Monday, April 29, 2013

Over 500 deaths and counting as April begins to wind down

As the month of April comes closer to concluding, the number killed in violent attacks in Iraq has already passed 500 (Iraq Body Count counts 513 deaths from violence so far this month through Sunday).  Today, National Iraqi News Agency notes a Karbala car bombing which claimed 3 lives and left twelve injured, there were mortar attacks in Ramadi and Falluja, rebels in Mosul clashed with soldiers leaving 2 soldiers dead, 2 Amara car bombings have left 7 dead and thirty-one injured., and a Diwaniyah car bombing has resulted in twenty-nine people being either injured or killedAll Iraq News reports 4 dead and twenty-five injured.  Sinan Salaheddin (AP) counts 36 dead ("dozens" injured) via 5 car bombings.

Meanwhile Ahmed Hussein and Ghassan Hamid (Alsumaria) report that Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi has expressed "serious concerns" regarding the attempt to pull the licenses on ten satellite channels.  Iraqiya is the political slate that bested Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law in the 2010 parliamentary elections.  NINA notes the statement from Iraqiya which pointed out the "blatantly sectarian" nature of the closures since they focused on any who covered "the demands of the people for their legitimate rights."   Yesterday, Nouri's government announced they were pulling the licenses for Al Jazeera, al-Sharqiya, al-Sharqiya News, Babeliya, Salahuddin, Anwar 2, Taghyeer, Baghdad and Fallujah.  All Iraq News quotes Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi declaring, "The decision is considered a clear threat for freedom of expression in Iraq and completely incompatible with the concept of democracy.  This decision will arouse many suspicions since Iraq is currently passing through a tense phase that requires all the media efforts to expose breaches and to follow up on the involvement of senior figures in corruption."  Iraq's Journalistic Freedom Observatory issued a statement calling for the government to clarify the justifications for pulling the licenses

Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports the move has been criticized by MPs and media experts and that this is being tied into the media (the Iraqi media) reporting on Nouri's forces attacking the sit-in in Hawija last week.  An MP from Sadr's bloc notes that it is not the media's job to bury news that is bad for Nouri.  Dar Addustour also notes that this is about the attack on Hawija.

If Nouri doesn't want bad news reported, easiest way to stop killing peaceful protesters.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault last Tuesday. You kill 50 protesters and, believe it not, your problem isn't the media.  Nouri's failure to realize that goes a long, long way towards explaining why, in seven years as prime minister, he can't point to any accomplishments that's helped the Iraqi people.

May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day.  Don't expect Nouri to celebrate it.

Meanwhile NINA notes Nouri met with a Kurdish delegation in Baghdad to discuss the ongoing crises between Erbil and Baghdad.  They also note that Kurdish MP Mahmoud Othman stated any negotiations  "will be based on the previous agreements" -- he's referring to The Erbil Agreement.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Bride of Iran" and  Kat's "Kat's Korner: Holly Near, Go Away" went up yesterday.  On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include Lynne Stewart, Miranda Rights, attorneys Michael Avery and Danielle McLaughlin discuss the findings in their book The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back from Liberals and Tariq Ali discussing Stalin's legacy.

Women's Media Center notes the passing of feminist and journalist Mary Thom:

NEW YORK — Journalism and the feminist movement suffered a huge loss with the passing of Mary Thom, co-founders of The Women’s Media Center said in a statement issued today.
“We who are Mary's friends and family haven't absorbed her loss yet; it's too sudden,” said Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, and Jane Fonda, co-founders of The Women’s Media Center. “Ms. Magazine, the Women's Media Center, the women's movement and American journalism have suffered an enormous blow. Mary was and will always be our moral compass and steady heart. Writers from around the world have been able to share their words and ideas because of her. Wherever her friends and colleagues gather, we will always ask the guiding question: What would Mary do?"

Mary Thom, who was an author, editor, and journalist who edited the Women’s Media Center Features, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Yonkers Friday. An early and long-time editor of Ms. magazine, she wrote and consulted for a number of non-profit women’s organizations, including the National Council for Research on Women. Her books include Inside Ms.: 25 Years of the Magazine and the Feminist Movement and Letters to Ms.: 1972-1987. She is editor, with Suzanne Braun Levine, of an oral history, Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied Against War and for the Planet, and Shook Up Politics Along the Way). She also was editor of a book by Rosalie Maggio, Unspinning the Spin. How to Say What You Mean and De-Code the Hype. The book will be released later this fall.
“We are shaken and reeling at the sudden passing of our irreplaceable editor-in-chief, Mary Thom,” said Julie Burton, president of The Women’s Media Center. “Mary was one of the great writers, editors, and visionaries of the women's movement, and the heart and soul of Women's Media Center's features writing. From her work in the early days of Ms. Magazine right up until this week, hers was a clear, strong voice for equality—and her editorial talents lifted so many other voices as well." Burton said as editor-in-chief at The Women’s Media Center, Thom edited three features a week of original writing by women journalists on important issues that provide progressive women’s perspectives on both headlines and timely events ignored or misrepresented in the mainstream media.
“In Mary Thom’s accidental death, Ms., the Women's Media Center and U.S. journalism suffer a huge loss,” Morgan said. “And I grieve for a wry, ethical friend."
Mary’s family also issued a statement: "We are so very sad to lose our Mary.  She was the source of our joy and our edits.  She charged through life with a generous and compassionate strength and wisdom, and that is how we will forever remember her.  While she spent her childhood in Akron, Ohio, she lived 48 years on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Susan Thom. She is survived by her sister Susan Thom Loubet, her nephew Thom Loubet and niece-in-law Mariko Silver, and adored grand-niece Kumi Silver Loubet."
The Women’s Media Center works to make women and girls visible and powerful in the media through strategic programs that transform the media landscape, and that include media training, media monitoring and activism, media reports, media programs, and special initiatives.  The Women’s Media Center also produces original media content on our CBS radio show, Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, and publishes Women’s Media Center Features that provide progressive women’s perspectives on both headline stories and timely events. The organization was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem.

For more information, contact Cristal Williams Chancellor, media relations manager, or 202-587-1636.

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