September 29, 2011 Bloomberg

Syrian security forces killed at least 17 protesters yesterday.

The protests in Syria are part of the wave of unrest across the Middle East and North Africa that unseated governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Assad’s crackdown has left more than 3,600 civilians dead, according to Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria. About 30,000 people have been detained and 13,000 are still being held, according to Qurabi and Merhi.

European countries abandoned a measure circulated last month that would have imposed an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze, replacing it on Sept. 27 with a text that “expresses determination” (Read: Stop laughing no, really we are serious this time. Our own governments would collapse without your oil. Please pretend to stop killing your people so openly or we will have to continue to pretend to attempt to stop you with the threat of our war machine) ~Dek) to impose sanctions in the event the violence continues.


September 29, 2011 Associated Press

Bahrain’s special security court on Thursday gave doctors and nurses who treated injured protesters during the country’s uprising earlier this year lengthy prison sentences, a lawyer said.

Attorney Mohsen al-Alawi said the tribunal convicted and sentenced 13 medical professionals each to 15 years in prison. In addition, two doctors were sentenced to 10 years each while five other medics got 5-year prison terms.

The harsh sentences in the two separate court cases suggest the Sunni authorities in the Gulf kingdom (Read: client state of American Empire ~Dek) will not relent in pursing and punishing those they accuse of supporting the Shiite-led opposition and participating in dissent that has roiled the tiny island nation.

Human rights groups blasted the ruling against the medics and said legal proceedings against Bahrain’s doctors and nurses were a “travesty of justice.”

“These are simply ludicrous charges against civilian professionals who were working to save lives,” said Philip Luther of Amnesty International.

Shiites account for about 70 percent of Bahrain’s population of some 525,000 people, but claim they face deep-rooted discrimination such as being blocked from key government and security posts.

The Sunni dynasty, which has ruled the island for more than 200 years, has retained crucial support from the West and Gulf Arab neighbors through the months of protests and crackdowns.

Bahrain’s rulers imposed martial law in March and invited a Saudi-led Gulf force to help them deal with the unprecedented ( record ) dissent.

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September 24, 2011 Associated Press

With (Insert: imperialistic ~Dek) NATO jets roaring overhead, revolutionary forces fought their way into Muammar Qaddafi’s hometown Saturday in the first significant push into the stubborn (Read: How dare they refuse to obey The Empire ~Dek) stronghold in about a week.

More than a month after seizing Tripoli and effectively ending Qaddafi’s rule, revolutionary forces have been unable to rout well-armed Qaddafi loyalists from strongholds in his hometown of Sirte, Bani Walid and some southern enclaves. Taking the cities is key for Libya’s new leaders to extend their control over the large desert nation.

Members of the National Transitional Council have been struggling to form a new interim government amid political infighting over everything from which cities should be represented and how many Cabinet ministers there should be. That has raised concerns that the former rebels will splinter into rival factions now that they no longer have the ouster of Qaddafi as a common cause.

NTC chief Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, said a new government would be named next week to guide the country until formal elections can be held. “This is the crisis management phase and it should be led by people who are efficient, even if they have to be from the same city, until the liberation of the country and until the constitution is established,” he said. “Then they can choose a government that they want.” (Insert: Once The Empire has established what will be the permissible options for the people to “vote” on. ~Dek)


September 24 2011 The Washington Post

“This is a fake election. It’s useless,” said one man among a group of young Bahraini Shiites gathered in streets littered with trash, rocks and tear gas canisters from clashes the night before.

“We don’t have any stake in the political system anymore,” said the man, who only gave his first name, Ali, fearing retaliation by the authorities.

More than 30 people have died in the unrest and hundreds have been arrested, including activists sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of plotting to overthrow the ruling system.

In recent months, Bahrain has faced near daily skirmishes after security forces crushed a wave of large-scale marches and sit-ins inspired by other Arab uprisings. The current clashes are isolated in Shiite neighborhoods and pose no direct danger to the leadership. But they highlight the deep frustrations among many Shiites — who account for about 70 percent of the population — and the growing belief in poorer districts that mass protests are the only way to force change.

But Bahrain’s state TV announced the turnout at 51 percent in the districts with open seats — lower than the 67 percent turnout in last year’s full parliamentary election, but an apparent strong reply against the boycott.

Most of the voters who turned out Saturday appeared to be supporters of the government.

Sunday, September 25, 2011 San Francisco Chronicle

Sanaa, Yemen — A day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned to this battered country calling for a cease-fire, his forces escalated attacks on the opposition Saturday, killing more than 40 people across the capital of Sanaa.

Sniper fire and mortar shells rained down on the square here where peaceful protesters have gathered for months to demand Saleh’s ouster, killing at least 17 and forcing hundreds to flee, according to doctors and witnesses.

The uprising that has torn this country apart in the last seven months appeared to have entered a new, violent phase, raising fears of an urban civil war.


Sep 25, 2011 Associated Press

A young woman was found beheaded and mutilated in Syria, underscoring what witnesses and the United Nations human-rights office said was a fearsome new government tactic of retaliating against protesters’ families.

Zainab Al Hosni, 18, is believed to be the first woman to die in custody since the uprising began in mid-March.

The deaths of Zainab and her brother bring to 103 the number of people who have been reported killed in Syrian custody since the uprising began, Amnesty said.

“If it is confirmed that Zainab was in custody when she died, this would be one of the most disturbing cases of a death in detention we have seen so far,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Witnesses and activists have said retaliation against the families of those involved in the uprising has ranged from threatening phone calls to beatings and even killings, as in the case of Al Hosni.

The UN human-rights office said on Friday that the harassment was extending beyond Syria’s borders.

“Prominent human-rights defenders, inside and outside the country, are reported to have been targeted,” the spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva.

“We are also concerned by reports of the targeting and attacking of families and sympathisers of the protesters by security forces.”

The Syrian opposition movement has proved remarkably resilient despite a massive military assault against them.

According to UN estimates, more than 2,700 civilians have been killed in the crackdown since March and thousands more have been detained.



Sunday, September 25th 2011 New York Daily News

Hundreds of people carrying banners and chanting “shame, shame” walked between Zuccotti Park, near Wall St., and Union Square calling for changes to a financial system they say unjustly benefits the rich and harms the poor.

At least 80 people were carted away in police vehicles and up to five were hit with pepper spray near 12th St. and Fifth Ave., where tensions became especially high, police and organizers said.

The National Lawyer’s Guild, which is providing legal assistance to the protesters, put the number of arrests at 100.

Witnesses said they saw three stunned women collapse on the ground screaming after they were sprayed in the face.

A video posted on YouTube and shows uniformed officers had corralled the women using orange nets when two supervisors made a beeline for the women, and at least one suddenly sprayed the women before turning and quickly walking away.

Footage of other police altercations also circulated online, but it was unclear what caused the dramatic mood shift in an otherwise peaceful demonstration.

“I saw a girl get slammed on the ground. I turned around and started screaming,” said Chelsea Elliott, 25, from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, who said she was sprayed. “I turned around and a cop was coming … we were on the sidewalk and we weren’t doing anything illegal.”

Police said 80 protesters were arrested or ticketed at multiple locations for disorderly conduct, blocking traffic and failure to obey a lawful order but the number could (Read: will ~Dek) rise.


Sunday September 25 2011, 4:52 PM The Atlantic

Based on annotation and slow-mo apparently from, a uniformed New York City police officer abused power in a way that was cruel and cowardly during yesterday’s Wall Street protests. It’s worth the time to watch

Slow-Motion Annotated Occupy Wall Street Pepper Sprayed by NYPD Police

He walks up; unprovoked he shoots Mace or pepper spray straight into the eyes of women held inside a police enclosure; he turns and walks away quickly (as they scream, wail, and fall to the ground clawing at their eyes) in a way familiar from hitmen in crime movies; and he discreetly reholsters his spray can.

