Friday, September 2, 2011

hasina is informed regarding visiting of Indian PM by Menon

Why To Avoiding 1/11 by Ruling Government

Seceruty service made by: Police, RAB and SSF

Australia: the next great hope for climate

Dear friends,

Australia is about to pass a law that would slash carbon emissions and get polluters to pay. This is the front line in the fight for our planet's future -- if we win, it could spur bold global action. But Rupert Murdoch and big polluters are fighting hard to kill the bill, spreading messages of fear across the country. We can help drown out Murdoch's mantra with messages of hope from across the world and help pass the law -- join in now:

Sign the petition
Right now, a major climate fight is blowing up in Australia -- the government is about to pass a law that would cut carbon emissions and get polluters to pay. But big businesses, backed by Rupert Murdoch, are trying to kill the bill.

This carbon pricing law is a win-win measure -- it will push dirty businesses towards clean production and generate more resources for working families. If it passes, it will spur other major emitters to follow suit and could be the next best hope for our climate. But Murdoch's megaphone of fear is massive -- he owns seventy percent of Australia's press. If together we can drown out his campaign to crush the bill with messages of hope from across the world, we could help it pass.

This battle is being fought on the Australian air waves now. Sign the urgent petition to back this bold initiative and share it with everyone -- when we reach 250,000 signatures, we’ll run inspiring radio ads that deliver our global messages, lay out the benefits of the law and rouse public support:

We are all under threat from climate change -- including the droughts and storms that cause forest fires, floods and failed harvests. Australia’s proposal would start to shift its economy to halt it. The measure would make polluting companies pay, encouraging them to become more efficient while funding technologies of the future and increasing support to the most needy. Yet Murdoch -- who has a long history of supporting climate denial -- has joined with mining companies to spread wild predictions of job losses and economic doom.

Countries like Denmark, Sweden and Costa Rica have already introduced carbon-pricing, spurring innovation and reducing pollution. If we now embolden Australia -- the worst rich country per person carbon polluter -- to follow their lead, it will generate momentum for other major emitters such as China and the US to follow suit, boosting our chances of a global climate deal next year.

Avaaz members across the world have been strong campaigners on climate change -- our actions together have often influenced governments and companies. Right now, Australia’s people and political leaders need our support to face down the profiteers and renew our hope in climate solutions. Let’s remind our Australian friends that they're not alone in this crucial climate fight:

Politicians and businesses often think short-term, when long-term action is needed. When our people-powered movement counters these tendencies and proposes a clear vision of the future we want, we bring out the best in our leaders. Let’s shore up Australia’s resolve, then approach other governments until we achieve the global climate deal the world needs.

With hope,

International Women’s Media Foundation Honoring Four Brave Women Journalists Who Confronted Danger to Cover World News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Four brave women journalists who have risked their lives covering the news will be honored by the International Women’s Media Foundation with Courage in Journalism Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award in Los Angeles on Oct. 24 and New York on Oct. 27.

IWMF’S Courage in Journalism Award winners face daunting challenges reporting on violence in their countries. Mexican drug cartels have murdered two editors and threatened to kill Zeta editor Adela Navarro Bello, Iranian officials have targeted and harassed Reuters bureau chief Parisa Hafezi and Thailand authorities have charged editor Chiranuch Premchaiporn with violating laws for allowing 10 strangers to post anti-royal comments on her website, Prachatai. Premchaiporn is standing trial now, facing up to 70 years in prison in a test of Internet freedom.

Legendary reporter Kate Adie, BBC’s first chief news correspondent, will be awarded the IWMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Adie has paved the way for future generations of women journalists by fearlessly covering breaking news from Bosnia to Sierra Leone for decades.

“These courageous women have endured terrible hardships, without questioning their own safety. They face danger and violence to report the day’s most important stories, despite being targeted by authorities,” said IWMF Board Co-Chair Barbara Cochran. “We are honored to tell the world their stories.”

IWMF Courage Co-chair Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour will oversee the New York luncheon as mistress of ceremonies at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Oct. 27. Honoring the winners will be ABC’s Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos, Jordan Media Institute founder HRH Princess Rym Ali and Bloomberg News White House correspondent Julianna Goldman.

At the Los Angeles Courage in Journalism Awards dinner on Oct. 24 at The Beverly Hills Hotel, IWMF board member Cynthia McFadden of ABC News will be mistress of ceremonies. Joining her in honoring the winners will be Martha Raddatz, ABC News senior foreign affairs correspondent; Geoffrey Cowan, president of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands; Angelica Fuentes Tellez, CEO of Grupo Omnilife, and Robert Scheer, former Los Angeles Times columnist and now Truthdig editor. “Mad Men” TV actress Cara Buono will be an honored guest.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver a videotaped message at the LA and NY events congratulating the women journalists for their brave efforts reporting the news.

Co-chairing the events are Bloomberg News and Walmart Stores, Inc. For information about purchasing tickets check the IWMF’s website:

Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The anticipated publication Friday of a U.N. report on violence aboard a Gaza-bound protest flotilla last year has led to a further souring of the key Mideast relationship between Israel and Turkey, after Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador.

Turkey on Friday expelled the envoy and suspended military cooperation after insisting on an Israeli apology by the time the report is published.

Israel says there will be no apology. Israeli officials say the report does not demand an Israeli apology, establishing instead that Israel should express regret and pay reparations.

An Israeli official said Friday that the report showed Israel's actions were in keeping with international law. The official said Israel hoped the two countries could now "return to the cooperation that was a cornerstone of regional stability."

He spoke on condition of anonymity because the report had yet to be officially released. He said Israel expected it to be made public by the U.N. later Friday.

Relations between Turkey and Israel, once close, have slid in recent years as Turkey has tilted away from the West. They deteriorated sharply after the flotilla bloodshed.

The U.N report says "Turkey and Israel should resume full diplomatic relations, repairing their relationship in the interests of stability in the Middle East and international peace and security," according to the copy obtained by The New York Times.

Turkey announced the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and suspension of military cooperation hours before the report was to be published, the most significant downgrading in ties between the two countries since the bloody flotilla attack last year.

A senior Israeli government official who had seen the report told the AP earlier this week that Israel has come to believe that Turkey is intent on worsening ties with Israel in order to bolster its own position in the Arab and Islamic world. While Israel does not rule out quiet talks with Turkey on an expression of regret and reparations to families of the dead activists, the report does not ask for an Israeli apology and there will not be one, he said.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Nine pro-Palestinian activists -- eight Turks and one Turkish-American -- were killed aboard the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010, after passengers resisted a takeover by Israeli naval commandos. The flotilla was en route to Gaza in an attempt to bring international attention to Israel's blockade of the Palestinian territory. Each side blamed the other, claiming self-defense.

After the violence triggered an international outcry, Israel eased restrictions on goods moving into Gaza overland but left the naval blockade in place.

The activists charge the blockade constitutes collective punishment and is illegal. Israel asserts that it is necessary to prevent weapons from reaching the militants who regularly bombard Israeli towns with rockets from Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamist Hamas.

The U.N. committee established in the aftermath of the incident was made up of two international diplomats -- former leaders of New Zealand and Colombia -- one representative from Israel and one from Turkey.

The report, as published by the New York Times, accepts Israel's position that the naval blockade is a "legitimate security measure." It acknowledges that Israel "faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza."

Participants in the flotilla, the committee wrote, "acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade." Most passengers were peaceful, according to the report, but a small group was prepared for organized resistance. These passengers were "armed with iron bars, staves, chains, and slingshots, and there is some indication that they also used knives."

After soldiers rappelled onto the deck from helicopters, according to the report, "three soldiers were captured, mistreated, and placed at risk by those passengers. Several others were wounded."

The report established, however, that Israel's use of force was "excessive and unreasonable."

"No satisfactory explanation has been provided to the Panel by Israel for any of the nine deaths," according to the report as quoted by the paper.

The committee noted "forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range."

The senior Israeli government official said those hit in the back were attacking soldiers when they were shot from behind by other soldiers acting to save their comrades

Global Drug War///NJ's First Pot Shop Coming To Rural Town

NJ's First Pot Shop Coming To Rural Town

NJ's First Pot Shop Coming To Rural Town

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. - New Jersey's first foray into medicinal marijuana is coming to our area.

The Garden State's first medical marijuana growing center is on its way to Chesterfied Township, Burlington County.

Fox 29's Chris O'Connell has more on the controversial new cash crop coming to the farming community.

Lawmakers say medical marijuana could boost New Jersey's economy. Nationwide, it's a $20-billion industry.

That's not just from sale of marijuana. There's also a large market for devices to smoke it with, plus trade shows and conventions that will come to the state.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Economist:Letter from Bangladesh

Governing Bangladesh

SIR – There are many reasons for democrats to be concerned about the political turn in Bangladesh, but the loss of the caretaker government institution should not be one (“Reversion to type”, August 13th). Aid donors and other powerful outsiders have been seduced by the idea of a caretaker administration, which they see as a neat answer to the chronic problem of ruling-party election theft. But the result of the caretaker-government system has been a democratic veneer of multiparty competition that has barely covered a weakening of the institutions of democratic governance.

First, it has helped ensure that the main parties have failed to develop rules and practices of self-restraint on election competition (the Bangaldesh Nationalist Party has been particularly guilty of this), and that they continue to rely on a military-backed babysitter to force them to behave like grown-up political parties. Second, senior judges who were once deemed above politics have been increasingly drawn into party politics, for the very good reason that they run caretaker administrations and so shape election outcomes. You do not need to be an Awami Leaguer to think the caretaker-government system has outlived its purpose.

Without parties that agree to play by their own rules and courts that are above politics, the multiparty polls so beloved of aid donors are not much more than ornamental features of Bangladesh’s democracy.

BNP's Celebration| বিএনপির জন্ম হয়েছে আওয়ামী লীগের ব্যর্থতার কারণে | News

The Daily Ittefaq | বিএনপির জন্ম হয়েছে আওয়ামী লীগের ব্যর্থতার কারণে | News

Media worries over freedom, ethics

News media editors and senior journalists yesterday called for bolstering ethical practices in the field, saying the media has to play its due role in strengthening democracy, although money has started influencing it, and some politicians are attacking it viciously.

Condemning some lawmakers' recent diatribes against the media in the parliament, the journalists said despite some mistakes, the media in Bangladesh has always favoured democracy, but politicians often forget that.

At a roundtable, the journalists said there must be a policy for issuing licenses to electronic media outlets, cautioning that political considerations in the process for the last several years have led to instability in the sector to a great extent.

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad, however, said the present government believes in full freedom of the press, and comments of an individual member of the parliament can never be the official statement of the government which considers the media as a complementary force.

He endorsed the need for a qualitative change in the media, and said the government will use the Press Institute of Bangladesh to that end, and will take steps to make the National Press Council effective.

The daily Prothom Alo organised the roundtable on "Freedom of Mass Media and Accountability" in the conference room of its office in the capital.

"Never before had I seen in my professional life the way the media was attacked in the parliament recently, without giving it the opportunity to defend itself," said the daily Samkal Editor Golam Sarwar.

"Interestingly, the Speaker of the House also joined in the attack, and that raises the question whether the attack was planned," he said, adding that the country's media is passing through a difficult period, when money and power are influencing it.

He said it has been reported that the purview of the contempt of court charge is expanding, if so, that will affect press freedom.

"A vile campaign has been launched lately, maligning the reputation of the Prothom Alo editor, we all should unitedly protest against it," he said.

President of the Federal Union of Journalists Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said the parliament and the media have their due roles, and if anyone fails to carry out the duties, that person or institution could be criticised, but with due respect.

"The media must be objective. Otherwise, vested quarters will interfere with its independence," he said.

People with money, who are not professional journalists, are now becoming editors of news outlets, the ultimate result of which will not be good, he added noting, unlimited infusion of capital in the media industry could create bubbles, and that would affect journalists in the future.

Political considerations in issuing licenses could destabilise the media, he cautioned.

The News Today Editor Reazuddin Ahmed echoed Iqbal Sobhan on the point, saying, the same is true for cancellation of licenses as well.

"This eventually creates self-censorship in the media," he said, suggesting that there should be a policy on the electronic media. Ethical and professional standards could ensure 80 percent of the media accountability, he said.

CEO and Editor-in-chief of Boishakhi Television Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul said the audience of both politicians and journalists is the people. Conflicts between the two arise when they deviate from their responsibilities, he added.

Since the opposition party does not go to the parliament, the news media has to play the role of opposition to a certain extent, and that makes the government think the media is favouring the opposition, he said.

Some journalists nowadays are however influenced by money, while there are signs that the same is true for members of the parliament as well, he added. Strengthening media related institutions could solve some of the problems in the media to an extent, he said.

ABC Radio Head of News and Programme Salahuddin Lablu said the electronic media remains under constant threat of shutdown, as the outlets have to renew licenses and frequency allocation periods every year.

Channel i Head of News Shykh Seraj said orders have been issued that private TV channels must telecast state owned BTV's news, which is quite unreasonable.

New Age Editor Nurul Kabir said the media as a whole has been playing a much better role than the politicians.

He said some newspapers published reports provided by the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) accusing politicians without incorporating what the accused had to say, during the last caretaker regime.

Nasty discussions take place in the parliament regarding the media, judges go beyond their jurisdictions to send journalists to jail on charges of contempt of court, the executive branch of the government also represses the media, if all three branches of the state act like that then the media falls into a crisis, he added.

Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman said the media is the fourth column of the state. Most of the news media outlets in the country are in favour of the liberation war, secularism, and freedom. The media keeps the government accountable by pointing out its mistakes. The media's accountability is to its audience, he said.

The Daily Star Editor and Publisher Mahfuz Anam suggested forming an editors' forum to improve the ethical and professional practices in the media, and requested the information minister not to frame any media policy without inputs from journalists.

The Independent Editor Mahbubul Alam endorsed the proposal, saying a strong media is vital for a democratic society.

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad said he will convey the concerns of the media personalities to the prime minister.

Columnists ABM Musa, Syed Abul Maksud, and Muhammad Jahangir; Nayadiganta Editor Alamgir Mohiuddin, Dhaka University Journalism Department Chairperson Giti Ara Nasreen, Amader Somoy Editor Nayeemul Islam Khan, Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutt, Machranga Television's Head of News Shah Alamgir, ATN Bangla's Chief News Editor J E Mamun, ATN News channel's Head of News Munni Shaha, and Daily Korotoa Editor Mozammel Haque also spoke.

Bangladesh : One Shaheed Minar Eid Gathering Organizer Come Under Assult ATN Bangla 01 09 2011

JE Mamun, media personality & senior journalist of ATN Bangla TV and one of the forefront organizers of the Eid Day Shaheed Minar protest gathering of civil society, intellectuals, teachers, students, youth, activists, artists, poets, journalists, and general apolitical general public from all strata of life demanding resignation of incompetent and corrupt ministers come under hoodlum assault at Gulshan, a post suburb of Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh when his car was smashed and the attackers tried to drag him out of the car.

Question is from which side this incident happened???

Daily from Muktidooth Media

Daily from Muktidooth Media

Complementary for Gatidhara

Koko’s parole cancellation : BNP terms it political vengeance: Fakhrul

The government plans to bring all the districts under Rail Network, says the Communications Minister Traffic police in the capital introduces some new rules for the drivers and the pedestrians The Prime Minister asks to recruit grand sons and daughters of freedom fighters if their sons and daughters are not available for recruitment in the freedom fighters quota And BNP Secretary General alleges that the arrest warrant against Koko, the younger son of Khaleda Zia has been issued owing to political vengeance Now onto the details.


BNP has alleged that Awami League by distorting the history is trying to brand Ziaur Rahman as a killer. Speaking at a meeting organised by Jatiyatabadi Krisak Dal at the Bhasani Auditorium in the capital the Senior Joint Secretary General of the party Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, Awami League leaders themselves were involved with the killing of Bangabandhu and the jail killing, most of whom are now occupying important positions in the present government. Alleging that obstacles are being created in the democratic activities of the opposition he said, the government is running the country with a dual policy. Mirza Fakhrul said, all deceptive moves of the government have been divulged to the people. There is no alternative to the people than the mass movement to save the country from the misrule and failure of the grand alliance. Senior leaders of the Krisak Dal also addressed the meeting.

Student Health Insurance | Full Of SHIP? With Other College Expenses To Worry About, Student Health …

Student Health Insurance | Full Of SHIP? With Other College Expenses To Worry About, Student Health …

Former sister concern of ENA/ Eather Tass//Russian radio station launches VIP listener program | IJNet

Russian radio station launches VIP listener program | IJNet

Ten tips for citizen journalists from Cairo's "Tweet Nadwa" | IJNet

Ten tips for citizen journalists from Cairo's "Tweet Nadwa" | IJNet

Muktidooth's media Partner///Turner Broadcasting seeks all-platform journalist | IJNet

Turner Broadcasting seeks all-platform journalist | IJNet

Usual days, unusual happenings

Usual days, unusual happenings

Will the real Manmohan Singh please stand up? by Eshwar Sundaresan

On the 25th of August, when the Indian Prime Minister spoke to the Parliament on the issue dominating the nation’s attention – the non-violent, in-your-face protest championed by Annasaheb Hazare – neither the House nor the nation was impressed. The erudite PM’s droning, once lovable, monotone never sounded flatter or more impotent. He reserved the first half of his speech to defending his own image, chiefly by citing his past achievements. That done, he spoke about the constraints the government faces while tackling corruption. And then, he weakly suggested that the Parliament debate on all the versions of the Lokpal Bill that are available in the public domain.

‘He [Annasaheb Hazare] has registered his point,’ the PM said towards the end of his speech.

Well, by making the government buckle under his demands for the second time in four months, Annasaheb has certainly registered his point. Meanwhile, the PM himself has been unable to do the same for a long, long time. And nothing underlines this fact better than the sullen, stony silence he nowadays wears to the floor of the House. The mask of composure seems to be wearing thin, and underneath, one sees… what? Despondency, a bleak surrender to greater powers?

It would appear so. Despite occupying the most powerful chair in the land, the PM has made it a habit to convey his helplessness to the nation. Talking to journalists in February about the mega-scams rocking his government, he said that the “limitations of coalition politics” cannot be ignored. In other words, the entire 2G spectrum scam was due to the DMK’s insistence that A. Raja be appointed the Telecom Minister. One rotten apple, that the PM himself didn’t pick, had apparently spoilt the entire harvest. And this defence didn’t even explain the CWG scam and Adarsh Society scam sponsored by Congress party stalwarts. As of today, some of the scamsters are behind bars primarily because the judiciary snubbed the legislative and forced the investigative agencies to take action. In fact, the Supreme Court went to the extent of blaming the PM for prolonged inaction on the 2G scam. That’s a serious allegation on a man with a glorious past, a man who has shown glimpses of exemplary courage.

During his previous term, Manmohan Singh risked the future of his government to push the Indo-US nuclear deal through – when the Communists withdrew support to the government, as everybody knew they would, the PM found an unlikely ally in the Samajwadi Party. In that instance, he refused to accept the limitations of coalition politics. What has changed now? Does he value energy security over clean governance? Rather unlikely. After all, he ensured that the Parliament passed the Right to Information Act, which has given the general public an effective tool to combat corruption, especially in the bureaucracy. (Interestingly, Arvind Kejriwal, a key member of Team Anna, shot to fame as an RTI activist.)

It’s a matter of great concern that the legacy of Manmohan Singh has been diluted to such a great extent in a matter of eighteen months. Other than the RTI, this man:

• Introduced NREGA, an Act that guarantees minimum employment to a subset of rural Indians.

• Being a bipartisan politician, has carried forward key schemes launched by Vajypayee’s government such as the Golden Quadrilateral and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (which strives to deliver elementary education to every Indian child). His government, in fact, alleviated the education scenario by introducing the Right to Education Act in 2009.

• Has used his moderate outlook and popularity amongst peers to improve international relations on almost every front.

• Has played a stellar role as the Finance Minister in P. V. Narasimha Rao’s government. From being totally broke in 1991, the Indian economy is now one of the fastest growing in the world, and a major portion of this credit must go to Manmohan Singh.

These are only the most remarkable in the PM’s long list of achievements. But it doesn’t become him to list them out regularly in his speeches, just because somebody or the other made a vulgar attack on his persona – shouldn’t he rest assured that no sane, unmotivated person will accuse him of being corrupt?

At the same time, his inaction, as highlighted by the Supreme Court, cannot be condoned. In fact, it’s perplexing that he choose to do nothing of consequence. After all, he’s in the enviable position of having nothing to lose. It’s difficult to imagine him wanting, or getting, another term. Besides, he has no love for material goods, and one would like to believe that he does not seek power for its own sake. So when the proverbial bribe-stacks began hitting the ceiling, why didn’t he take the opportunity to clean up the mess within the establishment? Was he afraid that powerful backend elements would kick him out? Well, if it had come to that, wouldn’t those elements have exposed their true colours? And consequently, wouldn’t we be scurrying to buy pale blue turban cloth instead of Gandhi caps?

As it turned out, the PM allowed the situation to reach a flashpoint that facilitated Annasaheb’s movement. And what a movement it turned out to be! Civil Rights groups in India are usually defeated by the government’s apathy and obduracy. An illustrious example of this is the prolonged Narmada Bachao Andolan. Similar, lesser-known battles, are fought routinely in every part of the country – groups protesting against ill-conceived Special Economic Zones or the plundering of natural resources are waylaid as a matter of course. In this backdrop, Annasaheb’s movement achieved so much in such a short timeframe. This can only be interpreted as a firm indictment of the Union government in general and the Prime Minister in particular.

Yet, all is not lost. The PM still has sufficient time to reclaim his honour. There are more scoundrels to nab, Ministers to be admonished for abysmal performance, black money to be repatriated from Switzerland and other places etc. Meanwhile, the threat posed by Naxalites needs to be addressed by a development-centric strategy – Naxalism isn’t a pure law-and-order issue.

Yes, it’s safe to say that the PM has enough opportunities to redeem himself. Does he have the desire and energy to do so? Only time will tell. I remain optimistic because I vividly recall seeing the live telecast of his 1991 Budget speech as a teenager. After he declared the government’s decision to usher in economic reforms, he ended by quoting from that most liberating Urdu poem:

‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai, dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qaatil mein hai.’

Indeed. One hopes that the PM repeats this phrase one last time and has a go. Otherwise, the most charitable thing the younger generations will say about him is, ‘He probably meant well.’

Eshwar Sundaresan is a Bangalore-based writer, freelance journalist, ideator and entrepreneur. His works are Googlable.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Eid moon madness

Eid moon madness

Australia: the next great hope for climate

Right now, a major climate fight is blowing up in Australia -- the government is about to pass a law that would cut carbon emissions and get polluters to pay. But big businesses, backed by Rupert Murdoch, are trying to kill the bill.

This carbon pricing law is a win win measure -- it will push dirty businesses towards clean production and tax polluters, generating more resources for working families. If it passes, it will spur other major emitters to follow suit and could be the next best hope for climate. But Murdoch's megaphone of fear is massive -- he owns seventy percent of Australia's press. If together we can drown out his campaign to crush the bill with messages of hope from across the world, we could help it pass.

This battle is being fought on the Australian air waves now. Sign the urgent petition to back this bold initiative -- when we reach 250,000 signatures, we’ll run inspiring radio ads that deliver our global messages, lay out the benefits of the law and rouse public support:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In Unsettled Times, Media Can Be a Call to Action, or a Distraction

THE mass media, including interactive social-networking tools, make you passive, can sap your initiative, leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone

THE mass media, including interactive social-networking tools, make you passive, can sap your initiative, leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone.
Enlarge This Image
Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times

Navid Hassanpour, a graduate student at Yale.

Apparently even during a revolution.

That is the provocative thesis of a new paper by Navid Hassanpour, a political science graduate student at Yale, titled “Media Disruption Exacerbates Revolutionary Unrest.”

Using complex calculations and vectors representing decision-making by potential protesters, Mr. Hassanpour, who already has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford, studied the recent uprising in Egypt.

His question was, how smart was the decision by the government of President Hosni Mubarak to completely shut down the Internet and cellphone service on Jan. 28, in the middle of the crucial protests in Tahrir Square?

His conclusion was, not so smart, but not for the reasons you might think. “Full connectivity in a social network sometimes can hinder collective action,” he writes.

To put it another way, all the Twitter posting, texting and Facebook wall-posting is great for organizing and spreading a message of protest, but it can also spread a message of caution, delay, confusion or, I don’t have time for all this politics, did you see what Lady Gaga is wearing?

It is a conclusion that counters the widely held belief that the social media helped spur the protests. Mr. Hassanpour used press accounts of outbreaks of unrest in Egypt to show that after Jan. 28, the protests became more spread around Cairo and the country. There were not necessarily more protesters, but the movement spread to more parts of the population.

He called this a “localization process.” “You can say it would be hard to measure that,” he added, talking about his research, “but you can test it, what happens when a disruption goes into effect.”

“The disruption of cellphone coverage and Internet on the 28th exacerbated the unrest in at least three major ways,” he writes. “It implicated many apolitical citizens unaware of or uninterested in the unrest; it forced more face-to-face communication, i.e., more physical presence in streets; and finally it effectively decentralized the rebellion on the 28th through new hybrid communication tactics, producing a quagmire much harder to control and repress than one massive gathering in Tahrir.”

In an interview, he described “the strange darkness” that takes place in a society deprived of media outlets. “We become more normal when we actually know what is going on — we are more unpredictable when we don’t — on a mass scale that has interesting implications,” he said.

Mr. Mubarak’s government collapsed and the former president, at age 83, now finds himself being wheeled into a Cairo court on a hospital bed to face charges of corruption and complicity in the killing of protesters.

Jim Cowie, the chief technology officer of Renesys, a company that assesses the way the Internet is operating across the world, believes that another besieged leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, may have taken note of the Egyptian experience.

In a blog post on the company’s Web site, “What Libya Learned From Egypt,” Mr. Cowie writes that in March, Libya toyed with the idea of pulling the switch on its Internet service.

Libya’s leaders “faced this same decision in the run-up to civil war,” he wrote, “and each time, perhaps learning from the Egyptian example, they backed down from implementing a multiday all-routes blackout.”

Sophisticated governments will realize that “shutting down radicalizes things,” he said in a phone interview. What is more useful to governments, he said, was “bandwidth throttling,” recognizing that “Internet is something you can meter out.” This “metering out” is meant to make the experience less reliable and responsive, he said, so that video streaming is hesitant and Web pages are slow to load.

Iran, Mr. Cowie said, was one of a number of countries that have realized that “you don’t turn off the Internet anywhere — you make it less useful,” controlling which neighborhoods get it, for example.

Mr. Hassanpour, who was born and raised in Iran, agreed: “Iran does it in a localized way.”

So what is going on here? Certainly, blocking the ability of protesters to use the Internet and cellphones to plot has appeal for all kinds of leaders. In response to recent riots, the British government likewise was trying to figure out a way to gain access to social-networking services like Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry’s messenger system, to stop potential rioters from organizing.

Speaking to Parliament this month, Prime Minister David Cameron made the case for a clampdown: “We are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these Web sites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”

That proposal, which the British government has backed away from recently, prompted defenders of social networking to point out that not all the organizing was for ill. Others point out that social networking can allow the authorities to follow what is being planned, and try to respond.

Mr. Hassanpour said he was inspired to ask his questions by the insight of a 2009 paper by Holger Lutz Kern of Yale and Jens Hainmueller of M.I.T. that looked at Germany during the cold war and tried to determine the effect of exposure to West German media on East Germans who were able to see West German TV.

The authors took some of the earnest interpretations of the supposed influence of Western media — like, the media gave “people behind the Iron Curtain hope and the assurance that the Free World hadn’t forgotten them,” and allowed Germans to “compare Communist propaganda with credible information from abroad” — and exposed these ideas to basic scrutiny.

Their conclusion, based on formerly classified East German surveys of young people and visa applications to leave East Germany, adjusted for other factors, was that “exposure to West German television increased support for the East German regime.”

“It offered them a vicarious escape from the scarcities, the queues and the ideological indoctrination, making life under communism more bearable and the East German regime more tolerable,” they wrote in their paper, “Opium for the Masses: How Foreign Media Can Stabilize Authoritarian Regimes.”

“We do not necessarily argue that West German television’s political content did not undermine public support for the East German regime at all,” they wrote. “However, the evidence shows that the net effect of West German television exposure was an increase in regime support.”

This conclusion can come as a relief to those who see technology given more importance than ideas, organizations and on-the-ground conditions.

Todd Wolfson, an assistant professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers and a community organizer in Philadelphia, said that there was, indeed, “an accelerant role for social media,” but that it “cannot and does not create that kind of mass motion.”

He cited the writer Frantz Fanon, who discussed the role of radio in the Algerian revolt against the French in the 1950s. When the French tried to block their transmissions, Fanon wrote in his 1959 book, “A Dying Colonialism,” the rebels had even more power, because the listeners were no longer passive. Fanon’s description recalls “the strange darkness” Mr. Hassanpour mentioned:

“For an hour the room would be filled with the piercing, excruciating din of the jamming. Behind each modulation, each active crackling, the Algerian would imagine not only words, but concrete battles.”

Its “phantom-like character,” Fanon concluded paradoxically, “gave to the combat its maximum of reality.”

DB Briefs: Undermining Bitcoin and the American Justice System / Desperate Bankers Damp Lending in China / Does a Clean Environment Preempt a Healthy

Undermining Bitcoin and the American Justice System

Bitcoin: FBI Admits To Engaging In Infiltration, Disruption and Dismantling of Competing Currencies ... In a March 18, 2011 press release regarding the Liberty Dollar case, the FBI admitted to waging a secret war against any private currency system that competes against the US Dollar. In the press release, the FBI equates the use of sound money to an act of domestic terrorism. The FBI states that it uses methods of infiltration and disruption against private citizens engaged in the use of voluntary currencies. – Libertarian News

Dominant Social Theme: The FBI is a good and patriotic organization.

Free-Market Analysis: The author of this article believes the FBI has declared war on Bitcoin, using the rationale enunciated in the Liberty Dollar Case. He writes, "I think this open admission by the FBI that it engages in acts of domestic terrorism against private currency systems bears a particular importance for users of the Bitcoin monetary system. If we look at the history of Bitcoin since it gained notoriety, we see a slew of hacking attacks against major exchanges that have indeed disrupted and undermined the currency system."

Regardless of the specifics regarding Bitcoin, there is no doubt that the FBI in particular is being increasingly used by the powers-that-be to cover up America's growing authoritarianism and the federal government's role in imposing it. In Columbine, more than 100 eyewitnesses saw numerous gunmen and bombers invade the school, but years later there still hasn't been a significant re-investigation. 9/11's problematic official story virtually begs for additional clarification, but the US's federal policing efforts won't be turned in that direction. The FBI top brass just announced that they would not bother to look for videos in their possession that might show the Oklahoma bombing was the work of more than one bomber.

There is a suspicion that such events might be labeled "false flag" if they were re-examined. Whether or not this is so, the lack of official zeal in following up on additional leads only provides people with yet more reasons to be cynical. Ultimately, this is not a stable situation. Post-Internet, too many people know that something is not right with American justice and federal policing. This will have significant ramifications over time.

Desperate Bankers Damp Lending in China

China Central Bank Moves in Secret to Curb Lending ... Unconfirmed Central-Bank Memo Changes Bank-Reserve Formula; Stark Contrast From West's Openness, Easing ... BEIJING – As policy makers from the U.S. and Europe gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to discuss ways to revive a fragile global recovery, China's central bank was issuing a secret memo to further rein in lending in the world's second-largest economy. The tightening move by the People's Bank of China, which was reported Monday by the official Xinhua news agency, highlights two key points about China's economic management: how starkly it is diverging from that of other big economies – which continue to seek ways to pump money into the financial system – and how it remains shrouded in secrecy that some call unbefitting such an important global player. – Infowars

Dominant Social Theme: They know what they're doing and who is the West to question it?

Free-Market Analysis: We've been writing a lot about China lately – maybe because as with the EU, we believe that something may happen to the economy sooner rather than later. Obviously, top Chinese central bankers agree with us, because according to Xinhua, rates are being tightened again. Presumably this is because food prices remain very high, because real estate is all but unaffordable in major cities or even because China's serious problems in dealing with broad civic unrest haven't eased.

We don't believe that China's bankers are in charge of the economy anymore, or are able to "manage" it successfully. These days the ChiComs raise and lower rates with the desperation of those who are looking unsuccessfully for a magic key that will unlock perpetual prosperity. In fact, images of the bust that is to come must haunt every top level apparatchik. It may be staved off for a while but, in our view, come it will.

Does a Clean Environment Preempt a Healthy Economy?

Obama's proposed regs would cost billions annually ... President Obama told Speaker John A. Boehner in a letter Tuesday that his administration is considering seven regulations that would each cost the U.S. economy more than $1 billion per year, although he added that these rules are "merely proposed." All told, the seven proposed rules cited by Mr. Obama would cost companies at least $38 billion per year and could cost as much as $100 billion annually. "Before finalizing any of them, we will take account of public comments and concerns and give careful consideration to cost-saving possibilities and alternatives," Mr. Obama wrote to the Ohio Republican. – Washington Times

Dominant Social Theme: It is important to pass more laws to clean up the environment.

Free-Market Analysis: This is really an incredible story. With the US teetering on the edge of Hurricane Reality, President Barack Obama apparently wants to continue digging a hole from which the American economy may never emerge.

It is not enough that the administration recently loaded on an even more socialist health care system, or that its latest financial and accounting rules have further damped what little entrepreneurship was taking place. Now the administration is contemplating various regs that will further erode the ability of businesses to expand and thus begin to drive the economy upward.

The president listed four proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules and three in the Department of Transportation as having potential cost. An EPA regulation on air quality standards could cost between $19 billion and $90 billion per year.

The Obama administration has countered criticism by pointing out that President George Bush also enacted costly regulations during his administration. This is true, but it does not excuse what is going on. In fact, it would only tend to confirm that the leaders of both parties are engaged in the ongoing, wholesale destruction of the US economy and that both are two sides of a controlled conversation.

Only when the US is entirely weakened and its citizens virtually bankrupt will the powerful banking families of the world be able to proceed efficiently and quickly toward their goal of world government. Time and the indignation of US citizens will determine if their momentum can be halted.

What Recovery? Undemocratic and Corrupt, the EU Faces Dis-Union Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Double-dip fears across the West as confidence crumbles ... The Western world is at mounting risk of a double-dip recession after key measures of confidence collapsed in both the United States and Europe, with Germany the steepest one-month fall since records began in the 1970s. The IMF has slashed its growth forecast for America and Europe, according to a leaked draft of its World Economic Outlook. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: Everything has been going very well, and employment and profits are picking up. So let's not spoil a good thing, eh?

Free-Market Analysis: This article in the UK Telegraph takes a dim view of the "recovery" that the West is supposed to be enjoying. In fact, it cites a good deal of evidence to show the West's economic situation is about to get even worse. In doing so it all but predicts the EU itself – or at least the euro – may be only weeks away from fracturing.

This is good, of course, though perhaps (unfortunately) over-optimistic. The EU is nothing but a fascist enterprise that should be broken up as soon as possible. Astonishingly, the appendages of the EU have not been audited for years because the auditing firms will not take responsibility for an institution of such corruption.

There is an inner circle in the EU that is answerable to no one expect perhaps the great banking families of Europe and America that have created this monstrosity. It is from this tiny circle of "leaders" – all of them either coming from communist or socialist backgrounds – that EU policy is created.

The result is a mishmash of oppressive regulations and overweening ambition. The EU leaders have had ambitions to build an army and to create a fuller union of EU states that will mimic the worst federal excesses of the United States.

What is even worse is that all of this was planned long ago; even as EU member states and their populations were being assured that the EU was nothing but a large trading facility, its top executives were plotting and planning a 400 million strong, federal union. One hears echoes of that today, as academics and politicos alike call for a closer EU to counteract the implausibility of the euro's current condition.

In fact, these days the euro itself is not a currency mechanism so much as a kind of metaphorical manacle that increasingly is keeping Europe's Southern flank – miserable and bleeding – tied to the richer North. The result: higher taxes, resource fire-sales and the slashing of public services and retirement benefits.

Of course, we've long predicted that the EU, or at least the euro, is in significant trouble. This is based on the idea, generally, that there is no "recovery" – not in America and not in Europe. In fact, Europe's Southern PIGS are bankrupt; meanwhile, the US's unemployment refuses to go down and may even be headed up.

What's left? The world's economy basically hangs on the thread of China and as we've tried to point out in numerous articles, that's a thin support indeed. China's social unrest is actually quite staggering at this point, though under-reported. Its much discussed (finally) empty cities, skyscrapers and malls are symptomatic not of central planning so much as communist party desperation.

The ChiComs will do anything to meet their self-imposed growth targets. But the result has been the biggest building and buying binge the world has ever seen. It has to end sometime, and it is very possible that it will put an end to the Chinese government itself. Without China, the world will reel round like a drunk looking for a handhold.

Without support, the global economy will fail. India, Brazil and Russia shall not provide salvation. Germany will not salvage the EU, for without anyone to buy its products, Germany will participate in the upcoming worldwide "recession."

But the UK Telegraph article tells us to expect grim times – really grim ones – even without China's participation. In the US, we learn, the US Conference Board's index of consumer sentiment "plunged to the lowest level since the depths of the slump in 2009, falling to 44.5 from 59.2 in July."

Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde, new chief of the International Monetary Fund, put her wrong foot first, irritating the Germans and then the French by discussing a global crisis is entering "a new phase." This was not welcome news to the leaders of either country, and the Germans especially do not want to be pressured into supporting a weaker euro, no matter how concerned Ms. Lagarde is.

Lagarde is actually reacting to her own research. We learn from the Telegraph that the IMF has slashed its growth forecast for America and Europe, according to a leaked draft of its World Economic Outlook. Lagarde and the IMF want American and European central banks to print more money, even though it doesn't seem to be working. The Germans know it; the IMF does not seem to.

The Germans apparently understand that nothing can be done, at least when it comes to Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland. Lagarde's IMF disagrees. Jose Vinals, the IMF's head of capital markets, "rebuked Europe's leaders for failing to beef up bank defences and allowing the debt crisis to fester."

Vinals received support from Charles Dumas of Lombard Street Research, who said a further "recession" in the West is inevitable because of fiscal deflation. What should have happened? The ECB should have loosened considerably this summer; Jean-Claude Trichet, Europe's central banker has got it all wrong, and has been behind the curve besides.

Yet can Trichet really be blamed? He's feeling considerable heat from the Germans who have claimed that the ECB has engaged in "legally questionable" purchases of Spanish and Italian bonds. The Germans apparently feel they are losing control of the ECB, even though it is German money that drives the EU and the euro.

The rhetoric is building in Germany. The Telegraph notes that Hans-Olaf Henkel, former head of Germany's industry federation (BDI), wrote in the Financial Times that his support for the euro had been "the biggest professional mistake I have ever made." What's the solution? A so-called 'Plan C' under which Germany, The Netherlands, Austria and Finland make their own currency, leaving the South to struggle on without the straightjacket of a German euro.

Stephen Jen from SLJ Macro Partners believes that the EU's debt-ridden Southern flank may act first, as politicians revise their views on the PIGS' unpopular austerity and propose radical solutions featuring disunion either of the EU itself or of the currency. "I think this will happen in weeks rather than months," the Telegraph quotes him as saying.

We are not holding our collective breath. (Just today there are reports that Merkel DOES have enough votes to push through yet another EU bailout package in Germany.) But it does occur to us that the combination of an intractable sovereign debt crisis, an oncoming German recession and a court case intended to decide whether Germany's current government is acting unconstitutionally may be enough – eventually – to crack open the union.

We have never predicted in the past what may happen to the EU, at least not in the short term. In fact. this deeply dishonest political system was meant to grow by crisis. Its top men assumed that there would come a time when the euro would not function properly. One can even make a case that the European banks were encouraged to acquire sovereign debt in order to precipitate the current crisis.

But something happened on the way to a closer union. We believe the Internet Reformation has thoroughly exposed the plans of those at the top in a way that was not anticipated. It is one thing to manipulate people who do not understand what's occurring. It is another to move ahead with a slippery program that people understand is not in their best interests.

The EU, if it fails, becomes merely one more dysfunctional meme. It takes its place in an increasingly long line that includes the foundering war in Afghanistan, the rising tide of disbelief over the war on terror, the obloquy that global warming now attracts, the derision to which central bankers are increasingly subject, etc.

The 21st century is nothing like the 20th. The great banking families are losing control of communications and increasingly cannot configure their messaging. Mainstream media is struggling to survive. The vast fear-based promotions rolled out by Tavistock Institute are not working so well these days. The directed history that seems to have run the world for nearly 200 years is becoming undone. This world lives in interesting times. Such lack of elite control was seen last some 500 years ago during the era of the Gutenberg Press, which led to the Protestant Reformation and a wholesale shift in the way populations were controlled.

It may be that the powers-that-be have already anticipated the break-up of the EU or at least the degradation of the euro. Perhaps such an occurrence will be used to bring pressure on world leaders to create a truly global currency. But even so, this must be seen as a secondary strategy more than an original plan.

Conclusion: Definitively, the great families and their enablers did not wish for the EU to fail, so far as one can tell. Its dissolution, were it to occur, will be no victory for them. In fact, it would be a most important and startling defeat, one that might have an extremely negative effect – not just on European unity but also on regulatory democracy and even on the central banking system. It might even signal the beginning of the end of the modern conspiracy to rule the world.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fear, Inc.: America's Islamophobia Network | The Nation

Fear, Inc.: America's Islamophobia Network | The Nation

Day of the Disappeared

On August 30, Amnesty International will observe the International Day of the Disappeared. We call on governments around the world to disclose the status of individuals or groups who have been "disappeared" or taken for political, social or other reasons violating human rights. Those found to be involved in their disappearance must be brought to justice.

Take action on behalf of the Day of the Disappeared cases below or learn about other disappeared cases.
Dr. Ibni O.M. Saleh
Mathematics professor, former government minister, and leader of the Party for Liberation and Development (PLD), Chad's major democratic opposition party

Dr. Ibni O.M. Saleh was abducted from home on February 3, 2008 by Chadian security forces and is feared dead. The government has not said where he was taken. He may have been gravely abused during detention. The Chadian authorities must disclose his location and medical condition to his family and lawyer. The investigation into his disappearance should be allowed to proceed without further delay.

Take Action: Investigate the disappearance of distinguished professor Dr. Ibni Saleh

Gao Zhisheng
Human rights lawyer

Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has taken on cases of human rights defenders, Falun Gong practitioners and persons facing the death penalty. In December 2006, he was given a suspended sentence of three years in prison for "inciting subversion." Gao was placed under house arrest until February 2009 when he was detained again, apparently because of his outspoken critiques of the human rights situation in China. He briefly resurfaced in April 2010, but has disappeared again since then. Chinese authorities maintain they do not know his whereabouts. Gao reportedly has been harassed, beaten and tortured while under surveillance or in detention.

Take Action: Investigate the disappearance of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng

Sanjiv Kumar Karna

Sanjiv Kumar Karna was picnicking with friends on Oct. 8, 2003 when he and ten others were arrested by security force personnel. They were reportedly brutally beaten. Six were subsequently released but Sanjiv and four others have not been heard of since. Police investigations into the disappearance of these five students have not been made public, nor has anyone been held accountable. Impunity continues in Nepal for the thousands of human rights abuses that were committed during Nepal's civil war (1996-2006), and to date, not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice before a civilian court.

Take Action: Investigate the disappearance of student Sanjiv Kumar Karna

North Korea
Yodok political prison camp

Yodok is one of six known political prison camps in North Korea. Men, women and children in the camp face forced hard labor, inadequate food, beatings, a lack of medical care and unhygienic living conditions. At least 50,000 are held there, without charge or trial or access to relatives. Those detained include those perceived to have performed poorly on the job, people who criticize the regime or the ruling family, and anyone suspected of engaging in "anti-government" activities, including listening to unauthorized TV or radio broadcasts. Family members of those suspected of crimes are also sent to Yodok. Infants born in Yodok automatically become inmates; if they are born in the "Total Control Zone," they will be there for life.

Take Action: Urge North Korean officials to acknowledge the existence of Yodok prison camp

Sri Lanka
Prageeth Eknaligoda
Journalist and cartoonist

Prageeth Eknaligoda was disappeared on January 24, 2010, shortly after leaving work. A few days before, he had published an article supporting the opposition presidential candidate. Local residents told the Sri Lankan press that they had seen a white van without number plates close to his house around the time of his disappearance. In the days leading up to his disappearance he had told a close friend that he believed he was being followed. Since 2006, at least 15 media workers have been killed in Sri Lanka, with no one held accountable for these murders.

Take Action: Investigate the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda

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Noda, likening himself to loach fish, says charisma isn't everything


Japan’s next prime minister admits he is no Mr Charisma—Yoshihiko Noda likens himself to a marine bottom-feeder rather than a glittering goldfish. But that, he says, is his appeal.

The 54-year-old, who as finance minister has kept to plodding statements so as not to spook financial markets, stresses his credentials as a responsible, moderate and middle-of-the road leader at a time of national crisis.

When he announced his candidacy in an essay in a conservative magazine this month, Noda said: “I am an ordinary man. I do not have large financial resources… I am not stylish and my looks are not my selling point.”

On Monday, making his final pitch for the leadership of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, he used the fish metaphor, humbly telling his fellow DPJ lawmakers: “I am a loach. I can’t be a goldfish.”

The cabinet of outgoing premier Naoto Kan is expected to resign en masse in the morning, while Noda must start picking candidates for his new ministerial line-up, expected to be named in the coming days.

Noda, who on Monday beat four rivals in the center-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ballot to become its new president, is expected to be named premier in the afternoon by the Diet legislature.

In comments on the day of his victory, Noda promised a moderate leadership style that would seek to unite the divided party and engage the opposition.

He has said he is open to the idea of a grand coalition with the conservative opposition Liberal Democratic Party, who were ousted in a landslide two years ago but who can block bills in the upper house.

Noda faces several pressing challenges.

As finance minister since June last year, the fiscal conservative steered the world’s third-largest economy as it suffered the effects of the global financial crisis and Japan’s March 11 triple calamity.

He promoted raising taxes rather than borrowing more money to pay for the massive quake and nuclear disaster relief and to reduce a public debt that has ballooned to twice the size of the economy.

Noda also battled to bring down Japan’s strong yen, which has soared to post-war highs as a safe haven currency amid global market turmoil, hurting Japan’s exporters and threatening a gradual post-quake recovery.

On the question of nuclear power, which his predecessor Kan wanted to phase out following the Fukushima disaster, Noda has said that currently shut-down reactors should be restarted once they are deemed safe.

On the foreign policy front, like most of his political peers in Japan, Noda has said he supports a strong U.S. security alliance and has voiced concern about rising military spending by Asian rival China.

Noda weeks ago angered Japan’s neighbors, especially South Korea, with comments defending class-A war criminals who are among dead soldiers honored at Tokyo’s Yasukuni shrine, a long-time flashpoint for East Asian relations.

Japan’s chronic revolving-door leadership, due in part to bitter factional infighting and a busy electoral calendar, is widely seen as muddying the DPJ’s policy goals and weakening the country’s position on the world stage.

Kan, the outgoing premier, lasted in office just 15 months. Although his anti-nuclear stance tapped into broader public sentiment, his leadership style otherwise disappointed the electorate.

His support ratings had plunged from a one-time high of about 65% to around 15% before he announced last week he would bow out.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Secretary general of Jatiyo Party returned from Umrah , Saudia Arabia

Former Deputy Attorney General Succumbs To Police Torture

Supreme Court bar association leader and former deputy attorney general Mamtaj Uddin Ahmed, widely reported in the media as M.U. Ahmed who was allegedly tortured after being arrested on 11 August and fell terminally ill afterwards, has died at Square Hospital in police custody Friday afternoon.

His widow, Selina Ahmed, has filed a case against home minister Advocate Sahara Khatun, attorney general Mahbubey Alam, home secretary, Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Benazir Ahmed, a deputy commissioner of the Dhaka police's detective branch and Shahbagh thana officer-in-charge on charge of killing of the former deputy attorney general.

Lawyers led by Supreme Court Bar Association president Khandker Mahbub Hossain later on the day submitted the first information report (FIR), on behalf of the deceased's widow at about 10:30pm. The FIR was issued at Ramna thana.

It has been told from Ramna thana that the complaint was received but decision yet not came on whether it would be recorded as a case or a general diary. A Ramna thana official said the officer-in-charge (OC) was not at office, causing the decision to fall under pendency.

Ramna thana (OC) is also an accused in the complaint.

Khandker Mahbub said, 'Selina Ahmed filed a case on murder charge. We have submitted the FIR and the police have given us a copy after receiving it.'

Selina filed the FIR accusing the home minister, attorney general and four others of killing her husband in a planned way, Mahbub said adding, 'Now she wants justice.'

As the news spread, several hundred lawyers and activists of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party went out on demonstrations in front of Square Hospital and on the Supreme Court premises describing his death in custody as a 'planned murder.'

The leader of the opposition, Khaleda Zia, also BNP chairperson, senior party leaders and senior Supreme Court lawyers condemned MU Ahmed's death in custody and called it a 'premeditated murder'.

The angry protesters also chased attorney general Mahbubey Alam when he went to the hospital after hearing the news. They jeered at him shouting 'killer'. Large contingents of police in riot gear were deployed inside the hospital after he went in.

The BNP has announced countrywide demonstrations wearing black badges for today.

Sunderban Voting for Sheikh Hasina & Man Maham Singh

Bangladesh Wonders Promotion Foundation
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