Democracy Now: HUD Halts Some Foreclosures in Storm-Hit Areas

•November 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The government has ordered a halt to home foreclosures on federally backed mortgages in areas devastated by last week’s Superstorm Sandy. On Monday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said loans under the Federal Housing Administration would see a foreclosure moratorium for 90 days. The Housing Department also says it plans to pay for the hotel stays of some 34,000 displaced people in New York and New Jersey. New York City alone has up to 40,000 displaced residents in need of shelter, including 20,000 in public housing.

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Democracy Now: Dozens Killed in Wave of Syria Violence

•November 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Syria is seeing some of its worst violence in months with fighting raging across the country. Syrian activists say at least 159 people were killed nationwide on Monday, nearly half in the city of Idlib.

Democracy Now: Iraq: Suicide Attack Kills 31 Near Military Base in Baghdad

•November 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

At least 31 people have been killed in a suicide attack on a group of Iraqi soldiers outside a military base near Baghdad. It was one of the worst attacks against the Iraqi military so far this year.

Democracy Now: U.S. Soldier Charged in Massacre of Afghan Civilians Appears in Court

•November 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The U.S. soldier charged for the massacre of Afghan civilians in March appeared in court Monday for a preliminary hearing to determine whether he will face a full court-martial. Robert Bales faces 16 counts of murder, one for each of his victims. Musa Mahmuddi of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission called on the United States to ensure that the victims’ families are heard.

Musa Mahmuddi: “We strongly demand and we strongly ask the United States that the justice should be applied, and a trial should be based on the principles of fair trial and provide opportunities and time to victim families and members to be represented and to be heard in the court of the United States there.”

Robert Bales was on his fourth combat tour following earlier stints in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Monday, a former military comrade testified that Bales had shown no remorse after committing the shootings. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Democracy Now: Pakistani Family Says U.S. Drone Attack Killed Elderly Woman, Wounded Grandchildren

•November 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A family in Pakistan is accusing the United States of killing an elderly woman and wounding six of her grandchildren in a drone attack late last month. The strike reportedly occurred in a remote village of North Waziristan near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Speaking from Peshawar, the woman’s grandson and son described the moment her body was found, and called for a full investigation of her death.

Kaleem Ullah: “I saw that my uncle was running around in the field. I thought he was looking for my grandmother. I started running here and there with him. Then we found her lying in a ditch. My uncle tried to pick her up but could not do so because she was broken into pieces. She was in a very bad shape.”

Rafiq Ur Rehman: “We appeal to the whole world to thoroughly investigate this incident so that any such occurrences do not take place with other people in the future, and that no innocent women and children are killed again.”

Democracy Now: Court Hears Arguments in Alleged Entrapment Case of “Newburgh 4”

•November 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A federal appeals court has heard arguments in the case of four New York men who have alleged government entrapment in their 25-year sentences for a bombing plot. The “Newburgh Four,” as they are known, were convicted for placing what they thought were bombs in a New York synagogue in 2010. Defense attorneys say the men were entrapped by government agents and not predisposed to commit a terrorist crime. During their sentencing last year, the judge in the case acknowledged from the bench that the men were not terrorists as alleged by the government and that no crime would have occurred if not for the role of the FBI informant. After hearing from prosecutors and defense attorneys on Monday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would rule at a later date.

Democracy Now: U.S. Veteran Placed on No-Fly List Without Explanation

•November 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

An African-American Muslim and 10-year veteran of the U.S. military has come forward to reveal he has been placed on the U.S. no-fly list without explanation. Speaking to The Guardian, former Air Force servicemember Saadiq Long says he has been prevented from visiting his ailing mother in Oklahoma after learning the Department of Homeland Security has barred him from flying to the United States. Long had bought a ticket to Oklahoma from his home in Qatar shortly after learning his mother’s congestive heart condition has worsened. According to Long, he has no criminal history and, after six months, has yet to receive an explanation as to why he has been included on the list.