June 26, 2009

Iranian Soccer Players Face Lifetime Ban - 'Justice', Ahmedanijad Style?

As if the widespread reign of terror and oppression wasn't enough, now Iranian authorities unleash fire on sportsmen!
"Four players, Ali Karimi, 31; the captain against South Korea, Mehdi Mahdavikia, 32; Hosein Ka’abi, 24; and Vahid Hashemian, 32 wore either green wristbands or armbands during the first half of the match....The players were told to remove the wristbands at halftime because FIFA, the sport’s world governing body, prohibits any political displays and because the bands were not part of their uniforms...The gesture by the players drew worldwide attention and comment. In addition to being barred for life by Iran’s soccer officials, the four players have been forbidden to give interviews to the news media." NYT

"Ahmadinejad, a known football fan, has taken a close interest in the sport's affairs. In 2006 Iran was banned from international competition by the world governing body Fifa after claims of improper interference by his government. The ban was later lifted.
This year the national team coach Ali Daei was sacked, reportedly on Ahmadinejad's orders, after a 2-1 home defeat by Saudi Arabia." The Guardian

June 20, 2009

Gimme Shelter: Give Shelter, Save a Life

June 20 is World Refugee Day!

Having created so many refugees, perhaps now we can help create some semblance of a shelter for them until such time that they can go back home. Join UNHCR and Ben Affleck to help displaced fellow beings!

"There are millions around the world in need of shelter, not just physical shelter but respect for their rights and the capacity to live in safety and dignity. In recognition of World Refugee Day, Microsoft has offered to match every donation you make for the next two months. If you donate $10, Microsoft will donate $10. Every donation you and your friends make for the next two months helps our work twice as much. We also know many of you would like to help but cannot afford to donate. Therefore, Microsoft have offered to donate $1 for every person you persuade to join our cause. Use the invite button below of this page to invite your friends to join. Regardless of your location or position, you are just a few clicks away from raising hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars."

Matching Grant from Microsoft
Expires On: August 14

Microsoft will donate:
$1 for every person who joins

So far: 44,021 people have joined
$44,021 from Microsoft

$1 for every $1 donated
So far: $2,060 from 54 people
$2,060 from Microsoft

June 17, 2009

Milestone for technology or 'US meddling in Iran'?

Twitter is being credited for the political makeover in Iran! This is a milestone, no doubt! Information technology appears to be facilitating public awareness which may perhaps lead to an informed and empowered electorate in Iran that will ensure that they get their leader of choice.

"Monday afternoon, a 27-year-old State Department official, Jared Cohen, e-mailed the social-networking site Twitter with an unusual request: delay scheduled maintenance of its global network, which would have cut off service while Iranians were using Twitter to swap information and inform the outside world about the mushrooming protests around Tehran.

The request, made to a Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, is yet another new-media milestone: the recognition by the United States government that an Internet blogging service that did not exist four years ago has the potential to change history in an ancient Islamic country.

“This was just a call to say: ‘It appears Twitter is playing an important role at a crucial time in Iran. Could you keep it going?’ ” said P.J. Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs.

Twitter complied with the request, saying in a blog post on Monday that it put off the upgrade until late Tuesday afternoon — 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in Tehran — because its partners recognized “the role Twitter is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran.”

NYT June 17, 2009