Thursday, February 23, 2012

Two Western Journalists Assassinated, Syria's Homs pounded


Expect more to come out on this story

Agence France-Presse
02/22/2012

Damascus: 

Two Western journalists were killed Wednesday as Syrian regime forces pounded the rebel city of Homs for a 19th straight day, activists said, while calls mounted for a truce to allow in humanitarian aid.
The latest barrage came a day after security forces killed at least 68 people across Syria, bringing the overall death toll of violence since March 2011 to 7,636 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The toll includes 5,542 civilians, 1,692 soldiers and police, and 400 rebel fighters, the head of the Britain-based rights monitoring group, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.

Activist Omar Shaker from inside Baba Amr told AFP that two Western journalists were killed and three others wounded as a shell crashed into a makeshift media centre set up by anti-regime militants.

The area remained the target of random shelling, blocking attempts to remove the bodies, the activist said.


US-born journalist Marie Colvin (L) and freelance French photojournalist Remi Ochlik

France said one of the journalists killed was a French national, as the Syrian Observatory said the two journalists killed were an American woman and a French man.

French television reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed in Homs last month as a shell exploded amid a group of journalists covering protests in the city on a visit organised by the Syrian authorities.

Despite a plea by activists to allow women and children to flee Homs's besieged Baba Amr neighbourhood, more troops were sent Tuesday to the outskirts of the restive city, monitors and activists said.

A call by the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) for a two-hour truce daily to deliver aid to afflicted areas gained support from the United Nations, as well as from the United States and Russia.

The call came a day after the ICRC said it was in talks with Syrian authorities and rebels to halt the violence.

Syria's main opposition group, meanwhile, demanded the international community create "safe havens" in the country and called on Russia to force the regime to allow access for humanitarian convoys.

At a news conference in Paris, the Syrian National Council said it would attend a summit of the countries known as the "Friends of Syria" and ask for safe zones to protect civilians and allow the opposition to organise.

The head of the rebel Free Syrian Army, Colonel Riyadh Al Asaad, has welcomed the humanitarian truce call but voiced doubts that the "criminal" regime would abide by a ceasefire arrangement.

And the UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, called on Syria to allow aid groups unimpeded access to the country.

"This is a major human rights crisis that is now moving into significant humanitarian consequences," Amos said.

In Washington, White House press secretary Jay Carney said "we support calls for ceasefires to allow for the provision of humanitarian supplies to Syrians who desperately need it."

"Reprehensible actions taken by the Assad regime have led us to a situation where basic supplies, humanitarian supplies are very scarce."

Moscow, a staunch ally of the Syrian-regime, on Wednesday also supported the ICRC call for a truce, expressing "serious concern" about the humanitarian situation, according to foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

And although top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, has said it was "premature" to arm Syria's opposition, top Republican Senator John McCain called again for the outgunned rebels to be supplied with weapons.

But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said "from our perspective, we don't believe that it makes sense to contribute now to the further militarisation of Syria.

"What we don't want to see is the spiral of violence increase. That said, if we can't get Assad to yield to the pressure that we are all bringing to bear, we may have to consider additional measures," she said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Syria was increasingly under pressure.
The Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis on Friday will "demonstrate that Assad's regime is increasingly isolated and that the brave Syrian people need our support and solidarity," she said.

Clinton will take part in the meeting, the State Department announced Tuesday.
Russia announced that it will not take part in the meeting because it was being convened "for the purpose of supporting one side against another in an internal conflict," the foreign ministry said.

China, meanwhile, refused to commit to attend the meeting.

The Friends of Syria group will meet for the first time after being created in response to a joint veto by China and Russia of a UN Security Council resolution condemning the bloody crackdown.






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This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

 
 

Saudis Riot Once More Against Corrupt, Apostate, Obscenely Rich Royals


The decadent, bloated, rotting corpse of the Saudi "royal" family owes it's survival to the successive corrupt U.S. Clinton, Bush and Obama regimes that have supported their tyranny and dictatorship for decades while CIA and Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah attempt to systematically destroy Saudi Independence Movement

PRESS TV 
Wed. Feb. 22, 2012 10:0PM GMT

Protesters have held fresh demonstrations against the ruling House of Saud in eastern Saudi Arabia amid ongoing anti-regime uprising in the kingdom, Press TV reports.

On Wednesday, demonstrators took to the streets in the Eastern Province’s towns of Qatif and Saihat as well as Tarut Island, demanding the release of imprisoned rights activists.

Taking no more shit from Saudi "royals;"  Saudis riot again
According to activists, there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Shia dignitaries in Qatif denounced the use of violence by Saudi authorities to quell peaceful protests in the Shia-dominated eastern part of the country.

A statement signed by 41 people, censured Riyadh’s use of the ‘language of arms against peaceful demonstrations’ and called for a ’serious investigation’ into the violence as well as ‘liberation of political prisoners.’


Replay of 1979 Iranian Revolution?
A Saudi Interior Ministry official referred on Monday to recent protests in the Eastern Province as ‘new terrorism’ and said that authorities would "confront it the same way" they treated al-Qaeda.

Since February 2011, Saudi protesters have been holding demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the oil-rich province, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah, calling for the release of all political prisoners, realization of freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread economic and religious discrimination in the kingdom.

Anti-government protests have intensified since November 2011 when security forces opened fire on protesters in Qatif, killing five people and injuring scores of others. 




MHB/AS/HN




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Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


 


VIDEO : C-SPAN Audience Rejects Fake Terror Claims; Callers School Terror War Profiteers Cheerleader On Underwear Bomber Fairy Tale


Americans are finally beginning - albeit at a glacial pace - to recognize bullshit when they encounter it; the U.S. government madmen and elitists have overlpayed their hand

GRTV
02/22/2012

Mickey McCarter, Senior Washington Correspondent for Homeland Security Today, fields questions from callers regarding the so-called "underwear bomber". Aired on February 20, 2012 on C-SPAN.

As Paul Joseph Watson wrote for Infowars.com:

"Underwear Bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
A proponent of the war on terror was left with egg on his face during a recent C-Span appearance when caller after caller hammered home the fact that the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was allowed to board Delta flight 253 by the U.S. government.

The victim of this ‘truth bomb’ was Mickey McCarter, a prominent mouthpiece for the military-industrial complex that relies heavily on the manufactured ‘war on terror’ to the tune of billions of dollars every year. McCarter is a journalist specializing in “homeland security matters” and has also worked for government agencies like the US Navy’s Bureau of Naval Personnel and the Defense Contract Management Agency.

After discussing the recent conviction of the underwear bomber with no mention of the fact that he boarded the plane only with the aid of the U.S. government, McCarter faced a barrage of callers who set him straight. The first caller immediately drew attention to Flight 253 passenger Kurt Haskell, an attorney who witnessed a well dressed Indian man force airport officials to let Abdulmutallab board the plane despite the fact that he had no passport and was on a terror watchlist.

“Why would a CIA agent….get that guy on the plane,” the caller asked, to which McCarter responded by claiming, “I am not familiar with the story,” before erroneously claiming that Abdulmutallab “raised no alarm”. 






Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.




Remi Ochlik Dead: French Photographer Assassinated In Syria


Olclik died they way he would have liked, fearlessly and against the odds bringing critical information to the people of the world; another huge loss for journalism, journalists

Huffington Post
Updated: 02/22/12 09:06 AM ET
PARIS (AP) —

Remi Ochlik, a rising star of French photojournalism who covered riots in Haiti and the upheaval sweeping across the Arab world was killed Wednesday in a shelling attack in Syria.

Remy Ochlik (Center)
French officials said the 28-year-old native of eastern France who founded the photo agency IP3 Press was killed along with U.S. war reporter Marie Colvin after Syrian forces besieged the central city of Homs.

Ochlik (Osh-LEEK)'s photo last year from Ras Lanouf in Libya of an opposition fighter on a mound under a rebellion flag against smoky skies won him first prize in the 2012 World Press Photo contest for general news.


IP3's website said Ochlik also covered rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt last year and his work has featured in publications including Paris Match and Time magazines as well as The Wall Street Journal.




This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.















