By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent
LONDON (Reuters) – Valerie Curtis is fascinated by faeces. And by vomit, pus, urine, maggots and putrid flesh. It is not the oozing, reeking substances themselves that play on her mind, but our response to them and what it can teach us.
The doctor of anthropology and expert on hygiene and behaviour says disgust governs our lives – dictating what we eat, wear, buy, and even how we vote and who we desire.
In science, disgust has languished unstudied – it was once dubbed the “forgotten emotion of psychiatry” – while emotions like fear, love and anger took the limelight.
But Curtis, who refers to herself half-jokingly as a “disgustologist”, is among a growing group of scientists seeking to change that by establishing the importance of the science of revulsion in everything from sex and society to survival.
“People are disgusted by things without even realising it. It influences our lives in so many subtle ways, and it’s really important that we understand how great that influence is,” she told Reuters in an interview.
PARASITE AVOIDANCE THEORY
Curtis’s somewhat revolting interests stem from her many years of work in public health, seeking to improve hygiene and reduce unnecessary death and disease around the world.
As a director at the internationally respected London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, she has conducted research into hygiene behaviour in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, China, India, Uganda, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan.
In 2002, she founded a global public-private partnership involving the U.N. children’s fund UNICEF, the World Bank and the household product multinational Procter & Gamble to promote hand-washing.
“I’ve been trying to understand disgust for 30 years, and what I’ve found is that people the world over are all disgusted by similar things: body products, food that has gone off, sexual fluids – which, with a few exceptions, we don’t tend share with other people – bad manners and immoral behaviour,” she said.
In a book to be published this month entitled “Don’t Look, Don’t Touch”, Curtis argues that while revulsion at rape and disgust of dog poo seem at first glance to be very different things, they have common roots in what she calls a “parasite avoidance theory” of disgust, or PAT for short.
It looks at disgust from an evolutionary perspective, arguing that our most repulsed ancestors were aided in the “survival of the fittest” race by their disgust instinct – avoiding disease, deformity and death – and thereby living longer, having more relationships and producing offspring with a sense of “healthy squeamishness”.
Curtis compares the disgust response with fear and its flight or fight response – which makes us instinctively run away from or avoid things that might eat us.
“Even more importantly for our evolution was disease,” she said. “Disease is something that will eat us up from inside – and what’s important is that disgust keeps you away from them.
“Disgust is an organ – like an eye or an ear. It has a purpose, it’s there for a reason,” she said. “Just like a leg gets you from A to B, disgust tells you which things you are safe to pick up and which things you shouldn’t touch.”
MICROBES TO MORALITY
Avoiding dirt and disease also requires us to avoid each other, to a certain extent, Curtis says, which is how disgust also drives manners and socially acceptable behaviour.
“Every time we come into contact with other people we do a sort of disgust dance – where we want to get close to people and have social interaction with them, but at the same time we are also terribly careful not to disgust them.”
And so, she argues, evolved manners and social behaviour.
“With disgust, you start with microbes, go on to manners and then on to morality,” she says. “It’s an emotion that teaches you how to behave. It helps build the moral framework of society.”
It’s this all-encompassing reach, according to Curtis, that makes disgust so fascinating – and that has brought it in from the cold as far as serious academic research is concerned.
While 10 years ago, there were probably fewer than a handful of research papers on disgust or revulsion published in scientific journals, now there is a vast scientific literature and many books dedicated to picking them apart.
“It’s actually now become a bit of a plaything of scientists,” says Curtis.
In the lab, she adds, where scientists seek to observe and analyse causes and effects of human emotions, it is difficult and dangerous to generate real fear, and nigh on impossible to induce genuine love, but disgust is far easier to create.
“Disgust is fascinating because it’s a model emotion,” she said. “It tells us a lot about how all the emotions work.”
(Editing by Pravin Char)
More BS and archaic chatter from Catholics, ignorant as they are… TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Reuters
By Elias Biryabarema | Reuters
LUWERO, Uganda (Reuters) – Over the past century, the Catholic Church has been growing fastest in one of the regions other Catholics know least. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for only one percent of the world Catholic population in 1910. By 2010, that had jumped to 16 percent.
The faith here has a strength and exuberance that reminds some of early Christians. “These people are living a kind of New Testament experience,” says U.S. theologian George Weigel.
It is also highly conservative. Interviews in Luwero, a town in central Uganda, elicited moral stands so strict they would surprise Catholics in the West, as well as deep concern about poverty and justice.
“Modernisation has spoiled Catholics a little bit and they think they have to do whatever they want,” said Joseph Lwevuze, 58, who grows pineapples, coffee and other crops in a nearby village and teaches catechism at his local church.
“Homosexuality is a globalization issue,” he said to illustrate his point. “It’s a virus, if I can use today’s computer language. It’s a computer virus that’s spreading. Even animals do not do it.”
Demands from Europe or the United States for reform of Church attitudes meet stiff opposition here. “The new pope needs to maintain and even tighten traditional Church teaching,” said brickmaker Frederick Lule, 25, who struggles to feed his wife and two children but honors the Catholic ban on artificial birth control and abortion.
“I think those pills they give women bring diseases,” said Joanina Nansubuga, a 35-year-old mother of seven, one of few who did not object to the idea of married priests.
“If you allow priests to marry, then the Catholic Church will start to crumble,” objected Edward Sindamanya, 64, who walked from his hamlet to Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral to pay his tithe and say a rosary. “I’ve also heard women want to be allowed to be priests. That can’t be.”
What these Catholics wanted most from the next pope was more help to fight poverty and provide better education and health facilities.
“The Gospel should be translated into action so there are equal opportunities for the African farmer to sell coffee to Europe and get better prices,” said Rev Gerald Wamala, 36, a local priest and head of the local church AIDS program. “It would be great for the new pope to speak out on equity in international trade.”
(Edited by Tom Heneghan and Sara Ledwith)
Medals won by each participating country…
Source: Yahoo Sports
|47||Trinidad and Tobago||1||0||3||4|
|86||Antigua and Barbuda||0||0||0||0|
|86||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0||0||0||0|
|86||Central African Republic||0||0||0||0|
|86||Democratic Republic of the Congo||0||0||0||0|
|86||Independent Olympic Athletes||0||0||0||0|
|86||Papua New Guinea||0||0||0||0|
|86||St. Kitts and Nevis||0||0||0||0|
|86||Sao Tome and Principe||0||0||0||0|
|86||St. Vincent and Grenadines||0||0||0||0|
|86||United Arab Emirates||0||0||0||0|
|86||British Virgin Islands||0||0||0||0|
|86||U.S. Virgin Islands||0||0||0||0|
One can only imagine the level of human degradation that goes on in third world countries, especially in overly populated cities in certain parts of the Far East, where sexual abuse and the exploitation of women and children is commonplace. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police said Tuesday they have busted a sex slave ring and rescued 21 Ugandan women who were forced into prostitution after being lured to Malaysia with promises of jobs as maids.
Criminal investigation chief Bakri Zinin said in a statement that police found the women, aged between 19 and 42, holed up in four apartment units in central Selangor state during a raid on Friday.
He said three Ugandans — two women believed to be pimps and a man suspected of being a customer — were detained.
Initial investigations showed the 21 women were promised jobs as maids in homes and hotels with a salary of $1,000 a month, but instead forced to become “sex slaves” to pay off travel fees and other costs totaling $7,000, he said.
The women were brought into the country via China, and were threatened verbally and physically to stop them from running away, the statement added.
A police official said Tuesday that investigations were focused on how long the ring had been in operation and who the masterminds were. The official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the women have been temporarily placed in a welfare home and would be deported later.
It was not immediately clear what charges the three detained Ugandans would face, but human trafficking in Malaysia is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
This Southeast Asian nation has constantly been under the spotlight for human trafficking.
In 2009, it was placed on the U.S. list of countries with worst human trafficking records for a third time — meaning it faced possible sanctions unless its record improved. Last year, Malaysia was upgraded to a “watch list” after authorities stepped up efforts to combat the sexual and forced labor exploitation of women and children.
The percentages identified below reflect a poll response to the following question: “Is religion important in your daily life?”
You will probably notice that totals do not add up to 100%, and that is because some of the respondents either failed (or refused) to answer and others answered that they didn’t know. It is the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers that are tabulated below.
What you may find interesting (and is quite obvious) is that as you work your way down the list toward those countries where people answered more favorably that religion was in fact important in their daily lives you will find the most culturally, technologically and economically backward societies; mainly countries in Africa, Central and South America and the Middle East. These are the countries where Christianity (primarily Catholicism) and Islam rule. No surprise there… TGO
|Country||Yes, important||No, unimportant|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||66%||29.5%|
|Trinidad and Tobago||92%||8%|
|Central African Republic||94%||6%|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||98.5%||1.5%|
|United Arab Emirates||91%||8.5%|
|Republic of the Congo||94.5%||5.5%|
Below is a listing of countries and their approximate total population, with the population/percentage of Catholics in each. As one might expect, the numbers are staggering. Of the almost 6 1/2 billion people on Earth, over 1 billion are Catholics. What a shame!
Just consider for a moment the amount of money that this corrupt organization takes in every year. At just $1 dollar per person per year, that’s well over one billion dollars annually; and we know this is an extremely modest estimate. Oh and one more thing, the Church pays no taxes! By the way, this is just money from personal donations, it doesn’t include all of the money the Catholic Church makes through corporate donations, land ownership, interest on its holdings, schools, etc. Talk about BIG business, the Catholic Church is by far the most profitable business on the planet!
Most of you have probably heard the saying: “Money is the root of all evil.” This may help explain why the Catholic Church is so corrupt and abusive… TGO
|Region||Country||Total Population||% Catholic||Catholic total|
|Southern Africa||Zimbabwe (details)||12,746,990||7.71%||982,792|
|Southern Africa||Zambia (details)||11,261,795||26.31%||2,962,978|
|Middle East||Yemen (details)||20,727,063||0.02%||4,145|
|North Africa||Western Sahara (details)||273,008||0.06%||163|
|Southeast Asia||Vietnam (details)||83,535,576||6.7%||5,530,055|
|South America||Venezuela (details)||25,375,281||96%||24,157,267|
|Western Europe||Vatican City (details)||921||100%||921|
|Central Asia||Uzbekistan (details)||26,851,195||0.01%||2,685|
|South America||Uruguay (details)||3,415,920||47.1%||1,981,233|
|North America||United States (details)||310,688,000||23.9%||74,115,001|
|Western Europe||United Kingdom (details)||60,441,457||14%||8,461,803|
|Middle East||United Arab Emirates (details)||2,563,212||5%||128,160|
|Eastern Europe||Ukraine (details)||46,481,000||2.2%||3,737,116|
|East Africa||Uganda (details)||27,269,482||41.9%||11,425,912|
|Central Asia||Turkmenistan (details)||4,952,081||0.54%||26,741|
|Middle East||Turkey (details)||69,660,559||0.05%||34,830|
|North Africa||Tunisia (details)||10,074,951||0.22%||22,164|
|South America||Trinidad and Tobago (details)||1,088,644||26%||283,047|
|West Africa||Togo (details)||5,681,519||27.8%||1,579,462|
|Southeast Asia||Thailand (details)||65,444,371||0.44%||287,955|
|East Africa||Tanzania (details)||36,766,356||25.74%||9,463,660|
|Central Asia||Tajikistan (details)||7,163,506||0.55%||39,399|
|East Asia||Taiwan (details)||22,894,384||1.39%||318,231|
|West Africa||São Tomé and Príncipe (details)||163,000||70.3||144,000|
|Middle East||Syria (details)||18,448,752||2%||368,975|
|Western Europe||Switzerland (details)||7,507,000||41.8%||3,137,926|
|Western Europe||Sweden (details)||9,001,774||1.62%||145,828|
|Southern Africa||Swaziland (details)||1,173,900||20%||62,803|
|South America||Suriname (details)||438,144||22.8%||78,865|
|North Africa||Sudan (details)||40,187,486||5%||2,009,374|
|South Asia||Sri Lanka (details)||20,064,776||7.12%||1,428,612|
|Western Europe||Spain (details)||44,708,462||94%||35,766,769|
|Southern Africa||South Africa (details)||44,344,136||7.1%||2,851,327|
|East Africa||Somalia (details)||8,591,629||0.001%||100|
|Oceania||Solomon Islands (details)||523,000||19%||100,000|
|Central Europe||Slovenia (details)||2,011,070||57.8%||1,162,398|
|Central Europe||Slovakia (details)||5,431,363||68.9%||4,012,209|
|Southeast Asia||Singapore (details)||4,425,720||4.8%||165,964|
|West Africa||Sierra Leone (details)||6,017,643||2.9%||174,511|
|East Africa||Seychelles (details)||81,188||82.3%||66,817|
|West Africa||Senegal (details)||11,126,832||3.5%||389,439|
|Middle East||Saudi Arabia (details)||26,417,599||2.5%||660,439|
|Southern Europe||San Marino (details)||29,251||95%||29,230|
|Caribbean||Saint Lucia (details)||156,260||67.5%||109,000|
