[An Nahar] American actress and celebrity campaigner Mia Farrow urged the international community on Thursday to take urgent action to stem violence in the Central African Republic. And who knows more about Central Africa than Mia Farrow? Bono?
"CAR is not a forgotten crisis. The population is simply completely abandoned," said Farrow, who is a goodwill ambassador for the UN children's agency UNICEF.
Farrow, 68, recently back from a visit to the conflict-ravaged nation, told news hounds the "seeds of genocide" had been sown there and the world had a moral duty to take a stand.
The Central African Republic has been plagued by instability since a coup by Seleka, a coalition of rebel groups which overthrew longtime president Francois Bozize in March.
Seleka leader, Michel Djotodia, named himself president but agreed to hold elections next year.
the "seeds of genocide" had been sown there and the world had a moral duty to take a stand
Considering how many times "genocide" has happened in Central Africa, this should have been placed under "Short Attention Span Theater," though I doubt certain readers would've recognized or appreciated the snark.
Seeds? A fully harvested crop! Considering how many times "genocide" has happened in...under-resourced, overpopulated, malnourished, combative culture confrontational regions of exploitable yet apathetic, unsustainable economies.
The "Curse of Nations", soon coming to a theatre near you!
Qatars government has approved a draft law making it compulsory for men to do military service for up to four months, media reports said on Thursday.
Four months? Someone who is or has been in a western military will have to educate me on this, but I don't think you get much of a soldier in four months...
Under the proposed legislation, the first of its kind in Qatar, it would be compulsory for men aged between 18 and 35 to serve in the military for three months if they are graduates, and four if they are not.
The cabinet adopted the bill on Wednesday before submitting it to the Majlis al-Shura, or consultative council.
The move was aimed at mobilising Qataris for the defence of the country and to ensure a regular force that would be backed up by poorly trained reservists, if necessary, the official QNA news agency reported.
A Qatari official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said the aim of the military service is to get young Qataris to rely on themselves, and that four months was enough.
Enough to rely on themselves for what?
The armed forces of Qatar, which sits on the worlds third largest natural gas reserves, are made up of 11,800 servicemen, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
In Kuwait, parliament is debating a bill for the restoration of compulsory military service, cancelled after the Iraqi army invaded the emirate in 1990 and occupied it for seven months.
Here's hoping al-Maliki doesn't decide to invade them...
Four months will get you people who can pull a trigger usually in the right direction and march to their end as cannon fodder. Six months will get you some more abilities but still in the cannon fodder category. However, better than just shoving a gun into someone's hand and sending them off to die. To make a soldier to modern western standards takes about two years if you don't want to go through the more traditional Darwin 'let god sort them out' elimination process.
They propose building a sustainable industry of clothing, housing, feed, transportation, logistics and something of a civilian defense force in a 16 week boot camp. It's also establishing a marker for registering all males of jihadi age without really training them.
The New York Times is reporting JPMorgan Chase secretly employed the daughter of Wen Jiabao, who until recently was China's prime minister and the main overseer of the world's second largest economy.
The Thursday report comes as the U.S. government investigates whether the bank hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help win lucrative business deals with the country's state-owned companies.
[An Nahar] Work is finally set to begin on Athens' first mosque, 13 years after plans were first announced, the Greek government announced on Thursday. A Greek consortium has been chosen, the infrastructure ministry said, after five previous attempts to find a business group to lead the project failed.
Athens is one of the few European capitals without a mosque.
The building will have a budget of 946,000 euros ($1.3 million) and will be 600 square meters. It is being built on land formerly used by the military but it will not have a minaret. The project will have to be completed within six months of contracts being signed, said the ministry.
The scheme has been beset by various delays. It was first announced in 2000, ahead of the Olympics in Athens in 2004.
However, the hip bone's connected to the leg bone... it has long been opposed by the powerful Greek Orthodox Church. Some 90 percent of Greeks consider themselves Christian.
Although this is the first official mosque, several non-official places of worship have appeared in the Greek capital, thanks to an increasing number of immigrants from countries such as Pakistain.
In 2011, the Greek government was forced to adopt a law ensuring the construction of the mosque, with the first contract tender to be launched in the summer of 2013.
However, the hip bone's connected to the leg bone... it took five attempts to award a contract because of concerns over where to place the mosque and protests from those on the extreme right, such as supporters of Golden Dawn.
The only official mosques to be found in Greece are situated in the north east region of Thrace, where a minority group of Mohammedan Turks live.
From the I'll Get Right on that Department
Former Beatle Paul McCartney said on Thursday he had written to President Vladimir Putin to enlist his help in securing the release of a group of Greenpeace activists detained in Russia.
Twenty-eight activists and two journalists face up to seven years in jail over a protest against offshore drilling in the Arctic in which some members of the environmental group tried to scale a Russian oil rig.
House Democrats on Wednesday seized on the devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines to call for a hearing on extreme storms and climate change. Maybe everybody would forget about Obamacare?
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said Typhoon Haiyan shows the need for the House Energy and Commerce Committee to explore the link between the changing climate and natural disasters.
Waxman and Rush said Republicans should abandon the efforts to stop Obama's climate change regulations and instead "hold a hearing with the world's leading experts on the relationship between extreme storms like Typhoon Haiyan and climate change." Might be interesting, if both parties got to call their own "experts".
The letter cited a leaked Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that said sea level rises, coastal flooding, storm surges and more are a direct result of climate change.
Thailands current protests and political conflict appear to have reached a stalemate, with street protests receding after the government was forced earlier this week to back down from a blanket amnesty bill. Protest leaders have attempted to spur the demonstrations by calls for strikes and social disobedience.
Attendance at opposition rallies was sharply diminished Thursday after the Thai Senate annulled a controversial amnesty bill earlier in the week, and despite protest leaders' threats to escalate the rallies.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.