Monthly Archives: July 2011

Reflections from Today’s Syrian demos/rallies at the White House

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by Navid Nasr
Sunday, July 31 2011

2.3 km Syrian flag held up by pro-govt demonstrators in Damascus

At the White House today, the Syrian demonstrators were pretty evenly divided between the two factions… not at all what one would expect if one’s window to the world was CNN/MSNBC/Al Jazeera.

The Pro-Assad Syrians were Alawi, Druze, Ismaili, Armenian and other Christian, as well as Palestinian. They were pro-Resistance, pro-Hezbollah, pro-Hamas, pro-PFLP, pro-Iran, anti-intervention and very anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist.

The anti-Assad faction were waving huge American flags, and King Idris/Libyan contra flags alongside their Syrian flags. They had a couple of token Christians in their midst, but the rest of them were Kurds (continuing to revel in their role as imperialism’s cat’s paw in the Middle East) and Sunni Arabs. They were anti-Iran, anti-China, anti-Russia, anti-Hezbollah, anti-Hamas, anti-PFLP, pro-intervention and, umm, “neutral” on the subjects of imperialism and zionism. It felt like the “Green Summer” of 2009 all over again.

I ran into one Iranian guy who was wandering around the anti-Assad faction taking pictures. I know he was Iranian because dumbass (I’m not going to call him by name) dumbass had chosen to go behind enemy lines draped in an Iranian flag, and was attracting all sorts of dirty looks and muttered curse words. I did the whole “Salaam ghorban, hale shoma” deal with dumbass, we exchanged a few jokes and I asked him if there was anyone in particular that he thought I should speak to from the pro-Assad side. He pointed out a young lady to me who was standing right by the barricade. I approached her and asked her if I could talk to her a little bit away from the center of the demo where it wasn’t quite as loud. She and what I came to find out was her brother followed me to the sidewalk by the White House and we spoke for a good 30 minutes or so.

At first, things were fairly normal and they were both talking to me about the atrocities committed by the mukhabarat in Syria (although there have been atrocities committed on *both* sides, including the killing of children). After a while, though, I guess they became more comfortable and just started opening up about everything… including the fact that their father is Ammar Abdulhamid, who heads the Saban Center/Brookings Institution wing of the “Syrian Revolution.” ™(c)

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=8864

http://www.facebook.com/navid.nasr1/posts/142567905825844

http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_72_I_am_Syrian.mp3/view

They also bragged about how their dad was featured prominently in a book by Joshua Muravchik of the American Enteprise Institute on a new generation of Middle Eastern “democrats.” (The only thing more interesting/entertaining would be if Bernard-Henri Lévy would write a hagiography about his favorite Libyan “revolutionary” commander. My but they do love their pets.)

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mesh/2009/06/the-next-founders-voices-of-democracy-in-the-middle-east/

Other things they “enlightened” me about during the course of this conversation (and after a while I just kept my mouth shut and nodded, not being in the mood for a verbal, or any other kind of, altercation)

–Alawis are the root of all evil in Syria.

–Pro-government demonstrators in Damascus had actually attacked the US embassy and (horror of horrors!!) had set fire to American flags!!! Whereas those Syrians who loved freedom and democracy had showered the US ambassador’s car with rose petals and composed love poems in his honor.

http://ikhras.com/2011/07/imperial-arrogance-in-hama-u-s-interference-in-syria-must-end/

–Iranian tanks and troops are in Syria, helping to quell the uprising and kill the demonstrators.

–the pro-Assad Syrian demonstrators on the other side of the barricade are actually not Syrian, but are Lebanese nationals and Hezbollah sympathizers “and you know about Hezbollah, right? They’re terrorists.”

At some point I managed to extricate myself from this “conversation,” exchanged polite goodbyes and thank yous and left.

Good luck to the Syrian people. They’re going to need it. Particularly if the “Syrian Revolution”(tm)(c) succeeds in installing the manservants of the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute into power.

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Biggest protest in years challenges Netanyahu’s government

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July 31, 2011

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in seven cities across Israel, and their social slogans are rapidly being replaced by calls for the government to step down.

Rallies started at 9 pm on Saturday, with the main events held in Tel Aviv, where a large crowd gathered at the “Tahrir Square of Israel”, in front of the Tel Aviv Museum. The demonstrations, during which protesters carried banners demanding social justice, included musical performances from artists who support the movement.

There was a heavy security presence in the square, as the authorities were concerned there could be a repeat of last Saturday’s events. Police secured the roads, and choppers circled overhead.

Police arrested several activists who were blocking roads in the centre of Tel Aviv, calling for Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to quit over government policies.

The demonstration, which started with demands for affordable housing, food, healthcare and education, took the authorities by surprise when it took a political turn which they visibly do not know how to deal with it, RT’s Paula Slier said. Calls for regime change and for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down were heard on the square.

“I’m here because it is just becoming impossible to live in this country anymore,” said one of the protestors. “We work and we give, and we keep on giving, and there is no end to it.”

