US Intelligence Tapping Phones of Indonesian Civilians

This video says about itself:

Students in Indonesia took over parliament and the Indonesian dictator [Soeharto] was forced to resign [in 1998].

From Democracy Now! in the USA:

US Intelligence Tapping Phones of Indonesian Civilians

Investigative journalist Allan Nairn reveals that U.S. intelligence officers in Jakarta are secretly tapping the cell phones and reading the SMS text messages of Indonesian civilians. Some of the Americans involved in the spy operation work out of the Jakarta headquarters of Detachment 88, a US-trained and–funded paramilitary unit which is part of Kopassus, the Indonesian army’s special forces famed for abduction, torture and assassination. The news comes as Congress weighs whether to send more military aid to Indonesia.

In a brazen and illegal attack on press freedom, the Obama Justice Department secretly subpoenaed the telephone records of Associated Press editors and journalists and tracked ingoing and outgoing calls on at least 20 telephone lines, including the national headquarters of the press agency and its news bureaus in New York, Hartford and Washington DC. Among the lines tracked was the telephone used by AP reporters working out of the House of Representatives press gallery in the Capitol: here.


Bush’s Guantanamo soldiers vandalise Wikipedia

This is the ‘Guantanamo‘ video; roots reggae music by Ras Nas – Tanzania.

From Associated Press:

Gitmo troops vandalise Wikipedia

December 13, 2007 – 10:34AM

US military personnel at Guantanamo Bay called Fidel Castro a transsexual and defended the prison for terrorism suspects in anonymous web postings, an internet group that publishes government documents said today.

The group, Wikileaks, tracked web activity by service members with Guantanamo email addresses and also found they deleted prisoner identification numbers from three detainee profiles on Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia that allows anyone to change articles.

Julian Assange, who led the research effort, said the postings amount to propaganda and deception.

“This is the American government speaking to the American people and to the world through Wikipedia, not identifying itself and often speaking about itself in the third person,” Assange said in a telephone interview from Paris.

Army Lt Col Ed Bush, a Guantanamo spokesman, said there is no official attempt to alter information posted elsewhere but said the military seeks to correct what it believes is incorrect or outdated information about the prison.

Bush declined to answer questions about the Castro posting.

Assange said that in January 2006, someone at Guantanamo wrote in a Wikipedia profile of the Cuban president: “Fidel Castro is an admitted transexual,” the unknown writer said, misspelling the word transsexual.

The US has no formal relations with Cuba and has maintained its base in the south-east of the island over the objections of the Castro government.

Comments on news stories were posted by people using apparently fictitious names to news sites – and were prepared by the Guantanamo public affairs office, according to Wikileaks.

A comment on a Wired magazine story about a leaked Guantanamo operations manual that was recently posted on the Wikileaks website urged readers to learn about Guantanamo by going to the public affairs website, adding that the base is “a very professional place full of true American patriots”.

Assange’s group could not specifically identify who from Guantanamo made about 60 edits to Wikipedia entries on topics that included not only the prison but also subjects such as football, cars and television programs.

See also here.

Righting Past Wrongs – Defending the Right to Sexual Diversity in Cuba. Interview with Mariela Castro: here.

New fish species discovered

This is a video about the Morichal Largo river in Venezuela and its animal life, especially fish.

At least three recent discoveries of new fish species.

Scientists have described a new species of shrimpgoby from the Indonesian island of Flores.

A new species of Batasio catfish has been described from southern Myanmar and the identities of two other members of the genus have been clarified in a study published in the latest issue of the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

A new species of electric knifefish has been described from southern Brazil.

New fish, coral species discovered in Indonesian seas: here.

Talking about fish, also from Practical Fishkeeping:

Aquatic retailers may be trading in a fish that has been illegal to sell without authorisation since the 1970s; shops or fishkeepers caught using the species for commercial purporses without certificates risk £5000 fines for each specimen and/or up to five years in prison.

Practical Fishkeeping can exclusively reveal that retail outlets in the UK may have offered one of the world’s most endangered fish, Probarbus jullieni (the Isok barb), for sale to the public in recent months.

Women of Iraq much worse off under Bush than under Saddam

This video from the USA says about itself:

Iraq Women Speak Out (Excerpt)

In March 2006, Code Pink invited eight Iraqi Women to the U.S. to speak about their experiences under the U.S. invasion and occupation. They were doctors, engineers, professors, and journalists. Two of the women had their entire families killed by U.S. troops. They were denied visas to enter the U.S. on the grounds that they did not have sufficient family to guarantee they would return to Iraq.

Iraq Women Speak Out (Excerpt 2) is here.

Excerpt 3 is here.

From British daily The Guardian:

Freedom lost

After the invasion of Iraq, the US government claimed that women there had ‘new rights and new hopes’. In fact their lives have become immeasurably worse, with rapes, burnings and murders now a daily occurrence.

Deterioration of Iraqi Women’s Rights and Living Conditions Under Occupation:here.

Haifa Zangana interview: here.

Iraqi beauticians forced underground: here.

IRAQ: Not Even the Hajj is Free of Corruption: here.

UK arms sales to Saddam Hussein: here.

Suicides by US soldiers and war veterans on the rise

This video from the USA is called Dr. Ira Katz, the VA’s mental health chief, tried to cover up rising number of veteran suicides.

By Joe Kay:

Suicides by US soldiers and war veterans surge

13 December 2007

Among the tragic consequences of the explosion of American militarism has been the sharp rise in the suicide rate of active duty and veteran US soldiers. Traumatized by what they have witnessed and forced to do in Iraq and Afghanistan, and provided with inadequate health care resources, an increasing number of veterans have opted to take their own lives.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs heard testimony from family members of soldiers who have committed suicide and experts in mental health on what several witnesses described as an “epidemic.”

The hearings were in part a response to a CBS News report last month that for the first time calculated the total number of suicides by US veterans. These figures are not tallied by the military itself, which only counts the number of suicides of active duty soldiers.

Galápagos marine iguanas and climate change

This is a video of a marine iguana coming out of the water to join his friends.

From Yale University in the USA:

Global climate change: The impact of El Niño on Galápagos marine iguanas

New Haven, Conn. — A before-and-after study led by Yale biologists, of the effects of 1997 El Niño on the genetic diversity of marine iguanas on the Galápagos Islands, emphasizes the importance of studying populations over time and the need to determine which environmental and biological factors make specific populations more vulnerable than others. …

“Since global warming is expected to cause an increase in the strength and frequency of El Niño events, it is important to evaluate the impact of El Niño on natural populations and their capacity to respond to environmental stresses,” said Gisella Caccone, senior research scientist in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale, and senior author of the paper published this week in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.

In this study, the researchers investigated the effect of sea surface warming associated with the single, intense El Niño event of 1997 to 1998 on genetic diversity in Galápagos marine iguana populations. They found that populations within the same species responded very differently.

For marine iguanas living in the Galapagos Islands, an El Nino can be deadly. Some die from starvation while others survive. Scientists have long believed that the difference between life and death for the iguana depended on the animals’ ability to secrete the stress hormone corticosterone: here.