Document 198309

The Daily Commercial
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Leaders divided on how to Taliban
lift nations from recession threatens
Associated Press
In this image from TV, former Khmer Rouge prison commander
Kaing Guek Eav, also known as “Duch” reads a statement during
a trial in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Tuesday.
Khmer Rouge
prison chief pleads
for forgiveness
Associated Press
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The man accused of being
the Khmer Rouge’s chief torturer put down his prepared
speech, removed his eyeglasses and gazed at the courtroom audience as he pleaded for forgiveness from the
country he helped terrorize three decades ago.
“At the beginning I only prayed to ask for forgiveness
from my parents, but later I prayed to ask forgiveness from
the whole nation,” Kaing Guek Eav (pronounced “Gang
Geck Ee-uu”) — better known as Duch (“Doik”) —
recounted on the second day of his trial before Cambodia’s
genocide tribunal.
The hundreds of spectators seated on the other side of a
glass wall in the courtroom — including relatives of the
regime’s victims — listened intently to the gripping testimony.
The tribunal’s proceedings are the first serious attempt to
fix responsibility for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million
Cambodians from starvation, medical neglect, slave-like
working conditions and execution under the 1975-79 rule
of the Khmer Rouge, whose top leader, Pol Pot, died in
Duch, 66, is charged with war crimes and crimes against
humanity as well as murder and torture and could face a
maximum penalty of life in prison. Cambodia has no
death penalty.
He commanded the group’s main S-21 prison, also
known as Tuol Sleng, where as many as 16,000 men
women and children are believed to have been brutalized
before being sent to their deaths.
The indictment read out in court Monday contained
wrenching descriptions of the torture and executions he
allegedly supervised.
Duch betrayed no emotion as he listened to allegations
that his prisoners were beaten, electrocuted, smothered
with plastic bags or had water poured into their noses, and
that children were taken from parents and dropped to
their deaths or that some prisoners were bled to death.
LONDON — Desperate but
divided on ways to lift their
nations from economic misery, world leaders converged
for an emergency summit
Tuesday holding scant hopes
of finding a magic-bullet
solution for the crisis that
brought them hurrying to
Even as President Barack
Obama and the others were
arriving, the U.S. acknowledged its allies would not go
along with a massive burst of
stimulus spending, while
Europe was forced to
backpedal from hopes for
tighter financial regulation.
Instead, leaders are trumpeting the limited common
ground they could reach,
including more money for
the International Monetary
Fund and closer scrutiny of
hedge funds and tax havens.
As for the broader issues,
they’re hoping for the best —
or at least that they will do
no harm.
With turbulent world markets watching closely, the
stakes are high, especially for
America’s new president,
stepping onto the world
stage for the first time to deal
with the economic crisis and
to meet face-to-face with
many other leaders.
One global change is being
acknowledged: The forum for
grappling with world economic problems has grown
beyond the established eight
post-war economies that
dominated previous economic summits — the U.S.,
Britain, Germany France,
Japan, Canada, Italy and
Russia. Now, 20 nations are
coming together in London,
with fast-growing developing
economies such as China,
India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia
— important players in any
effort to coordinate economic policy — sitting as full
negotiating partners.
“For the first time, there’s a
emerging markets and developing countries have a critical role at the table,” said
Mike Froman, a White House
But will that mean action
to stop a global downward
Froman acknowledged that
there have been few examples of international gains in
times of crisis. “The depression was made ’great’ by the
lack of cooperation,” he said,
noting that nations like to
keep control over their own
Associated Press
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave as they
stand outside Air Force One at London’s Stansted International
Airport, on Tuesday.
fiscal and monetary policies.
And global leaders were
quarreling up to the last
minute before the summit.
Adding to the pressure,
French President Nicolas
Sarkozy said Tuesday the
leaders cannot afford to let
the week pass without making substantial progress in
fixing the world’s economy.
“We have to obtain results,
there is no choice, the crisis
is too serious to allow us to
have a summit for nothing,”
he said.
European countries are
pushing for a tougher regulatory system for global
finance, while the U.S. is
emphasizing more spending
— an idea that holds little
interest for Europeans wary
about debt.
Obama planned a round of
meetings with leaders on
Wednesday, including Queen
Elizabeth II, summit host
Gordon Brown and the presidents of Russia and China.
The world economy is in far
worse shape than when the
group of rich and developing
countries last met in
November and set lofty goals
for international cooperation.
Trade is deteriorating, protectionism is on the march
and joblessness is rising.
Street demonstrations have
increased, and widespread
protests are expected in
London this week.
Brown, the host, had initially trumpeted the gathering as “a new Bretton Woods
— a new financial architecture for the years ahead.” But
the meeting was shaping up
as bearing little similarity to
the 1944 conference in New
Hampshire where the winners of World War II gathered
to set postwar global monetary and financial order.
Seniors Clip Here
Brown’s spokesman said
the prime minister had spoken briefly by telephone on
Tuesday with Obama, who
was on Air Force One.
“It’s an opportunity for
both of them to take stock of
where we were,” Brown’s
spokesman Michael Ellam
World Bank President
Robert Zoellick called for the
G20 to back a $50 billion liquidity fund to keep global
trade moving. In rich countries, he said, “people talk of
bonuses or no bonuses. In
parts of Africa, South Asia
and Latin America, the struggle is for food or no food.”
London does not have a
good history for successful
economic summits. One held
in London in 1933, attended
by more than 1,000 world
leaders and financial officials
— although not President
Franklin D. Roosevelt — met
for six weeks and then gave
Still, most leaders were
upbeat Tuesday as they headed to London.
“It is important and necessary for the summit to take
credible decisions which will
help to halt and reverse the
current slowdown and to
instill a sense of confidence
in the global economy,” said
Manmohan Singh.
Summit partners will meet
for dinner on Wednesday
evening, then hold a business meeting on Thursday.
A draft of the communique
circulating ahead of the
meeting suggested that global leaders will embrace stimulus spending totaling about
$2 trillion. But that includes
a number of measures
already announced.
Leaders of European countries, led by Germany’s
Angela Merkel, continued to
resist calls for more stimulus
and for printing money as
the U.S. Federal Reserve and
the Bank of England have
done to try to jump-start a
Pakistan — The commander of the Pakistani
Taliban claimed responsibility Tuesday for a deadly
assault on a Pakistani
police academy and said
the group was planning a
terrorist attack on the
White House that would
“amaze” the world.
Baitullah Mehsud, who
has a $5 million bounty
on his head from the U.S.,
said Monday’s attack on
the outskirts of the eastern
city of Lahore was retaliation for U.S. missile strikes
against militants along the
Afghan border.
“Soon we will launch an
attack in Washington that
will amaze everyone in
the world,” Mehsud told
The Associated Press by
phone. He provided no
Mehsud has never been
directly linked to any
attacks outside Pakistan,
but attacks blamed on his
network of fighters have
widened in scope and
ambition in recent years.
The threat comes days
after President Barack
Obama warned that alQaida is actively planning
attacks on the United
States from secret havens
in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s former government and the CIA
named Mehsud as the
prime suspect behind the
December 2007 killing of
former Prime Minister
Benazir Bhutto. Pakistani
officials accuse him of
harboring foreign fighters,
including Central Asians
linked to al-Qaida, and of
training suicide bombers.
In his latest comments,
Mehsud identified the
White House as one of the
targets in an interview
with local Dewa Radio, a
copy of which was
obtained by the AP.
In Washington, State
Department spokesman
Gordon Duguid said he had
not seen any reports of
Mehsud’s comments but
that he would “take the
threat under consideration.”
Mehsud also claimed
responsibility for a suicide
car bombing that killed
four soldiers Monday in
Bannu district and a suicide attack targeting a
police station in
Islamabad last week that
killed one officer.
Such attacks pose a
major test for the weak,
year-old civilian administration of Pakistan.
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