The world closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close,like brothers
The future’s in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change
Tibetan monk protests reflect growing activism
More Buddhist monks, nuns likely to revolt against injustice, oppression
BANGKOK, Thailand – Buddhist monks hurling rocks at Chinese in Tibet, or peacefully massing against Myanmar’s military, can strike jarring notes.
These scenes run counter to Buddhism’s philosophy of shunning politics and embracing even bitter enemies – something the faith has adhered to, with some tumultuous exceptions, through its 2,500-year history.
But political activism and occasional eruptions of violence have become increasingly common in Asia’s Buddhist societies as they variously struggle against foreign domination, oppressive regimes, social injustice and environmental destruction.
Clinton Vows To Stay in Race To Convention
She Stresses Finding Solution On Michigan, Florida Votes
NEW ALBANY, Ind., March 29 — In her most definitive comments to date on the subject, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton sought Saturday to put to rest any notion that she will drop out of the presidential race, pledging in an interview to not only compete in all the remaining primaries but also continue until there is a resolution of the disqualified results in Florida and Michigan.
A day after Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean urged the candidates to end the race by July 1, Clinton defied that call by declaring that she will take her campaign all the way to the Aug. 25-28 convention if necessary, potentially setting up the prolonged and divisive contest that party leaders are increasingly anxious to avoid.
Clinton, Obama supporters wrangle over delegates
The acrimony is evident at district conventions in Texas this weekend, with each side accusing the other of underhandedness.
HOUSTON — Less than a month ago, Texas Democrats turned out in huge numbers for the presidential nominating contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, confident that, no matter who won, the party would have a popular, well-financed candidate.
But that exuberance is gone now.
Across the state this weekend, tense confrontations — even shoving matches — erupted as partisans for Clinton and Obama battled over how to interpret the March 4 election results and how to choose delegates to the Texas Democratic convention.
At one particularly raucous session Saturday at Texas Southern University, a leading Clinton backer, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, was booed by hundreds of Obama supporters, and police were called later to break up heated exchanges that left some in tears.
Files Released by Colombia Point to Venezuelan Bid to Arm Rebels
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Files provided by Colombian officials from computers they say were captured in a cross-border raid in Ecuador this month appear to tie Venezuela’s government to efforts to secure arms for Colombia’s largest insurgency.
Officials taking part in Colombia’s investigation of the computers provided The New York Times with copies of more than 20 files, some of which also showed contributions from the rebels to the 2006 campaign of Ecuador’s leftist president, Rafael Correa.
Brazil teen ‘killer’ investigated
Police in Brazil are investigating claims by a 16-year-old boy that he has murdered 12 people.
The boy made the claim after being arrested on suspicion of murder last week in the southern city of Novo Hamburgo, its police commissioner said. The teenager’s identity has not been revealed because he is a minor.
Police said the boy claimed he had killed in fits of rage or to get revenge and in one case because someone wanted to date his sister.
Vote count under way in Zimbabwe
Vote counting is under way in Zimbabwe, with the main opposition MDC claiming it is winning the battle to oust President Robert Mugabe.
The MDC said it was ahead in most constituencies but continues to fear the vote will be rigged.
Results may not be finalised for some days and the government warned the MDC not to declare an early victory.
Mr Mugabe is battling the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai and independent Simba Makoni for president.
‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero to give evidence in extradition case
A hero of the genocide in Rwanda whose story was immortalised in the film Hotel Rwanda will give evidence in a British court next week to try to stop the extradition of four men accused of crimes during the violence.
Paul Rusesabagina was credited with saving more than 1,000 lives during the outbreak of violence in 1994 in which more than a million people died. As manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines in the capital Kigali, he used his contacts to save Hutus and Tutsis. He has since become an outspoken critic of the government in Rwanda and now lives in Belgium.
Under siege in Baghdad’s Mahdi army stronghold
The violence that began in Basra and spread to the capital continues as fears of a new civil war grow
The gunfire built to a steady rhythm. American soldiers in a Stryker armoured vehicle fired from one end of the block. At the other end, two groups of Shia militiamen pounded back with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. US helicopters circled above in the blue afternoon sky.
As a barrage erupted outside his parents’ house, Abu Mustafa al-Thahabi, adviser to the Mahdi army of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, rushed through the gate to take shelter. He had just spoken with a fighter by mobile phone. ‘I told him not to use that weapon. It’s not effective,’ he said, talking of the rocket-propelled grenade. ‘I told him to use the IED, the Iranian one,’ he added, referring to an improvised explosive device. ‘This is more effective.’
‘Divided’ Arab summit continues
An annual summit of the Arab League is continuing in Syria’s capital Damascus but key leaders are staying away amid signs of a growing regional rift.
Only 11 heads of states from the 22-member organisation were present at the summit’s opening on Saturday.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan were among those sending low-level delegations to the two-day gathering.
They blame Syria for the ongoing political crisis in Lebanon – a charge denied by the government in Damascus.
The Lebanese government is boycotting the summit completely.
Wed to Strangers, Vietnamese Wives Build Korean Lives
KWANGMYONG, South Korea – The two couples’ baby girls were born last month only two days apart, the younger one on the morning of the Lunar New Year. Each girl, everyone later agreed, had her Korean father’s forehead and her Vietnamese mother’s nose.
It was one year ago that the girls’ fathers had gone to Vietnam and, in the first two hours of a five-day marriage tour, plucked their mothers out of two dozen prospective brides at the Lucky Star karaoke bar in Hanoi.
Tibet tensions high as Olympic torch nears Beijing
BEIJING, March 30 (Reuters) – Further unrest in Tibet’s capital appeared to have been sparked by attempts by police to carry out security checks, indicating the tension and volatility remaining in Lhasa weeks after a deadly anti-government riot.
It was unclear exactly what occurred in Lhasa on Saturday but a mobile text message to residents from police said security checks carried out earlier in the day had “frightened citizens” and caused panic in the city centre.
Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet and Radio Free Asia quoted witnesses as describing people “running in all directions and shouting”.
Whatever Happened to the IRA?
Spend Easter Sunday in Belfast and you have to wonder what happened to the IRA.
The first time I visited Belfast, in 1977, it was a city under siege. Stores were closed. British bunkers protected by anti-rocket meshing sat on most intersections. Police and military patrols were the only sign of life on the street. The Europa, which had to be the most bombed hotel in the world, was a sandbagged fortress.
On paper at least the 1998 agreement between the IRA and the British government was what started to put an end to the violent conflict. But at the bottom of it the IRA lost the will to fight.