20-07-13

The use of La Canne in Defense dans la Rue

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For practising in the salle (training room), Andre recommends the right or strong side be placed forward with only three-quarters of the upper body presented toward the opponent. The legs are comfortably flexed and the feet spaced one and a half shoe lengths apart. Gripping the cane consists of positioning the hand two centimetres up from the butt or proximal end. The thumb rests along the length of the cane while the fingers are joined in order to hold and secure the weapon.  Generally held forward and slightly to the side of the body line, the forearm is perpendicular with the ground. The cane is positioned along an oblique line with the distal end sighted at the adversary’s face. During training the left hand is placed behind the back in order not to be struck by the movements of ones own cane. Andre tells us this guard is equivalent to tierce or the third position in Sabre. He adds however, in the real world of fighting, the leading hand may need to be placed closer to the body in order to protect it. An interesting characteristic of this holding position is its commonality to both the couteau(knife) and unarmed waist guard structures. This particular guard should be approached only as a platform in which to train both the coups (strikes) and assaut (sparring )in the salle ( training room) environment. For personal protection in the street, which is the primary focus of Defense dans la Rue, alternative guards will often be required.

Read more at: http://defensedanslarue.wordpress.com/skills/the-use-of-la-canne-in-defense-dans-la-rue-part-one/

Attention: This post can be dangerous for people with a lack of humor

16-07-13

How a Century of Homelessness Shaped America

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An interview with Todd DePastino, author of Citizen Hobo: How a Century of Homelessness Shaped America

Question: "Hobo" conjures up the 1930s—Woody Guthrie's Bound for Glory and all that—but you start your book with the post-Civil War army of tramps. What put that army into motion?

Todd DePastino: We remember Depression-era hoboes best because that was the last time huge armies of homeless men wandered the nation by rail. But similar masses of the homeless—and indeed similar "Great Depressions"—were a regular feature of American life since at least the 1870s. The word "tramp" was used during the Civil War to mean a long grueling march to battle. But in 1873, the first year of a major economic depression, "tramp" began to refer to the new kind of vagrant who was on his own grueling march with "no visible means of support." It fits, because many tramps of the 1870s were Civil War veterans, and they hitched rides on railroads that had transported troops during the war.

When the tramp army appeared in 1873, most of those in business, government, and charity work denied any connection between the depression and the legions of men on the road. No one, except those in the labor movement, recognized that the vast majority of tramping men were simply out of work. The word "unemployment" didn't exist yet! Wage labor was still a relatively new thing, and not until the Civil War did a solid majority of households, at least in the North, live on paychecks. As many are discovering today, jobs are hard to find during hard times. So beginning in 1873, hundreds of thousands of young white men began to hop trains to look for work.

Question: When did "tramps" become "hoboes"? Where did that word come from? What's the difference between a tramp, a hobo, and a bum?

DePastino: Well, there were endless squabbles about the differences between hoboes, tramps, and bums. One famous quip had it that the hobo works and wanders, the tramp drinks and wanders, and the bum just drinks. More accurately the tramp, the hobo, and the bum represent three historical stages of American homelessness, with the tramp coming first, in the 1870s, and the bum later, in the 1940s and 1950s.

So chronologically between the two was the hobo. Hoboes mark the coming of age of America's tramp army. The end of the depression in 1878 did not mean the end of tramping. Like our homeless population today, the tramp army was resistant to upswings in the business cycle. By the 1890s, after twenty years on the road, tramping had matured to the point where it now possessed its own unique institutions, culture, and even politics—taken together, what later came to be called "hobohemia."

on the roadWhere did the word "hobo" come from? I've not found a convincing explanation. Some say it derives from the term "hoe-boy," meaning farm hand, or "homo bonus," meaning "good man." Others speculate that men shouted "Ho, Boy!" to each other on the road. One particularly literate wayfarer insisted the term came from the French "haut beau." Whatever its origin, the word "hobo" became widespread in American vernacular during yet another major depression from 1893 to 1897.

I sometimes joke that a hobo is a tramp on steroids. Hoboes were by and large more organized, militant, independent, and political than their predecessors. The widespread use of the word "bum" after World War II signals the end of this colorful subculture of transient labor.

