Welcome to Monday, MTs. Hope you all had a good weekend. A few things caught my eye around the world today:
The Iranian government have arrested a group of mothers on Saturday at a protest, according to The New York Times. The mothers have been gathering each Saturday since the street protests against the June re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the government oppression that came with the protests.
The mothers took part in an antigovernment protest in Leleh Park in central Tehran every Saturday since the death in June of Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, whose shooting became a symbol of the government’s violent repression. The rally had been attacked by the police before, but Saturday was the first time the mothers were arrested.
An opposition Web site reported that the protest was broken up by the police and many demonstrators were taken away. The BBC Persian service quoted a witness who said 29 women were arrested, some of whom were later released. But at least 21 remained in jail, the BBC said.
Next Saturday, six months after Election Day, protests are planned around the world “to honor the Iranian people’s peaceful struggle for their human and civil rights,“ according to the organizer, United4Iran, a network of activists supporting human rights in Iran.
Would you join these protests?
In Spain, the government has apologized to a gay man for imprisoning him in the 70s, when the Franco regime deemed homosexuality a crime.
Antoni Ruiz, 50, has become the first Spaniard to receive official recognition of his suffering more than three decades after he was imprisoned for his sexual orientation.
An estimated 5,000 men served prison sentences during the dictatorship of Gen Franco when homosexuality was made illegal but Mr Ruiz was one of the few sentenced for the crime following the death of the dictator in November 1975.
In 1976, at the age of 17, Mr Ruiz, from Valencia, told family members that he was gay. At the time homosexuality was still banned and when his parents confided in a Catholic monk, he denounced their son to the authorities.
He was sentenced to three months in prison and was then banished from his home town for a further year.
Spain has come a long way since the 70s in more ways than one – but particularly in that it has legalised gay marriage. Good for the Socialist Zapatero government for making this symbolic gesture.
Finally, from my neck of the woods, a story I’m filing this under “Reasons I’m Happy I Practically Eloped“: In NZ, authorities called out a police helicopter to search around an Auckland suburb after a bridesmaid enjoyed a wee bit too much champagne and wandered off into the forest. The bridesmaid was found safe and presumably mostly sound, asleep under a bush.
After a search involving search and rescue volunteers and a police helicopter, the woman was found about 5.30 m. She was asleep about 10 or 15 metres into the bush, Inspector Shawn Rutene said.
She was cold after her night spent sleeping rough, but otherwise fine, he said.
“We had to extend our search because of the time delay,” he said, with searchers anticipating the bridesmaid could have roamed much further than she did before falling asleep.
Bet that’ll dwarf most wedding faux pas stories…
What’s up with you this morning? As always, this is an open thread.