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 on: Oct 30, 2014, 06:14 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad

Nato jets intercept Russian warplanes following 'unusual level of air activity'

Bombers and fighters shadowed during unusual burst of flights over Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic and Black Sea, says alliance

Staff and agencies, Thursday 30 October 2014 07.27 GMT    

Nato aircraft have been scrambled to shadow Russian strategic bombers over the Atlantic and Black Sea and fighter planes over the Baltic in what the western alliance called an unusual burst of activity as tensions remain elevated because of the situation in Ukraine.

In all, Nato said, its jets intercepted four groups of Russian aircraft in about 24 hours since Tuesday and some were still on manoeuvres late on Wednesday afternoon.

“These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European air space,” the alliance said.

A spokesman stressed there had been no violation of Nato air space, unlike a week earlier when a Russian spy plane briefly crossed Estonia’s border. But so many sorties in one day was unusual compared with recent years.

In the biggest exercise four Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers, the 1950s equivalent of the US B-52, flew out over the Norwegian Sea in the early hours of Wednesday, accompanied by four refuelling tanker aircraft.

Norwegian F-16s tracked the formation, which eventually broke up, with six planes heading back toward Russia and two Tu-95s flying on south over the North Sea where they were intercepted by British Typhoons. Portuguese F-16s later tracked them in the Atlantic before they turned for home.

A Norwegian military spokesman said: “We see Russian aircraft near our air space on a regular basis but what was unusual is that it was a large number of aircraft and pushed further south than we normally see.”

In a second incident two Tu-95s accompanied by two fighter jets were being tracked by Turkish aircraft over the Black Sea on Wednesday afternoon, while flights of seven Russian warplanes were monitored on Tuesday and Wednesday over the Baltic Sea.

On Tuesday German and Danish planes were involved in tracking them as well as aircraft from non-Nato states Sweden and Finland. On Wednesday Portuguese F-16s posted in the Baltic intercepted a similar group of fighters and fighter-bombers.

Separately, British jets intercepted a Russian-built Antonov cargo plane that was carrying car parts from Latvia to Birmingham after air traffic controllers became concerned. The plane was diverted to Stansted airport and later cleared to continue its flight.

Nato said it had conducted more than 100 such intercepts of Russian aircraft this year so far, about three times as many as in 2013 before the confrontation with Moscow over separatist revolts in Ukraine soured relations.

President Vladimir Putin has committed to reinvigorating Russia’s armed forces, which had been undermined by the economic troubles that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tension over Ukraine has seen Nato step up its vigilance, especially on its eastern frontiers with Russia.

The spokesman said there was no particular reason for concern over Russian warplanes exercising their right to fly in international air space but that such sorties were shadowed by Nato aircraft as a precaution and to protect civil air traffic.

Material from Reuters was used in this report

 on: Oct 30, 2014, 04:49 AM 
Started by Daniel - Last post by Daniel
Thank you Linda,

I have ordered John Martineau's book so as to specifically better understand the relationship between the two orbital cycles you mentioned.

Prayers for peace,


 on: Oct 30, 2014, 01:14 AM 
Started by Daniel - Last post by Linda
Hi Daniel,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  

VENUS AND MARS, being inner planets, operate more consciously than URANUS AND PLUTO, outer planets, which function mostly unconsciously.

To keep the discussion going, here are a few quotes from Rad and Deva:

The current position, the natal position, of Mars correlates to how to move forwards in this life in order to evolve beyond where the Soul left off with the existing desires from past lifetimes. It is essential to remember that all desires emanate from the Soul. And that the root of such desires to evolve, the ongoing evolutionary journey of the Soul, is of course all symbolized by the natal position of Pluto, and its polarity point. Mars, as an archetype, is the lower octave of Pluto that instinctually acts out, acts upon, those desires emanating from the Soul itself. (Rad)

