22 Feb 2007

Egypt blogger jailed for 'insult'

An Egyptian court has sentenced a blogger to four years' prison for insulting Islam and the president.
Abdel Kareem Soliman's trial was the first time that a blogger had been prosecuted in Egypt.

He had used his web log to criticise the country's top Islamic institution, al-Azhar university and President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called a dictator.
A human rights group called the verdict "very tough" and a "strong message" to Egypt's thousands of bloggers.
Soliman, 22, was tried in his native city of Alexandria. He blogs under the name Kareem Amer. BBC

See his blog here

"I am down to earth Law student; I look forward to help humanity against all form of discriminations. I am currently studying Law in Al Azhar University. I am looking forward to open up my own human rights activists Law firm, which will include other lawyers who share the same views. Our main goal is to defend the rights of Muslim and Arabic women against all form of discrimination and to stop violent crimes committed on a daily basis in these countries."

Virtual Child Porn in Second Life

Everyone knows that Child Pornography is illegal and everyone *should* know that it is wrong. But what about virtual child porn? -- cases in which no real child is victimized in the making of the porn, but in which a child is represented as having sex with an adult. Or imagine an avatar that was designed to look like an eight year old and offered itself as an escort and sex slave. Second Life must now confront this issue. Sasami Wishbringer is an avatar modelled after a Japanese anime character named Sasami, who has the body of an eight year old, but is in fact (according to the story) closer to 708 years old (see, an adult -- or that is the copout). This avatar is currently an Escort for The Edge, and is also a slave at Fantasy Slave Market, and participates in the auctions there. Sasami Wishbringer also sells hentai (anime porn) featuring Sasami in game. Should this be allowed?

From The Second Life Herald, click here for comments.

The Trial You Never Saw

A documentary made by Barry Lando and Michel Despratx for European Television

20 Feb 2007

Saudi Arabia behead Sri Lankans by the sword

Four Sri Lankans convicted of armed robbery were beheaded by the sword in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Monday, the interior ministry said.

Victor Korea, Ranjith De Silva, Santhosh Kumar and Sharmila Sangeeth Kumar were executed for robbing a number of businesses at gunpoint, the ministry said in a statement published by the official SPA news agency.

The beheadings bring to 15 the number of executions announced by the Saudi government so far this year. (www.lankanewspapers.com)

Many of Saudi Arabia's 6-million foreign workers labor under conditions that are sometimes compared to "modern-day slavery.''

How tough could it be? Very tough, Prianka quickly discovered. The house had 20 rooms and 13 bathrooms, and Prianka, the only maid, was expected to clean every one every day. There were nine children, and Prianka had to wash all their clothes and cook all their food. Seven days a week, she was up at 4:30 a.m. and never got to bed before midnight. All this for the equivalent of $26 a week.

After nine months, depressed and exhausted, Prianka had enough. As the family slept, she sneaked out of the villa, flagged down a taxi and told the driver to take her to the Embassy of the Republic of Sri Lanka.

Prianka was not the only Sri Lankan maid to seek refuge in the embassy's safe house this hot June morning. There was Pushpa Chandra, 30, who was sick of fighting off sexual advances from her sponsor's teenage son. And as tears slid down her smooth brown cheeks, a tiny 26-year-old woman whispered that she had been raped by her sponsor's adult son.

Now, she sobbed, she thought she was pregnant.

Last year, at least 2,800 Sri Lankan housemaids ran away from their Saudi sponsors, claiming they had been overworked, sexually abused or physically mistreated by jealous wives. They are among the countless foreign "guest workers" in Saudi Arabia who live and work under conditions that are sometimes compared to modern-day slavery.

"The world must know about this," says Mohamed Sakoor, a Sri Lankan driver and translator who works at Riyadh's international airport. He shares a roach-and-rat-infested shed, just 8 feet by 10 feet, with three other men hired by two rich Saudi brothers.

More in the St.Petersburg Times or read Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia by Human Rights Watch

19 Feb 2007

Earth - 6 - 2004

This is another anonymous film from the person who also made We - Arundhati Roy (available at weroy.org).

