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Greece Bans Footballer Giorgios Katidis for Life After Nazi Salute: VIDEO

Katidis

Giorgios Katidis, a Greek footballer who gave a Nazi salute after making a game-winning goal over the weekend has been banned for life from representing Greece in the game, the NYT reports:

The Hellenic Football Federation met Sunday in response to the incident and decided to ban the player, who has previously captained the national team in youth competitions. “The player’s action to salute to spectators in a Nazi manner is a severe provocation, insults all the victims of Nazi barbarity and injures the deeply pacifist and human character of the game,” the federation said as Greece marked the 70th anniversary of the deportation of thousands of Greek Jews to Nazi death camps.

Reuters adds:

The 20-year-old, a former captain of Greece's Under-19 team, made the gesture in celebrating his winning goal in a 2-1 Super League victory over lowly Veria on Saturday. Katidis apologized and asked to be dropped from AEK's first team.

"I would like to confess that I am totally unacceptable and I feel terrible for those I upset with the stupidity of my act," Katidis said in a statement. "I made the mistake so I will be the one to pay for it, AEK is not responsible. So that is why I have decided to put myself out of the team because I have now realized how much I have offended the history of the club. Also, I understand fully the reasons for the decision made by the Greek Football Federation to which I owe a huge apology as it has helped me to get where I am in the professional game."

Katidis reiterated that he was not a fascist or racist.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Greek State TV Cuts Gay Kiss from 'Downton Abbey'

Greek state television cut a gay kiss between the footman character Thomas and a visiting Duke on the British series Downton Abbey, angering viewers.

KissThe Guardian reports:

Greek people took to social networking sites including Twitter to complain about the NET channel's decision to axe a scene from episode one of the series showing a kiss between a visiting duke and Downton's unscrupulous footman Thomas. NET defended its move, citing parental guidance viewing rules.

"As incredible as it may seem for a democratic country in the 21st century, officials of the NET television channel censored the scene of a kiss between men from the TV drama Downton Abbey," the Syriza party said in a statement.

"This is of course an obvious case of censorship, an extreme act of homophobia and discrimination which unfortunately, after what has been happening recently, we cannot characterise as unprecedented."

The Syriza politician Dimitris Papadimoulis questioned in a tweet whether the omission was due to pressure from the far-right Golden (GD) Dawn party or religious authorities...


Greek Neo-Nazis Protest Gay Jesus Play 'Corpus Christi'

GreeceProtest

Police in Athens Thursday night detained 30 people during a violent protest by the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn of the gay-themed play Corpus Christi.

In addition to blocking entry to the playhouse, the group also reportedly beat their opposition while the police turned their backs.

Penned by Terrence McNally in 1998, Corpus Christi has always been controversial because of McNally's casting of Jesus and the Apostles as gay men in Texas, a plot device Greece's Golden Dawn and dozens of other groups over the years have called "blasphemous."

"This is a blasphemous play," Golden Dawn lawmaker Ilias Panagiotaros said. He also launched into a tirade against gay people and Alabanians, because the play's director is Albanian, according to the South African Independent.

Leftist lawmaker Petros Tatsopoulo described the showdown as a "night of terror," telling reporters, "Golden Dawn members twisted the doors so the actors could not get out, and to keep [help] from getting in."

And according to eyewitness accounts, police did nothing as Golden Dawn members brazenly beat their open-minded opposition. Local reporter Manolis V offered his take via Twitter: "The police is next to us. I shout 'They're beating me, aren't you going to do something?'... I move away so I can look on from distance. A well-known Golden Dawn MP follows me. He punches me twice in the face and knocks me to the ground. While on the ground, I lose my glasses. The Golden Dawn MP kicks me. The police are just two steps away but turn their back."

Yiannis Baboulias at UK's Guardian notes that this incident is just another example of how right-winger fascist groups are operating with carte-blanche in Greece:

Greece is being held hostage by a police force that increasingly appears beyond state control, and which has long forsaken its role of protecting citizens from the thugs they now side with, and by a government which relishes the distraction the Golden Dawn provides from the cuts and tax hikes.

The government's unwillingness to revoke parliamentary privileges from those Golden Dawn MPs who participate in or condone violent acts, and to speed up processes to have them prosecuted and condemned, demonstrates this.

As in many other European nations, Greece has seen a rise in neo-Nazi activity, though Golden Dawn insists they're not related to Hitler and his hideous ideology. Rather, they claim to be patriotic.

"We will continue the fight for a Greece that belongs to Greeks," said Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos in May after Golden Dawn retained 18 parliamentary seats.


Violence At Greek Pride Parade

AnthimosYesterday's Pride Parade in the Greek city of Thessaloniki was violently disrupted by a group of 50 or so thugs who pelted the approximately 400 revelers with eggs and water bottles. Police intervened quickly, and no one was injured. From the AP:

In recent days, Anthimos, the senior Greek Orthodox cleric in Thessaloniki, had publicly criticized the planned gay pride parade. Anthimos, who only uses one name, is known for outspoken speeches on social and political issues.

The AP doesn't report whether the egg-throwers were Anthimos fans. They might have just been fascists


NEWS: Fathers, Rodney, Greece, Iran

Rodney-king2

Towleroad-roadicon Rodney King, dead at 47:

The police in Rialto, Calif., said they received a 911 call at 5:25 a.m. Sunday from Mr. King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, who reported finding him at the bottom of his swimming pool. Mr. King, 47, had been living in Rialto, a small middle-class city, for several years.

Police arrived and removed Mr. King’s body from the pool and tried to resuscitate him. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.

Towleroad-roadicon On the "gift" of being a gay dad:

When I finally accepted in my 20s that I was gay and that in order to live a life true to myself I had to come out, I knew there were “risks.” When my mother let loose a stream of consciousness list of fears that the world would visit on me for being openly gay – including never finding happiness, or being bashed coming out of a bar with my lover – the one she settled on was “…and you always wanted to be a father.”

It was the thing that broke my heart: the feeling that by coming out, I was giving up the one thing I had always wanted since I was a kid – more than any profession or any pursuit – being a dad.

Towleroad-roadicon LZ Granderson breaks down the "super duper evil gay lifestyle" at TEDx.

Towleroad-roadicon Ahmadinejad to voluntarily leave politics in 2013 ...

Towleroad-roadicon ... though Nicholas D. Kristof doesn't think he'll have a choice. 

Towleroad-roadicon Greek exit polls show pro-stability, pro-bailout parties eeking a narrow lead.

Towleroad-roadicon Sandusky should just plead guilty:

Sandusky’s only real hope at trial was that Mike McQueary, the former Penn State quarterback who allegedly saw Sandusky raping a boy in a shower on campus in 2001, would stumble on the stand. He didn’t ...

... If any good can come out of this spectacle of a trial, it will be our increased awareness about why sexually abused children rarely come forward, and how adults, even well meaning ones, can fail them so terribly. But what matters right now is for Jerry Sandusky to admit to the wrongs the evidence unalterably shows he committed. He owes his victims much more. But this, at least, he could give them.

Towleroad-roadicon Joy McNair, daughter of astronaut and Challenger-disaster casualty Ronald McNair, discusses honor and remembrance.

Towleroad-roadicon Curiosity, NASA's new Mars-bound rover, will land in August and embark on an awesome off-road journey:

The summer landing will be the start of a Martian ... trip that will take months or possibly a year as Curiosity makes its way toward its final destination, the Gale Crater, said Curiosity contributor James Wray, an assistant professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

... [a] new landing destination has been pinpointed with accuracy previously impossible and will shave several months off Curiosity's drive to Gale Crater. Strategically, the new landing site makes sense. But, "the public and scientists will have to be more patient to get the really juicy stuff," Wray said.

The 'juicy stuff' that Curiosity seeks to uncover is evidence of the ability for life as we know it - past or future - on the Martian surface.

Gale Crater was created more than 3 billion years ago when Mars was struck by a meteorite and now houses three miles of sediment, providing the perfect location for such an investigation. Wray said examining Gale Crater will be similar to going through Earth's history by examining the layers of the Grand Canyon and learning, by the thickness and make up of the rocks, if they were once carved by oceans, lakes or air.

"We'll start down at the base, and we'll just climb up as high as we can during the mission and move forward in time in Martian history and see how the environment changed," Wray said.

Towleroad-roadicon Club where Chris Brown and Drake got into scuffle is closed indefinitely.

Towleroad-roadicon Earnestine Shepherd, 75-year-old body-building grandma. She's fabulous.


NEWS: Athens Burns, FOX Fans Discuss Whitney, Starry Night Comes Alive

Athens

Road Facing austerity, Athens burns:

... Cinemas, cafes, shops and banks were set ablaze in central Athens as black-masked protesters fought riot police outside parliament.

State television reported the violence spread to the tourist islands of Corfu and Crete, the northern city of Thessaloniki and towns in central Greece. Shops were looted in the capital where police said 34 buildings were ablaze.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos denounced the worst breakdown of order since 2008 when violence gripped Greece for weeks after police shot a 15-year-old schoolboy.

"Vandalism, violence and destruction have no place in a democratic country and won't be tolerated," he told parliament as it prepared to vote on the new 130 billion euro bailout to save Greece from a chaotic bankruptcy.

Road Bishops unhappy with Obama's contraception compromise:

The bishops’ decision to rebuff the compromise means that “religious freedom” will continue to be a rallying cry for some Catholics who have heard it preached from the pulpit for the last three weeks, for evangelical Christians on the religious right, for Republican candidates on the campaign trail and for members of Congress who are supporting a legislative fix on Capitol Hill.

... Mr. Obama said that the compromise would take the Catholic institutions out of the equation by relieving them from either paying for coverage for contraceptives or providing any referral to their employees for the coverage. Instead, insurance companies would be required to pay for the contraceptives, and to arrange it. The insurers will agree, the White House said, because it is more expensive for them to pay for pregnancies than to pay for contraceptives.

Churches and houses of worship that object to birth control coverage are already exempted. The compromise applies to primarily Catholic institutions, such as hospitals, universities and charities, that employ and serve large numbers of non-Catholics.

The bishops said the plan offered insufficient protection for their institutions: “In the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.”

Road A history of terrestrial nuclear explosions, in time lapse -- a video both frightening and lyrical.

Road Dose a male snake with estrogen, and other male snakes go wild.

Road Is gay lit dead?

Road Dick Polman: Marriage equality no longer a wedge issue:

During the 2004 campaign, Republican strategists put gay marriage on referendum ballots in key swing states as a "wedge" issue to unnerve Democrats and gin up the conservative base for President George W. Bush. The Massachusetts high court had just ruled for legalization, and hostility toward the concept was the centrist position in America.

This is no longer true.

Granted, social conservatives voiced anger Tuesday when, for the first time, a federal court of appeals declared that gay marriage was a constitutional expression of equal rights. But most Americans will shrug and move on. As evidenced by all the polls, tolerance is the new centrism.

Road Gay consumers reward JCPenny's defense of Ellen DeGeneres with a buycott.

Road The trials and tenacity of The Washington Post:

... That has left the newspaper and the company’s other businesses exposed. The newsroom, once with more than 1,000 employees, now stands at less than 640 people, depleted by buyouts and staff defections. The newspaper’s Style section, once one of the most coveted assignments in American journalism, has shrunk from nearly 100 people to a quarter of that size. Bureaus in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are gone. There were so many Friday afternoon cake-cutting send-offs for departing employees last summer that editors had to coordinate them so they didn’t overlap.

Picture 20 Road New York Times bloggers' surprisingly fun live-blog of the Grammys.

Road As expected, the classiest comments on Whitney Houston's demise come from FOX News fans.

Road Van Gogh's Starry Night, as you've never seen it before.


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