A Tunisian court on Wednesday convicted three European feminist activists who staged a topless courthouse protest last month, sentencing them to four months and a day in prison, a court official said. The defense called the sentence far too harsh.
Robert Pearson established the first Crisis Pregnancy Center in 1967 in Hawaii after the state legislature repealed its laws riminalizing abortion. Pearson made his intentions for creating these CPCs clear when he declared, “Obviously, we’re fighting Satan. A killer, who in this case is the girl who wants to kill her baby, has no right to information that will help her kill her baby.”
After Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, Pearson created The Pearson Institute to teach other anti-abortion advocates how to open CPCs throughout the country. The first Canadian CPC opened in Toronto, Ontario in 1968. This CPC grew into the Birthright chain,
which has CPCs in other countries including the United States.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers were created as a reaction to abortion legalization, NOT as non-profit resource centers with the well-being of the mother in mind. From the start they have been anti-choice traps luring in already emotionally-raw women without ever a care for her health, and they continue to be nothing more than bigoted hate-traps designed to cause as much harm and trauma as possible.
© 2011 Jyotsna Poudyal/Human Rights Watch
These photos are of Dreamers, children of immigrants without documents for this country, who were brought to the United States and never knew they were “illegal,” reuniting with their deported parents through a border wall in Nogales, Arizona.
If you have any reaction to these photos other than empathy, I don’t really want to know.
An explosion tore through a chemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana on Thursday, injuring 33 people. The blast created a huge fireball and column of smoke when it hit. About 600 people were working at the plant at the time; the fire was still burning three hours later, state police said.
There were no immediate reports of fatalities.
Photos: Helicopter photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman; blast picture by Ryan Meador via Reuters
This summer, we’re rising up to protest the Keystone XL pipeline—more than 60,000 people have signed the Pledge of Resistance to engage in civil disobedience and risk arrest if President Obama’s administration issues a draft approval of Keystone XL. It is a huge and complex undertaking but we believe preparing for mass civil disobedience is a necessary next step in our movement.
The first action will be a sit-in on Monday, June 17th, in President Obama’s home town of CHICAGO. Read more about what’s up this summer here.
NEED TO KNOW
At least 93,000. It’s the number of deaths the UN has counted in Syria since its civil war began just over two years ago. That’s a lot of bodies – 5,000 of them every month, the UN estimates, as well as the many, many others that it doesn’t get to hear about.
Most of those killed are men, but thousands of them are children. Children used as human shields or suicide bombers by both sides, according to the UN. It is, as Ban Ki Moon puts it, an “unbearable” toll.
Turkey gives an inch. In its biggest concession yet, the Turkish government has floated the idea of calling a public vote decide the future of Gezi Park, the under-threat Istanbul green space that has occupied by increasingly determined protesters for the past two weeks.
That doesn’t sound like a very big concession, you might be thinking. You’d be right. The ruling party has merely said the option’s on the table, without revealing any concrete plans. And even if the vote does go ahead, it wouldn’t address what has become, for many protesters, the larger issue: the police’s response to demonstrations, which they say was unnecessarily violent and should earn its organizers punishment. Yet others say it’s the protesters who, given that inch, are just waiting to take a mile. GlobalPost meets Turks on both sides of the divide.
WANT TO KNOW
It’s not just the American government trying to get into your Gmail. Google says it has detected a surge in phishing scams designed to con Iranian netizens into revealing their passwords in the run-up to tomorrow’s presidential election.
The company reports a “significant jump” in phishing activity over the past three weeks, activity that it said targeted tens of thousands of accounts. Fishy? That’s like asking if the Ayatollah’s a Muslim. Google, for one, believes the attacks cannot but be “politically motivated.”
About the ole government surveillance thing. The director of the US National Security Agency, Keith Alexander, is due to brief the entire Senate today on the theme of “Why We Really Need To Secretly Collect Your Phone Records And Eavesdrop Your Skype Chats” (a version thereof).
Alexander, who publicly testified in front of a Senate committee yesterday, is evidently none too pleased about his sudden place in the spotlight. “If we tell the terrorists every way that we’re going to track them, they will get through and Americans will die,” he declared, insisting that he’d rather keep the government’s secrets and be accused of hiding something than put national security at risk. That’s why today’s briefing, at which he’ll reveal the “dozens of terrorist events” prevented by US surveillance ops, is strictly behind closed doors. But senators aren’t the only ones asking for more information. America’s European allies (AKA some of the foreigners the NSA claims it’s entitled to spy upon) are less than happy about the spies who came in from the cold – and left them out in the dark.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
Low-down down under. Australians have a certain reputation for being — how shall we put this — blunt. But an opposition politician’s campaign team proved blunter than most this week, when it printed a mock-up menu for a fundraising dinner that compared Prime Minister Julia Gillard to, well, a dead bird. A dead bird you wouldn’t want to eat.
The fake menu, intended as an inside joke for opposition attendees, listed a dish called the “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail: Small Breasts and Huge Thighs and A Big Red Box.” The PM slammed such questionable ‘humor’ as “grossly sexist and offensive,” and accused her political opponents of a pattern of misogyny. This quail can smack down.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Trapped under the sea, praying to be found
On May 26, a tugboat capsized 20 miles off the coast of Nigeria. Of the 12 people on board, divers recovered 10 dead.
After two days trapped in freezing cold water and breathing from an air bubble in an upturned tugboat under the ocean, the ship’s cook, Harrison Okene, was sure he was going to die.
Okene survived by discovering a four foot high bubble of air near the ceiling of the bathroom and bedroom. He stayed there until two South African divers rescued him two days later. A remaining crew member was never found.
“I was there in the water in total darkness just thinking it’s the end. I kept thinking the water was going to fill up the room but it did not,” Okene said, parts of his skin peeling away after days soaking in the salt water.
“I was so hungry but mostly so, so thirsty. The salt water took the skin off my tongue,” he said. Seawater got into his mouth but he had nothing to eat or drink.
At 4:50 a.m. on May 26, Okene was in the bathroom when the tugboat was beginning to flip over. As water rushed in and the boat flipped, he opened the bathroom (“toilet”) door.
“As I was coming out of the toilet it was pitch black so we were trying to link our way out to the water tidal (exit hatch),” Okene told Reuters in his home town of Warri, a city in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta.
“Three guys were in front of me and suddenly water rushed in full force. I saw the first one, the second one, the third one just washed away. I knew these guys were dead.”
Okene was swept along a passageway by water into another bathroom adjoining an officer’s cabin. The boat crashed to the ocean floor.
Wearing only underpants, he survived around a day in the four foot square bathroom, holding onto the overturned sink. He eventually built up the courage to swim into the bedroom and began pulling off the wall paneling to use as a tiny raft to lift himself out of the water.
But he was not alone in the darkness.
Photo: Reuters/David Loh
Montaña Mágica Lodge
Deep in southern Chile lies the Montaña Mágica Lodge (Magic Mountain Lodge). An extraordinary hotel hidden in the center of a 300,000 acre private nature reserve. The small, 13 room hotel is built in the shape of a volcano that spews water instead of lava. The exterior is covered in rainforest moss and vines and its entrance is only accessible via a suspended, swinging rope bridge. The outdoor hot tubs are carved from the trunks of giant trees. The lodge is located in Los Rios which is within the stunning Huilo-Huilo Unesco biosphere reserve, 242 square miles of lush nature, filled with wildlife.
The visibility of distilled water is about 80 metres. Blue Lake, on New Zealand’s South Island, clocks in at 76 metres. Here are the first-ever photos of this newly discovered natural wonder, taken by Klaus Thymann of Project Pressure and supported by New Zealand Department of Conservation and New Zealand Tourism.
Photograph: Klaus Thymann /Project Pressure
Because of the transmission of identity from one generation to the next, most children share at least some traits with their parents. These are vertical identities. Attributes and values are passed down from parent to child across the generations not only through strands of DNA, but also through shared cultural norms. Ethnicity, for example, is a vertical identity.
Often, however, someone has an inherent or acquired trait that is foreign to his or her parents and must therefore acquire identity from a peer group. This is a horizontal identity. … Being gay is a horizontal identity; most gay kids are born to straight parents, and while their sexuality is not determined by their peers, they learn gay identity by observing and participating in a subculture outside the family. Physical disability tends to be horizontal, as does genius.
I had been startled to note my common ground with the Deaf, and now I was identifying with a dwarf; I wondered who else was out there waiting to join our gladsome throng. I thought that if gayness, an identity, could grow out of homosexuality, an illness, and Deafness, an identity, could grow out of deafness, an illness, and if dwarfism as an identity could emerge from an apparent disability, then there must be many other categories in this awkward interstitial territory. It was a radicalizing insight. Having always imagined myself in a fairly slim minority, I suddenly saw that I was in a vast company. Difference unites us. While each of these experiences can isolate those who are affected, together they compose an aggregate of millions whose struggles connect them profoundly. The exceptional is ubiquitous; to be entirely typical is the rare and lonely state.
(Source: , via explore-blog)