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Mon, 28 Nov 2022
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EU on Verge of Abandoning Hope for a Viable Palestinian State

Palestinians wait to pass a checkpoint
Palestinians wait to pass a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Israel's foreign ministry denied that Israeli settlers were taking water resources from the West Bank.

The Palestinian presence in the largest part of the occupied West Bank - has been, "continuously undermined" by Israel in ways that are "closing the window" on a two-state solution, according to an internal EU report seen by The Independent.

The report, approved by top Brussels officials, argues that EU support, including for a wide range of building projects, is now needed to protect the rights of "ever more isolated" Palestinians in "Area C", a sector that includes all 124 Jewish settlements - illegal in international law - and which is under direct Israeli control. It comprises 62 per cent of the West Bank, including the "most fertile and resource rich land".

With the number of Jewish settlers now at more than double the shrinking Palestinian population in the largely rural area, the report warns bluntly that, "if current trends are not stopped and reversed, the establishment of a viable Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders seem more remote than ever".


US: Principal Charged After Hypnotizing Students Who Committed Suicide

students being hypnotized
© William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
North Port, Florida- North Port police have charged the town's high school principal with two counts of second-degree criminal misdemeanors after students he hypnotized ended up committing suicide.

Over six months, the North Port Police Department conducted around 70 interviews with students claiming to have been hypnotized by Dr. George Kenney and 100 adults either from among the school's staff or parent community after receiving a complaint from the Florida Department of Health Services.

In documents provided to CBS Tampa detailing the Sarasota School Department's internal investigation, Kenney routinely hypnotized students in one-on-one sessions and in group settings. They often involved the school athletics teams or ROTC programs.

Kenney told investigators it allowed students to relax, improved their performance in tests and helped some with anger issues.

Documents show, however, that Kenney occasionally raised tempers and eyebrows within the school's community.


Killer Seeds: The Devastating Impacts of Monsanto's Genetically Modified Seeds in India

gm crop biohazard sign
© n/a
Monsanto's operation in India illustrates monopolization and manipulation of the market economy, tradition, technology, and misgovernance. The world's largest producer of genetically engineered seeds has been selling genetically modified (GM) in India for the last decade to benefit the Indian farmers - or so the company claims.

In a country of more than 550 million farmers who are largely poor and uneducated and the agriculture market rife with inefficient business practices, the Indian government sought to reform the market by eliminating subsidies and loans to the farmers.

The government reform did not help the farmers. With pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Indian government has "forced market liberalization on India which means the elimination of government subsidies and government-backed loans to farmers."

Enter Monsanto with its "magic" GM seeds to transform the lives of the poor Indian farmers.

The U.S. agri-business giant took full advantage of its entry into the Indian market. It entered into an agreement with state governments including Rajasthan and Andhara Pradesh to introduce a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that dictated the terms of disseminating the GM technology in Indian market.


Canada: Harper's legal about-face on gay marriage

gay marriage
© Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
The Harper government has served notice that thousands of same-sex couples who flocked to Canada from abroad since 2004 to get married are not legally wed.

But speaking in Halifax Thursday, the Prime Minister said the issue was not on the agenda for his majority Conservatives. "We have no intention of further re-opening or opening this issue," Stephen Harper told reporters when asked about The Globe and Mail's report.

The reversal of federal policy is revealed in a document filed in a Toronto test case launched recently by a lesbian couple seeking a divorce. Wed in Toronto in 2005, the couple have been told they cannot divorce because they were never really married - a Department of Justice lawyer says their marriage is not legal in Canada since they could not have lawfully wed in Florida or England, where the two partners reside.

"In terms of the specifics of the story this morning, I will admit to you that I am not aware of the details," Mr. Harper said. "This I gather is a case before the courts where Canadian lawyers have taken a particular position based on the law and I will be asking officials to provide me more details"


China: Foxconn Workers Threaten Suicide in Pay Dispute

Chinese Workers
© Minyanville

Foxconn, the Chinese maker of parts for companies like Apple, Amazon, Sony, Dell and Dow Jones components Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, is once again back in the news, and it's deja vu all over again.

Almost a year ago, Minyanville's Justin Rohrlich took a look at the controversial working conditions at Foxconn's mammoth factory in Shenzhen, a city in southern China. So bad were the conditions that 32 employees attempted suicide in 2010, with 14 of them succeeding. In response, Foxconn raised wages by one-third to 1,200 yuan and even established an in-house counseling service.

However, it seems like either things have not improved much at the electronics-making behemoth or workers at the firm have learnt that threatening suicide is a sure-fire way to get what they want because some 150 workers at Foxconn's plant in Wuhan, southern China threatened to stage a mass suicide on Jan. 3 in protest over a plan to move workers from one unit to another in the Wuhan campus.

The latest in a series of long-running labor disputes arose after Foxconn announced last week that it would shut down the production line for Microsoft's Xbox 360 consoles at the Wuhan campus and transfer workers affected to another job.

Bad Guys

In 6-5 decision, Israeli court rules against citizenship for Palestinians married to Israelis

Mohammed and Lana Khatib and their two children
© swilliamsjd.wordpress.com
Mohammed and Lana Khatib and their two children

Mixed Palestinian-Israeli families that have been in limbo since the Israeli legislature passed an 'emergency, security measure' in 2003 will remain in limbo for the foreseeable future, after the Israeli High Court on Wednesday rejected a petition that would allow these families to stay together.

