September 15, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Obstacles may delay drones access to U.S. skies (UT San Diego)
- State court ruling deals blow to U.S. mortgage system (Reuters)
- FBI warns of U.S. violence over anti-Islamic movie (ABC)
- Republicans split on Mitt Romney remarks (Politico)
- Debunking Romney’s attack on Americans who don’t pay income taxes (L.A. Times)
- New Romney ad rips Obama on coal energy (The Hill)
- Libyans see Al Qaeda hand in U.S. embassy attack (Wall Street Journal)
- Anti-American fury sweeps Middle East over film (Reuters)
- Protests sweep Islamic world, fueled by domestic politics and anti-U.S. anger (CS Monitor)
- Prince Harry targeted in Taliban attack in Afghanistan (Telegraph)
- Police clash with Muslims at protest in East Jerusalem (Jerusalem Post)
- Peacekeepers attacked in Egypt’s Sinai Penninsula; foreigners injured (CS Monitor)
- Large anti-austerity protests in Spain, Portugal (UT San Diego)
- India opposition parties protest economic reforms (UT San Diego)
- Anti-Japan protests sweep China on anniversary of invasion (Reuters)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
Obstacles may delay drones access to U.S. skies (UT San Diego)
September 18, 2012 -- Difficult to resolve safety and security obstacles may prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from meeting a deadline to allow civilian drones routine access to U.S. skies within three years, according to a report released Tuesday by a government watchdog.
The FAA is under pressure from Congress, industry and other government agencies to open domestic airspace to unmanned aircraft so that they can perform a seemingly endless list of tasks that are too expensive or too risky to use aircraft with human pilots. The biggest market is expected to be state and local police departments. Others interested in using drones are farmers who want help monitoring their thirsty crops, oil companies wanting to keep an eye on pipelines and even real estate agents needing to monitor their properties.
State court ruling deals blow to U.S. mortgage system (Reuters)
September 14, 2012 -- The highest court in the state of Washington recently ruled that a company that has foreclosed on millions of mortgages nationwide can be sued for fraud, a decision that could cause a new round of trouble for the nation's banks.
The ruling is one of the first to allow consumers to seek damages from Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a company set up by the nation's major banks, if they can prove they were harmed.
FBI warns of U.S. violence over anti-Islamic movie (ABC)
September 13, 2012 -- A U.S. intelligence bulletin warned today that the violent outrage aimed at U.S. embassies spawned by a movie mocking the Prophet Mohammed could be spread to America by extremist groups eager to "exploit anger." The Joint Intelligence Bulletin issued by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said "the risk of violence could increase both at home and abroad as the film continues to gain attention."
Republicans split on Mitt Romney remarks (Politico)
September 19, 2012 -- Republicans and conservative opinion-makers were deeply divided on Tuesday in their response to a controversial video of Mitt Romney saying he will never win the support of the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax and who, he suggested, are happy being dependent on government.
Two cases in point: William Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, slammed Romney’s comments as “arrogant” and “stupid,” and said that Romney risked alienating his own base, while Ed Rollins, a GOP strategist and campaign veteran, downplayed the incident.
Debunking Romney’s attack on Americans who don’t pay income taxes (L.A. Times)
September 19, 2012 -- By now, most Americans who take their civic responsibilities seriously have no doubt seen, or at least heard about, Mitt Romney's peculiar approach to broad-based voter outreach.
We're referring, of course, to his videotaped fundraising speech in Florida, in which he characterizes 47% of the American public as people who are "dependent on the government," who "pay no income tax" and who can't be convinced to "take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
New Romney ad rips Obama on coal energy (The Hill)
September 19, 2012 -- Mitt Romney's campaign is releasing a pair of new television ads Wednesday slamming President Obama's on coal energy, the third consecutive day the Republican presidential nominee has debuted a new slate of television commercials.
The campaign appears to be introducing a pair of ads to correspond with each of the five parts of Romney's economic plan, which the campaign has said will receive renewed emphasis in the weeks before the debates: trade reform, balancing the budget, cutting the deficit, reducing spending, and championing small business.
Libyans see Al Qaeda hand in U.S. embassy attack (Wall Street Journal)
September 17, 2012 -- The head of Libya's new national congress has blamed al Qaeda-linked militants for planning Tuesday's deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, raising further questions about the motive behind the mayhem that killed four Americans.
U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that they are investigating indications that a local group of Libyan militants, Ansar al Sharia, held a series of conversations Tuesday with al Qaeda extremists about the assault that day on the consulate, in the first sign of possible coordination in the attack between local fighters and the global terrorist movement.
Anti-American fury sweeps Middle East over film (Reuters)
September 15, 2012 -- A wave of furious anti-Western protests against a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad abated on Saturday, but U.S. policy in the Muslim world remained overshadowed by 13 minutes of amateurish video on the Internet.
Washington ordered family members and non-essential staff to leave the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, which was attacked on Friday, after Sudan turned down its request to send Marines to bolster security.
Protests sweep Islamic world, fueled by domestic politics and anti-U.S. anger (CS Monitor)
September 14, 2012 -- Anti-American protests continued their sweep across swathes of the Islamic world today, sparked by a low-budget video deliberately denigrating the prophet Muhammad that was made in the US. From Mauritania to Indonesia, protesters took to the streets in anger over the video, which portrays Islam's most sacred figure as a sexually loose and ruthless buffoon.
Yet the protests were about much more than the video. They were a reflection of a deeper, wide-ranging discontent, rooted not only in anger at the US for such things as its pro-Israel policies, drone strikes, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but also in frustration at domestic leaders who have not been able to effect rapid change in the wake of the Arab Spring. Analysts also point to a wider power struggle under way between mainstream Islamic groups and ultra-conservative Salafist elements, believed to be behind the Sept. 11 attack in Libya that killed the US ambassador.
Prince Harry targeted in Taliban attack in Afghanistan (Telegraph)
September 15, 2012 -- Nineteen Taliban attackers with armed rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and automatic weapons breached the perimeter of Camp Bastion in a well-planned raid which shocked senior officers.
Two American Marines were killed and five aircraft were damaged or destroyed before Western soldiers led by British troops killed 18 of the attackers and took one prisoner.
The Taliban rushed to claim a propaganda victory, saying that Prince Harry, who is an Apache helicopter pilot based at Bastion, was the intended victim of the attack.
Police clash with Muslims at protest in East Jerusalem (Jerusalem Post)
September 15, 2012 -- Four people were arrested in east Jerusalem on Friday during clashes stemming from the controversial film Innocence of Muslims which has already sparked mass protests in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. Waving Korans and chanting anti- American slogans, hundreds of Arabs clashed with police after leaving Friday prayers at the Temple Mount.
The demonstrators marched from the Temple Mount to Damascus Gate with the intention of marching to the old US consulate on Shehem Street.
Peacekeepers attacked in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula; foreigners injured (CS Monitor)
September 14, 2012 -- Armed men attacked foreign peacekeepers operating in Egypt's North Sinai today, in what appears to be an opportunistic attack by Islamist militants protests that have swept the Muslim world in the past few days.
The attackers threw hand grenades, fired rocket-propelled grenades, briefly entered the peacekeepers camp, and raised a black Islamist flag, according to a former Egyptian state security officer who spoke with several officers on the base. The former Egyptian officer asked not to be identified by name.
Large anti-austerity protests in Spain, Portugal (UT San Diego)
September 15, 2012 -- Tens of thousands of people from all over Spain rallied in the capital Saturday against punishing austerity measures enacted by the government, which is trying to save the country from financial collapse.
Large anti-austerity protests also took place in neighboring Portugal. Demonstrators in Lisbon threw tomatoes and fireworks at the Portuguese headquarters of the International Monetary Fund. Two protesters were arrested, but otherwise the rally was peaceful.
India opposition parties protest economic reforms (UT San Diego)
September 15, 2012 -- Angry Indian opposition parties protested on Saturday against the government's decision to open the country's huge retail market to foreign retailers.
The government's surprise announcement Friday that it will allow foreign investment in retail and aviation and the sale of minority stakes in four state-run companies evoked sharp criticism from opposition parties and some of the ruling Congress party's coalition allies. A day earlier, the government announced a hike in the price of diesel fuel.
Anti-Japan protests sweep China on anniversary of invasion (Reuters)
September 18, 2012 -- Anti-Japan protests reignited acrossChina on Tuesday, the sensitive anniversary marking Tokyo's occupation of its giant neighbor, escalating a maritime dispute which has forced major Japanese firms to suspend business there.
Relations between Asia's two biggest economies have faltered badly, with emotions running high on the streets and also out at sea where two Japanese activists landed on an island at the center of the dispute.