The U.N.’s new count of more than 60,000 deaths since the start of the conflict is a third higher than recent estimates by anti-regime activists. One group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says more than 45,000 people have been killed. Other groups have given similar tolls.
“The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement. She criticized the government for inflaming the conflict by cracking down on peaceful protests and said rebel groups, too, have killed unjustifiably. Acts by both sides could be considered war crimes, she said.
One of the things that I’m very proud of during my first four years is I think I’ve helped to solidify this incredibly rapid transformation in people’s attitudes around LGBT issues — how we think about gays and lesbians and transgender persons. A lot of that just has to do with the fact that if you talk to Malia, the idea of making an anti-gay remark at her school is just unimaginable. They just don’t get that.
Chemists Create Coating to Protect Old Limestone Buildings
Buildings and statues constructed of limestone can be protected from pollution by applying a thin, single layer of a water-resistant coating.
That’s the word from a Univ. of Iowa researcher and her colleagues from Cardiff Univ. in a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports. In the study, the researchers report a new way to minimize chemical reactions that cause buildings to deteriorate, according to Vicki Grassian, professor in the UI departments of chemistry and chemical and biochemical engineering. The coating includes a mixture of fatty acids derived from olive oil and fluorinated substances that increase limestone’s resistance to pollution.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/12/chemists-create-coating-protect-old-limestone-buildings
Homicide moves through a city in a process similar to infectious disease, according to a new study that may give police a new tool in tracking and ultimately preventing murders. Using Newark, N.J., as a pilot case, a team of Michigan State Univ. researchers led by April Zeoli successfully applied…
This week, eight of the 15 members in Tasmania’s upper house voted against a marriage equality bill, effectively killing the measure for now.
Several undeclared members of the house raised concerns about the constitutionality of the bill, but many supporters and others said this won’t be the last time marriage equality is brought up in Tasmania. The Sydney Morning Herald also reminds us why it was a big deal that the measure was even considered:
Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Rodney Croome said lower houser approval and some backing in the council were great achievements, given that Tasmania was last to decriminalise homosexuality.
“If opponents of this bill think they have put the debate to bed they are wrong,” Mr. Croome said.
Aw, man. Better luck next time.
Photographer Maika Elan spent last year taking pictures of LGBT couples in Vietnam in their homes and in their daily lives, and the results are quite stunning. At the link above, check out this Q&A with the photographer.
So, tell me about your project: Gay people in Vietnam. Why is that an important enough subject to photograph so extensively?
Well, the thing is people in Vietnam there is talk of legalising gay marriage. This would make Vietnam the first Asian country to do so, so it’s a big deal, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. People like to say they are open-minded but they don’t act like it. For example, every time a story about a gay couple is in the press or on TV, either the faces are blurred or they pose with their backs to the camera. And those stories are almost always to do with drugs, AIDS or some sort of sexual scandal.
When it comes to movies, homosexuals are either idealised or, again, presented as sexual deviants. You never see the actual people. You don’t see that they are real people. I thought it’d be nice to change that.
Photography buffs (and everyone else): this is a really cool project, and it’s really significant as something coming out of Vietnam. Take a look through the gallery and you won’t regret it.
Let’s get this to 100%. From HRC’s youth in America report.
I got nothing here except some advice: Don’t be “one with tiger” – EVER.
Today, tens of hundreds of people showed up from 8 year olds to 60+ senior citizens in different cities of Pakistan to clean up the mess created by the few individuals who somehow always end up defining Pakistan. Here’s to all of today’s participants, you’re the reason why we have a good future. Pakistan is proud of you.
What saddens me the most is that, like they said, mainstream media will never cover this amazing act of unity and peace by Pakistanis after the riots. Thousands and thousands of Pakistani citizens came out after the violent riots and cleaned up streets, public venues and other places to prove that the disruptive ones don’t speak for the goodhearted majority.
More power to you, Pakistanio.
There is hope.
There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago. That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.
Dan Cathy, in a statement posted to Mike Huckabee’s website clarifying that the restaurant didn’t really change any of its values or practices.
Huckabee responded: “I talked earlier today personally with Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A about the new reports that Chick-fil-A had capitulated to demands of the supporters of same sex marriage. This is not true.”
Good to know some things will never change. More.(via gaywrites)
Is This Amelia Earhart’s Plane Wreckage?
An expedition to find Amelia Earhart’s lost plane has discovered wreckage they believe may be debris from the aircraft. A team of researchers trying to solve the mystery of aviator Amelia Earhart’s 1937 disappearance said on Friday that underwater video from a Pacific island has revealed a field of man-made debris that could be remnants of her plane.
Unsolved questions about Earhart’s fate have long heightened her legendary status as a pioneering aviator, and TIGHAR’s voyage to seek clues in her disappearance gained interest far beyond the shores of the remote island where the team searched. The search was plagued by technical issues in what researchers described as challenging ocean conditions off the Nikumaroro reef, where they believe Earhart’s plane landed and was then swept away into the sea.
TIGHAR Director Ric Gillespie said that once his team experienced the harsh conditions, they knew they would not find a “nice intact airplane.” He added the local environment is “very severe” because the ocean “tears things up and tries to bury” them.
The TIGHAR team returned to Honolulu, which is 1,800 miles northeast of Nikumaroro, with no wreckage found. But the researchers said they took hours of underwater video, which they could not view while in Nikumaroro.
TIGHAR said on Friday that one segment of the video shows a field of man-made debris that the group maintains could have come from Earhart’s plane. The TIGHAR announcement comes two days before a Sunday broadcast of a Discovery Channel special on TIGHAR’s expedition.
“We were rushing to get at least some video reviewed so we could show something (on Discovery),” Gillespie said. He added that his group has reviewed only 30 percent of the video they collected.
“We don’t want to oversell this. It’s more evidence. It is where it should be, and that is encouraging,” Gillespie said. “If it does appear to be airplane wreckage, it becomes figuring out how to go back and look at it.” Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, departed Papua New Guinea July 2, 1937, during Earhart’s quest to circumnavigate the globe along an equatorial route. But they disappeared that day and emergency searches did not locate them.
Photos by Jenny Graham
On Wednesday August 29, 2012 the Rachel Corrie Children and Youth Cultural Center protested the Haifa District Court’s decision to reject the Corrie family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the state of Israel. Judge Oded Gershon said nearly 10 years ago Corrie did not act as a “reasonable person” when the 23 year-old was crushed to death by an Israeli Defense Forces Caterpillar D9 bulldozer while protecting a Palestinian house from demolition, in Rafah, Gaza. The children’s demonstration, located where Corrie was killed, both condemns the court’s verdict and honors Corrie’s commitment to justice and human rights.
As usual, Israeli courts grant impunity to the government and military’s violation of human rights and international law. When a murder of a white US citizen does not concern average US citizens, why would they care about Palestinian lives?
Picture of the Day: Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A cat sits on a bed in a flooded home in the Haitian capital after tropical storm Isaac passed through.
According to the Associated Press, the post-storm death toll in Haiti is at 19.
Credit: Dieu Nalio Chery/AP. Via.
Hurricane Isaac 2012: Death Toll In Haiti Rises To 7
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Joseph Edgard Celestin of the Haitian government says that the death toll has risen from Tropical Storm Isaac.
The official from Haiti’s Civil Protection Office said Sunday that the number of people who died in the Caribbean nation is now up to seven after an initial report of four.
Celestin had few details about how the people died. But he said one man was swept away as he tried to cross a river in the north of the country.
Impoverished Haiti is prone to flooding and mudslides because the bulk of the country is heavily deforested and rainwater rushes down barren mountainsides.
The center of Tropical Storm Isaac passed Haiti’s southern peninsula early Saturday and caused flooding in the capital and elsewhere but no major damage.
Caribbean radio stations report that the people who were displaced and living under plastic tents due to homelessness from the earthquake in 2010 are having to move again due to flooding.