Archive | May 12th, 2011

Burqa-clad women detained in France




One month after France’s banning of the burqa, women wearing the face-covering garment are being arrested and forced to remove their veils in public to avoid police harassment.

Five women were immediately detained by police for wearing the burqa on city streets, as they attempted to attend a conference on the controversial law in the capital Paris, a Press TV correspondent reported on Wednesday.

The conference was organized by the multicultural association Don’t Touch My Constitution, which has raised funds to help women pay the fine that the government has imposed for disobeying the new law.

In April, Paris declared that any woman — French or foreigner — who wears a niqab or burqa in public will be fined 150 euros and those who force women to wear such covers will face a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years.

During the conference, the organizer of the meeting was forcibly prevented by police from talking to one of the women, who had reportedly become ill during questioning on burqa ban.

“The real objective of this law is the stigmatization of the Muslim community; why make a law for just a few hundred people. French lawmakers have completely exaggerated the situation for their benefits.” Hassan Ben M’barek , an activist observing the meeting told Press TV.

The controversial ban on burqa has set off a frenzy of debates in France with proponents of the law claiming that the ban protects the country from radicalism and opponents arguing that behind the veil of France’s new law lies a certain sense of animosity toward Muslims in the country.

Many Muslims have complained that French media coverage consistently ignores the religious convictions of those who wear a niqab or burqa in public and quite unfairly portrayed them as mere tools, with domineering men controlling their every move.

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Poll: Egyptians want Islamic rule



An Egyptian protester holds a cardboard bearing the Arabic writing ‘No collaboration with Israeli after the revolution, down with Israel’ during a demonstration in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo on April 27.

A recent survey has found that majority of Egyptians will back an Islamic and democratic system in the North African county.

Sixty percent of the 1,000 Egyptians surveyed by Al-Ahram daily say they want to establish an Islamic state with real democratic values.

Meanwhile, 24 percent of the respondents only emphasized on sole democratic values without an explicit mention of religion.

Four percent of the respondents suggested that a secular system in Egypt would indeed be desirable, while three percent said a military rule was suitable for the future of their country.

This comes more than two months after a popular revolution ousted US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak from power.

Analysts say that the recent developments in Egypt and other North African countries are the result of an “Islamic Awakening.”

Egyptians have called for free and fair elections after Mubarak’s ouster, saying that people must decide the kind of government they want.

They have also demanded their military rulers to abandon the Israeli regime and lift the blockade on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Egypt’s political parties say the Gaza blockade serves the interests of Israel and the US and threatens regional stability and independence.

Under the US-backed Mubarak regime, Egypt consistently served Tel Aviv’s objectives in the region by helping to impose a crippling blockade on the impoverished Gaza Strip after the democratically-elected Hamas government took control of the territory in 2007.

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NATO strikes on Gaddafi compound kill 6



Bab al-Aziziya, situated in the southern suburbs of Tripoli, is a military barracks and Gaddafi’s main compound.

At least six people have been killed and 10 others wounded after NATO airstrikes struck headquarters of embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli.

Explosions roared across the Libyan capital early on Thursday as missiles landed in Bab al-Aziziya compound. It was not immediately known which of the compound’s buildings were targeted, AFP reported.

“There were three dead here and three dead in another place in addition to 10 others wounded,” an unnamed government official said as he was pointing to scattered sandbags next to a crater in the ground in a street of Bab al-Aziziya compound.

NATO airstrikes came hours after Libyan state TV showed a footage of Gaddafi meeting with officials in Tripoli. His appearance was the first since his son was killed nearly two weeks ago.

Gaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, and three of his grandchildren were killed in a NATO aerial strike on April 30 in what the government labeled as a direct attempt to assassinate the Libyan ruler.

The video, which was aired late on Wednesday, showed Gaddafi in a meeting with a group of Libyan tribal leaders from the eastern part of the country in a Tripoli hotel. The footage did not specify the date of the meeting and was only a few minutes long.

“We tell the world those are the representatives of the Libyan tribes,” Gaddafi said in the meeting, as he pointed to the dignitaries and then introduced some of them. The footage also showed an old man telling Gaddafi, “You will be victorious.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Libyan revolutionary forces seized control of the airport in the western city of Misratah after heavy fighting with pro-Gaddafi forces.

Misratah has been under siege by pro-Gaddafi forces for nearly two months with regime forces repeatedly bombing and shelling the city.

Misratah has a population of more than half a million, many of whom are still grappling with shortages of food, water and medical supplies.

The US and NATO have unleashed a punishing UN-mandated offensive against Gaddafi to force him to cede power, but the Libyan ruler has shown scant signs of a willingness to abandon his 41-year-old reign.

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Gasbag Hillary Blasts China on “Human Rights”



By Mike Whitney

Is there anything more irritating than listening to US officials blabber about “human rights”?

I mean, really, doesn’t it drive you crazy? Here’s Hillary Clinton bashing China for their “deplorable” human rights record, and meanwhile Bradley Manning sits naked and freezing in a 6′ by 8′ cinderblock cell in some far-flung American gulag waiting to get fingernails yanked out. Can you see the hypocrisy?

And that’s just for starters. What about Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and the myriad other dungeons, concentration camps and black sites the US has scattered across the planet. Seriously, the United States is the biggest human rights abuser in the world today. No one else even comes close. Clinton’s in no position to be giving other people lectures.

Remember, all the phony indignation over Saddam gassing his people in Halabja? What a joke. Obama probably kills more people in his sleep every night than Hussein killed in a year. And Halabja’s small potatoes anyway. Just look at Falluja; a city of 300,000 that had about 40,000 of its people wiped out by US bombs, 80% of its buildings and infrastructure reduced to rubble, and a legacy of cancers and birth defects until the end of time. Now that’s how you kill people!

And then there’s the drone attacks. In fact, another 5 people were killed on Tuesday when US missiles blew up their vehicle in northwest Pakistan. What about their human rights? And what about the rights of the other 957 people who’ve been killed in 2010 alone? Don’t they count?

And, can we please stop talking about democracy? Everyone knows it’s just shorthand for capitalism. And–not even capitalism really, but slash-and-burn, take-no-prisoners, scorched-earth predatory capitalism, the hybrid strain of the virus that’s particular to America’s ‘oligarchy of racketeers’. So, can we just put a sock in it for a while?

Here’s a clip of Hillary moaning about the “repressive Chinese system of government.”

“We have made very clear, publicly and privately, our concern about human rights. We see reports of people, including public interest lawyers, writers, artists, and others, who are detained or disappeared. And we know over the long arch of history that societies that work toward respecting human rights are going to be more prosperous, stable, and successful.”

Can you believe this gibberish? The United States has a higher percentage of its population in prison than any other country in the world. And, Clinton dares to scold China about “detained or disappeared” people? Now that’s the pot calling the kettle black.

But, yes, it’s true; the Chinese haven’t mastered democracy like we have in the good old USA, where 5 right-wing jurists pick the president, and where the government taps your phoneline, sifts through your e mail, and gropes your scrotum before hopping on a flight to Boise. That’s capital “D” democracy; land of the free and home of the Ponzi-scamster. We might boot you out of your home, kick you out of your job, and fleece you out of your retirement, but we’ve got our principles, dammit!

Can you see how crazy this is?

But, let’s cut to the chase. Do you know what this is really all about, all this duplicitous foot-stomping and pontificating by Ms. Clinton?

The Obama team is trying to pressure China into opening their markets to Wall Street so Big Finance can peddle their garbage paper to 1.5 billion new suckers. That’s what it’s all about. I’ll bet you even-money that Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon spent the better part of Sunday evening quaffing single malt scotch and high-fiving while they put the finishing touches on Clinton’s speech. That’s how incestuous the Obama-Wall Street relationship is now.

Just take a look at this report from Bloomberg and decide for yourself.

Bloomberg: “Geithner will say China should relax controls on the financial system and give foreign banks and insurers more access, said David Loevinger, the Treasury Department’s senior coordinator for China. Officials from both nations are meeting in Washington today and tomorrow as part of the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

….Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Jeff Merkley of Oregon called May 6 for a “rebalancing” in the U.S.-China economic relationship. The two lawmakers, who just returned from a trip to China, said the Chinese need to open their financial sector, address “abnormally low deposit and lending rates” and allow broader market access to foreign firms….

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said last month that foreign banks play an “insignificant role” in China.

