Puppet MastersS


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

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© 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.

Bizarro Earth

SOTT Focus: Gaza 'Ceasefire' - Prelude to a Wider War

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Walking along the cracked sidewalk that charts my route home from college, my head was filled with thoughts of Gaza and the recent 'ceasefire' and the fact that 160 Gazans had been ruthlessly slaughtered in eight days. As I ambled along, constating how lucky I was not to have to fear the sound of F16's or a sudden missile strike or being burnt alive by white phosphorous, I was stopped dead in my tracks by an unusual sight. Scattered on the ground in front of me were many bloody feathers, and lying right in the middle of the sidewalk, as if placed there by someone, was the head of a pigeon. Blood still dripped from its severed spinal cord, right below the neck. Light still shined from its eye. I asked a girl who happened to be standing next to me if she'd ever seen a bad omen. She just shrugged and walked away.

Star of David

Best of the Web: Israel's shame: Children, the true victims

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The rockets slammed in, two in succession, just after 11.30 at night. When Huda Tawfil had shaken herself awake through the confusion and terror, her first thoughts were for her baby. Seeing what she did through the smoke and flames, she burst into tears.

The 20-year-old started digging through the rubble with her hands as other members of the family ran into the room and joined in. She then cradled her little girl on the way to hospital in her husband's car. There was an emergency operation, but the injuries from the shrapnel proved to be too severe.

The name of Hanin Tawfil was added to a growing and particularly grim list from the latest Gaza conflict. Out of 104 civilians killed and 970 wounded, 34 and 274 respectively were children; dozens of others who survived have been orphaned and left traumatised by the violence.

The figures are startling even by the vicious standards of the recent bloodlettings in this region. It is, of course, the case that rockets fired from Gaza by Palestinians, often indiscriminately, had led to casualties among young boys and girls in Israel. But the ministry of defence in Tel Aviv had repeatedly stressed in the course of this mission that its attacks were surgical and all efforts possible had been made to avoid collateral damage.

Pirates

Treasury to crack down on UK's offshore tax havens

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British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne
Channel Islands and Isle of Man will be among those ordered to reveal names behind hidden accounts

Radical plans to force the UK's tax havens to reveal the names behind hidden companies, account holders and trusts have been drawn up by the Treasury.

The news has delighted tax justice campaigners, who predict that the move, which is expected to be unveiled in the chancellor's autumn statement and come into force in 2014, will have major consequences for those trying to hide their money offshore.


Comment: Plenty of time for them to move the money elsewhere then.

Elite Pathocrats Hide £13 Trillion Hoard from Taxman


A leaked document reveals that the UK plans to impose its own version of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) on the crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, as well as its overseas territories, such as the Cayman Islands.

Bizarro Earth

New corruption scandal rocks Brazilian government

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, moving quickly to nip a new scandal in the bud, ordered the dismissal on Saturday of government officials allegedly involved in a bribery ring, including the country's deputy attorney general.

Dilma Rousseff
© Reuters/Ueslei MarcelinoBrazil's President Dilma Rousseff participates in the ceremony of investiture for the new President and Vice-President of the Supreme Court, ministers Joaquim Barbosa and Ricardo Lewandowski, in Brasilia November 22, 2012.
Federal police raided government offices in Brasilia and Sao Paulo on Friday and arrested six people for running an influence peddling ring that sold government approvals to businessmen in return for bribes.

Among those under investigation are the former personal secretary of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rosemary de Noronha, who has headed the regional office of the presidency in Sao Paulo since 2005.

The bribery scandal erupted on the heels of Brazil's biggest political corruption trial that sentenced some of Lula's closest aides to prison terms for buying support in Congress for his minority Workers' Party government after taking office in 2003.

Rousseff, Lula's chosen successor, was not affected by the vote-buying scandal and she has built on his popularity by gaining a reputation for not tolerating corruption. But the ruling Workers' Party was rocked by the scandal which tarnished Lula's legacy even though he was not implicated.

The new corruption case could further hurt the standing of Lula, who remains Brazil's most influential politician.

Sherlock

Arafat's body to be exhumed on Tuesday in murder inquiry

The body of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed on Tuesday, eight years after his death, in an investigation to establish if he was murdered, a Palestinian official said on Saturday.
Tawfiq al-Tirawi
© Reuters / Mohamad TorokmanTawfiq al-Tirawi, the head of the Palestinian inquiry team into the death of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, speaks to reporters during a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Ramallah - A French court opened a murder inquiry in August into Arafat's death in Paris after a Swiss institute said it had discovered high levels of radioactive polonium on his clothing, which was supplied by his widow, Suha.

Tawfiq al-Tirawi, in charge of the Palestinian committee overseeing the investigation, told reporters in Ramallah on Saturday "it is a painful necessity" to exhume the body of Arafat, who came to symbolize the Palestinian quest for statehood throughout decades of war and peace with Israel.

Tirawi said the Palestinians had "evidence which suggests Arafat was assassinated by Israelis". Israel denies any involvement.

The exhumation and renewed allegations of Israeli involvement could stir further tension between the Palestinians and Israel, which are observing a truce after a week of fierce fighting in Gaza.

Any positive results for polonium could rekindle Palestinian hostility toward Israel and suspicions that a local collaborator may have poisoned him under directions from the Jewish state.