Read more at:
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/143783in.html

Homeless.Poverty and Place in Urban America.Ella Howard:
http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15071.html

American slaves

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Photo: 1909 - A Little Spinner in Globe Cotton Mill, Augusta, Georgia

http://www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=28025

14-07-13

Belgium: The dirty fingers of Laurette Onkelinx

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As a reminder:

20.2.2007 

For the past few months, with public accusations being arrowed in, with house searches – even arrests, the trials & tribulations of the Belgian Muslim Executive has been making front pages news, alas more on the judiciary side than on the religious side. Although Islam is still the only large recognized religion that is not treated on an equal footing with others, one can see in the continual external interferences (and the action of those that want to profit from it) the germ of ruin. 
To measure the scope of this disaster, some knowledge of earlier events is a must. The Executive of the Muslim of Belgium (EMB) is the officially recognized negotiator by the Belgian government on matters of Muslim faith. It was created by a royal decree on 3rd July 1998. One year earlier, following the shock following the gruesome discovery of the little Loubna Benaïssa’s body, the political world had at long last taken heed of the necessity to hurry Islam institutionalization’s process, which had dried out since 1974, year of its recognition in Belgium. There had been, already, a Higher Muslim Council of Belgium, but without real competences and above all without means. 

There is no choice but to accept that even before its creation, suspicions and questionable compromises punctuated a decade (the 90s) when the milestones of a shaky EMB were put together. Every candidate had to sign a charter to reassure the democratic parties, which stipulated: “I assert on my honor that I adhere to the Islam faith, respecting its prescriptions and its teachings of fellowship, tolerance, integrity, and to take a stand with regard to my functions in the faith’s exclusive interest and this in the respect of the Kingdom’s Constitution, of the laws and institutions of the Belgian people”. But this was not enough for the Justice Minister of the times, Tony Van Parys (CD&V), who laid down as a further condition to the EMB’s creation the possibility to have a “right to examine” the elected candidates. 
This screening allowed the Justice Minister, on basis of State Security secret reports, to rule out from the outset about 20 “undesirable” candidates, without any grounds, nor possibility for the failed candidates to resort to an appeal. Anyway, it was the best possible way to stir up suspicion regarding an Institution that was lauded by foreign observers as being a European 1st. But this violation of the basic democratic rules enabled many political opponent voters to be reassured. A “compromise à la Belge”…. with colonial scents. 

Some Members of Parliament, even the catholic President of the Equality of Chances Center, Johan Leman, played also a role in this organised suspicion….. Several days after the first election on 13 December 1998, the Dominican Father dared state this shocking phrase: “15% of the elected members were subversive elements”. Thus it is one of the master pieces of this case that does not hesitate to discredit the Institution under construction. The media headlines of the times are persuasive: “The Brussels Muslim in Panic” (La Lanterne –the Lantern), “Elections being boycotted?” (La Libre Belgique – the Free Belgium), “Are the elections already disputed?” (Le Vif – from life/on the spot), “Extremist risk due to political desert?” (La Libre), “Danger of a fundamentalist takeover in the Assembly of the Muslims”, “the process is at risk” (le Vif). 

Blackmail 

The Muslim notables, for reasons of “realpolitik”, accepted with a heavy heart this blackmail: short listing or revocation of the EMB. Condoning thus, in one go, a dangerous and liberticidal distortion. The EMB could have provoked a healthy crisis by protesting and in giving back its mandate due to “interferences from the political power”. Unfortunately the EMB preferred to play with a fickle political logic in order to hope, on the very long term, for a real “recognition”. In itself, a typical instance of the rapport: “dominated – dominating” as one can recognize it in the relations North-South….. 

Yassin Didier Beyens, the President of the Belgium Higher Council of Muslims (predecessor of the EMB), will have the honesty to admit: “We were all extremely disturbed to have to pay such a high tribute for the success of the project”. But were we not the prisoners of the social contract with the State, the very same we knew we had, from the start, to give up some of our freedom to? No, that day, the State was not the “Providence” for Muslims”. Without any guilt, the Justice Minister Van Parys discarded an unwanted card onto him by sending a surprising and perfidious letter to a failed Turkish candidate following the screening: “If Dr. Beyens stated that your are an undesirable, one has to see this attitude in the light to what happened before. Hoping that these explanations will enable you to understand the reasoning behind Mr. Beyens’ decision, Your’s most sincerely…..” For Yassin Beyens, “the politic opponent was throwing back to me the hot bucket without clarifying his position and was indeed fusing up a delayed action bomb”. 

