Bush Decides To Blackmail Iraq
Believing He Hasn’t Wrecked
The Country Enough
End of Battle Centers on Turf Bush Carried
By ADAM NAGOURNEY and JEFF ZELENY
Published: October 26, 2008
Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama are heading into the final week of the presidential campaign planning to spend nearly all their time in states that President Bush won last time, testimony to the increasingly dire position of Mr. McCain and his party as Election Day approaches.
With optimism brimming in Democratic circles, Mr. Obama will present on Monday what aides described as a summing-up speech for his campaign in Canton, Ohio, reprising the themes he first presented in February 2007, when he began his campaign for the presidency.
From here on out, Mr. Obama’s aides said, attacks on Mr. McCain will be joined by an emphasis on broader and less partisan themes, like the need to unify the country after a difficult election.
Asian stockmarkets crash again
apan’s Nikkei index falls 6.4% to its lowest level since 1982 amid panicky selling
guardian.co.uk, Monday October 27 2008 07.58 GMT
Stockmarkets around the world crashed again today as the prospect of a deep worldwide recession continued to haunt investors.
Fears that the financial crisis is spreading to emerging nations sparked another day of panicky selling, despite speculation of another round of interest rate cuts to try to stimulate the global economy,
As the current crisis sparked by the failure of Lehman Brothers entered a seventh week, Japan’s Nikkei index fell 6.4% to its lowest level since 1982, extending its recent slump. It has now lost 20% of its value in the last week.
Hong Kong also saw shares routed, with the Hang Seng index plunging almost 12% in late trading – putting it on track for its biggest daily fall since 1997.
Gun Sales Thriving In Uncertain Times
By Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 27, 2008; Page A01
Americans have cut back on buying cars, furniture and clothes in a tough economy, but there’s one consumer item that’s still enjoying healthy sales: guns. Purchases of firearms and ammunition have risen 8 to 10 percent this year, according to state and federal data.
Several variables drive sales, but many dealers, buyers and experts attribute the increase in part to concerns about the economy and fears that if Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois wins the presidency, he will join with fellow Democrats in Congress to enact new gun controls.
Popularity of mail-in voting surges in California, elsewhere
?With nearly half of California votes expected to be cast by mail — and some states becoming mail-in-only — election experts weigh the convenience factor against added expense and possible voter frau
By Jennifer Oldham
October 27, 2008
Opting for the convenience of their kitchen table over a neighbor’s garage, nearly half of Californians are expected to cast their votes by mail rather than at a polling site on Nov. 4, marking a milestone shift in the practice of democracy, elections officials said.
At least 40% of the state’s registered voters already have decided they want to vote by mail, according to data compiled Friday by the California Assn. of Clerks and Elected Officials. The percentage is expected to grow as Tuesday’s deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot approaches.California isn’t the only state where voters are eschewing a trip to the polls. A majority of voters prefer their mailbox over the ballot box in Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, according to the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College in Portland, Ore.
Twenty-eight states allow residents to vote by mail without the excuse — sickness, disability, being out of town — that traditional absentee ballots have required.
Retired newscaster Dan Avey of Studio City voted as soon as his ballot arrived earlier this month.
U.S. threatens to halt services to Iraq without troop accord
By Roy Gutman and Leila Fadel | McClatchy Newspapers
BAGHDAD _ The U.S. military has warned Iraq that it will shut down military operations and other vital services throughout the country on Jan. 1 if the Iraqi government doesn’t agree to a new agreement on the status of U.S. forces or a renewed United Nations mandate for the American mission in Iraq.
Many Iraqi politicians view the move as akin to political blackmail, a top Iraqi official told McClatchy Sunday.
In addition to halting all military actions, U.S. forces would cease activities that support Iraq’s economy, educational sector and other areas _ “everything” _ said Tariq al Hashimi, the country’s Sunni Muslim vice president. “I didn’t know the Americans are rendering such wide-scale services.”
Palestinian football team held to draw, but scores a victory
They play their first home game in their home stadium, in the shadow of Israel’s barrier. Ben Lynfield reports
Monday, 27 October 2008
A home advantage was never something the Palestinian national football team could count on, given that even their home games were played away. Yesterday’s international friendly against Jordan in a West Bank stadium changed all that, and while the boost from their first outing on home soil might not have been reflected in the final scoreline, it was writ large on the faces of the Palestinian players and their fans.
“When you are playing here, in front of your own people, in your land it makes a huge difference,” the stand-in captain Ayman Hindi said before kick-off. “We will play better.”
Thousands flee as Congo rebels move into gorilla refuge
Associated Press in Kibumba
The Guardian, Monday October 27 2008
Heavy fighting in Congo’s North Kivu province sent thousands of civilians fleeing yesterday as the rebel forces seized an army base and the headquarters of Virunga National Park, home to 200 or more of the world’s 700 remaining mountain gorillas.
An unknown number of soldiers, rebels and civilians were killed, according to local people, who said the onslaught began at about 2am. Government troops raced north from Goma to reinforce a counterattack in the morning. One tank careened into fleeing civilians, killing three teenage boys, local reports said.
UN soldiers from India who tried to investigate the incident involving the boys were thwarted by people hurling stones.
Back in Kenya, Granny Sarah looks forward to a long night with her TV
The wife of Barack Obama’s grandfather tells Daniel Howden why she is taking nothing for granted on 4 November
onday, 27 October 2008
At Kisumu airport, on the shores of the vast Lake Victoria, work has begun to expand the runway. The joke here is that they’re getting ready for the arrival of Air Force One. Once as college graduate, once as a professor and again as a senator, Barack Obama has returned to his ancestral home. Now everyone is waiting for him to come back a fourth time, as the president of the United States.
It was here, amid the brilliant greens and grinding poverty of tropical Kenya, that the candidate’s absent father Barack Hussein Obama grew up. It is still home to the 87-year-old woman the would-be leader of the free world calls Granny Sarah.
Three British evangelicals cast blame on each other in trials over child abuse at Albanian orphanage
• Edinburgh charity worker set up home for refugees
• Ten boys aged four to 13 testify against Britons
?Paul Lewis in Tirana
The Guardian, Monday October 27 2008
The orphanage, a large brick house in Tirana’s old quarter, promised shelter to the city’s abandoned street children, who came barefoot and clutching siblings in search of a place to rebuild their lives.
For five years, dozens of boy and girls passed through the gates of 32 Dervish Hekali Street, run by British missionaries in Albania’s capital.
But what should have been a sanctuary for vulnerable boys and girls became the site of one of eastern Europe’s most shocking child sex abuse scandals. Three evangelical Britons, including the director of the orphanage, David Brown, have been accused of abusing children in their care.
Nato officers rent villa owned by Naples Mafia boss Antonio Iovine >
From The Times
October 27, 2008
Paul Bompard in Rome
American Nato officers have been renting a villa near Naples for years that belongs, indirectly, to Antonio Iovine, a clan chieftain of the Camorra, the Neapolitan Mafia.
Mr Iovine, 44, nicknamed “o’ninno” – the baby – because of his small stature, is wanted for murder and other crimes, and is listed among the 30 most dangerous criminals in Italy. He has been on the run for 12 years.
According to an investigation that was published in Corriere della Sera yesterday the villa of Mr Iovine may be only the tip of an iceberg. Italian police sources suggested that there were scores of similar cases in the Naples area of Nato service personnel living in houses that were owned by the Camorra. There are several Nato facilities in the area, notably a US telecommunications centre in Bagnoli and the US Air Force base at Capodichino.
China’s land reform aims to revolutionize 750 million lives
Beijing hopes the policy will improve farming and free peasants to seek a better livelihood.
By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the October 27, 2008 edition
MIJIAN, CHINA – Zhang Xiaosui is the very model of a modern Chinese peasant.
Farming a field 10 times larger than any of his neighbors’ in this scruffy village in central China, he is on the front lines of a new government drive to transform Chinese agriculture, and with it the lives of 750 million country dwellers.
If the land reform announced last week works as officials hope it will, many peasants will emulate Mr. Zhang’s effort to turn family plots into a modern farm, and help bang one of the last nails into the coffin of Mao Zedong’s collectivist dream.
“I wanted to farm more land before, but I didn’t have the opportunity,” Zhang says, sitting in his comfortably appointed front room. “Now I can, because the government is starting to support my idea.”
Amol Rajan: Now I’m one of the 30 million hugged by Amma
In India, they queue for days to feel the healing powers of her embrace. But could the ‘mother of eternal bliss’ cleanse Amol Rajan’s soul?
Monday, 27 October 2008
Alexandra Palace, the late-Victorian public building designed as north London’s answer to Crystal Palace, had never seen the like of it. Under a blanket of thick cloud, hundreds descended yesterday for the long-awaited arrival of a small woman with a big reputation.
She was, they had heard, the “mother of eternal bliss”, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, better known as Amma, or “Mum”, the saint of 30 million hugs.
Said to be the very embodiment of pure and selfless love, she is venerated in India for her apparently unique capacity to heal the mind and cleanse the spirit, all with a hug.
Mexico seizes top drugs suspect
An alleged prominent leader of one of the most powerful drug cartels in the world, Mexico’s Arellano Felix Cartel, has been arrested, officials say.
Eduardo Arellano Felix was arrested after a shootout in the Mexican city of Tijuana, on the US border, according to the Mexican defence department.
He is accused of trafficking hundreds of tonnes of cocaine and marijuana to the US.
The US state department has been offering $5m (£3m) for his capture.
Mr Arellano Felix and his sister, Enedina Arellano Felix, took over the leadership of the cartel after several of their brothers were either arrested or killed, the Mexican authorities say.