Earth 6 2004 is made up almost solely of images from news feeds set to the music of Trent Reznor. It is designed to snap many of the contradictions that exist between what might be understood from a diet of North American News media and that of paying attention to other more worldly sources that exist outside the continental U.S. All the images were shot or broadcast over the month of June 2004 and it is an experimental news program that spans a month - as opposed to a day.

Download the film here

CNN's Neo-Con Wolf Blitzer's Zionism

On November 8, 1989, during a Q&A session from “The Intifada within the American, Israeli, Islamic Triangle University of Pennsylvania,” Norman Finkelstein responded to the ludcrious pronouncements of Wolf Blitzer, who began his journalism career the early 1970s in the Tel Aviv bureau of the Reuters news agency, at the now neocon-infested Jerusalem Post, and as a publications editor for Near East Research, Inc., a publisher affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Black Listed News and first listen to Finkelstein before shouting antisemitic...

17 Feb 2007

Corsica's Pasquale di Paoli

Corsicans are taking part in a series of ceremonies commemorating one of their greatest heroes, a freedom fighter, soldier and author by the name of Pasquale di Paoli.

He wrote a Constitution for his fledgling nation that inspired the framers of the American Constitution - indeed, several towns in the US are named after Paoli
Many are worried that the story of how, under his leadership, the island struggled for independence - and how, after defeat by the French, he went into exile in London - may be forgotten.
More at BBC

It also happens to be the 30th anniversary of the FLNC more about that here

The National Front for the Liberation of Corsica (Corsican: Fronte di Liberazione Naziunale di a Corsica, or FLNC) is a militant group that advocates an autonomous state on the island of Corsica, independent from France. They also want all currently imprisoned members of the FLNC in France to be put into Corsican prisons. The organization's presence is primarily in Corsica and less so in France. France regards the group as a terrorist organization.

Typical militant acts by the FLNC are bombings, aggravated assault, armed bank robbery and extortion through ‘revolutionary taxes’, and are mostly aimed at public buildings, banks, touristic infrastructure, military buildings and other symbols of French control. Usually the attack is against buildings and infrastructure and not against persons.

(Wikipedia) and mort at the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base

The biggest terrorist from Corsica is ofcourse Napoleon Bonaparte

More about the History of Corsica

Batman Puts Schools on Lockdown

Three schools in the north Phoenix suburb of Cave Creek were on lockdown for about 45 minutes Wednesday morning after a student at Desert Arroyo Middle School reported seeing a person dressed as Batman run across campus, jump a fence and disappear into the desert, Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark said.

The student described the person as 6 feet 3 inches tall and possibly male.

"We're assuming it was male, although they did have a mask on," Clark said.

Officers combed the desert around the middle school. A nearby elementary school and high school also were on lockdown as officers sought the caped crusader. MORE on AP

14 Feb 2007

The Power of Nightmares

Illusion created by the ruling elite, that this planet needs politicians.

For other episodes see Google Video

13 Feb 2007

Ward Kimball

1968 film by Ward Kimball protesting LBJ's escalation of the war in Viet Nam. Look familiar?

Guinea's military enforce martial law

Residents said they saw truckloads of helmeted troops in camouflage fatigues heading out of the seaside capital Conakry. Other major towns, such as Kankan and Nzerekore in the east, were also reported to be under tight military control.

Dictator Conte went on state TV and radio on Monday night to announce the military crackdown, which will last until Feb. 23. It was aimed at quelling a wave of riots and looting across the country that accompanied the relaunch by unions on Monday of a general strike opposing the president's 23-year rule.

The measures also forbid all public meetings and empower the military to censor newspapers and all radio and television broadcasts. The army can also monitor private communications, such as telephone calls, faxes and emails. More on REUTERS and on Guinee News (in French)

More about the Pre-Colonial History and Post-Colonial History here

In 2001 Russia signed military and other agreements with Guinea, reaffirming bonds with former Soviet allies in West Africa.

