Friday, October 26, 2012
ReutersTexas' attorney general warned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday that international election monitors planning to observe balloting in the state were not above Texas law. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott's letter to Clinton was the latest move in his campaign to ensure that the Vienna-based human rights watchdog Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe did not mess with Texas. "It appears that OSCE is under the misimpression that the State Department can somehow help its representatives circumvent the Texas Election Code," Abbott wrote. "Texas law prohibits unauthorized persons from entering a polling place — or loitering within 100 feet of a polling place's entrance — on Election Day. OSCE monitors are expected to follow that law like everyone else." In a letter on Tuesday to the Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE's monitoring arm, Abbott had warned that failure to follow Texas law could subject OSCE representatives to criminal prosecution. Janez Lenarcic, director of the monitoring arm, told Clinton on Wednesday about its "grave concern" with Abbott's letter, saying the threat of criminal sanctions was unacceptable and unprecedented. The 56-member OSCE routinely sends monitors to elections. For the November 6 U.S. elections, it has a core team of 13 experts from 10 OSCE countries based in Washington and 44 long-term observers deployed across the country, it said. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland noted that the OSCE had sent observers to U.S. general elections since 2002. The OSCE has assured Clinton and Texas authorities that OSCE observers are committed to following all U.S. laws, Nuland said. "To my knowledge it's the only state that came forward and said, 'Please reassure us, that you're gonna follow our state electoral law.' And they have now been reassured," Nuland told a news briefing in reference to Texas. But in his letter to Clinton, Abbott took issue with Lenarcic's assertion to the secretary of state that Abbott's threat of criminal sanctions contradicted commitments made by the United States, including in the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen document. "The fact that representatives of the United States joined the U.S.S.R, Yugoslavia, Romania, and other OSCE member-nations in signing a document at a 1989 conference in Copenhagen has absolutely no bearing on the administration of elections or laws governing elections in the State of Texas," Abbott wrote. He added that the OSCE was not above the law. Abbott told Reuters on Wednesday he was considering legal action against OSCE if it did not concede that it would follow the state's laws
Associated PressPresident Barack Obama has been briefed on Hurricane Sandy and the White House is urging people in the storm's path to listen to local officials and monitor weather reports. The White House says the president was briefed on the storm late Wednesday and again Thursday morning. Spokesman Jay Carney says federal emergency management officials have been working with local officials to prepare. Carney says citizens living along the Eastern Seaboard should monitor weather reports and listen to local officials in the days ahead. Obama will continue to receive updates on the storm. The hurricane is currently a Category 2 storm, bringing heavy rain and wind to the Caribbean. It could affect a large swath of the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic early next week.
Sindh Information Minister Shajeel Memon has said that Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif will be provided B-Class if they came in Sindh's jail as prisoners. In a statement, the minister said that they (PPP) would also conduct anti-dengue spray in the jail's barrack for both the brothers. "We hope they will not cry this time to disturb the other prisoners." He alleged that Nawaz Sharif had disrespected the mandate of 180 million people to remain in the power by getting illegal money. Moreover, Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon has demanded of Election Commission of Pakistan to disqualify Nawaz Sharif for involvement in rigging the general elections held in 1990. In a statement, Sharjeel Memon said that the court ruling in Asghar Khan Case has proven that Nawaz Sharif insulted the mandate of the 180 million people because he had a greed for power. He stated that Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif are no more 'Sadiq' and 'Ameen', as they rigged the polls by receiving an amount and lost their integrity.
The father of a Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' education said on Friday his daughter was recovering fast in the British hospital where she is undergoing treatment. Malala Yousufzai
Pakistan TodayLeader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz on Thursday said that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, instead of removing rubbish from politics of country, should face accountability regarding Asghar Khan case verdict. In a statement, Riaz said that Supreme Court’s decision has exposed the fake mandate of Sharif brothers in 1990. He said that all awards including introducing corruption in politics, establishing “Lota factory”, horse trading and using public resources for personal and political gains, go to PML-N. The opposition leader in Punjab Assembly said that Sharif brothers depend on politics of “Changa Manga”, and had stolen public mandate by constituting IJI and now were ruling through horse trading. Raja Riaz urged the Sharif brothers to first appear before Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to provide details of money acquired from ISI in 1990 for hatching conspiracy against PPP to defeat it in general elections.
