Fidel Castro has suffered a serious, "embolic" stroke, according to a Venezuelan physician cited by The Miami Herald.
Jose Marquina, who spoke with El Nuevo Herald and claims "firsthand sources and information" about Castro's health, described the former leader's condition as "very close to a neurovegetative state." Castro is reportedly incapacitated, and "has trouble feeding, speaking and recognizing faces," Marquina said.
Here's Richard Nixon, in 1960:
As Eisenhower's vice president, Nixon was obligated not to reveal his administration's secret foreign policy plans, so he could only lamely respond to Kennedy's taunts. Cuba, he insisted, was not "lost." Nixon knew that the White House had started training Cuban exiles, and he was probably aware that the CIA was working on a plan to poison Castro's cigars, but the vice president could only barely allude to such knowledge, which just made him sound complacent. "The United States," Nixon said, "has the power, and Mr. Castro knows it, to throw him out of office any day that we would choose to."
Man, Nixon was right about everything, wasn't he?
This sounds like one hell of an opening night.
It's a warm night in Athens and the nuns have broken the police line. They didn't have to try too hard. The lines of riot cops assembled outside the Chytirio theatre are mostly trying to stop the anti-fascists from reaching the neo-nazis, nuns and priests who have come to protest the opening of the “gay jesus” play Corpus Christi, not the other way around. So when the little old lady in the black habit bobs past the shields and helmets to harangue assembled anarchists and activists about blasphemy and sodomy, nobody tries to stop her.
This is the opening night of Corpus Christi, Terrence McNally's iconoclastic 1998 play which casts Jesus and his disciples as gay men in rural Texas. It wasn't supposed to be the first performance – last night's opening was violently shut down by a gang of thugs from the fascist Golden Dawn party, who warned that that "in any case where the religious sentiment of Greeks is insulted, the Golden Dawn will react dynamically”.
"Dynamically" meant, in practice, that audience members and journalists were beaten, threatened and called "faggots" and "ass-munchers", and the police – 50 percent of whom, according to some polls, are Golden Dawn supporters – allowed it to happen. Eventually the fascists managed to lock the actors inside the theatre and opening night was postponed...
Tonight, 200 anarchists and anti-fascists have come out to protect the theatre from the Golden Dawn. Right now, there is a stand off.
Besides attacking theatergoers, these Golden Dawn fascists are filling a vacuum in Greece's economic and political chaos—electing legislators and aligned with a police force "that increasingly appears beyond state control, and which has long forsaken its role of protecting citizens from the thugs they now side with."
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. acknowledged that it hired underage workers at one of its China plants, in the latest hit to the labor practices of the major contractor for Apple Inc. and other electronics giants...The feeling that we are only scratching the surface leads one to wonder about the Mike Daisey controversy. You will find more truth in his fiction than you will find in many of the newspaper stories that are carefully researched and reported. One function of the current ideological apparatus is to use truth processes against truth itself.
The company didn't disclose specifics, including how many were hired, and it wasn't clear what products are made at the plant. But it said in a statement that despite "a strict company policy of not commenting on our customers or their products," that "our Yantai facility has no association with any work we carry out on behalf of Apple."
One side of the conflict:
Human Rights Watch on Wednesday accused Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, of running a criminal justice system rife with arbitrary arrests, torture and unfair trials. Hamas officials responded sharply, challenging the methodology of the group’s research.Power corrupts.
In a 43-page report titled “Abusive System,” Human Rights Watch detailed seven cases and called for an immediate moratorium on capital punishment in the Gaza Strip, as well as an end to prosecutions of civilians in military courts.
Gaza’s “criminal justice system reeks of injustice, routinely violates detainees’ rights, and grants impunity to abusive security services,” Joe Stork, the deputy Middle East director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement accompanying the report, which was presented at a news conference on Wednesday morning at a coastal hotel. “Hamas should stop the kinds of abuses that Egyptians, Syrians and others in the region have risked their lives to bring to an end.”
On the other side of the conflict:
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday extended by two days the remand of three settlers arrested last week for attacking three undercover Israel Police posing as Palestinian shepherds on a hilltop outside Susiya in the West Bank.The universal history of settlers (the Zulus in Mashonaland, the Europeans in the New World, and so on) is a butcher's bench.
According to the court protocol, on October 4th, three cops dressed as Palestinian shepherds were standing on a hill outside Susiya when they were approached by a settler who told them they had one minute to leave. Police said the suspect then made a phone call and within moments, the three suspects arrived armed with sticks, with their t-shirts pulled over their faces as masks.
Police said the men immediately began attacking the police, who began yelling “police! police!” and fighting back, using pepper spray and arresting the three suspects. The fourth man, the one who initially called the three suspects for back-up, fled and has not been arrested.
Recently I decided I don't have enough time left in my life to hunt around thrift stores for jeans that fit really well. I started buying Levi's again because I trusted the brand and I found a style I liked (511 Skinny—they're not that skinny, and they don't look like they're from the 1990s [baggy]). Used to be you could buy a pair of Levi's and you knew they were going to last through the years. That is evidently not the case anymore.
A year or so ago, I bought the first new pair of jeans that I'd bought in two decades. They were great, fit-wise and comfort-wise. Then, within six months, the left knee wore through.* Right around that time, I got a second pair as a gift. They were grey. Within six months, the right knee wore through. Discouraged and thick-headed, I bought another pair about six months ago. Tuesday, while I used the bathroom during a meeting with a client, the zipper broke. Levi's, are your pants designed to self-destruct at the six-month mark? Why are you doing this to me? Anyway, I'm done buying Levi's. Alas, I do not know who makes sturdy but fashionable denim jeans anymore. Do you?
*Commence dick-sucking jokes!
It's old news now...
One of the strangest elements of the Bo Xilai scandal and his subsequent removal from the Communist Party was that the official report that stated he "had or maintained improper sexual relations with multiple women".Officials of the communist party are not allowed to have affairs.
While Bo's alleged crimes — corruption, cronyism, and even involvement in murder — were big, rumors about his sexual conduct seemed far vaguer, and had been mostly limited to one strange story, sourced to overseas news site Boxun, about a sexual relationship with the Chinese star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Zhang Ziyi.
According to the report, Zhang been paid $110 million over a number of years for sex with Bo and a number of other senior Party officials. While the story sounds far-fetched, it spread quickly and hit her wallet hard — Zhang's lawyer says she lost $750,000 in work after the fall-out. Zhang is now taking Boxun and a number of other publications to court for publishing the claims.
But enough of the smut. Let's get serious. This article, Bo Xilai and Mao's Ghost's, throws another light on the politician's downfall:
The regime is facing huge economic problems on the home front, one of the most volatile being the millions of migrant workers, some 16 percent of the population, who provide cheap labor for China’s export-driven economy. Social and regional tensions are exacerbated by this vast mobile workforce, who exist at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder: a recent riot in Guangdong province is but a rerun of numerous previous incidents. The number of large scale riots and other examples of public “disorder” has increased exponentially since the early nineties, when 8,300 such incidents were recorded. In 2012, the number exceeded 90,000. Land seizures by party officials are often the cause.Bo Xilai also invested billions of dollars in housing for Chongqing's poor. But now that he is gone, all that's talked about is not the social ills he addressed but the debt he accumulated.
Bo appealed to some of these sources of rising discontent — to those who witnessed the degeneration of the Communist party into a kind of Mafia, and remembered — or, thought they remembered — a better day. His crackdown on China’s rampant gangster underworld — often linked to party officials — inspired widespread support. He stoked all those fires the central party leadership most fears — Maoism, nationalism, and growing economic inequality.
That said, let's turn to this interesting piece of information in Bo Xilai and Mao's Ghost's article:
China, America’s number one creditor, and supposedly the rising superpower of the future, is a paper tiger. Efforts by the neocons to make them into a replacement for the vanished Soviet threat seem doomed to failure when the Chinese spend a fraction of what we spend on “defense.” To put it all in perspective: the Chinese government spends more on its internal police than on their military, which should give us a good indication of what they’re really afraid of. And they have reason to fear.Are the police China's new wall?
Ironically it is in affluent Germany, the only place in Europe that currently seems to have any hope of economic growth, where the consensus on the intrinsic value of growth is most sceptical. A recent survey commissioned by Bertelsmann Stiftung found that eight out of ten Germans crave a new economic order. The number of Germans who see growth as very important was down 14% compared with two years ago. The proportion of Germans who highly value money and possessions also dropped. Nearly two-thirds disagreed with the idea that a higher income could increase their quality of life. Many Germans now value protection of the environment over material prosperity, according to the findings.I only disagree with the last policy. But it is impressive that many Germans are even thinking in this way. A thinking that is almost unimaginable in this part of the world. Here economic growth is the only solution to all of our problems. If there is no growth, there is pain, misery, discipline, tightening of belts, fear all around. However, I do not like this kind of language:
Academic research seems very much in line with the popular mood: German thinkers are increasingly publishing work, which denounces growth and touts drastic alternative economic policies. One of the more high-profile members of this movement is Niko Paech from the University of Oldenburg, who recently published a controversial new book called Liberation from Affluence, in which he lambasts growth, argues that societies need to shrink their economies, and calls for an embrace of self-sufficiency models and regional exchange. His policies for the ideal society include a 20-hour week, the introduction of regional currencies, and decommissioning large development projects such as motorways and airports.
