Sunday, December 30, 2012

John Wayne Bobbitt and his former wife have been reunited for the first time since she sliced off half his penis with a knife 16 years ago. (AFTER THIS CASE THIS PHARSE BECOME SYNONYMOUS FOR "CASTRATION,FACEOFFS AND ANTI RAPE STAND IN MARITAL RAPE OR OTHERWISE" WORLDWIDE...!!..VIBHA TAILANG)

John Wayne Bobbitt reunited with wife 16 years after she sliced off his penis

John Wayne Bobbitt and his former wife have been reunited for the first time since she sliced off half his penis with a knife 16 years ago.

John Wayne Bobbitt: John Wayne Bobbitt reunited with wife 16 years after she sliced off his penis
John Wayne Bobbitt Photo: AP
Lorena Bobbitt, who now uses her maiden name Gallo, claimed Mr Bobbitt still harboured feelings for her despite what happened, and continues to send her Valentine's cards and flowers.
The pair appeared on an episode of the US tabloid television show The Insider on Monday night and argued over what had gone wrong in their relationship.
"John, you did a lot of things to me that were very painful," Miss Gallo said, claiming he had forced her to have an abortion.
"You drove me crazy. You drove me insane. No woman should go through that I went through."
"I didn't really understand how sensitive you are," Mr Bobbitt, 42, from Buffalo, New York, replied. "You take things really seriously."
It was on June 23, 1993 that Miss Gallo, then 24, cut off more than half of her husband's penis as he slept. She had been in a "fit of rage" after he returned home drunk from a night on the town and allegedly raped her.
She left the house with the severed object and threw it out of the car window into a field, where it was found and surgically reattached.
Mr Bobbitt was acquitted of spousal rape and Miss Gallo was found not guilty of malicious wounding by reason of temporary insanity.
The pair subsequently divorced after six years of marriage.
Mr Bobbitt, who used his notoriety to become an adult film star, described the night it happened.
"I was bleeding to death. It was one of the most terrifying things I ever went through," he said.
Miss Gallo said: "I remember driving with his severed penis in my hand, and in my other hand I had the knife. I didn't even know how I got into the car, and apparently I had to toss it somewhere because I couldn't turn the wheel of my car, so I got rid of the thing. Then I learnt at the hospital later on that it was his penis."


How to Determine if Your Child Is Being Molested

9 authors | 20 revisions | Last updated: November 18, 2012
Determine if Your Child Is Being Molested
Child molestation is a very serious problem that can happen to any child. Determining if your child is actually being molested requires your best guess based on the proof that you find. Follow these signs if you have suspicions that you child is actually being molested and take immediate actions.


  1. 1
    Determine if your child has sleep disturbances such as bed-wetting, nightmares or if he or she is scared to go to bed.

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  2. 2
    Look for changes in your child's behavior such as having big-time mood swings, withdrawl from everything, fearfulness and crying on a regular basis.
  3. 3
    Beware if your child changes his or her toilet training habits.
  4. 4
    Watch if your child starts to develop fears of certain places, people or activities.
  5. 5
    Consult your child's school, if your child has problems in school or with his or her behavior such as acting out sexual activity or being curious about certain sexual matters.
  6. 6
    Inspect your child's body and look for unexplained marks such as Bruises, rashes, cuts, limping, multiple and poorly explained injuries.
  7. 7
    Observe your child's private areas and look for certain things such as pain, itching, bleeding, fluid or rawness.
  8. 8
    If your child has discovered masturbation, observe the intensity. If it is very intense and is only appropriate in teenagers (moaning, using lubricant, thrusting) your child might be molested. If the child has sex toys or is using methods children cannot know, a molester had to give them to the child.
  9. 9
    Observe the childs behaviour how he/she is with the other parent. Molesting at home usually happens whilst the mom is asleep
  10. 10
    Teach your child that NO ONE should be touching their private areas. That it is not ok for anyone. That if someone does to tell you and NOT to be afraid

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  • If your suspicions are confirmed about your child being molested take immediate actions, immediately investigate your child's pals, teachers, friend's parents and so on and report it to the police.