You may have already seen this. If you haven’t, it is worth knowing about. If this is what it looks like, it is outrageous. The mayor and others should say something. And this man can certainly be identified.
Update: according to the NYT, the chief police spokesman, Paul Browne, said that the policeman used pepper spray “appropriately.” Great. On the video we can’t hear what either side is saying. But at face value, the casualness of the officer who saunters over, sprays right in the women’s eyes, and then slinks away without a backward glance, as if he’d just put down an animal, does not match my sense of “appropriate” behavior by officers of the law in a free society.

Think about it: If this were part of some concerted, “appropriate” crowd-control plan, then presumably the pepper-spray officer would have talked with the other policemen trying to control the women. He would have stayed on the scene; he had done something dramatic to affect a situation, so — again, if this were “appropriate” — presumably he would have talked with the other officers about what to do next. But look at that video and see what seems “appropriate” to you.

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12 Sep 2011 Voice of America

The United Nations says at least 2,600 people have been killed in Syria during the anti-government uprising that has swept the country since mid-March. A week ago, the EU announced economic sanctions that include an oil embargo.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has condemned (Read: gave lip service to ~Dek) the killing of prominent Syrian human rights activist Ghiyath Mattar, who died last week while in the custody of Syrian security forces.


12 Sep 2011 Al Jazerra

Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have killed at least 15 guards and injured two others in an attack on an oil facility outside the coastal town of Ras Lanuf, fighters of Libya‘s National Transitional Council (NTC) have said.

Citing NTC fighters present at the scene, Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid said a column of vehicles carrying armed Gaddafi loyalists drove up to the refinery’s checkpoint on Monday morning.

Ras Lanuf is located approximately 600km east of the capital, Tripoli.

The attack came as pro-and anti-Gaddafi forces fought fierce battles around Sirte and Bani Walid, key towns still controlled by forces of the toppled leader.


9 Sep 2011 Associate Press

The harsh crackdown on anti-government protests in Bahrain has failed to silence people’s demands for greater rights, a senior Shiite cleric in the Gulf kingdom said Friday as thousands of opposition supporters rallied on the outskirts of the capital.

The latest demonstration was staged by people who say they were unfairly fired from their jobs simply for being members of the island nation’s Shiite community, which led the months of protests. Thousands of Shiite professionals accused of having a role in the protests have been fired from their jobs.

Shiites make up a majority of Bahrain’s people, but they have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the country’s ruling Sunni dynasty (Read: The Empire continues to support ~Dek) and a lack of economic opportunities.

More than 30 people have died since February when protests inspired by other Arab uprisings began in Bahrain.

Hundreds of activists have been detained and brought to trial on anti-state charges in a special security court.

Bahrain lifted emergency rule in June. Since then, government opponents have clashed with police almost every night.



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Indian refiners have started making payments to Iran through Turkey as they seek to clear their outstanding dues for crude oil delivery, three people familiar with the development said Monday.Indian refiners owe more than $7 billion to Iran.  Essar Oil Ltd. has made an initial payment of $5 million to National Iranian Oil Co. to test the mechanism, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Indian refiners haven’t been able to regularly pay Iran for crude supplies since December, when the south Asian nation’s central bank scrapped a longstanding clearing mechanism, which the U.S. said Tehran could use to finance its alleged nuclear-weapons program. A subsequent effort to pay through an Iranian-controlled German bank was also thwarted. The Press Trust of India reported Friday that MRPL deposited Indian rupees worth $100 million in Union Bank of India’s New Delhi branch, which then routed the equivalent euros to Halkbank in Istanbul for onward transfer to National Iranian Oil Co.


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July 23, 2011 New York Times

A portrait began to emerge of the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, 32. The police identified him as a right-wing fundamentalist Christian, while acquaintances described him as a gun-loving Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threats of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.

“The time for dialogue is over. We gave peace a chance. The time for armed resistance has come.”

The  1,500-page manifesto, posted on the Web hours before the attacks,, entitled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” equates liberalism and multiculturalism with “cultural Marxism,” which the document says is destroying European Christian civilization.

The manifesto ends with a chilling signoff: “I believe this will be my last entry. It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51.”

Indeed, the operation appeared to have been extremely well planned.

According to the police, Mr. Breivik first drew security services to central Oslo when he exploded a car bomb outside a 17-story government office building, killing at least seven people.

Then he took a public ferry to Utoya Island, where he carried out a remarkably meticulous attack on Norway’s current and future political elite. Dressed as a police officer, he announced that he had come to check on the security of the young people who were attending a political summer camp there, many of them the children of members of the governing Labor Party.

He gathered the campers together and for some 90 hellish minutes he coolly and methodically shot them, hunting down those who fled. At least 85 people, some as young as 16, were killed.

The police said Saturday evening that they expected the death toll to climb. There were still bodies in the bombed government buildings in Oslo, and at least four people missing on Utoya.



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July 15, 2011  CNN

Libya’s embattled government accused rebels and the NATO military alliance of carrying out a coordinated air, sea, and land attack on the strategic oil town of Brega on Thursday, the same day a government spokesman vowed to “die for oil.”

The government spokesman, Musa Ibrahim, also issued a warning that he said he hoped would make headlines around the world. “We will die for oil. We will kill for oil,” Ibrahim said. “We will kill everyone who comes near our oil. Rebels, NATO, we don’t care. We will defend our oil to the last drop of blood that we have.”

Gadhafi said he would welcome warm relations with Europeans, who compose many of the NATO forces. “We want a strong relationship, cooperation and peace with the European people, and not with the war criminals, who must leave immediately,” he said.

He added, though, that he and his followers are prepared to endure privation to ensure he remains the leader of Libya. “We are ready to live without electricity, without benzene, without buildings, and without air conditioning,” he said. “But our firearms are in our hands to fight until the end.”

Their statements came on the same day that Libya’s prime minister warned Western governments they were looking at their last opportunity to engage in oil deals with Tripoli.

Misrata is 210 kilometers (130 miles) east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean and, because of the government forces around it, can be reached only by sea.

Though some shops and markets have reopened, rising food prices, a shortage of supplies and a lack of cash mean that most residents have been short of food.


Jul 15, 2011 Reuters

Syrian security forces shot dead at least 20 protesters on Friday as hundreds of thousands of people staged the biggest protests so far against President Bashar al-Assad, witnesses and rights groups said.

Assad, facing the greatest challenge to 40 years of Baath Party rule, has sought to crush demonstrations that broke out in March. But although rights groups say some 1,400 civilians have been killed, the protests have grown.

“These are the biggest demonstrations so far.

Until now, the biggest demonstrations have taken place in impoverished towns and villages outside Damascus where one in 10 of Syria’s 20 million population lives. Protests in the capital have rarely mustered more than a few hundred people.

Damascus has benefited from substantial foreign investment and its citizens are on average wealthier than those in the provinces. Security is also much tighter.


July 15, 2011 Los Angeles Times

Thousands of demonstrators continued their weeklong sit-in across Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday as more than 28 protest movements called for a “final warning” against the nation’s ruling military council to make sweeping reforms and bring members of former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime to justice.

The square, where hundreds of thousands of Egyptians camped for 18 days in January and February as part of a push to topple Mubarak, has again become the epicenter of the struggle over the country’s future. In recent days, however, the protests have revealed divisions among activists over what exactly would mark a success in rallies against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and its appointed interim government.


July 15, 2011 Associated Press

The United States and other nations on Friday formally recognized Libya‘s main opposition group as the country’s legitimate government until a new interim authority is formed.

The decision, which declared Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime no longer legitimate, will potentially free up cash that the rebels fighting Libyan forces urgently need.

The front lines in the Libyan civil war have largely stagnated since the popular uprising seeking to oust Gadhafi broke out in February. Rebels, backed by NATO’s air force bombings, control much of the country’s east and pockets in the west. But Gadhafi controls the rest from his stronghold in Tripoli, the capital.


July 15, 2011  Associated Press

Former enemies Vietnam and the United States began a joint naval drill on Friday, despite Chinese objections after weeks of escalating tension in the disputed South China Sea.

US officials described the week-long exercises off Vietnam’s central coast as “non-combatant events”, focused on areas such as navigation and maintenance, in a statement from the consulate general in Ho Chi Minh City.

But China’s top military officer General Chen Bingde said Monday that the timing of US naval exercises in the area was “inappropriate”, after talks with his American counterpart Admiral Mike Mullen aimed at cooling the tensions.

China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan all have overlapping claims to parts of the South China Sea, believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits and home to shipping lanes vital to global trade.

Vietnam and the Philippines have in recent months accused Beijing of taking increasingly aggressive actions in staking its claims in the sea.

Tensions flared in May when Vietnam said Chinese marine surveillance vessels cut the exploration cables of an oil survey ship.

Since then, a series of anti-China protests have been held in Vietnam, where rallies are rare, with the latest on Sunday being forcibly dispersed by local police. At least 10 people, including journalists, were briefly arrested.


July 15, 2011  Associated Press

A bomb planted by suspected Islamists wounded eight policemen Friday in the violence-hit Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the military said, while soldiers were again accused of shooting civilians.

The incidents were the latest violence in Maiduguri, where thousands of residents have fled out of fear of more Islamist attacks and troops’ response, with soldiers earlier accused of shooting civilians and burning homes.

The city has been hit by almost daily bomb blasts and shootings in recent weeks blamed on the Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, which launched an uprising in 2009 put down by a brutal military assault.

Hundreds of troops were recently deployed to Maiduguri to combat the Islamists. Soldiers were last weekend accused of shooting civilians and burning their houses over accusations that residents cooperated with the Islamists, which the military denies


Jul 15, 2011   Reuters

Tens of thousands of Bahrainis shouting “one man, one vote” attended a rally for political reform held by a leading opposition party Friday, days before the group decide whether to pull out of national reform talks. Hundreds of people, mostly Shi’ites, were arrested and up to 2,000 were sacked from their jobs. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Bahrain Friday to investigate the dismissals, which it said might have been punishment for joining protests.

Bahrain announced last month that it would cancel 571 dismissals, but activists say those workers have yet to be given back their jobs.

Bahraini Shi’ites are still seething after the crackdown, and protests erupt daily in villages ringing the capital, while convoys of riot police cars drive from one village to another firing stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas.


July 15, 2011  CNN

A U.S. drone strike targeting militants in southern Yemen Thursday killed at least 50 people, two Yemeni security sources said.

This comes as the United States and the Yemeni government step up their efforts to target militants, including those Islamists who’ve taken over several cities in recent weeks.

The strike targeted a police station which had been taken over by suspected al Qaeda fighters, the sources said. U.S. drones have been seen flying over the area every day and more attacks are expected, the sources told CNN.

“The casualty toll is high because fighters were gathered in that area with family members,” said the senior security source in Abyan.

Two eyewitnesses said that at least 30 civilians who were hiding from the continuous attacks were among the dead.


July 15, 2011  New York Times

JordanRiot police officers wielding wooden clubs broke up a peaceful demonstration near a square in this city’s downtown area on Friday afternoon, beating protesters and journalists. The incident was a sign of escalating tensions over the slow pace of political reform in the kingdom.

The response of the security forces reflected a fear that the protests, which have spread to other parts of Jordan, will continue to grow. After policemen wearing blue uniforms had dispersed the marchers with beatings, dozens of other officers marched into the intersection, smacking their truncheons against their shields.


July 15, 2011 Fox News

Monterrey –  Nine suspected cartel gunmen were killed in two clashes with army soldiers on the outskirts of this northern Mexican industrial city, officials said.

Four of the men were killed Thursday in a gun battle in a wooded area on the northeastern outskirts of Monterrey after around 50 special forces soldiers from the 7th Military Zone spotted them traveling in two SUVs, a state security spokesman said.

An army officer who participated in the operation said the remote area was being used by an organized crime gang as a firearms training grounds for young recruits.

The other clash between suspected organized crime members and army soldiers took place Thursday morning on the streets of Cadereyta, a town 35 kilometers (21 miles) outside Monterrey, after the military personnel tried to stop an SUV carrying the gunmen.


Friday, 15 July 2011  Al Arabiya News

The latest target of Anonymous is “Booz Allen Hamilton”, the largest military contractor that deals with the Pentagon.

In an online statement, the group declared that it was able to hack the systems of the contracting company and steal ninety thousand e-mail addresses and passwords belonging to military staff from various ranks.

Moreover, leaders of this group threatened to target computer systems of the London police and British judicial, and warned that this day will be the biggest day in their history.


Friday, 15 July 2011  The Syndey Morning Herald

AUSTRALIA’S major banks are on a heightened security footing amid fears of being targeted by the high-profile hacking group Anonymous.

ANZ’s top technology executive, Ann Weatherston, said yesterday that investment in technology security had been one of the highest priorities at the bank for the past few years, and spending on that area was now a core part of operations.
Last month, the global group Anonymous and a second hacking network called LulzSec said they were planning to join forces in a campaign aimed at banks, government agencies and prominent targets around the world to encourage others to steal and leak classified information.


July 15, 2011 International Business Times

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on Thursday unveiled its ( record ) first-ever cyber strategy after hackers, in a single intrusion,  stole 24,000 files containing sensitive data.

Pentagon’s cyberspace strategy, which is detailed in a 19-page document, is centered on the following five points: …..


July 15, 2011 8:47AM Chicago Sun Times

Battle lines between protesters and the police are already being drawn for the NATO and G-8 summits that Chicago will host next spring.

On Thursday, an anti-war organizer said he was scouting potential staging areas for crowds of protesters expected outside the summits in May.

Meanwhile, police Supt. Garry McCarthy said he’s been planning for three weeks. And he put a deputy superintendent, Debra Kirby, in charge of preparing the Chicago Police Department’s response.

“We have to train for mass arrests,” McCarthy said. “We have to train 13,000 police officers in arrest procedures and containment procedures

7/15/11 Huffington Post

A longtime CIA officer who spent 21 years in the Middle East is predicting that Israel will bomb Iran this fall, dragging the United States into another major war (Read: It’s all the same war. ~Dek) and endangering U.S. military and civilian personnel (and other interests) throughout the Middle East (Read: OIL our only interest in the Middle East ~Dek) and beyond.


7/15/11  Associated Press

The Sudanese army and allied forces have carried out systematic attacks on Nuba civilians in South Kordofan that could amount to war crimes, according to an unpublished UN report obtained by AFP.

Violence has swept Sudan’s ethnically divided state since June 5, with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) battling Nuba militia aligned to the SPLA, the ex-rebel army of the south, in what Khartoum calls a rebellion within its borders that it intends to crush.

But the UN report, the most detailed of its kind to date, documents specific instances where the army allegedly attacked civilians and churches, carried out summary executions, torture and intimidation, and bombed civilian targets in a campaign that it says will “dissipate the Nuba population” if not stopped.


15 Jul 2011 15:21 AlJazeera

Two car bombings within a span of four hours have killed eight people in Iraq‘s southern city of Karbala, where an annual pilgrimage is under way, police say.

In other violence, a US soldier was killed in southern Iraq, making it the fourth casualty for this month.

June was the deadliest month for US forces since 2008, with 14 soldiers killed.


15 July 2011 BBC

A roadside bomb has killed five civilians in southern Afghanistan, government officials have said. Civilian and military casualties are at levels not seen for a decade - last year more than 2,400 civilians died, with roadside bombs the biggest source of casualties

Jul. 15 2011  Forbes

Greek bonds have lost one-half to three-quarters of their face value. Six national strikes have all ended in violence already this year, forcing the budget deficit still wider as the economy shrank 5.5% year-on-year.

Default is certain, and history says it would be better for creditors if the restructuring came before Greece misses a payment.


Friday, July 15, 2011 Irish Times

A total of 17 people have been arrested for public order offences during rioting in Northern Ireland this week.

Violence broke out in west Belfast on Monday night and spread on Tuesday, the Twelfth of July, to Ardoyne in the north of the city.

Rioters threw petrol bombs, fireworks and brick at PSNI lines and officers responded with baton rounds and water cannon. Tuesday’s trouble lasted for six hours and left 26 people injured and the residential area strewn with rubble and burned-out cars.

Police were attacked with petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and other missiles in incidents in Portadown, Belfast and Derry on Wednesday, but the trouble was sporadic and much more limited than the disorder on Tuesday.


