News You May Have Missed While Adultery Grabbed Headlines Mid-May

Posted on May 18, 2011

Special Envoy George Mitchell resigned, clearly angry at the lack of support his peace efforts received from the White House – and his resignation letter was about as curt and cold as any in recent memory. The announcement of his resignation followed reports that the president’s Thursday speech on the Middle East will, amazingly, say virtually nothing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A day after Mitchell’s resignation came news that the president had decided that he will speak at this month’s AIPAC conference, the traditional setting for pandering to the Israeli government and, more significantly, to Israel-centred political donors.

The most significant sign that the president has abandoned any pretence of being an “honest broker” in favour of gung-ho support for the status quo came in February, when Obama instructed UN ambassador Susan Rice to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion.

The resolution incorporated Obama’s own policy on settlements, so the decision to veto it – the US cast the only no vote – sent a clear signal that, at least until after November 2012, the Obama administration intends to avoid deviation from the AIPAC/Netanyahu blueprint.

“State multiculturalism” has failed and left young Muslims vulnerable to radicalisation, David Cameron, the British prime minister, has said, arguing for a more active policy to heal divisions and promote Western values.

Cameron, in a speech to a security conference in Munich on Saturday, said that Britain and other European nations needed to “wake up to what is happening in our countries” as well as tackling terrorism through military operations overseas.

“Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream,” Cameron said.

“We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong … all this leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless.

“We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.

“It is time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past.”

His comments echo those made by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, last year and reflect a push by many European governments to try to better integrate immigrants, given persistent domestic tensions between different cultures.

He does not want his full name used, and he asked me to protect his identity, so I’ll just call him ‘Elias’.

He lives in Rio Branco, the capital of Acre – the tiny Brazilian state that borders Bolivia and Peru in the Amazon region.

Elias once had a good job as a technician, a loving wife, and two kids aged three and seven. He almost lost it all when he got hooked on a new drug sweeping Brazil called Oxi – a deadly cocaine bi-product twice as powerful and addictive as crack.

Elias has been in drug rehabilitation three times in the past couple years.

Below is his first-hand testimony about his experience with Oxi and the great lengths he went to get his next hit.

BEIJING: China on Wednesday came strongly in support of an internationally isolated Pakistan, which has been in the line of fire of the US after the Osama bin Laden episode, sealing a slew of agreements with its “good friend” to firm up their strategic partnership.

“I want to stress that no matter how the international situation changes, China and Pakistan will always be good neighbours, good friends, good partners and good brothers,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao assured visiting Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Praising Islamabad’s fight against terrorism, China vowed to continue its “‘all-weather” friendship with its South Asian ally.

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