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Feds Say NH Woman Involved In Rwandan Genocide

http://bit.ly/9489Rb CONCORD, N.H. (AP) ―A New Hampshire woman charged in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide is related to members of a small group accused by a U.N. tribunal of being masterminds of the 100-day slaughter.

Beatrice Munyenyezi, 40, of Manchester was indicted Thursday on two counts of lying to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Federal prosecutors say Munyenyezi directed kidnapping, rape and murder during the genocide, in which about 800,000 people were killed during an ethnic bloodletting.

Munyenyezi is married to Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, a commander in the former Rwandan army and one of the "Butare Six," suspected by authorities of planning the slaughter. Judgment from the tribunal is expected in September.

Ntahobali's mother, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, is the only woman charged by the tribunal and is accused of mass murder and rape of Tutsis. Both mother and son are charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. They are incarcerated in Tanzania ...

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Aussie mental health services being destroyed by Rudd government

Click for more global actions one person can take
"I lost my beautiful youngest daughter to suicide 3 years ago... She was not referred on to an appropriate service after suffering post-natal depression... She had 3 children whom she adored, and she had so much to live for. She said to me not long before she died, 'Mum, I wish I had cancer, then people would be more understanding and caring'. We need improved and increased specialised services NOW." --Mary, a GetUp member who shared her story.

No parent should have to experience this. Please sign this petition today before it's delivered to Parliament House on Thursday: http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/MentalHealth

--- A message to you from Prof John Mendoza ---

Dear Pip,

On Friday I resigned my position as the head advisor to the Rudd Government on mental health. And it's because of stories like Mary's and my frustration over the Government's failure to do more to prevent them.

So, today I'm taking the unusual step of writing to you through GetUp to ask you to sign this petition, because I've come to the regrettable conclusion that my advice was not getting through - only public pressure will spur politicians into action.

Every day 330 Australians with serious mental illnesses are turned away from Emergency Departments, and 1,200 Australians are refused admission to a public or private psychiatric unit.

Every day more than 7 people die as a result of suicide, and more than a third of those have been discharged too early or without care from hospitals. For each of those 7 Australians, there are 7 families who mourn them, 7 groups of friends who ask themselves, 'why?'

And every day our political leaders fail to take action, this crisis worsens. This petition will be presented at Parliament House on Thursday - please add your name now through the GetUp website below:

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/MentalHealth

On Thursday, I and over 60 mental health organisations from across Australia intend to present a letter to Kevin Rudd with a plan of action for mental health. But so far, the Prime Minister has declined to receive it, and so too has the Health Minister, Nicola Roxon.

If 60,000 Australians get behind those 60 organisations by signing this petition, perhaps the Government will stand up and take notice. Please join us by adding your name through the GetUp website below:

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/MentalHealth

There are programs on the ground right now, proven to be effective - but we need real leadership and new investment to roll them out nationally. The Headspace youth mental health centres and psychosis intervention services pioneered by Professor McGorry are excellent and can reach hundreds of thousands of young Australians, if we make an additional investment of $250 million a year. The lack of spending right now means that tens of thousands of young Australians have no access to care.

We also need to expand programs for child mental health, so that the parents of every child with a learning or developmental disorder can access effective services. We must also provide more support for the 63,000 homeless Australians suffering from mental illness, and invest in e-health services that can reach hundreds of thousands of sufferers cost effectively.

Lastly, we owe it to our children, and their peers, to implement a national suicide prevention service. Suicide is the number 1 cause of death for men 16-44 and women 16-34 years. But across Australia, life-saving suicide prevention services are starved for funds. $100 million would expand these crucial services and concentrate on suicide hot spots like 'The Gap' in Sydney, where just last week the Federal and NSW Governments passed up on the opportunity to fund an effective suicide prevention project.

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/MentalHealth

For too long, successive Governments have failed to take mental health seriously. It's now the leading cause of disability for all Australians and the leading killer of those under 44. On Friday, the Prime Minister restated his commitment "to do more on mental health" and that the next cab off the rank was mental health." They've been saying that for six months, but if they're serious, these sensible investments can start saving lives and alleviate suffering today.

The concerted efforts of mental health campaigners, including GetUp members, have been effective in securing small pledges from the Government this year - but we need an investment of at least $500 million to start turning this health crisis around. It's within our grasp. A poll commissioned by GetUp this weekend found that 83% of Australians would be in favour of investing $500 million in mental health immediately.

The policies are there, the public support is there and million of Australians are waiting for help - now we need the public political pressure to make it happen. Please join the call by adding your name at: http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/MentalHealth

Thanks, Prof. John Mendoza

*Mary is a GetUp member who shared her family's story with other GetUp members when we launched the mental health campaign. Her name has been changed in respect for her privacy.

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Western leaders are too cowardly to help save lives

By Robert Fisk, Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Has Israel lost it? Can the Gaza War of 2008-09 (1,300 dead) and the Lebanon War of 2006 (1,006 dead) and all the other wars and now yesterday's killings mean that the world will no longer accept Israel's rule?

Don't hold your breath.

You only have to read the gutless White House statement – that the Obama administration was "working to understand the circumstances surrounding the tragedy". Not a single word of condemnation. And that's it. Nine dead. Just another statistic to add to the Middle East's toll.

But it's not.

In 1948, our politicians – the Americans and the British – staged an airlift into Berlin. A starving population (our enemies only three years before) were surrounded by a brutal army, the Russians, who had erected a fence around the city. The Berlin airlift was one of the great moments in the Cold War. Our soldiers and our airmen risked and gave their lives for these starving Germans.

Incredible, isn't it? In those days, our politicians took decisions; our leaders took decisions to save lives. Messrs Attlee and Truman knew that Berlin was important in moral and human as well as political terms.

And today? It was people – ordinary people, Europeans, Americans, Holocaust survivors – yes, for heaven's sake, survivors of the Nazis – who took the decision to go to Gaza because their politicians and their statesmen had failed them.

Where were our politicians yesterday? Well, we had the ridiculous Ban Ki-moon, the White House's pathetic statement, and dear Mr Blair's expression of "deep regret and shock at the tragic loss of life". Where was Mr Cameron? Where was Mr Clegg?

Back in 1948, they would have ignored the Palestinians, of course. It is, after all, a terrible irony that the Berlin airlift coincided with the destruction of Arab Palestine.

But it is a fact that it is ordinary people, activists, call them what you will, who now take decisions to change events. Our politicians are too spineless, too cowardly, to take decisions to save lives. Why is this? Why didn't we hear courageous words from Messrs Cameron and Clegg yesterday?

For it is a fact, is it not, that had Europeans (and yes, the Turks are Europeans, are they not?) been gunned down by any other Middle Eastern army (which the Israeli army is, is it not?) there would have been waves of outrage.

And what does this say about Israel? Isn't Turkey a close ally of Israel? Is this what the Turks can expect? Now Israel's only ally in the Muslim world is saying this is a massacre – and Israel doesn't seem to care ...

Source: http://bit.ly/adrTT0

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Some facts and figures about Gaza

Source: http://tinyurl.com/28w5kop The Gaza Strip has a population of 1.5 million with the sixth highest population density in the world.
(WHO World Health Organisation 16/02/2009)

During the last Israeli military strike between 27 December (08) and 18 January (09):- 1,380 Palestinians were killed, of whom 431 were children and 112 women. At least 5,380 people were injured, including 1,872 children and 800 women. 13 Israelis died during the same period
(WHO World Health Organisation 16/02/2009)

Over three-quarters of the current estimated population of some 1.5 million are registered refugees.
(UNRWA United Nations Relief Works Agency)

56% of the population is under 18 years of age
(OCHA United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)

The rate of stunting in children younger than 5 years has risen. Stunting during childhood is an indicator of chronic malnutrition, and is associated with increased disease burden and death.
(The Lancet, Medical Journal 07/03/2009)

80% of the water supply in the territory is estimated to be unsafe for drinking.
(OCHA United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)

Living conditions and access to sources of livelihood in Gaza are currently at their worst since 1967, with poverty affecting 90% of the population.
(UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 09/09/2009)

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

McChrystal Faces "Iraq 2006 Moment" in coming months

http://tinyurl.com/23vdgc7 Washington - Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal confronts the spectre of a collapse of U.S. political support for the war in Afghanistan in coming months comparable to the one that occurred in the Iraq War in late 2006.

On Thursday, McChrystal's message that his strategy will weaken the Taliban in its heartland took its worst beating thus far, when he admitted that the planned offensive in Kandahar City and surrounding districts is being delayed until September at the earliest, because it does not have the support of the Kandahar population and leadership.

Equally damaging to the credibility of McChrystal's strategy was the Washington Post report published Thursday documenting in depth the failure of February's offensive in Marja.

The basic theme underlined in both stories - that the Afghan population in the Taliban heartland is not cooperating with U.S. and NATO forces - is likely to be repeated over and over again in media coverage in the coming months.

The Kandahar operation, which McChrystal's staff has touted as the pivotal campaign of the war, had previously been announced as beginning in June. But it is now clear that McChrystal has understood for weeks that the most basic premise of the operation turned out to be false.

"When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them," said McChrystal, who was in Brussels for a NATO conference.

He didn't have to spell out the obvious implication: the people of Kandahar don't want the protection of foreign troops.

The Washington Post story on McChrystal's announcement reported "U.S. officials" had complained that "the support from Kandaharis that the United States was counting on [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai to deliver has not materialised."

That explanation hardly makes McChrystal's war plan more credible, because Karzai has made no secret of his preference for a negotiated settlement rather than continued efforts to weaken the Taliban by occupying key Taliban strongholds.

The report in the Post, written by National Editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran, provided the first detailed evidence of the systematic non-cooperation of the population of the district-sized area called Marja with U.S. troops ...

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The real threat aboard the Freedom Flotilla

http://bit.ly/djStKR

By Noam Chomsky

June 08, 2010 In These Times http://inthesetimes.com/article/6064/the_real_threat_aboard_the_freedom_flotilla/ - Israel's violent attack on the Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza shocked the world.

"Hijacking boats in international waters and killing passengers is, of course, a serious crime.

"But the crime is nothing new. For decades, Israel has been hijacking boats between Cyprus and Lebanon and killing or kidnapping passengers, sometimes holding them hostage in Israeli prisons.

"Israel assumes that it can commit such crimes with impunity because the United States tolerates them and Europe generally follows the U.S.’s lead.

"As the editors of The Guardian rightly observed on June 1, 'If an armed group of Somali pirates had yesterday boarded six vessels on the high seas, killing at least 10 passengers and injuring many more, a NATO task force would today be heading for the Somali coast.' In this case, the NATO treaty obligates its members to come to the aid of a fellow NATO country—Turkey—attacked on the high seas.

"Israel's pretext for the attack was that the Freedom Flotilla was bringing materials that Hamas could use for bunkers to fire rockets into Israel.

"The pretext isn't credible. Israel can easily end the threat of rockets by peaceful means.

"The background is important. Hamas was designated a major terrorist threat when it won a free election in January 2006. The U.S. and Israel sharply escalated their punishment of Palestinians, now for the crime of voting the wrong way.

"The siege of Gaza, including a naval blockade, was a result. The siege intensified sharply in June 2007 after a civil war left Hamas in control of the territory.

"What is commonly described as a Hamas military coup was in fact incited by the U.S. and Israel, in a crude attempt to overturn the elections that had brought Hamas to power.

"That has been public knowledge at least since April 2008, when David Rose reported in Vanity Fair that George W. Bush, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Elliott Abrams, 'backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.'

"Hamas terror included launching rockets into nearby Israeli towns -- criminal, without a doubt, though only a minute fraction of routine U.S.-Israeli crimes in Gaza.

"In June 2008, Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement. The Israeli government formally acknowledges that until Israel broke the agreement on Nov. 4 of that year, invading Gaza and killing half a dozen Hamas activists, Hamas did not fire a single rocket.

