December 1st, 2006

Chris Keeley

The "linkage factor"

A message from Ray Close.

Subject:        The "linkage factor"
Date:   Thu, 30 Nov 2006 09:46:55 EST
From:  Ray Close

(1)  From an article in the 11/30/06 Washington Post about Condi Rice's
planned talks with Palestinian leaders today:

 The renewed emphasis on Middle East peace marks a shift for the Bush
administration. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, some
neoconservatives predicted that the fall of Saddam Hussein and the
establishment of an Iraqi democracy would help foster peace in the
Middle East, arguing that in effect the road to Jerusalem traveled
through Baghdad. Now, experts say, the administration is acknowledging
that the path toward stabilizing Baghdad leads through Jerusalem.
   A senior State Department official, briefing reporters Wednesday
night, said he felt uncomfortable with the nostrum that solving the
Israeli-Palestinian crisis could be achieved by toppling Hussein - and
with the idea that the plights of Iraq and the Palestinians were still
linked. “I don’t like the idea of lumping these things together,” he
said on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the State
   Still, the official acknowledged that there was a “core of moderate
Arab support” for action on the Israeli-Palestinian front and that the
administration was trying to exploit that.

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Chris Keeley

Misguided policies that create harsher sentences for nonviolent drug offenses are disproportionately

Misguided policies that create harsher sentences for nonviolent drug offenses are disproportionately responsible for the increasing rates of women in prisons and jails
U.S. Prison Population Sets Record

Associated Press
Friday, December 1, 2006; A03


A record 7 million people -- one in every 32 U.S. adults -- were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, a Justice Department report released yesterday shows.

Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, according to the report.

More than 4.1 million people were on probation and 784,208 were on parole at the end of 2005. Prison releases are increasing, but admissions are increasing more.

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Chris Keeley

Xeni Trek

Xeni dispatches from Guatemala

Chicken Bus of the Sky

A quick roundup of posts published to, while the electricity holds out. Howdy from what's probably the only internet connection in this part of the Petén jungle. I'm traveling in Guatemala for a month, working on a series of stories in various places here, and maintaining an online journal with quick notes (and video and photos) from the road.

Piñatas Encarcelados

* Chicken Bus of the Sky

* Volcán De Fuego

* Thousands of women protest wave of "femicides"

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Chris Keeley

Menja Rahamtanirima, 5, who said an uncle abused her, with her mother, Domoima, and brother in Antan

The number of abuse cases is rising in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone and other African countries, statistics show


Multimedia from

Africa's Children

Young Victims of Sexual Abuse Audio & Photos

Young Victims of Sexual Abuse

Sex Abuse of Girls Is Stubborn Scourge in Africa

SAMBAVA, Madagascar — Thirty miles outside this down-at-the-heels seaside town, Justin Betombo tends his vanilla plants and cheers the local soccer team as if he had not a care in the world. And in fact, what was once his greatest worry has been almost magically lifted from his shoulders.

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Chris Keeley

Joe Hagan on Henry Kissinger

This is a very long article, but worth reading if you have the patience.
Otherwise delete.

The Once and Future Kissinger
As another failed war threatens to tarnish his legacy, Henry Kissinger
attempts to clarify his record—by evading, skirting, stretching,
hedging, and stonewalling like the diplomatic master he is.

* By Joe Hagan

The elevator doors open onto Henry Kissinger's offices to reveal a
bulletproof bank teller's window. The carpets are worn, the walls in
need of fresh paint, the wing chairs stained by the hands of a
thousand waiting dignitaries. In a corner sits a large planter holding
the dried stumps of a long-dead bamboo tree. A Ronald Reagan
commemorative album and a picture book of Israel collect dust on a
shelf next to a replica of an ancient Greek bust with a missing nose.
Across from Kissinger's door his hundreds of contacts—presidents,
prime ministers, diplomats, and corporate titans—are catalogued in
eight flywheel Rolodexes on his secretary's desk.

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