Today I was spat on because I looked different. | Úna-Minh Kavanagh

And you’re a fucking chink!’

That’s how I was greeted today while hovering outside a hotel in Dublin City Centre while I waited for a friend. The group went by laughing, I exclaimed an exasperated ‘oh fuck off…’, one of the young boys then grabbed my face and shook it, I was spat on.

This was the first time I had received a physical racial assault – I was shook. I’m 21 and had become slightly desensitized to all the racial slurs I was thrown on a regular basis, but this was frightening. I felt humiliated taking the spit out of my hair and sadly no one came to my aid, or asked it I was ok, even on this bustling street.

I met with my friend and contemplated what had actually happened. The more I thought about it the more I got the courage to act. This was the time to do something, anything, to tackle the closemindedness of a nation who prided themselves on being ‘welcoming.’ There and then it truly was a lie.

I gathered my thoughts, posted my outrage online and then reported it to the Gardaí. The experience was horrible and terrifying but I am not a coward.

These kids were in their teens. What these boys did was unacceptable and foolish.

I shouldn’t need to hide or feel scared in my own country. Racism. Hate. How dare anyone think that this disgusting behaviour is ok?

Do I hate them? Absolutely not. I pity them and I pity their parents who have no idea of richness a multicultural society can bring. I feel sorry for them. Oh and by the way, I’m Irish.

via Today I was spat on because I looked different. | Úna-Minh Kavanagh.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Condemns Attack On School In Gaza – Look to the Stars

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he is “appalled” by the news of an attack on a United Nations-run school in Gaza where hundreds of people had taken refuge from the ongoing hostilities, adding that the incident underscores the need to stop all fighting immediately.

“Many have been killed – including women and children, as well as UN staff,” Mr. Ban said in statement issued in Erbil, Iraq, where he is currently on an official visit. “Circumstances are still unclear. I strongly condemn this act.”

Media reports say at least 15 people died in the attack on the school in Beit Hanoun, which was run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). More than 100,000 Gazans – 5 per cent of the total population – have sought refuge in UNRWA facilities since the conflict began over two weeks ago.

Mr. Ban expressed his profound condolences to the families of the victims and those of the many hundreds of innocent Gazans who have tragically been killed as a result of what he described as “the massive Israeli assault.”

The UN chief, who has been in the region this week to express solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians and to help them end the current cycle of violence, again stressed to all sides that they must abide by their international obligations to respect the sanctity of civilian life and the inviolability of UN premises, and to honour their obligations to humanitarian workers.

“Today’s attack underscores the imperative for the killing to stop – and to stop now,” Mr. Ban declared.

via Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Condemns Attack On School In Gaza – Look to the Stars.

empty shoes | Palestine Rose

Oh what will you wear for Eid,

My darling young one,

Oh what will you wear for Eid,

My darling young one?

I’ll wear my burial shroud

In my Grave.

I Miss You

Mother, please don’t be afraid

For me, my journey cut short

By Israeli Demons’ so Loud,—

Their rockets went past clouds

In the sky, a Space

Satellite Saw Gaza Ablaze.

I Miss You

Mother, please don’t be afraid

For me, my journey cut short

By Israeli Demons’ so Loud,—

I’m Praying for Gaza, my head bowed.

In Paradise, with Allah, who Hears

Every Prayer, He wiped away all of my Tears.

via empty shoes | Palestine Rose.

Isis denies ordering that all girls in Mosul undergo FGM | World | The Guardian

Was it spin? No matter now – it would be difficult for them to do secretly now! There are no secrets anymore guys.

Ahmed Obaydi, a spokesman for Mosul police, told BasNews: “Baghdadi’s decision to have all women circumcised is, as he claims, to prevent immorality and promote Islamic attitudes among Muslims. The decision was made by Baghdadi as a ‘gift’ for people in Mosul.” But Mohammed, a local journalist, told the Guardian he knew no one who had been told by Isis that their female relatives should undergo FGM. “This is mainly media hype with no substance,” he said.

Isis supporters quickly dismissed the story as a hoax. “If Isis responds to every lie and rumour they will not be able to control all these areas you hear about,” tweeted one. “Please ask UN to prove their claims before you hear from us.” The same Twitter account, whose name is derived from an Arabic word meaning “monster”, contains multiple images of the decapitated heads of Syrian soldiers taken in the Raqqa areas near the Iraqi border.

According to the Iraqi paper al-Mustaqbal, which also reported on the alleged fatwa earlier this week, the practice of FGM is alien to Iraqi society except the Kurdish provinces. Worldwide, more than 130 million girls and women have undergone FGM.

The FGM story broke against a background of wider concern about the situation in Mosul, whose Christian community has been forced to flee under threat of forced conversion or execution by jihadists who have turned churches into mosques and confiscated property.

Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has lambasted Isis for its “criminality and terrorism”. Last weekend Isis gave the city’s Christians a stark choice: convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, or face death.

via Isis denies ordering that all girls in Mosul undergo FGM | World | The Guardian.

Interview with Former Israeli Security Chief Yuval Diskin – SPIEGEL ONLINE

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Yuval Diskin, former director of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, speaks of the current clash between Israel and the Palestinians, what must be done to achieve peace and the lack of leadership in the Middle East.

via Interview with Former Israeli Security Chief Yuval Diskin – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Organic carob powder recalled nationwide over salmonella | OregonLive.com

A California company is recalling organic carob powder potentially contaminated with salmonella that was distributed nationwide.

Earth Circle Organics, a company based in Grass Valley, is pulling a number of lots of its Organic Carob Powder with expiration dates of June 5, 2015. The powder was sold to distributors and retail outlets in the United States and Canada.

via Organic carob powder recalled nationwide over salmonella | OregonLive.com.

In West Bank, Hamas Is Hailed for Its Fight Against Israel – NYTimes.com

The strangest idea that arises in such murky times – did Hamas and Israel right wing plan this together to ensure Hamas would again be popular and that ruling right wing party in power in Israel also gain in popularity? So both get to stay in power and get what they want – no peace that will ensure that they will have a good chance of staying in power? Naw, couldn’t be Middle East version of Wag the Tail – could it? Told you it was strange idea.

Stop the fighting and agree to cease fire and pursue peace – please. That’s not strange, it’s just what is needed by the children of Palestine and Israel.

AL AMARI REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank — Maher al-Naden, a street cleaner, said he had stopped buying Tapuzina, a popular Israeli orange-flavored drink, and Israeli dairy products.

“This is the least we can do,” he said this week, expressing frustration as a West Bank Palestinian who is essentially a spectator of the war in Gaza. Across the alley from where he stood, in this teeming refugee camp abutting Ramallah, a small Internet cafe called Facebook bore a new-looking sign with a silhouette of a masked, armed fighter.

via In West Bank, Hamas Is Hailed for Its Fight Against Israel – NYTimes.com.

Sara Lee Recalls 41 Tons of Smoked Sausage

{So, am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that Sara Lee is making smoked sausage and pumping it up with soy to save money on pork? – don’t care about those paleo-dieters who might be allergic to soy!?!}

Sara Lee Foodservice in New London, Wisconsin, is recalling 41 tons of smoked sausage due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the product was made with an ingredient called hydrolyzed soy protein, a known allergen that wasn’t listed on the label.

The product is called “Smoked Sausage Rope.” It’s sold in 10-pound cases containing two 5-pound packages.

The sausage was sent to distribution centers to be shipped to institutional users across the country. It’s not available in grocery stores or sold directly to consumers.

via Sara Lee Recalls 41 Tons of Smoked Sausage.

Israeli fire hits UN school in Gaza, killing 15 | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

Gaza health officials say the death toll from an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip has risen to at least 15.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra says the 15 were among hundreds of people seeking shelter in the school in Beit Hanoun from heavy fighting in the area. At least 150 people were injured.

Thursday’s strike is the fourth time a U.N. facility has been hit in fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas. But it’s the first time casualties have been reported.

via Israeli fire hits UN school in Gaza, killing 15 | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR.