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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Why Israeli society is nothing to be envied or copied and out of the norm for human rights: A 12-year-old Palestinian can be arrested and interrogated without parents or a lawyer, and held in custody for twice as long as an Israeli of the same age.

Kids Behind Bars: Israel's Arbitrary Arrests of Palestinian Minors

By Julia Amalia Heyer Spiegel on Line
Mahmood at his home in Ya'abad.Zoom
Jonas Opperskalski / DER SPIEGEL
Mahmood at his home in Ya'abad.
Last year, approximately one thousand Palestinian children were arrested by Israeli forces, often for no reason. Advocates point to systemic abuse, including beatings and forced confessions, but the Israeli military remains steadfast.

When the soldiers came to get him, Mahmood says, he wasn't afraid. He crumples a handkerchief in his hand while shaking his head. Maybe a little bit afraid, he mumbles, when the six soldiers pointed their assault weapons at him. Or when they bound his wrists with zip ties, covered his eyes and shoved him on the floor of their four-by-four.

On that warm summer night in early June, Mahmood recalls, he was walking down the village road with his friend Hussein. The two of them were discussing whether it would be possible to smoke rolled-up tobacco leaves like cigarettes. They saw the two military vehicles from far away, but they're not an unusual sight in Ya'abad; the Jewish settlement of Mevo Dotan is located on an opposite hillside and the Israeli army patrols through the surrounding Palestinian villages in order to protect the settlers. But then the vehicle suddenly stopped next to them.Mahmood remembers his palms getting sweaty. But he didn't run away. Why should he? "I hadn't done anything," he says. The soldiers didn't answer when he yelled, "Why are you arresting us?"
Mahmood Bassim Ghanim, 14, relates his story from the sofa in his parents' house in Ya'abad, a village near the Palestinian city of Jenin. An air-conditioning unit, a point of pride for the family, blasts cold air into the room and the father's engineering diploma hangs above the sofa. Mahmood folds the handkerchief flat and smoothes it out. He has the face of a child, the body of an adolescent, and the large hands and feet of an adult.
Mahmood was arrested twice in the space of two months. The first time he spent four days in jail; the second time he was beaten, interrogated and brought back home the next morning. On neither occasion did there seem to be any reason for his arrest. Perhaps the soldiers were bored. Maybe they made a mistake.
Altogether an Ordinary Case
Mahmood has also told his story to Military Court Watch, an organization that collects the testimonies of Palestinian children that have been arrested. Activists with the group have heard many stories like Mahmood's, and they believe him. His case is altogether ordinary.
Every year 700 Palestinian children are arrested by the Israeli army. In 2013 it was more than one thousand. Most of them are accused of throwing rocks -- at vehicles, at soldiers, at Jewish settlers. According to the Israeli military law applied to Palestinians in the West Bank, children above the age of 12 are considered criminally accountable for their actions and 12- and 13-year-olds can face a penalty of up to six months in prison for throwing a rock.
This year, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), released a report about Palestinian minors in military detention. It describes serious violations of the UN's Convention of the Rights of a Child: Abuses seem to be "widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process" from "the moment of the arrest until the child's prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing." The abuses listed in the report range from strangulation using restraints to solitary confinement to threats of physical and, in rare occasions, even sexual violence.
On June 12, exactly one week after Mahmood's arrest, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and later killed on the other end of the West Bank. Their disappearance set off a wave of arrests by the Israeli military, prompting Hamas to launch rockets, and ultimately resulting in the most recent Gaza war. But this all happened after Mahmood was taken from Jaba by the soldiers.
Kicked, Sleep-Deprived, Threatened
In the car, Mahmood recounts, the soldiers sang Hebrew songs and occasionally slapped the two Palestinians in the face or pushed them from their seats. The two teenagers' eyes were covered. Around 11:30 p.m., they were brought to a police station near the Mevo Dotan settlement. Mahmood says a doctor asked him about allergies and illnesses, and that they received water but nothing to eat. They spent the night tied up, with eyes covered on a plastic cot. They had to sit upright and were not allowed to sleep. Every time one of them nodded off, a soldier kicked them.
At 2 a.m., Mahmood was interrogated by a man who spoke good Arabic. He asked: Why were you on the street last night, what were you doing there? Going on a walk with a friend, Mahmood answered. The man became angry, Mahmood says, and threatened to beat him.
Human rights organizations claim the Israeli army's actions in the West Bank are partly a strategy of intimidation, to scare children away from participating in future protests. The army also hopes to obtain information about family members actively working against the occupation.
Most of the mistreatment of Palestinian minors takes place in areas like Hebron, where Israeli settlers and Palestinians live in close proximity. Children living in villages along the separation barrier are also frequently arrested because that's where most of the protests against the occupation take place.
Since 2011, an Israeli organization named B'Tselem has been drawing attention to the "serious violations" of the rights of Palestinian minors arrested under suspicion of throwing stones. The army has released a counterstatement arguing, for example, that a "harsh reality requires a harsh answer."
'It's Just a Little Kid'
A few hours after his interrogation, Mahmood and his friend Hussein were brought to Meggido prison. "I was weak from sleep deprivation and very hungry," says Mahmood. His wrists were hurting from being bound and he was concerned that his family was worried about him. Because Hussein was already 18, he was placed in different wing. Mahmood shared his cell with nine boys: There was a cooking area but no window, only an eye slit in the door and cement slabs to sleep on. The youngest prisoner was just 12 years old. They had to prepare their food themselves, receiving their ingredients from the guards: rice and yoghurt.
On the fourth day, Mahmood was led out of the cell and into a different room, where he was once again interrogated. The man didn't give his name and didn't wear a uniform, Mahmood says, and above all he was angry. He wanted to know details about his family, and asked Mahmood why he threw stones.
"I didn't throw any stones," said Mahmood. The man claimed there was photographic evidence but when Mahmood wanted to see the photos, he said it was not possible. His friend Hussein had testified that Mahmood threw rocks, the man screamed.
The interrogation lasted three hours. In the end, the man put a Hebrew document on the table. Even though Mahmood couldn't read it, he signed it. To this day he still doesn't know what his testimony says.
Israeli lawyers who frequently represent children in front of military courts claim the children are often forced to confess. They sign the documents because they are being threatened with violence or because they have been blackmailed with, for example, their father losing his permission to work in Israel.
Last summer, a video showing the arrest of a five-year-old boy in Hebron spread around the world. In the clip, six armed soldiers encircle Wadia Maswadeh, a little kid wearing shorts and an orange shirt, and then dragged him crying and screaming to the army vehicle. The reason for his arrest: A settler had accused the five-year-old of throwing a stone at his car.

