Docudharma Times Sunday October 26

The Guns Of August

The Knives Of October

Sunday’s Headlines:

U.S. considers sending special ops to Afghanistan

Landmark case gives hope to thousands held in slavery

Life and death a matter of cash withdrawals in Zimbabwe’s crumbling hospitals

Thousands stuck in camps of no return

China’s threatened elephants turn into killers

Europe’s secret plan to boost GM crop production

Spain stirs its civil war ghosts

Israel’s ruling party calls for election as coalition talks fail

Mexico hunts prosecutor’s killers

Spending Stalls and Businesses Slash U.S. Jobs


Published: October 25, 2008

As the financial crisis crimps demand for American goods and services, the workers who produce them are losing their jobs by the tens of thousands.

Layoffs have arrived in force, like a wrenching second act in the unfolding crisis. In just the last two weeks, the list of companies announcing their intention to cut workers has read like a Who’s Who of corporate America: Merck, Yahoo, General Electric, Xerox, Pratt & Whitney, Goldman Sachs, Whirlpool, Bank of America, Alcoa, Coca-Cola, the Detroit automakers and nearly all the airlines.

Financial Meltdown Worsens Food Crisis

As Global Prices Soar, More People Go Hungry

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Stephanie McCrummen

Washington Post Foreign Service

Sunday, October 26, 2008; Page A01

SHANGHAI — As shock waves from the credit crisis began to spread around the world last month, China scrambled to protect itself. Among the most extreme measures it took was to impose new export taxes to keep critical supplies such as grains and fertilizer from leaving the country.About 5,700 miles away, in Nairobi, farmer Stephen Muchiri is suffering the consequences.

It’s planting season now, but he can afford to sow amaranthus and haricot beans on only half of the 10 acres he owns because the cost of the fertilizer he needs has shot up nearly $50 a bag in a matter of weeks.



Campaign Finance Gets New Scrutiny

Obama’s Take Raises Questions About Web

By Matthew Mosk

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, October 26, 2008; Page A01

Sen. Barack Obama’s record-breaking $150 million fundraising performance in September has for the first time prompted questions about whether presidential candidates should be permitted to collect huge sums of money through faceless credit card transactions over the Internet.

Lawyers for both the Republican and Democratic parties have asked the Federal Election Commission to examine the issue, pointing to dozens of examples of what they say are lax screening procedures by the presidential campaigns that permitted donors using false names or stolen credit cards to make contributions.

U.S. considers sending special ops to Afghanistan

Despite recent setbacks, a large-scale influx of conventional forces is unlikely because of troop commitments in Iraq. But special operations forces could narrowly target the most violent insurgent bands.?

By Peter Spiegel

October 26, 2008

Reporting from Washington — In a sign that the U.S. military is scaling back its goals in Afghanistan, senior Pentagon officials are weighing controversial proposals to send additional teams of highly trained special operations forces to narrowly target the most violent insurgent bands in the country.

The proposals are part of an acknowledgment among senior brass that a large-scale influx of conventional forces is unlikely in the near future because of troop commitments in Iraq. It also reflects the urgency to take some action to reverse recent setbacks in Afghanistan.

The idea of sending more special forces has intensified the debate over the best way to fight the war in Afghanistan. As security worsens in the country, many military leaders are increasingly arguing that an Iraq-style troop “surge” and counterinsurgency plan would not work because of the country’s rugged geography and a history of resistance to rule from Kabul.


Landmark case gives hope to thousands held in slavery

A 24-year-old woman who spent her life as a slave has taken the Niger government to court, claiming it failed her by ignoring its own laws. Peter Beaumont and Alexander Carnwath report

Peter Beaumont and Alexander Carnwath

The Observer, Sunday October 26 2008

In one of the most extraordinary episodes in African legal history, a panel of judges from Senegal, Mali and Togo will tomorrow issue a verdict expected to give fresh hope to more than 40,000 people being held as slaves in rural Niger and across the region.

The landmark case of Hadijatou Mani, a courageous young woman of 24, will be heard in a packed court in Niger’s capital, Niamey, which will decide whether Niger’s government has failed to protect Ms Mani and tens of thousands like her who have been enslaved, despite the practice being outlawed five years ago.

Life and death a matter of cash withdrawals in Zimbabwe’s crumbling hospitals

Bensen Mambo, a 40-year-old accountant, roamed the corridors of Harare’s biggest hospital, occasionally stopping, moaning quietly, and waving his hands in the air when his dilemma became too much to bear.

By a Special Correspondent and Peta Thornycroft in Harare

26 Oct 2008

His strange behaviour hardly seemed out of place in Parirenyatwa Hospital. Once it was Zimbabwe’s showpiece teaching hospital with 1,000 beds – but now it is a shell of a building, filthy, crumbling, and mostly empty.

It has almost no drugs or working equipment, and the handful of doctors who have not fled abroad have pretty much given up trying to treat the trickle of patients who still come. A blood trail from an accident victim meandered from beneath a wheeled stretcher, in a ward whose plaster walls were crumbling. Patients gazed at the ceiling in a deathly silence.

Mr Mambo’s wife Mary was one of them, diagnosed with a kidney ailment and in desperate need of treatment which he could easily afford.


Thousands stuck in camps of no return


Saeed Shah in Timergara, Pakistan

The Observer, Sunday October 26 2008

Bewildered, angry and thrown into squalor, the refugees created suddenly by Pakistan’s frontline role in the ‘war on terror’ know they could be stranded in camps for years to come.

Up to 300,000 people have had to flee fighting in Bajaur, an extremely poor part of Pakistan’s tribal border area with Afghanistan. Refugees in their own country, they live in vast government camps or beg shelter from friends and family. In an ominous sign for the government, their rage is directed not at the Pakistani Taliban, who took over their area, but the army, whose onslaught with jets and helicopters forced them to abandon their homes and livelihoods.

China’s threatened elephants turn into killers

Local people believe the animals are getting angry as the country’s runaway development destroys ever more of their habitat

By Dinah Gardner in Beijing

Sunday, 26 October 2008

There are fewer than 300 wild elephants left in China, so when Jeremy McGill, an American tourist, stumbled across a group of adults earlier this year in a nature reserve in Yunnan province, near the border with Laos, he whipped out his camera and started taking pictures. It almost cost him his life.

“I was alone when I came across the four elephants,” he said. “One scooped me up into his mouth and bit me. My body was folded in half, my head between my knees, and then the elephant spat me out and stomped on me. Suddenly they stopped and walked away. I was found about an hour later, just lying there with my intestines hanging out of my body.”


Europe’s secret plan to boost GM crop production

Gordon Brown and other EU leaders in campaign to promote modified foods

?By Geoffrey Lean

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Gordon Brown and other European leaders are secretly preparing an unprecedented campaign to spread GM crops and foods in Britain and throughout the continent, confidential documents obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal.

The documents – minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments – disclose plans to “speed up” the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to “deal with” public resistance to them.

Spain stirs its civil war ghosts>

A bid by families to exhume Franco’s victims is creating new conflict

From The Sunday Times

October 26, 2008

Matthew Campbell in Madrid

Both her sisters disapprove and her daughter is unenthusiastic, but that has not stopped Nieves Galindo from pursuing her unusual quest: she wants to exhume the remains of her grandfather, a victim of the Spanish civil war.

This jovial, 49-year-old council worker is by no means alone. More and more Spanish families have joined an increasingly energetic movement to unearth the bodies of relatives executed decades ago by General Francisco Franco’s death squads.

Conservatives complain that digging up the past will only reopen old wounds, creating more conflict. Galindo believes that the opposite is true.

Middle East

Israel’s ruling party calls for election as coalition talks fail

From The Sunday Times

October 26, 2008

Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv

Tzipi Livni, the leader of Israel’s ruling Kadima party, last night reportedly abandoned negotiations to form a new coalition government and will recommend an early general election after a key party pulled out of talks.

Livni, who had hoped to become the country’s first woman prime minister in more than three decades, is expected to inform President Shimon Peres of her decision later today.

Attempts to create a coalition failed after Livni was snubbed by the ultra-Orthodox Shas party when she refused to give in to its demands. Negotiations with another small religious party, Yahadut Hatorah, also appear to have collapsed last night.

Latin America

Mexico hunts prosecutor’s killers

Mexico has offered a reward worth $370,000 (£233,000) for information leading to the arrest of the killers of a leading prosecutor and two guards.


Andres Dimitriadis headed an investigation into organised crime and drugs trafficking in the state of Morelos, near the capital Mexico City.

He was shot in his car in the Morelos city of Cuernavaca on Friday as he drove home.

Drug-related violence has claimed more than 4,000 lives in Mexico this year.

The prosecutor’s two bodyguards were also killed in the attack, in which gunmen fired more than 100 rounds of ammunition at the moving vehicle.They struck about 300m (yards) from the local headquarters of the Mexican federal police, the Spanish news agency Efe reports


    • dkmich on October 26, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Sure, let’s regulate internet donations and leave all the other doors wide open.  Apparently the people and market for donations aren’t as capable of “fixing” the problem as the financial sector is.   It will make us stronger if it doesn’t kill us first.  

    • RiaD on October 26, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    great selection of news today.

    thank you


  1. the engineered depression of Black September!

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