Tag: North Africa

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International

Dutch push back against “Black Pete” criticism

In this Nov. 18, 2012 file photo a child dressed as “Zwarte Piet” or “Black Pete”, right, watches a parade after St. Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, arrived by boat in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (AP Photo/ Margriet Faber, File) by Toby SterlingAssociated Press Writer AMSTERDAM (AP) — A Facebook page seeking to preserve the “Black Pete” clowns in blackface who accompany St. Nicholas to the Netherlands during the holidays has become the fastest-growing Dutch-language page ever, receiving 1 million “likes” in a single day. The mushrooming popularity of the “Pete-ition” page reflects the depth of emotional attachment most Dutch people — 90 percent of whom have European ancestry — feel to a figure that helped launch the tradition of Santa Claus.

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International

Doubts linger over Syria gas attack responsibility

In this Aug. 29, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by the Local Comity of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a member of a UN investigation team takes samples from the ground in the Damascus countryside of Zamalka, Syria. (AP Photo/Local Comity of Arbeen) by Kimberly DozierAssociated Press Writer BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. government insists it has the intelligence to prove it, but the public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence produced by U.S. intelligence — no satellite imagery, no transcripts of Syrian military communications — connecting the government of President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack last month that killed hundreds of people.