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Stop the presses: Turkey tops list of jailed journalists

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© Reuters/Murad Sezer
Journalists and their supporters gather outside the Justice Palace to protest against the detention of journalists in Istanbul December 26, 2011.
As the situation in Syria intensifies, its neighbor Turkey, which is at the frontline of the offensive against President Assad's government, is being dubbed as the world's leading jailer of journalists by a New York - based media watchdog.

­The latest investigation says that 76 journalists were detained in Turkey as of August 1, 80 per cent of which were imprisoned as a direct result of their work. The remaining 20 per cent of the cases are still being investigated by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) workers. The report also claims that three-quarters of jailed journalists have not yet been convicted of any crime but are held while they await "resolution of their cases."

The findings claim that "the Turkish government is engaging in a broad offensive to silence critical journalists through imprisonment, legal prosecution and official intimidation," as 70 per cent of those in jail were Kurdish and the rest being accused of participating in plots against the government, or membership of outlawed organizations.

Pirates

Syrian 'rebels' (al-CIA-duh) exchange fire with Hezbollah in Lebanon

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Hezbollah: The CIA mercenaries don't stand a chance against the popular army that defeated the IDF in 2006, unless NATO airpower intervenes...
A number of people have been killed in an exchange of fire between Syrian rebels and fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, say reports.

Lebanese security sources said the clashes took place on Lebanon's side of the border, near the town of Baalbek.

Hezbollah is fighting alongside the army in Syria, but the clashes have rarely crossed onto Lebanese soil.

Meanwhile the Red Cross has said it is alarmed by the worsening situation in the besieged Syrian town of Qusair.

It has appealed for access to the town, which lies just 10km (6 miles) over the Lebanese border.

Thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped as pro-government forces - including Hezbollah fighters - battle rebels.

Comment: That last line should read "...since the civil war in Syria was started and sustained by the CIA and friends in 2011."


Attention

UN panel rebukes UK over human rights violations

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© PA
Pat Finucane. The UN panel raised serious concerns over matters including the failure to hold a public inquiry into the state's involvement in the Belfast solicitor's murder.
UN Committee Against Torture report recommends 40 separate measures to be taken before UK is given clean bill of health

The British government's human rights record since the attacks of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq is facing ferocious criticism from a United Nations panel, which warns that prompt action is needed to ensure the country meets its obligations under international law.

In a report published on Friday, the UN Committee against Torture recommends more than 40 separate measures which it says will need to be taken if the UK is to be given a clean bill of health.

While the committee has focused on the failure to hold to account those responsible for human rights abuses in the so-called war on terror, and for the mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq, it also raises a series of other serious concerns over matters that include the controversial Justice and Security Act, the forced removal of failed asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, and the failure to hold a public inquiry into the state's involvement in the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

The report - which will doubtless make uncomfortable reading across Whitehall - contains the harshest criticism that the committee has yet made of a British government. It is the first substantial criticism since 1992, when the UK was told that were it not for the mistreatment of terrorism suspects in Northern Ireland, it would have been found to have "met in virtually every respect" its obligations under the UN convention against torture.

Alarm Clock

Prosecutor investigating the murder of Pakistan's ex-leader Benazir Bhutto gunned down outside his home

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Zulfikar, the prosecutor investigating the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, one of the most shocking events in Pakistan's turbulent history, was shot dead on Friday
Gunmen have shot dead the prosecutor investigating the murder of Pakistan's ex-leader Benazir Bhutto.

The men on a motorcycle killed Chaudhry Zulfikar as he left his home and headed to a hearing in the case.

Chaudhry Zulfikar was at the helm of a number of highly controversial cases, including the 2007 Bhutto assassination in which Musharraf is accused of involvement.

Zulfikar was on his way to a court in Islamabad when gunmen fired at him from a taxi, hitting him in the head, shoulder and chest, said police officer Mohammed Ishaq.

Zulfikar then lost control of his car, which hit a woman passer-by and killed her, said another police officer, Mohammed Rafiq.

Zulfikar's guard, Farman Ali, returned fire and is believed to have wounded at least one of the attackers, Rafiq said. Ali also was injured in the attack.

Police official Yasin Farooq said the attackers fled after killing Zulfikar, and that a massive search has been launched to find them.

A motive for the killing was unclear, but Zulfikar's involvement in the two particularly high-profile cases will likely be scrutinized closely.

Government prosecutors have accused Musharraf of being involved in the Bhutto assassination and not providing enough security to Pakistan's first female prime minister. Musharraf, who was in power when was killed, has denied the allegations. At the time of the attack, he blamed the assassination on the Pakistani Taliban.

The Bhutto case has lingered for years in the Pakistani court system. A number of alleged assailants are on trial but no one has been convicted. The case burst into the headlines when Musharraf returned in March after four years in exile.

Zulfikar was also the government's lead prosecutor in a case related to the 2008 terrorist attack on the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people.

Comment: A motive was "unclear"? Hardly. See this Sott Focus for the very clear motive


Alarm Clock

Why there were no 'actors' at the Boston Marathon bombings

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The Boston Bombings: Made in America
The idea that many 'terrorist' attacks are in fact carried out by government intelligence agencies is not a new concept (we here at Sott.net have spent the last ten years attempting to highlight the evidence for government complicity in 'Islamic terrorism' for one example). What is new is the idea that these government-inspired or perpetrated terrorist attacks are somehow doubly "fake" in the sense that some or all of the details of the attack didn't actually happen in any real sense. The idea is that, not only was the attack fake in the sense that government, not 'Muslim terrorists' or 'homegrown terrorists', were responsible, but that the apparent victims were fake also, their roles, where necessary, being portrayed by 'actors', presumably working for the government. The claim that 'crisis actors' were used in place of real victims has been made about the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings, the more recent Boston marathon bombings and even the May 22nd knife attack on a British soldier in London.

To clarify, the idea of 'actors' as it is being used in this context is not the same as 'media plants'. Media plants are people placed at the scene of a government false-flag terror attack who pose as 'eyewitnesses' to establish an official narrative for the media and public. 'Actors', on the other hand, are people who are supposedly part of the false-flag attack itself and who pose as victims of the attack but who are not really injured at all.

The Sandy Hook massacre last December seems to have been the first major event where the 'actors' idea gained traction. Within a month of the massacre, there were literally hundreds of Youtube videos and articles supposedly providing proof that the parents and neighbors of the victims were actually crisis actors and, therefore, the entire event was probably staged and no one was killed. The 'hoax' was, it is claimed, a crass and obvious attempt by the government to impose 'gun control' on America.

Many of the Sandy Hook hoax videos have received tens, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of views. I wrote about the implausibility of that particular 'actors' theory here and tried to compile the best evidence for Sandy Hook being a US intel 'black' operation here and here. Despite my efforts, (not that I ever expect them to make much difference) the 'terror attack actors' idea continued to gain pace and made a serious reappearance at the Boston Marathon bombings.

Dollars

British taxpayers to pay millions towards secretive Bilderberg meeting security

The Grove Hotel
© The Grove
The Grove Hotel in Watford. The town is an unglamorous location for this year's Bilderberg meeting.
Taxpayers are likely to have to pay millions towards the cost of policing the secretive Bilderberg meeting of the global elite due to gather in Hertfordshire next week.

The clandestine meeting of royalty, prime ministers and business chiefs is taking place in Britain for the first time since 1998, sparking fears of "violence and disturbance" by protesters.

The Bilderberg organisers, who include Tory Cabinet minister Ken Clarke, do not release a guest list but a roll-call of luminaries are expected to descend on a luxury Watford hotel from June 6, forcing police to step up security.

Hertfordshire police have refused to release the cost of security for the event, which has previously drawn anti-capitalist demonstrators in other locations around the world.

However, they are in talks with the Home Office about a grant for "unexpected or exceptional costs" that is only given out if it threatens the stability of the force's policing budget. The final bill would have to total more than one per cent of the police force's overall spend - or about £1.8 million - for the grant to be successful.

The invitation-only Bilderberg meetings are attended by around 140 members of the international elite.

Eye 1

IRS collects docs from 88 employees in investigation

Washington (CNN) - The Internal Revenue Service has told House GOP investigators they have identified 88 IRS employees who may have documents relevant to the congressional investigation into targeting of conservative groups, according to a congressional source familiar with the investigation.

