March 12, 2013 - Bradley Manning Speaks: In Leaked Court Recording, Army Whistleblower Tells His Story for First Time:
June 25, 2013 - Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that US whistleblower Edward Snowden remains in the transit zone of a Moscow airport. Putin denied allegations that Russian intelligence agencies had worked with Snowden:
June 26, 2013 13:41 - Snowden may have got transit Russian visa - Voice of Russia:
June 26, 2013 - Germany Criticizes U.K. 'Project Tempora' Cyber Spy Program:
June 26, 2013 - PRISM: Tim Berners-Lee urges web freedom in wake of spying scandal:
There was a £500m arms deal between Qatar and BAE Systems...
Qatari investment fund pays £400m for Park Lane hotel
InterContinental is latest London asset for emirate investing oil and gas cash in European real estate
28 March 2013
The gas and oil wealth of Qatar has been used to snap up another UK asset after the emirate bought the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel in a £400m deal.
Constellation Hotels, part of the Qatar Holding investment vehicle that has invested in Sainsbury's and Barclays, has paid £301.5m for InterContinental Hotel Group's 57-year lease on the 447-bedroom property close to Hyde Park, the company announced on Thursday.
In a separate £100m deal it also acquired the freehold from the Crown Estate, the property company that controls the assets of the Queen. The Qataris beat six other bidders to the deal, thought to include other sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and Asia. The level of competition meant the £301.5m price tag gave IHG a 62% premium to the hotel's book value.
One IHG source said: "We are pretty pleased." The move comes after it emerged last year that the Qataris had backed indebted Irish property investor Patrick McKillen, who was seeking £70m to buy a controlling stake in Maybourne Hotel Group – which includes Claridges – from billionaire brothers David and Frederick Barclay.
The increasingly bitter saga between McKillen and the twins ended up with the two sides fighting for control of the hotels in London's high court.
The latest announcement comes after a run of deals that are thought to have resulted in Qatar investing £3bn in European real estate in the 12 months to mid-August 2012, the equivalent to six weeks' revenue from the country's liquefied natural gas exports, according to Reuters.
It is also Qatar's latest asset in London, after investments in the Shard skyscraper, Harrods department store and the athlete's village in the Olympic Park.
However, despite these high profile moves, the Qatari companies remain opaque. A spokesman for Qatar Holding declined to comment on the deal, as he had been given no details by the sovereign wealth fund.
Those who have worked with Qatar Holding say it is the personal investment vehicle of the emir – Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani – and it prefers to buy overseas assets in order to diversify its vast natural resource wealth into investments that guarantee future prosperity.
The chairman of Qatar Holding is Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor al-Thani, Qatar's prime minister, cousin of the emir and known to City bankers as HBJ.
HBJ paid the Jersey authorities £6m as a "voluntary reparation" as "the structures put in place by his advisers may have contributed to the cost and complexity of the inquiry" and the case was dropped while all parties denied any wrongdoing.
There have been other brief controversies too, and most recently Barclays has been dealing with allegations about its relationship with Qatar at the peak of the 2008 financial crisis, when the emirate was the main contributor to a £7.3bn lifeline that allowed the bank to avoid a taxpayer bailout.
The Serious Fraud Office and Financial Services Authority are reportedly investigating whether Barclays lent Qatar funds to buy shares in the bank.
Photo: Constellation Hotels' acquisition of the InterContinental on Park Lane is the latest in a string of high-profile London property deals by the Qataris.
Note: BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom and with operations worldwide and with approximately 100,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and support services. In 2010 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 34.6 billion).
Combat Systems, Aeronautics Products, Land and Armaments, Ship Repair, Avionics and Navigation, Information Technology, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Space Electronics, Transformational Communications, Cyber and Intelligence, Aircraft manufacture, and Engineering are its specialties.
Qatar is backing the so called 'Free Syrian Army' and the terrorists groups in Syria with money and weapons...
Youths protest water shortages in Bethlehem camp
Jun 26, 2013 - 12:08:36 AM
Palestinian youths burned tires and briefly stopped traffic on a main Bethlehem road Tuesday, as they protested against water shortages in the occupied West Bank. Several dozen residents of Bethlehem's al-Azza refugee camp joined the demonstration in which participants set fire to tires and blocked traffic with a dumpster they dragged into the center of Manger Street. A Ma'an reporter observed firefighters and police officers arriving at the scene. He said they did not interfere with the demonstration, which ended without injury or damage.
Palestinians Protest Israeli Closure of Theater
Jun 26, 2013 - 12:02:02 AM
Palestinians are protesting Israel's closing of their national theater in Jerusalem during a planned children's festival. Administrator Majed Mani of the Hakawati Theater complained that officials from Israel's Ministry of Public Security ordered the theater closed for eight days, canceling the festival, set to feature puppet shows and plays. Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said Tuesday that organizers took funds from the Palestinian Authority, which has self-rule over Palestinians in the West Bank.
Israel okays 69 settlement homes on eve of Kerry visit
Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that Israeli forces closed a main road near Yitzhar settlement after settlers attacked dozens of vehicles with stones.
No injuries were reported.
Settlers then set fire to olive trees on Palestinian land in nearby Huwwara village, which destroyed over 5 acres of land.
Settler violence against Palestinian communities and their property is routine in the occupied West Bank, with settlers enjoying widespread impunity for their crimes.
Annual figures compiled by Israeli rights group Yesh Din have repeatedly shown that nine out of 10 police investigations about settler crimes fail to lead to a prosecution.
Settlers stone vehicles, torch fields near Nablus
An Israeli planning committee on Wednesday granted final approval for the construction of 69 settler homes, an official said, on the eve of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"The municipal committee has today given its final approval for the construction of 69 homes in Har Homa in east Jerusalem," councillor Meir Margalit said.
The approval was granted by the municipal planning committee just hours before Kerry touched down in Amman on his fifth visit to the region since February as he steps up efforts to draw Israel and the Palestinians back into direct negotiations.
"This a blind provocation against Kerry," said Margalit, who is a member of the leftwing Meretz party.
"It proves just how much the government of Bibi (Benjamin) Netanyahu wants peace," he retorted, using the nickname of the Israeli prime minister.
Israel steals 82% of the Palestinian water under the Oslo accords:
The expression 'civil war' proves that the BBC is now a third-rate news channel that focuses to people of the same level...
On the Fall of Qusair
13 June 2013
We discuss the latest fighting in Syria.
'Britain joins chorus of concerns over Syria's chemical weapons'
December 8th, 2012
British Foreign Secretary William Hague cited evidence that the Syrian regime could use its stockpile of chemical weapons against rebels battling government forces.
"We are extremely concerned," Hague told reporters on the sidelines of a regional security conference Saturday.
Hague said that there was no simple "red line" which could trigger international military action, but that Britain and its allies had "contingency plans concerning chemical weapons" which he declined to disclose.
He noted several "dangerous scenarios" for the use of chemical weapons. One would be terror groups obtaining such munitions.
Recent U.S. intelligence suggests the Syrian government has started mixing chemical weapons compounds and loading them into bombs, though the bombs are not being moved to any delivery devices, CNN's Barbara Starr reported.
The U.S. military continues to revise its plans for a potential strike against Syria over chemical weapons.
President Barack Obama said this summer that any effort to move or use chemical weapons was a red line.
"A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of weapons moving around or being utilized," Obama said. He prefaced that remark by saying the concern was the weapons falling into the hands of others.
With the new intelligence, administration warnings have focused not on moving, but on using the weapons.
As diplomats continue to seek a more peaceful resolution, international powers are weighing their military options.
The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on Friday warned the Obama administration it must act more urgently to prevent Syria's government from using chemical weapons.
Rep. Mike Rogers told attendees at the IISS Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain that the United States has a moral obligation to use military intervention if there is concrete proof chemical weapons are loaded and being readied for launch.
"I don't see any other way of making sure those weapons aren't used," he said. "As a coalition, we will have the moral obligation (to intervene) if we can say with even a moderate degree of certainty that these weapons have been prepared and are put in an arsenal for use."
On Friday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said any use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's regime against the rebels would be an "outrageous crime."
Although Hague said the option of international military intervention had not been ruled out, Britain was working along with the United States and others to support a peaceful transition.
Hague acknowledged that rebel fighters were "receiving arms and making progress on the ground," but said Britain's policy was not to send arms to the Middle East.
"We will continue to give them strong practical assistance; communication equipment and humanitarian assistance," he said, adding that he hoped the international community would increase its support to the new Syrian opposition coalition during the Friends of Syria meeting in Marrakesh next week.
Photo: (L to R) NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and British Prime Minister David Cameron talk the opening meeting of the Libya Conference. A meeting of international allies to discuss the next steps for Libya on March 29, 2011 in London, England. A summit consisting of 40 governments and international bodies is being held in London to improve ties with the Libyan National Council, the umbrella group representing rebel Libyan forces, and in preparation for the intended aim of ending of the reign of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
War on Syria: So called 'use of chemical weapons' as a pretext
November 2, 2010 - Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin: 'A new war would be far deadlier than Israel’s last two, relatively short, conflicts in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-9. Syria, particularly, posed a greated military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decades, Yadlin said, having amassed advanced Russian-built antiaircraft missiles that seriously limited the operational freedom of the Israel Air Force.'
‘When Luxury and Lust’s exhausted stores
No more can rouse the appetites of kings;
When the low flattery of their reptile lords
Falls flat and heavy on the accustomed ear;
When eunuchs sing, and fools buffoonery make,
And dancers writhe their harlot-limbs in vain;
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts;
Its hopes, its fears, its victories, its defeats,
Insipid Royalty’s keen condiment!
Therefore, uninjured and unprofited
(Victims at once and executioners),
The congregated Husbandmen lay waste
The vineyard and the harvest. As along
The Bothnic coast, or southward of the Line,
Though hushed the winds and cloudless the high noon,
Yet if Leviathan, weary of ease,
In sports unwieldy toss his island-bulk,
Ocean behind him billows, and before
A storm of waves breaks foamy on the strand.
And hence, for times and seasons bloody and dark,
Short Peace shall skin the wounds of causeless War,
And War, his strainéd sinews knit anew,
Still violate the unfinished works of Peace.’
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
From The Destiny of Nations (1817)
Photo: victims of American chemical warfare in Vietnam
August 10, 2011
Compensate Victims of U.S. Chemical Warfare in Vietnam
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the chemical warfare program in Vietnam without sufficient remedial action by the U.S. government. One of the most shameful legacies of the Vietnam War, Agent Orange continues to poison Vietnam and the people exposed to the chemicals, as well as their offspring.
H.R. 2634, the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011 [ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-2634], which California Congressman Bob Filner just introduced in the House, would provide crucial assistance for social and health services to Vietnamese, Vietnamese-American, and U.S. victims of Agent Orange.
From 1961 to 1971, approximately 19 million gallons of herbicides, primarily Agent Orange, were sprayed over the southern region of Vietnam. Much of it was contaminated with dioxin, a deadly chemical. Dioxin causes various forms of cancers, reproductive illnesses, immune deficiencies, endocrine deficiencies, nervous system damage, and physical and developmental disabilities.
In Vietnam more than three million people, and in the United States thousands of veterans, their children, and Vietnamese-Americans, have been sickened, disabled or died from the effects of Agent Orange/dioxin.
Vietnamese of least three generations born since the war are now suffering from disabilities due to their parents’ exposure to Agent Orange or from direct exposure in the environment. The organization representing Vietnam’s victims, the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, has set up some ‘peace villages’ to care for the severely disabled, but many more such facilities and services are needed. Dioxin residues in the soil, sediment, and food continue to poison many people in 28 “hot spots” in southern Vietnam.
Many U.S. veterans suffer from effects of Agent Orange due to their exposure in Vietnam, as do their children and grandchildren. Vietnamese-Americans exposed directly to Agent Orange and their offspring suffer from the same health conditions.
Fifty years is long enough. It is high time to compensate the victims for this shameful chapter in our history. H.R. 2634 will go a long way toward doing just that.
Marjorie Cohn is co-coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (http://www.vn-agentorange.org).
Mahatma Gandhi spoke out against the Balfour declaration from within South Africa and in the 1930s Gandhi and Abdul Gafar Khan were leaders of the resistance to the same British colonial rule that we were resisting in Palestine. It is thus no wonder that Gandhi had stated: “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England
belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs… Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.”
The solidarity continued after independence and the British inspired division of this great country. Gamal Abdel Naassr’s Egypt and Nehru’s India were founders and leaders of the non aligned movement during the cold war. Unfortunately, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fake peace process that initiated in 1989-1993 gave the pretext for apartheid Israel to break its isolation around the world. Israel established diplomatic ties with India in 1992. Ariel Sharon was the first Israeli prime minister to go to India on a state visit in 2003. Israel is now the second largest military supplier to India adding billions of dollars to the apartheid economy. But the Israeli “business” with India has developed in other areas. For example, over $1 billion in Israeli real estate “development” in India was announced in 2008.
Photo: Mazin Qumsiyeh, Feroze Mithiborwala and others address a press conference on 29 November 2012 -
Turkish troops enter the Allied controlled demarcation zone around Gallipoli and encamp at Chanak. Allied governments are determined to prevent Turkey occupying Chanak and reinforcements, including a number of Royal Air Force (RAF) units, are rushed to the area.
Elements from Nos. 4, 25, 56, 203 207, 208, and 267 Squadrons are formed into the Constantinople Wing, which supports the garrison until the crisis is settled in August 1923.
5 September 1922:
After the First World War, Turkey makes strenuous attempts to extend its control to Mesopotamia (renamed Iraq in September 1921), going as far as massing troops on the Turkish-Iraqi border and infiltrating irregular forces into Iraq.
By August 1922, irregulars, working with the local Kurdish tribes, have occupied Rowanduz and are probing towards Rania and Sulaimaniya. During the month, a mixed column of Imperial troops and levies, sent to restore the situation, are forced to retreat and it is subsequently decided to evacuate Sulaimaniya. Eighteen Royal Air Force (RAF) transport aircraft participate in the evacuation, which begins on this date.
