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Mon, 17 Jan 2022
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Distracting from massive protests in Tel Aviv, Israeli airstrikes kill seven in Gaza, leading to 'retaliatory rocket fire'

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Israel kills more Palestinians in order to raise national security alert level and disperse enormous protests in Tel Aviv
Israeli airstrikes have killed seven Islamic Jihad fighters in the Gaza Strip, prompting a massive barrage of retaliatory rocket fire, officials have said.

Adham Abu Selmiya, a spokesman for Gaza's emergency services, said on Saturday that five members of the Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad's armed wing, were killed and three wounded in a first Israeli attack on their camp.

As fighting continued into the night, Israeli aircraft struck four more targets in Gaza, witnesses and Palestinian officials said, killing two fighters and wounding two others allegedly preparing to fire a missile near Rafah, in the south of the strip.

An Israeli strike east of Gaza City and two in the area of Khan Yunis, in the south, caused no casualties, witnesses said.

As rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel, police said they were raising their national alert to its second-highest level.

Light Sabers

Chinese Troops in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir: Indian General VK Singh

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New Dehli - In what should send alarm bells ringing in the Indian security establishment, Army Chief Gen VK Singh on Wednesday confirmed the presence of some 4,000 Chinese, including troops belonging to the People's Liberation Army of China in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

The presence of the Chinese, including members of their defence forces, has been a matter of intense speculation here in India. But it's the first time an Army Chief has gone public with India's assessment about the kin of Chinese presence in PoK.

Earlier this year, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen KT Parnaik, while addressing a seminar in Jammu, had said that Chinese footprint in PoK was "increasing steadily" and its troops are "actually present" along the Line-of-Control.

"Chinese presence in Gilgit-Baltistan and the Northern Areas is increasing steadily... There are many people who are concerned about the fact that if there was to be hostility between us and Pakistan, what would be the complicity of Chinese. Not only they are in the neighbourhood but the fact that they are actually present and stationed along the LoC,'' Lt. Gen Parnaik had said in April this year.

Yoda

Italian supermodel faces sacking for revealing truth about 'normal' Gaddafi family

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Vanessa Hessler
Vanessa Hessler, who has long been the face of the telecoms firm told a magazine that not only was the Qaddafi family normal, but that the rebels who ousted the dictator were financed by foreigners and that the Libyan people had prospered under him.

"It was a passionate story; we were together for four years," the 23-year-old model told the Italian magazine Diva e Donna, speaking of her relationship with Mutassim, who was killed on October 20.

"At the moment everything disgusts me apart from Libya. I don't like to think that it is true. It is all very sad."

She said the Qaddafi family were "normal people."

Foreign powers had interfered in the country, she said. "We - France and Great Britain - financed the rebels. The people don't know what they are doing," she said.

The Libyan people were not particularly poor nor fanatic, she said. "You must not believe everything you hear."

Alice owner, the Italian firm Telefonica, said it expected her to distance herself from the comments. Spokesman Albert Fetsch said they were private comments which in no way reflected the opinions of the company. "Everything is being considered," he said of her future as poster girl for the Alice firm.

Propaganda

Canadian broadcaster CBC: conspiracy theorists are mentally ill and not to be trusted

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There's so much wrong with the CBC's Conspiracy Rising that it's difficult to know where to begin.

For the most part, the show, screening as part of the CBC's Doc Zone, is much like various other confused efforts that bundle together a bunch of unrelated things - JFK, Princess Di, 9/11, Roswell, elite reptilians, you name it - in order to sweep them all away in a smug gust of intellectual dishonesty. Indeed, that's why professional debunkers like Michael Shermer were invented.

As is the convention with Shermer and his ilk, you're either a conspiracy theorist - as represented in Conspiracy Rising by Alex Jones, seen frequently here at his apoplectic worst - or you're a professor of psychology like the University of New England's David Livingstone Smith, who gravely intones that a society enamoured with conspiracy theory is "sliding into barbarity." Bloodshed is the logical conclusion, he states (cue footage of Hitler).

Typically, there are no shades of grey in Conspiracy Rising. If you think there are reasonable grounds to suspect 9/11 was inadequately investigated, but you feel that Alex Jones is a fairly despicable invention of fringe marketing - well, you don't exist.

Arrow Down

America's Descent to Depravity

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I suspect that most people would like to believe that societies, no matter how base their origins, become better over time. Unfortunately history belies this notion; societies have often grown worse over time. The United States of America is no exception. It was not benign at its origin and has now descended to a region of depravity seldom matched by even the worst nations of history.

