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 NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008

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PostSubject: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:01 pm

Exclusive: Obama to call McCain 'erratic in crisis'


By MIKE ALLEN | 10/4/08 10:07 PM EDT




McCain officials said they planned to begin advertising tying Obama to Rezko and Ayers.


Photo: AP

Branding his opponent as “erratic in a crisis,” Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is preempting plans by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to portray him as having sinister connections to controversial Chicagoans.

Obama officials call it political jujitsu – turning the attacks back on the attacker.

McCain officials had said early in the weekend that they plan to begin advertising after Tuesday’s debate that will tie Obama to convicted money launderer Tony Rezko and former Weathermen radical William Ayers.

But Obama isn’t waiting to respond. His campaign is going up Monday on national cable stations with a scathing ad saying: “Three quarters of a million jobs lost this year. Our financial system in turmoil. And John McCain? Erratic in a crisis. Out of touch on the economy. No wonder his campaign wants to change the subject.


“Turn the page on the financial crisis by launching dishonorable,
dishonest ‘assaults’ against Barack Obama. Struggling families can't
turn the page on this economy, and we can't afford another president
who is this out of touch.”

Then Obama says: “I'm Barack Obama and I approved this message.”

McCain officials told Politico that the new offensive is likely to
focus on Rezko and Ayers. The officials said the campaign will not
bring up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor, because
McCain has forbade them from using that as a weapon. Without being
specific, the officials said outside groups may focus on Wright.




When word of the planned attacks leaked Saturday, Obama officials
said within hours that it was an attempt by McCain to distract voters
from the economy.

“We think the McCain campaign made a huge error by telling the press
that their strategy was to distract from the most important issue
facing voters,” a senior Obama official said. “Every attack going
forward will be easy to characterize for what it is – an attempt to
distract from the Bush-McCain economic record."

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds hinted at the tough new line Saturday on “Fox & Friends.”

“There are associations that are important to who Barack Obama is as a candidate, who he’d be as president,” Bounds said.

Obama-Biden communications director Dan Pfeiffer said about the new
ads: “If John McCain thinks he can ‘turn the page’ on the economic
crisis facing American families, he is even more out of touch than we
imagined. Now there may be no good answers for John McCain due to his
erratic response to the financial crisis, but his desire to avoid
discussing the economy is something we will remind voters of everyday
for the next month.”



http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14283.html
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:03 pm

ERITREA



The Fiat Tagliero gas station, designed in 1938, is the star of the architectural show in Asmara.

Photo: Shawn Baldwin for The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/10/05/travel/1005-ERITREA_5.html
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:07 pm

Campaigns get personal, McCain called 'erratic'
The Associated Press
Published: October 5, 2008

WASHINGTON: Democrat Barack Obama's campaign called his Republican rival "erratic" in a television commercial released Sunday as both campaigns stepped up personal attacks.

"Our financial system in turmoil," an announcer says in the ad. "And John McCain? Erratic in a crisis. Out of touch on the economy."

The ad, slated to start running Monday on national cable, seeks to capitalize on John McCain's response to the nation's financial crisis while rebutting Republican attacks on Obama's character.

As Congress worked to pass the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, McCain announced that he would suspend his campaign and skip the first presidential debate while he worked on a solution. He inevitably attended the debate even as the deal in Congress faltered.

Republicans argue that McCain's actions showed leadership while addressing a serious issue. Democrats say McCain tried to politicize the crisis with a campaign gimmick.

"No wonder his campaign's announced a plan to turn a page on the financial crisis, distract with dishonest, dishonorable assaults against Barack Obama," the ad continues. "Struggling families can't turn the page on this economy and we can't afford another president who's this out of touch."

The ad refers to reports that McCain's advisers want to shift the debate from the nation's struggling economy while attacking Obama's character. On Saturday, McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, said Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans.

"Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo. She echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.

"This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America," she said.

Palin was referring to Obama's relationship with William Ayers, a member of the Vietnam-era Weather Underground. They worked on community boards years ago and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama early in his career. Obama, who was a child when the Weathermen were planting bombs, has denounced Ayers' radical views and actions.


http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/10/05/america/Obama.php
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:12 pm

CNN.com


Fannie Mae forgives loan for woman who shot herself



Fannie Mae foreclosed on the Akron, Ohio, home of Addie Polk, 90, after acquiring the mortgage in 2007.



(CNN) -- Fannie Mae said it will set aside the loan of a woman who shot herself as sheriff's deputies tried to evict her from her foreclosed home.

Addie Polk, 90, of Akron, Ohio, became a symbol of the nation's home mortgage crisis when she was hospitalized after shooting herself at least twice in the upper body Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday, Fannie Mae spokesman Brian Faith said the mortgage association had decided to halt action against Polk and sign the property "outright" to her.

"We're going to forgive whatever outstanding balance she had on the loan and give her the house," Faith said. "Given the circumstances, we think it's appropriate."

Residents of Akron have rallied behind Polk, who is being treated at Akron General Medical Center. She was listed in critical condition Friday afternoon, according to Akron City Council President Marco Sommerville.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, mentioned Polk on the House floor Friday during debate over the latest economic rescue proposal.

"This bill does nothing for the Addie Polks of the world," Kucinich said after telling her story. "This bill fails to address the fact that millions of homeowners are facing foreclosure, are facing the loss of their home. This bill will take care of Wall Street, and the market may go up for a few days, but democracy is going downhill."

Neighbor Robert Dillon, 62, used a ladder to enter a second-story bathroom window of Polk's home after he and the deputies heard loud noises inside, Dillon said.

"I was calling her name as I went in, and she wasn't responding," he said.

He found her lying on a bed, and he could see she was breathing. He also noticed a long-barreled handgun on the bed, but thought she just had it there for protection. He touched her on the shoulder.

"Then she kind of moved toward me a little and I saw that blood, and I said, 'Oh, no. Miss Polk musta done shot herself,' " Dillon said.

He hurried downstairs and let the deputies in. He said they told him they found Polk's car keys, pocketbook and life insurance policy laid out neatly where they could be found, suggesting that she intended to kill herself.

"There's a lot of people like Miss Polk right now. That's the sad thing about it," said Sommerville, who had met Polk before and rushed to the scene when contacted by police. "They might not be as old as her, some could be as old as her. This is just a major problem." VideoWatch Polk's neighbor describe what he saw »

In 2004, Polk took out a 30-year, 6.375 percent mortgage for $45,620 with a Countrywide Home Loan office in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The same day, she also took out an $11,380 line of credit.

Over the next couple of years, Polk missed payments on the 101-year-old home that she and her late husband purchased in 1970. In 2007, Fannie Mae assumed the mortgage and later filed for foreclosure.

Deputies had tried to serve Polk's eviction notice more than 30 times before Wednesday's incident, Sommerville said. She never came to the door, but the notes the deputies left would always disappear, so they knew she was inside and ambulatory, he said.

The city is creating programs to help people keep their homes, Sommerville said. "But what do you do when there's just so many people out there and the economy is in the shape that it's in?"

Many businesses and individuals have called since Wednesday offering to help Polk, Sommerville said.

"We're going to do an evaluation to see what's best for her," he said. "If she's strong enough and can go home, I think we should work with her to where she goes back home. If not, we need to find another place for her to live where she won't have to worry about this ever again."

For his part, Dillon hopes his neighbor of 38 years can return to her home.

"She loves that house," he said. "I hope they can get her back in. That would make me feel better because I don't know what they're going to put in there once she leaves."

He said the neighborhood is declining because so many people have lost their homes.

"There's a lot of vacant houses around here. ... Now I'm going to have a house on my left and a house on my right, vacant," he said. "That don't make me feel good, because we were good neighbors, we trusted each other, and we looked out for each other.

"This neighborhood is shot, to me, from what it used to be," he added.

"When I moved here, if it were like it is now, I would have never moved here. But it was a nice neighborhood. ...

"I'll just tough it out. I'm too old to start thinking about buying another house."

Sommerville said that by the time people call for help with an impending foreclosure, it's usually too late.

"I'm glad it's not too late for Miss Polk, because she could have taken her life," Sommerville said. "Miss Polk will probably end up on her feet. But I'm not sure if anybody else will."

CNN's Jim Kavanagh, Brad Lendon and Mallory Simon contributed to this report.




Find this article at:
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/10/03/eviction.suicide.attempt/index.html?eref=rss_us




� 2008 Cable News Network.
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:21 pm



Welcome to the Phuket Vegetarian Festival in Thailand...

[img]










16 more crazy images at

http://www.welt.de/english-news/article2529295/Extreme-Piercing.html
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:27 pm




where did bill's mouth go?
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:17 pm

washingtonpost.com

Filipinos Draw Power From Buried Heat






By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, October 4, 2008; A01

ORMOC, Philippines -- Ferdinand Marcos, the despot who ruled here for 21 years, is remembered mainly for the staggering quantity of his wife's shoes. But there is another Marcos legacy, and it is drawing new attention at a time of high oil prices, global warming and urgent questions about the role of government in alternative energy development.

Reacting to the early 1970s oil shock, Marcos created a major government program to find, develop and generate electricity from hot rocks deep in the ground. Since then, the Philippine government has championed this form of energy.

Geothermal power now accounts for about 28 percent of the electricity generated in the Philippines. With 90 million people, about 40 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day, this country has become the world's largest consumer of electricity from geothermal sources. Billions of dollars have been saved here because of reduced need for imported oil and coal.

"Goes to show that things aren't always the way we might expect," said Roland N. Horne, a Stanford University expert on geothermal power who has visited this country more than 20 times. "The Philippines would be in hugely worse shape without geothermal as an indigenous energy source."

In installed geothermal power capacity, the country ranks No. 2 in the world, narrowly trailing the United States, which has far more geothermal potential, far more engineering talent and far greater demand for clean sustainable power.

But unlike in the Philippines, government policy in the United States has been inconsistent. In 2006, the Bush administration cut most geothermal spending -- federal programs that received as much as $100 million a year in the 1980s shrank to $5 million. Research projects were dismantled. Scientists in the field had to find other jobs.

"Most of the federal infrastructure, the laboratories and the researchers are now gone," said Karl Gawell, executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association in Washington.

As oil and coal prices soared in the past year, and as popular demand increased for alternative energy sources, the Bush administration rediscovered geothermal. It has proposed spending $90 million over three years on research.

"That's the goods news, but the bad news is that we are going to have to relearn a lot of what the people who we just let go learned over the past 20 years," Gawell said. "The problem with our government's approach to alternative energy is that it is too short-term. You need a sustained commitment to reach this huge energy base."

At early stages of development, geothermal energy has historically been dependent in most countries on high-risk, long-term investment made by governments, not private companies.

While Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, has said little about geothermal energy, Sen. Barack Obama, his Democratic opponent, has said renewable energy -- which includes wind, solar and geothermal -- should generate 10 percent of the country's electricity within four years.

The figure now is about 4 percent, of which less than 1 percent is geothermal. But geothermal offers reliability advantages over solar and wind, mostly because geothermal fields do not stop producing power at night or when the wind stops blowing.

In a report released this week, the U.S. Geological Survey reassessed the potential for this kind of energy in the United States. It examined 13 Western states, from California to Colorado, Washington to New Mexico, that sit atop a hot geologic zone that is often called the Pacific Ring of Fire. It encircles the Pacific Ocean and includes the Philippines, as well as Indonesia, Japan and several other countries in East Asia.

In the American West, power production from already identified geothermal fields could increase more than 2 1/2 times, the report said.



But new geothermal technology -- which injects water into fractured rock to mine heat -- raises the possibility that small geothermal power plants could be built all over the West. If this technology continues to advance, the Geological Survey report said, there is enough accessible public and private land in the 13 Western states to supply about half the electricity now generated in the United States.

"Geothermal resources have the potential to play a much more significant role in our nation's energy mix," the report concluded.
Nature's Perfect Design

For nearly three decades, the Philippine government has been acting on a similar assumption, despite revolutions and widespread corruption.

The showcase for its long-term commitment is here on the rural island of Leyte, where a government-created company, now privatized, has carefully transformed a vast geothermal field into the linchpin of the country's electricity grid.

The Leyte field, as engineers describe it, is one of nature's most perfectly designed geothermal resources. Located about 1 1/2 miles underground, it is a great pot of boiling water that covers about 416 square miles.

Molten rock heats the pot but is kept separate from the boiling water by a thick layer of impermeable rock. The pot's lid is made of a much softer, more porous rock, which is easy to drill down through. About 90 wells bring up steamy water to run turbines.

Thirty-two re-injection wells shoot cooler water back into the pot to be heated and repeat the cycle. Water filtering down naturally through a mountainous rain forest atop the reservoir also recharges it.

"Leyte is very blessed in the sense that the resource is not common to any other part of the world," said Ruperto R. Villa Jr., a geothermal engineer and a longtime supervisor here.

Villa and other engineers here have made the most of their natural blessings, inventing the world's first large-scale re-injection system. After 25 years of operation, this system has conserved nearly all of the field's heat and steam pressure. Experts say Leyte, if it continues to be well managed, should produce electricity for centuries.

"Once the Philippines government gave its edict to develop geothermal, it was implemented with good management and intelligent engineering," said Horne, the Stanford professor who has traveled often to the Philippines.
A Wild West Show

The United States has the world's largest geothermal resource, the Geysers, 72 miles north of San Francisco. But it has not been nearly as well managed as Leyte, according to Horne and other experts.

From the 1960s to the early 1980s, the Geysers was a kind of Wild West show of multiple owners racing to tap steam before the others did. Lacking federal or state regulation, the Geysers spawned 15 years of lawsuits among the owners. Consolidation of ownership and tighter regulation have since resolved many of the problems, but not before the sustainable power-generating capacity of the field was reduced.

"What happened in the Geysers did not happen in Leyte because of better regulation and central control of management," Horne said.

But experts say the future of geothermal development in the United States depends not on giant sites such as the Geysers but on smaller fields, to be tapped using nontraditional technology that injects water into hot fractured rock and powers turbines with the resulting steam. Creating that technology will require $1 billion of consistent public investment over 15 years, according to a study this year that was commissioned by the Energy Department.

"We have seen something of a turnaround in federal interest in geothermal," said Gawell, of the Geothermal Energy Association. "But companies and investors still don't trust that it will last. There is a lack of confidence that the government is not going to once again turn its back on geothermal."



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/03/AR2008100303843.html?hpid%3Dartslot&sub=AR
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:27 pm


Israel


Jewish ’modesty patrols’ sow fear in Israel


5. Oktober 2008, 11:17 Uhr

In Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where the rule of law
sometimes takes a back seat to the rule of God, zealots are on a
campaign to stamp out behavior they consider unchaste. They hurl stones
at women for such "sins" as wearing a red blouse, and attack stores
selling devices that can access the Internet.





Foto: AP
In Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where the rule of law
takes a back seat to the rule of God, religious zealots are on a
crusade to stamp out unchaste behavior.





In recent weeks, self-styled "modesty patrols“ have been accused of breaking
into the apartment of a Jerusalem woman and beating her for allegedly
consorting with men. They have torched a store that sells MP4 players,
fearing devout Jews would use them to download pornography.
"These breaches of purity and modesty endanger our community,“ said
38-year-old Elchanan Blau, defending the bearded, black-robed zealots. "If
it takes fire to get them to stop, then so be it.“



Many ultra-Orthodox Jews are dismayed by the
violence, but the enforcers often enjoy quiet approval from rabbis eager to
protect their own reputations as guardians of the faith, community members
say. And while some welcome anything that keeps secular culture out of their
cloistered world, others feel terrorized, knowing that the mere perception
of impropriety could ruin their lives.



"There are eyes and ears all over the place, very similar to what you hear
about in countries like Iran,“ says Israeli-American novelist Naomi Ragen,
an observant Jew who has chronicled the troubles that confront some women
living in the ultra-Orthodox world.
The violence has already deepened the antagonism between the 600,000 haredim,
or God-fearing, and the secular majority, which resents having religious
rules dictated to them.
Religious vigilantes operate in a society that has granted their community
influence well beyond its numbers – partly out of a commitment to revive the
great centers of Jewish scholarship destroyed in the Holocaust, but also
because the Orthodox are perennial king-makers in Israeli coalition
politics.
Thus public transport is grounded for the Jewish Sabbath each Saturday, and
the rabbis control all Jewish marriage and divorce in Israel.
In recent years, however, the haredim have eased up on their long campaign to
impose their rules on secular areas, and nowadays many restaurants and
suburban shopping centers are open on the Sabbath.
These days, most vigilante attacks take place in the zealots’ own
neighborhoods.

Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the modesty police are not an
organized phenomenon, just rogue enforcers carrying out isolated attacks.
But Israel’s Justice Ministry used the term "modesty patrols“ in an
indictment against a man accused of assaulting the Jerusalem woman.
The unidentified, 31-year-old woman had left the ultra-Orthodox fold after
getting divorced, according to the charges filed by the Jerusalem district
attorney’s office. The charges said her assailant tried to get her to leave
her apartment in a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem by gagging, beating and
threatening to kill her. He was paid US$2,000 for the attack, it said.
A 17-year-old who moved to Israel from New York five years ago said she was
hospitalized after being attacked with pepper spray by a crowd of men
outraged that she was walking down a Jerusalem street with boys.
"They can burn in hell,“ said the girl, who would identify herself only as
Rivka.
She lives in Beit Shemesh, a town outside Jerusalem where the vigilantism has
been particularly violent. Zealots there have thrown rocks and spat at
women, and set fire to trash bins to protest impiety. Walls of the
neighborhood are plastered with signs exhorting women to dress modestly –
spelled out as closed-necked, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts.
The state, catering to religious sensitivities, subsidizes gender-segregated
bus routes that service religious neighborhoods. Ragen and several other
women challenged the practice in Israel’s Supreme Court after an Orthodox
Canadian woman in her 50s told police she was kicked, slapped, pushed to the
floor and spat upon by men for refusing to move to the back of the bus.
Another Beit Shemesh girl, who asked to be identified only as Esther, said
zealots threw rocks, cursed and spat at a friend for wearing a red blouse –
taboo because the color attracts attention.
Yitzhak Polack, a 50-year-old Jerusalem teacher, is one of those who deplore
such behavior.
"They are stupid troublemakers who are bringing shame and disgrace on this
holy community,“ he said.
But the rabbis are afraid to condemn them, says Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, another
community member.


"They can’t come out against zealots who champion
modesty. Here and there they write against violence, but the militants
ultimately set the tone,“ he said.
Stores are targeted too.
In August, a Jerusalem man was placed under house arrest on suspicion he set
fire to a store in a haredi district of the city that sold MP4 players.
"It started about six months ago. They would come into the store, about 15 of
them at a time, screaming, ’This store burns souls!’ and they would throw
merchandise on the floor and threaten customers,“ said 31-year-old Aaron
Gold, a haredi worker at the Space electronics store.
One Friday night, just before the Sabbath was about to begin, "they smashed a
window, doused the place with gasoline and lit a match,“ Gold said.
Now, a big sign behind the counter says, "All products sold in this store are
under rabbinical supervision. By order of the rabbis, no MP4s are sold here.“
Clothing stores that sell clothes regarded as provocative have been
vandalized, and bleach thrown at merchandise.
Suspicion is all that’s needed to spark an attack.
Girls have been expelled from school after being seen talking to boys, a
punishment that ruins their marriage prospects.
"It could be very innocent; she could be talking to her brother,“ Ragen said.
But once thrown out of school, "no one – NO ONE – will take you in,“ she
added.
In one case, the violence reached the highest levels of haredi society.
Three years ago, a son of Israel’s Sephardi chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar, was
accused of kidnapping a 17-year-old boy, beating him at knifepoint and
terrorizing him with snarling dogs because he had sought the attentions of
the accused’s unchaperoned sister.
The son was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail.
His sister married a different suitor the following year.
–––
AP writer Ian Deitch contributed to this report from Jerusalem.


http://www.welt.de/english-news/article2531740/Jewish-modesty-patrols-sow-fear-in-Israel.html
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:32 pm


Fashion Police

GOP wants dress code for voters


4. Oktober 2008, 11:46 Uhr

A political fight over what voters can wear to the polls is headed to
court in Pennsylvania – with the Republican Party favoring a dress code
and Democrats opposed.


Foto: AFP
A T-shirt featuring US presidential candidate Barrack Obama by French
designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (L) and a dress reading 'Obama'
part of a collection in hommage of French designer Sonia Rykiel.



Sue Nace thought election volunteers were joking when they told her she would
have to remove her T-shirt to vote in the U.S. presidential primary last
spring.
But it was no laughing matter to the poll workers-turned-fashion police, who
said Nace’s Barack Obama shirt was inappropriate electioneering – and made
her cover the writing before casting a ballot.

To the GOP, the lack of rules could open the
door to all kinds of questionable displays – even, one Republican leader
suggested, something as outlandish as a musical hat.

To the Democrats, voters should be free to express themselves. They fear a
dress code could scare away some new voters.
The political showdown was triggered by a Pennsylvania Department of State
memo advising counties last month that voters’ attire doesn’t matter as long
as the "voter takes no additional action to attempt to influence other
voters.“
Because the memo is not legally binding, some counties have kept past
restrictions on clothing and political buttons.
But two Pittsburgh-area elections officials sued to have the memo rescinded.
Their lawsuit warned that if the memo stands, "nothing would prevent a
partisan group from synchronizing a battalion of like-minded individuals ...
to descend on a polling place, presenting a domineering, united front,
certain to dissuade the average citizen who may privately hold different
beliefs.“



[/url]

FOTO: AFP
This outfit could make it impossible to vote.



This fight over the interpretation of a state law designed to shield the
polls from partisan electioneering could determine which presidential
candidate’s supporters might be turned away from the polls in this
battleground state.
Democrats have benefited from a surge in voter registration this year, with
young adults 18-24 making up the largest group of new registrants, according
to statistics from March 30 to Sept. 8. A poll released Wednesday by
Quinnipiac University showed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama
pulling 15 percentage points ahead of Republican John McCain in the state.
State Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney said GOP support for the dress
code is a partisan effort to scare away new voters.
"To go (to the polls) and engage in an expression of democracy and then be
accosted by the fashion police is a form of voter intimidation,“ he said.
The state Republican Party says Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration
crafted a partisan memo that would open the door to abuses.
"The first thing would be a button or a shirt, and maybe the next thing would
be a musical hat,“ said GOP chairman Robert Gleason, who called a news
conference in support of dress codes.

Douglas Hill, head of Pennsylvania’s association
of county commissioners, believes the state’s 67 counties are now evenly
split on the question. Before the memo, counties leaned toward banning
politically polarizing clothing and buttons because "they didn’t want to get
into fine-line disputes,“ he said.
Nace, a 44-year-old Obama supporter, hopes the state’s recommendation will
stand so she can vote Nov. 4 while wearing her political leanings on her
sleeve.
"Especially with this election, for some reason it feels very personal to
me,“ she said. "Even when I see another car with a bumper sticker on it,
it’s like, ’Yeah, they get it.“’
During the April 22 primary, Nace was allowed into the voting booth in York
County only after she rolled up her Obama T-shirt to hide the writing. After
the state memo came out, York County rescinded its ban.
At least four states – Maine, Montana, Vermont and Kansas– explicitly
prohibit wearing campaign buttons, stickers and badges inside polling
places, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and state
officials.
In Kentucky, elections officials last month told poll workers they should
admit voters decked out in campaign apparel, after e-mails circulated
warning that Obama supporters would be turned away if they wore shirts and
pins.
MARTHA RAFFAELE




http://www.welt.de/english-news/article2528964/GOP-wants-dress-code-for-voters.html
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:36 pm







For only five euros you can get a certificate of your blood alcohol level.



picture story:

Bildergalerie

Oktoberfest drunkards

23. September 2008, 14:06 Uhr

Beer festival claims its victims

http://www.welt.de/english-news/article2476908/Oktoberfest-drunkards.html
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:42 pm

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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:50 pm

Boomtown Feels Effects of a Global Crisis

Ali Haider/European Pressphoto Agency A visitor at the new Atlantis resort in Dubai, where rooms cost as much
as $25,000 a night. Now, some expensive projects under construction may
be in jeopardy.


By ROBERT F. WORTH

Published: October 4, 2008

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — On the surface, this glittering Arabian boomtown seems immune to the financial crisis plaguing the global economy.

The New York Times

Feverish speculation in Dubai is yielding to apprehension.

The skyline still bristles
with cranes — an estimated 20 percent of the world’s total — and the
papers are full of ads promoting spectacular new building projects. On
Sept. 24, tourists from around the world flocked to the opening of
Atlantis, a gargantuan, pink, $1.5 billion resort hotel built on an
artificial, palm-shaped island. There was no shortage of people willing
to pay as much as $25,000 a night for a room, to gaze at the sharks and
rays in a vast glass-lined aquarium in the lobby and to dine at marquee
restaurants like Nobu and Brasserie Rostang. But as recession
looms in the West, cracks are appearing in the oil-fueled boom that has
made Dubai, with its futuristic skyscrapers on the turquoise waters of
the Persian Gulf, a global byword for unfettered growth. Banks
are reining in lending, casting a pall over corporate finance and
building plans. Oil prices have been dropping. Stock markets across the
region have been falling since June. After insisting for days that the
oil-rich Persian Gulf region was fully “insulated” from financial
troubles abroad, the Emirates’ Central Bank made about $13.6 billion
available on Sept. 22 to ease credit problems, in an echo of bailout
measures in the United States. Already, some bankers are saying it is
not enough. Some of Dubai’s more extravagant building projects
— the ever-bigger malls, islands and indoor ski slopes — are likely to
be dropped if they do not already have financing lined up, bankers say.
The credit crisis could also reduce demand from buyers, who will have a
harder time getting mortgages. The shrinkage will be more severe
if the financial crisis worsens in the West. Property prices and rents,
which have remained steady until now, are widely expected to start
dropping soon. At the same time, investor confidence has been
harmed by a long string of high-level corporate scandals, jeopardizing
Dubai’s long-term ambition of becoming a regional financial capital. “Plenty
of people are worried,” said Gilbert Bazi, 25, a real estate broker
from Lebanon who moved here a year ago. “They are waiting to see if
what happened in the United States will happen here.” When he
first arrived, Mr. Bazi said, making money was almost absurdly easy.
“Iranians, Russians, Europeans — everybody was buying,” he said. “I
didn’t have to call people; they were calling me.” Now, Mr. Bazi stalks the lobbies of hotels, trying to find clients.“The market is sleeping,” he said. In
fairness, Dubai still looks rosy when set against the financial turmoil
elsewhere. Although it lacks the oil wealth of its sister emirate Abu
Dhabi, Dubai has huge budget and current account surpluses, and the
government of the Emirates federation is able and willing — like its
Persian Gulf neighbors — to inject an almost unlimited amount of money
into the system to ease credit problems. The governments of
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have reaped so much profit from oil and gas in
recent years that they are more worried about how to spend it than
about managing any downturn. But the Persian Gulf’s governments face
real economic challenges, albeit ones that are profoundly different
from those in the West. Until recently, credit in Dubai was
growing by 49 percent a year, according to the Emirates’ Central Bank —
a rate almost double that of bank deposits’ growth. That unnerved some
bankers here, who felt it could lead to a collapse. “In the
U.S., the challenge is about keeping the banks going,” said Marios
Maratheftis, chief economist for Standard Chartered Bank. “Here, the
economy has been overheated, a correction is needed, and it’s about
making sure the slowdown happens in a smooth, orderly manner.”If
that sounds like an easy problem to have, consider the manic
vicissitudes of Dubai’s real estate market. Speculators often got bank
loans to put down 10 percent on a property that had not yet been built,
only to flip it for a huge profit to another buyer, who would do the
same thing, and on and on. That was easy to do when housing prices here
were surging so fast that some properties multiplied tenfold in value
in just a few years. But the Dubai authorities began getting nervous about this and imposed new regulations this summer to limit speculation.

Many analysts say the slowdown in Dubai’s economy, assuming it does
not worsen to a slump, will make the city’s growth more sustainable and
healthy by reducing its dependence on loans and speculation.


Similarly, the authorities
hope that recent arrests in corporate scandals will root out the
culture of corruption that plagues so many Arab countries. Some of
those arrested have been Emiratis with connections to the ruling
family, in a gesture clearly intended to send the message that no one
is exempt. As Dubai’s frenzied growth slows, whether there is a
hard or soft landing will depend in great part on the banks, the link
between the region’s declining stock markets and its still-thriving
property sector. “Banks will have to start lending to
end-users,” said Robert McKinnon, a real estate analyst and head of
equity research at Al Mal Capital here, referring to people who
actually plan on occupying properties as opposed to trading them for
profit. “There are some questions about how the banks will handle that
transition.” At worst, if the global economy worsened and some
Dubai banks failed, there would be a firm crutch to lean on. In the
early 1980s, after several Dubai banks stumbled, the government rescued
them and relaunched them as the Emirates Bank International. In the
early 1990s, two more banks were rescued. At that time, of course,
Dubai was far smaller. The repercussions of such a government bailout
today would be far more damaging to Dubai’s image as the epicenter of
Persian Gulf development.The government cushion appears to be part of the reason most local people do not seem anxious right now. “We
don’t worry about it,” said Hassan al-Hassani, 26, a civil engineer and
an Emirati citizen, who was drinking coffee late Wednesday night with
relatives and friends at a faux-Bedouin-style tent, set up among
Dubai’s hypermodern skyscrapers in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. “Maybe it’s good for things to calm down.” A
few yards away, guests admired a miniature model of a new residential
and commercial Dubai development called the City of Arabia, which
includes what will be — if it is really built — the biggest mall in the
world. “Sometimes we wonder, will people really come to live in
these places?” Mr. Hassani asked. But he quickly brushed off the
thought with a smile, reminding his listener that native Emiratis —
unlike the foreigners, who make up a majority of Dubai’s 1.3 million
residents — have a different perspective. “Remember, 30 years
ago almost nobody had phones here,” he said. “There was maybe one tall
building. My family only had one car.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/world/middleeast/05dubai.html?pagewanted=1&hp
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:23 am

British commander says war in Afghanistan cannot be won

(Agencies)
Updated: 2008-10-05 20:16



LONDON - Britain's commander in Afghanistan has said the war against the Taliban cannot be won, the Sunday Times reported.


A British soldier keeps watch at the scene of a suicide car attack in Kabul, August 11, 2008. [Agencies]

It quoted Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith as saying in an interview
that if the Taliban were willing to talk, then that might be "precisely
the sort of progress" needed to end the insurgency.


"We're not going to win this war. It's about reducing it to a
manageable level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat and can be
managed by the Afghan army," he said. He said his forces had "taken the sting out of the Taliban for
2008" but that troops may well leave Afghanistan with there still being
a low level of insurgency.

But Afghanistan's Defense Minister expressed his disappointment on
Sunday at the commander's statements, maintaining the insurgency had to
be defeated.

"I think this is the personal opinion of that commander," Abdul Rahim Wardak told reporters.

"The main objective of the Afghan government and the whole
international community is that we have to defeat this war of terror
and be successful," he said.

Wardak said success also depended on how British forces were
approaching the problems they faced in Helmand but did not say whether
their current strategy was the right one.

Asked if the commander's comments came as a disappointment, Wardak said: "Yes, it is disappointing, for sure."

Britain has around 8,000 troops based in Afghanistan, most of them
in the volatile southern province of Helmand, where they face daily
battles with a growing insurgency.
No negotiations with "invader"

NATO commanders and diplomats have been saying for some time that
the Taliban insurgency cannot be defeated by military means alone and
that negotiations with the militants will ultimately be needed to bring
an end to the conflict.

"If the Taliban were prepared to sit on the other side of the table and
talk about a political settlement, then that's precisely the sort of
progress that concludes insurgencies like this," Carleton-Smith said.
"That shouldn't make people uncomfortable." But a spokesman for the Taliban said on Sunday there would be no
negotiations with foreigners and repeated calls made by Taliban
commanders for the unconditional withdrawal of the more than 70,000
international troops from Afghanistan.

"They should know that Taliban will never hold talks with the
invaders," Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf told the
Pakistan-based Afghan news agency, AIP.

"What we had said in the past, we also say once again, that foreign forces should leave without any condition," he said.

Violence in Afghanistan has increased to its worst level since 2001,
when US-led and Afghan forces overthrew the ruling Taliban following
the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said last week he had asked the king
of Saudi Arabia to mediate in talks with the insurgents and called on
Taliban leader Mullah Omar to return to his homeland and to make peace.


http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2008-10/05/content_7077648.htm
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PostSubject: Re: NEWS OF THE DAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 5, 2008   Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:39 am

have a looky loo at these:












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