Key U.S. allies in Iraq said to be rejoining rebels
Many have quit Sunni Awakening or are covertly helping al-Qaida group
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS and DURAID ADNAN
BAQUBA, Iraq – Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.
Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters – many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military – appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
Resurrection! The debt we all owe Chile’s inspirational miners
One billion of us watched Los 33’s incredible, uplifting return from the dead – and our faith in humankind was reborn. This weekend at least, the world feels a better place.
By Peter Stanford Sunday, 17 October 2010
Few events have the power to unite evangelists of religion and science nowadays. But the rescue of the 33 miners after 69 days trapped 2,000ft underground in the San Jose Mine in Chile’s remote Atacama desert has touched in equal measure preachers and physicists – and, indeed, everyone in between. The global TV audience that watched live and – like me – blubbed as, one by one, these men miraculously emerged from a living hell, has been estimated at somewhere over one billion.
US shaken by sudden surge of violence against gays
Carl Paladino, a Republican politician running for governor, is calling for gay people to be barred from teaching in New York, where homophobic attacks are on the rise
The Observer, Sunday 17 October 2010
For Alan Bounville it has felt like a lonely protest. For 16 days he has held a vigil outside the campaign office of Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York senator, holding a sign calling for equal civil rights for gay people.
The 33-year-old New Yorker has suffered the stares of strangers, been ignored by the political target of his demonstration, and endured the harsh cold of sleeping overnight outside on a hard Manhattan pavement. But a series of brutal attacks on young gay men, a number of tragic suicides and alarming anti-gay public statements by Republican politicians have led Bounville to feel he has no choice. “Our people are dying. So I am just going to sit and protest. That is my job,” Bounville said..
Republican funding surge provides crucial advantage
Some Democrats now fear a historic rout in next month’s midterm election as GOP advocacy groups funnel $50 million into campaigns.
By James Oliphant, Tribune Washington Bureau
October 17, 2010
Reporting from Washington – Fueled by a surge of outside money, Republicans have begun gunning for Democratic House seats once considered safe and beyond GOP reach – a drive that threatens to reshape the electoral map and raises the specter of a historic rout in the midterm election two weeks away.
Advocacy groups such as American Crossroads and the American Action Network said last week that they were funneling more than $50 million into House races to back Republican candidates, on top of the more than $50 million already spent by the GOP’s House campaign arm.
Battle for Trafalgar as developers eye Spain’s last unspoilt shores
A storm is brewing in the south of Spain as developers move in on one of the last unspoilt stretches of coastline.
By Harriet Alexander, El Palmar, Cadiz
Published: 7:00AM BST 17 Oct 2010
The sun is setting over the Atlantic waves on El Palmar beach, casting long shadows of two wetsuit-clad teenagers leaning against their surfboards. But as the light fades on another peaceful day in this remote corner of southern Spain, the Andalucian government and the property developers it backs are hard at work finalising their plans to shake up the region, and build a hotel for 1,300 people.
The decision has sparked a fierce debate over the past errors of unfettered construction, pitting those worried about the financial torpor against environmentalists who see the forest of skyscrapers and thick crust of costal developments as a warning about the perils ofconstruction fever..
German, French rail companies on collision course over Chunnel rights
German rail operator Deutsche Bahn successfully ran evacuation tests with 300 volunteers on a high-speed Siemens-built train in the Channel Tunnel. The tests are a headache for the French government.
TRANSPORTATION | 17.10.2010
A German-built train filled almost to capacity was rolled into the 50-kilometer (31-mile) tunnel beneath the English Channel on Saturday night, where around 300 volunteers were evacuated following an alarm signal.
The tests ran smoothly, a spokeswoman for the tunnel’s operator Eurotunnel said Sunday morning.
The tests pose a problem for the French government and French firm Alstom. Eurostar, the company with the monopoly on the cross-Channel rail link between Britain and France want to buy high-speed trains from Deutsche Bahn in order to increase the tunnel’s traffic capacity.
Cracks widen in Netanyahu’s coalition
Labour leaders talk of government collapse as housing plans announced in East Jerusalem
The Observer, Sunday 17 October 2010
Israel’s coalition government, led by Binyamin Netanyahu, appears to be in danger of fracturing over the gridlocked peace process and a controversial “loyalty law”.
As Israel announced the building of 238 more housing units in annexed East Jerusalem, further complicating US efforts to revive stalled peace negotiations, it emerged that Ehud Barak, the Labour leader, is predicting that the government will collapse.
Seven years of war and still no power to the people
Iraq is sitting on a wealth of oil and gas yet its citizens continue to suffer hardship with fuel shortages and blackouts a way of life, writes Paul McGeough.
October 17, 2010
In the searing heat of the Iraqi summer, the difficulty of life with virtually no electricity is hard to comprehend.
But overlay it with the physical and spiritual challenges of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, and the big cities become time bombs ticking at the feet of government.
Or they would, if there was a government. For seven months the country has been paralysed by the failure of the political parties to agree on the make-up of a new government after national elections in mid-March.
Japan, Once Dynamic, Is Disheartened by Decline
By MARTIN FACKLER
Published: October 16, 2010
OSAKA, Japan – Like many members of Japan’s middle class, Masato Y. enjoyed a level of affluence two decades ago that was the envy of the world. Masato, a small-business owner, bought a $500,000 condominium, vacationed in Hawaii and drove a late-model Mercedes.
But his living standards slowly crumbled along with Japan’s overall economy. First, he was forced to reduce trips abroad and then eliminate them. Then he traded the Mercedes for a cheaper domestic model.
A foreigner’s battle to preserve South Korea’s hanok houses
British-born David Kilburn is battling the systematic destruction of the traditional dwellings, which are disappearing despite the creation of a preservation zone.
By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
October 17, 2010
He’s known as the feisty foreigner, the outsider waging a one-man fight for “the district where beauty gathers.”
David Kilburn remembers the first time he wandered Kahoi Dong, a hilly enclave in the heart of the Seoul where clusters of traditional buildings known as hanok houses dot winding, narrow streets.
It was 22 years ago, but the British-born Kilburn can’t forget the serenity he felt when he set foot inside one of the historic one-story homes. It was like stepping back in time, to a quainter Seoul of a century ago.
Africa’s children get the ‘Slumdog’ treatment
A new feature film set in Rwanda hopes to show the continent in a positive and uplifting light.
By Rachel Shields Sunday, 17 October 2010
A film that its makers claim will do the same for Africa’s children as Slumdog Millionaire did for India’s – but rather more sympathetically – premieres at London’s Leicester Square tonight.
Africa United tells the story of three Rwandan children who travel across Africa in the hope of taking part in the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg, but board the wrong bus and end up in a children’s refugee camp in Congo. It tackles serious issues such as HIV, child prostitution and genocide, yet its makers claim it’s an uplifting tale that will correct the “perceived stereotype that Africa is just about safaris orpestilence or death”.
Mugabe crosses the line
MDC demands Mugabe reverse appointments
Oct 17, 2010 12:00 AM | By ZOLI MANGENA
Alarmed by the bitter fallout between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai which threatened the survival of the inclusive government, Zuma dispatched his envoys, Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu, on Wednesday on a firefighting mission to prevent a possible disintegration of the government.
However, officials said Mugabe furiously resisted Zuma’s pressure, insisting he had not acted “unconstitutionally and unlawfully” in making key government appointments which have triggered the latest crisis.
‘This was the most compellingly upbeat story since the lunar landings. It was a rare privilege to be there to watch it unfold’
Miners and politicians alike deserve all the plaudits coming their way, says Guy Adams, the IoS correspondent at Camp Hope
Sunday, 17 October 2010
It was the little boy who did it for me. Bairon Avalos, seven years old, crying buckets as it finally dawned on him that, yes, Daddy really was coming home. When he ran up to greet his father, Florencio, the first of the 33 miners to step out of the metal cage, it really did feel like the whole of Chile was weeping with him.
We watched on a big screen, rigged up against the side of the canteen tent in Camp Hope, maybe 500 yards from the rocky patch of desert where this human drama was playing out. The atmosphere was electric. Flags were waved, bells rang, grown men embraced each other. Florencio, exhausted, just wanted to hug his wife.