Amnesty: Israel denies Palestinians access to water

London/Tel Aviv – Israel is denying Palestinians access to adequate water while settlers ‘enjoy lush lawns and swimming pools,’ a report issued by Amnesty International in London alleged Tuesday.

Israel rejected the report’s findings, with Minister of Infrastructure Uzi Landau calling it ‘distorted and superficial,’ while the Israel Water Authority said it had not been contacted by any of Amnesty’s researchers to comment on the findings, or present its own. The report, entitled Troubled Waters, claims that Israel retains total control over shared water resources and uses over 80 per cent of water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

On average, Palestinian daily water consumption barely reached 70 litres per person a day, while Israeli daily consumption was more than 300 litres per day – four times as much. In some rural communities Palestinians survived on barely 20 litres per day, the minimum amount recommended by aid organizations for domestic use in emergency situations, the 112-page report said. It said that between 180,000-200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities had no access to running water and the Israeli army often prevented them from even collecting rainwater. In contrast, Israeli settlers in the West Bank had ‘intensive- irrigation farms, lush gardens and swimming pools,’ said Amnesty. Numbering about 450,000, the settlers used as much or more water than the entire Palestinian population of some 2.3 million.

Israeli Infrastructure Minister Landau said in response that Israel adhered to all its water agreements, and supplied the Palestinians with more water than previously agreed on. He claimed that the Palestinians would not build water purification plants. The Water Authority also questioned some of the report’s conclusions. It said that while Israeli access to water before the 1967 war, when Israel captured the West Bank, was about 500 cubic metres per person per year, it has now dropped to 149 cubic metres per person per year. In contrast, the Authority said, Palestinian consumption has risen from 87 cubic metres per person per year to 105 cubic metres per person per year.

Amnesty reported this but no action is taken. the world keeps quiet as the Palestinians suffers every day. i am not saying this because they are muslims. but those are human basic needs. the water is available but it was not given to them. this is too much. may Allah have mercy upon them as when the time comes, these Israelis will suffer like no else does. to fellow Palestinians – have faith in Allah. what you endure today will be rewarded fairly when the time comes. article from Monsters and Critics.

Clashes at Al-Aqsa

Israel’s rightwing government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu is wrong if it thinks the Palestinians or the world will ever acquiesce in its occupation of Jerusalem. On Sunday, clashes took place once again between the occupying police and Palestinian protesters at the Al-Aqsa mosque, provoking a most angry and apt comment from a spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas who said Jerusalem was ‘a red line that Israel should not cross.’

A stronger warning came from Turkey’s Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who is secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Conference. Calling upon the Muslim world to take a united stand for defending Al-Aqsa, he said Israeli actions could have ‘grave consequences.’ Similar condemnatory messages have come from the Arab League and Egypt.

There are reasons why Mr Netanyahu thinks Israel can get away with its crimes in occupied territory and continued attempts to alter the West Bank’s demographic character. For all its pious rhetoric, the American administration has not been able to make Israel give up its intransigence and get the peace talks going. Even though President Barack Obama declared categorically in his June four speech that all settlement activity must stop, the Likud government last month told George Mitchell, America’s special representative, that it will continue to build new housing units in what it calls ‘Judea and Samaria.’ Israel has also been emboldened by America’s success in pressuring the Palestinian Authority into ignoring the Goldstone report, which condemns Tel Aviv for its war crimes and crimes against the Gazans earlier this year.

Al-Aqsa is a Muslim and not just an Arab issue. Israel has been digging under the mosque, and there is a serious possibility that this could damage the Al-Aqsa and the Holy Precincts in general. As Mr Ihsanoglu said this could have ‘unpredictable consequences’ for world peace. One hopes Israel has not forgotten that the second Intifada in September 2000 began because of Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Islamic holy places despite warnings against it. Israel has no choice but to withdraw from the Palestinian territories if it wants lasting peace in the Middle East.

they never stop don’t they? why do they keep on creating such hatred towards them? muslims tried to make peace with them but they kept doing what they did before. i wish i could have the power to stop them.. article from Dawn.com.

syafeerul: the work and the car..

i do not want to post any personal matters on this blog. i used to but it was pointless and not so very useful. but maybe once a while could be ok.. =)

i’m very busy lately. both work and life. work been hectic for the past one month. hardly got much rest. and lately im getting myself with a lot more busy-ness. i’m trying to buy a car. a good one at low price. is it worth the time spend? looking and asking around on this matter. so far the result was quite unsatisfying. but there’s no rush to this.. the search goes on..

Loeb secures sixth title in a row

Sebastien Loeb claimed a record sixth successive world rally title with victory at the Rally GB in Wales. The Frenchman won the title by a single point from Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen, who led Loeb by one point going into the race but could only finish second. “I’m really happy for this one because Mikko is strong,” Citroen driver Loeb told World Rally Championship radio. “A sixth title is awesome. It’s been a season of highs and lows – it’s a huge moment.

The battle was so intense.” Loeb won seven of the 12 rounds during the season, and the Rally GB victory was the 54th race win of his career. The 35-year-old won by 66 seconds on Sunday but was helped enormously when Hirvonen suffered a mishap on the third of the day’s four stages. Having pegged back the Frenchman’s overnight lead from 30 to 18 seconds, the Finn was forced to stop when his bonnet flipped up, costing him a minute. Ford driver Hirvonen said: “It was definitely the best year I’ve ever had but a big disappointment in the end. I need to go back to work and try to find more speed for next year.”

Loeb’s Citroen Total team-mate Dani Sordo finished third, taking the final step on the podium in Wales and securing third place in the 2009 drivers’ championship. Britain’s Matthew Wilson was sixth and finished the season seventh overall.

Rally of Great Britain result:

  1. Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen 3hrs 16mins 25.400secs
  2. Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Ford +01:06.100
  3. Daniel Sordo (Spain) Citroen 01:07.100
  4. Petter Solberg (Norway) Citroen 01:28.100
  5. Henning Solberg (Norway) Ford 06:28.000
  6. Matthew Wilson (Britain) Ford 07:46.000
  7. Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Ford 12:11.900
  8. Conrad Rautenbach (Zimbabwe) Citroen 14:27.800

Final World Championship standings:

  1. Sebastien Loeb (France) 93 points
  2. Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) 92
  3. Daniel Sordo (Spain) 64
  4. Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) 41
  5. Petter Solberg (Norway) 35
  6. Henning Solberg (Norway) 33
  7. Matthew Wilson (Britain) 28

Final Constructor standings:

  1. Citroen Total WRT 167 points
  2. BP-Ford Abu-Dhabi WRT 140
  3. Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT 80
  4. Citroen Junior Team 47
  5. Munchi’s Ford WRT 23

congrats sebastian loeb. best rally driver for the past few years. unchallenged. but where’s subaru? i can’t see impreza anywhere on the list. hopefully they’ll be back next season with better car and better drivers. article from BBC Sport.

Facebook employees know what profiles you look at

“My friend got a call from her friend at Facebook, asking why she kept looking at his profile,” says a privacy-conscious source at a major tech company. Turns out Facebook employees can (and do) check out anyone’s profile. Not only that, but they also see which profiles a user has viewed — a major privacy violation. If you’ve been obsessed with a workmate or classmate, Facebook employees know. If Barack Obama’s intern has been using the campaign account to troll for hotties, Facebook employees know. Within the company, it’s considered a job perk, and employees check this data for fun.

Facebook has a history of protecting profiles from outsiders. The site once sent cease-and-desist letters to two of Valleywag’s sister blogs for publishing certain student profiles. The site does not allow regular users to see which profiles other users have seen. While one third-party application lets users voluntarily make their profile-visiting known, no application allows one to “spy” on the activity of an unknowing user. Checking who’s viewed a profile may be how Facebook found the tipster who violated their terms of service by sending Valleywag Steve Ballmer’s profile. But were they violating their own terms?

Well, Facebook’s privacy policy doesn’t explicitly reserve or waive employees’ right to check out your profile for any reason. Of course, the practice still reeks of skunkery — it’s one thing to check profiles in the course of business, but these people are looking up records for kicks. This is a company with $150 million in projected revenues this year and a gigantic ad deal with Microsoft, not a corner video store. The privacy of millions is at stake. Google clearly promises not to crawl through mail or search records with anything but a computer program, and even AOL apologized for releasing semi-anonymous search data and violating its privacy policy.

just a reminder to most of us on privacy issues on the net. article from VALLEYWAG.

McLaren keeping their distance from impatient Jenson Button

Jenson Button’s growing impatience to secure a better pay deal with Brawn GP became clear yesterday with the new Formula One world champion’s adviser hinting darkly that the British driver may look to another team. That has fuelled speculation that he could switch to McLaren, though Lewis Hamilton’s team appear unlikely to sign Button. Button is seeking a £5m pay rise to £8m after taking a pay cut to ensure the future of Brawn after Honda pulled out of Formula One before the start of the campaign. Brawn, however, have yet to offer Button new terms. His manager, Richard Goddard, said: “Brawn could have sorted Jenson out weeks ago and none of this would be going on. We’ve been trying to agree terms with them. He’s made it clear he wants to stay and, had they agreed a contract, there would be no speculation. People will speculate that anyone with a free seat next year will be offering Jenson a drive. That speculation won’t die until Brawn offer him new terms. “He has displayed his great talent in a good car this year. A lot of quality seats may still be available, so it’s down to Brawn to make us an offer.”

The Formula One commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, also seemed to display some impatience with Brawn as he commented on the situation. “They are being a little bit arrogant considering how long they have been in Formula One,” Ecclestone said. “They should remember they have only been in the sport 10 minutes, really.” Mercedes-Benz, McLaren’s engine partner, was quick to distance itself from any link with Button, however. The car maker’s director of motor sport, Norbert Haug, said: “There are no current negotiations with Jenson Button but I do understand that people in England are dreaming of an English team with two world champions in the cockpits. However, dreams don’t always come true.”

the race this season isn’t over yet and button already showed how greedy he is. just one season on top, he wants it all now. why not just ask for a reasonable increment and showed better performance next season. then u can talk more money.. article from guardian.co.uk.

Todt elected FIA president

Frenchman wins vote to succeed Max Mosley

Former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has been elected president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The Frenchman beat his only rival, Ari Vatanen, in a secret vote of FIA’s general assembly in Paris on Friday. He will succeed Max Mosley as the head of world motorsport’s governing body following the Briton’s decision to stand down after 16 years in the job. Todt, who had been a strong favourite after receiving the backing of Mosley and Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, gained 135 votes compared with Vatanen’s 49. There were 12 abstentions/invalid votes.

Vatanen, a former world rally champion from Finland, had fought his campaign on a ticket for change and broader democracy within world motorsport. But Todt, riding on the success of his glory years with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, enjoyed establishment support and ended up with a crushing victory. The 53-year-old’s immediate focus will be on restoring the reputation of F1, motorsport’s marquee brand, in the wake of a difficult period.

Challenge

The McLaren spying scandal, which resulted in the team being fined $100m and excluded from the 2007 constructors’ championship, was followed by revelations that Nelson Piquet Jr, acting on Renault team orders, had deliberately crashed during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to pave the way for team-mate Fernando Alonso’s victory. Flavio Briatore, Renault’s team boss at the time, was handed a lifetime ban from FIA-sanctioned events, while Pat Symonds – the chief engineer – received a five-year sanction. The global economic recession also caused problems with Honda and BMW both withdrawing their F1 teams. Mosley’s enduring legacy is likely to be the cost-cutting deal he made with the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) during his final months in the job, an agreement he believed necessary to secure F1’s long-term future. The Englishman had previously resisted calls to resign last year after tabloid newspaper revelations about his private life. He survived a vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the FIA and went on to win £60,000 damages from the News of the World for invasion of privacy.

congratulations Jean Todt. i do believe that he’s the right guy for this position. lets hope the FIA becomes better after this. more interesting F1 and please give more promotion to WRC! would love to see those big turbocharged cars back in action. apart from citroen, ford and subaru, i’d love to see more from mitsubishi, audi and maybe other makers. article from Sky Sports.