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Shoe has position in politics? Never before as it does now. Iraqis divided over jail sentence for shoe thrower

Lebanese University students stage a sit-in

Does Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi deserve fifteen years in jail, or "a statue erected in his honor"?

(quote)

In a land replete with martyrs and miscreants, Iraqis are divided over which label applies to Muntazer al-Zaidi. The once obscure television journalist who shot to fame for hurling his footwear at then President George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference late last year was sentenced on Thursday to three years in prison after being found guilty of "assaulting a foreign leader on an official visit." But despite the verdict of Baghdad's Central Criminal Court, many ordinary Iraqis still hail the 30-year-old Shi'ite shoe thrower as a national hero.

On December 14, Muntazer al-Zaidi, a television journalist attending a press conference with President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, threw both of his shoes at the U.S. President. As he threw the shoes, he shouted, ‘This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!’  read more »

Photo: 3-year-old boy saying goodbye to his father who was being deployed as part of Massachusetts National Guard

3-year-old boy saying goodbye to father who was being deployed

(quote)

Picture of three-year-old Morgan Riddick saying goodbye to his father who was being deployed during a ceremony of the 772nd Military Police Company, Massachusetts National Guard on Taunton Green. Taken by John Tlumacki, this photo was the Overall Winner in the annual Boston Press Photographers Association competition, and also won 1st Place in General News.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Original Source: Boston Globe

Protesters in Berlin rage at economic plight by torching expensive cars - symbols of German wealth and power

a BMW on fire

(quote)

While youths in Athens protest by throwing Molotov cocktails, in Paris by toppling barricades, and in Budapest by hurling eggs at politicians, protesters in Berlin rage at their economic plight by targeting the most expensive cars -- symbols of German wealth and power. At least 29 vehicles were destroyed in arson attacks this year, most of them luxury cars, according to police. The number is already about 30 percent of the total for 2008. The latest to go up in flames was a Porsche, on Feb. 14, two days after a Mercedes was set alight in a public car park.

A group calling itself BMW -- the initials stand for Movement for Militant Resistance in German -- has claimed responsibility for several attacks in left-wing magazines and Web sites, police spokesman Bernhard Schodrowski said. One-third of the incidents are classed as “political,” prompting officers to assign a special unit to investigate, Schodrowski said. No arrests have been made. Schodrowski attributed the arson to “a protest against the world economy and rising rents.”

German unemployment began to rise last November after almost three years of declines. Deutsche Bank AG Chief Economist Norbert Walter predicts the German economy, Europe’s biggest, may shrink by more than 5 percent this year. The worst recession since World War II is fueling anger among youths across Europe who “perceive their future as rather precarious,” said Margit Mayer, a politics professor at Berlin’s Free University.

Google map of burning cars from Brennende-Autos  read more »

On Mar 2, 1969 world's first supersonic jetliner Concorde took flight, feat of collaboration eng. & work of beauty

A cluster of Concordes gather nose-to-tail at London's Heathrow airport. Air France and British Airways ran a regular transatlantic service to New York with an average flight time of just 3 and a half hours.

(quote)

It was a feat of engineering and a work of exceptional beauty and grace. It won the hearts and minds of millions of people.

Forty years ago today the supersonic Concorde took its first test flight, and a design paragon flashed across the skies over Toulouse. With its droop nose and delta wing, the Concorde was a high point of 20th century engineering (its maiden flight came three months before the first moon landing) and the kind of cooperative effort that now seems beyond us. As we enter a period of infrastructure spending, it’s worth noting what kept the Concorde aloft for 27 years.

Capable of twice the speed of sound, Concorde remains an object of aesthetic streamlined beauty. The long nose and swept back wings were made for speed. It was a design so distinctive that it turned heads whenever it flew and it flew so high you could see the curvature of the earth from within the sleek interior.  read more »

Hero in Our Life: with seconds from an oncoming train, one man risked everything to save a woman he'd never met

Ismael Feneque and Lisa Donath nine months after the rescue

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Lisa Donath was running late. Heading down the sidewalk toward her subway stop in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighbor- hood, she decided to skip her usual espresso. By the time she got to the platform, Donath felt faint-maybe it hadn't been a good idea to give blood the night before, she thought. She leaned heavily against a post close to the tracks. Several yards away, Ismael "Mel" Feneque, 43, and his girlfriend, Melina Gonzalez, found a spot close to where the front of the train would stop.

When he heard the scream, followed by someone yelling, "Oh, my God, she fell in!" Feneque didn't hesitate. Yanking off the bag he had slung across his six-three frame, he jumped down to the tracks and ran some 40 feet toward the body sprawled facedown on the rails. "No! Not you!" his girlfriend screamed after him. She was right to be alarmed. By the time Feneque reached Donath, he could "feel the vibration on the tracks and see the light coming into the tunnel," he remembers. "The train was maybe 20 seconds from the station." In that instant, Feneque gave himself a mission: I'm going to get her out, and then I'm going to get myself out, ASAP. I'm not going to let myself get killed here.  read more »

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious... the fundamental emotion which stands at the ...

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious... the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.

— Albert Einstein

Sea gypsies: the Samah who live in the Sulawesi Sea off Malaysia's state of Sabah

sea gypsies: two kids on a boat near home

(quote)

(Above) Two boys from a community commonly known as sea gypsies paddle their boat close to their home.

Samah live in sea-based lifestyle off Malaysia's state of Sabah

The Samah are an indigenous ethnic group from Malaysia and the Philippines who live a sea-based lifestyle in the Sulawesi Sea off Malaysia's state of Sabah.

sabah is one of a number of groups collectively known as sea gypsies

The Sabah are one of a number of groups collectively known as Bajau, or sea gypsies.

sea gypsies also revere gods of the sea and make offerings when a big catch is brought in

Although sea gypsies are Muslims, they also revere the gods of the sea and make offerings when a large catch is brought in.

sea gypsies build houses on stilts in coastal shallows

Originally the sea gypsies lived a nomadic lifestyle in boats. Nowadays most live in small communities, building houses on stilts in the coastal shallows without fresh water or electricity.

(unquote)  read more »

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