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WORLD MEDIA WATCH

Summaries are excerpted from the source articles; the featured article follows the summary section. A recommended "site of the day" will also appear occasionally following the summaries.

1//The Scotsman, UK
NEW FACE OF CUBA'S CASTRO DYNASTY

She may be the troublemaking, free-spirited rebel of the family, but Mariela Castro is seen by some as the future of Cuban socialism. While her father, Raúl Castro, has become the de facto leader of the country, with her uncle, the ailing president, Fidel, too sick to wield power, people are already looking to the next generation. Fidel Castro is 80 and his brother Raúl five years younger, whereas Ms Castro, a leading academic and campaigner for gay and lesbian rights, is among a group of more youthful political leaders, including Carlos Lage, the prime minister, and Abel Prieto, the culture minister, who are all in their forties. Among the Castro faithful, it is hoped they may be able to reinvent and rejuvenate Cuban socialism to address the economic problems faced by the island. Ms Castro, 43, brings an air of youthful passion, an expectation of change and glasnost, to a country in the process of saying a long farewell to its ageing revolutionaries. ... Mariela Castro may prove to be a liberal influence on her father Raúl, Cuba's acting president. Opinion is divided over which direction Raúl will take Cuba once his brother Fidel dies. Some believe he will adopt a more pragmatic, "softer" approach, allowing more market freedom and hoping for a Chinese-style economic boom. But others point to a comment by Fidel in 1997 - when he said: "Behind me are others more radical than I" - as evidence he could be more revolutionary. ... However, he appears to plan a more collective style of leadership, bringing in other leading figures from the communist party. And he is said to respect his daughter's more liberal views. She is thought to have been a fan of Perestroika, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's attempt to turn the USSR's command economy into a decentralised market-oriented one in the 1980s.

BARBARA'S DAILY BUZZFLASH MINUTE

"James A. Baker III said for the first time yesterday that the Iraq Study Group remains committed to democracy in Iraq, as he and Co-Chairman Lee H. Hamilton offered conciliatory words to a Bush administration that has reacted coolly to the panel's key recommendations." What about a commitment to democracy right here in America??? For God's sake, why can't they just say it like it is? Poppy sent them in to save his boy once again! And once again, the arrogant little ass is determined to fail! The horror of it all is the very fact that America, and now the world, is caught up in the irrational competition of a son seeking to best his father. Given the less than capable abilities the son has to work with, he lost this psychological battle before it even began! In that ridiculous if not horrific process, we the American people have lost our sons and daughters in a preemptive unnecessary war, we've lost our rights as a country to claim good over evil, we've lost our freedoms and our democracy, and all because of some over-indulged, ne'er do well, spoiled brat, narcissistic bully who never became a man! Choosing to save the rear end of one immature son over saving the country and thus the world is neither noble nor is it patriotic, but it's damn sure business as usual for the Bushes!

VERSE-CASE SCENARIO

President Insists Iraq War Isn't Failing, Just "Not Succeeding Fast Enough"

by Tony Peyser

This weird and absurdly spun explanation
Is yet another bizarre attempt to mislead
Like Bush saying he was never a drunk;
His sobriety just needed to pick up speed.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Cindy Sheehan

On Friday, December 8th, after 4 and 1?2 long days, the jury in the trial of the "Pink 4," which includes me, Medea Benjamin, Gold Star Aunty Missy Beattie and Reverend Patty Ackerman, finally received our case for deliberation at about 2:30 PM. The judge summoned us back into the courtroom at 6:15 PM and we were excited for the verdict, only to learn that the jury had not yet reached their verdict and we would be staying in NYC until at least Monday when the jury would continue its deliberations on the 5 counts for each of us.

A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS

In the waning hours of his term as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld still doesn't get it. Disgraced in failure and fired by George W. Bush, Rumsfeld spoke about his experiences during a farewell talk today at the Pentagon. (seriously, how bad do you have to be for Bush to boot you for incompetence?)

BuzzFlash,

Have you seen this? This is what democracies should have if they are serious about election fraud. The US is supposed to be a leader in demonstrating to the world what a democracy is, but all we have managed to show the world these past six years is how easy it is for any nation to be taken over by a political coup with their own despot installed and all due to election fraud. The whole world would be laughing at us if these six years hadn't been so murderously bloody.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Dave Lindorff, co-author of "The Case for Impeachment"

How pathetic can it get?

140,000 American troops are stuck in the mess that a lying and endlessly deceitful president has made in Iraq, over half a million innocent Iraqis have been killed since the politically-motivated 2003 US invasion, a group of very Establishment, middle-of-the-road politicians of both parties has declared the war an unmitigated disaster and called for a pullout of troops, the president has nixed their call for withdrawal and regional negotiations, and what is Congress doing about it?

MS. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON

BuzzFlash,

This article from the SF Gate newsletter tells of an incident that is graphic in nature as to the psychotic paranoia many Americans suffer from today that affects innocent people in harmful ways. At the end of this article, it tells us that this woman had a medical condition and they refused her access back on the plane. She was not responsible for their acts of paranoia. This could probably have been averted by people simply asking questions instead of seems like an over reaction. Since the odor of matches was so strong, a person would think that it could have been detected as coming from the toilet on this plane ... nothing like some free advertising on security risks, huh?

Friday, 08 December 2006 07:07

BuzzFlash Mailbag for December 8, 2006

BUZZFLASH MAILBAG

Want to join the conversation? Share your thoughts with other Mailbag readers by clicking here.

Subject: A Simple Fact

Iraq isn't really a war zone ... it's a CRIME SCENE.

I hope that this little truth is also pointed out to the American people very soon, and I also hope that those responsible are held accountable.

Monica Schrack
Kankakee, IL

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by David Michael Green

So. The James (Baker) Gang have finally come down from the mountain to deliver to us their long-awaited recipe for salvation from the Mess in Mesopotamia.

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