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Libyan papers show UK worked with Gaddafi in rendition operation.

A secret CIA document found among the haul shows that the British and Libyans worked together to arrange for a terrorism suspect to be removed from Hong Kong to Tripoli – along with his wife and children – despite the risk that they would be tortured. The wording of the document suggests the CIA was not involved in the planning of the rendition operation, but was eager to become engaged during its execution and offered financial support.

Other papers found in the building suggest MI6 enjoyed a far closer working relationship with Gaddafi's intelligence agencies than has been publicly known, and was involved in a number of US-led operations that also resulted in Islamists being consigned to Gaddafi's prisons.

On Sunday, one of the victims, Abdul Hakim Belhaj – now commander of the anti-Gaddafi militia in Tripoli – demanded an apology from London and Washington and said he was considering suing over his rendition to Tripoli and subsequent torture.
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The Olympics and the uprising

Only a few miles from Tottenham, the epicenter of the recent London riots, and between the east end of Hackney and the west end of Stratford--neighborhoods where rioting quickly spread to--sits London's Olympic Park, home to the main Olympic Stadium and Athletes' Village, as well as a multitude of other venues for next summer's 2012 Summer Olympics.

As the British government imposes austerity measures on its poor and working-class citizens, it has dumped billions of dollars into these venues and security for the 2012 Games. As the riots in London escalated, many in the media began to question what impact it would have on the Games--with the fear that tourists might stay away or more rioting might occur.

Bob Quellos spoke with anti-Olympic activists Debbie Shaw, of London's Counter Olympics Network, and Martin Slavin, of the GamesMonitor.org website, about the impact preparations for the Olympics have had on London's poor and working-class neighborhoods.


THE GOVERNMENT has spent billions on building the venues for the 2012 Olympics while people in surrounding neighborhoods are suffering the effects of austerity measures. Can you describe the dynamic in these neighborhoods?

Debbie: It's no coincidence that the riots kicked off in Tottenham following the murder of yet another Black man who just happened to get on the wrong side of the police. And it's also no coincidence that Monday's activities kicked off in Hackney, one of the five Olympics boroughs, with a long history of insurrection and large Black and homeless populations.

A Hackney resident interviewed by one of the news networks said, "This is an Olympic borough. There's a lot of money been spent here recently, but none of it is trickling down." There's a video on YouTube right now where a masked woman coming out of a shop is asked what she's doing, and she says, "Just getting my taxes back."

It's also no coincidence that the majority of the people involved are from the generation that are suffering most from the cuts to government spending. They're the same kids who got politicized last year when they marched to demand the reinstatement of the Education Maintenance Allowance, the money allocated to poor families to help teenagers study for university. MORE
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Nigerian satellites are picture perfect

Nigeria's latest Earth observation satellites have returned their first pictures.

The spacecraft, launched on 17 August, give the African nation a powerful new capability to map its own lands and other parts of the globe.

NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X will also assist the Disaster Monitoring Constellation.

This UK-managed fleet of spacecraft is used to picture regions of the Earth gripped by natural calamities.

These might be catastrophic floods or a big earthquake. Images sent down from space will often be critical to organising an effective emergency response.

The first picture released from the Nigerian pair is of New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland.

It was acquired by NigeriaSat-X, and reveals the buildings and the landscape surrounding this major urban centre.

It is just possible to see the wakes of ships passing under the harbour bridge that joins downtown Auckland with North Shore City.

The satellite is equipped with a multi-spectral imager for general mapping, agricultural monitoring and disaster relief work.

Nigerian engineer at SSTLNigerian engineers built NigeriaSat-X with the help of their British counterparts

The resolution in this picture is 22m per pixel. Vegetation is picked out in red.

Both NigeriaSat-X and NigeriaSat-2 were designed and built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford, UK.

What is interesting about NigeriaSat-X is that the work was undertaken by Nigerian engineers themselves. The skills they have learnt will now be taken home so that they can build future spacecraft in their own country

MORE


via fyeahAfrica
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[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Such a brilliant post. Panic on the streets of London.

Violence is rarely mindless. The politics of a burning building, a smashed-in shop or a young man shot by police may be obscured even to those who lit the rags or fired the gun, but the politics are there. Unquestionably there is far, far more to these riots than the death of Mark Duggan, whose shooting sparked off the unrest on Saturday, when two police cars were set alight after a five-hour vigil at Tottenham police station. A peaceful protest over the death of a man at police hands, in a community where locals have been given every reason to mistrust the forces of law and order, is one sort of political statement. Raiding shops for technology and trainers that cost ten times as much as the benefits you’re no longer entitled to is another. A co-ordinated, viral wave of civil unrest across the poorest boroughs of Britain, with young people coming from across the capital and the country to battle the police, is another.

Months of conjecture will follow these riots. Already, the internet is teeming with racist vitriol and wild speculation. The truth is that very few people know why this is happening. They don’t know, because they were not watching these communities. Nobody has been watching Tottenham since the television cameras drifted away after the Broadwater Farm riots of 1985. Most of the people who will be writing, speaking and pontificating about the disorder this weekend have absolutely no idea what it is like to grow up in a community where there are no jobs, no space to live or move, and the police are on the streets stopping-and-searching you as you come home from school. The people who do will be waking up this week in the sure and certain knowledge that after decades of being ignored and marginalised and harassed by the police, after months of seeing any conceivable hope of a better future confiscated, they are finally on the news. In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:

"Yes," said the young man. "You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?"

"Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you."

Eavesdropping from among the onlookers, I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere ’’

Huh?

Jul. 24th, 2011 01:07 am
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Phone hacking: US authorities preparing to subpoena News Corp
Investigation launced into whether News Corp broke anti-bribery and hacking laws in US


OH????

via: [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political


Now I am VERY skeptical that the US has the political will to stick anything to Fox News, but ...

Having trouble keeping everyone straight?

Via: [personal profile] delux_vivens Key players in the News Corp phone-hacking case





While we are looking at the phone hacking link from The Guardian, here's a couple more:


The 'For Neville' email: two words that could bring down an empire: James Murdoch now stands accused of complicity in an attempted coverup of crimes within his company

In His Own Defense: Cameron Zigs, but the Opposition Follows

Andy Coulson investigated for perjury while working at No 10


Phone hacking also rife under Piers Morgan at [Daily] Mirror, claims ex-reporter Somehow I don't think The Daily Mail was exempt, do you?

Phone hacking visualized: What happened when? For those of us who are still fucking confused as to the timeline of events


Phone hacking: Three weeks that made a revolution In which the English now expect to actually regulate the press. Huh. Such a novel idea!


Guardian Live Blog which is a constant source of grins as this whole damn thing unfolds:

Consider this roundup:

9:10 am

Peter Walker writes: And finally... a few items from the Guardian:

• You might well have seen this on the website yesterday, but if not Ed Pilkington has an intriguing tale of News Corporation's decidedly bullish business tactics in the US.

• Our main editorial outlines the implications of James Murdoch's allegedly misleading testimony, and what it says about "wilful blindness" – term first associated with the Enron scandal – at the top of News International.

• Martin Kettle argues that the Tory MPs exultant at David Cameron's combative Commons performance on Wednesday might have been celebrating too soon.

• News International's slightly cosy exclusive media deal with UK London 2012 Olympic athletes has been torn up.



and:

10:17am

Paul Owen writes: Here are a few interesting links.

Writer Michael Rosen discusses the use of language by James Murdoch, David Cameron and Boris Johnson over the last week.

Like Margaret Thatcher with her famous use of the dialect word "frit", Cameron likes to do the common man bit. His favourite resource is the mass media as with the Michael Winner "calm down" quote. In this debate it was the use of the Sun's offensive headline "Gotcha", though in this context, you might have expected him to have avoided anything that might imply an overly familiar relationship with any News International product.

Paul MacInnes asks who should be cast in Phone-Hacking: The Movie. He eye-catchingly suggests Hilary Swank ought to play James Murdoch.

• And it's worth revisiting Andy Beckett's profile of James Murdoch, which is here.

10.20am: Peter Walker writes: It's not been a good couple of weeks for Rupert Murdoch. Today, Australia's competition regulator, the ACCC, has indicated it is likely to block a £1.2bn takeover bid by pay TV operator Foxtel, 25% owned by News Corp, for its rival Austar.

The ACCC's preliminary finding is that the takeover could have competition issues, sending News Corp shares down 1.8%. The regulator insisted its decision had nothing to do with phone hacking.

10.22am: Paul Owen writes: Labour MP Tom Watson has said that he plans to refer to the police a claim that James Murdoch gave inaccurate evidence to the Commons culture committee this week. More as we get it.

10.42am: Peter Walker writes: Following on from that: Sky News is reporting that another Labour MP who has been central to pursuing News International over this story, Chris Bryant, has written to News Corporation's non-executive directors requesting that they suspend Rupert and James Murdoch from their roles.




Last but not least raise a middle fingers at that bloody asshole Robin Givhan and her sexism; and both middle fingers and a lot of expletives at the fuckers who decided to run an editorial cartoon stating that instead of paying attention to that hacking bit, we should pay attention to famine in Somalia. Because we can't do both at the same time. And because NOW you fuckers are interested in Somalian famine. I thought Somalis were all pirates??? Media Analysis, the Butterfly Effect and how Rebekah Brooks hair is forced to eat humble pie


As an antidote to Ms. Givhan's idiocy:

Rebekah Brooks's cardinal sin:It isn't her hair, charm or connections that have defined her. Brooks is the archetypal tabloid editor




ETA: via [personal profile] rydra_wong Phone hacking: Met police to investigate mobile tracking claims

Scotland Yard has been asked to inspect thousands of files that could reveal whether its officers unlawfully procured mobile phone-tracking data for News of the World reporters.

There were half a million requests by public authorities for communications data in the UK last year – of which almost 144,000 were demands for "traffic" data, which includes location.

A Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) member has asked the force to investigate allegations that News of the World reporters were able to purchase this data from police for £300 per request.

The claims were made by Sean Hoare, the News of the World whistleblower, days before he was found dead at his home on Monday. His disclosure about the purchase of illicit location data was first made to the New York Times, which said the practice was confirmed by a second source at the tabloid. Police have said Hoare's death was not suspicious.

