Daily Report

World Bank/IMF protests in DC

Globophobe activists protested the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington DC this weekend, tho BBC reports that they numbered in the hundreds rather than the thousands--a testament to how dissent has been sidetracked and marginalized in the post-9-11 world. Photos and accounts of the protests are provided by our friends at the Global Justice Ecology Project.

(The last major globophobe mobilization, at the November 2003 Mi

Gitmo prisoner sues to get torture video

From the Washington Post, April 14:

A detainee at a U.S. military prison alleges that U.S. military guards
jumped on his head until he had a stroke that paralyzed his face,
nearly drowned him in a toilet and later broke several of his fingers,
according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court.

NIST releases WTC collapse study

The business-continuity newsletter Continuity Central and the ecologist EarthTimes.org are among the few media outlets to take note that the long-awaited study of why the World Trade Center collapsed has been released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The report notes that the unusual lack of internal support walls (a measure to increase office space) contributed to the collapse, and that lives were lost due to building occupants scrambling to find seemingly inadequate stairwells. Yet: "The report however did not blame the designers or builders for the WTC collapse..."

Some settlers push back pt. II: From Central Park to the Gush!!

The annual Salute to Israel Day Parade on June 5 in New York, the largest yearly pro-Zionist gathering in the world, will feature a break-out rally against Israel's disengagement plan from the occupied Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. Featured in the rally will be hyper-Zionist ex-minister and general Effi Eitam and New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind. The two will lead hundreds of US volunteers straight from the rally to travel to the Gush Katif settlement bloc in the southern Gaza Strip, slated for evacuation this summer. US Christian Zionist clergy have raised $8.5 million to fight disengagement. (JPost, Apr. 17)

Interview with Israeli anarchist Jonathan Pollak

Jonathan Pollak is an Israeli activist who grew up in Tel Aviv and lives in Jaffa. He has been involved in non-violent direct action in the West Bank for the last two and half years, participating in more than 200 protests with Palestinians in the West Bank with the Israeli non-violent direct action group Anarchists Against the Wall and with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

On April 3, 2005 an Israeli soldier shot Jonathan in the head with a teargas canister from an M-16 from a distance of approximately thirty meters at a peaceful protest against the Wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Bil'in is one of tens of West Bank Palestinian villages losing land because of Israel's wall construction. He was interviewed by ISM volunteer Pat O'Connor on April 7.

Opus Dei in the news

The death of Pope John Paul II has occassioned a great deal of speculation in the press about the influence of Opus Dei, the secretive ultra-conservative Catholic organization, in choosing his successor. One of the more strictly factual accounts, "Pope Election: Opus Dei Pulls Strings," is from India's Sify.com:

Italy plays politics with Ethiopian obelisk

Italy has once again retreated from a repeated pledge to return to Ethiopia a third-century 75-foot obelisk from the ancient city of Axum which fascist dictator Benito Mussolini brought to Rome as a prize of conquest after his invasion and occupation of Ethiopia in 1936. Italy initially pledged to return the obelisk in 1947, but never acted to fulfill the pledge. Last year, during a state visit by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, a date was finally set--but has been repeatedly put off by Italy, citing technical difficulties. Most recently, on April 13, Italy cancelled a scheduled flight to deliver the first section of the obelisk, with the Italian Culture Ministry citing the lack of radar to ensure a safe landing of the cargo plane at Axum's airport .

Italy: cover-up in Calipari affair?

From the AP, April 14:

Reluctance by Italian investigators to accept the U.S. version of the killing of an Italian security agent [Nicola Calipari] by American troops in Iraq last month is holding up the conclusion of a joint inquiry into the shooting, Italian newspapers said Thursday... The commission, ordered by Washington, includes two Italian members and is led by a U.S. brigadier general. It is expected to release its findings by mid-April. Members of Italy's center-left opposition have demanded the government inform the country about the commission's work, while newspapers Corriere della Sera and La Stampa reported Thursday that a final conclusion by the commission is being delayed by the reluctance of the Italian members to accept all the aspects of the U.S. version of events. According to the Italian papers, a point of contention is American authorities' refusal to allow Italian investigators to examine the car in which Calipari was traveling when he was shot. Italy agrees that the shooting was an accident, but disputes key elements of the U.S. account. It has denied a U.S. claim that the car was speeding and refused to stop following warnings from the U.S. patrol.

The imbroglio comes just as Italy's ruling coalition appears to be unravelling. From VOA, April 15:

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