[MAGHAREBIA] Roughly 15,000 people rallied on Saturday (February 16th) in Tunis to support the Ennahda-led government and against Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali's plans to form a government of technocrats aimed at resolving Tunisia's political crisis, AFP reported.
"Ennahda... will never give up power, as long as it benefits from the confidence of the people and the legitimacy of the ballot," party leader Rachid Ghannouchi told the crowd at the end of the rally.
On Friday evening, Jebali said his consultations with political parties on the new Tunisian government showed "encouraging results" and that progress was made "on all the items discussed". A new meeting was scheduled for Monday to "carry on discussions", he added.
"Time is not important. What is more important is the interest of Tunisia and the search for a way out and a solution for the people and the revolution," he told news hounds.
[An Nahar] U.N. Secretary General the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... will sign a regional agreement in Addis Ababa February 24 aimed at pacifying the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo ...formerly the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Zaire, and who knows what else, not to be confused with the Brazzaville Congo or Republic of Congo, which is much smaller and much more (for Africa) stable. DRC gave the world Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Mobutu, followed by years of tedious civil war. Its principle industry seems to be the production of corpses. With a population of about 74 million it has lots of raw material... , his front man said Sunday.
Ban's front man, Martin Nesirky, told Agence La Belle France Presse that invitations to the signing ceremony went out on Friday.
"He intends to be at the event on 24 February in Addis Ababa. All the invited presidents have committed to either be there or delegate power to sign," he said.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Congo, South Africa and Tanzania are expected to sign the framework agreement.
The peace plan was presented at the end of January at an African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... summit in Addis Ababa, but the leaders of the eight African states have so far refused to sign it.
The DRC's mineral-rich east has long been caught up in strife among local and foreign gangs.
Since May, the army has been fighting the "March 23 Movement", an insurgency that the United Nations ...what started out as a a diplomatic initiative, now trying to edge its way into legislative, judicial, and executive areas... says is backed by Rwanda and Uganda, which they deny.
A Sandhurst tribute to the fallen of a First World War battle has been abandoned so a donation from the King of Bahrain can be honoured.
Mons Hall, named after the 1914 battle that saw thousands killed, will be renamed the King Hamad Hall after he gave £3 million towards its refurbishment.
Defence chiefs were yesterday accused of betraying the memory of soldiers who gave their lives for their country.
MPs also questioned the ethics of honouring regimes that have dubious human rights records.
It emerged an accommodation block at the Army officer training academy has also been named after the first president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following a £15 million donation from the country.
Andy Slaughter, Labour's chairman of the Democracy In Bahrain all-party parliamentary group, said: "To change the name of something which commemorates a very tragic episode in British military history and an example of courage and heroism of British soldiers simply because they're getting a sum of money from a rather dubious source is appalling."
Talking about it gives everyone fair warning, including the power mad idiots in Brussels. And they never even considered such things before, so this is progress of a sort.
Migrants from the European Union will be forced to live in Britain for up to a year before they can claim benefits, under plans outlined by Iain Duncan Smith, the welfare minister.
The Work and Pensions Secretary said hard-working migrants who paid their taxes and contributed to the economy would be welcome.
But he said he wanted to ensure "our door is shut" to benefit tourists and was engaged in a "big battle" with Brussels to reform the rules on welfare payments to residents from elsewhere in the EU.
Last week the Prime Minister promised to overhaul the system for immigrants to ensure that Britain is not "a soft touch". Ministers have been in talks over tightening the rules allowing migrants access to social housing, the NHS, benefits and elements of the justice system.
Some Conservative Cabinet members fear that the removal of restrictions for EU migrants from Romania and Bulgaria from 2014 will see many more arrive than expected, putting pressure on housing and public services.
Mr Duncan Smith predicted that ministers would be able to introduce "much tougher" regulations to stop immigrants taking advantage of the welfare system.
However, he faces a fight with the EU, which is attempting to prevent Britain applying the residency test to migrants from elsewhere in Europe.
"They're trying to say we don't have the right to have any kind of test, so that's a big battle that I'm having with the Europeans," Mr Duncan Smith said. Britain is being supported in arguing for new rules by the Dutch and Scandinavians, he added.
The minister said he also wanted to stop immigrants sending UK child benefit payments, which are more generous than the European average, to their families in their home countries.
From next year, 29 million Romanian and Bulgarian citizens will gain the right to move to the UK to work and live under rules allowing EU citizens freedom of movement.
Why a year, and not longer, the whole idea is "Don't come here and sponge" isn't it?
