Barack Obama, the US president, has called for Israel to extend its partial freeze of the building of settlements on occupied Palestinian land to inject fresh momentum into newly-resumed Middle East peace talks.
Speaking on Friday, Obama said that last week's launch of a new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians had "exceeded many people's expectations".
But the president warned that the approaching expiry of a moratorium on Israeli construction of projects on Palestinian territory, which is due to end on September 26, could threaten the negotiations.
Just 10,000 more to go.....
BAGHDAD — Iraq displayed hundreds of recovered artifacts Tuesday that were among the country's looted heritage and span the ages from a 4,400-year-old statue of a Sumerian king to a chrome-plated AK-47 bearing Saddam Hussein's image.
The 542 pieces are among the most recent artifacts recovered from a heartbreaking frenzy of looting at museums and archaeological sites after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and in earlier years of war and upheaval. The thefts swept a stunning array of priceless antiquities into the hands of collectors abroad.
So far, 5,000 items stolen since 2003 have been recovered. And culture officials said they hoped the display would encourage more nations to cooperate in the search for 15,000 pieces still missing from the Iraqi National Museum, one of the sites worst-hit by looters after the fall of Baghdad seven years ago.
Iraqis feel ignored by the Arab world [GALLO/GETTY]
The US invasion of Iraq marked a dramatic turning point for the Arab world, but the recent partial American withdrawal generated notably little interest across the region. This is partly because it signaled neither an unequivocal end to the occupation nor an explicit continuation of US military control. But the silence also reflects the bitter reality that many have simply tuned out of Iraq.
When Baghdad fell in 2003, it drew comparisons with the loss of Palestine and the dispossession of its people in 1948. And while the US invasion did not lead to, or aim at, colonising the country, changing its name or razing its towns and villages, it did serve to remove a once powerful state from the regional political equation and, in so doing, weakened the Arab world. This emboldened Israel and Iran, while striking a critical blow against pan-Arabism.
In the immediate wake of the invasion, Arab governments appeared confused. Some initially played to popular sentiment and looked to boycott the newly-installed American-backed government before eventually bowing to US pressure.
A country that had once helped to support others suddenly became an economic burden to its neighbours as hundreds of thousands of refugees fled into Syria and Jordan. Baghdad lost its status as an educational centre and cultural hub for Arab intellectuals, artists, poets and novelists.
The tragic shift in its position left many Iraqis feeling like the formerly wealthy relation who lost their fortune only to find that their friends and family had disappeared along with it.
It’s the economy, stupid. As President Obama faces devastating unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, with no end in sight, he’s begun a ten-week campaign around the country leading up the November midterm elections. We speak with John Nichols, the Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, who says Obama should borrow a page from FDR and call for economic justice.
September 7 – October 23, 2010
Reception: Thursday, September 23, 5-8pm
The Yes Men will present at 6:30pm in the Conaway
Center adjacent to the Glass Curtain Gallery
Glass Curtain Gallery, Columbia College Chicago
1104 S Wabash Avenue, 1st floor, Chicago, IL 60605
Gallery Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri, 9-5pm, Thurs 9-7pm, Sat Noon-5pm
Considered among the most important political artists of this decade, The Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno) are a group of culture-jamming activists who practice what they call “Identity Correction.” By posing as spokespersons for prominent organizations and powerful entities, The Yes Men create spoof websites and appear in conferences and TV shows to highlight how corporations and government organizations often act in dehumanizing ways toward the public.
The first-ever traveling solo exhibition of The Yes Men, KEEP IT SLICK presents The Yes Men’s body of work including their elaborate costumes fabricated for their bold interventions, slapstick videos and PowerPoint presentations at business conferences, outrageous posters and props, scripts, sketches, research materials and selected publications and ephemera from their personal collections.
KEEP IT SLICK, Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men is curated by Astria Suparak, organized by the Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of the Arts and the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University. The KEEP IT SLICK Exhibition Catalogue and Activity Book is for sale at Glass Curtain Gallery and ShopColumbia.