World News Sunday


Key U.S. allies in Iraq said to be rejoining rebels

Many have quit Sunni Awakening or are covertly helping al-Qaida g roup



Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.

Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters — many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military — appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in 

Mesopotamia. Beyond that, officials say that even many of the Awakening fighters still on the Iraqi government payroll, possibly thousands of them, covertly aid the insurgency.



Think slavery is a thing of the past? Think again


IoS campaign highlights the thousands who fall victim to enslavement in Britain almost 180 years after its abolition.

By Emily Dugan

Sunday, 17 October 2010


William Wilberforce said future generations of Britons would see slavery as "a disgrace and dishonour to this country", yet, more than 200 years since its abolition, the shaming trade and exploitation of human beings still thrives.


Tomorrow will mark Britain's first ever Anti-Slavery Day, intended to highlight the plight of the thousands of people in the UK and around the world who fall victim to its modern incarnation every year.




When Drugs Cause Problems They Are Supposed to Prevent

In the past month, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that in some cases two types of drugs that were supposed to be preventing serious medical problems were, in fact, causing them.

One is bisphosphonates, which is widely used to prevent the fractures, especially of the hip and spine, that are common in people with osteoporosis. Those drugs, like Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva, will now have to carry labels saying they can lead to rare fractures of the thigh bone, a surprising new discovery that came after another surprise — that they can cause a rare degeneration of the jawbone.



Republican funding surge provides crucial advantage


Some Democrats now fear a historic rout in next month's midterm election as GOP advocacy groups funnel $50 million into campaigns.

October 17, 2010


Fueled by a surge of outside money, Republicans have begun gunning for Democratic House seats once considered safe and beyond GOP reach — a drive that threatens to reshape the electoral map and raises the specter of a historic rout in the midterm election two weeks away.

Advocacy groups such as American Crossroads and the American Action Network said last week that they were funneling more than $50 million into House races to back Republican candidates, on top of the more than $50 million already spent by the GOP's House campaign arm.




Berlusconi 'vendetta' takes Italy's Paxman off air again

Outspoken anchorman Michele Santoro says the prime minister's influence lies behind his two-week ban by the RAI state TV network

Tom Kington in Rome

The Observer,


His fans see him as Italy's Jeremy Paxman, an aggressive but penetrating TV anchorman. Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who owns most of the country's private channels and wields indirect control over the state network, RAI, sees him as a dangerous leftie. Meet Michele Santoro, the temporarily banned hero of Italian current affairs broadcasting.

Santoro, who presents Italy's top current affairs show, Annozero, was handed a two-week suspension last week by RAI's managing director, Mauro Masi.



French resistance grows to the spirit of '68


As rolling strikes threaten to cripple France, rising numbers question the militant legacy of the Soixante Huitards, reports Kim Willsher in Paris

Published: 8:00AM BST 17 Oct 2010


As a million of his fellow countrymen took to the streets yesterday to vent their anger at President Nicolas Sarkozy, Olivier Vial committed an act that was all but revolutionary by French standards. He stayed at home.

Rather than grabbing a banner and lending his voice to the nationwide outrage against plans to curb the right to retire as early as 52, Mr Vial’s attitude was one of calm – if somewhat un-Gallic – acceptance. If he and the rest ofFrance’s younger generation wanted to have any kind of pension at all, he argued, they had to learn to work both harder and longer.



Middle East



Cracks widen in Netanyahu's coalition


Labour leaders talk of government collapse as housing plans announced in East Jerusalem

Peter Beaumont 

The Observer,


srael's coalition government, led by Binyamin Netanyahu, appears to be in danger of fracturing over the gridlocked peace process and a controversial "loyalty law".

As Israel announced the building of 238 more housing units in annexed East Jerusalem, further complicating US efforts to revive stalled peace negotiations, it emerged that Ehud Barak, the Labour leader, is predicting that the government will collapse.

The party's social affairs minister, Isaac Herzog, has also been threatening to quit unless direct talks with the Palestinians are reopened by the end of this month


Israel can stop Ahmadinejad with Syria peace


Lebanon, that little country that has no intrinsic strategic significance, is serving well as the region's boxing ring.

Zvi Bar'el

"How do you feel with Ahmadinejad so nearby?" a farmer from Moshav Avivim, on the Lebanese border, was asked, as if an actual Iranian nuclear bomb had been laid right next to the border. But it is not Ahmadinejad's proximity that should worry the farmer, or the dramaturges that accompanied the spectacle. Because this visit evinced no new threat, no declaration that had not been heard before, no new revolution threatening to destroy Lebanon. Bint Jbail, like most of southern Lebanon, has been under Hezbollah control for years. Images of the ayatollahs Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei have long been a ubiquitous part of the Lebanese landscape. Iranian aid to Hezbollah needs no new "proper disclosure" from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Lebanese government - which is of no particular interest to the Iranian president - cannot refuse a visit from him, not after Lebanese President Michel Suleiman was given such a solicitous welcome in Tehran.



Japan Goes From Dynamic to Disheartened


OSAKA, Japan — Like many members of Japan’s middle class, Masato Y. enjoyed a level of affluence two decades ago that was the envy of the world. Masato, a small-business owner, bought a $500,000 condominium, vacationed in Hawaii and drove a late-model Mercedes.

But his living standards slowly crumbled along with Japan’s overall economy. First, he was forced to reduce trips abroad and then eliminate them. 


China Wants to Mend Ties With Japanese After Protest

October 17, 2010, 4:05 AM EDT

By Bloomberg News


China said it wants to maintain ties with Japan after demonstrators in the nations staged protests over a ship collision in contested waters last month that brought relations to their lowest in five years.

“China and Japan are important neighbors,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in Beijing late yesterday. “There are some sensitive and complicated issues between the two nations, and we suggest they be resolved by dialogue to maintain the strategic relationship of mutual benefit.”



Africa's children get the 'Slumdog' treatment


A new feature film set in Rwanda hopes to show the continent in a positive and uplifting light.

By Rachel Shields

Sunday, 17 October 2010


A film that its makers claim will do the same for Africa's children as Slumdog Millionaire did for India's – but rather more sympathetically – premieres at London's Leicester Square tonight.


Africa United tells the story of three Rwandan children who travel across Africa in the hope of taking part in the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg, but board the wrong bus and end up in a children's refugee camp in Congo. It tackles serious issues such as HIV, child prostitution and genocide, yet its makers claim it's an uplifting tale that will correct the "perceived stereotype that Africa is just about safaris or pestilence or death".


Mugabe crosses the line


MDC demands Mugabe reverse appointments

Oct 17, 2010 12:00 AM | By ZOLI MANGENA 


Alarmed by the bitter fallout between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai which threatened the survival of the inclusive government, Zuma dispatched his envoys, Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu, on Wednesday on a firefighting mission to prevent a possible disintegration of the government.

However, officials said Mugabe furiously resisted Zuma's pressure, insisting he had not acted "unconstitutionally and unlawfully" in making key government appointments which have triggered the latest crisis.

Latin America


Mexico convoy threads its way through strange drug war in Sonora state


A heavily armed convoy heads off to deliver pensions to people caught behind the siege line as one drug cartel tries to starve out another in a sinister battle for trafficking routes into Arizona.

By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times


With an escort of 60 officers with assault rifles, a convoy heads off to deliver pensions to people caught behind the siege line as one drug cartel tries to wait out another in a sinister battle for scores of human and drug trafficking routes into Arizona.

The police chiefs met in the dusty plaza with a federal official clutching a black bag filled with pesos: $40,000 in government pensions for the senior citizens living in the pueblos of the nearby foothills.

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