Docudharma Times Sunday November 30

Never Accuse Hapazardly

As Peace Becomes Conflict    

Sunday’s Headlines:

Economic rescue could cost $8.5 trillion

Silver-Haired Shoplifters On the Rise In Japan

Bangkok chaos grows after grenade attack on opposition protesters

Cracks widen in Mugabe regime as soldiers riot over shortage of cash

More than 300 dead in Nigeria rioting

Iran executes IT expert who spied for Israel

Key clerics criticize new U.S.-Iraq security deal

Economic crisis top issue in Romanian elections

Swiss Vote on State-Supported Medical Heroin Program

No corking Uruguay’s emerging status as wine country

India Faces Reckoning as Terror Toll Eclipses 170


Published: November 29, 2008

MUMBAI, India – Death still hung over Mumbai on Sunday, as the Indian government reckoned with troubling questions about its ability to respond to escalating terror attacks.

The morning after the standoff ended at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, the official death toll remained 172. But the police said they were still waiting for the final figures of dead bodies pulled from the wreckage from the hotel, a 105-year-old landmark. Funerals were scheduled to continue throughout Sunday, for the second day in a row.

As an investigation moved forward, there were questions about whether Indian authorities could have anticipated the attack and had better security in place, especially after a 2007 report to Parliament that the country’s shores were inadequately protected from infiltration by sea – which is how the attackers sneaked into Mumbai.

Citizen Journalists Provide Glimpses Into Attacks


Published: November 29, 2008

From his terrace on Colaba Causeway in south Mumbai, Arun Shanbhag saw the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel burn. He saw ambulances leave the Nariman House. And he recorded every move on the Internet.

Mr. Shanbhag, who lives in Boston but happened to be in Mumbai when the attacks began on Wednesday, described the gunfire on his Twitter feed – the “thud, thud, thud” of shotguns and the short bursts of automatic weapons – and uploaded photos to his personal blog.

Mr. Shanbhag, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said he had not heard the term citizen journalism until Thursday, but now he knows that is exactly what he was doing. “I felt I had a responsibility to share my view with the outside world,” Mr. Shanbhag said in an e-mail message on Saturday morning.



Joint Chiefs Chairman ‘Very Positive’ After Meeting With Obama

By Karen DeYoung

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, November 30, 2008; Page A01

Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, went unarmed into his first meeting with the new commander in chief — no aides, no PowerPoint presentation, no briefing books. Summoned nine days ago to President-elect Barack Obama’s Chicago transition office, Mullen showed up with just a pad, a pen and a desire to take the measure of his incoming boss.

There was little talk of exiting Iraq or beefing up the U.S. force in Afghanistan; the one-on-one, 45-minute conversation ranged from the personal to the philosophical. Mullen came away with what he wanted: a view of the next president as a non-ideological pragmatist who was willing to both listen and lead.


Economic rescue could cost $8.5 trillion

Heavy spending to battle the financial crisis is unlikely to abate soon. Analysts say next year’s deficit could top $1 trillion.

By Jim Puzzanghera

November 30, 2008

Reporting from Washington — With its decision last week to pump an additional $1 trillion into the financial crisis, the government eliminated any doubt that the nation is on a wartime footing in the battle to shore up the economy. The strategy now — and in the coming Obama administration — is essentially the win-at-any-cost approach previously adopted only to wage a major war.

And that means no hesitation in pledging to spend previously almost unimaginable sums of money and running up federal budget deficits on a scale not seen since World War II.

Indeed, analysts warn that the nation’s next financial crisis could come from the staggering cost of battling the current one.

Just last week, new initiatives added $600 billion to lower mortgage rates, $200 billion to stimulate consumer loans and nearly $300 billion to steady Citigroup, the banking conglomerate


Silver-Haired Shoplifters On the Rise In Japan

By Blaine Harden

Washington Post Foreign Service

Sunday, November 30, 2008; Page A15

SAPPORO, Japan — Criminology is being stood on its head in fast-graying Japan.

Here on the cold northern island of Hokkaido, history was made in 2006 when total arrests of elderly people exceeded arrests of teenagers. The elderly accounted for 880 arrests, mostly for shoplifting, while teens were nabbed 642 times. Since then, elder crime has surged. For every two teenagers arrested on this island, police collared three people 65 and older.

The trend echoes across Japan, where crimes committed by the elderly are increasing at a far faster pace than the elderly population itself.

Bangkok chaos grows after grenade attack on opposition protesters

Ian MacKinnon in Bangkok, Sunday November 30 2008 00.01 GMT

Thailand’s political crisis deepened last night when its opposition leader blamed government supporters for a grenade attack that wounded 46 pro-democracy protesters.

Suriyasai Katasila, leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), accused followers of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat of hurling the device into a crowd of PAD activists who have been occupying the premier’s offices at Government House.

‘I had come down from the stage about 30 minutes before the grenade dropped into a crowded area’, said Suriyasai. Television footage showed victims of the blast being taken to hospital; at least two have serious injuries.


Cracks widen in Mugabe regime as soldiers riot over shortage of cash

Alex Duval Smith, Africa correspondent, Sunday November 30 2008 00.01 GMT

In a significant setback to Robert Mugabe’s regime, uniformed soldiers have for the first time rioted in the centre of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, after trying to withdraw cash from a bank that had run out of money.

Emerging details of the riots will embolden Zimbabweans ahead of protests planned for Wednesday by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions against a government policy that stops people from drawing more than 500,000 Zimbabwe dollars (18p) from banks per day. The rioting marks the first time the low morale of the rank-and-file has exploded into public violence.

Witnesses said about 70 soldiers, believed to be from Harare’s main KG6 barracks, turned violent after spending Thursday queuing at the main branch of the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group.

More than 300 dead in Nigeria rioting

The violence began as political clashes after a local election in the town of Jos.

Associated Press

November 30, 2008

Reporting from Jos, Nigeria — Mobs burned homes, churches and mosques Saturday in a second day of riots, as the death toll rose to more than 300 in the worst sectarian violence in Africa’s most populous nation in years.

Sheik Khalid Abubakar, the imam at the city’s main mosque, said more than 300 bodies were brought there Saturday and 183 more were outside the building, waiting for burial.

Those killed in the Christian community probably would not be taken to the mosque, raising the possibility that the death toll could be much higher. The city morgue wasn’t immediately accessible Saturday.

Police spokesman Bala Kassim said there were “many dead,” but couldn’t cite a number.

Middle East

Iran executes IT expert who spied for Israel

From The Sunday Times

November 30, 2008

Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv

A COMPUTER expert has been executed in Iran after he confessed to working for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service. This provides a rare insight into the intense espionage activity inside the Islamic republic.

Ali Ashtari, 43, a computer and hi-tech equipment buyer for Iran’s defence industry and nuclear programme, was hanged after admitting he worked for Israel. It is the first known conviction of an alleged Israeli agent in Iran for almost 10 years.

Ashtari was trusted by senior officials to travel overseas to buy the advanced computers and other electronic equipment needed for the regime’s nuclear programme, which is reported to have already produced enough enriched uranium to make an atomic bomb.

Key clerics criticize new U.S.-Iraq security deal>


 By Adam Ashton | McClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD – Influential religious leaders across Iraq are voicing reservations about a U.S.-Iraq security agreement that allows Americans to remain in the country for another three years.

Some are cautious in their criticisms. Others – ones who generally are tied to political parties that fought the pact – forcefully condemn the treaty.

Their comments filtered out Saturday as Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki met with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of multinational forces in Iraq, to plan for the treaty’s implementation.

The pact, which cleared Iraq’s parliament Thursday and sets a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, entails some major changes in authority between U.S. and Iraqi officials.


Economic crisis top issue in Romanian elections

By ALISON MUTLER, Associated Press Writer

BUCHAREST, Romania – Romanians fearful that the global economic crisis will bring layoffs and painful belt-tightening went to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament, a vote expected to deliver a rebuke to pro-Western leaders many see as out of touch.

Just a few weeks ago, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu suggested publicly that the nation of 22 million was somehow immune to the meltdown gripping the faltering world economy.

But a string of grim economic news stories punctured that optimism and has given the left-wing Social Democrats their best chance in years of winning this weekend’s elections. Tariceanu’s center-right Liberal Party has lagged far behind in recent polls with about 20 percent support.

Swiss Vote on State-Supported Medical Heroin Program

Swiss voters go to the polls this weekend for another referendum and are expected to pass a law allowing the state to continue to distribute heroin to “hard-core addicts.”


The program, which has been operative since the early 1990s, when the government shut down spots in major cities like Zurich where addicts used to gather to shoot up the drug, allows the state to give daily doses of heroin to people who had previously scored their hits on the streets.

Supporters of the plan, which allows heroin use under medical supervision and accompanied by therapy, say it allows addicts to reintegrate into society, stay off the streets and hold a job. They say it also helps reduce crime, as addicts no longer need to rob or steal to get money for their next dose.

From a public health point of view, the program reduces the spread of infections, like HIV, as the addicts get to take their drugs using clean needles supplied to them in a safe environment. It also minimizes fatal overdoses.

Latin America

No corking Uruguay’s emerging status as wine country

The Juanicó region, made up mostly of family-run vineyards, is gaining ground as a popular wine tourism destination.

By Claudia Capos

November 30, 2008

Reporting from Juanicó Village, Uruguay — Wind-tousled grapevines, marching in cornrow-straight lines and hung with pearl-like clusters of light-green fruit, stretch as far as the eye can see across gently rolling farmland near the village of Juanicó in the Canelones District. Flowering red rosebushes punctuate the ends of each row, and tiro-tiro birds, named for their unique call, nest on wooden fence posts. Stalwart pine trees shield the vines from unkind winds along the 34th southern parallel.

The Canelones District is home to the Juanicó wine region, just a 45-minute drive from the Río de la Plata, the broad, slow-moving river that flows between Argentina and its northern neighbor Uruguay.

Surprisingly, the Juanicó region is not part of Argentina, a well-known wine producer and exporter. It belongs to tiny Uruguay and serves as a gateway to the Wine Roads, a stretch of 15 bodegas where wine aficionados can stroll through vineyards, tour century-old cellars and sample fine wines and local cuisine.


  1. More than my ‘Kudo’s’ go to NDTV 24×7 Live

    Which along with the short sentences of Twitter etc. brought out How Journalism should be, the Free Lancing of the 24/7 reports, coming out of India, as those who watched online were Extraordinary Reporting!!

    Right now I’m watching, and listening, to First Hand Accounts from those who were trapped in the Hotels or were in the Train Station, they now have a TownHall style report going where the People are Speaking Freely on many Issues involved!!!!  

  2. where are the newspaper headlines “We’re all Indians today …”  How many Americans are truly feeling touched by the events in Mumbai and the other attacks in India?  Sadly, I think the percentage isn’t that high.

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