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The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.
After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.
Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.
WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the radio transmissions.
WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.
WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work.
Ref: Collateral murder
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Closure order against school for Ashkenazi girls only
74 Ashkenazi girls studying on separate ‘temporary’ premises in Emmanuel after parents refused to allow them to study with Sephardi girls
Yaheli Moran Zelikovich
Published: 03.14.10, 17:54 / Israel Jewish Scene
Ministry of Education Director-General Shimshon Shoshani issued a closure order Sunday against a temporary institution used as a school for Ashkenazi girls who have refused to study together with Sephardi girls.
The Beit Yaacov school in the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel had separated Sephardi girls from 74 Ashkenazi girls, and the High Court ruled that the Sephardi girls should be incorporated in an equal fashion and without discrimination. However, parents of the Ashkenazi girls opposed the court’s decision.
The parents announced they would refuse to allow their daughters to continue to study at the school. The Education Ministry then instructed the local authority to submit claims against the parents with the police, indicating that they had broken the mandatory education law.
However, the local authority chose to defend the parents and left the Ministry to submit the claim itself. It was also discovered that the 74 Ashkenazi girls were studying in a temporary “school”. The police are responsible for enforcing the closure order.
The decision to act against the temporary “school” was welcomed by Yoav Laloum, chairman of Noar C’Halacha, an organization fighting discrimination against Mizrahim in haredi institutions. “I am happy that the Education Ministry is acting against those who do not respect the law,” he said.
Last week the state comptroller announced that a special committee would be established to investigate the issue of discrimination in state-recognized independent educational institutions, with particular emphasis on Ashkenazi institutions which refuse to take on Sephardi students. The move comes following a recent increase in the number of discrimination claims.
“It’s hard to grasp that independent education is a separate autonomous body,” said Rabbi Avraham Laiserson, chairman of the independent school system and representative of the institutions being accused of discrimination. “There is no basis for the things being claimed. I want to deny this false stigma that has stuck to independent education.”
“I won’t say there are no problems, but this system was established decades ago for the sole purpose of taking in olim from North Africa, Tunis and Iraq, and offering them an education,” he continued. “I blame the press for the headlines. We even organized plastic rooms just for Sephardi girls in one school. I want you to see with your own eyes, and you’ll understand that your facts are mistaken. See how happy the Mizrahi students are with us.”
“There are problems here and there, but parent committees sort out such problems,” he added. “There is discrimination in many places, but we’re the last ones you can blame. Out of all the cases and claims, there isn’t a single example of a court ruling that there is discrimination. After you’ve investigated, come and apologize, then celebrate.”
Report: State encouraging education for rich only / Yaheli Moran Zelikovich
Adva Center paints grim picture of Israeli education system, which has split over the years into separated systems in terms of nationality, religion, community – and status
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ISRAHELL BANALITY: Israel accused of dooming Ethiopian baby boom (white zionist fertility control of black jews)
A feminist movement has accused the Israeli government of adopting a racist policy towards the country’s Ethiopian Jews.
Activists believe black women are deliberately being given a controversial contraceptive drug to bring about a drop in the population – a claim the government denies.
Thousands of Ethiopians have immigrated to Israel since the 1980s, but their Jewish heritage has been questioned, while their social status continues to suffer.
For nearly four years, Racheli Mangoli has been running a youth center in one of Israel’s poorer communities. Forty-five Ethiopian families live here, but throughout that entire time, only one Ethiopian baby has been born in this neighborhood, and that has alarmed Racheli.
She says: “I smelt something not good. I know about the discrimination here – when I am going with the children, I feel this even when I am going to the supermarket. One women said to me ‘I don¹t know how you can stand next to people like this. When they give me money – I am going and washing my hands.’”
After some investigation, Racheli discovered that many Ethiopian women, keen to avoid getting pregnant while setting up life in a new country, had been placed on a controversial contraceptive, Depo-Provera, a drug few Israeli women have heard of, let alone use.
One woman was first put on it four years ago, and underwent repeated injections every three months. She says it has left her with such terrible pains in her hands and back that she can no longer work. She insists she was never told about its side effects or offered an alternative. Like many Ethiopians in Israel, she’s afraid she will be deported if she questions the authorities.
Dr Factor is reluctant to give the contraceptive to his patients. He says it is known to delay fertility for months after women come off it. In some cases it can cause permanent infertility.
“At least 10 per cent develop substantial side-effects – side-effects like irregular bleeding, the period may disappear, they may have heavy periods. And it is impossible to reverse these side-effects, and until it has worked itself out of the system you can’t reverse these. So it’s possible although the contraception works for 3 months at a time, the side-effects may last for two years – three years – four years – five years,” he says.
In 2004, the American Food and Drug Administration warned against the dangers of the drug, but the World Health Organization refused to restrict its use.
Hedva Eyal has tried unsuccessfully to draw attention to the fact that Ethiopian Israelis are given the drug without being warned of the risks. She claims it is her government’s policy and is nothing short of racism.
She told RT: “They don’t want poor or black children and Depo-Provera gave them the opportunity to have control. If she [a patient] keeps taking an injection every three months, she is not going to have children – you know it is a 100 per cent secure from children I think.”
Hedva says the policy is working – the number of black babies in Israel is decreasing, but there are no official statistics to back up her claim. For community workers and Ethiopian women here, statistics are unnecessary – they feel their reality speaks for itself.
The Health Ministry admits it issues the drug, but says it was never its policy only to administer it to Ethiopian women and reduce the number of black babies in the country.
In their defense, Jewish agencies involved in immigration say they offered several types of contraceptives to the Ethiopian women, and that all of them participated voluntarily in family planning.
Dr. Yee-fat Bitton from the Israeli Anti-Discrimination Legal Center “Tmura”, says it’s not a matter point of view, but of the statistics.
“The statistics are, that 60 percent of the women receiving this contraceptive, this controversial one, are Ethiopian Jews,” Bitton told RT. “And you have to understand that Ethiopians in Israel… […] consist of up to only 1 per cent of the population, so the gap here is just impossible to reconcile in any logical manner that would somehow resist the claims of racism.”
Professor Zvi Bentwich, an immunologist and human rights activist from Tel-Aviv, doesn’t think there is any ground to suspect a certain negative official policy towards Ethiopian Jews.
“I’m not against looking and inquiring into the claim. If there is a claim, one should investigate,” Bentwich told RT. “But when asked about official attitudes, official policy, official medical policy, I am very reluctant that that is indeed a policy of racism on that part.”
REf: Russia Today
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Ten Americans who tried to take 33 Haitian children out of the country last week without the government’s consent have been charged with child abduction and criminal conspiracy, as Haitian officials sought to reassert judicial control after the Jan. 12 earthquake.
The Americans, most of them members of a Baptist congregation from Idaho, had said they intended to rescue Haitian children left parentless in the quake and take them to what they described as an orphanage across the border in the Dominican Republic. But they acknowledged failing to seek approval to remove the children from Haiti, and several of the children have at least one living parent.
The Americans will face a potentially extended legal proceeding in Haiti and could, if convicted, face prison terms of up to 15 years.
In a sign of the cloudy nature of the case, the prosecutor, Mazar Fortil, decided not to pursue what could have been the most serious charge against the group, that of trafficking. The charges will now be considered by an investigative judge, who has up to three months to decide whether to pursue the matter further.
The leader of the group, Laura Silsby, a businesswoman who describes herself as a missionary as well, has also come under scrutiny at home in Idaho, where employees complain of unpaid wages and the state has placed liens on her company bank account.
The lawyer for the group, Edwin Coq, said after a hearing on Thursday that 9 of his 10 clients were “completely innocent,” but that, apparently in a reference to Ms. Silsby, “If the judiciary were to keep one, it could be the leader of the group.”
The Haitian capital lost courthouses, judges, lawyers and its main prison in the earthquake, straining the judiciary along with everything else. Prosecutors said this was the first criminal case to receive a hearing in Port-au-Prince since the natural disaster.
The hearing took place in a hilltop courthouse that had minor cracks in the walls and scores of squatters living outside. A crush of journalists sought access to the defendants on their way into the courthouse, where police officers in riot gear prevented access.
The Americans were transported in two Haitian police vehicles — one labeled “Child Protection Brigade” — from the police station where they have been held since the weekend to Port-au-Prince’s main criminal courthouse. Mr. Coq said beforehand that their immediate release was possible, and the police who transported the detainees took their luggage to the hearing as well in case they were to be freed.
Ms. Silsby, who had helped organize the group’s mission, sounded a hopeful note as she waited to be taken into court, saying, “We’re just trusting God for a positive outcome.”
But during the hearing, Jean Ferge Joseph, a deputy prosecutor, told the Americans that their case was not being dropped and that it would be sent to a judge for further review.
“That judge can free you, but he can also continue to hold you for further proceedings,” the deputy prosecutor said, according to Reuters.
When they received the news, the Americans did not appear distraught, Mr. Coq, their lawyer, said. “They prayed,” he said. “They looked down and prayed.”
Reuters, which had a reporter in the session, said that all 10 of the detainees acknowledged to the prosecutor that they had apparently violated the law when they tried to take the children from Haiti, although they said they were unaware of that until after they were detained.
“We did not have any intention to violate the law, but now we understand it’s a crime,” said Paul Robert Thompson, a pastor who led the group in prayer during a break in the session.
Ms. Silsby asked the prosecutor not only to release the group, whose members range in age from 18 to 55, but also to allow them to continue their work in Haiti.
“We simply wanted to help the children,” she said. “We petition the court not only for our freedom, but also for our ability to continue to help.”
As they were led out of the courthouse one by one for their return to jail, some of the Americans smiled as reporters surrounded them. They left without comment.
The Americans were arrested last Friday as they tried to take the 33 children by bus to the Dominican Republic, where they said they were in the process of leasing or building an orphanage. It is unclear if the group had arranged for someplace to house the children in the Dominican Republic.
A Web site for the group, the New Life Children’s Refuge, said that the Haitian children there would stay in a “loving Christian homelike environment” and be eligible for adoption through agencies in the United States.
The children are being taken care of now at SS Children’s Villages, an Austrian-run orphanage in Port-au-Prince.
The Americans and members of their churches have said that they are innocent of any wrongdoing, and described the case as a misunderstanding. In an interview this week, Ms. Silsby said the group had come to Haiti to rescue children orphaned by the earthquake, and that “our hearts were in the right place.”
But some of the children had living parents, and some of those parents said that the Baptists had promised simply to educate the youngsters in the Dominican Republic and to allow them to return to Haiti to visit.
Ms. Silsby had made her intentions known to child protection officials, human rights experts and Dominican authorities in Haiti, all of whom warned her that she could be charged with trafficking if she tried to take children out of the country without proper documentation.
Some Haitian leaders have called the Americans kidnappers, but their case has created divisions. Outside the courthouse on Thursday, one onlooker backed the Americans. “The process they followed was wrong, but they were not stealing kids,” said Béatrice St.-Julien. “They came here to help us.”
Until Thursday, Haitian judicial officials had left open the possibility that the group could be returned to the United States for trial, sparing Haiti’s crippled justice system a high-profile criminal prosecution fraught with diplomatic and political land mines.
American officials have talked with Haitian judicial authorities about the case, but it is unclear exactly how much lobbying Washington is doing behind the scenes to affect the outcome. The State Department has said that whether to pursue charges for any possible violations of Haitian law remains a Haitian decision.
One expert said that by pursuing the case Haitian authorities seemed to be trying to make a point.
“Haiti’s decision to prosecute the Baptist missionaries may be motivated, in part, by the need to show its own people and the world that it is a viable entity that is tackling the grave problem of international child abductions in Haiti,” Christopher J. Schmidt, a lawyer with Bryan Cave L.L.P. in St. Louis who has been involved in multiple cases of international kidnapping, said in a statement.
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