cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


crime and corruption news

1. Philippines: 25 murder charges filed against Ampatuan

Philippine prosecutors on Tuesday filed 25 counts of murder against a politician accused of leading an election-linked massacre of 57 people, officials said. The charges against Andal Ampatuan Jnr were filed in a court in the southern city of Cotabato, which has jurisdiction over the remote farming area where the slaughter occurred last week, said prosecutor Edilberto Jamora.

However authorities said they were looking to have the case heard outside of the southern Philippines because witnesses were extremely worried about intimidation or other repercussions from the extremely powerful Ampatuan clan. "They are reluctant to go to court and they fear for their safety and their families' safety," Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera told reporters in Manila. The Ampatuans, through the backing of their own private army and the support of President Gloria Arroyo's ruling coalition, have ruled the southern province of Maguindanao since 2001.

read more @ al manar tv

2. India: contract killers of Manipur

Hong Kong, China — Early this month a team of civil society activists visited Manipur, one of the most militarized states in India....

During their stay, they met Y. Joykumar Singh, the director-general of police, and expressed their concern about the number of extrajudicial executions reported from the state. Singh informed the team that in the past 10 months the police had killed over 260 persons in the state and that each of them was a terrorist, killed in an encounter with security forces.

This statement by the most senior police officer in the state defies common sense. ...

The fact is that many victims who fall prey to police gunfire are killed for reasons beyond security operations. For instance, on July 23, the Manipur State Commando Force killed two people in the capital Imphal in broad daylight. One was a young man and the other a woman, seven months pregnant and on her way to the hospital with her two-year-old son.

read more @ upi asia

3. Israel: Ohana brothers get life in prison

The Tel Aviv District Court on Monday sentenced underworld figures Rafi and Moshe Ohana to life in jail for their role in the murder of an alleged rival in Hod Hasharon in 2003.

The heads of the Kfar Saba-based crime family were convicted in early November of hiring contract killer Yaron Sanker to murder Haim Shabi, who was shot dead in a Hod Hasharon hair salon in 2003.

Sanker, who was convicted of the murder three years ago, was sentenced to two life sentences before he testified against the Ohana brothers and Sheetrit.

The brothers were also convicted, along with accomplice Charlie Sheetrit, of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit a crime. The court added an additional 20 years to Rafi Ohana's sentence, and an additional 10 years to Moshe's.

Police said the murder was part of a wave of killings in the Israeli underworld at the time, and that the Ohana brothers sought vengeance for the death of their brother Hanina, who was killed in the driveway of his Ganei Hatikvah home six months earlier.

4. London: beauty pageant scam, disenchantment

The beauty pageant was supposed to be the most memorable day of their lives. Yet, for the bevy of beauties gathered here, their dream of becoming beauty queens has turned into a somewhat surreal nightmare. Their anger is legitimate as the ceremony, which is taking place in London, proves itself as a magnificent showcase of unadulterated incompetence on the part of the organisers.

Their dreams of sequins, luxury hotels and champagne quickly turned into disenchantment as soon as the girls, aged between 18 and 28, got to London. “we were accommodated an hour away from the event venue. There was no one around to guide us. We were left on our own,” says one of the finalists. Thrown into dilapidated hotel rooms with “worn and leaky ceilings hanging from disrepair”, the contestants found themselves in a frightful situation. “Some of the girls wanted to leave!” says Binta. “Once, we found our bags in front of the hotel because the organisers of the Miss Guinea Europe pageant had not paid for the hotel”, she adds.

read more @

5. Moscow: scandal grows over Russian 'golden youth' car crash

Andy Potts

The Russian road-racing scandal which has gripped Geneva has thrown the spotlight onto the antics of Russia's so-called "golden youth".

With four young Russian citizens - one identified as the son of a wealthy construction magnate and two others believed to be the sons of flamboyant oligarch Telman Ismailov - apparently roaring through the villages around Lake Geneva at 220 kilometres an hour, the normally sedate Swiss are aghast.

And the imminent court appearance of 22-year-old Zia Babayev, a student at a Geneva university affiliated with Moscow State University, on suspicion of causing an accident which left a 70-year-old motorist severely injured, has also seen sharp criticism of the pampered classes back home in Russia.

Reports that three of the four men involved, students at a Geneva university affiliated with Moscow State University, were whisked out of Switzer­land by private jet in the aftermath of the crash has done little to appease many people furious that youngsters were careering out of control in a Bugatti Veyron, a Lamborghini MurciĆ©lago, a Mercedes SLR McLaren and a Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

It is, after all, a story which has everything - fast cars, money, a whiff of corruption and a brush with tragedy, washed down with a hint of booze.

read more @ moscow news

6. Thailand: police 'stonewalled' in murder case

Police investigating the murder of businesswoman Sunatthi Nuengchamnong are frustrated at a "lack of cooperation" from her lawyer. Her husband, Pol Maj Gen Piyachart Nuengchamnong, a former deputy Bangkok police chief, and the lawyer, whose name was not released by police, reported to Udomsuk police station yesterday.

They told investigators Sunatthi was involved in more than 30 business-related lawsuits as either a defendant or a complainant.

The investigators also questioned the woman's children.

Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy commissioner Arnat Kledmani said the lawyer appeared to be withholding information and did not give the investigators her full cooperation.

Her husband and children insisted Sunatthi had no personal conflicts, Pol Col Arnat said.

read more @ bangkok post

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