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Member since: Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:13 PM
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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

US condemns 'disturbing' beating of Ukraine opposition journalist.

Source: Al Jazeera America

The United States on Thursday expressed concern over the targeting of journalists and activists taking part in pro-EU rallies in Ukraine, calling the savage beating of one opposition journalist "particularly disturbing." Opposition leaders have been locked in a standoff with President Viktor Yanukovich over his decision to scrap key political and free trade agreements with the European Union last month. "The United States expresses its grave concern over an emerging pattern of targeted violence and intimidation towards activists and journalists who participated in or reported on the EuroMaidan protests," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a release. "The violent beating of journalist Tetyana Chornovil is particularly disturbing," she said.

Hundreds of protesters clutching pictures of Chornovil's badly bruised face marched on the Interior Ministry in Kiev, demanding Ukraine's interior minister, Vitaly Zakharchenko, resign Thursday. The attack on Chornovil, shortly after midnight on Wednesday, came hours after she posted pictures online of what she said was Zakharchenko's home, part of a campaign to expose the opulence of the political elite under Yanukovich. Chornovil, who has played an active role in the protests, shot to prominence last year when she infiltrated the grounds of Yanukovich's opulent residence in a park near the Dnieper River.

She has since posted more photographs of homes of other senior officials, Zakharchenko was her target on Tuesday. Hours after she posted the picture to her blog, she was allegedly attacked.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/12/26/us-condemns-disturbingbeatingofukraineoppositionjournalist.html

Some may call this assault on a prominent, muck-raking newswoman nothing more than an odd coincidence. I am not buying that, not at all!
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:05 AM (6 replies)

Anti-ageing compound set for human trials after turning clock back for mice.

Source: The Guardian

Australian and US researchers hope an anti-ageing compound could be trialled on humans as early as next year, following a key breakthrough that saw the ageing process reversed in mice. The study, involving Harvard University and the University of NSW, discovered a way of restoring the efficiency of cells, completely reversing the ageing process in muscles. Two-year-old mice were given a compound over a week, moving back the key indicators of ageing to that of a six-month-old mouse. Researchers said this was the equivalent of making a 60-year-old person feel like a 20-year-old.

It’s hoped the research, published in Cell, will be expanded to humans as early as next year, with scientists set to look at how the theory of age reversal can be used to treat diseases such as cancer, dementia and diabetes.

The research focused on an area of cells, called mitochondria, which produce energy. Over time, the communication between this area and the cell nucleus degrades, leading to the ageing process. Researchers injected a chemical called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD, which reduces in the body as we age. The addition of this compound led to the radical reversal in the ageing of the mice.


Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/20/anti-ageing-human-trials

If this pans out, Social Security checks will soon be going to retirees who are, physically at least, only twenty-five!
Posted by another_liberal | Sat Dec 21, 2013, 10:11 PM (78 replies)

Japanese lawmakers demand removal of California World War II memorial.

Source: Al Jazeera America

A statue of a lone woman in traditional Korean dress that commemorates women sexually exploited during World War II drew the ire of Japanese lawmakers visiting Southern California this week — amid signs that many in Japanese society are weary of making reparations for crimes perpetrated during the war. The 1,100-pound bronze figure unveiled in Glendale, Calif., in July commemorates “comfort women” from Korea, the Philippines, China and a number of other Asian countries who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during WWII. Some Japanese sources estimate 20,000 women were forced into systematic sexual exploitation, but Chinese sources say the figure was 20 times that.

Three members of Japan’s House of Representatives – Hiromu Nakamaru, Yuzuru Nishida and Mio Sugita, all from the country’s conservative Restoration party – asked city officials to remove the statue, said Kathy Masaoka, co-chair of Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, one of the Japanese-American advocacy groups the legislators met. “They said they were here to investigate different viewpoints on the comfort women," said Masaoka. "I don’t believe they met that many groups. They asked, ‘Why is a third country involved in this issue,’ when they believe it’s between Japan and I guess South Korea,’” Masaoka said of the recent delegation's visit to the Glendale memorial in Los Angeles County.


A poll conducted in late November by Japanese media outlets Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network – just after Japanese courts ordered numerous companies to pay Koreans forced into labor during the war – showed roughly 70 percent of respondents don’t trust Korea. Almost 80 percent said Japan should not pay reparations.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/12/19/japanese-lawmakersdemandremovalofcaliforniaworldwariimemorial.html

I guess the old saying is true: "Self knowledge is never good news."
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Dec 20, 2013, 06:44 AM (35 replies)

Bob Dylan sings to the miners. Fifty years ago.

Posted by another_liberal | Thu Dec 19, 2013, 09:42 AM (0 replies)

Syria rebels say peace talks destined for failure.

Source: Al Jazeera America

The Bashar al-Assad regime and the Syrian National Coalition, Syria’s Western-backed political opposition, committed this week to peace talks aimed at pursuing the lofty goal of a mutually agreeable transitional government that can end the two-and-a-half-year war. "At long last and for the first time, the Syrian government and opposition will meet at the negotiating table instead of the battlefield,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday as he announced the long-delayed summit for Jan. 22 in Geneva. Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby promptly affirmed his support for the planned conference and said his only regret was the long delay in scheduling the talks.

But comments from world leaders wrangling for a solution to the war belie a bleak reality: almost no one believes the long-anticipated talks will succeed – not even the Coalition itself. “I really don’t think the prospects of a successful meeting are there – the gaps between the two sides are huge,” Najib Ghadbian, the Coalition's special representative to the United States, told Al Jazeera. The Coalition will go to Geneva, Ghadbian said, to push for delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged cities and for the release of some of Syria's tens of thousands of political prisoners. "From our point of view," he said, "we have nothing really to lose."

But the rebels actually fighting Syria’s war are more fervently opposed and say they will boycott the long-anticipated peace talks, the successor to the first Geneva conference in June of last year that proved largely ineffective.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/30/syria-rebels-skepticalaboutgenevatalks.html

The only rebels who will attend the talks are those who are not doing any actual fighting? I wonder how that's going to work out for everyone? Still, it is an important development, precedent-setting if nothing else.
Posted by another_liberal | Sat Nov 30, 2013, 10:54 AM (3 replies)

Iran invites UN inspectors to controversial Arak nuclear facility.

Source: Al Jazeera America

Iran has invited U.N. inspectors to visit its Arak heavy-water production plant on Dec. 8, the first concrete step under a cooperation agreement to clarify concerns about Tehran's disputed nuclear program. Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also said the IAEA was looking into how Sunday's agreement between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran's nuclear activity could be "put into practice" concerning the U.N. agency's role in verifying the deal. The IAEA will expand its monitoring of Iran's uranium enrichment sites and other facilities under the interim accord, reached after marathon talks between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China.

"This will include the implications for funding and staffing," Amano told the IAEA's 35-nation governing board, according to a copy of his speech, "This analysis will take some time. I will consult the board as soon as possible when it has been completed."

The IAEA's visit next month to the heavy water production plant near the town of Arak is part of a separate agreement signed earlier this month between the Vienna-based U.N. agency and Iran. The IAEA has not been at the site for about two years, despite repeated requests, but Iran agreed on Nov. 11 to grant access to this facility as well as to a uranium mine within three months.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/28/iran-invites-u-ninspectorstocontroversialaraknuclearfacility.html

Iran's scary new reactor will now be under close United Nations' observation? That sounds like progress.
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Nov 29, 2013, 08:59 AM (7 replies)

The President's speech was anything but a surrender.

President Obama did about as much as he could to explain that the blame for canceled insurance policies rightly belongs on greedy, deceptive insurance companies who dupe many people into paying for policies which are nearly worthless when medical bills start to arrive. Most importantly, he offered a fix for the problem which clearly puts the onus on those companies, ordering them to contact their canceled policy holders and explain to them why their former policy is considered deficient by the government. The President allowed that companies can also continue to offer their rip-off plans in 2014 for those who still want them, but only after those policy holders are informed of the flaws in the coverage they will be paying for.

This is all to the good, and in no way a "Surrender" to anyone.
Posted by another_liberal | Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:53 PM (14 replies)

UN inspectors submit Syria chemical weapons report.

Source: Al Jazeera America

U.N. chemical weapons inspectors turned over a long-awaited report on last month’s alleged gas attack in Syria to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday. The incident, in which the U.S. says more than 1,400 people died, nearly escalated into a U.S.-led punitive military strike against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – with some allies urging for the report to be completed before taking action.

The report’s release comes two days after Russia and the United States agreed on a framework for the removal of Syria's chemical weapons – halting military action if Assad turns over his chemical weapons to the international community for destruction. Ban will brief a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on Monday morning and the General Assembly later in the day on the report’s findings. He is to hold a press conference at 12:50 p.m. Ban said Friday that he believed there would be "an overwhelming report" that chemical weapons were used in the attack.

The inspection team, led by Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, was mandated to report on whether chemical weapons were used in the Aug. 21 attack and, if so, which chemical agents were used -- not who was responsible.


Secretary of State John Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to brief him on the plan and emerged with a word of warning for Damascus. "The threat of force remains, the threat is real," Kerry said at a joint news conference in Jerusalem with Netanyahu. Following his trip to Israel, Kerry arrived in Paris early Monday to meet with the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Saudi Arabia and brief them as well.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/16/un-inspectors-submitsyriachemicalweaponsreport.html

Without anyone being singled out as the guilty party? Isn't that the essential point in all of this?
Posted by another_liberal | Mon Sep 16, 2013, 08:38 AM (2 replies)

Syria: US and Russia revive hopes for 'Geneva 2' peace talks

Source: The Guardian

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, and the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, have said they hope that talks on chemical weapons will help revive an international plan for a "Geneva 2" conference to end the war in Syria. Kerry, who described the talks as "constructive", told a news conference in Geneva that he and Lavrov planned to meet in New York later this month and hoped to agree a date for the Geneva 2 conference then.

Russia and the US were working hard to find common ground for a negotiated solution to the crisis, but both needed to do some homework first, Kerry said, without giving any details. "We've both agreed to do that homework and meet again in New York around the time of the UN general assembly, around the 28th[of September], in order to see if it is if possible to find a date for that conference, much of which will depend on the capacity to have success here in the next hours, days, on the subject of the chemical weapons."

Lavrov said Russian and US experts needed to engage with the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to design a roadmap to resolve the issue as soon as practical. He said the work on chemical weapons would go on in parallel with preparatory work for the Geneva peace conference. "We agreed to meet in New York on the margins of the general assembly and see where we are and see what the Syrian parties think about it and do about it, and we hope we would be able to be a bit more specific when we meet with you in New York."

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/13/syria-us-russia-geneva-peace-talks

Sec. Kerry says the effort to end Syria's civil war without a U. S. intervention is on again.
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Sep 13, 2013, 07:22 AM (8 replies)

These are the words our President needs to stand by.

Last evening President Obama told NBC Nightly News:

“I am taking this vote in Congress and what the American people are saying very seriously. I recognize how important that debate is. It’s my belief that for me, the President, to act without consensus in a situation where there is no direct imminent threat to the homeland or our interests around the world – that’s not a kind of precedent that I want to set."

Stand by that statement, Mr. President, and our country will stand by you.

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Sep 10, 2013, 01:22 PM (0 replies)
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