Art News - Worldwide

Iran opposition leader compares supreme leader to shah

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 08:16

A long-detained opposition leader in Iran on Saturday compared a bloody crackdown on those protesting government-set gasoline prices rising under its supreme leader to soldiers of the shah gunning down demonstrators in an event that led to the Islamic Revolution. The comments published by a foreign website represent some of the harshest yet attributed to Mir Hossein Mousavi, a 77-year-old politician whose own disputed election loss in 2009 led to the widespread Green Movement protests that security forces also put down. Mousavi’s remarks not only compare Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the toppled monarch whom Khamenei to this day refers to as a tyrant.


Did Humans Survive an Extinction Level Event?

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 08:00

Warfare became a check on population growth, perhaps the most important one.


Relic thought to be from Jesus’ manger arrives in Bethlehem

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 07:47

A tiny wooden relic that some Christians believe to be part of Jesus' manger arrived Saturday in its permanent home in the biblical city of Bethlehem 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift to the pope. Cheerful crowds greeted the ornately encased relic with much fanfare before it entered the Franciscan Church of St. Catherine next to the Church of the Nativity, the West Bank holy site where tradition says Jesus was born. Troubled Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank is preparing for the occasion, where pilgrims from around the world flock to the city.


U.S. Rebukes Zambia for Jailing Two Men for Homosexuality

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 07:27

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. ambassador to Zambia said a high court ruling sentencing two men to 15 years in prison for homosexuality was horrifying.Ambassador Daniel Foote urged the government to reconsider laws that punish minority groups.“I was personally horrified to read yesterday about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no one, to 15 years imprisonment,” he said in an emailed statement Friday. “Decisions like this oppressive sentencing do untold damage to Zambia’s international reputation by demonstrating that human rights in Zambia” are “not a universal guarantee.”The constitution stipulates that the southern African nation is Christian, and laws dating back to Britain’s colonial rule of the country that ended in 1964 forbid gay sex.“This is the will of the Zambian people, we have to be with the people by abiding by the law,” Chanda Kasolo, permanent secretary in the ministry of information, said by phone. “We respect the opinion of the American ambassador. We have to do things the way the people want.”The sentencing of the men was particularly disturbing given that “government officials can steal millions of public dollars without prosecution,” Foote said. He didn’t give detail on which officials allegedly steal funds.“Zambia takes great exception to the remarks,” both on the court ruling and about government officials, Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji said in a video distributed on social-media websites. The minister will present a formal démarche to Washington by Monday, he said.Zambia is ranked 105 out of 180 countries tracked by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018.(Updates with comment from foreign affairs ministry in final paragraph.)\--With assistance from Vernon Wessels.To contact the reporters on this story: Taonga Clifford Mitimingi in Lusaka at tmitimingi@bloomberg.net;Matthew Hill in Maputo at mhill58@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net, Gordon Bell, Helen RobertsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


UPDATE 3-Iraq protesters burn shrine entrance in holy city, PM quitting 'not enough'

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 06:32

Iraqi protesters set fire to the entrance of a shrine in the southern holy city of Najaf on Saturday and security forces fired tear gas to disperse them, police and a demonstrator at the scene said, risking more bloodshed after a rare day of calm. The demonstrator sent a video to Reuters of a doorway to the Hakim shrine blazing as protesters cheered and filmed it on their mobile phones. The incident took place during one of the bloodiest weeks of Iraq’s anti-government unrest, which erupted last month.


Why Support for the Death Penalty Is Much Higher Among White Americans

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 06:20

I study the impact that public policies like the death penalty have on African Americans, and I see a problem that isn’t often discussed in the media: the significant racial disparity in public opinion about the death penalty.


Damaged coral reefs could be restored using underwater loudspeakers

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 05:44

Scientists played vibrant sounds of healthy coral to attract young fish - a practice that could be used to revive coral reefs globally


Who is 'Elizabeth Warren' the politician, and what has she done with the nonpartisan wonk?

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 05:00

Her own books show how Elizabeth Warren moved away from careful analysis to rhetoric, biography and boilerplate once she became a politician.


California bar to reopen after 2018 mass shooting

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 04:33

"It's gonna take a little while," said one of the co-owners in a video posted on Facebook.


Iraq protesters burn shrine entrance in holy city, PM quitting 'not enough'

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 04:28

Iraqi protesters set fire to the entrance of a shrine in the southern holy city of Najaf on Saturday and security forces fired tear gas to disperse them, police and a demonstrator at the scene said, risking more bloodshed after a rare day of calm. The demonstrator sent a video to Reuters of a doorway to the Hakim shrine blazing as protesters cheered and filmed it on their mobile phones. The incident took place during one of the bloodiest weeks of Iraq’s anti-government unrest, which erupted last month.


Indian Bishop goes on trial for raping nun

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 04:15

A Roman Catholic bishop went on trial in southern India on Saturday accused of repeatedly raping a nun. Franco Mulakkal arrived in court in Kottayam, Kerala state, with a group of supporters after attending morning prayers. While the Catholic church has been rocked by sexual assault and abuse cases in many countries, Mulakkal is the first Indian clergy to go on trial.


Hong Kong elders, youths vow to keep up pro-democracy fight

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 03:44

Hundreds of silver-haired activists joined young Hong Kong protesters for a unity rally Saturday, vowing that their monthslong movement will not fade away until there is greater democracy in the Chinese territory. The rally at a park downtown was among several peaceful gatherings by protesters this week to keep up pressure on the government amid a lull in violence following a local election victory by the pro-democracy bloc and the gaining of U.S. support for their cause. A local boys’ band belted out songs to tell protesters that “the whole Hong Kong is supporting you.” Speakers reminded the crowd that it wasn’t time to celebrate and that the fight for real autonomy must persist.


50,000 people allowed back home after chemical plant blasts in Texas

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 03:20

Texas officials say the air quality is now safe, but smoke can still be seen coming from the plant.


Pelosi to attend climate summit amid withdrawal from climate deal

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 03:05

The U.S. began the formal withdrawal process from the Paris Climate Agreement earlier this month.


Pensioners and students gather for Hong Kong protest

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 02:55

Secondary-school students and retirees joined forces at a protest in Hong Kong on Saturday, the first of several rallies planned across the China-ruled city a day after police withdrew from a university that had been rocked by a two-week siege. Police in neighbouring Guangzhou city have arrested a Belizean citizen for allegedly meddling in Hong Kong affairs, the local Communist party newspaper said. Lee Henley Hu Xiang, a Belizean businessman who lives in China, had funded "hostile forces" in the United States and supported activities that led to chaos in Hong Kong, the Southern Daily said.


Netanyahu's Iran Strategy Is a Total Failure

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 02:37

Seen today, Netanyahu’s decade-long reign has left Israel more isolated than ever before in its struggle against an Iranian regime that perceives the Jewish state as its main regional enemy.


N. Korea blasts Japan's Abe, warns of 'real ballistic missile'

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 02:31

North Korea on Saturday warned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he could soon see a "real ballistic missile" while excoriating him as the "most stupid man ever known in history". The colourful condemnation comes two days after the isolated state tested what it called a "super-large multiple launch rocket system", with South Korea reporting that two projectiles came down in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. In the wake of the launch, which was supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Abe termed the fired weapons "ballistic missiles" that violated UN resolutions.


