Friday, April 1, 2011
Stuart Littlewood turns the spotlight on the appalling conditions of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon – robbed of their inalienable right to a homeland by the Israeli occupation and denied their civil and human rights by the Lebanese authorities.
A delegation of parliamentarians has returned from a tour of the refugee camps in Lebanon and made its report.
It was led by former British government minister Sir Gerald Kaufman MP and included four members of the European Parliament and three of the British Parliament. The delegation's purpose was to assess the humanitarian situation faced by Palestinians living in Lebanon's refugee camps, and it was able to raise issues at the highest level with the Lebanese in a series of meetings.
The UN Refugee Agency describes the plight of Palestinian refugees as "by far the most protracted and largest of all refugee problems in the world today".
Three-quarters of the 11 million Palestinians are refugees. Their plight is at the core of the 63-year struggle against Israel. All other issues, political and humanitarian, arose as a consequence of Israel's denial of the right of refugees to return to their land.
The report reminds us that a whole host of international treaties and conventions recognize the right to return, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. The right of return for refugees is guaranteed under Humanitarian and Human Rights Law and countless UN resolutions.
And the UN has affirmed the right of return through its Resolution 194 on no less than 122 occasions.
But to the international community none of this is worth the screeds of paper it is written on. Law and principle are utterly meaningless to the great, civilised powers, who just fidget and whisper sweet nothings in Israel’s ear.
Meanwhile, over 400,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon's 12 “official” UNRWA-run refugee camps and its many “unofficial” camps, amounting to approximately 10 per cent of the country's population. They are politically marginalized, without basic social and economic rights, trapped in often squalid surroundings, and without hopes for the future.
Palestinian refugees, says the report, suffer more in Lebanon than in any other country that hosts them.
Arab Banking Corp., the lender part- owned by the Central Bank of Libya, used a New York branch to get 73 loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve in the 18 months after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed.
The bank, then 29 percent-owned by the Libyan state, had aggregate borrowings in that period of $35 billion -- while the largest single loan amount outstanding was $1.2 billion in July 2009, according to Fed data released yesterday. In October 2008, when lending to financial institutions by the central bank’s so- called discount window peaked at $111 billion, Arab Banking took repeated loans totaling more than $2 billion.
“ABC has a robust balance sheet, is amply capitalized and currently maintains a comfortable liquidity position,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “ABC currently has no outstanding loans under any Federal Reserve, or other, emergency lending program.”
Arab Banking reported a loss of $880 million in 2008 as it took a $1.1 billion charge tied to structured investment vehicles and derivative products known as collateralized debt obligations. Arab Banking recovered during the next two years, posting profits totaling $265 million.
Libya previously shared the bank with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Kuwait Investment Authority, both sovereign investment funds. The Libyan Central Bank bought out the Abu Dhabi stake in 2010 and took majority control, which prompted Fitch Ratings in December to downgrade Arab Banking’s credit rating.
April 1st, 2011
President of Bahrain’s Center for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab says the US media have been ordered not to cover news on the government’s brutal crackdown on Bahraini people.
Reports from the Center’s colleagues in the United States say “In the US some news agencies and TV stations were asked not to report on Bahrain and not to embarrass [President Barack Obama’s administration,” Rajab told Press TV.
He went on to say that the US and the Western governments have chosen to keep silent over ongoing atrocities in Bahrain due to their support for the country’s authoritarian regime.
According to unconfirmed reports, over 420 people have been arrested during ongoing protests in the kingdom, Rajab pointed out.
The Bahraini protesters continue to demand the ouster of the 200-year-old-plus monarchy as well as constitutional reforms.
At least 25 people have been killed and about 1,000 others injured during the government-sanctioned crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators.
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau
As the founders knew, without property rights we are slaves. If the right to property is denied, all other rights fall by the wayside.
“The right to property is rooted in the right we have to the free use of our own mind and talents, which it is government’s job to protect,” James Madison wrote.
In Delaware, the state has demonstrated its utter contempt for property rights and the individual, as the following video reveals.
DelDOT forcibly removes a man’s basketball hoop and a state bureaucrat tells the man – as armed agents of the state stand nearby – to go back in his house. He no longer has the right to his property or his liberty.
He is a slave at the mercy of the state.
Press TV talks with author Max Blumenthal who illuminates a hate campaign against Barak Obama by the Republic Party that targets Obama’s religious identity as a Muslim and how this campaign is having real life consequences on the entire Muslim community inside America.
Press TV: How far back does the Islamophobia campaign in the US go?
Max Blumenthal: It goes back to the 1930s and 40s when the American public was bombarded with anti-Arab/oriental images in the pop culture through cartoons and Hollywood movie productions for example. The movie Exodus (1960) with Paul Newman was about the foundation of Israel and the reason the film was made was because the American Jewish public was insufficiently sympathetic to or interested in Zionism and the establishment of the state of Israel so it portrayed Jewish terrorists as heroic and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem collaborating with Nazis portraying the Palestinians as Nazis.
There was already a pre-existing context where Americans were cultivated to hate and demonize Arabs. And after 9/11 it turned into a full-on political campaign. Through my research this campaign really started in the 1990s in earnest with a documentary called Jihad in America, which was broadcast on public television with a self-styled terror expert – Steven Emerson who claimed in this documentary that there were terror cells inside the US.
This led to round ups and prosecutions of Muslim leaders of which all of these prosecutions have been completely discredited, with no links to terrorism yet some were thrown in Jail anyway. People in congress at this time were not taking Emerson seriously, not until 9/11.
"Seven UNAMA employees have been killed, out of which five are Nepalese and two others are Europeans, one woman and one man," said governor of Balkh province Atta Mohammad Noor, referring to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
"There are five protesters killed and 20 others injured," the governor told reporters on Friday.
More than 20 insurgents involved with the attack have been arrested, he added, saying the decision by protesters to go to the UN office had not been pre-planned.
- AFP /ls
NEW YORK (Reuters) - As foreign assignments go this must be just about the most dangerous going.
A U.S. recruiter is hiring nuclear power workers in the United States to help Japan gain control of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been spewing radiation.
The qualifications: Skills gained in the nuclear industry, a passport, a family willing to let you go, willingness to work in a radioactive zone.
The rewards: Higher than normal pay and the challenge of solving a major crisis.
"About two weeks ago we told our managers to put together a wish list of anyone interested in going to Japan," said Joe Melanson, a recruiter at specialist nuclear industry staffing firm Bartlett Nuclear in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Thursday.
Thank you Ben Bernanke for all the money printing. Thanks to a massive injection of cash into the financial system by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, the price of almost every major commodity has skyrocketed over the past six months. Now those price increases are starting to filter down to the retail level. During a recent meeting with USA TODAY's editorial board, Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon said that rising inflation in the United States is "going to be serious" and that Wal-Mart is "seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate." For many years Wal-Mart has been famous for their "low prices", so for the head of Wal-Mart to publicly warn that much higher prices are coming is more than a little alarming. There are millions of American families that are already drowning in debt, that can barely pay their mortgages and that are struggling to put food on the table for their families. So what is going to happen to the U.S. economy when prices start rising substantially at places such as Wal-Mart?
But Wal-Mart is not the only major corporation that says that inflation is coming. Hershey has just announced price increases of about 10 percenton their entire line of products.
So if you like chocolate you better start stocking up now.