Aletho News


Third of Palestinian village left homeless by demolitions this year

Ma’an – March 25, 2016

NABLUS – Mass Israeli demolitions in the Jordan Valley village of Khirbet Tana have left more than a third of its Palestinian residents homeless since the beginning of the year, the UN said Friday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 87 of the village’s 250 residents, including 35 children, had lost their homes in three separate demolitions since January.

The demolitions are part of one of the most extensive demolition campaigns in the occupied West Bank in the last seven years, which has left a total of more than 650 Palestinians homeless in less than three months, more than half of whom were children, OCHA said.

“These demolitions generate a coercive environment, exacerbating residents’ risk of forcible transfer, prohibited by international humanitarian law,” the body said.

In Khribet Tana, 53 structures have been destroyed, including 22 homes, 19 animal shelters, six latrine units, five traditional ovens, and a water reservoir.

The UN body said 18 of these structures had been donated as humanitarian aid by the international community, the majority after demolitions were carried out earlier this year.

Half of all Israeli demolitions across the occupied West Bank this year have taken place in areas declared by Israel as “firing zones,” or restricted military areas, which OCHA said constitute nearly 20 percent of the occupied West Bank.

Khirbet Tana is located in “Firing Zone 904A,” in a part of the Jordan Valley that rights groups say Israel intends to fully annex.

Thousands of Bedouins, who have lived there for decades, face the threat of forced displacement, a threat that rights groups say has become more acute in recent years, particularly with large numbers of resident forced to flee during Israeli military training exercises.

Israel’s Civil Administration demolished all structures in Khirbet Tana in 2012, leaving 152 Palestinian residents homeless, including 64 children, according to Israeli rights groups B’Tselem.

That was the fifth wave of demolitions the village had faced since 2005.

Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories previously told Ma’an the demolitions were carried out in the village because they were built illegally and were endangered due to their situation inside the firing zone.

However, OCHA noted two illegal Israeli settlement outposts — recently established and built in the same firing zone — where the Israeli authorities have not carried out any demolitions, despite issuing demolition orders.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli settlers threaten Palestinian who filmed Hebron ‘execution’

Ma’an – March 25, 2016

HEBRON – Israeli settlers on Friday gathered outside the home of a human rights worker in Hebron to hurl abuse at him, a day after he captured on camera an Israeli soldier’s killing of a wounded Palestinian that has sparked international outcry. Imad Abu Shamsiya, a staff member with Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, told Ma’an after settlers threatened him: “I now fear for my life and the life of my family. I’m afraid they might attack my house and do me harm.”

He added that he fears the possibility of suffering the same fate as the Dawabsha family, who were killed in an arson attack committed by settlers last year in the village of Duma in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian residents of Hebron Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif and Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, both 21 years old, were shot down Thursday after allegedly stabbing and moderately wounding an Israeli soldier near a military checkpoint in Hebron’s Old City.

Shamsiya recorded rare video footage of an Israeli soldier shooting al-Sharif in the head at point-blank range in plain view of the medical team after he had already been shot at least once and left motionless on the ground.

The incident has brought a barrage of condemnations from the Israeli leadership and led Israel’s army to detain the soldier responsible and launch an investigation.

The release of the graphic video has called attention to what rights groups, international leaders, and Palestinian officials call a policy of “extrajudicial executions” by Israel against Palestinians, since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel last October.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said Friday he strongly condemned the apparent “extrajudicial execution” of al-Sharif.

“This was a gruesome, immoral, and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation,” Mladenov said.

Tel Rumeida — where Shamsiya’s house is located and the site of the Thursday’s incident — has been a flashpoint for tensions between Palestinians and Israeli settlers and military, and is near the illegal settlement of Beit Yishai.

Mistreatment of Palestinians in the Hebron area has been common since the city was divided in the 1990s after a US-born settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians inside the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The majority of the city was placed under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, while the Old City and surrounding areas were placed under Israeli military control in a sector known as H2.

The area is home to 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces. Hebron residents frequently report attacks and harassment by the settlers carried out in the presence of the forces.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Another Israeli Execution in Cold Blood, Another Whitewash in The NY Times

By Barbara Erickson | TimesWarp | March 25, 2016

An Israeli soldier is caught on video murdering a helpless, wounded Palestinian as he lies on the street; the graphic scene makes headlines in Europe, the United States and beyond—with a notable exception: The New York Times.

In the newspaper of record we find a different focus. The video and its contents are not the news here; it is the reaction from the Israeli ‘Defense’ Forces that takes precedence over all.

In other words, the Times has chosen to emphasize Israeli spin over events on the ground, and so we have this headline above today’s story by Isabel Kershner: “Israeli Soldier Detained in Shooting of Palestinian.” It is all to convince us that this incident is a terrible aberration from accepted norms and will call forth a swift response.

Her article opens with reference to the IDF announcement that it had arrested the soldier accused of shooting the Palestinian, and it quickly adds that a military spokesman condemned the act as a “grave breach” of the corps’ values.

Kershner goes on to quote and paraphrase the IDF or Israeli officials no less than nine times in the course of a 900-word story. We have comments by the Israeli defense minister, a brigadier general, a lieutenant general, the lawyer representing the detained soldier and the army’s flak, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

She expends seven paragraphs on the IDF claims before allowing the other side to speak, and then she quotes from two representatives of human rights groups before returning the microphone to official apologists once again.

Take a look at the headlines and stories in, for instance, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Both these newspapers took the video itself as the news, with headlines, such as this from the Post: “Watch: Israeli soldier caught on video fatally shooting wounded Palestinian attacker.”

Both papers also include a disturbing quote caught on the video, a voice saying, “This terrorist is still alive, this dog.” The statement was made moments before the wounded man was shot, but Kershner omits it entirely from her story.

She also buys into the army claim that it had started its investigation before the video emerged and then “rocketed around the Internet.” This, however, does not jibe with her statement that the army’s original announcement of the incident was “routine,” a brief report that two assailants had been shot.

The army’s claims of outrage ring hollow in the face of the video evidence, which places the soldiers’ indifference at the killing of the wounded man on full display. They appear cheerful and callously unconcerned and allow local settlers to approach and take pictures of the body.

Kershner, however, characterizes this atmosphere as “a calm, secure scene.”

Readers can find a very different perspective in a brief blog post by Israeli-based journalist Jonathan Cook. In a piece titled, “Another routine execution by Israeli troops,” he writes that “two Israeli officers standing close by don’t bat an eyelid as the Palestinian man is murdered next to them. The soldier who executes the Palestinian even confers with another officer seconds before the deed, apparently getting permission.”

He concludes, “All of them seem to view this as standard operating procedure. And it is: in Israeli military parlance, it is called ‘confirming the kill.’”

Cook’s claim that the incident is far from an aberration has support from many rights groups, international monitoring organizations and even Israeli journalist Gideon Levy (see TimesWarp 1-20-16), and although Kershner mentions these briefly, she gives the weight of her story to the Israeli response.

The Times has almost totally ignored these accusations, and now it strives to convince us that the assassination was anything but routine even as the visual evidence shows otherwise. Readers who care to discover the actual story here can simply watch the scene unfold, a brief and chilling view of the Israeli army carrying out a normal day’s work.

Follow @TimesWarp on Twitter

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

UN Group Rejects US Sanctions Against Venezuela

teleSUR – March 24, 2016

The G77 and China affirmed their solidarity with Venezuela after President Barack Obama renewed an executive order classifying Venezuela as a threat.

The Group of 77 and China reiterated this week, “its rejection to the latest decision of the government of the United States of America to renew its unilateral sanctions against the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

A March 3 executive order signed by President Obama renewed sanctions against Venezuela, referring to the South American state as “a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.”

The G77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, which “provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development,” according to their website.

The group represents the global South, and features many Latin American countries such as Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia. Other regions are represented by members, including the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The statement goes on to say that the “G77 and China underlines the positive contribution of Venezuela to the strengthening of South-South cooperation, solidarity and friendship among all peoples and nations, with a view to promoting peace and development, conveying solidarity.”

It also demands the U.S. government “evaluate and implement alternatives for a dialogue” with Venezuela, “under the principle of respect to sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples. Therefore, it urges to repeal the aforementioned executive order.”

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 1 Comment

Venezuela Faces Outside Threats, Says Russian Foreign Minister


Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov reaffirms his country’s friendship with Venezuela. | Photo: PSUV
teleSUR – March 25, 2016

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that his country has been closely following the situation in Venezuela and stressed that such is exacerbated by external interference.

“Venezuela is a friend country that they (opponents) are trying to destroy from outside,” Lavrov said Thursday during a meeting in Moscow with Venezuelan diplomats and Latin American students who are attending a course in diplomatic studies organized by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

At the meeting, the top diplomat explained the vision of Russia in Latin America and said he is pleased to see how Latin American countries have unanimously rejected coups led by right-wing opposition.

U.S. President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order March 9, 2015, declaring a “national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.” Obama then renewed that decree March 3, 2016, claiming that alleged conditions that prompted the first order had “not improved.”

All 33 members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States expressed their opposition to the U.S. government’s aggressive move and called for it to be reversed.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘New US sanctions attack on Iran’s sovereignty’

Press TV – March 25, 2016

“What has Iran done to receive the opprobrium of the United States other than stand up to it and challenge its imperialist policies?” asks Professor Dennis Etler.

The United States is not seeking rapprochement with Iran based on mutual respect and benefit but is attempting to undermine its sovereignty, says Professor Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday, after the US Department of the Treasury imposed financial sanctions on two more Iranian companies for allegedly supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Washington’s latest legal move against Tehran was announced on Thursday, weeks after the United States imposed similar sanctions on 11 other companies and individuals alleged to be involved in the missile program.

“The US imposition of more sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program shows its true colors,” said Professor Etler. “It is not seeking rapprochement based on mutual respect and benefit but is attempting to hem Iran in and make it as difficult as possible to maintain itself as an independent nation with all the rights and privileges of any other sovereign state.”

“What has Iran done to receive the opprobrium of the United States other than stand up to it and challenge its imperialist policies? Has Iran invaded its neighbors in the Middle East as the US and its allies have?” he asked.

“It is well known that the US invaded Iraq on false pretenses and has supported regime change throughout the region resulting in unprecedented calamities, the collapse of one nation after another, the destitution of entire countries and the exodus of millions of refugees fleeing war and destruction and flooding Europe. It is the US which holds the world hostage to its nuclear arsenal and its bristling ICBMs which threaten the world’s peace and security,” he added.

“Iran on the other hand has been the object of invasion by those opposed to its self-determination. It is Iran that is surrounded by hostile forces supported by an aggressive US out to maintain its regional and global hegemony at all costs. It is US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia who have trained, funded and enabled terrorists to wreak havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond. Iran is the country under immediate threat from the US and its neighbors, not vice versa,” the analyst stated.

“Which countries pose the greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East? Iran which has in modern history never exceeded its borders? Or Israel, subsidized by the US, that occupies Palestinian lands and has imposed Apartheid-like regime on the oppressed Palestinian people?” he asked.

“Has Iran invaded its neighbors like Saudi Arabia, armed to the teeth by the US, which foments terrorism and tries to impose its ideology on other Islamic countries?” the scholar further asked.

“Iran has every right to have a vigorous defensive capacity to protect its vital national interests and thwart attempts to undermine its sovereignty. There is absolutely no reason for the US or any other country to demand that Iran give up its sovereign right to self-defense and deterrence. It is the US, its NATO and other allies who have demonstrated their aggressive and war-like intents who should be sanctioned, not Iran,” Professor Etler concluded.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BRICS Bank to issue bonds in 2nd quarter: VP

The BRICS Post – March 25, 2016

The New Development Bank launched by the BRICS will soon issue between 3-5 billion yuan in bonds in China in the second quarter of 2016, a senior bank official said on Thursday.

Leslie Maasdorp, NDB vice-president and chief financial officer, was speaking on the sidelines of the Boao forum in China.

The new lender will prioritise projects aimed at developing renewable energy sources, Maasdorp said.

The five countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, hold equal voting rights.

“The New Development Bank plans to issue its first bond in China because the renminbi value is much more stable (compared with local currencies of other BRICS nations). China has a deep, liquid bond market,” Maasdorp was quoted by China Daily.

Maasdorp also said that the new lender intends to finance one project of each member state with the money raised via its first bond issue.

The new financial institution headquartered in China’s Shanghai has been set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation between the five emerging markets.

The Bank will announce its first investment projects next month.

Maasdorp reiterated on Thursday that the BRICS Bank will adopt a lean structure to aid “speed of execution”.

The bank has received an ‘AAA’ institutional rating from domestic credit rating agencies and has appointed Bank of China and China Development Bank as rating advisers, an official statement said.

The founding members of the NDB have already brought in capital of $1 billion as initial contribution.

Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs have been appointed as advisers for international ratings.

At a press conference in Shanghai last month, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the NDB “will soon become a strong and well-respected international financial institution, playing a leading role in the changing international financial architecture”.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

“Suicide Bombers” Known to, Imprisoned by Security Agencies BEFORE Brussels Attack

 By Tony Cartalucci | New Eastern Outlook | March 25, 2016

It is now revealed that not only were at least three bombers involved in the March 22 Brussels attack well-known to Western security agencies, two – brothers Brahim and Khalid El Bakraoui – were both arrested, charged, and imprisoned for violent crimes in 2010 and 2011, the elder brother for shooting at police with an AK-47s automatic rifle during a holdup, and the younger brother for carjacking and possession of several AK-47s, respectively.

It is also now confirmed that the elder brother, Brahim El Bakraoui, was arrested and deported from Turkey last year for suspected terrorist activity, but not before Ankara attempted to notify Brussels in order for El Bakraoui to be detained upon his arrival back in the EU. Brussels, however, failed categorically to act on the alert, allowing El Bakraoui to return home without consequence.

The third suspect, Najim Laachraoui, had traveled to Syria between 2012-2013 and has had an international warrant out for his arrest since 2014 for allegedly aiding in the recruitment of Europeans for the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS).

Germany’s largest press agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, reported in their article, “Reports: Brothers known to police were among Brussels suicide bombers,” that:

Two Brussels brothers who were known to police are among the suicide bombers who carried out deadly terrorist attacks on the international airport and subway in the Belgian capital, local media reported Wednesday.

And that:

[Khalid El Bakraoui] had been sentenced in early 2011 to five years in prison for carjackings, after having been arrested in possession of Kalashnikov rifles, according to the Belga news agency.

His brother, 30-year-old Brahim, had been sentenced in 2010 to nine years in prison for having shot at police with a Kalashnikov rifle during a hold-up, Belga said.

The New York Times, in their article, “Brussels Attack Lapses Acknowledged by Belgian Officials,” would report regarding Brahim El Bakraoui’s arrest and deportation from Turkey that:

The Belgian justice and interior ministers acknowledged that their departments should have acted on a Turkish alert about a convicted Belgian criminal briefly arrested in Turkey last year on suspicion of terrorist activity, who turned out to be one of the suicide bombers. And the Belgian prosecutor’s office said that person’s brother — another suicide bomber — had been wanted since December in connection with the Paris attacks.

Apparently in Belgium, you can possess a small military arsenal, even use it against police, and still get out of jail early enough to travel to Syria to join a known terrorist organization before being deported without consequence, then join a terrorist network back home lined by equally known criminals to Belgium security agencies, before carrying out a deadly high profile terrorist attack.

And unlike most ISIS suicide attacks, featuring suicide belts or vests, the bombers involved in the Brussels attack appear to have been pushing carts that contained bombs. It is more than possible that the brothers were unaware of the “one-way” nature of their attack, as a third bomber – Laachraoui, the suspected “bomb maker” – managed to escape, and several reports indicate at least one of the brothers may have possibly dropped off a device at the airport which was remotely detonated before moving onward to the Brussels metro to carry out a second bombing.

Suspects “Escaped” Police Raid a Week Before the Attacks 

Brussels-14_3595204bIn addition to the El Bakraoui brothers’ previous arrests in 2010 and 2011, as well as the eldest brother’s arrest and deportation from Turkey last year for suspected terrorist activity, they were also allegedly involved in a police raid just one week before the Brussels attack. During the raid, at least one suspect was killed while two others escaped, the El Bakraoui brothers.

The London Telegraph in their article, “Brussels shootout: Four arrested as Islamic State flag found near the body of gunman,” reported that (emphasis added):

According to Dernière Heure, the two suspects at large are thought to be Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, respectively 26 and 30. Known for gangster-related crimes, the name of one has cropped up in anti-terror investigations, according to Le Monde.

After the standoff, police and special forces expanded their search and homed in on a neighbouring street, rue de l’Eau, after finding two gun cartridges and dark clothing in the area. During a raid on a house, they picked up another Kalashnikov.

The Belgium police and the Western media have categorically failed to foster understanding and help form a clear picture of the terrorists they are allegedly attempting to apprehend. At least four suspects were arrested after the raid, but then released without charges. The identity of the suspects and the circumstances of their release have not been reported.

