Wolfowitz and North Korea nuclear negotiations debacle: here.
One of the most endangered amphibians in North America, the Wyoming toad has undergone an intensive captive breeding program, where toads are raised in zoos and released into Wyoming’s Laramie basin, where they were discovered in the 1940s.
During the 1970s and ‘80s, the toad disappeared from its already limited range, succumbing to threats such as toxic pesticides, habitat degradation, and disease.
To reestablish the wild population, more than 50,000 toads, raised in captivity by ten zoos, have been successfully released.
See also here.
Associated Press reports:
Obama Hears Tearful Plea to End Iraq War
By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer
Friday, April 20, 2007
The Illinois senator vowed to end the unpopular conflict if elected, a position that later earned him thunderous applause during a 5,800-person rally in Boston.
Obama fielded questions about health care, gun control and energy during a midday appearance before some 200 people at a Nashua senior center.
The residents politely applauded, and then Jean Serino of Hudson told the candidate her nephew was heading to Iraq to serve.
“I can’t breathe,” she said, her voice breaking with sobs.
“I want to know, when am I going to be able to breathe?
Are you going to get us the hell out of there? Promise us you will get us out of there.
That’s the most important thing.”
The crowd’s applause as she finished gave Obama time to compose an answer.
“I can only imagine how you feel, as a father and as a parent,” he said.
“I don’t go to a single town-hall meeting where I don’t meet a mother or father who either is seeing a loved one go over there or has already lost someone, or has a loved one who has come back injured.
“So I make a solemn pledge to you, as president we will be out of Iraq,” Obama said to loud applause.
Oliver Stone: get troops out of Iraq.
From the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia:
Sunnis, Shiites unite to oppose divisive wall
Edmund Sanders in Baghdad
April 21, 2007
A US military brigade is building a five-kilometre concrete wall to cut off one of Baghdad’s most restive Sunni districts from the Shiite neighbourhoods that surround it, raising concern about the further Balkanisation of Iraq‘s most violent city. …
Sunnis and Shiites living in the shadow of the barrier are united in their contempt for it.
“Are they trying to divide us into different sectarian cantons?” said Abu Ahmed, a Sunni shop owner in Adhamiya.
“This will deepen the sectarian strife and only serve to abort efforts aimed at reconciliation.”
Some of his customers come from Shiite or mixed neighbourhoods that are now cut off by the barrier.
Several residents likened the wall to the barriers built by Israel around some Palestinians areas.
“Are we in the West Bank?” asked Abu Qusay, a pharmacist, who said access to his favourite kebab restaurant in Adhamiya had been cut off.
See also here.
From ART FOR A CHANGE blog in the USA:
The brainchild of L.A. based artist John Carr, the exhibit had its beginnings in 2002 during the run-up to war in Iraq.
Being a printmaker, Carr wanted to put together a traveling exhibit that was not only a political expression, but a celebration of the fine art of printmaking.
Instead of machine printed reproductions, the “Yo!” show consists entirely of handcrafted prints – Silkscreens, Lithographs, Linocuts, Woodcuts and Stencils. …
Past showings were held in Tokyo, San Francisco, New York, Milan, Rejkyavik, Washington D.C., Boston and Chicago.
On April 14th, 2007, Yo! What Happened to Peace?, opened at the House of Love and Dissent in Rome, Italy.
The opening was also the launch for the exceptional catalog book that documents the traveling exhibition.
You can preview the Rome exhibit here, as well as view a number of prints from the exhibition and its catalog.
US artist Ron Cobb, Earth Day, etc.: here.
This video is called Aljazeera Iraq – Haditha massacre witness.
From the New York Times in the USA:
After it became clear last year that several marines had killed 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, following an attack on their convoy of Humvees, the Marine Corps, which had initially played down the massacre, began an offensive of a different kind.
Last May, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, the commandant of the Marine Corps at the time, went to Iraq to express deep concern to his marines and to reinforce what he called the “core values” that required them to respond to danger with thoughtful precision.
But almost a year later, marines killed at least 10 civilians in Afghanistan in an episode that bore some striking similarities to the Haditha killings and suggested that the lesson had not taken, even in a platoon of combat veterans wearing the badge of the elite new Marine Corps Special Operations forces.
Marine Corps officials said the unit, whose members undergo at least four months of specialized military training, did not receive specific values training addressing the lessons of Haditha.
The actions of the 30 marines on patrol in Afghanistan appeared to contradict many of the edicts General Hagee had implored the marines to remember. …
A preliminary military investigation found that the marines killed at least 10 civilians and wounded dozens along a stretch of road near Jalalabad on March 4, and no evidence that they were being fired upon.
See also here.
From Davao Today in the Philippines, by Grace S. Uddin:
The Happy Life and Violent Death of Grecil Buya
She excelled in school, finishing Grade Two with honors and with the award “Most Neat and Clean.”
She took on chores, like minding the carabao.
On March 31, the nine-year-old girl was killed by soldiers during an encounter with the New People’s Army.
The soldiers claimed the nine-year-old girl aimed an Armalite rifle at them, forcing them to shoot her.
Family and friends were saddened by Grecil’s death but are outraged at the allegation that she was a communist guerrilla.
See also here.
The cartoon is based on this painting about the poem The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
From British daily The Independent:
Cash-for-honours: Blair aides await fate as inquiry ends
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
Published: 21 April 2007
Police are calling for charges to be brought against two of Tony Blair’s closest allies in a file handed to prosecutors following the “cash-for-honours” investigation.
A further 6,300 pages of supporting documents have also been sent by the Metropolitan Police to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
It follows a 13-month inquiry by Scotland Yard into the alleged awarding of peerages to Labour-supporting businessmen in return for secret loans.