During the 1999 elections, the financial inspector Nordin Maloujahmoune took over from Dr. Beyens as the first elected representative of the Muslin faith. Under suspicion of embezzlements and misappropriations, he was the object of an internal “putsch” in 2003. Re-instated in his functions by a court decision, he was anyhow relieved from his duties by a vote of no confidence. A very lengthy and costly inquest, bedecked with 11 house searches and inflammatory press articles, did, in the end, fully, exonerate Nordin Maloujahmoum…. in June 2005! 

In 2003, the General Assembly elected a new President, the economist Mohamed Boulif. With the then Justice Minister, Marc Verwilghen (VLD)’s refusal to ratify the new composition of the Executive, the Kern (the limited council of ministers) proposed two mediators, the Senator Meryem Kacar (SP-A) and the Senator Philippe Moureaux (PS), to formulate propositions to clear the situation. The upshot of it was a “Moureaux Report” which helped to “thaw” somewhat the relations. The team presided over by Boulif was finally accepted by the Kern. But a few months later, the climate worsened again, with suspicions and accusations of “embezzlements”. 

Thus from 1999 to 2005, the EMB went through a troubled period, when cases were often blocked. The task is nevertheless vast: recognition of mosques, of Imans, their training (the Islamic faith teacher’s status), the Muslim “patches” in the cemeteries, the chaplaincy….. In a general (Muslim) indifference, the EMB tried to resolve one or the other of these case, between two scandals. 


A “new” EMB 

Meanwhile, the new (and present) Justice Minister, Laurette Onkelinx (PS), alerted by a letter dated February 2004 signed by Kissi Benjelloul, member of the General Assembly of the Executive and President of a handful of cultural associations, decided to introduce a bill to set up a Commission to deal with organizing general elections for the renewal of the temporal representative organs of the Muslim faith. However, in June 2004, the State Council gave a negative notice because it would have been a disproportionate interference. Following this “mishap” the Minister got a law voted on the sly, on 20th July 2004, one of the fastest laws of the History of the Belgian Parliament, and this without any referral to the EMB still presided by Mohamed Boulif. Although, on 17 November 2004, during her speech in the Brussels’ Town Hall , the Minister Onkelinx was laudatory towards the President Boulif : “I would already like to state, Mr. Boulif, it is years now since we work together, and it is always a great pleasure for me, because there is always this will from you, with the Executive, to build, to be partners not only reliable but enthusiastic, credible too, partners who constantly make efforts to be close to the Authority to bring solutions for the benefit of the whole Muslim community”. How does one explain this 180° about-face by the Minister? Was Mohammed Boulif thus paying his proximity with the CDH? Was he considered too independent? This remains a mystery….. 

The commission setting up new elections, planned for May 2005, was set up only a few weeks later, after the law was voted, with two Muslim “guarantors”, one of them the Sociologist Hassan Bousseta (…. gone over since to the PS). The EMB as well as several Muslim associations applied for legal remedy to the Council of State and to the arbitration Court to render null this process declared “illegal”, until now without any success. 

It is thus in a dreadful climate that, on 20 March 2005, the election of a new EMB took place, boycotted by almost all the whole Moroccan community, which felt that this ballot was indeed an election farce, while the Turks rallied by the Diyanet (institution for Turkish religious affairs), monopolized de facto the ballot….. A foreseeable result, which gave rise to a certain embarrassment for the Minister, as she did absolutely not want to cut herself from her Belgian-Moroccan election base….. The new team, presided by the Diyanet’s employee: Coskun Beyazgül, holder of the official Turkish religious teachings and of the ULB (free Brussels’ University), Philology and oriental History department, option Islamology. He made important concessions, during April 2005, to allow the Moroccans and notably Kissi Benjelloul, enthroned Vice-President with a minute result (about 400 votes), to hope for an hypothetical “representativeness” of the Belgian Muslims. It would have been understood, that these “arrangements à la belge” had as a goal to allow the Minister not to loose face and to reassure her Moroccan election base. 

The Justice Minister’s ex-husband, Abbes Guenned, seems to be playing a not negligible role in this case. His post in her cabinet (where he works on the “cults” case) allows him to take care of this fiery case which touches on the recognitions of mosques and of Imans. If for many, this man has a devilish reputation, he states that there is only a will to blacken the Minister, and that he had been fully cleared by the Moroccan judge who was dealing with the drug case that concerned him. He also won the Belgian trial against the satirical «catholic right-wing» newspaper Père Ubu for calumny. 

The «scandals» 

As we have seen it, straight from its inception the EMB has been the theater of financial accusations of all kinds, justified or not. In view of the recent happenings, it is still not finished! Thus the Minister of Justice (and of the Religions) had frozen in 2004 a subsidy granted to the EMB, following, one is told, the discovery that the accounting management was “careless”. In the month of December 2004, faced with a risk of being closed down, the EMB contracted a loan from a financial association “Hefboom” for a total of 80.000 euros, this, to pay the unpaid salaries and general outgoings. 
The subsidy granted by Laurette Onkelinx was, in the end, only paid in the month of June 2005…. and to the new team presided by Coskün Beyazgül. Will this new one repay the loan contracted by the old team? For the present President, Coskün Beyazgül, close to the Turkish Diyanet, the business is under « inquiry», and hence he cannot intervene. Abdelmajid Mhauchi, member of the old EMB, denies this solemn affirmation: the business would not really be under inquiry, and the present President would be using this pretext in order not to pay back the loan. Meanwhile, two months ago, several families received a bailiff’s visit, with some of them being at risk of loosing their personal property in order to pay back a sum that they had not at all stolen… In one word, Kafka under a political-Muslim sauce. 

More recently, on the Tuesday 16th January, Mohamed Boulif was incarcerated into the Forest prison for “breach of trust”, regarding a sum of 60.000 to 100.000 euros not (or not enough) justified. Furthermore, an invoice of 31.000 euros (to buy computers) via his brother-in-law’s business SGI, is raising as well some sort of problem. Do not forget that the SGI company is the EMB’s appointed creditor since 1998, well before Mohamed Boulif’s Presidency. The media speaks of “ghost” computers, but according to the EMB’s IT adviser, Imran Akhtar, they are stored in an EMB’s room and a bailiff drew up an inventory when the new team arrived. Why, then, is a certain press still spreading false information? This is a complete mystery! 

Here is another detail of this case: few months ago, a €100 postal money order was sent to the prisoner Trabelsi, sentenced for setting up a terrorist attack in Belgium. Some mass media did not hesitate to point the finger to Mohamed Boulif. However, this money order is anonymous: the only name on it is the “Muslin Executive”. As for the post office, it explains that for amounts of less than €1,000, it is not necessary to note down the sender’s name…The obvious goal seems to want to damage! Nothing in fact seems to spare Mohamed Boulif, a well appreciated and considered upstanding man by a large majority of the Muslims of this country, and that feel his arrest is unjust. 

This is not the end. The “Soir” dated of the 6th January 2007 revealed that invoices have been bumped up as well for the «Ramadan’s nights». The EMB “justified” the €15,000 through the press, but at the same time a few voices from the General Assembly are being heard criticizing a still non-open and unserious management… In the magazine Le Vif l’Express dated 18 January 2007, Marie-Cécile Royen paints an apocalyptic picture of the present EMB. Every which way, she states that Kissi Benjelloul, the present Vice-President of the EMB’s French speaking wing, could have contributed to Boulif’s downfall. Still according to her, complaints coming from the Belgium Mosques Union (UMB) and from one Mimoun Ayada (thrown out by the Al Mouhsinine mosque) are accusing this man regarding certain amounts. Moreover, the EMB would have squandered a lot of money in its investments which would have brought the institution into a “great poverty”, of which the staff would have been the major looser in December 2006. 

Who is benefiting from the crime? 

Since the beginning in 1999, the EMB has not had a moment of peace and quiet. The screening got the worm settled in the fruit: with the excessive interferences and the Muslim opportunists, the Institution has quickly become a bunch of people in the service of a political and law and order logic. 

