AROUND THE WORLD
Thousands rally against abortion law in Ireland
PTI, Times of India
Thousands of anti-abortion activists took to the streets of Dublin against the Irish government's proposed legislation on abortion following an outcry over the death of an Indian dentist last year after a miscarriage.
According to Gardai, Ireland's police force, as many as 35,000 people turned out for the protest march carrying rosary beads and placards reading "Kill the bill! Not the child" in reference to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, which will allow abortion when deemed necessary to save a woman's life.
The coalition government led by Prime Minister Enda Kenny drafted the bill in the wake of re-ignited calls for the predominantly Catholic country to clarify its complex abortion rules after Savita Halappanavar died at Galway University Hospital last year following a miscarriage.
35,000 people marched to let women die. Just in Dublin.
Large Hadron Tweeting - Marga Gual Soler at Real Scientists
@upulie for Real Scientists
Starting conversations is a big part of what we're about at Real Scientists. Our curator this week, Marga Gual Soler, recently completed an internship at the United Nation and spent the week at the United Nations ECOSOC High Level segment in Geneva. The conference seeks to take a long term view of science, technology and innovation policy for the future - and start a conversation about how to go forward. There were forums on women in science - something that Marga tweeted about "always with the audience mostly women," and in so doing created a small network to talk about the issue. There were tours of sunny Geneva "like science, it's having fun at the taxpayer's expense" and some goal setting by the powers that be. At CERN, Marga found that only 10% of the physicists were women. It sounded totally fascinating and it's a mix of policy and high level strategic planning that scientists are yet to embrace or even be involved in en masse, and we hope that with Marga's experience, we've also started a conversation about that.
We were delighted to have Marga tweeting for us with such a unique perspective, but the best was yet to come. Thanks to some of our followers, specifically Katherine Mack (@AstroKatie), Marga got to visit CERN and hang out with some of the awesome physicists there. She shared the experience with us via Twitter - but as if that wasn't awesome enough, we even have some video!
There are 3 short geeky videos about working at CERN.
India launches huge food subsidy plan
Ben Doherty, Fairfax Media, Sydney Morning Post
The Indian government has sidestepped its own parliament to rush into law the world's largest food subsidy scheme - cheap rice, wheat and millet for 800 million people - but the government's haste has reignited rumours India might be headed for early elections.
The Food Security Bill, passed by ordinance and signed into law by the President just before midnight Thursday, will guarantee cheap grain for 67 per cent of India's population, or about 800 million people.
Every eligible person will be entitled to five kilograms of rice for three Rupees (5.4 cents), five kilograms of wheat for two Rupees (3.6 cents), and five kilograms of millet for one Rupee (1.8 cents).
The ambitious plan - its critics argue it will be corrupted and misused like so many previous programs to feed the poor - will push the amount the government spends feeding its population beyond $21 billion a year.
Critics of the food program argue India cannot afford more ''subsidy politics'' at a time of slowing economic growth and increasing fiscal deficit.
Nine blasts in 30 minutes rock Bodh Gaya, Buddha's abode bombed in Mahabodhi temple
HT Correspondents; Hindustan Times
The blasts left two persons injured. While no group has owned responsibility, the home-grown Indian Mujahideen (IM) has once again emerged as the main suspect.
"The string of bombings seems like a terror attack," minister of state for home affairs RPN Singh said, adding: "If there were shortcomings in following up the (intelligence) alerts, it will be looked into."
Preliminary reports suggested the bombs - small LPG cylinders with timers - malfunctioned due to damp conditions.
They may have been timed to go off at prayer time. But with the glitch and with attendance thin, the damage was minimal.
The development also seemed to indicate the use of ammonium nitrate as the chemical tends to malfunction in humid or damp conditions, sources said.
The Mahabodhi temple had been on the watch-list of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing since October.
The sanctum sanctorum and Mahabodi tree, under which Buddha gained enlightenment in 531 BC, did not suffer any damage.
Despite more insurgents, army sees gains in east Afghanistan
Insurgents have stepped up operations in border provinces close to Pakistan, one of Afghanistan's top generals said on Sunday, with militant numbers up on last summer as government forces work to improve security in the volatile east.
Major-General Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, who commands Afghan forces in seven crucial southeast provinces, said insurgent numbers were up around 15 per cent on last year's summer fighting months, with an estimated 5,000 insurgents now in his area.
Many were Pakistanis and Chechens, Yaftali said, reinforcing recent assessments by Afghan army chief of staff General Sher Mohammad Karimi that the insurgency's backers in Pakistan had shut Islamic schools to send more fighters across the border.
"They closed them on purpose, to push them to Afghanistan to disrupt security," said Yaftali in a frank assessment likely to raise hackles in Pakistan. "There are 3,500 madrassas in Pakistan and if every one send five people, well, you can imagine," he said.
Reuters article in Pakistani newspaper about Afghan general talking about Afghanistan's army & Pakistans schools . . . I think.
Ankara in diplomacy to undo Egypt coup
Serkan Demirtaş, Hürriyet Daily News
Disappointed with the hesitant approach of its allies in the Western and Arab world in condemning the coup in Egypt, Turkey is continuing its efforts to push the international community to re-instate Mohammed Morsi as president of Egypt.
Led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Ankara's diplomatic campaign includes the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and prominent Arab countries, such as Qatar.
"Our message is clear: Call this a coup," a senior Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. "Military coups are unacceptable, in Egypt or elsewhere. Undoing the coup and re-instating the toppled government should be the priorities of countries with a democratic understanding."
For Turkey, establishing an interim government is meaningless and what should be done is to announce immediate elections with no restrictions on any political group, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Just for a different perspective. I guess.
AbaThembu king may be removed after criticising Mandla
Stuart Graham, Mail & Guardian
AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo - who on Sunday called for Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla to be deposed as chief of Mvezo - may not be a ruler for much longer himself, according to a senior member of the abaThembu royal family.
Chief Daludumo Mtirara, Dalindyebo's brother, told the South African Press Association that the royal family was waiting for the government to process documents confirming that Dalindyebo had been removed as head of the family.
"The family are waiting for the government to process the documents confirming that he has been removed," Mtirara said.
"Once the government has done its work, the royal family will sit and identify a suitable candidate to take over as king, as is our custom. We are guided by custom."
Local kings, tribal leaders, exhumed graves - what a mess. Poor Mandiba. :-(((((((((
Ghosts of the NSA: Relics of Cold War Spying Dot Germany
Johannes Korge, Der Spiegel
Tracking down traces of the National Security Agency in Germany isn't particularly difficult. One merely has to head to Berlin and look for the city's highest point. It can be found in the southwest corner of the city -- Teufeslberg, or "Devil's Mountain." Made of piled up rubble gathered from Berlin following World War II, the "mountain" rises 115 meters (377 feet) above the nearby waterway known as the Havel.
In the winter, it is the place where Berliners meet to sled; in the summer it is a haven for mountain bikers and daytrippers. And hobby historians: At the very top of the hill stands the most famous NSA relict in Germany -- five gigantic white radar balls. The listening station was used until the end of the Cold War, primarily to spy on the east.
Teufelsberg used to be part of the NSA's global espionage network called Echelon, which the US intelligence service used to keep an eye on Moscow. From 1957 to 1991, the NSA maintained a presence on Teufelsberg and eavesdropped on satellite-based telephone conversations, filtered fax reports and analyzed Internet datasets. The NSA was still doing all that in 2013, as SPIEGEL recently reported, but it no longer requires the massive radar towers.
Success of South Georgia's rat eradication campaign makes BBC news
First introduced on sealing and whaling ships in the late 18th Century, tens of thousands of invasive rats have long been a threat to local wildlife. The team is confident they will eradicate the rodents within two years.
South Georgia is famous for its rich wildlife but as sailors plundered the ocean for seals and whales, they unknowingly brought with them the common brown rat. The unwelcome visitors multiplied quickly as they bred and for over 200 years have feasted on the chicks and eggs of ground-nesting seabirds, which include ducks, diving petrels and prions.
Species like the South Georgia Pipit and the South Georgia Pintail are unique to the island and there is now a growing concern that many local birds are at danger of extinction.
ACROSS THE USA
Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval 2006-2010
Corey C. Johnson, The Center for Investigative Reporting, Sacramento Bee
Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years - and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.
From 1997 to 2010, the state paid doctors $147,460 to perform the procedure, according to a database of contracted medical services for state prisoners.
The women were signed up for the surgery while they were pregnant and housed at either the California Institution for Women in Corona or Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, which is now a men's prison.
Former inmates and prisoner advocates maintain that prison medical staff coerced the women, targeting those deemed likely to return to prison in the future.
Crystal Nguyen, a former Valley State Prison inmate who worked in the prison's infirmary during 2007, said she often overheard medical staff asking inmates who had served multiple prison terms to agree to be sterilized.
Not 50 years ago. 3 years ago.
GAO to Update 2003 Report on Freshwater Shortages
Michael Campana, Water Wired
National water availability and use has not been comprehensively assessed
in 25 years, but current trends indicate that demands on the nation's supplies are growing. In particular, the nation's capacity for storing surface-water is limited and ground-water is being depleted. At the same time, growing population and pressures to keep water instream for fisheries and the environment place new demands on the freshwater supply. The potential effects of climate change also create uncertainty about future water availability and use.
This is the most boring headline for the most interesting and important topic. The GAO is going to examine water resources. Including climate change. Maybe they use this dry obfuscating language to trick the Republicans. @jfleck, water geek from New Mexico.
Yarnell Hill Fire: Fallen firefighters' procession home
Dan Nowicki, Arizona Republic
After a solemn procession that took more than four hours, traveling from downtown Phoenix through Wickenburg, Congress and Yarnell, the bodies of the 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire have been returned home to Prescott.
The closely watched, slow-moving caravan of 20 white hearses reached the outskirts of Prescott, where the doomed Granite Mountain Hotshots crew was based, at 4 p.m. Sunday.
What appeared to be thousands of people lined the streets to welcome their firefighters home. As the procession entered downtown, some held their hands over their hearts while others cheered, saluted and wept.
The 19 members of the hotshot squad perished June 30 in the worst wildfire tragedy in Arizona history and the worst in the nation since 1933. Their bodies, which had been in the custody of the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's office for most of last week, arrived at the entrance of the Yavapai County Fairgrounds on the way to the nearby Medical Examiner's Office in Prescott Valley around 4:40 p.m. Sunday.
HERE IN UTAH
Sometimes living in Utah is a bit "special." Or crazy. This week, there was a special dose of Utah.
Glenn Beck's 'Man in the Moon' tour brings light, dark of US history to Salt Lake
Emilee Eager, Deseret News
Georgiana Champion patiently followed the long line of sightseers at the Independence Through History Museum on Friday, pausing to take in the artifacts from World War II and whispering to herself, "I remember this."
Champion's aged, 84-year-old face clouded as she recalled watching the movie "Hitler's Children" when she was a teenager.
"It was terrible," she said.
As she gazed at a confiscated Japanese flag on which someone had doodled a skull, she also recalled seeing Japanese people being taken from church to the internment camps.
Despite some of the darker periods of U.S. history, Champion said she loved seeing the artifacts because "it's part of me."
The above excerpts are the most rational part of the article. One commenter did note that many objects in the 3-day "Museum" had nothing to do with US History. The Trib reviewed the closing keynote
in which Glenn Beck portrayed the moon. I think. H't to Ballerina X, kos, twitter, FB, and real friend.
Bountiful High LDS 'mission calls' deserve reconsideration
Paul Rolly, SL Tribune
After that column ran in 2009, I received an email from a young attorney living in Texas who told me he was the graduation speaker who rebelliously blurted out that prayer at the Bingham High School graduation.
He thanked me for the column and the comments I quoted from Bates and said that after growing up, he realized he was being a jerk at the time and that those in his class who weren't of his faith probably were made uncomfortable.
It was one of the most heart-warming emails I have ever received from a reader.
Perhaps the students at Bountiful High will think about what they did, and the non-Mormons in their audience, when they embark on their missions and mature.
Rolly's column is about this graduation
and this happened: "As is the custom, graduating seniors wrote their names on a card to be read aloud as they crossed the stage. Apparently, dozens of young men added what appeared to be the place of their Mormon mission as a "middle name" - as in John "Russia" Doe and James "New York" Smith." Paul Rolly also references an older event where church and state were not so separate, and the dominant religion followers imposed themselves on everyone.
Crossposted with the orange.