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Forty Million Girls Murdered In One Country!

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This the place where 50,000 unborn girls are aborted every month, where thousands of little girls are either buried alive or abandoned. A place where the female ratio is lowest in the world. A place with the highest number of underage girls married to older men, and the highest number of female infanticide: the practice of burying new born baby girls alive.

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Around 40 million women have been aborted, murdered or abandoned in this one nation since 1980.

This is India. Home to the biggest genocide against women on the planet.

And it continues as we speak.

“It’s the obliteration of a whole class, race, of human beings. It’s half the population of India,” said women’s rights activist Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap Women Worldwide.

If a baby girl survives abortion or being buried alive in India, she is forced into prostitution.

It is a crime in India to use an ultrasound to determine the sex of a child and it is also illegal to perform an abortion based on gender, but the laws are rarely enforced.

The Indian government has the resources to spend on stopping this massive ill-treatment of women but it prefers to spend billions on weapons.

India is on a quest for superpower status and is spending its resources on the military. It has already spent $2 billion in Afghanistan to contain Pakistan, and billions more to counter China.

But can the Indian government really stop this mistreatment of Indian women?

It can. The Indian government had $264 billion in its savings account in 2009. This figure has jumped to $307 billion in the first week of December 2011.

So India basically has a rich government that refuses to share wealth with India’s poor, who happen to be largest single block of poverty anywhere in the world.

Two women, one India and the other American, brought this silent genocide to world’s attention this month. Gita Aravamudan is the author of the book, ‘Disappearing Daughters’. And Mindy McReady is a journalist working for ABC television in the United States.

Together they have produced a compelling documentary, titled, ‘India’s Deadly Secret: Why an estimated 40 million girls have gone missing in India?’

Sadly, the Indian police and judiciary are corrupt and their silence can be bought. Even worse, the policemen and the judges are, after all, Indian men who don’t see much wrong in getting rid of female babies.

“The very people who have to implement the law – the police and the judiciary – also believe that having too many girls is a burden on the family,” Gupta said. “They never implement the laws because they believe in the same thing, and sometimes actually do the same thing.”

The real issue here is Hinduism, the majority Indian religion. It attaches a very low status to women, and thousands of years of practice has entrenched the anti-girl bias in Indian psyche. Today, there are thousands of Indian villages that push their girls into prostitution, if they survive abortion and infanticide.

In September 2011, Catholic Online wrote in a report quoting an Indian charity that “Young girls are pushed into the sex business by their own fathers and brothers, who see nothing wrong with it. They claim it is a tradition that has been passed down through generations. Under the devdasi (“servant of God”) culture, girls were dedicated to a life of sex work in the name of religion.”

USA: High Risk of Terror Strikes in India

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WASHINGTON – The United States has warned Americans of the potential for terror strikes in India during the holiday season after a series of recent bomb attacks.


The US has warned Americans of the potential for terror strikes in India during the holiday season

The State Department pointed to recent government warnings and media reports of attacks being planned in the South Asian country.

US citizens should be aware of the “continued possibility of terrorist attacks throughout India,” it said in a statement.

It urged Americans to “pay particular attention to their personal security during the Indian holiday season, which includes Hindu, Islamic and other religious and secular holidays between October and January.”

“US citizens traveling or residing in India are always urged to maintain a heightened situational awareness and a low profile, monitor local news reports, consider the level of security present when visiting public places, and take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security,” the State Department added.

It noted that markets, hotels and public transport were potential targets.

India has been hit by a series of bomb attacks in recent years, many of which remain unsolved.

Tear down the Freedom Tower

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By Tom Engelhardt

Let’s bag it.

I’m talking about the 10th anniversary ceremonies for 9/11, and everything that goes with them: the solemn reading of the names of the dead, the tolling of bells, the honoring of first responders, the gathering of presidents, the dedication of the new memorial, the moments of silence. The works.