An officer later reprimanded the soldiers, claiming that the event didn't fit Israel's national image. In the future, he said, they should make sure they're not being filmed in such situations. A few weeks ago, a recording was also made of the arrest of a seven year old. It shows him, carrying his Spider-Man schoolbag, being dragged away screaming by three soldiers in battle gear. In the background a woman screams, "What are you doing there, it's just a little kid."Two Different Rules of Law
Gaby Lasky, a human rights lawyer who has been honored for her work on the issue, says that innocent children are repeatedly arrested under false pretenses. Her office is currently representing five underage Palestinians that are in military custody. Lasky is fighting for the right of Palestinian children to be treated not merely as security threats, but as children. She wants the army to stop wrenching children out of their beds during their nighttime raids, saying that minors should be summoned in writing instead. Furthermore, Lasky is demanding that a parent be allowed to accompany them and that they not be interrogated alone. She also wants all interrogations to be recorded and documents translated into Arabic.
None of that is currently the norm. In the West Bank there are two different systems of law for Israelis and Palestinians: Israeli civil law for the one, military law for the other. A 12-year-old Palestinian can be arrested and interrogated without parents or a lawyer, and held in custody for twice as long as an Israeli of the same age. And while Palestinians are considered criminally responsible at age 12, Israelis are not liable until the age of 14.
Mahmood belongs to the second generation of Palestinians to grow up under the Israeli occupation, in a world dictated by checkpoints, inspections, curfews and nightly house searches. In the West Bank alone, 11 Palestinian children or teenagers were killed this year -- 10 by soldiers, one by settlers.
Psychologists speak of a trauma that spans generations, saying that the constant conflict and violence has a serious effect on children's psychology. "Even the youngest ones see that their parents cannot protect them, because, unlike an 18-year-old soldier, they don't have any say," says Sunny Gordon Bar, a psychologist that campaigns for support for children in military custody.
"Children fight against children here, and the older ones are the crueler ones because they have more pull," says Avichai Stollay, a 30-year-old who works as a documentarian with Breaking the Silence, an organization founded by former soldiers. He describes the point of view of many soldiers as: "Every Palestinian is the enemy, and you need to defend your land." He himself has kicked tied-up Palestinians in the back, and has thrown families out of their beds in the middle of the night and searched through their homes. He and his comrades have locked parents and children in separate rooms so that the soldiers could then watch a football game in the living room.
Over the past year, Breaking the Silence has collected about one thousand testimonies describing soldier violence and misconduct. Stollar just visited a 23-year-old who described to him his service at a checkpoint -- how he locked children into wire cages, sometimes for hours, even in the cold and the rain, because they got on his nerves. "Such experiences aren't uncommon -- that is the reality in the army."
Other soldiers describe how they tied up 12-year-old Palestinians with zip ties, lay them on the floor with their eyes covered and stepped "lightly on their testicles." They describe how they threw shock grenades and tear gas into village mosques because they were bored.
The head of the Military Advocate General, a lieutenant colonel of the Israeli army whose name cannot be revealed for security reasons, never speaks of "children" -- preferring terms such as "minors," "suspects" or "the detained." His office in the Ofer Military Base near Ramallah is a white container and he leads a friendly tour of the compound, which feels like a high-security camp ground. All the while, he complains about the UN.
The UNICEF report accusing his army of systematically abusing children is "100 percent false." Just like the reports by organizations like B'Tselem or Breaking the Silence, which he describes as "self-hating Jews, worse than anti-Semites." Stone-throwing is a serious crime that needs to be punished appropriately, he says.
'Of Course, I'm Afraid'
Mahmood's father, Bassim Ghanim, stands on the steps in front of their light-colored stone house. His son has changed, he says, and Mahmood now spends a lot of time alone. When the family sits together during dinner, Mahmood takes his plate and goes back into the kitchen. Most nights he sleeps at his grandparents'. "He is hiding," his father says. He doesn't even like having his brothers around him.

