Friday 10 July 2009

Politics of Class Online

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Danah Boyd, a Harvard fellow, suggests in a speech titled 'The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online' that the migration of teens from MySpace to Facebook is not unlike white flight. Read this blog post by Chris Matyszczyk on Technically Incorrect.More…

Polytiko Image of The Day

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U.S. President Barack Obama (C) and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) take their places with junior G8 delegates for a family photo at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, July 9, 2009. Leaders of the Group of Eight major industrial nations and the main developing economies are meeting in the central Italian city of L'Aquila until Friday to discuss issues ranging from global economic stimulus to climate change and oil prices. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Immigrants and rights groups stage rally against government immigration measures and racism

Human rights groups and immigrants stage a protest march in Athens against recent government immigration measures and increasing racist attacks.

ATHENS, GREECE (JULY 9 2009)REUTERS - About three thousand immigrants joined by human rights groups, peace and leftist organizations staged a protest rally in downtown Athens on Thursday (July 9) against government immigration measures and calling for an end to racist attacks against immigrants.
The protesters marched through Athens' central streets chanting anti-racism slogans and carrying banners reading "hands off immigrants" and "no to concentration camps".

The protest came after several recent demonstrations to highlight the problems with illegal immigrants, including continuous harrasment by police, discrimination and low living and working standards.

"We are human beings and they need to respect us. They must grant us political asylum, make housing arrangements and legalize immigrants." said protester Javel Aslam Imme from Pakistan.

"They consider us garbage and they want to get rid of us. Immigrants have contributed a lot to the country's development and now they have forgotten us and deny us our rights." said protester Zaqi Mohhamad from Morroco.

Immigrants have been the victims of racist attacks by right wing groups in the last months.

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants arrive in Greece each year, many of them flooding to Athens. The government recently announced measures which include moving groups of immigrants outside the city to large reception centres converted from abandoned warehouses, in order to curb overcrowding in the city, and nightly police sweeps in districts where local residents have complained neighbourhoods have been ghettoized and rife with crime. Human rights groups have criticized the measures calling them racist. Protesters are also calling for more immigrants to be granted asylum and legalized instead of being deported, saying the legalization process is too slow and few are granted asylum.

G8 correcting mistakes tackling hunger, according to U.N.

Pledges by leaders of rich nations at the Group of Eight summit will not be enough, according to a senior U.N. official.

L'AQUILA, ITALY (JULY 10, 2009) POOL - Leaders of rich nations at the Group of Eight summit are making a major shift away from failed strategies tackling hunger, but their aid pledges in Italy will not be enough, a senior U.N. official said on Friday (July 10).
Jacques Diouf, director-general of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), applauded the text of a final declaration that shifts its focus away from delivering food donations and instead looks to boosts agricultural investment.

The U.S. is the world's largest aid donor of food -- mostly grown domestically and bought from U.S. farmers.

The G8 statement, set to be approved by leaders shortly, is expected to pledge $15 billion USD over three years to boost agricultural investment in poorer countries and fight food insecurity.

According to the United Nations, the number of malnourished people has risen over the past two years and is expected to top 1.02 billion this year, reversing a four-decade trend of decline.

Diouf criticised reductions in aid for agriculture, which he said fell from 17 percent in 1980 to around five percent today.

He said: "What is new and encouraging is the decision for the first time to shift policy and to do what we always have been saying we needed to do if we want to address the problem of hunger in the world. There are one billion persons hungry, and most of these people, if not all, are in developing countries. In addition world population will be increasing to reach 9.2 billion persons by the year 2050 and most of these people, if not all, will be in the countries that already have the hungry persons. Therefore there is no way to solve this if we do not increase the production, their productivity and allow them, through their normal livelihood to get the income necessary and the auto consumption necessary."

G8 summits have a history of broken aid promises. In a report last month, anti-poverty group ONE said the world's richest nations were collectively off course in delivering on promises to more than double aid to Africa made at a G8 summit in 2005.

Still, Diouf said the commitments made at the current summit would lay groundwork for further progress at a November summit in Rome hosted by the FAO. Invitations were extended to 192 members.

Thursday 9 July 2009

G8 leaders are feasting while people in the world are dying of hunger, says Oxfam

Oxfam campaigners say G8 leaders are feasting at the L'Aquila summit while one in six people around the world are going hungry.

Oxfam campaigners on Thursday (July 8) staged a mock demonstration, calling on G8 leaders to "stop feasting" at the L'Aquila summit while, they say, one in six people around the world were going hungry.
Wearing masks mocking G8 leaders, the protesters sat around tables eating large plates of spaghetti in the heart of Rome, to send a message that ending hunger needed to be at 'top of the menu' at the summit.

"The eight richest countries in the world have the responsibility to address the problem of hunger in an integral way, in all its aspects, from climate change, from development aid, investment in agriculture and give a solution that is sustainable and that is fair to all people in the world," said Arianne Arpa, Oxfam's director of Spain.

Leaders of the world's richest nations and major developing powers meet on Thursday, second day of the summit, to seek common ground on global warming and international trade, with the poorer countries seeking concessions.

The Group of Eight leaders on Wednesday (July 8) agreed to try to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial levels and pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by between 50 and 80 percent by mid-century.

Oxfam says that while this is a positive sign, more needs to be done.

"What we would like to see now is concrete measures taking place at a country level within the G8 to reduce climate change to 2 degrees (Celsius) that they have committed (to) and in addition to that also we would like them to put in concrete measures to mitigate food security which is also linked to climate change," said Michael O'Brien, Oxfam's regional campaigns manager.

The leaders will discuss a U.S. proposal that rich nations commit 15 billion U.S. dollars (9.25 billion pounds) over several years for agricultural development in poor countries to ensure food supplies.

Washington is ready to mobilise 3-4 billion USD (1.8-2.5 billion pound) and wants other partners to match that commitment, according to a draft declaration. The United States has advocated a shift in the fight against global hunger from giving emergency aid to helping countries produce more of their own food.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Greenpeace activists occupy Italian coal-fired power stations

Over one hundred Greenpeace activists from around the world occupied four Italian coal-fired power stations in a publicity stunt on Wednesday (July 8) as world leaders began arriving in L'Aquila for a G8 summit.
The activists broke into the plants in Venice's Marghera industrial district, Brindisi, Vado Ligure and Porto Tolle in the early hours of the morning and demanded G8 heads of state take leadership on climate change.

Activists unfurled a huge banner reading "Green Jobs" from a chimney at the Marghera plant.

The Brindisi plant is Italy's biggest coal-fired power station and the country's largest single source of C02 emissions. Greenpeace says it plans to stop it from polluting the planet by blocking the coal conveyor belts and preventing coal from going into the plant.

The activists hung a banner saying "G8: climate changers or losers" from the Brindisi plant.

Unrest in Western China

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China's ruling Communist Party continued to appeal for calm and ethnic unity in the far western region of Xinjiang on Wednesday, amid smaller protests and reports of reprisals against Uighurs by groups of Han Chinese.

Thousands of troops and police with riot shields, batons and firearms patrolled the streets of Urumqi, the riot-torn regional capital, aided by armoured cars and helicopters.

Despite the tightening security, state media reported "sporadic standoffs and even minor clashes" in the city on Wednesday.

About 1,000 police were on duty in the area outside the hotel and it was "unclear" if the protesters, who reportedly included both Han and Uighurs, had left voluntarily or were dispersed by the police, she said.

First Lady Michelle Obama calls on you to serve

On June 22, 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama officially kicked off United We Serve -- a call to all Americans to join a volunteer effort this summer and be part of building a new foundation for America, one community at a time. The initiative is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency dedicated to fostering service in communities across the country. Learn more at (public domain)

Young Iranian artists display works in London, using creativity to circumvent constraints

An Iranian art exhibit in London is proving so popular it's run has been extended. "Made In Iran" is on display at Asia House and has attracted much attention due to the recent civil and political unrest in Iran since the presidential elections.
The exhibit is unusual as it features artists who have all chosen to stay in Iran rather than relocate to Western cities. Many of the works can not be seen in Iran though, as they would not pass strict censor tests.

Curator and art consultant, Arianne Levene, said: "There is an element of censorship in Iran, but I think that just encourages artists of finding other ways of expressing themselves to say what they want to say, to say what they need to say."

"It encourages creativity because you have to work within a system, work with a culture, work with an environment that doesn't necessarily allow you to express yourself in a way you would initially like to express yourself," she added.

Unveiled women, nudes and political themed works are banned in Iran.

But these artists use modern mediums and take tongue-in-cheek approaches to comment on modern Iranian culture as it clashes with the ancient traditions of the past.

Shirin Aliabadi's hybrid photographs are striking and a playful take on the condition of the Iranian woman. They feature women with peroxide blond hair peeping out from under head scarves, heavily painted eyes, facial piercings and plasters over their noses - a comment on plastic nose surgery being all the rage in Iran. In "Hybrid Girl 6" the woman holds a mobile phone to her ear, whilst sucking on a bright red lollipop with bright red lips.

Simin Keramati's mask-like paintings of women are more glum. Her serious looking self-portrait called "Make Up" shows her with red lipstick smeared across her mouth, like a bloodied gash. The artist says it is a comment on not being able to say what you want in Iran.

Nazgol Ansarinia cleverly contrasts strict Persian traditions with the exuberance of modernity through her rug style digital drawings. At first glance the drawings look like typical traditional patterns, but on closer inspection the intricate patterns are made up of cartoon images of modern Iranian life. Television sets, men chatting on the street and motorcycles feature in the designs.

"Nazgol's work, even though she works alot with traditional Persian motifs of the carpet, she is bringing contemporary life into that work. So contemporary life and life today for these artists really comes out in their work which is what I think makes it really interesting," said Levene.

The artists circumvent censorship by finding their own ways of self-expression, the works show that sub-cultures are flourishing in Iran, said Levene.

She believes that is because Iran is such a young country, with 70 percent of the population under the age of 35 years.

"All of the artists are extremely young, most of them were born around the time of the revolution, around 1978 and 1979 and they are in their early 30's or in the late '60's and they are in their mid-30's, and they are more influenced by what they see and experience around them as opposed to what the traditions were, which is not something they've experienced because Iran's changed a lot and the Iran they know, the one where they live is Iran today," said Levene.

None of the artists managed to leave Iran to attend the London show, due to the unrest in their homeland. Levene is now trying to arrange for "Made In Iran" to be taken on tour to France and Canada. The show in London ends on July 10.


Tuesday 7 July 2009

Is the G8 still relevant?

Just days before the G8 summit, L'Aquila is still being rebuilt.

The central Italian town - still recovering from April's deadly earthquake - will host the leaders of the world eight's leading industrialised countries, the UK, U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

Some analysts and leaders are asking if the G8 should also be rebuilt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, seen here at the G20 meeting in London in April - said the G8 was dead.

And James Walston, a political commentator from the American University of Italy agrees with her.

James Walston, Political commentator at American University of Italy, saying:

"It was very clear with the G20 in London in April that the real business of organising the world came from a much bigger group than the G8. So they're going to have to today rebuild or reinvent the G8."

But even as analysts discuss the G8's relevance - they are looking to see if the leaders can find solutions for some truly global problems.

Take the global economic downturn.

Here's James Walston again.

James Walston, Political commentator at American University of Italy, saying:

"If they can agree on how they are going to approach the actual nuts and bolts of regulating financial markets, that'll be a great achievement. If they can work out some sort of guidelines for energy ministers - not just the G8 but OPEC countries and China and the other producers - of how we're going to regulate oil prices."

Aid for Africa and other developing countries - has been the focus of previous summits.

Irish singer and anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof recently berated the summit's host, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, for cutting Italy's aid budget.

And aid organisations are worried rich countries will reduce their aid donations further during the global economic downturn.

Livia Zoli, Head of policy and lobby unit, Actionaid's Right to food programme, saying:

"We are convinced that it's not a problem of having actually the money, it's just a problem of political will, it's not something that is politically relevant today and we have such a big problem as the financial crisis which just gives us a lot of unemployment and poverty in our houses."

There's scepticism over what the G8 leaders can actually achieve during the summit here in L'Aquila.

But it's also unclear whether a revamped G8 would be any more effective.

Joanna Partridge, Reuters

Michael Jackson visited the Capitol Hill office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

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On March 31, 2004, Michael Jackson visited the Capitol Hill office of Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) to promote the ongoing fight against AIDS in Africa. "Michael Jackson was the major inspiration and motivator for my involvement in the issue of safe blood for Africa," Fattah said today. "I'm proud of the fact that since I began advocating for the safe blood initiative, we have gone from zero to 35 Safe Blood Centers across Africa, with American funding.". (PRNewsFoto/Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah)

Monday 6 July 2009

How To Use Your Race To Get Rich

Amid recent news reports that there continues to be an ongoing
and substantial gap between the net worth of Whites and other
racial groups, it is easy to be distracted and overwhelmed by the
raw data.

However, I am immediately reminded of a quote offered by an
economic expert from the past... "There are lies, damned lies,
and statistics!"

Despite the real fact that the same set of stats can be skewed to
represent almost any point of view (consider elected officials,
talk show hosts, those who steal in the name of God, et al),
knowing this does not prevent many of us from being swayed in our
thinking - and actions - by the masters of sophistry.

The ability of an individual to look at twin newborn gorillas and
deem one a cover girl (cover gorilla?) and the other a
repulsively ugly thing is indeed a most interesting truism
concerning human behavior.

This tendency, better known as hypocrisy, is possibly the most
pivotal factor leading to interpersonal, and sadly, inter-racial
strife. As a student of history I always attempt to place things
in historical perspective.

In the book, "The Richest Man In Babylon", the author provides
economic advice that would enable any person of any color or
ethnicity to acquire, maintain and indeed increase wealth by
following a few time-proven principles. Bill Bennett provided
similar advice with his three core admonitions... "...Graduate
from high school, avoid out of wedlock childbirth and live within
your means."

The most interesting thing about the advice given by these two
authors, widely separated by time and culture, is the universal
applicability of these basic economic principles to all
individuals; in all times and all places with few exceptions.

So the bottom line becomes not what someone has done to you, but
how you respond to it. Question. To the countless people who have
lost jobs, homes, hopes, insurance, dreams, 401Ks, the ability to
send kids to college, their dignity, and in some cases their very
lives, does it matter who or what caused or created the
conditions for their current situation?

Faced with foreclosure, mounting credit card debt, other
financial obligations of all kinds, do you seek to place blame
for your situation on someone or something that caused it all?

For sure it's prudent to understand the factors that created
this now pandemic pecuniary pain. And candidates for blame are
many and varied. There's the Federal Reserve, the sub-prime
loans, the credit default swaps, the Wall Street greed-mongers,
the naked(?) credit default swaps, the people buying houses they
could not afford, the lenders who sold them the houses,
self-serving politicians and the lobbyists who pimp them, the
Anti-Christ and countless others who can be singled out for

Certainly there's more than enough blame to go around.

Another question. Would it help those who are jobless and
possibly hopeless to know who to blame and also be able to
inflict the deserved punishment upon them? Put another way, does
the fact that Bernie Madoff is in prison materially help those
whose fortunes and futures he stole?

I fully agree that it is paramount to expose the Bernie Madoffs
of the world and erect legal barriers to the future efforts of
those with similar agendas. And believe it, there will be plenty

The answers to the two above questions are yes and no. For those
living with fear and despair due to job loss, yes it is indeed
important to understand how their current situation arose and to
take action to prevent it in the future. But it is no real solace
that big-time CEOs get derided in the press for their golden
parachutes. And "Behind Bars Bernie" still hasn't accounted
for tens of billions in lucre with which he "Made-off" that
will cause multi-generational financial woes.

There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that a murderer is
behind bars or (preferably) pushing up daisies, but it doesn't
bring his or her victim(s) back to life. Survivors must live with
that fact.

At this point I'm reminded of another old saying provided by an
obviously observant individual, "It is better to light a candle
than to curse the darkness."

If you're one of the many suffering financial displacement and
possibly feeling desperate and hopeless please take a minute and
watch this short video. I triple-dog challenge you to do so with
dry eyes.

There's not too much to add to the message of that video. I'm
minus a kidney as a cancer survivor. (Read my Stage -4 story at:

But I much prefer that to being armless and legless. I'd rather
be a person of any color or race and in any financial condition
than be totally limbless.

And whether you're Black, White, Asian, Hispanic or Native
American, being jobless and hopeless feels the same. But the
beauty of it all is that just like we all can suffer individually
or en masse, we can all also prosper the same.

Trust me; despite the mind-boggling amount of money that's being
created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve, and the
relatively few well enough-connected people who will grow wealthy
and wealthier when it's doled out, there is no government
bail-out for you and me.

If you desire to change your current financial situation and
establish a solid wall of protection against the global market
forces that simultaneously render millions jobless and a relative
few wealthy beyond imagination, then you must take action.

If a man with no limbs can become a worldwide inspiration for
those with two arms and two legs, surely you and I can ride the
coattails of a man like Lee Green, founder of the National Black
Business Trade Association, the Black Business Space social
network and creator of the Black Business Builders Club.

I compare this opportunity to reading a book. The author has done
all the hard work of researching, writing and having it edited
and published. How hard is it for me to just pick it up and read

If you're one who desires to prosper, I invite you to look at an
excellent way to do so. But there is one irrevocable requirement.
You must be a member of a particular racial group. There are no
exceptions to this requirement.

Over a more than 30 year period Lee Green has learned how to
fine-tune his online marketing techniques and has developed,
after paying his dues to become an expert, what is in my opinion
the most comprehensive program for taking the willing of any
skill level and leading them to economic freedom.

Mr. Green's techniques, presented in his newly released "The
Black Folks Guide To Making Big Money On The Internet", provide
the opportunity to finally experience the "Holy Grail" that all
home-based entrepreneurs seek - RESIDUAL INCOME!

Finally someone has created a program that actually provides the
real training and resources needed for anyone willing to work a
little to experience the success that many desire but never
achieve. When you compare what you get to what the monthly
membership costs, you will realize that almost all of the other
so-called opportunities have only been over-promising and under-
or never delivering. Lots of out of pocket with little or no

I know it sounds somewhat cliché, but the old saying is still
true... If you don't already have a "Plan B" you're either
already wealthy or extremely naive. Which group are you in?

So if your candle is out, let the Black Business Builders Club
provide the training and tools to help you re-light it so that
you can see your way to financial freedom at last. Members of the
BBBC get the "Black Folks Guide" at no cost. So light your
candle and get out of the rat race. And really it's not so much
the race as it is the rats. Get away from them now!

If you're a member of the right racial group and are ready for
your very own Economic Stimulus Plan and financial freedom, then
take a look at the tremendous opportunity that Lee Green has
created and provided for you to be able to do just that; at a
price you won't believe!

PS: To be eligible for membership you must belong to one (or
more) of the following racial groups:

1. A group that requires food

2. A group that requires clothing

3. A group that requires shelter

Herbert Harris is a retired (read down-sized) IT worker who now
works (literally) in his pajamas. Thanks to The Black Business
Builders Club.
Get your copy of the red hot "Black Folks Guide To Making Big
Money On The Internet":

Australia assures security to Indian students

In the wake of series of racial attacks Down Under, Australian officials on Monday (July 06) assured safety to Indian students in Australia.
A high-level delegation from Canberra led by Colin Walters, Group Manager, International Group, Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations met Indian officials in national capital city New Delhi earlier on Monday.

Colin Walters, Group Manager, International Group, Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, said that the Australian government was committed to taking all the necessary measures to ensure safety of the Indian students.

"There is no tolerance in Australia for attacks on students. There is no tolerance for attacks based on race. There is no tolerance for racism in any shape or form and we want to do everything we can to make sure that we take all the actions possible to do away with that," said Colin Walters.

Paul Evans, Assistant Commissioner, Victoria Police, elaborated on the steps being taken by the Australian government to ensure the safety of Indian students in Australia.

