A Benchmark of Progress, Electrical Grid Fails Iraqis
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
Published: August 1, 2010
BAGHDAD – Ikbal Ali, a bureaucrat in a beaded head scarf, accompanied by a phalanx of police officers, quickly found what she was out looking for in the summer swelter: electricity thieves. Six black cables stretched from a power pole to a row of auto-repair shops, siphoning what few hours of power Iraq’s straining system provides.
“Take them all down,” Ms. Ali ordered, sending a worker up in a crane’s bucket to disentangle the connections. A shop owner, Haitham Farhan, responded mockingly, using the words now uttered across Iraq as a curse, “Maku kahraba” – “There is no electricity.”
Five millennia on, Iceman of Bolzano gives up DNA secrets
Oetzi’s genetic code could shed light on hereditary diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
By Michael Day Monday, 2 August 2010
Nearly 20 years after the dead man’s head was found peeping from a melting Alpine glacier, investigators have finally seen fit to contact his relatives.
This doesn’t indicate sloth on the part of the Italian authorities, but instead, advances in DNA technology that may lead scientists to living descendants of the South Tyrol’s 5,300-year-old mummified man.
Oetzi the iceman, who today resides in a sterile, glass box at 7C in 100 per cent humidity, is by far the oldest mummified person ever found – those of ancient Egypt are at least 1,000 years younger. He is the permanent star exhibit in a museum in the town of Bolzano.
BP aims to plug gulf oil well for good with two-pronged ‘kill’ shot
By Joel Achenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 2, 2010
The next shot at killing BP’s well in the Gulf of Mexico could begin as early as Monday night, as engineers plan to pump heavy mud into the capped but still dangerous well and “bullhead” the rogue oil back down into its source rock 2 1/2 miles below the seafloor.
The “static kill” is part of a double whammy of mud and cement that would hit the runaway Macondo well high and low in quick succession. The static kill starts at the top, firing the mud and possibly cement into the blowout preventer that sits on the wellhead.
Arizona was once tolerant of illegal immigrants. What happened?
Analysts suggest it was a perfect storm of demographic shifts, a scary criminal element, the recession and a new governor.
By Anna Gorman and Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
August 1, 2010|7:45 p.m.
Reporting from Phoenix – Arizona has made a name for itself as the state with the harshest policies against illegal immigration. But as few as six years ago, this border state was among the nation’s most welcoming of illegal immigrants.
Back then, its two Republican U.S. senators and one of its congressmen were among the strongest advocates of legalizing millions of illegal residents in the country. Mexico was the state’s largest trading partner, and the governor boasted of her warm relationships with counterparts across the border. Both political parties courted the Latino vote.
Girl risks death by lying between rail tracks as train speeds over her
A teenage girl has been filmed risking death by lying between rail tracks as a train speeds past just inches over her body.
Published: 7:30AM BST 02 Aug 2010
The stunt is photographed by a friend while a group of youths can be seen in the background encouraging the girl.
The girl, wearing jeans, trainers and a woolly hat is pictured running onto the track and lying facedown before a train whizzes over her.
These terrifying pictures show how close the youngster came to death in the crazy stunt.
After the train passes just inches from her head, the teenager is seen walking from the tracks, grinning as two female friends and a male photographer looks on.
The snaps, believed to have been taken in Russia, have been posted on blogs all over the internet-prompting outrage from concerned viewers.
Greek truckers drop seven-day strike, handing victory to Athens’ reforms
Greek truckers have agreed to end their seven-day strike, entering talks with Athens to open up their closed-shop profession. Athens had deployed military vehicles to restore fuel supplies to a crippled country.
Greek truckers ended their seven-day strike Sunday, handing a victory to Athens’ push for freight sector reform.
“The general assembly of truck federations decided, with a marginal majority, to end the strike,” truckers’ union head George Tzortzatos told reporters on Sunday.
Truckers are now expected to enter talks with Athens about opening up their closed-shop profession.
Armed forces had been working around the clock from Friday to supply airports, power plants and hospitals after the strike left the country largely crippled and its motorways littered with abandoned cars.
Twenty years on, shockwaves of Kuwait invasion are still felt in Middle East
On August 2, 1990, Iraq launched an invasion of Kuwait, setting in motion a long chain of events which have reshaped the Middle East and have changed the dynamic of relations between the western and Arab worlds.
In 1990, Iraq was a very different place to the one it is now. The country was under the control of the dictator Saddam Hussein who, at the time, enjoyed good relations with many of the western nations who would later repel his forces from Kuwait, isolate his country through military and legal force, and finally depose him. Iraq was also a respected nation in the region, although one which smaller Arab nations were wary of.
“Iraq was seen as the regional bulwark against the spread of revolutionary political Islam from Iran, which was an important point for the conservative Sunni monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula, who recalled the overspill of Iranian attempts to export its revolution in the immediate aftermath of 1979,” Dr. Kristian Ulrichsen, deputy director of the Kuwait Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science, told Deutsche Welle.
Rockets hit Israeli resort of Eilat and Jordan’s Aqaba
Police in Israel say at least five rockets have been fired at the southern Israeli tourist resort of Eilat from the Sinai desert in Egypt
The BBC 2 August 2010
One was reported to have struck the nearby Jordanian port of Aqaba, injuring four civilians, while there were no casualties in Eilat.
Two rockets landed in the sea, an Israeli regional police commander said.
Egypt has denied that its territory was used to launch the apparent attack, says the BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo.
An Egyptian official said his country had a heavy security presence in the Sinai peninsula, particularly close to the border, and that no suspicious activity had been reported anywhere in the area.
Pakistan floods death toll rises to 1,100
Access blocked to areas in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa as authorities try to rescue 27,000 people trapped after heavy rains
Associated Press in Peshawar
guardian.co.uk, Monday 2 August 2010 00.57 BST
The death toll from flooding in north-west Pakistan rose to 1,100 today as rescue workers struggled to save more than 27,000 people still trapped by the water.
The rescue effort was aided by a slackening of the monsoon rains that caused the worst flooding in decades in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province. But as the waters started to recede, authorities began to understand the full scale of the disaster.
“Aerial monitoring is being conducted, and it has shown that whole villages have washed away, animals have drowned and grain storages have washed away,” said Latifur Rehman, a spokesman for the provincial disaster management authority. “The destruction is massive.”
Chairman Mao’s grandson becomes Chinese army general
The grandson of Chairman Mao, the revolutionary leader who established the People’s Republic of China in 1949, has been promoted to major general in the nation’s army.
Published: 7:00AM BST 02 Aug 2010
Mao Xinyu, a 40-year-old politician and researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences of the People’s Liberation Army, received the promotion ahead of the 83rd anniversary of the PLA’s founding on Sunday, the Global Times said.
“This is a natural elevation. Mao’s many achievements earned him the right to be promoted,” a spokesman for the Academy of Military Sciences, Bao Guojun, was quoted as saying.
The report in the English-language Global Times – which is run by the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily – said several photos of Mao in a major general uniform had been published online.
Vote on constitution set to challenge Kenya’s ‘poisoned’ tribal politics
A long-awaited referendum has split the church and civil society in Nairobi over a system critics say is in urgent need of reform
By Daniel Howden in Nairobi Monday, 2 August 2010
Kenya is back at the crossroads. That is the warning emanating from the pulpits of its church leaders, fretted over by academics, and fought over by its politicians and commentators.
For the first time since the violence that devastated the country in the wake of a flawed election in 2007, leaving more than 1,000 people dead, East Africa’s biggest economy faces a major democratic test.
Voters must decide this week whether to back a controversial new draft constitution that was a key element in the peace deal that ended the fighting in 2008.
Thousands flee Congo clashes, security worsens
by Katrina Manson
KINSHASA – Almost 90,000 people have fled fighting in eastern Congo in the past month, aid agencies said, underscoring a worsening security situation despite the official end of Congo’s 1998-2003 war.
Conflicts between rebel groups, former militias and army troops simmer in Democratic Republic of Congo, and more than 1.9 million people are still displaced, up from 1.6 million in 2009.
“The displaced are in need of protection, food, water, shelters, medicine and non-food items,” OCHA, the United Nations aid coordination body, said in a statement on Friday.
The aid agency said nearly 90,000 people have fled their homes in Beni territory in the north of Congo’s North Kivu province in the past month as a result of the army launching an attack on Islamic Ugandan rebels.
Many Haitians still homeless more than six months after quake
A thickening hopelessness hangs over the 1.5 million displaced people who await more durable shelters. ‘I hope the international community can keep our hope alive, because it’s fading,’ one said.
By Ken Ellingwood
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Reporting from Corail-Cesselesse, Haiti – It was when lightning struck her tent the other day that Marie Vernita Lysius realized that the 6-month-long chain of calamities was not going to end.
Lysius’ home was crushed by the Jan. 12 earthquake, sending her into a teeming encampment of flimsy stick-and-tarp shelters. She was later bused to a better-equipped tent city on this windblown plain 15 miles north of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.