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Tue, 26 Oct 2021
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Well-respected editor, journalist and presenter on television and radio in Russia: "I will advocate for the Palestinian cause until I die."

© Unknown
Maxim Shevchenko: I will advocate for the Palestinian cause until justice comes to Palestine or until I die.
Exclusive Interview

Maxim Shevchenko is an immensely well-respected editor, journalist and presenter on television and radio in Russia. He is a staunch advocate of the Palestinian cause, a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and he is also one of the latest targets of the pro-Israel Lobby.

Hanan Chehata - You are an outspoken supporter of Palestine and have publicly criticised Israel for its human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. When did your support for Palestine begin and why?

Maxim Shevchenko - I began to support the Palestinian people as a Soviet teenager in 1982. There were a lot of wounded Palestinian fighters from Beirut in Moscow at the time. I casually happened to meet some of them. Talks with these people amazed me. They were the same age as me but they had been real fighters for freedom and justice.

At the same time I was studying at school. A lot of my schoolmates planned to go to live in Israel. They said a lot of bad things about Palestinians but they had never been to Palestine or had even met a Palestinian.

I could not understand why people that had such a bad attitude towards Palestine planned to live there while simultaneously Palestinians were forced to be exiles without a Motherland. I failed to understand why my schoolmates, who were born in Moscow, planned to live in Palestine. It seemed to me that that was a huge injustice.


Explosion at French nuclear plant of Marcoule

One person has been killed and four injured, one seriously, by an explosion at the southern French nuclear plant of Marcoule.

There were no radioactive leaks after the blast, caused by a fire near a furnace in a radioactive waste storage site, a French nuclear official said.

A security perimeter has been set up because of the risk of leakage.

The plant produces MOX fuel, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons, but does not include reactors.


Women compete better when they are in teams, research finds

"There is no 'I' in team, but there is in win," the basketball star Michael Jordan famously observed. But now it appears that such an emphasis on the role of the individual is a very male approach when it comes to competing. Indeed, a study suggests that women are much more willing than men to compete as part of a team.

Nearly two-thirds of the "gender competition gap" - the gap between the likelihood of men or women to enter a competition - disappears when people are offered the chance to compete in two-person teams rather than as individuals.Academics Andrew Healy and Jennifer Pate claim that their findings, published in the Economic Journal, have important implications for the design of competitive environments, such as elections and corporate career ladders.

Heart - Black

A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe

9/11 jumper
© AP / Richard Drew
A person falls from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the 110-story twin buildings on Sept. 11, 2001.

I arrived in Times Square around 9:30 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A large crowd was transfixed by the huge Jumbotron screens. Billows of smoke could be seen on the screens above us, pouring out of the two World Trade towers. Two planes, I was told by people in the crowd, had plowed into the towers. I walked quickly into the New York Times newsroom at 229 W. 43rd St., grabbed a handful of reporter's notebooks, slipped my NYPD press card, which would let me through police roadblocks, around my neck, and started down the West Side Highway to the World Trade Center. The highway was closed to traffic. I walked through knots of emergency workers, police and firemen. Fire trucks, emergency vehicles, ambulances, police cars and rescue trucks idled on the asphalt.

The south tower went down around 10 a.m. with a guttural roar. Huge rolling gray clouds of noxious smoke, dust, gas, pulverized concrete, gypsum and the grit of human remains enveloped lower Manhattan. The sun was obscured. The north tower collapsed about 30 minutes later. The dust hung like a shroud over Manhattan.

I headed toward the spot where the towers once stood, passing dazed, ashen and speechless groups of police officers and firefighters. I would pull out a notebook to ask questions and no sounds would come out of their mouths. They forlornly shook their heads and warded me away gently with their hands. By the time I arrived at Ground Zero it was a moonscape; whole floors of the towers had collapsed like an accordion. I pulled out pieces of paper from one floor, and a few feet below were papers from 30 floors away. Small bits of human bodies - a foot in a woman's shoe, a bit of a leg, part of a torso - lay scattered amid the wreckage.


