“There was a moment that everything went wrong": Lara Logan

It only takes a minute for everything to turn wrong. This was a special crowd situation — in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, after the announcement that Husni Mubarak was stepping down from his long-held — since the assassination of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat — post as Egypt’s president. There had been months of tension, week...

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Penance by laundry – Irish "Magdalene" laundries

The story doesn’t get better. The truth about the ice cold, damp, grim, dark and immeasurably cruel saga of the Irish child penitentiary system is still unfolding. The latest news concerns the Irish “Magdalene Launderies”. Mary Magdalene — once reputedly a sex worker reviled by society, though this is now being described as ...

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Quote of the day – (10th in our series)

The Syrian poet in exile, Adonis [Ali Ahmad Said Esber], is quoted in a New York Times profile, here, as saying to students in a class he visited at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor: “Right now we feel Arab culture is paralyzed. We suffer from women’s sense of their lack of freedom, of […]

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What does this mean?

Ma’an News Agency has reported that “President Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen] issued a decree on Sunday banning all violations of privacy and personal freedoms, following the results of a Palestinian Authority inquiry into corruption allegations against his former chief of staff. ‘In light of the report handed over by the inquiry commi...

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Palestinian "sex + corruption" videotape scandal continues

Some of the reactions are interesting — some Israeli comments on various news stories and blog posts say they are happy to learn that the Palestinian leadership is interested in sex rather than violence… “Let them make love, not war”, one Israeli wrote. OK. This only shows how the lack of contact, the media incitement [&hell...

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What is going on here?

This is a story about an American diplomat in Algiers — apparently the CIA bureau chief, and surprisingly a convert to Islam (unusually tolerant for the CIA, no?) — whose name is Andrew Warren, who apparently had a very bad habit of putting rather common drugs (xanax and valium) into women’s drinks, that caused violent […]

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Diplomats, like bureaucrats, should never be asked to deal with rape

The NY Times is reporting an interesting skirmish in a UN General Assembly Committee vote — was it the Sixth (or Legal) committee? The U.S. sponsored what it thought was a self-evident text, and was mystified when other delegates didn’t agree. The NYT writes that today “A UN committee has watered down a U.S. draft […]

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Send the whole battalion back!

If these “allegations” are true, concerning activities in Haiti by UN Peacekeepers from Sri Lanka “of a transactional sex nature”, then sending home those caught is just not enough. The whole Sri Lankan battalion should leave. It doesn’t matter if, as the UN spokesperson told journalists on Friday, “Sri Lanka is a longstanding and...

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