Archive | February 12th, 2016

UN initiative to protect schools in war zones vetoed by Britain

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RT 

Britain has refused to sign up to a UN agreement on protecting schools in wartime, which has been signed by 51 states, despite the fact it was drawn up by a former UK military officer.

The agreement was championed by the UN children’s fund UNICEF to protect schools from attack during conflicts. It aimed to set out a “safe schools declaration” and provide guidelines for military forces.

However, it was reported on Tuesday by the Telegraph newspaper that Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond had effectively vetoed the move after having opposed it as head of two government departments.

Already signed by 51 nations, the initiative was developed in response to deadly attacks on schools in Syria and Yemen.

In a statement on Monday, Amnesty International senior crisis advisor Lama Fakih reported how schools were being targeted with deadly effect in Yemen, where a Sunni/Shia proxy war is currently being fought with Saudi and Iranian backing.

“The Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched a series of unlawful airstrikes on schools being used for educational – not for military – purposes, a flagrant violation of the laws of war,” she wrote.

“Schools are central to civilian life, they are meant to offer a safe space for children. Yemen’s young school pupils are being forced to pay the price for these attacks,” she added.

It was hoped Britain would be a leading voice in the campaign to protect schoolchildren and schools after the high-profile campaign against sexual violence in warzones led by Phillip Hammond’s predecessor William Hague and movie star Angelina Jolie.

But Britain, like the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, did not sign up.

It is rumored that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Foreign Office have been put off by fears of litigation given the volume of cases brought against the military for alleged crimes in the Iraq and Afghan occupations.

Initially it appears that of the three government departments whose support was needed only the MoD – then under Hammond – was resisting, while the Department for International Development (DFID) and Hague’s Foreign Office were supportive.

Hammond’s subsequent shift from defense to the Foreign Office is felt to have poisoned both the military and diplomatic ministries against the initiative, despite the fact the agreement was drawn up by a former British naval officer.

Steven Haines, who drew up the British military rulebook for the 2003 Iraq invasion, is now a professor of international law at the University of Greenwich.

He told the Telegraph of his disappointment at the government’s response to his proposals.

“The stumbling block was Philip Hammond at Defence,” he said.

“It’s very frustrating.

“There’s no way that I was going to draft something that would embarrass the British government.”

The declaration, which was launched in Norway in 2015, commits governments to six guidelines including one which prevents military forces for using from using active schools as military bases.

It was thought that if Britain signed up then its role as a trainer of foreign troops would help to engender respect for schools and schoolchildren among military forces globally.

A Foreign Office spokesman defended the move, telling the paper that while they “support the spirit of the initiative, we have concerns that the Guidelines do not mirror the exact language and content of International Humanitarian Law.

“Therefore the UK, along with several other countries, was not able to sign the Safe Schools Declaration in Oslo in May 2015,” the spokesman said.

Britain’s concern about future legal cases may spring from its controversial military support for regional ally Saudi Arabia in the Gulf theocracy’s war in Yemen.

That support has included both material backing, in the form of weapons and munitions traded by UK arms firms subject to government license, and the presence of British military personnel as advisors to the Saudi military.

The UK government maintains the military advisors are present in Saudi headquarters to ensure international law is followed.

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French Media Uses Russian Footage to Show ‘Success’ of US Strikes in Syria

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Sputnik 

TV Channel France 2 showed footage of Russian airstrikes in Syria as the work of the US-led international coalition in a fight against Daesh (Islamic State).

While covering news from Syria and reporting about airstrikes against Daesh militants, France 2 showed footage first released by the Russian Defense Ministry.

According to Russian blogger Timofei Vasiliev, the news story said that Russian airstrikes hit civilian targets, as the Russians allegedly don’t use precision bombs, instead indiscriminately bombing everything in the area. Unlike the Russians, the French Air Force, which works as part of the US-led coalition, “successfully” bombed Daesh targets, France 2 said.

The French TV channel, however, couldn’t find any footage to prove their point, so it just used footage of Russian airstrikes to demonstrate the precision of Western missiles. No big deal, right?

First, the channel claimed the Russians were off target, while the Western coalition bombed the terrorists; then France 2 showed footage filmed by the Russian Air Force as the work of the US-led coalition. Awkward.

