Docudharma Times Thursday June 26

Shrub Love

No What It Use To Be

Thursday’s Headlines:

 75% blame Bush’s policies for deteriorating economy

Dig shows Paris is 3,000 years older than first thought

EU leaders sent to Siberia for talks that symbolise shifting power

Bangladeshi woman wins rights for garment workers

Taleban ‘siege’ of Peshawar threatens Pakistan’s grip

Can Lebanon douse political fires?

For Iraqi Christians, money bought survival

Ghana: MPs Call for Military Intervention in Zimbabwe

 Leak reveals ruthless strategy to bomb and murder until election

In El Salvador, journalist may lead leftists to center stage

A £160m apology to the Maoris for shameful history of injustice

A tragic failure of leadership: Mandela’s verdict on Mugabe

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor

The Guardian,

Thursday June 26, 2008

Nelson Mandela last night broke his silence on the political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, saying the country was suffering due to “a tragic failure of leadership”.

The former South African president and political icon made the remarks at a dinner in London last night attended by Gordon Brown and Bill Clinton. Mandela is reported to be deeply troubled by events in Zimbabwe which have sent thousands of refugees into South Africa, but he has been careful not to create a rift with his successor as president, Thabo Mbeki, who has emerged as Robert Mugabe’s most important protector on the African continent.

“We watch with sadness the continuing tragedy in Darfur. Nearer to home we had seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe,” Mandela said.

U.S. border agents copying contents of travelers’ laptops

By Federica Narancio | McClatchy Newspapers  

WASHINGTON – U.S. border agents are copying and seizing the contents of laptops, cell phones and digital cameras from U.S. and foreign travelers entering the United States, witnesses told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday.

The extent of this practice is unknown despite requests to the Department of Homeland Security from the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution and several nonprofit agencies.

The department also declined to send a representative to the hearing. Subcommittee Chairman Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said Homeland Security had told him that its “preferred” witness was unavailable Wednesday.

Feingold added that he’d submitted written questions about the seizures of electronic data – and of some devices – to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in April. To date, Feingold said, he’s gotten no reply.


Senator Stalls Housing Relief With Call for Energy Credits

Ensign’s Demand Spurs Showdown as Foreclosures Keep Mounting

  By Lori Montgomery

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, June 26, 2008; Page D01

A Republican senator from Nevada, home to the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, yesterday blocked an ambitious plan to help troubled borrowers save their homes, saying he will not permit the measure to go forward unless the Senate adds tax breaks to encourage the production of renewable energy.

The demand by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) stalled a massive housing package with broad bipartisan support even as a report showed that new-home sales continued to tumble, underscoring the severity of the nation’s housing slump


75% blame Bush’s policies for deteriorating economy

The figure includes large numbers of dissatisfied Republicans and represents a sharp increase in pessimism over the last year. Higher fuel prices have sharpened the criticism.

By Maura Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 26, 2008

WASHINGTON — Three out of four Americans, including large numbers of Republicans, blame President Bush’s economic policies for making the country worse off during the last eight years, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll released Wednesday, reflecting a sharp increase in public pessimism during the last year.

Nine percent of respondents said the country’s economic condition had improved since Bush became president, compared with 75% who said conditions had worsened. Among Republicans, 42% said the country was worse off, while 26% said it was about the same, and 22% thought economic conditions had improved.

Phillip Thies, a registered Republican and clothing-store owner in Cedar, Mich., who was one of those polled, said the president was doing an able job through the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but “right after that, it was steadily, steadily downhill.”

“There has been a lack of leadership and a lack of timeliness of leadership, of not being conscious of the magnitude of the problems,” Thies said of Bush in a follow-up interview. “He’s always a day late and a dollar short.”


Dig shows Paris is 3,000 years older than first thought

By John Lichfield in Paris

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Paris has long been known to be a very old city but its history as a settlement has just been extended by more than 3,000 years.

An archaeological dig, whose findings were revealed yesterday, moves back Paris’s first known human occupation to about 7600BC, in the Mesolithic period between the two stone ages.

An area about the size of a football field on the south-western edge of the city, close to the banks of the river Seine, has yielded thousands of flint arrowheads and fragments of animal bone. The site, between the Paris ring road and the city’s helicopter port, is believed by archaeologists to have been used, nearly 10,000 years ago, as a kind of sorting and finishing station for flint pebbles washed up on the banks of the river.

EU leaders sent to Siberia for talks that symbolise shifting power

From The Times

June 26, 2008

Tony Halpin in Khanty-Mansiisk, Siberia

European Union leaders travel to the source of Russia’s renewed power today in search of a new relationship with the Kremlin under President Medvedev.

The first EU-Russia summit since Mr Medvedev succeeded Vladimir Putin opens in the city of Khanty-Mansiysk, the Siberian heartland of the country’s oil riches. The political symbolism of the venue, chosen by Mr Putin, is not lost on either side as they strive to rebuild relations after years of friction over energy, trade and democracy.

The Khanty-Mansiysk region produced 57 per cent of Russia’s oil last year. Record prices mean that the region of 1.5 million people – 1 per cent of Russia’s population – contributes a fifth of the national budget.


Bangladeshi woman wins rights for garment workers

In the Dhaka slums, trade union leader Nazima Aktar campaigns for wage increases and rice subsidies.

