November 16, 2012 By 2 Comments
Israel says all male members of Hamas are now targets. Warplanes are dropping leaflets over Gaza, warning Palestinians to keep away from militant positions. RT spoke to a film-maker and activist Harry Fear in the embattled enclave, who says civilians are bearing the brunt of the Israeli onslaught.
November 16, 2012 By 607 Comments
November 16, 2012 By 364 Comments
Peer’s revenge over Twitter slurs: McAlpine will sue internet gossips
- Tory peer ‘terrified’ by BBC’s false implication that he abused children
- Terms of the agreement will be announced in court in a few days’ time
- And lawyers will sue ANYONE who named him on Twitter
November 16, 2012 By 13 Comments
Press TV Though US rules have not imposed any bans on American firms to sell medicine and medical supplies to Iran, exporters have been required to apply for special licenses. Besides, as the aftermath of the sanctions, the impossibility of transferring money through banks has cast its cumbersome shadow upon medicine and healthcare in Iran and has gravely affected the import of medicines to Iran. The move comes as Iran has protested that the US-engineered sanctions are hurting ordinary Iranian citizens.
In a letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in August, head of the Charity Foundation for Special Diseases Fatemeh Hashemi urged Ban to prevent sanction-induced damages to six million Iranian patients suffering from such intractable diseases as thalassemia, hemophilia, kidney conditions, multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, etc.The letter stated that shortage and increased price of medicine caused by illegal sanctions has directly affected the lives and well-being of millions of patients. Ban said in a subsequent UN report that sanctions were, in fact, taking a toll on humanitarian operations in the country. “Even companies that have obtained the requisite license to import food and medicine are facing difficulties in finding third-country banks to process the transactions,” he wrote. According to the Los Angeles Times, analysts believe that protests over humanitarian effects of US unilateral sanctions against Iran could undermine support for those sanctions among US allies. The paper quoted Iranian academic Ismail Salami as writing last week in the Russian newspaper Pravda that, “The bitter question is: Is the West taking sadistic pleasure in incurring genocidal deaths, or does the West naively believe that they are achieving their fiendish goals in the Muslim country?” At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The sanctions entered into force in early summer 2012. On October 15, the EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on another round of sanctions against Iran. The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
November 16, 2012 By 5 Comments
Global Research John Glaser Just hours before Israel assassinated Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari on Tuesday, he received the draft proposal of a permanent truce agreement with Israel. But Israel approved the airstrike anyways, choosing escalation over resolution. Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who helped negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit and maintained contacts with Hamas leaders, said the truce agreement included protocols for maintaining a cease-fire in the case of cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza. Baskin told Haaretz that senior officials in Israel knew about the pending truce agreement, but nevertheless approved the assassination, presumably knowing it would terminate the truce and escalate the conflict with Gaza. “I think that they have made a strategic mistake,” Baskin said, “which will cost the lives of quite a number of innocent people on both sides.” He added that Jabari’s assassination “killed the possibility of achieving a truce.” “This blood could have been spared. Those who made the decision must be judged by the voters, but to my regret they will get more votes because of this,” he added. “According to Baskin,” Haaretz reports, “during the past two years Jabari internalized the realization that the rounds of hostilities with Israel were beneficial neither to Hamas nor to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip and only caused suffering, and several times he acted to prevent firing by Hamas into Israel.” Even when Hamas was pulled into participating in rocket fire, its rockets would always land in open spaces. “And that was intentional,” Baskin said.
