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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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Abbas: Israel guilty of ethnic cleansing

"Our people in Jerusalem are under an ethnic cleansing campaign," he said. "They are suffering from a series of decisions like tax hikes and construction prohibitions."

Abbas said Palestinians were "facing a campaign of annihilation" by the Israeli state.

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Sydney Conference: 9/11 - Physics and Findings: Challenging the NIST Report

"The official explanation for a string of events surrounding 4 hijackings, the collapses of WTC 1, 2 and 7 and the attack on the Pentagon are anomalous or involve such a large number of unlikely individual events that when strung together are so statistically improbable as to be impossible. These anomalies are in some cases so blatant that one has to question the professional competence of the explainers -- or indeed, their independence and disinterestedness" Dr Leifer said.

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Bush Spending U.S. Tax Dollars to Foment Unrest in Bolivia

Documents show that Washington is backing Right-wing opposition to Bolivia's democratic reforms.

Much of that money is going through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In July 2002, a declassified message from the U.S. embassy in Bolivia to Washington included the following message: "A planned USAID political party reform project aims at implementing an existing Bolivian law that would . . . over the long run, help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors." MAS refers to Morales's party, which, in English, stands for Movement Toward Socialism.

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President weakens espionage oversight

Almost 32 years to the day after President Ford created an independent Intelligence Oversight Board made up of private citizens with top-level clearances to ferret out illegal spying activities, President Bush issued an executive order that stripped the board of much of its authority.
more stories like this

The White House did not say why it was necessary to change the rules governing the board when it issued Bush's order late last month. But critics say Bush's order is consistent with a pattern of steps by the administration that have systematically scaled back Watergate-era intelligence reforms.

"It's quite clear that the Bush administration officials who were around in the 1970s are settling old scores now," said Tim Sparapani, senior legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union. "Here they are even preventing oversight within the executive branch. They have closed the books on the post-Watergate era."

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AP Reveals Israeli Censorship, Says It Will Abide By Rules

REPOSTED FOR ARCHIVING PURPOSES 

Original Article Link

JERUSALEM Here's some news you may never hear about Israel's war against Hezbollah: a missile falls into the sea, a strategic military installation is hit, a Cabinet minister plans to visit the front lines.

All these topics are subject to review by Israel's chief military censor, who has -- in her own words -- "extraordinary power." She can silence a broadcaster, block information and put journalists in jail.

"I can, for example, publish an order that no material can be published. I can close a newspaper or shut down a station. I can do almost anything," Col. Sima Vaknin said Wednesday.

Israel believes that as a small country in a near constant state of conflict, having a say over what information gets out to the world is vital to its security. Critics say the policy is a slippery slope not fit for a democracy.

The range of issues subject to censorship in the latest conflict with Lebanese guerrillas are all related to the goal of preventing Hezbollah from using the media to help it better aim rockets at Israel.

The Associated Press has agreed, like other organizations, to abide by the rules of the censor, which is a condition for receiving permission to operate as a media organization in Israel.

Reporters are expected to censor themselves and not report any of the forbidden material. This story was not submitted to a censor. When in doubt, they can submit a story to the censor who will hand it back, possibly with deletions. The AP will note in a story if any deletions have been made. If a reporter violates the rules, he or she suffers the consequences.

The rules include no real-time reports giving the exact locations of guerrilla missile hits; no reports of missile hits -- or misses -- on strategic targets; and no reports telling when citizens are allowed to leave their bunkers for supplies.

Journalists are also not allowed to give details about senior Israeli officials going to the north, where Hezbollah's rockets are falling, until the officials have left the area. They also cannot report places where there aren't enough shelters or where public defense is weak.

So far in this conflict, about one rocket in 100 fired by Hezbollah has killed an Israeli. The rest usually explode in empty fields, tear concrete from abandoned streets or plunk into the Mediterranean. Fired blind, Hezbollah's thousands of mostly short-range, inaccurate munitions simply pose a random peril to Israeli citizens.

For obvious reasons, Israel would like to keep it that way. But live media feedback, the censor says, changes everything.

If a news outlet reports immediately that a missile splashed into the sea, for example, any guerrilla with an Internet connection knows to aim left. Report that an oil refinery in Haifa went up in flames, and Hezbollah will surely celebrate and reload. Report that a senior official is headed north, and rockets will be raining down in no time.

Or so goes the logic of censorship.

But in an era when mobile phones have cameras and the terrorists' weapons include laptops and video crews, even the chief censor acknowledges that a complete blockade of news is in many cases not possible.

"Not in 2006," she says.

Restrictions on the media are not unique to Israel. The United States military makes journalists embedded with troops in Iraq sign a document agreeing not to report specifics of troop movements and attacks in real time, for reasons similar to Israel's.

Critics say the censorship system is worse than ineffective -- it's undemocratic, often counterproductive and a violation of freedom of speech.

"People are entitled to get as much information as they can about what's happening in a conflict," says Rohan Jahasekera, associate editor of the London-based magazine, the Index of Censorship.

Israel's censorship rules are not unusual, he adds, but "it's unusual in that they're enforced."

Jahasekera also disputed arguments that reporting missile landings helped Hezbollah, since the rockets the Islamic militants use are "spectacularly inaccurate."

Bob Steele, Nelson Scholar for Journalism Values at the Poynter Institute, a media studies organization, says editors should bear the responsibility for decisions to publish or not.

"These are decisions that the news organizations and journalists should make with the input of government and military officials," he said. "They should not be decisions that are made by default."

"We should always push back on censorship," Steele adds, "even if it's a losing fight. "

The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked

Indeed, the feds actually filed a lawsuit to block Spitzer’s investigation of ugly racial mortgage steering. Bush’s banking buddies were especially steamed that Spitzer hammered bank practices across the nation using New York State laws.

Spitzer not only took on Countrywide, he took on their predatory enablers in the investment banking community. Behind Countrywide was the Mother Shark, its funder and now owner, Bank of America. Others joined the sharkfest: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup’s Citibank made mortgage usury their major profit centers. They did this through a bit of financial legerdemain called “securitization.”

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Iraq: teachers told to rewrite history

In the "Teacher Notes" section, it talks about how the "invasion was necessary to allow the opportunity to remove Saddam Hussein" but it fails to mention the lack of United Nations backing for the war. The notes also use the American spelling of "program".

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Ozone Rules Weakened at Bush's Behest

EPA officials initially tried to set a lower seasonal limit on ozone to protect wildlife, parks and farmland, as required under the law. While their proposal was less restrictive than what the EPA's scientific advisers had proposed, Bush overruled EPA officials and on Tuesday ordered the agency to increase the limit, according to the documents.

TVNL Comment: George W. Bush and his administration are murdering us and we should stop him in self defense, by any means necessary.

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The Monstrous Monsanto Universe

The charge sheet is horrifying, inexorable and convincing. The multinational firm Monsanto, which sells 90 percent of genetically modified organisms (GMO), massively lies to many people and even the whole planet with great success - the power that money and the - apparently unlimited - support of the United States government bestows.

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