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Moment by Moment, Today’s Globe into Tomorrow's History

The three once-counter-superpowers during the Cold War are now busy respectively with state (or interstate) affairs at their own choice -

        Russia has suddenly become much richer, owing to creeping high oil prices, and with new dual leadership, pledging to bolster the country's economy and order;
        U.S. is fighting the Iraq War, at the cost of $5 trillion, which increases each day;
        China, with rapid economic growth, is engaged in the Olympic Games.

A simple question: who is smart, smarter in terms of managing state or interstate affairs as a nation, again, with their power and at their own choice? And who will be stronger, more powerful in the eyes of Tomorrow’s history?

Soft-spoken former lawyer is Russia's new president, teams up with Putin as PM, different in style

"MOSCOW (Reuters) - A diminutive, soft-spoken former corporate lawyer, Russia's new president Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is an unlikely figure to lead the biggest country on earth.

The first Russian leader in generations to have worked in the private sector, Medvedev, 42, was to be sworn in as president on Wednesday in a lavish televised ceremony in the Kremlin.

He secured the post after the popular outgoing leader Vladimir Putin endorsed him as his preferred successor, ensuring an overwhelming victory at the polls in March.

Medvedev has repeatedly cast himself as a continuity candidate who will follow the course set by Putin -- a popular line in Russia, where most of the population has benefited from rapid economic growth and rising incomes under Putin.

Further underlining continuity, Putin will stay on as Medvedev's prime minister and as leader of the United Russia party, which holds a big majority in the lower house of parliament.

But the two men differ radically in background, upbringing and style.

Putin was proud of his past as a KGB agent in former East Germany and loved posing for pictures flying fighter jets or standing aboard nuclear submarines. Medvedev has no known link to the secret services and has never served in the army.

A bookish child born to two university professors, Medvedev grew up in a modest, middle-class household. His speeches reflect his educated, lawyerly background and are laced with long, complex sub-clauses."

Photos courtesy of AP

President Dmitry Medvedev with predecessor Vladimir Putin during inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin  read more »

25,000 Dockworkers in 29 Ports on Strike - "End Iraq War", Bring Peace and Prosperity Back to US

"SEATTLE — West Coast ports were shut down on Thursday as thousands of longshoremen failed to report for work, part of what their union leaders said was a one-day, one-shift protest against the war in Iraq.

Cranes and forklifts stood still from Seattle to San Diego, and ships were stalled at sea as workers held rallies up and down the coast to blame the war for distracting public attention and money from domestic needs like health care and education.

“We’re loyal to America, and we won’t stand by while our country, our troops and our economy are being destroyed by a war that’s bankrupting us to the tune of $3 trillion,” the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Bob McEllrath, said in a written statement. “It’s time to stand up, and we’re doing our part today.”

About 25,000 union members are employed at 29 West Coast ports, but the protest took place only during the day shift. A spokesman for the main West Coast employers’ group, the Pacific Maritime Association, said it appeared that about 6,000 workers did not show up for work, which meant that about 10,000 containers would not be loaded or unloaded from about 30 cargo ships."

Image courtesy of The New York Times

Dock workers and others protesting the war rallied on May Day

Original Source

French President Sent Emotional Letter to Disabled Torch Carrier Attacked during Paris Relay

(quote)

PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent an emotional letter to a disabled Chinese woman who was attacked while carrying the Olympic torch in Paris, his office said Monday.

The letter to "Mademoiselle Jin Jing" hailed her courage and criticized the "inadmissible" attack on her by a pro-Tibet protester during the flame relay earlier this month.

"I want to tell you all my emotion over the way you were jostled in Paris on April 7 when you were carrying the Olympic flame," Sarkozy wrote in the letter, which was dated Saturday. The president of the French Senate gave the letter to Jin on Monday in Shanghai.

Sarkozy noted the "bitterness" in China over the attack, and insisted that several incidents by protesters during the Paris stopover "do not reflect the feelings of my countrymen toward the Chinese people."

Outrage over what is portrayed as foreign interference in Tibet fanned protests across China over the weekend - some directed at French supermarket chain Carrefour.

Sarkozy also is dispatching his top diplomatic envoy to Beijing this week, seen by some as a bid to limit the damage to France's reputation - and businesses - in China.

"I have the impression that the president and the government are trying to cling to the branches after the calamitous episode when the flame came through Paris," said opposition party legislator Andre Gerin.

"It's a way of restoring France's image when it comes to the respect that we owe China," added Gerin, who is also vice-president of the "Friendship China" group at the National Assembly.

Christian Poncelet, president of the French Senate, gave the letter to the Chinese torchbearer Monday as he arrived for a weeklong visit to China, the first of a string of high-level French visits to the country.

In the letter, Sarkozy said he would like Jin to return to Paris as his "personal guest" in the coming weeks "to try to erase this painful moment."

(unquote)

Related Article:
(quote)

"I think this is damaging to the Olympic movement. I think it is very sad. I get angry," said IOC vice-president Gunilla Lindberg. "Using the torch this way is almost a crime."

"I will be telling people that for every protester, there are a million Americans who support the Games and want them to be a success," DeFrantz said.

"This is a day about sports and about peace. Why are they making this about politics?" said a 25-year-old economics student who lives in Paris.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of ChinaRen.com

Paris Police at Olympic Torch Relay

Olympic Torch Carrier in Wheelchair Attacked during Paris Relay

Original Source

DVD Movie Review: The Hunting Party - "Only the most ridiculous parts are true"

"The Hunting Party" is written and directed by Richard Shepard, based on a true story as originally told in an Esquire article, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” by Scott Anderson, starring Richard Gere (Simon Hunt), Terrence Howard (Duck), and Jesse Eisenberg (Benjamin) as the protagonists. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Weinstein Company. Running time: 103 minutes -

"In theory, the official hunt for the war criminals in Bosnia continues to this day... However, the two most wanted men, Radovan Karadzic and Rtoco Mladic – continue to elude the U.S., the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, The Hague and all in the civilized world who claiming to be looking for them.

In the ten years that Radovan Karadzic has been on the run, he has published two books and one play. Perhaps if the International Community opened a summerstock theater... but they are probably too busy "searching" for Osama Bin Laden.

You should also know that the United States took out several full page Wanted ads in the local Bosnian papers to show the world it was serious about catching these war criminals ... of course, they listed an 800 number that could be only used in America."

"Only the most ridiculous parts are true" (screenshots) -

As I said, we are not authorized to arrest war criminals

You are the international police, right?

Yes. Under the flag of the United Nations.

I thought the UN was looking for war criminals

We are. Aggressively.

There’s a $5 million reward, you know?

But you said you don’t have an indictment list

We don’t

You are journalists on a story

I’m sorry. Are you still insinuating we are a CIA hit squad or something?

I’m sorry. Are you still insinuating you’re journalists?

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