country:united states

  • Israeli Self-Defense Does Not Permit Killing Civilians -

    #Daniel_Levy apporte d’excellents arguments au débat soulevé par @reka ici :

    Il me semble même qu’on ne saurait mieux dire,

    To be clear, Hamas does carry responsibility for this situation – its targeting of Israeli civilians violates international law. The Hamas charter, its political platform and its military activities all deserve to be condemned. But Israel’s share of the responsibility is far greater. That is a hard conclusion to draw but a necessary one if our understanding of events, our responses and policies are to improve.

    There is no military solution but Israel refuses political solutions. Humans do not respond well to humiliation, and will always find ways to resist.

    Israeli self-defense does not include the right to (again) kill hundreds of Gazan civilians, to bomb hospitals or even to warn people to evacuate buildings when there is nowhere for them to go. The Israeli government’s attempt to a priori blame Hamas for all losses and thereby absolve itself of responsibility for casualties cannot be accepted.

    Take a step back from this latest escalation. Most Gazans are refugees, their roots lie in the war and expulsion of 1948. From 1967 they lived under direct Israeli occupation and under blockade ever since, almost for the past decade.

    Israel is not offering Gazans “quiet for quiet.” When Hamas ceases to fire, when it is “quiet,” Israel returns to normality, but Gazans remain cut off from the world, denied the most basic daily freedoms we take for granted.

    Step further back to the West Bank, where the Palestinian strategic alternative to Hamas is pursued. The Fatah movement of President Abbas recognizes Israel, pursues peaceful negotiations and security cooperation. That is met with entrenched Israeli control, ever-expanding settlements, and Israeli military incursions into Palestinian cities at will.

    So what would you do under such circumstances? Perhaps start by not denying another people’s rights in perpetuity, including the right to self-determination. Reverse the current incentive structure that reciprocates both Fatah demilitarization and Hamas cease-fires with variations on an Israeli brand of deepening occupation.

    There is no military solution, but Israel’s government refuses any political solution – neither it nor the governing Likud Party have ever voted to accept a Palestinian state. Hamas’s nonrecognition of Israel is troubling, and so should this be.

    Humans do not respond well to humiliation, repression and attempts to deny their most basic dignity. Palestinians are human. Palestinians will find ways to resist — that is human — and sometimes that resistance will be armed. When the Palestinian struggle abandons, rather than uses, international law, as Hamas does, it is right to call that out and to respond proportionately (Israel has gone well beyond proportional), even as channels should be kept open with Hamas.

    Of course, Israelis do not respond well to being under fire either, but unlike the Palestinians they have a state, an army, American support and weaponry, and, thankfully, their freedom.

    What would you do under such circumstances? Start by treating the Palestinians as humans, as you yourself would wish to be treated.

    • Et un excellent #Henry_Siegman,

      Israel Provoked This War - Henry Siegman - POLITICO Magazine

      But where, exactly, are Israel’s borders?

      It is precisely Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to identify those borders that placed Israel’s population at risk. And the reason he has refused to do that is because he did not want the world to know that he had no intention of honoring the pledge he made in 2009 to reach a two-state agreement with the Palestinians. The Road Map for Middle East peace that was signed by Israel, the PLO and the United States explicitly ruled out any unilateral alterations in the pre-1967 armistice lines that served as a border between the parties. This provision was consistently and blatantly violated by successive Israeli governments with their illegal settlement project. And Netanyahu refused to recognize that border as the starting point for territorial negotiations in the terms of reference proposed by Secretary of State John Kerry.

      But on July 12, as noted in The Times of Israel by its editor, David Horovitz, Netanyahu made clear that he has no interest in a genuine two-state solution As Horovitz puts it, “the uncertainties were swept aside … And nobody will ever be able to claim in the future that [Netanyahu] didn’t tell us what he really thinks. He made it explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.” The IDF, Netanyahu said, would remain permanently in the West Bank. During the Kerry-sponsored negotiations, he rejected out of hand the American proposal that U.S. and international forces be stationed on the Israeli-Palestinian border, which he insisted would remain permanently under the IDF’s control. Various enclaves will comprise a new Palestinian entity, which Palestinians will be free to call a state. But sovereignty, the one element that defines self-determination and statehood, will never be allowed by Israel, he said.