Marie Colvin, War Reporter Assassinated in Syria


This case carries the faint yet distinctive odor of CIA, and it appears Marie forgot what she was up against; the loss of a journalist of this experience weakens and diminishes us all

The Cutline
By Dylan Stableford
02/23/2012

An American-born reporter for the London Sunday Times, Marie Colvin, along with a young French photographer, Remi Ochlik, were killed in Syria on Wednesday morning, according to several news reports. Colvin, one of the most celebrated war correspondents in the U.K., happened to be a guest on Anderson Cooper's CNN show last night.

Marie Colvin:  Fearless
On the program, Colvin reported that a two-year-old baby had been killed in an attack on another home and she had witnessed the child die.

"There's been constant shelling in the city," Colvin said. "So, Anderson, I have to say, it's just one of many stories ... It's chaos here."

"Every civilian house on this street has been hit," she continued. "We're talking about--this is a very kind of poor popular neighborhood. The top floor of the building I'm in has been hit, in fact, totally destroyed. There are no military targets here. There is the Free Syrian Army. Heavily outnumbered and out-gunned."

Colvin added: "It's a complete and utter lie they're only going after terrorists. The Syrian Army is simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians."

The two journalists were killed in a similar shelling on a makeshift media center where they were staying to cover the Homs battle. At least three other journalists, including Paul Conroy, a freelance photographer traveling with Colvin, were wounded.

Their deaths come less than a week after Anthony Shadid, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, died from an apparent asthma attack in Syria while covering the conflict there.

Last week, Colvin mourned the death of Shadid.

"Shocked by the news of the death of Anthony Shadid," she wrote. "A brilliant journalist and writer whose work glowed with his humanity and was always so kind and gentle. He will be so missed at a time when he was the best person to shed light on this strange new Middle East."

Like Shadid, Colvin had secretly entered Syria.

"I entered Homs on a smugglers' route, which I promised not to reveal, climbing over walls in the dark and slipping into muddy trenches," Colvin wrote in an article published by the Sunday Times on Feb. 19. "Arriving in the darkened city in the early hours, I was met by a welcoming party keen for foreign journalists to reveal the city's plight to the world. So desperate were they that they bundled me into an open truck and drove at speed with the headlights on, everyone standing in the back shouting 'Allahu akbar'—God is the greatest. Inevitably, the Syrian army opened fire."

Like Shadid's death, Colvin's passing has led to an outpouring of remembrances from colleagues and fellow journalists.

"Marie was an extraordinary figure in the life of The Sunday Times, driven by a passion to cover wars in the belief that what she did mattered," John Witherow, editor of the paper, wrote. "She believed profoundly that reporting could curtail the excesses of brutal regimes and make the international community take notice. Above all, as we saw in her powerful report last weekend, her thoughts were with the victims of violence.

"Marie had fearlessly covered wars across the Middle East and south Asia for 25 years for The Sunday Times," Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman and owner of the paper, said in a statement. "She put her life in danger on many occasions because she was driven by a determination that the misdeeds of tyrants and the suffering of the victims did not go unreported."

"This morning I looked at the video of her body in a house in Homs. Her head down. Her voice silenced," wrote ITV's Bill Neely. "We are all the poorer for that. Bless you, Marie."

According to Jean-Pierre Perrin, a journalist for the Paris-based Liberation newspaper who had been with Colvin in Homs last week, told London's Telegraph that Syrian forces had threatened to kill journalists there.

"A few days ago we were advised to leave the city urgently and we were told: 'If they find you they will kill you,'" Perrin said. "I then left the city with the journalist from the Sunday Times but then she wanted to go back when she saw that the major offensive had not yet taken place."

Perrin said he was told the Syrian Army "issued orders to 'kill any journalist that set foot on Syrian soil.'"

Colvin was known for her eye-patch, which she wore after losing sight in her left eye while reporting during an attack in Sri Lanka in 2001.

Writing in the Times following that incident, Colvin vowed to continue reporting in war zones despite the risks.

"So, was I stupid? Stupid I would feel writing a column about the dinner party I went to last night," she wrote. "Equally, I'd rather be in that middle ground between a desk job and getting shot--no offense to desk jobs."




Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.







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