Sunday, July 31, 2011

Report: Israel plans to build separation wall in Golan

GOLAN, Syria (Ma‘an) 30 July -- Israeli authorities plan to build a wall in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported Friday. The wall will separate the town of Majdal Shams in Israeli-occupied territory from the suburb of Al-Oude and Ain Al-Tinah in Syria, SANA reported. SANA said the cement wall would be four kilometers long and eight meters high. Earlier this year, Israeli forces killed at least 27 people in the area during demonstrations against the Israeli occupation.
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Afghan Civilians Pay Lethal Price for New Policy on Air Strikes

Reducing 'collateral damage' is seen as a 'secondary consideration' as the coalition prepares withdrawal

by Brian Brady
Afghan people stand near the bodies of civilians who were killed in an overnight raid in Matoon village on the outskirts of Khost in Matoon, Afghanistan, Thursday July 14, 2011. A local government official in eastern Afghanistan says NATO troops killed seven civilians in an overnight raid. Khost provincial council member, Gul Mohammad Zazi, says international troops stormed into Matoon village on the outskirts of Khost city around midnight and fired into the windows of houses. He says the dead were not connected to the insurgency. (AP Photo/Nishanuddin Ahingar)
Read the article here

'Centrism': The Cult That Is Destroying America

by Paul Krugman

Watching our system deal with the debt ceiling crisis — a wholly self-inflicted crisis, which may nonetheless have disastrous consequences — it’s increasingly obvious that what we’re looking at is the destructive influence of a cult that has really poisoned our political system.

And no, I don’t mean the fanaticism of the right. Well, OK, that too. But my feeling about those people is that they are what they are; you might as well denounce wolves for being carnivores. Crazy is what they do and what they are.

No, the cult that I see as reflecting a true moral failure is the cult of balance, of centrism.

Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

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Massive 'Social Justice' Protests Sweep Israel

TEL AVIV -- Tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets in 10 cities to protest against the high cost of living and to demand ''social justice, not charity''.

Israeli activists march on a main road in Tel Aviv, Israel July 30, 2011. Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets on Saturday to protest against the high cost of living and demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu undertake sweeping economic reforms. Police and media estimated that between 80,000 and 120,000 people demonstrated on Saturday. More than 50,000 people marched in Tel Aviv; about 10,000 protested in the northern city of Haifa, and in Jerusalem 15,000 demonstrators congregated outside the residence of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, waving placards that read: ''A whole generation wants a future.''

''I came because I cannot make ends meet, and taxes end up in the pockets of the rich,'' one protester, who runs a nursery school, said.

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Honduran Police Burn Community to the Ground..Homes, churches, schools, and crops all destroyed

Homes, churches, schools, and crops all destroyed as the post-coup government continues to side with wealthy plantation owners over the country's organized farmers

Gaza's economic mirage

Wasseem El Sarraj
GAZA CITY(FP) 28 July -- A predominant, if misguided, narrative holds Gaza to be a Mediterranean secret, where food is plentiful and joy is unabated. Such statements are not exactly false. As a Gazan, I can say I have laughed, dined out (not just falafel), and been able to embrace my proclivity for consumption -- recently purchasing a 37" flat-screen TV. But this has been a product of the stubbornness and creativity of capitalism under an enforced closure (where goods flow into Gaza, but what goes out is very limited). Not to mention the sheer luck that I hail from an elite class and of the simple fact that humans, in desperate circumstances, still muster the ability to "look on the bright side of life."
Read more-Foreignpolicy

Jewish Nazis in occupied Palestine

-Settlers invade Beit Ommar and Surif on Friday morning

-Settlers set fire to olive trees in Burin

-Settlers set fire to olive groves in Nablus

Egypt: The march towards democracy proceeds amid suspicions that generals and Islamists are trying to slow it down

Torrid post-revolutionary times
The Economist

DURING the Egyptian summer tempers rise along with temperatures. Street fights erupt with alarming regularity. Purple faces, bulging veins and blood-curdling threats seem to portend carnage. Yet much of this is theatre, played out in the confidence that passers-by will intervene, separate combatants and make them reconcile.

Emerging from decades in a deep freeze of authoritarianism, Egyptian politics is showing a similar propensity to grow dangerously heated, then subside into calm as cooler heads intervene. In recent weeks the political scene, occupied by scores of passionate new actors produced by the big bang of revolution, has looked frighteningly polarised. It pits mostly secular forces, impatient for sweeping change, against wary conservatives who are backed by the ruling army high command and bolstered, ironically, by Islamist groups that faced repression under the pre-revolutionary regime. The tension has at times risen beyond rhetoric. On July 23rd pro-army vigilantes attacked a protest march in Cairo, leaving more than 300 people injured.

Read moreLink

mashrou' leila - From the new release "The Solution is Romantic".

Syrian tanks storm city of Hama

At least 45 reportedly killed as army enters western city, day after activists reported six dead in city of Deir ez-Zor.
At least 45 civilians have reportedly been killed and dozens of others wounded after Syrian tanks stormed the city of Hama, shooting indiscriminately, residents said.

The attack on Sunday morning came nearly a month after Syrian forces besieged the city, following some of the largest demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad's rule since protests began in March, the Reuters news agency reported.

One of the residents, a doctor who did not want to be further identified for fear of arrest, told Reuters that the tanks were attacking from four different direction and "firing randomly".

"They are firing their heavy machine guns randomly and overrunning makeshift road blocks erected by the inhabitants," he said by phone, the sound of machine gun fire crackling in the background.
Read moreLink

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pakistani troops aid Bahrain's crackdown (Saudi Arabia and the US must be loving it!)

