Docudharma Times Sunday December 27




Sunday’s Headlines:

Elite U.S. Force Expanding Hunt in Afghanistan

In N. Korea, a strong movement recoils at Kim Jong Il’s attempt to limit wealth

Plane suspect was listed in terror database after father alerted U.S. officials

Michele Bachmann is welcome at tea parties

Japan’s ‘grass eaters’ turn their backs on macho ways

Sharia tightens its grip on Banda Aceh

The IRA’s culture of silence extended to child abuse

Eurostar executive’s promotion ‘absurd’

Reporters attacked in crackdown by Iran militia

Gazans still angry one year on from Israeli offensive

Brazil Aims to Prevent Land Grabs in Amazon

Elite U.S. Force Expanding Hunt in Afghanistan



By ERIC SCHMITT

Published: December 26, 2009


BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan – Secretive branches of the military’s Special Operations forces have increased counterterrorism missions against some of the most lethal groups in Afghanistan and, because of their success, plan an even bigger expansion next year, according to American commanders.

The commandos, from the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s classified Seals units, have had success weakening the network of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the strongest Taliban warrior in eastern Afghanistan, the officers said. Mr. Haqqani’s group has used its bases in neighboring Pakistan to carry out deadly strikes in and around Kabul, the Afghan capital.

In N. Korea, a strong movement recoils at Kim Jong Il’s attempt to limit wealth



By Blaine Harden

Washington Post Foreign Service

Sunday, December 27, 2009


SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong Il moved early this month to wipe out much of the wealth earned in the past decade in his country’s private markets. As part of a surprise currency revaluation, the government sharply restricted the amount of old bills that could be traded for new and made it illegal for citizens to have more than $40 worth of local currency.

It was an unexplained decision — the kind of command that for more than six decades has been obeyed without question in North Korea. But this time, in a highly unusual challenge to Kim’s near-absolute authority, the markets and the people who depend on them pushed back.

USA

Plane suspect was listed in terror database after father alerted U.S. officials



By Dan Eggen, Karen DeYoung and Spencer S. Hsu

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, December 27, 2009


A Nigerian man charged Saturday with attempting to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day was listed in a U.S. terrorism database last month after his father told State Department officials that he was worried about his son’s radical beliefs and extremist connections, officials said.

The suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was added to a catch-all terrorism-related database when his father, a Nigerian banker, reported concerns about his son’s “radicalization and associations” to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a senior administration official said.  Abdulmutallab was not placed on any watch list for flights into the United States, however, because there was “insufficient derogatory information available” to include him, another administration official said.

Michele Bachmann is welcome at tea parties

The Republican congresswoman from Minnesota has become a rare elected official to be embraced by the vocal small-government activists. And the GOP is taking note.

By Kathleen Hennessey

December 27, 2009


Reporting from Washington – When Michele Bachmann took the podium at a rally against health legislation this month, she dutifully hit the highlights of the Republican argument against the bill: It’s too expensive, it will depress wages, it punishes the middle class.

But because she is Michele Bachmann, she did not stop there.

In less than eight minutes, the Minnesota congresswoman told the cheering crowd of conservative activists that the Democratic healthcare bill isn’t just bad policy — it’s unconstitutional. She invoked Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” though it memorializes a suicide mission. She dissed the United Nations, recalled Elian Gonzalez’s journey from Cuba, and offered this holiday greeting:

“That is our wish for fellow citizens here in the United States — for freedom, not for government enslavement!”

The crowd roared.

Asia

Japan’s ‘grass eaters’ turn their backs on macho ways

Yuki Sakurai and thousands like him have cast off the traditional image of the company salaryman

Justin McCurry, Tokyo

The Observer, Sunday 27 December 2009


As the twee cafes and boutiques in this quiet corner of Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district fill with groups of “office ladies”, it is easy to see how out of place Yuki Sakurai would look in the company of the blue-suited salarymen grabbing a quick noodle lunch beneath the nearby railway tracks.

For one thing, the 28-year-old business consultant is impeccably turned out, from his perfectly knotted striped tie to his scuff-free brown leather shoes, bought after a champagne breakfast with some female friends.

He is patience personified when passers-by do a double take while he poses for the Observer’s photographer. When I ask him when he decided to become an unrepentant “grass eater”, he doesn’t flinch. It is not an unkind reference to his diet. Sakurai is a proud member of a new tribe of Japanese men who have eschewed traditional notions of masculinity and adopted a gentler, more “feminine” persona.

