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Tuesday, Sep 16th

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UN to Israel: Free Palestinian prisoners, lift Gaza blockade

UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday called on Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported.

After two days of discussions, the council, which consists of 47 member states, passed a list of 99 'recommendations' of gestures for Israel to make to ease Palestinian suffering, including freeing all prisoners.

The US did not take part in the discussion, as it says the body discriminates against Israel. 

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Closing Guantanamo raises some nettlesome issues

Human rights advocates have called on Obama to seal the prison's fate with the stroke of a pen by signing an executive order on the day he takes office.

But the Obama transition team has said that no decision has been made on how to move ahead on the president-elect's commitment to shutter the facility. Analysts warn there is a host of complex issues that would need to be settled first, including what to do about the current military commissions system and ongoing trials.

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Olmert: I am shamed by Hebron settlers' pogrom

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday lashed out at settlers in Hebron who attacked Palestinians and their property in recent days, joining other Israeli figures in branding the attacks a "progrom."

Settlers in the West Bank city went on a rampage after Israel Defense Forces evicted dozens of them from a building whose ownership is disputed. The move came after Israel's High Court ordered that the settlers leave the building, dubbed the "House of Contention."

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Children 'executed' in 1950 South Korean killings

The killings, details of which were buried in classified U.S. files for a half-century, were intended to keep southern leftists from aiding the invaders at a time when the rightist, U.S.-allied government was in danger of being overrun by communist forces.

Family survivors last month met with the U.S. Embassy for the first time, saying afterward they demanded an apology for alleged "direct and indirect" American involvement in the killings.

Declassified records show U.S. officers were present at one killing field and that at least one U.S. officer sanctioned another mass political execution if prisoners otherwise would be freed by the North Koreans. Uncounted hundreds were subsequently killed, witnesses reported.

TVNL Comment: History shows that America has never protected "democracy" or "freedom". America has only protected "capitalism." U.S. Military actions, for the most part, have protected the profits of capitalists.

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UC professor under fire for White House memo

Berkeley's City Council will delve into national policy again next week when it votes whether to demand the United States charge Berkeley resident and former Bush adviser John Yoo with war crimes.

Yoo, a tenured professor at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, wrote the memos offering legal justification for torture while he worked for the White House from 2001 to 2003.

The City Council will vote Monday on the five measures. In addition to demanding that Yoo be charged with war crimes, the city will decide whether to order Boalt to offer alternatives to Yoo's courses, so no student is forced to take a class from him if they don't want to. Yoo has taught constitutional and international law at Boalt since 1993. 

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U.S. military frets over Iraqi prisoners

One of the powers the U.S. military loses under the new deal is the right to detain Iraqis indefinitely without charge. That means it will have to turn the 16,000-17,000 detainees currently in its custody over to Iraqi authorities in an orderly manner. Under Iraqi law, they will have to be tried or released.

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Justices Take Case on President’s Power to Detain

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide the most fundamental question yet concerning executive power in the age of terror: Can the president order the indefinite military detention of people living in the United States?

In a brief filed three weeks ago, lawyers for Mr. Marri, who has been held without charge in isolation for more than five years, said the court should not delay consideration of the case.

“Since the nation’s founding,” the brief said, “persons lawfully residing in this country have correctly understood that they can be imprisoned for suspected wrongdoing only if the government charges them with a crime and tries them before a jury.”

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