Report: Second American probed in terror plot
Newspaper: Colo. mom is suspect in conspiracy to kill Swedish cartoonist
WASHINGTON – Authorities in Ireland are investigating whether a second American woman was involved in an international plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist for mocking the Prophet Muhammad, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
According to the Journal’s online report, a 31-year-old mother from Leadville, Colo., named Jamie Paulin-Ramirez was one of seven people detained in Ireland Tuesday.
Irish police said they were arrested in connection with a plot to kill cartoonist Lars Vilk because of his 2007 drawing depicting Muhammad with the body of a dog.
Looking for lizards across Los Angeles
The Natural History Museum is launching a first-of-its-kind backyard survey of lizard species.
By Bob Pool
March 13, 2010
They plan to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for the “Lost Lizards of Los Angeles.”
That’s what experts at Los Angeles County’s Natural History Museum are calling an unusual wildlife safari they plan to launch in backyards across the county.
Museum officials hope to recruit volunteers to poke around flower beds and peek under leaf piles and hedgerows for a first-of-its-kind Los Angeles lizard census.
It’s not Los Angeles’ first hunt for lizard people, however. One such search 76 years ago sent locals running for their shovels.
F.C.C. Plan to Widen Internet Access in U.S. Sets Up Battle
By BRIAN STELTER and JENNA WORTHAM
Published: March 12, 2010
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing an ambitious 10-year plan that will reimagine the nation’s media and technology priorities by establishing high-speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network.
The plan, which will be submitted to Congress on Tuesday, is likely to generate debate in Washington and a lobbying battle among the telecommunication giants, which over time may face new competition for customers. Already, the broadcast television industry is resisting a proposal to give back spectrum the government wants to use for future mobile service.
Democrats more hopeful on health-care vote
By Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Democratic leaders on Friday stoked expectations that the year-long debate in Congress over health care may be coming to an end, after President Obama delayed his upcoming trip to the South Pacific and House leaders indicated they could deliver a final bill for his signature by the end of next week.
The House is preparing to vote, perhaps Friday or next Saturday, on the legislation that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was “delighted that the president will be here for the passage of the bill. It’s going to be historic.”
Pope’s former diocese implicated in abuse scandal
Unnamed priest moved to Munich in 1980 after being accused of child sex abuse
By Tony Paterson in Berlin and Michael Day in Rome Saturday, 13 March 2010
Pope Benedict XVI was directly implicated in a deepening Catholic Church sex abuse scandal for the first time late yesterday following disclosures that he unwittingly approved the transfer a priest who forced an 11-year-old boy to have oral sex.
The priest, who was named by Germany’s Südeutsche Zeitung only as priest “H”, was transferred in 1980 from his parish in the German town of Essen to the Pope’s former diocese in Munich after he was accused of forcing the boy to perform sex acts.
EU countries agree to €25bn Greece bailout
From The Times
March 13, 2010
David Charter, Brussels
Plans for a bailout for Greece totalling €20 to €25 billion will be put to a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Monday.
A system of co-ordinated bilateral moves has been agreed behind the scenes by major players among the 16 countries in the single currency, led by Germany. They will step in as a last resort if Greece requests help in meeting its huge sovereign debt repayments.
The package has been formulated to work around a “no bailout” clause in EU rules, and would amount to an agreement to facilitate loan guarantees if Athens finds the price of selling its debt pushed too high by speculators.
Iran’s spies show how it’s done
AN ATOL SPECIAL REPORT
By Mahan Abedin
The dramatic arrest of Abdulmalik Rigi, Iran’s most wanted man, on February 23 continues to be shrouded in mystery. But with information and insights gleaned from security sources in Tehran, Asia Times Online can reveal some of the most intricate background details leading to this stunning arrest.
The imagery – and the concomitant political message – was compelling. The image of a young man being surrounded by balaclava-clad security officers by the side of a small commercial plane was designed to send the strongest possible message to Western intelligence services, their political masters and the Western public in general. If the West led by the mighty United States has failed in its nearly nine-year pursuit of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, embattled ran managed to get its man with minimal political and economic cost.
Iraq PM uses early lead to pursue new govt allies
By LARA JAKES and REBECCA SANTANA, Associated Press Writers
BAGHDAD – Seizing on an early lead in Iraq’s election, the prime minister’s political coalition began reaching out to rivals Friday as partial results signaled a tight race that was unlikely to produce a clear-cut winner.
It’s doubtful that Nouri al-Maliki – even if he keeps his job – will be able to build a seamless government from political parties separated by sectarian fault lines and Shiite rivalries.
That would mean more political instability as American forces prepare to withdraw and further setbacks to efforts to reconcile Iraq’s fractured ethnic and sectarian communities.
Nato ‘covered up’ botched night raid in Afghanistan that killed five
From The Times
March 13, 2010
Jerome Starkey, Khataba
A night raid carried out by US and Afghan gunmen led to the deaths of two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials in an atrocity which Nato then tried to cover up, survivors have told The Times.
The operation on Friday, February 12, was a botched pre-dawn assault on a policeman’s home a few miles outside Gardez, the capital of Paktia province, eastern Afghanistan. In a statement after the raid titled “Joint force operating in Gardez makes gruesome discovery”, Nato claimed that the force had found the women’s bodies “tied up, gagged and killed” in a room.
When the Mekong runs dry
Mar 13, 2010
By Brian McCartan
VIENTIANE – Low water levels on the upper Mekong River have renewed criticism over hydropower dams China has erected on the waterway’s upper reaches. Environmental groups and governments have pinned blame on China’s inward-looking water management policies, although some experts say the real culprit is unusually severe drought conditions in southwestern China, northern Thailand and Laos.
Chinese authorities have said water levels in the country are at their lowest in 50 years, and they reject as groundless reports blaming their dams for the parched state of the river. The Mekong River Commission (MRC), an inter-governmental body that promotes and coordinates sustainable management and development of the Mekong River basin, said in a February 26 statement that levels in the upper Mekong are lower than in 1993, which came on the heels of the most serious regional drought on record in 1992.
‘They herded us into one place and started chopping with machetes…’
Jos has been ravaged by sectarian violence, with hundreds killed and thrown into mass graves. Daniel Howden, the first British newspaper journalist to visit the Nigerian town since the massacre, hears the survivors’ stories
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Many of the black-clad women in mourning who marched the dusty streets of Jos this week carried messages of peace.
Some called for justice for those murdered, others for an end to the violence that has shattered the city and set the whole of Nigeria on edge. But one woman had a different message. Her banner read: “God hears when we cry. Be warned.” Her warning was being heeded yesterday in a city now strictly segregated between Muslims and Christians.
A dusk-to-dawn curfew is manned by hundreds of police and soldiers, who have carved up the city with impromptu barricades.
2 months after Haiti quake, housing still elusive
By BEN FOX and JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press Writers
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Trash and sewage are piling up at the squalid tent camps that hundreds of thousands have called home since Haiti’s devastating earthquake – and with torrential rains expected any day, authorities are not even close to providing the shelters they promised.
Two months since the Jan. 12 quake, the government has yet to relocate a single person, despite a pledge that people would be moving into resettlement areas by early February.
Aid groups say they’re ready to build but don’t have the land. Government officials insist they are making progress on finding sites in closed-door negotiations with private landowners.
But time is running out for 600,000 people living under tarps, tents or simply bed sheets as the rainy season has the makings of a second major crisis. Heavy rains typically start around April 1 and there already have been deadly floods to the west of the earthquake zone.