Aletho News


UK nuclear plans left in shambles

Press TV – October 3, 2012

Chinese and French investors have dealt a blow to the British nuclear projects pulling out of a bid for buying a company that will be constructing two nuclear power reactors in Britain.

French nuclear engineering group Areva said it is no longer interested in buying into Horizon Nuclear Power that was supposed to build Wylfa reactor in Wales and Oldbury reactor in Gloucestershire.

Areva added that its Chinese partner the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) has also withdrawn its bid for the contract.

“Areva and CGNPC have suspended their interest in the planned sale of Horizon Nuclear Power and did not submit a bid,” an Areva spokeswoman said.

The news is a blow to the British government as Areva has the latest technology in line with European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) regulations needed for the project.

The withdrawals come amid other reports that another Chinese company China National Nuclear Power Corporation, which is the main backer of a US engineering group also bidding for the contract, is no more interested in the project.

The situation leaves London with a single bidder that is a consortium led by the Japanese Hitachi.

Horizon Nuclear Power was formerly run by German utilities E. ON and RWE that suddenly announced they want to drop out of their contracts on a short deadline last week.

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Nuclear Power | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on UK nuclear plans left in shambles

Turkish Army continues shelling positions in Syria

Press TV – October 4, 2012

Turkish forces continue shelling targets in Syria following a deadly cross-border attack on a town in southeast Turkey amid escalating tensions between the two neighbors.

Ankara said the attacks were in retaliation for a Syrian mortar strike that killed five people in Turkey’s southeastern town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province earlier on Wednesday.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, Ankara condemned the shelling as “a flagrant violation of international law,” and asked the world body to take action to stop such “acts of aggression.”

The Turkish parliament is due on Thursday to discuss a motion for cross-border military operations inside Syria “when deemed necessary.”

NATO ambassadors also held an emergency late-night meeting in Brussels to discuss the Syrian shelling and the Turkish backfire.

The alliance blamed Syria for the incident and demanded Damascus end what it called aggressive acts against member-nation Turkey.

Meanwhile in a phone conversation, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Washington’s full backing for Ankara at NATO and the UN, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Separately, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said, “We stand with our Turkish ally and are continuing to consult closely on the path forward.”

The remarks came despite the Syrian government’s gesture to offer condolences to Turkish people over the deadly mortar attack and to launch an investigation into the source of the shelling.

Damascus also called for an end to the transfer of terrorists into Syria, which has been plagued by more than a year of deadly unrest.

Syria accuses certain Western and regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, of arming and funding insurgents fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Is Your Child Mentally Ill?

“Yes,” According to Big Pharma Funded Doctors

By MARTHA ROSENBERG | CounterPunch | October 3, 2012

How has Big Pharma managed to get so many children on expensive drug cocktails for “mental illness”? Drugs that they may not even need?

Big Pharma has spent millions on public relations campaigns that tell parents, teachers and clinicians to dose children at the first sign of problems. It knows if parents treat their kids early they will never know if the kids needed the drugs in the first place and whether residual problems are “mental illness” or drug side effects. The kids will also probably be life long customers because parents will be afraid to take them off the drugs. No wonder Pharma tells parents not to wait for “excessive energy” or “mood swings” to go away in the awareness campaigns. Ka-ching.

One “prescribe early” campaign for the atypical antipsychotic Risperdal uses a macabre abandoned wallet, a teddy bear, and keys on a barren street “to reposition a drug that was being used too late to achieve its maximum benefits,” said its advertising agency, Torre Lazur McCann. Brand managers for Seroquel, a competing antipsychotic, even considered creating Winnie-the-Pooh characters like Tigger (bipolar) and Eeyore (depressed) to sell Seroquel, according to published reports, at an AstraZeneca sales meeting. Parents say they have seen toys emblazoned with Seroquel logos.

Only one child in ten thousand has pediatric schizophrenia—some say one in thirty thousand—but that doesn’t stop Gabriele Masi, MD, with the Stella Maris Institute for Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pisa in Italy from portraying it as a public health problem. In an article titled “Children with Schizophrenia: Clinical Picture and Pharmacological Treatment,” in the journal CNS Drugs, Masi writes, “Awareness of childhood- onset schizophrenia is rapidly increasing, with a more precise definition now available of the clinical picture and early signs, the outcome and the treatment strategies.”

Symptoms of childhood schizophrenia include “social deficits” and “delusions . . . related to childhood themes,” writes Masi. What child doesn’t have “social deficits”? Do delusions include imaginary playmates? Masi lambastes the “hesitancy on the part of clinicians to make a diagnosis of schizophrenia,” instead of prescribing early. Masi has received research funding from Eli Lilly, served as an advisor for Shire and been on speakers bureaus for Sanofi Aventis, AstraZeneca, GSK, and Janssen, all of which manufacture many of the leading psychiatric drugs for children, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

It’s tempting to ridicule Pharma funded doctors who find mental illness and even relapses and “treatment resistance” in people who have been on the planet for forty months. But pathologizing three-year-olds isn’t funny. Both four-year-old Rebecca Riley of Hull, Massachusetts, and three-year- old Destiny Hager of Council Grove, Kansas, died in 2006 from psychiatric drugs that included Geodon and Seroquel to treat their “bipolar disorders.” And in 2009, seven-year-old Gabriel Myers of Broward County, Florida, a child in a state facility, hung himself while on Symbyax, a pill that combines Zyprexa and Prozac. If it weren’t for Big Pharma’s prescribe early campaigns, these children, and others, might still be alive.

Martha Rosenberg’s is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Georgian Leader A Man With a Past — On K Street

By Sarah Bryner | Open Secrets | October 2, 2012

bidzina ivanishvili

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili conceded defeat yesterday in a close contest with the Georgia Dream party, a new coalition created by billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili. Ivanishvili is now considered the likely next prime minister of Georgia.

While this result might have foreign relations consequences in the Caucuses, Ivanishvili’s win will also have surprising repercussions on Washington’s K Street.

Since late in 2011, Ivanishvili has spent $1.4 million hiring prominent D.C. lobbyists to represent him to the U.S. House, Senate, Department of State, and even the White House. Among the issues that his lobbyists report discussing? Free and fair elections in Georgia, international banking, and “facilitating communication with U.S. government officials.”

Currently ranked 153rd on Forbes’ list of billionaires, Ivanishvili accumulated his wealth buying and selling companies — primarily in the mining and banking industries — as Russia and other Soviet Bloc countries moved towards privatization. The largest was the Russian bank Rossiysky Kredit Bank. He’s used some of his reported $6.4 billion fortune to create a private zoo, buy several works of art by Pablo Picasso, and build a large glass house on the outskirts of the Georgian capital city Tiblisi, according to the Guardian.

In the lobbying world, Patton Boggs LLP has been the greatest beneficiary of Ivanishvili’s wealth, earning $760,000 from him so far this year. Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., one of the firm’s senior partners, lists Ivanishvili as one of his five clients. Former Republican Sen. Steven Symms of Idaho has also represented him.

When Ivanishvili assumes office, he will not need to sever contact with the firms he has employed this year, but they will need to change how they disclose their work. Instead of the traditional quarterly lobbying forms filed with the Senate, they’ll be required to turn in biannual Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) reports to the Justice Department. Federal regulations require that anyone representing a political party or government must file with the Justice Department; individuals who do not directly represent a government interest are allowed to register with the House and Senate instead.

In August, Patton Boggs, National Strategies LLC, and Downey McGrath all filed reports with the Justice Department listing Ivanishvili as a foreign agent they represent. Saakashvili, the outgoing prime minister, has also employed some help in Washington — his office recently hiredFianna Strategies to explain its policies and programs to relevant U.S. offices.

