Gaza War: Death toll 880, wounded 3620

Informative Report on Gaza War: Death toll 880, wounded 3620
by Sameh A. Habeeb
Dear Editors, Journalists and Friends; several untold stories still under the rubbles of Gaza devastation. The more time this war lasts the more victims fall down. Most of the Gaza Strip plunges into deep darkness since the start of this war.
I find several hardships to send out this report due to power problem. Today, a rocket targeted my uncle's house. My house got several splinters  and rocket shrapnel. Thanks to God, we all safe but I don't know what will happen next.
Please, make sure you forward this email to those who you feel are interested in this matter.
Day 16 of Israeli War On Gaza
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Speak Obama, Speak!

Time for Obama and Us to Face the Economic and Political Music  
by Dave Lindorff
The real cost of the Bush Administration's trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street is becoming painfully apparent as the incoming Obama administration attempts desperately to make a case for its own $800-billion economic stimulus package, while warning about “trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see."

On its own merits, all other considerations aside, with the economy slipping into a sinkhole, President-elect Barack Obama's call for $800 million in stimulus spending should be a slam dunk for Congress. The problem is, Congress already caved in a hurry and approved nearly that same amount--$700 billion”in a matter of days when Bush's Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and his Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke said they needed the money to prevent a collapse of the financial industry, as the nation's biggest banks, investment banks and insurance companies teetered on the brink of insolvency last fall.

In fact, there was no need for panic. Paulson reportedly warned assembled Congressional leaders in late September that a financial Armageddon loomed, which would lead to mass runs on the banks, rioting in the streets, and ultimately martial law. Although the number of Americans who have more than the insured amount of $100,000 in a bank is not enough to make for one small staged bank run, the Congress blinked, and gave him essentially a blank check to spend $350 billion right away. Paulson and Bernanke took that authorization and ran with it, spending most of it to invest in those institutions, and adding even more money using all kinds of tricks that ultimately could put the taxpayer on the hook for as much as $8 trillion dollars. They cranked up the printing presses too, and, like a North Korean counterfeiting ring, ran off an extra $2 trillion in greenbacks, just for good measure.

No wonder that now that Obama comes in asking for another $800 billion over the next two years”just a tenth of the sum the Bush/Cheney regime has pissed away over a couple of months”Congress is balking.

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Palestinian Death: Made in Canada

by MNN
How many Palestinian infants, toddlers, children and schools have been bombed by the criminals in charge of Israeli forces in the last few days?  What law are they following?  An eye for an eye!   A tooth for a tooth!  This is primitive barbarity. 
The Israelis claim if they kill enough Palestinians, Hamas will stop sending in rockets.  Conveniently overlooked is the fact that Israelis have built a wall around Gaza to control every Palestinian and everything that comes in and out of the ghetto to deliberately force the people into desperation. 
Also forgotten is that parts of the new smart bomb, GBU 39, designed for urban warfare, is made in Canadian facilities with the help of government tax breaks and Canada Pension Plan investments. 
This is obscene!    
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Israeli Security Targets Peace Demos

Israeli Intel Targets Protesters
by The Real News
As the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip continues, so does opposition from the Israeli public. Protesters all across the country have been clashing with police in both Arab-Israeli and Jewish cities.
Jesse Rissin Rosenfeld, Freelance Journalist based in Tel-Aviv and Ramallah has reported that the Israeli intelligence Agency, Shabak/Shin-Bet, has been cracking down on dissenters. He also reports that protest to the Israeli offensive has grown significantly since Israel’s attack on Lebanon and this time around Israeli protests in support of the war are also starting.
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Gaza Global Demonstrations - 100,000+ in London

Gaza Global Demonstrations - London
by William Bowles
In an incredible demonstration of solidarity, at least 100,000 people turned out today on an absolutely freezing Saturday afternoon, stood patiently listening to a lot of speeches in Hyde Park before setting off for the Israeli embassy.
More pics to follow.
Demand an END to the Israeli Occupation

Sat Jan 10, 2009 - Victoria Day of Action
12 noon - In front of the Victoria Visitor Centre, opposite the Empress Hotel

There will be music and 4 or 5 short speeches by members of different groups. We will then break into groups and each take up posts at major intersections with our placards leaflets and donation baskets for medicinal aid to Gaza (Donations to the International Committee of the Red Cross).

**Rally endorsed by Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA-Victoria), Jews for a Just Peace,
Canada Palestine Associaton, Victoria Students for a Democratic Society, Victoria Peace Coalition and others**

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Begging Bush Pardons: Amnesty for Refuseniks

Speaking of Blanket Pardons
by David Swanson
There's a blanket pardon I want President Bush to issue and one I want him not to. Both would involve preemptively pardoning people before they're charged with any crime, much less convicted, and doing so without naming them. One would be decent, just, and Constitutional; the other would be none of those things. One would please people around the country and the world. The other would please the Washington establishment. Bush may very well issue neither of them, but to logically make any sense, without denying important facts, he would have to issue one or the other.

Bush is perhaps not quite the mental equal of Jimmy Carter, but there's no reason for him not to manage by his last day in office what Carter accomplished on his first. Carter issued a blanket pardon of those who had not registered for the draft and those who had left the country to avoid it during the war on Vietnam. I would like to see Bush pardon those members of the U.S. military who have refused to occupy Iraq or gone AWOL during the occupation, as well as anyone convicted of nonviolently exercising their First Amendment rights to oppose this war. Members of the military have a duty to disobey illegal orders. Any criminal charges for fulfilling their duty should be undone and prevented. As a reward for acting so magnanimously, Bush could -- as far as I'm concerned -- include a pardon for his own AWOL period just in case he's ever belatedly tried for it.
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Cheap Oil: Be Careful What You Wish For

Oil 2009: Be Careful What You Wish For
by Michael T. Klare
Only yesterday, it seems, we were bemoaning the high price of oil. Under the headline "Oil's Rapid Rise Stirs Talk of $200 a Barrel This Year," the July 7 issue of the Wall Street Journal warned that prices that high would put "extreme strains on large sectors of the U.S. economy." Today, oil, at over $40 a barrel, costs less than one-third what it did in July, and some economists have predicted that it could fall as low as $25 a barrel in 2009.

Prices that low -- and their equivalents at the gas pump -- will no doubt be viewed as a godsend by many hard-hit American consumers, even if they ensure severe economic hardship in oil-producing countries like Nigeria, Russia, Iran, Kuwait, and Venezuela that depend on energy exports for a large share of their national income. Here, however, is a simple but crucial reality to keep in mind: No matter how much it costs, whether it's rising or falling, oil has a profound impact on the world we inhabit -- and this will be no less true in 2009 than in 2008.
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Gaza, Run to the Angels

Children of Gaza, Run to the Angels
by Suzanne Baroud
Ironically, it was in Palestine, 20 years ago, that I concluded that there is no God. For how could a God, who claims to love all and treat all with impartiality, allow such horrors like those in Palestine to happen?

This unbelief grew stronger with each curfew, with each strike that mourned the death of yet one more martyr, with a decapitation induced by gunfire in the main square on a sunny Ramallah afternoon so many years ago. But it was cemented the day I had to tell one of my fifth grade students that his brother had just been taken away by the Israeli army. His expression, his body going limp, the shuddering of his shoulders as he wept with his classmates…that’s what finally did it.

Nearly 20 years have passed since that day, and I have now married into a Gazan family. I am a wife and mother, the sister and aunt of so many kids living the horror of what Gaza has become. As we watch the footage of Israel’s onslaught, I hear myself, whispering as I see one more martyred child, “Run to the angels….run.” After so many years, this living nightmare is fostering a burning desire to believe once again in the afterlife.

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Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields

Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields
by Michel Chossudovsky
The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves. This is a war of conquest.
Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.
British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon's Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.
Gaza's offshore marine area is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities

The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). (Haaretz, October 21, 2007). The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline. (Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).

The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine. 
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Demand an END to the Israeli Occupation

Demand an END to the Israeli Occupation
There will be protest music and songs followed by 5 or 6 short speeches by members of different groups. Instead of the usual march, we'll then break up into small groups and take up posts at major downtown intersections with our placards, leaflets, and donation baskets.
Sat., Jan.10, 2009 - Victoria Day of Action
12 noon - In front of the Victoria Visitor Centre, opposite the Empress
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Letter to President-Elect Obama

Open Letter to President-Elect Obama
by Ralph Nader
Dear President-Elect Obama: You have been receiving a great deal of advice since November 4, 2008 from people and groups who either want you to advance policies not covered in your campaign or who want you to be more specific about initiatives you emphasized.

There are two suggestions which may not be among your store of recommendations that need to be considered before you take office on January 20, 2009.
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Israel: Killing the Healers in Gaza

Health Services Close to Collapse in Gaza
by World Health Organization
The health services in Gaza, already depleted and fragile, are on the point of collapse if steps to support and protect them are not taken immediately. WHO has called for immediate improvement in the situation to make humanitarian health services accessible by the local people.

To date more than 680 deaths (including about 218 women and children) have been recorded and over 2850 people are reported injured. The dead include 21 medical personnel. Thirty more were injured and 11 ambulances were hit in the violence and military activities in Gaza, according to reports from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The numbers continue to rise and include many civilians.
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