Foreign lenders’ market share in China has dropped since the government first opened the industry in December 2006. Banks such as New York-based Citigroup Inc. (C) and London-based HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) want to tap household and corporate savings that reached $10 trillion in January as China overtook Japan to become the world’s second-biggest economy” (“U.S. Will Urge China to Boost Interest Rates as Talks Start”, Bloomberg)

Repeat: “Banks…. want to tap household and corporate savings that reached $10 trillion in January.”

That says it all, doesn’t it? Wall Street is already licking its chops over its next victim. They can’t wait to sink their teeth into all that luscious money that Chinese workers have been scrimping and saving for the last decade or so. That’s why they’ve ordered Clinton to castigate China’s leaders in public, because they think it will help them pry the door open wide enough to set up shop in the world’s fastest growing market.

So this isn’t about “human rights” at all. It’s about coercion; forcing China to do what we want so Wall Street can rake in even bigger profits.

Are you surprised?

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Libyan state TV shows healthy Gaddafi



State TV shows Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi during a meeting with eastern tribal leaders in Tripoli.

Libyan state TV has showed footage of Muammar Gaddafi meeting officials in Tripoli, dampening mounting speculations that the embattled ruler was injured in an April airstrike.

The 68-year-old Libyan Gaddafi, who had kept a low profile since the April 30 strike on his Bab al-Aziziyah compound in the capital Tripoli, looked healthy in his trademark brown robe, dark sunglasses and black hat, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Gaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, and three of his grandchildren were killed in the NATO’s aerial strike that the government labeled as a direct attempt to assassinate the Libyan ruler.

The video, which was aired late on Wednesday, showed Gaddafi in a meeting with a group of Libyan tribal leaders from the eastern part of the country in a Tripoli hotel. The footage did not specify the date of the meeting and was only a few minutes long.

“We tell the world: ‘those are the representatives of the Libyan tribes,’” Gaddafi said in the meeting, as he pointed to the dignitaries and then introduced some of them.The footage also showed an old man telling Gaddafi that “You will be victorious.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Libyan revolutionary forces seized control of the airport in the western city of Misratah after heavy fighting with pro-Gaddafi forces.

Misratah has been under siege by Gaddafi forces for nearly two months with regime forces repeatedly bombing and shelling the city, which has a population of more than half a million, many of whom still grappling with shortages of food, water and medical supplies.

The US and NATO have unleashed a punishing UN-mandated offensive against Gaddafi to force him to cede power, but the Libyan ruler has shown scant signs of abandoning his 41-year-old reign.

One blogger likes this post.


  1. DR.NUR says:



  2. B.A.Frémaux-Soormally says:

    DR.NUR says:
    May 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Good boy!

    Ghaddafi should have passed on leadership to somebody HE TRUSTS! He rules as if he is immortal, and this is a colossal mistake!

    Thanks for your many emails.

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US drone strike kills 8 in Pakistan


A non-UN-sanctioned US drone strike has claimed the lives of at least eight people and left four others wounded in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal area of North Waziristan, local security forces reported.

The incident occurred on Thursday morning when a US drone aircraft fired missiles at a vehicle in the Datta Khel area, near the border with Afghanistan, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The United States frequently carries out such attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas.

The aerial attacks, initiated by former Republican US President George W. Bush, have escalated under Democratic President Barack Obama, who had earlier promised major changes in the American militaristic policies.

The United States claims that the air raids target Pakistani militants, but Pakistani officials say many civilians are also killed in the attacks.

Meanwhile, Pakistani sources have stated that the US drone strikes kill 50 civilians for every one militant.

Islamabad has frequently slammed the United States over the drone attacks, saying they violate its sovereignty.


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Turkey’s Erdogan: Hamas is a political party, not a terrorist group



Erdogan Turkey – 8.02.2011 - AP

Speaking to Charlie Rose on the burgeoning unity cabinet, Turkish PM says Palestinian reconciliation is a necessary step en route to achieving Mideast peace.


Hamas is not a terror organization, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with U.S. television late Wednesday, saying he felt the recently penned Palestinian reconciliation agreement was an essential step toward Mideast peace.

Erdogan’s comments came one day after Hamas Gaza strongman Mahmoud Zahar said that while his organization would accept a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, it would never recognize Israel, as a result of the damage such a move would do to Palestinian refugees in the “diaspora.”

