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Palestinian Border Protests: The Arab Spring Model for Confronting Israel

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© Reuters / Suhaib Salem
Erez Crossing, northern Gaza Strip Palestinians shout slogans during a protest, May 15, 2011.
After more than 100 Palestinians breached Israel's border with Syria on Sunday, knocking down a fence and striding into a village in the Golan Heights, overmatched Israeli security forces scrambled to glean what they could from the protesters who had just, without so much as a sidearm, penetrated farther into the country than any army in a generation.

Under close questioning, the infiltrators closed the intelligence gap with a shrug and one word: Facebook. The operation that had caught Israel's vaunted military and intelligence complex flat-footed was announced, nursed and triggered on the social networking site that has figured in every uprising around the Arab World - and is helping young Palestinians change the terms of their fight against Israel.

The headlines Sunday were all about the violence of the day: at least four people were shot dead by Israeli forces on the Syrian fence line, and as many as 10 were killed either by Israeli or Lebanese army gunfire at a similar demonstration on the nearby frontier with southern Lebanon. The death toll, along with the accounts of stone-throwing and tear gas, comport with the familiar narrative of the conflict, one constructed over years of Israel describing efforts to defend itself. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu encouraged that narrative on Sunday, arguing that the protesters were undermining the very existence of the State of Israel.

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© Uriel Sinai / Getty Images
Palestinians burn tires and throw stones during clashes, May 15, 2011.

Che Guevara

Israel's Frontiers Sizzle with Violence on Historic Day

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© unknown
A turbulent and deadly weekend has given considerable impetus to Palestinians' drive for statehood.

Emboldened by Arab uprisings across the region, young Palestinians triggered widespread clashes at several Israeli border posts Sunday, making this May 15 - the day Palestinians mourn as the catastrophe when their people fled from the nascent state of Israel - as a day unlike any other.

"There's never been a Nakba Day like this," said an experienced Palestinian observer, referring to the event by its Arabic name.

Israel's frontiers sizzled with confrontation as never before during peace time; from Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, where a couple thousand very young people, including young women, attacked the Israeli checkpoint; to Gaza, where hundreds of Palestinians were shelled by Israeli tanks as they attempted to march on the Erez border crossing; to Lebanon, where Palestinian refugees stormed the Israeli border fence and as many as 10 people were shot dead.

Star of David

BREAKING NEWS: Israel Attacks Humanitarian Ship to Gaza in International Waters

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© Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF)
Global Research has been in contact with the Spirit of Rachel Corrie, a Malaysian ship carrying a humanitarian aid cargo to Gaza, which has been attacked in international waters by Israel.

The vessel left the Port of Piraeus, Greece on Wednesday, May 11 carrying 7.5 kilometers of UPVC (plastic) sewage pipes to help restore the devastated sewerage system in Gaza. The humanitarian initiative is sponsored by Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) and participating in this mission includes anti-war activists and journalists, consisting of 7 Malaysians, 2 Irish, 2 Indians and 1 Canadian.

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie is an initiative of The Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) chaired by Malaysia's former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) (Global Research) is also participating in this mission.

Wolf

IMF Chief Allegedly Sexually Assaulted A Journalist In 2002

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© AP
MF chief and potential French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn was just arrested for allegedly assaulting a hotel maid.

This is far from the first sexual allegation concerning "DSK", as he is known. Relatively well known is the story of his affair with an IMF subordinate in 2008.

But perhaps the most serious one, especially in light of what just happened, is the allegation that he tried to rape, or at least sexually assault, a French journalist, Tristane Banon, in 2002, and then covered it up.

The story comes via the French online citizen media Agora Vox.

Comment: From The Guardian:
Banon's mother, Anne Mansouret, told journalists on Sunday night she had dissuaded her daughter from legal action because she believed Strauss-Kahn's behaviour had been out of character and because of close links with his family. "Today I am sorry to have discouraged my daughter from complaining. I bear a heavy responsibility," she said.

She said Strauss-Kahn was "an otherwise warm, sympathetic and extremely talented man", but the attack left her daughter depressed and traumatised. "My daughter, despite the passing years, is still shocked by these facts. Her life was completely upset by this affair and she was depressed for a long time." She added that it was clear Strauss-Kahn had "difficulty controlling his urges". She said: "I'm not a doctor or psychiatrist, but there is something violent in this predatory move."



Vader

IMF chief's hearing delayed in sex assault case

Strauss-Kahn's attorney says he 'denies all the charges against him'
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© Mike Segar/Reuters
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, departs a New York Police Department precinct in New York late Sunday, May 15.

New York - Dominique Strauss-Kahn's reputation with women earned him the nickname "the great seducer," and not even an affair with a subordinate could knock the International Monetary Fund leader off a political path pointed in the direction of the French presidency. All that changed with charges that he sexually assaulted a maid in his hotel room, a case that generated shock and revulsion, especially in his home country.

NBC station WNBC reported on Sunday that the victim identified Strauss-Kahn, 62, in a police lineup as her attacker. Investigators recovered bodily fluid from the hotel room, which would be sent for DNA analysis, a source told the station.

Strauss-Kahn consented to a medical exam of his body, which would push back his court appearance until Monday, his defense attorney said late Sunday.

"Our client willingly consented to a scientific and forensic examination," Strauss-Kahn's lawyer William Taylor said. Strauss-Kahn is "tired, but he's fine."

Evil Rays

Senate Bill Gives Feds Power to Order Blacklisting of Web Sites

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© richard winchell/Flickr
Senate antipiracy legislation introduced Thursday would dramatically increase the government's legal power to disrupt and shutter websites "dedicated to infringing activities."

A major feature of the Protect IP Act, introduced by 11 senators of all stripes, would grant the government the authority to bring lawsuits against these websites, and obtain court orders requiring search engines like Google to stop displaying links to them.

"Both law enforcement and rights holders are currently limited in the remedies available to combat websites dedicated to offering infringing content and products," said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the bill's main sponsor.

The proposal is an offshoot to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act introduced last year. It was scrapped by its authors in exchange for the Protect IP Act in a bid to win Senate passage.

Under the old COICA draft, the government was authorized to obtain court orders to seize so-called generic top-level domains ending in .com, .org and .net. The new legislation (.pdf), with the same sponsors, narrows that somewhat.

Hourglass

Politics Spinning Out of Control

"The two parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a 'gentleman's agreement' of non-recognition, no matter how we vote ... May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or the Democratic Parties."~~W.E.B. DuBois (1922)
Simpsons politics
© Fox
In January, after the mid-term election blowout dumped the House of Representatives into the corporate lap, the Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin opened the 112th Congress with the standard prayer, asking the Lord's Spirit to "descend upon this Chamber; that from here may come forth good news for the poor and healing for the broken-hearted of this nation."

The good Reverend then demanded of the Lord -- "Let there go forth a proclamation to the people that captivity is ended. And the action of true politics will set this nation free."

There was immediate news for the poor and broken-hearted, but it was hardly good. House Speaker John Boehner, awash in tears and incoherently mumbling over and over "the American people...the American people," set about blocking all Democratic legislation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the "single most important" issue for the Republicans is to make "President Obama a one-term president."

And then there's House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is arguably the most frightening Republican -- and that's saying a lot -- for "the American people." Cantor is adamantly opposed to anything that does not inflict further pain and sacrifice on the already suffering poor and middle classes, and struggled to shut down the government and blame it on President Obama.

Comment:
"Democrats are not evil; they really really want to do what is right, but with few exceptions, they are timid, hypocritical little cave-inskis when it comes to walking their talk. They take the money and call it bipartisanship. I call it betrayal."
True, not all representing Democrats have fallen to Pathocratic influences, the same goes for Republicans too. The two party system is however a sham-puppet-show; a reliable method of keeping the vast majority of peoples in the dark, believing that social and political 'change' is possible, simply by voting. Real positive change surely can never happen without a deeper awareness of reality, and the dangers of a belief in the 'two party system'.


Heart - Black

A Pathocrat Exposed?: I.M.F. Chief, Apprehended at Airport, Is Accused of Sexual Attack

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© Benoit Tessiers/Reuters
Dominique Strauss-Kahn
The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport minutes before it was to depart for Paris on Saturday, in connection with the sexual attack of a maid at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, the authorities said.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was widely expected to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency, was apprehended by detectives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the first-class section of the jetliner, and immediately turned over to detectives from the Midtown South Precinct, officials said.

The New York Police Department arrested Mr. Strauss-Kahn at 2:15 a.m. Sunday "on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and an unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault on a 32-year-old chambermaid in the luxury suite of a Midtown Manhattan hotel yesterday" about 1 p.m., Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the department's chief spokesman, said.

Stormtrooper

Propaganda Alert! US: SEALs at Risk? Government Fears for Safety of Troops That Took Out Bin Laden


They are revered as the smartest, bravest and most elite in the American military and yet, there is concern for their safety.

The U.S. government believes there are publications offering money to find out the identities of the Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden.

During a town hall meeting at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted bin Laden's death has intensified the threat of extreme retaliation against them.

"When I met with the team last Thursday, they expressed a concern about that, and particularly with respect to their families," Gates said.

The Department of Defense is looking into ways to "pump up security" for the commandoes. For years, bin Laden was the world's most wanted man, and some fear his death has shifted the crosshairs directly onto Team 6.

In Virginia Beach, where the Seals are based, there's a dangerous new pastime called "SEAL spotting," in which journalists and fans try to pick out members of the elite team.

Info

Iran: Three Iranian Ministers Removed Amid President's Plan to Merge Ministries

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© Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz
File photo taken on Oct. 11, 2010 shows Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran. Iran's Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi was removed along with two other ministers on Saturday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid a plan to merge some ministries of the country, an Information Officer from oil ministry told Xinhua.
Iran's oil minister was removed along with two other ministers on Saturday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid a plan to merge some ministries of the country, an information officer from the Oil Ministry told Xinhua.

In three separate decrees on Saturday, Ahmadinejad dismissed Welfare and Social Security Minister Sadeq Mahsouli, Minister of Industries and Mines Ali-Akbar Mehrabian and Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi from their posts according to the 53rd article of the country's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan, the English language satellite Press TV reported.

The Iranian president expressed gratitude to the ministers for their "honest efforts and services which had an influential role in the successes of the government," said the report.

According to 53rd article of Iran's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), the Iranian government is obliged to reduce its ministries form 21 to 17 to officially improve the efficiency of state administration.