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Tax-deductible US group pushes Israeli control of Temple Mount (Philip Weiss) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014- The news today is that there is more violence on the Temple Mount, with Palestinian rioting spreading out to the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. The source of this violence is clear: rightwing Jewish efforts to conduct religious rituals on the Temple Mount. Haaretz: Most incidents involve Jews attempting to access the area in order to pray or demonstrate a Jewish presence. The growing strength of the Jewish Temple Movement and other organizations that seek to change the status quo on the Temple Mount has exacerbated these tensions, as has the crisis in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. It turns out that these zealots are getting support in the United States...

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WATCH: Ilan Pappe on the 'ongoing Nakba' (Social TV) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014 - On Land Day in Jaffa, a demonstration was held in the city’s clock square, but the highlight was a lecture by Professor Ilan Pappe on what he and others term the ongoing Nakba and a 'single democratic state' solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict....

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US Drones Bomb Yemen for Second Time in Two Days (Jon Queally) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014 ---Missiles from a suspected U.S. drone (or drones) bombed Yemen for the second day in a row on Sunday, with reports indicating that between 25 to 30 people were killed in the attack.On Saturday, a similiar airstrike is thought to have killed fifteen people. Media outlets, including Reuters and Agence France-Presse, cited "tribal members" who said that those killed in Sunday's attack were al-Qaeda militants. As independent journalist and commentator Kevin Gosztola responded, however, claims like these should be met with deep skepticism...

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Israeli forces storm Aqsa compound, dozens injured and detained (Ma'an News) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014 - -- Dozens of Palestinian worshipers were wounded and dozens were detained after clashes broke in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday morning with Israeli forces who had stormed the courtyards firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets.The raid comes amid frequent clashes in recent days after right-wing Jewish groups urged Jews to flock to the compound -- which they believe is the site of a former Jewish temple -- and conduct Passover rituals inside. Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque Omar Kiswani told Ma'an that more than 400 police officers stormed the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the Moroccan Gate and the Chain Gate escorting extremist Jews other Jewish visitors into the compound....

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Podcast: Young Palestinian & Contributor to ‘Gaza Writes Back’ Describes Life Under Occupation (By: Kevin Gosztola) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014 - For this week’s "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast, Rania Khalek of the "Dispatches from the Underclass" blog interviews Yousef Aljamal, a contributor to a collection of stories from Palestinians in Gaza called "Gaza Writes Back." Khalek met up with Aljamal while he was on a book tour that stopped in Washington, DC. He talked to her about the writings in the collection, which are inspired by Operation Cast Lead. He describes life in Gaza and even talks about the growing worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel....

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Syria News - April 19, 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos) (Local Coordinating Committees of Syria) - 23-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - By the end of Saturday the Coordination Committees were able to document 73 martyrs in Syria including 3 women, 9 children and 4 martyrs under torture: 31 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 22 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 9 in Idlib; 5 in Daraa; 5 in Homs and 1 martyr in Hama....

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International Lawyers Seek Justice for Iraqis (By Dahr Jamail, Truthout) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - International lawyers and activists converged at a conference titled The Iraq Commission, in Brussels, Belgium, April 16 and 17, with the primary aim of bringing to justice government officials who are guilty of war crimes in Iraq. "Within a few days of this, a lawless atmosphere developed within my unit," Ross Caputi, a former marine who took part in the brutal November 2004 siege of Fallujah told the Iraq Commission. "There was a lot of looting going on. I saw people searching the pockets of the dead resistance fighters for money. Some people were mutilating corpses."....

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Guantánamo Bay detainees' release upon end of Afghanistan war 'unlikely' (Spencer Ackerman) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - Typically, when a war ends, so does the combatants’ authority to detain the other side’s fighters. But as the conclusion of the US war in Afghanistan approaches, the inmate population of Guantánamo Bay is likely to be an exception – and, for the Obama administration, the latest complication to its attempt to close the infamous wartime detention complex.In December, when President Barack Obama and his Nato allies formally end their combat role in Afghanistan, US officials indicate there is unlikely to be a corresponding release of detainees at Guantánamo who were captured during the country's longest conflict. The question has been the subject of recent internal debate in the Obama administration, which is wrapped up in the broader question of future detention policy...

