Tuesday 3 March 2009

Sabotating Palestine + strangest rail disaster

Just as US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was praising Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his commitment to peace, the Israelis were busy sabotaging any dwindling prospects there might be, with plans to build illegal settlements in the West Bank for another 73,000 people. Already 400,000 live in illegal Israeli settlements, usually built on hilltops like Crusader castles.

Having given Israel the weapons to massacre 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza and flatten their homes, shops, schools, hospitals and universities, America is now promising to pay for some of the damage, but even then it can’t resist shabby manoeuvres to try to undermine the Palestinians’ democratically elected Hamas government.

The message to the Palestinians seems pretty clear. If you follow Mr Abbas’s line, the Americans will praise you, and every day the Israelis will steal more of your land.

On this day.....65 years ago, one of the most bizarre rail disasters in history happened in a tunnel in Italy. Train 8017 which ran from Naples to Potenza had become known as the “Black Market Express” because many of its passengers were illicit traders. In the early hours of March 3, 1944, the train got stuck in the Galleria delle Armi tunnel in the Apennines, its wheels spinning helplessly on the icy track.

There were just a handful of survivors as carbon monoxide fumes killed 521 people, most of them dying quietly in their sleep.

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