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Tue, 28 Sep 2021
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US drone strike kills seven in Pakistan

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© Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images
US embassy employee Raymond Davis, who is accused of killing two Pakistanis in Lahore in late January.
Attack in South Waziristan is first since arrest of Raymond Davis, the US embassy employee who shot two Pakistanis

A US drone attack has killed seven alleged militants, including some thought to be of Arab origin, in a Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The strike was the first since the arrest of Raymond Davis, a US embassy employee who shot two Pakistanis in late January. There had been speculation that Washington had suspended the use of drones as it wrestled with Pakistan over whether the American has diplomatic immunity and should be freed.

According to the Pakistani intelligence officials, three missiles hit a house overnight in the village of Kaza Panga in the South Waziristan tribal region. Arabs and Turkmen were believed to be among the dead, they said.

Pistol

US: Pentagon Aide 'Was Killed by Hitman' Claims Distraught Widow

Prominent Washington aide John Wheeler was assassinated by a hitman in a targeted killing, his widow has claimed.

Katherine Klyce said the way her late husband's body was dumped at a landfill site could only have been carried out by a professional.

The 66-year-old suggested his work with the Pentagon over his decades-long career could have made him enemies who wanted rid of him.

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© SLDINFO
Allegations: Katherine Klyce claims her late husband, prominent Washington aide John Wheeler, was assassinated by a hitman in a targeted killing
She also attacked the police investigation into his death and claimed it had 'made her life miserable'.

Officers have confiscated personal items including credit cards and strange charges have been appearing on them in recent weeks including two flights worth $3,000, she said.

The body of Mr Wheeler, 66, a former Army officer who was instrumental in building the iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington DC, was discovered on a landfill in Wilmington, Delaware, on New Year's Eve.

Arrow Down

Rumsfeld blasts Obama's world image

Donald Rumsfeld
© unknown
Donald Rumsfeld
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld disputes the notion that President Barack Obama has made America more popular around the globe than it was under his former boss, President George W. Bush.

Asked on CNN's State of the Union by host Candy Crowley whether the U.S. is looked at differently than under his tenure, Rumsfeld replied, "I don't think there's data that supports that."

"I think [Obama] has made a practice of trying to apologize for America," Rumsfeld said.

Chess

Israel warns Iran is 'taking advantage' of Middle East unrest

Iranian warship Alvand
© AFP
Iranian warship Alvand

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, accused Iran of trying to exploit the Middle East unrest to increase its influence in the region as two Iranian warships prepared to cross the Suez Canal.

The two Iranian ships, which are a frigate and a supply ship, are to deliver supplies to a port in Syria. They mark the first Iranian navy vessels to pass through the Suez Canal since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Egyptian officials at the canal denied reports by Iranian state television that the pair of ships had already passed through the strategic waterway connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. But instead said the ships were expected to pass through around dawn today.

Bad Guys

US: Wisconsin unrest exposed GOP strategy to split lower classes, liberal author says

robertreich
© Unknown
Robert Reich

The labor unrest in Wisconsin exposed the Republican Party's plan to essentially divide-and-conquer the lower classes in America, a liberal author recently wrote.

"The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class - pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don't believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class," Robert Reich wrote on his blog Thursday.

He continued, "Wisconsin's Republican governor Scott Walker and his GOP legislature are seeking to end almost all union rights for teachers."

Bad Guys

Canada and US Launch Continental "Security Perimeter" Talks

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama announced, at the conclusion of a White House meeting earlier this month, the launching of bilateral North American Security Perimeter talks.

The stated aim of the negotiations is to greatly enhance the integration of Canadian and US border security and the harmonization of the two countries' national security, immigration, refugee and regulatory regimes, so as to strengthen continental security, facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and people, and promote "economic competitiveness."

The negotiations are to be based on a joint declaration Harper and Obama issued following their February 4 meeting. "Beyond the Border: a shared vision for perimeter security and economic competitiveness" calls for the longstanding across-the-board security cooperation between the Canadian and US militaries, police forces, and border protection agencies - including through NATO and the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) - to be taken to a new level. "We intend," states the joint declaration, "to pursue a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries to enhance our security and the legitimate flow of people, goods and services."

Dollar

Billionaire tea party tycoons financed Wisconsin's anti-union governor

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Who were among the financiers behind Wisconsin's Republican Governor, now embroiled in a controversial attempt to destroy public sector unions?

