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Ghana’s Growing Gay Pride Faces Now-Familiar Evangelical Backlash

On particular midweek nights, throngs of men and women gather at a few particular clubs to dance the night away to pulsating beats, and sometimes live music. The men dance provocatively close to each other, with reckless abandon. The few women around do the same with each other. Kisses are even exchanged.

At seaside dance parties where beer and reggae flow to all and sundry, it’s no longer uncommon for men and women in Ghana’s capital city, Accra, to test the waters and try to pick up companions of the same sex. Even in conservative Ghana, it seems that gays and lesbians are taking steps out in the public domain, at least at night.

But like elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, a backlash to that new openness has erupted as well. Since late May, it has spilled out onto the radio. Hours are spent debating whether gays should be allowed to exist here. Then Ghanaians wake up to national headlines screaming that gays and lesbians are dirty and sinful and ought to be locked up.

The pattern is becoming a familiar one throughout sub-Saharan Africa. As evangelical Christianity has seen its fastest growth on the continent, gay communities have simultaneously grown more open. The parallel developments have led to a growing list of countries in which politicians and media outlets have both incited and exploited social panic around sexuality. In the late 1990s, a beleaguered Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe drew global attention as he invited violence against gay people and blamed the country’s growing troubles on the European deprivation he said they symbolized. Since then, similar moments have struck in places stretching across the continent. Most recently, Uganda has been embroiled in controversy over a proposed law that would, among other things, allow the death penalty as a punishment for homosexuality. The authors of that law are closely tied to the U.S. religious right.

Now, this West African nation is having its own gay-dialogue moment and, once again, much of it has been unsavory, with religious leaders and some politicians stoking the flames.

Gay bashing had never been a feature of the Ghanaian social landscape until, oh, I would say the last 10-15 years. And it came with the evangelical Christians,” says Nat Amartefio, 67, a historian, lifelong resident and former mayor of Accra.MORE



Questions: WHY is evangelical Christianity so popular? What needs and wants does it fulfill? Who is funding it? Who are the missionaries? How in the hell do we stop it? Why is it that progressive Christianity seems to be so fucking far behind the assholes? Because GODDAMN, I am sick and fucking TIRED of this.
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'Ditch the witch': How the Murdoch press is using misogyny to wage war on Australian PM Julia Gillard

A year ago, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had won her first election, silencing grumbles from some corners that she hadn’t properly won the leadership of the Australian Labor Party from previous leader Kevin Rudd. The ALP win was a close thing. Gillard had to scramble to negotiate with three independents and the Australian Greens in order to form a coalition – in part because her party lost a lot of votes on its left flank to the increasingly popular Greens. Not only was Gillard remarkable for the close shave, or for being Australia’s first female Prime Minister, but she was also an unmarried atheist without children and with a reputation for progressive thinking. In Australia’s fairly conservative political landscape, in which it seemed unlikely that we’d have a Prime Minister who wasn’t a very wealthy married Christian father any time soon, this was unbelievable.

A year on, the left is just slightly confused about Gillard’s swing to the right – see for instance, our esteemed editor on the “Malaysian solution.” One might then wonder why, just a year out from the election in which they backed Gillard, Rupert Murdoch’s conservative media is baying for her blood.

What’s going on exactly? The big news story in Australia over the last few months has been a proposed carbon tax. Should it go ahead, only 0.02 per cent of Australian businesses will be taxed under this scheme, and 90 per cent of households will receive compensation for the increase in expenses they will undergo as we change over to clean energy. So far, so good – except barely anyone in the country knows those facts. Whoever is running the media show over at the ALP is floundering. Pushed hard by opposition leader Tony Abbott and Murdoch’s News Limited, the only message that is getting through is that the carbon tax is outrageous. Given that News Limited has control of about three quarters of metropolitan daily newspaper circulation in Australia, that’s quite a push. Read more... )

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via: [www.livejournal profile] ontd_politicsRecordings Prove DSK Accuser Never Said She Wanted Money

Read more... )

Misportrayed?!!?? MISPORTRAYED!!!! THEY LIED!!! Why the FUCK can't you say it!!!! You all called HER a liar easily enough!!!! THE FUCKING AUTHORITIES LIED! And you wonder why the HELL we look at the police with disgust and scorn????


Meantime she has been working up a media blitz to tell her side of the story: Here's a press conference clip, again from [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political Nafissatou Diallo speaks out at press conference




And TRANSCRIPT! HERE


MSNBC has some of the remarks But do not read the comments. The prosecutors have poisoned the well and I hope to god the elected officials lose their campaign bid in 2013.


Racialicious:Nafissatou Diallo, Dominique Strauss Kahn, Race, Immigration, and Power

The framing of cases is so important, as it shifts judgements in the court of public opinion. Since Diallo has chosen to step forward as the accuser (perhaps in response to the media backlash around her life and reputation), news outlets have clamored to get the scoop. Newsweek published an exclusive interview a few days ago, with some telling language:

Read more... )

Indeed.

Jul. 25th, 2011 06:53 pm
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Same ableist shit, different day

Seriously, people. I know we on the blogging left like to get all high and mighty about how awesomely smart we are – what kind of idiot votes for National because they like John Key’s smile, right? Who seriously watches Fox News [unless it's for awesomely cool hipster lulz, y/y?]?

But it seems like we lose sight of the fact that the people who do vote in a way we don’t like, who do trust news sources we scoff at … are still people. People probably getting just as, if not more, fucked on by capitalism as the rest of us. People who don’t have the privilege of time and spoons for political awareness and sarcastic bloggery.

Those people are not insane. I mean, do I even have to say that? Apparently.

Because it’s not insane to be raised in a culture with ideals and memes about journalism and the news, and believe what the news tells you.

And it’s not mentally ill to accept that politicians who get elected to office, or people who write books which become bestsellers, or people with big fancy letters after their names, are people we are meant to listen to, or people who are assumed to have integrity, or people whose status indicates knowledge and entitlement to lead.

And maybe if it’s not insane to watch the news, to trust journalists, to listen to politicians, in general terms … it’s probably not insane to end up with a general sense of unease and distrust and xenophobia. It doesn’t take mental illness to become convinced that basic democratic principles are under threat wherever one may be, and it’s not subnormal to be swayed by rhetoric and propaganda techniques developed over fucking centuries and which societies have become pretty good at using to perpetuate their own values and avoid change.

MORE



via: hoydenabouttown
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Because this entire thing is pissing me off, apparently Swedish Television is pointing out sense:


Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t


Islamophobes have been popularizing the claim that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but (nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.” Despite this idea becoming axiomatic in some circles, it is quite simply not factual. In my previous article entitled “All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t”, I usedofficial FBI records to show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Islamic extremists. The remaining 94% were from other groups (42% from Latinos, 24% from extreme left wing groups, 7% from extremist Jews, 5% from communists, and 16% from all other groups).

But what about across the pond? The data gathered by Europol strengthens my argument even further. (hat tip: Koppe) Europol publishes an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report. On their official website, you can access the reports from 2007, 2008, and 2009. (If anyone can find the reports from earlier than that, please let me know so we can include those as well.)

The results are stark, and prove decisively that not all terrorists are Muslims. In fact, a whopping 99.6% of terrorist attacks in Europe were by non-Muslim groups; a good 84.8% of attacks were from separatist groups completely unrelated to Islam. Leftist groups accounted for over sixteen times as much terrorism as radical Islamic groups. Only a measly 0.4% of terrorist attacks from 2007 to 2009 could be attributed to extremist Muslims.


MORE



via: [livejournal.com profile] stealmyhorses here @ [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political Can we STOP PRETENDING THAT ALL TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIM NOW?????? OR that they are UNIQUELY VIOLENT???!!?!?? And considering that US news networks are apparently being atrociously bad in covering this event, whereas if a Muslim spits in someone's direction its 24hr fearmongering...GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! No fuuckinG WONDER people aren't aware that there are terrorists who are not Muslim. The non-Muslims are pawned off as crazy and one-offs, while the Muslims are part of the great conspiracy to attack te West and destroy it to its foundations, or so your tv would tell ya.

Huh?

Jul. 24th, 2011 01:07 am
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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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People & Power: Freedom from Pain




For much of the Western world, physical pain ends with a simple pill. Yet more than half the world's countries have little to no access to morphine, the gold standard for treating medical pain.

Freedom from Pain shines a light on this under-reported story. "For a victim of police torture, they will usually sign a confession and the torture stops," says Diederik Lohman of Human Rights Watch in the film. "For someone who has cancer pain, that torturous experience continues for weeks, and sometimes months on end."

Unlike so many global health problems, pain treatment is not about money or a lack of drugs, since morphine costs pennies per dose and is easily made. The treatment of pain is complicated by many factors, including drug laws, bureaucratic rigidity and commercial disincentives.