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Iraq Nation Destroyed, Oil Riches Confiscated. Surviving Iraqi Population Impoverished (By Asad Ismi) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - ....Before the invasion, Iraq’s oil had been nationalized for 40 years, and with it Iraq had created a welfare state for its people, providing them with free education, medical care, subsidies, and a relatively high standard of living. All these crucial gains have now been wiped out. Saddam Hussein, the ruler of Iraq hanged by the U.S., was a brutal dictator, but he ensured that Iraq’s oil benefited its people. Maliki is a dictator, too, brought to power by the U.S, invasion, but he doesn’t provide any economic benefits to the Iraqi people and instead is involved in looting the country’s oil wealth along with multinational corporations.As Yanar Mohammed puts it, "Under Saddam, there was a state that was taking care of the education of the people, of the health of the people, and there was a socialist economy in which the people had some ability to enjoy a prosperous life — and at this point all of that is being lost. We are learning what free enterprise is. All we see is poverty, and the government has enacted laws which prevent the organizing of workers and of unions so as to claim their rights."...

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Easter in the destroyed Palestinian village of Maalul (By Alex Shams) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - As thousands of Palestinian Christians descend on Jerusalem for Holy Week festivities, the villagers of Maalul are busy preparing their own Easter celebration for the one day a year Israeli authorities allow them to hold services in their village church.Their forefathers were expelled from their homes in the village in 1948 by Israeli forces, and today hundreds of their descendants live in nearby Nazareth, Yafa al-Naseriyye, and Haifa.They are forbidden from returning to the village, even though it sits mere kilometers away from their new homes.But in 2003, more than 50 years after they were forced to flee their homes, villagers returned to Maalul to celebrate Easter in the Catholic Church, one of the few structures that had not been demolished by authorities...

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Afghanistan: Drug abuse goes out of control (By Kreshma Fakhri) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 -The country’s deaddiction centres are not able to keep up with the spiraling drug abuse. With nearly 1.6 million addicts including children and women the rampant use of an assortment of drugs has become a serious public health crisis. Millions of dollars are being spent on fighting drug addiction but a survey by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau in 2012 had showed a 70 percent increase in addicts from 2009.The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) estimates the majority of addicts are male; 13 percent are women and 7 percent children. Afghanistan has some 105 deaddiction centres with a capacity to treat 25,000 addicts. A high 78 percent of addicts are hooked to heroin.


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Photographer critically wounded at Ofer Protest (By Claire Matsunami) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - 21-year-old Mohammad Basman Yasin was critically wounded by Israeli forces while working as a volunteer photographer with B’Tselem, documenting the demonstration outside Israel’s Ofer prison near Ramallah on Friday 4 April. Protestors gathered outside of Israel’s Ofer military prison to demonstrate against the Israeli government’s failure to release the latest round of prisoners, a group whose release was was of the conditions for the now evaporating peace talks. As protesters attempted hold midday prayers outside the prison’s gates, soldiers reportedly began shooting tear gas at them and clashes erupted. Mohammad Yasin was over 100 meters away from the clashes, preparing to leave, when he was shot twice from the right side...

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Palestinian Christians 'bitter and left out' of Easter celebrations (by Dalia Hatuqa) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 — Seeking comfort in prayer, hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the Greek Catholic Church in Ramallah's Old City to solemnly commemorate Good Friday, during a long weekend that marks when Jesus is believed to have been crucified, buried and resurrected more than 2,000 years ago. During what's known as the "funeral" procession, Palestinian Christians re-enacted the burial of Jesus, along with a lengthy ritual of prayer, Gospel recitations and hymn singing. Later, the Catholic congregation joined Greek Orthodox worshippers from a nearby church. Together, and with a choir and marching band of a local scout troop, they completed a circuit around the Orthodox church holding a shrine symbolizing Jesus' casket... For many Christians, Easter is hailed as a time for renewal and revival, said Jamal Khader of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, but revival can be difficult when the number of Palestinian Christians is dwindling every year due to restrictive measures....