None other than reviled tea party financiers Charles and David Koch, is who.

Turns out, the billionaire oil tycoons' political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker (R) roughly $100,000 in campaign contributions during the 2010 election, according to campaign finance records highlighted by Mother Jones.

The contributions came from the same source -- Koch Industries PAC -- and though through two channels which were both legal under current campaign finance law.

Vader

Killing fields: US imperial forces butcher 64 civilians in Afghanistan

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A unemployed, undereducated, drugged US teenager guards the empire's heroin supply in a field somewhere in Afghanistan
At least 64 civilians have been killed in joint NATO-Afghan operations in the eastern Kunar province over the past four days, provincial governor says.

Fazlullah Wahidi Governor of Kunar province said Sunday that many of the victims of the ground and air raids on Ghazi Abad district were women and children, a Press TV correspondent reported.

NATO said it is investigating reports that several civilians may have been injured, adding, however, that it is not aware of any civilian deaths.

Civilian casualties in US-led military operations have long been a source of friction between the Afghan government and NATO.

2010 was the deadliest year for Afghan civilians since the US-led invasion almost a decade ago. An estimated 2,400 civilians were killed last year by both US-led forces and militants.

Cow Skull

Scotland's Wild Salmon Face "Calamity" from Trade Deal with China

salmon leap
© Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
A wild salmon attempts to swim upstream to spawn in Selkirk, Scotland. Parasitic lice found in fish farms may prevent its young from returning safely to the sea.
Deadly parasites found in fish farms will pose greater risk to wild fish if production soars because of Chinese deal, conservationists warn

China's appetite for Scottish farmed salmon is threatening dwindling stocks of sea trout and wild salmon, according to conservationists.

A new trade agreement was signed last month with the Chinese vice-premier, Li Keqiang, by Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, who boasted that "even if 1% of the people of China decide to eat Scottish salmon, then we'll have to double production in Scotland".

But the prospect of a massive increase in farmed fish production has horrified defenders of Scotland's depleted indigenous wild salmon and sea trout runs.

Now Salmond has also been accused of laying the Scottish government open to the charge that it is in effect "supporting repression". China is halting the import of farmed salmon from Norway in retaliation for the Nobel peace prize being awarded to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Not that it will make much difference: many of the larger farmed salmon enterprises in Scotland are Norwegian-owned.

Magnify

Tarpley: Mubarak toppled by CIA because he opposed U.S. plans for war with Iran

Mubarak
© Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters
US Eyes Seizure of Suez Canal; Was this the Threat that Forced Mubarak to Quit?

Washington DC - There never was an "Egyptian revolution," but rather a behind-the-scenes military putsch by a junta of CIA puppet generals who evidently could not succeed in their goal of ousting Hosni Mubarak without the help of a heavy-duty ultimatum from Washington in the night between Thursday, February 10 and Friday, February 11, 2011. There is growing evidence that the threat in question involved the seizure or blocking of the Suez Canal, the Egyptian waterway which carries over 8% of all seaborne world trade, which the imperialists tried to grab back in 1956, and from which they would today like to exclude China, Iran, and Russia. As for Mubarak, there are strong indications that he was toppled by Washington and London because he opposed the current US-UK plan to organize a block of Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Gulf states - under a US nuclear umbrella and shoulder to shoulder with Israel - for purposes of confrontation and war with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and their Shiite and radical allies.

This means that, with the fall of Mubarak, the Middle East has taken a big step on the road to general war. As for the junta, they have now dissolved parliament, shredded the constitution, and announced six months of martial law.

In the days after Mubarak's fall, the Anglo-American controlled media chorus chanted obsessively that this was one regime change in the Arab world which had been brought about by the Egyptian people, all by themselves. In reality, the relatively limited popular agitation was actually the least important factor in toppling the long-serving Egyptian rais. Since there was no real mass organization capable of seizing power, and no program of economic reconstruction, development, and reform which could have united the efforts of larger sectors of the Egyptian population, Egypt was left to the tender mercies of the now standard CIA/National Endowment for Democracy color revolution, people power coup, or postmodern putsch. According to this recipe, the destabilization was begun by gathering the privileged youth of the upper middle classes - the ones with access to the Internet, Google, Facebook, and Twitter - in Tahrir Square, where, despite their relatively anemic numbers in a city as big as Cairo, they provided a photo opportunity for the Al Jazeera television network, which shamelessly served as the demagogic speaking tube of British intelligence, the former colonial power in Egypt.