Torture matter of policy under Bush
A Senate inquiry published on Wednesday directly implicates senior members of the Bush administration in the extensive use of harsh interrogation methods against al-Qaida suspects and other prisoners round the world. The 232-page report, the most detailed investigation yet into the background of torture, undercuts the claim of the then deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq was the work of "a few bad apples". The report says: "The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of "a few bad apples" acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorised their use against detainees." The report says that instructors trained CIA and other military personnel early in 2002 on the use of harsher interrogation techniques but warned that information obtained might be unreliable.
World losses top $4 trillion says IMF report
Financial institutions in the United States, Western Europe and Japan face credit losses of more than $4 trillion as the global economy continues to deteriorate during its deepest and longest recession in more than 60 years, the International Monetary Fund reported Tuesday. U.S. financial institutions face asset write-downs totalling $2.7 trillion, nearly double the $1.4 trillion in write-offs that were projected in October, the IMF said in its latest Global Financial Stability report. The gloomy report, released in advance of this weekend's IMF meeting in Washington, predicted that "the global credit crisis is likely to be deep and long lasting." The report said capital flows to emerging markets have "come to a halt." IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard predicted at a briefing that "it is going to take quite a while until we see a return to capital outflows" to emerging markets, even "if the banking system is slowly repaired in advanced countries." As financial institutions see their credit losses soar, they face "further pressure" to "raise capital and shed assets," the IMF said
Islamic law in Somalia?
Somalia’s Parliament voted unanimously last week to institute Islamic law, a measure lawmakers say they hope will strengthen popular support for the government and siphon it away from the Islamist militias fighting an insurgency here. The vote ratified a decision by the cabinet last month to adopt the legal code of Islam based on the Koran, known as Shariah.“God is great, God is great, the Parliament voted for the implementation of the Shariah law,” the deputy speaker of Parliament, Osman Elmi Boqore, said after the vote. “We are grateful that we implemented it today.” The minister of justice, Sheik Abdirahman Mohamoud Farah, speaking to the lawmakers, said that the opposition hard-liners would no longer be able to use. However, the minister of justice, Sheik Abdirahman Mohamoud Farah, revealed the government’s motives for implementing partial shariah when he said that the opposition hard-liners would no longer be able to use Islam as a justification for attacking the government.
America itching to train the Pakistani army
The Obama administration wants to pursue broader military ties with Pakistan to help Islamabad combat a growing threat from militant groups including the Taliban, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday. Michele Flournoy, U.S. under secretary of defense for policy, said Washington wants to provide the Pakistani army with training and advice on counterinsurgency tactics developed in Iraq and Afghanistan and support ongoing operations with intelligence and other assistance."We need to substantially increase our military assistance and broaden the form," she said at a forum hosted by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. U.S. officials have long been eager to provide counterinsurgency training for the Pakistani army but have been largely rebuffed by army leaders reluctant to shift away from a conventional military posture aimed at countering any threat from arch rival India.
Indians even bar celebrity Muslims from renting houses
India’s Muslims face new discrimination following last November’s attacks in Mumbai and now even Bollywood’s Muslim celebrities are being denied housing in Hindu residential complexes, a leading US newspaper reported last week. The Washington Post correspondent in Mumbai interviewed with some well-placed Muslims who were barred from renting a place to live. The post stated: “The phenomenon has become known here [Mumbai] as ‘renting while Muslim.’ It raises questions that go to the heart of India’s identity as a secular democracy that is home to nearly every major religion on the planet. “ India has some 200 million Muslims out of a population of 1 billion.
22 April 2009