30 Nov 2011
You may be aware of the growing controversy surrounding Carrier IQ, a piece of software found pre-installed on Sprint phones that, according to developers who have investigated, is capable of detecting, recording, and transmitting various user actions and inputs. Among the data CIQ potentially has access to are location, SMS, apps, and key presses.
The United States has used tactical nuclear weapons in its military campaign against Iraq and Afghanistan, a Middle East expert tells Press TV.
“Tactical nuclear weapons were used, at least one in Iraq and several were used in Afghanistan --in the Tora Bora mountains,” Peter Eyre, a Middle East consultant, said. Eyre pointed out that the atomic bomb dropped on Afghanistan's Tora Bora region was so powerful that it actually created an earthquake there.
The analyst went on to say that the use of such lethal weapons by US military, which is a gross violation of the Geneva Convention, has been sanctioned by the US presidents; thus they should be prosecuted for war crimes.
"In America, the ultimate commander in chief is the president," Eyre said, adding that the President has the final say in using such weapons.
The US is the first country in the world to develop nuclear weapons and the only one to use them.
"In 21 years of invading people's privacy I've never actually come across anyone who's been doing any good," he told the hearing in London on Tuesday. "Privacy is the space bad people need to do bad things in. Privacy is for paedos; fundamentally nobody else needs it."
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik may avoid jail but end up in a psychiatric institution indefinitely after court-appointed experts concluded he is criminally insane, prosecutors said Tuesday. In Norway's worst attacks since World War Two, Breivik killed 77 people in July by bombing central Oslo and then gunning down dozens of mostly teenagers at a summer camp of the ruling Labor Party's youth wing.
Prosecutors said a psychiatric report on Breivik, a self-declared anti-immigration militant, showed he believed he had staged "the executions" out of love for "his people." "The conclusion ... is that he is insane," prosecutor Svein Holden told a news conference on the psychiatrists' report. "He lives in his own delusional universe and his thoughts and acts are governed by this universe."
29 Nov 2011
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for authorities in the Russian city of St Petersburg to stop the passage of a bill that would prevent the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from publicly expressing their sexuality.
The bill, which is going through its second reading on Wednesday, would impose fines of up to 5,000 (£103) rubles on individuals and up to 50,000 (£1030) rubles on organisations who publicly "promote sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality or transsexuality".
The language of the bill is so vague as to make even those using the rainbow flag vulnerable to censure, HRW said. “This bill is a blatant attack on freedom of expression and a thinly disguised attempt to silence Russia’s LGBT community,” Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at HRW, said. “The effort to have this law adopted in St. Petersburg, known as Russia’s northern capital, is a test case for those who want to entrench discrimination against the LGBT community throughout the country.”
Music by The Dead Fish Orchestra
28 Nov 2011
Norman Gary Finkelstein (born December 8, 1953) is an American political scientist and author whose primary fields of research are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust. See Wikipedia
The problem isn't with Jews, its with a Zionist government committing atrocities on a daily basis. and dr. Finkelstein stands to expose them. The race, religion, or ethnicity of people committing atrocities or killing innocents doesn't matter. The holocaust was an atrocity, just as killing innocent Palestinians is. hope u understand my point of view. (YouTube comment)
Egyptians have started casting their ballots for the first parliamentary elections since former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising earlier this year. Police were stationed outside polling stations across Egypt on Monday morning as elections, billed as the first free and fair votes that Egyptians have seen in over 50 years, began.
Many Egyptians remained worried that there may be outbreaks of violence at polling stations, while others have been concerned that the nation remains polarised over the choice of candidates. In some parts of the country, polling stations had not opened more than an hour after the time scheduled, as ballot papers and the ink used to mark voters' fingers had not arrived. "The two problems are this, one ballot papers arriving very late, secondly, judges are arriving very late [and] some not even turning up," Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reporting from Cairo's densely populated Shubra district
Chants rang out around Luzhniki stadium in Moscow: "Putin! Putin! Putin!", which gave way to "The people! Medvedev! Putin!" and then "Russia! Russia! Russia!" Delegates from the ruling United Russia party dutifully applauded while youth activists, bussed in from the provinces, waved bulky flags for two hours straight.
But one man was not happy. "When you scream 'Putin! Medvedev!' that's well enough," Vladimir Putin called out from the podium as he officially accepted his party's nomination for a presidential election that he is all but assured of winning. "But when you say 'Russia!' the whole room should shout," he ordered.
A great roar rose up as Putin loudly banged the podium in time to his subjects' obedient chants.
After four years as prime minister, a role he took up because of a constitutional ban on any individual serving more than two consecutive terms as president, Putin is not just returning to the Kremlin. He is embracing a neo-Soviet cult of personality that has transformed from publicity stunts showing off his physique and prowess to all-out adoration intent on proving that no other leader is fit to run Russia.
Egypt's military ruler has warned of "extremely grave" consequences if the country does not pull through its current crisis, and urged voters to turn out for landmark parliamentary elections starting on Monday. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who heads the governing Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), claimed on Sunday that "foreign hands" were behind the current turmoil.
In comments carried by the nation's official news agency, Tantawi rejected calls for him and other generals on the SCAF to step down immediately. Tantawi also promised the creation of a 50-member advisory council that would advise the SCAF. More on Al Jazeera English (video)
27 Nov 2011
Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have blocked President Joseph Kabila's main rival at an airport in Kinshasa. The authorities stopped Etienne Tshisekedi from staging an election rally after at least three people died in violence across DRC's capital city during campaign rallies.
The violence broke out when security forces used tear gas and live fire to disperse those attending campaign rallies. Two days before presidential and parliamentary elections, rival factions hurled rocks at each other and gunfire was heard across town on Saturday. Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege, reporting from Kinshasa, said "thousands of supporters" had tear gas fired on them, adding that the "feeling among the opposition is that this is a sign of how popular the opposition are and that Kabila can't win Monday's elections".
Daniel Howden, Africa correspondent for the UK newspaper The Independent, said on Twitter: "Live rounds and tear gas" were being used "at large crowds in Kinshasa airport". The violence was the latest sign of tension in the run-up to Congo's second election since a 1998-2003 war, a poll which has been marked by opposition allegations of irregularities and concerns about inadequate preparations.
26 Nov 2011
Pakistani officials have accused Nato helicopters of firing on a military checkpoint near Pakistan's Afghan border, killing at least 14 soldiers. The attack took place in the Pakistani tribal region of Mohmand after Nato helicopters flew over the border from Afghanistan, they said.
Nato said it was aware of "an incident" near the border and that it was investigating. The Pakistani military said it was an "unprovoked and indiscriminate" attack.
The Who - The infamous explosion on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The Who destroyed their instruments at the conclusion of their performance of My Generation, with the usual addition of mild explosives for light pyrotechnic effect. The piece would end with guitarist Pete Townshend grabbing Tommy's guitar and smashing it. Prior to the taping, however, a "sloppy" stage hand, at the request of drummer Keith Moon (who allegedly bribed him with a bottle of whiskey), had overloaded Moon's kick drum with gun powder. When Moon detonated it, the explosion was so intense that a piece of cymbal shrapnel cut into Moon's arm; Moon is heard moaning in pain toward the end of the piece. Townshend, who had been in front of Moon's drums at the time, had his hair singed by the blast; he is seen putting out sparks in his hair before finishing the sketch with a visibly shocked Tommy Smothers. Allegedly, the blast contributed heavily to Townshend's long-term hearing loss.
The Syrian military has said it will "cut every evil hand that targets Syrian blood", and warned that recent attacks on elite security forces marked a dangerous escalation in the country's eight-month-old crisis. Six elite pilots and four technical officers were killed in an ambush on Thursday in Homs, the military said, in an unusually high-level strike.
"Our armed forces [will] continue to carry out our mission to defend the country's security, and we will hit back against anything that threatens us," the statement said. It is not clear who was behind the attacks. A largely peaceful uprising against the president, Bashar al-Assad, began in March and has become more violent as defectors from the army turn their guns on security forces and some protesters take up arms to protect themselves.
25 Nov 2011
In a time of 9 percent unemployment, a faltering global economy, toxic levels of political rancor, and the release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, is there anything left to be thankful for? Reason offers a message of hope, redemption, and dada. (See this RT report for background)
Oliver is heartbroken when he finds that Georgette, the inkeeper's daughter he's fallen in love with, is already married to dashing Foreign Legion officer Francois. To forget her, he joins the Legion, taking Stanley with him. Their bumbling eventually gets them charged with desertion and sentenced to a firing squad. They manage to escape in a stolen airplane, but crash after a wild ride.
Egyptian state media reported that 78-year-old Kamal al-Ganzouri, who served under Mr Mubarak from 1996 to 1999, had agreed in principle to lead a “national salvation” government after meeting with the head of the ruling army council, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.
While the appointment is highly unlikely to find favour in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, other Egyptians are likely to approve the choice of a man seen as a moderate. Nonetheless it will be seen as an act of desperation by the military.
It has been a bad year for dictators and now South African fast food chicken restaurant Nando's has turned the fall of regimes to its advantage. Its new advert is a parody of infamous leaders remembering the "good old days" of causing terror and misery on a national scale.
It features a mocked up Robert Mugabe having a water pistol fight with Colonel Gaddafi, playing in the sand with Saddam and messing about on the swings with South Africa’s P.W Botha. But the advert ends on a sour note as Mugabe sits on his own at the dinner table: "This time of year, no-one should have to eat alone," says the voice-over
According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 99.9 percent of hitchhikers are murderers...
24 Nov 2011
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, has issued the first official apology for a bloody military campaign that killed thousands of Kurds in southeast Turkey at the end of the 1930s. "If it is necessary to apologise on behalf of the state ... I will apologise, I am apologising," Erdogan told his Justice and Development Party (AKP) members on Wednesday in televised remarks.
Erdogan said that the air strikes and ground operations in the city of Dersim - now named Tunceli - killed 13,800 people between 1936 and 1939, according to an official document of the time, that he cited in his speech.
"Dersim is one of the most tragic events of our near history. It is a disaster waiting to be enlightened and boldly questioned," Erdogan said. The offensive took place under the rule of the current main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which was established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish state.
About 11,600 people were exiled to other regions across Turkey, Erdogan said, citing another official document signed by Ismet Inonu, then leader of the CHP and Turkey's second president after Ataturk died in 1938. Turkey was under the one-party rule of the CHP until 1946. Erdogan said the archives of his office were open for any research of official documents about the events.
Next: Armenian Genocide
23 Nov 2011
A film-maker based in London has been threatened with legal action by the European Union after making a documentary that exposed abuse of women in Afghanistan.
The EU hired Clementine Malpas to highlight the plight of battered wives and rape victims convicted of "moral crimes" by anti-female Afghan courts. However, 24 hours before the film was due to be delivered, EU officials said they would block its release as they did not want to upset "relations with the justice institutions" in Afghanistan, and Ms Malpas, 30, is now accused of breaching her contract after claims the film was screened for outside viewers.
She obtained written consent to film Gulnaz, 19, who was jailed for 12 years for adultery after being raped, and Farida, 26, also jailed for adultery after fleeing her abusive husband. Both women risked their personal safety to speak out over their treatment at the hands of Afghanistan's judicial system. Gulnaz was filmed saying: "I have to [do the film] because when everybody sees this it will be a lesson for them and these things won't happen in Afghanistan." Her husband's cousin raped her, making her pregnant, but after going to police she was jailed in Kabul, where her little daughter is with her.
The EU insists it is protecting the women by hiding their identities, but it is understood Ms Malpas, from Kensal Rise, told EU officials they were silencing them against their will. Friends of the film-maker said it was a bizarre position for an international delegation publicly committed to improving women's rights.
Historically Important horror film in the German Expressionist style that continues to influence filmmakers today. At a fair, Alan and his fiancée Jane meet Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist, Cesare, who can predict the future. Cesare reveals to Alan that he only has until dawn to live. This prediction proves true when Alan is murdered. Cesare becomes the prime suspect and then abducts Jane before dying himself. Dr. Caligari retreats to a mental asylum, where his truth is revealed. More on Wikipedia
“The recent events taking place in Syria and their regional and international repercussions were the core as President Bashar al-Assad on Monday met a Russian delegation including journalists, intellectuals, academics and activists from different youth organizations and parties.
President al-Assad expressed great appreciation of Russia's objective stance towards what is happening in Syria.
For their part, the delegation members stressed the importance of visiting Syria to inspect the reality of what is taking place in light of the misleading practiced by some media. The delegation members condemned what is being hatched against Syria and the lies and fabrications aimed at destabilizing the country.
Historical relations between the friendly people of the two countries and the importance of further boosting them were touched upon during the meeting.” DayPress
Renato Davila Riquelme, an anthropologist that works for the Privado Ritos Andinos museum in Cusco, announced the findings of the strange and freaky mummy you see before you. The remains, which are 50cm [20 inches] tall, were thought to be those of a child until Spanish and Russian doctors said otherwise: "It has a non-human appearance because the head is triangular and big, almost the same size as the body. At first we believed it to be a child's body until Spanish and Russian doctors came and confirmed that, yes, it's an extraterrestrial being." Guanabee.com
It’s more a skeleton than a mummy, but anyway..
22 Nov 2011
Egypt's military rulers have completely failed to live up to their promises to Egyptians to improve human rights and have instead been responsible for a catalogue of abuses which in some cases exceeds the record of Hosni Mubarak, Amnesty International said today in a new report.
In Broken Promises: Egypt's Military Rulers Erode Human Rights (PDF), the organization documents a woeful performance on human rights by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) which assumed power after the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak in February.
The report's release follows a bloody few days in Egypt that has left many dead and hundreds injured after army and security forces violently attempted to disperse anti-SCAF protesters from Cairo’s Tahrir square.
"By using military courts to try thousands of civilians, cracking down on peaceful protest and expanding the remit of Mubarak's Emergency Law, the SCAF has continued the tradition of repressive rule which the January 25 demonstrators fought so hard to get rid of," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Acting Director.
Bradley Manning, the US soldier who has been held in confinement for the past 18 months on suspicion of having leaked a huge trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks, is to go before a military panel on 16 December at the start of the most high-profile prosecution of a whistleblower in a generation.
The proceedings, at Fort Meade in Maryland, are expected to last five days, and will be the first opportunity for prosecuting officers and Manning's defence team to present their cases. It is known as an Article 32 hearing and, although it is preliminary, both sides will be able to call and cross-examine witnesses.
Since he was arrested in Iraq in May 2010, Manning has become a cause celebre for anti-war and free information advocates in America and around the world. His support network will be calling a rally outside the Article 32 hearing when it opens next month.
One of the defining documentaries of the 20th century, The Atomic Cafe (1982) offers a darkly humorous glimpse into mid-century America, an era rife with paranoia, anxiety, and misapprehension. Whimsical and yet razor-sharp, this timeless classic illuminates the often comic paradoxes of life in the "Atomic Age," while also exhibiting a genuine nostalgia for an earlier and more innocent nation.
At least 13 people have been killed and hundreds injured after two days of clashes between protesters and security forces. Troops used tear gas and rubber bullets in a major assault on demonstrators, who are demanding the military rulers transfer power to a civilian government.
21 Nov 2011
From the Mail Online: Civilian juntas have seized power in Rome and Athens. Soon, similar gangs of grey men may be sweeping aside national governments in Madrid and Lisbon. Nobody much is protesting. In time – don’t rule it out – it could be our turn here, with Lords Patten and Mandelson forming a cabinet of none of the talents.
Our ruling Left-wing elite seem oddly untroubled by the ruthless snuffing-out of national sovereignty across southern Europe. If the same thing had been done by a bunch of colonels, they would have been piously outraged. But of course these putsches are the work of the European Union, a project the Left have long supported. And the EU is more subtle than any colonels. There is no need for midnight arrests or tanks on the streets. The enormous invisible power of the EU’s law and institutions gets its way without any need for such things.
The sheer dictatorial nerve of Italy’s new viceroy, Mario Monti, is impressive. He has formed a government without a single elected politician in it. You may well say that Italy’s politicians are, like a sorry collection of blowhards and amateurs. But that does not mean they should be replaced by something worse – robots under the command of the EU Commission.
The Great Dictator is a comedy film by Charles Chaplin released in October 1940. Like most Chaplin films, he wrote, produced, and directed, in addition to starring as the lead. Having been the only Hollywood film maker to continue to make silent films well into the period of sound films, this was Chaplin's first true talking picture as well as his most commercially successful film. More importantly, it was the first major feature film of its period to bitterly satirize Nazism and Adolf Hitler.
At the time of its first release, the United States was still formally at peace with Nazi Germany. Chaplin's film advanced a stirring, controversial condemnation of Hitler, fascism, antisemitism, and the Nazis, whom he excoriates in the film as "machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts". - YouTube
Zwarte Piet is said to be a racist image of the African negro. Above are the different views on this matter.
Democracy Now! talks to investigative reporter Greg Palast about a controversy in the banking community around the Occupy Wall Street movement. Palast investigates the story behind Goldman Sachs' recent decision to pull out of a fundraiser for the Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union in New York City after it learned the event was honouring the protesters at Occupy Wall Street. The investment bank withdrew its name from the fundraiser and also cancelled a $5,000 pledge. Was the $5,000 a Goldman Sachs donation or actually American taxpayer bail-out money Goldman set aside for community banks?
20 Nov 2011
German elite profited from the Euro Zone, now wants to use crisis to undo welfare state and privatize.
During peacefully Occupy Movement at UC Davis, police came in to tear down tents and proceeded to arrest students who stood in their way. Once students peacefully demanded the release of the arrested, a police officer unnecessarily pepper sprays the students to open a path for the rest of the officers. Addresses of the officers on YouTube
Muammar Gaddafi's son and one-time heir apparent Saif al-Islam has been detained in the southern desert, Libya's interim justice minister and other officials have said.
Fighters from the western mountain city of Zintan announced his capture on Saturday as gunfire and car horns marked jubilation across the country at the arrest of the British-educated 39-year-old who a year ago seemed set to follow his father as Libya's leader.
Saif al-Islam and three armed companions were taken without a fight during the night, officials said. Gaddafi's son was reportedly not injured, unlike Gaddafi himself, who was killed last month after being captured by fighters in his home town of Sirte. More on AlJazeera - Libya pledges 'fair trial' for Saif al-Islam
Egypt has been hit by another wave of major violence ahead of parliamentary elections after security forces opened fire on thousands of protesters demonstrating against the military junta.
Two people were reported dead and more than 600 injured in central Cairo after riot police sent volleys of tear gas, rubber bullets and "birdshot" pellet cartridges into the crowds. The clashes put further pressure on the ruling generals and cast doubt on the ability of police to secure the poll, scheduled to begin on 28 November.
"The scenes are reminiscent of the Friday of Anger," said journalist and pro-change activist Hossam el-Hamalawy, referring to 28 January, the day protesters beat Mubarak's security forces off the streets during the uprising against his regime. "We are being hit with showers of US-made tear gas canisters, and I've watched with my own eyes at least five people being struck by rubber bullets."
19 Nov 2011
Foreign Ministry reports circulating in the Kremlin today are warning that an already explosive situation in the United States is about to get a whole lot worse as a new law put forth by US President Obama is said capable of seeing up to 500,000 American citizens jailed for the crime of opposing their government.
Sparking the concern of Russian diplomats over the growing totalitarian bent of the Obama government is the planned reintroduction of what these reports call one of the most draconian laws ever introduced in a free society that is titled “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”.
First introduced in the US Congress in 2007 by Democratic Representative Jane Harmon, this new law passed the US House of Representatives by a secretive voice vote, but failed to pass the US Senate, after which it was believed dead until this past week when it was embraced by Obama who became the first American President to name his own citizens as a threat to his Nations security.
Thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of lower Manhattan at November 17, two months to the day after Occupy Wall Street protesters set up camp in Zuccotti Park. At least 175 people were arrested during the morning in a concerted action to shut down New York's financial district. Watch this video produced by Francis Reynolds to see one large group of protesters arrested on the corner of Williams and Pine streets for civil disobedience.
10 Shockingly Violent Police Assaults on Occupy Protesters on Alternet - Probably 97 percent of police act professionally toward protesters. But the other 3 percent are armed and dangerous, and know that they're unlikely to be held accountable.
Hillary Clinton will become the first US secretary of state in 50 years to visit Burma, it has been announced, as Washington ramped up its efforts to kindle "flickers of progress" in the isolated south-east Asian nation.
The visit next month, announced by Barack Obama, appeared to be a reward for Burma's reforms, which were marked hours earlier by the return to politics of the democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.
The double boost was widely applauded as a sign that Burma may be moving in from the political cold, but it contains risks: a political transformation is far from guaranteed in a government system that is still largely under the influence of the military, and the move may add to China's suspicion that the US is attempting an encirclement policy.
18 Nov 2011
Over the past decade, tens of thousands of Zimbabwean children have taken quite remarkable risks to smuggle themselves across the border into South Africa. For the most part they are acting illegally, and most travel alone or unaccompanied by adult relatives, but it is the only way that many of them feel they can escape the debilitating poverty, disease and violence they have experienced under Robert Mugabe's regime.
Greek security forces have clashed with protesters who were marching on the US embassy in Athens to mark the anniversary of a bloody 1973 student uprising which helped topple a US-backed army dictatorship in Greece.
The Thursday demonstration was swelled in numbers as many joined the rally to protest against unpopular austerity measures, aimed at saving the country from its debt crisis, Reuters reported.
More than 30,000 people marched in central Athens beating drums, waving red flags and chanting “EU, IMF out!” in the first test of public defiance against technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papdemos's new government.
17 Nov 2011
More than five months ago, on April 22, 2011, over 400 citizens converged on Quantico Marine Base to protest the pre-trial conditions of alleged Wikileaks whistleblower US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. Manning was arrested on May 26, 2010, on a U.S. military base in Iraq on suspicion of giving classified material to the website WikiLeaks.
Manning still is in pre-trial confinement, 560 days after he was arrested. Manning was charged on July 5, 2010, with transferring classified materials on his personal computer, and communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source. An additional 22 charges were added on March 1, 2011, including wrongfully obtaining classified material for the purpose of posting it on the Internet knowing that the information would be accessed by the enemy; the illegal transmission of defense information; fraud; and aiding the enemy. In April, 2011, he was found fit to face a court martial and currently awaits the first hearing.
Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, have approved Myanmar's request to chair the Southeast Asian regional bloc in 2014, giving the country some long-sought international recognition.
The 10-member bloc made the decision two years before schedule, as they began their 19th summit on Thursday in the Indonesian resort island of Bali, with maritime territorial disputes, free trade and other regional issues topping the agenda. (Al Jazeera English)
China has reacted angrily to remarks by Barack Obama signalling a significant shift in US policy vis-a-vis Asia.
The US president has pledged not to let his country's budget crisis compromise its strategic vision and military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
His commitment came a day after the US said it would deploy up to 2,500 troops to northern Australia and strengthen air force co-operation, causing a strong reaction from China, whose rapid rise is reorienting Asia's strategic balance.
In a message aimed both at a region he sees as vital to the US economic future and politicians at home, Obama told the Australian parliament on Thursday the Asia-Pacific was too vital to fall prey to US penny-pinching.
"As the United States puts our fiscal house in order, we are reducing our spending," Obama said, cautioning that reductions in funding for the US military machine were inevitable after years of huge spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Here is what this region must know. As we end today's wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority.
President Obama snogging Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez? Unlikely. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu smooching with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas? Never. President Sarkozy cuddling up to German chancellor Angela Merkel... Actually, that one we could see. Somewhat disturbingly. (See all pictures here)
These images and more are all part of a new advertising campaign by clothing brand Benetton, who in an attempt to spark
sales conversation have released six highly controversial images of world leaders engaging in some very close diplomatic discussions. (Huffington Post)
Italian clothing company Benetton has withdrawn a publicity shot of the pope kissing a Muslim religious leader following a Vatican backlash.
