Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

All The News: Late Weekend Update

NASA GOES-12 Full Disk view March 30, 2010

NASA’s photo.  

Three international journalists asked to leave Bahrain

The Bahraini government ordered three journalists from the British television network ITV to leave the country today, according to news reports citing an ITV spokesman. The journalists, who were also briefly detained on Thursday, are in the process of leaving the country.

The ITV crew was composed of correspondent Rageh Omaar, and a cameraman and producer, who have not been identified, according to news reports. The journalists were covering the political unrest in Bahrain that coincided with a major Formula One race this coming weekend, the reports said.

An ITV spokesman said in a statement on Thursday that police stopped the crew from filming on Thursday and took them to a local police station. She said the police held “discussions” with them before saying they could continue to film. The ITV journalists filed a story on the protests later that day.

Committee to Protect Journalists:  14 dead journalists in 2013.  


Moscow ‘tries to stop’ the Arab Spring

Hürriyet Daily News; Barçın Yinanç

Stopping change in Syria has become critical for Russia in attempting to stop the consequences of the Arab Spring reaching its borders, according to an expert on Russia.

Moscow and Ankara have irreconcilable stances on Syria, said Dr. Mitat Çelikpala, adding that Russia did not consider Turkey as an equal interlocutor when it comes to Middle Eastern issues.

The two governments, however, are pragmatic enough not to let differences spoil their relations, the Kadir Has University academic told the Hürriyet Daily News.

What is your analysis on where Turkey and Russia stand on Syria following the recent visit of the Russian foreign minister?

It was confirmed that the two sides’ stances are totally different and irreconcilable. The Russian stance is evolving in a direction that is not the one desired by Turkey. Probably Russuans also got some green light from the U.S.

The two foreign ministers were not shy in showing how they differ totally. What does this tell us?

It is so obvious; there is nothing to hide. There is not one single input that implies they can agree. When you look at the past 15 years in bilateral ties, the two sides have been saying, let’s deal with the glass-half-full part and avoid the glass-half-empty part. They are trying to avoid discussing the issues they differ on but when they do, each side states its position openly. This is the benefit of having institutionalized relations.

Pakistan, US agree to promote Afghan peace dialogue

Dawn; Khawar Ghumman

Pakistan and the United States reiterated on Sunday their commitment to take the ongoing Afghan reconciliation process forward through meaningful dialogue and by addressing concerns of all major stakeholders, including the Taliban.

The two sides said they trusted each other and were deeply concerned about what they called unpredictable nature of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who in the past had harmed peace talks by unnecessarily hitting out either at the US or Pakistan.

A high-powered US delegation comprising David Pearce, acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; retired Lt Gen Douglas Lute, Special Assistant to the President on Afghanistan and Pakistan; Dr Peter Lavoy, Principal Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and Richard Olson, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, had a detailed meeting with the Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and other military officials. Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jillani also attended the meeting.

The Inter-Services Public Relations said in a terse press release: “The two sides discussed matters of mutual interest with particular focus on Afghanistan reconciliation process.”



A new study has found the nasty human papillomavirus is on the decline in Australia, most likely due to a vaccine program started in 2007.

Image credit: Peeradach Rattanakoses/Shutterstock (modified by Phil Plait)

HPV Vaccine in Australia Already Appears to Be Working

Slate; Phil Plait

Some good vaccine news for a change: A vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) appears to be working. HPV causes genital warts, and can lead to cervical cancer in women. In Australia, which began use of the HPV vaccine in 2007, cases of genital warts in young women aged 12 – 26 dropped 59 percent, and 39 percent for men. Not only that, but cervical abnormalities dropped as well-a glimmer of hope that for these vaccinated women, their chance of getting cervical cancer is dropping as well.

That is fantastic news!

The HPV vaccine caused quite the uproar here in the States. The usual antivaxxers hated it because, well, it’s a vaccine, but there was also mainstream fear-mongering, as well as being demonized by the conservatives, who said it would lead to promiscuity. That last is pure nonsense; in fact, a new study shows no significant increase in sexual activity in young women who have had the vaccine over those who have not.