The man on whom a lot of the resentments are focused today, is actually the EMB’s Vice President: Kissi Benjelloul. Many see in him a man ready to do anything in order to achieve his goals. Which ones? Retired butcher, he was trying to control the Halal meat (meat prepared according to Coranic law) through his own label. A juicy business that the EMB is trying to coordinate and about which Mohamed Boulif and others want also to say something, especially concerning the granting of the « Halal » label. Could Boulif’s reputation been smeared in order to be definitely pushed aside of this market? Kissi Benejlloul is defending this, showing disinterest for the case and stating his “brotherhood” with Boulif whom he hopes will be set free as soon as possible. Moreover, he pretends not to have any ties with the Ministrer and even less with the Moroccan Embassy. But, according to Le Vif-L’Express, this man would have pledged his allegiance to the King of Morocco. He would be known also in the Gulf States, and in Morocco he seems to command a real power, so he says….He remains a controversial man that arouses rejection for many, in spite of having a paradoxical side and being popular! In the month of December 2006, he was arrested in connection with buying a refrigerated lorry, but was set free the next day. 

The Brusselese examining magistrate Claise, who is the in-charge for several cases, thus will have a lot to do. Right now, the presumption of innocence is dominant, prudence is a must, as all, until proven guilty to the contrary are presumed innocent! 

When are all these uncertainties going to end? 

The first of these uncertainties…. Concerns the length of the present Executive’s mandate, which still needs to be determined by the General Assembly according to its present President. Ditto for the internal policy which still has not seen the light of day. Hassan Bousseta, himself, is criticizing its management – that says it all! Beside this, some Muslim citizens such as Abdelghani Ben Moussa continue to inform his fellow citizens on the political interferences (). Furthermore, he had been himself candidate at the 20th March 2005 ballot, but was ruled out by the “Commission” as he had not accepted to put his name down in the cultural ethnic categories (Turks, Moroccans, converts….), there are actually three pending demands for remedy of ultra vires on this very instance with the Council of State. A favorable and constructive decree can indeed any moment put paid to the 20th March 20005 electoral process. 

Mohsin Mouedden 
Article published in "Journal du Mardi" week of 23 January 2007
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/02/362864.html
Photo: Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx who is president of the French-speaking Socialists in Brussels. On June, 3th 2011 the newspaper Belang van Limburg wrote that 'Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx will possibly be the new Prime Minister of Brussels'.

13-07-13

Corruption scandal could bring down Spain’s government

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Corruption scandal could bring down Spain’s government

13 July 2013

Last week the multimillionaire former treasurer of the ruling Popular Party (PP), Luis Bárcenas, was refused bail and remanded in custody pending trial on charges of corruption and tax evasion. He amassed a fortune worth tens of millions of euros hidden in foreign bank accounts, which were used to channel illegal payments from wealthy businessmen to PP ministers and officials.

This week, Spain’s second-largest circulation newspaper El Mundo published an interview between its editor Pedro J. Ramírez and Bárcenas.

Bárcenas has previously denied that it was his handwriting in a secret ledger detailing the payments, but admitted to Ramírez that he had lied and that he possessed a lot more incriminating documents that “could bring down the government.”

Ramírez revealed, “Luis Bárcenas told me that for at least the past 20 years, the PP has been illegally funded, receiving cash donations from builders and other entrepreneurs who in turn got contracts from the administrations ruled by the party.

“Bárcenas told me that what has hitherto been published is but a small part of the documentation in his possession”, and that there are, Ramirez continued, “other documents and hard drives that prove the systematic illegal financing of party campaigns.” El Mundo commented, “The Luis Bárcenas originals published by El Mundo today pulverise the alibi used until now by the PP to deny the authenticity of its former treasurer’s papers.”

The El Mundo revelations are the latest developments in a scandal which erupted early this year (See: “ Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy implicated in corruption scandal ”) when El País, a daily paper supportive of the opposition Socialist Party (PSOE), first published Bárcenas’ ledgers containing detailed accounts of party finances between 1990 and 2008.

