US Implicated In Brutal Torture In Lebanon

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By Maggie Michael for AP News – MUKALLA, Yemen (AP) — Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found. Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture The United Arab Emirates and Yemeni forces run a secret network of prisons where prisoners are brutally tortured. The U.S. has questioned some detainees, and have regular access to their testimony — a potential violation of international law. (June 21) The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials.

Newsletter: The Problem Isn’t Trump, It’s Bigger

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The awakening of mass protests against Donald Trump’s executive orders and appointments could become a real movement, but it must realize a critically important point: Trump is not the problem, the system is. Illusion of Democracy hides oligarchyTrump is a symptom of a long-term trend of a failing democracy that is too closely tied to Wall Street and the war machine. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are part of this failed system that does not represent the people of the United States. We are all working to build a mass movement for economic, racial and environmental justice that is bigger than Donald Trump. As the extremist actions of the Trump administration are put in place we need to remember that extremism for the wealthy, for war and ignoring of environmental catastrophe is consistent with the actions of all recent presidents and the leadership of both corporate parties.

Lebanon Being Forced To Collapse

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By Andre Vltchek for Dissident Voice. Lebanon cannot stand on its feet, anymore. It is overwhelmed, frightened and broke. It stands on the frontline, facing the ISIS in the east and north, a hostile Israel in the south and the deep blue sea to the west. 1.5 million (mostly Syrian) refugees are dispersed all over its tiny territory. Its economy is collapsing and infrastructure crumbling. The ISIS is right at the border with Syria, literally next door, or even with one foot inside Lebanon, periodically invading, and setting up countless “dormant cells” in all Lebanese cities and all over its countryside. Hezbollah is fighting the ISIS, but the West and Saudi Arabia apparently consider Hezbollah, not the ISIS, to be the major menace to their geopolitical interests.

Lebanon’s Rich-Poor Divide In Focus As Garbage Protests Widen

Lebanese anti-government activists wave the national flag as they stand on barriers blocking the road to the parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, on September 22, 2015. Nabil Mounzer/EPA

By Josh Wood in The National – For 20-year-old Ali Obeid, the decision to join Lebanon’s anti-government protests two months ago was simple. He was sitting at his home in Beirut during one of the early demonstrations when another long summer power cut set in. Aware of the protest and figuring that the heat outside couldn’t be that much more miserable than in his home, he took to the streets that day. “Maybe I could tell them we need electricity for air conditioning,” he recalls thinking. The You Stink protest movement began two months ago after rubbish piled up in the streets of the capital when the Lebanese government failed to find an alternative way to dispose of Beirut’s waste after Naameh – the nation’s largest landfill – shut on July 17. The call of the demonstrators broadened as people like Mr Obeid brought other demands for basic services that were lacking, such as water and electricity. Others railed about corruption.

Lebanese Leaders Reach Deal On Rubbish Amid Protests

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By Nour Samaha in Al Jazeera – Thousands of protesters have taken over Martyrs Square here in Lebanon’s capital to protest against the government after political officials failed to produce any solutions following a national dialogue session. At least 5,000 residents from across Lebanon poured into downtown Beirut on Wednesday evening following a fruitless meeting between political factions seeking to resolve issues that have caused the country to come to a political standstill for over a year now. Lebanese factions held a dialogue session earlier on Wednesday as security forces put the downtown area under lockdown to prevent protesters from reaching the parliament building. The officials, who sat round the dialogue table for three hours, announced they will be holding another session a week from today, much to the ire of the protesters.

Lebanon – What If It Fell?

Lebanese protesters chant slogans during a demonstration, in support of the "You Stink" campaign in Beirut. (Agence France-Presse)

By Andre Vltchek in Information Clearing House – 24 hours after the concert, a crowd clashed with the Lebanese security forces in the center of Beirut, near the government palace. Dozens were injured and on 24 August, it was reported that one person died in the hospital. The “You stink” movement first organized the protests. Thousands of people hit the streets in response to an ongoing garbage crisis, which, according to many, has made the already difficult life in Beirut almost unbearable. “You Stink”! For 18 years, the government was unable (or unwilling) to build a permanent garbage-recycling site. For 18 years, poor villagers near the “provisory” garbage dumping grounds were suffering, getting poisoned, dying from unusually high level of cancer and from respiratory diseases. Then, finally, they said “Halas! Enough.”