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27 Dec 2011 23:54


World: “Horrible things were happening before my eyes”

  • Police brutality that’s not “Occupy”-related: It’s been ignored by most Western media, but a police crackdown on a labor strike in Kazakhstan earlier this month resulted in 16 deaths (officially reported; protesters say the number is much higher), one truly disturbing video of protesters getting shot and beaten as they run away, and now, charges of a torture basement beneath a Kazakh police station. Here’s what’s being reported.
  • DETAINED FOR NO REASON Asem Kenzhebaeva says that on the day of the protests, police detained her, for no reason, while she was searching the streets of Zhanaozen for her father, who had gone missing earlier that day. “That day, police were arresting anyone they saw in the street,” Kenzhebaeva said.
  • TORTURE BASEMENTPolice brought her to a dark, dirty basement under the station, filled with other detainees. According to Kenzhebaeva, women were being stripped naked, dragged by the hair, and beaten by “people in masks.” Kenzhabaeva was beaten and strangled–but ultimately released by the police.
  • WHAT TORTURE? When she returned to the scene with government officials later that week, the basement had been completely cleaned up, and looked “white like a hospital.” Her father, meanwhile, turned up two days later, having been severely beaten by police. He died of his wounds the day before Christmas (Photo: AFP)source

20 Dec 2011 14:34


World: Foreign journalists given limited access in Syria

  • The Syrian government decided to let some journalists visit Homs, the city which has been most ravaged by violence throughout the nation’s recent series of political protests. It would appear they got the full Syrian government treatment, which is to say their access was restricted to specific events and people, presumably telling one side of the story. As far as meeting with the protest leaders and victims of months upon months of lethal violence, the media had no such access; they were closely followed by the state and were given access to wounded members of the Syrian military. The UN estimates 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since March. source

15 Nov 2011 22:19


World: Lebanese politicians get physically violent on live TV

  • Getting touchy:  Remember when Mitt Romney touched Rick Perry’s shoulder during a GOP debate a while back, and everybody freaked out? Yeah, that was nothing. During a televised debate about Syria yesterday, two Lebanese politicians became enraged and started throwing things at each other. After one guy chucks what looks like a glass of water across the table, the other guy stands up, grabs his chair, and almost hits his foe with it before the host intervenes. The topic of debate was Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a very polarizing figure in Lebanon. American debates can get heated, but we’d be awfully shocked to see Newt Gingrich chuck his podium at Jon Huntsman while discussing Chinese economic policy. source

15 Oct 2011 14:47


U.S.: Brutal incident at NYC McDonald’s: Self-defense or unchecked violence?

  • There is video of this on YouTube. We’re linking it instead of posting it, because it’s that violent and difficult to watch. Here’s what happened: Two customers got unruly after a McDonald’s employee wouldn’t give them their food until he could check the $50 bill they handed over. The customers started slapping him, and then jumped over the counter to confront him. What these unruly customers didn’t know is that the employee, Rayon McIntosh, recently got out of jail for manslaughter, and the incident set him off. He got a hold of a metal pole and started beating them savagely. One of the customers suffered a broken arm and fractured skull. The result? Both the customers and McIntosh got charged, in McIntosh’s case with felony assault. The chain and franchise owner have both come out against McIntosh’s actions, but the video itself seems to support a reasonable cause for self-defense, even if McIntosh’s own reaction was too heavy-handed (to put it lightly). Watch the video and see what you think. source

09 Oct 2011 20:50


World: Egyptian violence heats up after Coptic Christian protests

  • Both sides blame the military for the escalation: While protests had roots in a conflict around a Christian church, the violence reached unprecedented heights, with at least 24 killed and 213 injured, and gruesome photos (which are on AP, but we won’t publish) telling the story of a devastating scene. “What happened today is unprecedented in Egypt. 17 corpses crushed by military tanks,” tweeted human rights activist Hossam Bahgat. “I saw bodies missing hands and legs, heads twisted away or plastered to the ground.” This Al Jazeera English clip above does a pretty decent job of explaining what led to the protests — the worst since the fall of Mubarak. source

29 Sep 2011 11:28


World: U.S. ambassador to Syria pelted with tomatoes, stones in protest

You might remember the assault against U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford, who’s been critical of Assad’s regime, from about a month ago. That one didn’t involve stones and tomatoes. This one did. source

29 Sep 2011 01:18


World: In Acapulco, Mexico, a brutal manifestation of the drug war’s violence

  • 5 severed heads discovered in front of a primary school in Mexico source
  • » A sign things are getting worse: The city, once noted as a popular tourist destination, is now one of the drug war’s most violent battlegrounds, and this particular story is no exception in this often-disturbing tome. In this case, the heads were discovered while young students and pedestrians stood nearby, causing panic. But for those perpetuating the violence, that’s not their concern; their concern is power and control. (And apparently, stealing teachers’ salaries.) The police say it’s likely that the heads to belong to five decapitated bodies they discovered on Monday.

10 Aug 2011 14:28


World: London riots: Overworked officials fighting fire with water

  • 1,100 people arrested in the London riots source
  • » And authorities are fed up. That’s why they’re planning on breaking out the water cannons — which have never been used in England before. While London has been more calm today, violence has begun breaking out in other cities. The fact that they’re going to all new measures for security shows just how desperate they are for it, but they have a good reason to be. The riots are calling into question authorities’ ability to keep London secure. It’s not a good time for this to crop up — they can’t afford the extra instability ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

05 Jul 2011 17:38


World: Syrian security crackdown brings violent repression to Hama

  • 10 Syrian citizens killed by security forces in the city of Hama source
  • » “Implacable armed repression”: Those were the words France used to describe the onslaught on the Syrian citizenry by security forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, as they lobbied the U.N. to adopt a firmer stance on the issue. The realities within Syria are dire right now — as we’ve mentioned before, human rights groups estimate over a thousand people have been killed, and over ten-thousand detained, so in an extremely depressing way, this number isn’t surprising. French MP Gerard Bapt doesn’t see much will for international involvement, either: “With the Arab League not moving and with a nation like Saudi Arabia saying nothing publicly to condemn the killings by the Syrian regime it is difficult to see international pressure rising beyond the economic.”

29 Jun 2011 18:48


World: Protests continue in Greece after austerity plan passes

  • Tumult, violence in Greece: Passions continue to run hot in Greece after the party-line vote in favor of a harsh new set of austerity measures — the new tax burden placed on minimum wage earners, in particular, has inflamed swaths of the public against the plan. Protests had been increasingly violent leading up to the vote, and have sustained after the plan’s passage — police have responded with teargas attacks on the protesting crowds. As always, we hope people find a way to keep themselves safe in all this. source