Israel Journal: National Stray Cat Problem

Reported for The Epoch Times from Israel

A Stray cat in and near a large public park in Jerusalem’s city center. (Genevieve Long/The Epoch Times)

JERUSALEM—There is a problem in Israel that even a casually observant tourist would notice: stray cats are everywhere, and there’s no stopping their reproduction since most are never spayed or neutered.

It’s hard to say what’s been more shocking for me—the large number of half-starved pitiful cats everywhere or Israeli society’s generally passive attitude about it. I’ve heard it explained away with an argument something along the lines that Israelis are not great cat lovers.

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Vietnam’s Dirty Little War on Writers

by Genevieve Long for Media and Foreign Policy blog at the Foreign Policy Association

The media is often used by those with competing messages to disseminate information or dis-information. Sometimes, though, the message is a lie.

Vietnam is an unfortunate example of manipulating the media and choking free speech for their own destructive ends.

Just yesterday, several Vietnamese writers were given honors for their work under severe pressure from officials including harassment and imprisonment when Human Rights Watch (HRW) recognized the work of 6 Vietnamese writers among 42 from 20 countries.

HRW gives the Hellman/Hammett award every year to recognize courage in the face of political persecution, and said of the writers:

“Vietnamese writers are frequently harassed, or even jailed, for peacefully expressing their views,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch in a statement. “By honoring courageous writers who have suffered political persecution, lost their jobs, or even sacrificed their freedom, we hope to bring international attention to voices that the Vietnamese government is trying to silence.”

The Vietnamese awardees include blogger Bui Thanh Hieu, who writes under the name “Nguoi Buon Gio” (Wind Trader); Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, a blogger known on the internet as “Me Nam” (Mother Mushroom); human rights activist Pham Van Troi, currently serving a four year prison sentence; Tran Duc Thach, a poet and military veteran, is currently serving a three-year prison sentence; teacher Vu Van Hung, currently serving a three-year prison term; and writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, currently serving a 42-month prison term.


WikiLeaks Lacks in Context

originally posted on Media and Foreign Policy by Genevieve Long

WikiLeaks’s Material Out of Context and Confusing

Monday, August 2 5:20 am EST

Much has been made over WikiLeaks’s recent document leak on Afghanistan. Some of the most interesting commentary can be found from journalists.

The Columbia Journalism Review says in an article called “The Story Behind the Publication of WikiLeaks’s Afghanistan Log” that the most interesting part of the story is what happened behind the scenes before the logs were published:

You wouldn’t be reading the coverage of the so-called Afghanistan logs—in The New York Times, Der Spiegel, and The Guardian—if Nick Davies, a senior contributor to the British paper, hadn’t tracked down WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Brussels one month ago.

Davies’s interest had been piqued in mid-June when Bradley Manning, a junior army intelligence analyst and the alleged source of several high-profile WikiLeaks disclosures, was quoted in chat transcripts claiming to have leaked a voluminous amount of yet-to-be disclosed diplomatic cables.

Editor & Publisher offered up the fact that this isn’t the first time WikiLeaks has published something without context:


New Mountaintop Mining Guidelines

The Charleston Gazette reports that the Environmental Protection Agency has issued new rules for mountaintop mining.

The Gazette reports:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just posted a new guidance document for Appalachian strip mining on its Web site.

It’s called “Assessment of Stream Ecosystem Structure and Function Under Clean Water Act Section 404 Associated with Review of Permits for Appalachian Surface Coal Mining.”

Neither EPA nor the Army Corps of Engineers have formally announced the issuance of this guidance, which appears to have been posted pretty late on a Friday afternoon.

But the issues dealt with in the guidance are the same as those raised in a March 2007 ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers: Whether government agency reviews of mining permits adequately consider impacts on not just the “structure” of streams, but also the important ecological “functions” served by those streams.

Read the full article here: