Monday, January 26, 2009

News of interest 1/25/09

Mesa police shootings doubled in 2008

While overall crime was on the decline last year, shootings by Mesa police more than doubled from 2007.

Twenty-two officers used their firearms in seven incidents in 2008, killing five people who approached police with knives and guns. The year before, police were involved in three incidents and used deadly force in each one.

Mesa Police Chief George Gascón considers the number of shootings "small" compared to the 26,000 arrests and the 300,000 phone calls officers responded to in 2008.
-Arizona Republic

Greek police battle with rioters

Hundreds of anarchist protesters in Greece have fought running battles with police through the centre of the capital, Athens.

The demonstrators were demanding the release of people arrested during rioting last month after a policeman shot dead a youth aged 15.

Rioters smashed shop windows and threw stones and petrol bombs, police say.


The futility of firing tear gas at rioters who wear gas masks has dawned on the authorities and it is reported that Greece is taking delivery of water cannon, which should be ready for action within a fortnight, our correspondent reports.

-BBC News

Spain: How Eta went to war over the environment

The militant Basque separatist movement has its traditional strongholds in urban centres such as Bilbao. But as it seeks to display its eco credentials - by sabotaging a new high-speed rail link - a bloody battle is being fought in one of the region's most beautiful locations. A project director has already been murdered and now his colleagues fear they may be next.

In the Herriko Taberna, a bar in Bilbao's working-class area of Santutxu, a new picture hangs on the wall this weekend: the face belongs to Garikoitz Aspiazu, a local boy who was, police claim, the military chief of the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, the armed Basque nationalist group long known to the world as Eta. In a necklace and a pink T-shirt, Aspiazu, linked to at least four deaths, smiles out at the drinkers, the slices of tortilla, the posters and the prizes for the Christmas raffle. 'A very good guy,' said Josu Telleria, who helps run the bar. 'We played football together. He was a great striker.'

Aspiazu, who was arrested a month ago, is lost to the struggle for the time being. But there are plenty of others to carry on the fight. In the same bar Carlos Ruiz, a former steelworker and member of a campaigning group close to the extremist Basque nationalists, argues that the violent confrontation with Madrid stems from its refusal to allow the Basques to decide their own future.

-The Guardian

India: Hydro-Pharmacology

Medical researchers have found that some of the streams, rivers, and groundwater in Patancheru, India, are really "a soup of 21 different active pharmaceutical ingredients, used in generics for treatment of hypertension, heart disease, chronic liver ailments, depression, gonorrhea, ulcers and other ailments. Half of the drugs measured at the highest levels of pharmaceuticals ever detected in the environment."

"If you just swallow a few gasps of water," a German doctor said to MSNBC, "you're treated for everything. The question is for how long?" Indeed, all of this has the unsurprising effect that "some of India's poor are unwittingly consuming an array of chemicals that may be harmful, and could lead to the proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria."


1 comment:

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