Docudharma Times Thursday May 20




Thursday’s Headlines:

Scientists Fault U.S. Response in Assessing Gulf Oil Spill

USA

In the bayou, fish and oil have mixed for decades

350 immigrants held more than 6 months while fighting deportation, U.S. says

Europe

French cabinet unites to pass burka bill that has split country

Euro in danger: Germans trigger panic over future of single curre

Middle East

No release for hikers jailed as American spies, says Iran

Washington burns its bridges with Iran

Asia

North Korea threatens South over report on sinking of warship

Pakistan court orders blocking of Facebook over Muhammad cartoon

Africa

Malawi gay couple sentenced to 14 years in jail

Latin America

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez allegedly helped Colombian, Spanish militants forge ties

 

Scientists Fault U.S. Response in Assessing Gulf Oil Spill



By JUSTIN GILLIS

Published: May 19, 2010


Tensions between the Obama administration and the scientific community over the gulf oil spill are escalating, with prominent oceanographers accusing the government of failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage and of allowing BP to obscure the spill’s true scope.

The scientists assert that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies have been slow to investigate the magnitude of the spill and the damage it is causing in the deep ocean. They are especially concerned about getting a better handle on problems that may be occurring from large plumes of oil droplets that appear to be spreading beneath the ocean surface.

USA

In the bayou, fish and oil have mixed for decades



By Joel Achenbach

Thursday, May 20, 2010


PORT FOURCHON, LA. — Joey Toups, shrimper, swears he’s not suing anyone. “I don’t like the lawyers,” he says, unloading 100-count shrimp from his boat as, out in the gulf, a great mass of oil has begun caressing the grasses at the very tip of the delta.

Toups is a third-generation trawler, but he worked 14 years in the oil fields, building pipelines and welding for Exxon. Oil and fishing frame his life. He likes to fish out by the rigs that sprout on the gulf horizon.

350 immigrants held more than 6 months while fighting deportation, U.S. says

ACLU sought detainees’ names as part of a class-action lawsuit seeking their release until the cases are resolved.

By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times

May 20, 2010


More than 350 immigrant detainees in the Los Angeles area have been held behind bars longer than six months while fighting deportation, according to a list recently released by the federal government.

The list of names was turned over to the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California late last month as part of a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The ACLU is battling for the right of detainees held for six months or more to have hearings on whether they can be released from custody while their cases are pending.

Europe

French cabinet unites to pass burka bill that has split country

Thursday, 20 May 2010

By Geneviève Roberts in Paris  

Rising tension over the burka has led to violent attacks, as the French cabinet yesterday approved a draft law to ban garments “designed to hide the face” in the country.

The bill will now go before parliament in July. President Nicolas Sarkozy told assembled ministers: “In this matter the government is taking a path it knows to be difficult, but a path it knows to be just,” according to his office. He said France was “an old nation united around a certain idea of personal dignity, particularly women’s dignity, and of life together. It’s the fruit of centuries of efforts.”

Euro in danger: Germans trigger panic over future of single curre

From The Times

May 20, 2010


David Charter, Berlin

Shocked European ministers are preparing for emergency talks to shore up the euro after markets fell in reaction to panic measures in Germany.

Angela Merkel stunned EU capitals by warning that the euro was in danger and triggered fears of a fresh financial meltdown by announcing a ban on risky trading practices by speculators. The German Chancellor’s actions opened up new cracks in the single currency, drawing sharp criticism from France and prompting Brussels to issue an appeal for unity.

Middle East

No release for hikers jailed as American spies, says Iran  

From The Times

May 20, 2010


Hugh Tomlinson

Iran has again accused three American hikers imprisoned in Tehran of being spies, hours before their mothers arrived in the country to plead for their release after almost a year behind bars.

The comments by Heydar Moslehi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister, appeared to dash any hope that the women’s visit could help to expedite the release of their children. Instead they are likely to become bargaining chips in the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear programme. On Tuesday the US reached agreement with Russia and China on a tough new package of UN sanctions against Iran.

Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, have been held in Evin prison in Tehran since July, when they were arrested after crossing the Iranian border from northern Iraq.

Washington burns its bridges with Iran

May 21, 2010

By Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON – The agreement on draft United Nations Security Council resolution sanctions against Iran has grabbed the headlines on the Barack Obama administration’s response to Iran’s nuclear swap proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil. But the more consequential response is the acknowledgement by the US State Department on Monday that the administration is not willing to hold talks with Iran unless it agrees to a complete halt in uranium enrichment.

That announcement was accompanied by the revelation that the objective of the original swap proposal last autumn was to get Iran to agree to eventually suspend its enrichment program.

Asia

North Korea threatens South over report on sinking of warship

Pyongyang dismisses finding that it torpedoed navy ship and says it will wage ‘all-out war of justice’ if punished

Tania Branigan in Beijing and agencies

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 20 May 2010 07.27 BST


Tensions between North and South Korea escalated dramatically today following the publication of an international report which concluded that a South Korean warship was sunk by a torpedo from a North Korean submarine in March. The report by civilian and military investigators, who worked with experts from several other countries, said there was “no other plausible explanation” for the sinking of the Cheonan.

Pyongyang immediately dismissed the finding as a fabrication and threatening to wage an “all-out war of justice” if punished for the disaster.

Pakistan court orders blocking of Facebook over Muhammad cartoon

From The Times

May 20, 2010


Jeremy Page South Asia Correspondent  

Facebook was sucked into a growing row over Islam and freedom of speech yesterday after a Pakistani court ordered the site to be blocked over a page advertising a contest to draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Creators of the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” page, which invites users to send in caricatures, said that it was a response to Muslim bloggers who threatened people involved with the television show South Park for depicting the Prophet in a bear suit. The competition has infuriated many Muslims, especially in Pakistan, reigniting a debate sparked by cartoons of the Prophet published in Danish newspapers in 2005.

Africa

Malawi gay couple sentenced to 14 years in jail

A judge in Malawi has sentenced a gay couple to 14 years in prison with hard labour after they were convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts.

The BBC Thursday, 20 May 2010

The judge said he wanted to “protect” the public.

Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, have been in jail since their arrest in December 2009 after holding an engagement ceremony.

Their arrest sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country.

‘Prisoners of conscience’

“I will give you a scaring sentence so that the public be protected from people like you, so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example,” said Judge Nyakwawa Usiwa-Usiwa in the commercial capital, Blantyre.

Defence lawyer Mauya Msuku had argued for a lighter sentence, pointing out that the pair’s actions had not victimised anyone.

Latin America

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez allegedly helped Colombian, Spanish militants forge ties



By Juan Forero

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, May 20, 2010


MACHIQUES, VENEZUELA — For two years, Colombian officials have accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez of providing arms and sanctuary to Marxist rebels intent on toppling Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, Washington’s closest ally in a turbulent region.

Now, based on documents and witness testimony, Chávez is facing fresh accusations that his government has gone well beyond assisting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Documents seized from two subversive groups, along with information provided by former Colombian guerrillas, suggest that Venezuela facilitated training sessions here between the FARC and ETA, a separatist group in Spain that uses assassinations and bombings in its effort to win independence for the northern Basque region.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

4 comments

Skip to comment form

    • TMC on May 20, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I wasn’t sure if you were posting today , sorry to step on you. Hope the new job is going well.

Comments have been disabled.