Israel's controversial 'Citizenship Law' provides for the naturalization of any person of Jewish descent to become an Israeli citizen (known as the 'Law of Return'). The law also includes provisions that make it difficult for non-Jews to be naturalized as Israeli citizens. Until 2003, non-Jewish people (including Palestinians) who were married to Israeli citizens could go through a process to become citizens.

But the Israeli Knesset passed a measure in 2003 banning Palestinians married to Israelis from obtaining Israeli citizenship. The measure was called a temporary security law allegedly meant to prevent Palestinian fighters from entering Israel to carry out attacks. It has remained in place in the nine years since, and there are no plans in the Knesset to revoke the law.

Heart - Black

US: Marines probe video depicting urination on corpses

Washington - The Marine Corps said Wednesday it is investigating a video depicting what appears to be four Marines urinating on the corpses of [Alleged] Taliban fighters.

In a statement, the Marine Corps said it has not verified the origin or authenticity of the YouTube video. But it also said the actions portrayed are not consistent with Marine values.

If verified the video could create a strong backlash in the Muslim world and beyond for the disrespectful actions it portrays.

The case is being referred to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Navy's worldwide law enforcement organization, said NCIS spokesman Ed Buice.

The Council on Islamic-American Relations, a prominent Muslim civil rights and advocacy group based in Washington, quickly condemned the video.

Comment: The sickness spreads when fearful people are trained to follow pathological leaders.

"..a failure to adhere to the high standards expected of American military personnel." One would think the lesson of treatment was learned and so called leaders would adhere to something resembling Humane treatment.
© Unknown

© Unknown

© Unknown

Who is Defense Secretary and past CIA Director Leon Panetta? Does anyone actually believe "a letter faxed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta" will change anything other than get a laugh from this snake in a suit? They'll be joking around the table at lunch tomorrow at the Pentagon no doubt. High standards, I wonder how loosely they are defined?

Arrow Down

Philippines: Flood Diseases Killing Survivors of 'Sendong'

© thestar.com
A disease borne by the floods that had killed hundreds here and in Iligan City last Dec. 17 is killing people who had survived the disaster that struck the two cities at the height of Tropical Storm "Sendong."

At least 15 people are now dead because of leptospirosis and 200 others are stricken ill and taken to hospitals.

Authorities said the rising death toll from leptospirosis could be due to the failure of survivors to take the antibiotics that had been distributed to them immediately after the Dec. 17 deluge.

As of Thursday, 15 people had been confirmed dead due to leptospirosis [eight from this city and seven from Iligan City] while more than 200 others had contracted the disease caused by the bacteria leptospira.


Stuck in ice: Alaska fuel convoy moves just 50 feet


U.S. Coast Guard via AP

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy approaches the Russian-flagged tanker vessel Renda Tuesday evening.
What a difference a day makes: After cutting through 53 miles of ice on Monday, a seafaring convoy trying to get fuel to ice-bound Nome, Alaska, made just 50 feet of progress through most of Tuesday.

"They were roughly in the same position" as Tuesday morning, U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis confirmed to msnbc.com early Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, as we watch, there has been no real 'change up' in Renda's progress toward Nome since this morning," ship pilot Pete Garay told alaskadispatch.com from the Russian-flagged fuel tanker on Tuesday afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy is trying to break through ice for Renda, but the process can be tedious. Late Tuesday, they were still some 97 miles south of Nome, in northwest Alaska.

The two ships left Alaska's Dutch Harbor on Jan. 3 to deliver 1.3 million gallons of fuel to Nome, whose supplies could run out before the end of winter.

The convoy had hoped to make it to Nome by mid-January but the Coast Guard now says it cannot provide an estimated day of arrival.

Nome gets its fuel by barge but a November storm prevented its winter shipment from arriving before the annual sea ice formed. A fuel barge won't be able to make it in without icebreaker escort until June at the earliest, and Nome -- which has seen temperatures of minus 40 this winter -- could run out of heating oil by March.

One option is to fly in supplies, but that would add $3-4 per gallon of heating oil or gasoline, which already cost $6 a gallon in Nome. There is no road access to the coastal town of 3,500.

The operation is the first time a fuel ship is trying to reach any western Alaska community cut off by winter sea ice.


US: NDAA Protests End In Ironic Swarm Of Arrests

NDAA protest
© n/a
The absurdity of America today never ceases to amaze. In fact, it has become so elaborate that one might even suggest it has reached a kind of poetic symmetry. When a protest group is willing to stick their necks out to expose the horror of the National Defense Authorization Act and its open door strategy for unconstitutional arrest and indefinite detainment of American citizens, I have to stand up and applaud.

This is the kind of protest we need to see all over the country. Of course, any establishment system which is willing to dissolve the inherent liberties of its citizens certainly isn't going to stand by quietly while they blatantly point out the injustice. The Grand Central Terminal action featured in the video below is a perfect example of the swift and immediate stifling of peaceful dissent by an increasingly totalitarian government: