Docudharma Times Tuesday Oct. 30

This is an Open Thread: Chat Like You Mean It!



USA

Bigger Budget? No, Responds Safety Agency

By STEPHEN LABATON

Published: October 30, 2007


WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 – The nation’s top official for consumer product safety has asked Congress in recent days to reject legislation intended to strengthen the agency, which polices thousands of consumer goods, from toys to tools.

On the eve of an important Senate committee meeting to consider the legislation, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff.

Immunity Jeopardizes Iraq Probe

By Karen DeYoung

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 30, 2007; Page A01


Potential prosecution of Blackwater guards allegedly involved in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians last month may have been compromised because the guards received immunity for statements they made to State Department officials investigating the incident, federal law enforcement officials said yesterday.


FBI agents called in to take over the State Department’s investigation two weeks after the Sept. 16 shootings cannot use any information gleaned during questioning of the guards by the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which is charged with supervising security contractors.

A juggling act on No Child Left Behind

By Nicole Gaouette, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 30, 2007

WASHINGTON — Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) has never been one to back away from a brawl — he once warned an adversary that if he wanted to fight, it was going to take a while, so he’d better bring lunch. But as Miller pushes to renew the landmark education law known as No Child Left Behind, he faces so many fights that the fate of the bill is increasingly in doubt.


As chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Miller is sparring with Republicans who see his proposed changes as an unacceptable watering down of the law’s core standards.


Teachers object to his proposal to link pay to performance.


Even his fellow Democrats — particularly freshmen who campaigned against it and members of the Congressional Black Caucus — are giving him a hard time, largely for not doing enough to soften the law’s most rigid requirements.


Europe

Germany seeks expansion of computer spying

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 30, 2007

BERLIN — The first evidence was the bombs themselves, packed into a pair of suitcases and left on two passenger trains in northwest Germany.


Because of a technical flaw, they never exploded, but not for lack of planning. The laptop of one of the suspects in last year’s bungled bombings contained plans, sketches and maps — a virtual road map to an attack that could have killed dozens.

What if law enforcement agents had been able to secretly scan the contents of the computer before the attempted attack was carried out?

Charges brought in Chad child row

Eighteen people have been charged over alleged efforts to abduct more than 100 children in Chad for passage to Europe.


Charges including kidnapping were laid against nine French aid workers and journalists, seven Spanish flight crew and two Chadian nationals.


The Europeans were detained in the city of Abeche on Thursday as they prepared to fly 103 children out of the country.

Russia’s Lavrov to meet Ahmadinejad on Tuesday

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Russia’s foreign minister is due to hold talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Tuesday, less than a week after Moscow criticized new U.S. sanctions against the Islamic state over its nuclear work.

Iranian officials said Sergei Lavrov would meet Ahmadinejad at 1600 GMT.


In Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry chief spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said the visit would discuss Iran’s nuclear activities, which the West suspects are aimed at making bombs, as well as bilateral questions.


Middle East

Egypt to build nuclear plants

CAIRO, Egypt – Egypt’s president announced plans Monday to build several nuclear power plants – the latest in a string of ambitious such proposals from moderate Arab countries. The United States immediately welcomed the plan, in a sharp contrast to what it called nuclear “cheating” by Iran.

President Hosni Mubarak said the aim was to diversify Egypt’s energy resources and preserve its oil and gas reserves for future generations. In a televised speech, he pledged Egypt would work with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency at all times and would not seek a nuclear bomb.

Israel’s Gaza fuel cuts alarm UN

Israeli energy sanctions against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip punish an entire population and are unacceptable, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said.


The EU also voiced concern after Israel began reducing petrol and diesel supplies in response to militant rocket attacks on its territory.


Africa

Nigerian kidnappers release foreign oil hostages

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigerian kidnappers have released six Indian and Polish hostages seized on October 26 from an offshore oil production facility operated by Saipem, the Italian firm’s parent company Eni said on Tuesday.

Rebel group the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Mystras vessel, which cut output by 50,000 barrels per day and helped lift oil prices to $92 per barrel on Friday.


Asia

Japan PM left in Afghan deadlock

Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has failed to make a deal with the main opposition party to continue a naval mission backing forces in Afghanistan.


Japan has been providing fuel for coalition forces in Afghanistan, but its mandate runs out on 1 November.

Delhi stalls protest by thousands of landless


Randeep Ramesh in New Delhi

Tuesday October 30, 2007

The Guardian


Thousands of landless workers, indigenous people and “untouchables” from the bottom of Indian society were yesterday prevented from taking their demands to the country’s parliament – the final leg of a month-long protest march.


Despite giving the authorities months to plan for the arrival of 25,000 protesters, police told the organisers, Ekta Parishad, that demonstrators could not leave the field in central Delhi where they have been camping since Sunday.


Latin America

Malaria moves in behind the loggers

Andrés Schipani in Mazán and John Vidal

Tuesday October 30, 2007

The Guardian

The afternoon is hot and sticky on the banks of the Napo river, an arm of the Amazon, but Claudio, a logger, is shivering in his creaky wooden bed.


“I feel bad, very bad, pain all over my body, fever, high fever, shudders,” he says. “I have malaria; this is the 17th time so far. I don’t know what to do any more.”


The mosquito-borne illness has returned to the many villages only accessible by boat in the Peruvian Amazon, inflicting on the inhabitants days of fever, permanent anaemia and – in the worst cases – death.

14 comments

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    • on October 30, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    What a weird concept.

    • snud on October 30, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    And when some kid gets his head stuck in a Chinese-made crib and needs a doctor he won’t need no steenkin’ medical care either, thanks to SCHIP.

    Gotta save money for this war, ya know. Jeez, where is everyone’s priorities?

    • Twank on October 30, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Let’s see now.

    A few rich people own/control most of the resources.

    The biosphere is going to hell.

    The rich are outnumbered by the poor/middle class by some astronomical ratio and yet the poor/middle class do practically NOTHING to change it?

    I know, I know!  Planet Earth, circa 2007.

    What do I win!

  1. .

  2. after reading Budhy’s fine piece yesterday on we need a jolt – one of the comments fro theRef was that we should all define the problem – each one of us. My husbands company has a server which we could use for video streaming. If some of us wish to put our mugs out there (or you can wear a mask i suppose it is Halloween) and pur our statements on video. I can upload them and stream them here. Thought? Rotten eggs hurled at me? I am going to do mine that way and actually use my real face. Don’t be scared.

  3. First thing I read every morning.

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