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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Media Watch World Mar 28: Another $300 mil ripoff, Chinese Muslim,Geert Peters, Hilary Peaks, Sad'r Surges, Wright Birstles, Gate Inventories and more

Suzanne Goldenberg breaks another $300 million story. Andy Worthington brings us a Chinese Muslim's plea. Geert Wilders fart escapes without bang, while Hilary continues to wrestle with her imagination. Treasury aids Bankruptcy. Sadr's Surge is better. Reverend Wright Bristles and Rice Jumps Up (Not Condi!) Gate orders Nuke Inventory. And more from RealNews.

The Pentagon entrusted a 22-year-old previously arrested for domestic violence and having a forged driving licence to be the main supplier of ammunition to Afghan forces at the height of the battle against the Taliban, it was reported yesterday. AEY, essentially a one-man operation based in an unmarked office in Miami Beach, Florida, was awarded a contract worth $300m (£150m) to supply the Afghan army and police in January last year. But as the New York Times reported in a lengthy investigation, AEY's president, Efraim Diversoli, 22, supplied stock that was 40 years old and rotting packing material. US gave $300m arms contract to 22-year-old with criminal record Suzanne Goldenberg

The stories of the Uyghurs in Guantánamo — Muslims from the oppressed Xinjiang province of China, formerly known as East Turkistan — have long demonstrated chronic injustice on the part of the US authorities to those who know of them, although they have only sporadically registered on the media’s radar. A Chinese Muslim’s desperate plea from Guantánamo Andy Worthington

Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, has posted a film on the internet that accuses the Quran of inciting violence, despite government fears that it will offend Muslims and cause protests. It was posted on his Freedom Party's website but could be watched only briefly before the site said it was not available for technical reasons. Dutch Islam film posted on website

If Wilders really wanted to expose Islamism -- the entire legacy of 20th century ideological Islam -- he would start with how the French Suez Canal Company funded the Muslim Brotherhood's first mosque. That fact is casually mentioned in Hasan al-Banna's autobiography (which I am certain Wilders bothered to consult). Or Wilders would have tried to begin some criminal proceeding in the international criminal courts against those men who came up with the genius idea of encouraging disaffected Arab youth into going into Afghanistan and then gave them $1 billion in machine guns, bombs and stinger missiles to play with. Or Wilders could have expressed some outrage over the drafters of the new Iraqi constitution -- drafted in consultation with Western lawyers -- which makes Sharia the law of the land (a fact bemoaned by Iraqi feminists). Geert Wilders' Islamophobic Farce Ali Eteraz

Even some Clinton loyalists are wondering aloud if the win-at-all-costs strategy of Hillary and Bill — which continued Tuesday when Hillary tried to drag Rev. Wright back into the spotlight — is designed to rough up Obama so badly and leave the party so riven that Obama will lose in November to John McCain. If McCain only served one term, Hillary would have one last shot. On Election Day in 2012, she’d be 65. Tanya Harding Option - Maureen Dowd [thanks NF]

Last week, Robert Rubin, the former Treasury secretary, and John Lipsky, a top official at the International Monetary Fund, both suggested that public funds might be needed to rescue the U.S. financial system. Mr. Lipsky insisted that he wasn’t talking about a bailout. But he was. As I said, the important thing is to bail out the system, not the people who got us into this mess. Looking ahead, we probably need something similar to the Resolution Trust Corporation, which took over bankrupt savings and loan institutions and sold off their assets to reimburse taxpayers. And we need it quickly: things are falling apart as you read this. The B Word - Paul Krugman

Tens of thousands of supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr marched in Baghdad yesterday as a crackdown on his followers raged in southern Iraqi towns and rockets and mortars exploded across the capital. In Sadr City, the vast Shiite slum named after Sadr's slain father, enormous crowds of angry men jammed the main circle chanting and shouting slogans calling for the ousting of US-backed Shiite Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. Moqtada Al Sadr's Surge

Thank you (Jodi Kantor of NYT) for engaging in one of the biggest misrepresentations of the truth I have ever seen in sixty-five years. You sat and shared with me for two hours. You told me you were doing a "Spiritual Biography" of Senator Barack Obama. For two hours, I shared with you how I thought he was the most principled individual in public service that I have ever met. Out of a two-hour conversation with you about Barack's spiritual journey and my protesting to you that I had not shaped him nor formed him, that I had not mentored him or made him the man he was, even though I would love to take that credit, you did not print any of that. When I told you, using one of your own Jewish stories from the Hebrew Bible as to how God asked Moses, "What is that in your hand?," that Barack was like that when I met him. Barack had it "in his hand." Barack had in his grasp a uniqueness in terms of his spiritual development that one is hard put to find in the 21st century, and you did not print that. Flashback: Wright's Letter To NYT About Obama

Rice prices jumped 30 per cent to an all-time high on Thursday, raising fears of fresh outbreaks of social unrest across Asia where the grain is a staple food for more than 2.5bn people. The increase came after Egypt, a leading exporter, imposed a formal ban on selling rice abroad to keep local prices down, and the Philippines announced plans for a major purchase of the grain in the international market to boost supplies. Global rice stocks are at their lowest since 1976. Jump in rice price fuels fears of unrest By Javier Blas in London and Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a full inventory of all nuclear weapons and related materials after the mistaken delivery of ballistic missile fuses to Taiwan, the Pentagon said Thursday. Gates told officials with the Air Force, Navy and Defense Logistics Agency to assess inventory control procedures for the materials and to submit a report within 60 days. Gates Orders Inventory of US Nukes LOLITA C. BALDOR

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued a Canadian drug maker this week—and in the process blew apart the premise of a two-year-old 60 Minutes investigative piece on short sellers.
The March 2006 segment by Lesley Stahl sought to warn viewers about hedge funds that use bad information to drive down stock prices to benefit themselves at small investors’ expense. 60 Minutes Blows Biovail Story By Dean Starkman

BEIT SIRA, West Bank — Ali Abu Safia, mayor of this Palestinian village, steers his car up one potholed road, then another, finding each exit blocked by huge concrete chunks placed there by the Israeli Army. On a sleek highway 100 yards away, Israeli cars whiz by. “They took our land to build this road, and now we can’t even use it,” Mr. Abu Safia says bitterly, pointing to the highway with one hand as he drives with the other. “Israel says it is because of security. But it’s politics.” Batustisation in Broad Daylight

“When asked which four websites they visit most often, a whopping 67% of them included Myspace, with an equally large number - 65% - listing Facebook. The next greatest number was Ebay at just 20%. Other popular answers, surprisingly, but much lower, were Wikipedia, Youtube, Flickr and Dont Stay In. Other websites were mentioned barely twice - the research gathered long lists of obscure websites. A web presence without a website?

Arab leaders have begun gathering in Damascus for a summit already undermined by a series of high-profile snubs. Yemen and Jordan on Friday announced they would be sending low-level representatives to an annual Arab League meeting normally attended by heads of state. A Jordanian official said that the kingdom's delegate to the Arab League, Omar Rifai, would head the Jordan delegation at Saturday's summit. Absences Overshadow Summit

From Paul at the Real News






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