Docudharma Times Monday November 23

Monday’s Headlines:

Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government

Climate change sceptics and lobbyists put world at risk, says top adviser

Public option at center of debate

U.S.: Three Mile Island radiation not significant

Climate change sceptics and lobbyists put world at risk, says top adviser

Life’s a drag act for the TV presenter challenging homophobia in Pakistan

Nepalese villagers prepare to slaughter 315,000 animals

Fifa shows Iraqi footballers the red card after Sunni-Shia struggle

 Human rights concerns raised as Rwanda set to join Commonwealth

South Africa to set up special courts for World Cup

Russia ‘is now a criminal state’, says Bill Browder

Romanian incumbent tops vote, but run-off needed

Brazil’s President Elbows U.S. on the Diplomatic Stage

Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government



Published: November 22, 2009

WASHINGTON – The United States government is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.’s on terms that seem too good to be true.

But that happy situation, aided by ultralow interest rates, may not last much longer.

Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.

Climate change sceptics and lobbyists put world at risk, says top adviser

• Chance to limit warming squandered, says scientist

• World needs to prepare to cope with at least 3-4C rise

David Adam, environment correspondent, Sunday 22 November 2009 19.03 GMT

Climate change sceptics and fossil fuel companies that have lobbied against action on greenhouse gas emissions have squandered the world’s chance to avoid dangerous global warming, a key adviser to the government has said.

Professor Bob Watson, chief scientist at the department for environment and rural affairs, said a decade of inaction on climate change meant it was now virtually impossible to limit global temperature rise to 2C. He said the delay meant the world would now do well to stabilise warming between 3C and 4C.


Public option at center of debate

Democratic dissent Reid must find compromise to pass health-care bill

By Shalaigh Murray

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, November 23, 2009

Democrats had little time to savor their weekend Senate health-care victory, as two of the lawmakers who voted to move the debate forward Saturday night indicated Sunday that they will not vote to pass the package if it includes a government-run insurance program.

Despite the success in the test vote, the fragile consensus in the Democratic caucus will face its greatest test yet as the health-care debate moves to the Senate floor and Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) struggles to stave off internal schisms. The cracks in the 60-member caucus are most obvious over the public insurance option.

U.S.: Three Mile Island radiation not significant

About 150 employees were sent home Saturday afternoon

Associated Press

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the small amount of radiation detected at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is not significant.

Specialist John White told ABC News that there was no indication that radiation at the plant exceeded or even approached regulatory limits.

The commission sent investigators to the central Pennsylvania plant after a small amount of radiation was detected.

About 150 employees were sent home Saturday afternoon, but officials said there was no public health risk.

Exelon Nuclear spokeswoman Beth Archer said the radiation was quickly contained.


Life’s a drag act for the TV presenter challenging homophobia in Pakistan

Arifa Akbar meets the unlikely celebrity forcing an intolerant society to confront its prejudices

Monday, 23 November 2009

A finely groomed woman in a sparkling turquoise sari sashays through the doors of Asia House to rapturous applause. Her sari twinkles under the glare of TV cameras and a queenly smile breaks through heavy face-powder. She bows to the audience of British Asians and Pakistani embassy dignitaries, then looks Wajid Shamsul Hassan, the high commissioner, squarely in the eye. “I’m so sorry I’m late, my dears, but this,” she says, casting her hand over her face and outfit, “took two hours. The pressures of being a woman: men expect so much from us.”

Some of the audience titters. This impeccably dressed guest, was introduced as Begum Nawazish Ali, the stately widow of an army colonel, and he is Pakistani’s first television transvestite.

Nepalese villagers prepare to slaughter 315,000 animals

Thousands of Hindu devotees have flocked to a village in Nepal ahead of the planned sacrifice of more than 300,000 animals in a ceremony condemned by animal rights activists, including the French actress Brigitte Bardot.

Published: 6:45AM GMT 23 Nov 2009

Priests are preparing for the slaughter of more than 15,000 buffaloes and 300,000 birds, goats and sheep during the event, which starts Tuesday and is thought to be the biggest ritual sacrifice anywhere in the world.

Every five years, the village of Bariyapur, near Nepal’s southern border with India, hosts this religious festival dedicated to Gadhimai, the Hindu goddess of power.

“Thousands of people from Nepal and India have already begun arriving and preparations for the festival are in full swing,” Mangal Chaudhary Tharu, the main priest at the Gadhimai temple, said.

Middle East

Fifa shows Iraqi footballers the red card after Sunni-Shia struggle

From The Times

November 23, 2009

Oliver August in Baghdad

Iraqi football teams have been banned from all international competitions after sectarian infighting among the country’s sports officials.

The decision by Fifa, the world football body, comes three months after Iraq hosted its first international competition since the 2003 American invasion and curbs one of the few joys available to Iraqi civilians.

The head office of the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) was last week taken over by armed security forces loyal to the country’s Olympic Committee and senior government officials. The latter are mainly Shia Muslims, while the Football Association consists of Sunnis.


Human rights concerns raised as Rwanda set to join Commonwealth

Kigali wants allowances made for how far it’s come since the genocide

By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent

Monday, 23 November 2009

Rwanda is set to succeed in its bid to join the Commonwealth this week despite serious concerns over its human rights record, according to a senior source close to the negotiations.

A summit of Commonwealth heads of government in Trinidad and Tobago will add the central African nation to its 53 current members, despite its failure to meet entry requirements. “There is consensus on Rwanda” a senior African negotiator told The Independent.

The decision, expected before the week’s end, has been greeted with dismay by NGOs, while the author of a major report on Rwanda’s candidacy said it was clear evidence that the Commonwealth “could not care less about human rights”.

 South Africa to set up special courts for World Cup

South Africa is to set up special fast-track courts in an effort to clamp down on the country’s spectacular crime rates during next year’s World Cup finals.

By Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg

Published: 4:46PM GMT 22 Nov 2009

The 54 courts, spread across all nine host cities, will sit for 15 hours a day, beginning two weeks before the tournament and finishing a fortnight after the final.

“The courts are here to speed the process,” said the justice department spokesman Tlali Tlali. “There is not going to be any leniency.”

Just under 50 people are murdered every day in South Africa, one of the highest rates in the world for a country not at war, and the department said that there was a potential for an increase in crime during the World Cup.

The threat is one of the biggest concerns surrounding the finals, along with possible shortages of accommodation in some areas and worries about transport practicalities for fans having to travel huge distances across a vast country.


Russia ‘is now a criminal state’, says Bill Browder

Russia has now turned into a “criminal state”, according to the man who was once its leading foreign investor.

The BBC  Monday, 23 November 2009

Bill Browder of Hermitage Capital was reacting to the news that his lawyer had died in prison in Russia after being held for a year without charge.

He told the BBC that his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, had in effect been “held hostage and they killed their hostage.”

Through Hermitage Capital, Bill Browder campaigned against corruption at some of Russia’s largest companies.

Russian officials say they are investigating Mr Magnitsky’s death.

Romanian incumbent tops vote, but run-off needed

Exit polls in Romania show that President Traian Basescu won the first round of the country’s closely fought election, but will face Mircea Geoana in a run-off on December 6.

ELECTIONS | 22.11.2009

Center-right sitting President Traian Basescu and his main rival, leftist Mircea Geoana emerged from Sunday’s vote with the most votes, two exit polls showed, and will face each other in a second round of voting in December.

An exit poll by the CURS Institute put Basescu in the lead with 33.72 percent of the vote, ahead of Geoana with 31.44 percent. The Insomar Institute, which conducted another poll, put Basescu at 32.8 percent and Geoana at 31.7 percent.

The winner in December will be pressed to name a new prime minister to replace the center-left coalition that collapsed in October. Romania has been governed by a caretaker government for the past six weeks.

Latin America

Brazil’s President Elbows U.S. on the Diplomatic Stage



Published: November 22, 2009

BRASÍLIA – Brazil’s ambitions to be a more important player on the global diplomatic stage are crashing headlong into the efforts of the United States and other Western powers to rein in Iran’s nuclear arms program.Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s president, is set to receive Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, here on Monday in his first state visit to Brazil. The visit is part of a larger push by Mr. da Silva to wade into the seemingly intractable world of Middle East politics, and follows visits in the last two weeks by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, and Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.

Ignoring Asia A Blog


    • RiaD on November 23, 2009 at 13:51

    i have worried we’ve squandered our chance regarding global warming. & it seems the gov’t is not even proposing small solutions, that if the majority did these things they would add up significantly…make a difference.

    • TMC on November 23, 2009 at 15:53

    What a shame that the one thing that transcended differences has been marred by political/religious squabbling. This is a  terrible loss for the Iraqi people who so love this game.

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