Mar. 20th, 2011

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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
ETA: [personal profile] akuma_river has a wealth of links for Libya

US commander warns of Libya stalemate

Mike Mullen says ousting Gaddafi is not the goal of the military operation in Libya, but a no-fly zone is now in place.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, has said the military operation in Libya called for by the UN Security Council is not aimed at regime change - adding that a "stalemate" could well exist, leaving Muammar Gaddafi in power.

The 64-year-old admiral also said that no-fly zone had "effectively been established", as Gaddafi's planes had not taken to the skies following Saturday's overnight shelling of dozens of targets in northern Libya.

"In the first 24 hours, operations have established the no-fly zone. French air planes are over Benghazi as we speak and will do that on a 24/7 basis. The operations have taken out some ground forces near Benghazi, taken out air defences, some of his control nodes, some of his airfields,
I don’t have all damage assessments, but so far [it's been] very very effective," he said.

Gaddafi "was attacking Benghazi and we are there to stop that ... we are ending his ability to attack us from the ground, so he will not continue to execute his own people.

Mullen, the most senior officer in the US military, denied that any civilians had been killed in the bombardment, which saw some 110 cruise missiles being shot from American naval vessels in the Mediterranean sea.

Libyan state TV has reported that death toll from the air strikes has risen to more than 60.

It's understood that 20 of 22 Libyan targets were hit in the overnight assault, "with varying levels of damage", a military source told Reuters.

Mullen also said the US would be handing command of the operation to "a coalition" of militaries, with support coming from the Arab world, as well as NATO members.

"There are forces, airplanes in particular from Qatar, who are moving into position as we speak.
There are other countries who have committed - I'd rather have them publicly announce that commitment.MORE

Here's the Al Jazeera liveblog

Read more... )
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[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Egypt referendum results: 77.2 per cent say 'Yes' to the amendments

14m approve the proposed constitutional amendments, presumably setting Egypt on the military's timetable for early parliamentary elections

Egyptians Vote on Constitutional Amendments

The amendments would open elections to all opposition candidates and limit presidents to two four-year terms. It would allow parliamentary and presidential elections to be held by the end of the year.

Most secular groups and leading reform activists, including Arab League chief Amr Moussa and Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, oppose the passage of the amendments. Both men intend to run for president.

Opponents of the amendments say quick elections will give an unfair advantage to the only two established political parties in Egypt - Mr. Mubarak's National Democratic Party and the Islamist party, the Muslim Brotherhood. Opponents are urging Egyptians to vote "no" at the polls.

Proponents of the change say rejecting the amendments will only prolong the rule of the military council that took control of Egypt after Mr. Mubarak stepped down in February.
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We'll start with protests that are being held by minorities demanding recognition of their rights by the majority government:


Ethnic communities demand recognition of 'indigenous' in Bangladesh constitution

HUNDREDS AND thousands of ethnic minorities in Bangladesh formed human chain on Saturday (March 19) demanding constitutional recognition of their existence as “indigenous” population.

A senior parliamentarian remarked that ethnic minorities are not “indigenous” after holding series consultation with elected representatives who represents ethnic communities.

Last week a special parliamentary committee on constitutional amendment recommends the community will be known as “ethnic minorities”, short of recognizing them as “indigenous” (Adivasi in local language).

The refusal angered the ethnic leaders, social justice activists and right groups. The ethnic communities are less than one percent of the national population of 158.6 million. The struggle for constitutional recognition goes back 40 years ago, soon after Bangladesh gained independence in 1971. The political regime, civil and military bureaucracy are dominated by majoritarian Bangla-speaking Sunni Muslims known as Bangalees.

The 1991 census of the government identified 29 small ethnic groups, but the leaders claim that 46 small ethnic groups live in Bangladesh, mainly in south-east Chittagong Hill Tracts region.

The protest rally organized by Bangladesh Adivasi Forum was simultaneously held in the capital Dhaka, Rangamati, Khagrachari, Patuakhali, Sylhet and other places where the ethnic communities are visible population.MORE


Heavy security succeeds in quashing bedoon protests

Read more... )


Violent Development: Communities Defending Lands and Resources Face Ongoing Repression in Guatemala

Read more... )

And then we hit those who want widescale change in their governmental processes:

Hundreds of Jordanians demonstrate despite Saturday's start of national dialogue on reform

Read more... )

Loyalty and poverty: Jordan’s uprising stagnates

Read more... )


Thousands in Morocco march for rights

Read more... )


When Petro-Dictators Unite: The Bahraini Opposition struggle for survival

Read more... )

Bahrain medics claim army cover-up:Staff at a hospital in Manama say police arrest & beat-up doctors, nurses and patients.

Read more... )

Bahrain's main opposition groups ease demands

Read more... )


Human rights minister and UN ambassador quit, Clerics urge Yemen army to ignore orders

Read more... )


Syria protesters torch buildings

Read more... )


Interventionists Struggle to Reconcile Libyan Action with Repression Across Arab World

Read more... )

Speaking of: European arms sales to Libya: Who armed Gaddafi?

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EU arms sales to Libya: fleshing out the figures

Read more... )
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WARNING: Violence spoken of in article and pronoun issues. The Murder of a Transgender Lawyer in the UK and Transgender Rights in Thailand

Despite the visibility of transgenders in Thailand, there are few represented in professions and public life other than in the entertainment industry. An informal survey of Thai people indicates that almost all well known transgenders in Thailand work in the entertainment industry. There are few, if any, acting as courtroom lawyers, politicians or judges.

The Lawyer Act of Thailand does not forbid cross dressing, nor does it discriminate based on gender or sexual preferences. The code of ethics of Thailand Lawyers requires only that lawyers appearing in Court dress respectfully. There is no restriction as to cross dressing. Court personnel have indicated that transgenders can practice in Thai Courts as long as they dress respectfully.

Other aspects of Thai society are perhaps less progressive. Each year thousands of men are conscripted into the military and a certain proportion of those young men are transgendered. Traditionally, transgenders have been excluded. Unfortunately one of the main grounds for exclusion has been “permanent insanity” and “mental illness”. This designation was recently challenged by [WARNING: The article linked is by globalpost. fairly sure that this article is not the most respectful ever, but unfortunately it is the most comprehensive I've seen on the subject so far. Comments are pretty good though as of now] Samart Meecharoen , a young transsexual or “katoey” as they are known in Thailand.MORE

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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Haiti: The Entertainer or the Professor?

According to the reports on Twitter about today's presidential election runoff in Haiti, the lines at polling stations are long, and voters at the Lycée Petion and the Lycée Croix des Bouquets were unable to find their names on voter lists, a problem that had also plagued the original election last November. But many are also speculating on the outcome. Opinion polls conducted in the weeks before have tended to show entertainer Michel Martelly leading his rival Mirlande Manigat, an academic and former first lady.MORE

Haiti: Election Morning in Pictures

Haiti election: Manigat, Martelly and Celestin profiles (Celestin is not on the ballot, this is a runoff between Manigat and Martelly)

Mirlande Manigat

Whatever proposals they may have — Ms. Manigat has suggested remaking the education system, while Mr. Martelly has talked about revamping the agriculture sector — must pass muster with the international donors that prop up the country’s budget, said Alex Dupuy, a Wesleyan University sociologist who studies Haiti.

Neither one is going to be able to “set the priority for economic policy,” Dr. Dupuy said. “That is set by the donors, major financial institutions and the interim recovery commission” guiding the rebuilding plans.MORE

‘Sweet Micky’ gets makeover

Read more... )

Haiti: Aristide’s return, the word “house” and today’s election

Read more... )

Aristide Makes 'Historic' Return to Haiti

Read more... )

Haitians vote in presidential runoff: UN official describes vote as peaceful but several polling sites delayed opening because they lacked voting materials.

Read more... )

Singer shot during Haiti campaign: Hip-hop superstar Wyclef Jean injured by gunfire as polls open for presidential election in Caribbean nation.

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