Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 04 Dec 2021
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Che Guevara

Bahrain people rise up: Clashes protesters and security forces

Bahrain protest
© Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters
Thousands of protesters gathered at Pearl Roundabout in Manama, Bahrain. A man was killed in clashes at a rally earlier.
Manama -- Bahrain -- Thousands of demonstrators poured into this nation's symbolic center, Pearl Square, late yesterday in a raucous rally that again demonstrated the power of popular movements that are transforming the political landscape of the Middle East.

In a matter of hours, this small, strategically important monarchy experienced the now familiar sequence of events that has rocked the Arab world. What started as an online call for a "Day of Rage'' progressed within 24 hours to demonstrators cheering, waving flags, setting up tents, and taking over the grassy traffic circle beneath the towering monument of a pearl in the heart of the capital city.

The crowd grew bolder as it grew larger, and, as in Tunisia and Egypt, modest concessions from the government only raised expectations among the protesters, who by day's end were talking about tearing the whole system down, monarchy and all.

MIB

111 US diplomats were killed during service abroad since 1780

The fact that US diplomats posted abroad during the last 200 years or so have been flirting with danger and the reality that the worldwide anti-American sentiment has been persisting for a very long time, can be substantiated by the fact that out of the 234 US Foreign Service officials who have died during the course of their off-shore assignments since 1780, not fewer than 111 were actually killed.

These diplomats were murdered, ambushed, lynched by mobs, hit by landmines, killed in gunfire, died in mysterious plane crashes or were among the victims of bombs rocking their country's embassies abroad.

It hence goes without saying that the number of US diplomats killed or assassinated in the line of duty is exceptionally high.

Although William Palfrey, who was lost at sea in 1780, was the first US diplomat who had died an unnatural death in 1780, Harris Fudger was the first-ever American Foreign Service official to be murdered. He was killed in 1825 at Bogota (Colombia).

Better Earth

California - a nullifier's paradise?

Image
© Unknown
Nullification. The word evokes images of white-haired men with tri-fold hats, holding up signs about the "evils" of Obamacare and socialism.

States around the country are considering laws to reject federal laws on health care, guns, the Environmental Protection Agency regulations and more. The pundits scream "racism," the legal experts cite the "supremacy clause," and the entire country - left to right - just might be missing the point.

As executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center, the organization which created the "Health Care Nullification Act" introduced in more than 10 states, I see many people who fit this stereotypical "tenther" image, too.

Whenever I speak at "Nullify Now!" events around the country, the crowd is predominantly these folks. While a few progressives occasionally join the protesters, one doesn't find too many 20-somethings with Che T-shirts attending such events.

While the rhetoric coming from many on the right these days includes words like "nullification," and "state sovereignty," it has been the left, not the right, which has been successful in putting these ideas into practice. And, California has been at the forefront since the beginning.

Bad Guys

Deaths Heighten Bahrain Tension

Bahrain tension
© Mahmood Nasser Al-Yousif
Police reportedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the funeral procession.
Offering apology, King Hamad vows to investigate incidents but opposition group suspends parliamentary participation.

At least one person has been killed and several others injured after riot police in Bahrain opened fire at protesters holding a funeral service for a man killed during protests in the kingdom a day earlier.

The victim, Fadhel Ali Almatrook, was hit with bird-shotgun in the capital, Manama, on Tuesday morning, Maryam Alkhawaja, head of foreign relations at the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera.

"This morning the protesters were walking from the hospital to the cemetery and they got attacked by the riot police," Alkhawaja said.

"Thousands of people are marching in the streets, demanding the removal of the regime - police fired tear gas and bird shot, using excessive force - that is why people got hurt."

At least 25 people were reported to have been treated for injuries in hospital.

An Al Jazeera correspondent in Bahrain, who cannot be named for his own safety, said that police were taking a very heavy-handed approach towards the protesters.

Ambulance

1 US immigration agent dead, 1 injured in Mexico

Image
© AP Photo/Pulso Diario de San Luis-Teodoro Blanco Vazquez
Mexican federal police and army soldiers guard a U.S. Embassy vehicle after it came under attack by unknown gunmen on Highway 57 between Mexico City and Monterrey, near the town of Santa Maria Del Rio, San Luis Potosi state, Mexico, Tuesday Feb. 15, 2011. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was killed and another wounded in the attack.

Mexico City - A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was killed and another wounded while driving through northern Mexico Tuesday, in a rare attack on American officials in this country which is fighting powerful drug cartels.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said one agent was critically wounded in the attack and died from his injuries. The second agent was shot in the arm and leg and remains in stable condition.

Handcuffs

US: Maksim Gelman, accused of killing 4 in Stabbing, Carjacking Spree Caught After Daylong Manhunt

Image
© Santos / News
Maksim Gelman, 23, was taken into custody at the Times Square subway station, police said. It was unclear if he was injured.

The knife-wielding madman who killed four people during a day-long rampage of stabbings, carjackings and hit-and-runs was nabbed in Times Square moments after he knifed a straphanger.

