Saturday, 5 March 2011

Spiral of Oppression « Dew on the Dove

Spiral of Oppression

In democracy, human rights, minorities, politics, Turkey on February 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Every state has its own layers of protection to ensure its continuation. In modern democracies its a mixture of constitutional law, criminal law and traditions. Depending on the roots of the particular state these protective conventions differ a great length from one entity to another. For example in the United States, these issues are handled in Federal Law. In UK, traditions play a bigger role. In Greece, democratic ideals are so preemptive in written articles of law that, tradition and ideological extremities play a role of checks and balances on certain issues.

Turkish Republic, from its beginnings, and in resemblance with its predecessor Ottoman Empire, has had different layers of protection from defined or loosely accepted enemies. Although these have changed as times changed and priorities shifted, certain common denominators remained unchanged in its progress. Here, the idea on the center is the perception that the state is above the interest of all its citizens. State is a fatherly figure taking care of its “subjects”, and knows “what’s best for them” even better than any individual. When you extend the state that far, surely its “protection” would be a complex structure.

At this stage we see the “personification” of the state and the concepts that are related to it. On the outer sphere there are the usual suspects; laws against spying and acts of un-patriotic behavior. People are seldom caught by that net because these kind of accusations need through investigations and solid evidences against the accused. On the second layer there are the specific laws that derive from the “personification” of the state and its past and present representatives. As if the government is not elected by the people and for the people, they are continuously protected from the people including the civil servants. Even moral being of the state and its representation is protected from “ideas”. Insulting the state, its founder and its institutions is part of the criminal law in Turkey. And if it is believed that these ideas are expressed collectively, it suddenly becomes the subject of “terror” law and you stand trial for founding a “gang” to end or alter the state which is punishable by up to life sentence. Yes, I am still talking about expressions, not actions. These laws enable any prosecutor to file cases against any dissident writer, journalist, activist or politician at any point in time. Even if they are acquitted at the end, a lawsuit like that would last an average of five years, which is a form of punishment in itself. This layer of protection is used against opposition of any kind and form throughout the modern history of Turkey including years of “democracy” as well as the years of junta.

Closest to the ideal at the center comes, what has recently been called as “neighborhood pressure” by sociologist Serif Mardin. Since this fatherly figure of the state extends to personal perception of people, individuals perceive it almost sinful to propagate against the state or its declared values without even questioning their integrity. Friends and colleagues urge each other to prevent expressing “these kinds of opinions” either because they are totally wrong by definition, or because “it won’t be good for the person” to express these opinions. “One should think about their children at the end”.

Add to this thousands of missing people known within the last few decades, hundreds of more official killings during and after junta regimes of different decades, and annihilation of each and every “minority” during the last century in the country, one can now have a glimpse of a well established police state disguised very unsuccessfully as a developing democracy.

Hidden under very carefully drafted rhetoric, this is the tradition and justice system prevailing in Turkey now. One significant difference between now revolting Arab states and Turkey is the fact that in Arab states, dictators are considered a part of the regime, so actions are taken against the established power. In Turkey state is even above the people who represent it at any given time. People might consider themselves against one particular government or regime in Turkey. However that blinds them against the real culprit; the state that uses all these puppets called statesmen, feeding them with worldly rewards, using them as false targets to secure its permanence.

Angelofiran's Blog

International Women’s Day

March 6, 2010 at 10:27 am · Filed under Uncategorized

The women struggle in Iran has been pivotal for freedom movement for over a century, the outdated and discriminatory sharia laws enforced by IRI has expedited the resolve of all freedom activist to show their supports particularly for the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th of March each year. Every year supporters gather in cities in Iran, at universities and squares to show their resolve, that this dictatorship by the will of the people and for what is just and right will be consigned to the dustbin of history. As women all over the world have gradually gained or are gaining their rights on equal footing as men as equal citizens and recognised as equal contributors to the welfare of society at large.
below is some of the resolutions that are read out at such rallies and demanding an end to barbaric injustices of the dictator regime.
8th March Resolution read by organisers of the 8th March rallies in Iran
:> United and in unison, we, women and freedom loving people declare: No to women’s oppression!
:> We protest against gender apartheid which has become institutionalized in Iran ; and demand the abolition of all anti women laws
:> We support the struggle of people for equal rights between men and women
:> We condemn any compulsory dress code
:> We demand the immediate banning of capital punishment and stoning
:> We strongly condemn any humiliation and violence against women
:> We condemn domestic and state violence
:> We demand the immediate release of women political prisoners
:> We support the teachers’ and workers’ struggle
:> We demand the immediate stop to the arrest and deportation of all Afghan residents and declare that all immigrants in Iran must enjoy equal civil rights.
:> We strongly believe and declare NO to economic sanctions; NO to war; NO to nuclear bombs; Long live freedom, equality and welfare for all.

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China's 'Two Suns' Video Unexplained By Science - Yahoo! News

Weeks after a story shot across the Web claiming that the imminent explosion of a nearby star would result in the appearance of a second sun in the sky – a story that was later debunked – two suns were caught on camera yesterday in China. The suns – one fuzzy and orange, the other a crisp yellow orb – appeared side-by-side, one slightly higher than the other.

What's going on? Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to, asked Jim Kaler, the University of Illinois astronomer who"> [

He goes on to state that the double or multiple image phenomena are produced by abnormal refraction, but that "it remains extraordinary that the images of the sun and moon were sharp and of the same size as the real sun and moon."

To check whether more has been learned about the double sun effect since the time of Minnaert's writing,">Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @

Science struggles to explain China’s “two suns” - Holy Kaw!

Calling Female Entrepreneurs - In Charge - WSJ

By Colleen DeBaise

An organization that I’ve long admired, Make Mine a Million, has changed its format this year, aiming to help 1,000 women entrepreneurs grow their microbusinesses into million-dollar enterprises.

I’ve followed Make Mine a Million since its inception, and the events I’ve attended have been inspiring, informative and even a little nerve-wracking. Watching female entrepreneurs painstakingly practice their elevator pitches – and then deliver them to live audiences – can be a nail biter. Here’s a story reporter Emily Maltby wrote on last year’s competition, which captures some of the heart-pounding moments.

The contest is the brainchild of Nell Merlino, who helped start Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and was co-founded by her nonprofit, Count Me In, and American Express. Under the new format, a larger group of women than past years will compete for prizes, coaching and financing.

At the first  ”M3 1000″ event in Denver on April 4, 250 women will have the opportunity to deliver elevator pitches (in the past, it was usually 20 participants at each event). “We went with this format because we found the more people doing this together, the better,” Merlino says. Other events are planned for later this year in Philadelphia, New York and possibly other cities.

Merlino has long held that women – to some extent – deliberately hold back on growing their businesses. Many think that by keeping the business small, they’ll have more time to spend with family. But that’s a mistake, she says, as the bigger your business is, the more you can delegate to employees and step back. Watch a video here on Merlino’s tips for “thinking big” and growing a business.

Women entrepreneurs have until March 28 to apply for the Denver event, to be held at the Denver Marriott City Center. More details can be found here

Follow Colleen DeBaise on Twitter at @colleendebaise.

men - Tom Hoops Photography

Women’s Rights | RAHANA

John Galliano in rehab fighting his obsession with his own Jewish routes | Mail Online

Why Galliano imploded: The fashion king is now in rehab fighting his obsession with his own Jewish roots

By Kathryn Knight
Last updated at 1:03 AM on 5th March 2011

Flamboyant: Disgraced former Dior creative director John Galliano

Flamboyant: Disgraced former Dior creative director John Galliano

The Meadows rehabilitation facility in Arizona is a long way from the frenetic hothouse of Paris Fashion Week — and not just in distance. Located in the desert, 50 miles north-west of Phoenix, the rehab’s residents follow a strict timetable designed to help them conquer their addictions. The worldly concerns of the catwalk shows in the French capital have little place here.

Yet one character does link the two. For in the small hours of Thursday morning, a rather frail-looking, pale-faced figure with a pencil moustache is understood to have checked into The Meadows (previously host to Elton John and Donatella Versace) presumably to receive treatment for his problems.

His name is John Galliano, and he left in his wake panic-stricken preparations for yesterday’s Christian Dior womenswear autumn/winter catwalk show.

And panic would describe it. For no A-listers turned up to yesterday’s Dior show although American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and fashion guru Suzy Menkes made it to the front row, while anti-fascist campaigners demonstrated outside following Galliano’s alleged anti-Semitic rant last month.

Had the events of the past two weeks unfolded differently, he would have been rounding off the show with a theatrically costumed solo appearance to the wild applause of his audience. As the House of Dior’s creative director, Galliano’s flamboyant final flourish had become something of a signature.

But no more. For, as we now know, 50-year-old Galliano is no longer employed by the fashion-house, fired this week from his £4 million-a-year post at the label’s creative helm, following those alleged racist outbursts in a Paris bar, La Perle, on three separate occasions. He is accused on one of them of calling an innocent bystander a ‘dirty Jew’, before shouting ‘I love Hitler’ in another.

These were no casual allegations: this week, police confirmed that Galliano would face court proceedings in Paris on at least one claim of making racist insults. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to six months in jail.

