Newsnippets, January 5, 2013 [VIDEO]

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The real story of the Syrian civil war

We watched the TV, fascinated.

We had been in Maraa for days, waiting for a driver who would take us further into the interior of the country. Not a single government soldier had been seen in this small city north of Aleppo in quite a while. Not even the artillery cannons in Aleppo were capable of reaching the town. Someone called an acquaintance living near the cultural center, and learned that everything was quiet there too. And the multi-story apartment buildings? There aren’t any in Maraa.

The entire report, several minutes long and related in a breathless tone, was fiction. This time we ourselves were witnesses and knew the truth.

More Pakistani aid workers murdered

Six women and a man, working for a health and education charity, have been shot dead in a drive-by shooting after they left a community centre in northwest Pakistan, police say.

The victims of Tuesday’s attack were all Pakistanis attached to the community centre in a Swabi village.

2012 was not a good year for FOX News

In a discussion of the role of women in the military, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta expressed an opinion about new rules from the Pentagon that would permit women to serve closer to the front lines. Trotta’s take on this centered on the problems faced by servicewomen who are sexually assaulted by fellow soldiers whom she regards as whiners because they won’t shut up and accept the fact that if they work closely with men they should expect to be assaulted. And if that weren’t bad enough, Trotta went on to complain about the expensive military bureaucracy set up to “support women in the military who are now being raped too much.” I would really like to know precisely how much rape is acceptable before it crosses Trotta’s line. Is there any context in which she might have meant that that isn’t unfathomably repulsive?

Pope Benedict XVI condemns “unregulated capitalism” for contributing to world tension

The Pope also thanked the world’s peacemakers and said humanity had “an innate vocation for peace”

[…]

He deplored “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor”.
Those “hotbeds” also grew out of “the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism”, as well as “various forms of terrorism and crime”, he said.

Settlers leave illegal West Bank outpost ahead of eviction

The unauthorized West Bank outpost of Oz Tzion was nearly empty on Saturday night, after the 200 or so young people who came on Friday with the intention of stopping the community’s evacuation by the Israel Defense Forces left voluntarily.
The few permanent residents of the outpost still remain in the site situated between Jerusalem and Ramallah, near the Givat Assaf outpost. Its founder is Daniela Weiss, the former head of the Kedumim Local Council. It includes a few wooden structures, which the IDF says it will demolish at a time it sees fit.

Why mostly men protesting rape in India?

There are women out on the streets, some from India’s long-suppressed women’s movement, to fight for stronger rape laws and other legal protections. But those women risk being groped by fellow protesters or shouted down. And the men on these same streets seem to be operating just as much from a revenge instinct as from any desire for meaningful social, political and legal changes.

A plea to report violence-related statistics thoroughly and honestly from AmidsTheNoise