It’s an Open Thread: Play Nice
Brothers and sisters of the soul unite
We are one, indivisible and strong
They may try to break us
But they dare not underestimate us
They know our memories are long
For many black women, it’s Clinton or Obama?
Loyalties tested in S.C. as voters contemplate Democratic primary
By Katharine Q. Seelye
Updated: 5:30 a.m. ET Oct. 14, 2007
LORIS, S.C. – In the beauty parlors that are among the social hubs for black women in the Carolinas, loyalties are being tested as voters here contemplate the first Democratic primary in the South.
Clara Vereen, who has been working here in rural eastern South Carolina as a hairstylist for more than 40 of her 61 years, reflects the ambivalence of many black women as she considers both Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
By David Heath and Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporters
Tucked away on Seattle’s Portage Bay, a sleek, 85-foot speedboat sat idle for years – save for an annual jaunt to maintain its engine.
The Navy paid $4.5 million to build the boat. But months before the hull ever touched water, the Navy gave the boat to the University of Washington. The school never found a use for it, either.
Why would the Navy waste taxpayer dollars on a boat that nobody wanted?
It may not be a bridge yet it still didn’t go anywhere.
Getting Around Rules on Lobbying
Despite New Law, Firms Find Ways To Ply Politicians
By Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 14, 2007; Page A01
In recent days, about 100 members of Congress and hundreds of Hill staffers attended two black-tie galas, many of them as guests of corporations and lobbyists that paid as much as $2,500 per ticket.
Because accepting such gifts from special interests is now illegal, the companies did not hand the tickets directly to lawmakers or staffers. Instead, the companies donated the tickets back to the charity sponsors, with the names of recipients they wanted to see and sit with at the galas.
Laws are passed and new Rules are implemented: Why did they bother.
Terrorists in training head to Pakistan
By Dirk Laabs and Sebastian Rotella, Special to The Times
October 14, 2007
ULM, GERMANY — As Al Qaeda regains strength in the badlands of the Pakistani-Afghan border, an increasing number of militants from mainland Europe are traveling to Pakistan to train and to plot attacks on the West, European and U.S. anti-terrorism officials say.
The emerging route, illuminated by alleged bomb plots dismantled in Germany and Denmark last month, represents a new and dangerous reconfiguration. In recent years, the global flow of Muslim fighters had shifted to the battlefields of Iraq after the loss of Al Qaeda’s Afghan sanctuary in late 2001.
“There have always been people going to Pakistan, but it is more frequent now,” said a senior French intelligence official who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on condition of anonymity. “There is a return. It is a cycle. . . . And you have the attractive phenomenon that all the big chiefs of Al Qaeda are there.”
But,but, but Pakistan is your Allie in the war on Terror.
Rice worried by Putin’s broad powers
MOSCOW – The Russian government under Vladimir Putin has amassed so much central authority that the power-grab may undermine Moscow’s commitment to democracy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday.
“In any country, if you don’t have countervailing institutions, the power of any one president is problematic for democratic development,” Rice told reporters after meeting with human-rights activists.
Warrantless Wiretaps, Renditions, C.I.A. Secret Prisons, Torture, Enemy Combatants, National Security Letters and the US Attorney Scandal. Perhaps Condi should take a good look at the President she serves.
Awaiting Darfur Peace in Paris
By VIVIENNE WALT/PARIS Sun Oct 14, 1:30 AM ET
Through the windows of a Paris cafe on the Right Bank, the lunchtime crowd chatting over red wine and espressos can see water gushing from stone sphinxes under a carved column topped with a golden angel. It is hard to imagine a starker contrast between this gracious eatery and the ravaged villages of Darfur, yet among the diners here is a man who could hold the key to peace in the devastating conflict in western Sudan. “The Sudan regime is an outlaw regime,” Abdul Wahid el Nur, leader of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement, shouts, slamming his fist on the cafe table. “They do not respect peace accords.”
Congo’s Nkunda rejects ultimatum
Democratic Republic of Congo rebel leader Laurent Nkunda has told the BBC he will ignore Monday’s deadline to start disbanding his forces.
He said more talks with the government were necessary before his troops could be integrated into the government army.
Venezuela’s Chavez meets with Castro
HAVANA – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met for more than four hours Saturday with ailing leader Fidel Castro, Cuban state television reported.
Chavez arrived in Havana late Friday for a visit that will include the airing Sunday of the Venezuelan leader’s weekly radio and television program from the provincial capital of Santa Clara, where the Cuban government on Monday marked the 40th anniversary of the death of revolutionary icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Colombia mine collapse kills 24
At least 24 amateur gold prospectors have been killed in a mine collapse in south-west Colombia.
Some 18 people were injured and another 10 estimated to be missing after the accident near the town of Suarez, about 350km (220 miles) from Bogota.
Local residents were mining for gold with few security measures in place.
Rescue efforts have been called off for the night and were hampered by the fact that there was no record of how many people had entered the mine.
UN envoy heads to Asia as Myanmar junta rounds up activists
BANGKOK (AFP) – Myanmar’s military rulers are still rounding up activists, rights groups said Sunday, even as UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari was due in Bangkok for an Asian tour aimed at building pressure on the generals.
The junta relaxed a curfew in the main city Yangon and apparently lifted a block on Internet access, residents said Sunday, further easing restrictions put in place at the height of mass protests.
But security forces continued to comb through Yangon’s neighbourhoods, rounding up people linked to the pro-democracy movement.
Report: NKorea fence near nuke site
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea has started building a fence around the site of its first-ever nuclear test, a move U.S. and South Korean authorities believe may be to monitor the detonation’s effects and restore the area, a news report said Sunday.
South Korea has received intelligence that a barbed-wire fence is being erected near the nuclear site at the small town of Punggyeri in the North’s northeastern county of Kilju, the South’s Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified South Korean official as saying