In the meantime, quite aside from his humiliating dismissal, a gigantic question mark hangs over the future of Galliano’s other enterprises. For the designer also boasts a chain of more than 100 own-label international stores and a lucrative collaboration with High Street brand Diesel, for whom he designs a collection of children’s clothes.

It’s therefore hardly surprising that, prior to his flight to the U.S. earlier this week, Galliano was said to be — rather like his former employers — ‘beyond panic’.

According to one Paris-based British fashion source, he was ‘just sitting and waiting for everything he’s built up over the years to get washed away before his eyes. He knows he has been utterly foolish’.

That’s one word for it. There are several others: arrogant, imperious and downright nasty. But perhaps, also, deeply troubled.

John Galliano and Alexis Roche
John Galliano with Kate Moss

Axed: John Galliano with lover Alexis Roche, left, and right with supermodel Kate Moss

For while Galliano’s career has imploded in the most spectacularly public and shaming way, those who know him well have long felt it was only a matter of time before the designer’s star was tarnished.

Despite cultivating a new clean-living image — only a month ago, Galliano told a British journalist that he was teetotal and cigarettes were his only vice — rumours have long raged that he had returned to the hedonistic behaviour of his early years in Eighties’ London.

This week, one Paris fashion source told the Mail Galliano had to be ‘rescued’ several times in recent months after evenings of wild drinking. Others spoke of him returning to the atelier where he works ‘frequently worse for wear’.

Combined with what appears to be an increasing affection for cosmetic surgery, his behaviour was such that, even before recent events, Dior’s chief executive Sidney Toledano had repeatedly encouraged him to seek professional help.

‘Each time,’ the source says, ‘Galliano would either evade the subject or suggest a visit to a spa instead.’

Certainly, it seems that in the 15 years he has been at Dior, Galliano had become a rather cossetted figure. He had a driver, a bodyguard, two personal trainers and vast teams of assistants — all of which distanced him from the reality he swore he was grounded in.

‘He was very protected, very indulged, very isolated,’ a source says. ‘He had two, maybe three, people in his inner circle that he really engaged with, that’s all.’

'The king is gone': Galliano has checked into rehab as he fights his obsession with his own Jewish roots

'The king is gone': Galliano has checked into rehab as he fights his obsession with his own Jewish roots

Others say it was perfectly possible to work for him for a year and never meet him.

Moreover, alongside concerns over Galliano’s drinking, the talk in fashion circles was that Galliano had lost some of the flair that had elevated him to the very top of the profession. ‘In recent years there’s been a feeling that he had run out of ideas,’ one British fashion editor told the Mail.

But in fairness, much was required of him. Galliano personally oversaw 12 new collections a year — six for Dior, including haute couture, and six for his own label. In addition, he had to micro-manage everything from the label’s accessories to the layout of the stores.

‘The demands on him were immense,’ says one source. ‘And you must remember Galliano is a man of extremes, so it’s not altogether surprising he’s ended up behaving in a rather extreme way.’

Even so, few could have predicted the extraordinary manner in which he orchestrated his own downfall. As one leading fashion editor said this week: ‘You could lay any number of sins at Galliano’s door, but racism would not have been on the list.’

Anger: Doir model Natalie Portman who publicly slammed John Galliano after the videos emerged

Anger: Doir model Natalie Portman who publicly slammed John Galliano after the videos emerged

Galliano, after all, is himself the product of two distinct cultural identities. One of three children — he has two sisters — he was born to a Gibraltan father, Juan, and a Spanish mother, Anita.

The family came to England in pursuit of work when Galliano was six, and settled in Streatham, South London, before moving to Dulwich. His parents later retired to Spain, where his father died in 2003.

A shy, somewhat diffident child who was raised a strict Roman Catholic, Galliano has often spoken of his struggle to fit in. Recalling his early days, he once admitted: ‘I don’t think people here understood where I was coming from.’

Anita, a flamenco teacher, would dress him in his smartest outfit even for a trip to the local shops. This, combined with his creative sensibilities, saw him frequently bullied at his London boys grammar school.

Academically average, he found his metier only when he attended City and East London College to study design, before going on to Central St Martins.

His talent was so immediately obvious that his graduate show was a sell-out, which was almost unheard of at the time. His entire collection was bought in a single day by a leading fashion buyer of the time.

On the back of his overnight success, Galliano set up a studio in London, but his talent was not matched by a head for business.