|East Africa||Rwanda (details)||8,440,820||56.5%||4,726,859|
|Eastern Europe||Russia (details)||143,420,309||0.53%||760,127|
|Middle East||Qatar (details)||863,051||5.8%||50,000|
|Caribbean||Puerto Rico (details)||3,916,632||85%||3,129,137|
|Western Europe||Portugal (details)||10,356,117||84.5%||8,750,919|
|Central Europe||Poland (details)||38,635,144||89.8%||34,694,359|
|Southeast Asia||Philippines (details)||91,077,287||80.9%||75,594,148|
|South America||Peru (details)||27,925,628||81.3%||22,619,758|
|South America||Paraguay (details)||6,347,884||89.6%||5,688,339|
|Oceania||Papua New Guinea (details)||5,545,268||27%||1,828,274|
|Central America||Panama (details)||3,339,150||85%||2,838,277|
|Middle East||Palestine (details)||3,761,904||2%||80,000|
|South Asia||Pakistan (details)||162,419,946||0.79%||1,283,117|
|Middle East||Oman (details)||3,001,583||0.1%||3,001|
|Western Europe||Norway (details)||4,593,041||1%||229,652|
|West Africa||Nigeria (details)||158,259,000||14%-24%||37,500,000|
|West Africa||Niger (details)||11,665,937||0.1%||11,665|
|Central America||Nicaragua (details)||5,142,098||58.5%||2,652,985|
|Oceania||New Zealand (details)||4,035,461||12.6%||510,485|
|Oceania||New Caledonia (details)||249,000||60%||150,000|
|Western Europe||Netherlands (details)||16,406,703||30%||5,050,629|
|South Asia||Nepal (details)||27,676,547||0.03%||8,302|
|Southern Africa||Namibia (details)||2,030,692||16.95%||344,202|
|Southeast Asia||Myanmar (details)||42,909,464||1.05%||450,549|
|Southern Africa||Mozambique (details)||19,406,703||23.8%||4,618,795|
|North Africa||Morocco (details)||32,725,847||0.07%||22,908|
|Central Asia||Mongolia (details)||2,791,272||0.04%||1,116|
|Western Europe||Monaco (details)||32,543||90%||29,288|
|Eastern Europe||Moldova (details)||4,455,421||0.46%||20,494|
|North America||Mexico (details)||108,700,000||76.5%||95,656,000|
|Southern Africa||Mauritius (details)||1,230,602||23.6%||289,314|
|North Africa||Mauritania (details)||3,086,859||0.15%||4,000|
|Oceania||Marshall Islands (details)||62,000||8.4%||5,208|
|Southern Europe||Malta (details)||400,214||98%||375,761|
|West Africa||Mali (details)||12,291,529||1.54%||189,289|
|South Asia||Maldives (details)||349,106||0.02%||80|
|Southeast Asia||Malaysia (details)||23,953,136||3.3%||790,453|
|Southern Africa||Malawi (details)||12,158,924||19.57%||2,379,501|
|Southern Africa||Madagascar (details)||18,040,341||24.01%||4,331,485|
|Western Europe||Luxembourg (details)||468,571||87%||407,655|
|Northern Europe||Lithuania (details)||3,596,617||79%||2,841,327|
|Western Europe||Liechtenstein (details)||33,863||76.2%||25,803|
|North Africa||Libya (details)||5,765,563||0.7%||40,358|
|West Africa||Liberia (details)||3,482,211||5.42%||188,735|
|Southern Africa||Lesotho (details)||1,867,035||70%||1,306,924|
|Middle East||Lebanon (details)||3,826,018||30%||1,150,000|
|Northern Europe||Latvia (details)||2,290,237||17.04%||390,256|
|Southeast Asia||Laos (details)||6,217,141||0.6%||37,302|
|Central Asia||Kyrgyzstan (details)||5,146,281||0.56%||28,819|
|Middle East||Kuwait (details)||2,335,648||6.16%||143,875|
|East Asia||Korea, South (details)||48,846,823||10.9%||5,324,303|
|East Asia||Korea, North (details)||22,912,177||0.017%||4,000|
|East Africa||Kenya (details)||33,829,590||33%||11,163,764|
|Central Asia||Kazakhstan (details)||15,185,844||0.66%||100,226|
|Middle East||Jordan (details)||5,759,732||1.2%||69,116|
|East Asia||Japan (details)||127,417,244||0.4%||509,668|
|Western Europe||Italy (details)||59,102,112||90%||53,191,900|
|Middle East||Israel (details)||7,746,000||1.5%||94,153|
|Western Europe||Ireland (details)||4,234,925||87.4%||3,743,673|
|Middle East||Iraq (details)||26,074,906||1.19%||310,291|
|Middle East||Iran (details)||68,017,860||0.02%||13,603|
|Southeast Asia||Indonesia (details)||241,973,879||3%||7,380,203|
|South Asia||India (details)||1,080,264,388||1.58%||17,068,177|
|Western Europe||Iceland (details)||296,737||2.5%||8,902|
|Central Europe||Hungary (details)||10,006,835||51.9%||5,593,547|
|Central America||Honduras (details)||7,335,204||97%||5,941,515|
|South America||Guyana (details)||765,283||8.1%||91,833|
|West Africa||Guinea-Bissau (details)||1,416,027||8.97%||127,017|
|West Africa||Guinea (details)||9,467,866||2.66%||251,845|
|Central America||Guatemala (details)||14,655,189||55%||8,060,353|
|West Africa||Ghana (details)||21,029,853||15.1%||5,257,463|
|Western Europe||Germany (details)||82,431,390||34%||27,870,000|
|Eastern Europe||Georgia (details)||4,677,401||0.8%||84,193|
|West Africa||Gambia (details)||1,593,256||2.1%||33,458|
|West Africa||Gabon (details)||1,389,201||50.17%||696,962|
|South America||French Guiana (details)||221,500||75%||166,500|
|Western Europe||France (details)||60,656,178||83-88%||39,934,650|
|Western Europe||Finland (details)||5,223,442||0.14%||7,312|
|South America||Falkland Islands (details)||2,000||10.0%||200|
|East Africa||Ethiopia (details)||73,053,286||0.7%||584,426|
|Northern Europe||Estonia (details)||1,332,893||0.36%||4,798|
|East Africa||Eritrea (details)||4,561,599||3.34%||152,357|
|Central Africa||Equatorial Guinea (details)||676,000||87%||590,000|
|Central America||El Salvador (details)||6,704,932||79.1%||5,303,601|
|North Africa||Egypt (details)||77,505,756||0.35%||271,270|
|South America||Ecuador (details)||13,363,593||95%||12,695,413|
|Southeast Asia||East Timor (details)||1,040,880||98%||924,718|
|Caribbean||Dominican Republic (details)||9,105,034||95%||8,649,782|
|East Africa||Djibouti (details)||476,703||0.2%||953|
|Western Europe||Denmark (details)||5,432,335||2%||104,867|
|West Africa||Côte d’Ivoire (details)||17,298,040||35%-40%||6,054,314|
|Central Europe||Czech Republic (details)||10,241,138||26.8%||2,744,624|
|Middle East||Cyprus (details)||780,133||1.28%||9,985|
|North America||Cuba (details)||11,346,670||85%||9,644,669|
|Central Europe||Croatia (details)||4,495,904||87.8%||3,947,403|
|Central America||Costa Rica (details)||4,016,173||76.3%||3,064,339|
|Central Africa||Congo, Republic of (details)||3,686,000||50.5%||1,861,000|
|Central Africa||Congo, Democratic Republic of (details)||65,751,512||50%||36,163,331|
|East Africa||Comoros (details)||671,247||2%||201|
|South America||Colombia (details)||42,954,279||90%||38,658,851|
|East Asia||China (details)||1,306,313,812||0.75%||9,797,353|
|South America||Chile (details)||16,267,278||70%||11,387,094|
|Central Africa||Chad (details)||9,826,419||20.1%||880,447|
|Central Africa||Central African Republic (details)||3,799,897||25%||949,974|
|West Africa||Cape Verde (details)||516,733||93%||480,500|
|North America||Canada (details)||32,805,041||42.6%||13,974,947|
|West Africa||Cameroon (details)||16,380,005||25.68%||4,206,385|
|Southeast Asia||Cambodia (details)||13,607,069||0.16%||21,771|
|Central Africa||Burundi (details)||6,370,609||62%||3,949,777|
|West Africa||Burkina Faso (details)||13,925,313||17%||2,367,303|
|Southeast Asia||Brunei (details)||372,361||6.36%||23,682|
|South America||Brazil (details)||186,112,794||73.6%||136,979,016|
|Southern Africa||Botswana (details)||1,640,115||4.94%||81,021|
|Balkans||Bosnia and Herzegovina (details)||4,025,476||15%||625,558|
|South America||Bolivia (details)||8,857,870||81.8%||7,245,738|
|South Asia||Bhutan (details)||2,232,291||0.06%||1,339|
|West Africa||Benin (details)||7,460,025||27.1%||1,729,233|
|Central America||Belize (details)||279,457||49.6%||138,610|
|Western Europe||Belgium (details)||10,364,388||75%||7,773,291|
|Eastern Europe||Belarus (details)||10,300,483||17%||1,751,082|
|South Asia||Bangladesh (details)||144,319,628||0.22%||317,503|
|Middle East||Bahrain (details)||800,000||10%||80,000|
|Eastern Europe||Azerbaijan (details)||8,581,400||0.03%||2,574|
|Central Europe||Austria (details)||8,376,761||73.6%||5,530,000|
|Eastern Europe||Armenia (details)||2,982,904||3.7%||110,367|
|South America||Argentina (details)||39,537,943||92%||36,374,907|
|Southern Africa||Angola (details)||16,941,000||38%||9,317,550|
|Western Europe||Andorra (details)||71,201||94%||66,928|
|North Africa||Algeria (details)||32,531,853||0.01%||3,000|
|Central Asia||Afghanistan (details)||29,928,987||0.0003%||100|
Question: How stupid can people be? Answer: Very, very stupid indeed. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
Anti-landmine activists in western Uganda were stunned to discover a primary school using an unexploded mortar bomb as a bell, the group’s coordinator told AFP on Monday.
“It was a big shock. When we arrived at the school we even found one of the students striking it,” Wilson Bwambale, coordinator of Anti-Mines Network Rwenzori, said.
Bwambale said his team visited the 350-pupil Ikobero Model primary school, one kilometre from Uganda’s border with Democratic Republic of Congo, last week after being tipped off by a curious community leader.
“The bottom was hollow, that is why they used it as a bell, but the fuse at the top was still live,” Bwambale said. “Fortunately no one hit it with enough (force) to explode the bomb.”
Following the discovery, Bwambale said he called the shocked teachers to a meeting, where he was told that the school had been using the bomb as a bell for three years.
“We recovered it and put it in a safer place and recommended that the school look for something else that could be used as a gong,” Bwambale said.
Bwambale explained that the region is littered with unexploded ordnance left over from government operations against a Muslim rebel insurgency in the area that ended around six years ago.
Last year, the same team visited a school where an unsuspecting teacher was keeping a hand grenade in one of the classrooms, Bwambale said.
Most of Africa is a total wasteland as far as human rights is concerned, not to mention poverty and disease. The Middle East, well, what can one say about the Middle East? This region has always been a mess and it is now worse than ever. Pakistan, Afghanistan and most other Muslim dominated countries in Asia are a disaster. The billion-plus people living in China are in an oppressive, communist state and the billion-plus people in India are living mostly in poverty. Central America, more specifically Mexico, is a toilet bowl with drug cartels running rampant. Other Central and South American nations are dominated by corruption and dictators; Fidel and Raul Castro in Cuba; Hugo Chavez in Venezuela; Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua; Evo Morales in Bolivia; etc. That pretty much takes care of Asia, Africa and Central/South America, or about 80% of the world’s population (five billion) people.
The other roughly one and a half billion people live in just about the only civilized parts of the globe – North America, western Europe and Australia; and these areas are not a utopia by any stretch of the imagination. Hardly anybody lives in Antarctica.
So there you have it, a brief synopsis of the world’s seven continents. Not very pleasant or promising is it? We have a long way to go before we can truly be called a civilized species; one that lives in relative prosperity, peace and harmony. In fact, that day may never come… TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
Source of Table: Wikipedia
|Continent||Area (km²)||Area (mi²)||Percent of
A report by the London-based rights group said excessive use of force and other ill-treatment at times resulting in unlawful killings, were among violations documented in countries such as Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda.
It said the situation in Nigeria’s Niger Delta deteriorated in 2010, with armed groups and gangs kidnapping oil workers and their relatives and attacking oil plants.
“The reaction from the Nigerian security forces often led to human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions and torture,” the report noted.
Numerous cases of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, torture by security agencies also remained the norm in other parts of Nigeria.
In South Africa, numerous cases of torture and ill-treatment by police were reported, many of which were investigated by the Independent Complaints Directorate. Reported incidents included beatings, electric shocks, suffocation and death threats.
Last month, footage of a 33-year-old unarmed protester being kicked and beaten with batons by police officers was shown on South African television.
The man died a few minutes later after being shot twice with rubber bullets at close range.
In Mozambique, police used live ammunition against demonstrators protesting against the high cost of living, killing at least 14 people while in Guinea, security forces fired live ammunition at peaceful demonstrators, the report said.
Despite a general trend towards the abolition of capital punishment across the continent, death row inmates in Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and Somalia were executed, often after unfair trials, it added.
The report also raised concern over the violence and increased human rights violations, including unlawful arrests and restrictions on freedom of expression, that marred elections in countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi, Guinea and Ivory Coast.
“In nearly all cases, the human rights violations were committed with total impunity,” it said.
These African countries are being led by real forward-thinkers aren’t they? Actually, they seem to be governed by the same brainless mules that label themselves Evangelical Christians or Born-Again Christians in this country. By the way, it goes without saying, but I’ll state it anyway; many of these same “leaders” are gay themselves and/or have gay family members that they protect.
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, I’m a heterosexual male myself; there isn’t a gay cell in my body. Nevertheless, I’ve worked with a few homosexual men and women over the years and have learned that, at least in my field, which is design/architecture/construction, they are quite competent, intelligent and well-educated, decent people. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Reuters
KAMPALA (Reuters) – A Ugandan newspaper that “outs” people it says are gay and has called for them to be hanged said on Tuesday it would use a two-week window before a court verdict on its activities to continue with its campaign.
Three gay activists — two women and one man — who were featured in the publication secured an interim injunction on November 1 stopping the newspaper from publishing such photos on privacy grounds.
The paper, “Rolling Stone,” has published some images under the headline “Hang them.”
A High Court judge last week heard from lawyers representing both sides before adjourning the case ahead of a verdict on December 13. A row has now broken out about whether the injunction stands until the judge makes his ruling.
“The interim order was first passed on November 1st and extended until November 26th while we prepared our case,” Giles Muhame, the 22-year-old editor of the newspaper, told Reuters.
“The judge then said on the 26th that he would pass his final verdict on December 13th, which means it expired.”
But Frank Mugisha, director of gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, said his group believed the interim order stood until the day of the ruling.
The newspaper has caused international uproar and the ensuing media attention has prompted some Ugandans to dub Kampala “world homophobia capital.”
Rolling Stone has so far published 29 photographs with names and, in some cases, addresses and says it intends to work through a list of 100 people.
Several people featured in the newspaper say they have been attacked since its publication and activists say many more have gone into hiding.
Homosexuality is deeply unpopular in many African nations, where some see it as a Western import. It is illegal in 37 countries on the continent and activists say few Africans are openly gay, fearing imprisonment, violence and loss of jobs.
Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga last weekend ordered the arrest of homosexuals, calling their behavior unlawful and unnecessary since there were more women than men in the country, Ugandan media reported.
Muhame said he would now try to feature as many people as possible whom his newspaper considers gay in two issues before the verdict is passed.
“I hope basic justice will be done,” he told Reuters. “Some people are even calling for public hanging and some others even want to see homosexuals buried alive.”
A bill was tabled in Uganda’s parliament last year proposing the death penalty for gays and was called “odious” by President Barack Obama. It is not expected to become law.
(Editing by Richard Lough)
The hypocrisies of religion… These people pick and choose the parts of their “holy book” that suits their preferences and ignore the rest. The Bible, for example, endorses slavery, yet none of these bishops would ever say that slavery is compatible with the word of God and should therefore be practiced; and they certainly wouldn’t dare say this in Africa of all places. If they did, they’d be hung from a tree within minutes.
Who knows, Rowan Williams might be a homosexual. Maybe he experimented with homosexuality and had a bad experience and therefore is now vehemently denouncing it. One never knows what these ultra-religious people are up to. One thing’s for sure, they hide behind their faith and take their actions to another level; just look at the homosexuality and pedophilia that is rampant in the Catholic Church, while on the other hand you have the “peaceful” Muslims blowing themselves up in the name of Allah.
As much as I despise religions, and those who fanatically believe in them; for all the harm that they have inflicted on mankind and the ignorance that they perpetuate, I must admit that violence aside, it really is entertaining. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
ENTEBBE, Uganda (AFP) – African Anglican bishops voiced their strong disapproval of homosexuality at a meeting Tuesday attended by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, as the issue continues to divide Anglicans.
“Homosexuality is incompatible with the word of God,” said conference host and Ugandan Archbishop Uganda Henry Luke Orombi.
“It is good Archbishop Rowan is here. We are going to express to him where we stand,” he added.
Head of the Anglican church worldwide, Williams is struggling to keep the communion together amid disagreements over the ordination of female bishops in Britain, and of openly gay bishops in the United States.
“There is already a break. It doesn’t need to be announced,” said Orombi.
Williams delivered a sermon Tuesday at the opening of the six-day meeting, the first of its kind since 2004.
While he did not mention homosexuality, he said it was the duty of all bishops to be open-minded on contentious issues.
“We must learn to listen to those we lead and serve to find out what their hopes and needs and confusions are. We must love them and attend to their humanity in all its diversity,” Williams said.
However the head of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa left little doubt that his position on the matter is settled.
“Today, the West is lacking obedience to the word of God,” Reverend Ian Ernest of Mauritius told journalists on the sidelines of the conference.
“It is for us (Africans) to redress the situation,” he said, adding that he has severed all ties to the Episcopalian churches in Canada and the United States that have allowed gays to enter the clergy.
Homosexuality is illegal in many African countries and is punishable by a prison sentence.
In Uganda, a drastic anti-gay bill has been met with criticism from Western states and rights group, notably for imposing the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” in cases of rape of a minor by a person of the same sex, or where one partner has HIV.
Obviously these Muslim religious fanatics that are blowing themselves up and killing innocent people in the process couldn’t care less about the so-called “holy month” of Ramadan. This “peaceful” faith, Islam, is anything but peaceful.
The death toll reported in this article will probably rise… TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the Tuesday morning attack on the Muna Hotel.
A statement from the government says some attackers were dressed as security forces. Somalia’s information minister called the attack “a deplorable act in this holy month of Ramadan.”
It came one day after an al-Shabab spokesman threatened a massive war against what he labeled invaders, an apparent reference to the 6,000 African Union troops in Mogadishu.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A suicide bomber and gunmen stormed a hotel in Somalia’s capital on Tuesday, killing at least 15 people including members of parliament in an attack that set off an hour-long gun battle, a military spokesman and a witness said.
A parliamentarian who was at the Muna hotel said there were “dead bodies all over” and he labeled the scene a massacre.
The assault comes after Somalia’s most dangerous militant group, al-Shabab, declared a “massive war” on “invaders” — an apparent reference to the 6,000 troops from the African Union that protect the weak Somali government.
African Union spokesman Maj. Barigye Bahoku said it wasn’t immediately known how many members of parliament were killed in the attack on the Muna hotel, located a half-mile (1 kilometer) from Somalia’s presidential palace. Parliamentarians often live at Mogadishu hotels while in the capital city.
An 11-year-old shoe shine boy and a woman selling tea in front of the hotel were among the dead, Bahoku said.
Since Monday, fighting in Somalia’s capital has killed at least 40 civilians and wounded more than 130, said Ali Muse, the head of Mogadishu’s ambulance service.
A parliamentarian who was at the hotel when the attack occurred said he had seen at least 20 bodies lying in the corridor of the hotel, including one dead member of parliament. The parliamentarian spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear for his safety.
He said the suicide bomber blew himself up near the reception and then gunmen stormed the hotel, setting off a gun battle that lasted about an hour.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility last month for twin bombings in Uganda’s capital that killed 76 people, saying the attacks were in retaliation for Uganda’s deployment of troops with the African Union.
Al-Shabab has increased the use of suicide attacks in recent years, though they are still somewhat rare in Somalia. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are believed to be helping train al-Shabab fighters.
Associated Press writer Malkhadir M. Muhumed contributed to this report from Nairobi, Kenya.
These religious freaks who do all this killing deserve the worst kind of death imaginable. They are so infatuated with their cartoon-character Muhammad and their fairy tale, make-believe Allah that they would do anything asked of them by their cowardly leaders.
It takes inferior intelligence to believe all of their religious mumbo-jumbo, but to believe it to the point where they are willing to destroy the lives of innocent people requires the worst kind of mental perversion imaginable. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
KAMPALA, Uganda – In simultaneous bombings bearing the hallmarks of international terrorists, two explosions ripped through crowds watching the World Cup final in two places in Uganda’s capital late Sunday, killing 64 people, police said. One American was killed and several were wounded.
The deadliest attack occurred at a rugby club as people watched the game between Spain and the Netherlands on a large-screen TV outdoors. The second blast took place at an Ethiopian restaurant, where at least three Americans were wounded.
One American was killed in the blasts, said Joann Lockard, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Kampala.
Kampala’s police chief said he believed Somalia’s most feared militant group, al-Shabab, could be responsible for the attack. Al-Shabab is known to have links with al-Qaida, and it counts militant veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan conflicts among its ranks.
A head and legs were found at the rugby club, suggesting a suicide bomber may have been to blame, an AP reporter at the scene said.
At least three Americans — part of a church group from Pennsylvania — were wounded at the Ethiopian restaurant. One was Kris Sledge, 18, of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
“I remember blacking out, hearing people screaming and running,” Sledge said from the hospital. His right leg was wrapped and he had burns on his face. “I love the place here but I’m wondering why this happened and who did this … At this point we’re just glad to be alive.”
At the scenes of the two blasts, blood and pieces of flesh littered the floor among overturned chairs.
Police Chief Kale Kaihura originally said at least 30 people had been killed, though the toll could be higher.
Later, a senior police official at the scene said that 64 people had been killed — 49 from the rugby club and 15 at the Ethiopian restaurant. The official said he could not be identified.
Kaihura said he suspected al-Shabab, that country’s most hardline militant group. Its fighters, including two recruited from the Somali communities in the United States, have carried out multiple suicide bombings in Somalia. If Kaihura’s suspicions that al-Shabab was responsible for the Uganda bombings prove true, it would be the first time the group has carried out attacks outside of Somalia.
Simultaneous attacks are also one of al-Qaida’s hallmarks.
In Mogadishu, Somalia, Sheik Yusuf Sheik Issa, an al-Shabab commander, told The Associated Press early Monday that he was happy with the attacks in Uganda. Issa refused to confirm or deny that al-Shabab was responsible for the bombings.
“Uganda is one of our enemies. Whatever makes them cry, makes us happy. May Allah’s anger be upon those who are against us,” Sheik said.
During weekly Friday prayers in Somalia two days before the double bombing, another al-Shabab commander, Sheik Muktar Robow, called for militants to attack sites in Uganda and Burundi — two nations that contribute troops to the African Union peacekeeping force in Mogadishu.
In addition to its troops in Mogadishu, Uganda also hosts Somali soldiers trained in U.S. and European-backed programs.
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said the U.S. was prepared to provide any necessary assistance to the Ugandan government.
“The president is deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from these deplorable and cowardly attacks, and sends his condolences to the people of Uganda and the loved ones of those who have been killed or injured,” Vietor said.
Kenya’s foreign minister, Moses M. Wetangula, told The Associated Press last week that enough veteran militants from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan conflicts have relocated to Somalia to spark worry inside the international community.
International militants have flocked to Somalia because the country’s government controls only a few square miles of the capital, Mogadishu, leaving most of the rest of the country as lawless territory where insurgents can train and plan attacks unimpeded.
Associated Press reporters Mohamed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu, Somalia, and Godfrey Olukya in Kampala, contributed to this report. Straziuso reported from Nairobi, Kenya.
These men should consider themselves fortunate that there was so much pressure on Malawi’s government officials that they were released and pardoned after being sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Third world countries such as Malawi and many others are decades if not centuries away from ridding themselves of the mentality that is created out of religious dogma, which then permeates every aspect of society. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
BLANTYRE, Malawi – Malawi’s president on Saturday pardoned a gay couple who had been sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered their release but insisted that homosexuality was still illegal in his conservative southern African nation.
President Bingu wa Mutharika announced the pardon on “humanitarian grounds only” during a press conference with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Lilongwe, the capital.
“These boys committed a crime against our culture, against our religion, and against our laws,” Mutharika said. “However, as head of state, I hereby pardon them and therefore order their immediate release without any conditions.”
But he added, “We don’t condone marriages of this nature. It’s unheard of in Malawi and it’s illegal.”
Malawi had faced international condemnation for the conviction and harsh sentencing of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, who were arrested in December, a day after celebrating their engagement.
After the pardon, activists were searching for a safe house for the couple, fearing they could be attacked upon release.
Ban praised Mutharika’s decision but said “laws that criminalize sexuality should be repealed.”
In Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs also praised the move, urging an end to “the persecution and criminalization” of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Earlier this week, the top U.N. AIDS official and the head of an international donor organization met with Mutharika and expressed concern that criminalizing homosexuality would keep a vulnerable group from seeking AIDS treatment.
Joseph Amon of Human Rights Watch said the president was responding to the international outcry.
“I hope that other leaders of African countries with anti-gay laws see that this is just not acceptable in the international community,” Amon told The Associated Press by telephone from New York.
Malawi is among 37 African countries with anti-gay laws.
In Senegal, police have rounded up men suspected of being homosexual and beaten them, and a mob last year pulled the corpse of a gay man from his grave, spat on it and dumped it at the home of his elderly parents.
In Zimbabwe this month, two employees of a gay organization spent six days in jail on allegations of possessing indecent material and insulting President Robert Mugabe, an outspoken critic of homosexuality.
In Uganda, a proposed law would impose the death penalty for some gays.
Even in South Africa, the only African country that recognizes gay rights, lesbians have been gang-raped.
In Malawi, a judge convicted and sentenced Chimbalanga and Monjeza earlier this month on charges of unnatural acts and gross indecency under colonial-era laws. Crowds of Malawians had heckled the two during court hearings, with some saying that 14 years at hard labor — the harshest possible sentence — was not long enough.
Undule Mwakasungure, a gay rights activist in Malawi, told The AP on Saturday that he was concerned about the men’s safety and was working with other activists to find a safe house for them or help them temporarily leave the country.
“There is homophobic sentiment. I think they might be harmed,” Mwakasungure said.
Edi Phiri, who fled from Malawi to Britain five years ago after being beaten because he was gay, said the two might need to seek asylum outside of Malawi.
“They will be out of prison, but what will happen next?” Phiri said. “The community will see them as outcasts. I don’t think they will be safe in Malawi.”
Maxwell Manda said his brother-in-law Chimbalanga was pleased by the ruling and told the AP earlier that Chimbalanga wanted to leave Malawi upon his release.
“He has been down all week because he was separated from his partner. He is happy now,” Manda said.
Chimbalanga had been held at a Blantyre prison, while Monjeza was sent to an institution 50 miles (90 kilometers) away. Prison officials said the separation was a security measure.
The activists hoped the presidential pardon would help their efforts to overturn Malawi’s anti-gay laws and attitudes.
“The public needs to appreciate that the world is changing,” Mwakasungure said. “It won’t be easy … we’re not talking about changing the law today or tomorrow. But we have to start the process.”
Even though the pardon was immediate, a prison spokesman told The AP they had not received notification to release the two men by Saturday afternoon.
Associated Press writer Donna Bryson contributed to this report from Johannesburg.
Wow! Up to fourteen years in prison for an engagement celebration by a gay couple. If any of you out there are gay or lesbian, whatever you do don’t go to Africa; not for the World Cup or even a safari.
As usual, these kinds of laws are derived from religious beliefs. It is truly a testament to man’s hypocrisy that many of the people that impose and/or enforce these kinds of laws are high-ranking religious leaders or government officials who generally break more laws than the typical citizen. A cursory look at world news and one can easily learn what’s happening within the Catholic Church in terms of the sex abuse scandal. And how many honest politicians do we really believe exist in all of Africa? The answer might actually be zero. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
BLANTYRE, Malawi – A judge convicted a gay couple Tuesday of charges that could send them to jail for more than a decade following an engagement celebration, a ruling activists fear could send others into hiding and hamper the fight against AIDS.
Malawi’s government has been defiant in the face of international criticism over the couple’s prosecution since they were arrested in December.
Tiwonge Chimbalanga, a 20-year-old hotel janitor, and his unemployed partner Steven Monjeza, 26, were arrested the day after they celebrated their engagement with a party at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked — an apparent first in Malawi.
Undule Mwakasungula, a gay rights activist in Malawi, said the couple’s decision to declare their relationship with an engagement ceremony appears to have been personal, not political. Others have been prosecuted under the law but this case was different because the two men were open about their homosexuality, Mwakasungula said.
The couple were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency under laws dating from the colonial era. Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa said the sentencing will take place on Thursday and they could be imprisoned for up to 14 years.
The verdict is “extremely disturbing,” said Michaela Clayton of the Namibia-based AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa, saying it could encourage anti-gay sentiment in the region as well as set back the fight against AIDS.
Gay people forced underground in Africa are unlikely to seek counseling and treatment for AIDS, activists say. In Malawi, nearly 1 million people — an estimated 12 percent of the population — are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Homosexuality is illegal in at least 37 countries in Africa including Malawi. In Uganda, lawmakers are considering a bill that could sentence homosexuals to life in prison and includes capital punishment for “repeat offenders.” Even in South Africa, the only African country that recognizes gay rights, gangs have raped lesbians.
Mwakasungula said the two Malawian men were concerned that if they were released, they could be attacked by Malawians who have threatened them. But given the laws and the climate in Malawi, he said a guilty verdict had been expected.
The courtroom was packed Tuesday, and hundreds more people waited outside for a glimpse of the couple, who did not speak. Chimbalanga exchanged hi-five greetings with some in the crowd as he was escorted from the courthouse Tuesday. Monjeza, who has been tearful at previous hearings, was expressionless.
Priti Patel of the Southern African Litigation Centre, an independent rights group, said the couple could appeal on the grounds that the laws under which they were prosecuted violate the country’s 1994 constitution. But an earlier attempt by their lawyer to have the case thrown out on those grounds was rejected.
The government, backed by Malawi church leaders, says it is clear the two men broke the law. Religious officials say homosexuality is “sinful” and the West should not be allowed to use its financial power to force Malawi to accept homosexuality. Malawi relies on donors for 40 percent of its development budget.
Edi Phiri, who fled Malawi for Britain five years ago after being beaten because he was gay, said he was shocked by Tuesday’s verdict.
“It’s very, very pathetic,” he said. “I don’t know how I can describe how disappointed I am.”
Associated Press Writer Donna Bryson in Johannesburg contributed to this report.
For you homosexuals out there, stay away from Africa, particularly Zimbabwe. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
The two were speaking at a belated celebration in a Harare suburb Thursday of International Women’s Day, which was on March 8.
Mugabe reiterated his opposition to rights for gays, whom he has described as “worse than pigs and dogs”.
“I heard the issue was being raised at the constitution making process,” Mugabe said. “Those who do it, we will say, they are wayward. It is just madness, insanity.”
“That is not what we can allow,” Mugabe said, according to the state-run news agency New Ziana.
Tsvangirai said he agreed with the president’s stance.
“Why should a man seek to have a relationship with another man when women make up 52 percent of the population? In fact, men are fewer than women,” he said.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe has railed against the gay community for more than a decade, although the group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe is allowed to operate.
Neighbouring South Africa is the only nation on the continent that gives equal rights to gays.
In nearby Malawi, a couple has been jailed since December after holding the country’s first same-sex wedding.
Kenyan police last month arrested five people who were apparently guests at a planned gay wedding.
In Uganda a lawmaker has proposed a bill that would impose tough penalties for homosexuality, including the death sentence in certain cases.
Zimbabwe is meant to write a new constitution this year to pave the way for new elections, after disputed polls in 2008 that led to the creation of the unity government between rivals Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
But the constitution-making process has made little headway since it began last year.
Only a religious freak could be this obsessed with homosexuals; what a nut-job. And he wants the death penalty no less! TGO
Refer to brief story below. Source: Associated Press
KAMPALA, Uganda – A Ugandan pastor is showing gay pornography at church to try to garner support for a proposed law that would impose the death penalty for some gays.
Martin Ssempa showed the videos to some 100 adults during a church service Wednesday in Uganda’s capital.
He says he plans to show the films regularly to educate churchgoers on gay sex and also plans to show the videos to parliamentarians. He says some churchgoers cried after watching the videos, which he said he downloaded from the Internet.
Ugandan gay rights activist Julian Peppe condemned Ssempa’s decision to show pornography in church, saying he should be arrested and needs mental rehabilitation.
The proposed bill has sparked protests in London, New York and Washington.
I thought it would be informative if not interesting to provide a list of world countries, their capital city and the approximate population of that city. Note that dependencies and disputed territories in the list below are marked in italics. The population statistics given refer only to the main city area, and does not include the wider metropolitan/urban district.
