Docudharma Times Friday October 2

Friday’s Headlines:

Before the Station fire, a cost-cutting memo

Revealed: millions spent by lobby firms fighting Obama health reforms

The EU’s awkward mission in Kosovo

Writer flees after backing ‘anti-Soviet’ kebab shop

Iran ducks out of nuclear confrontation with West

Ultra-Orthodox Jews accused of fight to keep ‘Jews for Jesus’ out

Sumatra death toll rises to 1,100

‘Jurassic treasure trove’ of eggs could reveal why dinosaurs died out

Honduras: censored Radio Globo quadruples listeners by going online

White House Eyeing Narrower War Effort

Top Officials Challenge General’s Assessment

By Scott Wilson and Anne E. Kornblut

Washington Post Staff Writers

Friday, October 2, 2009

Senior White House officials have begun to make the case for a policy shift in Afghanistan that would send few, if any, new combat troops to the country and instead focus on faster military training of Afghan forces, continued assassinations of al-Qaeda leaders and support for the government of neighboring Pakistan in its fight against the Taliban.

In a three-hour meeting Wednesday at the White House, senior advisers challenged some of the key assumptions in Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s blunt assessment of the nearly eight-year-old war, which President Obama has said is being fought to destroy al-Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan and the ungoverned border areas of Pakistan.

Herschel scans hidden Milky Way

A remarkable view of our Galaxy has been obtained by Europe’s billion-euro Herschel Space Observatory.

By Jonathan Amos

Science reporter, BBC News

The telescope was put in a special scanning mode to map a patch of sky.

The images reveal in exquisite detail the dense, contorted clouds of cold gas that are collapsing in on themselves to form new stars.

Herschel, which has the largest mirror ever put on an orbiting telescope, was launched in May as a flagship mission of the European Space Agency.

It is tuned to see far-infrared wavelengths of light and is expected to give astronomers significant insights into some of the fundamental processes that shape the cosmos.

Herschel’s great advantage is that its sensitivity allows it to see things that are beyond the vision of other space telescopes, such as Hubble.

A prime goal is to understand the mechanisms that control the earliest phases of stellar evolution.


The EU’s awkward mission in Kosovo

Eulex has a difficult, ambiguous role. Faced with violence, it must assert its authority without imposing solutions to ethnic tensions

Ian Bancroft, Friday 2 October 2009 08.00 BST

A string of recent incidents have underscored the shortcomings of the EU’s rule of law mission in Kosovo (Eulex) with respect to the contentious issue of Kosovo’s status. While ethnic Serbs and Albanians in the Brdjani neighbourhood of northern Mitrovica again clashed over the controversial and provocative issue of housing reconstruction, members of the ethnic Albanian movement, Vetevendosje (Self-Determination), opposed to the recently announced protocol on co-operation between Eulex and Serbia’s interior ministry, damaged around 28 vehicles belonging to the mission. The nature of these events provides a telling insight into the challenges facing Eulex in successfully fulfilling its mandate.

The protocol on police co-operation between Eulex and Serbia’s interior ministry is primarily concerned with the exchange of information relevant to the fight against corruption, organised crime, arms smuggling and other illicit trade. Coming at a sensitive time for matters relating to the administrative boundary line, particularly following a spate of attacks in southern Serbia, and war crimes investigations, the protocol constitutes an important and constructive step towards strengthening the rule of law in Kosovo.

Writer flees after backing ‘anti-Soviet’ kebab shop

Nationalist youth group protests outside home of former dissident

By Shaun Walker in Moscow

Friday, 2 October 2009

A row that started with a joke about an “anti-Soviet” kebab shop has spiralled into a full-scale intimidation case in which a Russian journalist has been forced into hiding by young nationalists.

Alexander Podrabinek, the Russia correspondent for a French radio station and a veteran Soviet-era dissident, had his home picketed and was threatened with legal action by a pro-Kremlin youth group after he wrote an article criticising the censorship of the name of a restaurant in a northern suburb of Moscow. He claims he and his family have also received death threats from the youth group, called Nashi.

The dispute began when a kebab take-away that was always jokingly referred to as the “anti-Soviet”, principally because it sits opposite the Soviet Hotel, tried to formalise the nickname with a new sign. City officials were unimpressed, however, saying the name was insulting to Russian veterans of the Second World War.

Middle East

Iran ducks out of nuclear confrontation with West

Groundbreaking talks lead to inspection of plants and deal on processing of uranium

By Katherine Butler, Foreign Editor, in Geneva

Friday, 2 October 2009

Iran appeared to pull back from confrontation with the West over its nuclear programme last night, agreeing to admit inspectors to a newly revealed nuclear plant and to surrender some of its enriched uranium to be processed abroad, a concession which could delay or at least complicate its efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb.

The Islamic Republic made no immediate commitment halt its uranium enrichment programme but, in a step that buys Tehran a reprieve from harsh UN sanctions, signalled a readiness to engage in an intensive process of discussion with the West.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews accused of fight to keep ‘Jews for Jesus’ out

From The Times

October 2, 2009

Sheera Frenkel and Yonit Farrago in Jerusalem  

Israel is using an ultra-Orthodox group to crack down on Messianic Jews – who believe that Jesus is the Messiah – and prevent them from staying in the country, officials have told The Times.

The Messianic Jews have been accused of Christian missionary activities and complain of harassment and intimidation by the state.

An official at the Interior Ministry said that an anti-assimilation group called Yad L’Achim was working with the ministry to prevent Messianic Jews – known as Jews for Jesus – from being allowed to live in Israel, which they consider their spiritual home.

“There is a known history of Yad L’Achim working directly with the ministry. They play a distinct role in the ministry’s decision about citizenry,” the official said.


Sumatra death toll rises to 1,100

UN warns that full scale of quake disaster still unknown as many remain trapped under collapsed buildings

By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent

Friday, 2 October 2009

Eight small bodies had already been pulled from the wreckage of the Padang school, but Andriana’s 14-year-old daughter had not been found, dead or alive. As Andriana paced back and forth, watching police pick through the rubble, her dreadful limbo was mirrored across Padang, the Indonesian coastal city devastated by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake and hit again yesterday by another substantial tremor.

That large swathes of the city have been destroyed is clear, but with many people trapped under collapsed buildings, the full scale of the tragedy on Sumatra island has yet to emerge.

‘Jurassic treasure trove’ of eggs could reveal why dinosaurs died out

From The Times

October 2, 2009

 Jeremy Page in Delhi

Hundreds of fossilised dinosaur eggs have been found by scientists in southern India in what appears to be a giant 65million-year-old nesting area.

The discovery of the eggs in the southern state of Tamil Nadu could help to unravel the mystery of how dinosaurs became extinct.

A team of geologists from Periyar University in Tamil Nadu made the find by chance on September 12 while searching for a spot to excavate in the Cauvery river basin.

As they rested by a stream they spotted several spherical objects buried in the river bed near the village of Ariyalur – an area known for its dinosaur fossils since British enthusiasts discovered them there in the 1800s.

Latin America

Honduras: censored Radio Globo quadruples listeners by going online

The Honduran interim government shut down radio and TV stations that support ousted President Manuel Zelaya, but the internet helps them evade the ban.

By Sara Miller Llana | Staff writer

from the October 1, 2009 edition

TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS – It seemed like a typical day at Radio Globo in Tegucigalpa, which supports ousted Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya. The office bustled with reporters and assistants, and broadcasters took listeners’ calls on the nation’s political crisis. There was just one problem: the station was off the air.

The station and the television channel Cholusat Sur were both shut down by Honduras´ interim government as part of an emergency decree last weekend that put severe limits on civil liberties.

But Radio Globo is soldiering on by transmitting over the internet at a private home, the latest example of Latin American media using new technologies and social media to find a way around govermment censors. In Venezuela, opponents of President Hugo Chávez have used Facebook and Twitter to call for rallies against him – and blogs have created a space for alternative view points that have been stifled in the local press.

Radio Globo director David Romero says the station has over 400,000 listeners online, four times its regular following. “It is frustrating the government,” he says, laughing. “They can´t stop us.”

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1 comment

    • RiaD on October 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    gha! those poor people in sumatra….

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