Society's ChildS


'He had a gun to my head': Freed British journalist chronicles Ukrainian captivity

Graham Phillips
© Image from grahamwphillips.comGraham Phillips
RT has managed to re-establish contact with Graham Phillips, a news contributor who was captured at Donetsk airport on Tuesday night while covering the Ukrainian conflict. Philips shared firsthand details of his three days in captivity with RT.

"I am in Poland. I am not exactly sure where I am. I just got to the border by the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service) quite recently, so I am getting my bearings," Phillips told RT, which contacted the journalist via Skype after his release.

Phillips said he was deported from Ukraine and banned for three years on the grounds that he works for RT. "The reason they gave [me] that was simply that I work for RT, that was all it said in the form. They wouldn't let me take it or copy it. Just said that 'you work for RT, it's the enemy.' I wasn't given the chance to defend myself. I was just taken to the border."

The journalist said it all started three days ago when he was on his way to film fire exchanges between government forces and militants just a few hundred meters away from the airport in Donetsk. He was with Vadim Aksyonov, a stringer for ANNA News agency.

"RT told me not to go in strong terms, but I went anyway with the local journalist Vadim. And we were taken by Ukrainian soldiers and Vadim was pretty badly beaten right in front of me by Ukrainian soldiers. He was on the ground, his head in the ground, just a young guy punching him and kicking him," Phillips said.

Light Saber

In Tel Aviv, around seven thousand protest against the Gaza operation

Some 7,000 protesters were estimated to attended in the biggest protest against the operation thus far, alongside a small protest in support of the IDF.
gaza protest in tel aviv
© Tomer AppelbaumProtest against the Gaza operation, Tel Aviv, July 26, 2014
Thousands assembled at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Saturday evening for what became the largest protest against the Israeli military operation in Gaza thus far. According to official estimates some 7,000 protesters attended.

Meanwhile, a smaller group rallied in support of the operation in Gaza. The police served as a barrier between the groups to prevent clashes.

Light Saber

Jon Snow: Gaza is not just about them, it's about us, too

This is humankind's most grievous cancer, for its cells infect conflicts in every corner of the world. We fail as humankind if we do not devise a coming-together.

Palestinians Gaza
© UnknownPalestinians mourn relatives killed in an attack on a UN-run school in Gaza
She lay in my arms. Just weeks old, a tiny baby. Her Palestinian father had just handed her to me at the infernal steel border building at the exit of Gaza into Israel. She did not cry. She just looked at me with her beady, dark eyes.

Her father was trying both to open her pram, and steady his wounded wife in her wheel chair. Their luggage was scattered at the final entry gate as if just thrown through it.

We shared no common language, it had just seemed inevitable that as the only other able-bodied human in this absurd transit room, I should care for the baby.

I know not their story, nor how, alone seemingly, they were the only Palestinians, in that brief half-hour of Israeli aerial ceasefire, to have been allowed across.

But holding this girl baby connected me again to the wardfuls of small children so brutally smashed by this odious war. Connected me too to the ever-present reality that the average age in Gaza is 17 and that a quarter of a million are children are, like the babe in my arms, small children.

Mr. Potato

Results of US-EU anti-Russian sanctions coming in: First hit, Dutch food firm

Dutch potato processing company Farm Frites from Oudenhoorn in Zuid-Holland is unable to receive a loan from the bank to built a factory in Russia that will produce fries. The conglomerate has postponed the construction of that factory. The EU has imposed a boycott due to the plane crash tragedy in Ukraine, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.

Comment: No, this is the result of sanctions that were decided at an EU summit meeting in Brussels the day before MH17 was blown out of the sky by agents unknown. They had nothing to do with the false-flag terror attack and everything to do with responding desperately to deals made at the BRICS summit in Brazil, which took place from 14 - 16 July.

This news comes after the conglomerate has made all the preparations. "The signatures for the factory close to St. Petersburg were finished up to the details. We have stopped the project", says Simon Quist from Farm Frites.

Quist calls this a "substantial disappointment." The project has stalled until there is more clarity on the exact cause of the plane crash, Quist tells the AD. Before there is more news about possible measures to be taken against Russia, it is unclear when or if Farm Frites will even receive a bank loan.

The company was hoping to be able to deliver fries to Russian McDonald's branches from 2016. Farm Frites has more than 40 branches around the world, and says that it respects the bank's decision. The advisor to the Russian partner in the deal also says there is understanding on the Russian side.

Light Saber

Massive rallies in Iran urge Palestinians to resist Israel to the end

© AFP Photo/Behrouz MehriAn Iranian man wears a blood stained shirt with a headband bearing the word "Gaza" during a demonstration in Tehran on July 25, 2014 to mark Quds (Jerusalem) Day.
Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets across Iran to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, and condemn Israel's military operation in Gaza, which has already seen over 800 people dead.

According to state television, massive rallies were held in the capital, Tehran, and most other Iranian cities to mark Jerusalem Day - Iran's annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The protesters, who had photos of Palestinian children killed by the IDF in Gaza, chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to America."

Washington was condemned for their support of Tel-Aviv's actions, with American flags being burned along with the Israeli flags.

The demonstrators also carried banners, reading: "Defending Gaza and Palestine is our religious duty".

Comment: It should be noted that whichever technology Hamas has to manufacture arms, it is far from the kinds of weapons used by the IDF. In fact, most claims of media-spread Palestinian attacks on Israel need to be taken with a grain of salt.

