Sunday, November 30, 2014

"The pope bowed before Patriarch Bartholomew and asked for his blessing. Patriarch Bartholomew obliged by kissing the pontiff's head..." - Pope Francis Wraps up Visit to Turkey | Scores of Russian Gays Are Seeking Asylum in US - ABC News



Voice of America
Pope Francis Wraps up Visit to Turkey
Shared by 1 person
Pope Francis wrapped up his three-day visit to Turkey, attending a liturgy led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. Hypnotic chants echoed in the Patriarchal Church of St. George Sunday in Istanbul. Saturday, the two spiritual leaders attended an ecumenical service in Istanbul, where the pope bowed before Patriarch Bartholomew and asked for his blessing. Patriarch Bartholomew obliged by kissing the pontiff's head....



В МВД Украины сообщили о гибели журналиста под Славянском - РИА Новости



1 Share

Scores of Russian Gays Are Seeking Asylum in US - ABC News

1 Share

ABC News

Scores of Russian Gays Are Seeking Asylum in US
ABC News
Had he stayed in Russia, Andrew Mironov would be settling in to a stable job with an oil company, likely with a newly awarded doctoral degree in electrical engineering. Instead, he faces an uncertain future in New York City as one of scores of Russian ... 
Scores of Russian gays seeking asylum in USWashington Times

all 50 news articles »

В МВД Украины сообщили о гибели журналиста под Славянском - РИА Новости

1 Share

РИА Новости

В МВД Украины сообщили о гибели журналиста под Славянском
РИА Новости
"На даче в селе Богородичное с колото-резаными ранениями обнаружены тела мужчины и женщины... Установлено, что потерпевший имел отношение к журналистской деятельности", - говорится в сообщении ГУМВД Украины. Сотрудники милиции на Украине, архивное фото.
Тело донецкого журналиста обнаружено под СлавянскомКоммерсантъ
Под Славянском обнаружено тело журналистаПолит.ру
МВД Украины сообщило о погибшем журналисте под СлавянскомГазета.Ru
Взгляд -РБК Украина -РБК
Все похожие статьи: 21 »

What's Behind Vladimir Putin's Close Relationship With an Orthodox Jewish Sect? - Slate Magazine

1 Share

Slate Magazine

What's Behind Vladimir Putin's Close Relationship With an Orthodox Jewish Sect?
Slate Magazine
Original artifacts, film clips, and interactive displays take visitors on a tour through centuries of Judaism's rich but tragic history in Russia, from the Middle Ages to the czarist-era pogroms to the Holocaust to the repression of the Stalin era to ...

and more »

Moldova votes in 'EU v Russia' election - BBC News

1 Share

BBC News

Moldova votes in 'EU v Russia' election
BBC News
Moldova is voting in parliamentary elections which are widely seen as a contest between pro-EU parties and those backing closer ties with Russia. Recent opinion polls gave a lead to the pro-Westerners, but tough post-election bargaining is predicted ...

Window on Eurasia: 75 Years On Russia Again Engaged in a Winter War 

1 Share

Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, November 30 – Seventy-five years ago today, Moscow launched what became known as the Winter War against Finland. It used much the same propaganda and tactics it is using against Ukraine now. It faced far greater resistance than its vast disproportion of forces had led it to believe. And thanks to that resistance, it achieved far less than Moscow had expected.

 

            Not surprisingly, many commentators in Ukraine and even in Russia and Finland are drawing parallels between the two Russian wars, parallels which carry with them lessons for all sides about the failures of international diplomacy, the continuities of Russian policies, and the relative importance of arms.

 

            Ukrainian commentator Oleg Shama in an essay in “Novoye vremya” provides the basis for these and other observations conclusions for the present situation in Ukraine and the world as well (http://nvua.net/publications/prinuditelno-osvoboditelnaya-75-let-nazad-sssr-razvyazal-voynu-protiv-finlyandii-22338.html).

 

            In August 1939, with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Hitler and Stalin came up with a grand bargain dividing Europe into spheres of influence, Shama recalls. On the basis of that, Moscow forced the three Baltic countries to capitulate to its demands and then illegally annexed them to the Soviet Union.

 

            But the Finns refused to go along. They “wanted to retain their neutrality” in the looming war, and they recognized that the presence of Soviet forces on their territory would not only be an insult to their independence but would inevitably draw them into that conflict on one side or the other.

 

            But the Soviet government had no intention of backing away from what it thought were its rights under the Molotov-Ribbentrop accord, Shama says, all the more so because Moscow believed that Finland should be part of the USSR since it had been part of the Russian Empire between 1809 and 1917.

 

            The Kremlin tried diplomacy, demanding in talks with Helsinki that lasted more than a year that Finland rent Khanko Island and agree to a shift in the border 60 kilometers away from Leningrad. Such a concession, Soviet diplomats and generals said, was required to ensure the defense of the northern capital. But the Finns refused and in October 1939 broke off talks.

 

            On November 3, Moscow mobilized the Leningrad military district, and on November 26, Russian special forces organized a provocation involving what Soviet propagandists asserted was an attack on USSR forces by Finnish ones.  Helsinki denied involvement and said it would conduct a full-scale investigation.

 

            But Moscow wasn’t interested in talks, and on November 30, 1939, Stalin ordered his forces to begin to attack Finland. On that date, Soviet planes dropped 600 bombs on Helsinki, killing 91 Finns.

