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IOC contracts, trouser trials and burning rainforests

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
The new LTTE leader?
The new LTTE leader?

It all began with a harmless joke. But after years of the dryest English wit, Poland says that this bit was too far even for Jeremy Clarkson, where he spoofs an ad for a VW that can make it from Berlin to Warsaw on a single tank. Apparently the Poles a bit sensitive still about the invasion thing.

At the other end of war atrocities, a shocking 61% of Americans still believe that the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary. Mental. Do they also believe Obama's sight on economic recovery? America also beats China on the list of countries with the most number of people in prison: not just in terms of proportion but also in terms of total number.

And China has little to smile about despite these numbers. According to a national magazine called Insight, Chinese citizens placed their trust in prostitutes more than politicians. No surprises there.

Here in Van, the Olympic plot thickens. It's pretty bad when the Vancouver Sun accuses the IOC of being run by ayatollas, in this case for getting the rights to all court issues to be settled not by Canadian courts but by Swiss. Shades of the AGOA Pact come to mind.

In terms of culture Vancouver is still ages ahead of Saudi Arabia. The latter decided to take a giant leap back by canceling its first film festival. Elsewhere in the strange world, the Sudanese trouser trial is going ahead as planned for th journalist that is being accused of public indecency for wearing pants in public as opposed to and abaya/skirt. It's like having to shave your beard if you live in Maidguri, Nigeria because security forces now see any man with a beard as being a terrorist threat and therefore someone to be liquidated.

It sucks to be Muslim in other parts of the world too. German football club Schalke 04 is under fire for its song, which amongst verses about the beauty of team colours, belts out a line that goes "Muhammad knows nothing about football." Quaint. Sucks to be Christian too, if you live in Punjab, Pakistan since there've been a few religious clashes there. In Manipur, India people are rioting (finally) over police brutality concerning the death of a lad the cops killed because they're paid largely to find scapegoats rather than actual perpetrators.

Down in Sri Lanka, the LTTE apparently has a new chief (if he gets the nod from the internationl Tamil community), who promises to turn the organization into a democratic peaceful one. He has, however, made some accusations about concentration camps towards the government that did not sit well; he is thus reportedly already under arrest. The Taliban, though missing their recently-departed Pakistan chief, pledge to go on with the jihad.

On a less religious but just as zealous front, animal activists suppsoedly torched the cabin and stole the ashes of the mother of CEO of drug giant Novartis. Meanwhile, a California researcher will soon be setting fire to a portion of the rainforest, to see what happens. I imagine a lot will happen.

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isaac (Isaac K. Oommen)
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