Docudharma Times Friday August 28

McCain picks Palin as running mate


With The Democratic Convention Over

The Republican Whine Tasting Party

Can Begin    

Friday’s Headlines:

Blogger Kevin Cogill charged with felony in leak of Guns N’ Roses songs

Putin accuses US of starting Georgia crisis as election ploy

Rewards are easy, punishment is hard

Anbar back in Iraqi hands as al-Qaida ousted

A biblical tragedy in the Sea of Galilee

Thai police confront protesters in PM’s compound

China defends its reviled soccer team

Zimbabwe ruling party says no need for more talks

Mexico’s Supreme Court upholds abortion law

Obama Takes Aim at Bush and McCain With a Forceful Call to Change America


Published: August 29, 2008

DENVER – Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party presidential nomination on Thursday, declaring that the “American promise has been threatened” by eight years under President Bush and that John McCain represented a continuation of policies that undermined the nation’s economy and imperiled its standing around the world.

The speech by Senator Obama, in front of an audience of nearly 80,000 people on a warm night in a football stadium refashioned into a vast political stage for television viewers, left little doubt how he intended to press his campaign against Mr. McCain this fall.

Chalabi aide arrested on suspicion of Baghdad bombings


By Nicholas Spangler and Hussein Kadhim | McClatchy Newspapers  

BAGHDAD – U.S. forces have arrested a deputy of Ahmad Chalabi, who was once the Bush administration’s favorite Iraqi politician, and implicated him in bombings that killed Americans and Iraqis, Chalabi and Iraqi government officials said Thursday.

The U.S. military alleged that the arrested official was working with the “highest echelons” of the Iranian “special groups” criminals, referring to what the U.S. military says are Iranian-backed militias operating in Iraq.

Ali Faisal al Lami, a Shiite Muslim official and a member of the Sadrist Party who’s serving as an executive of the Justice and Accountability Committee, which Chalabi heads, was arrested Wednesday at Baghdad International Airport as he returned from a family vacation in Lebanon, Iraqi officials said. The Justice and Accountability Committee screens former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party who are applying for jobs in the government.


Pentagon Reports U.S. Airstrike Killed 5 Afghan Civilians, Not 90

 By Ann Scott Tyson

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, August 29, 2008; Page A04

A U.S. military review of an airstrike last week in western Afghanistan maintains that only five civilians were killed, Pentagon officials said yesterday, a finding that starkly contradicts reports by the United Nations and Afghan officials that the civilian death toll from the bombing was at least 90.

The completed review corroborates an initial assessment by the military of the operation Friday by U.S. and Afghan forces in a village in Herat province. The review determined that 25 militants, including a Taliban commander, and five civilians had been killed, the officials said.

Blogger Kevin Cogill charged with felony in leak of Guns N’ Roses songs

The Culver City man had posted nine songs from the yet-to-be released album ‘Chinese Democracy.’ He faces up to three years in prison and fines under a law cracking down on individual bootleggers. ?

By Michelle Quinn and Swati Pandey, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

August 29, 2008  

When five FBI agents arrested Kevin Cogill at his Culver City apartment, it marked the newest weapon in the entertainment industry’s war on piracy: felony charges against small-time bootleggers.

Cogill posted nine leaked songs from an unreleased Guns N’ Roses album, which has been in the works for more than a decade, on his music blog in June. The site crashed under the traffic, and he removed the songs after a few hours when the Los Angeles-based rock band’s lawyers complained.

Now he faces up to three years in prison and $250,000 in fines. On Wednesday he became the first Californian charged under a 3-year-old federal anti-piracy law that makes it a felony to distribute a copyrighted work on computer networks before its release.


Putin accuses US of starting Georgia crisis as election ploy

· Claim crisis cooked up to help Republican McCain

· Isolated Moscow snubbed by Asian states at summit

Ian Traynor, Europe editor

The Guardian,

Friday August 29 2008

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, said yesterday that the Caucasus crisis was started by the US as an election ploy.

As Moscow found itself increasingly isolated internationally for invading Georgia and recognising two breakaway regions of the country as independent states, Putin suggested that the Georgia war had been cooked up in Washington to create a neo-cold war climate that would strengthen Republican candidate John McCain’s bid for the White House.

After Wednesday’s denunciation of Russian conduct by the G7 group of leading industrial democracies, Russia’s key allies also resisted Moscow’s pressure yesterday for support over Georgia.

Rewards are easy, punishment is hard  

The most likely outcome of the EU summit is a gift basket of trade, aid, and partnerships offered to Georgia and Ukraine

From The Times

August 29, 2008

Bronwen Maddox, Chief Foreign Commentator

The emergency European Union summit on Monday to address the crisis will find it easier to agree on how to reward and reassure Georgia and Ukraine than on whether to punish Russia.

The gathering was called by France, as holder of the EU presidency, before Russia turned up the heat on Tuesday by formally recognising the breakaway Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia . It is even more useful now. It will be helped by the chill directed towards Russia by its usual allies – and the most important part of this is China’s appalled reaction.

