Saturday, December 17, 2011

This Week's News in Brief


PAKISTAN
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16131824

Pakistan to keep Nato convoy ban
Pakistan's PM tells the BBC that Nato's vital supply convoys to Afghanistan could remain blocked for several weeks, in protest at a deadly US air strike.


To me, three elements of trust: predictability, dependability, and faith. Still based on my opinion, the relationship between America and Pakistan: To be loved? Do not. To be ignored? Too unfortunate.

AFGHANISTAN



CAROLINE WYATT - BBC



She's wonderful!

L I B Y A



Muammar Gaddafi's regime has been completed. In fact, the new regime is now in power. But the South African President Jacob Zuma is known to have close contact with Gaddafi is still not satisfied with what is happening in Libya. Moreover, the fall of the Gaddafi regime has brought much destruction in Libya. The air strikes of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has made the country in ruins.

Zuma, who becomes part of the African Union (AU) complained about the role of some Western countries in the Libya crisis. "The way of some developed countries to treat Libya has resulted in the injury. Africa needs many years to heal the wound," Zuma said in a day's visit to Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday (10 Decembre 2011)local time. "The developed countries with their plans had hijacked the pure demonstration of Libyan people for their plans to change the ruling," said Zuma.

South Africans voted for the resolution of the United Nations, which imposed the ban on flying over Libya. But Zuma accused NATO has stepped its mandate with the air strikes to protect civilians and deter the AU peace initiatives.

He said Libya was bombed for months on behalf of save the lives of citizens and finally their leader was killed, he was not arrested and tried as the accusations that he had committed the crime. That, according to him, could only happen in Africa, not elsewhere.

"So, we called on Africans to unite," he said firmly. Zuma claimed the leader in the African Union summit in next month should be very seriously addressed the issue of Libya to help the country back to normal. He also stated, the AU would seek to cooperate with the Arab League to establish democracy in Libya. "We have to really make sure that we will not repeat it as it happened in Libya," Zuma said.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Tarhouni on Thursday said, the sovereignty of Libya in danger, by implicitly accusing Qatar got involved in the affairs of his country. "I see the danger for the sovereignty of Libya. I see a threat to the wealth of Libya people," said Tarhouni told reporters at the press interview.

Tarhouni said that Africa was facing the major challenges in the security and economy. "Some countries stand with us and all countries have their own interests. Some of the country is beginning to think that they have influence, it's a mistake," he said.

The alignment of the new government in Tripoli praised by Washington in late November as an important step of democracy, but has been criticized in Libya, which highlighted the challenge of unity after 42 years of Gaddafi's power.

Also related to developments in Libya, the senior figures in the new Libyan government sent a letter to the United Nations (UN). In the letter they urged the UN to open the Libyan government assets which are still frozen, despite the civil war in the North African country had ended three months ago.

When the rebellion broke out against the government of Moammar Gaddafi in last February, the UN Security Council to freeze the assets of Libya which value reached U.S. $ 150 billion. Now its frozen assets can't be utilized for the new government of Libya.

With the present development, the Libyan provisional government admitted in desperate that they need cash. The money is needed to pay the employees in the public sector and to repair the damage of a number of government buildings.

In a letter sent on Thursday (8 Decembre), the Libyan provisional government officials were working to persuade the UN member states. The reason is, the UN doubts the new leadership of Libya is able to unite and agree in the use of money.

Governor of Libya's Central Bank, Saddek Omar Elkaber said that he had co-signed a letter along with the Chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdel Jalil Libya, Libya's interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib, and Finance Minister Hassan Ziglam. "We need money to run the country," said Elkaber at a news conference in Tripoli, Libya, yesterday.

Freezing of assets belonging to Libya by the United Nations was part of a package sanctions aimed to pressure the Gaddafi's government to stop the violence against protesters.

Libyan government has been transferred to the NTC. But until late November, only about U.S. $ 18 billion from U.S. $ 150 billion disbursed by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee. Some diplomats said last month, apparently from U.S. $ 18 billion that was promised, only U.S. $ 3 billion was available for the new government of Libya. Because the frozen assets actually are not aowned by the Libyan government, but owned by Gaddafi and his family.

The diplomat also expressed concerns regarding the provision of such assets to the NTC. The reason is the Libyan provisional government officials under the NTC is not elected through general elections and lack of legitimacy.

Libya is known as one of the largest oil exporting country in the world . However, oil exports from Libya stopped when the conflict broke out. A number of oil rigs were damaged and it took a long time to fix it.

Meanwhile, the shootout was still happening in Tripoli yesterday.(Yesterday that I mean here is the days after the death of Gaddafi. Why? Just ask them! I really like to keep abreast of the situation in post-Gaddafi Libya, really. I'm just curious, which sun of which sky that shines in Libya's sky if Gaddafi should be killed, hm? Why are they still shooting each other after a rollicking cheer on decaying corpses that had been exhibited for 5 days in supermarket freezer and was buried in a secret place so that it can not be visited by his family's members, and that until now the court procedure for Saif Gaddafi was still not held in Tripoli. They refused to surrender him to the ICC, but why the trial process has not been reported? Saif, are you still alive? How are you in prison?)
*****
(CZ1211/Li)


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16212133

Gaddafi death 'may be war crime'
Former Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi's killing may have been a war crime, says the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor.


http://www.au.int/fr/

Accueil | Union Africaine
‎7th Ordinary Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Trade, 29 November 2011 to 3rd December 2011, Ghana International Conference Centre, Accra Ghana


http://www.pambazuka.org/aumonitor/

AUMONITOR
‎(Press Release)-- Communiqué of the 265th meeting of the peace and security council on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire.


http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111215/vladimir-putin-muammar-al-gaddafi-libya-us-drones-special-forces-john-mccain

Vladimir Putin points to US drones, special forces in killing of Gaddafi
Vladimir Putin, firing back after a critical John McCain tweet, has accused the US of involvement in the death of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16110295

Fighting for youth jobs in Libya
As stability returns to Libya one of the next battlegrounds will be tackling the high level of youth unemployment.

AFRICA: MOGADISHU


As a 5-star territory in terms of danger, Somalia becomes the most unstable state at this moment. The National Transitional Government established by the United Nations has not shown its effectiveness. One friend spoke with one of the ministers of state in Somalia, the central government has not been effective, so that each state government struggled to move the wheels of government by establishing partnerships with other parties.

It got so bad in Somalia. Although it is conveniently located in the Horn of Africa but the country has actually turned upside down by the interests which want to rule Somalia. Besides politics, the problem of drought also hit the country badly. Somalia doesn't have a good water resource management, so when the rains come, the flood will hit it. Meanwhile, when the drought comes, the country will hit by famine.

Meanwhile, the habit of breeding cows is adding to the drought problem. Cows need water 8 times more than humans. Ironically, the cattle breeders in Somalia make ​​the cow as the rest of their lives.

Mogadishu is considered as the most unsafe cities in the world. But this time, the atmosphere in Mogadishu is quite conducive. Without Al Shabab in Mogadishu and the presence of African Union troops, Mogadishu begins to squirm again. Trading activity is still running although not all shops/kiosks are open. The markets are enlivened by the merchants and shoppers. Indeed, one of its people's skill is a trade.

Certain people, especially the Somali militia and troops are still carrying the AK 47 everywhere. Their pickup trucks are equipped with machine guns with different calibers. Meanwhile, the armored vehicles owned by Africa Union soldiers which mostly from Uganda and Burundi are still pacing.

A friend still hears the gunshot sound at 5 am for a few minutes, while other friends just see the warning shot that is released when the militia to secure or regulate the beneficiaries of a food distribution.

Security posts made of stacks of sacks filled with sand are scattered in several locations. Typically, each post contains 3 to 5 armed men. Reportedly, an AK 47 in Mogadishu is worth 500 U.S dollars, the bullet USD 2 per item.

The currency used is U.S. dollars. Somali Shilling is used in limited amounts. My friends use the dollars to pay for various purposes such as hotels, rent a car, etc.
****
(CZ/Az05/JPS/-lacalifusa)

P A N D A : Tian Tian and Yang Guang


They evoke a sense of my motherhood, really. It is nice to imagine the treatment they received and what reaction they showed, though it is only through a video show. (lalalala... Dahling, I feel like I'm pregnant... )

PENGUIN (Buddy and Pedro) and BABY SEAL

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16153511

Female splits up 'gay' penguins
Toronto's "gay" penguins, Buddy and Pedro, have officially split, say zoo keepers, after one of them found a female mate.



I R A N

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9663000/9663256.stm

BBC News - Today - Is there a 'spy war' in Iran?


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/11/201111295498547664.html

Lebanon's intelligence war
With reports of the CIA shutting down in Beirut, Al Jazeera explores the extent of intelligence infiltration in Lebanon.








Iran would hold the military exercises to improve capabilities to close the shipping lanes in the Hormuz strait, the narrow strait which is very important for the world's oil traffic. "We will soon hold the military exercises to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants the area is not safe, we will make it so," said Parviz Sorouri, members of the commission's foreign policy and national security of Iran parliament.

The exercise was held in the middle of Israel and the U.S action that continued to increase their threat to "The land of The mullahs". Both allies accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons and called for sanctions, though they also have it. Washington has repeatedly said the military action was the main option owned by the White House to prevent the progress of Iran's nuclear technology. On the other hand, Iran has insisted that its nuclear program was intended for electric energy. Tehran also threatened to strike back the 32 U.S. military bases located in Middle East.

Tehran also threatened to close the Hormuz strait if Iran became the target of military attack from both allies. For the record, the strait is navigable by about 40% of world oil trade. The exercise plan to close the strait was also revealed in the middle of US-Iranian tensions about the U.S spy plane (drone) which was shot down by Iran.

The military and government sources said Iranian military exercise that was held after the fall of U.S. drone incident was aimed at reminding Washington that Iran was no longer afraid of the U.S. war ships. Washington has deployed several warships to the Persian Gulf to prevent the closure of that very strategic strait.

Iran's naval power has been recognized by its enemies. According to reports from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 2008, in the two decades since Iraq launched a war with Iran, Iran's naval capability is increasing rapidly. They are even able to fight the larger war ships.

Iran's senior military adviser said the U.S missile defense system would not be able to compete with Iranian missiles. "The U.S. missile defense system that has been stationed in Turkey, Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates will not defeat us," said Iran's military adviser Major General Seyyed Yahya Rahim Safavi, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post on Thursday (23 Desembre 2011). "They may attack some of our missile defense sector, but we have missiles in large numbers. They will not be able to destroy it."

Safavi also said that all the Israeli territory nowadays has become the target of Iran's long-range missile. He also added that the Iran's Revolutionary Guard forces have started watching the movements of Israel and the U.S. which previously has held the military exercises.

The U.S. missile defense system is also considered as a threat to Russia. Many Russian military experts said the U.S. missiles were intended to attack Iran. But the U.S. also has said the U.S. wouldn't attack Iran. The threat of attack to Iran was spearheaded by Israel. Israel was concerned with the continuation of Iran's nuclear program. Nevertheless, the West and the United States also has refused to support a military intervention into Iran. For the West, what is necessary to isolate Iran is the sanction.
*****
(CZ/Wr11)

O T H E R S

U.S

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16192105

US to lower flag to end Iraq war
The US flag is to be lowered in Baghdad in a ceremony formally marking the end of US military operations in Iraq, after nearly nine years of war.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16186136

Obama draws a line under Iraq war
US President Barack Obama marks the end of the Iraq war by praising the "extraordinary achievement" of US troops in a conflict he once called dumb.


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2011/20111219151636570185.html

Infographic: US ends Iraq war chapter
A deeper look at Iraq's ethnic composition, military bases, private contractors, casualties and oil fields.


RUSSIA

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16194084

Putin accepts 'lawful' protests
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he accepts election protests as long as demonstrators stay within the law.


SYRIA
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16187519

Syrian forces 'given free rein'
Syrian soldiers were told to stop anti-government protests "by all means necessary", says Human Rights Watch, who interviewed dozens of defectors.

Oh. 5000 victims in Syria. Yeah? Anyway. Just count it, whatever it is. I feel calm when in a few days almost all the media is not too exploit the news in Russia and Syria, Iran as well.

About Vladimir Putin, he is not stupid or deaf to the will of his people. I've been studying the characteristics of people like him. That is normal, just as an artist who will ride onto the stage and will receive the criticism from here and there, for example about the appearance etc., etc., well, though the critics are more similar to the sense of envy rather than critical. Let's see how the elections in the U.S. later. My fiance seems very interested with this news, this moment. While I, hmmm.... I'm also excited because I see him so excited.
*****

9 Million People of Africa Suffer from Hunger

The crisis has led to about 1 million children were estimated to be malnourished next year. Drought, poor harvests, food prices soared, and the decline in remittances was struck five African countries in the Sahel region.

The residents who are threatened with starvation live in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Chad. The five countries have little spare food, even in danger of being run out. In addition, a major food prices will soar by 40%.

"The food situation in the region once again is very worrying," said Eric Hazard, manager of Oxfam's regional economic justice, in a press conference in Dakar, Senegal, Tuesday (13 Desembre 2011). "Territory in this region has a deficit of about 2.5 million tons of food."

According to the predictions of this nonprofit institution --- which is headquartered in the UK--- in some countries, particularly Chad and Mauritania, cereal production fell by 50%. However, according to Hazard, the most worrying situation is indeed found in Niger. Half of the 6 million inhabitants of the land in great danger.

In Mali, villagers who are threatened by food shortages reached 2.9 million people. In Mauritania, about 700 thousand people or more than a quarter of the country's total population is reported having the greatly food shortages. Such tragic circumstances disclosed by the World Food Programme(WFP). According to the UN's food agency, 5 to 7 million people are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change crisis. They are in a dire need of assistance.

Amid the onslaught of food insecurity, the situation became more difficult because the usual remittances received by residents in the area from their families who work abroad was reduced, as triggered by the conflict in Libya and Ivory Coast.

"Many of these people rely heavily on remittances to buy food from their families who are working in Libya. Since the Libyan situation was hit by the war, many of their families back to them without bringing income. That means, the food production is very minimal, and the money to buy food is very little or even they don't have money at all," said Marietou Diaby, deputy head of Oxfam in Mali.

The efforts of the countries in Sahel region which continues to struggle to feed its population is also complicated by the economic and political crisis that struck the countries of the Horn of Africa region. It is estimated that at least 13 million citizens who lives in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti in danger of starvation.

To prevent the greater humanitarian disaster as happened in 2005 and 2010, Oxfam urged the countries in the Sahel region for emergency action. For the record, the famine that struck the region in 2010 hit 10 million residents. ((Oh my God, what a figure of ten million? If that is just sequence of numbers, they can say it is relatively small. But if it is the number of people, ...hmm, it exceeds the entire population of New York!)


http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/with/5932893721/

Flickr: Oxfam International's Photostream
Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely and privately show content to your friends and family, or blog the photos and videos you take with a cameraphone.

http://www.oxfam.org/fr/node/5329

Crisis prevention remains a major challenge in West Africa | Oxfam International
This year, 10 million people were affected by the Sahel food crisis and pastoral populations have been the most affected. On average, 18.3% of the population in Niger, Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso are undernourished. This figure rises to 37% for Chad.
*****

Welcome to Christmas Day

We are in the turn of the year. There are many ways to celebrate it, including traveling. Various destinations can be an option in this year-end holidays. For the frenzied celebration, Times Square New York and Las Vegas in the U.S. generally welcome the party with a diverse audience of music and dance performances, and fireworks.

Still in the American continent, Niagara Falls will be bathed in lights which are installed to welcome the New Year, enlivened with a fireworks show at the eleventh hour of the turn of the year.

In Europe, Prague, Czech republic, it can be glimpsed as a destination which enlivened the celebration of the New Year with fireworks at the Prague castle and Vitava river.

Meanwhile, Italy offers a romantic nuance and solemnity to the celebration of Christmas and New Year with a concert of music and fireworks, also with rollicking kiss at St. Mark's Square before midnight.

Another suggestion is Australia. In December, there is the first month in the summer, and "Kangaroo continent" is visited by about 40 thousand international travelers.

December is also a good time to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia, because the weather is quite cool in this month, as well as Vietnam -- the weather is cool and dry, and exotic foods --including a trip on the famous Halong Bay.

Some people also choose a short distance destination without crossing the ocean, such as staying at the hotel and enjoy the new year program that has been prepared, or traveling in the outdoors while waiting for first appearance of the sun in 2012, along with new hope.
*****
(CZ-lacalifusa121511)

http://www.italyguides.it/us/venice_italy/pictures_of_venice/venice_photo_gallery.php
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdduncan3/5858054526/
http://www.associazionepiazzasanmarco.it/it/360/HQ.php
http://poncar.de/gallery.cfm?kategorien_id=3&bilder_id=-23028496
http://blog.jusmedic.com/2009/01/kingdom-of-cambodia/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mliebenberg/2447555230/

We will prepare a lot of things in the turn of this year.

UNITED STATES
January 1 shows a new beginning and time to set the resolution. The New year's most festive events and popular is raised in Times Square, New York. Each New Year's event in the U.S. usually set a theme or dresscode. Participants in the event are also usually asked to prepare a mask which should only be opened when the clock shows the number 12. Turn of the year in the U.S. are also marked by the opening of a bottle of champagne - (Dahling, this is mandatory). After that, on the first day in the new year, people usually gather with family, just eat at home or go on a picnic and play ball in the park.


U.K
One of ancient tradition in the UK to welcome the new year is the first-footing. After midnight, the dark-haired relatives should be the first to enter the home while carrying a piece of coal, bread, and salt, as a sign of good luck and prosperity. Some areas in the UK still believe that the most ideal of New Year's Eve gift is a bouquet of mistletoe leaves as a prayer to prosperity. Yes, giving the New Year gift is a tradition that still being done in England. In addition, the New Year celebration there is also made possible as busy and noisy with firecrackers, fireworks, clinking bells, and blowing trumpets.


INDIA
In India, people seem to prefer the New Year celebration party that is held in private rather than participate in outdoor celebration event. Their choice of the celebration includes the famous singer on the eve of New Year, or go on vacation with their family to avoid the noise of the city - out of town or overseas. Goa is one of the New Year celebrations in India which is commonly visited by the upper class, including the artists of Bollywood with a festive party in a discotheque. Most people just stay at home on New Year's Eve. Some choose to pray at the shrine on New Year's Eve to welcome the year with the blessing of God.


ITALY
In welcoming the new year, the Italy people usually wear new clothes and exchange the gift. Not just any gift, but they choose carefully the prize will be given. For example, honey in a jar that is believed to symbolize the peace, or gold coins and precious stones which is believed to bring prosperity. Also a gift of light which is believed will brighten the New Year. Another tradition is the Italians are also wearing red underwear in welcoming the New Year.(Don't forget to wear your red underwear...)


JAPAN
In preparation for New Year's Eve, Japanese citizens are usually cleaning the house and clothes, decorate the main door of the house with pine trees, bamboo, and plum trees.

The tradition of this clean-up - called Ousouji - is believed to be a symbol of one's intentions in welcoming the New Year with better hopes than ever.

In the New Year party at night, the Japanese residents always serve the wheat noodles which is believed as a symbol of long life - according to the size of the noodles.

One of the Buddhist tradition carried out by ​​Japanese citizens in the New Year's Eve is to ring the bell 108 times. That, they believe, will get rid of 108 of sin and oversight, including poverty, selfishness, doubt, and all the problems when entering the New Year.

The offices in Japan are usually closed during the first three days in the New year.


FRANCE
In Paris, France, travelers can come to enjoy New Year's Eve in a variety of ways. Well, just enjoy the fireworks, dancing in the pubs and clubs, or dinner as well as drinking wine in the park near the Eiffel Tower. While the clock is shifted to the number 12 midnight, the French people are saying "Bonne Année" while they hug and kiss each other on the cheek. The most festive fireworks show usually can be seen from the Champs-Elysees, the center of the New Year party in Paris. Residents and travelers mingle in the streets in the festive. There is also a choice of a quieter place to enjoy the fireworks which are scattered in the sky, such as the plaza at the Cathedral of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. (J'espère qu'il ne sera pas trop long avant que je puisse l'expérience que bon sentiment! Je m'ennuie des choses simples, mais ne peut être réalisé que lorsque vous étiez ici...)
*****





Favorite Christmas Songs from My Two Flames







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CZ

"Thank you for your perception! I like your romantic side, even if I do not always comment and I'm glad that you're in my circle of friends."
(Courtesies by: Wolfgang A. Gerhardt)

Wolfgang A.Gerhardt : May be you like this Sunday collage

Cisca Zarmansyah : Before today, there never was a person doing this to me. You create a simple matter to look special. This is a special thing for me.

Cisca Zarmansyah : Thank you. I love it. I love you, my friend.

CieL- FreYa Ceastle : Hmm, he's so nice...















"I am me.
In all the world,
there is no one else exactly like me.
Everything that comes out of me
is authentically mine,
because I alone chose it --
I own everything about me:
my body,
my feelings,
my mouth,
my voice,
all my actions,
whether they be to others or myself.
I own my fantasies,
my dreams,
my hopes,
my fears.
I own my triumphs and successes,
all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me,
I can become intimately acquainted with me.
By so doing,
I can love me
and be friendly with all my parts.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know
-- but as long as I am friendly
and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully
look for solutions
to the puzzles and ways
to find out more about me.
However I look and sound,
whatever I say and do,
and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time
is authentically me.
If later some parts of how I looked,
sounded,
thought,
and felt
turn out to be unfitting,
I can discard that which is unfitting,
keep the rest,
and invent something new
for that which I discarded.
I can see,
hear,
feel,
think,
say, and do.
I have the tools to survive,
to be close to others,
to be productive,
and to make sense
and order out of the world of people
and things outside of me.
I own me,
and therefore,
I can engineer me.
I am me,
and I am okay."

VIRGINIA SATIR
(American Phychologist and Educator, 1916-1988)