Docudharma Times Monday July 14

The Deciders

To Do List:

Reward Unsound Lending


Off Shore Oil Wells

He So Good

At Failure and Destruction

Monday’s Headlines:

Offshore Drilling Backed as Remedy for Oil Prices

China tries to ease Olympic worries about tainted food

Pyongyang rejects blame for shooting of tourist

No painkillers, no visitors and no way out: Mugabe’s hospital ward for MDC activists

Sudan to ICC: Darfur violence may increase if you indict President Bashir

Sadr’s militia may live to fight again  

86 indicted on terrorism charges in Turkey

Battle of the beaches: Italy’s vanishing coastline

Stella firm buys Budweiser brewer  

Cuba revives its private farms

Sudanese president charged with genocide


Pakistan militants focus on Afghanistan

Jihadist groups are increasingly attacking U.S., NATO forces in Afghanistan

Associated Press

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – In early June, about 300 fighters from jihadist groups came together for a secret gathering here, in the same city that serves as headquarters to the Pakistani army.

The groups were launched long ago with the army’s clandestine support to fight against India in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. But at the meeting, they agreed to resolve their differences and commit more fighters to another front instead: Afghanistan.

Pakistan marble helps Taliban stay in business

By Pir Zubair Shah and Jane Perlez

Published: July 14, 2008

ZIARAT, Pakistan: The mountain of white marble shines with such brilliance in the sun it looks like snow. For four years, the quarry beneath it lay dormant, its riches captive to tribal squabbles and government ineptitude in this corner of Pakistan’s tribal areas.

But in April, the Taliban appeared and imposed a firm hand. They settled the feud between the tribes, demanded a fat fee upfront and a tax on every truck that ferried the valuable treasure from the quarry. Since then, Mir Zaman, a contractor from the Masaud subtribe, which was picked by the Taliban to run the quarry, has watched contentedly as his trucks roll out of the quarry with colossal boulders bound for refining in nearby towns.


Treasury Acts to Save Mortgage Giants  


Published: July 14, 2008

WASHINGTON – Alarmed by the sharply eroding confidence in the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies, the Bush administration on Sunday asked Congress to approve a sweeping rescue package that would give officials the power to inject billions of federal dollars into the beleaguered companies through investments and loans.

In a separate announcement, the Federal Reserve said it would make one of its short-term lending programs available to the two companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Fed said that it had made its decision “to promote the availability of home mortgage credit during a period of stress in financial markets.”

Offshore Drilling Backed as Remedy for Oil Prices

Push for U.S. Exploration Gains Traction, but Big Political Hurdles Remain

By Steven Mufson

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, July 14, 2008; Page A01

On Jan. 28, 1969, a blowout on a Unocal rig six miles off the coast of California spilled 3 million gallons of oil into the waters off Santa Barbara. The blackened beaches and oil-soaked birds and seals became icons for the environmental movement and eventually brought oil exploration off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States to a halt.

Now, President Bush, Republicans in Congress and big oil companies want to reopen those waters to oil and gas exploration. In his radio address Saturday, Bush said that “technological advances have allowed us to explore oil offshore in ways that protect the environment” and that outer continental shelf areas now off limits “could produce enough oil to match America’s current production for almost 10 years.”


China tries to ease Olympic worries about tainted food

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2008

By Tim Johnson | McClatchy Newspapers

CHANGPING, China – Guards carefully monitor the perimeter of Lin Yuan’s farm, where carrots, peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables will ripen just in time for the hungry athletes arriving for the Beijing Summer Olympics.

“What is special now is the security,” Lin said as he strolled out of a greenhouse and pointed to sentries at the farm’s entry gate.

Food safety is a sensitive subject as China hosts the Olympics. It weathered global concerns last year about the safety of its exports, amid scandal over tainted pet food and toothpaste, and now China is striving to ensure that the food served to 16,000 athletes in the Olympic Village is healthy and free of contaminants.

It’s going to great lengths to explain the care that it’s putting into Olympic cuisine.

Pyongyang rejects blame for shooting of tourist

Agencies in Seoul

The Guardian,

Monday July 14, 2008

The death of a South Korean woman, shot by a North Korean soldier while visiting the country, threatened to damage strained relations on the peninsula yesterday, as Seoul demanded an urgent investigation while Pyongyang refused to accept any blame.

The South suspended tourism to the North, and hundreds of visitors yesterday left the resort where the shooting occurred on Friday.

Park Wang-ja, 53, was gunned down in the early hours when she apparently wandered into a North Korean military area near the Mount Kumgang resort, which is located on the east coast just a few miles north of the heavily fortified border.


No painkillers, no visitors and no way out: Mugabe’s hospital ward for MDC activists

· Patients with broken limbs and burns held prisoner

· Killings go on as president fights to hold on to power

Chris McGreal in Gokwe

The Guardian,

Monday July 14, 2008

Ward B3 of Gokwe general hospital looks much like any other in Zimbabwe’s decaying medical establishments, denuded of medicines, equipment and doctors by the country’s dramatic economic collapse.