“I think there is a lot of influence of what happened on Tahrir Square, in Syria, Lebanon, what we see in Libya,” said another. “People understand that they have the power and that they can organize themselves, they don’t need anymore the government to tell them what to do. They can start telling the government what they want. They can start deciding for themselves.”

“This is our last chance, this is our only hope, we have to change this because we have no other choice,” said a third protester.

Earlier on Saturday, Likud MK Ofir Akunis said Netanyahu is setting up a team to look into lowering taxes, Haaretz reported. This caused critics to say that Netanyahu is behaving in the same way that the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak reacted shortly before he was overthrown.

Israelis did support the pro-democracy movement’s protests in Egypt, and now, a lot of Israeli demonstrators are drawing parallels between what is happening in Israel and what happened in Egypt. Everybody is excited by the fact that so many people across the country have mobilized with the potential to possibly overthrow Netanyahu.

Last Saturday there was a similar demonstration, although with fewer protesters, which erupted into violence when several people were arrested for breach of the peace.

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Venezuela: Lowest Percentage of Social Inequality in Latin America

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By CORREO DEL ORINOCO INTERNATIONAL

Venezuela's Social Missions, including Mision Barrio Adentro in which Cuban medical professionals provide free medical services, are part of the country's successful attempts to reduce social inequality (Agencies).

Venezuela has the lowest percentage (0.38 percent) of social inequality in Latin America, according a report released by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The President of the National Institute of Statistics, Elias Eljuri, said on Monday that the ECLAC report shows that extreme poverty in Venezuela was reduced from 21 percent in 1999, when the Bolivarian Revolution began, to 6.9 percent, with a tendency to continue decreasing.

The report, which was recently presented by ECLAC Executive Secretary, Alicia Barcena, also confirms that Venezuela has been able to reduce the gap of income distribution per capita by almost 15 percent.

Venezuela's Social Missions, including Mision Madres del Barrio which supports working and single mothers, are part of the country's successful attempts to reduce social inequality (Agencies).

The report’s data confirm figures issued by the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV), showing a 4.5 percent increase of GDP during the first trimester of the year, thanks to the government’s boost to the public and private sectors.

Additionally, the ECLAC report highlights that the economy in Latin America and the Caribbean would increase by 4.7 percent this year.

During a radio interview, Eljuri also highlighted the increase of formal workers over the last 12 years, which stood at 46 percent and now reaches 57 percent.

Social policies of the Chavez government have been largely responsible for the decrease in poverty and increase in overall social well being in the South American nation. Using oil profits, the Venezuelan state has invested heavily in healthcare, education and infrastructure to improve quality of life for all.

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Lizzie Phelan’s Libya diary: Day 4/5 (30/7/11)

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by Lizzie Phelan
July 30, 2011

2am

What an incredible day, the day after the assassination of the military commander of the counterrevolutionaries by al Qaeda, don’t hate me for saying it, this is the announcement from the mouths of the counterrevolutionaries and the traitor Mr Jalil himself.

Here is the report I gave to Press TV’s new bulletin by telephone last night: “The news from the NTC of the assassination of Mr Abd al Fatah Younis by senior al Qaeda members – who are well known to cia/mi6 etc – yesterday is being described here in Tripoli as a “slap in the face to the British,”. This is the answer that Mr Hague and Cameron was asking for just two days after they recognised the council as the official government of Libya – with Hague saying the council had “increasing legitimacy, competence and success”! Just two days after Hague’s comments the council’s top military commander has been killed by al Qaeda within his own ranks, and the widespread prevalence of al Qaeda in the opposition is now becoming clear as day.

So, Hague’s beloved NTC, which it is rumoured has largely fled Benghazi, cannot ensure the security even of their top military commander of the opposition who is from a strong tribe, let alone the ordinary people of Benghazi and Libya.

In contrast in Tripoli where I am, I can confirm that there is complete security with families enjoying days at the beach and getting ready for Ramadan.

From the beginning NATO accused Libya of playing the “al Qaeda card”, but the Libya government’s insistence that al Qaeda was a large force in the opposition has now been vindicated and proven to be true by the opposition and people in Benghazi themselves.

Gaddafi announced live in a speech to a rally of hundreds and thousands in the poorest part of Tripoli last night (28/7/11) that there was a battle taking place in Benghazi with the people of that city standing up and fighting back against the opposition, and at approx 2am the death of Abd al Fatah Younis had been confirmed sparking huge celeberation across Tripoli with fireworks and celebratory gunfire until the early hours.”

