So, that peace on earth thing

…not so much.

As always, these are just the stories that caught my eye.

British Royal HoaxI’m pulling this one out because there’s a lot of places involved and I don’t feel like multiple links. I’m actually torn about including this story. I don’t know that the surviving family members need the pain of the continuing media exposure and reliving the pain of their wife/mother/daughter/sister/cousin/friend’s suicide. So, on second thought, I’m removing all links to this story.

Afghanistan

Breaking: Member of Special Operations Forces Killed in Rescue of American in Afghanistan (Updated) (The Moderate Voice)

Cambodia

Cambodia Bans Internet Cafes Near Schools (Global Voices)

Canada

Canadian Conservative govt guts protections for 99+% of waterways, spare handful of lakes with high-cost cottages (Boing Boing)

Canada upgrades immigration screening with biometrics (The security Director News)

China

Activists say Tibetan teenager has become 8th child to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule (The Washington Post)

Denmark

Jews Warned Not to Wear Religious Symbols in Copenhagen (The Moderate Voice)

Egypt

Morsi Fails to Silence Opposition (The Moderate Voice)

Egypt’s Morsi Overplayed His Hand: Analysts (The Moderate Voice)

Hungary

Hungarian Students Call for Nationwide Strike (Global Voices)

India

Delhi Gang Rape Case Evokes Rage Across India (Global Voices)

Indian Sitar Legend Ravi Shankar Dies, Aged 92 (The Moderate Voice)

Italy

Italy’s Berlusconi Announces Fresh Run for PM (The Moderate Voice)

North Korea

North Korea says it successfully launched satellite into orbit (CBS News)

Pakistan

Karachi polio killings: Vaccination workers shot (BBC)

Pakistan Leader Visits Shot Girl in British Hospital (The Moderate Voice)

Spain

Barcelona: Woman busted with 3 lbs of cocaine in breasts (Digital Journal)

Swedish Probe into Holocaust Victims’ Ashes Painting (The Moderate Voice)

Syria

NBC’s Richard Engel and team freed after 5 days captive in Syria (Boing Boing)

Homemade Syrian rebel-tank with gamepad gun controller (Boing Boing)

Where does Assad’s online army come from? (Boing Boing)

Tibet

Activists say Tibetan teenager has become 8th child to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule (The Washington Post)

United Kingdom

Pret fires longstanding employee who attempted to unionise, asked for the London Living Wage for all employees (Boing Boing)

Britain to Allow Gay Marriages in Churches (The Moderate Voice)

Pret a Manger unionization drive: dispute over dismissal claim (Boing Boing)

Tower Bridge forced to open for 50 foot rubber duck (ITV)

Zambia

Zambian President Orders Killing of “Rebels” No One Can Find (Global Voices)

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Big World Keep on Turnin’

As always, these are the stories that caught my eye.

Europe

Black Market for Body Parts Spreads Among the Poor in Europe (NYTimes)

Afghanistan

Junkbot insects from a metalworker in Afghanistan (Boing Boing)

Angola

Chinese-built ghost town in Angola – the first of many to come? (Boing Boing)

Belarus

Dissidents airdrop hundreds of free-speech teddybears over Belarus (Boing Boing)

Cambodia

Unknown Respiratory Disease in Cambodia (WHO)

Malaysia

Blogger arrested for sultan slur (The Herald Sun)

Mexico

Mexico’s ‘maquiladora’ labor system keeps workers in poverty (McClatchy)

Paraguay

Paraguay ‘Coup’ has all the ‘Hallmarks of the CIA’ (El Telegrafo, Ecuador)
(The Moderate Voice)

Japan


First of Japan’s 50 reactors restarts since nuclear crisis; Japan’s energy policy still in turmoil
(Boing Boing)

On Battle of Okinawa Anniversary, Okinawans Feel Abandoned By Mainland (Chunichi Shimbun, Japan) (The Moderate Voice)

Russia

The Magnitsky List, America’s ‘Secret’ Weapon! (Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia) (The Moderate Voice)

South Korea


South Korea may resume whaling, like Japan, “for scientific purposes”
(Boing Boing)

Sweden

Peter “Brokep” Sunde, railroaded into Swedish prison by Big Content (Boing Boing)

Syria.

Wikileaks releases Syrian govt. emails (Boing Boing)

The Course of World Events

As always folks this is just stories that caught my eye. (Also – plague of rats in Hamelin. If the BBC can’t keep a straight face, I ain’t even trying.)

Olympics

Official Protesters of the London Olympics suspended on Twitter (Boing Boing)

Space Hijackers create Official Protesters programme for the London 2012 Olympics (Boing Boing)

Afghanistan

Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry (NY Times Magazine)

Argentina

In Latin America, Only Argentine Leader Stands with Obama on Gay Marriage (La Informacion, U.S.) (The Moderate Voice)

Azerbaijan

Sign a petition for a “guilt-free Eurovision” — keep the pressure up on Azerbaijan (Boing Boing)

Canada

Canadian MP: ripping a CD is like stealing a pair of shoes (BOing Boing)

Sickening profile of Canada’s weapons-grade patent trolls (Boing BOing)

Quebec cops kettle and mass-arrest demonstrators (Boing Boing)

Canada’s telcos secretly backing revival of “dead” warrantless surveillance bill (Boing Boing)

Toronto neighbours turn their laneway into a garage-door art-gallery (Boing Boing)

Canada’s warrantless surveillance bill is, improbably, dead (Boing Boing)

China

BREAKING: Chinese Dissident Chen Guangcheng Arrives on American Soil (UPDATED) (The Moderate Voice)

UPDATE: Mr. Chen Has Left China — China’s Military Visit to the U.S. and Mr. Chen’s Pending Release: Just Mind Games? (The Moderate Voice)

Colombia

Colombia Government Must Come Clean on Battle Drones (El Tiempo, Colombia) (The Moderate Voice)

France

France’s New Socialist President Hollande Has Three French Riveria Homes (THe Moderate Voice)

Finland

Finnish court: open WiFi owners not responsible for copyright infringement (Boing Boing)

Germany

‘Lost Nation’ of Germany is NATO’s Biggest Problem (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany) (The Moderate Voice)

Pirates win more seats in German state elections (Boing Boing)

Balancing Act from Germany’s Angela Merkel (The Moderate Voice)

German police fired 85 bullets in 2011 (Boing BOing)

Greece

Will Greece Elect Pro-Bailout Government? (The Moderate Voice)

Greece Heads To Elections, Economy May Head Off Cliff (The Moderate Voice)

Political Meltdown in Greece: New Elections Increasingly Likely (UPDATED) (The Moderate Voice)

Iran

Iranian cartoonist sentenced to 25 lashes (Boing BOing)

Italy

Earthquake and bombs in Italy: An eyewitness report from Jasmina Tesanovic (Boing BOing)

Libya

Libya: Inside Gadhafi’s secret surveillance network (Boing BOing)

Convicted Lockerbie Bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrah Dies of Cancer in Freedom in Libya (The Moderate Voice)

Mexico

Mexican drug cartels now using Claymore mines (Boing Boing)

49 Decapitated Bodies: Mexico’s Drug War and P.R. Nightmares Continue (The Moderate Voice)

Netherlands

War Crimes trial for Ratko Mladic begins in The Hague (Boing Boing)

Netherlands becomes first EU nation to enshrine Net Neutrality in law (Boing Boing)

Mormons Perform ‘After-Death’ Baptisms of Dutch Royals (Trouw, The Netherlands) (The Moderate Voice)

Pakistan

American ‘Grandees’ Should Pay Debt to Pakistan and be Grateful (The Frontier Post, Pakistan) (The Moderate Voice)

Acid victims fear backlash over Saving Face (International Tribune)

Poland

Poland’s future of copyright (Boing BOing)

Dire Straits for Europe Absent Less Nationalism and More Cooperation (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland) (Moderate Voice)

Russia

Microsoft invests in Russian company that attacks BitTorrent swarms (Boing Boing)

Sweden

Swedish telcoms giant Teliasonera complicit in mass surveillance in the world’s worst dictatorships (Boing Boing)

Thailand

Roasted gold-leaved foetus collection was for black magic (Boing BOing)

Tibet

Four people dead on Mt. Everest, one still missing (Boing Boing)

Turkey

Migratory bird confused for avian spy (Boing BOing)

Uganda

Uganda Re-Introduces Draconian Gay Law as Answer to Obama (Modern Ghana, Ghana) (The Moderate Voice)

United Kingdom

Publishers Association Chief Calls Opponents of Copyright Laws Thieves (Writers Write)

London cops want to suck your phone dry in an instant (Boing Boing)

UK civil servants routinely snoop on citizens’ private financial and health information (Boing Boing)

Russell Brand testifies to Parliament about drug policy, channels Groucho Marx (Boing Boing)

Yemen

Yemen massacre triggered by donkey “rape” (Boing Boing)

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean senator proposes ending AIDS crisis by mutilating women and preventing them from bathing (Boing Boing) — You, sir, are an asshole.

Goblins attack Zimbabwe family (BOing BOing)

World News – Sick at Heart

Why is it that when I start to review the world news, it’s almost uniformly bad? Seriously, we need more positive stories. Can’t spread peace if all we see is turmoil.

ACTA, TPP, CISPA, etc.

CISPA is SOPA 2.0: petition to stop it (Boing Boing)

Inventor of the Web condemns UK Internet surveillance plans (Boing Boing)

WIPO caught secretly funneling cash to North Korea to buy patent database computers (Boing Boing)

Understanding TPP, ACTA’s nastier, more secret little brother (Boing Boing)

Why a pro-SOPA MPAA technologist changed sides and went to work for ISOC (Boing Boing)

SOPATrack: an app to show connections between campaign donations and voting records (Boing Boing)

New EU ACTA reviewer also recommends not signing it, calls ACTA a threat to civil liberties (Boing Boing)

Hilary Clinton to world governments: the world will divide into “open” and “closed” societies based on their Internet policies (Boing Boing)

Debunking CISPA supporters’ claims of harmlessness, inevitability (Boing Boing)

Americas Summit

Latin American leaders, Obama to discuss ending the war on drugs (Boing Boing)

Calls for Drug Decriminalization in Latin America (The Moderate Voice)

Signs that two of Latin America’s most powerful drug gangs, Zetas and Maras, are joining forces (Boing Boing)

Repression Will Win Out Over Legalization at Summit of the Americas (El Carabobeno, Venezuela) (The Moderate Voice)

Blaming Washington: Why the Americas Summit was a Bust (El Pais, Spain) (The Moderate Voice)
European Union

Austerity is Europe’s mutual suicide-pact (Boing Boing)

Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Adding Insult to Injuries, and Deaths (The Moderate Voice)

Bahrain

Hunger-striking Bahraini dissident Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja near death; Formula One president still plans to run races in Bahrain (Boing Boing)

Canada

Successful, full, gay-friendly, arts-friendly public high-school in Peterborough, Ontario slated for closure (Boing Boing)

Canada Post sues crowdsourced postal-code database, claims copyright in Canadian postal-codes (Boing Boing)

Canada’s universities and colleges capitulate to copyright strong-arm tactics (Boing Boing)

Toronto’s dingleberry mayor releases $2 graffiti-reporting app (Boing Boing)

China

China detains Tibetans returning from Buddhist festival, arrests devotee who sees vision of Dalai Lama in the Moon (Boing Boing)

Disney Will Help China Develop Animation Industry (Newsy.com)

Greece

Suicides in Greece increase 40% (Boing Boing)

India

Indian skeptic charged with “blasphemy” for revealing secret behind “miracle” of weeping cross (boing Boing)

Iran

Iran denies reports that internet will be cut, replaced by “clean, national intranet” (Boing Boing)

Iran’s “Halal Internet” evolves into a mere more-ambitious censorship regime (Boing Boing)

Israel

For Passover fun in Israel, a safari of animals crafted from Coca-Cola trash (Boing Boing)

Italy

Centurions battle cops at Colosseum (Boing Boing)

Malawi

Blogger scoops news of Malawi President’s death, is detained and harassed by police (Boing Boing)

North Korea

North Korea’s Loss of Face. What Now? (The Moderate Voice)

‘Unimaginable and Miserable Punishment’ to Follow Interception of DPRK Satellite (Rodong Sinmun, North Korea) (The Moderate Voice)

BREAKING: North Korea Launches Long-Range Missile — May Have Failed (UPDATED) (The Moderate Voice)

Sweden

Screaming black female circumcision cake controversial (Boing Boing)

Voices: Makode Aj Linde And That Cake (Racialicious)

Syria

Malware targeted at Syrian activists can operate webcam, disable AV, keylog, steal passwords (Boing Boing)

Syria: UN-sponsored peace treads softly (The Moderate Voice)

Russia

A Russian City Always on the Watch Against Being Sucked Into the Earth (NY Times)

This church scandal in Russia involves Photoshop, and a disappearing $30K watch (Boing Boing)

United Kingdom

Black London firefighter beaten, tazed and charged for offering assistance to cops had his complaint buried (Boing Boing)

Norwich City soccer team demands teen’s arrest for finding unannounced images on public website (Boing Boing)

Regulator: Amazon UK’s “release date” delivery promise not misleading (Boing Boing)

Evidence of Britain’s colonial crimes revealed, including orders to cover up evidence of further atrocities (Boing Boing)

Tony Blair channels Ronald Reagan, “doesn’t remember” sending dissidents to Libya for torture (Boing Boing)

London’s dystopian Olympics: criminal sanctions for violating the exclusivity of sponsors’ brands (Boing Boing)

New in the World of Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow… whatever

So, I normally try to say something passably clever or at least summarize what’s going on, but my brain’s on vacation. I’ll just offer up this vague disclaimer. These are just the things that caught my eye. Not everything that’s happening. Maybe not even the most important things, but still they’ve intrigued me/upset me/made me smile.

MegaUpload

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom appears in New Zealand court (Boing Boing)

United Nations

Russia and China Veto Syrian Resolution (The Moderate Voice)

Afghanistan

Children Freezing to Death: Another Horrific Side of the Afghanistan War (The Moderate Voice)

Bulgaria

Bulgarian MPs wear Guy Fawkes mask for ACTA session (Boing Boing)

Canada

Debunking the record industry shill who said that his amendments to Canada’s proposed copyright law are no big deal (Boing Boing)

Muslim man’s motivational text to colleagues leads to terror probe (Boing Boing)

Canada’s new SOPA-style copyright bill could shut down YouTube (Boing Boing)

China

Three Tibetan herders burn themselves alive in protest (Boing Boing)

Communist tablet? (Boing Boing)

Two Tibetans shot dead, another self-immolation, as China’s dissent crackdown continues (Boing Boing)

Czech Republic

Czech Government Suspends ACTA Ratification (TechDirt)

Egypt

Islamists Win 70% Of Seats In Egyptian Parliament (The Moderate Voice)

India

Porn in parliament ends ministers’ careers (Boing Boing)

Salman Rushdie Cancels Appearance at Jaipur Literary Festival Due to Assassination Threat (Writers Write)

Iran

Iran attacks internet access on Islamic Revolution anniversary (Boing BOing)

Iraq

(UPDATED) Yet Again, No Accountability For Marines In Iraq (The Moderate Voice)

Ireland

Irish journalist humiliates EuroBank technocrat who won’t stop ducking hard questions (Boing BOing)

Japan

Foreign journalist claims corruption, brutality, death threats from Japanese airport officials (Boing BOing)

Inside the Fukushima exclusion zone: the photography of Satoru Niwa (Boing Boing)

Mexico

Mexican Banda bandits blamed for school tuba thievery (Boing Boing)

Candidacy tests Mexico’s culture of machismo (Yahoo News)

Romania

Romania’s prime minister doesn’t know why he signed ACTA, Czech Republic’s out (Boing Boing)

Russia

Julian Assange to host Wikileaks TV show on Kremlin-funded Russian cable network (Boing Boing)

Sweden

Unexplained 60 meter object resting at the bottom of the Baltic Sea near Sweden (Boing BOing)

Syria

Report: Assad’s Office Hacked, Password Was ‘12345’ (Talking Points LiveWire)

United Kingdom

Stephen Fry on the techno-cluelessness of English judges (Boing Boing)

English plainclothes police officer follows himself for 20 minutes (Boing Boing)

Fred Goodwin is no longer a knight (Boing BOing)

Undercover UK cops infiltrated environmental groups, seduced women in the groups, fathered children with them, abandoned them (Boing Boing)

Insane English copyright ruling creates ownership in the idea of a photo’s composition (Boing Boing)

World’s not Gone Yet

And so, we begin the new year. It’s looking pretty much just like the end of 2011 though. Except for the terrifying American politics scene, but then, that doesn’t really apply to world news. 🙂

Middle East

If Washington Makes War on Iran, it will be America’s Last (Samidoon, Palestinian Territories)

2012: Start of an Historic Realignment in the Mideast (The Moderate Voice)

Afghanistan

Some Good News for a Change: Afghanistan’s Pop Idol (The Moderate Voice)

Making Afghanistan Safe For China (The Moderate Voice)

Argentina

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez Has Thyroid Cancer (ontd_political) — Hey, BBC (see below article) Here’s a woman for your list!

Bahrain

Human rights: Washington is unsure but UN shows gumption (The Moderate Voice)

Belarus

Belarus bans browsing foreign websites (Boing Boing) — And this will be enforced how? SOPA?

