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


no comment

1. danger bibi netanyahu

The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Sayissa reported Wednesday that Iran has urgently summoned either Syrian Vice President Farouk Sharaa or Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. They are apparently being called to the Iranian capital to receive orders to be carried out in the event of Iranian nuclear sites being targeted in war, Israel Radio reported.

The newspaper quoted a Gulf state diplomat as saying that Nasrallah will travel to Teheran in the coming days in order to receive his marching-orders.

Iranian opposition organizations in Paris told the newspaper that the Iranian intelligence apparatus has established a bank of targets including political leaders and others, who would be targeted if the Iranian sites are attacked.

According to the report, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is among those who would be targeted for assasination, as well as Defense Minister Ehud Barak and others from the UK, France, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The Jerusalem Post could not independently confirm the report.

2. top markets in 2009: brazil, ukraine for the decade

Brazil may have been the best bet for global equity investors in 2009 but it was Ukraine — in spite of the fractiousness of its political elite in recent years — that offered an unbeatable return of nearly 900 percent over the decade, data compiled by Reuters show.

The former Soviet state was the best performing stock market in the world in the last 10 years, surging 890 percent in dollar value, though 1999-2009 returns from government debt generally outstripped those generated by equities.

read more @ cnbc

3. and YET, Ukrainians are not happy. go figure. who is making all this money then???????

voters unhappy with choices, want jobs: kyiv post - click to enlarge images

As the first presidential election in five years approaches on Jan. 17, pollsters and experts warn that voters will be bombarded by a sea of skewed sociological survey results intended to sway their choices. Often, such bogus polls seek to persuade voters that their preferred candidate has no chance of making it into a second-round runoff on Feb. 7, thereby encouraging votes for one of the front-runners. With such spin doctoring at play, Ukrainians need reliable surveys. The graphs and tables show polls conducted on Nov. 21-29 by trusted sources. The surveys were conducted by U.S.-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems and financed by the United States Agency for International Development. The data are representative of the national population of Ukraine and have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent. All the interviews were conducted in Ukrainian and Russian by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS).

bankers, trafficking, porn and dead communists

1. Nauru - the island that roared

Anna Arutunyan

Few people have ever heard of Nauru, but the world's smallest island nation is big news in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The eight-mile long Pacific Island (population: 10,000 and shrinking) has become the fourth state to officially recognise the breakaway Georgian republics, joining Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela in putting the pair on the map.With Nauru's economy constipated by the collapse of a phosphate mining industry based on vast stacks of calcified seagull droppings, a report of a possible $50 million aid package from Russia surfaced in Kommersant.

In 2002, Nauru accepted $130 million in aid from China, allegedly in exchange for refusing to recognise Taiwan. Then in 2005 Nauru recognised Taiwan and broke off diplomatic relations with China. Taiwan later rescued Nauru's fledgling national airline.

According to Russian diplomatic sources cited by Kommersant, Nauru had offered to recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia if Russia took an active part in an international donor conference last month. Diplomatic sources told the paper that Russia was asked for $50 million to support "immediate socioeconomic projects".

Nauru diplomats did not immediately respond to e-mailed requests for comment.

Abkhazia's foreign minister, Sergei Shamba, called speculation about an aid deal "complete nonsense". He said he did not know about the request for $50 million, but added, "There was a visit to Russia [by Nauru delegates] and they spoke about projects like this."

Nauru's tiny GDP of $39.9 million is dwarfed by the $70 billion of Russian money which allegedly passed through its banks during a 1990s bid to become an offshore finance capital, The Washington Post reported at the time.

read more @ moscow news

2. Russia's fall guy

Anna Arutunyan

Yegor Gaidar's ‘shock therapy' policies left millions of Russians in poverty, but reformers claim he laid the foundations for a later economic recovery.

...Fellow reformers and members of his team while in government concede that the economic transition was so painful that most Russians associated their troubles with one man. Gaidar's name became forever linked with the crisis of the early 1990s, when people lost their savings and literally had to struggle to survive.

...But critics insist that as a leading proponent of price liberalization and privatization in the early 1990s, Gaidar deserves his fair share of the blame for Russia's economic collapse. In the seven years after the Soviet collapse, the country's industrial production fell by nearly half.

"It is difficult to find tactful words about the death of Yegor Gaidar," Communist Party deputy leader Ivan Melnikov said in a statement. "He wasn't just a person, but primarily a symbol of the colossal problems faced by the people of our country."

Asked about Gaidar's legacy, another Communist, State Duma Deputy Yevgeny Lokot, said: "What happened to the nation's industry ... was a direct result of the programme that was adopted when [Gaidar] was acting prime minister. Yeltsin was president, but Gaidar is responsible for the idea itself. The liberal experiment failed in Russia. It offered no advantages besides an onslaught of cheap [low-quality] goods. We are still dependent on oil."

read more @ moscow news

3. Liberia's shady diamond deals and free war criminals

According to the reports, the Liberian government has failed to implement the Kimberly Process that is meant to ensure blood-free diamond trade, enforce forest resource transparency obligations and enforce UN travel ban on war criminals.

"Of most concern are indications of abuses of the system of internal controls, mounting evidence of the presence of regional trading networks and the potential infiltration of sanctioned Ivorian [Côte d’Ivoire] diamonds into Liberian exports. The political will to implement the Kimberley Process certification scheme has diminished, at least within the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy," the panel revealed.

read more @

4. bank gives porn site link to Swedish school kids

A Swedish bank inadvertently published a link to a porn site in a magazine distributed to hundreds of thousands of Swedish school children.

Lyckoslanten (‘Lucky Penny’), published by Swedbank, is billed as a “fun magazine about money” distributed in schools to more than 500,000 Swedish 9- to 12-year-olds.

The latest issue of the magazine included an article about the ten most expensive internet domain names ever sold.

Coming in at number five on the list is, a website featuring hardcore pornography, which sold for 7.1 million kronor ($1 million).

“It’s very unfortunate,” Swedbank spokesperson Anna Sundblad told the Metro newspaper, explaining that the magazine is “much appreciated” by children.

“To all of the upset parents we can only say we are really sorry about what happened.”

Sundblad added that Swedbank has since published information in Lyckoslanten with information about how parents can block their computers from accessing pornographic websites.

source: the local

5. Africa: dealing with human trafficking, forced sex and labor

When 20-year-old Isoke Aikpitanyi was offered a job in Italy in 2000, she leapt at the chance. She knew that she would have to enter the country illegally, but being a nanny or a maid in Europe seemed better than remaining unemployed in Nigeria. It was only after her arrival, she told Al-Jazeerah television in 2008, that she was told that “foreigners without permits can only do one job in Italy — work the streets” as a prostitute. The men who smuggled her into the country demanded payment of $20,000. “The week before, they killed a girl who slept in my bedroom because she refused to pay” she said. “I was a sex slave. They deceived me to come to Italy for a job that didn’t exist.”

This illegal trade in people through trickery and violence is now a global, multi-billion dollar business known as “human trafficking” and Ms. Aikpitanyi story is all too typical. Indeed, the only thing unusual about her ordeal is its happy ending. After months of brutality she finally broke free of her captors and started an aid organization for African trafficking victims, the Association of Benin City Girls. So far, she noted, more than 300 women have sought help.

...A recent report by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime bears her out. The study, found that trafficking within Africa is widespread — fueled by local economic conditions, seasonal demands for labour, military conflicts and environmental degradation that disrupt livelihoods, and cultural practices and gender and ethnic discrimination that limit economic opportunities for women, children and minorities, and make abuses of their rights more acceptable to society.

read more @

6. Frankfurt police say missing American, son of Morgan Stanley financial advisor, fell in river

Frankfurt police said on Friday they believe a 22-year-old American man who went missing last month probably fell into the Main River in an alcohol-related accident.

“As of now the missing persons department assumes that Devon Hollahan fell into the Main River in a helpless alcohol-related state,” the police said in a statement. “There are no indications indicating suicide or a crime.”

Devon Hollahan disappeared around 3 am on November 21 from the city’s central Taunusalange metro station after attending a concert with his friend Josh Friedman. The two had travelled from Prague, where Hollahan worked as an English teacher, to attend a Portugal The Man concert and joined the band for a party afterwards. ...The man’s father, Morgan Stanley financial advisor Jeff Hollahan, launched an international media campaign to find his son, appearing on US news shows and travelling to Frankfurt from his home in Scottsdale, Arizona to aid in the search.

...But Friday’s statement from police revealed new details of their search that point to an alcohol related accident. Witnesses called an ambulance around 4 am, not long after Hollahan went missing, to report a helpless man laying on the pavement on Eschenheimer Straße. “The helpless person was without a doubt the missing person, who was lying on the sidewalk and was barely articulate,” the statement said. When the passersby told the man in English that an ambulance was on the way, he jumped up and disappeared, they said.

source: the local

OK so he was helpless and barely articulate, lying on the ground, but as soon as he heard an ambulance was coming he we suddenly not helpless anymore because he jumped up and disappeared. mmhmm THAT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE. - ed.

7. Rosa Luxemburg murder mystery probed

Experts have performed an autopsy on the alleged body of murdered communist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg more than six months after it was discovered in the cellar of a Berlin hospital, state prosecutors told The Local on Thursday.On May 29, head of forensic medicine at Berlin’s Charité hospital Michael Tsokos sparked a media frenzy when he said that a decapitated body without hands and feet – in possession of the hospital for almost nine decades – was likely the remains of the iconic left-wing leader.

Luxemburg was murdered in 1919 by right-wing Prussian soldiers, but after conducting tests on the 90-year-old corpse, Tsokos said he was convinced that the wrong woman was buried in her place.
...Born on March 5, 1871, Rosa Luxemburg was a Polish Jew. She was also a co-founder of the Social Democratic Party in Poland and Lithuania. Along with Karl Liebknecht, Luxemburg was instrumental in founding Germany’s Communist Party in 1918.

As left-wing activists moved towards revolution in early 1919, Luxemburg and Liebknecht were both murdered by soldiers from the right-wing Freikorps on January 15 of that same year. Luxemburg’s body was not found until four months later on May 31 in the Landwehrkanal, a canal parallel to Berlin’s Spree River.

read more @ the local

same shit different country

1. US arms shipments may fall into hands of warlords, Arroyo pals

MANILA, Philippines—Part of Washington’s new arms shipments to the Philippines may once again fall into the hands of warlord friends of the Arroyo administration, militant groups warned on Friday.

The groups were reacting to reports that the US Congress had increased Washington's development and security aid to Manila for fiscal year 2010 to $135 million, up 13 percent from last year's $119.7 million.

..."American aid did, in fact, contribute to the arming of the warlord clan responsible for one of the most barbaric acts of mass murder in recent history. Should US taxpayer dollars go to a military involved in summary killings and torture or mass-murdering warlords?" Tinio told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

..."Given the gross human rights abuses of the Arroyo administration and the fact that US weapons have been found in the possession of warlords in Maguindanao, increased US aid is unacceptable," Reyes said.

He noted that "with this latest action, the US government has once again ignored the realities in the Philippines and has in effect given its seal of approval to the dictator and warlord-coddler Gloria Arroyo."

read more @

2. palace vows to probe how gov't arms, ammo landed in hands of Ampatuans -- could we get a scapegoat please??

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang Thursday vowed a swift investigation to determine how government-issued armaments landed in the hands of the powerful Ampatuan clan, blamed for the election-related massacre of 57 people.

Gary Olivar, deputy presidential spokesperson, agreed with former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro that it was not difficult to resolve the matter, given the markings on the recovered firearms and ammunition.

“It’s just a matter of time and, hopefully, it will take sooner than later to get to the bottom, the origin of these firearms and ammunition,” Olivar told reporters.

Olivar said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was determined to settle the problem in Maguindanao.

“The President, together with everyone else in this country and perhaps even the rest of the world, is interested in getting to the bottom of what happened last Nov. 23,” he said.

...“You don’t need an extensive probe to do it,” he said. “Every delivery has a route. Those recovered ammunition have lot numbers. By simply looking at the bullet casing, we can easily trace the last supply officer who handled those bullets.”

...and that poor slob will be the Lynndie England of this sordid affair... - ed.

read more @ inquirer

3. US "development" projects in Maguindanao to resume shortly

MANILA, Philippines—Expect US development projects in Maguindanao to resume shortly, said outgoing US ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), which is overseeing Washington's projects in that province in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, will be back there as soon as they can, Kenney told reporters.

The projects include, among others, building classrooms, school libraries, roads and boat landing areas, and putting up solar panels.

Kenney said the US embassy in Manila and USAID were "monitoring (the situation in Maguindanao) day by day."

"In the very instant we think it's the right thing to do, we will be back there," she said.

Kenney noted Maguindanao folk "need us more than ever and as things progressively settle down, we want our work back there."

Earlier, the American envoy said the Nov. 23 massacre, which left 57 people including 30 journalists dead, prompted the US government to suspend its projects in Maguindanao.

Kenney said she did not want any of USAID and embassy employees to get hurt.

She said it was "normal when you have a massacre like that and you don't know who's behind it or what happened."

Kenney assured that "as soon as it looks like it's safe, we will be back at work. I don't want to suspend the projects any longer."

Early this week, US embassy spokesperson Rebecca Thompson told the INQUIRER that despite the lifting of martial law in Maguindanao, Washington's development projects there remained indefinitely suspended.

USAID programs in the province were "on hold until we feel confident about the safety of our personnel that work on the development projects."

But "the rest of our development projects across Mindanao continue," Thompson said.

source: global nation

big lies blowing up in big important faces BRING IT

1. climategate: russians reveal how significant data was omitted from the global temp data sets -- OH HEY YOO HOO!! YOU FORGOT TWELVE POINT FIVE PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S LANDMASS IN YOUR DATA!!!!

On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations.

IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.

The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the world’s land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration.

read more @ times online

2. CIA supporting terror inside Pakistan

A CIA helicopter evacuated top TTP leadership into Afghanistan before the start of Pakistani military operation

Terrorists from TTP enjoy safe havens inside Afghanistan with the help of CIA and RAW

Satellite mobile phones from a Gulf state were provided to the terrorists of TTP & Swat

CIA helped RAW establish a base in Afghanistan

No CIA drones ever attacked any of the TTP & Swat terrorists as they freely called BBC and western media

Nuristan province in Afghanistan has a base run by CIA, RAW & NDS providing full support to terrorists inside Pakistan

In 1995, Benazir Bhutto and Ashraf Jahangir Qazi purged 125 ISI officers to appease CIA

The proof about instances of covert US support to some hardened militant outfits and terrorist activities they carried out over the past few weeks and months, was presented to Panetta. It was indeed a startling revelation for the top US spy and a bold maneuver of Pakistan Army. General Pasha's move surprised Panetta as the evidence presented was categorical in proving that the CIA officials provide assistance to perpetrators of some of the most serious and deadly attacks on offices and key persons in Pakistan’s security services. Here are the details of what transpired between ISI’s Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha and CIA’s Leon Panetta.

read more @ ahmed quraishi

3. US security firm DynCorp bribes Pakistani officials, top ministry officer arrested

· Over US $ 250,000 paid as bribes to people inside the Interior Ministry to license illegal weapons

· PS to State Minister of Interior arrested

· Bribes were paid after US Ambassador personally lobbied for the licenses

· Capt. Zaidi, Jamil Abbasi, Mr. Qadir and Dr. Dara are under arrest

· Fears the accused are being protected and might possibly be allowed to escape the country

· A total of 100 former SSG commandos secretly hired by US to create rapid-intervention teams for unknown purposes

read more @ ahmed quraishi

4. Mumbai attacker Kasab (too fat to be a jedi) retracts confession, claims meeting HEADLEY

NEW DELHI, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, the only militant caught alive in Mumbai terror attacks, Friday retracted his earlier confession before an Indian special court, said officials sources.

But Kasab also claimed he had met arrested U.S. citizen David Coleman Headley, who has recently been charged by the FBI for planning the Mumbai attacks, as the latter interrogated him with four whitemen in his cell at the Mumbai police custody after he was captured, said the sources.

In the special court at Arthur Road prison, Kasab told Judge MLTahaliyani that his statement was made under duress, adding that every claim made against him were absolutely false, said the sources.

"I have not given any confession before the magistrate and my statement has been falsely implicated," he was quoted as saying by the sources.

Kasab also claimed that he was not involved in the terror attacks at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station in Mumbai on Nov. 26 last year and also denied that he entered India through the sea route in a dingy along with nine other terrorists.

In fact, he told the court that he was in India 20 days prior to the Mumbai terror attacks and was here to make a career in Bollywood.

read more @ chinaview

5. Headley of the CIA???????

Mumbai bombing suspect Kasab claims he met David Headley, the alleged CIA agent.

Some of the mainstream media are not reporting this.

Kasab, also known as Mohammed Ajmal Amir, has retracted his confession before an Indian special court, say official sources.

Kasab also claims he met U.S. citizen David Coleman Headley, who is suspected of planning the Mumbai attacks.

Kasab says Headley, who is alleged to be a CIA agent, interrogated him, with four whitemen, in his cell at the Mumbai police custody after he was captured, said the sources.

read more @ aangirfan

6. german military filmed Kunduz strike from the ground -- kind of like a snuff film i guess

German soldiers were on the ground filming ahead of the controversial deadly bombardment that killed up to 142 people in Afghanistan, daily Bild reported on Friday.

As new details of the incident continue to increase pressure on German officials, the paper reported that Col. Georg Klein – who ordered the September 4 air strike – was also referring to video taken by Bundeswehr soldiers near the site where two fuel tanks hijacked by the Taliban were bombed.

Bild reported that until now it was thought that Klein only used videos taken by US fighter jets to make his decision. But the Bundeswehr video, featured on the paper’s website, shows the moments leading up to the attack, followed by a dramatic fireball and shots of the burning fuel trucks.

Meanwhile weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported it had seen documents proving that Germany's elite KSK special forces – which work separately from the Bundeswehr – were involved in the incident and in close contact with German military headquarters in Potsdam on the night of the bombardment.

“Can it be that Col. Klein [...] was part of a long running operation by the KSK against the Taliban?” the paper asked.

read more @ the local


jumping the shark in copenhagen

1. PROBLEM: climate talks in trouble

COPENHAGEN - PROSPECTS for a strong UN climate pact grew more remote on Thursday at the climax of two-year talks as ministers and leaders blamed leading emitters China and the United States for deadlock on carbon cuts.

Dozens of heads of state were arriving in the Danish capital to address the Dec 7-18 conference, meant to sign a new pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions on Friday. Negotiators' failure to draft a coherent text means they have a mountain to climb.

'The news that we've been receiving is not good,' Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German parliament. 'I must say very honestly, that the United States offer to cut by 4 per cent compared to 1990 levels is not ambitious.' Environment ministers at the talks have so far failed to close a rift over how far the developing world should join industrialised countries in cutting carbon emissions.

read more @ straits times

2. REACTION: highest level public figures make a series of hysterical threats and bold proposals

The world has only seven years before climate change causes a “point of crisis” that will drive food shortages, terrorism and poverty, the Prince of Wales has warned. LOOKING VERY TANNED.

The "future of humanity" is at stake in the Copenhagen climate talks, Gordon Brown has said.

Hillary Clinton has attempted to break the deadlock at the Copenhagen climate conference by offering a huge amount of money from the United States to help poor nations deal with global warming. MY PEOPLE WILL PAY YOUR PEOPLE, WE'LL DO LUNCH...

3. SOLUTION: Just Die. OK? Come on. Don't You Care About This PLANET??!@!??!!?!? That's very selfish of you...can we get some volunteers? NO???

The official British policy for the Copenhagen conference is now out, in explicit language: Massive population genocide, on a scale that would make Adolf Hitler blush. The London School of Economics, the anchor of the Fabian Gordon Brown government, has produced a study for Copenhagen, released by the British organization Optimum Population Trust (OPT), calling for the reduction of world population by between three to five billion people between now and 2050. This flagrant call for mass extermination is based on the argument that the single greatest cause of global warming is over-population, and that the most "cost-effective" cure for global warming is radical population reduction.

According to a recent OPT study, the so-called global warming crisis can be solved, most cheaply, by reducing the world population by 500 million between now and 2050. Since linear population projections put world population at well-over 9 billion by that date, the proposal to cut back world population to just over 6 billion people, would mean the elimination of 3 billion people. Indeed, an OPT press release, dated March 16, 2009, titled "Earth Heading for 5 Billion Overpopulation?" reported, "Based on ecological footprint and biolgoical capacity data which have become available over the last decade, OPT estimates the world's sustainable population currently at 5 billion and the U.K.'s at 18 million (the U.K.'s actual current population is 61 million).

read more @ prevent disease

things go missing

1. Headley's papers missing

Confusion over the visa papers of two terror suspects arrested in the U.S. persisted with the Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, indicating that David Headley’s papers were untraced, although his Ministry maintaining that such a conclusion would be inaccurate.

Earlier, when asked about media reports of missing visa papers, Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao, said, “I have asked for factual report. The matter is under investigation“.“There is a procedure. I will not answer any questions in this regard,” she added. In response to queries, the Consulate in Chicago said, “We have not reported loss of any papers regarding issuance of visa to David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana. Relevant information concerning the issuance of visa to these persons is available with the Government of India.”

read more @ the hindu

2. aangirfan: on it

Will the Indian government blame the USA for the Mumbai bombings of 2008?

The government of India, which is led by the Congress Party, is reportedly anxious to keep in with the USA.

Many of the key people within the Indian military, police and parliament may be assets of the CIA. Former Prime Minister Morarji Desai faced allegation of being a CIA agent.

read more @ aangirfan

3. indian man found with 8kg of diamonds smuggled out of Congo

KINSHASA - AN INDIAN businessman has gone on trial in Kinshasa accused of trying to smuggle US$500,000 (S$700,000) worth of diamonds out of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Police said they stopped Ajudiya Pravin Kumar at Kinshasa airport on Dec 10 as he was about to return to India and found more than 8kg of rough diamonds in a plastic bag in his luggage.

Kumar did not have a permit to export the gems and was brought before a court in the city charged with illegally possessing and trafficking diamonds, attempted corruption and fraud. Experts from the Congolese centre for valuing and certifying minerals (CEEC) said the diamonds weighed 42,000 carats, or 8.4kg. Kumar, who has worked as a diamond trader in Congo for the last six years, told the court he had not realised the stones were diamonds.

'I bought stones which were to be used to make ladies' necklaces - not diamonds,' he said. 'The stones I bought at the art market (in Kinshasa) are ordinary stones, souvenirs for my family.'

CEEC's technical director Amuri Dayito told the court the package contained industrial-grade diamonds rather than gems suitable for jewellery.

'Mr Kumar is a professional who is well familiar with the different standards of diamonds,' Mr Dayito said, implying that Kumar could not have confused diamonds with other stones. A verdict in the case is expected by Thursday. -- AFP

source: straits times

4. Indonesia bars Amdocs from projects

The Indonesian ministry of communication and information technology said that it will investigate telecommunications companies connected with Israel. The announcement came a day after Indonesia's minister of communications said he will remove Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) from the bidders on a project to supply billing services to PT Telkom Selular Indonesia because of an Israeli investor in Amdocs.

The minister, from the conservative PKS political party, said that the move is justified because Indonesia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. There is no law which requires diplomatic relations with countries in order to do business with the companies from those countries but the minister apparently relied on a 1999 law which directs to "protect the public interest." A ministry official told the "Jakarta Globe", "We will investigate the involvement of Israeli-affiliated companies in Indonesia's telecommunications industry," adding that the government will impose sanctions on local companies found to be breaking the law.

source: globes

5. another north american jewish community rocked by ponzi scheme

Members of Toronto's Jewish community have lost more than $27 million in a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by one of its own members, Canada's National Post newspaper reported on Tuesday. The alleged fraud involving 76 high-profile investors came to light after a small printing plant in the Richmond Hill section went bankrupt. The scheme was allegedly run by Tzvi Erez, 42, a prominent community member who owned the small print shop and claimed he was brokering large jobs for blue-chip clients, according to two of his alleged victims who spoke to the National Post.

more at haaretz

6. plot thickens over Russian pantyhose probe

The mystery surrounding why exactly a Swedish diplomat was selling smuggled pantyhose in a Moscow kiosk grew on Tuesday as the Swedish foreign ministry alleged the Russian media portrayal of the incident was a deliberate smear attempt.“They’ve presented the story in a way which deliberately sullies the diplomat’s reputation,” Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle told The Local.

...Speaking with the TT news agency, a unnamed source from the foreign ministry described the 35-year-old as a capable diplomat.

The source went on to suggest that the Russians had elected to spread the story about the Swedish diplomat’s extracurricular activities in response to an incident last week during which the wife of a Russian diplomat in Stockholm was accused of shoplifting.

read more @ the local

7. fresh doubts on Mannichl stabbing case

The unsolved stabbing of former Passau police chief Alois Mannichl – allegedly by a neo-Nazi – was thrown into doubt Tuesday when the public prosecutor in the case dismissed his testimony as inconsistent.In an interview with Stern magazine, senior public prosecutor Helmut Walch said Mannichl had been “not consistent during his interrogations.”

The attack, which took place just over a year ago in the Bavarian city, left the then police chief in hospital with a serious stab wound. He said he had been stabbed by a tall skinhead but doubts have since been cast on the story.

Now, for the first time, the public prosecutor is openly expressing concerns, saying Mannichl’s evidence had been mired in inconsistencies.

read more @ the local

8. Venezuelan judge's arrest creates fear, UN experts say

GENEVA, Switzerland (Reuters) -- Three UN human rights experts on Wednesday accused President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela of creating a climate of fear among his country's legal profession with the arrest last week of a woman judge. The three, all from developing countries, criticized the detention of Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni, who was seized by police on Dec. 10, a day after she ordered the conditional release of long-imprisoned banker Eligio Cedeno.

...Cedeno was arrested three years ago and is accused of using funds from his bank in a foreign exchange fraud. The bank he previously owned, Banco Canarias, was sold to a businessman with government links who was jailed in November after the bank collapsed.

read more @ caribbean net news

israel wants it's war one way or another

1. Yemen: Pentagon's war on the Arabian peninsula by Rick Rozoff

Yemen will become a battleground for a proxy war between the United States and Saudi Arabia - whose state-to-state relations are among the strongest and most durable of the entire post-World War II era - on one hand and Iran on the other.

It is perhaps impossible to determine the exact moment at which a U.S.- supported self-professed holy warrior - trained to perpetrate acts of urban terrorism and to shoot down civilian airliners - ceases to be a freedom fighter and becomes a terrorist. But a safe assumption is that it occurs when he is no longer of use to Washington. A terrorist who serves American interests is a freedom fighter; a freedom fighter who doesn't is a terrorist.

Yemenis are the latest to learn the Pentagon's and the White House's law of the jungle. Along with Iraq and Afghanistan which counterinsurgency specialist Stanley McChrystal used to perfect his techniques, Yemen is joining the ranks of other nations where the Pentagon is engaged in that variety of warfare, fraught with civilian massacres and other forms of so-called collateral damage: Colombia, Mali, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia and Uganda.

read more @ global research

2. Obama told China he can't hold off israel forever. China: yes you can.

U.S. President Barack Obama has warned his Chinese counterpart that the United States would not be able to keep Israel from attacking Iranian nuclear installations for much longer, senior officials in Tel Avivi told Haaretz.

The Israeli officials say the Americans now understand that the Chinese agreed to join the condemnation announcement only because Obama made a personal request to Hu, not as part of a policy change.

The Chinese have even refused a Saudi-American initiative designed to end Chinese dependence on Iranian oil, which would allow China to agree to the sanctions, said the Israeli officials.

Saudi Arabia, which is also very worried about the Iranian nuclear program and keen to advance international steps against Iran, offered to supply the Chinese the same quantity of oil the Iranians now provide, and at much cheaper prices. But China rejected the deal.

Since Obama's visit, the Chinese have refused to join any measures to impose sanctions. The Israeli officials say the Chinese have been giving unclear answers and have not been responding to the claims by Western nations. Beijing has been making do with statements such as "the time has not yet arrived for sanctions."

