cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

11.03.2009

little fish and big fish and fish food

1. little fish: drugs, guns and war in Myanmar

BANGKOK - Mounting tensions between Myanmar's military government and ethnic groups with which it has ceasefire agreements in the country's northern regions have spurred a surge in drug trafficking. Driven by militias' growing demand for weapons to counter anticipated government offensives, a narcotics fire-sale is raising concerns of greater instability along the borders of several neighboring countries, including China.
...
Since a 1989 mutiny that broke up the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) and spawned several ethnic armies in the north - including the UWSA, NDAA and the Kokang group - the drug trade has steadily expanded in the region. The military government has both permitted and profited from the groups' drug production and trafficking, despite official claims to lead an internationally assisted counter narcotics campaign and disingenuous pledges by several of the insurgent groups to be drug-free.

read more @ asia times



2. little fish: "godmother" of underworld in SW China gets 18 years in jail

CHONGQING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Organized crime boss Xie Caiping, labeled the "godmother of the underworld" in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, was sentenced 18 years in prison Tuesday.

The other 21 people, including officials who offered protection to gang members, were given jail terms ranging from one to 13 years in sentences handed down at the Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People's Court.

Xie was convicted of organizing and leading a criminal organization, running gambling dens, illegal imprisonment, harboring people taking illegal narcotics and giving bribes to officials.

read more @ chinaview


3. big fish: France expresses full support for Karzai

PARIS, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed on Monday France's full support to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was assured of the final victory earlier in the day in the troubled presidential election in the Central Asian nation.

"I assure you (Karzai) the full support of France to you and your government," said Sarkozy in a congratulatory letter to Karzai.

France will help Afghanistan reconstruct the democratic institution, to eliminate violence, to improve security, economic and social situation, he promised.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also expressed congratulations for Karzai's re-election at a joint press conference in Paris with visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

read more @ chinaview


4. big fish: neocon ex-congressman Don Ritter and his laundering business in Afghanistan

excerpt:

Don Ritter, former Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania from 1979 until 1992, is known to have received positions and benefits due to his consistent and heavy involvement in Afghanistan related operations and activities, starting when Brzezinski’s vision was put in practice in 1979. He authored the “Material Assistance” to Afghanistan legislation in the Congress, created the Congressional Task Force on Afghanistan to promote such material assistance of all kinds to the Afghan resistance (including the Bin Laden Group), and held numerous meetings on Afghanistan with representatives of the State Department, CIA, and DIA to enhance U.S. assistance to the Mujahideen (which included now-evil Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistani ISI). These are only the ‘known’ activities of Mr. Ritter during his years in Congress. Now let’s look at what he’s been busy with since he left the Congress in 1992.

read more @ kenny's sideshow


5. fish food: child labor photos from Bangladesh

To abolish child labour you have to make it visible.

For the last four years I have been working on child labor in Bangladesh.

Child labor has been forbidden in Bangladesh since 1992. In December 2005 I visited a garment factory in Narayanganj, which is the center of the garment industry in Bangladesh. I took a picture of the owner beating a 12-year-old boy because he had been too slow sewing t-shirts.

According to the U.N. Children’s Fund report, more than 6.3 million children under 14 are working in Bangladesh. Many of them work under very poor conditions; some of them even risk their life. Factory owners pay them about 400 to 700 taka (10 USD) a month, while an adult worker earns up to 5,000 taka per month.

It is widely known, yet for a long time nobody seemed to mind. With my work I want to confront the people with the problem of child labor and motivate the people who begin to think about it — in Bangladesh where children are employed and in the rich countries of the Western world where products are sold that have been produced by children.

My intention is not only to show the children at work as victims of bad bosses exploiting them, but I want to show the complexity of the situation: The parents who send their little boy to work in a factory because they are poor; the child who has to work to earn a living for the family; the boss of the factory who is being pushed by big garment companies to produce for less money; and the Western consumers as clients who buy cheap clothes.

I think it is impossible to abolish child labor completely in Bangladesh in a very short time, but I am sure it is possible to improve the working conditions for the children and to bring more from factory work into the schools.

read more, see photos here, check out the comment thread

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