Children of al-Qaeda in Iraq pay for sins of their fathers
By Leila Fadel
Washington Post Staff Writer
IN BAQUBAH, IRAQ Zahraa is a rambunctious toddler. She still sucks on a pacifier, and her mother dresses her in pink. But according to the government, she does not exist.
The daughter of an al-Qaeda in Iraq militant who forced her mother into marriage and motherhood, then disappeared, Zahraa is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children whose births amid the anarchy and insurgent violence of Iraq were never legally recorded.
Without the paperwork to prove that she is the child of an Iraqi man and that her parents were joined in a legitimate marriage before her birth, Zahraa and others like her have no rights as Iraqi citizens, legal experts say.
Why We Need a New Green Revolution to Stop Hunger
The Race to Feed the Planet
Food was scarce for Dorca Mutua last summer. No rain had fallen for months. Mutua, 35, watched as first her calf and then her cow died. “There was no more grass,” the farmer says. What little she was able to coax from the ground was only enough to provide her family with one meager meal of corn porridge a day.
In 2004, Mutua had moved with her eight children and her mother-in-law to Vololo, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where she bought two hectares (five acres) of land. Her husband had died, and land in their home village was too expensive.
Short of Repeal, G.O.P. Will Chip at Health Law
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: September 20, 2010
WASHINGTON – Republicans are serious. Hopeful of picking up substantial numbers of seats in the Congressional elections, they are developing plans to try to repeal or roll back President Obama’s new health care law.
This goal, though not fleshed out in a detailed legislative proposal, is much more than a campaign slogan. That conclusion emerged from interviews with a wide range of Republican lawmakers, who said they were determined to chip away at the law if they could not dismantle it.
BP to share spill cleanup tools with industry
Gulf equipment, staff to be available while alliance creates rapid-response system
msnbc.com news services
HOUSTON – BP, which permanently sealed its ruptured Gulf of Mexico well this weekend, said on Monday it is joining the industry’s $1 billion effort to contain future subsea oil spills.
As part of its agreement to join the Marine Well Containment Company headed by Exxon Mobil Corp., BP will make its underwater well containment equipment – as well as spill-tested staff – available to oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf.
Mayor who fell foul of Kremlin flees Moscow
Politician ‘caught in power struggle between Medvedev and Putin’
By Shaun Walker in Moscow Tuesday, 21 September 2010
The powerful mayor of Moscow has departed the Russian capital for Austria amid a media campaign that many believe has been ordered by the Kremlin to discredit him.
As speculation mounted that Yury Luzhkov’s sudden departure signalled the end of his reign, Kremlin sources told Russian news agencies that he “needed time to think” and was on a week’s holiday. But there is little doubt that the row between Mr Luzhkov and the Kremlin, which has been simmering for weeks, has now spiralled out of control, into something reminiscent of the dirty political battles of the 1990s in Russia.
Roma Campaign Isolates Leader in Europe and France
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has not only alienated his European partners with his push to deport Roma — even the French are turning their backs on him. Never before has an incumbent French president faced such vitriol at home.
By Britta Sandberg and Stefan Simons
In recent weeks, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been on a whirlwind trip around his country. Wherever he has gone, he has been doing what he does best: making promises.
He promised mountain farmers in the southern region of Provence support for their sheep-rearing practices. He promised to give the residents of high-rise apartment blocks in Paris’ poverty-stricken suburbs subsidies to buy their own homes. And he promised the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan that he would continue the war on terror. It was a well-worn tactic: Sarkozy, the hyperactive, omnipresent herald of good tidings, valiantly tackling one crisis after the other.
Hamas ready to accept 1967 borders for Palestinian state
The Irish Times – Tuesday, September 21, 2010
THE HAMAS movement said yesterday that it had repeatedly told the United States it would accept the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
The organisation’s semi-annual report revealed that Hamas had asked US academics and politicians visiting Gaza to carry messages to Washington calling on the administration to engage in dialogue. Former president Jimmy Carter transmitted such messages to the US authorities from the Hamas leaderships in Gaza and Damascus.
However, Washington has refused dialogue with Hamas until it agrees to formally recognise Israel, halt violence against Israel and accept agreements reached between Palestinians and Israelis since 1993.
The specter of the one-state solution
By Victor Kotsev
On his way out of the Annapolis conference three years ago, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert explained to the Israeli Ha’aretz newspaper his motivation for engaging in the negotiations: “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.”
More recently, in the context of President Mahmoud Abbas’ repeated threats to walk out on the peace process and dissolve the Palestinian Authority, the specter of the one-state solution and the ensuing demographic threat to Israel’s Jewish majority have again started to haunt the Israeli media and politic
Thai colors bleed a complicated mosaic
By Shawn W Crispin
BANGKOK – With his floppy hair, social activist background and penchant for pointing his middle finger towards the government, Sombat Boonngam-anong is the purported new face of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) protest group. Sombat and his red shirt wearing followers took to the capital’s streets on Sunday, marking the pressure group’s largest show of force since the UDD’s nine-week protest was quashed by troops on May 19.
Sombat’s event coincided with the fourth anniversary of the military coup that toppled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, and openly defied state of emergency provisions that bar political gatherings of over five people by amassing around 10,000 protesters in downtown Bangkok.
North Korea names date for leadership summit
North Korea’s ruling party will hold its first conference in a generation on 28 September, state media reports say, amid speculation that leader Kim Jong-il is about to name his successor.
BBC News, Seoul
The Workers Party is widely expected to promote Mr Kim’s third son, Kim Jong-un, to a senior position.
Observers believe a promotion would anoint him as the heir to his father, the self-styled Dear Leader.
Mr Kim, 68, is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008.
The Korean Central News Agency carried a short statement early on Tuesday announcing the party meeting.
Women in Egypt get hi-tech aid to beat sex harassment
A hi-tech weapon has been unveiled in the battle against sexual harassment in Egypt, where almost half the female population face unwanted attention from men every day
Mail & Guardian
HarassMap, a private venture that is set to launch later this year, allows women to instantly report incidents of sexual harassment by sending an SMS to a centralised computer. Victims will immediately receive a reply offering support and practical advice, and the reports will be used to build up a detailed and publicly available map of harassment hotspots.
The project utilises an open-source mapping technology more commonly associated with humanitarian relief operations, and the activists behind it hope to transform social attitudes to the harassment of women and shame authorities into taking greater action to combat the problem.
Sudan rejects foreign intervention ahead of referendum
TUESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2010
A PROMINENT member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said both his party as well as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) does not need Washington’s incentives to ensure the January 9th referendum is peaceful and credible.
Rabie Abdelati Obeid, according to the Voice of America (VOA) said the NCP and the SPLM have demonstrated their commitment towards implementing the rest of the provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that also includes the January vote.
“Both parties are actually committed…that the referendum should be conducted in the prescribed time. And also that the referendum should be transparent and fair without any influence or any pressure on the political parties whether on the NCP or the SPLM,” he said.
Tell us what to write, Mexican paper pleads with drugs gangs
Front-page editorial demands answers from cartels after reporters are shot dead
By Rupert Cornwell Tuesday, 21 September 2010
After seeing two of its reporters killed in less than two years, the leading newspaper in Ciudad Juarez has issued a remarkable plea for guidance on its coverage from the drug cartels – acknowledging that the latter, not the government, effectively runs what is Mexico’s most violent city.
In a front-page editorial on Sunday, El Diario de Juarez asked the two cartels fighting for control of drug trafficking in the city, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, to say what they want from the newspaper so it can continue to operate without further death or intimidation of its staff.