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Lemontree



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3298

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: Random News Stories of Note Reply with quote

Frequently I read short articles online and want to hop on here and comment on them, but feel like its a waste to start entire threads over them, and don't feel as though they have a proper home anywhere else.
(Correct me if I'm wrong.)

So this is for the small stories you don't expect to raise 20 pages of debate. Very Happy
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Lemontree



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3298

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, so maybe this isn't entirely small.. but here's one to start:

MSNBC wrote:
Japan drops charges against U.S. Marine
14-year-old girl withdraws her rape complaint
The Associated Press
updated 12:59 p.m. ET, Fri., Feb. 29, 2008

TOKYO - A U.S. Marine who was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in southern Japan has been released after prosecutors dropped the charges at the teenager's request, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Tyrone Luther Hadnott, 38, was arrested on Feb. 10 on suspicion of raping the girl on the southern island of Okinawa, fueling nationwide furor over crimes involving American troops in Japan.

Hadnott was released Friday night after the girl withdrew her criminal complaint against him, said Ryo Fukahori, a Foreign Ministry official in charge of Japan-U.S. security. Rape charges in Japan can be filed only with a victim's complaint.

Fukahori said the rape charges could be separately pursued by the U.S. military. Phone calls to the Marine Corps on Okinawa went unanswered, and the U.S. consulate said it had no immediate comment.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters Friday that the United States remains "very concerned about this incident" and has "great sympathies" for the girl and her family. He had no details about the legal process.

Japanese police earlier said Hadnott admitted that he forced the girl down and kissed her, but that he denied raping her.

A series of criminal accusations against some of the 50,000 American troops based in Japan have inflamed anger at the U.S. military presence.

In December, the U.S. military charged four servicemen in the rape of a 19-year-old woman in Hiroshima. Japanese prosecutors had dropped charges against the four, based in the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni in southern Japan, citing lack of evidence.

The U.S. military has since imposed tight new restrictions on troops, their families and civilian expatriates in Okinawa and elsewhere, limiting them to bases, workplaces and off-base housing. The military held a "day of reflection" last week to urge troops not to commit crimes.

Japan also has introduced new security steps to curb crime around bases, including installing surveillance cameras and conducting joint patrols of entertainment districts around bases on Okinawa.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23409988/

Stories like this infuriate me! I spent 6 weeks over in Okinawa in the summer of 2000.. and always felt uncomfortable with the military's presence on the island so many years after WWII. I understand its a strategic Pacific Ocean position.. but I feel like more emphasis should be put upon service men and women to treat their host country with respect.. and frankly I think there has to be something we can do about reducing our impact there.

I have a cousin who's a new recruit to the marines.. still finishing training to determine where he will be assigned. All I know is that if he's assigned to Okinawa, I plan to sit him down for a length conversation about respect for the Japanese culture and its citizens.
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Azmoten



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 2210
Location: St. Louis

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I normally use the interesting link dump. This is better.
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Lemontree



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3298

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Interesting Link Dump just seems more like a home for random memes, games, and silly shit. So yeah.. thought this might work out easier to sort out the real stories worth discussing. Very Happy
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 17045
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i never look at the interesting link thread - too random. this works for me.

yeah, with all the talk about a long-term presence in iraq, i wonder how much mccain and others have looked at our history of long-term presences in other countries. it seems there are regularly cases of u.s. military raping japanese women, and other issues of friction between the 'host' country and the military.
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Dro



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3850

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lemontree, while respect for the host country is laudable, I don't think that is connected with someone that perpetrating a sex crime.

There are plenty of ways cultural sensitivity can be enhanced and that can only help, tho.
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Tesceract



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 659

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do we need 50,000 troops to be in Japan in the first place?
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Kilgore



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just in case?
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Lemontree



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3298

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, maybe it just comes down to the fact that if my feet are ever out of my own country.. I see myself as an ambassador for my home nation. I wish that sentiment was impressed upon military personnel more. Perhaps it is.. obviously there are people that really are just never going to listen or ever care.

But what kind of cultural systems do we have in place for foreign serving members of the armed forces? In long-term occupied places like Okinawa.. it seems like the language and culture should be taught in mandatory lessons, perhaps.

I thought up a much longer response to this.. but it pretty much boiled down to me optimistically whining over "why can't we all just get along? Why can't people be good?" Which is ridiculous, because the world doesn't work that way, and it serves no purpose in advancing the conversation.

Anyway, I'm pissed that the man did not have further charges pressed upon him. I hope the military over there follows up where the Japanese criminal justice system left off. And I hope we can find ways to lessen our presence on the islands and promote healthy cultural exchange.

blah.
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Yorick



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tesceract wrote:
Why do we need 50,000 troops to be in Japan in the first place?

Japan's not allowed to have an army, I understand.

Someone's gotta be there when Godzilla rises out of the murky ocean.
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Tesceract



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 659

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yorick wrote:
Japan's not allowed to have an army, I understand.


But we could have a much smaller contingent for that.

Does Japan have any enemies?
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Arc Tempest



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only the rest of Asia.
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ZigZag



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 399

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yorick wrote:
Tesceract wrote:
Why do we need 50,000 troops to be in Japan in the first place?

Japan's not allowed to have an army, I understand.

Someone's gotta be there when Godzilla rises out of the murky ocean.


Japan is allowed to have an army, but the japanese Constitution forbids wars of aggression. They only defend themselves.
I wish that every country adopts this law.
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Aulute
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if I'd call the Self Defense Force a real army, although the Japanese have been sending some troops to support American military actions. "Defense" against terrorism? Pretty much, though, if someone attacks Japan we'd be the ones doing most of the fighting, since that was kind of the deal when Article 9 was included in the constitution.

I feel so bad about Okinawa itself, though. The islands use to be a separate kingdom, but were annexed by Japan. Then, Okinawa took the brunt of the US land invasion. Citizens were forced to fight as military, and many died. The huge number of troops stationed there is just... not good. Some friends of mine went to Okinawa for Fall Break, and some more are planning to go for Spring Break I think, but I didn't go the first time since I'd heard there was a lot of hostility towards Americans over the last rape incident.
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Rogue



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got one to add...

Pregnant woman uses train toilet, baby slips out
Quote:

AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - A newborn baby girl survived an ignoble birth after slipping down the toilet bowl of a moving Indian train onto the tracks when a pregnant woman unexpectedly gave birth while relieving herself on Tuesday.

"My delivery was so sudden," said the Bhuri Kalbi, the mother of the infant, born two months prematurely. "I did not even realize that my child had slipped from the hole in the toilet."

Kalbi, a 33-year-old woman from a village in Rajasthan, fainted on the toilet seat after the birth for a few minutes before waking up and alerting her family.

"They stopped the train and ran on the tracks to find the baby," she said, speaking from her hospital bed in the western city of Ahmedabad.

Railway staff at a nearby station were alerted and soon found the newborn girl lying uninjured on pebbles by the track. She is now in intensive care because of her premature birth, doctors said.

Most toilets on Indian trains are filthy chutes emptying directly onto the tracks.
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