President of Chritsian Dior fashion house Sidney Toledano reads a statement before the start of the Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection show

President of Chritsian Dior fashion house Sidney Toledano reads a statement before the start of the Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection show

What’s more, he seemed intent on taking his enjoyment of London’s nightlife to extremes. The then notorious nightclub Taboo, described as being ‘seedier than the bottom of a bird’s cage’ (drugs and sexual licentiousness were the order of the day), was one of his favourite stomping grounds.

By 1990, he was bankrupt and, after his own London-based label failed to re-ignite his fortunes, he moved to Paris. For two years he lived on baked beans above his workshop, but he then found a most unlikely champion in Anna Wintour.  

In 1993, Wintour threw her not inconsiderable clout behind him, introducing him to financial backers and finding him a venue for a hastily thrown-together catwalk show, modelled for free by Kate Moss, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell among others.

The show was declared a sensation — and a star was born. Two years later, Galliano was appointed creative director at Givenchy, the first British man to head a French couture house, before moving to Dior in 1997. The French were horrified, believing Galliano’s eccentric vision to be at odds with the classical background of the house.

Yet he won them over with his flamboyant, meticulously researched collections, and there is no arguing with the figures: under Galliano’s creative tutelage, the value of Dior’s empire burgeoned to nearly £600 million.

In the process, Galliano became a familiar figure on the streets of Le Marais, an area of Paris popular with gays and also — ironically enough — the city’s Jewish community.

It was no secret that Galliano shared his Paris home with his long-term boyfriend Alexis Roche, a style consultant.

What is less well known is that — according to a confidant of his, whom the Mail talked to this week — the designer loved to emphasise his own Jewish ancestry.

Perched in La Perle, mojito (his preferred cocktail) in hand, Galliano would tell anyone who listened about the melting pot of his heritage.

He always insisted he had Jewish blood from the Sephardi Jews who came from Spain and Portugal in the 19th century.

Galliano in 2001 - the British designer receives a Commander of the British Empire award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace

Galliano in 2001 - the British designer receives a Commander of the British Empire award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace

‘Johnny is obsessed with the idea of being descended from Jews,’ the confidant, who often drank with him at La Perle, reports. ‘He was brought up a Catholic, but has always been aware of the influence Jews have had on his life.

‘Johnny was particularly fascinated by the fact that couture in Paris was traditionally a Jewish industry.’

He added that, when sober, Galliano spoke authoritatively about the Holocaust, and particularly about the fact that thousands who worked in the fashion business in Paris were murdered by the Nazis.

‘Johnny knows that Paris designers were exterminated systematically by the Nazis in living memory. To me, the freaky language in a Paris bar was just nonsense — an attempt to shock strangers in bars.

‘He just didn’t want to present them with the image they expected — he wanted to surprise. He does this on the catwalk, so why not in a bar?’

Galliano has attempted to fightback, apologising for the video and said he is not responsible for any other racist abuse

Galliano has attempted to fightback, apologising for the video and said he is not responsible for any other racist abuse

His supporters are insisting he is not anti-Semitic but simply attention-seeking. However, their protestations are doing little to assuage the anger of his former employer; Dior hastily severed links with its star designer, and its high-profile ‘face’ Natalie Portman spoke of her ‘shock and disgust’ at his behaviour.

Those who have spoken out in his defence include socialite Daphne Guinness, who has said that his behaviour is completely out of character.

‘He has always been pretty shy,’ she says. ‘It makes me terribly worried for him. He has had a tough couple of years.’

Her sentiments were echoed by Marie-Pierre Lannelongue, fashion editor of online news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur and also a friend. ‘Everyone who knows him can tell you he is a completely calm character,’ she says.

Nonetheless, according to Marcellous L. Jones, editor-in-chief of fashion web magazine, the talk backstage at Paris Fashion Week has centred on rumoured plots by Dior to rid itself of Galliano.

‘From the very first day of Fashion Week, many editors have been saying that Dior wanted to get rid of him and that a plot like this would save it from having to pay him a reported £17 million,’ he says. ‘These are actually the things that people are saying right now.’

Rather notable by their seeming failure to defend Galliano, however, are long-term celebrity friends, including Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss — whose wedding dress Galliano is meant to be designing.

Naomi Campbell is also uncharacteristically quiet, although it has been said that it was at the urging of Campbell and Moss that the designer was persuaded to enter rehab at all.

Galliano has attempted to launch his own fightback, apologising for the video footage, but he has emphatically denied that he has been responsible for any other racist abuse in La Perle.

In what is being seen as a desperate damage limitation  exercise, he has launched a counter civil claim for defamation against Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti, the couple who claimed he ranted abuse at them in La Perle last week.

Given the evidence, it is hard to imagine Galliano ever clawing back his reputation, although he is rumoured to have employed a firm of solicitors to fight his dismissal by Dior.

