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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Death of Innocence

News headlines are bells that ring out the death of innocence.

The violence in Gaza that has seen the deaths of Palestinian women and children from Israeli tank fire in the town of Beit Hanoun has left international aid agencies appalled.

Ordering a halt to all artillery attacks in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has expressed regret over the attack and offered help for the many wounded, yet children in the devastated town stunned by shelling are living through a terrifying siege that will have an enduring impact of continuing hatred towards Israel.

While "America's friend" is backtracking in the Middle East, America herself is backtracking on home soil.

With most of the results of the US mid-elections in, Democratics have won major positions causing a shift in power at Washington D.C., and causing America's rodeo king to admit that his Republican party had lessons to learn.

President George W Bush said that he and Donald Rumsfeld had agreed that a "fresh perspective" was needed in Iraq, as he announced the much demanded resignation of the Defence Secretary Rumsfeld.

"I have benefited greatly from criticism, and at no time have I suffered a lack thereof, " Mr Rumsfeld said, quoting World War II British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

However, Democrats had stood side by side with America's administration as it moved to occupy Iraq, and some wonder whether they will be able to do much better than their political counterparts.

Other governments around the world are suffering from the support for the Texan cowboy, and as Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi did, so too is Tony Blair continuing to feel the backlash in the United Kingdom.

With international condemnation over the death penalty metered out by the American influenced trial of Saddam Hussein, to a high ranking British diplomat calling policy in the region a "rank disaster", Blair has never had it so bad.

Even Irish rock band U2 opened their tour with a political message on Sunday, asking for the only Australian terror suspect at US detention camp Guantanamo Bay to be sent home.

Moving East, Turkish politics has never had it so bad, either. Turkey has been sent packing by the European Union, with low marks for effort and accused of a "slowing down" in progress. The European Commission has given Turkey until mid-December to open its ports to Cypriot ships, or face unspecified consequences, while criticising it over basic human freedoms and rights.

Correspondents say Turks are tiring of the constant pressure from Brussels on its military, the banning of Muslim dress, and the stifled debate on the Armenian massacres, becoming increasingly convinced that the EU does not see the country as a future member.

Some polls show support for EU membership plummeting as low as 30%.

And finally back in the safe haven of the EU, snippets of news from the UK make an interesting read. Complaints have been made about a fish and chips shop that smells of fish and chips, a council ends its free "park and pray", a Bank saves Christmas, a pet dog gives life to save a family and conservation experts say getting in touch with nature can help keep people fit.

<< Read more: War in Iraq | Turkey and the EU | The Cyprus issue | News >>

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