What does Israel fear from media coverage?

Glenn Greenwald:

Israel is now not only detaining the victims of its aggression, but also threatening to prosecute and imprison them. Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said yesterday: “All those who lifted a hand against a soldier will be punished to the full extent of the law.” So when Israel seizes ships in international waters and kills anyone who resists (and others standing near them), that is an act of noble, plucky self-defense. But those who fail to submit completely to this lawless and barbarous act of aggression are the Real Criminals who will be prosecuted and imprisoned “to the fullest extent of the law.” In other words, not only is Israel — which seized ships in international waters and killed civilians — the Real Victim, but the Real Criminals are those on the ship. But doesn’t the victim of a crime usually want media coverage of what the criminal did? How odd for the victim in this case to take such extreme steps to ensure that the world cannot hear from the witnesses.

Israel is isolated by world condemnation after attack on aid flotilla

From The Scotsman:

THE international community united in condemning Israel yesterday following an attack on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip that left at least ten people dead.

Spontaneous protests erupted across Europe and the Middle East, as US president Barack Obama expressed “deep regret” over the massacre.

Israeli forces stormed the convoy of six ships carrying aid yesterday in a pre-dawn raid that saw commandos abseiling on to a boat and shooting dead pro-Palestinian aid volunteers.

Four Scots were believed to be among at least 27 Britons on board the flotilla. Their fate was unknown last night, although the Foreign Office said no Britons were among the dead. Israel said its forces were forced to respond to “unexpected resistance” as they boarded the vessels, but one Scottish witness said the Israelis had faced no resistance.

Mr Obama demanded emergency talks with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night, as planned peace talks were cancelled. Foreign Secretary William Hague led the worldwide chorus of condemnation, saying: “I deplore the loss of life during the interception of the Gaza flotilla. Our embassy is in urgent contact with the Israeli government.”

And a contender for quote of the day:

Mr Netanyahu expressed “regret” for the loss of life. but said the soldiers had no choice.

“Our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives, or they would have been killed,” he said. Israel said it opened fire after its commandos were attacked with knives, clubs and live fire from two pistols wrested from soldiers after they descended from a helicopter to board one of the vessels.

Wait, the soldiers attacking a boat in international waters are the victims here?

Lauren Rosenberg sues Google, blames faulty Google Maps directions after being hit by car in Utah

Don’t you hate when companies like Google expect people to use common sense?

A California woman is suing Google after she was hit by a car while following directions provided by Google Maps on her cell phone, according to AOL News.

Lauren Rosenberg says that the Google Maps BlackBerry application told her to use Deer Valley Drive — a highway also called Utah State Route 224 — to walk from one Park City address to another.

However, the directions did not tell her that there were no sidewalks along Deer Valley Drive, which, Rosenberg alleges, led to her being struck by traffic.

“As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google’s careless, reckless and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle, causing her to suffer severe permanent physical, emotional and mental injuries,” according to the complaint filed in Park County district court.

Bush lifts offshore drilling ban

From July 2008:

President George W Bush has lifted an executive ban on drilling for oil in most US coastal waters, and has urged lawmakers to follow suit.

He wants Congress to end its separate ban on drilling, in order to reduce US dependence on oil imports.

“Now the ball is squarely in Congress’ court,” he said, adding that it was “time for action”.

Mr Bush’s move comes as high oil prices have pushed US petrol prices to more than $4 (£2) per gallon.

Mr Bush added: “The American people are watching the numbers climb higher and higher at the pump and they’re waiting to see what the Congress will do.”

His move will have no effect unless Congress acts as well.

On Friday oil prices – which have been rising steeply during 2008 – touched new highs, peaking above $147 a barrel.

Coastal concern

US energy needs are set to be a key issue in November’s presidential election.

Republican John McCain is in favour of offshore oil drilling, whereas his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, opposes it.

(via Poor MoJo)