Docudarhma Times Sunday July 4




Sunday’s Headlines:

It’s not just BP’s oil in the Gulf that threatens world’s oceans

No Motors, but Mistrust at Tour de France

USA

As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Billions From Subsidies

America’s heartland sees little need for a political insurrection

Europe

War Child and the Bosnian war 15 years on

Italian resort of Forte dei Marmi turns against rich tourists

Middle East

Ahmadinejad: U.S. sanctions attempt to hinder Iran’s progress

Biden to nudge Iraq on sluggish efforts to form a government

Asia

In Indonesia, 1998 violence against ethnic Chinese remains unaddressed

Sumo threatened by scandal and crime

Africa

Congo: UN says at least 220 dead in oil explosion

Latin America

Sex, death and slaves: Welcome to Haiti’s horror carnival

It’s not just BP’s oil in the Gulf that threatens world’s oceans

 

By Les Blumenthal | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – A sobering new report warns that the oceans face a “fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation” not seen in millions of years as greenhouse gases and climate change already have affected temperature, acidity, sea and oxygen levels, the food chain and possibly major currents that could alter global weather.

The report, in Science magazine, brings together dozens of studies that collectively paint a dismal picture of deteriorating ocean health.

No Motors, but Mistrust at Tour de France



By JULIET MACUR

Published: July 3, 2010


ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands – In what came as no surprise to the other riders at the Tour de France, the Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara won the Tour’s prologue on Saturday, earning the yellow leader’s jersey to kick off the three-week race.

Cancellara is a time-trial specialist, known for thick, powerful thighs knotted with muscles. As the Olympic time trial champion and the world time trial champion, Cancellara is considered the rider to beat in the Tour’s prologue.

Yet the International Cycling Union on Saturday wanted to make sure that Cancellara’s speedy, 10-minute victory on the 5.5-mile course was not too good to be true.

USA

As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Billions From Subsidies



By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI

Published: July 3, 2010

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform set off the worst oil spill at sea in American history, it was flying the flag of the Marshall Islands. Registering there allowed the rig’s owner to significantly reduce its American taxes.

The owner, Transocean, moved its corporate headquarters from Houston to the Cayman Islands in 1999 and then to Switzerland in 2008, maneuvers that also helped it avoid taxes.

At the same time, BP was reaping sizable tax benefits from leasing the rig. According to a letter sent in June to the Senate Finance Committee, the company used a tax break for the oil industry to write off 70 percent of the rent for Deepwater Horizon – a deduction of more than $225,000 a day since the lease began.

America’s heartland sees little need for a political insurrection

THE CRUCIAL CORRIDOR

By Shailagh Murray

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, July 4, 2010


QUEEN CITY, MO. — It would seem like the wrong kind of year for Roy Blunt to go looking for a promotion.

The conservative Republican congressman is the picture of the Washington insider. Blunt rose through the House GOP ranks as the party’s emissary to K Street lobbyists. His wife is a prominent lobbyist. He raises more money from lobbyists than just about any of his House colleagues and is unapologetic about wringing money from the federal budget to benefit his home state.

Europe

War Child and the Bosnian war 15 years on

At the height of the Bosnian war, amid a hurricane of killing, rape and ‘ethnic cleansing’, a movement striving in the opposite direction responded in the most powerful way they knew: with rock’n’roll. Fifteen years since War Child’s Help LP, key figures reflect on the war – and music

Ed Vulliamy

The Observer, Sunday 4 July 2010


Jasmin Elezovic picks up his guitar and sings another song – it is late, but what the hell. A caustic love song called “Usne Vrele Visnje” (Hot Cherry Lips), typical of a band called Azra, with a yearning intensified these days by the fact that Azra’s heyday was also that of a united Yugoslavia, from where the band came and across which they were hugely popular.

Elezovic and his family are sitting in their modest but homely flat above a Habsburg-era post office in East Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, which for nine months from May 1993 was probably one of the most dangerous places on earth to call home.

Italian resort of Forte dei Marmi turns against rich tourists

Glitzy Tuscan retreat is trying to stop locals being forced out by wealthy Russian visitors

Tom Kington in Forte dei Marmi

The Observer, Sunday 4 July 2010  


After years of welcoming well-heeled tourists from around the world with open arms, one of Tuscany’s smartest, most discreet beach resorts is in revolt against outsiders, wealthy or not.

Forte dei Marmi – the traditional summer retreat for Italian captains of industry, writers and film stars – is changing the law to try to stop locals fleeing because of house prices driven out of control by incoming Russian millionaires. The town’s combative mayor, Umberto Buratti, is reserving space next to luxury villas with sea views for new homes that will only be sold to locally-born buyers or long-term residents. Other Italian resorts with similar problems will monitor the experiment with interest.

Middle East

Ahmadinejad: U.S. sanctions attempt to hinder Iran’s progress



By the CNN Wire Staff

New U.S. sanctions on Iran show the West does not understand the Islamic republic and “are aimed at preventing Iran from becoming an industrial pole and achieving its rightful place,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech Saturday, according to Iranian media.

But, he said, Iran has mastered the art of overcoming obstacles and “nothing can stop the progress of our industry,” Iran’s state-run Press TV reported, citing the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.The speech represented Ahmadinejad’s first since U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into law new sanctions on Iran. Last week, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved the sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.

Biden to nudge Iraq on sluggish efforts to form a government

As the U.S. prepares to exit Iraq, the vice president arrives in Baghdad for talks with election front-runners Nouri Maliki and Iyad Allawi. He expresses optimism.

By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times

July 4, 2010


Reporting from Baghdad –

Vice President Joe Biden, the White House point man on Iraq policy, arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for meetings with the two front-runners in slow-moving negotiations to lead the Iraqi government as U.S. troops pull out.

Iraqis voted on March 7, and there are widespread expectations that naming a prime minister and forming a new government could take many more weeks. In the meantime, a sense of uncertainty pervades the country and U.S. troops are in the process of drawing down to a total of 50,000 by the end of August. All U.S. troops are scheduled to leave by the end of 2011.

Asia

In Indonesia, 1998 violence against ethnic Chinese remains unaddressed  

Twelve years after the ouster of President Suharto, who was believed to have encouraged racial attacks, ethnic Chinese have seen their lot improve but many say they are still treated like outsiders.  

By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times

July 4, 2010


Reporting from Jakarta, Indonesia –

Ruminah winces as she recalls the afternoon a mob ransacked her tiny hair salon, smashing windows and destroying both the business and her faith in justice in her homeland.

More than a decade later, the reason she was attacked still haunts her: She is part Chinese.

In May 1998, during two deadly days of racially fueled mayhem, rioters killed 1,000 people and raped 87 women, most of Chinese descent. Others cowered in their homes as the rape squads, reportedly led by army thugs, roamed the streets of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.

The petite Ruminah, who, like many here, goes by one name, lost more than her shop that day. Her developmentally disabled son was killed in a fire set by looters at a nearby mall.

Sumo threatened by scandal and crime  

Illegal betting by stars and links to Japanese gangsters have rocked ancient sport already tainted by violence and bullying

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

The Observer, Sunday 4 July 2010    


The faces staring out from the prints covering the wall of a tiny museum in Tokyo are uniformly podgy. They are the yokozuna, men who, over the centuries, have reached the apex of the ancient sport of sumo wrestling. Possessed of devastating strength and skill, they are also feted for modesty in victory and dignity in defeat.

The coach parties of pensioners at the sumo museum in Tokyo’s Ryogoku district linger before the yokozuna (grand champions), laughing as they recognise faces from the past and, perhaps, hoping for happier times for Japan’s de facto national sport.

Africa

Congo: UN says at least 220 dead in oil explosion



By MAX DELANY, Associated Press Writer

SANGE, Congo – A tanker truck hauling fuel on a rural eastern Congo highway overturned, gushing oil and exploding in a massive fireball that killed about 220 bystanders, including many who had been watching the World Cup in flimsy roadside shacks, officials and witnesses said Saturday.

The Red Cross said at least 61 children and 36 women were among the dead. Witnesses said dozens of people had descended on the truck to siphon fuel illegally from the wreckage with jerry-cans and plastic buckets, apparently unaware of the danger.

U.N. peacekeepers rushed to evacuate more than 200 wounded from the scene by helicopter and ambulance, while Red Cross teams carried the charred bodies from the scene in body bags and buried them in two mass graves a few miles (kilometers) away.

Latin America

Sex, death and slaves: Welcome to Haiti’s horror carnival

Blood and black magic flow through Haiti’s history – as photographer Leah Gordon discovered when she went to Mardi Gras in the port town of Jacmel…  

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Leafing through Leah Gordon’s book of bewildering, disturbing and thrilling black-and-white photos, one stands out. Two boys stand before the camera, each wearing rough eyemasks, their naked upper bodies smeared with something grim-looking, large horns bound to their heads and rope in their hands. They look, to be frank, terrifying.

The photo was taken in Haiti, at the Mardi Gras carnival of Jacmel, a port on the south coast, and at first glance it plays up to the country’s voodoo clich├ęs; but look a little closer – the boys seem at ease, proud even, to pose for their portrait.

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