Iraq: Widespread Use of Torture and Ill-Treatment - Hans von Sponeck: We appeal, first and foremost, to the conscience of governments and civil society but also to their legal-mindedness not to accept imp...
22 minutes ago
"Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that he did not believe the leaders of Iran's protesters against the official presidential election results were instigated by the West. He added, however, that the protesters had planned out their campaign even before the elections were held. (Since they could not have even known whether their candidate might have won, it is unlikely that they plotted out a whole social movement based on that contingency)."Of course, they could read polls as well as anybody, knew for certain that President Ahmadinejad was going to win in a landslide, and plotted their destabilization plan based entirely on that contingency, with the help of American and British agents and friends of the Empire like Cole.
"If Karzai is so widely suspected of stealing this election, why is there not the same global reaction against him as there was against Ahmadinejad in Iran? Is there an unwritten rule that allies of the West get cut some slack?"The title of Cole's posting was "Is Karzai trying to Steal the Afghanistan Election, taking a Leaf from Ahmadinejad's Book?" Cole, who developed an undeservedly good name based on opposing Bush and the American attack on Iraq, is never getting his reputation back.
"Undermining what has long been considered as irrefutable proof in investigation of criminal cases, scientists announce that DNA evidence found at crime scenes can 'easily' be fabricated.
A scientific company specialized in forensic DNA analysis revealed that while DNA fingerprinting is considered one of the leading forensic tools in dealing with criminal cases, DNA evidence can easily be falsified and planted at crime scenes prior to collection by law enforcement officers.
According to the Tel Aviv-based life science company, Nucleix, a sample of DNA matching any profile can be constructed using basic equipment and access to DNA or a DNA profile in a database without obtaining any tissue from that person.
'You can just engineer a crime scene,' said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the new study conducted by Nucleix and published by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. 'Any biology undergraduate could perform this.'"
"Germany's Central Council of Jews accused Liechtenstein's Prince Hans-Adam II of making a 'mockery' of the Holocaust by saying bank secrecy in his principality had helped save many Jews during the Second World War, Reuters reported.
The prince ruling the tiny European country made the comments in an interview with the local Liechtensteiner Volksblatt, where he said Liechtenstein and Switzerland had 'saved the lives of many people, especially Jews' thanks to their bank secrecy laws.
The top body of Germany's Jews sharply criticized the comments Monday, calling them a distortion of the historical record.
'The comments make a mockery of the Holocaust and those that survived it,' Stephan Kramer, general secretary of the Council, told the Bild daily.
'It is an attempt to use the Holocaust as a defense for the prince's political failures. Portraying Liechtenstein as a merciful helper of the Jews does not chime with the historical facts.'
Prince Hans-Adam, 64, said in the newspaper interview that during the Nazi era, Jewish families had been able to use money kept in secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland to buy their freedom."
"the swiss have defrauded the usa gouverment big time. they helped 52000 americans evade taxes by parking their monney offshore or in accounts in switzerland. first the us wanted to know all their names. then the swiss came up with a clever idee.they called in the israel ambassador in bern they ask for an immediat stop of all construction in the west bank and east jerusalem.that helped to ease the pressure on them now they have to disclose ounly 5000 accounts."
"Yeah, of course they are getting it from across the Durand line, from Afghanistan. And the Mossad is sitting there, RAW is sitting there - the Indian intelligence agency - they have the umbrella of the U.S. And now they have created another organization which is called RAMA. It may be news to you that very soon this intelligence agency - of course, they have decided to keep it covert - but it is Research and Analysis Milli Afghanistan. That's the name. The Indians have helped create this organization, and its job is mainly to destabilize Pakistan."
". . . angered the Pathan people of that tribal belt. And this state of anger is being fueled. It is that fire that has been lit, is being fueled, by the Indian intelligence from across the border. Of course, Mossad is right behind them. They have no reason to be sitting there, and there's a lot of evidence. I hope the Pakistan government will soon be providing some of the evidence against the Indians."
"When Baitullah Mehsud and his suicide bombers were attacking Pakistan armed forces and various institutions, at that time, Pakistan intelligence were telling the Americans that Baitullah Mehsud was here, there. Three times, it has been written by the Western press, by the American press - three times the Pakistan intelligence tipped off America, but they did not attack him. Why have they now announced - they had money on him - and now attacked and killed him, supposedly? Because there were some secret talks going on between Baitullah Mehsud and the Pakistani military establishment. They wanted to reach a peace agreement, and if you recall there is a long history of our tribal areas, whenever a tribal militant has reached a peace agreement with the government of Pakistan, Americans have without any hesitation struck that target."
"Days before a Canadian Medical Association meeting expected to be dominated by talk of privatized health care, a poll indicates overwhelming support in this country for keeping medicare public.
The poll by Nanos Research, to be released today, found 86.2 per cent of the 1,001 people surveyed supported or strongly supported "public solutions to make our public health care stronger."
"There is compelling evidence that Canadians across all demographics would prefer a public over a for-profit health-care system," Nik Nanos of Nanos Research said of the poll, commissioned by the Canadian Healthcare Coalition."
"The CMA meets for four days beginning Sunday, when outgoing president Robert Ouellet will present the results of a five-country study of health care in Europe.
The study is expected to call for private clinics, such as the chain of radiology centres owned by Ouellet, to play a bigger role in Canada's health-care system."
"The three Americans who were arrested in Iran last week are Jewish. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the U.S. is concerned about the current status of the three. Their whereabouts are not currently known.
Kurdish authorities identified the three Americans as Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Joshua Fattal. All three are journalists, and were arrested after crossing the border from Iraq to Iran."
"Having concealed their Judaism is doubtful and suggests they were on a mission of spying for the Israeli Mossad in particular.
As a journalist, Meckfessel claims that he and his comrades had come from Syria, through Turkey to the region of Kurdistan in Iraq known as 'Ahmad Awwa' to 'visit stunning natural beauty and the waterfalls' without being aware that it lies on the border with Iran: 'There is no (tour guide), Lonely Planet in Iraqi Kurdistan, and Ahmed Awa was not on the map we had planned to,' he wrote in a communique broadcast on several Internet news sites, including The Nation, New American Media and Mother Jones, where he worked as a freelancer.
Moreover, the assertions of this journalist contradict the statements of the tourism police in the region of Iraqi Kurdistan. It shall have met the three Americans and have warned of their proximity to the Iranian border, BBC reported. 'The tourism police in the region had asked them not to climb mountains because the Iranian border was very close,' said Bechro Ahmad, the spokesman of the security of Iraqi Kurdistan, and concludes that 'they crossed the border, despite warnings.'"
"In late July the four of us decided to travel from Damascus, Syria to Iraqi Kurdistan for a short vacation. Sarah had to return to work in a week. While going there might seem strange to Americans, the Kurdish territory is actually very beautiful and quite safe. Since the Kurds gained autonomy in 1992, no American has ever been harmed there. The city of Sulaimania is increasingly popular with tourists, and a friend of ours told us it was the most beautiful area he'd ever seen.
We arrived in Sulaimania the night of July 29 and stayed at the Hotel Miwan. Walking around town the next day, we asked a number of people - taxi drivers, hotel staff and people on the street - for good places to experience the mountainous terrain in the area. Every one of them told us to visit a place called Ahmed Awa. Not one of these people mentioned that Ahmed Awa was anywhere near the Iranian border. In fact, on the wall of our hotel there were three photos of tourists standing near the Ahmed Awa waterfall.
Ahmed Awa seemed the clear choice for appreciating the stunning natural beauty around Sulaimania, far from any sort of risk. However, it may have been unclear to the people who encouraged us to visit Ahmed Awa that we intended to go hiking in the area, rather than simply visiting the waterfall.
There is no Lonely Planet Iraqi Kurdistan, and Ahmed Awa was not on the map we'd printed out. My sense - wrongly as it turns out - was that Ahmed Awa lay northwest of Sulaimania, in the direction of Dokan Lake (and Dokan Resort), another scenic area we'd considered visiting during our trip through Kurdistan. On the evening of July 30, Josh, Shane and Sarah set out for Ahmed Awa with the plan to camp out. I stayed behind at our hotel because I was coming down with a cold and wanted a night to recuperate. We agreed to meet up the next day near Ahmed Awa. I purchased an Iraqi SIM card for my cell phone to make sure we could find each other the next day (providing the area had a signal, which very luckily it did)."
"Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the kingdom's former ambassador to the United States, is reportedly under house arrest over a conspiracy against the monarch.
Saad al-Faqih, head of the opposition group Islamic Reform Movement, told Arab-language TV al-Alam that Prince Bandar has been disappeared and the media has published no word from the ex-diplomat's whereabouts since nearly three months ago.
According to al-Faqih, the prince first disappeared in Britain but he returned to the kingdom shortly afterwards.
He added that after Saudi officials discovered that he had provoked 200 agents working for the Saudi security service to stage a coup against King Abdullah, he was put under house arrest."
"Did you read about the guy at Citigroup who is getting a $100 million bonus after Citigroup was bailed out with $45 billion of taxpayer money?"
"So the guy is one of the people responsible for US having to pay so much for gas. And the guy is going to get a $100 million bonus for doing that, from OUR money! And, of course, if his big bets had failed, taxpayer dollars would be bailing the company out. Oh, wait, we're bailing them out already because of other big bets that failed..."