Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:24:54 PM EST
Taliban hand out 37 lashes to girl seen with married man | World news | guardian.co.uk

A video showing a teenage girl being flogged by Taliban fighters has emerged from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, offering a shocking glimpse of militant brutality in the once-peaceful district, and a sign of Taliban influence spreading deeper into the country.

The two-minute video, shot using a mobile phone, shows a burka-clad woman face down on the ground. Two men hold her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whips her repeatedly.

"Please stop it," she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. "Either kill me or stop it now."

A crowd of men stands by, watching silently. Off camera a voice issues instructions. "Hold her legs tightly," he says as she squirms and yelps.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:35:56 PM EST
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I'm left with the impression that the taliban are deeply sexually deprvaed. Several of them probably had very exciting fantasies fulfilled by that excapade and, in the time honoured fashion of all violent abusers,  now seek to escalate. Some of them are, no doubt, wondering in the quietness of their own bedroom, what it will feel like to beat a woman to death and looking for an excuse.

They are the vilest of creatures.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 12:53:28 PM EST
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Richard Gott: The US is trying to clear the decks of its old quarrel with Cuba. It will not be easy | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

The efforts being made this week in the US Congress to lift the ban on American citizens visiting Cuba is a welcome straw in the wind that suggests a new approach to Cuba, and perhaps to Latin America. Congress appears to be slightly in advance of President Obama, who has so far been less radical, merely erasing some of the restrictions introduced by the Bush administration. For a more definitive vision of the new US policy we shall have to wait until 17 April, when Obama will meet most of the Latin American presidents in Trinidad.

The congressional initiative may take some time to work through the system, but it is a clear sign that US opinion is shifting. The passage of time and a generation shift means that the old anti-Cuban lobby, based in Florida, has lost its power and influence. After nearly 50 frozen years, the ice is beginning to melt.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:37:37 PM EST
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China, maybe unsurprisingly, has started to throw its weight around | Politics | guardian.co.uk

It is a curious irony that Europe's last two great colonies will give a vivid demonstration of the world's new, and highly significant, power.

China is throwing its weight around at today's G20 summit in a way rarely seen before, as it moves to protect the position of Hong Kong and Macao as Asian financial centres.

Beijing will block the immediate publication of a blacklist of unco-operative tax havens to ensure that the former British and Portuguese colonies - important sources of foreign reserves for China - do not fall foul of OECD rules.

The list will eventually be published, but only when China has taken steps to protect the position of Hong Kong and Macao, the former colonies in southern China.

There was a time when China was wary of throwing its weight around on the world stage. In the forum where its power was most marked in the postwar period - as a permanent member of the UN security council - China would usually register its unease by abstaining.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:44:08 PM EST
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So much for regulation.

This may be more important than it looks. While Switzerland, the Channel Islands and the Euro/Anglo offshore havens are being cleared out - at least a little - China can give itself plenty of political and financial leverage by taking their place.

Imagine a China which not only holds a huge mountain of US treasuries, but an equally huge mountain of off-shored cash - and the sensitive information about who owns it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 07:58:06 PM EST
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Oh, I'm trying to imagine that, but I have such a small brain ... it's so hard.  Please help me.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:19:08 PM EST
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Police question Israeli FM Lieberman | World | Reuters

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police questioned the new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, for more than seven hours on Thursday on suspicion of bribery and money laundering.

Lieberman, an ultranationalist who became Israel's top diplomat on Tuesday, has denied any wrongdoing and has called the police probe into his affairs a smear campaign.

His anti-Arab rhetoric has alarmed Palestinians as well as Arab leaders in the region.

"Avigdor Lieberman was questioned under caution by police today for seven-and-a-half hours on suspicion of carrying out the following: bribery, money laundering and breach of trust," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:46:39 PM EST
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BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Israeli FM questioned over fraud

Israel's new Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has been questioned by police for at least seven hours over corruption allegations.

Police said Mr Lieberman was questioned under caution on suspicion of "bribery, money-laundering and breach of trust" as part of an ongoing investigation.

Mr Lieberman was sworn in as foreign minister on Tuesday.

He has previously denied any wrong-doing and says the corruption probe against him is politically motivated.

Police confirmed that the interview had been scheduled in advance with Mr Lieberman.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 04:07:55 PM EST
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And so what? They all have been "questioned" but...
Has anyone ever been prosecuted in Israel for bribery, money-laundering etc.?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 10:13:58 AM EST
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Has anyone ever been prosecuted in Israel for bribery, money-laundering etc.?

I got the feeling it was a qualification for office...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 09:36:30 PM EST
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U.S. to push hard for Palestinian statehood | World | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will push hard for Palestinian statehood despite a new rightist government in Israel but anticipates a rough road ahead, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

"We're going to be working hard to see what we can do to move the process forward. But we're under no illusions. It's not going to be easy," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.

"We have to engage constantly and remind the parties of their obligations and to try to set up a framework, a process for getting us towards that goal of a two-state solution," Wood added, referring to the goal of separate Israeli and Palestinian states, living side by side in peace.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:47:21 PM EST
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US policy is for a two state solution.

