In Lisbon, they talk. In Afghanistan, they die.
Christopher Davies, 22, was the 100th British serviceman to die this year in a war that Nato’s leaders – gathered today for a crucial summit – have no idea how to win.
By Michael Savage and Kim Sengupta in Lisbon Saturday, 20 November 201
Christopher Davies, a guardsman with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, has been named as the 100th member of Britain’s armed forces fighting in Afghanistan to die this year.
The 22-year-old’s death was given extra poignancy yesterday as world leaders gathered to formulate an exit strategy from the bloody and intractable campaign. It has now claimed the lives of 345 British servicemen and women since it began in 2001.
Guardsman Davies, from St Helens, Merseyside, died after being ambushed and shot by insurgents while on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand Province, on Wednesday.
World Toilet Day: Top 10 nations lacking toilets
Stephen Kurczy, Staff writer
See a lot of people squatting in the open today? Don’t be offended. The so-called “big squat” was held worldwide to coincide with the 10th annual World Toilet Day, an initiative to bring awareness to the need for adequate sanitary facilities.
Every day, some 1.1 billion people go to the bathroom without any type of toilet, according to the World Health Organization. And even with a toilet, facilities are not necessarily sanitary. WaterAid America estimates that roughly 2.5 billion people – nearly 40 percent of the global population – do their business unsafely, often in public spaces.
BP faces new fines over second Alaska spill
Oil giant BP ‘failed to respond to alarms’ and had suffered burst pipelines since 2001, Anchorage court told
Edward Helmore in New York
The Guardian, Saturday 20 November 2010
BP is facing new fines in connection with its criminal conviction for a huge oil spill on Alaska’s North Slope in 2006.
Federal probation officer Mary Frances Barnes argued in an Anchorage federal court yesterday that a second spill in Alaska in November last year constituted a violation of its probation.
In 2006, a corroded pipeline leaked 200,000 gallons of oil on to the tundra in the worst leak in the history of the North Slope. The company was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $20m (£12.5m) in criminal penalties and restitution..
U.S. wants to widen area in Pakistan where it can operate drones
By Greg Miller Washington Post Staff Writer
ISLAMABAD – The United States has renewed pressure on Pakistan to expand the areas where CIA drones can operate inside the country, reflecting concern that the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan is being undermined by insurgents’ continued ability to take sanctuary across the border, U.S. and Pakistani officials said.
The U.S. appeal has focused on the area surrounding the Pakistani city of Quetta, where the Afghan Taliban leadership is thought to be based. But the request also seeks to expand the boundaries for drone strikes in the tribal areas, which have been targeted in 101 attacks this year, the officials said.
Balotelli: The star playing a losing game against racism
Manchester City’s striker may be the future of the Italian football team, but he faces a familiar scourge back home.
By Peter Jenson Saturday, 20 November 2010
When Mario Balotelli appeared on the front of the Italian Vanity Fair in May this year wearing only the Italian flag, draped across his shoulders, he looked every bit the image of a modern multiracial nation. Italy, the picture told us, was embracing a rising force of football; young, handsome, gifted, black.
But the real story of one of Europe’s most controversial footballers, who left the Milanese club Internazionale in August and joined Manchester City, is neither as glossy, nor as simple, as that image would have us believe. Born Mario Barwuah to Ghanaian immigrants in Palermo in 1990, Balotelli has come to represent the complex picture of race in Italy all too accurately.
Berlusconi aide was ‘liaison’ with mafia
Nov 20, 2010 8:18 AM | By Sapa-AFP
Marcello Dell’Utri, an Italian senator who has been convicted of mafia association, was “a channel of liaison” between Berlusconi and the Cosa Nostra, the Palermo appeal court ruling for Dell’Utri from earlier this year said.
The 641-page court ruling was published in full by the ANSA news agency.
“The court concludes as proven the ‘mediation’ activity carried out by Dell’Utri… who acted as a channel of liaison between Cosa Nostra… and the Milanese businessman Silvio Berlusconi,” the ruling said.
Egypt tells US not to interfere in its affairs
The Irish Times – Saturday, November 20, 2010
Michael Jansen in Cairo
CAIRO HAS accused the US of interfering in Egypt’s affairs after Washington called for the deployment of monitors to observe next weekend’s parliamentary election.
“The latest positions taken by the administration towards Egyptian internal affairs is something that is absolutely unacceptable,” a foreign ministry statement declared.
“It is as if the United States has turned into a caretaker of how Egyptian society should conduct its politics. Whoever thinks that this is possible is deluded.”
Iran dismisses UN rights criticism
UN General Assembly’s human rights committee expressed “deep concern” over “ongoing human rights violations” in Iran.
The resolution said the assembly “expresses deep concern at serious ongoing human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran”.
Such violations include torture, flogging, amputations, stoning, and “pervasive gender inequality and
violence against women”.
It also voiced “particular concern” at what it said was the government’s failure to launch a thorough investigation of alleged human rights violations in the wake of the contested presidential elections in 2009, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, was re-elected to the office.
‘No political prisoners’
But Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the Iranian high council for human rights, told Al Jazeera on Friday that Iran holds “no political prisoners” but that the country does have prisoners who are politically “outspoken”..
Asylum seekers sew lips shut over camp conditions
The Irish Times – Saturday, November 20, 2010
PÁDRAIG COLLINS in Sydney
TEN ASYLUM seekers in a detention camp on Christmas Island (2,360 km off the coast of Western Australia) have sewn their lips shut in protest at conditions and are refusing medical treatment.
“This is distressing for me and most of the Australian people,” Australia’s immigration minister Chris Bowen told reporters in Sydney yesterday.
However he warned that the protesters’ action would make no difference to their cases. “Applications to come and stay in Australia are dealt with on their merit,” Mr Bowen said. “They cannot and will not be changed by any protests.”
Japan developers build a wall against yakuza
November 20, 2010
When the toasts are raised at the opening of the world’s tallest communications tower next year, yakuza gangsters will not be celebrating.
Japan’s criminal underworld has been banned from the construction of the 634-metre tower, as it has from many new projects.
“The mob cannot come here,” said Toru Hironaka, a lawyer who leads the legal team retained by the tower’s developers to keep out the crime syndicates..
Diamond producers slam watchdog on Zim gems
“The motives behind the attempt to block Zimbabwean diamonds are sinister,” said African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) executive secretary Edgar de Carvalho.
WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA Nov 20 2010 06:40
“Zimbabwe cannot be held to ransom just because a minority of countries within the KP [Kimberley Process] continue to block consensus deliberately,” he said in a statement.
The Kimberley Process barred the sale of Marange diamonds in November 2009 following reports of human rights abuses by the army at the mine.
A monitor appointed by the watchdog in July partially lifted the ban, saying Zimbabwe had ceased abuses by the military, which seized control of the Marange fields in late 2008 and forced out tens of thousands of small-scale miners.
Angry gangs bring UN protest to Haitian capital
November 20, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE: Violent protests against United Nations peacekeepers, blamed for the cholera crisis, have spilled over into the country’s capital as gangs of angry Haitian youths trawl Port-au-Prince.
Organisers had urged people to vent their anger at the UN and the Haitian authorities in a demonstration at a main square by the presidential palace, but what happened was more like urban guerrilla warfare.
Tear gas filled the air and sporadic gunfire could be heard as gangs took to the streets of the quake-ravaged capital, blocking roads with barricades of burning tyres and dumpsters of rotten garbage.