It’s my freedom
Ah, don’t worry ’bout me, babe
I got to be free, babe
Dalai Lama plans Tibet crisis remarks Sunday
Until now, he has avoided issue at Seattle conference on compassion
SEATTLE – The Dalai Lama planned to speak about the turmoil in Tibet on Sunday, but so far on his U.S. tour he has simply urged people to have hope for the future and to look past a century of bloodshed and toward a period of dialogue.
The spiritual leader of Tibet delivered his keynote speech Saturday to more than 50,000 people during the second day of a five-day conference on compassion.
HUD Chief Inattentive To Crisis, Critics Say
Jackson’s Tenure Ending
In late 2006, as economists warned of an imminent housing market collapse, housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson repeatedly insisted that the mounting wave of mortgage failures was a short-term “correction.”
He pushed for legislation that would make it easier for federally backed lenders to make mortgage loans to risky borrowers who put less money down. He issued a rule that was criticized by law enforcement authorities because it could increase the difficulty of detecting and proving mortgage fraud.
Bill Clinton, China linked via his foundation
A firm that has donated to the president’s charity is accused of collaborating with the government in its crackdown on Tibetan activists. Hillary Clinton has spoken out against China’s actions.
NEW YORK — As Chinese authorities have clamped down on unrest in Tibet and jailed dissidents in advance of the 2008 Olympics, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken a strong public stance, calling for restraint in Tibet and urging President Bush to boycott the Olympics opening ceremonies in Beijing.
But her recent stern comments on China’s internal crackdown collide with former President Bill Clinton’s fundraising relationship with a Chinese Internet company accused of collaborating with the mainland government’s censorship of the Web. Last month, the firm, Alibaba Inc., carried a government-issued “most wanted” posting on its Yahoo China homepage, urging viewers to provide information on Tibetan activists suspected of stirring recent riots.
Secret Iraqi Deal Shows Problems in Arms Orders
BAGHDAD – An $833 million Iraqi arms deal secretly negotiated with Serbia has underscored Iraq’s continuing problems equipping its armed forces, a process that has long been plagued by corruption and inefficiency.
The deal was struck in September without competitive bidding and it sidestepped anticorruption safeguards, including the approval of senior uniformed Iraqi Army officers and an Iraqi contract approval committee. Instead, it was negotiated by a delegation of 22 high-ranking Iraqi officials, without the knowledge of American commanders or many senior Iraqi leaders.
Israel re-brands kibbutzim to lure eco-aware generation
srael’s kibbutzim, once a rite of passage for thousands of young Britons, are staging an unexpected comeback after years of decline. The world-famous communes, which hosted a generation of volunteers from singer Simon Le Bon to actor Bob Hoskins, are to launch their first advertising campaign in a decade.
The campaign, focusing on 140 sites in the north and south of the country, aims to tout the benefits of kibbutz living for a hip, new eco-aware generation. Re-branded for the 21st century, socialist ideals are downgraded in favour of environmental ethics and organic farming replaces conventional agriculture.
Israel believes its new-look kibbutzim can again entice a new wave of Westerners to follow in the footsteps of Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedian behind Ali G and Borat, and US actress Sigourney Weaver.
Exclusive: Mugabe prepares for war
Zimbabwe’s leader defies the world to send in new wave of thugs
By a Special Correspondent in Bulawayo
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Robert Mugabe is preparing to defy international pressure and launch a systematic crackdown in Zimbabwe aimed at reversing his defeat in the presidential election two weeks ago, according to dissident policemen who have been briefed on his plans.
Through an intermediary, the policemen told The Independent on Sunday that they have been ordered to be ready to deploy today or tomorrow. With their ranks swollen by so-called “war veterans” given police uniforms, they would take over constituency “command centres” used in the 29 March elections.
Two weeks ago the ruling Zanu-PF party not only lost its majority in the House of Assembly, but, in the presidential contest, Mr Mugabe is believed to have finished well behind Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Plan for Darfur peace talks in UK
London could host Darfur peace talks under proposals being put forward by prime minister Gordon Brown.
British officials have been in contact with the Khartoum regime and rebel groups to offer the possibility of a summit “as soon as practicable”.
Downing Street revealed details of the negotiations as activists in 30 countries prepared to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the war.
A spokesman said the offer was a way to assist a speedy end to the conflict
Western press ‘demonises’ China
The Chinese ambassador to London has accused the Western media of demonising China and says there are “complicated problems” in Tibet.
Fu Ying also said that a young Chinese woman asked her: “Where is the gentlemanship?” after the protests during the Olympic torch run in London.
Many of the visitors from China who were in London last week felt that Britain was against them, she added.
Ms Fu said in the Sunday Telegraph that Tibet is “loved” by the Chinese.
The ambassador wrote: “I am concerned that mutual perceptions between the people of China and the West are quickly drifting in opposite directions.
Paramilitary Olympics: Beijing: at least 94,000 security staff – but only 10,500 athletes
After the protests that greeted the torch relay, China is getting ready to put on the greatest show of security the world has ever seen. Clifford Coonan and Richard Osley report
What used to be called the Olympics are likely this summer to become the Paramilitary Games. China is planning to deploy more than 94,000 security personnel at the Beijing celebration in August, which means that uniformed and plain-clothes operatives will outnumber the 10,500 athletes by nearly nine to one.
Leading what will be the biggest security effort the world has ever seen is the People’s Armed Police, a 660,000-strong militia force, which has been involved in the crackdown on Tibetan demonstrators in Lhasa. The PAP is also believed to have provided the squads of blue and white tracksuited paramilitaries who formed the controversial phalanx of guards for the Olympic torch as it made its chaotic way across London, Paris and San Francisco last week.
‘Acceptable face’ of fascism may cost Berlusconi victory
Italy’s only woman candidate for PM emerges as the revelation of the election campaign, as she attacks the media magnate’s chauvinism head on
By Peter Popham in Rome
Sunday, 13 April 2008
The sensation of Italy’s election campaign has been a glamorous 46-year-old widow with long, shapely legs, a piercing gaze, a fine Italian temper and the guts to say to Silvio Berlusconi: “You’re not having me.”
There is no chance she will become Italy’s next prime minister; if her small, extreme, new-minted party manages to win seats in both houses of parliament it will be remarkable. But commentators on both sides agree that Daniela Santanche, the only woman candidate for prime minister, has been the revelation of an election which finishes in polling today and tomorrow.
A Maker of Books Destroys 100,000
nquiry Has Been Launched, UNESCO Director Says
PARIS — For more than two decades, 250 historians and specialists labored to produce the first six volumes of the General History of Latin America, an exhaustive work financed by UNESCO, the United Nations organization created to preserve global culture and heritage.
Then, over the course of two years, UNESCO paid to destroy many of those books and nearly 100,000 others by turning them to pulp, according to an external audit.
Haiti Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis fired
The decision, seen as a censure of President Rene Preval, comes as a U.N. peacekeeper is killed, the sixth death in more than a week of rioting over food prices.
MIAMI — Haitian lawmakers fired the Caribbean nation’s prime minister Saturday, and a U.N. peacekeeper was killed in a vigilante attack in volatile Port-au-Prince, the sixth death in more than a week of rioting over soaring food prices.
The lawmakers’ decision to sack Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis, who had headed the government since President Rene Preval was elected in February 2006, was meted out as censure over the violence and tension that has gripped the Western hemisphere’s poorest people for the last 10 days.
A Nigerian riot control officer with the 9,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force was shot and killed in the capital after he was accosted while running an errand. Neither the victim nor other peacekeepers fired weapons during the attack, said U.N. spokeswoman Sophie Boutaud de la Combe.