Though Washington’s sanctions on Sudan give the impression of a tougher stance, this Baltimore Sun article reveals that the US has “soft-pedaled the sanctions” so that Sudan will continue helping the CIA with intelligence in Iraq. Former director of African affairs for the National Security Council John Prendergast argues that the Bush administration’s cooperation with Sudan on “counterterrorism” will impede efforts to stop the ongoing conflict in Darfur.
The Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions went on strike in opposition to the proposed hydrocarbon law. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki responded forcefully by sending the army and issuing arrest warrants against the union’s leaders. Iraqi unions are a strong, secular voice against oil privatization and the occupation in general. (truthout)
While most observers are focused on the U.S. Congress as it continues to issue new rubber stamps to legitimize Bush’s permanent designs on Iraq, nationalists in the Iraqi parliament — now representing a majority of the body — continue to make progress toward bringing an end to their country’s occupation. The parliament today passed a binding resolution that will guarantee lawmakers an opportunity to block the extension of the U.N. mandate under which coalition troops now remain in Iraq when it comes up for renewal in December. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose cabinet is dominated by Iraqi separatists, may veto the measure.
DN!: With Hamas now in full control of the Gaza Strip following a week of deadly violence, Palestinians are bracing for further uncertainty as the Occupied Territories is divided with the other main Palestinian faction Fatah. We go to Gaza for a report from independent journalist Fares Akram, and get analysis from Palestinian filmmaker and journalist Laila el-Haddad and author and Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abuminah.
I met with a group of Vietnamese citizens, led by Dr. Nguyen Trong Nhan, bearing witness to the plight of millions of Vietnamese people affected by Agent Orange. Now 77 years old, Dr. Nhan is one of Vietnam’s foremost ophthalmologists. He was Vietnam’s minister of health from 1992 to 1995, and recently he served as president of the Vietnam Red Cross. Today he is vice president of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange – VAVA. Professor Nhan is sadly disappointed by the US lack of response to calls to help Vietnamese sufferers, and by the outcome of a lawsuit against the chemical companies – including Monsanto, Dow, Union Carbide and Diamond Shamrock that produced Agent Orange.
A handful of protesters waving Palestinian flags and chanting “Take responsibility and do the right thing” on Wednesday disrupted the annual meeting of Caterpillar Inc., prompting the company to adjourn 30 minutes early.
The protesters, who oppose Caterpillar’s sale of tractors that are used by the Israeli Army to demolish the homes of Palestinian civilians, were quickly hustled out of the remote country club conference center 40 miles west of Chicago.
The Independent: In a filthy corner of a clinic in Lashkar Gah, a heavily pregnant 12-year-old lies wailing at a curt, dismissive doctor. Down the road some of the thousands of widows in the area beg in the mud. In the local hospital, women lie recovering from the horrific burns of failed suicide attempts. The brave new world promised by Tony Blair, President George Bush and Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai, appears not to have reached the women of Helmand.
Federal spending on multi-billion dollar military contracts has been mired in complaints of improper conduct as the government embarks on its $17 billion build-up of aircraft, helicopters, warships and vehicles.