Docudharma Times Sunday June 13




Sunday’s Headlines:

Oil spill disaster: The guilty parties

Belgrade Opens Up With Amps On

USA

Obama pleads for $50 billion in state, local aid

Sea turtles’ breeding tradition threatened

Europe

Louvre masterpiece by Veronese ‘mutilated’ by botched nose jobs

Sarkozy gets twitchy as French rise up against austerity

Middle East

Pressure on Israel to lift Gaza blockade

Vital River Is Withering, and Iraq Has No Answer

Asia

Revealed: Japan’s bribes on whaling

Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency ‘supports’ Taliban

Africa

‘World Cup is forcing white South Africans to come to the party’

Ex-mercenary Nick du Toit tells of his five years in a ‘living hell’ and why he is ashamed of war

Latin America

Jamaica music lyrics – trigger of violence?

 

Oil spill disaster: The guilty parties

The blowout of Deepwater Horizon involved more than one organisation. There were other companies, and a regulator. And behind them, ourselves and our insatiable cars.

By David Randall and David Usborne Sunday, 13 June 2010

You would not think it possible for a major environmental disaster to take on the tone of a football match, but such is the case this weekend with the Gulf oil spill. The real issues – of what caused it, the impotence of technology to staunch it, and where the responsibility really lies – are being obscured by the waving of cheap national flags, the chanting of taunts and the ritual pointing of ignorant fingers.

This, it is sadly necessary to point out, is not some weekend grudge match. It is the pollution of hundreds of square miles of ocean, the soiling of beaches in state upon state, and the death of creatures uncountable.

Belgrade Opens Up With Amps On

NEXT STOP

By RACHEL B. DOYLE

IT was the first-year anniversary party for Kulturni Centar Grad, an underground club in Belgrade, and a young crowd in vintage finery milled about expectantly. Pink lights reflected off glasses of wine, and cigarette smoke hung in the air. To whistles and applause, a man in a white suit, striped tie and white fedora strode onstage.

With the crowd swaying on their feet, Louie Austen, a 63-year-old jazz singer from Austria, clasped the microphone and belted out a slow, impassioned version of “My Way” à la Frank Sinatra, with a near-perfect American accent. The audience, who switched easily between Serbian and English, went wild.

USA

Obama pleads for $50 billion in state, local aid



By Lori Montgomery

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, June 13, 2010


President Obama urged reluctant lawmakers Saturday to quickly approve nearly $50 billion in emergency aid to state and local governments, saying the money is needed to avoid “massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters” and to support the still-fragile economic recovery.

In a letter to congressional leaders, Obama defended last year’s huge economic stimulus package, saying it helped break the economy’s free fall, but argued that more spending is urgent and unavoidable. “We must take these emergency measures,” he wrote in an appeal aimed primarily at members of his own party.

Sea turtles’ breeding tradition threatened

On an Alabama beach, the animals return to their birthplace to deposit their eggs. But this year, hundreds have been found dead or stranded, and scientists aren’t positive the oil is the sole culprit.

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times

June 12, 2010 | 8:18 p.m.


Reporting from Gulf Shores, Ala – Each summer, a ritual millions of years old unfolds on this beach, next to the high-rise condos and beach chairs, the T-shirt shops and the Hooters across the road. A 300-pound loggerhead turtle drags herself out of the water for the first time since her birth, probably on the same beach, 18 years ago.

Under the moonlight, she kicks a 2-foot-deep hole into the sand, drops in a gleaming heap of eggs, covers it and then lumbers back out to sea.

Europe

Louvre masterpiece by Veronese ‘mutilated’ by botched nose jobs

Paris museum accused of trying to cover up ‘vulgar’ alterations to Italian Renaissance painter’s Supper at Emmaus  

Dalya Alberge

The Observer, Sunday 13 June 2010


The Louvre Museum in Paris is facing accusations that restorers have carried out two botched nose jobs on a woman pictured in one of its 16th-century masterpieces.

Art experts on both sides of the Channel say that a principal character in Supper at Emmaus, a 1550s painting by the Renaissance master Veronese, has been scarred by “vulgar cosmetic” surgery.

After the first operation, the patient emerged with “a mutilated nose tip that hovers disconnectedly over an anatomical void”, according to critics. Subsequent corrective surgery has left her with an unnaturally wide nostril and swollen lips, they say.

Sarkozy gets twitchy as French rise up against austerity

From The Sunday Times

June 13, 2010


Matthew Campbell, Paris  

THE Germans are battening down the hatches and the British are reefing their sails. Politicians from Portugal to Italy have announced a wave of austerity measures to weather the worst economic and political storms in the history of the European Union.

In France they are thinking of fun summer holidays; the last refuge of the long lunch, for the time being at least, has eliminated la rigueur, or austerity, from its lexicon.

A newspaper cartoon captured the French exception: it showed a British worker with empty pockets saying: “In English, rigueur is ‘austerity’.” A German worker says, “In German, rigueur is ‘Sparpaket’.” Next to him, President Nicolas Sarkozy raises a glass, announcing: “In French, we don’t say rigueur.”

Middle East

Pressure on Israel to lift Gaza blockade  

The three-year Israeli embargo on goods going into Gaza is ‘unacceptable and counterproductive’, says a report by the Quartet.

By Donald Macintyre Sunday, 13 June 2010

Israel’s cabinet meets today under the heaviest international pressure yet – in the aftermath of its lethal naval commando assault on a pro-Palestinian flotilla a fortnight ago – to relax the three-year economic embargo on Gaza.

