After days of fighting, the Taliban has taken a district in the northern Baghalan province of Afghanistan. The importance of Baghalan province is that the main highway linking nine other districts passes through it. Which means that if the Taliban takes over neighboring districts, they will have complete control over travel into and out of those nine districts.
Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has been the target of severe social media and press attacks the last few days. She's being criticized for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem, and for not having straight enough hair. Y'all. We're better than this.
Protests began in Milwaukee on Saturday, just a few hours after police shot and killed Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old Black man, who was apparently armed and running away from police. The protests continued into the early hours of Monday morning, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declaring a state of emergency and calling in the National Guard on Sunday. Some protestors claim that Smith was shot in the back while running away, which police deny happened. It would all be a lot clearer if the police would just release the body camera footage...
Days of heavy rain have flooded Southern Louisiana, wreaking homes and submerging roads and highways. Five have died, and 20,000 have had to be rescued. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has called it an "historic, unprecedented flooding event."
Chinese diver He Zi won a silver medal on Sunday, and got another surprise: as she was standing on the medal podium, her boyfriend of six years, fellow diver Qin Kai, pulled out a ring and proposed. The photo pretty much says everything you need to know about this. Love is cool.
Republican Evan McMullin is throwing his hat in the presidential ring as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump. McMullin was previously a CIA operative and the chief policy director of the House Republican Conference. He is running as an independent.
The Olympics began this weekend in Rio, Brazil. Our favorite Olympian is fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first female Muslim Olympian on the US team. She told the BBC "If I can be a source of inspiration to not just Muslim youth, but to other kids who have been told they don't belong because they were different... if I can encourage women to be active, then that is a positive thing."
Another Olympics first: two male Olympic torch-bearers shared a kiss as they passed the torch in the streets of Rio. Also, Laerte Coutinho became the first openly transgender Olympic torch-bearer. I'm not crying, you're crying.
A suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan killed more than 60 people on Monday. The bomb was set off in the emergency ward of a hospital, killing mostly lawyers, journalists, and civilians. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
50 protesters were shot and killed by security forces in the Oromia region of Ethiopia over the weekend. These protests came after government attempts to commandeer public land. The state-owned Ethiopian News Agency said that "illegal protests" had been quelled, but mentioned no casualties.
New Mexican't? New Mexican.
Meow Wolf is so blasé—what we need is a temple worshipping art.
Like I needed another reason to love The Weeknd.
Georgia O'Keeffe didn't just paint “flowers.”
A virtual reality film shows what it's like to be an abortion patient.
What if your food breathed and moved while you ate it? And it wasn't an animal?
What really separates Kristen Stewart and Woody Allen in Hollywood? (Hint: If you're going to read this article, it's probably because of Woody Allen)
Severe weather is killing and disappearing people in Texas and Oklahoma.
Ever wondered who invented Memorial Day?
Daily coffee consumption could be the reason your wiener is working properly.
Colorado is throwing $100 Million in good taxpayer money after bad for the completion of this colossal construction failure.
While on the way to Ruidoso via motorcycle, a woman was struck by lightning.
A male Flight Attendant was caught smuggling passports in his skivvies and has been sentenced to 5 years in prison.
It’s the 10th anniversary of Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch.
A Santa Fe vandal almost won the Darwin Award.
Drug-resistant typhoid may be the next pandemic.
The artist curently known as Prince performed a surprise concert in Baltimore to promote peace after two weeks of protests.
The World Health Organization is very concerned about how diseases are named.
A W.W.II grenade was donated to a Goodwill in the state of Washington, causing an evacuation and shutting down the store for several hours.
A woman in New Zealand drank her own breast milk for sustenance while lost in a forest for 24 hours.
Salvador Dali was born on this day in 1904. Here are a few things you didn't know about the eccentric artist.
The pictures were the centerpiece: Photos of Palestinian journalists beaten, arrested, bleeding and screaming, journalists subjected to horror simply for practicing their craft. For doing their jobs.
The pictures hung on a metal structure created for the demonstration. West Bank journalists gathered in central Ramallah in support of a global call to action to end impunity for people who attack journalists.
The International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of advocacy groups working for greater press freedom internationally, called for 23 actions across the globe in 23 days, leading up to the International Day to End Impunity on Nov. 23.