Foundation linked to the Pakistani army has been providing Bahrain thousands of soldiers for its crackdown on protests.
Demonstrations against Bahrain's government have been escalating since the Arab Spring [EPA]

In March, as a government crackdown on pro-democracy protestors intensified in Bahrain, curious advertisements started appearing in Pakistani media.

"Urgent requirement - manpower for Bahrain National Guard," said one.

"For service in Bahrain National Guard, the following categories of people with previous army and police experience are urgently needed," said another, with "previous experience" and "urgent need" underscored.

The categories included: former army drill instructors, anti-riot instructors, retired military police, and former army cooks.

In the following two months, on the back of visits to Islamabad by senior Saudi and Bahraini officials, sources say at least 2,500 former servicemen were recruited by Bahrainis and brought to Manama, increasing the size of their national guard and riot police by as much as 50 per cent.

Read more

The insufferable gate keepers at DailyKos! Now the've banned linking to Mondoweiss!

DailyKos Smears, Disappears Mondoweiss

Mondoweiss is a thoughtful and balanced site focused on Palestine-Israel, so of course it spends most of its time opposing the Israel government’s ethno-religious Zionism and ethnic cleansing and supporting Palestinians’ human and democratic rights. Philip Weiss’s response to the DailyKos ban on all linking to Mondoweiss except for the purpose of calling the site ’hateful’ was (typical for Weiss) both succinct and very well-argued:

My response to ‘DailyKos’ smear

by Philip Weiss on July 28, 2011

DailyKos has acted to ban commenters from linking to Mondoweiss, charging me with anti-Semitism. It is a disgraceful smear and hides DailyKos’s real anxiety: it cannot deal with the issue of Palestinian human rights, any more than the Democratic Party can, and so Israel supporters are striking at me. …

Their point of attack is my repeated insistence on talking about the large Jewish presence in the American establishment and the importance of Jewish money in the political process. Such an attack was inevitable, and in that sense I welcome it. For while these are delicate issues, they are important ones. I have often expressed my own discomfort with them, and yet I advance them in the discourse because as a journalist I recognize that they meet an ancient test of what is newsworthy: these issues are new, true, and important.
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David Yerushalmi, the Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement

David Yerushalmi has quietly led a national movement
The New York Times
NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s latest woes include high unemployment, continuing foreclosures and a battle over collective-bargaining rights for teachers. But when a Republican representative took the Statehouse floor during a recent hearing, he warned of a new threat to his constituents’ way of life: Islamic law.
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It's like sex and the advertising industry. It sells! And what better way to distract the American people from their real problems than by inventing a bogus sharia threat?

Rights group: Syrian forces kill 20 across country

AMMAN, July 29 (Reuters) - Syrian forces shot dead at least 20 civilians in attacks on pro-democracy demonstrations across the country on Friday, the Syrian human rights organisation Sawasiah said.

"The security forces are continuing violent repression against peaceful demonstrations demanding freedom and the downfall of the regime, firing live ammunition at most protests all over Syria on Friday," the independent organisation said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Read more

Anxiety in Afghanistan over troops pay if US defaults

By Phil Stewart

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, July 30 (Reuters) - It is unclear if the United States will be able to pay troops on time in the event of a debt default, the top U.S. military officer told troops in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Pentagon officials were working hard to plan for a potential default but cautioned that the circumstances were extraordinary.

"So I honestly can't answer that question," he told troops at Kandahar air base in southern Afghanistan, as several expressed anxiety over budget wrangling in Washington.

Potentially suspending pay to U.S. forces waging wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is an extremely sensitive subject in the United States and Mullen acknowledged that many troops lived paycheck to paycheck.

"So if paychecks were to stop, it would have a devastating impact," Mullen said, answering questions from troops.

Read more-Alert Net

Syria: Violence in the dark

Tales of imprisonment and torture by state security forces paint a picture of a regime in panic.
A YouTube video shows security forces beating two men into a car in Damascus on June 27 [Ugarit News]

When widespread protests broke out in Syria in March, President Bashar al-Assad's regime turned to its feared security services to smother the anti-government movement.

The bloody response has so far succeeded where other attempts to put down the "Arab awakening" have failed, and President Assad remains in power.

Verifying the toll of the crackdown is difficult, since the government has banned most journalists and observers, but activists and researchers say more than 10,000 people have been detained and at least 1,500 killed since March. A response of proportional size in the United States, by way of comparison, would have meant more than 136,000 people detained and 20,450 killed.

Read more

Legislationl in Canada and the US will make criticism of Israel equivalent to anti Semitism

New moves to curb criticism of Israel in US and Canada

29 July 2011

New legislation in the US threatens to conflate campus criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism

A number of new initiatives to curtail freedom of speech by conflating opposition to Israeli crimes with anti-Semitism are underway in the United States and Canada.

The Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) issued a report in early July recommending the adoption of strict new standards defining anti-Semitism and the types of speech and campus activities that would violate them. Its report urged the Canadian government to adopt the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia’s definition of anti-Semitism (“Report on the Inquiry Panel,” 7 July 2011 [PDF]). That definition suggests that any questioning of whether Israel has the right to exist as a state that privileges Jews over people of other religions or ethnic backgrounds amounts to anti-Semitism.

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Spiegel: The Likud Connection: Europe's Right-Wing Populists Find Allies in Israel

"....recently it has become clear that Europe's populist parties aren't merely content to establish a network on the Continent. They are also looking further east. And have begun establishing tight relations with several conservative politicians in Israel -- first and foremost with Ayoob Kara, a parliamentarian with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party who is also deputy minister for development of the Negev and Galilee districts."
Read moreLink

Friday, July 29, 2011

Police Beat Homeless Fullerton Man Kelly Thomas To Death

A video has surfaced that documents Fullerton police beating a homeless man near the Fullerton Bus Depot in early July, reports Gawker. The video does not show much of the fight, but you can hear a man's screams and people talking about a Taser. The man being beaten also cries out for his father.
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Settler MKs Welcome Russian Neo-Nazi Holocaust Deniers to Knesset

russian neo nazis welcomed by israeli settlers

Russian neo-Nazis parade displaying Hitler salute before their settler-organized visit to Knesset and Yad VaShem.

