Abuse on Palestinians Not Limited to West Bank

israeli-soldier-holds-mother-and-children-at-gunpoint

Israeli occupation of Palestine: Israeli soldier holds frightened Palestinian mother and young children at gunpoint.

In ever-increasing documentation of violent assaults demonstrating that attacks on Palestinians are not limited to the occupied West Bank, Israeli police repeatedly shot a Palestinian father and Good Samaritan with electric stun guns in front of his 5 young children in an East Jerusalem park.

As reported by mainstream Israeli news outlet Haaretz, the victim, 42-year-old Talal Siad, was having a celebratory Eid al-Fitr family day with his wife and 5 children at Meymadion Water Park on Thursday, when they witnessed Tel Aviv police repeatedly spraying pepper into the eyes of a teenager on the ground.

The teen victim had been involved in an altercation which occurred between some families at the park. Israeli police intervened, but witnesses say the officers used “unnecessary force.”

RT News reports that Siad, who was not involved in the altercation but was alarmed by the excessive police pepper-spraying into the eyes of the teenager on the ground, called out, “What are you doing? You’re killing those kids! You’re being unreasonable!

palestinian-tasered-by-israeli-policeIsraeli police responded by aggressively threatening Siad, who was holding his 3-year old in his arms.

Says YNet News, when Siad put his child down to attempt to help the pepper-sprayed teen, police attacked Siad with stun guns.

Continue reading

Coca-Cola: Not “The Real Thing” in India

coca-cola-sucking-well-dry-in-indiaAh, Coca-Cola.

Refreshing, thirst-quenching, delicious.

As American as baseball and apple pie.

Right?

Not in India.

Although Western mainstream media headlined Coca-Cola’s plans to increase its market share in India by $5 billion, what it failed to mention is that communities located near the beverage giant’s India bottling plants are not exactly rolling out the red carpet.

According to the India Resource Center (IRC), “Communities across India living around Coca-Cola’s bottling plants are experiencing severe water shortages, directly as a result of Coca-Cola’s massive extraction of water from the common groundwater resource. The wells have run dry and the hand water pumps do not work any more.”

As detailed by the IRC, further impingements upon Indian communities by Coca-Cola include:

  • polluting groundwater & soil with waste from its plants, rendering the community’s drinking water “unfit for human consumption
  • selling toxic waste to Indian farmers as “fertilizer
  • selling its product in unregulated form (as outlined by the IRC, the Coca-Cola sold in India  contains arsenic and “high levels of pesticides…that could never be sold in the US or the EU”)   Continue reading

South Korea’s Evolutionary Change

evolution-of-manSouth Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MEST) is set to remove specific examples of the theory of evolution from school textbooks across the country.

Evolutionary examples of horses and birds may remain, but examples of human evolution will be stricken from textbooks.

As reported by Slate, “…just like in the United States, tensions exist [in South Korea] between those who promote science education and those whose religious beliefs conflict with what’s being taught.” 

Continue reading

Tiananmen Anniversary: China Blocks Internet Access to All References to the Event

internet_censorship_in_chinaLast week, on the 23rd anniversary of China’s 1989 June 4th Incident, the country’s ruling Communist Party enacted hardline internet censorship against all references to the 1989 anti-government demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

The 1989 Tiananmen Square protest ended in military suppression resulting in the deaths of hundreds to thousands of protesters. An exact number of the victims has never been released by the Chinese government.

As reported by Reuters, June 4, 2012 saw Chinese internet crackdowns on specific search terms such as “six-four” (for June 4th) and “23” (for 23rd anniversary), as well as more obscure terms such as “never forget.”

Continue reading

Israel Defies Parliament: 850 New Settlement Homes to be Built

israel-construction-of-new-homes-in-west-bankIsraeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, signed off this week on the construction of 850 new Israeli homes to be built on illegally occupied territory in Palestine.

In opposition to most other international news media, Western news media reduces the number of these new Israeli homes to 300.

This number, however, accounts only for planned new homes in the Beit El settlement; it fails to include an additional 550 homes to be constructed in other areas of the occupied West Bank, as revealed by Israel’s Construction Minister, Ariel Attias.

Though Israel, and its ally the U.S., differentiate between legal settlements and illegal outposts, the U.N. and the rest of the international community “views all Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory as a violation of international law,” as reported by the Associated Press.

Moreover, though the US State Department contends that continued Israeli settlement activity “undermines peace efforts and contradicts Israeli commitments and obligations,” the U.S. nevertheless remains a staunch supporter of Israel.

Continue reading

Good News From the Philippines

Siargao-Island-the-PhilippinesAll kinds of ‘mabuting balita‘ (good news) is coming out of the Philippines this week..

The Philippines, one of the founding members of the United Nations, was presented with UN medals this week in recognition of their continued peace-keeping efforts around the globe.

The 5th Philippine contingent — composed of troops from the Philippines, Japan, India, Croatia, Austria, and Canada — accepted the UN medals for their “valuable service in the name of peace and security” in the Golan Heights.

Deployed to the area three months ago through the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the 5th Pilippine contingent was tasked by the UN Security Council to “maintain the ceasefire, and supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces…” as stipulated by their 1974 Agreement on Disengagement. Continue reading

Occupying Israeli Settlement Profits

boycott-israeli-goods-barcode

“Danger: Israeli products help fund the oppression and murder of Palestinians.”

A major European supermarket chain has decided to boycott any companies exporting produce from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

As reported in The Guardian, British Cooperative Group (BCG), one of the largest food retailers in the United Kingdom with a policy already in place against importing produce from illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, is now extending that policy by ending trade with companies who still export such products.

Says Hilary Smith, a BCG Co-op member and agricultural trade coordinator, the company is making the move in order to “take the lead internationally by this historic decision to hold corporations accountable for complicity  in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. We strongly urge other retailers to take similar action.” Continue reading

Is China Losing It’s Grip?

china-government-censorsChina’s block & stop of information may be wearing thin.

From blocking info coming into the country by placing regulations on search engines such as Google, to stopping info going out of the country by shutting down blogs, to denying visas to foreign journalists who return to their home countries and dare to report truth, China’s censors must be exhausted.

Continue reading

North Korea: Who’s in Charge?

north_korean_leader_kim_jong_unIs North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un in charge?

Or is the country’s military leadership running the show?

As reported in The Atlantic, this question is being pondered by the U.S. government following North Korea’s recent defiance of a February 29 nuclear weapons agreement with the U.S.

The agreement, celebrated as “a major breakthrough in the years-long standoff over the future of North Korea’s nuclear program,” stipulated that North Korea would halt its uranium enrichment program, and allow international monitoring of its nuclear sites in exchange for the provision of 240,000 tons of food aid by Washington. Continue reading

Let Them Sew Silence

lips-sewn-shutLet them all sew shut their mouths.”

So says Sheishenbek Baizakov, head of Kyrgyz penitentiary services in Krygystan, located in the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia - a former Soviet nation which hosts a U.S. air base.

Whose mouths are being sewn shut?

As reported by BBC News, more than 1,300 Kyrgyz prisoners in various penitentiaries, have sewn their lips together in protest against abuse and poor living conditions.

This action was taken following a recent decision by prison authorities to force-feed the nearly 7,000 prisoners already engaged in a long term hunger strike.

They [the prisoners] are demanding that state prison authorities and guards stop beatings,” a human rights official said. “They are worried that if they stop their hunger strike they will be beaten again.”

Continue reading