Docudharma Times Saturday February 27




Saturday’s Headlines:

In Afghanistan, U.S. plans major push into Kandahar

Ex-Jihadist Defies Yemen’s Leader, and Easy Labels

USA

To Court Blacks, Foes of Abortion Make Racial Case

Senators to propose abandoning cap-and-trade

Europe

Art world swoons over Romania’s homeless genius

Mystery of dead Briton and the right-wing cult

Middle East

Israelis rush to join Mossad after Mahmoud al-Mabhouh killing

Iraq election: Will sectarian divisions limit turnout?

Asia

U.S. is cast as villain in Japan

The seven-hour verdict that cost Thaksin $1.4bn

Africa

Ivory Coast’s opposition agrees to join new govt

Gaddafi vs. Switzerland: The Leader’s Son on What’s Behind the Feud

Latin America

The gun-toting boys from Brazil who rule Rio’s ‘Corner of Fear’

 

In Afghanistan, U.S. plans major push into Kandahar



By Anne E. Kornblut and Greg Jaffe

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, February 27, 2010  


Even as Marines in Afghanistan continued to fight for control of the Taliban stronghold of Marja, senior Obama administration officials said Friday that the United States has begun initial planning for a bigger, more complex offensive in Kandahar later this year.

The assault on Marja, the largest U.S.-NATO military operation since 2001, is a “prelude to larger, more comprehensive operations,” senior Obama officials said Friday. Administration officials declined to say when the Kandahar offensive will begin, but military officials have said that it probably will kick off in late spring or early summer after additional U.S. forces have moved into the area.

Ex-Jihadist Defies Yemen’s Leader, and Easy Labels

THE SATURDAY PROFILE

By ROBERT F. WORTH

Published: February 26, 2010


IT is not often that you see an old comrade in arms of Osama bin Laden hoisting the American flag outside his home.

Yet there on the videotape was Tareq al-Fadhli, the hero of jihadist campaigns in Afghanistan and South Yemen, raising Old Glory in the courtyard of his house, not far from here, earlier this month. As the tape continues, Mr. Fadhli can be seen standing solemnly at attention, dressed in a khaki shirt and a cloth headdress, as “The Star-Spangled Banner” blasts from a sound system nearby.

The videotape, disseminated on the Internet, has helped to redefine the public persona of a man who, as a onetime Islamist guerrilla, loyalist politician and now would-be American ally in South Yemen, has been at the center of this country’s turbulent recent history. It has also profoundly irritated the Yemeni government, which labels Mr. Fadhli one the country’s most dangerous terrorists.

USA

To Court Blacks, Foes of Abortion Make Racial Case



By SHAILA DEWAN

Published: February 26, 2010


ATLANTA – For years the largely white staff of Georgia Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, tried to tackle the disproportionately high number of black women who undergo abortions. But, staff members said, they found it difficult to make inroads with black audiences.

So in 2009, the group took money that it normally used for advertising a pregnancy hot line and hired a black woman, Catherine Davis, to be its minority outreach coordinator.

Ms. Davis traveled to black churches and colleges around the state, delivering the message that abortion is the primary tool in a decades-old conspiracy to kill off blacks.

Senators to propose abandoning cap-and-trade



By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Three key senators are engaged in a radical behind-the-scenes overhaul of climate legislation, preparing to jettison the broad “cap-and-trade” approach that has defined the legislative debate for close to a decade.

The sharp change of direction demonstrates the extent to which the cap-and-trade strategy — allowing facilities to buy and sell pollution credits in order to meet a national limit on greenhouse gas emissions — has become political poison. In a private meeting with several environmental leaders on Wednesday, according to participants, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), declared, “Cap-and-trade is dead.”

Europe

Art world swoons over Romania’s homeless genius

63-year-old former tramp celebrated for collages made during Ceausescu regime

Lizzy Davies in Paris

guardian.co.uk, Friday 26 February 2010 20.45 GMT


The guests were chic, the bordeaux was sipped with elegant restraint and the hostess was suitably glamorous in a canary yellow cocktail dress. To an outside observer who made it past the soirée privée sign on the door of the Anne de Villepoix gallery on Thursday night, it would have seemed the quintessential Parisian art viewing.

Yet that would been leaving one crucial factor out of the equation: the man whose creations the crowd had come to see. In his black cowboy hat and pressed white collar, Ion Barladeanu looked every inch the established artist as he showed guests around the exhibition. But until 2007 no one had ever seen his work, and until mid-2008 he was living in the rubbish tip of a Bucharest tower block.

Mystery of dead Briton and the right-wing cult

Erica Duggan hopes a second inquest will finally establish the truth about her son’s death.

By Jerome Taylor Saturday, 27 February 2010

It was the kind of phone call every mother dreads. At 4.24am on 27 March 2003, Erica Duggan was woken by her son Jeremiah, a normally ebullient 22-year-old. “Mum, I’m in trouble,” he said. In hushed tones, he told her he was in Germany and began spelling the letters of the place he was staying, “W, i, e, s …”. Then the line went dead.

The next call came from the police. German officers had found Jerry’s body three hours later on the side of the B455, a busy dual carriageway running south-east out of the city of Wiesbaden towards the Rhine. Witnesses said a man had scrambled into the centre of the road and was hit by a brown Peugeot 406, and then a blue Volkswagen. By the time paramedics and police arrived, Jerry was dead of head injuries.

Middle East

Israelis rush to join Mossad after Mahmoud al-Mabhouh killing

From The Times

February 27, 2010


Sheera Frenkel, Jerusalem

Would you be prepared to cross-dress? And kill a guest in an adjacent hotel room? If the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes”, and you can also act, enjoy luxury international travel with a twist and can carry off a convincing Irish or Australian accent, then the job could be yours.

The Israeli spy agency Mossad may be the target of international reproach since it allegedly killed the Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel this month, but at home emerging details of the operation have generated Mossad mania.

It has never been more popular in Israel, with stores selling out of Mossad memorabilia and its official website reporting a soaring number of visitors interested in applying to become agents.

Iraq election: Will sectarian divisions limit turnout?

A week before the Iraq election, sectarian divisions and conspiracy theories are running wild and could limit turnout.

By Jane Arraf Correspondent / February 26, 2010

Baghdad

A little over a week before the Iraq election, the country is a cauldron of political attacks, sectarian divisions, and conspiracy theories that could limit the turnout in the country’s most important national elections to date.

But while the threat of major attacks and the reality of equally lethal minor ones has dampened public campaigning, it has not derailed preparations by political parties and election officials for a March 7 vote seen as crucial to stability.

Around Baghdad, security concerns have limited large public events mostly to the Shiite enclave of Sadr City.Apart from the airwaves and e-mail campaigns, the most visible signs of campaigning are a forest of election posters sprouting on lampposts and traffic circles after miles of concrete blast barriers were placed off-limits by a ban on glue.

Asia

U.S. is cast as villain in Japan

Some believe Toyota is being treated unfairly by regulators and lawmakers.

By Jerry Hirsch and John M. Glionna

February 27, 2010


Reporting from Seoul and Los Angeles – A series of aggressive federal probes into the recalls of Toyota autos are looking at whether the automaker has been less than forthcoming about the safety defects in some of its vehicles.

But in Japan many believe it’s the U.S. government that has something to hide. Congressional hearings on the recalls, they say, are part of conspiracy to help prop up Toyota’s largest American rival, General Motors Co., which the government bailed out of bankruptcy last year, becoming the majority shareholder.

The evidence suggests otherwise, and top Toyota executives have sought to debunk such speculation. Even so, “the conspiracy theory on these Toyota hearings is alive and well in Japan,” said Jeffrey Kingston, a professor at Temple University in Japan.

The seven-hour verdict that cost Thaksin $1.4bn

Former prime minister convicted of abusing power in office claims court’s ruling was rigged, raising fears of more unrest

By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent  Saturday, 27 February 2010

The Thai authorities were last night braced for demonstrations after the country’s highest court seized $1.4bn of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s assets and ruled that the exiled tycoon had abused his power in office.

In a marathon verdict that took seven hours to deliver, the Supreme Court said the one-time owner of Manchester City Football Club had concealed his ownership of shares in a family business during his five years he held the post. During that time, the court said, he had engineered government policy to benefit the conglomerate.

Africa

Ivory Coast’s opposition agrees to join new govt



By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, Associated Press Writer

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – Ivory Coast’s opposition has agreed to join a new government, ending a standoff sparked when the president dissolved the last one. The move suggests the crisis will likely be resolved without further street demonstrations that already have left at least five people dead.

Top opposition leader Alassane Ouattara told reporters Friday that the various opposition groups had agreed to take the 11 seats reserved for them in the 27-member Cabinet of President Laurent Gbagbo, hours after a press conference held earlier in the day by an opposition spokesman who had said they would hold out.

Gaddafi vs. Switzerland: The Leader’s Son on What’s Behind the Feud



By VIVIENNE WALT / TRIPOLI Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010

It’s tempting to dismiss Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s call this week for a jihad against Switzerland as just another round in the feud between the two countries. But it would be a mistake to treat Gaddafi’s rhetoric as mere theater. Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s second-eldest son, who many suspect is Gaddafi’s likely successor, tells TIME that Libya’s row with Switzerland is evidence of a far more serious and urgent issue within Libya, which is grappling with how democratic and Westernized the country should become after decades of isolation. “If we are going to dance with them [the West], we need to dance with the same rhythm to the same music,” Saif Gaddafi said in a candid interview as he relaxed on his farm outside Tripoli, on the public holiday marking the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.

Latin America

The gun-toting boys from Brazil who rule Rio’s ‘Corner of Fear’

From The Times

February 27, 2010


Dom Phillips in São Paulo

A boy steps boldly into the night traffic and waves a gun to bring the cars to a halt, clearing a path for a motorcycle which screeches into the intersection. Riding pillion is another boy, brandishing a machinegun.

Later two teenagers, also riding pillion on motorbikes, flash their guns at other motorists; nearby, a boy can be seen taking aim with a rifle equipped with a telescopic sight. Other youths wander the street smoking crack.

For residents, the junction between the busy Dom Helder Câmara and dos Democráticos, in North Rio de Janeiro, has become known as the Corner of Fear – and video footage of daily life there has shocked a nation already familiar with guns and violence.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

1 comment

    • RiaD on February 27, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    the story of jeremiah duggan is heartwrenching

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