November 16, 2012 By 403 Comments
The Slog John Ward In what I admit is something of a risk, The Slog today tries to blow away some of the dry-ice being liberally sprayed about by the Establishment in relation to its long-standing record of depravity by the few, and complicit blind-eyes being cast by the many. If there is a genuine desire to root out the tiny but powerful minority of paedophiles in our élite, political, social care and teaching professions, then I would respectfully ask that the Carter-Ruck’s of this world stay their hands… and assimilate instead this one simple point: are they suggesting that five separate documented cover-ups in 27 years, and 0ver 2000 witness statements, are all the work of malign and/or deluded conspirators? The United Kingdom stands at a crossroads today. A much overused map reference perhaps, but a genuine one in this case. Thanks to some bungling in the BBC, a cynical campaign being carried out by the Murdoch Press against that organisation, and knee-jerk idle distraction concerning the fate of George Entwistle and background of Steven Messham, we are rapidly being pulled behind a bush somewhere quiet – and molested. Lascivious glee at the fate of Newsnight – a format whose anchor Jeremy Paxman is one of the few people, along with Ian Hislop, prepared to go for the hypocrite’s jugular – is woefully misplaced at best, and malign at worst. I would ask everyone covering and reading this story to consider these opening questions: 1. We still do not know for certain who injuncted the BBC ten days ago, but there remains a very strong and widely-held suspicion that he is a political big beast in David Cameron’s Cabinet. David Cameron asks us to go to the police, who have – in 4 out of the 5 coverups mentioned – either actively or passively conspired to derail enquiries….just as they did during the Hackgate enquiries. When is somebody going to tackle the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary about this? 2. Look into the history of Steven Messham, and you will discover a consistent catalogue of victimisation by the authorities. Why is nobody interviewing Mr Messham and allowing him to relate that history? 3. The Report from February 2000 into the North Wales cover-up and abuse (admirably covered by the Independent on Sunday this weekend) contains details and statistics to make even the most cynical hack’s blood run cold. When are more people going to read it, and more journalists drill down into it? (Have a look at it here) 4. In Britain’s local Courts, there are over 35 documented cases of rape and paedophiliac abuse in the local government system of the UK – predominantly involving Labour councillors – in the last eight years alone. When is Ed Miliband going to address that? When is the Shadow Home Secretary going to address that? When is Tom Watson even going to achnowledge that? 5. This morning, the Mail on Sunday has published an article by Sir Alfred McAlpine expressing disgust at the media in general and the BBC in particular. It is at best disingenuous. When is somebody in the media going to question the McAlpines on their convenient memory-loss in relation to cousin Alfred ‘Jimmie’ McAlpine? For legal reasons, I cannot refer to a sixth example: but surprise surprise, if I could, somebody would have to act. However, in the temporary absence of that tale from the public domain, I’d like if I may to deal with Point 5 above first. The Mail piece is remarkable for the vilification brought forth by Sir Alfred McAlpine. This extract is typical: ‘Now we know that all it took for my brother Lord (Alistair) McAlpine to be exonerated as a paedophile was for the victim Steven Messham to be shown a photograph of his alleged abuser. Both he and the BBC’s Newsnight programme have apologised for the terrible slur on a good man’s reputation. But the damage has already been done – to my brother’s name…. I only discovered last Tuesday from a senior Tory party member that Alistair was the person being traduced on the internet as the guilty party. I was completely taken aback. Of course, I had heard it was someone close to Mrs Thatcher but the idea of my younger brother being involved was so preposterous, I laughed it off’ … Read more at the SLOG
November 16, 2012 By 19 Comments
Washington Post Stephen Mufson
BP has agreed to plead guilty to 14 criminal counts, including manslaughter, and will pay $4 billion over five years in a settlement with the Justice Department over the April 20, 2010, drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people and unleashed the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, officials announced Thursday. The fine is the largest criminal payment in U.S. history, Justice Department officials said, but BP still faces even bigger penalties from federal civil charges, including those under the Clean Water Act.The Justice Department also sought to attach faces to the disaster, filing manslaughter charges against two BP rig supervisors and obstruction charges against a BP executive who allegedly lied to Congress. The three are not covered by the BP settlement.“I hope this sends a clear message to those who would engage in this wanton misconduct that there will be a penalty paid,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said during a news conference in New Orleans on Thursday.
The two top-ranking BP supervisors on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig — Robert M. Kaluza, 62, of Henderson, Nev., and Donald J. Vidrine, 65, of Lafayette, La. — were indicted on 23 counts, including involuntary and seaman’s manslaughter, for allegedly ignoring warning signs of the blowout that set fire to the rig, which later sank.
A separate indictment accused David Rainey, a former BP vice president, of hiding information from Congress and lying to law enforcement officials by understating the rate at which oil was gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Rainey, 58, was BP’s deputy incident commander and BP’s second-highest-ranking representative at the Coast Guard’s unified command for the spill response.
“Make no mistake: While the company is guilty, individuals committed these crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, head of the criminal division. Of the two rig supervisors, Breuer said, “In the face of glaring red flags indicating that the well was not secure, both men allegedly failed to take appropriate action to prevent the blowout.”
Attorneys for the men said they will fight the charges.
Separately, the London-based oil giant will pay $525 million over three years to settle claims with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said the firm concealed information from investors. The settlement is subject to U.S. federal court approval.
BP said it would increase its existing $38.1 billion charge against earnings for the spill by $3.85 billion.
BP and the Justice Department failed to agree on a separate settlement of federal civil claims, including federal and state claims of damages to natural resources. BP said it is “prepared to vigorously defend itself against remaining civil claims.” Clean Water Act fines alone could total $5 billion to nearly $20 billion, depending on whether BP is found to be guilty of gross negligence or willful misconduct.
But the settlement resolves all criminal charges. BP agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony counts of “misconduct or neglect of ships’ officers.” Jane Barrett, an environmental law professor at the University of Maryland, said the seaman’s manslaughter statute, first passed in 1838 in response to steamboat accidents, has a lower threshold for guilt including “misconduct, negligence or inattention to duties.”
November 16, 2012 By 458 Comments
By EMILY ASHTON and LAUREN VEEVERS
Legendary MP Sir Cyril Smith was dramatically unmasked as a paedophile in the Commons yesterday.The Lib Dem heavyweight was blasted as a perverted “29st bully” — in a debate on the abuse scandal rocking Britain in the wake of the Jimmy Savile revelations. Hushed MPs heard how the lifelong bachelor, who died aged 82 two years ago, left victims “quivering wrecks”. The revelations were made hours after child sex probe cops arrested an ex-BISHOP who is a friend of Prince Charles. Retired Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester Peter Ball, 80, became the most senior member of a suspected Church of England paedo ring to be grilled about boy victims as young as 12. Police also revealed a BBC radio presenter is to appear in court accused of preying on children. Michael Souter, 59, was yesterday charged with 18 offences against young boys. Last night the Beeb refused to comment on the allegations against the former Radio Norfolk host. In the Commons MPs were aghast at the revelations Cyril Smith got away with abusing youngsters for years. Like depraved BBC DJ Savile — who died last year — the MP was dogged during his life by rumours he targeted youngsters. And just like Savile, cops investigated him — but no action was taken… Labour’s Simon Danczuk — Smith’s successor as MP for Rochdale — said as he lifted the lid on the scandal: “Young boys were humiliated, terrified and reduced to quivering wrecks by this 29-stone bully imposing himself on them.” He demanded: “Why was this ever allowed to happen?” And he hit out at a “culture of cover-up” that he said “extends right to the heart of our political establishment”… Read more at the SUN RELATED: Are Secretive Cabals Keeping Us in the Dark Over UK Child Abuse? http://21stcenturywire.com/2012/11/17/are-secretive-cabals-keeping-us-in-the-dark-over-child-abuse/
November 16, 2012 By 4 Comments
Telegraph Steven Swinford A dossier of sexual abuse allegations against Sir Cyril Smith, the late Liberal Democrat MP, which police claimed was “lost” was actually seized by MI5, according to a former special branch officer.Tony Robinson, a special branch officer with Lancashire Police in the 1970s, said he saw a police dossier which was “thick” with allegations from boys claiming they had been abused by Sir Cyril.
He said that after taking the file out of the safe at special branch headquarters in Hutton, Preston, he was contacted by an officer from MI5 who told him it needed to be sent to London.
Mr Robinson also disclosed that the then Director of Public Prosecutions had examined the allegations but decided they were “not in the public interest”.
He said: ”The police now say the file is lost. It seems like there was a complete cover up to me.”
In 1974 the Conservatives invited the Liberals to form a Coalition government in which Smith could have been appointed a minister. According to Mr Robinson a copy of the report from Lancashire Police was passed to Special Branch, which dealt with national security and intelligence. Mr Robinson, who had a previous interest in the case, said he read Sir Cyril’s file. He said: “I looked through Sir Cyril’s file which was kept in a safe in our office. “It was thick full of statements from young boys alleging abuse. It had been prepared for prosecution. “Written across the top of it were the words: ‘No further action, not in the public interest. DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions].’ “Shortly after taking it out I was called by an MI5 officer. They asked if I had the file on Mr Cyril Smith, and said: ‘Please have this sent down to London.” On Tuesday Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Smith’s former constituency in Rochdale, described him as a “29 stone bully” who “imposed himself” on his victims whom he “humiliated and terrified”. Mr Danczuk said some alleged victims had only now come forward in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal and it was time to find out “why was this allowed to happen”. Read more
November 16, 2012 By 431 Comments
Pals and neighbours of Dave Lee Travis spoke of their shock yesterday at the former Radio 1 DJ’s arrest on suspicion of sexual offences. The 67-year-old was bailed last night after facing 13 hours of questioning at Aylesbury Police Station by cops probing the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal. He refused to comment as he was driven through the gates of his £1million home in a silver Audi sports car. A Met Police spokesman confirmed: “A 67-year-old man has been bailed to return on a date in early January, pending further investigation.” Earlier in the day, Travis’s wife Marianne, 64, had refused to comment on the arrest… Read more