Docudharma Times Sunday February 15

What’s More Important?

Party Or Country?

For Republicans Party Comes First  

Sunday’s Headlines:

Finding foreign fugitives on the streets of L.A.

Power sharing in Zimbabwe threatened by five-man cabal

Found: Robert Mugabe’s secret bolthole in the Far East

Trapped Sri Lankans ‘dying in makeshift hospital’

Australian fires: Return to Marysville

Israel: Land of the toxic kingmaker

Palestinian Campus Looks to East Bank (of Hudson)

From the archive: Poland’s communists cave in to Solidarity

Anne Frank guardian reaches 100

Despite Feats, President of Bolivia Stirs Fierce Debate

Inquiry on Graft in Iraq Focuses on U.S. Officers


Published: February 14, 2009

Federal authorities examining the early, chaotic days of the $125 billion American-led effort to rebuild Iraq have significantly broadened their inquiry to include senior American military officers who oversaw the program, according to interviews with senior government officials and court documents.

Court records show that last month investigators subpoenaed the personal bank records of Col. Anthony B. Bell, who is now retired from the Army but who was in charge of reconstruction contracting in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 when the small operation grew into a frenzied attempt to remake the country’s broken infrastructure. In addition, investigators are examining the activities of Lt. Col. Ronald W. Hirtle of the Air Force, who was a senior contracting officer in Baghdad in 2004, according to two federal officials involved in the inquiry.

Global warming ‘underestimated’

The severity of global warming over the next century will be much worse than previously believed, a leading climate scientist has warned.


Professor Chris Field, an author of a 2007 landmark report on climate change, said future temperatures “will be beyond anything” predicted.

Prof Field said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had underestimated the rate of change.

He said warming is likely to cause more environmental damage than forecast.

Speaking at the American Science conference in Chicago, Prof Field said fresh data showed greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2007 increased far more rapidly than expected.

“We are basically looking now at a future climate that is beyond anything that we’ve considered seriously in climate policy,” he said.

Prof Field said the 2007 report, which predicted temperature rises between 1.1C and 6.4C over the next century, seriously underestimated the scale of the problem.



Geithner Takes Plan To Global Leaders

Secretary Reassures Counterparts About U.S. Rescue Strategy

By David Cho

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, February 15, 2009; Page A01

ROME, Feb. 14 — Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner laid out the Obama administration’s financial rescue program for his international counterparts Saturday in an effort to rally a vigorous global response to the worsening crisis and reassured the world’s leading economies that the U.S. plan is more developed than the outline he unveiled publicly last week, officials said.

Senior finance officials from the world’s leading nations spent much of a six-hour meeting discussing how to deal with the problem at the heart of the financial crisis: the toxic assets backed by failing loans that are clogging banks’ books, according to two senior officials at the meeting, which was closed to the news media.

Finding foreign fugitives on the streets of L.A.

Suspected criminals often hide in plain sight, starting new lives in diverse Southern California. Immigration officers, police and U.S. marshals join forces to catch them.

By Anna Gorman

February 15, 2009

Before sunrise at an underground parking garage in Los Angeles, Rafael Lugo briefed more than a dozen officers about the day’s target: Guatemalan. Skinny. Five feet 10 at most. Likely wearing a blue sweat shirt and a black ball cap.

The man, Oliverio Grijalva Carrillo, was suspected of fatally shooting a man in a Guatemalan bar in September before fleeing to the U.S.

“He loves to fight,” Lugo said in a brusque New York accent. “That’s the word out on the street.”

“Does he speak English?” someone asked.

Lugo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, answered with a smile, “I haven’t talked to him yet.”

If all went as planned that Friday morning, Grijalva would be arrested at the doughnut shop where he waited for a ride to work and soon would be sent back to Guatemala. There, law enforcement officials would be waiting to welcome him home.


Power sharing in Zimbabwe threatened by five-man cabal

The country’s most influential men are already plotting the downfall of the new government, reports Alex Duval Smith, Africa Correspondent

 Alex Duval Smith

The Observer, Sunday 15 February 2009

A powerful five-man cabal is orchestrating a campaign of political abductions and disruption aimed at bringing a swift end to prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s power-sharing government, according to senior diplomats in the country.

The chaotic first days of the new administration, in which cabinet posts are shared between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, culminated in the arrest on Friday of the MDC deputy agriculture minister Roy Bennett, which happened as the cabinet was being sworn in at State House.

Bennett has now been charged with treason, reportedly in relation to an alleged 2006 plot to overthrow Mugabe.

Found: Robert Mugabe’s secret bolthole in the Far East

 From The Sunday Times

February 15, 2009

Jon Swain, Bangkok and Michael Sheridan, Hong Kong

ZIMBABWE’S President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace have secretly bought a £4m bolt-hole in the Far East while his country struggles with hyper-inflation, mass unemployment and a cholera epidemic.

The Mugabes’ house, in an exclusive residential complex in Hong Kong, was purchased on their behalf by a middleman through a shadowy company whose registered office is in a run-down tenement block. When a reporter and a photographer called at the house last week, they were attacked by the Zimbabwean occupants. The assailants were questioned by the police.

The property came to light during a Sunday Times investigation into the Mugabes’ financial interests in Asia, where a web of associates has helped them to spend lavishly on luxuries and stash away millions in bank accounts


Trapped Sri Lankans ‘dying in makeshift hospital’

 Doctors treating refugees injured in intense fighting plead for evacuations and medical aid

Gethin Chamberlain in Delhi

The Observer, Sunday 15 February 2009

Doctors say wounded Sri Lankan civilians are dying for want of proper medical treatment as they lie trapped in a makeshift hospital in the last rebel-held pocket in the north-east of the island.