But where the original purpose of the EU summit – humanitarian help – was easy territory, the 27 countries will find it harder to agree now that the agenda includes punishment. As it does since yesterday, when Bernard Kouchner, France’s Foreign Minister, said that “sanctions are being considered and many other means as well”

Middle East

Anbar back in Iraqi hands as al-Qaida ousted

Jonathan Steele in Baghdad

The Guardian,

Friday August 29 2008

Anbar province, once one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq, is to be handed back to Iraqi control next week. The province, west of Baghdad, is largely populated by Sunni Arabs and used to be the centre of the nationalist insurgency against the US occupation, and later, against foreign-led al-Qaida militants.

In the past two years, local tribal leaders have come together in al-Sahwa (the Awakening) movement to confront al-Qaida. US commanders gradually embraced al-Sahwa, providing it with money and arms. This, coupled with the injection of extra Iraqi troops and police, forced al-Qaida to retreat or to slip away to other provinces. Some nationalist rebels joined al-Sahwa while others went to ground.

A biblical tragedy in the Sea of Galilee

An arid country, Israel relies on the waters where Jesus sailed to irrigate its farmland and supply its homes. But now the lake is drying up – and only drastic action will save it

 By Kim Sengupta in Tiberias, Galilee

Friday, 29 August 2008    

The 2,000-year-old fishing boat of Galilee in which, the story goes, Jesus may have sailed, is one of the most precious ancient treasures in Israel.

The vessel, which draws thousands of tourists to a kibbutz in Ginosar, was discovered by chance in 1986 when the sea level dropped dramatically because of a severe drought.

“This year it is actually worse. I have been here 54 years and I have never seen the water so low, the situation so bad,” said Haim Binstock, an expert on the boat in the museum where it is kept.


Thai police confront protesters in PM’s compound


Friday, 29 August 2008  

Thai police muscled into crowds of anti-government protesters occupying the prime minister’s office compound today to deliver a court order demanding they leave, sparking scuffles that left several people with minor injuries.

About 1,000 of the demonstrators formed a human chain around five key protest leaders from the People’s Alliance for Democracy to prevent their arrest while pressing their demands that the seven-month-old elected government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej step down.

China defends its reviled soccer team>

By Edward Wong

Published: August 29, 2008

BEIJING: The Olympic Games have shown that sports and national pride are still tightly intertwined, and perhaps nowhere more so than in the minds of Chinese leaders.

The evidence is indisputable: the more than $40 billion spent on the Games, the record haul of 51 gold medals by Chinese athletes, the invitations to 80 world leaders to attend the opening ceremony.

Now, the government is taking a step to shore up the reputation of that most dubious of national sports icons: the men’s soccer team.

No sports team is more vilified in China, but the Central Propaganda Department has ordered major news organizations to cease their criticism of it, two Chinese journalists said.


Zimbabwe ruling party says no need for more talks

HARARE (Reuters)  

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF has said there is no need for further power-sharing talks with the opposition, state media reported on Friday.

The Herald newspaper quoted Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who heads ZANU-PF’s team in the negotiations, as saying: “There was no need for more talks since there was a deal already on the table that was waiting to be signed.”

Mugabe said this week he would soon form a new government and that the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was not willing to join the new administration

Latin America

Mexico’s Supreme Court upholds abortion law

The controversial case has been watched closely by the rest of the country, and may push other states to liberalize their own abortion laws.

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

from the August 29, 2008 edition

Mexico City –  – In a strong reaffirmation of one of the hemisphere’s most lenient abortion laws, Mexico’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld legal abortion in the nation’s capital.

“To affirm that there is an absolute constitutional protection of life in gestation would lead to the violation of the fundamental rights of women,” said Justice Sergio Valls.

The controversial case has been watched closely by the rest of the country, and both critics and supporters of the Supreme Court decision say they believe it will push other states to liberalize their own abortion laws.

“The case is very significant for the possibility of continuing this trend in other states in the republic,” says María Consuelo Mejía, the director of Mexico’s Catholics for the Right to Decide. “The arguments and the way in which they defended women’s rights is very important, very symbolic.”


    • Edger on August 29, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Wow… Will the RNC still nominate Chalabi’s aide as their candidate???

    McCain was a Chalabi backer long before President Bush took power. In 1997, he tried to pressure the Clinton administration into setting up an Iraqi government in exile. Despite opposition from the Pentagon and the State Department, the next fall, McCain co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act, committing the United States to overthrowing Saddam and funding opposition groups. According to a 2006 article by John Judis:

    McCain welcomed Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), to Washington and pressured the administration to give him money. When General Anthony Zinni cast doubt upon the effectiveness of the Iraqi opposition, McCain rebuked him at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    In 2003, McCain joined four other Republican senators and asked Bush to “personally clear the bureaucratic roadblocks within the State Department” that blocked increased funding for the Chalabi’s group.

    Also that year, McCain said of Chalabi, “He’s a patriot who has the best interests of his country at heart.

    • Edger on August 29, 2008 at 2:54 pm
    • Edger on August 29, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Condi needs more shoes anyway. She should just go shopping.

    To turn the economy around.

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