Most Of Us Dream Of Change
Others Just Flip and Flop
Agreements Are Elusive at Oil Talks in Saudi Arabia
By ROBERT F. WORTH and JAD MOUAWAD
Published: June 23, 2008
JIDDA, Saudi Arabia – A hastily convened global energy summit meeting led by Saudi Arabia ended largely in disagreement on Sunday, with only a modest pledge of increased production by the Saudis and no resolution on what other practical steps should be taken to ease the crisis over soaring oil prices.
The Saudis, who considered the meeting a success because of the high attendance, announced a production increase of 200,000 barrels a day and an expansion of their output capacity if needed in coming years.
But news of the immediate production increase had already been absorbed by the world market for oil. Some experts had anticipated that the Saudis might announce a bigger increase.
U.S. Network Falters in Mideast Mission
CAIRO First of two articles
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, June 23, 2008; Page A01
The Egyptian bureau of al-Hurra, an Arabic-language television network financed by the U.S. government, boasts a spectacular view of the Nile River and the capital’s bustling streets. But inside, all is quiet.
The bureau’s satellite link was unplugged with little explanation a few weeks ago by a local company, making it impossible to broadcast live. Since then, staffers have had to use a studio controlled by the Egyptian secret police, who have warned guests not to say anything controversial on the air.
Al-Hurra — “The Free One” in Arabic — is the centerpiece of a U.S. government campaign to spread democracy in the Middle East
Obama Camp Closely Linked With Ethanol
By LARRY ROHTER
Published: June 23, 2008
When VeraSun Energy inaugurated a new ethanol processing plant last summer in Charles City, Iowa, some of that industry’s most prominent boosters showed up. Leaders of the National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association, for instance, came to help cut the ribbon – and so did Senator Barack Obama.
Then running far behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in name recognition and in the polls, Mr. Obama was in the midst of a campaign swing through the state where he would eventually register his first caucus victory. And as befits a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a ringing endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
Comedian George Carlin Dies in Los Angeles at 71
By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 23, 2008; Page A02
George Carlin, 71, the much-honored American stand-up comedian whose long career was distinguished by pointed social commentary that placed him on the cultural cutting edge, died last night in Santa Monica, Calif.
His death was reported by the Reuters news agency and on the Los Angeles Times Web site. He had long struggled with health problems and a heart condition dating to the 1970s.
‘Mugabe has declared war and we will not be part of that war’
Tsvangirai withdraws his party from election saying to continue would cost supporters’ lives
Chris McGreal in Harare and Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
Monday June 23, 2008
The opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday pulled out of this week’s presidential election in Zimbabwe, saying he is not prepared to ask people to die by voting for him, and accusing Robert Mugabe of “waging a war against the people”.
The Movement for Democratic Change leadership met and decided to withdraw from what it called a “violent, illegitimate sham of an election” amid the murders by the ruling Zanu-PF militia and security forces of 100 opposition activists, the torture and rape of thousands of MDC supporters, and a state-orchestrated campaign of terror across swathes of the country.
“Mugabe has declared war, and we will not be part of that war,” the opposition leader said
In Algeria, a tug of war for young minds
By Michael Slackman
Published: June 23, 2008
ALGIERS: First, Abdel Malek Outas’s teachers taught him to write math equations in Arabic, and embrace Islam and the Arab world. Then they told him to write in Latin letters that are no longer branded unpatriotic, and open his mind to the West.
Malek is 19, and he is confused.
“When we were in middle school we studied only in Arabic,” he said. “When we went to high school, they changed the program, and a lot is in French. Sometimes, we don’t even understand what we are writing.”
The confusion has bled off the pages of his math book and deep into his life. One moment, he is rapping; another, he recounts how he flirted with terrorism, agreeing two years ago to go with a recruiter to kill apostates in the name of jihad.
Iraq: How a daring new generation of graphic novelists view the art of war
They’re a far cry from Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk. A daring new generation of graphic novelists is using the conflict in Iraq to explore America’s relationship with the rest of the world – and itself
By Tim Walker
Monday, 23 June 2008
Matty Roth, a young photojournalism trainee, is taking his first trip into a war zone with the famous (and famously objectionable) Viktor Ferguson of the Liberty News Network. But soon after their helicopter lands, the team comes under attack. Matty is forced to watch, helplessly, as the chopper – and Ferguson – take off without him, only to be blown out of the sky seconds later, leaving Matty, lost and alone, in an urban no man’s land. Baghdad? No – Manhattan Island, otherwise known as the DMZ.
This is the explosive opening of a comic book series, also named DMZ, by New Yorker Brian Wood, and it’s the pre-eminent example of a growing fashion for comics and graphic novels about, or inspired by, the Iraq war. DMZ began life in 2005, but next month it comes of age with the publication of a new collected edition.
