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Dec 02 2010

Morning Shinbun Thursday December 2




Thursday’s Headlines:

Manga, hip hop and high fashion: The world of Takashi Murakami

USA

Chicago takes wrecking ball to its final tower of violence

Accused whistleblower ‘just wanted to live a normal life’

Europe

Wikileaks: Russia branded ‘mafia state’ in recent cable

Ségolène Royal’s presidential announcement throws French Socialists into disarray

Middle East

US papers twist Iranian missile tale

Mubarak party’s landslide election win leaves a bitter taste

Asia

Karzai brothers risk wrath of US over release of Taliban fighters

Pakistan stares into a valley of death

Africa

Farms destined for poor went to Mugabe loyalists

Nigerian troops attack camps, rebels say scores killed

Latin America

Cartel arrests fail to curb drug trade

Fed aid in financial crisis went beyond U.S. banks to industry, foreign firms



By Jia Lynn Yang, Neil Irwin and David S. Hilzenrath

Washington Post Staff Writers

Thursday, December 2, 2010; 12:15 AM


The financial crisis stretched even farther across the economy than many had realized, as new disclosures show the Federal Reserve rushed trillions of dollars in emergency aid not just to Wall Street but also to motorcycle makers, telecom firms and foreign-owned banks in 2008 and 2009. The Fed’s efforts to prop up the financial sector reached across a broad spectrum of the economy, benefiting stalwarts of American industry including General Electric and Caterpillar and household-name companies such as Verizon, Harley-Davidson and Toyota. The central bank’s aid programs also supported U.S. subsidiaries of banks based in East Asia, Europe and Canada while rescuing money-market mutual funds held by millions of Americans.

Manga, hip hop and high fashion: The world of Takashi Murakami



By Laura Allsop for CNN

December 2, 2010  


The Asian art scene is increasingly a force to be reckoned with, but one man can claim to have put Japanese contemporary art on the map.

Tokyo-born Takashi Murakami is the man credited with marrying Japanese subculture with contemporary fine art and turning it into a global brand worth millions of dollars.

You will probably recognize his color-saturated, Manga-inspired canvases; his colorful take on the Louis Vuitton monogram for a range of accessories; or perhaps caught his short film directed by McG and starring actress Kirsten Dunst.

USA

Chicago takes wrecking ball to its final tower of violence



By David Usborne, US Editor Thursday, 2 December 2010

The racket of five decades – clamouring babies, yelling spouses and even the occasional crack of gunfire – are suddenly gone from Cabrini-Green, a high-rise apartment project near downtown Chicago that became a symbol of public housing gone awry. All will remain quiet now until the wrecker’s ball strikes.

Not that there is too much left of it, anyway. For several years, Chicago has been tearing down the unprepossessing red and white towers that stood a stone’s throw from the city’s wealthy heart and yet, spread over 72 acres, was the site of some of the most glaring poverty and shocking violence.

Accused whistleblower ‘just wanted to live a normal life’



Robert Booth, Heather Brooke and Steven Morris

December 2, 2010  


BRADLEY MANNING will wake up today at a military base in Virginia to his 190th day in custody, accused of passing more than 250,000 diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

Private Manning, 23, a US Army intelligence analyst brought up in the Oklahoma Bible belt and in Wales, is locked up with about six others in the marine-run facility in Quantico. He has had access to TV news and briefings from his lawyer, but little can have prepared him for the fury of the government over the cables leak.

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Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, said it ”tore at the fabric of government” and pledged ”aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information”. Republicans branded it terrorism..

Europe

Wikileaks: Russia branded ‘mafia state’ in recent cable

A senior Spanish prosecutor told the US Embassy in Madrid that Russia, Belarus and Chechnya had become virtual “mafia states”, new disclosures of classified material by Wikileaks show.

The BBC 2 December 2010  

A cable also questions whether Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is implicated in the Russian mafia.

Another reveals that a powerful Ukrainian businessman told US officials he had ties to Russian organised crime.

The documents are among hundreds being released by the whistle-blower website.

On Wednesday the US online shopping giant Amazon reportedly blocked Wikileaks from its servers – a move welcomed by US officials.

Access to Wikileaks’ homepage was sporadic on Wednesday. The website had been using Amazon servers since its Swedish-based servers came under cyber-attack twice earlier this week.

Ségolène Royal’s presidential announcement throws French Socialists into disarray  

A truce over who will lead the Socialists in France’s 2012 presidential race has spectacularly collapsed after the maverick former candidate Ségolène Royal declared she was once again running.

By Henry Samuel, Paris

Miss Royal, 57, whom Nicolas Sarkozy defeated in 2007, jumped the gun on the Socialists’ official timetable by announcing well before the June 2011 deadline that she wished to seek the Socialist ticket. Party primaries are due in the autumn.

Her surprise announcement plunged the party into disarray and increased pressure on Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the current runaway favourite, to declare whether he will stand down as head of the International Monetary Fund to contest the French presidency.

Middle East

US papers twist Iranian missile tale  



By Gareth Porter  

WASHINGTON – A diplomatic cable from last February released by WikiLeaks provides a detailed account of how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic-missile program refuted the United States suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals, or intends to develop such a capability.

In fact, the Russians challenged the very existence of the mystery missile the US claims Iran acquired from North Korea. But readers of the two leading US newspapers never learned those key facts about the document.

Mubarak party’s landslide election win leaves a bitter taste

 

JASON KOUTSOUKIS

December 2, 2010


CHARGES of widespread vote rigging have marred parliamentary election results in Egypt that produced almost a clean sweep for the ruling National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.

The High Elections Commission said yesterday the NDP had won 209 of the 221 parliamentary seats decided in the first round of voting held last weekend.

The representation ot the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s main opposition group, in the 508-member People’s Assembly fell from 88 to zero after it failed to win any seats, but the party will contest 27 seats in run-off elections to be held on Sunday.

Asia

Karzai brothers risk wrath of US over release of Taliban fighters

Afghan President and sibling accused of undermining deterrent by pardoning insurgents  

By Julius Cavendish in Kabul Thursday, 2 December 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his powerful brother are among a number of senior Afghan figures to be accused of ordering the release of high-ranking Taliban fighters so often that the insurgents now run a commission to secure their freedom.

According to Reuters news agency, the practice is so widespread as to counteract the deterrent effect of capture, and pits Mr Karzai and his coterie directly at odds with the Nato strategy in Afghanistan.

Even though Mr Karzai and his Western allies espouse a political solution to the war in Afghanistan, analysts say that releasing prisoners in such large numbers actually reduces the chances of a settlement.

Pakistan stares into a valley of death

 

By Syed Saleem Shahzad  

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s military headquarters has decided in principle to mount a military operation in the North Waziristan tribal area before the start of the Taliban’s summer offensive in Afghanistan next year.

The decision has been taken at a point that Washington has dropped any idea of dialogue with the Taliban, preferring to rely solely on brute force – a sudden shift in policy that Pakistan refers to as changing horses in midstream.

At the same time, Pakistan’s political leadership refuses to take ownership of the North Waziristan operation, leaving the armed forces alone to decide on its strategy. tegy.

Africa

Farms destined for poor went to Mugabe loyalists  



BILL CORCORAN in Cape Town  

THE ZIMBABWEAN president Robert Mugabe and his closest allies control just under half of the farms taken from white farmers since the country’s so-called land-reform programme began 10 years ago, a new investigation claims.

Published yesterday by Zim Online, an independent online newspaper, the report said that rather than benefiting the poor black masses, 40 per cent of the farms taken during the land invasions are in the possession of 2,200 senior Zanu-PF party loyalists.

Since Zimbabwe’s land-reform programme began in 2000, 14 million hectares of prime agricultural land have been taken from an estimated 5,000 white farmers, supposedly for redistribution to the poor black masses disenfranchised under colonial rule.

Nigerian troops attack camps, rebels say scores killed



Dec 2, 2010 1:20 AM | By Sapa-AFP

“We have not taken a casualty count from the operation yet in the three camps,” Colonel Timothy Antigha, a spokesman for the military’s Joint Task Force, told AFP.

“An unspecified number of people may have been killed during the operation, but anybody who was killed was a criminal because innocent people do not live in camps.”

Latin America

Cartel arrests fail to curb drug trade  



By ELLIOT SPAGAT, MARTHA MENDOZA

CALEXICO, California – On a sleepy boulevard of motels and fast-food joints near the Mexican border, police stopped a car with a broken tail light. In the trunk, an officer found a trash bag containing 48 pounds of narcotics, and in the driver’s pocket, scraps of paper scrawled with phone numbers.

Almost four years later, a grave Eric Holder called his first news conference as the U.S. attorney general and announced where those phone numbers had led – to a sweeping investigation called Operation Xcellerator, which produced the largest-ever federal crackdown on Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, with 761 people arrested and 23 tons of narcotics seized..

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