Ecuadorians Outraged with President’s Decision to Allow Drilling in Yasuní

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Ecuadorians Outraged with President's Decision to Allow Drilling in Yasuní

Dear Mark,

In response to President Rafael Correa’s decision to terminate the historic Yasuní-ITT
initiative, an innovative plan to preserve the world’s most biodiverse rainforest in
the Yasuní National Park, hundreds of Ecuadorians have taken to the streets to protest
and are preparing a national referendum to reverse this decision.

The ground-breaking initiative launched in 2007 would keep some 920 million barrels
of oil underneath the park permanently in the ground in exchange for financial contributions
from the international community. The plan would also keep an estimated 410 million
tons of CO2 – the major greenhouse gas driving climate change – from reaching the
atmosphere.

But Correa, citing the proposal’s lack of contributions, signed a decree to liquidate
the UNDP trust fund, and declared drilling in the national interest, a designation that
sets in motion final approval from Congress to pursue drilling.

However, recent polls show that 90% of Ecuadorians support the Yasuní-ITT initiative,
and at protests across the country they have begun to gather signatures for a national
referendum that could reverse the president’s decision to allow drilling in this part
of the park.

The park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and contains what are thought to be the greatest
number of tree and insect species anywhere on the planet. In just 2.5 acres of the park,
there are as many tree species as in all of the U.S. and Canada combined. The area is
also home to the Waorani indigenous people, and two nomadic Waorani clans –
the Tagaeri and Taromenane – who live in voluntary isolation. Attempts to drill the
ITT fields would put their lives and livelihoods at risk.

Stay tuned for more information and ways to get involved! In the meantime, check out:

Viva Yasuní!

Kevin Koenig
Kevin Koenig
Ecuador Program Coordinator

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Democracy Now – Pakistani Report on Drone Strikes

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A leaked Pakistani government report has bolstered claims that civilian casualties from U.S. drone strikes are far higher than the Obama administration has been willing to admit. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has released figures from the Pakistani government’s own research into casualties from drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The Pakistani report investigates 75 CIAdrone strikes and five operations by NATO between 2006 and 2009. It finds that the attacks left at least 746 people dead, including at least 147 civilians, 94 of them children — a conservative count given the omission of key data. The high number of civilian casualties directly contradicts statements made by senior Obama administration officials and top lawmakers. We go London to speak with Chris Woods, a reporter with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s drones investigation team, which won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism last month.

First Leaked Pakistani Report on U.S. Drone War Undermines Claims of Low Civilian Toll

Watch more Democracy Now! reports on the U.S. drone program at
http://www.democracynow.org/topics/dr….

Democracy Now!, is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,100+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday.

This is not Iran it is Israel!

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irac

L to R : 01.This one is outside the main shopping mall that is used by both secular and religious Israelis.Welcome to the Haredi Shopping Center Customers are required to respect the feelings of the residents that are faithful God and his Torah. And to wear modest dress. This includes: Closed blouses with long sleeves, long skirts, no pants, no tight or revealing dress.” 02. This one is on one of the main thoroughfare.”Women passing through this neighborhood are required to dress modestly. Including: Closed blouses with long sleeves, long skirts, no pants, and no tight or revealing dress”. 03. This sign is outside a synagogue on the main street. “Women are requested not to loiter in front of the synagogue.”

I just received this in the mail from Anat Hoffman of Irac.org. The Haredi are no better than the Mullahs. This is shameful and all self respecting Israelis must stop this….

Dear Mark,

Have you ever been in a restaurant and seen a sign reading “No shirt, No shoes, No service”? If you feel that this dress code is strict, imagine living in Beit Shemesh, where women are intimidated while walking on public streets if their clothes do not conform to a strict interpretation of modesty. A group of Orthodox women from Beit Shemesh found this situation intolerable and they came to IRAC for legal help.

Representing several of these women, last week we filed a lawsuit against the city of Beit Shemesh, claiming that city authorities have allowed a small but extreme sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews to act as a “modesty police” against the city’s residents. The suit centers on street signs that were put up in public places telling women they can only enter wearing “proper dress” and a description of the kind of dress that is considered proper. City officials, including the ultra-Orthodox mayor of Beit Shemesh, have so far refused to intervene and act against the radical group behind these signs, thereby giving the signs tacit approval.

It is important to understand that the four women we are representing, and the many other women who have come to us about this issue, are not radical non-conformists. They are modest Orthodox women in every sense. The stories they told us about being afraid to walk down the street for fear of men hurling insults or worse at them was heartbreaking. It is hard to fully express the level of intimidation these women are feeling.

We are suing the city for not taking steps to remove these offensive signs and we are seeking significant damages (25,000 shekels) for emotional distress on behalf of each of the women named in the case. It is our hope that the sting of Israel’s justice system will remind the officials in Beit Shemesh of their responsibilities to protect all residents.

