Docudharma Times Saturday March 22

We have the chance to turn the pages over

We can write what we want to write

Saturday’s Headlines: Coping With Loss, Military Kin Also Struggle With a Windfall: In New York, a Turf War in the Battle Against Terrorism: Taiwan counts presidential votes:  Police and troops tighten grip as publicity drive gets under way: Italy’s toxic waste crisis, the Mafia – and the scandal of Europe’s mozzarella: Hamas men ‘tortured by Egyptians’: Cheney, Saudis talk oil, security:  Falling oil production a challenge for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: Sea change for Mexico City: No welcome mat for Somalia refugee

Tibet: the jealousy, rage and bitterness of a new generation that fuelled deadly riots

Young Tibetans may not remember earlier uprisings but the ethnic tension between the ruled and their rulers is just as acute today

at the door, gouged out the mud-baked roof and bayed for the blood of a top ethnic Tibetan official of the Chinese Government.

Captive in a room within the Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s most holy Raidi cowered under a table, sobbed with fear and begged ethnic Han Chinese officials trapped with him for protection. He knew Tibetan retribution would be fiercest against one seen as a turncoat.

Today, nearly two decades later, the ethnic bitterness between ruling Han Chinese and deeply Buddhist Tibetans is no less acute.


Coping With Loss, Military Kin Also Struggle With a Windfall

For some relatives of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the money feels, at first, like an affront, as if the government were putting a price tag on a loved one’s life. Others are thrown off balance by the sudden infusion of $500,000, spending with abandon to assuage grief or finding themselves besieged by hard-up friends and relatives. And the newfound wealth often strains relations among in-laws.

Three years ago, advocates for military families succeeded in winning a significant expansion in survivor benefits, which include life insurance, a death gratuity, medical care and housing and education assistance. But the increases have left some widows and next of kin clearly rattled by the collision of mourning and money.

In New York, a Turf War in the Battle Against Terrorism

NEW YORK — Not long after Sept. 11, 2001, as New York City began to build a counterterrorism effort to rival those of most nations, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly decided to put an end to the department’s reliance on the FBI for classified data coming in from Washington.

Kelly, who was working to protect the city against another attack, wanted his own access to the stream of threat reporting concerning New York. The solution was to install a classified-information vault, like the FBI’s, at the headquarters of the New York City Police Department.


Taiwan counts presidential votes

Ballots are being counted in Taiwan, as the island decides who is to succeed Chen Shui-bian as president.

Frank Hsieh, of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, faces a tough battle against Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang.

Both candidates advocate closer economic ties with China than the staunch nationalist Mr Chen, but differ over the pace and degree of change.

Police and troops tighten grip as publicity drive gets under way

Thousands of paramilitary police and troops have blanketed a huge swath of western China as the government tightens its control in the wake of riots and protests in Lhasa and provinces near Tibet.

Witnesses have reported long convoys heading for the Tibetan capital in the past few days, with many of the trucks containing men armed with machine guns as well as riot shields.

The markings and registration plates of vehicles had been removed, but they appeared to be those normally used by the People’s Liberation Army rather than the People’s Armed Police, which has officially been handling the unrest.

In Sichuan province there have been reports of troops arriving in helicopters.


Cyprus takes step towards reunification

· Greek and Turkish leaders hold talks amid optimism

· After 34 years, partition barrier is to be removed

Cyprus came a step closer to healing the wounds of division yesterday after the leaders of its Greek and Turkish communities pledged to rid the island of one of its most enduring symbols of partition and relaunch long-stalled reunification talks.

Emerging from more than five hours of talks in the UN-patrolled buffer zone that has split Cyprus since 1974, President Demetris Christofias said negotiations between the two sides would be revived with “optimism and goodwill”.

“I look forward to having in three months’ time results which will help both of us have a dialogue under the auspices of the [UN] secretary general,” he said. “We have to be optimistic – we agreed that we shall work together in goodwill.”

Italy’s toxic waste crisis, the Mafia

the Mafia – and the scandal of Europe’s mozzarella

By Michael McCarthy and John Phillips in Rome

Saturday, 22 March 2008

It may be the moment when the throwaway society meets its retribution. A shadow this weekend hangs over one of the great staples of modern European life – Italy’s mozzarella cheese.

The topping on a billion pizzas, the magic ingredient in a million salads, is at the centre of a major food scare involving pollution, corruption, the Mafia and southern Italy’s remarkable crisis in waste management.

Middle East

Hamas men ‘tortured by Egyptians’

The Palestinian militant movement Hamas has accused Egypt of torturing members of the group who were detained after crossing from the Gaza Strip.

A Hamas spokesman said security forces had demanded to know about Hamas leaders’ movements and the location of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The questions had nothing to do with the security of Egypt, he added.

Cheney, Saudis talk about oil, security

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Vice President Dick Cheney and Saudi King Abdullah have discussed ways to stabilize the energy market but it is unclear whether the vice president asked for increased oil production to hold down rising gas prices in the United States.

Cheney spent a little more than an hour in an one-on-one with the king at his horse farm on Friday, a posh retreat on the outskirts of Riyadh. Cheney then spent a half hour with the Saudi minister of petroleum, and another three and a half hours having dinner with the king. They discussed a broad range of topics including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Mideast peace process and the energy markets.

Latin America

Falling oil production a challenge for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

CARACAS, Venezuela – For the better part of a decade, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has spent billions of dollars of his country’s oil revenue to challenge U.S. interests, build influence around the world and fund a self-styled socialist revolution at home.

Yet as Chavez moves from one international crisis to another – most recently a near military confrontation with neighboring Colombia, an important U.S. ally – many wonder how long his oil-funded wild ride will last.

Sea change for Mexico City

Ten fake beaches have been created in the landlocked capital so those who can’t afford Cancun don’t miss out.

MEXICO CITY — It’s spring break in Mexico, but the newest beach attraction here doesn’t have wet T-shirt contests or inflatable-banana rides. Oh, and there’s no sea either.

None of that, though, has deterred thousands of Mexico City residents from seeking a taste of vernal release in the middle of this vast concrete jungle, about 170 miles from the nearest coast.

As throngs of well-off Mexicans raced off this month to join U.S. college students at resort hot spots such as Acapulco and Cancun, the Mexico City government has offered a consolation prize for residents too poor to get away: fake beaches.

Officials have created 10 artificial beach areas across the landlocked city by hauling in truckloads of sand and planting palm trees, beach chairs and umbrellas around public swimming pools.


No welcome mat for Somalia refugee

A journalist threatened with death flees his homeland, only to find that nearby countries and regions don’t want him or have their own problems.

NAIROBI, KENYA — I left my native Somalia in August, days after an unidentified man called my cellphone to inform me that I was about to be killed.

Seven months later, living in exile, I’ve found that the threatening phone calls haven’t stopped. Nowadays, however, they are not from would-be assassins. Instead my cellphone rings with warnings from immigration officials in countries where I have sought, usually without success, to find a safe place to live.

“Why don’t you leave?” was the near-daily taunt from one government official in Djibouti, who called so frequently I almost began to consider him a friend.


    • mishima on March 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm
  1. what effect is global climate instability having on japan?!?…..

    how have water and temperature and wind velocities/storms been effected….

    I live on the west coast of the us…..

    I am curious about japan?!?…..

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