07 July 2004

The real battleground


Secular politicians in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province are protesting at an extension of Sharia law they say will “Talebanise” society.

The Islamic alliance that runs the province is preparing the Hisbah bill, which would enshrine observance of strict Islamic codes in people’s lives.

Maybe it’s a long range plan to get reconstruction funds from the USA.

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Don't be bumping my satellites!

China aims to send a spacecraft to the Moon in three years’ time, the head of the country’s space agency, Sun Laiyan, has confirmed to the BBC.


Mr Sun made no secret of China’s ambition to become the next space superpower.

The Moon was a major target, he said, and the first mission should take place before Beijing hosts the Olympic Games in four years’ time.

“First, we’ll try to send an unmanned spacecraft there in 2007,” he explained.

Is this a new era for Chinese exploration or a repeat of the isolationism of the 1400s?

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African priorities


The NGOs were back for the UN African Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (this time in Cape Town). While participants talked about taking action against Israel, we wonder if this recent report in Ethiopia’s Addis Tribune about Israeli agricultural assistance will have any impact on the NGOs.

If only these people could get this worked up about the situation in Sudan or even Zimbabwe. But I suppose those Africans, unlike the Palestinians, have no inalienable rights to their homes, food and lives.

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Eyes bigger than your budget


Only $366 million has been spent of the $18.4 billion President Bush and Congress provided last fall for rebuilding Iraq, a White House report showed Friday.

That’s just pathetic. Either Bush asked for too much money or the CPA royally screwed up using it. Of course, as others have noted, no small part of this is because of the political climate in the USA where any “waste” is immediately publicized as impeachable incompetence or vile conspiracy. It’s another symptom of our ‘intellectual’ class to realize we’re at war and in war, speed matters much more than effeciency.

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