April 30, 2009

Eight-year-old Saudi girl’s marriage annulled

Per BBC, a young Saudi girl who was married to an older man in his 50s has been granted a divorce in an out-of-court settlement.

A judge had earlier rejected the girl’s mother’s appeal in the town of Unaiza. He was replaced by a new judge who decided to nullify the case after the marriage was confirmed illegal by the girl’s husband, per BBC.

Twitterers had these reactions when the legal news first penetrated worldwide:

  1. Donnette Davis
    Donnette (South Africa) a Saudi marriage officiate declared that a girl can be married at the age of one if sex is postponed http://tinyurl.com/cev327
  2. danie_d
    danie_d (San Francisco, Calif.) 8 year old girl married to a 47 year old man in Saudi Arabia. U.S. doesn't allow it to affect trade. But mention trade w/ Cuba and "OH NO."
  3. Freddie Zacarias
    quantifyme (Undisclosed) A 8 yr old Saudi girl married to a 50 yr old Saudi man is a shame. Not only is a violation of human rights, it is "child slavery"
  4. Joe Newbert
    newbert (Cape Town, South Africa) RT @geekstats 8: age of Saudi Arabian girl married by father to settle debts. (http://bit.ly/WrvB). This world can be hideous.
  5. Governance Focus
    governancefocus (Undisclosed) A Saudi girl of 8 was married to a man in his 50's and now they want to annul it. What do you expect from a country without democracy.

Following the most recent media reports, Twitterers noted these reactions today:

  1. Michelle Torres
    michou83 (New Jersey) http://tinyurl.com/cwrmxa- Young Saudi girl's marriage ended.... THANK GOD. Now they just need a real policy.
  2. Akin
    forakin (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Young Saudi girl's marriage ended but not by the courts and hidebound religious judges http://is.gd/vEqY
  3. macleans
    macleans (Undisclosed) Out-of-court settlement allows Saudi girl, 8, to divorce 50-year-old husband http://tinyurl.com/cqbcmk

No immediate reaction could be found within Saudi Arabia itself. Tweets were searched for in both Arabic and English.


Featured TwitPic: Prague commemorates 1945 liberation

"American jeeps and flags spotted in Wenceslas Square today in honor of the American liberation of Plzen in 1945" (Posted by @acensky)


Great Britain Ends Military Operations in Iraq

Per BBC, the British military officially ended their combat operations in Iraq as 20 Armored Brigade took part in a flag-lowering ceremony accompanied by an American brigade on Thursday.

The ceremony was held in Basra to commemorate the fallen British soldiers.

From London, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said a new chapter in relations between the two countries had begun, as reported by BBC News.

Twitter users across the UK lament and rejoice for their soldiers' return:

  1. Michelle Tilley
    M1TZY (London, England) RT @bbcbreaking: British troops to formally end combat operations in Iraq marking the end of a 6yr military campaign <<< Finally!
  2. Nick Reeve
    nick_reeve ( London, England) Hoorah! About bloody time, some would say... RT @bbcbreaking British troops to end combat operations in Iraq http://bit.ly/pXq0H
  3. Kim Swain
    doberama (England, Midlands) yeah... Heard on the news they are bringing back our troops. Can't happen quick enough
  4. James Smith
    jw_smith (London, England) Rejoice! British troops have officially ended combat operations in Iraq. Shouldn't have been there anyway, but at least we're out.
  5. Warwick ICA Soc
    ICAWarwick (University of Warwick, UK) The end of British troops in Iraq. Hope the US can cope alone and it's not too soon.
  6. Nick Smith
    NickJSmith (Burnley, England) Watching news at 1. The transfer of control in Basra to the US, about time we brought our troops home. 179 is too many in this day an age.
  7. Iain Griffin
    iaingriffin (Eastbourne, East Sussex) So, we're finally done with Iraq. What other country can we go and exploit now? All deaths are sad; troops, civilians. Shame it was needless


Apparent attack on Dutch Royal Family fails at parade on Queen's Day

Per NOS.nl, an apparent attack on the Dutch royal family at a parade in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, has failed, but not before a car drove through a crowd, injuring at least a dozen. The vehicle was headed in the direction of Queen Beatrix before it crashed; the royal family watched in awe.

Radio Netherlands reported earlier Thursday that joyous festivities were set for Apeldoorn to celebrate Queen's Day. The remainder of the celebration has been canceled, according to NOS.nl.

Local tweets in Dutch were all over this event, utilizing Twitter to share information in the breaking news situation:

  1. Adriaan Brillie
    brillie_nl (Apeldoorn, Netherlands) Auto rijdt door menigte heen in Apeldoorn. Aaanslag??? (Drive by going crowd in Apeldoorn. Attack?)
  2. Marinus v. Opzeeland
    Marinus (Apeldoorn, Netherlands) WTF !!!! auto breekt door en ramt bijna bus met koningin. (WTF! Car breaks through and almost rams bus with the queen.)
  3. Adriaan Brillie
    brillie_nl (Apeldoorn, Netherlands) Koningshuis in de bus zagen het gebeuren, geschokt natuurlijk (Monarchy in the bus saw the event, naturally shocked)
  4. Edwin Kuipers
    edwinkuipers (Apeldoorn, Netherlands) ernstig ongeval tijdens optocht apeldoorn, mogelijk doden (serious accident during parade apeldoorn, possibly dead)
  5. Emma Spek
    Emmaspek (Zutphen, Netherlands) er is volgens mij net een aanslag geweest op de koninklijke familie.. (I think there's just been an attack on the royal family ..)
  6. Enno de Witt
    Ennodewitt (Deventer, Netherlands) pffffff.... auto-ongelukje. Gewoon doorlopen mensen. (pheeww .... car accident. Just through people.)
  7. Adriaan Brillie
    brillie_nl (Apeldoorn, Netherlands) De optocht op het loo is stopgezet, of deze nog doorgaat is niet bekend. (The parade is on the loo stop put, if they can continue is unknown.)

Some Twitterers were adamant that it was not an accident.

  1. Menno Dijk
    mennodijk (Netherlands) #apeldoorn ik stond er naast zag de auto gas geven vol in de menigte, mensen in de lucht, het was een AANSLAG geen ongeluk HIJ GAF GAS (#apeldoorn I stood next saw the car full of gas in the crowd, people in the air, it was not an accident he did ATTACK GAS) from web
  2. Menno Dijk
    mennodijk (Netherlands) #apeldoorn hij ging voor de bus van de koningin WAS EEN AANSLAG!!! beveiliging was BAR SLECHT, hij ging meer dan 100km (#apeldoorn he went for the bus from the Queen WAS AN ATTACK! security was poor, he was more than 100km) from web
  3. Jasper Suijten
    JasperSuijten (Voorschoten, Netherlands) People on the scene are 100% sure this was no accident. #apeldoorn

Were you at this event? Please leave a comment with information on what you saw, plus links to any pictures or videos you may have taken.


17 killed in school shooting in Azerbaijan

Per Russia Today, at least 17 students were killed and 13 injured after a gunman began shooting at Baku Oil Academy in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Thursday morning. Some students jumped out windows to escape the incident, per RT. Syrian and Turkish citizens are reportedly among the victims.

Twitterers in the region have been exchanging information.

  1. Onnik Krikorian
    onewmphoto (Armenia) Friend in Baku informs via IM that Azerbaijan incident has ended. However, no official announcement
  2. Onnik Krikorian
    onewmphoto (Armenia) Friend in Baku says ANS reports "15 people are in morgue" after Azerbaijan State Oil Academy shooting
  3. Onnik Krikorian
    onewmphoto (Armenia) Interfax reports Azerbaijan shooting possibly result of argument between foreign students. BTW: Tasteless photo. -- http://bit.ly/U1baI
  4. Bogdan Costea
    gridpulse (Bucharest, Romania) back in Romania, glad to escape from Baku (I was on my way home when I heard about the university shooting - http://bit.ly/Ht2l9)
  5. Sasha 'newsbee' Me
    suavekhmer (Moscow, Russia) Azerbaijan's ANS TV reports 17 dead in oil school shooting, 13 wounded. Lonely gunman, 25, reportedly kills himself.

A Twitterer in Baku posted these updates on the news:

  1. Pouya neev
    ppouyaa (Baku, Azerbaijan) some students of oil university of baku, recently died..
  2. Pouya neev
    ppouyaa (Baku, Azerbaijan) all of universities are closed now...
  3. Pouya neev
    ppouyaa (Baku, Azerbaijan) those students were killed by gun...
    it's so Bad..
  4. Pouya neev
    ppouyaa (Baku, Azerbaijan) i'm so sad...


Explosions injure more than 100 in Tanzania

Per ThisDay in Tanzania, "a series of powerful explosions" at the Mbagala military facility in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killed at least four people and injured more than 100 others on Wednesday. The coastal city of Dar es Salaam is about 250 miles from the East African nation's capital, Dodoma.

Twitterers in Tanzania provided unique accounts of the news, with @kitindamimba providing the "breaking tweet" about three hours before it was picked up by most wire services and international media outlets.

  1. Raymond M
    kitindamimba (Tanzania) bombs are going off, Dar es Salaam Tanzania
  2. Africa Twenty Four
    a24media (Africa) Ammunition dump explodes in Tanzania.. watch out for the dramatic images & Video on A24 Media
  3. mohamed husein
    mhmariner (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) There were 3 large explosions, later heard it was from military arsenal. We're advised not to stay in high raised building!
  4. Gillsant Mlaseko
    gillsaint (Tanzania) Therethe bomb have explode in my city Dar es salaam its scary.. http://jijr.com/hyEo
  5. Alen Wekesa
    iAlen (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) Army ammo and bomb armoury explodes in Dar Tanzania causing panic in the city. Scanty details! Many injured! City evacuated.


April 29, 2009

Obama's presidency reaches 100th day

Capping off his first 100 days in office, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on issues of bipartisanship, foreign policy and the current swine flu outbreak during a primetime news conference earlier tonight.

Per CNN, President Obama said he has been "sobered by the fact that change in Washington comes slow” and thanked the American people for their support and patience during the early days of his presidency.

Those in the Twitterverse offered their own Obama scorecard. Some were full of praise:

  1. snickerdootle
    snickerdootle (Ohio) I was in class all day and missed rating my boy Obama. I give him an A+ and 4 gold stars. Why? cuz his 100 days - impressive.
  2. David Brown
    Brown11e (Boise, Idaho) 100 days in, I'd have to say I'm satisfied so far. Bravo, Mr. Obama. Bravo.
  3. Healthy Ind. Family
    HIFS (Bellflower, Calif.) Obama!!!! 100 days, congrats for giving us more hopes, for standing up for hard issues like health care, females' rights, economy..Good LK!
  4. Eliza
    SwaggaBo0 (Undisclosed) Watching OBAMA: THE FIRST 100 DAYS on BET...I love this man 99 Problemz but Bush aint One
  5. Jenwho
    hobbes152 (Knoxville, Tenn.) I give a kudos for President Obama for the past 100 days. As a teacher, sacrifice was made and in the end, it will be good for our country!
  6. Daniel
    shafty023 (Austin, Texas) I think Obama did a good job tonight explaining whats been accomplished in 100 days, and whats to come

Others were more critical:

  1. Tom whitmore
    Thomasjwhitmore (Manassas, Va.) Lotta folks burning thru the good will, praising Obama on first 100 days, wait till the bill comes due! #TCOT #TEAPARTY #POLITICS #SGP #GOP
  2. Ty Austin
    tyaustin (Mississippi) Obama gets a D at best on his first 100 days
  3. Patrick Newman
    pmnewm04 (Louisville, Ky.) The Obama administration has spent years of money that nobody has, and it's only been 100 days. Imagine how much the can spend in 4 years.
  4. Kendra Ussery
    KendraUssery (California) The ONLY reason to give ANY attention to Obama's 100 days is to highlight the damage he's done to this country.

And a few light-hearted thoughts thrown in for fun:

  1. Alex Mizrahi
    WhatHappenedWas (Los Angeles, Calif.) @HowardKurtz You think all the mags that published Obama 100 Days cover stories on Day 95 regret it now, in lieu of the Specter switch?
  2. Kristi
    MissTrueStar (Champaign, Ill.) RT @bclorio: grading Obama after 100 days is artificial and makes no sense. who gets a grade less than a day into the first class?
  3. Dennis O'Kelly
    dennisokelly (San Francisco, Calif.) Obama now has an official White House Flickr stream. Nice photos that capture the first 100 days. http://is.gd/vfOj
  4. kellye smith
    kelbutt (Undisclosed) RT from @Slate: What Obama's first 100 days would look like as a Facebook news feed: http://www.slate.com/id/221...
  5. Brian Zimmel
    brianzimmel (Albany, N.Y.) It's a night of 100's - Lost episode # 100, Obama's speech on first 100 days, and Girardi goes for win # 100 with Yankees.