The use of the Russian Defense Ministry’s videos wasn’t a mistake as one might think, but a deliberate lie — the Russian text underneath the footage was deleted, while the video itself is identical to that of Russian airstrikes. Below are original footage provided by the Russian Defense Ministry:

A similar thing happened on November 19, 2015, when PBS NewsHour, a daily US-television news program, used the footage of Russian airstrikes in Syria, passing them off as US airstrikes.

Unlike the US-led airstrikes campaign, which doesn’t provide footage from their operations, the Russian Defense Ministry is always prompt to release video evidence showing what exactly happened to terrorists and how their operations unfolded. Instead of accusing the Russian Air Force of not being “precise” enough and not bombing Daesh, the Western-coalition should simply shoot its own videos. It can’t be that hard.

See also: US Media Shows Footage of Russian Airstrikes Passed Off as American

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The Occupation Goes Missing from Zionist NY Times

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By Barbara Erickson 

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The occupation went missing from The New York Timesthis past week. Palestinians were there, as victims and attackers, but the brutal military regime that controls their lives made no appearance.

The newspaper had plenty to say about Israeli Jewish life, however: two lengthy stories about prayer space at the Western Wall and one discussing Zionism. Each of these stories ran over a thousand words.

Two shorter news articles reported that the murderers of a Palestinian teen had been sentenced to prison and that a knife attack left one Israeli police officer dead, but nothing in either of these provided the context crucial to understanding events in the occupied territories.

Meanwhile, as the Times obsesses over Israeli identity and attitudes, the occupation grinds on, producing news that appears elsewhere. At the top of the list were two major stories: A Palestinian prisoner was near death after passing his 75th day on hunger strike, and Israeli forces carried out a massive demolition of over 20 homes, rendering more than 100 Palestinians homeless in the dead of winter.

The ordeal of Mohammed al-Qeeq, a journalist held without trial since Nov. 21 of last year, drew the attention of Israeli andinternational media outlets, which recounted his legal appeals, protests on his behalf and an Israeli Supreme Court decision which “froze” his detention but confined him to a hospital. (Al-Qeeq refused the offer and continued his fast.)

Al-Qeeq’s hunger strike was deemed unfit to print in the Times, perhaps because it would touch on Israel’s use of administrative detention, which holds prisoners without trial. Readers are not to know that as of last December 660 Palestinians were held in this limbo, nor were they to be informed that a number of human rights groups have protested Israel’s unsavory use of the practice.

And then there is the matter of two impoverished villages in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank, Khirbet Jenbah and Khirbet Al-Halawah, which were made even more destitute after Israeli army crews arrived last Tuesday and demolished 22 structures, displacing 110 people, including dozens of minors. The army also confiscated solar panels, which, like many of the homes, had been donated by aid organizations.

The military claimed that it destroyed Jenbah and Al-Halawah because they were located in a declared firing zone. The Israeli publication 972 Magazine, however, noted that “Jewish settlements within [the zone] have not been served with eviction orders.”

This was the largest mass demolition in a decade, and the plan to destroy villages within the firing zone has drawn international attention and a petition from world-renowned authors to spare the communities. None of this, however, was enough to draw the interest of the Times.

Instead, the Times considered it more urgent to examine the effects of a new prayer space at the Western Wall—not once, but twice—and to take a look at Zionism today. Villagers thrown out in the cold of winter and a prisoner on the brink of death took a back seat to these concerns.

The Times claims that it gives readers “the complete, unvarnished truth as best as we can learn it,” and it insists that the newspaper’s overriding goal is to “cover the news as impartially as possible.” Readers who never stray to other sources of information may actually believe this.

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi invasion of Syria: The bluff that could ignite World War III

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Salafist Uncle Sam Syria
By Finian Cunningham 

The Saudi plan to send ground troops into Syria appears to be just a ruse. But this is precisely the kind of reckless saber-rattling that could ignite an all-out war, one that could embroil the United States and Russia.

Saudi rulers have reportedly amassed a 150,000-strong army to invade Syria on the alleged pretext “to fight against terrorism” and to defeat the so-called Islamic State (also known as ISIS/ISIL). Saudi officials told CNN that in addition to Saudi troops there are ground forces from Egypt, Turkey, Sudan, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem gave a categorical response, saying the move would be seen as an act of aggression and that any invasion force regardless of its stated reasons for entering Syria will be sent back in “wooden coffins”.

Nevertheless, US President Barack Obama has welcomed the Saudi plan to intervene in Syria.

Obama’s Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is this week due to meet in Brussels with counterparts from the US-led so-called “anti-terror” coalition to make a decision on the whether to activate the Saudi plan. A Saudi military spokesman has already said that if the US-led coalition gives its consent then his country will proceed with the intervention.

In recent weeks, Carter and other senior US officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, have been calling for increased regional Arab military action against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Carter and Biden have also said the US is prepared to send in its own ground troops en masse if the Geneva peace talks collapse.

Now, those talks appear to be floundering. So, does that mean that a large-scale invasion of US-led foreign armies in Syria is on the way?

Let’s step back a moment and assess what is really going on. The Saudi warning – or more accurately “threat” – of military intervention in Syria is not the first time that this has been adverted to. Back in mid-December, when Riyadh announced the formation of a 34-Islamic nation alliance to “fight terrorism”, the Saudis said that the military alliance reserved the right to invade any country where there was deemed to be a terror threat – including Syria.

Another factor is that the House of Saud is not pleased with US-led diplomatic efforts on Syria. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s bustling to organize the Geneva negotiations – supposedly to find a peace settlement to the five-year conflict – is seen by the Saudis as giving too many concessions to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and his foreign allies, Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

The Geneva talks – which came unstuck last week – can be arguably assessed as not a genuine internal Syria process to resolve the war – but rather they are a cynical political attempt by Washington and its allies to undermine the Syrian government for their long-held objective of regime change. The inclusion among the political opposition at Geneva of Al Qaeda-linked militants, Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, with Western backing, illustrates the ulterior purpose.

The Washington Post gave the game away when it reported at the weekend: “The Obama administration has found itself increasingly backed into a corner by Russian bombing in Syria that its diplomacy has so far appeared powerless to stop.”

In other words, the Geneva diplomacy, mounted in large part by Kerry, was really aimed at halting the blistering Russian aerial campaign. The four-month intervention ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned the tide of the entire Syrian war, allowing the Syrian Arab Army to win back strategically important terrain.

That the Russian military operations have not stopped, indeed have stepped up, has caused much consternation in Washington and its allies.

Russia and Syria can reasonably argue that the UN resolutions passed in November and December give them the prerogative to continue their campaign to defeat ISIS and all other Al Qaeda-linked terror groups. But it seems clear now that Kerry was counting on the Geneva talks as a way of stalling the Russian-Syrian assaults on the regime-change mercenaries.

Kerry told reporters over the weekend that he is making a last-gasp attempt to persuade Russia to call a ceasefire in Syria. Indicating the fraught nature of his discussions with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Kerry said: “The modalities of a ceasefire itself are also being discussed… But if it’s just talks for the sake of talks in order to continue the bombing, nobody is going to accept that, and we will know that in the course of the next days.”

Moscow last week was adamant that it would not stop its bombing operations until “all terrorists” in Syria have been defeated. Syria’s Foreign Minister al-Muallem reiterated this weekend that there would be no ceasefire while illegally armed groups remain in Syria.

What we can surmise is that because the US-led covert military means for regime change in Syria is being thwarted and at the same time the alternative political means for regime change are also not gaining any traction – due to Russia and Syria’s astuteness on the ulterior agenda – the Washington axis is now reacting out of frustration.

Part of this frustrated reaction are the threats from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other regional regimes – with US tacit approval – to go-ahead with a direct military intervention.

In short, it’s a bluff aimed at pressuring Syria and Russia to accommodate the ceasefire demands, which in reality are to serve as a breathing space for the foreign-backed terrorist proxies.

From a military point of view, the Saudi troop invasion cannot be taken remotely serious as an effective deployment. We only have to look at how the Saudi regime has been battered in Yemen over the past 10 months – in the Arab region’s poorest country – to appreciate that the Saudis have not the capability of carrying out a campaign in Syria.

As American professor Colin Cavell noted to this author: “Saudi intervention in Syria will have as much success as its intervention in Yemen. History has clearly shown that mercenary forces will never fight external wars with any success or elan, and no Saudi soldier in his right mind truly supports the Saudi monarchy. Everyone in Saudi Arabia knows that the House of Saud has no legitimacy, is based solely on force and manipulation, propped up by the US and the UK, and – if it did not have so much money – is a joke, run by fools.”

Thus, while a military gambit is decidedly unrealistic, the real danger is that the Saudi rulers and their American patrons have become so unhinged from reality that they could miscalculate and go into Syria. That would be like a spark in a powder keg. It will be seen as an act of war on Syria and its allies, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. The US would inevitably be drawn fully into the spiral of a world war.

History has illustrated that wars are often the result not of a single, willful decision – but instead as the result of an ever-quickening process of folly.

Syria is just one potential cataclysm.

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Propaganda Overdrive: Why Does the BBC Want a Nuclear War With Russia…?

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The Burning Blogger of Bedlam

Programme Name: World War Three: Inside the War Room - TX: 03/02/2016 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: DRAMATISATION  - (C) BBC - Photographer: Gabriel Range

It’s always curious to note what kind of documentaries an organisation like theBBC chooses to make and what documentaries it chooses not to.

For example, a documentary about how terrible Gaddafi’s Libya was? Yeah, of course that got broadcast. A documentary about the slaughter carried about by the anti-Gaddafi ‘rebels’ and mercenaries – no, that’s a no-go area. And we’ve never had a documentary about long-time BBC employees like Jimmy Saville or Rolf Harris and their extremely dodgy activities.

So it’s curious that the BBC does choose to devote substantial resources and promotion to an entirely unnecessary documentary about a fictional Russian invasion of Latvia and how it triggers World War III.

World War Three: Inside the War Room  is a one-hour film depicting pro-Moscow separatists taking over towns on the Russia-Latvia border, with the Kremlin then launching an invasion. This then prompts a ground offensive by American and British forces, which in turn provokes Russia into pushing the red button and launching a nuclear strike on a Royal Navy warship.

The fictional ‘war room’ is then informed that Vladimir Putin has chosen London as his next target.

The highly publicised one-hour programme jumps between fake documentary scenes set in Latvia, and scenes set in the ‘war room’, where ten important figures debate how to respond to Russia’s hypothetical attack and ultimately whether or not to engage in nuclear warfare.

While this programme is fiction and not a documentary, it could easily be mistaken by a casual viewer as a real-life news programme using real-world news footage, particularly given obvious parallels to the real-life events in eastern Ukraine. Even aside from that, it is such a blatantly provocative and inflammatory piece of programming for the tax-payer-funded BBC to be putting out at this highly sensitive time in regard to Ukraine, NATO encroachments on Russia’s borders, and conflicting NATO/Russian actions/interests in Syria.

The programme, with its news-like scenes set in the Baltic States, could also be construed as a kind of dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy: setting out a desired scenario and broadcasting an ‘agenda’ in blatant terms.

If you think that’s ridiculous, bear in mind that something of the sort has happened before.

On 16th May 2004, one year prior to the 7/7 attacks in London, the BBC had broadcast a Panorama  program discussing how to deal with a potential terrorist attack on London. The program envisioned three bomb explosions on the London Underground and one on a road vehicle; which, for an apparently speculational TV programme, is extremely (and suspiciously) similar to what actually did happen a year later. Why specifically four explosions? Why not five? Or two? And why specifically three underground bombs and one road-vehicle?

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Give or take one or two details, the programme can basically be seen as a media dry-run of what would unfold on 7/7. The programme also discussed the planning of tightly-controlled media coverage of the attack and how to script the BBC News response; at one point, ‘taking control’ of the BBC is even discussed. The program included Michael Portillo, Home Secretary David Blunkett and the curious individual named Peter Power (whose company just happened to be carrying out a ‘terror drill’ on the morning of the real-life 7/7; a drill that happened to simulate the exact same scenario as the real-world ‘terror’ attack that was supposedly carried out that same morning). A copy of thePanorama  programme is predictably no longer available from the BBC website; until fairly recently there was a transcript of the 2004 Panorama  ‘London Under Attack’ programme available on the BBC News website, but that too appears to have been removed.

In that instance, we had the BBC producing an hour-long programme in the style of a documentary, but which was depicting a supposedly ‘fictional’ scenario – which ended up actually being real-life a year later (with the real-life attack even involving one of the ‘expert’ panelists from the fictional programme). That programme was also, like the new ‘World War III’ programme, structured as a table discussion involving a group of experts or significant figures, and it also involved the same style of fictional news reporting designed to mimic or anticipate real-world news coverage.

