All posts by nedhamson

Activist, writer, researcher, addicted to sharing information and facts.

Essam el-Erian: Mr.Conspiracy

To come up with so many fanciful thoughts – he must have a team of writers as other comedians do – you think?

Nervana

Erian photo

(Photo: Reuters)

In a contrast to the formal statement made by the Muslim Brotherhood condemning the Boston bombing, Essam el-Erian, the vice chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, sparked widespread controversy when he posted a long comment on Facebook, later translated into English, in which he connected the twin blasts in Boston to an alleged anti-Muslim conspiracy that spans the globe. He also linked the bombings to the French military action in Mali, the conflict in Syria, and what he described as the “faltering” peace process between Turkey and the rebels in the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).  He then asked, “Who planted Islamophobia through research, the press, and the media? …Who funded the violence?” The Arab and Muslim worlds have a long history of indulging in conspiracy theories theories, most of which revolve around the West, Israel, and Zionism plotting against the Arabs. Islamist movements including the…

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In memory of Clement Attlee RIP – the greatest British Prime Minister of all time

Spot on, as they say!

Pride's Purge

Clement Richard Attlee was Deputy British Prime Minister during the war years and British Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951.

During that time he created the NHS, welfare services for deprived children, support and financial help for the elderly and the disabled, he introduced the right to a free secondary education, sickness and child benefit, he raised pensions to a liveable level, built large numbers of affordable housing for low-income families and built numerous new towns for working people.

Clement Attlee also oversaw improvements in survival rates for infants and increased life expectancy for the elderly, introduced equality in law for married women, eradicated the abject destitution which existed in the 1930s across large parts of the country and reduced the acute social deprivation which previously existed in the poorest rural and urban areas.

Prime Minister Attlee introduced specific legislation to improve the working conditions of seafarers, police officers, fire fighters, shop workers, dock workers, miners (including…

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Drones could replace peacekeepers in Ivory Coast | World news | The Guardian

Drones could replace peacekeepers in Ivory Coast | World news | The Guardian.

“The use of drones would enhance the monitoring capacity of the UN mission in Ivory Coast, especially its surveillance and information gathering,” said Sylvie van den Wildenberg, spokesperson for the UN Operation in Ivory Coast (UNOCI).

“This would help us to cope better with the difficulty we face in the west of the country and the heavily forested border area with Liberia which is very difficult to monitor and an ideal sanctuary for armed men.”

The

Madagascar: Ousted leader’s wife enters election bid | News | Africa | Mail & Guardian

Lalao Ravalomanana was picked as the candidate of her husband’s political party at a weekend meeting, party officials said Monday.

“It was absolutely a natural consensus between members of the Ravalomanana Movement and [ex)-president Ravalomanana,” Mamy Rakotoarivelo, a representative of the party told AFP.

But her nomination may inflame tensions in the troubled Indian Ocean island nation and complicate the holding of elections due on July 24.

via Madagascar: Ousted leader’s wife enters election bid | News | Africa | Mail & Guardian.

Living Through Terror, in Rawalpindi and Boston – NYTimes.com

This was not my first experience with terror, having grown up in Pakistan. But for some reason, I didn’t think back to those experiences. Looking onto to the smoked, chaotic Boylston Street, I forgot about cowering in my childhood bedroom as bombs and gunfire rained over the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, close to our house. My mind did not go back to when I stood on the roof of my dormitory in Karachi as the streets were overrun with burning buses and angry protesters after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. None of the unfortunate experiences of growing up in the midst of thousands of victims of terror, personally knowing some of them, helped me in that moment. Nothing made it any easier.

Perhaps, if I had been thinking more clearly and hadn’t had my wife with me, I might have gone down to try to help the wounded. But at that moment all I could think about was getting us out of there. We lost our friends, then found them again. Our cellphones weren’t working. And then, as we worked our way through the dazed throngs in Back Bay, I realized that not only was I a victim of terror, but I was also a potential suspect.

As a 20-something Pakistani male with dark stubble (an ode more to my hectic schedule as a resident in the intensive-care unit than to any aesthetic or ideology), would I not fit the bill? I know I look like Hollywood’s favorite post-cold-war movie villain. I’ve had plenty of experience getting intimately frisked at airports.

via Living Through Terror, in Rawalpindi and Boston – NYTimes.com.

Afghan Employees of German Military Face Threats from Taliban – SPIEGEL ONLINE

“When the foreigners are gone, the Taliban will beat us to death like flies,” says Abdul, 25. He stands out in the streets of Kabul, a clean-shaven young man surrounded by men in beards. He looks nervous as he walks past begging women hidden under their burqas, and men carrying Kalashnikovs. He is constantly looking around.

The first calls began about a year ago. When he answered his mobile phone, there would be silence at the other end of the line, and when he called the number back, the phone would already be switched off. The anonymous callers eventually began making threats. One of them said: “You help the infidels, you are a spy. You will die.” Abdul threw away his SIM card. He went into hiding with relatives in Kabul a few months ago. He had to leave his wife and daughter behind in Kunduz.

Abdul worked for the Bundeswehr as an interpreter for more than two years. He was proud of his job at first, knowing that the foreigners had come to help the Afghans. He felt that he was part of the future of his wonderful country.

via Afghan Employees of German Military Face Threats from Taliban – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

H7N9: Jiangsu 3 Cases, Zhejiang 5 – Total 71

National confirmed 71 cases of human infection of H7N9 avian influenza in 14 deathsEnded at 6:00 p.m. on the 16th, the country reported a total of 66 cases of human infection of H7N9 avian influenza confirmed cases, 14 deaths. Among them, two cases in Henan , Beijing , Shanghai 24 cases 9 deaths , Jiangsu 20 cases 2 cases of death , Zhejiang, 21 cases 2 deaths , Anhui 3 cases 1 death .

via H7N9: Jiangsu 3 Cases, Zhejiang 5 – Total 71.

UK unemployment benefit less generous than Romania, Albania and the US

When have facts ever been important to Tories?

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today)

Well now. Here’s an interesting ranking of countries according to how generous their unemployment benefit is for the first year after workers have lost their jobs.

Quite contrary to the spin we constantly receive from the mainstream press et al about how generous the UK is with unemployment benefits, the fact is we actually rank lower in generosity than countries like Romania, Albania and even the US.

Here’s the ranking – with the most generous countries at the top (you have to go right to the bottom to find the UK):

Country Gross Replacement Rate, year 1  Ranking
Netherlands0.71
Switzerland0.6872
Sweden0.6853
Portugal0.654
Spain0.6355
Norway0.6246
Algeria0.6127
Taiwan0.68
Ukraine0.569
Italy0.52710
Denmark0.52111
Russia0.50512
Tunisia0.513
Finland0.49414
France0.479

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