The Press TV presenter additionally asked me if the Libyan government was playing up the role of al Qaeda as a fear mongering exercise to which I reconfirmed that it was the Libyan opposition themselves who confirmed that Mr Younis was assassinated by al Qaeda. Mr Jalil had ordered the arrest of Mr Younis after Younis announced that all he cared about was securing Brega and that Gaddafi was free to take Misrata, Benghazi and the rest of Libya. This led to a huge fallout and his arrest where he was due to be taken to court. But al Qaeda, who were within the ranks of the NTC feared that by allowing Mr Younis to go through the due legal process, in that time his tribe (which is one of the strongest in Libya) would come to his defence and secure his release, so they assassinated him along with two of his aides and mutilated their bodies.

In a further twist, at his funeral yesterday, Younis’ son Ashraf shouted: “We want Muammar to come back…we want the green flag back!”

Moussa Ibrahim

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim warned NATO, that if they continue supporting the “rebels” it was now becoming clear that the al Qaeda factions within the opposition would emerge as the dominant faction. He reminded the west that a strong al Qaeda in Libya with an established base there would quickly turn its attention to its real enemies, NATO. Unlike the traitor defectors from the Libyan government, who are not prepared to fight to the death, but instead would flee to their comfortable homes elsewhere in the world, al Qaeda members only goal is martyrdom so they can escape to their palaces in heaven. This is another reason why it is clear that the fighters in places like Brega are clearly al Qaeda.

Mr Ibrahim also taunted Europe that it had been incapable of preventing the hundreds and thousands of poor, unarmed and destitute migrants from across Africa from arriving at its shores from the coast of north Africa, and so Europe would clearly be incapable of preventing thousands of al Qaeda fighters (who are now being armed not only with NATO and Qatari weapons, but also – with the support of NATO bombs – sophisticated weapons stolen from Libyan military barracks) from arriving in the boat load on its territories.

In contrast, the Libyan government has decades-long experience of fighting and defeating al Qaeda in their land, as well as the NATO nations themselves over the centuries.

Just an hour before NATO continued its in-vain bombardment of Tripoli ,Mr Ibrahim insisted that Libya was winning and would win, especially -as it seems likely – if NATO disgracefully chooses to continue its aggression during the holy month of Ramadan. Mr Ibrahim reminded NATO that during this month, the morale of the Libyan people would be especially high as their spirituality will be strengthened and their duty to secure peace reinforced.

Brothers Sukant and Faraj

Aside from this news, we continued shooting the documentary where we completed two incredible interviews with our dear brother Faraj Gaberil, who is a medical student but has taken up additional duties (media and defence work), and the well renowned and highly respected TV personality (amongst many other things) Dr Yousef Shakir.

The highlights of these interviews was when Faraj was asked by Sukant what he had to say to President Obama who is bombing Libya. Mr Obama was described by Leader Muammar Gaddafi as the “son of Africa” as well as saying that it was dangerous he had an “inferiority complex”.

Faraj replied that Mr Obama was not acting as a real black man, but a white man in black skin. He said that in the west, people appreciate what is superficial, like cars, beautiful wives etc but in Africa, African people know to appreciate things like when African women cook the simplest of bread. He told Mr Obama that he should return to Africa and experience what it means to be cooked simple bread by African women.

Faraj with his government issued AK

Faraj also talked about how average Libyans in their hundreds and thousands were flocking to support their government and defend their families, neighbourhoods and countries against the NATO-supported “rebels”, by forming civilian militias with the weapons that had been issued to all men and women above the age of 18.

Mr Shakir’s interview was the longest we have done so far. He gave a deep historical analysis of the present situation in Libya and some unique information on the current situation also. He revealed that he warned about the events that would unfold before the crisis and he will be publishing in his upcoming book the 10 page report that he wrote that went unpublished revealing the names and details of the people behind the current crisis.

Another young Libyan brother with his government issued weapon

As a founder of the National Salvation Front, which he left after he discovered its deep links to the CIA, and from Benghazi also, the man’s insight is unparalleled. Watch this space.

UPDATE at 11am: Minutes after I wrote this entry, several huge explosions delivered by the NATO cowards in the sky, which even over a kilometre away go right through you, went off less than half a kilometre away from my hotel at the Libyan state television centre which has already been bombed previously in the past four months.

We know from speaking to doctors and friends here that of course the children of Tripoli are experiencing psychological trauma from the explosions. The the children and people of Libya have found that their way of getting through this trauma is to come closer together and to work for victory and the rapid death of NATO so that lives of peace return. The hundreds and thousands of men AND women who have volunteered to fight and the million people rallies are heroic examples of how they are doing this.

We went down to reception when the explosions were going off, which also continued at other nearby locations. Later we saw white smoke in an almost diagonal line lingering in the sky. The staff and guests, many of whom are families with small children on holiday and in Tripoli for Ramadan, did not flinch and said “this doesn’t scare us, it is the same every day for four months, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb”. Nowhere better is this exemplified by the masses of men, women and children who increasingly and defiantly flow into Bab Alziza which is bombed over and over again.

Some of the elder brothers rushed in their car to the scene to see if their friends had been hit.

Just after finishing this paragraph I heard another two massive explosions (11.18am) sent by the NATO cowards who hide in the sky, I can hear them in their planes flying overhead.

