Australians saw Habib tortured, says officer 12 Feb 2011
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Sat Feb 12 19:10:12 EST 2011
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12 Feb 2011
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Australians saw Habib tortured, says officer 13 Feb 2011 Damning evidence from an Egyptian intelligence officer that names an Australian official who witnessed the torture of Sydney man Mamdouh Habib in Guantanamo Bay has been revealed as the trigger for a hushed-up government payout to Mr Habib and a high-level investigation. The explosive 840-word statement, released exclusively to The Sun-Herald, was shown to government solicitors three days before they suddenly paid Mr Habib an undisclosed amount to drop his lawsuit claiming Australia was complicit in his CIA-engineered kidnap in 2001, transfer to Egypt and subsequent torture.
Amnesty condemns Guantanamo UK case 11 Feb 2011 The continued holding of the last British resident at Guantanamo Bay is making a "mockery of justice", human rights campaigners have said. Shaker Aamer, 43, will have been kept without charge at the US detention camp for nine years on Sunday. Amnesty International has renewed calls for him to be tried or released from what the group calls his "cruel limbo".
WikiLeaks: US spied on NATO's top official 11 Feb 2011 U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks appear to show that the United States has been snooping on NATO's top official using secret sources on his own staff. Confidential cables from the U.S. mission to NATO released Friday by WikiLeaks, the site that has published many secret U.S. government memos, said American diplomats received information on the private conversations of Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen from "a member of the NATO international staff." Instead of the staffer's name, the phrase "strictly protect" was used in one cable dated Sept. 10, 2009.
Special Forces 'can't keep up with demands' in Afghanistan, U.S. says 09 Feb 2011 U.S. Special Operations Forces can't keep up with the demands in Afghanistan despite troop and financial reinforcements, a U.S. Navy admiral said. U.S. warfare has undergone a sea change at least since a new counterinsurgency strategy was introduced during the Iraq war starting in 2003. Navy Adm. Eric Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, said there were massive increases in the number of troops fighting wars, though demands in Afghanistan were "insatiable," the U.S. Defense Department quoted him as saying.
Three blasts rock southern Afghanistan 12 Feb 2011 Three bomb explosions have rocked Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province and gun shots have crackled in the area amid rising insecurity in the war-hit country, officials say. There's no immediate report of possible casualties in the attacks, which reportedly targeted police headquarters in the volatile southern Afghan city of Kandahar, a Press TV correspondent reported Saturday.
Three civilians killed in Afghanistan 12 Feb 2011 Clashes between US-led NATO forces and Taliban militants have left three Afghan civilians dead and several others wounded in volatile eastern Afghanistan. Two women and a child were killed after militants ambushed a NATO vehicle in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar Province, a Press TV correspondent reported. Kunar Police Chief, Brig. Gen. Khalilullah Ziayee says the civilians were killed in Asmar district late on Friday.
Two British soldiers shot dead while on patrol in Afghanistan 10 Feb 2011 Two British soldiers have been shot dead while on patrol in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence said the men, from the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment and 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, were hit by small arms fire in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province yesterday.
Pakistanis demand death for Davis 12 Feb 2011 Hundreds of protesters in the Pakistani city of Lahore have taken to the streets, demanding the death penalty for a US consulate employee, Raymond Davis, accused of killing two Pakistanis. Up to 500 people rallied outside the headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami party in Lahore on Friday, shouting "Hang Davis," "US terrorism in Pakistan unacceptable" and "Friends of America are traitors." In Karachi, activists from Jamaat-e-Islami and its youth wing Pasban held two rallies, burning the US flag and chanting "Death to Davis, death to America," AFP reported Friday.
US choppers violate Pakistan airspace 11 Feb 2011 Two helicopters belonging to the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) force have penetrated Pakistani airspace in breach of the country's sovereignty. The incident occurred at around 7 p.m. local time (1400 GMT) on Friday as NATO helicopters went in up to 200 meters inside Pakistani territory. They hovered over the border town of Chaman in Baluchistan Province, a Press TV correspondent reported. The NATO overflies spread panic among the locals, who remained inside their homes, fearing that the area, close to the Afghan border, would be bombed.
NATO truck torched in Pakistan 12 Feb 2011 Pakistani militants have attacked a NATO supply truck transporting fuel destined for US-led forces in Afghanistan, setting it on fire in Baluchistan Province. A group of unidentified armed men opened fire on a tanker in Quetta -- the provincial capital of Baluchistan Province -- on Friday. No one was killed in the shootout, a Press TV correspondent reported. The assailants later torched the tanker and fled the scene.
