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World Media Watch October 6, 2006 Edition
Full articles at the homepage or Buzzflash.com
WORLD MEDIA WATCH FOR OCTOBER 9, 2006
1//Asia Times Online, Hong Kong--BLOODY FIGHT OVER KIRKUK’S FUTURE (The security situation in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk has further deteriorated over the past few weeks after the Iraqi government formed a committee assigned to "normalize the situation". The creation of that committee under a constitutional provision has led to a rise in ethnic tensions among Kirkuk's Kurdish, Arab and Turkoman populations. Violence has risen with the tensions.
September was one of the bloodiest months for Kirkuk, with an unprecedented number of attacks. For many, the message behind the attacks is to stop implementation of Article 140 of Iraq's constitution, and to inflame sectarian strife in the city. Article 140 sketches a three-step plan to remove traces of the Arabization policy of the regime of former president Saddam Hussein. The constitution now provides for a census followed by a referendum on the fate of the city, after normalizing the situation. The issue is whether Kirkuk should be added to the autonomous Kurdish-run region of northern Iraq. … . Amid all these tensions, residents resent remarks that Kirkuk may become the "flashpoint" for an all-out civil war in the country. But not many are sure how the microcosm can withstand the larger divisions within Iraq.)
2//The News International, Pakistan--SOMALI ISLAMISTS WARN OF REGIONAL WAR (Somalia's powerful Islamist movement warned that a regional Horn of Africa war could erupt unless the world presses Ethiopia to withdraw troops it has reportedly deployed in Somali territory. The Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia
3//MercoPress News Agency, Uruguay--VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION DARES AND “AVALANCHES” CARACAS (An estimated 200.000 people turned out to the streets of Caracas on Saturday in support of Manuel Rosales, Venezuela’s main opposition leader for the coming December presidential elections and who intends to defeat President Hugo Chavez re-election bid. Under slogans the “Great Caracas avalanche” and “Dare” thousands of Venezuelans convened to the centre of the capital in a massive demonstration of support for Rosales who claimed Venezuela was currently ruled by “Cuban authoritarianism”, which if elected he promised to put an end. … . Rosales reiterated his promise that if elected a fifth of oil windfall profits would be distributed among lower middle class and popular sectors at an average 280 to 465 US dollars per family. He also challenged official oil production figures which allege Venezuela is pumping 3.4 million bpd, “at the most it’s 1.1 million bpd and a big portion is been handed out to other countries”. … . Although the release of public opinion surveys are strictly monitored by the Chavez regime, one of the few to become public showed that support for Chavez between June and September dropped from 55 to 48% and Rosales’ soared from 7 to 30%.)
4//The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia--LABOR VOTE CREEPING UP ON HOWARD (The federal Labor Party has a strong election-winning lead over the Coalition according to the latest Herald/ACNielsen poll, which also shows almost six in 10 voters want Australian troops withdrawn from Iraq. Labor has an eight-point lead over the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis and, for the first time in almost a year, has a stronger primary vote, leading by three points.
The poll of 1400 people was conducted from Thursday to Saturday last week and comes after a month in which Iraq and the battle over values have been dominant topics. Iraq shot to the fore after a US security assessment which showed the war had increased the problem of terrorism.
The poll shows that recent increased calls by the Prime Minister, John Howard, for Australians to stay in Iraq and defeat the terrorists had little effect on voters. … . The poll result will be welcomed by Labor, especially as it also shows it to be leading the Coalition for the seventh successive month.)
5//The Independent, UK--HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED: BRITONS WANT TO BE FRENCH (A famous wit once observed there were two reasons for the British to dislike the French. Firstly, they are too logical and secondly they own France - "a country which we have always judged to be much too good for them". How times have changed. Now it seems that Britain's middle-class love affair with all things Gallic has reached the point where a fifth of Britons now actually want to be French. A study of attitudes towards our closest neighbour has found that Britons would prefer to work in France or retire to France above any other country, including their own. The ICM survey found that if given a choice of nationality, just over half of Britons under 50 would retain their British passport. But 22 per cent would rather ditch their British status altogether and opt to become French.)
Copyright 2006, Gloria R. Lalumia
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