‘Brutal’ force-feeding at Gitmo

New photos released by the U.S. military show how it is dealing with the hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay, NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports.

Hunger-striking detainees at the Guantanamo detention facility are being force-fed through tubes inserted into their noses twice a day — causing them to gag for air and vomit — during a procedure that a U.S. military defense lawyer just returned from the U.S. base in Cuba described as “brutal” and agonizing.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard, who represents two Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo, told NBC News on Sunday that one of his clients described being shackled by his wrists and around his waist —while food is “dumped into this throat” for up to two hours at a time.  His comments came as the U.S. military released new photos showing the chair to which hunger-striking detainees are strapped, and bottles of Ensure, the nutritional supplement, that they are being fed.

“When that tube goes up your nose, your eyes begin to water, as it passes through the back of your skull. As it passes through your throat, you begin to gag and you begin to suck for air until it’s passed into your stomach,” Wingard said. “It’s agony, according to my client.

“The more times that you’ve been force-fed this way, the more your nose gets inflamed, the more your esophagus begins to burn, the more your stomach begins to burn.”

Ronald Flanders, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command, said Sunday the force-feeding is a “legally approved procedure” used by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons  – and that the technique is similar to that used for the elderly and small children. He also said the procedure is necessary to save lives. “We have an obligation to keep these folks safe,” he said.

The procedure is controversial within the medical community. The American Medical Association recently wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saying the force-feeding “violates core ethical values of the medical profession” when a prisoner makes a rational decision to refuse food.

Of the 166 detainees at Guantanamo, 100 are now hunger striking and 23 are being force-fed, according to the U.S. military’s latest figures.

The widening protest last week prompted President Barack Obama to renew his efforts to shutter the prison, used to hold suspected terrorists taken into custody in overseas battlefields. “The idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who have not been tried, that is contrary to who we are, it is contrary to our interests and it needs to stop,” he said.

Congress has so far blocked his efforts, placing restrictions on transferring the detainees to foreign jurisdictions or bringing them into federal prisons in the United States. “The fact is there’s been no coherent plan presented to the Congress of the United States as to how we would dispose of these individuals,” Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday on Fox News. “And one of them is not to send them back into the fight where they can kill more Americans.”

Wingard, who returned from a five-day trip to Guantanamo last week, said conditions at the facility are “dire and getting worse.” One of his clients, a Kuwaiti named Faiz al-Kandari, has lost a third of his body weight and now weighs 105 pounds but appears determined to continue, he said. Aggravating the situation, 86 detainees have been cleared for release or transfer, but efforts to send them home have stalled, making them more desperate, he said.

As for renewed talk by Obama and others about closing the base, Wingard said, “These men have heard these words for the past eleven and one half years. They’re not going to be brutalized into submission, and I think the net result will be some of them will die.” 

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Justin Bieber attacked on stage in Dubai

An accompanying tweet said: ‘Whoa. Crazy fan tackled @justinbieber and knocked
the piano down the stage. Mayhem.’

While Bieber was shaken, he was unhurt, and the band finished the song while
the fan was removed from the stage.

He later returned to the stage for an encore performance of his hit songs “Boyfriend”
and “Baby.”

The young pop star has been making headlines throughout the European leg of
his “Believe” tour. In April he was criticismed for suggesting
Anne Frank would have been a fan of his.

But he has been more sensitive during his performances in the Middle East,
pausing his concerts so that fans can pray and leaving out songs that could
offend Muslims.

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Parents of Briton killed in NZ call for tougher tourism regulations

Those who died in the crash with Mr Coker were Patrick Byrne, 26, of County
Wexford, Ireland, Glen Bourke, 18, from Australia, and Annika Schmidt, 23,
from Germany, along with four tandem dive instructors and the pilot.

In their letter, the four families express their “indescribable grief and
anguish” over their loss.

They say they consider an earlier report into the accident and the inquest
findings to be “disturbing” and urge Mr Key to “take decisive
and unequivocal action to reassure the world that New Zealand is a very safe
place to visit”.

Among their requests are the introduction of stricter corporate liability
regulations.

Mr Coker’s father Chris said the fact that nobody had been held accountable
under New Zealand law for the tragedy showed a lack of intent to improve
safety in the industry.

“If you don’t hold anyone to account, how on earth are you going to bring
about a better level of safety?” he said.

Mr Key, who is also the tourism minister, said he is “personally committed”
to improving safety and that his government will urgently consider the
coroner’s recommendations.

Adventure tourism is a big money-spinner for New Zealand but the industry’s
reputation has taken a knock in recent years after a series of tragedies,
including the deaths of 11 people in a ballooning accident in 2012.

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Landmark neo-Nazi trial to begin in Germany

The existence of the gang only came to light in November 2011 when the two men
believed to have founded the NSU with Zschaepe, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe
Boehnhardt, committed suicide after a botched bank robbery and set their
caravan ablaze in the eastern town of Eisenach.

In the charred vehicle, police found the gun used to murder all 10 victims.
They also found a grotesque DVD presenting the NSU and claiming
responsibility for the killings. In it the bodies of the murder victims are
pictured while a cartoon Pink Panther tots up the number of dead.

After her companions’ suicides, Zschaepe is believed to have set fire to a
flat she shared with the men in Zwickau, 110 miles away, and gone on the
run. Four days later she turned herself in to police in her hometown of
Jena, saying “I’m the one you are looking for.”

For the victims’ families the trial will be the first chance to come face to
face with Zschaepe, a woman whose troubling, blank expression and resolute
silence since her arrest has left people struggling to make sense of her
motives.

The trial offers a chance for the woman dubbed “Nazi bride” in the
media to break her silence, but few think she will.

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011,
wrote to Zschaepe in May 2012, addressing her as “Dear Sister” and
urging her to use the trial to spread far-right ideology, according to
German media.

Hearings are scheduled into early 2014, and witnesses due to appear include
Zschaepe’s estranged relatives and the parents of Mundlos and Boehnhardt.

Edited by Bonnie Malkin

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Neo-Nazi to go on trial in Germany

The existence of the gang only came to light in November 2011 when the two men
believed to have founded the NSU with Zschaepe, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe
Boehnhardt, committed suicide after a botched bank robbery and set their
caravan ablaze in the eastern town of Eisenach.

In the charred vehicle, police found the gun used to murder all 10 victims.
They also found a grotesque DVD presenting the NSU and claiming
responsibility for the killings. In it the bodies of the murder victims are
pictured while a cartoon Pink Panther tots up the number of dead.

After her companions’ suicides, Zschaepe is believed to have set fire to a
flat she shared with the men in Zwickau, 110 miles away, and gone on the
run. Four days later she turned herself in to police in her hometown of
Jena, saying “I’m the one you are looking for.”

For the victims’ families the trial will be the first chance to come face to
face with Zschaepe, a woman whose troubling, blank expression and resolute
silence since her arrest has left people struggling to make sense of her
motives.

The trial offers a chance for the woman dubbed “Nazi bride” in the
media to break her silence, but few think she will.

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011,
wrote to Zschaepe in May 2012, addressing her as “Dear Sister” and
urging her to use the trial to spread far-right ideology, according to
German media.

Hearings are scheduled into early 2014, and witnesses due to appear include
Zschaepe’s estranged relatives and the parents of Mundlos and Boehnhardt.

Edited by Bonnie Malkin

Source Article from http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568301/s/2b8ca989/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cnews0Cworldnews0Ceurope0Cgermany0C10A0A396140CNeo0ENazi0Eto0Ego0Eon0Etrial0Ein0EGermany0Bhtml/story01.htm

Aussie retailers calling for rate cut



AUSTRALIAN retailers hope March trading figures are just a “temporary blip” as they urge the Reserve Bank to slash interest rates even further.


Retail sales fell 0.4 per cent in March, with household goods and clothing retailers suffering the biggest declines, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

Australian National Retailers Association Chief Executive Officer Margy Osmond says consumers are still carefully watching their money.

“March is always a difficult month to predict … it’s a temporary blip,” she told reporters on Monday.

“We’ve had unseasonably warm weather and Good Friday, which combined to see a drop in discretionary spending.”

Ms Osmond said despite the drop in figures, the sector was enjoying its strongest start to the year in more than a decade.

“We would urge the RBA to consider cutting interest rates … a cut would certainly help Australian retailers,” she said.

Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the figures reflected a lack of consumer confidence in the economy and the RBA needed to cut interest rates to give the retail sector a boost.

“The ARA still firmly believes the right cash rate sits at around 2.5 per cent or below,” he said in a statement.

“Of course, the banks also need to bring interest rates down to levels which match other economically comparable countries in light of their good profit results and alleviate pressure on their consumer and business borrowers.

“Overall, the 0.4 per cent decrease in March shows the lack of consumer confidence in the whole economic situation in Australia,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The Reserve Bank will announce its monthly decision on interest rates on Tuesday.

Retail sales showed 1.3 per cent increases in January and February and were up 2.2 per cent in the three months to March.

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Shocking burns in footpath inferno

Rubbish heap fire at Auchenflower

The scene after this morning’s blaze. Pic: Mark Calleja
Source: The Courier-Mail



A WOMAN has been taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition after a rubbish pile on a footpath caught fire in Brisbane’s inner-west this morning.


Fire crews raced to the scene on Markwell Street at Auchenflower about 5.50am to find a rubbish pile alight and a woman with severe burns.

QFRS Duty Operations Manager Mark Welsh said crews quickly called paramedics “as a priority” to treat the woman.

It is understood the fire may have been caused by the person pouring petrol on a rubbish pile.

Rubbish heap fire at Auchenflower

The scene after this morning’s blaze. Pic: Mark Calleja

The pile of belongings was probably on the footpath for a curbside collection, police say.

Emergency services say the woman suffered severe burns to more than 70 per cent of her body and is being treated in Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

There have been some media reports of an explosion, however authorities could not confirm this.

with AAP

 

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Palmer has eyes on winning 15 seats

Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer addresses the media.
Source: The Courier-Mail



MINING magnate Clive Palmer predicts his new United Australia Party (UAP) will win up to 15 seats in the next federal election.


Mr Palmer has announced five UAP candidates who will contest Gold Coast seats on September 14.

“I think we’ll win five seats on the Gold Coast, I think we’ll win two on the Sunshine Coast, I think we’ll win some very conservative rural seats,” he told reporters today.

He named four candidates to run for federal seats in the upcoming election. Among them are former city councillors Susie Douglas and Grant Pforr, The Gold Coast Bulletin reports.

Palmer has announced Blair Brewster for the seat of Forde, Angie Ison for Wright, Grant Pforr for Moncrieff, Susie Douglas for McPherson and former Queensland Liberal Party vice-president Jim MacNally for Fadden to run for seats on the Coast under the banner of the UAP.

“I think we can probably win at least 10 to 15 seats in Queensland – you’ve got to remember we only have to finish second if we get preferences from other parties to win.”

However, Mr Palmer said he was confident the UAP would win seats without needing to negotiate a preference deal.

The billionaire businessman called for a “fairer” Australia, claiming federal public servants each cost $100,000 a year more than ordinary workers.

“The cost of a public servant in Canberra today is $165,000 plus all their on-costs – the cost of the average Australian worker is $65,000.

“I think that’s wrong, it has to be changed; there’s got to be a fairer country and a fairer distribution.”

Mr Palmer denied he was espousing a socialist philosophy.

“It’s just about opportunity. People need to be rewarded for effort and we have to look at things on an equitable basis as a government.

“A government’s not there to run a business. A government’s there to provide a service, create an environment and create an opportunity, and we need to get our cake and make it bigger and bigger to create more wealth for the country.”

Mr Palmer said if he was elected prime minister he would be earning less in The Lodge than he was now.

The UAP candidates were introduced to the strains of songs including True Blue, I Am Australian and Waltzing Matilda, as a band played enthusiastically in front of a huge mural of the Great Wall of China.

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Florida Jews want you to pay for their schools

Educators, lay leaders and rabbis representing South Florida Jewish day schools met last month in Tallahassee in a concerted effort to make Gentile taxpayers pay for Jewish schools. The visit was facilitated under the auspices of Chabad, a global Jewish supremacist organization.

“The inaugural mission was to educate legislators in a very personal way about the Jewish day school crisis,” said Elliot S. Schreiber, director of the Jewish Leadership Coalition for School Choice in South Florida.

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson Florida Jews want you to pay for their schools

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson was the most influential Chabad rabbi

The multi-denominational group was led through the Capitol by Rabbi Schneur Oirechman, of Chabad of Tallahassee.

Oirechman said, “It is so important to the Jewish community to have our needs addressed. Jewish education is something we all care about.”

For Rabbi Oirechman the day was less about lobbying and more about Jewish people uniting for a Jewish cause.

“My work here typically focuses on Jewish outreach and I was so glad of the unique opportunity to facilitate a day that can potentially have such a large impact on the Jewish children of Florida. It was truly a historical mission to see such a large delegation of Jewish leaders unite to work toward the common goal of getting Jewish children to attend Jewish schools.”

Chabad

 Florida Jews want you to pay for their schools

Source Article from http://www.destroyzionism.com/2013/05/06/florida-jews-want-you-to-pay-for-their-schools/