But many of its patients are prisoners in a “torture centre” for abducted opposition supporters who, on the orders of the army, are denied painkillers and treatment for terrible injuries sustained at the hands of Robert Mugabe’s henchmen.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says that at least 13 of its members are held in the ward. Medical staff say they are mostly kept prisoner in side rooms.

“They have all been heavily assaulted,” said one of the staff. “Some are burned beyond recognition. Some have broken limbs. They are in serious agony. They have no drugs.

Sudan to ICC: Darfur violence may increase if you indict President Bashir

Sudan called for an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers Sunday as word spread that the International Criminal Court may indict President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes.

The Associated Press

from the July 14, 2008 edition

Khartoum, Sudan – Sudan’s ruling party issued a statement Sunday predicting “more violence and blood” in Darfur if the country’s president is indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide, state media reported.

A prosecutor at the International Criminal Court is expected to seek an arrest warrant Monday charging President Omar al-Bashir with orchestrating violence in Darfur that has left hundreds of thousands of people dead since 2003.

The statement from Mr. Bashir’s National Congress Party called the case against the Sudanese leader “irresponsible cheap political blackmail” that has no legal basis.

Bashir huddled with cabinet ministers and advisers Sunday, weighing how the government would response to the ICC if the president is indicted.

Middle East

Sadr’s militia may live to fight again

By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad

Monday, 14 July 2008

All over Baghdad and southern Iraq, supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shia cleric, are harassed, on the run or in jail. The black-shirted gunmen of his Mehdi Army militia no longer rule in Shia parts of Baghdad, Basra and Amara where once their control was total.

A great survivor of Iraqi politics, Mr Sadr is living in the Iranian holy city of Qom, where he is studying to elevate his position within the Shia religious hierarchy. It was from there, to the dismay of many followers, that he ordered his Mehdi Army fighters to go home and allow the Iraqi army to penetrate their strongholds.

86 indicted on terrorism charges in Turkey

Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey – A prosecutor says 86 people have been indicted on terrorism charges for their alleged involvement in plots to topple Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government.

Prosecutor Aykut Gengiz Engin says the 86 have been charged with either forming or being a member of a terrorist organization, or of inciting public unrest with the aim of toppling the government.

Engin, announcing details of a long-awaited indictment released Monday, did not name the suspects charged, but reports have said the group includes former army officials and journalists.


Battle of the beaches: Italy’s vanishing coastline

The sandy coast, lifeblood of Italy’s tourist industry, is being blown away by the wind. Peter Popham reports from a resort losing its fight against the elements

Monday, 14 July 2008

Mauro della Valle is an officer in the Italian armed forces, but his passion is for the sea and the beach. And all his spare time is spent at Soleluna, the lido which he and his wife Luciana run at San Cataldo, the town beach of Lecce, in Puglia, on the heel of the Italian boot. He serves drinks and snacks at the lido’s bar, chats with the regulars, and, as one of the lido’s two certified banigni or lifeguards, takes turns gazing stonily out to sea.

And what he sees there is depressing. Because San Cataldo’s beach, like that of dozens of others around the Italian coast, is blowing in the wind. It is shrinking season by season. And its future as a viable holiday destination is shrinking with it.

Stella firm buys Budweiser brewer

The US brewer Anheuser-Busch has agreed to be taken over by Belgium-based InBev, in a move that will create the world’s largest beer maker.

The $52bn (£26bn) takeover bid by InBev, which makes Stella Artois beer, was accepted by Anheuser’s board.

The combined company will now be called Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Anheuser makes Budweiser – the most popular beer in the US – and some US politicians had expressed anger at the prospect of a foreign takeover.

‘Unrivalled brands’

In a concession to political concerns about the deal, Budweiser’s headquarters will remain in St Louis, Missouri while none of Anheuser’s US breweries will be closed.

Latin America

Cuba revives its private farms

In a series of reforms aimed at improving self-sufficiency and curbing costly food imports, Raul Castro has the idle lands around cities planted.

By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

July 14, 2008

ALTAHABANA, CUBA — Speckled chickens in Geraldo Pinera’s garden will be on his family’s dinner table soon, stewed with herbs and tomatoes and garnished with creamy slices of the avocados now ripening on a pair of spindly trees.

Pinera, a member of a 25-family farming cooperative in this village outside Havana, tends a private half-acre plot tucked between the state-owned mango orchards where he works a day job. He raises guava, passion fruit, sweet potatoes and poultry to augment a $20 monthly income and the government ration of starches.

Like other Cuban families, the Pineras are eating more fruits and vegetables as a result of a national campaign to boost food output and curb costly imports. Their efforts represent a small but significant step toward the government’s ultimate goal to vastly reduce its dependence on more efficient foreign producers, especially for favorite foods such as rice, meat and dairy.


    • on July 14, 2008 at 14:42

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