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Liberty Newspost Feb-08-10 Edition

Liberty Newspost Feb-08-10 Edition

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Liberty Newspost is America's daily E-Reader News Edition. Subscribe Now!
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Published by: Liberty Newspost Corp. on Feb 08, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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E-reader News Edition
07/02/10 - 08/02/10

by Luke Harding (World news
and comment from the
Guardian | guardian.co.uk)

Submi t t ed at 2/ 8/ 2010 7: 51: 07 AM

\u2022 Early results put rival Tymoshenko three points behind \u2022 International monitors praise 'impressive display' of democracy

Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's Russia-leaning opposition leader, is on course to become the country's president, with early results indicating a three-point lead over his bitter rival, the prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.

Yanukovych, the villain of the 2004 Orange revolution, appeared to be \ue000heading for a remarkable comeback. With more than 98% of the vote counted, results showed Yanukovych with 48.6%, against 45.81% for his long-time rival Tymoshenko. Earlier exit polls

had put him up to four points

International monitors described the vote as "professional, transparent and honest" and called on the country's political leaders to ensure a peaceful transition of power.

The observers, headed by the Organisation for Security and Co -operation in Europe, said: "Yesterday's vote was an impressive display of democratic elections. For everyone in Ukraine this election was a victory. It is now time for the country's political leaders to listen to the people's verdict and make sure that the transition of power is peaceful and constructive."

The verdict undermined Tymoshenko's chances of succesfully appealing against the result in court. On Sunday night she refused to concede defeat, but she remained silent today and

postponed a scheduled news

Claiming victory on Sunday night, Yanukovych said in a TV interview: "I think Yulia Tymoshenko should prepare to resign. She understands that well." He said his priority as president would be to restore the economy: "I will carry out the reforms that will allow us to overcome soon the consequences of the economic crisis."

Describing the vote as a "turning point in our country's history", he said he would pursue policies that helped all Ukrainians and not favour one geographical area. "We don't need to find enemies in our country. We need to unite together," he said.

Tymoshenko said on Sunday night that her opponent's slender lead in exit polls was "within the margin of error \u2026 it is too soon to draw any conclusions". Even before polling stations had

closed her aides had accused Yanukovych of "open banditry and terrorism", claiming that her election observers had been barred from 1,000 polling stations in the eastern Donetsk region. Yanukovych's Regions party rejected this.

Hundreds of Yanukovych supporters took to the streets of Kiev and set up camp outside Ukraine's central election commission building, an echo of the protests against him during the revolution on Kiev's Independence Square five years ago.

\u2022 U k r ain e
Luke Harding
guardian.co.uk\u00a9 Guardian

News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions|M o r e


Video: Yanukovych
set to become
Ukrainian president

(World news and comment
from the Guardian |

Submi t t ed at 2/ 8/ 2010 7: 51: 07 AM

The opposition leader appeared to be \ue000heading for a remarkable comeback, showing a three-point lead over his bitter rival, the prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko

Submi t t ed at 2/ 8/ 2010 10: 00: 00 AM
E-reader News Edition

by Owen Gibson (World news
and comment from the
Guardian | guardian.co.uk)

Submi t t ed at 2/ 8/ 2010 8: 05: 31 AM

FA says internet film will be released after further talks with gay rights groups

The Football Association's commitment to tackling homophobia in the game was today called into question by gay rights groups after the launch of a much-heralded film designed to confront the issue was cancelled at the last minute.

Amid some unease about the content of the hard-hitting video, produced by advertising agency Ogilvy to a brief agreed by the FA itself, football diversity campaign group Kick It Out and gay rights group OutRage, Thursday's planned launch of the film at Wembley Stadium has been cancelled.

The campaign had been in development for almost two years and had been billed as a key moment in an embryonic drive to tackle homophobia among players, fans and administrators.

"This last-minute cancellation is a big disappointment. It has thrown the Football Association's commitment to tackling homophobia into disarray," said OutRage campaigner Peter Tatchell. "Contrary to what the FA is now saying, the video and strategy was agreed nearly two years ago. This postponement comes on top

of the FA's dissolution of the broad-based Tackling Homophobia Working Group," he added.