The views of this extreme group represent neither the majority of Israelis, nor the majority of Orthodox Jews, but they hold a disproportionate amount of power because hardly anybody else besides these brave women and IRAC are pushing back or providing help against this kind of religious coercion.  .

This case accentuates how important it is for Israel to have a government that represents all its citizens. Prime Minster Netanyahu has asked for a two-week extension in forming a government. We need to keep the pressure on him to fill his cabinet with moderates. Click here to email the Prime Minister and send him that message.

L’shalom,
Anat Hoffman
Executive Director, IRAC

PS: Click here to see pictures of the signs in question

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Action Alert: Write the Prime Minister!

Use this link to write Prime Minister Netanyahu to urge him to form a government that will include parties committed to pluralism. Once you have finished you canforward the letter to your friends and post it on your Facebook page and other social media.

List of Terrorist Organisations Proscribed by the British Home Office

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Invisible Palestinians  PROSCRIPTION CRITERIA

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if they believe it is concerned in terrorism. For the purposes of the Act, this means that it:

commits or participates in acts of terrorism;
prepares for terrorism;
promotes or encourages terrorism (including the unlawful glorification of terrorism);
or is otherwise concerned in terrorism.

If the statutory test is met, there are other factors which the Secretary of State will take into account when deciding whether or not to exercise their discretion to proscribe. These criteria are:

the nature and scale of an organisation’s activities;
the specific threat that it poses to the UK;
the specific threat that it poses to British nationals overseas;
the extent of the organisation’s presence in the UK; and
the need to support other members of the international community in the global fight against terrorism.

Proscription makes it a criminal offence to:

belong to or invite support for a proscribed organisation.
arrange a meeting in support of a proscribed organisation.
wear clothing or carry articles in public which arouse reasonable suspicion that an individual is a member or supporter of the proscribed organisation.

The penalties for proscription offences can be a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a £5,000

The information about the groups’ aims was given to Parliament when they were proscribed.

Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO)
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
Al-Gama’at al-Islamiya (GI)
Al Ghurabaa
Al Ittihad Al Islamia (AIAI)
Al Qa’ida (AQ)
Inspired and led by Usama Bin Laden, its aims are the expulsion of Western forces from Saudi Arabia, the destruction of Israel and the end of Western influence in the Muslim world.
Al Shabaab
Ansar Al Islam (AI)
Ansar Al Sunna (AS)
Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan (Vanguard for the protection of Muslims in Black Africa) (Ansaru)
The aim of the GIA is to create an Islamic state in Algeria using all necessary means, including violence.
Asbat Al-Ansar (‘League of Partisans’ or ‘Band of Helpers’)
Babbar Khalsa (BK)
Basque Homeland and Liberty (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) (ETA)
Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA)
BLA are comprised of tribal groups based in the Baluchistan area of Eastern Pakistan, which aims to establish an independent nation encompassing the Baluch dominated areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ)
Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain (GICM)
Hamas Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades
Harakat-Ul-Jihad-Ul-Islami (HUJI)
Harakat-Ul-Jihad-Ul-Islami (Bangladesh) (HUJI-B)
Harakat-Ul-Mujahideen/Alami (HuM/A) and Jundallah.
Harakat Mujahideen (HM)
Hizballah Military Wing
Hezb-E Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)
Indian Mujahideen (IM)
IM aims to establish an Islamic state and implement Sharia law in India using violent means.
International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)
ISYF is an organisation committed to the creation of an independent state of Khalistan for Sikhs within India.
Islamic Army of Aden (IAA)
Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
Jaish e Mohammed (JeM)
Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)
Jeemah Islamiyah (JI)
Khuddam Ul-Islam (Kul) and splinter group Jamaat Ul-Furquan (JuF)
Kongra Gele Kurdistan (PKK)
Lashkar e Tayyaba (LT)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad – Shaqaqi (PIJ)
Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party – Front (Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi – Cephesi) (DHKP-C)
Salafist Group for Call and Combat (Groupe Salafiste pour la Predication et le Combat) (GSPC)
Saved Sect or Saviour Sect
Sipah-E Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) (Aka Millat-E Islami Pakistan (MIP) – SSP was renamed MIP in April 2003 but is still referred to as SSP) and splinter group Lashkar-E Jhangvi (LeJ)
The aim of both SSP and LeJ is to transform Pakistan by violent means into a Sunni state under the total control of Sharia law. Another objective is to have all Shia declared Kafirs and to participate in the destruction of other religions, notably Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism.
Tehrik Nefaz-e Shari’at Muhammadi (TNSM)
Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
Teyre Azadiye Kurdistan (TAK)
TAK is a Kurdish terrorist group currently operating in Turkey.
(Note: Mujaheddin e Khalq (MeK) was removed from the list of proscribed organisations in June 2008, as a result of judgements of the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission and the Court of Appeal).

download (3)

LIST OF PROSCRIBED NORTHERN IRISH GROUPS

Continuity Army Council
Cumann na mBan
Fianna na hEireann
Irish National Liberation Army
Irish People’s Liberation Organisation
Irish Republican Army
Loyalist Volunteer Force
Orange Volunteers
Red Hand Commando
Red Hand Defenders
Saor Eire
Ulster Defence Association
Ulster Freedom Fighters
Ulster Volunteer Force
Home Office
23 November 2012
 
And now Britain has its very own homegrown movements….born and fed in Britain.
download (5)
 
 
The recent expose by a British publication on the life  and hate speeches of Anjem Choudary is a clear indication that “loving hands at Home” have permitted this for reasons best known to the puerile politicians.
 

Dear Anat Hoffman we support the Women of the Wall!

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Anat Hoffman, Rabbis Jeremy Gordon & Moshe Freedman debate Women of the Wall and who owns Judaism. 

Arrest of Anat Hoffman at the Wall. She was strip searched and made to sleep on the floor of a prison cell for the night!

Anat and the Women of the Wall ….we are with you…don’t give up…you are the true face of Israel!

xxx

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, one billion women will dance, dance to highlight the atrocities committed against them, sing for equality, and celebrate freedom of Self.  Let us begin to be the change.

LINK

Omar Abdullah why are you sympathetic towards Mohammad Afzal Guru?

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The Indian media is all about how you “feel” about the hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru.

Have you also shared how you feel about his involvement in the terrorist attack on the Parliament which brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war? Have you admitted that due process of law had been followed? Have you on the hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru aired your feelings for those killed in the terrorist attack on the Parliament?

On the hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru all you can say is that the Kashmiri youth feel alienated. So are you suggesting that the Kashmiri youth sympathise with the terrorist acts of Mohammad Afzal Guru?

What are you saying? That his family was not allowed one last meeting with the deadly terrorist and therefore you feel a great injustice has occurred?

Thousands of Kashmiris Pandits since the height of terrorist activity in the Kashmir Valley were killed, chased out of the Valley by “Kashmiri Muslim terrorists”. They lost everything. They are the indigenous people of Kashmir “before” Islam arrived with the sword. One doesn’t read how you feel about the Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus). Nor does one read how “much” you have done for those dispossessed Kashmiri Pandits.

Is there something that we are missing?

I do hope you recall when you were sworn in as Chief Minister you swore allegiance to the Indian Constitution. One sincerely hopes that you haven’t forgotten this oath.

Your statement ““Like it or not, the execution has reinforced the point that there is no justice. We will have to deal with how we can change that sort of alienation,” the Chief Minister” – I think this says it all.

Is it because  Mohammad Afzal Guru is a Muslim from Kashmir and those on death row like Rajiv Gandhi’s killers are not that you feel this grave injustice? Why don’t you say it aloud…shout it from the rooftops!

Thankfully your illustrious father Sheikh Farooq Abdullah has rightly contradicted you and set the record straight by saying, “As far as I am concerned the courts had given the death sentence. His plea was put in front of the President. He rejected the plea. The matter is over.”

Justice has been done and Afazal Guru hanged. Deal with it and look inwards towards your own and question why such things are occurring and why the Kashmiri Pandits have still not received compensation from your State.

What you should be looking for is a Kashmiri Gandhi instead of feeling “sorry” for Mohammad Afzal Guru, a deadly terrorist who got his due.

I. like many stand, by the Government of India’s decision to go ahead with the hanging of Afzal. The Government has done the right thing.

The Myth of Mother India

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http://liveencounters.net/?page_id=2555
 
A woman is molested every 12 minutes,
burnt for dowry every hour
and raped every 21 minutes.
(Praful Bidwai Column LINK)
 

Rape, female foeticide, casteism and slavery are diseases that are endemic in the world’s largest democracy. But where do these sordid social afflictions originate from and why has the mindset of Indian society been largely resistant to the legitimate protests from women’s rights groups and enlightened citizens?

Will 2013 be a watershed year for the emancipation of the Indian woman?

The “Amanat” rape case in Delhi, which is believed to be the rape capital of the country by statistics, has unraveled the myth of Mother India. Perhaps it should be called Father India because of its skewered patriarchal society that continues to treat the Woman as a receptacle for the male libido, breeding machine and domestic help… an appendage to Man. The myth of Mother India has been perpetuated based on the premise that the country is the spiritual mother – strong, passionate, loving, forgiving…And that the people rest in her embrace. A movie was made portraying the ‘super Indian woman with high moral values overcoming all life’s hardships’.

In reality this personification of the Indian woman has just been raped.

In fact, this has been going on for a very long time and the image perceived and flaunted of “Mother India” exists in the realms of fantasy. One has only to read how Sita ended her life in the Ramayana and the fate of Draupadi in the Mahabharata to understand the psyche of many Indian men who view women as a sub -species.

In the aftermath of the Delhi rape there were quite a few misogynistic statements by Indian politicians. Here are some classic examples:

01. “One has to abide by certain moral limits. If you cross this limit, you will be punished, just like Sita was abducted by Ravana” – LINK.

02. The President of India’s son has said, “These pretty ladies coming out to protest are ‘highly dented and painted’,” LINK.

03. “Rapes are rare in “Bharat” (rural India) but occur frequently in “India” LINK.

04. “Restrict women to household work” LINK

05. “Rape of grown-ups understandable but not of minors” LINK

Religion is a controlling tool for man as no one dares argue with his interpretations. The man interprets/makes/imposes the religious laws, while the woman is supposed to obediently comply. Followed closely by religion is the wretched caste system which continues to exist and in some areas flourish thanks to the Great Indian Middle Class, the powerful Indian media and caste politics. One has only to glance through the matrimonial pages/supplements of leading newspapers to view the evidence; and also to trace the machinations of political parties that play vote bank politics.

It is the caste system and the class divide that adds to the Indian woman’s vulnerability. This is reflected in the disparity between the educated Indian Middle Class and the great unwashed; homeless and lower class people of rural India, bonded labourers (people bought/sold into slavery), subsistence farmers and daily wage workers in cities… nearly 400 million living on or below the poverty line. (61 people were set free from a life of slavery in India, including children as young as 5, by International Justice Mission – LINK).

Around 77% of the country’s population lives on Rs.20 (00.40cents) per day (Ranjana Padhi’s interview in Live Encounters January 2013 – LINK). These people who have every right to assistance from the State are often subject to abuse. The women in particular face the daunting task of surviving beatings and/or sexual abuse. Even children a few years of age, little girls, fall prey to the sexual depravity of men who know these helpless people cannot retaliate nor seek justice because the System fails miserably.

There are instances where the police themselves have taken sexual advantage of these poor folk. criminal apathy is the order of the day. (A sting operation by Tehelka targeting 23 police stations across the Delhi NCR reveals that men in uniform have a strict litmus test when it comes to determining “real” rape cases. According to their stringent criteria, almost all women deserve to be raped. LINK).

The massive demonstrations in Delhi showed the class divide – women from the educated classes in Metros are more ‘important’ than those of the lesser class… the great unwashed. The class divide is self evident in these two instances that failed to ignite the Nation:

01. Sikar, Rajasthan – An eleven year old girl abducted/raped by six men and after a day left on the roadside bleeding profusely. Five months till date she lies in a hospital after 14 reconstructive surgeries. The men who raped her are believed to have told the family, “You are poor, what can you do? Take some money and take back the case”. LINK

02. Kerala – The Suryanelli rape case. A sixteen year old abducted/raped by a bus conductor and then passed onto others. She was raped by 42 men in 40 days and left on the roadside seriously injured for she couldn’t sit or stand. The Supreme Court is hearing her case after an 8-year gap. LINK

There are no voices for the girl in Sikar and the other in Kerala. The silence from the Indian Middle Class and political parties is deafening. The less said about the response from religious leaders the better.

India has a fixation with the ‘Mother’. Here men adore their mothers and sisters and yet torture and abuse their daughters-in-law for insufficient dowry, sometimes murdering them. Rampant female foeticide, new born girls abandoned on garbage dumps and other public places is wide spread even among the educated classes. The Indian State of Haryana is said to have the lowest male-female ratio. Their men have to look as far as Karnataka in south India for brides. There is no Mother India. It is a myth based on warped perceptions and an embedded Oedipus complex. The sooner Indians except this and work towards creating a living breathing Mother India the better it would be for the position of women in this country.

One hopes that the massive protests in Delhi and elsewhere across the country will bring about a social change in India, a country contaminated by the caste system, class system, puerile caste politics and religious fundamentalism. The change will only come if the Indian middle class, intelligentsia, national media and enlightened politicians come together as a cohesive force to be the Change!

Perhaps a brave new world for the much abused Indian women will begin in 2013.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

The Government of India has hastily passed Justice Verma’s report as an ordinance leaving out important key demands made by the Verma Commission such as: the prosecution of security personnel (AFPSA), barring politicians who have been either accused or convicted of rape from standing for elections, marital rape and more. The Indian Law Minister has stated that the Ordinance will be discussed in Parliament when it is presented to be converted into an ACT and then political parties/people can debate the various issues involved. This has been vociferously objected to by Women’s Rights activists.

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