The individuated unconscious, Uranus, also correlates to the evolutionary intentions of the Soul in the current life manifesting through this individuated unconscious. Those intentions correlate, so to speak, to a ‘master blueprint’ for the entire life. This master blueprint that correlates to the Soul’s evolutionary intentions for the entire life manifests as ‘thought forms’ that percolate into the conscious awareness of the current life ego at key evolutionary stages of the Soul’s development in the current life. In combination this then creates an interfacing of all the long term memories of the Soul’s past that serve to bind the Soul to its past in any given moment of the current life, and the thought forms that manifest from the Soul by way of the current life ego that serve to actualize the evolutionary intentions for the current life. Thus, for a Soul to act upon, actualize, those thought forms that correlate to the Soul’s evolutionary intentions for the current life is to ‘liberate’ from the past that binds the Soul to its past: freedom from the known. (Rad)

Astrologically speaking, Aquarius is the archetype that correlates with projections (from our own unconscious). These projections can be based on past traumas (ie this reminds me of my ex-partner, old friend, parents, etc.) which are then cast onto the other person. These projections can also be based on the person’s own unconscious inner dynamics/structure that are then cast onto others. In other words, the person projects what is inside themselves onto others. Aquarius correlates to the individuated unconscious and also to the dynamic of trauma. (Deva)

Astrologically speaking, expectations are linked with the archetype of Libra. Libra correlates with the nature of our expectations within relationships and our ability (or inability) to reach a balanced state of giving and receiving within relationships. Libra correlates with extremities, and the need to reach a state of balance relative to such extremities. (Deva)

I will also add that Libra correlates to "conditional" love (while Pisces correlates to "unconditional" love).



 on: Oct 29, 2014, 02:06 PM 
Started by Dhyana - Last post by Linda
Hello and welcome Tantrajee!

Yes ~ please translate and send your question to us in English.

I know that your post is written in French.  However, this is a

good opportunity to mention to everyone that we have a

Spanish section on the EA message board moderated by Gonzalo.

Here's the link:

Astrología Evolutiva - Foro en Español



 on: Oct 29, 2014, 09:18 AM 
Started by Dhyana - Last post by tantrajee
PS : Saturne incarne aussi le Besoin et le Devoir de Sécurité.                                                                       Lorsqu’il forme Sesqui Carré aux Planètes personnelles, cela est très déstabilisant, handicapant, hyper bloquant et paranoïsant.                                                                                                                                             

Avec Vénus, c’est l’argent, les sentiments, le choix partenarial et le relationnel amoureux                                         qui sont impactés à cause de nos choix insécures, de notre désobéissance, il y a insuffisance de maturité en la matière (la peur de manquer est une réalité).                                                                                     

Avec Mars en même temps, c’est l’imago du Couple –apporté à la naissance-(nous venons tous au monde avec une Imago du Couple) qui est mis à la question.                                                                                         Ce sont les actes et l’énergie du sujet pour aller chercher de l’argent (pour lui et le couple qu’il forme)                                                         comme pour se relier à ce/ceux qu’il aime, qui peuvent être entravées, empêchées (l’entrave à l’action            est une réalité).                                                 

Les besoins de sécurité ne sont pas entendus ni honorés pour raison de suffisance,                                                       de désobéissance (idiotes, ô combien ?).                                                                                                                   C’est un vécu de conscience et une réalité inacceptable pour Saturne et concrètement                                –vu l’état de société actuelle- très dommageable.                                                                                     

Le porteur de ce triple aspect -c'est moi- (Vénus Carré Mars, Saturne Sesqui Carré Mars et Vénus,                      sans parler des 2 semi-carrés Vénus et Mars au Soleil) ne comprend rien                                                   à cette nécessité de vie et est en conflit tant avec lui-même qu’avec autrui.                                 

Conflit intrapsychique et conflit interpersonnel pour non respect au Devoir obligé de sécurité

Saturne/Soleil Opposés en 3e/9e : le sujet n’arrive pas à comprendre quelque chose.                                           Capricorne/Cancer : responsabilité et infantilité coexistent en lui

1er Sesqui : espace symbolique Lion (Fierté rebelle de l’expression libre de l’Ego                                              -fausse belle image puisqu’elle n’est pas accréditée mais discréditée par Saturne-)

2e Sesqui : espace symbolique Scorpion (Libre exercice du pouvoir apparent de l’Ego                                                 dans l’espace du partage des ressources mais aussi dans l’espace de transformation doublement obligée -par le signe symbolique et par le sesqui-).                                                       

Revoir sa liberté de choix à la baisse car handicapée et handicapante et rentrer dans l’ordre requis                       par les figures d’autorité et sécuritaires –Saturne-

NB : for those who need , I can write, translate my text in english
Only ask it !

 on: Oct 29, 2014, 06:03 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
In the USA...United Surveillance America

For Marijuana, a Second Wave of Votes to Legalize

OCT. 28, 2014

KEIZER, Ore. — Two years after voters in Colorado and Washington State broke the ice as the first states to legalize sales of recreational marijuana to adults, residents of Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., will vote next week on ballot measures patterned on those of the two pioneers. People on both sides of the issue say these initiatives could determine whether there will be a national tide of legalization.

A changing political landscape has weakened anti-marijuana efforts. As the libertarian movement in the Republican Party has gained force, with leaders like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, supporting decriminalization of marijuana and others going even further, an anchor of the conservative opposition to legalization has eroded.

And Democrats have found that supporting legalization — once an invitation to be labeled soft on crime — no longer carries the risk it once did, as public discussion of prison overcrowding and law enforcement budgets has reframed the issue.

National groups that have long advocated legalization have provided labor and money, along with help from a legal marijuana industry that did not exist in 2012. The old antidrug coalition has struggled to find traction and money. Supporters of legalization have outdone opponents’ fund-raising here in Oregon by more than 25 to 1, and in Alaska by about 9 to 1.

“The support coalition is definitely broader, and the opposition has splintered,” said Corey Cook, an associate professor of politics at the University of San Francisco who follows the marijuana debate.

The contrast between the pro- and anti-legalization forces was apparent on a recent day in Oregon. In downtown Portland, scruffy hipsters with clipboards buttonholed passers-by, registering voters and urging them to vote yes on Measure 91, while political consultants put the final touches on a $2 million ad barrage.

Nearby, opponents organized one of their major events in Keizer, a suburb of Salem, the state capital. Titled “Marijuana and Our Youth,” the session included two hours of PowerPoints and passionate denunciations of the drug. But no one even mentioned Measure 91: Audience participants and organizers, many of them from government-funded nonprofit groups involved in drug treatment services, were afraid of violating laws that ban politicking with public money.

Opponents were, by their own admission, late in forming a united organization, and their campaign had only about $10,000 for advertising, with spots running on two Portland radio stations starting last weekend.

“They’ve done a pretty good job of shutting everybody up,” said Joshua K. Marquis, the district attorney in Clatsop County and an opponent of legalization, referring to the pro-91 forces.

The pro-legalization campaigns in Oregon and Alaska are financed largely by national organizations. In Alaska, 84 percent of the $867,000 raised by legalization proponents at Yes on Ballot Measure 2 has come from the Marijuana Policy Project, a group based in Washington, D.C., with an advisory board that includes actors, musicians and politicians, including Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president in 2012. Opponents to legalization in Alaska have raised only $97,000.

In Oregon, the Drug Policy Alliance, based in New York and backed by the billionaire investor George Soros, has led the charge, contributing at least $780,000 this year, according to state records, making up about 35 percent of the cash raised by the main committee supporting legalization.

Marijuana-related businesses or investors in Colorado, Washington and California have contributed at least $60,000. Contributors included O.penVAPE, a company based in Denver that sells products for consuming concentrates like hash oil; Privateer Holdings, a marijuana investment firm in Seattle; and Vicente Sederberg, which calls itself “The Marijuana Law Firm.”

There has been some well-funded opposition to legalization, especially in Florida, where voters will decide whether to become the first state in the South to allow marijuana for certain medical uses. There, Sheldon G. Adelson, a casino executive from Las Vegas, has contributed $5 million to opponents of medical marijuana, about 86 percent of the total raised by the main committee fighting the legislation.

But in Oregon, there has been “no sugar daddy,” as Mr. Marquis, the county prosecutor, put it. Opponents have raised only about $179,000.

Initiative 71 in Washington, D.C., would allow residents to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use and grow up to six cannabis plants at home. Measure 91 in Oregon would allow possession by adults of up to eight ounces of marijuana and four plants. Ballot Measure 2 in Alaska would allow adult possession of one ounce and six plants.

Supporters of legalization in Oregon and Alaska said that money was crucial to overcoming what they say was years of incorrect information and distortion by law enforcement and antidrug groups about marijuana’s risks.

The latest news, analysis and election results for the 2014 midterm campaign.

