Wednesday, November 30, 2005

'86 Alito Memo Argues Against Foreigners' Rights

In an opinion that offers insight into the Supreme Court nominee's view of an area of law that has gained new significance with the Bush administration's policies to combat terrorism, Alito gave his approval to an FBI effort in the 1980s to collect from Canadian authorities fingerprint cards of Iranian and Afghan refugees living in that country.

Muslims in Europe: "There is a Real Fear of Radical Imams"

The revolutionary new Islam is what is called Islam of the Book, and it is based very much on an individual's own readings of the Koran, on each person sitting down as part of a prayer group and figuring out what Islam means to them. Usually there is no imam, and everybody has the same relationship to Islam because they can all read the text.

German Chancellor Seeks Closer U.S. Ties

"Let the battles of the past lie _ those battles have been fought," Merkel said in her first speech to parliament as chancellor. "

Transcript: President Bush's Speech on the War on Terrorism

If by "Stay the course," they mean, "We will not permit Al Qaida to turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban, a safe haven for terrorism and a launching pad for attacks on America," they're right, as well.

U.S. Economy Expands at 4.3 Percent Pace in Quarter, Faster Than Forecast

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy grew at a 4.3 percent annual rate from July through September, the quickest since the first quarter of last year and evidence of resilience in the face of hurricanes and record energy costs.

Bush Again Rejects Calls for a Withdrawal Timetable in Iraq

President Bush steadfastly refused to set a timetable for withdrawing American forces as some of his critics have demanded.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

At Rio Grande, Bush Stresses Border Security

"Our employers in America have an obligation not to hire illegal immigrants," Mr. Bush said, vowing that stricter enforcement with the help of computers would cut down on the use of forged work documents.

President Renews His Campaign to Overhaul Immigration Policies

Mr. Bush said. "We're going to strengthen enforcement of our immigration laws within our country.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sunnis Accuse Iraqi Military of Kidnappings and Slayings

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 28 - As the American military pushes the largely Shiite Iraqi security services into a larger role in combating the insurgency, evidence has begun to mount suggesting that the Iraqi forces are carrying out executions in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods.

Canadian Premier Loses Confidence Vote

OTTAWA, Nov. 28 -- Canada's minority Liberal Party government lost a vote of confidence Monday, ending the rule of Prime Minister Paul Martin, whose tenure was largely overshadowed by a patronage scandal.

US Iraq Ambassador to Discuss Iraq with Iran

``I've been authorized by the president to engage the Iranians as I engaged them in Afghanistan directly,'' said Khalilzad, a former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan. ``There will be meetings, and that's also a departure and an adjustment.''

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Congressmen Involved in Baghdad Road Accident

Congressional staffers said on Sunday night the two representatives sustained only minor cuts and bruises in the incident, which occurred at the end of a trip to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and meet with military commanders in Baghdad.

Afghans Confront Surge in Violence

Foreign Support Seen Behind Attacks That Mimic Those in Iraq

Women 'face worst abuse at home'

A new international study of domestic violence says it is the most common form of violence against women.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Special: "Falling Down: The Race to Reconstruction in Afghanistan"

Silver Spring, Md.: I was so glad to see your piece on Afghanistan, although the facts were not very pretty. The neglect of Afghanistan by the U.S. (and international) media since the invasion has been appalling. I don't think that people would have supported the Iraq invasion if they had been aware of the situation in Afghanistan.

A Rebuilding Plan Full of Cracks -- Washingtonpost

Internal documents and more than 100 interviews in Washington and Kabul revealed a chain of mistakes and misjudgments: The U.S. effort was poorly conceived in a rush to show results before the Afghan presidential election in late 2004.

Special reports | On a wing and a prayer

Dr Muhammad Atash, a man with a kindly but worry-lined face, sinks into his chair and rubs his eyes. Ariana faces a number of "difficulties", he explains modestly, counting them out on his fingers. "Embezzlement. Nepotism. Red tape. Lack of qualified staff." He tugs on a thumb. "And a general attitude not to work." But then he pauses, allowing his lips to crack into a thin smile. "I believe we are starting to make progress."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

You can be diverse without being diversified

USAToday-- Q: I own six stocks: Microsoft, PepsiCo, Sysco, Boston Scientific, Fifth Third and Diageo. Am I diversified?

Merkel Takes Over as Germany's Chancellor

"Dear Mrs. Merkel, you are the first ever elected female head of government in Germany," the parliamentary speaker, Norbert Lammert, announced after the secret ballot was counted.

Afghanistan: Blood-Stained Hands

Human Rights Watch -- Past Atrocities in Kabul and Afghanistan’s Legacy of Impunity

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Preparing for a Pandemic

One day a highly contagious and lethal strain of influenza will sweep across all humanity, claiming millions of lives. It may arrive in months or not for years--but the next pandemic is inevitable. Are we ready?

Experts Creating Bird Flu Warning System

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Experts are developing a bird flu warning system that maps migratory routes to help alert countries at risk of receiving infected species, U.N. officials said Sunday.

Bush's Asia Trip Meets Low Expectations

White House officials said that did not mean the trip was unsuccessful, because they never expected to bring home any major agreements in the first place.

Cabbie hands back 350,000 dollars in diamonds found in taxi

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A Los Angeles taxi driver distinguished himself by his honesty after finding a pouch filled with diamonds worth 350,000 dollars in the back of his cab, police said.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bush, Putin Seek Unity Among Differences

While Russia backed the United States in the war in Afghanistan, Putin vehemently opposed the invasion of Iraq.

U.S. Splits With Iraqi Official Over Prisoner Abuse

The embassy also said the Iraqi government should not allow militia or sectarian control of the security forces.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

AFGHANISTAN: New parliament faces many challenges

"Membership of parliament should not provide immunity from war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mechanisms must be established for dealing with the past if we are going to promote and protect human rights in Afghanistan," he noted.

A Marshall Plan for the third world - The Boston Globe

Today, finding ways to eradicate malnutrition and conduct public health campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan could bolster successful transitions to democracy. Afghanistan has maternal mortality rates about 60 times the rate in industrialized nations. One-fifth of all children die before age 5, 80 percent from preventable diseases.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Germany's Grudging 'Grand Coalition'

Parties Finalize Deal for Government Neither Really Wants

Turkey: Headscarf Ruling Denies Women Education and Career

(New York, November 16, 2005)—The European Court of Human Rights decision to uphold the Turkish government’s headscarf ban will deny thousands of women access to higher education and a professional life in Turkey, said Human Rights Watch today.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Afghan blasts kill German soldier, two civilians

In Germany, Defense Minister Peter Struck told reporters: "This attack is further evidence that we have no stable and calm situation even in the capital of Afghanistan, and further grounds for us to maintain an international troop presence."

Warlords and women in uneasy mix

"I do not trust them. Most of them are warlords and drugs dealers," said Ghafour Ahmad, a shopkeeper in central Kabul.

Who They Are - The double standard that underlies our torture policies.

It's not about who they are. It's about who we are."So said Sen. John McCain, in defending his amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would bar U.S. officials from inflicting "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" on detainees in the war on terror.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Former Afghan Commanders, Taliban, Women Win Seats

Yunus Qanuni, leader of an alliance of parties opposed to the U.S.-backed president, also won a seat.

Rice Calls on Israel and Palestinians to Resolve Differences

Earliertoday, before her plane left Saudi Arabia, Ms. Rice and Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal sought today to repair relations with pledges of more cooperation in the future.

Conservatives to Dominate in Afghanistan

Based on early analyses of the full results of the Sept. 18 elections, the National Assembly will be dominated by religious conservatives and jihadist figures.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Housing Market Cooling, Data Say

In Washington, Sales Are Down, Inventory Is Up

Foreign Affairs - Who Will Control the Internet?

Summary: Foreign governments want control of the Internet transferred from an American NGO to an international institution.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bombings Kill Over 50 At 3 Hotels In Jordan

Three nearly simultaneous bomb blasts tore through hotels in Amman Wednesday night, killing more than 50 people, wounding 150 and sending fear and panic through the streets of the normally tranquil city.

The Reporter's Last Take

In an Era of Anonymous Sources, Judy Miller Is a Cautionary Tale of the Times

New hotel part of Kabul's extreme makeover

Its 177 rooms rent for $250-$1,200 a night - a fortune in a city where a government worker earns $50 a month. But the hotel also is providing jobs for 360 Afghans, 20 percent of whom are women, and the Aga Khan said it will help promote economic growth and international tourism.

Afghans allege reconstruction funds wasted

TURMAI, Afghanistan – Four years after American-led forces ousted the Taliban, the U.S. has spent $1.3 billion on reconstruction in Afghanistan, intending to win over Afghans with signs of progress.

Monday, November 07, 2005

First Death Is Reported in Paris Riots as Arson Increases

PARIS, Monday, Nov. 8 - France's growing urban unrest claimed its first life today and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin later indicated on French television that the government was near a decision to allow local officials to impose curfews.

Bush: 'we do not torture'

"Anything we do to that end in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law," Bush said.

Delays Hurting U.S. Rebuilding in Afghanistan

"Assistance is coming to Afghanistan, but we don't know how it is spent, where it is spent," said Amin Farhang, the Afghan minister of economy, who oversees foreign assistance programs.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Chirac pledges to defeat rioters

President Jacques Chirac says France is determined to prevail in the face of widespread rioting that has gripped mostly African and Arab communities.

Afghan Airlines to lease, purchase Boeing passenger jets

KABUL: State-owned and -operated Ariana Afghan Airlines has decided to lease two Boeing 757s from Boeing Capital Cooperation and purchase four 737-700 airplanes that would be delivered beginning in 2009, according to press release issued by Boeing.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Bush Leaves Rocky Summit Mostly Unscathed

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina -- President Bush left the Summit of the Americas Saturday with no more than he expected:

Rage of French Youth Is a Fight for Recognition

Ten Days of Rampaging in Country's Slums Rooted in Alienation, Abiding Government Neglect

UNICEF - Afghanistan

Child nutrition in Afghanistan: ‘My children are smaller than others’

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lawmakers agree to $20.9 bln in foreign aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate and House of Representatives negotiators on Tuesday agreed to a $20.9 billion foreign aid bill, with less than President George W. Bush wanted for reform-minded nations, and nearly $3 billion to fight AIDS.

Seventh night of Paris violence

Violence has flared for a seventh night in immigrant communities to the north-east of Paris.

Oprah--Children Being Sold into Sexual Slavery

The trafficking of children for the purposes of prostitution has been called the ugliest, most preventable man-made disaster in the world. One brave person who has seen the realities of this desperate, depraved underworld up close is CNN international reporter Christiane Amanpour.

Charles, Camilla dine at White House

Prince Charles and Camilla are greeted by President Bush and first lady Laura Bush before dinner at the White House on Wednesday.

U.S.: Reject Torture as Policy Option (Human Rights Watch, 1-11-2005)

Torture Debate Spotlights Importance of Global Ban

CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons

Washingtonpost--Debate Is Growing Within Agency About Legality and Morality of Overseas System Set Up After 9/11

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Detainee Policy Sharply Divides Bush Officials

The Bush administration is embroiled in a sharp internal debate over whether a new set of Defense Department standards for handling terror suspects should adopt language from the Geneva Conventions prohibiting "cruel," "humiliating" and "degrading" treatment, administration officials say.

Tax Panel Urges Big Changes

(CBS/AP) A presidential tax reform panel issued its final report Tuesday, submitting two proposals that would rewrite virtually every federal income tax law and eliminate or seriously change popular breaks like the home mortgage interest deduction.