Docudharma Times Thursday August 14

John McCain: Experienced And Ready

To Lead

When Dealing With Lobbyists  

Thursday’s Headlines:

Whites will be minority group by 2042, Census predicts

Turkish PM appeases critics by disowning anti-porn bill

‘Hollow Tooth’ peace symbol of Berlin faces deadly decay threat

Mugabe must back down, says rival

Nkomo’s ghost haunts Zimbabwe talks

Warmer Lebanon-Syria ties puts focus on prisoners’ fate

Gaza: Israel clears tank crew over killing of Reuters cameraman

Kashmir violence reignites sectarian tensions

Situation vacant: Girl, 3, wanted for role of living goddess. Must offer blessings

6 officers in Mexico crime unit arrested

Russian forces begin leaving key Georgian city

Troops roll out of strategic Gori; major U.S. aid operation launched

MSNBC News Services

TBILISI, Georgia – Russian troops have begun pulling out of the strategically important city of Gori, where their presence raised fears that Russia would challenge a cease-fire agreement, Georgian officials said on Thursday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said that Russian troops have also left Poti, a Black Sea port city with an oil terminal that is a key part of Georgia’s fragile economic health.

Russian troops entered Gori on Wednesday. The city is about 15 miles south of South Ossetia, the separatist Georgian region where Russian and Georgian forces fought a brutal five-day battle.

Peace Plan Offers Russia a Rationale to Advance


Published: August 13, 2008

TBILISI, Georgia – It was nearly 2 a.m. on Wednesday when President Nicolas Sarkozy of France announced he had accomplished what seemed virtually impossible: Persuading the leaders of Georgia and Russia to agree to a set of principles that would stop the war.

Handshakes and congratulations were offered all around. But by the time the sun was up, Russian tanks were advancing again, this time taking positions around the strategically important city of Gori, in central Georgia.

It soon became clear that the six-point deal not only failed to slow the Russian advance, but it also allowed Russia to claim that it could push deeper into Georgia as part of so-called additional security measures it was granted in the agreement.


Thai slave laborers freed in El Monte become U.S. citizens

The women take part in ceremonies in Montebello. They were among 72 workers whose plight in 1995 captured the nation’s attention.

By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 14, 2008  

Maliwan Clinton recalls her first taste of America with a shudder. In this fabled land of the free, she was enslaved behind razor wire and around-the-clock guards in an El Monte sweatshop, where she and more than 70 other Thai laborers were forced to work 18-hour days for what amounted to less than a dollar an hour.

When she was freed, a shocked public learned of slavery in its midst and flooded the Thai laborers with American generosity: Churchgoers offered shelter, community advocates proffered English lessons and job tips, lawyers fought for work permits and legal status for the group.Exactly 13 years to the day the Thai laborers won their freedom, Clinton’s American journey came full circle Wednesday as she acquired U.S. citizenship by taking the oath of allegiance to her new nation.

Whites will be minority group by 2042, Census predicts

By Kat Glass | McClatchy Newspapers Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2008

WASHINGTON – In a few decades, all Americans will be minorities.

Non-Hispanic whites will drop below 50 percent of the population as early as 2042, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections to be released Thursday. That’s about 10 years earlier than demographers previously had predicted, said Grayson Vincent, a demographer for the Census Bureau.

Here’s what’s expected:

_ Non-Hispanic whites, who are two-thirds of the population today, are older, dying off faster and producing fewer children than other groups, Vincent said. By 2050, they’ll number 203 million in a nation of 439 million.

_ Hispanics are projected to triple by 2050, when they’ll be nearly a third (133 million) of the population. Spurring Hispanic growth is the group’s large natural increase – birth rate minus death rate – which Vincent attributed mainly to its youth and fertility. Immigration is an important but lesser factor, she said.


Religion: Turkish PM appeases critics by disowning anti-porn bill

Robert Tait in Istanbul

The Guardian,

Thursday August 14 2008

Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has proffered an olive branch to secular critics by publicly disowning his party’s proposals to curb pornography and encourage school prayer.

The move appeared designed to allay lingering fears of an Islamist state, coming less than two weeks after a court case in which the governing Justice and Development party (AKP) narrowly avoided a ban for allegedly undermining Turkey’s secular system.

Erdogan spoke out after the party’s deputy chairwoman, Edibe Sozen, provoked an outcry by publishing a plan to force buyers of pornography to give their details to shopkeepers, who would have been obliged pass them to the authorities.

‘Hollow Tooth’ peace symbol of Berlin faces deadly decay threat

 By Tony Paterson in Berlin

Thursday, 14 August 2008  

Its jagged, bomb-shattered belfry towers above the busy streets at the centre of west Berlin like an enormous broken tusk – a ruin that remains one of the most famous and potent symbols of the horrors of war in Europe.

But now Berlin’s landmark Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, nicknamed the “Hollow Tooth” by Berliners, is threatened with closure unless at least €4m (£3.2m) can be found to restore its rapidly disintegrating neo-gothic facades.


Mugabe must back down, says rival

 By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg and Daniel Howden

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, has refused to be pushed into a deal that would leave Robert Mugabe in effective control of the country. The man regarded by many as the president-elect said Mr Mugabe would have to cede power before any agreement on a government of national unity would be possible.

Claims from the Mugabe camp that it had divided the opposition appeared to be unfounded.

Mr Tsvangirai said his rival must back down or negotiations would collapse, a source close to the talks told The Independent. Mr Tsvangirai walked out of talks late on Tuesday night after South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki, who is mediator, tried to push him into an agreement that would have made him prime minister in name alone, leaving executive power in the hands of President Mugabe.

Nkomo’s ghost haunts Zimbabwe talks

There is a ghost at the table around which the four principal negotiators have been sitting these last three days, trying to resolve Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

By Allan Little

BBC News, Johannesburg

The talks are haunted by the spirit of the late Joshua Nkomo, whose fate stands as a warning to anyone trying to strike a deal with President Robert Mugabe.

Joshua Nkomo was, broadly, Mr Mugabe’s contemporary, and a Zimbabwean liberation leader of impeccable credentials.

In 1980, at independence, he emerged as an alternative leader to Mr Mugabe.

His support base was in Matabeleland in the south and west of the country.

Ruthless campaign

Mr Mugabe fought him for five years.

He destroyed him in two ways. First he sent into Matabeleland the ruthless, North Korea-trained Fifth brigade.

Middle East

Warmer Lebanon-Syria ties puts focus on prisoners’ fate

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman’s visited Damascus Wednesday, raising the prospect that perhaps hundreds of detainees in Syria will be released.

By Nicholas Blanford  | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

from the August 14, 2008 edition  

TRIPOLI, Lebanon –  Fouad Fawal hasn’t seen his son for nearly 20 years. In 1985, Toufiq was arrested in connection with the murder of a Syrian janitor and disappeared within that country’s vast prison system.

But Mr. Fawal maintains that his son was merely an unwitting accomplice and should be released. He hopes that Lebanese President Michel Suleiman’s Wednesday trip to Damascus will lead to Toufiq’s return, as well as the freedom of many other Lebanese detainees who continue to languish in Syrian jails.

“We are begging that President Suleiman comes back from Damascus with Toufiq with him because he’s an innocent man and his family is suffering,” says Fawal. “He’s spent nearly a quarter century in prison and that’s enough for any crime.”

Gaza: Israel clears tank crew over killing of Reuters cameraman >

· Crew misread press jacket and camera as ‘hostile’

· Agency head says report condones deadly force

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem

The Guardian,

Thursday August 14 2008

The Israeli military will not take action against a tank crew that killed a Reuters television cameraman and eight other Palestinian civilians in Gaza and has defended the decision to shoot as “sound”.

In a letter to the Reuters news agency, Israel’s top military lawyer, Brigadier General Avihai Mendelblit, said the troops involved in the shooting in April could not tell whether cameraman Fadel Shana, 24, was holding a camera or a weapon but nonetheless reached a “reasonable conclusion” that he was “hostile”.

One of the reasons for the tank crew’s suspicion, said Mendelblit, was that Shana and his soundman were wearing blue flak jackets, which the Israeli military lawyer said were “common to Palestinian terrorists”.


Kashmir violence reignites sectarian tensions

The pro-independence protests in the Muslim-majority state are threatening India-Pakistan peace talks.

By Mian Ridge  | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

from the August 14, 2008 edition

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – During protests this week in Indian-held Kashmir, at least 20 people have been killed and more than 500 injured. This violence is part of a backlash to the blockade by Hindus last week of the road linking the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India.

The protests – the largest in Kashmir in two decades – ostensibly began with a row over a land transfer. But they have now widened into a pro-independence campaign that threatens to revive sectarian tensions and undo peace talks between longtime rivals India and Pakistan.

Trouble began when the government of India’s only Muslim-majority state announced in June that it would transfer 99 acres of land to a religious Hindu group. Muslims angrily protested the deal, causing the government to back down. But the retraction provoked new protests – and the road blockade – from the state’s Hindus.

Situation vacant: Girl, 3, wanted for role of living goddess. Must offer blessings

By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Nepal’s astrologers are reviewing horoscopes to find the replacement for the current goddess, who is 11.

“If we don’t change her now, we’ll have to wait until next year which could be late,” said Deepak Bahadur Pandey, a senior official at the state-run Trust Corporation that oversees cultural affairs in the politically turbulent Himalayan nation.

“If the girl starts menstruating while serving as kumari, it is considered inauspicious.”

For hundreds of years, living goddesses have been held sacred in Nepal and their blessings have been sought by officials and others seeking good fortune.

Latin America

6 officers in Mexico crime unit arrested

The men are believed to have aided drug smugglers in Sinaloa state, officials say.

By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 14, 2008  

MEXICO CITY — Six members of the Mexican government’s top organized-crime unit have been arrested on suspicion of leaking information to drug traffickers, officials said Wednesday.

An official in the Mexican attorney general’s office said a supervisor and five agents are thought to have passed tips to smugglers in the west-central state of Sinaloa for about three months.

The official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said the men disclosed details about evidence that had been seized during government raids and information about arrestees. He said authorities were looking into possible involvement by other employees of the agency, known as SIEDO, its initials in Spanish.

1 comment

    • RiaD on August 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    wonderful round-up of news today….

    i appreciate it

    more than i can say, most days!

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