North Korea

North Korea
The always bombastic and unpredictable North Koreans go hysterical again. This time the country is prepared to "go to war" with South Korea because that country is playing loudspeakers directed at North Korean territory. A headline from a UK paper reads, "More than 50 North Korea submarines 'leave their bases' as war talks with South continue "

Thursday, December 29, 2011

As 2011 concludes, one country decides 364 days is enough

There is so much violent "news," which is in one sense newsworthy, yet after a while, more numbingly routine. Perhaps we can join in with Samoa which decided to skip Friday this year ... (story below).

But first:

Arab monitors are in Syria now, but the Syrian government continues to kill protestors regularly, it seems a dozen or more at a time.

"Professional" photos out of Syria are rare, pics and video clips from cameras are more available. This one purportedly show Arab monitors on the streets of some Syrian city.

The pressure on Syria's Bashad continues to grow, Arab League monitors are now in the country to observe the violence - which ultimately puts pressure on the Arab League itself whether the monitors will declare this to be much less than the reporting implies, or if they see violence first hand, what then is the League's next step.

Nigeria continues to cope with an extremist Islamist group. Boko Haram burned down churches in the north of the country on Christmas Day.

More than 40 people were killed by Boko Haram on Christmas Day. Since then, more than 90,000 people have fled their homes amid clashes between Boko Haram and police in Damaturu.

Nigeria's north south divide between Islamic culture in the north and Christian/animist in the south continues to boil. One extremist group, the Boko Haram, plagues the government, the peace, and Nigerian citizens. Christian church leaders are banding together to defend their buildings and people.

Turkey ends the year snarling on several fronts.

Just yesterday, Turkish warplanes mistakenly killed 35 or more citizens in the east of the country, assuming they were Kurdish separatists while they may just have been cigarette smugglers. The Turkey government is vigilant and uncompromisingly strident over the destructive behavior of Syria, its neighbor the south and one-time ally. Turkey is concerned over a new natural gas find on the island of Cyprus by the Houston-based, Noble Energy Company. Turkey doesn’t recognize the Greek Cypriot government and in September sent an exploration vessel accompanied by warships and fighter jets to the area after Noble started drilling.

France's lower house of Parliament passes law that results in Turkey recalling its ambassador to France.

And finally, the government is incensed at the moment with France, whose lower house of parliament just passed a law declaring it illegal in France to deny the Armenian genocide by Turkey from 1915-1918 during World War I. Turkey maintains the numbers are overblown, and it should be characterized as military conflict during a civil war including dislocations and starvation. The UN recognizes the genocide as such, and historians continue to debate it. There were mass protests in the streets of Ankara, and Turkey's Ambassador to France has been recalled - a heavy duty statement in the world of diplomacy.

Bethlehem the scene of fighting between Christian denominations of holy men

We even have Christian priests clashing with each other in Jerusalem around Christmas time over who has control over one of the tourist sites! Inside Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, “God’s people” – coming from Armenian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox churches – were screaming out loud and beating one another with broomsticks, fiercely protecting their territory from the competing community’s invasion. The row broke out when the clergymen were cleaning up the church ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations. As agreed, each of the two denominations controls a particular section of the church located right on the “border” between their zones of influence.

One more thing for Israeli police to have to sort out.

And so we end in Samoa

Samoa's beautiful landscape.

From Time Magazine,
"The island nation in the South Pacific had announced earlier this year that it would switch from being on one side of the International Dateline to the other, putting itself in the world’s earliest time zone instead of the latest.

To achieve this change, Samoa has to lose a day. So even though today is Thursday, tomorrow won’t be Friday. Sorry, Rebecca Black! Friday is canceled, as is the date of Dec. 30, 2011. According to the Guardian, being on the east side of the date line for over a century helped Samoa do business with the U.S. But it is now more convenient for the small country to be on the other side of the line for its trading with New Zealand and Australia."

And so ends another revolution around the sun. Teatree will post again in 2012

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