Mobile phone location data, which is highly regulated, would give tabloid reporters access to a method of almost total surveillance, arguably even more intrusive than hacking into phone messages.


MORE
JAY-sus!

I wonder how many more will be forced to resign?

The crisis triggered upheaval in the upper ranks of Britain's police, with Monday's resignation of Assistant Commissioner John Yates — Scotland Yard's top anti-terrorist officer — following that of police chief Paul Stephenson, over their links to an arrested former executive from Murdoch's shuttered News of the World tabloid.MORE



AND THEN of course, there's the, um... unexpectedly dead reporter. Dude they don't need a movie for this shit. They need a fucking TV SERIES to encompass this thing!
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Why the News of the World Scandal is relevant to you no matter where you live

To the general public, all of this might seem very domestically British, very distant and while certainly a political misfortune, a series of events that hold little weight for the rest of us, non British residents. Except that our every day lives, no matter where we are, what our socio economic background is, are shaped by this scandal. Because you see, News Corp is owned by Rupert Murdoch, the man you can hold accountable for not being able to access an abortion provider. The man you can hold accountable for the increase of intolerance and xenophobia sweeping the entirety of the Western World. Rupert Murdoch, the man who gave us Sarah Palin’s political career, Gert Wilders international fame, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the erosion of civil rights presented as a necessity and the demonization of Islam and the Middle East. Rupert Murdoch, the man who owns your mass media.
  • When AskMen.com publishes an article stating that women should be “shamed” into losing weight, thank Rupert Murdoch
  • Anchor babies and the demonization of immigrant women? Thank Rupert Murdoch
  • Act like a lady, think like a man and the pervasive stereotyping of gender and “how women should behave”? Thank Rupert Murdoch
  • The rise of the Tea Party and the mainstream radicalization of the Western world? Thank Rupert Murdoch
  • The constant portrayal of immigrants, asylum seekers, refuges and economic migrants as a threat to Western values? Thank Rupert Murdoch
Because, in case you weren’t aware (and there is a conscious effort to obscure these facts), Rupert Murdoch owns a significant, influencing, far reaching media empire. His outlets include (but are not limited to):
  • Publishing house HarperCollins
  • Film Studio (and subsidiaries) 20th Century Fox
  • Fox News (and all subsidiaries)
  • Cable TV networks Sky Italia and Sky Germany
  • AskMen.com
  • Dow Jones & Company
  • The Wall Street Journal
(I urge you to check the link above to gasp at the extent of News Corp reach and influence).
Now, I am not going to be so naive as to blame the Murdoch media empire for all the ills in the world. But let me clear: it might not be the sole responsible actor in our current sad state of affairs but it has played a very significant, prominent role in it. MORE
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Real News Network- Murdoch Shaped British Politic for over 40 years


Transcript:


PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Washington. And in London, Rupert Murdoch is in town trying to stem the tide of the scandal engulfing his empire, at least the publicity tide. But whether the real power of Rupert Murdoch will be touched is another issue altogether. He still owns The Daily Sun. Even if News of the World has been closed down, that was only a Sunday newspaper. And there's already plans in place for a Sun of the Sunday. They're calling it Sun of Sunday versus Sunday Sun, 'cause that name has been taken already. But the real issue here is Rupert Murdoch's both television and newspaper power in shaping the politics of Britain for over 40 years. Now joining us to talk about the history of this is Dr. Leo Panitch. He teaches at York University in Toronto. He's also the author of the book The End of Parliamentary Socialism: From New Left to New Labour. Thanks for joining us, Leo.

LEO PANITCH, PROF. POLITICAL SCIENCE, YORK UNIVERSITY: Hi, Paul.

JAY: So let's dig into the history of Murdoch and how he helped shape particularly the Labour Party, which people, Americans might be a little surprised at, 'cause he's always here associated with supporting the Republican Party here.

PANITCH: Well, he's a very right-wing character. The fact that he supported the Labour Party doesn't change that one iota. He's known in Britain and in Australia as "the Digger" because of his Australian roots. And he came in in 1969 and bought The Sun, which was pretty much a working-class paper. As Dennis Potter, the great British playwright, television playwright, the guy who wrote The Singing Detective, put it in his last interview, there's no person in Britain more responsible for polluting what was already a very polluted press. So one shouldn't think that this was, you know, something that he did all by himself. But when he picked up The Sun, he took that working-class paper, which had a history going back to the '50s, when it had actually been The Labour Herald before it changed its name and had been trade-union owned and had been a Labour Party paper, essentially, and he immediately turned it into a political rag that attacked the left. You may have heard the term Bennism used as a terrible epithet, the four letter word Benn referring to Tony Benn, who was a cabinet minister in the 1960s and then moved to the left when he realized how little he could do in a British government.
MORE
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The Ben Bradlee of Phone Hacking 'Guardian' editor Alan Rusbridger wouldn't let investigation die By Dylan Byers

Rupert Murdoch has met his match. For years now, the News Corp. head has seemed bulletproof, or at least Teflon-coated; scandal has seemingly slid right off him. But suddenly the ongoing furor over phone hacking in the U.K. has put his media empire in real peril. His News of the World has been closed down. His $12 billion deal to take over all of British Sky Broadcasting has been scrapped. Some of his closest associates—even his son James—are at serious risk. And none of that would have happened were it not for the fierce, dogged persistence of Alan Rusbridger and The Guardian, the newspaper he runs.

Rusbridger has been at The Guardian for decades; he's been editor since 1995. And he's had plenty of success in that time. (Rusbridger and The Guardian have, for instance, played a pivotal role in the Wikileaks saga.) But none of it compares to this. By the time the dust settles, the paper may well have brought down, virtually single-handedly, not just a media giant but an entire government. But this moment in the sun for Rusbridger and The Guardian comes at a time when the paper itself is facing an uncertain future. A trust that has kept the paper alive is drying up, the parent company's losses totaled $53 million last year alone, and layoffs are imminent. But as his recent coup shows, though the walls may sometimes be crumbling around him, Rusbridger is committed to forging ahead, to pursuing major investigations even when no one else is paying attention.


“I had lots of conversations with people who appeared not to want to listen to what we were saying, including the future Prime Minister [David Cameron],” Rusbridger said. “That went for the police, that went for the MPs, it went for the regulator, and it went for other journalists. So we said, 'If we’re going to do this, we’re going to have to do it alone.'”

Like many of his employees, Rusbridger is practically a lifelong Guardian man. He joined the paper as a reporter in 1979 and has been there ever since. “Alan has spent almost all of his professional life at The Guardian, and has been editor for 16 years,” New York Times executive editor Bill Keller observed in an email to Adweek, “which means it is Alan's Guardian in a sense that few other papers are creatures of their editor.”

That's true. But if you had to pick a man for this role from Central Casting, you almost certainly wouldn't pick Rusbridger. Ben Bradlee, The Washington Post editor who ran that other legendary investigation once upon a time, was a man who looked the part—the kind of man who, his own reporters once said, would "grind his cigarettes out in a demitasse cup during a formal dinner party." Rusbridger, 57, is different—he looks more like Harry Potter's lonely uncle than the kind of man capable of bringing down Rupert Murdoch.

But he was willing to stick with the phone hacking scandal even when it seemed like no one outside The Guardian cared at all. All told, the paper has been on this story for five years now. Though it looks like a wise investment in retrospect, those were five years during which Rusbridger was sacrificing not only money but the time and efforts of some of his best reporters for a story that could very well have gone nowhere.MORE




via: [personal profile] cofax7
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Because I don't quite get it, and I am too busy dealing with South Sudan and its independence to get the details. I know his chickens are coming home to roost, and through him, so are the Tories', but I'm not quite sure how? You could make a post or your could just comment here!
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE DESCRIPTIONS:


Via Shakesville

Assange Lawyer Concedes 'Disrespectful,' 'Disturbing' Sexual Acts

Read more... )


No dude. That is NOT consensual.

Like Shakesville says:


Supposing Assange's victims did actually "consent" to the continuation of acts of rape, about which I am profoundly dubious, Assange's own attorney now concedes that was, at best, what happened here: His victims gave "subsequent consent" to sexual activity for which explicit consent was neither sought nor given, after having been assumed, for months, to have invented the act of rape out of revenge or because they were government operatives or whatthefuckever.

I think I may have pointed out once or twice or three million times in this space that the people who benefit from rape apologia and victim-blaming, of the precise sort that we've seen with regard to the accusations against Julian Assange, are rapists.

Which is a pretty strong incentive not to engage in it, if you don't like rape or rapists.

But somehow it's never strong enough to deter the invocation of the same old tired rape culture narratives when it comes to defending an Important Man Doing Important Work.

Whoops. You defended a rapist.MORE


Further reading:


From scarleteen.com How can men know if someone is giving consent or not? possible trigger warnings as the article describes situations which are rape in order to point out to all and sundry that these situations are in fact, rape.

And if you buy one book this year, or borrow it from the library, it should be this one:

The Revolution Starts at Home:Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities
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Missing Milly Dowler's voicemail was hacked by News of the World


• Deleted voicemails gave family false hope
• Hacking interfered with police hunt
• Family lawyer: actions 'heinous and despicable'

The News of the World illegally targeted the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler and her family in March 2002, interfering with police inquiries into her disappearance, an investigation by the Guardian has established.

...


Milly Dowler disappeared at the age of 13 on her way home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on 21 March 2002.

Detectives from Scotland Yard's new inquiry into the phone hacking, Operation Weeting, are believed to have found evidence of the targeting of the Dowlers in a collection of 11,000 pages of notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator jailed for phone hacking on behalf of the News of the World.

...

Their first step was simple, albeit illegal. Paperwork seen by the Guardian reveals that they paid a Hampshire private investigator, Steve Whittamore, to obtain home addresses and, where necessary, ex-directory phone numbers for any families called Dowler in the Walton area. The three addresses Whittamore found could be obtained lawfully on the electoral register. The two ex-directory numbers, however, were "blagged" illegally from British Telecom's confidential records by one of Whittamore's associates, John Gunning, who works from a base in Wiltshire. One of the ex-directory numbers was attributed by Whittamore to Milly's family home.

