Israel Orders Partial Settlement Freeze in West Bank

By Genevieve Long for The Epoch Times

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ABOUT WEST BANK SETTLEMENT FREEZE BY CLICKING HERE

Israel says that it will partially halt new settlement building in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday his cabinet’s decision of a “policy of restraint” during a press conference in Jerusalem.

New residential construction permits and new residential construction in the West Bank for Israelis will be suspended for 10 months.

One goal of the decision was described by Netanyahu’s administration as a way to push peace talks with the Palestinian Authority forward.

“We hope that this decision will help launch meaningful peace negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that will finally end the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel,” said Mr. Netanyahu in a speech that was published on the Israel minister of foreign affairs Web site.

Recent census data put the population of Israelis living in the region at over 300,000. Settlements are groupings of Israelis in the West Bank that range from medium-sized, well-established cities to small illegal outposts of several families. Jurisdictional control in the West Bank is mixed between full Palestinian control, full Israeli control, and mixed control. The average West Bank resident lives amidst a mixture of Arab villages and Israeli settlements.

The U.S. Department of State emphasized the move’s pivotal role in the peace process in a statement on their Web site from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines,” said Ms. Clinton.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ABOUT WEST BANK SETTLEMENT FREEZE BY CLICKING HERE

12 Journalists Killed in Philippine Massacre

by Charlotte Cuthbertson for The Epoch Times

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY ABOUT JOURNALISTS KILLED IN THE PHLIPPINES

In a massive act of violence, more than 30 people have been murdered in the Philippines, at least 12 of them journalists. Mostly unidentified armed men, including two policemen, appear to be responsible, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Some of them have been linked to the province’s governor, a supporter of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo The victims were massacred on the southern island of Mindanao, and some of the victims were beheaded, said RSF.

Clothilde Le Coz, the Washington, D.C. director of RSF said the organization has a correspondent there who they are in communication with.

“It’s one of the biggest massacres of journalists we’ve ever seen,” said Ms. Le Coz. “We convey our condolences and sympathy to all journalists in the Philippines, who are in state of shock after this appalling massacre.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY ABOUT JOURNALISTS KILLED IN THE PHLIPPINES

Massive Strike at University of California, Berkeley

BERKELEY, Calif.—Amidst rally cries, a crowd of several hundred students, faculty, workers, and union representatives gathered outside UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Hall on Friday—beyond police lines. In protest of the University of California (UC) Regents’ recent decision to raise tuition by 32 percent for the Spring 2010 semester, 40 students had occupied the building. According to school officials, 3,800 students were unable to attend class in Wheeler Hall.  As part of the three-day walkout and strike that began on Nov. 18, students and union workers formed picket lines blocking entrance to the university. Fire alarms were set off continually in buildings all over campus to fuel the protest and rally support. The alarms at the main university library were set off so frequently that it was closed down.

read the full story about protests at Berkley here

NYC Forum to Feature Tim Hetherington

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TIM HETHERINGTON AND HIS UPCOMING TALK IN NEW YORK

Attend an evening with Tim Hetherington, an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker on Tuesday, Dec. 8. He will discuss his new book, Long Story Bit By Bit: Liberia Retold, as well as his upcoming documentary about a platoon of U.S. Airborne soldiers in Afghanistan. A book signing and reception will follow the event

This is the inaugural Ground View forum, the first in a series of intriguing and informative events featuring journalists who have witnessed some of the world’s most important news firsthand.

Location: NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

20 Cooper Square, 6th Floor, New York, NY

Time: Slide show/Discussion/6:30 pm

Book signing and reception to follow

Admission: General Admission $12.00

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TIM HETHERINGTON AND HIS UPCOMING TALK IN NEW YORK

Journalists Recall Fall of Berlin Wall

by Genevieve Long for The Epoch Times

NEW YORK—Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, several journalists who were there reminisced on witnessing history. During a forum at the German House in New York, they shared memories of the mood at the moment in history when the barrier between East and West Germany was shattered.

Tim Aeppel is a foreign correspondent based in Bonn, Germany, and covered the events before and after the fall of the wall for The Wall Street Journal. Aeppel was at Checkpoint Charlie in East Berlin on the night of Nov. 9, 1989 with East Germans.

Aeppel recalled that at one point, the border guards started handing out cards to a crowd of over 700 that had gathered. The crowd threw the cards on the ground in defiance, finally fed up.

“I realized that was a turning point,” said Mr. Aeppel, who was awake for the next 48 hours following the story. “The crowd was firm, but they weren’t hostile.”

The sheer historical significance of what was unfolding wasn’t lost on Aeppel.

“As a journalist this was the biggest thing I could have been covering other than a war,” he said.

Michael Meyer, who was also at Checkpoint Charlie that night, said there were moments of uncertainty about whether things would turn violent.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ABOUT JOURNALISTS WITNESSING THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL ONLINE AT THE EPOCH TIMES

‘Berlin Twitter Wall’ Blocked in China

A virtual wall created for Twitter users to express their thoughts and hopes on the 20 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has been blocked in China.

The “Berlin Twitter Wall,” as it’s called, is an initiative of KulturProjekte Berli, a not-for-profit organization that promotes networking and mediation of art and culture.

Launched on Oct. 20, according to the press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the virtual wall was blocked by Chinese authorities after almost 2,000 Chinese Internet users left Twitter messages there. The wall currently has just over 4,000 tweets posted on it, mostly in Chinese.

“Chinese Internet users must not be prevented from accessing the Berlin Twitter Wall,” said Reporters Without Borders in a statement released Tuesday morning.  “Initiatives like these are important platforms for the promotion of freedom of speech as well as for critical voices and protest.”

RSF added that many foreign news outlets and social-networking sites remain inaccessible to Chinese users.

Twitter account holders can post comments that appear automatically on the berlintwitterwall.com site by using the hashtag #fotw (fall of the wall).

read the full article here