Mohawk protesters have up the ante in their bid to send a strong message to Ottawa.
Police are reporting that since 10:15 a.m. Saturday, protesters started occupying the CN rail crossing at Wyman Rd., outside Belleville, Ont., forcing the rail company to put a stop order on all trains using that line.
Via Rail has also halted passenger trains on the Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa lines because of the blockade.
Mohawk protesters have up the ante in their bid to send a strong message to Ottawa.
Google doodle for International Women's Day features 27 chromosomes, and tries to abolish its sexist reputation
In light of the recent uproar over Google Doodles being sexist, we were wondering what they’d have in store for International Women’s Day.
Now we know: Friday’s Doodle celebrates the day, celebrated annually March 8, with an illustration of 27 female chromosomes and an interactive video featuring more than a hundred women.
The video showcases women of various colors, nationalities, abilities and disabilities, languages, walks of life, ages, and gender identities...
* * *
Those (♀) are not chromosomes, they are symbols. Technical point, I know, but it is people like her that are always ranting about women not being represented in technical fields. Clearly she does even know what a chromosome is! Wiki describes the symbol thus:
A common symbol used to represent the female sex is ♀ (Unicode: U+2640 Alt codes: Alt+12), a circle with a small cross underneath.As for the video, the author of the above piece quotes Telegraph writer Radhika Sanghani saying:
According to Schott, the most established view is that the male and female symbols "are derived from contractions in Greek script of the Greek names of these planets, namely Thouros (Mars) and Phosphoros (Venus). These derivations have been traced by Renkama who illustrated how Greek letters can be transformed into the graphic male and female symbols still recognised today." Thouros was abbreviated by θρ, and Phosphoros by Φκ, which were contracted into the modern symbols.
The video is made up of footage sent in from all over the world, and it’s a great idea, but it almost looks like it’s just a montage of still pictures set to music, with occasional “Happy IWD” messages. To be honest, it is hard to be inspired when you’re just looking at endless footage of women – some of whom are not even recognizable – but according to Rafael, who also worked on the project, that’s meant to be the point.
It is just the usual boring agitprop stuff we see all the time about “diversity.” It was too boring for me to finish watching it.
Two people listed as being on a missing Malaysian Airlines jet weren't on the flight, and their passports had been stolen in Thailand, authorities and family members said Saturday.
The search for the plane, which disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, centered on waters off Vietnam after Hanoi said it had spotted what appeared to be large oil slicks.
Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 people aboard, lost contact with the airline shortly into the flight early Saturday. Government and airline officials said they weren't ready to speculate about what caused the Boeing 777-200 to disappear from radar sometime after it flew away from peninsular Malaysia's east coast. Aviation analysts noted that accidents at cruising altitude over water were rare.
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Democracy Freedom Secularism Liberty Human Rights Amnesty UN ARE OPPOSITE TO Islam Shari'ah Khilafah Jihad Quran Sunnah Divine rights
— Anjem Choudary (@anjemchoudary) March 2, 2014
See article at The Examiner.
(Reuters) - Armed protesters controlling ports in eastern Libya said on Saturday they had started independently exporting oil, bypassing the central government in a major escalation of their blockade to demand a share of the nation's petroleum wealth.
The rebels, who have seized three major ports since August to demand more autonomy, warned Tripoli against staging an attack to halt the oil sale after a North Korean-flagged tanker docked at Es Sider.
A local television station controlled by protesters showed footage of pro-autonomy rebels holding a ceremony and slaughtering a camel to celebrate their first oil shipment.
In the distance, a tanker could be seen at what the station said was Es Sider port.
“We tried to reach a deal with the government, but they ... were too busy with themselves and didn't even discuss our demands,” Abb-Rabbo Albarassi, self-declared prime minister of Libya's eastern autonomy movement, told the station.
“If anyone attacks, we will respond to that.”
Officials at state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) confirmed the North Korean-flagged tanker had docked, but it was unclear whether the vessel had loaded any crude.
The oil standoff is one part of deepening turmoil in the North African OPEC member, where the government is struggling to control militias who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but kept their weapons and are challenging state authority.
Any independent shipment would be a blow to the government. Tripoli had said it would destroy tankers trying to buy oil from Ibrahim Jathran, a former anti-Gaddafi rebel who seized the port and two others with thousands of his men in August.
Jathran had commanded a brigade of former rebels paid by the state to protect petroleum facilities. He defected with his troops, however, to take over the ports.
A Turkish court has freed five men accused of torturing and murdering three Christian missionaries in 2007, after the suspects' time in detention while on trial exceeded new legal limits, local media said Saturday.
The men walked free from their high-security prison in the eastern city of Malatya on Friday, according to Dogan news agency.
German missionary Tilmann Geske and Turkish converts Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel had their throats slit in April 2007 after being tied up and interrogated about missionary activities.
The three victims were members of the tiny Protestant community in the conservative city.
The trial of the five men accused of the attack is still going on seven years later.
Under a new law passed by the Turkish parliament last month, the detention limit for suspects on trial who have not yet been convicted was lowered to five years, paving the way for the five accused to be released on bail.
The murders at the time fuelled fear among Turkey's tiny Christian minorities and raised concern over rising nationalism and hostility towards non-Muslims in Turkey, a mainly Muslim country seeking European Union membership.
You're allowed to use
modicums emoticons that "do not contain parts of the face such as eyes, mouth, nose, and no head or ears" because "majority of jurists believe that if part of the image will be removed, without which it ceases to be alive, such images are not haram."
|But can you name him Muhammed?|
Actor Chris O’Dowd is convinced following a religion will eventually become as offensive and unacceptable as racism.
The Bridesmaids star grew up respecting people of faith despite his atheist views, but he admits he has become “less liberal” as he ages.
Now he is certain religious doctrine is halting human progress and even accuses U.S. President Barack Obama of overstating his Christianity to please extremists in his race to the White House.
He has even branded religions a “weird cult” and insists it’s “crazy” to believe in a god.
O’Dowd tells British GQ magazine, “For most of my life, I’ve been, ‘Hey, I’m not into it, but I respect your right to believe whatever you want.’ But as time goes on, weirdly, I’m growing less liberal. I’m more like, ‘No, religion is ruining the world, you need to stop!’
“There’s going to be a turning point where it’s going to be like racism. You know, “You’re not allowed to say that weird s**t! It’s mad! And you’re making everybody crazy!’
“And you know, now America can’t have a president that doesn’t say he believes in God. So we’re f**ked! Like, they f**ked everything!
“You wanna go and live in your weird cult and talk about a man who lives in a cloud, you do that, but don’t. I mean, you really think that Barack Obama believes in God? No way!”
MILAN (AP) — Foreign ministry officials in Rome and Vienna confirm that names of two nationals listed on the manifest of the missing Malaysian airlines flight match passports reported stolen in Thailand. Italy's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that an Italian man whose name was listed as being aboard is traveling in Thailand and was not aboard the plane.
A foreign ministry functionary, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed Italian reports that Luigi Maraldi had reported his passport stolen last August.
Italian news agency ANSA says Maraldi called home after hearing reports that an Italian with his name was aboard the plane.
Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Weiss confirmed that a name listed on the manifest matches an Austrian passport reported stolen two years ago in Thailand. Weiss would not confirm the identity.
“Zionists theorized that if Muslims could be made to stray from Islam path through systematic radicalization, its people would either be made to fear the religious and thus be ready to fall into the trap of Western heresy or be turned into weapons at the service of its Takfiri legions,” Catherine Shakdam wrote in an article for Press TV [run by Iranian government] on Thursday.
“Through the promotion of radicalism, Zionists aim first and foremost to destroy Islam’s youth, to pervert an entire generation,” she added.
The analyst noted that global Zionism also seeks to create “a state of constant fear and hatred” across the globe as a final phase of its plan to claim victory over the world nations.
Shakdam pointed to the campaign by Wahhabi religious leaders to “twist and turn the Holy Scriptures” as to support and justify their nefarious plans in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, as a manifest example of that plot.
In recent years, many Muslim countries have been plagued with a growing tide of extremism with many nations, including, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan becoming the daily scenes of bloody terrorist attacks by Takfiri extremist groups.
On December 18, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s proposal of World Against Violence and Violent Extremism (WAVE), which calls on all nations across the globe to denounce violence and extremism.
* * *
How do the Zionists do it? Truly, they must be very clever. Not only can they train animals, they can also influence the thinking of millions of Muslims. It is as if they had supernatural powers.
Multicultural Food Fight: Drunk Threatens Baker For Innocently Offering Bacon Sandwich - "Can't you see I'm tanned!"
NB Google Translate France - A baker..., his clerk and his daughter were targeted, late last night, with verbal abuse and threatened with a weapon. It was 5 hours 50 and the store had not yet opened when an individual parked wildly on the sidewalk in front of the shop and began knocking at the door. He was hungry, demanding food. One of the employees explained that the snacks were not yet ready, but he kindly offered to make him a sandwich.
The man waited patiently. But when he received his sandwich, he became angry and insulted the staff because the bread contained bacon, so pork. he hurled a volley of insults declaring himself a victim of provocation from the bakery: "Can not you see I'm tanned!". The baker intervened to calm and explain that it was not meant as an insult at which point, the individual pulled out a knife and threatened him. The police intervened and arrested the belligerent who had a blood - alcohol level of 1.76 grams.
Arrested for DWM? h/t Fds
What it makes me think of is what might lie in our future. More likely Europe’s future but you never know.
Court hearing for Methadone Muslims accused of jihad plot to bomb Canada Day festivities under total news blackout
This is an odd case involving two unstable people with a desire to commit murder being drawn like flies to Islam.
Homeland Insecurity: The IRS is diligent to a fault when it comes to vetting conservative groups applying for nonprofit status. But it's out to lunch when vetting employees posing security risks.
While the Internal Revenue Service was investigating Tea Party patriots in the run-up to last year's presidential election, it dispensed with basic background checks and hired a convicted Islamist traitor as a high-level official.
Mohammad Weiss Rasool, whom the FBI busted last decade for tipping off an al-Qaida terrorist suspect, reportedly now works for the deputy IRS chief financial officer as a financial management analyst, drawing a lucrative salary at taxpayer expense.
A transgender man is suing a strength competition for $2.5 million after CrossFit denied him the right to compete against women.
Chloie Jonnson, who was born male, wants to test his brawn against female athletes in the CrossFit Games, a grueling series of contests designed to find the world's most fit competitors. When a female rival raised questions about Jonnson being considered a woman, CrossFit said he must compete as a man.
‘Under Obama you can get away with murdering his personal representative,’ Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, ‘and get away scot-free.
Talk Radio Round-Up.
The first casualty of war is truth. And the first casualty of any skirmish on the world stage that involves Russia is critical thinking.
No sooner does the great bear of the East speak or act on an issue beyond its borders than Western observers, of both a right and left-wing persuasion, switch off the bits of their brains that do actual thinking in favour of indulging in thoughtless Moscow-mauling.
Here's our top 5 ugliest women every seen in ads to wish all women a very happy International Women 's Day!
#5 - Dolce & Gabbana - US - 2004
#4 - Planters - USA - 2008
#3 - Sealect Tuna - Thailand - 2002
#2 - Nur die - Germany - 2000
#1 - Runners need - United Kingdom - 2004.
Consider what you would think if a former Assistant Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan were to claim that he was not an anti-black racist. Would you believe him if he insisted he had no idea that the organization he represented was based on racist ideology? Moreover, what if his particular responsibility for the Ku Klux Klan was to drum up political advocacy, and he later declared he wasn't aware of the best-known and most controversial political position the Klan had taken?
ST. LOUIS – An Islamic cab driver fighting to wear traditional Muslim clothes to work was victorious in court Friday.
He may have won Friday's battle, but not the fight.
If you need proof that Canadian environmentalists are working for the interests of our OPEC oil competitors, the fake outrage over the Line 9 pipeline reversal is Exhibit A.
I won't lie to you. I think she should be worried.
(RIA Novosti) – The semi-formal government of the Crimean Tatars said Thursday that the ethnic minority will boycott the secession referendum set by the Ukrainian region’s pro-Russian authorities.
Crimea’s parliament set a popular vote for March 16 to decide whether the republic should join Russia or remain a part of Ukraine, possibly with increased autonomy.
But the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, who constitute about 15 percent of the region’s population of 2 million, calls to boycott the vote, the organization’s head Refat Chubarov said.
“[Vote] results that will be made public will obviously be determined elsewhere regardless of the turnout on voting day,” Chubarov said, the Politnavigator.net news site reported.
The majlis requests an armed UN peacekeeping force be deployed in the Crimean peninsula, Chubarov said.
Crimean authorities refused last week to recognize the new central government in Kiev installed by the largely nationalist opposition that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych in late February.
* * *
Why do people boycott votes? Even if their side does not win, the more that vote their way, the more reasonable their position appears to outsiders. I am baffled.
In the Bavarian city of Fichtelberg on a Saturday afternoon in January 2014, a group of men pushed their way into a refugee shelter.
Dressed in black and partially masked, the intruders stopped at the stairwell and began yelling, according to sources quoted in the local newspaper Nordbayerische Kurier.
Nobody in the shelter, however, understood what the men were shouting as most of the refugees had just arrived in Bavaria and spoke no German. After the shouting, the black-clad group quickly left the refugee shelter.
Arson attacks, broken windows and racists slurs painted on buildings are among the rising number of right-wing acts of aggression against refugee shelters across Germany. The Federal Criminal Police (BKA) registered 59 right-wing offenses in 2013, more then twice as many as the year before.
The real figure, however, could be higher as BKA records only offenses where the nature of a crime can clearly be attributed to right-wing extremists. Attacks like the one in Fichtelberg, for instance, don't appear in the statistics. Police need evidence to determine a xenophobic crime took place, and shouting in the hallway that the shelter's residents did not understand does not qualify.
The human rights organization Pro Asylum has registered 20 offenses, including 12 arson attacks, so far this year. Managing director Günter Burkardt told DW that the development reminded him of the charged atmosphere in the early 1990s when right-wing extremists attacked refugees and immigrants, some of whom later died...
Spain struggles to halt migrants at two enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta: 80,000 Africans headed their way
About 80,000 African migrants are heading for Spain’s two enclaves along the Moroccan coast, leaving Spain struggling to contain the efforts that are coming in larger and increasingly coordinated surges in recent days.
The government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has faced intensifying criticism — within Spain and from the union — over its defense of the enclaves.
As Mr. Fernández Díaz noted on Wednesday, the first day of his two-day visit to the enclaves, “There are 40,000 people in Morocco who are waiting to cross illegally into Spain, and 40,000 more at the border between Mauritania and Morocco.”
The labor union representing Spanish police officers recently suggested that the enclaves faced an invasion. On Monday, officers prevented as many as 1,500 migrants from breaking through the fence around Ceuta. Mr. Fernández Díaz accused what he called human-trafficking mafias of engineering the latest surges.
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Parents have condemned a school's decision to ban all pork products from the menu and replace other meats with halal versions.
Pupils aged between three and 11 at Brinsworth Manor Infant and Junior Schools in Rotherham - which Ofsted identifies as having only a small number of pupils from minority ethnic groups - will no longer be able to enjoy sausages, bacon or ham.
A Paris court on Friday sentenced three men to prison terms of up to five years for trying to join the rebellion in Syria, the first such convictions in France.
The three men — Youssef Ettaoujar, 26; Fares Farsi, 21; and Salah-Eddine Gourmat, 24 — were apprehended at the airport in St.-Etienne in central France in May 2012 as they were boarding a flight to Gaziantep, Turkey, a border city 60 miles from Syria’s largest city, Aleppo.
All three are Muslims who were living in working-class neighborhoods of Paris or its suburbs. Under a law enacted in 2012, they were charged with criminal association with the intent to commit terrorist acts.
Mr. Ettaoujar, said to be the group’s leader, was given a five-year prison sentence, with the fifth year suspended, meaning that he will not have to serve it in prison. Mr. Gourmat was sentenced to four years, also with one year suspended. Mr. Farsi, a former athlete who acknowledged that the three men intended to join militants fighting in Syria, was sentenced to four years with two years suspended. The prosecution had asked for sentences from three to six years.
Mr. Farsi’s lawyer, Matthieu de Vallois, denounced the court’s verdicts, saying, “Radicalization doesn’t necessarily mean terrorist intention.”
This is redrawing the global energy map, and the implications go way beyond the economic. If America doesn’t need Arabian oil, why should it spend billions having the US Fifth Fleet keep the peace in the Persian Gulf? Why spill so much blood and treasure in overseas entanglements where no national interest can be found? Why not let Europe sort out its own back yard – and let this debt-addled continent confront the consequences of its failure to pay for a proper military?
True. But Obama is not the man to wield it.
Kitten Rescued from Car Engine
There is something inherently perverse about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the as-yet-unfinished landmark rising from the plain between a parking lot and a baseball stadium at Winnipeg’s Forks.
When you get right down to it, this $351-million dream of the late media mogul Izzy Asper is being built to document evil.
Students at a Washington college have launched a petition to save a rare $250,000 Dodge Viper, likening the decision to scrap the car to losing a beloved family pet.
The automotive students at the South Puget Sound Community College were told the 1992 model must be destroyed, after car manufacturers Chrysler deemed it no longer has any educational value.
Professor Norman Chapman told ABC News: “It's like taking a family pet, putting it in front of kids and destroying it.” [...] The manufacturer has given the school two weeks to scrap the car, and has requested proof that it has been scrapped.
After impeaching the fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych on February 22, the new authorities in Kyiv have proceeded to form a new government.
The first appointments show that this will be far from the national-unity government advised by the United States and the European Union.
The new cabinet is dominated by two nationalist parties, while oligarchs have been appointed to head several key industrial regions in the east—despite the fact that a major demand of the Maidan protesters was an end to the corrupt oligarchic control of Ukrainian politics.
In another controversial move, the parliament proceeded to cancel the language legislation, which was promoted by the previous authorities as a means to help speakers of Russian and minority languages feel more at home in Ukraine.
"It is therefore discriminatory to equate Islam with Islamist terrorism and undifferentiated to attribute violence from Islamist fundamentalists and terrorists to Islam," the Swiss Press Council (SPC) assessed in a November 13, 2013, opinion. The SPC thereby condemned an admittedly shoddy March 29, 2013, Basler Zeitung (BZ) article with a value judgment having troubling implications for free speech concerning Islam.
...In his refreshing account of French colonialism and its impact on the societies of modern France and north Africa, Andrew Hussey contends that French identity, and even the French state itself, are under assault from embittered, often radicalised elements in its Muslim population. Many reject the values intrinsic to France since the 1789 revolution.
Hussey describes a France “whose identity as the world capital of liberty, equality and fraternity is at every step challenged and confronted by antagonisms with its cultural opposite – the secular Republic against the politics of its dispossessed colonial subjects”.
In the banlieues, or suburbs, of the French capital, Muslim communities trapped in desolate, crime-ridden housing estates are growing so fast that they will soon outnumber the 2m inhabitants of central Paris. The banlieues of Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg and Toulouse are little different.
But in Hussey’s view, the deeper threat is not economic distress but cultural exclusion. The banlieues are like prisons impenetrable to French civilisation. Behind the invisible walls that separate them from France’s elegant cities, many Muslims – whether full-fledged or aspiring French citizens – are cut off from the humanist values and material progress for which modern France stands.
Like Catholics in the first 40 years of the Third Republic, the Muslims hear from France’s politicians and educators that they must be citizens of France first and practitioners of religion second. But this is unhelpful advice if, in reality, many Muslims are at best second-class citizens and see themselves as “the angry and dispossessed heirs to the French colonial project”.
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An alleged plot by Islamic fundamentalists to take over Birmingham schools by ousting headteachers and staff through dirty tricks campaigns is being investigated by education chiefs.
The city council and the Birmingham Mail have received documents which purport to show Jihadists are targeting schools and orchestrating false allegations against staff, including non-Muslims, in an operation dubbed Trojan Horse.
More at The BBC - 'Islamic takeover plot' in Birmingham schools investigated
Palestinian protesters raised banners and placards on Friday in the Gaza Strip condemning neighboring Egypt's ban on activities of the Hamas Islamist group.
Senior Hamas leader Khalil Al-Hayya said Tuesday's decision by a Cairo court to ban Hamas' work and activity in the country was an attempt to "criminalize resistance" to Israel and would not deter it from its fight against the Jewish state.
"The rifle Hamas is holding to protect our people and our land will never drop," Hayya said as hundreds protested outside a former Egyptian representative office in Gaza City.
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities in Cairo have declared a terrorist group and which they have repressed since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Mursi, from the presidency in July.
While other scriptures contain contradictions, the Koran is the only holy book whose commentators have evolved a doctrine to account for the very visible shifts which occur from one injunction to another. No careful reader will remain unaware of the many contradictory verses in the Koran, most specifically the way in which peaceful and tolerant verses lie almost side by side with violent and intolerant ones. The ulema were initially baffled as to which verses to codify into the Shari'a worldview—the one that states there is no coercion in religion (2:256), or the ones that command believers to fight all non-Muslims till they either convert, or at least submit, to Islam (8:39, 9:5, 9:29). To get out of this quandary, the commentators developed the doctrine of abrogation, which essentially maintains that verses revealed later in Muhammad's career take precedence over earlier ones whenever there is a discrepancy. In order to document which verses abrogated which, a religious science devoted to the chronology of the Koran's verses evolved...
“On the one side stands Israel, animated by the values we cherish,” said the Israeli prime minister. And on the other side are Iran, Bashar al-Assad, and Hezbollah—“the forces of terror . . . steeped in blood and savagery.” There’s a “moral divide,” said Netanyahu, “that separates Israel from its enemies.”
When Ginger Anderson, a Utah Valley University employee and student, made a small change to an incorrect wall map inside of one the school’s buildings, she had no idea it would result in her being manhandled and arrested by police officers.
President Obama carried his healthcare reform message directly to Latinos on Thursday, urging the members of that vast community to obtain coverage under the Affordable Care Act before the approaching March 31 deadline.
Speaking at a forum conducted at the Newseum in downtown Washington and broadcast over several Spanish-language media outlets, the president offered assurance to Latinos concerned that utilizing the newly established insurance exchanges could somehow lead to the deportation of undocumented relatives, asserting “I’ve got their back.”
“The main point that I have for everybody watching right now is, you don’t punish me by not signing up for healthcare,” Obama said. “You’re punishing yourself or your family if in fact there’s affordable healthcare to be had.”
Told about one individual in particular, a mother who expressed alarm that she could face deportation if she enrolled her children, who happen to be citizens with the health exchange, the president said she “should not be fearful.”
“There’s no sharing of the data from the healthcare plan into immigration services,” Obama said. “You should feel confident that if somebody in your family is eligible, you should sign them up.”
Obama carried his message to the Latino community at a crucial time for the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare.” A disastrous rollout of the program last October left enrollment lagging. If an insufficient number of individuals sign up for the program, financial problems could ensue, rendering the insurance pool unsustainable...
The celibate Dalai Lama has thrown his considerable moral weight behind gay marriage, condemning homophobia and saying sex is fine as long as it is consensual.
The Buddhist monk offered his views on the hot-button social issue during his latest tour of the United States, where he was welcomed on Thursday in Washington by top lawmakers and offered the customary prayer that opens each Senate session.
The Dalai Lama, in an interview, said that gay marriage was up to each government and was ultimately “individual business”.
“If two people - a couple - really feel that way is more practical, more sort of satisfaction, both sides fully agree, then okay,” he told an online talk show by veteran radio and television host Larry King.
Related: Myanmar couple in ‘first gay wedding’
Tin Ko Ko and Myo Min Htet exchanged rings in an upmarket Rangoon hotel Sunday, in the latest sign of changing social mores in the Southeast Asian nation as it emerges from the shadow of military dictatorship.
The marriage does not enjoy any legal status but followed the customs of other Myanmar weddings, with the two men arriving in solemn procession followed by six groomsmen in front of some two hundred guests.
“My family accepted me. I am so glad that my parents were understanding... but he had to overcome many difficulties from his family,” said Tin Ko Ko, 38, of his partner in an emotional speech.
The pair, who both work for rights groups, have lived together for 10 years without publicly declaring their relationship.
Same-sex relations are criminalised under the nation's colonial-era penal code.
While the law is not strictly enforced, activists have long complained of harassment and discrimination.
(Reuters) - When protest leaders in Ukraine helped oust a president widely seen as corrupt, they became heroes of the barricades. But as they take places in the country's new government, some are facing uncomfortable questions about their own values and associations, not least alleged links to neo-fascist extremists.
Russia's president Vladimir Putin claims Ukraine has fallen into the hands of far-right fascist groups, and some Western experts have also raised concerns about the influence of extremists. Yet many Ukrainians see the same groups as nationalist stalwarts and defenders of the country's independence.
Two of the groups under most scrutiny are Svoboda, whose members hold five senior roles in Ukraine's new government including the post of deputy prime minister, and Pravyi Sector (Right Sector), whose leader Dmytro Yarosh is now the country's Deputy Secretary of National Security.
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(Reuters) - The Middle East's driest winter in several decades could pose a threat to global food prices, with local crops depleted and farmers' livelihoods blighted, U.N. experts and climatologists say.
Varying degrees of drought are hitting almost two thirds of the limited arable land across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq.
"Going back to the last 100 years, I don't think you can get a five-year span that's been as dry," said Mohammad Raafi Hossain, a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) environmental economist.
The dry season has already hurt prospects for the cereal harvest in areas of Syria and to a lesser extent Iraq. Several of the countries under pressure are already significant buyers of grain from international markets.
"When governments that are responsible for importing basic foodstuffs have shortages in production, they will go to outside markets, where the extra demand will no doubt push global food prices higher," said Nakd Khamis, seed expert and consultant to the FAO.
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there is “no way” he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accept a Palestinian capital in just a portion of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, rebuffing what Palestinians fear will be key elements of a U.S. peace proposal.
Abbas’ comments signaled that the gaps between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain wide after seven months of mediation efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Abbas, whose remarks were published Friday by the Palestinian news agency WAFA, said he withstood international pressure in the past, when he sought U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine over Washington’s objections.
Speaking to youth activists of his Fatah party, he suggested he would stand firm again, particularly over the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Essentially the day's testimony focused on the who what where when and why of Ezra ending with an explanation for each segment of Ezra's Khurram Awan The Liar series.
The trial will carry over to next week when Ezra will face cross examination. That's gonna be good based on today's set up.
- The heads of Russia's parliamentary chambers have expressed support for a drive by Crimea's pro-Moscow authorities toward leaving Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.
- Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said that no one in the civilized world will recognize the results of a "so-called referendum" on Crimea joining Russia.
- Western leaders have imposed sanctions and threatened serious consequences against Russia if it fails to deescalate the situation in Ukraine's occupied peninsula of Crimea.
- European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the EU was suspending visa and cooperation negotiations with Russia and will consider asset freezes and travel bans if the Russian government does not start negotiations with Ukrainian authorities in the "next few days."
- The United States has imposed visa restrictions on individuals and institutions it says are "threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine." A senior U.S. official said the visa bans apply to both Russian and Ukrainian officials.
- A total of 100 people have died in violence connected to antigovernment protests that broke out in Kyiv on November 30, according to Ukraine's Health Ministry.
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Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”
Our organization, Justice Zone, arrived today in Nizhny Novgorod to visit the women's prison IK-2. Early in the morning, we were attacked by unknown people. These people displayed St. George ribbons on their clothes that apparently identified them, in their own eyes, that is, as patriots of Russia.
Зона Права приехала в Нижний Новгород. Женскую Ик-2 посетить. У Нади - ожог глаза, у меня сотрясение и два шва. pic.twitter.com/cbgBakgqFJ— Мария Алехина (@MashaAlekhina) March 6, 2014
(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, official Saudi television reported citing a statement by the Interior Ministry.
The kingdom has also designated Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, whose fighters are battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as terrorist organizations.
Friday's move appeared to enforce last month's royal decree where Riyadh said it would jail for between three and 20 years any citizen who fought guilty of fighting in conflicts abroad.
The kingdom's authorities want to deter Saudis from joining rebels in Syria and posing a security risk once they return home.
Riyadh also fears the Brotherhood, whose conservative Sunni doctrines challenge the Saudi principle of dynastic rule, has tried to build support inside the kingdom since the Arab Spring popular revolutions in the Arab-speaking world.
A Nova Scotia man who admitted he tampered with his girlfriend's condoms resulting in her pregnancy lost his Supreme Court appeal and must now serve the balance of his 18-month jail sentence on a charge of sexual assault.
Canada's top court unanimously upheld Craig Jaret Hutchinson's sexual assault conviction on Friday morning.
In the summer of 2006, Hutchinson thought he could save his flagging relationship by getting his girlfriend pregnant. He surreptitiously poked holes in her condoms.
She eventually became pregnant, but asked for time to think. It was during that period that Hutchinson told her in a series of text messages what he'd done. She called police and had an abortion. A publication ban protects her identity.
* * *
I often see photos of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, always in grim-looking conditions. If they are refugees now, when things are somewhat stable, what is likely to happen once NATO pulls out?
“Lampedusa is regarded by many Africans as a gateway to Europe,”
it starts. I can agree with that, but I find it deplorable while DW is highly sympathetic.
“Human rights activist Mamadou Ba visited the island recently and his photos cast light on the fate of the refugees who died on their way to Lampedusa.”
And who is Mamadou Ba? He is from Senegal (94% Muslim), and has been living in Portugal since 1997. Legal resident? Not specified, because DW believes that “No one is illegal.”
And what does he do for a living?
He is a “human rights activist” with SOS Racismo (According to Wiki: SOS Racisme is a French anti-racist NGO, founded in 1984. It has counterparts in several other European countries.)
So, he is working to get more Africans to Europe.
The short piece is a series of photographs, with text. The first one is shown below, with DW’s title:
Here is two others, with their text:
This bunker from the Second World War is a symbol of the European Union's fortress mentality. In February 2014 over 400 representatives of civil society protested against this and called for a new European immigration policy. In view of the many deaths taking place at the borders of the EU, they demand more respect for the refugees' human rights.
Inhabitants of the small Italian island located in the Mediterranean between Sicily and North Africa are now hoping for better days. But as long as European immigration policy is not radically redesigned, few people believe that the flow of immigrants and the associated tragedies will end.
* * *
I have no doubt that those fleeing Africa are looking for a better life.
But does DW and the sappy humanitarians of Europe not see what is staring them in the face: Europe cannot possibly absorb all these Africans and remain anything remotely resembling Europe. It will merely become Africa north.
The first generation, used to the poverty of Africa, will be prepared to accept any work for low wages. Their children (and they have lots of children) will not.
Those who cannot make it in high-unemployment Italy will be on benefits or turning to crime. And the cycle will keep repeating as employers keep saying, over and over, “We must have immigrants for jobs Europeans won’t do.”
Bianca (C), a chihuahua, arrives in a baby carriage with other pet dogs to compete in the second annual Doggie Gras Parade and Fat Cat Tuesday Celebration at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Bianca won the contest and was named queen of the doggie Gras parade.
World's top 100 universities 2014: their reputations ranked by Times Higher Education, Muslim world largely missing
Harvard university has retained its number one spot on the Times Higher Education’s world reputation ranking of universities, with US institutions taking eight of the top 10 positions.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford follow to make up the top three. Cambridge and Oxford are both down one place on last year’s rankings which puts them in fourth and fifth place respectively.
The University of California, Berkeley, Princeton, Yale, California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Los Angeles take the remaining places in the top 10.
The US, with 46 institutions in the top 100, is named as an ”undisputed superpower when it comes to university brands” by the creators of the list. In the release, they also highlight what they call “worrying evidence of reputational decline among UK institutions.”
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You see the full results and details on they are ranked here. A chart of number of universities in the top 100 by country shows that the Muslim world is conspicuously missing, except for one in Turkey.
Ezra in testimony; Mohamed el Masry's entire cosmic philosophy depends on Jew hatred.
Three months after the Civil Aviation Authority announced that Israeli airlines would be able to fly to Turkey again — after nearly half a decade during which they were not allowed to take off or land in that country — local carriers are still effectively locked out of the lucrative market.
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines continues to grow, consolidating its position as the second-largest airline operating in Israel.
“This is the great illusion, which the head of the Civil Aviation Authority was able to create: to my regret, there is absolutely no change,” El Al CEO Eliezer Shkedy fumed this week in an interview with The Times of Israel. “We asked to be able to fly to Turkey starting at the beginning of March, to Istanbul and other places across Turkey… We can’t fly to Turkey and the Turks continue to operate tens of flights per week.
“On the ground, what is happening is this: all Israeli companies cannot operate one single flight to Turkey, or from Turkey.”
On paper, the situation has nothing to do with the tense diplomatic atmosphere between Jerusalem and Ankara, but rather on Israel’s tight security requirements.
Until 2007, Israeli companies operated about 30 weekly flights to and from Turkey.
But starting that year, Turkish authorities stopped accommodating Israel’s security requirements, preventing Israeli companies from landing in Turkey. Israel’s security agencies have stricter security requirements than other countries.
Officials in Jerusalem refuse to specify Israel’s security demands on record, but in private conversations say accommodations could certainly have been found if there was a desire to do so, and squarely blame Turkish authorities for deliberately making the Israeli companies’ lives more difficult.
Most competent historians can trace the decline of the West to World War I, which started 100 years ago. The slaughter on the fields of Flanders, the subsequent influenza epidemic, the dissolution of centuries-old European monarchies and empires, and a global depression, led to a sort of cultural post traumatic stress syndrome after the war.
