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Aug 18 2013

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Drone strike campaign in Yemen shows U.S. standards are elastic

The wave of attacks highlights Obama’s willingness to accelerate airstrikes even if intelligence on a terrorist plot is imprecise, analysts and ex-officials say.

By Ken Dilanian

A surge of U.S. drone missile strikes that has killed about 40 suspected militants in Yemen over the last three weeks may appear inconsistent with President Obama’s pledge in May to use drone aircraft to target and kill only individual terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to Americans.

White House officials say the targeting rules haven’t changed for the 10 recent drone strikes. But analysts and former U.S. officials say the current campaign, after the pace of attacks had slowed, shows that the standards are elastic.

They say the wave of attacks highlights Obama’s willingness to accelerate lethal operations in response to terrorist threats, even though intelligence on the latest plot was imprecise about the timing or location of apparent targets.




Sunday’s Headlines:

Uganda: Rigged elections and mysterious killings … it’s the Mugabe script with a different cast

India on trial as gang rape verdict is due

Iran has 18,000 uranium centrifuges, says outgoing nuclear chief

Mexican army captures leader of Gulf cartel

Long Bien: Historic Hanoi bridge with an uncertain future

Uganda: Rigged elections and mysterious killings … it’s the Mugabe script with a different cast

Patience Akumu of the Kampala Observer asks why the west continues to back Uganda’s leader for the last 27 years as his regime clamps down on dissent

Patience Akumu

The Observer, Sunday 18 August 2013

Much of the world looked on with dismay as Zimbabwe held another disputed presidential election this month, handing 89-year-old Robert Mugabe a seventh term in office. Newspapers sent their correspondents to report allegations of ballot fraud and intimidation. Television reports around the world featured the angry face of Morgan Tsvangirai as he denounced the election as a farce.

In Uganda, liberals and politicians rolled their eyes and sighed wearily. For we have our own Mugabe figure, but no one seems to care. For the last decade, Ugandan activists of various stripes have been trying to draw attention to Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s brutal regime. The difficulty is getting anyone to listen.

India on trial as gang rape verdict is due

 Youngest of five alleged attackers to learn his fate on Monday

 ANDREW BUNCOMBE  Author Biography  DELHI  SUNDAY 18 AUGUST 2013

It was a family tradition. Every year, like millions of people across India, they would gather with friends and relatives in their cramped home, turn on the television to watch the Prime Minister address the nation and then escape upstairs to fly paper kites from the roof.

This year was different. This Independence Day, 15 August, the family of the 23-year-old Delhi student whose gang-rape and murder shocked the world, mourned her loss, remembering how 12 months ago she had travelled from medical college to be with them. This year there was no special food, no flying of kites. “Let us have justice. We will call that independence,” said one of the woman’s two younger brothers.

Iran has 18,000 uranium centrifuges, says outgoing nuclear chief

DUBAI (Reuters)

Iran has installed 18,000 uranium-enrichment centrifuges, the country’s outgoing nuclear chief was quoted as saying by Iranian media on Saturday.

The U.S. and its Western allies are pressing Iran to curb its uranium enrichment program, which they suspect is aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capability, but Iran refuses and insists its nuclear activity is for purely peaceful purposes.

New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a former nuclear negotiator who oversaw a previous deal to suspend Iran’s uranium enrichment, has welcomed new talks with world powers over the program but has insisted on Iran’s right to enrich uranium.

Mexican army captures leader of Gulf cartel

Gulf cartel leader Mario Armando Ramirez Treviño, who is wanted in the United States on drug charges, is arrested near the border with Texas.

 By Richard Fausset

The leader of the Gulf cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest drug-running organizations, was captured by the Mexican army Saturday, officials said, dealing a new blow to a decades-old enterprise whose power has waned in recent years with the rise of other criminal groups.

Mario Armando Ramirez Treviño, 51, who is wanted in the United States, was arrested Saturday morning, according to a government statement. Mexican news organizations reported that he was detained in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, near the Texas border.

Long Bien: Historic Hanoi bridge with an uncertain future

 

By Petroc Trelawny

BBC, Hanoi, Vietnam

Reminders of Hanoi’s French past can be found on every street. But one colonial-era construction is particularly revered by residents of Vietnam’s capital.

There are not many pedestrians on Long Bien Bridge.

A man in a panama hat walks briskly, as if he has an important meeting.

He is wearing a pair of shorts made of cotton, printed with headlines from the London Times.

An old lady sporting a non la, the classic conical Vietnamese hat walks a third of the way across, and then turns back.