For Presidency in Search of Success, Nobel Adds a Twist
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: October 9, 2009
WASHINGTON – President Obama is given to big events at big moments, replete with stirring speeches, lofty backdrops and stadium-size crowds.But when Mr. Obama walked into the Rose Garden on Friday morning, having just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – an honor that would normally be a moment of high celebration, if not the culmination of a life’s work – he was humble and self-deprecatory, popping a hole in the balloon of his own accomplishment. He talked about being congratulated by his daughter Malia, who proceeded to remind him that it was the family dog’s birthday, and he suggested that he was undeserving of the award.
How world views Obama Nobel Peace Prize
President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is praised in many countries as a reflection of a “new hope” in world politics, but others worry it came too soon. A global roundup of views.
By Robert Marquand | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
BERLIN – Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama only nine months into his term brought surprise and delight in many parts of the world – for those who see it as a broad marker of hope and future global harmony at a time when wars and rumors of wars are deeply troubling.
But the Norwegian Nobel committee announcement Friday brought ample doses of befuddlement and skepticism among officials used to years of hard work to end conflict. Absent a significant peace deal, they worry, awarding the prize to a new president is premature, or could backfire by creating unreasonable expectations of the White House.
The Nobel committee said the award was for Obama’s efforts to bring “a new climate in international politics,” for which the American leader is “the world’s leading spokesman.”
Health-Care Bill May Not Get Single GOP Vote in the House
By Ben Pershing
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The House is inching closer to voting on a comprehensive health-care bill, even as the chamber appears so divided that the measure may not attract a single Republican supporter.
The final vote, likely in late October, is impossible to predict, but lawmakers and aides from both parties said this week that there is a strong chance the GOP will be unanimous in its opposition. Such a result would mark the second time — the first came on the economic stimulus package in February — that the entire House minority rejected one of President Obama’s top domestic initiatives.
Oregon dam’s demise lets the Rogue River run
Savage Rapids Dam, the cause of fights and lawsuits for years, is finally torn away, as across the U.S. the era of dam-building of the early 20th century has given way to a new era of dam breaching.
By Kim Murphy
October 10, 2009
Reporting from Grants Pass, Ore. – For years, the water stored by the Savage Rapids Dam has nurtured the green bean fields and grazing pastures of southern Oregon, turning them into a lush region of bounty.
But there has been a price: the death of thousands of fish, which slammed themselves into the concrete wall of the dam in a futile effort to head upstream.
Those scenes from years past now resemble a faded sepia-tone photograph. Many of the big farms have turned into 10-acre hobby ranches; the salmon are in danger of disappearing; and even the federal Bureau of Reclamation, the agency that harnessed rivers and irrigated the West, began saying a few years ago that it would be better to just tear down the dam once and for all.
The art of protest in Iran
From cartoons of potatoes to boycotts of Nokia, Iranian political dissent is finding endlessly creative expression
Saeed Kamali Dehghan
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 10 October 2009 09.00 BST
Despite a government crackdown on public dissent since the June election, Iranians have continued to find creative and unprecedented ways to protest when they can’t demonstrate on the streets any more.
In fact, some of the protests are so subtle that you might not notice them at all – unless you’re Iranian and know the background. Take the colour green, for instance. Normally it has no particular significance but during the election it was the colour used by presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.
For the first week after the disputed election, protesters still could go out in green. Lots of green banners were made and green wristbands were worn.
Yemen child soldier tells of his hatred for al-Houthi rebels
From The Times
October 10, 2009
Most Yemeni boys carry a traditional dagger but Jubran Yahya Mohamed gave his up in favour of something more deadly.
“I had a Kalashnikov,” he says.
Jubran, who thinks he is 14 but looks a lot younger, has spent the past few months as a fighter for the Government in the civil war against the al-Houthi rebels. Now the former child soldier is a refugee. With both parents dead, he lives in the squalid al-Mazrak refugee camp near the Saudi border.
The boom of bombs and mortars can still be heard in the distance. “I don’t feel safe in the night. I always feel like a Houthi will be coming to get me,” says Jubran.
Silvio Berlusconi: I am inferior to no one in history
John Hooper in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 10 October 2009
As Silvio Berlusconi yesterday tried to shore up his position by declaring himself irreplaceable as Italy’s head of government, a court in Milan was told it had been “amply demonstrated” that he was guilty of bribery.
“I am, and not only in my own opinion, the best prime minister who could be found today,” he told a press conference. “I believe there is no one in history to whom I should feel inferior. Quite the opposite.”
The problem, he explained, was that “In absolute terms, I am the most legally persecuted man of all times, in the whole history of mankind, worldwide, because I have been subjected to more than 2,500 court hearings and I have the good luck – having worked well in the past and having accumulated an important wealth – to have been able to spend more than €200m in consultants and judges … I mean in consultants and lawyers.”
Hadron lab scientist held on terrorism charges
Physicist working on Big Bang suspected of advising al-Qa’ida on possible targets
By John Lichfield in Paris
Saturday, 10 October 2009
A nuclear physicist working on the “large collider” experiment to simulate the Big Bang has been arrested in France on suspicion of advising al-Qa’ida on possible terrorist targets.
The 32-year-old French scientist, of Algerian origin, is being held with his younger brother after being trailed, and bugged, by French anti-terrorist police for more than a year.
A judicial source told the newspaper Le Figaro: “This is very high level.” The French Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, said that the investigation “may perhaps show that we have prevented the worst”.
Burma’s generals allow envoys to meet Suu Kyi
Jailed opposition leader discusses sanctions imposed by Western nations
By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent
Saturday, 10 October 2009
The imprisoned Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met foreign diplomats yesterday after the military junta gave her permission to discuss sanctions against her country.
Ms Suu Kyi, who has spent 14 of the past 20 years under some form of detention, was driven to a government guest house near her home where she spent an hour with diplomats from Britain, Australia and the US.
Speaking last night from Rangoon, the British ambassador Andrew Heyn, said he believed the leader of the National League for Democracy had treated the meeting as a “fact-finding mission”.
Taleban claim victory in Kamdesh after attack on US Camp Keating
From The Times
October 10, 2009
Martin Fletcher in Kabul
The Taleban claimed to be flying its flag over the town of Kamdesh in eastern Afghanistan yesterday after the US military withdrew from an outpost that was all but overrun by more than 300 insurgents last weekend.
As details emerged of the deadliest attack on US forces in 15 months Nato confirmed that it had withdrawn from Camp Keating in Nuristan but insisted that the pullout was part of a relocation of troops to places with larger populations, which was planned weeks ago.
The Taleban claimed victory nonetheless. Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman, said that the US military destroyed what remained of the outpost. “This means they are not coming back,” he said. “This is another victory for Taleban. We have control of another district in eastern Afghanistan.”
Kenyans not ready to leave camps
A Kenyan deadline expires on Friday for people displaced by post-election violence to leave their camps.
By Will Ross
BBC News, Eldoret
Two weeks ago President Mwai Kibaki ordered the closure of the camps, which at the peak of the violence were home to around 500,000 people.
But more than a year-and-a-half later there are Kenyans still living in tents some of whom are reluctant to leave.
Stanley Wanyoike said he will only leave if the president keeps his promise to give them land.
“We are ready to leave if the promise made by the head of state is fulfilled,” said Mr Wanyoike, who was forced to flee his home with his wife and five children on 30 December 2007 – the night President Kibaki was controversially declared the winner of the election.
Argentina’s cradle of tennis stardom
Five world-class players, including U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, hail from the town of Tandil. Is it the air? The food? More likely, the credit goes to one no-nonsense coach.
By Andres D’Alessandro and Chris Kraul
October 10, 2009
Reporting from Bogota, Colombia, and Tandil, Argentina — Is it the city’s renowned cheese and sausage? Its clean air? Or does the credit for Tandil’s five world-class pro tennis players go mainly to no-nonsense coach Marcelo Gomez?
Whichever the case, Juan Martin del Potro’s recent U.S. Open victory has cast a spotlight on the medium-sized Argentine dairy town on the Pampas and has the tennis world pondering just what Tandil has going for it to produce so much athletic talent.
The 39-year-old Gomez trained the lanky Del Potro from the time he was barely able to hold a racket, and four other players currently on the men’s tour.