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9. Human rights abuses continue in Palestine
While there is a great deal of news coverage about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Project Censored highlights human rights abuses as a little-discussed aspect. After a 15-month study conducted by an international team of scholars, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa concluded that Israel is, from the perspective of international law, an occupying power in Palestinian territories and that it has become a colonial enterprise that implements a system of apartheid. An Amnesty International report charges that Israel is denying Palestinians the right to access adequate water by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and pursuing discriminatory policies. And articles that appeared in Electronic Intifada detailed how Israel had begun barring movement between Israel and the West Bank for those holding a foreign passport, including humanitarian aid workers and thousands of Palestinian residents. Project Censored's introduction touches on the topic: "Rare mainstream media glimpses of Israel's apartheid system, like the CBS '60 Minutes' segment 'Is Peace Out of Reach?' in January 2009, air and then fade away after drawing vitriolic, selectively focused criticism."
10. U.S. funds and supports the Taliban
While this story appeared on the front pages of The New York Times and Washington Post, Project Censored claims they omitted some key facts. The Nation broke the story, and at the time Project Censored was researching it, there was nary a mention in the mainstream media of how American tax dollars wind up in the hands of the Taliban. In some cases, money goes to Afghan companies run by former Taliban members like President Hamid Karzai's cousin, Ahmad Rate Popal, who was charged in the 1980s with conspiring to import heroin into the United States. U.S. military contractors in Afghanistan also pay suspected insurgents to protect supply routes. "It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the U.S. government funds the very forces American troops are fighting," according to The Nation story, written by Aram Roston. The Nation article also highlighted a link omitted by the other publications: NCL holdings, a licensed security company in Afghanistan, is run by the son of the Afghan defense minister and has an influential former CIA officer, Milton Bearden, on its advisory board. NCL secured a highly lucrative trucking contract—despite having no apparent trucking experience.
Other stories on Project Censored's radar
The following issues helped round out the project's top 25 stories missed within the last year. For more information on each one, including sources, visit www.projectcensored.org.
11. The H1N1 swine flu pandemic: Manipulating data to enrich drug companies
12. Cuba provided the greatest medical aid to Haiti after the earthquake
13. Obama cuts domestic spending and increases military corporate welfare
14. Increased tensions with unresolved 9/11 issues
15. Bhopal water still toxic 25 years after deadly gas leak
16. U.S. presidents charged with crimes against humanity as universal jurisdiction dies in Spain
17. Nanotech particles pose serious DNA risks to humans and the environment
18. The true cost of Chevron
19. Obama administration assures World Bank and International Monetary Fund a free reign of abuse
20. Obama's charter school policies spread segregation and undermine unions
21. Western lifestyle continues environmental footprint
22. 1.2 billion people in India to be given biometric ID cards
23. Afghan War: Largest military coalition in history
24. War crimes of Gen. Stanley McChrystal
25. Prisoners still brutalized at Gitmo