"A sad day for the United Nations." When it comes to international law, there's one law for the USA and one law for the rest of the world. Disgusting.
Food summit 'waste of time' and a shame for many first world countries. Berlusconi and Spain’s prime minister Aznar were the only leaders of wealthy countries present during the summit. And Silvio Berlusconi made the summit end two hours early in order to watch his country's crucial World Cup game with México. I wish the War Against Hunger woukd receive the same attention than the War Against Terror…
Are national governments about to take over the Internet? Has ICANN done such a terrible job that they should be permitted to?
U.S. Declares Itself Above the Law. Powell says that a groundbreaking United Nations International Criminal Court would be harmful towards maintaining U.S. military action. But what does skipping out on such niceties as genocide and human rights abuses say to the rest of the world about accountability in Washington? Discuss.
The International Criminal Court is now a reality after a group of 10 countries signed the treaty at a ceremony at the U.N. today, bringing the number of signatories to 66. According to Kofi Annan "the missing link in the international justice system is now in place," but without the participation of the U.S., Russia or China, how effective can it be?
As usual, when it's the U.S. turn, they play by different rules How come Russian and Scandinavian hackers can be charged under U.S. law for activities done in their home countries, yet when an American company gets a very reasonable request (IP tracking that it is done for web banners anyway) from a judge overseas, the U.S. grabs the free speech / local law argument.
Limp Liberals - Aintchasickovem? A really fine left liberal answer to Berkely and all the faint hearts. And it fits right in with my own thinking. It's time we stood up and got counted for human rights against any "culture" or "religion" that denies them. Polly Tonybee writes an excellent and timely piece. Liberals too, should not "go wobbly" out of a plain cowardly "respect" for reactionary strains of Islam, Christianity or Judaism. What do you think?
Isolationist information and international ignorance -- Whenever I visited my sister in Hong Kong over the past five years, I was always impressed with how much I didn't know about what was going on in the world. This link is a commentary on the feedback to an interview with a CNN Afganistan correspondent who said something similar, and got lambasted for it. Maybe if something good comes out of 9/11, it'll be a shift from celebrity news to real news. Ignorance can be dangerous.
And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." Despite the barrage, I think this is worth posting. It's a post from the DaveNet mailing list, by an Afghan American writer (via Mark at boing boing) I don't know if I would trust the opinions on military actions in the second part - but the first part is well worth reading. I know many MeFiers are knowledgeable about world affairs, but this is a nice concise account for those who don't know about Afghanistan - or perhaps to pass along.
Software Libre! Local and national governments around the world are legislating in favor of open source, in a challenge to US corporate (read Microsoft) dominance. A liberating movement, or too much government intrusion?
The Hindu nationalist group Bajrang Dal name a puppy George Bush. This isn't meant to be a complimentary act... it's in reaction to their discovery that the Bushes' cat's name is India (short for India Ink). They've taken this as an insult to the nation, and have retaliated with the puppy. I'm kind of curious about what this tells about Indian naming practices and significances, as compared to those in the US. Could someone more familiar with Hindu/Indian culture please enlighten me as to why they'd feel so insulted?
Strategic Forecasters broke the story that the U.S. was spying on new Chinese Submarines a week ago. NPR just got the story out yesterday. They publish one free story a day. You have to pay to get the rest, but it's worth reading just for the one free forecast.
Tuesday's Lunar Eclipse has come and gone. How did you mark its passing? Here's how some of our global neighbors celebrated. Some seemed inclined to shoot the Moon in Turkey. Others in Nigeria believed the eclipse was caused by Sinners, so they burned hotels and bars. Some Hindus in India said the eclipse was sent by Lord Shiva, and took a dip in the Ganges as part of Kumbh Mela. Iraqi children sang to the heavens asking "Please Great Whale, give the moon back". And in Europe & Canada, up to 1,500 White witches gathered to ward off doom.
AdCritic has finally posted my favorite commercials: a series of ads for the Fox Regional Sports Report. They present intriguing new sports from around the world. Areas covered include China, India, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey.
West steps up threats against Yugoslavia -- "The Democratic Opposition of Serbia has signed up to the platform of the G17, a think-tank of market economists again funded by National Endowment for Democracy [an adjunct to the CIA]. This economic blueprint calls for the adoption of the German mark as the main currency for all of FRY, following in the footsteps of the Montenegrin republic last year. Other proposals include reduction of public spending, ending subsidies on food and other forms of social protection. The continuation of US and European economic sanctions on the FRY is being cynically exploited to bludgeon the population into accepting these terms as the condition for ending their economic isolation...." [more...]
Big Brother, around the world... Like Survivor, it started in Holland and Germany, then spread across continental Europe, and finally to the UK and USA. And like Millionaire, the duplication of the format is a good way of distinguishing cultural differences. The British version seems more candid than its American cousin, in keeping with Channel 4's character; it's also a lot less chummy. Anyone else keeping track of the two different houses?
Who's 'Big Brother' is most boring? The Brits prize is "only" $105,000, but any sex they have will be videotaped. Is their show more boring than ours? How does it compare to the Spanish and German ones?
Xenoblogs I got a bit tired of the Amerikanski domination of Weblogging (not that I don't love you all!), so I've started a compendium of blogs maintained outside the USA, which I've given the snappy name Xenoblogs. The current list is based, with permission, on a well-known geographical map of worldwide blogs. Additions welcome.