On each of the 23 days, the Day to End Impunity website highlighted a different person who has been attacked, tortured or arrested for sharing information. Nov. 8, was dedicated to Jaffar Ishtayeh, a Palestinian photojournalist who suffered frequent repression from the Israeli military. According to IFEX, Ishtayeh has been arrested, beaten with batons and hit in the back with a tear gas canister while covering demonstrations in Palestine. Reporters Without Borders ranks the Palestinian Territories as 153 in press freedom out of 179 countries measured. (America is No. 47.)
The demonstration in Ramallah was organized by the Palestinian Media Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA, for its acronym in Arabic), a group dedicated to greater press freedom in the Occupied Territories. Riham Abu Aita, the spokesperson for MADA, said the demonstration's goal was "to let the world know about Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists."
"For example, in the past 10 years, (the Israeli military) killed at least 20 journalists, in addition to other forms of violation, like gas bombs, pellets, beatings," she said.
Palestinian security forces are also guilty of human-rights violations against journalists, Aita said, although these violations are usually not as destructive, and Palestinian security forces are less likely to kill journalists. She said the severity of violations committed by Palestinian forces increased after the 2007 split between Gaza's elected government of Hamas and the West Bank's ruling Fatah party.
Clearly, one demonstration in Ramallah will not end attacks against journalists in the West Bank. And as the Day to End Impunity website makes clear, this is a global problem.
But the demonstration was one small step toward a world with true freedom of the press globally. And the pictures MADA hung in Ramallah made certain that, for one day at least, the sacrifices so many people have made in the cause of spreading information were not forgotten.
Andrew Beale, an Alibi contributor and native New Mexican, works as a freelance journalist in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Look for more of his work in the print edition on stands Dec. 6.
Columnist Andrew Beale just moved to the Palestinian territories, but that didn’t stop him from penning a piece about the movement in Albuquerque he passionately supports.
Yale Park at UNM
Saturday, Sept. 29, 4:30 p.m.
State Supreme Court orders minimum wage increase back on the November ballot.
There’s a zip line at the Fair this year—and tigers.
Way to go, N.M. organ donors!
Santa Fe’s politicians call for a meeting with Zozobra organizers, saying the event should be more family-friendly.
Slinky blows physics’ mind.
The man who made the anti-Islam film causing violent protests throughout the Middle East is a 55-year-old former criminal and Coptic Christian in California, according to the Associated Press.
Protesters storm the U.S. Embassy in Yemen.
An actor from that anti-Islam film says she had no idea they were staring in a propaganda flick.
Meet the $9 recycled cardboard bike that can support a 485-pound rider.
Monica Lewinsky is writing a book, maybe.
“Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff,” says Bob Dylan in response to accusations that he’s plagiarized some of his material.
How to: Turn your wall into a projector screen for $50.
31 rad DIY projects.
The first 1,000 digits of Pi skywritten over San Francisco.
Hobby Lobby doesn’t want the Affordable Care Act to make it cover birth control for employees.
(Un)occupy Albuquerque folks will be at Broadway and Cesar Chavez to educate people about stopping foreclosures. They’ll post up at 4 p.m. today and hang around during rush hour.
Dara’a, the central city in the Syrian protests, was the focus of a crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad. "They are arresting all males above 15 years," said a Syrian lawyer from Dara’a. Seventy people have been killed since Friday, according to human rights organizations, and thousands have been arrested. The government is gearing up for another round of protests with extra buses to carry those who may be arrested. Demonstrations are likely on Friday, May 6, the Islamic day of general peace,
Even with arrests in full swing, the protesters cling to their purpose—democracy. The military was told to quell the protests with whatever means necessary, but according to a military source, some soldiers are resisting.
Organizations around the world have condemned the actions of al-Assad, including UK Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama. Many foreign embassies in the Syrian capital, Damascus, have been emptied, and the United States has blocked the assets of many top officials. Even Hamas, which is based in Syria, is at odds with the Syrian government.
Awkward Family Photos celebrate Easter.
A coke plane crashed into Lake Heron.
Secret Guantanamo files reveal many prisoners have been held captive for years with little evidence.
Why is KOAT doing these mugshots?
Lots of ABQ kids skipped school on Good Friday.
Science tries to understand meditation by scanning the brains of Tibetan Buddhist monks.
People in the Middle East are angry that the U.S. response to violence against peaceful protesters varies by country.
Some women don't want to be FLOTUS.
Poll shows Republicans aren't stoked about their 2012 presidential options thus far.
Paperwork backup means DWIs are being dismissed.
Sitting all day might kill you—even if you exercise.
DCF's Sunday poem recalls the Kelly Ashner used car commercials.
The yeti is an unseen guardian angel.
Happy birthday, Hank Azaria.
APD union is holding a “no-confidence” vote today in honor of Public Safety Director Darren White.
Peaceful protests in Bahrain crushed by modern, moderate government’s violence.
BP says Gulf oil spill settlements are too generous.
Weird food: Snack-cake sliders
Photo essay: AP photographer documents New Delhi coal scavengers.
From my sister: These porcelain dolls are amazing, creepy and expensive. (NSFW...UYWATWA)
No one cares that Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz are divorcing.
Islanders prepare to abandon their sinking country.
Of course Brooklyn had a Phil Collins Day Parade.
Hair and makeup looks from New York Fashion Week, so far.
Ubiquitous “caramel color” in sodas will give you cancer and mess with your genitals.
The secret to Trader Joe’s cheapness? The company doesn’t care about farm workers.
This Friday marks the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, with the anniversary of Nagasaki's bombing on Monday. To protest the continued procurement of nuclear weapons, Think Outside the Bomb are camping near Los Alamos. Their website, thinkoutsidethebomb.org has directions to the camp if anyone out there is looking to make their weekend in the woods more politically active.
If you're not real outdoorsy, check out John Hersey's Hiroshima. It's an amazing book, which appeared as an article in the New Yorker's August 31, 1946 issue. In fact, it was such a powerful story, editors dedicated the entire issue to it, forgoing their cartoons or any other articles.
Another of my faves about the aftermath of World War II is John W. Dower's Embracing Defeat. It's not an uplifting book but it creates a vivid post-war world in your mind.
Of course, 65 is often cited as retirement age (though that's not exactly true these days), which gives Think Outside the Bomb's protest a little more of a "Happy Retirement Fat Man and Little Boy" feel.
I am all for protesting and other forms of expressing disagreement. Shout it from the rooftop, I always say. Well, I may not actually say that, but I pretty much agree with it. Sometimes, though, a line is crossed.
Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church thrives on crossing that line.
Living in Kansas City, I had an awareness of Phelps long before he began picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers. For those of us who resided within driving distance of his hate-spewing, self-righteous pulpit, Phelps was an occasional topic of conservation, a local oddity, a crazy who was a predictable result of living too long on the Kansas side of the state line. Then his “church’s” protest of Matthew Shepard’s funeral fetched the nation’s attention and added brimstone to the fire of Phelps’s preaching, changing my view of his being just a proximate weirdo to that of a horrific figure. Suddenly, he was more than a backwoods idiosyncrasy, he was a national asshole.
I had one run-in with Phelps around this time. On my day off from the Midtown diner I worked at I headed to a local independent theater to see a film about gay people living in Lawrence, Kan. At least I think that’s what it was about—I never got in. The box office girl looked at me like I was an idiot for trying to buy a ticket, and that’s when I noticed the large shouting crowd three feet from me.
On the theater side of the street were hundreds of angry people who should have been making their way to their seats. Instead they arrived for the movie and found Phelps and his gang of goons waiting to tell them they were going to burn in hell. Carrying posterboard signs bearing clever slogans like “Save the Gerbils” and “God Hates Fags” they yelled insults and generally behaved like schoolyard bullies. Phelps gave an interview to Kansas City’s local gay personality, a drag queen named Flo. Phelps seemed unaware that he was talking to such an unrepentant sinner and the movie-goers cheered and laughed at Flo’s antics.
Phelps is now protesting outside the Obama children’s respective schools. The group’s website, godhatesfags.com, explains why they’re protesting schools: “Littles, run from liars, NOW! ...More for the little nasty God-hating Quakers. You will NOT be able to get away from these words by that bloody-handed Antichrist Obama.”
Also on the protest schedule is Ft. Hood. But why subject people to such ugliness when they are mourning tremendous losses? Because, “Who else is going to tell you these words of truth at your time of extreme trauma? Only your friends at WBC: God Sent the Shooter. Thank God for the Killer, and repent of your evil.”
The Obama family and our troops are only some of the people Phelps has targeted. Catholics, Jews and the entire Swedish people irk the hell out of Phelps. Visit his websites to see if he hates you: