Greek police union wants to arrest EU/IMF officials
Greece’s largest police union has threatened to issue arrest warrants for officials from the country’s European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders for demanding deeply unpopular austerity measures.

In a letter obtained by Reuters Friday, the Federation of Greek Police accused the officials of “…blackmail, covertly abolishing or eroding democracy and national sovereignty” and said one target of its warrants would be the IMF’s top official for Greece, Poul Thomsen.

The threat is largely symbolic since legal experts say a judge must first authorize such warrants, but it shows the depth of anger against foreign lenders who have demanded drastic wage and pension cuts in exchange for funds to keep Greece afloat.

15M Barcelona Internacional

Los acusa de “extorsión”, “eliminación de políticas democráticas” y de “interferencia en procesos legales”.

Una importante asociación de la policía griega ha exigido que se emitan órdenes de arresto contra los representantes de la troika —BCE, FMI y UE— por los cargos de “extorsión”, de “promoción encubierta de la eliminación o reducción de nuestras políticas democráticas y de la soberanía nacional” y de “interferencia en procesos legales esenciales” del Estado.

“Quedan avisados de que, como representantes legítimos de la policía Griega, requeriremos que nos sean emitidas órdenes de arresto hacia ustedes por una gran cantidad de delitos contemplados por la legislación y de acuerdo al Código Penal griego”, afirma  en una carta la Federación Panhelénica de Oficiales de Policía (POASY). Sus destinatarios son  Poul Thomsen, del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), Servaz Deruz, de la Comisión Europea (CE) y Klaus Mazuch, del Banco Central Europeo (BCE).

El comunicado aclara que la…

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Yes, Time Magazine Thinks Americans Are Stupid


A screen shot of the U.S. and international covers for the Feb. 20, 2012 issue of Time Magazine.

You may notice something striking about this week’s American edition of Time magazine.

While readers in Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific—really, the rest of the Time-reading world—confront a serious profile about Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and his role in the euro crisis, Americans are in for a special treat: a cover story called “The Surprising Science of Animal Friendships*.” (The asterisk leads to a footnote at the bottom of the cover that says, “BFFs are not just for humans anymore.”) With not one but two adorable dogs against a hot-pink background, this week’s Time really signifies the editors’ staunch commitment to serious, hard-hitting journalism, even if it means risking unpopularity.

Sarcasm aside: This is not the first time this has happened. In fact, Time faced ridicule for giving the rest of the world a cover story on the Arab protests while feeding Americans a cartoon cover about “Why Anxiety Is Good For You” only two months ago.

An athlete appearing on the cover of Time Magazine is a great honor. But apparently that honor only appears in the United States if it is a sport that Americans care about.

Lionel Messi, who recently won FIFA’s Player of the Year award for the third time is on this week’s cover of Time Magazine (right)But good luck finding that issue in the United States. In this country, Messi has been replaced by an image for a story on shyness.

Producing regional magazine covers is not new. Sports Illustrated often does this in preview issues, presumably to better promote that issue in different parts of the country. But in this case, Messi is not being replaced by soccer player with a more American appeal.

In the end, it is unclear who should be more offended, the sport of soccer for losing a chance to reach fans in the United States, or Americans whom Time may not feel are sophisticated enough to appreciate a soccer cover.

Time’s conviction that Americans only want to read feel-good puff pieces appears to be far stronger than any desire on the publisher’s part to sell itself as an important U.S. news source.


Israel immigration law discriminates against thousands from Palestine


This document threatens to ruin Lana Khatib’s life – it makes no mention of her university degree, husband or two children. It simply states she’s a Palestinian – and therefore illegal and unwanted in Israel.

“I have a permission to stay here, but I don’t have any rights, just to breathe and eat and drink and for me it’s not a life”, Lana Khatib told RT.

But Lana chooses this non-life because it’s where her husband and children live. By law they’re Israeli whereas the rest of her family live across the border in Jenin, West Bank.

Taiseer Khatib, Lana’s husband, says that: “each time we travel to Jenin during the week, during the usual days, Lana goes through a path, and I and the kids go through another path. What does this remind us of?”

Until now Lana’s moved between the two worlds with temporary visas issued by Tel Aviv. But she’s afraid that could stop as the government tightens its grip on an eight-year-old law denying permanent citizenship to Palestinians married to Israelis.

Mohammad Darawshe, Co-Executive Director of the Abraham Funds Initiative told RT that Israel “is trying to limit the demographic natural growth of the Arab citizens, encourage Arab citizens who marry Palestinians from the west bank and Gaza or Jordan to actually emigrate, to actually leave Israel.”

Taiseer and Lana Khatib

Taiseer and Lana Khatib

Israel says the law is for security purposes. And it’s trying to prevent Palestinians from taking advantage of being able to get an Israeli ID through marriage and then carry out attacks on Israeli citizens.

But human rights groups don’t buy that they petitioned the law arguing that in the last 14 years, more than 130 000 Palestinians have entered Israel because of family ties with Israelis only 54 of them were ever found to be a security risk.

In upholding the so-called citizenship law the Israeli Supreme Court president said it was one of the most difficult questions in the state’s history – the battle against terror while at the same time maintaining the nation’s democratic nature.

Sawsan Zaher Attorney and Director of Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel says: “we are talking about thousands of families, that as a result of the decision of the supreme court that validated and upheld the law, they are now living under the tangible threat of being forcibly separated from their spouses, from their children, from their parents, so we are indeed talking about a huge issue.”

But in the meantime it threatens to tear families apart – as Lana and Taiseer now face the very real danger that they might not be able to continue living together.

Most. Powerful. Protest. Ever.


Firemen use foam and water on government buildings over austerity cuts.

Firemen demonstrate against austerity cuts and pension reforms in Belgium. They used foam and water on government buildings, and security. Why can’t all protests include members of civil defence forces (and their awesome water and foam cannon firepower)? It would really straighten out the odds!

Firemen demonstrate against pension reforms – Belgium |

Syrian Australian shot on doorstep


Inky Binary

This week I met two Syrian Australians whose son had been shot. They feared it may have been due to his backing of Syria’s President Assad in an argument on Facebook. They’re Alawi, originally from the town of Tartous.  The truth is, they didn’t know for sure why he was shot, and the police were none to sure early on either; it was being investigated by the local command in Campsie as well as Operation Spartan, set up to deal with the spate of gun crime in Sydney. We went to Padstow to meet them. In the screenshot below you can see Jamal Daoud – a bit of a get-around-town activist who is keen on portraying the shooting as part of a wider campaign against Assad supporters. Time will tell.

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