Saturday, March 9, 2013

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story: On the road to Israeli apartheid?

"A Palestinian-only bus services brings Israel's 'equal but seperate" policies into question amid calls of racism. Inside Story, with presenter Mike Hanna, discusses with guests: Ben White, a journalist and the author of "Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide"; Gregg Roman, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Pittsburgh. Gregg is former political advisor to the Knesset and a former official at ministry of defense; and Mustafa Barghouti from the Palestinian National Initiative and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council."

Al-Jazeera Video: حديث الثورة- انتقالات الأزمة السورية

Guardian Video: Port Said death sentence ruling sparks fires in Cairo and sabotage on the Suez Canal

"Al-Ahly football fans torch the Egyptian football federation buildings and a police officer's club in Cairo on Saturday, while al-Masry fans block Suez Canal shipping in Port Said. Protests have broken out after a court confirmed death sentences for 21 football fans, found guilty of causing a riot in al-Masry's stadium in 2012 in which more than 70 people were killed."

البرنامج - الحلقه 16 كامله

Friday, March 8, 2013

Real News Video: US Tries to Control Outcome of Syrian War

Omar Dahi: US increases aid to select opposition groups to determine winner of civil war 

More at The Real News

Gaza Women Suffer on ‘Their’ Day

"GAZA CITY, Mar 7 2013 (IPS) - “In Gaza we don’t lead normal lives, we just cope, and adapt to our abnormal lives under siege and occupation,” says Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician and a long-time human rights and women’s rights activist in the Gaza Strip. On International Women’s Day, when many of the world’s women are fighting for workplace equality and an end to domestic violence, Farra and the majority of Gaza’s women fight for the most basic of rights.
“It is difficult to live in this small piece of land, where basic needs like clean water, regular electricity, proper sanitation and means of recreation are not met. Women in Gaza are particularly traumatised by the continuous Israeli military attacks,” says Farra.
A 2009 Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) report highlights the suffering of Palestinian women under the illegal Israeli-led siege imposed on Gaza for the past seven years, and under the 23 days of Israeli attacks in 2008-2009 which killed over 1,400 Palestinians, including 112 women........

In its report on the suffering of Gazan women, PCHR highlights that prospects will not improve until the siege on Gaza is lifted and normal economic activity allowed.
“The dire economic situation means that many women and their families are sliding deeper and deeper into abject poverty. They have suffered the horrors of an illegal war, and now are struggling just to survive.”"

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Al-Jazeera Video: Number of Syrian refugees crosses million mark

Al-Jazeera Video: Israel accused of abusing detained children

Al-Jazeera Video: Egypt army intervenes in Port Said protests

"The army has been sent in to help police restore order in the Egyptian city of Port Said. 

There have been violent protests there since Sunday. 

But as Anita McNaught reports, the soldiers may be making the problem worse, not better."

Hugo Chavez and Me

Challenging the Washington Consensus

By Tariq Ali

"........What of the country he leaves behind? A paradise? Certainly not. How could it be, given the scale of the problems? But he leaves behind a very changed society in which the poor felt they had an important stake in the government. There is no other explanation for his popularity. Venezuela is divided between his partisans and detractors. He died undefeated, but the big tests lie ahead. The system he created, a social democracy based on mass mobilisations, needs to progress further. Will his successors be up to the task? In a sense, that is the ultimate test of the Bolívarian experiment.

Of one thing we can be sure. His enemies will not let him rest in peace. And his supporters? His supporters, the poor throughout the continent and elsewhere, will see him as a political leader who promised and delivered social rights against heavy odds; as someone who fought for them and won."