Then, with the help of its own full-time private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, the News of the World started illegally intercepting mobile phone messages. Scotland Yard is now investigating evidence that the paper hacked directly into the voicemail of the missing girl's own phone. As her friends and parents called and left messages imploring Milly to get in touch with them, the News of the World was listening and recording their every private word.

But the journalists at the News of the World then encountered a problem. Milly's voicemail box filled up and would accept no more messages. Apparently thirsty for more information from more voicemails, the News of the World intervened – and deleted the messages that had been left in the first few days after her disappearance. According to one source, this had a devastating effect: when her friends and family called again and discovered that her voicemail had been cleared, they concluded that this must have been done by Milly herself and, therefore, that she must still be alive. But she was not. The interference created false hope and extra agony for those who were misled by it.


The Dowler family then granted an exclusive interview to the News of the World in which they talked about their hope, quite unaware that it had been falsely kindled by the newspaper's own intervention. Sally Dowler told the paper: "If Milly walked through the door, I don't think we'd be able to speak. We'd just weep tears of joy and give her a great big hug."

The deletion of the messages also caused difficulties for the police by confusing the picture when they had few leads to pursue.It also potentially destroyed valuable evidence.MORE



via: [personal profile] andrewducker who linked to Lenin's Tomb: Predator commentary

...I consider this story sinister down to the last detail. Not just the hacking of Milly Dowler's voicemails; not just listening in to every word spoken by a distressed relative; not just deleting messages when the inbox was full, to make space for more messages; but actually profiting from the brief moment of false hope when people thought that Milly Dowler must have deleted the messages herself and thus be alive, by sending hacks round to conduct an exclusive interview with the unaware family about their hopes. In a depraved way, they circled around the vulnerable, knowingly, cynically awaiting a moment of weakness, brazenly bleeding them dry when the opportunity presented itself, creating some of the torment that they then exploited.

And Surrey police allowed them to do it. They say they had other priorities, that there was a lot of dirty stuff going on. They couldn't even trust their own mobile phones for fear of being hacked, had evidence of News of the World openly breaking the law, and refused to move a muscle against them. As anyone who has followed the 'hacking' scandal knows, there is a long history of evidence of illegal behaviour by the News of the World which the police have refused to act over - doubtless unrelated to the cosy relationship enjoyed by Newscorps executives with senior police officers. The Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service both declined to take up the extensive evidence of criminality. Not only that, but the politicians backed off from any parliamentary inquiry for fear that Murdoch's hacks would delve into their private lives. As a result, this vile organisation continues to be at liberty to not merely pump out toxic propaganda, which would not distinguish it, or defile the senses with endless vulgarisation and degradation, but actually wreck lives in quite a direct way. And the Murdoch empire continues to expand for as long as he doesn't run out of political allies.

It will never stop until there is a comprehensive popular rejection of the Murdoch press, and particularly its two staple tabloids.MORE



So how long is it going to take to put these people in jail and o kick Murdoch out of the country? There should be backlash on this like woah!
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via [personal profile] andrewducker Refusal to unveil scuppers French refusal-to-unveil trial:Blind justice finds itself in a blind alley

A burqa-clad woman yesterday rather brilliantly exposed a fatal flaw in France's ban on the traditional Muslim garb when she attended court to face a charge of "covering her face in a public place", and then simply refused to take off her burqa for the hearing.

The 31-year-old mum, identified only by her first name Hind, was arrested in Meaux back in May after travelling from Paris for an anti-ban protest. She and fellow defendant Najet were summoned to appear before the local court, and the former took the chance to mount a protest scuppering the proceedings.

While Najet stayed at home since she "knew she would be stopped from entering", as the Telegraph puts it, Hind rolled up to be told by police commissioner Philippe Tireloque: "For the hearing to go ahead, you must remove the veil. Justice must be administered in a calm atmosphere."

Hind replied: "I'll keep my veil on at all times. It's non-negotiable. The law forbids me from expressing myself, and indeed from defending myself. It forces me to dress a certain way, when all I want to do is live according to my religion."
Since cops are under "strict orders" not to remove burqas, the authorities had no choice but to cancel the hearing and send Hind on her way. MORE


Jun 3 Kenza Drider: I Will Go To Jail for the Right to Wear The Veil

SHE is France's most outspoken critic of the proposed burka ban - and she would rather go to PRISON than remove her face veil.

Kenza Drider, 30, says she had been wearing the niqab for 11 years with no problem.

But now, thanks to the debate stirred up by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, she finds herself bombarded with HATE-FILLED insults.

On one occasion, she was even lunged at by a knife-wielding maniac who then tried to run her over in front of her petrified kids.

French-born Kenza blasts the French authorities as "anti-Islam" and says it is now "almost a crime" to be a Muslim in her country.

But she defiantly told The Sun: "I am prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights and I will fight for my liberty. What is the state going to do - send a policeman to my front door to give me a ticket every time I go out?

"Frankly I would rather go to prison than take off the face veil.

"Are they going to put a woman in prison because of a scrap of material? It's ridiculous and makes the country I love look stupid."

