Docudharma Times Sunday Nov.25

This an Open Thread: So open it already

Headlines for Sunday November 25th.: As Democrats See Security Gains in Iraq, Tone Shifts: U.S. Notes Limited Progress in Afghan War: Losing ground in Alaska: U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity

USA

As Democrats See Security Gains in Iraq, Tone Shifts

By PATRICK HEALY

Published: November 25, 2007

As violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates are undertaking a new and challenging balancing act on Iraq: acknowledging that success, trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.

Advisers to Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama say that the candidates have watched security conditions improve after the troop escalation in Iraq and concluded that it would be folly not to acknowledge those gains.

U.S. Notes Limited Progress in Afghan War

Strategic Goals Unmet, White House Concludes

By Karen DeYoung

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, November 25, 2007; Page A01

A White House assessment of the war in Afghanistan has concluded that wide-ranging strategic goals that the Bush administration set for 2007 have not been met, even as U.S. and NATO forces have scored significant combat successes against resurgent Taliban fighters, according to U.S. officials.

The evaluation this month by the National Security Council followed an in-depth review in late 2006 that laid out a series of projected improvements for this year, including progress in security, governance and the economy. But the latest assessment concluded that only “the kinetic piece” — individual battles against Taliban fighters — has shown substantial progress, while improvements in the other areas continue to lag, a senior administration official said.

Losing ground in Alaska

The sea has been eroding Kivalina more than 150 years. Now the island is cited as an example of climate change.

By Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

November 25, 2007

KIVALINA, ALASKA — Beneath a moonlit Arctic sky, Joe Swan Jr. and most of his 12-person crew were taking a cigarette break when a dump truck arrived and emptied another load of black sand at their feet.

The backhoe driver, who happened to be his wife, gunned the engine, spewing a diesel haze into the air as she dug into the pile and filled another 2,500-pound sandbag for the sea wall shielding the island from the Chukchi Sea.

Middle East

U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and ALISSA J. RUBIN

Published: November 25, 2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 – With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

Instead, administration officials say they are focusing their immediate efforts on several more limited but achievable goals in the hope of convincing Iraqis, foreign governments and Americans that progress is being made toward the political breakthroughs that the military campaign of the past 10 months was supposed to promote.

Political crisis deepens in Lebanon

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Prime Minister Fuad Saniora assured his country Saturday that the military was in control of the streets while lawmakers struggled to overcome a political crisis that has left the country without a president.

The army made clear it will stay out of politics, emerging as the country’s best hope for stability.

Beirut remained calm Saturday and shops opened for business following a tumultuous day that intensified fears of street violence between supporters of Saniora’s U.S.-backed government and the opposition led by the Shiite militant group Hezbollah and backed by Syria and Iran.

Asia

Malaysian police break up rally

Malaysian police have clashed with ethnic Indian protesters in Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital.

Tear gas and water cannon were used to disperse a crowd of over 5,000 people as they rallied outside the British High Commission.

Exiled Pakistani PM ‘to return’

In a few hours former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to make another attempt to return to Pakistan.

Mr Sharif tried to return in September but was immediately deported by President Pervez Musharraf, who overthrew him eight years ago.

Now the country is under emergency rule imposed by the general.

Europe

Croatians vote in general elections

ZAGREB (AFP) – Croatians went to the polls Sunday in legislative elections to choose whether the ruling conservatives or opposition leftists will lead the country into the European Union.

A close race is expected between Prime Minister Ivo Sanader’s Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), hoping to return to power after four years in opposition.

As the two rivals share similar agendas, notably concerning the country’s EU and NATO membership, analysts agree the former Yugoslav republic will have similar foreign and internal policies whoever wins.

Knox ‘has no contact with reality’

Boyfriend’s letter from jail paints dramatic image of his fellow suspect in Meredith Kercher murder

Tom Kington in Rome

Sunday November 25, 2007

The Observer

Amanda Knox, the American student suspected of killing Meredith Kercher, has been described by her boyfriend as a pleasure-seeker with ‘almost no contact with reality’.

Raffaele Sollecito, 23, who is being held in a Perugia jail on suspicion of sexually assaulting and murdering Kercher together with Knox, described her in a letter to his father dictated to his lawyer and released in Italy yesterday.

Latin America

Doomed ship defies Antarctica odds

PUNTA ARENAS, Chile – A rare calm in Antarctic seas and the swift response by a passing ship helped save all aboard a Canadian cruise liner that struck an iceberg in the night and sank, rescued passengers and experienced sailors said Saturday.

The MS Explorer, a Canadian-operated cruiser built in 1969 as a pioneer among rugged go-anywhere tourist ships that plied waters from the Amazon to the Arctic and Antarctic circles, struck ice Friday, took on water and dipped beneath the waves more than 15 hours later.

Africa

Fight begins for the soul of South Africa

President Mbeki’s African renaissance is collapsing, with his party riven by a power struggle played out to a background of corruption and crime

Ruaridh Nicoll in Port Elizabeth

Sunday November 25, 2007

The Observer

Lizzie Jandjies tucked herself tight into the top corner of Dan Qeqe stadium as she waited for presidential hopeful Jacob Zuma to arrive in the South African township of Zwide in the flat hinterlands of Port Elizabeth. Beyond the stadium were houses of breeze block and corrugated iron; homes that were an aspiration to the neatly dressed Jandjies.

Zimbabwe: Voices from a basket case

Ian Smith, leader of the racist regime in Rhodesia, died last week. Robert Mugabe took over the newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980, and for years the nation was the breadbasket of Africa. But now, illegal blogs from the benighted nation tell a very different story

Published: 25 November 2007

“We have been waiting for bread for nearly two hours in a rubbish-strewn lane behind a supermarket. It is mid-morning, the sun blazing down on the 50 or so people in line, when three policemen stroll to the front. A rumble of discontent rolls along the line like a thunderstorm.

2 comments

    • RiaD on November 25, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    its very chilly here this morning in SC 49oF, high today is 63oF. We’ve been in the 70’s-80’s until last Wednesday, I’m enjoying the chill. And we’re expecting much needed rain.

    The oddly warm weather had me oddly out-of-sorts.

    How is the weather there?

  1. Reacting to the Hugo Chavez – King of Spain interaction at the Summit,  the lower house in Chile has voted to criticize Chavez for his actions.

    Chavez suffered another blow to his prestige a couple of days ago when Colombia canceled his role as a mediator between the government and FARC rebels because Chavez spoke directly with a Colombian Army General, something it was stipulated he would not do as mediator.

    And in Venezuela  polls are suggesting that Chavez’s Constitutional changes are not going to pass.  The election is a week from today.

    Buenos dias, Docudharmistas.

Comments have been disabled.