Wednesday, October 31, 2007

UN General Assembly urges end of U.S. embargo against Cuba

31 OCt 2007
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution on Tuesday calling on the United States to end its decades-long trade embargo against Cuba.

With a vote of 184 in favor, four against and one abstention, the 192-member assembly repeated a call on the United States to end its economic and commercial embargo against Cuba. The United States, Marshall Islands and Palau cast the negative vote while Micronesia abstained.

It was the 16th consecutive year since 1992 for the General Assembly to approve a resolution urging the United States to lift its embargo against Cuba. The UN body voted 183-4 to approve a similar resolution last year.

[ ... ]

"The blockade had never been enforced with such viciousness as over the last year," Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque told the assembly before the Tuesday vote.

He described the U.S. ignorance of the previous 15 resolutions passed by the assembly as "arrogance and political blindness."

~ full article ~

Kissinger 'just happens to be visiting at a time when it's the hottest subject for discussion'

Times of India
Nuke deal not easy to salvage: Kissinger
31 Oct 2007
He clarified that his visit had nothing to do with the deal; he just happens to be visiting at a time when it's the hottest subject for discussion. He felt it was a very good deal for India and in case it gets nixed now, it won't be easy to salvage it.

"The schedule is tough. Soon the US will get into election mode. There will be new people in Congress who will have no commitment to push the deal through," he said. "The more obstacles appear on the Indian side, the more opponents to the deal will be strengthened in the US internal debate."

[ ... ]

Kissinger moved centre stage as the discussion moved to China. The man who is synonymous with ping-pong diplomacy that eventually opened China to the US and the world, said he did not believe analysts who saw Washington's cozying up with Delhi as a foil against the Chinese juggernaut.

"I don't think India can be used as a counterweight to China," he said. As he prepared to wind up, the question was popped to him: "Who do you think is going to be the next US president?" Kissinger laughed. "I have never backed a winning candidate," he said, adding that even when Richard Nixon, the man who picked him to be secretary of state, was running, he had put his money on Nelson Rockefeller.

What happens when the justice system becomes too complicated?

Legal Opinion: Endless new criminal laws that lead to injustice
More than 50 new criminal justice bills have been introduced in the last decade. Such a welter of complex legislation is taking its toll, says Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Published: 31 October 2007

Clarity and certainty form the bedrock of any fair criminal justice system. So it is alarming to discover that in one recent case the Court of Appeal was so confouded by a raft of new laws that it couldn't decide whether a defendant was innocent or guilty.
The case was raised by Sir Igor Judge, one of Britain's most experienced judges, who said that the court's failure to get to grips with the law meant that an innocent man spent time in prison.

[ ... ]

But it is difficult to hide from the statistics. In the last 10 years Labour has has created more than 3,000 new criminal offences, passed 115,000 pages of legislation and introduced more than 50 Bills, including 24 criminal justice measures. Compare this with the 60 years between 1925 and 1985 when governments of different colours managed to get by with only six Criminal Justice Acts, an average of one every decade.

[ ... ]

Sir Igor said: "My concern here is not just the quantity of legislation, the absence of certainty, the vast increase in complication in the sentencing process. It can also produce injustice."

"The revolution is coming. It begins with this awakening"

Mohawk Warriors Unite with Zapatistas at Encuentro

"We All Have to Get Together to Fight Colonialism”

By Brenda Norrell
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

October 23, 2007

TUCSON, Arizona: Mohawk Warriors joined in solidarity with Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatistas at the Gathering of Indigenous Peoples of América. They quickly learned that one factor is the same for indigenous peoples all over the world: corporations intent on seizing the land, minerals and water have no regard for their lives or rights.

Rarahkwisere, Mohawk Warrior, said the Zapatistas’ encuentro, or gathering, made it clear to him that the same thing is happening to indigenous peoples all over Turtle Island.

“All of our stories were the same, how we are being mistreated to this day,” said Rarahkwisere, among the Mohawks from the United States and Canada attending the encuentro. Mohawks and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy (Six Nations) were among the 570 delegates from 67 Indigenous Peoples, coming from 12 american nations at the encuentro hosted by Yaquis in Vicam Pueblo, Sonora, Mexico, Oct. 11–14, 2007.

“It is all about the natural resources and the big money people,” Rarahkwisere said. In northern Quebec, the invaders go hunting for diamonds and pollute the water. What follows is sickness and displacement, as Indian people have to leave their homelands and search for places to live.

Remembering the encuentro, he said, “There is a revolution, at least on Turtle Island!”

Rarahkwisere said he had no problem crossing the border to attend the encuentro using his Haudenosaunee passport. However, his trip to Mexico revealed the dangers for Indians in the south, including the heavily-armed soldiers at military checkpoints. He said it was scary at first, until he realized that many of these young soldiers’ also had Indian ancestry, and supported Indian efforts.

Rarahkwisere said the attacks on Indian people are formulated in the urban minds with corporations; together urban minds and corporations want to exploit the peoples’ land and resources. In Mexico, and elsewhere in the South, he realized how often Indian people face death for the risk of speaking out.

“You will get killed. The corporations hire paramilitary groups.”

Reflecting on the struggles for indigenous peoples, he said, “It’s hard being Indian, but we are not going to ever, ever give up. We are just getting started.”

Rarahkwiswere said that indigenous peoples in South America face far greater dangers than the people in the North. He said a Colombian attorney told how two groups were called to play football. Instead of a football, the chief’s head was presented. The people were told if they did not play the game, the same thing would happen to them.

Rarahkwiswere, who spoke on the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace and Wampum Belts, said it was good to meet with Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatistas.

“I want to thank them for hooking up with us. We all have to get together to fight colonialism. I hope to meet them again soon.”

The Haudenosaunee, the People of the Longhouse, live by the Great Law which was given to them by the Creator, said a Mohawk Warrior, unnamed here, in an interview for Narco News.

“The Longhouse originally was all of Turtle Island, from where the sun rises to where the sun sets. The sky is the roof and Mother Earth is the floor.

“The Great Law is what the Creator gave us and what the Six Nations live by. The Great Law was made for all the Nations, not just the Iroquois Confederacy.

“When the Creator came to the people, he began with the worst of the worst. The Creator told them about uniting for peace and power and they accepted. This really formed the first union.

“The Creator held an arrow up and showed the people how easy it was to snap. Then, the Creator bound five arrows with deer hide and showed how these could not be broken, like the Five Nations bound together.”

However, not all of the people have lived by the Great Law. “If they live by the Great Law, they would not be polluting or killing each other. If they live by the Great Law, then they would look for ways to better mankind, rather than destroy it.”

Originally, there were five Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca. Later, the Tuscaroras asked for protection and became the Sixth Nation. The people had their own Constitution and form of government before the invaders arrived.

“The United States Constitution is derived from the Iroquois Confederacy. The invaders that came had no form of government. Benjamin Franklin studied the Iroquois Confederacy,” he said.

However, the Europeans took the foundation of the Iroquois Confederacy out of context, the same way they do with the “black book” (Bible). They take it out of context and use it for fanaticism and to make rich a few people, he said.

The Iroquois Confederacy is comprised of 50 chiefs and 50 clan mothers. All decisions are to be reached through consensus, not through majority vote.

“They have to agree because it has to reflect the decisions made for Seven Generations.” Before making any decision, it is important to consider the impacts for Seven Generations.”

The United States knew all had to agree in order to make decisions, so the U.S began killing the chiefs and clan mothers. When this happened, the people were then in charge. “The people then had the power.”

Wampum belts held the peoples’ history. “It was our form of writing, our form of keeping records. Everything they did, they made a belt, so they could look back and see what happened.”

Individuals were selected to memorize the belt so that they could tell the people what it said. “Those were our stories too.” The Two Row Wampum Belt was white, with two dark lines running parallel. “That was the first agreement made with the Europeans.”

“When the Europeans came here, we had the greatest power, we had a Constitution and this is what the Europeans violated.”

On the Two Row Wampum Belt, one line represents the Native people in their canoes and the other represents the Europeans. The Europeans are to keep whatever they brought with them, including their politics and religion, to themselves.

“The two lines on the wampum belt were never to cross, never to intersect.”

The Creator said everyone had a choice, everyone had the power to reason right and wrong. Today, people have the ability to reason right from wrong.

