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Showing posts from September, 2005

Are you sure its just Austria?

Austria sabotages Turkish EU talks
By David Rennie in Brussels

(Filed: 30/09/2005)Daily Telegraph, UK

Efforts to salvage one of the most ambitious and controversial projects in European Union history - the opening of talks to admit Turkey - ended in failure yesterday.

Turkish membership talks are due to begin on Monday. But Austria left the process deadlocked by sticking to demands that Turkey be offered something less than full membership.

A British-chaired meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels broke up after only an hour amid Austrian demands that the EU's formal invitation to Ankara be rewritten.

Austria's ambassador said the accession agreement should be stripped of a pledge that the goal of entry talks is EU accession for Turkey.

Austria also wanted the agreement rewritten to include a warning that even if Ankara meets all the EU's conditions, the bloc can still say no to full membership "if the Union is not in a position to absorb Turkey".

Such a half-invitation is…

Go Agead! Ha Ha! Laugh at yourselves!

The Good Dogs that we are!
Licking the hand that feeds us is our middle name...

University students around the world are alert and ready to pounce on any political, social, artistic or religious issues of concern not just to their own direct interests, but those affecting others too.

From repressed societies such at China, Cuba and Korea to liberal democracies on our continent such as the Danes, the Swedes, the Italians and the Brits, students are seen massing in the streets sometimes marching against legions of armed police thugs in riot gear. From our parochial-narrow-minded-village-brain-box they defy logic, as more often than not they risk their lives to make a statement, to air their opinions on the war in Iraq, on gay rights, on freedom of expression, on economic or political reform in their country...

But not here in Malta. Our students have been doctored by years of pampering, political correctness, cultural potty training, religious spoon feeding, by years of 'mentally prog…

Crisps, bread, lipstick and soap help kill Apes!

We are all culprits

Campaigners fear orang-utans could become extinct

Demand for crisps, bread, lipstick and soap could drive orang-utans to extinction, research suggests.

The UK alone imports nearly a million tonnes of palm oil a year for use in such products, but campaigners say plantations for it destroy rainforests.

Friends of the Earth and international ape conservation groups warn in a report that 90% of the animals' habitat in South East Asia has been wiped out.

Their research claims the apes could become extinct within 12 years.

Legal duty

The groups claim British supermarkets do not know where their palm oil is produced.

It is we who will have to explain to our children that the orang-utan became extinct because of corporate greed

Ian Redmond
Ape Alliance

They are calling on the government to give company directors a legal duty to minimise their environmental impacts.

Friends of the Earth palm oil campaigner Ed Matthew accused the government of "failing to clean up i…

Quo Vadis Malta?

(Dmax) No Comment...

Malta fears it will sink under growing tide of migrants from Africa
By David Rennie in Valletta

(Filed: 21/09/2005)

The holiday island of Malta is in the grip of an accidental tragedy: it is directly in the path of a growing and potentially vast flow of asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa to southern Europe.

Caught: exhausted boat people from Africa await their fate
Its proximity to Libya, 180 miles to the south, threatens the identity and culture of the islanders. Thousands of refugees have made the crossing in recent months.

Libya has said that there are 1.5 million sub-Saharan Africans on its territory and many have their sights set on Europe.

Many asylum seekers are fleeing persecution in Darfur and Somalia and unknown numbers drown as they cross the Mediterranean.

The invasion of Malta is accidental: the boats are heading for the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily, which offer direct access to the rest of Italy. But many of them run out of fuel or are hit by …

Pope John Paul's last words revealed by the Vatican

John Paul's last words revealed

Most Christians look at the holy figure of Pope John Paul rightly as a saintly and deeply inspirational. But its not only Christians but people from all faiths respected this larger-than-life personality, then and even now that he passed away...

Us Maltese have been lucky to have him twice amongst us. Both occasions saw ecstatic crowds flocking the main roads and public places as he passed by or made his speeches...

Now the Vatican has made some interesting revelations that should further boost the former Pontiff's golden chances for fast-forward 'official' sainthood. Read on...

Pope John Paul II's last words before his death were "let me go to the house of the Father", according to documents released by the Vatican.
His words were spoken in his native Polish to aides hours before he died last April.

They are preserved in a new 220-page volume which chronicles the last two months of the late pontiff's life.

It is the firs…

Travis Responds to Katrina Write-up

Welcome Back Travis!

The following piece was passed on as a comment to this blog by Travis from Washington DC, USA.

The United States is a very complex culture that I'm not sure I can even explain. Here is my attempt to respond to your post.

To understand why the people you are seeing on news coverage of the devastated city are primarily black, it’s useful to examine the culture of that particular area of the United States. After the US Civil War in the 1800’s, slaves, who were located in the Southeast region of the country, were released and for the most part traveled to cities, as there was little land to purchase (and slaves had little money) or work available in rural areas (except for the work they had just been freed from). The white population of the region, who had lost the war over their right to own slaves, didn’t want the black workers around. Without going into too much detail, the government wasn’t able to quell much of the injustices suffered by the black population,…

Money Rules as Yahoo dishes one of its visitors to the Chinese Authorities...

Yahoo 'helped jail China writer'

Dmax Says...

Yahoo is a major, respected search engine. We understand that like any other business it must ensure it assists authorities where criminal issues (such as child pornography, for instance) are concerned, but should it assist an authoritarian regime in persecuting political expression?What do you think?

As Western firms are rushing to invest in China, many are already talking about the next super power in the making. Few, however, are talking about China's appalling human rights record. Few governments are going beyond the usual rhetoric and actually penalizing this Communist turned Capitalist Dictatorship for the brutal way with which it 'manages' its people.

The following story is shocking for more than one reason: (i) Yahoo is a trusted search engine the world-over, so this story will definitely not going to fall on deaf ears with its multitude of users (especially in China), (ii) data protection laws are a big issue in …

US backed Democracy: The Arabic Style

When will Europe stand up and be Counted?

Egyptian poll monitors 'banned'

Imagine this: A developing country that has never really tasted democracy finally gets its first chance to do so, but guess what: No monitors (i.e. independent observers sent by international organisations to ensure fairness at all times) are allowed.

Us Maltese are truly a calm lot. Here we are, the southernmost European Nation sitting pretty surrounded by a group of dictatorships situated in our south, literally, most within a few hundred miles far away.

What are we doing about this unfair political and economical reality? How can our many political organisations, social movements, the church and other non government organisations - if not the government itself - do nothing to break this status quo? Not even a comment. How can we tolerate this abuse of human rights on our door steps?

Instead of complaining about the many illegal immigrants coming from these countries, and the many more working in our mids…

Mighty US faces humbling defeat at the hands of Mother Nature.

Is this an unofficial Apertheid Policy?I asked myself, ‘why are most images of distraught victims of Katrina shown on news media mostly of blacks?’ It looked as if the weather had hit some remote African nation...but it was mainland USA. And the many blacks shown on TV where US citizens.

Am I the only person who noticed this?

It made me wonder: Is slavery over in the States or is there an unofficial Apertheid policy that causes such a failure by the State in its reaction to the whole disaster...

What if Katrina had hit a predominantly white and affluent area of the USA? Would there be this chaos? Would there be this dismay? Would there have been this loss of life ( 1,000and counting)? Would the US armed forces have taken so long to react?

Refugees are telling tales of horror...

Mothers scrape out their babies' nappies so they may be used again.

Read on.

But stop here if you are sensitive.

Our brothers and sisters in the US are facing a disaster. It could happen to us, and we will pr…