(CBS Houston/AP) -- Crews in Mississippi are cleaning up thousands of dead swamp rats that washed ashore from Hurricane Isaac. The Sun Herald reports that an estimated 16,000 to 18,000 nutria -- semiaquatic, rat-like rodents -- ...also known as 'good eating' when times are tough...
and other dead animals washed up in Hancock County after drowning in Hurricane Isaac's storm surge. A federal contractor, U.S. Environmental Services, will dump the bodies in a landfill rated to take household garbage. That's what I want: a job counting dead swamp rats when the humidity's high...
"I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters."
"Then man your ships. And may the Force be with you."
Gromky, nutria can be pretty good eating. There have been cooking contests here in New Orleans with some noted chefs included - all part of a PR campaign - and tasters approved, but the prejudice against eating something that looked like a big rat and was called a rat just couldn't be overcome.
[An Nahar] Two senior Libyan officials from the ousted regime of Muammar Qadaffy ...a proud Arab institution for 42 years, now among the dear departed, though not the dearest... will go on trial next week for financial crimes, the deputy prosecutor told AFP on Wednesday.
"Former foreign minister Abdellati al-Obeidi and ex-parliament speaker Belgassem al-Zwai will stand trial on September 10 for financial crimes that preceded the February 17 (2011) revolution," Taha Baara said.
Baara said the two were also being questioned over their alleged implication in suppressing the revolution.
The authorities have said they will bring to justice several henchmen of the former dictator who was captured and killed in October, including Qadaffy's son, Seif al-Islam, who is jugged Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw! inside the country.
Authorities have said Seif will stand trial in September but no exact date has been announced.
[Bangla Daily Star] Ten people were maimed yesterday in a factional clash of Bangladesh Chhatra League ... the student wing of the Bangla Awami League ... of Nizampur Degree College in Mirsarai of Chittagong.
The injured, Anwarul Azim, Abdul Awal Tuhin, Inam Hossain, Saiful Islam, Towhid, Jamshed Ahmed, Noyon, Shovhon, Shohel and Imtiaz, are the supporters of two rival groups "Tuhin group" and "Shahed group".
All the injured were admitted to Mirsarai Upazila Health Complex.
"Shahed Group" is supported by local politician Mosharraf Hossain and "Tuhin group" by local upazila Chairman Gias Uddin.
College sources said members of "Shahed group" set two cycle of violences on fire that belonged to the members of "Tuhin group" --Tuhin and Noyon. Then both the groups locked into the clash around 4:00pm over establishing their dominance on the campus.
However, some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go... a member of "Shahed group", Shah Imran, admitting to the arson incident said, "First, Tuhin, along with around 20 supporters, stabbed Anwarul of our group with a chopper."
Imran added that four of their members were maimed during the clash. The Daily Star could not contact Tuhin.
Officer-in-Charge, Imtiaz Ali of Mirsarai Police Station said police calmed the situation after half an hour.
The presidential candidate of the PRI and PVEM, Enrique Peña Nieto, said Tuesday through his website launching an iPad application.
The software, called "Mexico, the Great Hope: effective state", returns the contents of the book written by the former governor of Mexico State and published in November 2011.
Through the eight chapters of the book is PRI, the app leads the user through a summary of the proposed campaign on issues such as economic growth, Mexico's leadership, social security, education, public safety, among others.
Hunger strikes and mass protests have greeted the beginning of the school year in Hong Kong over plans by Beijing to introduce classes which critics say will "brainwash" children with the Chinese Communist party's version of history. Yesterday saw the sixth straight day of protests against the new "moral and national education" classes. The protests are now threatening to overshadow elections to the Legislative Council on Sunday.
This year marks the introduction of "moral and national education" classes, although the programme will not become compulsory until 2015.
No full curriculum has yet been issued, but the idea behind the classes is to bridge the gap between the Chinese mainland, where patriotic education classes have been mandatory since the beginning of the Communist era, and Hong Kong, whose residents proudly insist on their independence and often express a snarling contempt for some of their compatriots.
Opposition to the plan first blew up after some teaching guidelines for the classes became public earlier this summer, including a glossing over of the Tiananmen Square protests and proud support for one-party rule. In turn, the issue has been exacerbated by a hard line from Beijing. Hong Kong's leader, CY Leung, remained adamant that dropping the classes was not an option. However, he left room for manoeuvre, saying: "Between withdrawing and not withdrawing the subject, the room for negotiations is very big".
On what may be her final trip to China as America's top diplomat, Hillary Clinton failed to find any agreement over Syria or the South China Sea and saw her meeting with the country's next president cancelled. Mrs Clinton was told late on Tuesday night that Xi Jinping, 59, would not meet her.
Such is the tension surrounding Mrs Clinton's trip to Beijing that many suspected it was a deliberate snub. Ahead of her visit, the state-run Global Times newspaper said bluntly: "Many Chinese people do not like Hillary Clinton [...] She makes the Chinese public dislike and be wary of the United States."
However, Mr Xi, who is likely to be unveiled at the pinnacle of the Communist party after the 18th Party Congress in mid-October, was reported to have injured his back. Mr Xi also cancelled his other engagements yesterday, including a meeting with Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong. Mrs Clinton did meet with Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, the current president and premier, but found little common ground.
On Syria, China repeated its policy of non-interference. Mrs Clinton has said in the past that vetoes at the United Nations Security Council from China and Russia would put the two nations "one the wrong side of history". However, in what appeared to be a direct rebuke, Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Foreign minister told a press conference yesterday: "I think history will judge that China's position on the Syria question is a promotion of the appropriate handling of the situation."
Mrs Clinton, in turn, said she had been "disappointed" by China's actions. However, she noted that this was her fifth trip to China, and that the two countries were working to "build habits of cooperation" which have seen them "literally consult almost on a daily basis."
On the thorny problem of sovereignty in the South China Sea, where several nations have overlapping claims, Mrs Clinton called for China to work on a multilateral code of conduct. Mr Yang said that China had "plentiful historical and jurisprudential evidence" for its claims to virtually all of the South China Sea, but agreed a code of conduct was necessary. Clinton has voiced hope that China, which claims virtually all of the South China Sea, will agree to work out a code of conduct on regional territorial disputes, and has encouraged Southeast Asian nations to stand united.
"The US should respect China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect China's national core interests and the people's feelings," said Wen Jiabao, during his meeting with Mrs Clinton.
China has in the past called off meetings at the last minute to show displeasure, although Xi has generally made US-friendly statements and sought warm relations during a trip across the United States earlier this year. But Beijing has repeatedly expressed concern over what it sees as interference by Washington in the region.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said ahead of Clinton's arrival Tuesday that China hoped the United States would "do more to promote regional peace and stability, instead of the opposite."
"The US should respect China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect China's national core interests and the people's feelings," said Wen Jiabao, during his meeting with Mrs Clinton.
Yeah, but not Tibet's, huh? Or Taiwan, Japan, Philippines or Vietnam?
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
Touchy. All Hillary said was ... "Hey surf's up in the south China Sea. Let's go hit the beach, dude!"
* WORLD NEWS > [Asahi News] CHINA BEGAN ONLY OPENLY CLAIMING SENKAKUS [China = Daoyus/Daoyutai] IN 1970'S.
* RELATED SAME > [2012 US DNC] DEMOCRATS VOW TO TO KEEP STRONG MILITARY PRESENCE IN ASIA, vee Nippon, Korean Peninsula, + Aussies.
* ASAHI NEWS > JAPAN, US MULL JOINT USE OF GUAM FACILITIES [Andersen AFB] FOR DRONES TO KEEP CHINA IN CHECK, i.e. recce PLAN movements in WESTPAC.
Three ea. GLOBAL HAWKS already operate out of Guam's Andersen AFB - the latter is slated to also received the more advanced Global Hawk follow-on/ derivative "TRITON" UAV.
* WORLD MILITARY FORUM > TAIWAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY: JAPANESE MEDIA CLAIMS THAT MAIN GOVT. PLANS TO FORMALLY "NATIONALIZE" THREE ISLANDS OF DISPUTED DAOYUS ON SEPTEMBER 10TH + 11TH, WID SIGNATORY TO MAIN ISLAND ON SEPTEMBER 11TH.
* JAPAN BEATS LOUDER THE DRUMS OF WAR AGZ CHINA IN EAST CHINA SEA: TOKYO PLAN TO "NATIONALIZE" DAOYUS" MAY LEAD TO REGIONAL MILITARY CONFLICT WID CHINA. PLA "SECOND ARTILLERY"S NUCLEAR ARSENAL AGZ JAPAN'S AIR, NAVAL SDFS. REJECTION OF
JAPAN'S DAOYU "SHARE PLAN" BY CHINA.
IIUC, SINO-JAPANESE DAOYUS MIL CONFLICT > China + PLA may use such to forcibly recover Taiwan + possibly Okinawa???
Lest we fergit, China was not happy about Japan's decision to expand the JSDF garrison + MilSys on Yonaguni off Taiwan.
* SAME > JAPANESE DEFENCE MINISTER MORITOMO: JAPAN MUST KEEP AND MAINTAIN NUCLEAR POWER FOR ITS NATIONAL, GEOPOLITICAL, MILITARY AND ENERGY SECURITY, NUCLEAR POWER TOO VITAL FOR JAPAN TO ELIMNATE, AS JAPAN'S NEIGHBORS IN EAST ASIA MUST BELIEVE THAT JAPAN CAN QUICKLY PRODUCE NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN CONTINGENCY FOR DETERRENCE FACTORS TO WORK.
* SAME > COMMENTARY: OKINAWA NATIVES VIEW DISPUTED DAUYUS AS NEITHER OF JAPAN NOR OF MAINLAND CHINA, BUT OF RYUKYU CHINA.
[CNBC] The United States has slipped further down a global ranking of the world's most competitive economies, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) survey released on Wednesday.
The world's largest economy, which was placed 5th last year, fell two positions to the 7th spot - marking its fourth year of decline.
A lack of macroeconomic stability, the business community's continued mistrust of the government and concerns over its fiscal health were some of the reasons for the downgrade, according to the annual survey.
"A number of weaknesses are chipping away at its competitiveness...the U.S. fiscal imbalances and continued political deadlock over resolving these challenges," said Jennifer Blanke, Economist at the Geneva-based WEF.
An explosion during a routine inventory check at an ammunition store in western Turkey has killed 25 soldiers and injured four. The blast occurred as soldiers were moving stocks of hand grenades, Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu, who visited the scene, said. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known but both Eroglu and Afyon Governor Irfan Balkanlioglu said it was accidental.
[Dawn] LAHORE: An alleged robber was killed in a 'shootout' with police near Gandi Bambian, Bund Road, early on Tuesday.
Shadbagh police claimed the suspect was looting citizens along with his accomplice shortly before coppers approached them. Police inquiries showed that two robbers riding a bike were looting cash and valuables from passers-by Shaukat Butt and Haji Jameel when four Mohafiz Force officials, led by ASI Arif, suddenly reached the spot.
The suspects after seeing police opened fire which was returned.
The suspects took refuge behind a wall and kept firing on police. More force from nearby cop shoppes arrived at the scene and cordoned of the area.
After firing stopped from the suspects' side, officials found one of the accused dead and the other missing. What police claimed to have seized from the spot were Rs8,000, two cell phones, a pistol and three magazines.
Police later identified the victim as Waheed alias Nangay Paion of Makkhanpura who was wanted in more than 100 cases of dacoity and robbery.
[Dawn] The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... Assembly was informed on Tuesday that police had placed in long-term storage Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! an Afghan holy man on the charges of instigating his students to burn a religious book containing Ahadith in Lower Dir district.
Speaking on a call attention notice, Law Minister Arshad Abdullah told the house that Maulvi Zaibullah, who provoked his students, belonged to Afghanistan and had been running a seminary, Al Jamia Arabia. He said that a case had been registered against the holy man under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The minister said that according to police reports, the holy man was receiving funds from Kuwait. He said that the incident of burning Fazail-e-Aamal, a book containing volume of authentic Ahadith, took place in Samer Bagh area on August 15. Police interrogated students of the seminary who were involved in the desecration of the religious book, he added.
"The students told police that Maulvi Zaibullah instigated them to burn the book," he said, adding that the Maulvi was being interrogated.
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal politician Hafiz Akhtar Ali took up the issue and demanded of the government to take strict action against those elements who were involved in the incident. He said that some elements were promoting sectarian tension in the area.
Minister for Livestock Hidayatullah Khan and independent MPA Khalifa Abdul Qayum supported the mover.
It may be recalled that the provincial government had issued directives to the police about two years ago to arrest Afghan holy mans and prayer leaders across the province and deport them to Afghanistan. However, facts are stubborn; statistics are more pliable... Afghan holy mans have been running seminaries and preaching in urban and rural areas.
Replying to a call attention notice moved by MPA Javaid Abbasi concerning delay in work on Hazara Expressway, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that the National Highway Authority would soon start work on the project.
He said that land was being acquired for the highway and the government had paid Rs1.2 billion to the landowners while Rs400 million would be released in next two weeks.
He said that tenders of the project would be floated within two months and work on the 22-kilometres strip of the highway from Hassanabdal to Havelian would be completed in the first phase. Federal Minister Arbab Alamgir Khan was also present in the Speaker's gallery when the issue was raised.
Mr Abbasi said that work on the project was launched about six years ago, but the NHA could not complete the land acquisition process. He said that normally the journey from Hassanabdal to Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... took an hour, but now the time had increased to three hours. He complained that the federal government was delaying work on the project, which required roughly Rs8 billion.
The MPA said that the Asian Development Bank had agreed to finance the project if the federal government provided money for land acquisition. He said that millions of people of five districts of Hazara were suffering due to delay in work.
Speaker Kiramatullah Chagharmatti said that Mr Alamgir and senior NHA officials would brief the politicians from Hazara about the latest position of the project.
Replying to a call attention notice, the information minister said that the government would declare Tanawal area as new district of Hazara division after completion of the upcoming general census.
He said that the proposed district would not disturb people of Abbottabad and Haripur districts and no decision would be taken against the wishes of local population. He said that elders of Tanoli tribe had demanded of the chief minister to declare Tanawal as new district in July last. Earlier, the provincial government had declared Kala Dhaka area of Hazara as new district.
[Dawn] Minority religious communities in Pakistain are living in "fear and terror" of Islamic fundamentalists amid abductions and forced conversions that the government is helpless to stop, the World Council of Churches (WCC) said on Wednesday.
A statement from the WCC's ruling Central Committee declared that Pakistain's small Hindu and Christian communities were increasingly subject to "persecution and discrimination", with mounting Islamisation of a formerly more secular nation.
"Today a significant number of young women of religious minorities ... face violence, including sexual assault, rape, threats and persecution," said the WCC -- an influential global organization of all Christian faiths except Roman Catholics.
These women were "kidnapped, confined, converted to Islam and forced to marry Moslem men," while the authorities "seem to be powerless to stop the Islamist fundamentalist forces that are responsible...and are freely operating," the WCC said.
The minority communities, the Geneva-based group added, "are living in a state of fear and terror".
The statement said minority faith leaders had constantly tackled the Pak authorities over the situation but they had been ignored. "This lack of protection of religious minorities by the government of Pakistain is unacceptable."
There has been an international furore over the case of a young and reportedly mentally handicapped Christian girl jugged Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! after a Pak imam asserted that she had "blasphemed" by burning pages of the Koran, Islam's holy book.
The imam's action was followed by anti-Christian riots in the village where she lived, leading thousands of Christians to flee the area.
After outside protests over the case, including from some governments, the imam was placed in durance vile Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! at the weekend after an aide reportedly said he had planted scorched Koran pages on the girl to provide a pretext to drive out Christians.
But supporters of the imam say he is innocent and that Christians should be burned. The girl herself remains in what police say is protective custody.
The affair has focused attention on the controversial blasphemy law in Pakistain. The WCC will hold a meeting on the law in Geneva later this month to coincide with a session of the UN Human Rights Council.
[An Nahar] Christian students from Myanmar's Chin ethnic minority have been forced to convert to Buddhism, shave their heads and wear monastic robes, a rights group said Wednesday.
The Chin, a mainly Christian group in the poor and remote west of the predominantly Buddhist country, face harassment for the link between their faith and British colonial rule, according to the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO).
"President Thein Sein's government claims that religious freedom is protected by law but in reality Buddhism is treated as the de facto state religion", said Salai Ling, Program Director of the CHRO.
Rachel Fleming, another member of the group, said Christianity does not fit with an ultra-nationalistic view put forward by successive military regimes that "to be Burmese, you should be Buddhist".
Chin students are also frequently targeted for enrollment in schools run by Myanmar's military which convert them to Buddhism, she said, adding that Christian students are beaten for failing to recite Buddhist scriptures.
Poverty among the Chin, whose main source of income is farming, leaves the group vulnerable to recruitment to these schools as the military offers free food, education and government jobs once they graduate.