Saturday, April 12, 2008


"So?" is the famous two-letter, one-word reply Dick the Dick gave when asked about the opinion of the American people on the Iraq War.

I have to concede to His Deathness the Dark Lord that if you feel you are doing what it right, you might not wish to be swayed by polls. What troubles me is the idea that one could believe this disaster constitutes doing what is morally right. Profitable for cronies (and himself), yes. A vindication of his vision of a presidency unfettered by check and balances, certainly. But morally right? (As if such a category ever crosses his mind.)

Well, this week Martha Raddatz got to interview the Dark Lord's titular boss, the Torturer in Chief.
In the interview with ABC News Friday, Bush defended the waterboarding technique used against KSM.

"We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it," Bush said. "And, no, I didn't have any problem at all trying to find out what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed knew."
Prior to that Bush said this:
"Well, we started to connect the dots, in order to protect the American people." Bush told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. "And, yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved."
[Emphasis mine]

The President of the United States just admitted to authorizing torture.

And the media are all agog over Clinton, McCain, and Obama trading taunts over elitism.

They sure do a good job trying to scrounge up shiny objects to deflect our attention from atrocities, don't they?

I want to say "they should all be waterboarded," but some shred of morality won't let me. But I feel really dirty--that this should be happening at American hands, that everybody acts as though nothing is happening, and that I should even contemplate such vileness.

Bush has slimed America and nobody seems to be noticing.

What gives?

Has the Fourth Estate become the excrement Bush wipes off his ass with the Constitution?

Don't expect me to become more civil as November approaches.

Another great article by looseheadprop (on John Yoo, Antonin Scalia, and Patrick Fitzgerald) here.

--the BB


I am not going to stop beating this drum

From bewert's diary at Daily Kos today. What happened to one of our prisoners. I'm only giving you the medical summary, not the details.

This 47-year-old White male, [redacted], died of blunt force injuries and asphyxia. The autopsy disclosed multiple blunt force injuries,including deep contusions of the chest wall, numerous displaced rib fractures, lung contusions, and hemorrhage into the mesentery of the small and large intestine. An examination of the neck structures revealed hemorrhage into the strap muscles and fractures of the thyroid cartilage and hyoid bone. According to the investigative report provided by U.S. Army CID, the decedent was shackled to the top of a doorframe with a gag in his mouth at the time he lost consciousness and became pulseless.

The severe blunt force injuries, the hanging position, and the obstruction of the oral cavity with a gag contributed to this individual's death. The manner of death is homicide.

This is the reality of current US interrogation techniques. Hung by your wrists for an extended period, gagged, and beaten so harshly that you have almost 30 rib fractures and a broken sternum.

Receiving zero medical care. Actually losing consiousness and "becoming pulseless" while still hanging, feeling your broken ribs slice into your lungs, the skin falling off your wrists where the handcuffs are supporting your weight.

Repeatedly shitting yourself. As there is simply no other choice.
This is what the Bush Administration has led us into.

I don't give a flying fig whether we have enough time or enough votes for conviction,* if we aren't impeaching the lot of them then we cannot say we give a good goddamn about democracy OR decency.

*I do believe that if we had the investigation and the facts came out, we may well find we had the votes for conviction. The American people, if they knew the truth, would be so horrified and outraged that a Senator would be a damned fool to say, "No big deal."

Want to do something about it? Check out Troutfishings diary today titled "How You Can Fight, Help Expose US Gov. Torture Programs"

--the BB

Lord, have mercy - 4/12/2008

China's Hu: Tibet Is an Internal Matter
The Associated Press - 1 hour ago
BOAO, China (AP) - Chinese President Hu Jintao took a hard line Saturday in his first remarks on the recent unrest in Tibet, saying the matter is an internal affair that directly threatens Chinese sovereignty.
China defends Tibetan crackdown BBC News
Merkel adamant she would meet Dalai Lama again Monsters and