Photocopies of the ledgers were apparently leaked to El País by Jorge Trías Sagnier, a disgruntled former PP deputy and legal consultant to Bárcenas. High Court Judge Pablo Ruz is investigating the ledgers as part of the massive, pre-existing “Gürtel” investigation (See: “ Spain: Popular Party embroiled in corruption scandal ”) in which local and regional PP officials are accused of awarding generous public contracts in return for kickbacks from leading businessmen.

Ruz’s investigation has discovered that Bárcenas possessed papers showing illegal funding of the PP from the day it was created in 1979, following the end of the Franco dictatorship and the transition to democracy. Then it was called the Alianza Popular (Popular Alliance, AP), headed by former Franco minister Manuel Fraga, providing a safe haven for the fascistic elements from the Franco dictatorship.

The Bárcenas ledgers include names and donations, which often violated Spain’s party financing law by exceeding the €60,000 limit from any one individual or company. There are single contributions of up to €250,000 and sums of €400,000 in one year from the same individual. The legal limit was surpassed on more than 30 occasions. In order to conceal their origin Bárcenas broke them down into smaller amounts and entered them as coming from anonymous donors.

Many of the donors were builders or developers on government contracts, including multinational builder OHL, the beneficiary of 215 public works contracts awarded by the PP, and whose chairman Juan Miguel Villar appears to have donated €530,000 to the party. Other construction companies involved are Azvy (€858,000), Sacyr Vallehermoso (€500,000) and Constructura Hispánica (€258,000).

The person who made the largest donations, a total of €1.15 million, is recorded as “José Luis Sánchez”, probably a reference to Andalusian real estate developer José Luis Sánchez Domínguez, chairman and founder of the Sando group. Other illegal donations are from people implicated in the Gürtel case such as Pablo Crespo, a former leading PP figure in Galicia.

From what has been revealed so far the secret party accounts show that millions in regular undeclared and untaxed payouts were handed to high-ranking members of the PP on top of their official salaries, which is forbidden by Spain’s Incompatibilities Law.

Rajoy appears to have received more than €320,000 during this 18-year period, including millions of pesetas (tens of thousands of euros) in illegal payments while he was Minister of Public Administration in José María Aznar’s PP government between 1997 and 1999.

Aznar also received monthly “bonuses”. According to a report sent by the Tax Agency to Judge Ruz, Aznar received 2.7 million pesetas (€16,755) in three payments after he was sworn in as prime minister in May 1996—in addition to his official salary of 12 million pesetas (€72,500) plus housing and maintenance allowances.

At least six other PP officials are being investigated for receiving “bonus” envelopes from the party over the course of several years. Congressional Deputy Eugenio Nasarre admitted to having received money, whilst Bárcenas was present, for his foundation, the Fundación Humanismo y Democracia (Humanism and Democracy Foundation), including two payments of €30,000 and €40,000 and bonuses of €1,800 a month. Nasarre is quoted as saying that the payment of bonuses was “generalized” and it was “normal” for them to be recorded as “anonymous”. The “bonus” payments received by Nasarre are about double the amount of what a Spanish worker would consider a good wage.

During his 30 years’ work for the PP, Bárcenas amassed and concealed a fortune estimated at €48 million, most of which ended up in Swiss bank accounts. He claims that none of this money came from PP donations or kickbacks but from overseas investments, real estate and art dealings, for which he is facing charges of bribery, fraud, tampering with evidence and cover-ups. He has been under investigation in the Gürtel probe since 2009.

Although Bárcenas stepped down as PP treasurer in 2010, he continued to be paid €250,000 a year—the highest salary paid by the party to any of its members—as a political consultant until January 31, the day El País published its revelations.

Now Bárcenas, according to one PP official, is the “caged bird about to sing”. Other PP leaders have expressed “great concern” that the Barcenas case “is doing terrible damage to the party and society itself”. The fact that El Mundo, which is sympathetic to the right-wing PP, publishes the Bárcenas interview is a sign that the knives are out to get the Rajoy leadership and replace it with a more hardline faction headed by someone like Esperanza Aguirre, former PP president of the Madrid region and a highly influential figure on the Spanish right. She openly criticized PP Secretary General María Dolores de Cospedal for failing to defuse the corruption scandal and to sue Bárcenas earlier on.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/13/spai-j13.html

Photo: Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx who is president of the French-speaking Socialists in Brussels. On June, 3th 2011 the newspaper Belang van Limburg wrote that 'Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx will possibly be the new Prime Minister of Brussels'.

NATO and Belgian Socialist Party

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Photo: NATO-meeting Chicago: Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo (Socialist Party) and Barack Obama.

Libya.bombing of Nasser University in Tripoli.June 12.2011.2.jpgLibya.bombing of Nasser University in Tripoli.June 12.2011.jpg

Victims of NATO-bombing of the Nasser University in Tripoli on June 12, 2011.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/breaking-news-photographic-evidence-nato-bombed-libya-s-nasser-university/25221

Belgium's notoriously most corrupted party

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As a reminder:

23.10.2006

After the municipal and provincial elections 2 weeks ago, judges have started a witch-hunt on Belgium's notoriously most corrupted party ever, the Walloon socialist party.

The former socialist mayor of Namur (the Wallonian capital), Bernard Anselme, faced a triple charge of illegal support of private companies, the usage of falsified documents and illegal personal enrichment. Other Socialist politicians were also arrested last week. The Socialist Party was ousted from office by an unusual alliance between the 3 other main parties (Liberals, Greens and Christian-democrats), as none of them wanted to share power with them.

Last Friday, the former mayor of Charleroi (Wallonia's 2nd biggest city), Jacques van Gompel, admitted charges of fraudulent dealings estimated to 425.000 euro. Several other top socialist politicians were involved as well, so that Charleroi is still waiting for its new mayor, to be chosen among the Socialist majority once all the bad sheep have been evicted.

Other similar scandals of fraud, embezelment and illegal favours hit the region of Charleroi, as well as other Walloon municipalities, in the last few months.

Belgian Socialist Party: corruption scandal

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As a reminder

Police to be investigated over links between paedophile case and politician's murder, reports Sarah Helm

10 September 1996

Brussels - The authorities were facing new demands yesterday to explain possible links between a child sex ring and high-level political corruption, following the arrest of a former Belgian government minister.

In an atmosphere of mounting crisis, the Belgian press yesterday cried out for answers, declaring a virtual state of emergency.

"What country are we living in?" asked a front-page editorial in La Derniere Heure. "The most corrupt banana republics would pass for islands of tranquillity in comparison with deviant Belgium, which we no longer recognise."

Le Soir newspaper called for suspicion to be lifted if public faith were to be restored in Belgian institutions.

Responding to the furore yesterday, Jean Luc Dehaene, the Belgian Prime Minister said: "We have to investigate the investigation."

Alain Van der Biest was being held in a Belgian jail yesterday charged in connection with the 1991 murder of Andre Cools, who is widely believed to have been gunned down by gangsters on the orders of political rivals fearing he wanted to expose corruption.

The murder weapon used in the Cools killing was also reported to have been found late on Sunday near Liege. The sudden arrest of Mr Van der Biest, along with four other suspects arrested in the Cools case on Friday, is thought to have followed the production of new evidence during the Dutroux paedophile investigation.

Although no firm connection has been proven, certain names, associated with Belgium's Italian Mafia gangs to be found in the Charleroi region, have come to light in both inquiries. Suspicion has brought accusations that political figures may have had reason to hush up the Dutroux child sex scandal.

During the fast-moving developments at the weekend it was also announced that Raymond Brose, chief investigator in the Cools case, had suddenly resigned from his post without explanation.

Meanwhile, further names were added to the list of people now thought to have become victims of Dutroux. Four bodies, including those of two eight-year-olds and two teenagers, have so far been found, but it is now thought Dutroux may have murdered as many as 11. Government authorities are being pressed to declare whether the sudden spate of arrests in the Cools case, coming at the height of inquiries into the Dutroux case, is simply coincidence.

For five years Cools' murder has gone unsolved and the inquiry was thought to have run into the ground. Suspicion has fallen on gangster figures and politicians connected to the Socialist party in the French- speaking region of Wallonia, where Cools was a powerful figure.

But the Dutroux atrocities were also uncovered in this area, and inquiries have extended to webs of corruption including car thefts and property fraud in Wallonia.

The arrest of Mr Van der Biest followed the arrest of his former personal secretary, Richard Taxquet, who apparently denounced his boss to shift the blame, naming him as the man who ordered the Cools assassination.

However, the police are now being pressed to explain whether Mr Van der Biest could himself be a fall guy, protecting other, bigger names. No explanation has been given for the resignation of the chief investigator, which has further served to undermine confidence.

Inquiries into the Cools case have been constantly hampered by "the war of the judges" as rival investigators and police forces have fought for territory. Now there fears that such infighting could also have been part of an attempted cover-up.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/belgium-in-shock-over-corruption-scandal-1362650.html

Moscow: US gives inaccurate interpretations

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Moscow: the US gives inaccurate interpretations of the situation regarding possible use of chemical weapon in Syria 

July 13, 2013

Russia urged the US to review the confirmed information and to stop giving inaccurate interpretations of the situation regarding possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich said ''the US statement is an inaccurate interpretation of the state of affairs regarding the international investigation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria.''

Lukashevich was commenting on the claims made by Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the United States Department which accused Russia of hindering the UN Security Council efforts to ensure the access of UN experts to probe into possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said on Tuesday that Moscow is exerting efforts with the UN Security Council to facilitate UN experts' access into Syria to investigate the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian opposition on March 19th in Khan al-Assal in Aleppo countryside.

M. Ismael

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/07/13/492148.htm

Photo: victims of American chemical warfare in Vietnam

West attempts to arm terrorists in Syria hinder conference

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Tehran: West attempts to arm terrorists in Syria hinder conference

July 13, 2013

Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for the Arab and African affairs Hussein Amir Abdullahian said that the West attempts to send weapons to the terrorists in Syria won't form a good start to hold an international conference on Syria.

"The West attempts to arm the terrorists in Syria won't be good for holding the conference... the Syrian government does its best to combat terrorism and achieve reforms," Abdullahian said in a statement to IRNA.

He affirmed that the national dialogue, the halt of violence and abandoning the decision to arm terrorists could make the international conference on Syria a success.

Mazen

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/07/13/492097.htm

10-07-13

Let us all unite in the name of democracy

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March 28, 2011

Obama: The military operations in Libya are not about “regime change”

Addressing the nation live tonight from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., President Obama made his case for U.S. military operations in Libya:

In his speech the president made it clear that the military operations in Libya are not about “regime change” and this will not be another Iraq.

“Regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya,” Obama said.

http://thedemocraticdaily.com/2011/03/28/president-obama-makes-his-case-for-libya/

Let us all unite in the name of democracy - Charlie Chaplin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dGPo9XBIPA

Let us all unite in the name of democracy

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As a reminder:

March 15, 2011

Last Friday EU leaders appeared united in their calls on Gaddafi to step down and end the civil war engulfing Libya yet indecisive over the means to bring force him to stop. Members of the Libyan National Transitional Council were unequivocal in Strasbourg last week in their call for the international community to paralyse Gaddafi’s killing power, to enforce a no-fly zone (without sending in ground troops) and to step up urgent humanitarian aid.

“We cannot sit back and watch a massacre take place in Libya,” said Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader in the European Parliament which hosted representatives of the Libyan Transitional Council last week. “EU leaders are dithering instead of showing decisiveness. Last week they took sides against Gaddafi. Now they must take action against him.”

“Everyone agrees that Gaddafi has lost his legitimacy and is now intent on crushing the opposition movement with superior military force, yet Member States remain reluctant to stop him. Have they learned nothing from the tragedy of the Bosnian war ? This is a defining moment in Europe’s foreign policy. Will we be up to the mark or spend the next ten years lamenting our inaction when it could have made a difference ?”

“The G8 meets today in Paris and NATO meets tomorrow to discuss plans for a no-fly zone. Both events represent a last opportunity for the international community to act on the calls of the Arab League over the weekend and take immediate action to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya that effectively destroys Gaddafi’s ability to slaughter his opponents with impunity.”

http://www.partitoliberale.it/guy-verhofstadt-europe-must-avoid-another-srebrenica-in-libya/#.Ud1_3tJA2So

Let us all unite in the name of democracy - Charlie Chaplin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dGPo9XBIPA