Afghanistan protests harsh and degrading treatment of prisoners in Iran

Iranian police blindfold and cage Afghan prisoners

The management of Face Activities decries the humiliating treatment of Afghan prisoners by local police in the Iranian city of Shiraz. We propose a petition of protest to denounce this maltreatment. We call on the Iranian people to stand against this degrading treatment, and to ask for a full investigation of the incident and the police officers involved. Justice must triumph, and humanitarian values prevail over ignorance, prejudice and cruelty.

We know that the Iranian people, heirs to a rich and ancient cultural tradition, are too civilized, educated and cultured to permit such indignities to occur in their nation in the name of justice, and we beseech them to take action to restore justice. People are so angry that it’s even been suggested that the police officers involved in this outrage should be blindfolded and placed in this same cage. Clearly such treatment is unacceptable, and all prisoners should receive humane treatment in captivity, and due process under the law.

 

Protests have rocked Kabul, Afghanistan, after about two dozen Afghan refugees in the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrested for entering the country illegally, were blindfolded and confined within a large metal cage for public viewing—-a great humiliation. A total of about 200 individuals were detained by Iranian Police, including the smaller group selected for humiliation. The images went viral, triggering denunciations, demonstrations, and formal diplomatic protests across the world.

Alongside the alleged criminals, police confiscated and displayed weapons, explosives, drugs, alcohol, and soft drinks that were smuggled into Iran. These individuals may represent a security risk, and should face consequences for their actions, should a court of law find them guilty of crimes, but abuse and degradation should not be part of the process. This arrogant and insensitive action has angered Afghans, and people all over the world concerned with human rights. The police and city officials involved have clearly denied these prisoners due process. In addition, they have subjected them to degrading treatment, outraging the international community.

Three million Afghans live in Iran, and almost a million are classified as refugees. There’s been a great influx of desperate people from the war over many years. And it’s important to realize that these Afghans are culturally Iranian, since a large section of Afghanistan was part of greater Persia for a long time, until about 200 years ago. Their language, traditions and religion are heavily influenced by Persia, the way anglo-Americans and Australians owe much to their British roots. It is sad and ironic that they are marginalized in Iranian society, where they are now treated more as demonized foreigners than long-lost cousins in need.

Learn about the degrading detention of Afghan’s in Iran (VOANEWS.com)

 

 

Photo: Hanieh Hoseinpour, ISNA Photo / VOANEWS.com (screen capture)

 

Does our technology makes us feel busy all the time

Technology and stress

Stress is a big health risk, and a bane to quality of life. Unfortunately, we feel more rushed and, and stressed now than ever before. Technology appears to be the culprit. Will our employers give us a break, or will they expect us to be always on and ready for work, since our devices keep us so well connected? Will we have the foresight and strength of character to limit the use of technologies, like smart phones, that keep us alert and engaged long past the time of day when we should be so revved up?  And just what are acceptable levels of technology-induced stress?

 

“Not having enough hours in the day seems like a problem that most of us are struggling with these days, but are we actually getting busier, or just feelingbusier?

The leading hypotheses suggests that it’s a change in lifestyle, rather than extra working hours, that’s to blame. After all, many studies and reports say that the majority of us are working fewer hours than we used to, and taking more holidays too… So what’s going on…” (sciencealert.com)

Learn more about why we feel so busy all the time (sciencealert.com)

 

Photo: by Duncan Harris from Nottingham, UK – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

2.5 million Galaxy Note Phones Recalled!

2.5 million Galaxy Note Phones Recalled!

This is a consumer nightmare, and a disaster for any business. Millions of super popular smart phones recalled, because they burst into flames and put lives and property in danger. And the Christmas season isn’t very far away. The Galaxy 7 was the number one smart phone, outselling even Apple’s iconic iPhone. Will Samsung be able to recover from this gigantic misstep?

 

“In what might be the biggest smartphone recall ever, Samsung has halted sales of some 2.5 million new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, amid ongoing reports that a flaw in the device’s batteries is making them catch fire and explode.

