Anti-Colonial Agitator

Friday, May 28, 2004

Brian Feeney on amateurism in the IMC.

The growing loyalist turf war in the north of Ireland.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The occupation of Iraq has helped al-Qaeda recruit more members, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The influential group's annual report says that the network has reconstituted itself after losing its Afghan base. It adds that Osama Bin Laden's followers have set their sights on attacking the United States and its close allies. They would ideally like future operations to make use of weapons of mass destruction. The institute quotes conservative intelligence estimates as saying that the group has 18,000 potential operatives and is present in more than 60 countries. Recent attacks in Spain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia show its renewed strength. The report finds that the network's finances are in good order.

Aspirin and the male sex drive.

The double standards of British loyalism.

Friday, May 21, 2004

A loyalist terrorist group is targeting senior figures in the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Police warned PUP leader David Ervine of the threat after the fatal shooting of a Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) member in Belfast.

Scientists can now identify a dog's breed just by looking at its DNA. By examining the genes from 85 breeds of dog, the scientists have also been able to establish how they are related. All the breeds fall into three "modern" categories - associated with guarding, herding and hunting - and one "ancient" group, that dates back to antiquity.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Death threats have been issued over the building of much-needed social housing for elderly Catholics in Belfast.

Brian Feeney on the cost of careless talk.

The Free Presbyterian Church has launched a campaign directed at Ireland's 3,000 Catholic priests. The Church, which is headed by Ian Paisley is to send every priest on the island a CD containing "the message of the gospel" which is aimed at "converting them to Christianity". The CD will be accompanied by a letter of introduction "asking people to become Christians". The Rev David McIlveen of the Free Presbyterian's morals and standards committee said that while he was open to the possibility that Catholic priests might already be Christians he had not met one he considered to be so.

A senior British loyalist has been shot dead in a terrorist ambush in east Belfast, raising fears of a loyalist feud which could destabilize the north of Ireland as the British Protestant marching season begins. Brian Stewart, 34, was shot twice at close range as he drove to work on an industrial estate. He was treated by ambulance crews, but died at the scene. The gunman and accomplice escaped after abandoning their burned-out car. Local councilors fear the murder could be the beginning of a new round of loyalist terrorist feuding. Stewart was a leading member of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), a terrorist splinter group founded by disgruntled members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Friction between the two groups has increased recently, with a number of death threats made by the LVF against the UVF. Since 2000, loyalist terrorist feuds have claimed more than a dozen lives in Belfast. Internecine fighting has often been fuelled by turf wars to control the drugs trade and other criminal rackets.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

DUP and the good old days.

Prisoner abuse in Iraq and the north of Ireland.

The similarities between Belfast and Basra.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Abuses in Iraq and the north of Ireland.

What really caused the Black Death?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Archaeologists have discovered a set of musical pipes believed to have been used 4,000 years ago by prehistoric man in Ireland, making them the world's oldest wooden instruments. The six wooden pipes were discovered near the coastal town of Greystones, south of Dublin. Experts have been able to play a series of notes, including E flat, A flat and F natural, on the yew wood pipes. The pipes were discovered in the bottom of a wood-lined trough. A wooden peg used in the construction of the trough has been radio carbon dated to between 2,120 BC and 2,085 BC, which falls in the Early Bronze Age period.

Testosterone and social skills.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The evolution of handsome men.

Empathy and autism.

Diabetes and corn syrup.

British forces are teaching torture methods.

What Judge Peter Cory said on Capitol Hill.

The mixed messages of the DUP conference.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Abuse of Iraqis may have been condoned by superiors.

British troops have been involved in killing Iraqi civilians.

Monday, May 10, 2004

British soldiers in Iraq and the north of Ireland.

Danny Morrison on Ireland and Iraq.

Iraq and the north of Ireland.

The British ban on Sinn Féin's fundraising.

The guinea pigs of the north of Ireland.

Friday, May 07, 2004

SARS may be spread by sweat.

How does the brain dig up old memories?

Jude Collins on the situation in Sandy Row.

The familiar litany of British unionism.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Will Britain target Sinn Fein's fundraising?

Brian Feeney on the British loyalist protests in Belfast.

Security is to be stepped up at apartments near Belfast city center which have been picketed by British loyalists.

Men in love have lower levels of testosterone.

UDA and UVF threaten withdrawal from intercommunity talks.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The meaning of Fallujah.

Unemployment remains a serious problem in Germany and the economy is not growing fast enough to sort it out, according to the German Federal Labor Office. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rose to 4.367 million in April 2004, up by 23,000 from March. In April, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 10.5%, up from 10.4% in March. Analysts had expected unemployment to rise, but not this much. The news will increase pressure on the European Central Bank to cut interest rates - something German politicians have been urging for a long time. It will also increase the unease in Germany over the recent expansion of the EU eastwards, as many German companies have been relocating factories and jobs in the former Eastern European countries.

Giant masks reveal early Maya sophistication.

Researchers have found that women with hourglass figures are more likely to become pregnant. This is because women with large breasts and narrow waists have higher hormone levels. The scientists say that this offers a biological reason for Western views of female beauty. The researchers led by Grazyna Jasienska of Harvard University, said that the hourglass figure was popular in Western cultures, but not in others across the world. She said that men in non-Western societies did not seem to favor women with hourglass figures, and broader figures, indicating good nutritional status, were considered most attractive.

Monday, May 03, 2004

The German Government has cut its forecast for GDP growth in 2004 to 1.5% from 1.7%. In its Spring Projections, the German economic ministry said that real GDP growth is projected at 1.8% in 2005.

The shifting goalposts of British unionism.

Loyalist fury over multicultural apartment block heralds a long, hot summer of trouble in Belfast. The problem has flared close to the city center in the fiercely British loyalist Sandy Row area of south Belfast, where Protestants have taken exception to a modern apartment block on their doorstep. The row is not only a sectarian affair, in that the privately owned apartments are not occupied mainly by Catholics; its occupants include students, Chinese, and others from various backgrounds. But hardliners in the notoriously xenophobic British Protestant district are objecting to the development, in line with Sandy Row's tradition of hatred for people of non-British and non-Protestant background. Ominously, the tough, close-knit district has a heavy paramilitary presence, with a highly active branch of the Ulster Defence Association and Ulster Freedom Fighters, the largest and most dangerous group in the British loyalist underworld. The 120-apartment complex is called Whitehall Square, though local loyalists refer to it as "Vatican Square". Recently, up to 500 Protestant loyalists marched on it, responding to an anonymous leaflet demanding the removal of Irish Catholics. Graffiti painted on the complex includes slogans such as "republican spies" and "republicans out". Sandy Row has a long history of sectarian riots. One of its most popular Orange songs speaks of "Up Sandy Row, where the Fenians never go". The geographical predicament of Whitehall Square is that it sits at one of Sandy Row's most prominent crossroads, just across the road from a well-known loyalist bar and only yards from one of the city's biggest Orange halls. The spot, which in British loyalist terms is almost hallowed Protestant territory, is now dominated by the five-storey complex, which has brought a novel element of multi-culturalism to Sandy Row.
Sectarian skirmishes have been bubbling on its borders for almost 200 years, breaking out so often that it could be regarded as an intermittent war zone. Visitors venturing into the British Protestant area are confronted with a 20ft-high mural of a loyalist gunman. A sign proclaims: "You are now entering Sandy Row, heartland of south Belfast Ulster Freedom Fighters". In 2003, the Whitehall Square complex was daubed with sectarian slogans, and when workmen arrived to remove these, their van was smashed with baseball bats and set on fire. A woman who has since moved out said: "The sad thing about it is that these are beautiful apartments which are owned by professional people. People paid a lot of money for them but it was a living hell, not knowing what was going to happen next." Another former resident said life had become unbearable, with swastika signs appearing along with slogans such as "Chinks get out". He added: "This isn't just about the Catholic thing; this is pure xenophobia. This is about people in the area not wanting anybody different in the area." Racist attacks have erupted in areas adjoining Sandy Row over the past year, with black and Chinese families being assaulted by British loyalists. Claims from Sandy Row militants that people in the Whitehall apartments have started the trouble are regarded as laughable, police say that they are unaware of any attacks on Protestants. Martin Morgan, Belfast's nationalist Lord Mayor, said: "This intolerance is totally unacceptable in our city, and all community and political leaders should be speaking out against it." Professor Bryce Dickson, head of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, said: "The attacks by the so-called loyalists have been pure incitement to hatred, pure sectarianism, pure intimidation. They need to be educated in how fascist this kind of atrocious behavior is, and how intolerable it is in our society today. The police need to stamp down on this very strongly in the early days to nip this in the bud so it doesn't spread further." With the summer marching season close, the fear is that apartments may come in for more unwelcome attention, particularly because scores of loyalist parades pass yards from them.