Welcome to Overnight News Digest Sunday, where the OND crew, consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, Oke, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, ScottyUrb, and BentLiberal, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains you with today's news.
I started looking at Pacific-rim news sites, and using stories from twitter.
Next week: umm, there's an election, and storm recovery. Please remember the Caribbean, too.
Four Afghan policemen have been shot dead in an apparent "insider attack" by their colleagues, officials say.90% of the BBC's Afghanistan coverage right now is about British armed forces, not the Afghan people.
The attack happened at a police outpost in Gereshk district, Helmand province, local police chief Mohammad Toryali said.
Mr Toryali said the officers were killed by five colleagues who had arrived as reinforcements.
This year has seen a sharp rise in insider attacks in Afghanistan against local forces and Nato troops.
Military commanders refer to such rogue attacks as "green-on green" or "green-on-blue" - green for Afghan forces and blue for the Nato coalition.
In the first test of Bahrain's new ban on public protests, at least several dozen people have taken to the streets of small towns outside the capital to demonstrate against the jailing of a well-known opposition leader.Revisiting Stalingrad: An Inside Look at World War II's Bloodiest Battle
Chanting against the Gulf monarchy, the protesters called for the freeing of Hasan Mushaima, a leader of the Haq Movement and founder of the Wefaq Party, who has called for more democratic rights.
Mushaima was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011 for helping to lead the uprising that saw tens of thousands of mostly Shia protesters demonstrating against the government in the street that year.
At dawn on Jan. 31, 1943, the bloodiest battle of World War II came to an end for the top German commander in Stalingrad. Russian soldiers stood at the entrance to the basement of the Univermag department store in which the top-ranking German officers, including supreme commander Friedrich Paulus, had taken refuge. One day earlier, Adolph Hitler had promoted the leader of the German troops in Stalingrad to the rank of field marshal -- not so much as a sign of recognition as an implicit order to end his life rather than allow himself to be captured.AROUND THE WORLD
Lieutenant Colonel Leonid Vinokur was the first to catch sight of Paulus: "He lay on the bed when I entered. He lay there in his coat, with his cap on. He had two-week-old beard stubble and seemed to have lost all courage." The final hideout of the commander of the German 6th Army resembled a latrine. "The filth and human excrement and who knows what else was piled up waist-high," Major Anatoly Zoldatov went on record as saying, adding: "It stank beyond belief. There were two toilets and signs above them both that read: 'No Russians allowed'."
It was only after a while that the Germans were forced to hand over their weapons. "They could have easily shot themselves," said Major General Ivan Burmakov. But Paulus and his staff chose not to do that. "They had no intention of dying -- they were such cowards. They didn't have the courage to die," said eyewitness Burmakov.
Among some of the perhaps surprising entries on the list are:Photo from the news site.
* Cuba, where in 1741, a force under Admiral Edward Vernon stormed ashore at Guantánamo Bay. He renamed it Cumberland Bay, before being forced to withdraw in the face of hostile locals and an outbreak of disease among his men. Twenty one years later, Havana and a large part of the island fell to the British after a bloody siege, only to be handed back to the Spanish in 1763, along with another unlikely British possession, the Philippines, in exchange for Florida and Minorca.
*Iceland, invaded in 1940 by the British after the neutral nation refused to enter the war on the Allies side. The invasion force, of 745 marines, met with strong protest from the Iceland government, but no resistance.
* Vietnam, which has experienced repeated incursions by the British since the seventeenth century. The most recent – from 1945 to 1946 – saw the British fight a campaign for control of the country against communists, in a war that has been overshadowed by later conflicts involving first the French and then Americans.
|Most autism research originates in the West, and we have a particular view of what autism is, a particular view about how children behave and interact with adults, says Courtenay Norbury at Royal Holloway, University of London, who worked with children with autism from ethnically diverse backgrounds in east London1. Other cultures might have very different expectations of how children behave.|This article, tweeted by kos-friend mem from somerville, reminded me of Crazy Like Us.
This viewpoint makes it challenging to use behavioural diagnostic tests for autism in places where the disorder may look and even be different from in the West. But with growing interest in autism's true prevalence worldwide and the need for autism services in poor countries, researchers are grappling with the best ways to objectively diagnose the disorder.
Parent support groups for autism exist in more than 100 countries. We know that autism is diagnosable and observable across cultures, says Mayada Elsabbagh, a researcher at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who is leading a group within the International Society for Autism Research on cross-cultural issues. But the exact details of how different cultures or settings modify autism is unknown, she says.
Kim Dotcom is proposing free broadband to all New Zealanders as he tries to resurrect the ill-fated Pacific Fibre cable connecting New Zealand to the United States.Party troops muster for March battle
Dotcom last night revealed his ambitious plans to build the $400m cable - which would double New Zealand's bandwidth - set up his new Me.ga company, creating jobs and a data centre to service the rest of the world.
He would provide New Zealand internet service providers such as Telecom and Vodafone with free access for individual customers and charge a fee to business and central government.
Kiwis would still be charged a fee by the internet companies, but it would be as low as one-fifth of current bandwidth plans and three to five times faster with no transfer limits.
The $400m would be partly funded by Me.ga, raising additional funds from investors.
AUSTRALIA'S political parties are in the advance stages of preparations for next year's federal election campaign, with a senior Labor strategist saying a March election is ''a distinct possibility''.Himachal Pradesh polls: Leaders, kin throng temples to seek divine blessings
With the ALP, the Liberals and the Greens all recording significant and surprising boosts to membership, Labor has gone to its staffers asking for money as it tries to recover from the dire financial status brought on at the last election.
The Coalition is believed to be a long way ahead of the ALP in campaign fund-raising, but a Liberal insider confirmed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's relentless travel across the country was a costly exercise - ''but one that will pay off''.
Decades old temples in various villages of Shimla (rural) constituency saw a huge rush of political leaders, their family members, friends and party workers on Sunday as they thronged these traditional places to seek blessings of god and good fortune for candidates, who are contesting in assembly polls.India is having elections in Himachal Pradesh, and there are some additional political rallies going on, as in the next story:
Most of these temples in different villages; like Devnagar, Tara Devi, Bainsh, Dhami, Rajmanah, Jabri, Danda, Bathmana, Ghanahatti, Kohbag and Shakrahare, are situated in interior areas and one has to walk a distance of over 500 meters to 1500 metres to reach there.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today made a strong defence of his economic reforms at a show-of-strength rally of the Congress workers at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi today. He also spoke of his party's fight against corruption, but warned that this shouldn't hold up decision making in government.Coral rehabilitation shows little progress
In a speech that was a virtual election campaign, he said that no country "will be able to address its biggest challenges without economic development" and pitched for 'inclusive growth'.
"Economic development needs to reach the poor and the common people," he said, adding, "We believe that development should enable everyone to get all the basic amenities."
"We need economic reforms to create more jobs... The people are being misled about recent government decisions... We have done a lot of work in the last eight years," Dr Singh said.
He added that opening the economy up further will create more jobs for the youth.
Seven years since the 2005 launch of an environmental rehabilitation program, marine researchers have seen an improvement in the condition of coral reefs once damaged by human activities and natural disasters.HERE IN THE STATES
The conclusion has been drawn in a report published by the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) as part of its evaluation of the Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program (COREMAP) II.
“We’ve seen an increase of the living corals in several areas examined during this second [COREMAP] program,” Giyanto from the LIPI’s Research Center for Oceanography told a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.
Giyanto admitted that the improvement was very small — with only around 5.58 percent of the total coral reefs examined by the LIPI’s Research Center for Oceanography, in 1,076 observation stations in 2011, found to be in a very good condition.
As far as anyone knew, HUD hadn't stripped grant money from a single community for failures to "affirmatively further" fair housing since the early 70s — even when judges found those communities had violated the law. Under the False Claims Act, Gurian didn't need HUD's support to sue on its behalf.Fair housing seems to be a myth.
The lawyer needed a place to test his idea. Westchester County, the segregated homestead to some of New York's most prominent liberals, felt irresistibly symbolic.
So Gurian began asking officials in Westchester to document their fair housing efforts. The county had little to show.
“It was unusually thin and unusually unconnected with questions of segregation,” said John Logan, a Brown University sociologist who later reviewed Westchester's "Analysis of Impediments," the document that communities file to show Fair Housing Act compliance when they seek block grants.
Gurian believed he had enough to go to court. “There wasn’t any question that Westchester wasn’t affirmatively furthering fair housing, that it had no intention of affirmatively furthering fair housing, and every single time it promised the federal government it would do so it was lying,” Gurian said.
Harvard Law School Professor D. James Greiner is co-author of a recent study on the experience of Boston voters in the election of 2008. As another election approaches, we ask Greiner a few questions about his study and the current efforts to pass tougher voter ID laws.Framing the Guilty?
Your article is titled “Can Voter ID Laws Be Administered in a Race-Neutral Manner?” What did you find?
Our study reached some discouraging conclusions. The combination of federal and Massachusetts laws limits the circumstances under which a person approaching a voting location in Boston should be asked for an ID. Despite these limits, far too many white persons who approached voting locations in the 2008 general election in Boston were asked for an ID. But the problem was even worse for African-American and Hispanic voters. Members of racial minority groups were more likely, more than 10 percentage points more likely in most cases, to be asked for IDs. The disparity among racial/ethnic groups persisted even when we used sophisticated statistical techniques to control for other things a poll worker was likely to observe when a would-be voter approached a voting area—things like gender, age, educated speech patterns and proficiency with English.
Hughes subsequently recanted, claiming that the police had coerced him into confessing by hitting him and threatening him. Although the Houston police had the capability of video recording interrogations even in 1988, Sgt. D.A. Ferguson chose not to do so. "I guess it really comes down to personal preference," he testified. The judge allowed the confessions into evidence. And so it went too with Hughes' attempts to have excluded the items picked up at his apartment; the search warrant the police had was invalid, he argued to the judge. Hughes did not fight biological testing – no matter how rudimentary it would have been – perhaps in part because the police never did collect any DNA or blood samples from him. After they got the confession, they figured they didn't need anything else, Gafford testified.Very long article.
Hughes' trial attorney, Ellis McCullough, failed to mount much of a defense. He made no opening statement, did not call a medical or forensic expert to counter the state's theory of the crime – including, most notably, that Charles could somehow have carried on a conversation with police while bleeding out at the throat from massive wounds – and failed to call much more than character witnesses. In other words, he provided no compelling road map for jurors that might lead away from Hughes or seriously challenge the state's evidence of guilt.
But that's not because the evidence isn't there to do so, says Skeptical Juror Allen. "They framed him," Allen says. "The police framed him; the lab framed him."
Allen, a retired engineer, has become an amateur sleuth – a "forensic data analyst," he calls it – combing through police and trial records, looking for cases of wrongful conviction and writing about those cases from the "perspective of a juror." He came by his new moniker honestly; Allen has been called for jury duty more than a dozen times and has served as a juror in four cases – a drive-by shooting, a murder, an assault, and a multivictim, multicount child molestation case. It was the last one that prompted him to become more deeply involved in the criminal justice system. The six-day trial was illuminating for him; there was scant evidence of the man's guilt, and Allen believed that once the jurors began to deliberate, it would be a slam-dunk, not-guilty vote. Yet when the jury first voted, it was 11-1 for guilty.
The U.S. Coast Guard has called off its search for a missing sea captain and on Friday ordered an investigation of why the tall ship HMS Bounty set sail and sank as Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard.UTAH, I'M TALL
On Sunday, as Sandy churned offshore in the Atlantic, the Bounty's owner reported losing contact with the replica three-mast sailing ship and its 16-member crew. Soon after, the Coast Guard launched a recovery effort that saved 14 people and recovered the body of 42-year-old former USC song girl Claudene Christian.
The body of Robin Walbridge, the Bounty's captain for 17 years, was not found by Coast Guard rescue teams.
Rex Halbeisen, a friend of Christian, said he received an email from her before she died at sea saying she was worried about the storm and the condition of the ship.
"Some are just not ready for those big, flat and open spaces. You can see for a really long way, and that open space is almost intimidating," said McAllister, director for the Wings & Water Wetlands Education Program at The Nature Conservancy’s Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve.Obama mock hanging effigy draws Secret Service investigation
McAllister will likely be seeing that look more often in the future thanks to a new partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Utah State University Botanical Center.
More than 8,500 Utah fourth-graders have been through the Wings & Water program at the preserve since it was started in 2005. With the USU Botanical Center in Kaysville on board, Nature Conservancy officials expect a 70 percent increase in participants in the coming three years. The program will also expand to serve all elementary-age children and include more schools.
A disabled man's Halloween yard display earned him a visit from the U.S. Secret Service over the weekend.Followup to a previous diary of mine, I had not yet found this for my diary last Sunday evening.
"That thing" featured one dummy wearing a Mitt Romney mask and another wearing a President Barack Obama mask. The Romney dummy was seated in a chair, holding the end of a rope that was draped over a tree branch and tied around the Obama dummy's neck.
"I was shocked. It looked real. I was kind of taken aback."
–Orangeville mayor Patrick Jones
The mayor initially suspected someone had played a prank on the homeowner, because the man is a paraplegic. But when Jones contacted the man's parents at their home, they confirmed that they had set up the display at their son's request.
"They went and took it down," Jones said. "They were strictly thinking Halloween (display), there wasn't any racism involved at all, though I can see how people would think that."
But there's no racism in Orangeville.
Melbourne Cup 2012 A horse race with lots of fancy hats. Or do all horse races have fancy hats?
The other side of the fence Blogging about rickshaws. Really. And social inequities.
Writing & Kids on NaNoWriMo
Snowstorms kill 2 Japanese in Hebei Also, China is getting reading for a big fat political conference, and their new PM & President.