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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Controversial Harvests

With Baghdad under strict curfew, Iraq continues to dominate most headlines.

BBC reporter Gavin Esler throws out interesting numerical facts: the United States has now been at war in Iraq longer than it was at war against Hitler during World War II and that Saddam Hussein has been an American enemy for more than 16 years, far longer than Hitler.

Now widely seen as a referendum on the situation in the war-torn country, Americans wait to vote in mid-term elections as the race runs down to its final moments.

News reports suggest that whatever the result a season of bitter verdicts is upon US, while due to failures in foreign policy American citizens seem to be looking at new kids on the political block to help them forget the house that Bush built.

Matters are not helped by accusations that the court that tried Hussein "was a completely illegitimate creation" or revelations that a former US evangelical leader with close ties to the White House has confessed to his followers that he was guilty of "sexual immorality" after a male prostitute revealed that he had been paid for sex by the religious leader.

"I am a deceiver and a liar," Ted Haggard said in a letter, who had often advised Bush on policies such as same-sex marriage. Republicans are very dependant on the white, evangelical vote.

Meanwhile, reports expose the predicament of young carers as young as 5 who often struggle without the help they urgently need and BBC investigates children's rights in justice systems around the world.

Delinquency of a different nature marked the papers when a pupil in England filmed his sex sessions with a teacher, while a joke gone sour has led to a Conservative parliamentary hopeful's suspension from her party over the forwarding of a racist e-mail.

Some tech-savvy news is making interesting reading with the birth of a quieter, greener plane for our polluted skies and worries over whether the US can trust its voting machines, while innovations in safe sex has created the pronto condom, which promoters say can be put on in just one second.

Italian artwork is causing an uproar as a toilet which flushes to the sound of Italy's national anthem has been impounded by police in northern Italy, and opposition makes itself heard in the UK against a plan to create human-cow embryos. Plus, being a cow to fashion also carries its dangers, while dressing in second-hand clothes is becoming fashionable.

And finally, a woman bishop takes over a high Church office, proving a controversial choice as most other Anglican Churches around the world do not allow women to be bishops.

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