This diary will be cross-posted at the GOS, also.
(add link when posted).
I ended up writing the OND at the gos again tonight – so here it is:
I think I hit seven continents (counting the Shackleton voyage re-creation) and several states (whose legislatures are up to NO good in general).
Welcome all, please comment on stories, or share your own news, and consider this a late-night open thread . . .
Lockerbie bombing: British detectives to fly to Libya for the first time
Telegraph: Christopher Hope
A team of detectives from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary are to visit Tripoli fir the first time in March to try to track down those responsible, where they will meet officials in Tripoli.
The only man convicted of the bombing, Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi, died last year, but there has been repeated claims that others were involved in a conspiracy.
Speaking alongside Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in Tripoli, the Prime Minister said he was delighted that the team was set to come to Tripoli to “look further into the issues around the Lockerbie bomb”.
He added that Britain would “continue to seek justice for the family of Yvonne Fletcher”, the Metropolitan Police officer, who was gunned down in a hail of gunfire from the Libyan embassy in St James Square in London in April 1984.
Guatemala’s wartime leader to face genocide charges
France 24: Wire Services
José Efrain Rios Montt, who ruled Guatemala for part of its brutal civil war, will face trial for genocide for allegedly ordering the murder, torture or displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians after a March 1982 coup, a judge ruled Monday.
A former U.S.-backed dictator who presided over one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala’s civil war will stand trial on charges he ordered the murder, torture and displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians, a judge ruled Monday.
Human rights advocates have said that the prosecution of Jose Efrain Rios Montt would be an important symbolic victory for the victims of one of the most horrific of the conflicts that devastated Central America during the last decades of the Cold War.
THE ROVING EYE: All that pivots is gold
Asian Times: Pepe Escobar
To quote the immortal line in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, as filmed by John Huston, “Let’s talk about the black bird” – let’s talk about a mysterious bird made out of gold. Oh yes, because this is a film noir worthy of Dashiell Hammett – involving the Pentagon, Beijing, shadow wars, pivoting and a lot of gold.
Let’s start with Beijing’s official position; “We don’t have enough gold”. That leads to China’s current, frenetic buying spree – which particularly in Hong Kong anyone can follow live, in real time. China is already the top gold producing and the top gold importing nation in the world.
Gold accounts for roughly 70% of reserves held by the US and Germany – and more or less the same for France and Italy. Russia – also on a buying spree – is slightly over 10%. But China’s percentage of gold among its whopping US$3.2 trillion reserves is only 2%.
Beijing is carefully following the current shenanigans of the New York Federal Reserve, which, asked by the German Bundesbank to return the German gold it is holding, replied it would take at least seven years.
This almost reads like CT. I do wonder about this particular source sometimes.
Ensure our states aren’t hit by your Brahmaputra dams, India tells China
Times of India: Indrani Bagchi
India took an unusually sharp stand against China’s unilateral moves to dam the Brahmaputra, saying it had “established user rights” to the river. Asserting itself for the first time, India asked China “to ensure that the interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas”.
In its new blueprint for the energy sector for 2011-2015, China announced it would build three hydropower bases on the Yarlung Tsangpo river, at Dagu, Jiacha and Jiexu. A hydropower station at Zangmu is already under construction. The Chinese announcement earlier this week was not preceded by any consultation or sharing of information with New Delhi.
While this actually indicates China’s consistent policy that it does not believe it needs to engage India on this, the Indian response represents a distinct change in policy. Thus far, India’s stated position was that New Delhi “agreed” with the Chinese statement that it would “not hurt India’s interests”.
Followup to last night’s story of the dam attempts . . .
Shackleton crew soak up sun, and true blue spirit
The Age: Nicole Hasham
IT WAS a meagre mercy, but a welcome one. After two days of feral seas, the crew of the Alexandra Shackleton emerged – wet, hungry and dog-tired – to sun themselves in a calm, zero-degree Antarctic chill.
The six men, retracing Ernest Shackleton’s legendary Antarctic crossing almost a century ago, enjoyed a jaunty start after setting out from Elephant Island last Wednesday. But three days in, they were pummelled.
Fifty-knot winds whipped up a virile, seven-metre swell that washed over the deck and seeped below, soaking the crew and damaging their radio and radar equipment.
Re-enactment of Shackleton’s journey. Except they have a support boat.
Sex abuse of Aboriginal children shown to be just as bad as ever
Sydney Morning Herald: Anna Patty
A STRATEGY to tackle child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities has failed despite the investment of tens of millions in taxpayer dollars over five years to address the problem, a scathing report by the NSW Ombudsman has found.
The assessment of 12 Aboriginal communities in NSW found the former Labor government’s approach to addressing child sex abuse had done little to help reduce the number of reported incidents. Aboriginal children were still dramatically over-represented as victims of child sex abuse.
And the Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, has warned the state government against simply pouring more money into programs without a proper evaluation of their effectiveness. His 93 recommendations include better monitoring and accountability of services.
In 2011, more than half the 8857 victims of sexual abuse in NSW were children under the age of 16. Aboriginal children represented 10 per cent of all child abuse victims, despite making up just 4 per cent of the child population.
Refs threaten red card in sexism row
New Zealand Herald: Lindy Laird
Rugby officials say a red card might be pulled on the rugby website that has caused an uproar for posting an image of a female Northland referee administrator wearing a bikini, with a lurid caption beneath.
However the man responsible for the website says the sexism row has been blown out of proportion – though he is grateful for the increased web traffic it has generated.
The president of Northland Rugby Referees’ Association (NRRA), Martin Albrecht, said the person who ran the KerikeriRugby.com website had made “a sexist faux pas”.
But Murray Potts, who is responsible for the website, says he feels he has been ambushed by the Northland Rugby Union (NRU) and the media after he posted the photo he had lifted off the young woman’s Facebook page.
I try really really hard to remember that not all men are all pigs all of the time.
Pastor Alois Bell had dinner at Applebee’s Saturday following an evening service at the Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries Church.
Her party of 10 that included five adults and five children received individual receipts; upon noticing that her bill indicated that at 18 percent tip should be given, she wrote on the receipt, “I give God 10% why do you get 18,” in addition to writing “zero” in the tip section.
According to Bell, she left a cash tip of $6 and later discovered that the 18 percent gratuity was charged to her credit card.
The receipt went viral Wednesday when the waitress who received it shared it on social media website Reddit. Since then, several news sources have reported on the story.
Three States Pushing ALEC Bill To Require Teaching Climate Change Denial In Schools
DeSmog Blog: Steve Horn
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – known by its critics as a “corporate bill mill” – has hit the ground running in 2013, pushing “models bills” mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems.
January hasn’t even ended, yet ALEC has already planted its “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act” – which mandates a “balanced” teaching of climate science in K-12 classrooms – in the state legislatures of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona so far this year.
In the past five years since 2008, among the hottest years in U.S. history, ALEC has introduced its “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act” in 11 states, or over one-fifth of the statehouses nationwide. The bill has passed in four states, an undeniable form of “big government” this “free market” organization decries in its own literature.
New Mexico lawmaker resurrects bill making abortion after rape a felony
Salon.com Katie McDonough
We all remember last week when Republican state legislator Rep. Cathrynn Brown introduced a bill that would charge rape survivors seeking an abortion with a felony, right?
And we all remember when she was promptly Internet shamed and removed all evidence of the bill from her website, posthaste?
Well, she’s back. And so is the bill.
After finding out that the public doesn’t take too kindly to putting rape survivors in jail, Rep. Brown amended the legislation. Now, instead of charging women who terminate a pregnancy caused by rape with “tampering with evidence,” the updated bill will charge state abortion providers. Why? For “facilitating” the destruction of evidence.
So abortion after rape would still be a crime in New Mexico. And that is still a problem.
“Either Cathrynn Brown thinks we can’t read or she’s trying to pull another fast one,” Scott Forrester, executive director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, said in a statement.
Younger Mormons more accepting of gay Utahns, panel says
Salt Lake Tribune: Ray Parker
There is a generation gap when it comes to Mormons and the acceptance of gay issues such as marriage.
That was just one of the conclusions discussed after the first showing Wednesday night of a new play, “Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea,” at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center’s Studio Theatre in Salt Lake City.
Playwright Matthew Greene, 26, who is straight and Mormon, could not get the play produced while attending Brigham Young University, probably because those with final approval were older, he told an audience gathered for a discussion following Wednesday’s premiere.
But Greene said in his experience younger Mormons are more open to the LGBT community.
Ask Mormon Girl: I’m an out gay Mormon serving a mission, and I need help. <– i’m not sure if this link will go directly to the article, but it’s at the top of her blog page right now.
At Bear River Massacre site, the names of the dead ring out
Salt Lake Tribune: Kristen Moulton
For more than a century, the hundreds of men, women and children slaughtered along the Bear River were remembered as anonymous Indians, their names known only to their closest kin, now long dead.
That changed Tuesday, when, for the first time, the names of 40 Shoshone likely killed in the Jan. 29, 1863, Bear River Massacre were read aloud.It was at Bear River that hundreds of Shoshone – estimates range from 300 to 500 – were stabbed, shot and clubbed to death by the U.S. Army’s 3rd California Volunteers intent on punishing Indians for interfering with mining supply wagons and pioneers. The soldiers had ridden north from Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City for the dawn attack.
Few of the victims’ names survived in the largely oral tradition of the Shoshone.
I meant to include this last night, and am pleased to share it with you tonight.
Let’s Make Happy: Mochimochiland Fun Knitted Toys & a blog . . .