For more information, see SOTT editor Joe Quinn's paragraph 'Staged Palestinian Terror and Rocket Attacks?' in his recent article, and SOTT editor Niall Bradley's paragraph 'Israel and missile deception' in his latest article: Asymmetric Warfare: MH17 False-Flag Terror and the 'War' on Gaza.

Frankly, this is a one-sided 'war' in which Israel repeatedly bombs innocent civilians who cannot protect or defend themselves.


Meanwhile, in Iraq: Isis forces Christians to convert to Islam, pay a tax or die

The ultimatum imposed by militants for Christians to convert to Islam, pay a tax or be killed has passed with the collapse of communities that have existed for millennia

© AFP / HO
The last Christians in northern Iraq are fleeing from places where their communities have lived for almost 2,000 years, as a deadline passed for them to either convert to Islam, pay a special tax or be killed.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) issued a decree last week offering Christians the three options accompanied by the ominous threat that, if they did not comply by midday on 19 July, "then there is nothing to give them but the sword".

It is the greatest mass flight of Christians in the Middle East since the Armenian massacres and the expulsion of Christians from Turkey during and after the First World War. Isis, which now rules an area larger than Great Britain, has already eliminated many of the ancient Christian communities of eastern Syria, where those who had not escaped were given a similar choice between conversion, payment of a special tax or death.

Comment: And all this extreme lunacy and cruelty thanks to western intervention in the region. Indeed, in 2003 the Bush government lied to the world about Iraq's weapons capabilities and proceeded to destroy and occupy it. Later the Obama administration and their western allies funded and supported real terrorists to fight the Syrian government. The monster they created has now a life on its own and calls itself Isis, and is free to do as it pleases in the crippled state of Iraq. That's how exporting democracy works, American style.

Book 2

Immigration reform? Obama preparing to issue executive action granting temporary relief from deportation

© Unknown
The Obama administration is preparing to effectively "nullify" the immigration laws of the United States through an executive action, says one Republican senator. As Time reported Thursday, President Obama appears prepared to provide millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. work authorization via executive orders:

When President Obama issues executive orders on immigration in coming weeks, pro-reform activists are expecting something dramatic: temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for perhaps several million undocumented immigrants. If the activists are right, the sweeping move would upend a contentious policy fight and carry broad political consequences.

The activists met privately with the President and his aides June 30 at the White House, and say in that meeting Obama suggested he will act before the November midterm elections. They hope his decision will offer relief to a significant percentage of the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. "He seems resolute that he's going to go big and go soon," says Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-reform group America's Voice.

Star of David

Protestors stage 'die-in' at Israel Discount Bank in Manhattan

Israel Discount Bank protest
© ObserverThe windows of IDB on 5th Avenue were defaced this afternoon by demonstrators protesting the war in Israel and Gaza.
It was not a normal summer Friday for the employees of the Israel Discount Bank, on 511 5th Avenue.

According to tweets, various employees (who wish to remain anonymous), and emails obtained by the Observer, the bank's windows were attacked and smeared with fake blood as pro-Hamas demonstrators staged a "die-in" on the sidewalk in front of the bank.

An employee of IDB who works at 511 but cannot give his or her name without authorization said in an email obtained by the Observer, "This afternoon, there was [an] anti-Israel protest of about 30 people in front of Israel discount bank ... They defaced the front windows and sidewalk with fake blood. The employees were holed up inside and the doors were locked. No police presence beforehand."

According to another source, "one of the IDB security guards was splashed with paint on the back of his shirt." The Observer later learned that the security guard who'd been painted has the first name James.

Arrow Up

Thousands gather in Times Square to protest against Israeli slaughter in Gaza

New York protests Gaza
© AFP Photo / Getty Images / Spencer PlattDemonstrators in lower Manhattan protest against Israel's recent military campaign in Gaza on July 24, 2014 in New York City.
New York was awash with protesters on Friday, as thousands came out in support of more than 880 Palestinians killed in Israel's Gaza offensive. There are increasingly deep fault lines between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel supporters worldwide.

Anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 demonstrators flooded the streets around Times Square, with the police keeping a watchful eye on the crowds, who waved Palestinian flags and signs condemning Israel and criticizing US aid to the Jewish state, Reuters reported.

"We're trying to break the siege and end the killing in Palestine. We just want them to live like human beings," said Ramsay Jamal, an American of Palestinian descent, who protested with his eight-year-old son on his shoulders. The child held a banner with the words - 'Israel, I'm just a kid. Please don't kill me', with a child's hand prints in red paint around the words.


Police brutality strikes again! Ali Shahi, Sunwing threat suspect, is mentally ill: family

© Alain AlphonsoPolice come on the Sunwing flight to deal with an 'unruly passenger' who threatened the security of the plane.
Flight from Toronto to Panama City made emergency landing after man allegedly made threats.

A man charged with allegedly making "direct threats" aboard a Sunwing flight from Toronto to Panama City on Friday morning has a history of mental illnesses that weren't properly addressed by police and the health system, family members say.

Ali Shahi, a 25-year-old Canadian, faces several charges after Flight 772 made an emergency landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. It was escorted by two U.S. F-16 military jets.

"I am sorry for what happened on the flight, but Ali is not at fault," his father Shadegh Shahi said. "I blame the police and health system. We called the police for help more than 23 times in the last two to three years, but unfortunately they did nothing to help us or help my son."

Shahi became agitated when he found out the price of cigarettes on the flight was about 25 cents cheaper than what he paid at the airport and wanted to be reimbursed for the difference, family members told CBC News.