March 18, 2011

Return of the News Roundup

Things have totally been happening. I, however, have been too busy mooning about to write about it.
This stops now. Sorry about that.


Haiti: Aristide's coming back, and as with most things related to Haiti, it makes the US nervous. The former-priest-turned-first democratically-elected-President of Haiti  won office by 67%--in a  field of 12 candidates--in 1990, but the left-wingy policies that put him in office turned out to be too spooky for US Republicans, and various machinations and a coup later, he was in exile in South Africa. Now that he's back during yet another bout of electoral unrest in Haiti, rumours fly of more violence to come--to yet again be blamed on Aristide. Personally, if shit does hit the fan, I'd blame it on his new bodyguard Danny Glover. Yes, that Danny Glover.

Pakistan: Remember the CIA-contractor jerkoff that killed two Lahore motorcyclists in January execution-style? The CIA guy, a one Mr. Raymond Davis formerly of Blackwater, was investigating the radical Pakistani Islamist group Lashkar when the shit went down and inflamed angry discussion about how far diplomatic immunity actually goes. Now he's out of prison, everyone's still pissed about it, and the families of the men killed were paid $2.3 million dollars. For context, the average suggested pay to families of innocents killed in US ops hovers around $5,000.

Sierra Leone: War-crimes-missing-hands-and-blood-diamonds-fame Charles Taylor's 3-year trial closed March 11, to let the Hague decide what to do with him. If convicted, he'd be in lockup in the US.

Indonesia: Jakarta's evacuating people on the slopes of its most active volcano, rising alerts to the highest level they can, proving that the Ring of Fire is on a roll jerking around the human race. Look out California.

Japan: You probably have heard by now that exactly a week ago, one of the most brutal earthquakes in human history hit one of the most densely populated islands on the planet. You probably also know that it was swiftly followed by a substantial tsunami along the North East coast, and a huge string of nuclear plant failures making an unbelievably bad, bad humanitarian disaster into a humanitarian disaster with panic, apocalyptic overtones and carcinogenic fallout. There's so much information on this particular continuing disaster that it's more useful for me to list some good stuff for you than it is to try and summarize it all, so:

One thing to remember about Japan: the nuclear angle is the scariest, but the humanitarian disaster angle is by far the most destructive. Two things to remember about Japan: if you want to donate, do it wisely.

Bahrain: Protests proceed, things get messy, and opposition leaders are arrested for "talking to foreign agents".

Yemen: 31 people are dead after the continuing protests for the sniper treatment. My awe of the regular Joes of the Middle East continues unabated.

America: The Foo Fighters recorded their latest album in Dave Grohl's garage, did a documentary about it for SXSW, and are doing a tour of concerts in peoples' garages. That you can maybe have in YOUR garage. After a day of bad news, how effin' cool is that?

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