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Archive for December 2nd, 2008

Robert Gates compromised: Former CIA boss appointed by Obama to the cabinet will stop CIA from revealing Obama’s personal information – CIA remains loyal to Gates!

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2008

gates1It is all smiles, as Gates has no choice but keep the secret a little longer: (Robert Gates in the middle smiles away -revealing Obama’s secrets in a book which was to hit the market in February 2009)

RobertGates’ book with a working title, “Obama citizenship and adoption – The book of Revelation” which was expected to be released in February 2009, if Obama is inaugurated on the 20th january may now not see the light. Remember the book of Revelation in the Bible? What a resemblence!

RobertGatesa former CIA boss knows Obama’s secrecy. Obama knows very well that a CIA man knows a great deal about politicians and their dirty behaviour.

Nominating Gates is a very interesting move that Obama has now pulled and that gurantees a lot of things, one being the safety of all the information that CIA may have on Obama, including his realcitizenship and the birth certificate issue.

Was Obama vetted when he took the Senate seat? What information does CIA have on his background on where he was born, the citizenship issue and his adoption? Will CIA say anything about this if there is a demand from the American people or will they keep silent for the respect of their former popular boss,Robert Gates?

Like they say, keep your enemies more closer because then you know their every move.

Having Gates closer is going to ensure that nothing goes wrong because Gates being the only Republican given a top job is happy to get the honor of representing the Republicans in the new Cabinet.


Dr. Robert M. Gates was sworn in on December 18, 2006, as the 22nd Secretary of Defense. Before entering his present post, Secretary Gates was the President of Texas A&M University, the nation’s seventh largest university. Prior to assuming the presidency of Texas A&M on August 1, 2002, he served as Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001.

Secretary Gates served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to Director. Secretary Gates served as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from 1986 until 1989 and as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser at the White House from January 20, 1989, until November 6, 1991, for President George H.W. Bush.

By Chief Editor Korir

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Clinton chosen for state department – Why is Obama taking in Republican Gates

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2008

gatesGates, centre, is the only Republican in Obama’s cabinet [AFP]

Obama also named Eric Holder, who served as deputy attorney-general in Bill Clinton’s administration, as attorney-general and Janet Napolitano, Arizona’s governor, as homeland security secretary.

Barack Obama, the US president-elect,has confirmedhis nominationof Hillary Clinton, his former presidential rival,assecretary of state in his new administration.

Robert Gates, the current US defence secretary who has served two years in the Bush administration,is also set tocontinue in his post, Obama said at a news conference in Chicago on Monday at which he announceda number ofsenior administration posts.

Clinton and Obama campaigned together after
Obama won the Democratic nomination [AFP]

Obama criticised Clinton for her vote to authorise the Iraq war.

And Clinton said Obama lacked the experience to be president condemning him for saying he would meet with leaders of nations such as Iran and Cuba without conditions.

However, on Monday, she stood alongside Obamaand vowed to make the US a new force for positive change, saying that in her new role she would work with the world community to solve global crises.

“The American people have demanded not just a new direction at home, but a new effort to renew America’s standing in the world as a force for positive change,” Clinton told the Chicago news conference.

Clinton said she would “reach out to the world again” after eight years of the Bush administration and promised to give “this assignment, your administration and my country, my all”.

‘New mission’

Obama made the announcement just days after the Mumbai attacks added to the rising number of US national security concerns.

The president-elect, who is to take office on January 20, said he would give Gates a “new mission” to end the Iraq war and hand over control of the country to the Iraqis.

“I will be giving secretary Gates and our military a new mission as soon as I take office, responsibly ending the war in Iraq through a successful transition to Iraqi control,” said Obama, pledging to focus on the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Gates had previously said he wanted to leave at the end of the Bush administration but agreed to stay on, although it is not clear for how long.

While Gates avoided direct criticism of Obama during the election campaign, he has advocated policies thathave been at odds with Obama on issues such as Iraq.

Obama says he will withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office, but Gates has argued against setting timetables and a quick pullout, saying it could jeopardise security there.

Al Jazeera’s Franc Contreras in Mexico City says Napolitano’s appointment at the department of homeland security will be watched closely in Mexico as she will have responsibility for the border between the two countries.

“Napolitano has fought to curb illegal immigration, but has been sceptical that building a fence along the US-Mexico border will solve the problem. She once said: ‘You build a 50-foot wall, somebody will find a 51-foot ladder.'”



He also announced two senior foreign policy positions outside the cabinet – Susan Rice, his campaign foreign policy adviser, as UN ambassador, and retired General James Jones as national security adviser.

Obama introduced Clinton first, saying of his former presidential rival: “She possesses an extraordinary intelligence and toughness, and a remarkable work ethic.

“She is an American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence, who knows many of the world’s leaders, who will command respect in every capital, and who will clearly have the ability to advance our interests around the world.”

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, said people hoping for fresh faces in Obama’s team would be disappointed by the choice of established Washington-basedfigures but that others mayargue that only those with significant experience could implement Obama’s message of change.

All theappointments except that of national security adviser need to beapproved by the US senate before they are confirmed.

Past disagreements

Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, clashed repeatedly with Obama on foreign affairs during the Democratic presidential primary campaign earlier this year.

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Israeli air raid kills two in Gaza

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2008

An Israeli air strike has killed two Palestinians and injured four others in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses and hospital officials have said.
The Israeli army confirmed the air strike in the town of Rafah, and said Palestinian fighters had launched six mortar bombs across the border.

Relatives said both the Palestinians killed were civilians and one was aged 15.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said one of its members was wounded in the incident.

Fighters have fired dozens of rockets and mortar bombs at Israel in the past three weeks after Israeli raids killed about a dozen gunmen.

Saying it was responding to the rocket attacks, Israel has tightened its closure of Gaza borders, choking off some food supplies to the territory and raising international concern.

The violence has strained a ceasefire in place since June, which is due to run out later this month.

Sherine Tadros, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Gaza, said the airstrike came justas a leading Hamas official had told Al Jazeera that talkswere to begin with various Palestinian factions to discuss the future of the truce with Israel.

Mosques desecrated

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Jewish settlers desecrated mosques in two villages by spraying graffiti insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

Insults written in Hebrew were spray-painted on the walls of a mosque in Al Sawyeh village in the northern West Bank, Mohammed Abdelrahim, a local councillor, said.

The perpetrators also sprayed stars of David on the doors of several stores and slashed the tyres of eight cars in a pre-dawn attack, Abdelrahim said.

Settlers also painted stars of David and the word “Hebron” on two mosques in the villages of Sinjel et Turmusayya.

Hebronwasthe scene of clasheson Monday between security forces, Palestiniansand settlers who have defied a court orderto leave a house whose ownership is disputed.

Settler dispute

FivePalestinians, including a12-year-old boy,were injuredin the violence, Palestinian doctors said.

Settlers and Palestiniansthrew stones at each otherand at least two cars belonging to Palestinians were set ablaze inwhat the Israeli army described as a “riot”.

Thirteen settler families, who have been facing eviction for 18 months – have vowed to resist an Israeli court order to leave the building in Hebron that they insist they bought from Palestinians.

The settler families haveoccupied the building, which they call the “house of peace”,since March 2007.

An unnamed eyewitness told news agency AFP thatPalestinians were hurt by stone-throwing settlers who also “shot at the Palestinians but did not wound anyone”.

An Israeli army spokesman said: “Two settlers were wounded, and the army, border guards and police were trying to separate the two sides.”

Israeli officials said an Israeli teenager had suffered a serious head injury after Palestinians dropped a large rock on himduringviolence in the city.