Sharia tightens its grip on Banda Aceh

Patrols are on the lookout for unmarried couples, although the Indonesian province has stopped short of stoning adulterers

By Kathy Marks  Sunday, 27 December 2009

It is late afternoon; the light is softening and young people have gathered at the harbour in Banda Aceh to play music, buy an ice cream and just hang out. Suddenly the tranquillity of the scene is shattered when two black pick-ups arrive and discharge a dozen men and women in olive uniforms.

The officers approach a couple sitting in the shade. One says: “We’re here to enforce local regulation 14. Are you married?” Shamefaced, the boy and girl shake their heads. The officers examine their identity papers, then order them to leave. The couple ride off on their motorbike, flushed with embarrassment.

Europe

The IRA’s culture of silence extended to child abuse

Gerry Adams is praised for his honesty about his family’s sins, yet his protestations are hollow

 Nick Cohen

The Observer, Sunday 27 December 2009


The alleged child abuse in Gerry Adams’s family is close to being a perfect metaphor for Ireland’s failure to confront the disaster of violent republicanism. With sexual violence as with political violence, with the personal as well as the political, Irish nationalism cannot break from the dire illusions of the past.

As of Christmas, we had learnt that in 1987, 14-year-old Aine Adams claimed to her Uncle Gerry that her father – his brother, Liam – had been abusing her since she was four years old. He believed her. “She was always a very good wee girl; I just couldn’t imagine a child like her making up such a serious allegation,” he told Ulster TV, before going on to reveal that his father, whom he had buried with full republican honours, had also been a paedophile. Inadvertently or not, the unexpected baring of a soul few suspected he possessed diverted attention and it took a few days for the press to move from praising Adams’s “bravery” in emoting about his father to the practical question of what he had done for his niece and for other potential victims.

Eurostar executive’s promotion ‘absurd’

From The Sunday Times

December 27, 2009


 Robert Watts

A Eurostar executive who presided over the chaos that disrupted the travel plans of 100,000 people is due to be appointed head of the rail operator this week, boosting his earnings by a six-figure sum.

Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar’s chief operations officer, is expected to be paid a salary of at least £400,000 when he replaces Richard Brown on January 1.

Eurostar is under pressure to rethink his appointment, originally announced in August, after conceding that he stayed in Paris at the height of the chaos and has still not inspected the tunnel.

Middle East

Reporters attacked in crackdown by Iran militia

Opposition Jaras website claims security forces attacked a building housing Isna, Iranian news agency, as demonstrators sought shelter

Jon Swain

IRAN was braced for more violent clashes today as opposition demonstrators planned further mass rallies, which are expected to lead to fresh confrontations between protesters and security forces.

Tension was running high at rallies yesterday in which soldiers of the elite Revolutionary Guard and the paramilitary Basiji used tear gas and pepper spray and fired warning shots into the air to disperse demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans in three areas of central Tehran. They also smashed the windows of cars that were hooting in protest.

The reports by opposition websites could not be independently verified because foreign journalists are banned from covering opposition rallies.

Gazans still angry one year on from Israeli offensive

Israel’s military offensive in Gaza has stopped Palestinian rockets but left a legacy of suffering and anger.

Published: 7:40PM GMT 26 Dec 2009

In a clearing at the northeast end of the Gaza Strip, amid a sea of drab canvas tents and half-cleared war detritus, a small, carefully tended flowerbed stands out amid dismal surroundings.

For the man who planted it, the blooms represents both an escape from the squalor of forced homelessness and a reminder of his once beloved garden. But it is the straggly red rosebush in the middle that is of special significance.

Until a year ago, Kamal Awaja would often spend the hour before dusk in his garden, teaching his six children the names of the trees and flowers, and encouragiong each one to pick a shrub as their own. Ibrahim, his nine-year-old son, chose the red rosebush.

Latin America

Brazil Aims to Prevent Land Grabs in Amazon



By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO

Published: December 26, 2009


VILA DOS CRENTES, Brazil – Raimundo Teixeira de Souza came to this sweltering Amazon outpost 15 years ago, looking for land. He bought 20 acres, he said, but more powerful farmers, who roam this Wild West territory with rifles strapped to their backs, forced him to sell much of it for a pittance.

Then someone shot and killed Mr. de Souza’s 23-year-old stepson in the middle of a village road two years ago, residents said. No one has been arrested. In fact, the new police chief has no record that the crime was even investigated by his predecessor. It is hardly surprising, the chief said, considering that he has only four investigators to cover an area of rampant land-grabbing and deforestation the size of Austria.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

2 comments

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    • RiaD on December 27, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    ♥~

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