20 Nov

Events of Interest and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective





Australian asylum seekers sew lips

Ten asylum seekers have sewn their lips together as protests are
held against delays in processing asylum requests………………..

AIPAC: Fighting for survival

With the flailing lobby distracted by a legal battle with a former employee, peace may just have a chance.
MJ Rosenberg Last Modified: 20 Nov 2010 11:00 GMT

Aipac’s latest scandal is good news for Barack Obama, the US president, and Israel [GALLO/GETTY]

The latest Aipac (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) scandal has not found its way into the mainstream media, although the Jewish media has done a great job in highlighting this very explosive story. (LATE UPDATE: The Washington Post is now reporting on the story.)

The good news is that it does not much matter whether the New York Times runs the story or not. The Rosen vs. Aipac case is grinding its way through the courts and could well destroy the lobby without ever making its way on to the front page. Aipac is under siege, and is spending millions to stay alive.  But that will not be easy – even if Steve Rosen ultimately accepts a payoff from the organisation and refrains from telling what he knows.

There is no need to recapitulate the story here. Nathan Guttman in the Forward explains it well. The bottom line is that Steve Rosen, Aipac’s former #2 guy, who was indicted under the Espionage Act and then fired, is now suing the organisation for $20mn.




 Filmmakers David Turner and Lara Zizic spent several months in Eastern Congo, filming the efforts of two teenage boys who are fighting for the rights of other Congolese children and young adults.  They describe the making of the film and the challenges faced by Congolese youths trying to change the future of their country.  Eastern Congo is one of the most violent places on earth. Children here face a daily reality plagued by human rights violations; including abandonment, rape, physical violence and child soldiering. Congo’s future hinges on its children, but that future is compromised by the country’s current state of lawlessness and a culture of impunity. Years of continued war has left the political system in tatters.  Foreign companies’ thirst for mineral resources (tin, coltan and cassiterite) for use in electronic devices such as cellular phones and computers, fuels this corruption on all levels. International agencies try to help, but in many cases that help is misdirected, arguably exacerbating the situation. The future rests with the Congolese themselves in the form of organisations such as the Children’s Parliament.  Children’s Parliament is a local organisation run by children for children. Their mission since its conception in 1999 is to fight for the rights of children. As teenage students, the parliamentarians dedicate their free time to this noble task and receive no payment, despite enormous obstacles and risk to themselves. Members of Children’s Parliament are elected by their peers and delegates are chosen from different neighbourhoods, schools and districts. What unites them is their will to make a difference for Congo’s children………………………… 


 Lisbon: They talk. In Afghanistan, they die.

Michael Savage and Kim Sengupta: Christopher Davies, 22, was the 100th British serviceman to die this year in a war that Nato’s leaders – gathered today for a crucial summit – have no idea how to win. 

Patrick Cockburn: Be under no illusion, Nato is in no shape to make progress in this graveyard of empires 


BP faces new fines over second Alaska spill

Oil giant BP ‘failed to respond to alarms’ and had suffered burst pipelines since 2001, Anchorage court told 

BP is facing new fines in connection with its criminal conviction for a huge oil spill on Alaska‘s North Slope in 2006. 

Federal probation officer Mary Frances Barnes argued in an Anchorage federal court yesterday that a second spill in Alaska in November last year constituted a violation of its probation. 

In 2006, a corroded pipeline leaked 200,000 gallons of oil on to the tundra in the worst leak in the history of the North Slope. The company was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $20m (£12.5m) in criminal penalties and restitution. 

The leak in 2009 occurred when a pipeline at the BP-operated Lisburne oil field burst, leaking nearly 46,000 gallons of crude and oily water near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska…………………… 


Police to interview last Briton in Guantánamo over ‘torture’

Shaker Aamer has been held in Guantanamo Bay without charge for almost 10 years 

Scotland Yard detectives investigating the UK’s role in a number of counter-terrorism operations in which individuals were abducted and allegedly tortured are hoping to interview the last British resident remaining in Guantánamo. 

The government has begun pushing for the release of Shaker Aamer, who has been held without charge for almost 10 years, for much of that time in solitary confinement. 

Aamer has made a number of statements about his treatment since he was first detained in Afghanistan in December 2001, including the allegation that British intelligence officers were present while he was being abused at Bagram airbase, north of Kabul………………….. 


The Right Word: Savage won’t fly

Sadhbh Walshe: Rush Limbaugh is angry about hunger, Michael Savage worried about nuns’ habits and Laura Ingraham has a bad Dream …………………………………

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