No Concerns About Bahrain Grand Prix
This article has been converted into a photo, so you will have to right-click to see this British executive say that everything is normal and safe. Some might disagree:
Americans For Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain
On March 28, a civilian court in Bahrain overturned the convictions against 21 Bahraini medics who had been convicted and sentenced last year for participating in illegal gatherings during the 2011 Bahrain uprising. While the acquittal of these 21 medics represents a positive step for the Bahrain government, more than a dozen medical professionals remain convicted of politically-motivated charges. Additionally, many of the medics who were acquitted have yet to return to their jobs, and none have received compensation for the treatment they endured.
And there is more at Youtube.
From Afghanistan, headlines only. My heart breaks.
Ten children and US diplomat killed in weekend of Afghanistan violence
Six Americans killed in Afghanistan as top US general arrives
AROUND THE WORLD
Peru bores through Andes to water desert after century of dreams
Reuters; Mitra Taj
Peru's Olmos Valley might be a desert now, with rare rains and rivers that trickle to life for just a few months a year, but a radical engineering solution for water scarcity could soon create an agricultural bonanza here.
Fresh water that now tumbles down the eastern flank of the Andes mountains to the Amazon basin and eventually the Atlantic Ocean will instead move west through the mountains to irrigate this patch of desert on Peru's coast. It will then drain into the Pacific Ocean.
The Herculean project to reverse the flow of water and realize a century-old dream is in many ways the most important water work ever in Peru. It could serve as a blueprint for the kind of construction projects needed to tackle worsening water scarcity.
Call it extreme engineering in the age of global warming.
Photo credit: "El Comercio"
Peru: Heavy machinery destroys Nazca lines
Peru This Week; Manuel Vigo
A group of ancient lines in the archaeological zone of Buenos Aires, in Nazca, have been destroyed by heavy machinery, El Comercio reported.
According to the daily, the machinery belongs to a firm that is removing limestone from the area.
The lines are located near kilometer marker 444 of the Panamericana Sur Highway. The area adjacent to the lines have reportedly also been affected, due to land being removed from the area.
Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre, director of research at Ojos de Condor, described the extensive damage in the area. "We have witnessed the irreparable destruction to a set of lines and trapezoids that existed in the area," Herrán said.
h/t Radlein. Second Peru story in my twitter in about 5 seconds a couple hours ago. I later saw a third but am not including it so I can get to additional countries.
Ayman al-Sayed, 19, right, with his hair cut, stands with Mohammed Hanouna, 18, left, in Gaza City. Al-Sayed used to have shoulder-length hair but says he was grabbed by Hamas police. Photo /AP
'Indecent hair' prompts head-shaving in Gaza
AP via New Zealand Herald
Police in Hamas-ruled Gaza have started grabbing young men with long or gel-styled spiky hair off the streets, bundling them into jeeps, mocking them and shaving their heads, two of those targeted and a rights group has said.
It is the latest sign that the Islamic militants are imposing their strict practices on the population.
Hamas has been slowly forcing its fundamentalist interpretation of the religion on already conservative Gaza since it overran the territory in 2007, but the new crackdown on long hair and tight or low-waist pants in several cases accompanied by beatings appears to be one of the most aggressive phases of the campaign so far.
At least the morality police are picking on men. Although that is a little comfort for me.
Kashmir policy dictated by spy agencies, says Jairam Ramesh
Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times
Spy agencies are dictating India's Kashmir policy and the Centre isn't sensitive enough to the aspirations of the state's people, Union minister Jairam Ramesh has said.
At the end of a two-day trip to the Valley, the first by a central minister from outside the state following Afzal Guru's hanging in February, Ramesh said Kashmir had come a long way from its troubled past and the time was now ripe for good politics and growth "What Kashmir needs is the right political engagement, not a strategy influenced by spy and security agencies. It's the political vacuum that allowed the growth of militant, secessionist groups."
"Kashmir is transforming but has India changed its mindset towards it? We are not showing enough sensitivity to Kashmiris, who suffer suspicion and humiliation in our cities. India should respect their culture and embrace them whole-heartedly," he said.
I think they are saying their spy agency does not represent the will of the people?
Charl Devenish for Gallo
SA to send troops to join UN mission in DRC
Reuters via Mail & Guardian
The deployment comes as South Africa is coming to grips with its worst military setback since the end of apartheid in 1994. Thirteen of its troops were killed last month in a shootout with rebels in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR).
"The DRC deployment has nothing to do with the CAR. Neither did the CAR incident influence the decision to send the troops into the DRC. They are two different issues," Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga told Reuters on Sunday.
The size and timing of the deployment will depend on the terms set by the United Nations, he added.
It is looking awfully sticky and complicated in mid-Africa.
'Secrecy-Cloaked Companies': Deutsche Bank Criticized for Offshore Operations
dsl w/ wires; Der Spiegel
Of the institutions under scrutiny by an international consortium of investigative journalists, Germany's Deutsche Bank appears to be a significant European player in the flow of offshore money. Research by German public broadcaster NDR and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper has found that the company has helped to maintain more than 300 secretive offshore companies and trusts through its Singapore branch. Most of these are located in the British Virgin Islands.
The information comes from records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in a reporting project that has been jointly published by media in 46 counties.
The records include details on more than 122,000 offshore companies or trusts spread across over more than 170 countries and territories and the names of 130,000 people who have allegedly parked their money in offshore tax havens. They involve a "well-paid industry of accountants, middlemen and other operatives" who have "helped offshore patrons shroud their identities and business interests, providing shelter in many cases to money laundering or other misconduct," the ICIJ wrote. This network includes "many of the world's top banks -- including UBS, Clariden and Deutsche Bank," which it accuses of having "aggressively worked to provide their customers with secrecy-cloaked companies in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore hideaways."
PS: The LandesBanken (state banks) are dirty too.
ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Fife and drum corps march in Illumination of the Taverns in Colonial Williamsburg. (Credit: Steve Heap via Shutterstock)
Colonial Williamsburg: Where the Tea Party gets schooled
Salon.com; Andrew O'Hehir
Beyond the glaring racial hypocrisy, other "Revolutionary City" episodes bring up uncomfortable contrasts. When Benedict Arnold and the Redcoats "take" the town (as they briefly did, in 1781), the infamous traitor scoffs at our boos and catcalls. You losers threw away British security over a few pennies in taxes on tea, he demands, wrecking your economy and leading to all this death and suffering. What was that all about? No one in the crowd can come up with anything good. "Religious freedom!" someone shouts. "Worship whatever deity you please," Arnold retorts, as long as you tithe to the Church of England. "We're taxed too much!" says someone else. Your taxes under the Continental Congress are 100 times higher than under the king, he tells us. You can almost feel the anxiety of the crowd: If the Revolution was about something bigger than church or taxes, what was it?
Sneakier still, in an almost Brechtian vein, is "A Court of Tar and Feathers," an episode with undertones of the Milgram experiment. Three men from the crowd are hauled up on an outdoor stage to serve as the jury in a kangaroo-court case against a suspected Loyalist, who is accused of demeaning the Revolution. Indeed, we've heard him say it: "I sing the cause of America each time I visit the necessary house." Guilty as charged! The men on stage are rushed into a sentence: The miscreant must issue a craven apology, or be tied up at the "liberty post," coated with tar and feathers and ridden out of town on a rail. No, we don't actually see this happen, but it's a scary moment.
I can only assume that other people in the crowd noticed that this guy was being persecuted and threatened with torture for exercising the most basic of our constitutional rights, one that all Americans supposedly understand and treasure. (We do tend to give it up pretty easily in times of crisis, don't we?) Maybe sometimes during this scenario somebody speaks up for him, and the actors have to veer off script a little. But we all just stood there politely and watched, which I guess was pretty much the point.
I chose the closing paragraphs.
The Year in Hate and Extremism
Southern Poverty Law Center.com; Mark Potok
Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America's first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment "Patriot" groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify.
The furious reaction to the Obama administration's gun control proposals is reminiscent of the anger that greeted the passage of the 1993 Brady Bill and the 1994 ban on assault weapons supported by another relatively liberal Democrat - Bill Clinton. The passage of those bills, along with what was seen by the right as the federal government's violent suppression of political dissidents at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in the early 1990s, led to the first wave of the Patriot movement that burst into public consciousness with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The number of Patriot groups in that era peaked in 1996 at 858, more than 500 groups fewer than the number active in 2012.
For many, the election of America's first black president symbolizes the country's changing demographics, with the loss of its white majority predicted by 2043. (In 2011, for the first time, non-white births outnumbered the births of white children.) But the backlash to that trend predates Obama's presidency by many years. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of hate groups rose from 602 to more than 1,000, where the count remains today. Now that comprehensive immigration reform is poised to legitimize and potentially accelerate the country's demographic change, the backlash to that change may accelerate as well.
'Pro-Lifers' Want To Kill NV Assemblywoman For Supporting Sex Ed
Addicting Info; Elizabeth Parker
When your state has the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, and among the eight highest rates for repeat teen pregnancies, you'd think legislators might reconsider their abstinence-only sexual education programs. And, in the case of Nevada, you'd be right. Unfortunately, supporting sexual education and teen pregnancy prevention may prove deadly ... as Democratic Nevada State Assembly Woman Lucy Flores has discovered.
- - - - -
It took less than two days for the right-wing media to jump on Flores, and for the death threats to start arriving, as reported by Tara Culp-Ressler from Think Progress. All LifeNews.Com and their fellow pro-life media outlets had to do was waft red-meat headlines in the air - like "Democratic Legislator: I Don't Regret Killing My Baby in Abortion" - and wait for the feeding frenzy to begin.
Pro-Life Death Threats.
Capitol Offenses: Bribes, Wires, and Little Surprise
Pro-Publica.com; Joe Sexton
Here at ProPublica, we're great believers in the idea that public revelation of scandal leads to reforms. Over the years, we've seen plenty of evidence that sunshine is a disinfectant, from the New Orleans police department to California's nursing board.
But I have to admit that there may be one pestilent corner of the body politic where such cause and effect physics don't yet seem to apply, a black hole within which the forces of greed have to date overwhelmed all good sense and every call for redemption.
You've already guessed, of course, that we're talking about Albany, New York.
Like many of the notorious outposts on America's map of graft, Albany has a storied history of dishonest behavior. When Abraham Lincoln wanted to push the 13th Amendment through a recalcitrant Congress, his Secretary of State, William Seward, told the president he'd need to make some ethically dicey promises, work best left to an operative skilled in the darkest arts of politics.
"I'll fetch a friend from Albany," Seward, a former New York governor, is quoted as saying in the movie "Lincoln." "Spare you the exposure and liability."
Connecting the latest news back through time to Lincoln.
HERE IN UTAH
LDS leader warns against being 'swallowed up' in tolerance
Fox13.com; Mark Green
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may focus on the expanded role of women in the LDS Church's 183rd Annual General Conference, but the outside world will likely hear as much or more about LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer's remarks regarding tolerance.
"The family, The fundamental organization for time and eternity is under attack from forces seen and unseen," he said during his speech.
Packer said that tolerance can be dangerous for the faithful if it goes too far.
"We need to be careful of the tolerance trend, so that we do not get swallowed up in it," he said during his address. "The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate and legalize immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result from a violation of God's law of Chastity."
Oh noes! Too much tolerance! This has a very red-herring feeling to me. Like there's something else to pay attention to, such as what the LDS church and its members are actually doing in terms of human rights.
(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Huge moving crane off-loads semi truck trailors with goods from rail cars at Union Pacific's intermodal shipping container hub at 5600 West and 10th South on July 12 2012. The huge hub offloads containers from trains and trucks pickup the loads for delivery troughout the intermountain west.
Under one (big) roof, Utah offers low-cost way to do business
By Steven Oberbeck;The Salt Lake Tribune
Informally known as the "Crossroads of the West," Utah long has been viewed as a place ideally suited as a staging ground for the movement of manufactured goods between the East and West coasts, Canada and Mexico.
And now, one of the nation's leading corporate site-selection companies has released a survey showing that state, and the Salt Lake City area in particular, have a lot more going for them than just their central location and easy access to the interstate highway system and major railroad lines.
The study by The Boyd Co. of Princeton, N.J., found that the cost of operating a 500,000-square-foot distribution warehouse locally that employed 175 workers at annual salary of $31,500 was $15.1 million a year, the second lowest among 30 cities it studied.
From the featured comments: "But it is cheap to operate here- that's the double edged sword of low paid workers, they're cheap to hire but they're not great customers." -Hail to the Chef userid.
By Bud Fraker/From mptvimages.com. Digital Colorization by Lorna Clark.
Audrey Hepburn on Vanity Fair's May 2013 cover.
Audrey Hepburn's Son: My Mother Never Thought She Was Beautiful
"She didn't live a life secluded or behind bars; she would walk around and everybody knew her. She was part of the city. The majority of these photos are in the streets," Audrey Hepburn's son Luca Dotti tells Vanity Fair's Laura Jacobs about the time his mother spent in Rome. To prepare for his new book Audrey in Rome, Dotti gathered some 2,500 photos from the archives of the Reporters Associati that capture his mother throughout the Eternal City. Dotti says what struck him the most was that "even in these candid shots she was always herself-perfect."
Reflecting on his mother's signature style, evidenced in many of the images in the book, Dotti remembers that scarves were her vice. "Well, it wasn't like Imelda Marcos and shoes," he says. "She had, like every woman, maybe 30 or 40. It was a good way to be in disguise, big sunglasses and a scarf. Occasionally she was able to do her shopping without having all the crowds behind." Hepburn's iconic look was, according to her son, what she thought of as "a good mixture of defects." Dotti explains, "She thought she had a big nose and big feet, and she was too skinny and not enough breast. She would look in the mirror and say, 'I don't understand why people see me as beautiful.' "
Ceremonial Basket, photo by Kristin Roper; copyright Natural History Museum of Utah
The Mathematical Mind of A Basket Weaver
When starting a basket, Black coils bundles of sumac branches (rods) and then wraps them with strips of dyed split sumac (laces). As he weaves in the ceremonial pattern, he counts the number of times he wraps the lace around the rods. "The size and the width of my lace...they really do matter. Because once when I start counting it has to be all the same size and about the same amount of wrap. ...It's hard to try and keep it the same size."
Jim Barta, an associate professor of elementary education at Utah State University, says basket weavers are master mathematicians, a fact that often goes unappreciated.
As an ethnomathematician, Barta studies the relationship between mathematics and cultural identity. His training helped him realize that the structured ways in which math is taught in most schools doesn't necessarily resonate with people from different cultures. To help Native Americans understand the relevance of math, he uncovers the mathematical concepts that exist in their cultures, like basket weaving.
Early in his career, Barta was asked to make a basket with rope and yarn while at an educational conference. The instructor then demonstrated that the diameter of each coil of the basket graphed against the number of coils yields a linear function. The mathematical equation offers a way to calculate the diameter of each coil in a basket without actually having to build one.
crossposted in orange