Terrorists Under Security’s Noses, in their Clutches, Yet Still Carrying Out Attacks 

Virtually every single terror suspect involved in the Charlie Hebo massacre and Paris attacks last year in France, and the Brussels attack this week, have been long-known to Western security agencies.

Many have even been detained, convicted, and even imprisoned for violent crimes, with at least one Charlie Hebo massacre suspect having had been previously arrested in 2005 specifically for terror-related charges.

Slate Magazine would report in their article, “The Details of Paris Suspect Cherif Kouachi’s 2008 Terrorism Conviction,” that:

Kouachi was arrested in January 2005, accused of planning to join jihadists in Iraq. He was said to have fallen under the sway of Farid Benyettou, a young “self-taught preacher” who advocated violence, but had not actually yet traveled to Iraq or committed any acts of terror. Lawyers at the time said he had not received weapons training and “had begun having second thoughts,” going so far as to express “relief” that he’d been apprehended.

Kouachi would be later released before travelling to the Middle East to train and fight alongside Al Qaeda. CNN would report in an article titled, “France tells U.S. Paris suspect trained with al Qaeda in Yemen,” that:

Western intelligence officials are scrambling to learn more about possible travel of the two Paris terror attack suspects, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, with new information suggesting one of the brothers recently spent time in Yemen associating with al Qaeda in that country, U.S. officials briefed on the matter told CNN. Additional information from a French source close to the French security services puts one of the brothers in Syria.

Many of the other suspects have also been on terror watch lists for their travels to Syria where they have fought alongside ISIS before inexplicably being allowed to return to Europe and rejoin society without consequence, including at least one of the suspects involved in the recent Brussels attack.

Considering that the US itself admitted in a 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report that it and its allies, including “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey,” sought the creation of a “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) in eastern Syria precisely where ISIS now resides, it should not be surprising to find what appears to be an intentionally ineffective security policy put in place, allowing known, violent criminals, with obvious ties to terrorist organizations to operate freely both overseas in open combat against the West’s enemies, and at home to carry out a constant procession of attacks that foster fear, hatred, hysteria, and above all obedience to Western special interests at home.

Just as with the Charlie Hebo massacre, where the backstories of the suspects raised questions as to why they were not already long-ago jailed, the multiplying indicators that Western security agencies knew about, but inexplicably failed to stop known terrorists before this week’s attack will likely conjure up familiar excuses of “incompetence” or “overtaxed” security organizations.

And just like the terrorists security agencies have repeatedly failed to stop despite tracking and even capturing and detaining them multiple times, those among Western security agencies and governments responsible for negligence ahead of this most recent attack are very likely never to see the inside of a jail cell.

All that’s left is for the public to reconcile the West’s alleged claims it is fighting ISIS versus its actions which appear to be aiding, abetting, and perpetuating this global menace, at home and abroad.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Canada’s Role in the Sacking of West Africa’s Benin City

Once a great metropolis, Benin City is today a forgotten city, destroyed without a trace

By Yves Engler | March 24, 2016

Few Canadians are familiar with pre-colonial African cities and even fewer know a Canadian military leader helped sack one of West Africa’s great metropolises.

In the fifth installment of its Story of Cities series the Guardian recently focused on Benin City, the lost capital of an important precolonial state. At its height in the ‘Middle Ages’ Benin City and 500 interconnected settlements were the site of the largest earthworks carried out prior to the mechanical era. The walls built in what’s now southern Nigeria were “four times longer than the Great Wall of China” – 16,000 km in all.

Before most other cities Benin City had public lighting. In 1691 Portuguese ship captain Lourenco Pinto wrote that the city was “larger than Lisbon” and “so well governed that theft is unknown.”

Dating to the 11th century, Benin City faced growing pressure from European encroachment and the transatlantic slave trade. Finally, in 1897 a well-armed British force of 1,200 sacked the city, stealing or destroying its wealth. Today one is more likely to find remnants of the Benin City in the British Museum in London than in Nigeria.

And the Canadian connection? A star pupil of the Kingston, Ontario, based Royal Military College played a part in this little-known imperial history. Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, William Heneker helped London conquer Benin City and surrounding territory. In his 1906 book Bush Warfare the RMC grad writes: “Savage nations have, as a rule, to be cowed, either by having their warriors severely beaten in action and made to suffer heavy losses, as, in the case of the taking of Benin City.”