      Why will he not allow it? Why did he undermine Kerry’s round of peace talks? Why is he inciting against the Palestinian unity government? Why does he continue to expand illegal settlements in the West Bank, and why did he use the tragic kidnapping and killing of three Israelis as a pretext to destroy what institutional political (as opposed to military) presence of Hamas remained in the West Bank?

      He’s doing all of these things because, as suggested by Yitzhak Laor in Haaretz, he and his government are engaged in a frenzied effort to eliminate Palestinians as a political entity. Israel’s government is “intent on inheriting it all” by turning the Palestinian people into “a fragmented, marginalized people,” Laor writes. It is what the Israeli scholar Baruch Kimmerling described as “politicide” in a book by that name he wrote in 2006.

      So exactly who is putting Israel’s population at risk?

    • Israel’s U.S.-Made Military Might Overwhelms Palestinians | Inter Press Service

      Jennings told IPS two facts are largely missing in the standard media portrayal of the Israel-Gaza “war:” the right of self-defence, so stoutly defended by Israelis and their allies in Washington, is never mentioned about the period in 1948 when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced from their homes and pushed off their land to be enclosed in the world’s largest prison camp that is Gaza.

      Secondly, the world has stood by silently while Israel, with complicity by the U.S. and Egypt, has literally choked the life out of the 1.7 million people in Gaza by a viciously effective cordon sanitaire, an almost total embargo on goods and services, greatly impacting the availability of food and medicine.

      “These are war crimes, stark and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law perpetuated over the last seven years while the world has continued to turn away,” Jennings said.

      “The indelible stain of that shameful neglect will not be erased for centuries, yet many people in the West continue to wonder at all the outrage in the Middle East,” he added.

  • 7 surprises about libraries in our surveys

    Many librarians are struggling to figure out how to think about their book collections in the digital age. The responses in a 2013 survey was the most divided verdict we got in the range of changes in the library world that we probed. Some 20% of respondents said libraries should “definitely” make changes with the ways they arrange their books, such as moving some print books and stacks out of public locations to free up more space for tech centers, reading rooms and cultural events, according to our 2013 survey. However, 36% said libraries should “definitely not” make those changes and 39% said libraries should “maybe” consider moving some books and stacks.

    #bibliothèques #livres #numérique #sondages #USA

  • The propaganda war over the Gaza crisis | Al Jazeera America

    In response to the Israeli military attack against Hamas, the dominant narrative formulated by the United States and the main Western European governments has combined two elements: first, unquestioning support for the core Israeli claim that it is legal and reasonable to attack Hamas in Gaza as a response to the launch from Gaza of rockets directed at Israel’s cities and towns and, second, that the violence unleashed is tragic, since it makes innocent civilians on both sides bear the burden of Hamas wrongdoing.


    • ... the Knesset recently elected Reuven Rivlin, an Israeli ardent one-stater, to be the next president of the country, signaling an increasing readiness to incorporate into Israel what Israelis call Judea and Samaria and the rest of the world knows as the West Bank. In other words, behind the iron and fire is a vision of how to complete the Zionist project without needing to offer the Palestinians anything more than minority rights. It is, perhaps, this triumphalist Zionist vision of the future that best explains why Israel launched this vicious attack on the long-beleaguered people of Gaza: to eliminate Hamas, the major obstruction to realizing that vision.

  • Can Palestinian Men be Victims ? Gendering Israel’s War on Gaza

    On pleure la perte des femmes et des enfants, mais les hommes palestiniens peuvent-ils aussi être des victimes ?

