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Mon, 25 Oct 2021
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Defector who told the West about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction admits he lied

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© unknown
Lied: Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, known by the alias Curveball, admits he lied when he told German intelligence that the Iraqi dictator had mobile weapons laboratories as part of a secret biological programme
An Iraqi defector who convinced the West that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which was used as a basis for war, has admitted he lied.

Engineer Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, known by the alias Curveball, told German intelligence that the Iraqi dictator had mobile weapons laboratories as part of a secret biological programme.

However, in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, he now says he lied in order to rid his country of the brutal regime, which he had fled in 1995.

Stop

Egypt's military dissolves Parliament, suspends constitution

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Protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square carry Egyptian police officers on their shoulders Sunday.
Egypt's military dissolved the country's Parliament and suspended its constitution Sunday following the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, telling Egyptians it would be in charge for six months or until elections can be held.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it would appoint a committee to propose changes to the Constitution, which would then be submitted to voters. The council will have the power to issue new laws during the transition period, according to a communique read on state television.

Sameh Shoukry, Egypt's ambassador to the United States, said Sunday that the generals have made restoring security and reviving the economy its top priorities.

"This current composition is basically a technocratic government to run the day-to-day affairs, to take care of the security void that has happened, and to also address the issues related to the economy," Shoukry told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

Handcuffs

Silvio Berlusconi WILL face trial for having sex with 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer

Berlusconi
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In the dock: Silvio Berlusconi salutes during his visit to Mineo in Sicily today
Silvio Berlusconi was yesterday sent for trial on charges of sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of power.

An all-female panel of judges ruled that the Italian Prime Minister should be tried based on 782 pages of wire taps, intercepted text messages and bank details.

If convicted, he could face 15 years in prison. Mr Berlusconi, 74, denies the charges and claims he is the victim of a political witch hunt.

He has been at the centre of torrid allegations since it emerged he had paid teenage Moroccan belly dancer Karima El Mahroug.

Prosecutors said he also used his influence to secure her release when she was arrested.

Star of David

A Sovereign Palestinian State?

Over the past few months, numerous nations have taken the step of officially recognising a Palestinian state, or the right for Palestinians to have a 'sovereign' state of their own. Over the course of a few weeks at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana and Peru all declared Palestine as a 'free and sovereign State". On January 19th, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev joined the chorus when he met with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank oasis town of Jericho and reaffirmed his country's support for a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

While such moves are to be welcomed, we shouldn't allow them to obscure the reality on the ground in Palestine and Israel. For several decades, Israeli authorities have followed a policy of building illegal (according to international law) Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. As of early 2011, half a million Jewish settlers are living in over 150 settlements (comprising small to medium-sized towns) in both the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem. The simple reality is that the extent of these settlements is such that, unless most of them are removed, there is simply no 'sovereign' Palestinian land on which a Palestinian State could ever be established. As a result, all affirmations by other nations, however well-intentioned, of a Palestinian right to statehood ring rather hollow.

Phoenix

Dresden - The Real Holocaust

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The full extent of the Dresden Holocaust can be more readily grasped if one considers that as many as a half a million persons died within a 14-hour period, whereas estimates of those who died at Hiroshima range from 90,000 to 140,000. Author Kurt Vonnegut was in Dresden as an American POW when it was bombed in 1945; he wrote a famous anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse Five, in 1969, based on his experience. The book was banned in several US states - and branded a "tool of the devil" in North Dakota. Churchill, the monster who ordered the Dresden slaughter, was knighted. The rest is history...

The WWII Dresden Holocaust - 'A Single Column Of Flame'
"You guys burnt the place down, turned it into a single column of flame. More people died there in the firestorm, in that one big flame, than died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
On the evening of February 13, 1945, an orgy of genocide and barbarism began against a defenseless German city, one of the greatest cultural centers of northern Europe. Within less than 14 hours not only was it reduced to flaming ruins, but an estimated one-third of its inhabitants, possibly as many as a half a million, had perished in what was the worst single event massacre of all time.

Target

British Cabinet Office Collaborates With French Brainwashing Guru To Change The Way We Think

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Olivier Oullier, President Sarkozy's Brainwashing Guru
On 3 January 2011, following the UK Column's lead article exposing insider dealing between the Cabinet office and political behavioural training charity Common Purpose, the Independent newspaper revealed that David Cameron had also set up a Cabinet Office Behavioural Insight Team. Formed in July last year, the secretive cell is tasked to "dream up psychological tricks to alter our behaviour" - and on a massive scale.

