Published scoops - World

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China Celebrates the Year of the Ox

Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox in the Chinese lunar calendar, kicking off a 15-day celebration in China and around the globe.

Around Sarasota, most of the celebrations were truncated into two days over the weekend.

The new year celebration, during which ethnic Chinese and sinophiles -- people who admire and study Chinese culture -- gather to watch dragon dances, eat specially prepared food and visit with family, heralds a year that is expected to bring hope and prosperity.

The Chinese zodiac system is based on animals, and this new year is the Year of the Ox, an animal that symbolizes calm, hard work, resolve and tenacity.

Because the Chinese calendar is based on the moon's rotation, the new year can occur anytime from mid-January to late February.

The calendar, is based on 12 temperaments represented by 12 symbolic animals — rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

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Created by Asia 48 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 48 weeks 6 days ago
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6

African Immigration to Europe

Amazing pictures found in the Big Picture section of the Boston.com website.

"Tens of thousands of Africans - men, women and children fleeing their homeland - attempt to make the perilous trip from their home countries to Europe every year, seeking refuge, asylum and economic opportunity.

Some travel thousands of miles overland, being handed from smuggler to smuggler, ending up at one of many ports in northern Africa, to be packed into makeshift boats and make treacherous sea crossings to European soil, to places like Spain's Canary Islands and tiny Malta where they hope to either sneak in unnoticed, or, if intercepted, be allowed to stay.

Many do not survive the journey.

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Created by admin 49 weeks 9 hours ago – Made popular 49 weeks 9 hours ago
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6

My Hero of the Gaza War

My war hero likes to eat at Acre's famed Uri Burri restaurant. He thinks it's the best fish restaurant in the world, and told me as much yesterday from the porch of the central Gaza City office building from which he has broadcast every day for the past two weeks, noon and night, almost without rest.

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Created by admin 49 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 49 weeks 5 days ago
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6

Israel: Gaza Ground Offensive Raises Laws of War Concerns

As an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza gets underway, both Israeli and Palestinian forces must address heightened civilian protection concerns because of likely combat in densely populated urban areas, Human Rights Watch said today. Both sides must stringently abide by the laws of war, including taking all feasible measures to avoid harm to civilians and facilitating access for humanitarian workers and medical personnel.

Human Rights Watch investigations of previous ground operations in Gaza and the West Bank by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) found evidence of unlawful killings by Israeli forces. In addition, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups fired rockets or conducted other military operations from densely populated areas, placing civilians at risk of serious harm.

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Created by Asia 51 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 51 weeks 5 days ago
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6

Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus shells

Israel is believed to be using controversial white phosphorus shells to screen its assault on the heavily populated Gaza Strip yesterday. The weapon, used by British and US forces in Iraq, can cause horrific burns but is not illegal if used as a smokescreen.

As the Israeli army stormed to the edges of Gaza City and the Palestinian death toll topped 500, the tell-tale shells could be seen spreading tentacles of thick white smoke to cover the troops’ advance. “These explosions are fantastic looking, and produce a great deal of smoke that blinds the enemy so that our forces can move in,” said one Israeli security expert. Burning blobs of phosphorus would cause severe injuries to anyone caught beneath them and force would-be snipers or operators of remote-controlled booby traps to take cover. Israel admitted using white phosphorus during its 2006 war with Lebanon.

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Created by Asia 51 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 51 weeks 5 days ago
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9

North Kivu: No end to war on women and children

Although a peace agreement was signed months ago, Amnesty International has found substantial evidence that armed groups in North Kivu are still committing crimes under international law, including unlawful killings, rape, torture, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers, even after the armed groups promised to immediately end these abuses in a 23 January 2008 “Act of Engagement”.

Government security forces have also unlawfully detained and in some cases tortured and ill-treated captured children, and continue to rape and otherwise sexually abuse women and girls.

The political background of this conflict is very complex, involving many armed groups like the FDLR, the CNDP, the PARECO or rhe Mayi Mayi milicia as well as different ethnic groups, including Rwandan Hutus and Tutsis.

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Created by Asia 1 year 1 week ago – Made popular 1 year 1 week ago
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