The IRS asked these employees to preserve all the "responsive documents" on their computers, and it has been in the process of collecting it all to comply with congressional requests for information. The IRS missed its May 21st deadline to turn over documents to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The same source said the IRS argues it missed its deadline because of the scope of documents it is collecting.

The request for documents was a bipartisan one, but Republicans are privately preparing to seize on the fact that if nearly 90 IRS employees may have been somehow involved in this targeting, it is evidence that the controversy extends well beyond the mistakes by a few low level employees.

However, with no documents in hand, there is no way to know how many of the employees being asked to preserve documents were truly involved in the activity in question. The IRS, in a statement to CNN, said the large number reflects its effort to ensure they are as responsive as possible to the Congressional requests.

"The IRS and Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel are moving aggressively and taking the data requests very seriously. As a precautionary measure, the IRS is casting a wide net to capture any potentially related materials. Our goal is to be exceedingly thorough during this process to ensure we identify any and all pertinent records," the IRS statement said. "The IRS has received numerous congressional requests involving an extensive set of questions and calls for data. Responding to these requests is a top priority for us. We have been in contact with committee staff, and we continue to provide them updates as we diligently work through these requests."

Stock Down

The Hindenburg omen has appeared

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With the Dow falling, a lot of people have been talking about a rare sighting in markets: THE HINDENBURG OMEN.

The Hindenburg Omen is a technical analysis thing that some people think portends a stock market crash.

From Wikipedia:
The Hindenburg Omen is a combination of technical factors that attempt to measure the health of the NYSE, and by extension, the stock market as a whole. The goal of the indicator is to signal increased probability of a stock market crash.

The rationale is that under "normal conditions" a substantial number of stocks may set either new annual highs or new annual lows, but not both at the same time. As a healthy market possesses a degree of uniformity, whether up or down, the simultaneous presence of many new highs and lows may signal trouble.

Theoretically, the Hindenburg Omen could be applied to any stock exchange. However, some minor alterations to the omen might be needed to achieve similar results.

Eye 1

GOP says report will expose lavish spending at 2010 IRS conference

The House Oversight Committee is holding another hearing on the IRS - but not one dealing with the agency's targeting of conservative groups.

The panel, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), will hear on Thursday from Treasury's inspector general for tax administration about "excessive spending" at IRS conferences.

"The IRS is an agency in crisis," Issa said in a statement. "The American people expect that their tax-dollars will be used responsibly and not for financing lavish hotel suites and entertainment for government employees. The Oversight Committee will examine these egregious abuses of the public trust and an IRS culture that shuns accountability."

"Cutting down on excessive and inappropriate travel has been a personal priority for me," said Werfel, a former senior official at the Office of Management and Budget.

Danny Werfel, the acting IRS chief, said that the inspector general report would discuss an IRS conference from 2010 - "an unfortunate vestige from a prior era," as Werfel put it.

"While there were legitimate reasons for holding the meeting, many of the expenses associated with it were inappropriate and should not have occurred," Werfel said.

Werfel said the sort of conference that will be described in the report, which he expects to be released on Tuesday, could not happen today, and that travel and training expenses at the IRS have already dropped more than 80 percent since 2010.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has asked Werfel to conduct a thorough examination of the agency in his first month on the job, and the new acting commissioner made clear that the IRS's bottom line would be a hot topic for him.


USA

More than 1,000 killed in Iraq in May, UN says

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More than 1,000 people were killed in violence in Iraq in May, making it the deadliest month since the sectarian slaughter of 2006-07, the United Nations reported today, raising fears of a return to civil war.

"That is a sad record," Martin Kobler, the UN envoy in Baghdad, said in a statement. "Iraqi political leaders must act immediately to stop this intolerable bloodshed."

Comment: This article, like so many other mainstream media articles on Iraq, totally fails to point the finger at the real culprits for the so-called "civil war" in Iraq. From the very beginning of the illegal invasion of Iraq by US forces, the US government and military conspired to fracture and divide any Iraqi opposition to the invasion and occupation through the use of US-sponsored death squads who went about their task of indiscriminately murdering Iraqi civilians from both Shia and Sunni communities. See this Sott Focus editorial for further details and the evidence.