So is the BBC simply laying out something that’s actually *going* to happen, with foreknowledge of that agenda?

Why make this programme at this time? Why provoke Russian officials? And why openly choreograph what would be going on in the ‘War Room’ in the event of a Russian nuclear strike?Shouldn’t that stuff be kept secret? And why portray a situation in Latvia that doesn’t exist? Why not just use the existing Ukraine scenario and make a fictional speculation on what might’ve happened had the conflict escalated?

Russian Ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov has called the show a ‘dangerous provocation’, while there have also been various negative responses to the programme in various online forums.

Is this simply a propaganda exercise to firmly reinforce the idea of Russia as the big international villain? Is that what British citizens pay the BBC license fee for – for cynical propaganda and scaremongering? It’s curious that the programme is also wholly based on the questionable premise that Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine was an unprovoked ‘invasion’ stemming purely from Russian expansionism – and then taking that premise and applying it to a fictional scenario unfolding in Latvia. It is of course a flawed premise, however, that doesn’t take into account the foreign meddling in the Ukrainian ‘revolution’ or the presence of neo-Nazi militias and foreign mercenary brigades.

Blatant and wholly unnecessary provocations like this force me to wonder if, as a number of theorists believe, this conflict is in fact a pantomime, with Big Bad Russia in fact being a form of ‘controlled opposition’ in order to play out a vast, pre-planned geo-political game. I’ve usually argued against that; but sometimes we really have to wonder.

The BBC’s ‘World War Three: Inside the War Room’ is one of the worst, and certainly most blatant, propaganda exercises in recent memory. But more worrying is trying to work out what its purpose is.

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NATO Drills All Over Europe, Global Military Exercises: Is World War III Imminent…?

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Ukraine Mass-Media Fakery, the Nazi Mercenaries & the Comedy Passports…

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The 7/7 London Bombings: Everything the Media Won’t Tell You…

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Assad Versus Churchill ‘VIDEO’

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Post by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

ZIONIST DOG
BRITISH IMPERIALISM AND BOMBING CIVILIANS
MASS MURDER FROM THE AIR

IRAQ IN THE 1920’S: A GRIM PORTENT OF FUTURE EVENTS

Britain has the dubious distinction of being the nation that did more to perfect a system of mass murder of civilians by means of air power than any other nation on earth.   How did this happen?

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The Privatization of Terrorism Blacklists Will Damage Innocent Lives

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2010-0713-unlist-chris
By Hugh Handeyside 

A private service that banks, employers, and government agencies use to screen customers and clients is blacklisting thousands of people as terrorists, sometimes based on nothing more than inaccurate and bigoted materials online, according to a VICE News article.

Thomson-Reuters’ “World-Check” database slaps a “terrorism” designation — and a picture of a red balaclava — on the profiles of individuals, charities, and religious institutions. Many of them are Muslims who have never been charged or even accused of terrorism-related offenses. The results are far-reaching and can include closure of the blacklisted individuals’ bank accounts, inability to get a job, or denial of government benefits. (And World-Check isn’t the only company chasing billions of dollars in the risk mitigation industry.)

Blacklisting by private companies isn’t new. Banks and insurance companies have long “redlined” neighborhoods in order to deny services to racial or ethnic minorities.  The entertainment industry used the infamous Hollywood blacklist to deny employment to actors, writers, and directors with suspected communist sympathies.

World-Check, however, appears particularly zealous in its effort to cash in on widespread fear of terrorism and a regulatory system that raises the stakes for banks and other companies desperate not to be accused of financing terrorism. Its confidential database includes more than 2.7 million individuals and entities, over 93,000 of whom it has designated as terrorists. According to a World-Check fact sheet, the company contracts with “49 of the world’s 50 top banks,” over 300 government agencies, and “9 of the top ten global law firms.” The Department of Homeland Security uses World-Check, as does HireRight, an employment screening company that conducts background checks for more than 40,000 organizations in 240 countries.

This kind of blacklisting for profit raises serious concerns about discrimination and the lack of meaningful appeal process that parallel our longstanding criticisms of government blacklisting. Just as the U.S. government uses a low, exception-ridden standard for its master watchlist — indeed, a single Facebook post or Tweet can provide all the “reasonable suspicion” necessary to watchlist someone — World-Check apparently labels people “terrorists” based solely on allegations from anti-Muslim zealots like Steve Emerson, who, according to the Center for American Progress, has “a history of fabricating evidence that perpetuates conspiracies of radical Islam infiltrating America through Muslim civil rights and advocacy organizations.”

Like the government, which blacklists people even after acquittal or closure of a terrorism-related investigation, World-Check uses its “terrorism” designation for people who have not been charged with a crime but may be accused, questioned, or investigated for terrorism offenses — a vast body of innocent people. And World-Check apparently shares the government’s lack of concern about stale information. Just as the government has used decades-old, unproven allegations to place some of our clients on the No Fly List,VICE reports that World-Check has failed to update some of its terror-designated profiles for as long as eight years.

Both World-Check and government watchlists also impose severe consequences on the people they label as terrorists. Inclusion on a government watchlist can cause detention at the border, harassment, and inability to travel by air or sea — to say nothing of the shame and fear that comes with being a terrorism suspect. World-Check’s terrorism designation can prompt banks to close people’s accounts, convince prospective employers not to hire a candidate, and cause funding sources for organizations or contractors to dry up.

There’s even the alarming possibility of a growing feedback loop between government and private blacklists. The Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Framework for Intelligence, a massive data-mining project, uses “commercial data aggregators” like World-Check to analyze “individuals of interest” and identify “non-obvious relationships” with others. That not only broadens the government’s lens of suspicion, but it could also intensify the focus on affected individuals, potentially leading to more and more blacklisting — both public and private.

World-Check is similar to the government in another way that compounds all the other problems: lack of a meaningful process to challenge inclusion. The government has steadfastly refused to inform people why they’ve been watchlisted and stigmatized as terrorists, denying them a viable way to challenge wrongful watchlisting and clear their names. People erroneously blacklisted by the government can now turn up in private blacklists like World-Check’s.  And World-Check, too, offers no means of redress. In fact,VICE reports that senior World-Check employees have never seen someone successfully challenge inclusion in its database.

The government is already aware of the unfairness and discrimination that databases like World-Check can cause. In a May 2014 report on big data, the Executive Office of the President wrote, “Because of this lack of transparency and accountability, individuals have little recourse to understand or contest the information that has been gathered about them or what that data, after analysis, suggests.”

It shouldn’t be a controversial proposition that any information private companies sell to others that could damage people’s lives and reputations must be accurate, timely, and fairly contestable. And the government must apply those same principles to itself.

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China at odds with US over N Korea response

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The BRICS Post 

An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council early Monday has “strongly condemned” North Korea’s launch of a satellite into space, but China and the US differed on the type of response debated among world powers.

North Korea says the satellite launch was for peaceful and scientific research purposes, but global powers fear that the launch was a part of Pyongyang’s development of its ballistic missile program.

United States ambassador Samantha Powers called for robust responses to “violations” committed by the North Koreans.

It is likely the Security Council will draft a number of measures to increase and deepen economic sanctions already in place on North Korea.

However, North Korea’s only ally in the Security Council – China – fears that too severe a sanctions regimen will destabilize North Korea and the region.

It is likely that Washington will lean on Beijing to exert all its diplomatic efforts to rein in its weapons programs.

In the meantime, South Korea and the US said they will hold talks to possibly deploy an anti-missile defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on the peninsula – a move that Beijing says will harm regional peace.

While China summoned North Korea’s ambassador to protest Pyongyang’s satellite launch on Sunday, it also summoned the South Korean ambassador to protest THAAD’s deployment.

“China holds a consistent and clear stance on the anti-missile issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Monday.

“When pursuing its own security, one country should not impair the security interests of others,” Hua added.

China says that the deployment of such advanced anti-missile weaponry will not help in deescalating tensions in the Korean peninsula.

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Nazi Ethnic Cleaning: Housekeeping service sets prices based on origin

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Nazi flyers

A cleaning service in the illegally occupied  city of Tel Aviv faces criticism for its pricing scheme that varies based on the Nazi ethnicity of the housekeepers.

In what has been described as “blatant racism,” the flyers circulating in an affluent neighborhood offers a “solution” to hiring “illegal foreign workers,” for those who don’t want to hire an “Arab cleaner for security reasons”.

“Are you tired of hiring illegal foreign workers and getting fined? Are you tired of employing according to the law and being sued by temporary workers? There is a solution,” the ad reads.

The flyers offer “legal only” cleaners and lists the different prices.

Africans are the cheapest at $12.60 per hour, followed by eastern Europeans and eastern Europeans with ‘Israeli’ citizenship, who cost $17.70 per hour.

Arab cleaners are not on the menu – and neither are ‘Israelis’.

The cleaners are referred to in the feminine form throughout, so no male cleaners are thought to be on offer either.

News organization Mako spoke to someone from the company who confirmed that the ads were not a joke and said “eastern Europeans work better.”

A flyer was shared on Facebook by journalist and blogger Tal Schneider.

“Blatant racism permeates Israeli society,” she said.

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My 40 Years in Prison

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By Leonard Peltier 

leonard_peltier_in_custody

What can I say that I have not said before? I guess I can start by saying see you later to all of those who have passed in the last year. We Natives don’t like to mention their names. We believe that if we speak their names it disrupts their journey. They may loose their way and their spirits wander forever. If too many call out to them, they will try to come back. But their spirits know we are thinking about them, so all I will say is safe journey and I hope to see you soon.

On February 6th, I will have been imprisoned for 40 years! I’m 71 years old and still in a maximum security penitentiary. At my age, I’m not sure I have much time left.

I have earned about 4-5 years good time that no one seems to want to recognize. It doesn’t count, I guess? And when I was indicted the average time served on a life sentence before being given parole was 7 years. So that means I’ve served nearly 6 life sentences and I should have been released on parole a very long time ago. Then there’s mandatory release after serving 30 years. I’m 10 years past that. The government isn’t supposed to change the laws to keep you in prison — EXCEPT if you’re Leonard Peltier, it seems.

Now, I’m told I’ll be kept at USP Coleman I until 2017 when they’ll decide if I can go to a medium security facility — or NOT. But, check this out, I have been classified as a medium security prisoner now for at least 15 years, and BOP regulations say elders shall be kept in a less dangerous facility/environment. But NOT if you’re Leonard Peltier, I guess.

As you’ll remember, the history of my bid for clemency is long. My first app was with Jimmy Carter. He denied it. Ronald Reagan promised President Mikhail Gorbachev that he would release me if the Soviet Union released a prisoner, but Reagan reneged. George H.W. Bush did nothing. The next app was with Bill Clinton. He left office without taking action even though the Pardon Attorney did an 11-month investigation (it usually takes 9 months) and we were told she had recommended clemency. George W. Bush denied that petition in 2009. And in all of the applications for clemency, the FBI has interfered with an executive order. That’s illegal as hell!

Today, I’m facing another dilemma — an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). It’s the size of an AAA battery. The doctor told me if it bursts, I can bleed to death. It’s also close to my spine and I could end up paralyzed. The good news is that it’s treatable and the operation has a 96-98 percent success rate. BUT I’m in a max security prison. We don’t get sent for treatment until it is terminal.

As President Obama completes the final year of his term, I hope that he will continue to fight to fulfill his promises, and further the progress his Administration has made towards working in partnership with First Peoples. It gives me hope that this President has worked hard to affirm the trust relationship with the Tribal Nations. With YOUR encouragement, I believe Obama will have the courage and conviction to commute my sentence and send me home to my family.

Looking back on the 40 years of efforts on my behalf, I am overwhelmed and humbled. I would like to say thank you to all the supporters who have believed in me over the years. Some of you have been supporters since the beginning. You made sure I had books to read and commissary funds to buy what I may need to be as comfortable as one can be in this place. You made donations to the defense committee so we could continue fighting for my freedom, too. You all worked hard — are still working hard — to spread the word about what is now being called the most outrageous conviction in U.S. history. There are good-hearted people in this world, and you’re among them. I’m sorry I cannot keep up with answering all of your letters. But thanks for the love you have shown me. Without it, I could never have made it this long. I’m sure of it.

I believe that my incarceration, the constitutional violations in my case, and the government misconduct in prosecuting my case are issues far more important than just my life or freedom. I feel that each of you who have fought for my freedom have been a part of the greater struggle of Native Peoples — for Treaty rights, sovereignty, and our very survival. If I should be called home, please don’t give up on our struggle.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse…

Donations can be made on Leonard’s behalf to the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, PO Box 24, Hillsboro, OR 97123.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on My 40 Years in Prison

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