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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Muslims find new Ramadan fast partners: Christians, MJ Rosenberg: Steve Rosen, Johan Hari - Vulture Fund, Bahrain, Eliot Spitzer on Bernanke

Like Muslims worldwide, Ben Ries has refrained from food and drink from sunrise to sundown in an act of self-restraint during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which ends this weekend.
Each evening, the 31-year-old Ries joins Muslim families in a room above a hardware store in Bellingham, Wash., to find fellowship and break the fast with a handful of dates and a welcome glass of water. Only Ries is not a Muslim. He is pastor of 70-member Sterling Drive Church of Christ and a self-described committed Christian who just a few weeks ago had to turn to Google to find a Muslim in his community. Muslims find new Ramadan fast partners: Christians

MJ Rosenberg: Steve Rosen, Former Indictee on Espionage, Lectures Obama - I'm not going to comment on Steve Rosen's ridiculous Obama and J Steet bashing piece in Foreign Policy today except to ask why this guy...

Would you ever march up to a destitute African who is shivering with Aids and demand he "pay back" tens of thousands of pounds he didn't borrow – with interest? I only ask because this is in effect happening, here, in British and American courts, time after time. Some of the richest people in the world are making profit margins of 500 per cent by shaking money out of the poorest people in the world – for debt they did not incur. Here's how it works. In the mid-1990s, a Republican businessman called Paul Singer invented a new type of hedge fund, quickly dubbed a "vulture fund." They buy debts racked up years ago by the poorest countries on earth, almost always when they were run by kleptocratic dictators, before most of the current population was born. They buy it for small sums – as little as 10 per cent of its paper value – from the original holder and then take the poor country to court in Britain or the US to demand 100 per cent of the debt is repaid immediately, plus interest built up over years, and court costs. Johann Hari: We must stop the 'vulture funds' that feed on the world's poor

World" href="" target=_blank>In a New Age, Bahrain Struggles to Honor the Dead While Serving the Living By MICHAEL SLACKMAN on Tombs and Tombstones - The destruction of ancient burial sites illustrates conflicting priorities and the divide between the elite and the disenfranchised.

Ben Bernanke needs to answer these nine questions before the Senate confirms him to another Fed term. By Eliot Spitzer on the best policy - The one-year anniversary of the end of the financial world as we knew it has come and gone. Yet, quite remarkably, the financial world as we knew it is still here—absent a few laggard investment banks and several million jobs.

Are U.S. shipping companies still sending their clunkers to the toxic scrap yards of South Asia?
By Jacob Baynham on foreigners - When the 30-year-old cargo ship MV Anders cruised out of Norfolk, Va., at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26, it may have been sailing through one of the largest loopholes in U.S. maritime regulations.


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