Guinean President Lansana Conte and President Vladimir Putin signed a wide-ranging declaration of friendship and partnership, covering issues from arms to aluminum. Moscow Times

12 Feb 2007

Global Warming - 50 Years Ago

Global Warming - 50 Years Ago A snippet from a movie made in 1958.

Kajaki Dam

Hundreds of Taliban massing to attack dam - official

At least 700 Taliban fighters have crossed from Pakistan into Afghanistan to attack a key dam, a major source of electricity, a provincial governor said on Monday.

"We have got confirmed reports that they are Pakistani, Uzbek and Chechen nationals and have sneaked in," Helmand Governor Asadullah Wafa told Reuters by telephone.

The dam, Kajaki, has seen major fighting in recent weeks between the Taliban and NATO forces, mainly British and Dutch.

NATO, U.S. and Taliban commanders warn a major offensive will come in spring when the snows melt in a few months, after the bloodiest year since the hardline Islamists were ousted by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001.

More than 4,000 people died last year.

Wafa said the Taliban fighters were brought in by local commanders for a joint operation with al Qaeda.

"They are planning to destroy the Kajaki dam," he said, accusing Pakistan's military intelligence agency, ISI, of providing training and logistical support for the guerrillas. REUTERS


US bombs have destroyed a hydroelectric plant next to Afghanistan's largest dam, according to UN sources. The London newspaper, The Independent, reports that the dam itself does not appear to have been hit but that the loss of power has incapacitated gates regulating water discharges from the reservoir.
If long-awaited rains arrive and the dam's electric-powered gates cannot be opened there is a risk that the reservoir could overflow. This could in turn cause the dam to burst resulting in what UN officials describe as a "disaster of tremendous proportions". UN officials also fear that further air raids risk destroying the dam.
More here

Path to War with Iran

Senior Democrats in the United States have urged the Bush administration to be cautious about accusing Iran of fomenting violence in Iraq.
They were speaking after US officials in Iraq said they had evidence that Iran was providing weapons to Shia militias who attacked the US military.

US claims the bombs were smuggled from Iran cannot be independently verified.
Democratic Senator Chris Dodd said the Bush administration had tried to falsify evidence before.
"I'm looking at this report with a degree of scepticism," he said.
More on BBC

Also see "Evidence Grows That White House Planned To Release Cooked Intel On Iran" on ThinkProgress

Most US papers do not question the evidence... like The Charlotte Observer and some think: "Israel Needs A Preemptive Nuclear Strike Against Iran"

9 Feb 2007

Wolfowitz Pearl Harbour Speech

In 2001, a few months before 911 Wolfowitz gave a chilling speech at west point. It was all doom and gloom. It sounded strange.

from Live Leak

who cares...

8 Feb 2007

Provocation or Terrorist Attack

Former National Security Advisor and founding member of the Trilateral Commission Zbigniew Brzezinski tacitly warned a Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that an attack on Iran could be launched following a staged provocation in Iraq or a false flag terror attack within the U.S.

Brzezinski alluded to the potential for the Bush administration to manufacture a false flag Gulf of Tonkin type incident in describing a "plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran," which would revolve around "some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in a ‘defensive’ US military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Brzezinski was careful to highlight the word "defensive" as if to discount its credibility, suggesting that the Bush White House itself would be behind the attack or provocation and subsequently use it as a pretext for war. See the reactions on this at BLN.

The Trilateral Commission is a private organization, founded in July, 1973, at the initiative of David Rockefeller, who pushed the idea of including Japan at the Bilderberg meetings he was attending but was rebuffed. Along with Zbigniew Brzezinski and a few others, including from the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations and the Ford Foundation, he convened initial meetings out of which grew the Trilateral organization.

7 Feb 2007

Homofobic Snickers Super Bowl Commercial

The ad, in which two auto mechanics bite into a Snickers bar from either end and inadvertently end up lip to lip, clearly rubbed some people the wrong way. Three gay rights organizations condemned the commercial as homophobic, arguing that the men's reaction (they tear out their chest hair to prove they're really "manly") demeans gay men.

Worse, the groups said, were the alternative endings that Snickers included on its Web site as part of a contest to determine which version would air during the Daytona 500 later this month.

In one ending, one of the characters grabs a wrench to beat the other, who responds by slamming a car hood down on the other guy's head. A second ending shows members of the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears reacting with amusement and disgust to the "kiss."

"I don't know what kind of mind-set it takes to think it's okay to slug another guy because of a mistaken kiss," said Neil G. Giuliano, president of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which objected to the ad. "It's just unacceptable."

More in Waschington Post

The European Union Police State in the Post Democratic Era

More of this British party at this site

Worthless Religions

A textbook dated 2005/2006 allegedly asks the reader to "give examples of worthless religions... such as Judaism, Christianity, idol worship and others".

The book also allegedly asks the reader to "explain that those who die without adhering to Islam will go to hellfire".

In another textbook for 12 and 13 year olds, dated 2004/2005, the author allegedly says that a Koranic verse, which talks of turning people into monkeys and pigs, is about Jews and Christians.

The author quotes an early Islamic scholar as saying: "The monkeys are the Jews. And the pigs, they are the Christian infidels at Jesus's table."

More on the BBC

6 Feb 2007

Friendly Fire

An inquest into the death of Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull, 25, from Berks, was adjourned after the coroner said the tape was central to the case.

The MoD said it was classified "secret" by the US, so could not be released.

The Sun says the video shows US aircraft attacking a British convoy in Basra, southern Iraq, in March 2003. More on BBC

Shocking 15-minute video shows view from cockpit when US pilots hit British forces in Iraq. See Video here

5 Feb 2007

Terror Free Oil

"Terror-Free Oil Initiative is dedicated to encouraging Americans to buy gasoline that originated from countries that do not export or finance terrorism".

This oil is not from Texas then.....uh....


Dead Fish Commercial

global warming media montage

14 minute video of media clips relating to global warming. All of them captured from YouTube.

'Labour leaks on beheading plot'

The senior policeman leading the investigation into an alleged plot to behead a Muslim British soldier believes the inquiry has been "hijacked" by the Government.

Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw was "seething" when he discovered Whitehall officials leaked sensitive details of Operation Gamble to the media in an apparent attempt to divert attention from the problems engulfing Tony Blair.

Mr Shaw never intended for the public to know, at least not yet, the existence of the alleged beheading plot, fearing the huge publicity would only further inflame Birmingham's Muslim communities at a time when he needs their assistance.

The Home Office said: "We have only released factual statements on the matter and the Secretary of State and the Attorney General have reminded media not to do anything that would prejudice the operation."

More on the Daily Mail site

3 Feb 2007

Global Warning

The UN climate panel issued its strongest warning yet yesterday that human activities are heating the planet, adding pressure on governments to do more to combat accelerating global warming.

The International Panel on Climate Change, an authoritative group on warming of 2,500 scientists from more than 130 nations, predicted more severe rains, melting glaciers, heatwaves and rising sea levels, especially if Antarctica or Greenland thaw.

The final text said it was "very likely" -- or a probability of more than 90 percent -- that human activities led by burning fossil fuels explained most of the warming in the past 50 years.

That is a tougher stance than in the group's last report, in 2001, when the IPCC said the link was "likely," or 66 percent probable. Signs of change range from drought in Australia to record high temperatures in Europe last month.

"February 2, 2007, may be rem-embered as the day the question mark was removed from whether [people] are to blame for climate change," Achim Steiner, the head of the UN Environment Program, told a news conference.

More in the Tapei Times and "International panel agrees global warming 'very likely' caused by humans" on WHDH-TV

Future of Food

1 Feb 2007

Gagged Babies

Russian prosecutors are investigating allegations that hospital staff in Yekaterinburg gagged babies because they did not want to hear them crying.
The patient at the hospital in the southern Urals who reported the case heard the children's muffled cries.

She used her mobile phone to film a baby lying in a cot with his mouth taped, while others had dummies taped to their mouths. They are all orphans. The case, covered widely by Russian media, has caused deep shock.
More on BBC