A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an “irresistible attraction,” even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong.

A trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 18, with Mr. Say facing up to 18 months in prison if convicted.

Another Twitter post, this one written by Mr. Say, joked about a muezzin’s rapid delivery of the call to prayer, asking if he wanted to get away quickly for a drink. The messages are no longer available online. The pianist, who has frequently criticized the pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party government over its cultural and social policies, publicly defines himself as an atheist — a controversial admission in Turkey, which is overwhelmingly Muslim.

In his text message from Slovenia, Mr. Say said he was only one of 165 people who shared the Twitter post on the vision of Islamic paradise.

“I just thought it was a funny allegory and retweeted the message,” he said. “It is unbelievable that it was made into a court case.”

He continued, “This case, which goes against universal human rights and laws, is saddening not only when judged on its own merit but also for Turkey’s image.”

Many intellectuals and writers have faced similar charges in recent years, including Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel laureate, who last year was fined $3,700 for saying in a Swiss newspaper that Turks “have killed 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians.”

The European Union, which Turkey is seeking to join, and other international organizations have criticized such actions as violations of free speech.

Mr. Say, who has served as a European Union culture ambassador, has a busy international career, with frequent engagements in Europe and to a lesser extent in Asia and the United States. He has performed with major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.


Soldiers put the final touches on a giant “No More Weapons” billboard composed of crushed firearms, placed near the U.S. border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on February 17, 2012. President Felipe Calderon unveiled the billboard Thursday and urged the United States to stop the flow of weapons into Mexico. AP Photo/Raymundo Ruiz) #

Mexico’s Drug War: Over 50,000 Dead in 6 Years

Since Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón began an all-out assault on drug cartels in 2006, more than 50,000 people have lost their lives across the country in a nearly-continuous string of shootouts, bombings, and ever-bloodier murders. Just last weekend, 49 decapitated bodies were reportedly discovered on a highway in northern Mexico. The New York Times reports on an increasing numbness and apathy among Mexicans after years of worsening carnage, about which they’ve been able to do virtually nothing. Gathered here is a collection of recent photographs from Mexico’s drug war and the people so horribly affected by it. [44 photos]

Warning: All images in this entry are shown in full. There are many dead bodies; the photographs are graphic and stark. This is the reality of the situation in Mexico right now.

Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory



I listened to this on the way back to Boston from WMass tonight and was really unsure about what to do with myself after Act One and was afraid that I wouldn’t get my answers and was nervous that I was on the road and all I wanted to do was go on a Google binge about Apple and Apple factories and Steve Jobs and labor laws. And then it was so reassuring when Ira asked So what do we do with all this? right before Act Two. We understand each other. 

My point is that this is important and you should listen to it. 

Yes. This was a great episode with some rather shocking info in Act 2 that I am still trying to process.

(via politicalpartygirl)


Outspoken Russian journalist Khadzhimurad Kamalov was gunned down “in a hail of bullets” late Thursday night outside his office in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. The 46 year old was a prominent journalist and newsman and was the founder of Dagestan’s weekly newspaper Chernovik, known for its willingness to criticize officials and its work to uncover police abuse in the counterterrorism efforts in nearby Chechnya. Kamalov was known for his criticisms of and investigations into Dagestan’s Interior Ministry. In 2009, his name was on a circulated “assassination list.”  His death is a huge blow to freedom of speech and the press, and the willingness of activists and journalists to speak out in Russia.

Chernovik’s editor, Biyakai Magomedov, who witnessed the murder, said “They deliberately killed him in front of the newspaper’s office to scare the staff.”

Author Yulia Latynina told Ekho Moskvy radio “Just as Politkovskaya’s death meant the loss of information about Chechnya, Kamalov’s death will mean that to a large extent we will stop to understand what’s going on in Dagestan. People will simply be scared to write anything.”

Read the stories at the AFP, Boston Globe and the Guardian.

[Photo: Sergei Rasulov/AP File]

Amnesty International | A Bahraini activists blogs about her 149-day long detention

I am a Bahraini activist, involved in the Bahrain Revolution that started on 14 February.

