Thursday, January 15, 2009

ABC AM 15/1/09 worth a look

Bush administration admits to torture at Guantanamo

A Bush administration official has admitted the US military tortures detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. Despite repeated denials from President Bush, retired judge Susan Crawford who is in charge of deciding who stands trial at Guantanamo has said a Saudi national was left in a life threatening condition after suffering abusive treatment.
Australia urged to take in former terror suspects

The Washington-based Human Rights Watch says Australia should lead the world by offering to take in several detainees from Guantanamo Bay. In releasing its annual world report this morning, the group is also pleading the soon-to-be US President to restore America's human rights record, which it says has been damaged under the leadership of George W. Bush.
Israel defiant in face of international criticism over war in Gaza

As the casualties in Gaza mount and international criticism of the Israeli offensive grows, the UN is preparing to hold an emergency session later today to press for a call for a ceasefire. There's overwhelming support for the war among Jewish Israelis but some in Israel are beginning to worry that the conflict could harm Israel's international reputation.
From the transcript (my emphasis):

Wednesday's Haaretz newspaper carried a story about foreign diplomats telling Israel's President Shimon Peres that while they understood the reason behind this war, Israel had crossed a line in Gaza.

Elliot Jager says such criticism is nonsense.

ELLIOT JAGER: It means nothing. When people talk about - we understand what you're going through, we understand you have theoretical right to defend yourself but please don't exercise it where people actually get hurt - that's the understanding we're getting from what you just described as, you know, friendly diplomats. I think that what matters is that we win this war; that the goals that we set for this war are achieved. With regard to whether or not people stop loving us, I've got news for you. If the choice is being loved or surviving, we choose survival.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Eliot Jager, a senior editer at the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
NT teachers facing violence in classrooms

The education union in the Northern Territory says teachers are leaving the profession because of increasing violence in the classroom. The union says there's a worrying number of teachers in the Territory on sick or stress leave after experiencing attacks from students.
I won't mention the, er, ethnicity of the students. Teachers, despite what many people think, are not there to socialise and humanise feral kids. They're there to teach them. They are not medically qualified nor are they psychologists/psychiatrists, and should not be expected to be. They may be able to detect some problems and advise that specific qualified assistance be sought.

And this gem tickled my fancy...

Outrage at artist's depiction of European Union

A Czech artist has admitted to duping the European Union and his own Government with a massive sculpture to mark the Czech Republic's six month presidency of the EU. The artist David Cerny has offended almost every EU country represented in his work and there are demands for the artwork to be removed.
The crux of the artwork...
EMMA ALBERICI: Picture this: Romania as a Dracula theme park; emblazoned across a map of France the word "strike". Slovenia has been associated with masturbation and five Lithuanian soldiers are depicted urinating on Russia. Poland, one of Europe's most religious nations, is seen with priests waving a rainbow flag - a symbol of pride for gay communities.

So far though the Bulgarian Government is the only one that's upset about the work. The spokeswoman for the Bulgarian mission to the EU Betina Joteva has demanded that the installation be removed by tomorrow.

BETINA JOTEVA: To see your country covered by Turkish toilets and that's the shape of Bulgaria to be presented in the European Union for six months, we consider this an offense towards Bulgarian national dignity.

EMMA ALBERICI: The images of some of the other countries are a little more benign. Sweden is a do-it-yourself Ikea furniture flat-pack. The Italian map is a soccer field with one set of goal posts in the north and one in the south. As for Britain, it's disappeared from the map of Europe in an apparent jibe at the country's Euro-scepticism.
There are a few other interesting snippets at ABC AM today, 15/1/09

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