By Emily Wax

Dhaka, Bangladesh –  With a rush of rain cooling the steamy night air, Nazima Akter hurried through the muddy, narrow alleyways of one of Dhaka’s many slums. Without knocking, Ms. Akter, a trade union activist, strutted straight into the cramped home of a sewing machine operator.

The worker, a young mother of three who went by the name Nazma, had just returned from a long day at the factory, her lunch pail empty and swinging from her arm. She collapsed onto a sagging mattress, telling Akter about the poor sanitary conditions at her garment factory, one of thousands in Bangladesh’s biggest industry, and the need for an increase in wages.

Nearby, Nazma’s husband, a gaunt rickshaw driver wearing a flowing saronglike loongi and chewed-up flip-flops, paced in front of the women, waiting for his wife to start cooking his supper. But he quickly got reprimanded.

Taleban ‘siege’ of Peshawar threatens Pakistan’s grip

From The Times

June 26, 2008

Zahid Hussain in Peshawar

Pakistan’s battle against the Taleban threatened to spiral out of control yesterday after Islamic militants extended their grip in the lawless North West Frontier region.

Emboldened by an increasingly weakened and demoralised security force, Taleban fighters moved in to the outskirts of the provincial capital. Peshawar, surrounding the city and placing it virtually under siege.

Middle East

Can Lebanon douse political fires?

Fighting in Tripoli is indicative of rising Sunni-Shiite tensions as the formation of a new government hits an impasse. Religious leaders called for calm Wednesday.

By Nicholas Blanford  | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

from the June 26, 2008 edition

Tripoli, Lebanon –  Thick black smoke billows out of the shattered windows of a small house on the edge of the Jabal Mohsen district in this city as a fireman directs water into the burning building.

Several other houses nearby also smolder from a spate of arson attacks that are keeping tensions high between the mainly Alawite (an offshoot of Shiite Islam) residents and their traditional rivals in the Sunni quarter of Tebbaneh.

For Iraqi Christians, money bought survival

By Andrew E. Kramer

Published: June 26, 2008

MOSUL, Iraq: As priests do everywhere, Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, the leader of the Chaldean Catholics in this ancient city, gathered alms at Sunday Mass. But for years the money, a crumpled pile of multicolored Iraqi dinars, went into an envelope and then into the hand of a man who had threatened to kill him and his entire congregation.

“What else could he do?” asked Ghazi Rahho, a cousin of the archbishop. “He tried to protect the Christian people.”

But American military officials now say that as security began to improve around Iraq last year, Archbishop Rahho, 65, stopped paying the protection money, one sliver of the frightening larger shadow of violence and persecution that has forced hundreds of thousands of Christians from Iraq.


Ghana: MPs Call for Military Intervention in Zimbabwe

Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)

25 June 2008

Posted to the web 25 June 2008

Linda Akrasi Kotey

Members of Parliament are calling for military intervention from the United Nations as a solution to the Zimbabwean crisis. The parliamentarians say military options should sometimes be employed to save lives and stop such mess.

Members said this in parliament yesterday, when they were contributing to a statement made by the MP for Dome Kwabenya, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, on the Zimbabwean situation.

The Deputy Minister of interior, K.T. Hammond, in his contribution said the crisis in Zimbabwe is a sad story in the history of Africa, as well as a sore on the eye of mother Africa.

Leak reveals ruthless strategy to bomb and murder until election

By Daniel Howden in Bulawayo

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The ruling party in Zimbabwe has a detailed plan to murder opposition polling agents, bomb polling stations and march the electorate to the ballot box under armed guard to ensure an emphatic victory for Robert Mugabe in tomorrow’s uncontested presidential run-off.

Minutes of a meeting of the regime’s top security officials, the Joint Operations Command (JOC), seen by The Independent, outline the ruthless strategy which appears to be going ahead regardless of the withdrawal of the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai from the race.

The notes, leaked from a JOC meeting late last week, include instructions to kill opposition MPs, for death squads to stuff ballot boxes in rural areas and the prevention of any rallies by the opposition.

Latin America

In El Salvador, journalist may lead leftists to center stage

Presidential candidate Mauricio Funes takes an early lead in polls as economic woes and gang violence beset the nation.

By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 26, 2008

EL PARAISO, EL SALVADOR — Like a prizefighter nearing the ring, Mauricio Funes strides through a gantlet of feverish fans.

Booming speakers blare an old left-wing political anthem while a fluttering canopy of red campaign banners lends a celebratory air to this sweltering farm town.

It is an intoxicating moment for Funes, a presidential candidate, and his flag-waving backers from the Salvadoran left. In what would be an improbable turn, Funes could be the next leader of this famously conservative country.


A £160m apology to the Maoris for shameful history of injustice

Indigenous tribes celebrate victory in fight for rights lost by breaches of 1840 treaty with Britain

By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent

Thursday, 26 June 2008

New Zealand took a momentous step to address the historic grievances of its original Maori inhabitants yesterday, handing back nearly half a million acres of Crown forestry land in a settlement worth NZ$418m (£160m).

Hundreds of Maori, some wearing traditional feather cloaks, descended on the capital, Wellington, to watch the agreement being signed in parliament by the government and tribal leaders. Some wept during the ceremony, while others chanted, sang and blew conch shells.


    • RiaD on June 26, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    i imagine Paris is not the only city that is older than once thought…..

    YAY for the Maori’s…. YAY for New Zealand trying to remedy a wrong!!!!

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