When the army demolished the Pearl Roundabout and began arresting people, I was terrified. I knew that I hadn’t done anything wrong – but they were crazy.
One night my house was raided by scores of officers. I was pulled out of the house by my neck with guns pointing at my head, without even a chance to get dressed. They dragged me out while abusing and insulting me, in full view of my young children and family who were screaming and crying at the sight.

I was in shock and dizzy, due to medication I was taking for a health problem. When I came to my senses I saw I was surrounded by dozens of men, some in military uniform, some in plainclothes, some in masks, many were also carrying pistols, clubs and shotguns.

They were searching my personal belongings, reading my papers, putting documents in my laptop case to take away – and they took all the cash in the house.

Outside my house, cars filled the street – civilian cars, a bus, emergency vehicles and riot police jeeps. They pushed me into the bus, closed the door, and then the verbal abuse started – the dirtiest curses, insults, degradation, and insulting my parents and my religion because I am a Shi’a.

On the rough journey to the police station I was full of fear about what would happen to me – whether I would ever see my children again, whether I would be tortured.  Since it was my first arrest, I knew nothing about what would happen.

I was held for 149 days. First, I was kept in solitary confinement for 17 days. Ten of these days were spent in the police station, where I was forced to stand facing the wall day and night. They knew I had a back problem, and I believe they designed this torture especially to ruin my health.

They denied me water and sleep, didn’t let me pray or lie down, denied me medicine, blindfolded me when moving me even inside the building, and subjected me to long interrogations while standing up, during which I fainted twice.

Another seven days of solitary confinement were in a freezing room with only one light blanket.

Read more

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Libya Counts More Martyrs Than Bodies

On Friday, anti-Qaddafi fighters attacked the two remaining strongholds of the loyalist forces, in the seaside city of Surt and the desert town of Bani Walid. Although both assaults were repulsed by determined resistance from the pro-Qaddafi forces, there can be little doubt that the war is in its final phases. And as it winds down, the question of how many died is taking on greater significance.

The death toll from the Libyan uprising is unarguably horrendous, even if it does not fit neatly into the former rebels’ narrative of a David-and-Goliath struggle against a bloodthirsty regime that slaughtered tens of thousands of the helpless and the innocent. It has also become a politically delicate issue, with some new government officials refusing to release hard statistics on casualties and human rights groups cautious about taking a definitive position.

The new authorities say the confirmed death toll will rise with the discovery of mass graves where the Qaddafi government hid its victims, both during its final months and as it collapsed and fled Tripoli and other population centers.

Mass graves of recent vintage have indeed been found — 13 of them confirmed by the Red Cross, or “about 20” found by the government, according to the Transitional National Council’s humanitarian coordinator, Muattez Aneizi. More are being found “nearly every day,” Mr. Aneizi said.

“Mass” is slightly misleading, however, because the largest actual grave site found so far, in the Nafusah Mountains of western Libya, had 34 bodies. In many of the others, the victims numbered only in the single digits. Many are not even graves, but rather containers or buildings where people were executed and their bodies left to rot.


Gulnara Karimova, Uzbekistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations and ambassador to Spain, was slated to present her clothing line, “Guli,” on September 15.© 2011 Getty Images via

Fashion Week Cancels Show of Uzbek Dictator’s Daughter

The daughter of Uzbekistan’s dictator planned to unveil her spring fashion line at New York City’s prestigious Fashion Week. But her show was canceled after Human Rights Watch and a coalition of like-minded organizations spotlighted her connection to her father’s tyrannical government.

Gulnara Karimova isn’t just the eldest daughter of Islam Karimov – Uzbekistan’s autocratic leader since the Soviet era – she also serves as the government’s ambassador to Spain and the United Nations, a high-level position in a regime known for imprisoning and torturing political opponents and rights activists. Her father’s government forces up to two million Uzbek children to leave school for two months each year to pick cotton – a fabric woven throughout Karimova’s designs.

Karimova maintains a jet-setter lifestyle, which includes making a pop video with Julio Iglesias and launching her fashion line “Guli.” But according to a cable released by Wikileaks, US diplomats said most Uzbeks view her as “a greedy, power-hungry individual who uses her father to crush business people or anyone else who stands in her way.”

Read more at Human Rights Watch

(via charquaouia-deactivated20120116)