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Israeli fire kills one Palestinian, injures seven in Gaza

At least one Palestinian has been killed and seven others wounded by Israeli fire east of Khan Yunis located in the southwestern Gaza Strip despite an Egypt-brokered ceasefire agreement which went into effect on Wednesday.

Comment: Take notice. When Hamas retaliates and the IDF resumes the bombing they will claim Israel is just defending itself.


Monsanto insurance: USDA tells farmers to pay for avoiding troubles with agro-giant

© Web
The United State Department of Agriculture has finalized a report to address concerns from farmers who fear they'll be next on an ever-expanding list of defendants sued by biotech giants Monsanto, but those worries aren't about to end.

The Monsanto Company dominates more than just grow fields across the US, as evident in their stellar track record of taking small-time farmers to court and winning cases, an occurrence that Think Progress acknowledges happens roughly a dozen times a year. Time and time again, Monsanto's patented, lab-made genetically engineered seeds are sold to one farmer, only for Mother Nature to move the crop onto neighboring fields with the help of a bit of wind. Just as often, of course, Monsanto's team of high-paid litigators take the little guys to court, only to triumph thanks to a legal counsel that collects around $10 million a year just to take other farmers to court.

With Monsanto-led lawsuits all too common, the USDA was tasked with putting together a panel - the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, or AC21 - to analyze, among other items, "What types of compensation mechanisms, if any, would be appropriate to address economic losses1 by farmers in which the value of their crops is reduced by unintended presence of genetically engineered(GE) material(s)?"

The AC21 panel released their findings in a report [PDF] entitled 'Enhancing Coexistence' that was sent to the secretary of agriculture this week. In it, however, they have little to say to the farmers who are likely to be brought before a judge while Monsanto and other biotech kings come out on top.

According to the AC21 group, the best maneuver for any Monsanto foe to take right now is to simply buy insurance, suggesting that the top guns will be given the go-ahead to continue with their contested habit of near endless litigation, a practice that has a tendency to leave the little guys bankrupt and out of business - only to be bought up by the billion-dollar Monsanto corporation after their bills can't be paid.

Red Flag

Israeli false-flag: Israel arrests terror cell behind Tel Aviv bus bombing

© Agence France-Presse/Daniel Bar-OnIsraeli police gather after a blast ripped through a bus near the defence ministry in Tel Aviv on November 21, 2012.
Israeli security forces have arrested the suspects they allege were behind the bombing attack on a Tel Aviv bus. Authorities claim the attack was planned by Hamas operatives.

­Those arrested admitted during an interrogation that they were responsible for both preparing the bomb and choosing the target of the attack.

Israeli security sources announced on Thursday that they had arrested the perpetrators of the attack during an extensive operation the day before. Most of the men arrested were from the Beit Lakiya village in the West Bank, Haaretz reports.

The Israeli Security Agency, also known as Shin Bet, said one of those arrested is an Arab-Israeli from a town of Taibeh, who was granted citizenship by marriage.


Assassination of senior Russian weapons designer caught on tape

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pyatakov
A senior weapons designer working for a leading Russian defense industry enterprise was shot dead in what authorities suspect was a contract killing.

The body of Vyacheslav Trukhachev was found on Wednesday on a street in Tula, an arms-manufacturing city south of Moscow.

Trukhachev was headed home after work at the Instrument Design Bureau when the killer shot him in the head.

The audacious assassination took place on a busy, well-lit street at about 7:30pm local time, and was captured on a surveillance camera, police said. The killer was not wearing mask, and fled the scene immediately after killing Trukhachev.

A 9mm cartridge case was found at the scene of the murder. Investigators are now studying CCTV footage and searching for witnesses.

A group of experienced investigators has been sent from Moscow to Tula to help local police, Russia's Investigative Committee announced.


What was it all for? The murder of Palestinians and Israelis is just a prelude to the next Gaza war

© The IndependentA Palestinian man kisses the hand of a dead relative in the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City
So what was it all for? The 11-month old Palestinian baby killed with its entire family by an Israeli pilot, the 150-odd Palestinian dead - two thirds of them civilians - the six Israeli dead, 1,500 air raids on Gaza, 1,500 rockets on Israel. What fearful symmetry! But was all this done - and let us forget the billions of dollars of weapons spent by Israel - for a ceasefire? Not a peace treaty, not even a treaty, just a truce. Before the next Gaza war.

Cynics abound in Israel, and not without reason. "End of a military operation, beginning of an election campaign," ran a headline in The Jerusalem Post yesterday - albeit in a newspaper that has given its usual support to war in Gaza.

Hardly Churchillian

But surely Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign for the January elections began the moment he ordered the assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, the Hamas leader, just over a week ago. Indeed, the bombing of Gaza moved seamlessly into the Netanyahu election project: if Israelis want security, they know who to vote for.

Or do they? It was evident after the ceasefire began on Wednesday night that Mr Netanyahu was worried.


London, Ontario, mayor Fontana denies fraud charges

'I am innocent,' he says about charges linked to his time as Liberal cabinet minister.

© CBC NewsJoe Fontana, mayor of London in southwestern Ontario, said Thursday he is not guilty of fraud charges filed on Wednesday.
Canada, Ontario - Mayor Joe Fontana said Thursday he will not step down as mayor and intends to plead not guilty to fraud charges filed against him this week.

"I am innocent of all of these charges and I intend to fight as hard as I can to clear my name," he said at a news conference held Thursday. "I've been given a mandate by the people of London. People call me every day saying they like the work I'm doing as mayor."

Fontana was charged Wednesday with fraud under $5,000, breach of trust by a public official and uttering forged documents.

The RCMP say the charges are linked to alleged inappropriate use of funds when he was a federal Liberal cabinet minister.

The London Free Press has reported that two government of Canada cheques were given to a London club to cover the cost of the wedding reception for Fontana's son in 2005. Fontana was federal labour minister at the time.

Fontana said he will step down from London's police services board, but will stay on as mayor despite increased pressure to step down.


As Gaza is savaged again, understanding the BBC's role requires more than sentiment

We must understand the BBC as a pre-eminent state propagandist and censor by omission

In Peter Watkins's remarkable BBC film The War Game, which foresaw the aftermath of an attack on London with a one-megaton nuclear bomb, the narrator says: "On almost the entire subject of thermonuclear weapons, there is now practically total silence in the press, official publications and on TV. Is there hope to be found in this silence?"

The truth of this statement was equal to its irony. On 24 November 1965, the BBC banned The War Game as "too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting." This was false. The real reason was spelled out by the chairman of the BBC board of governors, Lord Normanbrook, in a secret letter to the then cabinet secretary, Sir Burke Trend.

"[The War Game] is not designed as propaganda," he wrote: "it is intended as a purely factual statement and is based on careful research into official material ... But ... the showing of the film on television might have a significant effect on public attitudes towards the policy of the nuclear deterrent." Following a screening attended by senior Whitehall officials, the film was banned because it told an intolerable truth. Sixteen years later, the then BBC director general, Sir Ian Trethowan, renewed the ban, saying that he feared for the film's effect on people of "limited mental intelligence."

Watkins's brilliant work was eventually shown in 1985 to a late-night minority audience. It was introduced by Ludovic Kennedy, who repeated the official lie.


As Israel-Gaza charade concludes, West pivots back to Syria

As predicted, Israel accepts humiliating ceasefire to bolster partners in Syrian subversion - Egypt, Turkey, & Qatar.

Reuters reported in their article, "Jubilant Palestinians mob Gaza streets," regarding the ceasefire agreement "brokered" by Egypt that, "the agreement calls on Hamas and Israel to cease all forms of military activity, including Israel's targeted killings of militants, and for an easing of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza."

The article featured a photograph of cheering Palestinians in Gaza waving the Egyptian flag, reflecting both the true purpose and success of the Israeli-Gaza charade. Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani's conveniently-timed visit to Gaza just days before hostilities erupted was designed to give the despotic Persian Gulf monarchy a boost in both legitimacy and credibility after the conclusion of this staged spectacle - as was highly publicized rhetoric made by Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Israel.

Egypt, Qatar, and Turkey, all in fact partners with Israel and its Western sponsors in the subversion and overthrow of Syria, now have a renewed popular mandate across the Arab World, as a direct result of Israel's premeditated, predictable failure in Gaza.

Eye 2

Sterilize the Palestinian people, Dutch writer Leon de Winter says at meeting of Dutch Jews including Israeli ambassador

Leon de Winter
© Elke Wetzig / Wikimedia CommonsLeon de Winter
On the night a ceasefire came into effect ending eight days of Israeli slaughter that left 162 people, the vast majority unarmed civilians, dead in Gaza, Dutch columnist and author Leon de Winter proposed adding chemicals to Gaza's water supply to sterilize the population.

The website PowNed reported that de Winter "made his proposal for forced eugenics yesterday evening in Amsterdam at a solidarity meeting of Dutch Jews," and that the speech by de Winter was broadcast this morning by Dutch mainstream and publicly-funded Radio 1.


The chaotic and desperate situation in Gaza the media won't show you

Comment: Powerful video showing the ferocity of Israeli air-strikes and use of white phosphorus on the Gazan population. (Larger video at source)