THE NEWSSindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Inam Memon has claimed that in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict in the Asghar Khan case, the defeat of the Nawaz League in the next general elections seems certain. In a statement issued here on Wednesday, he said that Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N had now been fully exposed before the masses. Memon was of the view that for the sake of power, Sharif had “humiliated the mandate of the people in the 1990 general elections”. He also appealed to the Election Commission to “disqualify Mian Nawaz Sharif”. The PPP minister said that Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif were no longer “Sadiq and Ameen”.
EDITORIAL:THE FRONTIER POSTDo our media too have to be a camp-follower of the political class, and not independent opinion leaders that they pretend to be? What indeed is the point in hosting talk shows so incessantly on the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Asghar Khan case and in featuring politicians as panelists, as are engaged various television networks so zestfully over these days. The political strands may have every vested interest to play up or play down the verdict in their own lights. They may have every motive to twist or slant it to serve their own political ends. But what interest could the networks have in bringing the shouting political panelists on the show again and again? The people at least are least interested in this circus when they know for sure what stance each and every political strand has taken on the verdict. They have heard and read it too often and can easily anticipate what a particular panelist was going to say even before he opens his lips. Or do the anchorpersons think that a PML (N) participant in their show by some quirk of miracle would confess that the Sharif Brothers had taken the money and then apologise? Or the PPP participant would concede that the facts were still to be established and full truth was still to be known? Why indeed are the networks so hell-bent on boring the viewers ad nauseam with the trite? Had their anchors been any imaginative they would have invited instead experts and legal minds to analyse the verdict objectively and dwell on its implications for the democracy project? That would have been both informative and educative. What they are putting out now is not even entertaining. Why really have the networks stooped so low? Why have they surrendered so grandly to be leaders and have submitted so slavishly to be mere hangers-on? These are virtually election times. The elections are almost on our head. And had the networks so desired, they could have guided and led the entire stump talk. The politicos across the spectrum remain enmeshed in politics even now. What have they in their plans for the people remains unknown. They do not speak of it. Had the networks been smart, they would have nudged them and diverted the entire political talk to this direction. Their anchors would have invited the partisans to their shows and asked them what have their parties chalked out for the people’s welfare and the country’s advancement. They could have quizzed them what are their plans for jobs creation and to address the galloping unemployment. What are their economic programmes, industrial policies and agricultural growth plans? What measures their parties contemplate for generating and augmenting revenues, what taxation formulas have they planned out and what segments would they focus on to create new taxpayers? What energy policy would they follow? Above all, what are their schemes for poverty alleviation? And what strategy would they adopt to face up to the menace of surging extremism and terrorism in the country? To put it in short, there are hundred and one such-like questions that the anchorpersons could have asked. The outcome would definitely have been a political discourse less about politics and more about nation-building. But playing vassals to the political class, the media networks have forfeited this lead role. Had indeed our media taken a leaf out of the book of their counterparts of the open polities, they would have been better off. There, the media networks are not mere cheerleaders. They are in effect real opinion leaders. It is the political class that takes a cue from them, not the vice versa. Here, the media have fallen to take a cue from the political class and play the ball it rolls out. And yet the self-assuming anchors and the commentariat lay the claim of being the pace-setters of the political discourse. They all need imperatively to revisit their act. Even now they can redirect the entire election discourse. Only they have to abandon what interests the political class and focus on what interests the mass of the people. But are we asking for too much? Perhaps.
The medical team caring for Malala Yousufzai at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham said today that she was still comfortable and continued to respond well to treatment.