(FEDERALJACK) After visiting labor camps near the Qatari capital of Doha, an international federation of trade unions has issued a blistering report chronicling the labor and human rights abuses unfolding in the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Drawing on data from the Indian and Nepalese embassies, the International Trade Union Confederation estimates that 4,000 more workers could die before the World Cup gets underway in 2022 if the workforce grows as expected. The group calls Qatar a country with only “a facade of government,” and says that impoverished migrant workers from abroad are living in squalid conditions while beholden to employers who control their identification cards and exit visas. Working in “unbelievable heat” six days a week, such migrants are now dying in “unprecedented numbers,” according to the report’s authors.
(UNCA) Mohammad Darra Jamo, a commentator who worked for Syrian state media and often appeared on Arab TV channels to press Assad’s cause, was riddled with bullets by gunmen at home in the southern town of Sarafand, Lebanese security sources said.
Syrian state media blamed an “armed terrorist group” for the killing which took place at around 2 a.m. (7 p.m. ET Tuesday).
Lebanese security sources said supporters of the Syrian rebel opposition were top suspects in the killing in a Shi’ite area of southern Lebanon, where security is normally tight.
Jamo’s wife, who was with him during the attack but not harmed, said on Hezbollah TV that officials from Syria’s ruling Baath party had called her husband on Tuesday and warned him to be careful.
That call came on the day a Hezbollah security official was killed and two wounded when a convoy of vehicles heading to Syria from Lebanon was subjected to a bomb and gun ambush.
(FEDERALJACK) On this edition of DTRH Popeye welcomes back Steve Stars to the broadcast to discuss Syria, Benghazi, Gun Running to the Syrian Rebels (al-Qaeda), Israel’s involvement in the whole mess, and more. If you don’t understand the current geopolitics in the Middle East make sure to tune in for this two hour crash course.
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(PRESS TV) Ever since the Bahraini revolution broke out in February 2011, international news channels have covered it differently according to their geo-political priorities.
Western news channels have covered the events very sporadically and so have Arab news channels. Yet these same channels have covered unrest in Syria and Libya very closely.
So this indicates that while certain western and Arab media claim to be free and fair, they are in fact closely aligned to their government’s foreign policies.
Also we will look at how media coverage of Bahrain has stoked sectarianism and the role of Bahrain TV itself.
(RT) The world may be terrified of a potential war with Iran, but for arms producers – tensions fear is good business. So it is for the Unites States. According to a recent Congressional Research Service report, within just one year the US has tripled its arms sales and half of what US sold last year went to Gulf states.
(RT) CNN International has brought on some unwanted attention. The Cable News Network affiliate has shed light on the violence in Middle-Eastern countries to viewers all over the world, but has refused to air an award winning documentary called iRevolution which brings a first-hand view of Bahrain’s struggles. Adriana Usero brings us more on CNN’s reasoning for not airing the documentary.
(Michelle Wiese Bockmann) Iran’s navy helped a U.S.-flagged cargo ship that was attacked by pirates off the United Arab Emirates, according to the vessel’s owner, Maersk Line Ltd.
The Iranian navy was the first to respond to the initial distress call from the Maersk Texas, Kevin Speers, senior director of marketing at Maersk Line, said by phone today. The vessel was attacked by several skiffs and armed guards on board returned fire, the company said in an earlier statement.
The incident happened at about noon northeast of Fujairah, the biggest port in the Middle Eastfor refueling oil tankers, Maersk said. Iran’s navy provided guidance to the crew of the Maersk Texas by radio, Speers said, declining to comment further pending a debriefing.
U.S., U.K., Chinese, French, German and Russian negotiators — the so-called P5+1 group — are meeting with Iranian officials in Baghdad today over the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear program. The West suspects Iran’s goal is to develop a weapon, while Iran contends it is for civilian purposes.
The European Union’s counter-piracy force said it had reviewed the incident and determined there was “no case of piracy and it’s a false alarm,” Timo Lange, a spokesman for Northwood, England-based EU Navfor, said by phone today. EU Navfor operates nine warships and five maritime patrol aircraft as part of an operation combating piracy in the region, according to data on its website.
(PRISON PLANET) Russian warships have entered Syrian territorial waters in an aggressive move designed to prevent any NATO-led attack on the country under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention”.
“Russian warships are due to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest,” reports Haaretz.
Russia has stepped up efforts to defend Syria in recent days, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keen to frame the violence in the country as a civil war in defiance of claims by western powers that President Bashar al-Assad has overseen a bloody crackdown on innocent protesters.
As we saw prior to the attack on Libya, which was also framed as a “humanitarian intervention,” NATO powers are keen to demonize Assad’s government by characterizing attacks by his forces as atrocities while largely ignoring similar attacks by opposition forces, such as this week’s raid on a Syrian air force intelligence complex that killed or wounded 20 security police.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner rejects Russia’s claim that Syria is in a civil war, stating, “We believe it’s very much the Assad regime carrying out a campaign of violence, intimidation, and repression against innocent protesters.”
Of course, we heard similar rhetoric even as NATO-backed Al-Qaeda rebels were commandeering fighter jets and firing rocket-propelled grenades in Libya, actions also undertaken by “innocent protesters,” we were told at the time.
As we have previously reported, despite overwhelming speculation that Iran will be the next target of a military assault, Syria is the likeliest target for the next salvo of NATO-backed regime change.
US President Barack Obama got the ball rolling back in August when he called on President al-Assad to step down. The UN has already withdrawn all non-essential staff from the country.
Without Russia’s help, Syria would be largely defenseless against a NATO attack. “I don’t see any purely military problems. Syria has no defence against Western systems … [But] it would be more risky than Libya. It would be a heavy military operation,” former French air force chief Jean Rannou commented.
Given that the western press has proven adept at manufacturing lies to justify military interventions, whether the actions of Assad’s regime represent genuine atrocities or legitimate conduct in the midst of a civil war remains unclear. Some have claimed the abuses are being embellished, while both former CIA agent Robert Baer and ex-MI6 officer Alastair Crooke point out that the Syrian people definitely want change, but not in the form of a NATO “humanitarian” assault.