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Google Street View – Potential Opposition in Israel

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Google Street View may be an incredible step in the advancement of the technological wizardry of the 21st century. It has had it’s share of opponents.

A fresh example is in Israel where some government officials are concerned that Google Street View in Israel will arm terrorists with extra information to carry out attacks on public figures.

Some Israeli cabinet members want a safe way for Street View to exist as it will help with tourism.

Google street view

Read more about Street View in Israel at NerdChronicle.

53 Killed in 72 Hours in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

In only 72-hours, Thursday through Sunday, 53 people in Ciudad Juarez Mexico were killed. State Attorney General Spokesman Arturo Sandoval said four police officers were included in the dead. “This is the worst violence we’ve seen this year.”

Juarez deaths

Thursday started the massacre with 14 people, including a municipal police officer, killed. Friday showed 20 more murdered, with another municipal police officer assassinated by a member of a carjacker gang, after which a state police investigator was executed on his way home. On Saturday, 19 people were killed, including a highway police officer who was shot 10 times at close range. On Sunday, 13 taxi drivers were murdered in Acapulco.

Cars were set afire, street lights and security cameras destroyed. A body was discovered in a burned vehicle and a human head found on the street. Drug traffickers are suspected.

Two cartels are involved in a turf war over smuggling routes: the Juarez and the Sinaloa cartel. Four people apparently were arrested.

Only 40 days into 2011 and Ciudad Juarez has averaged 8 murders per day, Sandoval said.

(via CNN)

Middle East Protests Tweet-Map

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Ugandan Elections and Democracy

February 18, 2011 Leave a comment

 

Uganda election nerd

Over 14 million Ugandans, dedicated to a change in government, have come out to vote between major players, President Yoweri Museveni and Kizza Besigye, with six other candidates in the running. Museveni has been president of Uganda for 25 years and Besigye used to be his personal physician.

Africamap

Land-locked Uganda came to independence in 1962. Every change of leadership has arrived amidst violence and overthrow, such as Idi Amin in 1971 and the 20-year issue involving the Lord’s Resistance Army with Joseph Kony at the helm.

Museveni is still favored for victory in the election but Besigye has stated that he will release his own tallying to counter any possibility of vote tampering and insists that Ugandans are ready to follow the footsteps of Egyptians in a revolt if the results show any sign of strangeness.

The world awaits whether Uganda can cast off it’s cloak of violent political change and embrace an honest democratic win for Eastern Africa.

(via WashingtonPost)

 

Chevron Ordered to Pay Billions for Pollution in the Amazon

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Chevron

Chevron was ordered to pay $8.6 billion to plaintiffs suing them for polluting the Amazon area while exploring for energy. $10 billion more could follow. Both sums would be used to pay for cleanup and health care for Ecuadorians. Chevron also must apologize publicly within 15 days or $8.6 billion more will be added to the sum.

Actually Chevron was not the perpetrator. Not really. They “inherited” the lawsuit when they purchased Texaco in 2001.

Chevron does not, in fact, operate in Ecuador today; the American company acquired the lawsuit when it bought Texaco in 2001. Texaco started oil exploration activities with Ecuador’s state oil company Petroecuador back in 1964, and for the next three decades, the 47 plaintiffs say, the company contributed to dumping billions of gallons of waste oil in the region, causing loss of livelihood, widespread health problems and up to 1400 deaths. [TIME]

Texaco logo

Texaco paid $40 million in damages and then left Ecuador in the early 1990s. $40 million was not enough for the natives however (and rightly so).

Chevron knew about the lawsuit going in though and fought it saying that it was Petroecuador that caused most of the damage.

Chevron says they won’t pay and is trying to block enforcement of the judgement and counter-sued. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Also as Chevron doesn’t operate in the area anymore, the plaintiffs don’t have leverage any longer. Ecuador is planning to pursue legal options in other countries.

Advisers to the plaintiffs said Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela would be obvious candidates to pursue Chevron assets, but they acknowledged it would not be easy. Venezuela, for instance, is a close Ecuadorean ally and its president, Hugo Chávez, is a frequent critic of the United States. But Chevron has extensive operations in Venezuela and enjoys warmer ties with Mr. Chávez’s government than just about any other American company. [The New York Times]

Chevron’s value is almost $200 billion value (which is triple the amount of the Ecuador economy) so there’s more funds to keep stalling and fighting.

(via DiscoverMagazine,Chevron image, Texaco image)

NYU Fellow, Nir Rosen’s Insensitive Comments About Lara Logan’s Sexual Assault in Egypt

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Alg nir rosen lara logan

CBS Reporter Lara Logan’s recent sexual assault in Egypt was mocked by NYU Fellow, Nir Rosen calling Logan a “warmonger” and saying she was trying to outdo Anderson Cooper and the multiple punches to the head he took in Egypt.

39-year old Logan endured a “brutal and sustained sexual assault by a mob of men while covering the Egyptian uprising.” The assault was finally ended by a group of women and Egyptian soldiers. (CBS News)

Known for his extensive coverage of the Iraq War, Rosen went on a Twitter rant about Logan that caused him to resign from the University’s Center on Law and Security.

“Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson,” and “Yes yes it’s wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.”

Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger,” was soon followed by, “Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women.”

Rosen eventually apologized, “Ah f–k it, I apologize for being insensitive, its always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get.” Then, “As someone who’s devoted his career to defending victims and supporting justice, I’m very ashamed for my insensitive and offensive comments,” and “I am deeply ashamed because they do not represent who i am, and i would like to convey my most heart felt apologies to Ms. Logan, her family, her friends, all women and too everyone I have hurt, angered and disappointed,”

For more information on Lara Logan’s ordeal, please visit TMZ.com.

(via NYDailyNews)

 

Hundreds of Algerians Arrested for Defying Protest Ban

February 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Despite a government ban, thousands of Algerian protested, demanding democratic reforms, on Saturday. Reportedly four hundred people were arrested in the capital, Algiers, as the the government tried to regulate protests with the ban and by blocking the streets.

Heavily armed police set up barricades in an attempt to prevent buses of protestors from entering the city to demand that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resign. Riot police outnumbered protestors 3 to 1, as some 30,000 guarded the streets as 10,000 demonstrators demanded democracy. (La Liberte Daily News)

Algeria protest

In power since 1999, Bouteflika watched as his people rioted for five days in January of this year, due to sky-high food prices, poverty and high unemployment. Bouteflika is another world leader in the line of  Arab leaders who have been forced to leave power; Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned on Friday, and Tunisia removed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Jan. 14.

(via CTV)