Western diplomats are hoping that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, will give the first indication this morning of a major rethink of Gaza policy, under which a wide range of civilian goods would be admitted to start reviving the paralysed commercial life of the besieged territory.

Vital River Is Withering, and Iraq Has No Answer



By STEVEN LEE MYERS

Published: June 12, 2010


SIBA, Iraq – The Shatt al Arab, the river that flows from the biblical site of the Garden of Eden to the Persian Gulf, has turned into an environmental and economic disaster that Iraq’s newly democratic government is almost powerless to fix.

Withered by decades of dictatorial mismanagement and then neglect, by drought and the thirst of Iraq’s neighbors, the river formed by the convergence of the Tigris and the Euphrates no longer has the strength the keep the sea at bay.

Asia

Revealed: Japan’s bribes on whaling

From The Sunday Times

June 13, 2010


Insight  

A SUNDAY TIMES investigation has exposed Japan for bribing small nations with cash and prostitutes to gain their support for the mass slaughter of whales.

The undercover investigation found officials from six countries were willing to consider selling their votes on the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

The revelations come as Japan seeks to break the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling. An IWC meeting that will decide the fate of thousands of whales, including endangered species, begins this month in Morocco.

Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency ‘supports’ Taliban

A new report claims to provide the most concrete evidence yet of direct links between Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

By Quentin Sommerville

BBC News, Kabul


The report says the ISI is providing funding, training and sanctuary to the Taliban on a scale much larger than previously thought.

The document was prepared by the London School of Economics (LSE).

A spokesman for Pakistan’s military rejected the claims as part of a malicious campaign against the country.

‘Rubbish’

The report’s author spoke to nine Taliban field commanders in Afghanistan earlier this year.

Africa

‘World Cup is forcing white South Africans to come to the party’

South Africans dream again of the rainbow nation as they revel in the global spotlight

Alex Duval Smith in Cape Town

The Observer, Sunday 13 June 2010


The challenge for the hosts – who managed a respectable 1-1 draw with Mexico and will play Uruguay on Wednesday in Pretoria – is to give the World Cup relevance as a unifying force for the country beyond the final on 11 July. If Bafana Bafana fail to qualify for the second round, the £4bn cost of preparing for the event will be back in the newspapers, contrasted with the country’s high levels of poverty.

The South African media’s verdict on the first 24 hours of the World Cup was unanimous: a triumph. After the hosts’ first game, amid a nationwide surge of enthusiasm and patriotic fervour, one front-page headline quoted organising committee chairman Danny Jordaan: “We could not have asked for more.”

Ex-mercenary Nick du Toit tells of his five years in a ‘living hell’ and why he is ashamed of war

The jailed member of Simon Mann’s bungled 2004 coup in Equatorial Guinea reveals his motives for joining the secret plot

Tracy McVeigh

The Observer, Sunday 13 June 2010


One of the two leading figures in the notorious coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea in 2004 has spoken for the first time of his shame at being involved in the failed plot and insisted that he only went ahead because he believed the British and South African governments had backed it.

South African Nick du Toit, together with his fellow mercenary, ex-SAS officer Simon Mann, was released late last year from the infamous Black Beach prison in the tiny central African nation’s capital Malabo, described by Amnesty International as a “living hell”. Du Toit served five years and eight months of a 34-year sentence in a 5ft by 7ft (150cm x 210cm) cell and had been tortured, beaten, starved and kept for much of the time in solitary confinement.

Latin America

Jamaica music lyrics – trigger of violence?

The debate has intensified since lethal police raids in a slum that is the home turf of an alleged drugs and arms trafficker whose violent lifestyle is glorified in lyrics of a music called dancehall.

By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times

June 13, 2010


Reporting from Kingston, Jamaica –

Ova di wall, Ova di wall

Put yuh AK ova di wall…

Blood a go run

Like Dunns River Fall.

Blood flowing like waterfalls. Brains floating like feathers out of a torn pillow. Women submitting to the whims of neighborhood “dons.”

The images are typical of dancehall, a popular Jamaican music style that has sparked a furious debate over whether it merely reflects an increasingly violent society or somehow contributes to the mayhem.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

1 comment

    • Edger on June 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm



    Jakarta Globe:

    A Balinese teenager caught in the act of intercourse with a cow passed out on Friday when he was forced to marry the animal in a ceremony witnessed by hundreds of curious onlookers.

    As the Jakarta Globe reported earlier in the day, Ngurah Alit, 18, an unemployed youth from the seaside village of Yeh Embang in Jembrana, was caught stark naked positioned behind the cow in a rice paddy field.

    In his defence, Alit admitted to the act of bestiality but claimed the cow, which he believed was a young and beautiful woman, had wooed him with flattering compliments.

    As part of a Pecaruan ritual, a ceremony to cleanse the village of the unholy act of a man mating with a cow, Alit was forced to “marry” the animal.

    Alit, however, according to Detik.com, passed out surrounded by locals and police, who were attempting to prevent a number of journalists from covering the spectacle.

    It is unclear whether or not he got to say “I do.”

    Alit’s collapse prompted his mother to begin screaming hysterically, while other family members shouted at photographers not to take pictures.

    “Poor kid. He’s actually a quiet kid,” said one villager.

    As part of the ceremony, Alit’s victim and new bride was drowned in ocean.

    Alit, on the other hand, was symbolically drowned and bathed on the beach.

    “Only his clothes were thrown into the sea,” the villager said.

    Village chief Ida Bagus Legawa declared that the village had been “cleansed” from the “defilement from the incident.”

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