In India, the first stop in the film and the world's largest grower of medicinal poppy for developed countries, there are severe restrictions to the use of morphine domestically. In 27 out of 28 states in India, narcotics laws are so strict that doctors fear prescribing it, and patients literally scream for relief. Drug companies have little incentive to manufacture morphine for the domestic market because of reporting requirements and small profit margins.

In the Ukraine, the film reveals that access to pain medication is halted by outdated, Soviet-style bureaucracy, arbitrary limits on doses, and a lack of oral morphine. As a result, many patients experience prolonged bouts of untreated pain, particularly in rural areas. In the Ukraine, we learn that Artur, a former decorated KGB colonel suffering from prostate cancer, sleeps with a gun under his pillow - his only way out, should he decide his pain is too great. MORE


Poppies for Pain Relief


Millions of individuals worldwide suffer from acute or chronic painwithout adequate access to pain medication. The problem is particularly acute in the developing world, as Time Magazinechronicled last year:

Whether you will have access to pain treatment depends largely upon where you live. Africa, which has most of the world’s AIDS victims, is a painkiller wasteland. In India, more than a million cancer and AIDS sufferers die each year in extreme pain as cumbersome regulations and paperwork make it nearly impossible to get prescription painkillers. (India produces much of the world’s legal opium, yet nearly all of it is exported to Western pharmaceutical companies.)

The geography of pain relief is so skewed that the seven richest countries consume 84% of the world’s supply of legal opiates, according to the International Narcotics Control Board, an independent agency that enforces U.N. conventions. For the estimated 10 million people who are suffering from untreated pain, relief is often found only on the black market, or in death

This gaping unmet need and global inequity is becoming the subject of various calls for change, by pain experts, by cancer treatment advocates, by international organizations, and by the human rights community. As Brent Foster explains in this podcast, the reasons behind the inequitable global distribution of pain medication are complex – like many intractable global social problems that get too little attention by policymakers.

However, a significant (and solvable) aspect of the problem is simply the relationship of supply to demand: the need for analgesics like morphine far outweighs the available supply. In part, this is due to the fact that such analgesics are produced from opium, the sap of the poppy. Since the same plant extract can also be used to produce heroin, a significant amount of political effort is now being expended worldwide to actually inhibit, rather than encourage, opoid production. This fuels shortages of analgesics.MORE



Getting Relief in Wartime: Opioids, Pain Management, and the War on Drugs

Profile from the War on Drugs: Joseph Casias

The Government's Cruel War On Pain Medication

The Pain Relief Network Archives


ETA: Depending on narcotics via [personal profile] annaham
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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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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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xposted:

TRIGGER WARNING FOR VIOLENCE COMMITTED DURING THE RAPE AND VERBAL VIOLENCE COMMITTED UPON THE VICTIM BY THE FUCKING POLICE.



Strauss-Kahn's Accuser Doubly Vicitimised, Advocates Say

"All of those things do not have anything to do with whether or not she was raped," said Human Rights Watch's Marianne Mollman in an interview with IPS.

"I would like to see one single person who has never told a lie in their life," she added.

Thompson acknowledged the significance of the new information.

"Her credibility is important, any rape victim's credibility is important," he said, "but you cannot become blind to the physical, corroborating evidence." The real question, he said, is, "What is true?"

He noted photos of the accuser's bruises, doctor's reports of a shoulder injury, and a pair of stockings, allegedly torn by Strauss- Kahn as the woman tried to escape.

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[personal profile] buria_q

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/2011531125012985362.html

why is naomi wolf always shady and warped about powerful men who commit sexual assaults? previously, she was defending julian assange and saying the sexual assaults were no big deal on democracy now. now  she is tying in Dominique Strauss-Kahn to a crtique about the rise of surveillance and the patriot act. way to not even touch upon how muslim communities and ordinary people are surveilled...she apparenly wants people to feel sorry for people who are public figures who abuse their power. DSK was "outed" bc the woman he assaulted reported it. why should he be be allowed to slink off and have "privacy" for his actions? am  i missing something here? she makes no bloody sense but she's already established, so no matter what she spouts, she'll find someplace to publish it.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Gbagbo captured by rival's forces
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Here's how it went down:

Gbagbo being held by Ouattara forces

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This after French and UN forces had been pounding Gbagbo's forces over the past couple of days:


UN and French forces pound Gbagbo loyalist camps in Ivory Coast

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Not a whole lot of people were pleased with French troops running around rampant during all of this April 7th


and questions like this have been bubbling up since April 5th. Côte d'Ivoire: Is Foreign Intervention Legal?


