Puppet MastersS

Attention

Yasser Arafat's remains exhumed as poison probe begins

Yasser Arafat
© unknownYasser Arafat
Eight years after the death of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, his remains were exhumed on Tuesday, with experts set to test for signs that the late president was poisoned.

The process was carried out in secrecy, with Mr. Arafat's grave carefully shielded from the public eye and media kept far away, but Palestinian sources confirmed the remains had been removed for testing on Tuesday morning.

"At 5:00 a.m., experts began to remove the stones and began opening the grave in an orderly fashion. The remains were then transferred to a mosque adjacent to the grave for the removal of samples," a Palestinian source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The source said only a Palestinian doctor would be allowed to directly touch the remains and remove the samples, but that the process was being conducted in front of Swiss, Russian and French experts.

The remains were reburied on Tuesday after the samples were taken, Palestinian sources said.

"The operation is finished, the tomb has been resealed and the samples have been given to the French, Swiss and Russian experts," officials from the Palestinian

Bad Guys

Photo shows activity at North Korean launch site?

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© DigitalGlobe via ReutersA satellite image of the Sohae launch facility on November 23, showing increased activity at the North Korean missile launch site.
A new satellite image shows a marked increase in activity at a North Korean missile launch site, pointing to a possible long-range ballistic missile test by Pyongyang in the next three weeks, according to satellite operator DigitalGlobe Inc.

The imagery was released days after a Japanese newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, reported that U.S. intelligence analysts had detected moves that were seen as preparation by North Korea for a long-range missile launch as early as this month.

DigitalGlobe, which provides commercial satellite imagery to the U.S. government and foreign governments, on Monday released a new image that it said showed increased activity at North Korea's Sohae (West Sea) Satellite Launch Station.

It said the imagery showed more people, trucks and other equipment at the site, a level of activity that was consistent with launch preparations seen before North Korea's failed April 13 rocket launch.

Comment: Wow, a missile that can hit the United States from North Korea ... similar to China, Russia, France or many other countries who have long range ballistic missiles - nuclear or otherwise. Since this is North Korea the writer is talking about, please remember to be scared.


Star of David

War profiteers! Israel's arms industry courted by EU on eve of Gaza attack

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© AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED
Haneen was 10-months-old; Omar 11 months; Ibrahim one year. For the offence of being reared in Gaza, these infants were killed with the aid of Israel's "precision-guided" missiles.

A few days before their deaths, the European Commission sponsored the "second international homeland security conference" in Tel Aviv. More of a bazaar than a talking shop, the event featured exhibits by Israel's top weapons companies. Shimon Peres, the state's president, gave the closing address, using this august occasion to boast of how, as a youthful arms dealer, he was "part of founding Israel's defence industries". Peres said he was "delighted to see the innovative technological developments which are leading the world in homeland security" and expressed pride in heading "a nation with creativity and wisdom, courage and chutzpah".

As far as I can see, the EU's involvement in this exhibition went unnoticed by the media. That is deeply disturbing. It suggests that the Commission can endorse firms which profit from dropping bombs on Palestinian babies without anyone batting an eyelid.

Light Sabers

The Palestinians' only option

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In the final countdown to the UN General Assembly vote on recognition of Palestine as a non-member state, the PLO has indicated that it's expecting "a pleasant surprise", it being the number of European countries which will not do Zionism's bidding on this occasion and will vote for the resolution. Victory for the Palestinians in this forum can be taken for granted, and it will help to further isolate the Israel of Netanyahu as a pariah state, but... It won't be, can't be, a substitute for a viable strategy to secure justice for the Palestinians.

In my analysis the Palestinians now have only one option.

For starters it requires the PLO to recognize and declare that the two-state solution is dead (not least because no Israeli prime minister is going to trigger a Jewish civil war in order to end the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem).

Then what?

The next step should be winding up the Palestine Authority and handing total responsibility for the occupation back to Israel.

Che Guevara

Colombia, FARC peace talks off to good start in Havana

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FARC rebels
Peace negotiations between Colombia and Marxist guerrillas are off to a good start in Cuba, a rebel negotiator said on Tuesday, after delays and rocky moments in the weeks before talks began to end Latin America's longest-running insurgency.

Tempered by a history of failure, Colombia's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, started discussions on Monday with rebels calling a unilateral truce, boosting hopes for an end after nearly 50 years of fighting.

Rebel negotiator Jesus Santrich, wearing a gray jacket and dark neck scarf, told reporters outside a Havana convention center that the first session on Monday went smoothly.

Pirates

Russian PM criticizes Hollande over supporting al Qaeda terrorists in Syria

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Collaborators
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has censured the French government for supporting the insurgents in Syria.

"The question is how right it is to... decide to support another political force if that political force is in direct confrontation with the officially recognized government of another country," Medvedev said prior to a visit to the French capital Paris on Monday.

"And from the point of view of international law, it seems to me that is absolutely unacceptable."

France became the first European country to recognize Syria's opposition coalition on November 13. Paris said it would look into the issue of arming the insurgents against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

USA

In Iran, US-led sanctions take toll on the sick

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The tightening of U.S. banking sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program has had an impact on all sectors of the economy but is increasingly hitting vulnerable medical patients as deliveries of medicine and raw materials for Iranian pharmaceutical companies are either stopped or delayed, according to medical experts.

The effect, the experts say, is being felt by cancer patients and those being treated for complex disorders such as hemophilia, multiple sclerosis and thalassemia, as well as transplant and kidney dialysis patients, none of whom can afford interruptions or delays in medical supplies.

Milad, an 8-year-old Iranian boy suffering from severe hemophilia, lives in Kuhdasht, a town 400 miles southwest of Tehran, and relies on injections of a U.S.-made treatment, Feiba, which is no longer available locally in large enough quantities.

His parents took him on the 12-hour bus journey to the capital hoping to find supplies of the vital medicine but were given enough for only two days. The boy is now at risk of losing the use of his right leg and is suffering continuous nose bleeds that could be life-threatening.

Comment: Six million Iranian lives at stake




Light Sabers

Barak totally misread Mideast politics: Israeli minister Gilad Erdan

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Barak out, Lieberman in?
Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan says the Tel Aviv regime's Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak totally misread the political situation in the Middle East.

"His [Barak] political and ideological approach was completely wrong. We are currently acting to raise the election threshold in order to have a proper... leadership, unlike Barak's which has totally misread the political situation in the Middle East," Erdan said on Monday, commenting on Barak's decision to end his political career.

Barak announced earlier on Monday that he is retiring from politics and will not contend in the parliamentary elections on January 22.

The 70-year-old served as Israel's 14th chief of staff and has a 36-year military career.

Stormtrooper

Bahraini forces fire tear gas, stun grenades at protesters

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Bahraini security forces have fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Al Khalifa regime.

Protesters were attacked by regime forces on Tuesday, as they marched from the village of Deih to the former Pearl Square, the site of month-long anti-regime demonstrations that were brutally suppressed by the government last year.

The Bahraini Interior Ministry said on its Twitter page that police confronted a "group of vandals" on the Budaiya artery, after they "blocked the road, hurled petrol bombs, and terrified passers-by."

A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the campaign of suppression and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.

Magic Wand

How the BBC whitewashed Israel's war crimes from the ceasefire in Gaza

gaza_child_ dead
© Unknown
Rarely would a state get such an easy run from the media after killing so many civilians, many of whom were children, in what the BBC now calls the 'flare-up' of violence.

Last night a ceasefire came into effect after a week of attacks on Gaza which left over 150 Palestinians dead (at least 40 of them children) and rocket fire into Israel which left 5 Israelis dead.

Before the news of the ceasefire became the front-page headline on the BBC News website, the headline story for the entire day concerned the bus bombing in Tel Aviv, which injured 21 civilians.

Luckily this attack did not result in civilian deaths, however it was still deemed more newsworthy than the 13 Palestinians in Gaza who were killed by air strikes that same day.

The news coverage was another glaring example of the different value assigned to life by our media, depending on which side of the Gaza border it resides.