Free and fair elections are mentioned on nearly every lobbying form filed by Ivanishvili’s hired firms. But Transparency International Georgia, an NGO focused on electoral transparency, recently published a report indicating that the electoral climate in Georgia is still fraught with electoral violations. The report cites evidence of both the ruling party and Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream Party attempting to bribe voters, as well as evidence that the ruling party had recently set up rules to unfairly benefit the party in power.

The report also mentions that a Georgian Court found Ivanishvili guilty of making illegal donations and charged him the equivalent of $89 million, an amount which was later cut in half. Ivanishvili refused to pay, and hired Georgian politician Tedo Japaridze to represent his interests before the U.S.

While it is unusual for individuals to hire lobbyists directly, it isn’t unheard of. Although Ivanishvili has spent far more than any other individual on lobbying this year, Aliya Aliyeva spent $160,000 so far this year attempting to raise awareness about Azerbaijani political prisoners Farhad and Rafiq Aliyeva. Similarly, Oleksandar Tymoshenko spent $140,000 this year advocating for the release of his wife, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, from prison. Even American citizens occasionally directly hire lobbyists — former hedge fund manager Julian Robertson, the second largest individual lobbying client, has thus far spent $180,000 lobbying. Robertson is also a prominent donor to Restore our Future, a super PAC supporting GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , , | Comments Off on New Georgian Leader A Man With a Past — On K Street

Ending the Violence in Syria

By Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle | October 3, 2012

Ankara – It would seem to be quite simple. All that has to happen for the fighting to end in Syria is for those with guns in their hands to put them down. So why isn’t it happening?

Again the answer is simple and not just seemingly. Outside governments supporting the armed groups do not want them to put their weapons down. It has been deliberately locked into a cycle of violence which its enemies hope will end in its destruction. This strategy is the prime cause of the death and devastation over which the sponsors of this violence have been wringing their hands before the UN General Assembly.

Agendas vary slightly but the prime goal of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the governments of the US, Britain and France is not political reform but the destruction of Iran’s best friend in the region. Syria is the central arch in a strategic relationship between Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. The fall of that central arch would give western governments one of their greatest strategic victories in the modern history of the Middle East.

Syria is frequently described as collapsing or bleeding or plunging into ‘civil war’. None is correct. Syria is being collapsed, being bled and being plunged into devastation as the direct consequence of decisions taken outside Syria. The collective calling itself ‘The Friends of the Syrian People’ has deliberately brought Syria to where it is now. There are no small mercies in this situation but it could have been even worse, if these ‘friends’ had been able to launch an aerial assault under the aegis of the Security Council. Had Russia and China not blocked them, Syria would be now be a total ruin, with an infinitely greater number of dead than the 20,000 or so already killed. Their fallback position was the war of attrition being waged by their armed protégés.

Few countries could withstand the battering Syria has taken in the past 18 months. In the name of ‘regime change’ horror has followed horror. Aleppo has been turned into a replica of Beirut at the height of the civil war, with a large part of the medieval souk now burnt to the ground. Yet the government has not collapsed and neither has the army disintegrated. The message from this is that Syria has a government and not a ‘regime’ and an army – in which the ordinary soldiers are mostly Sunni Muslim – and not ‘Assad loyalists’.

Military defections have been few. So have defections from the ranks of government despite the large amounts of money on offer. Foreign Minister Walid Muallim was offered $100 million by the ruler of Qatar if he would defect but turned it down and went public with the bribe. One of the last known of cases was the $20,000 a month for the next 20 years and a home in Doha offered to the Syrian consul in Mauritania. He also refused. Bashar al Assad was totally correct when he said a few days ago that the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar think they can buy anyone. If there is anywhere where ‘regime change’ is needed it is surely in these gulf states.

