Docudharma Times Monday June 14




Monday’s Headlines:

White House turns up heat on BP with flurry of new demands

From the bedroom to the Guggenheim: search is on for a YouTube masterpiece

USA

Lawmakers’ committee assignments and industry investments overlap

As businesses collapse, claimants still waiting for checks from BP

Europe

Belgium divide deepens after Flemish separatists win election

Army misses a trick as Geordie is hailed hero of the Foreign Legion

Middle East

America leaves Iraq a toxic legacy of dumped hazardous materials

Red Cross: Gaza blockade illegal

Asia

Kyrgyz gangs accused of ‘genocide’ as death toll rises

North Korea’s star at the World Cup

Africa

Mo Ibrahim prize goes to none

Riot police break up World Cup wages protest

 

White House turns up heat on BP with flurry of new demands



By Stephen Foley in New York Monday, 14 June 2010

The White House is ratcheting up pressure on BP over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as the company meets today to discuss the future of the dividend payments while it assesses the scale and costs of the unfolding environmental disaster.

President Barack Obama is demanding that the oil giant immediately puts billions of dollars into a reserve account and submit to an independent panel that will hand out compensation payments to those in the Gulf region who have lost their livelihoods.

From the bedroom to the Guggenheim: search is on for a YouTube masterpiece

New York museum reaches out to the masses to find the next generation of video artists

Jemima Kiss

The Guardian, Monday 14 June 2010

It is home to one of the world’s finest collections of contemporary art, from Mondrian to Mapplethorpe and Joseph Beuys to Rachel Whiteread. But now New York’s Guggenheim Museum is using YouTube to source a new generation of creative talent, hosting a biennale of video art this October.

YouTube Play invites submissions from any artist anywhere in the world. Two hundred shortlisted videos will be published on the site.

Better known for finger-biting babies, sneezing pandas and Justin Bieber, YouTube’s audience is vast. The Google-owned site serves 2 billion videos each day and 24 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute.

USA

Lawmakers’ committee assignments and industry investments overlap



By Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Dan Keating

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, June 14, 2010  


Rep. Ron Paul is captivated by gold. Over the past two decades, he has written books about the virtues of gold-backed currency. He has made uncounted speeches about the precious metal. He even took a leadership post on the House subcommittee that oversees the nation’s monetary policy, mints and gold medals.

But his focus on gold goes beyond the theoretical.

In recent years, Paul (R-Tex.) has poured hundreds of thousands of his own dollars into stocks of some of the world’s largest gold-mining operations, according to a review of his financial disclosure forms by The Washington Post. In 2008, while advocating for the United States to reinstate a gold standard, he reported owning up to $1.5 million in shares of at least nine gold-production companies.

As businesses collapse, claimants still waiting for checks from BP

The oil giant says 20,000 of the 42,000 claims filed have been paid. But many affected financially by the oil spill report no responses, answers or relief.

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times

June 14, 2010


Reporting from Gulf Shores, Ala. – Real estate agent Mike Reynolds had two desirable beachfront condos in escrow when the tide of crude from the Deepwater Horizon spill washed over his business and left it looking about as appetizing as an oiled crab.

“I lost $20,000 in commission,” Reynolds said. “The guy called and said he’d never be able to make any money off of them. He walked away from a $10,000 earnest-money check.”

Europe

Belgium divide deepens after Flemish separatists win election

New Flemish Alliance led by Bart De Wever becomes largest party with Dutch-speaking Flanders set to demand more self-rule

Associated Press

guardian.co.uk, Monday 14 June 2010 07.34 BST


The Belgian general election produced a stunning win for a Flemish separatist party that wants Dutch and French-speakers to end years of acrimonious linguistic disputes, or go their own way and break up Belgium.

The New Flemish Alliance shook up Belgium’s political scene yesterday by winning 27 seats, up 19 from the 2007 elections, to become the country’s largest party.

Its win was a withering verdict on premier Yves Leterme’s outgoing coalition of Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists – split into Dutch- and French-speaking factions – whose three years in office were marked by enduring linguistic spats that remained unresolved.

Army misses a trick as Geordie is hailed hero of the Foreign Legion

From The Times

June 14, 2010


Chris Smyth  

Amid the pomp of the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris next month, Alex Rowe, Newcastle-born and Gloucestershire-raised, will be invested as a Chevalier of the L├ęgion d’Honneur for his service in the French Foreign Legion.

