May. 4th, 2011


May. 4th, 2011 10:39 am
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Osama bin Laden's last hours come into focus as White House revises its story

In the hours after Bin Laden's death, US officials briefed that he had put up a fight and shot at the Seal 6 team that stormed the second and third floors of his hideout. Other details suggested he used one of his wives as a human shield.

The White House confirmed that neither was true. Bin Laden was unarmed, was shot in the head and chest, and his wife had been wounded in the leg while rushing towards the special forces before he was killed.

The administration was considering whether to release the photos of the Saudi fugitive's body to counter claims in the region that he had not been killed at all. "There are sensitivities about the appropriateness," said spokesman Jay Carney. "It is fair to say it is a gruesome photograph."MORE

UN human rights boss questions U.S. on legality of bin Laden killing

UNITED NATIONS — The UN's chief human rights official led calls by rights activist organizations on Tuesday for Washington to explain whether U.S. forces lawfully killed Osama bin Laden.

The request by Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, came even as the world body continues to falter over its multi-year bid to define terrorism.

Pillay's bid also appeared to contradict the position held by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who on Monday described the U.S. action as a "watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism."

The mixed messages are likely to heighten critics' claims that the UN's human rights apparatus is frequently quick to probe for abuses by Western democracies — even as it appears to limit its criticism of some of the world's established human rights abuser states.


Amnesty International said it was seeking "greater clarification" about what went on, while New York-based Human Rights Watch said "law enforcement" principles should have applied.

"If he wasn't shooting at the soldiers, the killing should be investigated," Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch Asia director, said in Bangkok at the launch of a report on Thailand.

"People are saying that justice has been done, but justice has not been done. Justice is when you arrest someone and put them on trial."

I do not like this at all.

Hey there?

May. 4th, 2011 02:11 pm
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Does any one want to talk about the results of the Canadian elections?
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Palestinian factions proclaim reconciliation deal

Egypt Plays Best Man at Hamas-Fatah Union

CAIRO, May 4, 2011 (IPS) - Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo on Wednesday, paving the way for the formation of a Palestinian national unity government. The move, say local analysts, reflects the changing political equation in the Middle East amid the ongoing wave of Arab popular uprisings.

"The revolutions currently sweeping the region - especially the fall of Egypt's Mubarak regime - have altered the strategic balance, particularly as it pertains to the Arab-Israeli file," Mohamed Megahid al- Zayat, assistant director of the Cairo-based National Centre for Middle-East Studies, told IPS.


On Wednesday, the two factions, along with 11 other smaller Palestinian groups, officially endorsed the agreement in Cairo. A formal signing ceremony on Thursday is expected to be attended by Fatah headman and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal.

Three joint committees have reportedly been drawn up to discuss means of integrating the two factions' security forces, restructuring the Palestinian Liberation Organisation to accommodate Hamas, and establishing a system and timetable for upcoming elections. The accord also reportedly calls for a prisoner exchange between the two sides. MORE
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[personal profile] nagasvoice
Received via email in response to a petition I signed...


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Congresswoman Matsui Votes Against H.R. 3
Legislation Would Prohibit Women from Accessing Family Planning Services and Place Burdens on Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui (CA-5) voted against H.R. 3, legislation that would for the first time place abortion coverage restrictions on women who purchase insurance in the private market with their own money and small businesses who provide health care to their employees. As a result, this unprecedented attack on a women's right to choose would limit a woman's ability to receive health care services, in addition to adding new burdens for their employers.

"This bill is nothing more than a misnamed attack on American women in order to pursue a politically driven ideological agenda," Congresswoman Matsui said. "It is clear that this legislation is not about preventing taxpayer dollars from going towards abortion procedures, because that is already prohibited by current law. H.R. 3 is really about restricting a women's right to choose by altering business tax codes."

H.R. 3, referred to as the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," would in fact go much further than the title implies. Federal law already prohibits any federal funds from going towards abortions, and health care plans that receive federal funds must keep those funds separate from any funds for abortion services.

In addition to this bill's many shocking provisions and potential tax increases, it would add significant obstacles to small business job growth. Last year, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, small businesses became eligible for a tax credit to assist them in providing private health care coverage to their employees. But H.R. 3 would erase this benefit for small businesses by eliminating the health insurance tax credits for any health insurance plans that include coverage for abortion.

This would not only add a financial burden onto the backs of small businesses, but an administrative one as well. Every small business owner would have to sort through pages of fine print on their insurance plan before applying for this tax credit, instead of spending valuable time growing their business and creating jobs.

Small businesses that do determine that their health insurance policy does in fact cover even one abortion related service would be financially punished in one of two ways. They could either keep their present policy and lose thousands of dollars in tax credits - or they would have to give up their current health insurance plan and most likely have to pay higher premiums for a new plan.

"This bill represents greater intrusion into personal health care matters that should be only between a woman, her doctor and loved ones," added Matsui. "It is dangerous, punitive, and wrong. I strongly oppose H.R. 3 and will continue to fight to protect a woman's right to choose, protect the privacy of all Americans, and fight to improve health care services for all."

# # #

Note: Please do not respond directly to this e-mail. To serve my constituents most effectively, I have dedicated a portion of my website to constituent e-mails. To write me, please visit


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