U.S. military out of Iraqi cities by Tuesday; “The Scramble for Iraq’s ‘Sweet Oil'”; More violent protests in Iran; Israel intends to annex over 34,000 acres in the West Bank; Atheist youth camp in the U.K.; and more…
Iraq tightening security admist recent attacks as the U.S. withdraws from its cities on Tuesday. (BBC)
On June 30, the major oil conglomerates will gather in Baghdad to discuss the estimated 300bn barrels of oil in Iraq, Nichole Johnston reports in her article, “The Scramble for Iraq’ ‘Sweet Oil'” (AJE)
The U.S. is going to “phase out” its policy of drug “eradiction” in Afghanistan. Afghanistan produces 93% of the opium on the global market. The funding taken from eradication policies will go toward “promoting production of legal crops”. U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke called the policy of eradication, “the least effective program ever.” (NYT and FT)
Iran police clashed with 3,000 protesters in Tehran in the first post-election protest in five days, using tear gas and truncheons.
“Mousavi, Celebrated in Iranian Protests, Was the Butcher of Beirut” by Jeff Stein (CQ Politcs): “Mousavi, prime minister for most of the 1980s, personally selected his point man for the Beirut terror campaign, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-pur, and dispatched him to Damascus as Iran’s ambassador, according to former CIA and military officials.”
Mr. Mousavi has rejected the proposal to only recount 10% of the ballots, only calling for a complete re-run of the elction. (Ha’aretz)
Eight staff members of the U.K. embassy in Tehran were kidnapped by the Iran gov’t and charged with intervening in the post-election events. (AntiWar.com)
A senior gov’t worker — using the pseudonym “Leyla” — tells her story to Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran. She’s been protesting every day crying and fearing for life. At 46, she compares the current zeitgeist with the revolution in 1979. (FT)
The Lands Registration Department of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank published an ad saying it intended to annex 34,345 acres of “unregistered” land. A lot of land where Palestinians live are unregistered because Israel won’t allow many to register. (Press TV)
The L.A. Times featured two great columns on the settlements: “A Guide to Settlements” by Gershom Gorenberg is a great basic FAQ and a piece by Sarah Leah Whitson analyzing the current situation with settlements in the West Bank and the legal framework.
Egypt has re-opened Rafah Crossing into Gaza for three days to allow humanitarian aid to enter. Israel has been physically blocking aid since 2007. (AJE)
The U.N. has begun a public hearing to investigate Israel’s massacre on Gaza that killed 1,400 Palestinians in around 22 days. Over 900 have been classified as “civilians”, but it should be noted that the civilian police force casualties are not included in that total, yet are not a part of the Hamas military wing, either. (AJE)
South Korea is boosting defense spending to develop first-strike capacity against the North, who told Japan it would shoot down any surveillance equipment (Raw Story)
The 2nd annual gay pride march in India comes as the country is looking to decriminalize gay sex. (Raw Story) Chicago’s pride parade was a blast, as always.
Richard Dawkins’ foundation is supporting a summer camp “offering a ‘godless alternative’ to similar religious events under canvas” called Camp Quest U.K. (Guardian)
Pittsburgh wants 4,000 cops for the G-20 Summit in September. Pittsburgh’s police force is only 877 deep. (InfoShop News)