MORE





(May 25th) Hundreds gather to take on Islamophobia

Sanum Ghafoor reports on the anti-Islamophobia conference organised by the Enough Coalition, and explains why the initiative is so important.


Read more... )


April 11, 2011 France: Defying the Burqa Ban

Read more... )




A 21st century Freedom Ride

Chris Nineham explains the rationale for the recent conference on Islamophobia,["Confronting Anti-Muslim Hatred in Britain and Europe"] the dangers of this new racism and the Freedom Ride that aims to challenge racist French law.

Read more... )

ETA: French Couple Sues Over Burqa Ban


Read more... )
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[personal profile] lauredhel links and comments on the following assholery: Disabled sweatshops looming in the UK?



A Conservative MP [Philip Davies] has suggested "vulnerable" jobseekers - including disabled people - should be allowed to work for less than the minimum wage.[...]

The MP claimed the most vulnerable, including those with learning disabilities and mental health problems, were disadvantaged in their search for work because they had to compete with candidates without disabilities and could not offer to accept lower pay.


Seriously, what the fuck.

"If those people who consider it is being a hindrance to them, and in my view that's some of the most vulnerable people in society, if they feel that for a short period of time, taking a lower rate of pay to help them get on their first rung of the jobs ladder, if they judge that that is a good thing, I don't see why we should be standing in their way.""


'For a short period of time'. Yes, I'm sure that's EXACTLY how it would work!

This isn't 'conservative' in the sense of keeping things are they are, it's desperately trying to go backwards, in the worst possible way, pushing towards new layers of underclasses in the employment market. And yes, I realise we already have this situation here, and it's a disgrace. And a Labour MP makes that point - at the very end of the article.
MORE


Then she links to this article on the subject:


Disabled people and the minimum wage


Would disabled people actually benefit if they were paid less than the minimum wage? Today Conservative MP Philip Davies claimed that allowing employers to pay a lower wage to disabled people would help them to get jobs: “the national minimum wage may be more of a hindrance than a help”, he said.

This isn’t just morally wrong, it’s bad labour market policy as well. After the national minimum wage was introduced without excluding disabled people, employment rates rose for disabled people and the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people came down.

The context for all this was the Employment Opportunities Bill, yet another attempt by Christopher Chope MP to water down the minimum wage. The Private Member’s Bill was easily seen off – it only attracted 5 votes in favour – but Philip Davies succeeded in snatching the limelight from Mr Chope.

Mr Davies says he decided that disabled people would be better off without the minimum wage after visiting a surgery run by Mind, the mental health charity, where people with mental health problems had “accepted” that they would have difficulty competing for jobs with non-disabled jobseekers.

The suggestion that employers must be bribed with a lower pay bill to recruit disabled people shows a complete lack of understanding of the capacities of disabled people generally and people with mental health problems in particular.

MORE
gavagai: Look, you're British, so scale it down a bit, alright? (britishness)
[personal profile] gavagai
I don't know how many people have been reading the Guardian's NHS reforms blog, but I've been completely hooked on it - it's wrapping up for the summer now, after posting every weekday for two months. It's covered a great variety of topics and had featured interviews with people from policy analysts to patient advocates, with generally masses of fascinating material that doesn't make it into the dead-tree paper. Yesterday it had reports from a heart operation at Great Ormond Street on a two-week-old baby, which I found genuinely awe-inspiring - there were some queriesut whether it was unnecessary, or voyeuristic, which I understand, but I love good reporting that acts as a snapshot of the extraordinary within daily life.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
xposted

The most tragic day of Igbo history: 29 May 1966

29 May 1966, the Igbo Day of Affirmation, marks both the start of the 1966 genocide against the Igbo people and the day they decided to survive the violence unleashed against them, writes Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe.\


For the Igbo, prior to 29 May 1966, three important holidays were high up on their annual calendar: The Igbo National Day, the iri ji, or the New Yam Festival, and 1 October. The latter was the day of celebration for the restoration of independence for peoples in Nigeria after 60 years of the British conquest and occupation. Or, so were the thoughts predicated on this date’s designation.

ORIGINS

The Igbo were one of the very few constituent nations in what was Nigeria, again prior to 29 May 1966, who understood, fully, the immense liberatory possibilities ushered in by 1 October and the interlocking challenges of the vast reconstructionary work required for state and societal transformation in the aftermath of foreign occupation.

The Igbo had the most robust economy in the country in their east regional homeland. Not only did they supply the country with its leading writers, artists and scholars, they also supplied the country’s top universities with vice-chancellors and leading professors and scientists. They supplied the country with its first indigenous university (the prestigious university at Nsukka), with its leading and most spirited pan-Africanists and its top diplomats. They supplied the country’s leading high schools with head teachers and administrators, supplied the country with its top bureaucrats, supplied the country with its leading businesspeople and supplied the country with an educated, top-rated professional officers-corps for its military and police forces. In addition they supplied the country with its leading sportspersons, essentially and effectively worked the country’s rail, postal, telegraphic, power, shipping and aviation services to quality standards not seen since in Nigeria MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Benoît Assou-Ekotto and Sébastien Bassong attack France race quotas

Benoît Assou-Ekotto still finds the concept faintly amazing, despite having lived in England for the past five years, and so does Sébastien Bassong, his Tottenham Hotspur team-mate, who has been in the country now for three. When the French-born Cameroon internationals ask colleagues such as Jermain Defoe or Aaron Lennon where they come from, the answers touch a nerve that is red raw in France at present.

"They say, of course, that they are English or British," Assou-Ekotto says. "At first, I thought that they must be ashamed of their origins because coming from where I did in France, even if you had only one little drop of Moroccan blood, for example, you would represent it to the death. You would be fiercely proud of being African.

"But here, it is different. People might say that their parents are from Ivory Coast, Nigeria or wherever but they are fiercely proud of being here and the society accepts that, which is a big difference to France. When you ask the same question in France, people will say, 'I'm from Congo or Mali or Cameroon' because there isn't the sense of belonging."

...

But the general unpleasantness of the affair has raised more fundamental questions, with the most prominent concerning why young men such as Assou-Ekotto and Bassong, who were born and raised in France, can feel such a disconnection from the society and, by extension, the France national team.

"I'm surprised by this affair but I'm not necessarily shocked because it's a reflection of French society as I see it," Assou-Ekotto says. "I would put a question to you. Can you name another country where, when the national anthem is sung at the stadium, people boo and whistle? This happens in France all the time. It is not foreigners who make up the crowd; it is people who are supposed to be French and yet there is this disconnect between the state and the people, and they do that. And yet, when something is wrong, they highlight the foreigners.

"France has, at its heart, a problem where it has been unable or unwilling to accommodate the sons and daughters of its former colonies, even though France benefited and enriched itself greatly from the relationship. That's hard to accept and it's what sits at the base of what is dysfunctional in France
."MORE


I and other have been saying this shit for a long fucking while: if the dominant culture is nasty to its immigrants then what the fuck do they expect said immigrants to do? Continue to hold out their hands to get slapped? Of course they are going to be alienated and draw away from the dominant society. This is logic and common fraking sense! Now the fun thing of course is that Britian has it own issues with immigration. But damn France, damn.


the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Glencore’s Economics Lessons


What does it take to make the food speculators at Goldman Sachs look like they’re playing for lunch money? A secretive Swiss-based company, and one of the world’s largest commodity trading firms, knows. With its initial public offering announced on Thursday,Glencore – a multibillion-dollar mining, energy and food trader that will soon list in London and Hong Kong – is the envy of Wall Street. When Goldman Sachs was floated, the then CEO Hank Paulson made off with $219m. Glencore’s chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg, has already earned the moniker “The Ten Billion Dollar Man” for his share of the bonanza.

 

Glencore will be the first company in 25 years to make the FTSE 100 on its first day of trading, with an estimated valuation of about $60bn. The company has had an average return on equity of 38% (compared to Goldman Sachs’s 12%). Its base in the Swiss town of Baar has freed it of even the minimal regulation US-based companies entertain. Not by accident does Glencore find itself in Switzerland. Like the mining and oil trading companyTrafigura, Glencore is a descendant of the Marc Rich group. Rich fled the US in 1983 after being indicted by a federal prosecutor, Rudolph Giuliani, for tax evasion and trading with Iran (though he was pardoned by Bill Clinton). As Marcia Vickers reported in a Businessweek exposé: “Rich’s philosophy is that no law applies to him.”

In exchange for going public and raising money for further acquisitions, Glencore will now have to submit to the bared gums of UK regulators – whose rules are far less onerous than their US counterparts. With the funds from its flotation, the company looks set to dominate the fields in which it chooses to operate. Although primarily a mining and energy company, it has substantial interests in food – controlling around a quarter of the global market for barley, sunflower and rape seed, and 10% of the world’s wheat market.

In the weeks before flotation, Glencore allowed us a glimpse of the kind of power it wields. Last year Russia, the world’s third largest wheat exporter, experienced a drought the like of which had never been recorded; fires damaged tens of thousands of acres of cereal.

MORE
Hoo-fucking RAY.
the_future_modernes: (sometimes ya gotta blow shit UP!)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Black and minority ethnic arts: the unfairest funding cuts of all?

Last month, as over 1,300 arts organisations nervously waited for Arts Council England emails to arrive in their inboxes, containing news about whether they would have funding from next year, the Daily Mail's theatre critic made a bold prediction: it would be "temples to middle-class taste and artistic excellence" that would suffer disproportionately. "Fringier outfits," he speculated, "particularly those of an inner-city, multicultural kidney, may do rather better." Companies such as the RSC and English National Ballet (in receipt of over £16m and £6m respectively in the current financial year), would lose out, thanks to "corduroyed luvvies" and "left-wing breast beating about 'broadening access'".


The reality, as we now know, was somewhat different: just 57 of 650 black or minority ethnic (BME) organisations were welcomed into the Arts Council's national portfolio (NPO) roster, down from the 74 that previously existed as regularly funded organisations (RFOs).

Indeed, inner-city arts centres specifically targeting multi-ethnic audiences faced some of the biggest cuts: London's Rich Mix, Watermans and Yaa Asantewaa saw their funding slashed by more than half. Meanwhile, Greenroom, a performing arts venue in Manchester led by the country's only black British artistic director, saw its entire £295,000 grant vanish; 25 years after it opened, the space is set to close at the end of next month.
Elsewhere, the casualties began to mount up. Nitro, Britain's oldest black theatre company, lost all its annual funding (£273,000), as did south Asian storytelling company Vayu Naidu (£63,000). Five carnival arts organisations were shed from the new portfolio; as well as street arts company Xtrax, the Osun Arts Foundation, dance companies Henri Oguike and Chitraleka, Collective Artistes – the list goes on. Perhaps most surprising of all, though, was the 100% cut to Yellow Earth – the country's only east Asian theatre company.



Read more... )
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[personal profile] happydork
Posting at [personal profile] the_future_modernes's request.

On Thursday 5th May, there is a referendum being held in the UK on changing the system for electing members of parliament.

The full text of the question will be

At present, the UK uses the “first past the post” system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the “alternative vote” system be used instead?


First Past The Post (FPTP), the current system, works as follows:

The voter: Marks their first choice candidate.

The returning officer: Counts how many votes each candidate has. The candidate with the greatest number of votes wins.

Alternative Vote (AV), the proposed system, works as follows:

The voter: Puts the candidates in order of preference.

The returning officer:
1) Counts how many first choice votes each candidate has. If one candidate has over 50%, that candidate wins. If not, the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated from consideration.
2) In each subsequent round, each vote counts for the voter's favourite candidate who is still in the running. If one candidate has over 50% of the vote, that candidate wins. If not, the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated and the procedure is repeated.

(If this is not clear, a worked example of AV may be helpful.)

I strongly recommend A Guide to the Alternative Vote (pdf) by Roger Mortimore, Ipsos MORI SRI Director of Political Analysis as a clear, interesting and reasonably unbiased guide to the debate.

I've also put together my own (biased) collection of links.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Its an education alright

British universities now see themselves as companies, and students are the losers.

Anyone who believes that knowledge has no price should look away now. For the past month I've been involved with an investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches that revealed just how far the market has penetrated higher education. We discovered highly paid managerial elites running universities as factories where students are little more than customers shopping for degrees.

We started with the top university bosses, who have been lobbying for a rise in tuition fees for years. Vice-chancellors take home an average salary
of £254,000, are often given free accommodation, and claim thousands in expenses.

Take Brian Cantor from York University, who last year took home nearly £255,000 even as York faced a £1.48m cut in state funding. MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Twitter Hashtag #ukuncut
Website UK Uncut

UK Uncut and Saturday’s London Protests


"It wasn't just students involved in this protest. There was a lot of people from all walks of life involved," says Laurie Penny of the New Statesman, who joins us from London to talk abut the newest round of protests led by UK Uncut. Saturday's protests saw crowds in excess of 500,000 and violent clashes with police forces.

Penny joins us from London where she has been observing the protests first-hand to talk about the protests, the media coverage, and what comes next. This segment is concluded with a piece of a new video by The Alternatives entitled "It Cuts Both Ways."



Setting the record straight: Occupying for the Alternative (full length version of Guardian piece)

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Why Fortnum & Mason?

Tax scam

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Cuts protesters claim police tricked them into mass arrest

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Cuts protest: I'm a political prisoner now


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Peaceful occupation and arrest - an account of #ukuncut on #march26 by @magiczenbras Apparently she's the 15 year old referred to in the above post.

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Why I Marched, Why I Occupied

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A Major Win for UK UnCut


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A Day in teh Life ...of An Armchair Protestor

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A message for arrestees at Fortnum and Mason

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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
LESOTHO


Has Lesotho bridged the gender gap?

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MOZAMBIQUE

MOZAMBIQUE Educator in the foothills of her political career

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BOTSWANA

BOTSWANA: Women in Politics – A House Divided… But Determined

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ECUADOR

ECUADOR Trees on Shaky Ground in Texaco’s Rainforest

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EL SALVADOR-HONDURAS

EL SALVADOR-HONDURAS Forgotten People of the Border Pact

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YEMEN

EWAMT:Yemeni Women in Protest

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Empowerment of Women Activists in Media Techniques -Yemen


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INDIA

Deaf seek level field on disability

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The Word on Women - Rehabilitation cuts no ice with India's sex workers\

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PANAMA

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A wild weekend of rebellion and repression
Three journalists among those arrested, with deportation proceedings against a La Prensa columnist:Martinelli sends in cops, lashes out at anti-mining protesters

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Preliminary report on human rights violations during the days of protest against mining reform in Panama, January to March 2011 PDF Format


Rival leaders assert claims in the Ngabe-Bugle Comarca

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US citizen remains a political prisoner in Panama:WikiLeaks highlights, worsens US-Panamanian relations



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WikiLeaks: Colombian company, subsidiary of Panamanian company, was doing Plan Colombia and US Defense Department subcontracting despite many reputed drug cartel ties

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FRANCE
 


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BRITAIN
 


No family in Britain will escape George Osbourne's cuts Read more... )Diary of a disability benefit claimant Read more... )



'The medical was an absolute joke'


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