One of the last defectors was the head of security in Aleppo. Before his departure and untimely end (he was assassinated a few kilometers short of the Turkish border by persons unknown) he had arranged for the infiltration of thousands of jihadis into the city. Many are not even Syrian. They have come to fight the jihad from all corners of the Muslim world. There are Chechens, Afghans, Pakistanis, Tajiks, Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans (lots of Libyans), Saudis and Iraqis. Aleppo has been targeted because it is close to the Turkish border, and the hope is that it can be turned into a ‘rebel’ capital in a ‘liberated’ zone stretching up to the Turkish border. This could be done only over the dead bodies and against the wishes of the people of the city.

Whether inside the cells fighting in the name of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) or operating independently, the salafi jihadis inside Syria are tactically cooperating against the common enemy. The FSA is little more than a convenient trademark. Most of the armed groups have their own command structure and take no notice of the FSA. Recently Riad al Assad crossed the border from Turkey to direct the struggle from inside Syria, only to stay a day and a night before going back because there was no point in him staying. The political arm of the FSA is the so-called Syrian National Council, touted as an alternative government but dysfunctional from the start and now recognized as such even by its sponsors. Put these two hard realities together and you have the formula for complete chaos. There is no alternative government in sight. There is no rational end in sight. The armed groups cannot overthrow the government without the direct intervention of their outside sponsors and that possibility seems to be receding although Qatar is still trying to talk it up. All that lies ahead of Syria unless the violence can be ended and negotiations begun is more chaos, more destruction and more loss of life.

Not that chaos is to be discarded as an end in itself. It will take Syria decades to recover from the damage already done whoever governs in Damascus. If the decision is finally taken to attack Iran, Syria would probably be too stricken to come to its aid even if the government has not been overthrown; if Syria cannot help, then Hezbollah might have to stay on the sidelines as well, releasing Israel from the fear of a second front opening in the north. This is how the governments orchestrating the campaign against Syria want the dominoes to fall. The implications for the Palestinians are clear. Any gain for Israel is a loss for them and the overthrow of the Syrian government, followed by the collapse of the strategic relationship between Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, would be an enormous gain for Israel, releasing pressure on one front and giving it more time to complete its absorption of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

What most Syrians want is to be left alone to sort out their own affairs. They want change but not at any cost. They don’t want the west sticking its nose in their affairs and they don’t want armed gangs running amok in their country. The west might have forgotten its own bloody record in the Middle East dating back to the beginning of the 19th century but Syrians have not. They know how disastrously western intervention always ends in the Middle East. Heads of governments who have been fueling the armed opposition have been lining up at the UN General Assembly to call for an end to the violence. If they mean what they say, they would be throwing their weight behind the attempts of the non-violent domestic opposition to bring a mediated end to this conflict. But they don’t and therefore must be seen for what they are – hypocrites who are pushing their own agenda at massive cost to Syria and its people.

Jeremy Salt is an associate professor of Middle Eastern history and politics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Comments Off on Ending the Violence in Syria

Interfaith dialogue is no answer to Israel’s racist bullying

 By Stuart Littlewood | My Catbird Seat | October 3, 2012

So the Albuquerque Episcopalians got jumpy and ‘disinvited’ the Friends of Sabeel who had booked their cathedral for a conference.

Sabeel is an international peace movement which calls itself the Voice of Palestinian Christians.

Why would one Christian group snub another? The excuse for turning away the conference was concocted by the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev. J. Mark Goodman. “We said our prayers and deliberated thoughtfully and purposefully,” he explained.

It seems he and his Episcopalian colleagues didn’t like the way the conference would be dealing with “a political issue that has polarized people in ways that we felt were unhelpful. We did not want to introduce a polarized issue into the life of the Cathedral that would have the potential to divide rather than unite. Our decision was not based upon anti-Palestinian positions. In fact, many on the Vestry [i.e. the church directors] are very sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people, yet they were concerned about the rhetoric of the literature from Sabeel.”

He denied they were put under pressure from Zionists. Nevertheless they had invited a local rabbi to come and speak to the Vestry, a rather odd thing to do when, presumably, they were all acquainted with the endless crimes committed by the Jewish State against the Christian communities in the Holy Land. Do they usually turn to rabbis for advice?

Goodman also said Vestry members had attended his recent Forum classes, after which they had misgivings about serving as conference hosts.

“This summer at General Convention, I served on a committee that dealt in a focused way with resolutions about the conflict between Israel and Palestinians,” he went on. “It was my personal prayer that we would craft resolutions that were balanced and offered a way forward with positive engagement with each side, seeking a way forward that would bring security, dignity and peace to a region that has known strife for too long. I believe we succeeded.”

Note the reliance on “positive engagement”. What exactly does that mean – more interfaith dialogue? “We succeeded”, he says. But how does he measure success? And why is he not pressing for the enforcement of international and humanitarian law and the implementation of UN resolutions, the only route to justice? The Episcopalian approach implies that some sort of equivalence, or level playing field, already exists between the powerful aggressor and the weak victim, the robber and the robbed, the armed occupier and his unarmed dispossessed prisoner.

How did these churchmen, far removed from the rotten reality, become experts on “security, dignity and peace” in the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom? Have they been there, rolled up their sleeves and immersed themselves in the snake pit that the Holy Land has been allowed to become? What makes him and his mates think they’ve found a way forward while Palestine remains under brutal occupation?

The mission statement provided by Goodman’s church says: “The Cathedral continues to honor its responsibility to be a good steward and shepherd in the community and the world.” A huge and worthy commitment indeed. However, the cathedral’s own relatively peaceful community and inconsequential little world have been rudely rocked by scandal following claims that it was headed for bankruptcy and members were deserting. The cathedral accountant blew the whistle and allegations were made about the misuse of collection money, liberal imbibing of expensive wine and Vestry members “trashing the cathedral’s endowment by $2 million through complacency, and of not disciplining the dean”.

The regional bishop moved quickly to hush it up in an operation that local church workers said was “like a quiet version of the Spanish Inquisition”. There’s more about it here.

If only this sort of tomfoolery were all that Christian churches in the Holy Land had to worry about. Unfortunately the Episcopalians seem pretty confused, or downright ignorant, about the depths of evil to which the Israeli occupation has sunk. This is from their official report Israel-Palestine: Convention supports positive investment – Bishops agree to postpone indefinitely debate on corporate engagement ….

Bishop John Tarrant of South Dakota urged opposition to Resolution C060 [which calls on the church to engage “in corporate social responsibility by more vigorous and public corporate engagement with companies in the church’s investment portfolio that contribute to the infrastructure of the Occupation”]. He spoke about the town of Rawabi, currently under construction north of Ramallah in the West Bank, that will provide opportunities for affordable home ownership, employment and education. Tarrant said that the project, envisioned by a group of Palestinian businessmen, would inject about $80 million into the Israeli economy.

“It gave me the sense that there are Palestinians that understand the importance of mutuality if the two states are going to exist side by side,” he said.

He reminded the house of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s charge for Episcopalians ‘to go as emissaries…to go into the world of God’s dream’. “I believe there are Palestinians and Israelis now that are going into the world with God’s dream.”

Has Bishop Schori been to the world of God’s dream and seen what’s there?

And why would Bishop Tarrant want to inject all those $millions into the Israeli economy when Israel has been strangling the Palestinian economy to death, seizing its land and water and withholding Palestine’s tax revenues?

Bishop Charles Bennison of Pennsylvania said the movement to support boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel was unwise. “We need more, not fewer, economic ties to Israel. The more isolated Israel becomes the more dangerous the situation becomes.”

It turns out that Episcopalians are against boycott and divestment. Instead the bishops have supported a resolution on positive investment in the Palestinian Territories, as if that will do the slightest good while the illegal occupation and blockade continue. Meanwhile they agreed to postpone indefinitely the conversation on corporate engagement.

To them, it seems, going as emissaries into God’s dream involves kicking the can down the road like the rest of wretched Christendom (with a few honourable exceptions). Was anybody at the Convention truly concerned with right versus wrong, good versus evil, the rule of international law versus the rule of the gun-butt, the F-16, the helicopter gun-ship, the tank shell, illegal detention and the hard-to-get permit to go anywhere.

Their own Bishop is a victim of Israel’s apartheid policies

The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem himself is a classic victim of the machinations of the cruel occupation. Suheil Dawani is Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, which is a part of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and The Middle East. This covers Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. He was installed in April 2007, but in March 2011 Israel cancelled his residency permit making it well nigh impossible for him to carry out his duties. As a non-Israeli he needs a temporary residence permit. The Israelis played fast and loose, granting a permit initially then turning him down.

Here’s the explanation. “The bishop is a native of the Holy Land and has spent most of his life and ministry there, but cannot obtain either citizenship or legal residence in Israel, since he was born in Nablus, in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, but has not been annexed to Israel. East Jerusalem, on the other hand, where the Anglican Cathedral and Diocesan offices are situated, was also occupied at the same time, but Israel annexed it and considers it part of its national territory (although no other country in the world recognizes this annexation). Therefore, Bishop Dawani is considered by Israel to be a foreigner who can only visit – let alone live in – East Jerusalem with a special permit, which the Israeli authorities can either grant or deny at their sole discretion.”

Get it?

There’s a religious war going on in the Holy Land and Dawani was wide open to this sort of dirty trick. After six months of aggravation and international pressure, during which Israel’s Interior Ministry accused him of “improper” land dealings on behalf of the church and the Palestinian Authority, the illegal occupiers granted residency permits to the bishop and his family.

But here’s the catch… those permits will have to be renewed when they expire, whenever that may be or whenever the Israelis choose.

So the Israelis have the bishop’s balls in a vice. Keep quiet Dawani and all you Anglicans/Episcopalians while we carry on with our ethnic cleansing. Keep quiet while we trash the Palestinian economy, confiscate their lands and water resources, continue the blockade, erase their culture and humiliate their families, drive out the Christians and Muslims and disrupt the religious life of those who stubbornly remain.

Keep quiet or we’ll revoke your permit again.

The Catholics similarly walk on eggshells and are mercilessly bullied in their homeland. Their priests are harassed and obstructed and often prevented from going about their pastoral duties. Many are ‘imprisoned’ in their parish – if they leave it to visit relatives or holiday in another part of the Occupied Territories or in neighbouring countries like Jordan and Lebanon, the Israelis may not let them back in.

So imagine what it’s like for the Muslims.

The simple truth is that the Jewish State is the world leader in rampant lawlessness and interfaith bullying, while the wet and wimpish Anglicans respond with their clapped-out formula of interfaith dialogue and other verbal diarrhoea. For 64 years it has got us and our Palestinian brothers and sisters precisely nowhere.

The good folks of Sabeel must now be wondering what they’ve done to deserve same-faith friends like the Albuquerque Episcopalians.

Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, can now be read on the internet by visiting

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Comments Off on Interfaith dialogue is no answer to Israel’s racist bullying

Argentina becomes main supplier of soy and soy-oil to Iran in third quarter

MercoPress | October 2, 2012

Iran made major imports of Argentine soy-oil and soybeans between July and September as Iranian buyers found methods of making payments in the face of western sanctions, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday.

Iran imported 202.000 tons of soy-oil in July-Sept. 2012, up from only 160,000 in April-June this year, a figure depressed as sanctions hit shipments, Oil World estimates.

Of the July-Sept. total, 129.000 tons is believed to have been imported from Argentina, 59.000 tons from Brazil and 14.000 tons from Paraguay, Oil World said.

Western sanctions imposed on Iran because of its disputed nuclear program do not include food shipments, but sanctions make it intensely difficult for importers to obtain letters of credit or conduct international transfers of funds through banks.

