Docudharma Times Thursday May 8

So say goodbye it’s Independence Day

It’s Independence Day

All down the line

Just say goodbye it’s Independence Day

It’s Independence Day this time

Thursday’s Headlines: Hilary Clinton’s strategy of last resort: FBI Backs Off From Secret Order for Data After Lawsuit: Iran offers nuclear deal but refuses to stop enrichment: Israel: From independence to intifada: Tibetan woman carries Olympic torch to the top of Everest: US trains Pakistani killing machine: Violence in Zimbabwe Disrupts Schools and Aid: Why South Africa will never be like Zimbabwe: Putin ever present as Medvedev becomes president: Sebastien Loeb’s long hair and stubble causes more of a row than Max Mosley:  

Fears rise over Burma aid delays

Burma’s leaders are facing growing international concern over their reluctance to accept foreign aid, days after the devastating cyclone.

The UN says its planes carrying vital food supplies cannot enter because they still do not have permission to land.

But the regime has now given permission for at least one US aid flight to land in the country.

A US diplomat has said conditions are “horrendous” and warned the death toll could top 100,000 if they worsened.

Teams reaching some of the worst-hit areas have described harrowing scenes.

Some aid workers reported bodies rotting in the fields and desperate survivors fighting over food and water.

Support disaster relief in Myanmar (Burma)


Hilary Clinton’s strategy of last resort

She would have to get the DNC to count the Michigan and Florida delegates and then press her case with superdelegates.

WASHINGTON — Unable to revive her presidential campaign at the polls, Hillary Rodham Clinton now envisions a road to the nomination built on disputes over Democratic Party rules and fights over delegate selections. But on Wednesday even that route looked unattainable, with some key party officials warning that they would not cooperate with Clinton’s strategy.

The party leaders’ comments came as they digested Tuesday night’s election results from Indiana and North Carolina — results that extended Barack Obama’s lead over Clinton in both the popular vote and nominating delegates and led some to conclude that the New York senator simply could not catch up.

FBI Backs Off From Secret Order for Data After Lawsuit

The FBI has withdrawn a secret administrative order seeking the name, address and online activity of a patron of the Internet Archive after the San Francisco-based digital library filed suit to block the action.

It is one of only three known instances in which the FBI has backed off from such a data demand, known as a “national security letter,” or NSL, which is not subject to judicial approval and whose recipient is barred from disclosing the order’s existence.

Middle East

Iran offers nuclear deal but refuses to stop enrichment

· British officials say plan is a ‘spoiler’ to west’s proposal

· Breakthrough in deadlock thought to be unlikely

Iran said yesterday that it is to present the international community with a new package of proposals aimed at breaking the diplomatic deadlock over the country’s nuclear programme.

Rasoul Movahedian, Iran’s ambassador in London, told the Guardian: “My government has worked out a new package, a new initiative, which is going to be put forward in the near future to deal with all aspects of our relationship [with the international community].”

He said he was not permitted to give details before the initiative is presented “before the end of next week” to the five permanent members of the UN security council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – as well as Germany, who together constitute the “5+1” group leading nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

Israel: From independence to intifada

It was created from the ashes of the Holocaust, and grew into one of the most confident (and controversial) nations in history. Today, as Israel turns 60, its people’s hopes for a peaceful future are as delicately poised as ever

By Donald Macintyre

Thursday, 8 May 2008

You get the clearest sense of it in Tel Aviv. Swinging in on the Ayalon highway past the 50-floor Azrieli towers, joining the entrepreneurs in their open-necked shirts and jeans tapping at their laptops at a café off the Rothschild Boulevard, lunching among the families and fashionistas at the beachside Manta Ray, or wandering through the elegantly renovated lanes of Neve Tzedek, where Jews in the 1880s first started spreading north along the coast from Jaffa, the still-mixed neighbouring Arab port town that secular, hedonistic, Tel Aviv grew out of, you quickly begin to see how much Israel has achieved in the last 60 years.


Tibetan woman carries Olympic torch to the top of Everest

A young Tibetan woman has carried the Olympic torch to the top of the world.

Panting in the thin air at the top of Mount Everest, Tsering Wangmo was the last of five mountaineers battling high winds and freezing temperatures in a slow-moving mini-relay on the summit of the world’s highest peak that ended with jubilant shouts of “Beijing welcomes you!”

The team of 19 climbers broke camp at 27,390ft (8,300m) before dawn to begin the laborious final climb, setting off in the dark to take advantage of calmer morning winds and firmer footholds on the packed ice before the heat of the sun causes it to shift.

US trains Pakistani killing machine

KARACHI – A longstanding disconnect between the Pakistan and United States militaries is largely responsible for the inability of the “war on terror” to nail key targets such as al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, as well as military failures against the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.

Former US ambassador to Honduras, Mexico and the Philippines and presently Deputy Secretary of State, John Negroponte, aims to change this by creating special Pakistani units, trained by the US, to go after key figures.

“These programs have already started and will continue at length. Already, many teams of US military officials have arrived in Pakistan and have started basic training courses,” a senior

Pakistani security official told Asia Times Online on the condition of anonymity.


Violence in Zimbabwe Disrupts Schools and Aid

JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe’s ruling party, bent on retaining control after 28 years in power, has broadened its campaign of intimidation and violence to include teachers and even aid workers, disrupting education and basic care for tens of thousands of children across the country, according to humanitarian groups, union officials and the teachers themselves.

Teachers have been upbraided by the ruling party for allegedly siding with the opposition during the nation’s disputed March elections, in which they served as poll monitors. More than 2,700 of them have fled or been evicted from classrooms, the teachers’ union says. Dozens of schools have closed, the union says, and 121 are being used as bases for the ruling party’s youth militias as they harass and beat opponents in the countryside.

Why South Africa will never be like Zimbabwe

n this Chris Hani Memorial Lecture, Jeremy Cronin traces the differences between the ANC and Zanu-PF as liberation movements and as parties in power.

Our government’s stand on Zimbabwe has once again distressed many South Africans. How can President Thabo Mbeki say there is no crisis in Zimbabwe? He later claimed he was not talking about the social and economic reality but about the elections in Zimbabwe. But isn’t there an electoral crisis?

If this denial were a one-off oversight on President Mbeki’s part then it would only be opposition parties here in South Africa and those not in solidarity with the Zimbabwean people who would want to go on making a meal of it.


Putin ever present as Medvedev becomes president

· Duma expected to confirm outgoing leader as PM

· Successor promises to fight corruption

Dmitry Medvedev became Russia’s new president and the country’s third post-Soviet leader yesterday during a glittering ceremony at the Kremlin which – formally at least – brought down the curtain on Vladimir Putin’s eight tumultuous years in power.

Standing next to Putin, Medvedev swore an oath on Russia’s constitution. He then delivered an upbeat speech promising to improve the lives of ordinary Russians, fight corruption and end the country’s “legal nihilism”.

“I believe my most important aims will be to protect civil and economic freedoms,” he told guests at the inauguration. He added: “We must fight for a true respect of the law and overcome legal nihilism, which seriously hampers modern development.”

Sebastien Loeb’s long hair and stubble causes more of a row than Max Mosley

Its President faces possible deselection amid reports that he indulged in a Nazi-themed orgy with five prostitutes, but the governing body of world motorsport knows what really hurts its image: a driver who forgets to wash and shave.

There were howls of indignation yesterday when Sébastien Loeb, the world champion rally ace, was taken to task by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile.

Just before Max Mosley, the FIA chief, was exposed on film appearing to enjoy his exotic encounter, the head of its rally division endorsed a complaint over the unkempt appearance of Loeb, 34. The Alsace-born driver, world champion for the past four years and one of the biggest stars in rally history, has recently adopted longer hair and stubble. “The same thing happens in football and other virile sports.

Latin America

Captive macaws now reproduce in the wild in Costa Rica

LA GARITA DE ALAJUELA, Costa Rica – Endangered scarlet macaws born in captivity are reproducing in the wild for the first time on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast.

The ZooAve Center for the Rescue of Endangered Species has released 100 of the birds into the wild in the last decade. But biologists didn’t spot offspring until last year, said biologist Laura Fournier.

Since then, they have recorded 22 chicks born in the wild, and four more scarlet macaw couples have laid eggs, Fournier said.

The parrots once occupied all of Costa Rica. But hunting and poaching dramatically cut their population, and they are now found only in two national parks along the coast.


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    • mishima on May 8, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    If you click on Support Disaster Relief in Burma you can donate to the effort through the UN.

    • Mu on May 8, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Out to sea.  100 mi north of Tokyo.  Two reported injured, but nothing major.  

    Mu . . .

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