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The Daily Journal
Candide’s Latest: November 27, 2006

Nukes Ascending

From The Economist: In many parts of the world the mood is shifting in favour of nuclear energy—often because other responses to climate change seem harder. That in turn is creating new worries over the diversion of nuclear fuel to make bombs and making the distant dream of nuclear fusion even more attractive. Among rich countries Australia stands out as a place whose geography and geology pull its energy planners in different directions. It has 38% of the world's low-cost uranium reserves, but has never made its own nuclear power. Cheap coal fuels 80% of its electricity, gas the rest. […] Elsewhere in the world so many nations are either building new plants, or thinking about it, that energy analysts are speaking of a nuclear renaissance. New reactors are being built in 13 countries. Governments in others, like Britain and America, want to make it easier to start new plants. Several European states are slowing down plans to phase out nuclear power. Asian ones, whose nuclear appetite never faded, plan ever more reactors. In most places the nuclear debate hinges on safety, cost, the environment and security of supply. Atomic energy lost favour after a near disaster at Three Mile Island in America in 1979 and a real one at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union in 1986. But engineering firms say their latest designs are safer. […]A consensus is emerging about where to put nuclear waste: most countries want to bury it underground, though only Finland and America have chosen sites. See the full article…

Bush, Syria and Lebanon
The Wall Street Journal Misses War

From a WSJ editorial: “The mistakes include a decision not to respond to Hariri's murder by seeking regime change in Syria, as none other than the French were urging at the time. Mr. Assad has repaid this restraint by maneuvering for nearly two years to overturn the results of the Cedar Revolution, and somehow his opponents in Lebanon keep being murdered. Nor were matters helped by the U.N. ceasefire resolution arranged by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that ended the war Hezbollah started against Israel last summer. The war was incompetently prosecuted by the Israelis, but a few more weeks of fighting might have destroyed the Shiite group as a military organization and thus spared Lebanon its current predicament. Instead, Ms. Rice intervened with a resolution that allowed Hezbollah to emerge claiming victory while offering no real guarantees that it will ever be disarmed.” The full editorial…


Franchement, ne trouvez-vous pas disproportionné tout ce tintamarre à propos du Liban ? Voici un pays minuscule, qui n’a aucune ambition nucléaire et même pas un litre de pétrole. Rien ne le contraignait à être la première démocratie du monde arabe. Rien ne l’obligeait à accueillir les réfugiés palestiniens que ses voisins rejetaient. De quel droit refuserait-il qu’Israël, l’Iran et quelques autres l’adoptent comme champ de bataille ? Et pourquoi tant d’ingratitude à l’égard de son grand frère syrien, qui voulait seulement l’occuper, pour le protéger contre lui-même, et mettre la main sur son économie? Que des chrétiens et des musulmans de dix-sept communautés différentes aient su y partager le pouvoir pendant des décennies ne nous intéresse pas. D’ailleurs, les chrétiens finiront par quitter cette région à laquelle ils n’appartiennent que depuis vingt siècles. ccessoirement, que nous importe si beaucoup de Libanais chérissent la langue et la culture françaises ? N’est-ce pas un peu ringard à l’heure de la mondialisation ? Oui, vraiment, il serait temps de mettre une croix sur le Liban.

Holy Land in Pieces
Olmert’s Old Saw or Oliver Branch?

From the Jerusalem Post: “Prime Minister Ehud Olmert laid out a far-reaching vision of peace on Thursday, reaffirming that Israel would be willing to withdraw from a great deal of territory in return for a true peace. "I am extending my hand in peace to our Palestinian neighbors in the hope that it will not be returned empty," Olmert said in a major policy address at the grave of David Ben-Gurion in Sde Boker, during a ceremony commemorating the death of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion. "We, the state of Israel, will agree to withdraw from a large amount of territory, and from the settlements that we established there -something that is very difficult for us, [equivalent to] a parting of the Red Sea - but we will do that in exchange for real peace," he said, directly addressing the Palestinians. "You must end the violence and terrorism, and the desire to harm Israeli citizens in the south, north and center, recognize our right to live in peace alongside you, and give up your demand for the right of refugee return'," he said. The full article…

Baghdad Descends into Civil War

From McClatchy newspapers: “Sectarian violence has turned Baghdad into a deadly jigsaw puzzle of contested neighborhoods where armed bands of Shiite and Sunni Muslims battle daily for control in fighting that is far more similar to an organized military campaign than is generally acknowledged. […] Sunni forces - neighborhood youths, former Baath Party members, Islamist extremists - are conducting their own purges to expand their grip on the west and defend their brethren across the river. Residents trapped in the capital's most fiercely contested districts braced Sunday for a new wave of bloodshed when a 24-hour curfew ends Monday. Reached by telephone, they all offered the same grim assessment: Civil war has begun. That assessment seemed bolstered by a three-pronged assault by the Mahdi Army late Sunday into the Jihad neighborhood, a western Baghdad district once the domain of athletes, diplomats and other middle-class Iraqis of both sects who relied on their lower-income neighbors, mostly Shiites, for vital supplies such as cooking gas and heating fuel.” The full story…

Tumescent Police State
Zoning Out Sex Predators

From The Times: “More than 20 states have broad laws keeping sex offenders from schools, churches, playgrounds and the like. This month 70 percent of California voters approved expanding statewide restrictions to include more sex offenders, and authorized towns to designate even stricter limits. On Long Island, the East Rockaway Village Board voted on Nov. 13 to add areas in which sex offenders are barred: Now they cannot live within 1,000 feet of day care centers, community centers, places of worship, libraries and recreational facilities. And the Village of Babylon announced Tuesday that it had evicted seven offenders who were violating its residency restrictions. The steady march of more and more restrictive regulations, though, is sending sex offenders into rural territory, which in New Jersey and on Long Island is scarce — or worse, into vagrancy, law enforcement officials say. Now these officials fear that uprooting sex offenders makes them less stable and harder to track.” The full article…


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