It's Anzac Day - not the Big Day Out
The Age; Jonathan King
Although the department will also invite 500 additional ''official'' guests and may give preference to the 200 living World War I widows, they have not said if any of the million plus descendants would get an inside lane. In my view, these people should get first bite. Veterans' Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon said: ''The government is aware of the interest ... and an announcement is expected shortly''.
As a tour leader who attended the 90th anniversary, when official presentations included pop music which inspired dancing and couples were seen canoodling near graves, I welcome this control. But what is badly needed - if punters are going to learn from historical mistakes - is an education campaign explaining that Australia lost and we are commemorating a bold endeavour and retreat with honour, not a glorious victory. After all, this is Australia's most famous and costly battle.
Asked to locate Gallipoli, some recent straw poll respondents placed it off Queensland, France, England and even the US; others could not explain ''ANZAC'' and thought Australia won. It is not their fault because censored war correspondent Charles Bean reported the failed invasion as a triumph, led by heroic bronzed sportsmen bravely scaling steep cliffs at great speed and driving the defending Turks inland. They were brave, but they still lost, unlike the Western Front where Australians won battles from 1916 that helped end the war.
The truth was not revealed until prime minister Andrew Fisher sent journalist Keith Murdoch in September 1915.
Hamid Karzai seeks to curb CIA operations in Afghanistan
Guardian; Emma Graham-Harrison
President Hamid Karzai is determined to curb CIA operations in Afghanistan after the death of a US agent and 10 Afghan children in a battle he believes was fought by an illegal militia working for the US spy agency.
The campaign sets the Afghan leader up for another heated showdown with the US government, and will reignite questions about the CIA's extensive but highly secretive operations in the country.
Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi said the CIA controlled large commando-like units, some of whom operated under the nominal stamp of the Afghan government's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), but were not actually under its control.
Syrian rebels from al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra is seen as they sit on a truck full of ammunition in Idlib. AP photo
'Friends of Syria' meet with al-Nusra worries
Hürriyet Daily News; Sevil Küçükkoşum
Western concerns about extremist groups fighting in Syria, particularly the al-Nusra Front, are likely to dominate the agenda of the Friends of the Syrian People core group meeting in Istanbul on April 20, which is set to draw several foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Foreign ministers or high-level officials from the Friends' core group of 11 countries are all expected to attend the meeting. Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib will deliver a speech to the group in which he is expected to affirm that the Syrian opposition does not cooperate with the extremist al-Nusra.
Al-Khatib, however, is expected to add that the international community should act immediately to end the Syrian crisis if it is so concerned about extremist groups' influence in the conflict-hit country.
AROUND THE WORLD
Green MP Kevin Hague has drafted a private member's bill which would overhaul adoption law and remove all restrictions to adoption by gay couples. Photo / Getty Images
Marriage bill leaves a few inequalities to sort out
New Zealand Herald; Issac Davison
The legalisation of gay marriage in New Zealand does not eliminate every shred of legal inequalities for gay couples, with a grey area still remaining around adoption.
Same-sex married couples could also run into problems when seeking visas in other countries, legal experts warned after the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed into law this week.
The bill was given royal assent yesterday, and gay and transgender couples will be able to marry from August 19.
Hundreds Dead or Injured in China Quake
AFP via Dawn
Hundreds of people were killed or injured when a strong earthquake struck China's southwestern Sichuan province on Saturday, local officials said, five years after a massive quake devastated the region.
The shallow earthquake struck just after 8:00 am at a depth of 12 kilometres, sending panicked residents fleeing into the streets, some of them still in their pyjamas, and was followed by several aftershocks.
Local seismologists registered the quake at magnitude 7.0 while the US Geological Survey gave it as 6.6.
"The earthquake in Ya'an, Lushan, has injured or killed hundreds of people," the Sichuan earthquake bureau said, according to an official government website.
Chinese troops intrude 10 km inside Ladakh, erect a tented post
Hindustan Times; PTI
n a deep incursion,Chinese troops have entered the Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post, setting the stage for a face-off with Indian troops.
A Platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there, according to highly placed sources, which said that a Chinese Army Platoon usually consists of around 50 men.
Troops from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have also established a camp approximately 300 metres opposite the location, the sources said.
