Saturday, 28 April 2012

MI6 spy Gareth Williams was 'scrupulous risk assessor'


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Inside Gareth Williams's flat

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An MI6 officer found dead in his flat had been a "scrupulous risk-assessor" and only let "vetted" people into his home, his sister has told an inquest.
The body of Gareth Williams, 31, originally from Anglesey, was found padlocked in a bag in a bath in his Pimlico flat in August 2010.
Ceri Subbe said only family had keys to her brother's flat and that he would not have let in a potential killer.
The inquest is expected to examine whether anyone else was involved.
Ms Subbe said her brother had never told her he had been followed or felt threatened.
"I cannot think as to why anybody would want to harm him," she told the inquest.
In a statement read to the court, Ms Subbe said MI6 had been "dragging their feet" over her brother's request to return to government communications surveillance agency GCHQ's headquarters in Gloucestershire.
The mathematics prodigy had worked as a cipher and codes expert for GCHQ since 2001.

Start Quote

Gareth was like a Swiss clock - very punctual, very efficient, and it was very unlike him not to attend a meeting”
End Quote Ceri Subbe Gareth Williams's sister
He had been working for MI6 in London on what had been meant to be a three-year secondment, but "as time went by his enthusiasm began to fade", Ms Subbe said.
"He disliked office culture, post-work drinks, flash car competitions and the rat race. He even spoke of friction in the office," the statement said.
Giving evidence at Westminster Coroner's Court, Ms Subbe added: "The job was not quite what he expected. He encountered more red tape than he was comfortable with."
Mr Williams had asked to return to GCHQ in April 2010 and MI6 had agreed he could leave on 1 September 2010.
The inquest was told that he failed to show up to a meeting that day and Ms Subbe had spoken to one of his colleagues.
"He is very conscientious. The person I spoke to agreed, and said Gareth was like a Swiss clock - very punctual, very efficient, and it was very unlike him not to attend a meeting," she said.
Ms Subbe told the inquest he had seemed upbeat the last time she spoke to him.
Gareth Williams Mr Williams's colleagues from MI6 and GCHQ will give evidence
She said it was "not particularly" surprising that £20,000 of women's clothes had been found in her brother's flat and that they could possibly have been intended as gifts.
The police officer who discovered the bag in the bath, PC John Gallagher, told the inquest he was let into the locked flat by a letting agent after reports that Mr Williams was missing.
He said that, once inside, his attention was drawn to a woman's wig hanging on the corner of a chair.
When he got to the bathroom, there was a bathrobe on the floor outside the closed door, he added.
When he opened it, he noticed the bag in the bath but only became aware of the "particular smell" of a body when he tried to lift it.
"I noticed that the side nearest the door had a round bulge," he said.
"I noticed there was a padlock with the two zips joined together.
"At this point I am realising it is something serious and my concern was to not damage anything in a crime scene."
He said he could only see red fluid seeping out after he lifted the bag up "by six or seven inches".
He called for back-up and Det Sgt Paul Colgan arrived who cut open the holdall to reveal the body inside.
The inquest has been adjourned until Tuesday.
Opening proceedings earlier, coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said evidence into Mr Williams's death would be heard in public but that some sensitive information would be withheld because of a "real risk of harm" to national security.
The building which housed Mr Williams' flat Mr Williams returned to his flat on Wednesday 11 August 2010 after a holiday to the US
Summaries or "gists" of any withheld evidence would be revealed in court and there would be "a full, fair and fearless inquest into this highly controversial death", she said.
The inquest will hear from Mr Williams's colleagues from MI6 and the GCHQ, toxicology experts and bag experts.
Most of the 37 witnesses will give evidence in person, but some officers will be able to testify anonymously and behind screens.
Broadcasters and newspaper have applied for photographs, video and documents referred to in open court to be supplied to the media.
But a lawyer for the Met Police, Vincent Williams, said there was a "live complex ongoing investigation" into the death and charges were still a "real possibility".
Dr Wilcox suggested that the lawyers agree a compromise outside court.
A lawyer for Mr Williams's family said they opposed the release of video footage showing an attempted reconstruction of how he may have climbed into the bath.
'Dark arts'
A post-mortem examination and further toxicology tests - which found no trace of drugs, alcohol or poison - and the police investigation have all failed to establish a cause of death.
Police originally found it would have been impossible for Mr Williams to have locked himself inside the holdall his naked body was found in.
But they have been unable to establish whether he died at the hands of a third party.
Dr Wilcox told a pre-inquest hearing in March that whether the code-breaker was able to lock himself in the bag would be "at the very heart" of the inquest.
Lawyer Anthony O'Toole told the pre-inquest hearing that Mr Williams's family believed a third party was present at his death or later destroyed evidence.
"The impression of the family is that the unknown third party was a member of some agency specialising in the dark arts of the secret services - or evidence has been removed post-mortem by experts in the dark arts," he said.

Man and woman found shot in head in Crook


A man and a woman have been found shot in the head in a car in County Durham.
The bodies were found with "serious gunshot wounds", not far from Crook Golf Course, Durham Police said.
Detectives said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths and did not believe anyone in the wider community was at risk.
Officers found the bodies at 11:35 BST, on Low Job's Hill, Crook, after "acting on information received" and the area has been cordoned off.

Egyptian protests over detained lawyer shut Saudi embassy


Egyptian protesters take part in a demonstration in front of Saudi Arabian embassy in Cairo on April 24, 2012, calling for the release of Ahmed al-Gizawi who arrested on April 17 Egyptians have held angry protests outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo this week

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Saudi Arabia has shut its embassy and consulates in Egypt following protests over an Egyptian lawyer who has been detained in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi ambassador to Egypt had also been recalled, the Saudi state news agency said.
Egyptian protesters have demanded the release of human rights lawyer Ahmed al-Gizawi.
He was detained earlier this month on arrival in Saudi Arabia and accused of insulting King Abdullah.
Egyptian activists say the lawyer was held after lodging a complaint against Saudi Arabia for its treatment of Egyptians in its prisons.
His family say he had gone to perform a minor pilgrimage - a detail which has angered many Egyptians who feel resentment at the kingdom's treatment of Egyptians.
But Saudi authorities say Mr al-Gizawi was found by airport officials to be carrying drugs - allegedly more than 20,000 anti-anxiety pills - in his luggage.
They say they doubt Mr al-Gizawi was on a pilgrimage, as he was not wearing white pilgrims' clothes.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Not the Right Time for Talks: Between Somalia’s Transitional Government & Somaliland

Not the Right Time for Talks: Between Somalia’s Transitional Government & Somaliland
By Said A. Saryan

April 26 , 2012

In the midst of incessant heart breaking barrage of ghastly bad news emanating from their motherland, the Somali public saw a ray of hope in last week’s announcement that  Somalia’s Transitional Government (TFG) and Somalia’s Northwestern secessionist enclave (‘Somaliland’) will, after 20 years of silence, engage in preliminary talks, as reflected in paragraph (6) of the London International Conference on Somalia, held on February 23, 2012.

However, to the dismay of the Somali public, who saw these talks as a major step towards the restoration of peace and unity to their long-suffering homeland, both the TFG and Somaliland started with the wrong foot and approached these talks in a casual haphazard fashion.

The TFG President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, appointed a five-member Cabinet Committee, chaired by the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abdisamad Mallin Mohamoud, who in recent interview with VOA’s Somali Section unequivocally stated that he personally supports the secessionist’s misguided goal to be recognized as an independent entity from the rest of the country. This quick appointment of this Committee was apparently conceived and carried out without consulting with the Prime Minister and the rest of his Cabinet.

Since that appointment a disturbing expose also came to light regarding Mr. Abdisamad’s past political relationship with the Hargeisa secessionist Administration.  According to sources who attended the London Conference he was Sheikh Sharif’s emissary to the Silaanyo camp and did
participate in several close-door Meetings with key officials from Somaliland.

In tandem with these dangerous missteps from the TFG camp, the secessionist regime put forth highly inflammatory pre-conditions, which smacks of arrogance and clearly indicates they are not serious in engaging in constructive dialogue with the Transitional Government but are going through the motion merely to satisfy the call of the British Government and then argue that these ‘Southerns’ are not ready or capable to engage in a meaningful dialogue. The selection of London for the venue of the Meeting gives credence to this possible scenario.Continued

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Sudan president seeks to 'liberate' South Sudan


Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his wife Widad Babiker in Khartoum (10 April 2012) President Bashir's government fought a civil war against the SPLM for two decades
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has said his main goal is now to "liberate" the people of South Sudan from its rulers following recent border clashes.
The former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement has ruled South Sudan since it seceded from Sudan in July 2011.
President Bashir was addressing a rally at his party's headquarters.
Fighting between the two countries has now spread to another area, further adding to fears of all-out war.
South Sudan seized the Heglig oil field - generally recognised as Sudanese territory - eight days ago. On Tuesday fighting broke out north of Aweil in South Sudan, about 100 miles (160km) west of Heglig.
The South Sudanese military said 22 soldiers had been killed, with casualties on both sides.
'By hook or crook'

Main disputes between the two Sudans

  • Transit fees the South should pay Sudan to use its oil pipelines
  • Demarcating the border
  • Both sides claim Abyei
  • The rights of each other's citizens now in a foreign country - there are estimated to be 500,000 southerners in Sudan and 80,000 Sudanese in the South
  • Each accuses the other of supporting rebel groups on its territory
Mr Bashir told the rally "the story began in Heglig, but it will end in Khartoum or Juba," according to the AFP news agency.
The current spate of fighting is the worst since South Sudan's independence last year, which followed two decades of civil war between Mr Bashir's government and the SPLM.
Mr Bashir said he had made a "mistake" in putting the SPLM in power in Juba.
He told the crowd that his message to the SPLM was: "Either we end up in Juba and take everything, or you end up in Khartoum and take everything."
A Sudanese foreign ministry official said Sudan would end the occupation of Heglig "by hook or crook".
A non-Sudanese source close to the border talks told the BBC that during years of discussions before its independence, South Sudan never claimed Heglig as part of its territory.
In a separate development, the world's newest country became a member of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia: Readers respond to princess's call for reform


Ragout of BBC feature
Last week, Princess Basma bint Saud bin Abdulaziz set out five ways she thought Saudi Arabia could change for the better.
She focused on the constitution, divorce laws, education system, social services and the custom of women having a chaperone.
There was a huge response from readers to the princess's article. Many cheered her on, but some opposed her ideas. Here are some emails from those who disagree with her.

Don't dilute our values

Basma has raised a few good points which need attention by the local authorities, namely, the constitution and divorce laws.

What the princess asked for:

Princess Basma
  • Constitution that enshrines gender equality
  • Make it easier for women to file for divorce
  • An overhaul of the education system
  • Reform of social services, such as introducing independent women's refuges
  • Increase women's freedom of movement by removing necessity for male chaperone
However, some of her remarks are incendiary to the masses living here.
For example, the masses of people love the Prophet Muhammad and take his words and deeds seriously. For us, Islam is a way of life, a way prescribed to us by the divine which is better than all human systems. For somebody to mock the words of the Prophet as "wasting time on learning quotations" is obnoxious.
I agree that there should be educational reforms to keep at par with the world; however, that should not be at the expense of watering down our own values and beliefs. We will not allow that to happen. Islam believes in separation of responsibilities of men and women and that ensures a healthy society. When this institution is broken, we see broken families, incoherent societies, old age homes etc as evident in many countries.
With regards to a woman travelling with a chaperone, it is a universal law applicable even today. It is for her safety and protection.
One piece of advice for Basma. Please read and analyse the divine texts without any preconceived biases to be able to come to a right conclusion. You are trying to superimpose Western secular liberalism on Islam and trying to push that as a system here which, in my opinion, is unreasonable.
Hassan Mahfooz, Jeddah

Real injustice is drivers' wages

I live in Saudi Arabia, and Princess Basma's comments are not totally accurate to the realities of the country. Women frequently do move around without male chaperones, to go shopping or to travel to and from work or school. Whether or not they are allowed to is largely irrelevant, because they do it and nobody stops them. The second point is that, yes, they cannot drive, but the overwhelming majority of Saudi families have a driver to whom they pay a pittance. Even if women could drive by law, they mostly wouldn't. The real social injustice in Saudi is the disgustingly low wages paid to family drivers who are on call 24/7 and are treated like slaves by their employers.
Paul, Riyadh

Women have more freedom now

The princess's comments give a somewhat blurred picture of the current situation in Saudi Arabia. I am an expatriate living in this country since my childhood days. What I am seeing now is a totally different scenario, in terms of women's education and rights. Saudi women today are enjoying and practising their (allowable) freedom ever more than before. They are getting a good education, starting to work and are constantly developing. I agree with the princess on the issue of women driving; Saudi society is just not prepared for that ethically and traditionally.
Vasic Soton, expat living in Jeddah

Don't take religion out of education

Yes, the educational systems will benefit from a revision and development plan, but I strongly disagree with the limitation of the religious courses. Islam in its golden times was never against creativity or tolerance, and the examples on that are many. Decreasing the amount of religious content in the curriculum is not the way to improve the quality of the educational system product, but infusing more sciences and applying new models of education is.
Saudi Arabia spends somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of its budget every year for the last seven years on education and training, giving scholarships to thousands of students every year to study abroad. The latest statistics indicate that there are more than 130,000 Saudi students abroad, studying languages, doing undergrad or graduate degrees, with around 17,000 in the UK. Chances in these programmes are given to both men and women.
Yes, of course, the picture is not always pretty and rosy, but I think that there is a lot of progress there that deserves looking at. I come from a relatively conservative family but that didn't stop any of my sisters or female cousins (and they are many) from getting their higher education completed, and working in different institutions and being independent caring mothers and loving spouses.
For a country that was torn apart by tribal conflicts and harsh living conditions less than 90 years ago, only those who have witnessed the dramatic change can give a good perspective.
Abdossalam Madkahli, from Riyadh, studying at Oxford, UK

Woman shoots Texas mother dead and steals her baby


Police storm the scene where a woman was shot and her baby kidnapped in Spring, Texas 17 April 2012 Authorities detained a person of interest in the shooting late on Tuesday
A woman has been charged with capital murder after a mother was shot dead and had her baby abducted near Houston, Texas, prosecutors say.
Kala Marie Golden, 28, was carrying her three-day-old son, Keegan, in the car park of a paediatric centre when she was confronted by a woman.
The woman shot Golden up to seven times and snatched the baby from her arms before driving away.
Prosecutors suspect the attack may have been part of a plan to abduct any baby.
Brett Ligon, a district attorney, told ABC's Good Morning America programme that Verna McClain, 30, had been charged early on Wednesday in the killing.
'My baby!'
According to ABC News, Ms McClain is a registered nurse and mother of three.
Undated photo of the child abducted from his mother's arms outside a suburban Houston paediatric centre on 17 April 2012 The abducted child was recovered on Tuesday evening and is being cared for by social services
Mr Ligon told ABC: "There were statements as indicated in the arrest record that were made by Ms McClain that led us to believe that, in fact, this was an intentional act on her part.
"Not that Ms Golden was targeted specifically, but that this was part of a plan to kidnap a child."
The stolen baby was found unharmed on Tuesday evening and has been reunited with his family, a Child Protection Services spokeswoman told the Houston Chronicle newspaper.
It is not known where authorities found the infant, but they said the baby was not in a home raided by armed police on Tuesday evening.
Golden had taken her son to Northwoods Pediatric Center in the town of Spring for a routine check-up earlier that day.
Witnesses say there was an argument between Golden and another woman outside the building, before the attacker opened fire. A receptionist at the paediatric centre said that Verna McClain was not an employee there.
The dying woman leaned into the vehicle and tried to take her child back, screaming "my baby!" but her attacker sped away.
Reports suggest there was a second person in the car.
Linda Golden, the victim's mother, told the Associated Press news agency: "I wanted to kiss her before they put her in the ambulance."
"That's the hardest she's ever fought," Ms Golden added. "She died trying to save her baby."
Speaking to Houston television station KHOU on Tuesday, Keegan's father, Keith Schuchardt, paid tribute to Golden.
"She was sweet, lovable," he said. "I loved her and she loved me."
Days earlier, Mr Schuchardt had announced the birth of his son on Facebook: "Baby Keegan is here, born 4/14/12, 6lbs 15oz, 20 inches long. Looks like me lol."

Anders Behring Breivik wants acquittal or death penalty


Anders Behring Breivik in court (18 April 2012) Prosecutors say Breivik has invented the right-wing group to which he says he belongs
Anders Behring Breivik has told his trial in Oslo he believes there can be only two "just" outcomes to his trial - acquittal or the death penalty.
Breivik, who killed 77 people last July, said he considered a lengthy jail sentence "a pathetic punishment". Norway does not have the death penalty.
He also said he had been "very surprised" to have survived the day of the attacks.
Prosecutors have been quizzing him on his links with militant nationalists.
On the third day of the trial they have been trying to disprove his claim of the existence of a far-right European network.
'Pathetic punishment'
Under cross-examination, Breivik said: "There are only two just and fair outcomes of this trial - acquittal or capital punishment. I consider 21 years of prison as a pathetic punishment.
Asked if he wanted the court to give him the death penalty, he replied: "No, but I would have respected it. I would not recognise 21 years of prison, it's ridiculous."
Breivik killed 69 people at a Labour Party youth camp on Utoeya island, having first set off a bomb outside a government building in Oslo that killed eight people.


Breivik's been really defensive in court this morning. From my vantage point a few feet from him, he seems less relaxed and appears to feels less in control. He's sitting back in his chair, one arm resting on the table in front of him.
The prosecution has really been pushing him hard to give details about the networks of militant nationalists he says he became part of - about his supposed contacts with Serb nationalists in Liberia, and with English nationalists in London.
They simply do not believe that he did form links with such people. They're trying to discover whether he's a fantasist. And he is definitely on the back foot. As he left for a recess, he gave a big smile to his lawyer. But his face is flushed and he seems to be under pressure.
He has said he carried out the attacks to defend "ethnic Norwegians" from rising multiculturalism.
"I was very surprised that I survived that day," he told the court on Wednesday.
"I had no other plans for what to do. I considered the chance less than 5% that I would survive the bombing. But not only that, I survived Utoeya."
Breivik was also questioned about his religious beliefs by a lawyer for the victims.
"Well, I am a militant Christian; to prevent the de-Christianisation of Europe is very important," he said.
"But this does not mean we want to introduce a Christian theocracy. We are not Christian fundamentalists. I believe in God and I believe in a life after death."
Answering questions from a judge he described himself as an "anti-Nazi".
"A National Socialist would say, 'Norway for the Norwegians'. I am more liberal, I would accept 2% perhaps (of the population not being ethnically Norwegian)."
The court is seeking to establish whether Breivik is sane and can be jailed.
Earlier, Breivik said the far-right network, which he named as the Knights Templar, met in London to decide on its platform.
He said the group was "not an organisation in a conventional sense" but consisted of "independent cells".
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Doubt cast on Breivik extremist links
Prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh told him the purpose of her questioning was to shed doubt on the network's existence.
In other parts of his testimony on Wednesday, Breivik told the court:
  • the "big problem" for militant nationalists in Europe was that they had had very few role models since World War II
  • he and other militant nationalists were "selling dreams" to inspire others
  • he met a Serb nationalist in Liberia in 2001 who was one of the founding members of the Knights Templar
  • he met his English "mentor", whose codename he gave as Richard the Lionheart, in London
  • his own codename was Sigurd, after a 12th Century Norwegian king
The prosecution showed the court an excerpt from Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto.
He wrote that he underwent a "complete screening and background check" for the Knights Templar to ensure that he was of "the desired calibre".
He claimed the group was considering "several hundred" individuals throughout Europe for a training course.
Breivik has begun each court appearance with a right-wing clenched-fist salute.
His lawyers, addressing reporters after the day's hearing was adjourned, said they had asked him to stop making the gesture.

