Water shortages, movement restrictions, and the constant presence of the Israeli military – this is what life looks like for millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. With no end in sight to the decades-long conflict, protests and clashes continue. RTD travels to the occupied territories to meet people of the Palestinian resistance, from members of the Tamimi family to activists expressing their anger and pain through art.
Mosul – Iraq’s second-largest city and the former Islamic State capital – is still reeling a year after the terrorists were driven out. Bad blood and a thirst for revenge still divide people there.
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) captured Mosul in June 2014 in mere days, sending soldiers and security troops on the run. Many local residents welcomed the jihadists, who promised protection from corruption, plus jobs and security. Later, the promises of prosperity proved false, with rigid rules, intimidation, rape, and public executions a daily routine.
But thousands of people in Mosul still pledged allegiance to IS – some driven by their propaganda, others by hunger or simply fear.
Some of those who worked as IS enforcers or officials survived the siege last year and are still living in the city. The local SWAT police hunt for them every night, raiding houses and questioning family members and neighbors of suspected IS members.
Some in the police don’t hide their hatred for anyone associated with the terrorist group. They have their reasons – IS killed their relatives or friends, and this calls for revenge, they told RT’s documentary crew.
There are similar moods among the Mosul civil defense, whose grim task is to search the ruins left after the siege for bodies. They collect the bodies of IS fighters, which are by now often reduced to mummified carcasses. Saying that this is done unceremoniously would be a great understatement. Some would kick a plastic bag full of remains to express disdain.
And there are many people living in Mosul who face suspicion and outright abuse due to guilt by association. Widows of IS members. Men whose brothers or uncles joined the jihadists. Children of those men. Some 80 percent of families in Mosul had this or that member join the terrorists. And being treated as second-rate people now hardly helps them turn the page on that chapter of their lives.
Some 40 years on, the groundbreaking music of Pink Floyd sounds fresh and deep, and the lyrics of Roger Waters are as relevant as ever. How hard is the balancing act between music and politics? We talked to the legend himself – Roger Waters, musician, activist, and co-founder of Pink Floyd.
Can Monsanto chemicals permanently alter your child’s genes? Low-income tobacco farmers face skyrocketing cancer rates with more devastating repercussions affecting their children: severe physical deformities and mental disabilities. Choosing between poverty or poison, Latin American growers have no choice but to use harmful chemicals such as glyphosate (in Monsanto’s Roundup) and Bayer’s Confidor, if they want to certify and sell their crops to Big Tobacco. As patent and regulatory laws continue to favor the profits of Monsanto and chemical companies, the tobacco makes its way into the hands and mouths of consumers worldwide in Philip Morris tobacco products, while the poisons used to harvest the crops contaminate the farmers’ blood and are modifying the human genome, creating genetically modified children.
In this episode, RT's Going Underground speaks to the boss of the White Helmets Raed Al Saleh about allegations of links to ISIS and Al Qaeda in a Going Underground Exclusive. Plus, Afshin Rattansi speaks to Vanessa Beeley, a journalist who has been on the ground in Syria during the war, about her accounts, which have differed widely from those of the White Helmets.
'They don't care about us': Syrians on White Helmets' true agenda
It seems that White Helmets organization is hailed as heroes in the West, and the latter one provides millions of dollars to so-called saviours. However, Aleppo residents claim that White Helmets care only about money and saving rebels, but not the civilians. In fact, they are not autonomous, and cannot make their own decisions – these are made by other powerful people.
I'm in the process of adding a print shop to my YouPic account, but DA won't allow me to link to it from here...! Very strange! I can link to almost every other site on the entire internet — except for YouPic!
What's the problem, DA? Afraid of competition?
YouPic has a great way of presenting images (full screen on a black background). Much the same as 500px. If anyone is interested in having a look, just copy/paste this URL: youpic.com/photographer/keld_bach/
(By Poetry for Palestine - click image to enlarge)
Israel has never defined its borders. It has illegally taken ownership of all public land in the occupied West Bank. This land is then exclusively granted to Zionist settlers.
The Knesset passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that "the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people," with 62 lawmakers voting in favor of the legislation and 55 opposing it. [...] The nation-state law also includes clauses stating that a "united Jerusalem" is the capital of Israel and that Hebrew is the country's official language. Another says that "the state sees the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation." [...] The Arab population of Israel and the occupied territories is as big as the Jewish population. The allocation of "public" land stolen from the indigenous Arab population solely to Jewish immigrants was already one of many clearly discriminating apartheid issues. It was in contradiction even to Israeli law. Now the creation of solely Jewish settlements is required by constitutional mandate. The blatantly illegal creation and expansion of solely Jewish settlements on stolen Palestinian land is now rationalized as requirement of basic law. Muslim and Christian Palestinians now have to pay taxes for their own expropriation.
Is there a Buddhist people, a Catholic people? Do they deserve their own nation and land? No. Even the though of such is weird. Are Jews originating from Ethiopia, India, Lithuania, Iran and Poland a common race? Why then is there supposed to be a 'Jewish people' as the new law stipulates?
It is historically crazy that a number of humans, living in dozens of mostly east-European countries, would suddenly define themselves as a unique 'race' by virtue of believing in the same religious fairy tales. The concept mirrored and enabled the racism of the fascists. The self declared ethnicity then laid claim on far away land in west-Asia based on old stories of temples for which there is little to no archeologic evidences.
Primarily Great Britain, France and the United States, furthered and support this ethnocratic, colonialist, undemocratic, imperialist, and genocidal scheme to their own advantage.
It is high time to end this illegal and immoral aberration.
"The Nakba did not begin in 1948. Its origins lie over two centuries ago…."
So begins this four-part series on the 'nakba', meaning the 'catastrophe', about the history of the Palestinian exodus that led to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and the establishment of the state of Israel.
This sweeping history starts back in 1799 with Napoleon's attempted advance into Palestine to check British expansion and his appeal to the Jews of the world to reclaim their land in league with France.
The narrative moves through the 19th century and into the 20th century with the British Mandate in Palestine and comes right up to date in the 21st century and the ongoing 'nakba' on the ground.
Arab, Israeli and Western intellectuals, historians and eye-witnesses provide the central narrative which is accompanied by archive material and documents, many only recently released for the first time.
For Palestinians, 1948 marks the 'nakba' or the 'catastrophe', when hundreds of thousands were forced out of their homes.
But for Israelis, the same year marks the creation of their own state.
This series attempts to present an understanding of the events of the past that are still shaping the present.
This story starts in 1799, outside the walls of Acre in Ottoman-controlled Palestine, when an army under Napoleon Bonaparte besieged the city. It was all part of a campaign to defeat the Ottomans and establish a French presence in the region.
In search of allies, Napoleon issued a letter offering Palestine as a homeland to the Jews under French protection. He called on the Jews to ‘rise up’ against what he called their oppressors.
Napoleon’s appeal was widely publicised. But he was ultimately defeated. In Acre today, the only memory of him is a statue atop a hill overlooking the city.
Yet Napoleon's project for a Jewish homeland in the region under a colonial protectorate did not die, 40 years later, the plan was revived but by the British.
"The lesson that should be learned from Syria and Skripal is that if “an incident” looks like it has no obvious motive behind it, there is a high probability that it is a false flag"
By Philip Giraldi, a veteran of the CIA of 20 years
False Flag is a concept that goes back centuries. It was considered to be a legitimate ploy by the Greeks and Romans, where a military force would pretend to be friendly to get close to an enemy before dropping the pretense and raising its banners to reveal its own affiliation just before launching an attack. In the sea battles of the eighteenth century among Spain, France and Britain hoisting an enemy flag instead of one’s own to confuse the opponent was considered to be a legitimate ruse de guerre, but it was only “honorable” if one reverted to one’s own flag before engaging in combat.
Today’s false flag operations are generally carried out by intelligence agencies and non-government actors including terrorist groups, but they are only considered successful if the true attribution of an action remains secret. There is nothing honorable about them as their intention is to blame an innocent party for something that it did not do. There has been a lot of such activity lately and it was interesting to learn by way of a leak that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has developed a capability to mimic the internet fingerprints of other foreign intelligence services. That means that when the media is trumpeting news reports that the Russians or Chinese hacked into U.S. government websites or the sites of major corporations, it could actually have been the CIA carrying out the intrusion and making it look like it originated in Moscow or Beijing. Given that capability, there has been considerable speculation in the alternative media that it was actually the CIA that interfered in the 2016 national elections in the United States.
False flags can be involved in other sorts of activity as well. The past year’s two major alleged chemical attacks carried out against Syrian civilians that resulted in President Donald Trump and associates launching 160 cruise missiles are pretty clearly false flag operations carried out by the rebels and terrorist groups that controlled the affected areas at the time. The most recent reported attack on April 7th might not have occurred at all according to doctors and other witnesses who were actually in Douma. Because the rebels succeeded in convincing much of the world that the Syrian government had carried out the attacks, one might consider their false flag efforts to have been extremely successful.
The remedy against false flag operations such as the recent one in Syria is, of course, to avoid taking the bait and instead waiting until a thorough and objective inspection of the evidence has taken place. The United States, Britain and France did not do that, preferring instead to respond to hysterical press reports by “doing something.” If the U.N. investigation of the alleged attack turns up nothing, a distinct possibility, it is unlikely that they will apologize for having committed a war crime.
The other major false flag that has recently surfaced is the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury England on March 4th. Russia had no credible motive to carry out the attack and had, in fact, good reasons not to do so. The allegations made by British Prime Minister Theresa May about the claimed nerve agent being “very likely” Russian in origin have been debunked, in part through examination by the U.K.’s own chemical weapons lab. May, under attack even within her own party, needed a good story and a powerful enemy to solidify her own hold on power so false flagging something to Russia probably appeared to be just the ticket as Moscow would hardly be able to deny the “facts” being invented in London. Unfortunately, May proved wrong and the debate ignited over her actions, which included the expulsion of twenty-three Russian diplomats, has done her severe damage. Few now believe that Russia actually carried out the poisoning and there is a growing body of opinion suggesting that it was actually a false flag executed by the British government or even by the CIA.
The lesson that should be learned from Syria and Skripal is that if “an incident” looks like it has no obvious motive behind it, there is a high probability that it is a false flag. A bit of caution in assigning blame is appropriate given that the alternative would be a precipitate and likely disproportionate response that could easily escalate into a shooting war.
Witnesses of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, including 11-year-old Hassan Diab and hospital staff, told reporters at The Hague that the White Helmets video used as a pretext for a US-led strike on Syria was, in fact, staged.
A number of online activists who'd cast doubt over the West's narrative are being called Kremlin-controlled. Two people in particular have been singled out in claims that they're not even real people - but rather automated accounts run by the Russian government. One of them, Australian blogger of Syrian descent Maram Susli joins RT live to speak on the issue.
This documentary traces the medical, textile and spiritual use of cannabis from its first discovery in ancient China. It’s use for 100 different medical conditions is listed in the first Chinese “materia medica” in 2,800 BC. Archeological evidence suggests it was in wide use for cloth, paper and rope for centuries before that. It has long been one of the 50 herbal remedies used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Archeologists believe that Caucasus tribes known as Aryans spread cannabis use to India and Persia along primitive trade routes that pre-dated the Silk Road. In India it was used in Hindu sects devoted to Shiva, in Buddhism and Sikhism. According to legend, Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) subsisted on cannabis alone for six years prior to his enlightenment.
In 500 BC, when the Persian empire (Iran) extended from the Indian border to Egypt, it played an essential role in Zororastianism. There is also good evidence Egyptians used it for medicinal purposes 700 years prior to their conquest by Persia (in 552 BC).
Following the unsuccessful Persian attack on Greece (in 492 BC), Greek physicians began using it to treat a variety of medical conditions. Both Pythagoras and Socrates refer to its mind enhancing properties. Cannabis would make its way to Rome by way of Greece.
Use of Cannabis in Judaism and Christianity
Rice also traces how Kaneh Bosm (which English Biblical scholars have mistranslated “calamus”) was used extensively along with frankincense and other psychoactive herbs to anoint ancient Jewish priests. Christ (which means “the anointed one”) used similar holy oils to anoint his twelve disciples. Some scholars believe Kaneh Bosm may have played a role in his healing miracles – due to its medicinal properties. Early gnostic gospels, which were banned by Emperor Constantine in 325 AD, cover the subject far more extensively than the New Testament.
Cannabis was also widely used by Muslim physicians, Sufi sects and by assassins (derived from the word hashish) of the secret 11th century Islamic sect Nizari Ismailis.
Cannabis Spreads to Europe and the New World
Cannabis cultivation spread from Rome to northern Europe via Germanic tribes who used the seeds as a food source. Prior to the conquest of the Americas, Europeans used it mainly as a source of fiber. When the New World tobacco trade made pipe smoking popular in Europe, a growing middle class also began smoking cannabis and opium.
Queen Elizabeth initiated the legal requirement that the North American colonies grow hemp to help supply the British Navy with rope and sails. Shakespeare, James Madison and James Monroe all smoked it, and Washington used it for toothache.
During the 18th century, it became widely available in various patent medicines – until the American Medical Association began a state-by-state campaign to ban it. Its ready availability and effectiveness for pain relief posed a major threat to the fledgling medical profession.
The advent of alcohol Prohibition in 1919, caused a surge in the use of cannabis, which was still legal surged.
The Corporate Conspiracy to Suppress Hemp Production
In 1936, a corporate conspiracy to suppress hemp production in favor of wood fiber and synthetic fibers (see The Politics of Hemp) would lead to the controversial 1936 Marijuana Tax Act.
Psychodelic guru Timothy O’Leary would initiate the first legal challenge to the Act, leading a federal court to overturn it in 1969. Nixon’s response was to ban cannabis altogether, under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act.
Emails have emerged revealing how the controversial Syrian activist group the White Helmets tried to lobby Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters with Saudi money. The revelations have been published on Max Blumenthal’s project.
One America's Pearson Sharp visited the war-torn town of Douma outside the capital of Damascus, looking for evidence of a chemical attack. However, residents there deny the claims of an attack, and say it was staged to help the rebels escape.
Abby Martin interview critical of Israel is blocked by YouTube in 28 countries
An episode of Abby Martin’s Empire Files, featuring journalist Max Blumenthal and spotlighting rising militarism in Israel, has been blocked by YouTube in 28 countries, including Israel and the UK, for violating “local laws.”
Entitled “Jewish-American on Israel's Fascism: ‘No Hope For Change From Within',” the episode featured a discussion between Martin and journalist Max Blumenthal about the increasingly militaristic, racist attitude of Israel towards Palestinians. Source: RT US News
However, the interview is still freely available on teleSUR's YouTube channel, but better hurry to watch or download it.
Abby Martin interviews journalist and author Max Blumenthal on the current situation in Palestine and the Israeli occupation. This episode covers what is behind today's rebellion, the rising dominance of far-right, ultra-racist ideology in Israel, eye-witness accounts of the aftermath of the Gaza war, and the Israeli government's fear of Palestinian resistance.
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and author of the New York Times Best Seller "Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel", and the recently-published "The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza."
The New World Order - 2018. The Film of Vladimir Soloviev.
Global trends all point in one direction - and it’s a positive one. Russia is climbing out of a hole and making strides on the international arena.
Being friends with Russia means something again and this transformation has a lot to do with Vladimir Putin.
In this interview, Soloviev asks questions about Putin’s plan - whether he had one at all and how he managed to accomplish so much in so little time. Personal details about Putin’s life and speculations about Russia’s future now that it has bucked the New World Order agenda.
Russia’s Embassy in London has sent a list of 14 questions to the UK Foreign Ministry, demanding that it reveals details of the investigation into the nerve-agent poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
The questions, provided in full below, include a demand to clarify whether samples of the nerve agent “Novichok” have ever been developed in the UK. The embassy’s statement calls the incident that started the recent diplomatic row a “fabricated case against Russia.”
1. Why has Russia been denied the right of consular access to the two Russian citizens, who came to harm on British territory?
2. What specific antidotes and in what form were the victims injected with? How did such antidotes come into the possession of British doctors at the scene of the incident?
3. On what grounds was France involved in technical cooperation in the investigation of the incident, in which Russian citizens were injured?
4. Did the UK notify the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) of France’s involvement in the investigation of the Salisbury incident?
5. What does France have to do with the incident, involving two Russian citizens in the UK?
6. What rules of UK procedural legislation allow for the involvement of a foreign state in an internal investigation?
7. What evidence was handed over to France to be studied and for the investigation to be conducted?
8. Were the French experts present during the sampling of biomaterial from Sergei and Yulia Skripal?
9. Was the study of biomaterials from Sergei and Yulia Skripal conducted by the French experts and, if so, in which specific laboratories?
10. Does the UK have the materials involved in the investigation carried out by France?
11. Have the results of the French investigation been presented to the OPCW Technical Secretariat?
12. Based on what attributes was the alleged “Russian origin” of the substance used in Salisbury established?
13. Does the UK have control samples of the chemical warfare agent, which British representatives refer to as “Novichok”?
14. Have the samples of a chemical warfare agent of the same type as “Novichok” (in accordance to British terminology) or its analogues been developed in the UK?
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