Monday, February 11, 2008

Autonomy advocate, Holocaust survivor Tom Lantos dies

Not to turn this blog into a list of deaths and attempted murders, but autonomy proponent and congressman Tom Lantos (D-NY) died today. He was one of the first representatives to sign a letter supporting Morocco's autonomy proposal, but his obituary says he was good on other human rights issues.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jose Ramos Horta wounded by rebel soldier

East Timor's president and friend of Western Sahara Jose Ramos Horta was wounded today in a shoot-out between rebel soldiers and his guards. According to the BBC, Horta will probably survive.

Horta did great work freeing East Timor from Indonesian domination, and he has been a friend of Western Sahara as it suffers under Morocco's similar occupation. He's so significant in Western Saharan activism that he wrote the prologue to Toby Shelley's book Endgame in Western Sahara. Hopefully, his convalescence will be short and he can get back to his presidency soon.

Update: The more I read about the attack on Horta, the stranger it sounds. I'm not that familiar with the post-independence rebellion in East Timor, so maybe someone will be able to explain it. It seems like the rebel leader was killed in the gunfight, but why would the rebel leader be leading the attack rather than hanging back at a base?

Update 2: This explains a lot. "Half-baked" is how I would describe a coup attempt in East Timor, too. Like Australia's going to allow that.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Leave Moulay Rachid alone!

"Thanks, Zuckerberg!"

Poor Moulay Rachid, Prince of Hearts. His brother gets to do all the fun stuff like kick Driss Basri out of the country and order journalists murdered, while he's stuck watching stupid art movies. Now comes the news that a Moroccan man was arrested for making a fake Facebook profile for Moulay. A crown prince can't catch a break in this country:
Rabat, Feb. 6 - Moroccan security authorities arrested on Wednesday an engineer for allegedly stealing the identity of King Mohammed VI's younger brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, on the Internet site Facebook, police sources reported.

Twenty-six-year-old Fouad Mourtada, single, was arrested in Casablanca over villainous practices linked to the alleged theft of the identity of the price.

It is worth mentioning that members of the royal family have neither web sites nor blogs, and the only official way to obtain information about them was through the portal of the Maghreb Arab press Agency (MAP-national).
I don't think "villainous practices" means much coming from a man who hasn't done anything to stop his family business of robbing and beating Sahrawis. Moulay's not as culpable as his brother, but he has to know where he gets enough money for all the orphanages he inaugurates. If he can live with that, why does a Facebook profile stick in his craw?