Media Watch World Mar 23: Agriculture, A Reformed Muslim, An Ex Muslim, State of the Press, Naipaul Admits, Paris, Dubai, Bangladesh, World and more
Here look at the misperceptions: the Palestinians have heard it all before and refuse to accept a Bantustanised state, which is what in reality the Neoconzix are offering them.
He (Cheney) added the US was "strongly committed" to the establishment of a Palestinian state. "As [US] President [George] Bush has said, the establishment of a state of Palestine is long overdue and the Palestinian people deserve it," Cheney said. Cheney backs Palestinian state.
These are two interesting perspective on farming one from China and the other from India.
BEGINNING IN 1997, an important change swept over cotton farms in northern China. By adopting new farming techniques, growers found they could spray far less insecticide over their fields. Within four years they had reduced their annual use of the poisonous chemicals by 156 million pounds - almost as much as is used in the entire state of California each year. Cotton yields in the region climbed, and production costs fell. Strikingly, the number of insecticide-related illnesses among farmers in the region dropped to a quarter of their previous level. The New Organic By Pamela Ronald.
The story starts from 1991 when Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister started hounding farmers by reducing the fertilizer subsidy, cutting development expenditures so sharply that per capita GDP actually fell in one year and the death rate rose in one State, virtually doubling the issue prices of foodgrains from the Public Distribution System over three years in order to cut the food subsidy (which predictably boomeranged since the poor were priced out and the first episode of build-up of 32 million tonnes of unsold food stocks took place by 1995). Neoliberal Roots Utsa Patnaik.
And continuing with agriculture: With corn selling at record-high prices, Steve Albracht expects to have no trouble paying his electric bills this year. Albracht irrigates 1,000 acres of corn near the town of Hart in the Texas Panhandle and expects to shell out $180 to $240 per acre to run his pumps through the spring and summer. "In this area," says Albracht, "the water table has dropped, but nobody's cutting back on watering yet. There's still plenty down there."Most recent controversy over ethanol has focused on the its poor energy return; in growing corn and turning it into ethanol, you have to burn three calories to get four. With prices of fuel and other inputs rising fast, corn farmers won't be getting rich (except for those who happen to have oil wells on their property.) But selling their corn for such high prices, they can afford to sow more acres and burn more propane, diesel or electricity to pump more water than ever. A torrent of cash will be flowing through the nation's corn-growing regions, but the biggest price will be paid in water. The Folly of Turning Water Into Fuel By Stan Cox
Yet, there is one thing that is undeniable in this entire controversy. No Muslim leader in America - in his or her right mind, that is - could ever say, "God damn America, that's in the Qur'an for killing innocent people." No Muslim in his or her right mind could make the statement that Hurricane Katrina is "God's judgment" for the sin in New Orleans, as conservative pastor John Hagee said to NPR's Terry Gross. Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal's $10 million donation to New York after 9/11 was rejected by then Mayor Giuliani when Al-Waleed suggested the attacks were an indication that the United States "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause," a sentiment similar to that of Rev. Wright. Could a Muslim ever say that? Hesham Hasaballa.
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Italy's most prominent Muslim commentator is converting to Catholicism by being baptized by the pope at an Easter vigil, the Vatican announced Saturday.
Magdi Allam is the deputy editor of the Corriere della Sera newspaper and writes often on Muslim and Arab affairs. Born in Egypt, he has described himself as a non-practicing Muslim. He has long spoken out against extremism and in favor of tolerance.Egypt's highest Islamic cleric, the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, wrote last year against the killing of apostates, saying there is no worldly retribution for Muslims who abandon their religion and that punishment would come in the afterlife. Pope to baptize prominent Muslim - Nicole Winfield
Walter Pincus, the most senior reporter in the Washington Post newsroom, has at age 75 recently emerged as a leading critic of journalistic passivity and inaction -- stances often justified by claims of 'neutrality.'
