Sunday, May 12, 2013

Charity...

A Dublin lawyer died in poverty and many barristers of the city subscribed to a fund for his funeral. The Lord Chief Justice of Orbury was asked to donate a shilling. 

"Only a shilling?" said the Justice, "Only a shilling to bury an attorney? Here's a guinea; go and bury 20 of them."

"A Religion of Peace"

link


Battle of Gao

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Battle of Gao
Part of the 2012 Northern Mali conflict
Date26–27 June 2012[1]
LocationGao and Timbuktu
ResultDecisive Islamist victory
  • Ansar Dine and MOJWA take over the largest cities of Azawad and the headquarters of the MNLA
  • Timbuktu World Heritage Sitedestroyed by Islamists
Belligerents
Azawad Azawad  Islamists
Commanders and leaders
Bilal Ag Asherif (WIA)
Colonel Bouna Ag Tahib Colonel Wari Ag Ibrahim 
Mokhtar Belmokhtar
Strength
140500+
Casualties and losses
4–11 killed, 10 wounded, 40 captured[1][2]3 dozens killed, 14 wounded[1][2]
At least 35 killed overall, including 3 Niger fighters, and 41 wounded[1]
The Battle of Gao was fought between the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Islamist Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA), along with its ally Ansar Dine, that took place in Gao between 26–27 June 2012.[1] followed the next day, with more fighting. By 28 June 2012, Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, the three biggest cities in the disputed secessionist region of Azawad within what is recognised as Malian territory, were under the control of Ansar Dine and its Islamist allies.
Two days later parts of the World Heritage Site of Timbuktu had started to be destroyed, amid condemnation byUNESCO, the OIC Mali and France. This was followed by criticism within the region and internationally withECOWAS suggesting it could send an armed intervention force into the country and the ICC following Mali's lead in terming the acts as "war crimes." While MNLA also criticised the Islamists for holding civilians and destroying the structures, Ansar Dine said that the destruction was due to violation of sharia and in reaction to UNESCO's labeling of the sites of Timbuktu and in Gao as "in danger."

Contents

  [hide

Background [edit]

Following previous Tuareg rebellions and the Libyan civil war, in early 2012 the MNLA and Islamist movementscaptured northern Mali. Tensions then started between the MNLA and Islamist movements over the use of thesharia within the territory. Clashes started to erupt between both sides after a merge attempt failed,[3] despite the signing of an accord to share power.[4] On 25 June, the Islamist Ansar Dine took control of Kidal.[5]
Protests broke out on 26 June in the city of Gao, the majority of whose people are not Tuaregs (as opposed to the MNLA), but rather sub-Saharan groups such as the Songhay and Fula peoples. The protestors opposed the Tuareg rebels and the partition of Mali. Two were killed as a result of the protests, allegedly by MNLA troops.[6] The protesters used both Malian and Islamist flags, and France 24 reported that many locals supported the Islamists as a result of their opposition to the Tuareg nationalists and the secession ofAzawad.[7]

Battle [edit]

Fighting began in the morning of 26 June, with both sides firing heavy weapons. MNLA Secretary GeneralBilal ag Acherif was wounded in the attack. After being extricated from the fighting, he was later taken to a hospital in Burkina Faso's capital city of Ouagadougou; while Colonel Bouna Ag Tahib, a defector from the Malian army, was killed. MOJWA soon took control of the Gao governor's palace as well as Ag Acherif's residence. A MOJWA spokesman stated that 40 MNLA troops had been taken prisoner.[8][9]
The MNLA's Azawad Vice President Mahamadou Djeri Maïga acknowledged that they lost control of the city but said that the fight would continue. He asked for international help against Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, who he stated was responsible for the attack.[9] The next day the MNLA were evicted from the city.[10] Two videos seen by the AFP showed the black flag of jihad groups and some members of the group saying "Long Live Mali" and singing the national anthem of Mali, respectively.[1]
Algeria's Ennahar TV reported that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a founding member of AQIM, was probably killed during the battle.[11] A previous death toll of 20 was later revised by doctors who added the number of dead found in the Niger River and the wounded who succumbed to their injuries.[12] Thirty more Algerian fighters were said to have arrived in the city on 29 June to support AQIM and its leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar as the latter seeks to maintain a hold on the town and track MNLA fighters.[13]

Reactions [edit]

Ansar Dine's Chief of Security for Gao, Omar Ould Hamaha, said that the group controls the region and would impose sharia.
Our fighters control the perimeter. We control Timbuktu completely. We control Gao completely. It's Ansar Dine that commands the north of Mali. Now we have every opportunity to apply sharia. Sharia does not require a majority vote. It's not democracy. It's the divine law that was set out by God to be followed by his slaves. One hundred percent of the north of Mali is Muslim, and even if they don't want this, they need to go along with it.
Paris-based MNLA spokesman, Moussa Ag Assarid, said that though the group had lost ground in the big cities "we control 90% of the Azawad."[14]
On 26 June 2012[15] the Tomb of Askia, which had been listed as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site,[16] was named by UNESCO as "endangered" at the behest of Mali amid fears of[17] damage to "important ancient manuscripts" from being "looted and smuggled abroad by unscrupulous dealers."[18] Two days later, the same was done for Timbuktu.[19] A statement by the World Heritage Committee also read that it "asked Mali's neighbours to do all in their power to prevent the trafficking in cultural objects from these sites."[20]
ECOWAS then met on 29 June in the Ivorian capital of Yamoussoukro in order to work towards "additional measures to prevent matters in Mali becoming bogged down," according to host President Alassane Ouattara. The meeting was also attended by the mediator for the Malian crisis following the 2012 Malian coup d'etat, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou and Malian interim Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra. While the group was expected to call for negotiations with movements in the Azawad region, it was also expected to continue with plans to get a 3,300 personnel intervention force together to invade the region.[13]

Aftermath [edit]

By 2 July, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, along with its allies, were reported to have mined the periphery of the city. The MNLA spokesman, Mossa Ag Attaher, said that AQIM was "using the population as hostages, as a human shield to protect itself from an MNLA counter-attack...Many people are trying to escape, to take the bus to go to Bamako, but the Islamists are stopping them."[21]
On 3 July, MOJWA released 25 MNLA prisoners who had been captured during the battle to show that "they were for the peace," after being asked to do so by Iyag Ag Ghaly. At the same time, Guinean President Alpha Condé said that an ECOWAS military intervention would be directed against the Islamists and not the MNLA.[22]

Capture of Timbuktu [edit]

The next day, Ansar Dine was reported to have taken control of Timbuktu after MNLA fighters followed their deadline to leave town. Residents confirmed the MNLA was no longer present,[23] as the Islamist movements confirmed their control over the entire northern Malian region of Azawad.[10][24]

Destruction of shrines [edit]

At the same time, UNESCO responded to appeals from the Malian government in Bamako to declare several sites within the city as "endangered"[5] because it "aims to raise cooperation and support for the sites threatened by the armed conflict in the region."[25] On 30 June 2012, a local journalist said that he was told Ansar Dine would start destroying 13 more Sufi cemeteries and mausolea of saints after having destroyed three, including the mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar.[26] They were then said to have destroyed the mausolea of Sidi El MokhtarAlfa Moya and five other sites with pick-axes, hoes and Kalashnikovs.[20]
Despite earlier claims that they had stopped taking down the tombs,[20] on 1 July about 30 members of the group[27] were reported to have continued taking down four more sites with hoes and chisels at the cemetery of Djinguereber Mosque, including that of Cheikh el-Kebir,[28] Sidi ElmetyMahamane Elmety[27] and Sidi Mahmoudou[28] by late afternoon.[29] Ansar Dine's Omar Ould Hamaha said that "the only tribunal we recognise is the divine court of shariah. The destruction is a divine order. It's our prophet who said that each time that someone builds something on top of a grave, it needs to be pulled back to the ground. We need to do this so that future generations don't get confused, and start venerating the saints as if they are God...We are against tourism. They foster debauchery."[28]
. . .
ee also: http://m.guardiannews.com/world/2013/jan/28/mali-timbuktu-library-ancient-manuscripts

Traoré told the Guardian that he decided to leave Timbuktu in January 2012 amid ominous reports of shootings in the area, and after the kidnapping of three European tourists from a Timbuktu hotel. A fourth tourist, a German, resisted and was shot dead. Months later AQIM arrived, he said.
Four or five rebels had been sleeping in the institute, which had comparatively luxurious facilities for staff, he said. As well as the manuscripts, the fighters destroyed almost all of the 333 Sufi shrines dotted around Timbuktu, believing them to be idolatrous. They smashed a civic statue of a man sitting on a winged horse. "They were the masters of the place," Traoré said.
Other residents who fled Timbuktu said the fighters adorned the town with their black flag. Written on it in Arabic were the words "God is great". The rebels enforced their own brutal and arbitrary version of Islam, residents said, with offenders flogged for talking to women and other supposed crimes. The floggings took place in the square outside the 15th-century Sankoré mosque, a Unesco world heritage site.
"They weren't religious men. They were criminals," said Maha Madu, a Timbuktu boatman, now in the Niger river town of Mopti. Madu said the fighters grew enraged if residents wore trousers down to their ankles, which they believed to be western and decadent. He alleged that some fighters kidnapped and raped local women, keeping them as virtual sex slaves. "They were hypocrites. They told us they couldn't smoke. But they smoked themselves," he said.

. . .
The recapture of Timbuktu is another success for the French military, which has now secured two out of three of Mali's key rebel-held sites, including the city of Gao on Saturday. The French have yet to reach the third, Kidal. Local Tuareg militia leaders said on Monday they had taken control of Kidal after the abrupt departure of the Islamist fighters who ran the town.

Reaction
'It's an absolute tragedy'

Essop Pahad, who was chairman of the Timbuktu manuscripts projectfor the South African government, said: "I'm absolutely devastated, as everybody else should be. I can't imagine how anybody, whatever their political or ideological leanings, could destroy some of the most precious heritage of our continent. They could not be in their right minds.
"The manuscripts gave you such a fantastic feeling of the history of this continent. They made you proud to be African. Especially in a context where you're told that Africa has no history because of colonialism and all that. Some are in private hands but the fact is these have been destroyed and it's an absolute tragedy."
He added: "It's one of our greatest cultural treasure houses. It's also one of the great treasure houses of Islamic history. The writings are so forward-looking on marriage, on trade, on all sorts of things. If the libraries are destroyed then a very important part of African and world history are gone. I'm so terribly upset at hearing what's happened. I can't think of anything more terrible."
 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Interstate Sales Tax



https://www.nointernetsalestax.com/

http://dmaaction.channeldemocracy.com/alert/view/711

http://thedma.org/2013/04/23/dma-urges-senate-to-vote-against-internet-sales-tax-bill/

cal thomas
heritage
hoover
cato
atr

Monday, May 06, 2013

Interstate Sales Tax


Just now, by a vote of 69-27, the U.S. Senate has passed yet another tax hike. Instead of curbing spending, they have decided that raising taxes on the Internet is the best way to pay the debt. Well, they are wrong.
The bill aims to enforce a sales and use tax on businesses that rely on the Internet to reach their customers. While the specifics of the bill are about as long as Obamacare, here are the top three problems with the Internet sales tax:
  • Online businesses would be responsible for collecting and filing their sales tax fromcustomers that don’t reside in their state.
  • Businesses would be forced to use software that will generate a database to keep track of their tax paying customers. This also puts their customers at risk should the database be hacked, spilling millions of sensitive information records into the wrong hands.
  • States might no longer seek to lower their taxes for business friendly environments. They’d be encouraged to raise their taxes in order to collect tax money from other states, thus hurting potential business development.
If you’re scratching your head wondering how the Senate has managed to support a bill that could put a halt to business development, increases taxes, and further regulates our last free market, the Internet, we are too.


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Pretty happy sisters


extraoral labial cutaneous junction



ver·mil·ion bor·der (vĕr-mil'yŏn bōr'dĕr)
The red margin of the upper and lower lips, which commences at the exterior edge of the intraoral labial mucosa ("moist line") and extends outward, terminating at the extraoral labial cutaneous junction; a thinly keratinized type of stratified squamous epithelium deeply penetrated by well-vascularized dermal papillae that show through the translucent epidermis to impart the typical red appearance of the lips.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012