4 pipelines, railway blown up in Pakistan 12 Feb 2011 Unknown militants have blown up four gas pipelines and a railway track in southwestern and southern provinces of Pakistan amid a new surge of violence in the country. Officials told Press TV that the attackers exploded the gas pipelines in Dera Bugti district in Balochistan province early Saturday. “Four key gas pipelines of 20, 16 and 30-inch diameter were dynamited with explosives early Saturday morning in Sui and Peer Koh areas of Balochistan," a senior government official told Press TV.
Arrest Warrant for Pakistan's Ex-President 12 Feb 2011 An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has issued a warrant for the arrest of the country's former president, General Pervez Musharraf in connection with the 2007 killing of the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in a move that potentially reopens a bitter chapter from the country's troubled political history. Musharraf, a close ally of former U.S. President [sic] George W Bush, has lived in exile since 2008, dividing his time between the U.K. and Dubai, after he resigned to avoid a parliamentary impeachment by newly-elected politicians.
Iraq suicide bombing kills 38 12 Feb 2011 At least 38 people were killed and 74 others wounded Saturday when a suicide bomber stepped onto a bus carrying Shiite pilgrims in Iraq and detonated himself, police officials said. The attack -- which occurred between Baghdad and Samarra -- was the second targeting pilgrims in the last three days. The suicide bomber detonated at least 10 kilograms of explosives concealed in his vest, Samarra police officials said.
Iran opens 11th school in Iraq [Better not tell Blackwater -- they'll blow it to kingdom come and blame 'insurgents.' --LRP] 10 Feb 2011 Iran has opened its 11th school in neighboring Iraq, vowing more projects will become operational in the war-torn country in the next months. Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danaeifar on Wednesday attended the opening ceremony of al-Insaniyah Secondary School in the al-Khalis district, Diyala province, which has been funded and constructed by Iran, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Israeli woman gives birth at Ramallah hospital --Nisreen is first Jewish woman to be treated at Ramallah Hospital 10 Feb 2011 "I was happily surprised at how well the Palestinian nurses and doctors treated me here, in fact I feel pampered," new mother Nisreen, a Jewish citizen of Israel, told Ma'an Wednesday night after delivering her first child in a Ramallah hospital. Hours after the birth of a healthy 2.3 kg boy, the new mom received a bouquet of roses from President Mahmoud Abbas, who congratulated her on the delivery, and wished her and her son the best of health. As an added bonus, he said Nisreen would not be asked to pay hospital fees, and would be treated as any Palestinian would be treated. [Too bad we can't have the Palestinian health care system in the US.]
Algerian protesters clash with police as Egypt fervour spreads --400 arrested as officers enforce no-protest ban in Algiers 12 Feb 2011 Algerian police have beaten back around 2,000 demonstrators who tried to rally in central Algiers as aftershocks from the Egyptian revolution rumbled throughout the Middle East. Demonstrations in Algiers quickly turned to running clashes with police who had been ordered by the government of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to enforce a no-protest ban. Police took up positions throughout the centre of the city hours after the tumultuous scenes in Cairo, which are likely to have significant ramifications across the region.
Anti-government protesters take to the streets of Yemen 12 Feb 2011 Anti-government protesters have taken to the streets of Yemen, calling for an end to the rule of President Ali Abdallah Saleh, who has been in power since 1978. The demonstrators were also celebrating the resignation of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak on Friday. Police reportedly drove several thousand protesters away from Sanaa's main square on Friday night.
Egypt opposition calls for civilian rule 11 Feb 2011 The main opposition party in Egypt has called on the military to hand over power to a civilian-led government, following the transfer of power from Hosni Mubarak to a high military council. The Muslim Brotherhood also called for the establishment of a constitution that "guarantees freedom and human rights." The call came after Mubarak handed power over to the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces, which is headed by Defense Minister Gen. Mohammed Tantawi.
Mubarak assets frozen by Swiss government 11 Feb 2011 Switzerland's government moved Friday to freeze any assets in the country's banks that might belong to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak or his family, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday. Mubarak ended his 30-year reign Friday, stepping down following 18 days of protests against his rule. An official statement from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said the Swiss cabinet had frozen all funds belong to Mubarak or "his circles."
Iran congratulates Egyptians on victory 11 Feb 2011 Iran's Foreign Ministry has congratulated the Egyptian people on their victory against the three-decade rule of President Hosni Mubarak. "We congratulate the great nation of Egypt on this victory and we share their happiness," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in a statement on Friday.
