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Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Steubenville “Rape Crew” Trial Will Be on Display for World to See

In News, Occupy Steubenville, OpRollRedRoll on January 31, 2013 at 8:40 PM


If you thought hackers and the media had brought a lot of attention upon the tough town of Steubenville, Ohio, just wait until everyone gets to see the legal fate of two of its high-school football stars accused of sexual assault play out in public there. In the culmination of a surprise development, the visiting judge in the case of Trent Mays and Malik Richmond ruled Wednesday that the media will be allowed in the courtroom when the proceedings begin in a little less than two months.

Judge Thomas Lipps moved the trial date from February 13 to March 13 at the request of attorneys for the two boys, but he also ruled that the trial will remain in Steubenville — the defense had long been pushing for a change of venue, citing “threats” after the spotlight descended upon the lower-middle-class town late last year from the media, and then again earlier this year when a group associated with the hacker collective Anonymous began releasing documents online.

“In Ohio, the decision to keep a juvenile case secret is left up to a judge,” reported the Toledo Blade. But then there’s the case of the alleged victim: “Prosecutors with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office told Judge Lipps that the trial should be sealed to protect the victim,” the Blade report added. And WTOV-TV adds: “Another motion filed by defense attorney Walter Madison to refer to the teenage girl as ‘the accuser’ in this case was also denied.” Though that may seem like squabbling over semantics, it will become serious business when the court decides just how the world will get to know the Jane Doe in this case — especially since preliminary testimony has already revealed some of the key witnesses in this case. Mays and Richmond are still being charged as minors, with photographic evidence of the girl being violated likely to be re-submitted as evidence and Mays facing a charge involving illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.

But there you have it: For better or worse and in some form or another, the victim, the accused, and all court proceedings will be on display for public consumption. The ongoing public outcry over the case, though it has quelled while court proceedings developed these past two weeks, has centered on the idea that the details of this case has not been publicly exposed enough — and that this small football city was somehow colluding to obscure the facts and possibly hide a larger crime by what the hackers at LocalLeaks called the Steubenville “rape crew.” Considering the amount of attention paid to what the New York Times called a “decaying steel town” small Ohio town over the past few weeks, exposure is probably not going to be the problem when the TV trucks inevitably descend in March.

Via TheAtlanticWire

Al-Qaeda Promises “Shocking, Earth-Shattering” Attacks on US & EU

In News on January 31, 2013 at 7:58 PM


A jihadist website posted a new threat by al Qaeda this week that promises to conduct “shocking” attacks on the United States and the West.

The posting appeared on the Ansar al Mujahidin network Sunday and carried the headline, “Map of al Qaeda and its future strikes.”

The message, in Arabic, asks: “Where will the next strike by al Qaeda be?” A translation was obtained by Inside the Ring.

“The answer for it, in short: The coming strikes by al Qaeda, with God’s Might, will be in the heart of the land of nonbelief, America, and in France, Denmark, other countries in Europe, in the countries that helped and are helping France, and in other places that shall be named by al Qaeda at other times,” the threat states.

The attacks will be “strong, serious, alarming, earth-shattering, shocking and terrifying.”

Under a section of the post on the method of the attacks, the unidentified writer said the strikes would be “group and lone-wolf operations, in addition to the use of booby-trapped vehicles.”

“All operations will be recorded and published in due time,” the message said. “Let France be prepared, and let the helpers of France be prepared, for it is going to be a long war of attrition.”

The reference to France appears linked to the group’s plans for retaliation against the French-led military strikes in northern Mali in operations to oust al Qaeda terrorists from the North African country.

The Ansar al-Mujahidin network is a well-known jihadist forum that in the past has published reliably accurate propaganda messages from al Qaeda and its affiliates.

U.S. counterterrorism actions over the past 10 years have prevented al Qaeda from conducting major attacks. However, U.S. officials warn that the group continues to be dangerous, despite the killing of its top leaders in drone strikes and special operations.

A U.S. official said the threat is being taken seriously by the U.S. government.

“Extremists regularly make threats online,” he told Inside the Ring. “This one is not particularly unusual, but of course should be taken seriously.”

Via WashingtonTimes

UN Inquiry: Israel Must Remove All Jewish Settlers from Occupied West Bank

In Israel, Israhell, News, Palestine on January 31, 2013 at 7:20 PM


An independent inquiry mandated by the United Nations has called on Israel to halt all settlement activity and to ensure accountability for the violations of the human rights of the Palestinians resulting from the settlements.

The report of the International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) states that a multitude of the human rights of the Palestinians are violated in various forms and ways due to the existence of the settlements.

“These violations are all interrelated, forming part of an overall pattern of breaches that are characterized principally by the denial of the right to self-determination and systemic discrimination against the Palestinian people which occur on a daily basis,” said a news release on the report.

The UN Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, dispatched the Mission in March 2012 “to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

Since 1967, the Mission’s report notes, Israeli governments have openly led, directly participated in, and had full control of the planning, construction, development, consolidation and encouragement of settlements.

“In compliance with Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel must cease all settlement activities without preconditions,” said Christine Chanet, chair of the three-member inquiry.

Israel must “immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the OPT,” the Mission adds, as well as ensure “adequate, effective and prompt remedy” to all Palestinian victims for the harm suffered as a consequence of human rights violations resulting from the settlements.

The report states that settlements are established and developed for the exclusive benefit of Israeli Jews. They are maintained and advanced through a system of total segregation between the settlers and the rest of the population living in the OPT.

This system of segregation is supported and facilitated by strict military and law enforcement control to the detriment of the rights of the Palestinian population, it adds.

“We are today calling on the Government of Israel to ensure full accountability for all violations, put an end to the policy of impunity and to ensure justice for all victims,” said Asma Jahangir, another member of the Mission.

The report states that Israel is committing serious breaches of its obligations under the right to self-determination and under humanitarian law.

“The magnitude of violations relating to Israel’s policies of dispossessions, evictions, demolitions and displacements from land shows the widespread nature of these breaches of human rights. The motivation behind violence and intimidation against the Palestinians and their properties is to drive the local populations away from their lands, allowing the settlements to expand,” said another member, Unity Dow.

The report, which will be formally presented to the Council on 18 March, states that private entities have also enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction of the settlements – both directly and indirectly.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has taken note of the report, according to his spokesperson, who said Mr. Ban has repeatedly made his views on Israeli settlements clear. “All settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law,” the spokesperson said in a note issued to the press.

Via UN

North Korea Imposes Martial Law, Orders Troops to “Be Ready for War”

In News, North Korea on January 31, 2013 at 7:07 PM


North Korea has allegedly been placed under martial law and its ruler Kim Jong-un has ordered the army to “prepare for war”, a South Korean daily claims.

­The North Korean leader issued a series of orders to his top defense and security officials on Saturday to conclude preparations for a new nuclear test, the Seoul based Korea JoongAng Daily alleges citing an unnamed source.

The source reportedly said that Kim Jong-un issued a secret order to “complete preparations for a nuclear weapons test <…>and carry it out soon”.

According to the source, Kim Jong-un also said, “The country will be under martial law starting from midnight January 29th and all the frontline and central units should be ready for war.”

The source told the South Korean daily that the nuclear test could come earlier than expected. Other analysts have said it would likely be held on February 16th, the birthday of the former leader Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011.

Another suggestion as to the test’s timing included February 25th, the inauguration day of South Korean President-elect Park Geun-Hye, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

North Korean media also reported that Kim Jong-un told his top defense officials to take “effective, high-profile state measures” at a meeting on Saturday.

The alleged measures come amid a new spike in tensions caused by a new round of sanctions on North Korean entities and individuals, including travel bans and asset freezes, which were passed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council in December 2012.

The Security Council, including China, backed Resolution 2087, after Pyongyang carried out the launch of a long range rocket in December 2012.

Pyongyang claimed it was for the peaceful launch of a satellite, but critics say it was a thinly veiled test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Since the resolution was approved North Korea has issued a number of warnings, including a statement on the day it was implemented, that there will be “no more dialogue or denuclearization.”  It also threatened “all-out war” against Washington, which it said was its sworn enemy and blamed for leading the sanctions.

However, the source also said that Kim Jong-un is concerned about China’s reaction to a nuclear test.

“China is still useful to us. We need to be careful of the relationship with China,” Kim allegedly said at the meeting.

A South Korean government official told reporters Wednesday that satellite images had discovered increased activity and movement of equipment near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the northwest of the country and that the mouth of the test shaft had been sealed in readiness for a nuclear test.

According to the report in the Korea JoongAng Daily, the South Korean military, as of Tuesday, had not detected any movements in North Korea’s frontline units.

The President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak, has ordered the military to make a “strong response” to any provocation from North Korea.

The last time North Korea was placed under martial law was in March 1993, just days before it withdrew from the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the regime also ordered its troops to be ready for war.

North Korea carried out its first nuclear test in October 2006 and conducted a second underground blast in May 2009.

There is also international concern about whether Pyongyang will use highly-enriched uranium to get better results in its third nuclear test. Previous tests used plutonium, were detonated underground, and had reportedly limited success.

Via RT

Brazen Military Drills to Tour America in 2013

In News on January 31, 2013 at 7:01 PM


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