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Related wikiHows

Beginning the Conversation About Touching Safety Committee for Children

Beginning the Conversation About Touching Safety

Committee for Children

Beginning the Conversation About Touching Safety

A vital step that you can take to keep your children safe is to talk with them about touching and private body parts. This might not be the easiest subject to bring up with a child. You might feel uncomfortable or embarrassed talking with your children about sexuality or touching. These are common feelings. It is often hard to know what to say. Here are some tips to get you started.

Include Touching in Safety Rules

Make touching safety part of your family's safety rules. One way to make it easier to talk about touching is to discuss it in the context of safety. Touching is a safety issue just like crossing the street or playing with matches.
Some typical family safety rules are:
  • Never play with matches. (Fire safety)
  • Look both ways and listen before you cross the street. (Walking safety)
  • Always wear a seat belt. Always sit in your booster seat. (Car safety)
  • Never play with guns. (Gun safety)
  • Always wear a helmet when riding your bike. (Bike safety)
  • Never give out personal information over the phone. (Phone safety)
Create and teach family safety rules about touching just as you would teach other rules. Talking about personal safety in a sensitive and age-appropriate way with your children will not frighten them; it will give them skills and knowledge to use throughout their lives. You can begin teaching touching safety rules to children as soon as they are able to understand, even if they can't talk.

Use Everyday Moments to Teach

Children learn by asking questions, so a good way to talk about touching safety is to be open to questions and comments. If you're open and respond in a way that keeps the conversation going, you can turn a child's unexpected comment or question into a learning opportunity. Be sure to vary your responses according to the age of your child. Some situations that present natural teaching opportunities follow.
Bath or bedtime. When children are young and still need help with dressing and bathing, it's not unusual for them to ask the names of private body parts. Experts recommend that parents teach the correct names for private body parts, along with the names of other parts of the child's body. This normalizes the discussion and enables children to use actual words to use to describe their private body parts and to tell about abuse if it happens.
Physical play situations. Children love physical play, such as tickling and roughhousing. It is a normal part of childhood. It is also a great opportunity to introduce touching rules. Remind children of the rules on a regular basis: "Remember, we have a family touching rule. You can say 'stop' or 'no' when you don't want to be tickled, and the other person must listen to you." This gives children permission to set boundaries with unwanted or unsafe touch and opportunities to practice resisting.

When a child expresses curiosity about his or her body or about sexuality. Use such moments as an opportunity to follow up with age-appropriate information. Do your homework ahead of time by reading books on the subject so that you'll be ready when your child asks questions.

Before a child goes out, especially without you. Routinely go over safety rules, including rules about touching, before your family or child goes on an outing. Ask, "What are some of our safety rules about walking?" and "What are our safety rules about touching?"

Read a children's book together. There are a number of different books that are designed to help teach touching safety. Here are some suggestions for how to read the book together:
  • Choose a quiet time when you and your child will not be interrupted.
  • Read the book aloud as you would a story.
  • Listen carefully to what your child says while you read.
  • Show that you are open to whatever your child wants to tell you.
  • Use questions and comments as entry points to talk further about safety and touching and to introduce touching safety rules.
  • Ask open-ended questions that start or extend a conversation: "What do you think the boy should do?" "What kind of safe touch happened in the story?"
Appropriate videos can also be used in the same way. Check your local library for videos that address personal safety issues for children.

Revisit the Conversation

Just like crossing the street safely, touching safety is not a one-time conversation. Children need frequent reminders and practice of all family safety rules. Ensure that your children are learning the rules and skills to keep them safe by revisiting the rules during normal family activities.

Don't let embarrassment or nervousness get in the way of talking to your children about touching safety. Find a way that works for you and begin the conversation.

By Bridgid Normand, M.Ed.
Program Developer
Committee for Children

Bridgid Normand, M.Ed. is a program developer for Committee for Children and a former child and family therapist, school counselor, and parent educator.

Teaching Your Kids About Personal Safety Presented by the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence

Teaching Your Kids About Personal Safety

Presented by the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence

1 in 4 girls, 1 in 7 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse. More than 80% of the time it's someone the child knows.

How do you talk to your kids about these things?
  • Start with empowering and supporting your child's right to say "No" to touching. Tell your children, "it's ok to say no if you don't like the way someone's touching you."
Acknowledge and respect when your kids tell you "no" when you're tickling them, to reinforce the stop response. Let your family members know that your working with your kids on their personal safety so they can respect the child's choice without getting their feelings hurt. 
Often sexual abuse is a gradual incline, with the abusers testing and pushing the boundaries each time. If a child can say no at the beginning, they can likely stop the abuse.

  • Talk about different kinds of touching: Types of touching that feel good: tickling and hugs from people you love, and overly familiar touching that makes them feel uncomfortable; even if it's from someone they know and like. Teach kids to recognize and trust their feelings about touching.

  • Teach them to talk about uncomfortable and confusing situations.

  • Clear and specific definitions and instructions that are age appropriate. Make sure you and your child know the words for their body parts. They don't have to be the anatomically correct words, but you and your child need to know exactly what they mean.
Also, give clear instructions on what they should do in certain situations, "If somebody touches your crotch, you tell them NO and come and tell me right away."

  • Tell your children, "we don't keep those kinds of secrets in our house. And teach them the difference between a surprise and a secret: "A surprise is something that’s good that everyone is going to find out about at some point, a secret is something that no one is supposed to find out about and is bad."
Abusers often tell their victims to keep the abuse a secret, that it's something special between just the two of them.

What are things to look for:
Indirect statements, "the babysitter and I have a secret", "Mr. Jones has polka dots on his shorts"
Tricks bribes threats
Interest in genitals
Knowledge of sex beyond years
Afraid of a particular place or a particular person
Loss of appetite
Increase of appetite
Babyish behavior
Suddenly turning against one parent
*These behaviors aren't exclusive to abuse. But if a child is experiencing them, you should find out why.

Children who are at a higher risk:
Have less information
Have little sense of power
Are isolated

When a child confides, use the BASER method:

How to teach The Underwear Rule?The Underwear Rule was developed to help parents and carers start a discussion with their children. It can be a highly effective tool to prevent against sexual abuse.

How to teach The Underwear Rule?

The Underwear Rule was developed to help parents and carers start a discussion with
their children. It can be a highly effective tool to prevent against sexual abuse.
The Underwear Rule has 5 important aspects.