Mubarak turns power over to military 11 Feb 2011 Egypt's vice president says Hosni Mubarak has handed power over to the high military council, despite millions-plus pro-democracy demonstrations. In a brief announcement, Omar Suleiman said on Friday that Mubarak had "abandoned the presidency," handing over the power to the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces, which is headed by Defense Minister Gen. Mohammed Tantawi. The transition means that Egypt, which has been under a state of emergency for the past 30 years, will continue to be ruled by the military
Mubarak steps down after 3 decades 11 Feb 2011 Egyptian vice President Omar Suleiman says President Hosni Mubarak has "abandoned the presidency," after millions of Egyptians demonstrated for 18 days. In a brief televised announcement, Omar Suleiman said on Friday that Mubarak had "abandoned the presidency" handing over the power to the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces. The transition of power to the military comes while Mubarak, Suleiman and Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq are all former military men. Analysts believe despite the transition Mubarak would still remain in power.
Egypt's army 'involved in detentions and torture' --Military accused by human rights campaigners of targeting hundreds of anti-government protesters 09 Feb 2011 The Egyptian military has secretly detained hundreds and possibly thousands of suspected government opponents since mass protests against President Hosni Mubarak began, and at least some of these detainees have been tortured, according to testimony gathered by the Guardian. The Guardian has spoken to detainees who say they have suffered extensive beatings and other abuses at the hands of the military in what appears to be an organised campaign of intimidation. Human rights groups have documented the use of electric shocks on some of those held by the army.
WikiLeaks: Egyptian torturers trained by FBI 09 Feb 2011 The US provided officers from the Egyptian secret police with training at the FBI, despite allegations that they routinely tortured detainees and suppressed political opposition. According to leaked diplomatic cables, the head of the Egyptian state security and investigative service (SSIS) thanked the US for "training opportunities" at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia... In October 2009, "credible" human rights lawyers representing alleged Hizbollah detainees provided details of the techniques employed by the SSIS. The cable states: "The lawyers told us in mid-October that they have compiled accounts from several defendants of GOE [Government of Egypt] torture by electric shocks, sleep deprivation, and stripping them naked for extended periods."
Army official suggests U.S. troops might be needed in Mexico 08 Feb 2011 Fretting over a scenario in which armed U.S. soldiers could be called to the border -- or even over it -- Undersecretary of the Army Joseph Westphal invoked a contentious word to describe Mexico’s problem with drug cartels: He called it an "insurgency." Speaking at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics on Monday, the second-highest ranking civilian official in the U.S. Army said he was expressing a personal opinion, but one he had shared with the White House - said he didn’t want to ever see a situation in which "armed and fighting" American soldiers are sent to combat an insurgency "on our border, in violation of our Constitution, or to have to send them across the border."
Japanese police keep watch on Muslims 10 Feb 2011 Reports reveal that Japanese police have been conducting a close surveillance of the Muslim community living in the East Asian country. Internal police documents leaked onto the Internet indicate that Japanese law enforcement has been collecting detailed personal information about Muslims living in Japan, a Press TV correspondent reported on Wednesday. The information has also been shared with the US government at the request of American authorities under the pretext of anti-terrorism cooperation. [Of course! The Nosey Parker of the planet has to stick its nose in the business of every creature on God's green earth.]
US charges students with conspiracy 08 Feb 2011 Eleven Muslim students have been charged with conspiring to disrupt a speech given by the Israeli ambassador to the United States at the University of California last year. The students called Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren a murderer, and continually disrupted his speech on US-Israeli relations at the University of California in Irvine in February 2010. The Orange County district attorney's office charged the students with two misdemeanor counts of conspiracy one year after the event, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.
America on alert over terrorism threat 11 Feb 2011 The threat of terrorism against the US was possibly at its highest level since the September 11, 2001, attacks, according to a grim assessment by the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano. Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] remained at the core of concerns, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula and via US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, now based in Yemen. But al-Qaeda-inspired local groups and homegrown radicals were augmenting that threat, Ms Napolitano said.
House votes to proceed on Patriot Act extension 10 Feb 2011 The House on Thursday voted to proceed on a measure that would extend key provisions of the Patriot Act counter-terrorism surveillance law, two days after the proposal came up short in a Republican-led effort to approve it under fast-track rules. The House voted 248-to-176 to proceed on the measure, with nine lawmakers not voting. Only four Republicans voted on Thursday against proceeding, in contrast to the 26 who opposed the bill on Tuesday night.
Dumbf*ck City: Navy spent $450,000 of taxpayer money on Super Bowl flyover... when the stadium roof was shut 10 Feb 2011 The U.S. Navy has been criticised for spending almost half a million dollars of taxpayers' money on a flyover at the Super Bowl - while the stadium roof was closed. The estimated $450,000 expense was for four fighter jets that flew from Virginia to Texas and over the retractable roof of Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
Ex-CIA staffer alleges agency cover-up in toxin exposure case --Book: Family experienced, during and after their exposure, illness and a campaign of harassment and surveillance 'carried out by the CIA' 11 Feb 2011 A former CIA security officer is alleging that the agency is unjustifiably invoking a "state secrets" claim to cover up evidence that he and his family suffered illnesses as a result of exposure to environmental contamination at an agency facility. Kevin Shipp, a counterterrorism consultant now employed by a firm with government contracts, said that the agency also has sought to prevent him from publicizing his ordeal by heavily redacting the manuscript he hopes to publish.
