Daily Archives: September 17, 2006

US ‘mirrors Roman Empire’ in Iraq war

America’s entanglement in Iraq bears a striking resemblance to ancient Rome’s Punic wars, according to the author of a new book on the Roman Empire.
Simon Baker, who also produced BBC2’s forthcoming series Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire, on which his book is based, claims the decision by the greatest civilisation in the ancient world to attack its Mediterranean rival Carthage mirrors America’s actions in the build-up to the second Gulf War.


Bush defends demands for CIA ‘torture’ power

President Bush launched an impassioned counterattack on critics of his proposals to give CIA interrogators a free rein in their treatment of terror suspects yesterday, saying “it’s vital that the folks on the front line have the tools necessary to protect the American people”. The CIA programme, involving controversial secret camps outside the US, was one of the most important elements in warding off future terrorist strikes, Mr Bush told reporters.


Narcotics prices plummet as use reaches epidemic levels

The cost of drugs in many parts of Britain has plummeted in the past year, an authoritative study on the country’s booming industry in illegal substances has revealed.

Specialists also disclosed that the potentially lethal practice known as ” speedballing”, in which users inject themselves with a mixture of heroin and cocaine, is reaching epidemic levels.
The low prices of many drugs suggests that they are readily available throughout the country and that police and customs are losing the war on drugs.

Uzbekistan’s murderous dictator gets human rights award


Look familiar?

Freedom House and Human Rights Watch are leading the campaign against the UNESCO decision.
Veronika Szente-Goldston, Human Rights Watch’s advocacy director for Europe and Central Asia, expressed her organization’s shock at news of the award in comments to RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service. “We think that this is absolutely scandalous,” she said. “When we first saw the announcement we thought that it must be a bad joke.”
Freedom House joined Human Rights Watch in criticizing UNESCO and the UN agency’s awarding of Karimov.
Alexander Gupman, the senior program manager at Freedom House, said his group was similarly amazed at the UNESCO decision. “Freedom House strongly condemns this decision to reward the dictator Karimov in Uzbekistan who has been part of a massacre of civilians; his regime has been accused of torture as well as other human rights abuses,” he said.


Reporters sans frontières expresses surprise at UNESCO award for authoritarian dictator Karimov

Expressing its surprise, Reporters Without Borders said: “Islam Karimov is one of the world’s worst press freedom predators, and the systematic repression of Uzbekistan’s independent media has been stepped up ever since the May 2005 uprising in Andijan.”

The organisation added: “UNESCO’s job is to develop links between people in order to consolidate peace based on universal respect for justice, human rights and basic freedoms, so we deplore the fact that its visits, even ones carried out for purely protocol purposes, enable Karimov to derive political benefit from his country’s UNESCO membership.” Uzbekistan is ranked 155th out 167 countries in the Reporters Without Borders classification of countries according to their respect for press freedom.


Philadelphia Priests Meet With Sex Abuse Victims

Hundreds of priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese were summoned by the cardinal Friday to hear from two adults who as children were molested by priests. Victoria Windsor Cubberly graphically described being raped as a girl by a priest in a rectory office. She was later abused by two more clergymen. The experience left her with suicidal thoughts and nightmares.
The meeting at a seminary was called as part of an effort by the church to teach members of the clergy about victims’ struggles to rebuild their lives. Cardinal Justin Rigali said many priests have read newspaper accounts of abuse victims, but it was important for them to listen to the stories as well. “It is extremely important for us to hear their stories firsthand so that we may see the human face and hear the human voice,” he said. The victims were joined by a woman whose two sons were abused. All three speakers said they came from Catholic families, and that it was hard for them to report the abuse. Victoria Windsor Cubberly graphically described being raped as a girl by a priest in a rectory office. She was later abused by two more clergymen. The experience left her with suicidal thoughts and nightmares.



JUST SAY ‘SNOW’: The creator of “Cocaine” the drink says even the provocative name helps people get wasted.

350 percent stronger than Red Bull
A new energy drink that crashed runway parties last week is called Cocaine, and its makers are billing it as “the legal alternative” to the white powder drug. The drink’s maker maintains that “doing Cocaine” – the beverage, that is – gives you a bigger and better high without the crash that other energy drinks cause. They say a high hits you within five minutes, followed by a caffeine boost 15 minutes later. But hold on – the ride lasts five hours and the concoction is “350 percent stronger than Red Bull,” they claim.