Docudharma Times Saturday July 4

Sunday’s Headlines:

A life in ruins

Iraqi Seizes the Chance to Make War Profitable

‘Lost boy’ who fled Sudan tells of his 4,000-mile trek

Gadaffi rocked by talk of affair with African queen

5,000 days in captivity: The world’s most famous political prisoner and a dismal landmark

Afghan-Pakistani Hostility Impedes U.S. Troops

Mafia looking to get a grip on Milan catwalk

Obama to embark on fence-mending trip to Russia

Americas group suspends Honduras

Supreme Court leaned right on many issues this term

But the divided justices began shifting from the Bush administration’s hands-off approach to business, clearing the way for more consumer lawsuits. Sotomayor could change the direction more next term.

By David G. Savage

July 5, 2009

Reporting from Washington — The Supreme Court, now the lone branch of government dominated by Republican appointees, continued this year to lean to the right on matters of race, crime, the environment and campaign funding.

But the just-completed term, which began amid last fall’s collapse on Wall Street, also saw a tilt to the left and away from the George W. Bush administration’s hands-off policy toward business. Reversing the recent trend, the justices this year cleared the way for consumer-driven lawsuits against banks and the makers of drugs and cigarettes.Overall, the court remained closely divided in a year in which neither the conservative nor liberal bloc could claim major wins. Now the justices will be on recess for two months, while the Senate decides whether to approve President Obama’s first nominee to the court.

Leading Clerics Defy Ayatollah on Disputed Iran Election


Published: July 4, 2009

CAIRO – The most important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult – if not impossible.


Foot-shooting season opens in Alaska

Stephen Foley reports on Sarah Palin’s announcement that she is quitting as her home state’s governor

Sunday, 5 July 2009

About the only thing political junkies were able to agree on, after Sarah Palin’s bombshell announcement that she is quitting as governor of Alaska, was that anticipation of her memoirs next year just went through the roof.

The fast-emerging view of Republican Party operatives and commentators – including some of those that have championed her national career since before the beginning – was that Palin just shot her political moose, completing one of the most spectacular flameouts in the modern era.

Some of her staunchest supporters argued that her resignation, 18 months before the end of her term, frees her to pursue a 2012 presidential bid, but they appeared to be speaking more out of hope than expectation.

Middle East  

A life in ruins

In the immediate aftermath of Israel’s bloody three-week war with Hamas in January, Peter Beaumont travelled to Gaza and met the Palestinians devasted by the death of their families and the destruction of their neighbourhoods. Six months later he returns to find they are still waiting – to rebuild both their homes and their lives

Peter Beaumont

The Observer, Sunday 5 July 2009

The force of the explosion that destroyed Shifa Salman’s house in the northern Gaza district of Jabal al-Rayas folded floor into floor as easily as pastry. It pushed pillars through concrete, reconfiguring her home into a bristling dome. The tail-fin of one of the Israeli bombs responsible still sits on top of the rubble, innocuous as a child’s discarded toy. These days, pigeons and sparrows nest in the cave-like space carved out by the detonation inside the ruins where mattresses and bags of flour are stored, the latter stencilled with the initials of the World Food Programme. Sleek, aggressive cockerels patrol the floor, flying at intruders.

Six months after Israel’s war against Gaza, Shifa, a 20-year-old student, sleeps with her family behind the fallen house. A trodden path leads through the rubble to a row of cramped, ramshackle shelters open to the elements and roofed with hessian sacks. They are identical to the cattle pens that stand beside them.

Iraqi Seizes the Chance to Make War Profitable


Published: July 4, 2009

BAGHDAD – For most Iraqis, life after the American invasion has been a tale of loss: loss of loved ones, loss of property, loss of dignity, loss of security.

But not for Araz M. Mohsin.

A baker scraping by when American tanks rolled into Baghdad, Mr. Mohsin recently spent $50,000 to throw a one-night bacchanal at the exclusive Hunting Club here. When guests visit his second home, in Baghdad, he proudly shows off the two peacocks he imported from Dubai, to join a menagerie of exotic birds that he sometimes gives away to friends.

“I have four cars,” he said proudly. “The Land Cruiser cost $80,000.”


‘Lost boy’ who fled Sudan tells of his 4,000-mile trek

South Africa has been gripped by the story of Aher Arop Bol, a young refugee who now sells sweets and cigarettes from a stall while he studies to be a lawyer

Alex Duval Smith

The Observer, Sunday 5 July 2009

By the age of 18 he had travelled more than 4,000 miles, crossing eight African borders without a passport – a lone boy living on his wits and depending on the kindness of strangers.

Now Aher Arop Bol sells sweets and cigarettes under a railway bridge in the South African capital, Pretoria, but his adventure is not over. He has just become one of the most extraordinary authors in the history of African literature.

Arop Bol has shared his story in a unique memoir, The Lost Boy (published by Kwela Books), which offers a rare insight into the life of a child on the run from war.

Gadaffi rocked by talk of affair with African queen

From The Sunday Times

July 5, 2009

 Jon Swain

As Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, the leader of Libya, hosted an African Union summit last week, his name was romantically linked in a court case with the queen mother of an ancestral Ugandan kingdom.

Two editors of a Ugandan daily newspaper are being prosecuted for alleging that he is having an affair with her.

The Libyan ambassador, who initially brought the case seeking £245m in damages, said in his affidavit that the editors had launched an almost daily campaign to defame Gadaffi.

The Ugandan director of public prosecutions, which has taken over the case, accused the editors of defaming a foreign dignitary with intent to disturb peace and friendship between Uganda and Libya.


5,000 days in captivity: The world’s most famous political prisoner and a dismal landmark

Burma’s leaders hoped the world would forget about the detained opposition leader. But her influence and support are a potent threat to the military regime – and it refused the UN Secretary General permission to meet her last week

By Andrew Buncombe

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Today, like most days, Aung San Suu Kyi will sit and wait. She will spend the day with the two women she has been detained with since 2003. That she is being held in a “guesthouse” in the grounds of Rangoon’s Insein jail, as opposed to her lakeside house where she has spent the past six years, makes little difference; she has no television, radio or phone. But today is special, and for the most dismal of reasons. It is the 5,000th day of her incarceration.

Ms Suu Kyi is being held at the prison, having been charged with violating the terms of her house arrest after a mysterious American swam to her home and spent the night there. In truth, the only crime committed by the graceful opposition leader was to win an election two decades ago.

Afghan-Pakistani Hostility Impedes U.S. Troops

 By Greg Jaffe

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, July 5, 2009

ON THE AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN BORDER — Lt. Gabe Lamois’s mission sounded simple: Hike down the hill to the Pakistani Frontier Corps’ border post, inform the commander there that U.S. and Afghan troops were going to be moving through the area at 3 a.m., and hike back up the hill.

Before Lamois had even finished speaking, the Pakistani officer was shaking his head. “We have a lot of enemies here,” Lt. Ghulam Habib explained. His jittery troops might mistake the Americans for the Taliban and shoot them.

“How about 4 a.m.?” Lamois asked.

“Impossible; 7 a.m.,” Habib countered.


Mafia looking to get a grip on Milan catwalks

Wealthy, sophisticated and stylish, the residents of Milan have long subscribed to the notion that Italy is two countries that meet in the middle.

By Michael Day in Milan

Published: 9:00AM BST 05 Jul 2009

On one side is the rich, industrious north, with its booming fashion and finance houses – and on the other is the sun-kissed but undeveloped south, hamstrung by corruption and homeland of the Mafia.

Northern complacency is fast giving way to fear, however. Southern crime syndicates, and in particular the murderous Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, which has displaced Sicily’s Cosa Nostra as Italy’s biggest organised crime group, has the country’s rich industrial cities firmly in their sights.And the biggest prize of all, Milan, Europe’s capital of design, fashion and football, may have already succumbed.

Milan’s chief anti-Mafia judge, Alberto Nobili, has revealed in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph that 1,000 ‘Ndrangheta operatives and their collaborators are already in and around the city, flooding the streets with cocaine, muscling in on public works contracts, and investing some of the proceeds in the city’s famous fashion business.

Obama to embark on fence-mending trip to Russia

Barack Obama leaves Sunday for his fourth major international trip. He’ll hold extensive talks in Russia, attend the G8 summit in Italy, and visit Ghana. Iran, the financial crisis, and climate change top his agenda.

RUSSIA | 05.07.2009

The US president is due to arrive in Moscow on a visit to mend ties sorely tested by a series of political disputes and Russia’s brief war with Georgia last summer.

Obama is expected to sign a transit deal for US military goods through Russia to Afghanistan and ink a framework accord on replacing a key Cold War-era weapons treaty.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday said he was confident Obama’s visit to Moscow would open up new perspectives for US-Russia relations.

“We expect that concrete results will be reached at the summit which will open up new prospects for the development of our relations,” Medvedev said in a statement released by the Kremlin to mark US Independence Day.

“We expect that concrete results will be reached at the summit which will open up new prospects for the development of our relations,” Medvedev said in a statement released by the Kremlin to mark US Independence Day.

Latin America

Americas group suspends Honduras

The Organization of American States has suspended Honduras in protest at the ousting of President Manuel Zelaya.

The BBC Sunday, 5 July 2009

The rare decision was made at an emergency meeting of the 35-member group in Washington.

It comes ahead of Mr Zelaya’s expected return home on Sunday, accompanied by several Latin American leaders.

The new government has threatened to arrest him. The BBC’s Stephen Gibbs, in Honduras, says there are growing fears of violence.

“The clock definitely does seem to be counting down to what we are suspecting might be an extraordinary showdown,” our correspondent says.

The OAS approved suspending Honduras by 33 votes to zero, with Honduras itself not voting.

It was the first time the organisation had taken such a measure since Cuba was suspended in 1962, when it allied itself with the USSR.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

1 comment

    • RiaD on July 5, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    “lost boy” Arop Bol…..

    simply amazing what a human can do, endure…with little more than sheer determination. i hope he has sold enough books to get into law school…. amazing young man!

    thanks mishima!


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