Israeli policy with Likud and Lieberman is not, now, not ever, never.

Watch US policy twist and squirm to ensure they are never in contradiction to Israeli demands

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 12:56:12 PM EST
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Medvedev says U.S. can move on missile shield | World | Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that the United States was ready to discuss different ideas on the deployment of a U.S. missile defence system in Europe, which Moscow strongly opposes.

"As for the missile defence issue, this is one of the most complicated issues," Medvedev told a news briefing in London, a day after holding his first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

"We touched upon this issue and we agreed that our contacts and discussions on this issue would be continued," he said.

"I got an impression that at least on this issue our (U.S.) partners do not hold a primitive position but are rather ready to discuss various ideas. And this is already crucial."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:49:50 PM EST
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U.S. and U.N. concerned about Afghan Shi'ite law | World | Reuters

KABUL (Reuters) - A new law for Shi'ite Muslims in Afghanistan has provoked anger among some lawmakers and the United States and United Nations said they were concerned about its impact on women's rights in the former Taliban state.

The law passed by parliament and signed by President Hamid Karzai, but not yet promulgated in the official gazette, is meant to legalise minority Shi'ite family law, which is different from that of the majority Sunni population.

Shi'ite Muslims make up about 15 percent of the population.

"We are very concerned about these reports with regard to the legislation. We ourselves are reviewing the legislation and we urge President Karzai to review the law's legal status to correct provisions of the law that ... limit or restrict women's rights," U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:50:13 PM EST
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Amid birthday celebrations, NATO faces challenges of a changing world | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 02.04.2009
As NATO prepares to celebrate its 60th birthday, it may want to wish for a return to simpler times as it blows out its candles. A changing world of new threats and challenges means no one will be putting their feet up. 

At most 60th birthday parties, the celebrant is more often than not looking forward to a more sedate future with fewer stresses and strains. Unfortunately, for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the future is unlikely to feature pipes, slippers and long peaceful walks in the country with a grateful dog.

NATO turns 60 on Friday but instead of looking forward to retirement, the defense and security organization that rose from the rubble of a post-war world must summon all its strength to face a whole new series of threats and challenges. 

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 03:58:47 PM EST
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Human rights organizations welcome US bid for UN council seat | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 02.04.2009
US President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday that the United States will join the United Nations Human Rights Council, a body that was derided by his predecessor as overly politicized and ineffective. 

As the latest step in Obama's "new era of engagement" with the global community, the move to run for a three-year term on the 47-member council at the next elections in May signals another major change in direction for the US under its new commander-in-chief.


The Bush administration refused to join the Geneva-based body out of protest that authoritarian states with poor human rights records were also allowed to become members, despite being the key driver behind the council's formation to replace its predecessor, the UN Human Rights Commission.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 04:00:49 PM EST
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I had a hilarious interaction regarding that news the other day.

I'm on Twitter, and I posted a link to the UNHRC news.

I'd forgotten that Josh Trevino (founder of Red State) was following me on Twitter, and like all wingnuts, you mention "UN" and they come unhinged.

He blasted me, spluttering something that I didn't quite get about how the UN is really actually anti-human rights and anti-free speech, using a link to a Reporters Without Borders story to bolster his case - and the link didn't have anything to do with that.

The funny part is that he doesn't give a rat's a@@ about "free speech" or anything else humans deserve, plus he's said nasty things about Reporters Without Borders before.

Logic is hard work for wingnuts.

by Plutonium Page (page dot vlinders at gmail dot com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 05:37:15 PM EST
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Early Alarm for Church on Abusers in the Clergy - NYTimes.com

The founder of a Roman Catholic religious order that ran retreat centers for troubled priests warned American bishops in forceful letters dating back to 1952 that pedophiles should be removed from the priesthood because they could not be cured.

The Rev. Gerald M. C. Fitzgerald, founder of the order, Servants of the Paraclete, delivered the same advice in person to Vatican officials in Rome in 1962 and to Pope Paul VI a year later, according to the letters, which were unsealed by a judge in the course of litigation against the church.

The documents contradict the most consistent defense given by bishops about the sexual abuse scandal: that they were unaware until recently that offenders could not be rehabilitated and returned to the ministry.

Father Fitzgerald, who died in 1969, even made a $5,000 down payment on a Caribbean island where he planned to build an isolated retreat to sequester priests who were sexual predators. His letters show he was driven by a desire to save the church from scandal, and to save laypeople from being victimized. He wrote to dozens of bishops, saying that he had learned through experience that most of the abusers were unrepentant, manipulative and dangerous. He called them "vipers."


His collected letters and his story were reported this week by The National Catholic Reporter, an independent weekly. Father Fitzgerald's papers were unsealed by a judge in New Mexico in 2007 and are now becoming public in litigation, although some letters were public before now, said Helen Zukin, a lawyer with Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, a firm in Los Angeles. The letters were authenticated in depositions with Father Fitzgerald's successors.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:06:28 AM EST
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