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Sunday Morning Fiction

As I like to remind people from time to time, here on DocuDharma we encourage creative writing, fiction, and silliness (as well as advanced HTML, pretty pictures, and videos).

This is why we allow the virtually limitless amount of 3 essays a day (I can hardly come up with one most days), but if that stifles your creativity let me know and I’ll lobby for raising it.

I particularly like to feature them on Sunday mornings when you can be relaxed and easy going, and late at night when us insomniacs are desperate for something new and entertaining.

Today I’d like to highlight the latest installments of two running fictional features-

Dystopia 13: Hetû

by: TP_Alexander

Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 18:20:04 PDT

and…

Dark Soul Chapter Nine

by: Something The Dog Said

Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 08:00:05 PDT

The rest of you slackers-

GET WRITING!

Weekend News Digest

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Afghan poll workers ambushed; U.S. soldiers killed

By Hamid Shalizi, Reuters

2 hrs 57 mins ago

KABUL (Reuters) – A convoy of campaign workers for Afghan President Hamid Karzai was ambushed five times on Saturday, officials said, as Taliban insurgents step up efforts to disrupt the presidential election.

The U.S. military also said three U.S. troops were killed in the south, while a French soldier died and two were wounded in fighting in Kapisa province in the east, French officials said.

The Taliban this week vowed to disrupt the Aug 20. presidential election and called on Afghans to boycott it.

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Science

1 Monaco seeks global bluefin tuna trade ban

AFP

Tue Jul 28, 12:02 pm ET

GENEVA (AFP) – Monaco has tabled a proposal to place Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna on the list of the world’s most endangered species in a move that could ban international trade of the fish.

As one of the most popular sushi staples, bluefin tuna has become increasingly in demand in recent years and its stocks have plummetted over the last decade in both the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Now, according to a draft proposal put forward by Monaco with CITES, the UN agency against illegal wildlife trade, stocks are so fragile that the species should be classified as being at threat of extinction.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.

1 First results due Monday in Iraqi Kurd election

By Tim Cocks and Shamal Aqrawi, Reuters

Sun Jul 26, 11:28 am ET

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) – Preliminary results of elections in Iraqi Kurdistan, widely expected to keep two ruling parties in power despite an unprecedented opposition challenge, will be announced on Monday, Iraq’s electoral commission said.

Kurdish opposition groups are complaining of violations in Saturday’s parliamentary and presidential vote, the first time Kurds have directly elected a leader of their mostly autonomous region, but voting officials say the poll was largely sound.

Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said the preliminary results would come on Monday evening, according to a statement from the government’s media center.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Iraqi Kurds end voting as feud with Baghdad looms

By Tim Cocks and Shamal Aqrawi, Reuters

1 hr 33 mins ago

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) – Iraqi Kurds ended voting on Saturday in elections expected to keep President Masoud Barzani in power in Kurdistan and unlikely to allay voters’ worries about corruption or end a feud with Baghdad over land and oil.

Polls closed at 12:00 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT) after voting was extended one hour in the largely autonomous region. Ballots will be counted in Baghdad, the official tally expected to take at least 2-3 days.

The people of the relatively peaceful northern enclave elected their president directly this time, unlike in 2005 polls that voted only for parliament. Former guerrilla leader Barzani looks certain to defeat his five competitors.

A message from Turkana-

Tomorrow (TODAY!ek), Saturday July 25, demonstrations will be held in over 105 cities, from six continents, to protest the Iranian government’s brutal crackdown, in the aftermath of the recent election. This is a cause that should unite us all, including our Republican lurkers. It is not about lobbying various governments, and it is not about lobbying our own government. It is a statement by people for the people of Iran. Click this link, to find out where and when demonstrations will be held.

From the official website:

Nobel Peace Laureates, prominent Iranian poets & artists, and many others support the global day of action: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Shirin Ebadi, Sean Penn, Dariush, Jody Williams, Betty Williams, Mairead Maguire, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Simin Behbahani, and Ismael Khoii. Dariush to Perform at DC Rally!

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

And the press release:

Human rights activists are organizing a coordinated Global Day of Action on July 25, 2009 to demand respect for the human rights of the Iranian people and to demonstrate worldwide solidarity with the civil rights movement in Iran. Major human rights organizations have sponsored the event.

Around the world, people will gather in solidarity with the Iranian people following over a month of intensified state repression against citizens peacefully demonstrating for their rights. Many have been killed in the streets, many hundreds have been beaten and injured, and at least 2,000 are thought to have been detained.

The Global Day of Action is a not affiliated with any partisan political agenda, and is aimed at securing the internationally recognized rights of the Iranian people.

The organizers believe that while political questions facing Iran can only be resolved by the Iranian people themselves, the violent repression of their internationally guaranteed human rights are of concern to people all around the world.

The global day of action is organized around the following core demands:

  • That member states and civil society organizations of the international community give sustained attention to the Iranian people’s human rights as a matter of international concern, and that the UN should immediately initiate an investigation into grave and systematic human rights violations in Iran, including the fate of prisoners and disappeared persons, unlawful killings, and torture and other ill-treatment;
  • An end to state-sponsored violence, accountability for crimes committed and no recourse to the death penalty;
  • The immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, including politicians, journalists, students, and civil society activists; and
  • Freedom of assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of expression (including freedom of the press) as guaranteed by the Iranian constitution and Iran’s obligations under international covenants that it has signed.

Who are the volunteers coordinating this action?

United4Iran is a non-partisan collaborative of individuals and human rights organizations. United4Iran does not promote any political agenda; our only aim is to support the people of Iran in their struggle for democracy and freedom.

We came together to organize a Global Day of Action on July 25th so the citizens of the world can stand together for:

  • Civil and human rights for the people of Iran;
  • Stopping the abuse of power-the imprisonment, torture and killing?.
  • Solidarity with the Iranian people.

To our Iranian brothers and sisters: We have heard your voices, and you are not alone.

Follow the updates on Twitter.

Download rally toolkits.

Download press toolkits and media guides.

Download posters, flyers, logos, and banners.

But most importantly, if you will be near any of the cities where demonstrations will take place, show up, and let your voice be heard!

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Science

1 Solar eclipse shrouds Asia in cloak of darkness

by Pedro Ugarte, AFP

2 hrs 3 mins ago

VARANASI, India (AFP) – The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century plunged millions across Asia into temporary darkness on Wednesday, triggering scenes of religious fervour, fear and excitement in India and China.

Ancient superstition and modern commerce came together in what was likely to end up being the most watched eclipse in history, due to its path over Earth’s most densely inhabited areas.

A woman was killed in a stampede in the holy city of Varanasi where tens of thousands of devout Hindus had crowded the river Ganges at dawn.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World News.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Honduras crisis talks deadlocked over Zelaya return

By Ana Isabel Martinez and John McPhaul, Reuters

1 hr 32 mins ago

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) – Talks to resolve Honduras’ political crisis dragged into a second day on Sunday, with negotiators for deposed President Manuel Zelaya and coup leaders deadlocked over his proposed return to power.

A new session opened in Costa Rica after nearly 10 hours of closed-door meetings on Saturday failed to yield any kind of agreement.

Zelaya, a leftist, was ousted in a June 28 military coup, and the de facto government led by Roberto Micheletti has so far resisted all international pressure, refusing to accept any deal that includes Zelaya being restored to power.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 CIT talks to bondholders; bankruptcy still feared

By Paritosh Bansal and Jennifer Ablan, Reuters

Sat Jul 18, 9:22 am ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – CIT Group Inc is in talks with a group of bondholders for $2 billion to $3 billion in rescue financing as it tries hard to avoid bankruptcy, a source close to the company said late on Friday.

Bankruptcy is possible if these talks fail, and CIT, a 101-year-old lender that services nearly one million small- and mid-sized businesses, is also exploring the possibility of getting debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing, the source said.

The focus of talks turned to the bondholders after earlier negotiations with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc about short-term financing out of court did not result in a deal, the source said.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Jakarta hotel bombs kill 9, wound 42: police

By Telly Nathalia and Olivia Rondonuwu, Reuters

53 mins ago

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Near-simultaneous bomb blasts ripped through the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta’s business district on Friday, killing nine people and wounding 42 others including foreign businessmen, police said.

A car bomb had also exploded along a toll road in North Jakarta, police said. Indonesia’s Metro TV said two people had been killed. No further details on that blast were available.

The bomb attacks, the first in several years, could badly dent investor confidence in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The Indonesian government has made considerable progress in tackling security threats from militant Islamic groups in recent years, bringing a sense of greater political stability to the country.

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Science

1 Experts hail Sahara-Europe solar plan

by William Ickes, AFP

Tue Jul 14, 12:19 pm ET

FRANKFURT (AFP) – Far-sighted plans to energise Europe by tapping solar power from the sweltering Sahara desert offer bright prospects but must not overshadow renewable sources closer to home, experts say.

German deputy environment minister Matthias Machnig said solar systems behind the 400-billion-euro (560-billion-dollar) project, launched in Germany on Monday, had “enormous potential.”

The Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) is powered by 12 mostly German companies from the engineering, energy and finance sectors but has also won support from firms in Algeria and Spain and from officials in Egypt and Jordan.

A Few Words From Ed Asner

I may have mentioned my activist brother.  The reason I know he’s more activist than I is that I never get mail like this from Ed Asner-

Democratic Socialists of America Fund

Dear friend,

If you at all like me, you have been angry for much of the last decade.  Angry about the stolen election of 2000 and  then the sequel in 2004 – and even angrier with what Republicans did while controlling all three branches of government until the Democrats took Congress back in 2006.  And I am angry at the situation in Washington that still makes it very difficult to pass even moderate reforms.

I am still angry about war powers granted to a president without real debate, and angrier about the rush to war to protect us from non-existent weapons of mass destruction and ongoing occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan that seem like they will never end.  And I am angry that no one in power seems willing to hold those who were responsible for implementing a program of torture to account.

I remain angry  about billions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, passed with the express purpose of preventing a future administration, like the one we have just elected, from implementing spending programs that might actually help alleviate poverty, pay for a national health care program, or respond to a hurricane.

Like you, I worked to ensure that the 2008 election brought us the change that this country and the world need.  And I am sure we share a great sense of satisfaction at the election of Barack Obama and the thrashing Republicans took at the polls.  But there is another thing I know for sure and that I hope you agree with me on: we won’t get all the reforms we need if we simply let the new bunch in power follow the path of least resistance- no matter how pleased we remain by their win.

I bet by now you think I am writing you because I am running for office or supporting a candidate or even a new party, but I am not.  This is about what to do between elections, regardless of who is in office.

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