Sunday, May 15, 2005

U.S. says no to new members having veto; Uzbek border, Pinochet, Rand wants to determine Palestine's "look," Senate "showdown," 300 missing boys

The United States has warned four nations campaigning jointly for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council that it will not support their cause unless they agree not to ask for the veto power that the five current permanent Council members hold, senior diplomats and administration officials said.
The four nations - Brazil, India, Germany and Japan - are unhappy about that position. "The Security Council is not like an aircraft, with first class, business and economy seats," said Ryozo Kato, Japan's ambassador to the United States.

The above is from Joel Brinkley's "As Nations Lobby to Join Security Council, the U.S. Resists Giving Them Veto Power" in this morning's New York Times. Brian e-mails asking if the U.N. is "as obsolete as this administration says, why are we so worried about the veto?"

Keesha e-mails to note Steven Lee Myers' "As Hundreds Flee, Violence Flares Anew at Uzbek Border:"

Mr. Karimov, who has ruled the Central Asian republic with an iron grip since it gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, made no mentioned of the civilian casualties.
Others, including opposition leaders, said that scores had been killed when troops opened fire on thousands of protesters who assembled in Andijon's central square after the storming of the prison. The various reports said the dead - which were put at 200 to 300 or more - included many civilians. But the reports were varied and numerous, and few details were verifiable. Foreign journalists in the city were ordered to leave it.
New clashes erupted Saturday in the town of Karasu on the Kyrgyz border, where hundreds of Uzbeks gathered, apparently hoping to leave the country. Protesters clashed with the police and border guards, occupying several government buildings, The Associated Press reported.

Keesha: Karimov, like Donald Rumsfeld, apparently doesn't do body counts.

Braedon of Bristol e-mails to note the Associated Press' "Jailed Leader of Police Unit Lays Blame on Pinochet:"

The commander of the secret police under Gen. Augusto Pinochet said in a court document that General Pinochet was responsible for abuses committed by the police, his lawyer said Friday.
The retired commander, Gen. Manuel Contreras, also submitted a document to the Supreme Court discussing the fate of more than 500 dissidents who disappeared after being arrested by his force, said Juan Carlos Manns, General Contreras's lawyer. The report confirmed that many of the victims were thrown into the sea after being killed - a disclosure made last year by a presidential investigative commission.
Mr. Manns said his imprisoned client put the responsibility for the abuses on General Pinochet and the other military commanders. In the document, General Contreras said he was writing to counter "the permanent, ominous silence maintained by my superior," referring to General Pinochet.

Rob and Kara both e-mailed to note James Bennet's "The Day After Peace: Designing Palestine:"

Rand had judged that for all the attention lavished on the possible borders between Israel and a notional Palestine, no one had expended much imagination on the structure of the latter. Palestine had persisted as a dream or nightmare, as an abstraction to occupy diplomats and politicians, not as a concrete challenge for urban planners. Yet both the American president and the Israeli prime minister had now called for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state. If the world was serious about a two-state solution, Rand reasoned, someone had to start planning Palestine, particularly since its population was about to surge. The alternative - a failed, impoverished and angry ward on Israel's doorstep, if not in its living room - posed a problem, a danger, for the world.
Rand, an independent nonprofit think tank with a reputation for dispassion and a record of advancing the space program and the military, has concluded that the challenge can be met. It has delivered up a gimlet-eyed survey of life in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that shows how far Palestinians are from viable statehood: the crippled, dependent economy, the "corrupt, nonrepresentative and authoritarian rule," the inadequate water supply, the pressure of Israeli occupation. It has suggested a long list of improvements, which it says would cost $33 billion over 10 years. And it has twinned its appraisal with a second study, a vision of what might be, the vision that Mr. Suisman eventually dreamed up that Saturday in his studio.

Rob: Advancing war is more like it when discussing the Rand Corporation. I'm bothered by the fact that they're attempting to determine what Palestine would look like.

Kara: Did anyone seek out Rand's help? I'm not seeing it in the article. Apparently, even if a two-state proposal is carried out, the Palestinians still won't have a right to self-rule.

Lynda e-mails to note David D. Irkpatrick and Carl Hulse's "At Center of Senate Showdown, a Boxer Takes On a Surgeon:"

In the end, the brutal public battle over judicial confirmations in the Senate comes down to two starkly different men. One is a wealthy surgeon still considered new to the Senate but with an eye on the White House, the other a former lightweight boxer and police officer whose flashes of candor sometimes get him into trouble - like calling President Bush "a loser" in a speech to students.
The two lawmakers, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, and Senator Harry Reid, his Democratic counterpart, are locked in a dispute over the Senate rules that could shape the future makeup of the Supreme Court, permanently alter the power of a Senate minority party, thrust the chamber into parliamentary chaos and determine the two men's political prospects. Dr. Frist has said he plans to bring their confrontation to a head as early as Wednesday, leaving the two men just days to work out a possible compromise.

Lynda: Unless I'm mistaken, it was Senator Barbara Boxer that placed the hold on Bolton, not Harry Spineless Reid.

Francisco e-mails to highlight Alan Cowell's "300 Missing Boys in Britain Fuel Child-Trafficking Fear:"

In September 2001, in the River Thames near the soaring columns of Tower Bridge, the police discovered the torso - headless and limbless - of a black-skinned child they called, for want of any definitive identity, Adam. The suggestion from subsequent investigations was that he had died in some kind of ritualistic murder linked to West African witchcraft.
Now, more than three years later, the discovery has brought another chilling fact to light: in the three months before the body was found, 300 other black boys 4 to 7 years of age were missing or were unaccounted for. The disclosure may have cast a rare spotlight into a secretive world of child trafficking that the authorities seem unable to control or prevent, according to experts on the issue.
"We were really looking at black children, black male children, aged between 4 and 7, and we found 300 of those that couldn't be accounted for," Detective Chief Inspector Will O'Reilly told British radio on Friday. "It was one of the lines of inquiry we had to follow up. In the main these were African children. I think there were one or two from the Caribbean."

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