It is an honour unheard of for an English legionnaire, but Adjudant-chef Rowe is frank: he would much rather have joined the British Army. While his twin brother, Mark, was accepted into the Royal Engineers, Adjudant-chef Rowe was rejected because of a childhood detached retina.

The decision still rankles. While he speaks matter-of-factly about quelling African rebellions and escaping death in a Taleban ambush, mention the British army and he suddenly becomes animated.

Middle East

America leaves Iraq a toxic legacy of dumped hazardous materials  

From The Times

June 14, 2010


Oliver August, Baghdad  

American troops going home from Iraq after seven painful years are leaving behind a legacy that is literally toxic.

An investigation by The Times in five Iraqi provinces has found that hazardous material from US bases is being dumped locally rather than sent back to America, in clear breach of Pentagon rules.

North and west of Baghdad, engine oil is leaking from 55-gallon drums into dusty ground, open acid canisters sit within easy reach of children, and discarded batteries lie close to irrigated farmland. A 2009 Pentagon document shown to The Times by a private contractor working with US soldiers mentions “an estimated 11 million pounds [5,000 tonnes] of hazardous waste” produced by American troops.

Red Cross: Gaza blockade illegal



MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2010  

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has described Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip as a violation of the Geneva Conventions and called on the Israeli government to lift it.

In a statement released on Monday, the organisation called the blockade “collective punishment”, a crime under international law. It described Gaza as a territory plagued by frequent power cuts, a ruined economy, and a collapsed health care system.

“The closure imposed on the Gaza Strip is about to enter its fourth year, choking off any real possibility of economic development,” the ICRC said.

“Gazans continue to suffer from unemployment, poverty and warfare, while the quality of Gaza’s health care system has reached an all-time low.”

Asia

Kyrgyz gangs accused of ‘genocide’ as death toll rises



By Shaun Walker in Moscow Monday, 14 June 2010

In the worst ethnic violence this Central Asia nation has seen in 20 years, marauding Kyrgyz gangs were last night accused of “committing genocide”, burning ethnic Uzbeks out of their homes and embarking on a three-day rampage of killing, which some human rights activists on the scene estimated has killed more than 500 people.

Uzbekistan’s Emergencies Ministry said that more than 75,000 people – mainly women, children and the elderly – had fled across the border to escape the rampage of killing, which began in Kyrgyzstan’s second city of Osh and across the south to Jalalabad.

North Korea’s star at the World Cup  

Striker Jong Tae-se of North Korea’s 2010 World Cup team was raised in Japan, had a pro-Pyongyang education and has dreamed of soccer greatness since elementary school.

By Barbara Demick and Yuriko Nagano, Los Angeles Times

June 14, 2010


Reporting from Beijing and Tokyo – He is the new public face of North Korea:

Jong Tae-se is a 26-year-old publicity hound with his own blog, where he strikes a sultry bare-chested pose. He has appeared in television commercials. He drives a silver Hummer and likes to dress like hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur. When he goes on the road, he travels with a laptop, iPod and sometimes a Nintendo DS and a Sony PlayStation Portable.

Jong is the star striker of North Korea’s 2010 World Cup team. That makes him at this particular moment the most recognizable living North Korean, with the possible exception of the Dear Leader himself, Kim Jong Il.

Africa

Mo Ibrahim prize goes to none



MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2010  

Judges for a $5m annual prize for good governance in Africa have decided not to give the award for the second consecutive year.

The organisers of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership were expected to announce the winner of the award to a person who had set an example for honest, democratic governance on Monday.

But on Sunday, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which is based in London, said that its seven-member prize committee, led by Kofi Annan, the ex-UN secretary-general, had not chosen anyone to win the award.

The foundation said that since last year’s failure to select a winner, there had been “no new candidates or new developments”.

Riot police break up World Cup wages protest

Disgruntled workers tried to stay in venue after Germany-Australia match  

By Mike Corder and Derek Gatopoulos  

DURBAN, South Africa – Armed riot police charged into hundreds of security stewards at a World Cup stadium , using tear gas and firing rubber bullets to break up a protest over low wages just hours after Sunday’s match between Germany and Australia.

Police appeared to set off two percussive grenades, causing loud bangs, to drive the workers out of a parking lot under the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban after Germany’s 4-0 win in Group D.

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