Docudharma Times Thursday Nov. 15

This is an Open Thread: Flipping and Flopping is OK

Headlines, U.S. Is Looking Past Musharraf in Case He Falls, Bomb Parts Clear Air Security in Tests, LAPD’s Muslim mapping plan killed, Russian workers point to oil as the problem, Brown unveils anti-terrorism strategy, A Top Rival in Pakistan Is Carted Off by the Police, Working through Korean unification blues,Iran official charged with spying, Palestinians aim for agreement with Israel within year,

USA

U.S. Is Looking Past Musharraf in Case He Falls

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 – Almost two weeks into Pakistan’s political crisis, Bush administration officials are losing faith that the Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, can survive in office and have begun discussing what might come next, according to senior administration officials.

In meetings on Wednesday, officials at the White House, State Department and the Pentagon huddled to decide what message Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte would deliver to General Musharraf – and perhaps more important, to Pakistan’s generals – when he arrives in Islamabad on Friday.

Bomb Parts Clear Air Security in Tests

By Spencer S. Hsu

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, November 15, 2007; Page A01

Undercover investigators carried all the bomb components needed to cause “severe damage” to airliners and passengers through U.S. airport screening checkpoints several times this year, despite security measures adopted in August 2006 to stop such explosive devices, according to a new government report.

Agents were able to smuggle aboard a detonator, liquid explosives and liquid incendiary components costing less than $150, even though screening officers in most cases appeared to follow proper procedures and use appropriate screening technology, according to an unclassified version of a report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s audit arm.

LAPD’s Muslim mapping plan killed

By Richard Winton and Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

November 15, 2007

The LAPD on Wednesday abruptly scrapped a program to map the city’s Muslim population, a major retreat for a department that said the system was needed to identify potential hotbeds of extremism.

The reversal comes after a week of protests from Muslim groups and civil libertarians, who equated the mapping with religious profiling. Others questioned whether it was possible for the LAPD to accurately map the city’s far-flung Muslim community.

Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing said Wednesday that in the wake of the protests, officials would drop the mapping aspect of the plan but continue their efforts to reach out to the Muslim community. Downing and other police officials plan to outline the new strategy to Muslim American activists at a meeting today.

Europe

Russian workers point to oil as the problem

TUZLA SPIT, RUSSIA — Crunching through oil-crusted seashells scattered on fouled beaches among dead and dying birds, exhausted volunteers fumed Wednesday about the uneven distribution of Russia’s petroleum wealth.

As far as the eye could see, the pale sands of this narrow finger poking into the Black Sea were coated with a heavy film of black and piles of oil-soaked seaweed. A strong smell of diesel hung in the air.

Brown unveils anti-terrorism strategy

LONDON — British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday defended his proposal to give police more time to question terrorism suspects before charging them, saying the increasing complexity of terrorism investigations demands new flexibility in the law.

The debate in Parliament over extending the 28-day limit on pre-charge detention came as Brown outlined counter-terrorism measures soon to take effect that are designed to batten down public buildings, beef up the border police and target extremism in schools and communities.

Asia

A Top Rival in Pakistan Is Carted Off by the Police

LAHORE, Pakistan, Nov. 14 – The opposition politician Imran Khan emerged from hiding on Wednesday to the cheers of hundreds of students protesting against the president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, at a university here and was quickly seized by hard-line students and turned over to the police.

Mr. Khan – a politician and former cricket player, and a vociferous opponent of General Musharraf – had been the only major opposition political figure not placed in detention since General Musharraf imposed emergency rule on Nov. 3.

Working through Korean unification blues

By Andrei Lankov

For six decades, the myth of unification as Korea’s supreme goal has been enshrined in the official mythology of both nations. The lip service to this myth is still paid by virtually all political forces in both Koreas, but the actual policy of both Pyongyang and Seoul nowadays is clearly based on a very different set of assumptions and hopes: both sides try to avoid situations which might lead to unification.

There are good reasons for this quiet change of policy. The gap between the Koreas is too great; depending on which calculations

Middle East

Iran official charged with spying

A former Iranian nuclear negotiator has been charged with giving classified information to the British embassy, the Iranian intelligence minister has said.

Hossein Mousavian was detained and bailed in May over the allegations.

Mr Mousavian is close to former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, a leading rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Palestinians aim for agreement with Israel within year

Rory McCarthy in Ramallah

Thursday November 15, 2007

The Guardian

Palestinian negotiators want to set a timetable to secure a peace agreement with Israel within a year, according to Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Palestinian official, who yesterday stressed that the bold agenda was “realistic”. Abed Rabbo, a senior figure within the Palestine Liberation Organisation and a leading negotiator, said the peace conference expected to be held in Annapolis, Maryland, within a fortnight, was aiming at a renewed peace process based on a fresh approach to the US “road map” of 2003.

He said: “We know in the past that timetables have been violated and never respected, but we think some kind of timetable not exceeding one year from now is realistic.”

Africa

Mozambique works to attract big spenders to national parks

Chris McGreal, Africa correspondent

Thursday November 15, 2007

The Guardian

Mozambique plans to draw tourists back to its national parks by encouraging international hotel chains to provide luxury accommodation and so end the image of the existing tourism facilities as being old huts and tents with no showers.

The government said it would put out tenders soon for hotel building inside the Maputo special reserve in the country’s south, part of a network of transnational parks that link Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland.

Latin America

Despite outcry, Chavez plan likely to pass

By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

November 15, 2007

CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Less than three weeks from a vote on his proposal to overhaul the Venezuelan Constitution and strengthen his grip on power, President Hugo Chavez is facing an uncharacteristic reversal in public opinion.

A growing number of students and voters, even a former Chavez crony, say they oppose the constitutional overhaul because they believe it is anti-democratic. But despite that, Chavez’s bid to bolster his 21st century socialism is widely expected to pass.

Mexican Leader Sees Bias in U.S. Politicking

MEXICO CITY, Nov. 14 — Mexican President Felipe Calderón took the unusual step Wednesday of injecting himself into U.S. presidential politics, calling Mexican migrants “thematic hostages” of the race and urging candidates not to use them as a talking point.

Speaking at a conference here, Calderón criticized what he called “the growing harassment” of Mexicans in the United States and said his administration would finance a media campaign to underline immigrant success stories.

3 comments

    • on November 15, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Its time for a party.

  1. To wake up and check in here….just to make sure the world didn’t end while I was sleeping!

    Thank you mishima!

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