Saturday, May 25, 2013

Costa Rica Salsa fest 2013, leonardo el 'chino' montalvo

Costa Rica Salsa fest 2013, leonardo el 'chino' montalvo (puerto rico) 

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TransGriot: Puerto Rico House Passes Trans Inclusive Rights Bill 

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In a historic day for the Puerto Rican TBLG community, the Puerto Rican House of Representatives approved the trans inclusive Senate Bill 238 on a 29-22 vote after nearly three hours of debate in a session that ended well ...

Puerto Rico Legislature passes sweeping nondiscrimination bill ... 

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These efforts include speaking out against hate crimes ( and anti-LGBT violence (; standing in solidarity with the Puerto Rican LGBTcommunity ... visit and follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce (

'Las Caras Lindas': To Be Black And Puerto Rican In 2013

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Puerto Rican hip-hop artist Tego CalderA3n is seen in his studio, El Sitio, in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

El papa acepta el retiro de cardenal boliviano

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CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (AP) — El papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia del cardenal Julio Terrazas...

Inside IRS Unit Under Fire

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Rosberg logra la pole del GP de Mónaco

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MONACO (AP) — Nico Rosberg conquistó su tercera pole consecutiva, y cuarta al hilo de Mercedes, al...

The Toxic Waters of Russian Eco-Activism 

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Environmental protection has become a dangerous area of public activism in Russia—at least where industrial pollution is concerned. This is because eco-activists often directly oppose regional business interests, who sometimes react with force. A case in point: on May 9, 2013, unknown assailants attacked and severely beat an eco-blogger from the mid-sized industrial town of Pervouralsk (located 40 km from Yekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains). The blogger, Stepan Chernogubov, claims that the assault was in retaliation for the publicity he is creating over a local chrome manufacturer dumping waste into the picturesque Chusovaya River (see archival photo below).
A cliff on the Chusovaya River. One of the color photographs made in 1912 by Prokudin-Gorsky. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.
A cliff on the Chusovaya River. One of the color photographs made in 1912 by Prokudin-Gorsky. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.
On May 4, 2013, Chernogubov got a tip-off about an illegal waste dump making the river turn “bloody,” and went to check it out and take photographs. What he found was a pipe leaking orange chemical sludge into a nearby pond, which overflowed into the river itself. Chernogubov described[ru] the experience on his LiveJournal blog:
Ощущается стойкий химический запах, в носоглотке возникли болезненные ощущения. [...] А источник заполнения этого хим озера, как выяснилось, – сгнившая труба. Возможно её прорвало в праздники, но скорее всего она всегда была такой.
I could feel a strong chemical smell, which created painful sensations in my nose and throat. [...] The source filling this chemical lake, as it turned out, was a rotten pipe. Perhaps it burst over the holidays, but likely it was always like this.
Orange chemicals flowing into a pond near Chusovaya from a burst pipe. Photograph from Chernogubov's blog.
Chernogubov's post was re-blogged [ru] on Echo Moskvy by local economist Alexander Anikin. The factory in question, “Russian Chrome 1915 [ru],” did not take lightly to such publicity. When Chernogubov returned to the dump site the next day (accompanied by a group environmentalists from Yekaterinburg) to take chemical samples, they were met by private security guards who tried to prevent them from touching the water [ru]:
Standoff between environmentalists collecting water and security guards. YouTube screenshot, May 23, 2013.
Standoff between environmentalists collecting water samples and security guards. YouTube screenshot, May 23, 2013.
Как и предполагали, они стали препятствовать сбору проб воды. [...] Впоследствии при попытке оказать на нас физическое воздействие, чтобы отобрать взятые пробы, люди, позиционирующие себя сотрудниками охраны завода “Русский Хром 1915″ были остановлены моим предупреждением о возможном разливе собранных проб на их руки, лицо и тело.
As we suspected, they were creating obstacles for taking water samples. [...] Later, after trying physically to force us to give up the collected samples, these people (who said they were security staff from the “Russian Chrome 1915″ factory) finally backed off when I warned them that I might spill the sample on their hands, face, and body.
Local police next detained Chernogubov and his entourage after the head of the private security group reported them for “stealing” the water samples, but the authorities soon released everyone. In the same post [ru], Chernogubov alleged that one of his fellow environmentalists was contacted by a local newspaper editor, who asked him not to raise the issue of “Russian Chrome” pollution, since it could harm the mayor of Pervouralsk, who apparently has ties to the factory. Here is how the factory itself describes [ru] what happened on May 5:
[...] неустановленные лица в количестве 5 человек пытались проникнуть на территорию станции нейтрализации промышленных стоков ЗАО «Русский хром 1915». При себе имели бутыли, наполненные неизвестной жидкостью.
[...] unknown parties, numbering 5 people, tried to gain access to the territory of the industrial wastewater neutralization station of “Russian Chrome 1915.” They had with them bottles filled with an unknown liquid.
Chernogubov's troubles did not end with this, however. On May 9, a few days after he caused the stir and reported the incident of pollution to the local police [ru], Chernogubov noticed on a stroll with his wife that at least four men had him under surveillance. (Oddly, he identifies one as an operative from the local chapter of “City Without Drugs,” Evgeniy Roizman's anti-drug advocacy group based in Yekaterinburg.) Chernogubov approached one of these men, and asked why they were following him. What happened next [ru] is chilling:
В ответ он нанёс мне удар в лицо, затем появились ещё двое, которые подбежав заломали мне руки. В это время первый, [...] начал наносить целенаправленные удары мне в голову. Когда я вырвался и нанёс ему удар, меня повалили и стали бить ногами те двое, которые держали мне руки. [...] На очередную попытку встать один из нападавших достал пистолет и ударил мне рукоятью в голову. Я временно потерял сознание. [...] По итогу я имею разбитую голову, зашитую двумя швами и выбитые верхние передние зубы.
In response, he hit me in the face, then two more ran up and twisted my arms behind my back. At the same time, the first one [...] started delivering direct blows to my head. When I managed to evade their grasp and hit him, the two that were holding me forced me to the ground and started kicking me. [...] When I tried to get up again, one of the assailants took out a gun and hit me in the head with the grip. I briefly lost consciousness. [...] As a result I have a busted head, with two stitches, and my upper front teeth are knocked out.
Chernogubov in the hospital, post assault. YouTube screenshot. May 23, 2013.
Chernogubov in the hospital, post assault. YouTube screenshot. May 23, 2013.
When local police arrived in response to the fighting, one of the assailants showed them a police ID, Chernogubov says, and the three men were not detained. Chernogubov is certain that his attack was in retaliation for his reporting on “Russian Chrome.” If so, however, the cat is already out of the bag. On May 10, Greenpeace Russia activists collected their own samples from the river, and found[ru] that the chrome content in the water was almost 100 times above the “maximum permissible concentration.” Of course, this fact does not on its own guarantee any sort of result. This is not the first time that officials have cited “Russian Chrome” for pollution [ru], but it continues to operate and pollute with relative impunity. Maybe the assault on Chernogubov will make a difference in terms of inciting public outrage, and maybe someone will get punished as a result. Even in this best case scenario, though, it's hard to see Chernogubov's story as anything but a hollow victory for Russian bloggers and activists.
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G.Bretaña: Arresto en caso de asesinato de soldado