US: Texas Senator Demands That Air Force Answer to Him for Pulling "Jesus Loves Nukes" Training

nuclear jesus

This summer, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) scored a big victory, getting the Air Force to review all of its so-called "ethics" training. This decision by Air Force leadership was made after thirty-one Air Force officers decided to take a stand against what some officers had nicknamed the "Jesus Loves Nukes speech," part of the Air Force's missile launch officer training. These Air Force officers came to MRFF for help with getting this overtly Christian "ethics" training removed from the "Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare" class, a mandatory part of the first week of training for all officers in missile launch training at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

In late July, Truthout.org exposed the content of this training in an article titled "Air Force Cites New Testament, Ex-Nazi, to Train Officers on Ethics of Launching Nuclear Weapons." The Air Force immediately suspended the training.


US: Oakland Children's Museum Cancels Palestinian Children's Art Exhibit Under Pressure from Local Jewish Groups

drawing, palestine children

Berkeley, CA's Middle East Children's Alliance broke the news yesterday that the exhibit of children's artwork from Gaza that they had worked on for months with Oakland's Children's Museum of Art was suddenly canceled by the board before the planned September 24 opening reception. The show featured drawings by children about Israel's infamous Operation Cast Lead, the military assault of December 2008-January 2009 that led to the deaths of some 1,400 Palestinians, over 300 of them children.


US: In Rick Perry's Texas, Firefighters Forced To Pay For Gear, Engine Fuel

rick perry
© Getty Images
Under Governor Rick Perry, Texas has slashed firefighting budgets.

Washington -- In Texas, firefighters aren't just battling the wild fires raging around Austin and Houston. The state's first responders have also had to deal with budget cuts affecting everything from fuel purchases to hoses and air tanks.

In some cases, fire officials say, firefighters have had to pay out of pocket for basic necessities like proper protective gear and fuel to get them to the scene. One fire department that battled the blazes in Bastrop County had to pay for a hose, recalled Bastrop City Fire Chief Henry Perry, speaking to The Huffington Post during a break from working the wild fires.

"That fire department has been on this fire every day," he said. "Before this fire, they were having to buy stuff out of their own pocket." Perry said he knows of at least one other department whose firemen had to pay for equipment maintenance and engine fuel.


Men Growing Up to be Boys

© Unknown
When CBS unveiled its short-lived series Love Monkey in January, leading male television critics could barely contain their enthusiasm. The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley was far less impressed, especially with its lead male character, thirty-something music producer Tom Farrell, whose "endearing foibles" included "self-absorption, wanting what he cannot have and an inability to commit."

Based on the eponymous 2004 novel by Kyle Smith, Love Monkey offered the latest iteration of "lad-lit," a genre popularized by the likes of Nick Hornby, whose novels inevitably featured a confused, neurotic, discontented man-boy being dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood, usually by his girlfriend.


Marc Faber's Warning Shocks CNBC Anchors: 'Don't Store Your Gold In The United States!'

Card - VISA

American Football: Parties, payments and Prostitutes: lurid scandal of US college football

  College football provides some of the most colourful images of the American sporting calendar

College football provides some of the most colourful images of the American sporting calendar

University of Miami debacle has exposed the sham of amateurism in sport that generates billions

One of autumn's great sporting shows has just begun. Last Thursday, at 6pm Eastern time, the Louisville Cardinals beat the Murray State Racers 21-9 in a televised game, and for the next four months, Americans will be transfixed by the raucous pageant of college football - that is, if they can escape the reek of what may be the biggest single scandal ever to hit a sport which has had more than its share of them.

Nevin Shapiro was a Florida businessman who operated a $930m (£580m) Ponzi scheme in the grocery business and is now paying for his crime in the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia. But that is not why for football cognoscenti he is now a household name.