Docudharma Times Sunday Nov. 18

This is an Open Thread: Talking Backwards is OK

Sunday’s Headlines, FBI’s Forensic Test Full of Holes, Court rejects challenge to warrantless wiretaps,’Safe’ uranium that left a town contaminated,

USA

FBI’s Forensic Test Full of Holes

Lee Wayne Hunt is one of hundreds of defendants whose convictions are in question now that FBI forensic evidence has been discredited.

By John Solomon

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, November 18, 2007; Page A01

Hundreds of defendants sitting in prisons nationwide have been convicted with the help of an FBI forensic tool that was discarded more than two years ago. But the FBI lab has yet to take steps to alert the affected defendants or courts, even as the window for appealing convictions is closing, a joint investigation by The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” has found.

Court rejects challenge to warrantless wiretaps

By Henry Weinstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

10:36 AM PST, November 16, 2007

A federal appeals court in San Francisco today handed a major victory to the Bush administration, ruling that a lawsuit challenging the government’s warrantless wiretapping program could not go forward because of the “state secrets” privilege.

In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the government, which had argued that allowing an Islamic charity’s claims that it was illegally spied upon to go forward would threaten national security.

In the opinion, Judge M. Margaret McKeown flatly rejected the government’s argument that “the very subject matter of the litigation is a state secret.”

‘Safe’ uranium that left a town contaminated

They were told depleted uranium was not hazardous. Now, 23 years after a US arms plant closed, workers and residents have cancer – and experts say their suffering shows the use of such weapons may be a war crime

David Rose in Colonie, New York

Sunday November 18, 2007

The Observer

It is 50 years since Tony Ciarfello and his friends used the yard of a depleted uranium weapons factory as their playground in Colonie, a suburb of Albany in upstate New York state. ‘There wasn’t no fence at the back of the plant,’ remembers Ciarfello. ‘Inside was a big open ground and nobody would chase us away. We used to play baseball and hang by the stream running through it. We even used to fish in it – though we noticed the fish had big pink lumps on them.

Middle East

Oil leaders’ private debate televised by mistake

Tim Webb in Riyadh

Sunday November 18, 2007

The Observer

‘Kill the cable, kill the cable,’ shouted the security guard as he burst through the double doors into the media room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, followed by Saudi police. It was too late.

A private meeting of Opec leaders, gathered this weekend in Riyadh for the cartel’s third meeting in its 47-year history, had just been broadcast to the world’s media for more than half an hour after a technician had mistakenly plugged the TV feed into the wrong socket. The facade of unity that the cartel so carefully cultivates to a world spooked by soaring oil prices was shattered.

MTV launches new Arabic service

The music and youth lifestyle channel MTV has launched an Arabic service it hopes can tap into a booming appetite for Western-influenced culture.

MTV says it hopes to respect local culture without diluting its brand.

The MTV Arabia service will screen Arab music videos, talent shows, and international programmes like Pimp My Ride adapted for Arab audiences.

Europe

Ex-Kosovo fighter claims victory

Former guerrilla leader Hashim Thaci has claimed victory in Kosovo’s parliamentary election, though official results are yet to be confirmed.

Mr Thaci said it was “a historic day for Kosovo”. He has promised to deliver independence for the Serbian province within weeks.

Ukraine mine blast kills 14

DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – A methane explosion ripped through a mine in Ukraine’s Donbass coalfield on Sunday, killing 14 miners and leaving 17 missing, officials said.

The State Committee for Labour Safety said 31 miners had been in the immediate vicinity of the 3 a.m. blast at the Zasyadko mine, in the coalfield’s main town, Donetsk, and 14 were known to have died.

Asia

‘Washington is 200 per cent behind me,’ Musharraf claims during crucial talks

Worsening insurgency on the North-West Frontier has allowed the President to impose a state of emergency ahead of the elections. But there are signs that the US is looking elsewhere for an ally in its ‘war on terror’

By Andrew Buncombe in Islamabad

Published: 18 November 2007

As President Pervez Musharraf held crisis talks yesterday with a senior US envoy, the Pakistani leader robustly defended his decision to impose a state of emergency – saying Washington was privately “200 per cent” more supportive of him than in its public statements.

Death awaits Korea’s escape mastermind

ONE of the bravest men I have ever met is locked in a Chinese prison this weekend, facing the risk of being sent back to certain execution in his native North Korea.

His story stands for the human suffering that endures while diplomats craft a controversial agreement to disarm North Korea of its nuclear weapons and to grant its dictator, Kim Jong-il, the peace treaty and the recognition that his regime has sought for decades.

The man is Yoo Sang-joon, a refugee from North Korea who lost his wife and younger son in a famine under Kim’s Stalinist system in the 1990s, and who then escaped across the border into China.

Latin America

Chávez Creates Divide Among Evangelicals

By Krista J. Kapralos

Special to The Washington Post

Sunday, November 18, 2007; Page A23

CARACAS, Venezuela — Every Sunday, Ana González wears one of her best suits to attend Las Acacias, the largest evangelical Christian church in Caracas.

And each week, four days later, she laces up combat boots and tucks her hair into an olive green military cap to report for duty with Venezuela’s army reserves, a foot soldier in President Hugo Chávez’s military.

Strictly tango for the dance tourists

Argentina’s trademark sensual tradition is now an international attraction for reality show fans

Uki Goni in Buenos Aires

Sunday November 18, 2007

The Observer

The Salon Canning is an authentic milonga, a bare hall in the old Palermo district of Buenos Aires where dancers gyrate into the early morning to Argentina’s most distinctive musical style, the tango. At one of the tables a tall, dark-haired man scans the room, his attention resting on female tourists sitting alone or in groups waiting to be asked to dance.

Africa

Letter from Zimbabwe

Roaches and dinner by torchlight on the night train from Harare

Ndaba Sithole

Sunday November 18, 2007

The Observer

When you need to travel by train in Zimbabwe these days, the overnight services are an unsettling experience. It is not only the stations along the way that are in darkness, you cannot count on much illumination inside the carriage either.

Most travellers on the poorly maintained inter-city trains bring a torch. Being a regular user of the train between the capital, Harare, and the second largest city, Bulawayo, 480km by rail, I have witnessed the alarming deterioration of the rail system in recent years.

8 comments

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    • RiaD on November 18, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    thank you for gathering the news each day… it depresses me so much I can barely look at the headlines. I don’t know how you do it!

    • Diane G on November 18, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    !ghuot si sdrawkcab gniklat ,kcuF

  1. above? comment that Like

    OK? is backwards talking mean you do What

    • Temmoku on November 19, 2007 at 4:59 pm

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