In mid-September Russian and Canadian military officials held talks in Moscow on cooperation in the Arctic region. Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Nikolai Makarov and Chief of Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces Walter Natynchyk agreed that the Arctic is a common issue for bilateral cooperation and that rescue operations in that region should be conducted with joint efforts. The two sides said both Moscow and Ottawa have stood against the Arctic’s militarization. “The Arctic should be a zone of cooperation and security,” Makarov was quoted as saying. Walter Natynchyk said the two countries must cooperate in providing peace and security, and in protecting the Arctic environment. They also agreed to exchange visits of their warships between Canada’s Vancouver and the Murmansk port of Russia.
Source: FOCUS News Agency
The Peace Now movement filed a petition to Israel’s Supreme Court asking for an order to close the largest illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank. In August the court did precisely that, issuing an unprecedented ruling ordering the state to dismantle the outpost of Migron, which is home to some 50 families.
Indeed, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch criticized the Israeli government for failing to fulfill earlier promises to dismantle the settlement, despite having admitted that it was built on lands belonging to Palestinians.
In the ruling the Supreme Court justices acknowledged the difficulties surrounding the dismantling of such an outpost, but said this could have been avoided if the state had initially better enforced the law and prevented the construction of Migron in the first place.
This is the first time the Supreme Court has ordered the state to dismantle an outpost in the West Bank, and this puts the subject back on the court’s agenda.
Source: Chaim Levinson
Former Senator Douglas Roche embarked on a three-week speaking tour in September on “A World Without Nuclear Weapons. “ He addressed political science students at 24 Canadian universities in 15 cities from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island.
Roche, currently a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, is a former member of parliament and Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament. His tour of universities—the first of its kind—follows a global tour this summer, addressing experts and officials in Beijing, New Delhi, Moscow, Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin, Brussels, and London. Both trips were sponsored by the Singhmar Family Foundation.
The US military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has grown from a rarely used hostage rescue team into America’s secret army, expanding from 1,800 troops before 9/11 to as many as 25,000 today. Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William M. Arkin investigated the organizations created in response to the terrorist attack and released their main findings on its tenth anniversary.
They show that the US government’s top-secret world has become “so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.” For example, analysts of data obtained by spying now publish 50,000 intelligence reports each year.
Priest and Arkin write, “In the Department of Defense, where more than two-thirds of the intelligence programs reside, only a handful of senior officials—called Super Users—have the ability to even know about all the department’s activities.
“But as two of the Super Users indicated in interviews, there is simply no way they can keep up with the nation’s most sensitive work. ‘I’m not going to live long enough to be briefed on everything,’ was how one Super User put it.
“The other recounted that for his initial briefing, he was escorted into a tiny, dark room, seated at a small table and told he couldn’t take notes. Program after program began flashing on a screen, he said, until he yelled ‘Stop!’ in frustration. ‘I wasn’t remembering any of it,’ he said.”
The authors have made available to the public their searchable database at washingtonpost.com/topsecretamerica.
_Source: Washington Post: http://wapo.st/8YlCqT_
Peace Magazine Oct-Dec 2011, page 2. Some rights reserved.
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