Or is a year considered "Fair", Bullshit, there'll all ways be people who consider welfare a "Right".
Do it this way, when you come to Britian, if you plan to go on welfare, you get sent home. (Wherever "Home" is) and NO RETURN EVER.
Any children born in Britian , are considered "Stateless", they can't become Brits.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
Just auction the right to hold British Citizenship.
Even a bureaucrat could work out the profit maximising number.
[FRANCE24] Boosted by his country's low unemployment rate and strong oil exports, left-wing Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa appears poised for re-election, with a majority of polls showing he could pull off a first-round victory on Sunday.
[FRANCE24] Silicon Valley's long crusade to break open doors to America for foreigners with key technology skills hinges on a political battle in Washington over broader immigration reform.
For more than a decade, the tech sector has been struggling to get more visas and green cards for immigrants with engineering, math or science skills.
While Silicon Valley has been largely backing reform-minded Democratic candidates including President Barack Obama, Republicans have begun paying attention to broader immigration reform, an issue dear to US Latinos.
Continued on Page 49
Originally 1HB visas were counted in thousands back in the early 80s. They've exceeded hundreds of thousands today. Literally for decades they've been awarded and in doing so destroyed the incentive to grow our own. Why put in 4 to 6 years for that piece of paper when the companies can hire lobbyists to keep the flow of foreign help going. The companies have the foreign employee by the green card to keep him indentured versus a free man to sell his skills to the competition. What's there not to like, if you're the employer.
It's one big game. The company runs want ads with page long requirements that no one can meet. It then uses that as a basis for justifying hiring a foreign worker. There is no check back to see if said hire comes closer than any American applicant in filling the job.
This has been going on for decades. It's long time for American businesses to grow their own. They have had literally generations to do this. Instead, keep the lobbyist paid to stay in the ear of the reelection fund Congresscritter.
The friggin bean counters treat employees as liabilities and balk at putting someone on contract for years invested in training which you would do if you paid for the training to get a return on investment. Yet, this is exactly what the Department of Defense does daily. Earn a skill with contractual obligations incurred.
There are, at most, a handful of people who are ESSENTIAL to a project. Someone like Linus Torvalds is definitely a "win" to have come to the US.
But yer average H1B visa-holder is just an indentured servant. The idea that their technical skills are better than an American's is laughable -- the problem is that the US citizen will cost more and be able to change jobs.
Posted by: Rob Crawford ||
Procopius2k is right on the money!
Posted by: Water Modem ||
More to the point I am an engineer and I did not encourage my two sons to go into a field where citizens are treated so badly by the government and corporations. That's part of why you don't see as many citizens graduating into that rigged game.
Posted by: Water Modem ||
A Pope did some things for some Jews, and it is News.
I would be much more moved by a Pope speaking out about the suffering of Coptic Christians, Chinese Catholics, wayward Anglicans, or Korean Pentecostals. Some of these people are actually forfeiting their lives in the sake of Christ.
Someone in Rome needs to put on his embroidered virgin wool Popy-pants and get busy supporting actual Christians before anyone cares about the occupant of the so called "Holy See", except possibly the modernized apostates who inhabit the new media complex, who will support anything that doesn't actually support the Christian Faith.
Is that the Pope we want? I think not.
(Conclave, I hope you are listening -- says a Lutheran to the Cardinals. You could fix Protestantism if you chose to. Yet you don't. For 500 years you don't. Amazing. Where is Christ in your life?)
Why is Catholicism the only religion where those who aren't Catholic get to rant and rail about what Catholics should do? If you don't attend mass on a weekly basis and give your time and effort to the church, I could careless what you think about my church. I certainly don't go around preaching to Lutherans about the dangers of homosexual unions and openly gay preachers. I could care less what Lutherans, or any other demonization for that fact, do in their house.
I say if you don't like the Catholic Church, go be something else. Don't try to change my church to fit your personal opinions.
Well, we are at war with fanatical Muslims, and Americans are dying to fight Islam, so there religion, since it is the reason for the war, is open for comment.
You really don't see a double standard when it comes to the Catholic church? Which other large Christian denomination gets slammed in the press everyday? If I believed my paper, I'd think the Republican and Catholics are the roots of all of our problems.
You obviously aren't Jewish, Vortigern Whavique7596 dear.
You are certainly entitled to complain, but honestly, y'all have been at the receiving end of that nonsense for only the last five hundred years or so. Dishing it out, on the other hand... St. Augustine of Hippo does rather come to mind, you understand, and why he was such a vast improvement over his predecessors, from a Jewish perspective.
Of course, if you want to get theological, our good old boy the Jew, Philo of Alexandria, crafted many of the theological foundations of early Christianity and Judaism after the Sack of Jerusalem by Rome.
Pick an issue, resurrection, heaven, the hereafter, damnation, the sanctity of marriage, and of course, if you dig deep enough, the Holy Trinity.
Some religious scholars don't do their homework.
Pius XII was a strange duck with stranger ideas.
When the Catholics, whom I greatly admire and study very closely, got the message that Jesus HAD to die on the cross in order to save the world and fullfill the prophecies of Isaiah and David, they stopped the "Christ killer" crap and became more interested in reconciliation with the Jews.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
I was raised in that reconciliation Catholic message, BC. After all, Jesus was a Jew.
Posted by: Frank G ||
The International Court of Arbitration at the Hague has upheld India's right to divert water from the Rs. 3600-crore Kishenganga Hydro-electric Project (KHEP) in north Kashmir today.
The arbitration court took the decision after Pakistan sought a stay on the project claiming that India was diverting the flow of the river and violating Indus Water Treaty between the two countries.
Reacting to the court's decision, the Ministry of External Affairs said, "The award of the Court of Arbitration at the Hague today reaffirms the validity of India's position regarding the Kishenganga Hydro-electric project (KHEP) by allowing diversion of water from the KHEP as envisaged by India. It highlights once again that India is adhering to all the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty."
In September last year, the arbitration court had asked India to stop permanent works on the 330 megawatt Kishenganga project on River Neelum in response to Pakistan's appeal.
[An Nahar] Sri Lanka's nationalist Buddhist monks and their supporters launched a campaign Sunday to boycott Islamic halal-slaughtered meat amid mounting religious tensions in the ethnically divided nation.
Thousands of men and women led by hundreds of monks of the Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Force, staged a rally outside Colombo to announce the boycott, demanding that shops clear their stocks of halal food by April.
"More than 90 percent of the population are Buddhists, Hindus and Christian and therefore there is no justification to force them to eat halal products," Buddhist monk Kirama Wimala Jothi said in a statement.
He urged Sri Lanka's non-Mohammedan majority to boycott any product with the halal label and asked the government to outlaw Islamic holy mans issuing such certification.
The halal method of killing an animal requires it to have its throat slit.
The issue has raised new tensions in a country emerging from nearly four decades of ethnic strife which has claimed at least 100,000 lives, according to U.N. estimates.
The rally came less than three weeks after President Mahinda Rajapakse urged monks not to incite religious hatred and violence amid reports of a wave of attacks targeting Mohammedans.
The Buddhist Force has disassociated itself with violence saying that there were "duplicate groups" pretending to be them and stirring up trouble.
Less than 10 percent of Sri Lanka's population of 20 million are Mohammedans.
[Al Ahram] Buddha statues have joined Barbie dolls and characters from "The Simpsons" TV cartoon as banned items in the conservative Moslem nation.
Authorities are confiscating Buddha statues from shops in the Iranian capital, Tehran, to stop the promotion of Buddhism in the country, according to a report Sunday in the independent Arman daily.
Iran has long fought against items, such as Barbie toys, to defuse Western influence, but this appears to be the first time that Iranian authorities are showing an opposition to symbols from the East.
The newspaper quoted Saeed Jaberi Ansari, an official for the protection of Iran's cultural heritage, as calling the Buddha statues symbols of "cultural invasion."
He said authorities will not permit a specific belief to be promoted through such items. Ansari did not say how many Buddhas had been seized, but that the "cleansing" would continue.
Some Iranians buy Buddha's statues to decorate their homes and cars. Most are made in China and come from Iranian free-trade zones in the Persian Gulf.
"As I understand, none of customers cared about Buddhism, they only bought it for decoration," said Reza Sanaei, a shopkeeper who sells the statues.
A customer, Marjan Arbabi, said she personally did not like the statues. "But my parents have set of five Buddah's statues at their home simply because they think the statues are beautiful," she said.
Under the constitution, Christian and Jewish beliefs as well as Zoroastrianism are recognized beside Islam, the official religion of the country. The law, however, says that, in general, the rights of all non-Moslems should be observed.
Some Islamists do not support production of any statue, since they view it as a way to promote idols.
In 2010, several statues depicted prominent Iranians, disappeared from Tehran city's streets and squares. Their disappearance was blamed on an unnamed group with a strict interpretation of Islam that bans the depiction of the human form in art.
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.