"They had to die," Maksim Gelman, 23, confessed after being tackled by two transit cops and an off-duty detective about 9 a.m. yesterday, sources said.

His arrest ended a one-man wave of breathless violence that spanned nearly 28 hours and two boroughs, fueled by rage at ex-flame and murder victim Yelena Bulchenko.

Gelman, described as a druggie graffiti vandal, lashed out at innocent bystanders as he cut a bloody swath through the city with six knives - sparking a massive manhunt.

"I don't recall ever seeing anything like this," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. "He certainly did a lot of mayhem and havoc in a short time."

The frenzy finally came to an end after Gelman wildly hacked at a man on an uptown No. 3 train leaving Penn Station for 42nd St., sending screaming passengers running to safety.

Penis Pump

'If not now, when?' A million furious Italian women protesters demand the head of Berlusconi over 'underage sex' scandal

Image
© Reuters
Anger: Thousands of women gather in Rome's Piazza del Popolo to protest against Silvio Berlusconi
A million women took to the streets across Italy yesterday calling on Silvio Berlusconi to resign over a sex scandal.

Marches were held in 200 towns and cities to show their anger at the prime minister, who is facing charges of having underage sex with a prostitute and abuse of power.

Some protesters had even planned to throw their knickers into the garden of his home in Rome, but this never materialised.

Image
© AFP / Getty Images
'If not now, when?' Women in Italy are furious at the 'degrading' coverage of sex scandals embroiling Mr Berlusconi

Image
© AFP / Getty Images
Support: Film maker Cristina Comencini addresses the crowd in Rome and, right, a placard carried by one of the women

Handcuffs

Syrian blogger gets five years' jail: rights group

Image
© Agence France-Presse
Syrian men log on to the Internet at a cafe in Damascus. Syrian woman blogger Tal al-Mallouhi has been sentenced to five years in prison by a state security court, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.
Syrian woman blogger Tal al-Mallouhi has been sentenced to five years in prison by a state security court, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement on Monday.

"The state security court in Damascus today condemned blogger Tal al-Mallouhi to five years in prison after finding her guilty of divulging information to a foreign country," it said in a statement received in Nicosia.

X

Kremlin 'bans critical ballerina from TV'

Anastasia Volochkova
© Agence France-Presse
Russian ballerina Anastasia Volochkova poses earlier this month at the Moscow premiere of ballet film Black Swan. The scandal-prone Russian ballerina accuses the Kremlin of pulling two television shows about her after she voiced sympathy for jailed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and quit the ruling party.
A scandal-prone Russian ballerina on Monday accused the Kremlin of pulling two television shows about her after she voiced sympathy for jailed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and quit the ruling party.

Anastasia Volochkova accused the Kremlin's chief ideologue Vladislav Surkov of ordering two talk shows to be taken off the air on Friday, linking this to an obscenity-strewn interview she gave about Khodorkovsky.

"My director told me that the Let Them Talk show ... was pulled on the personal order of Vladislav Surkov," the former Bolshoi ballerina wrote on her blog about the state-owned Channel One's highest-rated talk show.

She added that a second discussion show in which she was due to appear Friday, NTVshniki on NTV channel, was also pulled.

Speaking to AFP by telephone from the city of Samara on Monday, Volochkova said that she believed the decision to pull the shows was "revenge" from the ruling United Russia party, which she joined in 2003.

"When I joined the party, I never thought I would have this feeling: it's like I was a member of a gang and if I take a step back, there will be revenge," she said.

She said the Channel One show's host had phoned the channel's director to try to save the show and told her the decision had been taken on a "very high political level."

Attention

Mideast Unrest Spreads

Protests Target Iran, Bahrain, Libya; Egypt Dissolves Parliament, Sets Elections

As Egypt's new military leadership suspended the constitution, dissolved parliament and promised fresh elections, demands for similar political reform swept across the Arab world - from Libya to Iran - following the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's dramatic moves incorporate many demands issued during the mass demonstrations by doing away with the institutional framework that buttressed Mr. Mubarak's three-decade rule. But the military's new road map for governing Egypt in the short term came down by fiat, without input from the political opposition, raising questions about how deeply the military understands the democratic process and the demands of modern politics.

On Monday, Egypt's ruling military council issued a communique calling on labor leaders to stop strikes and protests to allow a sense of normalcy to return to the country, the Associated Press reported. The communique, read out by a military spokesman on state television, came as thousands of state employees, from ambulance drivers to police and transport workers, protested Monday to demand better pay and conditions. Egypt is in the midst of a growing wave of labor unrest unleashed by the uprising that ousted Mr. Mubarak from the presidency on Friday.

Mr. Mubarak's resignation has also emboldened protesters throughout the Middle East where opposition movements are aggressively calling for political freedom. Security forces and protesters clashed in Yemen and Bahrain on Sunday while thousands of Algerians, defying a ban on protests, flooded a central square in Algiers on Saturday calling for political reform. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank ordered the dismissal of its Cabinet and said it would hold long-delayed parliamentary and presidential elections by September.