Sunday, October 02, 2005

Reporting from outside the US mainstream media

An Israel Defense Forces commander on Sunday announced that the Military Police will launch an investigation into the death of 13-year-old Palestinian boy, who was shot dead Friday by IDF troops operating in the West Bank town of Nablus.
IDF GOC Central Command Major General Yair Naveh, who conducted an initial army inquiry into the incident, decided to suspend the shooter as well as the commander of the Paratrooper squad. Naveh also reprimanded the company commander for not having prepared the force for the task.
The incident in which Udai Tantawi, 13, was killed occured in the Askar refugee camps early Friday afternoon. One of the paratrooper units that had taken part in the arrests encountered a group of teenagers and boys who were throwing rocks and bottles.

The above is from Amos Harel's "Military Police to probe killing of Palestinian boy in W. Bank raid" (Israel's Haaretz) and Rob e-mailed to note it. Sunday. We're noting your highlights of what's being discussed outside the US mainstream media.

Skip e-mails to note "Insider lifts lid on nuke waste fears" (AFP via Australia's The Herald Sun):

A LEAKED internal report alleges a devastating "catalogue of dubious practices" including safety measures based on "guesswork" at a plant treating Britain's most dangerous nuclear waste.
The report says the Sellafield plant in Cumbria, which is deemed one of the UK's better-run nuclear centres, is "potentially dangerous" and "becoming difficult to operate properly".
The Independent on Sunday said one part of the document leaked to it is headed: "Homer Simpson works at Sellafield".

Polly e-mails to note the article that's referred to above, Geoffrey Lean's "Secret report reveals catalogue of blunders at Sellafield" (London's The Independent):

The whistleblowing document says that the plant - hitherto thought to be one of the better-run ones at the controversial Cumbrian complex - is "potentially dangerous" and is "becoming difficult to operate properly". One of its section headings reads: "Homer Simpson works at Sellafield".
The revelations could not come at a worse time for the Government and the nuclear industry. Tony Blair is pressing for the building of new reactors in Britain, against stiff cabinet opposition, after announcing a review of the issue in his Labour Party conference speech on Tuesday.
And on Thursday British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), which runs Sellafield, decided to try to sell off almost all its remaining business, including the treatment plant. The document is a shocking indictment of the £250m waste vitrification plant (WVP), which binds the most highly radioactive and dangerous waste produced by the nuclear industry in glass so it can be stored and disposed of easily.
The whistleblowing, meticulously referenced report, recently compiled by a manager, says the problems at the plant are so great that the Government forced BNFL to call in its major competitor, the French firm Cogema, "to help address serious concerns about how WVP is run". It adds: "BNFL claims its research into the vitrification process proves that the plant is safe and will allow the foreign waste to be returned to its country of origin. Yet BNFL's own research papers and audits show these claims are false."

Gareth e-mails to note "Blair at centre-stage while Brown waits" (England's Financial Times):

Tony Blair (above) used his 12th annual party conference speech as Labour leader to underline his determination to stay on as prime minister rather than stand down early, as many in his party now appear to want.
[. . .]
But the bigger blow came from an 82-year-old activist dragged out for heckling during a speech on Iraq. The televised eviction was a public relations disaster, symbol of a depleted party prevented from debating a war members never wanted.

Dominick e-mails to note Paul O’Brien's "McDowell refuses to recognise end to IRA criminality" (Irish Examiner):

JUSTICE Minister Michael McDowell has refused to accept IRA criminality is at an end, despite the organisation decommissioning its weapons last weekend. He said he would not be satisfied until the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) - the body established by the two governments to monitor paramilitary activity - gave the IRA a clean bill of health in forthcoming reports, the first of which is due later this month, the second in January.
His remarks came as Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, at a press conference in Belfast, urged the governments to move rapidly towards the restoration of the power-sharing institutions in the North. Mr Adams said the DUP and unionism generally needed "a little space to absorb the enormity" of IRA decommissioning, but warned that neither they nor the governments should delay unnecessarily.

Larry e-mails to note Bill Thompson's "The Democratic Republic of Cyberspace?" (openDemocracy):

The internet we know today traces its lineage back to 1968 and the ARPANET research network that linked together computers at four US universities. Although it is often presented as a triumph of the free market and a prime example of how the invisible hand can create something of great social value, the net is in fact the product of public investment and an operational model that allowed levels of cooperation and consensus of which the private sector is simply incapable.
There are two reasons for its success. First, for ten years after it was created in 1983 the internet was generally ignored by politicians, policy-makers, campaigning organisations and almost everyone outside the circle of university researchers who were building it. And second, those who created the standards, built the physical network and wrote the code were interested in creating something that worked, not something that satisfied interest groups, promoted any particular agenda or met with the approval of anyone except themselves.
This is no longer the case. Over the last decade the net has gone from being a largely academic pastime to become a key part of the infrastructure of the burgeoning network society. The old mechanisms have broken down as the bodies defining the net’s technical architecture have become more distant from ordinary users. This has created a democratic deficit that leaves the future development of the network open to capture by two very powerful interests -- private corporations and national governments -- to the exclusion of civil society.

Lynda e-mails to note Aljazeera's "US, Afghan soldiers killed:"

A US soldier and an Afghan soldier have been killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan, the US military said.
Another US soldier and two other Afghan National Army soldiers were also wounded in the small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade attack, which occurred Friday while they were conducting combat operations north of the city of Kandahar, the military said in a statement on Saturday.

The three wounded soldiers were taken to a nearby forward operating base for treatment, according to a statement from the main US base at Bagram, north of the capital Kabul.

Pru e-mails to note "Blair dumps planet" (The Socialist Worker):

Blair has announced that he is "changing his thinking" about climate change -- falling into line with George Bush yet again, despite his promises to focus on the problem.
Speaking at a meeting in New York, organised by former US president Bill Clinton just 17 days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Blair appeared to do a complete U-turn on the issue of climate change.
Category five hurricanes such as Katrina have doubled in frequency since the 1970s -- despite the overall number of hurricanes remaining fairly static. This is one of the most visible examples of the problems caused by climate change.
Yet Blair told his audience, "No country is going to cut its growth or consumption sub­stantially in the light of a ­long term ­environmental problem.
"Some people have signed Kyoto, some people haven't signed Kyoto, right. That is a disagreement. It's there. It's not going to be resolved."
Phil Thornhill, coordinator of the Campaign against Climate Change, said, "Now that US public opinion is at last changing on the issue of climate change it is stupid for Blair go against that."
He urged people to protest over climate change at a demonstration planned for 3 December.
The demonstration -- called to coincide the UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal, Canada -- will take place alongside other mobilisations in the US, Montreal and elsewhere around the globe.
National planning meeting for Campaign against Climate Change. Saturday, 1 October, Oxford. For more details go to
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