Docudharma Times Friday May 30

Al-Qaeda In Retreat

Al-Qeada In Retreat

Al-Qeada In Retrea

Until The Need

For Good Old Fashion Fear Mongring

Friday’s Headlines:  Former prosecutors challenge White House immunity claim   Europe fuel protests spread wider   Party leader faces ruin over Stasi spy claims    Low-caste tribe riots in Delhi for right to be ‘untouchable’   Internet backlash forces Japan to shelve plans to send relief planes to China   Rogue Sadr militias roam Baghdad   U.S. Withdraws Fulbright Grants to Gaza    Mugabe presides over decline in Zimbabwe’s wildlife parks    Aerial images prove existence of remote Amazon tribe

The last Briton in Guantanamo faces death penalty

After being held prisoner by the US for six years, inmate to be charged with terrorism offences despite protesting his innocence

By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor

Friday, 30 May 2008

A British resident who is facing the death penalty in Guantanamo Bay has made a final desperate plea to Gordon Brown to end his six-year ordeal and bring him home today.

In a letter delivered to Downing Street, Binyam Mohamed, the last Guantanamo inmate with the automatic right to British residency, calls on the Prime Minister to use his influence with President George Bush to stop an American military “kangaroo court” sending him to his death.

Mr Mohamed, 29, from Kensington, west London, who is expected to be charged by the Americans with terrorism-related offences in the next few days, claims he has suffered horrific abuse during more than six years in detention without trial.


Campaign Jousting Returns to Iraq War

McCain, Obama Trade Attacks

After a strong push from Sen. John McCain’s allies, the war in Iraq has moved back to center stage in the presidential election, with McCain attacking Sen. Barack Obama for making up his mind about the war without visiting the war zone and Obama charging that McCain has yet to learn the lessons of President Bush’s mistakes.

“The next commander in chief is going to have to make decisions that will either lead to peace and security in Iraq or chaos and conflict,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, sounding a theme that Republicans have pushed all week. “The voters need to know how the candidates will make that decision. And the fact that there are 2-year-old Iraqi children who weren’t born the last time Obama was in their country raises questions about what he is making his decisions on.”

Former prosecutors challenge White House immunity claim

By Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – Twenty former U.S. attorneys, both Republicans and Democrats, urged a federal judge Thursday to intervene in a constitutional battle over whether two White House officials should be forced to testify before Congress about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

The former top prosecutors, including two who served under President Bush, argue in court papers that the judge should reject the Bush administration’s assertion of blanket immunity for presidential chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers in the congressional investigation.

Democrats in the House of Representatives say they were forced to sue in March, more than a year after they launched the probe, because the administration has refused to allow Miers and Bolten to provide crucial information about the reasons the prosecutors were fired. The case also could determine how former presidential adviser Karl Rove responds to a subpoena in a related congressional


Europe fuel protests spread wider

Fuel protests triggered by rising oil prices have spread to more countries across Europe, with thousands of fishermen on strike.

In Spain, Europe’s largest fish producer, the action is expected to bring the industry to a halt.

Fishermen in France have been protesting for weeks, and their counterparts in Portugal, Belgium and Italy are also joining the campaign.

UK and Dutch lorry-drivers held similar protests earlier this week.

The strike reflects anger at the rising cost of fuel, with oil prices above $130 (83.4 euros) a barrel.

Trade unions say the cost of diesel has become prohibitively high, after rising 300% over the past five years.

Party leader faces ruin over Stasi spy claims

By Tony Paterson in Berlin

Friday, 30 May 2008

One of Germany’s best-known politicians was under mounting pressure to resign yesterday amid new allegations that he worked as an informer for East Berlin’s infamous Stasi secret police.

Gregor Gysi, who worked as a lawyer in the former Communist East, has been an MP since the country’s reunification in 1990 – first for the left-wing Party for Democratic Socialism and more recently as co-leader of the new Left party.

Yesterday, the 60-year-old faced demands for his resignation from MPs in mainstream parties, following the release of evidence which suggests he informed on East German dissident clients for the Stasi.


Low-caste tribe riots in Delhi for right to be ‘untouchable’

By Andrew Buncombe in Delhi

India’s centuries-old controversy over caste and discrimination brought parts of Delhi to a halt yesterday as thousands of members of an ethnic group demanded that their official status be lowered in order to provide them with better access to jobs and education. Members of the Gujjar tribe blocked major roads and highways into Delhi in sit-down protests and set fire to tyres as they vowed to create gridlock across India’s capital and the surrounding area.

Some train services were suspended and many IT and outsourcing companies with offices in Delhi’s satellite cities sent staff home early. In some locations, police fired tear gas at the stone-throwing demonstrators. “This will go on until our demands are met,” Surjit Singh, a Gujjar protester who was standing in front of hundreds of cars, told reporters.

Internet backlash forces Japan to shelve plans to send relief planes to China

Leo Lewis in Tokyo

A frenzied cyberspace backlash on China’s notoriously active internet message boards has forced Japan to abandon plans to send military aircraft to help earthquake relief efforts in Sichuan.

The dispatch of transporter planes belonging to the Air Self Defence Force (ASDF) would have been heavy with symbolism, marking the first Japanese military presence in China since the Second World War.

Following the abrupt U-turn, Japan will provide aid to the quake-hit region – much-needed tents and medical supplies – using only civilian aircraft.

Middle East

Rogue Sadr militias roam Baghdad

A Mahdi Army truce holds most of the Shiite cleric’s forces in check. But some terrorize residents of Risala, a Baghdad neighborhood.

Baghdad – Nadir Hamid Shamkhi has not stepped outside since March 24, when she retrieved her kidnapped husband’s tortured body from a Baghdad morgue, buried him, and fled to her relatives’ house in Risala – a slum in southwestern Baghdad.

Ms. Shamkhi is counting on the black Shiite flag that flies from her sanctuary’s roof to protect her from the militants. But she is not certain it will. Too afraid of being recognized in the streets by members of the Shiite militia that killed her husband, she hasn’t even filed a claim with the government to receive the $1,800 compensation for his death.

American commanders say Risala is a stronghold of Shiite militias that have splintered from the Mahdi Army of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Though Mr. Sadr’s army agreed to a cease-fire with Iraqi government forces on May 11, the offshoots in Risala have not abided by it and are using this area as a staging ground for mortar and rocket attacks on two American bases in the capital.

U.S. Withdraws Fulbright Grants to Gaza


Published: May 30, 2008

GAZA – The American State Department has withdrawn all Fulbright grants to Palestinian students in Gaza hoping to pursue advanced degrees at American institutions this fall because Israel has not granted them permission to leave.

Israel has isolated this coastal strip, which is run by the militant group Hamas. Given that policy, the United States Consulate in Jerusalem said the grant money had been “redirected” to students elsewhere out of concern that it would go to waste if the Palestinian students were forced to remain in Gaza.


Mugabe presides over decline in Zimbabwe’s wildlife parks

Sophie Shaw in Harare reveals how Zimbabwe’s national parks are experiencing the corrosive impact of the country’s crisis

“The lions went into the bush here. They’re hungry, so they’ll be irritable. Let’s follow them,” says Nigel the guide.

If it sounds foolhardy to camp and walk in a big game park, doing so in Zimbabwe must be crazy as Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF militias roam the country beating and killing.

But Zimbabwe’s enormous national parks are generally peaceful havens from the violence. And with Nigel and Xolani the bush tracker to look after me, I feel much safer on the trail of the lions than, say, a Zimbabwean refugee living in Johannesburg.

I’ve taken the long weekend off to camp in Hwange national park – a pristine area for wildlife, the size of Belgium, on the edge of the Kalahari. The “big five” – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes – are all here.

Government rejects calls for UN help

By Deon de Lange and Boyd Webb

The government has rebuffed opposition parties’ calls for United Nations (UN) intervention to deal with the humanitarian aftermath of the xenophobic violence that has left 56 people dead and seen thousands housed in makeshift camps across the country.

ID leader Patricia de Lille on Thursday became the second opposition leader to call for UN assistance, after DA parliamentary leader Sandra Botha earlier wrote to President Thabo Mbeki urging him to involve the UN in local responses to the humanitarian situation.

Latin America

Aerial images prove existence of remote Amazon tribe

James Sturcke and agencies

Deep in the Amazon jungle, one of the Brazil’s last uncontacted indigenous tribes has been photographed from the air, to prove its existence.

The pictures show tribesmen, painted red from head to toe, preparing to defend themselves with longbows against the aircraft carrying out the photography.

The images, taken by the Brazil’s department for Indian affairs (Funai), reveal a number of thatched roof huts in a small clearing in the forest, in the western Amazon, close to Envira, which is not far from the border with Peru.

Funai warned that logging in the region threatened the existence of the few remaining uncontacted indigenous communities.