ICH 25 February, 2010: John Pilger: Listen to the Heroes of Israel

UN: 346 Afghan Children Killed in 2009, More Than Half by NATO By DPA
She said 131 children were killed in airstrikes, while 22 were killed in nighttime raids by international special forces.

Afghan Senators Demand Execution of Foreign Troops By Juan Cole
Some senators went farther, demanding that NATO or US military men responsible for the deaths be executed. Senator Hamidullah Tokhi of Uuzgan complained to Pajhwok that the foreign forces had killed civilians in such incidents time and again, and kept apologizing but then repeating the fatal mistake: “Anyone killing an ordinary Afghan should be executed in public.”

The Warlord’s Tune: Afghanistan’s War on Children By Mark Bannerman for Four Corners
Sexual slavery involving boys as young as 10 is being condoned and in many cases protected by authorities in northern Afghanistan.

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Our Hands and Help For Haiti By Elaine Brower

24 February, 2010 — Opednews

Last week my daughter, Tanya, and I went to Haiti. We packed, with the help of some very good friends, 5 large duffle bags of food and medical supplies to carry to the people who were terribly stricken by the January 12th earthquake, and the ensuing aftermath.

It’s very hard to put into words what we witnessed. We felt profound sadness and saw destruction of a magnitude that cannot be rivaled. I realize that we are not “disaster relief” experts, and therefore have not been around to see other tragedies, but I doubt that anything can match what we saw when we went into Port au Prince one month after the earthquake.

The two of us wanted to help with our own hands, not just by throwing money at the hundreds of NGO’s and other groups who wanted donations from the world. We felt it was better for the people of Haiti to actually put a face to the help they wanted and needed desperately. Caring about humanity means more than shaking our heads in horror.

After speaking with Tyler Westbrook, a friend, we came up with a plan to travel to Santo Domingo, DR, and then to “Good Samaritan Hospital” located on the border of Haiti in Jimani, DR. Tyler and I know each other from years of anti-war protests and street activism. He has been documenting anti-war actions on WhyNotNews.org. Being the mother of a US Marine who did three tours, one in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, I am opposed to all wars and am against the growing US Empire. Over the last 9 years I have developed a perspective as to what has happened and will continue to happen to countries such as Haiti where US oppression and military intervention has caused people so much pain and suffering.

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Collapsed House, No Number By Beverly Bell

24 February 2010 — Truthout

“Collapsed house, no number” is an old expression that Haitians use to indicate that their flimsy homes of sticks and mud or shoddy concrete blocks have finally fallen apart.

Today that expression could serve as the motto for the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Take Helia Lajeunesse, an unemployed children’s rights activist. When her little house on the side of a gaping green sewer in the Martissant slum collapsed in the earthquake, she moved herself and three of her surviving children to the concrete courtyard of nearby St. Bernadette Church. Within the church gates, Helia and her family spend their nights with at least 700 others.

“Here is where we go when it rains,” she said, pointing to an outer church wall. “We stand here all night long. And here’s where I keep my stuff. This neighbor watches it for me.” She gestured to a woman sitting beside a pile of bundles wrapped in sheets. “And here’s where we wash,” indicating a thin rivulet of water running down a wide crack in the sidewalk. “Yes, really. Me and the kids. Where else are we going to get water?”

Members of the middle and upper classes who lost their homes in what people here call “the event” typically moved in with friends or relatives with space to spare, or rented an apartment or hotel room. The homes of the poor collapsed in far higher percentages, both because of their inferior construction and their placement on the sides of ravines and other insecure spots. Few had a place to turn for substitute shelter. Port-au-Prince has thus become a city of refugee camps. In most open spaces – an out-of-business Hyundai dealership, the landing strip of the old airport, a rare city park, the edges of slums, the courtyards of schools – the displaced have spontaneously created their own camps. Estimates of the number of camps and their residents differ greatly.

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Community and Popular Radio in Haiti Today By Beverly Bell

22 February 2010 — Truthout

Sony Esteus is squeezed into an elementary school chair, the kind with the curved piece of wood in front, in a courtyard. Around him are chickens, a fly-swarmed pile of compost, a truck and a tent. Sony runs his laptop off of an extension cord running out a window. The cord and the courtyard are on loan from a nonprofit, and they have formed Sony’s work station since the earthquake’s destruction of his own organization’s building. Sony is director of the Society for Social Mobilization and Communication – SAKS by its Creole acronym – which provides training, technical support, equipment and production to help popular radio stations educate and inform the community.

Along with SAKS’ building went all its equipment, some of which had been bound for small community radio stations throughout rural Haiti. Many other Haitian popular and community radio networks and stations also lost their offices and equipment. They include: SOS Journalists, the Women’s Community Radio Network, the Star Radio of the Peasants of Fondwa, Groupe Médialternatif, AlterPresse, Accès-Médias, Telecenter of Youth, one office of the Haitian Journalists’ Association and its Internet center, and others.

According to journalist Guy Delva, at least 11 journalists were killed in the earthquake.

I ask Sony to tell me about the importance of community radio in Haiti, the first priorities for rebuilding it, and the role it can play in reconstructing a just Haiti. First, he clarifies my terminology. SAKS works with community radio, but views itself as part of the network of popular radio, which he defines as radio in the struggle to transform society.

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Mass protests greet Sarkozy visit to Haiti By Alex Lantier

19 February 2010 — WSWS

French President Nicolas Sarkozy traveled for a one-day visit to Haiti on February 17, amid rising popular opposition to the Western-backed Préval government and international tensions over how to rebuild the country. The US military occupied Haiti after the devastating January 12 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people, wounded over 250,000, and destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure.

Sarkozy, the first French head of state ever to visit Haiti, was greeted with street protests by thousands of Haitians demanding the return of elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ousted by a US- and French-backed coup in 2004, Aristide was flownto the Central African Republic, a former French colony. Aristide now lives in exile in South Africa. President René Préval, a former prime minister under Aristide in the 1990s, came to power in 2006 in elections supervised by the provisional government of Boniface Alexandre that was installed by the coup.

Préval tried to address the crowd outside the presidential palace. However, crowds shouted him down, and Préval left in a luxury Jeep, surrounded by bodyguards.

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NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 143 – 25th February 2010: Dangers of data retention

*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (office@no2id.net).


Anti-filesharing measures in the Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament open a back door into your and your family’s personal lives that *will* be exploited by the database state.

Last year’s public outcry against a Communications Data Database – intended to store details of your phone calls, e-mails and internet browsing – forced the last Home Secretary to disavow plans for a giant surveillance database and to drop the proposed legislation. But things didn’t end there.

The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 were still passed, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms providers to retain communications data on all fixed and mobile phone, e-mail and internet usage for 12 months. Because this is linked to the details of the person subscribed to the service, the retained data, wherever it is held, forms a digital dossier on YOU… and your family.

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