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British Ambassador to Israel and the plot to attack Iran

A few weeks ago there was a "scandal" about the links between the Defence Secretary Liam Fox and his friend Adam Werritty.

Some suggested that the two were running a separate foriegn policy to the official one stated by the government.

Now the plot thickens and Adam Werrity is also linked to the British Ambassador to Israel, who is pretty much pro Israel and intervention in Iran.

"Mossad linked to Iran military blast"

A series of news reports linking Israel's intelligence agency the Mossad to a blast at a military facility in Iran, in which 17 people were killed and a further 15 wounded, has gained widespread coverage in the Israeli media on Monday.

While Iranian officials insist the explosion at the Bid Ganeh base was accidental, caused by the movement of ammunition, claims from anonymous western and Israeli officials that Saturday's blast was a covert Israeli operation have gained momentum.

Read more @ The Guardian

...it is cheaper to purchase a slave today than it was at the height of the Atlantic slave trade....

I was just reading an interview with Rageh Omaar about his idealism and journalism etc on The Guardian and there are some startling things mentioned in there.

For one, there are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world and:

According to research accepted by the US government, it is cheaper to purchase a slave today than it was at the height of the Atlantic slave trade.

Gaza sea blockade: two boats from Turkey set out to break siege

Pro-Palestinians sail with medicines from Fethiye on mission to 'end Israeli injustice' over Gaza

Two boats carrying pro-Palestinian activists have entered international waters after sailing from Turkey with the aim of breaking Israel's sea blockade of Gaza.

...

If the vessels are not intercepted by the Israeli navy they expect to reach Gaza on Friday.

Read more @ The Guardian

Imagining (the US's) Pakistan policy on the U.S.-Mexico border

Let’s re-contextualize America’s continuing problems on the porous Aghanistan-Pakistan border, the 2,600 km line established in 1893. Both sides are largely inhabited by ethnic Pashtuns. They are about 60 percent of the population in Afghanistan, slightly more in the opposite Pakistani province.

...

As with terrorists operating across the east-west Pakistan-Afghan frontier, the Mexican cartels are moving north. The violent Mexican cartels operate now in 195 U.S. cities. In September, one carried out an assassination in Texas. More recently the U.S. Justice Department busted an alleged plot by Iran to deploy a Mexican cartel to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

Israel rushes settlement growth after Unesco accepts Palestinians

Israel is to expedite the construction of about 2,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in response to the Palestinians' successful bid to join Unesco.

Israel also imposed a temporary halt on the transfer of tax revenues which it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) pending a final decision on whether to impose a long-term freeze. Israel collects about £630m a year in VAT and customs revenues which it passes on to the PA.

Read more @ The Guardian

Muslim democrats beat secular tyranny - again

Tunisia, the prime mover of the Arab Spring, had its first democratic outcome: Last weekend, this small Arab nation held free and fair elections, which had been only a dream under the tyranny of its former dictator, the all-secular Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Moreover, the winner turned out to be the Islamic-inspired party that the same Ben Ali brutally suppressed for decades: the Renaissance Party, or, with its original name, Ennahda.

Read more @ Hurriyet Daily News

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit exchanged for Palestinian prisoners

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured 5 years ago in 2006 when he was just 19 has now been released - being exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners - some of whom had been convicted of serious crimes, others who had not been charged at all.

He has spent a long time in captivity, and so have some of the people released.

One thing which I noted is that the 1000:1 ratio used here has been used previously too, when 1000 Palestinians (generally civillians) were killed for each Israeli (generally a soldier) in the assault in Gaza at the end of 2008/start of 2009.

I think that it is a good thing he was released - it needed to be done a long time ago.

I just hope that Palestinian lives are not considered to trade for so much less.

Pirates 'bring shame on Somalia'

Just ran across this story: Pirates 'bring shame on Somalia'.

I think they have it wrong - it is the world's shame that brought pirates to Somalia.

The Somali pirates at one point were honest do good hard working fishermen when major ship companies decided that it was ok to dump toxic waste off the shores of Somalia - and since Somalis had no functioning government (a situation which was also facilitated by the world at large), there was no one to stop the illegal dumping of waste.

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