Rape victim’s 100 lashes sentence

A rape victim’s 100 lashes sentence in Maldives has caused international outcry, after the teen subject to the repeated rapes was accused of having consensual sex with another man aside from the rape.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2012 goes to Iranians Nasrin Sotoudeh, an imprisoned human rights defender and lawyer, and Jafar Panahi, a film director who with his work called attention to the hardships suffered by Iran's poor.

 (Spain) Central government's move to stop schools using Catalan is insulting.
There has even been wild talk about mobilising the army.

(The Times, 22.12.2012)

'Republicans and Gun Lobby Complicit' in Newtown

Another Gunman and the 
Gun Owners of America

The Pussy and Mafia-Putin

Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more convincing, transcendental guarantees of his long tenure at the helm. It was here that the need arose to make use of the aesthetics of the Orthodox religion, historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself.

The state’s leaders stand with saintly expressions in church, but their sins are far greater than ours. We’ve put on our political punk concerts because the Russian state system is dominated by rigidity, closedness and caste. Аnd the policies pursued serve only narrow corporate interests to the extent that even the air of Russia makes us ill.

Our protest has raised the issue of the fusion of the Russian Orthodox Church and the security services

Yet so far no senior French politician convicted of corruption has been jailed *

* the same as Portugal & Greece

poundzonliberalmarket (at least, in this case, they get a fine...)

Release Imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Liu Xiaobo and Wife Liu Xi

A Two-Year Travelogue from Hell

before the senior Assad came into power in the wake of a military coup, the Alawites, about 10 percent of the population, were the poorest people in the country, only coming to Damascus as servants. But then Hafez Assad, after rising through the ranks of the military, finally came to power in another coup, in 1970. His son is now determined to hold on to that power at all costs -- or else, as his soldiers' slogan goes, "we will burn the country down!"

Assad's Elaborate Disinformation Campaign

Yemen constitutes another of the Saudi-Iranian battlegrounds in the region

  The real enemies of the Arab world

The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people

"Something has gone wrong inside the Muslim world," Rushdie continued. Just a few decades ago, he said, major cities in the Arab and Muslim world were outward-looking. But "in the last half century, these cultures seem to have slid backwards into medievalism and represssion. ... It is one of the great self-inflicted wounds."

Southern Arabia's holy warrior, Abraha, had taken control of large areas before long. He even attempted to free bishops being held prisoner by the Persian enemy in Nisibis (in modern-day Turkey), some 2,500 kilometers away.

Saudi celebrity preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five-year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'

Information is power -  Aaron Swartz 
Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.
There are those struggling to change this. The Open Access Movement has fought valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it. But even under the best scenarios, their work will only apply to things published in the future. Everything up until now will have been lost.