Steve Bell on the plan to equip Syria's rebels – cartoon,

Egypt betrays revolution with proposed draconian laws

".........“The Egyptian authorities are yet again trying to push through draconian legislation to stifle independent civil society and silence critical voices. Those same critical voices were instrumental in documenting Mubarak-era abuses and bringing about the ‘25 January Revolution’,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“President Mohamed Morsi’s administration must break with Mubarak-era tactics of smearing human rights NGOs in state-controlled media as foreign ‘spies’ and scapegoating them for all of society’s ills.”
A separate draft law on public protests, also under discussion in the Upper House of parliament, would place severe restrictions on freedom of assembly on grounds that include “security or public order; hampering citizens’ interests; blocking roads or transport; delaying traffic… or serious threats to the above.”
It also establishes a number of bureaucratic hurdles to organizing a protest, gives governors the power to postpone a demonstration, or impose blanket prohibitions, and allows for the use of water cannon, tear gas and batons by security forces to disperse peaceful protests if an audible warning is not heeded.

“A law which arbitrarily restricts the right to peaceful protest in post-revolutionary Egypt and gives wide discretionary powers to police to use force against peaceful protesters would be a major setback and a betrayal of all those who stood up for human rights in the January uprising,” said Philip Luther." 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Al-Jazeera Video: Robert Fisk talks to Al Jazeera about latests developments in Syria


Hugo Chávez Dead: Transformed Venezuela & Survived U.S.-Backed Coup, Now Leaves Uncertainty Behind

Democracy Now!

"With the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez after a two-year fight with cancer, we host a roundtable discussion on a revolutionary leader whose democratic-socialist policies not only transformed his country, but helped steer the entire Latin American region away from U.S.-backed neoliberalism. We’re joined by five guests: Miguel Tinker Salas, Pomona College professor and author of two books on Venezuela; Venezuelan-American attorney Eva Golinger, a friend and adviser to Chávez; New York University professor and author Greg Grandin; Gregory Wilpert, founder of; and Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based policy forum on Western Hemisphere affairs. We spend the hour on the life of Chávez, his legacy, and what may come next in Venezuela........"

Jews Only Buses, by Khalil Bendib

El comandante has left the building

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"Unfortunately for turbo-capitalists in Washington and Brussels, the death of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez from cancer does not signal an end to the spirit of Chavism. With his "socialism of the 21st century" and defiance of centuries-old patterns of subjugation in Latin America, El Comandante struck a chord with the Global South that's now resonating in crumbling European structures......."

Israel mistreats Palestinian children in custody: UNICEF

"(Reuters) - Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military are subject to widespread, systematic ill-treatment that violates international law, a UNICEF report said on Wednesday.

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) estimated that 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17, most of them boys, are arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli military, police and security agents every year in the occupied West Bank.

According to the report, most of the youths are arrested for throwing stones....."

Rebels shoot down helicopter

"Clear video footage has emerged purporting to show Syrian rebels shooting down a helicopter with a shoulder launched missile.
Amin, an avid reader of this blog, translates the commentary as saying that the incident took place near the Nayrab airbase near Aleppo.
Higgins suspects the rebels have gained access to a new supply of Chinese-made anti-aircraft Manpads." 

Refugee data

Refugee data

The Guardian's data team has tracked the exponential growth in Syrian refugees. They also crunch the numbers on the age and gender of the refugees, and which countries are doing most to support them. 
Putting the numbers in a British context helps explain the scale of the exodus. Since January more 400,000 Syrians - roughly the same as the total population of Edinburgh - have fled the violence.
If all Syrian refugees fled to Britain they would rival Birmingham as Britain's second largest city.
This graphic shows where the refugees have actually gone.

Hamas's ban on women running Gaza marathon is a missed opportunity

The Gaza marathon could have been a show of strength against Israeli expansion. Hamas squandered that with its petty ban,

"Anyone who takes part in a long-distance run knows there will be plenty of problems to overcome, but the Gaza marathon was always going to be in an endurance class of its own. When I registered for this year's race, my concerns were certainly less about my personal training schedule than about global conflict......

Hamas's decision to ban women – 119 from abroad and 266 from Gaza itself – is wrong for all the most basic reasons. It is sexist, discriminatory and regressive, but – crucially – it wastes what should have been yet another huge blow against Israel's illegal occupation and blockade of the Palestinian territories. What the ban ultimately shows is that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas's more liberal political opponent based in Ramallah, is increasingly losing influence. War and occupation inevitably lead to authoritarian government, and Hamas is asserting its traditional conservatism in a manner that is of great concern to thousands of Palestinians.