"Some of the actions we have done is to produce an operational course called safe stations. A lot of these assaults and robberies occurred around certain railway hubs and transport locations. So what we have done is greatly increase our uniform patrols, members of railway stations, police members. We have also got people in plain clothes involved. We have also got canine on units involved that's dogs. We have also involved our…, which are horses around the stations to give a very visible police presence," said Paul Evans.

Apart from the national capital, New Delhi, the delegation will also visit other important cities like Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Kolkata.

Australia has been under intense pressure in the Indian media after a series of brutal attacks on students in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in the recent past.

Reportedly, more than 1,400 students and other immigrants have been victims of racial abuse Down Under.

The issue strained diplomatic relations and led to urgent talks between Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Car Donation: Making The World A Better Place To Live In

Donating a car in favor of cause oriented groups is a great way
to help many people who are experiencing difficulties in life.
If you want to make a big difference in your life and in the
lives of other people, then, the right decision is to make a car
donation right now.

Car donation helps young people who belong to underprivileged
communities attend schools and achieve their simple dreams in
life. Through the efforts of people who want to change the
direction of lives of young children, many are given new hope in
what seems to be hopeless situations.

Definitely car donation as a means of raising needed funds is
one perfect idea and a major factor to attain this goal.

Funds raised through car donation also help families affected
by natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. Usually,
communities which were affected by these disasters find it
difficult to start over again. In this respect, cause-oriented
groups and their collective efforts become the light that guides
families in their quest to find the right way to make a new

Car donation and funds generated from it also help people with
serious sickness. Funds are used to provide much needed medicine
and food so that they can get better. Funds through car donation
also provide temporary shelter to people caught in cross fire.

Your decision to donate your car to charity not only helps
other people as it can also help you at a certain extent. You
can get IRS tax deduction and you can also find a way to sell
your used car. If you are going to purchase a new car, donating
your used car will allow you to skip the bulk of paper works
that is associated with selling used cars.

Car donation is not only limited to second hand cars that work.
You can also donate your car that doesn't work anymore. An auto
donation company would be willing to tow it for you without
paying any cent.

If you are interested, you can check various offers given by
lots of companies engaging in car donation programs. They can
easily be contacted online or by phone. These companies have
their own websites so you will not have any problem if you want
to ask them things about car donation.

Donating car for charity is something you should really
consider when you are in the process of deciding where you
should sell your used car. By donating your car to charity, you
are actually giving new hope and life to people who have somehow
lost the belief that there is still hope for everyone so long as
we breathe.

Yes, you might loss some bucks in doing so but, remember there
are things that money can't purchase and one of these is the
feeling that you have just saved another person's life. Car
donation program can really spell the difference that the world
somehow needs in these trying times.

The world indeed can rely on people who have the desire to help
in their simple and small way. So, come on... donate your used
car today and make this world a better place to live in.

About The Author: Alex Baumm. Find much more tips on anything
related to car donation at our car forum

India says rockets launched from Pakistan onto its territory

India handed over a protest note to Pakistan over rockets fired from across the border, a top official said on Monday (July 6).
Rockets fired from across the border fell in two villages, Dhandae and Bhairwal, in northern Punjab state on Saturday (July 4).

It was not clear whether the firing on Saturday night was from separatist militants or from Pakistani troops.

Paramilitary Borders Security Force (BSF) chief told reporters in Dhandae after his officers visited the site that India has asked Pakistan to investigate the incident.

"According to preliminary enquiry, it is quite clear that it came from Pakistan's side. We have had a talk with Pakistan authorities and rangers at the commandant level. Apart from that, we have handed over a protest note also. We have asked them to carry out investigations and tell us who was behind this," BSF's director general M.L Kumawat said.

Two rockets were fired into Dhandae and one in Bhairwal.

India has in the past accused Pakistani troops of cross-border firing to help militants cross the border to join a nearly 20-year revolt in the Indian side of Kashmir. Pakistan denies the accusation.

Ties between the nuclear-armed countries have chilled since attacks in Mumbai in November blamed on Pakistan-based guerrillas.

India has resisted calls to resume peace talks demanding Pakistan act against militants accused of carrying out acts of violence in India.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met for the first time since the Mumbai attack on the sidelines of a regional conference in Russia last month.

They agreed that their top foreign ministry officials would meet soon and the countries' political leaders would hold talks on the sidelines of a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Egypt in mid-July.

The neighbours have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.


Robert McNamara Passes Away

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Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara died in his sleep Monday at his Washington home, family members told The Washington Post. He was 93.

McNamara served as defense secretary under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s and later was president of the World Bank. McNamara, a financial wizard, worked his up way to become president of the Ford Motor Co. but remained there little more than a month before he was chosen by President Kennedy as secretary of defense.

As head of the armed forces, McNamara favored the planned Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and his policies led the conflict in Vietnam to be called McNamara's War.

He remained in the cabinet following the assassination of Kennedy and served in the same post during President Johnson's second term, resigning in 1968 to become president of the World Bank. There he put his financial expertise to work, instituting a policy change that permitted the bank to give aid to state-owned development banks.

He was born on June 9, 1916, in San Francisco, Calif. He majored in mathematics and economics at the University of California and took post-graduate work at the Harvard Business School, graduating in 1939.

Honduras crisis deepens

Inspired by their deposed leader's determined bid to fly home, supporters of ousted Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya descend on the country's main airport in their thousands.

Honduras' de facto leaders are just as determined to stop the leftist businessman from returning, setting the stage for a potentially violent showdown with his supporters.

As Zelaya's plane appeared in the skies overhead, a section of the crowd broke through fencing near the runway.

Their advance was immediately choked off by a barrage of tear gas - and gun shots.

Frightened, angry voices can heard remonstrating with the soldiers: 'There are children, stupid! There are children!"

As Zelaya's plane circled above looking for a place to land, military vehicles and soldiers blocked the runway.

After several failed attempts to put down at Tegucigalpa airport, the private jet turned away, leaving behind a country in turmoil.

Arriving in neighbouring Nicaragua, Zelaya spoke to the Venezualan-based Telesur channel.

Voicing disappointment over his failure to land in Honduras, he accused the de facto President Roberto Micheletti of trying to provoke war.


"Everything the de facto president does, according to our laws, is illegal..he's trying to provoke an international conflict to unite the country, it's an old trick that no one is going to buy. What he's doing doesn't make sense. He's using the (security) forces against the people."

The prospect of bloodshed has risen steadily since Zelaya was overthrown in a military coup a week ago.

Zelaya was toppled in a row over his attempts to extend presidential term limits - a move coup leaders, backed by the Supreme Court, say violated the Honduran constitution.

The de facto caretaker government's refusal to reinstate the exiled President led to Honduras' suspension from the Organisation of American States at the weekend - a move that leaves the country increasingly isolated.

Helen Long, Reuters


A History of Uneasy Relationship. This new book tells the story of hostility among Jews, Christians and Muslims, while all living together as foe or friend for centuries.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, USA.--(Marketwire - July 5, 2009) - Summarizes the basic causes of hostility, which are a mixture of religion and politics while searching for viable and sustainable solution.
The book comprises of two parts-part-I deals with the faith and practices of the believers-the three Abrahamic traditions and their irreconcilable theological issues and Part II deals with their relation throughout the passage of history. It covers a huge sweep of both time and place. It traces the history of the origins of the three faith traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and goes through their encounters and interactions culminating in their conquests and reconquests. We can read them and see how they made an impact on the human imagination and civilization. The deep cause of their hostility seems hidden beneath the religious and cultural explanations, underlying political and economic rivalries, greed and egoism, hatred and animosities, personal ambitions and vanities, chances and accidents.
The book thinks that inter-faith understanding for peaceful coexistence is a minimal need of our time. It is not the same thing as love or friendship. To the contrary, it is an expression of distance, an acknowledgment of boundaries that will remain. It is informed by an attitude of "live and let live". Coexistence is an ideal without illusions. In a pluralistic society, ethnic and cultural differences are not abolished. They are legitimized, and society strives to guarantee that the law will be blind to them.
The book is available in paperback and eBook formats from the publisher, or from other anchor bookstores, like,,,, etc.
Contact: Israr Hasan, Email: [email protected].
Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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