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Dear Kitty
Thursday, June 30, 2005
  CIA tries to recruit Guantanamo prisoners as spies
Guantanamo Bay camp

Dutch TV program NOVA of today is about an attempt by the United States CIA to use ex prisoners of Guantanamo Bay camp as spies in The Netherlands and other countries.

They tried with five men of Moroccan ancestry. NOVA interviewed three of them.

Two of them declared that the CIA promised them the right to stay in The Netherlands.

Their lawyer, Mr Mohamed Hilal, said that for that they were supposed to spy within the Moroccan Dutch community.

Experts say the story of these three Moroccans is credible.

The five Moroccans were imprisoned in August 2001 in Afghanistan. Then, they went to Guantanamo Bay camp.

Last August, they were released without charges and sent to Morocco.

In NOVA, Mohamed Ouzar, Mohamed Mazouz, and Brahim Benchekroun said that the CIA in Guantanamo offered them to spy in five countries, including The Netherlands, Canada, and Switzerland.

There was heavy pressure on them not to return to Morocco. The CIA said they'd probably be tortured there.

In spite of the bad circumstances in Guantanamo, where prisoners were isolated in their cells and one said he had been ill most of the time, the prisoners refused the offers; as they said, they had committed no crimes and owed their captors nothing.

A Moroccan court released them after their return to Morocco.

NOVA showed the report on the three Moroccans to Martin Dillon. He wrote much on British intelligence in Northern Ireland.

Today, this intelligence expert studies mainly the CIA. Dillon says the ex prisoners testimony fits into US tactics in Guantanamo Bay.

Also Dutch intelligence expert Wil van der Schans says the ex prisoners' story is credible. He suspects Dutch secret service AIVD were also implicated in this case.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005
  G8 protests Scotland 2-6 July: blogging
G8 summit, cartoon by Steve Bell

2-6 July in Scotland there will be the G8 conference of rich countries' politicians.

And many protests against their policies of making the rich richer and the poor poorer, and of war.

Their sudden decision to have some debt relief is definitely not a panacea.

There will also be the Live 8 concerts then.

Scottish bishop Martin Shaw hopes two million people will come to protest.

Many blogs will report on all this.

Including the Red Pepper special G8 blog.

And including Dear Kitty ModBlog, of course.

If there is downtime or other problems on ModBlog, then the blogging will be here on my backup blog.

MakePovertyHistory Radio: G8 Are You Listening?

On July 2, from OneWorld Radio website you can listen online to Make Poverty History Radio streaming live from the peaceful march in Edinburgh.

For one day only a special radio station will broadcast the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY rally live to campaigners and Edinburgh city residents on 2 July - bringing them the latest news from The Meadows in Edinburgh, where tens of thousands of people will gather calling for trade justice, more and better aid and debt relief for the world's poorest countries.

Broadcasting on 87.7FM - MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY radio will be on the air for twelve hours -- 08.00 - 20.00, packed full of content from the huge range of events on the day, interviews with speakers, event information, debates on the G8 and the campaigns key aims and live links as the huge human white band forms around central Edinburgh.

Throughout the day, a team of reporters, including community radio journalists from Africa, will be in the crowds in The Meadows bringing updates from the different entertainment and action zones as well as a selection of music and speeches from the main stages.

Produced in partnership with the Community Media Association and Edinburgh Telford College community radio station, ETC FM, who kindly offered over their frequency for the day, the station will also be available online at the Make Poverty History website.
Rich and poor, cartoon
MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY radio will be distributed to number of community radio stations in the UK, Africa and Latin America through the AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters) network ( www.amarc.org ).

Project manager Bill Best from Community Media Association said: "This is a fantastic way for all campaigners to keep abreast of what is going on - whether they have made it to Edinburgh in person, or are listening in around the world.

The content will be a mix of the serious and the fun - we want to bring a flavour of the rally atmosphere to the airwaves, and ensure the key messages of Make Poverty History are heard by everybody tuning in."

Glen Tarman from MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY said: "The 2nd of July in Edinburgh will be the day when the people of Britain add their voices to those from Africa, Asia and Latin America to send a loud and clear message to the G8 that now is the time to make poverty history.

Make Poverty History Radio is part of connecting people both in Edinburgh and around the globe as the world calls for justice."

G8 and climate: see here. And here.

Action against Faslane nuclear military base, on 4 July, see here.

More news coverage at Indymedia UK; and Indymedia Scotland.

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Monday, June 27, 2005
  Live blogging on Luxembourg EU referendum 10 July
Cartoon of Luxembourg trade union against Bolkestein plan to liberalize the economy of the European UnionAs we noted before:
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, the current holder [now, that is Blair] of the European Union's rotating presidency, said he'll resign if voters in his country follow the French and Dutch in rejecting the European Union constitution in a referendum next month.

