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9/11 Detainee Gets Off on Torture Technicality

Torture Policies Undermine 9/11 Case
by Jason Leopold
The Pentagon’s decision to drop war-crimes charges against Mohammed al-Qahtani, the alleged “20th hijacker” in the 9/11 attacks, again underscores the consequences of the Bush administration’s descent into torture and other abusive treatment of “war on terror” detainees.

If al-Qahtani’s case had gone forward, the U.S. government would have been forced to reveal its own violations of the Geneva Convention, anti-torture statutes and the laws of war, according to lawyers representing al-Qahtani.

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Drought: Iraq's Farmers

Nature Adds to Occupation Blows
by Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail
Farmers in the Diyala province in Iraq have been hit by just about every crisis possible. First the security disaster dried up supplies and markets, then lack of electricity cut irrigation, and now comes a drying up of water resources.

Nothing now seems more difficult in Iraq than the business of farming.
  • "The shortage of water is the biggest threat that Iraqi agriculture has ever faced," an employee in the directorate-general of irrigation for Diyala province, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. "It threatens not only food but also employment in this city [Baquba, capital of the province.]

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Fomenting War in Lebanon

Falling Cedars: Fomenting War in Lebanon -- and Beyond        
by Chris Floyd
What's going on in Lebanon? Nothing you haven't seen before -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine and other places where "the United States is basically instigating and funding civil wars."
So says Professor As’ad AbuKhalil -- better known perhaps as the "Angry Arab," for his indispensable website of the same name. AbuKhalil was born and raised in Lebanon and has an intimate knowledge of troubled land's warring factions there -- and their external backers. Needless to say, the American media's framing of the current flare-up of violence in Lebanon is the usual sinister caricature of reality, with "bad guys" attacking "our friends" out of pure, malevolent, world-gobbling evil.
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happy birthday returns

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Lajee: Our Eyes

Our Eyes
by Jim Miles
The pictures arrive at first in the sad multi-tones of greys, the ever-present grey concrete walls of the narrow alleys of the refugee camp, the shadows and lines on faces, the abstract shadows of wire and fence on concrete, and the loom of the Wall that separates the camp from its outlying fields. 
At first sombre within all that grey, the pictures reveal many levels of understanding and feeling, as if each shade has it own significance, each texture its own meaning, each face its own hopes and dreams clouded by narrow horizons.

As described in the introduction “the idea behind this project was for the young people of the Lajee to constructively and creatively respond to the environment in which they live…producing…an international voice that transcends borders and languages…that can get over the Wall…pass through checkpoints…louder than gunfire.”

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Help Save Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine!

Keep Fighting For Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine
by Half Hour for Haiti
Tonight [May 10, 2008] we have heard a wonderful collection of tributes to Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, from Haiti to Washington to New Jersey to Africa- and many places in between.
The tributes have praised Lovinsky’s courageous and tireless efforts to help human rights victims, especially when they most needed it. Now it is Lovinsky who needs help, and it is our turn to do what Lovinsky would be doing if it were anyone else who had been kidnapped for fighting for human rights.
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Crown Stays Charges in Bear Mountain Stand-off

Crown Stays Charges in Bear Mountain Stand-off
by Zoe Blunt
The Crown won't proceed on mischief charges for the people arrested at the site of the Bear Mountain Interchange in Langford.
Charges were stayed for tree sitters Luke Woodyard and Noah Ross, and no charges were laid against Nancy Powell and Ingmar Lee.
Ben Isitt will find out his fate on Thursday morning.

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The Struggle for the Culbertson Tract

OPP Weaponry and Escalation: Update on the Struggle for the Culbertson Tract
by The Tyendinaga Support Committee
While the quarry site, part of the disputed Culbertson Tract, has remained under Mohawk reclamation since March 2007, the Mohawks of Tyendinaga recently successfully halted another non-Native development effort on the Tract – this successful action led to a series of alarming and serious events.
In late April, a Kingston realtor, Emile Nibourg, made loud public plans to begin construction on the Culbertson Tract, culminating in a written commitment to bring a crew of "25 to 30 guys" to the site. The Mohawks of Tyendinaga responded by closing roads immediately adjacent to the proposed site, which they held for several days. While the OPP swat team was eventually brought in to remove the Mohawks from the roads, no confrontation ensued, and Nibourg backed away from his plans to build on stolen land.

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"I'm a Camera:" African Women Making Change

"Me, I'm a Camera:" African Women Making Change
by Ann Jones
Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo -- The last time I was back in the U.S.A., everyone was talking about "change." Change seemed to mean electing Barack Obama president and thereby bringing all Americans together in blissful agreement. But real change isn't like that. Didn't the guy who's got the job now promise to be a "uniter"? Real change has content and direction. It's driven by courageous people unafraid to speak up, even -- or perhaps especially -- when it's risky.

Anyway, there are plenty of Americans I'll never agree with, so I'm in self-imposed exile in Africa where I work with women who teach me a lot about real change and the risks involved in going for it. The women I work with live in the aftermath of civil wars -- in the midst of a continuing war on women that's acted out in widespread sexual exploitation, rape, and wife beating. They've had enough.

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Delusion, Hubris and the Empire Breakers

Anglo-American Ascendancy Lost in Unnecessary Wars
by Paul Craig Roberts
In a new book that will infuriate the fake conservatives who inhabit the Republican Party, Patrick J. Buchanan documents how British self-righteousness, delusion, and hubris destroyed both the British Empire and Western ascendancy in two unnecessary wars launched by a small cabal of morons that ruled Britain

'Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War' shows that the two world wars that destroyed European civilization began when England declared war on Germany, thus dragging in the Empire, Commonwealth, and United States. This was a strategic blunder unparalleled in history. Mighty Britain emerged from World War II as an American dependency.

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Seeing Green: Walking the Sacred

Ecological Seeing: Walking in a Sacred Manner
by Charles Sullivan
Late this morning I heard two northern orioles singing along the edge of the back field where I live. The great-crested flycatcher flits amid the green canopy in search of insects and calls out from an unseen perch many feet above the ground.
I did not see the bird but I know its call. The wood thrush and the scarlet tanager are singing in the forest, and the soil is cooled by shade for the first time this year.  As a result, shade loving plants are in flower, and a host of associated events are set in motion.  And so one season passes into another as the year continually unfurls, like the leaves of a young fern.  

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