This is an Open Thread: No Secrets
Published: November 6, 2007
By imposing martial law, Gen. Pervez Musharraf has pushed nuclear-armed Pakistan further along a perilous course and underscored the failure of President Bush’s policy toward a key ally in the war on terrorism. The events should not have come as a surprise to administration officials. This is what you get when policy is centered slavishly on a single, autocratic ruler rather than more broadly on his country.
NEW ORLEANS – If rebuilding anything in this storm-scarred place could possibly qualify as simple, surely it would be the administration building in City Park.
The two-story structure, built in 1992, does not have any of the features that can complicate restoring public buildings. No special historic, environmental, cultural or political significance. No history of poor maintenance or other damage (aside from the five feet of water that filled it after the levees failed). No need to be merged, moved or reimagined in response to changes after Hurricane Katrina
By Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 6, 2007; Page A03
Top officials at the Consumer Product Safety Commission repeatedly took costly trips at industry expense after internal reviews that ethics experts say were weak and superficial, including one instance in which the agency’s ethics official traveled with the commission chairman as a guest of a regulated industry.
In several cases, the agency made travel bookings before the trips were approved. For another industry-financed trip detailed in internal agency documents, written legal approval came after the trip.
WASHINGTON – The US Commission on Civil Rights, the nation’s 50-year-old watchdog for racism and discrimination, has become a critic of school desegregation efforts and affirmative action ever since the Bush administration used a controversial maneuver to put the agency under conservative control.
Democrats say the move to create a conservative majority on the eight-member panel violated the spirit of a law requiring that no more than half the commission be of one party. Critics say Bush in effect installed a fifth and sixth Republican on the panel in December 2004, after two commissioners, both Republicans when appointed, reregistered as independents.
Leader Says Success Possible in Bush Term
By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 6, 2007; Page A14
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov. 5 — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he believes the path to peace with Israel is now clear and that a Palestinian state can be achieved before the end of the Bush administration in January 2009.
Echoing a statement made Sunday night by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Abbas said that an upcoming peace conference in Annapolis would mark the start of serious negotiations over core issues that have posed insurmountable obstacles for decades — the status of Jerusalem, the borders of Israel and Palestine, the removal of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the rights claimed by Palestinian refugees who left or were forced from their homes when the state of Israel was established.
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s displaced population has grown to 2.3 million people, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society said Monday on the heels of a warning by another humanitarian aid group that border tensions are exacerbating the plight of those who fled north to escape sectarian violence.
The Red Crescent report says an additional 67,000 families left their homes in September, continuing a pattern that has multiplied the number of displaced people more than fivefold this year.
About two-thirds of the total are younger than 12, the Red Crescent said.
Pakistan’s sacked chief justice has called for the people to “rise up” and restore the constitution.
In a telephone address to lawyers in Islamabad, Iftikhar Chaudhry criticised President Pervez Musharraf, who imposed a state of emergency on Saturday.
He said the constitution had been “ripped to shreds” by Gen Musharraf and added it was now “time for sacrifices”.
US President George W Bush has called on Gen Musharraf to end the emergency and restore democratic civilian rule.
Presidential contender Lee Myung-bak could be hit with an inquiry in a fraud case as well as a formidable opponent’s late entry into the race.
By Bruce Wallace, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 6, 2007
SEOUL — Under normal circumstances, South Korean presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak’s overwhelming lead in the polls would leave him coasting to victory in next month’s election, savoring the final weeks of the campaign like a golfer strolling up the 18th fairway with a four-shot lead.
Instead, he sees nothing but land mines on the path to power, from a threatened late entry of a heavyweight challenger to the possibility that he may soon be investigated in a financial fraud case.
ROME (AFP) – Italian police launched dawn raids in Milan on Tuesday targeting about 20 people suspected of recruiting suicide bombers for attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ANSA news agency reported.
The anti-terrorist operation ordered by a Milan court was also under way in France, Britain and Portugal, according to the Italian all-news channel Sky-TG24.
The raids uncovered remote electronic detonators and poisons, as well as instructions on guerrilla warfare techniques, ANSA said.
A paedophile ring that filmed tailor-made attacks for individual abusers has been broken by police in 28 countries. Officers arrested 93 people in connection with the case, about half of whom were living in Britain, and rescued 23 victims, all girls.
Police gave warning that both numbers would rise in the next few months. Officers seized thousands of computers, videos and photographs and revealed that they found 1.5 million sexually explicit video and picture files on one computer system alone.
OSTUACAN, Mexico – Survivors saw relatives swept away by huge waves or buried by debris after a landslide hit a rain-swollen river, triggering what officials called a “mini-tsunami” that wiped a hamlet off the map and left at least 16 people missing.
Residents of San Juan Grijalva told The Associated Press on Monday they had been awakened by a rumbling roar and the sound of rocks rolling down from surrounding mountaintops on Sunday night, almost a week after massive flooding sent rivers over their banks in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and neighboring Tabasco.
CALI, COLOMBIA — It was on a routine patrol that the Colombian coast guard stumbled upon an eerie outpost amid the mangroves: a mini-shipyard where suspected drug traffickers were building submarines.
Perched on a makeshift wooden dry dock late last month were two 55-foot-long fiberglass vessels, one ready for launch, the other about 70% complete. Each was outfitted with a 350-horsepower Cummins diesel engine and enough fuel capacity to reach the coast of Central America or Mexico, hundreds of miles to the north.
President Thabo Mbeki remains an “Aids dissident” who has told a biographer that he regrets bowing to pressure from his cabinet to “withdraw from the debate” over the disease ravaging South Africa.
According to a long-awaited biography by Mark Gevisser, the president feels aggrieved that he was deflected from continuing to question the causes of the epidemic by colleagues who believed the country’s reputation was being damaged by his views on Aids.
Malkhadir Muhumed in Nairobi
Tuesday November 6, 2007
More than 450 young Kenyan men have been killed execution-style in the past five months, a state-funded national human rights group said yesterday. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights linked the slayings to a war between police and a violent street gang accused of a string of beheadings and fatal shootings earlier this year.
The commission’s preliminary report stopped short of directly blaming the police, but said the force was linked by “circumstantial evidence”. It accused the police of ignoring tip-offs and refusing to collect bodies, and said the commission’s inquiries had been met by “obfuscation, stonewalling and outright denial”.