A front-page story in the Feb. 10 NY Times notes that Saudi Arabia is holding its first national election that day--albeit with an "asterisk": women are barred from the vote, and even men only get to elect half the members of municipal councils. The other half will remain appointees, and no national leaders will be elected.
The first public protest for restoration of democracy in Nepal since King Gyanendra suspended civil government Feb. 1 was predictably shut down by police Feb. 10, as 12 members of the Human Rights and Peace Society were arrested upon arriving at the gathering point. As the detainees were hustled into vans, police set up a cordon around the rally site to prevent other activists from gathering.
The FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force is investigating twin vandal attacks on Army recruiting centers in New York City--one in Manhattan's Flatiron section, the other in the Parkchester district of the Bronx. David Seigel, 19, of Litchfield, CT, was arrested for throwing a burning rag at the Parkchester facility, causing minor damage, and news reports have said that he is an "anarchist." In the Manhattan incident, a rock was thrown at the recruiting center, cracking the door, and graffiti left --including a slogan against the Iraq war an an anarchist symbol. (NY Post, Feb. 1)
Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel responded angrily to charges by US Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Roger Noriega that his government's new arms deal with Russia is intended for trafficking to Colombian guerillas. "Venezuela is a sovereign country," Rangel said. "We are only accountable to Venezuelans and the country's institutions," adding that the arms are intended only for "purposes of national defense" and accusing the State Department of "provocations." The State Department expressed concerns about Venezuela's deal to buy 100,000 AK-47 rifles and several military helicopters from Russia. (Venezuelanalysis, Feb. 8)
With most of the international community condemnding King Gyanendra's suspension of civil government and democratic rights in Nepal, Pakistan's embassy in Kathmandu released a statement of support for the king, saying "Pakistan and Nepal share the objectives of combatting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations" and invoking the principle of non-interference. The People's Republic of China is the only other nation to refrain from criticizing the king's power seizure.
A week after Nepal's king dismissed his government and imposed emergency rule by personal decree, the isolated Himalayan nation has largely disappeared from the headlines. The NY Times reported Feb. 9 in short page 13 story that King Gyanendra has allowed international telephone service to resume (gee thanks, Your Highness).
More ironic timing for Washington's push to restore military ties with Indonesia. With Condi Rice on the stump claiming Jakarta is cleaning up its nasty human rights situation, the DC-based Marijuana Policy Project sends us the following chilling story: In Indonesia, a 27-year-old Australian woman is facing death by firing squad for allegedly bringing marijuana into the country.
More ironic timing for Washington's push to restore military ties with Indonesia. With Condi Rice on the stump claiming Jakarta is cleaning up its nasty human rights situation, the DC-based Marijuana Policy Project sends us the following chilling story:
In Indonesia, a 27-year-old Australian woman is facing death by firing squad for allegedly bringing marijuana into the country.
It appears that different factions of the American Indian Movement (AIM) have released statements either condemning or supporting Ward Churchill, in equally vehement terms.
First this, from the AIM Grand Governing Council in Minneapolis: