I make a point, where I can, of going back to original sources instead of relying on accounts, intermediated by newspapers, which are often inaccurate.
Take for example, this story in Haaretz about the international tribunal into the assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri:
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Tuesday that Lebanon will ask the United Nations to halt the probe of an international tribunal into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the pro-Syrian Lebanese newspaper al Diar reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, Hariri said on Tuesday that he intends on giving up on the findings of the tribunal “for the interests of the country.”
Hariri was quoted as saying that the Lebanese government will turn to the UN to “work to stop the activities of the tribunal and to cancel the work protocol between the government and the tribunal.”
Moreover, the newspaper quoted Hariri as saying that he will stand by Hezbollah if the group is found guilty by the tribunal, and that Lebanon will not support any of the tribunal’s further activities.
“I have already sacrificed a lot, and I cannot sacrifice more,” Hariri said.
So I had a look at the original al Diar news story, and ran it through the Google Translate engine.
Here’s the translation it gave me:
Hariri said yesterday in front of guests that for the sake of the country decided to abandon the International Tribunal, and will multicast the Lebanese government United Nations to work on the withdrawal of Lebanese judges and the abolition of protocol work with the International Tribunal, which was approved by President Hariri him, in addition to that Hariri would be to the resistance at accused, and will not be with the International Tribunal and the continuation of its work.
Hariri said, I am sorry but my country has been taken over by an Iranian backed militia called Hezbollah. Despite the promises of the United Nations in 2006 that they would protect me and Lebanon from takeover, Hezbollah have rearmed and basically they will murder me, my family, and everybody I have ever loved if I don’t do this.
If only I could rely on the United States and the European Union to back me. Believe me, I have mentioned this to Obama and to nice Catherine Ashton woman but they keep telling me that there is nothing they can do to help. I spoke to William Hague and he suggested that I might talk to Turkey about it, and they might get Iran and Syria to ask Hezbollah to stop threatening to kill me. I’m not sure if these people really understand the Middle East.
I’m not an idiot. The Tribunal must stop. Sorry Dad.
What I really like about Google Translate, is the way it picks up on the nuances of language.
Also, see this.
Although the Google Translation was 100% accurate, the underlying story in the Hezbollah aligned “newspaper” turned out to be a lie