Former Rebels Win 11 Seats in Nepal
The Associated Press - 57 minutes ago
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - Nepal's communist former rebels have won control in 11 of the 21 constituencies where vote counting has been completed in the election for an assembly to write a new constitution, election officials said Saturday.
Nepal's Communist Rebels Take Early Lead in Vote Counting Bloomberg
Nepal Maoists lead in early count: officials AFP

Hu Meets Taiwan's Siew, Raising Hope of Closer Ties (Update5)
Bloomberg - 57 minutes ago
By Mark Lee and Chinmei Sung April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao met Taiwan's Vice President-elect Vincent Siew today in Hainan, the highest-level contact between leaders of the two neighbors across the Taiwan Strait in almost six ...
Historic China-Taiwan talks open BBC News
Chinese leader meets with Taiwan's new VP United Press International

Iran Top Threat To Iraq, US Says
Washington Post - 8 hours ago
By Karen DeYoung Last week's violence in Basra and Baghdad has convinced the Bush administration that actions by Iran, and not al-Qaeda, are the primary threat inside Iraq, and has sparked a broad reassessment of policy in the region, according to ...
Iran Fighting Proxy War in Iraq, US Envoy Says New York Times
US Iraq envoy stresses Arab role BBC News

Keep off bomb-strewn streets of Sadr City, says Iraq
AFP - 2 hours ago
Around 800 people have been killed in the fighting, which first broke out in Basra but quickly spread to other Shiite areas of Iraq. The battles subsided after Sadr pulled his fighters off the streets on March 30, but fighting erupted in greater fury a ...
IRAQ REPORT At a glance Fort Worth Star Telegram
Curfew in Iraq shrine city lifted AFP

This is no time to stay the course of Iraq war
Detroit Free Press - 5 hours ago
John McCain recently sent out an e-mail to his supporters, saying: "I intend to win the war in Iraq and bring our troops home with honor in that victory.

Baghdad slum residents endure street battle hell
Reuters India - 1 hour ago
By Wisam Mohammed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Huddled in her house in the Baghdad Shi'ite slum of Sadr City, Salwa Naser recited prayers as gunfire echoed outside.
Baghdad clashes 'kill 13 gunmen' BBC News
13 Killed in Baghdad's Sadr City The Associated Press

Naked Woman in Cheney Glasses? No!
15 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Get real, people.
That is not a naked woman reflected in Vice President Dick Cheney's sunglasses. Although it kind of appears to be.
If you blow up the picture, you can see it is Cheney's hand gripping the handle of a fishing rod.
The picture was posted on the White House Web site as one in a series of photos of Cheney outdoors. It created a buzz on the Internet on Friday and some cable television shows. On Friday afternoon, the White House photo office released a high-resolution image showing that it is a hand holding a fishing rod.
On the Web
White House photo:

Afghan suicide blast kills 3 Indians and 1 Afghan
Reuters UK - 2 hours ago
KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed three Indian road engineers and an Afghan in southwestern Afghanistan on Saturday in the second deadly attack on road builders in a week.
Afghan clashes claim 24 Taliban, two Indians: officials AFP
24 Taliban Killed in Afghanistan The Associated Press

Rising fuel prices will add to India's woes
Times of India - 10 Apr 2008
NEW DELHI: With UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation warning that there is no early solution in sight to the global dip in food supply, India could find its attempt to isolate domestic prices from the international market more difficult in times to ...
Food price woes tied to energy Calgary Herald
Q&A: Rising world food prices BBC News

Not having hindered the stone of the tomb from being sealed, Thou, on Thine arising, hast granted the rock of faith unto all. O Lord, glory be to Thee.

Not having departed from the immaculate bosom of the Father in the highest, Thou didst accept burial and Resurrection in behalf of all. O Lord, glory be to Thee.

The choir of Thy disciples rejoice with one voice together with the myrrh-bearing women, for they celebrate a common feast with them, unto the glory and honour of Thy Resurrection; and through them we cry to Thee: O Lord and Friend of humanity, grant great mercy unto Thy People.

--Saturday of the Myrrh-Bearers, Pentecostarion

--the BB

Workshop Day

I will be at a workshop today (Saturday).  Not much blogging until this evening.
--the BB

To the Hague!

What do you think the little boy who shoved firecrackers up frogs' butts and blew them up would grow up to be, anyway? Well, one might have hoped NOT President of the United States, but as election theft and and an inattentive public would have it, that's what happened.

ABC News reports:
"Well, we started to connect the dots, in order to protect the American people." Bush told ABC New s White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. "And, yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved."
Three little words: "And I approved."


Physicians for Human Rights notes the following:
Techniques of psychological torture used have included sensory deprivation, isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, the use of military working dogs to instill fear, cultural and sexual humiliation, mock executions, and the threat of violence or death toward detainees or their loved ones. A source familiar with conditions at Guantánamo told PHR that deprivation of sensory stimulation and over-stimulation led to self-harm and suicide attempts.
George W. Bush is a criminal on so many levels it would be difficult to list them all. He is certainly a war criminal in this, and so are the members of his National Security Council.

What have you done lately to oust them from office and hold them accountable?

h/t to Troutfishing. Read the whole article if you are up to facing the depravity of the whole thing.
--the BB

Friday, April 11, 2008

J. Horatio Christ, even CNN talking heads are disgusted

A McCain surrogate and Clinton have both jumped on some remarks by Obama to portray him as an elitist. I would think that someone who spent part of his childhood in a developing country, was raised by a single parent, and was involved in community organizing might not make your best candidate for an elitist.

Steve Schmidt of the McCain camp:
"It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking," Schmidt said. "It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."
"Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them, they need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them, who works hard for your futures, your jobs, your families."
Barack responds:

"Out of touch? Out of touch? I mean, John McCain—it took him three tries to finally figure out that the home foreclosure crisis was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch? Senator Clinton voted for a credit card-sponsored bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to get out of debt after taking money from the financial services companies, and she says I’m out of touch? No, I’m in touch. I know exactly what’s going on. I know what’s going on in Pennsylvania. I know what’s going on in Indiana. I know what’s going on in Illinois. People are fed-up. They’re angry and they’re frustrated and they’re bitter. And they want to see a change in Washington and that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America."

And the CNN crew are even unanimous in finding this rather shoddy:

Two observations:

1. With the money and fame the Clintons have acquired and the wealth Cindy McCain brought to that family, where do these folks get off calling Obama an elitist? Sounds like the sort of serious hypocritical asshattery one would expect from the New England aristocrat who poses as a Texas cowboy--even though he's terrified of horses--to me.

2. Why am I watching an alleged Democrat join forces with Republicans to trash the likely Dem nominee instead of watching both Dems tear the Gooper to shreds? If Hillary wants to make the case why she should be our nominee she should be able to do it without sniping at Barack. She did get some jabs in at McCain the other day; I suggest she turn her energy back to that.

I'm trying to keep my calm here during the primary and I refrain from saying anything 19 times out of 20 but whenever I sense an effectual (I do not say "intended," I say "having the effect of") alliance between McCain and Clinton it makes my blood boil.

And this latest bit is pure bullshit. But it will now be picked up and bruited about.

I call bullshit.

And so do the talking heads.

Going to bed with my crankypants on tonight.

h/t to Susan G for most of this and to paddy henry for the CNN video.

UPDATE: The NYT picks up the story.

--the BB

One Hundred Virtual Flags!

I thought tonight might be the night. Our virtual flag collection, based on visitors to this site since I established the neocounter (to the right), has now grown to 100. w00t!

And the 100th flag is representing a visitor from the Dominican Republic. ¡Bienvenido! Me alegro que Ud. haya visitado este sitio y espero que regrese pronto.

The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern 2/3 of the island of Hispaniola, with Haiti occupying the western 1/3. It is a nation passionate about baseball. While Haiti is francophone, the Dominican Republic is hispanohablante. The capital is Santo Domingo .

Speaking of baseball, it is to the Dominican Republic that we owe the following (from Wikipedia):
  • Sammy Sosa, 1998 National League MVP Award and member of the exclusive (only 4 other players have reached the mark) 600 home run club.
  • Carlos Villanueva, pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Albert Pujols, 2001 National League Rookie of the Year 2005 National League MVP Award winner.
  • Pedro Martínez, three time Cy Young Award winner, considered one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.
  • Vladimir Guerrero, 2004 American League MVP Award winner and 2007 Home Run Derby winner.
  • David Ortiz, first baseman/ designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox
  • Alex Rodriguez, three time American League MVP infielder New York Yankees
  • Jose Reyes, 2007 MLB's Stolen Base Leader
  • Manny Ramírez, outfielder for the Boston Red Sox
  • Miguel Tejada, shortstop for the Houston Astros
  • Alfonso Soriano, infielder/outfielder for the Chicago Cubs
Here is a lovely introduction:

Music and art in the religious life of the village of Villa Mella - the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit (8:57 min):

Afro Dominican Palo Drumming in Villa Mella

Now rock out with Batey Cero:

--the BB

Will Wales Wins Wings

OK, I used to be a Baptist preacher. You expected me to resist alliterating in the header? Hah!

Yes, it's the flyboy pictured above. Well, sort of. More on that in a minute.

Oh, we're featuring William, all right.

Yes, this one, Diana's firstborn. William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor, born 21 June 1982.

Seen here with his grandmother, Her Britannic Majesty, and the old man, Carlos de Galles.

This week, of course, I did not have to scrounge for photos. Did you know his parents called him Wombat when he was very young? He is left-handed, and I have just begun to like him more for having learned that. He was also a rap DJ for a small radio station in Tortel, Chile, during part of his gap year after graduating from Eton. He majored in Geography at St Andrew's.

Barefoot at the beach.

So, what did his granny say during the graduation ceremony from Sandhurst?

Not a gym rat, but not hard on the eyes either.

He's a 2nd Lieutenant in the Blues and Royals.

Spare Capacity
But it was time for a rotation in the air, so he's been training with the RAF. Normally it takes about 4 years to become a fully-trained RAF pilot but he got the crash course (I'm sorry, a most unfortunate term to use in this context) of 13 weeks. The verdict is that this makes him a functional pilot but he won't be an operational pilot.
Wing Commander Andy Lovell who helped to train William and carried out his final test that earned him his wings praised the royal's flying skills.

He said: "William was very good. I was very impressed by his flying skills. He had a natural handling ability and he was very quick to learn. He responded well to instructions and demonstrated plenty of spare capacity." (source)
The Times Online was a bit snarky about it.
After a four-month crash course in how not to crash, Prince William received his RAF wings yesterday, recognising his basic ability to fly an aeroplane the right way up.
You can catch a video on his training (from Clarence House) here.

Needless to say, Prince William learned how to stare the thing down, the first step in showing it who's master.

Pops pins him
HRH the Prince of Wales, as Air Chief Marshal, pinned the RAF wings on Prince William at RAF Cranwell. This event was in the UK headlines today, which is why we feature William this week.

HRH's relationship with Miss Kate Middleton has been an on-again-off-again thing and they had not been seen together in public for quite a while. They resumed dating quietly of late and she was very present for this occasion.

Go for the gossip!

These last two pics may thus be of the future King and Queen of England. We shall see.

Congrats on your wings, Your Royal Highness.
--the BB


Ya gotta love someone who can write a line like this:

People. Not everything that tastes good is food or pussy. Learn to say “no.”

[The topic was NPR.]

Three cheers for CR.
--the BB

Again and again and again and again....

Steve Benen at Crooks and Liars reminds us why Bush's speech yesterday sounded like a re-run.
Yesterday, speaking from the White House, the president boasted, “American and Iraqi forces have made significant progress” in Iraq. It got me thinking, haven’t we heard that phrase before in relation to Iraq?

* White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on October 27, 2003: “In the north and south [of Iraq], we have made significant progress.”

* President Bush on November 13, 2004: “Fighting together, our forces have made significant progress in the last several days.”

* President Bush on June 28, 2005: “In the past year, we have made significant progress.”

* Vice President Cheney on October 19, 2006: “[W]e’ve made significant progress.”

* President Bush on February 23, 2007: ” I think we have made significant progress in Iraq.”
Added all up this clearly indicates that the Iraqi nation is in fabulous shape by now.

And I'm the Queen of Rumania.
--the BB

Torturers for 6 years now. Nice.

Paul Kiel at TPM summarizes:
Thanks to ABC News and the AP's follow-up yesterday, we now have a very good idea of how the U.S. began to torture detainees in early 2002, even before the Justice Department had officially blessed the techniques by way of the infamous August, 2002 memo by John Yoo.

ABC reported earlier this week that certain brutal interrogation techniques were approved by the National Security Council's Principals Committee following Abu Zubaydah's capture in March, 2002. Among the members of that council were Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and it was chaired by Condoleezza Rice, then the National Security Advisor.

Next time someone tells you that a politician represents "traditional values," be sure you know which tradition you are dealing with.
--the BB

Speaking of liars

Senator Leahy pursued Attorney General Mukasey's recent misleading (if not totally fabricated) remarks in San Francisco. Mukasey allowed that he might have gotten the country wrong, blah, blah, blah.

Glenn Greenwald, who--thank you, Jesus--will not let go of this, comments in an update to his post today:
UPDATE: The commenter selise, one of the most reliable sources around, has posted a transcript of the Leahy-Mukasey exchange that is somewhat different (and even more damning) than the source quoted above. Mukasey claims that his only point was that no warrant should be required for foreign-to-foreign calls, but virtually nobody contests that. Indeed, that has always been the law under FISA -- certainly it was the law as of 9/11 -- and there was absolutely nothing preventing them from having intercepted and investigated that call (more details on that here, from Kevin Fenton).

Moreover, virtually everyone in Congress -- including even Russ Feingold and Rush Holt -- were willing to amend FISA to clarify further that no warrants are required to eavesdrop on such calls, but the President threatened to veto any such amendment unless it was accompanied by telecom amnesty. So it's hard to believe -- to put it mildly -- that Mukasey's only point was that foreign-to-foreign calls shouldn't require warrants, since (a) nobody contests that and (b) no warrants were required for such calls as of 9/11. His point was that FISA's warrant requirements prevented discovery of the 9/11 attack ("We've got three thousand people who went to work that day and didn't come home to show for that") and that claim is every bit as false as Mukasey's description of the call itself.
[Emphasis mine]

From selise's transcript:
Mukasey: The one thing I got wrong was the geography. It did not come from Afghanistan. I got the country wrong, but other than that it was spot on, and I will be happy to provide you with the page. And the point to be made there was not that we could not have monitored it under FISA, but rather that no FISA application should have been necessary to monitor a foreign target in a foreign country. I was speaking generally to the desirability of getting a bill passed, as you know we've been having a lot of trouble with that, but I'd be happy to get you the reference. You're right it's not in the 9/11...

Leahy: Then we don't need FISA to monitor a foreign source.

Mukasey: We shouldn't need it.

Leahy: We didn’t need it then. And we don't today.
There is no end to their obfuscation.

--the BB

Liar. Liar. Liar. Liar.

Scarecrow documents the deceptions from yesterday.

Such as reducing troop tours from 15 to 12 months - which does not affect anyone currently deployed. Of course, if you are deployed after August 2008, when it would go into effect, you would see the difference come August 2009, or later, when the next president is in office and things could be very different. In other words, right now it makes no difference whatsoever to anyone.

--the BB

99 and counting

La République Togolaise nous donne le quatre-vingt-dix-neuvième drapeau.

A visitor from Togo has given us the 99th flag in our virtual collection. Soyez le bienvenu!

Togo is a West African country bordered by Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Benin. (If you head north beyond Burkina Faso you will cross Mali and Algeria on your way to the Mediterranean, just to help locate it for those reading recent geography posts.)

A large chunk of exports come from the three Cs: cocoa, coffee, and cotton. Phosphate mining is also significant for the economy. Most of the population is involved in subsistence farming and fishing.

Here is a National Geographic 2006 short on an annual new year festival in Togo for the voodoo faith. It looks like much more fun than Lambeth.

The lovely and talented Bella Bellow, Togo's best-known musician, sings for us:

Jimi Hope sings (sound quality is not the best but the music is nice):

Something a bit more contemporary:

--the BB

Amorality at the highest levels

It is way past time for the American People to wake up and call a spade a damned shovel.

Looseheadprop, in excellent ongoing discussion of the Yoo torture memo, discusses today the extensive citations of violent procedures against human beings without the slightest hint that what is being described violates moral principles.
His description of maiming is even more accurate and gruesome:

Another criminal statute ...makes it a crime for an individual (1) "with the intent to torture (as defined in section 2340), maim, or disfigure" to (2) "cut, bite, or slit the nose ear or lip, or cut out or disable the tongue, or put out or destroy an eye, or cut off or disable a limb or any member of another person." [citation omitted] It further prohibits individuals from "throw[ing] or pour[ing] upon another person any scalding water, corrosive acid, or caustic substance" with like intent.

There are two things that really strike me about this memo, not just how dishonest the "scholarship" is, but also how cold blooded it is. There is no sense in the memo that any of these actions is wrong, or to be avoided. They are described in full gruesome detail yet completely without any sense that they are wrong. He could just have easily been describing something that was going to be done to insects rather than fellow human beings.

Remember the thrust and conclusion of this 81-page nightmare is that the President has the power to authorize all kinds of torture; that if the President authorizes such torture, the persons who commit it are immune from prosecution; and despite clear language in the Constitution that empowers Congress to make rules for the governance of the armed forces (e.g. see my previous post, Up is Down, Hot is Cold), that Congress has no power to pass laws either stopping torture or making it a criminal act.

What does this say about the people running our country?

What does it say about us that they are still in office or government employ and not behind bars?
--the BB

Wheat up 120% in one year; Rice up 75% in two months

From the World Bank:
He said the price of wheat had risen by 120% in the past year, more than doubling the cost of a loaf of bread. Rice prices were up by 75% in just two months. On average, the Bank calculates that food prices have risen by 83% in the past three years.

"In Bangladesh a 2kg bag of rice now consumes almost half of the daily income of a poor family. With little margin for survival, rising prices too often means fewer meals," he said. Poor people in Yemen were now spending more than a quarter of their income on bread. "This is not just about meals forgone today, or about increasing social unrest, it is about lost learning potential for children and adults in the future, stunted intellectual and physical growth. Even more, we estimate that the effect of this food crisis on poverty reduction worldwide is in the order of seven lost years."

I don't need to comment on this as the looming problem for all of us is evident.

h/t to Chris in Paris at Americablog
--the BB

Prions le Seigneur - 4/11/2008

MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai 'optimistic' after meeting with Thebo Mbeki
Times Online - 2 hours ago
Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean opposition leader, flew to Zambia today before a crucial summit of southern African leaders aimed at resolving Zimbabwe's political turmoil.
Mugabe pulls out of key meeting CNN International
Mugabe rival 'meets SA president' BBC News
Opposition leader's lawyer arrested ahead of Zimbabwe summit ABC Online

Bush appelle le Zimbabwe à annoncer les résultats de l'élection ...
Jeune Afrique - Il y a 3 heures
Le président américain, George W. Bush, a appelé les autorités électorales du Zimbabwe à annoncer les résultats de l'élection présidentielle du 29 mars, a indiqué jeudi la Maison Blanche. Au cours de sa conversation téléphonique avec le président ...

Mugabe's 'poll abuse' condemned
BBC News - 55 minutes ago
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has condemned President Robert Mugabe's attempts to stay in power. He said Mr Mugabe had created a "new electoral environment" by deploying the army, beating up the opposition and manipulating election ...

US airstrikes kill 12 in Iraq
Xinhua - 57 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, April 11 (Xinhua) -- US airstrikes in Baghdad's Sadr City district and in the southern city of Basra killed at least 12suspected insurgents on Friday, the US military and coalition spokesman said.
Air strikes in Baghdad and Basra kill 12 International Herald Tribune
Al-Sadr's brother-in-law killed in Iraq's Najaf (1st Lead) Monsters and

Gates and Petraeus differ over troop levels in Iraq
Los Angeles Times - 6 hours ago
Ron Edmonds / AP To the military units and American civilians in Iraq, the president said: "The turnaround you've made possible in Iraq is a brilliant achievement in American history.
Bush orders halt to troop withdrawals Boston Globe
Decision on more troop cuts is up to Petraeus, Bush says Seattle Times

The real reason the Iraq 'surge' is working
Globe and Mail - 2 hours ago
The commander of American forces in Iraq told Senate committee hearings this week that planned US troop withdrawals from Iraq must be suspended if the situation there is to be saved. Security is improving, General David Petraeus testified, ...
Iran cleric rejects Bush's accusations on Iraq Reuters

Gunmen Kill Sadrist Official in Iraq
The Associated Press - 48 minutes ago
BAGHDAD (AP) - A senior aide of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was assassinated Friday in the holy city of Najaf, officials said.
Fight for Sadr City a Proving Ground for Iraq Military New York Times
Key Sadr aide shot dead in Iraq BBC News

Sarkozy: Pirates have released hostages
CNN - 2 hours ago
Paris, France (CNN) -- Pirates have released the 30-member crew of a luxury French yacht that was hijacked a week ago off the coast of Somalia, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday.
France: Hostages Held Off Somalia Freed The Associated Press
France: Hostages held by pirates off Somalia are free (2nd Roundup) Monsters and
Les 30 otages du Ponant libérés sans incident L'Express

Maoists lag in early Nepal result
BBC News - 8 hours ago
Nepal's Maoist party has come third in the first constituency results to be declared after Thursday's elections. In Kathmandu's constituency number one, the Maoist candidate polled under 4000 votes.
Nepal Begins Tallying Votes The Associated Press
Nepal celebrates peaceful vote as results trickle in AFP

Tibet - China - Olympic Games
Tibet groups plan large Canberra protest to push China for talks
Monsters and - 1 hour ago
Beijing - A large protest planned by Tibetans and their supporters during the Olympic torch relay in Canberra is aimed at pushing China to talk to the exiled Dalai Lama and is not against China or the Olympics, the Australia Tibet Council said on ...
China Outraged by US-Tibet Resolution The Associated Press
Experts: "Theocracy has lost its root in Tibet" Xinhua
Washington diary: China's crisis BBC News

UN chief to miss Olympics opening ceremony - 6 hours ago
In what could be considered to be a major setback to China, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the General Assembly President, Srgjan Kerim, have said they would not be attending the inaugural ceremony of the Beijing Olympics slated for August ...
General Assembly President notes progress in debate on UN ... UN News Centre
UN Member States pressed to support strengthening measures Student Operated Press

Les cinq piliers de la stratégie du dalaï-lama - Il y a 5 heures
Dans un discours admirable, prononcé il ya quelques jours, le dalaï-lama a présenté sa vision, sa "voie du milieu", pour le Tibet. En le lisant de près, on peut y déchiffrer sa stratégie - une stratégie de résistance non-violente directement inspirée ...
Le dalaï lama soutient Pékin en tant que ville olympique La
Le dalaï-lama répète son soutien aux JO, dénonce la violence L'Express

Dalai Lama :si China concediera autonomía al Tíbet problemas ...
Terra España - hace 1 hora
El líder espiritual tibetano, el Dalai Lama, afirma que si el Gobierno Chino 'aplicase lo que está escrito en su Constitución, si concediera la autonomía municipal y regional y diera plenos poderes a los tibetanos todos los sentimientos negativos ...
La Eurocámara llama al boicot contra China La Verdad (Murcia)
La Eurocámara amenaza a China con el boicot Sport

Israel - Palestine
Israeli army kills six Palestinians in Gaza fighting
Reuters - 54 minutes ago
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli army forces killed four Palestinian civilians -- including an 11-year-old boy -- and two militants in a cross-border raid into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Friday, Hamas and medical officials said.
Video: Israel cuts Gaza's fuel supply RussiaToday
Israeli army kills boy and two gunmen in Gaza fighting International Herald Tribune

United Kingdom - BAE - Saudi Arabia
Calls to reopen Saudi arms probe
BBC News - 5 hours ago
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been urged to reopen its inquiry into the multi-billion pound arms deal between BAE and Saudi Arabia.
Calls to reopen UK inquiry into BAE-Saudi arms deal International Herald Tribune
Pressure mounts on the Serious Fraud Office to re-open Saudi ... This is London

United Kingdom
Failure to equip soldiers may be breach of human rights - 3 hours ago
By Nick Allen British soldiers sent out on patrol or into battle with inadequate equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan could be having their human rights breached, a High Court judge ruled today.
Video: Soldiers' equipment defended bbcworldnews
Soldiers' human rights 'breached by faulty equipment' Independent

Haïti: trois Casques bleus du Sri-Lanka blessés par balles mercredi - Il y a 21 heures
PORT-AU-PRINCE - Trois Casques bleus du Sri-Lanka ont été blessés par balles mercredi par des inconnus dans la banlieue de Port-au-Prince, secouée depuis le début de la semaine par des émeutes de la faim, a appris jeudi l'AFP de sources onusiennes. ...
Affamé, Haïti sombre à nouveau dans la violence Le Figaro
Le calme revient à Port-au-Prince, les troupes de l'ONU se ... La Presse Canadienne

Food Prices
Cut in world poverty rates at risk from food inflation
Reuters South Africa - 17 hours ago
By Daniel Bases WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) - Skyrocketing food prices threaten to undermine gains made in cutting global poverty and add further strain to a world economy already reeling from a financial market crisis, international development ...
Nigeria: Rising Global Food Prices Worry World Bank
Food prices stir poverty concern

Vatican - White House
Cancela Benedicto XVI cena con Bush en Casa Blanca
El Financiero (México) - hace 1 hora
Ciudad del Vaticano, 11 de abril.- El Papa Benedicto XVI decidió no asistir a una cena que en su honor ofrecerá en la Casa Blanca el presidente de Estados Unidos, George W. Bush, el próximo 16 de abril, día del cumpleaños número 81 del pontífice. ...
Pope Benedict XVI decided not to attend a dinner to be offered in his honor at the White House by President of the United States George W. Bush, on April 16, the pontiff's 81st birthday....

Pak Govt moves to abolish Musharraf's media checks
Hindu - 2 hours ago
Islamabad (PTI): Pakistan's new government on Friday introduced a bill in Parliament to lift harsh restrictions imposed on the media by President Pervez Musharraf during last year's emergency rule.
Pakistan drops media restrictions BBC News
China, Pakistan vow to enhance cooperation in energy, defence Economic Times

O myrrh-bearing women, why have ye come unto the grave? Why seek ye the Living among the dead? The Lord is risen, take courage, crieth the Angel.
--Friday of the Myrrh-Bearers, Pentecostarion

--the BB