Nation shocked by rape and brutalization of five-year-old in Delhi
Times of India; Dwaipayan Ghosh, TNN
The plight of a five-year-old girl who was brutally raped and tortured in east Delhi and could be rescued only three days later, as reported in TOI, because of police callousness and insensitivity, led to widespread public outrage on Friday. The child is now battling for her life at AIIMS where she was shifted from Swami Dayanand Hospital in Dilshad Garden when public anger boiled over leading to heckling of Delhi health minister A K Walia and the slapping of a 17-year-old girl protester by a senior cop. A string of protests has been scheduled for Saturday.
Reading the mood early, a government that had faced a lot of flak over the Nirbhaya incident barely four months ago, moved into damage control mode with a string of high-level meetings, culminating in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing deep regret over the incident. Within hours, the SHO of Gandhi Nagar police station, the first investigating officer of the case and the ACP who had slapped the girl had been suspended.
What fuelled public anger were allegations by the family of the victim that not only did the cops first delay filing the FIR and then failed to search their house, wasting precious time, they also tried to fend them off with an amount of Rs 2,000 after the child was rescued. They were told to be happy that she was alive, the family has alleged. A vigilance inquiry has been ordered and the report is to be submitted within 24 hours.
Egypt's Mubarak back in prison to await retrial
Mail & Guardian; AFP
The former Egyptian president was taken by ambulance to Tora prison under heavy security escort, a security source told Agence France-Presse.
Egypt's public prosecutor ordered Mubarak back to prison on Wednesday after his health was deemed stable.
Mubarak (84) was being treated for a heart condition, fractured ribs, fluid in the lungs, depression and high blood pressure, according to his lawyers and official accounts.
The transfer, however, was delayed as hundreds of his supporters gathered outside the military hospital in the Cairo suburb of Maadi in a bid to prevent his return to prison, the security source said.
MPs condemn 'evil' attempts to derail F1 race
Gulf Daily News
BAHRAIN's parliament has offered its backing to this weekend's Formula One race - with some MPs describing attempts to derail the event as "evil".
The elected chamber overwhelmingly backed the event yesterday and condemned acts of sabotage and vandalism that targeted the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Several accused opponents of the race of seeking to exploit it for political gain.
"The event is great for everyone in every aspect, but we regret it is being used to deliver the wrong political statement to the world - aiming to show that Bahrain is not secure, safe or stable through numerous unauthorised demonstrations," said Bahrain Bloc MP Shaikh Jawad Buhussain.
He added the event played a key role in supporting a national economy that has been undermined by ongoing protests and violence.
The protestors must be affecting something . . .
ACROSS THE USA
How Senators Voted, W/ Phone Numbers
For your reference.
Falsely Accused in Boston: 3 Examples and What They Should Teach Us
The Atlantic; Conor Friedersdorf
What is it like to be a Muslim, or a person frequently mistaken for a Muslim, in the aftermath of an apparent terrorist attack? Americans who don't fit that description can't really know for sure, but three news items from the last few days show that knee-jerk prejudice is inexcusably common. If your ethnic group were treated this way, you'd be walking around paranoid and anxious.
Innocent victim number one is a 20-year-old Saudi who is studying in the Boston area. He was watching the marathon when the force of the bomb blast tore into him. Amy Davidson tells his story:
HERE IN UTAH
New proposal would allow gay Scouts, not gay leaders; Utahns react
Salt Lake Tribune; Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - the nation's largest Scouting sponsor - took a wait-and-see approach .
"Mormon leaders will take the time needed to fully review the language," church spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement, "and study the implications of this new proposal."
The Great Salt Lake Council also had no comment .
"We are waiting to bring the executive board together to look over the proposal as a group," said David McCammon, director of programs and marketing for the council.
The Most Ridiculous Claims Used to Challenge Classic Novels
Flavorwire.com; Emily Temple
This morning, the American Library Association released its study of the most frequently challenged books of 2012, a list that includes classics and YA touchstones alike. But, of course, books have been challenged, banned, and removed from school curricula for years, and sometimes for the silliest (at least in retrospect) of reasons. At the ALA's website, we found a list of some of the reasons behind the historical challenges of classic novels, and while some of them seem like run-of-the-mill complaints (parents do not like naughty language), others are frankly absurd. Seriously, if these books were this scandalous, we think we'd remember. After the jump, we've culled a few of our outrageous favorites from the ALA's list. Scoff or agree, but read on.
cross-posted from teh orange.