Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Abbas' Move on War-Crimes Report: A Boost for Hamas" by Abigail Hauslohner

Photo and article courtesy: TIME

"Mahmoud Abbas is not in the business of doing favors for his bitter rivals in Hamas, which is why the Islamists may have been more taken aback than anyone else at the massive political gift presented to them on Oct. 2 by the Palestinian Authority President. At the instruction of Abbas, the Palestinian delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council withdrew support for moves to pursue war-crimes charges over Israel's January offensive in Gaza, effectively shelving U.N. action on an inquiry led by former international war-crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone that accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes. So furious has been the reaction of Palestinians across the political spectrum that the move is being widely seen as the final nail in the President's political coffin — with the Palestinians due to hold parliamentary and presidential elections next year, Abbas may no longer be a viable candidate for his Fatah movement."

Read remainder of article HERE.

"In Yemen conflict, number of displaced grows" by Haley Sweetland Edwards

Photo by M.S. 2009 Grad Paul Stephens
Photo and article courtesy: Los Angeles Times

"It was sometime after 2 a.m. when gunfire and mortars startled Oqaba Mohammed out of sleep. She thanked God she was alive and quickly gathered her four children, walking into the night and away from the only home she had ever known."

We had nothing but the clothes on our bodies, but I didn't look back," said Mohammed, who had carried her physically disabled daughter in one arm and her 15-month-old son in the other. "We walked for three days, from village to village, asking for food from ordinary people. And then we arrived here."

Mohammed and her family were among the first wave of displaced Yemenis to make it to Mazraq, a United Nations camp in the northwestern province of Hajjah, where 7,000 people now live. They have fled the war in nearby Saada province, where the nation's army, after five years of sporadic warfare in the region, has launched what it calls a final offensive against a Shiite Muslim rebel group called Houthis."

Read remainder of the article HERE.

"Will Obama bypass Congress on climate rules?" by Maha Atal

Article excerpt courtesy: Fortune /

"NEW YORK (Fortune) -- If Congress won't get the job done on climate change, President Obama has a way to do it himself. But is he strong-arming the legislative branch?

It certainly looks that way as a series of new environmental regulations, released over the past two weeks by the EPA, are putting legislators on notice and executives on edge.

The rules are the federal government's broadest swipe yet at regulating greenhouse gasses. According to EPA chief Lisa Jackson, "We've taken the historic step of proposing the nation's first-ever greenhouse-gas emissions standards for vehicles, and moved substantially closer to an efficient, clean energy future."

The Environmental Protection Agency, which reports to the White House, is a new player in this arena. Before 2007, greenhouse gases were considered outside the EPA's purview because regulating them would have required cracking down on specific industrial practices that other agencies had under their charge."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"FTC takes on pay-per-post" by Maha Atal

Photo/Art and article excerpt courtesy: Fortune/

"Topic A in the blogosphere: An agency wants to suss out paid endorsements on blogs.
Log on to New York food blog today, and you’ll see an advertisement for cookbook publisher Cook’s Illustrated, served up by Google’s (GOOG) AdSense service.
No surprise, really, since AdSense matches advertisements to website content. Indeed, Adam Roberts, who writes the blog, has twice tested and reviewed recipes from Cook’s Illustrated. What could be more relevant to readers than a link from one recipe site to another?
Yet despite their utility to readers, ads like these might get Roberts, Cook’s Illustrated and Google in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.
Today, the Commission announced its new “Guide Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” The announcement marks the first regulatory update since 1980, and a long overdue attempt to grapple with the digital transition."

Read remainder of article HERE:

"New Stu" by Aaron Scott

Photo: Courtesy of KATU
Clip: Courtesy of WNYC and Radio Lab

"Stu Rasmussen, of Silverton, Oregon, is an avid metalworker, woodworker, and electrician - and in 2008 became our country's first transgendered mayor. News of his election swept the country, but what was it like at home?"

Listen to the Radio Documentary and read more HERE.

"Yemen water crisis builds" by Haley Sweetland Edwards

Photo and Article: Courtesy of Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sana, Yemen - Aisha Sufi, a woman with tired eyes and nine children, waits for a water truck in a nation of drought.

She is one of an estimated 150,000 Yemenis who have left their villages this year bound for Sana, Yemen's capital, in search of basic needs. Water and jobs, for example, are increasingly scarce in rural regions where many populations have quadrupled since the 1980s.

"It's not good here or there, but it's better to be here," said Sufi, who lives in the Hoshaishiya neighborhood of Sana. "There, in the village, is nothing. No rain, no modern facilities, nothing to help you at all."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Wal-Mart Bodegas Lift Profit in Mexico: Week Ahead" by Emily Schmall

Photo and article courtesy: Bloomberg

"Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB, Latin America’s largest retailer, is profiting from the worst recession since the 1930s by offering smaller, cheaper products to Mexicans at its Bodega Express shops.

Walmex, as the Mexico City-based retailer is known, will report this week a 12 percent increase in third- quarter net income to 3.66 billion pesos ($269 million), according to the average analyst estimate. A rise would mark the fourth straight quarterly advance in earnings."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"In the Tunnels: Gaza's Underground Economy" By ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER

Photo and article: Courtesy TIME Magazine and

"A 30-ft. drop was the only way into the dark, earthy abyss, and the Palestinian tunnel workers were giggling nervously at the prospect of a foreign journalist going for a plunge. It didn't seem like a good idea. Apart from the descent, there had been Israeli air strikes for the past three days targeting the dense smuggling network that snakes beneath the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt. An Israeli F-16 was circling overhead at that very moment."

Read remainder of article and see video of the tunnel HERE.