This is an Open Thread: Eat All That You Want!
Young Coach Aids Rebuilding at New Orleans
By JERÉ LONGMAN
Published: November 22, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 21 – On the morning of July 6, Buzz Williams resigned as the men’s basketball coach at the University of New Orleans after one season.
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Hours later, the athletic director, Jim Miller, got a call from Joe Pasternack, who had been passed over when Williams was hired.
“What are you doing the next four years?” Miller asked.
Three days later, the 30-year-old Pasternack was hired, and he is now running the latest post-Katrina reclamation project in New Orleans.
The Privateers are playing for their third coach in three seasons. Their home court, Lakefront Arena, is still not restored, so the team will play another season in a glorified high school gym on campus. A makeshift dressing area has been fashioned in a hall intended for gymnastics, with blue drapes shielding the lockers and cardboard slats duct-taped over the windows for privacy.
If Not First in Time, First in the Country’s Heart
By ABBY GOODNOUGH
Published: November 22, 2007
PLYMOUTH, Mass., Nov. 20 – This year, as Jamestown, Va., splashily celebrated the 400th anniversary of its founding as the nation’s first permanent English settlement, the home of Plymouth Rock found itself on the defensive.
Virginians have relished trumpeting that Jamestown came first, even vowing to get it “out from under Plymouth Rock.”
Their strategy has worked, to an extent: Jamestown’s tourism figures rivaled Plymouth’s this year, and even Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit. In a speech near Jamestown on Tuesday, President Bush challenged the popular notion that Plymouth was home to the first Thanksgiving.
Immigrant Paperwork Backs Up At DHS
Delays May Deny Vote to Hundreds Of Thousands
The Department of Homeland Security failed to prepare for a massive influx of applications for U.S. citizenship and other immigration benefits this summer, prompting complaints from Hispanic leaders and voter-mobilization groups that several hundred thousand people likely will not be granted citizenship in time to cast ballots in the 2008 presidential election.
Bush administration officials said yesterday that they had anticipated applicants would rush to file their paperwork to beat a widely publicized fee increase that took effect July 30, but did not expect the scale of the response. The backlog comes just months after U.S. officials failed to prepare for tougher border security requirements that triggered months-long delays for millions of Americans seeking passports.
Foreign Fighters in Iraq Are Tied to Allies of U.S.
BAGHDAD – Saudi Arabia and Libya, both considered allies by the United States in its fight against terrorism, were the source of about 60 percent of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past year to serve as suicide bombers or to facilitate other attacks, according to senior American military officials.
The data come largely from a trove of documents and computers discovered in September, when American forces raided a tent camp in the desert near Sinjar, close to the Syrian border.
Pakistan court clears way for Musharraf
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – A Supreme Court stacked with judges loyal to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf cleared the way for him to rule as a civilian president, ruling Thursday against a final challenge blocking ratification of his election last month.
The decision, which was widely expected, means that Pakistan’s Election Commission can put a stamp of approval on the vote. Musharraf has said he would then step down as army chief and take the oath as president.
Musharraf has said that once he got a court decision in his favor, he would quickly step down as army chief and take the oath as president. Pakistan’s attorney general said Wednesday that such a move could come as early as Saturday.
Far right gains ground in Germany’s east
There have been calls in the German parliament for a ban on a far-right party that has been winning increased support in poorer parts of the east of the country.
“The National Democratic Party (NPD) provides the core infrastructure for neo-Nazis in Germany. That’s why we are considering a ban,” says a determined Sebastian Edathy.
Putin decries western meddling
President Vladimir Putin today accused the west of meddling in Russia’s forthcoming elections and said that the country’s opposition was conspiring to grab power via an orange-style revolution.
In a rally ahead of Russia’s parliamentary elections next week, Putin said that the country’s enemies were trying to weaken it. They were also attempting to turn the clock back to the corrupt, oligarchic 1990s, he said.
“Unfortunately there are those people in our country who still slink through foreign embassies … who count on the support of foreign funds and governments but not the support of their own people,” Putin told a crowd of cheering supporters today at Moscow’s Luzhniki sports stadium.
Somalia war-refugee crisis surpasses Darfur in its horror
By Steve Bloomfield in Afgoye, Somalia
Published: 22 November 2007
They arrive in trucks and cars, by donkey and on foot. Some children have even been carried in wheelbarrows. There is little in the way of food, just a handful of latrines and hardly any shelter – but still they come.
In three short weeks this 10-mile stretch of road – a pot-holed, cactus-lined, dirt track that leads west out of Mogadishu – has become home to the world’s largest concentration of displaced people. Almost 200,000 people who have fled the violence in Mogadishu now live in 70 makeshift camps that have sprung up along the side of the road, many of them little more than shelters fashioned from twigs, rusting corrugated iron and plastic.
Traders riot over presidential ban
DAKAR Police used teargas and arrested 15 protesters after hundreds of street hawkers rioted in the Senegalese capital over a government drive to clear the streets of informal traders. They used old tyres, plastic rubbish containers and wooden stalls to light fires in the Plateau business district in central Dakar. Traffic around the giant Sandaga market was gridlocked and several cars were damaged in the protests.
President Wade said that street vending had cost the country £90 million because traffic jams were putting off investors. Dakar is to host the Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit in March. (AFP)
China’s travel hell weeks
BEIJING — Jiang Xingjun hates holidays here.
Rather than providing respite or relaxation, China’s three national vacation weeks — one observed in winter, one in spring and one in fall — are often more like hell on wheels, with jam-packed planes, trains and automobiles gone berserk, he says.
On cue, hundreds of millions of workers embark on mass pilgrimages to hometowns often located thousands of miles away. In the world’s most populous nation, these so-called golden weeks are like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and the Fourth of July all rolled into one.
That means travel is a struggle for many Chinese vacationers. Plane tickets are precious, with two or three people vying for one seat. Highways are gridlocked. Trains are so crowded that bathrooms become seating compartments, forcing some
By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, November 22, 2007; Page A33
TOKYO, Nov. 21 — The Japanese whaling fleet is sailing south this week to kill about 950 whales in Antarctic waters, despite appeals from the United States, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand to call off the hunt.
What has particularly alarmed anti-whaling countries and environmental groups is Japan’s plan, in the name of “research,” to kill as many as 50 humpback whales.