EPA rules target truck emissions, fuel efficiency
The proposed standards would cut pollutants from heavy vehicles 20% by 2018.
By Neela Banerjee, Tribune Washington Bureau
October 26, 2010
Reporting from Washington –
The Obama administration announced new rules Monday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants by requiring greater fuel efficiency for big trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles starting with 2014 models.
The regulations, the first of their kind, call for a 20% reduction in heavy-vehicle emissions by 2018, which would require boosting fuel efficiency to an average of 8 miles per gallon, compared with 6 mpg now, experts estimate.
Garry Trudeau: ‘Doonesbury quickly became a cause of trouble’
The creator of America’s first and best satirical daily newspaper cartoon talks about 40 years of upsetting politicians and editors
The first Doonesbury strip, published 40 years ago today, seems naive looked at through modern lenses. It begins with a character so sparsely drawn he barely exists, though you are intrigued immediately by the American football helmet he is wearing while sitting in an armchair.
He is joined by a scraggy-haired young man with a pencil for a nose and the letter O to represent his glasses. This is Michael Doonesbury and the helmeted football player is his new college roommate, BD. Little did their creator Garry Trudeau know when he sketched out that first awkward encounter between them, published on 26 October 1970, that he had just made comic history.
Republicans pull ahead in battle for key seats of power
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington Tuesday, 26 October 2010
The old warhorse Jerry Brown may be set to recapture California for the Democrats – but Republicans are poised for big gains in the 37 state governors’ races in next week’s midterm elections that would strengthen both the party’s hand in the 2012 presidential contest, and its future representation in Congress.
When America votes in November of each even-numbered year, governors’ elections are often overshadowed by the headline-grabbing battles for the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate..
Divide on U.S. Deficit Likely to Grow After Election
By JACKIE CALMES
Published: October 25, 2010
WASHINGTON – A midterm campaign that has turned heavily on the issue of the mounting federal debt is likely to yield a government even more split over what to do about it, people in both parties say, with diminished Democrats and reinforced Republicans confronting internal divisions even as they dig in against the other side.
In the weeks after next Tuesday’s elections, the White House and a lame-duck Congress will face immediate decisions testing the balance of power – on extending the Bush-era tax rates, approving overdue spending bills to keep the government operating and, possibly, debating the recommendations that President Obama has directed a bipartisan debt-reduction commission to offer by December..
German Turks torn between old ways and integration
The Irish Times – Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Derek Scally in Berlin
THE BALLROOM is a grand sight from another era. Colourful paper chains stretch across the stucco ceiling with the faded frescoes. The polished parquet floor is half-hidden under confetti and streamers.
A beautiful bride in white smiles at her two bridesmaids. Several suited men look on, each one nervous enough to be the groom.
One after another, they step out of their world to address the audience at the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, a theatre in the largely Turkish neighbourhood of Kreuzberg. In just two years, it has won national acclaim for its thought-provoking dramas on post-immigration themes.
In the ballroom, Dilek the bride describes the day she became a policewoman as the proudest moment in her life. Working actress Hülya laughs and cries at how her proud parents let her drug addict brother drag them all into massive debt. Berlin politician Özcan Mutlu regrets the price his family has paid for his career
Students aim to bolster French protests
French students will stage protests on Tuesday to try to bolster opposition to the government’s pension reforms amid some signs of cracks in the movement.
The BBC 26 October 2010
The numbers could be a litmus test, correspondents say, after three of 12 national oil refineries voted to end their action and a rubbish collectors’ strike in Marseille was suspended.
The row comes to a head this week.
Parliament is expected to hold a final vote on Wednesday, while a nationwide strike has been called for Thursday.
The vote in parliament is expected to bring into law an increase in the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62.
The BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris says the students are supposed to be on half-term break but instead are planning a series of marches around the country in opposition to the plan to increase the minimum retirement age.
Robert Fisk: Exodus. The changing map of the Middle East
From Israel to Iraq, a Christian flight of Biblical proportions has begun
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
In the centre of the rebuilt Beirut, the massive old Maronite Cathedral of St George stands beside the even larger mass of the new Mohammad al-Amin mosque. The mosque’s minarets tower over the cathedral, but the Maronites were built a spanking new archbishop’s house between the two buildings as compensation. Yet every day, the two calls to prayer – the clanging of church bells and the wailing of the muezzin – beat an infernal percussion across the city. Both bells and wails are tape recordings, but they have been turned up to the highest decibel pitch to outdo each other, louder than an aircraft’s roar, almost as crazed as the nightclub music from Gemmayzeh across the square. But the Christians are leaving.
A Top Terrorist Returns to Al-Qaida Fold
Saif al-Adel Back in Waziristan
By Yassin Musharbash
Saif al-Adel enjoys a truly outstanding reputation among Islamic militants around the world. The Egyptian, whose nom-de-guerre means “sword of justice,” is considered a seasoned operational planner and an experienced field commander. He is often mentioned together with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Among other things, the United States accuses him of involvement in the bombing of two US embassies in Africa in 1998. The last position Saif al-Adel held within Osama bin Laden’s terror network was that of a very senior al-Qaida military chief, a role which put al-Adel at the very pinnacle of international jihadist terrorism.
Chinese whistleblower faces hard road
By Kent Ewing
HONG KONG – Just as China’s leaders thought their darkest secrets were safely closeted away, the country’s first self-described “Deep Throat” has emerged and threatens to set up a Chinese version of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks to expose official malfeasance and spur political reform.
After WikiLeaks published nearly 400,000 secret military logs over the weekend that paint a damning picture of the United States military in Iraq, should Chinese officials be quaking in their boots as they wait for similarly unflattering revelations once the new site is up and running?
More peacekeepers couldn’t halt new Sudan war
US slams reported arrest of Darfuris who met UN council
By Louis Charbonneau, Reuters
Alain Le Roy, under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, was discussing some of the possibilities for boosting security ahead of a planned referendum on southern independence early next year.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has said there is a possibility of temporarily increasing the 10,000-strong blue-helmet force in Sudan, known as UNMIS, so it could better monitor hot spots on the north-south border.
Le Roy suggested that an increase would not help.
HRW flays Morocco over detentions
TUESDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2010 00:00 EDITOR
HUMAN Rights Watch charged yesterday that Moroccan police have instituted a pattern of abuse under the country’s anti-terrorism law, notably by way of detentions carried out by the intelligence service.
In a report called “Stop Looking for Your Son: Illegal Detentions Under the Counterterrorism law in Morocco,” the New-York based rights organisation said that the abuses “violate the progressive legislation Morocco adopted to safeguard against torture and illegal detention.”
Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted a member of HRW staff as telling a press conference in Rabat that agents wearing plain clothes have in recent years turned up at homes and arrested people without any identification or explanation, then transported them blindfolded to a secret place of detention
Drought brings Amazon tributary to lowest level in a century
The drought currently affecting swathes of north and west Amazonia has been described as the one of the worst in the last 40 years
Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 26 October 2010
One of the most important tributaries of the Amazon River has fallen to its lowest level in over a century, following a fierce drought that has isolated tens of thousands of rainforest inhabitants and raised concerns about the possible impact of climate change on the region.
The drought currently affecting swathes of north and west Amazonia has been described as the one of the worst in the last 40 years, with the Rio Negro or Black River, which flows into the world-famous Rio Amazonas, reportedly hitting its lowest levels since records began in 1902 on Sunday.