Breivik prosecution timetable

Prosecution plans for Breivik questioning:
  • Wednesday: Breivik's thinking and life from 2001
  • Thursday: Bombing of government offices in Oslo
  • Friday: Shootings on Utoeya island
  • Monday: Events after the bombing and shootings
Breivik's testimony, and that of his witnesses, is not being broadcast. His testimony is expected to last for a total of five days.
The leader of a support group for survivors of the 22 July attacks and victims' families says Breivik will be judged as a mass murderer, not as a man with a political agenda.
"The focus from our point of view is that he is not tried for his political views; he is on trial because he killed people, killed youngsters on Utoeya and my colleagues in the government quarters and that is the main focus for us," said Trond Blattmann.
The BBC's Steve Rosenberg, in Oslo, says a contradictory picture of Breivik is emerging - a man who hates Muslims, but admired Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
Our correspondent says Breivik sees himself as a great Crusader, when in fact he was a high school drop out, a failed businessman and an addict of computer war games.
Earlier, Breivik's lawyers warned that many Norwegians would find his comments upsetting.
If Breivik is judged sane and found guilty of murder, he faces a maximum of 21 years in jail, although that can be extended if he is deemed a threat to the public.
If he is judged to be insane, he will be committed to a psychiatric institution.

US condemns Afghan bodies 'abuse' by soldiers in 2010


US soldiers in Afghanistan. File photo There are fears the new accusations could stir more anti-US sentiment in Afghanistan
The US government has condemned the conduct of several American soldiers shown apparently abusing the corpses of suspected Afghan insurgents in 2010.
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta's spokesman pledged that the perpetrators would be punished.
His comments came after pictures emerged showing US soldiers posing with the mangled remains of suspected suicide bombers.
The photos come at a particularly sensitive moment in US-Afghan ties.
In March, 17 Afghan civilians - including nine children - were massacred in the southern Kandahar province. US staff Sgt Robert Bales was later charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The Taliban called off peace talks in the wake of the deadly rampage and threatened more attacks.
In February, thousands of Afghans held street rallies after US soldiers inadvertently burned copies of the Koran at a Nato base in Kabul.
More than 30 people died in the ensuing unrest, as people protested at US bases and diplomatic missions.
A month earlier, a video emerged apparently showing US marines urinating on dead Afghans.
The Americans are now finding themselves on the backfoot after these incidents, the BBC's Paul Adams in Washington says.
'Inhuman conduct'
"Secretary Panetta strongly rejects the conduct depicted in these two-year-old photographs," his spokesman George Little said in a statement on Wednesday.

Previous tension points

  • March 2012: US staff Sgt Robert Bales accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians
  • February 2012: Deadly protests after US troops inadvertently burn Koran
  • January 2012: Video shows US marines urinating on dead Afghans
  • March 2011: Radical US pastor burns Koran, triggering deadly protests
  • April 2008: Protests against cartoon of Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers
"These images by no means represent the values or professionalism of the vast majority of US troops serving in Afghanistan today.
"Anyone found responsible for this inhuman conduct will be held accountable in accordance with our military justice system," the spokesman said, adding that a criminal investigation was under way.
The commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (Isaf), Gen John Allen, also condemned the actions of the soldiers, while the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, them as "morally repugnant".
Mr Crocker said they "dishonour the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of US soldiers and civilians who have served with distinction in Afghanistan".
The pictures - published in the Los Angeles Times newspaper - apparently show soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division posing with remains of suspected suicide bombers in Afghanistan's eastern Zabul province.
Some are seen grinning next to the bodies, while others are seen holding one of the corpse's severed legs.
Another set of photos - from a few months later - apparently shows soldiers from the same division holding a dead man's hand with the middle finger raised.
'Fulfilling obligation'
The Los Angeles Times only published two of 18 photos.
It said pictures had been given by a US soldier "to draw attention to the safety risk of a breakdown in leadership and discipline" among American troops.
The depicted soldiers - who have not been identified - had seen friends killed or wounded in suicide and other bomb attacks in the course of their year-long deployment, the paper said.
And it defended its decision to publish the photos, despite a prior request from the US military not to do so.
"After careful consideration, we decided that publishing a small but representative selection of the photos would fulfil our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan, including the allegation," the paper's editor Davan Maharaj said.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Masuuliyiintii Xabsiga Magaalada Hargeysa ugu xidhnaa Musuqmaasuq oo Dhagaysiga dacwadoodii Maanta la billaabay


Isniin, Abriil 16, 2012 (HOL) — Saddexdii masuul ee lagu eedeeyey musuqmaasuqa, ayaa maanta si rasmi ah dacwadooddii uga furantay maxkamadda gobolka ee magaaladda Hargeysa, waxaana la dhagaystay markhaatiyadda ku marag furaya eedaysanayaasha.
Hoolka maxkamadda ayaan loo ogolayn warbaahinta, waxaase warbaahintu ku horsugaysay duleedka maxkamadda, waxaanay qaabka ay u furantay maxkamaddu nooga waramay looyaradii u doodayey saddexda masuul iyo laba qof oo ganacsatadda ka mid ah oo loo soo qabtay kiiskan.
Saddexdan masuul ee ku eedeysan lunsi Xoole dadweyne ayaa kala ah gudoomiyihii hore ee gobolka Maroodi jeex, Axmed Cumar X. Cabdilaahi (Xamarje), agaasimihii hore ee wasaaraddi dib u dajinta Axmed Cilmi Bare iyo taliyaha madaxweyne ku xigeenka Somaliland Cismaan siciid iyo laba qof oo kale oo iyana ku eedeysan musuqmaasuqan raashinka oo ay isku kiis yihiin.
Looyaradii u doodayey masuuliyiintan oo wakhtigii nasashadda dibadda usoo baxay, ayaanu wax ka waydiinay qaabka ay ku bilaabantay dacwaddu, waxaanay looyaradda difaacayey masuuliyiintan noo sheegeen in weji wanaagsan ku furantay maxkamadda, isla markaana si madax banaan la isku waydiinayey su’aalaha ku qotoma arrimahan.

"dacwaddu maanta waxay ku bilaabantay jawi qabow, qaabka su’aalaha la isku waydiinayeyna waxa uu ahaa qaabkii uu sharcigu dhigayey, habka ay maxkamaddu u hogaaminaysayna waxa uu ahaa nidaamkii uu sharcigu dhigayey"ayuu yidhi Garyaqaan Maxamed Jaamac oo ah garyaqaanadda u doodayey masuuliyiintan.
"Haddii aanu nahay qareenaddii u doodayey si haboon ayey maanta noogu dhacday, waxaana rajaynaynaa inay sidaas dacwaddu u socoto, waxaanan u mahad celinaynaa gudoonka maxkamadda oo si fiican u hagayey dacwadda "ayuu raaciyey qareenka u doodayey masuuliyiintan.
Waxa iyana jira toddoba qof oo kale oo ku eedeysan kiiskan, balse ilaa hadda aan la qaban, isla markaana iyagoo maqan ay dacwaddu ku soconayso.
Dhagaysa dacwadan masuuliyiinta lagu soo eedeeyey waxa ka soo qaybalay dadweyne farobadan, waxaana aad loo adkeeyey amniga maxkamadda, iyadoo ciidamo badan la dhigay agagaarka maxkamadda gobolka ee ay dacwaddu ku socoto, isla markaana warbaahintii iyo bulshaddii kalaba looma ogalaan inay galaan marka laga reebo in kooban oo ka qaybgashay dhagaysiga dacwadda.
Si kastaba ha ahaatee, masuuliyiintan ayaa in ka badan bil ugu jiray jeelka arrimo musuqmaasuq, waana markii ugu horaysay ee dacwadoodda si rasmi ah loo bilaabo dhagaysigoodda, waxaana la filayaa inay dhagaysiga dacwaddani ay muddo qaadato.

Barkhad-Ladiif M. Cumar, Hiiraan Online
Hargeysa, Somaliland

Soomaali laga soo Tarxiilay dalka Mareykanka oo Maanta laga soo dajiyay Garoonka Diyaaradaha ee Magaalada Muqdisho

Isniin, Abriil 16, 2012 (HOL) — Sagaal qof oo Soomaali ah oo laga soo musaafuriyay dalka Mareykanka ayaa maanta laga soo dajiyay garoonka diyaaradaha Muqdisho, waxaana intii aysan magaalada gelin baaris ku sameeyay ciidamada nabadsugidda ee dowladda KMG ah.
Wasiirka arrimaha gudaha iyo ammaanka Qaranka ee dowladda KMG ah, Cabdisamad Macallin Maxamuud Xasan oo la hadlay VOA-da ayaa sheegay in dadkan laga soo celiyay Mareykanka lana baaray.
"Maanta waxaa garoonka diyaaradaha Muqdihso laga soo dajiyay sagaal qof oo laga soo celiyay Mareykanka, waxaana baaris ku sameeyay ciidamada ammaanka ka hor intii aysan magaalada gelin," ayuu yiri wasiirka arrimaha gudaha Soomaaliya.
Sidoo kale, wasiirku wuxuu sheegay in baarista lagu sameeyay dadka musaafuriska ah ay ahayd sidii looga ogaan lahaa inay yihiin dad horay dalka dambiyo uga galay iyo in kale, isagoo xusay in markii la ogaaday inaanay dambi gelin la sii-daayay.
Dadkan tarxiilka ah ee laga soo dajiyay garoonka diyaaradaha Muqdisho ayaa waxay noqonayaa kuwii ugu horreeyay oo ay dowladda KMG ah ogolaato in lagu soo celiyo dalka, waxaase jirtay in dhowr jeer oo hore mas'uuliiinta garoonka ay diideen in dib loogu soo celiyo dalka dad tarxiil ah.
Sagaalkan qof oo dhammaantood ahaa rag ayaan la ogeyn sababta keentay in laga soo musaafuriyo dalka Mareykanka. Iyadoo la xusuusto in dalal badan oo Yurub ay dhawaan sheegeen inay dib ugu celinayaan Soomaaliya dad ay sheegeen inaysan u ogoleyn inay dalalkooda ku noolaadaan.
Maxamed Xaaji Xuseen, Hiiraan Online
Muqdisho, Soomaaliya

DHACDO NAXDIN LEH: Caaqil Nadiir Maxamed Dhiidhi oo Lagu Daldalay Xabsi Ku Yaalla Jigjiga

Jigjiga (RBC) Wararka naga soo gaaraya magaalada Jigjiga ayaa sheegaya in booliska magaaladaasi ay markii ugu horeysay Khamiistii 12-ka bishan April 2012 ay xaqiijiyeen inuu xabsiga ku geeriyooday Caaqil Nadiir Maxamed Dhiidhi oo tan iyo sanadkii 2010 u xirnaa ciidamada Ethiopia.
Caaqil Nadiir Maxamed Dhiidhi waxaa uu ka mid ahaa odayaasha caanka ee deegaanada Soomaali Galbeed, wuxuuna ku jiray koox nabadoono iyo waxgarad ah oo sanadkii 2010 ciidamada Ethiopia xabsigau taxaabeen ka dib markii ay ka hadleen xadgudubyo dadka deegaanka loo geysto oo ay ku kacaan ciidamada maamulka Ethiopia iyo kuwa Soomaalida ee u shaqeeya xukunka Addis Ababa. Waxaana caaqilku uu ku xirnaa xabsiga Jigjiga oo dadka deegaanka ay u yaqaanaan “Jeel Ogaadeen”.
Sida Shabakada Raxanreeb ay u sheegeen ehelada marxuum Caaqil Nadiir waxaa Khamiistii lagu soo wargeliyey inay soo qaataan meydka caaqilka oo xabsiga ku jiray, iyadoo boolisku sheegeen inuu dhintay oo kaliya. Mana jirin wax tafaasiil ah oo laga bixiyey geeridiisa.
Ehelada marxuumka waxay sheegeen inaan horey loogu soo sheegin wax xannuun ah ama xaalado kale oo Caaqilka soo wajahay maadaama uu saddex sano waqti ku dhow xabsi ku jiray sidaasidarteedna ay rumeysan yihiin in la dilay caaqilka oo ahaa nin aad ugu ololeyn jiray dadka Soomaaliyeed ee Soomaali Galbeed ku nool.
Waxaa la tuhunsan yahay in cirbad sun ah lagu duray Caaqilka intii uu xabsiga ku jiray inkastoo aan la sameyn baaritaan sababo la xiriira deegaanka oo aan laga heli karin dhakhtar casri ah iyo qalab arintaasi saamaxaya.
Allah ha u naxariistee Caaqil Nadiir Maxamed Dhiidhi waxaa da’diisa lagu sheegay 71 sano, waxaana xarigan dambe uu ahaa kii labaad oo ay xiraanciidamada Ethiopia isagoo hadda ka horna la xiray sanadkii 1982 ka dib dagaalkii dhexmaray ciidamadii Soomaaliya iyo kuwii dawladii hore ee Ethiopia.
Meydka marxuumka ayaa lagu aasay magaalada Jigjiga iyadoo sida ehelada noo sheegeen maamulka Jigjiga xitaa aysan ka hadlin geeridiisa.
Dad kale oo laga deyrinayo
Geerida Caaqil Nadiir ayaa imaaneysa iyadoo aad looga soo deyrinayo xaalada in ku dhow 2,000 maxaabiis odayaal, waxgarad iyo dhalinyaro Soomaali ah oo dhamaantood loo heysto inay ka hor  yimaadeen xukunka Ethiopia iyo inay xiriir la leeyihiin ururka ONLF ee dagaalka kula jira ciidamada Ethiopia. Dadkaasi badankood xitaa lama saarin wax maxkamad ah waxayna qaarkood xiran yihiin ku dhowaad sanad.
Ugaas Maxamed Duullane Ugaas Xaashi
Ugaas Maxamed Duullane Ugaas Xaashi
Dadka xaaladooda sida gaarka ah looga deyrinayo waxaa ka mid ah Ugaas Maxamed Duulane Ugaas Xaashi oo sida la sheegayo 25-kii bishii Maarso laga wareejiyey saldhiga booliska Jigjiga loona qaaday xabsiga Jigjiga (Jeel Ogaadeen) halkaasoo hadda lagu hayo iyadoon xaaladiisa cid ka soo warantay aaney jirin.
Kooxaha xuquuqda aadanaha iyo warbaahinta madaxabannaan aya dhowr jeer shaaca ka qaaday warbixino tilmaamaya xadgudubyo xuquulqul insaanka ka dhan ah oo ay galaan askarta maamulka Addis Ababa kuwaasoo aaney xukuumada Meles Senawi dheg u dhigin.

RBC Radio
Xafiiska wararka Nairobi

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Militants free hundreds in attack on Pakistan jail


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Damaged gates and open cells after the attack in Bannu
Almost 400 prisoners have escaped from a prison in Pakistan after it was attacked by militants, officials say.
Dozens of Islamist militants launched the assault on the jail in north-west Pakistan at 01:00 (20:00 GMT Saturday).
Officials said some of the freed men were "dangerous" insurgents, including an inmate on death row for trying to kill ex-President Pervez Musharraf.
The jail is located in Bannu, a town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which borders Pakistan's volatile tribal areas.
'Throwing grenades'
Pakistan's Taliban said they carried out the attack, but the claim has not been verified.
"We have freed hundreds of our comrades in Bannu in this attack. Several of our people have reached their destinations, others are on their way," a Taliban spokesman told Reuters news agency.
Senior Bannu police official Iftikhar Khan told Agence France-Presse that three police officers were wounded in the two-hour attack.
Bannu map
Officials described how militants in cars and pick-up trucks entered the complex shooting and throwing grenades.
A total of 381 inmates were released out of nearly 1,000 in the prison, they said.
At least 20 of the prisoners were described as "very dangerous".
Police say they include Adnan Rashid, a former member of the air force sentenced to death for an attack on Mr Musharraf.
The BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad says the attack is clearly a setback for Pakistan's security forces, who over the last year have gained considerable ground against militants in the north-west of the country.
The Taliban carried out an audacious jail raid near Kandahar in Afghanistan in April last year, freeing at least 470 prisoners, including Taliban commanders and fighters.

Looting in Bahrain amid F1 disquiet


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The people in charge of Formula 1 say the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as planned next week, despite concerns over staging the race whilst there is continuing political unrest.
Pro-democracy groups in Bahrain have called for the race to be cancelled, but Bernie Ecclestone, who runs Formula 1, has now said the race is "200%" going to happen.
It comes as footage emerges showing looting in Bahrain, said to be the result of sectarian tension.
The BBC's Frank Gardner reports.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Cornwall eye-gouge man Shane Jenkin admits blinding girlfriend


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Tina Nash says she feels "like a ghost" since being blinded in the attack

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A man who blinded his girlfriend by gouging her eyes has admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Shane Jenkin, 33, of Sea Lane, Hayle, Cornwall, also severely beat Tina Nash, fracturing her jaw and breaking her nose, Truro Crown Court heard.
He was arrested after assaulting the 31-year-old mother of two at her house in Hayle on 20 April last year.
Jenkin, who had attacked her before, kept Ms Nash imprisoned for 12 hours after the attack, the court heard.
Shane Jenkin Jenkin had been violent towards Ms Nash before
Although there had been violence in the couple's relationship, Ms Nash told police she thought she could change Jenkin, even admitting she had helped him get out of trouble for hurting her on previous occasions.
After the "vicious" attack in April, attempts were made to save the sight in one of Ms Nash's eyes, but they failed and she was left completely blind.
She said the attack had left her feeling "buried alive, claustrophobic and not in control of my life".
She said: "I truly feel that, when he was strangling me, he was trying to murder me.
"He has taken everything from me and robbed me of one of the most precious things in life - my sight."
She added: "I actually look forward to going to sleep because in my dreams I have sight. It's when I wake up that the truth hits home.
"Some days I just don't want to get up, but I'm determined to provide a future for my children and this is my motivation."
Her sons were aged 13 and three at the time of the attack.
'Shocking case'
Ms Nash said Jenkin blamed her after the attack.
Tina Nash. Pic: SWNS Ms Nash said she had been "robbed" of her sight
She said: "He was saying 'it's all your fault, I'm going to get years for this'."
She added that she was glad that he had "at least taken responsibility for changing my life forever".
Det Insp Chris Strickland, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said it was the "most shocking" case he had ever dealt with.
He added that he was relieved that Ms Nash did not have to go through a court case and give evidence.
He said: "It was a premeditated, sustained and vicious attack on a defenceless woman.
"Our view is that Jenkin deliberately strangled Tina into a state of unconsciousness in order that he could inflict these terrible injuries.
"Tina's life will never be the same, and her lifelong disability will be a constant reminder of the attack.
Violent relationship
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Det Insp Chris Strickland: "Tina is very relieved she doesn't have to go through a trial"
"Her injuries were so shocking that friends who saw her soon after the incident found it difficult to stay in the room."
Mr Strickland said Ms Nash's previous attempts to try to protect her abuser and change Jenkin were not unusual.
"Unfortunately, we do see that a lot and it's because they [victims] are positive, good people.
"But we would say that if you are in a violent relationship, it probably isn't going to change. People need to come to us and report if they're being abused.
"People can stop it by reporting it earlier."
Jenkin is due to be sentenced next month.

Wildlife - fantastic

A profile of a giraffe


Giraffes are the world's tallest animal. Their first experience of life is a two metre drop to the ground, because female giraffes give birth standing up. For the first few weeks, the calf remains hidden in the shade and the mother returns to it from her foraging trips. Later on, the calf is taken to join a creche. Calves grow fast and are weaned at 18 months, although they start eating solids well before then.

Did you know?
At nearly six metres the giraffe is the world's tallest animal.
Scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis
Rank: Species

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Baboons recognise words on a screen

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Watch how the baboons take the test on a touchscreen computer.

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Baboons can recognise four-letter words on a computer screen, according to scientists in France.
Researchers found the monkeys could tell the difference between actual words and nonsense letter combinations.
After being trained, the baboons were able to make this distinction, despite not being capable of reading.
The results suggest the ability to recognise words could more closely relate to object identification than linguistic skill.
A baboon interacting with a touch screen (c) J Grainger The baboons received a treat for correctly identifying words
The study, completed by Dr John Grainger and Dr Joel Fagot from the Aix-Marseille University was published in the journal Science.
"It was by no means a foregone conclusion that the baboons would be able to master our word-non-word discrimination task, so we were quite excited about the simple fact that they did succeed," said Dr Grainger.
The researchers tested a group of Guinea baboons in a specially built facility at the university.
"In this research, the animals are completely free to participate, and are automatically identified by the test computers when they quit their social group to voluntarily enter one of the 10 possible test systems," explained Dr Fagot who designed the system.
Inside the test booths the baboons were presented with a computer screen that displayed either a four-letter word or a nonsensical jumble of letters.
To earn a treat from the automated system, they had to correctly touch either a plus sign to signify a non-word or an oval for a word.

Baboon facts

Guinea baboon (c) J Grainger
  • Baboons are Old World monkeys found across Africa and Arabia
  • They live live in large social groups, known as troops, numbering up to 500 individuals
  • There are five different species, of which the Guinea baboon is the smallest
Dr Fagot explained that the baboons had extensive training: performing the tests up to 61,000 times.
"The monkeys pay maximum attention to what they are doing because they decide to participate," he said.
One in particular, named Dan, could recognise up to 300 words correctly.
"Cognitive abilities vary among humans too, and it is not so surprising that differences emerge between the individual [baboons]," said Dr Fagot.
Dr Grainger told BBC Nature that recognising letter sequences - previously considered a fundamental "building block" of language - could be related to a more simple skill.
"The baboons use information about letters and the relations between letters in order to perform our task... This is based on a very basic ability to identify everyday objects in the environment," he said.

What causes a sonic boom?


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The MoD has said a loud bang heard across much of England on Thursday night was a sonic boom caused by one of two Typhoon aircraft responding to an emergency call.
The jets were scrambled and authorised to go supersonic after a small civilian helicopter had emitted an emergency signal.
Dr Jim Wild from Lancaster University explained to the BBC how and why a sonic boom happens.

How does Qantas fly on chip fat?


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The Australian airliner Qantas has become one of the first to fly a commercial aircraft using biofuel.
On Friday a flight from Sydney to Adelaide went off without a hitch and Qantas says a complete move to biofuels could reduce airline carbon consumption by up to 60%.
Duncan Kennedy reports.

Controversy over Mexico's 'criminal children' video


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A video message aimed at Mexico's presidential candidates that shows children acting as kidnappers, corrupt police officers and drug traffickers has sparked controversy in Mexico.
Campaigners say the video, which was funded by private companies, is meant to highlight the country's spiralling levels of violence and is a plea to Mexico's potential leaders to bring the problem under control.
But others have fiercely criticised what they see as the cynical ploy of making children play criminals.
Margarita Rodriguez reports.

Giant statues of N Korean leaders unveiled


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North Korea has unveiled two enormous statues of its former leaders Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung, in the capital Pyongyang.
The massive statues were revealed in a lavish ceremony attended by large crowds, including the current leader Kim Jong-un.
The unveiling comes on the same day that the launch of its controversial rocket failed.
BBC World's David Eades describes the ceremony.

CCTV shows jilted girlfriend's car smash revenge


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A mother-of-two has been given a nine month suspended sentence after smashing her ex-boyfriend's car into the bowling alley where he worked.
CCTV footage from the Hollywood Bowl in Middlebrook, Greater Manchester, showed Claire Holley, aged 31, driving the Ford Focus through the glass doors of the building where Davy Jones worked.
Holley, who was drunk at the time of the incident, was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and was also banned from driving for 18 months after admitting drink driving. She caused damage estimated to be in the region of £14,000.