Let’s just can it all. Shut down Ground Zero. Lock out the tourists. Close “Reflecting Absence,” the memorial built in the “footprints” of the former towers with its grove of trees, giant pools, and multiple waterfalls before it can be unveiled this Sunday. Discontinue work on the underground National September 11 Museum due to open in 2012. Tear down the Freedom Tower (redubbed 1 World Trade Center after our “freedom” wars wentawry), 102 stories of “the most expensive skyscraper ever constructed in the United States”. (Estimated price tag: $3.3 billion.)

Eliminate that still-being-constructed, hubris-filled 1,776 feet tall building, planned in the heyday of George W Bush and soaring into the Manhattan sky like a nyaah-nyaah invitation to future terrorists. Dismantle the other three office towers being built there as part of an $11 billion government-sponsored construction program. Let’s get rid of it all. If we had wanted a memorial to 9/11, it would have been more appropriate to leave one of the giant shards of broken tower there untouched.

Ask yourself this: 10 years into the post-9/11 era, haven’t we had enough of ourselves? If we have any respect for history or humanity or decency left, isn’t it time to rip the Band-Aid off the wound, to remove 9/11 from our collective consciousness? No more invocations of those attacks to explain otherwise inexplicable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our oh-so-global “war on terror”.

No more invocations of 9/11 to keep the Pentagon and the national security state flooded with money. No more invocations of 9/11 to justify every encroachment on liberty, every new step in the surveillance of Americans, every advance in pat-downs and wand-downs and strip downs that keeps fear high and the homeland security state afloat.

The attacks of September 11, 2001, were in every sense abusive, horrific acts. And the saddest thing is that the victims of those suicidal monstrosities have been misused here ever since under the guise of pious remembrance. This country has become dependent on the dead of 9/11 – who have no way of defending themselves against how they have been used – as an all-purpose explanation for our own goodness and the horrors we’ve visited on others, for the many towers-worth of dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere whose blood is on our hands.

Isn’t it finally time to go cold turkey? To let go of the dead? Why keep repeating our 9/11 mantra as if it were some kind of old-time religion, when we’ve proven that we, as a nation, can’t handle it – and worse yet, that we don’t deserve it?

We would have been better off consigning our memories of 9/11 to oblivion, forgetting it all if only we could. We can’t, of course. But we could stop the anniversary remembrances. We could stop invoking 9/11 in every imaginable way so many years later. We could stop using it to make ourselves feel like a far better country than we are. We could, in short, leave the dead in peace and take a good, hard look at ourselves, the living, in the nearest mirror.

Ceremonies of hubris

Within 24 hours of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the first newspaper had already labeled the site in New York as “Ground Zero”. If anyone needed a sign that we were about to run off the rails, as a misassessment of what had actually occurred that should have been enough. Previously, the phrase “ground zero” had only one meaning: it was the spot where a nuclear explosion had occurred.

The facts of 9/11 are, in this sense, simple enough. It was not a nuclear attack. It was not apocalyptic. The cloud of smoke where the towers stood was no mushroom cloud. It was not potentially civilization ending. It did not endanger the existence of our country – or even of New York City. Spectacular as it looked and staggering as the casualty figures were, the operation was hardly more technologically advanced than the failed attack on a single tower of the World Trade Center in 1993 by Islamists using a rented Ryder truck packed with explosives.

A second irreality went with the first. Almost immediately, key Republicans like Senator John McCain, followed by George W Bush, top figures in his administration, and soon after, in a drumbeat of agreement, the mainstream media declared that we were “at war”. This was, Bush would say only three days after the attacks, “the first war of the twenty-first century”. Only problem: it wasn’t.

Despite the screaming headlines, Ground Zero wasn’t Pearl Harbor. Al-Qaeda wasn’t Japan, nor was it Nazi Germany. It wasn’t the Soviet Union. It had no army, nor finances to speak of, and possessed no state (though it had the minimalist protection of a hapless government in Afghanistan, one of the most backward, poverty-stricken lands on the planet).

And yet – in another sign of where we were heading – anyone who suggested that this wasn’t war, that it was a criminal act and some sort of international police action was in order, was simply laughed (or derided or insulted) out of the American room. And so the empire prepared to strike back (just as Osama bin Laden hoped it would) in an apocalyptic, planet-wide “war” for domination that masqueraded as a war for survival.

