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Summary: A small but informative OccupySF rally on February 15 was held in solidarity with the sovereignty of the people of Greece highlighting the importance of their economic situation to the Occupy community, the United States, and the world as a whole.
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Korea: Not A Good Time To Poke The Dragon
April 2, 2014: South Korea announced that two small (1.9 meter/six foot wingspan) UAVs found in the last week were definitely North Korean and used commercially available Chinese and Japanese components that any tourist could walk into a store and buy. One UAV was found March 31 ston one of the islands near the maritime border with North Korea. The other one was found south of the DMZ on the 24 th. The UAVs carried high resolution cameras that took pictures when over certain GPS coordinates. The photos found on one UAV included the presidential compound and some military facilities. The other one was photographing military facilities on the island. UAVs this small are hard to spot with radar if they come in very low (under 100 meters/220 feet). South Korea is now going to upgrade its aerial surveillance to handle this new (but not unknown) threat. Israel has a similar problem and has developed technology to deal with it. Since Israel sells a lot of military gear to South Korea, the Israeli solution may already have been offered. It not, it will be pitched now.
The discovery of these North Korea UAVs is another example of why the North Korean armed forces may be large, they are not as powerful or effective as many thing. Take, for example, the North Korean Air Force. By number of combat aircraft it is the fifth largest in the world. The top ten air forces are U.S., China, Russia, India, North Korea, Egypt, South Korea, Pakistan, Japan, and Taiwan. These ten have about 60 percent of the combat aircraft in service. But while the U.S. has only 19 percent of the 15,000 combat aircraft in the world, they have a far higher percentage of the air combat capability. This becomes clear when you take into account the quality of the aircraft, pilots and support services. Thus just concentrating on who has the most of the latest aircraft does not tell the whole story. For example, Israel does not make the top ten because it only has 244 active combat aircraft while number 10 Taiwan has 286. But the Israeli aircraft are not only all updated (and sometimes enhanced) F-15s and F-16s, but Israeli pilots are the most well trained and combat experienced in the world. Israel has lived in a war zone for over half a century and its combat pilots know that being the best is a matter of life and death for themselves and Israel as a whole. So the 414 Egyptian combat aircraft put it at number six on the top ten list but decidedly beneath Israel when it comes to combat capability. If you adjust for aircraft, pilot and support quality the top ten is more like U.S., Russia, China, India, Israel, South Korea, Japan, France, Taiwan and the UK. Pakistan, Egypt and North Korea fall out of the top ten, depending on how you rate each nations qualitative characteristics. Moreover those adjustments for aircraft, pilot and support quality leave the U.S. with up to 50 percent or more of the combat capability instead of just 19 percent of combat aircraft. When you make these adjustments South Korea ends up with more than twice the air combat capability compared to North Korea.
Get Out Of Jail Free
North Korea is now requesting people in the capital to attend voluntary indoctrination sessions to help rid themselves of any evil ideas from South Korea. This includes the absurd idea that people live better in the south. The northern government is particularly afraid of religion and people returning from legal visits to China are now being questioned to see if they might have come in contact with the many Korean speaking Christians over there. If the interrogators suspect such contacts were made and the North Korean victim was contaminated the person is arrested and sent off to a labor camp to be cured (or die in process). On the positive side, any returned traveler who supplies useful information on defectors in China gets rewards (most frequently an unofficial get out of jail free promise for any future infractions.)
There are many more opportunities for getting into trouble. For example, as the planting season arrives it becomes obvious that the government has changed its policy on private use of land. Many factories are now allowed to lease out much of their farmland to individuals who can then raise crops and sell most of them in the markets. Factories and many government organizations (including the military) have long had farmland assigned to them where they were expected to raise all or much of the food their personnel required. Members of the organization volunteered to work the land in addition to their other duties. That did not produce a lot of food but privately worked land does. Policies like this are working, much to the dismay of hardline communists in the government. On the downside the new entrepreneurial class is more visible, with many new homes being built outside the capital and other cities. Other signs are government factories treating their workers better, including large pay increases, to prevent workers from seeking employment in the expanding market economy. The factory managers were surprised to discover that the higher pay and better treatment resulted in higher productivity by the workers. To many North Korean officials the market economy is a real mystery and most dont know what to expect when they are forced to operate by market rules.
In some cases the growing entrepreneur spirit backfires. For example, officials are finding more government property disappearing. This includes part of buildings. Its usually factories or other facilities that have been closed, but in some cases it is buildings that are still in use. Most of the time the foraged (as practitioners like to call it) material ends up in the market, but in some cases the stuff is used to comply with the latest government directive for a locality to help with a construction project and to supply some of the building materials.
LISBON – At least three village homes could be rehabilitated with federal funding awarded to Columbiana County commissioners as part of the Community Housing Improvement Program.
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LISBON – At least three village homes could be rehabilitated with federal funding awarded to Columbiana County commissioners as part of the Community Housing Improvement Program. Marti Grimm of the Community Action Agency, which administers the CHIP program on behalf of commissioners, attended this week’s Village Council to advise them Lisbon has been chosen as the community where the housing rehabilitation money will be spent this time
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Three generations of hardship finally had a happy ending for Lily Truong, a 25-year-old West Bank resident entering LSU Medical School this fall. Her journey and the journey of her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents began in China, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Truong’s maternal and paternal great-grandparents were from China. Her grandmother was born and raised in Cambodia. Her grandfather was adopted and brought to Cambodia by a Chinese mother. They grew up learning Chinese in a Chinese school in Cambodia.
Truongs mother and her siblings were born in Cambodia. Her grandparents worked as merchants, selling everything from bicycles to fine china. To increase their sales, her grandparents bought items in Cambodia to sell in Vietnam. When the war broke out in 1975, her grandparents were stranded in Vietnam while her mother and siblings were in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge, the new government and the name given to followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea in Cambodia, asked the residents to leave the city for at least three days,
They told my family the United States planes were going to bomb the cities, she said. (The Khmer Rouge killed approximately 2 million Cambodians from 1975 to 1979 while controlling the country.)
Truong’s grandmother, mother and siblings walked for 23 days to get to Vietnam. Her mother told Truong how they ate snails found on the side of the road and salt while walking from Cambodia to Vietnam.
My mom who was a child actually picked up a grenade mistaking it for a weird-looking snail, Truong said.
The Vietnam War broke out within a matter of weeks after their arrival. The Khmer Rouge then pushed into the border of Vietnam and confiscated everything including her familys belongings.
During that time, my grandparents were put in jail for two years and accused of aiding the Vietnamese to escape from Vietnam into the surrounding countries, she said. During that time, her mother and siblings and her grandmother lived in Saigon. They had to bribe someone to get her grandparents out of jail.
In 1980, the family moved to Kien Giang and tried to establish a normal life. In April 1981, they left Vietnam by boat to Thailand. For three days, they sailed to Thailand on a boat that was 6 feet by 30 feet long and carried 19 people.
My family lived in the Thailand refugee camp for three months. They were then transferred to Indonesia for 6 1/2 months, Truong said.
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Washington DC – infoZine – How their human residents manage that icon of America, the urban lawn, or so hypothesized a team of scientists. However, when they conducted a study comparing residential landscapes in these six cities, they discovered that lawn care practices had fewer similarities than they expected.
Some of Jean Quan’s opponents in this year’s mayoral election will likely view City Administrator Deanna Santana’s departure from City Hall this week as yet another reason to criticize the mayor. But once Santana started to publicly search for positions in other cities late last year, it became clear that she was no longer invested in Oakland and was not the right person to be running the day-to-day operations of the city. Moreover, her replacement, Fred Blackwell, is far better suited for Oakland and its residents, especially for progressives and sports fans
The Occupy movement began in the United States initially with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City but spread to many other cities, both in the United States and worldwide. There have been hundreds of Occupy movement protests worldwide over time
I really, really hope it is obvious to everyone that the Holocaust was a bad thing is a sentiment we can all agree on (if not, you might be reading the wrong magazine). It is certainly something that Prime Minister Stephen Harper believes in strongly. Strongly enough, apparently, to imply that the Holocaust is enough to excuse all of Israels recent political actions. In a speech made to the Israeli government, the Knesset, during his Middle-East trip, Harper explained how he felt recent criticism of certain Israeli policies from world leaders was a new subtle form of anti-Semitism:
Some civil-society leaders today call for a boycott of Israel Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state. Think about that. Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that A state, based on freedom, democracy and the rule of law, that was founded so Jews can flourish as Jews, and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history.
Now perhaps credit to Harper for trying, but this sort of statement seems to indicate misunderstanding of a few things, as well as outright ignoring others. By calling any critical statement towards the Israeli government anti-Semitic, Harper appears to be claiming that the state of Israel is in fact the entire Jewish population. Not only is this mistaken, but it serves to highlight Harpers questionable approach to issues in the Middle-East.
As Tyler Levitan, spokesperson for the Ottawa Independent Jewish Voice, said in a recent press release on the issue: This is a continuation of Harpersoutrageousefforts to disparage the Palestinian people, as well as thegrowinginternationalsolidarity movement that supports thenon-violent Palestiniancampaign to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel until Israel is willing to accept Palestinian rights.
During his speech Harper repeatedly compared recent calls to boycott Israel to that of the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany, during which Jewish shops were boycotted. He then went on to describe that Israel was being singled out for criticism on a global scale, and that such an approach was unbalanced, weak, and wrong.
However, as Levitan notes, Palestinian human rights activists support universal human rights for all people, so we are not singling out Israel. It is Harper, who refuses to challenge Israels systematic human rights abuses, who is making an exception of Israel by exemptingitfrom criticism.
Harpers biased approach to the Middle-East was commented on by some of the Knessettwo of their members openly heckled Harper, and then stormed out in protest. Ahmad Tibi, one of the hecklers, said that he walked out on Harpers speech as the approach Harper was taking was biased, non-balanced, and added thats why Canada has a very marginal role in the Middle East.
Not only this, but Harper seems to have completely ignored how the Canadian government is against the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In fact Harper was deafening in his total exclusion of the subject, refusing to be dragged into commenting on it at all. Tibis view on the situation was: When you are controlling, discriminating, confiscating, occupying lands from one side and putting them in the corner without any basic rights, you are by this way ruling and committing apartheid in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
While Harper is on his tour, there is a planned protest outside the Israeli consulate happening today, January 22, at 4pm in Toronto, as well as twelve other cities across Europe and North America. The protest is in support of nearly 50,000 African asylum seekers on strike since the January 5. The strike is in response to a recent amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law, which previous amendments were condemned by the High Court of Justice as a grave and disproportionate abuse of the right to personal freedom.
More information on the protest can be found here.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 11:36am Law firm Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP of Waltham is the latest suburban office tenant relocating to Boston’s Seaport District.
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