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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 12:41:59 PM EST
Arab bloc to request Syria peacekeeping force - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

The Arab League will ask the United Nations to form a joint peacekeeping force and appoint a special Arab envoy to try to halt the violence in Syria, members have agreed.

Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday also decided to halt all diplomatic dealings with representatives of the Syrian government, though they did not demand the expulsion of Syrian ambassadors from member states.

The new efforts came a week after Russia and China vetoed a resolution at the UN Security Council that would have supported an earlier Arab League plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power and begin a transition to a new government.

But Nabil el-Arabi, the league's chairman, said he had received a message from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that expressed support for the league's efforts and an expanded "observer" mission. Lavrov earlier defended Russia's veto and subsequently visited with Assad in Damascus.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:26:22 PM EST
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Hundreds in Israeli jails join hunger strike - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have joined a fellow inmate on a hunger strike, after human rights groups reported the original protester's life was in danger.

Khader Adnan, widely believed to be a leader of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, has been refusing food and water since he was detained on December 17, without trial or charge.

Jamil Khatib, Adnan's lawyer, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that an appeal against his detention will likely be decided by an Israeli military court on Monday.

On Thursday, Adnan appealed his detention without charge before an Israeli military judge sitting in a special session in hospital.

His hunger strike, longer than any Palestinian prisoner before him, according to Palestinian officials, is in protest over what he calls his unjust detention and mistreatment by Israeli authorities



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:03 PM EST
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Peru's Shining Path rebel leader found alive - Americas - Al Jazeera English

The top leader of Peru's Shining Path rebel group was alive but badly wounded, Peru's military said, retracting an earlier statement that the rebel leader had been found dead.

"He is alive and receiving the appropriate medical attention," said Defense Minister Alberto Otarola, correcting an earlier statement on Sunday from President Ollanta Humala that the guerrilla fighter's body had been found.

Peruvian officials had announced on Friday that Comrade Artemio, whose real name is Florindo Flores, was shot the previous day in the village of Puerto Pizana in the Upper Huallaga Valley.

A local official there, Nanci Zamora, told reporters the rebel leader had sought medical attention for gunshot wounds in his chest and leg early on Thursday. After seeking medical treatment, other fighters reportedly took their leader into hiding.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:12 PM EST
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Libya demands Niger hand over Gaddafi's son - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Libya has demanded Niger hand over one of Muammar Gaddafi's sons who is under house arrest in the neighbouring nation after he warned in a television interview that his homeland was facing a new uprising.

Mohammed Hareizi, spokesman for the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), said on Saturday that Niger must extradite Saadi Gaddafi and other ex-regime officials to "preserve its relationship and interests" in Libya.

The demand came days before the first anniversary of the February 17 start of the uprising that led to months of civil war and the eventual removal and death of the longtime Libyan leader.

Saadi Gaddafi and more than 30 other loyalists fled to Niger after Tripoli fell to rebels in September.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:30 PM EST
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Canada mining boom leaves natives in the cold - Features - Al Jazeera English

Despite living just 90km from a massive diamond mine, Jackie Hookimaw Witt has watched poverty tear at the fabric of Attawapiskat, an indigenous community in northern Canada. 

The northern Ontario community made international headlines recently, when the chief declared a state of emergency, as many houses lacked heating during frozen winters, and families were left sleeping in storage sheds, shacks or run-down trailers, often with no running water.

"Why are our people living in such extreme poverty when we are so close to this rich mine?" asked Witt, a mining critic born and raised in Attawapiskat. "There is something wrong with this."

As mining companies around the world reap profits from high commodity prices, people in Attawapiskat are demanding a bigger slice of the pie from the diamonds extracted from their traditional territory.

"Our native politicians are pushing for revenue sharing," where resource royalties from the Victor diamond mine would go directly to indigenous administrations, known as band councils, rather than straight to the provincial government, Witt told Al Jazeera.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:49 PM EST
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Afghan War Risks Are Shifting to Contractors - NYTimes.com

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Even dying is being outsourced here.

This is a war where traditional military jobs, from mess hall cooks to base guards and convoy drivers, have increasingly been shifted to the private sector. Many American generals and diplomats have private contractors for their personal bodyguards. And along with the risks have come the consequences: More civilian contractors working for American companies than American soldiers died in Afghanistan last year for the first time during the war.

American employers here are under no obligation to publicly report the deaths of their employees and frequently do not. While the military announces the names of all its war dead, private companies routinely notify only family members. Most of the contractors die unheralded and uncounted -- and in some cases, leave their survivors uncompensated.

"By continuing to outsource high-risk jobs that were previously performed by soldiers, the military, in effect, is privatizing the ultimate sacrifice," said Steven L. Schooner, a law professor at George Washington University who has studied the civilian casualties issue.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:28:26 PM EST
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If NATO is outsourcing, what happens if some corporate takes over the contract and decides there's more profit elsewhere ? Private armies are so not a good idea.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:54:01 AM EST
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Presumably the same thing that happened when they outsourced the war against the Soviets to a bunch of mullahs.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 10:07:59 AM EST
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Panetta seeks probe of Marine SS flag - CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs

The military's top brass went into damage control mode Friday after a picture of an elite Marine unit posing with a flag symbol that is similar to a Nazi "SS" logo surfaced on the Internet a day earlier.

First, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked the Marine Corps to look into the matter and take appropriate action, according to Pentagon spokesman George Little.

"Racist and anti-Semitic symbols have absolutely no place alongside the men and women of America's armed forces," Little said in a statement.

Then the Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. James Amos, weighed in, apologizing to "all offended by this regrettable incident."

"I want to be clear that the Marine Corps unequivocally does not condone the use of any such symbols to represent our units or Marines," Amos said.

Marine Corps Scout Snipers from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion are seen in the photo standing and kneeling with their sniper rifles in front of a blue flag with white Nazi "SS" runes. The picture was taken in 2010 in Afghanistan and the photo's description says the "SS" flag had been "adopted and used by the Marines in reference to Scout Sniper."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:47:35 PM EST
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Does this make any sense?
As Rachel Maddow explains in this report, the Ron Paul strategy is to let the caucus results fall where they may, and then ensure Ron Paul delegates are elected to the convention. Because these caucus results are non-binding, it ensures that the votes matter less than the delegates sent to the convention. And right now, the Iowa, Minnesota, and likely Maine delegates will be attending not for Mitt Romney, but Ron Paul. Not for Gingrich or Santorum, but Ron Paul.
by gk (gk) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:50:07 PM EST
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Well there were some talk after the first couple of Primaries that Paul supporters were hanging around after the votes. where other candidates supporters were disappearing as they thought they had won.

You would think that other candidates organisations would have this under control by now.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:57:21 PM EST
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The GOP has been run Top/Down for so many decades the current leadership has forgotten how to operate at the grassroots, Bottom/Up.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:07:26 PM EST
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apart from Romney and Paul the others don't have much of an organization. that said, this divide between beauty contests and delegates elected later mostly seems to be a feature of the early caucus states.
by IM on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:11:29 PM EST
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Does the story make sense? Yes, the local voting process is poorly managed. Does it make sense from the overall viewpoint of the best method for selection of a candidate? No.

Our primary system is broken in many ways. For example, one theory is that with these "small" states going first, somebody without much money can compete against a rich guy. But in fact, the rich guy will run attack ads against any realistic opposition and squash them.

Further, since only the truly committed participate, the primaries select party extremists. Santorum is a great example of this, because he is not electable in his own state due to his extreme positions, and in a place like Colorado--where we have in the past year had a preview of this with a similar nut job running for governor--the R party here is extremely frustrated.

Rick Santorum surprised Mitt Romney last night in Colorado's caucuses, but he surprised a number of GOP lawmakers, too. Sen. Nancy Spence of Centennial, a Romney backer, said she couldn't believe Santorum, who received 40 percent of the vote in the straw poll, beat Romney with 35 percent. In Broomfield County, Romney easily won with 44 percent of the vote so caucus goers there, including Rep. Don Beezley, were surprised to hear of Santorum's win. Beezley backed Ron Paul, who took 17 percent of the vote in Broomfield County

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/topic/nancy-spence/

by asdf on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:23:37 PM EST
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I just happened to get this news first from 972mag.com, where Larry Derfner wrote, under the above headline
Once again, there's a taboo against stating the obvious. It's an open secret, and a source of great Israeli satisfaction, that the Mossad killed Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh four years and a day ago, and that the Mossad was behind a half-dozen killings of Iranian nuclear scientists, as well as explosions at Iranian military sites. Israel didn't have to do any of that - we have the power to deter attacks by Hizbullah and Iran, we don't have to pick fights. But we did, so this is what we get. Israel provoked the car bomb attack today on the wife of the diplomat in New Delhi, and we're making life dangerous for Israelis and Jews everywhere.
Here is how most of the media covers this story
Israeli diplomats have been targeted by car bombs in India and Georgia, leaving four injured and Israel's foreign minister promising a response.

Police in New Delhi said a bomb wrecked a car belonging to the Israeli embassy in the Indian capital carrying the wife of the Israeli defence attache as she was going to pick up her children from school on Monday.

She needed surgery to remove shrapnel but her life was not in danger, officials said.

"She was able to drag herself from the car and is now at the American hospital (in New Delhi), where two Israeli doctors are treating her," an Israeli defence ministry spokesman said.

Three others suffered lesser injuries in the same blast.

Another Israeli embassy vehicle was targeted in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where the car's driver found a package attached to the undercarriage and police discovered and defused a grenade.

by gk (gk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 03:43:51 PM EST
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