He said the group had helped implement many constructive initiatives to rid football of homophobia, but that members had now been replaced by a "hand-picked, much smaller and less representative" group. "It no longer includes all interested stakeholders," he said.

Last year, Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, said the results of a survey showing that seven in 10 fans had witnessed homophobic abuse proved that football was "institutionally homophobic".

The video shows a man abusing workmates, tube passengers and a newspaper seller with gay taunts, before doing the same at a football match. Captions make the point that since homophobic behaviour is not acceptable outside football stadiums, it should not be acceptable within them either. The FA planned to release the viral video via YouTube and its website.

According to Tatchell, FA chairman Lord Triesman also planned to send a copy to clubs with a personal plea to show it at half time in stadiums and send out the film to overseas football associations.

The Justin Campaign \u2013 named after the only openly gay top- flight footballer, the late Justin Fashanu \u2013 said: "The postponement of this long

awaited and much needed video has raised grave concerns regarding the FA's overall approach to tackling homophobia."

It is believed that while the FA had signed off the script for the film, it only recently saw the final version. It will consult more widely and conduct focus group research before finally releasing it.

As yet, not a single high profile footballer has followed the lead of Welsh rugby union international Gareth Thomas and come out.

"I wouldn't expect a player to come out by himself but I don't see any reason why three or four players shouldn't come out simultaneously. Players fear rejection, but that fear is grossly exaggerated," said Tatchell. "Most fans are not homophobic and most sponsors would not withdraw their support. But one of the problems is that players often feel they wouldn't receive wholehearted support from their clubs. That has to change."

The decision has also sparked a debate within the gay community about whether the shocking video was the right strategy. Tatchell agreed that Ogilvy's approach was effective but said he would have preferred a more "uplifting, MTV-style" video featuring high-profile players and criticised the FA for not doing more to sign them up.

But John Ameachi, the gay
former NBA basketball player,

was scathing about the clip's content and what it said about the attitudes at the top of English football.

"Football can't shock fans out of being bigots \u2013 this process requires a highly strategic, multi- modal approach, not to mention a significant investment," he wrote on his blog, also criticising the "cheap" \u00a310,000 budget. "Ninety seconds of bad language that will only be seen on the internet is not a solution to the problems faced by football and the concept of trying to create a 'viral video' to combat homophobia in football feels crass at best."

He added: "I have reached out on numerous occasions to help the Premier League, the Football Association and even UEFA make the necessary changes to bring them into the 21st century, but there is simply too much denial in too many quarters to penetrate to the heart of the problem in football."

Many of those attempting to force the game to face up to the issue liken the debate to that which surrounded racism in football grounds 25 years ago, with some clubs and players refusing to admit there is a problem.

Tatchell said the FA deserved credit for some of the work it has done in educating coaches and referees, and ensuring that homophobic abuse within grounds results in ejection or arrest, but its hesitation over the

video meant that it had
misjudged a significant moment.

Piara Power, director of Kick It Out, said the FA had "got themselves into a mess". "If they had gone ahead as planned, I don't think any of this would have happened and no one would be doubting their sincerity," he said. "As campaigners with a long record of success of tackling discrimination in football we know our audience well and are confident the film will have the desired impact."

Power said gay rights groups, including OutRage, Stonewall and the Gay Football Supporters Network, were widely consulted on the film's content.

"We also know that a film of this kind cannot by itself solve the problem of homophobia in football. We intend to start an active debate that will be followed up by a series of other interventions, from within football and from within the LGBT community."

An FA spokesman said it was "committed to its stated aims of tackling homophobia in football". He added: "After consultation with our Tackling Homophobia Working Group we have now produced a viral film which will form part of our overall strategy. We will now enter a final stage of consultation and will shortly be in a position to announce the next stage of the

GAY page 5
E-reader News Edition

by Khaled Diab (World news
and comment from the
Guardian | guardian.co.uk)

Submi t t ed at 2/ 8/ 2010 8: 03: 35 AM

Belgian media hysteria over crime and calls for zero- tolerance policing miss the real issue \u2013 social exclusion in the inner city

Among Belgians, Brussels has something of a reputation for being an unsafe city where criminals of Moroccan and other immigrant extractions rule its mean streets and certain neighbourhoods are no-go areas, not only for law-abiding citizens but also for the police.

Three recent incidents, including
a dramatic one in which a police

officer was shot with a Kalashnikov during a getaway after a thwarted armed robbery, have confirmed this perception in the minds of many.

The predictable media frenzy \u2013 with a tone that would be familiar to a British audience \u2013 about street crime and the need for "zero tolerance" followed hot on the heels of the tragic shooting, and voices ofr e a s o n andn u a n c e have been drowned out. The police even took to the streets to call for more resources and pay, as well as stiffer sentences and faster judicial procedures.

In addition to idle musings about who polices the police during such a protest, I wondered whether the Belgian capital's image is deserved and whether more draconian security measures are really the answer. According to available statistics, Brussels has, by northern European standards, a high petty crime rate and it is top of the European league when it comes to domestic burglaries but is one of the safest capitals in the world \u2013 and possibly the safest in

Europe\u2013 when it comes to

violent crime, particularly murder. And despite the current media stampede, in the first half of 2009 Brussels registered the

lowest crime rate in almost a

Like many Brussels residents, my wife and I lived for years without problems beyond some minor annoyances, on the edge of what is regarded as one of the city's more dangerous neighbourhoods.

The public debate, carrying as it does racial and religious undertones, has not surprised locals in Brussels's problem areas but it has caused widespread disappointment. "The violence we hear about in the media is the exception and not the rule," Kamal, a 32-year- old Moroccan, told me. "With all

this talk of zero tolerance, respect has reached zero level. We need a public debate, but one based on mutual respect and acceptance."

The sense of disillusionment is pervasive, especially in Kuregem, which is regularly portrayed as some kind of urban "war zone". Eric Gijssen, a video artist and social worker who has lived in Brussels for two decades and works with young people in Kuregem to help them find their voice through the medium of film, has noticed a growing apathy among his charges.

"The youth I work with and other locals are becoming increasingly apathetic," he said. This is a far cry from the active and engaged young people we met some years ago at the Alhambra centre who were keen to challenge stereotypes and misperceptions. "They no longer believe this will make a difference, and have turned their backs on the media to find their own information sources and forums online," Gijssen added.

While he acknowledges that there are plenty of problems, he finds that the sensation-seeking elements of the media and self- serving politicians are only making a delicate situation worse. "Instead of stigmatising entire communities, we must first

of all engage with the youth and offer them alternative perspectives," he said.

Gijssen and others with grassroots experience see the fixation on security aspects of the Brussels question as short- s i g h t e d

a n d

e v e n counterproductive. Instead of attacking the symptoms with a fist of steel, what is required is treatment of the root causes: poverty and social exclusion.

While it is not inevitable that poverty will lead to crime, ignoring the strong correlation between the two is disingenuous and an easy way for politicians and society to cop out of their responsibilities to create opportunities for the marginalised.

In Brussels, the contrast between wealth and poverty is extremely stark. As the country's main economic dynamo, Brussels has a per-capita GDP that is 233% that of the EU average. However, most of the wealth generated in the city is earned by people who live in its plusher suburbs or who commute there from other towns.

In contrast, inner-city Brussels, unlike most other capital cities, has the highest unemployment

rate in the country (17.6%) and,
according to Gijssen, in places
like Kuregem, youth

unemployment can be as high as 50%. Unsurprisingly, this chasm can often lead to feelings of resentment on one side of the wealth divide and fear on the other.

"In places like Kuregem, young people have very little or nothing, and not much of a future to look forward to," explains Gijssen. "One thing is essential: more investment."

But rather than investing more, the authorities have been siphoning off funds from community projects in Kuregem and other poorer neighbourhoods in Brussels and, at a time when everyone is feeling the pinch of the economic crisis, immigrant neighbourhoods have fallen off the political radar when it comes to employment and education.

"If jobs and other opportunities are found, then this security problem will vanish," Kamal told me. "We need to combat social exclusion through better socio- economic integration."

\u2022 Belg iu m
Khaled Diab
guardian.co.uk\u00a9 Guardian

News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions|M o r e

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