Clashes frequently occur between bothsides because of a settler enclave established in the heart ofHebron and a further6,500-strong settlement living in Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of the city.

Livni criticised

Meanwhile, European politicians told Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, on Tuesday that her country had to do more to stop the expansion of West Bank settlements.

The European parliament’s foreign affairs committee said settlers’ moves were threatening Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

Livni, in Brussels to seek closer ties with European Union, said it was no longer official Israeli policy to expand settlements in the West Bank and the government had been trying to reduce them since peace talks restarted last year.

Speaking to the committee, she said: “We are not trying to use or abuse the period of time in which we negotiate in order to have more land, or to get more land from the Palestinians.”

The foreign minister said “minor” efforts by some settler groups around the West Bank town of Hebron to expand their settlements would not derail peace talks or efforts to set up a Palestinian state.

Shesat through a barrage of criticism levied by several members of the committee,and also faced questions about what Israel was doing to alleviate the situation in Gaza.

Livni said Israel was allowing in humanitarian aid to ease the crisis there.


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Congo rebel leader threatens ‘war’

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2008

General Laurent Nkunda, the Congolese rebel leader, has threatened war on the Congolese government unless direct talks are held.

“If there is no negotiation, let us say then there is war,” Nkunda told reporters after meeting Olusegun Obasanjo, the UN special envoy, in the rebel commander’s native village, Jomba on Saturday.

Nkunda, whose forces have routed government troops and gained swathes of territory in North Kivu province in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo since launching a new offensive in August, has repeatedly demanded negotiations.

He said he had been told by Obasanjo that Kinshasa had accepted the principle of talks.

“I know that [the government] has no capacity to fight, so they have only one choice -negotiations,” Nkunda said.

“We asked for a response as to where, when, and with whom we are going to do these talks. For us, we propose Nairobi and for the mediator we proposed Chief Obasanjo.”

‘Relationship of trust’

Video footage of the meeting provided by the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, MONUC, showed Obasanjo criticising Nkunda for recent hostilities, including Thursday’s capture of the town of Ishasha, on the border with Uganda.

“What has happened in the last 14 days has not made me happy”Olusegun Obasanjo, UN special envoy to DR Congo

“What has happened in the last 14 days has not made me happy,” Obasanjo said, rising to his feet to address Nkunda, who remained seated at a low table.

“I tried to build a relationship of trust, but I don’t receive the same from you.”

Obasanjo said Nkunda should have informed him he was planning fresh offensives.

“You are making me a laughing stock,” he said.

Nkunda said the ceasefire he had declared applied only to fighting against the Congolese army, not against what he described as “foreign negative forces”.

That ceasefire has brought nearly two weeks of relative calmbut his men have continued attacking Congolese and Rwandan militias alliedwith the government.

Talks rebuffed

Obasanjo was in Congo on his second mission in two weeks to try to end the fighting in North Kivu that has displaced around 250,000 civilians and at one point brought Nkunda’s troops to within 10 km of the provincial capital, Goma.

The envoy, who met President Joseph Kabila in the mineral-rich African country on Friday, has pressed for talks.

Government ministers this week rebuffed the possibility of direct negotiations with Nkunda, calling for him to return to an earlier peace pact signed in January.

Emerging from his one-hour meeting with the rebel leader, Obasanjo avoided questions.

“We have advanced the course of peace,” he said.

MONUC said clashes between Nkunda’s National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) and armed groups erupted for a second day near Masisi town on Saturday.


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Zimbabwe cholera spread continues

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2008

The spread of cholera in Zimbabwe has killed 473 people, the World Health Organisation (WHO) office in Harare has said.

“A large cholera outbreak is affecting most regions of the country, with more than 11,700 cases and 473 deaths recorded between August and November 30,” CustodiaMandlhate, of the WHO’s Zimbabwe office, wrote in a report released on Tuesday.

President Robert Mugabe’s governmentcut off water supplies to Harare, the capital, on Monday in an attempt to stem the spread of the disease.

The Zimbabwean National Water Authority (Zinwa) had failed to find chemicals to treat the water supply.

“Most parts of Harare – including the city centre – did not get water yesterday amid claims by Zinwa staff that the authority had stopped pumping after it ran out of one of the essential chemicals,” the Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, reported.

Residents in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe’s second city, were cited by the Agence France-Presse news agency as saying that they too were not receiving water supplies.

Locals were instead searching for water with pans and optimistically digging wells near their properties.

Chitungwiza has been at the centre of the epidemic.

Neighbours affected

Harare says that 425 people have died of the disease nationally since the outbreak in August.

A total of 11,071 cases have been recorded in the impoverished south east African country.

The UN said on Friday that the disease is also spreading into neighbouring Botswana and South Africa.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)warned of an “alarming regional dimension” and said the health ministries of South Africa and Zimbabwe were working on co-ordination efforts together with the WHO.

“The rapid deterioration of the health service delivery system in Zimbabwe, the lack of adequate water supply, and lack of capacity to disposesolid waste and repair sewage blockages in most areas will continue to contribute to the escalation and spread of the outbreak,” Elisabeth Byrs, the OCHA spokeswoman, said.

UN efforts

UN humanitarian agencies are working on the ground to ensure the delivery of medical supplies, clean drinking water and water purification kits.

Byrs said that basic hygiene kits comprising a bucket or jerry can, soap and water treatment tablets have been distributed to at least 4,000 households in the capital Harare.

Veronique Taveau, a Unicef spokeswoman, said that unlike previous outbreaks that mainly hit rural areas, the current epidemic is affecting densely-populated urban centres, “which leads to its rapid expansion and makes it harder to fight against the disease”.

South Africa has reported seven cholera deaths over the last two weeks, all Zimbabweans or people whorecently came from the country.

Phuti Seloba, health department spokesman in the South African border town of Musina, said that dozens of cholera patients from Zimbabwe enter the country every day.

Border river contaminated

South African health authorities have set up five cholera treatment centres along the border to handle the influx, he added.

But the Limpopo River,the natural border between Zimbabwe and South Africa which many Zimbabweans cross to reach the neighbouring country, was also confirmed as contaminated with Cholera onMonday.

Zimbabwe belatedly changed its tune on Thursday and asked for international help to fight the outbreak after long insisting that the situation was under control.

“With the coming of the rainy season, the situation could get worse,” Edwin Muguti, deputy health minister, said.

“Our problems are quite simple. We need to be assisted.”

Cholera is spread via water contaminated with feces and can potentially kill within hours.


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Thai court dissolves ruling party

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2008

Thailand’s constitutional court has ordered the dissolution of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) for electoral fraud.

The court also ruled on Tuesday that Somchai Wongsawat, the prime minister, and 36 other party members be banned from politics for five years.

Chat Chalavorn, the head of the nine-judge panel, said the “court has decided to dissolve the party to set a political standard and an example”.

He also said that “dishonest political parties undermine Thailand’s democratic system. The court had no other option”.
‘Political manoeuvring’

Parnthep Pourpangan, aspokesman for the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which has been campaigning to bring down the government, told Al Jazeera that the verdict by the constitutional court was a victory for the people.

“We have been trying to protect the constitution, and the PPP have been trying to amend it to put forward their interests,” he said.

Gothom Arya, a former electoral commissioner,said that the courts in Thailand have been “too involved in making political decisions”.

“This is not good for the courts, this type of political manoeuvring does not reflect well on the insititutions, and it does provoke criticism and doubt as to how independent it can be,” he said.

‘Flights to resume’

Somkiat Pongpaiboon, a senior member of the PAD, said anti-government protestors will allow flights to resume from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport, after a blockade that has lasted for a week.

“As of this moment the PAD has allowed flights to take off and land immediately, both passenger and cargo flights,” he said.