30 September 1922:
Following earlier British reverses during September 1922, a Turkish Army detachment crosses into Iraq and established a post at Koi Sanjak, within 40 miles of Kirkuk. After an ultimatum dropped on the post is ignored, air action begins against Koi Sanjak and the neighbouring villages and the Turkish detachment is forced to withdraw.
1 October 1922:
The Royal Air Force (RAF) assumes military control of Iraq and throughout the winter of 1922-23, irregular posts are located and attacked from the air.
These attacks form the first effective check on Turkish aspirations with air supply operations conducted in support of Royal Air Force squadrons operating from Kirkuk.
Photo: British Military Aviation in 1922
Six ’Israeli’ Planes Violate Lebanon’s Airspace
Lebanese Army Command Guidance Directorate stated Tuesday that four "Israeli" drones violated Lebanese air-space from above Alma Shaab village.
It further mentioned that the enemy’s drones executed circular flight over the south, Beirut, Jounieh, Jbeil and El-Metn regions; and then left towards the occupied Palestinian territories.Two other military "Israeli" planes violated Lebanese air-space from above Kfarkilla village, executed circular flight over different Lebanese regions; and then left at 1:50 p.m. from above Alma Shaab village.
Source: NNA, Edited by website team
The Paris Peace Conference 1919 seen through the eyes of a Zionist
What caused the civil war in Syria? I think it was none other than the fatal Paris Peace Conference in 1919, when the two winners of the First World War divided the world between themselves. The two were England and France; Italy retired early from the conference and Wilson announced his doctrine that the continent of America belonged to the USA and went home. The Conference decided to impose punishing tributes on Germany, which led to its economic collapse and to Hitler, whose sole objective was to roll back the Conference's diktats (pic.: the Mirrors Hall of Versailles). Austro-Hungary was dissolved and new countries were formed, which led to one hundred years of tensions and wars in Eastern Europe, all to re-group the countries along ethnic reality on the terrain. The last "correction" was the creation of Bosnia, in the Balcans, a few years ago. The hundred years re-arrangement of borders may not have ended, as Hungary is very bitter and is ruminating on how to harmonize its borders with the area settled by ethnic Hungarians.
The Middle East was divided between England and France. The Zionist lobby led by Chaim Weizmann succeeded in achieving a "promise" that Palestine was to be Jewish; then, we were double crossed by a secret pact (Sykes-Picot) that gave Syria and Lebanon to France, and the rest to England. The British were mandated by the Conference to create a Jewish State in Palestine (see map) but they cut off Transjordan to create a kingdom for an Arab collaborator.
The peoples of the Middle East had been fighting to break up the artificial borders decided in Paris a hundred years, and to create ethnic frameworks where they can live in security and peace. Lebanon has been destroyed and cantonized, the shape of Syria is being fought out in these days and probably it will end as ethnic cantons, like Irak today. Syria may survive as a formal fiction, like Irak, while in fact the Kurdish areas are already autonomous from East Turkey to Mosul, and the Druze have formed one block with their brothers in the Golan, the Galil and the mountains of Lebanon.
For a hundred years, we Jews are fighting to make true the Paris Accords of 1919, and we are claiming Palestine for ourselves as promised but never delivered. We have taken possession of CisJordan; how and when the process will be completed may take another hundred years. From the perspective of one hundred years, the Paris Conference has originated immense human suffering. The people in Syria may not be aware that they are fighting a hundred years old injustice (worse, bad decision), but that is the cause that their country is being leveled. Israel still has not reached its natural borders. All these wars have to be fought off to the end, till the map reflects the ethnic reality on the land. It will take another one hundred years, may be, but it will be done.
As a reminder: November 2, 2010 - 'Syria is a military obstacle'
‘IDF intelligence chief: Israel’s next war will see heavy casualties’
'Syria is a military obstacle'...
In farewell meeting at the Knesset, Gen. Amos Yadlin says next conflict will hit Israel far harder than recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza – and hints for first the time at Israeli involvement in a 2007 strike on a nuclear plant in Syria…
In a final meeting at the Knesset, outgoing Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin warned on Tuesday that Israel’s next war would be fought on several fronts – causing far heavier damage and casualties than other recent conflicts. A new war would be far deadlier than Israel’s last two, relatively short, conflicts in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-9. Syria, particularly, posed a greated military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decades, Yadlin said, having amassed advanced Russian-built antiaircraft missiles that seriously limited the operational freedom of the Israel Air Force. Yadlin also hinted at Israel’s involvement in attacking a Syrian nuclear facility in September 2007. That strike has been widely attributed to Israel, but the government has never officially taken responsibility for the operation. The veteran soldier, who turns 60 next year, told the committee that during his position as MI chief he had contended with two enemy nuclear programs – apparently a reference to Iran and Syria. Yadlin also warned of a growing threat from the Iranian nuclear program, saying Iran now had enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb.