May 30, 2004 by  
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Doonesbury rocks. One of their earlier strip series was actually ‘taken off the air’ by a huge number of newspapers across the US because they felt it was too negative about the war in Iraq. Keep it up Garry Trudeau. Stick it to the man.

For the earlier strip series that was banned go to that day’s link (above) and read the next couple of strips as well. You have to kind of know the character, BD, to really ‘feel’ it, but I did, and a lot of other people did too (from reported letters to the editor and such).

May 29, 2004 by  
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Sweet! Quote of the day at the RADIO FREE EUROPE/ RADIO LIBERTY site.

“I [Muqtada al-Sadr] announce my agreement to the following plan: eliminating all armed manifestations, putting government buildings to use by the government offices and institutions, withdrawing all [Imam] Al-Mahdi Army fighters who are not citizens of Al-Najaf from this city.”
— Iraqi national security adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubay’i reading out the English translation of a letter written by radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to the Shi’ite clerical hierarchy of the city of Al-Najaf.

Personally, I think it’s better he’s agreeing to do this for the Shi’ite clerical heirarchy in the city than for the Americans. It’s a good sign that they don’t support what he’s doing. But will the ones who are citizens of Al-Najaf continue fighting in the city, and who will know who is a citizen and who is not?

May 29, 2004 by  
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USAID: Sudan: Darfur Humanitarian Emergency More info on Darfur emergency, a little more in depth than the BBC links in the other Darfur post.

According to the Office of the U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (UN RC) in Khartoum, as of May 1, there are now more than 2 million conflict-affected persons in Darfur compared to 1.1 million in April 2004. Of this number, approximately one million are IDPs [internally displaced persons]

Also fairly comprehensive list of how much government (US) aid is going to Darfur and which organisation it’s going through.

May 29, 2004 by  
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Libyan nuke equipment ‘missing’

Fun, fun. The equipment had been ordered from black-market suppliers months earlier and was now long overdue, the report said.

Well, if you know Libya’s not going to want it since they’ve said they’re not going after nuclear weapons anymore…why not resell it to someone else?

May 29, 2004 by  
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The Montenegrin editor who was shot. Not that this makes shooting him okay, but there’s always the other side of the story. The Dan newspaper is “close to the Socialist People’s Party, which was an ally of […] Slobodan Milosevic” and the editor, Dusko Jovanovic, “was the first journalist to be charged with contempt of court by the UN war crimes tribunal after authorities said he published the name of a protected witness at Milosevic’s trial”.

Still doesn’t make killing a newspaper editor okay, but less of a shock if he’s using his position to be a propaganda tool for hardline political parties.

May 29, 2004 by  
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Australia’s O’Neill signals interest in British clubs.

I don’t get this. The Australian Soccer Association is talking about buying into European clubs because “If we had groups of our players at these clubs, it would help with the club versus country issue.

How exactly?? Are these clubs, with three or more Australians in their starting side, going to be happy to lose them all for an international match? It was hard enough to get Kewell and Viduka from Leeds for internationals because they were arguably two of the best players on the team. Why would any club be happy to lose 1/3 to 1/2 of their starting side?

I think it’s a good idea overall, to buy into a club, but it would be unbelievably stupid to try and stack the team with Aussie players because we’d be even less likely to get them for internationals.

May 29, 2004 by  
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5/28/04 – GOOD NEWS IN IRAQ. Well and good but I want to hear it from someone other than Colin Powell, preferably Iraqi. Nothing against the man, he’s the most honorable in a Bush administration full of ultra-right-wing wackos. But he’s in a Bush administration full of ultra-right-wing wackos. Ah, Colin, why couldn’t you have run for president of the US in ’96?

May 29, 2004 by  
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FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY: Is Media Bias Filtering Out Good News from Iraq?

ABC’s Baghdad correspondent Neal Karlinsky […] seems to be complaining that breaking news keeps getting in the way of reporting the news

Whether they are based in Baghdad or in Washington, journalists are obliged to report the news on the ground, not as “good” or “bad” but as news, regardless of how it fits with the vision the administration would like Americans to see.