"Every time we decide to cover some things and not cover something else, we're taking a position," says Pincus, who has expanded his argument in a number of articles. Interview With Walter Pincus On The State Of The Press
The US hosting service, Network Solutions, said it was investigating complaints that it may have breached guidelines on hate language. Dutch politician Geert Wilders says the 15-minute film describes Islam as "the enemy of freedom". The planned release has sparked angry protests in many Muslim countries. More Fitna over Fitna and HERE and HERE
LONDON: A new and authorised biography of V.S. Naipaul, in which he is said to admit that his “cruelty” to his first wife Patricia as she fought cancer may have hastened her death, is likely to provide more ammunition to the controversial Nobel Laureate’s legion of critics. Sir Vidia, who is portrayed by his biographer Patrick French as a “cruel” and “selfish” man, who visited prostitutes while his wife lay dying, has already set tongues wagging after he told an interviewer that he may not read the biography titled “The World Is What it Is.” Naipaul admits “cruelty” to his first wife - Hasan Suroor
PARIS — “Every man has two countries, his own and France,” says a character in a play by the 19th- century poet and playwright Henri de Bornier. In five and a half years living in Paris as an American correspondent, I have tried to make the country my own, knowing that I never will completely fit in, but always will be fascinated. So as I finish my stint as Paris bureau chief and move on to a new beat here, it seems a good moment to offer eight lessons learned. A Guide to the French. Handle With Care. Elaine SciolinoDUBAI, United Arab Emirates — For years, Sharla Musabih has fought a lonely battle to protect battered wives and victims of human trafficking here. She founded the Emirates’ first women’s shelter here and she became a familiar figure at police stations, relentlessly hounding officers to be tougher on abusive husbands. Voice for Abused Women Upsets Dubai Patriarchy - Robert F Worth
Hundreds of the veterans who took part in the victorious war against Pakistan travelled to Dhaka to issue the call at the request of their former commanders. They say Bangladeshis who collaborated with Pakistani forces caused the deaths of thousands of civilians.
Many of those they want tried are politically influential figures. They include the leaders of Bangladesh's largest religious-based party - Jamaat-e-Islami - which at the time opposed the break-up of Pakistan. To this day, the leaders of the party deny a war of liberation took place, rather calling it a civil war between Pakistanis. Calls for Bangladesh war trials - Mark DummettIf Dr Manmohan Singh loses the next general election — predicted for October by the knowledgeable — he will know whom to blame: his best new friend George Bush. Bush has achieved something unique. He has globalised defeat.
The reasons and means vary. In Britain Tony Blair may be eased out and in Australia John Howard may be driven out, but the word in common is "out". Bush crippled himself long before time made him a lame duck. He began to cripple his friends at the height of his power, and the curse continues in the twilight of his term. The World Is Round - M J AkbarToo many people are still in denial about the motives of a cult of death and the British state ought to have been pleased that Butt was trying to shake them out of it. For he (Hasan Butt) did not simply leave the al-Qaeda training camps on the Pakistan-Afghanistan borders and write a few articles when he came home, but transformed himself into a tireless opponent of extremism. He has encouraged about a dozen others to quit al-Qaeda, a higher success rate than the intelligence services can claim, and gone into prisons to convince hardcore jihadis to change sides. He urged Tony McNulty, the Counterterrorism Minister, to think about establishing units to fight the effects of brainwashing and took the argument against radicalism into mosques and meeting halls. Scandal of the persecuted peacemakers - Nick Cohen
***Dear friends and fellow supporters of Kareem Amer,
The Free Kareem Coalition, in collaboration with the Committee to Protect Bloggers, are holding a new campaign called "Flood the Jail with Mail!" (taking place from April 7th-21st) aimed to get as many people as possible to send Kareem letters of support so that he can remain hopeful and in high spirits.
Kareem has spent over one year in prison, with no sign of his freedom yet. This past November, he was tortured by both prison inmates and guards while being asked to repent for holding certain beliefs. This is unacceptable. We cannot go on referring to Egypt as a democratic or modern state for as long as Kareem is still in prison. This unjust crime of imprisoning him has to be corrected immediately as it's a serious abuse against the freedom of speech clause which Egypt constantly claims to adhere to.
We still await his unconditional release, and are continuing to do our best to secure his freedom.
But while we do that, we have
FLOOD THE JAIL WITH MAIL!
Please read the details here. It has all the details that you would require in order to pariticpate in this campaign, which will soon be joined by Reporters Without Borders and any other organization interested in making this initative as successful and effective as possible.
Free Kareem Coalition