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Israel to recruit Palestinian Christian citizens to army (AFP) - 25-apr-2014

April 22, 2014 -- Israel is to start sending call-up papers to all Christian Palestinian-Israelis of military service age, army radio reported Tuesday, angering Palestinian MKs who accused the government of seeking to divide Christians from Muslims. Military service will remain voluntary for Israel's 130,000 Palestinian-Israeli Christians as it is for its more than 1.3 million Palestinian-Israeli Muslims. But commanders hope that the routine sending out of call-up papers will help boost the numbers volunteering from around 100 a year at present to 1,000, the radio reported...

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Syria News - April 21, 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos) (Local Coordinating Committees of Syria) - 25-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - Local coordination committees in Syria at the end of the day Monday in Syria have documented 107 martyrs, including 9 women, 20 children and 5 martyrs under torture: 70 killed in Aleppo, 11 martyrs in Damascus and its suburbs, 9 martyrs in Homs, 8 martyrs in Hama, 6 martyrs in Idlib, 2 in Daraa, and 1 martyr in Raqqa....

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At least 144 die of starvation in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp (World Bulletin / News Desk) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 -At least 144 people have starved to death at the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital of Damascus, activists have said. Rami Al-Sayed, a local activist, told the Anadolu Agency that it has been two weeks since the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has been able to distribute food and assistance inside the camp. The three-year conflict in Syria has internally displaced more than 6.5 million people, according to the UN, and more than two million Syrians are now registered as refugees in neighboring countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq...

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A Message from Gaza: ‘Palestinian Refugees Will Never Give Up Their Right To Return’ (by Rania Khalek) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 -"Palestinian refugees will never give up their right to return," said Yousef Aljamal, a 24-year-old Palestinian writer from the Gaza Strip. On this week’s episode of Unauthorized Disclosure I spoke with Yousef while he was in Washington, DC, as part of the book tour for Gaza Writes Back, a collection of stories written by young Palestinians from Gaza in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli military assault that killed killed 1,400 people including over 300 children in December 2008 and January 2009. The only way to end the conflict, says Yousef, is to "Give equal rights to all and allow Palestinian refugees to go back to their homes."...

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Report: Palestinian Prisoners Denied the Right to Education (U-free) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014- The right of children and youth to education, including those who are imprisoned, is enshrined in inter- national human rights law, specifically Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 94 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. However, since the beginning of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, prisoners and detainees' right to education has been severely constricted, if not prohibited altogether. That includes children and youth, of whom the Israeli military arrests 700 annually. Although its regulations not only recognise the right of prisoners to pursue their education but also require it to provide the necessary books and the opportunity to study or take exams, this basic human right has been undermined at every opportunity. The goal, concludes Addameer (a prisoner and human rights support association), is to "un-educate" Palestinians -- especially those aged 16-18 who "constitute the pillar of community development."....

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Haaretz Promo for IDF Cyber-War Unit 8200 (Richard Silverstein) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - I’ve chronicled over the past few months a serious promotional campaign on behalf of the IDF’s cyber-war Unit 8200. It includes a slew of flattering profiles of Israel’s top computer warriors which examine the Unit’s mission from various angles as to the benefits they offer to Israeli society. Matthew Kalman wrote this shameless puff piece for The Guardian that boasted of the technological innovation and business start-ups generated by 8200 veterans. Now Inbal Orpaz has generated yet another portrait that examines the career success stories of those who served there....

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Bureau of Prisons Throws CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s Children Out of Visitors Room (By: Kevin Gosztola) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 -In the midst of a thirty-month prison sentence at the federal correctional institution of Loretto Pennsylvania, former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou has written a letter where he reports that his children were told they had to leave the visitors room because it was "overcrowded." Kiriakou immediately saw this as an act of retaliation for writing letters from prison. Since August of last year, Firedoglake has been publishing "Letters from Loretto" by Kiriakou, who was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under President George W. Bush’s administration. ...

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US unleashes three days of drone strikes on Yemen, 55 killed (Russia Today) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - Dozens are reportedly dead in Yemen, including at least three civilians, as the result of a series of drone strikes that started in the southern part of the country on Saturday and is alleged to still be occurring two days later. By noontime in Washington, DC on Monday, the Associated Press reported that 55 Al-Qaeda militants were among those that had been killed in an hours-long series of strikes that targeted a training camp operated by the group, according to Yemen's interior ministry. The United States is alleged to have carried out the strikes using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, but does not legally have to acknowledge any operations conducted by its Central Intelligence Agency and has not commented...

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US ordered to release memo in Anwar al-Awlaki drone killing (Associated Press) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - The US government must publicly disclose in redacted form secret papers describing its legal justification for using drones to kill citizens suspected of terrorism overseas, because President Barack Obama and senior government officials have commented on the subject, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.The 2nd US circuit court of appeals in New York ruled in a Freedom of Information Act case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and two reporters for the New York Times. In 2011, they sought any documents in which Department of Justice lawyers had discussed the highly classified "targeted-killing" program...

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Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa (Video) (The Real News Network) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014- The latest development in the story of Israel's scandalous treatment of African Asylum seekers was revealed last week. After denying to even examine most of the refugees' asylum claims, deporting, and imprisoning those who stayed, Israeli authorities are now coercing them to sign on to so-called "voluntary" return as part of Israel's arms and trade deals with several sub-saharan African nations. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky speaks to activist Tamar Aviyah, attorney Assaf Vitzan, and S. an Eritrean refugee who made his way to Israel after years in Sudanese refugee camps, only to agree to "voluntarily" leave to Uganda to avoid Israel's massive desert prisons for asylum seekers....

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“Crimes against Peace”: Historic Class Action Law Suit against George W. Bush (By Inder Comar) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - On March 13, 2013, my client, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a class action lawsuit against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz in a federal court in California. She alleges that these six defendants planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law by waging a "war of aggression," as defined by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, more than sixty years ago. At the Nuremberg Trials, American chief prosecutor and associate justice of the US Supreme Court Robert H. Jackson focused his prosecution on the planning and execution of the various wars committed by the Third Reich. Jackson aimed to show that German leaders committed "crimes against peace," and specifically, that they "planned, prepared, initiated wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances."...

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Despite End to Afghan War and (Maybe) the AUMF, Obama Upholds Indefinite Detention (John Glaser) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - Spencer Ackerman has a great piece up at the Guardian exploring what is likely to happen to the government’s legal justification for holding people under indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay once the U.S.’s combat operations in Afghanistan are over in December. The detention system exercised by the Bush and Obama administration, according to Ackerman, "may grow legally tenuous after December." Notably, numerous human rights groups intend to challenge the Gitmo system anew after December...

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Iraq snapshot -April 21, 2014 (The Common Ills) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014. Chaos and violence continue, campaign season heat up in Iraq, rumors swirl that Nouri's SWAT forces are robbing citizens of electronic voting cards, the need for international observers is noted, rumors repeat of Jalal Talabani's alleged recovery and that he's allegedly returning 'soon,' Nouri continues to attack Falluja civlians, and much more....Violence increased with those positions empty. Nouri should be called out for that. He should also be called out for an entire term where those positions have remained vacant. He is a complete failure. To ensure that this isn't the topic, he attacks Sunnis. His favorite things is to bomb residential neighborhoods in Falluja -- War Crimes as he utilizes collective punishment. These attacks continue. Alsumaria notes his bombing of Falluja's residential areas today has left 1 civilian dead and five more injured...

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Earth Day Network dumps SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson (Ali Abunimah) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - The Earth Day Network, which promotes the annual Earth Day environmental consciousness initiative, has cut ties to a campaign launched by Israeli occupation profiteer SodaStream and endorsed by its spokesmodel Scarlett Johansson. The screenshot above shows the SodaStream logo as it appeared previously on the Earth Day Network’s official sponsor page. On the current version of the page, the SodaStream logo is gone. Here’s the press release from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation...

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Father of photographer critically wounded at West Bank protest: ‘This is life under occupation’ (Claire Neble Matsunami) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 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 in Bitunya on Friday 4 April. The demonstration took place near Ofer prison, protesting against the Israeli governments failure to release the latest round of prisoners, whose release was one of the conditions for the now evaporating peace talks. Protesters attempting to pray when soldiers began to shoot tear gas at them and clashes erupted. Mohammad was over 100 meters away from the demonstrators, preparing to leave, when he was shot twice from the right side. One bullet sliced across his nose, the other hit him in the waist...

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Yarmouk Crisis Deepens: aid distribution halted entirely since April 9th. (Salim Salamah) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - "18th April was the 9 months anniversary of the Yarmouk siege," Alaa Aboud, head of the Palestinian League for Human Rights/Syria, told Beyond Compromise. The siege that has left approximately 18 thousands inhabitants trapped in hunger and despair while also under the arbitrary shelling and fire of snipers from Assad and his allies (It should be noted that the siege was fully imposed 9 months ago but at least partially imposed since December 2012). A new development took place recently in the camp. Since the 9th of April, the Syrian authorities cut off what little food aids was being allowed inside the refugee camp. United Nations Relief and Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness confirmed the halt in aid distribution to the Guardian on Saturday and subsequently warned that the miniscule amounts of food available in the camp were about to run out...

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Civilians die in reported Yemen drone strike as weekend of attacks kills at least 35 (by Alice K Ross) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - At least 35 people were reportedly killed over the weekend in Yemen, as a series of air strikes hit the country, including the biggest reported drone strike of the year so far. Multiple sources including military officials and eyewitnesses described how a US drone attacked a truck that was carrying alleged members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and also hit a vehicle carrying civilians. At least 10 – and possibly as many as 21 – were reportedly killed in the attack, including at least three civilians. They were described as 'construction workers' or 'labourers’ by some reports...

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Supper Time: Singing the Praises of Power (Chris Floyd) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - ....There you have it, from the very bowels of the respectable Establishment: the United States is now, by any measure, an oligarchy. That is the system of power that controls the country. And, as we know, systems of power must always be praised. Our oligarchs must be praised: "Look, oh look, at their benevolence, look at their concern for us! Look how they let a black person speak in public! Look how they want to buy politicians for us! Look how they want to fund dissident journalism in the system that has made them wealthy and powerful! Are their goals not noble? Should we not encourage our overlords to be merciful toward us? Should we not work with them -- and for them -- to reform the system that they control and manipulate for their own benefit? Praise them, tweet them, for the system is good. Oligarchy is good." This is what we are seeing now from Glenn Greenwald, with these tweets aimed at exalting the good works of oligarchs. He's not saying, "Well, it's a dirty world, it's a dirty system, but I'm making this compromise -- working for an oligarch -- because I believe it's the least worst option I have in the world I've been given ...." . But he's not saying anything like that -- not even remotely. He's saying that the system itself is good...

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The End of Collaboration?
The Signing of the Palestinian Spring
(by VACY VLAZNA) - 24-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - ....Palestinians fearful of the PA’s long history of deception and broken promises, should be reassured that the1st of April marks the first step to unity and freedom because the Palestinian authority will be accountable under international law for its violations of human rights protected in the conventions and accountable to the citizens of Palestine.In view of the world and in view of the Palestinian people, with a few scrawls of ink on paper, (unwittingly?) Abbas, the PLO and PA have signed away their collaboration with Israel to oppress their own people.This internal game-changer testifies the pen is mightier than the sword and the rights enshrined in the conventions and treaties are the winds of spring and change for the people of Palestine and Israel.The signing of 15 UN multilateral treaties and conventions by the Palestinian Authority signifies the end of its collaborative role as Israel’s proxy police force and consequently is the first step towards Palestinian unity and the long overdue Palestinian Spring...

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PHOTOS: Christians face barriers to Easter worship in Jerusalem (Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org) - 23-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 - Palestinian Christians and international pilgrims faced Israeli barriers and harsh treatment by officers as they attempted to celebrate the Easter season in Jerusalem this year. In scenes similar to previous years, thousands of worshipers were denied entry to the Old City of Jerusalem by police barricades as a heavy presence of security forces controlled access to the city. Despite VIP status, even Robert H. Serry, the United Nations’ special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, faced similar treatment. The Washington Post reports: But despite earlier assurances of unhindered access to the church, Serry said in a statement, the Israeli police refused to allow his group entry, saying they had orders to that effect….

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Tension over Al-Aqsa Mosque could usher in a new Intifada (Middle East Monitor) - 23-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 -Tension over Al-Aqsa Mosque is of great importance as the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks founder, Israeli analysts have claimed in Ha'aretz. As far as Hamas is concerned, the situation at Al-Aqsa, the third most important site for the world's one billion Muslims, is the litmus test for a new Intifada, even as it maintains a ceasefire with Israel on the Gaza border. As all eyes are turned on the US efforts to extend the talks beyond the original April 29 deadline, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is threatening to dissolve itself and lay the responsibility for the Palestinians on the shoulders of Israel as the occupying power. The greatest danger though, said Ha'aretz, lies in what is going on in Al-Aqsa Mosque and the friction between Israeli settlers and the Palestinians....

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Israel denies PLO official entry to Gaza via Erez (Ma'an News) - 23-apr-2014

April 21, 2014 -- Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti has been denied a permit to the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing, a PLO official said Monday. PLO Executive Committee member Jamil Shehada told Ma'an that Israel rejected Barghouti's application for a permit to enter Gaza, where he intends to travel as a member of a delegation to discuss national reconciliation. Shehada said the delegation would travel to Gaza via Egypt if necessary. A member of the PLO delegation told Ma'an Sunday that the visit to Gaza is part of an effort to implement reconciliation agreements reached with Hamas in 2012...

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Syria News - April 20, 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos) (Local Coordinating Committees of Syria) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014 - By the end of Sunday the Coordination Committees were able to document 107 martyrs in Syria including 7 women, 13 children and 4 martyrs under torture: 59 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 27 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 9 in Idlib; 6 in Homs; 5 in Daraa; and 1 martyr in Hama....

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In West Bank, teen offenders face different fates (By DANIEL ESTRIN JOSEF FEDERMAN) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014-- The boys were both 15, with the crackly voices and awkward peach fuzz of adolescence. They lived just a few minutes away from one another in the West Bank. And both were accused of throwing stones at vehicles, one day after the other. But there was a crucial difference that helped to shape each boy's fate: One was Israeli, and the other Palestinian. The tale of the two teens provides a stark example of the vast disparities of Israel's justice system in the West Bank, a contested area at the heart of the elusive search for a lasting peace. While Israeli settlers in the West Bank fall mostly under civilian rule, Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law...

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Israel Targets Fundamental Freedoms (by Stephen Lendman) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014 - Numerous Knesset bills compromise speech, assembly, association and dissent. Israel's free press is endangered. Palestine is ruthlessly targeted. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) documents events daily. Monthly updates follow. It's latest report covers March. "(N)o significant improvement" occurred, it said. Throughout the Occupied Territories, "violations against (Palestinian) journalists" increased. Israeli occupation forces (IOF) target them with "stun grenades and rubber bullets…" Injuries result. Arrests follow...

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Military Resistance 12D14 - Navy SEALs Find Jesus (Thomas F Barton) - 23-apr-2014

April 20, 2014 - The World Protests report – which was compiled by Isabel Ortiz, Sara Burke, Mohamed Berrada and Hernán Cortés, and is perhaps the most comprehensive study of its kind produced to date – details 843 significant protests that occurred in 84 countries between 2006 and July of 2013. The study mentions Occupy Wall Street and the Spanish Indignados, looking at the
objective causes of these revolts and the particulars that defined them: lawsuits, who were the organizers, the formats of the protests, the opponents, the results. At first glance, the reader may not recognize the radical novelty of this report, which revealed that the main cause of the 2006-2013 riots was "economy or anti-austerity measures" (488 protests), and that marches or demonstrations were still the most common protest format (437)....

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