1. Your body is your own

Children should be taught that their body belongs to them and no one can touch it without
their permission. Open and direct communication at an early age about sexuality and
“private body parts”, using the correct names for genitals and other parts of the body, will
help children understand what is not allowed. Children have the right to refuse a kiss or a
touch, even from a person they love. Children should be taught to say “No”, immediately
and firmly, to inappropriate physical contact, to get away from unsafe situations and to
tell a trusted adult. It is important to stress that they should persist until someone takes
the matter seriously.
In the book, the hand always asks Kiko for permission before touching. Kiko grants
permission. When the hand wants to touch inside the underwear, Kiko says “No!”. Parents
or carers could use this sequence to explain to children that they can say “No” at any
2. Good touch – bad touch
Children do not always recognise appropriate and inappropriate touching. Tell children it is
not okay if someone looks at or touches their private parts or asks them to look at or touch
someone else’s private parts. The Underwear Rule helps them to recognise an obvious,
easy-to-remember border: the underwear. It also helps adults to start a discussion with
children. If children are not sure if a person’s behaviour is acceptable, make sure they
know to ask a trusted adult for help.
In the book, Kiko refuses to be touched inside the underwear. Parents can explain
that some adults (such as carers, parents or doctors) may have to touch
children, but children should be encouraged to say “No” if a situation
makes them feel uncomfortable.
In the book, the hand encourages Kiko to speak out if somebody wants to touch Kiko in
any inappropriate manner. This sequence can be used to discuss the difference between
a good secret (such as a surprise party) and a bad secret (something that makes the child
feel sad and anxious). Parents should encourage children to share bad secrets with them.
4. Prevention and protection are the responsibility of an adult
When children are abused they feel shame, guilt and fear. Adults should avoid creating
taboos around sexuality, and make sure children know whom to turn to if they are worried,
anxious or sad. Children may feel that something is wrong. Adults should be attentive and
receptive to their feelings and behaviour. There may be many reasons why a child refuses
contact with another adult or with another child. This should be respected. Children should
always feel that they can talk to their parents about this issue.
The hand in the book is Kiko’s friend. Adults are there to help children in their daily lives.
Preventing sexual violence is first and foremost the adult’s responsibility and it is important
to avoid putting all the burden on children’s shoulders.
3. Good secrets – bad secrets
Secrecy is a main tactic of sexual abusers. That’s why it’s important to teach
the difference between good and bad secrets and to create a climate of
confidence. Every secret that makes them anxious, uncomfortable, fearful
or sad is not good and should not be kept; it should be told to a trustworthy
adult (parent, teacher, police officer, doctor).
5. Other helpful hints to accompany The Underwear Rule
Reporting and disclosure
Children need to be instructed about adults who can be part of their
safety network. They should be encouraged to select adults whom they
can trust, are available and ready to listen and help. Only one member
of the safety network should live with the child; the other should live
outside the immediate family circle. Children should know how to seek
help from such a trust network.
Known perpetrators
In most cases the perpetrator is someone known to the child. It is especially
difficult for young children to understand that someone who knows them
could abuse them. Keep in mind the grooming process that abusers use
to win the trust of children. Informing parents regularly about someone
who gives gifts, asks to keep secrets or tries to spend time alone with a
child must be a set rule in the house.
Unknown perpetrators
In some cases the perpetrator is a stranger. Teach your child simple rules
about contact with strangers: never get into a car with a stranger, never
accept gifts or invitations from a stranger. .
Children should know that there are professionals that can be particularly
helpful (teachers, social workers, ombudspersons, physicians, the school
psychologist, the police) and that there are help lines that children can
call to seek advice.
Why The Underwear Rule?
About one in five children falls victim to some form of sexual abuse and violence. It
happens to children of every gender, every age, every skin colour, every social class
and every religion. The perpetrator is often someone the child knows and trusts. The
perpetrator can also be a child.
You can help prevent this happening to your child.
Good communication with children is the key. It implies openness, determination,
straightforwardness and a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere.
The Underwear Rule can help you with this.
A child is never too young to be taught The Underwear Rule because abuse can happen
at every age.
If you find it uncomfortable to talk about this subject with your child, please remember
that it is probably more difficult for you as an adult than it is for a child.
What to do if you suspect abuse?
When you suspect your child has been abused, it is very important
not to be angry with your child. Do not make your child feel as if they
have done something wrong.
Do not interrogate the child. You could ask what may have happened,
when and with whom, but do not ask why it happened.
Try not to be upset in front of your child. Children can easily feel guilty
and may hold back information.
Try not to jump to conclusions based on little or unclear information.
Reassure your child that you will do something about it, and contact
someone who could help, like a psychologist, child care specialist,
doctor, social worker or the police.
In some countries special helplines and centres responsible for
helping child victims of sexual violence have been set up. They can
also guide you and should be contacted when a child is a possible
victim of sexual violence.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Published on Sep 16, 2012 by
Deadly protests, riots and the storming of American embassies that started on September the 11th in Egypt have quickly spread to Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, India, Indonesia and others. Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is John Billington with you this week.

Ironically the worst of violence is originating from the many of the countries that were involved in the "Arab Spring" and where America and her allies supported the transition to democracy. Libya is one such place where the American ambassador and a number of others were killed. All this was apparently in response to a low budget film insulting the prophet Mohamed that was posted on the internet, although many doubt that pointing to the level of the organized protests and the timing on September the 11th.

The long term results and lasting impact of the events taking place are hard to predict. We do know however that nations such as Libya are not destined to be pro American, quite the opposite in fact. We have looked many times on the Bible in the News at the final line up of the nations at the battle of Armageddon in Ezekiel 38. There we find a northern confederacy of nations lead by Russia and the Catholic Church and a southern confederacy of nations lead by Britain. There we find for example that Libya is with the Northern confederacy of nations, so no matter how much help America, Britain and Canada give them in turfing out Gaddaffi they are not destined to be friends. What we find when we go through the list of Middle Eastern nations in Ezekiel we find them split, some with the Northern Confederacy and some with the Southern.

To understand the Arab world and where it came from and where it is headed we go back to Genesis and the account of Ishmael, Abraham's son through Hagar. We do not have time to go into this in detail here but we do find that God had a purpose with this family. It was not through Hagar that the promises of a chosen seed etc. would be realized but through Sarah and Isaac. That said in Genesis 16:12 we find very significant promises regarding the future of the Ishmaelites


RON HART: Arab uprising: From hope and change to hype and blame

RON HART: Arab uprising: From hope and change to hype and blame

ROSEMARY BEACH — The Arab Spring chickens are coming home to roost.
Dismissing two simultaneous attacks on our embassies on the anniversary of 9/11 as "coincidence" and in spite of all available evidence to the contrary, the Obama administration and its surrogates in the mainstream media continue to blame the current unrest on a YouTube video. It is an expedient election year excuse, but it's not the truth.
Attacks have occurred on our embassies in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Pakistan, and Syria. Punch that card one more time and the Obama administration gets a free Subway bombing sandwich.
Even Hillary Clinton could not quell the violence, murder, American flag burning and protests among these anti-American extremists. Odd as it seemed to this administration, militant al-Qaida men just would not take orders from a bossy blonde Methodist woman.
I actually like Hillary more with time. She certainly would have been a better president than Obama. It is sad this is happening at the end of her watch; she had decided to resign as Secretary of State if Obama wins a second term. Democrats hope to fill her chair soon or risk Clint Eastwood showing up and talking to it.
The first reaction of the White House to the riots was to blame Romney’s reaction. Then they reasoned that it was better to blame a YouTube video that no one watched than their own naiveté.
These planned attacks outwitted our intelligence and our common sense. Our Marines were intentionally under-strength. Obama had not attended a security briefing since Sept. 5.  Remember when Democrats derided George Bush for collecting himself for a few minutes in that Florida classroom after being told of the 9/11 attacks? Obama flew to Las Vegas for a fundraiser while all this was happening.
With his Nobel Peace Prize and all, after his apology tour and then tripling our troop strength in Afghanistan, I am shocked that Obama could not win these folks over. He preached nonviolence, yet pranced around politically when our Navy SEALs killed the Muslim world’s evil Elvis, Osama bin Laden. What did he think they killed him with, kindness?
The Muslim Brotherhood killed the last two Egyptian leaders, invented the suicide bomber vest, and founded al-Qaida. Yet Obama encouraged them into power and speaks of them as if they are the Knights of Columbus.
Measured against the ideal of world peace, our response to having our embassies attacked would rank in the Arab world somewhere around having a shoe thrown at you. At least Bush saw the shoe coming and ducked.
Those who agree with Ron Paul and me on domestic matters, yet think we were wrong opposing two wars of choice and occupying Muslim countries, might want to think again. If we were not spending billions of dollars propping up theocracies or thug-ocracies in the region, with no coherent agenda or justification, all this would not be happening. We go from ruthless dictators who hate America to America-hating theocracies. How’d that work in Iran?
There is a reason Ron Paul's campaign had the most active-duty military donors.
The right again blusters and stokes the idea of another war. That is as stupid as our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. We just need to get out of these countries, quit trying to nation-build in our own image, bring our money and our troops home, and let them sort it out for themselves.
We are going broke trying to be the world's policeman. Our military is 20 times more powerful than any military in the Muslim world. We defeated the fourth most powerful military, Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard, over a long weekend halfway across the earth. We are blessed to have two major oceans protecting us.
Our Defense Department needs to play defense, not offense.
Lastly, we need to stop paying billions each year to Pakistan, Egypt and these Arab nations who will not protect our sovereign embassies in their countries. We tax and borrow billions of dollars and give it to countries that hate us. I bet they would hate us for free.
Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, can be reached at, Twitter @RonaldHart or

Social Media Soldiers, the Arab Uprising

Social Media Soldiers, the Arab Uprising

With the introduction of social media through MySpace society has drastically changed.  Although MySpace has died a slow and painful death, Facebook has become the new dominant social media outlet with the help of Twitter propelling internet-based communication outside of the stratosphere.  How far is social media reaching?  It’s not only shaping relationships and elections, it’s shaping the course of entire nations, giving those looking for a voice of their own an outlet of expression and bringing together people with similar ideas and visions.
The Arab Spring, as it’s now known, was the start of a cataclysmic shift in the shape of the Middle East.  While the political demarcation lines between states remain the same, it is what is inside that has largely changed – for the better or worse we have yet to truly see.  Now it’s time for a quick time out to explain something very important, yet often overlooked:
Uprisings are not solely due to social media.  It would be impossible for Facebook or Twitter to ignite a nation to rise against their leaders.  Before social media helped bring together like-minded people, the citizens of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Libya were already deeply oppressed, although each in different ways and with different types of governments.  High unemployment of young adults in Tunisia and Egypt helped to drive those uprisings, while deeply imbedded repressions of freedom by the leaders of Libya and Syria helped to drive the people to stand up against their leadership – with deadly consequences.
Protesters at Tahrir Square in Egypt stand near graffiti celebrating Facebook. Photo by Reuters/Steve Crisp
The news media, in 2009, was quick to label the budding Iranian protests a “Twitter revolution,” which Nancy Scola of The American Prospect believes is what has resulted with commentators holding back that title with Tunisia: “emphasizing that the uprising is a product of passions and convictions of Tunisia’s people, not a 140-character status update.”
James Buck and Melissa Bell of The Washington Post wrote about the various incidents that led to the uprising; WikiLeaks had opened the door to the “lavish lifestyle of the ruling party members, while unemployment, rising food prices and corruption took their toll on the country.”  Some say it was the story of Mohamed Bouazizi, a  26 year old computer science graduate who couldn’t find a job, who in reaction to being beaten by the police for selling vegetables without a permit set himself on fire as a form of protest.  The story of Mohamed spread like wildfire across the Twitter-sphere drawing attention to the issues facing the people.  Similarly to those in Tunisia, Egypt would soon find it’s imminent ruler – Hosni Mubarak – unfavorable among the people no longer afraid to speak with their voices.  Regardless, “For the first time in history, a social movement could be observed in real-time as it spread, coalesced around ideas, and grew exponentially in size and scale across the Internet.”
While the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were relatively quick, and while somewhat violent the term “civil war” was never uttered the same cannot be said for Libya and Syria.  It took American intervention to put an end to the civil war in Libya and to remove (and kill) long-standing despot leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi.  Twitter streamed in real-time the events as they actually unfolded, while Al-Jamahiriya, “the Libyan state-owned television channel, was broadcasting nonstop patriotic songs, poetry recitations and rowdy rallies supporting the Libyan leader.”  One particularly well-travelled tweet reads, “#Qaddafi is at war with #Libya as we speak, helicopters, troops, thugs, security & foreign mercenaries all against unarmed protestors #Feb17,” from ShababLibya.
Perhaps it is ironic that the nation most indebted to social media and their uprising against their leader is also the one that has suffered the longest for their uprising.  Syria has slipped into a civil war that has led to tens of thousands of people fleeing its borders for the perceived safety of Jordan, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.
A few miles from the advancing tanks of President Bashar al-Assad’s army, a young Syrian pledged to leave the safety of a Turkish border town and make a perilous return to his homeland.  This twenty-something dissident, his eyes blazing with courage, was preparing to join the struggle against an obdurate and pitiless dictator.”   When asked how he was going to speed the downfall of the ruthless Assad regime? “He would tweet, text, blog and Skype, to ensure that the outside world knew the terrible reality of Assad’s rule.”
The world has witnessed through these social media soldiers the brutality and the extreme lengths that the Assad regime will go to destroy the uprising, blindly killing anyone who happens to be having the sour luck to be in the way.  “The Syrian uprising should be the kind of story that takes social media by storm.  It has extraordinary acts of resistance, ordinary citizens fighting for freedom, and the Internet’s power to break through a government’s wall of silence.”  Emily Parker, of Slate, puts if bluntly, “the Bashar Assad regime has been violently cracking down on its opponents.  The fallout has ben tweeted, Skyped, photographed, and filmed.  But it has not captured the collective social media imagination the same way as uprisings past.”  Why is it now that images of babies maimed and the lined up bodies of dead children ignored so easily? The world has stood quietly by, choose not to intervene for whatever reason allows them to sleep at night while innocent children die, and yet these dissidents continue to risk life and limb by posting the truth for all to see.  Or, have we seen so much of the bloody uprising that it no longer means anything to us, much like car accidents or murder scenes from movies.
Yet, unlike Tunisia, Egypt, and even Libya, Syria’s fight still continues, and the regime, while having a few shaky moments last month, is still concretely in power while also having the most number of social media soldiers showing the world what is happening everyday.  It all boils down to one question: “Does Syria’s uprising need more technologically savvy multimedia activists? Or – to be blunt – does it require more people inside the country blowing things up?”

Sunday, September 2, 2012

(Reuters) - A rare visit to India by China's defence minister should help avoid flare-ups along the border between the nuclear-armed Asian giants at a time when Beijing is grappling with a change of leadership and friction in the South China Sea.

Asian giants seek better ties; China defence min in India


Invesco Municipal Premium Income Trust
China's Minister of National Defense General Liang Guanglie at a news conference in Beijing January 10, 2011. REUTERS-Larry Downing-Files
NEW DELHI | Sun Sep 2, 2012 4:41pm IST
(Reuters) - A rare visit to India by China's defence minister should help avoid flare-ups along the border between the nuclear-armed Asian giants at a time when Beijing is grappling with a change of leadership and friction in the South China Sea.
But General Liang Guanglie's trip -- the first by a Chinese defence minister in eight years -- also highlights growing competition between the two emerging powers as they jostle for influence and resources across Asia.
Liang is due to arrive in Mumbai on Sunday afternoon after stopping in Sri Lanka, the island nation off the south coast of India that sits on vital ocean trade routes.
There he sought to play down Indian fears that China is threading a "string of pearls" -- or encircling it by financing infrastructure and military strength in neighbours stretching from Pakistan to the Maldives.
"China attaches great importance to its relations with the South Asian nations, and commits itself to forging harmonious co-existence and mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation with them," he said in speech to Sri Lankan soldiers.
"The PLA's (People's Liberation Army) efforts in conducting friendly exchanges and cooperation with its counterparts in the South Asian nations are intended for maintaining regional security and stability and not targeted at any third party."
As neighbours and emerging superpowers, India and China have a complex relationship. Trade has grown at a dizzying rate but Beijing is wary of India's close ties to Washington and memories of a border war with China half a century ago are still fresh in New Delhi.
Despite 15 rounds of high level talks to resolve the dispute about where their Himalayan border lies, neither side is close to giving up any territory. Liang is not expected to broach the territorial issue on his trip.
Analysts say Liang's India tour will demonstrate that Beijing is managing the often twitchy relations with its neighour just ahead of its once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
"China's leadership has one primary objective: how do we continue without any convulsions," said Uday Bhaskar, director of the National Maritime Foundation, a New Delhi think-tank.
"You do not want to have anything to do with India just now which is rocking the boat, as it were," he said.
In Sri Lanka, Liang pledged $12 million in military aid, adding to billions of dollars spent helping President Mahinda Rajapaksa win a 25-year-old civil war and rebuild his ruined nation's ports and roads.
Emphasising China's growing clout in the region, President Mohammed Waheed of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation the Maldives left for Beijing on Friday to arrange $500 million in loans, partly for infrastructure.
In turn, India courts close ties with Vietnam. Its exploration of an oil block in the South China Sea has needled Beijing, which claims the sovereignty over almost all of the sea and has stepped up its military presence there.
Both China and India say they are committed to attaining prosperity through peaceful means. Business relations are booming and trade flows have reached an annual $75.5 billion, up from just $3 billion a decade ago. Trade is skewed in China's favour.
During the four day trip to India, Liang will talk about border security with his counterpart Defence Minister A.K. Antony, India said this week, and they may announce a new round of joint military exercises -- following on from a recent joint naval practice in Shanghai.
No more details have been announced, but the two sides are expected to discuss their mutual neighbours Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the security challenges they face when NATO forces start leaving the region in 2014.
Liang's delegation includes Yang Jinshan, commander of the Tibet military district -- on the vast and troubled Himalayan plateau bordering India. China and India fought a brief border war in 1962, two years after India gave asylum to the Dalai Lama, who Beijing considers a separatist.
The last time a Chinese defence minister visited India was in 2004. Since then, Beijing has spent billions of dollars on train lines, roads and military hardware in Tibet. India has also spent heavily to strengthen its defences along the frontier, which the two sides dispute, despite years of talks.
Minor incidents of both nations' troops crossing the border are common, but major flare-ups are avoided through meetings of low and mid-rank officers, as well as senior military delegations and a cabinet-level hotline.
Instability has increased in Tibet in the lead up to the Chinese leadership change, with 51 Tibetans setting fire to themselves in gruesome protests against Beijing's heavy-handed rule in the region.
Liang's visit follows a number of high intensity unilateral military exercises by both countries in the border region in the past year.
More recently, India's ambassador to China was allowed to tour Tibet, a rare occurrence, and an Indian military delegation was taken to the region's capital Lhasa.
Jayadeva Ranade, a retired Indian senior civil servant and China expert, said China's recent warmth toward India reflected its concerns about military escalation in the South China Sea, and perception that India is being drawn into the U.S. "pivot" to Asia, which Beijing sees as containment.
While he welcomed Liang's trip, Ranade said India was disappointed China's next president had not yet visited.
"It's a tepid gesture -- earlier they were expecting a higher level visit, Xi Jinping was expected to come. That would have been something," Ranade said.
(Additional reporting by Ranga Sirilal in Colombo and Sabrina Mao in Beijing; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Northumberlandia: "I think people will come and see it like The Angel (of the North). The naked lady of Cramlington(Northumberlandia, also known as "The Lady of The North" is a piece of public art built into the landscape of Cramlington in Northumberland.)

Northumberlandia: The naked lady of Cramlington

Northumberlandia: A face in the landscape

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Northumberlandia, also known as "The Lady of The North" is a piece of public art built into the landscape of Cramlington in Northumberland.
Planned for seven years and built over two, she is the largest landscape replica of the female body ever seen in the world, her creators say.
She stands 112ft (34m) high at her tallest point, her forehead, and is 1,300ft (400m) long.
She is made up of 1.5m tonnes of rock, soil, stone and clay.
During a visit to the site last year, Charles Jencks, who began his designs for Northumberlandia in 2005, admitted the artwork was "much bigger than I ever thought".
Her creation was part of the planning application made by the Banks Group and Blagdon Estate when they requested to create what is now the largest surface mine in England, Shotton Surface Mine.
Made from the by-products of that opencast mine, the figure is created in layers.

Northumberlandia - key facts

  • Northumberlandia is more than seven times the size of the pitch at St James' Park
  • She is taller than an eight-storey building at her highest point
  • The figure is the centrepiece for a new public park which will be overseen by the Land Trust
  • She can be seen by some flights coming in to land in Newcastle
  • The land she sits on is owned by Viscount Ridley
First is a core of rock, then clay and lastly soil, topped with grass seed that will withstand being walked on.
Some of her features are artistically highlighted with stone from the mine that is often used for the restoration of old buildings.
Princess Anne will visit Northumberlandia on Monday to officially declare the site open, although the public will not be able to see it for themselves until Wednesday.
Katie Perkin, communications manager for the Banks Group, said: "It cost £3m for us to create Northumberlandia. We wanted to give something back.
"When we end a project on a mining site we restore it. With this project we heard there was some local concern about a negative effect on tourism, so we decided to go one step further than usual and create a tourist attraction to leave as our legacy.
"We held previews and worked with Disability North, amongst other local groups, to make sure the site was as open to everyone as possible, and I think we've succeeded."
Paths circle over the reclining body, offering views of Cramlington and a rare look into the nearby mine.
The Snowy Owl, a pub just to the right of Northumberlandia, will undoubtedly benefit from the development, but manager Gina Ward is also looking forward to the opening for personal reasons.
She said: "I suppose it will bring extra business to the area, and that's magnificent, but I love the idea and I love that they will be making it into a nature reserve. I think it is going to be brilliant."
'A new Angel'
Sue Stevenson, who works down the road at a petrol station, feels differently.
She thinks the money could have been spent on something more for the children in the area, but admitted: "I'm not a walker so it's not my kind of thing."
Her comments were overheard by Colin Battensby, from Blyth, who works in Cramlington. He said he travels past the site every day and thinks the creation will attract people to the area.
Northumberlandia, as seen through the woodland entranceThe entrance to Northumberlandia takes the visitor through woodland before revealing the figure
He said: "I think people will come and see it like The Angel (of the North).
"I don't know if people will come as a holiday just to see it, but if you're in the area, you'd go."
The Banks Group says there has already been a positive impact on the local community.
Mrs Perkin said the Shotton Surface Miners were asked to contribute their ideas during development of the project.
She said: "We employ about 150 people at the mine, and around 50% of those are locals.
"We saw real artistic flair in some of the staff and offered them a chance to take part. They made this.
"Local hands made this structure that will last for generations to come."
Northumberlandia will be open to the public for the first time between noon and 16:00 BST on 5 and 8 September, with further information on subsequent opening times available on the Northumberlandia website.

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