Canada

Canadians: tell Parliament to preserve Canada’s public domain!
(Boing Boing)

Rob Ford is still a wife-beating asshole, Toronto continues to want to throw him in the Don River (ontd_political)

China

PEN American Center Denounces Secret Trials, Imprisonment of Two Chinese Dissident Writers (Writers Write)

Denmark

Danish company helped Iran with surveillance program that identified journalist who was arrested and tortured (Boing Boing)

Finland

What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success (ontd_political)

France


Oscar Wilde’s tomb renovated to protect it from kisses
(ontd_political)

Germany

President Accused of Threatening Tabloid Newspaper (ontd_political)

Greece

Greek economic crisis turns tragic for children abandoned by their families (ontd_political)

Iran

Iran death sentence for ‘CIA spy’ Amir Mirzai Hekmati (BBC News)

It is Iran that May Soon Find Itself ‘Wiped Off the Map’ (Al-Seyassah, Kuwait) (The Moderate Voice)

Iran tests new radar-evading missile (Boing Boing)

Iraq

Experienced War Vets To Decide Fate Of Haditha Massacre Ringleader (The Moderate Voice)

Meet Iraq’s youngest photographer. He is 8 years old. (Boing Boing)

Israel

Israeli Girl, 8, at Center of Tension Over Religious Extremism (ontd_political)

Israeli politicians decry ultra-Orthodox protesters’ use of Holocaust imagery (ontd_political)

Jamaica

Jamaica’s new PM vows to ditch royal rule (Boing Boing)

Nigeria

Nigeria strikes over soaring fuel costs (BBC News)

Norway

OMG: Eye test blooper on Norwegian news (ontd_political)

Palestine

Priests fight with broomsticks at Church of the Nativity (Boing Boing)

Russia

Absurd Human Rights Report May Hasten End of Putin Era (Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia) (The Moderate Voice)

Saudi Arabia

Progress and Issues in the Saudi Kingdom with Women’s Unmentionables (The Moderate Voice)

Spain

Leaked memo: USA blackmailed Spain into passing brutal, censoring copyright law (Boing Boing)

Sweden

File-sharing becomes a recognized religion in Sweden (Boing Boing)

Sweden hands its official Twitter account over to a different citizen each week (ontd_political)

Switzerland

Holodeck here we come! Augmented reality takes over Swiss park (ontd_political)

Tunisia

Grieving Mohamed Bouazizi (Zungu Zungu)

United Kingdom

Unable To Find 12 Women Of The Year, BBC Crowns Panda Instead (ontd_political) — Seriously? SERIOUSLY BBC? FU. Ah-em.

What a World, What a World

World events that have caught my eye. Some of them big. Some of them small. Some of them, that no one in a year will remember at all.

European Union

Analysis: Europe’s austerity zeal risks killing the patient (Reuters)

Bangladesh

So she’ll learn to write with her left hand _and_ go back to school anyway (ontd_political)

Burkina Faso

What is Victoria’s Secret? Child Labor (ontd_political)

Canada

Canadian MPs use bogus video-game industry data to defend hated DRM law they’re about to ram down the country’s throat (Boing Boing)

Czech Republic

Vaclav Havel, 1936-2011 (Slacktivist)

Bahrain

UPDATED: Danish human rights activist arrested in Bahrain, faces torture: will Danish foreign minister intervene?

Egypt

Protesters Torch Famed Institute of Egypt: Rare Books, Manuscripts and Maps All Destroyed (Writers Write)

Egypt Youth Delusioned – We Were Better Off with Mubarak (The Moderate Voice)

Iraq

‘Stubborn’ Iraqis Mistaken to Demand America Withdraw (Sotal Iraq, Iraq) (The Moderate Voice)

Israel

How Can Israel Please the American Government, Media, and “Experts”? It Can’t (Guest Voice) (The Moderate Voice)

Japan

Wild monkeys and boars enlisted to help measure Fukushima radiation in Japan (Boing Boing)

Japan’s Prime Minister Declares Fukushima Plant Stable (New York Times)

New Zealand

Baby Seal Breaks into House and Promptly Takes a Nap (ontd_Political)

North Korea

Kim Jong-Il Dies (The Moderate Voice)

North Korean diplomacy, with a side of slaw (Boing Boing)

Kim Jong Il is dead (Slacktivist)

North Koreans grieve loss of Dear Leader (Boing BOing)

(Video Animation) Kim Jong-il Dead, North Korea’s Future Uncertain (The Moderate Voice)

Kim Jong Il Dead (Political Cartoon) (The Moderate Voice)

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Woman Beheaded for ‘Witchcraft’ (ABC News)

Sweden

Everyday Swedes take over management of nation’s Twitter account (Boing Boing)

Syria

Is Syria’s election a sham?(The Week)

Thailand

Lese Majeste -15 Years For Insulting The King (The Moderate Voice)

United States – Native Nations

Why Are Indian Reservations So Poor? A Look At The Bottom 1% (ontd_political)

United Kingdom

Receding Inflation In Britain (New York Times)

London cops apologise to young photographer who was told that shooting Armed Forces Day parade was “anti-social,” “gay,” “stupid” and an offense under the Terrorism Act (Boing Boing)