Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coco wars


Then Nauck got into the chocolate business more than 30 years ago, the market was still a trader's market; it was straightforward and easy to understand, and cocoa prices followed the rhythm of the harvests. But now Nauck could see how unrest in a faraway country was causing raw cocoa prices to skyrocket. At least for now, that was the peak of the turbulence. But it all began much earlier. (Spiegel)

Holtun is discovered


"Hidden for centuries, the ancient Maya city of Holtun, or Head of Stone, is finally coming into focus. 
Three-dimensional mapping has "erased" centuries of jungle growth, revealing the rough contours of nearly a hundred buildings, according to research presented earlier this month." National Geographic

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's going to take a while

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. Ira Glass

Eating healthily for less than 3 bucks a day

This dude finds a way.

For the ladies

Fez Sacred Music Festival, Morocco

Funny Thai Ads






Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Playstation Network got hacked

"Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained." Playstation

USA and Israel

The West Bank has been occupied now for 44 years. It is increasingly difficult to argue that the occupation is impermanent. I believe Americans still have a benevolent understanding of Israel -- that it is a plucky democratic outpost and a haven for an oppressed people in an inhospitable part of the world. This perception, to my mind, is not wrong. But this interpretation of Israel dissipates with each year of occupation. Israel is popular in America in part because Americans believe, to borrow the most famous cliché in Middle East policymaking, that the Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. But more and more -- and I hear this every week now -- Americans, in particular those who pay attention to these things, believe that it is Israel that is missing opportunities to reach a compromise with the Palestinians. If, over time, Israel becomes unrecognizable to Americans, it will lose.
Jeffrey Goldberg

Libya's Stalingrad

on awareness-raising

Say we have been persuaded to the thesis that the things we see and the categories we place them in and the value judgments that come along with those categories are functions of ways of thinking that have their source in culture rather than nature, what follows? Is there a new tool in our arsenal?

Nothing and no are the answers to the two questions. A realization that what we see depends on cognitive structures that could change doesn’t change them. Knowing that there are things you haven’t thought of and couldn’t think of (unless the furniture of your consciousness were transformed) doesn’t give you the slightest hint of what those things might be. The every-thing-is-socially-constructed thesis, however exciting and powerful (or dreadful) it might seem as a revolution in epistemology, cannot itself initiate a revolution in any other realm; it has no political implications whatsoever.
(Stanley Fish)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

volcano ashes and plane, not BFF


"It appears aviation authorities may have been correct to ground planes across Europe following last year's volcanic eruption in Iceland, a new scientific study has concluded. The continent's airspace was shut down for seven days over fears the ash thrown into the air by the Eyjafjallajökull eruption could damage jet engines and cause planes to crash. 
At the time, however, criticism was widespread over the drastic measures taken in closing large parts of European air space, which affected millions of passengers and cost close to €5 billion ($7.3 billion) in damages and lost revenues. Critics said the moves were unnecessary and that aircraft were not in any serious danger. 
"The closing of airspace was a total overreaction to a relatively small volcanic outbreak, but unfortunately methods for measuring the ash concentration are still insufficient," volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson told SPIEGEL last year. 
But now the study, carried out by scientists from the University of Iceland and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, has concluded that the ash released in the first part of the eruption did in fact pose a significant threat. The fragments analyzed were "sharp and abrasive" even after being mixed with water, and could have posed a danger to aircraft by sandblasting windows and damaging engines, the researchers stated." (Spiegel)

Gitmo Files



  • Al-Qaeda planned to bomb Heathrow (Spiegel)
  • Al-Qaeda assassin worked for MI-6 (Guardian)
  • Paracha planned more attacks post 9-11 (NY Times)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hama 2.0 in the making


More deaths have been reported in Syria where thousands of troops backed by tanks and heavy armour have swept into the volatile town of Deraa in the south of the country and the large Damascus suburb of Douma.
Bashar goes "there"

Sathya Sai Baba is dead



One of the most prominent Indian Guru has passed. GlobalPost has more.

I don't know much about the guy and his followers but it looks like he was a big deal.

Iceland

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lighting 101


If you love photography, follow this blog to learn anything you need about great lighting.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Snuba

"As the name suggests, snuba is scuba-esque, but the tank stays on the surface rather than lashed to your back. Purists might scoff at the T-ball quality of it all; Jacques Cousteau was a rookie once too, and he's the guy who invented modern scuba." LA Times
It looks safe, at least for 10 meters depth. If something goes wrong, you can heads up to the surface pretty quickly. 

420

The term was allegedly coined by a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California in 1971.[2][3] Calling themselves the Waldos, because "their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school,"[4] the group first used the term in connection to a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about.[5] The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time.[4] The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase "4:20 Louis". Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply "4:20", which ultimately evolved into a codeword the teens used to mean pot-smoking in general.[5] 
High Times Creative Director Steven Hager was the first person to track down the Waldos and publish their account of the origins of the term. Hager wrote "Are You Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?" (October 1998) in which he called for 4:20 PM to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis. "I believe 420 is a ritualization of cannabis use that holds deep meaning for our subculture," wrote Hager. "It also points us in a direction for the responsible use of cannabis."
Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Excellent reporting from Libya

Hitchen's doing his thing

"Together, Margaret and Charles set the tone for the dowdy, feckless, can't-stay-married shower of titled descendants with whose names, let alone doings, it is near-impossible to keep up. There are so many of them! And things always have to be found for them to do.
"Hitchen

That's the difference between Indonesia and Malaysia

"Malaysian authorities have sent 66 Muslim schoolboys whom they consider effeminate to a four-day camp where they will receive counseling on masculine behavior. 
The education director of a northeastern state in this Muslim-majority country says the measure is meant to help prevent the teens from potentially becoming gay or transvestites."The Jakarta Globe
We don't send kids to corrective camps. 

Cancer of the mind

"a stage when I should have been enjoying the heady rush of life post-college, with the world at my feet and a job secured in the US, I was wandering the halls of my local psychiatric hospital – a woman possessed by inner demons, the demons of mania and loss of self. I was told afterwards I was prayed for at my local church. I must have been really sick then, I thought. 
Drugs were used to sedate me. In the end they didn’t work and my parents gave permission for electroconvulsive therapy to be used as a last resort. It seemed to work, but the crash after the high was horrific – what comes up must come down. I had depleted all the physical and mental reserves I had in the manic flight I was on and I was burned out, a shipwreck. I’d gone from being at the top of the house with the roof off to being in the basement with no windows, a dark scary place." (Irish Times)

Steph used to work for AIESEC US National Staff in 2000 - 2001 during the period she battled a severe depression.  Above is her story.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A worthy small initiative for children of Japan

We started a small donation project for school kids in teh earthquake region of japan: www.schoolcones-for-japan.com It would be nice if you could do some promotion for it as every little dontation or every new contact will help the kids (especially if you have some contacts to schools or educational centers). many greetings from japan, andy

Andy has been living in Japan for a while now and an all around cool guy.  Andy blogs here.

Where NATO stands


BBC


The fall of the Scion of Egypt

When Mubarak's health deteriorated in the summer of 2010 and he was forced to go to Germany to undergo gall bladder surgery, Gamal and his right-hand man Ahmed Ezz were the ones entrusted with orchestrating that year's parliamentary elections. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. Their manipulation of the elections was the worst in Egypt's modern political history, creating a parliament free of any semblance of opposition: secular or Islamist. 
At the party's seventh annual conference on 24-25 December, Gamal, at his most arrogant, insisted that the parliamentary elections were not rigged. He announced that the NDP would use “its crushing victory” to implement a new wave of neo-liberal economic policies “and that the failure of opposition parties to win seats in parliament was because of their very low popularity – a fact which the NDP should not be held responsible for.” 
And so began 2011 and while Gamal was rolling up his sleeves to prepare his father's campaign for presidential elections, there came from Tunisia a sudden shock on 14 January when its despotic president Zine Al-Abidine bin Ali was toppled from power. Distressed by this turn of events, Gamal tried to fire his prime minister, Ahmed Nazif, on 17 January but there was no time. Inspired by the Tunisian Revolution, Egyptians took to the streets on the Police Day holiday of 25 January. 
Seeing his dream of becoming president fading, Gamal incited his associates to fund and organise attacks by hired thugs on protesters in Tahrir Square. In what came to be known as the Battle of the Camel, thugs rode into the square on camels and horses, attacking protesters with swords and Molotov cocktails. 
The son persisted and Gamal did his best to keep his father in power right until the end, but his efforts backfired. He wrote the speech his father delivered on 10 February which infuriated protesters expecting his to step down and led the army to intervene to force Mubarak’s hand. 
Through his corrupt manoeuvrings, Gamal hastened his father's demise and scuppered his own dreams of being president.  Ahram Egypt

Hard Times

The suits are “doing worse than they have at any time since the Great Depression,” says Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute. And while economists don’t have fine-grain data on the number of these men who are jobless—many, being men, would rather not admit to it—by all indications this hitherto privileged demo isn’t just on its knees, it’s flat on its face. Maybe permanently. Once college-educated workers hit 45, notes a post on the professional-finance blog Calculated Risk, “if they lose their job, they are toast.” Newsweek

Sunday, April 17, 2011

No more US dollar for BRICS

"Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - the BRICS group of fastest growing economies - Thursday signed an agreement to use their own currencies instead of the predominant US dollar in issuing credit or grants to each other." Economic Times

Saturday, April 16, 2011

origins of language study

A study published in Science has been getting press this week:

A researcher analyzing the sounds in languages spoken around the world has detected an ancient signal that points to southern Africa as the place where modern human language originated. (NYTimes)

The main claim of the paper is that as humans migrated out of Africa, there were population bottlenecks that caused them to undergo reductions in the number of contrastive sounds in their languages. That is to suggest that human language originated once, probably in Southern Africa, and it had a large number of different sounds, and these got progressively lost in the course of migration.

It is a very interesting theory, but I don't think it has enough support to be taken seriously. The only data the author appears to have consulted is a database with locations and numbers of speech sounds for 504 languages. The rest of it is a large bag of statistical tricks. What is actually known about the histories of languages in different parts of the world has been ignored, and there is no mention of possible sampling issues in the database and no justification for why the number of speech sounds is an important statistic.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fukushima worse than Chernobyl?

One expert thought so
"This week the Japanese authorities elevated the crisis from 5 to 7. That suggests it’s on a par with Chernobyl. Is this accident as bad as Chernobyl? 
It’s worse than Chernobyl. That accident involved a single reactor. Fukushima involves three reactors. Additionally, there are several years worth of fuel in the spent fuel pools of units 1 through 4. Added together, that’s roughly the equivalent of eight reactor cores. 
Right now, I don’t think any single reactor is as bad as Chernobyl, but they have essentially eight different problems." Global Post
Just a kind reminder that Fukushima nuclear plant is the largest nuclear energy plant in the world 

Terrorist attack in a mosque in Indonesia


The suicide bomber in the Cirebon Police mosque has reportedly worn a jacket, a hat, and brought a prayer rug. 
TVOne reported Friday that 80 percent of the prayers came from police institution, the rest were ordinary people 
The blast reportedly killed the bomber and injured 15 others including Cirebon Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Herukoco.
The Jakarta Post 
This is just way too rich for irony if it's not so tragic, an Islamist terrorist movement attack a Muslim Friday prayer. That's why we are hunting these fuckers like dogs. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

There is justice after all pt deux



"Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced Wednesday he intends to indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on charges of fraud, money laundering, breach of trust and obstruction of justice. 
Weinstein decided not to charge Liberman with bribery as police recommended due to lack of evidence, he said. 
A final decision on whether to indict Liberman is pending on a formal judicial hearing.
Liberman is suspected of illicitly obtaining about $3 million through a number of shell companies. The alleged crimes date back to before Liberman became foreign minister in 2009." CNN
I hope this ends his shameful political career. His term as Israel Foreign Minister is a disaster. 

VF on Goldman

"Steve Friedman’s decision to quit as chairman of Goldman Sachs, in 1994, during one of its darkest hours, stunned and angered his partners. And despite Friedman’s maneuverings, it created a leadership crisis as the mismatched team of Jon Corzine (future New Jersey governor) and Henry Paulson (future Treasury secretary) took the helm. In an adaptation from his book on Goldman, William D. Cohan reveals how secret merger discussions put the expansive trader and the hardheaded banker on a collision course, setting the stage for the firm it would soon become."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yet another plagiarism scandal


Silvana Koch-Mehrin, a rising star in Germany's Free Democratic Party, is being accused of plagiarizing parts of her doctoral thesis and her university has started a probe. Similar allegations cost Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg his job as defense minister. Spiegel

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Open letter to Obama from Bahrain

"I write to you from Bahrain, after living through horrible injustice that I would never wish upon anyone in the world. Security forces attacked my home, broke our doors with sledgehammers, and terrified my family. Without any warning, without an arrest warrant and without giving any reasons; armed, masked men attacked my father. Although they said nothing, we all know that my father's crime is being a human rights activist. My father was grabbed by the neck, dragged down a flight of stairs and then beaten unconscious in front of me. He never raised his hand to resist them, and the only words he said were "I can't breathe". Even after he was unconscious the masked men kept kicking and beating him while cursing and saying that they were going to kill him. This is a very real threat considering that in the past two weeks alone three political prisoners have died in custody. The special forces also beat up and arrested my husband and brother-in-law." (Angry Arabiya)

She's a former student of Brian Ulrich 

Monday, April 11, 2011

There is justice after all





It took only two and half minute, but it was enough for him to lose his job, seriously embarrass Indonesia's largest Islamic party, make a fool of the whole parliament and become the laughing stock of a nation.

Lawmaker Arifinto of the Prosperous Justice Party was caught on camera watching porn on his tablet computer during a parliament hearing. 
A photographer managed to zoom in and show to the whole country that a parliament member of a conservative party that had pushed hard for a controversial anti porn bill was watching naked women at a time when he was supposed to represent the people who had voted for him. 
The lawmaker's initial defense - that he accidentally opened a porn website - could easily be dismissed after the photographer showed how Arifinto opened at least six folders with pornographic photographs, while he was hiding his computer half under the table. 
He watched the photo's for exactly two and half minutes. (Al Jazeera English)
He was  a strong advocate for the controversial anti-porn bill in Indonesia, which as usual try to impose 'moral values' to the public. What a slime ball hypocrite.  Good fuckin' riddance. 

End of Ivory Coast debacle


After 5 months of political crisis, the Ivory Coast dispute is now over. Gbagbo is captured. What a pathetic man.

"Power - Laurent Gbagbo had refused to step down even though the United Nations, which helped organise the November 2010 election, said he lost and Alassane Ouattara won. 
Analysts say they have rarely, if ever, seen such unanimity in the international community - the African Union, the European Union, the UN and the West African regional body Ecowas all called on Mr Gbagbo to step down and imposed sanctions to force him out. 
Mr Gbagbo says the polls in northern areas under the control of pro-Ouattara forces were rigged but the UN says there was no evidence of this. 
The AU gave Mr Gbagbo until 24 March to step down but nothing happened.
A few days later, pro-Ouattara forces swept down from their northern strongholds in a relentless march towards the seat of power in Abidjan. 
After days of fighting around the city centre, UN and French troops launched air strikes against pro-Gbagbo positions, saying they were trying to destroy heavy weapons which had been used against civilians areas and UN headquarters." (BBC)

UN and Frenchy did good in Ivory Coast this time. Much credit goes to the rebels of Ivory Coast though. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Icelandic says no to Icesave repayment

