While you were eating

The world was still at work.

Resign yourself. The Pentagon’s top official overseeing Gitmo detainee policy resigned over “personal issues,” on the heels of White House counsel Gregory Craig’s resignation earlier this year. Craig was also in charge of detainee policy. Germany’s armed forces chief is also resigning, in the wake of media reports that the government may have concealed a deadly attack that killed numerous civilians in Afghanistan. The son of a southern Philippine province’s governor surrendered to authorities after his family was tagged as prime suspects in last Monday’s massacre of almost 60 unarmed civilians in the country, in which 100 pro-government militiamen herded a caravan of journalists, lawyers, and supporters of Buluan vice town mayor Esmail Magundadatu to a remote area in broad daylight before attacking them with M-16 rifles and machetes.

The White House, walking the talk, announced Obama will go to Copenhagen in the flesh, although the timing of his appearance is early and therefore inopportune, and therefore lackluster. And therefore in step with overrall conference expectations.

U.S. Commanders in Afghanistan will devote most of the fresh troops expected from the White House to securing the country’s troubled south, particularly the volatile Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. Unfortunately, the militants are therefore taking advantage of the lower security in the North.

Bad week for Barack. Public approval of Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan has plummeted, a USA TODAY/Gallup poll reported. Some say that’s because it took the administration so long to reach a decision. The whole recession thing that began before he took office didn’t help, and brethren Dems have started to balk at his legislative agenda, demanding greater efforts to create jobs. Some of the really liberal want him to replace his economic team, while moderates fear Obama’s bid to overhaul healthcare and stem global warming — his two top priorities — may mean more fiscal hard times, at least in the mid- short-term. Then Times pot-stirrer Maureen Dowd got all scathing and called him a “cold shower” compared to his predecessor Bill Clinton, who gave an aura of a “warm bath.” Thomas Friedman was off that day.

Bernanke tells Congress via a WaPo editorial to back off from legislation that would limit the Fed’s role in controlling the national economy, particularly its ability to regulate banks.

China said it will cut emissions by a drastic 40-45 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2020. The announcement came just a day before it was set to hold dialogue with India, South Africa and Brazil on preparations for Copenhagen, putting pressure on other developing nations to buck up.

A former leader of Marxist guerrillas who once sought power through kidnappings and bombings is now the president-elect of Uruguay. Cattle rancher Porfirio Lobo wins the Honduran presidency, defeating Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed by the military in June after the Supreme Court ruled his bid to change the constitution was illegal. The congress will vote Wednesday on whether to allow Zelaya to return to office and finish his term before Lobo takes over in January. Zelaya pledged to fight until “toppling the dictatorship.”

On Wednesday, Dubai’s investment arm Dubai World asked to delay payment on billions of dollars of its debt, causing an international freakout in the global markets. World leaders and major banks that could be vulnerable if the conglomerate defaulted on its loans then looked on the bright side: Dubai World held $59 billion of Dubai’s $80 billion in debt as of August, a hiccup compared to the $2.8 trillion in writedowns U.S. and European lenders made between 2007 and 2010.

U.N. nuclear watchdog IAEA voted Friday to rebuke Iran for building a uranium enrichment plant in secret. Tehran rejected the move as “intimidation” that would poison its negotiations with world powers, and then its parliament called to downgrade relations with the Group 5+1. Then, Iran announced it will build 10 new uranium enrichment plants. No secret.

Lebanon’s new cabinet agreed to recognize Hezbollah’s right to use weapons to counter any future aggression from Israel, despite disagreement by some members of the ruling majority weary of the Shiite resistance group.

A Russian train carrying 700 passengers derailed between Moscow and St. Petersburg, killing 26 and wounding over 100, as a homemade bomb planted on the tracks exploded. Terrorism is the consensus culprit.

Torrential downpours killed 77 people performing the Hajj pilgrimage to the Saudi city of Mecca.

Israel will likely free up to 980 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.

While Israel unveiled its plan on Wednesday to limit settlement construction and therefore persuade Palestinians to return to peace negotiations, settlers keep building no matter what the Israeli government says.

In Palestine, who’s job for peace? asks Arabic international paper Asharq Aswat‘s editor in chief.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the US President “is not doing anything at the present time” to revive the Israeli – Palestinian negotiations for peace, adding that Obama “called for us to resume the peace process…and I hope that he plays a larger role in the future.” Abbas also said that the Palestinians “are waiting for America to put pressure on Israel to respect international law and follow the roadmap for peace.”

The question that must be asked here is why is it up to Obama to do something for the peace process or for the benefit of the Palestinian people when the Palestinians are not doing anything for themselves?



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