New Middle East Time Bomb

In Saner Thought

Well that is almost an oxymoron but in this case it is accurate…..in case you are confused at what I am referring to…..the Saudis beheaded a Shia cleric for criticizing the royal family……(a quick synopsis)……

The fallout in the Muslim world over Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shiite cleric is only getting worse. After Iranian protesters broke into the Saudi embassy in Tehran to protest, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran, and now Bahrain has done the same, reports the BBC. The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, is at least downgrading ties with Tehran, reports the AP. Some coverage:

At the core of the matter is the split between Sunni and Shia Islam, and the New York Timeshas a primer.

Why was this executed cleric so important? The Guardian has a profile of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and his long role as a « thorn » in the side of…

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When did it all go right?

Never Knowingly Underwhelmed

CorbynPMQ

The result of Jeremy Corbyn‘s shadow cabinet reshuffle, a fairly unexplosive and routine one as it turned out, was not the issue. Reading about him doing what the leader of a party really ought to do, which is to say sort it out, you’d think he was genuinely behaving like Stalin and using elongated cutting equipment nocturnally. This makes a better headline. And there’s the rub. With a predominantly rightwing media – and even my beloved Guardian came out in support of Yvette Cooper in last year’s leadership race, a Toynbeean position it appears to have retained – Corbyn can do no right. If he acts, he’s running a totalitarian dictatorship. If he doesn’t act, he’s weak. Either way, he’s « unelectable », which, if he was, is something he has in common with the previous two Labour leaders. I hesitate to say he can’t win.

London_Evening_Standard_6_1_2016

I have no love…

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How Women Secretly Won the Hobby Lobby Fight

TIME

When the Supreme Court handed down the Hobby Lobby decision, allowing companies to deny women insurance coverage of certain contraceptives, it seemed like a blow for women’s rights.

But the amount of maneuvering by women in Washington before and after the decision shows women’s burgeoning power in the Capitol.

When Congress passed Obama’s healthcare reform in 2010, it allowed the Administration to decide whether employers would be required to provide free contraception to female employees under the new insurance plans available through the state health care exchanges.

[newsletter-politics]

Almost immediately, several religious groups and faith-based companies, including Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores, applied for exemptions from providing the “morning-after pill,” which interrupts a suspected pregnancy by preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall. Hard-core right-to-life advocates believe that life begins at the moment of conception, and that taking pills to interrupt even a potential pregnancy…

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mini mansions: scaling homes for changing times

mecc interiors | design bites

The following is excerpted from an article written by Alexandra Posadzki for The Canadian Press via Huffington Post.

Nine years ago, Thelma Fayle swapped her 4,000 square-foot home in a rural area of Victoria for a house measuring only nine feet wide on the inside. « I decided I didn’t really want to spend the last third of my life rotely maintaining a huge house, » says Fayle. It takes Fayle a mere two hours to clean her « narrow home » from top to bottom, freeing her up for other activities.

mini mansions: scaling homes for changing times | @meccinteriors | design bites Laneway homes in Toronto from Curated Properties. Niche buildings like this are providing more affordable housing for those who don’t want to live in a condo tower.

The desire to save time is one of several factors cited by the growing number of Canadians who are turning to alternative styles of housing, ranging from narrow houses to tiny ones to those sandwiched into laneways…

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Turning the other cheek, Crimea turns on gas supply to freezing Ukrainian town

Uprootedpalestinians's Blog

Crimea turns on gas supply to freezing Ukrainian town

Gas has begun flowing into a southern Ukrainian town that pleaded for Russian help during a bitter cold spell. Amid regular blackouts caused by the Kiev administration, Crimean authorities have fulfilled President Vladimir Putin’s order to prevent people from freezing.

A port city along the Sea of Azov in the Kherson Oblast of southern Ukraine, Genichesk is home to more than 25,000 people who began suffering severe gas shortages when the thermometers plunged to -14 degrees Celsius over the weekend. By Monday more than 1,500 residents in the Kherson region were left without gas, as authorities struggled with the decreased pressure on the municipal pipeline.

To provide relief for those families left without an adequate heat supply, Genichesk Mayor Aleksandr Tulupov appealed to the Russian side to supply gas to the affected areas from Crimea.

“On behalf of the residents Genichesk…

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