Docudharma Times Thursday November 26

Thursday’s Headlines:

Businesses in U.S. Brace for New Rules on Emissions

500,000 pager messages from 9/11 published

President vs. party on troop increase

Few mortgages have been permanently modified

A year on from Mumbai terror attack, city is fearful but defiant

Philippines massacre suspect arrested

Israel offers partial halt to West Bank settlement building

Can a Muslim say happy Christmas to his friends?

Sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland was covered up for decades, report says

Journalists freed after year long capitivity in Somalia

Liberia sued by investment funds over 1978 debt

Mexico tightens security at U.S. border crossings

Businesses in U.S. Brace for New Rules on Emissions


Published: November 25, 2009

The nation’s corporations have long been bracing for the day when they would be required to carry out sharp cuts in the emissions that cause global warming. That day seemed to move a bit closer on Wednesday, when President Obama outlined a national target for such reductions.Much of corporate America has already been thinking about how to comply. Many businesses concluded years ago that such limits were inevitable, and they have been calling on Congress to define the exact rules they will need to follow.

Already, many companies are recording their emissions and analyzing the results. Some have set voluntary targets for reductions and are claiming substantial progress in meeting them. Sustainability – a notion mostly heard in environmental circles only a decade ago – has become a mainstream idea to which some companies are committed and many are paying lip service.

500,000 pager messages from 9/11 published

Personal messages sent on the day of the attacks have been posted online

By Guy Adams in Los Angeles Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thet started the day with bagels, coffee, and a boring commute. Then a plane crashed into the World Trade Centre. Several terrifying hours later, thousands were dead, Manhattan had become a disaster zone, and life would never be quite the same.

An archive containing the contents of more than half a million pager messages sent on 11 September 2001 was published yesterday by the internet site Wikileaks. It provided an uncensored and sometimes deeply moving first-hand account of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.


President vs. party on troop increase

Caucus wouldn’t back a costly expansion of Afghan war

By Michael D. Shear and Paul Kane

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, November 26, 2009

President Obama will reveal his new Afghanistan war strategy in a speech Tuesday evening to cadets at West Point, but his most skeptical audience is likely to be the powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill who oppose a troop buildup.

Top Democrats have made it clear to Obama that he will not receive a friendly reception should he announce what is considered the leading option: sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. The legislators have indicated that a request for more money to finance a beefed-up war effort will be met with frustration and, perhaps, a demand to raise taxes.

Few mortgages have been permanently modified

Lenders have temporarily restructured hundreds of thousands of loans, but long-term changes have proved elusive, raising the specter of a new wave of foreclosures.

By E. Scott Reckard

November 26, 2009

In October 2008, JPMorgan Chase & Co. shaved 25% off Rick Mullen’s mortgage payment by lowering his interest rate, helping him to stay in his Valencia home despite a downturn in his small business refurbishing large shipments of damaged shoes.

More than a year later, Mullen is grateful but frustrated, he says, because Chase has repeatedly lost his paperwork and never finalized what was supposed to be a three-month trial loan modification.


A year on from Mumbai terror attack, city is fearful but defiant

Indian city will come to a halt to mark anniversary of massacre by Pakistani militants that left nearly 180 dead

Randeep Ramesh in Mumbai

The Guardian, Thursday 26 November 2009

Ransley Santhumayor can no longer bear being in crowds: strange faces frighten him. The 29-year-old telecoms manager recently sold his motorbike and moved back to the family home. He wistfully recalls Saturday nights when he went clubbing. Now he prefers to meet his friends at their homes.

His life changed for ever a year ago in the Mumbai terror attacks – 26/11 as it is known in India. Shot and left for dead in the Leopold cafe, Santhumayor spent two months in hospital while doctors attempted to rebuild his shattered right leg.

Philippines massacre suspect arrested

From Times Online

November 26, 2009

Richard Lloyd Parry

The son of a Philippines clan boss, suspected of the massacre of at least 57 journalists and political activists, turned himself in today, as investigators announced that the entire police force of his family’s ancestral town was under suspicion of playing a part in the killings.

Andal Ampatuan Jnr, whose father is a key local supporter of the Philippines president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, was taken by helicopter and plane to the capital Manila for questioning. The authorities said that 20 other men had been arrested on connection with the massacre on the southern island of Mindanao.

“There is no truth to that [allegation],” Mr Ampatuan Jnr told reporters before he was flown out.

Middle East

Israel offers partial halt to West Bank settlement building

Netanyahu says proposed 10-month halt is ‘far-reaching and painful step’ but Palestinians dismiss offer as insufficient

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem, Wednesday 25 November 2009 18.40 GMT

Israel tonight proposed a 10-month partial halt to settlement building on the occupied West Bank as a prelude to restarting peace talks, but Palestinian officials were quick to dismiss it as unacceptable.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said the offer was a policy of “restraint” that was in Israel’s national interest. “This is a far-reaching and painful step. We authorise it because of our deep desire to move forward towards peace,” he said in a televised press conference. He wanted a “historic peace agreement to finally end the conflict”.

Can a Muslim say happy Christmas to his friends?

Such questions are at the heart of a debate between the forces of Islamic intolerance and a group of scholars touring Britain with a message of moderation

By Jerome Taylor Thursday, 26 November 2009

Suheil Azam was sitting in a coffee shop in east London last month when one his friends began a debate on whether it was permissible under Islamic scripture for Muslims to wish their non-Muslim friends happy Christmas. As a 23-year-old professional who socialises widely, Mr Azam had never considered the possibility that someone in his community might frown upon him for going round to his neighbours at Christmas or partying during New Year. But his friend, who had become increasingly devout, was adamant that such behaviour was haram (forbidden).

“Personally I think he’s wrong,” explained Mr Azam. “But it’s difficult to argue against him because all the information he gets is taken from the internet and it makes him sound very knowledgeable.”


Sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland was covered up for decades, report says

Widespread child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Dublin was covered up for decades by senior clerics, a damning report will say.

Published: 7:26AM GMT 26 Nov 2009

Four Archbishops, including Cardinal Desmond Connell, will be named over their mishandling of hundreds of allegations, including not reporting crimes to the police.

The senior clerics’ motive was to protect the church above defenceless children, the report will find.

The Dublin Archdiocese Commission is the third inquiry in the last four years to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland following independent investigations into abusive priests.

The pattern of senior clerics moving abusers from parish to parish rather than dealing with the problem will also be addressed.


Journalists freed after year long capitivity in Somalia

From Times Online

November 26, 2009

Anne Barrowclough in Sydney

An Australian and a Canadian journalist have been released after being held captive in Somalia for more than a year.

Nigel Brennan, an Australian photojournalist and Canadian Amanda Lindhout are recovering in a hotel in Mogadishu, the capital, after being suddenly freed on Wednesday night.

The freelancers had been held for 15 months after being abducted at gunpoint along with their Somali driver and two Somali guards at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Mogadishu just three days after arriving in the country.

In a phone call to the Associated Press, Ms Lindhout said: “We are happy. Our health is OK. We could not believe that we are free.”

Liberia sued by investment funds over 1978 debt

Two investment funds registered in the Caribbean have launched a legal case against Liberia over a debt that dates back to the 1970s.

By Andrew Walker

Economics correspondent, BBC News

The funds are suing Liberia at the High Court in London for more than $20m (£12m) – some 5% of the Liberian government’s total budget this year.

The case relates to a lending deal between Liberia and Chemical Bank of the United States in 1978.

One of the funds involved won a similar case against Nicaragua.

The details of the Liberian case are still unclear, but it is thought that the country actually borrowed $6.5m under this facility.

It appears that at some stage Chemical Bank sold the debt and it may have been resold a number of times.

There was a judgement in a New York Court against Liberia in 2002 for $18m.

Latin America

Mexico tightens security at U.S. border crossings

The new infrastructure — including gates, cameras and vehicle scales — aims to hamper the smuggling of drug money and weapons to Mexican cartels. Businesses are protesting the increased wait times.

By Richard Marosi

Reporting from Tijuana – Driving into Mexico has been a largely hassle-free experience for decades: There were few customs inspectors, even fewer gates, and for most border crossers, no questions asked.

That’s about to change.

The Mexican government is modernizing its ports of entry along the border, including its biggest crossing in Tijuana. The new infrastructure — which includes gates, cameras and vehicle scales — is meant to help curtail the flow of drug money and weapons to Mexican organized crime groups.

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