» A constant fear: ”Because of the daily explosions, we must write our wills before go out of home,” said Safeen Qadir, a college student in Kirkuk, one of the cities targeted by attacks. “The death exists in every inch of the city of Kirkuk, and no one is spared from the crime of terrorism.” No group has taken credit for the attacks yet, but the style is similar to prior al-Qaeda attacks.
It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.George Galloway, Respect Member of Parliament for Bradford West • During a video blog expressing his support for Julian Assange following widespread anger over the Wikileaks founder’s decision to seek political asylum in Ecuador. Galloway’s comments have been widely condemned by fellow British politicians, including Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Jo Swinson, who told reporters that she couldn’t believe an MP would “be so grossly irresponsible as to suggest that sex without consent is anything other than rape.” source (via • follow)
» Diplomacy failing: After two days of fighting, following an army offensive aimed at retaking the Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya from opposition forces, international tension over the Syrian uprising is flaring again. Though President Obama has threatened American military action, should President Assad try to use chemical or biological weapons, Russian and Syrian officials have once again warned against Western intervention. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that both Russia and China were committed to upholding the norms of international law, and are committed to preventing their violation, while Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said that American intervention would lead to a conflict that stretches “wider than Syria’s borders.”
» Results of violence: Following multiple events which led to the deaths of 44 miners at the hands of police and rival union members, platinum-mining company Lonmin plc has threatened to dismiss more than 3000 workers currently protesting working conditions at the Marikana mine north of Johannesburg. According to mine officials, without 80 percent of the employed workforce present, it is impossible to remove platinum from the ground. As a result, prices for the metal are currently at a six-week high.
I was shocked. There is nothing you are told that can prepare you for what you see. The state of the Sunni Muslims there - their state of mind, their fate — all of those things have been slowly corroded over time by the regime.Hussam “Sam” Najjar, a former Libyan freedom fighter now on the front lines in Syria • Recalling how shocked he was when he first arrived in Syria, at the request of his former battalion commander from the Libyan resistance, and was taken to see the Syrian rebels’ current state of affairs. While laying most of the blame on the lack of a no-fly zone over Syria, which Najjar says allowed Libyan rebels to assemble as many as 1,500 fighters in a single location, he also said that opposition forces need to learn how to cooperate better with one another. “One of the biggest factors delaying the revolution is the lack of unity among the rebels,” said Hassam, adding,” Unfortunately, it is only when their back is up against the wall that they start to realize they should (unite).” An incredibly fascinating story. source (via • follow)
How did it happen that our performance, which was a small and clumsy stunt, brought so much trouble? How can this happen in a healthy society? And now it takes thousands of people around the world to prove the obvious, to prove that the three of us are innocent.Maria Alekhina, member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot • Expressing disbelief that Pussy Riot’s decision to stage an anti-Putin protest on the alter of Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral has created such an uproar. While Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for a lenient sentencing by the court, some believe that his statements reveal a hidden presumption of guilt which they worry will be shared by jurors. In addition to Alekhina, co-defendants Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich stood by their decision to protest, and said they were more free behind bars than prosecutors who can “only say what political censorship allows.” A verdict is expected to be delivered on August 17. source (via • follow)
The Syrian regime does not understand compromise. Its ethos is ‘rule or die.’ Therefore, Syria will continue its inexorable slide into full-scale civil war, especially since the chance for effective foreign intervention to stop the bloodletting is also zero.Middle East expert Augustus Richard Norton of Boston University • Referring to a planned ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebel forces, scheduled to begin on April 10, which is unlikely to ever become a reality. On Sunday, President Bashar al-Assad demanded that opposition groups provide written guarantees that they would lay down arms first, a demand that was promptly rejected by rebels. In the final hours before the ceasefire was to begin, government forces began shelling cities and towns across the country, killing well over 100 people, and leaving little doubt that the fighting will continue. The fighting also spilled over into neighboring Turkey, where two refugees and a Turkish translator were wounded by stray gunfire. source (via • follow)
Some people had expected him to grab his gun and race off to start shooting again as soon as he got back to Sandringham – but he is being sensible.A Norfolk, England villager • Discussing the recent release of Prince Philip from the hospital. The Duke of Edinburgh, who is married to Queen Elizabeth, began his hospital stay Friday night after complaining of chest pains. He had to miss out on the family’s Christmas and Boxing Day traditions — but left the hospital in good spirits. The 90-year-old royal figure received a minimally-invasive coronary stenting procedure, and was released Tuesday; he’s been ordered to rest, however. Over the past year he has attended over 300 public and formal engagements, so resting might be harder than it sounds for him. In fact, as soon as he left, he went to a shooting party at the Sandringham Estate, where he was said to be in a “cheerful” mood. source (via • follow)