Sep 18 2011

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Tumult of Arab Spring Prompts Worries in Washington


Published: September 17, 2011

WASHINGTON – While the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring created new opportunities for American diplomacy, the tumult has also presented the United States with challenges – and worst-case scenarios – that would have once been almost unimaginable.

What if the Palestinians’ quest for recognition of a state at the United Nations, despite American pleas otherwise, lands Israel in the International Criminal Court, fuels deeper resentment of the United States, or touches off a new convulsion of violence in the West Bank and Gaza?

Sunday’s Headlines:

Special report: Palestinian bid for statehood divides a people

Somalia bans foreign aid workers from rebel areas

TEPCO doles out money to greedy municipalities

No rest for an Egypt revolutionary

In search of Nirvana

Special report: Palestinian bid for statehood divides a people’

And in taking his case to the UN, Abbas defies both the US and Israel

By Donald Macintyre in Nablus Sunday, 18 September 2011

Both men had watched the live TV broadcast in which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas explained on Friday evening why he is defying the wishes of Israel and the US by taking his case for statehood recognition to the UN this week. But it was rapidly apparent from the vigorous argument yesterday between Subha Mahmoud Abu Hashi, 65, and Mahmoud Abu Rizel, 29, in the narrow main shopping street of the Balata refugee camp, how different their takes on it had been.

Somalia bans foreign aid workers from rebel areas


Nearly all aid agencies have already barred their expatriate workers from operating in Somalia as famine grips the country, due to the risk of kidnapping as the hard-line militants linked to al-Qaeda control most of the southern part of the country after retreating from the capital.

However, Somali security forces briefly detained two Turks on Tuesday who went to an al-Shabaab area to deliver food to famine victims, and prevented others along with a group of journalists from doing so later in the week.

TEPCO doles out money to greedy municipalities


TEPCO was so generous in making donations to municipalities that hosted the nuclear power plants it operated that other cities began holding out their hands demanding similar donations.

Some cities asked for money even though there was no nuclear plant within their jurisdiction, leading Tokyo Electric Power Co. to resort to funneling money through a prefectural organization.

The move that prompted the rush for donations was the construction in 1997 by TEPCO of the J-Village soccer training facility in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, at a cost of 13 billion yen ($167 million). Naraha is one of the communities where the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant is located. TEPCO subsequently donated the soccer facility to the Fukushima prefectural government

No rest for an Egypt revolutionary

Ahmed Maher, leader of the April 6 Youth Movement, is one of the country’s most savvy activists. But he senses the young are losing the revolution they heralded.

By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Cairo– Men arrive at an Islamic party’s headquarters on a hot Cairo night. They hug, laugh and whisper around trays of pistachio sweets. A door closes and the haggling over Egypt’s future begins. But the young revolutionary is missing. Thirty minutes tick by; the amiable mood is cracking.

Ahmed Maher hurries in, dabbing his forehead with a tissue. He sits across from Saied Abdul Azim, a cleric in an embroidered skullcap, who with a phone call can summon tens of thousands of Koran-wielding followers into the street. The old man begins: “Liberals see freedom as giving rights to homosexuals or for anybody to do and wear what they want, even if it’s against Islam. We’ve come out to tell them we will fight this.”

In search of Nirvana<

Twenty years ago an album that wreaked havoc on the conventional music industry was released. Lauren Spencer, who was among the first to hear Nevermind, reminisces with the surviving band members, and returns to Seattle to hear how Kurt Cobain changed music for ever

Lauren Spencer

The Observer, Sunday 18 September 2011  

Twenty years ago on a hot, smelly mess of an August day, the kind New York City does so well, I crossed the lobby of a swanky hotel in Manhattan to interview a band. They were in town to promote their first major-label release, Nevermind, and because I worked for Spin magazine, I’d been sent an advance of the music. It had caused me to miss my stop on the subway so confused and smitten was I by the soft and hard edges of the tunes and lyrics coming through my headphones. So I was heading up to meet these guys who called themselves Nirvana and find out for myself how they put heaven and hell into each of the songs.