May 03 2011

Six In The Morning

Robert Fisk: Was he betrayed? Of course. Pakistan knew Bin Laden’s hiding place all along

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A middle-aged nonentity, a political failure outstripped by history – by the millions of Arabs demanding freedom and democracy in the Middle East – died in Pakistan yesterday. And then the world went mad.

Fresh from providing us with a copy of his birth certificate, the American President turned up in the middle of the night to provide us with a live-time death certificate for Osama bin Laden, killed in a town named after a major in the army of the old British Empire. A single shot to the head, we were told. But the body’s secret flight to Afghanistan, an equally secret burial at sea? The weird and creepy disposal of the body – no shrines, please – was almost as creepy as the man and his vicious organisation.

‘Tourists visiting Fukushima despite nuclear fears


FUKUSHIMA, Japan – On a windy, chilly day near the top of a volcano known as “little Mount Fuji,” the Ryan family of Florida described the fuss at home before they left.

“People thought we were crazy,” said Kerry Ryan, 52, of Cape Coral, Fla.

“They said we’d come back glowing,” 10-year-old granddaughter Isabelle Ryan added.

But the Ryans, who had never before traveled overseas, decided to stick to their destination: Fukushima.

Canada’s Conservatives in crushing election victory

• Prime minister Stephen Harper wins a majority government

• Shattering defeat for the opposition Liberals

• Leftist New Democrats projected to be main opposition party

Associated Press guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 3 May 2011 06.14 BST  

The Conservative prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has won a majority government in Monday’s parliamentary elections which also marked a shattering defeat for Michael Ignatieff’s opposition Liberals.

In another significant shift, the leftist New Democrats are projected to become the main opposition party for the first time in Canadian history with 106 seats, in a stunning upset over the Liberals who have always been either in power or leading the opposition.

Harper, who took office in 2006, has won two elections but until now had never held a majority of parliament’s 308 seats, forcing him to rely on opposition support to pass legislation.

Germany, Austria open doors to EU’s migrant workers  

Germany and Austria became the last two EU members to lift labor market restrictions on workers from Eastern Europe on May 1.  

By Michael Steininger, Contributor /


The doors to Germany and Austria have opened wider to foreign workers after the two European Union nations lifted restrictions on migrant laborers from Eastern Europe

On May 1, these last two “old” EU member states removed labor market restrictions keeping out workers from “new” members Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovenia.

While recognizing that Germany’s aging workforce could benefit from a few fresh pairs of legs, many politicians and trade unionists on this side of the River Oder are looking eastward with mixed feelings, wondering if the new “open door” policy will fuel economic growth or strain the social system. The move is further charged by the growing debate in Europe over the merits of multiculturalism.

Outrage over Israel’s decision to freeze Palestinian revenue

Isabel Kershner May 3, 2011  

JERUSALEM: Israel is delaying the transfer of almost $US90 million ($82 million) in tax revenue owed to the Palestinian Authority in a move against the emerging reconciliation between Fatah, the party that dominates the authority, and its Islamic rival, Hamas.

The step came as both sides appealed to international powers to back their positions on the unity deal expected to be signed in Cairo this week. It is intended to end a four-year schism between the West Bank government led by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah chief, and Gaza, the Palestinian coastal enclave controlled by Hamas.

Boers are moving north  

May 03 2011 07:28  

White South African farmers are now being courted by the north, by countries who believe their agricultural expertise can kickstart an agrarian revolution across the continent. They are being offered millions of hectares of allegedly virgin rainforest and bush, as well as land already farmed by smallholders or used as pastures by herders.

In the biggest deal to date, Congo-Brazzaville has offered South Africa farmers long leases on up to 10m hectares of land, an area that includes abandoned state farms and bush in the remote south-west of the country. The first contracts, which put 88 000 hectares in the hands of 70 farmers, were signed at a ceremony in the country last month.