The Independent article warned how the public is to be reframed or "nudged" into politically acceptable "Social Norms"; starting with healthy eating, voluntary work and tax gathering. While this may seem innocent to some people, these early 'soft' targets are already being greatly expanded to include wider central government ideological and political agendas, including Cameron's socialist straitjacket of the Big Society. Elite multi-millionaire Socialist and Tory Chancellor George Osborne has already signed up to Behavioural Economics - another form of mental reframing of individuals and groups, specifically to achieve political economic objectives. Their theory and intent is, that once mentally retrained, we "willingly rush to pay excessive taxes".

Stormtrooper

Wisconsin Governor Walker Threatens To Deploy National Guard As 'Intimidation Force' Against Workers' Unions

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Wisconsin Governor Walker
Last month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said that if employees strike, "they should be fired," and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) wrote in an op-ed that the moral case for unions "does not apply to public employment."Now, facing a $137 million budget deficit, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has proposed a "budget repair bill" that would severely limit collective bargaining, eliminate the right of unions to negotiate pensions, retirement and benefits.

Walker is facing fierce criticism for this all-out assault against state workers, especially after he insisted that the "National Guard" will be used against a walkout:

When asked by a reporter what will happen if workers resist, Walker replied that he would call out the National Guard. He said that the National Guard is "prepared...for whatever the governor, their commander-in-chief, might call for. ... I am fully prepared for whatever may happen."

Dollar

Canada: Nine-month investigation leads to 52 charges in Nova Scotia expense scandal

The leaders of Nova Scotia's three main parties say public trust in the province's politics has been more deeply shaken after the RCMP laid 52 charges on Monday against one current and three former members of the legislature.

The charges, resulting from a criminal investigation of members' constituency expenses, include fraud, theft and breach of trust.

Premier Darrell Dexter said the charges will make it more difficult to get people to participate in politics.

"You know frankly, I'm not just disappointed, I'm angry about it because we all have to live with the consequences," he said.

Dexter refused to comment on the individual cases but he said the fallout from them will make it difficult for all political parties.

"It just becomes much more difficult to bring people into public life," he added.

At the end of a nine-month investigation, RCMP said all four men have been charged with fraud exceeding $5,000 and breach of trust by a public officer.

All of those charged are scheduled to make their first appearance in Halifax provincial court on April 20. None of the allegations against the men have been proven in court.

Among those charged are two former cabinet ministers, Conservative Richard Hurlburt and former Liberal Russell MacKinnon.

Star of David

Anxious Israel confronts new Egyptian reality

Egypt revolution celebration
© Reuters/Asmaa Waguih
People celebrate in Cairo's Tahrir Square, after Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak resigned, February 11, 2011.
The political earthquake in Egypt has sent shockwaves through Israel, shredding decades-old security assumptions and leaving the Jewish state to face more turbulent, demanding relations with its powerful neighbour.

The toppling of President Hosni Mubarak following a popular uprising was greeted by scenes of jubilation in Cairo and wild celebrations on the streets of Gaza, but in Israel, Friday's dramatic events were met with silent anxiety.

It is hard to overstate the importance to Israel of its 1979 peace accord with Egypt, which has given it stability on its southern flanks and has helped successive Israeli leaders maintain the status quo in the unresolved Palestinian conflict.

A future Egyptian government is unlikely to tear up the historic Camp David peace treaty, because such a move could deprive it of crucial U.S. aid. However, most analysts foresee a more testy and uncomfortable ties in the years ahead.

"This has left us dangerously isolated. Egypt was our only strategic partner in the region," said Alon Liel, a former director-general of Israeli Foreign Ministry.

"In the future, Egypt will have different relations with Israel. More hostile and more unpredictable," he added.

Mubarak ruled Egypt for three decades, dealing with eight different Israeli prime ministers during that period and providing them a vital anchor of certainty as they continued to strike out against numerous enemies across the Arab world.

Heart - Black

GOP Proposes $1.6 Billion Cut to EPA Budget, Defends $4 Billion in Oil Subsidies

Republicans unveiled a budget plan on Wednesday that proposed a $1.6 billion cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency whose authority they have sought to curtail, while business trade groups have complained about the burden placed on them by agency regulations. Politico also reported that the GOP's proposal would hit the Energy Department hard , with a proposal to cut energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in half.

Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said he favors gutting EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions with a "legislative fix" rather than simply denying it funds. (See our overview of Upton's positions on energy.) He told the Wall Street Journal that his disagreement with the EPA is: "You don't subsidize different forms of power -- you let the market run on its own."