Docudharma Times Saturday September 27

I’ll Be On A Stage With Someone Else

But Pretend Like They Are Not There

That’s Not Presidential That’s Childish

Suturday’s Headlines:

Taking control, taking stock at WaMu

Pakistani tribes fight back against Taliban

Terror plots and conspiracy theories: the hunt for Rashid Rauf

Judge opens inquiry into Spain’s ‘red terror’ victims

Europe’s ‘last dictator’ set to reap rewards for courting the West

 Syrian ‘car bomb’ blast kills 17

Draft UN resolution puts renewed pressure on Iran’s nuclear ambition

Somali pirates capture Ukrainian cargo ship loaded with military hardware

Mbeki’s exit earns African praise and barbs

An American is missing in Mexico, but his other life emerges

Candidates Clash on Economy and Iraq  



Published: September 27, 2008    

From the economy to foreign affairs to the way they carried themselves on stage, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama offered a dramatic contrast to the nation in their first presidential debate on Friday night, mixing disdain and often caustic remarks as they set out sharply different views of how they would manage the country and confront America’s adversaries abroad.

The two men met for 90 minutes against the backdrop of the nation’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and intensive negotiations in Congress over a $700 billion bailout plan for Wall Street.

China milk scandal hits home

Chinese had shrugged off previous problems as Western hysteria, but tainted milk has many wondering what else poses a risk. Even professed patriots seek out products not made in China.

By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

10:43 PM PDT, September 26, 2008  

BEIJING — Even after regulators assured the public that all contaminated baby formula was off the shelves, B.X. Wei wasn’t going to feed his 2-month-old son anything that came out of a can. Especially not one made in China.

But his wife didn’t have enough breast milk for the baby.  

Then the 30-year-old businessman from Jiangsu province remembered that during his childhood, women would nurse each other’s babies if one ran out of milk. So he decided to try a new twist on the old tradition: On Monday, he put an ad on the Internet soliciting a wet nurse.

“I don’t know if any milk powder is safe,” Wei said.

China’s latest food scandal has created a surge of interest in wet nurses. Wei has been interviewing candidates who are asking for as much as $1,500 a month — about 10 times the average price of a nanny



Economists say House GOP plan would be ineffective, costly


By Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers  

WASHINGTON – House Republicans are rallying behind an alternative to the Bush administration’s taxpayer rescue of Wall Street. That plan that may be good politics, but experts say it is bad economics.

The lawmakers, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, are calling for a temporary elimination of the capital gains tax, a two-year tax holiday that allows U.S. companies to repatriate earnings from abroad, and an insurance program that would be a private-sector alternative to the $700 billion taxpayer rescue proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Taking control, taking stock at WaMu

JPMorgan tries to reassure customers?



On their first full day of running the former Washington Mutual, executives of JPMorgan Chase began taking stock Friday of just what it was they’d bought and what they planned to do with it, while employees and customers of the Seattle bank tried to figure out what will happen now that their company has been sold.

Aside from offering assurances to customers, left jittery by several weeks of bad news, that their money is safe and life is normal, those executives didn’t provide a lot of details on what’s ahead for the company or its employees.


Pakistani tribes fight back against Taliban

• Local elders organise own armies to patrol villages

• Action could lead to civil war, says party leader

Saeed Shah in Wari, Pakistan

The Guardian,

Saturday September 27 2008

Moderate tribesmen in parts of militant-ravaged north-west Pakistan are challenging Taliban extremists threatening to overrun their area, in what could develop into a mass resistance movement.

Villagers in parts of North-West Frontier province and the tribal territory, faced with the violent advance of the Pakistani Taliban, are starting to organise an armed indigenous resistance in the absence of help from the state.

The resistance has parallels with the “Sunni awakening” in Iraq, where tribesmen took on al-Qaida militants in Anbar province and elsewhere.

Terror plots and conspiracy theories: the hunt for Rashid Rauf

He is one of the world’s most wanted men, linked to a July 21 attacker and implicated in the airline bomb plot. Yet Rashid Rauf is still at large. Kim Sengupta reveals the latest sighting of a notorious fugitive and asks: is he being sheltered by Pakistan’s security services?  

Saturday, 27 September 2008

The rugged and beautiful valley of Balakot, rolling down to the blue-green waters of the Kunhar river near the Kashmir border in Pakistan, used to be a popular tourist destination before the devastating earthquake of three years ago wreaked havoc.

Reconstruction has been slow but one development which was back in business fast, supposedly with money siphoned from millions of pounds of international aid, has been a training camp used by Islamist militants.


Judge opens inquiry into Spain’s ‘red terror’ victims


Giles Tremlett in Madrid

The Guardian,

Saturday September 27 2008

A Spanish judge looking into the brutal repression of dictator General Francisco Franco’s forces during the country’s civil war has opened an investigation into the tens of thousands of victims of the so-called “red terror” unleashed by some of his leftwing opponents.

Judge Baltasar Garzón has asked authorities for a list of those killed on the orders of the tribunals set up by the leftwing Republican authorities in Madrid during the three-year civil war that ended in 1939.

The judge provoked controversy last month when he asked government departments and the Roman Catholic church to help provide a list of names of those placed before firing squads by Franco’s military tribunals or killed by rightwing death squads.

Europe’s ‘last dictator’ set to reap rewards for courting the West


 By Daniel McLaughlin in Minsk

Saturday, 27 September 2008    

Relatives of Belarus’s disappeared dissidents, and beleaguered opposition parties, warn that the EU and US may temper criticism of a tightly-controlled general election in an attempt to woo President Alexander Lukashenko away from traditional ally Russia.

Belarus goes to the polls this weekned in an election that could see the West normalise its relations with the man dubbed “Europe’s last dictator”.

Keen to loosen Moscow’s grip on its neighbours after the war in Georgia, Brussels and Washington have discussed easing sanctions if the ballot is more free and fair than the others he has overseen during 14 years in power.

Middle East

Syrian ‘car bomb’ blast kills 17

At least 17 people been killed by a car bomb in the Syrian capital Damascus, according to state television.

The BBC  

A further 14 people, all of them civilians, are reported to have been wounded in the blast.

A spokesman from Syria’s ministry of information told the BBC the number of casualties was expected to rise.

Witnesses say security forces have cordoned off the area, which is close to an important Shia shrine and a security post.

The Sayida Zeinab shrine, in the south of the capital, is popular with Iraqi, Iranian and Lebanese pilgrims.

Syria’s Dunia television said the car was packed with 200kg (440 lbs) of explosives.

Draft UN resolution puts renewed pressure on Iran’s nuclear ambition >

• Resolution to be put to security council

• Deadlock broken as Russia backs measures

Ed Pilkington in New York

The Guardian,

Saturday September 27 2008

International efforts to press Iran into dropping its nuclear programme received a boost yesterday when six world powers, including Russia, agreed to put a resolution before the UN security council.

The move breaks a deadlock of recent weeks in which Russia, alongside China, had been acting as a brake on international action designed to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Though the draft resolution includes no fresh sanctions against Tehran, it does reaffirm three separate rounds of sanctions that have been imposed in the past two years, and emphasises that security council resolutions are legally binding and must be met.


Somali pirates capture Ukrainian cargo ship loaded with military hardware

• Whereabouts of hijacked freighter still unknown

• Armed gangs have already captured 30 ships this year

Xan Rice in Nairobi

The Guardian,

Saturday September 27 2008

Somali pirates have captured a Ukrainian cargo ship carrying military hardware, including grenade launchers and 33 Russian-made tanks, in the latest brazen attack in the most dangerous waters in the world.

The MV Faina was hijacked on Thursday off the coast of Somalia, where Islamist insurgents are battling government and Ethiopian troops in some of the heaviest fighting in years.

The Ukrainian defence minister, Yury Yekhanurov, said the cargo also included “a substantial quantity of ammunition and spare parts”.

Russia, which has three citizens among the 21 crew members, responded to the news yesterday by sending a warship to Somalia to address “the rise in pirate attacks, especially against Russian citizens”.

Mbeki’s exit earns African praise and barbs


ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA Sep 27 2008 07:28  

On a continent where leaders seldom step down, Thabo Mbeki’s resignation earned some plaudits, but the former South African leader also caught flak for an anaemic response to the region’s crises.

Mbeki resigned on September 21 after being forced to stand down following a bitter feud within the ruling African National Congress (ANC), pitting him against leadership rival Jacob Zuma.

Latin America

An American is missing in Mexico, but his other life emerges

Daniel LaPorte went to Mexico and never came back. His parents didn’t know of his drug involvement.

By Evelyn Larrubia, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

September 27, 2008

Daniel not come home.

Linda LaPorte stood in the kitchen of her home in Pascoag, R.I., holding her cellphone. Her son’s Thai girlfriend was calling from San Diego, speaking a mile a minute in fractured English.

He said call mom if he not come home.

Linda and her husband, Joseph, had called their son just days earlier to wish him a happy 27th birthday. He’d said nothing about traveling anywhere.

Yet here was his girlfriend saying he’d gone to Mexico on business with a guy named Big Daddy. And he hadn’t come back.

“What she was trying to convey to me didn’t make sense,” Linda recalled.


    • RiaD on September 27, 2008 at 16:37

    for bringing me news every single day!

    YOU are the BEST!!

    • Temmoku on September 27, 2008 at 16:48

    Glad I dropped the Chicago Tribune, this news is so much better!

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