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Sad real-world news
msauvage purple
Between a massive explosion and a shooting at a Labour Party youth camp, 92 dead in Norway attacks. The victim count has been rising as recovery efforts continue. At the moment, 85 deaths, mostly kids, have been reported from the island camp alone.

Norway attacks: latest developments being added on CNN.com; Norway attacks: ‘A nightmare,’ PM says; suspect identified; at least 92 dead. Selected snippets:

The official death toll as a result of Friday's explosion in Oslo stands at 7 and 90 people have been hospitalized, a spokesman for the city's mayor said.

Undetonated explosives were found on Utoya Island, where a gunman opened fire earlier in the day on a Labour Party Youth Camp, Oslo, Norway, acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim said late Friday night.

Authorities believe the man traveled to the island from Oslo, where at least seven were killed in a bombing in the city center. The suspect, a 32-year-old Norwegian, was taken into custody after he killed or wounded an unknown number of people, Sponheim said.

Investigators are uncertain whether only one suspect was involved in twin attacks in Norway that killed at least 92 people Friday, Norwegian police said Saturday.

"We're not sure it's just one person ... based on statements from witnesses, we think there may be more," said Sveinung Sponheim, chief police officer.

One man is in custody.

"At least 80 young people have been killed on Utøya. We have also lost some of our colleagues in the government offices," [the Prime Minister] said.

Youth camp 'turned to hell'; Survivor: Victims tried to swim away. Also, from the BBC: How attacks happened.

@BreakingNews: Police: Website of suspect in youth camp attack, Oslo bombing indicates he is right-wing, Christian fundamentalist

@BreakingNews: Oslo bomb-camp shooter suspect, age32, called himself a nationalist, posted anti-Islam comments

@bellamackie: Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg: "The answer to violence, is even more democracy. Even more humanity."

Then, a few minutes ago:

@cnnbrk: Singer #AmyWinehouse found dead at her apartment in London, UK Press Association reports, She was 27.

@cnnbrk: Singer #AmyWinehouse, who reportedly was found dead Saturday, had recently left a rehab program.

@SkyNewsBreak: Sky Sources: Police treating death of singer Amy Winehouse as "unexplained."

I'm keeping an eye on the Norway developments, and will post the movie linkspam later.

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So, so horrible on Norway. I notice a lot of self-defence in the comments: "he's not a real Christian," etc. I think the point is that not every single terrorist is an Islamic fundamentalist. Horribly, we grow them right here, and you'd think after Oklahoma City, people would know that. But it's a horrible thing to happen anywhere, no matter who did it.

As for Amy Winehouse: I think it's awfully sad that Keith Richards said she needed to clean up, and that Boy George begged her to "come to a meeting--you have no idea how loved you are." It's too bad that didn't get through to her, coming from people who have had so much trouble themselves.

I think the point is that not every single terrorist is an Islamic fundamentalist.

Exactly. And that it works the other way as well, with "real" Muslims.

I have to admit, after watching those videos of Amy Winehouse attempting to perform from about a month ago, I had a feeling this was coming. There just had to be so many people wanting her to get clean (not to mention everyone at her record label, mostly for their own motives) but she was obviously beyond that point.

And as for the Norway news, it's just devastating. I saw an overhead picture of the island before the attacks and it's so tiny. It's a miracle that anyone was able to escape.

Do you know how many did manage to escape?

While the contortions of the conservative media to avoid naming this guy a terrorist is sickening, the almost-gloating I've seen on some lefty blogs/sites is just as repulsive.

I agree with you. I wish people would just report the facts and not jump to conclusions on either side before all the facts are in. Is that too much to ask?

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I'm on a very similar count. We need new friends.

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Counting down to people giving themselves backpats for which death they care more about in five . . . four . . . oh wait, they're already here.

I thought exactly the same when I blogged about that.

Re: Facebook: even among my very atuned to pop culture FB friends, I've seen more Norway updates than Amy Winehouse ones. To be fair, the attacks were yesterday (when my FB friends updated about them) and AW's death was only announced a couple of hours ago. I assume there'll be a flood of AW-related updates in the next few hours.

Part of me wants to be a cynic and talk about how you can't compare the (allegedly) drugs-related death of a celebrity to the massacre of children by a demented extremist, but - also surprisingly, since I'm not even an Amy Winehouse fan - I find that I can't. In the end, a young woman died (allegedly) because she couldn't help herself and neither could/would anyone around her; and so many people died because they had the misfortune of being in the wrong place when a criminal decided to act. For some reason, in the end (for me), it's become less about the context and more about the huge loss, waste of lives. It's all so tragic, so meaningless. Not that things like this ever have meaning, but it's all so absurd and, at the same time, unavoidable (between AW not wanting/managing to escape an extreme addiction and those poor people being defenceless because they didn't know what was coming their way). Jut so hollow, so tragic.

I hope this is as high as the death toll in Norway will get.

This is what I tried to put in words and failed when I tried to write about it. Very well stated.

Edited at 2011-07-23 08:16 pm (UTC)

I'm Norwegian. I live in Oslo. I got the first news of the bombs on my way home from work. And yet everything and everyone seemed so calm. There were a few more people on their cell phone than normal, but no panic in the streets. I honestly didn't understand the extent of the damage from the bombing until I got home and saw the images on tv.

As a comment on the media coverage: I think that at first, we were all expecting it to be international terrorism, and the Norwegian media were also speculating that Norway's involvement in Afghanistan could be the reason for the attack. It wasn't until the events of Utøya unfolded that reports of a blond Norwegian started to come in.

(I can still remember first hearing about Utøya - the Norwegian prime minister was in his first phone interview since the bombing. He'd been talking to the journalist about a number of things, and the questions were starting to become less interesting. Final question from the reporter was about whether there would be any extra security at the youth meeting at Utøya. Short silence from the prime minister, followed by a reply of "I've just had reports that there is a situation unfolding there, but I'll let the police give that information.".)

Final point: I don't care what this asshole believes in. Frankly - his opinions don't count anymore. I don't care why he believes he could do what he did - no matter what his views are; they are wrong.
I want nothing more than to look back at this in five years and not remember his name - and to know that he got a fair trial and will be locked up for the rest of his life. And although we won't forget this tragedy, I hope his views can be forgotten entirely.

Just re-read this and realized that I just let my feelings explode all over your blog. I'm sorry. It's been an intense couple of days.


so sad, all of it. those poor kids.

as for celebrities throwing their lives away: what a horrible shame.

There aren't any words for what the last two days have been like. I didn't know any of the people killed, but Norway's a small country, so I think it's impossible not to be touched by it in some way. My boss's niece was at Utøya, she survived. My colleague's friend was there. He's dead. We've barely spoken about anything other than this at work. It feels wrong to think about anything else.

No one I've spoken to is reacting with hatred, though. We're all shocked and sad and maybe scared, but what we keep saying is that we'll keep going. I'm so proud to live in a country where we react with compassion and solidarity and calls for more democracy and more humanity.

Also, thanks for posting about this. It means a lot to see that people care, even when they are far away.

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