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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Afghanistan - Tom Englehardt

Islam in Europe: Switzerland debates minarets and Muslims - The debate over the integration of the Muslim community into Swiss society is not new and has long been the subject of considerable political tension. The most recent controversy is no different and has already fuelled a heated discussion on whether the construction of minarets in Switzerland should be banned. The Democratic Union of the Centre (UDC, also known as the Swiss People's Party), a major Swiss political party and forerunner of Swiss conservatism, first initiated the debate. The UDC quickly gathered the requisite 100,000 signatures necessary for a national referendum scheduled for the fall of 2009. It is worthwhile to note that Switzerland has only four minarets throughout the country even though Islam is the country's second largest religion after Christianity. The UDC is actively mobilising public opinion against what it labels the "Islamisation" of Switzerland, claiming that the percentage of Muslims – 5 percent – has grown too rapidly since the 1980s. But people have been speaking out against this view.

Afghanistan by the Numbers: Measuring a War Gone to Hell By Tom Engelhardt,
Maintenance cost for the force of 450,000 Afghan soldiers and police U.S. generals dream of creating: approximately 500% of the Afghan budget.

How Dick Cheney's Radical Acts in the White House Still Threaten Our Democracy By David Swanson, Seven Stories Press
In his new book, Daybreak, Swanson warns that Cheney radically transformed the role of the vice president into an unaccountable, dangerous seat of power.

Action Editorial: Why the Secret Service and FBI Must Investigate Threats Against Obama and Beef Up Security to Protect Him By Don Hazen, AlterNet
With Obama the target of hate speech and over 30 death threats a day, the FBI needs to hear that it can't let budget shortfalls get in the way of the president's life.

Think Vietnam Vets Were Screwed? Wait Until You See How Many Veterans of Bush's Wars End up in Jail By Penny Coleman, AlterNet
Far too many soldiers end up behind bars while the rest of us are free to ignore the human evidence of what our military ventures really cost.

Michael Moore's 'Capitalism' Flick Rips into Crimes of Wall Street By Xan Brooks, The Guardian
Moore's latest documentary drew tumultuous applause at the Venice film festival, suggesting that the veteran tub-thumper has lost none of his power to whip up a response.

Could Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft Pay For Jailing an Innocent Man After 9/11? By Willam Fisher, IPS News
A federal appeals court has ruled that Ashcroft can be held personally responsible for the wrongful detention of Abdullah Al-Kidd.

News Watch

40 p.c. child marriages in India: UNICEF
Forgotten behind prison walls
Virginity tests of brides at mass wedding
Demwe Dam: Riddled with Conflicts
Echoes From The Mountains
India's generation of children crippled by uranium waste
When corporations answer nature's call
Kashmir's Kan-i-Jung: Cry for Freedom
Murder In Plain Sight
Venezuela: Authorities threaten to close down another 29 radio stations
Sudanese journalist convicted of wearing trousers freed after union pays fine
NYT reporter freed from Taliban captors; interpreter killed in Afghanistan
Vietnam frees blogger and journalist critical of China
Physical attacks and harassment of journalists in Xinjiang and Guangdong
Egyptian censorship advocate is frontrunner for post of UNESCO Director-General
Hamid Karzai pardons Afghan blasphemy reporter jailed for 20 years
Journalists interrogated over article on Moroccan king
Tunisian court orders transfer of syndicate board
Iranian journalist arrested, others summoned


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