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LONDRES (AP) — Un amigo de Michael Adebolajo, uno de los dos sospechosos de haber descuartizado a...

Puerto Rico Approves Anti-Discrimination Bill - Huffington Post

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Puerto Rico Approves Anti-Discrimination Bill
Huffington Post
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Legislators in Puerto Rico on Friday approved a heavily debated bill that outlaws employment discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Opponents of the bill prayed on the steps of the seaside Capitol building as ...
Puerto Rico House Approves Antidiscrimination
Puerto Rico rejects its present colonial status; wants statehoodThe Hill (blog)
Puerto Rico's Colonial Status and the US InvasionCenter for Research on Globalization
On Top Magazine -Washington Blade -Gay Star News
all 11 news articles »

Obama: el país debe hacer más por héroes caídos

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WASHINGTON (AP) — El presidente Barack Obama dijo el sábado que el país debe hacer más para honrar...

El Yunque Rainforest - Puerto Rico 

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Scenes from El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico. Observation tower, waterfalls, creeks and streams.
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Some sunset clips at Vega Baja beach...
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Ukraine's Freedom Party Crusades Against Gay Pride Parade

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An attempt to hold Ukraine's first gay pride parade is meeting resistance from a member of the country's far-right All-Ukranian Union “Freedom” party who is organizing anti-equality events to coincide with the march on May 25, 2013.
previous attempt to organize a gay pride parade failed in May 2012, when the event was cancelled shortly before it was to begin and one of its organizers, Svyatoslav Sheremet [ru], was beaten by a group of masked men. Judging from the online reactions that began to appear as soon as the upcoming Equality March was announced [uk] in the Ukrainian media at the end of April, things may not go very smoothly this year as well.
On Facebook, the pro-Equality March event [uk, ru], created on April 30, has slightly over 120 users who have signed up to attend, whereas one of the anti-March events [uk, ru], created on May 10 by a member of one of the parliamentary opposition parties, already has 195 potential attendees.
Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 3.49.45 AM
Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 3.44.38 AM
The latter event – “Let's Stop ‘Gay Propaganda'!” – is the initiative of Oleksandr Aronets, a Kyiv-based member of VO Svoboda (which, ironically, translates as the All-Ukrainian Union “Freedom”). This far-right party won over 10 percent of the vote in the Oct. 28 election, becoming the fourth largest political force represented in the Ukrainian Parliament, with 37 seats (a GV text about it here).
On April 30, Aronets began his anti-Equality March campaign with this Facebook post [uk]:
“The equality march in defense of the gays” will not take place in Kyiv! Very soon, Ukrainians will start preparing to resist the attempts to impose these perversions on us! Resistance will take place on all fronts, physical as well as intellectual! Politicians as well as public figures, writers, the clergy and ordinary Ukrainians will stand up against it, arriving from all over [Ukraine] to Kyiv to defend the traditional family values! Liberal fascism shall not pass! [...]
Nearly two weeks later, the discussion of Aronets’ post still continues. There are now over 700 comments, and while many of them are about the upcoming Equality March, there are plenty of those that address VO Svoboda's aggressively paternalist stance as well. Below is a small selection of these comments.
Ivan Spryn wrote [uk]:
[...] Aren't you sick and tired of shouting slogans left and right? “Shall not pass!”, “liberal fascism!” [...] These constant cliches and slogans aren't doing you any good, but are instead equating you to the communists who never did anything but yell, “let's fulfill the five-year plan in three years!” It's time to outgrow demagoguery and start doing your job quietly.
Igor Nezgodnyj mentions [uk] VO Svoboda's recent legislative initiative to ban abortions in Ukraine (GV text is here):
I've noticed one thing: the worse the situation in the country is, the more [VO Svoboda] is attacking women – proposing to send them to jail for seven years for abortions – as well as gays and lesbians and others – those who aren't as scary and dangerous as [President Viktor Yanukovych]. [...]
Andrew Gizhko wrote [uk]:
One should defend family values in one's own family. If they are endangered by a peaceful gay rally, then they are not values, but an imitation [of values].
Olena Skripka wrote [uk]:
And why aren't you saving Ukrainians from drug addiction and alcoholism? Are gays really Ukraine's biggest problem?! And in general, are they a problem to anyone? Maybe it would be better if you set up sports facilities [in Kyiv's districts of Troyeshchyna and Borshchahivka]? Or you could at least come over [to these districts] to see how many young people are ruining their lives. [Instead], you act like thugs.
Viktoriya Kozlova wrote [uk]:
[...] Don't you feel you're wasting the trust of those people who voted for you in the last election? There are enough real problems in the country, but you, just like the Russian government, are re-orienting the public attention to gays… [...]
Timur HappyBoy Levchuk wrote [uk]:
Looking at the comments, I have only one question: doesn't [...] VO Svoboda realize that most voters expect truly high-quality and useful actions from them [...], not some pathetic populism?
Nataliia Mamitko wrote [uk]:
Ukraine faces many problems in various areas (medicine, economy, education), corruption and chaos are everywhere, and yet VO Svoboda has decided to fight the country's greatest evil – the gays… You didn't have to go to Parliament for that, let alone the fact that it's a violation of human rights.
Aronets chose to reply this [uk] to Mamitko:
[...] Propaganda of various perversions is a violation of human rights!
Viktoriya Kozlova attempted to reason [uk] with Aronets, reminding him that he was making statements on behalf of the political party that many Ukrainians put their trust in last fall, and Aronets, in his turn,reminded her [uk] that VO Svoboda had never been a gay-friendly force in the past:
Viktoriya, where were you one, two or three years ago? Every year we put up resistance to perverts, and we aren't making a secret of it! So don't tell me that “some people put their trust in us”…
Journalist Kateryna Avramchuk wrote this [uk] about VO Svoboda's choice of opponents:
Don't you think that the real perversion is when people like [President Yanukovych, First Vice PM Serhiy Arbuzov and PM Mykola Azarov] are in power, and not homosexuality? You'd be better off if you paid a visit to [Yanukovych at his Mezhyhirya residence] and “put up resistance on all fronts” to that pervert who is hiding behind the fence there… [...]
Aronets replied [uk] to Avramchuk, rehearsing the points he later elaborated on in the lengthy manifesto [uk] posted on the anti-Equality March event page:
First, they'll “just take a walk,” the way it was in Europe, too…, then they'd like us to give them the right to get married, then the right to adopt children, then they'll be setting churches on fire! (the way it was in Norway), and then they'll be filing criminal lawsuits, the way it happened with one priest who was reading the Bible… I don't know what will happen next, but I don't want them to “just take a walk” in Ukraine…
Aronets’ comments sound almost tolerant compared to some of what people write on the anti-Equality March event page. But since it's an open venue, peaceful voices are heard there as well every now and then. Olha Chayko wrote this [uk], for example:
Why beat anyone? I've always suspected that overly aggressive people, who condemn something [theatrically], definitely have something shameful about themselves to conceal… [And those tools that can be turned into improvised weapons would serve much better at summer houses in the countryside.]
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Obama Calls on Americans to Remember Military Families

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