Honduran President Is Ousted in Coup
The Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted by the army on Sunday after pressing ahead with plans for a referendum that opponents said could lay the groundwork for his eventual re-election, in the first military coup in Central America since the end of the cold war.
Soldiers entered the presidential palace in the capital, Tegucigalpa, and disarmed the presidential guard early Sunday, military officials said. Mr. Zelaya’s private secretary, Eduardo Enrique Reina, confirmed the arrest.
Mr. Zelaya flew into exile in Costa Rica, telling a local television station, “They are creating a monster they will not be able to contain.”
Much of the capital was without electricity on Sunday and residents stood on long lines to buy kerosene for home generators. Military tanks patrolled the streets and military planes flew overhead. Soldiers were on guard at all the main government buildings and military trucks dropped off police at strategic crossings throughout the city, residents said.
Political tensions have increased in recent weeks, as Mr. Zelaya pressed ahead with plans for a nonbinding referendum that opponents said would open the way for him to rewrite the constitution to run for re-election despite a one-term limit.
Last week, the Supreme Court and Congress both declared the referendum unconstitutional. But on Thursday, the president led a group of protesters to an air force installation and seized the ballots, which the prosecutor’s office and the electoral tribunal had ordered confiscated.
After the armed forces commander, Romeo Vazquez, said that the military would not participate in the referendum, Mr. Zelaya fired him. But the Supreme Court declared the firing illegal.
President Obama said Sunday that he was deeply concerned by the reports from Honduras about the detention and expulsion of the president.
“I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic charter,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “Any existing tensions and disputes must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from any outside interference.”
Administration officials said the president spoke with his national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, about the situation and was receiving updates throughout the day. The call from Mr. Obama echoed a statement from the Organization of American States on Friday.
Mr. Zelaya, who has the support of labor unions and the poor, is an ally of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. During his three years in office, opposition to the president has mounted from the middle class and the wealthy business community who fear that he is planning to introduce Mr. Chávez’s brand of socialist populism into the country, one of Latin America’s poorest.
Opponents of Mr. Zelaya charged that he was following the example of Mr. Chávez, who has repeatedly called Venezuelans to the polls to approve his re-election.
Mr. Chávez was quick to react to the events unfolding in Honduras. In comments to Telesur, the regional news network backed by Venezuela’s government, he said: “Behind these soldiers is the Honduran bourgeoisie, the rich who converted Honduras into a banana republic, a military and political base for the North American empire.” NYT
sniff sniff… is that CIA mixed with Latin leftist weenie I smell?
If Iraq was main stream media’s failure, is Iran social network media’s failure?
The New York Times apologized for being a mouthpiece for the Bush Administration. For failing to question the motives of their sources or to investigate claims that would contradict what the American people seemed to want, for, afterall, the Fox News audience ruled the day. Try telling their audience that Saddam Hussein, while a madman, was actually defenseless and not intent on harming us. This was a truth perhaps Americans did not want to hear at the time but the truth nevertheless and that is what journalism is supposed to seek.
If social networking media is our the future of our journalism, then how do we judge truth in 140 characters?
Pirate Bay’s YouTube Competitor is “Coming Soon”
The Pirate Bay team has continued developing its video streaming site – which will open up to the public within 5 years. On The Video Bay users can share video clips without having to worry about getting them taken offline due to copyright violations, true Pirate Bay-style. more
Google handles roughly two-thirds of all Internet searches. It owns the largest online video site, YouTube, which is more than 10 times more popular than its nearest competitor. And last year, Google sold nearly $22 billion in advertising, more than any media company in the world.
With all those riches and more, how is Google a relatively small company, one that is vulnerable to competition and whose luck could turn any day?
Dana Wagner is happy to explain.
Mr. Wagner, who is Google’s “senior competition counsel,” faces the Sisyphean task of convincing the world that his employer is not unassailable.
“Competition is a click away,” Mr. Wagner says. It’s part of a stump speech he has given in Silicon Valley, New York and Washington for the last few months to reporters, legal scholars, Congressional staff members, industry groups and anybody else who might influence public opinion about Google.
“We are in an industry that is subject to disruption and we can’t take anything for granted,” he adds.
Google has begun this public-relations offensive because it is in the midst of a treacherous rite of passage for powerful technology companies — regulators are intensely scrutinizing its every move, as they once did with AT&T, I.B.M., Intel and Microsoft. Some analysts say that government opposition, here or in Europe, could pose the biggest threat to Google’s continued success. more