BURMA CONVICTIONS RAISE CONCERNS — Burma’s ruling military junta has come in for another round of criticism and condemnation over the recent convictions of participants in 2007’s pro-democracy demonstrations. On Tuesday and Friday of last week, authorities convicted a total of 60 activists on various charges, including forming illegal organizations and illegal use of electronic media, sentencing some to as many as 65 years in prison. Human rights advocates and world leaders have expressed concern about the trials, which represent a spike in the Burmese regime’s ongoing crackdown on dissent. U.S State Department officials openly challenged Burmese authorities in public [...]
AMMAN, Jordan — The front page of Wednesday’s Jordan Times featured a photograph of a helmeted Israeli soldier pushing a grimacing young Palestinian’s face into the ground, with one fist pressing hard against the jaw of his youthful victim and the other one twisting the Palestinian’s arm behind his back. The previous Sunday’s paper had a picture of a bloodied little boy, with a caption explaining the child was a Palestinian “beaten up by Jewish settlers.” Every day, it seems, the paper brings another shocking image of Israeli brutality, with captions that describe a black-and-white scenario of utter evil against [...]
In late October, U.S.S. Kearsarge, a 40,000-ton amphibious assault ship, arrived off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago laden with hundreds of doctors, nurses and engineers, and tons of medical supplies. The tiny developing country was the fifth stop in Kearsarge’s four-month tour of Latin America, advancing a new Pentagon strategy for creating security through good deeds. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates calls it “soft power” — and it’s all the rage in a military exhausted by five years of hard combat. The Navy’s three-dozen amphibious ships, with their extensive medical facilities, along with its two specialized hospital ships, are [...]
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