Richard Silverstein

When an Israeli reader sent this story to me I couldn’t believe the headline summarized above. Further, in this day and age of Norwegian neo-Nazi, anti-jihadi attacks which wrap themselves in the Israeli flag, this story is simply mind-blowing.

It begins with a visit from a Russian neo-Nazi delegation to Israel. Under the auspices of Tuvia Lerner, editor of the Russian edition of Arutz 7, the media voice of the settler movement, they inveigled themselves an invitation to meet with far-right MKs Aryeh Eldad and Ayoob Kara. They also toured Yad VaShem without telling anyone there that they were Holocaust deniers. The two Russians have been photographed giving Nazi salutes, celebrating Der Fuhrer’s birthday, and they published songs of praise to Adoph Hitler on their website.

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Former skinhead: 'My hate had no basis'

At a conference, former members of violent hate groups often say they joined for a sense of belonging and identity.
Some former skinheads and gang members are changing their minds, and opting to be more accepting of others

"You want to belong to something so badly, you will go to any extreme to be part of it."

These are the words of Eric Gibson, a former South Central Los Angles gang member, and just one of many who attended the Summit Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) in Dublin on June 26-7.

Gibson's feelings are echoed by many "formers" - a term coined by those who were once leaders or members of radical organisations or gangs, but have now decided to leave that life behind.

The conference saw an eclectic group of people involved in a friendly exchange of ideas who would, a few years ago, have attacked each other with extreme prejudice.

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America's own Taliban

A fast growing right-wing politico-religious presence plans to implement an end-times, Christian theocracy in the US.
2012 presidential hopeful, Texas Governor Rick Perry (left), will be hosting a prayer meeting called 'The Response' on August 6 with many sponsors from the New Apostolic Reformation

Prior to 9/11, the Taliban government in Afghanistan did not register very much on American radar screens, with one notable exception: when it blew up two colossal images of the Buddha in Bamiyan province in early 2001. But destruction of treasured artifacts isn't just limited to the Taliban.

There's a right-wing politico-religious presence centred in the US, but with a global reach, engaging in similar practises, destroying religious and cultural artifacts as a key aspect of its ideology of "strategic level spiritual warfare" (SLSW).

Until recently a fringe evangelical movement, warned against as deviant, "spiritual warfare" is rapidly positioning itself within America's mainstream political right. It's well past time for political journalists to start covering what this movement is up to.
Read more-Al Jazeera

U.N. Rights Committee Breaks 43-Year Israeli Taboo on Gaza

For the first time in 43 years, members of the 'U.N. Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices in Occupied Territories' gained entry into Gaza last week, through Egypt.

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 29, 2011 (IPS) - When the United Nations General Assembly created a three- member special committee to investigate Israeli human rights violations in occupied territories back in December 1968, the Jewish state reacted with obvious anger.

And not surprisingly, the committee was barred from entering any of the occupied territories - forcing the three members to hold sittings in Cairo, Amman and Damascus where Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza were given a hearing twice a year.

But geopolitics in the region has dramatically changed the political climate - much to the chagrin of the Israelis.

For the first time in 43 years, members of the 'U.N. Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices in Occupied Territories' gained entry into Gaza last week, through Egypt which has ousted its Israeli-friendly president, Hosni Mubarak.
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Terrorism has no religion

Vigil Held After Twin Attacks By Lone Extremist

Tens of thousands of mourners gather Monday in Oslo for a vigil following the twin attacks last week that killed 76 people in Norway.

No one was surprised to learn that the perpetrator of last week's devastating attacks in Norway was a religious fanatic. The religion he embraced, however, shocked many in Europe and the United States.

Norwegian police are describing Anders Behring Breivik, the fair-haired native son who went on a shooting rampage at a youth camp after bombing a government building in Oslo, as a "right-wing Christian fundamentalist."

To a Western world that equates religious extremism with Islam this conclusion serves as a grim reminder that any religion can be used to justify terrorism.

In a rambling, 1,500-page manifesto, Breivik explained his actions as necessary to prevent the "Islamization of Europe."

Read moreLink

Palestinians Prepare for Massive Uprising

By Mel Frykberg

BEIT UMMAR, Occupied West Bank, Jul 29, 2011 (IPS) - Leading members of the Palestinian Popular Committees in the West Bank plan massive civil unrest and disobedience against the Israeli occupation authorities come September when the Palestinians take their case for statehood to the UN.

"We plan to take to the streets en masse," Musa Abu Maria, a leading member of the Popular Committee in Beit Ummar, a town 11 km north of Hebron in the southern West Bank told IPS. "We will block entire highways leading to and from Israel’s illegal settlements. We will march on settlements. But these will be non-violent and the protestors will be peaceful.

"We have worked out creative strategies to bring the occupation increasingly to the attention of the international community and the world media. We will be coordinating with our international supporters in Europe and America to increase international recognition of the Palestinian predicament as the tide turns in our favour," added Abu Maria.

The Israeli government, intelligence agencies and security forces have been preparing for an outbreak of Palestinian protests in September as they expect the UN General Assembly to overwhelmingly endorse the Palestinian bid for independence.
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A message to anan:
You have, on many occasions, accused another reader of this blog, Jemmy, of supporting Haqqani (that I had never heard of myself, neither did Jemmy before as he said many times) and you, staggeringly enough, asked him to prove he didn't!! You must be joking!. It's YOU who should provide the proof or the incriminating quote! I was witness to the whole discussion and he never did. To make sure, I looked for a corroboration of what you allege everywhere and never found anything. You just made it up!
I remember very well how you proceded then. When Jemmy contested your enthusiastic and overzealous support for the American intervention in Afghanistan, you immediately jumped the gun and accused him of supporting that Haqqani and the Taliban. A short cut which is a trade mark of yours and for which you've become very well known. Next time you make such accusations without proof, I'll boot your slanderous derriere out of this blog once for all without further consideration! Just so things are very clear!

Arab Awakening and Western Media: Time for Revolutionary Discourse

Arab revolutions are attempting to examine larger issues.

By Ramzy Baroud

When President Ali Abdullah Saleh tried desperately to quell Yemen's popular uprising, he appealed to tribalism, customs and traditions. All his efforts evidently failed, and the revolution continued unabated. When Saleh denounced women for joining men in demonstrations in Sana’a – playing on cultural sensitivities and a very selective interpretation of religion - the response was even more poignant. Thousands of women took to the streets, denouncing Saleh’s regime and calling for its ouster.

The immediate popular response was notable for its level of organization and decisiveness. It was also interesting because most of the women protesting did so while wearing the Niqab. Fully covered Yemeni women have continued to inspire - if not fuel - the revolution which started in February. Without their active participation and resilience in the face of violent attempts to quash the uprising, one wonders if Yemen could have held on for so long.

Read more

Examining the British far right

With the far right making political gains in France, Denmark and the Netherlands, and now the terrorist atrocity in Norway, what's the state of the far right in the UK?

English Defence League intimidate a young Muslim woman on train en route from Bolton to their protest march in Manchester.

What drove Anders Breivik to unspeakable depths of mass murder? His lawyer says he is insane. He says he killed to halt the "Islamisation of Europe".

He also claimed to have links to the far right in the UK, through contacts
with the English Defence League. That was enough to provoke David Cameron into demanding from the security services a review of the far right in Britain.

Hugh Muir takes a snapshot of the far right, with the help of Matthew Goodwin the author of New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party; Matthew Taylor, who has written extensively for the Guardian on the far right; and Dan Hodges, who works with the anti fascist organisation Searchlight.

Read more

Thanks but no thanks!

Syrian activists reject al-Qaida leader's support for uprising

Video message by Ayman al-Zawahiri seen as opportunistic by protesters calling for greater freedom and not Islamic rule
Ayman al Zawahiri
Ayman al-Zawahiri lauded protesters in Syria as 'the front for jihad and martyrdom' Photograph: Anonymous/AP

Syrian activists have rejected a message from the new al-Qaida leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, praising their efforts to topple Bashar al-Assad as an Islamic battle against US and Israeli interests.

"I don't think a single Syrian would welcome this statement," said Razan Zeitouneh, a lawyer and rights activist in Damascus who has been monitoring the uprising. "Al-Qaida is trying to use our revolution to get back into the light after the peaceful Arab uprisings took attention away."

Read more

The sham solidarity of Israel’s Zionist left

28 July 2011

Is this what solidarity looks like?

On 15 July, thousands of Israelis marched in occupied East Jerusalem to show their support for a Palestinian “state” in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Portrayed by its Israeli organizers as a joint Palestinian-Israeli march and ornamented with the slogans of “shared struggle” and “solidarity,” the Palestinian participation in the event was however scarce — a fraction of those in attendance were Palestinians. This event came a few weeks after a similar march in Tel Aviv, and while the Jerusalem march garnered more publicity due to its location, both events expose the failures of the purported solidarity of the Israeli Zionist “left” with the Palestinians.

The term solidarity — much like co-existence — is so overused in the liberal Zionist discourse as to render it meaningless. The misconception of solidarity raises the question: what does solidarity mean and, more specifically, when can an act carried out by Israelis in the name of supporting Palestinians be considered an act of true solidarity?

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The same Islamophobic bloggers and pundits that influenced Norway killer also influence Congress

Karina Piser- MondoweissLinkIn light of the Oslo attacks, it is important to pause and contemplate what sparked this event, and indeed where such hatred comes from. One thing is clear: this in no way occurred in isolation.

It was a disconcerting coincidence that an article on the front page of Monday's New York Times coincided with a sensationalist event entitled "Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Culmination of the Muslim Brotherhood's 50-year History of Infiltrating America," presented by Citizens for National Security (CFNS), located in Boca Raton, Florida and sponsored by U.S. Congressman Allen West, a Republican from Florida.

Read more

Thursday, July 28, 2011

10 of America's Most Dangerous Hatemongers

Meet the firebrands stirring up anger and hate against the 0.6% of Americans who are Muslim.
The apparent recent surge in popular anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States has been driven by a surprisingly small and, for the most part, closely knit cadre of activists. Their influence extends far beyond their limited numbers, in part because of an amenable legion of right-wing media personalities — and lately, politicians like U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who held controversial hearings into the radicalization of American Muslims this March —who are eager to promote them as impartial experts or grassroots leaders. Yet a close look at their rhetoric reveals how doggedly this group works to provoke and guide populist anger over what is seen as the threat posed by the 0.6% of Americans who are Muslim — an agenda that goes beyond reasonable concern about terrorism into the realm of demonization.
Read more AlterNet

White Families Have 20 Times the Wealth of Black Families: How Racism's Legacy Created a Crushing Depression In Black America

The economic crisis has hit most families hard--but since many black families had less wealth to start with, its impact on them has been nothing short of disastrous.

Racism is real and measurable, and it definitely impacts economic outcomes. But at a time when overt, in-your-face institutional racism is largely a thing of the past, discrimination alone can't explain the entire black-white achievement gap – African Americans' lower average incomes and persistently higher levels of poverty and unemployment.

But a large part of that gap can be explained by differences in accumulated wealth. If you look at black and white families with the exact same incomes, the white families will have far more accumulated wealth – cash in the bank, retirement savings, investments, real estate, etc.

