Docudharma Times Sunday October 25




Sunday’s Headlines:

Swine Flu Is Widespread in 46 States as Vaccines Lag

Ever-Present Surveillance Rankles the British Public

Senate’s climate bill a bit more ambitious

White House confronts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Radovan Karadzic enters the dock in last act of Balkan wars

The week the Iron Curtain began to be torn apart

Pakistani soldiers take Taliban stronghold

Japan, Australia ‘Test’ Asean With Economic Plans

UN inspectors arrive in Iran to visit secret nuclear plant

Logging in Kenya forest feeds deadly drought

Fleeing drought in the Horn of Africa

Saving Colombia’s Corporal Pablo from Farc: a father’s epic struggle

Swine Flu Is Widespread in 46 States as Vaccines Lag



By JACKIE CALMES and DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.

Published: October 24, 2009


WASHINGTON – President Obama has declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, allowing hospitals and local governments to speedily set up alternate sites for treatment and triage procedures if needed to handle any surge of patients, the White House said on Saturday.The declaration came as thousands of people lined up in cities across the country to receive vaccinations, and as federal officials acknowledged that their ambitious vaccination program has gotten off to a slow start. Only 16 million doses of the vaccine were available now, and about 30 million were expected by the end of the month. Some states have requested 10 times the amount they have been allotted.

Ever-Present Surveillance Rankles the British Public



By SARAH LYALL

Published: October 24, 2009


POOLE, England – It has become commonplace to call Britain a “surveillance society,” a place where security cameras lurk at every corner, giant databases keep track of intimate personal details and the government has extraordinary powers to intrude into citizens’ lives.A report in 2007 by the lobbying group Privacy International placed Britain in the bottom five countries for its record on privacy and surveillance, on a par with Singapore.

But the intrusions visited on Jenny Paton, a 40-year-old mother of three, were startling just the same.

But the intrusions visited on Jenny Paton, a 40-year-old mother of three, were startling just the same. Suspecting Ms. Paton of falsifying her address to get her daughter into the neighborhood school, local officials here began a covert surveillance operation. They obtained her telephone billing records.

Europe

Radovan Karadzic enters the dock in last act of Balkan wars

Trial of Bosnian Serb warlord brings to a climax 14-year battle to punish crimes against humanity

Ian Traynor in Brussels

The Observer, Sunday 25 October 2009


The former offices of a Dutch insurance company in The Hague will tomorrow morning see the climax of an extraordinary 14-year battle to seek redress for victims of the Balkan wars when the former Bosnian Serb warlord Radovan Karadzic goes on trial for genocide.

Poet and psychiatrist, convicted embezzler and new age guru, Karadzic is allegedly responsible for mass murder and the most barbaric behaviour in Europe since the Nazis. He is threatening to boycott the trial’s opening at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Barring the arrest of his fugitive colleague, General Ratko Mladic, the Karadzic trial could mark the end of 15 years of the tribunal’s work, a mixed record of achievements and failings in what has been a pioneering attempt to expand international justice to encompass crimes against humanity.

The week the Iron Curtain began to be torn apart

Twenty years ago, marches convulsed the cities of East Germany, from Berlin to Leipzig and Dresden

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Countdown to the fall of the wall

In 1989, the Communist bloc began to crumble. Russia repudiated the Brezhnev Doctrine (used to justify military interference in Warsaw Pact countries), declined to stop Poland holding free elections, then watched, impotently, as Hungary opted for democracy.

And, that summer, despite attempted clampdowns, tens of thousands of East Germans escaped over the Hungarian and Austrian borders – a criminal offence in their own land.

As demonstrations grew in strength, the East Berlin authorities struggled to contain pressure for freedom. Our build-up to the fall of the wall as reported by The Independent begins 20 years ago:

USA

Senate’s climate bill a bit more ambitious

Early version would cap carbon allowance prices — and deficit

By Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Climate legislation took a small step forward late Friday night as Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman  Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) issued a version that includes big benefits for farmers, provisions for deficit reduction and a ceiling on carbon prices.

The proposal, sponsored by  Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Boxer, calls for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to a level 20 percent below 2005 emissions, a more ambitious target than the 17 percent set in a climate measure approved by the House in June.

White House confronts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The group has long been a powerful player in Washington. But the Obama White House is critical of the group’s positions and seeks to develop its own pipeline to the business world.

By Tom Hamburger and Alexander C. Hart

October 25, 2009


Reporting from Washington – The Obama White House, stepping in where other Democrats feared to tread, has launched a potentially risky fight with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — attempting to bypass the nation’s most powerful business organization and develop independent ties to corporate America.

In recent weeks, President Obama, his Energy secretary and one of his other most senior advisors have begun criticizing the chamber publicly, casting it as a profligate lobbying organization at odds with its members in opposing the administration on such issues as consumer protection and climate change.

Asia

Pakistani soldiers take Taliban stronghold

By Asif Shahzad and Ashra Khan in Islamabad

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Pakistani soldiers captured the hometown of the country’s Taliban chief yesterday in a breakthrough in their eight-day-old air and ground offensive in South Waziristan. An army spokesman claimed the Taliban was in disarray, with many deserting its ranks.

Kotkai town, home of the Pakistani Taliban chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, and one of his top deputies, Qari Hussain, lies along the way to the militant base of Sararogha, making it a strategically helpful catch. Most of its homes were turned into “strong bunkers” and it also hosts a suicide-bomber training camp.

The US military has kept up its own missile strikes, including a suspected attack that killed 22 yesterday.

Japan, Australia ‘Test’ Asean With Economic Plans

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg)

By Daniel Ten Kate and Shamim Adam

Japan and Australia pushed competing visions for forming an East Asian bloc during a summit of 16 Asian nations in Thailand, plans that differ on the role played by the U.S.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is meeting today with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan, South Korea, India and New Zealand. His idea for an “Asia-Pacific Community” explicitly includes the U.S. and India.

Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who took power last month, will put forth a “long-term vision” for an “East Asian Community,” foreign ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama told reporters today. Japan will “closely discuss and coordinate” with the U.S., Kodama said yesterday without elaborating.

Middle East

UN inspectors arrive in Iran to visit secret nuclear plant  

From Times Online

October 25, 2009


 Times Online

A team of UN inspectors arrived in Iran this morning to visit the previously secret nuclear facililty at Qom, three weeks after Tehran admitted to the plant’s existence.

The team of scientists from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will spend three days in Iran as they inspect the facility being built inside a mountain near the holy Shia city south of Tehran, the capital.

The inspection will be the first time IAEA inspectors have been allowed access to the uranium enrichment plant.

Tehran told the international community about the secret plant on September 21, increasing fears that Tehran is enriching uranium with the ultimate aim of making the bomb.

Africa

Logging in Kenya forest feeds deadly drought

Mau is country’s biggest water catchment area and feeds key rivers

Associated Press

NAROK, Kenya – More than 200 of Ole Saloli’s cows have died, ruining his children’s inheritance and his safety net for old age. Now he wanders miles seeking pasture for the surviving animals, his bare feet as cracked and dry as the Kenyan earth he sleeps upon.

Saloli, who estimates he is around 80 years old, has seen many droughts. But he says they have gotten much, much worse since the devastation of the Mau Forest began.

“Mau Forest was created by God to make it rain and now people are destroying it,” Saloli said bitterly as he watched his 50 remaining cows searching for forage in the dust.

Fleeing drought in the Horn of Africa

A new kind of refugee has arrived: Those forced from their home regions not by war or persecution, but by the climate. A Kenyan camp is bursting with the displaced, some of whom share their stories.

By Edmund Sanders

October 25, 2009


Reporting from Dadaab, Kenya – For centuries, Adam Abdi Ibrahim’s ancestors herded cattle and goats across an unforgiving landscape in southern Somalia where few others were hardy enough to survive.

This year, Ibrahim became the first in his clan to throw in the towel, abandoning his land and walking for a week to bring his family to this overcrowded refugee camp in Kenya.

He’s not fleeing warlords, Islamist insurgents or Somalia’s 18-year civil war. He’s fleeing the weather.

1 comment

    • RiaD on October 25, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    when will people wake up & realize we’re killing the planet?

    this small blue ball spinning in space is the commonality between us all… we must come together & make changes before we all die.

    plundering the planet for profit is pure insanity.

    gha!

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