Catholic priest reflects on the terrifying encounters his parents had as children in the 1920s with the infamous ku kluck klan.
After eight months of a political stalemate, Iraqi officials have brokered a power-sharing agreement between Sunni Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi and incumbent prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.
On March 7, Allawi garnered two more seats than Maliki in Iraq’s Parliament, but until November 11, neither leader was able to form a coalition government. (BBC)
Now with al-Maliki remaining as prime minister and Allawi as parliamentary speaker, the U.S. is praising the power-sharing agreement. But some are skeptical. The BBC shares Allawi’s speculation on whether working with Maliki would give him any real power.
ALLAWI: “In line with the principal of national power-sharing, we have to be partners in making strategic and political decisions. Without the participation of all Iraqi political blocs, there will be no partnership that reflects Iraqi interest as we struggle to help the country.”
But France 24 reports the potential for Maliki to unify rival parties.
“In theory, Shiite Muslims and Kurds could band together around al-Maliki to form a government but the inclusion of Sunni Muslims is essential if the government is to avoid further unrest between rival factions.”
Iraqi newspaper Rudaw, reports Kurdish support was the key factor in keeping Maliki in power -- specifically because his implementation of Article 140 in Iraq’s Constitution that could keep the oil rich region of Kirkuk under Kurd control.
“...Allawi's bloc, which is largely made up of Sunni leaders, refused to meet as many Kurdish demands as Maliki did. The Sunni Arabs are particularly against Article 140 since it is expected to annex Kirkuk to the Kurdish region.”
Before the power-sharing deal, Al Jazeera reports frustration and uneasiness was widespread among Iraqi citizens who say the government squandered public money in the deadlock.
Some say they will demand solutions in the form of $40 million in pay and allowances, from the newly elected leaders.
WALEED AL MASHHADANI: “The delay in government formation has meant a hiring freeze. There are no jobs, no services, nothing. We’re not after political gains, this is at the heart of our role as civil society members.
This is just one more challenge the new government faces alongside the recent attacks on Iraqi Christians by Muslim extremists. CNN brings the view of one Kurdish lawmaker who is holding his breath before praising the political agreement.
"We reached a power-sharing deal but it is like assembling a car with different parts and hoping it will work.”
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A turbulent week for Russia as riots in major cities highlight the country’s ethnic tensions and general civil discord. Citizens took to the streets for everything from mourning the death of football fan to the changing of time zones.
The bloodiest of conflicts occurred just outside the Kremlin. This marked the second outburst of violence in than a week between nationalists and Muslims from the North Caucusus. Russia’s RIA Novosti explains.
“Clashes began after an unidentified assailant began beating five natives of the Caucasus. Violence continued after police arrived on the scene. Police were forced to use their own bodies to shield the victims. Bottles and flares were hurled at the police officers.”
But a political analyst for RT argues that ethnic tensions are par for the course in Russia. – this is just Russian football. Recent incidents say more about police inadequacies than a government spiralling out of control.
“Well I think its common knowledge that racism exists in Russia and that these nationalist groups have been pretty active in the ‘90s. Now I would say that they’re not so open because the government has arrested some of the leaders… But obviously this time it was, to my mind, a real mismanagement on the part of the police.”
But the Moscow News says the latest series of rallies turned riots do say something about impotent government – at least enough to warrant a response from the Russian president.
“And the shocking scenes of mass violence beneath the walls of the Kremlin at the weekend have left many fearing that the authorities’ apparently iron grip on Russia is rusting fast. President Dmitry Medvedev rushed to his twitter account to reassure the nation that everything was under control.”
The President is already in the hot seat with the release of Wikileaks documents detailing cables to Washington - accusing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of running a “mafia state.” SkyNews
“The Government of Russia’s strategy is to use organized crime groups to do whatever the government of Russia cannot acceptably do as a government.’ The U.S. officials quoted the Spaniard as saying that he ‘Considers Belarus, Chechnya, and Russia to be virtual ‘mafia states’…”
Russia will hold Duma elections next year and presidential elections in 2012. The vote could signal a referendum on Vladimir Putin’s reign of power.
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BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
ANCHOR CHANCE SEALES
He defied international calls to cede power during a bloody four-month standoff. But now Ivory Coast Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo has been captured.
The rebel opposition -- with support from French and UN forces -- launched an assault on the embattled leader’s residence in Abijan. (VIDEO FROM BFM TV)
CNN’s Zain Vergee reports - 500 people have been killed and one million internally displaced since Gbagbo refused to relinquish power four months ago.
“Lauren Gbagbo was holding the country hostage. He had refused to leave and admit he lost an election back in November. So what happened is the country has deteriorated into civil war. ... It means that Gbagbo, if arrested, will probably be tried in Ivory Coast. There was a lot of discussion as to whether he would go into exile...”
The BBC’s Mark Doyle looks at what Gbagbo’s arrest means for Ivory Coast - and says - it’s hard to predict whether it will stabilize the war-torn country.
“...perhaps the model to be followed will be here in neighbouring Liberia - where a decade of violent ethnic balkanisation is only now beginning to be resolved. The coming days and months are likely to be perilous for civilians as possible reprisal attacks take place.”
The internationally-recognized President - Alissane Ouattara - is widely expected to face some opposition - as Gbagbo accused him of being a foreigner - an attack that has proven powerful in the south.
That’s why France 24’s Nathan King reports from UN headquarters - the UN isn’t ready to call this a victory yet.
“It may be the end of the beginning but no the beginning of the end. ... There is still a crisis going on in Ivory Coast. they are going to be focusing on basically making sure the violence subsides. There may be pockets of resistance, but they want to continue to take away heavy weapons. ... Huge amounts of ethnic tension, and of course there have been atrocities as well. Those have to be investigated.”
Britain’s Foreign Minister emphasized Gbagbo should be treated with “respect” despite allegations of war crimes against civilians. And the scrutiny is expected to be leveled at pro-Ouattara forces as well - who stand accused of raping and killing civilians.
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Thousands of precious lives have been lost in the Three-decade old ethnic conflict that has plunged the country into misery.
Despite intense efforts being made to bring lasting peace to our beloved motherland, the war still continues' displacing tens of thousands of innocent people including women and children'
Why did this war erupt and to whom does it cater to? Can't all communities live in harmony and can't peace prevail in this beautiful isle? The movie 'Prabhakaran' comes as a tribute to all loving people of mother Lanka.
Prabhakaran is probably the first film made on the ongoing war in this country that devoured thousands of lives.
Who is to be blamed for this tragic situation? The Sinhala or Tamil people are not those to be blamed for the war. They are only caught in the midst of the conflict and are subjected to misery. The film sees the conflict from a humanistic angle. It discusses the story of a suicide bomber who escapes from LTTE clutches and how she is being pushed to that point.
Alpha Conde, a long-time opposition leader, was declared the winner of Guinea’s first democratic election in 52 years. The BBC reports, his victory has sparked violent protest in Conakry, the capital of the small west African nation.
“Supporters of Cellou Dalein Diallo a former prime minister who came first in the polls a few months ago clashed with security forces on Monday, they warned they would not accept defeat.
‘We cannot accept the results that they proclaimed today. They cheated.’”
According to Voice of America, at least 66 people have been injured in post-election violence since the results of the poll were announced late Monday.
Though the U.S.-based Carter Center and a European Union election group who monitored the elections said they found no major problems with the election.
Diallo said he has evidence of voter fraud across the country and that the police are targeting members of his ethnic group, the Peul.
The vote marks the end of decades of rule by dictators and military juntas, but the election has also reawakened ethnic conflict between Guinea’s most populous ethnic groups the Peul, represented by Diallo and the Malinke, represented by Conde.
Votes closely followed ethnic lines, and now many Guineas fear the Malinke ethnic group’s government will favor its own while shutting others out as some Guinean presidents have in the past.
Others in the business sector worry that Conde’s government will slow the mineral-rich country’s mining operations.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday morning New York-based DaMina Advisors L-L-P warned its clients…
“Conde’s ambitious populist manifesto calls for drastic increases in tax revenues and a re-write of the country’s mining and hydrocarbons laws... Tensions with miners and local business elites will retard major new investments in iron ore, gold and bauxite.”
Despite the simmering conflict and uncertain future, Conde is calling for national unity. The Guardian highlights his interview with Radio France Internationale... where he says...
"Time has come to reach out in a spirit of brotherhood to tackle, together and immediately, the numerous challenges the country faces...That will only be possible in a calm atmosphere and with the cooperation of all Guineans."
Conde’s victory has yet to be approved by Guinea’s supreme court, but Daillo will likely begin an appeal before then.
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In the Land of Blood & Honey Trailer 2011 - Official new Trailer in HD - directed by Angelina Jolie and starring Goran Kostic and Zana Marjanovic - a love affair between a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman, set against the gritty backdrop of the 1992 Bosnian War.
"In the Land of Blood & Honey" movie opens in theaters everywhere on December 23, 2011.
Filming in Bosnia and Hungary, first-time director Angelina Jolie opted to cast local actors Goran Kostic and Zana Marjanovic in the leading roles, rather than Hollywood A-listers. She also wrote and produced the movie, which was shot both in English and the local Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian language, BHS. In the Land of Blood & Honey Trailer 2011 is presented in full HD 1080p high resolution.
In the Land of Blood and Honey portrays the incredible emotional, moral and physical toll that the war exerts both on individuals and people as a whole, and the terrible consequences that stem from the lack of political will to intervene in a society stricken with conflict. Set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War that tore the Balkan region apart in the 1990s, In the Land of Blood and Honey tells the story of Danijel (Goran Kostic) and Ajla (Zana Marjanovic), two people from different sides of a brutal ethnic conflict. Danijel, a soldier fighting for the Serbs, and Ajla, a Bosnian held captive in the camp he oversees, knew each other before the war, and could have found love with each other. But as the armed conflict takes hold of their lives, their relationship grows darker, their motives and connection to one another ambiguous, their allegiances uncertain.