The Olympics Bring
New Freedoms To China
Only If You’re A
Government Official Or The Rich
Secret deal kept British Army out of battle for Basra
From The Times
August 5, 2008
Deborah Haynes in Baquba and Michael Evans, Defence Editor
A secret deal between Britain and the notorious al-Mahdi militia prevented British Forces from coming to the aid of their US and Iraqi allies for nearly a week during the battle for Basra this year, The Times has learnt.
Four thousand British troops – including elements of the SAS and an entire mechanised brigade – watched from the sidelines for six days because of an “accommodation” with the Iranian-backed group, according to American and Iraqi officers who took part in the assault.
US Marines and soldiers had to be rushed in to fill the void, fighting bitter street battles and facing mortar fire, rockets and roadside bombs with their Iraqi counterparts.
China clears streets for the Olympics
Petitioners — those taking their grievances to the government — are swept away for a few weeks.
By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 5, 2008
BEIJING — On a hot summer night about 10:30, the many men and women living under an elevated section of highway were trying to nod off, swatting the mosquitoes at their ears, shifting their hips uncomfortably on sheets of newspaper and cardboard strewn on the pavement, when someone shouted, “Police!”
By the time most could rouse themselves, it was too late. Police had blocked the routes of escape with large buses they would later use to cart away their quarry.
The bedtime bust was part of a massive Olympic cleanup, in which thousands of Chinese citizens are being booted out of the capital like gate-crashers at a party.
The underpass raid that began July 13 and continued for two days netted about 1,000 people. All were petitioners who had come to protest mistreatment in their home provinces.
At Freddie Mac, Chief Discarded Warning Signs
By CHARLES DUHIGG
Published: August 5, 2008
The chief executive of the mortgage giant Freddie Mac rejected internal warnings that could have protected the company from some of the financial crises now engulfing it, according to more than two dozen current and former high-ranking executives and others.
That chief executive, Richard F. Syron, in 2004 received a memo from Freddie Mac’s chief risk officer warning him that the firm was financing questionable loans that threatened its financial health.
Today, Freddie Mac and the nation’s other major mortgage finance company, Fannie Mae, are in such perilous condition that the federal government has readied a taxpayer-financed bailout that could cost billions.