Al Jazeera's Listening Post talks about the media war between Gbagbo and Ouattarra that began after the election and ramped up as the war heated up, and the relatively low international media response to the whole conflict (with the exception of France) in this interesting April 9th episode

In the meantime: Have a quick look at Gbagbo's chequered political career
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WARNING, however. Ouatarra's hands are not clean: Manufacturing Cote d'Ivoire's 'good guy'


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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
[personal profile] synecdochic has a good post on the recent DDOS attacks on LJ: LiveJournal's DDoS and Russian Politics

This is (probably part of the reason) why LiveJournal has been under DDoS attack in the last few weeks:

Alexey Navalny's War on Russian Corruption


I remember -- back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Brad still owned LJ -- slowly noticing that LJ was becoming more and more prevalent in Russia and in the Russian political arena. We always thought it was slightly odd -- how did this site that had been originally designed for US college students turn into this juggernaut in Russia? -- but really incredibly awesome. Even when we'd started to get incredible numbers of support requests (and abuse requests, which were horribly worse, since 90% of support requests could be handled with an online translator and a FAQ, and while 90% of abuse requests could be handled with a FAQ too, first you had to read and evaluate the content being reported, and online translation is a shitty way to figure out if a ToS violation was present, and we only had one translator who could only give us a few hours a week, and and and), which slowly piled up into an unmanageable stack of stuff I just couldn't handle without outside help that wasn't always available, making my numbers look like shit, I was always conscious of the fact that on the other side of the world, the website I was helping to run was, essentially, the only free press of an entire country.

The word for "blog" in the Russian language is literally 'ЖЖ' -- the abbreviation for Живой Журнал, or LiveJournal. (Although the automatic translators tended to render it as 'Alive Magazine', which always amused me.) The president of Russia keeps an LJ. (Or a ЖЖ.) There's pretty much no doubt in my mind that the Russian-language market for LJ is what kept LJ from being shut down by Six Apart after acquisition -- 6A had a history of buying companies for the intellectual property and the people who worked there, using that intellectual property and the employees for other projects they had in mind, and shutting down the property once they'd sucked out everything they wanted it for. The fact that Russian-language LJ was so strong meant they could sell the whole thing to SUP, which gave them a different method of disposal.

So, people who grumble about "the Russians" taking over LJ should remember that in Russia, LiveJournal isn't just the top blogging platform, it's theblogging platform. It is Russia's free press. It is the tool being used to fight corruption and advance the cause of democracy. And, more practically to LJ users, the Russian-speaking sector of LJ is the reason LJ is still there at all.
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Global Voices also has an extremely informative piece: Russia: Distributed Denial of LiveJournal

Russian DDoS warfare: 2007 - 2011

Frank, LiveJournal's mascot has now more reasons to cry. Screenshot of LiveJournal website.

Frank, LiveJournal's mascot, has now more reasons to cry. Screenshot of LiveJournal website.

The possibility of an attack on LiveJournal was predictable. In January 2010, when I was asked by Ivan Sigal, GV Executive Director, what were the most probable DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) targets in Russia, I called LiveJournal the most endangered platform. Usage and seriousness of DDoS, the universal online weapon used both for commercial extortions and political assaults, are increasing every year. Russia, in this context, is famous not only for having a long history of suppressing dissent, but also for being a country with one of the widest and cheapest markets for DDoS services.

Noticeable political DDoS attacks have been happening in Russia since 2007. Before the attack on LiveJournal, the targets were either independent or semi-independent media (novayagazeta.ru, kommersant.ru, vedomosti.ru being the most known cases), and pro-democracy political parties (mosyabloko.ru was attacked in 2007). 2011 has been marked by political DDoS, too. In the beginning of February 2011, the website [ru] of a small but vocalLibertarian Party of Russia was ‘DDoS-ed‘ [ru] by its virtual spoiler ‘Party of Liberty‘ [ru].

Things changed in 2011. On February 25, for the first time in the RuNet history, the website of the United Russia' party was attacked [ru]. A Ukraine-based information technology specialist has registered a website with a provocative name putinvzrivaetdoma.org ['Putin Blows Up Houses,' a reference to the conspiracy theory behind 1999 appartment bombings in Russia [ru] and installed LOIC (Low Orbital Ion Cannon, a weapon of choice of the Anonymous hacker group), an open-source tool for crowdsourced DDoS. For several hours, United Russia's website was unaccessible.

Commercials attacks are a grim reality for many websites as well - they are being organized on a daily basis, and their owners are being extorted [ru]. According to the latest research [ru] by Russian cybersecurity company Group IB, 35 percent of DDoS attacks are conducted by Russian (or, to be more precise, russophone) hackers.

 

Versions behind the attack

In these conditions, anonymous and relatively cheap DDoS attacks are more efficient than legal prosecution or physical harrassment of bloggers. Combined with human bots that spin “hot” topics, this tactic helps authorities deny any evident fact of cyber censorship. Other evidence of the political origin of these attacks is the fact that before LiveJournal, an anti-corruption website rospil.info had been attacked by infamous Darkness/Optima botnet (the name of the network of infected computers). These and other details of the attack were published by the independent analysis [ru] at Kaspersky Lab, a cyber security company.MORE


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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
In December last year, the Cancun climate change conference took place. Its taken me this long to be able to write about it because I've been so pissed at the way so many stronger countries proceeded to be selfish shortsighted assholes and committed the entire planet to runaway climate change. Now that I can look at the issue without heading off into paroxyms of RAGE, here are the links:


THE BEGINNING:

April 2010 Native Peoples Reject Market Mechanisms

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OCt 15, 2010 Climate Talks Tank, Global South Sinks Further

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Lost in Cancun

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Don't Look to South Africa for Leadership

Read more... )Because sending us headfirst into more extreme weather leading famine and death will be SO helpful with poverty alleviation.

UGANDA:Carbon Finance May Not Benefit Forest Communities

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WikiLeaks: US Manipulated Climate Agreement

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DURING THE SUMMIT

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Full Coverage

Alan Lissner's Cancun Photo and Video Montage

Groups Protest U.N. Climate Summit for Shutting out Civil Society

Cancún Betrayal: UNFCCC Unmasked as WTO of the Sky - IEN Statement on COP16 Outcome

GRASSROOTS CLIMATE JUSTICE IN CANCUN PART I

GRASSROOTS CLIMATE JUSTICE IN CANCUN PART II MORE articles at the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Page



MIGRANT DIARIES BLOGPOSTS
CJ from the USA


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For Life, Environment & Justice


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Closing out COP 16, Closing out Migrant Diaries

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Dispatch From Cancun: Developing Paradise in the Suicide Capital If you have triggers, you might want to skip this one.

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Battle in Cancun:The Fight for Climate Justice in the Streets, Encampments and Halls of Power

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Protesters Say "No" to Climate Market in Cancun

The short-cuts that the United Nations system is offering companies to profit from strategies against global warming were the target of loud protests on the Day of Action for Climate Justice.

Two separate demonstrations, of thousands of people each, were held Tuesday as the climate change summit that ends Friday in the southeastern Mexican resort town of Cancún enters the final stretch.

One of the protesters’ slogans, "País petrolero, el pueblo sin dinero" (In this oil-producing country, people have no money), referring to Mexico, underscored the main cause of the heating up of the planet: the burning of fossil fuels, a question that has been practically sidelined in the talks at the 16th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP16). MORE






UN's Tiniest Nation: "Help! We're Drowning"

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Q&A
"Create a Protocol Based on Non-Emissions"
Emilio Godoy interviews YOLANDA KAKABADSE, president of WWF *


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CLIMATE CHANGE
New Forest Agreement - REDD Hot Issue at Cancún


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THE AFTERMATH


La Via Campesina Statement on Cancun: The people hold thousands of solutions in their hands

Climate Capitalism Won at Cancun: Everyone else loses


Cancun Climate Breakthrough

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More thoughts on Cancun

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Cancun Calamity:The agreement reached at the Cancún climate talks was actually a step backwards, writes Nick Buxton

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Emissions punted to Durban, breakthroughs seen on Forests

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The Cancun Climate Pact Is Not a Victory for Climate Justice

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Three months later: AFRICA: Anxious Eyes on Green Climate Fund

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Twenty Years to Save Coral Reefs

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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
The World Social Forum which bills itself as ...

/
1) What is the World Social Forum?

The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. Since the first world encounter in 2001, it has taken the form of a permanent world process seeking and building alternatives to neo-liberal policies. This definition is in its Charter of Principles, the WSF’s guiding document.MORE



...took place in Dakar, Senegal in February this year.

THE BEGINNING

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AS IT HAPPENED


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ANALYZING THE AFTERMATH



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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
CôTE D'IVOIR. (guys? how do I get that punctuation mark on the "o" in Côte d'Ivoire?)

Côte d'Ivoire: The Difficult Legacy of Houphouët-Boigny

In order to better understand the origins of the current political crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, it is necessary to place recent events within the context of the post-colonial era.

Post-Colonial Politics

Félix Houphouët-Boigny was the first president of Côte d'Ivoire from its independence in 1960 to his death in 1993. Henri Konan Bédié, president of the national assembly succeeded the deceased president in accordance with the Ivorian constitution. In 1995, Henri Konan Bédié remained in power, having been elected with 96.44% of the vote.

Politician Laurent Koudou Gbagbo called a boycott of this presidential election due to reforms that had been implemented to the electoral code. He was elected as a member of parliament in his constituency after his party, the FPI (Ivorian Popular Front), won five of the eight seats in the elections.

General Robert Guéï overthrew President Bédié on December 24, 1999, after the latter attempted to change the constitution in his favor.

Presidential elections were then held in 2000 and Guéï was beaten by Laurent Koudou Gbagbo. The elections were marred however, by the elimination of several candidates by the Supreme Court including former president Bédié and politican Alassane Ouattarabecause of ”dubious nationality”, forgery and use of a false identity. During Ouattara's prime ministerial rule under President Houphouët-Boigny, Gbagbo was imprisoned as a political opponent in1992 and sentenced to two years in jail, although he was released after seven months.

The result of the contest was strongly contested by Guéï and some clashes marred this period; he eventually recognized the legitimacy of Gbagbo, thus winning FPI a majority of 91 seats in parliament (against 70 and 16 to the opposition).

While Gbagbo was abroad in September 2002, soldiers made an attempt to overthrow him. During the coup, several assassination attempts took place against political figures including Alassane Ouattara, and several difficult years in Ivorian politics ensued.

Bitter Context for 2010 Elections

It is within this context that elections were organized by the international community in December 2010.

MORE



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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Students at the University of Puerto Rico has been protesting since last year over an $800 tuition fee increase that will make it impossible for tons of their current and prospective classmates to continue their college education. And yet, in spite of widespread protest, government crackdowns of cruel proportions, a whole lot of bleeding, and general dramatics, news coverage of this event has remained sporadic and cursory. There we are and continue to be, panting of revolutions and divers protestation in foreign lands including Thailand, Bahrain, Iran, Egypt etc, and yet, although Puerto Rico is a part of the United States, mainland news media throughly ignores the whole thing. Last year the governor went so far as to take down the University gates and order the occupation of the University by armed police officers, in order to stop any 'leftist activism' on the campus. ACLU Update of Events. You'd think that clear constitutional violation would merit a great many screaming headlines, but nope. One wonders why that is? In May 2010 this article was published when the student demonstrations were getting underway: Student protest in Puerto Rico, but where is the news coverage? The questions she asks there are distressingly current today. I have to search very very diligently to get the few articles I present here:




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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
You read that right! This is epicness personified!!! The quorum needed is 20. Republicans have 19. Therefore the Dems have skipped town! ETA: Post edited for some accuracy Thanks [personal profile] laceblade!


Progressive Solidarity Movement Emerges In Wisconsin


Today, 14 Democratic Wisconsin State Senators walked out of the chamber holding up solidarity fists — denying Republicans the quorum to hold a vote on the Budget Repair Bill, which would strip public employees of their right to collectively bargain. According to reports, the State Senate Democrats have fled the state to avoid state troopers forcing them to come back into quorum. Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D) told WisPolitics this afternoon that “Senate Democrats left the state in an attempt to force Republicans to negotiate a compromise to proposed changes to the bargaining rights of public employees.”


Some state troopers have already told union leaders that, in a sign of support for striking workers, they are refusing to track down or arrest any state legislators that they encounter. Capitol Police already have refused to kick out of the State Capitol the
nearly 5,000 protestors that the Wisconsin Department of Administration has announced are there. Early today, reports from Twitter and sources on the ground said that protesters were literally blocking members of the Wisconsin State Senate GOP from re-entering the chamber in case they tried to take a vote on the bill without a quorum being in place.
[[personal profile] laceblade says below that the GOP senators could not leave the Senate once the house call was made til Senate adjourned...see comments below]

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