During the Benin Expedition of 1897 Captain Heneker guarded an imprisoned chief, Oba. Not long thereafter Heneker helped capture Oba’s son. Benin Under British Administration explains, “The exiled Oba’s son, Aiguobasimwin, was also dislodged from Igbanke by troops under Captains Heneker and Sheppard.”

In May 1898 Heneker was part of a small force that conquered the town of Ehor and surrounding villages of the decaying Benin Empire. One account notes how British forces “seized the opportunity to utterly destroy it [Ehor], burning it and knocking down the walls.”

The next year Heneker was an intelligence and survey officer in the Benin Territories Expedition, which was the final destructive blow to Benin resistance. In Correspondence Relating to the Benin Territories Expedition, 1899 consul general Sir R. Moor mentioned Heneker leading a force that destroyed the towns of Udo and Idumere and a company under the RMC graduate’s command “burnt and completely destroyed the large town of Ugiami, including the king’s house.”

The invasions of Benin gave the British access to valuable commodities. Author William Geary remarks, “the results of the operations opened up 3000 or more square miles rich in rubber forests and other African produce.” After the expedition British capitalists intensified efforts to exploit the area’s rubber forests and the Royal Niger Company expanded deeper into Benin.

As he rose through the ranks of the Southern Nigeria Regiment, which was part of the West African Frontier Force, Heneker led ever more soldiers. With a force of more than 200 men, he commanded the Ulia and Ishan Expeditions. In Bush Warfare Heneker described the scorched-earth policy the Ishan Expedition employed: “A fighting column left camp every morning, and one after another each town in the country was attacked and taken. All the juju groves [sacred natural forests] were cut down, and stores of food either destroyed or carried back to camp.”

Heneker and other Canadians’ role in the region steadily grew. “Canadian participation in the pacification of West Africa,” notes Canadian Army Journal editor Andrew Godefroy, “appeared to climax in late 1901 when the British launched a substantial civil-military operation against the Aro group of the Ibo tribe.” At least a dozen Canadians were among the white officer corps who led a force of some 2,000 soldiers and 2,000 porters to open a 193 km wide and 144 km long area of today’s Eastern Nigeria to British directed commerce. Early planning for the Anglo-Aro War was actually initiated by the Royal Niger Company, which wanted a bigger piece of the area’s trade.

Canadian Militia Lieutenant J.L.R. Parry was “Mentioned in Dispatches” for his services during the Aro Expedition. So was Canadian Militia Lieutenant James Wayling. During a major battle at Edimma, wrote overall British commander A. F. Montanaro: “Lieutenant A.E. Rastrick, Canadian Militia … who was in command of the Maxim [gun], used it with great effect, and so good was the fire control and discipline that the enemy was forced to retreat.”

Yves Engler is the author of Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Fox News Claims Broadcast TV Database Infringes Copyright

EFF and Partners Support Media Monitoring Service in Fight for Fair Use

EFF | March 24, 2016

San Francisco – A media monitoring service that creates a text-searchable database of television and radio content is defending its fair use rights before a federal appeals court. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), New York University’s Technology Law and Policy Clinic, and Public Knowledge urged the court Wednesday to protect this innovative technology—and others that have yet to be developed—from being shut down by copyright infringement claims.

“Search engines and book digitization have proven the enormous social benefits of indexing and archiving the media,” said EFF Staff Attorney Kit Walsh. “This case is the latest in a long line of copyright-based challenges to these important tools, and it should fail just as the others have.”

In this case, Fox News sued a company called TVEyes, claiming the company’s broadcast content database—used by journalists, scholars, and political campaigns to study and monitor the national media—infringed its copyright in its programming. The district court acknowledged that the service is generally a fair use of copyrighted material, but then, in a second ruling, held that some of the features of the TVEyes database could facilitate infringement, including the ability to share links or search by date and time. In a departure from established legal precedent, the court ruled that this was enough to defeat TVEyes’ fair use defense.

TVEyes appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In an amicus brief filed Wednesday, EFF and its partners argued that the law does not impose liability on a toolmaker based on the possibility that users will misuse a tool, except in limited circumstances not present here and not even alleged by Fox News.

“TVEyes’ liability should not turn on the hypothetical conduct of its users,” said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry.  “If the district court decision is upheld, all kinds of new technologies could be at risk. We are asking the appeals court to follow the law and reject Fox News’ claims.”

For the full amicus brief:

For more on Fox News v. TVEyes:

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Leave a comment

Turkey Eyes Law to Censor Universities Amid Professor Arrests

Sputnik – 24.03.2016

Turkey’s government has proposed a new law, which would have universities fire faculty for political disagreement with the government.

The new law would allow universities to systematically dismiss faculty based on their political leanings.

The law was proposed amid the arrest of several academics, who were arrested for signing a peace petition against the current military operation in Turkey’s southeast. The academics were detained on charges of “terrorist propaganda.”

Under the proposed law, faculty could be dismissed for such charges as “supporting terrorism,” “participation in the strikes and demonstrations that impede the learning process,” and “slandering the reputation of the state.”

“These first arrests are likely to be the tip of the iceberg. The next weeks could see a wave of them in jail,” Gareth Jenkins, a political analyst based in Istanbul told Nature.

The law would also target the arrested professors’ supporters, as their actions, by definition are “behavior which smears the state’s reputation” in the new law.

Under current law, the professors cannot be dismissed, because such charges are not part of the law. One of the more contentious issues is that faculty could be fired for “participation in the activities of political parties, which go beyond the provisions stipulated by the law.”

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Turkey orders closed trial for Cumhuriyet editor threatening to expose Erdogan in court


RT | March 25, 2016

The editor of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dundar, has been punished with a trial behind closed doors, after threatening to put President Erdogan on the defensive with renewed allegations.

Many media trials in Turkey of late have gripped national and international attention, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his relentless pursuit of alleged enemies of the state.

Dundar has been sentenced to life on the charge of espionage – and has vowed to do his utmost to make the wrongdoings of the Turkish government the focus of his Friday trial, effectively turning the tables.

Like others in recent years, Dundar, 54, and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul, 49, stand accused of trying to topple the government, something they allegedly attempted to do by publishing last May a video purporting to reveal truckloads of arms shipments to Syria overseen by Turkish intelligence.

Erdogan did admit to the trucks belonging to the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT), but said they were carrying weapons for the Turkmens – the group fighting both Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). He added that the prosecution had no right to peer into the trucks, and that the whole thing was set up to discredit his administration.

Dundar threatened to show the tape in court, knowing the risks involved. It did not pan out according to plan, and has resulted in the punishment he received Friday morning – that he will not see an open trial. In addition, the courts decided that Erdogan will act as a co-plaintiff in the trials, Reuters learned from a witness.

“We are not defendants, we are witnesses,” he told Reuters in an interview hours before the trial. “We will lay out all of the illegalities and make this a political prosecution … The state was caught in a criminal act, and it is doing all that it can to cover it up.

“We were arrested for two reasons: to punish us and to frighten others. And we see the intimidation has been effective. Fear dominates,” he added.

Dundar and Gul made an appearance before the courthouse on Friday morning, emphasizing that “journalism is not a crime” and once again calling publicly for their acquittal.

Both journalists were arrested in November and released following three months in detention after a constitutional court ruled on their release before trial – something Erdogan was not happy about.

“This institution, with the involvement of its president and some members, did not refrain from taking a decision that is against the country and its people, on a subject that is a concrete example of one of the biggest attacks against Turkey recently,” the state leader said at a rally in early March.

Just after the journalists’ release, Erdogan said he didn’t “obey or respect the [court’s] decision.” Their case “has nothing to do with press freedom,” he said, accusing them of “spying.”

He has also been heard saying Dundar would “pay a heavy price” for his crimes.

Numerous rights groups and press associations have voiced grave concern for press freedom in Turkey, all issuing calls to free Dundar and Gul. The International Press Institute called the trial “politically motivated.” Reporters Without Borders went a step further, calling Erdogan “increasingly despotic.”

The development follows several others in recent months, all involving the media being charged with similar crimes for similar offenses. This month authorities seized control of Zaman – the country’s top-selling newspaper, for allegedly aiding Fethullah Gulen – a religious scholar in exile whom Erdogan accused of leading a “terrorist” movement.

Since Erdogan came to power in 2014, a little under 2,000 such cases have been started, the majority for “insulting” the president.

Read more:

Turkish prosecutors demand life sentences for 2 jailed Erdogan critics

Erdogan accuses journalists of ‘biggest attack’ against Turkey, says court is ‘against country’ too

Almost 2,000 court cases opened in 18-months for ‘insulting’ Turkish President Erdogan

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment