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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:40:23 PM EST
Beirut gives Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a warm welcome | World news | The Guardian

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was given a warm welcome in Lebanon today despite fears that his visit will aggravate domestic tensions in the politically divided country by boosting the militant Shia group Hezbollah, which is supported by Tehran.

Thousands of Hezbollah supporters cheered Iran's president and waved Iranian flags as he spoke, partly in Arabic, at a mass rally in a football stadium in Beirut's Shia southern suburbs this evening. "Lebanon is the school of resistance and steadfastness against all the bullying forces in the world," he told the crowd.

Earlier, Ahmadinejad was showered with rice and flowers - a traditional greeting - by crowds lining the highway from the airport as he defied security fears and stood to wave through the roof of his car.

by Nomad on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:52:01 PM EST
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China says Nobel won't change nation's political system
Beijing (AFP) Oct 12, 2010
China said Tuesday that the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Liu Xiaobo would not influence the country's political system, as the United States urged Beijing to lift restrictions on the activist's wife.

The comments came as Liu's lawyers said they were considering asking for a retrial of the jailed dissident, the co-author of a manifesto calling for bold democratic reforms in the communist state who won the prestigious award Friday.

"Some politicians from other countries are trying to use this opportunity to attack China," foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters, adding the Nobel committee's decision "shows no respect for China's judicial system".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:08:11 PM EST
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Former Chinese communist officials in blunt reform call
Beijing (AFP) Oct 13, 2010
A group of former top communist officials and media leaders has issued an open letter to China's government calling for political reform, but authorities have attempted to suppress the appeal.

The bluntly-worded letter focused on the lack of freedom of expression and comes as the Communist Party readies for a pivotal meeting later this week expected to give hints on the country's future political direction.

"If the Communist Party does not reform itself, does not transform, it will lose its vitality and die a natural death," said the letter which was posted on the Internet.

The letter has since been deleted from chatrooms on major portals, apparently by government censors, but was still popping up in some more obscure chat rooms.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:08:39 PM EST
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Lunar Probe And Space Exploration Is China's Duty To Mankind
Beijing, China (XNA) Oct 07, 2010
A chief designer with China's second lunar probe project has said that the country's lunar pursuit, while lagging behind Russia and the United States for more than 40 years, is still important because space exploration is part of the country's responsibility towards mankind.

"The most fundamental task for human beings' space exploration is to research on human origins and find a way for mankind to live and develop sustainably," said Qian Weiping, chief designer of the Chang'e-2 mission's tracking and control system.

Chang'e-2 blasted off on a Long-March-3C carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in southwest China's Sichuan province, at about 7 p.m. Friday.

"As a major country, China has the responsibility to participate in the activities of outer space for peaceful use and make its own contributions," Qian said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:10:54 PM EST
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Egypt imposes SMS restrictions - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Egypt's telecommunications regulator has imposed new restrictions on mobile text messages ahead of legislative elections.

Mahmoud el-Gweini, adviser to Egypt's telecommunications minister, said on Tuesday that companies sending out text messages en masse - known as SMS aggregators - must now obtain licenses.

Opposition activists say the new regulation stifles their ability to mobilise voters.

Reform groups in Egypt have come to rely increasingly on the internet and mobile phones to organise and mobilise their supporters, tools which have enabled them to sidestep government harassment.

The Muslim Brotherhood, a well-established but technically outlawed Islamist party, used text messages as a campaign tool for its candidates in the elections five years ago. The party surprised the government in 2005 by winning 20 per cent of parliament seats. 
 
El-Gweini said the decision was not supposed to curb political activity, but rather to protect people from "random" text messages about sensitive issues.

by Nomad on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:20:07 PM EST
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Talks on Sudan's Abyei break down - Africa - Al Jazeera English

The latest round of talks between north and south Sudan over the future of the oil-producing Abyei region has failed to reach an agreement.

The issue stands as a key hurdle ahead of referendums in the country, and according to the north's National Congress party (NCP) and the south's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), "serious efforts and many productive discussions, [the delegations] did not succeed in reaching agreement on the eligibility criteria for voters in the Abyei Area referendum".

The NCP and SPLM also said in a joint statement on Tuesday that both parties "will meet again in Ethiopia toward the end of October to continue their discussions. The parties continue to commit themselves to their mutual goal of avoiding a return to conflict".

Local residents in Abyei will vote on whether the region should join north or south Sudan in a plebiscite scheduled for early next year, which was promised as part of the 2005 peace deal that ended decades of north-south civil war.

The vote is set to be held alongside south Sudan's referendum on independence from the north.

by Nomad on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:22:16 PM EST
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The Lede is providing updates in real time on the final stage of the rescue of 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped in a collapsed mine shaft for 68 days. There is live video of the operation embedded above (courtesy of Chile's government and MSNBC) and the latest text updates will appear automatically below -- including news from other Web sites and reports from our colleagues Simon Romero and Alexei Barrionuevo, who are at the San José mine, near the Chilean city of Copiapó, along with family members of the miners and more than 1,400 journalists. M. Amedeo Tumolillo contributed reporting.

Colombia Reports: Some estimated 20,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Bogota  on Tuesday to demand respect for indigenous rights.

AFP, BOGOTA -- A former Colombian army officer was sentenced to 44 years in prison for his role in the deaths of more than 245 civilians, many of whom were hacked to pieces with a power saw, officials said.  Retired major Alirio Antonio Urena received the sentence for killings systematically carried out out against the local population of the town of Trujillo in western Colombia between 1986 and 1994. At the time, Urena was a commander in Colombia's Valle de Cauca state of an army brigade with ties to right-wing paramilitaries which was said to be responsible for the systematic assassinations of people in Trujillo, prosecutors said.

SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic - One person was killed and four more were injured Tuesday during a protest in the northern Dominican Republic, an activist said, blaming the violence on police. A spokesman for the Broad Front of Popular Struggle, or FALPO, told Efe that residents of several towns peacefully mobilized to demand the creation of local public infrastructure when they were fired upon by the National Police.

HAVANA, Oct 12, 2010 (IPS) - Raúl Regueiro remembers every detail about the creation, 10 years ago in Cuba, of the project for the prevention of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men, and the way the initiative crossed the boundaries of purely health-related concerns to address the question of social inclusion. "Although homosexuality had been mentioned before, up to that point no work had been done with men," Regueiro told IPS. A co-founder of the project, Regueiro's idea is now applied in 14 provinces on the island and involves around 1,700 volunteer health outreach workers who act as direct links with Cuban communities.

Mexico: Just the Facts: Institutional impunity, human rights violations, and terror continue to fuel Mexico's weakening security environment. Among the latest pieces of news related to violence in Mexico and drug trafficking...

NACLA: Coup in Ecuador?: Both Correa and former National Police commander Freddy Martínez, who resigned after his failure to control his troops, argue that outside instigators infiltrated the police, misled police about the austerity measures in the Public Service Law, and provoked the uprising. Labor and indigenous organizations in Ecuador, however, have taken a more nuanced line. The police rebellion occurred, they argue, because Ecuador's right wing is taking advantage of weaknesses created by Correa's alienating governing style. Although they opposed any coup attempt and demanded that constitutional order be respected, they also criticized Correa for marginalizing his natural allies in the social movements and leaving himself vulnerable to attacks from the right.

Peru's dirty little mining secret is getting bigger and dirtier [Re-Print] : This, quite honestly, beggars belief. Yesterday's Peru metals production figures bear witness to the ongoing environmental disaster that is the Madre De Dios Amazon Basin region, the wholesale rape of one of the world's most ecologically sensitive regions and the utter tripe and two-faced lies spewed by President Alan Garcia, his lying toady of an Environment Minister Antonio Brack and the total disregard Peru has for anything except genuflexion at the altar of growth and short-term profit.

The Cuban Triangle: Odds & Ends

Hurricane Paula


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:20:33 PM EST
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Looks like Netanyahu is getting all upset that the media has been focussing on the Chilean mine and ignoring him. So he had to do something about it. The following is from Ha'aretz, not The Onion.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the rescue of the Chilean miners today that it was one of those rare moments of elation," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement Wednesday, adding that "the entire world has been moved by this human act of saving miners trapped in the belly of the earth. We extend our blessings and the blessing of the people of Israel to the Chilean nation and to everyone who assisted in the rescue."

The statement goes on to mention that "Netanyahu predicted such an event - a mine disaster - in his book Terrorism: How the West can win from 1987." Quotes from the book were sent to reporters in addition to a scanned page from the actual volume.

In his book, Netanyahu described a possible mine disaster, saying that even though only a handful of miners may be trapped, the entire world's attention would be riveted to their welfare "for a long time." He explained his argument, saying that it would not only be the intense media coverage of such an event that would turn people's attention to the event, but every individual's private feeling that it could be him or her trapped in a similar situation.

I repeat, not The Onion.
by gk (gk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:25:24 AM EST
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reporting that the US has achieved a major milestone in offshore wind...

1500 people at a conference!!!

the real milestone, J was there, reporting on financing the damn things. for comparison's sake, Europe has more offshore MWs actually installed and operating than people at the conference.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 04:03:46 AM EST
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Hah, that'll teach me.

reading further into the article, i discover a host of interesting facts and comments, and discover the article was written by old colleague Peter Asmus, who wrote the book about me and others from the pioneering days in California (Reaping the Wind).

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 04:08:48 AM EST
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