Science v. ideology, science wins, part 2 😉

India’s milk pouch model appeals to Europe, Pakistan

Times of India; Prashant Rupera, TNN

“For the western world, supplying milk in pouches was earlier an unthinkable idea. Traditionally, they have used plastic jars for supplying milk to their consumers. But now they too are shifting and adopting the Indian model because supplying milk in pouches in easy, cost-effective and environment friendly. In Pakistan and some parts of Europe, they have already started supplying milk through pouches while we regularly get delegations to study the milk film packaging at our plant,” said Sodhi.

Named ‘Amul Sealk’, the Gandhinagar plant of GCMMF is the backbone of Amul’s liquid milk business and ensures supply of milk film (about 424 brand variants) to 16-member unions of the federation which are having about 41 milk packing stations across India.

The fully automatic plant with machineries imported from Germany manufactures three-layer polythene from 100 per cent virgin material. “This film is very environment friendly,” said Sodhi.

Church culture ‘allowed abuse’: Anglican

The Age; AAP

Churches and community organisations had a culture that helped child sex abuse go undetected, Melbourne’s Anglican archbishop has told an inquiry.

Archbishop Philip Freier said historically there had been a culture that provided opportunities for people who wanted to breach the trust of children to do so and for children’s complaints to be ignored.

Since the 1950s the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne has received 46 complaints of child sex abuse, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry heard on Monday.

“As you look backwards you can see broadly as a culture we’ve not readily listened to children when they’ve made complaints,” Dr Freier told the inquiry.


“There have been opportunities for people who wanted to breach the trust of children to do that and often for children’s accounts of that trust being broken, being disbelieved.”

Australia has recently had a lot of openness about past wrongs.  I hope this is a sign of change and healing . . .

Devi Shetty’s Narayana Hrudayalaya can perform heart surgery for US$800

South China Morning Post; AFP

What if hospitals were run like a mix of Walmart and a low-cost airline? The result might be something like the chain of “no-frills” Narayana Hrudayalaya clinics in southern India.

Using prefabricated buildings, stripping out air-conditioning and training visitors to help with post-operative care, the group believes it can cut the cost of heart surgery to US$800.

“Today healthcare has got phenomenal services to offer. Almost every disease can be cured and if you can’t cure patients, you can give them meaningful life,” says company founder Devi Shetty, one of the world’s most famous heart surgeons.

“But what percentage of the people of this planet can afford it? A hundred years after the first heart surgery, less than 10 per cent of the world’s population can,” he said in Bangalore.

I wonder if this doctor has met Paul Ryan, etc. ?

Mugabe warns against foreign interference


Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has said he will not accept foreign interference during elections later this year.

In an address to mark 33 years of Zimbabwean independence on Thursday, Mugabe welcomed recent efforts by Western nations to reopen dialogue with Zimbabwe after years of isolation to protest political violence, rights abuses and alleged vote rigging.

However, he said Western leaders should let the nation’s people “determine our own destiny” and defended the country’s independence without interference.

“Interference in our affairs will never be accepted,” he said, while calling on Zimbabweans to conduct themselves honourably during the elections, which could be held anywhere from late June to September.

I wonder if “foreign interference” means “international vote monitoring”?  Yes, I know I am somewhat obsessed with Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe, and the idea of free & fair elections.  

ANC: Helen Suzman didn’t act against apartheid

Mail & Guardian; Sarah Evans & Nickolaus Bauer

The party circulated flyers this week showing an embrace between Nelson Mandela and Helen Suzman as part of its campaign to fend off the idea that it would bring back apartheid if it were to govern nationally.

But the ANC is not taking the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s message lying down and questioned Suzman’s struggle credentials. ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said this week the DA did nothing to end apartheid and took a swipe at Suzman, saying she “enjoyed the comfort of apartheid Parliament” and “didn’t take any action” against apartheid.

The DA’s executive director of communications, Gavin Davis, said the party expected criticism from its opponents. He was also not concerned with the potential criticism that it was cheap using Mandela’s image for political expediency.

Net Politics: Report Calls for German Internet Commissioner

Der Spiegel

The issues handled by the commission are of particular importance in Germany, where matters related to online privacy and the power of computer-related companies are very present in voters’ minds. The online giant Google has been repeatedly criticized for violating privacy rights with products such as its Street View application, and data-protection authorities have sparred with Facebook on issues such as requiring users to use their real names.

Last February, thousands of protesters gathered in more than 50 German cities to demonstrate against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a multinational treaty that aims to help the music and film industries combat Internet piracy and intellectual property theft.

Interests in related topics even gave rise to Germany’s Pirate Party, which has scored a number of impressive state elections results in recent years and rocked the political landscape in early 2012 by seizing 13 percent of the vote in an opinion poll. Since then, however, internal bickering, leadership issues and a series of scandals have caused its support to nosedive to a paltry 3 percent, according to a recent poll. A party requires 5 percent of the vote in order to gain seats in parliament in Germany.

Nigeria violence kills at least 185

Guardian; AP

Fighting between Nigeria’s military and Islamist extremists killed at least 185 people in a fishing community in the nation’s far northeast, officials said on Sunday.

The fighting in Baga began Friday and lasted for hours, sending people fleeing into the arid scrublands surrounding the community on Lake Chad. The unrest saw insurgents fire rocket-propelled grenades and soldiers spray machine-gun fire into neighbourhoods filled with civilians.

By Sunday, when government officials felt safe enough to see the destruction, homes, businesses and vehicles were burned throughout the area.

The assault marks a significant escalation in the long running insurgency Nigeria faces in its predominantly Muslim north, with extremists mounting a coordinated assault on soldiers using military-grade weaponry.


Size of Crandall mine collapse exceeded earlier estimates

Salt Lake Tribune; Mike Gorrell

Hundreds of previously unknown foreshocks and aftershocks indicate the size of 2007’s deadly implosion at Utah’s Crandall Canyon coal mine was even greater than a post-disaster study suggested.

University of Utah scientists came to that conclusion in research presented Friday at the Seismological Society of America’s annual convention at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.

“We are looking at the Crandall Canyon event because we have accurate logs and very extensive seismic data,” said Kim McCarter, U. professor of mining engineering, and one of four study authors. “That provides a way of investigating the data to see if anything could be applied to other mines to improve safety.”

Local science.  And national politics.  The mine owner is Bob Murray.  Also, science v. ideology, science wins, part 1.  

Tim DeChristopher’s Sentence Ends

OutsideOnline; Joe Spring

On Sunday April 21, after 21 months in federal custody, activist Tim DeChristopher will walk out of a Salt Lake City halfway house and begin three years of probation. His first full day out of custody will be Earth Day, on which he’s organized an event to livestream answers to supporters’ questions after a screening of the movie “Bidder 70.”

In December 2008, DeChristopher acquired the name “Bidder 70” after he entered a Utah BLM land auction and made his claim to 22,500 acres of wilderness worth $1.8 million dollars. He couldn’t pay for the land. In March, 2011, he was convicted on felony counts of making false statements and violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act. Prosecutors looked to sentence DeChristopher to up to seven years in prison, but a federal judge ordered a two-year stay, a three-year probation, and a $10,000 fine.

Happy Earth Day to Tim and EVERYONE ELSE! Link tweeted by Bill Moyers.  


Insurance agents mobilize to help West residents file claims


Insurance agents from around the state have flocked to West to help homeowners file insurance claims as residents anxiously await the chance to return home and survey damage from Wednesday’s fertilizer plant explosion.

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance already had started about 100 claims by Friday, with about 60 percent stemming from damaged homes and the other cases for car claims, district manager Deryl Schlemmer said. The agency set up a mobile claims response bus in front of the Czech Inn.

A handful of customers trickled into the mobile crisis center Allstate created at the West Auction Barn, while other team members drove around the town trying to make contact with customers.

I wanted to point out the Waco Tribune as a source, and give them a compliment on their thorough and local coverage.  


This Week In Blackness  Your non-traditional media source for Angry Black Lady Chronicles, Jack & Jill Politics, and TWIB, w/ tweets, blog entries, videos, etc.  

Strangers to Reason: LIFE Inside a Psychiatric Hospital, 1938   For sober reflection, I hope.  


Comments are closed.