What Went Wrong? Why southern Somalia Failed and Somaliland

By Abdi Hussein Daud
April 12, 2012
For the past two decades, southern Somalia has been plagued by sporadic and
unrelenting civil war, terrorism, pirates, famine, and wide spread diseases which
claimed the lives of up to 200,000 to 300,000 people. The persistent
multifarious ordeals that ordinary citizens have endured thus far are widely
reported by the international media as well as humanitarian agencies. Since its
effects and magnitude have been extensively scrutinized elsewhere, it is futile to
reiterate in here. There have been fourteen reconciliation attempts aimed at
restoring peace and stability in southern Somalia but all have failed to yield the
intended objectives. Subsequently, southern Somalia became, as international
community describes it, a failed state due to its manifestation of all its hallmarks:
an ineffective government, widespread corruption, lack of public services,
prevalent criminal enterprise, economic decline, and muddled movement of
In sharp contrast to southern Somalia, Somaliland has successfully constructed
the first democratic state of its kind in the Horn of Africa with emerging
economy. Notwithstanding its challenges, Somaliland has formulated legal
frameworks intended for the extension of democratic institutions, e.g., various
political parties, free and fair elections, due process of law, freedom of assembly,
freedom of association, freedom of the press, and, above all, peaceful and
democratic transfer of power. It is indeed an oasis of peace, democracy and
prosperity. How did Somaliland manage, you may correctly inquire, attain this
unprecedented triumphant while their counterpart, southern Somalia, has
constantly failed to restore peace, let alone construct any type of governance?
To provide impartial answer to the aforesaid inquiry, this short piece strives to
scrutinize the underlying
southern Somalia as well as the unprecedented success of Somaliland. Numerous
individuals who have attempted to inspect the fundamental causes of these
differences failed miserably to appreciate and employ the principle of historical
materialism. Historical materialism holds that in order to unearth Read More
factor that has played significant role for the failure of

Vietnam policeman clings to bus in bid to stop driver


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A traffic policeman in Vietnam held on to the windscreen wipers of a bus in a bid to detain the driver.
Nguyen Manh Phan clung to the vehicle as it reached speeds of 50kmph, before the driver eventually stopped.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

8 Surprising Supporters of Legalizing Marijuana


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The growing, distribution, and use of marijuana occurs in a legal gray zone that puts our federal laws and law enforcement agencies against those of the States. Federal law prohibits the selling, possession, or use of marijuana. However, in 15 states, plus the District of Columbia, marijuana can be prescribed by a doctor for medical use. People who can benefit from the medical uses of marijuana, including those suffering from arthritis, cancer, and HIV/AIDs, are caught in the middle, as are the thousands of people (800,000 annually by one estimate) arrested each year for the non-violent offense of smoking or possessing marijuana. Surprisingly, in spite of the political divisiveness that hamstrings intelligent debate of public policy in our country, there is currently widespread, bipartisan support for the legalization of marijuana. Here are eight supporters for such legalization who otherwise might completely disagree with each other on any other issue.

  1. Grandparents

    Last year, GRAND Magazine, an online magazine for grandparents, polled its readers asking if they supported the legalization of marijuana. Eighty-five percent said yes. Grandparents born from 1946-1964 came of age when smoking marijuana became more of a mainstream recreational activity. Many GRAND readers confirmed that they considered marijuana no more or less dangerous than alcohol, and commented on its benefits in treating serious health issues. One reader commented, "I expect I will need cannabis for my health soon and don't want (it) to be illegal."
  2. Rick Steves

    Popular travel writer and TV personality Rick Steves is an advocate of traveling as a way to broaden one's perspective of the planet and its people. He serves on the board of directors for the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and publicly supports the decriminalization of marijuana among adults. "Our courts and prisons are clogged with non-violent people whose only offense is smoking, buying, or selling marijuana," says Steves. "Arresting people for marijuana use is laughable now in most of Europe."
  3. Pat Robertson

    As recently as March 2012, none other than television evangelist Pat Robertson, a powerful figure among conservatives and those among the Christian right, declared on his show The 700 club that "the war on drugs hasn't succeeded" and that mandatory sentencing for marijuana possession should be eliminated. Robertson clarified later that he supports legalization of marijuana with some regulation. "Christ is a compassionate man," said Robertson. "And he would not condone the imprisoning of people for non-violent offenses."
  4. Gary Johnson

    Former New Mexico Republican governor and current libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson is an unapologetic proponent for drug policy reform. On his website, Johnson notes the difference between prohibition-related versus use-related problems caused by marijuana, with use-related being negligible comparatively. Drawing a parallel between today's drug laws and those of the 1920s Prohibition era, Johnson describes the policy of arresting and incarcerating thousands of people each year for possession of marijuana, a drug that is less harmful than alcohol, as "insane."

  1. Cops

    So next time the police knock on your door or pull you over, don't panic! Maybe you don't have to flush or dump that bag of weed! Well, OK, probably not. But one of the most vocal organizations calling for the legalization of marijuana is Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an international organization of criminal justice professionals, including several current and former members of law enforcement. LEAP believes that legalization of marijuana, with strong regulations in place, will effectively "cripple" the drug cartels and street dealers currently profiting from the drug trade.
  2. Richard Brookhiser

    Richard Brookhiser, senior editor of the conservative magazine National Review, testified before Congress in 1996 to support the use of medical marijuana. Brookhiser used marijuana while suffering from testicular cancer to battle the nausea that comes with chemotherapy. But to do so, Brookhiser had to "become a criminal." To that point, he told Congress, "the law disgraces itself when it harasses the sick." Today, Brookhiser writes about the Marijuana Reform Party and is a member of the advisory board of the Marijuana Policy Project.
  3. Milton Friedman

    American economist, statistician, and "founding father of the Reagan revolution," Milton Friedman, who passed away in 2006, was one of more than 500 economists who publicly endorsed a 2005 report advocating for the legalization and taxing of sales of marijuana. The economists also signed an open letter to then President Bush calling for a public debate about the prohibition of marijuana. The report stated that taxing and regulating the sale of marijuana would produce significant savings and tax revenues, whereas prohibition showed very little benefits and was in fact harming the nation's economy. Friedman's libertarian views are echoed today by the aforementioned Gary Johnson.
  4. Larry Hagman

    Television actor Larry Hagman, perhaps best known for his portrayal of the evil J.R. on the classic night-time soap opera Dallas, has recently, and apparently successfully, battled a "treatable form" of cancer, but has not indicated that he used medical marijuana in his treatments. Hagman, also a member of the Marijuana Policy Project advisory board, believes alcohol "destroys your body and makes you do violent things," whereas marijuana allows you to "just sit back and enjoy life." He recently told The New York Times that when he dies, his wish is to be chopped up into granular sized pieces, spread across a field to be planted with wheat and marijuana crops, and eaten up by friends and loved ones. So, how's that joint, Larry?

First Ethiopian born minister in the Israeli government?

MK Penina Tamanu Shata in interview after leaving Yesh Atid: 'It isn't same party I joined in 2013; Gantz made very courageous d...