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Monday, November 30, 2009

U.S. faces 'absolute defeat,' Taliban leader purportedly says

(CNN) -- The United States and its allies are facing "an absolute defeat" against the Taliban in Afghanistan even if additional troops are sent, according to a message purportedly from the Taliban's elusive leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar.
In a transcript of the message posted Wednesday on the Afghan jihadi online magazine Al-Somod, the Taliban leader purportedly says the "realities in Afghanistan are simple."

"You and your allies are facing an absolute defeat, and nothing will change that even if you send more troops, no matter what your strategies are, because the logic of force will have no impact on the mujahedeen and you will never be able to control the Afghan people by physical force or by your satanic hypocrisy," the transcript says.
CNN could not independently confirm the authenticity of the report, which appeared in Arabic and in Pashtun.
The transcript continued: "Let it be known that your hostile policies have created a new world of enemies who will fight against you, and the earth is narrowing around you and you will always live the life of all bitterness and sorrow, because the policy of force and tyranny cannot and will not be accepted by anyone."
The message comes days before President Obama is set to announce the U.S. troop strategy for Afghanistan.
In a Tuesday speech, Obama will explain why the United States is in Afghanistan, its interests there and his decision-making process, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
The president ordered more than 20,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in March. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, reportedly has called for up to 40,000 more to wage a counterinsurgency campaign against the Taliban, the Islamic militia originally ousted by U.S. military action in 2001.
There was no immediate response from Washington to the message.
A previous message said to be from Omar was released in September, saying the fight against foreign forces "is approaching the edge of victory."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Iran says : IAEA resolution a 'great failure' for West

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 18:31:33 GMT | PressTV

The following is a rush transcript of Press TV's exclusive interview with Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh (Pic) on the UN nuclear Watchdog's Friday resolution, which calls on Tehran to immediately halt construction of the Fordo enrichment plant.

Press TV: Do you think that today's (Friday's) resolution was a politically-motivated one?

Soltaniyeh: First of all I have to say that one of the immediate consequences of the gesture and the resolution today was polarization of member states. We witnessed a division among the countries, [which voted today]. the Non-aligned Movement in fact, was against this gesture and in spite of all attempts that the countries proposing the resolution made and a lot of pressure on the capitals [of the countries that were present in the meeting], they were not able to have consensus and they failed.

That was a great failure for them not to have consensus on this resolution. Nine countries including three voting against — Cuba, Venezuela and Malaysia — and other countries didn't support [the resolution]. This was a very serious political message to them [the West] that they should not politicize the agency and those who explained about their votes clearly mentioned that they considered that this resolution would create a negative environment and would persuade confrontation rather than cooperation.

After the resolution at the [IAEA] Board of Governors, I delivered a very clear message: That they should have learned from the past, that none of the resolutions of the [IAEA] Board of Governors, [resolutions of] the United Nation Security Council (UNSC), sanctions and threats of a military attack, have been able to stop or even suspend [Iran's] enrichment activities.

Press TV: Now that this resolution has been passed, how will Iran respond to the resolution? You previously said that you would scale back your cooperation to just within the legal boundaries. is that what we are looking at now?

Soltaniyeh: Exactly, the second consequence will be that by this resolution they have discouraged Iran from taking voluntary steps that we have taken in many occasions in the past particularly the recent time. When [the IAEA] Director General [Mohamed ElBaradei] was in Iran in fact we took some voluntary steps, and informing them about this new site Fordo was among those voluntary steps. Because we should have not informed [the agency] at this juncture in fact, we have eighteen months ahead of what we are obliged to. Therefore, we will not be committed to any of this even if you wanted to voluntarily cooperate. We will try to confine our activities within the framework of [the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] NPT comprehensive safeguard. That's what we are going to do.

Regarding this Fordo resolution, the answer to this resolution is definitely 'no'. We are not going to suspend our enrichment activities, we are not going to suspend the completion of the Fordo nuclear enrichment activities, but at the same time as we put it we will continue cooperation with the agency and all these activities will be under IAEA safeguards, but only within the framework of comprehensive safeguard of NPT.

Press TV: Where exactly do we go from here? How do you see this issue resolved?

Soltaniyeh: Well, Let's hope that they will regret the mistake they made, and take steps to compensate and — as I called several times after the first round of negotiations in Vienna — supply fuel for the Tehran research reactor and come to the negotiating table. We are ready to talk with a positive approach and make sure that our legitimate technical and economic concerns are taken into consideration — particularly the issue of guarantee.

The past confidence deficit will be taken into consideration, but of course what they did today was very disappointing and, therefore, I want to say that they shouldn't play delay tactic. The time is essence and we need fuel for the Tehran research reactor. In fact, over 200 hospitals whose patients are struggling with cancer are in need of radioisotopes. If they continue not to cooperate and supply the fuel then the government has to look for other options.

IAEA Chief ElBaradei Reports on Iran

In his final report to the Board as IAEA Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei today reported on nuclear safeguards in Syria and Iran, as well as other issues including the Agency's Technical Cooperation programme and the assurance of supply of nuclear fuel, in his opening statement to the Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Austria.

The IAEA's 35-member Board of Governors is meeting to discuss the IAEA's work on nuclear verification, safety and security and the peaceful use of nuclear technologies. The Board, which meets five times a year at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, is the Agency's policymaking body

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Afghanistan under Obama's Karzai - RAINED BULLETS, will it!

Barack Obama's new strategy in Afghanistan as he considers a surge of U.S. troops in the war-torn country.Can a new military strategy work? And are Afghan politics in order for the US to really succeed?

The Week Afghanistan Becomes Obama's War

After three months of deliberation, U.S. President Barack Obama says he will announce his Afghanistan strategy "in a few days". The generals will likely be pleased, his allies in Britain and Australia remain resolute, but can the strategy work?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Germany Suspects China of Spying on Uighur Expatriates

German investigators on Tuesday morning searched the residences of four suspected Chinese spies. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, the suspects had been spying on Munich's Uighur community on orders from the Chinese government.

Unlike China's imposing embassy in Berlin, the general consulate in Munich is no symbol of power. The representative office in the Bavarian capital is located in the upmarket district of Neuhausen in an inconspicouous corner building close to Nymphenburg Palace.

If you believe the consulate's own PR, the institution deals with pleasant issues such as business and travel visas, the Olympic Games or German-Chinese trade relations. But if German investigators are to be believed, this idyll is merely a facade behind which the Chinese intelligence service is operating a network of spies.

On Tuesday morning, officers from Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office and the Bavarian police searched the homes of four Chinese nationals in the Munich area, SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned. They are under suspicion of being intelligence service agents for the Chinese government tasked with spying on Munich's large expatriate community of Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority in China that has been engaging in violent protests this year against perceived discrimination.

A Center for Expatriate Uighurs
Several hundred Uighurs live in exile in Munich, and many of them are politically active. Munich has one of the world's largest exile communities of Uighurs and the World Uighur Congress is based there. The government in Beijing is interested in everything the Uighurs think, talk about or plan. The Uighurs are one of the "five poisons" the Communist government is fighting against with all the means at its disposal.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office has discovered that the Chinese government has been recruiting a number of informants to spy on Munich's Uighur community. Investigators believe that the suspected group of agents is controlled from within the Munich consulate by a consul who has been observed conducting conspirative meetings with the alleged agents. The consul himself has diplomatic immunity from prosecution in Germany but prosecutors are investigating four of his alleged informers.

The investigation presents yet another strain on the already tense relationship between China and Germany. The spying activities in Munich are closely coordinated with Beijing, with the consul reporting directly to the homeland. The Chinese government is following every step taken by the German government with interest.