In the meantime, the populace was mustered through repetitive, nationwide 9/11 rites emphasizing that we Americans were the greatest victims, greatest survivors, and greatest dominators on planet Earth. It was in this cause that the dead of 9/11 were turned into potent recruiting agents for a revitalized American way of war.

From all this, in the brief mission-accomplished months after Kabul and then Baghdad fell, American hubris seemed to know no bounds – and it was this moment, not 9/11 itself, from which the true inspiration for the gargantuan “Freedom Tower” and the then-billion-dollar project for a memorial on the site of the New York attacks would materialize. It was this sense of hubris that those gargantuan projects were intended to memorialize.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, for an imperial power that is distinctly tattered, visibly in decline, teetering at the edge of financial disaster, and battered by never-ending wars, political paralysis, terrible economic times, disintegrating infrastructure, and weird weather, all of this should be simple and obvious. That it’s not tells us much about the kind of shock therapy we still need.

Burying the worst urges in American life

It’s commonplace, even today, to speak of Ground Zero as “hallowed ground”. How untrue. Ten years later, it is defiled ground, and it’s we who have defiled it. It could have been different. The 9/11 attacks could have been like the Blitz in London in World War II. Something to remember forever with grim pride, stiff upper lip and all.

And if it were only the reactions of those in New York City that we had to remember, both the dead and the living, the first responders and the last responders, the people who created impromptu memorials to the dead and message centers for the missing in Manhattan, we might recall 9/11 with similar pride.

Generally speaking, New Yorkers were respectful, heartfelt, thoughtful, and not vengeful. They didn’t have prior plans that, on September 12, 2001, they were ready to rally those nearly 3,000 dead to support. They weren’t prepared at the moment of the catastrophe to – as secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld so classically said – “Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

Unfortunately, they were not the measure of the moment. As a result, the uses of 9/11 in the decade since have added up to a profile in cowardice, not courage, and if we let it be used that way in the next decade, we will go down in history as a nation of cowards.

There is little on this planet of the living more important, or more human, than the burial and remembrance of the dead. Even Neanderthals buried their dead, possibly with flowers, and tens of thousands of years ago, the earliest humans, the Cro-Magnon, were already burying their dead elaborately, in one case in clothing onto which more than 3,000 ivory beads had been sewn, perhaps as objects of reverence and even remembrance. Much of what we know of human prehistory and the earliest eras of our history comes from graves and tombs where the dead were provided for.

And surely it’s our duty in this world of loss to remember the dead, those close to us and those more removed who mattered in our national or even planetary lives. Many of those who loved and were close to the victims of 9/11 are undoubtedly attached to the yearly ceremonies that surround their deceased wives, husbands, lovers, children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters. For the nightmare of 9/11, they deserve a memorial. But we don’t.

If September 11 was indeed a nightmare, 9/11 as a memorial and Ground Zero as a “consecrated” place have turned out to be a blank check for the American war state, funding an endless trip to hell. They have helped lead us into fields of carnage that put the dead of 9/11 to shame.

Every dead person will, of course, be forgotten sooner or later, no matter how tightly we clasp their memories or what memorials we build. In my mind, I have a private memorial to my own dead parents. Whenever I leaf through my mother’s childhood photo album and recognize just about no one but her among all the faces, however, I’m also aware that there is no one left on this planet to ask about any of them. And when I die, my little memorial to them will go with me.

This will be the fate, sooner or later, of everyone who, on September 11, 2001, was murdered in those buildings in New York, in that field in Pennsylvania, and in the Pentagon, as well as those who sacrificed their lives in rescue attempts, or may now be dying as a result. Under such circumstances, who would not want to remember them all in a special way?

It’s a terrible thing to ask those still missing the dead of 9/11 to forgo the public spectacle that accompanies their memory, but worse is what we have: repeated solemn ceremonies to the ongoing health of the American war state and the wildest dreams of Osama bin Laden.