It is clear that by bombing the television centre, which is also surrounded by residential buildings, the unachievable aims are both to terrorise the local people and to destroy their own media which they control in an attempt to destroy their only means of accessing the truth. The Libyan people, having seen for themselves that the printed words of the mainstream Arab press (Arabiya and Al Jazeera) and the western press are full of poisonous lies, only put their faith in their very own Libyan press.

But it is impossible now to fool the Libyan people even if NATO succeeded in destroying their press. Despite many members of the Libyan population being fooled at the beginning of this crisis by what before they saw as credible and trustworthy media (particularly Al Jazeera), they have learnt the truth in the hardest way possible. This is even the case for the people of Benghazi – who were under the control of the National Transitional Council (which has now fled to Tobruk) – and as a result they have stood up and are fighting anti-government forces themselves as I write.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE at 17.35pm: The bombing has continued throughout the day and NATO planes can be heard in the skies continuously. The sound of the planes is often met with the defiant sound of gunfire from the people of Tripoli.

Great report on the events in Global Research below

The War on Libya: Divisions within The Transitional Council and Rebel Forces

By Michel Chossudovsky and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, July 29, 2011

The death of General Abdel Fattah Al-Younes, Commander in Chief of Rebel Forces was announced on July 28. Younes was Colonel Qaddafi’s former interior minister who defected to the rebels. Younes was also key leader of the Transitional Council based in Benghazi.

His death has created a vacuum in the military command structure, which will inevitably contribute in the short-run to weakening the military capabilities of the insurgency. It will also have repercussions on the timing of NATO operations.

Unconfirmed reports state that Younes died in the battlefield in fighting on the ground against the Libyan military. For several days there were rumors that Al-Younis was dead. These reports stated that he was fighting in the Western Mountains and he could have been killed in battle. Other reports state that he was killed by the Transitional Council.

Even within rebel circles there are claims that Al-Younes was killed “because he was a traitor”.

The official release of the Transitional Council states that General Al-Younes and two top military commanders aides were killed by gunmen.on Thursday July 28.

“Abdel Fattah Younes was killed after being summoned to the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi to appear before a judicial inquiry, opposition leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil announced at a press conference late on Thursday night.”

Secret Negotiations with Tripoli?

Al-Younes may have been attempting to return to Tripoli. There have also been reports regarding secret negotiations between Transitional Council members and the Libyan government. A faction within the Transitional Council may have been searching for a negotiated solution with Tripoli.

Barely two weeks earlier, top level talks were held in Brussels (Wednesday, July 13) between a Transitional National Council delegation and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The delegation also met with the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s governing body. Fogh Rasmussen confirmed that “NATO would continue its bombing campaign in Libya as long as Gadhafi’s forces threaten civilians”. “As long as that threat continues, we must continue to deal with it,”

While in Brussels, rebel NTC leader Mustafa Abdel Jabril categorically denied the holding of talks with Tripoli: “All this talk about negotiations taking place between the regime and the National Transitional Council are totally false claims,” The Associated Press: Rebels deny talks with Gadhafi, July 13, 2011)

Divisions within the Transitional Council and the Military

The death of Al-Younes has resulted in internal fighting within the Transitional Council. The leadership of Mustafa Abdel Jibril is being questioned, particularly by members of Al-Younes’ Obeide tribe. Jibril had been seeking a surge in NATO’s bombing campaign in support of “a military advance” on Tripoli by rebel forces.

Following the death of General Younes and two top military commanders, rebel forces are in disarray. Factional divisions are developing within rebel forces.

The CIA Connection

There have also been accusations that Younes was assassinated by a rival faction of the insurgency headed by military commander Khalifa Hifter, who is known to be a CIA asset:

General Hifter retired to suburban Virginia, where he has lived for the last 20 years in Vienna (a small town) which is five minutes from CIA headquarters in Langley. … Manipulations Africaines, a book published by Le Monde Diplomatique in 2001, traces Hifter’s CIA connection back to 1987, stating that he was then a colonel in Gaddafi’s army and was captured fighting in Chad against the U.S.-backed government of Hissène Habré. Hifter defected to the Libyan National Salvation Front (LNSF), the main anti-Gaddafi group, which was CIA-backed. He organized his own militia, which stopped functioning once Habré was defeated by Idriss Déby (supported by France) in 1990. …. “The Hifter force, created and financed by the CIA in Chad, vanished into thin air with the help of the CIA shortly after the government was overthrown by Idriss Déby.” The book quotes a U.S. Congressional Research Service report dated December 19, 1996, to the effect that “the U.S. government was providing financial and military aid to the LNSF, and that a number of LNSF members were relocated to the United States.” (Asad Ismi The Middle East Revolution: The Empire Strikes Back: Libya Attacked by the US and NATO, Global Research, May 18, 2011)

Commander Khalifa Hifter tends to support the Islamic faction of the rebellion which is integrated by members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Supporting the Libyan Jihad

Affiliated to Al Qaeda, the LIFG (Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya) was founded in Afghanistan with the support of the CIA by Veteran Libyan Mujahideens of the Soviet-Afghan war.

From the outset in the early to mid-1990s, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) performed the role of an “intelligence asset” on behalf of the CIA and Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. Starting in 1995, the LIFG was actively involved in waging an Islamic Jihad directed against the secular Libyan regime, including a 1996 attempted assassination of Muamar Qadhafi. (See Michel Chossudovsky, “Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition,

The Jihadists, covertly supported by Western intelligence are now on the front lines of the insurgency:

Mr al-Hasidi [A Veteran Mujahideen] insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader [Qadhafi forces]”. (Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links, Daily Telegraph, March 25, 2011, emphasis added)

Abdul Hakim Al-Hasadi, is a leader of the LIFG who received military training in a guerrilla camp in Afghanistan. He is head of security of the opposition forces in one of the rebel held territories with some 1,000 men under his command. (Libyan rebels at pains to distance themselves from extremists – The Globe and Mail, March 12, 2011)

The US-NATO coalition is arming the Jihadists. Weapons are being channelled to the LIFG from Saudi Arabia, which historically, since the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war, has covertly supported Al Qaeda. The Saudis are now providing the rebels, in liaison with Washington and Brussels, with anti-tank rockets and ground-to-air missiles. (See Michel Chossudovsky, “Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition, April 3, 2011)

The Kosovo Model

The assassination of General Younes, while creating divisions within the insurgency, tends to reinforce US-NATO control over the Islamist faction of the insurgency, which is supported covertly by the CIA and MI6.

What is unfolding in Libya is the “Kosovo Model”. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was integrated by Islamic brigades affiliated to Al Qaeda, not to mention its links to organized crime. The KLA was supported covertly by the CIA, German intelligence (BND) and Britain’s MI6.

Starting in 1997, the KLA was behind the political assassinations of civilian opposition forces within Kosovo, including members of the Democratic League of Kosovo headed by Ibrahim Rugova. It was then used as an instrument in NATO’s 1999 war against Yugoslavia. And in the wake of the 1999 war the KLA was spearheaded, with the support of the UN and the EU, into heading an independent ”democratic” Kosovo “Mafia State”.

The “War on Terrorism” Supports “The War on Terrorism”

In a bitter irony, the US-NATO coalition against Libya is “on both sides” of their own “war on terrorism”.

They say that they are “fighting terrorism”, when in fact they covertly supporting and financing terrorism.

They are fighting with rather than against the terrorists.

They are also on both sides of “The Big Lie”. They wage a holy war against “Islamic terrorism”, while also supporting Al Qaeda affiliated jihadist forces within the Libyan “opposition”.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya in Tripoli and Michel Chossudovsky in Montreal contributed to this report.

Michel Chossudovsky is Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

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Police beat man that just learned his son committed suicide

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by Alexander Higgins
July 27, 2011

Victim of police brutality after learning of his son's suicide.

Fox news reports that Loganville police beat an emotionally distressed man who just learned his son had committed suicide.

In another blaring example of the transitioning of America into a complete Nazi style police state, police show no sympathy for an emotionally distressed man who just learned that his son committed suicide.

Instead the police just add another award to their trophy case of felony assaults on an Americans with no arrests being made against them.

The Fox news report in the video attached to this page is just the latest of several cases of police brutality and police beatings across the nation.

The man interviewed shows off extensive injuries beyond the extent of which should be tolerated as he tells Fox news about how the police brutality beat him.

According to Fox news the man was brutally beaten after calling the Loganville, Georgia police for help after his son just committed suicide.

The police just made the worse day of his the man’s life even worse by first attacking him and then arresting him.

The man left says he left the garage where he found his after paramedics began CPR and was pacing around in his front yard.

He says a police officer then grabbed his arm and told him he needs to sit down.

He jerked his arm from the officer and told him “Don’t touch me.”

He said he did nothing else and the officer responded by tackling him.

After he was on the ground two more officers jumped in and held him to the ground while two more officers beat on him.

Neighbors told Fox news that they witnessed the police just standing over the man wailing away, punching him again and again while he was being pinned down to the ground.

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Hijacking of Trade Not Aid Mission – Endangering Woman in Gaza

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HANDS OFF KEN O’KEEFE!!

by Ken O’Keefe

Thus far I have been extremely reserved about the events of this hijacking, with regard to the instigators of this hostile takeover I have only stated one primary fact. That is that the vehicles bought with funds acquired for Trade Not Aid were fraudulently registered in the name of Catherine Myles. This fact alone should be sufficient to tell people what this hijacking is all about.

But despite my limiting the information to the facts, the takeover crew are now continuously engaged in a slander campaign ala Jo Ann Westcott. Catherine Myles and Saeb Shaath, are now working as one, and what is being said is disgusting and dangerous. Among the claims these two are responsible for, and this is not a comprehensive list;

1) I have stolen money from my campaign.