All the more amazing is that the West had totally won the war. All the retrograde powers had been defeated. The victors were America, France, and Britain, the very core of the Western ideal. They were uncontested and unbeatable.
But the victory was Pyrrhic.
(AP) — More than 40 women on their way to Gaza as part of a delegation for World Women’s Day are staging a sit-in inside the Cairo International Airport after being refused entry into the country since Tuesday, airport officials in Egypt and activists said Thursday.
Among the participants from the US-based anti-war group Code Pink’s delegation are US, French and Belgian citizens.
Ann Wright, the US delegation’s organizer, said Thursday that a few activists have elected to return home, while at least three activists had been deported, including Mairead Maguire, a 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Medea Benjamin, an American activist, said Egyptian police fractured her shoulder when she refused to board a plane to Turkey.
Wright said the group had planned to take a bus from Cairo to the Rafa crossing and walk across the border. Egypt’s border with Gaza has been closed since last month as authorities combat smuggling and Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula. Relations between Egypt and Gaza also remain tense after the military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
On Tuesday, an Egyptian court banned all activities of the Palestinian militant group Hamas and ordered the closure of any Hamas offices.
"...And indeed, despite the strictures of the era, Rope remains one of the gayest movies ever made pre-1960s.
Both Dall and Granger were gay in real life; so was screenwriter Arthur Laurents, who was sleeping with Granger during filming.
To the amusement of all involved with Rope, words like “gay” and “queer” made it past the powers that be because, as usual, Hitchcock intentionally larded the original script with enough superfluous “offensive” fluff — lines like “My dear boy” — to preoccupy, and ultimately wear down, the censors."
Just spoke to Tatar leader in #Crimea: 'Obama is a bad president. We need another Bush in the White House.' Strong sense of US & UK betrayal
— Ian Birrell (@ianbirrell) March 7, 2014
Judge rules that 'upskirt' photos taken without consent are not illegal (so long as victim is wearing panties)
A man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of women riding the Boston subway did not violate state law because the women were not nude or partially nude, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Wednesday.
The Supreme Judicial Court overruled a lower court that had upheld charges against Michael Robertson, who was arrested in August 2010 by transit police who set up a sting after getting reports that he was using his cellphone to take photos and video up female riders’ skirts and dresses.
The ruling immediately prompted top Beacon Hill lawmakers to pledge to update state law.
Existing so-called Peeping Tom laws protect people from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms when nude or partially nude, but the way the law is written, it does not protect clothed people in public areas, the court said.
‘Allah’ behind Ultraman book ban?
KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — The appearance of “Allah” in “Ultraman the Ultra Power” may be the reason for the Home Ministry’s decision to prohibit the publication of the comic book.
Following news of the book’s ban this evening, a Twitter user uploaded what appears to be a page from the comic that uses the Arabic word for God to describe the fictional Japanese action character.
“Beliau dianggap sebagai, dan dihormati sebagai, ‘Allah’ atau Elder semua wira Ultra,” read one line in pidgin Malay on the page shown. In English, it reads: “He is considered, and respected as, ‘Allah’ or the Elder to all Ultra heroes.”
President Barack Obama, in criticizing Russian leader Vladimir Putin's conquest of the Crimean Peninsula, described Putin as standing "on the wrong side of history." This curious and arresting phrase has become a frequent cliché among western liberals.
It is testimony to their self-confidence, and to their belief that they have accurately read the deeper currents and inevitable direction of human affairs. These, in the view of the president and his supporters, point inexorably toward greater cooperation between peoples; a decline in attachment to particularist ethnic, national or religious histories; and a decline in the use of force to settle disputes between states.
Both K and I will be heading to Ezra's final day of trial.
It's been an interesting week filled with highs and lows, points made and opportunities lost. For instance Awan's controversial letter to Jason Kenney was raised in evidence earlier this week. Kenney rightly ridiculed the note as most will be familiar. What wasn't mentioned were the people Awan cc'd on his letter to Kenney. Among them, frothing at the mouth crazy Islamist Zafar Bangash, Jamal Badawi then a board member of the Hamas linked CAIR-Can and "person of interest" in the Holy Land Terrorist fund raising trial and representing the fundamentalist wing of the Organization of Local Crazy Anti-Zionists - Ali Mallah. These names and others are found in the jpg below.
Mark Steyn recounts yesterdays highlights.
"As the blogger Blazing Cat Fur said, it's "oddly refreshing to hear Obama described as an Israeli Satrap, and Hillary Clinton labelled a 'Warmongering Whore' in an actual court of law". So a good time was had by all - for as long as it lasted.
But, for those of us who want Ezra to win, it was a dismal moment. Felton was so convinced of the truth of that Awan quotation that he was prepared to testify on behalf of a despised Jew. He was, to that extent, an honest loon. All Ezra's counsel, Iain MacKinnon, had to do was get the loony stuff in first - by treating Felton as a "hostile witness", not necessarily in the legal sense but in a more basic one."