Docudharma Times Monday November 10

The Secrets And Secrecy Continue

As Do The Wrong Headed Policies    

Monday’s Headlines:

Tending an orchard of grief

Kremlin opts for charm over strong arm on missile defence

Neo-Nazis are back, German Jews warn

Opposition gloomy as regional leaders discuss Harare impasse

In Congo, Drunken Gunfire Ruptures a Tense Calm

Beijing gambles on £375bn rescue as Golden Years come to an end

Japanese woman abducted by North Koreans may meet family

Facebook boosts participation in rare Saudi hunger strike

In Iraq, Muqtada Sadr’s followers struggle for relevance

Economic crisis dampens Brazilian growth, hits consumers hard

Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda in Many Countries


Published: November 9, 2008

WASHINGTON – The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.

These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

Auschwitz blueprints emerge on 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht

Kate Connolly in Berlin, Monday November 10 2008 00.01 GMT

Architectural plans for the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, which appear to provide clear evidence that the site was purpose built for exterminations, have been discovered in a Berlin flat, a German newspaper reported.

Germany’s chief archivist, Hans-Dieter Kreikamp, is quoted by Bild newspaper as saying that the plans, which appear to have been made from 1941 to 1943, are “authentic certificates of a systematically planned genocide of European Jews”, and “of extraordinary importance”.

The find includes 28 meticulous sketches on a scale of 1:100. The documents were said to have been found in a flat being cleared out following the inhabitant’s death; there were no details about their ownership.



A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks

With Attention on Bailout Debate, Treasury Made Change to Tax Policy

By Amit R. Paley

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, November 10, 2008; Page A01

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration’s request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious


Tending an orchard of grief

The Crosses of Lafayette,’ planted on an East Bay hillside for U.S. war dead, evoke gratitude, fury and resignation.

By Peter H. King

November 10, 2008

Reporting from Lafayette, Calif. — As they emerge from a tunnel cut beneath the Berkeley Hills, Bay Area Rapid Transit trains hauling eastbound commuters home from San Francisco enter a landscape of low hills and tight valleys, shaded by oaks and pines and filled with winding blocks of well-maintained houses.

It is a pleasant enough slice of California, this cluster of small, leafy communities in Contra Costa County, a place where youth sports dominate weekends and school fundraisers tend to succeed; where one of the latest civic initiatives was a vigorous campaign to persuade motorists to slow down.

A few miles down the line, the trains pull in to the elevated station that serves the town of Lafayette.


Kremlin opts for charm over strong arm on missile defence

• Medvedev drops threats after talking to Obama

• President-elect yet to reveal stance on shield

Simon Tisdall, Monday November 10 2008 00.01 GMT

Russia switched deftly from threats to charm yesterday in an effort to exploit indications that Barack Obama could be persuaded to scrap Bush administration plans to deploy a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Speaking after meeting the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was expecting a more flexible approach from the US once Obama took office.

“We have paid attention to the positions that Barack Obama has published on his site. They inspire hope that we can examine these questions in a more constructive way,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

Neo-Nazis are back, German Jews warn

By Tony Paterson in Berlin

Monday, 10 November 2008

The head of Germany’s Jewish community revealed that she received death threats which made her fear for her life yesterday in an interview given to mark the 70th anniversary of the infamous Nazi “Kristallnacht” pogrom that paved the way for the Holocaust.

Charlotte Knobloch, the president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, issued a dire warning against the rise of neo-Nazi parties and said she frequently received death threats.

“There are people out there who would rather see me in a cemetery,” said Mrs Knobloch, 76, who experienced Kristallnacht as a six-year-old when she fled on to the streets of Munich with her father after his shop was attacked by Nazis. “Sometimes I fear for my life,” she added.


Opposition gloomy as regional leaders discuss Harare impasse

Chris McGreal, Africa correspondent, Monday November 10 2008 00.01 GMT

Southern African leaders were attempting to end the deadlock over Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government yesterday, but opposition leaders in Harare were not optimistic of a breakthrough.

South Africa’s president, Kgalema Motlanthe, called on Zimbabwe’s political leaders to “show political maturity” in resolving a dispute over the allocation of cabinet seats under the deal signed in September, which saw Robert Mugabe remain president and Morgan Tsvangirai, winner of Zimbabwe’s last credible election, appointed prime minister.

But Tsvangirai has refused to take up his post as long as Mugabe insists on controlling all key ministries, including those responsible for security and for finance.

In Congo, Drunken Gunfire Ruptures a Tense Calm

Soldiers, Rebels Brawl as Aid Workers Battle Cholera Among the Displaced

By Stephanie McCrummen

Washington Post Foreign Service

Monday, November 10, 2008; Page A10

KIBATI, Congo, Nov. 9 — Separated by a bushy no man’s land of about half a mile, rebels and government soldiers in this simmering part of eastern Congo spent a good part of Sunday bored and drunk.