The rigid countermeasures taken by German officials are new. Last year, the Federal Prosecutor's Office established a procedure whereby all evidence regarding suspected Chinese spying activities was collated, but until Tuesday, no searches or arrests had been carried out. Officials largely limited themselves to keeping a close eye on hostile behavior on the part of the Chinese government and on the extreme interest showed by consulate employees in Munich's community of Uighurs in exile.

Two years ago, the Chinese diplomat Ji Wumin, who also lived in Munich, had to leave the country after investigators observed him meeting around a dozen times with spies who provided him with information about the Uighur community. Ji left before he could be expelled.

Ji's case remains a source of tension in diplomatic relations between China and Germany. Beijing would like to send Ji back to Munich, but Berlin fears that he would merely resume his previous spying activities. Tuesday's searches, however, make Ji's return unlikely -- the consul now under investigation is Ji's official successor.

Al Jazeera interviews analysts on Blackwater

A US magazine has reported that the private US military contractor formerly known as Blackwater is running covert operations in Pakistan.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Iran war games commence today

The Iranian military has begun a week-long simulation of air defence exercises aimed at practising responses to possible attacks on the country's nuclear sites.The drills were announced on Saturday by Brigadier General Ahmad Mighani, the head of Iran's army air defence, who said the war games were due to threats against the country's controversial nuclear facilities."It is our duty to defend out nation's vital facilities and thus these manoeuvres covers Bushehr, Fars, Isfahan, Tehran and western provinces," he said.

Tensions are high between Tehran and the six world powers trying to negotiate a deal on Iran's nuclear programme.Western powers believe that Iran's enrichment work is masking an atomic weapons programme but Tehran insists it is purely for generating electricity.Meanwhile, Washington and Israel have never ruled out a military strike against Iran's nuclear sites, but the Islamic republic has warned it will hit back at Israel and US interests in the region if it is attacked.

Iran War Games Fox News ( November 22. 2009 )

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What is the American doing in Iraq & Afghanistan?

Afghanistan, Iraq Near Bottom of Corruption Index

Despite billions of dollars spent by the U.S. and other countries to improve governance in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two countries remain among the world’s most corrupt nations, according to the latest edition of Transparency International’s (TI)Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Federalism gone wrong!

Kelantan claims existence of oil royalty agreement

KUALA KRAI: The Kelantan government claims that there is an agreement to show that the Federal government is liable to pay the state oil royalty if oil and gas are found on or off its shores.

Speaking at a ceramah in Chuchoh Puteri on Tuesday night, Kelantan senior exco member Datuk Husam Musa said the agreement was signed on May 9, 1975 by the then Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Nasir and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who was Petroliam Nasional chairman.

He said Tun Salleh Abbas had met with Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and him (Husam) on Tuesday to explain the background to the agreement. Tun Salleh was the person responsible in drafting the agreement as he was the Attorney General then.

"In the agreement, the Federal government could take the oil and gas but is liable to pay royalty in cash twice a year in the months of March and September," said Husam, adding that Nik Aziz had written to the Federal government to make a claim of RM1 billion.

The oil and gas activity is located about 150km off Kelantan shores and is jointly developed with Thailand. The area is a disputed by Thailand and Malaysia.

"Sabah's oil is found 210km off its shores and Terengganu's oil and gas activity is 220km away. How can they be entitled to royalty and Kelantan doesn't get any," asked Husam.

The oil royalty issue was first brought up by Husam in 2001 while he was the MP for Kubang Kerian. Just about three weeks ago Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution brought up the issue in Parliament again, as Kelantan was found listed in the Statistics Department's State/District Data Bank as one of the four oil and gas producing states.

The other states on the list are Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu which receive yearly 5% royalty from the Federal Government. Kelantan is the only state ruled by the opposition PMIP (Pan Malaysia Islamic Party) whereas UMNO (a Malay Nationalist Party) ruled the Federation.

courtesy : the edge

Monday, November 16, 2009

silent cry global campaign.

A group of young British students, in search for a story, flew far into East Africa where they discovered the documentary film Silent Cry 

Israel's addiction to the occupation of the Palestinian Territories

Gideon Levy, one of the most prominent Israeli journalists working with Ha'aretz speaks to The Real News' Lia Tarachansky about Israel's addiction to the occupation of the Palestinian Territories. He says there are two ways to deal with a drug addict, you can either help them get more drugs, and this may be perceived as care, but it is not friendship. A real friend helps the drug addict get over their addiction. Levy says the Jewish lobby has decided to take the former route, but he is hoping that the United States and the Obama Administration will take the latter.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sister of Guantanamo inmate's interview.

The US has announced that five people held at Guantanamo Bay will face trial before a military commission.

Among them is Canadian detainee Omar Khadr. Khadr was only a teenager when he was brought to Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan for allegedly killing a US soldier there.

Canadian courts have ordered their government to request his repatriation. But the government is now fighting that ruling before the supreme court.

Al Jazeera's Monica Villamizar sat down with Khadr's sister Zaynab for an exclusive interview and began by asking her how her brother has been treated over the past seven years in detention.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yemeni Houthi leader asks Riyadh for ceasefire.

A political leader of the Yemeni Zaidi fighters, Yahya al-Houthi, has called on Riyadh to agree to a ceasefire and expressed his group's willingness to negotiate with Saudi security officials.

"We call upon Saudi Arabia to stop its military attacks and start negotiations," he said in an interview with Al-Arabiya late on Wednesday.

"Our war is not with Saudi Arabia," Yahya al-Houthi emphasized.

This is while the Saudi forces continue to pound the positions of Houthis as frequent cross-border confrontations between Shia fighters and Saudi security forces have drawn Riyadh into the ongoing Sana'a military campaign against the northern Yemeni combatants.

A Saudi government adviser told Reuters on Thursday that the world's biggest oil exporter is using air power and artillery to enforce a 10-kilometer (six mile) deep buffer zone inside Yemen to keep Shia resistance fighters away from its southwestern border.

Last week, Riyadh unleashed F-15 and Tornado jets against Houthi positions around the massive Jebel al-Dukhan mountain, which soars 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) out of the coastal plain on the border in southern Jizan province.

Saudi ground troops and heavy long-range artillery lined the sides of the main road to the frontier town of al-Khubah at the foot of the mountain, as soldiers patrolled fields and inspected vehicles for Houthi fighters. The Houthis blame Riyadh of permitting Yemeni troops to use Saudi territory to attack their flank.

The Yemeni government launched Operation 'Scorched Earth' on August 11 to uproot the Shia Houthi fighters whom Sana'a accuses of seeking a return to the Zaidi imamate rule, overthrown in a 1962 coup.

The northern combatants, however, reiterate that they suffer religious discrimination by Sunni fundamentalists who hold sway because of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's cordial relations with the staunchly Wahabi-dominated Saudi regime.

Saada and neighboring Amran province are encircled by fighters and frequently pounded by military jet fighter as helicopter gunships. The conflict zones in northern Yemen remain cut from the rest of the country and are currently grappling with a pressing shortage of food and other basic supplies.

The United Nations puts the figure of displaced people in northern Yemen at around 150,000 civilians. 

Iran urges peaceful resolution to Yemen crisis,

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says military means cannot resolve the crisis between the Yemeni government and Houthi fighters.

Speaking at a joint news conference with the visiting Mosotho foreign minister, Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa, Mottaki said Iran is in favor of peace and stability in Yemen.

He added that Tehran is ready to work with regional states to resolve the crisis in Yemen.

The fighting in Yemen started in August when government forces attacked areas inhabited by Shia civilians and Houthi fighters.

The Houthis demand an end to social, economic and political 'discrimination' against Shias in Yemen as well as Saudi-backed attempts to spread Wahhabism — a sect that preaches controversial and violent actions — in the north. They also accuse the government of widespread corruption.

The government accuses the fighters of violating the terms of an armistice by taking foreign visitors hostage in 2009.

The fighting has displaced thousands of civilians, while tens of thousands of others remain at risk as winter approaches. 

Saudi air assaults target Yemeni civilians.

In its week-long offensive in northern Yemen, Saudi forces (photo) have attacked residential areas and border villages, killing and wounding several people.

According to local Yemeni sources, the Saudi air and artillery assaults against the civilians were launched overnight.

The Saudi Army also deployed one of its main brigades from the southern province of Jizan to northern Yemen early Monday morning, the sources reported. The army's Fourth Brigade consists of at least 13,000 troops.

Saudi authorities have also blocked border roads since Saturday in order to utilize them for the movement of armored trucks and military vehicles.

Saudi Arabia launched its Yemen offensive more than two month after the Yemeni government launched its 'Operation Scotched Earth' to crush the Houhti resistance in the mountainous north.

The Houthis have been accused of seeking to restore a religious establishment that was overthrown in 1962. The fighters, however, stress that they only want an end to the social, economic and political 'discrimination' against them in the country, as well as the Saudi-backed attempts to spread Wahabism in the north.

Wahabism is a Saudi-based sect that preaches radical misinterpretations of Islam that encourages violence against anyone that does not share their system of beliefs. 

Yemen seeks US help to quash Houthis

The United States has signed a military agreement with Yemen to help the embattled Sana'a government with its armed offensive on Houthi fighters in the north.

The agreement was signed in Sana'a on Tuesday after two days of talks, the second round of such negotiations, state-run Saba news agency reported.

Under the military pact, Washington will provide the Yemeni army with intelligence and training to strengthen cooperation in the 'extermination of terrorism, smuggling and piracy', Saba quoted Yemen's Chief of Staff Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal as saying.

The deal comes amid accusations against the central government of employing al-Qaeda mercenaries and getting help from foreign forces, the Sunni-dominated Saudi military in particular.

Northern Yemen has been the scene of deadly clashes between the army and the Houthi opposition fighters, who took arms against the Sunni-dominated central government in protest at 'repression and discrimination' against the country's Shia minority.

The conflict escalated to a breaking point in August when Sana'a launched a massive military offensive, namely Operation Scorched Earth, against the Shia fighters.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian air force launched a deadly offensive against Houthis more than a week ago, accusing the Shia fighters of killing two Saudi soldiers on the border.

While Riyadh says that its offensive targeted Houthi positions on 'Saudi territory', the Shia fighters say Yemeni villages, far from the battlefield, were being bombarded.

They also accuse the Saudi air force of repeated use of the forbidden white phosphorus bombs in their attacks in the areas of al-Malahaid and the border region of Jabal al-Dukhan.

White phosphorus (photo), banned under the Geneva Treaty of 1980, is an incendiary material that erupts into flame on contact with air, causing horrific burns, severe injuries or death when it comes in contact with human skin.

Profile: Yemen's Houthi fighters

Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries and a crucial US ally in Washington's fight against al-Qaeda, is in the midst of a series of conflicts that threaten its stability.

As well as tackling al-Qaeda fighters and sealing with growing secessionist feeling from south Yemen, the government has for five-years waged a campaign against a group of Shia Muslim fighters in the country's north.

The conflict with the Houthi fighters, which has cost the lives of thousands of people, is a mix of local and tribal concerns stemming from historical roots.

Although the current campaign is part of a fight that has been under way since 2004, its roots go back even further.

Zaydi rulers toppled

In 1962, a revolution in Yemen ended over 1,000 years of rule by Zaydi Hashemites, who claimed descendance from the Prophet Mohammed.

Zaydism is a branch of Shia Islam, though its practices often appear closer to Sunni Islam than traditional Shia belief.

Saada, in the north, was their main stonghold and since their fall from power the region was largely ignored economically and remains underdeveloped.

