David Letterman Hands
McCain His G. Gordon Liddy
In Downturn, Families Strain to Pay Tuition
By JONATHAN D. GLATER
Published: October 16, 2008
In difficult dinner-table conversations, college students and their parents are revisiting how to pay tuition as personal finances weaken and lenders get tough.
Diana and Ronnie Jacobs, of Salem, Ind., thought their family had a workable plan for college for her twin sons, using a combination of savings, income, scholarship aid and a relatively modest amount of borrowing. Then her husband lost his job at Colgate-Palmolive.
“It just seems like it’s really hard, because it is,” Ms. Jacobs, an information technology specialist, said of her financial situation.
Kenyans follow Obama’s fortunes nervously
Many are proud of his connection to their country but believe there is a lingering racism in the United States that will prevent a black man from being elected president.
By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 17, 2008
NAIROBI, KENYA — A popular morning-radio personality summed up how many Kenyans are viewing the U.S. presidential race.
“There’s no way,” said disc jockey Maina Kageni, “the U.S. is going to elect” a black man.
Despite Sen. Barack Obama’s strong lead in the polls and his huge popularity here in his father’s homeland, some Kenyans can’t shake a sense of doubt about whether Americans are ready to put a black man in the White House.
The quiet pessimism is rooted in Kenyans’ perceptions about racism in the United States and sharpened by the nation’s own flawed presidential election 10 months ago, which saw hatred among tribes come to the fore.
McCain Forced to Fight for Virginia
Traditionally Red State Finds GOP Struggling to Match Obama Operation
By Michael D. Shear and Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 17, 2008; Page A01
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain will take different messages to different audiences in different parts of Virginia over the next two days, but they will have the same goal in mind: to urge their supporters to spend the final stretch of the campaign fighting for every vote they can find.
Obama will hold a rally today in Roanoke, a conservative part of the state where he hopes to keep the race relatively close. McCain will travel tomorrow to Prince William County, where he aims to cut into Obama’s Northern Virginia base.
L.A. activist has a lot on the ball besides soccer
?Raul Macias built a strong political base on the playing fields of northeast Los Angeles. Even his critics acknowledge how far he has come.
By Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 17, 2008
The Los Angeles city councilman wanted to preserve an old bridge. He called “Don Raul.” A young politician running for office needed votes. He walked up the stairs of a dreary beige apartment and paid a visit to “Don Raul.” The environmentalists wanted the city to build a park on an old rail yard. They got a well-placed assist from “Don Raul” — the soccer guy.
Some who know Raul Macias, 55, say he deserves the title “don” not just as a simple sign of respect, but because of the political clout he built on an unlikely base: the soccer fields of northeast Los Angeles.
In the late 1990s he took over a ragtag team of children and wound up creating a league. He scraped for soccer fields, and with every field he got — like a politician plucking up a district — his ranks grew.
Franco repression ruled as a crime against humanity
Giles Tremlett in Madrid
The Guardian, Friday October 17 2008
A Spanish judge yesterday ordered the grave of poet and playwright Federico García Lorca dug up as, for the first time, the repression unleashed by the dictator General Francisco Franco was formally declared a crime against humanity.
In a controversial reversal of Spain’s traditional refusal to seek out those responsible for the killings of Lorca and more than 100,000 other people, Judge Baltasar Garzón also asked investigators to provide him with information on Franco’s chief henchmen and generals. Franco and his chief collaborators, Garzón said, had been responsible for “mass killings, torture and the systematic, general and illegal detentions of political opponents”.
European states plead poverty as credit crisis threatens ‘son of Kyoto’ agreement
Brussels summit fails to achieve breakthrough on crucial climate-change deal
By Andrew Grice and Vanessa Mock in Brussels
Friday, 17 October 2008
The global downturn could scupper plans for a landmark “son of Kyoto” deal to combat climate change, green campaigners have warned.
The warning came after the European Union’s ambitious plans to combat climate change were left in disarray at the close of its summit in Brussels yesterday. Some member states are calling for the programme to be watered down on the grounds that it cannot be afforded in a downturn.
Sharp divisions over whether or not the EU’s flagship goal to cut carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 can be afforded in a downturn forced the Brussels summit to put off a decision on a route map for achieving it.
Villagers say 18 civilians killed in Nato air strike in Afghanistan
The Guardian, Friday October 17 2008
British defence officials said last night they were investigating reports that civilians, including women and children, were killed in an air strike by Nato forces in southern Afghanistan.
Angry villagers took 18 bodies – including badly mangled bodies of women and children – to the governor’s house in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, Haji Adnan Khan, a tribal leader in the city who had seen the bodies, was reported as saying. He said there might be more bodies trapped under the rubble.
A BBC reporter in Lashkar Gah said he saw the bodies – three women and the rest children ranging in age from six months to 15. The families brought the bodies from their village in the Nad Ali district.
Japan struggles with elderly crime wave
Police in Japan are struggling to control a crime wave carried out by the most unlikely of criminal fraternities: the elderly.
By Julian Ryall in Tokyo
Last Updated: 8:32AM BST 17 Oct 2008
While the majority of crimes committed by older Japanese involve petty theft, cases of murder, assault and violence are on the increase.
“There has been a huge change in the last 10 years,” said Tomomi Fujiwara, author of the book “Bousou Rojin” (“The Elderly Out of Control”).
“It can be a question of money for some of these people, but that is not the main reason we’re seeing this problem now,” he said.
Mr Fujiwara blamed the changing face of Japanese society for the spike in crime.
“In the past, elderly people were revered and cared for in Japanese society, living in the same homes with their children and families. That has gone now and they don’t recognise their own neighbourhood or the people living around them.”
Villagers in fear of occult killers who deal in flesh
From The Times
October 17, 2008
Ramita Navai in Johannesburg
The man who hacked off nine-year-old Fortune Khumalo’s genitals struck as the youngster relieved himself in bushes. Using a machete, the attacker sliced off Fortune’s penis and testicles, to sell the body parts to the lucrative traditional medicine – muti- market.
Fortune had become a victim of a crime of the occult that has rocketed in recent years to supply a booming trade in human body parts. He survived the attack but most victims do not and the Government estimates that there could be more than 300 muti murders a year. “The killings are driven by greed,” said Thomas Khumalo, Fortune’s father. “People believe using human body parts in medicine can make them rich.”
Bashir war crimes charges delayed >
Judges at the International Criminal Court have asked for more evidence before deciding whether to issue an arrest warrant against Sudan’s leader.
Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo wants the court to issue a warrant for President Omar al-Bashir over war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.
Mr Ocampo has been given a month to provide the additional evidence.
President Bashir has denied the charges and Sudan has been lobbying to get the investigation delayed.
The African Union and Arab League agree with Sudan that any arrest warrant could jeopardise the peace process in Darfur.
The UN estimates that up to 2.7 million people have been forced from their homes and some 300,000 have died during the five-year conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
When settlers strike, Palestinians point and shoot video
An Israeli human rights group hopes the 150 video cameras it gave to West Bank Palestinians deter the rising tide of attacks by radical settlers.
By Ilene R. Prusher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the October 17, 2008 edition
ASIRA ILQABLIYA AND YITZHAR, WEST BANK – Nahla Mohammed says that it happens almost every weekend. Right-wing Israeli settlers from nearby Yitzhar come to vandalize houses such as hers, which are on the edge of the Palestinian village of Asira il-Qabliya.
When she hears them coming, she makes sure her children are inside, locks up, and waits with a small video camera that she was given by Btselem, a human rights group. She tries to capture them cutting water mains, breaking windows, or scrawling graffiti on the sides of the Arab houses.
Video cameras like hers have emerged as a new nonviolent weapon for West Bank Palestinians – who face a rising number of attacks at the hands of settlers anxious over their fate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But the Palestinian video footage often ends up on Israeli TV, thus becoming a tool for both deterrence and justice.
As Iraq’s Oil Flows Freely, Profits Are Stuck in Bureaucracy
By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 17, 2008; Page A20
BAGHDAD — Qassim Frez, a senior Iraqi civil servant, has a problem officials in Washington might envy. Iraq has piled up tens of billions of dollars from oil sales, and its bureaucrats are struggling to spend the windfall.
“It is very, very difficult for the ministries,” said Frez, a director-general of the Planning Ministry, sitting in a dilapidated office with dirty white walls, lit by bare fluorescent lights that occasionally flicker off.
As U.S. reconstruction spending tails off here, American officials are increasingly concerned about Iraq’s ability to assume its own rebuilding. The Government Accountability Office estimates that Iraq’s budget surplus will hit $67 billion to $79 billion this year, although some U.S. officials say it will be less because of tumbling oil prices
In Nicaragua, political dissidents targeted
A noted journalist, Oxfam, and a women’s organization have become enemies of the state.
By Tim Rogers | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the October 17, 2008 edition
MANAGUA, NICARAGUA – Thirty years after legendary Nicaraguan newspaper publisher Pedro Joaquín Chamorro was gunned down in the streets of Managua, he’s seen as a martyr for his relentless criticism of the ruling right-wing regime.
Today his son, Carlos Fernando Chamorro, lives under the new leftist regime that his father helped bring into power. Like his father, he’s also become an investigative journalist who keeps a close eye on the government. Now Carlos says he’s become the target of a similarly repressive regime.
Although Nicaragua’s government has moved from the far right to the far left, it’s remained consistently repressive, say its opponents. Political analysts say that the crackdown against Carlos and other critical voices is the latest step by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government to move the country toward a totalitarian regime by limiting political and civic participation. His tightening control over other state institutions has resulted in an “institutional dictatorship,” according to dissident leader Edmundo Jarquin from the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS).