Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ya son 102 banderas

Our first visitor from Peru brought our flag total up to 102 yesterday. I am still playing catch-up, so only mentioning it late this afternoon. ¡Bienvenido!

The flag I show above is the national ensign or state flag, distinguished from the civil flag which has no emblem in the center.

Because I need to head out shortly, I will jump right to videos.

An English-language hip hop cry for social justice in Peru:

Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. Pachamama is usually translated as "Mother Earth" but a more literal translation would be "Mother Universe"(in Aymara and Quechua mama = mother / pacha = world, space-time or the universe) [1]. Pachamama and Inti are the most benevolent deities and are worshiped in parts of the Andean mountain ranges, also known as Tawantinsuyu (stretching from present day Ecuador to Chile and Argentina). [Wikipedia]
See also:
The Origins of The Pachamama Alliance

The Pachamama Alliance is a U.S. based not-for-profit organization that was born out of a relationship developed between a group of people from the modern world and the leaders of remote indigenous groups in the Amazon region of Ecuador. This relationship was actually initiated by the indigenous elders and shamans themselves who, out of their deep concern for the growing threat to their ancient way of life, and their recognition that the roots of this threat lay far beyond their rainforest home, actively sought the partnership of committed individuals living in the modern world.
Short of music from near Machu Picchu:

A far too short bit of Afro-Peruvian beat:

Eva Ayllon sings for you (live - shaky camera work finally settles down):

--the BB

Recognized for alliteration!

No trophy or purse came with it, but this blog was recognized for the really tacky alliteration in last week's princely posting. You may well guess that the Kate Middleton Report is a blog for all things Kate Middleton, the lovely lady that Prince William is dating.

Thanks for the linky love, folks. We've had some visitors because of it.
--the BB

Complete with fairybook castle

Yes, I am a day late but a bear can only do so much. [If you are new here, the bear is my totem animal and a cartoon alter ego.]

Today we feature someone very distantly in line to the British throne (# 396) but next in line to head the House of Hannover (not that this cuts it in Germany since the whole noble thing was legally eliminated early in the 20th century). You can see the relation to the Brits in the arms above with the gold lioncels on red of England, the red lion of Scotland, and the harp of Ireland (also in the arms of Prince William of Wales).

Yes, we are talking about Prince Ernst August Andreas Philipp Constantin Maximilian Rolf Stephan Ludwig Rudolph of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. His familiar nickname is Ernsti, which easily distinguishes him from his father Ernst August, Prince of Hanover, the current head of the house of Hanover. His mother is Chantal Hochuli.

Ernsti "was born on 19 July 1983 in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, Germany.... He has a younger brother Christian and a half sister Alexandra. He attended Malvern College." [Wikipedia]

This is one of those darling childhood pictures one tries to forget later.

You can see even in this earlier photo that Prince Ernst August (aka EA in the royal gossip circles) is a tall young man.

EA has consistently favored longer hair as does his brother and his step-brothers.

Although it is being opened to the public, this is the family home to which he holds title. He does not live there but, even so....

Here he is with his brother Prince Christian when they had Sotheby's run an auction at Marienburg, divesting of some 20,000 Hanover possessions to raise a little ready cash. Evidently there is lots more "stuff" so we need not weep for the heritage, though an uncle grumbled at the time and there was a flap over some weapons that were still functional (and I guess there is a law against functioning weapons displayed decoratively - didn't bother to chase that legal matter down).

Doing this weekly feature sends me into way more royal gossip than my natural taste inclines to. Along the way I learn all sorts of things. It seems the Guelphs/Welfs (yes, that's the family line) had the good sense not to divvy things up. Firstborn male gets it all. This is harsh on the siblings but it preserves the family wealth. So if you are gold digging, ladies, I recommend Ernst August and not his cute blond brother Christian. Ernsti, btw, looks like their dad and Chris like their mom.

It is rumored that Ernsti is a good lover. How the magazine that said so knows this is beyond my ken, but he seems to attract pretty women who don't mind that he isn't slated to be king of anything.

For the non-German-readers out there, you needn't pore over the photo for someone named Kunst. It's German for "art."

I love the expression on this photo. Something amused him. He is also looking a bit naughty here, which appeals to me. His father was quite the bad boy and attracted a lot of negative publicity, though public urination is hardly the worst thing royals might do. The greater scandal was divorcing EA and Christian's mother and marrying Chantal's [former] friend Princess Caroline of Monaco in January 1999. Ernsti's half-sister Alexandra arrived in July 1999.

Their Royal Highnesses Princes Ernst August and Christian thus have as step-siblings the princely Casiraghis - Andrea, Pierre, and Charlotte - and HRH Princess Caroline as stepmother. Since His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco's children are not in line for the throne, Princess Caroline is next, followed by HRH Prince Andrea.

I've gotta say, that is one glamorous stepmom! From all accounts the blended family gets along very well.

Because, however distantly, Ernst August V of Hanover is in the British royal succession, he had to receive consent from Elizabeth II for his marriage to Caroline, without which he would have lost not only that claim but the possibility for his heirs of various claims to titles and property in England (Duke of Cumberland among them). Additionally, Princess Caroline obtained a "no objections" statement from France in accordance with the 1918 Franco-Monégasque Treaty. Since Princess Caroline is Roman Catholic, the Prince of Hanover did drop from British succession but his sons, having been baptized and raised Protestant, are still in the succession.

Here you can see Prince EA next to the young Casiraghis at the investiture of his step-uncle Prince Albert as sovereign of Monaco. When I posted a cropped version of this in the post on Andrea, I did not realize who the young man next to them was.

A royal version of the Brady bunch. Oh, I encountered two versions of the family name: Hanover and Hannover. This article uses both and y'all can deal with it. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

I really like this casual photo of Prince EA.

This is from the spread when he was featured in Vogue.

Sorry, I did not find him on YouTube.
--the BB

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dumb as dirt

Destruction of Evidence, Obstruction of Justice and Other Just Plain Old Dumb as Dirt Ideas

That is the title of looseheadprop's latest article (the ninth) in a series on torture and the Yoo memos and related issues. You may check it out here.

It seems that by destroying torture tapes (evidence) the CIA may have, oh, say, obstructed justice and jeopardized their cases against terrorists. Can you imagine having to let genuine terrorists go because we screwed up so badly?

And yes. Unless we are thugs we must operate by the rules of law. So if we don't do it right we can't just say, "Oh hell, hang them anyway." Because if we do that we are no better than terrorists ourselves.

Dumb. As. Dirt.

Immoral. Irresponsible. Incompetent.

And it's all part of a web of immorality and irresponsibility and incompetence.

Multiple expletives deleted.
--the BB

Pass the Hubbard Act

This is about a homeboy from Clovis, California. My sister lives in Clovis, a city adjacent to Fresno. Jason Hubbard's brothers are buried in the same cemetery as my parents, my brother-in-law, and an aunt and uncle of mine.

From the Los Angeles Times yesterday:
WASHINGTON — Nearly eight months ago, Iraq veteran and Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Hubbard lost the second of his two brothers in Iraq, leaving him as a "sole survivor" under military guidelines and requiring that he leave combat operations.

But after he returned home to Clovis, Calif., Hubbard, 33, was dealt another loss when the Army stripped him of his healthcare, took away GI Bill education benefits worth as much as $40,000 and demanded he repay his $6,000 enlistment bonus.

That is how the United States government under George W. Bush supports its troops.

Jason Hubbard saw his brother's body removed after a helicopter crash in Iraq. He had already lost a brother there. He had to come home. His wife is pregnant. And this is how his nation shows its gratitude.

The Hubbard Act would sort out the shit so this man and other men and women in similar situations are taken care of as they should be, not shafted in the midst of their families' grief. It has bipartisan support and should pass.

This sort of thing, I submit, has much more to do with patriotism than damned lapel pins (which are supposed to be considered as living things according to the current protocol, thereby elevating them to the level of the bodies we shatter and minds we traumatize sending them into needless war).

Don't. Get. Me. Started.
--the BB


An observation on presidential debates

Remember when the debates were organized and run and moderated by the League of Women Voters (peace be upon them and may their children rise up and call them blessed)?

Questions seemed relevant. The moderators did not debate with the principals. There was an element of dignity. No party sponsored the debate. No media conglomerate got involved. We had a shared belief about overall balance and fairness. The event was respected. It had some - dare we even utter the word anymore - integrity.

I believe that for the sake of this nation and its electoral process we should invite (humbly beg, if needed) the League of Women Voters to be in charge of presidential debates once more.

And the networks (regular broadcast or cable) should not be allowed anywhere near except to broadcast them.

Isn't this a rather obvious solution?

Why am I not reading about it everywhere?
--the BB

Iran, Iraq, and the region in general

Professor Juan Cole reports:
Secretary of State Condi Rice wants the Arab states to shield Iraq from Iran's "nefarious influence." Rice seems unaware that she has installed in Baghdad parties like the Islamic Mission Party (al-Da'wa) and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) that are very close to Tehran, and that Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia advised her not [to] invade Iraq because this would happen. And Sunnis, Salafis and Wahhabis would dissuade Iraq's Shiite majority from good relations with their Iranian Shiite neighbors . . . how? Whenever I hear Bush administration officials say something about the Middle East, it is as though I am listening to bad fiction read with a drunken slur. Opinion polling does not find that the Arab publics are afraid of or worried about Iran in any numbers, and in fact Israel's attack on largely defenseless little Lebanon in 2006 made Iran and Hizbullah more popular in the region.
[Emphasis mine]

I cringe every time I see a headline or paragraph starting out with Rice's name. I just assume either a gross lie or some stupidity with very bad consequences is coming next.

Btw, Stanford will probably take her back so they can have bragging rights against Cal, with its John Yoo. The Torture Twins of the Bay Area. Sigh.

Why do we have idiots running this country?

[That's a rhetorical question. You don't have to depress me by answering.]

Speaking of reality checks, Cole also noted this at the top of his post:
A suicide bombing at a funeral for pro-American militiamen in a village northeast of Baghdad in Diyala province killed at least 60 persons on Thursday and wounded a similar number. This attack follows a previous bombing in the provincial capital of Baquba that had killed 60.

--the BB

Yeah. That's what I wanted to say.

The Rude Pundit captures the crux of the issue for me. [The Rude Pundit is rude and uses vulgar language, so judge yourself if you want to click.]
--the BB

More of the same is not a good idea

SusanG reports today that the Institute for National Strategic Studies (of the National Defense University - the Pentagon's "school") has a new study paper out.

The title is "Choosing War: The Decision to Invade Iraq and Its Aftermath." (pdf) Here is the opening paragraph:
Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle. As of fall 2007, this conflict has cost the United States over 3,800 dead and over 8,000 wounded. Allied casualties accounted for another 300 dead. Iraqi civilian deaths—mostly at the hands of other Iraqis—may number as high as 82,000. Over 7,500 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have also been killed. Fifteen percent of the Iraqi population has become refugees or displaced persons. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the United States now spends over $10 billion per month on the war, and that the total, direct U.S. costs from March 2003 to July 2007 have exceeded $450 billion, all of which has been covered by deficit spending.1 No one as yet has calculated the costs of long-term veterans’ benefits or the total impact on Service personnel and materiel.
[Emphasis mine]

There is more (see SusanG's article for a few more quotes) and our invasion and occupation do not come off well in the assessment.

For the view of the American people, SusanG turns to a new ABC poll that reports:
POLL: Iraq as a Must-Win Now Rejected by 2-1
Record Number of Americans Say Winning in Iraq Is Not Necessary for Defeating Terrorism
So Pentagon experts aren't sold on what we've done. The People aren't sold on it anymore. That leaves George W. Bush and John W. McBush telling us it's just the swellest thing since sliced bread and let's have more!

We need to repudiate their insanity loud and clear.

--the BB

Fingerprints and you

Mcjoan has a great post at Daily Kos today titled "Privacy, Bush Style." Which is, of course, none at all.

She writes about Secretary Chertoff's position on fingerprints as this relates to a guy in Kansas who was held by the FBI for two weeks on the supposition that he was linked to the Madrid bombing in 2004 by a fingerprint. Now the guy in question had not left the U. S. since 1994, but no matter. And the Spanish police were skeptical that the man's fingerprint matched the digital photo of the print from a bag in Madrid, but that wouldn't stop our FBI. When the Spanish police ID'd the Algerian whose prints were on the bag, the gentleman was finally released.

Ya gotta wonder what constitutes probable cause anymore because John Yoo has postulated that the Fourth Amendment 'has "no application to domestic military operations." We still don't know how the administration defines "domestic military operations" or whether the memo in which John Yoo declared the suspension of the Fourth Amendment is still operable. The current Attorney General refuses to answer those questions.'

What do you know about the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, its scope and applicability? [Hint: it is about limits on use of military power in domestic policing.]

We live in interesting times. Given all the domestic spying going on, it may be assumed we have all come to the attention of people in authority. The third legendary curse is that we may find what we are looking for. I suggest we think carefully about what we seek.

--the BB

TGIF - 4/18/2008

Mugabe Orders Military Intimidation in Zimbabwe (Update2)
Bloomberg - 1 hour ago
By Brian Latham and Antony Sguazzin April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe deployed the army, police and intelligence officers to intimidate voters in rural areas to ensure he wins a presidential run-off vote, two top members of his ...
Mugabe blasts Britain, Zimbabwe opposition in fiery speech The Associated Press
Mugabe set to mark independence BBC News

South Africa helps clear arms to Zimbabwe - 2 hours ago
By Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg South Africa’s national armaments company is helping to clear a Chinese weapons shipment to Zimbabwe through customs, it said today.
Video: MDC say Zanu-PF 'offered deal' bbcworldnews

Robert Mugabe s'en prend violemment à la Grande-Bretagne
L'Express - Publié depuis 1 heure
Robert Mugabe, malmené par l'opposition et les pays occidentaux, a attaqué la Grande-Bretagne vendredi devant des milliers de ses partisans, lors de sa première apparition en public depuis les élections controversées du 29 mars au Zimbabwe. ...
Zimbabwe: Mugabe balaie les critiques sur les droits de l'homme Le Point
Mugabe, plus combatif que jamais, revendique la démocratie au Zimbabwe AFP

Mbeki, Mufamadi ‘must stop arms shipment’
The Times - 2 hours ago
President Thabo Mbeki and National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) chairman Sydney Mufamadi must stop the transfer of arms aboard a ship in Durban harbour to Zimbabwe, says DA leader Helen Zille.
South African lawsuit aims to prevent arms shipment to Zim Moneyweb
Urgent application to halt Zimbabwe arms cargo SABC News

Mugabe Casts Zimbabwe Dispute as Colonial Fight
New York Times - 47 minutes ago
By GRAHAM BOWLEY President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe used a characteristically fiery speech in marking the anniversary of the country’s independence from Britain on Friday, casting the dispute over the country’s elections as a fight against colonialism ...

Mbeki is the appointeD Zim mediator: Zuma
Citizen - 3 hours ago
JOHANNESBURG - ANC president Jacob Zuma said on Friday that there was no need for him to play a mediating role in the Zimbabwean situation, as President Thabo Mbeki was the appointed mediator.
Zuma: court case or not, I'll campaign Independent Online
Zuma won’t mediate in Zimbabwe The Times

Palestine - Israel
Carter presses on with Hamas amid criticism
CNN International - 2 hours ago
(CNN) -- The Israeli and US governments have condemned former President Carter's series of meetings this week with top officials of Hamas, which they consider to be a terrorist organization.
Carter in Damascus to meet Hamas BBC News
Former President Carter arrives in Syria United Press International

Damas: rencontre entre Jimmy Carter et le chef du Hamas en exil - Il y a 22 minutes
DAMAS - L'ex-président américain Jimmy Carter, en tournée régionale, et le chef en exil du mouvement islamiste palestinien Hamas, Khaled Mechaal, ont débuté leurs entretiens vendredi après-midi à Damas, selon un journaliste de l'AFP. ...
Carter, al-Assad et Mechaal à Damas Le Figaro
Jimmy Carter rencontre le président syrien et le chef du Hamas à Damas AFP

Carter to meet Hamas chief despite US, Israeli objections
The Associated Press - 1 hour ago
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Former President Carter met with the exiled leader of Hamas on Friday, brushing off US and Israeli objections to talks with a man accused of masterminding kidnappings and suicide bombings against Israelis.

South Korea - United States
Free Trade Agreement to Top Agenda During US - South Korea Summit
Voice of America - 2 hours ago
By VOA News A free-trade agreement will top the agenda Friday and Saturday when President Bush and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak hold their first summit.
South Korea Lifts US Beef Ban New York Times
Korea to Ease US Beef Curbs, Resume Imports in May (Update6) Bloomberg

US Begins Erecting Wall in Sadr City
New York Times - 2 hours ago
Under the supervision of American forces, workers began building a wall to partition the Sadr City area of Baghdad on Thursday. By MICHAEL R. GORDON BAGHDAD - Trying to stem the infiltration of militia fighters, American forces have begun to build a ...
Company of Iraqi troops abandons position after attack The Associated Press
Iraqi troops surround Sadr office in Basra Reuters India

Qaeda's Zawahri says US war on Iraq a failure
Reuters South Africa - 3 hours ago
By Lin Noueihed DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri said in an audio message to mark five years since the US-led invasion of Iraq that Washington's war had brought nothing but failure and defeat.
Al-Qaida No. 2 al-Zawahri says US options in Iraq all bad The Associated Press
Al-Qaida's No. 2 mocks Bush on Iraq Seattle Times

