7 days ago
Nine Circles of Hell!: Friday, May 25, 2012 Nine Circles of Hell!
Your bitter blind broke gap-toothed radio show host Chuck Mertz‘s blog, ‘The Nine Circles of Hell!,’ is now posted every week day, Monday through Friday, at Noon (US central). It’s all the news that give you fits in print, today’s nine reminders that ‘This is Hell!’
Click on any of the Nine Circles! in bold, or bonus link in italics, to go directly to the original article.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister who ran for president as an “anti-revolution” will likely face a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood in a run-off election. While votes still need to be counted from some of Egypt’s biggest cities, it appears Mubarak’s close friend Ahmed Shafiq will face the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi unless “darkhorse leftist candidate” – as The Associated Press calls him – Hamdeen Sabahi has a major comeback. A this time, Morsi leads with 26 percent, followed by Shafiq with 23% and Sabahi with 20%. Many early reports had Sabahi in the run-off with Morsi. Such an election would put the West in a difficult position as they oppose the Brotherhood but are much more strongly against Sabahi’s far less western-friendly economic policies. Instead, a year after Tahrir Square, Egypt is back to deciding whether they support Mubarak or not. (As this story may change quickly, we suggest you follow live at ahram online.) It also appears that one thing doesn’t change when a country goes into an economic tailspin: it’s government keeps buying more and more weapons. At least, that’s what’s happening in Greece. New research shows Greece imported over $40 million of US arms and ammo in February, a 3.6 percent increase from the same period last year. That made Greece the third biggest importer of US arms during the first quarter of this year. You’d think country in an economic crisis wouldn’t be increasing their military spending – unless they’re readying themselves for something very scary. The Afghan war connotes on in its deadly unchanging way. Bombings in cities across Afghanistan left five more people dead today. In every war, it never changes, women and children are its worst victims. As Reuters reports, “Rival armed groups in Congo’s eastern provinces are targeting each other’s families, killing children, women and the elderly in some of the country’s worst violence in years.” The reason the fighting has reignited? Congo’s army has redeployed elsewhere to capture renegade general, Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court. So, as Congo chases a war criminal, war crimes are committed in their wake. Nothing seems to be changing with student protests in Quebec either, other then that they just keep growing. Earlier this week, Quebec’s government imposed emergency laws against the protests. Montreal police enforced those laws by kettling over 500 protesters. Despite the law and cops trying to stop student protests, they keep getting larger. Another thing that never changes, no authority likes having the whistle blown on them. The Pope’s personal butler is being questioned by Vatican officials over the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal. As the BBC reports, “the leak of a string of highly sensitive internal documents from inside the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, including personal letters to Pope Benedict XVI, has been an evident embarrassment to the Pope, prompting the rare investigation. The leaked documents include a letter to Pope Benedict by the Vatican’s current ambassador to Washington alleging cronyism, nepotism and corruption among the administrators of Vatican City. Others concern ‘poison pen’ memos criticizing Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the pope’s number two, and the reporting of suspicious payments by the Vatican Bank.” Okay, there is one amazingly huge change that’s happening. The UN’s human rights chief wants the West to lift sanctions against Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. As Ahram Online reports, UN rights chief Navi Pillay – who grabbed headlines with her staunch criticism of governments fighting against the ‘Arab Spring’ – said, “I would urge those countries that are currently applying sanctions on Zimbabwe to suspend them, at least until the conduct of the elections and related reforms are clear.” One change China would like to see is quite clear. The US State Department’s human rights report blasts China. China in return has said the reports is “filled with prejudice.” As the Voice of America reports, “In 2008 the United State dropped China from its list of the worst human rights abusers, but this year’s report says human rights conditions in China have deteriorated. It accuses authorities of continuing to commit serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial detentions and house arrests. China has long rejected outside criticism of human rights abuses as interference in its internal affairs.” One thing that has definitely changed is the authenticity of a study promoting franking. The University at Buffalo has removed the “peer-reviewed” label from a recent study supporting hydraulic fracturing in natural gas drilling. The editor’s note on the study now reads, “An earlier version of this story described the report as ‘peer-reviewed.’ This description may have given readers an incorrect impression.”
That’s the Nine Circles of Hell! for Friday, May 25, 2012.
See you Sunday for The Nine Circles of Hell!: Sunday Morning Edition!