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Reportrebel georgian regions rule out talks with tbilisi

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Picture: (AFP/Vladimir Valishvili)
Georgians cheer while listening to a speech by President Mikheil Saakashvili from the steps of the parliament building in downtown Tbilisi. Georgia and Russia have agreed to a peace plan brokered by France after Moscow ordered a halt to its military onslaught.

The leaders of two Russian-backed rebel regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, ruled out talks with Georgia’s leaders, accusing them of war crimes.

South Ossetia’s leader, Eduard Kokoity, was quoted as saying "There can be no talks with organizers of genocide…. Only judges at an international tribunal should talk to them".

Abkhaz rebel leader Sergei Bagapsh says "There will be no more negotiations with Georgia."

Bagapsh added "One should put state criminals on trial".

The two separatist leaders have long ruled out bilateral talks with Tbilisi.

Their latest comments were reported after Russia and Georgia agreed on a French peace plan to end fighting in and around the two regions.

Georgia last week attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to retake the region, sparking a massive retaliatory strike from Russia, which backs the separatists.

MRN-AFP

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Sleeping arab giant stirsUSfears

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By Yvonne Ridley

(source: the ugly truth.wordpress)

The Arab world’s sleeping giant has finally woken from its slumbers after years of being drugged and mugged by the West.  Having witnessed – and experienced – first hand the brutality of the Egyptian and Tunisian police and their undercover stooges, I can tell you that the uprisings of the masses took real courage.  Over the years, dictator Hosni Mubarak has traded on their fear using some of the foulest methods of intimidation imaginable. But like their counterparts in Tunisia, the Egyptian people are losing their fear and tearing away the chains of oppression. The Pharoah’s police state is now teetering as a second day of protests begin.

Whatever the outcome over the next few weeks, I think it is clear that America and Britain can no longer manipulate and control the politics – or lack of it – in the Middle East.

Washington’s silence over the weeks of civil unrest on the streets of Tunisiawas almost deafening, so when Barack Obama chose to congratulate the uprising only once Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s plane was in the air, his message of support rang hollow. Today he urged the Egyptian authorities to show restraint.

The world’s most powerful man’s weasel words tripped from his lips as blood was shed on the streets of Cairo, Assiut, Alexandria, Mansura, Tanta and Aswan as the people faced down 2.5 million uniformed and plain clothes thugs using water cannon and teargas.

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Kashmir demonstrations

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Picture: (AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)
Indian Kashmiri Muslim demonstrators hold aloft an effigy depicting an Indian soldier during a demonstration in Srinagar on August 12. Security forces in Indian Kashmir have briefly relaxed a curfew as the casualty toll from two days of anti-India protests stood at 20 dead and at least 500 injured

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How stupid is condoleezza Rice?

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By William Blum

(source: Counterpunch.org)

On April 9, Condoleezza Rice delivered a talk in San Francisco. Or tried to. The former Secretary of State was interrupted repeatedly by cries from the audience of “war criminal” and “torturer”. (For which we can thank our comrades in Code Pink and World Can’t Wait.) As one of the protesters was being taken away by security guards, Rice made the kind of statement that has now become standard for high American officials under such circumstances: “Aren’t you glad this lady lives in a democracy where she can express her opinion?” She also threw in another line that’s become de rigueur since the US overthrew Saddam Hussein, an argument that’s used when all other arguments fail: “The children of Iraq are actually not living under Saddam Hussein, thank God.”

My response to such a line is this: If you went into surgery to correct a knee problem and the surgeon mistakenly amputated your entire leg, what would you think if someone then remarked to you how nice it was that “you actually no longer have a knee problem, thank God.” … The people of Iraq no longer have a Saddam problem.

Unfortunately, they’ve lost just about everything else as well. Twenty years of American bombing, invasion, occupation and torture have led to the people of that unhappy land losing their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … more than half the population either dead, disabled, in prison, or in foreign exile … the air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children … a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again.

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