Pussy Riot as Modern Day Skomorokhi

Posted on | augustus 25, 2012 | No Comments

The trial and conviction of Pussy Riot has sparked a number of historical analogies. Never wanting for hyperbole, the Washington Post, among others in the West and Russia, argued that the trial echoed “Stalinism” (an analogy nicely rebutted by Mark Adomanis). The Pussy Riot case has also been likened to the 1964 trial of the Soviet poet Joseph Brodsky, not to mention harking back to the trials of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel in 1965. But historical analogies did not end with the Soviet period. Another common refrain was that the accusations and trial of Pussy Riot reflected medieval Russia. This comparison wasn’t hard given that Artem Ranchenkov, one of the case investigators, cited Orthodox canonical rules of proper church dress from the 4th century Council of Laodicea and the 7th century Quinisext Council. Nor was it difficult to call the affair “medieval” since the trial proceedings were often more like an ecclesiastical than a civilian court. The coup de grace for which was when Yelena Pavlova, a lawyer representing nine of Pussy Riot’s “victims,” called feminism a “mortal sin.”
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Iran human rights warns against mass executions in the coming weeks- an appeal to the un and the leaders attending the non-aligned summit in Tehran

Posted on | augustus 24, 2012 | No Comments

Iran Human Rights (IHR) warns against the possibility of a new execution wave in Iran in the coming weeks. Several reports from Iran indicate that the Iranian authorities are planning to execute multiple prisoners, among them some political prisoners and some convicted of espionage.

Most of the executions will most likely be carried out following the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit scheduled to take place in Tehran from August 26-31. High-ranking officials from 40 NAM member countries along with observer countries and international organizations like the United Nations are expected to attend.
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Malaria to be dropped from list of neglected diseases

Posted on | augustus 24, 2012 | No Comments

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) plans to remove malaria from the list of neglected diseases, Reene Olende, Régional Communication and Advocacy Manager at the DNDi said Thursday at the ongoing first African Science Journalists conference taking place in Nakuru, Kenya.

According to Olende, the move has necessitated by the increasing attention malaria is receiving from many international agencies.

“Although still neglected, we however feel that many others have now come to take it up and it is time we paid our attention to others that are yet to be featured prominently,” she said.

She said the move will be effected in 2014 and will also include stopping technology transfer and sustained access activities.
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Coming Out Of The Political Closet

Posted on | augustus 23, 2012 | No Comments

Many see Abdelilah Benkirane’s moments of candor and transparency as a breath of fresh air in Morocco’s political governance today. In a clear departure from the false demagoguery proffered by previous prime ministers, he provides a glimpse of a pervasive and growing reality Moroccans have long been denied, but have always suspected. The appointed heads of previous governments were either ideologically purified children of privilege and political scions, or obsequious civil servants and party leaders who, despite the prestige of their offices, were nothing more than unctuous clerks lacking the gumption and conviction of true leaders. They didn’t have to worry about governing well and honestly so long as they are executing the dictate of the King and his imperious votaries, a nexus of corruption and patronage.
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Food security: Kenya urged to involve youth, innovate

Posted on | augustus 23, 2012 | No Comments

AGRA - Growing Aftrica's CultureKenya must involve the youth as well as strive to innovate her agricultural sector if it has to assure her citizens on food security, experts meeting at an agricultural forum by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in partnership with the Agriculture Sector Coordination Unit (ASCU) and the Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat (VDS) and held Wednesday in Nairobi said. The Kenya Agricultural Transformation Forum which brought government, private sector and agricultural research experts together to map out strategies for developing practical solutions to fuel Kenya’s agricultural and nutritional future.

“We have to make agriculture interesting for them, because they will not be motivated if they have to use jembes, and if the sector is not highly productive,” said Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga, whose Forum address was delivered by the Minister for Labour Dalmas Otieno,

As a catalyst, Kenya government was urged to learn from the ongoing challenges with drought, crop disease and spiking food prices to ensure the right policy changes that will bring about the desired changes.
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