Category: News

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Iraq drawdown to begin in volatile area
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
45 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Commanders in Iraq have decided to begin the drawdown of U.S. forces in volatile Diyala province, marking a turning point in the U.S. military mission, The Associated Press has learned.

Instead of replacing the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, which is returning to its home base at Fort Hood, Texas, in December, soldiers from another brigade in Salahuddin province next door will expand into Diyala, thereby broadening its area of responsibility, several officials said Tuesday.

In this way, the number of Army ground combat brigades in Iraq will fall from 20 to 19. This reflects President Bush’s bid to begin reducing the American military force and shifting its role away from fighting the insurgency toward more support functions like training and advising Iraqi security forces.

Docudharma Times Tuesday Oct. 16

This an Open Thread


Docudharma Times Monday Oct. 15

This is an Open Thread

News Happening Now

Pentagon, FBI misusing secret info requests: ACLU
  WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Pentagon has misled Congress and the US public by conniving with the FBI to obtain hundreds of financial, telephone and Internet records without court approval, civil-rights campaigners said Sunday.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has successfully challenged key planks of US anti-terrorism legislation, said it had uncovered 455 “National Security Letters” (NSLs) issued at the behest of the Department of Defense.


Before the ACLU’s challenge, the USA Patriot Act had allowed the FBI to issue gag orders to prevent those receiving NSLs — usually Internet service providers, banks and libraries — from disclosing anything about the request.


USA

Al-Qaeda In Iraq Reported Crippled

Many Officials, However, Warn Of Its Resilience


By Thomas E. Ricks and Karen DeYoung

Washington Post Staff Writers

Monday, October 15, 2007; Page A01


The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.


But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved. At the same time, the intelligence community, and some in the military itself, worry about underestimating an enemy that has shown great resilience in the past.

America’s own unlawful combatants?

By Julian E. Barnes, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 15, 2007

WASHINGTON — As the Bush administration deals with the fallout from the recent killings of civilians by private security firms in Iraq, some officials are asking whether the contractors could be considered unlawful combatants under international agreements.


The question is an outgrowth of federal reviews of the shootings, in part because the U.S. officials want to determine whether the administration could be accused of treaty violations that could fuel an international outcry.


But the issue also holds practical and political implications for the administration’s war effort and the image of the U.S. abroad.


If U.S. officials conclude that the use of guards is a potential violation, they may have to limit guards’ tasks in war zones, which could leave more work for the already overstretched military.

Unresolved questions are likely to touch off new criticism of Bush’s conduct of the unpopular Iraq war, especially given the broad definition of unlawful combatants the president has used in justifying his detention policies at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Sunday Morning News

It’s an Open Thread: Play Nice

Brothers and sisters of the soul unite
We are one, indivisible and strong
They may try to break us
But they dare not underestimate us
They know our memories are long

USA

For many black women, it’s Clinton or Obama?
Loyalties tested in S.C. as voters contemplate Democratic primary
By Katharine Q. Seelye
Updated: 5:30 a.m. ET Oct. 14, 2007

LORIS, S.C. – In the beauty parlors that are among the social hubs for black women in the Carolinas, loyalties are being tested as voters here contemplate the first Democratic primary in the South.

Clara Vereen, who has been working here in rural eastern South Carolina as a hairstylist for more than 40 of her 61 years, reflects the ambivalence of many black women as she considers both Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

$4.5 million for a boat that nobody wanted

By David Heath and Hal Bernton

Seattle Times staff reporters
Tucked away on Seattle’s Portage Bay, a sleek, 85-foot speedboat sat idle for years – save for an annual jaunt to maintain its engine.

The Navy paid $4.5 million to build the boat. But months before the hull ever touched water, the Navy gave the boat to the University of Washington. The school never found a use for it, either.

Why would the Navy waste taxpayer dollars on a boat that nobody wanted?

It may not be a bridge yet it still didn’t go anywhere.

Saturday Morning News For Oct. 13

Its an Open Thread. Yea!

Brothers and sisters of the soul unite
We are one, indivisible and strong
They may try to break us
But they dare not underestimate us
They know our memories are long

Building Blackwater
Founder Seeks ‘Better, Smarter, Faster’ Security As History, Iraq Shape the Firm’s Fortunes

By Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, October 13, 2007; Page A01

MOYOCK, N.C. Erik Prince bounded up the stairs of a sand-colored building and paused on the flat roof, a high point of the 7,000-acre facility in North Carolina known as Blackwater Lodge and Training Center.

As owner of Blackwater, he has been the focus of intense scrutiny recently by Congress and critics because the company’s private security forces have at times operated with impunity in Iraq, including allegations that they murdered innocent civilians. But on a steamy afternoon this week, just days after testifying on Capitol Hill, Prince seemed like a king surveying his domain.

Key activists arrested in Burma
Burma’s military rulers have arrested three of the last remaining leaders of the recent pro-democracy protests which were violently suppressed.

Among those detained was Htay Kywe, who led some of the first marches and was a prominent activist in a 1988 uprising.

Asian News For The Week of Oct. 8th

Here are the stories not reported by the mainstream press in America about Asia.

Monday October 8
Japan, Korea

Suicide issue heats up in Okinawa
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Incensed by the government’s decision to expunge descriptions in school textbooks of the army’s involvement in wartime mass civilian suicides in Okinawa, survivors are coming forward with tales of Japanese soldiers encouraging islanders to take their lives.

In the meantime, the Okinawa prefectural assembly plans to compile an updated version of the prefecture’s history comprising witnesses’ accounts that local governments have gathered in recent years.

Supporters Foil Raid on UNDP Frontrunner’s Office
Police attempted a raid on the campaign office of United New Democratic Party presidential contender Chung Dong-young on Sunday, part of their investigation of whether a district councilor loyal to Chung hired college students to register electoral college members for the party primary stealing identities including that of President Roh Moo-hyun. But violent resistance from 20 members of Chung’s camp, who denounced the raid as a politically motivated scheme by pro- Roh forces to “suffocate the presidential contender,” foiled the raid.

Conspiracy Theories

The Ultimate Source of Conspiracy Theories:

The Vatican has published secret documents about the trial of the Knights Templar, including a parchment – long ignored because of a vague catalog entry in 1628 – showing that Pope Clement V initially absolved the medieval order of heresy. . . . The order of knights, which ultimately disappeared because of the heresy scandal, recently captivated the imagination of readers of the best-seller “The Da Vinci Code,” which linked the Templars to the story of the Holy Grail.

The Vatican work reproduces the entire documentation of the papal hearings convened after King Philip IV of France arrested and tortured Templar leaders in 1307 on charges of heresy and immorality. The military order of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon was founded in 1118 in Jerusalem to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land after the First Crusade.

. . . The parchment, in remarkably good condition considering its 700 years, apparently had last been consulted at the start of the 20th century, Frale said, surmising that its significance must have not have been realized then.
. . . According to the Vatican archives Web site, the parchment shows that Clement initially absolved the Templar leaders of heresy, though he did find them guilty of immorality, and that he planned to reform the order. However, pressured by Philip, Clement later reversed his decision and suppressed the order in 1312.

Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars, was burned at the stake in 1314 along with his aides.

Surviving monks fled. Some were absorbed by other orders; over the centuries, various groups have claimed to have descended from the Templars.

Morning News For Friday Oct. 12

Truth hides under fallen rocks and stones
At the end of a disconnected phone (that’s where the truth hides)
This is an Open Thread

News Happening Now

Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize
OSLO, Norway – Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures needed to counteract it
Gore, who won an Academy Award this year for his film “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary on global warming, had been widely expected to win the prize

Morning News for Thursday Oct. 11

Scream All You Want. Its an Open Thread

Yesterday President Bush announced that he was against the passage of a Congressional Resolution calling the massacre of Armenians by the Turkish military in 1915 Genocide.

I urge members to oppose the Armenian genocide resolution now being considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the Armenian people that began in 1915. This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror.

However when the “Cheerleader for Torture” was a candidate in 2000 he was signing a whole different tune.

The twentieth century was marred by wars of unimaginable brutality, mass murder and genocide. History records that the Armenians were the first people of the last century to have endured these cruelties. The Armenians were subjected to a genocidal campaign that defies comprehension and commands all decent people to remember and acknowledge the facts and lessons of an awful crime in a century of bloody crimes against humanity. If elected President, I would ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic suffering of the Armenian people.

Look Inside and Discover WaiWai

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Guards fire on car in Iraq, kill 2 women
By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer
21 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – Guards working for an Australian-owned security company fired on a car as it approached their convoy Tuesday, killing two women before speeding away from the latest bloodshed blamed on the deadly mix of heavily armed protection details on Baghdad’s crowded streets.

The deaths of the two Iraqi Christians – including one who used the white sedan as an unofficial taxi to raise money for her family – came a day after the Iraqi government handed U.S. officials a report demanding hefty payments and the ouster from Iraq of embattled Blackwater USA for a chaotic shooting last month that left at least 17 civilians dead.

The deaths Tuesday at a Baghdad intersection may sharpen demands to curb the expanding array of security firms in Iraq watching over diplomats, aid groups and others.

Monday Morning News

Ostentatious Magnificence Thread
US

Democrats See Wedge Issue in Health Bill
By CARL HULSE
Published: October 8, 2007
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 – Representative John R. Kuhl Jr. of New York received just his second telephone call ever from his state’s Democratic governor, Eliot Spitzer, last week and was not surprised at the topic: children’s health insurance.
“He said, ‘I am calling you to come over to the dark side,’ ” said Mr. Kuhl, who was urged by the governor to drop his opposition to health care legislation and join the effort to override President Bush’s veto of the bill.

It’s too bad they don’t see anything else as a Wedge Issue.

Sunday Morning News

This is an Anarchy Thread

This happened while you slept. Or maybe not as you could have been out partying all night.

US

For Schools, Lottery Payoffs Fall Short of Promises
By RON STODGHILL and RON NIXON
Published: October 7, 2007
Last year, North Carolina’s governor, Mike Easley, finally delivered on his promise to start a lottery, making his state the most recent of the 42 states and the District of Columbia to cash in on legalized gambling.

Bush, Texas at odds over death case
WASHINGTON – To put it bluntly, Texas wants President Bush to get out of the way of the state’s plan to execute a Mexican for the brutal killing of two teenage girls.
Bush, who presided over 152 executions as governor of Texas, wants to halt the execution of Jose Ernesto Medellin in what has become a confusing test of presidential power that the Supreme Court, which hears the case this week, ultimately will sort out.

George “Hang Em High” Bush suddenly believes in the International Court of Justice. 

Load more