AlterNet-Read more

Anders Breivik and the Consequences of Far Right Propaganda

"However this very week, instead of a spurious, fabricated causal chain, with the Norwegian Massacre we have a real example of how ideas have consequences.. Over the last three decades there has been an endless right-wing propaganda barrage attacking liberals, leftists, socialists, immigrants, the poor and a host of other groups too numerous to mention. (1) This is not just a matter of saying “We disagree with leftists etc...” The right wing propagandists make out that the people they oppose are the enemy of God and man, are absolutely evil and subhuman, hardly better than child molesters."
Read more
(Thanks Jemmy)

First Asteroid Companion of Earth Discovered at Last

The space rock dances in front of the planet along its orbital path, just beyond its reach
Scientific American

EARTH'S ASTEROID This almost edge-on view of the Earth's orbit and that of the Trojan asteroid 2010 TK7 shows (in green) the vertical motion of the asteroid relative to the Earth over the course of several years. The asteroid was discovered by NASA's WISE telescope and is the first conformed Trojan asteroid in Earth's Lagrange points. Image: Paul Wiegert, The University of Western Ontario

The first in a long-sought type of asteroid companion to Earth has now been discovered, a space rock that always dances in front of the planet along its orbital path, just beyond its reach.

The asteroid, called 2010 TK7, is nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) across and currently leading the Earth by about 50 million miles (80 million kilometers).

Read more

The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium and the Dying Children

An award winning documentary film produced for German television by Freider Wagner and Valentin Thurn. The film exposes the use and impact of radioactive weapons during the current war against Iraq. The story is told by citizens of many nations. It opens with comments by two British veterans, Kenny Duncan and Jenny Moore, describing their exposure to radioactive, so-called depleted uranium (DU), weapons and the congenital abnormalities of their children. Dr. Siegwart-Horst Gunther, a former colleague of Albert Schweitzer, and Tedd Weyman of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) traveled to Iraq, from Germany and Canada respectively, to assess uranium contamination in Iraq.

Vocabulary Watch

If the person who killed 91 people in Norway was a Muslim or Arab, the Press would have declared him a terrorist and rightfully so, no? But for now he's just an 'Assailant ', 'Attacker' (Reuters), 'Gunman' (BBC, CNN & Al Jazeera). Is 'Terrorist ' a protected brand name reserved for Muslims only? The US Dept of State calls it an 'Act of Violence', Not an 'Act of Terrorism'.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If Muslims are responsible for Islamic terrorism, are Muslim-bashers responsible for the massacre in Norway?

Christian Terrorism

Read Slate's complete coverage of the tragedy in Norway.

Blogger Pamela Geller.

On Friday, anti-Islamist blogger Pamela Geller pounced on news of a massacre in Oslo. "Jihad in Norway?" she asked. She posted a second item—"You cannot avoid the consequences of ignoring jihad"—and linked to a previous one: "Norway: ALL Rapes in Past 5 Years Committed by Muslims." As the Oslo body count grew, she piled on: "if I hear another television or radio reporter refer to muhammad as 'the Prophet Muhammad,' I think I am going to puke. He's not your prophet, assclowns."

Then things went horribly wrong. It turned out that the suspected terrorist in Norway wasn't a Muslim. He hated Muslims. And he admired Geller.

Read more

Glenn Beck: Young Norway victims like 'Hitler Youth'

Glenn Beck, cover of Time Magazine, September 2009

"There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth, or whatever," Beck said on his radio show Monday, which is broadcast on more than 400 stations"
Read moreLink

Summary execution

A little summary of sorts of what Breivik had in mind in addition to "cleaning" the West from Muslims:
* Replace western democracies with administrative rule
* Increase the birthrate in western countries by banning abortion
* Give more cultural power to the church
* Impose the death penalty after three criminal convictions
* Put drug addicts into concentration-camps
* Force re-education on “marxists”.
Read more
Just wondering on how many points/goals would our far right (understatement) "friends", fleming and Sweden (still there, no worries) would find congruent with their own? But "credit" to Breivik though, he does not really advocate the nuking of all Muslim countries as the two dudes do. Just take lands.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A snapshot of an occupier's state of terror mind. Kids playing ball are arrested commando style!

If it's forbidden for kids to play ball in the street this can be "understood" (well hardly I should say! Where would they do if they're not allowed to build houses let alone playgrounds!), but what of this commando style arrest?!! Wouldn't have been easier to nuke them instead?
Also, this is Silwan, an exclusively Palestinian village in occupied East Jerusalem that the Israeli settler parasites have been successfully, working very hard to invade by stealing homes and claiming lands in it that they do not own.

Israel sues Bedouins for costs of repeated demolitions of their homes

Unprecedented law suit seeks NIS 1.8 million in damages from 34 Negev Bedouin; Israel Lands Administration says defendants built homes on land belonging to the state.

The state filed an unprecedented suit against 34 Negev Bedouin in Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, seeking NIS 1.8 million in damages for the expense repeatedly incurred in evicting the defendants from state land and demolishing their homes.

The state, through the Israel Lands Administration, told the court that the defendants had built homes in the Al-Arakib area, northeast of Be'er Sheva, on what had been state land since the time of Ottoman rule.

Bedouin, El’arajib

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"on what had been state land since the time of Ottoman rule."
Which state this ILA is referring to, I wonder. Because the piece of crap that goes by the name of Israel was only created in 1948.

There's no sign of humanity in the eye of this beast!

The Israel Land Administration is seeking 1.8 million NIS from the residents of Al Araquib for destroying their village 28 times. They claim that 24 residents are responsible for 'invading state land' and rebuilding their village.

The Norway Shooter’s Zionist Streak

Anders Breivik’s embrace of Israel is the latest sign of a shift among reactionaries in Europe—with fascism and Zionism going hand in hand, fueled by Islamophobia, says Michelle Goldberg.

Anders Breivik is a Christian nationalist terrorist obsessed with preserving the “Nordic/Germanic” people. He is also an ardent Zionist. Though he finds elements of Nazi ideology appealing, his 1,500-page manifesto condemns anti-Semitism. He argues that Hitler should have used his “military capabilities…to liberate Jerusalem and the nearby provinces from Islamic occupation” and give them to the Jews. Breivik calls on his imaginary comrades: “So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists.”

Read more

Monday, July 25, 2011

Palestine's Norwegians


Sitting on an Amtrak train from New Haven to Washington, DC on Friday, I was enjoying my thriller, Kjell Ola Dahl's The Man in the Window. Dahl's police procedural novels are set in Oslo, Norway, where the remarkable detectives Frank Frølich and Gunnarstranda confront the heart of modern evil: Property is often the hub of the conflict, but so too is the ineluctable history of Nazism and the Second World War. Abrave history of pacifism, partly contained in the Norwegian Labour Party, kept the country out of World War I. Its ports and a direct route to Swedish iron ore made it irresistible to the Nazis, whose forces invaded a largely unprotected Norway in 1940.

To run the country, the Nazis turned to the leader of the Norwegian Nasjonal Samling, the local Nazi Party, Vidkun Quisling (from whom we get the noun for traitor). It was the Quisling era (replete with concentration camps) that planted the tree of Nazism in Norwegian soil. The remnants of Scandinavian Nazis regrouped after World War II, but they remained small and obscure.

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Israel: This sick glee in the face of a terrorist attack

Many Israelis find “educational” value in horrifying attacks, as long as they happen to others…
Patrick Mac Manus
Following the terrorist attack in Norway, before the Israeli media had to reluctantly admit it was actually carried out by a Norwegian neo-Nazi, the media, aside from Haaretz, kept its readers in the dark about the killers’ pro-Israeli agenda, the comment section on the internet sites was filled not with expressions of horror and sadness, but with virulent attacks on Muslims and Islam, and a strange and awful sort of glee. Even when it turned out that the killer was, in fact, Anders Breivik, many of the readers commenting on Israeli websites justified his act.

It is not, in fact, at all surprising that a neo-Nazi would support Israel. The extreme European right loves Israel, often describing it – as did Breivik (and, for that matter, founder of Zionism Theodore Herzl) – as a bastion of the West in the lands of Islam. Under Lieberman, the Foreign Ministry has began making contacts with extreme right wing parties; the latest example being the meeting between an Israeli deputy minister, Ayoub Qara, and representatives of the Austrian Freedom Party formerly led by Jorg Haider. While Haider was alive, his party was described as a “Neo-Nazi” party by Israeli officials. Well, turns out lepers can’t be choosers, and Israel needs every friend it can get. I mean, Israel was South Africa’s best friend during Apartheid; we’re used to that.
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

A taste of own medicine!

3 Israelis evicted from paradise

Three Israelis told by Fijian immigration officer that they cannot enter country for mistreating Palestinians during military service
Three Israeli backpackers were evicted from Fiji after a Muslim immigration officer ruled that they had humiliated Palestinians during their military service in the territories.
The three – Amit Ronen, Eldar Avracohen, and Nimrod Lahav – left Israel in February for a tour in Australia.
In July they decided to spend a week in Fiji. On July 13 they arrived at Fiji airport where a surprise awaited them.
"We gave our passports to the officer, and when she saw we are Israelis she asked for ID cards. We told her we don't understand why we need ID cards and she responded shouting: 'You know very well how to ask Palestinians for IDs and humiliate them for three years."
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Any tragedy that occurs these days is followed by a ‘knee jerk’ reaction by the jerks of the world, BLAME THE MUSLIMS!
No matter where, no matter how, there must have been Muslims involved. This ‘mentality’ serves the interests of both the United States and Israel in allowing them to continue with their Islamophobic agenda.
Overheard in Jerusalem last evening… “No country deserves such a horrendous attack more than Norway does, how dare they support a Palestinian state!” A second later these same idiots were blaming Muslims for it. But, can we expect logical thinking from such illogical people?
In reality, the apprehended suspect is an anti Islamic, Christian nationalist (whatever that means). His motive may have been to get Muslims blamed for his deed.
Arrested: Anders Behring Breivik (32). Photo: PRIVATE

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Sacking Zahi Hawass is a sign of Egypt's ongoing revolution

He may liken himself to Indiana Jones, but the minister of antiquities epitomised all that was wrong with Mubarak's Egypt

Zahi Hawass
Zahi Hawass has lost his job as Egypt's minister of antiquities.

Zahi Hawass, one of Egypt's top archaeologists, symbolises the point where our proud and glorious past intersects with a bleak and uncertain present. In the mind of many Egyptians he is associated with Egypt's modern corrupt rulers rather than the great pharaohs of ancient times.

In Arabic, the word "pharaoh" always has positive connotations except when it's used to describe an absolute and ruthless ruler or manager. This is exactly the kind of pharaoh Hawass was in the eyes of many of his compatriots.

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The despicable racist Swede who used to haunt As'ad's blog and this blog in its early days showed up this morning hoping to have a blast of his own vilifying "terrorist Muslims" in the wake of the events in Norway. He, of course, was booted out without hesitation. I have no time for monkey business nowadays.
So, no Mr. 'Sweden 1975'! The "terrorist" attacks in Norway had nothing to do with terrorist Muslims and, in fact, were committed by someone exactly like yourself. A Norwegian right wing nutter! A " conservative Christian"! Disappointing, ini't?

