Prince William County and the Liberty Wall

Liberty Wall

Tensions have been high in the community of Manassas, VA. Gaudencio Fernandez, an American citizen who immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1979, is seeking to combat issues of xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment through a piece of artwork in the form of a wall. The wall has writing comparing the anti-immigrant sentiment of today to racism, specifically that of the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crowe Laws.

Local residents have raised complaints, ranging from building code violations (for the reinforcement of the wall’s base) to claims that it detracts from the nice image the rest of the community is trying to portray.

“It’s such a negative thing,” Joanne Wunderly, president of the Manassas Old Town Business Association, said. “When you see something calling you a racist, it takes away from the positive image you’re trying to portray.”

Lawrence Buchanan, who lives across the street from Fernandez’s sign, said: “You put KKK up there and you bring blood up in my face. “Why are you trying to bring that old stuff up again?”

(Source: Washington Post)

For the complete article, click here.

July 3, 2008 at 3:39 pm 1 comment

Everyday News From Iran

Iran Drawn in Group B of World Cup 2010 Final Round Qualifiers

With the World Cup drawing nearer, there are now ten nations remaining in the fourth round of the Asia qualifiers. Group A includes the nations of Australia, Japan, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, and Qatar. Group B includes the Republic of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The match dates for 2008 will be October 15 and November 19. Match dates in 2009 will be February 11, March 28, April 1, June 6, June 10, June 17, September 5, and September 9, with play-off dates of October 10, October 14, November 14, and November 21, 2009 (dates from soccernet.espn.go.com).

While Iran got off to a rocky start, with three draws, Iran finished the third round with three wins. It remains to be seen what the future may hold.

Film “Snow” to Open 2008 Sarajevo International Film Festival

Snow, co-produced by Iran, Bosnia, Germany, and France, will officially open the 2008 Sarajevo International Film Festival. The film, directed by Aida Begic, premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. “Snow” received the Critics’ Week Grand Prix award.

Snow, co-produced by Iran, Bosnia, Germany, and France, will officially open the 2008 Sarajevo International Film Festival. The film, directed by Aida Begic, premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. “Snow” received the Critics’ Week Grand Prix award.

The film’s synopsis, quoted from cineuropa.org, is below:

“Six women, a grandfather, four girls and a young boy live in war ravaged and isolated village of Slavno. Their families and friends had been killed and their bodies had never been found. The first snow brings full isolation and risk for life in the village. It gets closer as villagers headed by Alma, a young stubborn woman who believes they can survive, tries to find their way out of poverty by selling plum jam and other fruits and vegetables their village is famous for on a deserted road. Two businessmen visit Slavno demanding residents to leave the village offering money in return. Villagers face a dilemma: should they accept the offer that could save their lives, but destroy their souls. A sudden storm traps the businessmen in Slavno, forcing them to face a problem bigger than anything they expected – the truth!”

The Sarajevo Film Festival will be held from August 15 to 23 this year. 

July 1, 2008 at 6:22 pm 2 comments

Burning Elephant Asks John McCain: How Long In Iraq?

Don’t wait for others to decide when the war in Iraq will end– choose peace NOW!

 

June 30, 2008 at 6:09 pm 1 comment

North Korea destroys nuclear reactor tower

North Korea destroys nuclear reactor tower

Demolition of cooling tower at main reactor complex in Yongbyon, North Korea.YONGBYON, North Korea (AP) — North Korea destroyed the most visible symbol of its nuclear weapons program Friday, blasting apart the cooling tower at its main atomic reactor in a sign of its commitment to stop making plutonium for atomic bombs.

An explosion at the base of the cylindrical structure sent the tower collapsing into debris and dust that billowed into blue skies at 5:10 p.m. local time as journalists and diplomats looked on, according to footage filmed at the site by international video news agency Associated Press Television News.

The demolition of the 60-foot-tall cooling tower at the North’s main reactor complex is a response to U.S. concessions after the North delivered a declaration Thursday of its nuclear programs to be dismantled.

“This is a very important step in the disablement process and I think it puts us in a good position to move into the next phase,” said Sung Kim, the U.S. State Department’s top expert on the Koreas who attended the demolition.

After the tower’s tumble to the ground, Kim shook hands with Ri Yong Ho, director of safeguards at North Korea’s Academy of Atomic Energy Research, who was the most senior Pyongyang official present.

“The demolition of the cooling tower is proof that the six-party talks have proceeded a step further,” Ri said, referring to the nuclear negotiations.

The tower destruction was not mentioned by the North’s media or shown on state TV broadcasts.

In the North Korean government’s first reaction to the developments this week, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry welcomed Washington’s decision to take the country off the U.S. trade and sanctions blacklists.

“The U.S. measure should lead to a complete and all-out withdrawal of its hostile policy toward (the North) so that the denuclearization process can proceed smoothly,” the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The symbolic tower explosion came just 20 months after Pyongyang shocked the world by detonating a nuclear bomb in an underground test to confirm its status as an atomic power. The nuclear blast spurred an about-face in the U.S. hard-line policy against Pyongyang, leading to the North’s first steps to scale back its nuclear weapons development since the reactor became operational in 1986.

Last year, the North switched off the reactor at Yongbyon, some 60 miles north of the capital of Pyongyang, and it already has begun disabling the facility under the watch of U.S. experts so that it cannot easily be restarted.

The destruction of the cooling tower, which carries off waste heat to the atmosphere, is another step forward but not the most technically significant, because it is a simple piece of equipment that would be easy to rebuild.

Still, the demolition offers the most photogenic moment yet in the disarmament negotiations that have dragged on for more than five years and suffered repeated deadlocks and delays.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the tower’s destruction would mark a step toward disablement, something that has been ongoing for many months to prevent the North from making more plutonium for bombs.

“It is important to get North Korea out of the plutonium business, but that will not be the end of the story,” she said in Kyoto, Japan, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized countries.

North Korea’s nuclear declaration, which was delivered six months later than the country promised and has not yet been released publicly, is said to only give the overall figure for how much plutonium was produced at Yongbyon — but no details of bombs that may have been made.

Experts believe the North has produced up to 110 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium, enough for as many as 10 nuclear bombs.

The declaration was being distributed Friday by China, the chair of the arms talks, to the other countries involved, U.S. envoy Christopher Hill said.

“We’ll have to study it very carefully and then we’ll have to work on verification,” Hill said in Kyoto.

The declaration does not address the North’s alleged uranium enrichment program or suspicions of its nuclear proliferation to other countries, such as Syria.

Associated Press writers Jae-soon Chang and Burt Herman in Seoul, South Korea and Matthew Lee in Kyoto, Japan contributed to this report.

June 27, 2008 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Kristol: Bush might bomb Iran if he thinks Obama will win (Fox News)

June 26, 2008 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

New World Record Human Peace Sign/ Make Youtube Videos for Peace

World Record Human Peace Sign

Going for the Guinness World Record

A crowd at the Ithaca Festival forms a peace symbol in Stewart Park in Ithaca, N.Y., in an attempt to enter the Guinness World Records for the world’s largest human peace sign Sunday afternoon June 22, 2008. Some 5,814 people joined the effort. The previous largest human peace sign was made by 2,500 people at the University of Michigan.
(Eric Stewart/The Ithaca Journal/AP Photo)

STAND UP for WORLD PEACE

Trevor Dougherty has created a YouTube video calling for peace. His video asks others to reply to his video with other peace videos, so that the message of peace can be spread throughout the internet.

June 25, 2008 at 6:02 pm 1 comment

McCain Says Bringing Troops Home Is “Not Too Important”

June 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

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