Hafiz Muhammad Saeed — Reuters/Fayaz Aziz
A Pakistani court on has banned an Indian film about the 2008 Mumbai attacks in response to a petition filed by the man New Delhi accuses of masterminding the killing of 166 people over three days.
Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba which the United Nations has listed as a terrorist organization, petitioned the court to ban the Kabir Khan-directed feature film “Phantom” on the basis that it maligns Pakistan and vilifies Saeed and his current organization, Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
The Lahore High Court issued a ban on Thursday…
India says it has handed over evidence against him to Pakistan which should have detained him. The issue has stood in the way of rebuilding relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors…
Saeed lives freely in the city of Lahore in a villa with police stationed outside.
Corruption on a scale vile enough to stain the character of a nation.
Serbia is to mount its first trial over one of Europe’s worst atrocities: the massacre of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men by Serbian forces in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995.
Following a war crimes investigation, police arrested seven suspects in Serbia on Wednesday in the first such domestic operation in almost 20 years after the massacre, which was declared under international law to have been an act of genocide – the sole such act during the wars in the former Yugoslavia…
The seven men arrested at various locations in Serbia on Wednesday are suspected of having taken part in the mass murder of around 1,000 men at a warehouse in Kravica outside Srebrenica, a small hilltown in eastern Bosnia where Bosnian Muslims were held in a UN “safe haven” and besieged by Mladic’s forces for three years until the denouement in July 1995 resulted in the worst single atrocity of the war and the biggest massacre in Europe since the Nazis.
RTFA. It would be too kind to simply say this is overdue. I’ll leave the double-speak to the politicians.
If there is anything I truly hate it is war.
I’ve experienced some small participation in wars. I have had dear friends more directly affected over longer periods. Now gone. One who survived the Warsaw Ghetto uprising – made it through the sewers of Warsaw, through the countryside eventually to the Soviet Union. After healing physically, she went back to Poland to fight in the underground against the Germans.
I asked her once why she kept her Polish name from the Underground instead of returning to her Jewish family name. She told me that all of that life died with her husband and her daughters in a German death camp. Who she became after that was a different person.
My closest friend most of my life was the most decorated soldier in WW2 from our home state in New England. He was awarded every medal except the Congressional Medal of Honor and he was nominated for that. Surviving injuries at the Battle of the Bulge he was severely wounded at the liberation of the Buchenwald Death Camp – and had sixteen months in a veterans’ hospital to reflect upon how he got there.
They’re both gone, now. Someone like me has to remember.
It doesn’t matter where or when my thoughts are stirred to recall. I’ve written about Nanjing before; but, tonight I happened to switch over to CCTV America just as the ceremonies at the Memorial Site in Nanjing were wrapping up.
I sat and watched the last half-hour of the live telecast. I cried some for 300,000 civilians slaughtered by Japanese soldiers over a few weeks starting on December 13, 1937. I won’t forget Nanjing. China won’t forget Nanjing.
The office of the Mexican president has been set alight as public anger intensifies over the government’s response to the apparent murder of 43 trainee teachers by a drug gang.
The violence comes after the country’s attorney general caused fury among the public with his throwaway remark about the case.
Jesus Murillo Karam, speaking at a press conference on Friday, fielded questions on the case for an hour, before saying, “Ya me canse” or, “Enough, I’m tired”.
Within hours the phrase was trending on Twitter and other social media sites. It is now being used as a rallying call for those who are demonstrating against the government’s handling of the case…
On Saturday evening what had been peaceful protests in Mexico City turned violent when the National Palace, which houses the office of the president, was set on fire by demonstrators carrying torches.
Protesters had earlier used a metal police barricade as a battering ram to try to enter the building. Police eventually pushed them back, before they breached the doors…
Before the attorney general’s ill-judged attempt to wrap up his conference, he had told the press that suspects had led authorities to rubbish bags that are believed to contain the incinerated remains of the abducted students.
Since the disappearance of the students in September, from a rural college in Guerrero state, Mexicans have reacted with outrage at the government’s response and its inability to fully explain what happened.
The case has proved a focal point for citizens’ anger in a country where almost 100,000 people have died in the past seven years due to organised crime.
This is a long and detailed, painfully accurate article. Not the best intellectual, political fare for a Monday morning. Which is exactly why you should read it.
Corruption, the absence of rule by law, the dominance of neighborhood by neighborhood, provincial, regional rule by gangsters, vicious killers wholly insulated from justice by bought-and-paid-for coppers – this is the stuff of daily life in Mexico. It lies at the core of my personal boycott of our southern neighbor. And, yes, it is also key to my contempt for jingoist, Amerika First Republicans, cruel conservatives who don’t understand commerce and base their definition of economic justice on bigotry.
Click to enlarge — KORO/Public Art Norway/Jonas Dahlberg Studio
A memorial for the victims of Norway’s July 22 terror attack will see a slice of land removed from the Sørbråten headland
The terror attacks in Norway on July 22, 2011 that resulted in 77 people being killed left the country with a sense of abrupt loss. That feeling will be echoed in a memorial designed by artist Jonas Dahlberg, which will see a slice of land removed from the landscape at Sørbråten.
Dahlberg was selected by a panel as the winner of a contest to design memorials at the two sites of the terror attack, the Government Administration Complex in Oslo and Sørbråten, which is opposite Utøya on the mainland. His design will see a 3.5 meter wide excavation running from from one side of the headland at the Sørbråten site to the other, and extending below the waterline. It will appear as though the landscape simply stops and then restarts, and will make it impossible to reach the end of the headland…
…His suggestion for the Sørbråten site is to make a physical incision into the landscape, which can be seen as a symbolic wound. Part of the headland will be removed and visitors will not be able to touch the names of those killed, as these will be engraved into the wall on the other side of the slice out of nature. The void that is created evokes the sense of sudden loss combined with the long-term missing and remembrance of those who perished.”
The earth removed from the excavation at Sørbråten will be transported to Oslo and used to build the foundation of the temporary and subsequent permanent memorials at the Government Administration Complex. The temporary memorial will feature the names of the victims inscribed along the side of a pathway linking the Grubbegata and the Deichmanske Library. The use of excavated land from Sørbråten will provide a poetic link between the two sites. An amphitheater will ultimately be built as the permanent memorial, with trees taken from Sørbråten and replanted as a means of maintaining the link between the memorial sites.
Mass killings and the fascist mindset aren’t sufficiently memorialized. In general, Western culture would rather remember heroes and wars than criminal behavior still rationalized away by the Right Wing of most nations. Even the 9-11 memorials are treated as part of a “War” on Terror.
I wonder if politicians and their sycophants will ever stop treating society as a child’s game?
This man’s church would prevent him from giving comfort to people who lost so much
A Lutheran pastor who participated in an interfaith prayer service in Newtown, Conn., in the days after the Sandy Hook massacre has apologized after being criticized by the leader of his denomination for violating its prohibition against joint worship with other religions.
The Rev. Rob Morris, a new pastor who lost one of the members of his congregation in the shooting, defended himself in an open letter published by the church, saying that before the tragedy, he had spent hours with his congregation educating them about the differences between Lutheran teaching “and the teachings of false religions such as Islam or Baha’i,” both of which had clergy members at the interfaith service. He also noted that, in his own prayer at the service, he had spoken about Jesus and quoted from the Bible.
“I believed my participation to be, not an act of joint worship, but an act of community chaplaincy,” he wrote.
“To those who believe that I have endorsed false teaching, I assure you that was not my intent, and I give you my unreserved apologies,” he wrote…
Mr. Morris, serving his first year of ministry as pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown, attracted attention within his denomination when he gave the benediction at the high-profile memorial service on Dec. 16 that was attended by President Obama, the families of the dead, and clergy members from many religions, including the Muslim and Baha’i faiths.
Then, the purity and obvious superiority of obedient sheep belonging to this particular congregation of nutballs is detailed, blah, blah. If you want to waste time on it, click the link and read the article.
I’m posting this to explain one more time to my friends and readers why I so often describe the mouthing of ancient curses and platitudes by representatives of one or another fundamentalist religion to be as worthless as toilet paper made of sandpaper. It denies the purported purpose of the fabric. It causes hearts to bleed instead of heal. This defies any stated purpose for virtually all religions. Meaning they ain’t worth the paper they’re writ large upon.
It is for Americans and their elected representatives to determine the right response to President Obama’s proposals on gun control. I wouldn’t presume to lecture Americans on the subject. I can, however, describe what I, as prime minister of Australia, did to curb gun violence following a horrific massacre 17 years ago in the hope that it will contribute constructively to the debate in the United States.
I was elected prime minister in early 1996, leading a center-right coalition. Virtually every nonurban electoral district in the country — where gun ownership was higher than elsewhere — sent a member of my coalition to Parliament.
Six weeks later, on April 28, 1996, Martin Bryant, a psychologically disturbed man, used a semiautomatic Armalite rifle and a semiautomatic SKS assault weapon to kill 35 people in a murderous rampage in Port Arthur, Tasmania.
After this wanton slaughter, I knew that I had to use the authority of my office to curb the possession and use of the type of weapons that killed 35 innocent people. I also knew it wouldn’t be easy…
Because Australia is a federation of states, the national government has no control over gun ownership, sale or use, beyond controlling imports. Given our decentralized system of government, I could reduce the number of dangerous firearms only by persuading the states to enact uniform laws totally prohibiting the ownership, possession and sale of all automatic and semiautomatic weapons while the national government banned the importation of such weapons.
To make this plan work, there had to be a federally financed gun buyback scheme. Ultimately, the cost of the buyback was met by a special one-off tax imposed on all Australians. This required new legislation and was widely accepted across the political spectrum. Almost 700,000 guns were bought back and destroyed — the equivalent of 40 million guns in the United States.
City dwellers supported our plan, but there was strong resistance by some in rural Australia. Many farmers resented being told to surrender weapons they had used safely all of their lives. Penalizing decent, law-abiding citizens because of the criminal behavior of others seemed unfair. Many of them had been lifelong supporters of my coalition and felt bewildered and betrayed by these new laws. I understood their misgivings. Yet I felt there was no alternative…
For a time, it seemed that certain states might refuse to enact the ban. But I made clear that my government was willing to hold a nationwide referendum to alter the Australian Constitution and give the federal government constitutional power over guns. Such a referendum would have been expensive and divisive, but it would have passed. And all state governments knew this.
In the end, we won the battle to change gun laws because there was majority support across Australia for banning certain weapons. And today, there is a wide consensus that our 1996 reforms not only reduced the gun-related homicide rate, but also the suicide rate.
In the 18 years before the 1996 reforms, Australia suffered 13 gun massacres — each with more than four victims — causing a total of 102 deaths. There has not been a single massacre in that category since 1996.
But, this is America. We haven’t a habit of letting facts get in the way of political ideology. It will take mass support in every state for any level of reform to gun law.
What passes for conservatism in many other nations still allows for educated opinions. Today’s generation of Republican misleaders got position and power on the basis of religious fundamentalism and bigotry. They may be a dying breed; but they couldn’t care less about how anyone else dies.
REUTERS/Peter Souza/Official White House Photo/Handout
President Barack Obama reacts as Counterterrorism chief and adviser John Brennan briefs him at the White House on the details of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012…
One of the worst days in our nation’s history.