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Donors slow to honor #Syria refugee pledge - YourMiddleEast.com #Syrie #humanitarian #humanitaire #Syrie
Worried About “Stigmatizing” #ClusterBombs, #US House Approves More Sales to #SaudiArabia - The Intercept
June 16 2016, 11:20 p.m.
But the closeness of the vote was an indication of growing congressional opposition to the conduct of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing coalition in Yemen.
The House on Thursday narrowly defeated a measure that would have banned the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, but the closeness of the vote was an indication of growing congressional opposition to the conduct of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing coalition in Yemen.
The vote was mostly along party lines, with 200 Republicans – and only 16 Democrats – heeding the Obama administration’s urging to vote against the measure. The vote was 204-216.
“The Department of Defense strongly opposes this amendment,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Committee on Defense Appropriations, during floor debate. “They advise us that it would stigmatize cluster munitions, which are legitimate weapons with clear military utility.”
Cluster munitions are large shell casings that scatter hundreds or thousands of miniature explosives over large areas – often the size of several football fields. Some of the bomblets fail to explode on impact, leaving mine-like explosives that kill civilians and destroy farmland decades after a conflict ends.
Cluster bombs are banned by an international treaty signed by 119 countries, not including the United States. The United States opposed the treaty, and instead of signing it, adopted a policy that cluster bombs should never be used in concentrated, civilian areas.
Speaking in support of the amendment, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said Saudi Arabia has deliberately targeted civilians with cluster bombs. “Earlier this year, the Saudi-led coalition dropped cluster bombs in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa, specifically targeting known civilian neighborhoods,” he said. “One of the buildings hit was the al Noor Center for Care and Rehabilitation for the Blind, which also has a school for blind children. The destruction of the school and the injuries sustained by the children was unbearably gruesome.”
The vote came the day after one of the war’s key architects, Mohammed Bin Salman, the Saudi deputy crown prince and defense minister, met with lawmakers to discuss, among other things, “the threat posed by Iranian aggression in … Yemen, and the broader Middle East.”
Despite the defeat, human rights activists celebrated the closeness of the vote. “This is a big deal for the U.S.-Saudi Arabia alliance,” said Sunjeev Bery, Amnesty International’s advocacy director for the Middle East in the U.S. “More and more members of Congress are clearly getting tired of selling Saudi Arabia bombs when it is dropping them on civilians in Yemen.”
The vote comes at a time when the U.S.-Saudi alliance is facing unprecedented skepticism in the United States. Although the Obama administration has refused to publicly condemn the use of cluster bombs, Foreign Policy reported that the White House has quietly placed a hold on a transfer of CBU-105 cluster bombs. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to place a complete arms embargo on the kingdom, until it stops deliberately targeting civilians in Yemen.
The Saudis faced further loss of support Thursday when Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy crown prince of the UAE, announced on Twitter that the “war is over” for Emirati troops. The UAE had previously been one of the most active members of the coalition.
Top Photo: Yemenis inspect the damage at a sewing workshop that was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike in Sanaa on Feb. 14, 2016.
Meet the new face of #israel ’s growing #military refuser movement - #Tsahal
israel-Palestine Conscientious objectors from the Israeli military, or “refusers,” are a small but growing group within an increasingly right-wing and militarized society. Several young refusers recently visited 12 U.S. cities as part of a speaking tour sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and the Refuser Solidarity Network.
Anonymous - #HillaryClinton: The Hillary Files Full #Documentary - #SeriouslyNowHowToTrustThisTrash ?
Ajoutée le 14 mai 2016
Anonymous - Hillary Clinton: The Hillary Files Full Documentary
German Warmonger #UlrichGrillo Cucked By Reporters At #Bilderberg
Ajoutée le 12 juin 2016
Grillo, Ulrich (DEU), Chairman, Grillo-Werke AG; President, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie. First meeting. He used to be an armaments maker. He tried to take a walk on Saturday and swarmed by reporters wanting to know of the topics of the Bilderberg meeting. He finally gives up hope for a peaceful stroll through the streets of Dresden and retreats back to the Bilderberg Hotel via the servants history.
#UN Chief Admits He Removed #SaudiArabia From Child-Killer List Due to Extortion #ONU #ArabieSaoudite #WarCrimes
Ban Ki-moon cited a financial threat to defund United Nations programs, presumably by the Saudi government.
une 9 2016, 7:36 p.m.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly acknowledged Thursday that he removed the Saudi-led coalition currently bombing Yemen from a blacklist of child killers — 72 hours after it was published — due to a financial threat to defund United Nations programs.
The secretary-general didn’t name the source of the threat, but news reports have indicated it came directly from the Saudi government.
The U.N.’s 2015 “Children and Armed Conflict” report originally listed the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen under “parties that kill or maim children” and “parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals.” The report, which was based on the work of U.N. researchers in Yemen, attributed 60 percent of the 785 children killed and 1,168 injured to the bombing coalition.
After loud public objections from the Saudi government, Ban said on Monday that he was revising the report to “review jointly the cases and numbers cited in the text,” in order to “reflect the highest standards of accuracy possible.”
But on Thursday, he described his real motivation. “The report describes horrors no child should have to face,” Ban said at a press conference. “At the same time, I also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would defund many U.N. programs. Children already at risk in Palestine, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and so many other places would fall further into despair.”
Saudi Arabia is one of the U.N.’s largest donors in the Middle East, giving hundreds of millions of dollars a year to U.N. food programs in Syria and Iraq. In 2014, Saudi Arabia gave $500 million — the largest single humanitarian donation to the U.N. — to help Iraqis displaced by ISIS. Over the past three years, Saudi Arabia has also been become the third-largest donor to the U.N.’s relief agency in Palestine, giving tens of millions of dollars to help rebuild Gaza and assist Palestinian refugees.
“It is unacceptable for member states to exert undue pressure,” the secretary-general said. “Scrutiny is a natural and necessary part of the work of the United Nations.”
Ban called the decision “one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make.”
Saudi Ambassador to the U.N. Abdallah al-Mouallimi, who held his own press conference afterward, offered his own back-handed confirmation of what happened. “We didn’t use threats,” he said, “but such listing will obviously have an impact on our relations with the U.N.”
“It is not in our style, it is not in our genes, it is not in our culture to use threats and intimidation,” he concluded.
Ban has invited a team from the Saudi-led coalition to New York to conduct a “joint review” ahead of scheduled U.N. discussions on the report, scheduled for August.
On Monday, however, after the changes were announced, the Saudi ambassador to the U.N. declared that the changes were “final and unconditional” and that Saudi Arabia had been “vindicated.”
In 1971, #MuhammadAli Helped Undermine the #FBI’s Illegal Spying on #US People - The Intercept #Hero #History #surveillance
SINCE HIS DEATH a few days ago, countless tributes to Muhammad Ali have brought to life the memories of his extraordinary accomplishments inside and outside boxing. But one thing has gotten little attention: Ali provided cover for a burglary that changed history.
It was March 8, 1971, the night of Ali’s first fight with Joe Frazier, and the noise from that epic battle provided cover for the break-in of an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. The burglary, by eight activists who stole every file in the office, revealed the illegal spying operations that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had organized against a broad swathe of Americans, including Martin Luther King, Jr. The revelations led to congressional investigations and major reforms of all intelligence agencies.
In the annals of break-ins, this may be the only time the perpetrators purposely chose the night of a boxing match. During their planning, one of the Media burglars remembered that a boxing match that was predicted to be – as it was – the fight of the century would take place March 8 at Madison Square Garden. The burglars thought the buzz of radios and televisions tuned to the fight might serve as a distraction from noises they would make while breaking into the FBI office in Media, a small town near Philadelphia. They also thought that every police officer in the area, not to mention FBI agents, might be totally absorbed in the fight that night.
They were right. Days later, when FBI agents interviewed people who lived on the floors above the office, some said they heard nothing because they were listening to the fight. The distraction of the fight helped the burglars, who called themselves the Citizens Committee to Investigate the FBI, walk away with more than 1,000 documents, including one that revealed the FBI’s secret COINTELPRO operations. These operations involved a panoply of dirty tricks that ranged from planting disinformation about antiwar activists, to planning the murder of a member of the Black Panthers, and sending innocent people to prison on the basis of false testimony by agents and informers.
It almost didn’t happen this way. The burglars — who were never caught and did not break their silence until 2014, for a book I wrote and for a documentary by Johanna Hamilton — thought the fight would start at about eight o’clock, so they planned to start at about that time. Actually, the fight didn’t start until 10:40 p.m. B
#US effectively siding with #AlQaeda in desire to get rid of #Assad – former #UK ambassador to #Syria Mr #PeterFord - #terrorism #playingwithfire #SoCalledModerateRebels
#BadNews : #HillaryClinton secures delegates to become presumptive Democratic nominee - #Trump VS #Clinton = disaster
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reached the magic number – 2,383 – of delegates required to win the Democratic presidential nomination, according to the Associated Press, which included superdelegates in its count.