Horn of Africa Famine: Millions at Risk in "Deadly Cocktail" of War, Climate Change, Neoliberalism

The United Nations has called an emergency meeting to discuss the Horn of Africa drought, which it says has already claimed tens of thousands of lives. Famine was declared in two regions of Somalia on Wednesday where 3.7 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Another eight million people need food assistance in neighboring countries including Kenya and Ethiopia. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls the situation a "catastrophic combination of conflict, high food prices and drought" and has appealed for immediate aid. We go to Nairobi for an update from Kiki Gbeho of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. We also speak with Christian Parenti, author of "Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence." "This was predicted long ago by people on the ground," Parenti says. “It’s a combination of war, climate change and very bad policy, particularly an embrace of radical free market policies by regional governments that mean the withdrawal of support for pastoralists, the type of people you saw with their dead cattle."
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Canadian government committee declares criticism of Israel should be considered anti-Semitic.

Canada clamps down on Israel criticsm
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a staunch supporter of Israeli policy, has described criticism of Israeli as a form of "new anti-Semitism".

Nearly two years after the first hearings were held in Ottawa, the Canadian Parliamentary Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) released a detailed report on July 7 that found that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Canada, especially on university campuses.

While the CPCCA's final report does contain some cases of real anti-Semitism, the committee has provided little evidence that anti-Semitism has actually increased in Canada in recent years. Instead, it has focused a disproportionate amount of effort and resources on what it calls a so-called "new anti-Semitism": criticism of Israel.

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IDF Civil Administration pushing for land takeover in West Bank

Inclusion of Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea and area surrounding Ariel in 'settlement blocs' whose takeover the administration is advancing, would prevent establishment of Palestinian state with territorial contiguity.

The IDF Civil Administration is taking steps to increase state-ownership of West Bank lands, an internal military document reveals. The policy enables increased construction not only around settlement blocs like Ariel, Ma'aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, but also in strategic areas like the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea.

Until now it was not known that the administration, which is a military agency, was charged with distinguishing between the blocs Israel is demanding to annex as part of a final-status agreement and the rest of the settlements.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Israel places Marwan Barghouti in solitary confinement

RAMALLAH: The Israeli Prisons Service (IPS) placed the jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti in solitary confinement, Palestinian sources said on Thursday.

The move came after the jailed leader urged the Palestinians to take to the streets in September to support the Palestinian leadership in its bid obtain recognition of an independent state from the United Nations.

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Postcard from Somalia

When Murdoch is down where does he get help?

Murdoch Gets Confidence Vote From Saudi Prince

News Corp. (NWSA) Chairman Rupert Murdoch, facing the fallout from alleged phone-hacking at a London newspaper, got a vote of confidence from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, one of the company’s largest shareholders.

Alwaleed remains “both supportive and confident in the leadership of Rupert and James Murdoch,” he said in an e-mail yesterday. Deirdre Bolton reports in today's Movers and Shakers on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg)

Egypt's protests persist despite new cabinet

More than half of the ministers changed in reshuffle as military council faces pressure for faster and deeper reforms.
Egypt has been embroiled in daily protests over the parliamentary election process and and a new constitution

A new cabinet has been sworn in by Egypt's ruling military council as it tries to appease protesters demanding faster reforms and a deeper purge of former President Hosni Mubarak's allies.

More than half of the ministers have been changed, including those holding the foreign, finance and trade portfolios. Some of those removed were appointed by Mubarak.

The new ministers, including the foreign minister, Mohamed Kamel Amr, took the oath of office in the presence of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military council, official news agency MENA said.

Protesters camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square have demanded faster political and economic reform, a swift move to democratic civilian rule, and the removal from government of members of deposed Mubarak's now defunct political party.

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Reports: Syrian security forces shelling Homs

Videos show troops attacking densely populated parts of country's third largest city with tank shells and machine guns.

Videos released on the internet suggest security forces fired on densely populated parts of Homs with tank shells and machine guns.

It is claimed at least 40 people have been killed across the city in the past week as the authorities continue to use deadly force to contain the anti-government uprising that started four months ago.

One resident told the Reuters news agency by phone that the army fired at worshippers in eastern Khalidiya district as they left the Khaled Ibn al-Walid mosque in the early hours of Thursday morning.

"There is heavy military deployment in Homs; military checkpoints are everywhere in the city. There is heavy shooting in Bab al-Sebaa, one house was burned and the humanitarian conditions are dire," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based independent rights monitor, said in a statement.

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The tragedy of imperial retreat

When the US withdraws from Afghanistan, don't expect much help for the people it leaves behind.
When US troops withdrew from South Vietnam, many Vietnamese who had helped the US were left to their fates

Not so long ago, Western powers were doubling down on their commitment to Afghanistan. Dire warnings circulated about how the US "abandoned" the country after the Soviet retreat. This time, the West would stay and help Afghanistan achieve "stability". It would withdraw only when "indicators" found that the Taliban insurgency had been contained.

Now it is obvious that those indicators were set for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.

The course and timing of imperial retreats usually reflect circumstances in the imperial country, not the target country. It's about the US and the West, not Afghanistan. As ever, Vietnam is instructive.

The device by which the US withdrew from Indochina was the Paris Peace Accords of 1973. Provisions included a ceasefire between South and North Vietnamese forces, the return of US prisoners of war, and withdrawal of US troops.

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Who is Hillary Clinton to pronounce on the legitimacy of any foreign government?