But like Karlinsky says in there also, there are good news stories, but it’s hard to do a feature about life in Baghdad getting back to normal when there’s a car bombing nearby that kills half a dozen people.

This is my take on it. In Washington (or any other western city) you are obliged to report the news on the ground, agreed. For the most part that is boring, mundane, everyday life. In those places reporters seek out and editors demand something out of the ordinary. In Iraq, or in the city of Baghdad, I think things can be said to be different. The everyday news coming to us in the west is of violence in Baghdad. In that context the stories that are out of the ordinary are the positive ones about everyday life.

Flipside of the news value coin. If spectacular loud noises, explosions and deaths are commonplace, then the kid making it to school today, the successful surgery or the free discussion of ideas is more newsworthy.

Damn the man.

May 29, 2004 by  
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This is a repost of two items. The reason for doing so is that they I’ve included the direct links to PDF files of the reports in question for anyone who wants to download them.

One is the US Army report by Major General Antonio Taguba. U.S. Army report on Iraqi prisoner abuse. It is the full text at MSNBC.com, but the PDF of the report is available at the NPR website.

Also, there’s a PDF of the Red Cross report on US prisoner abuse in Iraq at the Spotlight website, which also has some other interesting reports/articles. There are two excerpts of the report there if you don’t want to read the whole thing.

May 29, 2004 by  
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Montenegrin editor murdered.

Director and editor-in-chief of Podgorica daily Dan, Dusko Jovanovic, was murdered last night […]
[…] the paper had been under attack from the Montenegrin Government, largely because of its articles about human trafficking and cigarette smuggling which had resulted in more than thirty libel cases.

It would be less than politic to accuse the government of having a newspaper editor killed, but it’s certainly an effective way of discouraging dissent… very sad.

May 28, 2004 by  
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IHT: For New York’s Muslim cabbies, faith calls louder than fares. An interesting article on Muslim cab-drivers taking time out to pray.

May 27, 2004 by  
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Media Ownership in South East Europe (SEE) and EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe.

Media Ownership and Its Impact on Media Independence and Pluralism – the project is an attempt to map ownership patterns and their effects on media pluralism and independence. The eighteen country reports and a regional overview are a result of the project organised by the South East European Network for Professionalisation of the Media (SEENPM). The project was conducted from July 2003 to June 2004 and was led by the Peace Institute in Ljubljana, itself a member of the SEENPM.

If it’s one chapter per country, the whole book is downloadable in PDF format, which I have done before they change their minds and make it unavailable!

May 27, 2004 by  
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Media Ownership in South East Europe (SEE) and EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe. Obviously this belongs on the International page, but…

This is my blog problem. I want everything to be seen by everyone, but I know for the majority of people this will bore them to tears. So is it better to get rid of ALL blogs except one, or is it good to separate things into several blogs as is now? It’s difficult when I post useless stuff, and general blatherings about my day, on the one hand, and links to important news and other things of actual interest on the other.

Let me know your opinions readers – (Grismeri, Tang, Milt, Paul, Grace, Dan). I think that covers everyone! By the way – the other ‘blogs’ are International News, Sports and Reviews for those unaware I was spouting more useless drivel than just what you read on this page.

May 27, 2004 by  
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Shia cleric offers Najaf pull-out. Hopefully the conflict (particularly this one between Moqtada al Sadr and the US) is still salvageable for the good of the Iraqi people. It’s not just about Iraqi’s in Najaf – I think that conflict and its outcomes could determine how attitudes and opinions are formed on a wider basis. With that in mind, what happens with al-Sadr, if it turns out for the good, will hopefully be ‘good news’ that can be spread throughout Iraq. Obviously good things have happened in Iraq, and good things must be continuing to happen in Iraq, but it’s not what the media wants to show or talk about.

Somebody said it was sad that none of the good things happening in Iraq were being reported widely. I think a search is in order to find who said this, and to see what good is happening, whether it has been reported or not. The outcomes of this search will appear as posts here.

May 27, 2004 by  
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Joy at historic Sudan peace deal, although the conflict in Darfur continues.

Q&A: Peace in Sudan.

Q&A: Darfur conflict.

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