His mother Suha makes some tea and says Mahmood doesn't hug her anymore, like he did before. When he sleeps at home, she can hear him screaming in his sleep.Mahmood was never convicted, and came back home after four days, with a few bruises from the shackles and blows. But when a car drives by outside, or if he hears a loud motor, he jumps.
The 14 year old withdraws to his room, with its Mickey Mouse sheets and bright blue walls with Disney stickers. "Of course I'm afraid," he says in his quiet bedroom.

31 comments:

  1. It's the west bank, not Israel proper.

    Out of necessity the same rules do not apply on the west bank as in Israel proper.

    We could recall how this situation came to be......but that would be tough for the pro arab crowd here.

    At any rate, I no longer even trust any of Deuce's 'sources', not even such stellar sources such as Pontius Pilate.

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    1. I doubt you know anything about Pontius Pilate, yet amusingly your comment could be what your characterization of him would be:
      Out of necessity the same rules do not apply in Judea as in Rome proper.

      As Pilate might say, Imperiosa personalities, (The Authoritarian Personality) defines Israel.

      Delete
    2. I'm certain you don't know anything about Pontius Pilate.

      Delete
    3. .

      It's the west bank, not Israel proper.

      Out of necessity the same rules do not apply on the west bank as in Israel proper.



      How low do you have to stoop to rationalize the abuse of children?

      .

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    4. Abuse of children?

      BULLSHIT.

