Docudharma Times Monday October 27




Monday’s Headlines:

U.S. Considers Reining In ‘Too Big to Fail’ Institutions

Rainforest treaty ‘fatally flawed’

If you build a coverage mandate, will they come?

One man puts a dent in tax evasions

‘Iran is our friend,’ says Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Carnage in Baghdad as twin blasts strike city

Radovan Karadzic genocide trial begins at UN tribunal

Czech President Klaus still holding out over Lisbon treaty

Illegal logging responsible for loss of 10 million hectares in Indonesia

S Korea clone scientist convicted

Zimbabwe army and police chiefs face arrest over land grab by army officer

Ousting Guinea’s Brutal Junta

U.S. Considers Reining In ‘Too Big to Fail’ Institutions



By STEPHEN LABATON

Published: October 25, 2009


WASHINGTON – Congress and the Obama administration are about to take up one of the most fundamental issues stemming from the near collapse of the financial system last year – how to deal with institutions that are so big that the government has no choice but to rescue them when they get in trouble.

A senior administration official said on Sunday that after extensive consultations with Treasury Department officials, Representative Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, would introduce legislation as early as this week. The measure would make it easier for the government to seize control of troubled financial institutions, throw out management, wipe out the shareholders and change the terms of existing loans held by the institution.

Rainforest treaty ‘fatally flawed’

Climate summit loophole lets palm oil producers cull vital wilderness

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

Monday, 26 October 2009

A vital safeguard to protect the world’s rainforests from being cut down has been dropped from a global deforestation treaty due to be signed at the climate summit in Copenhagen in December.

Under proposals due to be ratified at the summit, countries which cut down rainforests and convert them to plantations of trees such as oil palms would still be able to classify the result as forest and could receive millions of dollars meant for preserving them. An earlier version of the text ruled out such a conversion but has been deleted, and the EU delegation – headed by Britain – has blocked its reinsertion.

USA

If you build a coverage mandate, will they come?



By Alec MacGillis

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, October 26, 2009


People are more likely to buckle their seat belt than follow the speed limit, even though the penalties for speeding are higher. They are more likely to go along with hotel efforts to reduce linen laundry if told that other guests are doing the same.

And the question of whether people will follow a government order that they carry health insurance — an issue that will help determine whether universal health care is a success or costly failure — will depend on more than the penalty they would pay for refusing, many economists say. This, they say, is the lesson of behavioral economics, a school of thought that holds that people do not necessarily make decisions out of well-reasoned self-interest. It is an approach that has gained a powerful foothold in the Obama White House.

One man puts a dent in tax evasions

Bradley Birkenfeld, who used to help wealthy Americans hide millions from the IRS for a Swiss bank, turned informant and triggered a crackdown on tax cheats.

By Stuart Pfeifer

October 26, 2009


Swiss banker Bradley Birkenfeld would do just about anything for the wealthy Americans who entrusted him with millions of dollars they wanted to hide from the Internal Revenue Service.

He’d help them set up phony companies to conceal their deposits. He’d give them credit cards to access their hidden cash. On one occasion, he converted a U.S. client’s money into diamonds, then smuggled the gems across the Atlantic in a toothpaste tube.

Those actions, detailed by Birkenfeld in court documents, were part of a coordinated — and illegal — effort by his employer at the time, Swiss banking giant UBS, to help wealthy U.S. clients evade taxes.

Middle East

‘Iran is our friend,’ says Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan

• We have no difficulty with Ahmadinejad – Erdogan

• Warning to Europe not to ignore Turkey’s strengths


Robert Tait in Istanbul

The Guardian, Monday 26 October 2009


With its stunning vistas and former Ottoman palaces, the banks of the Bosphorus – the strategic waterway that cuts Istanbul in half and divides Europe from Asia – may be the perfect place to distinguish friend from foe and establish where your country’s interests lie.

And sitting in his grandiose headquarters beside the strait, long the symbol of Turkey’s supposed role as bridge between east and west, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had little doubt about who was a friend and who wasn’t.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s radical president whose fiery rhetoric has made him a bête noire of the west? “There is no doubt he is our friend,” said Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister for the last six years. “As a friend so far we have very good relations and have had no difficulty at all.”

Carnage in Baghdad as twin blasts strike city

Suicide attacks herald new climate of fear ahead of elections

By Kim Sengupta, Defence Correspondent

Monday, 26 October 2009

Devastating twin car bombings wreaked carnage in the heart of Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 147 people and injuring 520 others in the deadliest attack in the country in two years.

The suicide bombers struck at the height of morning rush-hour, the first bomb targeting the justice ministry and the second, minutes later, a nearby provincial council building. Some of those killed and maimed were women with children, who had gone to the council to seek compensation for losses suffered in previous bombings and shootings.

Europe

Radovan Karadzic genocide trial begins at UN tribunal

• Ex-Bosnian Serb leader to face 11 war crimes charges

• Boycott threat could delay complex trial for months


Ian Traynor

The Guardian, Monday 26 October 2009


Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader seen as the mastermind of the worst ethnic pogroms in Europe in the post-war era, goes on trial today in what may be the last big case of the UN’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.

Arrested last year in Serbia under a false identity after 13 years as a fugitive, Karadzic has been indicted on two counts of genocide, the gravest charges possible, for allegedly overseeing the mass murder and deportation of tens of thousands of Bosnia’s Muslims in the north-west of the country in 1992 and at Srebrenica in the north-east in 1995.

He faces a further nine charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the 44-month Serbian siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, in 1992-95, and for taking more than 200 UN peacekeepers hostage in 1995 as an insurance policy against Nato bombing raids.

Czech President Klaus still holding out over Lisbon treaty

From The Times

October 26, 2009


David Charter

Václav Klaus, the Czech President, who is the last hurdle to full ratification of the Lisbon treaty, has made a final attempt to derail the agreement.

In a submission to the Czech constitutional court, which will decide tomorrow whether the treaty is compatible with the country’s constitution, Mr Klaus has suggested that it should be subject to a referendum.

The President, who is the only head of state yet to sign the treaty, attacked the EU notion of “shared sovereignty” as a contradiction that effectively means a loss of national control.

President Klaus made his written statement in support of a case against the treaty brought by 17 Czech senators, who have asked judges to rule that the agreement is unconstitutional because it transfers powers to Brussels.

Asia

Illegal logging responsible for loss of 10 million hectares in Indonesia  

By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent

 Monday, 26 October 2009

Lush tropical rainforest once covered almost all of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands between the Indian and Pacific oceans. And just half a century ago, 80 per cent remained. But since then, rampant logging and burning has destroyed nearly half that cover, and made the country the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouses gases after the US and China.

Indonesia still has one-tenth of the world’s remaining rainforests, a treasure trove of rare plant and animal species, including critically endangered tigers, elephants and orang-utans. However, it is destroying its forests faster than any other country, according to the Guinness Book of Records, with an average two million hectares disappearing every year, double the annual loss in the 1980s.

S Korea clone scientist convicted

A South Korean court has convicted the disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk of fraud over his stem cell research.

The BBC  Monday, 26 October 2009

He was given a two-year sentence suspended for three years.

The 56-year-old scientist’s work had raised hopes of finding cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

But his research was declared bogus in 2005, and he was put on trial the following year for embezzlement and accepting money under false pretences.

Hwang’s research made him a South Korean hero until revelations that it was false shocked the nation.

“He was guilty of fabrication,” the Seoul court said, adding that Hwang illegally diverted a portion of the money he received for research for his personal use.

Prosecutors had demanded a four-year prison term but instead the court suspended his two-year sentence, saying “he has shown he has truly repented for his crime”.

Africa

Zimbabwe army and police chiefs face arrest over land grab by army officer

From The Times

October 26, 2009


 Jan Raath in Harare

Zimbabwean courts are expected to order the arrest of the country’s defence and police chiefs this week in a key test of the judiciary’s ability to rein in marauding security forces.

The most senior High Court judge is likely to order the arrest of the army commander, Lieutenant-General Philip Sibanda, and the police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, for contempt of court after they failed to discipline an army officer who seized a white farmer’s land.

In a country where many now doubt even President Mugabe’s control over elements of the security forces, the order is unlikely to be obeyed.

Ousting Guinea’s Brutal Junta

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

By RICKEN PATEL

Published: October 25, 2009


One month ago over 150 people were gunned down by soldiers in the West Africa country of Guinea. Women were raped on the streets, and opposition leaders were locked up. This was the response of a brutal military junta to a group of brave citizens who dared to hold a peaceful pro-democracy rally.

On Monday, E.U. foreign ministers will meet in Luxembourg to consider targeted sanctions on this military regime. There are several reasons why this is the right thing to do.

First, sanctions will send a strong message that the E.U. rejects the brutal repression of citizens, wherever they are in the world. It will make clear that the E.U. strongly opposes regimes that practice sexual violence as a tool of repression.

1 comment

    • RiaD on October 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    ♥~

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