Docudharma Times Tuesday January 12




Tuesday’s Headlines:

Federal Reserve earned $45 billion in 2009

Fla. airport gets OK for spaceport license

States Lower Test Standards for a High School Diploma

Blind architects have a real feel for the site lines

Pakistan suffers record number of deaths due to militant violence

Vietnamese evicted my flock, says Zen master

Yemen ‘cannot contain al-Qa’ida’

Jordanians question alliance with US after Humam al-Balawi’s CIA suicide bombing

Miep Gies who helped hide Anne Frank dies at 100

Controversial ‘Leonardo’ painting goes on sale in New York

Nigeria’s ailing President Yar’Adua breaks silence

African music festival goes smoothly in Mali despite Al Qaeda threats

New Film May Sway Brazil’s Vote on President

Federal Reserve earned $45 billion in 2009



By Neil Irwin

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Wall Street firms aren’t the only banks that had a banner year. The Federal Reserve made record profits in 2009, as its unconventional efforts to prop up the economy created a windfall for the government.

The Fed will return about $45 billion to the U.S. Treasury for 2009, according to calculations by The Washington Post based on public documents. That reflects the highest earnings in the 96-year history of the central bank. The Fed, unlike most government agencies, funds itself from its own operations and returns its profits to the Treasury.

Fla. airport gets OK for spaceport license

Cecil Field becomes country’s 8th approved venue for space tourists

By Irene Klotz  REUTERS

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The sky’s no longer the limit for Cecil Field airport in Jacksonville, Fla. The airport was awarded a federal license on Monday to fly commercial space vehicles being designed to ferry tourists, researchers and others beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority, which worked to get its commercial spaceport licensing for four years, plans to offer Cecil Field’s 12,500-foot long, 200-foot wide-runway – one of the biggest in Florida – to a range of commercial space operators including Virgin Galactic.

USA

States Lower Test Standards for a High School Diploma



By IAN URBINA

Published: January 11, 2010


A law adopting statewide high school exams for graduation took effect in Pennsylvania on Saturday, with the goal of ensuring that students leaving high school are prepared for college and the workplace. But critics say the requirement has been so watered down that it is unlikely to have major impact.

The situation in Pennsylvania mirrors what has happened in many of the 26 states that have adopted high school exit exams. As deadlines approached for schools to start making passage of the exams a requirement for graduation, and practice tests indicated that large numbers of students would fail, many states softened standards, delayed the requirement or added alternative paths to a diploma.

Blind architects have a real feel for the site lines

Unable to see their designs or those produced by others, blind architects get more in touch with their other senses. As one says: ‘There is this great palette of textures.’

By Maria L. La Ganga

January 12, 2010


Reporting from San Francisco – The architects met on a damp October Saturday and set off to visit a modern New York landmark, the American Folk Art Museum.

The building is clad in lustrous bronze panels that shift in color as they catch the sun’s slow trek across the sky. Inside, a skylight shoots brilliant beams into a grand interior space.

But the two men hadn’t traveled to Midtown Manhattan to look at the structure’s famous features.

Asia

Pakistan suffers record number of deaths due to militant violence

3,021 people killed in terrorist attacks in 2009 – a 48% rise, according to Islamabad thinktank

Declan Walsh in Islamabad

guardian.co.uk, Monday 11 January 2010 18.13 GMT


A record number of Pakistani civilians and security forces died in militant violence last year as the country reeled from an onslaught of Taliban suicide bombings that propelled it into the ranks of the world’s most perilous places.

Pakistan saw 3,021 deaths in terrorist attacks in in 2009, up 48% on the year before, according to a new report by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based defence thinktank. Researchers counted a total of 12,600 violent deaths across the country in 2009, 14 times more than in 2006.

At least half of the dead were militants who were killed in US drone strikes or, mostly, sweeping army offensives against their mountain strongholds of Swat and South Waziristan along the Afghan border.

 Vietnamese evicted my flock, says Zen master

Exiled nominee for Nobel Peace Prize accuses Communists of paying mobs to brutalise Buddhist followers

By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent  Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A zen master famed for spreading Buddhism in the West, and who was once a confidant of the US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, has accused Vietnam’s Communist government of dispatching violent mobs to attack his followers and force them from their monasteries.

Thich Nhat Hanh, who fled into exile in France four decades ago and who has long battled for greater religious rights in his motherland, said his followers in Vietnam were being regularly abused. “Our country does not yet have true religious freedom and the government tightly controls the Buddhist church machinery,” Mr Nhat Hanh wrote in a letter to supporters. “The Buddhist church is helpless, unable to protect its own children. This is a truth clearly seen by everyone.”

Middle East

Yemen ‘cannot contain al-Qa’ida’

Donald Macintyre ventures into the new stronghold of extremism – and finds out why the battle against terror is failing

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The governor of a key province in the front line of Yemen’s struggle against al- Qa’ida has admitted that the government’s control in his area is “not strong”, and says that no extra troops have been deployed there despite official suggestions that the threat of al-Qa’ida is being contained with a new crackdown by Yemeni forces.

As Yemen faces mounting US and international pressure to combat the use of the country as the new base for al-Qa’ida in the Arabian peninsula, the governor of Abyan province, one of the southern provinces seen as al-Qa’ida strongholds, said “truthfully and honestly, it [government control] is not so strong”. Ahmed Bin Ahmed al-Misri, who said the threat from al-Qa’ida in the mountain regions of his province had grown in the last six months, added: “There are not enough weapons, there are not enough soldiers.”

Jordanians question alliance with US after Humam al-Balawi’s CIA suicide bombing

From The Times

January 12, 2010




James Hider in Irbid


The father received the bearded mourners with dry eyes, his grief tempered by the conviction that his son, a martyr to the cause of al-Qaeda’s jihad, was already in Heaven.

It is a common enough spectacle in the Islamist badlands of the Middle East or Central Asia – but yesterday’s funeral was not in Afghanistan, nor even Pakistan. The farewell to Mahmoud Zaydan, 35, a teacher of Arabic and the Koran who was killed at the weekend by a US drone in Waziristan, Pakistan, took place in the peaceful Jordanian town of Irbid.

Jordan has long been one of America’s closest allies in the region but only recently have Jordanians discovered how close to home the War on Terror is being waged.

Europe

Miep Gies who helped hide Anne Frank dies at 100

From The Times

January 12, 2010


Foreign Staff

The last surviving member of a group who helped to shelter Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis in Amsterdam died last night.

Miep Gies, the woman who rescued Anne’s diary after the family was arrested in 1944, died at a Dutch nursing home aged 100 after suffering a fall.

Mrs Gies and several other employees of Anne’s father provided food and other necessities to the Jewish family while they hid in a concealed apartment.

During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands she had spent 25 months in hiding with her sister, parents, and four other Jewish people in the attic above her father’s office.

Controversial ‘Leonardo’ painting goes on sale in New York

 A controversial painting linked to Leonardo da Vinci is expected to fetch more than £300,000 when it is auctioned 90 years after it prompted one of the 20th century’s most feverish debates over a picture’s authenticity.

By Tom Leonard in New York

Published: 8:03PM GMT 11 Jan 2010


Arguments over the origins of Portrait of a Woman Called La Belle 3 have raged since 1920 when it was given as a wedding gift to a car salesman in Kansas City, Missouri, by a family friend who said it was by Leonardo.

Sotheby’s, which is selling the painting in New York later this month, believes the painting is not by him and, unable to say exactly who did paint it, is basing its estimate of $300,000 to $500,000 partly on the portrait’s notoriety.

Africa

Nigeria’s ailing President Yar’Adua breaks silence

Nigeria’s president, not seen in public since going into hospital in Saudi Arabia for heart treatment in November, has told the BBC he is recovering.

The BBC  Tuesday, 12 January 2010

In his first interview since then, by telephone, Umaru Yar’Adua said he hoped to make “tremendous progress” and return home to resume his duties.

His long absence and speculation over his health have led to calls for him to hand over power to his vice-president.

The opposition plans a rally to demand details of the president’s health.

Rumours the president was critically ill and unable to return to the presidency have been swirling around Nigeria.

His adviser Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi told the BBC the president’s enemies were behind the rumours.

Doctors said in December that President Yar’Adua was suffering from acute pericarditis, an inflammation of the lining of the heart. He is also known to have kidney problems.

African music festival goes smoothly in Mali despite Al Qaeda threats

This weekend’s Festival au Desert in Mali ended without incident, but risks remain high as Al Qaeda threatened Monday to kill a French hostage.

 By Scott Baldauf Staff writer / January 11, 2010

Johannesburg, South Africa

The annual music concert series, Festival au Desert, wrapped up this weekend without incident in the dunes outside of Timbuktu, putting to rest fears that Islamist extremists might attack the event or try to kidnap some of the hundreds of foreign tourists who attended.Yet the risks in northern Mali remain high, as a group calling itself Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb threatened Monday to kill a French hostage it kidnapped last November unless the Malian government releases 20 Al Qaeda prisoners. The threat to kill Frenchman Pierre Camatte comes just days after Al Qaeda’s cell in western Africa sought $7 million in ransom for the release of two Spanish hostages captured in Mauritania and thought to be held in northern Mali.

“The Mujahideen [religious warriors] have decided to inform the French and Malian governments of their only condition and demand for the release of the French hostage Pierre Camatte, which is the release of our four prisoners arrested by Mali several months ago,” Al Qaeda said in a statement posted Sunday on an Islamist website, and translated into English on the SITE Intelcenter website Sunday.

Latin America

New Film May Sway Brazil’s Vote on President



By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO

Published: January 11, 2010


SANTO ANTÔNIO de JESUS, Brazil – In the opening scenes of a new Brazilian movie, a 7-year-old boy roams barefoot through the parched, cactus-filled dirt of the northeastern town of Caetés, collecting water from a creek where cows drink while his mother waits in the one-room house he shares with seven brothers and sisters.

The boy, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, would become president of Brazil and one of the world’s most popular leaders, despite his fourth-grade education and impoverished childhood.

The movie, “Lula, the Son of Brazil,” which opened in Brazilian theaters on New Year’s Day, traces his inspiring biography from the hardscrabble childhood with a doting mother and a hard-drinking, abusive father, to his heroic rise as a union leader who was briefly imprisoned by the military dictatorship.

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1 comment

    • RiaD on January 12, 2010 at 13:35

    thanks for bringing world-wide news every day.

    ♥~

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