During Yemen's 1994 civil war, the Wahhabis, an Islamic group adhering to a strict version of Sunni Islam found in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, helped the government in its fight against the secessionist south. 

Zaydis complain the government has subsequently allowed the Wahabis too strong a voice in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia, for its part, worries that strife instigated by the Shia sect so close to Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia could stir up groups in Saudi itself.

Although it has received little international coverage, the conflict essentially pits Yemen's Sunni-majority government against Shia fighters, a conflict that has added significance for many Arab countries worried about the rising influence of Shia-ruled Iran.

Yemeni officials have frequently accused Iran of funding the Houthi fighters.

The last five years of fighting against the armed Houthi group were sparked in 2004 by the government's attempt to arrest Hussein al-Houthi, a Zaydi religious leader and a former parliamentarian on whose head the government had placed a $55,000 bounty.

Little authority

The Yemeni government has little authority in the mountainous areas outside the major cities, but amid a sustained campaign, al-Houthi was killed in an attack on his hideout.

The movement is now led by al-Houthi's brothers, including Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.
Fighting eased over the years and in 2007 a deal was signed between the government and the fighters, but never implemented.

A year later, in 2008, Qatari mediators helped revive the deal and the two sides met in Doha to sign a document outlining procedures for the implementation of the earlier agreement.

But on August 10, 2009, Ali Abdullah al-Saleh, the Yemeni president, said the fighters showed no intention of adhering to the peace process and accused them of destroying homes and farms and blocking food distribution.

The campaign began again and Yemen's Supreme Security Committee announced it would crush the fighters with an "iron fist".

 source Aljazeera

Somaliland at crisis point

November 11, 2009  |   ALJaeera

Somaliland has been hailed as a beacon of stability in the troubled Horn of Africa region since declaring independence from Somalia in 1991.

But Al Jazeera's Mohamed Adow, reports that some experts now believe the self-declared republic is at crisis point, as an election row deepens.

The current tension in Somaliland centres on the presidential election, which was due to have been held on September 27.

The polls have been postponed indefinitely due to serious differences between the political parties since 2008.

This uncertainty has led to increased concern about Somaliland in the international community, and a flare-up of political animosity within the territory.

Recent violence, particularly in the capital Hargeysa, has shown that the crisis in Somaliland has changed from being political to one of security and stability.

Fears over the crisis has even led one senior political figure to warn that it could become another failed state, like neighbouring Somalia.

Somaliland is a former British protectorate in north western Somalia.

In 1960, it gained its independence and united with what was then Italian Somaliland to form the Somalia republic.

Limited democracy

In 1991, it declared independence after Mohamed Siad Barre, the Somali military leader, was overthrown.

Somaliland has a population of 3.5 million people, according to government estimates, and is a relatively stable democracy even though it has not been internationally recognised.

This is partly because it has developed a unique hybrid system of government.

The row over elections - largely seen as a test for this fledgeling nation - threatens to divide it.

The hope now lies with a recently appointed electoral commission, entrusted with the task of organising elections, a step seen as vital to Somaliland's quest for international recognition

Monday, November 9, 2009

ElBaradei Suggests Turkey Store Iran's Uranium .

08/11/2009  |   almanartv

Iran's enriched uranium could be transferred to Turkey until Tehran is supplied with nuclear gas from Russia, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday during a television interview.

Mohammed ElBaradei said that he offered Turkey as a third destination country after Iran refused the West's proposal that the uranium be enriched in Russia. “It should work,” he said. The UN watchdog head also added that Iran has great faith in Turkey and that the Obama administration would be open to such a proposal, seeing as the United States is comfortable working with Turkey.

He also noted that the idea has yet to be presented to the Turkish government but estimated that Ankara would agree to store the uranium under the IAEA's supervision. He added that Iran is considering whether to agree to his new proposal.

"I am in contact with them every single day,” ElBaradei said. “They said they would like to keep it on our territory, but I said that defeats the whole purpose of defusing the crisis. We need to get the material out to eliminate the perception that you could develop nuclear weapons tomorrow.”

The Turkish ambassador to the UN said that he was unaware of ElBaradei's new plan while a comment on the proposal has yet to be made by the US State Department.

Earlier on Saturday the Iranian head of parliament's national security and foreign policy committee was quoted as saying that Iran is refusing to send its low-enriched uranium abroad for further processing. "We do not want to give part of our 1,200 kilos of enriched uranium in order to receive fuel of 20%enrichment," Alaeddin Borujerdi told the ISNA news agency.

Following the statements Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Moscow could endorse sanctions on Iran should the talks fail.

Abbas' move highlights failure of peace process

The decision by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to bow out of politics has raised doubts over the future of the Middle East peace process.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, in praising his efforts said she would work with Abbas in whatever capacity he was working in the future.

But it remains to be seen if the US, whose backing of the Israeli position on illegal settlements led to Abbas' decision, will now try to keep him.

Al Jazeera's John Terrett reports.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Israel's Timely Interception??

As claimed - Israel shows arms it intercepted that it says Iran was sending to Hezbollah for terrorism, without any presence of UN peacekeepers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Karadzic attends trial, calls for delay

Tue, 03 Nov 2009 PressTV

Appearing for the first time in his genocide trial in The Hague, wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic (photo) has asked the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal for further delays in the proceedings.

Karadzic arrived at the court on Tuesday following a boycott of the trial, which opened more than a week ago.

He warned that he would continue the boycott unless he is given time — as long as 10 months — to prepare his defense, which he is undertaking personally, and to review more than a million pages of evidence.

Tuesday's procedural hearing aimed at reviewing options for continuing the trial in the face of Karadzic's continued defiance.

The court adjourned after hearing his arguments with the promise of reaching a decision within a week.

"The trial chamber... will issue its decision on this matter in writing later this week," residing judge O-Gon Kwon said at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

He is facing 11 charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity over his alleged role in overseeing Serb atrocities in the 1992-95 Bosnian war that claimed some 100,000 lives.

The former Serb leader, who was indicted in 1995 but avoided capture until 14 months ago, told the judges that he 'would really be a criminal' if he accepted to stand trial without being adequately prepared.

Karadzic has refused to leave his jail cell since the trial started on October 26, saying he needed more time to review more than a million pages of prosecution evidence and the statements of hundreds of witnesses.

"Mr Karadzic cannot be permitted to manipulate the proceedings through his decision not to attend," said prosecutor Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff.

Should the court decide to proceed despite his absence and assign counsel to represent him, the new lawyer may ask for months of delay for acquainting himself with the case. Karadzic, however, has promised to fight such an appointment.

If convicted, Karadzic could be handed a life jail sentence.

On Monday, prosecutor Alan Tieger dubbed the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys 'one of humanity's dark chapters', accusing Karadzic of sanctioning the atrocity.

He also stands charged for the 44-month siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, which ended in November 1995 after some 10,000 people, many of them civilians, were killed.

Monday, November 2, 2009


The kidnapping of 21 international human rights workers attempting to deliver needed aid to a besieged people is an outrage, but it is hardly an isolated one.

Since its founding in 1948 the State of Israel has regularly kidnapped and tortured Palestinians, throwing them into forgotten prisons where they can languish for years. Today, over 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners without benefit of due process, some never even charged - men, women, and children endure torture and isolation in Israeli jails, outdoor prison camps, and secret black sites.

They come from all walks of life: doctors, journalists, parliamentarians, workers, resistance fighters, homemakers, students and others. They are our sisters and brothers.

From the first night, the Free Gaza 21 have been busy trying to get news out of the prison about the illegality of Israel's actions in relation to themselves and the other inmates inside Ramle Prison who have no voice.


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