Hundreds of dead birds discovered in Lake Charles 10 Feb 2011 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is trying to figure out what caused the death of hundreds of birds in south Lake Charles. The birds were discovered on Thursday morning. More than 100 birds were scattered across Lake Street between Gauthier and Tank Farm Road; another hundred were found on Lincoln Road, about a mile away. Kori Legleu, a biologist with Wildlife and Fisheries, identified the birds as Tree Swallows, a kind of bird that travels in tight flocks.
Requiem for the Bears? By Justin Gillis 10 Feb 2011 A new study offers an ominous forecast for one flagship Arctic species, the polar bear. Bears in some parts of the far north are under increasing stress because of climate change. These bears do most of their feeding during the winter as they venture onto the sea ice to catch seals. But with the ongoing decline of that ice in recent decades, life has gotten harder for many of the bears... Dr. Derocher pointed me toward this video of a skinny mother polar bear and her starving cubs, typical of the sort of thing likely to happen more often in the future. Warning: it is hard to watch.
Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll 12 Feb 2011 Ron Paul emerged victorious in the Conservative Political Action Conference's annual presidential straw poll, the second straight year that the libertarian-leaning Texas Congressman has won the vote. Paul took 30 percent while former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) placed second with 23 percent. No other candidate received double digit support.
At 'tea party' urging, Republicans deepen spending cuts --Hundreds of federal programs would be cut in a $61-billion savings package compiled by House Republicans. Defense and veterans' programs would be exempt. 11 Feb 2011 House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of government programs Friday night in a $61-billion savings package they toughened at the demand of "tea party"-backed conservatives. From education to job training, the environment and nutrition, few domestic programs were untouched -- and some were eliminated -- in the measure, which is expected to reach the floor for a vote next week. In contrast, spending on defense and veterans' programs were protected.
Obama tells corporate leaders US will be "best place to do business" --The speech was remarkable only in so far as it underscored the nakedness of the Obama administration's servitude to the corporate elite. By Jerry White 08 Feb 2011 President Obama spoke at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC Monday, assuring the crowd of top executives that his administration was committed to making "America the best place to do business." In his remarks, he outlined a vision in which social programs are cut to the bone in order to tailor the government entirely to the profit interests of US corporations... It was the president's latest in a series of moves even further to the right since the Democratic debacle in last year's midterm elections.
Nurse Protest Prompts Blue Shield to Delay Rate Hike By Rose Ann DeMoro 03 Feb 2011 People power works, and not just in Egypt. Blue Shield of California today announced a 60-day reprieve for the unconscionable rate hike of up to 59 percent it intends to foist on individuals and families. The announcement coincided with announced plans by nurses, patients, and consumer advocates who stormed Blue Shield's posh California corporate headquarters in downtown San Francisco.
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Previous lead stories: DHS chief: Nation's terror threat may be highest since 9/11 --DHS: State and local law enforcement officers are needed to combat terror; focus must be on aiding law enforcement to help them 'secure communities' 09 Feb 2011 The terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland has continued to "evolve" and may now "be at its most heightened state" since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told members of Congress on Wednesday. There is an increased reliance on recruiting Westerners into terrorist organizations, she told the House Homeland Security Committee.
Documents Show FBI Warned of Murrah Bombing By Jerry Bohnen 05 Feb 2011 The federal government attempted in 2005 to reach a deal with bomber Terry Nichols to take the death penalty off the table in his Oklahoma murder trial if he admitted to making a warning phone call to the FBI the day before the 1995 bombing, according to new documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents corroborate Nichols' claims that the government tried to get him to admit to making an April 18, 1995 phone call to the FBI warning of the bombing... "What that indicates to me, there is a record somewhere of that phone call and the FBI needs to explain it," said Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue, in an interview with KTOK News. "If the call was from one of their informants with McVeigh, clearly, they had knowledge of the bombing and didn't stop it."
Kabul confirms US bases in Afghanistan --Permanent bases enable US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 deadline 08 Feb 2011 Afghan President Hamid Karzai has confirmed US plans to set up permanent bases in his country, enabling its troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 deadline. The decision comes after negotiations between Karzai and US officials and senators on a range of strategic issues, including the establishment of permanent military bases in Afghanistan, DPA reported. "Yes they want this (permanent bases) and we have been negotiating with them," Karzai said at a press conference in his presidential palace on Tuesday.
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