Docudharma Times Saturday November 29

Could The Good Old Days Return?

Let’s Hope Not




Saturday’s Headlines:

No sympathy for Detroit at a Kia plant in Georgia

Coup fears rise after Thai PM sacks police chief

Inside room 2115: ‘We climbed into the bath and hid under some pillows’

Down to their last hundred million but Russia’s elite still enjoy fun of the fair

Grand chieftain of anthropology lives to see his centenary

War in Iraq ends for international forces

OPEC struggles to find balance in oil market

Ethiopian troops to leave Somalia

Former South African addict helps others kick the habit – by surfing

In Mexico, Casita Linda is building hope

The Times OF India

Battle for Mumbai ends, death toll rises to 195



29 Nov 2008, 1304 hrs IST, AGENCIES

MUMBAI: Security forces freed the landmark Taj hotel here after an intense night-long firing amid a series of explosions, with three terrorists gunned down by the commandos, authorities said this morning. “Three terrorists have been killed but we are still continuing our operations,” Director General of NSG, J K Dutt, told reporters outside the hotel.

Mumbai disaster official R Jadhav told that 195 people had been killed and nearly 300 injured in the battle, which began when the dozen or so militants split into groups to attack multiple targets across the city, including the main railway station and a hospital.  

The operation to flush out terrorists from Taj Hotel is over, signalling an end to the 62-hour siege by terrorists three of whom were killed this morning in an assault by the elite commandos of National Security Guards (NSG).

Security chiefs fear revamped version of 70s-style violence

Head-on attacks on soft targets by small, well-trained gangs will be harder to detect and to stop, say intelligence officials

Richard Norton-Taylor

guardian.co.uk, Saturday November 29 2008 00.01 GMT


Western intelligence officials yesterday expressed concern about the security implications of the Mumbai attacks for their own cities as they confronted the prospect of new tactics being adopted by highly trained and motivated terrorists.

They contrasted the Mumbai attacks with suicide and car bombers who have plotted outrages in London. The latter have been mainly self-radicalised, self-selected groups of individuals, slowly gathering bomb-making equipment and vulnerable to surveillance by the security services, counter-terrorist officials said.

In contrast, they said, the group who attacked Mumbai were armed with rifles and grenades and stormed their targets in the city head-on.

 

USA

National Security Pick: From a Marine to a Mediator



By HELENE COOPER

Published: November 28, 2008


WASHINGTON – James L. Jones, a retired four-star general, was among a mostly Republican crowd watching a presidential debate in October when Barack Obama casually mentioned that he got a lot of his advice on foreign policy from General Jones.

“Explain yourself!” some of the Republicans demanded, as General Jones later recalled it.

He did not. A 6-foot-5 Marine Corps commandant with the looks of John Wayne, General Jones is not given to talking about his political bent, be it Republican or Democrat. And yet, he is Mr. Obama’s choice for national security adviser, a job that will make him the main foreign policy sounding board and sage to a president with relatively little foreign policy experience.

 

No sympathy for Detroit at a Kia plant in Georgia

The residents of this town are learning to enjoy Korean barbecue, and are wary of bailing out American automakers. ‘The foreign cars took the lead, and they deserve it,’ says one.

By Richard Fausset

November 29, 2008


Reporting from West Point, Ga. — This attractive old mill town along the Chattahoochee River, with its brick downtown and streets of cozy, unpretentious homes, could be the backdrop for a patriotic American car commercial — lacking only the plaintive croak of a Bob Seger or John Mellencamp.

But America’s Big Three automakers, which are teetering at a financial abyss, shouldn’t expect much sympathy here.

Kia Motors, the South Korean automaker, is building a plant in town, promising 2,500 jobs to help replace a textile industry that has all but vanished. The locals are excited to have nonunion work that will start at about $14 per hour. They are discovering the joys of bulgogi — a different kind of barbecue — at the Korean restaurants popping up.

And many are wondering why Detroit still thinks it’s so special that it can ask taxpayers for a $25-billion bailout.

Asia

Coup fears rise after Thai PM sacks police chief

• Firing prompted by failure to evict airport protesters

• Stranded travellers flown home from naval airbase


Ian MacKinnon in Bangkok

guardian.co.uk, Saturday November 29 2008 00.01 GMT


The Thai prime minister sacked the country’s police chief last night after security forces failed to evict anti-government demonstrators from Bangkok’s two airports, leaving the country all but cut off and thousands of overseas travellers stranded.

Somchai Wongsawat’s decision to remove police general Pacharawat Wongsuwan was another sign of the deepening tensions between the government and the security forces that have raised fears of another coup.

But as the airport demonstrators were given an ultimatum to leave, riot police were seen gathering at Suvarnabhumi international, suggesting that they were preparing to clear the terminal, which had been shut down for a fourth day.

Inside room 2115: ‘We climbed into the bath and hid under some pillows’



By Andrew Buncombe in Mumbai

Saturday, 29 November 2008


She walked, stopped, spoke into her mobile phone and allowed herself a smile. It appeared as if Gill Stephen could not quite believe she was free.

For more than 36 hours, she had been barricaded inside room 2115 at the Trident-Oberoi while commandos battled with militants but yesterday lunchtime, the university employee from Leicester was escorted out of the building. Last night she was scheduled to fly back to the UK.

“I was on the 21st floor and on the Wednesday night, I heard an explosion,” she said as she boarded a bus to the airport and a flight back to the UK. “I looked into the corridor but could not see anything. There was another guest, a woman from Hong Kong, and she came into my room and we stayed together.”

Europe

Down to their last hundred million but Russia’s elite still enjoy fun of the fair

Show’s yachts and flash cars draw in oligarchs, despite huge stock market falls

Luke Harding in Moscow

guardian.co.uk, Saturday November 29 2008 00.01 GMT


Holding a glass of warm champagne, Alexander Aivazov mused on the question of whether Russia still had money.

“This clearly isn’t a good time to invest. But we Russians have always got money hidden away somewhere, often in the refrigerator,” Aivazov said, strolling off to look at designer skis. Nearby was a stand selling Gulfstream private jets; around the corner a property company was offering a private island. Other items on sale included an 18-metre yacht at £1m.

Welcome to Moscow’s millionaire fair – a luxury goods and entertainment event in a giant exhibition hall on the edge of the capital.

Grand chieftain of anthropology lives to see his centenary

Claude Lévi-Strauss did not see the West as superior

By John Lichfield in Paris

Saturday, 29 November 2008


France celebrated the 100th anniversary yesterday of the birth of one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. This was not just a centenary. It was a genuine birthday. Claude Lévi-Strauss, the father of structuralism and modern anthropology, born on 28 November 1908, is still alive. His work, after going out of fashion several times, is more alive than ever.

In an extraordinary career, which took him from the Amazon rainforests to US academia, by way of King’s Lynn, Lévi-Strauss stood anthropology on its head by refusing to see Western civilisation as superior and unique.

Middle East

War in Iraq ends for international forces



From The Times

November 29, 2008

Deborah Haynes in Baghdad


President Bush’s “coalition of the willing” is set to all but disappear from Iraq by the end of the year, with 13 countries, including South Korea, Japan, Moldova and Tonga preparing to withdraw their few remaining troops.

Britain, Australia, Romania, Estonia and El Salvador are the only nations, apart from the US, that plan to remain after a UN mandate authorising their presence expires on December 31.

London must still reach an agreement with Baghdad, however, to keep its 4,100-strong contingent on the ground into the new year. Failure to do so in time would leave British troops without legal cover and they too would have to leave.

OPEC struggles to find balance in oil market>

 

y TAREK EL-TABLAWY and ADAM SCHRECK, AP Business Writers

CAIRO, Egypt – Ministers from Arab oil-producing countries met here Saturday ahead of an emergency gathering of the larger OPEC cartel to find a way to stem plunging energy prices caused by plummeting demand amid the global economic meltdown.

Experts say Saturday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will come down to what Saudi Arabia, the kingpin and traditional price dove in a group that supplies 40 percent of the world’s crude oil, wants.

The Saudis have not indicated whether they will agree to the production cut being pushed by more hawkish members of the group like Iran on Venezuela.

However, Saudi King Abdullah said in an interview published Saturday in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Seyassah that oil should be priced at $75 a barrel, far above its current rate.

Africa

Ethiopian troops to leave Somalia

All Ethiopian troops will leave Somalia by the end of the year, a foreign ministry spokesman has announced.

The BBC

Ethiopia sent thousands of soldiers into Somalia two years ago to help government forces oust Islamists from the capital, Mogadishu.

But their presence has been deeply unpopular with many Somalis.

Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf recently admitted that his forces only control parts of the capital and the central town of Baidoa.

Despite being forced from power in Mogadishu, Islamist forces have rallied and stage frequent attacks against Ethiopian and government soldiers.

Former South African addict helps others kick the habit – by surfing

Lenny Stolk started LJ’s Surf Clinic this fall in Cape Town, South Africa. The clinic’s goal is to help addicts get clean.

By Ian Evans | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – They’ve ridden the high and lows of addiction and now a group of recovering addicts is learning to surf the waves as an unlikely part of their rehabilitation program.

Patients at the respected Tabankulu Recovery Center in Cape Town are encouraged to take up the sport to help wean them off their various addictions and personal problems.

Once a week the assortment of people struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, bulimia, and other troubles pick up their boards and learn to surf in the waters around South Africa’s “Mother City.”

Their tutor, Lenny Stolk, is himself a former heavy drinker and drug addict who kicked his habits seven years ago.

After rehabilitation, Mr. Stolk returned to work but was made redundant in June this year. It was then he thought about starting up LJ’s Surf Clinic.

“I spent 90,000 to 95,000 rand (around $8,800) on the van and surfboards and spoke to the clinic,” says Stolk. “I did not want it to be a surf school.

Latin America

In Mexico, Casita Linda is building hope

With the help of Rhode Island School of Design students, American expats and other volunteers are helping to house the poorest of the poor in San Miguel de Allende.

By Jeff Spurrier

November 29, 2008


Reporting from San Miguel De Allende, Mexico — Just a few miles from multimillion-dollar homes in this central Mexican resort town, the countryside yields to dirt-floor lean-tos made of sticks, rocks, cardboard, blankets or tarps. If residents are lucky, they have a panel of sheet metal as the roof. Out here in the campo, most have no running water, no electricity, no sewer system, no paved roads. These people — some of about 20 million Mexicans who live in extreme poverty — hold title to small plots that average about 650 square feet, thanks to land reform policies initiated in 1934, but they have little money to build.

This weekend, however, a few of these families can be thankful for this: new houses designed by American architecture students and built for less than $7,000 apiece using local materials and volunteer labor. The project is called Casita Linda, a small organization similar to Habitat for Humanity made up of foreign retirees, average age 60, few of whom have experience in construction. Their goal: to help the local poorest of the poor, mainly single mothers, by “building hope, one house at a time.”

1 comment

    • RiaD on November 29, 2008 at 3:04 pm

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