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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

*Nine civilians, including at least one child, were killed on Friday in Yemen's second-largest city after President Ali Abdullah Saleh's forces shelled the neighborhood where protesters are gathered, Al Jazeera reported. The shelling continued into the early morning, where undeterred demonstrators held a rally in Taiz and in Sanaa under the banner of "Friday of No Immunity for Murderers." Opponents of Saleh say negotiations for his removal should not allow immunity for Saleh and his family members.

*Meanwhile, the official news website 26 September reports nearly daily that Yemeni officials are involved in "ongoing efforts to restore security and stability in the country," and to "complete the operational mechanism for the GCC initiative." UN Special Envoy Jamal bin Omar is the latest in a long line of diplomats and international officials who have arrived in Sanaa to pursuade Saleh to resign.

*Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says that a war on Syria and Iran is unfolding – and the situation is in Hezbollah's favor. The Americans and Zionists know that the war against Iran and Syria will spill over and affect the region, Nasrallah said in a speech telecast to supporters in Beirut from an unknown location. As for Syria, anyone betting on the fall of Assad's regime will lose, Nasrallah said.

*The Syrian Revolution Facebook group, now with more than 309,000 supporters, has a logo for Homs that has blood dripping off the letters. Protests continued on Friday around the country, with demonstrators in Rastan, the site of heavy fighting between the army and defectors, shouting "God, Syria, freedom and that's it" – a play on the usual chant at rallies for Bashar al-Assad during which people chant, "God, Syria, Bashar and that's it."

*Here, a protest outside Aleppo – noteworthy because Aleppo itself has not joined the movement to bring down the regime. In the village of Mara, the men singing and dancing have all covered their faces to avoid detection by Syrian intelligence agencies. One man holds up a sign reading: "God is with us."

November 11, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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food / travel

Legalizing Moonshine, A Winning Political Stand In Poland

Moonshine, typically known as “bimber” in Poland, may soon be legalized by the incoming government. There is a mix of tradition, politics and economics that makes homemade booze a popular issue to campaign on.

Photo of an empty vodka bottle on the ground in Poland

Bottle of vodka laying on the ground in Poland

Leszek Kostrzewski

WARSAWIt's a question of freedom — and quality. Poland's incoming coalition government is busy negotiating a platform for the coming years. Though there is much that still divides the Left, the liberal-centrist Civic Koalition, and the centrist Third Way partners, there is one area where Poland’s new ruling coalition is nearly unanimous: moonshine.

The slogan for the legalization of moonshine (known in Poland as "bimber") was initially presented by Michał Kołodziejczak, the leader of Agrounia, a left-wing socialist political movement in Poland that has qualified to be part of the incoming Parliament.

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”Formerly so-called moonshine was an important element of our cultural landscape, associated with mystery, breaking norms, and freedom from the state," Kołodziejczak said. "It was a reason to be proud, just like the liqueurs that Poles were famous for in the past.”

The president of Agrounia considered the right to make moonshine as a symbol of "subjectivity" that farmers could enjoy, and admitted with regret that in recent years it had been taken away from citizens. “It's also about a certain kind of freedom, to do whatever you want on your farm," Kołodziejczak adds. "This is subjectivity for the farmer. Therefore, I am in favor of providing farmers with the freedom to consume this alcohol for their own use.”

A similar viewpoint was aired by another Parliament member. “We will stop pretending that Polish farmers do not produce moonshine for their own use, such as for weddings,” the representative said, pointing out the benefits of controlling the quality. “Just like they produce slivovitz, which Poland is famous for. It's high time they did it legally.”

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