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Libyan kangaroo court trials begin against Gaddafi’s sons (By Jean Shaoul) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 -The Libyan state this week began a mass trial, the focus of which are two of deposed leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, his heir apparent Saif al-Islam, and Saadi, who was recently extradited from Niger, where he had sought refuge from the US-led war in 2011.Also facing trial are 36 top officials, including Gaddafi’s intelligence chief and right-hand man Abdullah al-Senussi, deported from Mauretania in 2012, former prime ministers al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi and Bouzid Dorda, and a former foreign minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi. They all face charges relating to their alleged role in suppressing the pro-Islamist movement in Benghazi that was utilised by NATO to topple Gaddafi...


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7000 families displaced in Iraq's Diyala (World Bulletin / News Desk) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - A total of 7000 families have been displaced in the northern Iraqi province of Diyala due to "militant activities", a local province official said on Saturday."Diyala has seen activities by sectarian militias in recent months," municipal councilor Omar al-Hameeri told Anadolu Agency. Al-Hameeri, a former governor of Diyala, accused militias of carrying out "mass executions" and destroying homes in the province, while security agencies stand idle. Diyala has been the site of growing activities by pro-government militias, thought to be Shiite...


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A Rising Number of Children Are Dying from U.S. Explosives Littering Afghan Land (By Kevin Sieff) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - As the U.S. military withdraws from Afghanistan, it is leaving behind a deadly legacy: about 800 square miles of land littered with undetonated grenades, rockets and mortar shells. The military has vacated scores of firing ranges pocked with the explosives. Dozens of children have been killed or wounded as they have stumbled upon the ordnance at the sites, which are often poorly marked. Casualties are likely to increase sharply; the U.S. military has removed the munitions from only 3 percent of the territory covered by its sprawling ranges, officials said. Clearing the rest of the contaminated land — which in total is twice as big as New York City — could take two to five years. U.S. military officials say they intend to clean up the ranges. But because of a lack of planning, officials say, funding has not yet been approved for the monumental effort, which is expected to cost $250 million....

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The Corruption of Mainstream Media (By Danny Schechter) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - At the same time that the newspaper world had recognized its obligation to recognize the Snowden story – sans Snowden, of course, who the Moscow Times reports has run out of money in his forced exile but may finally have a new job – a major network disses Snowden.CBS News, once known as the network of Edward R Murrow and Walter Cronkite, has veered in another direction since it canned Dan Rather after a star chamber proceeding to punish him for a story showing that President George W. Bush lied about his military credentials. Today, predictably, CBS has gone the other way on the Snowden story too..

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‘Heading towards a police state’
Conversation with a Police Chief
(Dave Lindorff) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - ... In communities and cities across the country, the number of police has soared, rising, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 603,000 in 1992 to 794,000 in 2010. This even as crime has been falling fairly steadily for over 30 years, even in cities that have had to cut back on their police staffing for budget reasons.But it’s not just a matter of numbers. Police are also much more aggressive in their behavior towards the public. Where "no-knock" forced entries into people’s homes were a rarity 30 years ago, such so-called "breaches" are increasingly the norm in many jurisdictions -- they reached over 80,000 last year by one calculation -- as police departments adopt an approach that elevates "officer safety" over concerns about the safety of the public, including innocent bystanders. (Consider two recent incidents in New York where bystanders were shot by police who were firing at suspects -- in one case an unarmed mentally ill man standing in traffic in midtown Manhattan...

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Syria News - April 18, 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos) (Local Coordinating Committees of Syria) - 22-apr-2014

April 18, 2014 - By the end of Friday the Coordination Committees were able to document 65 martyrs in Syria including 2 women, 5 children and 2 martyrs under torture: 23 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 16 in Homs; 9 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 6 in Daraa; 4 in Idlib; 3 in Deir Ezzor; 2 in Hama and 2 martyrs in Raqqa...

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“A message of peace” from the village of Qaryut met with violence from the Israeli army (International Solidarity Movement) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - The people of Qaryut began weekly demonstrations three weeks ago, due to the Israeli military’s decision to close the main road near to the village.Yesterday, the 18th April, approximately 300 from the village, of which 100 were children, decided to come to the hill to pray rather than to march. Israeli soldiers arrived immediately, with one soldier yelling: "Go back home!" A resident of Qaryut responded; "Insh’allah [If God wills it], this is our home."The prayer began despite the provocative military presence on the hill, during the prayers Israeli soldiers surrounded the gathering, one solider removed a Palestinian flag from its place in the ground.As prayers finished, one of the villagers declared to the army that it was their intention to leave the area, repeating over and over that they brought "a message of peace"...

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Abbas alludes to dissolving Palestinian Authority (Middle East Monitor) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014- The Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday he might withdraw from the political arena and "hand over the key to Israel to run Palestinian territories" should the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks fail, the Israeli Channel 2 reported. In a meeting with Israeli Knesset members in Ramallah, Abbas alluded to dissolving the PA, indicating that this would be the official stance of the Palestinian negotiations team. When this happens, Israel will bear the burden of running Palestinian territories, which costs around NIS 2 billion paid by donors to the PA...


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Israeli army installs new, remote-controlled weapon atop separation wall (By Haggai Matar) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - The IDF has installed a new crowd-dispersal weapon on top of the separation wall in Bethlehem.The new weapon, which is remote-controlled and shoots "skunk" water (putrid-smelling liquid), began operating over the last month. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the weapon can also fire tear gas, among other crowd-dispersal means. In the past month, Palestinian residents of Bethlehem began noticing the new weapon perched on top of the separation wall in an area near where most of the protests against the occupation and the barrier take place. According to participants in last week’s Palestine Marathon, the new camera-equipped weapon moved on its axis and followed them as they passed by it during their run...

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‘Why Should the State Have the Right To Determine Unilaterally Who Is A Terrorist?’ (John Glaser) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - The people being targeted in the Obama administration’s drone war are "suspects" who deserve due process, renowned linguist and political radical Noam Chomsky said during a talk at Google this month. There’s a debate in the United States, Chomsky said, about the legitimacy of President Obama unilaterally targeting American citizens, like Anwar al-Awlaki, for assassination by drone. And "there’s some talk about collateral damage – you know, what about the people that are just standing around that get killed? Well, yeah, that’s bad. But what about the people you’re aiming at? They’re suspects."...

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Iraqi MP warns of potential massacre in Diyala (Middle East Monitor) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014-Head of human rights committee in the Iraqi parliament, Salim al-Jibouri, warned on Friday that a new massacre could be committed by the official Iraqi "militias" in Al-Mokhaisa village in the Governorate of Diyala.Al-Jibouri condemned the continuous attacks of these militias on the village. He accused the militias of claiming the existence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in the village in order to justify their attacks as they had similarly done against Fallujah residents - arbitrary shelling and collective punishment...

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US Drone Obliterates Civilians in Yemen (Jon Queally) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 - A Yemen military official on Saturday says that at least fifteen people were either killed or wounded when a missile from a U.S. drone struck vehicles traveling on a road in the central province of al-Bayda. Among the dead, according reports, are what the official claimed were targeted al-Qaeda militants traveling in two vehicles and also non-targeted passers-by traveling on the same road when the powerful U.S. bomb hit.According to Reuters, "tribal sources said a drone had been circling al-Bayda for days and on Saturday struck two cars the suspected militants were in. Three civilians who happened to be in a nearby car were also killed, they said."...

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Israel, settler violence and calculated differentiation (Ramona Wadi) - 22-apr-2014

April 19, 2014 -Ramona WadiSettler-colonial violence has rarely prompted any condemnation from Israel and its institutions. Regularly dismissed as isolated incidents despite the constant phenomenon and its deleterious effects upon Palestinians, settler violence is sanctioned by the Zionist state. Its perpetrators are regaled with impunity for upholding the historical violence that facilitated the establishment of the settler-colonial state.However, similar violence unleashed recently against the IDF evoked a firm condemnation. Following the army's demolition of dwelling structures in the West Bank, Jewish settlers stormed the IDF's headquarters, threatening the soldiers and vandalising military equipment and facilities. According to the Times of Israel, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz warned that failure to respond to "nationalist crimes" will threaten Israel's security....

continua / continued










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