      When teenagers are caught throwing rocks at people, cars and soldiers and can be caught?

      They are caught and interrogated.

      This is not abuse of children, it's a war zone with child soldiers fighting as low level interference.

      But let's focus on Israel and it's supposed "abuse of kiddies" while actual MURDER is being committed.

      Quirk, is it or was it "child abuse" for hamas to execute 168 palestinian kids after they were finished digging tunnels?

      Is it child abuse to send your kids out to throw rocks at passing cars?

      In many cases, vans and buses take palestinian "children" to points outside of their villages so they can set up protests with rock throwing, then when the IDF responds? They can capture the abuse on video.

      LOL

      The West Bank aint a paradise.

      Delete
    5. Deuce ☂Wed Oct 08, 06:10:00 AM EDT
      I doubt you know anything about Pontius Pilate, yet amusingly your comment could be what your characterization of him would be:
      Out of necessity the same rules do not apply in Judea as in Rome proper
      As Pilate might say, Imperiosa personalities, (The Authoritarian Personality) defines Israel.




      Pontius Pilate crucified over 100,000 Jews to death in his short but bloody term as Dictator of Judea.

      When Israel starts crucifying Palestinians let me know...

      Delete
  2. I was posting at the end of the last thread about that old coot Sam Parnia, and how he is finally switching.

    Humorous to me.

    I posted the article from Drudge and life 'after' death, NDE's, and old coot Sam.

    NOW, after all this time, he wants to investigate with an 'unprejudiced' eye.

    Well, har de har har har

    ;)

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    1. Oh well, here -



      There is scientific evidence to suggest that life can continue after death, according to the largest ever medical study carried out on the subject.

      A team based in the UK has spent the last four years seeking out cardiac arrest patients to analyse their experiences, and found that almost 40 per cent of survivors described having some form of “awareness” at a time when they were declared clinically dead.

      Experts currently believe that the brain shuts down within 20 to 30 seconds of the heart stopping beating – and that it is not possible to be aware of anything at all once that has happened.

      But scientists in the new study heard said they heard compelling evidence that patients experienced real events for up to three minutes after this had happened – and could recall them accurately once they had been resuscitated.

      Dr Sam Parnia, an assistant professor at the State University of New York and a former research fellow at the University of Southampton who led the research, said that he previously(believed) that patients who described near-death experiences were only relating hallucinatory events.

      One man, however, gave a “very credible” account of what was going on while doctors and nurses tried to bring him back to life – and says that he felt he was observing his resuscitation from the corner of the room.

      Speaking to The Telegraph about the evidence provided by a 57-year-old social worker Southampton, Dr Parnia said: “We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating.

      “But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes.

      “The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three minute intervals. So we could time how long the experienced lasted for.

      “He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened.”

      Dr Parnia’s study involved 2,060 patients from 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria, and has been published in the journal Resuscitation.

      Of those who survived, 46 per cent experienced a broad range of mental recollections, nine per cent had experiences compatible with traditional definitions of a near-death experience and two per cent exhibited full awareness with explicit recall of “seeing” and “hearing” events – or out-of-body experiences.

      Dr Parnia said that the findings of the study as a whole suggested that “the recalled experience surrounding death now merits further genuine investigation without prejudice”.

      Dr Jerry Nolan, editor-in-chief of the journal which published the research, said: “The researchers are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/life-after-death-largestever-study-provides-evidence-that-out-of-body-and-neardeath-experiences-may-actually-be-real-9780195.html

      Delete
  3. Israel’s Bright Future
    October 8, 2014 by Joseph Puder 0 Comments


    A new year is generally a time to assess the past and consider the future. The year 5775 (in the Jewish calendar) is no different. A look back at this past year, with the grim reality of the Islamic State’s (IS) cruel terror, the general instability in the Middle East, and the recent 50-day war in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist terror group Hamas, could easily lead one to despair. This mayhem and bloodshed has also obscured the dynamism and progress the marks Israel’s society.

