New Old Times

British troops in the then crown colony of Aden, 1965

Oh and they got a new acronym (AQAP) al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Are people seriously still falling for this shit?

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Sir Howard Newby Does Not Have Carnal Relations With Badgers

Just to make it abundantly clear to legal action averse and ‘Sir’ Howard I wish to state categorically that he does not in any way have carnal relations with badgers. And nor does his fragrant wife Lady Sheila Newby. If, for example, one were to leave him (or her) alone with several nubile young badgers, a tube of KY, a bottle of wine and a DVD of ‘Badger Watch’ no untoward activity would take place. Badgers, not to put too fine a point on it, are entirely safe from moral danger and lasciviousness while in the company of the Newbys. Running universities and personal ethics however are another matter.

Aid Convoy Enters Gaza

17.30 GMT Wednesday 6th January
One month, thousands of miles, ten countries, one ship and a four flights later, Viva Palestina has begun to enter the besieged Gaza Strip.

“We are all emotional to see that all of Gaza are out to greet us! Our Viva Palestina convoy is symbolic! It shows the Palestianian people just how much the people of the West do care. We come in peace to deliver humanitarian aid and we hope that our convoy (and convoy’s like ours) will help to build pressure on the Israeli government to break the siege.” Kevin Ovenden, convoy leader

18.30 GMT – Convoy continues to move into the strip to be greeted by flowers and flag-waving crowds. Press conference later to be followed tomorrow with ceremony to hand over the aid.

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2009 Deadliest Year For Afghan Children

RAWA– KABUL (PAN): The outgoing year was the deadliest year for Afghan children since the ouster of the Taliban regime in late 2001, a human rights watchdog said here on Wednesday.

More than 1,050 children under 18 years of age were killed in suicide attacks, air strikes, improvised explosive device blasts and crossfire between warring parties in 2009, the organisation said.

In a detailed report released today, the Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) alleged children were recruited for military purposes, harassed, sexually exploited and detained illegally.

They were deliberately deprived of access to basic rights such as education and health by Taliban insurgents, pro-government forces and other armed groups, the group added.

ARM Director Ajmal Samadi said: “At least three children were killed in war-related incidents everyday in 2009 and many others suffered in diverse but mostly unreported ways.” Around 2,080 incidents of grave violations of child rights were reported during the year.

About 64 percent of the child victims were killed in 2009 as a result of violent incidents perpetrated by the Taliban militants, who recruited dozens of underage boys as foot soldiers and suicide attackers.

Besides murdering several children on charges of espionage or working for the government and its foreign supporters, the insurgents deprived hundreds of thousands of boys and girls of education.

Widespread attacks on aid workers, humanitarian convoys and facilities denied thousands of children access to life-saving services such as food aid and immunisation against deadly diseases.

Afghan and foreign forces did little to ensure child protection in counterinsurgency operations, the ARM complained, saying the alleged killing of eight students in Narang district of Kunar province on December 26 by US Special Forces and their Afghan companions appeared to be an appalling act of crime against civilians.

“NATOs accusation that the teenagers were involved in bomb-making activities does not justify their group-killing,” Samadi said, adding the claim that foreign forces came under fire contradicted government findings, which the victims were not combatants.

According to the report, the recruitment and use of children by police and private security companies continued throughout 2009 with little government intervention to curb the unlawful practice.

Several cases of sexual violence against children were reported with the alleged involvement of police officers, forces from registered private security firms and other militia actors but no case reached formal adjudication due to rampant corruption in government institutions and lack of support for victims.

“Whilst children were increasingly affected by war and crimes in Afghanistan, the government failed to introduce appropriate legal and practical mechanisms to mitigate their sufferings, protect them against the harm of war and bring alleged criminals to justice,” said Samadi.

ARM urged warring parties to pay attention to the plight of children and publicly recommit to their protection, safety and well-being. It went on to ask the government to establish an authorised body to work on child protection issues and to constantly liaise with warring parties on child rights.

The group called for the government to set up a special fund for financial, health and social support services for war-affected children. It urged the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to sensitise the insurgents about the rights and protection of children in situations of war.

Permanent Memorial To Jean Charles deMenezes Unveiled 7th Jan

UPDATE: For any of you who were planning to come to the unveiling of the mosaic tomorrow morning, the time has now changed to 10am due to the snow. We hope you can still make it if you live nearby – it will be a short and sweet ceremony. Please come and show your support if you can, as this may be the last public event for some time.
Happy new year from all at the Justice4Jean campaign.

Just a quick note to let you know some very exciting news. The family of Jean Charles de Menezes will be unveiling a permanent memorial to Jean Charles at Stockwell tube station at 9am on Thursday 7 January 2010.

After a public campaign by the Menezes family last year, Transport for London agreed to mark the Menezes shooting by installing a mosaic in Jean Charles’ image outside Stockwell station. Your support during the public campaign to get the memorial last year made a massive difference – thank you all so much!

Vivian Figueiredo, cousin of Jean Charles said today,

“The 7 January would have been Jean’s 31st birthday. We will be marking this day by unveiling a mosaic which will serve as a lasting legacy to the injustice that took place at Stockwell. We hope generations to come will remember Jean Charles through this memorial and it will act as a public reminder that police officers should not be above the law”

We would love to see you down there on Thursday for the big unveiling – 9am, Thursday 7 January, Stockwell Tube


Taser International co-founder and CEO Rick Smith shows how the company's X-26 Taser can be mounted to a rifle. The X-26 is being used in this manner by the military in Iraq. (pic. In These Times)

In November there was outcry after a 10-year-old American girl was tasered by police called in by her mother when she refused to take a shower. Police have so often been accused of using Tasers gratuitously that the firm started fitting them with digital cameras that recorded every firing. This “Taser-cam” got the firm’s boffins thinking: why not equip police with cameras that can record entire incidents (not just the brief moment when a Taser is used) and even beam the recordings instantly back to the higher-ups at headquarters?

The result is a “tactical on-officer network computer” called AXON, which is being tested by several police forces in America. Recordings are uploaded to a restricted website,, to be viewed by approved personnel. Mr Smith says that the creation of a sort of “secure YouTube of global law enforcement” could be beneficial both for the public, who would get more accountable police, and for officers on the beat, who could be vindicated more quickly if falsely accused of brutality. But the biggest winner would be Taser, which expects to charge $1,700 for the hardware, plus $99 per device per month to manage all the data.

Mmm yes if there’s one thing our police murdering people has shown is that when video exist of the crime they certainly are forthcoming with it…Jeebus, Martina and Jeremy, this will give Taser inc and police HQ a head start in muddying the waters, counter claiming and defending from brutality and wrongful death suits and if the video inescapably proves Tasers killed a person… Yeah that will get released voluntarily by the police and Taser Inc. sure it will, you can have their word on that as manufactures and users of non-lethal weapons …that have killed over three hundred people. Who have autopsy reports altered and sues local authorities for protecting their own citizens as part of an ‘aggressive’ global legal campaign to destroy negative information about their non-lethal lethal weapons.

Oh and remember all the new gear they have coming, of course we are buying some-

Last June it launched the XREP (extended range electronic projectile), a wireless device that can be fired from a shotgun to zap someone up to 100 feet (30 metres) away. Unlike the pinprick caused by the original wired dart, which has a range of up to 35 feet, “this will leave an ugly mark, but it won’t kill you,” says Mr Smith. In November it launched the X3, a semi-automatic stun-gun that allows three shots, “in case the first one misses”.

the Home Office is considering issuing UK police forces with the new wireless stun gun called the Taser X-REP

One Third of UK TASER Usage is by Non-Firearms Officers

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Help The Aid Convoy For Gaza

Contact the relevant Egyptian Embassy Here. Updates here and here.

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