.يولد جميع الناس أحرارا متساوين في الكرامة والحقوق. وقد وهبوا عقلا وضميرا وعليهم أن يعامل بعضهم بعضا بروح الإخاء‎
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Baghdad Orphanage Horror

Young Iraqi boys, some tied to their cribs, lie on the floor at a Baghdad orphanage on June 10, 2007, after they were discovered by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. A total of 24 naked and abused boys, ages 3 to 15 years old, were found in a darkened room without any windows. Many of the children were too weak to stand once released. A locked room full of food and clothing was found nearby.

A young boy lies on the floor tethered to his crib in an orphanage in Baghdad's Fajr neighborhood after it was raided by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers who discovered a total of 24 naked and abused boys, ages 3 to 15 years old, in a darkened room without any windows. After initially being treated by Army medics, the boys were transported to a nearby hospital for further treatment.

Three naked and abused orphans lie on a cement floor in a Baghdad orphanage that was raided by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers on June 10, 2007. The soldiers found a total of 24 malnourished boys between the ages of 3 and 15. In May, according to sources, the boys had been removed from a coed orphanage located in Atafiyah by order of the Ministry of Health because they believed the boys and girls should not live together.

Several boys lie in a sparse, filthy room after they were discovered by U.S. and Iraqi Army forces on June 10, 2007. The soldiers found 24 naked and abused boys, ages 3 to 15, in the darkened room without any windows. The Ministry of Health moved them to this orphanage that allegedly doubled as a brothel operated by several men, sources said. Some men fled when Iraqi and Coalition Forces arrived.
Soldiers provide medical care to boys discovered naked and abused in a Baghdad orphanage on June 10, 2007. Soldiers found 24 severely malnourished boys, some tied to their beds, in the orphanage, yet there was a room full of food and clothing nearby.

Some of the boys, ages 3 to 15, are seen after they were discovered in a Baghdad orphanage. Members of the Fajr Neighborhood Advisory Council vowed to take action and ensure the boys were properly cared for in the future.

U.S. and Iraqi soldiers load an orphan onto an ambulance for transport to a Baghdad hospital after finding 24 naked and abused boys, ages 3 to 15 years old, in a darkened room without any windows at a Baghdad orphanage. Many of the children were tied to their beds and were too weak to stand once released. A room full of food and clothing that could have aided the children was found nearby.

A hospital worker hands juice boxes to some of the 24 boys found by U.S. and Iraqi military personnel on June 10, 2007, naked and abused in a Baghdad orphanage. Sources who checked on the boys on June 11 reported that they were in better health and spirits. The boys will stay at another orphanage temporarily until they can be moved to Karbala where they will live under the care of social services.
Some of the 24 severely malnourished and abused boys found by U.S. and Iraqi Army soldiers at a Baghdad orphanage drink juice after they were taken to a nearby hospital for care in this photo provided to CBS.

Two men thought to be guards at the orphange are seen in this photo obtained by CBS News. Three women claiming to be caretakers were also found at the site.

The soldiers found kitchen shelves packed with food in the stock room. Instead of giving it to the boys, the soldiers believe it was being sold to local markets.

A woman working at an orphanage smiles for pictures in front of the naked boys as if there was nothing wrong. She and another female worker have disappeared. (all Photos: CBS)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Interview with deported roma family in Peje / (Kosova/o)

A young women talks about the deportation from germany to Kosova.
She jumped from a 2. floor window to escape the police.

Interview mit einer aus Deutschland abgeschobenen Familie in den Kosovo.
ie junge Ftau sprang damals aus einem Fenster im 2. Stock um der Abschiebung zu entgehen.

Audio: Indymedia Dance Remix

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Thousands march for Gay Pride in Tel Aviv

Thousands of gays, lesbians and activists marched and partied at the annual Gay Pride parade and beach bash on Friday hosted by Israel's commercial capital Tel Aviv.

Participants walked and danced in a carnival atmosphere from the central Rabin Square to a strip of downtown Mediterranean beach to hear DJs, musical acts, performance artists and local singing stars.

Police put attendance at 10,000 and reported no serious incident, despite threatened disruption from right-wing and religious opponents of the parade, which has been organised in liberal Tel Aviv by its municipality since 1998.

Mike Hamel, who chairs the national association of gay, lesbian and bi community in Israel, hoped that tens of thousands would attend what he called "sand, sun and lots of fun" twined to a meaningful political rally.

"It's an empowering experience. It's uplifting and at the same time it's meaningful. It's not just a party. It's not just music and fun. It's a political rally talking about human rights," he told AFP.

A handful of opponents, kept behind police barricades, hurled insults at the participants walking past largely oblivious. "God hates debauchery," was written on placards that they waved in anger.

The parade came two days after parliament passed, in a preliminary reading, a bill that would allow Jerusalem municipality to ban such parades -- those "which would hurt public order, public feelings or for religious reasons."

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, one of whose daughters is openly lesbian, is opposed to the initiative -- which needs to pass three more readings to become law.

Last year, a much-delayed Gay Pride parade through the streets of Jerusalem was scrapped and instead held under tight security at a stadium after violent protests by ultra-Orthodox Jews and denunciations by other religious leaders.

During a 2005 Gay Pride event in the Holy City, an ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed and wounded three participants, and was later jailed for 12 years.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Movie series shows gay films, before and after the Code

By Robert W. Butler

The Kansas City Star

Homosexuals have always played a creative role in Hollywood. But gay stories almost never made it to celluloid.

Or did they?

On Monday, Turner Classic Movies cable channel began "Screened Out," an ambitious series on how American movies from 1912-70 dealt with homosexuality. Forty-four films, ranging from rarely seen silent features to mainstream hits, will be shown starting at 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays throughout June. (For a complete schedule, go to

"What people don't realize is that 77 years ago homosexual themes were considered viable enough to be part of mainstream entertainment," said Richard Barrios, whose 2005 book "Screened Out" is the basis for the series. "I think it's going to open a lot of eyes."

But all that stopped in 1934 with the adoption of the Motion Picture Production Code, which set standards so strict that for 20 years thereafter movie married couples had to sleep in twin beds. Any open mention of homosexuality was forbidden.

"Screened Out" looks at films made before and after the code. They cover lots of territory, from early sound comedies featuring "sissy boys" ("Our Betters") to decadent, gender-bending costume melodramas dripping with lurid sex and violence (Cecil B. DeMille's "The Sign of the Cross").

From the '50s there are social dramas such as "Tea and Sympathy" that take a veiled approach to homosexuality (effeminate young men aren't gay, they're "sensitive"). The thaw that began in the late '60s is represented by such movies as "The Fox" and "The Boys in the Band" that capitalized on new artistic freedom to unambiguously depict homosexuality.

Barrios not only chose the films for the series but also did on-camera commentaries with TCM host Robert Osborne for more than 30 of them.

It's easy to see the potential for gay content in a movie such as 1955's "Women's Prison." But Garbo's "Queen Christina"? Or "Gilda" and "The Maltese Falcon"?

"Yeah, I've had people come up to me and say, 'What was gay about that movie?" ' Barrios said from his home outside Philadelphia. "And other people get it instantly. They're like, 'Ohhh, yeah.' "

Losing the meaning

That's because for much of Hollywood's so-called Golden Age, gay themes and attitudes could be expressed only between the lines.

"Filmmakers couldn't be literal in dealing with certain subjects, so they had to create a text more open to interpretation," said Thom Poe, film historian and chairman of the University of Missouri — Kansas City communications department. "As a result, the vast majority of people were able to watch these movies and not recognize what they were really about."

The irony, Poe said, was that Hollywood was always taking material from Broadway and then bowdlerizing it until it lost much of its meaning.

"Take a movie like 'The Children's Hour,' " Poe said. "Watching the play, it was obviously about a lesbian relationship. But you can watch the movie and never figure out what's going on. Or 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.' In the play, Brick is dealing with his homosexual feelings. But the movie had to sidestep that."

Making "Screened Out" special is the breadth of its material. Not content to recycle films in the Turner library, Barrios went looking for movies that are hardly seen today.

"We're leading off with this silent movie from 1912, 'Algie, the Miner,' that we had to go to the Library of Congress to get."

"Algie" is a comedy about an effeminate tenderfoot who goes out West to make his fortune and win his girl.

Until the adoption of the Production Code, American movies were getting racier and racier. Released just before the code went into effect, "The Sign of the Cross" was about the persecution of the early Christians. It contained a gay Nero and a lesbian dance that Barrios calls "jaw dropping."

Another pre-code title, 1929's "The Broadway Melody," was a backstage romance that featured a clearly gay costume designer.

But with the code, gay messages had to be camouflaged.

"In 'Sylvia Scarlett' you have Katharine Hepburn posing as a boy, and Brian Aherne is being drawn to this boy and not really understanding why," Barrios said. "Straight audiences might read that one way; gay audiences saw it in an entirely different light."

"Sissy cowboy" problem

Some movies got away. Barrios couldn't strike a deal to show Hitchcock's "Rope" (with two college students, obviously gay lovers, killing a friend) and "Strangers on a Train" (two men discuss a deal in which each would kill the other's wife). He was unable to find a print of the 1930 Western comedy "The Dude Wrangler."

"You've got this sissy cowboy and the poster announces, 'Oh, my Dear!' which became a gay catchphrase."

One of the last films in the series is 1970's "The Boys in the Band," a study of a group of gay men. It was a big-studio film that exploited the new post-code openness.

The problem, Barrios said, is that the film is overflowing with gay self-loathing, with one character saying, "You show me a happy homosexual and I'll show you a gay corpse."

"In places like New York and San Francisco gay consciousness had been raised so quickly [after Stonewall] that the movie was already seen as a throwback to the bad old days," Barrios said. "Still, in places like Kansas City, people found a window on a new world."

Some of the films, he admits, are artistically suspect.

"But you can learn as much from flops and stinkers as you do from 'Brokeback Mountain.' "

Some of the films present negative images of gays. Many current films aren't much better, Barrios said.

"Even today you get something like 'Wild Hogs' with lots of stupid gay jokes and stereotypes."

Growing pains set in

So, what's the current state of gays in film?

Filmmakers today are free to depict homosexual characters as they choose. But they rarely take advantage of that freedom to make artistic statements, according to Jamie Rich, executive director of the Kansas City Gay and Lesbian Film and Video Festival.

"You can have gay characters finally be real," Rich said. "No longer does a gay character have to be panicked about being gay. No longer must he be portrayed as a weird outsider."

On the other hand, Rich said, "in this country we want to see the stock characters telling the same stories over and over again. Hollywood does it, and gay cinema is no different."

Gay cinema is going through significant growing pains, according to Corey Scholibo, entertainment editor of The Advocate, the national gay and lesbian magazine.

"Gay cinema has evolved beyond gayness being the singular point," Scholibo said. "The coming-out story is over.

"I'm trying to expand the idea of what a gay sensibility is. 'The Devil Wears Prada' may be the gayest movie of last year. 'Ugly Betty' is the gayest TV show out there. But they're not specifically about gay people."

Rich said that while he doesn't miss censorship, he does miss the sort of secret bond between filmmaker and audience that existed at the time of the Production Code.

"What made gay audiences such avid movie watchers was they were constantly examining movies for things that meant something to them," Rich said. "You'd watch Doris Day in her Calamity Jane outfit singing about her secret love ... gay people really identified with that.

"There was pleasure in being able to decipher the code."

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company