November 30 in history

November 30, 2009

On November 30:

1554 Philip Sidney, English courtier, soldier, and writer, was born.

1667 Jonathan Swift, Irish writer and satirist, was born.

 

1786  Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgated a penal reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty.

1810  Oliver Winchester, American gunsmith, was born.

1872 The first-ever international football match took place at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, between Scotland and England.

1835 Mark Twain, American writer, was born.

1874 Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nobel laureate,was born.

1886 The Folies Bergère staged its first revue.

1934 The steam locomotive Flying Scotsman became the first to officially exceed 100mph.

 
1936  The Crystal Palace, London. was destroyed by fire.
 
 
1940  Lucille Ball married Desi Arnaz.
 
 
1949 the first National government was elected in New Zealand, led by Sidney Holland.

Election of first National government

1953 June Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1955  Billy Idol (born William Michael Albert Broad), British musician, was born.

1965 Ben Stiller, American actor, was born.

In the black and white image, Stiller is facing the camera. He has his right arm crossed in front of him and left hand raised to his chin, with the pointer finer right below his lips. He is wearing a black suit.

 1966 Barbados became independent

1967 The People’s Republic of South Yemen becomes independent.

Flag Coat of arms

1995 Official end of Operation Desert Storm.

2005  John Sentamu became the first black archbishop in the Church of England with his enthronement as the 97th Archbishop of York.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Not if but how

December 10, 2008

One of the many sorry aspects of the torture of Nia Glassie was that neighbours knew it was happening but didn’t interfere.

In the wake of that, we’re quite rightly being told that what happens in other people’s homes is sometimes our business.

But if we hesitate to act against something we know to be wrong in someone else’s home,  how much harder is it to act when the crimes are happening in other people’s countries?

When do the atrocities being inflicted on Zimbabwe and its people by Robert Mugabe become our business?

zimbabwe1

Macdoctor writes of the slow and horrible genocide which is happening there.

Inquiring Mind posts on the Zimbabwean nightmare; quotes the Archibishop of York  John Sentamu who says Mugabe must answer for his crimes against humanity; and asks how long this disgrace can endure.

The ODT says other African leaders have been accused of soft-pedalling on Mugabwe but sees a change:

Leading the charge is Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who has urged the African Union to call an emergency meeting to authorise armed intervention.

“If no troops are available then the AU must allow the UN to send its forces into Zimbabwe with immediate effect,” he said, “to take control over the country and ensure urgent humanitarian assistance to the people dying of cholera.”

Whether or not and under what circumstances the UN, or the AU for that matter, can claim a mandate to invade Zimbabwe – and liberate it from itself – is ill-defined and problematic.

The complexities of the situation are further heightened by the promises of aid for Zimbabwe’s diseased and suffering, aid which is the only plausible response from a world faced with a humanitarian disaster on a scale unimaginable in this formerly wealthy African nation.

The terrible irony is that such aid probably serves only to prolong the terrible dictator’s increasingly tenuous grip on power.

Almost everyone agrees that Robert Mugabe must go.

The big question is how to make him.

And not just how to make him, but how to do it in a way which minimises further loss of life and speeds the return to political stability and the improvements to the  health of the Zimbawean people and their economy.


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