Docudharma Times Tuesday September 23

How Does One Know The Press Is Doing Its Job?

When A “Certain Campaign” Is Accusing The Press Of

Being In The Tank.

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Data Show Big Dip in Migration To the U.S.

Hospital in Turkey under investigation as 13 babies die

Poisoned pen pals: Clash of the literary Titans

Pakistan blames US raids for hotel bombing

Japan’s ruling party hopes Aso will restore its reputation

Sahara tourists are held captive after being seized by ‘band of gangsters’

Mbeki’s resignation a ‘big loss’ for Africa

Iraqi insurgents forced underground

In Egypt, sexual harassment grows

McCain Loses His Head

By George F. Will

Tuesday, September 23, 2008; Page A21

“The queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said without even looking around.”

— “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.

Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that “McCain untethered” — disconnected from knowledge and principle — had made a “false and deeply unfair” attack on Cox that was “unpresidential” and demonstrated that McCain “doesn’t understand what’s happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does.”

Bailout Plan Talks Advance in Congress  


Published: September 22, 2008  

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration and Congressional leaders moved closer to agreement on a historic $700 billion bailout for financial firms on Monday, including tight oversight of the program and new efforts to help homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

But lawmakers in both parties voiced anger over the steep cost and even skepticism about the plan’s chances of success.

As heated debate began on Capitol Hill, Congress and the administration remained at odds over the demands of some lawmakers, including limits on the pay of top executives whose firms seek help, and new authority to allow bankruptcy judges to reduce mortgage payments for borrowers facing foreclosure.

Head of watchdog resigns as number of babies in hospital from tainted milk rises to 13,000

· Over 40,000 treated in melamine scandal

· Countries across Asia ban or recall imported goods

Tania Branigan, China correspondent

The Guardian,

Tuesday September 23 2008

Almost 13,000 Chinese babies are in hospital after consuming tainted baby milk, and a further 40,000-plus have been treated, in a scandal which yesterday led to the resignation of the head of the country’s quality watchdog, according to state media.

The scandal, which began when dozens of babies suffered kidney stones and even kidney failure after drinking a popular brand that contained the chemical melamine, has since spread to more than 20 companies and affected products including fresh milk, yoghurt and ice-cream.

Countries across Asia are checking imported dairy products from China. Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong have already banned or recalled a variety of milk products. Taiwan banned all mainland dairy products on Sunday.



Financial industry’s campaign donations could help it in bailout

Firms have given lavishly to both parties in Congress. That could help them get the language they want in the bill – as well as block provisions such as homeowner assistance.

 By Tom Hamburger and William Heisel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

September 23, 2008  

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress were pressed hard Monday by financial industry lobbyists and consumer advocates alike seeking favorable language in the massive bailout bill expected to come for a vote this week.

Through conference calls, e-mail and personal emissaries, lenders and other business groups sought to block language that would allow struggling homeowners to have mortgage debt forgiven in bankruptcy cases.

On the other side, labor unions and advocacy groups for low-income people said the bankruptcy provision and other measures to help homeowners were needed to prevent the rescue package from being simply a bailout for Wall Street banks that made bad investment bets.

Data Show Big Dip in Migration To the U.S.


 By N.C. Aizenman

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 23, 2008; Page A19  

The number of immigrants coming to the United States slowed substantially in 2007, with the nation’s foreign-born population growing by only 511,000, compared with about a million a year since 2000, according to Census figures released today.

In 14 states, the foreign-born population declined, including in such traditional immigrant gateways as New Jersey and Illinois and such newer destinations as Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas.

The Washington area’s immigrant population continued to grow, but much more slowly, increasing by 25,916, compared with average yearly increases of 37,091 since 2000.


Hospital in Turkey under investigation as 13 babies die

Robert Tait in Istanbul

The Guardian,

Tuesday September 23 2008

A hospital in Turkey’s third biggest city, Izmir, was being investigated by a prosecutor for possible medical negligence yesterday after 13 newborn babies died in its care in 24 hours.

The babies – who were all born prematurely – died at Izmir’s state-run Tepecik hospital at the weekend, re-igniting concerns about the country’s standards of postnatal care and prompting the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to question whether the deaths had been caused by neglect.

It was Turkey’s second such case in as many months. In July, 27 babies – also premature – died over a 15-day period at the Zekai Tahir Burak hospital in Ankara, the Turkish capital

Poisoned pen pals: Clash of the literary Titans

The caustic correspondence between Michel Houellebecq and Bernard-Henri Levy, titans of French literature, is to be revealed in a new book. Nobody is safe, says John Lichfield

 Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Two of the most self-promoting, outspoken, and hated, men in France will go head-to-head next month in a literary “clash of the Titans”.

The re-make of Godzilla vs King Kong will pit Michel Houellebecq, dishevelled curmudgeon and best-selling novelist, against Bernard-Henri Levy, dandy philosopher and telegenic human rights activist.

Their joint book, Ennemis Publics, has been the subject of a masterful “advertease” campaign for the past three months. The publishers, Flammarion, let slip in June that they were printing 150,000 copies of a hush-hush, two-handed book.


Pakistan blames US raids for hotel bombing

Pakistan President pleads with Bush to reverse policy as BA cancels all flights to country  

By Omar Waraich in Islamabad, Anne Penketh and Andrew Buncombe

Tuesday, 23 September 2008  

The Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, will plead with President George Bush today to change a policy which is being blamed for one of his country’s worst terrorist atrocities.

“We hope the US will change policy because this is what is needed,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, after 53 people were killed and more than 250 injured in the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. He argued that the Bush administration’s decision to allow cross-border incursions from Afghanistan into Pakistan, including by ground forces on at least one occasion, had been counterproductive “because they are not killing high-value targets, they are killing civilians”.

Japan’s ruling party hopes Aso will restore its reputation

As a popular politician, Olympian, and fan of manga comics, Taro Aso contrasts sharply with the lackluster former prime minister, whose shoes he is likely to fill on Wednesday.  

By Amelia Newcomb  | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

from the September 23, 2008 edition

Tokyo –  He’s a veteran politician known for his unruly tongue and gaffes that have alienated everyone from the nation of China to the elderly and the infirm. He’s a former Olympic sharpshooter who avows a deep interest in manga comics, one of Japan’s most popular cultural exports. He has an affinity for gold necklaces.

Now, Taro Aso is being tapped by the Liberal Democratic Party, which has presided over Japan for most of the past half-century, as the one to restore its badly tarnished reputation at home – and offer reassurance abroad that the world’s second-largest economy speaks with a steady voice at a time of global financial turmoil and pressing diplomatic concerns.

Mr. Aso easily walked away with the party’s presidency Monday, garnering 351 of the 525 votes cast and trouncing four competitors.


Sahara tourists are held captive after being seized by ‘band of gangsters’

From The Times

September 23, 2008

James Hider, Middle East Correspondent and Geoff Craig in Cairo

Masked kidnappers have taken 19 people hostage, including 11 Western tourists on safari in a remote desert border area of Egypt, taking them over the frontier into Sudan, Egyptian officials said yesterday.

The kidnapping was the first of its kind in Egypt in living memory, though Islamic militants have hit the country’s tourist industry in recent decades with bomb and gun attacks that have killed hundreds.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, said last night that all 19 had been released “safe and sound”. But officials in Cairo later said that this was not the case. “It is premature to say they are released. The negotiations are continuing,” a Cabinet spokesman said.

Mbeki’s resignation a ‘big loss’ for Africa  >


September 23 2008

New York – The resignation of President Thabo Mbeki is a “big loss” for the continent, African Union chair Jakaya Kikwete says.

“It is quite sad, because he was one of those prominent leaders. He has strong commitments to Africa’s development,” said Kikwete, speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session here.

“(The New Partnership for African Development) is his brainchild. It is a big loss for Africa to lose such a prominent leader,” said Kikwete, who is also Tanzania’s president.

Middle East

Iraqi insurgents forced underground

But even in hiding, Al Qaeda in Iraq can carry out high-profile attacks and has infiltrated security forces.

By Tom A. Peter  | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

from the September 23, 2008 edition

Karma, Iraq – When the Iraqi Army caught Abdul al-Wasit, a mid-level operative for Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), he was working undercover as a shepherd in a rural area. It was a far cry from his earlier days in a village 65 miles south, where he used to extort locals and openly execute rivals.

The once seemingly untouchable insurgent had been reduced to hiding on the fringes of society. Many of his fellow operatives had joined him, and they continued to plan operations while supposedly trading sheep.

Facing a local population that has grown intolerant of AQI’s indiscriminate acts of violence, many operatives like Mr. Wasit have gone underground – some have even formed sleeper cells in the Iraqi security forces. Members now only emerge from hiding to conduct high-profile attacks. Though this strategic shift has created an apparently less active AQI, the group has not given up the fight in Iraq and will likely remain a threat here for years.

In Egypt, sexual harassment grows

Parliament is expected to consider a measure in its next session that wouldcriminalize harassment, which 83 percent of women say they face.  

By Liam Stack  | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

from the September 23, 2008 edition

Cairo –  As May Zayed gets ready to leave for her downtown office, she tries to prepare for the harassment she’ll face on the street. The 20-something member of Egypt’s large working class says she has learned to tune out most lewd comments. But it’s impossible to ignore everything. “There is no way to get ready for it,” she says. “It just becomes part of your normal life.”

According to a study released by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) in July, 62 percent of Egyptian men admit to sexually harassing women, and 83 percent of Egyptian women reported being harassed. Half say it happens every day. It was the first study of its kind.

“Harassment is a real issue here, and it has gotten worse over the last 10 years,” says Rebecca Chiao, international relations coordinator of the ECWR. “A lot of people say that up until the 1970s there was very little harassment in Egypt, but things are very different now.”

1 comment

    • RiaD on September 23, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I loved the ‘off with his head’

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