In the meantime, the shows must go on. For as well as the Dior womenswear show, a spokesman for Galliano insisted that the show of his own collection, scheduled for tomorrow, would proceed as planned.

One can’t help but think that if it does go ahead, it will prove to be something of a swansong.

Asked, years ago, how he would like to be remembered, John Galliano replied that he would like it to be ‘as a romantic’.

As things stand, that’s the last word likely to spring to mind.

Additional reporting by Peter Allen in Paris.

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Iran: the case for human rights based sanctions | Million Voices Campaign

This post is also available in: French

The failure to take a strong stand on repression by the regime has done nothing to strengthen the West’s hand in dealing with Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, writes Emanuele Ottolenghi

Hard talk: effective engagement with the Ahmadinejad regime must be accompanied by a tightening of the diplomatic screws. Photograph: Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran

When the killing machine begins its deadly harvest, the fine line that separates indifference from complicity vanishes before our eyes. As Iran’s deadly repression continues apace, Western democracies cannot continue pretending it is business as usual. Before the June 12 presidential elections, many reasons were adduced for not contemplating further measures to pressure Iran: Russia and China were not on board; sanctions needed time to yield results; US engagement was on the table. And talking tough to Iran – including possibly more sanctions – would have given succour to the radicals inside the regime without yielding substantial results in the short term.

This logic has cost us precious time. Russia and China are still not on board and an imperfect sanctions regime is better than none at all in the race against time. With the most intransigent elements of Iran’s ruling elites now firmly in power, temporising has gained the international community nothing. As for engagement, speaking to a regime that concocts enemies abroad to justify repression at home is unlikely to yield a suitable compromise – a system that relies on repression to survive is rarely prone to concessions unless its very survival is in question. Shaking its leaders’ blood-stained hands as if nothing has happened will not buy the West a deal – it will only buy time for the regime.

Widespread popular protests and considerable cracks in the leadership in Tehran have also exposed another aspect of Iran’s power politics which Western diplomats would be foolish to ignore: the regime’s legitimacy rests on shaky ground. The extent of its repression and the inability to fully impose order three months after it rigged the elections are a measure of such internal weakness.

Herein then lies the dilemma for the international community – and especially for Western democracies. Relying on the possibility of an Iranian democratic counterrevolution to unblock the nuclear impasse is more a hope than a strategy. The demise of the Islamic Republic could happen tomorrow, in six months, or in six years. The nuclear programme’s timeline is much shorter.

Understandably then, the US administration still hopes to persuade the regime to relent on its nuclear programme. But Europeans need not face the dilemma of engagement over sanctions. After all, Europe has done both for the last six years, proving that the one does not preclude the other. Henceforth, dialogue with Tehran cannot be had at the price of ignoring the regime’s blatant rigging of the results, its brutal repression of peaceful street protests, and the crackdown on reformist figures across the clerical establishment, the political elites and the media.

A Western strategy to confront Iran must therefore rely on a number of tools, which centre on two goals. First, Iran’s nuclear ambitions must be thwarted at all costs, for a regime that behaves so erratically and brutally against its own people cannot be relied upon to act rationally in international relations. Second, Iran’s people must become a central component of our strategy, as an interested audience if not as an active ally.

In order to ensure the people of Iran remain confident that the West will not sacrifice their aspirations on the altar of a compromise with their torturers, four steps are required. First, diplomatic engagement on the nuclear file; second, symbolic sanctions that signal our displeasure at Iran’s internal conduct and our condemnation of its human rights abuses; third, a strong effort at public diplomacy directed at the Iranian people; and fourth, a concerted strategy of tough economic sanctions to be rolled out the minute that engagement fails.

Recent events have cast serious doubt on the possibility that engagement can work. Yet engagement has its value. It gives time to convince recalcitrant allies and sceptics of sanctions that all avenues for compromise have been sufficiently tried. It gives the regime a chance to change behaviour. And it communicates to the Iranian people that the West is ready to talk to Iran before it inflicts economic pain on its people. It puts the burden of failure on the regime itself.

That is why immediately adopting a set of largely symbolic and diplomatic measures would have several important benefits. It would signal to Iran’s dissidents that they are not alone, but it would also enable the West to modulate its sanctions strategy, hitting now but leaving the heavy ammunition for later.

The West stands for democracy and human rights. Iran’s regime has shown its true face as a crude violator of both. Isolating it by recalling Western ambassadors, denying visas or transit rights to senior Iranian officials involved in the repression, suspending bilateral cultural and trade dialogue until further notice are all arsenals in our diplomatic toolkit. None of these measures would hurt the chances of a nuclear deal; none would thwart US engagement. But they would allow a gradual escalation of sanctions should that policy be chosen later by America and its allies.

Our indifference to Iran’s human rights abuses did not help our diplomatic agenda before June 12 – and it may now help the regime feel confident that its internal repression is cost-free. Morally, Western democracies cannot afford to be bystanders. They should exact a heavy price from Iran for its brutal ways.


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[VIDEO] David Arquette in Car Accident .. Head-On!

David Arquette in Head-On Car Accident

3/4/2011 2:13 PM PST by TMZ Staff  

David Arquette was just involved in a head-on collision and he's injured ... TMZ has learned.

David Arquette Crash Pic

David was driving in West Hollywood just a few minutes ago ... when his car veered into oncoming traffic.

David is lying on the ground right now -- bleeding --  as fire trucks are racing to the scene.

David Arquette Crash Video

A witness tells TMZ ... David was behind a car that stopped suddenly.  David then swerved to the left to avoid hitting the car and went into oncoming traffic.  David slammed into a car going in the opposite direction.

David was driving a silver Cadillac.

David Arquette Crash Pics

We're told David was on his way to Burbank airport to board a private jet which was going to Las Vegas, for the grand opening of Sugar Factory -- a candy store at the Paris Hotel.  He was supposed to attend a party hosted by Kim Kardashian.

UPDATE: He's being taken away by ambulance right now.

UPDATE 3:13 PM PT: Authorities now say the drivers of both vehicles suffered minor to moderate injuries.

Story developing ...

Tags: David ArquetteNurse!

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BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese police are further intensifying pressure on foreign reporters, warning them to stay away from spots designated for Middle East-inspired protests and threatening them with expulsion or a revoking of their credentials.

The warnings show how unnerved the authorities are by the online calls for protests every Sunday. The appeals, which started two weeks ago, have attracted few outright demonstrators but many onlookers, loads of journalists and swarms of police.

Staff from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and numerous other overseas news organizations were called in for videotaped meetings with Beijing police Wednesday and Thursday and told that reporters trying to film or interview near the proposed demonstration spots in Beijing or Shanghai this weekend would be punished.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said in a statement that some journalists reported being accused by police "of trying to help stir up a revolution, disrupt harmony in China and simply cause trouble."

The warnings ratchet up notices from police earlier this week that put a section of the Wangfujing shopping street in downtown Beijing and an area near People's Square in Shanghai off limits for foreign media.

However, a British broadcast journalist, who declined to be named in line with company policy, said her team was told that it was not allowed to film anywhere in China, including basic street scenes, without prior approval.

The extreme reaction signals a retreat since restrictions on foreign media were eased in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics. In 2006, then Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao announced that local officials could not intervene in the work of foreign reporters doing interviews, though some sensitive areas, such as Tibet, remained off limits to reporters without special permits.

Foreign reporters have always been afforded greater latitude than domestic ones.

In a tense news conference Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu repeatedly said there was no change in the reporting regulations. Jiang said the rules were clear and that reporters were no longer journalists if they broke the law and created news.

"Some people are eager for fame and try to create trouble for China. For people with their kind of motive, no law can protect them," Jiang said.

The furor surrounds a news event that apparently never transpired. No large protests seem to have erupted at the designated demonstration spots, though at least one activist was detained for being present at one of them. One journalist was also attacked by unidentified men while trying to report from the Beijing shopping street Sunday, and others had their equipment confiscated and footage erased by police.

The situation evolved out of online posts of unknown origin that first circulated on an overseas Chinese news website nearly two weeks ago, calling for Chinese to gather peacefully at sites every Sunday in a show of people power meant to promote fairness and democracy. A renewed call this week expanded the target cities to 35 from 27. China's extensive Internet filtering and monitoring mean most Chinese are unaware of the appeals.

David Bandurski, a media issues expert and China watcher at the University of Hong Kong, said the government reaction to the appeals has been surprisingly strong, particularly since no protests apparently took place.

"We're seeing sparks (online) but we don't even know exactly where these sparks come from, or how representative they are of dissidents in China," he said.

The messages called for a Chinese "Jasmine Revolution" - the name of the mass protests in Tunisia that ousted that country's longtime president and sparked the ongoing wave of revolts across the region.

Government anxiety over possible protests could be linked in part to the annual meeting of China's legislature and its advisory body that kicked off Thursday in Beijing, but Bandurski said official concern that simmering social issues could boil over was more likely to blame.

"Political meetings are always a cause for the jitters in China ... but it's not the meetings themselves that are so key," he said. "It's the fact that China is facing some really serious questions about the future of its economic growth, whether it's sustainable and how, and the role political reform should play in that future."

Many Chinese are frustrated over inflation, corruption and inadequate social benefits, the same issues said to have pushed people in the Middle East to take to the streets.

A human rights activist who posted messages on Twitter describing the scene at Wangfujing on Feb. 20 has been detained by Beijing police on suspicion of taking part in an illegal demonstration, the Hong Kong-based Chinese Human Rights Defenders said in a statement Thursday.


Associated Press writer Gillian Wong contributed to this report.

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Libya: Dozens Killed After Army Opens Fire In City Of Zawiyah | World News | Sky News

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8:46pm UK, Friday March 04, 2011

Libya: Protesters Killed As Army Opens Fire

Alex Crawford in Zawiyah, and Kat Higgins

Dozens of people have been killed and many more injured after the army opened fire on protesters in the Libyan city of Zawiyah, according to reports.

Video: Sky News' Alex Crawford reports from Zawiyah.

It is thought pro-Gaddafi forces entered the city and fired at protesters, who returned fire.

A number of people were shot, including a rebel commander who was killed.

This set off another march by thousands of people, many of them unarmed, who were subsequently shot at by the military, using rocket-propelled grenades and sniper fire.

Many of the demonstrators were shot in the head, neck and chest.

Pro-Gaddafi forces also launched an attack in the forecourt of the hospital where the injured are being treated.

The western port city, which is about 30 miles from the capital Tripoli, has been under siege by the dictator's security forces for around a week.

:: Around 100,000 people fleeing the unrest in Libya have crossed the border into Tunisia since February 20.

:: The situation seems to be improving at refugee camps as people are returned to their homelands.

:: Home Office: Ship carrying £100m in Libyan currency is seized by UK border control.

:: In north Yemen, rebels claim military forces fired rockets at their anti-government protest, killing two people.

:: Prince Harry postpones visit to Dubai, saying it would insensitive given the unrest in the region

The rebellion in Zawiyah - the closest rebel-held territory to the capital and also the site of an oil refinery - has been an embarrassment to Colonel Gaddafi's regime, which is trying to show it controls at least the west of the country.

A government spokesman said it hopes to regain full control from the rebels "possibly tonight", prompting fears of more heavy fighting.

Another regime official told AFP news agency: "Western Libya is totally in government hands but the east is problematic."

Rebels said at least four people were killed in clashes with regime forces near the eastern oil town of Ras Lanuf.

Opposition groups fired a barrage of mortar bombs and rockets at a military base and the army returned fire, reports said.

Rebel sources claimed they had taken the airport in the town, which lies on a strategic coastal road.

View Libya Protests in a larger map

They are aiming to take control of the military base overnight.

However, according to Reuters Libya's deputy foreign minister says pro-Gaddafi forces are now in control of the town.

Khaled Kaim also said the government had accepted a peace initiative put forward by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Mr Kaim said the initiative stated a committee would be formed by African, Asian and Latin American countries "to help the international dialogue and to help the restoration of peace and stability".

Earlier in Zawiyah, as the anti-government protesters made their way towards the military lines on the outskirts of the city, the army opened fire.

Many people ran away and they were shot as they fled.

There were then frantic calls for ambulances which were shot at as they arrived at the scene.

Libya Rebels

Libyan rebels want a no-fly zone to prevent air attacks

There was a feeling that there was a deliberate attempt to kill the protesters, not to just frighten them.

There did not seem to be much firing over the heads of the demonstrators, or any attempt to scare them away.

But former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of Libya's rebel National Libyan Council, has vowed: "Victory or death."

He told crowds in Al Bayda: "We are people who fight, we don't surrender. Victory or death.

"We will not stop till we liberate all this country. The time of hypocrisy is over. Gaddafi must go."

Explore the unrest spreading in the Middle East

Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the rebel February 17th Coalition, said forces loyal to Col Gaddafi had also bombed an arms depot on the outskirts of Libya's second city Benghazi.

AP news agency reported that at least 17 people were killed in an explosion at a weapons dump near the city.

Interpol has delivered a global "Orange Notice" alert against Col Gaddafi and 15 members of his inner circle to help police around the world enforce UN sanctions.

The international police agency said information on the leader and other Libyan nationals would be circulated so border agents could enforce travel bans and freeze assets as set out under sanctions imposed last the weekend.

Sky's Dominic Waghorn reports from Brega

Meanwhile, in Tripoli's Tajoura district, loyalists fired tear gas canisters at a crowd of around 1,500 protesters who were demanding an end to Col Gaddafi's rule, reports said.

Gunshots were also heard. One journalist said: "They fired teargas. I heard shooting. People are scattering."

In Ajdabiyah in the east, Col Gaddafi's air force reportedly carried out a second day of airstrikes as he tries to quash the uprising.

A warplane struck just outside the perimeter of the rebel-held Haniyeh base which stores large amounts of ammunition, but did not hit it, rebels said.

There have also been reports the key oil town of Brega was bombed for a third day.

Col Gaddafi's son Saif told Sky News that air raids were designed only to intimidate the rebels rather than cause deaths.

Battle For Libya: Why Brega Is Important

Brega has seen violent clashes between pro and anti-Gaddafi forces. It is believed a man from Manchester may have been killed there.

Opposition groups have called for a no-fly zone in Libya to prevent air assaults by pro-regime forces.

And they say they will only talk to the government if Col Gaddafi resigns or goes into exile.

Western nations have urged the dictator to quit and are considering various options. But they are wary of any military action which may further destabilise the country.

Aid agencies say help is desperately needed inside Libya - but efforts to provide assistance are being blocked by Col Gaddafi's government.


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Posted by: dashur on March 4, 2011 6:00 PM
Comments by people like Rex just make me smile. What other country goes into another country, tries to put it in order, leaves without taking land, and helps it rebuild after the fact. I guess its hard to forget most other countries when they invade just take the land and kill off the natives.
Rex Von Reason

Posted by: Rex Von Reason on March 4, 2011 5:51 PM
The Yanks have been involved in every war since 1945, and want to control the World. For decades they wanted a war with Russia (remember 'The Evil Empire?')
I'm glad Wikileaks has exposed their mass slaughter of a 100,000 Iraq people.

Posted by: liveandlearn on March 4, 2011 5:50 PM
To suggest that the whole of Libya were celebrating the Lockerbie bomb disaster is utter nonsense. It is always the mindless few who do such things to claim a bit of Television coverage which never fails to deliver, because that’s life. Gaddifi is another who doesn’t believe in a ballot box, unless every ticket as his name on it and that is what these people are trying to change. He and his son will end up being tried for crimes against his people wherever they flee to, because warning shots will have already reached his ears.
Frank Berman

Posted by: Frank Berman on March 4, 2011 5:49 PM
Do Obama, Cameron and the other Western Leaders really want the "Arab" world to change to democracy?

Gadaffi brought down PA AM Flight 103 but the UK continued buying oil and even released the terrorist, the man who committed the biggest terror attack prior to 9/11, and still does so!

What is being missed is that if the USA and the others do NOT help the Libyan people and Gadaffi retains power, that makes a laughingstock of the Iraqi war and dictators and potentates will laugh all the way to the bank!

It seems that oil is much dearer than blood!


Posted by: pinkerbell on March 4, 2011 5:48 PM
Posted by: fedupoap on March 4, 2011 5:21 PM

just hope that this shower governing us has the guts to tell the yanks ,when due to their lifeblood(oil ) is being threatend "Sorry your on your own this time"

What a load of tripe! Libya sells its oil to the whole world, not just to USA!
(Incidentally, this uprising is secular, nothing to do with religious sects, so the clown who said we should support Gadaffi against the Shiites is off his trolley!)


Posted by: pinkerbell on March 4, 2011 5:40 PM
Rex Von ReasonPosted by: Rex Von Reason on March 4, 2011 5:23 PM

If the Yanks want another war leave them to it.

That is absolute nonsense. The Libyan people are protesting against the 43 year tyranny of Gadaffi and his henchmen. They are fighting for their freedom and democracy. The USA does not 'want another war!'


Posted by: C0MM0NSENSE on March 4, 2011 5:38 PM
Webbo - what utter drivel. They were not celebrating Lockerbie in Libya when the plane crashed. Unless you know something history doesn't? They celebrated the release of the bomber last year - and you can hardly blame the Libyan people for that. They were told an innocent hero was returning home.

You clearly hate people and life so why are you still here?


Posted by: pinkerbell on March 4, 2011 5:29 PM
webboPosted by: webbo on March 4, 2011 5:13 PM

A few years ago the Libyans were celebrating when Pan am flight crashed in Scotland now they want our help.

NO, NO, NO! Gadhaffi committed that atrocity...... not the oppressed Libyan people!

Rex Von Reason

Posted by: Rex Von Reason on March 4, 2011 5:23 PM
If the Yanks want another war leave them to it.

Posted by: keyo on March 4, 2011 5:22 PM
Although the facts cannot be verified, typical from Sky news and its reporters, time to change Sky News to Jackanory, first to read us a story Alec Crawford.
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