... Luxembourg, one of the six founding members of the EU, will hold its referendum on July 10.
Read more here.

If Luxembourg voters will vote No, that will not just be important for Luxembourg national politics.

It will also in effect kill the proposals for this anti-democratic, "neo-liberal" (or: neo-conservative), and militarist constitution.

If even in a country where jobs are much more dependent on EU bureaucracy and offshore banking than anywhere else, the people vote No to the constitutional treaty, than it is dead in the water anywhere.

On the evening (Central European time) of Sunday 10 July, on my main blog, there will be live blogging on the Luxembourg referendum results.

If there is downtime or another problem at ModBlog, then the live blogging will be here, at my backup blog: here.

Luxembourg No campaigners are here ("Leftist"); and here ("Left Liberal").


Wednesday, June 15, 2005
  New Zealand: how giant moa bird became extinct

This video from New Zealand is called Moa Footprints.

Mighty Moa Demise Detailed


June 15, 2005 — The moa, the biggest bird that ever lived, was hunted to extinction partly because of the extreme length of time it took the giant creature to reach reproductive maturity, scientists say.

The moa once thronged across New Zealand before being wiped out several hundred years ago by the Maori, the Polynesians who according to legend migrated to Aotearoa ("the land of the long white cloud") by canoe from the Cook Islands around seven centuries ago or longer.

The flightless, wingless bird, a cousin of the kiwi, stood up to 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) high and, at 250 kilos (550 pounds), was a plentiful source of meat.

But how did a small Maori population, armed only with close-range wooden weapons and traps, wipe out such a plentiful species in such a large country?

The answer, according to the new research, may be found in growth rings in the bones of these extinct giants.

These marks are common in many animal species and are caused by differing growth rates in changing seasons.

But bird species do not have these rings, as in most cases, their growth phase is confined to less than a year.

The moa, though, was the exception.

Examination of rings in stored bones suggest that the two moa species, luxuriating in the safety of New Zealand's unique ecosystem, may have taken several years to reach reproductive maturity and up to a decade to attain skeletal maturity.

That made them "extremely vulnerable" to hunting.

Read more here.

See also here.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005
  Ex US President Carter: shut down Guantanamo torture camp
Guantanamo Bay camp

Carter Calls on U.S. to Shut Down Gitmo

By BERNARD McGHEE, Associated Press Writer ATLANTA, 6/8/05 - Former President Carter on Tuesday called for the United States to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison to demonstrate its commitment to human rights.

"The U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation ... because of reports concerning abuses of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo," Carter said after a two-day human rights conference at his Atlanta center.

Such reports have surfaced despite President Bush's "bold reminder that America is determined to promote freedom and democracy around the world," Carter said.


  Ancient DNA confirms single origin of Malagasy primates
MegaladapisYale biologists have managed to extract and analyze DNA from giant, extinct lemurs, according to a Yale study published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Radiocarbon dating of the bones and teeth from which the DNA was obtained reveal that each of the individuals analyzed died well over 1,000 years ago, according to the senior author, Anne Yoder, associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Lepilemur dorsalisLiving lemurs comprise more than 50 species, all of which are unique to the island of Madagascar, which is the world's fourth largest island and east of Africa.

Evolutionary analysis of the DNA obtained from the extinct giants reveals that they, like the living lemurs, are descended from a single primate ancestor that colonized Madagascar more than 60 million years ago, Yoder said.

The biologists extracted DNA from nine subfossil individuals in two of the more bizarre extinct species, Palaeopropithecus and Megaladapis. The first has been likened to tree sloths and the second compared to koala bears.

Both ranged in body weights from 100 to 150 pounds, as compared to the largest living lemur, Indri indri, which weighs in at fewer than 15 to 17 pounds.

"The most important conclusion to be drawn from our study is that the phylogenetic placement of subfossil lemurs adds additional support to the hypothesis that non-human primates colonized Madagascar only once," Yoder said.

"However, the limited taxonomic success of our study leaves open the possibility that data from additional taxa will overturn this increasingly robust hypothesis."

Read more here.


  Bush lied, over 100.000 died, and are still dying
IraqGeorge W. Bush not just lied ... err ... was economical with the truth on weapons of mass destruction as supposed reason for the Iraq war.

His claims on not wanting to go to war in Iraq also appear to be ... err ...

According to Think Progress blog (with many different hyperlinks there):
What Did Bush Decide and When Did He Decide It?

The Downing Street Memo reported that in a July 23, 2002 meeting between Prime Minister Blair and his war cabinet, attendees of the meeting discussed the fact that President Bush had already made up his mind to attack Iraq. According to the minutes of the meeting:

“There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action.”

Yet, as the record below proves, President Bush claimed over and over after July 23rd until the war began that he had not made up his mind.

Bush: “Of course, I haven’t made up my mind we’re going to war with Iraq.” [10/1/02]

Bush:“Hopefully, we can do this peacefully – don’t get me wrong. And if the world were to collectively come together to do so, and to put pressure on Saddam Hussein and convince him to disarm, there’s a chance he may decide to do that. And war is not my first choice, don’t – it’s my last choice.” [11/7/02]

Bush: “This is our attempt to work with the world community to create peace. And the best way for peace is for Mr. Saddam Hussein to disarm. It’s up to him to make his decision.” [12/4/02]

Bush: “You said we’re headed to war in Iraq – I don’t know why you say that. I hope we’re not headed to war in Iraq. I’m the person who gets to decide, not you. I hope this can be done peacefully.” [12/31/02]

Bush: “First of all, you know, I’m hopeful we won’t have to go war, and let’s leave it at that.” [1/2/03]

Bush: “But Saddam Hussein is – he’s treated the demands of the world as a joke up to now, and it was his choice to make. He’s the person who gets to decide war and peace.” [2/7/03]

Bush:“I’ve not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this can be done peacefully.” [3/6/03]

Bush: “I want to remind you that it’s his choice to make as to whether or not we go to war. It’s Saddam’s choice. He’s the person that can make the choice of war and peace.” [3/6/03]

Bush: “We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force.” [3/8/03]

Bush: “Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it.” [3/17/03]

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Monday, June 06, 2005
  Britain: Blair, stop deporting refugee children
Blair cartoon

NEWS LINE lead article: Tuesday June 7 2005


‘A Rochdale head teacher, Jed Morgan, and the families of refugee children, travelled to London yesterday in a bid to stop the deportation of seven of his school’s pupils.

Immigration minister Tony McNulty had agreed to meet Morgan and the children’s families to discuss their case.

St John’s Primary School says the children, from Bolivia, Angola and DR Congo, are protected by international law.

The school says the children are entitled to protection from deportation under the international convention for the rights of the child.

Last week, several hundred of the school’s pupils, the families and their supporters, marched through Rochdale to demand their classmates are allowed to stay in the UK.

A 2,000 name petition has been gathered in the children’s support.

The families, who have been in the UK for up to four years, say they face being killed if they return home.

One family with a pupil at the school was deported to Angola in May.

One of those now threatened with deportation is six-year-old Brian Comacho, who his family claim witnessed the murder of his grandparents in Bolivia by political opponents.

The families’ campaign has the backing of the town’s Liberal Democrat MP, Paul Rowen.

The protests in Rochdale are the latest in a string of locally-organised campaigns against the removal of children from schools because they are members of families who have failed in their application for asylum.

Last week, hundreds of people demonstrated in Dover, Kent, against the planned deportation of an Afghan teenager from the town.

Children at the protest said 19-year-old Asif Aswary’s life would be in danger if he was sent back to Kabul.

Community Action for Young Refugees (CAYR) said Asif came to the UK in 2002 after his father was killed because of his political beliefs.

A CAYR spokesman said Asif, from Gillingham, Medway, was being held at Dover Removal Centre pending deportation on 11 June.

CAYR secretary, Dover councillor Wes McLachlan said the group wanted unaccompanied minors admitted to the UK to receive right of residence automatically.

Speaking of the planned deportation, he said: ‘This cruel activity is becoming more and more frequent.

‘This will only stop when the cold and uncaring immigration regulations for unaccompanied and orphaned children are changed.’

McLachlan said there were two other cases in Kent where young people were being threatened with expulsion from the UK.

Last month, the Home Office published figures on how many families have been given an amnesty because they had been waiting for more than four years for a final decision on their cases.

The amnesty began in October 2003 as part of a drive by disgraced former Home Secretary David Blunkett to clear the backlog of asylum claims.

Of more than 53,000 principal applicants identified as being possibly eligible, just under 11,000 had been given permission to stay in the UK, while 3,300 had been refused.

A further 3,500 cases did not qualify for other reasons.

As of 31st March, some 18,000 cases were awaiting a decision and another 14,000 had yet to have an initial examination.


My diary on peace and wars, arts, sciences, politics, the fight for economic and social justice, the environment, and more. Backup for http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/

April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / December 2006 / April 2007 / August 2007 / February 2008 / May 2008 / May 2012 /

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