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Thu, 07 Dec 2023
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Musician Wyclef Jean shot during Haiti election campaign

© Guillermo Arias/AP
Wyclef Jean was shot in Delmas, just outside Port-au-Prince, while campaigning in the Haiti election.
Hip-hop star suffered wound to his hand while campaigning for one of the contenders in Sunday's presidential vote

Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean has received a gunshot wound to the hand while campaigning for a fellow performer who is running for president in Haiti.

The shooting happened in the Delmas area near the capital of Port-au-Prince on Saturday night, said Joe Mignon, senior programme director for Jean's Yele Foundation. Jean was treated at a hospital and later released, Mignon said.


Japan Earthquake: Calm After the Storm

Japan's nuclear crisis has brought a meltdown of morale to parts of the country. What the people have to fear is fear itself, says Andrew Gilligan.

© AFP / Getty Images / EPA
Left: The stern of the grounded cargo ship Asia Symphony breaches the port wall and juts out onto a road in Kamaishi. Right: A girl rides her bicycle past the wreckage of burnt out vehicles in the town of Yamada
Nine days after Japan's tsunami, the remarkable truth is this. The people who have lost absolutely everything are coping far better than the people who have lost absolutely nothing.

For 200 miles along the coast, the scene is an exact copy of an earlier Japanese horror. In the flattened towns, with their isolated skeletons of buildings and their hectares of rubble, Hiroshima is the only possible comparison.

But at the evacuation centres in north-eastern Japan, survivors hold doors open for each other and bow politely to visitors. Postal service has resumed. The relief effort is going full blast, with even visiting foreigners offered food because there is so much. There's not much of anything
else, admittedly. But across the disaster area, journalists have searched in vain for a single case of violence, looting, panic - or even queue-jumping.

Time and again, you hear of lives saved by calmness, organisation and discipline. At one low-lying secondary school half a mile from the sea, the children lined up in the playground for a post-earthquake headcount; surely hundreds must have perished.

But the instant they saw the tsunami coming, and with little more than seconds to spare, the staff got 450 teenagers to a pre-planned fall-back site on higher ground. The school is utterly wrecked, but every single pupil in it that day lived. Now, even the teachers who have homes to go to sleep alongside their students on evacuation-centre mattresses to make sure they're looked after.


Why can't we just let the Libyans fight it out ( and then make friends with the winners)

© Reuters
Who are the Libyan rebels? What do they want? Why do we love them so?

Politics seems to have become a sort of mental illness. We have no bloody business in Libya, and no idea what we hope to achieve there.

We are daily told that we have no money to spare. We have just scrapped a large part of our Navy.

Our Army is stuck in an Afghan war whose point nobody can explain. And now we have set out on a course that could drag us into a long, gory brawl in North Africa.

And yet, when the Prime Minister announces this folly he is praised. Why? Partly it is because we all watch too much TV. Its reports simplify, then exaggerate.

Reporters, much like politicians, like to feel they are helping to make history, and get excited by subjects they knew nothing about until last Wednesday.

Before we know where we are, we are taking sides in quarrels we don't understand. Who are the Libyan rebels? What do they want? Why do we love them so?


Filmmaker Michael Moore Rips President Obama Over Libya

Michael Moore
© The Associated Press
March 5: Michael Moore addresses a crowd at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., on the 18th day of protests over the governor's proposed budget that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.
Filmmaker Michael Moore slammed President Obama in a string of tweets for taking military action in Libya.

Moore, who frequently criticized President George Bush for launching the Iraq War, compared the U.S. military's mission in Libya to Iraq and Afghanistan in several Twitter messages sent Saturday.

Moore's comments came after the U.S. troops launched 110 Tomahawk missiles at military targets in Libya as part of an allied effort to prevent forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi from overtaking the rebel-held city of Benghazi.

The strikes on Libya began on the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War.

Obama explained Saturday the U.S. and its allies acted to protect the Libyan people from a potential massacre.

No Entry

Arab League criticizes Western strikes on Libya

© Unknown
- The Arab League on Sunday criticized Western military strikes on Libya, a week after urging the United Nations to slap a no-fly zone on the oil-rich North African state.

"What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians," Arab League secretary general Amr Mussa told reporters.

On March 12, the Arab League urged the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone on Libya and said Moammar Gadhafi's regime had "lost legitimacy" as it sought to snuff out a rebellion designed to oust him from power.

In the West's biggest intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, US warships and a British submarine fired more than 120 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya on Saturday, the US military said.

French warplanes also carried out strikes.

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 on Thursday authorizing military action to prevent Gadhafi's forces from attacking civilians.

Comment: The naivete is staggering. The Arab League allowed themselves to be conned into sanctioning a "no-fly zone" over Libya. Some no-fly zone, this. What did these people think they were going to get --- radar-jamming of SAM batteries by high-flying AWACS? - Forum Member

Bizarro Earth

Thousands Of U.S. Personnel Evacuated From Japan To Western Wash.

cracked highway Japan
© n/a
Seattle, Wash. -- Thousands of U.S. military and Department of Defense personnel are being voluntarily evacuated from Japan to Seattle and Joint Base Lewis-McChord following last week's earthquake and tsunami.

The USO confirmed Friday that 15,000 U.S. personnel and their dependents will be hosted at USO centers at SeaTac and JBLM in the coming days. The evacuation is part of the U.S. State Department's voluntary evacuation of U.S. personnel following growing concerns at nuclear plants in Japan.

About 6,700 people are expected to arrive at SeaTac and 8,000 at Lewis-McChord, the USO said. The USO centers will act as a hub for military support.

The News Tribune reported that about 240 military members and their families evacuated from Japan arrived at Sea-Tac Saturday morning, the first of a wave of several thousand expected to arrive in the Puget Sound area this week.


Japan faces its 9/11

© Associated Press
A woman kneels by the body of her mother, after Japanese firemen discovered the dead woman inside the ruins of her home in Onagawa
Doctors fear that thousands of survivors of the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami could now fall victim to disease and epidemics.

Children and the elderly living in the stricken zone are most at risk from outbreaks of flu and other ailments, they warned.

The emergency services are struggling to obtain medicines and basic supplies for the thousands of displaced people whose homes have been destroyed. The situation is being aggravated by cold temperatures.

Captain Kazuhiro Fujino, of the Maritime Self-Defence Force, said: "There is no medicine - nothing. My biggest fear is a flu epidemic, as there would be little we could do to stop it. It would take many more lives."

The warning came as abnormal levels of radiation were found in milk and spinach as far as 65 miles from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.


Sick!! US Army 'kill team' in Afghanistan posed with photos of murdered civilians

© Associated Press
The Afghanistan 'kill team' photos of murdered civilians could be more damaging than those from Abu Ghraib, say NATO commanders.
Commanders brace for backlash of anti-US sentiment that could be more damaging than after the Abu Ghraib scandal

Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of "trophy" photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed.

Senior officials at Nato's International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world.

They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year.

Comment: More about 'trophy kills' and the role prescribed antipsychotic drugs may play.

Arrow Down

US: Department Of Justice to White Male Bullying Victims: Tough Luck

The viral video sensation showing a bullying incident at an Australian school has brought the issue of bullying back into the spotlight. Here in the United States, the Obama administration has made school bullying a federal issue. Last week, President Barack Obama addressed an anti-bullying conference with First Lady Michelle Obama at his side. The administration's anti-bullying campaign has been ongoing since the beginning of Mr. Obama's term. The Department of Justice announced in December 2010 its intention to hold liable school districts that fail to protect students that are bullied.

DOJ's website states:
The Civil Rights Division and the entire Justice Department are committed to ending bullying and harassment in schools, and the video highlights the Department's authority to enforce federal laws that protect students from discrimination and harassment at school because of their race, national origin, disability, religion, and sex, including harassment based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes.
The statement later says:
The enforcement of the Equal Protection Clause, Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in school districts is a top priority of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Additional information is available at the Civil Rights Division's Educational Opportunities Section website at www.justice.gov/crt/edo/.
Here is the catch. DOJ will only investigate bullying cases if the victim is considered protected under the 1964 Civil Rights legislation. In essence, only discrimination against a victim's race, sex, national origin, disability, or religion will be considered by DOJ. The overweight straight white male who is verbally and/or physically harassed because of his size can consider himself invisible to the Justice Department.


Ohio to charge inmates $1 per month for electricity

© Unknown
Columbus - Ohio inmates paying their debt to society also will have to pay $1 per month for electricity and deal with less variety at meal time, including fewer beverage choices, under prisons department spending cuts intended to help the state close an expected $8 billion budget hole.

The new electricity fee and the changes in meals will be implemented in July and are among $30 million in moneysaving measures being adopted from suggestions made by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction employees, department spokesman Carlo LoParo said Friday. Administrators sought the staff's input and received thousands of ideas, he said.

Dropping noncarbonated flavored drinks, currently offered with inmate lunches and dinners, will trim $2 million in costs over two years, LoParo said. Another $3 million will be saved with more repeats at mealtime - serving the most popular and least expensive foods more often.

"There's certainly no hardship," LoParo said. "I'm sure any change is difficult. However, we're asking our staff to endure substantial change throughout the organization and substantial cost-cutting measures, and we feel it only appropriate that the inmates participate in our cost savings as well."