Docudharma Times Thrusday July 24



Obama

Gives Speech

in

Berlin

Pundits

Hold a

Whine Festival




Thursday’s Headlines:

Another Peek Inside the Brain of the Electorate

Iraqi forces aren’t quite ready to take charge

Egypt’s child protection law sparks controversy

The night Karadzic rocked the Madhouse

Welcome to Putin’s summer camp …

With a jig President al-Bashir plays peacemaker in Darfur

Food Price Catastrophe In Africa  

Suspicion, terrain foes for U.S. in Afghan surge

Olympics: Protesters will be kept in pens during games  

Peru’s García unpopular despite boom

China Presses Grieving Parents to Take Hush Money on Quake  



By EDWARD WONG

Published: July 24, 2008


HANWANG, China – The official came for Yu Tingyun in his village one evening last week. He asked Mr. Yu to get into his car. He was clutching the contract and a pen.

Mr. Yu’s daughter had died in a cascade of concrete and bricks, one of at least 240 students at a high school here who lost their lives in the May 12 earthquake. Mr. Yu became a leader of grieving parents demanding to know if the school, like so many others, had crumbled because of poor construction.

Plan Would Use Antiterror Aid on Pakistani Jets



By ERIC SCHMITT

Published: July 24, 2008


WASHINGTON – The Bush administration plans to shift nearly $230 million in aid to Pakistan from counterterrorism programs to upgrading that country’s aging F-16 attack planes, which Pakistan prizes more for their contribution to its military rivalry with India than for fighting insurgents along its Afghan border.

Some members of Congress have greeted the proposal with dismay and anger, and may block the move. Lawmakers and their aides say that F-16s do not help the counterterrorism campaign and defy the administration’s urgings that Pakistan increase pressure on fighters of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in its tribal areas.

USA

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is reexamined

Lawmakers review the 1993 law that prohibits gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military.

By Vimal Patel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

July 24, 2008  


WASHINGTON — The U.S. military is being harmed by prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving openly, a congressional panel was told Wednesday, the first time lawmakers have examined the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy since the law was passed in 1993.

Opponents of the policy told a House Armed Services subcommittee that it is hurting the military by barring the enlistment of otherwise qualified people and requiring the discharge of highly trained personnel who have publicly acknowledged their sexual orientation.

Several recent polls show that Americans are significantly more accepting of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, has said he would work to repeal the law. His expected Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has said the policy should be maintained.

Another Peek Inside the Brain of the Electorate



By Libby Copeland

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, July 24, 2008; Page C01


So a bunch of academics decides to revisit one of the defining books of modern American politics, a 1960 tome on the electorate. They spend years comparing interviews with voting-age Americans from 2000 and 2004 to what Americans said during elections in the 1950s. The academics’ question: How much has the American voter changed over the past 50 years?

Their conclusion — that the voter is pretty much the same dismally ill-informed creature he was back then — continues a decades-long debate about whether Americans are as clueless as they sound.

Middle East

Iraqi forces aren’t quite ready to take charge



By Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers

AMARA, Iraq – It wasn’t yet dawn, and the Iraqi army unit was already behind schedule. It was about to launch a major operation against another cluster of towns overrun by Shiite Muslim militiamen, and this time American forces would remain at the rear of the convoy, behind their Iraqi counterparts.

The troops mustered in darkness, relying for light on the headlamps of Iraqi Humvees, refurbished U.S. vehicles now crudely painted over with the red, white and black Iraqi flag. Some Iraqi soldiers weren’t wearing armor. Fewer were wearing helmets. The brigade commander was riding in an unarmored pickup. His handgun was in its holster; his walking cane by his seat.

Egypt’s child protection law sparks controversy

Islamist opponents from the Muslim Brotherhood argue that the law imposes foreign values on Egyptians.

By Liam Stack  | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

from the July 24, 2008 edition

Cairo, Egypt –  Since June, Egypt’s government and Islamist opposition parties have been trading barbs over a new law designed to protect the rights of children. Reforms instituted by the law touch on issues ranging from children’s legal status to personal health issues.

The law was passed by parliament, which is dominated by President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party. But the measure has spurred a debate over the competing roles of religion, tradition, and the state in the upbringing of children. The controversy is making waves in a country where 32 percent of the population is under the age of 15, according to a 2006 government census.

Europe

The night Karadzic rocked the Madhouse



Julian Borger in Belgrade

The Guardian,

Thursday July 24, 2008


Everyone at the Luda Kuca bar remembers Dragan David Dabic. The white-whiskered doctor lived in a block of flats around the corner and the local kids called him “Santa Claus”.