Hamas insists that it merely wants "local customs respected", but women keeping most of their bodies covered as they ran was apparently not enough. The movement has absolute power in Gaza, and objected to an entire community uniting with foreign supporters in a show of solidarity. The fact that money from the marathon would be spent on supporting summer camps for Palestinian children appeared of little concern to Hamas......."

Egypt's Jon Stewart? Al Bernameg is a political satire to rival The Daily Show

Egyptian heart surgeon and avowed Jon Stewart fan Bassem Youssef tells how the 2011 Cairo uprising galvanised him to speak out and poke fun at his country's politics

The Guardian,
Early last month, a heart surgeon gave a talk at Egypt's American University in Cairo. As talks by cardiac specialists go, it was very well received. At the end, the students mobbed him – turning what should have been a brisk stroll to the car park into a snail-paced plod.

Then again, Dr Bassem Youssef is not just a heart surgeon. He doubles as a superstar satirist, the most popular – and most unlikely – presenter on Egyptian television. On Friday nights across the country, millions sit down to watch Youssef's piss-take of Egyptian politics: Al Bernameg, or The Programme. Find a cafe at 11pm, and chances are they'll be screening it. Crash a dinner party, and they'll probably be talking about it. One well-known Cairo intellectual wrote recently of a classy supper that ended early so the diners could watch Youssef. For some, his show is one of the few concrete success stories of the 2011 uprising....."

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Al-Jazeera Video: Syrian rebels seize control of al-Raqqa

"Rebels in Syria say they are in control of the city of al-Raqqa. The provincial capital has seen intense fighting between government forces and opposition fighters for days. It sits on the Euphrates River in northern Syria, and was considered a government stronghold until a year ago. Al Jazeera's Caroline Malone reports."

Al-Jazeera Video: Violent protests rage on in Egypt's Port Said

Al-Jazeera Video: Rural Egyptians accuse Muslim Brotherhood of neglect

"Street protests have become an almost daily occurance in Egypt's cities for the past two years. 

But anger is just now spilling from the big urban centres to smaller towns and villages. 

Rural Egyptians are accusing the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party of neglect. 

From Kafr el-Sheikh in the Nile Delta, Rawya Rageh reports."

Guardian Video: Free Syrian Army secret bakery helps quell food shortage in Aleppo

"A secret bakery, run by the Free Syrian Army, is helping to feed people in the Syrian city of Aleppo. With scarce fuel supplies, much of the industry in Syria's largest city has shut down. However one bakery, which has resorted to operating in secret, is continuing to supply residents with fresh bread and is helping to quell the growing food shortage in the city."

Syrians tear down statue of Bashar al-Assad's father after rebel advance

Footage shows protesters beating gold statue of Hafez al-Assad with shoes in city of Raqqa near Turkish border,
Syrian rebels on Monday made a significant military gain when they seized the northern city of Raqqa, tearing down a giant poster of the president, Bashar al-Assad, and toppling a statue of his late father.
The rebels' advances in Raqqa came amid reports that unidentified gunmen on Monday shot dead at least 40 Syrian soldiers, together with several Iraqis, in Iraq's western Anbar province.
Dramatic video footage shows cheering protesters ripping down the gold statue of Hafez al-Assad in Raqqa's main square. In scenes reminiscent of the fall of previous Arab dictators, the protesters beat the statue's head with their shoes, shouting: "God is great." One man clobbers it with an axe.
The euphoria, however, is brief. A second video taken by activists soon afterwards captures a government mortar landing in the square, followed by thick black smoke. Several dead and injured lie on the ground. Rebels frantically load the wounded, including a woman, into cars as a second mortar drops nearby....."

Monday, March 4, 2013

Real News Video: Sequestration - Fourth Austerity Shoe Drops

Bill Black: Both parties have conspired to bring us a disaster; Obama's sequestration plan gives cuts without blame 

More at The Real News



Saudi Arabia must stop playing 'cat and mouse' game with peaceful protesters

Amnesty International

"Hundreds of people detained in Saudi Arabia in the wake of a protest against the incarceration without charge or trial of their relatives must be immediately and unconditionally released, Amnesty International said today.
At least 176 men and women were arrested in the early hours of this morning after staging a peaceful protest outside the Bureau for Investigation and Public Prosecution in Buraida, a city north of the capital Riyadh, in Qassim province.
They were calling for the release of more than 50 women and children, themselves detained since 27 February for their participation in another peaceful demonstration complaining about the incarceration of their relatives.
According to reports, those arrested this morning have been transferred to a prison in Tarfiyah, east of Buraida, while those detained since 27 February continue to be held at the central prison in Buraida. No one has had access to the outside world.
"This cat and mouse game authorities in Saudi Arabia are playing is, simply, outrageous," said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
"Instead of persecuting peaceful protesters, what the Saudi Authorities should do is listen to their demands and release all those held solely for exercising their human rights."........"

‘Why is the world doing nothing?’ – cluster bomb attack by the Syrian army in Aleppo

By Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Adviser

"......These children are some of the victims of a multiple cluster bomb attack launched on the morning of Friday 1 March against a densely populated residential housing estate in Aleppo.

The attack killed at least 19 and injured more than 60 – we won’t know the final death and injury toll for some days, as some families fled the area for fear of further attacks. The more seriously injured were evacuated to hospitals in Turkey and the rest are being treated in various field hospitals around the city. Many of the victims were children who were playing in the alleys and gardens of the housing estate.
The attack took place at about 11.30am. I arrived in Aleppo shortly after and went to the area – the Masaken Hanano district, to the east of the city centre. It was much worse than initial reports suggested.

The Syrian air force dropped nine Soviet-made RBK cluster bombs – each carrying up to 150 cluster submunitions – in the middle of a large housing estate. I found one bomb eight metres from the front door of one of the buildings; three in a small garden between the buildings; one on a rooftop; two in a small empty space between the buildings; one in the middle of an alley; and one in another garden.

I also found unexploded cluster submunitions (bomblets) all over the place: on the roofs of buildings; on the pavements and in the alleys and gardens between the buildings. Members of armed opposition groups who control the area rapidly filled a sack with the unexploded bomblets that were left lying around. The buildings’ walls were peppered with shrapnel, and here and there are holes where the lethal bomblets penetrated the walls, exploding inside people’s homes......"

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Love Affair Between the US and the Muslim Brotherhood is Bearing Fruit: U.S. offers Egypt budget aid after Mursi assurance on IMF

"(Reuters) - The United States said on Sunday it would give Egypt $190 million in budget aid after Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi promised to take the painful economic reforms needed to secure an IMF loan.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the funding after meeting Mursi and acknowledged Egypt's "extreme needs" as the Islamist government struggles with a slide in currency reserves to worryingly low levels and a soaring budget deficit.
Cairo says it wants to reopen talks with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan which was agreed in principle last November but suspended at Cairo's request due to violent street protests the following month.........

The government plans to continue subsidized fuel prices for the most needy, under a rationing system to be implemented in July. However, Egyptians excluded from this scheme would face a jump in prices that could provoke public fury if implemented.
The official, who is part of the cabinet's economic team, told Reuters the increases would be put to an IMF team once it arrives in Cairo to negotiate the loan. "The new prices are included in the economic reform program that will be presented to the IMF mission," said the official, who requested anonymity....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Do you support dialog between the Syrian opposition and the regime?

With about 500 responding so far, 76% said no. 

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Syria - The hand of Hezbollah in Syria

Real News Video: Egyptian Debt Threatens Tahrir Square’s Promise of Freedom

As the U.S and the IMF apply pressure to the Egyptian government to cut public spending and pay a high interest rate on debts incurred during the previous regime, the Egyptian government targets international NGOs with repressive policies