2) That I am mentally ill.

3) That I see “Islam is a joke”.

4) That I have “nearly” been arrested twice in Gaza by Hamas because I attempted to lure young woman to my apartment.

5) That I am unwelcome in Gaza.

I have spoken to Noor Harazzen, the Palestinian Director for the Samouni Project in Gaza, she has verified that she and any other woman I had contact with is now in danger in Gaza. These lies are actively being spread both online and with the people of Gaza directly, including the Samouni family. The maliciousness of spreading these lies with the children of the Samouni family, children I helped build a playground for, children I am developing a classroom and education program for, is tantamount to emotional torture. These children love me and I love them, and the spreading of lies about me to them is unforgivable. It reeks of Zionist tactics and shames everyone involved.

For those who do not know, the accusation that a young, un-married woman would be involved in an intimate relationship with a married, Western man is explosively dangerous. Noor is a courageous young woman and I am honoured to have her as a sister and a colleague, but I am angry that such a dedicated young sister would be put in serious danger, used as a pawn by people stealing a mission intended to help Palestine. All of this is nothing more than a blatant power grab, and Noor, along with other Palestinian sisters are apparently meaningless.

Saeb Shaath knows the danger I am speaking about here and thus I cannot be silent about the disgraceful role Mr. Shaath is playing in this madness. Mr. Shaath was in my home in the last week, he held my baby boy and claimed to bless him; he said repeatedly, minutes before the “committee” meeting used to hijack my mission, “I am behind you 100% brother”.

At this point Catherine Myles is no better than Jo Ann Westcott, both are first class slanderers who would be facing slander and liable charges in court if only I had the money. Saeb Shaath is now part of this threesome, claiming to lead the mission I founded, Saeb Shaath is by his participation and silence party to a fraud, and now he is complicit in a slander and recklessly endangerment that puts young woman in Gaza in grave danger.

If anything happens to any of the woman I knew in Gaza then Catherine Myles, Jo Ann Westcott and Saeb Shaath should all be held responsible. I call on Saeb Shaath to preserve some semblance of dignity, walk away from this disgraceful hijacking and condemn both Jo Ann Westcott and Catherine Myles for their dangerous and disgusting slander.

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Divided Appeals Court Rules That Companies May Patent Breast Cancer Genes, but Invalidates Patents on Comparing the Genes

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July 29, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – In a 2-1 decision, a federal appeals court today partially reversed a lower court’s ruling in a case challenging patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The court ruled that companies can obtain patents on the genes but cannot patent methods to compare those gene sequences.

The ruling follows a lawsuit brought by a group of patients and scientists represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) and calls into question the validity of patents now held on approximately 4,000 human genes.

“Today’s ruling is a blow to the idea that patent law cannot impede the free flow of ideas in scientific research,” said Chris Hansen, a staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “Human DNA is not a manufactured invention, but a natural entity like air or water. To claim ownership of genetic information is to unnecessarily block the free exchange of ideas.”

The lawsuit against Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation, which hold the patents on the genes, charged that the challenged patents are illegal and restrict both scientific research and patients’ access to medical care, and that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are “products of nature.”

“As the dissent from today’s decision explains, pieces of the human genome are not patentable,” said Daniel B. Ravicher, executive director of PUBPAT and co-counsel in the lawsuit. “This is because no one ‘invents’ genes. Inventions are things like new genetic tools or drugs, all of which can be patented because they are not genes themselves.”

The specific patents the lawsuit challenged are on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Mutations along those genes are responsible for most cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Many women with a history of those cancers in their families opt to undergo genetic testing to determine if they have the mutations on their BRCA genes that put them at increased risk for these diseases. This information is critical in helping these women decide on a plan of treatment or prevention, including increased surveillance, preventive mastectomies or ovary removal.

One of the judges on the panel dissented in part with the decision, writing that patents on the genes should be invalid. “…[E]xtracting a gene is akin to snapping a leaf from a tree,” Judge William C. Bryson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wrote. “Like a gene, a leaf has a natural starting and stopping point. It buds during spring from the same place that it breaks off and falls during autumn. Yet prematurely plucking the leaf would not turn it into a human-made invention.”

The lawsuit, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., was filed on behalf of breast cancer and women’s health groups, individual women, geneticists and scientific associations representing approximately 150,000 researchers, pathologists and laboratory professionals. Because the ACLU’s lawsuit challenges the whole notion of gene patenting, its outcome could have far-reaching effects beyond the patents on the BRCA genes. Approximately 20 percent of all human genes are patented, including genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, colon cancer, asthma and many other illnesses.

The patents granted to Myriad gave the company the exclusive right to perform diagnostic tests on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and to prevent any researcher from even looking at the genes without first getting permission from Myriad. Myriad’s monopoly on the BRCA genes makes it impossible for women to access alternate tests or get a comprehensive second opinion about their results. It also allows Myriad to charge a high price for its tests.

“The court has made the wrong decision for women’s health,” said Sandra Park, staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “No corporation should be able to claim ownership of a woman’s own genetic information.”

Several major organizations, including the American Medical Association, the March of Dimes and the American Society for Human Genetics, filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the challenge to the patents on the BRCA genes. In addition, the United States Department of Justice filed a brief arguing that many of the gene patents issued by the Patent Office are invalid.

Attorneys on the case include Hansen and Aden Fine of the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project; Park and Lenora Lapidus of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project; and Ravicher and Sabrina Hassan of PUBPAT.

Today’s decision can be found online at:
www.aclu.org/womens-rights/association-molecular-pathology-et-al-v-myria…

More information about the case, including an ACLU video featuring breast cancer patients, plaintiff and supporter statements and declarations and the legal complaint, can be found online at: www.aclu.org/brca

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Egypt’s Communist Party advocates unified revolutionary body

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July 28, 2011

The Egyptian Communist Party suggested Thursday the formation of a unified body of revolutionary forces responsible for managing demonstrations.

The party said in a statement the body would “take decisions collectively and coordinate with revolutionary forces, as well as agree on a road map to specify objectives, forms and appropriate methods of protest.”

The party’s idea for protest oversight comes as an ongoing sit-in in Tahrir Square has drawn the ire of some of the public as it has paralyzed Cairo’s main square since 8 July.

The party’s statement statement emphasized the need to continue all forms of peaceful struggle to achieve the revolution’s demands, but said it is not possible to achieve all the demands simultaneously.

During Friday’s protests, revolution activists plan to denounce a military council statement accusing opposition forces of receiving foreign funds to destabilize the country.

Islamic forces including Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood said they will stage a protest in support of the military council’s efforts to maintain stability during the transition phase.

The statement said the Communist Party aims to reach consensus with other parties regarding principles that will guide the constituent body responsible for drafting a new constitution.

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Venezuela Sends 50 Tons of Food Aid, Five Million Dollars, and Solidarity to Somalia

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By JUAN REARDON – VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM

Venezuelan civilian and military personnel help load cargo headed to Somalia (Agencies).

Mérida, July 28th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Wednesday the Venezuelan government contributed 50 tons in food aid to the people of Somalia currently suffering one of the worst food crises in decades. In addition to the direct shipment of “nonperishable foods, drinking water, baby food and grains,” the Venezuelan government transferred USD $5 million dollars to international efforts in the region and will soon send a team of Venezuelan technicians and agricultural experts to support Somali efforts to increase food production.

According to Minister of Justice and the Interior Tareck el Aissami, Venezuela “stands with the rest of those in the world who defend life, the living of life,” referring to the community of nations working to minimize the devastating effects of Somalia’s current humanitarian crisis.

Last Friday the United Nations called on the international community to help stave off one of the worst food crises in the horn of Africa’s history, a crisis affecting some 12 million people in the region and placing 780,000 children at risk of starvation.

Speaking on Venezolana de Television (VTV), Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez affirmed that “the least we (Venezuela) can do is help” before he approved USD $5 million dollars he said was to “purchase additional food and help soften the death and hunger produced by savage capitalism.”

From outside Venezuela’s Maiquetia International Airport, where aid was later flown to Kenya for ground transport to neighboring Somalia, El Aissami told the press that Venezuela’s contribution “ratifies our solidarity with the cause of humanity, with the life of the Somali people” and is accompanied by the “love and support” of the Venezuelan people.

Next week a team of Venezuelan agricultural technicians will fly to Somalia “to participate in a program aimed at providing technical training and increasing food production,” he added.

In response to the UN calls for immediate support from governments, organizations and individuals, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) called on its entire membership to contribute one day’s salary in solidarity with the people of Somalia.

According to Rodrigo Cabezas, member of the PSUV’s National Directorate, the party has mobilized its base so that next Monday, August 1st, members across the nation “will contribute one day’s salary to the children of Somalia.” Cabezas called on “all militants of the PSUV, all friends and allies, all Venezuelans of good will, to consider making this contribution.”

Venezuela’s PSUV is currently the largest political party in the country, with an over 7,000,000 members nationwide.

Money for Life, Not for War

In closing his remarks on Wednesday, Venezuela’s El Aissami criticized the use of billions of dollars “to kill off people,” referring to the war in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. The minister affirmed that “thousands of lives could be saved” if the United States and its European allies “made that money available for humanitarian causes” instead of war.

As measured by costofwar.com, the total cost of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at the end of this month will top $790 and $440 billion dollars, respectively. Estimates place the cost paid by U.S. taxpayers for the attacks on Libya at roughly USD $9.5 million dollars per day, or $66.5 million a week.

In contrast, the U.S. last week promised $28 million in emergency aid to Somalia, funding that is said to supplement the $431 million already given in 2011.

