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Cellar Door Week’s Distractions

January 26, 2012

India Republic Day slap in the face:

Republic Day gallantry award to alleged torturer of Soni Sori!

Kamayani Bali Mahabal says she is ashamed that the nation is giving gallantry award to a police officer Ankit Garg on the occassion of our Republic Day who is accussed of torturing a tribal woman and the case is ongoing in Supreme Court. She requests all of us to protest this award. For more Kamayani Ji can be reached at 09820749204

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Despite the continuing furore concerning Dow’s sponsorship of the Olympic games, Lord Sebastian Coe and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) maintain that they are satisfied with Dow Chemical’s ethical performance and sustainability.

Almost three decades on from the infamous Bhopal gas leak of 1984 in Central India that killed an estimated 25,000 people, the death toll continues to rise.

Disgraceful

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INDIA: Don’t preach awareness without remedies. Asian Human Rights Commission responds to the Prime Minister’s attention to national child malnutrition.

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Totally drug-resistant TB emerges in India

Physicians in India have identified a form of incurable tuberculosis there, raising further concerns over increasing drug resistance to the disease1. Although reports call this latest form a “new entity”, researchers suggest that it is instead another development in a long-standing problem.

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Eh.

The Bombay High Court has reduced punishment for a man convicted of sodomising a 10-month-old girl child, accepting his contention that he lost control over himself as he was living away from his family.

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Did this happen? Apparently.

Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya – an Indian couple from Kolkata are living a nightmare in Norway. Their children – a three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter – were taken away from them by Norway’s child protective services and placed in foster care eight months ago.

The drastic measure was taken because […] They fed the children with their hands and the infants slept in the same bed as the parents.

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Prernalal gives a good overview of all the ways one can be undocumented.

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A lovely project

On Jan. 21 and 22, those comedians (Jessica DeBruin, Corinne Fisher, Dawn J. Fraser, Chrissie Gruebel, Stephanie Masucci, Tracy Mull, Roopa Singh, and Katie Sullivan, seen rehearsing below)—plus Rachel Dratch of Saturday Night Live fame—will lend their unlikely voices to the women who wrote these poems in a fund-raiser titled “Comedians of New York for Afghan Women Writers.” The reading is to benefit the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, an organization that mentors Afghan women writers and distributes their work to a global audience.

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via the New Yorker

The Caging of America: Why do we lock up so many people?

For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

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A heart-wrenching photo documentation project

This is how Project Unbreakable works: People write words they remember their abuser saying on a poster, and Brown photographs them holding the poster. Each chooses to reveal none, some or all of her or his face. Some add information about the abuse on the site. Others say the words are enough. Some know the exact words they want to write, do so quickly and are finished. Others struggle, cry and want to talk.

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The Invisible Mother. Another fascinating photography collection.

‘This was a practice where the mother, often disguised or hiding, often under a spread, holds her baby tightly for the photographer to insure a sharply focused image.’

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An excellent take down of NPR’s Planet Money piece on Wall Street.

For a while, I’ve been thinking about writing a piece on how NPR is more toxic than Fox News. Fox preaches to the choir. NPR, though, confuses and misinforms people who might otherwise know better. Its “liberal” reputation makes palatable a deeply orthodox message for a demographic that could be open to a more critical message.

The full critique will take some time. But a nice warm-up opportunity has just presented itself: a truly wretched piece of apologetic hackery by Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR’s Planet Money economics reporting team, that appears in today’s New York Times magazine.

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Electronic Intifada on Israeli appropriation of Palestinian cuisine.

Zionism’s cultural appropriation of indigenous Palestinian folklore and cuisine – such as hummus, falafel and maftoul – as “Israeli” has long irked Palestinians, especially when these same cultural products are used in international propaganda and marketing efforts which deny Palestinians’ rights and history.

Now, Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank are attempting to steal perhaps the most important symbol and source of economic sustenance for rural Palestinians: olive oil and olive culture.

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Diet books dumped in U.K. protest at Parliament

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Callista Gingrich calls 911 on a woman for breastfeeding in public and has her arrested

Answering questions from reporters, Ms Gingrich said: “It’s inappropriate, really. People need to take care of these situations in private. Some secrets should remain behind closed doors.”

The unmitigated gall!

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