Docudharma Times Monday August 3




Monday’s Headlines:

Two Sides Take Health Care Debate Outside Washington

‘Cash for clunkers’ interest remains high even as funds dwindle

Iran supreme leader endorses Ahmadinejad second term

50 Palestinians evicted from Jerusalem homes

Three men to inspire Europe

Mozart’s father may have improved his young son’s improvisations

Refugees head home after army scatters the Taliban

India looks to the sun for ambitious surge in green power

New Detainee Site In U.S. Considered

Facility Would Contain Courtrooms, House Some Guantanamo Prisoners

By Peter Finn and Scott Wilson

Washington Post Staff Writers

Monday, August 3, 2009


The administration is considering whether to transfer some detainees at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a facility in the United States that would contain courtrooms to hold federal criminal trials and military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects, administration officials said Sunday.

The maximum-security facility would be jointly run by the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, with each assuming responsibility for different sets of inmates. Officials said such a facility could also house prisoners held in indefinite detention and those cleared for release but who have no country willing to accept them. Those convicted in federal court or military commissions could serve their terms there.

Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast

Catastrophic shortfalls threaten economic recovery, says world’s top energy economist

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Monday, 3 August 2009

The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.

Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.

In an interview with The Independent, Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.

But the first detailed assessment of more than 800 oil fields in the world, covering three quarters of global reserves, has found that most of the biggest fields have already peaked and that the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago. On top of this, there is a problem of chronic under-investment by oil-producing countries, a feature that is set to result in an “oil crunch” within the next five years which will jeopardise any hope of a recovery from the present global economic recession, he said.

USA

Two Sides Take Health Care Debate Outside Washington



By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

Published: August 2, 2009


WASHINGTON – With Republicans mobilizing against the proposed health care overhaul, President Obama, Congressional Democrats and leading advocacy groups are laying the groundwork for an August offensive against the insurance industry as part of a coordinated campaign to sell the public on the need for reform.

The effort will feature town-hall-style meetings by lawmakers and the president, including a swing through Western states by Mr. Obama, grass-roots lobbying efforts and a blitz of expensive television advertising. It is intended to drive home the message that revamping the health care system will protect consumers by ending unpopular insurance industry practices, like refusing patients with pre-existing conditions.

‘Cash for clunkers’ interest remains high even as funds dwindle

Car dealers, though frustrated by details of the car rebate program, rejoice amid crowds of customers. Monthly auto sales reports should indicate just how popular the program has been.

By Alana Semuels

August 3, 2009


Auto dealers found themselves in an unusual situation over the weekend: crowds of anxious buyers and a dwindling supply of cars.

The overwhelmingly popular $1-billion federal effort to stimulate auto sales gave dealers another busy weekend, capping nine days of activity they hadn’t seen in a long time. And the “cash for clunkers” program will continue for at least two more days.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Sunday that the federal government would continue reimbursing dealers through Tuesday as the Obama administration works with the Senate to provide an additional $2 billion for the Car Allowance Rebate System program, known as CARS. The House passed the measure Friday.

“We’re going to work very hard with the Senate on this,” LaHood said in an interview on C-SPAN. “Our commitment is to make sure that car buyers and dealers are reimbursed.”

Middle East

Iran supreme leader endorses Ahmadinejad second term

• Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be sworn in on Wednesday

• Khamenei approval comes seven weeks after election


Peter Walker

guardian.co.uk, Monday 3 August 2009 08.34 BST


Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, formally endorsed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s second term as president today, seven weeks after the bitterly disputed elections which prompted mass protests and deep divisions within the country’s elite.

Ahmadinejad, who according to official results took 63% of the votes cast in the 12 June, received Khameni’s approval this morning, state-owned al-Alam television reported, giving few details.

He will be sworn in by the country’s mainly conservative parliament on Wednesday, and will have a fortnight to submit his cabinet list to the legislature.

50 Palestinians evicted from Jerusalem homes

Israeli police then allowed Jewish settlers to move into the houses

Associated Press

JERUSALEM – Israeli police evicted two Palestinian families in east Jerusalem on Sunday, then allowed Jewish settlers to move into their homes, drawing criticism from Palestinians, the United Nations and the State Department.

Police arrived before dawn and cordoned off part of the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah before forcibly removing more than 50 people, said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the U.N. agency in charge of Palestinian refugees.

U.N. staff later saw vehicles bringing Jewish settlers to move into the homes, he said.

Europe

Three men to inspire Europe

Király, Kolakowski and Khrushschev can be seen as symbols of a new Europe of forgiveness between former opponents



Nina Khrushcheva

guardian.co.uk, Monday 3 August 2009 09.00 BST


My great-grandfather, Nikita Khrushchev, has been on my mind recently. I suppose it was the 50th anniversary of the so-called “kitchen debate” which he held with Richard Nixon that first triggered my memories. But the recent funeral in Budapest of General Béla Király, who commanded the Hungarian Revolution’s freedom fighters in 1956, and then the funeral in Warsaw of the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski, whose break with Stalinism that year inspired many intellectuals (in Poland and elsewhere) to abandon communism, made me reconsider my grandfather’s legacy.

The year 1956 was the best of times and the worst of times for Khrushchev. His “secret speech” that year laid bare the monumentality of Stalin’s crimes. Soon, the gulag was virtually emptied; a political thaw began, spurring whispers of freedom that could not be contained. In Poland and Hungary, in particular, an underground tide burst forth demanding change.

Mozart’s father may have improved his young son’s improvisations

 From The Times

August 3, 2009


Richard Morrison: Commentary

There has always been much doubt about how much of the child Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s composition was “his own unaided work”. There is no doubt that by the age of 11 or 12 the young Wolfgang had mastered the new Classical style of composition pioneered by Haydn.

The question has always been whether the extraordinarily polished pieces he allegedly wrote when he was 6 or 7 were entirely his own work, or whether Leopold, his father, an accomplished composer in his own right, gave his son a helping hand.

My instinct on hearing these “discoveries” is that their general outline could well have been improvised at the keyboard by a six-year-old as prodigiously gifted as Mozart.

Asia

Refugees head home after army scatters the Taliban

 Schools and shaving show normal life is returning to Swat Valley after reign of terror

By Omar Waraich in Mingora, Swat Valley  

 Monday, 3 August 2009

Two months after fleeing their picturesque corner of the Pakistani hills in terror, the residents of the Swat Valley are going home, and cautiously picking up their lives again.

Victims of a brutal campaign of beheadings, school burnings and extortion by the Taliban, two million of them fled as the Pakistan army launched a major offensive. But now they are going back and the relief is palpable.

“Before, the Taliban wouldn’t let us live,” says Azam Khan, 21, from the Charbagh area, standing amid a long convoy of vehicles waiting to enter the valley.

India looks to the sun for ambitious surge in green power

From The Times

August 3, 2009


Jeremy Page in Delhi

For centuries Hindus have revered the sun god, Surya, as a source of health and prosperity, building lavish temples and holding festivals in his honour across a country with more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Now India is putting its faith in the sun in a more literal sense by revealing what experts describe as the world’s most ambitious plan to develop solar energy over the next three or four decades.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

2 comments

    • RiaD on August 3, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    the mozart piece was interesting (^.^)

    YAY for India!!

    is it me, or is your whole list fairly hopeful?

  1. In a stark warning to Britain and the other Western powers, Dr Birol said…..

    “One day we will run out of oil, it is not today or tomorrow, but one day we will run out of oil and we have to leave oil before oil leaves us, and we have to prepare ourselves for that day,” Dr Birol said. “The earlier we start, the better, because all of our economic and social system is based on oil, so to change from that will take a lot of time and a lot of money and we should take this issue very seriously,” he said.  

    The IEA estimates that the decline in oil production in existing fields is now running at 6.7 per cent a year compared to the 3.7 per cent decline it had estimated in 2007, which it now acknowledges to be wrong.

    *Why is oil so important as an energy source?

    Crude oil has been critical for economic development and the smooth functioning of almost every aspect of society. Agriculture and food production is heavily dependent on oil for fuel and fertilisers. In the US, for instance, it takes the direct and indirect use of about six barrels of oil to raise one beef steer. It is the basis of most transport systems. Oil is also crucial to the drugs and chemicals industries and is a strategic asset for the military.

    ….

    *What is “peak oil” and when will it be reached?

    This is the point when the maximum rate at which oil is extracted reaches a peak because of technical and geological constraints, with global production going into decline from then on. The UK Government, along with many other governments, has believed that peak oil will not occur until well into the 21st Century, at least not until after 2030. The International Energy Agency believes peak oil will come perhaps by 2020. But it also believes that we are heading for an even earlier “oil crunch” because demand after 2010 is likely to exceed dwindling supplies.

    Then there is The Oil Drum:

    World oil production (EIA Monthly) for crude oil + NGL. The median forecast is calculated from 15 models that are predicting a peak before 2020 (Bakhtiari, Smith, Staniford, Loglets, Shock model, GBM, ASPO-[70,58,45], Robelius Low/High, HSM, Duncan & Youngquist). 95% of the predictions sees a production peak between 2008 and 2010 at 77.5 – 85.0 mbpd (The 95% forecast variability area in yellow is computed using a bootstrap technique). The magenta area is the 95% confidence interval for the population-based model.

    The all liquid peak is now July 2008 at 86.65 mbpd, the year to date average production value in 2009 (3 months) is down from 2008 for all the categories. The peak date  for Crude Oil + Cond. is also July 2008 at 74.80 mbpd (see Table I below).

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