China's actions are particularly problematic because China will take over the presidency of the UN Security Council in January. Western diplomats say China would have no choice but to join in sanctions if Russia agrees to support them, but China could delay discussions and postpone any decision until February, when France becomes council president.

read more @ al manar tv

3. Lebanon: MP Raad calls a spade a spade

MP Mohammed Raad said Thursday accused U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman of promoting "American tyranny which implicates the United States in further crises and creates problems across the world." "This policy has proved to be fruitless," Raad said in an interview with al-Nour radio station.

On remarks made by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, Raad said: "We will not look negatively at the statement despite some disappointment." He said Hizbullah agrees with him that the state must take the responsibility for defending its people. "But when the state is incapable, it is the duty of every Lebanese to help build a strong and just state that can equip its army to face up to Israeli violations," Raad added. Regarding a visit to Washington by President Michel Suleiman, Raad stressed that "everything the President said in Washington should have been said."

source: naharnet

4. FARS: Iran in talks with Uruguay, opposes foreign troops in Caucasus

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is ready to expand bilateral ties with Uruguay in areas of economy and trade, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stressed that the deployment of foreign forces in the Caucasus will make existing problems in the region more complicated.

voodoo corner

1. russia's 'shock therapy' GM, Gaidar, dies

Anna Arutunyan

Yegor Gaidar, chief architect of the economic "shock therapy" of the early 1990s, died suddenly of a blood clot early on Wednesday morning. He was 53.

The day before his death, Gaidar, a former acting prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, took part in a news conference at RIA Novosti, where he talked about next year's economic forecasts.

President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed their condolences to Gaidar's family on Wednesday and praised Gaidar's role in changing Russia from a planned economy into a market economy in the first half of the early 1990s, when he served in the government.

...Gaidar, the soft-spoken grandson of Arkady Gaidar, a famous Bolshevik military commander, Stalin-era children's writer and World War II hero, came to the fore during the break-up of the Soviet Union as a liberal economist. In 1991, Yeltsin appointed him deputy prime minister and then acting prime minister in June 1992 at the age of 35. He controversially declared an end to price regulation, freeing prices and leading to sky-rocketing inflation. Such policies of shock therapy ultimately led to his vilification by millions of Russians who suffered economic hardships in the 1990s.

read more @ moscow news

2. stepfather suspected of pushing 50 needles into 2 year old boy

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian police Wednesday arrested a man suspected of pushing around 50 metal needles into his two-year-old stepson, possibly as part of a "black magic" ritual.

The man, named by police as Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, was being questioned as the prime suspect in the case, which was being treated as attempted homicide, the website of the O Globo newspaper reported. He was refusing to talk, it said....The boy's name was not released because of his young age. He is conscious in his hospital bed and reportedly cries any time anybody asks who put the needles in him....

The mother of the boy, Maria Souza Santos, 38, told the newspaper A Tarde de Salvador de Bahia that she believed her son had been the victim of a black magic rite.

She said she had found a bottle of cachaca, Brazilian rum made from sugar cane, and other, unspecified objects in the modest house she shares with her six children, her mother and her husband of six months, Magalhaes.

read more @

3. Georgian authorities demolish WWII memorial

Authorities in Georgia's second largest city, Kutaisi, have started demolishing a memorial to WWII heroes in order to construct a parliament building.

Russia's Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily said on Wednesday that Kutaisi authorities aim to complete the demolition by December 21, President Mikheil Saakashvili's birthday.

The government has said that the relocation of the Georgian parliament from Tbilisi to Kutaisi will boost the development of western Georgia.

The move has sparked protests among Kutaisi residents and the Georgian opposition. Sculptor Merab Berdzenishvili, the creator of the war memorial, said the demolition is an insult to the memory of thousands of Georgian soldiers who gave their lives in World War II. The authorities have promised to erect a new memorial, saying that the old one was already partially destroyed and cannot be restored. Russian Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov called the destruction of the memorial "blasphemy". "Georgia's decision to build a parliamentary building on the site of a memorial to those who gave independent Georgia a chance to construct such buildings is regrettable and confusing," he said.

MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti)

4. Holodomor can not be termed genocide - PACE

A famine that killed millions in the Soviet Union in the 1930s cannot be described as a genocide that targeted the Ukrainian people, the Council of Europe has said. A member of the Russian delegation to the Council's Parliamentary Assembly, or PACE, said the word genocide was removed from a draft report on the famine put forward by Ukraine. The report's findings and a draft resolution are expected to be published in January. Moscow says the famine killed people throughout the Soviet Union, not just in Ukraine, and that Kiev is trying to politicize the tragedy.

source: russia today

5. Georgia mocks Nauru's recognition of Abkhazia - click through to see the pic, the guy looks like Avigdor Lieberman's little brother

The recognition of Abkhazia's independence by Nauru, the world's smallest island state, is utterly irrelevant, the Georgian minister for reintegration said on Tuesday. Nauru, an island in the South Pacific Ocean, recognized the independence of the former Georgian republic earlier on Tuesday, with both countries signing an agreement on establishing diplomatic relations.

Nauru is the fourth country to recognize Abkhazia's independence, joining Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela. "The recognition of Abkhazia's independence by Nauru is more like a comedy... it changes nothing in the international arena," Temur Yakobashvili said.

Nauru, which has a population of about 15,000 people, is the world's only country with no capital. It became a member of the United Nations in 1999. Russia recognized Abkhazia and another former Georgian republic, South Ossetia, as independent states shortly after a five-day war with Georgia in August 2008 that began when Georgian forces attacked the latter in an attempt to bring it back under central control.

TBILISI, December 15 (RIA Novosti)


1. gulf petro-powers to launch currency in latest threat to dollar hegemony

“The Gulf monetary union pact has come into effect,” said Kuwait’s finance minister, Mustafa al-Shamali, speaking at a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) summit in Kuwait.

The move will give the hyper-rich club of oil exporters a petro-currency of their own, greatly increasing their influence in the global exchange and capital markets and potentially displacing the US dollar as the pricing currency for oil contracts. Between them they amount to regional superpower with a GDP of $1.2 trillion (£739bn), some 40pc of the world’s proven oil reserves, and financial clout equal to that of China.

...Mohammed El-Enein, chair of the energy and industry committee in Egypt’s parliament, said Europe’s example could help the Arab world achieve its half-century dream of a unified currency, but the task requires discipline. “We need exactly the same institutions as the EU has created. We need a commission, a court, and a bank,” he said.

read more @ telegraph

2. Credit Suisse forfeits $536m to US

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Credit Suisse AG will forfeit a record $536 million to the United States for violating sanctions against Iran and other countries, officials said Wednesday.

The Swiss banking behemoth, based in Zurich, agreed to the forfeiture in connection with violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and New York state law, alleged to have occurred between 1995 and 2006, the U.S. Justice Department said in a release.

Federal prosecutors alleged in a one-count criminal information filed in U.S. District Court in Washington that Credit Suisse illegally conducted million of dollars in transactions on behalf of customers in Iran and other countries like Sudan, Myanmar, Libya and Cuba. Credit Suisse accepted responsibility for the criminal count and entered into an agreement to settle related civil allegations.