Iraq war has been difficult, longer than anticipated: Bush
Times of India - 11 hours ago
WASHINGTON: Admitting that Iraq war has been difficult and longer than it was anticipated, President George W Bush has said that failure in the war-torn country will send a message to the US friends - "you can't count on America.
President Bush and Prime Minister Brown Remark on Iraq and Terrorism Washington Post
Yesterday and Tomorrow: The Wrong Debate on Iraq Asharq Alawsat

Bombing Kills 55 At Funeral in Iraq
Washington Post - 12 hours ago
The campaign to mobilize Sunnis against al-Qaeda in Iraq is one reason why levels of violence have declined in recent months.
US building 'security wall' in Baghdad's Sadr City Christian Science Monitor
Iraq bombings target US-allied, anti-Al Qaeda groups Christian Science Monitor

Entertainment (I promise not to use this as a celebrity gossip category, OK?)
“Super Size Me” Director Searches for Bin Laden in New Film
eFluxMedia - 2 hours ago
By Ona Zachary After losing the fat he had gained for eating McDonald’s products for a month, Morgan Spurlock chose a more energetic mission, which involved traveling in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Where in the World is Osama bin Laden New York Times

United States - United Kingdom - Iran
President Bush, Britain's Gordon Brown denounce Iran
Los Angeles Times - 10 hours ago
In Washington, the two leaders say Tehran can't be trusted with nuclear technology. They express near unanimity on many global issues.
A British Leader’s Day With Two Presidents New York Times
President Bush and Prime Minister Brown Remark on Iraq and Terrorism Washington Post

United States - Pakistan
US Lacks Plan to Operate in Pakistani Tribal Areas, GAO Says
Washington Post - 9 hours ago
By Dan Eggen The Bush administration has no comprehensive plan for dealing with the threat posed by Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding, according to a new report released yesterday from the ...
US faulted for lack of coherent Pakistan policy Los Angeles Times
Pakistan border a 'terror haven' BBC News

Tibet - China - Thailand - Japan - France - Jeux Olympiques
La flamme olympique confinée dans un grand hôtel de Bangkok
AFP - Il y a 2 heures
BANGKOK (AFP) — La flamme olympique est restée confinée vendredi dans un grand hôtel de Bangkok, alors qu'un temple bouddhiste japonais a annoncé son retrait du parcours en raison de la "répression" chinoise au Tibet. Au lendemain de son passage en ...
Relais de la flammeChangement de programme en sol nippon Radio-Canada
Japon: un célèbre temple bouddhiste refuse d'accueillir la flamme des

Les déclarations du ministre Kouchner sur la crise au Tibet - Il y a 4 heures
Voici les déclarations du ministre des Affaires étrangères, Bernard Kouchner, sur le Tibet depuis le début de la crise, à la mi mars. 9 avril "J'essaie que le dialogue ait lieu. Je me bats en parlant aux autorités chinoises et, deux à trois fois par ...
TIBET • Une autre politique est possible Courrier International
Le couple qui tient tête à Pékin Le Monde

Afghanistan: le fils du chef des armées néerlandaises tué par les ... - Il y a 15 minutes
Le fils du tout nouveau chef des armées néerlandaises et un autre soldat néerlandais servant sous le commandement de l'OTAN en Afghanistan ont été tués vendredi. Une bombe a explosé au passage de leur véhicule. Deux autres militaires venus des Pays-Bas ...
Afghanistan: le fils du commandant des forces armées néerlandaises ... La
Afghanistan: deux soldats néerlandais de l'Otan tués au lendemain ... AFP

United Kingdom
Six jailed for supporting terror
BBC News - 59 minutes ago
A man convicted of supporting terror through speeches at a London mosque has been jailed for four-and-half-years. Muslim preacher Abu Izzadeen, who once heckled then Home Secretary John Reid, was among six men given prison terms for supporting ...
Video: Six guilty of terror charges bbcworldnews
Izzadeen jailed for terror offences The Press Association

South Africa
Thousands march over food, power
Mail & Guardian Online - 7 hours ago
"Electricity and food is not a luxury. It's a necessity. In the end of the day people will not have the money to buy food.
Thousands march against rising prices Independent Online
Food and energy price protest in South Africa African Energy News Review

Declara gobierno argentino emergencia ambiental por humo
El Universal (México) - hace 1 hora
08:52 El gobierno argentino declaró la emergencia y cerró las carreteras afectadas por la enorme nube de humo que se ha formado por la quema de pastizales y que hoy hace casi imposible la visibilidad en la capital del país y en sus alrededores. ...
Buenos Aires se hace humo Terra España
Gobierno prohíbe circulación en rutas por humo que cubre parte de ... AFP

Ecuador - Colombia
Rechaza Ecuador buscar ruptura con Estados Unidos
Rumbo de México - hace 10 horas
Bogotá.- Ecuador rechazó que busque una ruptura con el gobierno de Estados Unidos al apoyar la creación de un sistema de seguridad latinoamericano, para salvaguardar la paz y la estabilidad en la región. El ministro ecuatoriano de Defensa, Javier Ponce ...
Colombia elogia decisión de Correa de combatir a las FARC El Universo
Toda incursión en Ecuador será considerada “acto de guerra ... La Jornada (México)

Correa no quiere a las FARC en Ecuador pero no baja el tono contra ...
Terra España - hace 21 horas
El presidente de Ecuador, Rafael Correa, advirtió hoy a las FARC que si pisan territorio ecuatoriano, será un 'acto de guerra', pero no bajó por ello el tono con el Gobierno colombiano, al que acusó de 'guerrerista' y 'mentiroso'. ...
Ecuador no volverá a contestar ningún nuevo pronunciamiento El Mercurio (Manta)
Colombia elogia decisión de Correa de combatir a las FARC El Universo

Empleo, una urgencia para los candidatos presidenciales en Paraguay
Milenio - hace 1 hora
El gobierno del presidente saliente Nicanor Duarte admitió que la pobreza afecta al 42% de la población aún cuando el Banco Mundial indicó que es del 33%. Asunción.-Entre las principales reformas económicas necesarias para el Paraguay, la creación de ...
Fernando Lugo no asiste al debate de aspirantes a la presidencia ... La Jornada (México)
Crece el temor a un fraude en Paraguay (Argentina)

Rice calls Lavrov to express US concern on Georgia
Reuters - 2 hours ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she had called her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Friday to express concern about Moscow's move to strengthen ties with separatist regions of Georgia.
Video: Moscow strengthens ties with Georgia's breakaway republics RussiaToday
US 'concerned' at Russian backing of Georgian separatists ABC Online

Maoists blow up petrol pump, kidnap four
Hindu - 2 hours ago
Gaya (PTI) Maoists blew up a petrol pump of Indian Oil Corporation and kidnapped four of its employees, including the manager at Kahudag on the National Highway in Bihar's Gaya district on Friday.
Maoists blast petrol pump in Gaya Times of India
Maoists blow up petrol pump in Bihar Economic Times

France - Somalia
Les pirates du Ponant vont être présentés aux juges
Libération - Il y a 2 heures
Le Ponant et une frégate de la Marine française au large des côtes somaliennes, le 12 avril (Reuters). Le parquet de Paris a ouvert une information judiciaire pour «détournement de navire» et «séquestration de plusieurs personnes comme otages» ...
"Ponant": ouverture d'une information judiciaire
Les pirates du Ponant déférés au parquet France Info

Desarticulado grupo de apoyo a ETA responsable de ataques en zona ...
Terra España - hace 1 hora
El Cuerpo Nacional de Policía ha desarticulado hoy, con la detención de 10 personas en Guipúzcoa, un presunto grupo de apoyo a ETA responsable de los principales actos de violencia callejera cometidos desde 2005 en Errenteria, Oiartzun y Lezo. ...
Detienen en Guipúzcoa a diez personas vinculadas a la 'kale borroka' La Vanguardia
La Policía desarticula un grupo de apoyo a ETA tras detener a 10 ... La Opinión de Tenerife

Bisphenol A can alter genes, study finds
Globe and Mail - 3 hours ago
Bisphenol A, the widely used compound in polycarbonate plastic, has the ability to alter the activity of genes in normal breast cells in ways that resemble what is found in extremely dangerous breast cancers, according to a new study.
Ottawa poised to label bisphenol A as a 'dangerous' substance The Canadian Press
Feds to declare bisphenol A toxic

Thou, O Saviour, dost pour out for all the world living waters of wisdom and endless life, inviting all to partake and to drink of these saving streams; for those who receive and keep Thy holy law thereby quench the coals of dark error and fallacy. Wherefore, they shall not thirst to the ages, O Master, nor fail to be filled with Thee, King of Heaven, Thou sovereign Lord.
--Friday of the Fourth Week, Pentecostarion

--the BB