Daily Archives: 08/03/2011

( Egyptian women are staging a ‘Million Woman March’ today after the new prime minister appointed only one woman to his cabinet, raising fears that women will be shut out of building a new Egypt.

Cairo – On the day when Egypt’s revolution began, when huge crowds came out to protest former president Hosni Mubarak’s government, women came. When protests turned into battles with police, women faced the tear gas with the men. And when protesters settled in for the long haul and occupied Tahrir Square, women were among those who pitched their tents and slept in the cold.

But though they fought for their nation’s freedom, some women now fear they are being sidelined in the process of building the new Egypt. Today, on International Women’s Day, they are returning to Tahrir, where the revolution began, for a “Million Woman March” aimed at reminding the nation that they should have a voice in its future.

“When the prime minister came to Tahrir to speak to the people, was he blind? Did he not see that half of the people filling the square were women?” asks Nehad Abu El Komsan, head of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, referring to the fact that the new prime minister’s cabinet includes only one woman. “If we’re not involved in building the constitutional and legislative future of this country now, then when? Why do we see women, who were almost 50 percent of the protesters in Tahrir, not represented in decision-making rooms?”

Read More

(Newsweek) Far-right European politicians find love — and common cause — in Israel.

To the casual observer, the visiting Europeans at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial in the hills above Jerusalem, looked like any other foreign delegation. In the Garden of the Righteous Among Nations, where Gentiles who protected Jews are honored, they laid a wreath and posed for a photo before signing the visitors’ book with the solemn promise: “We will want to make sure that ‘never again’ really means never again.”

But these were no ordinary travelers with Zionist sympathies. Rather, on this trip to Israel were a Belgian politician known for his contacts with SS veterans, an Austrian with neo-Nazi ties, and a Swede whose political party has deep roots in Swedish fascism—unlikely visitors to pay their respects at Yad Vashem, perhaps, unless one considers the political currents in Israel and Europe, and the adage that one’s enemy’s enemy is one’s friend.

Only a few years ago, many of Europe’s far-right politicians were openly anti-Semitic. Now some of the same populist parties are embracing Israel to unite against what they perceive to be a common threat. Read more…

(TechDirt) The NY Times continues its drive to irrelevance. As we get ready to hear the details of the NYT’s plan to lock itself up online, its lawyers are apparently seeking to shut down people promoting its works. Jonathan Paul, a former web editor at the NY Times, set up a Tumblr blog account last summer, which he used to promote what he felt was “beautiful and unexpected imagery” found on the NY Times website. He did so very much in the spirit of promoting those works, including full credits and links back to the original works at the NY Times. It built up a decent audience of people, driving many of them to the NY Times website. And, in response, the NY Times sent its lawyers to shut down the blog, claiming that it was copyright infringement (found via Mathew Ingram). Paul notes that the blog actually had a decent following within the NYT, and his former colleagues had encouraged the project and helped promote it as well, fully realizing that it was helping their own work get more attention and driving more traffic to the NYT. And then the lawyers stepped in. One more example of why just because you can do something from a legal standpoint, it doesn’t mean you should — and another reason why you tend to make really bad business decisions when you let the lawyers decide to act, without understanding the actual business implications of what you’re doing.

from the how-backwards-can-you-be? dept

( It’s everyone’s favorite suggestion for dealing with Libya — but it’s more complicated than it sound

The ubiquitous image coming out of Libya today shows a rebel fighter, hands up, backing away from a plume of dust and smoke a few hundred yards away — the aftermath of an air strike. The unrest that began a few weeks ago has escalated into a full-scale conflict between the Gadhafi-led Libyan military and rebel forces. Equipped with helicopters, fighter jets and a mandate to crush the uprising, Gadhafi’s forces clearly have the potential to brutally slaughter the opposition. In the face of this, a popular proposal from many world leaders, military analysts, and even armchair pundits has emerged: Impose a no-fly zone.

Which raises a question: What exactly is a no-fly zone — and would it actually help in Libya? Read More

( Progressive groups threw a one-two punch at the nation’s richest banks on Monday. A coalition of watchdogs and activists released a new report revealing how the wealthiest bailed-out banks have caused the current economic crisis by dodging taxes, and hundreds of demonstrators rallied in Washington, DC, to demand the attorneys general of all 50 states file criminal charges against banks that are suspected of committing foreclosure fraud during the nation’s housing crisis.

At least 600 demonstrators gathered outside the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) spring meeting to demand tough settlements on foreclosure fraud cases resulting from a NAAG investigation into several banks’ practice of signing foreclosure documents without checking for accuracy – a practice the NAAG calls “robo-signing.”

The demonstrators – many of them homeowners – also occupied and successfully shut down a Bank of America branch before occupying the offices of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Click here for scenes from the protests.

NAAG launched the investigation in October 2010, but has yet to take action against banks like Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase that were suspected of systematically robo-signing foreclosure documents before the scandal made headlines. Read More

( SEOUL – North Korea has deployed tanks around its leader Kim Jong Il’s houses in Pyongyang to ward off a possible revolt amid continued unrest in the Middle East, Yonhap News reported yesterday, citing a lawmaker who asked not to be identified.

According to the lawmaker, a senior official of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) had confirmed during a closed-door session of the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee on Friday that Mr Kim has fortified his residences

The NIS official also reportedly acknowledged that North Korea was tightening its grip on its diplomats returning from abroad, as it is wary of them spreading news about the Middle East and causing any potential source of unrest.

05:56 AM Mar 07, 2011