"One of this administration's top priorities is to employ our resources aggressively to hold accountable those who engage in financial misconduct," Attorney General Eric Holder said. "Credit Suisse's decades-long scheme to flout the rules that govern our financial institutions robbed our system of the legitimacy that is fundamental to its success. Today's announcement sends a strong message that we will not let this type of conduct stand." hahahahahahhha

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

3. India-China clash unlikely

NEW DELHI - CHINA and India have a history of tensions over their long and disputed frontier, but they are unlikely to come to blows since both are focused on growing their economies.

Giving his assessment of the two Asian giants, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said on Wednesday: 'There is no economic value if the border is shifted 200 metres on one side or the other.'

He added: 'It will not be all sweetness and reasonableness but I would be surprised if there was any conflict in the next 20 to 30 years. It will take that time for both to get their economies to speed.'

read more @ straits times

4. china steel to invest in brazil mine

Taipei, Dec. 17 (CNA) An official from Taiwan's largest integrated steel maker, China Steel Corporation (CSC), said Thursday that the company has reached an agreement with two Japanese major shareholders of Brazil's NAMISA iron ore mine to obtain a 1 percent share in the mine.

It is the first time CSC has sought to obtain a stake in a foreign iron company and the decision is seen as an effort to try to take control of the raw material source, as Brazil is one of Taiwan's main suppliers of iron ore.


."After years of exploitation, iron ore and coal are destined to become rare resources, with prices continuing to increase in the long run. Therefore, this participation project is of great investment value," Chung said.

He noted that CSC's 1 percent stake is too little to suggest that the company is trying to get total control of the iron ore resource.

read more @ taiwan news

covering up iraq: hard work

1. Adrian Hamilton: civil servants intent on evading all responsibility for Iraq

The answer is the same kind of men (for they are all men) that we've witnessed throughout these hearings, masters of bureaucratic temporising with an eagerness to please their political masters matched by an equal desire to evade responsibility if things go wrong.

In all the evidence before Chilcot not once did we get a diplomat who said that the Foreign Office had so downgraded its Middle Eastern expertise that it no longer understood Iraq let alone could advise on what to do there. There was not one admission by the intelligence services that their competence in Iraq was virtually nil, although they claimed more to please their political masters. Instead we got a litany of excuses and pretences in which nothing was anybody's direct responsibility, it was all the fault of No.10 or the Pentagon or the White House, everybody was at fault except the officials before Chilcot.

The invasion of Iraq was one of the most damaging acts of post-war British politics. The decision to go in, the total lack of preparation for the aftermath and the insouciance to its consequences, was down to one man and his relationship with a US President bent on reshaping the world in America's own image. But that Blair was able to proceed for the weakest of reasons is also down to a Commons that allowed him to roll over them and a bureaucracy too supine and self-regarding to stand up for what they say now they believed in then.

read more @ the independent

2. white house wants suit against yoo dismissed

The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.

Such lawsuits ask courts to second-guess presidential decisions and pose "the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military's detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict," Justice Department lawyers said Thursday in arguments to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Other sanctions are available for government lawyers who commit misconduct, the department said. It noted that its Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating Yoo's advice to former President George W. Bush since 2004 and has the power to recommend professional discipline or even criminal prosecution.

read more @ sfgate

3. emails show bin laden was bush talking point, not target

By Margie Burns

“Missing” White House emails retrieved from Bush administration records indicate that top Bush Justice Department officials had little interest in the pursuit of Osama bin Laden or Mullah Mohammed Omar, head of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

...White House emails from the Bush years, often reported as missing, numbered in the millions. Thousands of emails were sent between the Bush White House and top Justice Department officials, through both government email accounts and private accounts including the Republican National Committee.

FOIA inquiries have produced two emails, totaling four pages, between the White House and Justice under the former administration relating to Mullah Mohammed Omar.

The FOIA requests produced 26 emails, totaling 119 pages, relating to Osama bin Laden.

read more @


crying and shooting: RULE OF LAW!!! RULE OF LAW!! they cried, while shooting

1. Israel fury over British war crimes warrant for Livni

"We reject the court's cynical legal move against Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, which was initiated by radical elements," the Ministry said in a statement.

"Israel calls on the British government to fulfill, once and for all, its promises and prevent an abuse of the British legal system against Israel and its citizens by anti-Israel elements."

The statement warned that relations between Israel and Britain would be damaged unless the UK took quick action to put things right.

“If Israeli leaders cannot visit Britain in a proper and honorable manner, this will naturally serve as a real obstacle to Britain's desire to take an active part in the peace process in the Middle East," it said.

The Israeli Ambassador to London, Ron Prossor, also criticised the arrest warrant. "The current situation has become intolerable, it is time that it change," he said. "I am convinced that the British government will understand that it is time to react and not content itself with declarations."

read more @ times online

2. Israeli officials at risk for civil lawsuits in the US?????

“Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni is not the only one, or even one of a select few, who face the near-certainty of arrest should they make the mistake of visiting England.” According to former Israeli Foreign Ministry legal adviser Allan Baker, two of every three ministers in the cabinet would also likely be arrested in a British jail if they did the same.

Britain is one of several west European countries that have passed laws granting it international jurisdiction - that is, the right to try anyone suspected of violating various provisions of international law, no matter where the alleged crimes were committed or the citizenship of the suspect.

Meanwhile, four American Jewish groups are urging the US Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision that could lead to Israeli officials bein
g slammed with civil lawsuits in the United States.

Coinciding with a British judge's decision to sign an arrest warrant for Livni for "war crimes" during the Israeli aggression against Gaza, the brief seeks to overturn a Fourth Circuit decision to strip foreign Israeli officials from immunity in American civil lawsuits.

Written by Washington attorney Nathan Lewin on behalf of the Zionist Organization of America, the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Agudath Israel of America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the "friend of court" brief warns against a "torrent of unfounded lawsuits against Israeli government officials" in the absence of absolute immu

"Public officials should have the same immunity as their governments have under federal law in order to enable them to act in accordance with their best judgment in their roles," Lewin said.

In the US, only prosecutors can pursue criminal charges against an individual, unlike in Britain, where a private party can initiate such proceedings.

Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Wednesday that the arrest warrant against Livni in Britain was one of the country's biggest political mistakes in recent years. Peres said before heading for the Copenhagen climate conference that London has pledged to remedy this situation, and it is high time they did it.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday blasted the UK judge's decision to issue an arrest warrant against Livni, who at a Tuesday conference in Tel Aviv called the operation a "necessary option" to defend “Israeli citizens”.

"We will not agree to a situation in which [former prime minister] Ehud Olmert, [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni are sitting on the defendants' bench," Netanyahu said.

The American Jewish
groups' brief argues that immunity is necessary for “foreign officials” to make decisions without fear of being punished later on. Without legal protection, Israeli officials will not visit the US and American Jews will be deprived of a First Amendment right to hear free speech and receive information.

"Israel's adversaries are ready to pursue all possible means to hinder measures that duly elected Israeli leaders feel are necessary for Israel's self-defense," the brief argues.

