Wednesday, January 02, 2013

December 2012 News

2012 is the deadliest year for Journalists since Reporters Without Borders started tracking this. 88 journalists and 47 citizen journalists killed.

Congo –M 23 Rebels in DR Congo pull out of Goma. December 2, 2012.  [They will be back.]

Congo – Rwanda has been charged with “sponsoring, arming and commanding the insurgent M23 forces” in the DR Congo. More than 500,000 people fled their homes in the ensuing unrest.  Rwanda is interested in Congo territory which is rich in valuable minerals. [And Susan Rice covers up the US support for this.] and

USA – Pentagon is planning on doubling the size of its worldwide spy network and report to the CIA. [Here’s hoping they spy on the CIA and FBI.]

USA – Now it is officially okay to kill children. US military approves bombing children.

CIA – Looks like the Bay of Pigs history may not remain secret, even though the CIA and Justice Department argued that release of draft history would “confuse the public”.

USA – Obama administration formally recognizes Syrian rebels as legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and they will move arms to use against the Assad regime.  [Recommended reading – they are delusional!]

USA – While Judge rules that what the US government is actually doing in Guantanamo should remain a secret [], a European court ruled that the CIA was guilty of torture and rape (sodomy) of an innocent man.

USA – US to sell Israel munitions to renew stock after Operation Pillar of Defense. [First, they are giving them the money to “buy” the munitions and calling it “foreign aid”.]

USA – HSBC bankers get no jail time for massive terrorist financing while Somali immigrant sentenced for small charity donation that unknowingly reached terrorists. In December 2010, Yusuf was one of four Somalis being prosecuted for giving money to people in Somalia. Local Somalis skeptical of the prosecutions, like Bashir Hassan, expressed the feeling that the government was criminalizing Muslims.

USA – State Department very concerned about air bombing of Palestinians –AS LONG AS THEY ARE IN SYRIA. [In Gaza, not so much.]

USA – The Torture Chronicles.  A classified US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows the futility of “enhanced interrogation techniques”.

USA – It is official now – the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before him, does kidnapping.  But these lucky guys will at least get a trial after they were abducted and brought to the USA.

USA – Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in the US military.

USA – Thirty percent of our population is white guys, yet they are accountable for 70% of all shootings in the last few decades.

USA – Deportations of undocumented immigrants in 2012 is new US record. [The fact is – we are a nation of immigrants. These policies show extreme moral rot.]

USA – Senate approves military spending bill. [December 21, 2012 – no austerity for them!]

USA – The US House of Representatives and Senate have agreed to fully finance building the capacity of the Afghan army and police by approving an amount of USD 5.7bn.

USA – FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.

USA – HSBC is a banking giant that laundered nine billion dollars in drug money.  In our two-tiered justice system, they get a slap on the wrist.

Africa – US deploying troops to 35 African countries.

Canada – IDLE NO MORE.  Important protest movement from Native People to protect their rights and to protect the environment.  Many are joining in around the world.

UK – Government pays Libyan dissident’s family over $2 million for MI6-aided rendition to Gaddafi.  The US was also involved in this rendition, torture and imprisonment.

Pakistan – Four killed in US drone strike.  They were reportedly al Qaeda. [December 1, 2012]

Pakistan – Three killed in US drone strike. Pakistani intelligence says they are suspected militants.

Pakistan – Gunmen shot dead five female health workers who were immunizing children against polio on Tuesday, causing the Pakistani government to suspend vaccinations in two cities and dealing a fresh setback to an eradication campaign dogged by Taliban resistance in a country that is one of the disease’s last global strongholds. [December 18, 2012]

Pakistan – Three more anti-polio campaigners shot dead in Pakistan. [This is a tragedy, and it is the US government’s fault.]

Pakistan – Drone kills four in North Waziristan. [December 21, 2012]\12\22\story_22-12-2012_pg7_10

Pakistan – Drone kills four in Waziristan. [December 28, 2012]

Pakistan – Twenty members of a tribal police force are kidnapped and killed.

Pakistan – “US drones killed our grandmother”

Jordan – Jordan’s Intelligence Service is helping rebels smuggle arms into Syria.

Environment – 2012 is the hottest, most extreme year in weather in US history.

Syria – Al Qaida-linked group that Syrian rebels once denied is key to anti-Assad victories.  Jabhat al Nusra, which U.S. officials believe has links to al Qaida, has become essential to the frontline operations of the rebels fighting to topple Assad. On a trip to Syria that spanned most of the month of November, a journalist found Nusra’s fighters on every frontline he visited. “When we finish with Assad, we will fight the U.S.!” one Nusra fighter shouted in the northeastern Syrian city of Ras al Ayn when he was told an American journalist present. He laughed as he said it and then got into a van and drove off, leaving the journalist unable to ask whether it had been a joke. [This group used to work in Iraq to kill Iraqis and US troops.]

Syria – Lots of countries, including the USA, are accusing Assad of having chemical weapons and are accusing Assad’s father of using chemical weapons thirty years ago.  Both claims are pure lies.

Syria – Bashar al-Assad, Syria, and the truth about chemical weapons.

Syria – Syria’s war is anything its fighters want it to be. It is a class war of the suburban proletariat against a state army financed by the bourgeoisie. It is a sectarian war in which the Sunni Arab majority is fighting to displace an Alawi ruling class. It is a holy war of Sunni Muslims against all manifestations of Shiism, especially the Alawite variety. The social understandings on which Aleppo prided itself are unraveling. Muslim fundamentalists have targeted Christian churches and Shiite mosques. Arabs have fought Kurds. Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis have crossed the border to fight each other in Syria.

Syria – Some terrorists in the FSA posted a video of child beheading unarmed officers in the regular Syrian army.  Video was quickly taken down.  See also 

Syria – Interior ministry hit by explosives, including a car bomb. [The terrorists strike again – and those terrorists are the guys the Obama administration is supporting.]   

Syria – Head of new US-backed Syrian coalition endorse al Qaida-linked rebel faction. [So, the US government is friends with al Qaeda again! And the war on terror can continue forever! Long live terror!] 

Syria – 125 people reported killed in one day. December 12, 2012

Syria – 159 people reported killed in one day. December 14, 2012

Syria – The United States and Germany are sending Patriot missiles and troops to the Turkish border, a warning to Syria's besieged President Assad. 

Syria – Weeks before the Obama administration and other Western nations recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition as “the legitimate representative” of the Syrian people, Syrian rebels were receiving training in the use of light and heavy weapons with the backing of the Jordanian, British and U.S. governments, participants in the training have told McClatchy. The training took place as far back as October and involved hundreds of rebels. …  By November, another rebel said, the training had expanded to anti-tank weapons and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. [What could go wrong?] 

Syria – Fighters from as many as 29 countries have filtered into Syria to join a civil war that has split along sectarian lines, increasingly pitting the ruling Alawite community against the majority Sunni Muslims, UN human rights investigators said today.

Egypt – The IMF and World Bank and US government are leading efforts to lend a lot of money to Egypt and other neighboring states. [They want to see them under a huge crippling load of debt in order to control them.]

Egypt – Widespread claims of voting irregularities in the constitution election. Also claims of low turnout.

Turkey – NATO has approved the deployment of Patriot anti-missile batteries along Turkey's border with Syria. The long-expected move emerged from a meeting of Nato foreign ministers in Brussels, and amid growing fears that Syria could use chemical weapons.

Afghanistan – British forces led a counter-insurgency operation in Afghanistan during which a 12-year-old boy and three teenagers were shot dead while they were drinking tea.

Afghanistan – NATO forces stormed into a health clinic causing heavy damage, and then used it as a jail and command center.  Clinic was run by Swedish charity. [Geneva Conventions, anyone?]

Afghanistan – 2012 was the year of the drone in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan – Over 200 teenagers have been detained in the Afghan war by US troops. Average age was 16.

Afghanistan – The Obama surge was a failure.

Afghanistan – Nine girls killed by landmine. They were searching for firewood. [December 17, 2012]

Afghanistan – The real center of the U.S. drone campaign is in plain sight — on the hot and open battlefield of Afghanistan. The American military has launched 333 drone strikes this year in Afghanistan. That’s not only the highest total ever, according to U.S. Air Force statistics. It’s essentially the same number of robotic attacks in Pakistan since the CIA-led campaign there began nearly eight years ago. In the last 30 days, there have been three reported strikes in Yemen. In Afghanistan, that’s just an average day’s worth of remotely piloted attacks. And the increased strikes come as the rest of the war in Afghanistan is slowing down.

Afghanistan – An Afghan policewoman walked into a high-security compound in Kabul Monday and killed an American contractor with a single bullet to the chest, the first such shooting by a woman in a spate of insider attacks by Afghans against their foreign allies.

Afghanistan – A British prince kills an Afghan Taliban commander in October. [And history repeats itself.]

Afghanistan – Seventeen Afghan police killed while asleep. Eight killed by a teenage boy they kept “for sexual purposes”. [No wonder the Afghans think the Taliban are better than the police!]

Afghanistan – Overall violence is down, and insider attacks are up. Violence is still higher than before the “surge”, however.

Afghanistan – Record number of Afghan soldiers killed (over 1,000) in 2012. NATO is aiming to train up 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police by the end of 2014 to ensure stability in Afghanistan, but challenges remain in the transition process. Desertions, poor re-enlistment rates and low morale are among the key problems troubling Afghan and NATO commanders.

Afghanistan – UN appeals for Afghan refugee aid as harsh winter proves deadly. At least two children have already died from cold in camps for tens of thousands internally displaced. [Last year, more than 100 children died in the camps from the cold.]

Libya – Weapons sent to Libyan Rebels with US Approval [and] Fell Into Islamist Hands. [Guess the US likes helping al Qaeda!]

Libya – Libya in need of complete rebuilding. In short, as a veteran Libyan activist said, the ordinary people are losing faith in both rebels and leaders who can’t sort out the chaotic state of the country.

Israel – The UN calls on Israel to open nuclear facilities to inspection and join the NPT.

Israel – Continues with East Jerusalem building plan. [5,000 new homes in occupied territory!]

Israel – What ceasefire?  Israeli soldiers shoot five Palestinians in latest in series of violations.  

Israel – Israel's policy on issuing guns is restrictive, and armed guards at its schools are meant to stop terrorists, not crazed or disgruntled gunmen, experts said Monday, rejecting claims by America's top gun lobby that Israel serves as proof for its philosophy that the U.S. needs more weapons, not fewer.

Israel – Suicide is the primary cause of death in the IDF for the past three years. [In 2012, US soldier suicides outnumbered combat deaths.]

Bahrain – Government strips citizenship from protestors. Protests continue.

Yemen – Thousands rally against US meddling and drone strikes in their country.  This happens almost every week.  

Yemen – When US drones kill civilians, Yemen’s government tries to conceal it. Furious tribesmen tried to take the bodies to the gates of the presidential residence, forcing the government into the rare position of withdrawing its assertion that militants had been killed. [38 drones strikes in 2012 in Yemen.]

Yemen - At least five people were killed in two drone strikes in south Yemen on Monday [December 24] in what security and local officials said were attacks on suspected Al Qaida-linked insurgents. [In Syria and Lybia, the US is arming, funding and training al Qaida-linked insurgents.]

Yemen – Two more killed in drone strikes in eastern region of Hadramout. [December 28, 2012]

Yemen – Yet another drone strike, the fourth this week.  Three killed, allegedly al Qaeda. This makes a total of 53 drone strikes in 2012. 

Yemen – The number of American airstrikes in Yemen, largely carried out by unmanned drones, has surged over the past year, as much as tripling in frequency in comparison with 2011. “They’re having a huge effect in how people see the U.S.,” said Intisar al Qadhi, a political activist who’s the daughter of a prominent tribal leader from the province of Mareb, the site of numerous drone strikes. “When we think about America, we see an image of a plane, dropping bombs on our people.”

Lebanon – Sectarian clashes continue for sixth day. This is a spill-over from Syria. December 9, 2012

Lebanon – The patchwork of Sunni Muslim and Shiite villages arrayed along the northern border with Syria are heavily embroiled in the protracted struggle there, but with a distinctive twist. Fighters from Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese Shiite movement, cross the frontier to fight for Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, who is Alawite and whose sect dominates the government. Sunni Muslims sneak over to join the opposition. Once back home in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, however, both sides observe an uneasy truce. [This war is going to spread.]

Iraq – More than two dozen dead in second day of Iraq violence. [December 17, 2012]

Iraq – Massive rallies in Sunni dominated areas against the current government. They are claiming sectarian policies and a lack of civil rights. This has been going on for at least a week.

Iraq – Series of bombings kill 22 and wounds many more across Iraq. [December 31, 2012]

Mali – UN Security Council has authorized an African-led military force to try to oust Islamists from northern Mali. [And so the war on Mali begins. Another country will be destroyed.]

Mexico – More than 20,000 missing in Mexico in past six years.

Sudan – Fighting between South Sudan's army and a militia led by a self-proclaimed prophet killed 24 people in an eastern region where France's Total and other foreign oil groups are hoping to explore large concessions, the military said. 

UAE – Eight online activists arrested in UAE.

CAR – Rebels in Central African Republic take city of Sibut in their march toward the capital of Bangui.

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