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Showing posts from November 7, 2013

President Arafat Murdered - Swiss study: Polonium found in Arafat’s bones

Scientists find at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive element in late Palestinian leader’s remains.

By David Poort and Ken Silverstein

November 06, 2013 - "Al-Jazeera" -- Paris, France - Swiss scientists who conducted tests on samples taken from Yasser Arafat’s body have found at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium in his remains. The scientists said that they were confident up to an 83 percent level that the late Palestinian leader was poisoned with it, which they said “moderately supports” polonium as the cause of his death.

A 108-page report by the University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne, which was obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera, found unnaturally high levels of polonium in Arafat’s ribs and pelvis, and in soil stained with his decaying organs.

The Swiss scientists, along with French and Russian teams, obtained the samples last November after his body was exhumed from a mausoleum in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Dave Barclay,…

The Brutal Past and Present are Another Country in Secret Australia

By John Pilger

The corridors of the Australian parliament are so white you squint. The sound is hushed; the smell is floor polish. The wooden floors shine so virtuously they reflect the cartoon portraits of prime ministers and rows of Aboriginal paintings, suspended on white walls, their blood and tears invisible.

The parliament stands in Barton, a suburb of Canberra named after the first prime minister of Australia, Edmund Barton, who drew up the White Australia Policy in 1901. "The doctrine of the equality of man," said Barton, "was never intended to apply" to those not British and white-skinned.

Barton's concern was the Chinese, known as the Yellow Peril; he made no mention of the oldest, most enduring human presence on earth: the first Australians. They did not exist. Their sophisticated care of a harsh land was of no interest. Their epic resistance did not happen. Of those who fought the British invaders of Australia, the Sydney Monitor reported in 1838: &quo…

Argentina's Energy Sector Remains Far from Recovery

Summary


Following the expropriation of YPF a year ago, Argentina has made it a national priority to revitalize the country's declining energy sector. Buenos Aires reviewed the regulatory system for hydrocarbon producers and has selectively improved terms to lure investment. These efforts appear to have yielded some success, with major energy companies Chevron and Total signing deals in recent months.

Despite renewed interest, however, a full recovery of the energy sector is dependent on a political transition. For the remainder of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's second term, Argentina will most likely continue to rely on oil and natural gas imports. This will continue to damage the country's national accounts and hold back economic progress. Even if a new political alternative emerges, reversing a decade of government subsidization will be a daunting task.

Analysis


Argentina's energy sector has been deteriorating for much of the past decade, with pro…

Shanxi Bombings: A Worrying Statement About China's Social Tensions

Summary


Coming only a week after an incident near Tiananmen Square and in a region typically removed from ethnic violence, the purported bombings Nov. 6 in Shanxi province paint a potentially troubling picture about social tensions in China.

Analysis


At approximately 7:40 a.m. local time, seven bomb blasts were heard near the headquarters of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party on Yingze Street, a major thoroughfare in Taiyuan, Shanxi's provincial capital. Eight people were injured and one was killed in the explosions, which, according to witnesses in state news media, were likely caused by homemade bombs hidden in roadside flowerbeds.







State media outlets reported that ball bearings or "steel beads" -- and perhaps even nails, according to one report -- were found at the scene and that at least 20 nearby vehicles were damaged. Xinhua also cited eyewitnesses who saw a minivan "blasted with heavy smoke and spread with a lot of debris." Meanwhile, C…