Iran has been able to make large wheat purchases in past weeks despite sanctions, Reuters reported on Thursday. Iran has also stepped up soybean imports in recent months, Oil World said.

“Iran will import roughly 160.000 tons of soybeans in June/Sept. 2012, the bulk of it from Argentina”, it said. “This volume compares to only 68.000 tons imported in Jan/May 2012 before importers found ways to purchase large volumes despite the sanctions.”

Iran has also made heavy sunflower oil purchases, raising July-Sept. 2012 sun-oil imports to 154.000 tons from only 75.000 tons in April-June 2012, Oil World estimates.

Ukraine supplied 140.000 tons of the July-Sept. sun-oil imports, Argentina 10.000 tons with the rest mainly coming from Russia, Oil World said.

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

A Quantum of Racism

Kadaitcha | October 3rd, 2012

Two young Palestinian Israelis who came second in an international Physics Competition in Warsaw are omitted conspicuously in a racist report on the winners in Israel Hayom.

*Even when you excel and you are an Arab, you remain invisible.

* Israel came first in an international physics competition, and it is trying to reach the same benchmark in racism.

First published: 1/10/2012 11:30:27am

On 20 September 2012 Israel Hayom published an article under the headline Quantum of success. It highlighted the success of the Israeli delegation from Ilan Ramon Centre at Ben-Gurion University in a competition held at the Institute of Physics in Warsaw.

The article contained the names of the winners, but not all of them…

It mentioned the first prize winner (Yuval Katznelson) and one of third prize winners (May Alon). The article quotes Professor Victor Malamud, head of the Ilan Ramon Centre at BGU, which coordinates efforts for the competition as saying that “We succeeded in showing the world the potential of the Jewish mind.”

On the surface, a cause for Jewish pride, indeed..

But what about the second place getter in the competition? The two second place winners, Magd Alfrawona and Alfarook Abu Alhassan were not mentioned at all. Probably because they don’t have a Jewish mind, or because they are Arabs …

What is the message that such articles give to the general public? What is the message that head of the program is providing to the students?

The conclusion is inescapable, instead of being proud of all those who represented the country and impel them further forward, there is a very clear delineation between the Arab and Jewish participants. This is not all that far from our reality which is full of physical and virtual fences marking the separation between the two peoples.

This statement is racist for several reasons: it ignores some of the delegation’s winners, solely because cultural/social/national differences. This statement tries to establish the superiority of some participants over others on the sole basis of their national affiliation. In addition to all this, the article tries to obliterate the Arab presence in the delegation, and their success. This is despite the writers being aware of a different picture being presented on the university’s English-language website (there the two Arab winners are mentioned, and they also appear in the team photo published in the newspaper).

It is a pity that a lecturer in such a distinguished university professor chose to speak in such a racist fashion as he did. […]

This article proves once again that academia is not free of racism …

Names of participants Winners:

Israel Hayom article:



Translated by Sol Salbe of the Middle East News Service Melbourne, Australia

Hebrew original:

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 4 Comments

NAM calls for total abolition of chemical weapons

Mehr News Agency | October 2, 2012

TEHRAN – During a speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, Iran and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement that are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention called for the total eradication of all chemical weapons throughout the world.

The speech was delivered by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on behalf of the state members of NAM that are parties to the CWC during the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) High-Level Meeting on “Fifteen Years of the Chemical Weapons Convention: Celebrating Success, Committing to the Future.”

Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term on August 30.

Following is the text of Salehi’s speech:

Mr. Chairman,

1. I am honored to speak on behalf of the state members of the Non-Aligned Movement that are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This important meeting represents an opportunity to further support the long-term objectives of the convention.

2. NAM states parties to the CWC recognize the important role the CWC has played over the last 15 years in the prevention of proliferation and total destruction of all chemical weapons, which is a significant contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.

3. NAM states parties to the CWC reaffirm the Final Document of the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Governments of NAM held from 26-31 August 2012 in Tehran, which contains their principled positions on various important issues in relation to the CWC.

4. Mindful of the threat posed to humankind by the existing weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and underlining the need for the total elimination of such weapons, we reaffirm the need to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction, and therefore supports the necessity of monitoring the situation and triggering international action as required.

5. In our view, CWC is one of the very few disarmament multilateral treaties banning a whole category of weapons of mass destruction. Consequently, we believe that the effective contribution of the convention to international and regional peace and security would be enhanced through universal adherence to the convention. In this context, NAM states parties to the CWC invite all non-parties, in particular those states whose non-adherence has given rise to serious concerns, to accede to the convention as soon as possible with a view to achieve its universality.

6. NAM states parties to the CWC reaffirm that the effective contribution of the convention to international and regional peace and security can be enhanced through its full implementation, and in this context encourage all states parties that have not yet done so to engage with the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on the steps that need to be undertaken for the national implementation of the convention.

7. NAM states parties to the CWC reaffirm the importance of international cooperation in the field of chemical activities for purposes not prohibited under the convention, and in this connection call on the developed countries to promote international cooperation for the benefit of states parties through the transfer of technology, material, and equipment for peaceful purposes in the chemical field and the removal of all and to prevent any discriminatory restrictions as they are contrary to the letter and spirit of the convention. They further reiterate their conviction that facilitation of and participation in the fullest possible exchanges and enhanced international cooperation in the field of peaceful chemical activities, aimed at facilitating economic and social development, is a vital element in strengthening implementation of the convention.

8. In the view of the NAM states parties to the CWC, 15 years of operation of the convention has demonstrated that developing countries who are states parties to the CWC have implemented their obligations in good faith. They reiterate their strong call to developed countries to promote international cooperation and to fulfill the solemn undertakings given at the time of the convention’s adoption for removal of unwarranted restrictions in the field of trade in chemicals, equipment, and related technologies for peaceful purposes.

9. NAM states parties to the CWC express serious concern that certain possessor states parties could not comply with their obligations regarding the total destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles within the final extended deadline of 29 April 2012. While stressing that such cases of non-compliance endanger the credibility and integrity of the convention, they urge all possessor state parties to take every necessary measure with a view to achieving, under verification by (the) OPCW, complete destruction of their chemical weapons in the shortest time possible in order to (ensure) their compliance with the convention thus upholding its credibility and integrity. They further express disappointment that, to date, the obligation of total destruction of all chemical weapons has not been met, and reaffirm that verification of the destruction of all the remaining chemical weapons stockpiles as well as old chemical weapons and abandoned chemical weapons shall continue to be the top priorities of the OPCW.

10. NAM states parties to the CWC reaffirm that the implementation of Article X of the CWC on assistance and protection against chemical weapons make a significant contribution to countering the threats of use of chemical weapons. They stress the importance of achieving and maintaining a high level of readiness of the OPCW to provide timely and needed assistance and protection against use or threat of use of chemical weapons, including assistance to the victims of chemical weapons.

11. NAM states parties to the CWC welcome the decision on components of an agreed framework for the full implementation of Article XI adopted at the 16th Conference of the States Parties of the CWC and consider it a positive step towards achieving the goal of the full, effective, and non-discriminatory implementation of Article XI.

12. NAM states parties to the CWC declare their firm conviction that international support to provide special care and assistance to all victims suffering the effects of exposure to chemical weapons is an immediate humanitarian need that requires urgent attention, and in this context, they welcome the establishment of an International Support Network for Victims of Chemical Weapons and a voluntary Trust Fund for this purpose. They call upon the Technical Secretariat to expeditiously operationalize the network, and in this context encourage the states parties to contribute to the voluntary trust fund of the network.

13. In closing, NAM states parties to the CWC express their strong commitment to continue their efforts on the universalization and effective implementation of the CWC. Let us all join hands and work together to help realize peace and well-being everywhere.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | | Comments Off on NAM calls for total abolition of chemical weapons