Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Egypt election: Will Egyptians respect the outcome?

An artist puts the finishing touches to a mural depicting some of the candidates alongside faces from the old regime
When polling stations open for Egypt's presidential elections on Wednesday, voters will be choosing between an extraordinary range of options.

The choice they make will not just determine the country's immediate future - it will decide what sort of Egypt will be built on the foundations of last year's uprising against authoritarian rule.

Among the 12 candidates, there are some who would see themselves as guardians of the spirit of last year's Tahrir Square uprising, others who are Islamists, and one or two with roots in the old political system.

In many ways, those latter candidates are the most interesting.

Building a democracy

Amr Moussa was once Hosni Mubarak's foreign minister, although he was eventually sidelined - apparently for becoming too popular - and ended up running the Arab league.

He has experience which many older Egyptians find reassuring, but he is also able to argue that his relationship with the old regime was somewhat semi-detached. Read More...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CBI raids homes of Yeddyurappa and family

Bangalore, May 16 (IANS): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided residences of former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his kin here and in Shimoga early Wednesday for their alleged role in the multi-crore mining scam  in the state.

"Our teams are searching for certain documents in the residences of Yeddyurappa and his relatives in Bangalore and Shimoga. The search is still on," a senior CBI official told IANS here.

The pre-dawn raids in Bangalore and Shimoga, about 270 km from here, began after CBI late Tuesday registered a case against Yeddyurappa, his two sons, B.S. Vijayendra and B.S. Raghavendra, son-in-law Sohan Kumar and mining baron Praveen Chandra under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Read More... 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lawyers for China dissident's nephew say they face threats

Blind activist Chen Guangcheng (C) speaks with his wife Yuan Weijing (2nd R) and children as U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke (facing camera, 3rd R) and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell (facing camera, 4th R) stands nearby in a Beijing hospital, in this handout picture from the U.S
(Reuters) - Chinese legal authorities have confiscated the license of one lawyer and threatened to do the same to another after they volunteered to defend Chen Kegui, the nephew of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng.

The moves come as Chen Guangcheng, whose escape last month sparked an international furor, said Chinese officials were "going crazy" with reprisals against his family in eastern Shandong province in revenge for his recent escape from house arrest.
Chen Guangcheng's escape caused embarrassment for China and led to a diplomatic crisis in U.S.-Sino relations.

The Chinese Communist Party has always been wary of lawyers, who officials suspect could challenge one-party rule through their advocacy of the rule of law. Authorities have frequently sought to prevent lawyers from taking up politically sensitive cases by suspending their licenses to practice law.

Chen Wuquan, a lawyer based in the southern province of Guangdong, told Reuters the Guangzhou Lawyers' Association had confiscated his license "temporarily" last week during a standard annual renewal of licenses. The lawyer Chen is not related to the Chen family from Shandong. Read More...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fat Future: 42% of Americans May Be Obese by 2030

May 7, 2012 -- By 2030, 42% of Americans will be obese and 11% of Americans will be severely obese, Duke University and CDC researchers predict.
These shocking numbers actually are conservative, note study researchers Eric A. Finkelstein, PhD, and colleagues.
Finkelstein's team based its calculations on self-reported weight and height from people participating in the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Obesity is defined by body mass index (BMI). People tend to underestimate their weight and overestimate their height.
There's some good news. The study suggests that adult obesity in the U.S. is leveling off, albeit at an unacceptably high level. Previous estimates had suggested that 51% of Americans would be obese in 2030. But consideration of other factors suggests that figure is too full.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Obama: Time to shift attention from wars to home

President Barack Obama reaches out to students and parents at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va., after speaking about his efforts to prevent interest rates from doubling on federal student loans, Friday, May 4, 2012.
WASHINGTON — Placing a final punctuation mark on a week devoted to foreign policy, President Barack Obama on Saturday declared that his goal of defeating al-Qaida was within reach and said it was now time to turn the country's attention to more domestic concerns like strengthening the middle class.

Just four days after a surprise 36-hour round trip to Afghanistan, Obama said that money saved from ending wars should be used equally to pay down the debt and to spend on health care, education and infrastructure.

"After more than a decade of war, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home," he said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

The president took note of the agreement he signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday that shifts security to the Afghan people and reminded the American public, once again, of the special forces operation that killed Osama bin Laden a year ago. Read More...