Brother of convicted terrorist faces deportation despite US citizenship

Yahoo - Art News - Sat, 11/30/2019 - 02:30

Brother of man who detonated a pipe bomb in a New York subway and four relatives are fighting efforts to strip their residency status ‘You can play everything by the book and they’ll still get you,’ said Sherin Ullah. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesA New Yorker who gained US citizenship as a child is suddenly facing deportation, along with several green card-holding members of his family, after apparent targeting by the Trump administration in what the family believes is a clear case of anti-Muslim bias.None of the individuals have a criminal record, and say the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only raised questions about the validity of their immigration status after another relative was arrested following a terrorist incident in the city. The government’s actions have alarmed advocates and led to them accusing officials of meting out unfair “collective punishment”.Ahsan Ullah, 32, an electrician from Brooklyn, was placed in immigration detention in Kearny, New Jersey, on 22 October. He spent about four weeks separated from his American wife and three children before being released on bond last Tuesday pending the outcome of his case.Four of his relatives, who all hold green cards, are also fighting government efforts to strip them of their US residency status. Since Trump came into office, the number of such denaturalization and citizenship revocation cases filed by DHS has surged.Sherin and Ahsan Ullah. Photograph: Courtesy family“Citizenship is permanently conditional for many people who were not born here,” said Fahd Ahmed, executive director of the advocacy group Desis Rising Up and Moving (Drum), which has been providing support to the Ullah family.“At a time when we are seeing a white nationalist current in government and society that wants to depopulate communities of color from this country, these cases are an indication of how their tactics and attacks are evolving.”Ahsan was born in Bangladesh and adopted by his uncle at a young age, the family said.After the uncle won a US visa through the diversity lottery program, Ahsan was granted a green card. He migrated to the US at eight years old and became a citizen several years later.Meanwhile, his uncle successfully petitioned to bring his sister, Ahsan’s biological mother and four siblings to the country as permanent residents in 2011.The family assumed their future in the US was secure. They focused on going to school, building careers and starting families. Ahsan became an electrician, got married and had three children.But everything changed in December 2017, when one of Ahsan’s brothers, Akayed, was arrested for detonating a homemade pipe bomb in a crowded New York City subway station. He was the only person injured, in what was seen as a botched attack.Family members both in the US and Bangladesh were questioned and none was found to have assisted the 27-year-old or to be supportive of terrorist organizations. Akayed was convicted of several terrorism offenses in 2018 and will be sentenced in February.Sherin, Ahsan’s wife, 30, said that the day Akayed was arrested the rest of the family was utterly shocked to learn what he had done.“For at least three, four months we were in disbelief,” she said. “We didn’t think [Akayed] was capable of this.”From the moment of Akayed’s arrest, other family members say that despite being cleared by law enforcement, they began to see consequences.Ahsan recounted receiving a letter from the bank notifying him that his personal and business banking accounts would be closed, and that the FBI put his business license on hold.Wary clients cancelled their contracts, he said. His mother and siblings would see New York police department squad cars parked regularly near their building and other places they frequented, including their mosque, which they had never remembered seeing before.Then, in April 2019, Ahsan received a letter out of the blue from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the DHS, stating that the agency planned to cancel his US citizenship on the grounds it was not lawfully obtained.In a panic, his mother and siblings applied for citizenship but soon received news that not only had their application d been denied but that the DHS intended to revoke their green cards. On 6 November, Ullah’s mother and one of his sisters were detained for two days.“After all this time, we [had] mentally and physically bonded with this country, and love this country so much,” said Ayfa, Ahsan’s 22-year-old sister, the day she was released from detention. “How can you disown a person just like that?”The family is now trying to fight the agency’s orders.In paperwork issued to the family, which was reviewed by the Guardian, the DHS claims that Ahsan, his mother and siblings have no legal or biological relationship to the uncle whose original success in the green card lottery facilitated the others’ settling in the US. Lawyers for the family said they are gathering the paperwork to prove their relationships.The family and their advocates said the treatment amounts to collective punishment. “This is retribution for sharing the same DNA” as someone accused of terrorism, Ahsan said in a phone call from the Hudson county correctional facility in New Jersey, just before his release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) detention.“I’ve been here [in the US] since I was a kid – my school is here, my college is here, my family is here, my business is here, my friends are here, my career is here,” he said . “This is where my everything is.”DHS declined to comment on the family’s case.fundraiserWhat’s happening to the Ullah family is not an isolated case. A report by the Open Society Justice Initiative in September found that the Trump administration has filed three times more civil denaturalization cases, about 30 a year – stripping Americans of their citizenship – than the average annual number pursued under the eight preceding presidents.Nearly half of all persons targeted for denaturalization in 2017 and 2018 came from “special interest” countries, a label used to identify nations with presumed links to terrorism, including Bangladesh, the report said, which amounted to a policy of “collective suspicion”.Manar Waheed, senior legislative and advocacy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the data indicates that “the same communities that this administration has targeted over and over again” are being singled out.Ahsan said that while he was in detention, he missed the moment when his seven-month-old son said “Baba” for the first time.“I’m just surprised by all this,” Ahsan said, speaking from the detention facility before he was released on bond. “I pay my taxes, I’ve never done anything wrong, I try to be a model citizen, and I’m here [in detention].”The administration has threatened to deport the family members unless they can prove their relationships are what they have long claimed and had not been challenged by the authorities before.The family is hoping they can reverse the Trump administration action by submitting challenges to the USCIS appeals office, contesting their deportation orders in immigration court and, if necessary, filing civil motions in federal court.But they are dismayed by the turn of events, and very nervous.Sherin said: “You can play everything by the book and they’ll still get you.”


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