News you can use - New York arrests over 700 Wall Street protesters
Who's saying what
Jesus, the anti anti-pokies campaign gets increasingly farcical, after a rugby league commentator/recovering gambling addict was told to express his outrage over the proposed laws by Channel Nine management. I'm finding this entire campaign immensely dispiriting, because it's such an explicit and real example of rich people profiting off the suffering of the poor and vulnerable, yet trying to dress it up as fighting for their rights. Hearing Jeff Kennett, a purported patron saint of depression and board member of a company that deals in pokie maintenance, and Eddie Macguire, one of the richest and most powerful men in Australia, opine about their concerns for the clubs that rely on pokies has made we want to vomit in rage, preferably directly into their smug, hypocritical faces. Here's a handy hint: if your business model is predicated upon stealing money from addicts while actively destroying their lives, then get a new business model.
Fresh from a sequence of unpleasant accusations of police brutality against Occupy Wall Street protesters over the last couple of weeks, police decided to up the ante by arresting over 700 of them on Saturday. At a time when the world's attention is occupied by the mass and arbitrary arrests of non-violent protesters in a number of Arab countries, some of whom America has been militarily involved against, may I suggest that this is perhaps not the best look? Although at least it produced this typically superlative New York Post cover.
Speaking of said Arab countries, tiny Bahrain, quiescent ever since Saudi Arabia decided to send in their own tanks in order to crush the rebellion, has really upped the asshole stakes by sentencing to jail, for up to 15 years, 15 doctors who had the temerity to treat peaceful protesters that had been shot by the Bahrainian army. Tragically beyond parody.
Speaking of said American military involvement, the US assassinated another high level al-Qaeda commander on the weekend, this time in Yemen. Drone killings, coming soon to a restive Arab nation near you. Although, given the almost total power vacuum in Yemen right now – can anyone say "failed state"? – there's every possibility al-Qaeda is in a stronger position than ever.
Egypt's military rulers have spent the weekend hanging out with the dozen odd political parties that have sprung up in the post-Mubarak era and it now looks like elections will be held in November this year, with an eye to the new Parliament creating a new Constitution and Presidential elections perhaps being held off until 2013. There will, apparently, also be foreign election monitors allowed and for some reason Sean Penn is getting involved in the protests.
Shell, never the most salubrious of companies, apparently spent much of the 1990s giving money to the Nigerian military to brutally stamp down on people who were trying to impede its work. Quite a few people died. In other news: yikes!
US Presidential candidate Rick Perry wants to send the US Army into Mexico to help fight the drug war. One does wonder how Mexico might feel about that, considering the only reason they have a drug war on their hands in the first place is because America is so goddamn keen for drugs. Also, you know, they've been in Colombia for four decades and isn't that place just a thriving hotbed of peace and democracy.
It's Nobel Prize week! Hooray! Will Wayne Swan win the prize for economics? Almost certainly not, although I'm certain Joe Hockey would find some semi-racist way to rag on him if he did. However, these three guys just won the prize for medicine for their work in immunology. Well done, you... Well, except for the man who died three days before the award was announced.
In the wake of the Racial Discrimination case against Andrew Bolt last week, the collective mass of Australia's opinion writers has gotten down to the task of unpicking the decision's implications strand by arduous strand. Two excellent, but very different contributions to the debate: Media Watch's Jonathan Holmes on why the decision should worry anyone interested in media freedom; and David Marr on why the decision has less to do with freedom of speech and more to do with it perhaps being wrong to print patently false claims.
Inside Gaddafi's opulent, audacious compound - Libya's very own Never Never Land.
Um. Man rips own eyes out in church. Yes, well. Yes. That would take some serious mass rebuilding.
A fascinating/slightly overwhelming take on the extreme reach of Google's information gathering project. When the Internet becomes self-aware, Google will be king.
Smuggling project or wacky animal fetish? Either way, this guy has a whole bunch of hummingbirds in his pants.
This seems to be about the degree of respect that the Kardashians actually deserve.
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