Plato's Guns

M i d e a s t Newsstand

Month: April, 2015

US Navy ships to accompany US-flagged ships in Gulf – AP

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Navy ships will begin accompanying U.S. commercial ships during their transit through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf to ensure they encounter no interference from Iran, U.S. defense officials said Thursday.

The new policy, which has not yet officially been announced, was adopted in response to what Washington views as provocative Iranian behavior. Earlier this week Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps naval vessels reportedly fired warning shots near a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship and have detained it and its crew.
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Tom Cotton and Javad Zarif face off on Twitter – Reuters

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(Reuters) – Amid heated debate over Iran policy in the U.S. Senate, one of the leading congressional critics of the international negotiations with Tehran squared off with the country’s foreign minister on Twitter.
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The Saudi succession: Palace intrigues – The Economist

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SAUDI ARABIA woke on April 29th to a political upheaval in the royal family, one of the world’s most opaque. At 4am the state media announced that King Salman had appointed a new heir to the throne, and the successor to that heir. Muhammad bin Nayef, the interior minister and second-in-line to the throne, was elevated to crown prince. He replaces Muqrin, the king’s half-brother and the youngest living son of Abdel Aziz al-Saud, who founded the modern kingdom in 1932. The new deputy crown prince is the 30-something son of the king, Muhammad.
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Ethiopians block Jerusalem roads over police brutality – AFP

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Jerusalem (AFP) – Scuffles broke out in central Jerusalem Thursday between security forces and around 2,000 Ethiopian protesters demanding an investigation into alleged police brutality against Africans living in Israel.

The demonstrators were seen trying to march on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence but were blocked off by a heavy police deployment equipped with a water cannon.
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Israeli military worries over troops’ use of social media | Reuters

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(Reuters) – Israel’s armed forces see a growing threat in instant messaging applications — both to battlefield secrecy and to the privacy of women soldiers.

According to official military journal Bamahane, the number of troop indictments for sex crimes has almost doubled since 2012, with “infringement of privacy” counts, some involving the collection and sharing of compromising photographs, making up 35 percent of cases.
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Racism Is Real • BRAVE NEW FILMS – YouTube

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Saudi Arabia Is Burning Through Its Foreign Reserves at a Record Pace – Yahoo Finance

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Saudi Arabia is burning through foreign reserves at a record pace as the largesse of the new king and regional turmoil ratchet up pressure on public finances already hurt by the oil price slump.
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US is No Longer a Democracy – Princeton Study

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https://platosguns.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/tyranny-of-the-majority-cartoon.jpg?w=534&h=361

A recent study of the University of Princeton came to a stunning result: The US is no longer a democracy, because political decisions don’t serve the needs of citizens, but rather the interests of a small economic elite.

The findings of the recent Princeton research study showed that economic elites and organized groups have a substantial influence on the policy of the US government while groups representing the interests of the mass of Americans as well as ordinary citizens have little or no influence on politics.

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BALTIMORE SOLIDARITY SPREADS: Denver police use pepper spray on downtown protesters; 11 arrested – The Denver Post

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A protest in downtown Denver on Wednesday evening turned violent and police used force and pepper spray on demonstrators.

Eleven adults were arrested, police said: Eight men and three women.

Two of the arrests were felonies for assault on police and robbery. The rest of the arrests were on misdemeanors of resisting police, disobedience of lawful orders, obstructing roadways, and interference, police said on Twitter.
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Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Old fears, new threats? – Al Jazeera English

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Anti-Zionism is a new form of anti-Semitism, that is according to Professor Robert S. Wistrich who contends that, “in many quarters what anti-Zionism has become over three, four decades and especially more recently … is a kind of mask for an increasingly open form of demonisation, even slander of the essence of the whole Zionist project.”
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COMPLETE INTERVIEW: Jon Stewart Interviewes Judith Miller On The daily show (4/30/2015) – YouTube

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Vietnam War 40 years on, enemies now friends but still pain – AP

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HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (AP) — This city once known as Saigon was festooned in red banners on Thursday that read “Long Live the Glorious Communist Party of Vietnam,” 40 years after northern forces seized control of the country and America walked away from a divisive and bloody war that remains a painful sore.

Thousands of Vietnamese, including war veterans in uniform, lined up to watch soldiers and traditional performers parade through the streets of what is now Ho Chi Minh City.
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IN SOLIDARITY: New York Marchers protest police violence in Baltimore, over 100 arrested – Reuters & Youtube Video

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BALTIMORE (Reuters) – Protesters marched against police violence in cities from New York to Denver on Wednesday, and a large demonstration in Baltimore ended peacefully two days after rioting over the death of a black man injured in police custody.