Senior Israeli officials, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have voiced opposition to Fatah’s new unity deal with Hamas, saying that a Palestinian government that included a terrorist group calling for Israel’s destruction could not be a partner for peace.

Speaking to Charlie Rose on Wednesday, however, the Turkish PM chimed in on the recently achieved unity agreement between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, indicating that he did not feel Hamas was an obstacle in achieving Mideast peace.

“Let me give you a very clear message, I don’t see Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas is a political party — it emerged as a political party that appeared as a political party,” Erdogan told Charlie Rose, adding: “it is a resistance movement trying to protect its country under occupation.”

Going further, the Turkish PM said the world should not “mix terrorist organizations with such an organization, and they entered into the elections,” adding that Hamas “won the elections, they had ministers, and they had parliament speakers who were imprisoned by Israel, about 35 ministers and members of parliament in Israel prisons.”

“Where is terrorism? They entered into the elections and after the elections this is how they were reacted, I mean, calling them terrorists, this would be disrespect to the will of the Palestinian people,” Erdogan added.

Referring to the impact the unity agreement Hamas signed with Fatah, Erdogan said: “I am very pleased with what had happened. I am very pleased. Let me express it very clearly, because this is what we wanted to see for many years.”

The Turkish PM added that “if peace will come to Palestine, if peace will come to Middle East, this will start from the internal peace in Palestine, and then and this target ahead will be discussed much more — much effectively. I discussed it with Tony Blair when he was chairing this Quartet.”

Erdogan also referred to ongoing diplomatic tensions with Israel, a once stable relationship that has been descending in a downward spiral ever since Israel’s Gaza war against Hamas and the raid by Israeli forces on a Turkish Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

“This is absolutely certain. I mean, to this, embargo, three things: apology, compensation, and lifting of embargo on Gaza. It has to be lifted,” Erdogan said.

“We in the Middle East, we are a country that’s accepted the statehood of Israel and Palestine,” the Turkish PM said that his recommend “this to everybody, we defend this.”

“And we bring together the sides. We believe that we can. But, of course, we need everybody should know their limits, their borders, and then we can take these steps,” Erdogan said.

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N.Y. High Court takes on Orthodox sexual abuse scandal



1984 case against alleged Orthodox child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz, a psychologist from Brooklyn, came to a halt after he fled to IsraHell.

The Forward

New York State’s highest court has agreed to hear arguments in a case aimed at shedding light on the failed prosecution of alleged Orthodox child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz.

Mondrowitz fled to Israel following his 1984 indictment on multiple counts of sexual abuse. Alleging that the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office had bowed to pressure from the Orthodox community in failing to vigorously pursue his extradition, journalist and attorney Michael Lesher has sought documents from the DA relating to the case under the state’s Freedom of Information Law.

The state’s highest court announced on April 28 that it would hear an appeal on an appellate court’s rejection of a lower court ruling ordering the DA’s office to release the documents.

Mondrowitz, a Brooklyn-based psychologist, was among the first of a series of high-profile rabbis or yeshiva teachers to be indicted on charges of sexual abuse that have rocked the Orthodox community in recent decades. Press reports have stated that the five-count indictment against him is based on complaints from more than 100 victims.

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Zio-Nazi regime revoked residency of 140,000 West Bankers



Zio-Nazi regime quietly revoked the residency of 140,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank when they left to travel abroad in the years after the 1967 Six Day War

According to official documents obtained by HaMoked, an Israeli group which works on Palestinian rights issues, the policy affected Palestinians travelling abroad for work or study in the period between 1967 and 1994 when the Oslo Accords came into effect.

Although HaMoked was aware of the procedure, it was never clear how many Palestinians had been affected until recently, when the group got hold of numbers through the Freedom of Information Act, with the story first exposed by the Haaretz newspaper.

According to the documents, any Palestinian travelling abroad during that period would have to leave his or her ID card at the Allenby Bridge crossing into Jordan, and in exchange would receive an “exit permit” which was valid for three years.

If a traveller did not come back before the permit expired, their documents were sent to the military administration in the West Bank which would re-register them as “no longer resident” — or NLR, Haaretz said.

But the process was never explained to travellers meaning that many were unaware that not returning ‘on time’ could see their residency status revoked.
Those who arrived in the six months after the card expired were technically permitted to appeal to have their residency reinstated, but in practice, very few managed to reverse the procedure, HaMoked said.

“We knew this procedure existed but we never knew the scope of this policy,” said Ido Blum, head of the legal team at HaMoked. “It is a very large number, representing about 14 percent of the residents of the West Bank population at the time.”

But Blum said the numbers of people affected was likely to be far higher as the entire families would often leave to join the individual whose residency had been revoked.

“I believe that the number of Palestinians living in exile is much higher than 140,000 as if a father went to study or work abroad and his residency was revoked, his wife and children would leave and join him,” he told AFP.

Blum said an identical policy had been applied in the Gaza Strip but so far, they had not been able to get access to the numbers.

Guy Inbar, a spokesman for COGAT, the defence ministry unit which coordinates activity in the occupied territories, refused to comment directly on the issue, saying: “We are not responsible for making such policies.”

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Expert: Bin Laden’s DNA results are inconsistent



A Fort Worth DNA expert says that no results from DNA samples from Osama bin Laden’s body after he was killed in a U.S. raid on his hideout in Pakistan have been disclosed by U.S. government officials and that any media reports about the DNA are inaccurate.

Bruce Budowle is a local DNA expert and professor in the University of North Texas Health Health Science Center’s Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics, and executive director of the Institute of Investigative Genetics.

Budowle made a splash last week when he was quoted in national media as an expert in DNA – and he said bin Laden’s DNA case has not been reported well.

“Given what I’ve seen so far, there have been some inconsistencies in what’s been presented, and the reason for that is unknown at this time,” he said last week during an interview with the Business Press.

Budowle, who worked for the FBI in its forensic science laboratory for 26 years and assisted in identifying victims of the 9/11 attacks, said the media have only speculated about DNA evidence, but no accurate information has been presented.

“It could be because someone made a mistake in the beginning, or someone’s not telling stuff or the media misinterpreted, but it’s all speculation at this point,” Budowle said.

The DNA test results that were reported also were inconsistent values, he said.

“We’ve heard that it’s from his sister in Boston, that’s one explanation, and someone else said he only has a half sister and not a full sister, yet they had a 99.99 percent certainty. That alone says there was something done to the calculations,” he said.

But if officials did need bin Laden’s DNA to confirm that it was his body the U.S. team brought out of Pakistan, they could get it quickly, Budowle said.

“In crime labs it can take a lot longer of a time frame, but in theory, if you just had one single mission, and you’re making a comparison, it can probably be done in a few hours,” he said.

DNA testing can increase the chances of accurately identifying an individual by using a large number of genetic markers, such as from blood or a cheek swab.

“If you have a sample from the individual from years before and it is a direct comparison, you can have a very, very high probability, like 99.9 percent. However, if you are comparing indirectly and do not have a sample from the individual but comparing to a relative, you’re only getting partial information, so the power is reduced unless you have a lot of relatives,” Budowle said.

The more family members one has to compare to an individual’s DNA, the better the result for identification.

Many speculate if officials do have a direct sample of DNA from bin Laden, or if they have an indirect sample of DNA from a family member to compare the results.

“That’s where the problem comes in. Right now, anything is just speculation or at best misunderstood,” he said.

Budowle said he did not know what officials used to compare DNA results for bin Laden, but speculated that they used the standard routine genetic markers first, which are used in most crime labs.

Bin Laden’s DNA test results also depend on what family member was used.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion so far on what has been conveyed,” he said.

According to administration officials, facial recognition software was also used to help identify bin Laden’s body.

“They both can be very accurate, but given the pool of candidates, it may be one is better in one situation than another,” Budowle said.

Accuracy and probability are two large factors when comparing DNA results.

“Probability is not accuracy, because something can be very accurate but the result may not give you a high probability for certainty for identity,” he said.

If officials do have bin Laden’s DNA, then it probably would be used for further studies, possibly to see whether it shows up in any other evidence, such as explosive devices or in other terrorists attacks.

“My guess is that you would be unlikely see his [DNA] because it didn’t look like he was active himself. He seemed to use others to do the work, so the chances of his DNA leading us to other cases may be remote,” Budowle said.

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