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international / crime and justice / news report Monday December 04, 2006 16:40 by iosaf 10 comments (last - thursday december 14, 2006 20:55) 12 images
Operation Condor backed by the USA & staffed by NAZI war criminals saw most of Latin America endure dictatorships. One of the worst was that which was set in motion on the 11th of September 1973 when Agosto Pinochet took power in Chile. He & those like him had to this because there was a serious possibility that Latin Americans would become Communists.
If they had become communists, people would have stopped believing in God.
Once God went, Heaven and Hell would have gone too.
In no time there would have been no need for a clergy or Church. Knock in Ireland would have been a waste of an airport. With Communism people would have lost faith in God & the threat of eternal Hell-fire & damnation would have been lost.
& so torture was a last resort of pious & holy people. They had no other choice to defend their God than attach electrodes to peoples' genitals & bury them in nameless graves.
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The Basque political situation is not all about the "Peace Process". Many other things happen there too.
For years the group "Soziedad Alkoholica" used a logo on their albums of anarcho-punk garage angst music which was quite obviously a take on the logo used by ETA.
Their disks were withdrawn from sale by the largest department store chain & they were brought before the Judiciary to be investigated for "incitement to or glorification of terrorism". They've been cleared. They sing songs about victims too. read full story / add a comment
international / racism & migration related issues / news report Tuesday November 21, 2006 21:13 by iosaf 4 comments (last - sunday december 24, 2006 16:07) 3 images
Unfortuanately the details of this story or rather the details of its protagonist are scant. I can tell you with confidence that he is an Irish citizen, that he has taken medication for a psichiatric condition provided by the Catalan health service free of charge for almost a year. I can tell you the Irish diplomatic mission to Barcelona refused to assist him passage home. "Oh but they say that to everyone." If you check the fine print of Irish passport, which is the most expensive passport of any EU state but an obligatory document for any one in the Shengen area to go to / come to / return - you will see the ominious reminder don't ask your Irish embassy for help getting home. we don't have enough funds. read full story / add a comment
international / crime and justice / news report Wednesday November 08, 2006 18:25 by ipsiphi iosaf 7 comments (last - monday january 22, 2007 20:02) 4 images
ETA prisoner José Ignacio de Juana Chaos has commenced another hunger strike. He did so on the eve of his sentancing in protest against the expected term of 12.5 years, which has been handed down by the Spanish court this sentance is for promoting terrorism , [ de Juana Chaos authored a series of articles calling for the continuation & escalation of ETA's armed campaign. ]
The Spanish prime minister Zapatero has said in a statement that he expects the sentance (by the independent judiciary) will further complicate the nascent Basque Peace Process. Already most observers recognise that the process is in crises, the internal ETA magazine only a week ago threatened a return to violence if political progress in not seen to be made by late Autumn. Though critics of Basque seperatism would point out that since late Spring over 120 incidents of arson have been attributed to the group & one theft of 350 arms. read full story / add a comment
international / anti-capitalism / other press Tuesday November 07, 2006 23:01 by iosaf 1 comment (last - wednesday november 08, 2006 23:26) 1 image
In the last week this year's "transparency org" world corruption perception report has been published. It's a report which is taken seriously by some, and certainly no country looking for foreign investment wants to be at the bottom of the 163 states ranked this year. (Interestingly the world boasted 158 states for last year's report)
But both the annual list of "corruption perception" and "bribery perception" indices, can not be understood as isolated statistics. Just as Greenspan's biographer assured us he takes stock of over 4000 weekly indicators, we can not consider just one single country or economy when discussing corruption or bribery. Nor can we refuse to draw in other human development indicators, (the UNHDR report) all the usual "facts and figures" and internal data.
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international / housing / news report Thursday October 12, 2006 18:57 by iosaf .:. ipsiphi 13 comments (last - monday october 16, 2006 10:47) 6 images
20 Ministers of Housing were supposed to hold a two day summit this forthcoming Monday & Tuesday. Ireland which has no such ministry might have gone along to observe. The location of the summit was to be Barcelona, which has only once before cancelled an international summit for "local security reasons" . The last cancellation was the World Bank meeting of 2001.
