The bombing of Iraq’s Askariya mosque, Feb. 22, shattered a 1,200-year-old shrine especially revered by Shiites. Its huge golden dome, now wrecked, dominated the landscape of Samarra, a predominantly Sunni city. Built 100 years ago, it covered the ancient tombs of the 10th and 11th Imams, considered holy descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. Another dome marks the spot where the 12th and last Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, is believed to have vanished in 878. Much like the Jewish Messiah, believers say Mahdi will return to restore justice to the world
CHICAGO — The Mexican Fine Arts Museum is revealing the missing chapter in Mexican history with a groundbreaking exhibition. “The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present” showcases the past 500 years alongside two other companion exhibits: “Roots, Resistance and Recognition,” and “Common Goals, Common Struggles and Common Ground.”
“Our union brothers and sisters at Coca-Cola bottling facilities in Colombia have been threatened, kidnapped, tortured and murdered,” said Jim Hoffa, general president of the Teamsters union. Hoffa called for the company to negotiate a global human rights agreement that will “protect the rights and safety of those who produce, package and distribute Coca-Cola products.”
Algeria: Saharawi refugees homeless Japan: Unions defend ‘Peace Constitution’ Venezuela: Parliamentarians hit the streets Nigeria: Conflict in the oil fields Italy: Gearing up for elections
Rene Preval, presidential candidate of Haiti’s Platform of Hope (Lespwa) party and a longtime ally of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was declared winner of the Feb. 7 elections after more than a week’s delay. Preval’s victory, which came on the heels of massive demonstrations protesting evidence of vote fraud committed by his opponents, was announced Feb. 16.
South Africa is preparing for local elections March 1, the fourth set of elections since the demise of the country’s notoriously racist system of apartheid a little over a decade ago.
WASHINGTON — National Council of Churches General Secretary Bob Edgar has written an open letter, signed by 13,000 others, demanding that the Bush administration close the Guantanamo Bay torture prison where 500 detainees have been held for as long as four years without criminal charges.
While the Sept. 19 round of the six-party talks aimed at resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula ended successfully after the U.S. government agreed on paper to respect the sovereignty of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), November’s round was unsuccessful. Further talks do not seem to be in the cards anytime soon, mainly, many say, because of a series of provocative moves made by the Bush administration.
Zimbabwe: Child labor on farms Indonesia: Labor leaders imprisoned Germany: Public sector workers strike Panama: New energy policy demanded Britain: Church issues apology
MAYAGÜEZ, Puerto Rico — Voices from almost all sectors of Puerto Rican society have been raised, once again, in protest against imperial arrogance and violations of people’s rights in this colony by U.S. authorities, following FBI raids of homes of pro-independence leaders on the morning of Feb. 10 in which a number of journalists were attacked with pepper spray. All the video footage shot by different news agencies showed the FBI attacks were unprovoked.