The man unmasked on Monday as Europe’s most wanted fugitive, Radovan Karadzic, was a regular at the bar. He would stop in every few days for a glass of red wine and pass a couple of hours reading and writing.

Welcome to Putin’s summer camp …

Nashi, the Kremlin’s youth organisation, holds a lakeside get-together each year for its followers

Luke Harding

The Guardian,

Thursday July 24, 2008


It is an idyllic spot for a summer camp. On the shore of one of Russia’s most picturesque lakes, hundreds of tents have been erected in a shady pine forest. There are portable toilets, washing lines and cooking pots. Oh, and strung between two trees in a central clearing, Andy Warhol-style portraits of Vladimir Putin.

Welcome to the annual summer camp of Nashi – the Kremlin’s youth organisation. Putin’s administration founded Nashi in 2005, in response to the pro-western Orange revolution in neighbouring Ukraine. Nashi’s mission – the name means “Ours” in Russian – was to discourage a similar uprising by young people in the motherland.

Africa

With a jig President al-Bashir plays peacemaker in Darfur



From The Times

July 24, 2008

Rob Crilly in El Fasher, Darfur


President al-Bashir of Sudan, who was charged last week with masterminding a campaign of rape and genocide in Darfur, flew into the war-ravaged region yesterday, claiming the role of peacemaker and revelling in a hero’s welcome from his supporters.

Waving his cane in the air, Mr al-Bashir climbed on to a rickety desk before thousands of cheering men and wailing women who had gathered in the town of El Fasher, North Darfur, to hear him speak.

Food Price Catastrophe In Africa

Rising food prices are pushing millions of people towards severe hunger and destitution across East Africa prompting Oxfam to launch a new appeal to bolster its aid work in the region.

SkyNews

The charity is warning that food prices are compounding a situation made chronic by successive droughts, violent conflict and poverty.

It says 13 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Oxfam’s Rob McNeil, who has just returned from the Somali and Afar regions of Ethiopia said: “This is a catastrophe in the making, we have time to act before it becomes a reality.

“The cost of food has escalated by up to 500% in some places, leaving people who have suffered drought after drought in utter destitution.

Asia

Suspicion, terrain foes for U.S. in Afghan surge

Unclear how strategy to send more troops will work in rugged terrain

Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan – As violence in Afghanistan escalates, the U.S. is responding by scrambling to get in more troops. But it’s far from clear how the strategy will work in a vast, rugged land where hiding places are many and suspicion of foreign forces is deep.

Both U.S. presidential candidates have proposed sending more troops to fight the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, where more foreign soldiers have died in the past two months than in Iraq

Olympics: Protesters will be kept in pens during games



Tania Branigan in Beijing

The Guardian,Thursday July 24, 2008


China will create three “protest pens” in the capital’s parks to allow people to demonstrate during the Olympics, an official said yesterday.

The move follows speculation as to whether the government, which strictly limits protests, would allow public displays of dissent, especially given that the games have already been the target of campaigns on issues ranging from media freedom to Darfur and Tibet.

“This will allow people to protest without disrupting the Olympics,” said Ni Jianping, the director of the Shanghai Institute of American Studies, who had lobbied for the creation of the zones.

Latin America

Peru’s García unpopular despite boom

President Alan García presides over one of the region’s fastest growth rates, but his approval rating sank to 26 percent this week because the poor say their lives aren’t any better

By Sara Miller Llana  | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Lima, Peru –  The first time Alan García was president of Peru from 1985 to 1990, inflation skyrocketed to a cumulative total of more than 2 million percent.

Twenty years later – during his second time in office – Mr. García boasts one of the lowest rates in the region, even while his neighbors suffer under double-digit inflation.

The economic outlook only brightens from there. Peru has seen 84 consecutive weeks of sustained growth, foreign investment is pouring in, and, in a much-heralded announcement, Standard & Poor’s this month raised Peru’s foreign currency debt rating to investment grade.

García should be one of the most popular presidents of Latin America. Instead, he’s one of the least.

5 comments

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    • mishima on July 24, 2008 at 3:17 pm
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    • RiaD on July 24, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    i’m flying out the door…must make a trip into town (10 miles)

    i hope you get a vacation soon….surely ek & magnifico can fill in for you here….

    what would be your perfect dream vacation?

    (if you had all the money & time you needed?)

    i’ll be back later

    (^.^)

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