Political murder of Boris Nemstov a continuation of a grim trend

Share this
Share

Despite news reports, this is not a new development.

Boris Y. Nemtsov was slain on Friday by an unknown gunman. He was a prominent opposition leader and he had been at the forefront of fighting for democratic reforms for over two decades. Russian President Vladimir Putin did was expected of him and offered his sincerest condolences and vowed to find the killer, in much the same way as many vows are made by politicians when public anger and shock are at their most acute. The other constant, in Russian political life at least, is that such high-profile murders are a regular occurrence. Another view of Putin’s official grief is that he is developing a siege mentality in a country already beset by enemies, if the official narrative is to be believed.

To some degree, it is not shocking. The intimated reason for the murder was that Nemtsov had access to explosive information about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. While it remains unclear whether the Russian President ordered a hit, it should be obvious what designs Putin has over the place and also it should be clear that a mixture of short-term opportunism, historical rifts and Putin’s general strategy of transfiguring the Russian bear into a war hawk are forces that drive a belief that he was somehow involved. The ins-and-outs of another Russian whodunnit may stay unsolved, like the case of Dr. David Kelly, the British doctor found dead at his home. He was another prominent figure linked to the government who had potentially embarrassing information for those in power. The official coroner’s verdict was suicide but others believe it was murder.

The general consensus around the murder of Nemstov is that it sets a new kind of precedent. This journalist disagrees. While it is true that political killings have decreased under Putin, the fact remains that significant murders have occurred while he has been in power. The most high profile – until now – was of the courageous journalist Anna Politkovskay who, in turn, wrote about the murder of human rights advocates and other agitators for democratic change.

Today, supporters of Nemstov will march in mourning but also as an act of defiance that states opposition figures will be not be cowed by the State. It may never emerge that Putin sanctioned the killing of one of modern Russia’s most honest politicians but he has directly contributed to a climate of fear and persecution where the strong-arm tactics of a mafia state terrorize and, sometimes, murder its citizens.

Analysis by Enda Kenneally

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jul/16/david-kelly-death-10-years-on

https://inmoscowsshadows.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/nemtsovs-murder-and-three-other-deaths/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/world/europe/killing-of-boris-nemtsov-putin-critic-breeds-fear-in-russia.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/28/was-boris-nemtsov-killed-russia-opposition-traitors

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/28/world/europe/boris-nemtsov-russian-opposition-leader-is-shot-dead.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31677506

Possible new law of nature on the way

Share this
Share

The world of physics is excited about strong but early evidence about the behavior of muons, paricles identical to electrons only 200x more massive (heavier), which once born take 2.2 microseconds to decay into an electron, and which spin like tops. In a new, extremely precise measurement, they were made to wobble using magnetic fields but they unexpectedly wobbled quite significantly faster than the Standard Model suggests they would. They might spin so fast due to an unknown force caused by an unknown particle, and this is what is so exciting.

“We found that a muon … is not in agreement with our current best theory of physics at the subatomic level, and … it potentially points to a future with new laws, new particles and new forces in physics which we haven’t seen to date,” said Professor Mark Lancaster at U of Manchester.

“The main goal of the experiment is to make the measurement and compare with the theory, and if they disagree then it’s telling us that there’s something in nature which is not in the theory,” explained James Mott at Fermilab.

The four known forces of nature (gravity, electricity, two nuclear forces: strong and weak interactions) have left scientists without an answer for some observed phenomena, such as the speed at which galaxies spin (faster than the best model suggests). Therefore, they continue to search for glitches in their already-tight models which might point them things they don’t yet know about.

The most recent work was done at Fermilab (Muon g-2 experiment), but a similar experiment was already done earlier at the Large Hadron Collider. These tools accelerate particles in large rings at close to the speed of light.

The evidence needs more tests for greater certainty, particularly to rule out the possibility of a systematic error, and particularly with a new, independent experiment, but physicists will be chasing this line of experiment eagerly.

“This is outstanding confirmation of experimental technique, and very, very suggestive of the possibility of new physics,” noted scientist David Hertzon of U of Washington.

By the editors

#AnomalousMagneticDipoleMomentOfTheMuon #QuantumElectrodynamics

Leave a comment

People in Kachin state demonstrate against China

Share this
Share

YANGON, Myanmar – The people in the Pharkant area of Kachin state demonstrated against China this week, drawing a cross on the Chinese flag and burning a picture of Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing.

“China stands with the military leader,” shouted the demonstrators.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Aye Yarwaddy

Leave a comment

Myanmar military council arrests the artist Zarganar

Share this
Share

YANGON, Myanmar – The artist Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military council from his home in Tarmwe township, Yangon this morning.

Zarganar is not only a director but also a comedian famous for political jokes since the 1988 democratic revolution.

Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military many times before 2010.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Zarganar page

Leave a comment

Kayin IDPs struggle to get for food

Share this
Share

YANGON, Myanmar – Kayin internally displaced people are desperate for food, clothing and shelter, hiding in the forest from the air strikes of the Myanmar military.

The IDPs fled to neighboring Thailand, but Thai government turned them back. However, Wednesday morning the Thai government opened Maeseli jetty in Maehaungsaung district to sending rations and medicines over the border to Kayin state, according to a Thai media.

By Htay Win

Leave a comment

Twenty Myanmar celebrities charged with incitement

Share this
Share

YANGON, Myanmar -They were charged under the country’s media law with inciting government employees to join the popular civil disobedience movement (CDM) through social media.

Celebrities took part in the NLD election campaigns and are thought to have played a large part in influencing the public, particularly Myanmar’s youth, to vote for Aung San Suu Kyi.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Myanmar celebrity

Leave a comment

More news in Opinion

Most recent: