7/20/2014

These are the most religious places in the world (and what they're practicing)

Using the CIA Factbook, we labeled the countries in the world where more than half the population considers themselves religiously affiliated. The darker shades represent the countries with the highest percentages of religious citizens. Click on any of the maps below to see an enlarged version.

North America

73 children killed in Israeli terror assault | GulfNews.com

73 children killed in Israeli terror assault | GulfNews.com





  • Image Credit: AFP
  • A Palestinian relative mourns as he holds the body of a baby, who is one of the eight members of the same family who were killed overnight in an Israeli strike, during their funeral on July 19, 2014 in Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza strip. The new deaths raised the toll on the 12th day of violence in Gaza to 316 Palestinians, according to emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX

7/17/2014

Selling Israel’s War on Gaza | Common Dreams

Selling Israel’s War on Gaza | Common Dreams

Roma 2014. (Photo: Denis Bocquet / Flickr Creative Commons)There is an art to war and there is an art to selling war—to one’s own people and the world at large.
Israel is a master on both tracks. When we speak of the “only democracy” in the Middle East, it is often forgotten—perhaps deliberately—that the country is run by a War or “Security” Cabinet. It is, and has been a military regime with as many powerful religious fanatics as its Iranian nemesis.
Since proclaiming its “independence” in 1948, Israel has remained dependent on a large, now over-$3-billion-per-annum-and-counting "foreign aid” payment from the United States—far, far more than many poor countries receive that desperately need that aid.
Supplementing this subsidy, Israel has its own advanced military industrial and technology complex, upgrading and customizing weaponry in military and aerospace industries.
Israel's current escalation of the war on Gaza is only the latest, following on the heels of seven “recognized” wars, two Palestinian intifadas, many reprisal operations and countless covert operations including interventions and assassinations.
Israel's capacity to punish and its willingness to use advanced weapons in areas dense with civilians like Gaza is terrifying and by design. The U.S. may have used “shock and awe” in Iraq to launch its war there, but Israel has routinized it with 2,360 air strikes in its 2008-2009 “Cast Lead” campaign in Gaza alone. So far there have been l,000 in this bloody blitzkrieg. Is it any surprise that, of all Israel's military branches, it is the Air Force that is dominated by extremists and West Bank settlers?
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7/15/2014

Hardeep Singh Kohli: Standing up for Scottish independence


EDINBURGH, Scotland — Hardeep Singh Kohli may have been born in London, the son of immigrants fromIndia. But it would be hard to find a more passionate Scot.
"I'd rather die hungry and free than be part of something that has no f***ing interest in my future and my people," he told a recent Scottish nationalist gathering here. "Because you are my f***ing people whether you like it or not."
A well-known face on British television, the comedian and writer has emerged as a leading spokesman for the "Yes" campaign ahead of Scotland's September referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.
In an interview, Kohli explained why politics, economics, history and a better sense of rhythm mean his homeland can’t miss the opportunity to break from British rule.

7/13/2014

Anthem for Doomed Youth BY WILFRED OWEN


What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 
      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
      And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
      The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
Source: The Poems of Wilfred Owen, edited by Jon Stallworthy (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1986)