Words And Pictures
[B]oth forces said they complied with guidelines set down by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).Doesn't that reassure you?
Acpo's policy document states Tasers will "only be deployed alongside conventional firearms".
But an Acpo spokeswoman said: "We do think they can be a useful tool in a non-firearms situation."
Firstly, a new site supporting the workers sacked by catering company Gate Gourmet.See you all next week!
Secondly, some reflections on Americans responding to climate change.
The Government has now exceeded the time directed by the Court for their response to the Chagossians’ case which is based on International law and Human Rights law. They were given twenty eight days which expired on July 21st. They then asked for the end of July, which was agreed by the solicitors. Then they said they could do nothing until September 30th, despite the Court order. Is procrastination the name of the game?There doesn't seem much more to add. So I'll leave it there. More as I hear about it
A simple request for information, made by this Association, to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which should have been answered on August 10th has been delayed, citing many reasons including :"Section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act. This states that information is exempt from disclosure under the Act if its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice:There was no b) [In case anyone's interested it's "relations between the United Kingdom and any international organisation or international court" - Dk]a) relations between the UK and any other state.
c) the interests of the UK abroad, or
d) the promotion or protection by the UK of its interests abroad."
This extract begs several questions :a) what about relations between the UK and its own citizens – the Chagossians?
c) how does it help the UK abroad (and its image abroad) to trample on the Human Rights of its own people?
d) Surely the promotion or protection by the UK of its interests abroad does not include exiling them illegally from their own land and leaving them in a destitute state?
In response, the residents blocked the village's main road for several hours on 20 August, holding placards reading: "Don't demolish an old house before building a new one." It is a phrase familiar to the country's authoritarian leader, Islam Karimov. He uses the expression often during speeches, and has also used it as the title of one of his numerous books.There are also concerns that the village is of considerable historical and architechtural significance. Residents and experts are worried that this may be threatened. Although the highway extension will not affect the historical part of the village Toshpulat Rakhmatullaev, an independent journalist and historian who lives in Bogimaydon, believes that such an intrusion should never have been allowed so close to a place of such value.
In a voice mail message left with RFE/RL's Tashkent bureau, a protester described the scene: "Several people who suffered a lot and were fed up took to the streets to say their houses were to be demolished. We blocked the road and were holding placards."
Local police forces quickly blocked the area of the market where the protests took place. A BBC correspondent who was trying to get to the site was detained and held by police for several hours.Again this incident doesn't seem to have received coverage on the BBC site, despite apparent harrasment of their reporter (if this was also Mustakhkam Tangierova, mentioned above, you'd have to conclude she wasn't having a very good day).
Eyewitnesses told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service the number of protesters may have risen as high as several hundred people.
Anarcha-feminists put a strong emphasis on the importance of patriachy, arguing that all forms of hierachy can be traced back to man's domination over woman. Although associated with the 1960s, the movement has its roots in the theories of Emma Goldman and Voltarine DeCleyre.Apologies to the non-anarchists amongst you.Anarcha-Feminist - 70%
Anarcho-Communist - 60%
Anarcho-Primitivist - 55%
Anarcho-Syndicalist - 45%
Anarcho-Capitalist - 15%
Christian Anarchist - 5%
Around Kabkabiya, the ruins of destroyed villages lie scattered. They appear deserted, but a closer look reveals that several small, nomadic communities of Arab origin still eke out a living in the region.The article suggests that the conflict has done very serious damage to relations between different groups in the region, which may prove difficult to repair:
The majority consider themselves members of the Riziegat ethnic community - one of the larger groups of Arab pastoralists in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.
Amongst the Riziegat are a number of clan-based communities such as the Mahadia, Maharia, and Mahami. These are composed of families. When the nomads are on the move, a group of close families usually travel together under the leadership of a clan head.
The nomads, who aid workers say are in their thousands, have largely been unnoticed by the international community, and Darfur's other residents often equate them with the notorious "Janjawid" - the government allied militia who have been accused of terrorising the region's non-Arab tribes.
The nomads live with the constant fear of being attacked by the rebels of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), who could mistake them for the Janjawid.
"We used to mix with other groups," [Wave Abdallah, a chief from the Maharia community] said. "There was understanding and cooperation and there was no fear - even in school our children were mixed together.It describes the traditional relationship between villages and the nomads as "symbiotic." Nomads had once been able to go to villages when in need of food or assistance from doctors, but many villagers have now been emptied by the Janjawid. One positive sign is that where the nomads animals were being looted on a daily basis prior to the arrival of African Union troops, this has now reduced considerably.
"Now, the whole area is divided into Arab and non-Arab [African] groups; into so-called Janjawid and rebels. And because the rebels and the nomads are both in the field, the nomads suffer," he added.
US officials remain interested in maintaining both a civilian and military presence in Uzbekistan. According to a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity, Washington would like to secure a continuation of over-flight rights. American authorities also deem an on-the-ground presence to be vital for ongoing efforts to contain the growth of Islamic radicalism in the Ferghana Valley, and to stem the trafficking of narcotics grown in Afghanistan.In itself this decision to reach out to "reformists" (the reason for the quotation marks will hopefully become clear) should not be all that surprising. The US's alliance with Karimov was never driven by any kind of ideological affinity, beyond a wish to crush Islamic extremist groups. Rather both sides were driven by considerations of what was in their interests. This hasn't changed. All that's different now is that Karimov's decided he's better off playing with the Russians and, as a result, Bush has had to step-up the search for a new friend in the country, a concern given the strategic import of the region. Expect any new ally to be trumpeted as a great democrat, even if - as the article seems to imply is likely - their actually involved in the Karimov regime and implemented in its crimes (cf Iyad Allawi). Ordinary Uzbeks, of course, remain unpeople in all of this.
While still interested in engaging the Karimov administration on a variety of issues, some Washington analysts expect the State Department to reach out to a wide variety of political actors in Uzbekistan -- including those perceived to be pragmatists within the Karimov Administration, as well as to moderate Muslim elements. The United States, analysts say, would consider working with Uzbeks who would potentially pursue a reform course and would be willing to cooperate with the United States on matters of common interest, including the fights against terrorism and Islamic radicalism.
Despite being widely deployed, there has been no rigorous, independent and impartial study into the use and effects of tasers, particularly in the case of people suffering from heart disease, or under the influence of drugs.There are suggestions, however, that the Taser is even more lethal when used against people under the influence of drugs that induce tachycardia (an abnormally rapid heart rate), such as crack and cocaine. This, as you may have realised, is a potential problem given the increased risk that such people will find themselves in a confrontation with the police.
And there seems to be far more where that came from.
- a female driver of a stolen vehicle being followed by police who, after she crashed the car and fled on foot and was caught by officers, "would not comply with verbal commands and made a move towards her waistband".
- A trespassing suspect who was tasered when he "resisted being handcuffed".
- a female suspect who had broken into her grandfather’s apartment and was tasered when she "attempted to walk away from the officer" and "pulled away" when he tried to stop her. The taser was applied five additional times before other officers arrived on the scene.
- a burglary suspect hiding in an attic when he "refused to comply with commands".
- a suspect who, stopped for driving with a suspended license, ran away from police.
- an autistic teenager after he assaulted his mother and wrestled an officer to the ground.
- a man standing on the sidewalk yelling and screaming at the sky. He was threatened with the taser if he did not comply with police commands to be quiet. He refused to comply and the taser was then deployed. The taser was effective but "as the subject began to get up, the taser was cycled a second time".
- A thirteen-year-old girl was tasered in a public library after she threw a book at someone and was "yelling obscenities". The case summary states: "The juvenile continued to be verbally disruptive and resisted when officers attempted to place her under arrest. The Taser was displayed and threatened. The juvenile continued to resist by curling into a ball. As the juvenile was preparing to kick at the officer, she was touch-stunned in the middle of her back".
"Normally we would storm a house killing everyone inside, whereas here we have to storm the house and keep everyone alive," said one commander. "It’s not an easy job." (via)Insert your own comment about the difference between the perceived value of Arab and Israeli life.
the Gordian knot of Iraq, insofar as political violence is concerned, is composed of three distinct strands: the American occupation and the resistance to that; the burgeoning sectarian conflict between Sunni Arab, Shi'a Arab, and Kurd; and the actions of a small number of fanatical extremist Sunnis who target all Shi'a as infidels and collaborators.He backs up his case by pointing to an article from Sunday's Washington Post (also picked up over at the Tomb):
Ordinarily, that third group, representing only a handful of fanatics, would not loom particularly large in the Iraqi polity. It is the peculiar dynamics of war, foreign-imposed anarchy, and easy availability of high explosives that gives this group an effect out of all proportion to its constituency; it has killed 2700 Iraqis in the last three months and disrupted life immeasurably.
What few outside the antiwar movement seem to realize, and what elite dissidents must be told, is that the U.S. presence is the very factor that takes these three strands and tangles them into the seemingly indecipherable knot that is Iraq today.
...In Ramadi, a town much like Fallujah, 3,000 Shiites live among about 200,000 Sunnis. Recently, Zarqawi followers posted warnings that all Shi'a had to leave within 48 hours or suffer the consequences. Members of the Dulaym, the largest clan in the province and a key source of resistance to the U.S. military, established protective cordons around Shiite homes and the Jaish-i-Mohammed, a resistance group, engaged in pitched battles with Zarqawi followers, killing at least five.Lots to think about. Read it in full.
They also put out statements saying Zarqawi had strayed "from the line of true resistance against occupation."
This kind of divergence must be encouraged. But it is and will remain very rare under occupation. Indeed, this same Jaish-i-Mohammed was present back in June for negotiations with the U.S. military. When the various groups present were asked to sever ties with Zarqawi, their response was, "we will never abandon any Muslim who has come to our country to help us defend it." This is the logic that will continue to animate most of the resistance, even as it deplores the killing of Iraqis by small groups.
THE catering company at the centre of the travel chaos at Heathrow considered provoking strikes last year so staff could be replaced with cheaper labour, a leaked memo revealed last night.Critics have been quick to point out that this plan bears more than a passing resemblance to events last week which saw the company dismiss 800 staff who had taken unofficial action. Similarly The Mirror, who originally obtained the leaked memo, note that the document had suggested that most of the new drivers be brought in from Poland, as indeed were all the drivers drafted in last week to replace staff.
A secret internal briefing presented to bosses at Gate Gourmet, British Airways’ catering company, reads: “Recruit, train and security check drivers.
“Announce intention to trade union, provoking unofficial industrial action from staff. Dismiss current workforce. Replace with new staff.”
The draft document set out a 15-week timetable for goading employees into striking so that they could be replaced with lower-paid Eastern European labour trained in secret.
Scientists have adapted the cutting-edge medical technique of tissue engineering, where individual cells are multiplied into whole tissues, and applied them to food production. "With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply," said Jason Matheny, an agricultural scientist at the University of Maryland.The report notes that this would be more environmentally friendly than farm-reared meat and could be tailored to be healthier by increasing its nutrient content and screening for diseases. Experiments for NASA have apparently already yielded morsels of edible fish, although no one has as yet eaten any of it.
"Scientists believe that while tissue engineering is advanced enough to grow bland, homogeneous meat, tasty and textured cuts will have to wait."The question then arises whether anybody would eat the stuff. Nella notes, that "since the fact that an animal cell is used at the start of the process makes it not vegan." Whether vegetarians will do so depends on why they gave up meat. Kerry Bennett, of the Vegetarian Society, notes, "It won't appeal to someone who gave up meat because they think it's morally wrong to eat flesh or someone who doesn't want to eat anything unnatural." Which then brings us onto meat-eaters. Is this new development likely to convince them to give up old-fashioned farm-reared meat?
"Right now, it would be possible to produce something like spam at an incredibly high cost, but the know-how to grow something that has structure, such as a steak, is a long way off," said Mr Matheny.
With her family's stocks of millet long gone, Rachida Abdou tied her shrunken baby girl to her back and grabbed the emaciated hand of her 7-year-old son. Together, they set out in search of food, or for somebody who might help.The reason for this horrific situation?
On the fifth day of their journey, they stumbled into Maradi, a trading center. There, Abdou recounted, they saw something that they hadn't encountered in a very long time: food. There were sacks of rice, bags of peanuts and baskets of millet in the bustling markets. There was enough food -- here in the epicenter of a major hunger crisis -- to feed her family and thousands like it, if only they had the cash.
"What can you do?" said Abdou, a tall woman of about 30 with dark, piercing eyes. She sounded frustrated, and a bit desperate. "The price of millet is very high."
In a country adopting free market policies, the suffering caused by a poor harvest has been dramatically compounded by a surge in food prices and, many people here suspect, profiteering by a burgeoning community of traders, who in recent years have been freed from government price controls and other mechanisms that once balanced market forces.Clearly traders must take some blame for the situation, benefiting at the expense of their less fortunate fellow citizens, but what of the Nigerien government?
At the same time, Nigeriens said, the tradition of sharing in their society is giving way to sharper, more selfish attitudes as Niger, one of the world's poorest countries, reaches for a more materialistic, Westernized future. That is especially true here, along the southern border with Nigeria, where an aggressive entrepreneurial culture has created the economic powerhouse of West Africa.
"There are people who are making profit out of this whole situation," said Abdoulkader Mamane Idi, a local radio journalist. "The link of brotherhood and solidarity has been broken."
A government spokesman, Ben Omar Mohamed, said from Niamey that the government has provided 42,000 tons of free and subsidized food to ease hunger. In Maradi, however, there is little evidence of official food distribution.Read over that last line again and remember that it is being said in the face of a humanitarian catastrophe in which 3.6 million people may be facing starvation. Are these people to be sacrificed on the altar of the free market? Are we prepared to standby and let that happen? I hope not; as Zeynep Toufe notes, the situation in Niger raises some very important questions.
Longer-term economic policies may be working against a solution, according to some observers. In 1993, the government scrapped price controls at the urging of the World Bank and stopped heavy-handed interventions in grain markets by an import-export agency.
Mohamed acknowledged that prices have risen sharply but said the government was attempting to address the problem. "Absolutely, traders are making money because the demand is very high," he said. "We let the market determine the price."
Dedication – it is not to be found in any management training manual, but it is in our employees blood. Gate Gourmet people thrive on pace and on meeting tough demands. Explore our people section in order to learn what really is behind our most valuable resources – our employees.2) Gate Gourmet's comments to Tony Woodley, Transport and General Workers Union general secretary, about those self same workers:
The company has told us that "this is a community we cannot work with".Background here. Links via Dead Men Left and the Libcom.org forums.
Dr. Bakhtiar Babadjanov, a Tashkent-based political scientist, suggested Hizb-an-Nusra [a HUT splinter group - Dk] leaders believe that non-violent tactics will never be sufficient to bring about the collapse of Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s administration.This hardly looks like a model we should wish to emulate.
Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s main tactic of distributing leaflets caused the arrest of "a significant proportion of Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s younger membership," Babadjanov wrote. As a result, the Hizb-an-Nusra leaders decided it "was time for more radical efforts."
Home Office Minister Hazel Blears today backed down from her controversial proposed policy of "re-branding" British Muslims, claiming that she had been misunderstood.The rest here. (Via here.)
"I never mentioned "'re-branding'" she said. "What I said was 'branding'. We're going to brand British Muslims."
We've all got to be as British as Carry On films and scotch eggs and falling over on the beach while trying to change into your swimming trunks with a towel on. We should all feel the same mysterious pang at the sight of the Queen. We do indeed need to inculcate this Britishness, especially into young Muslims, and the problem is how.Personally, I think the Carry On films are overrated and as a vegetarian I don't eat scotch eggs. As for Johnson's mysterious pangs... Well, whatever arousal he may experience at the sight of Queeny is, of course, his own business, but she doesn't do anything for me. All I feel when I see her is a barely repressed class-hatred, but I doubt that's what he's getting at. Does this mean I'm not British?
Americans all understand instinctively that they are equal citizens of the greatest country on earth, and they all have an equal chance of rising to the top of that country.They also understand that it helps if you're not black, you're not born into the wrong family and you're daddy's already rich and powerful. Johnson's understanding of America, it would appear, is as grounded in reality as his take on "Britishness".
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