A Baby's Cradle With No Baby In ItRest in peace, little Alexander.
A baby's cradle with no baby in it,
A baby's grave where autumn leaves drop sere;
The sweet soul gathered home to Paradise,
The body waiting here.
Why Did Baby Die?
Why did baby die,
Making Father sigh,
Flowers, that bloom to die,
Make no reply
But bow and die.
58 percent of Russians support the idea of a new anti-alcohol campaign, the All-Russian Social Opinion Center told Interfax Friday. Only three percent of the population think nothing should be done about Russia’s drinking problem.Majority of Russians Would Back Anti-Alcohol Campaign
A poll surveying the opinions of 1,600 people in 100 cities and towns has revealed 58 percent of Russians would back an anti-alcohol drive, 36 percent would object, the Center reports.
The last anti-alcohol campaign was carried out in Russia 20 years ago, by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
After Army Pfc. Joel K. Brattain was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad a year ago, the painful task of notifying his family got underway thousands of miles from his hometown of Yorba Linda.
Officers from Brattain's unit in Iraq, the 82nd Airborne Division, contacted their rear detachment at Ft. Bragg, the division's home base. A soldier here alerted the post casualty assistance center, which then telephoned the Army base nearest to Yorba Linda — Ft. Irwin.
There, Sgt. Lloyd Cook, who had never heard of Brattain, answered his cellphone at home on a quiet Sunday morning and was ordered to tell a stranger that his son was dead.
In recent years, the Jewish community in Russia, and in Moscow in particular, has enjoyed reinforcement from an unexpected quarter. Between 30,000 and 40,000 Israelis, many of them natives of the Soviet Union, have returned to live here.This is terribly sad that Israel is losing some of her best and brightest to antisemitic Russia. They mention this glass ceiling twice, but don't explain-is it real? Perhaps Ha'aretz didn't feel the need to explain since they publish in Israel, and they assume that everyone knows about this. I'd love to hear our Israeli readers' input on this. My impression has been that if you're a Jew, you're a Jew. If you've done your IDF stint you're the same as anyone else. Maybe Russian Israelis have a harder time succeeding in Israel after decades of Communism and official antisemitism weakening Russian Jews' cultural familiarity with Jewish life. What is this glass ceiling that Ha'aretz so cavalierly mentions-is it simply a taken-for-granted myth of the left? Or is there reality behind it? I'd love your input. The article's great btw, my tiny quote from it doesn't do it justice and you should read the whole thing.
Their profile is quite similar: aged between 30 and 40, most are professionals, some are artists, many are successful high-tech people, who felt that Israel was too small for them. Still, something of the Israeli experience persists. They get together, speak Hebrew to each other, miss hummus, Israeli slang and songs, friends from the army. And they justify their emigration by citing the "glass ceiling" that blocked their way to the top.
"In Israel, a million and a half people are connected to the Internet. In Russia, 18 million people are connected - and this is just the beginning," says Dr. Anton Nusik, a journalist who worked in Israel for Vremya and Vesti. "Moscow these days is even more amazing than New York. In New York, everything's happened already, and in Moscow it's still happening." Nusik, a physician by training, emigrated to Israel in 1990, lived in Jerusalem and worked in Tel Aviv. He believes his absorption was a success - until he hit the glass ceiling.
Haaretz - Israel News - You can go home again
There is a serious leadership gap" in the Brotherhood, said Ehsan Ahrari, a Virginia-based political analyst who follows Islamic affairs. "The only thing certain is that extremists everywhere are gaining ground. This must come at the expense of the Muslim Brotherhood to some extent."Muslim Brotherhood Feels Homeland Pressure
"We've decided to seek peaceful reforms," said Mohammad Moursi, one of the Brotherhood members in parliament. "We know this is not what many people like to hear these days. They want Islamic revolution. I fear this trend will grow."
No government forces were at the Andijan square early Saturday, but a few blocks away, about 30 soldiers clad in flak jackets and armed with assault rifles stood ready for action. Military trucks loaded with soldiers cruised the streets, and troops backed by armored vehicles surrounded heavily fortified local police headquarters.Uzbek Unrest Spreads to Kyrgyz Border
Earlier Saturday, soldiers loaded scores of bodies onto four trucks and a bus after blocking friends and relatives from collecting them, witnesses said.
Lutfulo Shamsutdinov, head of the Independent Human Rights Organization of Uzbekistan, said he saw about 200 bodies being loaded onto trucks near the square.
A witness in central Andijan told The Associated Press that "many, many dead bodies are stacked up by a school near the square."
An AP reporter saw at least 30 bodies — all shot, with at least one having his skull smashed. The streets were stained with blood and littered with spent cartridges.
Daniyar Akbarov, 24, joined the protests Saturday after being freed from the prison during the earlier clashes.
"Our women and children are dying," he said, tearfully beating his chest with his fists. Akbarov said he saw at least 300 people killed.
The focus of the jailbreak was 23 men charged with membership in a group allegedly allied with the outlawed radical Islamic party Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which seeks to create a worldwide Islamic state and has been forced underground throughout most of Central Asia and Russia.
The men are alleged members of Akramia — a group named for their founder, Akram Yuldashev, an Islamic dissident sentenced in 1999 to 17 years in prison for allegedly urging the overthrow of Karimov. He has proclaimed his innocence.
Karimov called the Akramia group a "faction of Hizb ut-Tahrir" that includes known members of the group banned across Central Asia and Russia, and he noted that their goal was to establish an Islamic caliphate.
Supporters of the 23 men say they were victims of religious repression by Karimov's secular government.
Akramis are considered the backbone of Andijan's small business community, running a medical clinic and pharmacy, as well as working as furniture craftsmen, and providing employment to thousands in the valley, where Islamist sentiment runs high.
Their trial has inspired one of the largest public shows of anger at the government. In recent weeks, Uzbeks have shown increasing willingness to challenge the leadership in protests, apparently bolstered by the March uprising in Kyrgyzstan that drove out President Askar Akayev, which followed similar ones in Ukraine and Georgia.
The U.S. State Department expressed concern Friday that the 2,000 freed prisoners included members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is on the American list of terror groups.
Karimov said people from neighboring Kyrgyzstan helped organize the violence in Andijan in hopes of organizing a revolt similar to the one that occurred in their own country.
Almambet Matubraimov, acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's representative in southern Kyrgyzstan, vehemently denied that accusation.
"It's not true that Kyrgyz citizens were involved in the events in Andijan. Our people have nothing to do with it. Kyrgyzstan has had nothing to do with it," he said.
Uzbekistan is slightly larger than California and, with 25 million people, is Central Asia's most populous country. It is frequently denounced by human rights groups for torture and repression of opposition.
Vlast continues with the series of interviews with the individuals who shaped USSR's foreign policy during the perestroika years*. This time Vlast's correspondent Marina Kalashnikova met with the former head of the Central Committee's international information department, USSR's former ambassador to Great Britain Leonid Zamyatin.Read the rest. There's more interviews from the same series in their left sidebar, too.
- You were a witness to the famous conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher in December 1984 in Mrs. Thatcher's county residence Chequers. It is considered that it was then that the future General Secretary made his debut with his new thinking. Who was it that put the idea of discussing such things with the British premier into his head?
- I can't say for sure. He prepared for the trip to Thatcher in Pitsunda and there was nobody but Raisa Maksimovna there with him. He called me about ten days before the trip: “You know, I had an unpleasant conversation with Gromyko. He will not delegate anybody to help prepare the visit and will not send anybody on the trip with me. He thinks that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not need that." As for Chequers, this was how it went: they sat down in arm-chairs at a fireplace, Thatcher took off her patent-leather shoes, tucked her feet under her chair and got out her handbag. Gorbachev reached into his pocket and suddenly said: “Could we do without those papers?" He had an instruction “On Conversation with Thatcher" which had been approved of, etc. “Gladly!" she responded. And she put her paper back into this handbag. He said that it was high time to give up the cold war. There are values common to all mankind so let us guarantee these values and not oppose each other. Isn't it time to take up complex disarmament? She agreed and in her turn brought up the question on the emigration of Jews from the USSR. Gorbachev responded: “We are actually thinking about that." She insisted: “This needs to be solved." Then she said: “Your trade unions are helping our coal-miners with money. They have been on strike five months already. The strike continues. It is doing a great damage to the economy of England. For the time being I take that quite calmly. But I request that your trade-unions should cease the financial support otherwise we will resort to sanctions." Gorbachev was taken aback and said that he had nothing to do with the trade unions. The politesse that followed was varied. She reminded him that they had met under tragic circumstances – at Andropov's burial. “I remember how you took care of me. It was frosty and I was wearing thin stockings and a light suit." Gorbachev responded: “Well, we always treat guests…." And so on. As she appeared in front of the correspondents she pronounced her famous: “I like Mr.Gorbachev. We can do business together."
- Did you think at times that Thatcher's attitude towards Gorbachev was more than simply official?
- When he came she would always be dressed stylishly. They never wear furs in England. But when she met him she would always have some new fur. Thatcher had a definite womanish feeling towards Gorbachev. Let's say it was sympathy. She changed when he appeared.
Gavin Gross, an American, has been leading a campaign against the deterioration of conditions for Jewish students at SOAS, which is part of the University of London.
He recently received a letter from the school's director, Colin Bundy, threatening him with "an investigation under the disciplinary code."
Gross received the letter shortly after the Board of Deputies, the elected leadership of the British Jewish community, sent a dossier based on evidence Gross submitted documenting attacks on Jewish students at SOAS and threatening to take legal action if steps were not taken to address the problem.
The letter to Gross said his "conduct appears to contravene SOAS's disciplinary code of practice, warranting investigations as potential misconduct under the code."
In recent months, SOAS has witnessed an escalation of anti-Jewish activity, in both severity and frequency. At the beginning of this year, the Islamic Society screened a video which compared Judaism with Satanism. A recent article in the SOAS student union magazine, The Spirit, advocated suicide terrorism against Israeli civilians, and was entitled: "when only violence will do."
Earlier this year, the student union convened an "emergency session" in order to appoint London Mayor Ken Livingstone as "honorary president" of the union, following Livingstone's refusal to issue an apology after comparing a Jewish journalist with a Nazi concentration-camp guard.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Gross painted a bleak picture of Jewish student life at SOAS. "The school has been in existence for 89 years with no honorary president," said Gross. "Within 72 hours of being embroiled in a fight with the Jewish community, the union called an emergency meeting to create an honorary president post and elect Ken Livingstone to it. I proposed Nelson Mandela as president. For about an hour, I was subject to repeated attacks against Israel. I was told that Israel is an apartheid state, a terrorist state. People at the meeting said there was a Zionist Mossad conspiracy to damage the mayor.
"There was an article in the union paper, which was not even written by a student, but by an Egyptian lawyer, that said that all Israeli civilians, including children, are legitimate targets for murder, because they and their parents chose to live in a colonial state. It was pure hatred. What it was doing in a student union magazine, I have no idea. This is part of the pattern of behavior at our campus."
Gross said SOAS's administration has utterly failed to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic attacks. "The school has walked away from its responsibilities."
Speaking to the Post, Jon Benjamin, of the Board of Deputies, confirmed that the board was extremely worried about SOAS, and that legal action was being considered.