Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


peppertree's Journal
peppertree's Journal
September 27, 2021

Theoneste Bagosora, architect of Rwanda genocide, dies aged 80

Theoneste Bagosora, a former Rwandan army colonel regarded as the architect of the 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and Hutus who tried to protect them were killed, has died in a hospital in Mali.

Bagosora was serving a 35-year sentence after being found guilty of crimes against humanity by the then-International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Bagosora, 80, had been sentenced to life in 2008 but on appeal his sentence was reduced to 35 years in prison.

Known as a hardliner within the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development party of then Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, Bagosora in 1993 was appointed cabinet director in the defence ministry and took control of military and political affairs in the country.

The position made him answerable only to the president.

When the president died in an April 1994 plane crash, Bagosora took over the affairs of state and ordered the massacre of Tutsi and moderate Hutu.

Roméo Dallaire, a Canadian general who was head of United Nations peacekeepers in Rwanda at the time, described Bagosora as the “kingpin” behind the genocide.

At: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/27/theoneste-bagosora-architect-of-rwanda-genocide-dies-aged-80

Former Rwandan Col. Théoneste Bagosora, generally regarded as the architect of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Bagosora, a Hutu, was staunchly opposed to the 1993 Arusha peace accords with Tutsi guerillas - and worked closely with hate radio and other extremist elements to foster ethnic hostilities in the small African nation.

The still-unsolved 1994 assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana, who signed the accords, triggered a massacre that in two months cost at least 800,000 lives - 1 in 8 Rwandans at the time.
September 26, 2021

German Social Democrats beat conservatives in vote to decide Merkel successor

Source: Reuters

Germany's Social Democrats narrowly won Sunday's national election, projected results showed, and claimed a "clear mandate" to lead a government for the first time since 2005 and to end 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) were on track for 26.0% of the vote, ahead of 24.5% for Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative bloc, projections for broadcaster ZDF showed, but both groups believed they could lead the next government.

With neither major bloc commanding a majority, and both reluctant to repeat their awkward "grand coalition" of the past four years, the most likely outcome is a three-way alliance led by either the Social Democrats or Merkel's conservatives.

Agreeing a new coalition could take months, and will likely involve the smaller Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP).

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/germans-vote-close-election-decide-merkel-successor-2021-09-25/

Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Olaf Scholz waves at supporters after an exit poll gave him hopes of forming a government as Chancellor.

The SPD, which was last in power in 2005, boosted its share of the vote by 5.3 points to 25.8% - besting longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU Union, which saw its share drop by 8.8 points to 24.1%.

Germany's leftward shift was also seen in the second-tier parties: the Greens jumped by 5.7 points (to 14.6%), while the far-right AfD slipped 2.1 points (to 10.5%).
September 26, 2021

Man filmed helping patient leave hospital linked to Italian far-right party

The Beacon has identified a far-right activist who earlier in the week videoed himself helping a man apparently suffering from COVID-19 leave a hospital.

Antonio Mureddu, aka Antonio Gravegliu, who is also a member of the Freeman on the Land Movement (FOTL), previously came to the attention of activists in Galway, Ireland, in December 2018.

At the time he organised a meeting in support of Italian far-right party Lega Nord. The meeting was due to go ahead at the Headford Arms Ristopub which Mureddu was manager of at the time.

In the video he posted online he can heard arguing with hospital staff as he encourages a visibly ill man to leave their care.

At: https://the-beacon.ie/2021/09/16/man-filmed-helping-patient-leave-hospital-linked-to-italian-far-right-party/

Italian far-right agitator Antonio Mureddù, whose persuading a 75 year-old Covid patient in Ireland to leave the hospital led to that man's death days later.
September 21, 2021

Dune box office gets off to a good start worldwide - and bolsters hopes for a sequel

The early numbers are in: Dune’s international box office has yielded sizeable takings over the weekend – and indicates Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi blockbuster is set to do well on the big screen.

As per Variety, the staggered worldwide release of Dune has already collected $36m.

It may not seem like much, but it’s already proving a hit with limited capacity audiences in typically weak markets such as Russia, France, and Italy – and is not a figure to be dismissed in the pandemic era.

It remains to be seen whether the simultaneous launch on HBO Max will affect the box office elsewhere - but the early signs are good for a movie that is already pinning hopes on a sequel.

The director also echoed those thoughts in an interview with Total Film:

"[The studio] feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a Dune: Part Two, because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I’m very optimistic."

Dune has begun screening in some parts of the world, and will arrives to U.S. theaters and HBO Max this October 22nd.

At: https://www.gamesradar.com/dune-box-office-gets-off-to-a-good-start-worldwide-and-bolsters-hopes-for-a-sequel/

Gurney Halleck and Paul Atreides (Josh Brolin and Timothée Chalamet) make a quick getaway in Denis Villenueve's recent adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune.

Villeneuve has revealed hopes for a Dune trilogy, given that the 2-½ hour film only delves into the first half of the book.

"There is Dune’s second book, The Messiah of Dune, which could make an extraordinary film," the French-Canadian director added.
September 19, 2021

Argentina's president reshuffles cabinet after political crisis

Argentina's president Alberto Fernández announced a new cabinet on Friday in a bid to smother a political crisis that pitted him bitterly against his vice president this week after an electoral defeat in legislative primaries.

The reshuffle came one day after Vice President Cristina Kirchner wrote Fernández to demand one, deepening the crisis gripping the ruling coalition after their poor showing in mid-term primaries - in which the Front for All trailed the right-wing Together alliance by 9%.

Juan Manzur, the pragmatic Governor of Tucumán Province, will take over as Chief of Staff from Santiago Cafiero - who will in turn become Foreign Minister.

Outgoing Foreign Minister Felipe Solá, in Mexico for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit, was unceremoniously dropped ahead of the event, which begins on Saturday.

Four other ministers (out of 20) as well as the presidential spokesman, were also replaced - though Economy Minister Martín Guzmán and Production Minister Matías Kulfas were confirmed.

Due to the crisis, Fernández canceled his visit to Mexico for the CELAC summit and won't attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

At: https://www.wionews.com/world/argentinas-president-reshuffles-cabinet-after-political-crisis-413962

Argentine President Alberto Fernández walks in the Casa Rosada after a difficult week precipitated by last Sunday's unexpected loss in congressional mid-term primaries to the right-wing opposition.

Fernández's allies, who attribute the setback to lower turnout from the Peronists' working class base, agree that his center-left coalition doesn't need a cabinet reshuffle as much as a policy one.

Fernández is expected to announce a more vigorous social and labor policy in the coming days - including a possible return of Emergency Family Income payments, which helped mitigate the effects of the 2020 lockdown on the poor.
September 18, 2021

A reboot of teen vampire classic 'The Lost Boys' is on the way

Nothing is sacred, and that could explain why Warner Bros has plans to resurrect the 1987 teen vampire classic The Lost Boys.

Originally directed by Joel Schumacher, who passed away aged 80 last year, the horror-comedy is set to be reimagined with starring roles for Honey Boy’s Noah Jupe, and Jaeden Martell (of It and Knives Out).

Beyond the fact that it’s directed by filmmaker John Entwistle (The End of the F***ing World), with a script by Randy McKinnon, details about the reboot are fairly scarce.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, however, its setting — a fictional California beach town in the midst of being terrorized by a vampiric biker gang — is being updated for the modern day.

At: https://www.dazeddigital.com/film-tv/article/54210/1/a-reboot-of-teen-vampire-classic-the-lost-boys-is-on-the-way-noah-jupe

There will be blood: Protagonist Kiefer Sutherland and fellow vampires observe their next prey in Joel Schumacher's 1987 cult classic, The Lost Boys.

While details about the reboot are scarce, John Entwistle is set to direct - with young horror stars Noah Jupe and Jaeden Martell in the roles played by Corey Feldman and the late Corey Haim.
September 18, 2021

Pope Francis defends Joe Biden from calls to deny communion over abortion stance

Pope Francis on Wednesday cautioned Catholic bishops not to get into politics, amid questions among conservative US elements of the church over whether pro-choice politicians like Joe Biden should be allowed to receive communion.

Francis said bishops must deal with those who support abortion rights with “compassion and tenderness.”

At the same time the pope reiterated strict church doctrine by calling abortion “murder” - even when done soon after conception.

Francis was speaking to reporters on his flight home from Slovakia, and was asked about the debate simmering among US bishops in the wake of the high-profile Texas abortion law - which Mr. Biden’s administration strongly opposes.

“The problem is not theological, it’s pastoral,” the pope said.

“How we bishops deal with this principle. We must be pastors, also with those who are excommunicated. Like God with passion and tenderness. The Bible says so.”

At: https://news.yahoo.com/pope-francis-defends-joe-biden-095350401.html

During his return flight from Slovakia on Wednesday, Pope Francis addressed the issue of communion to pro-choice public officials:

Citing historic atrocities committed by the church in the name of faith when it involved itself in politics, he asked clergy to “be pastors and not go condemning, condemning.”
September 15, 2021

Vermont sues 4 oil companies, alleges false info on climate

Vermont on Tuesday became the latest state to sue some of the country's top fossil fuel companies by alleging they misled the public about the impact their products have on climate change.

The state wants the companies to tell consumers that the use of fossil fuel products harms the environment, Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan said after the lawsuit was filed in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.

The warnings could be similar to those noting the danger of tobacco products or food products that include nutritional and calorie information, he said.

At: https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Vermont-sues-4-oil-companies-alleges-false-info-16458396.php

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan (left) announces the state had filed a lawsuit against four fossil fuel companies alleging they misled the public about the impact their products have on climate change.

Donovan says the state would like the companies to put warning labels on their products in much the same way tobacco products carry warning labels.
September 14, 2021

US consumer prices rise 0.3% in August, lowest in 7 months

U.S. consumer prices rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% last month, the smallest increase in seven months and a hopeful sign that a recent jump in inflation may be cooling.

The August gain was weaker than the 0.5% increase in July and a 0.9% surge in June, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. It was the smallest increase since prices rose 0.3% in January.

While the upward march of prices appears to have eased last month, supply chains are still snarled especially for critical components like computer chips.

Consumer demand is easily outpacing supply, which will push prices higher.

Over the past 12 months, prices are up 5.3% - down slightly from two consecutive months averaging 5.4%, the strongest 12-month price gains since 2008.

At: https://apnews.com/article/business-prices-inflation-consumer-prices-2479b000e3cb1b2fbc73651dbf8c45fc

A motorist takes advantage of a price break at a Corpus Christie, TX, gas station yesterday.

Nationally, gas prices rose an average of 2.8% in August - though total inflation slowed to 0.3% for the month.
September 13, 2021

Argentina opposition leads in congressional mid-term primaries

Argentina's main opposition coalition held leads in congressional primary elections on Sunday, early results showed, indicating a strong challenge to the ruling Peronist coalition.

Nationally, and with over 90% of the vote counted, the conservative Together for Change coalition had a strong lead of 41% to 30% for the ruling Front for All in House races - and 45% to 29% in Senate races.

The primary vote, in which voting is mandatory, is an acid test for President Alberto Fernández's government ahead of the November 14 midterm ballot - where half the seats in the Chamber of Deputies are up for grabs, as well as one third in the Senate.

Over 34 million Argentines were eligible to vote, with turnout (over 70%) confounding pessimistic projections.

The government now faces a challenge to its majority in the Senate and its working majority in the Lower House - where it has a slim lead of some five seats over the main opposition party.

Were the results replicated in November, the Front for All would lose 9 of its 120 House seats, and 6 of its 41 Senate seats; Together for Change would add 2 to its 115 House seats, and 5 to its 25 Senate seats.

A lengthy recession, rampant inflation and rising poverty have hurt public support for the government, despite recent signs of an economic recovery and falling coronavirus cases.

GDP, which fell 10% in 2020, recovered 9.7% in the first half of 2021.

And a ramped-up vaccination program - 84% of adults have had at least one dose - similarly overcame a slow start, curbing new daily Covid-19 cases by over 90% since late May.

"We had 99 normal days - and then the pandemic struck," Fernández lamented during a recent interview.

At: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/argentines-head-polls-litmus-test-peronists-2021-09-12/

Argentine President Alberto Fernández enjoys lunch with his center-left coalition's lead congressional candidate for Buenos Aires, Leandro Santoro, after voting in today's mid-term primaries.

Today's vote bode poorly for Fernández administration - in its first federal electoral test against the right-wing opposition ahead of midterm elections on November 14.

The addition this year of some 3,000 polling locations helped keep turnout high, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Profile Information

Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 11:36 AM
Number of posts: 21,326

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»peppertree's Journal