The right to housing campaign which has developed in Barcelona over the last years saw 15,000 ordinary people demonstrate peacefully on September 30th & then a "riot" occur last week over a redevelopment case. Central & city government sources as well those from the Housing movement offer conflicting accounts & reasons for the cancellation. read full story / add a comment
international / environment / news report Thursday October 05, 2006 20:45 by iosaf .:. ipsiphi 10 comments (last - monday february 09, 2009 13:17) 3 images
Paddy Kavanagh's sonnet "epic" is familiar to most Irish readers, it's wonderful description of an argument of land ownership in the late 1930's in Ireland as 2 farmers (one stripped to the waist) argue over a "half a rood of rock". These days throughout Europe neither men nor women seem to bother stripping to the waist to lay their claims on barren soil anymore - but the issue of public space & how to reclaim it has in recent years taken on a great collective importance. Thus in Ireland we've seen the initiatives of the Dolphins Barn garden & more recently the Darmouth Square project. This evening I'm going to tell you all about the Forat de Vergonya" : A site of just over a hectare (quite a few roods) which many years ago was designated by Barcelona 's council, Catalonia's government & the EU as a future site for a rubber tyre pre-recycling storage plant complete with hotel. (creative urban use no?) read full story / add a comment
international / politics / elections / opinion/analysis Monday September 25, 2006 20:40 by iosaf .:. ipsiphi 12 comments (last - sunday may 06, 2007 19:55) 2 images
Many eyes at the moment are on the UK's "new Labour" party leadership. Tony Blair the man who became the youngest ever leader of the "labour party" & then renamed the party which once had been a movement. He went on to become the longest running prime minister in British history apart from the historic & ghastly Thatcher, Disraeli & Gladstone.
His regime saw quite a few key incidental & tragic deaths, constitional reform in Scotland, Wales, London and the northern Ireland statelet, & a commitment to war coached in his namesake's Eric Blair (George Orwell's) "big Brother's peace".
We know he lied many times to parliament, people, party & even we presume his Queen. What made many of us choke on the splinters was his assertion (july 2004) that "he couldn't lie". In many ways his style put "sociopathy" into social democracy whilst all the time pushing a vague concept of "meritocracy"......" if you can lie through your teeth you may be one of us someday!"
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international / politics / elections / feature Wednesday September 20, 2006 00:50 by iosaf 40 comments (last - thursday april 23, 2009 01:07) 18 images
Riot police have been firing tear gas at demonstrators in Budapest in the last hours as they tried to storm hungary's state TV company.
Storming TV stations is a pretty traditional way of kicking off a revolution. The protesters are angry at the revelation that the current prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany admits that his party lied to gain office. Being relatively new to democracy the Hungarians find such cleverness a distasteful display of sociopathy. Hungarian radio played a tape of a meeting in which Gyurcsany & other party leaders (socialists by the way) did their Nixon best to pull the wool over the electorates' eyesv last week & since then the "politicisation" index of Hungarians has shot up. They are now very newsworthy and enjoying their second day of attention on slavic language news sites.
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international / history and heritage / opinion/analysis Monday September 18, 2006 19:04 by iosaf .:. ipsiphi 61 comments (last - tuesday october 10, 2006 22:24) 8 images
Regardless of one's position on faith groups, comparatively recent concepts of world civilisation blocks, secularism, state & religious group relations - the importance of this last week's papal history can not quickly be underestimated.
Though I come to considering Ratzinger's personal apology for his anti-Islamic comments whilst on holidays in his native Bavaria from old fashioned anti-papist prejudice. Benedict XVI who wanted us all to consider his job as supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic church in the terms of the last war-time (WW1) pacifist "Benedict" has instead made history as the first pope to publically apologise.
& what a lame effort it was, as one nun lies murdered in a inter-religious sectarian attack in Africa & the Vatican city endures its highest level security alert since the mid 19th century. read full story / add a comment
international / anti-capitalism / news report Saturday September 16, 2006 14:35 by iosaf 2 comments (last - wednesday september 20, 2006 21:10) 3 images
The non-aligned nations of the UN have opened what they hope will be a key note summit. & the venue brings them back to the home of their main instigator Fidel Castro. For news-readers presently swamped with notions of "clashes of civilisation" and the hegemony of Capitalism in all its forms (from neo-liberal through neo-conservative right up to third way Blairism and all the way down to PD celtic tigerism) the list of speakers & leaders is quite thought provoking, more so when one sees photos of them hugging and kissing & behaving like little girlies for the camaras.
Iran's Mahmood, Ahmadinezhad - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
Zimbabwe's Richard Mugabe - Alexander Lukashenko of Belorus
Evo Morales of Bolivia - & giving his first speech to an international conference as acting head of state (& the only autistic to ever have held such office) Raul Castro.
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international / gender and sexuality / news report Saturday August 26, 2006 17:19 by iosaf 31 comments (last - thursday may 22, 2008 17:10) 2 images
The case of Hina Salem whose mutilated body has been recovered from her parents' back garden in Italy reminds us that honour killing is still prevalent in Europe. Just as self-immolation is not a Buddhist tendancy, honour killing has no direct connection to religion. On the contrary such types of murder reflect patriarchial belief systems. The Killers are more often than not fathers or brothers who can not accept life decisions made by their sisters or daughters & thus kill their family members to preserve "honour". Hina was 20 years of age, her body was placed with head facing Mecca after her father and other male family members punished her for co-habitating with her 32 year old boyfriend. Their trial in Brescia near Milan in Italy raises inter-community tensions being pitched not surprisingly as an "Islamic fundementalist" question, considering her father of Pakistani origin came to live in europe in 1996. read full story / add a comment
international / anti-war / imperialism / news report Friday August 18, 2006 15:16 by iosaf 1 comment (last - sunday august 20, 2006 17:37) 1 image
(Reference to Editorial matters removed from beside author name)
The armed group of basque seperatism has made a statement on its view of the current peace process in the Basque region and the Spanish state. A statement which has alarmed many in that is indicates a return to violence. ETA speaks of a process in crises and complains of "continuing state attacks on the Basques" & speaks of its right to "respond" to such attacks and concludes that the Spanish state is not observing the conditions of the ceasefire.
The statement made this morning follows 4 others after the "total cessation" of March 22nd. In which 3 ETA members read for a TV audience of 30million a 261 word statement which saw the word "democratic" used 5 times. Each supplemental statement has concerned some element of the basque seperatist agenda such as prisoners, a call (rejected) to France to join a table of negotiation & the residual (irrendist) claims on the region of Navarra. However, this morning's is the first to threaten renewed armed action. read full story / add a comment
international / history and heritage / other press Tuesday August 15, 2006 15:38 by iosaf = sofia 11 comments (last - wednesday august 19, 2009 23:05) 1 image
Most Irish readers will probably not recognise the name Alfredo Stroessner, nor upon learning he was the military dictator of Paraguay (one of the smallest least productive or even individually characteristic states of South America) think him significant. Many Irish readers will wonder why I even both bringing their attention to his imminent death at 93 years in Brasilia where he has lived in exile since 1989.
Alfredo Stroessner as dictator of Paraguay (1954-1989) offered exile to the World War 2 Nazi leadership, working closely with the group "ODESSA", his regime facilitated the proven flight & indentity changes of individuals such as Josef Mengele and is still suspected by some as organising the escape from justice of Martin Bormann and even more historically perversive - Adolf Hitler himself.
As such an instrumental character in the post war flight of Nazi's and SS, many readers might be surprised to know Stroessner enjoyed in his time excellent relations with the USA. & as such played a key role in "operation Condor" that installed right wing fascistic dictatorships throughout the continent. & even murkier, saw ex-officers of the SS return to work for the CIA and local intelligence services of the dictatorships of Chile, Argentina & Brazil.
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international / history and heritage / other press Sunday August 13, 2006 15:01 by iosaf = sofia 11 comments (last - wednesday march 14, 2007 14:43) 5 images
Fidel has published a letter to his people and well wishers worldwide in the Cuban youth communist paper "rebellious youth".
He speaks of his real happiness to have reached his 80th birthday and promises he will fight for his health. read full story / add a comment
international / racism & migration related issues / news report Tuesday August 08, 2006 11:52 by iosaf 17 comments (last - tuesday september 05, 2006 18:08) 6 images
The second week of August is the peak vacation week for citizens of the EU. Over 200 million EU citizens are not presently at their usual workplace or abode. Many (but not all) choose sunny destinations with the Mediterranean coast and the various EU archipelagoes enduring in popularity. Of course, not all EU citizens enjoy the fun, the month of August annually sees the most lay-offs and timed bankruptcies in continental Europe, whilst both law firms and trade unions are temporarily unavailable to help or counsel the "shafted workers". August and summer also see precarity peak, there is undoubtedly much employment available in tourist sectors but the pay is low and security non-existent. August also sees the influx of African migrants peak.
A short article on "spoiling your holidays". read full story / add a comment
international / history and heritage / news report Tuesday August 01, 2006 21:18 by iosaf 32 comments (last - sunday august 13, 2006 14:58) 9 images
From Madrid to Buenos Aires, from Caracas to la Paz, throughout the spanish speaking world - governments and political representatives send messages of "get well soon!" to Fidel Castro who has now placed the ink stamp of leadership in the hands of his younger brother Raul.
The health of Fidel Castro is intrinsically tied to the health of the state of Cuba. & he's an old man now just short of his 80th birthday. He is in fact the "grand old man".
& his death will see many changes long expected and equally as long feared. Already Cuban exile groups mostly found in Florida USA, led by the charismatic Gloria Estafan have announced plans to democratise the state when he goes, and modernise it in the best shiney way turning the clock back as far it will go. read full story / add a comment
international / anti-capitalism / opinion/analysis Sunday July 30, 2006 20:32 by iosaf 15 comments (last - wednesday august 02, 2006 14:02) 5 images
"what if everyone who opposed the USA united?"
That has been a question for a very long time, it has found a few answers through the end of the war & immediate post war period (1944-1950) when it first became apparant that the US led recipe for neo-liberal imperialist and globalised hegemony just might turn out worse than the 19th century European imperialist order. It brought the world through the cold war superpower camps, to then be countered by the Sino-Soviet split, It brought a young and charismatic Fidel Castro to the UN to appeal for a non-aligned block to then be countered by time. But the question has never really resolved and is being asked again, most recently in Tehran this weekend where the President of Oil producing Venezuela is meeting with the prime minister of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They share much in common - they've both written open letters to Bush. They're both into sport, Chavez favours baseball whereas Mahmoud is a soccer fan. read full story / add a comment
international / environment / news report Friday July 28, 2006 19:30 by iosaf 8 comments (last - friday august 04, 2006 22:45) 2 images
The Israeli airforce as we must know by now, in their fight against an estimated 18,000 strong terrorist organisation have destroyed 80% of the infrastructure of a nation-state of less than 4 million people.
They've now topped it off by bombing Southern Lebanon's Jiyeh power plant. A plant which had 6 fuel tanks, 4 of them have now burnt - Lebanon is appealing for foam - 1 is still is burning - and 15,000 tonnes of oil have poured onto more than 90 kilometres of the Lebanese coast from Jiyyeh to Shekka, north of the capital, including Beirut's only sandy public beach of Ramlet al-Baida,the coast.
To put this in perspective the Prestige Oil Tanker polluted Galicia in Spain by sinking off coast with 30,000 tonnes of oil. At risk is not only the wildlife of the eastern Mediterranean sea, and ironically the fish and birds of northern Israel as well as all of Lebanon - but also the comparatively rare "green back turtle". Its so rare they sell T-shirts of it and do their best to keep it off the extinction list...,
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international / anti-war / imperialism / news report Thursday July 27, 2006 09:16 by iosaf 4 comments (last - thursday july 27, 2006 22:37) 1 image
Only a matter of hours ago as writing, one of Lebanon's privately owned TV stations reported that it had suffered attack from Israeli forces & that the same incident had seen Aamchit army base attacked.
This comes a day after UN observers stationed under the UNIFIL mandate in Lebanon were killed despite repeated notification just as if they were Hzb terrorists.
Hzb has a telly station, but you're not allowed watch it, and very keen readers of this website will remember I told you all about how the signal is blocked 3 years ago. You can though if clever with a satellite dish and the requisite software get to see LBC TV, but its probably easier to go thier website.
After they reported the Israeli forces attack on Aamchit, which is a Lebanese army base some 20 kilometres north of Beirut, which is if you really want to know very far away from their "civilian evacuation zone north of the south" Lebanese border. I'm not an expert, but I watch a lot of telly. American right wing telly has said this morning that the USA is isolated and given space to book writers who argue all Europeans and red Chinese are nazis and thats why they support Hezbollah.
This news article has nothing to do with Hezbollah. read full story / add a comment