The brief cites at least 15 present and former Israeli officials who could face civil or criminal legal actions. "We'd be rather shocked to see that happen in the US, but nonetheless because of a potential concern of a situation arising, that's what motivated us to file this brief with the Supreme Court," said Nathan Diament, director of the OU's Institute for Public Affairs, when asked about the British warrant for Livni's arrest. He said it was “hard to imagine a US prosecutor filing charges against an Israeli official, but an individual filing a civil lawsuit against an Israeli official is possible.”

read more @ al manar tv

3. Brown tells Livni: you're welcome in Britian anytime -- Quickly!! OPEN THE PARACHUTES CONFLATE!!! CONFLATE!!! the threat to Tzipi threatens the WHOLE WIDE WORLD PLUS PLUS.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown telephoned opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday afternoon, and expressed his total objection to the arrest warrant a UK court issued against her. The call came a day after British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Livni in an apparent effort to prevent a diplomatic crisis sparked by a British arrest warrant issued against the former foreign minister from spinning completely out of control.
According to an announcement released by Kadima's spokesman, Brown told Livni that she is welcome in Britain at any time, and said that he intended on acting to change the current legal situation.

Livni said that there is an immediate need to change the situation, not for her sake, but for every decision-maker, commander and soldier in Israel and the world, who are forced to battle terror.

Earlier Wednesday, the former foreign minister spoke out against the "abuse" of legal systems, which constitute a threat not only to Israel but to all democracies. "These days, Israel is facing something that no democracy can accept. Legal systems are being abused for lawsuits against soldiers and officials," Livni said during a meeting at the Knesset with Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas, who is in Jerusalem on an official visit.

"This is not just against Israel but against all democracies," Livni said. "Lawsuits are needed against terrorists and not against those who fight terror. It's not against me personally, but is against the free world and its war against terrorist. It's a challenge for the free world to meet. [The legal systems] are being abused by those who don't care about civilians and we must confront them together," she added.

more @ jpost

4. Avigdor Lieberman: "NEW" anti-semitism directed at Israel -- QUICKLY REDEFINE!!! REDEFINE!!!!! DENY DENY DENY!!!! ACCUSE ACCUSE ACCUSE!!! NO IOF soldiers ever killed no babies or pregnant women!

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Wednesday that "new anti-Semitism" was aimed at undermining Israel, as well as a hatred of the Jewish people.

Certain elements are "using anti-Semitism to incite hatred of Jews and to delegitimize Israel," Lieberman told a conference on anti-Semitism in Jerusalem.

The foreign minister said that new anti-Semitism had its roots in the 2001 anti-racism Durban conference, with its harsh condemnation of Israel at the height of a bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Lieberman condemned the recent arrest warrant issued in Britain against former foreign minister and current opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

"There is no other independent nation in the world whose right to exist is constantly questioned the way Israel's is," Lieberman said.

"The people behind the [global] assault against Israel have crossed the line," he said. "They seek to destroy the Jewish state and take away the right of the Jewish people to define themselves."

The British court issued an arrest warrant against Livni for her role in orchestrating Israel's military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip nearly a year ago. Lieberman remarked, half-joking, that soon Britain would issue arrest warrants against NATO forces over warfare in Afghanistan and in Iran. "It is in Britain's interest, not Israel's, to make a change," he said.

In his address, Lieberman also addressed the issue of Iran's controversial nuclear program, expressing concern over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel's destruction, coupled with Tehran's nuclear program.

"It is frightening that just 60 years after the horrors of the Holocaust, today we see examples of anti-Semitism funded by Iran. [Iran] denies the Holocaust even happened, calls for the destruction of Israel and tries to obtain nuclear weapons. All these facts are reminiscent of what happened 70 years ago."

Addressing the conference, Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein echoed Lieberman's comments that new anti-Semitism was directed at Israel.

"It is no longer the individual Jew or a Council of Jewish Elders who has led the world into war and economic collapse - it is Israel, the state of the Jews, who have brought war and tragedy to the globe," Edelstein said.

"Where Jews were once depicted as blood thirsty, stingy, morally corrupt baby killers, after the horrors of World War Two, these depictions of Jews are hard for many to stomach. So the attack has been reframed and reworded. There are no more Jews. Instead there are Israelis. Israeli soldiers kill babies. Israeli soldiers attack pregnant mothers. Israelis started wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," he continued.

"Israel as a nation was not put through a Holocaust. Israelis have not been expelled, converted, exiled and enslaved. So if you attack Israel, you are not picking on the weak. Anti-Semites have warped tiny Israel into Goliath. This way you can hate Israel, you can hate Israelis, and you are not called anti-Semitic," he said.


the trap is laid, but who will step in it?

1. Obama's Afghan surge, Pakistan's moment of truth, and death of the US dollar

I believe that the US President’s recent announcement of a dramatic increase in US troops to be sent to occupied-Afghanistan was camouflaged with psychological ploys. This was hardly surprising since those who truly control power in USA – power to choose someone, anoint him and make him President – are a people who have PhDs in deception.

The media use of the soft word ‘surge’ for example, is a clever ploy detracting attention from the harsh reality of significant and very dangerous US military escalation in that volatile region of the world. Readers must know that Afghanistan is the heart of ancient Khorasan, and it has the unique distinction of never having submitted to western occupation. They must also know that the power-brokers who control the White House are recklessly plunging all of mankind into an abyss the likes of which was never before experienced in history – certainly far worse than anything experienced under George Bush.

read more @ imran nazar hosein

2. indeed. the PhDs even have a book about it, The Israel Projects 2009 Global Language Directory

tiny excerpt of elaborate instructions on how to manipulate the stupid goyim:

21) Concede a point. Look for opportunities in every TV debate or interview to concede a point to the interviewer or debate partner. It doesn’t have to be a major point. The point isn’t to undermine some essential plank of Israel’s foreign policy platform. But the simple words “you make a good point” do wonders among an audience.

22) Never, never, NEVER speak in declarative statements. Never. Americans and
Europeans think in shades of gray – especially when it comes to conflict in the Middle
East. They believe both sides are to blame, both sides are responsible for making
sacrifices for peace, and both sides do have a positive story to tell. So every time you say “every,” totally,” “always,” “never,” or the like, the reaction is immediate and negative. Soften the tone just a little bit and you’ll keep them tuned in.

read it here (pdf) (bring a bucket)

3. US silent on Taliban's AQ offer -- not sure the Israeli-controlled US puppet state would want to give up their CIA controlled puppet enemy al Qaeda because that might put a crimp in the war plans, so this is a little bit of a troubling development. ideally these things should be like the Middle East "peace" process -- neverending, completely intractable, kick the can down the road forever and ever and ever...nobody is ever supposed to get SERIOUS about it sheesh. what good is peace?

By Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON - The Barack Obama administration is refusing to acknowledge an offer by the leadership of the Taliban in early December to give "legal guarantees" that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used for attacks on other countries.

The administration's silence on the offer, despite a public statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing skepticism about any Taliban offer to separate itself from al-Qaeda, effectively leaves the door open to negotiating a deal with the Taliban based on such a proposal.

The Taliban, however, have chosen to interpret the Obama administration's position as one of rejection of their offer.

The Taliban offer, included in a statement dated December 4 and e-mailed to news organizations the following day, said the organization had "no agenda of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries and is ready to give legal guarantees if foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan".

read more @ asia times

4. NATO chief in Moscow for Afghan talks

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has arrived in Moscow for talks expected to focus on Afghanistan and Moscow's potential assistance to the alliance's efforts there.

On his three-day trip to Russia, Rasmussen is to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Relations between NATO and Moscow have improved significantly since they were frozen for six months in the aftermath of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed its willingness to help the war effort in Afghanistan, due to fears that any return to power by Taliban extremists would destabilize Central Asia and endanger Russia's own security.

Russia has allowed NATO nations to use its territory for the overland transport of supplies to Afghanistan.

source: taiwan news

5. US clandestine ops intensified -- putting pressure on Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. special operations in Afghanistan have been strengthened as part of a strategy to get faster results in fighting the Taliban insurgency, officials said.

The Special Forces, on the orders of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, are now mainly targeting key Taliban figures, instead of largely going after al-Qaida figures as they did prior to the strategy shift, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"We've refocused their mission and increased their op tempo," a senior military official told the Times.

The number of raids by the Army's Delta Force and Navy's SEAL Team Six jumped to 90 in November from 20 in May, the report said.

The move, the first of its kind since 2001, comes at a time when only a few dozen al-Qaida operatives are believed to be holed up in the Taliban strongholds of eastern and southern regions, which are the special forces' areas of operation, the report said. The strategy change may go against the thinking of U.S. lawmakers and others who want the military to concentrate on eradicating al-Qaida, the report said.

However, senior military leaders say retaking Taliban gains is now the overriding short-term priority.

"This is Gen. McChrystal's play," one official told the Times. "They have to show they can reverse momentum. He has to show he is making headway."

President Barack Obama's Afghan strategy calls for reduction of troop levels beginning in 2011 based on ground conditions. A spokesman for the command in Afghanistan declined to discuss the special operations forces' mission, except to say pressure has been increased on the insurgency.

"We target all insurgent networks who are causing casualties either to our forces or the Afghan people," he told the Times.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

6. NATO chief hails 'new beginning' on first Russia visit

On the first visit to Moscow by a head of the Western alliance since the Georgia crisis, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen hailed a "new beginning" in high-level talks.

"I think that this autumn represents a new beginning in our relationship," said Rasmussen at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

High-level contacts between Moscow and the alliance were broken off in the wake of Russia's war with Georgia in August 2008. The Kommersant daily newspaper, citing an unnamed Russian diplomat, reported that Rasmussen would be seeking to expand an arrangement which NATO uses to ship supplies to Afghanistan by railroad via Russia. "Given the announcements by the new NATO secretary general about increasing the quality of partnership with Russia, special attention will be put on activating cooperation to increase trust," the Kremlin, the Russian goverment said in a statement ahead of the visit.

It said the two sides would discuss important international issues including Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear program and the so-called Mideast peace process. Rasmussen is to meet all of Russia's key players in a packed schedule of meetings on Wednesday, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, President Dmitry Medvedev.

source: al manar tv

rogue is the first thing they learn how to be

1. despite FBI proof, Pak denying ISI-LeT link

New Delhi: The FBI's investigation of suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana is throwing up more questions than answers. The questions range from not just whether Headley and Rana knew about and planned the Mumbai attacks, but how much US officials knew about the men and also, were they rogue CIA agents?

The FBI has now alleged that Rana met a retired Pakistani army brigadier, Abdur Rahman Hashim Syed, who is known as "Pasha" in Dubai. Pasha was Headley's direct link to one of Pakistan's most wanted terrorists, Ilyas Kashmiri, and a direct link to al-Qaeda as well.

The question that was being asked on CNN-IBN's Talking Point was: Is Pakistan's ISI-LeT link now out in the open? To try and answer the question on the panel of experts were Pakistan High Commissioner to UK, Wajid Shamshul Hasan; Associate Editor The Hindu, Siddharth Varadarajan; and strategic affairs expert, B Raman.


CNN-IBN: Siddharth Varadarajan, is it just Pakistan which has much to answer for or is it now the US - keeping in mind the fact that Headley was in fact an agent of a US agency who turned rogue?

ROGUE??? Hey, how about turning it another 90 degrees and just asking if they were working for the CIA. WHAT IS THIS "ROGUE" THEY KEEP TALKING ABOUT?? CIA IS ROGUE BY DEFINITION. - ED.

read more @ ibnlive

2. Scarlett accused of misleading inquiry

Britain's former spy chief has misled the Iraq inquiry by exaggerating the reliability of crucial claims about Saddam Hussein's ability to launch weapons of mass destruction, according to the leading Ministry of Defence expert who assessed the intelligence behind the decision to go to war.

Sir John Scarlett, who was responsible for drafting the Government's controversial 2002 dossier outlining the case for invading Iraq, claimed last week that intelligence indicating Iraq possessed missiles that could be launched within 45 minutes was "reliable and authoritative". But Scarlett's evidence is contradicted by the most senior WMD analyst who saw the original intelligence. Brian Jones said that it was vague, inconclusive and unreliable.

Dr Jones, who was head of the nuclear, chemical and biological branch of the Defence Intelligence Staff in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, told The Independent that it was "absolutely clear" that the intelligence the Government relied upon was coming from untried sources. The 45-minute claim was one of the key assertions that convinced MPs to take Britain to war.

read more @ independent

3. missing Bush emails 'found' but you can't see them until 2014

BEIJING, December 15 (Xinhuanet) -- E-mails belonging to the Bush administration have reportedly been found, according to media reports Tuesday.

Two groups, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive (NSA), say the e-mails had been mislabeled and effectively lost. They say the 22 million e-mails were found or reconstructed from disaster recovery backup tapes....The e-mail, covering a period of 94 days during the Bush administration, will gradually be restored, but it will be 2014 at the earliest before the public sees any of the messages because they must go through the National Archives’ process for releasing presidential and agency records.

read more @ chinaview

4. spokesman dismisses 'unfounded' media reports on Iran's nuclear program

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast on Tuesday rejected a report carried by the Times of London which claimed that Tehran had sought nuclear activity for military purposes.

"These claims are unfounded," Mehman-Parast told reporters in his weekly press conference here in Tehran. "It seems that this approach has been used for running psychological pressures and propaganda war," he added.

He also rejected reports that the Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri who disappeared in Saudi Arabia met the IAEA inspectors.

"The basis of the issue is unfounded and it can be inferred that the US and European intelligence services are aware of his situation, they know that where he is and that the US security forces are involved in the issue," the spokesman reiterated.

read more @ fars news agency

5. Singapore: unnamed embassy car in hit and run

A CAR believed to be from a foreign embassy was involved in a hit-and-run accident in Bukit Panjang Road early on Tuesday, hitting three people at two different traffic junctions.

Police said that the car first hit two pedestrians who were crossing the junction of Bukit Panjang Road and Bangkit Road at about 3am.

Mr Tong Kok Wai, 30, and Mr Bong Hwee Haw, 24, suffered head injuries and were taken to the National University Hospital (NUH). Mr Tong is in the intensive care unit while Mr Bong is in a surgical high dependency ward.

Instead of stopping, the car continued on its path of destruction. Witnesses said it beat another red light 100m ahead at the cross-junction of Bukit Panjang Road and Pending Road.

There, it hit another pedestrian, Mr Muhamad Haris Abu Talib, 18, before speeding off.

Mr Haris was also taken to NUH with leg pain.

source: straits times

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