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A Report on the Situation Facing Palestinian Children Detained in Occupied East Jerusalem

Today DCI-Palestine submitted a report to the UN - In their own Words: A report on the situation facing Palestinian children detained in occupied East Jerusalem.The Report finds an increase in reports of physical violence and threats.

The report is the third six-monthly submission lodged by DCI-Palestine with the UN in which the situation facing Palestinian children from occupied East Jerusalem detained by Israeli authorities is considered. The report covers a six month period between 1 July and 31 December 2011 and is based on data collected from 68 cases in which DCI-Palestine provided legal assistance to Palestinian children. The Report also relies on 23 testimonies collected from children who were detained during the same period.

The common complaints and areas of concern raised by the children in their testimonies are presented below:


US: No Transplant for Dying Dad Who is Illegal Immigrant

Jesus Navarro
© D. Ross Cameron/Staff
Wearing a surgical mask to avoid infection, Jesus Navarro, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, connects the machine for his daily home dialysis treatment, Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, in Oakland, California.
Without a new kidney, Jesus Navarro will die.

The Oakland man has a willing donor and private insurance to pay for the transplant. But he faces what may be an insurmountable hurdle in the race to save his life: He is an illegal immigrant.

Administrators at UC San Francisco Medical Center are refusing to transplant a kidney from Navarro's wife, saying there is no guarantee he will receive adequate follow-up care, given his uncertain status.

Their decision is a stark illustration of the tension between health care and immigration policies in the state and underscores the difficult role medical professionals play in trying to save the lives of undocumented residents.

Though no data are available, anecdotal evidence suggests clinics sometimes perform organ transplants on illegal immigrants, especially when the patients are young. In one high-profile case, UCLA Medical Center gave an undocumented woman three liver transplants before she turned 21.

But health administrators also reject patients because of their immigration status, though that usually happens when the patients lack insurance. Bellevue Hospital in New York attracted attention last year when it refused to transplant a kidney between brothers because they could not pay for the operation.

It is the kind of ethical gray area that hospitals hate, said University of Pennsylvania bioethics professor Arthur Caplan.

"It puts the doctors in a very awkward and torn position," he said. "You come into this trying to do good and find yourself stuck in the middle of a fight about immigration."

Immigrant advocates and some scholars say it is wrong for hospitals to withhold health care from the seriously ill, no matter their legal status.

But proponents of tougher border enforcement -- and those fighting to contain ballooning health care costs -- fear that providing such services could lure more undocumented immigrants.

2 + 2 = 4

Men Struggle for Rape Awareness

© Michael Nagle for The New York Times
Assaulted: Keith Smith of East Windsor, N.J., was raped when he was a 14-year-old hitchhiker.
Keith Smith was 14 when he was raped by a driver who picked him up after a hockey team meeting. He had hitchhiked home, which is why, for decades, he continued to blame himself for the assault.

When the driver barreled past Hartley's Pork Pies on the outskirts of Providence, R.I., where Mr. Smith had asked to be dropped off, and then past a firehouse, he knew something was wrong.

"I tried to open the car door, but he had rigged the lock," said Mr. Smith, of East Windsor, N.J., now 52. Still, he said, "I had no idea it was going to be a sexual assault."


Margaret Runyan Castaneda, Ex-Wife of Mystic Author, Dies at 90

Margaret Runyan Castaneda
© The Los Angeles Times
Margaret Runyan Castaneda theorized that Carlos Castaneda came up with the name Don Juan Matus because of their mutual enjoyment of Mateus wine.
Carlos Castaneda's ex-wife believed that a key figure in his spiritual bestsellers - Mexican shaman Don Juan - was an extravagant fiction, drawn in part from conversations and activities the couple shared.

Los Angeles - They were an unlikely couple, the Latin American immigrant and the West Virginia divorcee whose paths crossed in mid-1950s Los Angeles.

But, by Margaret Runyan Castaneda's account, she and Carlos Castaneda were kindred spirits whose time together helped turn him into a countercultural phenomenon.

Carlos wrote The Teachings of Don Juan, a 1968 best seller that told of his peyote-fueled adventures with Don Juan Matus, a Mexican shaman who purportedly guided him to an alternate realm inhabited by giant insects, witches and flying humans. Presented as an anthropological work, the book resounded with a generation of youthful rebels who turned the 1970s into a rollicking era of social and pharmacological experimentation.

Decades after their marriage ended, Margaret wrote her own book, which punctured some of the mystery surrounding the man who came to be viewed as either a godfather of New Age or one of its greatest charlatans.

"Much of the Castaneda mystique is based on the fact that even his closest friends aren't sure who he is," Margaret wrote in her 1996 book A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda.

Arrow Up

The Truth About Fat Women and Self-Control

Fat Women
© Dreamstime
Many Americans perceive overweight women as lacking self-control, holding the inaccurate belief that body fat is optional.
If the choice between being fat and thin were a simple, conscious decision, most of us would likely be slender. Nevertheless, new research suggests that the discrimination and prejudice faced by overweight people, especially women, are driven by the preconceived notion that body fat is somehow optional.

"Fat women experience both the stigma of unattractiveness and the stigma that they lack control," writes researcher Christine A. Smith in a new literature review published online Jan. 18 in the journal Sex Roles. It's that perceived lack of self-discipline that leads to prejudice, said Smith, of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

"If people are, say, unattractive due to a facial deformity, there tends to be a sympathy factor" that mitigates discrimination against them, Smith said. But because many people think weight is controllable, "for large folks, there doesn't tend to be the sympathy factor."

Comment: See: Book Review: Why We Get Fat - and What to do About it

Carbohydrates Trick Your Body into Stacking on Pounds - Fast

Known as the "Deadliest Nutrient" - but There's No Meaningful Evidence

And watch this:


US deficit tops $1 trillion 4 years in a row

© diy,despair.com
A new budget report released Tuesday predicts the U.S. government will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in the fiscal year that ends in September, a slight dip from last year but still very high by any measure. A previous estimate was for $973 billion.

The Congressional Budget Office [CBO] report also says that annual deficits will remain in the $1 trillion range for the next several years if Bush-era tax cuts slated to expire in December are extended, as commonly assumed. The CBO is a non-partisan budget analyst for Congress.

If the CBO estimate for this year's deficit proves accurate, fiscal year 2012 would be the fourth consecutive year of federal budget deficits topping $1 trillion. The shortfall registered $1.3 trillion in fiscal 2011, up from $1.29 trillion in 2010. It reached $1.42 trillion in 2009, the highest ever.

The report is yet another reminder of the perilous fiscal situation the government is in, but it is commonly assumed that little will be accomplished on the deficit issue during an election year.


Top secret UK Ministry of Defence mission: Mysterious flights which kept Emsworth residents awake finish

Residents in Emsworth say they have endured sleepless nights because of a mystery low-flying plane.

Many living in and around Emsworth have been disturbed by the noisy aircraft which has been flying between 1.30am and 6am every day for over a week.

Scores complained to the Civil Aviation Authority - only to be told the Ministry of Defence mission was top secret.

It has been discovered the light commercial propeller plane - which belongs to 2Excel Aviation Ltd - was carrying out a national security survey of a three-mile radius surrounding Thorney Island.

Simon Spurge, 53, of Orchard Lane, Emsworth, said: "It's been going on for a week and it's driving me mad.


Hysteria! Brazilian Artist's Depictions of Imagined Assassinations Attracts Criticism

© Unknown
Sao Paulo: An artist's fantasies of assassinating Queen Elizabeth II, former US president George W. Bush and Pope Benedict XVI have triggered controversy in Brazil ahead of a major art show opening.

Nine charcoal sketch self-portraits of the Brazilian artist, Gil Vicente, in imaginary scenes murdering world leaders have become the focus of fierce debate, with the national lawyers' association demanding they be taken down from the walls of the Sao Paulo Art Biennial, which starts Saturday.

"They claim it justifies crime" an indignant Vicente said in an interview. "Stealing public money is not a crime? The reports on television aren't trying to justify crimes? Only my work is justification of crime?"

Comment: For more information on Ponerology, see these Sott links:

Political Ponerology: A Science of Evil Applied for Political Purposes

Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes

Star of David

New Checkpoint Method: Gassing Palestinian Cars with Unknown Chemical


Protest Against Greater US Role in Philippines

© Noel Celis/Agence France-Presse
The 50 activists held huge effigies of Uncle Sam and Philippine President Benigno Aquino outside the US embassy.
Manila - Philippine activists picketed the US embassy on Saturday and burned a cardboard American flag and mock stealth bomber, vowing to launch a campaign opposing a plan to allow more US troops in the country.

About 50 members of the leftist New Nationalist Alliance (Bayan) also held a huge effigy of Uncle Sam with another of Philippine President Benigno Aquino labelled as his "dog", as riot police prevented them from approaching the mission.

"If we allow more US troops to enter our country, the entire archipelago will be transformed into one military outpost for US hegemonic interests," Bayan said in a statement distributed at the rally.

Philippine officials have welcomed plans for a greater presence from the military of its former colonial ruler, seeing it as a counterbalance to recent Chinese aggressiveness in the South China Sea.

China and the Philippines have territorial disputes over the South China Sea and Manila has accused Beijing of using intimidation to press its claims.