Docudharma Times Friday July 25


Listened to

What The

Man Said

That’s Incredible

Friday’s Headlines:

Hamdan case is built on his own words  

Palestinian anger at claims new West Bank settlement ‘to get go-ahead’

World Focus: A quandary for any new US president

Serb leader’s capture brings little solace at site of killings in Bosnia

Russia ‘may use Cuba to refuel nuclear bombers’

Scabble-mad Senegalese score low on home ground

Africa’s labour movement kicks against al-Bashir indictment

Inflation adds to Pakistan’s troubles

Cyclone-hit fisheries worsen Myanmar’s pain

This Cuban library lends DVDs about state torture

China marshals Olympic spirit to rebuild

Government pumps money, manpower into earthquake recovery zone

Associated Press

YINGXIU, China – The streets here are alive with the sounds – rumbling backhoes, roaring jackhammers, clanging pickaxes – of a town being brought back from the dead.

The 7.9-magnitude earthquake that tore apart Sichuan province in May left the town of Yingxiu in near-silent ruin. Two months later, it is buzzing with activity as soldiers dig trenches for water pipes and temporary housing units rise practically overnight.

U.S. Expands Visa Program for Iraqi Allies


Published: July 25, 2008

BAGHDAD – The American Embassy in Baghdad announced Thursday that it had expanded tenfold its program to help Iraqi employees of the American government here, who faced threats for their work, to obtain visas and ultimately citizenship in the United States.

Although the program was established by law in January, it has become a practical reality just in the last two to three weeks as guidelines have been finalized and the embassy has brought in staff members and started processing applications.


Obama has huge lead among Hispanic voters, poll finds

By Lesley Clark | McClatchy Newspapers  

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama has picked up support from nearly all the Hispanic voters who voted for rival Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, giving him a nearly three-to-one lead over Republican John McCain among Hispanics, a poll released Thursday shows.

The Pew Hispanic Center survey found Obama with 66 percent of the Hispanic vote to McCain’s 23 percent.

The results represent a “sharp reversal” in Obama’s fortunes from the primaries, when he lost the Latino vote to Clinton by nearly two-to-one, prompting speculation that Hispanics were leery of voting for a black candidate, said Susan Minushkin, the center’s deputy director.

Hamdan case is built on his own words

Fellow Guantanamo detainees who, unlike him, refused to provide information to interrogators have been released.

By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

July 25, 2008

 GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA — In the custody of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Salim Ahmed Hamdan drew maps to Al Qaeda training camps and compounds for his captors.

A driver for Osama bin Laden for nine months before his November 2001 arrest, Hamdan guided FBI and military intelligence agents to Bin Laden’s private residences and guest houses and identified photos of terrorist kingpins still at large.

Interrogated dozens of times by soldiers, analysts and investigators after his transfer to Guantanamo in May 2002, the Yemeni with a fourth-grade education gave those working to avert further terrorist strikes vital information about key perpetrators of the U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa in 1998, the destroyer Cole blast in 2000 and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Middle East

Palestinian anger at claims new West Bank settlement ‘to get go-ahead’

· Israeli planners give initial approval to 20 homes

· No end to freeze on expansion, says PM

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem

The Guardian,

Friday July 25 2008

Controversial plans for the first new settlement to be built in the occupied West Bank in almost a decade have been revived by Israel’s defence ministry, despite calls by the international community for a freeze on construction, which is illegal under international law.

A key planning committee at the ministry has approved a plan to build 20 homes in a new settlement in the Jordan valley to be called Maskiot.

The defence minister, Ehud Barak, has not yet given his approval, although Israeli reports yesterday suggested the plan would go ahead soon.

World Focus: A quandary for any new US president

By Donald Macintyre

Friday, 25 July 2008

It’s perhaps lucky for Barack Obama that he was safely on his way to Berlin by the time the Israeli daily Maariv reported that the military had approved construction of a new settlement in the Jordan Valley. For had he been asked about it Mr Obama, on a mission to convince Israel of his unequivocal friendship, could hardly have conformed with existing US policy without criticising the plan.

The news helps to illustrate why the Palestinian public remains deeply sceptical about the Israeli government’s ability to deliver the West Bank settlement withdrawals that any peace deal would require. Whether Ehud Olmert finally confirms the plan or not – and he has not yet been asked to – the approval by those in day-to-day charge of the occupied West Bank underlines the settlers’ influence.


Serb leader’s capture brings little solace at site of killings in Bosnia

By Dan Bilefsky

Published: July 25, 2008

SREBRENICA, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Fadila Efendik had little time to rejoice this week over the capture of Radovan Karadzic, the man she blames for the death of her only son: she was too busy looking for his missing and scattered body parts.

The arrest on Monday of Karadzic, the wartime leader of the Bosnian Serbs accused of masterminding the worst massacre since World War II, brought cold comfort to Efendik, she said.

She nervously played with her head scarf and sobbed as she scanned the endless rows of white grave stones here on Wednesday in the area where Serbian paramilitary forces under the command of Karadzic separated the men and boys who would later be killed in a frenzy that claimed 8,000 lives.

Russia ‘may use Cuba to refuel nuclear bombers’

· Plan said to be response to American missile shield

· No reaction from Havana to newspaper report

Luke Harding in Moscow

The Guardian,

Friday July 25 2008

Russia is said to be considering the use of bases in Cuba as a refuelling point for its nuclear bombers, in a move reminiscent of the 1962 missile crisis.

The move would be in retaliation for the Bush administration’s plan to site a missile defence shield in Europe. Russia says America’s proposal for the shield in Poland and the Czech Republic poses a direct threat to its security.

Citing a “highly placed military source”, a report in Monday’s Izvestiya said the Kremlin wanted to use Cuba as a base for its long-range Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic nuclear bombers.


Scabble-mad Senegalese score low on home ground

By Claire Soares

Friday, 25 July 2008

For a country that made Scrabble a “national priority”, hosting this year’s French-speaking world championship should have been Senegal’s crowning moment. After taking three of the four titles up for grabs in Canada last year, Senegal – despite a national literacy rate of just 40 per cent – were the team to beat. Now it is going horribly wrong.

The winner of the youth competition was yesterday stripped of his title after lying about his age. Officiators discovered that Mamadou Youck was not 14 but 16 and promptly threw him out of the competition. Many of Senegal’s other medal hopes have sunk without a trace, and all hopes rest on the shoulders of two brothers to rescue Senegalese honour.

Africa’s labour movement kicks against al-Bashir indictment

Friday, 25 July 2008,

The Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), which represents 25 million organized African Workers of all trade union tendencies, said on Thursday that it was shocked at arrest warrant sought by Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir for his alleged crimes in Darfur.

“The arrest warrant is unhelpful to the ongoing process of negotiations and peace in Darfur and it will contribute to the intransigence of the divided foreign assisted Darfur rebels,” it said.


Inflation adds to Pakistan’s troubles

Rising prices and a falling stock market have sparked protests in recent weeks, increasing the pressure on a government already facing militancy, political discord.

By Shahan Mufti  | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

from the July 25, 2008 edition

Lahore, Pakistan –  The Pakistani government, elected in February with great hopes of restoring stability, is not just struggling to deal with a Taliban insurgency, a judicial crisis, and an internally fractured coalition.

It is also managing one of the worst economic periods in the country in the past decade. And as millions of Pakistanis from a cross-section of economic classes feel the heat from a dipping economy, some are beginning to blame the new government.

“The economic situation is deepening the political crisis,” says Rasul Baksh Rais, professor of political science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. “If the government isn’t able to address this soon,” he says, people could start spilling out onto the streets. And a weak government, he says, might not ready for all this so soon after coming into power.

Cyclone-hit fisheries worsen Myanmar’s pain

Thousands of fishermen were killed and their ponds destroyed

Associated Press

YAY TWIN GONE, Myanmar – No matter how much she loved the river and sea that once provided her family’s daily food, Tin Tin Latt now just wants to stay away from the water that widowed her, killed two of her children and destroyed the family’s livelihood.

Tin Tin Latt is among thousands of widows of fishermen in Myanmar’s cyclone-devastated Irrawaddy delta who have been forced to become breadwinners without land to farm or the means to earn money from the sea.

Latin America

This Cuban library lends DVDs about state torture

A government critic’s collection includes Bibles, books by Cuban defectors, and positive biographies about Fidel Castro.

By Matthew Clark

La Demajagua, Cuba – Carlos Serpa Maceira’s ramshackle home on the outskirts of a rural town on an island that once served as a prison for Fidel Castro is not easy to find. And that’s how he likes it.

The tireless sprite of a man is always on the move, finding creative ways to shuttle banned books and DVDs from Havana to the tiny independent library he runs out of his home.

“My library is called the Ernest Hemingway Library,” he says puffing out his chest. “My criteria is not to have any censorship. I have Bibles, US State Department literature, books written by high-level Cuban defectors, fiction – and positive books about [Ernesto] Che [Guevara] and Fidel [Castro].”


Skip to comment form

    • Mu on July 25, 2008 at 14:06

     The Media Heathers declared that he had, and would continue to have, “problems” in the Hispanic community.  This bucking-the-narrative stuff has got to stop.

    Mu . . .  

    • on July 25, 2008 at 14:30
  1. …apparently Russia has been working the Cold War moves unnoticed by the villiage idiot & his merry band of twisted trolls in the WH.    

  2. Even more amazing, perhaps, is that the police made a crowd estimate and the media reported it.  Last time I was in Washington DC for an antiwar march (January 2007) there were 200,000 or more in the streets, but the media reported “thousands” of people marched, and no official source would give an estimate.

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