Tag Archives: Gaza

links for 2009-02-19

19 Feb

Obama Flip-Flops on Stem Cells; Backpedaling on Another Promise

17 Jan

090116_stemcells_brownBarack Obama has flip-flopped on yet another campaign promise, according to Politico.  The President-Elect campaigned against the Bush executive order barring federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells and said he would reverse it once elected.  Now he has backed away from that pledge and  is pulling a CYA — shifting the burden to  Congress to change the policy.

In August 2001,George Bush stopped the NIH from funding embryonic stem cell research but allowed research to continue on several dozen cell lines already in existence .

Politico quotes a recent CNN interview where Obama said the following:

Well, if we can do something legislative then I usually prefer a legislative process because those are the people’s representatives. And I think that on embryonic stem cell research, the fact that you have a bipartisan support around that issue, the fact that you have Republicans like Orrin Hatch who are fierce opponents of abortion and yet recognize that there is a moral and ethical mechanism to ensure that people with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s can actually find potentially some hope out there, you know, I think that sends a powerful message…So we’re still examining what things we’ll do through executive order…But I like the idea of the American people’s representatives expressing their views on an issue like this.

I’m very disappointed but not surprised by Obama’s latest remarks.  The pace of discovery of future cures  for the most devastating diseases  relies on policy change and investment in research.  Hopefully Obama will reconsider and restore the faith in all of us.

Sources: AP (photo), Politico, CNN, HotAir

Cease Fire Begins in Gaza

17 Jan

soldiers1Stating that Israel had crippled Hamas, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just announced an end to the 3-week Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. He said the army would remain in Gaza while Egypt mediates a long-term truce with Hamas.

According to DEBKAfile Israeli forces will hold to their positions in the Gaza Strip for a trial period to test Hamas’ response. Meanwhile, Hamas promises to keep on fighting and shooting rockets, while neither Washington nor Cairo guarantee action to end the flow of weapons to Gaza. As the Israeli security cabinet voted on the unilateral cease fire, Hamas blasted rockets against Ashdod and Ashkelon.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office reiterated that the IDF began Operation Cast Lead following an extended period of restraint as Hamas continued to terrorize the residents of southern Israel with daily rocket barrages. According to the IDF “Hamas alone is responsible for creating the situation in Gaza and is accountable for its consequences.”

The IDF will redeploy forces within the Gaza Strip in accordance with security assessments. Air, naval, ground and intelligence forces will remain on alert .

Sources: AP (photo); LA Times, DEBKAFile, IDF Spokesperson

Al-Jazeera – Growing Islamist Agenda

17 Jan

Since its launch in 1996, Al-Jazeera has been taking on an increasingly more Islamist agenda, according to Douglas Farah of The Counterterrorism Blog. This is particularly troublesome since so much of the Western media rely on this station to interpret news and events, such as the Hamas-Israel conflict. According to Farah, the station’s general manager may be the driving force behind this Islamist leaning, diminishing other voices which once had a stronger role.

The Nation reported on the station’s “Terror TV” trend in 2007. Kristen Gillespie, the author of the article describes Al-Jazeera’s programming as being comprised of newscasts, which tend to be fairly balanced; talk shows and related programs, to which viewers call in; documentaries; and reports from correspondents in the field. She says that it’s this last category where the reporting has frequently turned away from international standards of journalism and toward a sensationalistic and Islamist bias.

Farah concludes his article saying:

I am all for freedom of expression and the rights of others to get their message out. But I am also in favor of full disclosure of ownership and interests. Al-Jazeera is losing its right to claim to represent different voices, because the Islamist agenda has made it increasingly difficult for any other voices to be heard.

Agreed.

Interesting to note that last week Al-Jazeera ran an large ad in The New York Times, touting it’s journalistic integrity. Let’s see where this all goes.

Hat Tips: Counterterrorism Blog, The Nation

links for 2009-01-10

10 Jan

links for 2009-01-09

9 Jan

links for 2009-01-08

8 Jan