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Police arrest 6-year-old Palestinian boy for throwing stones – The Times of Israel

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Israeli police arrested a six-year-old Palestinian boy and his older brother, 12, in east Jerusalem on Tuesday night, after they were suspected of throwing stones at a bus, Haaretz reported Wednesday.
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Marco Rubio utterly humiliates himself: How shameless pandering won him the Sheldon Adelson primary – Salon.com

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Marco Rubio loves Israel, and he hates Iran. Did you know this? Well, just in case you didn’t: he does.
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Why Russia is calling a book by a holocaust survivor ‘Nazi propaganda’ – CSMonitor.com

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How’s this for irony? A Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, told through the eyes of a Holocaust survivor, has been banned in Russia as Nazi propaganda, because the novel’s cover sports a swastika.

Cartoonist Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel about the Holocaust, “Maus,” features a pair of mice, portraying Jews, hunched beneath a caricature of Adolf Hitler, portrayed as cat-like. Behind Hitler is a large swastika.
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Ferguson Activist Smacks Down CNN Blitzer on Baltimore: Broken Windows Are Worse Than Spines? – YouTube

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Iran willing to submit to ‘highest’ transparency: FM – AFP

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New York  – Iran is willing to submit to the highest level of international transparency on its nuclear program and wants to conclude a final accord as soon as possible, its foreign minister said Wednesday.

“The (UN nuclear agency) IAEA has seen everything and if you’re looking for a smoking gun, you’ve got to wait a long, long, long time before you get one,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told an audience at New York University.
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With Saudi Arabia Faltering in Yemen, Power in the Region Has Begun To Swing East – Alastair Crooke

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Saudi Arabia has announced the end to its campaign in Yemen, but nevertheless air attacks against Ansar Allah and former President Saleh-allied components of the Yemeni army still continue — albeit on a lesser scale. A Saudi newspaper (without any trace of irony) has announced “mission accomplished.” So what is afoot, here?
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Yemen rebels and allies advance in southern city of Aden – AP

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SANAA, Yemen  — Yemen’s Shiite rebels and their allies advanced in the southern city of Aden on Wednesday, capturing parts of an upscale neighborhood and seizing men they accuse of fighting them from their homes.

Security officials in the city said the rebels, known as Houthis, aided by military forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, had moved up the seaside road in the neighborhood of Khormaksar, taking an area stretching from the Russian Consulate to the Crater business district.

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The Hasbara Project: Zionists occupy American Mass Media – YouTube

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Eating disorders among IDF female soldiers up 200% in 10 years – The Times of Israel

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The number of reported cases of IDF women soldiers who suffer from eating disorders has grown 200 percent over the past decade, according to a report on Channel 2’s Hebrew-language website.

“My friends who were with me in basic training told me that they put their fingers down their throats and didn’t eat all day,” Noa (not her real name), a soldier, said in an interview with Channel 2. “That was when I started asking questions: How do I get skinny? How do I take off the weight? Do I eat or not? Do I throw up or not? I used to throw up right after every meal.”
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Obama vows ‘never again’ on 70th anniversary of liberation of Nazi’s Dachau camp – Jerusalem Post

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US President Barack Obama mourned on Wednesday the more than 40,000 people who were killed at Dachau as the world marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp in Germany.
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Austria, backed by 159 nations, calls for ban on nuclear weapons – Reuters

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UNITED NATIONS – Austria on Tuesday called for banning nuclear weapons because of their catastrophic humanitarian effects, an initiative it said now has the backing of 159 countries.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz was speaking at the five-year review conference of the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
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Al Jazeera America Charged with Anti-Semitism, Gender bias in Wrongful Termination Suit – Variety

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A former Al Jazeera America employee has sued the news cabler for wrongful termination, claiming he was fired after complaining about anti-Semitic and sexist behavior by a senior executive.
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Jewish Sen. Bernie Sanders to Run for President – Jewish Press

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King’s powerful son: Saudi Arabia’s future crown prince – AFP

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Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi King Salman’s youthful son Prince Mohammed, appointed Wednesday as second in line to the throne, wields enormous power and is leading a war against rebels in neighbouring Yemen.
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UN Cultural Agency Slams Israel’s Claim to Religious Sites – CNS News

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(CNSNews.com) – The U.N. Education Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) executive board has adopted two resolutions condemning Israel for activities at locations whose religious significance for Jews goes back thousands of years.

A UNESCO spokesman confirmed that the board did so “by consensus” after a subsidiary commission dealing with external relations voted last week to recommend their passage. The only countries to vote against the two resolutions were the United States, Germany and the Czech Republic in the one case, and the U.S. alone in the other.
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Israeli Cop Kicks Palestinian Child – YouTube

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Iran Tells Syria to Attack Israel on Golan Heights – Arutz Sheva

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Syrian defense minister in rare Iran visit told to open war front against Israel together with Hezbollah, as Iran seeks greater hegemony.

Syrian Defense Minister General Fahd al-Freij arrived in Iran on Tuesday for a rare two-day visit, the first since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, and was reportedly told by his Iranian backers to attack Israel.
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