Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for March 9th, 2009

The China games

Posted by Charles II on March 9, 2009

On a day when one of China Daily’s top stories is that the US and China are conducting joint naval exercises and China stresses that its naval buildup is defensive, we get this headscratcher.

The Pentagon is claiming that the Chinese harassed an intelligence gathering ship, Impeccable. Here’s the essence of the complaint, from CNN:

The crew members aboard the [Chinese] vessels, two of which were within 50 feet, waved Chinese flags and told the U.S. ship to leave the area, the statement said.

“Because the vessels’ intentions were not known, Impeccable sprayed its fire hoses at one of the vessels in order to protect itself,” the statement said. “The Chinese crewmembers disrobed to their underwear and continued closing to within 25 feet.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Pentagon | 4 Comments »

Mugabe-led hit? With US complicity?

Posted by Charles II on March 9, 2009

Your guess is as good as mine, but it’s alarming that a truck driven by a US agency nearly killed the PM of an African nation.

Daniel Howden, London Independent:

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, left hospital in Harare yesterday and flew to Botswana for further treatment as his party called for an independent inquiry into Friday’s fatal crash that killed his wife.

US authorities have confirmed to officials from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that the truck that hit the premier’s car, causing it to roll three times, was carrying Aids drugs donated by the American government. It was driven by a local contractor.

“There is no evidence at this stage of wrongdoing, but we are demanding an independent inquiry into the circumstances of the crash,” a senior MDC member, Eddie Cross, told The Independent on Sunday. The party said it would accept an investigative team from neighbouring South Africa. However, a number of questions remain to be answered, amid continuing speculation that the Prime Minister, who joined his bitter political rival Robert Mugabe in an uneasy “unity” government last month, was the victim of an assassination attempt.

The 56-year-old was travelling to his rural home south of Harare in a convoy of three vehicles late on Friday afternoon. His own security detail in the lead vehicle saw the USAID truck pass driving normally. However, it then veered into the oncoming lane, and would have hit Mr Tsvangirai’s vehicle head on, had the Prime Minister’s driver not taken evasive action. The truck struck the rear of his vehicle, flipping it and killing Mr Tsvangirai’s wife Susan.

A local farmer contacted by MDC security reached the scene outside the town of Beatrice before the police and took photographs of the crash site. When police arrived, they arrested him and confiscated both still and video cameras. All three vehicles were later removed from the roadside, and the Zimbabwean truck driver was yesterday placed in “protective custody”, further raising suspicions.

The crash comes after a fortnight in which there have been three separate incidents of senior MDC members or their allies being involved in suspicious car accidents. In each case, both front tyres of the new vehicles in which they were travelling blew out unexpectedly.

Posted in Africa | 1 Comment »

Monday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 9, 2009

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CNBC blowhards rendered delightfully speechless after Jon Stewart’s epic and unassailable takedown of them.

Frank Schaeffer, whose father helped create the modern-day “religious right”, has a message for the Rush-worshipping Republicans and the GOP in general: “When your new leader Rush Limbaugh calls for President Obama to fail he’s calling for more flag-draped coffins. Limbaugh is the new ‘Hanoi Jane.'”

Landlord Nation? In a trend that shows signs of spreading to other cities, out-of-town investors are buying up Detroit’s foreclosed houses and turning them into rentals or rent-to-own properties.

— President Obama is moving to undo Bush’s limits on stem-cell research, limits that essentially ended whole swaths of medical research in the US. Republican House Whip Eric Cantor sputters some nonsense about it being a distraction from solving America’s economic issues, when in fact taking the chokehold off of stem-cell research will help stimulate the economy by boosting medical-related R&D.

Posted in Detroit, economy, eedjits, GOP/Media Complex, Republicans, science and medicine, Silly Republicans, speaking truth to power, stem cell research | 2 Comments »

 
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