Docudharma Times Saturday April 5

Must have been a dream I don’t believe where I’ve been.

Come on, let’s do it again.

Saturday’s Headlines: Bill and Hillary Clinton disclose wealth: In Massachusetts, Universal Coverage Strains Care: Bid to end Zimbabwe poll silence: Somali pirates seize French yacht: Warm words from Putin suggest deal on missile defence shield: The end of the road for Switzerland’s vintage car graveyard: After ban of 40 years, Pakistani film opens across India: Bhutan voters demand return of the king: How kidnapped Iraq security chief lived to tell the tale: In Egypt, Upper Crust Gets the Bread: Maria Barragan succeeds in getting adoptive parents jailed

New clashes in China on eve of torch’s arrival in UK

Reports of up to eight dead after Chinese police fire on protesters

A new series of violent clashes in China threatened last night to aggravate the protest which will greet the London leg of the Olympic torch relay as it passes through the capital this weekend.

As many as eight Tibetans may have been killed when paramilitary police opened fire during protests in Sichuan province, according to Tibetan support groups. They say the protesters were gunned down in the Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture when police used automatic weapons on the crowds on Thursday evening.

China’s state media acknowledged a confrontation had taken place in the mountainous region neighbouring Tibet, but reported that police fired only warning shots to protect officials.


Bill and Hillary Clinton disclose wealth

They’ve earned more than $109 million and paid 31% of it in federal taxes this decade, their tax records show

WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s family has amassed enormous wealth this decade, pulling in more than $109 million through books, speaking fees and investments, according to tax returns released Friday by the Clinton campaign.

The returns show that the family’s annual income shot up after her husband left the White House, rising from $358,000 in 2000 to $16 million a year later, when Bill Clinton listed his occupation as “speaking and writing.”

In Massachusetts, Universal Coverage Strains Care

AMHERST, Mass. – Once they discover that she is Dr. Kate, the supplicants line up to approach at dinner parties and ballet recitals. Surely, they suggest to Dr. Katherine J. Atkinson, a family physician here, she might find a way to move them up her lengthy waiting list for new patients.

Those fortunate enough to make it soon learn they face another long wait: Dr. Atkinson’s next opening for a physical is not until early May – of 2009.

In pockets of the United States, rural and urban, a confluence of market and medical forces has been widening the gap between the supply of primary care physicians and the demand for their services. Modest pay, medical school debt, an aging population and the prevalence of chronic disease have each played a role.


Bid to end Zimbabwe poll silence

Zimbabwe’s main opposition, the MDC, is trying to apply for a court order to force electoral officials to release the presidential election result.

A spokesman said the MDC wanted the electoral commission to publish the result of last Saturday’s poll within four hours of such an order.

The party believes its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, defeated President Robert Mugabe in the ballot.

Mr Mugabe’s own party has said it will back him if a run-off is called.

MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) spokesman Alec Muchadehama told AFP news agency the party was doing “everything in our powers” to have its petition heard on Saturday at Harare High Court.

Somali pirates seize French yacht

Pirates have boarded a luxury French yacht off the coast of Somalia, taking all its 30 crew hostage, French officials and the ship’s owners say.

They say the Ponant was seized in the Gulf of Aden and had no passengers on board at the time.

France’s government said it had launched a piracy alert plan, mobilising all resources in the area.

Somali coastal waters are among the most hazardous in the world, despite the presence of US navy patrols there.

Last year, pirates seized more than 25 ships in the area.

‘Act of piracy’

The Ponant – an 850-tonne three-masted yacht – was sailing back to the Mediterranean from the Seychelles when it was seized, officials said.


Warm words from Putin suggest deal on missile defence shield

By Colin Brown in Bucharest

Saturday, 5 April 2008

A compromise over US missile defence may emerge from a summit of the Russian and American presidents this weekend at President Putin’s holiday villa in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The stand-off between Washington and Moscow over the siting of a missile defence shield in eastern Europe was defused yesterday opening the way for a deal between the two men before they leave office.

At the conclusion of a difficult Nato summit, Mr Putin said he was encouraged that Washington had listened to Russian concerns about the planned US missile shield site and said discussions would continue.

The end of the road for Switzerland’s vintage car graveyard

By Tony Paterson in Berlin

Saturday, 5 April 2008

It is the biggest graveyard of its kind in Europe – a vast metal jungle of more than 1,000 rusting vintage cars including forgotten British Wolseleys, “sit up and beg” Ford Prefects, rotting Porsches and even the wreck of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.

The collection of decaying old-timers, which go back to the late-1920s, sits in makeshift corrugated iron garages and among trees on the edge of Kaufdorf some 10 miles south of Switzerland’s capital Bern.

After surviving for 75 years, the authorities have declared that the collection is an environmental hazard and intend to clear it by court order later this year. But the plan has provoked uproar among concerned Kaufdorf locals and more than just a few other Swiss residents. A campaign to preserve the site was started last month when an open day was held. The organisers expected about 50 people to attend, but 10,000 turned up. Franz Messerli, whose father founded the car cemetery, said: “We never expected such interest. Our aim is to preserve it for posterity as a national work of art.”


After ban of 40 years, Pakistani film opens across India

By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent

Saturday, 5 April 2008

It came from nowhere tobecome the most successful Pakistani film of all time. Bold, striking and widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, Khuda Kay Liye focuses on the lives of Muslims in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and the Bush administration’s “war on terror”.

Now, it has become the first Pakistani film in more than four decades to go on full release at cinemas across its predominantly Hindu neighbour, India, receiving rapturous applause at its Indian premiere in Mumbai on Thursday.

Bhutan voters demand return of the king

Almost two weeks after Bhutan’s first parliamentary election, there is an unfamiliar rumble of discontent around the forests and mountainside monasteries of the “Land of the Thunder Dragon”.

When 28-year-old King Jigme forced his subjects to vote on March 24 he hoped to transform his Himalayan realm from one of the world’s last absolute monarchies into a stable yet vibrant democracy.

Although Bhutan had no roads until 1960 and no television or internet until 1999, the Oxford-educated monarch believed that his 635,000 or so people were ready for the rough and tumble of electoral politics.

Middle East

How kidnapped Iraq security chief lived to tell the tale

With almost three million Iraqis having fled their homes Tahsin al-Sheikhly could have been just another faceless, internally displaced person. But Mr al-Sheikhly has a very public face: he is the spokesman for the Iraqi Government’s security crackdown.

That status was not enough to save him from the fate of so many of his countrymen, so when the cars full of gunmen rolled up to his house in Baghdad last week, he did what so many had done before. He and his sons grabbed their guns and fought for their lives.

In Egypt, Upper Crust Gets the Bread

Shortage Exposes Inequities

CAIRO — The line started forming before dawn, as soon as the day’s first call to prayer had faded from the trash-strewn streets of the Egyptian capital’s Zelzal neighborhood. Men began pounding on the green metal shutters of the district’s sole bakery.

“Aish! Aish!” — Bread! Bread! — the stubble-faced men yelled, shouting through the grillwork at bakers laboring over a dented, gas-fired oven. Cursing and pushing, the men thrust crumpled currency through the spaces in the grille.

Latin America

Maria Barragan succeeds in getting adoptive parents jailed

In a landmark decision, a court in Buenos Aires sentenced a former military officer and the adoptive parents of one of the country’s many babies “stolen” during the dictatorship to prison for concealing the child’s identity and falsifying adoption documents.

Maria Eugenia Sampallo Barragán, 30, had brought charges against the three after discovering her true identity seven years ago. Ms Sampallo is one of hundreds of people who were snatched from their parents or born in captivity during the country’s dictatorship of 1976-83, but she was the first to face her adoptive parents in court.


    • mishima on April 5, 2008 at 3:07 pm

  1. suggests potential problems for any candidate pushing universal care, as well as for attempts at legislation for the same.

    I think that there had best be a good collection of responses ready, explanations as to why the problems exist and solutions for them, before serious promotion of universal health coverage gets going.

    The problems in Massachusetts are close enough to what opponents of universal care were saying would happen that you know they’ll seize on this.  And it’s the sort of thing that will get an emotional response from people that have some degree of health coverage – that what health care they do get will become harder to get, long waiting periods, moving and discovering doctors are accepting new patients, and so on.


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