Docudharma Times Tuesday December 8

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Pakistan Told to Ratchet Up Fight Against the Taliban

EPA is preparing to regulate emissions in Congress’s stead

Senate healthcare talks pick up pace

Gordon Brown: EU cuts must go deeper to get Copenhagen climate deal

Hares, birds and orchids: the casualties of peace in Cyprus

Eight children killed in China school stampede

Balibo journalists ‘deliberately killed’ by Indonesian troops

Opposition proves it’s still alive and kicking with day of mass protest in Iran

‘Dodgy dossier’ included gossip supplied by Iraqi taxi driver

Doctors’ massacre highlights medical crisis in Somalia

Copenhagen climate summit: Africa can and must be part of the solution to climate change

Pakistan Told to Ratchet Up Fight Against the Taliban


Published: December 7, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is turning up the pressure on Pakistan to fight the Taliban inside its borders, warning that if it does not act more aggressively the United States will use considerably more force on the Pakistani side of the border to shut down Taliban attacks on American forces in Afghanistan, American and Pakistani officials said.

The blunt message was delivered in a tense encounter in Pakistan last month, before President Obama announced his new war strategy, when Gen. James L. Jones, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, and John O. Brennan, the White House counterterrorism chief, met with the heads of Pakistan’s military and its intelligence service.


EPA is preparing to regulate emissions in Congress’s stead

By Steven Mufson and David A. Fahrenthold

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Obama administration moved closer Monday to issuing regulations on greenhouse gases, a step that would enable it to limit emissions across the economy even if Congress does not pass climate legislation. The move, which coincided with the first day of the international climate summit in Copenhagen, seemed timed to reassure delegates there that the United States is committed to reducing its emissions even if domestic legislation remains bogged down. But it provoked condemnation from key Republicans and from U.S. business groups, which vowed to tie up any regulations in litigation.

Senate healthcare talks pick up pace

Obama heads to the Capitol to rally Democrats. An antiabortion amendment is expected to be turned back early this week.

By Janet Hook

December 7, 2009

Reporting from Washington – President Obama traveled to Capitol Hill on Sunday to rally Democrats on his signature healthcare initiative as the Senate moved closer to addressing two of the biggest land mines in the bill’s path: the terms of a new public insurance option and limits on federal abortion funding.

A showdown on the abortion issue is scheduled for early this week. An amendment to set stricter limits on federal funding is expected to be defeated.

As for the public option, behind-the-scenes Democratic negotiations to satisfy both liberals and moderates quickened Sunday.


Gordon Brown: EU cuts must go deeper to get Copenhagen climate deal

Prime minister tells the Guardian he hopes the EU will agree to a cut in emissions of 30% by 2020

Ian Katz, Damian Carrington and John Vidal in Copenhagen

The Guardian, Tuesday 8 December 2009

Gordon Brown is pushing European leaders to commit to deeper cuts in carbon emissions in an attempt to seal a global deal, he revealed as representatives of 192 countries began negotiations at the climate change summit in Copenhagen.

The prime minister told the Guardian he hoped the EU would agree to cut its output of greenhouse gases by 30% on 1990 levels by 2020 – a cut 10 percentage points deeper than Europe is currently offering. So far, the EU has said it will cut by 30% only if an ambitious global deal is reached.

Hares, birds and orchids: the casualties of peace in Cyprus

Wildlife has flourished in the no-man’s land that divides the country – but reconciliation could end all that

By Sven Gunnar Simonsen in Nicosia Tuesday, 8 December 2009

It’s called the Green Line, but despite the name, it is a completely accidental wildlife sanctuary. The narrow strip of land that zigzags across the island of Cyprus was imposed in 1974 to separate the parties to armed conflict. As humans moved out, abandoning farms and villages, nature moved in. Thirty five years on, this no man’s land has become a safe haven for some of the rarest endemic plants and animals in Europe and a place of special scientific importance. Now however there’s a threat hanging over the unique eco-system, not from war, but from peace.

At its narrowest, the Green Line measures only 3.5 metres, and 7.5 km at the widest. But since Cyprus was divided in 1974, the area has seen minimal human activity, barring the occasional patrol by UN peacekeepers.


Eight children killed in China school stampede

Seven boys and a girl die and 26 others injured in crush after students rushed through stairwell at school in Hunan province

Tania Branigan in Beijing, Tuesday 8 December 2009 07.19 GMT

A stampede at a school in central China last night killed eight pupils and injured 26 others, state media reported today.

Seven boys and a girl, aged between 11 and 14, died in the crush as hundreds of students finished their evening homework class and rushed through a stairwell only 4ft wide, local media reported.

Eight more children are still in hospital following the incident, which took place at the private Yucai middle school in Xiangxiang city, Hunan province, at about 9.30pm last night.

Balibo journalists ‘deliberately killed’ by Indonesian troops  

From Times Online

December 8, 2009

Anne Barrowclough in Sydney

An Indonesian soldier has admitted for the first time that five journalists including two Britons who died during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975 were executed to hide evidence of the attack.

The reporters – two Britons, two Australians and a New Zealander – were in the small East Timor town of Balibo when Indonesian troops swept in. Indonesia has always insisted that the journalists, who have become known as the Balibo Five, were caught in crossfire despite witness evidence to the contrary.

Middle East

Opposition proves it’s still alive and kicking with day of mass protest in Iran

From The Times

December 8, 2009

Martin Fletcher

Six months after Iran’s disputed presidential election the bloodied and battered opposition movement refuses to give up. On campuses across the country yesterday tens of thousands of students led the latest round of demonstrations against a Government that they regard as illegitimate, while riot police fought running battles with demonstrators on the streets of Tehran.

The occasion was National Students’ Day – a state-sponsored commemoration of three student demonstrators killed by the Shah’s security forces in 1953. Yesterday it was hijacked by the so-called Green Movement and transformed into a mass protest against the present regime.

‘Dodgy dossier’ included gossip supplied by Iraqi taxi driver

The so-called “dodgy dossier” used to justify the invasion of Iraq was partly based on gossip overheard by an Iraqi taxi driver, according to a senior MP.

By Matthew Moore

Published: 6:25AM GMT 08 Dec 2009

The report’s central claim that Saddam Hussein could fire chemical weapons within 45 minutes was supported by discredited information supplied by the driver, who had no intelligence credentials.

He falsely claimed to have heard two Iraqi commanders discussing a secret long-range missile programme in the back of his taxi two years before the invasion, according to Adam Holloway, a Conservative MP with contacts in the intelligence community who has carried out his own investigation into the affair.

The allegations were then passed on to MI6 by a senior Iraqi military official who was working as a secret agent for the British, Mr Holloway believes.


Doctors’ massacre highlights medical crisis in Somalia

Public anger spills over into protests over suicide bombing

By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Dr Maslah was still writing a message of congratulations to his best friend when news reached him of the bombing. The young surgeon was starting another gruelling shift at Galkayo hospital and was happy that a few hundred miles south in Mogadishu his friends at medical school were celebrating their graduation. A year earlier he had been the one collecting his degree as one of the first class of university graduates in Somalia since 1991. He was looking forward to getting some reinforcements.

The graduation was a welcome bright spot in a city consumed by internecine war and government ministers packed into the Shamo Hotel, along with families, lecturers and students.

Copenhagen climate summit: Africa can and must be part of the solution to climate change

It’s now 25 years since the Ethiopian famines of the 1980s and the British public’s unprecedented outpouring of generosity to their fellow human beings on another continent. The question I’m always asked, of course, is: was it all worth it, what’s changed in Ethiopia and in Africa as a whole? A great deal, I answer – for both better and worse.

By Bob Geldof

Published: 6:00PM GMT 07 Dec 2009

Recently, I was back in Ethiopia, where these two types of change are quite apparent. On the positive front, economic growth has boomed; indeed, next year Ethiopia is expected to be among the top five fastest growing economies in the world. Education enrolment has been doubled, malaria death rates halved and HIV/AIDS is on the decline.

Mobile telephony is spreading (though it would be faster if privatised) and rural roads are linking remote communities to markets and health and education services. Above all, while too many people are still reliant on food aid, famine will be avoided this year as it has been for the last 18 years, as distribution and early warning systems have improved. Certainly, the government could be more transparent, but on the whole this is a country making progress, in a continent that has been doing likewise.

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