"Hamas offered to renew the cease-fire. The Israeli cabinet considered the offer and rejected it, preferring to launch its murderous invasion of Gaza on Dec.27.

"Like other states, Israel has the right of self-defense. But did Israel have the right to use force in Gaza in the name of self-defense? International law, including the U.N. Charter, is unambiguous: A nation has such a right only if it has exhausted peaceful means. In this case such means were not even tried, although—or perhaps because—there was every reason to suppose that they would succeed.

"Thus the invasion was sheer criminal aggression, and the same is true of Israel’s resorting to force against the flotilla ...

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The most and least pesticide-contaminated foods

http://bit.ly/adIgQz The Most and Least Pesticide-Contaminated Foods "The United States Department of Agriculture has an ongoing Pesticide Data Program that tests for pesticide residues on a variety of basic foods, especially those likely to be eaten by infants and children.The Environmental Working Group translates the USDA data into a list of the best and worst foods as far as pesticide residue levels are concerned.

"Pesticides are neuro-toxins, designed to destroy the nervous system of insects.In my opinion they are far more of a human health problem than our government acknowledges, primarily because if the government confessed to the seriousness of the problem then people would wonder why they have allowed the American public to be poisoned for more than half a century ..."

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Major General Stretton says bring home Aussies from Afghanistan

"Major General Alan Stretton, an army chief of staff during the Vietnam war, says it [the Aghan War] is an unwinnable war and Australian soldiers should be brought home.

"What are they going to do if the casualties rise to 20, 50, 100? They'll be absolutely galvanised into action from a political point of view because they'll be under great pressure from the Australian public," he said.

In a letter to the editor in The Australian newspaper, the former senior army officer asked: "How many fine young Australians need to be sacrificed in Afghanistan before the Government realises this war is unwinnable?"

And he also spoke to ABC Local Radio in Brisbane about his concerns.

"I feel very strongly about it. And I think there's a greater number of Australians thinking more strongly about it," he said.

"After all, we've been there nine years and virtually achieved nothing."

The Greens will move a motion to have the Federal Parliament debate the issue next week.

Greens Leader Bob Brown says it is time for a parliamentary debate about Australia's continuing role in Afghanistan.

"There is a growing feeling among the Australian people that this is not our war and that the Australian Defence Force personnel should be home here in Australia," he said.
Source

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Petraeus orders US spies to prepare for anti-nuclear strike on Iran

By Giles Whittell and Michael Evans, Washington

May 26, 2010 'The Times' -- Teams of American special forces have been authorised to conduct spying missions intended to pave the way for a military strike on Iran in case President Obama orders one, US government sources have confirmed.

The military units would penetrate Iranian territory to reconnoitre potential nuclear targets and make contact with friendly dissident groups, according to a secret directive written by General David Petraeus. The document's existence was disclosed for the first time yesterday.

It authorises an expansion in the use of US special forces throughout the Middle East, US officials said. However, it is the possibility of American troops operating covertly inside Iran that has the greatest potential to destabilise regional security.

General Petraeus, the most senior American commander in the Middle East and Central Asia, relied on special forces to ensure the success of the US troop surge in Iraq in 2007. His order to increase the use of Delta Force, Navy Seal and Army Ranger units for intelligence gathering and combat missions could jeopardise US relations with allies in the region while intensifying a long-running turf war between US military intelligence and the CIA.

The seven-page document, seen by The New York Times, remained classified yesterday, though it was written in September ...
Source

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Opium Wars in Afghanistan

Can Anyone Pacify the World's Number One Narco-State?

by Alfred W. McCoy

"... In the late 1990s, the Taliban, which had taken power in most of the country, lost any chance for international legitimacy by protecting and profiting from opium -- and then, ironically, fell from power only months after reversing course and banning the crop. Since the US military intervened in 2001, a rising tide of opium has corrupted the government in Kabul while empowering a resurgent Taliban whose guerrillas have taken control of ever larger parts of the Afghan countryside.

"These three eras of almost constant warfare fueled a relentless rise in Afghanistan's opium harvest -- from just 250 tons in 1979 to 8,200 tons in 2007.For the past five years, the Afghan opium harvest has accounted for as much as 50% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and provided the prime ingredient for over 90% of the world's heroin supply.

"The ecological devastation and societal dislocation from these three war-torn decades has woven opium so deeply into the Afghan grain that it defies solution by Washington's best and brightest (as well as its most inept and least competent). Caroming between ignoring the opium crop and demanding its total eradication, the Bush administration dithered for seven years while heroin boomed, and in doing so helped create a drug economy that corrupted and crippled the government of its ally, President Karzai. In recent years, opium farming has supported 500,000 Afghan families, nearly 20% of the country's estimated population, and funds a Taliban insurgency that has, since 2006, spread across the countryside.

"To understand the Afghan War, one basic point must be grasped: in poor nations with weak state services, agriculture is the foundation for all politics, binding villagers to the government or warlords or rebels. The ultimate aim of counterinsurgency strategy is always to establish the state's authority. When the economy is illicit and by definition beyond government control, this task becomes monumental. If the insurgents capture that illicit economy, as the Taliban have done, then the task becomes little short of insurmountable.

"Opium is an illegal drug, but Afghanistan's poppy crop is still grounded in networks of social trust that tie people together at each step in the chain of production.Crop loans are necessary for planting, labor exchange for harvesting, stability for marketing, and security for shipment. So dominant and problematic is the opium economy in Afghanistan today that a question Washington has avoided for the past nine years must be asked: Can anyone pacify a full-blown narco-state? ..."
Source

See also Opium and the CIA: Can the US Triumph in the Drug-Addicted War in Afghanistan? by Prof Peter Dale Scott http://bit.ly/ddOCqD

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Government goes to war with Google over net censorship

Government goes to war with Google over net censorship: Australia: "The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has launched a stinging attack on Google and its credibility in response to the search giant's campaign against the government's internet filtering policy.

"In an interview on ABC Radio last night, Senator Conroy also said he was unaware of complaints the Obama administration said it had raised with the government over the policy."

"The government intends to introduce legislation within weeks forcing all ISPs to block a blacklist of "refused classification" websites for all Australians ..."

Thanks Baz le Tuff.

Click for more global actions one person can take

Internet Censorship - GetUp! Campaign Actions

Banned website 'blacklist' won't be made public

NEWS.com.au -?10 hours ago?
Federal Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroyadmits the web censorship process needs transparency. Source:The Australian COMMUNICATIONS Minister ...

Censorship protestors 'turn terrorists'down under

Inquirer -NickFarrell - ?Mar 25, 2010?
They are also calling for AussieCommunications Minister Stephen Conroy to be bumped off. Posts onthe 4chan messageboard, which is the community behind ...

Fears web filter will be too wide

The Australian - AndrewColley - ?Mar 28, 2010?
Communications Minister Stephen Conroyhas consistently used RC as a synonym for material that is illegaloffline, such as child pornography and content ...

Conroy's internet censorship agendaslammed by tech giants

Sydney Morning Herald - AsherMoses - ?Mar 22, 2010?
Google, which today officiallystopped censoring search results in China, said it had helddiscussions with users and parents around Australia and "the ...


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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

'Climate emails hacked by spies'

"A highly sophisticated hacking operation that led to the leaking of hundreds of emails from the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia was probably carried out by a foreign intelligence agency, according to the Government's former chief scientist. Sir David King, who was Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser for seven years until 2007, said that the hacking and selective leaking of the unit's emails, going back 13 years, bore all the hallmarks of a co-ordinated intelligence operation – especially given their release just before the Copenhagen climate conference in December.

"The emails were stolen from a backup computer server used by the University of East Anglia. They contained private discussions between climate scientists that have embarrassed those involved, particularly Professor Phil Jones, who has stepped down from his post as head of the unit pending an independent inquiry into whether there is any evidence of scientific misconduct. He is not implicated in the hacking ..."
The Independent

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