 

            “Despite Kremlin propaganda,” Shama continues, “the Finns were not prepared for war. Their army consisted of 30,000 soldiers and officers,” and they had been reducing their defense spending for two decades confident that the League of Nations would prevent any attack and guarantee their security.

 

            But the unprovoked Soviet attack so angered the Finns that thousands of them immediately took up arms and went to the front, often without uniforms because none were available.  They were vastly outnumbered in personnel and arms, but they were inspired by Marshal Mannerheim who said “we are fighting for our home, faith and fatherland.”

 

            Soviet forces were inspired by a quite different idea: they had been told that they were “freeing the Finnish people from the oppression of the capitalists,” but after a few days Soviet soldiers on Finnish land were asking themselves “Why are we liberating the Finns? They live so well.”

 

            Moreover, the Soviet forces found they had no one to liberate because the Finns withdrew from the border regions, burning their homes and farms so that the Soviets would not get anything they might use against Finland.

 

            Then, one day into the fighting, the Soviet media announced that in a “liberated” village near the border, a new Finnish government had been formed, headed by Otto Kuusinen, the communist whose revolt Mannerheim had himself put down in 1918. A day later, he signed a mutual assistance pact with the Soviet government to “legalize” the Kremlin’s aggression.

 

            In preparation for this campaign, the Soviet military had created, beginning in October 1939, a “Finnish Peoples Army,” filling it with Finns and Karelians who lived on Soviet territory and then even with Belarusians. That step led to a Soviet joke at the time, Shama says: “Minsk Finns will march onto Finnish mines.”

 

            Finland had erected some defenses earlier, and the Soviet command was well aware of those and quite prepared to go around or over them. But, as the Ukrainian commentator points out, Moscow had not taken into account the Finnish will to fight and expected an easy and quick victory, one that was supposed to be complete by Stalin’s birthday on December 21.

 

            The Soviet advance slowed as Finnish resistance grew, but the Finns, having suffered 25,000 combat dead in the course of 105 days of fighting, finally had to sue for peace, even though they had inflicted 126,000 dead on the invaders. And they had to yield a tenth of their territory to Moscow.

 

            But that was less than Moscow expected to gain, and so it could hardly justify the claims of victory it put out and that were accepted by some in the West.  Moreover, the way in which Finland and the Soviet Union treated their combat losses spoke volumes about the differences between the two countries, differences which are in evidence in Ukraine and Russia now.

 

            When the war began, Mannerheim ordered that “each soldier killed was to be buried with military honors” in specially designated cemeteries. In the Soviet Union, Andrey Zhdanov, head of the Leningrad CPSU obkom, “categorically forbid telling relatives of dead soldiers about the destruction of their near ones” and to take other steps to hide such losses as well.

 

            On this anniversary of the Winter War, Ukrainians are thinking about that conflict perhaps more than any other people except for the Finns.  Roman Bochkala, a Ukrainian military analyst, spoke for many in his country when he wrote of that long-ago conflict in terms every Ukrainian would recognize as like the one now (charter97.org/ru/news/2014/11/29/128592/).



            Like Ukraine, the Finns faced an overwhelming adversary, “a horde [which] wanted to suppress its opponents by its size. David went into the ring against Goliath. And he won.”  Of course, Bochkala writes, the Finns were frightened but they were not intimidated, and “they fought like lions.”



            They understood something that Ukrainians should as well: “in war, the main thing is not quantity but motivation and intelligence.”



            Vadim Shtepa, who lives in Karelia and who supports Ukrainian efforts to defend their nation against Vladimir Putin’s aggression, reflects on this anniversary? “What can one say? The only thing is to wish our Ukrainian friends [in this new Winter War] to be no weaker than the Finns!” (rufabula.com/author/shtepa/203).
Read the whole story
 
· · · · · · ·

How Russia outmanoeuvred the west in Ukrainian finance - Financial Times

1 Share

BBC News

How Russia outmanoeuvred the west in Ukrainian finance
Financial Times
The quality of US representation in eastern Europe seems to have declined, sadly, since the days of George Kennan and George Marshall in the 1940s and 1950s. European diplomacy, though, appears to have maintained the tradition of ethical flexibility ... 
How sanctions on Russia are hitting UK businessesBBC News
Russia calls for end to sanctions as EU targets Ukraine separatistsReuters
Europe Must Stand Its Ground Against RussiaThe Moscow Times
Yahoo News-Christian Science Monitor
all 216 news articles »
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 2

Window on Eurasia: Only Regime Change Can Save Moscow’s Environment, Yablokov Says

1 Share

Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, November 30 – Many people in many countries are angry about this or that aspect of their lives, but they do not become a political force until they decide that the solution to their problems requires either a change in the policies of the government or, more radically, a change in the regime itself.

 

            That may now be happening with environmentalism in the Russian Federation. Aleksey Yablokov, a biologist who founded Russia’s Greenpeace organization already in Soviet times, says that the situation in the environment in the Russian capital is so dire that it can be saved only by a change in the political regime (snob.ru/profile/22957/blog/84400).

 

            He describes five threats to the health and welfare of Muscovites, stressing that some of these are well understood by the population while others are not and that some of the steps the powers that be have taken in recent years, steps that he calls “the de-ecologization of the state” are making things worse.

 

            The first threat, Yablokov says, are chemical emissions. When there was an accident at the Moscow Oil Processing Plant on November 11-12, two million Muscovites called the city government’s hotline to complain about the smell.  And it is likely that as many as half of all Muscovites in fact suffered from that problem.

 

            But despite the alarms raised, this problem was not as serious as many other chemical emissions into the air and water. This incident caused only a few tens of thousands to suffer from breathing problems, and “only several hundred” residents landed in hospitals as a result. Many other accidents and even regular emissions have caused far more problems.

 

            The second environmental threat, he continues, is the release of radioactivity.  “Moscow is the only capital in the world on the territory of which there are nuclear reactors,” with at least 11 research reactors in the city or in the surrounding oblast.  Most have been stopped, but their radioactive cores have not been removed and remain “extremely dangerous.”

 

            Government monitoring, as the recent oil plant accident showed, “is not particularly effective,” Yablokov says. And while simultaneous accidents in all the radioactive facilities is small, even one can be a challenge, especially since, as in one recent case, officials kept fire fighters from entering a reactor building for four hours out of security concerns.

           

            The third environmental threat comes from automobiles. “100 percent of the residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg breathe dirty air,” and for 95 percent of this, “automobiles are guilty.” Their emissions poison people both when they breathe in the particles emitted and even when they don’t: some of the poisons enter through the skin.

 

            And those who think that the situation is better in the winter are wrong, Yablokov says. The cars stir up chemicals put down on the streets and thus spread these poisons into the air and thus into the lungs of Muscovites.

 

            The fourth threat is from dirty water. The water processing facilities in the two Russian capitals work well, but the water has to pass through pipelines which are aging and which often follow sewage lines that leak.  As a result, officials acknowledge that “three to four percent” of the water Muscovites use has more contamination than standards require.

 

            The actual percentage is almost certainly larger because in some parts of the Russian capital, the water is contaminated by rare earth minerals that can make people sick immediately or over time, Yablokov says.

 

            And the fifth threat involves the destruction of the city’s green spaces, an action that is directly traceable to the commitment of the Sobyanin administration to build more churches and restaurants in the name of creating “recreational” opportunities for the population. But this is “dangerous for city residents,” the ecologist says.

           

            “Americans have calculated that one large tree in a city preserves the life of one resident,” Yablokov notes, and in recent years, the city authorities have cut down “tens of thousands of trees” and thus put at risk the same number of Russians living there.

 

            He also points out that drivers sitting in long lines “receive a larger dose of harmful substances than do pedestrians,” noting that Moscow has fewer cars per capita than do Paris or New York but longer lines.  Bike riders also breathe in this contaminated air. Thus, promoting bike riding as a way of improving health, as officials now do, may have just the opposite effect.

 

 

 
Read the whole story
 
· · · · ·

Window on Eurasia: Why Tatars are Called Tatars

1 Share

Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, November 30 – The ethnonym “Tatar” has a long a complicated history, one that reflects both the understanding and confusions of investigators and officials and that highlights both real links and imaginary ones, according to Pavel Gusterin, a specialist on Central Asia and the Middle East at the Russian Institute for Strategic Research.

 

            In a note for the Centrasia.ru portal, Gusterin says that the term first appears in Chinese sources as a designator for nomadic groups to the southeast of Lake Baikal. The name “Tatar” derives from the Chinese “ta-ta” which some link to what horseman say to their horses to get them going (centrasia.ru/news.php?st=1417198980).

 

            Other scholars, although Gusterin does not mention this, have suggested that this doubling of a syllable is a way of indicating that the people so designated do not speak the language their neighbors know as in the case of the Greek “bar-bar” which becomes “barbarian” and the Turkish “ga-ga” which survives in the ethnonym “Gagauz.”

 

            Gusterin, however, does cite one nineteenth century French orientalist who explained why the Tatars are sometimes called “Tartars.” According to Jean-Pierre Abel-Remusat, some Chinese dialects have a sound close to “r” and thus when they said “ta-ta,” it came out sounding like “tar-tar.” That name is also found in Arabic and Persian sources.

 

            However that may be, the Chinese initially used the term “ta-ta” to designate peoples who would later be identified as Mongols and Tunguses but then began to restrict its application to nomads who attacked China.  The Mongols continued to be called Tatars because the mother of Chingiz Khan was from a Tatar tribe.

 

In the middle of the 13th century, Europeans began to use the term Tatar to designate the Mongol conquerors of Eurasia and the residents of the new kingdoms and khanates formed in the Volga region, the Caucasus, in Crimea, in Siberia and elsewhere. Over time, Europeans came to distinguish between the Mongols and the Tatars, retaining the latter term for the latter groups.

 

But because the number of Mongol conquerors was so small, they were rapidly swallowed up by Turkic groups and became in many cases Turkic speakers. Thus, “the name ‘Tatars’ was retained despite the disintegration of the Mongol states.” 

 

            Gusterin says there is a parallel between what happened in this case with what happened among the Slavs. In the former, the chain of identities was “Mongols-Tatars-Volga Turks;” in the latter, “Varyags, Rus, and Eastern Slavs” – “with only this difference: the Rus did not conquer the eastern Slavs.”

 

            In the khanates the Golden Horde established, the Russian researcher says, only the elites were called Tatars. But as the khanates disintegrated or were conquered, the term was transferred to the population as a whole, and that process led Russian researchers and officials to call all their populations “Tatars.”

 

Thus, from the 15th to the 19thcenturies, Russian sources used the term “Tatar” to designate “the Azerbaijanis, the peoples of the North Caucasus, the Crimea, the Volga, Central Asia and Siberia, including the Astrakhan, Kazan, Crimean and Siberian Tatars.” But they stopped using it for the Mongols, Tibetans, Tunguses, and Manchurian nationalities.

 

            By the early 20th century, Gusterin says, “the majority of Tatars [as Russians used the term] called themselves Tatars,” as was shown by the results of the first Soviet census in 1926. The following year, the Soviets published a list of them, which included the Crimean Tatars, the Volga tatars, the Kasimov Tatars, and the Tobolsk Tatars.

 

            They were officially recognized by the Soviet state as “separate peoples.” In addition, there were listed the Belarusian Tatars, whose ancestors had been brought form Crimea to Poland but who had adopted the Belarusian language while remaining Muslims. And Moscow promoted the distinctiveness of these various identities in contrast to other Turkic groups with historical names like the Balkars, the Bashkirs, the Karachays, the Kumyks and the Nogays.

 

 
Read the whole story
 
· · · ·

Russia's Ongoing Battle With Radical Islam - Forbes

1 Share

Russia's Ongoing Battle With Radical Islam
Forbes
Last month, Russia's Anti-Terrorism Committee met in Moscow and announced that terrorist acts in the country have declined more than two-fold in 2014 as compared the same time period of the previous year. There are many reasons to remain skeptical, ...

Verdict in Mubarak Case Fuels Protests

1 Share
Protests erupted at universities across Egypt on Sunday, condemning a court decision to drop criminal charges against Hosni Mubarak, the president whose ouster in the 2011 uprising raised hopes of a new era of political openness. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Cairo University, waving pictures of Mubarak behind bars and demanding the "fall of the regime," the rallying cry of the Arab Spring uprisings that shook governments from Tunisia to the Gulf in 2011. Police stood ready at the gates to bar students that sought to take their demonstration into the streets. Charges dropped An Egyptian court on Saturday dropped its case against Mubarak over the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule. The ruling was seen by activists as the latest sign that the rights won during the revolt are being eroded. Two people were killed and nine were wounded on Saturday evening, when security forces fired tear gas and birdshot to disperse about 1,000 protesters who attempted to enter Tahrir Square - the symbolic heart of the revolt that ousted Mubarak. Security forces closed a Cairo metro station, the state news agency said, an apparent effort to prevent gatherings downtown. Clashes also erupted at Zagazig University in the Nile Delta, and the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper said 11 students were detained after setting fire to a building. Many Egyptians who lived through the rule of former air force officer Mubarak view it as a period of autocracy and crony capitalism. His overthrow led to Egypt's first free election. But the winner, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted last year by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, another military officer who won a presidential vote in May. Opponents jailed Egyptian authorities have since jailed Morsi and thousands of his Muslim Brotherhood supporters, sentencing hundreds to death in mass trials that drew international criticism. By contrast, Mubarak-era figures have been released and new laws curtailing political freedoms have raised fears among activists that the old leadership is back. "Down with Hosni Mubarak, down with every Mubarak, down with military rule" said one Facebook page that called for protests against the ruling. The verdict has also prompted a deluge of online cartoons about the return of the old guard. One animated video begins with a group of Mubarak-era politicians in a darkened cell facing an array of charges. One by one they are released and end up celebrating their freedom with their former president, singing "Yes, we are back."

Read the whole story
 
· ·

Russia Calls for End to Sanctions as EU Targets Ukraine Separatists 

1 Share
Russia urged the European Union on Saturday to lift sanctions against Moscow and promised to waive its food embargo, but a top EU official rejected such a move as the bloc imposed fresh measures on Ukrainian rebels.

Станислав Стремидловский. Почему Ватикан склонился перед Константинополем и Ататюрком - ИА REGNUM

1 Share

День

Станислав Стремидловский. Почему Ватикан склонился перед Константинополем и Ататюрком
ИА REGNUM
Папа Римский Франциск пребывает с визитом в Турции. Католические издания на первых полосах опубликовали один и тот же снимок — понтифик смиренно склоняет голову перед Константинопольским патриархом Варфоломеем. В этом жесте много символизма. Впервые со дня ...
Папа римский и патриарх Варфоломей призвали к мируBBC Russian
Папа Римский Франциск призвал к миру в УкраинеРБК Украина
Папа Римский призвал к миру в УкраинеУКРАИНСКАЯ ПРАВДА
Новости Армении
Все похожие статьи: 25 »
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 3

Pope Francis prays alongside Grand Mufti in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque 

1 Share
Pope treads carefully in footsteps of predecessor in ‘moment of silent adoration’ to mark religious cooperation during Turkey visit
In a gesture designed to highlight his commitment to inter-faith dialogue, Pope Francis conducted a silent prayer alongside a senior Islamic cleric in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque on Saturday. Facing Mecca, Francis bowed his head in prayer for several minutes while standing next to Istanbul’s Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran. The Vatican described the gesture as a “moment of silent adoration” of God.
Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict, caused dismay among many conservative Catholics and some Muslims when he appeared to pray in the same mosque on his visit to Turkey eight years ago. The Vatican felt compelled to publish a statement saying that Benedict had merely been in meditation, though he later acknowledged that he “certainly turned his thoughts to God”.
Continue reading...

Independent Is Elected Taipei Mayor as Taiwan’s Governing Party Falters 

1 Share
The election results signaled that Taiwan’s governing Chinese Nationalist Party, known as the Kuomintang, would be hard-pressed to retain the presidency in the 2016 election.

Sarkozy Elected Leader of French Center-Right Party

1 Share
The widely expected victory could serve as a steppingstone for Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2017 bid to become president of France again.

Florida boy reunited with mother after imprisonment in father's home

1 Share
The unnamed teenager reportedly downloaded a cellphone app to text his Florida-based mother to tell her he was being held captive and beaten at the house (pictured) in Clayton County, Georgia.

Death toll from Ebola outbreak nears 7,000 in West Africa: WHO

1 Share
DAKAR (Reuters) - The death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak on record has reached nearly 7,000 in West Africa, the World Health Organization said on Saturday.






  

Egyptian Court Drops Charges Against Mubarak 

1 Share
An Egyptian court cleared Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday of charges related to corruption and the killing of demonstrators during the 2011 uprising that ejected him from power.
The ruling dealt a blow to many Egyptians who took part in the revolution and who demanded Mubarak be held accountable for 30 years of repressive rule and for the deaths of at least 846 protesters who were killed during the uprising.
“The failure to hold Mubarak accountable for the deaths of hundreds of protesters, while Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of Egyptians for merely participating in demonstrations, is emblematic of the glaring miscarriages of justice doled out by Egypt’s judiciary,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch. “This is a fresh slap in the face to every Egyptian who believed that their revolution would bring fairness into their lives.”
The removal of the charges was seen as another setback for what is left of the driving spirit of the Arab Spring’s most significant revolution. Many of the institutional changes engendered by the uprising have been reversed.
Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist President elected in 2012, was removed by the military last year following a separate wave of protests. The current President, former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, has presided over a sweeping campaign on Islamists and other political dissidents.
Mubarak was acquitted in Saturday’s ruling, issued by a three-judge panel in the morning hours, of corruption charges related to the sale of natural gas to Israel at below-market prices. The head judge on the panel, Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi, announced that the charges of involvement in the deaths of protesters had been ruled inadmissible on a technicality.
Mubarak is currently serving a prison sentence in a separate corruption case and did not immediately go free. Sitting in the courtroom wearing sunglasses, the former autocrat showed little emotion in the televised hearing.
By late afternoon, several hundred anti-government protesters gathered outside Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the central site of the protests that forced Mubarak out in 2011. Security forces had sealed the entrances to the square. Demonstrators faced off with armored personnel carriers across a barbed wire fence dragged into place by soldiers.
“The people demand the fall of the regime!” the crowd chanted in a reprise of an iconic chant of the revolution. “Down with military rule!” Though nowhere near the size of previous Tahrir demonstrations the rally was a rare display in a country where the resurgent regime has criminalized unauthorized protest.
“I want to ask a question: How did they [the protesters] die?” said a demonstrator named Karim Abdel Wahab, standing in the crowd. “Was it Photoshop? Did they kill themselves?” He held a handwritten cardboard sign reading, “Where is justice?” As he spoke, the demonstration swelled. Later, police scattered the crowd using gunfire and teargas. The Interior Ministry said in a statement that it dispersed the protesters after Muslim Brotherhood members began fighting with other protesters.
The court’s decision was the latest episode in a lengthy and complex legal saga that is likely to continue as Egypt’s chief prosecutor announced Saturday that he plans to appeal the decision to drop the case over the protesters’ deaths. Mubarak had initially been sentenced to life in prison in June 2012 after being of failing to prevent the deaths of demonstrators, but a court ordered a retrial on procedural grounds in January 2013.
The ruling was part of the complex interplay between Egypt’s judiciary and the government; at times the judiciary can appear like an arm of the government and at others as an independent state institution. Egyptian judges espouse a diverse set of philosophies and fiercely proclaim their independence from the executive. Some judges criticized Mubarak’s excesses while others supported the system that he oversaw. Many of those same judges have issued harsh sentences rulings against the dissidents and journalists under the crackdown under el-Sisi.
“This is absolutely a triumph for the old regime and for what has come to be called the ‘deep state.’ And the context for the trial has been political from the beginning,” said Nathan Brown, a political scientist and expert on Egypt’s judiciary at George Washington University.
Brown also said the politicized nature of the trial did not mean that the ruling was legally illegitimate, citing procedural and conceptual flaws with the investigation and trial. “A true prosecution of Mubarak — if the impetus had been based on criminal law and not just politics — would have required full cooperation of the security apparatus. The verdict is likely justified by the evidence presented to the court. But a true investigation of the Mubarak presidency did not occur.”
Read the whole story
 
· · ·
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 4

Who pays for us to browse the web? Be wary of Google’s latest answer 

1 Share
Internet giants are exploring new ways to raise cash from their users, but harvesting our data remains key to their strategy
Google has quietly launched a new service, Google Contributor, and it’s based on an intriguing proposition: for a small monthly fee, you won’t see any ads on the websites of its partners. The fee, naturally, is split between Google and those sites – but only if they are actually visited. As Google puts it, this is all “an experiment in additional ways to fund the web”.
The experiment isn’t revolutionary. Wikipedia, with its ideological opposition to advertising, heavily relies on donations from readers. Premium members of Reddit, another popular site, could pay a fee and skip the ads. Google’s own YouTube channel has begun offering its paying customers an ad-free version – at a fee, of course. The fans can now also send money to their favourite artists.
Continue reading...

Greek resistance hero tells how the Athens bomb he planted nearly killed Churchill 

1 Share
Manolis Glezos crept through sewers to plant dynamite beneath British HQ in Athens. But the order to detonate never came
“You will have read about the plot to blow up HQ the Hotel Grande Bretagne. I do not think it was for my benefit. Still, a ton of dynamite was put in sewers by extremely skilled hands.” Thus wrote Winston Churchill in a telegram to his wife of his close brush with death in Athens on Christmas Day 1944.
The “skilled hands” belonged to Manolis Glezos, the Greek resistance hero who, 70 years after laying the explosives, has revealed to the Observer how Britain’s wartime leader came within inches of being killed by communist guerrillas towards the end of the second world war.
Continue reading...

Man versus myth: does it matter if the Moses story is based on fact? 

1 Share
As Ridley Scott prepares to release another blockbuster based on the exodus, the row has reignited the debate over whether Judaism’s historical saviour actually existed
The actor Christian Bale has said that Moses was “likely schizophrenic and one of the most barbaric characters I ever read about in my life”, which may illuminate the way he plays the character in Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings. But what light does it cast on the historical figure of Moses? The rather surprising answer is: none. There is no historical figure of Moses, and no reason from archaeology or history to suppose any of the exodus story is true.
Since the central rite of Jewish identity is the Passover festival, which commemorates the moment that Moses freed his people from slavery in Egypt, the absence of evidence outside the Bible story is potentially embarrassing, says Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, who leads Reform Judaism in this country: “When I heard for the first time that the exodus might not have happened, I did want to weep … then I thought, what does this matter? You have to distinguish between truth and historicity.”
Continue reading...

Missing boy: Atlanta false wall find after four years - BBC News

1 Share

Missing boy: Atlanta false wall find after four years
BBC News
A 13-year-old boy reported missing four years ago has been found hidden behind a false wall at a house in Atlanta, Georgia. The boy, whose name has not been released, managed to text information about his hiding place to his mother who then relayed it to ...

and more »

Ferguson Shooting Cop Resigns From Police

1 Share
Four months after the confrontation that sparked protests in the St Louis suburb and across the US, Darren Wilson quits the force.

Police Boy missing 4 years found hidden in Georgia home - KCTV5 - KCTV Kansas City

1 Share

Police Boy missing 4 years found hidden in Georgia home - KCTV5
KCTV Kansas City
(CNN) - A 13-year-old boy who was reported missing about four years was reunited with his mother Saturday after being found behind a false wall in an Atlanta-area home, police and CNN affiliate WXIA reported. Clayton County police arrested the boy's ...

and more »
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 5

Young Queen plotted to stop Margaret becoming regent: Monarch intervened to ensure Philip would have taken over while Charles was young

1 Share
Under the terms of the Regency Act 1937, Princess Margaret would have taken over as regent until Prince Charles, who was just four at the time of the Coronation, turned 18 would become King.

New radiation belt protects Earth from Killer Electrons

1 Share
Surrounded by radiation belts, Earth is being protected by an invisible shield that stops high-speed “killer electrons,” scientists have found after taking a closer look at the Van Allen belt 7,200 miles above our planet.
“Somewhat like the shields created by force fields on Star Trek that were used to repel alien weapons, we are seeing an invisible shield blocking these electrons,” the study’s lead author, Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics explained. “It’s an extremely puzzling phenomenon.”
This previously unknown phenomenon has been discovered by probes aimed at examining the so-called Van Allen belts, zones of donut-shaped rings around our planet.
Until March 2013, scientists assumed there were only two belts, filled with high-energy electrons and protons, surrounding Earth.
However, a NASA-launched probe detected that there was a third belt in between the two.
The outer Van Allen belt is about 25,000 miles (40, 000 km) above the Earth, while the inner one can dip as low as 600 miles, close to the plasmasphere. The newly discovered barrier is 7,200 miles or 11, 500 km above Earth. But it seems to fluctuate in response to space weather.
These “killer electrons” travel at near light-speed of around 100,000 miles per second and are capable of damaging space electronics and can put astronauts in danger. But this third belt stops them from moving towards Earth’s atmosphere.
“It’s almost like these electrons are running into a glass wall in space,” Baker said.
Previously the team thought the electrons drifted into Earth’s upper atmosphere, where they were wiped out by air molecules.
Baker’s colleague on the study, co-author and associate director of MIT’s Haystick Observatory, John Foster, says: “It’s like looking at the phenomenon with new eyes, with a new set of instrumentation, which give us the detail to say, ‘Yes, there is this hard, fast boundary.’”
Scientists have also looked at a number of scenarios that could create and maintain such a barrier.
The team initially thought that the barrier was created by the Earth’s magnetic fields, which exist to send protons and electrons back and forth from one magnetic pole to another. It was mooted that Earth’s manmade communications could be creating some type of scattering effect.
Baker believes both explanations don’t hold any water and that the key to understanding the barrier will lie in closer, thorough studies of the Van Allen belts.
“I think the key here is to keep observing the region in exquisite detail, which we can do because of the powerful instruments on the Van Allen probes. If the sun really blasts Earth’s magnetosphere with a coronal mass ejection (CME), I suspect it will breach the shield for a period of time,” Baker adds.
His work was published in the November 27 issue of the journal Nature.
Atheists in their ignorance can believe that the Earth “evolved” these belts by itself just to protect us. That’s why the existence of these belts specifically built to protect life on Earth, is “puzzling” to them. Scientists always study things from an evolutionist perspective because should they dare to study and research from a neutral perspective, their careers will end immediately. Today’s so-called science is pre-set, almost like a template based on anti-Creation prejudiced ideas.
        
Read the whole story
 
· · ·

Thousands evacuated as heavy flooding hits Gaza Strip

1 Share
Palestinians carry their belongings as they leave their flooded houses during heavy rain in Gaza City on November 27, 2014.
Thousands of Palestinians have been evacuated from their homes and moved to safer places in the Gaza Strip after heavy flooding struck the besieged coastal sliver earlier this week.
Among those affected on Saturday were families who had lost their homes during Israel’s 50-day summer war against the Palestinian enclave.
“We have been homeless for more than three months. Now our suffering increased due to the heavy rain,” Na’eem Jendeya, a resident of Gaza City’s eastern neighborhood of Shuja’iyya, said.
The Israeli war ended on August 26 with a truce that took effect after indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The onslaught killed nearly 2,140 Palestinians and injured thousands of others.
According to initial figures, nearly 89,000 Palestinian homes have been damaged in the Israeli military campaign against the Gaza Strip. A total of 15,000 homes have been either leveled to the ground or badly damaged that are no more habitable.
On November 27, The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a statement that hundreds of residents in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City had been evacuated due to the rise of a “storm water lagoon” in the area.
It further said the flooding had caused the closure of 63 schools across Gaza City and 43 schools across the northern Gaza Strip.
“The flooding is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza caused by blockade and the unprecedented destruction from the latest Israeli offensive,” the UN agency said.
The agency further noted that it was “providing emergency fuel to supply back-up generators for pumping stations, portable pumps, municipalities, water, sanitation and health facilities.”
        
Read the whole story
 
· ·

Set a web spy on your partner - for just £200: Is new website a positive step in the war on domestic violence or a boon for nosy neighbours?

1 Share
Laura Lyons, from Devon, set up the Are They Safe website after discovering her new husband had a history of violence against previous partners and hopes others will now avoid a similar fate.

Egyptian court drops case against Mubarak over 2011 protest deaths

1 Share
CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court has dropped its case against former President Hosni Mubarak over the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule and symbolized hopes for a new era of political openness and accountability.
  

Ex-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, 82, hospitalized - seattlepi.com

1 Share

Ex-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, 82, hospitalized
seattlepi.com
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Officials say New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, has been hospitalized. The governor's office says Saturday the elder Cuomo is being treated for a heart condition. A gubernatorial spokeswoman says the ...

and more »
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 6

Black Friday smashes record for web giant: Amazon says UK sales 'surpassed all expectations', averaging 64 items sold every second

1 Share
Black Friday gave Amazon its busiest day ever, with the online retailer saying it had 'surpassed all expectations' with recorded orders of more than 5.5million items.

Ex-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, 82, hospitalized - USA TODAY

1 Share

USA TODAY

Ex-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, 82, hospitalized
USA TODAY
ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, has been hospitalized, officials said Saturday. The elder Cuomo is being treated for a heart condition, the governor's office said Saturday. The 82-year-old former three-term ...

and more »

Since Eisenhower, Executive Action used for immigration - Hola Arkansas

1 Share

Hola Arkansas

Since Eisenhower, Executive Action used for immigration
Hola Arkansas
When President Barack Obama signed the executive action to make immigration reforms, he was following the lead of several other presidents. Every U.S. president since at least 1956 has granted temporary immigration relief of some form. President Ronald ... 
A "do-nothing" plan for RepublicansThe News-Press

all 137 news articles »

China urges Taiwan to keep close ties as pro-Beijing party routed at polls 

1 Share
Premier Jiang Yi-huah quits after Nationalists, who pioneered agreements with the mainland, lose nine cities in local elections
China urged Taiwan to continue its policy of cooperation with the mainland after the island’s pro-Beijing ruling party was routed in local elections.
The defeat in Saturday’s elections of the Nationalist Party, which lost nine cities and counties, including its longtime strongholds Taipei, the capital, and the major central city of Taichung, led to the resignation of premier Jiang Yi-huah, who heads the cabinet. President Ma Ying-jeou promised to make changes.
Continue reading...

Obama's immigration plan - Toledo Blade

1 Share

Obama's immigration plan
Toledo Blade
President Obama's executive order on immigration won't affect Ohio as much as it will in such states as California, Texas, and New York — and other Midwestern states, including Michigan — that are home to larger numbers of undocumented immigrants.

and more »

Moldova Holding Key General Elections

1 Share
Moldova is voting in parliamentary elections which are widely seen as a contest between parties aiming for membership in the European Union and those backing closer ties with Russia. 

Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 7

Lauren Laverne: ‘When it comes to expletives, context is everything’ 

1 Share
Culturally we’ve relaxed our attitude to ‘bad’ language. The average child even hears six different swear words a week. Is it time to appreciate the expressiveness of swearing?
One of the handy things about having a different accent from your children is that the expressions they learn from you are pretty obvious. So while I can’t say I was thrilled when my then-two-year-old son let fly a broad cockney “FACKSAKE” during a particularly intense Play-Doh session, at least I knew I wasn’t to blame.
Philip Larkin penned his light-hearted look at family life “This Be The Verse” in 1971. The “fuck” in the first line makes it memorable, but it’s revealing, too. Larkin deploys it to evoke a Britain which was already disappearing: an emotionally illiterate country of stifled feelings, rigid rules and families unable to speak freely. The poem was a plea for change and evidence that it was happening. Forty-four years later, is it the other way around? Parents are acutely aware of their children’s emotional wellbeing, but attitudes to swearing have softened, too. Perhaps now it’s more like: “They say fuck in front of you, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do…”
Continue reading...

Three Australian wines to try 

1 Share
A complex Chardonnay, a spice-infused Shiraz and a budget Pinot Noir from the Antipodes
Wolf Blass Silver Label Chardonnay, South Australia 2013 (£12.99, Tesco) “Troubled” is the adjective favoured by the business press when writing about Treasury Wine Estates. And with falling profits, a huge $100m loss in its last fiscal year and the announcement that it is to close a much-loved 130-year-old winery as part of a wave of cost-cutting, 2014 has certainly not been a vintage year for Australia’s largest wine company. This would not bother me if it weren’t for the fact that Treasury owns some of Australia’s greatest producers. A recent tasting at Wolf Blass suggested its Chardonnays, such as the complex, oatmealy Silver Label, are so far untouched by any trouble at the top.
Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvèdre South Australia 2012 (£19.99, or £13.22 if you buy two, Majestic)The real diamond in the Treasury is Penfolds, which occupies a similar cultural position in Australia to Château Lafite or Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in France. Much of that is down to Grange, a shiraz first produced in 1951 that remains the country’s most expensive wine. The good news is that the fabulously silky, deep and exotically scented 2010 is one of the best I’ve tasted. The bad news is that a case of six bottles will set you back £1,770 (bbr.com). Better value is the polished St Henri Shiraz 2011 (£65, hedonism.co.uk), or, for my pocket, the purring, spice-infused Bin 2.
Continue reading...

Iraq's divisions will delay counter-offensive on Islamic State

1 Share
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. air support and pledges of weapons and training for Iraq's army have raised expectations of a counter-offensive soon against Islamic State, but sectarian rifts will hamper efforts to forge a military strategy and may delay a full-scale assault.
  

Internet Trolling Victim Contacts Abusers' Mums

1 Share
Video game reviewer Alanah Pearce was threatened with violence and rape on social media, so she decided to take action.

Moldovans vote, election may slow moves to integration with Europe

1 Share
CHISINAU (Reuters) - Ex-Soviet Moldova voted on Sunday in an election whose outcome might slow, though not halt, its moves to join the European mainstream in defiance of Russia, which has banned its wines and other prime exports, hitting its economy hard.






  

China's Xi strikes conciliatory note, broadens diplomatic focus

1 Share
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's President Xi Jinping ratcheted down Beijing's heated rhetoric and called on the government to expand its foreign policy agenda through cooperation and diplomacy.
  
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 8

China's Xi strikes conciliatory note, broadens diplomatic focus - Reuters Canada

1 Share

China's Xi strikes conciliatory note, broadens diplomatic focus
Reuters Canada
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's President Xi Jinping ratcheted down Beijing's heated rhetoric and called on the government to expand its foreign policy agenda through cooperation and diplomacy. China should "promote peaceful resolution of differences and ...

and more »

Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson resigns - Fox News

1 Share

ABC News

Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson resigns
Fox News
Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown in a confrontation in August, has resigned from the Ferguson Police Department nearly four months after the confrontation that fueled protests in the St. Louis suburb and across the ...
A glance at developments in Ferguson Kansas City Star 
Ferguson a defining moment for race relations in USAUSA TODAY
Ferguson shooting: Darren Wilson quits police forceBBC News
Irish Times
all 4,856 
news articles »

Murders fuel caste tensions in rural India 

1 Share
A mysterious triple murder in rural western India is shining a spotlight on enduring caste hierarchies and prejudice. Duration: 02:04.
Views:
54
    
2
ratings
Time: 02:04More in News & Politics

Athens 1944: Britain’s dirty secret

1 Share
When 28 civilians were killed in Athens, it wasn’t the Nazis who were to blame, it was the British. Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith reveal how Churchill’s shameful decision to turn on the partisans who had fought on our side in the war sowed the seeds for the rise of the far right in Greece today
I can still see it very clearly, I have not forgotten,” says Títos Patríkios. “The Athens police firing on the crowd from the roof of the parliament in Syntagma Square. The young men and women lying in pools of blood, everyone rushing down the stairs in total shock, total panic.”
And then came the defining moment: the recklessness of youth, the passion of belief in a justice burning bright: “I jumped up on the fountain in the middle of the square, the one that is still there, and I began to shout: “Comrades, don’t disperse! Victory will be ours! Don’t leave. The time has come. We will win!”
Continue reading...

Simon Anholt interview: ‘There is only one global superpower: public opinion’ 

1 Share
Former ad man Simon Anholt thinks he has the answer to problems caused by globalisation – the Good Country party, a global political organisation. He’s launching it this weekend, and thinks it has the potential to gain 700 million members
There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to stand up and be counted. On Friday, that moment arrived for Simon Anholt, a 53-year-old political consultant who lives on the Norfolk coast. Anholt’s stage was a TED conference in Amsterdam; he walked to the middle of it, and without undue fanfare, quietly launched a revolutionary political party.
The only politics that matters is how we organise ourselves as a species. The rest is technocratic detail
Continue reading...

30 U.S.-led strikes hit Islamic State in Syria's Raqqa: monitoring group

1 Share
BEIRUT (Reuters) - A U.S.-led coalition carried out at least 30 air strikes in Syria against Islamic State militants in the northern province of Raqqa on Saturday, a monitoring group said.