The document is here. Enjoy--and if you have other links you think I should have, pass them on!
The document is here. Enjoy--and if you have other links you think I should have, pass them on!
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Hundreds of Yemeni women have set fire to a pile of female face and body veils on a main street in Sanaa to protest the government's brutal crackdown against the country's popular uprising.
The act of women burning their clothing is a symbolic Bedouin tribal gesture signifying an appeal for help to tribesmen.
Wednesday's protest comes as clashes intensify between forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and renegade fighters who have sided with the opposition in demands that the president step down.
Medical and local officials say up to 25 civilians, tribal fighters and government soldiers died overnight in Sanaa and the city of Taiz despite Saleh's ceasefire announcement late Tuesday.
Saleh has clung to power in the face of more than nine months of massive protests against his rule.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's president on Tuesday called in the U.S. ambassador and told him he would sign a deal to step down, a U.S. official said. The embattled leader, who has made that pledge several times before, spoke as violence shook his capital.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh informed Ambassador Gerald Feierstein of a new cease-fire, but clashes on the streets threw that into doubt. Activists said seven protesters were killed and 10 wounded.MORE
Graphic footage showing him after his death in Sirte
Muammar Gaddafi killed as Sirte falls: NTC military chief says toppled leader died of wounds following capture near his hometown of Sirte.
Muammar Gaddafi has been killed after National Transitional Council fighters overran loyalist defences in Sirte, the toppled Libyan leader's hometown and final stronghold.
"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed," Mahmoud Jibril, the de facto Libyan prime minister, told reporters on Thursday in Tripoli, the capital.
Crowds took to the streets of Sirte, Tripoli and Benghazi, the eastern city that spearheaded the uprising against Gaddafi's 42-year rule in February, to celebrate the news, with some firing guns and waving Libya's new flag.
Abdul Hakim Belhaj, an NTC military chief, said Gaddafi had died of his wounds after being captured on Thursday.
The body of the former Libyan leader was taken to a location which is being kept secret for security reasons, Mohamed Abdel Kafi, an NTC official in the city of Misrata, told the Reuters news agency.
Earlier, Abdel Majid, another NTC official, said the toppled leader had been wounded in both legs.
The news came shortly after the NTC captured Sirte after weeks of fierce fighting.
Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley reports from Sirte
Fighters flashing V for victory took to the streets in pick-ups blaring out patriotic music.
"Thank God they have caught this person. In one hour, Sirte was liberated," a fighter said.
Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley, reporting from Sirte, said Libyans there celebrating the beginning of a "new Libya".
Who was Muammar Gaddafi? Video
What does Gaddafi's fall mean for Africa? As global powers become more interested in Africa, interventions in the continent will likely become more common.
"Kampala 'mute' as Gaddafi falls," is how the opposition paper summed up the mood of this capital the morning after. Whether they mourn or celebrate, an unmistakable sense of trauma marks the African response to the fall of Gaddafi.
Both in the longevity of his rule and in his style of governance, Gaddafi may have been extreme. But he was not exceptional. The longer they stay in power, the more African presidents seek to personalise power. Their success erodes the institutional basis of the state. The Carribean thinker C L R James once remarked on the contrast between Nyerere and Nkrumah, analysing why the former survived until he resigned but the latter did not: "Dr Julius Nyerere in theory and practice laid the basis of an African state, which Nkrumah failed to do."
The African strongmen are going the way of Nkrumah, and in extreme cases Gaddafi, not Nyerere. The societies they lead are marked by growing internal divisions. In this, too, they are reminiscent of Libya under Gaddafi more than Egypt under Mubarak or Tunisia under Ben Ali.
Whereas the fall of Mubarak and Ben Ali directed our attention to internal social forces, the fall of Gaddafi has brought a new equation to the forefront: the connection between internal opposition and external governments. Even if those who cheer focus on the former and those who mourn are preoccupied with the latter, none can deny that the change in Tripoli would have been unlikely without a confluence of external intervention and internal revolt.
More interventions to come
The conditions making for external intervention in Africa are growing, not diminishing. The continent is today the site of a growing contention between dominant global powers and new challengers. The Chinese role on the continent has grown dramatically. Whether in Sudan and Zimbawe, or in Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria, that role is primarily economic, focused on two main activities: building infrastructure and extracting raw materials. For its part, the Indian state is content to support Indian mega-corporations; it has yet to develop a coherent state strategy. But the Indian focus too is mainly economic.
The contrast with Western powers, particularly the US and France, could not be sharper. The cutting edge of Western intervention is military. France's search for opportunities for military intervention, at first in Tunisia, then Cote d'Ivoire, and then Libya, has been above board and the subject of much discussion. Of greater significance is the growth of Africom, the institutional arm of US military intervention on the African continent.
At this moment, unbeknownst to most of the world, the government of El Salvador is in the midst of a decision that could make it the first country in the world to ban gold mining. Corporate eyes are trained on this tiny nation, hoping it will decide that mining revenues are too lucrative to forgo. So too should those of us who believe that people and their ecosystems come first be doing our part to make sure that corporate interests do not determine what should be a democratic decision among Salvadorans.
Earlier this year, we traveled to El Salvador for The Nation to learn more about how the first progressive government (led by the FMLN party) in El Salvador in decades was deliberating over its choices. As part of its 2009 election promises, the government of Mauricio Funes had announced it would grant no new mining permits during its five-year term and that it was considering a permanent ban. Once elected, the Funes government initiated a major “strategic environmental review” to help set longer-term national policy on mining.
So, we found ourselves at the Ministry of the Economy, which along with the Environment Ministry, is leading the review. (Can you imagine the U.S. Treasury Department and EPA joining forces to do a collaborative review of U.S. policy?) With us was the man overseeing the review process from the economy ministry: engineer Carlos Duarte. Duarte explained that the goal was to do a “scientific” analysis, with the help of a Spanish consulting firm.
We pushed further, trying to understand how a technical analysis could capture the two sides of such a high-stakes issue. On one hand, El Salvador is a country of deep poverty, with people desperately in need of jobs. How could it not be tempted by visions of earnings from gold exports, especially now that gold’s price had skyrocketed from under $300 an ounce a decade ago to over $1,500 an ounce at the time of our meeting with Duarte? This view is perhaps best epitomized by former Salvadoran finance minister and mining company economic adviser Manuel Hinds, who said that “renouncing gold mining would be unjustifiable and globally unprecedented.”
On the other hand, there is the environmental cost. Here we quoted to Duarte from Maria Silvia Guillen, the head of the Salvadoran human rights group FESPAD: “El Salvador is a small beach with a big river that runs through it. If the river dies, the entire country dies.”MORE
Tyrrell: The Century of the Self was for me and many others I've spoken to, by far the best TV series for a long time. In four 60 minute programmes on BBC2, you showed how the ideas behind psychoanalysis were responsible for the development of mass consumerism and self absorption in western society. You also explored the link between consumerism and politics in ways that were terrifying to contemplate. How did you come to piece this amazing history together?
Curtis: I'm a journalist who stumbled over a story, not a historian. For me it began when I came across the intriguing information that Freud's nephew Edward Bernays had invented public relations, specifically using his uncle's ideas about human beings and human nature. From there came the idea that I should look at how Freud's ideas have been used generally in social and political ways, not telling the history of psychoanalysis but the history of how psychoanalytical ideas have been applied. When I started to research this I found lots of different stories about the application of psychoanalytical theories which had been missed out in the history of it, largely because psychoanalysis, as I am sure you know, is a very hermetic world …
Tyrrell: … a closed system of thought.
Curtis: Yes, both in the way it treats patients and also in the way psychoanalysts think of themselves. So what I did was to pull together various stories about how psychoanalysis was applied in different ways by some powerful 20th century figures in both business and politics.
As that started to come together, I began to make connections with another idea I was working on — about how today we all talk about our 'selves'. A hundred years ago, people didn't do that — a few rich people did, and you read about it in novels, but most people didn't. The question lurking at the back of my brain was "Why do we now always have this obsession with the self?" MORE
The Century Of The Self 1 of 4 | One: Happiness Machines
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The Century Of The Self 3 of 4 | There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed
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The Century Of The Self 4 of 4 | Four: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering
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When I consider this in conjunction with Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine and Beyond Elections docu, I start making some interesting connections. Milton Friedman's shenanigans start making more sense to me. I need to reread The Shock Doctrine then rewatch this. And I will say that as I watched the first episode, one of my thoughts were: "Well damn. They treated their own people like shit. No wonder they thought that American people of color were less than dust beneath their feet. Nevermind the people of color who had the misfortune to reside in places with natural resources that these elitist, greedy assholes could steal! I mean DAMN that shit got spelled out for me in this series!
A wave of violence targeted at anti-mining protesters has ripped through Cabañas in north-eastern El Salvador, and Pacific Rim Mining Corporation, the mid-size Canadian company which has lost millions in its effort to exploit the area's ample gold deposits has remained curiously silent on the attacks.
Last month, Marcelo Rivera, a prominent anti-mining activist, community leader and FMLN member was forcibly disappeared by unknown assailants. Though many organizations immediately denounced his disappearance, police failed to act quickly enough to alter his fate. Rivera's disfigured body was found dumped in a well two weeks after he was last seen alive.MORE
El Salvador: The Mysterious Death of Marcelo Rivera
"What occurred is that we were interviewing organizations such as Medicina Legal, a lawyer from Tutela Legal and local economists, and in our conversations what they each said 'what is happening right now is the disappearance of Marcelo Rivera,'" said Moffett.
The details around Rivera's case, his "disappearance" and torture, corresponds with the way death squads worked during that country's civil war.
"Its concerning that history may be repeating itself in El Salvador," said Moffett.
This led Moffett to make a short film on the murder, which he titled The Mysterious Death of Marcelo Rivera.
El Salvador's attorney general's office, along with local police, suggested Rivera was drinking with local gang members and was killed by them as a result of a fight that ensued. Rivera's family and friends were quick to point out that he didn't drink. The attorney general's story was largely rejected, not just by those close to Rivera, but by the rest of the country as well. In addition, the local police first reported that Rivera's death was due to two blows to the head, which a later autopsy revealed was untrue.MORE
Another Anti-mining Activist Shot in Cabañas El Salvador, Hitman Tied to Pacific Rim is Detained
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Dec 2009 El Salvador: Ramiro Rivera Shot to Death in Cabañas
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Dec 2009 El Salvador - Hitmen Assassinate Prominent Woman Activist in Cabañas; Pro-Mining Violence Continues
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The 2011 Goldman Prize for South America goes to Franciso Pineda.
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Protests halt gold mining in El Salvador
Canada's Pacific Rim mining company owns all the land around El Dorado in El Salvador - one of the most coveted gold mines in Central America.
But the company has been unable to dig in because of resistance from local environmentalists who say that cyanide used in gold mining will contaminate their rivers.
The mine is currently shut down because of protests.
And the recent murders and death threats against activists in the region have put the spotlight on the gold mining project there.
Aug 2011Water or Gold: A Deadly Debate
We are inside a greenhouse, gazing at row after row of hydroponic tomatoes and green peppers, learning why people in this community in northern El Salvador are receiving death threats. We have been sent byThe Nation magazine to chronicle the struggle by people here to protect their river from the toxic chemicals of global mining firms intent on realizing massive profits from El Salvador’s rich veins of gold.
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So sorry I missed that the first time!
Here is the first video:
English Version: Egypt: How We Did It When the Media Would Not
On February 11, 2011 Egyptians toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. Blogger and viral video producer Aalam Wassef was one of the many people who worked for years to make it happen. This is first in a series on the daily life of
Egypt's revolution. It's a manual on how a civil resistance was built to win.
Spanish Subtitled Version: Egipto: Cómo lo hicimos cuando los medios no lo harían
El 11 de febrero de 2011, el pueblo egipcio derrocó al dictador Hosni Mubarak. El bloguero y productor de video viral, Aalam Wassef, fue una de las muchas personas que trabajaron por años para que esto sucediera. Este video es el primero en una serie sobre la vida cotidiana de la revolución egipcia. Es un manual sobre cómo una resistencia civil fue construida para triunfar.
The Syrian regime's response to five months of popular uprising was described by a recent report of the International Crisis Group as "slow motion suicide", resulting from a "mix of uninhibited brutality, sectarian manipulation, crude propaganda and grudging concessions".
The regime opted for a survival strategy: responding by violence and threatening the population with chaos and civil war in the event of its demise. The objective was to launch a war of attrition by playing on time to wear out any internal revolt. It chose, however, the wrong combination of brutal repression and gradual concessions. The result was a crisis of confidence which was too deep to be overcome by mere calls for national dialogue and reform.
The death toll is estimated at 2,000 civilian casualties (including more than 100 children), and 400 members of the security services. The situation has now reached a stalemate. Neither side appears to be able to defeat the other. Protests are rallying at major urban and rural centres, including Damascus and Aleppo in the last weeks. Rallies continue in Hama, Homs, Lattakia, the Idlib province, and continue to be met with massive military assaults and house to house arrests. The cities of Homs, Hama and Deir ez-Zor were brutally besieged by the regime's armed forces; hundreds of civilian casualties have fallen since the start of the holy month of Ramadan. In Deir ez-Zor, the regime was met with strong resistance by local tribesmen, including the leading Baqqara tribe who joined the opposition movements.
On July 17, the National Salvation conference held in Istanbul gathered 450 opposition figures who called for civil disobedience throughout the country. Tenets of regime survival quite naively assumed that they would effectively counter the historical meeting held in Damascus on June 27 by prominent opposition figures in the Semiramis Hotel of Damascus. The regime's so-called "national dialogue" conference held on July 10 included a few organic intellectuals and public figures which were carefully selected and summoned to contribute to the process of constitutional amendment and political reform. The strategy was to divide the opposition and maintain the status quo. Dialogue under repression was, however, firmly rejected by the opposition. MORE
Proposals to radically re-formulate the constitution of Honduras need to incorporate the experiences and perspectives of indigenous and Afro-Honduran women, declared Berta Cáceres, a longtime feminist indigenous activist and an organizer of the Constitutional Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women. The historic event, which is taking place July 10-14, 2011 in Copán Ruinas, will include indigenous and Afro women delegates from all over Honduras, said Cáceres, who is also coordinator of COPINH (Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations in Honduras).
Many of these women have been front and center in the popular resistance movement against the repression following the coup d’etat in their country in June, 2009, struggling against assaults on their lands, sovereignty, natural resources and cultures. Likewise, many have been specifically targeted as leaders in these struggles with aggressive and violent assaults and detentions by police and private security forces.
Along the northern coast of Honduras, there are 48 Garifuna communities “who are suffering an accelerated expulsion from our territories that we have inhabited for 214 years,” said Miriam Miranda of OFRANEH (National Fraternal Organization of Black Hondurans) in a public letter she released after being violently detained and assaulted by security forces in March, 2011 for her role as a leader in the resistance. Communal lands of the Garifuna have been subject to widespread privatization as part of massive development plans by the government and World Bank to create big tourist resorts and “model cities.” The Garifuna are matrilocal, meaning the land has been traditionally passed along matrilineal lines, so this massive assault on communal lands has hit women particularly hard (Vacanti Brondo, 2007).MORE
Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women: Autonomy and an End to Violence Against Us
Final Declaration of Constituent Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women
From the rhythmic beat of powerful drums and ancient spiritual songs that echoed through the sacred ruins of the Mayan Chortí in Copan in western Honduras, the three-day event ended with hundreds of indigenous and Afro- Honduran women demanding autonomy and an end to the colonization of their lands, their bodies, their lives, and ways of doing politics.
The Final Declaration of Copán Galel of the Self-Organized Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran women denounced the “violence, repression and domination of women operating through capitalism, patriarchy and racism,” said Berta Caceres, coordinator the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in an interview with Escribana.
Caceres was also one of the organizers of the Assembly, which took place July 11 to 13, 2011 in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. The Assembly involved an intensive dialogue on the realities of life of the 300 participating women whose cultures, lands, natural resources and the country have been under siege that intensified since the military coup in June 2009.
Since then, the government, the powerful elites and transnational corporations have been using the “Shock Doctrine” (Naomi Klein) to promote a rapid re-engineering of business, economic policies and all policies before people have opportunity to react. (Http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-
For Honduras, this has meant immediate and aggressive plans for mass-tourism projects, mega-projects such as hydroelectric dams and the expansion of mining, agribusiness and forestry, all involving the confiscation of indigenous and Afro lands.
Israel Daphne Leef:How a woman in a tent became Israel's Top Story
Until recently nobody had heard of Daphni Leef. Now, everybody in Israel knows the 25-year-old's face and her cause. Just a few weeks ago, Leef was waiting tables. Now, her schedule has become such that she cannot help keeping people waiting. This interview was meant to take place at 11am but did not start until 5pm. Among things that might have distracted her was the small matter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu putting everything on hold to respond to her demands.
Even after the interview started, we were interrupted by well-wishers, delighted to see her in the flesh sitting outside a Tel Aviv café. A young man wanted a hug; a little old lady wanted to have her picture taken with Leef. And upon hearing her voice a blind woman halted her guide dog and chatted excitedly.
So what did Leef do to bring her such national attention? She got chucked out of her flat. And then wrote on Facebook. Just over a month ago she was told that she needed to leave her Tel Aviv apartment because the building was slated for redevelopment. She started looking for a new home, and was shocked to find how expensive rents had become.
"I called up a friend and said, 'I'm setting up a tent'," she recalls. "He said I should calm down." But she did not calm down - instead she opened a Facebook "event", inviting people to erect tents in central Tel Aviv to protest against high housing prices.MORE
Dude. They profiled the originator of a protest that has seen up to 300,000 people participate....in the lifestyle section. God. DAMN.
Tunisia Tunisian women fear the Algerian way
TUNIS, Aug 5, 2011 (IPS) - A women’s group begins campaigning near La Marsa beach in Tunis to convince more women to come up and register in the electoral lists, in time for the deadline now pushed back to Aug. 14. Most of the women watching the proceedings are veiled.
The veils present more a question than a suggestion at present. One survey among veiled women conduced by journalists here claims that four in five of these women will not vote for Ennahda, the Islamist party surging ahead in popularity ahead of elections for a constituent assembly due in October.
Veils in such numbers are an unusual sight in Tunisia where women visit the beach just as comfortably in a bikini as wearing a headscarf, and just as comfortable sipping wine as a soft drink, listening to rap or traditional music.
Looks may be deceptive, one way or another. "Look around," says Khadija, an activist with the Modernist Democratic Front - a coalition of local Tunisian democratic parties - on another beachfront near the fashionable La Goulette. "Can you see these people living under Islamic law? Tunisia is not Algeria. I am sure it will never happen here."
Women have had successes they want to hold on to: half the candidates in the electoral lists must now be women. A strong presence of women in the constituent assembly could be crucial to women’s rights.
Women also want to consolidate the position taken by the High Commission charged to verify that the goals of the revolution are respected - namely that religion and politics will be kept separate. Ennahda has opposed this move in the transitional period. It has also opposed the transitional government’s decision that parties cannot receive funds from outside.
On another front women are fighting the undemocratic influence of former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in institutions such as the media. The media gives little space to women, even though they are politically active, and many will be candidates. MORE
Kashmir: The militant in her: Women and resistance Kashmiri women defy state oppression by being on the frontlines.
Relegating women's engagement in conflict situations to the passive space of victimhood is an anticipated outcome of the unequal distribution of power in gender relations. However, this narrative obfuscates their role as active participants, which is of equal, if not greater, significance - and which has increasingly become an accentuating facet of their participation during the recent years of the conflict.
In the early stages of the armed struggle, broad-based support for the independence movement was apparent, and resulted in the creation of both dissident men and women. However, men and women formed their opposition to Indian rule largely in different ways. Men took to combat, women to facilitating the men's fight, or by registering their support for azadi through popular protest.
Women also became facilitators of combat by acting as couriers for arms, informers for militants, provided them shelter and food, and at times helped them escape capture during the sudden and dreaded Indian military raids or "crackdowns", which continue to happen in civilian areas. Their motivation came from the general feeling for independence running deep in the masses - as a result of which, the Indian Armed Forces were always looked at as the "other", and militants and other dissidents as their "own".MORE
via : ontd_political
Libyan Women Challenge Mindset Created by Tyranny
BENGHAZI, Libya (WOMENSENEWS)--While rebel fighters battle for a democratic future in the west of Libya, a handful of women back in the rebel capital of Benghazi are working on showing people what democracy actually means.
The small group, going by the name Abeer or Express, will be hosting its most ambitious project to date later this summer, after Ramadan is done--the First Libya Youth conference to spread the ideals of democracy.
The organizing group for Express is very small. It lists only six people as its core members--five young women and one young man--but its goal is ambitious: to ensure that democracy and personal freedom flourish in Libya.
For 42 years--since Col. Moammar Gadhafi's 1969 coup--the country has known mainly autocracy and secret police acting on the colonel's behalf.
Members of Express say Libyans crave democracy but aren't quite sure what it means.
Fourth-year medical student Halima ben Jomiah, 22, is the founder of the group. Two years ago, she stumbled across the subject of human development and self improvement in books like "Do Not Grieve" by Sheikh Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni and "The Leader In You," the 1936 classic by Dale Carnegie. Ever since, she's been hooked, reading about psychology and how to realize human potential whenever she could find the time.
Ben Jomiah, her sister and her friends decided that for the revolution to succeed, people have to have correct attitudes about democracy: not being afraid to speak, but at the same time, having the respect to listen.
They called their group Express in order to focus on personal expression as a form of civic participation.
As a first step, the group has interviewed dozens of Libyans to get a sense of their hopes and dreams and what is standing in the way. Express has also solicited opinions from advanced researchers in human development, such as Egypt's Sherif Araba and Libya's Omar Gnaiber.MORE
Turkey The Muslim Women’s Media Archives: Kadınlar Dünyası
In Turkey and beyond, it is a common misconception that struggle for women’s rights is a new phenomenon. This struggle is thought of as not organic to the Muslim world, but imported from “the non-Muslim West.” This particular misconception has not only nurtured the neo-colonialist rhetoric of “liberating Muslim women,” but has also played an important role in the debate surrounding whether women’s rights or feminism can ever be “Islamic.”
Unfortunately, little has been done to research historical women’s rights movements in the Muslim world, even though there were many examples that clearly disprove this misconception and could provide a lot to the debate. For instance a simple research in the archives of periodicals that were published during the last two centuries of the Ottoman Empire expose a great availability and diversity of women’s publications, some of which are very focused on women’s rights. One such magazine is Kadınlar Dünyası [“World of Women”]. While its name suggests an early-twentieth-century Cosmopolitan, it was famous for its radical rhetoric and strong emphasis on women’s rights at the time of its publication.MORE
MIDEAST Palestinians Prepare for Massive Uprising
BEIT UMMAR, Occupied West Bank, Jul 29, 2011 (IPS) - Leading members of the Palestinian Popular Committees in the West Bank plan massive civil unrest and disobedience against the Israeli occupation authorities come September when the Palestinians take their case for statehood to the UN.
"We plan to take to the streets en masse," Musa Abu Maria, a leading member of the Popular Committee in Beit Ummar, a town 11 km north of Hebron in the southern West Bank told IPS. "We will block entire highways leading to and from Israel’s illegal settlements. We will march on settlements. But these will be non-violent and the protestors will be peaceful.
"We have worked out creative strategies to bring the occupation increasingly to the attention of the international community and the world media. We will be coordinating with our international supporters in Europe and America to increase international recognition of the Palestinian predicament as the tide turns in our favour," added Abu Maria.
The Israeli government, intelligence agencies and security forces have been preparing for an outbreak of Palestinian protests in September as they expect the UN General Assembly to overwhelmingly endorse the Palestinian bid for independence.
The country’s security forces have been holding military drills in preparation for massive clashes. Meanwhile, the political leadership has engaged on a lightning tour of Europe trying to win the support of "quality European countries", as the Israeli government put it, to vote against Palestinian statehood.
The Israeli government is hoping that the economically and politically stronger members of the UN will side with Israel as approximately 140 UN members from "developing and Third World" countries, amongst others, are expected to vote in favour of Palestine. MORE
"Quality Europeans countries? WTF????
EAST JERUSALEM, Jul 12, 2011 (IPS) - Widespread strikes across Palestinian civil society could be in store for East Jerusalem at the start of the next school year, as the municipality moves ahead with its current plan to implement an Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools.
"I expect that the beginning of the new school year will not be a normal one. There will be lots of problems. There will be lots of demands, strikes," Samir Jibril, director of the East Jerusalem Education Bureau told IPS. "All (the Palestinian) institutions are going to stand hand-in-hand against this implementation. Even civil society is demanding to stop this plan by the Israelis."
In March of this year, the Jerusalem municipality sent a letter to private schools in East Jerusalem that receive allocations from the Israeli authorities. The letter stated that at the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, the schools would be obliged to purchase and only use textbooks prepared by the Jerusalem Education Administration (JEA), a joint body of the municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education.
These textbooks are already in use in East Jerusalem schools managed by the JEA. According to Jibril, however, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have at all levels rejected the plan to use them in private schools, since it is viewed as being politically motivated. MORE
2010 The People Speak
GAZA CITY, Oct 31, 2010 (IPS) - The focus on people's movements in Palestine continues to gain momentum with growing non-violent demonstrations in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, and with a Palestine-wide call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
Years of the non-violent demonstrations throughout the occupied West Bank against Israel's separation wall have finally generated some media interest in the issue of the wall and annexation of Palestinian land. Yet the behind-the- scenes work of Palestinian unions, Palestinian and international BDS groups, video conferences bridging Palestine to the outside world, and the struggle of Palestinian students to access an education continues largely unnoticed by the cameras.
In July, 2010, the United Nations IRIN news reported that roughly 39,000 Palestinian children from Gaza would not have schools to attend, following the destruction or severe damage of some 280 schools and kindergartens during the 2008-2009 Israeli war on Gaza, and the continued inability to repair or rebuild due to the severe Israeli-led siege on Gaza and lack of construction materials.
The UN also reports that 88 percent of UNRWA schools and 82 percent of government schools operate on a shift system as a result, still resulting in serious overcrowding. MORE
2010 Divided we Educate
Due to the endemic poverty in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, hundreds of Palestinian children are forced on to the streets by parents who are living below the poverty level in a desperate bid to eke out a few extra dollars to help their families survive.
These children should be in school securing a better future for themselves but Israel's discriminatory education policies between Jewish West Jerusalem and Palestinian East Jerusalem is driving these youngsters out of school – if they are lucky enough to be enrolled in the first place.
Knesset (Israeli parliament) member Jamal Zahalka claimed earlier in the year that "educational provision for Palestinian children in East Jerusalem is worse than anywhere in the occupied Palestinian Territories, including Gaza, or in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria."
More than 5,000 Palestinian children in East Jerusalem do not attend school at all. The dropout rate for Palestinian school students in East Jerusalem is 50 percent, compared with about 12 percent for Jewish students.
"The rate of school dropouts, and the level of poverty amongst Palestinians in East Jerusalem, is frightening," Orly Noy from the Israeli rights group Ir Amim told IPS.
"The severe neglect of the education system in East Jerusalem is brewing a catastrophe," adds Tali Nir, a lawyer with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
The two Israeli human rights organisations accused the Israeli authorities of deliberate discrimination in a report titled 'Failed Grade – The State of the Education System in East Jerusalem'. MORE
2009 Textbooks Become a Dream
A chronic shortage of school supplies, and severely overcrowded classrooms are crippling Gaza's educational system as tens of thousands of children begin a new school year.
Israel's hermetic sealing of the strip, as part of its blockade against Hamas, has prevented most supplies of paper, textbooks, notebooks, ink cartridges, stationery, school uniforms, school bags, and computers and their spare parts.
"Through our education system the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is spreading the message of universal respect for human rights, peaceful coexistence and tolerance in an atmosphere that since the blockade has become increasingly desperate and radicalised," says UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness.
"The best way for Israel to prevent us spreading that message to the 200,000 Gazan children at our schools is to block us sending in educational supplies," Gunness told IPS.MORE
North Cauca, Colombia, June 24, 2011: The first meeting of indigenous women in resistance for the survival and autonomy of their peoples concluded on Friday, after taking place at a shelter in Huellas Caloto in the Bodega Alta district in the Cauca department of Colombia. For four days, women and men from northern Cauca, joined with around 26 national and international organizations, discussed “weaving a memory with words,” and finished the event with a march to the town of Santander de Quilichao.
At the meeting, attendees discussed the need for autonomy with their food, and resistance from women. Seeds and traditional agricultural products were exchanged to reflect truth, justice, reparation and law for both indigenous women and a peace proposal. They also denounced and discussed the armed conflict that the country is living in.
In 1971, indigenous people from northern Cauca formed the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, which was made up of nine chapters. Currently there are 19 chapters. They fight for their land, food, education, work opportunities and to live in harmony with mother earth. Nelson Lemus Consejero de Paz, with the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN in Spanish initials), said that “the multinational corporations want to dispossess us of our land through war.”
The people have organized cooperatives, including a trout hatchery, yogurt business, crafts market, and more. They are nonviolent, but for many years they have lived with harassment from soldiers. On May 28, 2001, they decided to organize and create what they call the Indigenous Guard, or, Kiwe Thegnas in the Nasa Yuwe indigenous language. The three goals of the group are to “care for, protect, and defend the people,” said Don Germán Valencia and Luis Alberto Mensa, coordinators with the Guard. MORE
The impending fire sale of historic treasures of the people of Greece to pay the billionaires bar bill at Club Euro has infuriated a broad cross section of the Greek people. People from as far away as the outer isles of Greece are converging at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament to protest tomorrow and Wednesday.
Spiros Avramiotis. a local olive oil producer is furious at the idea of losing one of Corfu’s prime locations and angrily stated. “We have to stand up and send a message to the politicians in Athens that Corfu is not for sale, not one inch of it. Full stop.” He added, “Greece may be on the verge of bankruptcy, but surely it’s not a good idea to sell off the family silver,” a belief that is held by a great number of citizens in Greece. Behind Spiros Avramiotis stands hoardes of islanders who are preparing to join mainland workers in protests against the government in their bid to raise €50 billion from the auctioning of state assets. The Palace is one of several state-owned properties said to be up for sale. Other locations are beaches, casinos, airports and marinas around Greece.MORE
Greek general strike and austerity debate - Tuesday 28 June
Here's a summary of events today:
• Tens of thousands of Greeks have taken to the streets to voice their opposition to a new wave of austerity measures which will be subject to a vote in parliament on Wednesday and Thursday. A two-day strike called by unions began today. Transport, schools and other services as well as many private businesses were shut as a result of the strike called by ADEDY, the union representing half a million civil servants and GSEE, which represents 2 million private sector workers. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled or rescheduled and protesters have blockaded the port of Piraeus.
• A minority of protesters were involved in running battles with the police. Many of them wore crash helmets or bandanas over their faces. They brandished wooden staves, hurled missiles including bricks and molotov cocktails and started fires. Two communications trucks were set on fire and shops were vandalised. The troublemakers, believed to consist mainly of anarchists, also threw smoke grenades and firecrackers. Police fired rounds of teargas leaving the air in central Athens acrid. Police said 18 people were detained, with formal arrest charges laid against five of them, and that four policemen were injured and transferred to a military hospital. There were reports of dozens of people being treated for the effects of teargas in Syntagma Square, which has been the focal point of the protests.MORE
Showdown in Greece: Interview with Panos Petrou
THE MEDIA analysis of the crisis in Greece claims the same thing that we hear in this country--that working people have been living beyond their means, and now they have to sacrifice. Is this really the source of the crisis?
THIS CLAIM is a total inversion of reality. During the recent past, the economy was booming, and gross domestic product was growing. But working people, the ones who created this wealth, have been living in a state of constant austerity since 1985--with governments implementing one austerity plan after another, while capitalists keep the whole pie for themselves.
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I have never been more desperate to explain and more hopeful for your understanding of any single fact than this: The protests in Greece concern all of you directly.
What is going on in Athens at the moment is resistance against an invasion; an invasion as brutal as that against Poland in 1939. The invading army wears suits instead of uniforms and holds laptops instead of guns, but make no mistake – the attack on our sovereignty is as violent and thorough. Private wealth interests are dictating policy to a sovereign nation, which is expressly and directly against its national interest. Ignore it at your peril. Say to yourselves, if you wish, that perhaps it will stop there. That perhaps the bailiffs will not go after the Portugal and Ireland next. And then Spain and the UK. But it is already beginning to happen. This is why you cannot afford to ignore these events.
The powers that be have suggested that there is plenty to sell. Josef Schlarmann, a senior member of Angela Merkel’s party, recently made the helpful suggestion that we should sell some of our islands to private buyers in order to pay the interest on these loans, which have been forced on us to stabilise financial institutions and a failed currency experiment. (Of course, it is not a coincidence that recent studies have shown immense reserves of natural gas under the Aegean sea).
China has waded in, because it holds vast currency reserves and more than a third are in Euros. Sites of historical interest like the Acropolis could be made private. If we do not as we are told, the explicit threat is that foreign and more responsible politicians will do it by force. Let’s make the Parthenon and the ancient Agora a Disney park, where badly paid locals dress like Plato or Socrates and play out the fantasies of the rich.MORE
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Massive Turnout for Zelaya Launches New Chapter of Honduran Struggle
'Largest gathering in Honduran history' receives deposed leader's return, but where to now for Honduran resistance movement?
Produced by Jesse Freeston.
For More Visit therealnews.com
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With all the analysis and news on Libya, we still do not know very much about who the rebels are and where their support comes from. This week I try to shed some light on anti-Gaddafi supporters as presented by Libyan bloggers and Tweeters as well as the highlight the humanitarian crisis which has developed as a result of the intervention. Twitter accounts by far outnumber blogs and many of these consist of photo and video dairies.
By far the most informative and interesting site is Feb 17: The Libyan Youth Movement(@Feb17Libya) which has live stream updates from a huge bank of sources – western and Arab media, tweets, personal videos and photos. This report by Ayesha Daya for Bloomberg on who in OPEC and the Middle East is supporting the rebels and how the cartel plan to offset the loss of Libyan oil production – a mix of “personal politics and economic reasoning”.MORE
Egyptian Activists Gear Up For Third Intifadah
CAIRO, May 10, 2011 (IPS) - Following the February ouster of Egypt’s longstanding President Hosni Mubarak, calls have been circulating in Egypt and throughout the region for a ‘Third Intifadah’ to begin May 15.
"Unlike the first two Palestinian uprisings, the proposed Third Intifadah is meant to involve the entire Arab world," Egyptian journalist and political analyst Abdelhalim Kandil told IPS.
An Arabic-language website called the ‘Third Palestinian Intifadah’ (www.3rdintifada.com) appeared soon afterward, providing a general plan of action. The site calls for peaceful protests on Friday and Saturday (May 13 and 14) at Israeli embassies and consulates worldwide, including those in western capitals, "to express our rage about the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the expulsion of millions of Palestinians from their rightful homes".
On May 15, dubbed the "Sunday of Liberation", the site had initially called for multiple million-man marches to advance on "historical Palestine" - in reference to Israel - from starting points in Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. This was later scaled down, however, to the staging of demonstrations outside Israeli embassies in Jordan and Egypt (the two Arab states that have diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv), along with simultaneous marches near Israel’s borders in Syria, Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories.
According to Mounib Mohamed, 26-year-old activist from Cairo and administrator for the website’s Egypt branch, the initial plan was scrapped "because of the difficulties associated with implementing it, and in order to avoid friction with local authorities in the countries involved".
"As for Egypt, we’re calling for million-man gatherings to be held in cities countrywide on May 13," Mohamed explained. "Participants will then head to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where prominent political figures are scheduled to speak about the Palestinian cause."
Notably, Palestinian faction Hamas, which governs the strip and espouses a policy of armed resistance to Israel, has not publicly endorsed calls for a ‘Third Intifadah’. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, who heads rival Palestinian faction Fatah and supports a discredited ‘peace process’ with Israel, has voiced downright opposition to the idea.
Well then. I hope the protests go off peacefully.
For decades, School of the Americas Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois has argued that embracing militarism will never bring us the security we seek. But he thinks he knows what will.
It’s known as the School of Assassins among the poor of Latin America; a vessel for the spread of democracy among its U.S. military proponents; and one of the world’s most infamous human rights offenders for the thousands of protesters who gather in Fort Benning, Georgia, each November to honor the names of union leaders, campesinos, priests, and children who have been gunned down by its alumni.
This week, activists led by longtime peacemaker Father Roy Bourgeois are fasting in Washington, D.C. to demand the closure of the “School of the Americas,” a training center, funded by U.S. taxpayers, for tens of thousands of Latin American soldiers and police forces.
The institution was initially founded to curb the spread of communism in the region—training, arming, and supporting some of the 20th century's most deadly regimes in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Bolivia, and on. With an eerily Orwellian turn of phrase, the school, originally founded in Panama in 1946 before it was relocated to U.S. soil in 1984, was renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHINSEC, in 2001.
According to Bourgeois' watchdog group, the School of the Americas Watch, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people—from Jesuit priests to village children—have been traced to the more than 60,000 graduates trained during the school's 59 years of operation.MORE
The Guardian says that it got the documents from the NYT, which claims that the document dump is not from Wikileaks. Everyone else is claiming its a Wiki dump. *shrugs* I have no idea.
Guantánamo leaks lift lid on world's most controversial prison
• Innocent people interrogated for years on slimmest pretexts
• Children, elderly and mentally ill among those wrongfully held
• 172 prisoners remain, some with no prospect of trial or release
• Interactive guide to all 779 detainees
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Digby points out re: the suicides that the American political and miliatry response... was to accuse the detainees of conducting asymetrical warfare. Yes, yes they did:Wiki Dump
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What are the Guantanomo Files
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The Guantanomo Files: Al Quadea assasin worked for MI-6
Anti-extremist author framed and whisked to CubaAbdul Badr Mannan was handed over to Americans who later came to believe Pakistani intelligence had set him up
Guantánamo Bay files: Casio wristwatch 'the sign of al-Qaida'Casio F-91W, a cheap digital watch sold around the world, was taken as evidence of detainees having bomb-making training
Guantánamo Bay files: Star informer freed after implicating 123 prisonersMohammed Basardah rewarded despite unsupported claims and interrogators' doubts about sheer number of names he gave up You can also view a PDF about two men who supposedly gave up a quarter of the detainees there.
President Obama speaks on Manning and the rule of law
Protesters yesterday interrupted President Obama's speech at a $5,000/ticket San Francisco fundraiser to demand improved treatment for Bradley Manning. After the speech, one of the protesters, Logan Price, approached Obama and questioned him. Obama's responses are revealing on multiple levels.( Read more... )
The Washington Post has an article: Guantanamo Bay: Why Obama hasn’t fulfilled his promise to close the facility
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TALIBAN PRISON BREAK:
Taliban Help Hundreds Tunnel Out of Prison’s Political Wing
Former Afghan MP Malalai Joya was on tour this week in the U.S. Her bio is out ("A Woman Among Warlords").
Speech where she was ejected from parliament:
Criticism of U.S. Occupation
Let me know if you need a transcript. The Democracy Now videos come with transcripts.
