themcglynn.com

07 Aug

Events of Interest and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Tsuyuko Nakao, 92, praying for the victims of the atom bomb at the Peace Memorial Park yesterday

An apology fatally devalued by the passage of 65 years

Robert Fisk reports on the day that America and Britain united with Japan to remember victims of Hiroshima.

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Little Britain: How the rest of the world sees us

Our foreign correspondents reveal how the rest of the world sees the British…………………..

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Taliban kills foreign aid workers

Eight workers from health charity among 10 people shot dead in northern province………………………..
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Ice island breaks off into Arctic 

 

 

 The ice island is believed to be four times
the size of Manhattan [Al Jazeera
 

 
  
  
 
  

A huge ice island four times the size of Manhattan has broken off from one of Greenland’s two main glaciers, the biggest such incident in the Arctic in almost half a century. 

The new ice island, which split from the glacier on Thursday, will float into the remote Nares Strait, about 1,000km south of the North Pole between Greenland and Canada. 

Scientists said they were not able to determine if the formation of the ice island was a result of global warming, because records on the sea water around the glacier have only been kept since 2003………………… 

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101 East

A weekly discussion programme on Asia-Pacific current affairs…………………..
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 Budrus

Ayed Morrar, an unlikely community organiser, unites Palestinians from all political factions with Israelis and others from around the world to save his village – and its treasured olive trees – from destruction by Israel’s separation barrier. 

Amanda Palmer and Julia Bacha 

Victory seems improbable until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. 

Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleashed an inspiring movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. 

An action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat.  

The movie is directed by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha (Control Room, Encounter Point). 

Bacha joins Amanda Palmer, Al Jazeera’s head of entertainment, and the FPS audience for a refreshingly optimistic Q&A. 

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Iranian facing stoning speaks: ‘It’s because I’m a woman’

Exclusive: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani accuses authorities in Tehran of lying about charges in attempt to execute her in secret

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, speaking through an intermediary, accused Tehran of trying to ‘confuse the media’ in order to kill her in secret. Photograph: AP

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the woman whose sentence of death by stoning triggered an international outcry has accused the Iranian authorities of lying about the charges against her to pave the way to execute her in secret.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery but it was commuted to hanging after an international outcry. Her initial sentence was for “having an illicit relationship outside marriage” but Iranian officials have claimed that she was also found guilty of murdering her husband and should still face death by stoning.

In the interview, which took place through an intermediary who cannot be named for security reasons, she said: “They’re lying. They are embarrassed by the international attention on my case and they are desperately trying to distract attention and confuse the media so that they can kill me in secret.”

Yesterday, Mossadegh Kahnemoui, a senior Iranian judicial official, told the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: “This lady, in addition to double adultery, is also found guilty of conspiracy to murder her husband.”

Mohammadi Ashtiani said: “I was found guilty of adultery and was acquitted of murder, but the man who actually killed my husband was identified and imprisoned but he is not sentenced to death.”

The accused, who has not been named, is not facing execution because Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son pardoned him, but she was sentenced to death after a local prosecutor in Tabriz accused her of adultery.

“The answer is quite simple, it’s because I’m a woman, it’s because they think they can do anything to women in this country. It’s because for them adultery is worse than murder – but not all kinds of adultery: an adulterous man might not even be imprisoned but an adulterous women is the end of the world for them. It’s because I’m in a country where its women do not have the right to divorce their husbands and are deprived of their basic rights.”

Mohammadi Ashtiani also revealed that at the moment the sentence was passed she did not understand the Arabic word used as the legal term for stoning.

“When the judge handed down my sentence, I even didn’t realise I’m supposed to be stoned to death because I didn’t know what ‘rajam’ means. They asked me to sign my sentence which I did, then I went back to the prison and my cellmates told me that I was going to be stoned to death and I instantly fainted.”

Mohammadi Ashtiani fears that the exile of her original lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, has made her more vulnerable. “They wanted to get rid of my lawyer so that they can easily accuse me of whatever they want without having him to speak out. If it was not for his attempts, I would have been stoned to death by now.”

Mostafaei volunteered to represent her for free and succeeded in bringing her case to world attention but fled to Turkey when Iranian authorities issued an arrest warrant for him. His wife is being held without charge in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

Mostafaei, who was arrested on immigration charges in Istanbul, was released today and is on his way to Norway.

Describing life inside Tabriz prison, Mohammadi Ashtiani said she has been subject to constant mistreatment by prison guards. “Their words, the way they see me – an adulterous woman who should be stoned to death – is just like being stoned to death every day.”

She thanked campaigners for highlighting her case and said international pressure was her only hope for release. “For all these years, they [the officials] have tried to put something in my mind, to convince me that I’m an adulterous woman, an irresponsible mother, a criminal but with the international support, once again I’m finding myself, my innocent self.”

She pleaded: “Don’t let them stone me in front of my son.”

Twelve women and three men have also been sentenced to death by stoning in Iran.

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