Spending blitz by outside groups helped secure big GOP wins
Hedge fund moguls helped bankroll groups’ attack ads, sources tell NBC News
By Michael Isikoff and Rich Gardella
A tightly coordinated effort by outside Republican groups, spearheaded by Karl Rove and fueled by tens of millions of dollars in contributions from Wall Street hedge fund moguls and other wealthy donors, helped secure big GOP midterm victories Tuesday, according to campaign spending figures and Republican fundraising insiders.
Leading the GOP spending pack was a pair of groups – American Crossroads and its affiliate, Crossroads GPS – both of which were co-founded by two former aides in the George W. Bush White House: Rove, and Ed Gillespie.
Clara Barton’s D.C. home and office may be converted into museum
By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Richard S. Lyons was a carpenter checking on the decrepit building that had fallen into the hands of the government. He was alone, and it was raining. He had gone to the vacant third floor of the structure in downtown Washington, when he heard a noise.
He looked around but found nothing. He heard it again – like something moving around – in another part of the warren of crumbling rooms. Again, he found nothing. Then, as he tells it, he thought he felt a tap on his shoulder.
He turned around. Glancing up, he spied an old envelope hanging from a hole in the ceiling. It was message from the past – an entree of sorts into a lost story of the famous Civil War nurse and Red Cross humanitarian Clara Barton.
Richard Wolffe: Democrat doom may turn to delight as Tea Party politics kick in
The United States appears to be heading in Britain’s direction: towards spending cuts and power-sharing between rival parties
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Barack Obama has never been short of unsolicited advice. This week brings an unusually large windfall of wise words from pundits and politicians who have never understood him but would still like to change him.
From the beginning of his unlikely journey to the White House, when I first started covering and interviewing him, most of Washington thought he needed to be more like the Clintons. Today is no different.
They say he obviously needs to triangulate with both parties, as Bill Clinton did after his bloodbath in 1994. And he clearly needs to win the older, white, working Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Republicans Face a Fundamental Choice in How to Oppose
By MATT BAI Published: November 3, 2010
The day after the election always dawns sunny and full of hope in Washington. From Representative John A. Boehner on down, Republicans talked on Wednesday about how open they were to working with the president (except, perhaps, for repealing that whole health care thing). Rand Paul, the next senator from Kentucky, said on MSNBC that his family was hoping to meet the Obama girls. You could almost see the two dads stretched out in front of the TV, sharing a laugh at “Phineas and Ferb.”
Reality will intrude soon enough, and Republicans will have to decide what kind of opposition they intend to be. One could argue that the most fundamental choice facing the new Republican House majority, in particular, is whether to stand on cultural or intellectual dissent – or, put another way, whether they want to cast themselves principally as the party of Sarah Palin or the party of Paul Ryan..
BBC apologises to Bob Geldof over Band Aid claims
BBC admits it was wrong to have given ‘impression’ that money from charity song ended up being spent on weapons
The Guardian, Thursday 4 November 2010
Not many people come away from a clash with Bob Geldof unscathed. And for the BBC it has proved no different. Today, across BBC1, Radio 4 and the World Service, it will broadcast an apology to the singer-philanthropist and the Band Aid Trust he founded.
Accused by Geldof of causing “appalling damage” to the famine relief charity he founded in 1985, the BBC will admit that it was wrong, in a story broadcast in March this year, to have given the “impression” that money raised from the Band Aid single Do They Know It’s Christmas ended up being spent on weapons rather than charity. It is a climbdown that Geldof said would “begin to repair some of the appalling damage done” to the reputation of Band Aid, and he welcomed it “on behalf of all those members of the public who have so magnificently donated to Band Aid and Live Aid over the last 26 years”
Sarkozy had ‘surveillance unit spy on journalists’
The Irish Times – Thursday, November 4, 2010
RUADHÁN Mac CORMAIC in Paris
FRANCE’S SOCIALIST Party has called for the head of domestic intelligence to be brought before a parliamentary commission after a newspaper claimed a specialist surveillance unit had been established to spy on journalists.
In a report signed by its editor, Claude Angeli, yesterday, the weekly Le Canard Enchaîné alleged that President Nicolas Sarkozy personally supervised the surveillance of journalists covering sensitive stories. The claim was described as “totally far-fetched” by the Élysée Palace.
Le Canard alleged that, “since the beginning of the year, at least”, whenever journalists undertook “annoying” investigations, the head of state asked Bernard Squarcini, the head of the DCRI counter-intelligence service to “place [them] under surveillance”.
After Baghdad bombings, Iraqis have harsh words for security forces
‘The politicians are fighting each other instead of the terrorists,’ says a Baghdad shopkeeper, reflecting widespread doubt the government will prevent further Baghdad bombings.
By Jane Arraf, Correspondent / November 3, 2010
Security in the Iraqi capital was heightened and city streets almost empty Wednesday as many Iraqis stayed home after a series of bombings sparked fears that security forces are overwhelmed by the violence.
The coordinated bombings, which came two days after a major attack on a Baghdad church, seemed designed to demonstrate that Al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent groups still have a significant presence in the capital. Sixteen car bombs and road-side bombs detonated across the city on Tuesday evening, prompting the government to declare a security alert and impose snap bans on vehicles.
It also added pressure on squabbling political leaders to form a new government and restore public confidence almost eight months after Iraqis voted in national elections. Parliament, ordered by Iraq’s highest court to get back to work, is scheduled to reconvene on Monday.
Six years later, army to pull out of Timor
November 4, 2010
Australian troops will withdraw from East Timor in 2012 – six years after hundreds of them arrived in the half-island nation to quell violent upheaval.
East Timor’s leaders, including the President, Jose Ramos Horta, have decided to end the deployment of the Australian commanded International Stabilisation Force (ISF) after elections in 2010 because the country’s security situation has stabilised, said Duarte Nunes, the head of East Timor’s parliamentary committee on defence and security.
The war to come in Myanmar
By Tony Cliff
LAIZA, Myanmar – With her pretty face shaded by camouflage green leaves falling from her kepi and a semi-automatic rifle rested on her shoulder, Labang Hkawng Nyoi could be a perfect poster model for a Kachin Independence Army (KIA) recruitment campaign.
The 19-year-old woman is one of 130 new recruits and volunteers who in recent days were sweating under the late afternoon heat in a KIA training camp in remote northern Myanmar, also know as Burma.
Dressed in khaki, they all wear a white number on a red patch stitched on their left pocket. At turn, they break ranks into small groups, run to a large open field, throw themselves to the ground and, while imitating the sound of a machine gun, crawl with their gun aimed at the imaginary enemy.
The ‘Gap kids’ you won’t see in the adverts
Photographs reveal desperate children in the shadow of clothing factory in Lesotho
By Daniel Howden, Africa correspondent Thursday, 4 November 2010
Eight-year-old Motselisi is a different kind of “Gap kid”. She is one of the children that scavenges for offcuts from garment factories that dominate the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. The Thetsane rubbish dump where she was photographed belongs to the dark side of the denim trade.
A portrait of her dressed in rags in front of burning piles of scraps from a factory that supplies Levi Strauss and Gap was among an award-winning series taken by the photographer Robin Hammond. The nearby factory was accused of illegally dumping chemical waste, including caustic soda, at municipal sites. Witnesses described rivers that ran an unnatural blue as clothing dyes and other effluents were allowed to run into waterways that local people rely on for washing and cooking.
Is the Case Against Charles Taylor Falling Apart?
Special Court for Sierra Leone
By Thomas Darnstädt and Jan Puhl
The court is not spared anything, including this cross-examination on the subject of cannibalism.
Question: “How do you prepare a human being for a pot?” The witness: “We lay you down, slit your throat und butcher you and throw your head away, your intestines.”
This is more than the court wants to hear. The audience turns away in disgust.
“With pepper and salt,” the witness adds.
These are scenes from a nightmare that never seems to end. The trial of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, before the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague has been underway for more than three years —without palpable results.