Guess who would like to bring down Iran’s nuclear plans?
24 Sep 2010

What a story:

Little doubt remains that the Stuxnet worm represents one of the most sophisticated digital attacks on critical infrastructure systems that cybersecurity researchers have ever seen. The motives of whoever launched that attack is a far murkier question–but a mounting stack of theories is starting to point to a targeted sabotage of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The latest, put forward by Frank Rieger, a researcher at security and encryption firm GSMK, posits in a Frankfurt newspaper (translation here) and on his blog that Stuxnet targetted a nuclear enrichment facility in the Iranian town of Natanz. Stuxnet has spread internationally, but the vast majority of infections have happened in Iran, according to numbers from antivirus firm Symantec in July.
Rieger points to signs that Stuxnet was engineered to infect systems as early as January 2009. And in July 2009, whistle-blower site Wikileaks posted a note from an anonymous source describing a nuclear accident in Natanz. The head of Iran’s nuclear program resigned shortly thereafter, and Rieger points to official Iranian numbers that showed a reduction in working enrichment centrifuges.


So this is why we pay Serco so much
24 Sep 2010

Need more evidence how dysfunctional and undemocratic is the relationship between Serco and the Australian government?

Detainees who protested on the roof of a Sydney detention centre this week have been put in maximum security isolation as punishment, a refugee advocate says.
Nine Chinese nationals, including five men and four women, one of whom is two months pregnant, climbed on to the roof of the Villawood centre on Wednesday morning.  
One of them came down at 4pm on Thursday and the rest followed about six hours later.
Another 11 asylum seekers ended a 30-hour protest on the roof on Tuesday night.
Justice Action Network spokesman Jamal Daoud says he believes all but one of the rooftop protesters are now in maximum security compounds.
“All of them are in Stage One at the moment, except the pregnant woman – she was taken to hospital last night,” said Mr Daoud, who has been in regular contact with detainees.
“They usually put someone in there for punishment…. They are in isolation, they are not allowed to go outside the room.”
Serco, the company that runs the centre, declined to comment on the asylum seekers’ situation and told AAP all inquiries should be referred to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
A DIAC spokesman refused to comment on where the protesters were housed, saying it was a matter for Serco.
“As far as where they’re housed, that’s a matter for Serco and their ongoing management of the centre,” he said.

Ben-Gurion University is ripe for boycott
24 Sep 2010

South Africa knows a thing or two about apartheid. No wonder growing numbers of people there won’t tolerate similar or worse behaviour in the Zionist state:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana and author Breyten Breytenbach have added their voices to calls for the University of Johannesburg to sever academic ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Mail & Guardian reported in May that the senate had debated the matter then and had asked a senate subcommittee headed by deputy vice-chancellor Adam Habib to make recommendations within three months.M&G. “It has taken a long time because the matter is highly contested. And I can’t say what our senate will decide.”online petition launched after the May senate meeting. It calls for “the suspension of UJ’s agreement with Ben-Gurion” and this week had notched up nearly 200 signatories. M&G he had thought the senate meeting in question would be held late in October and he would “need to make inquiries” before commenting.M&G
reported at the time.

The petition’s signatories come from a range of local universities and identify themselves as “the academic community of South Africa, a country with a history of brute racism on the one hand and both academic acquiescence and resistance to it on the other”.

The cooperation between the two universities dates from the 1980s, when the local partner was called Rand Afrikaans University. The agreement now under fire involves scientific interaction and was signed in August last year, renewing a controversial apartheid-era collaboration, its critics say.
On Wednesday next week UJ’s senate will hear recommendations on the future of the university’s ties with Ben-Gurion.
“We have concluded our deliberations and arrived at recommendations,” Habib told the
Tutu, Pityana and Breytenbach are recent signatories to an
Law professor John Dugard, theologian Allan Boesak, ANC stalwart Kader Asmal, struggle veteran and language-rights expert Neville Alexander, poet Antjie Krog, former Freedom of Expression Institute director Jane Duncan and Wits University sociologist Ran Greenstein are among other recent additions to the petition.
Leading the fight to retain ties with Ben-Gurion is the South African Associates of Ben-Gurion University, whose chairperson, Herby Rosenberg, told the
His organisation’s president, Bertie Lubner, was on a plane and unavailable, he said. The associates arranged that local advocate David Unter-halter and Ben-Gurion professor Ilan Troen argue in the May senate meeting for retaining ties with UJ, the
“The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories has had disastrous effects on access to education for Palestinians,” the petition reads.
“While Palestinians are not able to access universities and schools, Israeli universities produce the research, technology, arguments and leaders for maintainingthe occupation.”
By virtue of its ties with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and the arms industry, Ben-Gurion “structurally supports and facilitates the Israeli occupation”, the petition says.
One example of its “complicity is its agreement with the IDF to provide full university qualification to army pilots within a special [Ben-Gurion] programme,” it says.
The petition calls on UJ’s senate to suspend the relationship with Ben-Gurion until, “as a minimum”, Israel “adheres to international law and … as did some South African universities during the struggle against South African apartheid, openly declares itself against the occupation and withdraws all privileges for the soldiers who enforce it”.

Scahill on Blackwater madness under God and country
23 Sep 2010

U.S. Businessman: Blackwater Paid Me to Buy Steroids and Weapons on Black Market for Its Shooters.
The Rajapaksa dictatorship
23 Sep 2010

The ongoing pain in Sri Lanka, the rise of Sinhalese authoritarianism and Tamil oppression. Former UN spokesman in Colombo Gordon Weiss explains on Australian TV:
America wants faceless men to kill its enemies
23 Sep 2010

The largely secret war now being fought by unaccountable private firms. This is how the West fights battles:

More private contractors than soldiers were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months, the first time in history that corporate casualties have outweighed military losses on America’s battlefields.
More than 250 civilians working under U.S. contracts died in the war zones between January and June 2010, according to a ProPublica analysis of the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Labor, which tracks contractor deaths. In the same period, 235 soldiers died, according to Pentagon figures.
his milestone in the privatization of modern U.S. warfare reflects both the drawdown in military forces in Iraq and the central role of contractors in providing logistics support to local armies and police forces, contracting and military experts said.
Steven Schooner, a professor of government contracting at George Washington University Law School, said that the contractor deaths show how the risks of war have increasingly been absorbed by the private sector. Private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan provide fuel, food and protective services to U.S. outposts — jobs once performed by soldiers.

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