Society's ChildS


Al-Jazeera Egypt shut down for 'sowing dissent'

© Unknown
Cairo, Egypt: The satellite channel Al-Jazeera Egypt said on Sunday the authorities had prevented it from broadcasting, after entering its offices and confiscating transmission equipment.

Ahmed Zain, the channel's chief in Cairo, told AFP that police, officers from the culture ministry and representatives of Egypt's public broadcaster had also seized materials and that one technician was arrested.

He said they cited the lack of an official licence to broadcast and a complaint from the neighbourhood. He said a lawyer also presented a complaint accusing the channel of "sowing dissent" and "calling for demonstrations."

Zain said Al-Jazeera Egypt had on March 20 requested official authorisation, and that it had been assured it could continue broadcasting in the interim.


Scotland in Revolt at God save the Queen

© UnknownSixty per cent wanted Flower of Scotland
A vast majority of Scots want to ditch God Save The Queen as the official national anthem, according to an exclusive poll for the Sunday Express.

The Angus Reid survey - conducted on September 1 and 2 - found just one in 10 north of the Border are in favor, preferring the 1967 Corries hit Flower of Scotland.

Support was even lower in the 18-34 age group.

Other suggestions showed a handful of people saying they would even prefer the likes of Donald Where's Yer Troosers.

Just 11 per cent opted for God Save The Queen, which in 1745 had an additional verse added to say "rebellious Scots to crush".

Sixty percent wanted Flower of Scotland, with support highest among women.

Hamish Husband, spokesman for the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, said Flower of Scotland was best suited for sporting events but added that it would be better to find a new anthem.

He said: "Flower of Scotland is a battle song and fits the bill when it comes to rugby and football. But it says nothing about our place in the world which is what a national anthem should do."

Life Preserver

Homeless men rescued from slavery in Britain

Twenty-four modern day slaves have been released from bondage after a pre-dawn police raid found them emaciated, hungry and living in ''filthy and cramped'' conditions at a British caravan park.

The men - Poles, Romanians and Russians as well as British - had been forced to survive in a ''state of virtual slavery'' at the Greenacre caravan park in Leighton Buzzard, north-east of London, according to police.

The men varied in age from about 20 to 50; all were vulnerable and had been recruited from homeless shelters and dole queues. Some are believed to have been in virtual captivity for up to 15 years. Five people - four men and a woman - were arrested in the raid on the mainly gypsy site at 5.30am on Sunday. The raid involved 200 officers.


Well-respected editor, journalist and presenter on television and radio in Russia: "I will advocate for the Palestinian cause until I die."

© UnknownMaxim Shevchenko: I will advocate for the Palestinian cause until justice comes to Palestine or until I die.
Exclusive Interview

Maxim Shevchenko is an immensely well-respected editor, journalist and presenter on television and radio in Russia. He is a staunch advocate of the Palestinian cause, a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and he is also one of the latest targets of the pro-Israel Lobby.

Hanan Chehata - You are an outspoken supporter of Palestine and have publicly criticised Israel for its human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. When did your support for Palestine begin and why?

Maxim Shevchenko - I began to support the Palestinian people as a Soviet teenager in 1982. There were a lot of wounded Palestinian fighters from Beirut in Moscow at the time. I casually happened to meet some of them. Talks with these people amazed me. They were the same age as me but they had been real fighters for freedom and justice.

At the same time I was studying at school. A lot of my schoolmates planned to go to live in Israel. They said a lot of bad things about Palestinians but they had never been to Palestine or had even met a Palestinian.

I could not understand why people that had such a bad attitude towards Palestine planned to live there while simultaneously Palestinians were forced to be exiles without a Motherland. I failed to understand why my schoolmates, who were born in Moscow, planned to live in Palestine. It seemed to me that that was a huge injustice.


Explosion at French nuclear plant of Marcoule

One person has been killed and four injured, one seriously, by an explosion at the southern French nuclear plant of Marcoule.

There were no radioactive leaks after the blast, caused by a fire near a furnace in a radioactive waste storage site, a French nuclear official said.

A security perimeter has been set up because of the risk of leakage.

The plant produces MOX fuel, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons, but does not include reactors.


Women compete better when they are in teams, research finds

"There is no 'I' in team, but there is in win," the basketball star Michael Jordan famously observed. But now it appears that such an emphasis on the role of the individual is a very male approach when it comes to competing. Indeed, a study suggests that women are much more willing than men to compete as part of a team.

Nearly two-thirds of the "gender competition gap" - the gap between the likelihood of men or women to enter a competition - disappears when people are offered the chance to compete in two-person teams rather than as individuals.Academics Andrew Healy and Jennifer Pate claim that their findings, published in the Economic Journal, have important implications for the design of competitive environments, such as elections and corporate career ladders.

Heart - Black

A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe

9/11 jumper
© AP / Richard DrewA person falls from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the 110-story twin buildings on Sept. 11, 2001.

I arrived in Times Square around 9:30 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A large crowd was transfixed by the huge Jumbotron screens. Billows of smoke could be seen on the screens above us, pouring out of the two World Trade towers. Two planes, I was told by people in the crowd, had plowed into the towers. I walked quickly into the New York Times newsroom at 229 W. 43rd St., grabbed a handful of reporter's notebooks, slipped my NYPD press card, which would let me through police roadblocks, around my neck, and started down the West Side Highway to the World Trade Center. The highway was closed to traffic. I walked through knots of emergency workers, police and firemen. Fire trucks, emergency vehicles, ambulances, police cars and rescue trucks idled on the asphalt.

The south tower went down around 10 a.m. with a guttural roar. Huge rolling gray clouds of noxious smoke, dust, gas, pulverized concrete, gypsum and the grit of human remains enveloped lower Manhattan. The sun was obscured. The north tower collapsed about 30 minutes later. The dust hung like a shroud over Manhattan.

I headed toward the spot where the towers once stood, passing dazed, ashen and speechless groups of police officers and firefighters. I would pull out a notebook to ask questions and no sounds would come out of their mouths. They forlornly shook their heads and warded me away gently with their hands. By the time I arrived at Ground Zero it was a moonscape; whole floors of the towers had collapsed like an accordion. I pulled out pieces of paper from one floor, and a few feet below were papers from 30 floors away. Small bits of human bodies - a foot in a woman's shoe, a bit of a leg, part of a torso - lay scattered amid the wreckage.


US: Texas Senator Demands That Air Force Answer to Him for Pulling "Jesus Loves Nukes" Training

nuclear jesus

This summer, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) scored a big victory, getting the Air Force to review all of its so-called "ethics" training. This decision by Air Force leadership was made after thirty-one Air Force officers decided to take a stand against what some officers had nicknamed the "Jesus Loves Nukes speech," part of the Air Force's missile launch officer training. These Air Force officers came to MRFF for help with getting this overtly Christian "ethics" training removed from the "Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare" class, a mandatory part of the first week of training for all officers in missile launch training at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

In late July, exposed the content of this training in an article titled "Air Force Cites New Testament, Ex-Nazi, to Train Officers on Ethics of Launching Nuclear Weapons." The Air Force immediately suspended the training.


US: Oakland Children's Museum Cancels Palestinian Children's Art Exhibit Under Pressure from Local Jewish Groups

drawing, palestine children

Berkeley, CA's Middle East Children's Alliance broke the news yesterday that the exhibit of children's artwork from Gaza that they had worked on for months with Oakland's Children's Museum of Art was suddenly canceled by the board before the planned September 24 opening reception. The show featured drawings by children about Israel's infamous Operation Cast Lead, the military assault of December 2008-January 2009 that led to the deaths of some 1,400 Palestinians, over 300 of them children.


US: In Rick Perry's Texas, Firefighters Forced To Pay For Gear, Engine Fuel

rick perry
© Getty ImagesUnder Governor Rick Perry, Texas has slashed firefighting budgets.

Washington -- In Texas, firefighters aren't just battling the wild fires raging around Austin and Houston. The state's first responders have also had to deal with budget cuts affecting everything from fuel purchases to hoses and air tanks.

In some cases, fire officials say, firefighters have had to pay out of pocket for basic necessities like proper protective gear and fuel to get them to the scene. One fire department that battled the blazes in Bastrop County had to pay for a hose, recalled Bastrop City Fire Chief Henry Perry, speaking to The Huffington Post during a break from working the wild fires.

"That fire department has been on this fire every day," he said. "Before this fire, they were having to buy stuff out of their own pocket." Perry said he knows of at least one other department whose firemen had to pay for equipment maintenance and engine fuel.