Docudharma Times Friday April 23




Friday’s Headlines:

SEC employees surfed porn as economy fell

Burma’s hip-hop resistance spreads message of freedom

USA

U.S. military, diplomats at odds over how to resolve Kandahar’s electricity woes

Federal investigation boosts concerns over debt-relief firms

Europe

Viral video gives Soviet crooner an unlikely comeback

NATO talks on nuclear stockpile in Europe enter second day

Middle East

Netanyahu raises stakes with US over settlements in East Jerusalem

Iran war games begin with new ‘ultra fast’ speed boats

Asia

Taleban rift ignites power struggle over who controls the insurgency

Thai police warn Red Shirts to retreat

Latin America

In Venezuela’s Savanna, Clash of Science and Fire

 

SEC employees surfed porn as economy fell  

One senior attorney spent up to 8 hours a day downloading porn

By DANIEL WAGNER

AP Business Writer


WASHINGTON – Senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system, an agency watchdog says.

The SEC’s inspector general conducted 33 probes of employees looking at explicit images in the past five years, according to a memo obtained late Thursday by The Associated Press.

Burma’s hip-hop resistance spreads message of freedom

Thxa Soe’s music gives country’s youth a focus for dissatisfaction with the junta despite strict censorship

Jack Davies in Taunggyi, Shan state

guardian.co.uk  


They know every word. Boys, bare-chested and sweating in the April heat. Girls clutching digital cameras, their faces streaked with paste to protect them from the sun. They answer the call-and-response lines with increasing excitement. By the time Thxa Soe reaches the chorus, the crowd have taken over. With fists pumping the air, they roar his words back at him.

This is a summer music festival, soaked in alcohol and drenched in sweat, the same as anywhere. But this is Burma, and nothing is the same here.

USA

U.S. military, diplomats at odds over how to resolve Kandahar’s electricity woes



By Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, April 23, 2010


KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — U.S. military commanders and senior diplomats are locked in a dispute over the best way to bring more electricity to Afghanistan’s second-largest city, complicating a major campaign to win over the population of Kandahar and push out the Taliban.

The standoff has reached the top two U.S. officials in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry, illuminating the sometimes-sharp differences between the military and civilian officials over how to stabilize this nation.

Federal investigation boosts concerns over debt-relief firms  

Government Accountability Office finds companies give exaggerated descriptions of success rates while many clients end up deeper in debt.

Kim Geiger

April 22, 2010 | 8:26 p.m.


Reporting from Washington

A new report by undercover government investigators bolsters longstanding concerns that companies promising to help consumers overwhelmed by credit card and other debts often turn out to be financial predators that charge high fees but deliver little or nothing in return.

When investigators for the Government Accountability Office posed as distressed consumers seeking help, so-called debt management companies gave them wildly exaggerated descriptions of the firms’ success rates and sometimes promised savings of as much as 50 cents on the dollar, Gregory Kutz, the GAO official who ran the investigation, told Congress on Thursday.

Europe

Viral video gives Soviet crooner an unlikely comeback

Shaun Walker reports from Moscow on the revival of a 1970s favourite

Friday, 23 April 2010  

When Eduard Khil steps on to the stage at a Moscow nightclub tomorrow night, it will be a concert like none other he has ever given. Until a few months ago, Khil, a Brezhnev-era crooner long forgotten by most Russians, mainly gave small recitals for war veterans in dingy townhalls. Now, thanks to the internet, the 75-year-old singer, known online as Mr Trololo, has become an international sensation. Tomorrow, he will take to the stage in front of hundreds of young adoring fans at 16 Tons, a Moscow venue better known for hosting rock bands and international DJs.

NATO talks on nuclear stockpile in Europe enter second day

NATO foreign ministers are discussing the future of some 200 United States nuclear weapons that are stored in European countries including Germany, Belgium, Italy and Norway.

NATO | 23.04.2010

The Secretary General of NATO has said the US stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe are an “essential” deterrent, during informal talks between NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn, Estonia.

The first day of talks on Thursday highlighted differences between the United States and some European politicians such as Germany’s Guido Westerwelle, who thinks the weapons are a legacy of the Cold War.

“My personal view is: the presence of American nuclear weapons in Europe is an essential part of a credible nuclear deterrent,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after the ministers’ first round of talks.