LE KRAM, TUNISIA — A crowd has gathered to ponder the black-and-white photographs which have been pasted across the face of building that was, until recent, the local offices of the former president's much-loathed party. "I have no idea what these photos mean. Do you know?" Meddeb Nejeb, a high school teacher, asks Al Jazeera. He might be yet to grasp the meaning of the photographs, but Nejeb wants to know more. For the artists behind what is one of the most ambitious contemporary street art projects to vibrate the Arab world, the artwork is about replacing the once all-pervasive presidential photography with mosaics of ordinary, anonymous Tunisians who rose up against their government. The group are using street art to kick-start conversations and to challenge their compatriots to see the familiar in a new, post-revolutionary, light. In the spirit of people-power, the project, titled "INSIDE OUT: Artocracy in Tunisia", features a hundred ordinary Tunisians, putting their images where only presidents once hung. The portraits were taken by six Tunisian photographers, in collaboration with the renowned French street artist known as JR and other international artists. MORE including VIDEO at linkVisiting Tunisian Union Leaders Detail Labor’s Role in Revolution, Transition to Democracy
Women workers comprise roughly 43 percent of the 450,000 labor union members in 18 local unions in Tunisia, according to Najoua Makhlouf, a medical doctor and president of UGTT's national women's committee. Union women work in five Tunisian job sectors: education, garment and textiles, health, municipal services and tourism. The majority of the women unionists are between the ages of 30 to 40. “I would like to underline working women’s role,” she said, “in the future of the country. We are being proactive to organize women so that they will be more aware of their rights and politically savvy.” A pivotal election for Tunisians is July 24, when they vote for a representative body to draft a new constitution, laws and election codes. MORERefugee flow into Tunisia continues
RAS JDIR, Tunisia, March 25 (UPI) -- The number of refugees fleeing to Tunisia to escape the Libyan fighting surged Friday, border authorities said. Within the past 24 hours, as many as 1,145 people reached the border post at Ras Jdir, Tunisia, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported. Border security sources said Friday 3,714 people had arrived in recent days, mostly Libyans but also Americans, four Germans and four Britons. Citizens of Sudan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Chad, Somalia, Eritrea and Tunisia also have been recorded. MORETunisian business faces up to murky past
Tunisia's business community is trying to come to terms with the changed circumstances and aspirations of a post-revolutionary world, even as some of its members are dogged by the legacy of the former regime. "It's not every year we have a revolution," Hichem Elloumi of the UTICA, the Tunisian employers' association, argued during a radio discussion last week. "It's not even every 10 years. We weren't prepared for this." Following the overthrow in January of Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali, president for 23 years, the Tunisian press published revelations about public and private sector corruption. The business interests of relatives of Mr Ben Ali and Leila Trabelsi, his wife, extended from car distribution and importing consumer products to retailing, cement, air transport, property, telecommunications, banking and the media. The central bank estimates that in a country of 10m people, about 180 companies were controlled by individuals either related to Mr Ben Ali or Ms Trabelsi, or close associates of their families. The Jasmin Revolution had uncovered a banana republic MORE
Ethnic communities demand recognition of 'indigenous' in Bangladesh constitution
HUNDREDS AND thousands of ethnic minorities in Bangladesh formed human chain on Saturday (March 19) demanding constitutional recognition of their existence as “indigenous” population.
A senior parliamentarian remarked that ethnic minorities are not “indigenous” after holding series consultation with elected representatives who represents ethnic communities.
Last week a special parliamentary committee on constitutional amendment recommends the community will be known as “ethnic minorities”, short of recognizing them as “indigenous” (Adivasi in local language).
The refusal angered the ethnic leaders, social justice activists and right groups. The ethnic communities are less than one percent of the national population of 158.6 million. The struggle for constitutional recognition goes back 40 years ago, soon after Bangladesh gained independence in 1971. The political regime, civil and military bureaucracy are dominated by majoritarian Bangla-speaking Sunni Muslims known as Bangalees.
The 1991 census of the government identified 29 small ethnic groups, but the leaders claim that 46 small ethnic groups live in Bangladesh, mainly in south-east Chittagong Hill Tracts region.
The protest rally organized by Bangladesh Adivasi Forum was simultaneously held in the capital Dhaka, Rangamati, Khagrachari, Patuakhali, Sylhet and other places where the ethnic communities are visible population.MORE
Heavy security succeeds in quashing bedoon protests
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Violent Development: Communities Defending Lands and Resources Face Ongoing Repression in Guatemala
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And then we hit those who want widescale change in their governmental processes:
Hundreds of Jordanians demonstrate despite Saturday's start of national dialogue on reform
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Loyalty and poverty: Jordan’s uprising stagnates
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Thousands in Morocco march for rights
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When Petro-Dictators Unite: The Bahraini Opposition struggle for survival
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Bahrain medics claim army cover-up:Staff at a hospital in Manama say police arrest & beat-up doctors, nurses and patients.
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Bahrain's main opposition groups ease demands
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Human rights minister and UN ambassador quit, Clerics urge Yemen army to ignore orders
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Syria protesters torch buildings
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Interventionists Struggle to Reconcile Libyan Action with Repression Across Arab World
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Speaking of: European arms sales to Libya: Who armed Gaddafi?
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EU arms sales to Libya: fleshing out the figures
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US commander warns of Libya stalemate
Mike Mullen says ousting Gaddafi is not the goal of the military operation in Libya, but a no-fly zone is now in place.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, has said the military operation in Libya called for by the UN Security Council is not aimed at regime change - adding that a "stalemate" could well exist, leaving Muammar Gaddafi in power.
The 64-year-old admiral also said that no-fly zone had "effectively been established", as Gaddafi's planes had not taken to the skies following Saturday's overnight shelling of dozens of targets in northern Libya.
"In the first 24 hours, operations have established the no-fly zone. French air planes are over Benghazi as we speak and will do that on a 24/7 basis. The operations have taken out some ground forces near Benghazi, taken out air defences, some of his control nodes, some of his airfields, I don’t have all damage assessments, but so far [it's been] very very effective," he said.
Gaddafi "was attacking Benghazi and we are there to stop that ... we are ending his ability to attack us from the ground, so he will not continue to execute his own people.
Mullen, the most senior officer in the US military, denied that any civilians had been killed in the bombardment, which saw some 110 cruise missiles being shot from American naval vessels in the Mediterranean sea.
Libyan state TV has reported that death toll from the air strikes has risen to more than 60.
It's understood that 20 of 22 Libyan targets were hit in the overnight assault, "with varying levels of damage", a military source told Reuters.
Mullen also said the US would be handing command of the operation to "a coalition" of militaries, with support coming from the Arab world, as well as NATO members.
"There are forces, airplanes in particular from Qatar, who are moving into position as we speak. There are other countries who have committed - I'd rather have them publicly announce that commitment.MORE
Here's the Al Jazeera liveblog
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