Docudharma Times Friday July 4




Independence Day Headlines:

Commentary: How dare they rip the Fourth Amendment?

Muslims feel like ‘Jews of Europe’

Greece theatres threatened by chewing gum and high heels

Robert Mugabe moves to erase the MDC

Aid for Zimbabwe refuge seekers

Japan sees a chance to promote its energy-frugal ways

China and Taiwan begin direct flights

Iran warms to freeze-for-freeze plan

Hamas suspends Shalit talks over Gaza closure

Colombia hostage rescue: ‘Like a movie’ – the double cross that freed Betancourt

On Iran, top military officer sounds like Obama

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen urges diplomacy, not use of force

By Tom Curry

National affairs writer


WASHINGTON – It could turn out to be one of the most significant comments of the 2008 campaign – but coming just ahead of a holiday weekend, it isn’t getting much notice.

Upon his return from a visit to Israel and Europe, the nation’s highest ranking military officer warned Wednesday that a military strike on Iran would be a very bad idea.

“This is a very unstable part of the world, and I don’t need it to be more unstable,” said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen.

White House debates the future of Guantanamo

Legislation could make it easier to move terror suspects to the U.S

By Julian E. Barnes, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

July 4, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is locked in an internal debate over whether to present Congress with proposed legislation that would allow suspected terrorists to be held in the United States — a possible first step toward closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — according to current and former officials.

The officials said the administration was not on the verge of shutting down Guantanamo. But the legislation under debate could make it easier to move some suspects to the United States by lessening the risk that federal courts would set them free in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., or Charleston, S.C.

Last month’s Supreme Court decision granting federal courts the power to review the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo has thrown the administration’s detainee policy into doubt.


Celebrity Passport Records Popular

State Dept. Audit Finds Snooping Was Frequent

By Glenn Kessler

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, July 4, 2008; Page A01

Government workers repeatedly snooped without authorization inside the electronic passport records of entertainers, athletes and other high-profile Americans, a State Department audit has found. One celebrity’s records were breached 356 times by more than six dozen people.

The audit, by State’s inspector general, was prompted by the discovery in March that three of the department’s contract workers had peeked at the private passport files of Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain and that a State Department trainee had examined the file of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Commentary: How dare they rip the Fourth Amendment?

By Joseph L. Galloway | McClatchy Newspapers  

 Early next week the U.S. Senate will vote on an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with a few small amendments intended to immunize telecommunications corporations that assisted our government in the warrantless and illegal wiretapping it has grown to love.

That such a gutting of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution even made it out of committee is yet another stain on the gutless and seemingly powerless Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

That a majority on both sides of the aisle – not least of them the presumptive nominees for president of both political parties – intend to vote for such a violation of Americans’ right to privacy and of the sanctity of their personal communications is a stunning surrender to those who want us to live in fear forever.


Muslims feel like ‘Jews of Europe’

Minister’s shock warning on rise of anti-Islamic prejudice

By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter

Friday, 4 July 2008

Britain’s first Muslim minister has attacked the growing culture of hostility against Muslims in the United Kingdom, saying that many feel targeted like “the Jews of Europe”.

Shahid Malik, who was appointed as a minister in the Department for International Development (Dfid) by Gordon Brown last summer, said it has become legitimate to target Muslims in the media and society at large in a way that would be unacceptable for any other minority.

Greece theatres threatened by chewing gum and high heels

From The Times

July 4, 2008

John Carr in Athens

Chewing gum, high heels, booming amplifiers and other modern plagues are seriously damaging Greece’s 2,500-year-old outdoor theatres and should be banned, according to the country’s powerful archaeological establishment.

As the shows become more elaborate, with bulkier sets, highvolume speakers for acoustic shock effect, and high heels clattering on the ancient marble, experts fear that theatres such as Epidavros, built 2,400 years ago for men in leather sandals and relying on natural acoustics, are under threat.

Add the countless wads of used chewing gum that regularly stud the old terraced marble seats, requiring painstaking removal, and the Central Archaeological Council has declared war on modernity.


Robert Mugabe moves to erase the MDC

From The Times

July 4, 2008

Catherine Philp in Harare

Fresh from his rigged election victory, Robert Mugabe and his military backers plan to assassinate or frame dozens of opposition MPs in an attempt to consolidate power and take back control of Parliament.

The Zanu (PF) party of Mr Mugabe lost its grip on the legislature for the first time since independence when the Movement for Democratic Change took control of the Lower House and drew level in the Senate after the March elections.