Adding to the controversy, the FAA might also ban them on planes, meaning travellers will be prohibited from taking a potentially faulty Note 7 on board aircraft in the US…” (sciencealert.com)

Read more about the Galaxy 7 recall (sciencealert.com)

 

Photo: by Havarhen, Wikimedia Commmons – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Full Concert: The Arcs

Full Concert: The Arcs, NPR Music

Full Concert: The Arcs

NPR Music – Published on Sep 17, 2015

“It speaks to The Black Keys’ popularity and stature as one of America’s finest working rock bands that the initial school of thought around The Arcs was that it’s singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach’s “side project.” The Arcs’ debut album, Yours, Dreamily, may have begun as a solo excursion, but the group has turned into a soulful explosion. Those lucky enough to see the eight-piece band’s concert debut — recorded during a special First Listen Live performance at the Housing Works Bookstore Café on a humid September night in Manhattan — bore proof of The Arcs’ unique energy…” (NPR Music Youtube Channel)

Photo: NPR Youtube Channel (screen capture)

North Korea detonates another nuclear bomb

North Korea tests 5th nuclear weapon

North Korea is at it again, testing nuclear weapons, in express violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. This is the fifth such test, and indicates a progression of increasingly stronger weaponry as the dictatorship’s fledgling nuclear program develops expertise over time. The move has already been met by condemnation throughout the international community.

The first indications of this unfortunate event came when seismic activity with a magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale was detected near Punggye-ri, Kilju County, very close to the location of the previous nuclear tests. The magnitude of this measurement suggests the North Koreans detonated a 10 Kiloton bomb, which is twice the power of their previous attempt. By comparison, the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 15 and 21 Kilotons respectively, and the Soviet Union once tested a 50,000 kiloton bomb, which was the largest ever detonated.

Though still very small compared to state of the art weaponry, clearly a 10 kiloton bomb is still an extremely dangerous device, and could do serious damage to a city or strategic target, if deployed. The North Koreans are struggling to develop ICBM technology, and have had numerous setbacks, but they are likely to achieve success in time. And when  they do, and pair the two technologies, the North Koreans will represent a very serious threat to the stability of the region, and the world.

The greatest concern is, of course, the inscrutable and seemingly irrational nature of the North Korean regime. For decades the behavior of the North Korean dictatorship has been characterized as brutal, extreme, and volatile. The leadership suffers from a group think mentality, where individual dissent is severely punished. This is of great concern, because in such an environment, it’s much less likely for individual voices of conscience to come forward and decry a rash decision to deploy a nuclear device.

China, a nation greatly concerned with economic growth and its position in the global marketplace and community of nations, has had a closer relationship with the small communist regime for a long time now, and will likely play a critical role in containing and talking down their neighbor from the brink, should a crisis develop. However, they haven’t succeeded in keeping the tiny nation from experimenting with nuclear weapons to date, and this is a noteworthy concern. The United States and the United Nations would do well to work closely with China on the increasingly volatile North Korean dilemma.

Learn more about North Korea’s recent nuclear test (CNN)

 

Photo:thierry ehrmann from Saint Romain au Mont d’Or, France, Europe, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

 

 

Watch Commander-in-Chief Forum Streaming Live – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Watch Commander-in-Chief Forum Streaming Live - Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will sit down with Matt Lauer to answer questions about their fitness to run the nation, in a forum broadcasted by NBC News and MSNBC at 8 p.m. ET , and hosted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA.) Hillary Clinton will speak first, as determined by a coin toss. The event precedes the formal debates, starting September 26.

Watch the Commander-in-Chief Forum (NBC.com)

 

 

Photo: By Donald Trump August 19, 2015 (cropped).jpg: BU Rob13 Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg: Gage [GFDL, or CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons (both images resized)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, starring Rudolph Valentino, 1921

Four Horsemen of the apocalypse, starring Rudolph Valentino, 1921

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1921

A film by Rex Ingram

The most popular film of 1921, and the vehicle that catapulted Rudolph Valentino to stardom, this silent-era epic tells the tail of a family split by the carnage of World War I, one side in France, and the other in Germany.

(Browse our Movie Archive)

This film is in five parts. Scroll down for the next reel.

Reel 1:

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