Umar Farooq

Umar Farooq


President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, center, is accompanied by aides as he visits with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington in this May 5, 2009 file photo. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times)

Pakistan is not the only country flouting US sanctions. According to Flynt Leverett, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and author of Going to Tehran, a growing list of countries including China, Russia, Turkey, and India are resisting US sanctions because of their own economic needs and because of the wider principle that they should not be bound by American legislation. "It is essentially the US making a kind of hegemonic assertion, which is not grounded in international law," he says, "and could be held to violate US commitments under the World Trade Organization."

The Bab al-Shams encampment in the E-1 area overlooks Ma'ale Adumim, a settlement in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Image source: Lazar Simeonov/Al Jazeera.

This August will mark twenty years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the first peace agreement between a Palestinian group and Israel. While the parties have signed a handful of agreements since then, arguably none have had an impact on the daily lives of people living on that land.

Computer-generated image of the future 25th Street Station. (source:

On January 22, the Maryland Court of Appeals threw out the last remaining legal case brought against the planned development known as 25th Street Station. Like most previous attempts by critics of the project—a handful of community and business groups—the recent ruling never addressed the real issue behind the entire controversy: whether or not local businesses would suffer from the appearance of a retail giant like Walmart.

Supporter of the peace caravan led by Mexican poet Sicilia holds a banner during a rally (Courtesy Reuters).

A caravan calling itself The Movement for Peace With Justice and Dignity rolled through the US last month, pushing for a handful of policy changes that would reduce drug-war violence in Mexico.  The most controversial demand was probably the decriminalization of drugs, though this is steadily getting grassroots traction in the US.  The other policy changes—better regulating arms trade, money laundering, and military aid—are not radical at all.

"Pakistani tribesmen carry the coffin of a person allegedly killed in a 2011 U.S. drone attack. They claim that innocent civilians died."

On March 31, Marc Steiner's radio show addressed Obama's "secret list list of assassination targets." Indyreader contributor and former collective member, Umar Farooq, joined New York Times reporter, Scott Shane, and former CIA Operations Officer and author, Sam Faddis, to "talk about the kill list and drone war.

Carolyn Hutton, 64, proudly displays momentoes from her child day-care business

Carolyn Hutton, 64, tells me to have a seat as she plays a video tape of an ABC2 newscast about her from 2007.  The clip shows Ms. Hutton in her home in the 800 block of N Washington St. in East Baltimore, interspersed with shots of construction work going on outside.  The structural damage to her home by those machines tearing up the sidewalk on N. Washington in 2007 is the latest in a string of problems she and her neighbors face.

Egyptian activists Esraa Abdel Fettah (left), Bassem Fathy, and Ahmed >> Maher talk to October 2011 participants in Washington DC, October 23

"Its like a football game between Egypt and Tunisia, because when they started the revolution, the people in Egypt wanted to do the same," says Ahmed Maher. Maher is a civil engineer by trade, but became a prominent democracy activist in Egypt, helping found the April 6th Youth Movement, one of the groups credited with sparking the January 25 revolution there.

“Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out!” chanted the crowd.  

The growing nationwide “Occupy” movement may be coming to Baltimore.  More than two hundred activists gathered at St. Johns Church in Charles Village Sunday night for more than three hours, planning a response to calls for public action by their counterparts in New York.  

The results of the latest attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza will cause a major shift in how the world perceives the Israeli occupation, says Gabriel Schivone.  Schivone, a 27 year-old student from Arizona, was one of about fifty passengers aboard the Audacity of Hope, an American boat participating in the Free Gaza movement’s Freedom Flotilla II.


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