Archive for December, 2010

see more photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kateriphoto/5295195399/in/set-72157625555430859/


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Photo of the day

Orthodox Religious Complex of Vyajischsky Monastery, Russia

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One of our readers sent in the following report of a recent Rorate Mass held in Buffalo, New York. I was intrigued to read the commentary about some national customs. If anyone wishes to comment or add to this in the comments, please do so.

Saturday, December 18th, feast of the Expectation of Mary saw the return of the Rorate Mass to the Diocese and city of Buffalo, New York after decades of absence. The Rorate Mass (Roratemesse in German, Msza Roratnia or Roraty in Polish) was celebrated at St. Ann’s Church and Shrine, an ethnically German parish that later welcomed many Polish immigrants and their families, and is now a predominantly Black parish in the inner-city.

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Photostory: Volvo equipment used in house demolitions (part 2)
Adri Nieuwhof


December 29, 2010 – Israeli forces are using Volvo construction equipment and trucks in the destruction of Palestinian property. The Electronic Intifada has previously documented the use of Volvo equipment by the Israeli government in its destruction of Palestinian property. Volvo construction equipment and trucks were seen in action on the construction site of Israel’s wall near al-Walaja village in the occupied West Bank. The wall will surround al-Walaja from all sides, completely isolating the villagers from their land, near East Jerusalem and on land of the original part of the village which was occupied and destroyed by Zionist forces in 1948, and which is now annexed to parts of Gilo settlement…
continua / continued avanti - next    [73403] [ 30-dec-2010 15:44 ECT ]

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Soon after last year’s BP oil “spill” in the Gulf of Mexico, alarmists said if could kill the Gulf Stream, and wreak climate havoc in England and Northern Europe, bringing the coldest weather in centuries. Were they right or wrong?


America’s Gulf: New Report Says It’s Dying
by Stephen Lendman


December 30, 2010 – Concerned Citizens of Florida.com (CCF) believe efforts must be made now “to address what may very well be the greatest environmental catastrophe of North America in modern history….government (and media) cannot be relied on” for truthful information. As a result, its site is a platform for truth and accuracy on a disaster of such magnitude. On December 1, CCF published a special Dr. Tom Termotto Gulf disaster report, titled “The Gulf of Mexico is Dying.” He’s National Coordinator for the Tallahassee, FL-based Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference (International Citizens’ Initiative). Its disturbing findings are discussed below. He published them so “the world community will come together to further contemplate this dire and demanding predicament.” Future generations depend on it…
continua / continued avanti - next    [73425] [ 30-dec-2010 19:09 ECT ]

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Before the US invasion of Iraq, I did a story for The Wanderer on the Morality of Weapons Systems, which questioned the use of depleted uranium and described its risks to the DNA of both US troops and their “enemies.” Research showed a high risk of birth defects to the native population. Now, more than ever, that risk is confirmed. Can anyone say, “war crimes”?

From today’s Guardian”

Research links rise in Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault

• Defects in newborns 11 times higher than normal
• ‘War contaminants’ from 2004 attack could be cause

  • Martin Chulov
  • guardian.co.uk, Thursday 30 December 2010 21.34 GMT
  • Article history
  • US marines prepare for Fallujah offensive White phosphorous smoke screens are fired by the US army as part of an early morning patrol in November 2004 on the outskirts of Falluja, Iraq, in preparation for an offensive against insurgents. Photograph: Scott Nelson/Getty ImagesA study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.

    The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports……

    Read the rest of the story, here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/30/faulluja-birth-defects-iraq

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    One of the mythic events of World War I, the 1914 Christmas Truce began on Christmas Eve along the British and German lines around Ypres, Belgium. While it took hold in some areas manned by the French and Belgians, it was not as widespread as these nations viewed the Germans as invaders. Along the 27 miles of front manned by the British Expeditionary Force, Christmas Eve 1914 began as a normal day with firing on both sides. While in some areas firing began to slacken through the afternoon, in others it continued at its regular pace.

    This impulse to celebrate the holiday season amid the landscape of war has been traced to several theories. Among these was the fact that the war was only four months old and the level of animosity between the ranks was not as high as it would be later in the war. This was complimented by sense of shared discomfort as the early trenches lacked amenities and were prone to flooding. Also, the landscape, aside from the newly dug trenches, still appeared relatively normal, with fields and intact villages all of which contributed to introducing a degree of civilization to the proceedings.

    Private Mullard of the London Rifle Brigade wrote home, “we heard a band in the German trenches, but our artillery spoilt the effect by dropping a couple of shells right in the centre of them.” Despite this, Mullard was surprised at sunset to see, “trees stuck on top of the [German] trenches, lit up with candles, and all of the men sitting on top of the trenches. So of course we got out of ours and passed a few remarks, inviting each other to come over and have a drink and a smoke, but we did not like to trust each other at first (Weintraub, 76).”

    The initial force behind the Christmas Truce came from the Germans. In most cases, this began with the singing of carols and the appearance of Christmas trees along the trenches. Curious, Allied troops, who had been inundated with propaganda depicting the Germans as barbarians, began to join in the singing which led to both sides reaching out to communicate. From these first hesitant contacts informal ceasefires were arranged between units. As the lines in many places were only 30-70 yards apart, some fraternization between individuals had taken place prior to Christmas, but never on a large scale.

    For the most part, both sides returned to their trenches later on Christmas Eve. The following morning, Christmas was celebrated in full, with men visiting across the lines and gifts of food and tobacco being exchanged. In several places, games of soccer were organized, though these tended to be mass “kick abouts” rather than formal matches. Private Ernie Williams of the 6th Cheshires reported, “I should think there were about a couple of hundred taking part…There was no sort of ill-will between us (Weintraub, 81).” Amid the music and sports, both sides frequently joined together for large Christmas dinners.

    Read more here: http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwari/p/xmastruce.htm

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