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Oct 28 2010

Morning Shinbun Thursday October 28




Thursday’s Headlines:

Freedom in Kashmir

USA

Treasury Sees Escalating Risk to Home Prices

New poll shows Obama helping Dems, but is it to late?

Europe

French union chiefs signal plan to shelve strikes and pursue talks

Al-Qaida Said To Be Planning European Hostage-Takings

Middle East

Why Sharif Mobley is to be tried in Yemen – and what it means for American Muslims

Dubai Faces Environmental Problems After Growth

Asia

Indonesia quake death toll over 300

Another entrant for North Korea succession: Kim’s oldest son?

Africa

Nigeria building development could leave 200,000 homeless, says Amnesty

Ugandan anti-gay measure will be law soon, lawmaker says

Latin America

Hitmen kill fifteen in massacre at Mexican carwash

Images reveal Indonesian tsunami destruction

Aerial images from the tsunami-hit Mentawai Islands in Indonesia have revealed the extent of destruction, as officials raised the death toll to 311.

The BBC 28 October 2010  

Flattened villages are plainly visible on the images, taken from helicopters circling the islands.

Rescuers have finally reached the area where 13 villages were washed away by the 3m (10ft) wave, but 11 more settlements have not yet been reached.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has arrived in the region.

He cut short a trip to Vietnam to oversee the rescue effort, and has been briefed by officials in the port city of Padang on Sumatra.

A 7.7-magnitude undersea earthquake triggered the tsunami two days ago.

But the BBC’s Karishma Vaswani, in Jakarta, says rescue teams have still not arrived at the worst-affected communities, where the scale of the damage is still unclear.

Freedom in Kashmir

he Irish Times – Thursday, October 28, 2010

Comment

REPORTS THAT police in New Delhi are weighing sedition charges against Booker Prize-winning author and human rights campaigner Arundhati Roy are alarming. Her weekend comments on Kashmir independence have brought calls from the Hindu-nationalist BJP for vigorous prosecution, and Indias justice minister, M Veerappa Moily, has insisted that while “Yes, there is freedom of speech … it cant violate the patriotic sentiments of the people.”

Even the suggestion of prosecution, however, reflects again the heavy-handed approach taken by Indian authorities to Kashmir where, since June, more than 100 demonstrators, many of them children, have died. Largely it has been at the hands of the out-of-control, 500,000-strong Indian army faced by rolling protests demanding an end to military rule and independence.

USA

Treasury Sees Escalating Risk to Home Prices



By SEWELL CHAN

Published: October 27, 2010


WASHINGTON – The uncertainty over the legal status of foreclosed homes in the nation could further depress home prices and delay the recovery of the housing market, the Obama administration said on Wednesday.

The warning came at the first Congressional hearing since the magnitude of the problem gained wide attention. Distressed properties make up one quarter of all home sales.

Revelations about paperwork shortcuts and so-called robo-signed affidavits, as well as the likelihood of protracted legal battles by homeowners and inquiries by state and federal officials, will hinder foreclosure proceedings and discourage prospective buyers, a Treasury Department official said.

New poll shows Obama helping Dems, but is it too late?  



By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has improved his standing among voters, and Democrats finally have started to energize their base, but it might be too little and too late to change the course of Tuesday’s elections, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

The national survey found that Obama’s weeks of campaigning across the country have paid off with higher approval ratings for him, particularly among independents and the young and in the Northeast

Europe

French union chiefs signal plan to shelve strikes and pursue talks

The Irish Times – Thursday, October 28, 2010

RUADHÁN Mac CORMAIC in Paris  

FRENCH STUDENTS protested over pension reform in cities across the country yesterday, but union leaders gave the first indication they planned to wind down their strikes and seek negotiations with government.

With parliament expected to definitively approve the final version of the controversial pensions Bill today, François Chérèque, the leader of the large CFDT union, hinted at a change in tactics when he said the campaign would enter a “new phase”.

“The parliamentary debate will come to an end, and we’ll be looking at it from another perspective, obviously,” Mr Chérèque said. “We’re not calling into question the legitimacy of parliament . . . but a law is always perfectible.”

Al-Qaida Said To Be Planning European Hostage-Takings

‘Euro Plot’

By Yassin Musharbash

Berlin — On Sept 17, 1974, in the evening, four terrorists with the Japanese Red Army (JRA) boarded an aircraft made available by the French government at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and ordered Dutch pilot Pim Siericks to take off — the destination was initially unknown.

The flight of the Boeing 707 marked the end of a successful terrorist operation. Three JRA members had occupied the French embassy in The Hague for four days and had held the staff hostage. The French government gave in to their demand to hand over a fourth JRA man, Yutuka Furuya, who had been in prison in France, in return for the hostages.

Top terrorist Carlos the Jackal had helped JRA by supplying the M26 grenades with which they were armed in The Hague. One day after they took the hostages, Carlos himself used one of the grenades to cause a bloodbath in a Paris café in order to press home JRA’s demands.

Middle East

Why Sharif Mobley is to be tried in Yemen – and what it means for American Muslims  

US interest in the case of Sharif Mobley, who was set to be tried today, illustrates broader concern about American Muslims going abroad to train with militants.  

By Laura Kasinof, Correspondent / October 27, 2010  

Sanaa, Yemen

It’s like the plot of an international thriller: American man sentenced to death by firing squad in an authoritarian country on the other side of the world. But for 26-year-old New Jersey native Sharif Mobley, this plotline is far from fiction.

A Muslim living with his American wife and their two children in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, Mr. Mobley was set to be tried today on charges of killing a state security officer – a crime for which he could be sentenced to death. But due to the fact that no one arranged translation services for Mobley, who does not speak Arabic, the trial was postponed two weeks.

Mobley was arrested in a January security operation targeting suspected Al Qaeda operatives, during which the Yemeni police shot him in the leg.

Dubai Faces Environmental Problems After Growth



By LIZ ALDERMAN

Published: October 27, 2010


DUBAI – Dubai’s skyline is the most sparkling in the Middle East. But down on the ground, the environmental problems of a quickly erected city built on sand look a lot less alluring.

In the last year, tourists have swum amid raw sewage in Dubai’s slice of the Persian Gulf. The purifying of seawater to feed taps and fountains is raising salinity levels. And despite sitting on vast oil reserves, the region is running out of energy sources to support its rich lifestyle.

The simple basics of waste treatment and providing fresh water, in addition to running major industrial projects, require so much electricity that the region is turning to a nuclear future, raising questions about the risks, both environmental and political, of relying in part on a technology vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attacks.

Asia

Indonesia quake death toll over 300



October 28, 2010 – 6:06AM  

Helicopters with emergency supplies finally landed on the remote Indonesian islands slammed by a tsunami that killed more than 300 people, while elsewhere in the archipelago the toll from a volcanic eruption rose to 30, including the mountain’s spiritual caretaker.

Indonesia is prone to such disasters, and installed a tsunami warning system after a catastrophic wave killed hundreds of thousands of people in 2004. An official said, however, that the system stopped working a month ago because of poor maintenance.

Another entrant for North Korea succession: Kim’s oldest son?

Some analysts believe that Kim Jong-il’s exiled oldest son is just waiting to see if his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un can do the job – but could return to rule North Korea.  

By Donald Kirk, Correspondent / October 27, 2010  

Seoul, South Korea

The oldest son of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il appears to harbor secret ambitions of his own to succeed his father – despite the fact that his youngest half-brother has already been chosen as successor.

That’s the impression Kim Jong-nam is creating here on the basis of remarks that his father would likely view as blasphemous. First there was his surprisingly frank interview with a Japanese televsion network, and then there are comments that he reportedly made to a contact in the gambling enclave of Macao, the one time Portuguese colony on the south China coast wherehe’s been living.

Africa

Nigeria building development could leave 200,000 homeless, says Amnesty

Nigerian authorities urged to suspend demolitions and ensure evictions are carried out according to human rights law

David Smith, Africa correspondent

The Guardian, Thursday 28 October 2010


More than 200,000 people will be left homeless if Nigeria goes ahead with a theme park, shopping mall and hotel development in its oil-rich delta region, Amnesty International has warned.

Thousands have already been forcibly evicted to make way for an eight-screen cinema on the waterfront in Port Harcourt, the human rights group added.

Amnesty’s Just Move Them report urges authorities to suspend planned demolitions and ensure that evictions are carried out according to international human rights law, guaranteeing that adequate alternative housing be found.

Ugandan anti-gay measure will be law soon, lawmaker says



By David McKenzie, CNN

The member of the Ugandan Parliament behind a controversial “anti-gay” bill that would call for stiff penalties against homosexuality — including life imprisonment and the death penalty — says that the bill will become law “soon.”

“We are very confident,” David Bahati told CNN, “because this is a piece of legislation that is needed in this country to protect the traditional family here in Africa, and also protect the future of our children.”

Governments that have donated aid to Uganda and human rights groups applied massive pressure since the bill was proposed a year ago, and most believed that the bill had been since shelved.

Latin America

Hitmen kill fifteen in massacre at Mexican carwash

Third massacre in just a few days renews pressure on President Felipe Calderón to stop violence

Reuters

The Guardian, Thursday 28 October 2010  


Suspected drug hitmen shot dead 15 people at a carwash in western Mexico yesterday, the third massacre in just a few days, putting new pressure on President Felipe Calderón to stop the growing violence.

The gunmen, in three SUVs, opened fire on staff and customers in the carwash on the outskirts of the city of Tepic in Nayarit state, provoking panic as the victims collapsed to the ground.

“The workers were all men; they were washing cars when the gunmen, probably members of organized crime, drove up in SUVs and started opening fire,” said a spokeswoman at the Nayarit state attorney general’s office.

Photographs in local media showed bodies slumped on the roadside with pools of blood around their heads..

Ignoring Asia A Blog  

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