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Saturday, December 12, 2009

And where is the Muslim Outrage? Mortenson, Paul Krugman, Osama can run, how long can he hide? Johann Hari, Top Ten Videos of 2009: Nat Geo,

Pulse: Just when you thought things could not become more Kafkaesque comes apparent confirmation that the US-backed Egyptian government is building an underground steel barrier designed to cut off one of the few lifelines sustaining the Gaza Ghetto, the tunnel economy. The BBC reports that the huge underground wall will be 10-11km (6-7 miles) long, will extend 18 metres below the surface and will take 18 months to complete. The project has been shrouded in secrecy with no official confirmation from the Egyptian government, but it is understood that the design is commissioned by US army engineers, at the behest of Israel, Ann Wright surmises.
Personal Take on Public Projects in Two Devastated Lands - As “Stones Into Schools” explains, the institute has accomplished its innovative educational work without any government money. That point is crucial, since it has allowed the Montana-based institute to reach across borders with remarkable impunity. While “Three Cups of Tea” describes how Mr. Mortenson stumbled into his life’s work, which began as the building of schools for girls in remote parts of Pakistan, “Stones Into Schools” takes him into hazier geographical realms. The new book is about his organization’s expansion into Afghanistan — and into one region so inaccessible that one Afghan official isn’t sure that it doesn’t belong to neighboring Tajikistan or China instead.

Paul Krugman: But there’s also, I believe, a question of priorities. The Fed sprang into action when faced with the prospect of wrecked banks; it doesn’t seem equally concerned about the prospect of wrecked lives.

Does Obama's Road to Re-Election Run Through Kabul?

Film "Journey to Mecca": Ibn Battuta, larger than life - For many Muslims worldwide, the name Ibn Battuta evokes a sense of great pride and conjures up a golden era of Islamic history. The Rihla, one of the greatest travels journals ever recorded, has been greatly responsible for passing on the tales of the 14th-century explorer, who followed the sun and stars to reach Mecca. Over the past year, this 700-year old story has made the transition to the big screen, being shown at over twelve IMAX theatres in locations around the world. “Journey to Mecca: In the footsteps of Ibn Battuta” is shot on a set in Morocco and combines dramatic performances with documentary footages to re-tell a classic adventure.

Osama can run, how long can he hide?

Johann Hari: Leaders of the rich world are enacting a giant fraud - Our leaders are aren't giving us Hopenhagen – they're giving us Cokenhagen, a sugary feelgood hit filled with sickly additives and no nutrition. Their behaviour here – where the bare minimum described as safe by scientists isn't even being considered – indicates they are more scared of the corporate lobbyists that fund their campaigns, or the denialist streak in their own country, than of rising seas and falling civilisations.

Conn Hallinan An Af-Pak Train Wreck : Looking back at years of blood and defeat, General Rodionov put his finger on the fundamental flaw in Obama’s escalation: “They [the U.S. and its allies] have to understand that there is no way for them to succeed militarily…It is a political problem which we utterly failed to grasp with our military mindset.” That misunderstanding could become the epitaph for a presidency.

Top Ten Videos of 2009: Nat Geo News's Most Watched


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