When Native people become members of the band councils, they step out of their canoes. When the Indian police are trained by the Canadian government, they become agents of the government.

“They became aligned with a foreign government. It is like accepting citizenship. It is impossible for a Native person to accept citizenship, because you have to give up your country to do that. How can a Native person do that?

“In 1924, citizenship was forced on all Native people in the United States and this violated the Constitution, because there was no Native Representation or consultation.”

Natives were forced to form band councils in Canada and elected governments in the United States. “All these are are ‘puppet governments’ for the United States and Canada.” In the same way, the United States is establishing a government in Iraq, one that the U.S. can control.

“They become agents of the government; they are not for the people.”

When the Europeans came to Turtle Island, they emptied the prisons and insane asylums in Europe to populate this country. “That is why there are serial killers, it is genetic, hereditary.”

“A lot of people from Europe didn’t really want to come here. They needed people, so they got all of this riff-raff and sent them here. They just brought them here and turned them loose. In the west, the women were either domestics or prostitutes.”

They emptied the orphanages and brought one million children to work the farms in this country.

“They couldn’t force the natives to be slaves. A native had rather die than be a slave to the white man. Native people were not used to being treated like that. Native people would starve themselves to death or run away.” The people of Africa were kidnapped, sold, enslaved and sent to this country. Their own people helped sell them into slavery, he said.

One hundred million indigenous people were killed by Columbus and the Spaniards in what is now North and South America.

“When the treaties were written, they knew they were not going to honor them. If they are not going to keep the treaties and honor them, then they should get rid of them.”

Nowhere has there been more atrocities than in the north and south of Turtle Island, known as the Americas. Still, the truth is not taught in schools.

“If you don’t know your history, then you don’t have a future,” he said.

Europeans came here for exploitation and that is what continues today. “It is all for exploitation. They even exploit their own people. My dad always said, ‘There’s going to be a worldwide revolution one of these days.’”

“The revolution is coming. It begins with this awakening.”

Ralph Nader sues Democratic Party

WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party on Tuesday, contending officials conspired to keep him from taking votes away from nominee John Kerry.

Nader's lawsuit, filed in District of Columbia Superior Court, also named as co-defendants Kerry's campaign, the Service Employees International Union and several so-called 527 organizations such as America Coming Together, which were created to promote voter turnout on behalf of the Democratic ticket.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Democratic National Committee conspired to force Nader off the ballot in several states.

"The Democratic Party is going after anyone who presents a credible challenge to their monopoly over their perceived voters," Nader said in a statement. "This lawsuit was filed to help advance a free and open electoral process for all candidates and voters. Candidate rights and voter rights nourish each other for more voices, choices, and a more open and competitive democracy." ...   ~ Full article ~


Greece blatantly violating rights of asylum seekers

Excerpt from Der Spiegel article: 'Greece Casting off Asylum Seekers'

Reports released this month by Greek and German refugee organisations suggest that the Greek coast guard in the Aegean Sea has been systematically maltreating and obstructing asylum seekers arriving on their shores.

Fact-finding missions conducted in the summer and October of 2007 by the German Working Group on Refugees, Pro Asyl, and the Greek Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants found that refugee seekers' boats, often barely afloat, are being forced out of Greece's territorial waters. Some passengers are being set ashore on uninhabited islands on the Turkish Greek border region, provided with no water or food.

The investigative missions visited three detention centers on Greek islands and found the conditions to be "degrading and inhuman." In one case, on the island of Chios, there were reports of electric shock treatments, mock executions and beatings.

In an independent report, the Greek branch of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), described the detention center on Samos, an island less than two kilometers from the Turkish coast, as being "deplorable" and demanded that the government close it down. Fully 391 people were found living in a room designed for 120. The staff consisted of one doctor, one social worker and a caretaker.

The number of asylum seekers is up dramatically from last year. By September of this year, 3,549 people had been arrested while attempting to cross the border on Samos, up from 1,580 in 2006. Thirty-six had been reported drowned and 34 missing, the highest figures of their kind.

Many of the new arrivals are coming from war-torn Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. They are often referred to in the media as "illegal immigrants" while in fact most have the right to seek asylum under the Geneva Convention.

~ Full article ~


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