Hillary Cracks the Whip
Philip Giraldi

Democrat Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talk to the hand

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at it again last week. She was in Turkey attending a NATO gathering dealing with what to do about the succession in Libya, based on the perhaps erroneous assumption that Muammar Gadhafi is on his way out. Clinton and NATO decided, based on their own admittedly partial view of the situation, that the Gadhafi regime is no longer legitimate and that the rebels who are trying to topple him are now to be regarded as the legal government. The “international recognition” will enableLink them to use the roughly $30 billion in frozen Libyan government assets, mostly located in American and European banks. Hopefully, things will go better than they did in Iraq back in 2003. Washington sent in a proconsul supported by a host of neocon Myrmidons to make sure things would run smoothly. More than $20 billion of Iraqi state “reconstruction” funds were unfrozen and then went missing after liberation took place. The Iraqi people are still waiting for the electricity to come back on.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It sure looks and smells like apartheid

By Rami G. Khouri

The Daily Star
The new Israeli law has generated widespread anger and contempt because it essentially says that Israel and Zionism are above the law, and cannot be held accountable, criticized or challenged through boycotts and sanctions in the same manner that the world sanctions other states that engage in immoral or criminal activity. In other words Israel and Zionism can do anything they wish – including criminal colonialism – without accountability or review, regardless of existing legal or ethical constraints that apply to all other people and states.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Even the New York Times is slamming Israel's Boycott Law

Editorial in one of US's most prestigious newspapers warns Israel of increasing isolation, danger to reputation as democracy over passing controversial Boycott Law

One of the world's leading newspapers is joining the protest against the Boycott Law. A New York Times editorial stated that Israel's reputation "as a vibrant democracy has been seriously tarnished by a new law intended to stifle outspoken critics of its occupation of the West Bank."
It adds "Israel risks further isolating itself internationally with this attempt to stifle critics… Opponents are already challenging the law in court. We hope they succeed, for Israel’s sake."
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To the "reader" who keeps posting garbage in the comments section: Are you aware that Israel currently occupies territories of two sovereign nations (Lebanon and Syria) in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions beside melting Palestinian Territories?

Max Blumenthal: US Zionists under Christian cover

Thousands of Christians have gathered today at the Washington DC Convention Center to express their support for Israel. Journalist Max Blumethal was kicked out while filming the Christians United for Israel Summit in 2007, but he managed to find out some pretty illustrative beliefs held by people there. RT's Lauren Lyster speaks to Blumenthal about it.
Christian Zionist right wing filth manipulated by Aipac.

Aldi caught cheating on origin of produce.

Aldi trying to pass Israeli produce Carmel as Cypriot, thus avoiding consumers's BDS actions.

Israel is fulfilling settlers' expansionist dream

As in Syria, Israel is quickly progressing to a situation in which the minority controls the majority.
In a short time from now, shorter than they dreamed, the settlers will be able to return to the homeland. In other words, to the place where they will finally be able to feel at home. It will be a country in their image. A country where the halakha (religious law ) is the law, the rabbis are judges and the police are their servants. A proper Jewish state. They will no longer have to disguise themselves as redeemers of the land, renewers of the Zionist enterprise or guardians of its border from invaders. They will complete the conquest of Israel.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Henning Mankell: ‘I promise that the Israeli regime won’t have a quiet moment until this illegal blockade is broken’

Swedish novelist Henning Mankell writing in Ha'aretz:

We will return with broader support and a bigger flotilla, and I promise that the Israeli regime won't have a quiet moment until this illegal blockade is broken. Our action has had more impact this year - unlike last year when the media didn't pay attention until the commandos started killing people.

Even though our ships didn't move an inch, this is yet another failure for Israel. The regime's desperate fear increases the opposition against human rights violations in Gaza. According to basic international law, it's illegal to collectively punish people as is done in Gaza.

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Jewish settlers are terrorising Palestinians, says Israeli general

General Avi MizrahiLinkBorn in Haifa in 1957, General Avi Mizrahi was drafted into the IDF in 1975. He has been head of Israeli Central Command since October 2009

A senior Israeli army commander has warned that unchecked "Jewish terror" against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank threatens to plunge the territory into another conflict.

In unusually outspoken comments, Major General Avi Mizrahi took aim at extremist Israeli settlers, and said the yeshiva, or religious seminary, in Yitzhar, one of the most radical Jewish strongholds in the West Bank, should be closed, calling it a source of terror against Palestinians.

The general's comments are likely to put him at odds with Israel's pro-settler government, which has resisted US-led efforts to curb settlement expansion in a bid to revive stalled peace talks. The foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, himself lives in a West Bank settlement. All settlements are regarded as illegal under international law.

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How Big Pharma got Americans hooked on anti-psychotic drugs.

Mass psychosis in the US
Drug companies like Pfizer are accused of pressuring doctors into over-prescribing medications to patients in order to increase profits

Has America become a nation of psychotics? You would certainly think so, based on the explosion in the use of antipsychotic medications. In 2008, with over $14 billion in sales, antipsychotics became the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States, surpassing drugs used to treat high cholesterol and acid reflux.

Once upon a time, antipsychotics were reserved for a relatively small number of patients with hard-core psychiatric diagnoses - primarily schizophrenia and bipolar disorder - to treat such symptoms as delusions, hallucinations, or formal thought disorder. Today, it seems, everyone is taking antipsychotics. Parents are told that their unruly kids are in fact bipolar, and in need of anti-psychotics, while old people with dementia are dosed, in large numbers, with drugs once reserved largely for schizophrenics. Americans with symptoms ranging from chronic depression to anxiety to insomnia are now being prescribed anti-psychotics at rates that seem to indicate a national mass psychosis.

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Oh ho! Ex-News of the World whisteblower found dead

A former News of the World journalist who made allegations of phone-hacking is found dead.
Andy Coulson was accused of sanctioning phone hacking at the News of the World, while he was editor

A former News of the World journalist who made allegations of phone hacking against the paper has been found dead.

Sean Hoare who said the practice of phone-hacking was common by journalists to find stories was more extensive than the paper acknowledged when police first investigated hacking claims.

A spokesperson from Hertfordshire Police said, "at 10.40am today [Monday] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street.

"Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."

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