Loitering along the edges of a muddy camp of 50,000 displaced people in this village, wobbly Congolese soldiers — AK-47 assault rifles and bullets slung over both shoulders — began shooting erratically into the air and into the ground Sunday afternoon.

“You have to capture them!” one commander yelled during a moment of panicked confusion, his speech slurred, his breath alcoholic, his two guns pointed in different directions. “If someone is drunk and shooting, you have to shoot them!”


Beijing gambles on £375bn rescue as Golden Years come to an end

?From The Times

November 10, 2008

Jane Macartney in Beijing

Ever since he was allowed to return to work on a Beijing building site after the Olympics, Zhou Shouheng has been nervous. He is still employed but some of his fellow migrant workers from the villages of Henan have been less fortunate, and he worries that China’s sudden economic slowdown may soon claim his job, too.

The Government is just as anxious. The State Council, or Cabinet, unveiled an enormous package of spending yesterday, allocating four trillion yuan (£375 billion) to 2010 to stimulate the fastest-growing leading economy in the world, amid signs of a dramatic slowdown in the past few weeks.

It is no coincidence that the public spending was announced just days before President Hu Jintao is due to fly to Washington to take part in the G20 summit of government leaders

 Japanese woman abducted by North Koreans may meet family>

A Japanese woman who was abducted by North Korea more than 30 years ago may be allowed to finally meet her family.

By Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo

Last Updated: 5:36AM GMT 10 Nov 2008

Kyoko Matsumoto has not been seen in Japan since 1977 when she was abducted from her hometown in Tottori Prefecture by North Korean officials.

Ms Matsumoto , who was 29 when she disappeared, was one of an unknown number of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang during the 1970s and the 1980s in order to teach their agents how to pass themselves off as Japanese.

Today, her brother Hajime Matsumoto claimed that a meeting would be arranged between Ms Matsumoto and the family following negotiations with North Korean officials.

A senior North Korean government official reportedly informed a Chinese businessman involved in trade with the government that they intent to set up a meeting between the abducted woman and her family.

Middle East  

Facebook boosts participation in rare Saudi hunger strike

 The two-day protest, publicized on Facebook, drew 60 fasters and 800 online comments.

By Caryle Murphy | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

from the November 10, 2008 edition

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – The government studiously ignored a two-day hunger strike staged last week by Saudi human rights activists, but organizers said they were pleased with the participation and media attention that their protest drew.

“They ignored us,” hunger striker Fowzan Mohsin Al Harbi said of the authorities. “But we achieved our goal, the hunger strike was all over the world in the media.”

The 48-hour fast on Nov. 6-7, reported in the Monitor last Wednesday, is believed to be the first of its kind in the kingdom. It was organized by 13 individuals to protest the extended detention of 11 men who had called for political reforms.

The most prominent detainee is Matrouq Al Faleh, a human rights activist and political science professor seized at King Saud University last May after criticizing prison conditions.

 In Iraq, Muqtada Sadr’s followers struggle for relevance

Once the mightiest of Shiite militias, the Mahdi Army finds itself on the run as rivals benefit from government ties and U.S. backing. Efforts to reorganize into a socio-religious group may not help.

 By Ned Parker

November 10, 2008

Reporting from Baghdad — The Mahdi Army fighter gets nervous every time he passes an Iraqi army checkpoint in Sadr City. He has even shaved his beard, a sign of his piety and his fealty to the Shiite Muslim militia, so the soldiers won’t recognize him.

“I am hunted. I can’t stay home. The neighbors are informing on us,” 28-year-old Bassem said at a recent rally for his leader, cleric Muqtada Sadr. Using a derogatory term for the Iraqi army, he added, “Four times, the dirty division has raided my house.”

At the height of Iraq’s civil war, the Mahdi Army was arguably the mightiest group in the country, revered as a protector of Iraq’s Shiite majority and feared for its death squads and criminal activities. The militia functioned as a state within a state, its members collecting protection fees from businesses, its fighters intimidating the Iraqi security forces that were supposed to police them.

Latin America

Economic crisis dampens Brazilian growth, hits consumers hard

By Tyler Bridges | McClatchy Newspapers

RIO DE JANEIRO – For the past two years, rainy Saturdays meant a steady stream of customers to a Renault auto dealership in this seaside city. Rio residents eschewed the beach to open up their wallets during the good economic times.

But last Saturday, the eight Renault salesmen were as lonely as the proverbial Maytag repairman.

“People are afraid to buy,” said salesman Robson Coriolano, taking a break from watching a car race on television. “Nobody knows how long the crisis will go on.”

1 comment

    • RiaD on November 11, 2008 at 2:37 am

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