Israeli soldiers manhandled European diplomats on Friday and seized a truck full of tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week.
A Reuters reporter saw soldiers throw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yank a French diplomat out of the truck before driving away with its contents.
“They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity,” French diplomat Marion Castaing said.
“This is how international law is being respected here,” she said, covered with dust.
The Israeli army and police declined to comment.
Locals said Khirbet Al-Makhul was home to about 120 people. The army demolished their ramshackle houses, stables and a kindergarten on Monday after Israel’s high court ruled that they did not have proper building permits.
Despite losing their property, the inhabitants have refused to leave the land, where, they say, their families have lived for generations along with their flocks of sheep.
Israeli soldiers stopped the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delivering emergency aid on Tuesday and on Wednesday IRCS staff managed to put up some tents but the army forced them to take the shelters down.
via Israeli forces manhandle EU diplomats, seize West Bank aid | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR.
Poor people are inconvenient. Fortunately, you can ignore them and nothing will happen.
The House cut Food Stamps by $40 billion yesterday when they passed the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 (H.R. 3012). The 109 page bill includes a number of requirements for new projects, reports to be written about those projects, and committees to review those projects, plus the budget necessary to do those things. The cost-cutting mostly occurs in one place – “categorical eligibility”.
via Eat Drink Better | Cooking, healthy food, and sustainable eating!.
House to Vote on Cutting Food Stamp Aid.
The House is poised to vote on cutting nearly $4 billion a year from food stamp assistance, now used by 1 in 7 Americans.
House Republican leaders were still working for support as they scheduled a vote on the measure for Thursday. Some GOP moderates questioned the 5 percent cut to the almost $80 billion-a-year program as Democrats united strongly against it.
Oh, for god’s sake. It’s just a bunch of elderly, mostly homeless dudes playing chess!! Whatever else is going on around them, or whatever pills they may be taking on their non-chess-playing time, has little or nothing to do with the fact that they’re all just out their passing the time in a perfectly peaceful way, sacrificing pawns and taking bishops and rooks and shit!!
Sidebar: We gather that women passing by the daily games were frequently subjected to harassment, but that is another matter.
Our guess is that the row of chess-playing dudes runs counter to the image that the upcoming new tenants across the street, in what will become Market Street Place, the vertical mall formerly called CityPlace. And even though that is only barely under construction and not near opening, they want to get a head start on spiffing things up for the neighboring businesses that will reap the benefits of the retail gentrification to come.
via SFPD Shuts Down Sidewalk Chess Games: SFist.
Israeli troops forcibly entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Wednesday and deployed heavily around the entrances, preventing Palestinian worshipers from accessing the area, locals said.
Israeli troops entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate and the Chain Gate and denied all Palestinians, including women and chidlren, entry to the area.
Around 500 students who study at religious schools in the al-Aqsa compound were also denied access to their schools, witnesses said.
Meanwhile, a group of ultra-orthodox Jews were allowed entry to the area at around 8 a.m. through the Moroccan Gate. Dozens of Palestinian worshipers who were in the mosque hurled stones at the group, before being chased by Israeli forces.
via Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers | Maan News Agency.
These new data come as the House prepares to consider legislation later this week that would cut SNAP by $39 billion over the next decade. The bill would deny food assistance to millions of low-income people and reduce assistance for many others. The cuts would deny or reduce basic food assistance to low-income working families, seniors, jobless adults, children, and even veterans.
Some point to SNAP’s recent growth as a justification for the House cuts. But, as we recently explained, SNAP caseloads and spending are expected to fall in coming years as the economy and labor market improve. The Congressional Budget Office projects that SNAP spending will fall to 1995 levels as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2019 (see chart).
via Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | Census: SNAP Lifted 4 Million People Out of Poverty in 2012 and Reduced Hardship for Millions More.
the nutrition-only bill maintains and expands the controversial changes to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) approved earlier on the House floor that are now estimated to total nearly $39 billion in cuts (up from $20.5 billion in the House Committee-proposed bill from June), according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
CBO estimates that 3.8 million people would lose their food stamp benefits in 2014, a number that would decline over time if the economy improves. Over the coming decade, CBO estimates that 2.8 million people on average would lose their benefits and nearly a million more would have their benefits reduced.
via Bill to Slash Food Stamp Funding on House Floor this Week – NSAC.
Like all farmworkers, dairy workers are excluded from national labor law’s guarantees of collective bargaining rights and the right to overtime pay.
And like many other farmworkers, a majority are undocumented. Under persistent threat of arrest and deportation, and lacking transportation, many rarely leave the confines of the farms, where they live and work under awful conditions. Besides isolation, they experience employer intimidation and wage theft.
“[The bosses] take advantage that we do not know our rights or that we are afraid to exercise our rights, because they will threaten us with calling the police or immigration,” declared a worker leader from a farm in Lewis County. He could not attend but had a spokesperson deliver his speech at the rally.
via ‘Milk Cows, Not Workers’ | Labor Notes.
Damascus (Agenzia Fides) – Soldiers of the regular army have entered Maalula, the Christian village which was attacked and seized by Islamist groups in recent days. According to local sources contacted by Fides Agency, local Christian youth fighting alongside the soldiers are under fire from snipers stationed in homes. Retaking the village seems to be very difficult because of the way it is built, where houses are perched on steep slopes. As reported to Fides, so far 3 young Greek Catholic Christians have been killed and six men have been abducted and taken somewhere near the city of Yabrud, on the slopes of the Qalamoun mountains.
Religious community members, men and women, who are still present in the village, are safe and sound. The Greek Orthodox nuns in the convent of Santa Tecla were “under siege” and were in fear for several days, while armed groups threatened to invade the convent and crosses have been removed and many civilian homes have been sacked. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 12/09/2013)
via ASIA/SYRIA – Battle for Maalula, under sniper fire – Fides News Agency.
The scenario: The 250 Japanese ground troops were tasked with recapturing a remote island which had been occupied by an “enemy” force. The Ground Self-Defense units were supported by four helicopters and three aircrafts from the Maritime Self-Defense Force. Naval assets that were used in the exercise included the new helicopter-destroyer Hyuga and the guided missile destroyer Atago, as well as a transport ship.
The scenario was unmistakably a demonstration of Japan’s desire and ability to recapture the disputed Senkaku Islands, part of the Okinawa archipelago, which China claims sovereignty over and refers to as the Diaoyu chain. And Beijing clearly picked up on the theme of the exercise as it fired off a diplomatic complaint to Japan over the exercise.
via Japan to boost military spending | Asia | DW.DE | 06.09.2013.