The PAD occupied Suvarnabhumi and the smaller Don Mueang domestic airport stranding 350,000 passengers and causing massive damage to the Thai economy.

Thailand’s airport authority confirmed there was an agreement with protestors, saying flights may be able to resume if there areno “technical problems”.

“We have reached an agreement with thePAD to start clearing protestors from the passenger zone to reopen Suvarnabhumi airport,” said Vudhihaandhu Vichairatama, chairman of the board of Airports of Thailand.

“But how soon depends on technical issues. If there is no technical problems, the first flights would resume within 24 hours.”

Party to regroup

The constitutional court also ordered the two other members of the ruling coalition – the Chart Thai party and the Machima Thipatai party – to be dissolved on Tuesday and its leaders banned from politics for five years.

However, minutes after the ruling, the PPP said members would regroup under a new name and propose a new prime minister.

Anti-government protesters say they will meet to decide their next course of action [AFP]

Kudeb Saikrachang, a PPP spokesman, said the verdict had been expected and predetermined.

“We have known beforehand that this verdict would be announced, it is not a new development,” he said.

“They [the courts] had a plan to destroy Thai Rak Thai party and now it is the PPP. The public are well aware of this.

“We want the people to understand the problems we are facing, and people will stand up, but this is another coup committed by the courts, and not by the military.”

The Thai Rak Thai party, which was similarly dissolved by a military-appointed constitutional tribunal in May last year and its leaders banned from politics, regrouped as the PPP soon after.

Situation tense

The court had earlier changed venues for the hearing after hundreds of government supporters surrounded the building to try to stop the hearing.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen, reporting from outside the Administrative Court building where the case was moved to, described the situation outside the court as tense after the ruling.

“The people gathered here are very angry, and they believe a judicial coup has been committed against a democratically-elected government,” she said.

“Some are heavily armed andarecalling on people to fight this so-called judicial coup.”

Deadly blast

Hours before the court ruling, an anti-government protester was killed and 22 others were wounded in a bomb blast atthe Don Muang airport.

Local Thai television Channel 7 said a grenade was fired from a flyover near the airport which has been occupied by the PAD.

The yellow-shirted PAD supporters have been trying for months to forceSomchai out, accusing him of being a proxyfor Thaksin Shinawatra, the premierousted in a 2006 coup and the originaltarget of the anti-government campaign.

Thaksin, who is Somchai’s brother-in-law, is in exile afterleaving the country to escape facing corruption charges.

So far, six people have been killed and scores injured in bomb attacks, clashes with police and street battles between government opponents and supporters.

Late on Monday, the PAD supporters began leaving the protest camp at Government House which they had occupied since late August. The move was aimed at consolidating their control of the Bangkok airports.


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The Fallen US soldiers who died liberating Iraq deserve praise and to be remembered

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2008



This statue
currently stands outside the Iraqi palace,

Now home to the 4th Infantry division.

It will
eventually be shipped home

And put in the
memorial museum inFort Hood,TX

The statue
was created by
an Iraqi
artist named Kalat,
who for years was forced by
Saddam Hussein to make the many hundreds
of bronze busts of Saddam that dottedBaghdad.

Kalat was so
grateful for the Americans liberation of his country;

He melted 3 of the heads of the fallen
Saddam and made the statue as a memorial to the American soldiers

and their fallen

worked on this memorial night and day for several months.

To the left of the
kneeling soldier is a small Iraqi girl giving the soldier comfort as he mourns the
loss of his comrade in arms.

Do you
know why we don’t hear about this in the news?

Because it
is heart warming
praise worthy..

The media
avoids it because it does not have the shock effect

But we
can do something about it.

We can
pass this along to as many people as we can in honor of all our brave
military who are making a difference.

Published by African Press
international – API in honor of
the fallen soldiers as we pray
their souls to rest in peace
and that their love ones left
behind be blessed

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