Docudharma Times Friday November 27




Friday’s Headlines:

Taliban Open Up Front in Once-Quiet Afghan North

India’s plan to open site of Bhopal chemical disaster brings protest

Lobbyists pushed off advisory panels

Democrats work on multibillion-dollar jobs package

Fears of double-dip recession grow as Dubai crashes

Iran seizes Nobel winner Shirin Edabi’s medal

Polio: India’s final push to end the disease

China sets ambitious target on emissions

Dublin Archbishops colluded over abuse

French foiled in attempt to grab control of finances in EU carve-up

Keeping West Africa Stable

Taliban Open Up Front in Once-Quiet Afghan North





KUNDUZ, Afghanistan – Far from the heartland of the Taliban insurgency in the south, this once peaceful northern province was one place American and Afghan officials thought they did not have to worry about.Afghan officials cut the police force here by a third two years ago and again earlier this year. Security was left to a few thousand German peacekeepers. Only one Afghan logistics battalion was stationed here.

But over the last two years the Taliban have steadily staged a resurgence in Kunduz, where they now threaten a vital NATO supply line and employ more sophisticated tactics. In November, residents listened to air raids by NATO forces for five consecutive nights, the first heavy fighting since the Taliban were overthrown eight years ago.

India’s plan to open site of Bhopal chemical disaster brings protest



By Rama Lakshmi

washington post foreign service

Friday, November 27, 2009


BHOPAL, INDIA — Twenty-five years after poisonous plumes of chemicals leaked from the Union Carbide factory here, survivors are protesting a government plan to open the site to the public.

Officials said this week that visitors would be allowed to tour the plant to commemorate the disaster and help people come to terms with it.

“Just like we go to Hiroshima, Chernobyl and Ground Zero in New York to remember and pray for victims, so many people from around the world want to visit the Bhopal Union Carbide factory to learn about the disaster,” said Babulal Gaur, minister of relief and rehabilitation for the Bhopal victims.

USA

Lobbyists pushed off advisory panels

White House initiative to limit influence could affect thousands

By Dan Eggen

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, November 27, 2009


Hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists are likely to be ejected from federal advisory panels as part of a little-noticed initiative by the Obama administration to curb K Street’s influence in Washington, according to White House officials and lobbying experts.

The new policy — issued with little fanfare this fall by the White House ethics counsel — may turn out to be the most far-reaching lobbying rule change so far from President Obama, who also has sought to restrict the ability of lobbyists to get jobs in his administration and to negotiate over stimulus contracts.

Democrats work on multibillion-dollar jobs package

Lawmakers say they’re moving fast to get a job-creation bill to Obama by January. It’s unclear how much of the effort would be funded with deficit spending.

By Peter Nicholas

November 27, 2009


Reporting from Washington – Troubled by the rising jobless rate, President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress are assembling a new jobs package that would devote billions of dollars to projects meant to put people back on payrolls in 2010 and keep them working.

Discussions over the scale of the bill are fluid, but lawmakers said the intent was to move swiftly and get a bill to Obama’s desk as early as January.

The renewed push to create jobs is driven by a recognition that the $787-billion stimulus program enacted in February is not a sufficient remedy for an unemployment rate that stands at 10.2%.

Middle East

Fears of double-dip recession grow as Dubai crashes

Debt crisis in millionaires’ playground could herald new phase in global financial meltdown

Larry Elliott and Heather Stewart

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 November 2009 22.30 GMT


Share prices in the City suffered their biggest fall since March today amid fears that a debt crisis in the millionaires’ playground of Dubai heralded a new phase in the global financial meltdown and a double-dip recession in 2010.

With Alistair Darling admitting that he had been forced to rip up his already gloomy forecasts for the UK economy this year, the FTSE 100 index of leading shares dropped more than 170 points – wiping £44bn off their value.

The market turmoil – which saw jittery investors retreat to the traditional safe havens of bonds, the Swiss franc and the US dollar – followed news that the government-owned conglomerate Dubai World had asked its creditors for a six-month debt moratorium.

Iran seizes Nobel winner Shirin Edabi’s medal

From The Times

November 27, 2009


Martin Fletcher

Iran has confiscated the Nobel peace medal and diploma of Shirin Ebadi, the human rights lawyer who is one of the hardline regime’s most outspoken critics. Her bank account has also been frozen on the pretext that she owes almost £250,000 in tax.

The seizure of the award, unprecedented in its 108-year history, caused outrage in Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Committee is based. The Norwegian Government summoned the Iranian envoy to protest, and the committee said that it would make a formal complaint.

“Such an act leaves us feeling shock and disbelief,” said Jonas Gahr Støre, the Norwegian Foreign Minister.

Asia

Polio: India’s final push to end the disease

Polio has almost been wiped out, but a few stubborn areas of resistance remain and India is on the frontline against the crippling disease

Sarah Boseley

The Guardian, Friday 27 November 2009


In a school courtyard in Lucknow on a dusty Sunday afternoon, the final push in a heroic campaign to drive a crippling disease from the planet is under way. Among scores of wide-eyed children, four-year-old Mohamed Yusuf is brought to the big wooden table under the yellow banners by his mother Afsar Jahan. Uncomprehending but compliant, he tilts his head back and opens his mouth to receive two drops of polio vaccine. His less fortunate sister Saba Banu, 12, comes across the open space to join them, strikingly beautiful in her bright blue sari, swinging her deformed limb this way and that on her crutches. Saba’s right leg is stunted from polio, which she contracted when she was two.

This campaign in the most densely populated state of India is intended to stop polio blighting other lives as it has Saba’s. Nobody knows how long it will last, how much more effort will be required or whether, in the end, we will get there at all.

China sets ambitious target on emissions

Beijing announces it will cut rate of carbon output growth by 40 per cent

By Clifford Coonan in Beijing Friday, 27 November 2009

China has galvanised the run-up to the climate change talks in Copenhagen by announcing an ambitious target to reduce its carbon footprint. It is the first time the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases has committed itself to a reduction, and comes one day after the US announced its own target.

Taken together, these signals of intent by the world’s two biggest producers give a powerful boost to the prospects for the talks. China said it will cut emissions of carbon relative to economic growth by 40 to 45 per cent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels.

Europe

Dublin Archbishops colluded over abuse

Catholic Church apologises as report reveals how senior clerics protected priests from scandal despite ‘perversion of power and trust visited on helpless and innocent children’

By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent Friday, 27 November 2009

The Catholic church in Ireland yesterday offered abject apologies following a report which exposed in harrowing detail how its most senior figures had covered up thousands of cases of child abuse by priests.

The report revealed that four consecutive Archbishops of Dublin had effectively colluded for more than a quarter of a century in ensuring that the activities of paedophile priests did not reach the public gaze.

It is the latest in a series of hugely damaging reports on the church and children, all of which have concluded that it routinely placed its own image before the protection of the vulnerable.

French foiled in attempt to grab control of finances in EU carve-up

From The Times

November 27, 2009


David Charter in Brussels

Britain’s campaign to prevent France taking command of banks and financial services in the EU appeared to be heading for success last night, to great relief in the City of London.

Michel Barnier, a former French Foreign Minister, is being lined up to take over the key internal market portfolio in the new European Commission, due to be announced today.

But José Manuel Barroso, President of the Commission, was planning to strip out responsibility for financial services from the job and hand that to another commissioner in defiance of huge pressure from Paris.

Africa

Keeping West Africa Stable



By LOUISE ARBOUR

Published: November 26, 2009


Three West African states – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire – have emerged from civil war to fragile stability in the past few years. But a civil war is brewing in Guinea that may destroy those achievements and produce a humanitarian disaster.

When the country’s long-time dictator, Lansana Conte, died in 2008, it briefly looked like Guinea might transition relatively smoothly to elected government. That hope began to fade when Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the leader of the military junta that had taken over, began to backtrack from the promise that he would not seek permanent power. It turned to nightmare on Sept. 28, when soldiers killed more than 150 demonstrators and raped scores of women.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

2 comments

    • RiaD on November 27, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    the lobbyist rule change is the most exciting news i’ve heard in quite awhile. i hope it doesn’t get watered down.

    thanks mishima!

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