Scroll to the bottom for the winners of the song-of-the-week contest.
North Korea, fresh from agreeing to a nuclear arms moratorium, resumed its live-fire drills near a South Korean island:
New video broadcast on North Korean television shows a military unit carrying out live-fire drills in sight of a South Korean island.The military exercises this week on the southwestern coast of North Korea were close to the disputed maritime border.State television, KRT, also shows tanks repositioning and an artillery machine being prepared, overlooking waters that have seen a number of violent incidents over the years. North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island in November 2010, killing four South Koreans, claiming it was responding to a South Korean military drill in the area….The footage and fresh threats against South Korea come just one week after the United States and North Korea agreed on a nuclear deal after years of deadlock. North Korea effectively agreed to freeze its nuclear program and the United States agreed to provide 240,000 metric tons of food aid.The two sides are due to meet Wednesday to discuss the technicalities of the nutritional aid.
I see it’s business as usual on the Korean Peninsula. The US should have insisted that North Korea’s live-drills cease, as well, but it’s doubtful that there will be any calm between the two Koreas. As long as the North gets its food, it can maintain its dynastic totalitarian regime.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu patronises Obama because he knows the US is now no friend to his country:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he ‘appreciated’ U.S. President Barack Obama’s statements about Iran and looked forward to discussing them upon his arrival in Washington Monday.“I very much appreciated that President Obama reiterated his position that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and that all options are on the table,” Netanyahu said in a statement posted later to his YouTube channel.“I also appreciated the fact that he made clear that when it comes to a nuclear-armed Iran, containment is simply not an option. And equally, perhaps in my judgment most important of all, I appreciated the fact that he said that Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.”
Remember that Obama agreed to meet Iran without pre-conditions and called for “dialogue” in the bloody aftermath of a rigged election. Netanyahu had to remind Obama that Israel had hard won its 1967 borders and would not give them up. Whatever the future holds for now emboldened Iran and the forever embattled Israel, there is one president couldn’t care less how it all got there.
Related: Obama gives some useless chick a phone call because she is a victim as well as a shill for his pay-by-force contraception plan:
In his press conference today, President Obama said he called Sandra Fluke because he thought about his daughters and wanted them to be able to take on issues as they grow up, as private citizens, and to engage in civil discourse without being attacked. He wanted Fluke's parents to be as proud of her for speaking out as he would be of his daughters.Great. So where is my phone call? I'm a daughter and a mother, but I didn't get one phone call when I was called a mobster, a terrorist, a nazi, a tea bagger, a homophobe and a racist. Where was the President when conservatives started protesting the bailouts, stimulus, jobs bill and ObamaCare and had their integrity and intellect attacked on every level? Where was the phone call to Sarah Palin for being called a MILF or to Laura Ingraham for being called a slut?
|But a shill for a president who hates the 1st Amendment isn't a lady.|
Flayed by a fire she began herself, Aatifa's childlike frame is painstakingly wrapped in thick bandages -- her shrieks of "Allah" echoing around the hospital ward where surgeons prepare to graft skin back on to her skeletal torso.Her wide blue eyes alternating between flashes of anger and wells of tears, the 16-year-old Afghan girl struggles to explain what led her to douse her own body in petrol, step outside and light a match.Married at the age of 14, the young carpet-weaver, who has nine brothers and sisters, said her mother-in-law criticised her housework and encouraged her mechanic husband to beat her for allowing her mother to visit too often.She complained to authorities but was berated for causing trouble. Later told that her husband hated her and would marry a second woman, she swung between anger and depression before carrying out her masochistic deed.
(Sidebar: I’m sure the word the article-writer meant to use wasn’t masochistic but desperate because no one could derive pleasure from being burned alive. Dictionaries are important.)
Aatifa poured petrol over her head and, once outside her home, lit the flames that engulfed two thirds of her body. Her brother found her and smothered her with his clothes before neighbours took her to hospital."I just wanted to kill myself, this was my goal," she said, her bone-thin arm etched with flaring purple burn scars. "What can I do? I'm not useful anymore. I want to get a divorce, it's better to stop everything."Bound by early marriage into a life of domestic disharmony, dozens of girls like Aatifa in Afghanistan's sophisticated but conservative main western city of Herat are choosing a brutal form of escape by setting themselves on fire.In the past one year alone, doctors at a burns unit at the city hospital have seen 83 cases of self-immolation, with nearly two-thirds proving fatal.
Another thing the article-writer completely overlooked (like the real meaning of the word masochistic) is that the act of self-immolation appears in one culture in particular.
But why bore the reader with facts?
According to a Reuters news report, "radical Islamists" have desecrated a Benghazi graveyard of Canadian, British and Italian soldiers killed during World War Two.Amateur video footage of the attack, posted on YouTube, shows several men vandalizing the cemetery, apparently in retaliation to the burning of the Qur'an by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan last month.According to Reuters, one man can be heard saying: "This is a grave of a Christian" as he uprooted a headstone from the ground. Another voice says of those buried in the cemetery: "These are dogs."The Toronto Star reports that one of the damaged tombs is that of Flying Officer Martin Northmore, a 21-year-old from Toronto who was killed fighting in the North Africa campaigns which began in 1941 and lasted three years. Northmore is one of 10 Canadians buried at the site.The National Transitional Council (NTC), Libya's interim leadership since Moammar Gadhafi was ousted last year, said it would pursue those responsible."This action does not reflect Libyan public opinion because Islam calls for respect for other religions," the council said in a statement.
“Radical Islamists”? As opposed to moderate Islamists, I suppose. “…Islam calls for respect for other religions”? Let’s just see about that:
“Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allaah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued”[al-Tawbah 9:29]
That the highlighted phrases and comments were not questioned doesn’t surprise me. It’s why the blogosphere has become a more relevant source of news and information. If so-called professional and trusted news sources and agencies will not do proper journalism, someone else will. Why would a redundancy like “radical Islamists” (Islamists taken to mean fundamentalist and violent Muslims) and an obvious fallacy like Islamic tolerance for other religions appear in a mainstream article if hard-hitting journalism was a professional and ethical goal? They appear because of lazy, if not cowardly or sympathetic, leanings on the part of the writers, editors and other staff of the popular press.
Polish kite surfer Jan Lisewski fought off repeated shark attacks, overcame thirst and exhaustion in a two-day battle of survival on the Red Sea, Polish media reported on Tuesday.The 42-year-old Lisewski had completed two thirds of a 200 km (124 miles) attempt to cross the Red Sea from the Egyptian town of El Gouna to Duba in Saudi Arabia when the wind suddenly stopped, deflating his kite.Faced with rising waves and approaching nightfall the Gdansk-born Polish kite surfing champion and instructor sent out his first SOS signal, but it took nearly 40-hours for the Saudi Arabian coastguard to find him.Lisewski -- who became the first person to kite surf across the Baltic Sea last year -- survived the ordeal with help of energy drinks, some water, two energy bars and a trusty knife to fight off sharks up to six meters (yards) long."I was stabbing them in the eyes, the nose and gills," Lisewski told Polish state news agency PAP.
An uplifting story to book-end the horrible tragedy of last year’s earthquake in Japan:
Searching through piles of bodies after Japan's March 11 tsunami, Kenji Sato was struck by the thought -- he could easily have been one of them, had it not been for his son born earlier that day.In a fortunate twist of fate, Sato, a wiry descendant of fishermen in his coastal hometown of Minamisanriku, took time off from work to see his third child, Haruse, born at a hospital in a nearby port city.Hours later, the only thing left of the nursing home where he would usually have been was a skeleton of steel pillars.Nearly all 70 residents were swept away by the tsunami set off by the 9.0 magnitude offshore earthquake that devastated Minamisanriku, one of the worst-hit towns. Sato and his work mates set about the task of searching for them."I just confirmed that my wife and son were safe. Then, I spent days on end identifying bodies, looking for evacuation centers for the elderly," said Sato, 31, surrounded by his four-generation family at their home.A year on, the Satos, who all survived since their house was built on a hill, are planning a quiet birthday with some cake and ice cream for the child who, his grandmother Kazuko insists, "was born to save us."
I’m surprised that there are three children, actually. But, really, this is a very uplifting story of survival, family and dignity.
There are no winners of the song-of-the-week contest. There was no the song-of-the-week contest.