Egypt Spate of detainee deaths points to rampant abuse at Cairo’s Mattareya Police Station

A string of deaths in custody has thrown the spotlight on torture and horrific detention conditions at a police station in the Mattareya district of Cairo where at least three people died last week, said Amnesty International.

Two of the deaths took place on the same day last week and according to the forensic authority in Cairo, one of the bodies bore marks consistent with torture or other ill-treatment. Since April 2014 at least nine detainees have died at Mattareya Police Station according to information gathered by Amnesty International, yet so far investigations have been half-hearted and no one has been held accountable.

Read on at

https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/news/2015/03/egypt-spate-of-detainee-deaths-points-to-rampant-abuse-at-cairo-s-mattareya-police-station/

 

As the Empire Crashes on the Shores of History, We Call on Its Intelligentsia Urgently to Man the Lifeboats

History is being made, or remade, as we speak.

Upon the death of King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia, I wrote about the “winds of change” [http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/09/the-winds-of-change-in-egypt/] in the Middle-East, and how that would impact the desultory régime in Egypt. The significance of the change of leadership there wasn’t the fact of the accession of King Salman to the throne, but the coming of age of a new generation as his sons take over all the most importance political positions, cementing this power with the eldest, Mohamed bin Salman, becoming deputy crown prince. These relatively young men take over a seething Kingdom with 3 million Twitter users tweeting 2 million tweets a day. Mujtahid, for instance, is a pseudonym for an insider twitter account which regularly posts royal family secrets and receives mountains of critical messages back. Abdulla’s police state had repressed just about every aspect of the country, in effect to no avail. Strangely it found it too controversial to close down the Twittersphere.

read more at

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/05/if-the-middle-east-is-the-question-it-is-also-the-answer/

 

 

 

Netanyahu’s US foreign policy gambit fails

If Hill Republicans thought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday address would build broad support for having Congress review any nuclear deal with Iran, they thought wrong.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/03/04/bipartisan-bill-to-review-iran-deal-is-now-looking-a-lot-less-bipartisan/

http://www.politicususa.com/2015/03/04/netanyahu-speech-flops-democratic-senators-withdraw-support-iran-bill.html

And Obama’s approval ratings rise as a direct result of Netanhayu’s unprecedented speech to Congress

http://www.politicususa.com/2015/03/03/americans-rally-president-obama-approval-jumps-5-points-netanyahu.html

What the point of it was is unclear since Obama was always going to veto the bill

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-176940-No-more-sanctions-on-Iran,-White-House-urges-Congress

 

The Cairo Fiasco and the Bonfire of Liberal values

The Iraq war, the Libyan campaign, and the covert operations in Syria, were all pursued against ruthless tyrannical régimes. Nothing there went to plan, did it? But, hand-wringing aside, they are justified by the apparatchiks in Washington and Brussels on the basis that they were bringing liberal democracy to the Middle-East. Getting rid of the dictators: bringing “negative liberty”, pace Isaiah Berlin. The endless war by the mightiest army on the planet against one of the admittedly larger tribes of traditional Afghanistan goes on, and we are regaled with documentaries of a few women taking off their veils and going about activities they couldn’t have engaged in before the US invasion, whilst the entire fabric of Afghan society breaks down, and the population sinks into drug addiction.

read on at

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/26/the-cairo-fiasco-and-the-bonfire-of-liberal-values/

 

Yet again Japan’s performance confirms that QE is mere short-term bubble making

Japan has reported another quarter of sputtering economic performance.  Notwithstanding the small rebound reported for Q4 based on highly implausible export deflators, real GDP is barely higher than it was in December 2012 before Abenomics launched its truly crazy money printing spree—–a wave of QE so massive that it is actually draining the Japanese government bond market of any and all securities available for sale.

And yet, the Abe government and Kubota, its shaman at the BOJ, do not hesitate to threaten even more financial insanity—even as the obvious failure of current policies is over and over again reported month after month. What was is Einstein said about insanity?

japan-gdp-constant-prices

The US finally releases a 1987 report on Israel’s Nuclear Weapons

This declassified 1987 report indicates that from the 1980s on the US was well-informed about Israel’s hidden nuclear programme, which is evidently a carbon copy of the US programme. See report:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/02/12/nuc%20report.pdf

What timing by Obama! We know that Israel smuggled nuclear technology (triggers, known as krytrons) out of the US, highjacked a ship on the high seas loaded with uranium ore, deceived US inspectors, and much more, all the while lying about its true intentions. This begs the question how Netanyahu expects to face Congress in his forthcoming controversial visit in March, especially it is widely known that Israel provided the IAEA with false documents about Iran’s nuclear program. On this see:

http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Israel-Provided-IAEA-with-Fake-Documents-on-Iran-s-Nuclear-Program.htm