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Imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer ends hunger strike after judicial authorities acceded to her demand

Nasrin Sotoudeh
© Mihan News Agency / European Pressphoto Agency
Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, at home. She was put in prison in 2010.
Tehran, Iran - An imprisoned human rights lawyer serving a sentence for "acting against national security" ended a 49-day hunger strike on Tuesday after judicial authorities acceded to her demand to lift a travel ban imposed on her 12-year-old daughter, her husband said.

The lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, 49, who until her imprisonment in 2010 was one of the last lawyers taking on high-profile human rights and political cases in Iran, decided in October to go on the hunger strike out of fear of increasing limitations imposed on her family. She fell into fragile health during the hunger strike, in which she would drink only water mixed with salts and sugar. Her weight dropped to 95 pounds.

It was the second time that Ms. Sotoudeh felt compelled to quit eating. She declared her first hunger strike in 2010, after her family was forbidden to visit or make phone calls. In that case, the authorities capitulated after four weeks, allowing her husband and two children to visit weekly.

Ms. Sotoudeh has also written several public letters from prison, one of which thanked the head of the judiciary for putting her in jail, saying she was horrified by the thought of being free while her former clients were still in prison.

In recent years, several lawyers representing people suspected of security crimes have been arrested while others, like Shirin Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, have left the country. Tuesday's ruling, which had not been officially confirmed by the authorities here, seemed to show that Iranian officials are receptive to pressure in human rights cases - something that Ms. Sotoudeh has argued consistently.

Iranian officials deny there are any political prisoners in Iran, saying that all those behind bars have been tried according to the country's laws. Ms. Sotoudeh is serving a six-year prison term since her conviction last year on the national security charge and over "misusing her profession as a lawyer."


Coffin therapy helps Ukrainians get used to the afterlife!

Coffin Therapy
© OddityCentral
A Ukrainian man is offering the living the chance to sit in a coffin to get themselves used to the afterlife.

Stepan Piryanyk is from the Ukrainian town of Truskavets and has been working in the coffin business for over a decade.

He has now launched a new service called "coffin therapy".

The therapy offers people the chance to lie inside a casket for approximately 15 minutes - putting the lid on is optional.


Police brutality: Police shoot unarmed couple 137 times

Cleveland - Two unarmed suspects were slain by police officers after a 25-minute pursuit. At the conclusion of the chase, which may have included up to 50 police vehicles, 13 officers drew their weapons and unloaded at least 137 rounds in to the suspects' Chevy Malibu. No weapons were found, and there was no evidence of return fire. The police were so violent and so reckless that they even shot up their own cruisers with friendly fire.


Egypt's Mursi flees palace as police battle protesters

egypt protest
© Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
A woman stands near barbed wire in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, December 4, 2012. Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Mursi's palace in Cairo on Tuesday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, two presidential sources said.
Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Mursi's palace in Cairo on Tuesday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, presidency sources said.

Officers fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators angered by Mursi's drive to hold a referendum on a new constitution on December 15. Some broke through police lines around his palace and protested next to the perimeter wall.

The crowds had gathered nearby in what organizers had dubbed "last warning" protests against Mursi, who infuriated opponents with a November 22 decree that expanded his powers. "The people want the downfall of the regime," the demonstrators chanted.

"The president left the palace," a presidential source, who declined to be named, told Reuters. A security source at the presidency also said the president had departed.

Mursi ignited a storm of unrest in his bid to prevent a judiciary still packed with appointees of ousted predecessor Hosni Mubarak from derailing a troubled political transition.


Police brutality and random detentions as Mexicans protest return of old ruling PRI party

Comment: At 4:51 we read: "Meanwhile, other armed groups enjoyed immunity within the police enclosure around Congress in San Lázaro". Agent provocateurs, anyone?

The list of people at the end of the video are the names of those who are known to have been detained.


Syrian 'Freedom Fighters' kill 29 students and a teacher in mortar attack on school

 injured Syrian student
An injured Syrian student, lies at a hospital bed after he was wounded when a mortar hit the al-Batiha school in al-Wafideen camp, about 25 kilometers
A mortar slammed into a ninth-grade classroom in the Damascus suburbs on Tuesday, killing 29 students and a teacher, according to state media, as the civil war closed in on President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

The state-run news agency SANA blamed the attack on terrorists, the term the regime uses for rebels who are fighting to topple the government.

An Education Ministry official, however, said 13 students and one teacher had been killed. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

The mortar hit the al-Batiha school in al-Wafideen camp, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) northeast of Damascus, according to SANA. The camp houses 25,000 people displaced from the Golan Heights since the 1967 war between Syria and Israel.

"It's a terrorist attack on educational institutions and on students," Hassan Mohsen, the director of Quneitra Education Department, told The Associated Press.

Comment: The attack was by the Anglo-Saxon-financed and supported Syrian opposition. The so called 'freedom fighters' that have been engineered to topple the Assad regime.

The current hyping of Syrian chemical weapons is pure US propaganda taken from the Iraq WMD lies and subsequent illegal invasion. Rather like the MSM use of words like 'alleged' or 'reportedly' the word 'believed' is used because it is complete make-believe.


The new business model: Steal a coat, get caught, go to jail, make a coat

chain gangs

'chain gangs' from the earlier prison labor system
There are several ways to look at prison labor. Generally speaking, we can view it the way many guards and wardens do, as having a salutary effect on those inmates who would otherwise be doing nothing or, worse, getting into mischief; we can view it the way most sociologists do, as providing inmates with marketable skills; we can view it the way some taxpayers do, as a way for these useless reprobates to earn their keep instead of bleeding us dry; or we can view it the way most working people do, as a genuine threat to their jobs.

While there's an argument for each of those perspectives, one thing is certain: Because the U.S. leads the world in the number of people living behind bars, and because businesses already realize that plentiful, dirt-cheap prison labor could be a panacea, prison labor is not only going to continue, but as more inmates are "harvested," as more of them are trained in diverse industries, it's likely to expand exponentially.

The U.S. used to be recognized as the entrepreneurial capital of the world. Today (thanks largely to our unenlightened drug laws), we're recognized as the prison capital of the world. Just as Mr. Chocolate and Mr. Peanut Butter fortuitously met to form Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, the obvious next step was to combine the two. Prisoners, meet your new employers.


Zombies a factor in gun sales increase as weapons manufacturers play up to hysteria

It's not just President Obama's re-election that's lead to a spike in gun sales. The living dead are also providing a reason to stock up on firearms and ammo.

My Northwest.com reports that, according to FBI data, background checks for guns rose 20 percent on Black Friday from the same day last year. According to KIRO, one gun rights advocate said part of the reason for the increase is zombies.

"A lot of people appear to be really enthralled by this," Dave Workman said. "I've seen lines of zombie targets, I know one or two ammunition companies have introduced boxes, lines of cartridges they called zombie cartridges, shotgun shells and rifle shells."

The zombie-themed merchandise has ushered in a new generation of gun shooters, according to Workman.

Gold Seal

First ever presentation by Bradley Manning's attorney David Coombs

In his first ever presentation, attorney David Coombs speaks about the case of his client, Bradley Manning. He is preceded by Emma Cape of the Bradley Manning Support Network and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who represents WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

The event was held at All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington DC, 3 December 2012.

For more information on the event, see here.

Che Guevara

People in Occupied Golan Heights hold sit-in to slam Western terrorism in Syria


Druze in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights show support for their leader
In solidarity with their families in the motherland Syria and to condemn the terrorism which strikes across Syria, a sit-in was held in the occupied Syrian Golan heights attended by the people of the occupied Golan, and in the presence of the Palestinians.

They came here to show solidarity with the people of their motherland Syria who face the terrorism practiced by western-backed countries.

The people of Golan confirm their condemnation of the terrorist groups who try to impose a sectarian strife in Syria and also want to divide Syria by killing the spirit of resistance. People here say these gangs have forgotten that there are deep roots of unity among Syrians.

Syrians and Palestinians here are insisting that the war against Syria will expire soon. They are demanding the Syrian army and Resistance parties to do their best to liberate the occupied lands soon.

The people in the occupied Golan heights were gathered on Saturday to support the Syrian army and also to send a message to all the world that Syria was and will remain one of the most important countries of the resistance in the region.