International Goin’ Ons

March 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

South Africa Denies a Visa for the Dalia Lama: Theories are that South Africa doesn’t want to piss off China.

FBI repeatedly stalls on Freedom of Information Requests:

Several Kentucky Court Officials Arrested for Vote Tampering:

Thousands march against mafia in Naples:

Landmark Legal Ruling grants India’s ‘untouchables’ right to defend reputations:

Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world today: So says Rethink Afghanistan

Florida Woman Arrested for Videotaping Police:

I cannot believe how many stories I have read over the past year of people being harrassed by The Man for videotaping or taking pictures in public areas. And if a cop or police car should get in those pictures? Fergedabootit, arrest records for everyone!

A South Florida woman was thrown in jail overnight and charged with an “eavesdropping” felony after she videotaped police officers with their knowledge in a movie theater parking lot Saturday night.

Although a judge dropped the felony charge against her the following morning, leaving her with a misdemeanor resisting arrest without violence charge, Boynton Beach Police have yet to return her camera, insisting that they still need it for “evidence.”

Adding insult to injury, she believes one of the arresting officers sent her an email bordering on sexual harassment, if not surpassing it, insinuating that she had lesbian sex with other inmates during her incarceration.

I don’t really see how it’s relevant that she’s a model, but whatevar.
Thanks for the tip-off Ed.

Darfur Asylum-Seeker Murdered In Sudan after being Kicked Out of UK:

Adam Osman Mohammed, 32, was gunned down in his home in front of his wife and four-year-old son just days after arriving in his village in south Darfur.

The case is to be used by asylum campaigners to counter Home Office attempts to lift the ban on the removal and deportation to Sudan of failed asylum-seekers. Next month, government lawyers are expected to go to court to argue that it is safe to return as many as 3,000 people to Khartoum.
But lawyers for the campaigners will tell the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal that people who are returned to Sudan face imprisonment, torture and death.

Politicians Enjoy Receiving Money from Bills that they Voted Against – Hypocrisy?

Facing difficult economic times and looking ahead to 2010 elections, lawmakers are under pressure to show they are helping constituents. That is leading some Republicans, and even a handful of Democrats, to highlight funds in bills they voted against.

“There is a political game going on here,” said Leslie Paige, spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group. “On the national stage, you want to look like a good-government guy or gal. But at home, you want to get patted on the back and get a photo op.”

A number of lawmakers disputed this, saying it isn’t surprising that a bad bill would contain some good elements. Even if a spending bill is wasteful, they said, that doesn’t mean items for their district can’t be worthwhile.

“Not to be rude, but it’s one of the dumbest things,” Mr. Hoekstra said of the notion that there is a contradiction. “The only people who are supposed to get money in an omnibus bill are the ones that vote for it?…I don’t see any inconsistency at all.”

Rape of women in U.S. armed forces: shame of a nation

Rape and other forms of sexual assault against women is the great shame of the U.S. armed forces, and there is no evidence that this ghastly problem, kept out of sight as much as possible, is diminishing.

New data released by the Pentagon showed an almost 9 percent increase in the number of sexual assaults reported in the last fiscal year — 2,923 — and a 25 percent increase in such assaults reported by women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Try to imagine how bizarre it is that women in American uniforms who are enduring all the stresses related to serving in a combat zone have to also worry about defending themselves against rapists wearing the same uniform and lining up in formation right beside them.

The truly chilling fact is that, as the Pentagon readily admits, the overwhelming majority of rapes that occur in the military go unreported, perhaps as many as 80 percent. And most of the men accused of attacking women receive little or no punishment. The military’s record of prosecuting rapists is not just lousy, it’s atrocious.

Pandagon has some interesting commentary:

I think this is the crux of the paranoia over the lifting of DADT. These sick macho bastards who abuse their female colleagues and get away with it believe that gay male servicemembers are suddenly going to line up to violate them.

That’s a lousy excuse for discriminating; how about just following the Uniform Code of Military Justice and letting women in the ranks know that you are going to prosecute these sexual assaults?

Obama Plans to Send Agents, Equipment To Aid Mexican Fight:

Finally! Some good news oot of the U.S. Of course, it’s only good in the context of an ongoing drug war.

President Obama is finalizing plans to move federal agents, equipment and other resources to the border with Mexico to support Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s campaign against violent drug cartels, according to U.S. security officials.

In Obama’s first major domestic security initiative, administration officials are expected to announce as early as this week a crackdown on the supply of weapons and cash moving from the United States into Mexico that helps sustain that country’s narco-traffickers, officials said.

The story is mostly about preventing money, guns, and other supplies moving South into Mexico. I never thought about those things moving into Mexico. Well, there’s a personal paradigm shift for me!

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