July 15, 2011  CNN

According to climate scientists, the warming of the region is shrinking the polar ice cap at an alarming rate, reducing the permafrost layer and wreaking havoc on polar bears, arctic foxes and other indigenous wildlife in the region.

What is bad for the animals, though, has been good for commerce.

The recession of the sea ice and the reduction in permafrost — combined with advances in technology — have allowed access to oil, mineral and natural gas deposits that were previously trapped in the ice.

The abundance of these valuable resources and the opportunity to exploit them has created a gold rush-like scramble in the high north, with fierce competition to determine which countries have the right to access the riches of the Arctic.

This competition has brought in its wake a host of naval and military activities that the Arctic hasn’t seen since the end of the Cold War.

Now, one of the coldest places on Earth is heating up as nuclear submarines, Aegis-class frigates, strategic bombers and a new generation of icebreakers are resuming operations there.

The United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Finland all stake a claim to a portion of the Arctic.

Two U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarines, the SSN Connecticut and the SSN New Hampshire, recently finished conducting ice exercises in the Arctic.

Other Arctic nations are ramping up their military capabilities as well. Just this month, Russia announced that it is deploying two brigades to the Arctic, including a special forces unit. The Russian air force has recently resumed strategic bomber flights over the Pole. Canada, Denmark and Norway are also rapidly rebuilding their military presence.


Jul. 15 2011  Forbes

Greek bonds have lost one-half to three-quarters of their face value. Six national strikes have all ended in violence already this year, forcing the budget deficit still wider as the economy shrank 5.5% year-on-year.

Default is certain, and history says it would be better for creditors if the restructuring came before Greece misses a payment.


Friday, July 15, 2011 Irish Times

A total of 17 people have been arrested for public order offences during rioting in Northern Ireland this week.

Violence broke out in west Belfast on Monday night and spread on Tuesday, the Twelfth of July, to Ardoyne in the north of the city.

Rioters threw petrol bombs, fireworks and brick at PSNI lines and officers responded with baton rounds and water cannon. Tuesday’s trouble lasted for six hours and left 26 people injured and the residential area strewn with rubble and burned-out cars.

Police were attacked with petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and other missiles in incidents in Portadown, Belfast and Derry on Wednesday, but the trouble was sporadic and much more limited than the disorder on Tuesday.


June 22, 2011 Belfast (MSNBC) –About 700 people gathered on the street in the Short Strand area — a small Catholic community in a predominantly Protestant area of Belfast — and were causing “serious disorder,” gasoline bombs, fireworks and other missiles, police said.


June 22, 2011  Baghdad (CNN)At least five roadside bombs went off in various parts of Baghdad Wednesday, (Read: in just one Iraqi city, in just one day ~Dek) in another day of violence in the Iraqi capital.


June 22, 2011   Afghanistan (BBC)– At least six Afghan policemen have been killed in an attack on a checkpoint in Ghazni province, officials have told the BBC. The attack took place in the Qarah Bagh district, about about 120km (75 miles) south-west of the capital, Kabul.  The attack, which started on Wednesday morning, is still continuing.


June 22 Associated Press

China warns US not to meddle in South China Sea

China is urging the United States to stay out of territorial disputes in the South China Sea but says if it does get involved then it should ensure that other countries do not provoke conflicts. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said Wednesday that Washington risks getting drawn into a conflict over the competing claims should (Read: when ~Dek) tensions in the region rise further.

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June 20, 2011 The Arizona Daily Star

The National Guard mission along the U.S.-Mexico border has been extended through September, Homeland Security officials announced June 17.

The Department of Defense will cover the cost (Read: The Feds are just a broke as the states but at least the Feds still have the power of the printing press. ~Dek) of the three-month extension — $35 million.

The extension of the mission has been expected since last month, (Read: Since the deployment of federal troops was first announced and recorded here back in July 2010. ~Dek) when Homeland Security officials said they were looking to reprogram funds to keep the soldiers on the border.

The extension through Sept. 30 coincides with the end of the federal government’s fiscal year, said Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler. Chandler called the Guard a “critical bridge” while the Obama administration works to bring more agents, technology and barriers to the border.

The National Guard border mission began in August and had been scheduled to end at the end of June. (Read: But of course, no one seriously believed that schedule in the first place did they? Mexico is a failed state. The southwest United States is not far behind. Martial law to follow as social unrest continues to spread. ~Dek)

Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl have repeatedly called for 6,000 National Guard soldiers on the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a larger 10-point border security plan.

The total cost of the mission, including the extension, is unknown. When the mission started, officials said the cost would not exceed $135 million, (Read: Newspeak translation here is attempting to reassure the tax paying public that a lie based on a previous lie is now somehow a truth. ~Dek) to be split evenly between the Department of Homeland Security and Defense Department budgets.



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20 June 2011 BBC News, Shanghai

Offices and shopping malls in the Chinese city of Shanghai will be urged to close their doors on the hottest days of the year this summer.

The power rationing is necessary due to the country’s shortage of electricity.

The electricity grid serving China’s financial hub does not have the capacity to meet peak demand the authorities say.

China has been coping with power shortages since March, because of coal supply problems and a drought.

The problem is that coal prices surged earlier in the year, making generating electricity less profitable.

About 80% of the power produced for the electricity grid in China comes from coal-fired power stations.

A drought here has also cut the amount of power available from hydro-electric facilities as water levels in reservoirs have fallen.

The heavy rain of recent days that has caused severe flooding in some parts of the country is reported to have restored water levels at some of those plants, easing the situation somewhat but not solving the problem.

It is thought likely there will be power shortages in at least 10 provinces as demand surges on the hottest days this summer.

It is not merely that the net energy, material and financial resources we need to adapt will be in shorter supply, or that we are replacing high quality energy sources with lower quality ones. Nor is it that the productive base for deploying alternative energy infrastructure is small with limited ramp-up rates, or that it competes with food. Nor even that as the global credit crisis continues with further risks ahead, ramping up financing will remain difficult while many countries struggle with ballooning deficits and pressing immediate concerns.

But, once the effects of decline become apparent, we will lose much of what we might call the operational fabric of our civilization.  

This includes functioning markets, financing, monetary stability, operational supply-chains, transport, digital infrastructure, command & control, health service, institutions of trust, and sociopolitical stability. It is what we casually assume does and will exist, and which provides the structural foundation for any project we wish to develop. ~ Tipping Point by David Korowicz



JUNE 13, 2011  Wall Street Journal

Vietnam changed its tone slightly in an emerging standoff with China as it held a live-fire naval drill off its coast that analysts had said reflects the increasingly uncompromising stance among countries competing with China to claim the vast energy resources believed to lie below the South China Sea.

The exercises around the island of Hon Ong, around 25 miles or 40 kilometers off the coast of central Vietnam, come after a series of clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels over oil exploration in the area and threaten to further ratchet up tensions.

The point of these exercises is to send a clear message that Vietnam is serious about protecting its interests in the South China Sea and that it won’t be bullied by China,” said Ian Storey, a specialist on the region and fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

Tensions have been building for months in the South China Sea, which is claimed in whole or in part by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei and also contains some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Vietnam last week accused a Chinese fishing vessel, backed up by two patrol boats, of snapping the cables of an exploration boat operated by state oil company PetroVietnam, prompting a sharp exchange of words between Beijing and Hanoi and triggering rare street protests in Vietnam’s biggest cities.

In late May, Vietnamese officials accused Chinese vessels of sabotaging another exploration vessel operating within 200 nautical miles of Vietnam’s coast, which Hanoi regards as its own exclusive economic zone as provided under international law. The Philippines, too, has complained about Chinese military intimidation of survey vessels operating in Philippine waters and has accused China of attempting to build fresh structures near the Spratly Islands.

Chinese Foreign Ministry officials couldn’t be reached for comment. But Beijing previously has said it wishes to preserve stability in the South China Sea while insisting on its sovereignty over the whole area. Last week, China’s ambassador to the Philippines, Liu Jianchao, warned neighboring countries not to explore for oil without its permission.


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