Memory is usually so important, but in this case we would have been better off with oblivion. It’s time to truly inter not the dead, but the worst urges in American life since 9/11 and the ceremonies which, for a decade, have gone with them. Better to bury all of that at sea with Bin Laden and then mourn the dead, each in our own way, in silence and, above all, in peace.

Rangers, BSF agree to check illegal border crossings

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Border forces of Pakistan and India have agreed to stop incidents of illegal crossing, smuggling and unprovoked firing on the working boundary.


Officials of Rangers and Border Security Force exchanging gifts before a meeting at Wagah border on Tuesday.

This decision has been taken in a joint meeting of Pakistan, India border forces held at Wagah on Tuesday. The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Deputy Inspector General Vasudevan led the 10-member Indian delegation, which was given a warm welcome by the Pakistan Rangers’ delegation headed by Brigadier Wali as they crossed the zero line at Wagah border. Both officers shook hands, exchanged presents and had a group photograph taken. The Rangers also offered guard of honour before start of the meeting.

The quarterly coordination meeting was held at Joint Check Post at the Pakistan side of the Wagah border on Tuesday. The meeting is part of a mutually agreed programme aimed at coordinating measures taken by both forces for border management duties. Brig Wali told media before the session that 24 points would be discussed with BSF including ceasefire violation especially in Sialkot and Shakargarh sectors, smuggling, drug trafficking, casualties of unarmed civilians, border crossing and illegal construction of spur by Indian authorities at river Ravi at Narowal Sector.

Speaking at the occasion, DIG Vasudevan said both the authorities wanted a result oriented discussion. Answering a question he said he had given orders to BSF not to open fire on unarmed civilians who cross the border mistakenly, but also made it clear that it is difficult to judge a civilian crossing the border at night and distinguish whether he’s carrying a gun or a stick.

After the meeting a press release issued by the Rangers stated that dialogue was held in highly congenial atmosphere and there has been sincere endeavour from both forces to encourage junior commanders to mutually resolve minor issues.

At the end of the session the Indian delegation witnessed the flag ceremony and appreciated the parade of the jawans from Pakistan Rangers. The next quarterly meeting will be held at the joint check post Attari, India.

India: Gujarat riots records ‘destroyed’

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Official records relating to the 2002 riots in India’s Gujarat state were destroyed in line with regulations, the government tells a panel probing the riots.


The riots left more than 1,000 dead

Documents with records of telephone calls and the movements of officials during the riots were destroyed in 2007, five years after their origin

Officials say this is standard practice and in line with civil service rules.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the riots.

The violence erupted after 60 Hindus died in a train fire. The cause of the blaze was never clearly established.

Hindu groups allege the fire was started by Muslim protesters, but an earlier inquiry said the blaze was an accident.

The Supreme Court set up a panel to investigate the riots in 2008, after allegations that the Gujarat government was doing little to bring those responsible to justice.

Government lawyer SB Vakil told the Nanavati panel probing the riots that some records relating to the riots had been destroyed according to the rules.

“As per general government rules, the telephone call records, vehicle logbook and the officers’ movement diary are destroyed after a certain period,” Mr Vakil was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.

In April a senior police officer alleged in a sworn statement to India’s Supreme Court that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi deliberately allowed anti-Muslim riots in the state.

Mr Modi has always denied any wrongdoing.

The Gujarat government has responded to the allegations by saying they have already testified before a special panel investigating the riots and will wait for the court’s verdict.

Jihadist web forum knocked off Internet

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WASHINGTON — A popular jihadist Internet forum has been knocked off the Internet, and counterterrorism experts say it appears it was hacked.

Cybersecurity analysts say the al-Shamukh forum appears to have been taken down by a fairly sophisticated cyberattack that hit not only the website, but the server – which is the main computer that enables people to access the site over the Internet.

Evan Kohlmann, a counterterrorism expert who tracks jihadist websites as a senior partner with Flashpoint Partners consultancy in New York, described the site as a key al-Qaida propaganda forum.

He said it bounces around between Internet hosts every few months, but has seemingly been allowed to exist as an open secret, possibly allowing a Western government to use it as an intelligence resource.

“These sites can be like spy satellites, they’re great ways of gathering information about your adversaries,” he said in an interview late Wednesday. “Bringing them down is like shooting at your own spy satellites. But there are others who don’t agree with that.”

He said there’s been a “struggle behind the scenes” in the U.S. government about whether to allow the site to stay up.

Other cyber experts agreed that the site is a popular jihadist forum.

“The al-Shamukh website had become the most trusted and exclusive haunt for e-jihadists,” said Jarret Brachman, a terrorism expert who has spent a decade monitoring al-Qaida’s media operations and advises the U.S. government. “If it doesn’t come back up soon, the forum’s registered members will start migrating to the half a dozen other main forums, all of whom are probably chomping at the bit to replace Shamukh as the pre-eminent al-Qaida forum.”

The Defense Department said late Wednesday that it was aware of reports that al-Qaida’s Internet operations had been disrupted, but could not comment on the specific incident.

Kohlmann raised the possibility that a government could be behind the website’s problems.

If true, this would not be the first time that government officials have sabotaged an al-Qaida website.

U.S. and British officials have acknowledged that British intelligence authorities launched a cyberattack against al-Qaida’s English-language Internet magazine, Inspire, taking down directions for bomb-making and replacing them with cupcake recipes.

U.S. authorities had considered knocking the magazine off the Internet but realized it would just go down for a few days, then reappear, according to one U.S. official. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the U.S. believed it was more productive to keep an eye on the site and glean intelligence from it.

Kohlmann said chatter from another message board known to be frequented by al-Qaida members confirmed that there was a technical problem with the al-Shamukh forum website and that the outage wasn’t intentional, such as performing site maintenance.

The fact that the forum wasn’t knocked out sooner is revealing. Forcing a website offline can be a relatively easy matter. A so-called denial-of-service attack, which floods a website’s servers with enormous amounts of webpage requests is a popular hacking activity. But it apparently wasn’t used in this instance. Instead, cyber experts said it was a more complex attack.

Keynote Systems Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based company that specializes in measuring Internet and cellphone network response times, confirmed that the site was completely down from 14 cities around the world.

Based on the kind of error the site was giving people who tried to view the site, it is likely that someone stole the domain name and caused traffic to go to the wrong server, or that someone got access to the system and directed it to not return content, said Berkowitz, spokesman for Keynote.

Kohlmann said it appears that the people who control the website were diligent about backing up the content, so it could be back online soon.

NBC News first reported the site was hacked Wednesday.

India: Maoist Attack in Chhattisgarh Leaves Indian Security Forces Dead

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Six security personnel have been killed and eight injured in two separate attacks by Maoist rebels in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.


India’s Maoist insurgency began in the late 1960s, in the remote forests of West Bengal state.

Four policemen died when a vehicle carrying them hit a landmine in Dantewada district.

And earlier on Sunday, two paramilitary soldiers were ambushed and killed by rebels in Kanker district, police said.

Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of indigenous tribal people and the rural poor.

They are active in several eastern and central states. In one of the most deadly attacks last year, rebels killed 74 policemen in Dantewada.

India’s prime minister has described the Maoist insurgency as the country’s biggest internal security challenge.

Sunday’s attacks happened in the restive Bastar region.

In the first attack, rebels ambushed a contingent of paramilitary soldiers belonging to the Border Security Force (BSF) in Kanker, killing two soldiers and injuring four others.

Police officials claimed that a number of rebels were also killed in the firefight, but only one body of a rebel was recovered from the spot.

Later in the day, a vehicle carrying policemen on a search operation hit a landmine in Dantewada.

Four policemen died in the explosion, and four others were injured in the blast which tore apart the vehicle.

The BBC’s Salman Ravi in Raipur says Bastar is the most sensitive region of Chhattisgarh where Maoist insurgents control a large area.

During the last one month, Maoists have carried out many landmine explosions in the area, killing more than 30 security personnel.

A government offensive against the rebels – widely referred to as Operation Green Hunt – began in late 2009.

It involves 50,000 troops and is taking place across five states – West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.