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell, the controversial author Edward Abbey once said.
Via the New York Times:
SHANGHAI — Foxconn Technology, a major supplier to some of the world’s electronics giants, including Apple, said it had closed one of its large Chinese plants Monday after the police were called in to break up a fight among factory employees...
A spokesman said some people had been hurt and detained by the police after the disturbance escalated into a riot late Sunday. The company said the cause of the disturbance was still under investigation.
One Foxconn employee reached by telephone Monday afternoon, however, said the disturbance had begun when workers started brawling with security guards, and it eventually had led to a huge riot involving more than 1,000 workers.
And from YouTube, "Foxconn Worker Riot, Taiyuan Plant - 9/24/2012." It's mostly large crowds of people walking around in the dark, sometimes shouting. But if the video is legit, even this would be a significant departure from what's reportedly the norm at Foxconn:
At the risk of sounding too deterministic, I think it reasonable to suggest that information technology is both a) absolutely crucial to competing in our modern global economy, and b) inherently democratizing in that it diminishes the power of the state to control access to information. These axioms were as true of the photocopier and fax machine as they are of the Internet today.
The Iranian government appears to have blocked access to Google's search engine and Gmail webmail service from inside Iran, according to Internet users there. ... In May, Iran said it would separate its internal networks from the Internet.
If you doubt those words, check out this Fox News report on Libya:
[Libyans] stormed the compound of the Islamic extremist militia suspected in the attack, evicting militiamen and setting fire to their building Friday.
In an unprecedented show of public anger at Libya's rampant militias, the crowd overwhelmed the compound of the Ansar Al-Shariah Brigade in the center of the eastern city of Benghazi.
Ansar Al-Shariah fighters initially fired in the air to disperse the crowd, but eventually abandoned the site with their weapons and vehicles after it was overrun by waves of protesters shouting "No to militias."
Demonstrators in Libya have stormed the headquarters of the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia group and evicted its fighters from the site in a sweep of militia bases in the eastern city of Benghazi.This is fucking huge.
Friday's action against the group appeared to be part of a co-ordinated sweep of militia headquarters buildings by police, government troops and activists following a mass public demonstration against armed groups earlier in the day.
Chanting "Libya, Libya," hundreds of demonstrators entered the compound, pulling down militia flags and torching a vehicle inside the headquarters, Ansar al-Sharia's main base in Benghazi - once the base of forces of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The crowd waved swords and even a meat cleaver, crying "No more al-Qaeda!" and "The blood we shed for freedom shall not go in vain!"
It's for sale at the Blue Nile...
Today, Al Jerzeera's English-language website has been hacked by a group calling itself al-Rashedon, which claims to be a Syrian Loyalist organization that is angry with AJ's criticism of the Assad regime.
According to a story in the Guardian:
"This is a response to your position against the people and government of Syria, especially your support of the armed terrorist groups and spreading false fabricated news," the group said in a statement blanketing aljazeera.net. "Your website has been hacked, and this is our response to you."
Al-Jazeera had not commented by the time of publication, but prominent bloggers and journalists were speculating about the motives for the attack on social media.
"I have not heard of this group before," wrote Ahmed Al Oman, a Saudi journalist and blogger, in an email to the Guardian. "Previous attacks of similar nature have been claimed by the Syrian electronic army."
Incidentally, I stumbled on this when looking for an Al Jazeera story about hackers at AntiSec posting 12 million Apple ideas—and 1 million unique IDs for Apple devices—they claim to have gotten from FBI computers. From the Google cache:
What was the FBI doing with those IDs? Did it have legal authority to collect and hold them? From the blog of the SF Chronicle:
“It is a piece of the puzzle that suggests the extent to which the government has moved beyond targeted surveillance in particular cases to massive surveillance of all Americans,” said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. ”Someone in the government should launch an investigation into this practice and find out what purpose if any the collection of this data serves.”
