Sometimes Its Better To Just
Not Speak Rather Than To Keep
Digging With That Power Shovel
Rivals Split on U.S. Power, but Ideas Defy Easy Labels
IF ELECTED .
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: October 22, 2008
WASHINGTON – John McCain has said his worldview was formed in the Hanoi Hilton, the jail where as a prisoner of war he learned to stand up to his country’s enemies and lost any youthful naïveté about what happens when America shows weakness.
Barack Obama has written that his views began to take shape in the back streets of Jakarta, where he lived as a young boy and saw the poverty, the human rights violations and the fear inspired by the American-backed Indonesian dictator Suharto.
It was there, Mr. Obama wrote in his second autobiography, that he first absorbed the “jumble of warring impulses” that make up American foreign policy, and received a street-level understanding of how foreigners react to “our tireless promotion of American-style capitalism” and to Washington’s “tolerance and occasional encouragement of tyranny, corruption and environmental degradation.”
Wealth gap creating a social time bomb
• Race behind division in US cities, says UN report
• Beijing is most egalitarian place in the world
John Vidal, environment editor
The Guardian, Thursday October 23 2008
Growing inequality in US cities could lead to widespread social unrest and increased mortality, says a new United Nations report on the urban environment.
In a survey of 120 major cities New York was found to be the ninth most unequal in the world and Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, and Miami had similar inequality levels to those of Nairobi, Kenya and Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Many were above an internationally recognised acceptable “alert” line used to warn governments.
“High levels of inequality can lead to negative social, economic and political consequences that have a destabilising effect on societies,” said the report. “[They] create social and political fractures that can develop into social unrest and insecurity.
Job Losses Accelerate, Signaling Deeper Distress
By Neil Irwin and Michael S. Rosenwald
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, October 23, 2008; Page A01
Employers are moving to aggressively cut jobs and reduce costs in the face of the nation’s economic crisis, preparing for what many fear will be a long and painful recession.
The labor market has been weak all year, with a slow drip of workers losing their jobs each month. But the deterioration of the job market is now emerging as a driver of economic distress, according to a wide range of data and anecdotal reports from corporate America.
In September, there were more mass layoffs — instances in which employers slashed 50 or more jobs at one time — than in any month since September 2001, the Labor Department said yesterday.
The Philippines: America’s other war on terrorism
By Warren P. Strobel | McClatchy Newspapers
CAMP BAUTISTA, Philippines – It’s movie night at the U.S. military enclave on this Filipino military base, and dozens of giggling young boys and girls jostle their way into a free show in a modest wood-frame building that formerly housed a bar named Rusty’s Grill.
Each child’s price of admission to the animated film “Robots,” plus a bottle of water and a small paper bag of popcorn, is to accept a squirt of hand sanitizer – a brief lesson in basic hygiene.
Welcome to America’s other war on terror.
Thai PM flees angry protesters
Ian MacKinnon in Bangkok
The Guardian, Thursday October 23 2008
Thailand’s new prime minister was forced to flee angry protesters for the second time in a fortnight yesterday when he was cornered in an underground car park.
A crowd of about 200 jeering workers from the state telecoms operator screaming “Somchai, murderer” pelted Somchai Wongsawat with plastic bottles and shoes as he visited the information ministry in Bangkok. As the mob surged around him, Somchai slipped into the building and emerged through the front entrance, apparently in an effort to talk to the demonstrators. But the mob threw bottles and shoes at him. Hurling shoes is insulting in Thai culture as they are associated with what is considered the dirtiest part of the body.
Pakistan stares into the abyss
A spiralling conflict, economic collapse and blackouts threaten anarchy with far-reaching implications
By Andrew Buncombe, Anne Penketh and Omar Waraich
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Pakistan was locked in crisis last night, with the government pressed by Washington to deepen its conflict with Islamic militants in the lawless regions on the Afghan border, and obliged to call in the International Monetary Fund to stave off financial catastrophe.
In the rugged north of the country, a major military offensive to root out Taliban militants has created a flood of up to 200,000 refugees and pitched Pakistani against Pakistani, Muslim against Muslim, in a conflict some are beginning to regard as a civil war.
Is the American Dream over for Beckham?
His bid to sell soccer to the US has failed dismally. So now Milan beckons – and the boutique owners can’t wait. By Guy Adams
Thursday, 23 October 2008
When David Beckham announced he was quitting the Galácticos of Real Madrid to sign for the provincial Los Angeles Galaxy team, the transfer was lambasted – despite the player’s protestations – as a move from the football pitch to the showbusiness premier league. He and Victoria would mix with the likes of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Will Smith, Eva Longoria and Governor Schwarzenegger. It seemed to be the ultimate realisation of celebrity dreams. The couple’s children were looking forward to playing on Malibu beach, Mrs Beckham told this newspaper at the time.
Your finger could be on a nuclear button in the lift
From The Times
October 23, 2008
Charles Bremner and Marie Tourres in Paris
If the buttons in some British lifts are glowing more than usual, it could be because they spent their earlier life as part of a nuclear submarine.
The possibility has arisen after a French company yesterday acknowledged that it has inadvertently supplied slightly radioactive steel parts around Europe.
The affair of the nuclear buttons emerged after the French division of Otis, the American elevator company, ordered the recall of buttons installed over the past couple of months in 500 lifts around the country.Otis acted after the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) found that 20 workers who had handled the Indian-made buttons, had been exposed to excessive doses of radiation.
Two jailed over Ivorian pollution
A court in Ivory Coast has sentenced two people to 20 years and five years in jail for dumping hundreds of tonnes of toxic waste in Abidjan in 2006.
Seven others were acquitted. The Dutch company that shipped the waste avoided prosecution by paying the government a $200m (£108m) out-of-court settlement.
The company, Trafigura, never admitted liability, saying the payment was made out of sympathy for the Ivorian people.
Seventeen people died and thousands suffered breathing problems and nausea.
The Dutch multi-national firm chartered the ship carrying the waste, which was unloaded in Ivory Coast, after a failure to agree deals to get it treated in the Netherlands and Nigeria.
It said it had contracted a local firm, Tommy, to handle the waste in good faith.
A Healthy Schism in South Africa>
By Tony Leon
Thursday, October 23, 2008; Page
In 1990, when Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years’ imprisonment in South Africa, he noted in his first speech to a waiting world: “I am a loyal and disciplined member of the African National Congress. I am therefore in full agreement with all of its objectives, strategies and tactics.” His iconic status helped sustain the ANC over the next decade and a half as it transformed itself from a liberation movement into an electorally unassailable democratic government.
That unity unraveled last week. In short order, the party membership of former national chairman Mosiuoa Lekota was suspended after he claimed that the ANC had moved away from its founding principles.
In Sadr City, a Repressed but Growing Rage
Limited by Cease-Fire, Mahdi Army Fighters Increasingly Restless as Iraqi Troops Go on Offensive
By Sudarsan Raghavan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, October 23, 2008; Page A12
BAGHDAD — Outside the tan, high-walled house, Shiite militiamen stood guard. Inside, men sat on a red carpet, their backs against a wall adorned with images of Shiite saints, their anger rising with each sentence. Hashim Naseer, a tribal leader, remembered how Iraqi soldiers arrested his brother early this month at a nearby park along with other Shiite fighters of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.
“We thought this government was for Shiites, but now they have become worse than Saddam Hussein’s regime,” said Naseer, 40. “We placed much faith in the Iraqi security forces, but they are taking advantage of us.”
Elusive consensus on Iran
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Multilateral diplomacy on the Iran nuclear issue, led by the “Iran Six”, is falling to pieces as a result of sharpening disagreements on how to respond to Tehran’s defiance of demands from the United Nations Security Council that it suspend uranium-enrichment activities.
More importantly, the division has been caused by the extent to which Iran has been prepared to accept nuclear transparency, and demonstrate the peacefulness of its nuclear program.
US neo-conservatives and their allies in Israel may be up in arms, sounding alarms over Iran’s nuclear threat, yet the international community is increasingly drifting in the opposite direction, with growing assurances that Iran’s program may not have a military dimension or “intent” after all.
On Monday, diplomats from the five permanent UN Security Council member countries – the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China – and Germany spoke by telephone on how to approach the issue.
Cuban exile’s inspiring encore
Bebo Valdes, 90, a top pianist and bandleader during Havana’s golden age of music, basks in the glory of his unlikely comeback.
By Sebastian Rotella
October 23, 2008
Reporting from Benalmadena, Spain — A few days before his 90th birthday, Bebo Valdes contemplates his memories and melodies on a hotel terrace with a view of waves dancing in an African breeze.
Valdes puts aside the coffee he is nursing and examines two CDs. One is “Lagrimas Negras” (“Black Tears”), the surprise crossover sensation that made him an international star four years ago. But the disc he wants to talk about is the exquisite “We Could Make Such Beautiful Music Together,” which teamed him with a Uruguayan violinist and came out in 2006. Valdes chuckles as he scans the list of songs.
“When I was young, I was crazy about this number,” he says about the title track, speaking the fast, sugary Spanish of the Caribbean. “And ‘La Rosita,’ what a pretty thing. It’s Mexican, the Mexicans have very good melodic music, you know? . . . ‘I Only Have Eyes for You.’ I played that too. Havana was American, chico! . . . ‘Adios Nonino,’ this is a very good Argentine classic. . . . ‘Waltz for Debby’: Bill Evans, he’s my favorite pianist. The way of playing, and the studies he had. A unique style and a unique sound.”