"Icelanders have rejected the latest government-approved plan to repay the £3bn owed to Britain and the Netherlands from the crash of the country's banking system in 2008, prompting the prime minister to warn of economic and political chaos. 
Final results from five of six constituencies, including the capital, Reykjavik, showed the "no" side taking nearly 60% of the vote, meaning the dispute is likely to end up in a European court. 
"The worst option was chosen," said the prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. "The vote has split the nation in two. We must do all we can to prevent political and economic chaos as a result of this outcome."" Guardian

Bravo to them. Look at the Irish. Their government took on all the losses from their private banks and now they are completely screwed because whatever loss estimate they got from two years ago got bigger every review.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Respect the elders

An elderly Georgian woman was scavenging for copper to sell as scrap when she accidentally sliced through an underground cable and cut off internet services to all of neighbouring Armenia, it emerged on Wednesday. 
The woman, 75, had been digging for the metal not far from the capital Tbilisi when her spade damaged the fibre-optic cable on 28 March. Guardian
The sad part is that a grandma has to work scavenging copper to live.

Portugal bit the bullet. Is Spain next?

Portugal's bail-out request is expected to be discussed when EU finance ministers meet later in Budapest. 
European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet is also likely to mention Portugal at his news conference after the latest eurozone rate decision. BBC

Spain has insisted it will not become the next victim of the eurozone debt crisis after Portugal finally bowed to widespread pressure on Wednesday night and joined Greece and Ireland in requesting a European Union bailout. Guardian

One way to remove a President


BBC

Map of important sites in the battle of Abidjan.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Portugal, et tu?

Interest rate on Portugal's debt soared to 5.9% for the €1bn bond auction, up from 4.3% just three weeks ago, adding to the sense of crisis in the eurozone Guardian

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Correction of the day


Somehow I placed Jesse's location in Ivory Coast right now. That's untrue. He's not there and faraway from conflict.

The other UN war

UN helicopters have attacked President Laurent Gbagbo's forces in Ivory Coast, destroying their weapons at four places where they had been shelling civilians, a UN spokesman said. 
The helicopters fired four missiles at a Gbagbo military camp in the main city of Abidjan, witnesses told Reuters. "We saw two UN MI-24 helicopters fire missiles on the Akouedo military camp. There was a massive explosion and we can still see the smoke," one said. The camp is home to three battalions of the Ivorian army. 
Hamadoun Toure, spokesman for the UN mission in Ivory Coast, said in an email: "We launched an operation to neutralise heavy weapons Gbagbo's special forces have been using against the civilian population for the last three months. We destroyed them in four locations." (Guardian)

Delusion

 

Transocean Ltd. had its "best year in safety performance" despite the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig that left 11 dead and oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the world's largest offshore-rig company said in a securities filing Friday. 
Accordingly, Transocean's executives received two-thirds of their target safety bonus. Safety accounts for 25% of the equation that determines the yearly cash bonuses, along with financial factors including new rig contracts. (WSJ)
Are you fucking kidding me? The company that owns the drilling rig behind the worst oil spill in the history of human kind thinks that last year it has the best year in safety performance. This makes Qaddafi's speeches look coherent.

Monday, April 04, 2011

#2 the Salafis campaign against Sufi

A group of Salafis have set fire to the Sidi Ezz Eddin shrine in the village of Tala in the Delta governorate of Monufiya, destroying it completely. Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire before it spread to an adjacent mosque. 
In related news, Cairo University canceled a symposium of Salafi Sheikh Mohamed Hassan that was slated for Monday, anticipating clashes between Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood students.
Al Masry Al Youm

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The top 1%

"None of this should come as a surprise—it is simply what happens when a society’s wealth distribution becomes lopsided. The more divided a society becomes in terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become to spend money on common needs. The rich don’t need to rely on government for parks or education or medical care or personal security—they can buy all these things for themselves. In the process, they become more distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy they may once have had. They also worry about strong government—one that could use its powers to adjust the balance, take some of their wealth, and invest it for the common good. The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes." Vanity Fair

India won World Cup


Image from Daylife

Not without controversy or melodrama, the Indian dream came true. In the euphoric atmosphere of the Wankhede Stadium India won the 10th World Cup final by four wickets with 10 balls to spare. 
Ultimately, in the battle of the captains Mahendra Dhoni, after a dodgy start to the day, prevailed in a pulsating climax to the tournament. There were suggestions that Dhoni had been hoodwinked at the toss by Kumar Sangakkara, but it was the India captain who had the last laugh when the fireworks exploded into the night sky of Mumbai. 
Dhoni took the responsibility for winning the match with a brilliant innings of 91 from 79 balls. He has not been in great form in this tournament so what did he do? He promoted himself to No5 when the third wicket fell at 114 for 3, ahead of the man deemed to be the player of the tournament, Yuvraj Singh. The target of 275 seemed a long way off. (Guardian)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Awesome Drug Sub


"Four hundred miles away, at the US embassy in Bogotá, Jay Bergman received the news with a sense of vindication. As the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s top official in South America, Bergman had followed the chatter about a rumored supersub for years—even as his colleagues remained deeply skeptical. But any satisfaction he felt was undercut by the implications of the discovery. The drug cartels continued to grow more sophisticated. If the DEA and other agencies hoped to keep up, they’d have to figure out how the traffickers built the sub, how to prevent them from building more, and—most important—how to detect others that might already be out there. “This is a quantum leap in technology,” Bergman says over a breakfast of eggs and strong Colombian coffee at a Bogotá hotel. “It poses some formidable challenges.”" Wired

Drug business is a multi billion dollars industry. They have enough fund to R&D on subs. There are tons of out of work marine engineers that are willing to do the job.

The Salafis are going to get their ass kicked this way

"The destruction of some shrines by Salafi groups this week has sparked angry demonstrations in Alexandria, triggered warnings by Egypt's Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, and prompted the Supreme Council for Sufi Orders to form a fact-finding committee to investigate the damage." El Masr el Youm

6 months deadline

"Efforts are still under way to restart peace talks but if, as expected, negotiations do not resume, come September the Palestinian Authority seems set to go ahead with plans to ask the General Assembly to accept it as a member. Diplomats involved in the issue say most countries — more than 100 — are expected to vote yes, meaning it will pass. (There are no vetoes in the General Assembly so the United States cannot save Israel as it often has in the Security Council.) What happens then?" NY Times

Giving up on Afghanistan

Tonight, the governor of Balkh province (of which Mazar-i-Sharif is the capital) is telling the international media that the men who sacked the UN compound were Taliban infiltrators. That’s rubbish. Local clerics drove around the city with megaphones yesterday, calling residents to protest the actions of a small group of attention-seeking, bigoted Americans. Then, during today’s protest, someone announced that not just one, but hundreds of Korans had been burned in America. A throng of enraged men rushed the gates of the UN compound, determined to draw blood. Had the attackers been gunmen, they would likely have been killed before they could breach the compound. 
I was sharing a meal with aid worker friends when I heard the news. Phones began buzzing. Security officers were demanding that my friends return to their compounds immediately. Cars had already been sent to retrieve them. Lockdown was in effect. 
This is not the beginning of the end for the international community in Afghanistan. This is the end. Terry Jones and others will continue to pull anti-Islam stunts and opportunistic extremists here will use those actions to incite attacks against foreigners. Unless we, the internationals, want our guards to fire on unarmed protesters from now on, the day has come for us to leave Afghanistan. (UN Dispatch)
10 more people died in Kandahar for this.


Friday, April 01, 2011

Battle for Ivory Coast


"Troops supporting the UN-recognised president of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, appear poised for a final push to oust his rival, Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to give up the presidency. 
In main city, Abidjan, pro-Ouattara forces have launched an assault on the fortified presidential residence. 
There has also been fighting around the state TV building, which went off air. 
Mr Ouattara's supporters, who already controlled most of the country, launched a final offensive on Monday."
BBC

Jesse is somewhere in
Ivory Coast
Buffalo, NY (quoth Jesse). although I think he lives in the country side. Stay safe Jesse.