Docudharma Times Sunday Dec.2

This an Open Thread for the curious.


US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Caught Up in a Storm, With His Eyes Wide Open


A boy named Isaiah Polk went off one day to see what he could see. He scaled a chain-link fence at the back of his tired FEMA trailer park, where fetid water gathers, and escaped into woods declared off-limits by his mother after reports of poisonous snakes.

On that hot July afternoon, Isaiah and two friends hunted for tiny crabs, threw dirt bombs and visited the cemetery across the creek where his grandfather, who used to give him firecrackers, is buried. They also found treasure: a mysterious black duffel bag that came with them on their return climb over the wobbly fence separating the forbidden from the forgotten.

Business Lobby Presses Agenda Before ’08 Vote

Dec. 1 – Business lobbyists, nervously anticipating Democratic gains in next year’s elections, are racing to secure final approval for a wide range of health, safety, labor and economic rules, in the belief that they can get better deals from the Bush administration than from its successor.

Hoping to lock in policies backed by a pro-business administration, poultry farmers are seeking an exemption for the smelly fumes produced by tons of chicken manure. Businesses are lobbying the Bush administration to roll back rules that let employees take time off for family needs and medical problems. And electric power companies are pushing the government to relax pollution-control requirements.

Middle East

Younger Muslims Tune In to Upbeat Religious Message

CAIRO — Muna el-Leboudy, a 22-year-old medical student, had a terrible secret: She wanted to be a filmmaker. The way she understood her Muslim faith, it was haram — forbidden — to dabble in movies, music or any art that might pique sexual desires.

Then one day in September, she flipped on her satellite TV and saw Moez Masoud.

A Muslim televangelist not much older than herself, in a stylish goatee and Western clothes, Masoud, 29, was preaching about Islam in youthful Arabic slang.

He said imams who outlawed art and music were misinterpreting their faith. He talked about love and relationships, the need to be compassionate toward homosexuals and tolerant of non-Muslims. Leboudy had never heard a Muslim preacher speak that way.

Death toll for Iraqis falls again

BAGHDAD – The number of Iraqis killed last month fell to 718, an Associated Press tally showed, the lowest monthly death toll since just before the 2006 bombing of a Shiite shrine provoked a vicious cycle of retaliatory sectarian violence.

The figures come as the military says violence has fallen to levels not seen in nearly two years, while acknowledging that Iraqis are still dying in unacceptable numbers.

An expert on the effect of conflicts on civilians agreed, saying that while the downward trend was positive, it needed to be kept in perspective.


Russia goes to the polls

BARNAUL, Russia (Reuters) – Russians voted on Sunday in a parliamentary election widely viewed as a referendum on President Vladimir Putin and overshadowed by opposition accusations that pro-Kremlin forces enjoy an unfair advantage.

Pollsters say Putin’s United Russia party will win an overwhelming victory and secure more than 60 percent of seats. More than 100 million Russians are eligible to vote in the election, being held in sub-zero winter temperatures.

The predictability of the result and lack of debate on key issues have led to apathy among voters, prompting an official drive to increase the turnout.

Eta blamed for killing in France

A Spanish civil guard has been killed and another badly wounded after being shot by suspected members of the Basque group Eta in south-western France.

The two men were taking part in a joint surveillance operation with French police against Eta suspects.

Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero condemned the attack and said Spain was united by “deep disgust”.

It was the first killing attributed to Eta since group ended a ceasefire in June.


Mandela: Halting new HIV infections key

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The world must not grow complacent about AIDS because the number of new HIV infections still outpaces the number of those being treated for the disease, former South African President Nelson Mandela said at a benefit concert Saturday.

Since stepping down as South Africa’s first black president in 1999, Mandela, whose son died from the disease, has championed the cause of people with AIDS. On Saturday, he drew a crowd of about 15,000 to his fifth international awareness concert, held this year to coincide with World AIDS Day.

Recent U.N. figures estimate that the number of AIDS cases fell from almost 40 million last year to 33.2 million in 2007.

Jailed teacher ‘in good spirits’ as Muslim peers seek her release

· Woman held over the naming of a teddy bear should be freed early

· Sudan president meets top-level British delegation

Mark Townsend

Sunday December 2, 2007

The Observer

The jailed teacher Gillian Gibbons said last night she would like to return to work in Sudan at the earliest opportunity as efforts intensified to secure her release following the arrival of prominent British Muslim peers in Khartoum.


Filipino protesters storm US Embassy

MANILA, Philippines – About two dozen protesters angry over a rape case involving a Marine stormed the American Embassy on Sunday, hitting a U.S. government seal on the gate with fists and a brick before surprised policemen pushed them away, police and witnesses said.

The protesters demanded the transfer to a Philippine jail of Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, who was convicted a year ago of raping a Filipino woman but has remained under U.S. government custody and detained at the heavily fortified embassy.

Taking advantage of the absence of policemen, who usually stand guard outside the embassy, the protesters ran toward the gates and used their fists and a red brick to pound the bronze seal, an Associated Press photographer at the scene said.

Rival woos Bhutto to topple Pervez Musharraf

PAKISTAN’S two most popular politicians, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, both former prime ministers, will meet tomorrow to forge an alliance to sweep Pervez Musharraf from power.

Their meeting will take place just days after Musharraf stood down as military ruler and pledged to end the emergency rule that he introduced last month. He was sworn in as a civilian president on Thursday.

Although his return to civilian life was widely welcomed, opposition leaders said they were not ready to accept him as president until he restored the Supreme Court judges sacked under the emergency rule and released hundreds of lawyers and activists still being held in jail or under house arrest.

Latin America

Ex-wife damns Hugo Chavez ‘coup’

PRESIDENT Hugo Chavez of Venezuela routinely blames foreign conspirators for any opposition to his plans to turn his country into a socialist paradise. Yet his latest attempt to rewrite the constitution to allow him to remain in office indefinitely has brought the opposition closer to home: his critics now include his ex-wife.

Marisabel Rodriguez, the mother of Chavez’s nine-year-old daughter Rosines, has startled Venezuelans by plunging into a fierce battle over today’s constitutional referendum with a warning that her ex-husband is bent on “an absolute concentration of power”.

In an interview last week, Rodriguez accused Chavez of attempting to “hypnotise the people” and added: “I can’t support this zeal for perpetuating time in power.”


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  2. Ex-wife damns Hugo Chavez ‘coup’

    Best,  Terry  

    • documel on December 2, 2007 at 15:29

    If we can kidnap suspected felons in foreign lands, can they do the same to Americans?  Let’s take up a collection to send Bush/Cheney around the world in 80 days.  There must be a country with both ethics and spine.

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