A digitally manipulated picture showed Benedict XVI locking lips with Mohammed Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand sheikh of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, as part of an advertising campaign that launched on Wednesday and featured unlikely combinations of religious and political figureheads kissing. (The Guardian)
Barmy FIFA president Sepp Blatter has claimed that there is no racism in football — and that if it ever should crop up then the players involved should settle matters with a HANDSHAKE!
The Football Association are currently investigating two incidents where a player has been accused of racially abusing an opponent. Chelsea's John Terry and Liverpool's Luis Suarez are awaiting the outcome of FA probes after separate claims against them from Anton Ferdinand and Patrice Evra respectively.
Former England striker Les Ferdinand has waded into the Sepp Blatter racism row, saying the Fifa President should stand down. Mr Blatter caused fury when he said in two television interviews that racist incidents between footballers should be settled with a handshake.
Les Ferdinand - the older cousin of footballing brothers Anton and Rio - told Sky Sports News that it was "about time we stopped hearing from him". (SKY)
16 Nov 2011
Jerusalem's secular mayor, Nir Barkat, has pitted himself against the city's swelling ranks of ultra-orthodox extremists by demanding that local police enable women to reclaim their position in the public domain. Over recent months, women's faces have disappeared from billboards across the city amid mounting pressure applied by the powerful ultra-orthodox lobby, who find the female image offensive.
Several advertisers have erased female models from their posters in Jerusalem. Elsewhere in Israel, the winter campaign of Israeli clothing brand Honigman features a model cosily dressed in winter knits. In the capital, the woman's head has been removed from the image, leaving just her arm and a handbag. (See here)
Companies that do not fall in line with the standards of the extreme ultra-orthodox have frequently fallen victim to direct action. Across Jerusalem, female figures have been blacked out of billboards with spray-paint, or vandalised with graffiti branding the image "illegal". Other posters are simply torn down.
A YouTube video shot during the November 9 student rally in London allegedly shows plainclothes police acting as agents provocateurs among the protesting crowds.
Syria's uprising began with peaceful protests but with attacks by army defectors on government troops increasing, it is fast turning into a civil war. Dozens of soldiers loyal to the regime of President Bashar al Assad were reported killed in the latest clashes in the province of Deraa.
Every week new videos emerge on social networking websites showing men in Syrian army uniforms apparently declaring their allegiance to the opposition. These defectors are part of a growing force calling itself the Free Syrian Army. More on Sky News
15 Nov 2011
These are questions all Christians should seek answers to.
Confusion is clear.
The park has been cleared," the text message read a few hours later, as bedragged, pepper-sprayed protesters, having lost their home in the park, reconvened for a GA in Foley Square and vowed to keep the occupation going. Over 200 had been arrested, including city council member Ydanis Rodriguez. Blocks away, Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference at which he declared that police would be now able to search people entering the park.
There is a planned post-raid gathering at 9 am at Canal and 6th Street for supporters to regroup and rally. Meanwhile, the National Lawyer's Guild has obtained a temporary restraining order "directing that occupiers be allowed back on the premises with their belongings." Reportedly, this will hold for several hours until a new hearing. However, after some members of the public re-entered the park, they were asked to leave again.
On November 10, H. Chavez called Contragolpe host Vanessa Davies in the middle of the show to break the news that a US nuclear-powered submarine had been spotted in the country's territorial waters. According to Chavez's on-air account, an “unidentified” and “large-size” submarine appeared on the radars of the Venezuelan submarine fleet which was conducting regular exercise, but, being an extremely fast-moving vehicle, easily escaped the Venezuelan boats that took to trailing it. Chavez stressed that the Venezuelan navy responded to the provocation with due restraint and did not open fire during the incident.
As a matter of fact, this was not the first US submarine invasion of Venezuela's territorial waters on record. In April 2002, on the eve of an attempted anti-Chavez coup, US Defense Intelligence Agency operatives were supposed to hold a coordination meeting with the perpetrators aboard a US submarine. In September 2005, the USS Virginia, a US attack submarine, left the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT, for a 70—day reconnaissance raid in the Caribbean Sea. The Virginia and other US submarines are known to have paid a number of uninvited visits to Venezuela's territorial waters since the time.