Police throw arbitrary gas bombs to an apartment complex in Beyllikduzu, istanbul
Breaking News of the Day: Pussy Riot Gets 2 Years In Jail: Meanwhile in Russia: Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot each have been sentenced to two years in jail for an obscenity-laced performance at Moscow’s Christ The Savior cathedral in February in which they were so bold as to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The woman — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Maria Alekhina, 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 — are made of tough stuff. As the verdict came down, and a shout of “Shame!” was heard in the courtroom, they just laughed.
Judge Marina Syrova convicted the women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, saying they had “crudely undermined social order.” She cited three specific elements for finding the trio guilty:
- The choice and timing of venue.
- Their continued performance and resistance to be taken outside by security and cathedral parishioners.
- The defendants’ conduct and their accomplices afterwards.
Here’s the shocking performance that started it all.
Weighing in on targeted drone strikes, journalist Jeremy Scahill did not mince his words. From the video:
If you go to the village of Al-Majalah in Yemen, where I was, and you see the unexploded clusterbombs and you have the list and photographic evidence, as I do - the women and children that represented the vast majority of the deaths in this first strike that Obama authorized on Yemen -those people were murdered by President Obama, on his orders, because there was believed to be someone from Al Qaeda in that area. There’s only one person that’s been identified that had any connection to Al Qaeda there. And 21 women and 14 children were killed in that strike and the U.S. tried to cover it up, and say it was a Yemeni strike, and we know from the Wikileaks cables that David Petraeus conspired with the president of Yemen to lie to the world about who did that bombing. It’s murder - it’s mass murder—when you say, ‘We are going to bomb this area’ because we believe a terrorist is there, and you know that women and children are in the area. The United States has an obligation to not bomb that area if they believe that women and children are there. I’m sorry, that’s murder.
Later on Scahill faced massively negative responses from Obama-supporters on which Roqayah Chamseddine of Frustrated Arab accurately commented:
The response to Scahill has been overwhelmingly negative, from both political camps – Democrats and Republicans; though reactions stemming from Obama supporters are the most venomous, as they unashamedly mirror Bush-era idolatry, going as far as to consider Scahill’s undaunted commentary a sort of political sacrilege.
It’s depressing how true this is.
In nearly all countries, there is considerable opposition to a major component of the Obama administration’s anti-terrorism policy: drone strikes. In 17 of 20 countries, more than half disapprove of U.S. drone attacks targeting extremist leaders and groups in nations such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Americans are the clear outliers on this issue – 62% approve of the drone campaign, including most Republicans (74%), independents (60%) and Democrats (58%).
via Boing Boing:
At Hacker News, a user named “Sara70” posts:
I’m writing this to report the serious troubles we have regarding accessing Internet in Iran at the moment. Since Thursday Iranian government has shutted down the https protocol which has caused almost all google…
three versions of hijab
He told NBC he believed Israel had not yet decided how to deal with the issue, amid reports that Israel may strike Iran as early as spring.
Mr Obama said the aim was to resolve the crisis diplomatically, but added that no option was off the table.
The US and Israel suspect that Iran is building a nuclear bomb. Iran says its programmes are for peaceful purposes.
Last November, the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, said it had information suggesting Iran had carried out tests “relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device”.
Since then, the US and the EU have imposed a series of sanctions against Iran, including measures targeting the country’s lucrative oil industry.
“I’ve been very clear - we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and creating a nuclear arms race in a volatile region,” Mr Obama told NBC in a live interview on Sunday.
He said Washington was working “in lockstep” with Israel, which was right to be very concerned about Iran’s controversial activities.
Asked if he believed the Jewish state could launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, Mr Obama said: “I don’t think Israel has made a decision on what they need to do.”
He declined to answer directly a question whether Washington would be consulted first, saying only that the US and Israel “have closer military and intelligence consultation… than we’ve ever had”.
Mr Obama also said there was no evidence that the Iranians had “intentions or capabilities” to strike US targets in retaliation.
The US leader was eager to play down tensions between the US and Israel over suggestions that Israel is preparing a military strike against Iran, the BBC’s Jane Little in Washington reports.
But she says that behind the scenes Washington is deeply alarmed by reports that Israel may strike Iran as early as April - in a move that would drive up tensions in the Middle East as well as oil prices, which would threaten the global economy and Mr Obama’s re-election chances.
Reacting to the Russian and Chinese veto to a United Nations Security Council resolution to stop the killings of civilians by Syrian security sources, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey’s doors were “open to all Syrians who want to flee from oppression.”
“We are ready to host them in our homes if necessary,” Davutoğlu added as part of a new stage to step up pressure on the Bashar al-Assad regime.
The move is interesting since Turkey has announced that there could be only two conditions for Turkish involvement in military action in the Syrian situation; a U.N. Security Council decision based on humanitarian reasoning or a massive flood of refugees into Turkey.
Yet the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a written statement yesterday categorically denying media reports that Turkey and the United States had agreed on a military action plan on Syria in Feb. 4’s meeting in Munich between Davutoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Davutoğlu made no comment on U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman’s statement after he said that his country might consider providing weapons to a Free Syrian Army consisting of defectors from Syrian army and forming the military wing of the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council.
With this move of welcoming Syrian regime opponents in need, Turkey wants to trigger a new balance, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has planned a visit to Damascus to convince al-Assad to stop the violence against his own people. “We don’t want to lose our hopes and we don’t want to let the Syrian people down,” Davutoğlu said, “But Lavrov should have done this months ago.”
The Turkish top diplomat explains the latest move as follows: “Syrian people should not be victimized by a power game between the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The U.N. resolution, which was proposed by the Arab League and Turkey who are affected by the Syrian crisis, were vetoed by those who are not directly related with it; it’s an ethical and legalistic weakness regarding international politics. But [even] if the international community prefers to remain silent before this human tragedy, Turkey continues to do whatever is necessary.”
AFP - Rights group Amnesty International Thursday urged the release of a South Korean activist accused of helping the “enemy” by re-tweeting messages from North Korea’s official Twitter account.
Park Jeong-Geun, a Socialist Party activist, was arrested last month for re-tweeting messages such as “Long Live General Kim Jong-Il”.
The 24-year-old says his re-tweets were meant to ridicule North Korea’s leaders rather than support them.
He has been in custody since January 11 and could face up to seven years in jail under the strict National Security Law (NSL).
“This is not a national security case, it’s a sad case of the South Korean authorities’ complete failure to understand sarcasm,” Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director, said in a statement.
“Imprisoning anyone for peaceful expression of their opinions violates international law but in this case, the charges against Park Jeong-Geun are simply ludicrous and should be dropped immediately,” he said.
Amnesty said the party to which Park belongs has frequently criticised North Korea for exploiting its labour force and opposes its father-to-son succession.
Park has told journalists that his intention was to lampoon North Korea’s leaders and its rigid Stalinist system.
Zarifi said the NSL has a “chilling effect” on freedom of expression.
“It is used not to address threats to national security, but instead to intimidate people and limit their rights to free speech. It should be reformed in line with human rights law, and if the government cannot do this, it must be abolished,” he said.
Amnesty International said that despite the end of military rule in South Korea decades ago, “authorities have increasingly used the NSL to harass critics of the government’s North Korea policies since 2008”.