“The opposition made good traction for 50 years, and it was built around locking people up. A massive industry was built around it,” said Richard Branson, the entrepreneur who founded Virgin Group and a member of the Drug Policy Alliance’s international honorary board.

Opponents said they were facing, for the first time, an emerging industrial complex.

“This is not about independent Alaskans smoking marijuana in their homes, but a commercialization and industrialization of an industry,” said Charles Fedullo, a spokesman for Big Marijuana Big Mistake, which opposes Ballot Measure 2 in Alaska.

Changes required for the meeting about marijuana and youth here in Keizer, opponents of legalization say, offers a case study in the tough new tactics of pro-legalization groups.

A few weeks before the “Marijuana and Our Youth” meeting, legalization supporters pointed out to federal and state authorities that a small drug treatment center funded by government grants was sponsoring a tour of the state by Kevin A. Sabet, a co-founder of a national anti-legalization group, Smart Approaches to Marijuana. They reminded all parties that federal and state laws prohibited the use of public funds to influence elections.

The State of Oregon agreed and issued a stern warning that any group receiving public money — a list that included 70 counties, tribes, schools and nonprofit agencies that provide drug treatment or substance-abuse prevention programs — had best tread carefully.

The result was a sudden silence in the antidrug contingent and a muted meeting here in Keizer. Even though private funds were substituted to avoid the appearance of impropriety, talk of Measure 91, organizers said, was taken off the table out of concern for jobs and future government grants. A central constituency in the opposition, heavy on health care professionals, was stifled.

Both sides said the new terrain offered a glimpse toward the next wave of states, notably California, where supporters are gearing up for a vote in 2016. But there are strange historical echoes, too. Alaska and Oregon were both pioneers of marijuana law in the 1970s. Oregon’s Legislature debated full legalization in 1973 and ended up passing the nation’s first law decriminalizing possession of small amounts. Alaska’s Supreme Court held in 1975 that possession of marijuana in one’s home was protected by constitutional privacy law.

Whether the antidrug coalition of the past is dead or just sleeping, both sides agree that the old arguments no longer work.

“Today’s parents are yesterday’s children who were smoking marijuana and have personal experience, and, therefore, the kind of advertisement which shows fried eggs doesn’t really cut it with them,” Mr. Soros said in an interview this year. He was referring to an antidrug television campaign that showed a sizzling egg in a pan and the tagline, “This is your brain on drugs.”

But the pressure is also on proponents, they say, not to fall short, because every new state is a kind of test case.

“If we win, I think it shows that public opinion has decisively changed — we’ve won in two election cycles,” said Peter Zuckerman, a spokesman for New Approach Oregon, the main group supporting legalization. “If we lose, I think it becomes much harder,” he said. “We have to maintain the momentum.”

Professor Sabet, of the department of psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida, founded his anti-legalization group with Patrick J. Kennedy, a former Democratic congressman from Rhode Island. He said an interview that on the surface, the fight against legalization probably looks unwinnable here.

“It looks bad — I want to be on the other team,” he said, laughing. Turning serious, Professor Sabet said that experiences in Washington and Colorado were exposing flaws in legal marijuana — from greater exposure to young people to questions of highway safety — that he thinks will turn off many voters, even though opponents of the ballot measures lack the money to shout their message.

“Legalization in practice has been the biggest enemy of legalization,” he said.

 on: Oct 29, 2014, 05:55 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad

Hunt for Mexico’s missing students moves to rubbish dump

Searches being carried out in southern Mexican state of Guerrero a month after students went missing

Jo Tuckman in Mexico City
The Guardian, Tuesday 28 October 2014 22.27 GMT   

The search for 43 student teachers who went missing in Mexico a month ago is now focusing on a gully on the edge of a municipal rubbish dump.

Photographs of the site in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero were released on Tuesday after a small group of journalists were taken behind a heavily policed cordon. They show people in white jump suits working at the bottom of the gully reportedly about 10m deep and reachable only with the help of ropes. They appear to be working on the surface and there are no signs of bodies.

Milenio newspaper said the area was now peppered with little red flags.

The dump lies just outside the small town of Cocula, about 10 miles from the city of Iguala where municipal police and unidentified gunmen attacked the students from a famously radical teacher training college on 26 September. Six people died and dozens of students went missing, many of them after being driven away by police. They were allegedly handed over to Guerreros Unidos, a local drug gang.

Jesús Murillo, the attorney general, last week said the order to pursue the students came directly from the mayor of Iguala who feared the students were planning to disrupt a speech by his wife who has been identified as a key operator for the drug gang. The mayor and his wife are now on the run.

Murillo told reporters on Monday that the authorities were led to the dump because of declarations made by four new detainees, taking the total of people arrested in relation to the case to 56.

Using characteristically cryptic language, Murillo stressed that the new detainees were the first to have confessed to direct participation in “the disappearance and the fate of this large group of people”. He did not specify what that fate was, but promised that the authorities were putting all their energy into corroborating whether it was true.

The authorities have already dug up at least 38 corpses, many of them badly burned, from another 11 graves on the outskirts of Iguala itself. DNA tests showed they were not the bodies of the students, although doubts about the quality of the samples used mean more tests are under way.

The events in Guerrero have laid bare the extent to which local authorities in some parts of Mexico have become intertwined with organised criminal groups, exploding the government’s claims to be bringing Mexico’s eight-year-old drug wars under control.

The resulting outrage has triggered near constant protests, particularly in Guerrero and Mexico City. Many of these have been peaceful marches headed by the missing students’ parents, who are mainly poverty stricken farmers. Some demonstrations have turned violent with protesters attacking government buildings.

Public anger finally forced Guerrero’s governor, Angel Aguirre, to resign last week. He has been replaced by Rogelio Ortega, a sociologist with a background in Guerrero’s leftist movements.

President Peña Nieto has responded to the pressure with frequent statements promising his government will find the students and bring those responsible to justice.

Manuel Martínez, a spokesman for the relatives, said: “It’s been more than a month now and all we have is bodies and more bodies and so far none of them have been them [the students]. We don’t know what the government is playing at. They must know where they are.”

 on: Oct 29, 2014, 05:54 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad

40,000 Kenyans accuse UK of abuse in second Mau Mau case

Castration and inhuman treatment among claims of 41,000 Kenyans seeking damages

Katie Engelhart   
The Guardian, Wednesday 29 October 2014   
More than 40,000 Kenyans are attempting to sue the British government for compensation in a second Mau Mau group action, alleging physical abuse or mistreatment during the insurgency against colonial rule in the 1950s.

The new litigation against the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been lodged at the high court in London, and comes after the UK government last year paid out £19.9m to 5,228 Kenyans who suffered torture at the hands of the colonial administration during the uprising.

The payout marked the government’s first official acknowledgment of serious abuse committed during Britain’s messy withdrawal from Kenya. The foreign secretary, William Hague, told parliament that the settlement was “full and final”.

However, seven British law firms have been assembling new claimants, in some cases dispatching lawyers to Kenya and advertising for clients in local newspapers.

The new suit, according to the firms, involves 41,005 Kenyans and takes the form of a group litigation order, which allows related claims to be managed collectively. According to court documents filed in May, the high court will hear 25 test cases.

Unlike the first Mau Mau case, these new claims are not restricted to those who endured extreme physical violence. Claimants are seeking damages for a range of alleged offences, including false imprisonment, forced labour and an interference with their right to education.

Lawyers for the claimants say that a tentative trial date has been set for January 2016.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: “It is not appropriate for us to comment on a case that is going through the courts.” It is understood the FCO is due to file its defence by Friday.

The claims refer back to 1952, when the colonial governor, Sir Evelyn Baring, declared a state of emergency in Kenya in an attempt to quash a mounting anti-colonial insurgency known as Mau Mau. Over the ensuing eight years, an estimated 90,000 Kenyans were killed or injured.

More than 1 million were forced from their homes into detention facilities, which Kenya’s then attorney general Eric Griffith-Jones described as “distressingly reminiscent of conditions in Nazi Germany or communist Russia”. Some were Mau Mau rebels, but many were civilians caught in a dragnet of collective punishment.

Simon Myerson QC, who is instructed by Tandem Law on behalf of the claimants, says his clients suffered a variety of abuses, including castration. Each is seeking damages of between £1,000 and £150,000.

Lawyers also accuse the colonial administration of having crafted a system of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment. Under this formulation, Britain would be liable for abuse carried out by a variety of agents at the time —including the Kenya Police and Kenya Home Guard—on the grounds that the abusive “system” was imposed at the highest levels of office.

While the FCO has yet to file its defence, the Guardian has seen a copy of its informal provisional position statement, dated 6 September 2013. In it, the FCO denies responsibility for actions of the colonial administration. Referencing the first Mau Mau case, the FCO argues that the claims brought in this second suit “are conspicuously weaker”.

Lawyer Martyn Day, of Leigh Day, who orchestrated the 2013 settlement but is not involved in the second case, said: “It looks like the government has decided to batten down the hatches and fight them on the beaches and never surrender. Not surprising, when they’re facing so many cases.”

Leigh Day’s case involved members of Mau Mau veterans associations.

Lawyers for the claimants expect the FCO to plead limitation. In this event, they will ask the judge to use his discretion to exclude the time limit, using section 33 of the Limitations Act 1980.

In 2011, the FCO accepted that the Kenyans had been tortured, but it denied responsibility for the violence and later argued that the claims had expired.

In two rulings in 2011 and 2012, Mr Justice McCombe dismissed the FCO’s objections on liability and limitation, though these rulings are non-binding.

Tandem Law, a Manchester-based firm specialising in personal injury, began advertising for and registering new Kenyan claimants while the first case was under way. The firm represents 20,363 of the claimants, and is steering the case as lead solicitor.

In Kenya, there have been claims that litigation has had some adverse effects. Lawyers at the Law Society of Kenya said a number of elderly people had been targeted by imposter lawyers, some claiming to represent British firms, and defrauded of savings.

Kenyan media also report that the sudden influx of lawyers competing to sign up clients has caused confusion in some communities.

Bickering between Mau Mau groups has also become commonplace. Over the last two years, several associations have reportedly splintered, on the issue of how to proceed with legal claims.

George Morara, a former officer with the Kenya human rights commission who assisted on the Leigh Day case, says that the Commission had to set up an emergency hotline for settlement beneficiaries who find themselves targets for theft: “We said to the old men and women, ‘If you are threatened, call us.’ Some did and we intervened.”

The next public hearing on the case will be in December.

In 1960, Kenya’s state of emergency was ended and the Mau Mau detention camps were emptied. Back in London, officials kept mum on exactly what had transpired during Emergency rule. “If we are going to sin,” Kenyan attorney general Griffiths-Jones had written, in a 1957 memorandum, “we must sin quietly.”

 on: Oct 29, 2014, 05:52 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad

Zambia's president Michael Sata dies in London

Zambian government confirms 77-year-old president died of undisclosed illness with wife and son by his side

Matthew Weaver and agencies, Wednesday 29 October 2014 09.19 GMT      

The Zambian president, Michael Sata, has died in London where he was being treated in a private hospital for an undisclosed illness, the Zambian government has confirmed.

Sata died shortly after 11pm on Tuesday at London’s King Edward VII hospital, the cabinet secretary Roland Msiska said in a statement.

Sata’s wife, Christine Kaseba, and his son, Mulenga Sata, were at the 77-year-old president’s side when he died, Msiska said.

The statement said: “It is with a very heavy heart that I address you today, to inform the nation that our beloved president and leader, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, has passed on.

“President Sata’s demise is deeply regretted. During this difficult period, I urge all of you to remain calm, united and peaceful.”

Under Zambia’s constitution the country will have to hold an election for a new leader within 90 days of the death of the president.

Sata, 77, left Zambia for medical treatment on 19 October accompanied by his wife and family members, according to a brief government statement that gave no further details.

There had been no official update on his condition and the acting president, Edgar Lungu, led celebrations last week to mark the landlocked nation’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Concern over Sata’s health has been mounting in Africa’s second-largest copper producer since June when he disappeared from the public eye without explanation and was reported to be getting medical treatment in Israel.

He missed a scheduled speech at the UN general assembly in September amid reports that he had fallen ill in his New York hotel. A few days before that he had attended the opening of parliament in Lusaka, joking: “I am not dead.”

Sata had not been seen in public since he returned to Zambia from New York in late September.

The prime minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda, and the president of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, were among the first world leaders to express their condolences.

Later, Britain’s foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, paid tribute to Sata.

In a statement he said: “Sata played a commanding role in the public life of his country over three decades, as governor of Lusaka, as the holder of several ministerial positions in the 1990s, as the main opposition leader, and finally as president.”

 on: Oct 29, 2014, 05:51 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad

Binyamin Netanyahu 'chickenshit', say US officials in explosive interview

Quotes from senior Obama administration figures damn Israeli prime minister over stance on settlements and Palestinian peace

Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem, Wednesday 29 October 2014 06.50 GMT   

US relations with Israel have plunged to new depths of bitterness and hostility as senior officials in the Obama administration decried Binyamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit prime minister”, “coward” and a man more interested in his own political survival than peace.

The furious assessment delivered in anonymous but no-holds barred comments in an interview with the American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic underline a state of anger with Netanyahu that is characterised as “red hot”.

The remarks are particularly telling in having been made to Goldberg, a Washington insider who has interviewed both Obama and Netanyahu, and who warned US-Israeli relations were in a “full-blown crisis” that could only get worse after the midterm elections.

Speaking to the Israeli parliament – the Knesset – a few hours after the comments were revealed, Netanyahu angrily insisted he was “under attack simply for defending Israel”, adding that he “cherished” Israel’s relationship with the US.

“When there are pressures on Israel to concede its security, the easiest thing to do is to concede,” he said. “You get a round of applause, ceremonies on grassy knolls, and then come the missiles and the tunnels.”

The Obama officials’ comments underline the dismal state of relations between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu after a series of damaging announcements by Israel – including again this week – regarding its determination to push ahead with settlement building in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The temperature of relations plunged again last week when Israel’s defence minister, Moshe Yaalon, was pointedly snubbed by senior administration officials during a visit last week to Washington, which itself followed a public warning from the White House that Israel risked alienating its “closest allies”.

Despite the deepening frustration in Washington, Netanyahu continued to hit back over the latest settlement announcement, saying US criticism was “detached from reality”, even on the eve of the publication of the latest remarks.

“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” said one official quoted in the Atlantic. “The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states.

“The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”

In a more diplomatic and public statement on the recent settlement announcements, the US National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey insisted the US would continue to criticise Israel.

“There are times when we disagree with actions of the Israeli government and we must raise our concerns, such as our concerns about Israel’s settlement policy,” he said. “We raise these concerns as a partner who is deeply concerned about Israel’s future and wants to see Israel living side by side in peace and security with its neighbours.”

In comments designed to further sting Netanyahu, who has expended huge diplomatic effort on attempting to derail any deal with Iran over its nuclear programme, another official suggested the White House no longer believed Netanyahu would launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran to prevent it obtaining nuclear weapons.

“It’s too late for him to do anything,” the official said. “Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”

The comments are the latest in a series of high-profile spats between Washington and Netanyahu’s government. Relations began their sharp decline when defence minister Yaalon accused the US secretary of state, John Kerry, of being “obsessive and messianic” in his pursuit of a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. Later, in off-the-record remarks, Kerry warned that Israeli risked becoming “an apartheid state”.

On Friday Netanyahu told the Knesset: “I am not prepared to make concessions that will endanger our state. Understand, our national interests, topped by security and the unity of Jerusalem, are not what top the interests of those anonymous forces attacking us, and me personally. I am under attack simply because I am defending the State of Israel. If I didn’t stand firm on our national interests, I would not be under attack.

“I respect and cherish the deep connection with the United States. Since the establishment of the state, we’ve had our arguments and then some. We have seen time after time, year and year, support rising among the American public. The strategic alliance between the stances is continuing and will continue.”

Responding to the remarks in the Atlantic late on Tuesday night, Israel’s far-right economics minister, Naftali Bennett, used his Facebook page to call for Washington to renounce the comments: “If what was written [in The Atlantic] is true, then it appears the current administration plans to throw Israel under the bus.

“The prime minister is not a private person but the leader of the Jewish state and the whole Jewish world. Such severe insults towards the prime minister of Israel are hurtful to millions of Israeli citizens and Jews all over the world.

“Instead of attacking Israel and forcing it to accept suicidal terms, it should be strengthened. I call on the US administration to renounce these coarse comments and to reject them outright.”

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