November 28th, 2009

Christian Bale

Man gets life after court rejects appeal for sister's 'honour killing'

A German-Afghan man who stabbed his teenage sister to death in a grisly "honour killing" was sentenced to life imprisonment after a court in Karlsruhe rejected his appeal on Thursday.

In a crime that outraged Germany, the man, identified only as Ahmad-Sobair O. knifed his 16-year-old sister Morsal 23 times as he believed she brought dishonour to their family by wearing Western-style clothes and make-up.

The Federal Court of Justice said it was "convinced that the accused committed the crime because his sister, in his opinion, had 'stained the family's honour'."

The court rejected the appeal that the man was psychologically deranged and upheld the initial judgement by a lower court in Hamburg, in the north of the country.

The killer, aged 24 at the time, had said during his trial that he was "sorry from the bottom of his heart" for his actions. "That was my sister and I loved her," he told the court, breaking down in tears.

Germany has been shocked by around 50 so-called "honour killings" since 1996, mainly in the country's large Turkish diaspora.


Remember Honduras?

Region Finds U.S. Lacking on Honduras

Published: November 27, 2009

WASHINGTON — Drug cartels are running amok in Mexico, Raúl Castro is tightening his grip on Cuba and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela is making mischief with Russia and Iran, but it is a relatively obscure backwater, Honduras, that has provided the Obama administration with its first test in Latin America.

The ouster of Manuel Zelaya, the Honduran populist president, five months ago propelled the deeply impoverished country onto President Obama’s packed agenda. The question now is whether his administration’s support for the presidential election being held there on Sunday will be seen as a stamp of approval for a coup or, as senior administration members maintain, the beginning of the end of the crisis.

Most countries in the region see it as the former. Haunted by ghosts of authoritarian governments not long in the grave, countries like Brazil, Argentina and Chile have argued that an election held by an illegal government is, by definition, illegal.

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Elections this weekend, sorry if this article sounds too ~bitter~ towards the USA, I can't seem too find good articles in English. Uruguay also votes this weekend. I'll post results and stuff if anybody cares?
misc - microphone

(no subject)

Cars burned, windows broken at trade protest
Geneva police say 'situation is calmer' after rioting at anti-WTO march

GENEVA - Anti-capitalism protesters smashed the windows of banks, shops and cafes in central Geneva and set cars on fire on Saturday during a demonstration against the World Trade Organization.

Some demonstrators were breaking the windows of every building they passed and setting off fireworks in the main shopping street.

Police in riot gear headed off groups of violent protesters.

At least three cars were set on fire near the city bus station. A pall of smoke hung over the city center and tear gas drifted through the streets.

The violent protesters were a minority in an otherwise good-natured crowd of about 2,000 people, accompanied by a dozen tractors and a marching band, who were demonstrating against a three-day WTO conference that starts Monday.
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I hate how the media doesn't say a word about the protests until a few people get violent. Also, wtf at the random inclusion of that bit about the South Koreans.

Dubai Desperate for a Bailout

Abu Dhabi to aid Dubai on "case by case" basis

Abu Dhabi, wealthy capital of the United Arab Emirates, will "pick and choose" how to assist debt-laden neighbor Dubai, a senior official said on Saturday, after fears of a Dubai default sent global markets reeling.

"We will look at Dubai's commitments and approach them on a case-by-case basis. It does not mean that Abu Dhabi will underwrite all of their debts," the official in the government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi told Reuters by phone.

Dubai's crisis exploded on Wednesday when the emirate, known for flashy lifestyles and the world's tallest building, said it would delay payment on debt issued by one of its flagship firms, angering investors and sending global markets sharply lower.

Selective assistance for companies in "Dubai Inc.," a network of quasi-sovereign industries, instead of blanket assistance, would serve a rude awakening to investors who for years assumed that the conservative Abu Dhabi provided a safety net for its racier neighbor.

"Some of Dubai's entities are commercial, semi-government ones. Abu Dhabi will pick and choose when and where to assist," said the official, who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
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CIA Agents Can Do Magic! Children's Party Booked.

CIA secrets revealed -- like magic

The Cold War made for strange partners -- including the CIA and a well-known magician named John Mulholland. In 1953, Mulholland was hired by the C.I.A. to adapt his craft for its agents. The documents he produced, long thought destroyed, were discovered in 2007 by two C.I.A. historians, who have recently published "The Official C.I.A. Manual of Trickery and Deception."

What could a magician teach spies? Much sleight of hand, apparently, that could be used for dosing drinks, passing pills and exchanging messages.
And then there were the covert signals, including some that could be sent by tying your shoelaces in special patterns. The Boston Globe has illustrated some of the tricks in this marvelous slideshow.
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Republican Civil War Could Destroy or Make Party

South Carolina Rift Highlights Debate Over G.O.P.

When Senator Lindsey Graham joined forces last month with Senator John Kerry on a compromise to the climate change legislation known as cap and trade, it was the last straw for the Charleston County Republican Party.

The county party, which has traditionally been considered moderate, voted by a wide margin to censure Mr. Graham in harsh terms.

Their grievance list was long: it cited the senator for calling opponents of immigration law change “bigots,” holding the Republican Party “hostage” by participating in bipartisan maneuvers, voting for the Wall Street bailout and tarnishing the ideals of freedom.

It even criticized Mr. Graham, a Republican and the state’s senior senator, as having “stated on many occasions that his primary concern is to ‘be relevant.’ ”

The party had no such criticism for the other senator from South Carolina, Jim DeMint.

In fact, Mr. DeMint, a Republican in his first term, is the leader of a movement to pull the party in the opposite direction from Mr. Graham’s conciliatory approach.
The political action committee he founded, called the Senate Conservatives Fund, backs only candidates who are rock-solid conservatives, and adherents to his views have led the efforts to censure Mr. Graham.

The two senators say they are friends whose differences are exaggerated by the news media, and Mr. DeMint has not personally criticized Mr. Graham or called for his censure.

But their contrasting strategies have brought home to South Carolina the struggle over the future of the Republican Party and have put them on opposite sides of important Senate primaries in states like Florida, where Mr. DeMint supports a vocal conservative, Marco Rubio, and Mr. Graham supports Gov. Charlie Crist.
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Sarah Palin to Break World Record In Quitting.

Sarah Palin Quits Turkey Trot 5K Race In Kennewick, Washington

Sarah Palin dropped out of a 5k race on Thanksgiving Day in Kennewick, Wash. The former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Governor quit the race because she wanted to avoid the crowds that were waiting for her at the end, according to The Tri-Cities Herald.

Palin was 1 of about 3,000 participants. The paper reported that her presence drew a "mass of onlookers." Palin announced that she would be running the race on Twitter.

The former Republican vice-presidential candidate visited nearby Richland, Wash., to spend the holiday with relatives. She said it's good to be back in the Tri-Cities to reconnect with "the roots." Her grandparents, Clem and Helen Sheeran, came to Richland in 1943.
fuck the mcu

Roman Polanski's release secured by Nicolas Sarkozy: Sister-in-law

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Polish director Roman Polanski’s family is thanking French President Nicolas Sarkozy for being “very effective” in helping to win his release from a Swiss prison.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is thanks to the President that Roman has been freed, but he has been super,”
Polanski’s sister-in-law, Mathilde Seigner, told Le Parisien newspaper. “The President has been very effective.”

The London Times
speculated that Sarkozy’s wife, ex-model Carla Bruni, may have pressured her husband to intervene because she used to hob nob with Paris’ artistic community, which includes Polanski and wife Emmanuelle Seigner.

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Toby for Obama

Families of Military Suicides Seek White House Condolences

Since at least the time of Abraham Lincoln, presidents have sent letters of condolence to the families of service members killed in action, whether the deaths came by hostile fire or in an accident.

So after his son killed himself in Iraq in June, Gregg Keesling expected that his family would receive a letter from President Obama. What it got instead was a call from an Army official telling family members that they were not eligible because their son had committed suicide.

“We were shocked,” said Mr. Keesling, 52, of Indianapolis.

Under an unwritten policy that has existed at least since the Clinton administration, presidents have not sent letters to survivors of troops who took their own lives, even if it was at the war front, officials say. The roots of that policy, which has been passed from administration to administration via White House protocol officers, are murky and probably based in the view that suicide is not an honorable way to die, administration and military officials say.

But at a time when the Pentagon is trying to destigmatize mental health care in hopes of stemming a near epidemic of suicide among service members, the question of whether the survivors of military suicides deserve presidential recognition has taken on new significance.

“These families already feel such shame and so alienated from the military and the country, a letter from the president might give them some comfort, some sense that people recognize their sacrifice,” said Kim Ruocco, director for suicide support for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, a military support group. “What better way to eliminate stigma?”

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I had no idea this policy existed. That's awful.

Also, this bit, both vague and infuriating: "But opponents of presidential letters of condolence argue that treating suicide the same as other war deaths might encourage mentally frail soldiers to take their lives by making the act seem honorable."

...Seriously? Who the hell are these "opponents" saying that?
Akuma River

Small village in Peru is becoming a power player

How a Little Town in Peru Is Becoming a Hotspot

By LUCIEN CHAUVIN Lucien Chauvin – Thu Nov 26, 6:05 am ET
A sure way to get people riled up in Quince Mil, a sweltering outpost in Peru's southern jungle, is to ask about the origin of the town's uncommon name. There are at least four versions explaining the name, which means "Fifteen Thousand," each more colorful than the one before it. Mayor Mario Samanez claims to have the official version. He says its rains around 15,000 mm (590 inches) each year in the town, hence the name. "This is the spot with the world's second highest amount of rainfall annually. That is where the name comes from," Samanez says.

Actually the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does not list Quince Mil among the wettest places in the world. The title goes to Mawsynram, India, with 467 inches, followed by jungle spots in Colombia and Hawaii. (See pictures of Peru's sacred glacier melting.)

Local residents in Quince Mil have their own theories about the name. Some say a group of explorers passing through lost 15,000 pesos where the town now stands. The place was called 15,000 because that's what the explorers would ask for every time they came back to search for the cash. The town's name has become a synonym for bad luck. But malevolence may be at the origin as well. Fernando Farro, a local farmer, says Quince Mil takes its name from the amount of money the Peruvian government gave Russian fortune-seekers at the turn of the 20th century to eliminate Amazonian tribes and open the area for sugar plantations. And that darker explanation may be more relevant now as more and more attention is being paid to the backwater town.
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Akuma River

Ban on Internet Gambling pushed back six more months

Government delays new ban on Internet gambling
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer - Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:36PM EST

WASHINGTON - The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are giving U.S. financial institutions an additional six months to comply with regulations designed to ban Internet gambling.

The two agencies said Friday that the new rules, which were to take effect on Dec. 1, would be delayed until June 1 of next year.

A key Democratic opponent of the ban on online gambling praised the action and said it would give Congress time to overturn a law passed in 2006 when Republicans controlled Congress.
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I find it absolutely ridiculous to ban internet gambling. It's lost profits for the US and other nations that allow it will get more revenue not to mention it will be impossible to actually enforce people to not gamble online. It is a ban that is doomed to failure.

What do you guys think?
Akuma River

Gay with HIV in Uganda? You die, according to anti-homosexuality bill 2009

This isn't a newspaper it's a blog source it has a copy of the bill.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 (Wednesday, October 14, 2009)

Well, he did it, did Hon MP Bahati David, Ndorwa West.

The first reading of the Anti Homosexuality Bill was on the schedule. Here it is, on the order paper.

And, the bill itself, well, I got a 'pirate copy' sometime ago. And so did Afrogay, who posted it here. But for now, I also post it, since it is no longer a case of stealing official secrets, uh? Dont want to be arraigned for doing things that I do...!

Anyway, here is the bill, as it was sometime in August. It might have changed a bit, since it is now October....

So, will this soon to become law change my sexuality? Dunno. Maybe...

APRIL 20, 2009



1. The Principle

The object of this Bill is to establish a comprehensive legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (i) any form of sexual relations between people of the same sex; and (ii) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions as healthy, normal or an acceptable lifestyle, including in the public schools, through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any non- governmental organization inside or outside the country. Research indicates that the homosexuality has a variety of negative consequences including higher incidences of violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and use of drugs. The higher incidence of separation and break-up in homosexual relationships also creates a highly unstable environment for children raised by homosexuals through adoption or otherwise, and can have profound psychological consequences on those children. In addition, the promotion of homosexual behavior undermines our traditional family values.
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Sorry it's so long...but I think this is highly important.

South Korean Man Fined for Slandering Indian Professor

A Korean man was fined 1 million won ($855) Friday for insulting an Indian professor. This is the first time in Korea that a person has been punished for racist remarks.

The Incheon District Court fined the 31-year-old man, identified as Park, for humiliating the foreigner through abusive and racial language on a bus in July.

After the incident, the 28-year-old Indian professor Bonojit Hussain accused Park of calling him "dirty" and "smelly." Initially, police allegedly discouraged Hussain from filing a complaint but he persisted. Human rights groups also launched a fact-finding team to investigate the case.

Police filed a personal insult charge against Park as there is no appropriate clause in Korea's Criminal Law against this kind of an offense.

According to Hussain, Park even insulted his Korean female friend, who was traveling with him on the bus asking whether she is happy to date a black man.

Following the incident, civic activists formed an anti-racism committee and asked the human rights watchdog agency to look into the case.

Some lawmakers have been pushing for a bill to ban discriminatory practices against foreigners based on either color or nationality.

The case has raised awareness of racial issues in the country where 1.2 million foreigners reside.

Source: Korean Times

The full story can be found in this entry of Korea Beat blog.