In 1991 David Rockefeller said at the Bilderberg meeting in Essen: “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
Al-Zoubi : We have clear directives from President al-Assad to work for the success of political track
Geneva,Jan 24, 2014 (SANA) - Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said Friday we are in Geneva because we want to defend our country and people, it is important to move the wheel of a serious discussion.
The Minister added in a statement to journalists : " We are insisting on the success of the political track and we have no intentions to complicate it", affirming : " We have clear directives from President Bashar al-Assad to work for the success of this track",
Minister al-Zoubi said : " We came to Geneva with an open mind and a free, sovereign and independent national will and no one, neither major countries and institutions, nor regional states, can dictate its language and conditions on us at all", adding "There is no meaning for any political process or step as long as guns and swords are still put on the necks of the citizens",
The Information Minister stressed : " The dialogue in Damascus is going on and we will work to deepen it with all opposition parties which weren't invited to Geneva conference".
(The website of Sana was blocked yesterday. That happens regularly, as information from the Western press is a real misleading war campaign against Syria)
Latest news of the Syrian Arab News Agency (which is regularly blocked)
- Geneva2 begins with particpation of Syria's offical delegation, headed by al-Moallem
- Al-Moallem : Counterterrorism priority for all Syrians , Wang: No foreign solution can be imposed on Syrians
- PM stresses Syria’s commitment to enhance relations with China
- Minister Haidar: US prevented genuine national opposition inside from attending Geneva 2
- Syrian officials visit a number of religious institutions in Sydnaya city
- Army eliminates terrorists, destroys their weapons and hideouts
- New batch of Russian humanitarian aid to displaced Syrians arrives in Beirut
- Culture Minister: We face the crisis through promoting cultural activities
- 5 citizens martyred, others injured in terrorist car bomb in Hasaka
- Al-Moallem to Ban Ki-moon: Need to prioritize combating terrorism
- Shaaban: Some points in Geneva1 communique still valid, reality requires change in priorities
- Al-Jaafari: Geneva 2 is required to help Syrian people, end terrorism
- Assistant Health Minister: illegal entry of medicines, vaccinations curb efforts to control transmitted diseases
- Syrians, home and abroad, support homeland in confronting terrorism
- China affirms importance of avoiding imposing foreign solution to crisis in Syria
- Lavrov: Russia's partners understand importance of internal opposition's joining Geneva2
- Rohani : No state can determine Syria's destiny on behalf of the Syrians
- Geneva2, Russia:we want to preserve Syria as sovereign state..China:Solution in Syria political
- Iran : Any regional move on Syria should put counterterrorism on top priorities
- Information Minister: Some delegations seemed like ambassadors for terrorist groups
Russian humanitarian aid
Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes
ACLU report chronicles thousands of lives ruined by life sentences for crimes such as shoplifting or possession of a crack pipe
13 November 2013
At about 12.40pm on 2 January 1996, Timothy Jackson took a jacket from the Maison Blanche department store in New Orleans, draped it over his arm, and walked out of the store without paying for it. When he was accosted by a security guard, Jackson said: “I just needed another jacket, man.”
A few months later Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159.
Jackson, 53, is one of 3,281 prisoners in America serving life sentences with no chance of parole for non-violent crimes. Some, like him, were given the most extreme punishment short of execution for shoplifting; one was condemned to die in prison for siphoning petrol from a truck; another for stealing tools from a tool shed; yet another for attempting to cash a stolen cheque.
“It has been very hard for me,” Jackson wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as part of its new report on life without parole for non-violent offenders. “I know that for my crime I had to do some time, but a life sentence for a jacket value at $159. I have met people here whose crimes are a lot badder with way less time.”
Senior officials at Angola prison refused to allow the Guardian to speak to Jackson, on grounds that it might upset his victims – even though his crime was victim-less. But his sister Loretta Lumar did speak to the Guardian. She said that the last time she talked by phone with her brother he had expressed despair. “He told me, 'Sister, this has really broke my back. I'm ready to come out.'”
Lumar said that she found her brother's sentence incomprehensible. “This doesn't make sense to me. I know people who have killed people, and they get a lesser sentence. That doesn't make sense to me right there. You can take a life and get 15 or 16 years. He takes a jacket worth $159 and will stay in jail forever. He didn't kill the jacket!”
The ACLU's report, A Living Death, chronicles the thousands of lives ruined and families destroyed by the modern phenomenon of sentencing people to die behind bars for non-violent offences. It notes that contrary to the expectation that such a harsh penalty would be meted out only to the most serious offenders, people have been caught in this brutal trap for sometimes the most petty causes.
Ronald Washington, 48, is also serving life without parole in Angola, in his case for shoplifting two Michael Jordan jerseys from a Foot Action sportswear store in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 2004. Washington insisted at trial that the jerseys were reduced in a sale to $45 each – which meant that their combined value was below the $100 needed to classify the theft as a felony; the prosecution disagreed, claiming they were on sale for $60 each, thus surpassing the $100 felony minimum and opening him up to a sentence of life without parole.
“I felt as though somebody had just taken the life out of my body,” Washington wrote to the ACLU about the moment he learnt his fate. “I seriously felt rejected, neglected, stabbed right through my heart.”
He added: “It's a very lonely world, seems that nobody cares. You're never ever returning back into society. And whatever you had or established, its now useless, because you're being buried alive at slow pace.”
Louisiana, where both Washington and Jackson are held, is one of nine states where prisoners are serving life without parole sentences for non-violent offences (other states with high numbers are Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina). An overwhelming proportion of those sentences – as many as 98% in Louisiana – were mandatory: in other words judges had no discretion but to impose the swingeing penalties.
The warden of Angola prison, Burl Cain, has spoken out in forthright terms against a system that mandates punishment without any chance of rehabilitation. He told the ACLU: “It's ridiculous, because the name of our business is 'corrections' – to correct deviant behaviour. If I'm a successful warden and I do my job and we correct the deviant behaviour, then we should have a parole hearing. I need to keep predators in these big old prisons, not dying old men.”
The toll is not confined to the state level: most of those non-violent inmates held on life without parole sentences were given their punishments by the federal government. More than 2,000 of the 3,281 individuals tracked down on these sentences by the ACLU are being held in the federal system. Overall, the ACLU has calculated that taxpayers pay an additional $1.8bn to keep the prisoners locked up for the rest of their lives.
Ask 41 U.S. senators to stand strong and support diplomacy over war
As I write this, the U.S. Senate is just eight votes shy of a veto-proof bill that could send the U.S. to war over Iran.
This AIPAC-backed bill would torpedo ongoing diplomatic efforts and open the way to military action and further draconian sanctions. The results could be disastrous for everyone.
The good news is that outrage is growing, and 21 senators have come out against pro-war bill S.1881. But there is a chance it could reach a veto-proof majority. Unless we act now, the 20 senators who have not signed yet could succumb to the march to war. Can you sign this petition to tell them to stand strong ?
Click here: http://www.JVP.org/Iran
This legislation is being pushed by Israel lobby groups who want a pretext for Israel to take military action against Iran. Remarkably, it would pre-commit the United States to military involvement should Israel attack.
If we get at least 15,000 to sign this petition, we’ll take out ads in a major political news outlet to show that American Jews and our allies oppose the bill, and support diplomacy over war.
Click here: http://www.JVP.org/Iran
An interim deal brokered by the U.N. Security Council has already begun implementation, with Iran taking steps to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
But S.1881 (the "Nuclear Weapon-Free Iran Act of 2013") has the support of 59 of 60 co-sponsors needed for it to pass.
Click here: http://www.JVP.org/Iran and help stop the march to war.
War on Iran
March 7, 2012 - AIPAC pushing for war with Iran? http://rt.com/usa/aipac-war-iran-israel-917/
January 20, 2014 - Geneva 2 Syria: A UN spokesperson announced that UN chief Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn his invitation for Iran.
3 hours ago: AIPAC is eight votes short of a veto-proof bill that would make war on Iran more likely - Take action now: http://t.co/3r4MHA5cve
Hugo Chávez Funeral: Derided by US Media, Venezuelan Leader Uplifted Poor From Caracas to the Bronx
8 Mar 2013
Millions are gathering in Caracas to mourn the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on the day of his funeral. More than 30 world leaders are expected to attend today's ceremony as Venezuelans brave long lines to see Chávez lying in state. We go to Caracas to speak with Carol Delgado, Venezuelan Consul General in New York, who has returned home for the funeral. Delgado responds to the torrent of U.S. corporate media criticism that has followed Chávez to the grave, arguing that Chávez has been attacked in spite of -- and perhaps because of -- his social programs benefiting Venezuela's poor majority, and a global reach that extended to impoverished neighborhoods of the United States.
Filmmakers Featured Live at the Sundance Film Festival
U.S. backs al-Qaeda in spreading chaos in Syria, while forcing Iraq to accept support from the U.S. to control the chaos...
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has all but declared war on the the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), stating that he and his government will continue the fight against the terrorist group which has taken over parts of the city of Fallujah. Such is the concern of the recent developments in the nation that the USA has declared it will speed up weapon and hardware deliveries in a bid to push back the fundamentalist terrorists.
The crisis in Iraq came to a head last week when fighters belonging to the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began to attack police stations in the city of Fallujah in central Iraq, taking de facto control of large parts of the city away from the central government, raising their flags on government buildings and declaring their own independent Islamic state following increased fighting in the west of Iraq. The attacks have split the population between those who support the Islamist terrorists and Sharia law, and those who fear for their future under an ISIL-controlled Fallujah.
In reaction to events in the city which lies just 69 km away from the capital Baghdad, PM al-Maliki has made a number of declarations on television declaring that “We will continue this fight because we believe that al-Qaeda and its allies represent evil” in conjunction with a number of air strikes and shelling operations against parts of the city as tanks and artillery amassed at the edge of the city ready for a potential assault should local residents and forces located in the city not first expel the terrorists in the city. Al-Maliki is reported to have halted the shelling following the request of local tribal leaders, however the amount of time these local leader have before the Iraqi army launch their own attack on terrorists is not known.
Should the order come from the government, the Iraqi Army may very well have support from the USA, whose own forces fought a long and bloody campaign to capture the city following their invasion in 2003. According to news from Reuters, the US government has announced that it will fast-track shipments of military equipment to the Middle Eastern nation, equipment which would include missiles and drones, in order to rid the city of the yet unknown number of terrorist militants.
USA and Al Qaeda: Holy Alliance:
Health Ministry sends medical shipment to Aleppo province
Damascus, Jan 2, 2014 (SANA) - Health Ministry announced that it sent a medical shipment to Aleppo province on Thursday to support the health services offered in the public hospitals to the citizens in Aleppo and restore the strategic stockpile of medicine and medical equipment at the health institution in Aleppo.
In a statement, Health Minister Saad al-Nayef said that the shipment consists of 3 trucks loaded with medicine that enable health institutions to continue offering medical duties to the citizens in Aleppo.
Al-Nayef pointed out that the Ministry during the last year sent 484 medical shipments to all provinces, including 18 to Aleppo, in a way to guarantee meeting the medical citizens' needs.
B. Mousa/ Mazen