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Challenging everything you think you know
Five myths about Pearl Harbor
1. The U.S. government had no knowledge of a potential Japanese attack before Dec. 7.
Beyond the obvious signs of Japan’s increasing aggression — including its sinking of an American naval vessel in the Yangtze Riverand its signing of the Tripartite Pact with fascist Italy and Nazi Germany — various specific war warnings had been sent by Washington to military commanders in the Pacific for some days before Dec. 7.
The War Department had been intercepting and analyzing secret cables between Tokyo and the Japanese Embassy in Washington and thought at one point that the Japanese would attack Hawaii on Sunday, Nov. 30. A Hawaii newspaper even warned, in a blaring headline, of a possible attack.
On Dec. 4, Roosevelt received a 26-page memo marked “Confidential” from the Office of Naval Intelligence detailing Japanese espionage efforts. The possible outbreak of war is mentioned, followed shortly by this paragraph: “The focal point of the Japanese Espionage effort is the determination of the total strength of the United States. In anticipation of possible open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii.”
These were just general warnings, however, and a huge Japanese armada was able to travel thousands of miles from Japan to Hawaii undetected. The U.S. military and government officials were caught off guard by the attack.
3. The U.S. military responded quickly and decisively.
For months after Pearl Harbor, the United States suffered defeat after defeat in the Pacific theater. Rumors swept the country on Dec. 8 that the Navy was in pursuit of the attacking Japanese fleet, but these were false. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, in command of the Army garrison in the Philippines, sent Roosevelt a telegram pleading for naval assistance, including for U.S. subs to target the Japanese vessels delivering troops, but the requests went unanswered. There was little assistance to offer the beleaguered general, and the Philippines fell.
British soldier stabs 10-year-old Afghan boy with bayonet after 'heavy vodka drinking session'
Grenadier Guardsman is jailed for 18 months and dismissed from the army
Boy's father says he has received 'no apology' from British forces
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 12:34 PM on 3rd December 2011
'These are the actions of a sadistic human being': Hunt for twisted thug who fed kitten to python in sick video
By CRAIG MACKENZIE
Last updated at 4:03 PM on 3rd December 2011
DECEMBER 3, 2011 · 8:55 AM
Interracial Eatonton Couple Unlawfully Denied Chance To Rent House, Judge Rules
A Putnam County judge has ruled that two Eatonton residents violated state housing laws by refusing to rent a house to an interracial couple.
In August 2009, the couple, Michael and Deanna Joseph, tried to rent a house in Eatonton owned by Roy Embry, according to a news release from state Attorney General Sam Olens’ office.
Initially, Embry’s rental agent, Rhonda Tuttle, met only with Deanna Joseph and agreed to rent the property to her and her husband.
Once it was discovered that Michael Joseph is black, Tuttle informed Deanna Joseph that Embry would not rent to an interracial couple and refused to rent the house to the Josephs, according to Olens’ statement
DECEMBER 3, 2011 · 8:55 AM
Study Sees Wall Street Pay Tilted Toward White Men
Young black males are stopped and searched the most often stats show
By Ayo Johnson
Published Dec 2, 2011 at 9:15 am (Updated Dec 2, 2011 at 9:14 am)
Every young black male in Bermuda is subject to being picked up by police multiple times due to the use of police stop and search laws, according to statistician Cordell Riley.
“Theoretically, every black male between the ages of 18 to 36 could be stopped four times,” Mr Riley said after a brief analysis of Police statistics.
“We know there’s a lot of double counting in those data. And so therefore we know there are people being stopped five, six, seven and eight times.”
He noted that the number of stop and searches had been on an uphill climb from less than 1,000 in 2008, 3,700 in 2009, and around 9,500 last year to likely 19,000 by the end of this year.
He said 90 percent were black and 85 percent were male. And 64 percent were between 18 and 36
Group accuses Darden's Capital Grille of racial discrimination in report
By Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel
December 1, 2011
A New York-based group that advocates for the nation's servers, cooks and busboys is accusing Orlando-based Darden Restaurants' Capital Grille chain of racial discrimination.
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United makes the allegation in a report released today, saying workers had asked the advocacy group for help.
Seeing in black and white in Australia
Lauren Fritsky is finding it hard to deal with racist attitudes in her new home
9:32AM GMT 02 Dec 201132 Comments
I attended a networking event the other night in Sydney during which an American friend and I struck up a conversation with an older Australian man. We were talking about a pretty bland topic – Australian television – when the man said he had a joke for us.
“An Aboriginal man walks down the street wearing only one thong. Someone calls out, ‘You’ve lost a thong!’ The Aboriginal man says, ‘No mate, I’ve just found one.’”
An uneasy look crept across my friend’s face and my guts started churning. We swiftly changed the subject. I made it my mission to distance myself from this man for the rest of the night.
Incidents like this one have played out in many a public setting since I moved from America to Australia in early 2010. There was the random man in Woolworths who thought it appropriate to tell me Indians run all the 7-Elevens; an old roommate who called Lebanese people “Lebos”; the friend of a friend at a rugby match who made comments about the indigenous players. The proliferation of jabs at or generalisations about minorities takes on a new level in the land down under, at least for me.
The subject of whether or not Australia is “racist” as a whole has been debated heavily over the years in major newspapers and on news shows throughout the country. Part of the concern stems from actual statistics. For instance, 36 per cent of Australians do not think certain Middle Eastern and Asian groups fit in with Aussie society, as reported in a 2009 survey by VicHealth. The same report said one in 10 Australians does not think all races are equal.
Most countries practice some form of racism or ethnic intolerance, and Australia is not necessarily worse than the others. Both Australia and America mistreated certain indigenous and minority groups well into the second half of the last century. In my experience, however, Australians seem to be more permissive of derogatory mentions of race or ethnicity than Americans. And that makes me uncomfortable.
The last place I lived before Sydney was Philadelphia, a city that, while diverse, still harbours its fair share of racist people. I remember the ex whose elderly father still used the “n” word, the kids in heavily Caucasian areas who shouted racial slurs at minority classmates, the fellow reporter who made sweeping generalisations about certain ethnic groups and races in the newsroom. But in this corner of America, I less often heard out-of-the blue jokes about race spewed from the mouths of strangers at a happy hour or other public event.
In Sydney, such comments are almost like an ice breaker. Words like “chocko” and “Abo” are as accepted in the vernacular here as “mate.” The political correctness that has come to permeate my mother country is sorely missing from conversation in Australia.
Published 17:55 30.11.11Latest update 17:55 30.11.11
Anti-Semitism in Australia increases by 31%, study shows
Study director Jeremy Jones says Internet forums allow for proliferation of anti-Jew behavior, denies link between incidents of anti-Semitism to actions of Israel or behavior of Jews.
By Aimee Neistat
Tags: Jewish World anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitic violence in Australia has increased by 31% over the past year, a recent study that was presented Monday in Melbourne showed.
"This year, ten times a week, every week, Jewish Australians were attacked or threatened,” said Jeremy Jones, the Director of Community Affairs for the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, who prepared the study.
Jones presented his findings, which included data from annual studies that he conducted over 22 years, at the Annual Meeting of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
Sikh origin taxi driver blames racism for Melbourne bashing
Melbourne, Fri, 02 Dec 2011ANI
Melbourne, Dec.2 (ANI): A Sikh-origin taxi driver, who was bashed by four men in Melbourne's south-east on Thursday, fears the attack was racially motivated.
Ravisher Singh said his turban was ripped from his head as he was repeatedly punched during the attack in Chelsea.
The Age quoted Singh, 22, as saying that he picked up the group at the Mentone Hotel shortly before 12.
The terror of Babar Ahmad
The Islamophobia behind his seven-year ordeal in prison fighting extradition can no longer be ignored
guardian.co.uk, Friday 2 December 2011
Five other men, including three Britons, are in the same position of having been fighting extradition to the US for years from prisons in the UK, where they are accused of no crime. The stress on their lives can be gauged from the fact that one has been moved to Broadmoor after a breakdown in the special detainee unit where Ahmad is held.
Ahmad's ordeal has had particular resonance in part because of the saga of the 73 injuries he received during his arrest, and his subsequent court case against the officers involved. In 2009 the Metropolitan police made an unprecedented admission that officers subjected Ahmad to a brutal beating causing multiple injuries, and offered him £60,000 compensation. The case exposed shocking behaviour by some officers, in which racism and islamophobia were overt; and incompetence, or worse, lay behind the curious disappearance of many sacks of vital evidence.
Two years later, in a criminal case against the officers, the jury was not told of the Met's admissions, or the payment it had offered, and the four officers concerned were found not guilty.
The US immigration system is broken
Huge amounts of money are wasted on immigration detention in the US – it's inhumane, unjust, and possibly unconstitutional
SE Smith for This Ain't Livin', part of the Guardian Comment Network
guardian.co.uk, Friday 2 December 2011
Under the US constitution, people are entitled to all sorts of rights, particularly around personal liberties and freedoms. The current state of the immigration system in the United States is clearly violating some of these rights, in spirit if not in actual fact. Case in point is immigration detention; under the law, immigrants can be indefinitely detained while awaiting decisions on their cases, although a recent court case may change that. As my colleague Flavia Dzodan has pointed out, immigration detention is a global, multibillion dollar industry.
People put in prison in the US are at least passed through some sort of semblance of a justice system. It is usually a mockery, it is classist and racist, it all but ensures that certain people accused of certain crimes will go to prison for it, but it is at least a pretence of constitutionality. People in US prisons, on paper, have been allowed an opportunity to go to court, to receive fair trials. The fact that trials are not fair is inescapable, and the fact that the system is in urgent need of reform is undeniable.
Immigrants, though, are detained purely on suspicion. They have not been convicted of any crime. They are being held while the government determines if they committed a crime. This differs from jailing in other cases, when people may be held if they are considered flight risks or threats to the safety of the community, while others are allowed out on bail, with the understanding that they will return to their communities. Mandatory detention laws in the US require that people accused of immigration violations be detained until trial. This translates into indefinite confinement.
Poverty on the rise among immigrants: study
Published: 2 Dec 11 12:18 CET | Double click on a word to get a translation
Two thirds of the people in Sweden relying long term on social benefits have a foreign background, while child poverty in the same group is becoming more and more serious, according to new reports.
”It is a real problem that poverty in Sweden has taken on an ethnic dimension,” said Björn Halleröd, sociology professor at Gothenburg university, to dail Dagens Nyheter (DN).
The report published in the paper revealed that 67 percent of those on long term benefits were born overseas, with unemployment being the main cause.
Using statistics from 2010, of the 117, 000 people on long term benefits, (defined in this case as over 10 months), 78,000 were from foreign countries.
Meanwhile the charity Save the Children has also flagged the problem of child poverty in Sweden.
In a recent survey carried out by the organisation, child poverty is markedly over-represented among those from a foreign background whose parents are unemployed.
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