Monday, 4 February 2008

Sunday, 3rd February, 2008


BONDO, Kenya
Odina later attendeda service at St. Michael's Cathedral. The Anglican congregation interrupted the bishop's sermon demanding to hear their local hero. Afterward, Odinga addressed the singing and chanting crowd outside the church, standing on a wooden dias next to his wife.

"This is not a tribal war. You should know that even Kikuyus and Kisii voted for me", he said to the 1,000 strong crowd in his native Luo language.

The police were searching Sunday for a man who herded five women into the back romm of a clothing store at a mall here, shot them and vanished after fleeing through the shop's front door.

The French military evacuated more than 500 foreigners from the capital Ndjamena, flying them to Libreville, Gabon...
Among the people evacuated were the U.S. and German ambassadors to Chad, who remained in a "secute camp" in Ndjamena as of Sunday evening, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said...
Tahir Elfaki, chairman of [the Darfur] rebel group's legislative council, said that Western powers should think carefully before then abandon Debry.
"The international community should not sit aside and watch what is happening in Chand," Elfaki said during an interview by telephone. "The consequences of the fall and demise of the legitimate government will lead eventually to the instability of the region, and will not stay in Chad alone. It will implicate Central African Republic, Cameroon, Niger, Sudan and southern Libya. It is extremely dangerous."

COMMENTARY (Roger Cohen)
Krupa, their teacher, said life was better since 1989, but still she was disappointed, because "what we were fighting for was not a united Germany, but to make socialism better, and so this is not what I wanted, although I have grown used to it."
A similar sentiment was memorably expressed by Joachim Gauck, a former protest leader in East Germany, when he declared: "We dreamed of paradise and woke up in North-Rhine Westphalia."

VIEWS (Susan Neiman)
By contrast, one of the most successful acts of resistance in the Third Reich is not well known. In 1943, when the Nazis were undecided about whether to deport and murder Jewish spouses of non-Jews, they tested the waters by rounding up nearly 2,000 Jewish men whose non-Jewish wives had already withstood considerable government pressure to divorce them. These wives spontaneously gathered in front of the building in the Rosenstrasse where their husbands were being held. For one long week they refused to leave the little square in central Berlin, despite the Gestapo machine guns trained upon them.
It's often said that nonviolent resistance worked for Gandhi and Martin Luther King because their oppressors were civilized, while totalitarian regimes would simply have shot them. This not only underestimates the evils of racism, but also our possibilities of combating them.
For in Berlin's Rosenstrasse, the police backed down. The men were released. They and their families survived. And in a country that devotes so much time and energy to commemorating the victims, these brave women remain anonymous; all that really marks their story is a small clay-colored memorial in a park that few Berliners know. Seeing it moves many to tears. But what's tragic are not these heroes, but the fact that there were not more. Others were deterred less by the Nazi terror than by a much older message: heroic action is futile, and mostly ends in death.

VIEWS (Ian Kershaw)
Mercifully, what happened in Germany in 1933, and its aftermath, will remain a uniquely terrible episode in history. What took place then reminds us even so of the illusory assumption that democracy will always be a favored choice of a population torn apart by war, facing enormous privations and burning with resentment at national humiliation through perceived foreign interference. It also reminds us of the need for international cooperation to restrain potential "mad dogs" in world politics before they are dangerous enough to bite.

"Essentially every other industrial lab I know is shrinking, with the exception of Google," Chayes [doctorate in mathematical physics, leader of Microsoft's 6th research lab] said. She said that since she joined the company in 1997 , Microsoft Research had grown eightfold to 899 researchers who hold doctorates.

Of the elite European rugby nations, only two could look back at the World Cup with anything resembling satisfaction. That autumn afterglow did not survive the opening weekend of the 2008 Six Nations.
Scotland, the one Celtic nation to survive the first round of the World Cup, lost, 27-6, at home to France on Sunday. England, the losing World Cup finalist, conceded 20 points in just over 10 minutes to lose, 26-19, to Wales on Saturday. In the opening game of the tournament, Ireland also wobbled in the second half but hung on to beat Italy, 16-11, in Dublin.
Scotland entered the World Cup with modest goals and achieved them with glum determination. That limited success still allowed the Scots to enter this tournament with soaring hopes.
They faced a French team under new management and with a host of new players after the humiliation - these things are all relative - of losing in the semifinal to England.
Against an inexperienced and lightweight French pack, the Scottish forwards had no problem gaining possession and momentum. But the Scots still lack a cutting edge in attack, while all too often resembling a lump of butter on a toasted bannock cake in defense.

"This is the very nature of the Valley," said Jim Breyerof the venture capital firm Accel Partners. "After very strong growth, businesses by definition start to slow as competition increases and young creative start-ups begin to attack the incumbents."
The economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter had a name for this principle of capitalism: creative destruction. Perhaps nowhere does it play out more dramatically - and more rapidly - than in Silicon Valley, where innovation unleashes a force that creates and destroys, over and over.

In a blog posting last week titled "Downturn, Now What?," Will Price, a partner at the San Francisco venture capital firm Hummer Winblad, said the recession could punish technology investors for succumbing yet again to investment fads and high valuations for companies without proven business models.
He calls these companies "Field of Dreams" start-ups, because their entrepreneurs believed that if they built popular online services, advertisers would inevitably come. Now that might not necessarily be the case...

"Consumer eyeballs are flooding from traditional media to the Internet," said Seth Sternberg, chief executive of the online chat company Meebo. "Recession or not, big companies have to figure out how to do really great brand advertising on the Web to keep their brands in front of users."
For that reason, many Internet executives say that traditional media companies — not Web properties — are likely to be the first victims of any advertising pullback. "If our advertisers cut their marketing budget by 15 or 20 percent, that will hurt," said John Battelle, who ran the Industry Standard magazine during the first dot-com boom and now runs the online ad network Federated Media (The New York Times Company has invested in Federated). "But my guess is that they will cut it first in print or TV and not online."
Still, the dot-com bust — and its destructive reverberations — continues to cast a shadow over even the most optimistic Internet evangelist. In 2000, as the stock market cratered and fear spread, venture capitalists pulled the plug on hundreds of start-ups and wrote off millions of dollars in losses.

The FBI said last week that it had opened criminal investigations into 14 companies that played a part in the mortgage boom and bust.

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