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Archive for December, 2007

European Parliament Members Revolt Over Treaty of Lisbon

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

The Hemicycle, European Parliament,
Strasbourg – 12.12.2007

The President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Parliament gather to sign the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which will replace the European Convention on Human Rights. The Charter forms part of the “Lisbon Treaty”, recently known as the “reform treaty”, or the redesigned Constitutional Treaty.

A number of Members of the European Parliament (MEP) rose in protest against the “Lisbon Treaty” (signed by the 27 Heads of State and Government on 13.12.2007).

The “Lisbon Treaty” establishes the same EU Constitution that was rejected by the French and Dutch referendums in 2005.

This violates the principle of unanimity, where all Member States must consent to each treaty.

As Italian interior minister, Giuliano Amato said at the London School of Economics last February, “The good thing about not calling it a constitution is that no one can ask for a referendum.”

As a result, the French and Dutch votes were ignored, and five governments have cancelled a promised referendum (Czech Rep., Denmark, Poland, Portugal, UK).

Only Ireland will have a referendum. The other 26 Member States will ratify the treaty in parliament without asking the people.

The Future of Europe can be different than the centralised monolith which the EU Constitution creates. The ‘single market’ (the ‘four freedoms of movement’) does not need to be governed by an EU bureaucracy which plans the economy and regulates our lives.

EU romanticism must stop. The EU is not what it seems to be.

Have your say on the Future of Europe.
Go to and sign for a REFERENDUM in your country.

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‘What is it they’re trying to hide?’ NDP asks for military export data

Friday, December 7th, 2007

CBC News
Last Updated: Friday, December 7, 2007 | 7:50 AM ET

Canada’s growing military export trade remains cloaked in secrecy, despite the Harper government’s vow to disclose years-old information, and the New Democrats are now demanding to know why there’s a holdup.

In late October, CBC News reported that the federal government had last submitted an annual report to Parliament about military exports in 2002, and the country had quietly risen to the sixth-largest supplier of arms to the world since then.

The same day the story came out, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier promised to release a report.

“We take these allegations very seriously. That is why, contrary to the opposition, there is a report that will soon be released for 2003 to 2005,” Bernier told the House of Commons in French.

Crunching customs data, CBC found that Canada’s military exports more than tripled in the past seven years, rising above the amount imported.

In that seven-year period, encompassing both the Paul Martin and Stephen Harper governments, a total of $3.6 billion worth of military arms was sent abroad.

“It’s a pox on both their houses,” said NDP defence critic Dawn Black, adding that the government has a legal obligation to make the information public.

“What is it they’re trying to hide? Or is it some kind of incompetence? Whatever the issue is, it must be resolved. It’s four years late,” she said.

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Ex-Italian President: Intel Agencies Know 9/11 An Inside Job

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Former Italian President and the man who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio Francesco Cossiga has gone public on 9/11, telling Italy’s most respected newspaper that the attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad and that this was common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies.

Cossiga was elected President of the Italian Senate in July 1983 before winning a landslide 1985 election to become President of the country in 1985.

Cossiga gained respect from opposition parties as one of a rare breed – an honest politician – and led the country for seven years until April 1992.

Cossiga’s tendency to be outspoken upset the Italian political establishment and he was forced to resign after revealing the existence of, and his part in setting up, Operation Gladio – a rogue intelligence network under NATO auspices that carried out bombings across Europe in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s.

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U.S. National Intelligence Estimate: Iran stopped nuclear weapons work in 2003

Monday, December 3rd, 2007
Mon December 3, 2007

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Iran halted work toward a nuclear weapon under international scrutiny in 2003 and is unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until 2010 to 2015, a U.S. intelligence report says.

A declassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate found with “high confidence” that the Islamic republic stopped an effort to develop nuclear weapons in the fall of 2003.

The estimate is less severe than a 2005 report that judged the Iranian leadership was “determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure.”

But the latest report says Iran — which declared its ability to produce enriched uranium for a civilian energy program in 2006 — could reverse that decision and eventually produce a nuclear weapon if it wanted to do so.

Enriched uranium at low concentrations can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, but much higher concentrations are needed to yield a nuclear explosion.

“We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely,” the report says. A more likely time frame for that production is between 2010 and 2015, it concludes.

Iran has insisted its nuclear program is strictly aimed at producing electricity, and the country has refused the U.N. Security Council’s demand to halt its enrichment program.

Monday’s report represents the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies. It suggests that a combination of “threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige and goals for regional influence in other ways,” could persuade the Iranian leadership to continue its suspension of nuclear weapons research.

Available intelligence suggests the Iranian leadership is guided “by a cost-benefit approach,” not a headlong rush to develop a bomb, the report concludes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, has reported that Iran is cooperating with inspectors by providing access to declared nuclear material, documents and facilities. However, the agency also said Iran is withholding information in other areas, and as a result, the IAEA’s knowledge about the status of the program is “diminishing.”

Iran says its uranium enrichment work is allowed under the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty. The U.N. Security Council has passed two rounds of sanctions against Tehran, but Washington missed its goal of reaching consensus on tighter restrictions by the end of November, the State Department said last week.

The report comes amid widespread accusations that the Bush administration is attempting to maneuver the United States into a conflict with Iran, which it accuses of meddling in the war in Iraq. In October, the United States designated elements of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as supporters of terrorism.

NIEs examine current capabilities and vulnerabilities and, perhaps more importantly, consider future developments. Policymakers usually request the estimates, but the intelligence community also can initiate them.

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Tasers: the next generation

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Andrew Chung Staff Reporter
Dec 02, 2007 04:30 AM

Alarmed by recent incidents? Wait’ll you see what the company is planning for 2008

The Taser is going wireless.

Until now, the electric-shock gun consisted of two barbed darts attached to wires that shoot out and strike the victim, immobilizing the person with 50,000 volts of electricity, causing severe pain and intense muscle contraction.

But the wires could only extend a few metres. With the new “extended range electronic projectile,” or XREP, the Taser has been turned into a kind of self-contained shotgun shell and can be fired, wire-free, from a standard shotgun, which police typically have in their arsenal already.

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Art student released on bail after bomb hoax

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Joanna Smith, Toronto Star
Dec 1, 2007

An art student was granted bail yesterday after spending a night in jail for placing a sculpture that resembled a bomb outside the Royal Ontario Museum.

Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson, 24, appeared in court yesterday afternoon on charges of mischief and public nuisance.

The Ontario College of Art and Design student had turned himself into police the night before, after a bomb hoax forced the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research to cancel part of a black-tie fundraising gala on Wednesday.

Two videos depicting a fake bombing of the museum were posted to YouTube.

Jonsson has said the fake bomb and videos were part of an art project and that he had no idea the museum was hosting an AIDS benefit that night.

He was released yesterday after three separate sureties posted $33,000 as a cash bond.

Jonsson, an Icelandic citizen whose parents are a famous sculptor and well-known television personality in his home country, was also told he must surrender his passport to police.

Other conditions of his release include staying away from the ROM, not possessing any explosive devices — real or fake — and residing with one of his sureties, a clinical psychologist of Icelandic background.

The judge imposed a publication ban on evidence presented at the bail hearing yesterday morning.

“He’s had a fantastic outpouring of support from fellow students, from the whole Icelandic community and all sorts of people,” defence lawyer Robert Rotenberg said outside the courthouse yesterday.

One of the sureties, a retired honorary consul of Iceland, posted $25,000 of the total.

Toronto police Det. Leslie Dunkley said if convicted Jonsson could face up to four years in prison.

“It’s a very serious offence,” said Dunkley, noting the bomb threat tied up about two dozen police and shut down nearby streets. “We take it seriously and we don’t want to encourage it.”

OCAD president Sara Diamond said the decision to suspend two faculty members with pay until the university completes its internal investigation is standard policy and does not imply guilt.

“They absolutely had no support whatsoever for what the student had done outside the context of the course assignment, which was a videotape,” Diamond said, adding all faculty members study ethics.