Having overturned Morgan Tsvangirai’s victory in the first round of the presidential vote with a brutal campaign of terror, President Mugabe’s henchmen believe that they can retake Parliament using violence or trumped-up criminal charges to drive out elected opposition MPs.

Aid for Zimbabwe refuge seekers

Aid organisations in Zimbabwe have provided food and other assistance to about 150 men who spent a cold night outside the US embassy in the capital.


About 50 women and children were taken away to shelter elsewhere overnight.

Some said they were seeking asylum after being attacked in electoral violence for supporting the opposition.

Meanwhile, military police have been seen forcibly closing down ruling party bases in townships used to intimidate people ahead of last week’s election.


Japan sees a chance to promote its energy-frugal ways

By Martin Fackler

Published: July 4, 2008

KUMAGAYA, Japan: With its towering furnaces and clanging conveyer belts carrying crushed rock, Taiheiyo Cement’s factory looks like an Industrial Revolution relic. But it is actually a model of modern energy efficiency, harnessing its waste heat to generate much of its own electricity.

Engineers from China and elsewhere in Asia come to study its design, which has allowed the company to slash the amount of power it buys from the grid.

The plant is just one example of Japan’s single-minded dedication to reducing energy use, a commitment that dates back to the oil shocks of the 1970s that shook this resource-poor nation.

China and Taiwan begin direct flights

Tania Branigan in Beijing

The first direct flights between Taiwan and China for six decades will take off tomorrow morning in the most visible move to date towards closer ties.

Chilly relations between the two sides have thawed since Ma Ying-jeou became president in Taipei this spring. His KMT party campaigned on a platform of revitalising the sluggish economy via renewed links with the mainland.

There have been no regular cross-straits flights – aside from a handful of holiday charters – since 1949, when defeated nationalist forces fled to Taiwan at the end of the civil war.

Middle East

Iran warms to freeze-for-freeze plan


By Gareth Porter  

  Jul 4, 2008  

WASHINGTON – A senior Iranian official reportedly told members of the Iranian parliament on Monday that Iran had agreed to freeze its enrichment program for six weeks and begin negotiations with the “Iran Six” group of states as early as next week, according to reports of that decision by the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) and by a Farsi-language website in Iran.

Remarks by Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki and a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday also seemed to indicate that decision to accept a “freeze-for-freeze” proposal from the “Iran Six” to begin at least preliminary negotiations

Hamas suspends Shalit talks over Gaza closure

By Haaretz Service

Hamas is suspending negotiations over the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit due to Israel’s closure of Gaza Strip crossings, the London-based Al-Hayyat quoted a senior group official as saying on Friday.

“It makes no sense for us to begin negotiating on the matter of Shalit’s release when Israel is not committed to the calm,” Hamas official Moussa Abu-Marzouk told the daily.

Israel closed its commercial crossings to Gaza on Friday, a day after a Qassam rocket fired from the coastal territory struck near the western Negev town of Sderot.


It was the sixth incident of rocket fire since a fragile Egyptian-brokered cease-fire went into effect on June 19. Since then,

the IDF says 11 rockets and mortars have been fired toward Israel

Latin America

Colombia hostage rescue: ‘Like a movie’ – the double cross that freed Betancourt

A spy at the centre of the Farc rebel group’s command laid the way for the release of its foremost hostage, after 2,320 days

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent

The Guardian,

Friday July 4, 2008

It was Ingrid Betancourt’s 2,321st day in captivity and it started like any other. At 4am, with the jungle camp still draped in darkness, she woke up and prayed to God. As dawn seeped through the trees she turned on her radio for news of her family. Her mother and daughter were about to embark on trips and the father of her children had found a photograph of her on the summit of Mont Blanc. Bulletins from a world beyond her chains.

The guards had other news. Helicopters were to move the hostages from Guaviare, a Farc stronghold in the south, to another location where Alfonso Cano, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), was waiting.



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    • RiaD on July 4, 2008 at 15:02

    i guess y’all don’t do fireworks today, huh?

    but you have amazing fireworks shows! i’ve been watching some….

    • brobin on July 4, 2008 at 15:04

    Thank you for the daily update!

  1. The top military commander does not sound like Obama.

    Obama is open to bombing Iran and has told AIPAC that Iran is a grave danger and must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Obama has said Iran IS DE VELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS…(There’s no evidence) and he has told AIPAC he will do ANYTHING,ANYTHING ANYTHING…he repeated 3x to keep them from developing nuclear weapons…

    Bullshit….He’s Pro Israel and will back a strike on Iran….like all the other democrats

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