    A comparison between Israel, circa 1984, with Israel of 2014 reveals the country’s incredible growth and its maturity as a developed nation – a nation now commonly referred to as the “Start-Up Nation.” A few statistical facts convey the nation’s dramatic growth. Israel’s population in 1984 stood at 4.1 million, doubling in 30 years to 8.2 million. This means more security for the nation by virtue of a larger standing army and reserves, and less impact on the economy during military mobilization.

    While Israel is faced with an existential threat from a nuclear Iran, terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, IS and al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front in Syria, and Hamas in Gaza, the disintegration of Iraq and Syria with their substantial armies and armament, have lessened the overall strategic threat facing the Jewish state. Egypt, under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the largest and most powerful Arab state, and Saudi Arabia, the primary Sunni Arab state, have found common cause with Israel. They share a concern over Iran’s quest for regional hegemony, and its drive for nuclear arms, as well as Israel’s opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood, and other radical Islamist movements.

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    1. A nation’s strength is not measured by the size of its military, and its ability to deter its enemies alone. National strength is also a function of its economic, social, and cultural achievements. Since 1984 Israel has experienced dramatic improvements in its economy. The inflation rate has declined from 447% to 1.5%, and the interest banks charge declined from 771% to 5%; national debt as a percentage of the GNP has declined from 17% to 2.5%. Likewise, the defense expenditures as a percentage of the GNP went down from 20% to 5.6% (2013), still a bit higher than the U.S. military expenditure of 3.8%. Foreign exchange reserves in dollars grew from $3.3 billion to $90 billion. Exports in 1984 were $10 billion and by 2013 had reached $291.36 billion, while per capita income in 1984 was $7000, and in 2013 it was $34,120. Women in Israel’s labor force amounted to 30% in 1984; it now stands at 53%. And while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the U.S. (2013) grew by 1.9%, in the U.K. 1.7%, France’s 0.2%, Israel’s GDP growth was 3.3%.

      Naturally, Israel has economic and social problems. To reach its full potential Israel needs to increase the number of ultra-orthodox Jews and Arabs in the labor market. The high cost of apartments (due to shortage in supply) has been especially difficult for young couples seeking their first home and is a factor in the emigration of bright young people. There are not enough rental apartments for the post-military young. Defense expenditures are still high, but unavoidable. However, when compared with the rest of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) states, Israel’s situation is improving yearly, which is not the case elsewhere in Western countries.

      OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria had this to say about Israel (March 8, 2011) “In a very short period, Israel has become an important contributor to OECD’s work. It is now a full member of more than 100 Committees and bodies, and vice-chairs of 5 of them. Its knowledge on key areas for the viability of our economies, like water management, ‘clean-techs’ and entrepreneurship, is becoming a source of best practices. Its contribution to our privacy protection standards and consumer protection policy has been outstanding. Its support for our work with the MENA countries is also highly valuable.”

      Delete
    2. An overview of the Israeli economy by the OECD pointed out that “Israel’s output growth has been impressive, considering global economic weakness, and the output gap is close to zero in contrast to much of the OECD area. The unemployment rate is at a 30-year low, and labor force participation has been rising steadily. Furthermore, new natural gas fields have provided an additional boost to GDP in recent quarters. Substantial public spending cuts and revenue-raising measures legislated in the latest government budget are set to bring fiscal balances back on target for this year and next.”

      Billionaire investor Warren Buffett described (5/2/2013) Israel as the “most promising investment hub outside the U.S.” Buffett added that, “[w]e are the world’s fifth-biggest investment firm, but for me the number-one country is Israel, which is far ahead of larger and richer countries.”

      The United Nation’s Human Development Index (UN-HDI) for 2014 ranked Israel #19 among 194 member states, ahead of France (#20), Austria and Belgium (#21), Finland (#24), and Italy (#26). The HDI measures life expectancy, education, and income levels in various countries.

