Middle East

Open Letter to Alicia Keys from Alice Walker

Alicia Keys live in Frankfurt

Alicia Keys live in Frankfurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

wpid-alice-walker-1-sized.jpegAuthor Alice Walker wrote an open letter to Alicia Keys urging her to cancel her upcoming concert in Isreal. Keys, who is currently on her “Set The World On Fire” Tour, is due to perform in Tel Aviv on July 4, but not if Walker can help it. Her open letter advises the “New Day” singer to avoid the country because of its conflict with Palestine and suggests that she pull out of the scheduled concert completely. “It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists,” the letter reads. “Please, if you can manage it, go to visit the children in Gaza, and sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist.” Keys has yet to respond to Walker’s plea, but upon announcing her tour in January she stated, “I’m excited to go to new places on this tour, among them Tel Aviv. I plan on bringing with me a show full of emotion and inspiration.”

 

Too much money spent in Iraq for too few results – Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten years and $60 billion in American taxpayer funds later, Iraq is still so unstable and broken that even its leaders question whether U.S. efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation were worth the cost.

In his final report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen‘s conclusion was all too clear: Since the invasion a decade ago this month, the U.S. has spent too much money in Iraq for too few results.

The reconstruction effort “grew to a size much larger than was ever anticipated,” Bowen told The Associated Press in a preview of his last audit of U.S. funds spent in Iraq, to be released Wednesday. “Not enough was accomplished for the size of the funds expended.”

In interviews with Bowen, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the U.S. funding “could have brought great change in Iraq” but fell short too often. “There was misspending of money,” said al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim whose sect makes up about 60 percent of Iraq’s population.

via Too much money spent in Iraq for too few results – Yahoo! News.

 

AP Newsbreak: Drop in Taliban attacks incorrect – Yahoo! News

The 7 percent figure had been included in a report posted on the coalition’s website in late January as part of its monthly update on trends in security and violence. It was removed from the website recently without explanation. After The Associated Press asked last week about the missing report, coalition officials said they were correcting the data and would re-publish the report in coming days.

via AP Newsbreak: Drop in Taliban attacks incorrect – Yahoo! News.

 

NATO: No evidence for Afghan claim of misconduct – Yahoo! News

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan has so far found no evidence to support Afghan allegations of misconduct by American special forces in a strategic eastern province, the alliance’s spokesman said on Monday.

German Gen. Gunter Katz said the International Security Assistance Force will work with the government to find a solution to the concerns of Afghans, but could not yet comment on the allegations that Afghans connected with U.S. special forces were involved in abuses that include torture, killings and illegal detentions.

via NATO: No evidence for Afghan claim of misconduct – Yahoo! News.

 

Afghanistan: US special forces must leave province – Yahoo! News

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s president ordered all U.S. special forces to leave a strategically important eastern province within two weeks because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other Afghans.

The decision Sunday seems to have surprised the coalition and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, a separate command. Americans have frequently angered the Afghan public over issues ranging from Qurans burned at a U.S. base to allegations of civilian killings.

“We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and go to great lengths to determine the facts surrounding them,” the U.S. forces said in a statement.

via Afghanistan: US special forces must leave province – Yahoo! News.

 

Lawmakers welcome Obama’s ‘new emphasis’ on Middle East – The Hill’s Global Affairs

Lawmakers are applauding what they see as President Obama’s “new emphasis” on the Middle East in his second term after Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed this week that he would be headed there ahead of the president’s trip in March.

The twin visits are a tacit acknowledgment that the troubled region’s problems – the civil war in Syria, Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process – continue to dominate U.S. foreign policy. Lawmakers say the timing, coming after elections in both the United States and Israel, is ripe for Obama and his top diplomat to visit both Israel and her neighbors and set the tone for the next four years.

via Lawmakers welcome Obama’s ‘new emphasis’ on Middle East – The Hill’s Global Affairs.

A Sign from Above? Lightning Strikes the Vatican Right After the Pope Resigns – Christian Blog – Christian Blog

Billions of Roman Catholic Followers who were already shocked by the announcement of Pope Benedict’s resignation were furthered shocked when a Lightning Bolt Struck the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Lightning Strike which happened only a few hours after the Pope’s speech has already spread on the Internet.

via A Sign from Above? Lightning Strikes the Vatican Right After the Pope Resigns – Christian Blog – Christian Blog.

 

Sexual Harassment of Women is State Sponsored Say Egyptian Women

Sexual Harassment of Women is State Sponsored Say Egyptian Women.

 

Poland’s African Diaspora Film Festival – AfryKamera – Call For Entries (Compensation For Selected Films) | Shadow and Act

Yes, we are repped all over the world, even in Poland.

All kidding aside, AfryKamera: African Film Festival in Poland (www.afrykamera.pl) is the first film festival in the Eastern European region dedicated to African diaspora film in general.

The 8th annual AfryKamera African Film Festival, jointly organized by two NGOs from Poland: Filmgramm Foundation and the Foundation for Somalia, will take place in Warsaw from the 10th to the 14th of April, 2013.

via Poland’s African Diaspora Film Festival – AfryKamera – Call For Entries (Compensation For Selected Films) | Shadow and Act.