Docudharma Times Sunday August 24

Its Sunday And The Talking Heads Come Out

To Play

But As Usual Have Nothing To Say

Sunday’s Headlines:

A Teacher on the Front Line as Faith and Science Clash  

Amid Georgians’ tales of violence, death toll is unclear

Madrid air disaster: Air hostess describes her ‘miracle’ crash escape

Taliban win over locals at the gates of Kabul

The legacy of Krakatoa

Israel’s missile shield against Iran: Three Americans in a trailer

Activist boats reach Gaza Strip

Nigeria, SA worst greenhouse gas emitters in Africa

Moroccan terrorism suspect’s murky trail

Bolivia split in two as the wealthy aim to defy the Morales revolution

Child malnutrition: Old stain on new India

Half of young Indians are malnourished. In a nation seen as a rising power, combating the problem ‘has not been a policy priority . . . for the last 40 years,’ a U.N. expert says.

By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 24, 2008  

SARAIYA, INDIA — Sitting in the basket of a hanging scale, 20-month-old Deep Kumar epitomizes the silent but monumental crisis gripping this country: The needle stops at 14 pounds.

A healthy child his age ought to weigh nearly twice as much. But very little about Deep is healthy. Whereas a normal toddler would run around, the boy seems to struggle to keep his stunted frame sitting upright. His limbs are pitifully thin, the bones within as fragile as glass.These are classic signs of severe malnutrition, and they are branded on the wasted bodies of millions of youngsters across India.

Astonishingly, an estimated 40% of all the world’s severely malnourished children younger than 5 live in this country, a dark stain on the record of a nation that touts its high rate of economic growth and fancies itself a rising power.

Al-Qaeda Masters Terrorism On the Cheap

Financial Dragnet Largely Bypassed?

By Craig Whitlock

Washington Post Foreign Service

Sunday, August 24, 2008; Page A01  

LONDON — Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, al-Qaeda has increasingly turned to local cells that run extremely low-cost operations and generate cash through criminal scams, bypassing the global financial dragnet set up by the United States and Europe.

Although al-Qaeda spent an estimated $500,000 to plan and execute the Sept. 11 attacks, many of the group’s bombings and assaults since then in Europe, North Africa and Southeast Asia have cost one-tenth as much, or less.

The cheap plots are evidence that the U.S. government and its allies fundamentally miscalculated in assuming they could defeat the network by hunting for wealthy financiers and freezing bank accounts, according to many U.S. and European counterterrorism officials.


Choice of Biden is a demographic calculation too

Joe Biden adds experience and foreign policy expertise, yes, but he could also help with Catholics, blue-collar whites and women.

By Peter Wallsten, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 24, 2008  

Barack Obama’s Harvard pedigree, soaring rhetoric and professorial demeanor have helped critics paint him as an elitist. So when he stood Saturday next to his running mate, a new set of characteristics was on display: a public university graduate of modest means, a Roman Catholic who talks like regular folks.

It is true that Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s foreign policy experience may help assure voters who wonder whether the youthful Obama is ready to be commander in chief, and may give the Democrats a voice of gravitas to challenge the Republicans’ war-hero presidential candidate.

But it was clear Saturday that Biden’s potential appeal to white, blue-collar Democrats — those who did not support Obama during the primaries and remained wary of his candidacy — was also important in Obama’s selection of the Delaware senator.

The newly minted partners made no secret of such a goal.

As they shared the stage for the first time as the Democratic ticket, they invoked Biden’s native Scranton, Pa., no fewer than five times, and Obama called the 65-year-old Biden the “scrappy kid from Scranton.”

A Teacher on the Front Line as Faith and Science Clash



Published: August 23, 2008  

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – David Campbell switched on the overhead projector and wrote “Evolution” in the rectangle of light on the screen.He scanned the faces of the sophomores in his Biology I class. Many of them, he knew from years of teaching high school in this Jacksonville suburb, had been raised to take the biblical creation story as fact. His gaze rested for a moment on Bryce Haas, a football player who attended the 6 a.m. prayer meetings of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the school gymnasium.


Amid Georgians’ tales of violence, death toll is unclear

By Tom Lasseter | McClatchy Newspapers

TKVIAVI, Georgia_ Vladimir Otiashvili spent a day watching his son bleed to death.

He couldn’t rush his son, Ioseb, to the hospital because the same South Ossetian fighters who’d shot him in the stomach and arm last Tuesday were still on the streets of Tkviavi, looting houses and setting fires.

So Otiashvili sat by his son’s bedside, wept until it was over and then buried Ioseb under a mound of dirt in the garden.

Madrid air disaster: Air hostess describes her ‘miracle’ crash escape

The sole survivor of the Spanair crew is still unaware her colleagues were killed

By Elizabeth Nash

Sunday, 24 August 2008  

Of all the remarkable stories of the few who survived the Spanair crash in Madrid that claimed 153 lives, one has so far not been told. Today it can be – the scarcely credible experience of the woman who should have died.

Her name is Antonia Martinez Jimenez. She is an air hostess, and the only member of the 10-strong crew of the Spanair flight bound for Las Palmas to have survived Wednesday’s air disaster.

Her testimony as the only surviving professional could be crucial in establishing what happened in the plane after take-off, and reconstructing the accident.


Taliban win over locals at the gates of Kabul

While clashes in remote Helmand dominate the headlines, another battle is being waged by the insurgents on Kabul’s doorstep.

Jason Burke in Maidan Shah

The Observer,

Sunday August 24 2008

Ismatullah stood at the crossroads in the dusty Afghan town of Maidan Shah, squinted in the blinding noon sun and stroked his long, grey beard. ‘What the governor said in our meeting was very good,’ he said diplomatically. ‘He quoted the Koran very correctly. But I am not sure how much power he has. Now I am going home – and the Taliban control my district, not him.’

The tribal elder lives only a few miles from Maidan Shah, in a part of Afghanistan which, until a few months ago, was considered under the authority of President Hamid Karzai’s central government. Maidan Shah is a typical Afghan town – a scruffy huddle of mechanics’ workshops, stalls selling out-of-date Iranian jam, the charred frames of two fuel trucks burnt out in a recent insurgent attack, and a clutch of battered barrows from which destitute farmers in rags sell bruised apples and tiny brown pomegranates. A dozen men lie on the flat floor of the single restaurant amid clouds of flies, sip smeared glasses of tea and stare hard at strangers.

The legacy of Krakatoa

This week marks the 125th anniversary of the devastating eruption of the Indonesian volcano, now an unusual tourist attraction, despite being active. Or because of it..

By Roger Maynard in Sydney

Sunday, 24 August 2008    

One hundred and twenty-five years ago this Wednesday occurred the biggest bang the inhabited world has ever known. Indonesia’s Krakatoa volcano erupted. It did so with the force of 13,000 Hiroshima atom bombs, propelled a trillion cubic feet of rock, pumice and ash into the air, and made a noise loud enough to be heard 1,930 miles away in Perth. The explosions, fallout and resulting tidal wave (130 feet high in places) killed 36,417 people in Java and Sumatra, destroyed 165 villages and towns, and two-thirds of the island. Wind streams blew the fine ash as far away as New York; sea levels were raised in the English Channel, and over the following year, global temperatures were reduced by 1.2C.

Middle East

Israel’s missile shield against Iran: Three Americans in a trailer  

By Aluf Benn and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondents  

A commander and two operators monitor missile radars in an armored trailer somewhere in Europe. Inside, they use satellite technology to track the origin and trajectory of long-range missiles. In true American fashion, each shift begins with calisthenics, followed by an intelligence briefing.

That is the envisioned routine of the U.S. team that will be responsible for protecting Israel from surface-to-surface missiles launched from Iran or Syria

Earlier this month the U.S. and Israel agreed on the deployment of a high-powered early-warning missile radar system in the Negev, to be staffed by U.S. military personnel. The station will receive information from the U.S. team in Europe that will aid it in its work.

The deployment of the Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) system, is widely seen as a kind of parting gift from Washington to Jerusalem as President George W. Bush prepares to leave office.

Activist boats reach Gaza Strip>

Two boats carrying members of a US-based pro-Palestinian group have arrived in the Gaza Strip, despite an Israeli blockade of the territory.


Israel earlier said they would be let in, saying they would not be given the chance to have a “provocation at sea”.

The boats left the port of Larnaca in Cyprus on Friday morning.

The Free Gaza protest group said about 40 activists from 14 countries were on board the boats to highlight the plight of Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in June 2007 when the militant group Hamas took control of the territory by force.

Since then, Israel has allowed in little more than basic humanitarian aid as a means of isolating Hamas and persuading militant groups to stop firing rockets into Israel.


Nigeria, SA worst greenhouse gas emitters in Africa

ACCRA, GHANA Aug 24 2008 09:43  

Nigeria and South Africa are the main emitters of greenhouse gases in Africa, accounting for almost 90% of the emissions in the continent, environmental experts said on Saturday.

“Nigeria produces almost 45% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Africa from its gas flaring by oil firms in the Niger Delta while South Africa produces as much from industrial pollution,” said Stefan Cramer.

Cramer, the director of the Nigeria office of Heinrich Boell Stiftung, a German environmental NGO, was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Ghana’s capital Accra.

Moroccan terrorism suspect’s murky trail

Abdelkader Belliraj, held in Morocco, is said to personify the confluence of terrorism and crime — spurred by both ideology and money. But he was also a paid informant for Belgium.

By Sebastian Rotella, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 24, 2008  

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO — The wild ride of Abdelkader Belliraj ended at the Hotel Fashion.

The Moroccan-born Belgian had quite a resume: accused terrorist kingpin, assassin, gangster, double agent — and hotelier. He visited from Belgium now and then to oversee the hotel, a three-star joint with a sidewalk cafe where men sip tea and watch a parade of whining scooters, dusty taxis, sunburned tourists and veiled Berber women.

Moroccan police allege that the salmon-colored Hotel Fashion, on a downtown corner near a Haagen-Dazs shop and the train station, was a den of outlaws. In February, they arrested the burly, moon-faced Belliraj and three dozen suspected members of a network he is accused of arming for a terrorist campaign.

The 50-year-old’s intrigues over the last quarter of a century chart a singular history of Muslim radicalism, from a meeting with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1981 to a meal with Osama bin Laden just 10 days before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Latin America

Bolivia split in two as the wealthy aim to defy the Morales revolution

The President’s bid to tilt the nation’s balance of power towards the Indian majority has met with violence from a right-wing rebellion

Rory Carroll and Andrés Schipani in La Paz

The Observer,

Sunday August 24 2008  

Violent protests against President Evo Morales have shaken Bolivia and cut the Andean nation in half, with rebel provinces blocking government attempts to regain control and tensions running dangerously high between the country’s Indian majority and inhabitants of the richer and whiter eastern provinces.

Militia groups armed with clubs and shields took to the streets last week to impose a strike which paralysed much of the eastern lowlands and deepened a political crisis. Youths opposed to Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, beat up senior police commanders in front of television cameras, underlining the brazen challenge to central government authority.

Five eastern provinces, where the people are paler and richer than in the indigenous western highlands, have vowed to resist the President’s attempt to ‘refound’ Bolivia as a socialist state which champions the long-neglected Indian majority.

1 comment

  1. I simply refuse to watch these so called pundits anymore….which means I am hardly watching TV,,,although I did buy Blazing Saddels On Demand last week – its still very funny. Thanks again for a great job

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