From AntiSec's statement:
We decided we'd help out Internet security by auditing FBI first. We all know by now they make Internet insecure on purpose to help their bottom line. But it's a shitty job, especially since they decided to hunt us down and jail our friends... You are forbidden to outsmart the system, to defy it, to work around it. In short, while you may hack for the status quo, you are forbidden to hack the status quo...
For the last few years we have broke into systems belonging to Governments and Big corporations just to find out they are spending millions of tax dollars to spy on their citizens. They work to discredit dissenting voices. They pay their friends for overpriced and insecure networks and services.
So Al Jazeera reports that AntiSec hacks the FBI, then Al Jazeera's English site is quickly hacked by an unknown cyber-warriors. Coincidence? Or conspiiiiiracy?
I believe this was a bad day not only for our family, but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel.
The bulldozer's advance, according to ISM activists who witnessed it, pushed up a mound of dirt that Rachel came to be standing atop, so that she was looking straight at the bulldozer driver in his high cab. The bulldozer kept advancing.
Here the stories get a bit confused. Some say Rachel kneeled atop the mound of dirt. Others say she tried to run down off the mound, away from the bulldozer, but lost her footing. Either way, all the activists who saw it agree that the bulldozer pushed the mound of dirt over Rachel, burying her alive and dragging the giant blade across her body, first forward as the bulldozer advanced, and then backward as the bulldozer driver backed up.
So says Obama...
The President of the United States of America, Senator Barrack Obama has declared Nigeria as the world's next economic success story, stressing that the discovery was one of the major reasons why his government is committed to helping the country build strong democratic institutions and as well remove constraints to trade and investment through the African Growth and Opportunity.I think the writer of this post did not go far (African) enough: The President of the United States of America, Senator, Harvard Professor, Community Activist [Barack] Obama.
Oh, foreigners—when will they ever learn!
Seattle Police say a man threw a big rock through the glass doors of the North Precinct police station on Thursday night.
The man waited calmly outside the station after throwing the rock at about 10:40 p.m. The rock broke through the inner door as well and landed in the inner lobby of the station, said Detective Renee Witt.
He told officers he was from Guatemala and committed the crime because he wanted to go home.
Could someone tell this poor fellow we don't use trading stones in the United States?
Freedom has its limits:
The timing was perfect. For days, neo-Nazis in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have been mobilizing supporters for marches on Sept. 1, the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. Right-wing extremists in the state traditionally meet on that day in the city of Dortmund for a large-scale demonstration. Neo-Nazis have been busy distributing flyers, organizing information stands and holding rallies.
But now the authorities in the state have put the brakes on their plans. On Thursday, the state's interior minister, Ralf Jäger, banned three right-wing extremist groups following a series of massive raids. All three groups are considered to be very active and extremely violent. In recent years, they have reportedly seen a rapid increase in their membership numbers.
"The members and supporters of the banned organizations reject our democracy and the established legal order," said Jäger, justifying the decision to outlaw the groups. The organizations openly pledge allegiance to the Nazis and their leaders, Jäger said, describing the groups as "xenophobic, racist and anti-Semitic."
Meanwhile in the US...
Michele Obama spent nearly 90 minutes visiting with the Khattras and other families of Sikh worshippers who were killed or injured in the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. She expressed her sympathies, offered support and listened to many stories about victims.This is nice and all, but what's needed is action against extreme rightwing organizations.
"She gave us a hug and said, 'I'm sorry for what happened,'" said Khattra, 26, whose grandfather, Suveg Singh Khattra, was one of six people killed Aug. 5. "She asked what kind of person he was, and my dad told her he was always good-natured, always at the temple."
Relatives of the victims said afterward that Obama asked informed questions that showed she had read up on the plight of those killed and injured.
She especially seemed to know the story of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the temple president who tried to stab the gunman with a butter knife in an effort to stall him so women and children in the temple would have time to hide.
"The thing she kept repeating was, 'Your father was a true hero,'" said Amardeep Kaleka.
Eli this morning writes about his fascination with the Committee on Geographic Names, which is considering changing the name of Soap Lake and Squamish Harbor. While they're at it, I suggest changing the name of Lake Stevens to "Lake Africa." I mean, just look at it:
Now, I've also been to Lake Stevens and I can't tell you my idea would be super popular there.
These youths should not be punished; they are only reflecting the state of their social environment. As the world has never produced a child born hating whites or blacks, there has never been a child born hating Jews or Arabs.
JERUSALEM — Scores of Israeli youths assaulted a group of Palestinians last week, beating one unconscious as hundreds of bystanders watched without intervening in the heart of West Jerusalem, the police said on Monday, announcing that among the seven people arrested was a 13-year-old boy and two teenage girls.
On Monday, some of the teenage suspects commented near the courthouse where they were remanded, adding to the shocking nature of the case. “For my part he can die,” said one of the suspects, who admitted taking part in the assault. “He’s an Arab,” he told reporters outside the courtroom by way of explanation. “He cursed my mother.
“If it was up to me, I’d have murdered him,” he added.
The attack, described by one witness as a “lynch,” has laid bare the undercurrent of Jewish-Arab tensions that plague this mixed but politically divided city and that is leading many Israelis to question how their society could have come to this.
The police said the episode started as a brawl on Thursday, after a girl in a crowd of Israeli youths complained that she had been harassed by an Arab. Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said that her comments spurred the crowd to seek vengeance.
I don’t like this expression ‘First World problems.’ It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.This was said the Nigerian writer, photographer and art historian Teju Cole. Truer words have not been spoken about the African condition.
Cinnabon has opened a bakery-cafe in downtown Tripoli, making it the first U.S. franchise to enter Libya.
Cinnabon, based in Atlanta, is also looking to enter Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, said Mike Shattuck, president of Focus Brands International, parent company of Cinnabon and other brands.
To be fair, Cinnabon had planned to move into Libya before the revolution, but the subsequent regime change did not change its plans.
"We quickly halted everything because the revolution happened," said Shattuck. "Fortunately we were able to secure the location and it made it without serious damage."
In the first week of its opening, the Tripoli Cinnabon store logged $45,000 in sales, according to the company.
Belarus has finally confirmed that an airplane "invaded" its territory earlier in July to drop a payload of teddy bears holding signs promoting free speech, infuriating a regime often known as "Europe's last dictatorship".
Confirmation came on Thursday from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting on the modernisation of the country's armed forces, according to Russian news agency Interfax. "This plane was discovered in time, but why didn't the senior officials stop the flight?" asked Lukashenko. "Where did the fault lie? In these bungling officials or some error in the airspace control system?"
A little perspective to start your Tuesday. I suggest full-screen mode:
See also: Oldie But Goodie
When Bo left as deputy secretary of the Jin county Communist Party committee to become Dalian mayor in 1993, the city was a mess.That was the practical side of Bo Xilai. Here is an example of his less practical but more poetic (or Borgesian) side...
Liaoning province, of which Dalian was a part, had many state-owned companies left behind in the wave of economic reform and open-door policy that swept other parts of the country.
The unemployment rate in the province was higher than the national average. Environmental pollution was a serious problem due to the prominence of companies in the heavy industry sector.
Bo tried to erase the image of Dalian as a dirty municipality and strove to live up to his slogan of a "beautiful Dalian."
He tore down old factories and barracks and planted trees along the streets. During the eight years Bo served as mayor and secretary of the municipal Communist Party committee, more than 80 public squares were constructed in the city.
"The ratio of greenery reached 40 percent," a municipal government document proudly stated.
The mayor increased the number of sewage treatment facilities as part of a campaign to purify the city’s 40 foul rivers. He also pushed ahead with construction of rental housing for those in lower income brackets. In total, housing for 450,000 people was constructed.
He continued to come up with offbeat ideas as Dalian mayor. For example, the squad of female police officers on horseback was the first of its kind in China.Any great mayor or leader must have his/her Borgesianism.
Bo instructed the first recruits to "become the beautiful calling cards for Dalian." The average age of the first 50 female officers chosen was 23.
From the veranda of the mayor’s office that overlooked the People’s Square, Bo often watched with satisfaction as the female officers circled the lawn...
The results of the Mexican presidential election are still controversial, with newly elected Enrique Pena Nieto facing accusations of money laundering and vote-buying from several directions, including higher-ups at the outgoing PAN party.
The election runner-up Obrador has published an open letter accusing Nieto and his governors of using state money to secure votes:
Still, the most perverse and illegal maneuver was the recruitment of the governors of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI, in its Spanish initials) to take charge of buying votes without any moral scruples whatsoever.
On June 12, in Toluca, in the governor’s palace of the State of Mexico, 16 governors of the PRI party met with Peña Nieto and his campaign staff. There, they assigned quotas for how many votes each state would create for their leader.
For example, Eruviel Avila, governor of the State of Mexico, promised to obtain 2.9 million votes that – by coincidence – Peña Nieto was said to have won in that state. The decision that came out of that governor’s meeting in Mexico State was to use state government money to buy millions of votes throughout the country.
One piece of evidence that has been very well documented was the way that the governor of Zacatecas, Miguel Alonso Reyes, operated when he assigned his key operatives, at the municipal and electoral district level – and this is documented – that in his state along he spent millions of pesos to buy voter credentials and votes.
Throughout the country suffrage was acquired with cash, with electronic cards to obtain merchandise in supermarkets, with basic food stuffs, construction materials, fertilizers and other benefits.
Nieto is also facing protests from the popular #YoSoy123 movement. (And a note for the US "all cops are bastards" contingent: At one demonstration, a police officer broke ranks and joined the protesters. See? Police officers sometimes come around to the demonstrators' side—but are probably a lot less likely to if said demonstrators are screaming insults at them. You catch more flies with honey, yadda yadda.)
Analysts doubt Nieto will be prohibited from taking office for any reason. But his victory—and the return of the PRI—smells a lot less triumphant.
That's what many call Zimbabwe's House of Parliament.
"In most cases when these people wake-up they start making noise and senseless arguments," the sources said.We have rural voters to thank for this nonsense.
It's all they have left...
NYT A week after an extremist right-wing party gained an electoral foothold in Greece’s Parliament earlier this summer, 50 of its members riding motorbikes and armed with heavy wooden poles roared through Nikaia, a gritty suburb west of here, to telegraph their new power.You can't really hate these sorry thugs. From skin to bones, they have been conditioned by a system that has normalized/rationalized criminal exploitation. They are getting screwed all the time, and have no power to counter this screwing. What to do? Screw people who are more vulnerable than you are. That's what those in power will give their poor—the power to harm those who are very weak in numbers or rights.
As townspeople watched, several of them said in interviews, the men careened around the main square, some brandishing shields emblazoned with swastikalike symbols, and delivered an ultimatum to immigrants whose businesses have catered to Nikaia’s Greeks for nearly a decade.
“They said: ‘You’re the cause of Greece’s problems. You have seven days to close or we’ll burn your shop — and we’ll burn you,’ ” said Mohammed Irfan, a legal Pakistani immigrant who owns a hair salon and two other stores. When he called the police for help, he said, the officer who answered said they did not have time to come to the aid of immigrants like him.
The report further states that illegal migrants “were routinely discouraged from filing official complaints,” and that “the police told some victims they would have to pay a fee to file a complaint.” In addition, it says, the police told some victims to fight back themselves.
The website of Iran’s state television news channel says hackers are responsible for the results of its recent poll, in which the majority of respondents said they were in favor of the country halting its uranium-enrichment.But, honestly, what real value does uranium enrichment have for the public? And, more importantly, which small portion of the population has the most to gain from Iran's nuclear program? What we can be sure of is that the program has nothing to do with defense.
As Persian Letters reported earlier this week, the poll on Irininew.ir found that more than 60 percent of respondents were in favor of Iran stopping its uranium-enrichment program in return for the gradual lifting of international sanctions.
The government has long claimed that its sensitive nuclear program has widespread support among the country’s population.
First, the big news:
MEXICO CITY — The party that ruled Mexico for decades with an autocratic grip appears to have vaulted back into power after 12 years in opposition, as voters troubled by a bloody drug war and economic malaise gave its presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, a comfortable victory on Sunday, according to preliminary returns and exit polls.
The victory was a stunning reversal of fortune for the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, which was thought to be crippled after its defeat in the 2000 presidential election ushered in an era of real multiparty democracy here.
The autocratic suits of the PRI are back in the saddle again—in part because the Mexican political structure is tired of chaotic drug-war mayhem and wants to give the stability of old-fashioned, genteel corruption another try.
If the past is prologue, that is good news for the Sinaloa cartel (the gentleman farmers among Mexico's drug gangs) and other big businesses. And that is bad news for the Zetas (the new-jack feral children among Mexico's drug gangs), political dissidents, and other upstarts. And it might mean that the drug war will have a brief surge in violence—as the PRI and the Sinaloa collude to exterminate their rivals—but will ultimately cool down for awhile*.
Let's start with a little historical background on the Sinaloa and the PRI from this 2010 Stranger article:
Major Mexican landowners had been growing marijuana and opium poppies and selling them to the U.S. long before the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 (the first major federal drug prohibition—prior to that, even the Sears, Roebuck catalogue advertised a syringe and a dose of cocaine for $1.50). Those Mexican landowners were aligned with, or outright members of, the Mexican political establishment...