Monday, March 31, 2008

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice

From Juan Cole at Informed Comment:
Iran Brokers Call for Ceasefire;
Bush reduced to Irrelevancy in Iraq;
Fighting Continues
McClatchy provides a lot of important detail about Sunday's surprising developments regarding the fight between the Iraqi government and the Mahdi Army. A parliamentary delegation from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's own coalition (mainly now the Da`wa Party and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) defied him by going off to the holy seminary city of Qom in Iran and negotiating directly with Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr and with the leader of the Quds Brigades of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Brig. Gen. Qasim Sulaymani.

As a result of those parleys, Muqtada al-Sadr called on his followers to stand down, though I read his statement as permitting continued armed self-defense, as at Basra where the Iraqi Army is attacking them and the US is bombing them. Significantly, he calls on the Mahdi Army to stop attacking the HQs of rival political parties. That language suggests that the parties are suffering from such attacks and are worried that party infrasture is being degraded ahead of the October 1 provincial elections. The southern parties have essentially defied al-Maliki and Bush to make a separate peace.

The entire episode underlines how powerful Iran has become in Iraq. The Iranian government had called on Saturday for the fighting to stop. And by Sunday evening it had negotiated at least a similar call from Sadr (whether the fighting actually stops remains to be seen and depends on local commanders and on whether al-Maliki meets Sadr's conditions).
Calm in Iraqi Cities After Cleric Calls for Truce
New York Times - 57 minutes ago
By ERICA GOODE and JAMES GLANZ BAGHDAD - Iraqis returned to the streets of Baghdad after a curfew was lifted and the southern port city of Basra appeared quiet on Monday, a day after the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr called for his followers to stop ...
Video: Al-Sadr Tells Followers to End Violence in Iraq AssociatedPress
Basra returning to normal after Sadr truce Reuters

Iraq: Fighting Over, But Shi'ite Power Struggle Continues
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty - 1 hour ago
Saying that the central government was duty-bound to bring security to Iraq's main port and oil-export center, he said that "we will continue until the end.
Sadr fighters disappear from Iraq's streets Sydney Morning Herald

Oil drops as concerns ease about Iraq oil supply
MarketWatch - 2 hours ago
By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Crude-oil futures edged lower on Monday as concerns that violence in Iraq might disrupt the country's oil exports continued to ease. Crude oil for May delivery edged down 25 cents to $105.37 a ...
Oil Falls a Second Day on US Economic Slowdown, Iraq Supplies Bloomberg
UPDATE 4-Oil slips as southern Iraq tensions ease Reuters

Zimbabwe Slowly Releases Vote Results
The Associated Press - 1 hour ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Officials released a trickle of national election results evenly split Monday between Zimbabwe's ruling party and the opposition, which accused President Robert Mugabe's government of rigging returns to conceal a massive loss.
Zimbabwe Opposition Insists Mugabe Lost New York Times
Zimbabwe's ruling party and opposition tied in early poll results International Herald Tribune

Les Etats-Unis appellent à un décompte impartial des votes au Zimbabwe - Il y a 26 minutes
WASHINGTON - Les Etats-Unis ont "fortement encouragé" lundi les autorités du Zimbabwe à procéder à un décompte impartial des bulletins de vote des élections générales de samedi, alors que l'opposition accuse le régime de Mugabe de retarder la ...
Tension à Harare dans l'attente du résultat de l'élection ... Le Monde
Elections au Zimbabwe: opposition et parti au pouvoir au coude à coude L'Express

Zimbabwe stands 'on a precipice'
BBC News - 4 hours ago
Zimbabwe is standing on a "precipice" as it waits for the official results of Saturday's general election, the opposition has said.

Tibet - China
China slams EU on Tibet statement; world protests mount (Roundup)
Monsters and - 1 hour ago
Beijing - Amid protests around the world about China's handling of the Tibet unrest, Beijing on Monday blasted the European Union for interference at the same time that China made a show of business as usual in staging the launch of the Olympic torch ...
China Arrests Suspects in Tibetan Riots The Associated Press
Tibet monks 'won't be punished'

Les manifestations de soutien au Tibet se multiplient - Publié depuis 1 heure
La police népalaise a par ailleurs annoncé avoir interpellé des Tibétains qui manifestaient devant l'ambassade de Chine à Katmandou, comme tous les jours depuis le début de la crise au Tibet. Tandis que la police népalaise a annoncé lundi 31 mars avoir ...
Pékin renouvelle ses attaques contre le dalaï-lama Le Point
Et Lhasse ça vous chatouille ou ça vous... Tribune de Genève

China rejects rumor of soldiers disguising as rioting monks
Xinhua - 30 minutes ago
BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday rejected a rumor cited by the Dalai Lama that hundreds of soldiers disguised as monks in the Lhasa riots on March 14.
'Dalai Lama shouldn't do anything harmful to Sino-India ties' Hindu
China publishes 'evidence' against Dalai Lama Times of India

El Gobierno chino refina la censura en la Red
El País (España) - hace 16 horas
Los internautas capaces de leer inglés se llevaron la semana pasada una agradable sorpresa en China. La página web de noticias de la cadena británica BBC es accesible tras años de haber estado bloqueada por presentar información que el Gobierno ...
China lanza el relevo de la llama olímpica bajo severas medidas de ... AFP
China incrementa sus ataques al Dalai Lama El Nuevo Diario

China asks Dalai Lama to use his influence' to stop Tibet violence
Hindu - 35 minutes ago
Beijing (PTI): Facing mounting international flak for the crackdown on Lhasa, China on Monday gave first signs of softening its stand by asking the Dalai Lama to use his "influence" to stop violence in Tibet and said the "channels" for dialogue with ...
Beijing on tight leash as torch arrives The Age

God help Eastern Europe
Bush Leaves for Eastern Europe
Voice of America - 1 hour ago
By Scott Stearns President Bush is on his way to the Ukraine for the start of a four-nation trip that also includes stops in Russia, Croatia and Romania where he will take part in a NATO summit.
NATO holds key to European club for Georgia, Ukraine Reuters

Bush to back Ukraine's Nato hopes
BBC News - 1 hour ago
US President George Bush is set to offer backing to Ukraine's membership of Nato when on a visit to the former Soviet republic.

Palestine - Israel
Rice Convenes Meeting of Israeli, Palestinian Negotiators
Voice of America - 2 hours ago
By VOA News US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials Monday in a final effort to push forward a peace deal before ending her latest trip to Jerusalem.
Rice says Israeli-Palestinian talks on right track Reuters
Rice presses Israel to commit to peace progress (Roundup) Monsters and

Israel to Build New Homes in West Bank
The Associated Press - 48 minutes ago
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel announced plans Monday for 1400 new homes on land the Palestinians claim for a future state - just hours after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ended a peacekeeping mission to the region. [SSJOAS]
Jerusalem municipality announces settlement project Reuters
Abbas and Olmert Plan Meeting New York Times

OK, let's put this to rest now
Coroner: No evidence Diana was murdered - 4 hours ago
By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter The coroner at the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, has ruled out any possibility that she was murdered.
Coroner brands Burrell a liar The Sun
Duke 'did not order Diana death' BBC News

Church in the Province of South Africa
New archbishop greeted with ululation
Independent Online - 2 hours ago
Six months after he was elected, Thabo Makgoba was installed as the Archbishop of Cape Town at a packed St George's Cathedral on Sunday.
South Africa: Mbeki Welcomes New Anglican Archbishop
New archbishop installed Dispatch Online

Grâce tchadienne pour les six Français de l'Arche de Zoé
L'Express - Il y a 37 minutes
Après cinq mois de prison au Tchad puis en France, six travailleurs humanitaires français de l'ONG l'Arche de Zoé, condamnés à huit ans de prison pour tentative d'enlèvement de 103 enfants africains, vont être libérés en vertu d'une grâce accordée par ...
Arche de Zoé: chronologie des principaux événements
Les six de l'Arche de Zoé graciés Le Figaro

Turquie : vers une interdiction du parti AKP au pouvoir ?
Europe 1 - Publié depuis 1 heure
La Cour constitutionnelle a jugé recevable lundi une requête pour faire interdire le parti politique auquel appartiennent le président et le Premier ministre turcs. Motif : l'AKP menacerait les fondements laïques de la République turque. ...
La Cour constitutionnelle juge recevable le recours contre l'AKP Le Parisien
Turquie : la Cour constitutionnelle donne son feu vert à l'examen ... Le Monde

Paulson Backs Regulatory Overhaul, Broader Fed Role (Update2)
Bloomberg - 58 minutes ago
By Jesse Westbrook March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson proposed the broadest overhaul of US financial regulation since the Great Depression, saying the system for overseeing American capitalism needs to be better prepared for ...
Treasury's Paulson formally presents financial regulation overhaul ...
Paulson defends regulatory blueprint MarketWatch

With pure lips offer praise together with the Angels, ye mortals, to Him Who rose from the grave the third day and raised the world up with Himself.
--Monday of the Second Week, Pentecostarion

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation--if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:1-3)

--the BB

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