Myanmar reaffirms two-child rule for Rohingya Muslims: Official

Authorities in Myanmar’s strife-torn Rakhine state said Sunday they had reaffirmed a longstanding ban on Rohingya Muslims having more than two children, in a rare acknowledgement of the controversial rule.

The junta-era policy, described by activists as “abhorrent”, has been reaffirmed in two townships, according to Win Myaing, spokesperson for the Rakhine government, in the wake of deadly religious unrest last year.

“Because the birth rate is so high in that area, a district order was imposed a long time ago to enforce monogamy and not to have more than two children. It was approved again (last week),” he said.

He said the policy had previously been put on hold because of fears over “conflicts among communities” in the state, where up to 140,000 people – mainly Rohingya Muslims – were displaced in two waves of sectarian unrest between Buddhists and Muslims last year.

via Myanmar reaffirms two-child rule for Rohingya Muslims: Official.

And the West is saying business as usual will be OK with Burma? Such cultural terrorism is as unthinkable as their suppression of full freedoms in Burma.

Migrant jobs squeeze alarms UK fruit farmers | Business | The Observer

The rise of Ukip is having unexpected consequences for Britain’s countryside. Farmers fear that the political upstart’s success has the government running scared on immigration, with the result that foreign workers could soon be absent from Britain’s fields.

“We can see there’s a toxic mix brewing,” says Alastair Brooks, who employs 200 temporary foreign workers to pick strawberries and raspberries at Langdon Manor Farm in Faversham, Kent. “People have understandable concerns about immigration, but temporary migrant workers have got tied up in the debate,” he said.

Brooks has 130 acres of his farm devoted to fruit. Without foreign workers, he says, he will have to cut production. Many other farmers are in a similar position, says the National Farmers Union, because they fear that without foreign workers they will not have the staff to do the job.

It is not an idle concern. A shortage of foreign workers in 2007 and 2008 resulted in crops being left unharvested. Since then, the seasonal agricultural workers’ scheme (Saws), which supplies about a third of the sector’s temporary labour, has been open only to Romanians and Bulgarians. However, at the end of this year, both countries’ citizens will gain full access to the EU job market. There are concerns that many of the 21,500 on the Saws scheme – which was established after the iron curtain came down to help the families of Polish and Czech servicemen unable to return home – will look for permanent jobs rather than seasonal work.

However, Brooks questions whether many will even come to the UK once the restrictions are lifted, given that their countries are closer to a booming Germany mode

via Migrant jobs squeeze alarms UK fruit farmers | Business | The Observer.

The Conclusion of Dahye’s Missiles: Tripoli Is Not a Lebanese City

I cannot imagine that the art of self-delusion has reached such levels in Lebanon that the north of the country has left in a manner similar to the south some years ago. The world and the people of all Lebanon – need one Lebanon!

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

2 missiles fell in Beirut today, targeting Hezbollah’s stronghold Dahyeh. Nobody knows why the missiles were fired.
They could be to serve as further proof for the need to extend parliament’s mandate. They could be to show that Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria is not inhumane but very needed.
They could have a multitude of reasons. But I don’t really care.

Minutes after Dahyeh was hit with the two missiles, the level of panic rose to enormous levels. Lebanese media was all over it with live coverage from the sites of the missile launch, conspiracy theories along the lines of المؤامرة على سوريا were being thrown around, to name a few.

Our minister of interior Marwan Charbel was the first Lebanese official to visit the site in question. More will soon follow because can you imagine them not visiting an area that was just targeted with two missiles?

Guess again.


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Chinese Tourist Damages 3000-Year-Old Temple in Luxor

Sigh… Wish Egyptian government was willing and able to better protect its share of the world’s treasures.

Egyptian Streets

A Chinese tourist damaged a 3,000-year-old site in Luxor causing outrage in China and Egypt after photographs taken by an embarrassed Chinese tourist were publicly shared on Chinese social media.

The tourist carved “Ding Jinhao was here,” while visiting Luxor in Egypt. Chinese social media and newspapers were quick to condemn and identify the offender, and the incident has attracted widespread criticism in China with headlines such as “China’s Tourist Shame.” The vandalist has reportedly been identified by Chinese internet users as a 15-year-old  middle-school student from Nanjing.

Shortly after the outrage, Ding Jinhao’s parents issued a statement to Chinese media.

“We want to apologize to the people of Egypt and to people across China,” said Ding’s mother.

According to Chinese bloggers, several tourists attempted to remove the markings themselves, resulting in the white smudge that appears in the photograph above.

In recent statements to the media, The Ministry of…

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Lebanon Mountain Trail inspires youth

Way too many dead birds or really bad shots for so many shotgun shells in one place.

Leelouz Café

Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT) is a 440km long hiking trail connecting Lebanon’s northern villages by its most southern ones. The idea was born many years ago, and thousands of people have already marked their steps on that enchanting trail.

To maintain a clean and attractive trail, the LMT organizes punctual events where people, young and old, gather and clean up part of the trail.

Few weeks ago, a Lebanese school called Melkart participated with one of their classes in cleaning up part of the trail in Baskinta area (part 15 on the map) from its thousand empty gun shells, gathering no less than 50 bags of shells in only two hours! Indeed a wonderful achievement, making young people aware of the disastrous state of neglect in some places, and the continuous effort that it entitles to sustain their country with a minimum of cleanness.

LMTA - Melkart 1 2013 _DSC7059 Jpeg for webLMTA - Melkart 1 2013 _DSC7084 Jpeg for webLMTA - Melkart 1 2013 _DSC7089 Jpeg for webLMTA - Melkart 1 2013 _DSC7111 Jpeg for webLMTA - Melkart 1 2013 _DSC7116 Jpeg for webLMTA - Melkart 1 2013 _DSC7123 Jpeg for webLMTA - Melkart 1 2013 _DSC7146 Jpeg for webLMTA - Melkart 1 2013 _DSC7168 Jpeg for web

Educating kids, creating awareness around the…

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