NATO kills Afghan civilians again


This video is called Alarming rise in Afghan civilian casualties – 9 March 09.

From British daily The Morning Star today:

NATO strike kills 12 civilians

Afghanistan: The government said on Tuesday that NATO forces killed 12 civilians in an overnight strike on “militants” in the east.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said that the civilians had been killed when NATO forces went after a Taliban operative in Laghman province.

Hundreds of residents took to the streets in protest at the incident.

See also here. And here.

Labour MP Paul Flynn challenged ministers on Tuesday to explain why 100 British soldiers have died this year in Afghanistan protecting “corrupt thief” president Karzai and his cronies: here.

British Anti-War Military Families go to Downing Street, here.

Europe’s oldest dinosaur feather discovered


Translated from DPA news agency in Germany:

Oldest dinosaur feather in Europe discovered

Stuttgart – It is just eight millimeter long, but a big sensation: a 150 million years old dinosaur feather, found by a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Stuttgart, in the Swabian Alb.

Whether it belongs to a Archaeopteryx or a previously unknown feathered dinosaur is still unclear, the museum said on Tuesday in Stuttgart. A comparison with the feather, so far considered the oldest, of the Solnhofen Limestone Archaeopteryx, does not tell much, paleontologist Günther Schweigert daid. “Because that was a wing feather, and this one is a body feather.”

The new artifact comes from the Solnhofen Nusplinger – a true paradise for paleontologists. …

More than 350 different species of animals and plants from the Jurassic have already been found in the lagoon deposits.

So far, the feather of a Archaeopteryx from Solnhofen in Bavaria, found in 1861, was considered the world’s oldest. However, the chalk predominating in Swabia is about 500 000 years older than Solnhofen. Thus, the Swabian specimen is Europe’s oldest. Perhaps it is also the world’s oldest: only in the last few months, feathered dinosaurs have been found in China, said to be 158 million years old. “However, the data there are very incomplete”, Schweigert says.

Pinochet’s murder of Chilean Christian Democrat Frei


This video is called The Crimes of Pinochet – Chile.

From the BBC:

Chile judge charges six over ex-president’s 1982 death

Mr Frei Montalva was president from 1964 to 1970

A Chilean judge has charged six people over the death in 1982 of the country’s ex-President, Eduardo Frei Montalva.

The judge said there was now evidence that Mr Frei, a vocal critic of military leader Augusto Pinochet, had been poisoned in hospital.

The arrests come less than a week before Chile‘s presidential election, in which Mr Frei’s son, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, is a leading candidate.

The former president’s family have long argued he was murdered.

Mr Frei Montalva died after undergoing routine surgery.

The six people charged in connection with the alleged killing include four doctors – two who were involved in the operation and two in the subsequent post mortem.

At the time, the authorities said the former leader had died of a bacterial infection.

“The death of the former president came about as a result of the gradual introduction into his system of unusual, toxic substances… which broke down his immune system,” Judge Alejandro Madrid said as he announced the charges.

See also here.

Although the initial results of the Chilean elections appear to show strong support for right-wing candidate Sebastian Pinera, the real news of this election is that for the first time since the coup in 1973 the Chilean Communist Party has achieved parliamentary representation: here. And here.

Chile’s president has apologised to the descendants of a group of indigenous people who were kidnapped and exibited as “curiosities” in Europe during the 1880s: here.

Conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera has won the presidential election in Chile, a result likely to swing the country the right and increase tensions across Latin America: here.

Nikolas Kozloff: Chile’s Presidential Election and Future of South American Left: here.