News roundup

BP TOPKILL: A FAILURE

BP’s topkill strategy has proved ineffective. So, until someone has another idea, the oil just keeps on gushing. How much? Only 25,ooo barrels a day. How much is a barrel of oil? 42 gallons. So this is officially the worst oil spill ever ever in the history of the world. They are now discovering things like massive miles-long underwater flumes of oil suspended in the waters. They have been using chemical dispersants as some sort of remedy, but this is no remedy at all because they only split the big droplets into little droplets so they can sink out of sight underwater. Maybe its good for the birds, but still bad for the fish. And fighting chemicals with chemicals leaves you with a lot of sludge in the ocean. Finally, what was “topkill” anyway? Well, they pumped over a million gallons of heavy mud into the pipe, hoping to clog it. But it didn’t.

Sources: Here (aljazeera blogger), here (Rachel Maddow show), and here (main article by aljazeera plus -highly recommended –video explanation by naomi klein), here (democracynow! discussion of the other oil platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico), and here (discover of underwater oil plumes). See the spill on Google Map here.

ISRAEL APPEARS TO BE ALLOWING SEXUAL ABUSE OF JAILED PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

Multiple reports are surfacing that a number (over a dozen so far) of children have been sexually assaulted by their Israeli captors. Why are children in jail? Mostly for being caught throwing stones. I kid you not: if an Israeli soldier crosses the border and shoots Palestinian civilians, he will not be charged with any crime. But if a Palestinian child of 12 yrs. old throws a stone at this soldier, he may be arrested, jailed, interrogated, and, it now appears, sexually terrorized. All Palestinians from 12 and up are tried in military, not civilian courts. The penalty for throwing stones: 20 years. Can you appeal? No. Israel has over ten thousand Palestinians locked up in prisons, including 340 children. Palestine has one single Israeli locked up in a prison.

Source: here (video plus reporting from aljezeera)

SHIPS EN ROUTE TO BRING FOOD AND AID TO PALESTINIANS: WILL ISRAEL BLOCK THEM?

A convoy of several ships has set sail for the Gaza strip. They are bringing aid, medical supplies, water treatment units, and the like to Gaza, which is suffering immensely from the prolonged siege. A siege that prevents medicine, paper, lentil beans, ketchup, water and sewage treatment machines, bricks, cement, and scores of other items from falling into the hands of the Palestinians. All this in the name of “defense,” says Israel. In the name of defense, Palestinian children are born stunted, and people with diseases are unable to get treatment. The question now is whether Israel will block the ships from docking and giving their aid to the Palestinian civilian population. By the way, to punish a civilian population for political ends is, under the Geneva Conventions, illegal and constitutes a war crime.

Souces: here (aljazeera article), here (video clips from on board the ships at sea – highly recommended)

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