown on anti-regime protesters, U.N.-appointed investigators said on Monday.
The commission added that the government of President Bashar al-Assad bore responsibility for the crimes.
“The commission is gravely concerned that crimes against humanity have been committed in different locations in the Syrian Arab Republic during the period under review,” the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in its report, concluding that military and security forces were behind the acts.
“It calls upon the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic to put an immediate end to the ongoing gross human rights violations, to initiate independent and impartial investigations of these violations and to bring perpetrators to justice,” it wrote in its summary.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Syrian forces committed crimes against humanity: U.N. report
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
|Gbagbo was captured in a bunker in April by pro-Ouattarra forces and placed under house arrest [File/Reuters]|
The former president of the Ivory Coast has been escorted to the Netherlands in International Criminal Court (ICC) custody hours after the court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for him.
Laurent Gbagbo arrived by plane at Rotterdam airport early on Wednesday to face an investigation by the ICC into killings, rapes and other abuses committed in the West African nation during a four-month conflict triggered by his refusal to cede power to Alassane Ouattara after last year's election.
The Ivory Coast plane landed at Rotterdam airport at 02:44 GMT and entered a hangar, a Reuters witness said.
Gbagbo had been flown by helicopter on Tuesday from remote Korhogo in northern Ivory Coast, where he had been under house arrest since his capture, and transferred on to a plane, Ivorian military officials said.
Ouattara's forces, backed by French and UN troops, deposed Gbagbo in April and he has since been placed under house arrest in the northern town of Korhogo.
"They [Ivorian justice authorities] showed him the arrest warrant this morning," Bourthoumieux said by telephone from France, questioning the competence of the ICC to try Gbagbo.TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Gbagbo arrives at The Hague in ICC custody - Africa - Al Jazeera English
Monday, November 28, 2011
His son, Alex Verney-Elliott, said he died on Sunday following a series of strokes.
During his career, he became known for his controversial films including Women In Love, which featured Oliver Reed and Alan Bates wrestling nude.
He also directed the infamous religious drama The Devils and The Who's rock opera, Tommy, in 1975.
"My father died peacefully, he died with a smile on his face," Mr Verney-Elliott said.
BBC News - Ken Russell, Women In Love director, dies at 84
The first day of polling for a new parliament was mainly peaceful.
Voting was extended to cope with long queues and few security problems were reported.
Many protesters occupying Cairo's Tahrir Square have boycotted the vote.
There had been fears the vote might be delayed after deadly protests against the interim military rulers who replaced Mr Mubarak.
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: BBC News - Egypt post-Mubarak election continues with big turnout
Sunday, November 27, 2011
FBI Claims It Does Not Have Any Documents on Occupy Wall Street | Truthout
Anarchy in the U.S.A.
The roots of American disorder.
Ever since September, when activists heeded Adbusters editor Kalle Lasn’s call to Occupy Wall Street, it’s become a rite of passage for reporters, bloggers, and video trackers to go to the occupiers’ tent cities and comment on what they see. Last week, the day after New York mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the NYPD to dismantle the tent city in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, the New York Times carried no fewer than half a dozen articles on the subject. Never in living memory has such a small political movement received such disproportionate attention from the press. Never in living memory has a movement been so widely scrutinized and yet so deeply misunderstood.
If income equality is the new political religion, occupied Zuccotti Park was its Mecca. Liberal journalists traveled there and spewed forth torrents of ink on the value of protest, the creativity and spontaneity of the occupiers, the urgency of redistribution, and the gospel of social justice. Occupy Wall Street was compared to the Arab Spring, the Tea Party, and the civil rights movement. Yet, as many a liberal journalist left the park, they lamented the fact that Occupy Wall Street wasn’t more tightly organized. They worried that the demonstration would dissipate without a proper list of demands or a specific policy agenda. They suspected that the thefts, sexual assaults, vandalism, and filth in the camps would limit the occupiers’ appeal.
The conservative reaction has been similar. A great many conservatives stress the conditions among the tents. They crow that Americans will never fall in line behind a bunch of scraggly hippies. They dismiss the movement as a fringe collection of left tendencies, along with assorted homeless, mental cases, and petty criminals. They argue that the Democrats made a huge mistake embracing Occupy Wall Street as an expression of economic and social frustration.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Anarchy in the U.S.A. | The Weekly Standard
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The “realist” case for Bashar al-Assad—and before him, for his father, Hafez—was that he was supposedly a pillar of stability. The Assads, we were told, were all that stood between Syria and chaos. If that was ever true, it definitely is not true now. Assad’s heavy-handed attempt to repress a revolution is not cowing the protesters. Instead it is leading growing numbers of them to take up arms. Soldiers are defecting to the Free Syrian Army, which in recent days has reportedly attacked an intelligence headquarters outside of Damascus and a Baath party headquarters inside the capital.
Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, is descending into civil war with, in the words of a New York Times correspondent, “supporters and opponents of the government blamed for beheadings, rival gangs carrying out tit-for-tat kidnappings, minorities fleeing for their native villages, and taxi drivers too fearful of drive-by shootings to ply the streets.” This could be a vision of what all of Syria might become if Assad continues to cling to power—as he shows every sign of trying to do.
Indeed, Assad recently vowed defiance to the Sunday Times of London, telling a reporter he “will not bow down” despite growing international pressure, such as the European Union’s decision to stop buying Syrian oil and the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria from membership. It is not only Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy, and other Westerners who are telling Assad to step down. The same message is coming from the leaders of neighboring Turkey and Jordan. Even Hamas, long headquartered in Damascus, is backing away from Assad. His actions are beyond the pale for a terrorist group—that tells you something.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Assad Must Go | The Weekly Standard
|Abdelillah Benkirane, secretary-general of PJD said his party is 'open to everyone' wanting to form alliances [Reuters]|
The Party of Justice and Development (PJD), a moderate Islamic party, has taken a resounding victory in Morocco's parliamentary elections, Taib Cherkaoui, the country's interior minister, has announced.
Cherkaoui told a press conference on Saturday that PJD had won 80 seats from 288 seats announced out of the 395 up for grabs in the nationwide vote.
That is nearly double the 45 seats won by Prime Minister Abbas el Fassi's Independence Party which finished second and has headed a five-party coalition government since 2007.
Cherkaoui, whose ministry organised the election, said that complete results, including those of 90 seats reserved for women and youth and the 23 remaining regular seats, will be announced on Sunday
The PJD is expected to ultimately win up to 110 seats.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Islamic party wins Morocco parliamentary vote - Africa - Al Jazeera English
By Al Arabiya with Agencies
Arab finance ministers gathered in Cairo on Saturday drew up a list of sanctions against Syria that they will present to foreign ministers for adoption as fresh violence killed 24 civilians and members of the security forces.
The recommendation of the Arab economic and social council - which includes a ban on Syrian officials visiting any Arab country and the freezing of government assets - comes after President Bashar al-Assad’s regime defied an ultimatum to allow in observers amid a lethal crackdown on protest.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem earlier accused the Arab League on Saturday of “internationalizing” the deadly crisis hitting the country since pro-democracy protests began more than eight months ago.
The list of punitive measures also included the suspension of flights and a halt to any transactions with the Syrian government and its central bank.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Arab League draws up sanctions on Syria, as fresh violence kills scores
Mr Kabila and his two main rivals had been due to hold rallies within several hundred metres of each other, at the capital's main stadium
The Pakistani government has given the US fifteen days to vacate an airfield in Balochistan province after an alleged cross-border attack which killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers.
The attack on a military checkpoint in northwest Pakistan also wounded at least a dozen soldiers. A spokesman for the NATO-led alliance in Afghanistan confirmed on Saturday that it was "highly likely" the alliance's aircraft killed Pakistani soldiers.
"Close air support was called in, in the development of the tactical situation, and it is what highly likely caused the Pakistan casualties," General Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), told the Reuters news agency.
The incident prompted Pakistan to summon the US ambassador in Islamabad, lodge a protest with NATO, and shut a vital supply route for NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Pakistan tells NATO to leave air base - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English
Friday, November 25, 2011
This is Al Jazeera's powerful investigative series on modern slavery throughout the planet. No country, officials say, is untouched by this recurring scourge of inhumanity and depravity that enslaves, reports say, some 27,000,000 men, women and children. Although slavery has often morphed in form from classic scenarios, it still shares these common conditions: 1) victims of slavery cannot escape the complete control of their enslavers; 3) they are controlled through violence and threats; 3) They are economically exploited. This series of nine videos will educate and upset you.
You may want to watch this full screen.
IRIN Middle East | EGYPT: Rule of law under siege | Egypt | Early Warning | Governance | Human Rights
EGYPT: Rule of law under siege by military tribunals
Photographs by Diana Matar
Hisham Matar’s first novel had huge political resonance in Libya, but both that and his recent second work are personal, human tales at heart, he tells Sophie McBain
‘I DIDN’T SIT down and think, “I want to write a political book that would inspire, that would expose the nature of life under the Gaddafi regime.” That wasn’t my intention at all. In fact, if I could have, I would have avoided it, because it created a great deal of anxiety for me and for lots of people I know,’ Hisham Matar insists.
It is a surprising admission, because his first novel, In the Country of Men, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2006, did precisely that. At a time when Muammar Gaddafi had successfully painted himself as the ultimate nuclear-bad-guy-turned-good, when Saif al Islam Gaddafi was studiously learning the language of democracy (or possibly paying others to do it for him) at LSE, and when regime strongmen were putting away their army uniforms and donning their best business suits, Matar penned a quietly haunting portrait of the Tripoli of his childhood in the late Seventies: a city of chain-smoking mokhabarat (secret police) and power-hungry telltale neighbours, where schoolchildren watched public hangings on TV, fathers disappeared and returned unrecognisable and teenage brides drowned their dashed hopes with illegal grappa.
In the Country of Men was one of the few books I brought with me when I first arrived in Tripoli in late 2008 and moved into Girgaresh, the same well-heeled suburb described in the novel. My first disorienting days in the city were filtered through Matar’s deliberate, measured prose.
While a lot had changed since the Seventies, an equal amount hadn’t. The secret police still lurked outside houses in shiny new cars and cheap leather jackets, exuding tobacco smoke and violence. Phones were tapped, houses bugged. Sometimes people went missing, more often they lived with a constant, niggling anxiety. And Girgaresh was still known for the ‘butchers that don’t sell meat’ and ‘bakers with no bread’ where Libyans found guilty solace in bocha (date alcohol), for expats the key ingredient for the bojito, the Tripoli party tipple of choice.
I felt a jolt of panic when a Libyan friend of mine spotted In the Country of Men, but he surprised me by grabbing it off the shelf and asking to borrow it. I never saw the book again: it was passed from friend to friend, as they pored over pages describing a chapter in Libyan history of which their parents never dared speak.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Hisham Matar on Gaddafi, the Libyan Revolution and His Father’s Abduction « Shabab Libya
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Ganzouri headed the government from 1996 to 1999, under the deposed president, Hosni Mubarak.
The state newspaper Al-Ahram said on its website, quoting sources close to Ganzouri, that he had had agreed in principle to lead a national government after his meeting with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
The military council earlier accepted the resignation of caretaker prime minister Essam Sharaf's cabinet, amid continued unrest in Cairo and other major cities.
After the popular uprisings earlier this year, Ganzouri distanced himself from Mubarak in a television interview, prompting several Facebook pages to recommend him as a future presidential candidate.
Born in 1933, Ganzuri served as minister of planning and international co-operation before his first tenure as prime minister. He then made a name for himself by working to strengthen ties between Egypt and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Egypt ex-PM 'asked to form new cabinet' - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
A wave of protests across the world and of more measured anger expressed in newspaper letters pages and on social networking sites have thrown up a new lexicon of resentment of the wealthy and the powerful.
But how did all these newly popular terms come to be used as they are?
"The rich"Everyone knows someone they consider to be rich. But many would struggle with a precise definition, and plenty considered rich by others would shy away from using the term.
In his book Richistan, Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank concluded that "people's definition of rich is subjective and is usually twice their current net worth". Some people would define rich as having more money than you "need" to live, but definition of "needs" vary dramatically.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: BBC News - The rich: Exactly what does the terminology mean?
By AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES
The head of Bahrain’s Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) announced Wednesday its findings from a report on the February and March unrest in Bahrain, revealing violations of human rights.
“Failure to punish abusers led to culture of impunity,” Cherif Bassiouni said in a press conference in Manama announcing the findings of the inquiry by a panel commissioned by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.
The death toll from the unrest reached 35, the official said, which included five security personnel.
Bassiouni said that Pakistanis and other foreigners residing in Bahrain, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, were also targeted during the crackdown, which led to 30 places of worship being destroyed.
“The BICI Report has pointed out the impact of the unrest on the Government’s performance and the detrimental repercussions on citizens and residents’ lives, giving a full account of events taking place in Bahrain,” a cabinet statement on the BICI report read.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Bahrain’s Independent Commission issues findings over months of unrest
WHERE THERE'S SMOKE THERE'S FIRE? Lebanon to summon U.S. envoy over ‘CIA operatives’ | The Raw Story
The statement comes hours after the militant group said it succeeded in uncovering Central Intelligence Agency operatives who had infiltrated Hezbollah and urged the government to take immediate measures against the US embassy.
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Lebanon to summon U.S. envoy over ‘CIA operatives’ | The Raw Story
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
PRESS RELEASE: Egypt: Military rulers have 'crushed' hopes of 25 January protesters | Amnesty International
Egypt: Military rulers have 'crushed' hopes of 25 January protesters
Egypt's interim military rulers have been accused of continuing Mubarak-era abuses
Amnesty says Egypt’s army continues Mubarak-era abuse as rulers call for crisis talks
Amnesty International said Egypt’s military rulers have “completely failed” to fulfill their promises to protect human rights and have even committed worse rights abuses than the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak, as the ruling military council called for crisis talks with the country’s political forces.
Political forces behind the uprising have called for a mass rally on Tuesday to demand that the army cede power to civilian rule as deadly clashes entered its fourth day, plunging Egypt into its worst crisis since Mubarak’s fall.
In a report released early Tuesday, Amnesty accused Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) of adopting oppressive tactics used by the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak, including targeting critics, banning critical media coverage and torturing protesters, according to The Associated Press.
The military council took control after Mubarak’s fall in February.
Two people were killed early Tuesday in the Red Sea town of Ismailiya, medics said.
The group called on the military council to repeal the Mubarak-era “emergency laws,” and protect human rights.
TO READ FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Amnesty says Egypt’s army continues Mubarak-era abuse as rulers call for crisis talks
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Qaddafi’s intelligence chief, Abdallah Senoussi, has been captured: NTC
A day after Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam was captured in the same general region, Abdul Hafiz Ghoga confirmed in a news conference that Senoussi, the elder Qaddafi’s brother-in-law and loyal confidant, had been seized. Earlier, an NTC military official said Senoussi,had been surrounded at a house owned by his sister.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Muammar Gaddafi's son and one-time heir apparent Saif al-Islam has been detained in the southern desert, Libya's interim justice minister and other officials have said.
Fighters from the western mountain city of Zintan announced his capture on Saturday as gunfire and car horns marked jubilation across the country at the arrest of the British-educated 39-year-old who a year ago seemed set to follow his father as Libya's leader.
Saif al-Islam and three armed companions were taken without a fight during the night, officials said. Gaddafi's son was reportedly not injured, unlike Gaddafi himself, who was killed last month after being captured by fighters in his home town of Sirte.
Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Raheem al-Keeb officially announced the capture of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi during a news conference on Saturday evening, assuring Libyans and rest of the world he will face a fair trial.
"Because of this historic occasion, I would like to congratulate the men and women of Libya and the rebels of Libya, for their struggle, determination and heroism, which gave way to such victory," al-Keeb said to a cheering audience.
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi arrested in Libya - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
An NTC commander told reporters from Tripoli that Seif al-Islam was arrested near the town of Oubari along with three of his aids.
Friday, November 18, 2011
There are an estimated 1.4 million sex slaves in the world today; most of them are women, although there are some men and many thousands of children.
They didn't listen. They kept bringing me clients and telling me that I had a huge debt towards them. For the fact they paid for my visa, passport and tickets." (Dorina, a former sex slave from Moldova)
These women do not voluntarily enter prostitution, but have been forced under the threat of violence to have sex with men who pay their 'owners'.
Sex slavery is present in every country of the world.
In some cases, categorised as 'domestic', women are sold into brothels within their own country. But international sex trafficking of women and children is on the rise.
Scientists warn world: Prepare for extreme weather - US news - Environment - Climate Change - msnbc.com
They're calling for preparations that they say will save lives and money.
The experts fear that without preparedness, crazy weather extremes may overwhelm some locations, making them uninhabitable.
The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a new special report on global warming and extreme weather Friday after meeting in Uganda.
This is the first time the group of scientists has focused on the dangers of extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods, droughts and storms.
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Scientists warn world: Prepare for extreme weather - US news - Environment - Climate Change - msnbc.com
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Food chain slaves - Slavery: A 21st Century Evil - Al Jazeera English
|The MV Rena, stuck on Astrolabe Reef in Tauranga, New Zealand has spilled 350 tonnes of oil, and many of its shipping containers, severely polluting and damaging the surrounding marine environment [GALLO/GETTY]|
If confirmed, the attack would be the first reported assault on a major security facility in the eight-month uprising against President Bashar al Assad.
Members of the Free Syrian Army fired rockets and machine guns at a large air force intelligence complex situated in Harasta on the northern edge of the capital along the Damascus-Aleppo highway on Wednesday at about 2:30 am (0030 GMT), sources told Reuters.
A gunfight ensued and helicopters circled the area, sources said.
For the full article CLICK HERE: Activists: Syrian intelligence base attacked - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Turkey halting joint oil exploration with Syria, threatens to cut energy supplies
Turkey said on Tuesday it was halting joint oil exploration with Syria and would consider cutting energy supplies to its one-time ally following attacks on Turkish diplomatic missions in three Syrian cities.
“Right now we are supplying electricity there (Syria). If this course continues, we may have to review all of these decisions,” Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Syria’s leadership was offered a last chance to stop its violent repression of anti-government protests but rejected it.
“We have given a last opportunity to the Syrian regime but they didn’t want to seize it,” Davutoglu said in the Moroccan capital. Turkey wants “sanctions with an impact that spares harm to the Syrian people,” he said through an interpreter.
The White House, meanwhile, said that Turkish criticism of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had deepened the isolation of his regime.
FOR FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: Turkey halting joint oil exploration with Syria, threatens to cut energy supplies