Iraq withdrawal: A US unit prepares Mosul police for self-rule
As Iraq withdrawal looms in August, US readies police to confronts drugs, corruption, and insurgent clout in one of Iraq’s most volatile cities.
By Sebastian Meyer, Contributor / July 9, 2010
Perched on a couch in a small Mosul police station far from his home in Forest, Miss., Sgt. Wesley Majure sighs with frustration. “That’s it? Only three to train?” he asks in his Southern drawl.
The Iraqi police chief, dressed in a Juventus tracksuit, shrugs. “You didn’t tell us you were coming.”
“Well let’s go train the hell out of those three then,” Majure huffs as he lifts himself off the couch and makes for the door.
This episode doesn’t reflect poor planning; Majure couldn’t tell his Iraqi colleague when they were coming – a rule laid down after a US soldier and his interpreter were killed by an Iraqi policeman in a Mosul police station in February 2009.
Hundreds of thousands displaced in New Delhi to make way for Commonwealth Games
By Rama Lakshmi
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, July 10, 2010
NEW DELHI — Rehman Khan’s family cooks, eats and sleeps on a dirt tract beside a construction site. But he was not always homeless. His modest brick house in the heart of New Delhi was among those bulldozed a year ago to make way for an underpass that will link two stadiums during the Commonwealth Games in October.
The Games are New Delhi’s showcase sporting event, one that officials hope will catapult the crowded, chaotic capital into the realm of a 21st-century supercity.
Oil hasn’t hit South Atlantic, but its effects on business reverberate already
By Ian Shapira
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 10, 2010
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — Paul Pointer was speeding north along Florida’s eastern coast in a rented Ford SUV, guzzling Mountain Dew, heading to a dock to buy tuna and swordfish so fresh the tails were still curled in rigor mortis. This was no ordinary business trip for Pointer, who buys seafood for 38 Whole Foods Market grocery stores in the mid-Atlantic region.
In Louisiana, oil spill’s economic impact is muted – so far
Cleanup work is creating short-term jobs, and BP’s compensation checks have offset financial losses for many others who lost work or income. But no one is saying the long-term outlook is rosy.
By Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times
July 9, 2010 | 8:59 p.m.
Reporting from Buras, La. – Some 200 shrimping boats normally unload their succulent catch and repair their wing-like nets at this steamy bayou port, but only 15 or so tied up to the docks this week.
“Everyone is working on the oil spill now,” said Chanda In, a 36-year-old dock hand who just returned from two months aboard a shrimper skimming oil from BP’s blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico. He was paid $300 a day, far more than his usual salary.
Two nations, one World Cup final and 440 years of hurt
Spain play the Netherlands tomorrow against a background of conflict that goes back centuries.
By Felipe Fernandez-Armesto Saturday, 10 July 2010
It will be no good saying “don’t mention the war” tomorrow when Spain and the Netherlands contest the World Cup final. The Dutch national anthem – sung, luckily, in a language few Spaniards understand – is all about war with Spain.
We often hear the commentators repeat their astonishment that Spain and the Netherlands have never been matched before in a major soccer tournament. The nations have, however, a long and distant history of bloodier conflict. The rest of the world is largely unaware of it.
Office of financial advisor to L’Oreal heiress raided in Sarkozy funding investigation
Police raided the offices of the financial advisor to France’s richest woman on Friday amid allegations that she made £400,000 in illegal cash payments to Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign.
By Peter Allen in Paris
Published: 7:00AM BST 10 Jul 2010
Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oreal heiress, is alleged to have handed over manila envelopes stuffed with cash to leading politicians, including Mr Sarkozy, right up until his election victory in 2007. On Friday, a property belonging to Patrice de Maistre, her chief financial advisor, was searched by detectives.
It came as Marianne, the respected French weekly magazine, claimed more than €390,000 in cash had been withdrawn from Mrs Bettencourt’s account in the four months before the election.
West Bank barrier a ‘health hazard’
Israel’s separation barrier makes it difficult for Palestinians living in the West Bank to obtain proper health care, according to a new report from the United Nations.
The report, prepared by the Office of the Co-ordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, found that thousands of Palestinians have limited access to East Jerusalem hospitals because of the barrier.
Ambulances are routinely delayed at checkpoints, and Palestinian vehicles are not allowed to pass through barrier checkpoints, forcing sick or elderly patients to walk.
Iran cuts oil prices as sanctions bite
By Reihaneh Mazaheri
As international sanctions mount, Iran is finding it increasingly hard to find buyers for its oil, forcing the hardline nation to offer discounts in order to shift as much as it can to a declining number of customers.
Though Iranian officials are increasingly voicing their concerns in public, many seem optimistic about finding ways around the trade blockade.
The latest set of sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council on June 9 includes restrictions on banking and other financial transactions that could further Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Taliban faction supplying intelligence to Afghan government
Members of a powerful insurgent faction have begun supplying intelligence to the Afghan government leading to the assassination and capture of several Taliban commanders.
Ben Farmer in Kabul
Published: 12:28AM BST 10 Jul 2010
Taliban leaders in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces have been located after tip-offs from militants in Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-i-Islami group an Afghan general has said.
Hizb-i-Islami, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, is one of three main insurgent factions battling Hamid Karzai and his international backers and had been loosely aligned with the Taliban.
However, fighters from the former allies clashed in the northern province of Baghlan in early March and dozens of fighters from Hizb-i-Islami sought government protection.
The faction further distanced itself from the Taliban by sending a delegation to Kabul to deliver a 15-point peace proposal to Hamid Karzai. The plan was not accepted, but both sides described the discussions as positive.
North Korea offers to resume talks
SATURDAY, JULY 10, 2010
North Korea has said it is willing to return to the nuclear disarmament talks it abandoned 18 months ago, saying it will make “consistent efforts” for a peace treaty.
Pyongyang’s about-turn on Saturday came after the UN Security Council condemned an attack on a South Korean warship in March that killed 46 sailors, which Seoul has blamed on the North.
The Security Council, however, did not directly state that North Korea was responsible for sinking the 1,200-ton Cheonan, prompting Sin Son Ho, North Korea ambassador to the UN, to call it “our great diplomatic victory”.
Haitians wait in tents for a recovery that has still barely begun
Billions were promised after the January earthquake. Six months on, little has changed, reports Guy Adams
Saturday, 10 July 2010
They’re still bringing victims to the Grand Cimitière in Port au Prince, a few blocks from the ruined Presidential Palace, which remains a globally recognised symbol of a crippled nation.
But almost six months after the worst natural disaster in modern history, the flood of new arrivals has slowed to a trickle. Oginel Pinchinat, a caretaker who mans the main gate of the 10-acre site, reckons on having to find burial spots for roughly a dozen new earthquake victims each day, a number he calls a relative trifle.