Governments across Europe tremble as angry people take to the streets

   Governments across Europe tremble

as angry people take to the streets 

LONDON, Jan 31 — France paralysed by a wave of strike action, the boulevards of Paris resembling a debris-strewn battle field. The Hungarian currency sinks to its lowest level ever against the euro, as the unemployment figure rises. Greek farmers block the road into Bulgaria in protest at low prices for their produce. New figures from the biggest bank in the Baltic show that the three post-Soviet states there face the biggest recessions in Europe.

It’s a snapshot of a single day — yesterday — in a Europe sinking into the bleakest of times. But while the outlook may be dark in the big wealthy democracies of western Europe, it is in the young, poor, vulnerable states of central and eastern Europe that the trauma of crash, slump and meltdown looks graver.

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It’s a catastrophe for the apostrophe in Britain

   Its a catastrophe for the apostrophe in Britain 



“Apostrophes denote possessions that are no longer accurate, and are not needed,” he said. “More importantly, they confuse people. If I want to go to a restaurant, I don’t want to have an A-level (high school diploma) in English to find it.”

But grammarians say apostrophes enrich the English language.

“They are such sweet-looking things that play a crucial role in the English language,” said Marie Clair of the Plain English Society, which campaigns for the use of simple English. “It’s always worth taking the effort to understand them, instead of ignoring them.”A street sign naming St Paul’s Square without an apostrophe is seen in Birmingham. — AP pic

LONDON, Jan 31 — On the streets of Birmingham, the queen’s English is now the queens English.


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Human Rights Watch, World Report 2009 – Burma

Human Rights Watch, World Report 2009 – Burma


Events of 2008

Burma’s already dismal human rights record worsened following the devastation of cyclone Nargis in early May 2008. The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) blocked international assistance while pushing through a constitutional referendum in which basic freedoms were denied.

The ruling junta systematically denies citizens basic freedoms, including freedom of expression, association, and assembly. It regularly imprisons political activists and human rights defenders; in 2008 the number of political prisoners nearly doubled to more than 2,150. The Burmese military continues to violate the rights of civilians in ethnic conflict areas and extrajudicial killings, forced labor, land confiscation without due process and other violations continued in 2008.

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French Muslims should make friendship with French Jews to pressure Israel to agree for the formation of free Palestine State

French Muslims should make friendship with French Jews to pressure Israel to agree for the formation of free Palestine State 


PARIS (Reuters) – An umbrella group of Jewish groups sought assurances on Friday from French President Nicolas Sarkozy that authorities would do more to stem a rise in anti-Jewish crime due to the war in the Gaza strip.

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Priests’ comments on Jews, Muslims embarrass Pope

Priests’ comments on Jews, Muslims embarrass Pope

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Outbursts about Jews and Muslims by Italian leaders of an ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholic group show the challenge facing Pope Benedict as he tries to bring them back into the Church.



The same day Abrahamowicz made his comments about the gas chambers, Father Pierpaolo Petrucci, head of the SSPX branch in Rimini, said group members were still “shocked” the pope prayed with an Imam when he visited Istanbul’s Blue Mosque in 2006.

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No one wants to live under Thai colonial rule

   No one wants to live under Thai colonial rule 


BANGKOK, Jan 24 — The Thai Foreign Ministry should be commended for making the problems in the deep South one of its top priorities.

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Rohingya refugee issue needs a holistic approach – The Nation

   Rohingya refugee issue needs a holistic approach – The Nation 


JAN 27 – Thailand’s call for a conference in Bangkok of a focus group on the Rohingya issue is a good initiative.

All the stakeholders could meet and work out practicable and durable solutions on a trans-national issue that increasingly needs a comprehensive and multilateral approach.

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Desperate plight of the forgotten Rohingya

   Desperate plight of the forgotten Rohingya 


BANGKOK, Jan 30 — Around early December, in Eastern Bangladesh, hundreds of people boarded a few rickety wooden boats and embarked on a journey they thought would convey them to a better life. They would land perhaps on Thailand’s southwestern coast and then seek work there or in the Muslim promised land of Malaysia. (Pity you for delusions)

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Iraq Inaugurates Monument of Shoe Thrown at President Bush

Click to enlarge the photo

A giant replica of the shoe tossed by a journalist at President Bush during his December trip to Iraq has been unveiled in a ceremony in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, CNN reports.

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Reuters:Turkish PM returns to hero’s welcome after Gaza row


By Paul de BendernISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan received a hero’s welcome on his return to Istanbul on Friday after accusing Israel of “knowing very well how to kill” during a heated debate at the World Economic Forum.


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Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations and the Stateless Rohingyas

Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations and the Stateless Rohingyas

I have lately been disturbed by two developments. Firstly, at the very moment when ‘realism’ has lost its post-Westphalian glories and is suffering from disrepute, the stateless people continue to be at the mercy of the state. In the case of the Rohingyas it is even more pathetic for their refuge across the border brought no change to their sufferings. On the contrary, as camped and non-camped refugees, they ended up becoming victims of yet another state power, this time of Bangladesh. Secondly, when the power of the state has been eroded considerably, particularly in the wake of misgovernance and globalization, the state is brought in to resolve the issue of statelessness. Indeed, the Rohingyas were sent home, amidst criticism of ‘involuntary’ repatriation, with the hope that the government of Myanmar (GOM) after over half-a-century would change its position and make them all worthy citizens of Myanmar. What we have is a representation of a dialectic in the constitution of the state, that is, state as usurper and state as salvation, without of course realizing that the former cancels the latter and vice versa.

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AFP:Thailand grants UN access to Myanmar boat people

BANGKOK (AFP) — The UN refugee agency said Thursday it had visited 12 teenage migrants from Myanmar after Thai authorities finally granted access to some of the Rohingya boat people washing up on its shores.

Thailand has recently been accused of cruelty toward the Muslim-majority group, including beating new arrivals and sending them back to sea with little food and water — reports the government has denied.

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Turkish PM admonishes Israel president over Gaza

AP Photo

DAVOS, Jan 30 — Turkey’s prime minister stalked off the stage at the World Economic Forum red-faced yesterday after reproaching Israel’s president over the Gaza offensive by saying “You kill people.”

The packed audience, which included President Barack Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett, appeared stunned as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli President Shimon Peres raised their voices and traded accusations.

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Mizzima:Junta steps up military presence in Arakan

by Salai Pi Pi   

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Burmese military junta is constructing a military airbase for jet fighters near Buthidaung town, in Burma’s western Arakan, state sources said.

Khaing Mrat Kyaw, editor of Arakan news agency ‘Narinjara’ in exile told Mizzima on Wednesday that the Burmese military regime is constructing a  new airbase for the army  in northern Arakan State in western Burma and is beefing up the artillery battalions near Buthidaung town.

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