Middle East

Netanyahu raises stakes with US over settlements in East Jerusalem

Friday, 23 April 2010

By Catrina Stewart in Jerusalem  

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected US demands to freeze Jewish construction in East Jerusalem, creating a key stumbling block to renewed peace talks just as Washington’s Middle East envoy arrived in town.

“I am saying one thing. There will be no freeze in Jerusalem,” Mr Netanyahu said in comments broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 last night. “There should be no preconditions to talks.”

The Israeli leader had formally responded to the Obama administration’s freeze request at the weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported.

His public comments, made just after George Mitchell’s arrival for his first visit in six weeks, seemed timed to undermine the US envoy’s bid to revive negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Iran war games begin with new ‘ultra fast’ speed boats  

Iran’s war games in the Persian Gulf began earlier than usual this year with a display of new attack speed boats and rhetoric.

By Scott Peterson, Staff writer / April 22, 2010

Iranian television Wednesday showed dozens of speedboats with flags flying as they raced across shimmering waters toward mock target ships, firing rockets and heavy machine guns with a fusillade that caused explosions and columns of billowing black smoke. (see video at end of article)

State-run PressTV reported that “Iran is showing off its military might” and that the “world got its first glimpse” of the boat. The annual war games were launched months earlier than usual by Revolutionary Guard, as international pressure builds on Iran over its nuclear program.

Asia

Taleban rift ignites power struggle over who controls the insurgency

From The Times

April 23, 2010


Jerome Starkey in Kabul

Two of the Taleban’s most senior military commanders are involved in a bitter power struggle, which insiders claim has split the insurgents’ leadership council and could turn violent in parts of southern Afghanistan.

The commanders are vying for military control of the insurgency, district elders and mid-level Taleban commanders have told The Times.

Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir and Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor were both named as the successors to Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taleban’s second in command, who was arrested in Pakistan in February.

Thai police warn Red Shirts to retreat

Thai police have tried to push back anti-government “Red Shirt” protesters from a confrontation zone in Bangkok after deadly grenade attacks further stoked tensions in the long-running political standoff.

ublished: 7:00AM BST 23 Apr 2010

Hundreds of riot police, unarmed but carrying shields and batons, moved on the heavily fortified barricades which form the front line of the Reds’ vast encampment that has paralysed the main retail district in the heart of Bangkok.

“Police asked protesters to move their barricade some 100 metres… to ease the confrontation but so far there is no agreement,” Major General Anuchai Lekbumrung of Bangkok Metropolitan Police said.

“Police asked protesters to move their barricade some 100 metres… to ease the confrontation but so far there is no agreement,” Major General Anuchai Lekbumrung of Bangkok Metropolitan Police said.

Latin America

In Venezuela’s Savanna, Clash of Science and Fire

YUNÉK JOURNAL

By SIMON ROMERO

Published: April 22, 2010


YUNÉK, Venezuela – The mist-shrouded mountains rising out of the forest here form one of the world’s most beguiling frontiers of exploration and research, inspiring Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 fantasy novel “The Lost World” and teams of biologists who still mount expeditions to remote escarpments in hopes of finding species new to science.

But in the savannas below, the tendrils of smoke hanging over the landscape attest to a custom that has set off a fierce debate among scientists in Venezuela and beyond: the Pemón Indian tradition of repeatedly burning grassland and forest to hunt for animals and grow food.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

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    • on April 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm
    • TMC on April 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Today in history:

    1564 This is the generally accepted birthdate of the English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare, who died on the same date 52 years later.

    1616 The Spanish poet Cervantes died in Madrid.

    1791 James Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

    1954 Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 major-league home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

    1971 The Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers” was released.

    1985 The Coca-Cola Co. announced it was changing its secret formula for Coke

    1992 McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Beijing.

    2005 The first video was uploaded to YouTube.com.

    Birthdays:

    1928 Shirley Temple Black,Diplomat, former child actress

    1940 Lee Majors, Actor (“The Six Millon Dollar Man”)

    1954 Michael Moore, Academy Award winning Film Maker, Activist

    1960 Valerie Bertinelli, Actress (“One Day at a Time”)

    For Cervantes

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