Gaza blockade is eased but family of hostage solder try to halt truce
From The Time
June 23, 2008
Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem
Israel began easing its economic blockade of the Gaza Strip yesterday as its truce with Hamas reached the fourth day.
Trucks carrying basic foodstuffs began entering Gaza through the Sufa crossing in the early morning as Palestinian lorry drivers waited on the other side. Israel refuses to engage in direct talks with Hamas, which denies its right to exist.
To avoid direct dealings, the truckloads of foodstuffs were placed under the blazing desert sun until Israeli workers had left the scene.
The Ukrainian ‘genocide by starvation’
From The Times
June 23, 2008
Tony Halpin in Kiev
Grigori Garaschenko remembers seeing his classmates starve slowly to death in a famine that killed millions of people in Ukraine.
A neighbour driven mad by hunger killed her six-year-old daughter and began to eat her, he said, after Soviet soldiers confiscated all the food in their village during house-to-house searches.
Mr Garaschenko, 89, is one of the few remaining survivors of the famine of 1932-33
UN chief signals shift on Kosovo
Despite Russian and Serbian opposition, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said Friday the UN would gradually cede its role.
By Robert Marquand | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the June 23, 2008 edition
PRISTINA, KOSOVO – For 16 months, Russia and the West have been a bit eyeball-to-eyeball in the United Nations Security Council over the status of Kosovo. But to borrow Dean Rusk’s famous phrase during the 1963 Cuban missile crisis, it appears that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has just blinked.
Mr. Ban’s concession on Friday appeared to brush aside Russia’s objections and clear the way to end the nine-year “UNMIK” mission in Kosovo. Last week, Pristina authorities inked a milestone constitution, following a February declaration of independence.
For much of the past nine years, Kosovars described themselves as bystanders in their own fate; the future of this gritty city was controlled by Moscow, Washington, Brussels, and New York. A UN departure may begin to change that.
Town in India rocks (no use to wonder why, babe)
By Somini Sengupta
Published: June 23, 2008
SHILLONG, India: Lou Majaw wore his signature skin-tight, cutoff short-shorts. His long gray hair hung like dirty threads around his face. Eyes closed in prayer, a guitar cupped in arms, he strummed the chords to “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
“Happy birthday, Bob Dylan, wherever you are,” he began, standing on a stage in a near-empty church hall on an overcast Saturday afternoon. “God bless you, and thanks for everything that you’ve done.”
Every May 24 for the last 35 years Majaw, 61, and one of India’s original rock ‘n’ roll bards, has held a homespun celebration of Dylan’s birth. This year’s version was held in All Saints Hall, next to the church of the same name. Majaw pranced around the auditorium singing, “Everybody must get stoned.” Two schoolgirls, who described their repertory as mostly Mariah Carey, sang “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” in two-part harmony, having learned it two days before. A poet, Sonny Khyriem, stood up and read a paean: “The voice bathed with protests/Mingled with human rights/Becomes an inspiration/To the toiling millions.”
Resistance snuffed out as Olympic torch tours Tibet
By Clifford Coonan in Beijing
Monday, 23 June 2008
China paraded the Olympic torch through the streets of Lhasa at the weekend in a blaze of red flags, eager to present a picture of national unity and domestic harmony just three months after the Tibetan provincial capital was rocked by anti-Chinese riots.
With the Olympic Games to begin in Beijing on 8 August, senior Chinese Communist Party officials in charge of the restive province used the opportunity of the torch relay to denounce the Dalai Lama and underline China’s tight grip on the Himalayan region. “Tibet’s sky will never change and the red flag with five stars will forever flutter high above it,” said Zhang Qingli, the hardliner who heads Tibet’s Communist Party. “It is certain we will be able to totally smash the splittist schemes of the Dalai Lama’s clique.”
Bolivia faces August showdown as autonomy wins again
By Alex Ayala and Jack Chang | McClatchy Newspapers
LA PAZ, Bolivia – A controversial round of autonomy referendums defying leftist President Evo Morales concluded Sunday with the apparent approval by voters in the gas-rich province of Tarija of a statute that would grant provincial authorities powers similar to those of officials in a U.S. state.
Tarija is the fourth of Bolivia’s nine provinces to approve such a statute in referendums that Morales has called illegal because they were not called by the country’s Congress. Morales says the votes by the four provinces are an effort o split the country, but supporters say they only want to reform the country’s heavily centralized government and better distribute power.
Bolivia now prepares for a nationwide Aug. 10 recall vote that could end the mandates of Morales, his vice president and the country’s eight currently sitting governors. Morales called for the recall vote in an effort to determine who has the most popular support, the governors of the provinces seeking autonomy or Morales, Bolivia’s first president from the country’s majority Indian populationt whose approval rating remains at about 60 percent. ( A ninth province, Chuquisaca, will not participate in the recall referendum because its voters will elect a new governor later this month.)