    Only within this logic can criticism of Israel’s war on Gaza be answered, straight faced, with statements about the “fate” of women and homosexuals “under” Hamas. Recently, a spokesman for Israel answered Noura Erakat’s condemnation of Israel’s violation of international human rights by sharing this gem of wisdom: “Hamas, they wouldn’t allow a young, liberal, secular woman to express her views like you do, ma’am. They would not allow my gay friends to express their sexuality freely.” This statement aims to mobilize the gendered discourse of the War on Terror, a discourse that plays on the affective registers of US liberalism through a pandering to feminist and LGBTQ rights. This pandering allows Islamophobia and war to be manifested as a public and international good—after all, it is “we” that are defending the helpless from the ravages of Muslim and Arab men. Laleh Khalili has called this “the use of gendered ‘telling’ to distinguish those who are to be protected from those who are to be feared or destroyed.” This discourse is so powerful that it does not need to rely on facts—it has in fact overridden them.

    The Israeli war machine, much like the US war machine in Afghanistan or Iraq, does not protect Palestinian queers and women and children. It kills them, maims them, and dispossesses them alongside their loved ones—for the simple reason that they are Palestinian, and thus able to be killed with impunity while the world watches. Today, the difference between Palestinian womenandchildren and Palestinian men is not in the production of corpses, but rather in the circulation of those corpses within dominant and mainstream discursive frames that determine who can be publicly mourned as true “victims” of Israel’s war machine. Thus the sheer number of womenandchildren dead are enough to mobilize the US president and the UN to make statements “condemning” the violence—but the killing, imprisonment, and maiming of Palestinian men and boys in times of war and ceasefire goes uncited. In Israel men, settlers, and even soldiers are framed as victims of Palestinian terrorism and aggression. All are publicly mourned. In an almost direct reversal, while Palestinian boys and men have been the primary target of Israel, as evidenced by the population of political prisoners and targeted assassinations, are not seen by western based mainstream media as victims of Israeli terrorism and aggression. Palestinians are put in the self-defeating position of having to fight to be recognized as human, to be recognized in death and in life as victims of Israeli policies and actions.

    #Proche_Orient #racisme #pinkwashing

  • #Honduras : US deports migrants ; violence continues

    A plane chartered by the US government carried 38 Honduran deportees from an immigration detention center in #Artesia, New Mexico, to the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on July 14. This was the first US deportation flight entirely dedicated to mothers and children: eight mothers, 13 girls and nine boys were scheduled for the trip, although two couldn’t travel because of illness. Reporters, Honduran officials and Ana García de Hernández, the wife of President Juan Orlando Hernández, were on hand for the flight’s arrival. President Hernández’s government promised the deportees job leads, a $500 stipend, psychological counseling and schooling, but a returning mother, Angélica Gálvez, told the Los Angeles Times that in the end she and her six-year-old daughter Abigail didn’t get enough money to pay for the three-hour trip to their home in La Ceiba. “They haven’t helped me before,” she said. “Why should I believe them now?”

    #renvoi #déportation #expulsion #USA #Etats-Unis #détention #détention_administrative #rétention

  • #film #documentaire

    A journey with US citizens living in fear along the border with Mexico. They talk about murders, dangers and invasion. Anxiety is palpable. In front of them stands a wall and around them the #Border_Patrol is in action to protect their land. Why is America, a country so emblematic of freedom, erecting a fence in response to its border war?

    #mur #barrière_frontalière #USA #Mexique #frontière #peur

  • Israel Defense Force Arguments and Vietnam Déjà Vu

    During the Vietnam War, American officials argued that any civilian casualties resulting from US military action was the fault of the National Liberation Front (“Viet Cong”) because it operated amidst the population. The US used this line to rationalize “free-fire zones,” carpet-bombing, artillery barrages, and the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people.

    One Israel Defense Force argument I keep hearing on TV lately is cut from the same cloth. It goes something like this: “We have to kill all those children and toddlers and babies and elderly women because our ‘targets’ (Hamas ‘militants’) circulate freely among the civilian population.”

    This idea ignores not only the nature of guerrilla warfare and the fact that such wars cannot be “resolved” through military violence, but also masks the inherent asymmetry of the opposing forces.
    It rests on the absurd premise that people fighting for their lives from their own front porches against an immeasurably more powerful military force should strip off their clothes, paint targets on their backs, and lay in a field somewhere out in the open where they can be more easily mowed down. If the Americans who fought against the British at the time of the battles of Lexington and Concord obeyed this dictum there probably wouldn’t be a nation called the United States of America.

    Blowing away large numbers of civilians in pursuit of military “targets,” as the US learned in Vietnam, always generates a lot of refugees (as we are seeing currently in Gaza). These fleeing civilians who are then crammed into makeshift refugee camps disrupt the social fabric and drive up the popular support for those who are fighting back against the enemy that just ruined their lives.
    Since what’s happening in Gaza is a political conflict that cannot be solved through military violence, by unleashing its firepower and enlarging the number of refugees the IDF can expect to strengthen Hamas’s political standing inside the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank (as the demonstrations show).

    The IDF actions have also created a really tough “optics” problem for the Netanyahu government. In the current context of social media the Israeli hasbara propaganda methods have grown old and worm-eaten no matter how aggressively they’re pursued on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Israeli #Crimes and World Hypocrisy

    Now let’s see what some of the world’s leaders have said about all this.

    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there is no justification.”

    U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself from rocket attacks by Hamas militants.

    U.S. secretary of State John Kerry said no country can accept such rocket attacks, adding that de-escalating the crisis is ultimately in everyone’s interests.

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, “The missile attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip has created a situation which threatens a spiraling process of violence and violent counter measures. Israel of course has the right to protect its citizens from rocket attacks.”

    Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said that Ban Ki-moon “condemns the recent multiple rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza” and that “these indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas must stop.”

    French Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave said on Tuesday, “When one is here [Ashdod, Israel], 30 kilometers [19 miles] from Gaza, you can feel up close the constant anxiety and fear which the families in the south live with, who find themselves yet again hostage to the violence. I would like to say to these families that we are not forgetting them and that France stands alongside them.”

    * The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon told an emergency meeting of the Security Council that Israel and Hamas “must exercise maximum restraint” to end the fighting.

    It might be helpful to look at each of these statements in some detail, to understand how blatantly and unfairly each one favors Israel.


  • US funds political groups in #Venezuela despite ban - The Washington Post

    CARACAS, Venezuela — Almost four years after Venezuela enacted a law to bar the U.S. from funding groups frequently critical of the socialist government, millions of the American dollars the administration tried to ban still flow to these organizations, an analysis by The Associated Press shows. Much more U.S. support is under consideration.  

    The State Department and the #National_Endowment_for_Democracy, a government-funded nonprofit organization, together budgeted about $7.6 million to support Venezuelan groups last year alone, according to public documents reviewed by AP.

  • Russian military: Russian air monitoring services registered Ukrainian Su-25 sweeping towards Malaysian Boeing on July 17

    Russian air monitoring services registered a Ukrainian plane, tentatively a Sukhoi Su-25, sweeping up towards the Malaysian Boeing on July 17, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

    • Encore Reuters

      Russia challenges accusations that Ukraine rebels shot down airliner | Reuters

      Russia’s Defence Ministry on Monday challenged U.S. and Ukrainian accusations that pro-Russian separatists were responsible for shooting down a Malaysian airliner and said Ukrainian warplanes had flown close to the aircraft.

      The ministry also rejected accusations by the United States and Kiev that Russia had supplied the separatist rebels in east Ukraine with SA-11 Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, known as “Gadfly” in NATO, “or any other weapons.

      Russian air space control systems detected a Ukrainian Air Force plane, presumably an SU-25 (fighter jet), scrambling in the direction of the Malaysian Boeing,” Lieutenant-General Igor Makushev of Russia’s Air Forces told a news briefing. “The distance of the SU-25 plane from the Boeing was from 3 to 5 kilometres (2 to 3 miles),” he said.

      Another officer, Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov, also challenged the United States should produce any satellite images it may have to support its assertions that there had been a missile launch by the rebels.

      He told the briefing “nobody (in the international community) has seen these images”.

  • #Kerry caught criticizing Israeli killings in #Gaza

    US Secretary of State John Kerry criticized #Israel in candid remarks caught on an open microphone between television interviews Sunday. Kerry was heard talking about Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza to a State Department official identified as Jonathan Finer just before appearing on the “Fox News Sunday” political talk show. “I hope they don’t think that’s an invitation to go do more,” Kerry says. “That better be the warning to them.” read more


  • BRICS: Progressive Rhetoric, Neoliberal Practice

    So let’s assume that this is not—this BRICS development, the new bank, it’s not anti-capitalist, it’s not anti-neoliberal, it goes along with the current form of global finance capitalism. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to make some room between themselves and U.S. domination. It doesn’t mean that Russia and China, you know, which are very big economies, especially—as you said, China is number two now, and I guess it’s not going to be that long before it’s the largest economy in the world—don’t want to get pushed around anymore within that system. And this was a bit of what Michael Hudson’s point was. I think it was—we may go back with those two guys again so we can get a chance to develop it further. But, I mean, World War II, the countries that fought World War II were all part of global capitalism. It didn’t stop them from going to war with each other.

  • Is the New BRICS Bank a Challenge to US Global Financial Power? | TRNN 2014-07-18

    Michael Hudson and Leo Panitch discuss and debate the significance of the new international development bank created by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

    La trace écrite chez


    JAY: Okay. So, Michael, if I understand, your main argument is—in some ways it’s not that different, in some respects, from what Leo was saying. You’re not saying they’re getting off the whole capitalist bandwagon. What you’re saying they’re doing is buying themselves a little more room in terms of their foreign policy.

    HUDSON: There is a very broad range over what they can do. And if you look at what is the most likely of common denominator, it’s exactly what Leo said. The common denominator is it’s their capitalists against the U.S. capitalists, it’s their saying, what can we do to be free of the U.S. banks and Wall Street and the City of London and the financial extractive loans. At least the neoliberal plans today have gone beyond trying to finance infrastructure development. The financial system in the West is almost entirely extractive now, not productive. The capitalist class in the countries that Leo’s mentioned want at least some bank to do some productive loans that they can benefit from, rather than having the U.S. come in and grab everything for itself like a privatization on behalf of the U.S. You see this kind of fight going on in Greece right now, where the eurozone said, Greece as to privatize its natural resources to pay the debt. Half the privatization last year was to be the sale of its gas rights.


    PANITCH: So, I’m sorry, I don’t see the world in terms of competition amongst the capitalist classes of the world in the sense you’re speaking of. I think there is a very deep integration on the part of the leading capitalists in these countries, including the domestic ones, into globalization. I think that’s true of Vale in Brazil.

    JAY: That’s the world’s largest iron ore company.

    PANITCH: That’s the world’s largest iron ore company, which, sure, is competing with other iron ore companies. But it doesn’t see itself as aligned against the American bourgeoisie or the American capitalist class. This is not right.
    And moreover, I think that these capitalist classes very much want access to the deep financial markets of London and New York. They don’t want to leave them; they want to be part of them. They want access to them. Indeed, they’ve been floating bond us in those markets—dangerously, in terms of volatility. So I think—and it has to be said the reason they do so is that their financial markets, their bond markets, even the European bond market relative to the London/New York access, remain extremely weak, extremely vulnerable. So it’s also a matter of where the deep institutional strength of capitalism is.
    I would make one other point. I don’t think that finance, even Wall Street and London—the City of London finance is merely parasitic. I think it facilitates, it underwrites, it’s very important in terms of hedging for all of the integrated production that goes on between China and the United States, between South Africa and Europe. This plays a functional role for all these value chains. Of course there’s loads of speculation in this, but it means that industry is linked up with this speculation. These aren’t separated compartments. And you can’t unscramble them.

    HUDSON: I see that I’m emphasizing the geopolitical much more than you of nobody’s talking about Brazil and other countries not interacting with the London and New York money markets. What they don’t want to do is to have the U.S. government and U.S. banks act as a threat, a threat against their countries. And of course they’re trying to keep their—have other options apart from being tied into the U.S. as a system of control. They want to break free of U.S. control, basically, and European control is a satellite of the United States.

    PANITCH: Yeah. But since politics and economics aren’t so easily separated, their continuing interest and increased interest in being linked economically and financially means that the American state, given its superintending role of Wall Street and the City of London, will continue to have power vis-à-vis them. They would like to, as we’ve agreed, they’d like to have more room for maneuver in the face of that enormous power of the American Empire, but they are not interested in breaking from it.


    BRICS: Progressive Rhetoric, Neoliberal Practice | TRNN 2014-07-14
    Patrick Bond: All the governments behind the New Development Bank practice intense neoliberalism

    La trace écrite chez


    JAY: Okay. So let’s say that they are as neoliberal as they come. But at the geopolitical level—like, for example, let’s take the leadup to the war in Iraq. Now, France is not part of BRICS, but France, for its own reasons, its own interests, stood up to the United States at the UN Security Council in quite an interesting way. So did some of the other countries. I mean, China, I think, actually could’ve been, certainly, bolder than they were, but they couldn’t get—the Americans couldn’t get the votes they wanted to give a clear-cut authorization of the Iraq War. It didn’t stop them from doing it illegally anyway, but it was an important moment. And with an institution like this new bank, and perhaps even building on that—for example, right now there’s the sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine. There’s a story in The New York Times today that it’s not going to have that much effect. One of the major Russian oil companies was targeted for sanctions, and one of the sanctions was going to make it more difficult for it to get capital in the Western capital markets. And now, apparently, they’re just going to borrow the money from the Chinese, and so the sanction’s not going to affect it as much. So I guess my question is is that within this context of global and neoliberal capitalism, getting to a more multipolar world, getting to a point where some of these other bigger powers can push back against the United States, which clearly is the biggest military operation on the planet and is the one that keeps starting major war after major war, is this—whatever room they can create for themselves, isn’t this a good thing?

    BOND: Well, it could be if the modus operandi operates in a way that reduces U.S. power systematically. But as we’ve seen, when there are inter-imperial rivalries, that can often lead to a much more dangerous outcome. For example, the way to handle the kinds of pressures that the U.S. puts on other countries—the coalition of the willing, certainly, in the UN Security Council in 2003, the U.S. was unable to get authorization, because the Chinese and Russians and French wouldn’t support—they would veto the approval. But, you know, in May they then approved that the U.S. could run Iraq, having invaded it.
    What was interesting this week on that front was that the UN Security Council reforms that are being proposed for many years to widen up the permanent members with a veto to move from five to ten by adding three BRICS—South Africa, Brazil, and India, as well as Germany and Japan—those ideas, which you’d have thought perhaps China and Russia would have supported to get more of their allies on board in the Security Council, they didn’t. It was quite a revealing memorandum that was released at the end of the BRICS summit in which the BRICS only said that it would be an increased role for the these other three smaller countries, as opposed to China and Russia.

    JAY: So this inter-imperialist rivalry is even amongst the BRICS countries. And we even saw this with a big fight between China and India about where the bank was going to be—this new bank was going to be based.

    BOND: Well, indeed. There was a lot of face-saving. And I can just imagine these finance ministers, reserve bank governors, and all of their bureaucrats fighting over the fine details. They eloquently and geometrically resolved that by setting up all kinds of mechanisms to appear that each of the five countries got a little piece. For example, in South Africa, Johannesburg will have a branch plant of the BRICS bank, and that will allow South Africa to help control the funding flows in and out of Africa, which is South Africa’s so-called gateway role that they’ve desired, and that would be very much an example of South imperialism insofar as the hinterlands of the BRICS countries are under the thumb of the regional hegemons, South Africa in Africa probably wanting now to have a more regularized extraction system of the valuable member minerals and petroleum from this continent.
    However, I think you’re right that we will probably see the kind of tensions in a logic of expansionism, territorial ambitions of a Russia and China. Well, Russia now, of course, moving to the West to try to capture some of the ground lost when the USSR fell apart, China moving aggressively even into Vietnamese territorial waters to grab islands, of course the conflict with Taiwan and Japan, these are moments where I think there’s a fair bit of danger, and not just in the symbolic sense of territorial expansionism, but actually in potential alliances, that the BRICS will become an inter-imperial force with a more aggressive approach to capital accumulation. And that’s where these two logics come together.



    #Russie #Russland
    #Indes #India
    #Brésil #Brasil
    #Afrique_du_Sud #South_Africa #Südafrika

    #capitalisme #Kapitalismus

    #USA #États-unis

    #Worldbank #Banque_mondiale #Weltbank

  • À l’instant, Obama aurait exigé de Netanyahu un cessez-le feu immédiat et l’application de l’accord de 2012.

    Obama to Netanyahu : U.S. seeks immediate cease-fire

    9:25 P.M. U.S. President Barack Obama tells Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Sunday afternoon that the U.S. seeks “an immediate cessation of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas, based on the cease-fire agreement implemented in November 2012 after Operation Pillar of Defense. (Barak Ravid)

  • Pathogen Mishaps Rise as Regulators Stay Clear -

    Spurred by the #anthrax attacks in the United States in 2001, an increase in “high-level containment” labs set up to work with risky microbes has raised the number to about 1,500 from a little more than 400 in 2004, according to the Government Accountability Office.

    Yet there has never been a national plan for how many of them are needed, or how they should be built and operated. The more of these labs there are, the #G.A.O. warned Congress last week, the greater the chances of dangerous blunders or sabotage, especially in a field where oversight is “fragmented and largely self-policing.”

    Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist and laboratory director from Rutgers University, said he had “no confidence” in the safety of the many labs that have sprung up since 2001. He suggested there was a culture of complacency at some of them, as well as hubris among some researchers who believe they do not need oversight or management.

    The most recent revelations have underscored potentially serious lapses at the government’s premier institutions. In June, dozens of C.D.C. employees may have been exposed to live anthrax. In another case disclosed this month, a C.D.C. lab accidentally contaminated a relatively benign flu sample with a dangerous H5N1 bird flu strain that has killed 386 people since 2003 — and then shipped it to a lab at the Department of Agriculture. In yet another episode this month, vials of smallpox and other infectious agents were discovered in a government laboratory on the campus of the National Institutes of Health after being stored and apparently forgotten about 50 years ago.

    Six or seven government agencies were involved in the growth spurt of labs across the country focusing on dangerous pathogens, with no overall strategic plan, according to Nancy Kingsbury, the managing director of applied research and methods at the G.A.O., who testified last week before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

    For years, the accountability office has warned that there was no one federal agency overseeing all the laboratories . In fact, it has said, the real number of high-level labs is not even known because the only ones required to register with the government are those handling “select agents” — microbes that can cause serious illness in people, animals or crops. Other high-level labs handle pathogens that may be dangerous but are not listed as select agents, the office said, adding that not much is known about them.

    Both Dr. Kingsbury and Dr. Ebright, who also testified before Congress last week, said there should be one independent national agency to oversee work with select agents. Dr. Ebright said that many of the labs should be shut down, and that no more than 25 to 50 were needed nationwide.

    Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the C.D.C., has also said the number of high-level labs, dangerous pathogens and people with access to them should be reduced to “the absolute minimum necessary.” Testifying on Wednesday, he said the more such labs there were, the greater the risk of accidents.

    The recent mistakes at federal labs have opened the door to a much broader criticism of the risks posed by the expanding research into risky pathogens, especially the efforts to create dangerous strains of flu not currently circulating, or to manipulate already deadly flu viruses to make them more contagious.

    Researchers who conduct that work, sometimes labeled “gain of function” research, say its purpose is, in part, to help scientists recognize changes in natural viruses that may help predict which ones are becoming more deadly or more contagious. But it provoked a public outcry in 2011 because of fears that a lab accident might release the altered viruses and start a lethal pandemic.

    The studies were halted for about a year while governments and research organizations tried to develop safety rules, but the work has since resumed in several laboratories.

    Scientists who oppose the research issued a statement last week urging that the experiments be curtailed until their risks and benefits can be reconsidered.

    They expressed particular concern about the possibility of accidents involving newly created strains of highly transmissible, dangerous viruses, saying they could cause outbreaks that would be difficult or impossible to control. Once transmission of a new flu strain becomes established, the statement said, it can infect a quarter of the world’s population within two years.

    One of the signers, Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health, said, “These experiments knowingly put large numbers of human lives at risk.”

    Then on Wednesday, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, funded by the European Union, also expressed concerns about the flu research, stating, “Recent incidents remind us that laboratory accidents and laboratory escapes can happen with dangerous pathogens, even if the highest security standards are applied.”

  • Tomgram: #Dahr_Jamail, Incinerating Iraq | TomDispatch

    The disintegration of Iraq is the result of U.S. policies that (...) have generated a modern-day Middle Eastern #Catch-22 in which all sides are armed, funded, and supported directly or indirectly by Washington or its allies.


    What is left of Iraq, this mess that is no longer a country, should be considered the legacy of decades of U.S. policy there, dating back to the moment when Saddam Hussein was in power and enjoyed Washington’s support. With Maliki, it has simply been a different dictator, enjoying even more such support (until these last weeks), and using similarly barbaric tactics against Iraqis.

    Today, Washington’s policies continue in the same mindless way as more fuel is rushed to the bonfire that is incinerating Iraq.

    #Etats-Unis #incinération #Irak #Moyen-Orient #chaos

  • Study: Little Progress for African-American Men on Racial Equality Since 1970 | TIME

    In recent years, the U.S. has celebrated the 50th anniversaries of the March on Washington, the Civil Rights Act and a number of other landmark accomplishments considered pivotal in making the U.S. a better place for African Americans.

    But despite a deep reverence for those accomplishments, a new study suggests that African-American men today face such high levels of unemployment and incarceration that they are in little better position when compared with white men than a half-century ago.

    The working paper, by University of Chicago researchers Derek Neal and Armin Rick, is based on preliminary findings and has not yet been peer-reviewed.

    “The growth of incarceration rates among black men in recent decades combined with the sharp drop in black employment rates during the Great Recession have left most black men in a position relative to white men that is really no better than the position they occupied only a few years after the Civil Rights Act,” the study reads.

    #race #racisme #oppression #inégalités #Etats-Unis

  • The US-Mexico Border: Where the Constitution Goes to Die

    Shena Gutierrez was already cuffed and in an inspection room in Nogales, Arizona, when the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent grabbed her purse, opened it, and dumped its contents onto the floor right in front of her. There couldn’t be a sharper image of the Bill of Rights rollback we are experiencing in the US borderlands in the post-9/11 era.

    #USA #Mexique #frontière #Etats-Unis

  • Palestinian teen returns home to US after being beaten by Israeli police

    Fifteen-year-old #Tareq_Abu_Khudair speaks to the media after his arrival home, having spent nine days under house in Jerusalem, on July 16, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images - Tim Boyles)

    A Palestinian-American teenager who was detained in #Israel and beaten by police returned home to Florida on Wednesday, eager to seek medical care and put behind him a summer trip that drew renewed world attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tareq Abu Khudair called his attack by masked police “the scariest thing that has happened to me,” and told reporters he believes his story drew outrage largely because he was a US citizen. read (...)

    #Gaza #united_states #west_bank

  • Mesmerizing Photos of People Lying in a Week’s Worth of Their Trash

    The United States has a trash problem. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces more than 4 pounds of garbage per day. That’s more than double the...

  • US Congress approves $351m in aid to Israel’s Iron Dome

    A US Senate panel approved an increase in US financial aid to Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system yesterday.

    The Senate Appropriations defence subcommittee agreed to allocate $351 million to finance the anti- missile system during fiscal year 2015 beginning on October 1, compared to $235 million in 2014.

    President Barack Obama requested only $179 million to support the system in 2015.

    The US spent $700 million since 2011 to support developing the anti-missile system designed to counter short and medium range rockets and artillery shells.

    The 2015 loans which include another $270 million to support other anti-missile systems need the approval of the Senate by September.

    The US House of Representatives approved a similar amount in May.

    In total, the US has agreed to spend $30 billion on military aid in Israel between 2009 and 2018.

    In 2014, Israel received $3.1 billion in military aid.