Sunday, August 5, 2012

Palestine, Hispanic Panhandling, and Lollapalooza (Link Round-Up 8/5/12)

Lollapalooza coming to Israel in 2013
Lollapalooza Israel will take place August 20-22, 2013, in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park, making it the first large-scale global music event in the country.

Israel marks the third international location for Lollapalooza, which expanded to Chile in 2011 and Brazil earlier this year.

"It's like an oak seed," Farrell explained to CNN. "You look at it and go, 'What's the potential of that thing?' Put it in the ground and it starts to sprout it, and it keeps growing, and more and more branches grow out of it."
Occupation, Not Culture, Is Holding Palestinians Back
As one of the most successful businessmen and industrialists in Palestine today (there are many of us), I can tell Mr. Romney without doubt or hesitation that our economy has two arms and one foot tied behind us not by culture but by occupation.

It’s hard to succeed, Mr. Romney, when roadblocks, checkpoints and draconian restrictions on the movement of goods and people suffocate our business environment. It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of our Palestinian culture that we have managed to do so well despite such onerous constraints.
The spread of acid attacks on women in Colombia
“Sometimes in the West we make fast judgments and say, ‘Look how terrible they treat women in the East,’ and we don’t look first at ourselves,” said Monica Roa, the Bogota-based international programs director of Women’s Link Worldwide, a rights group. “The violence here may be different, but it emanates from the same place. This is a culture where machismo reigns, where men do what they want to do.” 
If a woman is attacked over a dowry in India or because she ventured outside without a veil in Pakistan, in Colombia a woman might be attacked because of sheer rage over her independence or even by a disturbed man she doesn’t know.
Syrian rebels hold 48 Iranians they accuse of being pro-Assad agents
A bus carrying the men was attacked on Saturday as it drove through Damascus, according to Iranian state-controlled media. Iranian officials described the group as Shiite devotees intending to visit one of their religion's most holy shrines in the city before inadvertently getting caught up in Syria's internal conflict.

The Syrian rebels who seized the Iranians released a video Sunday saying that the group had been conducting surveillance in the capital. The rebels accused at least one of the Iranians of having ties to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, a charge the rebels said was supported by an Iranian gun permit held by one of the men.
Why Pussy Riot is the only punk band that matters
Punk remains primarily a Western phenomenon, which means, as Propagandhi sang, "I recognize the irony that the very system I oppose affords me the luxury of biting the hand that feeds." Punks who don't actually live under real authoritarian governments don't face the high stakes that the members of Pussy Riot do. But while punk rock mobilized heavily against the 2003 Iraq war, releasing fundraiser albums for activist organizations and throwing anti-war concerts on the National Mall, they didn't so much as attract George W. Bush's attention. Pussy Riot, however, clearly has Putin's.
Ted Cruz claims to never have seen a Hispanic panhandler
Cruz’s remarks seem to play off of what the Encyclopedia of Homelessness called “the Latino paradox”: the belief that Hispanic immigrant communities, defined as being based more heavily around traditional family units, provide more informal ways for members to stay off the streets, even if they are in tighter economic straits compared to other populations.

However, this theory has come under question; a 2003 study for the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences found that Hispanic homeless are actually more likely to be “hidden” because they used sleeping spaces that were underrepresented in typical surveys.
China already won the new Central Asian Great Game against the U.S. and Russia
But China’s emergence in the region has been remarkable. In just over a decade, it has concluded border agreements with its Central Asian neighbors and secured their cooperation in cracking down on regional Uighur-related violence. Economically, it is now the region’s largest trading partner and, for poorer Central Asian countries, the main source of investment and development assistance. It has also completed major new oil and gas pipelines to bring Central Asian energy eastward. Europe has been talking for decades about proposed Asian pipelines, like Nabucco, that might break the Russian transit monopoly. But the Chinese accomplished this quickly and decisively. Moreover, the very fact that the China–Central Asia pipeline consists of three separate joint ventures between the China National Petroleum Corporation and the host governments makes Beijing the clear arbitrator of any future regional pipeline disputes. So overall, while the Chinese would like to see even more economic integration and free trade between the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, they have successfully accomplished a number of strategic goals in the region, all while downplaying their impact by publicly deferring to Russian primacy and jawboning about an alleged strategic partnership. It has been a smart and effective way of operating, and I’m not sure Moscow has an effective response.
China detains 2,000 in fake drug sweep
The government has repeatedly promised to tighten regulatory systems after safety scandals involving fish, drugs, toys, toothpaste, children's clothes, tires, drugs and milk fortified with melamine, used in the manufacture of tabletops.

But little has been done apart from a few, highly publicized arrests. Tackling the issue has not been helped by China's confused and still developing regulatory environment, corruption and the high profits counterfeiters can rake in.

Earlier this year, Chinese consumers recoiled at stories of drug capsules tainted with chromium, long-term exposure to which can cause serious organ damage.
Pakistani groups exploit Rohingya conflict to further own ends
Shahzad Ahmad, the Pakistan country director for the global online activism group called Bytes for All, says stories of Muslim victimization around the world are exaggerated in Pakistan by Islamist groups on the Internet.

“They use such campaigns not only to fund themselves but also to gain more political ground and recruit people for their cause. Our research shows that there are many fake photographs being used to propagate [stories of] atrocities against Muslims on many of the Facebook pages which originate from Pakistan,” says Mr. Ahmad.

Hundreds of pages in support of the Rohingya have appeared on the Internet over the past few months, he says.

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