According to the UK’s Guardian news agency, the first two months of bombings against Libya cost Britain over £100 million pounds. The British government recently offered £42 million pounds to help the people of Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti face the devastating effects of drought and famine, slightly over the £38 million pounds it has spent per week bombing Libya since early May.

The total amount to be spent by Britain in the war against Libya is expected to reach £1 billion pounds by September this year.

According to the Miami Herald, after the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, Venezuela was “the first nation to respond”, “became the first country to forgive Haiti’s foreign debt”, and pledged more aid than the US, EU or World Bank at the UN Donor Conference held in New York later that year.

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Day 2 and 3 in Lizzie Phelan’s Libya Diary

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Libya diary: Day 2 (27/7/11 10.30 PM)

by Lizzie Phelan
June 29, 2011

Abdel Rahman Shalgam

Today came the news that the British government expelled all the Libyan Embassy staff giving them three days to leave the country and that they will be handing it over to the “rebels”. On top of that they are giving the millions of the frozen Libyan people’s money, that is also designated for African investment in Africa to these counter-revolutionaries.

Even after Abdel Rahman Shalgam, the traitor Libyan UN envoy – who went to the UN in tears saying his family had been killed by Gaddafi (his family later came out saying they are all alive and that they disown him), and authored UN Resolution 1970 – admitted to Al Hayat newspaper that he lied to the UN Security Council. It was those lies, that Gaddafi supported the Resolution (!!) that effectively secured Russia and Brazil’s complicity.

The Libyan people see the latest steps as signs of weakness by the west. Ie they can’t win on the ground, so they are throwing their toys out of the pram in any other way that they can. Nonetheless, as foreign minister Khaled Kaim said, this is theft from the Libyan people by the west, a blatant act of piracy. The Libyan government will be challenging this robbery in the High Court and the ICJ.

Also, Mr Khaled Hamedi (who I talked about in yesterday’s diary) and his tribe are launching a legal action against NATO for the massacre of his entire family. We saw the pictures of him with his beautiful children and wife today. But the cowards in the sky who drop the bombs, sleep well at night, never having to face the children whose beautiful lives and futures they stole to maintain their sham superiority.

I forgot to mention also in my last entry that the Libyan children who were visiting Mr Hamedi’s bombed out house when we were there, avoiding including “down down Cameron” when they chanted: “down down Sarkozy, down down Obama, down down Berlusconi.” I said: “and down down Cameron”, and they said to me: “you are British, we don’t want to disrespect you, we know the British people are different from the government.”

As soon as I said the English people are not so different, they are happily sleeping, then their true thoughts began to come out and they expressed pity for the English whose lives they said were based on lies.

***

Libya diary: Day 3 (28/7/11 11.30pm)

by Lizzie Phelan
June 29, 2011

Brother Sukant Chandan with refugees from Misrata in Mahmoud's Tripoli hotel

Full day of shooting today for the documentary. We visited the Tripoli Central Hospital where we witnessed civilian casualties from the NATO rockets.

Later we revisited the hotel we came to when we were last here in June, owned by the wonderful Mahmoud who opened his hotel to refugees who have fled areas like Benghazi, Misrata and Tawergha, he has over 200 people there in his five star accommodation.

We met one brother who is there with his family of 27 because his house in the western mountains was bombed by NATO. He returned recently to join a peaceful march and to collect some belongings, and he was shot in the stomach by the counterrevolutionaries.

We also met a black Libyan couple, Nayeem and Wad, from Misrata who had with them their beautiful 12 day old daughter. Wad’s 17 year old brother was murdered by the counterrevolutionaries because they said he was an “African mercenary”, more blood on Al Jazeera’s hands.

The big news right now is the battle taking place in Benghazi, it looks as though the Libyan army may be able to advance there. And today yet again hundreds of thousands of Libyans demonstrated their high morale for the battle as they demonstrated in Bouslim, the poorest part of Tripoli, as the bombs dropped over the city.

In a speech to the rally, Gaddafi said that the Libyan people must go unarmed to the western mountains, to protect their country and so the world can see that it is not the Libyans who are using mercenaries, but the opposition using western mercenaries.

Abd al Fatah Younis

**UPDATE (2am) the counterrevolutionaries have confirmed that Abd al Fatah Younis has been assassinated. Younis whose tribe has now split and is in deep divisions with his previous number two Khalifa Hefter (who is now in the western mountains), recently gave a speech saying all he and his followers want is Brega, not Misrata or any of the west and that Gaddafi can take it. The Islamists killed him because they thought he was collaborating with Gaddafi. After the NTC announced that the fighting between the rebel army and the islamists was so bad that the council members had to flee Benghazi and they closed all communications to Benghazi. The Benghazi airport and army has been taken over by the Islamists.

There are huge celebrations amongst the united people of Tripoli right now with fireworks and gunshots firing off across the capital

**CORRECTION: Major pro-Gadafi tribe (el-Gelat) goes is controlling Benghazi airport and army base