This weekend, hundreds of injured civilians poured in to the improvised medical facility in Putumattalan village, which has been repeatedly targeted by artillery. Earlier in the week 16 patients were killed in shelling.

Both government forces and Tamil Tiger separatists have been accused of war crimes during the conflict, although confirmation is impossible because independent journalists are banned from the conflict zone. Yesterday the Sri Lankan military said a suspected Tamil Tiger threw a grenade into a bus carrying civilians trying to escape, killing one woman and injuring another 13 people.

Australian fires: Return to Marysville

Up to one in five residents died in a village at the centre of the bushfires in Victoria. Yesterday, the survivors went back. Kathy Marks reports

Sunday, 15 February 2009

It was the journey home that they fervently desired, yet dreaded. Exactly a week after the Victorian bushfires obliterated the picturesque village of Marysville, survivors were allowed back to view the destruction yesterday – and one of the first sights to greet them in the desolate streets was a refrigerated truck being used as a morgue.

Marysville, a mountain resort north-east of Melbourne, popular with honeymooners and nature lovers, is at the centre of Victoria’s “Black Saturday” conflagration. Police are still retrieving bodies from the ruins of houses, but they believe that up to 100 residents – one in five of the population – perished when a fireball roared through.

Middle East?

Israel: Land of the toxic kingmaker

The controversial right-wing politician Avigdor Lieberman holds the balance of power after Israel’s election last week. Donald Macintyre visits his West Bank home of Nokdim

Sunday, 15 February 2009

After some hesitation, Debbie Weinglass, a Jewish West Bank settler, finally decided not to vote for her neighbour, Avigdor Lieberman. She was worried he might tilt a little too far to the left.

To be fair, Mrs Weinglass doesn’t put it quite like that. Instead, she says she was worried that Mr Lieberman, despite being routinely described as a neo-fascist by his more vociferous Arab and left-wing Israeli opponents, might deliver power to the centrist Kadima leader, Tzipi Livni, by joining her, rather than Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, in a coalition. So she voted for the National Union, committed to a greater Israel stretching all the way from the Mediterranean to the Jordan river.

Palestinian Campus Looks to East Bank (of Hudson)


Published: February 14, 2009

JERUSALEM – It would be hard to find two institutions of higher learning that seem more different than Bard College, an upscale, bucolic college in Dutchess County, N.Y., and Al Quds University, a struggling, sprawling Palestinian institution in and near this disputed capital.

Yet the two schools have decided to join forces in an unusual venture aimed at injecting American educational values and expertise into Palestinian society, in hopes of contributing to a future democratic State of Palestine. Although the effort has been many months in the planning, those involved say the recent war in Gaza and a political turn rightward in Israel make it more important and urgent


From the archive: Poland’s communists cave in to Solidarity

August 31, 1980: Lech Walesa forces the Soviet regime to allow the first free unions

From The Sunday Times

February 15, 2009 Michael Dobbs in Gdansk

POLAND set an important historical precedent yesterday by becoming the first Soviet-bloc country formally to recognise an effective and independent trade union movement. This paves the way for an end to a crippling wave of strikes.

The agreement to set up independent trade unions was initialled by the strike leaders and by a government commission established to investigate workers’ grievances. It followed negotiations lasting more than two weeks, during which time strikes have spread across much of northern and western Poland.

In addition to conceding “independent self-governing trade unions”, the government agreed that strikers should receive full pay for the period of the strike, that there should be no harassment of strike leaders and that censorship regulations should be modified.

Anne Frank guardian reaches 100

The last surviving member of the small group who helped hide the Dutch Jewish girl Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis has turned 100 years old.


Miep Gies will celebrate her birthday on Sunday quietly with relatives and friends, she said this week.

She said she was not deserving of the attention, and that others had done far more to protect the Netherlands’ Jews.

She paid tribute to “unnamed heroes”, picking out her husband Jan for his courageous defiance of the Nazis.

“He was a resistance man who said nothing but did a lot. During the war he refused to say anything about his work, only that he might not come back one night. People like him existed in thousands but were never heard,” Miep Gies said in an email to the Associated Press this week.


Mrs Gies was an employee of Anne Frank’s father, Otto, who kept them and six others supplied during their two years in hiding in an attic in Amsterdam from 1942 to 1944.

Latin America

Despite Feats, President of Bolivia Stirs Fierce Debate

By Joshua Partlow

Washington Post Foreign Service

Sunday, February 15, 2009; Page A01

ACHACACHI, Bolivia — The barefoot teen in the potato field acknowledged that his family of 12 still had nearly no money.

They live the way they have always lived. They still work the earth with wood-handled tools six days a week to grow their own food. They sell a pig or a sheep occasionally at the market but rarely leave their cluster of mud-brick homes next to the lone dirt road along the marshy shores of Lake Titicaca.

But under President Evo Morales, said 18-year-old Freddy Callisaya Mamani, something feels different about being an Indian in Bolivia.

1 comment

    • kj on February 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm


    the first thing i do when opening the site is look to the right to see the Recommended Essays.  now, i see Bush/Cheney’s face!  and ADS!  

    it’s harshing the buzz considerably.   please, please, please reconsider this style change.

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