      In the cultural sphere, Israel is #1 in the world in the number of museums per person. It has over 200 museums, and counting. Israel leads the world in the re-use of sewage water (about 80%) while in second place, Australia’s rate is only 22%. The Jewish state leads the world in the number of people employed in research and development. For every 10,000 workers, Israel has 140 employees, while second place U.S. has 85 (According to Dr. Adam Reuter, CEO of Financial Immunities Consulting, and the Chairman of Reuter-Maydan Investment House). A Wall Street/ NBC-TV survey has found Israel to be the second most educated nation in the world following Canada, above Japan.

      The British Economist survey on the best places in the world to be born and live placed Israel as the 20th, ahead the U.K., France, Italy, and Japan. A 2012 Bloomberg poll ranked Israel’s health system as the sixth best in the world, ahead of the U.S. and many European states. Life expectancy for men in Israel ranked second among 146 states polled, women’s life expectancy in Israel was ranked 13.

      According to Reuter-Maydan Investment House in 2013, for every 10 Jewish children born, there were 2.4 Arab children born, a decline from the year 2000, when the ratio was 10/3 Jewish to Arab children. Since 2000, the Arab population growth in Israel stabilized at around 40,000 births a year. Jewish births at the same time increased from 95,000 to 125,000 a year. Significantly, the Jewish-Israeli growth has come mostly from secular Jews, especially among immigrants from the former Soviet Union. There has also been a significant decline of birthrates in the Arab sector as a result of better education among Arab women, and Westernization in the Arab sector. Also noted was a dramatic decline in birthrates among Bedouin women, due to the lowering of national insurance paid to families with children.

      The Israeli economy is strong. The newly found gas and oil tracts offshore will make Israel a net exporter of energy within five years. A low rate of unemployment and a high rate of investments make Israel an attractive destination for West European Jews fleeing anti-Semitism. Israel’s excellent health system and vibrant cultural life keep Israelis happy and proud of their country. While the recent Gaza war entailed hardship for many Israelis, the Israel Defense Forces proved more than capable in dealing with the situation. In summary, despite the grim reality in the region, Israel’s future appears to be bright.

      http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/joseph-puder/israels-bright-future/

      Delete
    3. Rufus claims that Israel can't last, that it has no staying power.

      The above article provides plenty of reasons to think otherwise.

      Minus a nuclear holocaust, Israel will do just fine.

      Delete
    4. Poor rat, he hates the thought.

      So I will repeat it.

      Israel will do just fine.

      Delete
    5. Last two of the German boomer subs to be delivered soon, too.

      Delete
  4. Lunar eclipse on going right now.

    Just stepped outside to see it.

    Nice, and no city lights................

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  5. MURSITPINAR, Turkey/ANKARA, Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S.-led air strikes on Wednesday pushed Islamic State fighters back to the edges of the Syrian Kurdish border town of Kobani, which they had appeared set to seize after a three-week assault, local officials said.

    The town has become the focus of international attention since the Islamists' advance drove 180,000 of the area's mostly Kurdish inhabitants to flee into adjoining Turkey, which has infuriated its own restive Kurdish minority -- and its NATO partners in Washington -- by refusing to intervene.

    Islamic State hoisted its black flag on the eastern edge of the town on Monday but, since then, air strikes have redoubled by a U.S.-led coalition that includes Gulf states seeking to reverse the jihadists' dramatic advance across northern Syria and Iraq.

    Intense gunfire could be heard on Wednesday morning from across the Turkish border.

    "They are now outside the entrances of the city of Kobani. The shelling and bombardment was very effective and as a result of it, IS have been pushed from many positions," Idris Nassan, deputy foreign minister of Kobani district, told Reuters by phone.

    "This is their biggest retreat since their entry into the city and we can consider this as the beginning of the countdown of their retreat from . . . . . .

    Pushed Back


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  6. GranBio, the 100 percent Brazilian industrial biotech company, has initiated production at the first commercial-scale plant for second-generation (2G) ethanol in the Southern Hemisphere. The Bioflex 1, unit built in São Miguel dos Campos, Alagoas, has an initial production capacity of 82 million liters (21.66 million gallons) of ethanol per year.

    The 2G ethanol produced by GranBio is the cleanest fuel produced on a commercial scale in the world in carbon intensity - 7.55 gCO2/MJ, an indicator confirmed by the Air Resources Board, from California. The calculation takes into account factors starting with the harvest of the raw material, through inputs and energy consumption, transportation and distribution through a port in California. No other fuel . . . . . . . .

    Cellulosic comes to Brazil

    ReplyDelete
  7. The most interesting thing about this plant, in my estimation, is that they're getting down to around $0.25 or $0.30 / Gallon amortized Capital Costs.

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  8. Wow, Israel can arrest Palestinian boys!

    Well at least they are not forced to dig tunnels and executed like hamas does...

    Tell me is this the best of the worst you can come up with?

    LOL

    Just nonsense.

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  9. The child soldiers of Sierra Leone

    Al-haji Sawaneh's story is typical of his generation. Abducted by Sierra Leonean rebels as a child, he was forced to fight alongside them in the bush.

    At the age of 12 he took part in tactical ambushes. He and other Revolutionary United Front (RUF) soldiers would lie silently in wait for government troops, often for days at a time.

    Apparently, he showed talent - his commanders were keen to involve him in the fighting - and became a member of the infamous S.B.U. or Small Boys Unit.

    Sawaneh told BBC World Service how he and the other child soldiers in his unit were deliberately issued with lightweight automatic rifles like AK-47s because the guns were more manageable:

    "They used to give us, the S.B.U, those small guns because if they give us some kind of heavy artillery we would not be able to carry them."

    Thousands of children were involved in the decade-long conflict in Sierra Leone. They acquired a reputation among rebel commanders for unquestioning obedience - and a reputation among civilians for extreme cruelty.

    Empowered by the rifles they carried, and often high on marijuana or crack cocaine, many of the thousands of children who took part in Sierra Leone's 10-year civil war visited terrible atrocities on the civilian population.

    Apart from the infamous ritual 'amputation' of hands, and summary executions, child soldiers sometimes cut open the bellies of pregnant women just to see what sex the child was.

    With the advent of peace in Sierra Leone, the country has attempted to comprehend it's own 'insanity'. Chief among the questions being asked is how factions like the RUF were able to acquire their weapons?

    Without the power of the gun, the guerrillas, and their child recruits, would simply not have been able to terrorise the country in the way they did.

    According to Sawaneh, his commanders told him that the weapons issued to the Small Boys Unit were captured from government troops. The truth is more complex.

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  10. P. W. Singer of the Brookings Institution estimated in January 2003 that child soldiers participate in about three quarters of all the ongoing conflicts in the world.[19] According to the website of Human Rights Watch as of July 2007:

    “ In over twenty countries around the world, children are direct participants in war. Denied a childhood and often subjected to horrific violence, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 children are serving as soldiers for both rebel groups and government forces in current armed conflicts.[20] ”
    Under the terms of Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, children over the age of fifteen who have volunteered can be used as spotters, observers, and message-carriers (see above International humanitarian law). The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has stated that most children serving as soldiers are over fifteen, although many exist at far younger ages.[21]

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  11. In 2004 one estimate put the number of children involved in armed conflict including combat roles at 100,000.[23] In the end titles of the film Blood Diamond, it is claimed that "there are still 200,000 child soldiers in Africa". Many of these children are "invisible children," orphaned by AIDS, violence and war. These children are as young as 7 years old and are forced into conflict due to poverty, sold by their parents, kidnapped, or tricked into joining. Organizations like Invisible Children and films like Invisible Children: Rough Cut help to bring to light the use of child soldiers; Actress Kristen Bell has also been fighting for saving child soldiers through Invisible Children since its founding in 2004.

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  12. William O'Brien, a professor of Georgetown University, wrote about active participation of Palestinian children in the First Intifada: "It appears that a substantial number, if not the majority, of troops of the intifada are young people, including elementary schoolchildren. They are engaged in throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and other forms of violence."[54] Arab journalist Huda Al-Hussein wrote in a London Arab newspaper on 27 October 2000: "While UN organizations save child-soldiers, especially in Africa, from the control of militia leaders who hurl them into the furnace of gang-fighting, some Palestinian leaders… consciously issue orders with the purpose of ending their childhood, even if it means their last breath."[55]

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  13. Consider how the drug cartels in Mexico use young boys as killers.........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is happening here in the United States as well.

