New Protests in Western China After Deadly Clashes
By EDWARD WONG
Published: July 7, 2009
URUMQI, China – For a second successive day, rival protesters took to the streets here on Tuesday, defying Chinese government efforts to lock down this regional capital of 2.3 million people and other cities across its western desert region after bloody clashes between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese.
The fighting, which erupted Sunday evening, left at least 156 people dead and more than 1,000 injured, according to the state news agency.
Police fired tear gas on Tuesday at Han Chinese protesters armed with clubs, lead pipes, shovels and hoes, news reports said. Earlier, in an attempt to contain China’s worst ethnic violence in decades, the authorities imposed curfews, cut off cellphone and Internet services and sent armed police officers into neighborhoods.
7 U.S. troops in Afghanistan are killed
The daily death toll is the highest in months. Observers warn that Americans need to brace themselves for mounting casualties in the conflict as more U.S. troops enter it.
By Laura King and Julian E. Barnes
July 7, 2009
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Washington — As U.S. troops in Afghanistan suffered the largest one-day death toll in months Monday, military officials and experts warned Americans to brace for rising casualties as thousands of additional service members pour into the country to confront a resurgent Taliban.
So far this year, 95 American troops have died in Afghanistan, including seven on Monday, according to the independent website icasualties.org. At the current rate, 2009 would be the deadliest for the U.S. in more than seven years of fighting, surpassing the number killed last year, the military said.
Part of this is due to the Obama administration’s decision to scale back operations in Iraq to refocus on Afghanistan, and the military is in the process of sending 21,000 additional troops into the country. Officers insist that the new strategy will work — and indeed is already showing signs of promise. But, they cautioned, the arrival of more troops means more fighting and more U.S. deaths, at least in the short term.
Hospitals Reach Deal With Administration
$155 Billion in Health Savings Offered
By Ceci Connolly and Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The nation’s hospitals agreed last night to contribute $155 billion over 10 years toward the cost of insuring the 47 million Americans without health coverage, according to two industry sources.
The agreement that three hospital associations reached with White House officials and leaders of the Senate Finance Committee is the latest in a series of side deals that aim to reduce the cost of revamping the nation’s health-care system and to neutralize influential industries that have historically opposed such reforms.
U.S., Russia agree on framework to reduce nuclear arsenal
Presidents Obama and Dmitry Medvedev’s summit yields agreements on building closer cooperation on military and health issues. Russia will let the U.S. use its airspace in the Afghanistan war.
By Christi Parsons and Megan K. Stack
July 7, 2009
Reporting from Moscow — Stepping cautiously in their first summit meeting, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed Monday on a framework to reduce their nations’ nuclear arsenals and on steps to fight terrorism and cooperate on the war in Afghanistan.
The agreements had been expected as Obama kicked off a weeklong trip to Russia, the Group of 8 summit in Europe and Ghana. The two leaders also reached agreements to create closer cooperation between the militaries of the two countries, and to work together on the H1N1 virus, or swine flu.
Tokyo named as world’s most expensive city
London drops out of top 10 as Japanese cities top cost-of-living list
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 7 July 2009 00.00 BST
A falling pound and lower rents have pushed London sharply down the list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, according to the latest annual listing from the consultants Mercer.
London has dropped 13 places from last year to be the 16th most expensive city in the world.
“The decline of rental prices, coupled with the fall in the value of the British pound against the US dollar, have caused London to plummet in the rankings,” said Nathalie Constantin-Métral, a senior researcher at Mercer.
Tokyo has knocked Moscow off the top spot, while Osaka is in second position, up nine places since last year. Moscow has slipped to third place.
With Wounded Pride, Unemployed Koreans Quietly Turn to Manual Labor
By MARTIN FACKLER
Published: July 6, 2009
KUNGHANG, South Korea – With his clean white university sweatshirt and shiny cellphone, Lee Chang-shik looks the part of a manager at a condominium development company, the job that he held until last year’s financial panic – and the one he tells his friends and family he still holds.
But in fact, he leads a secret life. After his company went bankrupt late last year, he recently relocated to this remote fishing village to do the highest-paying work he could find in the current market: as a hand on a crab boat.
“I definitely don’t put crab fisherman on my résumé,” said Mr. Lee, 33, who makes the five-hour drive back to Seoul once a month to hunt for a desk job. “This work hurts my pride.”
Were Iraqis tortured and killed by our soldiers?
Five years after Tony Blair was informed of damaging evidence of abuse, Government finally agrees to inquiry into the alleged massacre of 20 civilians
By Robert Verkaik and Fionn Shiner
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Allegations that British soldiers murdered and mutilated 20 Iraqis are to be fully investigated after it emerged that ministers had attempted to warn Tony Blair about damaging evidence of the ill-treatment of battlefield prisoners five years ago.
The startling revelation in the High Court yesterday led to the Government withdrawing its objection to a judicial inquiry into the alleged massacre after the battle of “Danny Boy” involving British forces near Basra in May 2004.
Government lawyers now say that shortly afterwards, the Armed Forces Minister had written a draft confidential letter, addressed to No 10, which referred to complaints made by the International Committee of the Red Cross in connection with the alleged ill-treatment of detainees held by the army after the battle.
Joe Biden speech sparks fierce response from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
From The Times
July 7, 2009
The Iranian Supreme Leader, assailed by some of his country’s most prominent clerics and detested by millions of his ordinary citizens, has received a boost from an unlikely quarter: Joe Biden.
One day after the American Vice-President said that the US would not stop Israel bombing Iran’s nuclear plants , Ayatollah Khamenei launched a fierce attack on “meddling” Western leaders, designed to rally his fractured people.
“We warn the leaders of those countries trying to take advantage of the situation: beware. The Iranian nation will react,” the Ayatollah declared in a televised speech yesterday. “The leaders of arrogant countries, the nosey meddlers in the affairs of the Islamic Republic, must know that even if the Iranian people have their differences, when your enemies get involved, the people . . . will become a firm fist against you.”
Tent city that awaits the G8
The choice of L’Aquila to host this week’s summit of world leaders has highlighted Italy’s failure to help the victims of the quake
By Peter Popham
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Silvio Berlusconi switched the location of the G8 summit to the city of L’Aquila as a way of focusing world attention on Italy’s most disastrous earthquake for 30 years.
But as Hu Jintao, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, touched down in Rome yesterday, the first of 40 world leaders to arrive for the summit, residents were sceptical that the presence of so many grandees on their doorstop would do them much good.
More than 300 people died, 1,500 were injured and 70,000 made homeless by the quake that struck exactly three months ago.
Rubik Cube inventor devises new puzzle to drive us all to distraction
From The Times
July 7, 2009
His cube was one of the most popular and infuriating toys of all time. Now Professor Ernö Rubik is hoping that the sphere will bring sleepless nights to the world’s obsessive puzzlers.
The creator of Rubik’s Cube is back with his first new puzzle for almost 20 years and early indications are that it is going to be every bit as irritating as the original.
Rubik’s 360, which goes on sale next week, features six small balls inside three interlocking spheres. The task is to lock each ball into colour-coded capsules on the outermost sphere. Professor Rubik said of his cube that it was “easy to understand the task, but hard to work out the solution”. It is just as aggravating to crack the 360.
Was there a coup in Honduras? The answer divides a nation.
How one political party president tries to keep his organization from splintering.
By Sara Miller Llana | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the July 6, 2009 edition
TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS – Was it a coup – or not?
The answer to this question is a jagged new fault line that is tearing through Honduran political parties, government and social organizations, and families.
Congressman Jorge Aguilar, the president of the Innovation and Unity Party (PINU), finds himself straddling the divide, desperately trying to keep his political party from fracturing further.
On a recent morning, he interrupts an interview to take an urgent call: the executive director of the PINU party has just been on the air condemning the June 28 removal of President Manuel Zelaya as a “coup.”
Mr. Aguilar calls the radio program immediately, to clarify that the comments are not official party line, but one party member’s personal opinion.
PINU has two members in Congress and each – like many of the PINU voters – have lined up on the opposite side of this issue. And suddenly Aguilar, whose job once centered on campaigns and internal party affairs, is now more of a mediator, a buffer, and a damage controller.