I must admit, there are many countries on this list which I had never heard of. Also of note, Washington D.C. is ranked 112th among world capitals in terms of population. TGO
Refer to information below. Source: Wikipedia
Aren’t religious people funny? Honestly, they’re more entertaining than a 3-ring circus. They get all bent out of shape over so many different things. Truth be told, I don’t understand why some butchy-looking woman would want to be associated with the church’s hierarchy; and to me she doesn’t look like the “devout” type. I suppose we’re just accustomed to seeing men in these positions. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
The move from the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles to elect 55-year-old Reverend Canon Mary Glasspool, who has been in a relationship with another woman since 1988, comes months after the US church lifted a ban on gay bishops.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, wary of the schism that threatened to break the Church when the first gay bishop was ordained six years ago, issued a statement apparently aimed at making the Los Angeles diocese rethink.
Glasspool’s election “raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole,” Williams said in a statement released by Lambeth Palace.
“The process of selection, however, is only part complete,” he cautioned.
“The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.”
The Anglican Church faces the same kind of turmoil that erupted in 2003 when openly gay Reverend Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was elected bishop, sparking joy from liberals but outrage among traditionalists, particularly in Africa.
“I am very excited about the future of the whole Episcopal Church, and I see the Diocese of Los Angeles leading the way into that future,” said Glasspool, a native of Staten Island, New York, after the election.
“But just for this moment, let me say again, thank you, and thanks be to our loving, surprising God. I look forward, in the coming months, to getting to know you all better, as together we build up the Body of Christ for the world.”
The more liberal stance of the Episcopalian leadership has increasingly divided congregations within the United States in recent years, prompting some conservative parishes and dioceses to leave the national church.
It has also had wider implications on the worldwide Anglican Communion, which for years has struggled to unite liberal and conservative fringes that are diametrically opposed on the issue of gay bishops.
A 2007 summit of Anglican leaders in Tanzania had urged the Episcopal Church to bar the consecration of openly gay bishops as well as official blessings of same-sex unions.
Around 200 bishops, including those from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda, boycotted the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference last year in response to what they saw as the church’s “moral decline.”
Clergy from Africa, Australia and the United States meanwhile have pushed for a breakaway group in protest at Robinson’s election.
The breakaway church includes eight North American Anglican groups and bishops and congregations linked to conservative churches in Kenya, Uganda, and South America.
With an estimated 100,000 members, the breakaway movement represents a small fraction of the global Anglican Communion, which is estimated at 77 million adherents, including 2.2 million in the United States.
The preamble to the new church’s constitution said its leaders were “grieved by the current state of brokenness within the Anglican Communion prompted by those who have embraced erroneous teaching and who have rejected a repeated call to repentance.”
Glasspool’s election to fill one of two openings for bishops of the diocese followed the selection Friday of the Reverend Canon Diane Jardine Bruce, 53, the rector of a San Clemente church.
The two became the first women elected as bishops of the diocese in its 114-year history.
It may sound cold and tasteless to make this statement, but it gets to the point where people get what they deserve. If a person is stupid enough to go work in a foreign country that is basically lawless, and littered with radical imbeciles on top of that, what can they expect?
Refer to brief story below. Source: Associated Press
KHARTOUM (AFP) – Sudanese authorities were on Saturday trying to establish contact with kidnappers who snatched two foreign aid workers from their offices in Darfur, a foreign ministry official said.
Gunmen kidnapped the Irish and Ugandan women from the office of their Irish aid group Goal in the North Darfur city of Kutum on Friday night. A Sudanese watchman was also seized before being released later.
“We have not established contact yet,” said Ali Yusef, director of protocol at the foreign ministry. “Normally in this situation they move away from the scene” before making contact.
Flora Hills, the head of Goal in Sudan, confirmed the relief group had not yet been contacted about the abduction.
Friday’s kidnapping was the third such act directed at foreign aid workers since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on March 4 for Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir for alleged war crimes in Darfur.
Previous kidnappings ended peacefully with the hostages being released.
A radical Islamic group… It almost warrants the question: Is there any other type of Islamic group? This is not yet a viable question, but it seems that almost everywhere in the eastern hemisphere there is evidence of a radical or fundamentalist Islamic group.
These people will continue to make life miserable for decent, law-abiding people until the end of days. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A radical Islamic group in Somalia has threatened to seize weapons and ammunition the U.S. has supplied to the nation’s embattled government.
But Uganda, a key U.S. ally in the region, praised the arms shipment.
Both were responding to an announcement by U.S. officials last week that the Obama administration had supplied arms and provided military training worth just under $10 million to the east African country’s shaky official government.
The Obama’s administration’s goal is to provide the faltering Somali government with weapons and to help armies in several neighboring African nations train Somali forces. But experts have expressed concern that the arms may end up diverted to insurgent groups.
Sheik Hassan Ya’qub, a spokesman for the militant group al-Shabab in the port town of Kismayo, said late Sunday: “The weapons sent to the so-called government will only escalate violence in Somalia and we, the holy warriors, believe that we will eventually seize them.”
Washington considers al-Shabab a terrorist group with links to al-Qaida, which al-Shabab denies. The group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is trying to drive out the government and install a strict form of Islam.
“I welcome (the) U.S.A.’s sending of weapons to Somalia,” said Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, a major contributor of troops to the African Union force in the Somali capital.
The African Union and the U.N. “support Somalia’s government, and if the U.S. comes out to support it, it is a good gesture,” Museveni told reporters in the Ugandan port town of Entebbe on Monday.
Over the past two months, Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed’s government has come under heavy attacks from Islamic insurgents pounding government positions with mortars and targeting senior officials in suicide attacks. During an intense two-week period of fighting in the capital in May about 200 civilians were killed.
It is unclear how al-Shabab, an extremist Islamic group fighting to overthrow the government, will follow through on its threat to seize the arms. U.S. officials said last week that the arms were supplied through the African Union force in the Somali capital, which has firm control of Mogadishu’s main air and sea port even though Al-Shabab controls other parts of Mogadishu.
In May, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development – a group of seven countries in the Horn of Africa region that has led past peace talks on Somalia – imposed a sea and air blockade to stop military supplies reaching the Islamic insurgents in Somalia. It is not clear whether the blockade has been effective.
There has been a U.N. arms embargo on Somalia since 1992, but it is regularly violated. The U.N. amended the embargo in 2006 to allow the deployment of an African Union force in Somalia without violating international law.
Somalia has not had an effective government since 1991 when the overthrow of a dictatorship plunged the country into chaos. That also has allowed pirates to operate freely in the Gulf of Aden and around Somalia’s 1,900-mile (3,060-kilometer) coastline.
Associated Press writer Godfrey Olukya in Entebbe, Uganda contributed to this report.