Although it is impossible to find hard numbers to prove that morality in America has declined, anecdotal evidence is everywhere to be seen. Almost everyone can cite situations in which the welfare of people was sacrificed for the sake of public or private institutions, but it seems impossible to cite a single instance of a public or private institution's having been sacrificed for the sake of people. If morality has to do with how people are dealt with, one can legitimately ask where morality plays a role in what happens in America? The answer seems to be, "Nowhere!" So what has happened in America to account for the current epidemic of claims that morality in America has collapsed? Well the culture has changed drastically in the last half century, that's what.

Once upon a time in America, the American character was defined in terms of what was called the Protestant Ethic. The sociologist, Max Weber, attributed Capitalism's success to it. Unfortunately Max was lax; he got it wrong, completely wrong. Capitalism and the Protestant ethic are inconsistent with each other. Neither can have been responsible for the other.

Light Saber

Former CIA analyst blows the lid off the fraudulent Wars, live on CNN

An interesting interview in which the 'news anchors' defend the party line against one of the CIA's more honest alumni, former counter-terrorism analyst and head of the Bin Laden station, Michael Scheuer. He is currently adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies.


Bad Guys

Gaddaffi's African "Mercenary" Story is a Disinformation Ploy by the CIA and Friends

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Handshake of Death: Who would have thought the first African American president would launch wars of aggression in Africa?
Experts on Africa who have traveled extensively in Libya contend that the stories emanating from the Western media that portray Libya's leader, Muammar Gaddafi, as engaging the services of black mercenaries from Sahara and sub-Sahara Africa is a disinformation ploy by the CIA to stoke racist fervor among Libyans rebelling against Gaddafi.

After Western news sources "reported" that Gaddafi had hired black African mercenaries to fight against Libyan rebels, thousand of black African workers in Libya were set upon by angry mobs who believed the Western propaganda that the black workers were fighting for Gaddafi.

The role of President Obama in stoking a CIA-engineered racist response by Libyan rebels has not been lost on a number of African-Americans. One leading African-American activist in Washington, DC wrote in an email: "Not demanding the accountability of a black president will garner us the same things as not holding a white President accountable - nothing."

Western news organization reported that Libyan rebels were "hunting down" black African mercenaries but many of these were merely workers who came to Libya from their economically-depressed nations to seek employment in mainly the Libyan oil services, agricultural, and construction sectors. Ironically, a number of the Africans targeted by angry mobs spurred on by CIA and other Western intelligence planted news stories are from Kenya, the land that Obama claims as his paternal ancestral home.

Padlock

Cover-up at St Paul's: Clerics Suppress Report on Bankers' Greed to Save Church Embarrassment

Protestors outside St Paul's, London
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Demonstrators in the Occupy London protests outside St Paul's Cathedral
Clerics suppress report on bankers' greed to save church embarrassment

A highly critical report into the moral standards of bankers has been suppressed by St Paul's Cathedral amid fears that it would inflame tensions over the Occupy London tent protest.

The report, based on a survey of 500 City workers who were asked whether they thought they were worth their lucrative salaries and bonuses, was due to be published last Thursday, the day that the Canon Chancellor of St Paul's, Giles Fraser, resigned in protest at the church's tough stance.

But publication of the report, by the St Paul's Institute, has been delayed in an apparent acknowledgement that it would leave the impression that the cathedral was on the side of the protesters.

Vader

The Greatest Threat To World Peace

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According to Ynet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are extremely concerned by the "Iranian threat". Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli leading paper, reported this week that Netanyahu and Barak are pushing for action against Iran.

According to Israeli leading columnist Nahum Barnea the heads of the armed forces - and Mossad are opposed to taking action against Iran at this time.

Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan had previously stated that an aerial attack on Iran was "a foolish idea" and warned against the disastrous consequences that would follow such action - an all out regional war. As it seems Dagan lost his job for expressing his views on the matter.

It looks as if Israel are preparing the ground for an attack on Iran that would probably escalate into a vile world conflict. Israeli leadership seems to fail to grasp the meaning of it all. This leadership has managed to buy itself the reputation of being impervious to the notion of culpability and responsibility. It basically fails to understand the consequences of it is actions.

Bizarro Earth

Syria's Assad warns of "earthquake" if West intervenes

Bashar al-Assad
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Bashar al-Assad
Western powers risk causing an "earthquake" across the Middle East if they intervene in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad said, after protesters called for foreign protection from a crackdown in which 3,000 people have been killed.

Assad's warning came ahead of Syrian government talks on Sunday with the Arab League aimed at starting a dialogue between the government and opposition and ending violence which has escalated across Syria in recent days.

Activists said Syrian forces killed more than 50 civilians in the last 48 hours and one activist group said suspected army deserters killed 30 soldiers in clashes in the city of Homs and in an ambush in the northern province of Idlib on Saturday.

Assad's suppression of the seven-month uprising has drawn criticism from the United Nations and Arab League. Western governments have called on him to step down and imposed sanctions on Syrian oil exports and state businesses.

Western countries "are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely", Assad told Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

"But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different."

"Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake."