Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rise people, rise: call for zero tolerance of Israeli crimes

Rich Wiles views Israel’s murder of peace activists aboard the Gaza-bound international aid flotilla against the background of a long history of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians. He reminds us that, even as the world was mourning the murder of the peace activists, Israeli soldiers and settlers continued to murder Palestinians.

”People of the world, you can see what is happening. You are taking to the streets. You are rightly angry at this inhumanity. For the sake of your fellow human beings this barbarity must be stopped for ever. All inalienable rights must be enforced, and all occupied lands must be liberated. Now must be our time; Rise people, rise!”

Through the recent murderous events in international waters Israel has once again shown its true colours and its total disregard for humanity.

From the global reaction over the last week it seems, that for once, a huge majority of people around the world have seen these attacks in a clear light. Let us call a massacre a massacre. Whilst these atrocities have clearly appalled millions of people, the inhumanity of the Zionist regime should have come as no surprise, for this is nothing new.

"A 21-year-old American photographer was shot in the eye by what is thought to have been a high-velocity tear-gas canister. Emily Henochowicz was immediately rushed to hospital; she now has only one eye."

What happened to the dedicated human rights activists about the flotilla in the early hours of 31 May was yet another example of Israel’s barbarity against innocent human beings, yet by the following afternoon it could not even be called “the latest” attack.

As people around the world took to the streets to call for an end to Israel’s impunity, people in Palestine continued to resist all the way from the southern Palestinian town of Rafah in Gaza, north and across the Palestinian towns of 1948 Palestine, and yet further around the West Bank.

At Kalandia checkpoint near Ramallah, Palestinians gathered to demonstrate against the massacre at sea. The Israeli occupation forces’ response was violent as is the norm, and this led to more bloodshed. A 21-year-old American photographer was shot in the eye by what is thought to have been a high-velocity tear-gas canister. Emily Henochowicz was immediately rushed to hospital; she now has only one eye.

On 1 June, three Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including a 65-year-old woman who was shot in the legs in the area of the Kerem Shalom crossing. In the following days, Zionist settlers, who are supported by the Israeli government in their colonization of Palestinian land through financial incentives and ideology (let us not forget that Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is himself a settler living in a West Bank colony near Bethlehem), have continued their violent campaigns against Palestine and its people.

In the northern West Bank, settlers from the Yitzhar colony torched around 100 dunums of Palestinian almond and olive groves on 2 June. On the same day, in al-Khalil (Hebron in English), a Palestinian was killed by settlers in a car crash. The morning of 3 June brought yet more Palestinian blood; this time is was the blood of two schoolboys. As children from al-Aroub refugee camp crossed a road on their way to class a car stopped and an armed settler stepped out of the vehicle. According to witnesses, the settler then proceeded to open fire on the schoolboys. This incident happened in full view of the permanently manned Israeli occupation forces’ watchtowers that dominate the entrance to al-Aroub camp. Two boys were shot; one was hit in the thigh, whilst the second boy is still in critical condition after being shot through his stomach. Doctors are as yet still unsure if this boy will survive. Following the shooting the settler got back in his car and drove away.

"As children from al-Aroub refugee camp crossed a road on their way to class a car stopped and an armed settler stepped out of the vehicle. According to witnesses, the settler then proceeded to open fire on the schoolboys."

People around the world are expressing their anger at the massacre carried out against the flotilla, and rightly so, but nobody should lose sight of the wider context. The activists aboard those ships were demonstrating their support for justice, and their refusal to remain silent. The exact details of injuries and deaths is still unclear, but what is abundantly clear is that they died in defence of Palestine. As those people died, so other innocent people are continuing to die much as they have done for over 62 years under the black clouds of Zionism.

It seems that at last, huge numbers of people around the world are taking notice of events in Palestine, and more widely against Palestinian people and their supporters. Israel’s continued and developing disregard for life and the rule of law is being clearly seen globally by people who would not consider themselves to be activists. These actions are no longer only known by those who choose to find out for themselves; the truth is becoming so very clear for so many people. What happened in international waters in the early hours of 31 May was grotesque and inhumane, as were the events in the following days which must also be recognized internationally.

The 1948 massacres in Deir Yassin, Tantura and other villages; the massacre in Kufr Qassem in 1956; the massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982; the massacres in Qana in 1996 and again in 2006; the massacre in Jenin refugee camp in 2002; the massacres in Gaza through 2008 and 2009; the ongoing external and internal displacement of millions of Palestinians, and more than 60 years of ongoing colonization of Palestinian lands and all-encompassing denial of rights – this is the context in which this most recent massacre is inextricably rooted.

The Israeli propaganda machine is working harder than it has ever had to work before, but its wheels are falling off. Netanyahu and his fellow war criminals are on the back foot as their lies are becoming more and more desperate, and more and more transparent.

People of the world, you can see what is happening. You are taking to the streets. You are rightly angry at this inhumanity. For the sake of your fellow human beings this barbarity must be stopped for ever. All inalienable rights must be enforced, and all occupied lands must be liberated. Now must be our time; Rise people, rise!

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Understanding Israel's criminal seige of Gaza; one facet of US Orwellian "leadership"

I previously wrote that if Iran had carried out the Gaza carnage, the US and Israel would have already initiated war against Iran.

In my comprehensive resource article, "Government by dicts," is the documentation of acknowledged US military/CIA control of corporate media that explains why US public understanding of Israel's criminal Crime against Peace and War Crimes are unclear.

The following video walks people through the facts. It uses the language of the below published article by Joe Mowrey. UNICEF documented their agreement of the semi-starvation of Gaza's children through Israel's blockade, and the UN Chief Commissioner for Human Rights declares the seige unlawful. If you are unfamiliar with the history of Israel attacking the USS Liberty in 1967 with complicity of the US government to use the deaths of US military to justify wars of choice, read this.

In the Israeli attack of the aid ship attempting to deliver medical and humanitarian supplies, Israeli forces executed an American citizen with four close-range shots to the back of his head, consistent with similar autopsy reports showing other victims shot at close-range to the back of the head while probably kneeling (deduced from the angle of the bullet paths).

Gaza in Plain Language

In articles acknowledging the one year anniversary of the assault on Gaza, blunt and unsparing language about what really happened is often avoided. Despite sympathy for and support of the Palestinian people in their struggle against dispossession and oppression, the description of what took place in January 2009 is sometimes buffered by a misguided sense of political correctness. Yes, it’s terrible. Yes, it is unjust. But we don’t want to be inflammatory or risk offending the sensitivities of those who through their own willful ignorance cling to the notion that Israel is a victim state, fighting for its very survival. The argument is that we should reach out to them and attempt to educate them and win them over.

I’ll be more forthright in this commentary.

The sociopathic Zionist administration of Israel, as part of its continuing brutal colonization of Palestine, set out to deliberately devastate the already nearly-incapacitated infrastructure which supports the existence of one and a half million human refugees. The people of Gaza, second-, third-, and fourth-generation dispossessed Palestinians, are living in forced exile from land their families inhabited and cultivated for generations. Half of them are children under the age of fifteen. Their culture and their economy has been systematically ravaged by Israel for decades and since 2006 a criminal siege supported by the United States, as well as much of the international community, has deprived them of all but the most minimal resources for subsistence. This oppressed and brutalized population was then bombed, bulldozed and terrorized mercilessly for twenty-three days.

Below is a small sampling of facts concerning what the fourth largest military in the world did to a captive and defenseless population. The source materials used to substantiate these statistics are available on request. If the reality presented here goes beyond the stretch of your imagination, you can verify the data yourself. Though you’d better hurry. Much of this information appears to be disappearing down Google’s memory hole, just as is the fate of the people of Gaza. A source referencing the percentage of agricultural land destroyed in the onslaught which was used for a shorter version of this article just a few weeks ago is no longer archived in Google’s cache. Surprise, surprise.

You will also find that exact figures vary somewhat depending on the source. But whether it was 21,000 structures or 22,000 structures destroyed, whether 280 schools were destroyed or badly damaged verses 230, the overwhelming truth of the physical devastation which took place in Gaza and the fact that this destruction was deliberate and premeditated is irrefutable. Even the Goldstone Report, itself a document with severe pro-Zionist overtones issued by a declared Zionist and a supporter of Israel, states unequivocally, “…[the] deliberate actions of the Israeli forces and the declared policies of the Government of Israel … cumulatively indicate the intention to inflict collective punishment on the people of the Gaza Strip in violation of international humanitarian law.”

We’ve heard time and again that more than 1400 Palestinians were killed, over 80% of them civilians, including 342 children. It has become a familiar talking point in discussions of last year’s assault, so much so that it may have lost its impact on our consciousness. But what we often aren’t reminded of is the horrific level of carefully-planned destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza orchestrated by Israel during Operation Cast Lead.

Financed and armed by the United States, the Israeli military destroyed fifteen percent of the structures in Gaza, approximately 22,000 buildings, including 5300 housing units destroyed or subject to major damage. Another 52,000 homes received some form of structural damage. Over 200 factories and 700 stores and businesses were destroyed or badly damaged. Of the residences, factories and businesses completely destroyed, 1300 of the homes and approximately 25% of the commercial property was deliberately and painstakingly bulldozed or exploded by Israeli ground forces. Eight hospitals and 26 primary health care clinics were damaged or destroyed. More than 280 schools were damaged or destroyed.

Water and sewage treatment facilities as well as electricity infrastructure were deliberately targeted leaving vast segments of the population with little or no power or clean water for the duration of the assault and for weeks and months to follow. Massive amounts of agricultural lands were systematically bombed or bulldozed. Some estimates suggest that as much as 80% of the arable land in Gaza has been ruined or declared off-limits to the people of Gaza over the last decade. Two million litres of wastewater at Gaza City’s sewage treatment plant, bombed during the assault, leaked into surrounding agricultural land making it unusable.

An Israeli television station boasted that Israeli war planes alone, without accounting for tank, ground troop and warship ammunition, dropped approximately one thousand tons of bombs on Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. The effort involved months, if not years, of carefully-considered target selection, giving lie to any claim that the devastation was incidental. It requires a stunning level of denial and self-delusion to pretend the destruction which was achieved in Gaza had anything to do with Israel’s “security” or the targeting of Hamas militants. This was savage and barbaric collective punishment unleashed on a civilian population, nothing more. Any suggestion to the contrary must be sharply and immediately ridiculed as absurd.

This was arguably the first aerial bombing campaign ever conducted on a defenseless civilian population held captive within a fenced enclosure and not allowed to escape the assault. It is a measure of the cynical mindset of the Israeli military that leaflets were sometimes dropped in neighborhoods about to be bombed suggesting the residents flee. We are about to destroy your home; you had better get out. Flee to where? Gazans are not allowed to leave their open-air prison, not even when under attack. This tactic on the part of Israel also gives lie to the claim that homes and buildings were targeted because there were Hamas militants “hiding” inside. Why then warn them to leave before destroying the structures?

Given this litany of horror and the coldly premeditated nature of its execution, we need to ask what kind of society condones this level of savagery on the part of their government? What precedent is there for such monstrous disregard for even the most basic tenets of human decency? We need look no further than the behavior of our very own United States, of course. In Iraq, the toll of our psychotic militarism is well over a million human beings (not counting the years of punishing economic sanctions) and a large part of the infrastructure of an entire nation of more than 26 million people has been obliterated. Let’s not even begin to tally up the deaths resulting from U.S. imperialism around the globe in the last sixty years alone. It would put the Zionists to shame–mere pikers in the annals of human slaughter.

And what of Gaza today, one year later? Israel’s continued illegal siege, enabled by the U.S., Egypt (a U.S. client state) and the international community has prevented any substantial amount of building materials from entering Gaza. Essentially, no reconstruction has been possible. The people of Gaza live amongst the rubble left to them by Israeli hatred and aggression. They are attempting to rebuild their society using mud bricks and materials salvaged from the wreckage.

The next time someone attempts to argue, “Israel has a right to defend itself,” or uses what I call the abusive spouse defense, ”Look what you made me do,” tell them, “No.” Tell them there is no and can never be any acceptable justification for the deliberate devastation of entire societies, no matter what political, ideological or “security” issues, real or imagined, may be at stake. It is unconscionable. It is wrong. Plainly put, there is no sane argument in favor of such behavior. Those who believe there is must be contradicted and opposed at every available opportunity.

Joe Mowrey is an anti-war activist and an advocate for Palestinian rights who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He can be reached at Read other articles by Joe.

Following Sayyed Nasrallah's Call, Lebanon Prepares Aid Boat

Less than twenty-four hours after the call of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah to increase the number of Freedom Flotillas, two groups in Lebanon launched a campaign on Saturday to raise funds to buy a ship that they hope can set sail from Lebanon for Gaza next week carrying educational supplies and journalists.

The non-governmental groups "Free Palestine Movement" and "Reporters Without Limits" said they hoped the boats would set off for the blockaded Gaza Strip at the end of next week.

It will carry aid, namely educational supplies for Palestinian children as well 50 Arab and foreign journalists and 25 European activists, including some MPs, organizers told a Beirut news conference.

"We launch an appeal to all the free people in this world to provide financial contributions to buy a boat," Thaer Ghandour of the Reporters Without Limits said.

His appeal came as the Israeli navy commandeered an international Gaza-bound aid boat on Saturday and escorted it to the port of Ashdod in the occupied territories after preventing it from sailing to the Palestinian territory.

On Friday, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah called for a "Freedom Flotilla II" to break the inhumane Israeli imposed siege on Gaza. "There is a good chance today to end the blockade imposed on Gaza and this requires more Freedom flotillas. This is when Israel's goal – to think of taking similar steps – falls down. I call on more Lebanese participation in the Freedom flotilla 2. Today the European Peace Initiative said it was organizing another flotilla. Where do the Arabs and the Muslims stand? Israel is afraid of the red flag (Turkey) as much as it is afraid of the yellow flag (Hezbollah). Those who take part in the Freedom flotilla 2 should know that they belong to a resistance that doesn’t leave anyone in Israeli jails."

Oil Hits Alabama Beaches

And no doubt this isn't even the beginning of the scope of it.

Oil Comes Ashore(Press-Register/Bill Starling)A child pokes a stick into some oil that came ashore on the beach at Gulf Shores, Ala., on Friday, June 4, 2010. Oil began to be sighted on the beaches as it washed ashore from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A view of oil on the end of a stick shows what it looks like as oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico begins to come ashore Friday, June 4, 2010, in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Photos, above, and stories, following, from Alabama Live /Birmingham News /Press-Register:

CHART OF THE DAY: The Scariest Job Chart Ever Just Got Even Scarier

We’ve dubbed this chart the “Scariest Job Chart Ever,” as it shows how the decline in employment is WAY uglier than in past recessions.

Calculated Risk has updated it with the latest numbers from this morning, and now it looks even scarier.


Check out the two red lines at the bottom. The solid one includes Census hiring, while the dotted line doesn’t include it.

What’s clear is that while we still have a rebound including Census hiring, we’re already flattening out on the dotted line. This is a shape not seen on the other lines. suggesting that the fall is extremely deep, and the recovery is shallow.

chart of the day, scariest job chart ever, 06/04/10

Illinois - A State In Crisis

This writer's earlier articles addressed greater social misery in America than since the Great Depression, because of unemployment, homelessness, hunger, bankruptcies, despair, and rising poverty levels.
According to the National Academy of Science, 47.4 million Americans were impoverished in 2008, 15% of the population, but the true number is much higher since the government's income threshold is $22,000 for a family of four, way short of what's needed throughout urban America where even half again as much is too little.
Illinois is a microcosm of the nation. Facing the largest per capital budget deficit in America, equal to half its operating budget, it's in deep crisis, one of many problems being poverty, the issue the Heartland Alliance addressed in its May 5 report titled, "2010 Report on Illinois Poverty," deepening under budget-balancing social safety net cuts, making a bad situation worse for growing numbers throughout the state, suffering under dire economic conditions, exacerbated by bad public policy.
The Heartland Alliance "advances the human rights and responds to the human needs of endangered populations - particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced (in search for) a more just global society" - no easy task in today's environment, in Illinois or throughout the nation, given that 32 states are officially insolvent, including Illinois, and nearly all of them are severely challenged.
Years of Mismanagement Pushed Illinois Over the Edge
The state's budget crisis threatens vital services like food stamps and unemployment insurance, besides healthcare, education, and various programs for the needy, under consideration for cuts or elimination.
The combination of material hardship and high unemployment threatens to impact Illinois' economy for years, yet will worsen from draconian counterproductive measures, the very policies earlier enacted with new ones being considered.
Illinois Poverty in 2008
Based on US Census poverty guidelines, over 1.5 million Illinoisans are impoverished (44% of them in extreme poverty), or 12.2% of the population. Another 16% are at risk, a potential 28.2% total, or over 3.5 million people, and those numbers are conservative. Among them are over half a million children and one-third of the state's Blacks, another half million.
Given the woefully out-of-date federal $22,000 threshold for a family of four, the true problem is far greater, likely double the official numbers or higher, showing dire Illinois conditions that reflect the state of the nation - worsening, not improving.
Other Heartland figures show:
-- nearly one million Illinoisans unemployed or underemployed, and many more have stopped looking altogether;
-- in the last decade, offshoring cost thousands of high-paying manufacturing and other jobs, replaced with lower-paying service ones; from 2000 - 2008 (before the economic downturn's full impact), 168,500 service jobs replaced 203,000 manufacturing ones, a trend very much evident nationwide;
-- nearly one in five working age Illinoisans live in extreme poverty;
-- workers with less than a high school diploma are nearly four times more likely to be unemployed; 54% of working age adults in extreme poverty have a high school degree or less;
-- despite their known benefits, early childhood programs are being eliminated, likely when the Illinois Preschool for All program expires in summer 2010;
-- one in eight adults avoided doctor visits in the past year because of cost;
-- 52% of Illinois school children qualify for free or reduced cost school lunches, an indication of impoverished families; the 2008 number was 42% higher than in 2000, and today it's much higher still;
-- impoverishment means doing without health insurance and doctor visits when needed;
-- 50% of Illinoisans choose between paying for food or utilities like heat in winter;
-- 44% decide between buying food or paying rent or mortgages;
-- for 36%, the choice is between food and medicines and medical care;
-- in March 2010, one of every 371 Illinois homeowners got a foreclosure notice; a far larger percentage is at risk;
-- residents with disabilities face severe cutbacks in benefits; many can't meet expenses for rent, mortgages health care, and other essentials;
-- from mid-2006 - mid-2008, the number of homeless children enrolled in public schools increased 32%;
-- nearly one-fourth of state residents have no savings, checking or money market account;
-- the average Illinoisan is over $11,300 in debt;
-- one of every seven state households is in extreme asset poverty, having zero or negative net worth and no ability to handle emergencies;
-- over 20% of Chicagoans are impoverished, another 21% at risk; suburban areas are also heavily impacted, though less than the city proper;
-- around 40% of region households earn less annually than $50,000; given the area's high cost of living, they're effectively impoverished based on a September 2009 University of Washington School of Social Work Research Center & Center for Women's Welfare Social IMPACT study showing the minimum family need, in the eight regional counties, to make ends meet is $52,000 in Chicago; in suburban DePage county, it's nearly $62,000;
-- metropolitan Chicago has been hard hit by job losses, declining incomes, and increased home foreclosures and bankruptcies, the same pattern common nationally; and
-- 52% of regional residents in extreme poverty aren't employed, including seniors, the disabled, and children.
Hearland noted that its project began earlier when America was prosperous and future prospects looked favorable. Their recent annual reports caution that earlier good times haven't continued, nor were all boats lifted while they lasted.
Today's situation is dire. "The Great Recession has crumbled economic stability for millions of families" though loss of jobs, incomes and benefits, homes, businesses, savings and futures. And as always, those hardest hit will be slowest to recover, and many won't ever make it.
Most study data was the latest available through 2008, so didn't fully capture today's conditions. Nonetheless, "the magnitude of hardship reflected here is staggering," and suggests much worse ahead next year.
For growing numbers in need, what's coming "will be nothing short of devastating" because lawmakers are fighting hard times counterproductively, cutting back when stimulus is needed. The result, of course, is predictable - hard times for years to come. Perverse governance is the problem, harming millions of the most vulnerable, their numbers growing exponentially because nothing is being done to help them - in Illinois or nationally.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Russia builds listening post sparking fears of Georgia strike

Russia is building a sophisticated radar and electronic survelliance station on a new military base in the breakaway Georgian territory of South Ossetia, according to a senior official in Georgia’s government.

Construction of the outpost near the town of Tskhinvali, capital of the enclave, has provoked Georgian warnings that Russia is actively preparing for a repeat of the 2008 August war that proved a disastrous humiliation for Western-backed democracy.

The strategic potential of the base, which would stand further south than any other Russian listening post, is much greater than has previously been suggested.

“Georgia is unfinished business for Russia,” the official said. “It is actively preparing for another moment to strike but to do so it needs all available tools. The plans for the radar station and communications interception at the base in Tskhinvali represent a new threat to our security. The threat is real when you have bases like this inside your borders.”

The equipment that Russia is bringing to South Ossetia would give it the ability to track air movements, as well as intercept mobile and other communications across the Caucuses and as far south as Iran.

South Ossetia, a tiny enclave just north of Tbilisi, declared independence last year after Russian troops crushed a Georgian effort to break Moscow’s hold on the territory just as the world’s attention was on the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games.

The South Ossetian parliament recently voted to grant Russia a lease to build and operate a military base in Tskhinvali for 49 years. There are already more than 4,000 Russian troops in South Ossetia backed up by armed militias drawn from the 50,000 strong local population.

Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian territory on the Black Sea, is believed to host a further 2,000 Russian troops.

Eka Tkeshelashvili, the head of Georgia’s National Security Council, said Russia was not paying the price of international condemnation for occupying Georgian territories.

“Russia is institutionalising its presence in Georgia by building bases in both the occupied territories,” she said. “This is a direct assault on Georgia’s territorial integrity - which is under occupation according to the terms of international law - and can only be reversed by a Russian withdrawal. Instead Russia is transplanting people and resources to territories that are both otherwise closed to the outside world.”

Relations between the enclave and Georgia have remained completely frozen since the war. Uniformed troops man sand-bagged checkpoints that sit with feet of the line of control on the main road between Tskhinvali and the Georgian town of Gori. Better known as the birthplace of Josef Stalin, Gori has been rebuilt after suffering damage in a brief occupation by Russian troops during the war.

The majority of the 28,000 ethnic Georgians driven out of South Ossetia during the fighting have been rehoused in rows of tiny square bungalows built outside Gori.

After suffering years of pro-Russian politicians being dealt reverses at the ballot box in its “near-abroad,” Moscow has celebrated the downfall of Western allies in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.

Georgian officials claim that Moscow has encouraged opposition candidates to lead mass demonstrations that lead to the overthrow of Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian leader.

Mr Saakashvili has infuriated the Kremlin since taking power in the 2003 Rose Revolution by pursuing close ties with America and Europe. Russian leaders have also sought to use close ties with the neighbouring Armenian dictatorship to provoke secessionist movements within the Armenian minority in Georgia.

“Russia is following a strategy of blowing up the castle from within,” said an official. “It wants to cause huge pressure on the government by financing the opposition and using its leverage within the neighbouring regions to bring chaos within Georgia.”

Opposition leaders however contend that it was the recklessly antagonistic policies followed by Mr Saakashvili that has endangered Georgia.

“Over the past six years the government has escalated bad relations with Russia to the maximum,” said Irakli Chikovani, leader of the opposition Free Democrats. “Rather than engagement with the best of Russia we have the occupation of the occupied territories. The war could have been avoided with a more diplomatic approach in August, 2008 - nothing justifies the occupation of Georgian territory.”

Bilderberg Agenda Revealed: Globalists In Crisis, Supportive Of Attack On Iran

The 2010 Bilderberg agenda has been revealed by veteran Bilderberg sleuth Jim Tucker and it paints a picture of crisis for the globalists, who are furious at the increased exposure their gatherings have received in recent years, as well as being dismayed at their failure to rescue both the euro and the failing carbon tax agenda, but more alarmingly according to Tucker, the majority of Bilderberg members are now in favor of military air strikes on Iran.

American Free Press muckraker Tucker has proven routinely accurate with the information he obtains from sources inside Bilderberg, which makes this year’s revelations all the more intriguing.

According to Tucker, Bilderberg luminaries are dismayed at the fact that “many important people” are not attending this year because, due to increasing exposure, invitees are “getting in trouble at home” and constituents are embarrassing them by asking irate questions such as “what are you doing with these monsters?”

“All these people are exposing us, we get all this mail and calls,” Tucker paraphrased Bilderberg members as complaining.

This dovetails with the revelations overheard by Guardian journalist Charlie Skelton at the Hotel Dolce Sitges before the meeting began when he heard conference organizers lamenting the fact that protest numbers are growing at Bilderberg events each year and that they represent a “threat” to Bilderberg’s agenda.

In addition, prominent Bilderberg Zbigniew Brzezinski, the man who warned recently that a “global political awakening” was threatening to derail the move towards global government, was expected to be in attendance at this year’s meeting.

Tucker named his source as an international financial consultant who personally knows Bilderberg members and has done business with them for the past 20 years.

Turning to Iran, Tucker said that many Bilderberg members, including Brzezinski, were in favor of U.S. air strikes on Iran and were “leaning towards war,” although 100 per cent of members were not supportive of an attack.

“Some of them in Europe are saying no we shouldn’t do it but most of them are in favor of American air strikes on Iran,” said Tucker, adding, “They’re tilting heavily towards green lighting a U.S. attack on Iran.”

An attack on Iran would provide a welcome distraction to the globalists’ failings in other areas and would also allow them to war profiteer, pointed out Tucker.

On the subject of the euro, Tucker said that the Bilderberg elitists were determined to save the single currency even as it collapsed to a new 4-year-low at $1.19 against the dollar yesterday afternoon. As we have highlighted, the globalists are panicking at the euro’s fall and the ECB keeps intervening to try and hasten its decline. If the euro were to cease to exist, it would all but derail the ultimate agenda for a global currency because the perceived stability of using one currency for a plethora of nations would be discredited.
“The euro is important because it’s part of their world government program, they’re very downbeat because they’ve fallen so far behind,” said Tucker, explaining that the globalists had planned by now to have the European Union, the American Union and the Asia-Pacific Union already up and running.

With regard to the climate change agenda, on which subject Microsoft founder Bill Gates was personally invited to the conference to discuss, Tucker said that Bilderberg were still intent on pushing it in pursuit of a carbon tax despite the fact that the whole move was massively eviscerated in the aftermath of the Climategate scandal.

Tucker quoted one Bilderberg member as all but admitting defeat on the mission to hoodwink the public into paying taxes in the name of fighting global warming.

“On climate change, we’re about whipped,” said one of the elitists in attendance.

However, Tucker said that the globalists were working on putting out more climate change propaganda “even as we speak”.

On the issue of the BP oil spill, the Bilderbergers made it clear that President Obama’s apparent “outrage” at BP and his threat of criminal procedures against the company was an little more than an act and that British Petroleum, who have been represented at Bilderberg meetings in the past by people like Peter Sutherland, former non-executive chairman of BP, were still “one of our brothers,” according to the elitists.
The future of oil prices are always an important topic to Bilderberg and the leaks Tucker and other investigators relayed from previous Bilderberg meetings were proven accurate when oil prices hit $150 a barrel in 2008, which was precisely what Bilderberg had called for.
“Gas prices are going to be nice and cheap this summer,” said Tucker, adding that they would start to rise again to the $4 a gallon level around November when artificial scarcity is created.

On the march towards anti-democratic global government, Bilderberg members stated that America must be “Europeanized” and turned into a giant socialist welfare state with health rationing and higher income taxes.

Tucker said hat Bilderberg were intent on mandating a bank tax paid directly to the IMF to fund global governance and a global treasury department under the IMF, and that this would then merely be passed on to the consumer.

In summary, Tucker said that this year’s conference was the most downbeat and pessimistic Bilderberg meeting in history, with massive exposure of their agenda acting as a roadblock to the ultimate goal of an authoritarian world government run by the elite, for the elite.
Watch the interview with Tucker below.

Banks Seized by Regulators in Nebraska, Mississippi, Illinois

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Three banks with total deposits of almost $2.3 billion were seized by regulators amid losses stemming from soured real-estate loans, raising to 81 the number of U.S. lenders that have collapsed this year.

Banks in Nebraska, Mississippi and Illinois were shut yesterday, according to statements on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s website. The failures drained $313.6 million from the FDIC’s deposit-insurance fund.

Regulators are closing banks at the fastest pace since the 1990s amid loan losses tied to real estate. The FDIC’s list of “problem” lenders is the longest since 1992. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said the confidential list rose to 775 banks with $431 billion in assets in the first quarter. That’s an increase from 702 banks with $402.8 billion in assets at the end of the fourth quarter.

The biggest bank seized yesterday was TierOne Bank in Lincoln, Nebraska, with $2.2 billion in deposits and $2.8 billion in assets. Great Western Bank of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, acquired the bank’s operations and its 69 branches. Great Western agreed to pay the FDIC a premium of 1.5 percent for TierOne’s deposits. The agency will share in losses on $1.9 billion of assets.

The collapse of smaller lenders continued even as U.S. banks posted $18 billion in profits during the first quarter, reflecting some signs of recovery in the industry. Banks had their highest profits in two years in the three-month period through March 31 after a $1.3 billion loss in the fourth quarter, the FDIC said last month.

Mississippi, Illinois

First National Bank of Rosedale, Mississippi, was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC was named receiver. It’s the first FDIC-insured bank in the state to fail since September 2000, the agency said.

Jefferson Bank of Fayette, Mississippi, acquired the $63.5 million of deposits and $60.4 million in assets of First National, as well as its lone branch. The FDIC will share in losses on $43.5 million of the assets.

Arcola Homestead Savings Bank of Arcola, Illinois, was shut by a state regulator. The FDIC announced it was unable to find a buyer and will pay off insured deposits. Arcola had $17 million in assets and $18.1 million in deposits.

Twelve banks in Illinois have failed this year, the FDIC said. TierOne is the first Nebraska bank to be shut since February 2009.

--With assistance from Phil Mattingly in Washington. Editors: Elizabeth Wollman, Sylvia Wier

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Reichl in San Francisco at

Gulf Oil Spill: Cap Placed Over Leak Collecting Only Fraction Of The Oil

ON BARATARIA BAY, La. — The wildlife apocalypse along the Gulf Coast that everyone has feared for weeks is fast becoming a terrible reality.

Pelicans struggle to free themselves from oil, thick as tar, that gathers in hip-deep pools, while others stretch out useless wings, feathers dripping with crude. Dead birds and dolphins wash ashore, coated in the sludge. Seashells that once glinted pearly white under the hot June sun are stained crimson.

Scenes like this played out along miles of shoreline Saturday, nearly seven weeks after a BP rig exploded and the wellhead a mile below the surface began belching millions of gallon of oil.

"These waters are my backyard, my life," said boat captain Dave Marino, a firefighter and fishing guide from Myrtle Grove. "I don't want to say heartbreaking, because that's been said. It's a nightmare. It looks like it's going to be wave after wave of it and nobody can stop it."

The oil has steadily spread east, washing up in greater quantities in recent days, even as a cap placed by BP over the blownout well began to collect some of the escaping crude. The cap, resembling an upside-down funnel, has captured about 252,000 gallons of oil, according to Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government's point man for the crisis.

If earlier estimates are correct, that means the cap is capturing from a quarter to as much as half the oil spewing from the blowout each day. But that is a small fraction of the roughly 22 million to 48 million gallons government officials estimate have leaked into the Gulf since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers, making it the nation's largest oil spill ever.

Allen, who said the goal is to gradually raise the amount of the oil being captured, compared the process to stopping the flow of water from a garden hose with a finger: "You don't want to put your finger down too quickly, or let it off too quickly."

BP officials are trying to capture as much oil as possible without creating too much pressure or allowing the buildup of ice-like hydrates, which form when water and natural gas combine under high pressures and low temperatures.

President Barack Obama pledged Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address to fight the spill with the people of the Gulf Coast. His words for oil giant BP PLC were stern: "We will make sure they pay every single dime owed to the people along the Gulf coast."

But his reassurances offer limited consolation to the people who live and work along the coasts of four states – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida – now confronting the oil spill firsthand.

In Gulf Shores, Ala., boardwalks leading to hotels were tattooed with oil from beachgoers' feet. A slick hundreds of yards long washed ashore at a state park, coating the white sand with a thick, red stew. Cleanup workers rushed to contain it in bags, but more washed in before they could remove the first wave of debris.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Allen met for more than an hour Saturday in Mobile, Ala., agreeing to a new plan that would significantly increase protection on the state's coast with larger booms, beachfront barriers, skimmers and a new system to protect Perdido Bay near the Florida line.

Riley, who was angered by a Coast Guard decision to move boom from Alabama to Louisiana, said the barriers must be up within days for him to be satisfied. Allen said he needed to report to the president before confirming more details of the agreement.

The oil is showing up right at the beginning of the lucrative tourist season, and beachgoers taking to the region's beaches haven't been able to escape it.

"This makes me sick," said Rebecca Thomasson of Knoxville, Tenn., her legs and feet smeared with brown streaks of crude. "We were over in Florida earlier and it was bad there, but it was nothing like this."

At Pensacola Beach, Erin Tamber, who moved to the area from New Orleans after surviving Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, inspected a beach stained orange by the retreating tide.

"I feel like I've gone from owning a piece of paradise to owning a toxic waste dump," she said.

Back in Louisiana, along the beach at Queen Bess Island, oil pooled several feet deep, trapping birds against containment boom. The futility of their struggle was confirmed when Joe Sartore, a National Geographic photographer, sank thigh deep in oil on nearby East Grand Terre Island and had to be pulled from the tar.

"I would have died if I would have been out here alone," he said.

With no oil response workers on Queen Bess, Plaquemines Parish coastal zone management director P.J. Hahn decided he could wait no longer, pulling an exhausted brown pelican from the oil, the slime dripping from its wings.

"We're in the sixth week, you'd think there would be a flotilla of people out here," Hahn said. "As you can see, we're so far behind the curve in this thing."

After six weeks with one to four birds a day coming into Louisiana's rescue center for oiled birds at Fort Jackson, 53 arrived Thursday and another 13 Friday morning, with more on the way. Federal authorities say 792 dead birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other wildlife have been collected from the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline.

Yet scientists say the wildlife death toll remains relatively modest, well below the tens of thousand of birds, otters and other creatures killed after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound. The numbers have stayed comparatively low because the Deepwater Horizon rig was 50 miles off the coast and most of the oil has stayed in the open sea. The Valdez ran aground on a reef close to land, in a more enclosed setting.

Experts say the Gulf's marshes, beaches and coastal waters, which nurture a dazzling array of life, could be transformed into killing fields, though the die-off could take months or years and unfold largely out of sight. The damage could be even greater beneath the water's surface, where oil and dispersants could devastate zooplankton and tiny invertebrate communities at the base of the aquatic food chain.

"People naturally tend to focus on things that are most conspicuous, like oiled birds, but in my opinion the impacts on fisheries will be much more severe," said Rich Ambrose, director of the environmental science and engineering at program at UCLA.

The Gulf is also home to dolphins and species including the endangered sperm whale. A government report found that dolphins with prolonged exposure to oil in the 1990s experienced skin injuries and burns, reduced neurological functions and lower hemoglobin levels in their blood. It concluded, though, that the effects probably wouldn't be lethal because many creatures would avoid the oil. Yet dolphins in the Gulf have been spotted swimming through plumes of crude.

Gilly Llewellyn, oceans program leader with the World Wildlife Fund in Australia, said she observed the same behavior by dolphins following a 73-day spill last year in the Timor Sea.

"A heartbreaking sight," Llewellyn said. "And what we managed to see on the surface was undoubtedly just a fraction of what was happening."

The prospect left fishing guide Marino shaking his head, as he watched the oil washing into a marsh and over the body of a dead pelican. Species like shrimp and crab flourish here, finding protection in the grasses. Fish, birds and other creatures feed here.

"It's going to break that cycle of life," Marino said. "It's like pouring gas in your aquarium. What do you think that's going to do?"


Flesher reported from Traverse City, Mich. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Holbrook Mohr on Barataria Bay, La.; Melissa Nelson in Pensacola Beach, Fla.; and Jay Reeves in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Burma is trying to build nuclear weapons and missiles, says US senator

Sai Thein Win has suggested that Burma is mining uranium


The Burmese Government is attempting to build nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, according to a military defector who smuggled photographs and documents of secret nuclear equipment out of the isolated dictatorship.

Evidence presented by the former Burmese officer and weapons engineer suggests that the country is still a long way from creating usable nuclear weapons. But the fact that it has even a nascent nuclear programme will cause international alarm at a time when the West is struggling to contain the ambitions of Iran and North Korea.

Jim Webb, the US senator, who in recent months has become an unofficial US envoy to Burma, yesterday cancelled a planned trip to Naypyidaw, the capital, because of concern about the reports of the defector’s testimony on the Norway-based news website, Democratic Voice of Burma. It comes after Kurt Campbell, the US assistant secretary of state, accused the Burmese junta of violating a UN resolution by allegedly buying arms from North Korea.

“It is unclear whether these allegations have substantive merit,” Mr Webb said in a statement. “However … there are now two unresolved matters related to activities of serious concern between these two countries. Until there is further clarification on these matters, I believe it would be unwise and potentially counterproductive for me to visit Burma.”

The information comes from Sai Thein Win, a former major in the Burmese Army, who is compared in the DVB report to Mordechai Vanunu, the whistleblower who was abducted and imprisoned by Israel after leaking secrets of its nuclear programme to The Sunday Times. The materials he provided have been scrutinised by Robert Kelley, a former director of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

“The information brought by Sai suggests that Burma is mining uranium, converting it to uranium compounds for reactors and bombs, and is trying to build a reactor and/or an enrichment plant that could only be useful for a bomb,” he writes on the DVB website. “There is no chance that these activities are directed at a reactor to produce electricity in Burma.

“The information provided by Sai and other reporters from Burma clearly indicates that the regime has the intent to go nuclear and it is trying and expending huge resources along the way.”

Although not a nuclear scientist himself, Mr Sai was ordered to design parts for long-range missiles, and in the course of his work he visited a so-called “nuclear battalion” at Thabeikkyin, north of the central city of Mandalay. He claimed that this battalion is responsible for building a nuclear reactor and nuclear enrichment capabilities, with the ultimate goal of producing nuclear weapons from both enriched plutonium and uranium.

According to Mr Kelley, Mr Sai described accurately and in detail a missile component called a “fuel pump impeller” which he had been ordered to make. He revealed that a German company had unwittingly supplied high quality machine tools which were used for the weapons programme.

He also supplied photographs of a “bomb reactor” used for turning uranium compounds into uranium metal for use either in nuclear fuel or a nuclear bomb. He recounted conversations in which he was told that Burma plans to construct a nuclear reactor to make weapons-grade plutonium.

“These photos or his descriptions could be faked,” Mr Kelley writes, “but they are highly consistent with the uses he suggests.”

Photographs and documents smuggled out of Burma last year revealed that the junta had held secret high-level talks with North Korea, which was helping with the construction of a secret network of tunnels and underground military facilities.

Booms wouldn't keep oil from beaches, experts say

If the BP oil spill ever reaches the Tampa Bay area, there are plans to set out floating booms to protect environmentally sensitive marshes and estuaries and mangroves.

But what about the beaches that are the lifeblood of the local economy?

It turns out that little can be done to protect the beaches, and that makes the tourism industry nervous. For instance, Pinellas County's 35 miles of beaches bring in $7 billion a year, and officials say even a 25 percent drop in tourism would close 300 local restaurants and cost 21,000 jobs.

Environmental officials say there's no realistic way to keep oil off the beaches, which is also what Pensacola leaders were told before oil began washing up on their shores. Officials say the sand will just have to be cleaned up afterward — as was the case on Panhandle beaches Friday.

"Booms are not effective for beach areas," said Camille Evans, a spokeswoman for Pinellas County Emergency Management. "They're difficult to secure in open water due to wave action."

Experts are still seeing no evidence that the oil spill will reach the bay area, though no one knows for sure. In case the worst happens, local volunteers are being asked to register for a massive beach cleanup that would take place if oil is about to make landfall here.

If BP's oil shows up on our shores, it won't come in the form of an oil slick, experts say. Because the oil would have to travel hundreds of miles, it would likely arrive here as tar balls — the same gooey blobs that are now washing up on Florida's Panhandle.

"We may see scattered tar balls and potentially a light sheen. Containment booms have a limited effect against that type of threat," said Timyn Rice of the state Department of Environmental Protection, who's stationed at a St. Petersburg command post dealing with the oil spill.

For one thing, tar balls in shallow water can pick up sand and sink from the weight, sliding beneath floating booms. Also, because it's impractical to cordon off 35 miles of beach, officials would need "really good intelligence" on the location of tar balls heading ashore, Rice said.

If oil washes up on local beaches, federally approved and properly trained contractors will do the cleanup, not volunteers, officials said.

Tourism officials have questions about that.

"The beach will be cleaned by whom? At what expense? And how long will it take?" asked Sheila Cole of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce.

"BP is responsible for cleanup," said Clearwater's emergency manager, Rick Carnley.

He added that the city is prepared to use large rakes towed by tractors to scoop up tar balls on Clearwater Beach.

"We don't want anyone to run out on the beach and just start picking up the stuff with yard gloves on," he said.

Still, officials say a lot of locals are upset about the oil spill and are calling in, seeking to volunteer in some way. They're being steered toward a "preoil" coastal cleanup coordinated by the group Keep Pinellas Beautiful.

This cleanup will happen only if the Coast Guard gets word that oil residue is threatening this area's shoreline. Volunteers who register for it will be notified by e-mail if that day comes. The intent is to speed up the oil cleanup by removing litter ahead of time and reducing the amount of contaminated material that cleanup crews will have to deal with.

The group's executive director, Bill Sanders, said, "Our goal is to clean up every inch of the Pinellas County coastline, including the outer islands."

Mike Brassfield can be reached at or (727) 445-4160.

Fast facts

Preoil cleanup

At least 2,000 volunteers are needed to clean the Pinellas beaches of debris. This would happen just before any oil landfall. Trained contractors, not volunteers, will then clean up oil or tar balls. Sign up online at or call (727) 533-0402.

Fast facts

Hazards from oil

People should stay away from oil on the beach or in the water, but swallowing a little oil-tainted water or getting slimed by a tar ball is not considered grounds for a trip to the emergency room, health officials say.

Oil is toxic. Short exposures may cause only fleeting symptoms, but exposure to large amounts for a long time could lead to problems with breathing, thinking and coordination, and potentially raise the risk of cancer, toxicologists say.

Children are more sensitive to the pollution than adults.

Egypt to strip men married to Israelis of citizenship

CAIRO - A Cairo court on Saturday upheld a ruling to strip Egyptian men married to Israeli women of their citizenship in a case that has highlighted national sentiment towards Israel.

Judge Mohammed al-Husseini sitting on the Supreme Administrative Court said the interior ministry must ask cabinet to take the necessary steps to strip Egyptian men married to Israeli women, and their children, of their citizenship.

The court said that each case should be considered separately, in a ruling that cannot be appealed.

The ruling reflects Egyptian sentiment towards Israel, 30 years after Egypt signed an unpopular peace deal with the Jewish state.

Lawyer Nabil al-Wahsh said he originally brought the case to court so as to prevent the creation of a generation "disloyal to Egypt and the Arab world."

Children of such marriages "should not be allowed to perform their military service," he said.

The number of Egyptian men married to Israeli women is thought to be around 30,000, according to Wahsh, only 10 percent of whom are married to Arab Israelis.

A lower court ruled last year that the interior minister must look into the cases of Egyptian men married to Israeli women, and their children, in order to "take the necessary steps to strip them of their nationality."

The interior and foreign ministries had appealed the case, saying it was for parliament to decide on such matters.

Thousands of Egyptians, particularly a large number who lived in Iraq and returned after the 1990 Gulf War over Kuwait, moved to Israel in search of work and married Israeli women.

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel.

Tories ready to reopen Dr David Kelly suicide inquiry

The investigation into the death of weapons inspector David Kelly is likely to be reopened, it has emerged.

The case has 'concerned' Attorney General Dominic Grieve and - as the highest ranking law officer in England - he is considering an inquiry to review the suicide finding, Whitehall sources say.

At the same time, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke is considering a request from campaigning doctors to release medical files relating to the death.

Lord Hutton, whose inquiry into the death was denounced as a whitewash, has indicated the papers should be kept secret for 70 years.

Medical experts have repeatedly questioned whether Dr Kelly could have taken his own life in the circumstances described by Lord Hutton.

The re-opening of the case is understood to have the backing of several other Government members, including Transport minister Norman Baker, who believes Dr Kelly was murdered.

Dr Kelly's body was found in woods close to his Oxfordshire home seven years ago next month. Although a coroner's inquest was set up to examine the 59-year-old's death, it was suspended.

In its place the Government established the Hutton Inquiry. Unlike a coroner's inquest it had no statutory powers and did not require witnesses to give evidence under oath.

Hutton concluded that Dr Kelly killed himself by cutting his left wrist with a blunt gardening knife after he was named as the source of a BBC news report questioning the Blair government's grounds for invading Iraq.

But the Hutton Report, published in January 2004, was dismissed by experts as a whitewash for clearing the Government of any blame, despite evidence it had leaked Dr Kelly's name to smear him.

From the time Dr Kelly's body was found, on 18 July 2003, questions have been raised about the nature of his death. A group of leading doctors who are campaigning for a coroner's inquest to be held spent a year compiling their own medical report.

It disputes that Dr Kelly, a Ministry of Defence employee and the world's leading weapons inspector, could have died from haemorrhage, as Hutton concluded.

The doctors said it was not possible he would have died by severing the ulnar artery in his left wrist, as Hutton thought, because it is so small and difficult to access.

It also emerged after the Hutton Inquiry that no fingerprints were found on the knife Dr Kelly is alleged to have used, and that he was not wearing gloves when his body was found.

Cold case: Attorney General Dominic Grieve wants to reopen the David Kelly inquiry

Cold case: Attorney General Dominic Grieve wants to reopen the David Kelly inquiry

In January, it came to light that Lord Hutton secretly classified vital evidence relating to Dr Kelly's death, including all medical and scientific records, the post-mortem report and photographs, for 70 years - until 2073.

This information was not included in the Hutton Report. Mr Grieve's willingness to re-examine how Dr Kelly died comes three months after he wrote to Michael Powers QC, who has been working with the doctors to secure an inquest.

In the letter Mr Grieve said: 'I am aware of the work of the doctors' group on challenging Lord Hutton's findings.

'They have made an impressive and cogent case.'

A source confirmed his position has not changed since he entered the Government and he is exploring a way to reopen the inquiry.

As Attorney General he would be the final arbiter in any decision to apply to the High Court for a full inquest.

In January, the doctors applied to the Ministry of Justice to see Dr Kelly's post-mortem report and records. So far the MoJ has not released them.

Mr Baker told the Daily Mail: 'It's astonishing that such a high profile death has not yet been subject to a proper inquest. If the Attorney General is seeking to correct this I welcome it.'

70 years of secrecy

Lord Hutton has been criticised for ordering that medical records relating to the death of Dr David Kelly should be kept secret for 70 years.

A 30-year ban was placed on 'records provided which were not produced in evidence'.

This is thought to refer to witness statements given to the inquiry which were not disclosed at the time.

But Lord Hutton ordered all medical reports - including the post-mortem examination findings by pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt and photographs of Dr Kelly's body - to remain classified information for the seven decades.

This usually only applies in cases of murder.

The normal rules on post-mortem examinations allow close relatives and 'properly interested persons' to apply to see a copy of the report. They can also 'inspect' other documents.

The precise legal basis for Lord Hutton's order has puzzled experts.

The most likely source is a rule which states that medical reports and post-mortem reports can be classified by the Government until the deceased's youngest child is aged 100.

Dr Kelly's youngest daughters were 30 when he died. Classifying the papers for 70 years would take them to the age of 100.

Stocks: New week, same woes

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What if BP Never Stopped the Oil in the Gulf of Mexico?

BP said today that its latest try to control the oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico may be working. It has lowered a large cap over the blown-out well, 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf, in hopes of siphoning off the escaping oil.

"I am actually pretty confident this is going to work," BP COO Doug Suttles said on "Good Morning America." "It probably won't capture all of the flow but it should capture the vast majority."

But this is the seventh attempt to stop the well since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and burned on April 20, six weeks ago, and all the others have ended in disappointment.

Which raised a question: What if nothing worked at all? What if the oil just kept coming out of the ground until it stopped naturally? How long would it take? What would be the consequences?

The quick answer is that they would be severe -- though nobody is quite sure how much oil might escape because nobody, even at BP, is sure how much is down there.

"It's huge. It's a big oil field," said Roger Anderson, an oil geophysicist at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. "If 20,000 barrels a day are escaping, it could stay there for years, then drop off. It could flow at a small rate for a very, very long time."

Calls to more than a dozen experts yielded similar answers: it might be years, not months, if nothing stops the gusher, but it would not stretch into a decade. Many engineers and agencies said they would prefer not to guess.

The theoretical question -- what if the oil were allowed to stop on its own -- is not something that the federal government, states along the Gulf Coast, or BP would even consider. The eyes of the world are on the ongoing disaster, and BP is drilling relief wells to divert the leaking oil if nothing else works. The company has said it should be done by August. The government said Thursday that 30,000 people are involved in the effort to control the oil and clean up the mess.

"People are pretty confident that the relief well(s) will work, if nothing else," said Eric Adams of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an e-mail to ABC News. "Of course they won't be finished until August, which is 2-plus months away. At 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil per day, that is, of course, a lot of oil."

Vast Underwater Oil Field

The Deepwater Horizon was drilling a so-called exploratory well when the accident happened. Eleven workers on the platform never were seen again and are believed to have died. The underground formation that the rig was probing has been estimated to hold anywhere from 50 million to a billion barrels of oil that could be extracted economically.

"Not all the oil would flow out due to what the oil field types would call 'natural bridging' of the well -- that means self-plugging," said Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University who has been studying the size of the spill. "Nonetheless, there is no immediate prospect of 'running out' of oil and gas that can get out if they can't plug this damned thing."

Florida Gulf oil spill: Plans to evacuate Tampa Bay area are in place

Gulf Oil Spill 2010: Plans to evacuate Tampa Bay area are in place

As FEMA and other government agencies prepare for what is now being called by some, the worst oil spill disaster in history, plans to evacuate the Tampa Bay area are in place.

The plans would be announed in the event of a controlled burn of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico, if wind or other conditions are expected to take the toxic fumes through Tampa Bay.

This practice is common for the US Forestry service, when fire and smoke threaten the health and well being of people.

The elderly and those with respiratory problems would be more susceptible to health risks, in the event of a controlled burn.

Estimates of the rate of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill have varied., estimates the numbers at more than 1 million gallons a day, based on satellite and Coast Guard images.

Since the April 20th explosion, which resulted in the sinking of the rig, there have been more than 650,000 gallons of chemicals poured into the Gulf of Mexico in efforts to break up the spill. However, the chemicals have come under some scrutiny recently, because of their own toxic nature.

It is not certain if the massive slick will have to be set on fire near Tampa Bay, but the possibility has not been ruled out. BP has been using controlled burnes as a way to control the oil spill since the crisis began more than a month ago.

Open letter to president Obama

Following the attack by Israeli commando pirates against a humanitarian convoy in the Mediterranean Sea, U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich has drafted an open letter to President Obama. It is awaiting the signature of other members of Congress. A preview of the text is published below.

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Israeli commandos, acting at the direction of the State of Israel, attacked and seized a Turkish ship in international waters, in the Mediterranean Sea.

At least nine were killed in the incident aboard the Mavi Marmara. Hundreds of civilians were taken into custody and goods were confiscated. Since the United States considers Israel our most important ally in the region, whose survival is a primary concern, it is incumbent upon the Commander in Chief to call Israel to an accounting for its conduct in planning and executing the deadly military attack in international waters upon a peaceful flotilla carrying citizens from over 50 countries.

The State of Israel’s conduct, attacking a Turkish ship in international waters, constitutes an act of belligerence against Turkey, which at one time Israel considered an important ally. It also undermines United States’ troops efforts in Iraq, since your administration’s efforts to achieve stability in the region and to withdraw troops from Iraq has depended upon Turkey’s cooperation through use of its air bases.
In its violent commando raid on the Mavi Marmara, the government of Israel showed no concern as to how its conduct may affect the lives of defenseless, innocent people, its friends and allies, and in particular the United States. The United States must remind Israel as well as all of our other friends and allies:

It is not acceptable to repeatedly violate international law.
It is not acceptable to shoot and kill innocent civilians.
It is not acceptable to commit an act of aggression against another U.S. ally.
It is not acceptable to continue a blockade which denies humanitarian relief.
It is not acceptable to heighten tensions in a region while the United States continues to put so much blood and treasure on the line.

The State of Israel’s action necessitates that the United States, which is Israel’s partner in the region, begin to redefine its relationship and to establish such boundaries and conditions which are sufficient for mutual respect and cooperation.

It is incumbent upon Israeli officials to bring forth the truth about the planning for and the attack upon the Mavi Marmara.

No one questions the right of Israel to defend its border, but that defense does not extend to shooting innocent civilians anywhere in the world, anytime it pleases.

Israel must account for our support, for the lives of our soldiers, for the investment of billions from our taxpayers. Israel owes the United States more than reckless, pre-meditated violence waged against innocent people.

The attack on the Mavi Marmara requires consequences for the Netanyahu Administration and for the State of Israel. Those consequences must be dealt by the United States. They must be diplomatic and they must be financial. The U.S. can begin by calling for an independent international inquiry of the Mavi Marmara incident. The integrity of such inquiry necessitates that it not be led by the nation whose conduct is under scrutiny. If our nation fails to act in any substantive way, the United States licenses the violence and we are complicit in it and our own citizens will be forced to pay the consequences.

We the undersigned deeply regret the loss of life. We are also fully aware of the dangers to world security which exist in the region, which is why the United States has been unstinting it its defense of Israel. We have a right to expect that Israel not add to those dangers with military conduct which all people of good will know is neither defensible nor moral. There must be consequences for such conduct. We await your response.


People Power! The Swedish dockers' union decides on a blockade against Israeli ships and goods

People ask themselves how to react to Monday's bloodbath on the Mavi Marmara. Svenska hamnarbetarförbundet, the Swedish dockers' union, has made a first contribution to that debate: it has decided on a blockade against Israeli ships and goods from June 15 at 00.00 hour to June 24 at 24.00 hour. Here is their press release, in Swedish and in English translation:
Varsel om blockad av israeliska fartyg och israeliskt gods

onsdag 02 juni 2010 Björn A. Borg Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet har idag varslat om blockad av alla israeliska fartyg och gods till och från Israel som hanteras av förbundets medlemmar. Blockaden kommer att träda ikraft kl. 00.00 tisdag den 15 juni och varar till kl. 24.00 torsdag den 24 juni.

Skälet till blockaden är det exempellösa kriminella överfallet på den fredliga fartygskonvojen Ship to Gaza. Ett flertal fredsaktivister mördades av israeliska kommandosoldater och övriga deltagare internerades utan någon som helst grund.

Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet, som stödjer Ship to Gaza, vill med åtgärden protestera mot staten Israels folkrättsliga övergrepp mot en konvoj med fredsaktivister och materiella förnödenheter till den p.g.a. en likaså folkrättslig blockad lidande befolkningen i Gaza.

Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet kräver att de för övergreppet ansvariga ställs inför rätta, att folkrätten respekteras av staten Israel och att blockaden av Gaza omedelbart hävs.

Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet vill uppmana andra fackförbund och övriga organisationer att ta liknande initiativ och uppmanar till en allmän blockad av israeliska varor till dess det palestinska folkets rättigheter tillgodosetts i allmänhet och i synnerhet att blockaden av Gaza hävts.

Notification of a blockade on Israeli ships and Israeli goods

The Swedish Dockers' Union has today notified its intention to enforce a blockade on all Israeli ships and goods coming from or destined to Israel that are handled by its members. The blockade will enter into force on Tuesday June 15 at 00.00 hours and it will last to Thursday June 24 at 24.00 hours.

The reason for this blockade is the unprecedented criminal agression against the peaceful convoy Ship to Gaza. Several peace activists were murdered by Israeli commando soldiers and the other participants were detained without any justification.

The Swedish Dockers' Union, which supports Ship to Gaza, wants through this measure to protest against the Israeli government's violation of international law by agressing a convoy of peace activists and emergency supplies to the population of Gaza, which is suffering an equally illegal blockade.

The Swedish Dockers' Union demands that those responsible for this outrage be brought to justice, that Israel pays respect to international law and that the blockade of Gaza be lifted immediately.

The Swedish Dockers' Union calls on other trade unions and organisations to take similar initiatives and calls for a general blockade of Israeli goods until the rights of the Palestinian people are guaranteed and the blockade of Gaza is lifted.
The press release goes on to cite the names of contact persons to be called for complementary information.

If you have information about similar initiatives, emanating from trade unions or other organisations, and consisting of a blockade, boycott, disinvestment or sanctions against Israel, please provide more information in the comments section. Print


Join as they travel to Gaza. Witness what happens on board the Flotilla. Watch their videos.

Just before 9am this morning, the Israeli military forcibly siezed the Irish-owned humanitarian relief ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, from delivering over 1000 tons of medical and construction supplies to besieged Gaza. For the second time in less then a week, Israeli naval commandos stormed an unarmed aid ship, brutally taking its passengers hostage and towing the ship toward Ashdod port in SouthernIsrael. It is not yet known whether any of the Rachel Corrie’s passengers were killed or injured during the attack, but they are believed to beunharmed.

The Corrie carried 11 passengers and 9 crew from 5 different countires, mostly Ireland and Malaysia. The passengers included Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, Parit Member of the Malaysian Parliament Mohd Nizar Zakaria, and former UN Assistant Secretary General, Denis Halliday. Nine international human rights workers were killed on Monday when Israeli commandos violently stormed the Turkish aid ship, Mavi Marmara and five other unarmed boats taking supplies to Gaza. Prior to being taken hostage by Israeli forces, Derek Graham, an Irish coordinator with the Free Gaza Movement, stated that: “Despite what happened on the Mavi Marmara earlier this week, we are not afraid.

The 1200-ton cargo ship was purchased through a special fund set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister and Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The ship was named after an American human rights worker, killed in 2003 when she was crushed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. Its cargo included hundreds of tons of medical equipment and cement, as well as paper from the people of Norway, donated to UN-run schools in Gaza.

According to Denis Halliday: “We are the only Gaza-bound aid ship left out here. We’re determined to deliver our cargo.” The Rachel Corrie had been part of the Freedom Flotilla, a 40-nation effort to break through Israel’s illegal blockade, before being forced to drop off late last week due to suspicious mechanical problems.

The attack on the Rachel Corrie may spell trouble for Israel’s relationship with Ireland. The Irish government had formally requested Israel allow the ship to reach Gaza. On 1 June, the Irish parliament also passed an all-party motion condemning Israel’s use of military forceagainst civilian aid ships, and demanding “an end to the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.”

Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire summed up the hopes of this joint Irish-Malaysian effort to overcome Israel’s cruel blockade by saying: “We are inspired by the people of Gaza whose courage, love and joy in welcoming us, even in the midst of such suffering gives us all hope. They represent the very best of humanity, and we are all privileged to be given the opportunity to support them in their nonviolent struggle for human dignity, and freedom. This trip will again highlight Israel’s criminal blockade and illegal occupation. In a demonstration of the power of global citizen action, we hope to awaken the conscience of all.”

Passengers aboard the Rachel Corrie include:
Ahmed Faizal bin Azumu, human rights worker, Malaysia
Matthias Chang, attorney, author & human rights worker, Malaysia
Derek Graham, Free Gaza Ireland
Jenny Graham, Free Gaza Ireland
Denis Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary General, Ireland
Mohd Jufri Bin Mohd Judin, journalist, Malaysia
Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal, PGPO representative, Malaysia
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ireland
Abdul Halim Bin Mohamed, journalist, Malaysia
Fiona Thompson, film-maker, Ireland
The Hon. Mohd Nizar Zakaria, Parit Member of Parliament, Malaysia

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