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Polls close after landmark #Tunisia vote Runoff between Beji Caid Essebsi and incumbent Marzouki Moncef represents final stage in nation's democratic transition.
US mulls putting N Korea back on terror list President Obama says Washington will look at what has been done by Pyongyang and make "determinations in future".
Kurdish fighters move on ISIL's Mosul hub Peshmerga forces expand a major offensive against ISIL while also delivering aid to Yazidi refugees on Mount Sinjar.
#Kenya tells US to back off over 'terror' law Top official fends off criticism, saying new 'anti-terror' law is better than Washington's counter-'terrorism' measures.

The Forgotten Futility of Torture

Futility of TortureIt has long been known that torture does not work. One can go back to the Enlightenment. In 1764 Cesare Beccaria published his groundbreaking work, On Crimes and Punishments. Beccaria had examined all the evidence available at that time and concluded that individuals under torture will tell their interrogator anything they want to hear, true or not, just to get the pain to stop. Beccaria’s book led to a temporary waning of the state-ordered torture.

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Deeds, Not Claims, Say Who We Are

broken-americaDuring the past three weeks we have been living in the United States a wakeup call to reality that heralds Americans might not be quite the people we claim to be; not in the way we treat people within and beyond our borders. Torture and racial discrimination, different issues with similar amoral results, are intermittently resurfacing; creating great distress for the pharisaic promoters of Pax Americana… the self-proclaimed patriots convinced that America, given its predestined godly nature, can do no wrong.

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Analysis

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Aleppo’s Synagogues Have Not Been Destroyed

Outside the Samoual Synagogue in the Western District of Aleppo

Given the massive destruction in large parts of Aleppo, Syria’s former economic juggernaut near the Turkish border, including in the city’s Medina souk and Industrial zone, claims of even more dire damage to Syrian heritage sites would perhaps be understandable. Even if not backed up with probative...

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Alice in Wonderland

The Judge, The Professor, The Prosecutor and the Minister

Note: the contents of this article draw on open source material that is in the public domain.

I act for the defence and for that I offer no apology. My clients are members of an Islamist Political party and have conservative religious and political views and for that they offer no apology.

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American Exceptionalism and Torture

by William Blum

In 1964, the Brazilian military, in a US-designed coup, overthrew a liberal (not more to the left than that) government and proceeded to rule with an iron fist for the next 21 years. In 1979 the military regime passed an amnesty law blocking the prosecution of its members for torture and other crimes. The amnesty still holds. 1

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Who is afraid of Palestinian statehood?

Splendid Isolation

Almost A thousand Israeli personalities have already signed an appeal to European parliaments for their governments to recognize the State of Palestine.

I am honored to be among the signatories, which include former ministers and members of the Knesset, diplomats and generals, artists and businessmen, writers and poets, including Israel's...

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Torture in Israeli Prisons

Washington and Israel replicate each other's worst crimes. A previous article discussed a UN Committee Against Torture report. Citing grave US civil and human rights abuses. Including systematic use of torture. Senate Intelligence Committee members confirmed it. In highly redacted form.

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'Cuban Five' at Heart of US-Cuba Deal

In the course of delivering his historic speech dramatically altering US Cuba policy, President Barack Obama briefly mentioned that the United States released three Cuban agents. These men are members of the “Cuban Five,” who were imprisoned for gathering information on US-based Cuban exile groups planning terrorist actions against Cuba. Without their release, Cuba would never...

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Politics

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Bushes 3. US 0.

Still recovering from the sonic bombshell dropped by Jeb Bush announcing he was officially upgrading his prospective candidate status from… considering the formation of an exploratory committee to investigate the feasibility of a possible run for the presidency to… actually authorizing the formation of an exploratory committee that will investigate the feasibility of a possible...

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Education and Indoctrination in Pakistan

by Nasir Khan

A Facebook friend of mine wrote me about the importance of education in fighting against superstitious beliefs and belief-systems. In a sense, education is seen as a vehicle of change against indoctrination. My brief reply is as follows:

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A Cold War Breakthrough

More than 50 years after the U.S. government’s imposition of its brutal economic embargo against the Cuban people, yesterday’s announcement by President Obama calling for a lifting of the embargo represents a major breakthrough for libertarians and others who are committed to the principles of individual liberty, free markets, private property, liberty of contract, freedom...

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Getting Away with Torture

Now we have it straight from the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured. I also believe that the conditions of confinement and the use of authorized and unauthorized interrogation and conditioning techniques were cruel, inhuman, and degrading. I believe the evidence of...

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Truth In Berlin

Once again, ‘scandal in Germany.’ This time the ultra Zionist AJC (American Jewish Committee) is empowered to define the boundaries of an exchange in Germany about Palestine and the hope for peace in the Middle East.

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Judicial Deference to the Torturers

In case anyone is wondering whether any of the CIA’s torture victims will be able to recover damages from CIA torturers, the answer is an unequivocal no. The federal judiciary decided a long time ago that it would not permit lawsuits brought by victims of the CIA or, for that matter, the U.S. military.

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