Docudharma Times Thursday Nov.8

This is an Open Thread: All languages welcome

four people in Karachi have been charged with treason for alleged comments against emergency rule.

‘Hundreds held’ in Bhutto raids

The party of Pakistan’s former PM Benazir Bhutto has said more than 700 members were arrested overnight ahead of a planned mass rally on Friday.

Activists were taken from their homes in the latest crackdown under emergency rule measures brought in on Saturday by President Pervez Musharraf.

The raids came hours after US President George W Bush told Gen Musharraf in a “frank” phone call to hold polls soon.

Mr Bush told Gen Musharraf he could not be both army head and president.

Four charged with treason in Pakistan crackdown

Four men have been charged with treason by the Pakistani authorities for making anti-government speeches in the southern port city of Karachi, a court official said today.

The treason charges against the three politicians and a union activist, which carry a maximum sentence of death, came in the wake of mounting political unrest since General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency on Saturday and suspended Pakistan’s constitution.

The four were arrested on Monday and interrogated by police before being formally charged yesterday, said the court official.


How Blackwater Sniper Fire Felled 3 Iraqi Guards

Witnesses Call Shooting From Justice Ministry Unprovoked, But State Dept. Cleared Its Security Team After a Brief Probe

By Steve Fainaru

Washington Post Foreign Service

Thursday, November 8, 2007; Page A01

BAGHDAD — Last Feb. 7, a sniper employed by Blackwater USA, the private security company, opened fire from the roof of the Iraqi Justice Ministry. The bullet tore through the head of a 23-year-old guard for the state-funded Iraqi Media Network, who was standing on a balcony across an open traffic circle. Another guard rushed to his colleague’s side and was fatally shot in the neck. A third guard was found dead more than an hour later on the same balcony.

Eight people who responded to the shootings — including media network and Justice Ministry guards and an Iraqi army commander — and five network officials in the compound said none of the slain guards had fired on the Justice Ministry, where a U.S. diplomat was in a meeting. An Iraqi police report described the shootings as “an act of terrorism” and said Blackwater “caused the incident.” The media network concluded that the guards were killed “without any provocation.”

House Approves Broad Protections for Gay Workers

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 – The House on Wednesday approved a bill granting broad protections against discrimination in the workplace for gay men, lesbians and bisexuals, a measure that supporters praised as the most important civil rights legislation since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 but that opponents said would result in unnecessary lawsuits.

The bill, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, is the latest version of legislation that Democrats have pursued since 1974. Representatives Edward I. Koch and Bella Abzug of New York then sought to protect gay men and lesbians with a measure they introduced on the fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the brawl between gay men and police officers at a bar in Greenwich Village that is widely viewed as the start of the American gay rights movement.

AT&T gave feds access to all Web, phone traffic, ex-tech says

By Ellen Nakashima

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON – His first inkling that something was amiss came in summer 2002, when he opened the door to admit a visitor from the National Security Agency (NSA) to an AT&T office in San Francisco.

“What the heck is the NSA doing here?” Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, said he asked himself.

A year or so later, he stumbled upon documents that, he said, show the agency gained access to massive amounts of e-mail, Web search and other Internet records of more than a dozen global and regional telecom providers. AT&T allowed the agency to hook into its network and, according to Klein, many of the other telecom companies probably knew nothing about it.

Middle East

Court convicts 32 al-Qaida suspects

SAN’A, Yemen – A Yemeni court convicted Wednesday 32 al-Qaida suspects of planning attacks on oil and gas installations in the country, sentencing them to prison terms of up to 15 years. Four others were acquitted.

Six of those convicted remain at large and were tried in absentia.

The prosecution had charged the group, all from Yemen, with forming an armed gang and planning attacks against oil installations with rocket-propelled grenades in September 2006.

West Bank settlements ‘expanding’

Construction is continuing in dozens of Jewish settlements in the West Bank despite Israel’s pledge to freeze their expansion, an campaign group has said.

Peace Now says Jewish population growth is three times higher in the area occupied in 1967 than in Israel itself.

It says settlers are bypassing a ban on using caravans to expand settlements by erecting pre-fabricated homes on site.


Emergency in Georgia after unrest

The first full day of a state of emergency is in place in Georgia after clashes between police and opposition protesters in the capital Tbilisi.

All demonstrations are banned and only state television can broadcast news.

President Mikhail Saakashvili imposed the 15-day emergency after six days of opposition rallies, saying “Russian special services” were behind unrest.

Putin dictating agenda to EU, thinktank report says

Ian Traynor, Europe editor

Thursday November 8, 2007

The Guardian

Europe has lost the plot in trying to cope with a resurgent Russia under President Vladimir Putin, who is dictating the agenda in his dealings with European capitals, according to a study published yesterday.

The west’s post-cold war policy of promoting democracy and westernisation in Russia has failed. “That strategy is now in tatters,” said the 65-page report from the European Council on Foreign Relations. “Today it is Moscow that sets the pace for EU-Russia relations. Russia [is] more powerful, less cooperative, and more intransigent. Russia’s growing confidence has transformed the EU-Russia relationship.”

Latin America

Canadian detainee faces Gitmo hearing

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – The U.S. military is reviving its long-delayed prosecution of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay with a court hearing Thursday for a former child soldier accused of killing a U.S. Green Beret in Afghanistan.

The tribunal system set up by the Bush administration following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has yet to bring any of the men held at this U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba to trial. One detainee, an Australian, was convicted in March in a pretrial plea bargain.

The case against Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was 15 when he was captured in 2002, presents a new hurdle for the military as it attempts to try him on charges including murder, conspiracy and spying.

Shooting intensifies in Rio slum – and the locals love it

Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro

Thursday November 8, 2007

The Guardian

At some point this week a grimacing, muscle-bound colossus wearing skin-tight purple jeans will charge into a hilltop shantytown in Rio de Janeiro and send locals scattering for cover.

In a city where heavily armed drug gangs engage in frequent turf wars this might not seem so strange. In this case, however, intruder in question will have fluorescent green skin and will go by the name of the Incredible Hulk.


Zimbabwe police arrest, charge attorney general

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s attorney general faces corruption charges after being briefly detained over allegations he promised to help a fugitive banker who had fled the southern African nation avoid arrest, police said on Thursday.

Attorney General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele was arrested on Tuesday and then released after a statement was recorded, chief police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said.

“So far we don’t know when he will appear in court, but we have finished everything, including the investigations, which meant taking statements from witnesses,” Bvudzijena told Reuters


Myanmar’s Suu Kyi meets UN envoy

YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met Thursday with UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, a Myanmar official told AFP.

“They are meeting,” said the official, who requested anonymity.

The meeting at a government guest house in the main city of Yangon was a rare trip outside her home for Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who has spent 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest.

Gambari arrived in Myanmar on Saturday on his second mission to the military-ruled country since the junta violently suppressed pro-democracy demonstrations in September.

Boy ‘killed by teacher for doodling in book’

Ashling O’Connor in Bombay

Police are investigating the death of a 14-year-old Delhi school-boy allegedly beaten by his teacher for scribbling in his notebook.

Ajay Kumar collapsed in class on October 23 and had been kept alive in hospital by a ventilator. He died on Tuesday, according to Delhi police.

Officers opened an inquiry after a complaint by the boy’s father, Satya Prakash, who claimed that Ajay’s hands and legs “became motionless” after he was hit by the teacher, Shyam Lal Raturi.

“My son’s fault was that he was scribbling in his notebook and writing over his teacher’s signature,” he told the Hindustan Times.


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    • on November 8, 2007 at 14:11

    And, George Bush still finds his head firmly planted where the sun doesn’t shine.

  1. …yesterday over at Planet Orange, but I was late to that thread and you may have missed it; so I’ll post it here:

    Do they still have a Constitution in Japan? Just wondering, as we can’t seem to locate ours over here.

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