      Gangs often used the legally underage to do the crime so there is no hard jail time involved........

      Delete
  14. Literally as we read this blog and all it's nonsense, 12 year boys are having their heads cut off, young girls are being raped, new terror tunnels are being dug and Deuce focuses on Israel and the west bank and how Israel is not a society to be envied.

    Yeah right, please name one other nation in the entire middle east, include turkey and iran for that matter, that can actually even hold Israel's dick when it comes to human rights and treatment of ENEMIES.

    ReplyDelete

  15. Syria's children shot at, tortured, raped: charity report

    (Reuters) - A boy of 12 sees his best friend shot through the heart. Another of 15 is held in a cell with 150 other people, and taken out every day to be put in a giant wheel and burnt with cigarettes.

    Syria's children are perhaps the greatest victims of their country's conflict, suffering "layers and layers of emotional trauma", Save the Children's chief executive told Reuters.

    Syrian children have been shot at, tortured and raped during two years of unrest and civil war, the London-based international charity said in a report released on Wednesday.

    Two million children, it said, face malnutrition, disease, early marriage and severe trauma, becoming innocent victims of a bloody conflict that has already claimed 70,000 lives.

    "This is a war where women and children are the biggest casualty," chief executive Justin Forsyth told Reuters during a visit to Lebanon, where 340,000 Syrians have fled.

    Forsyth said he met a Syrian refugee boy, 12, who saw his best friend killed outside a bakery. "His friend was shot through the heart. But initially, he thought he was joking because there was no blood. They didn't realize he had been killed until they took his shirt off," he said.

    that's next door....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NYPD Officers Swing on 16-Year-Old With His Hands Raised, Then Hit Him in the Face With a Gun
      The latest video evidence of police brutality in New York City comes not via a bystander with a smartphone but from good old-fashioned surveillance footage. DNAinfo has the disturbing tape showing two officers catching up to 16-year-old Kahreem Tribble in Bed Stuy, just after 2 a.m. on August 29. The first cop takes a big swing at Tribble’s face and misses. As the teen backs into a security grate with his hands up, the second officer runs up, gun drawn, and smashes him in the teeth with the weapon. Once on the ground, Tribble gets hit again.

      Delete
  16. Cops Beat Man With Down Syndrome For ‘Bulge In Pants’, When You Find Out What It Was, You’ll Be Furious

    http://politicalblindspot.com/cops-beat-man-with-down-syndrome-for-bulge-in-pants-when-you-find-out-what-it-was-youll-be-furious/

    Police said that they thought there was a weapon in the man’s pants. It turns out it was his colonoscopy bag. How did the officer who beat Gilberto Powell, 22, to a pulp respond after he found out? He just asked how he was supposed to know, “I’m not a doctor!”

    “The family is very upset and really shocked, to be honest,” said attorney Philip Gold. “They can’t believe that this could have happened, let alone to their their son who is an innocent, sweet individual with Down syndrome.”

    The report said officers spotted a bulge in Powell’s waist band. They told him to stop so they could pat him down, but this didn’t make any sense to Powell, who then took off running.

    ReplyDelete


  17. WaPo Ninth Circuit strikes down gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada
    .......................

    Even though the people here voted against it. (I voted for allowing gay marriage)

    I have a couple of gay male tenants. Maybe they will tie the knot now. They are the best tenants I have......quiet, peaceful, pay on time, keep the place clean, mow the lawn........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WaPo Study: Conservative states are more likely to search for sex and porn online
      ...................................

      And, this makes perfect sense.

      After all, it can get lonely down there on the ranch, on the farm, on the rich 360 acres of bottom land..........

      In the City all this stuff is literally right next door.........

      Delete