32 are selected as Rhodes scholars
PHILADELPHIA : A University of Pennsylvania student who organized an exhibit about Lenape Indians living quietly in the state is among this year's winners of Rhodes scholarships. Abigail P. Seldin of Tierra Verde, Fla., curated the exhibit Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania. She is one of 32 men and women from across the United States to win the prestigious scholarships for study at England's Oxford University. The winners' names were announced early yesterday. This year's 32 Rhodes scholars were picked from 769 applicants endorsed by 207 colleges and universities nationwide. The scholarships, the oldest of the international study awards available to American students, provide two or three years of study.
Venezuelan opposition posts key election gains
CARACAS, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez's allies won a majority in Venezuela's local elections yesterday, but the opposition made important gains, capturing the mayor's office in the capital and winning two of the most populous states. With more than 95 percent of votes counted, opposition candidates won at least three states, while Chavez's allies had won 17, election agency chief Tibisay Lucena said. Turnout topped 65 percent among the 16.8 million registered voters, a new high for a local election in Venezuela, Lucena said.
Marines devise plan for warfare against Taliban
AL ASAD, Iraq : Marine Corps leaders are devising a plan to send thousands of additional combat troops to Afghanistan to wage aggressive warfare against the Taliban that they expect could take years. The Marines would like to deploy upward of 15,000 troops if Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Army Gen. David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, approve. About 2,300 Marines have been sent to Afghanistan to replace units that are returning home after eight months. Gates said Friday that he wanted to supplement the more than 30,000 U.S. troops, mostly from the Army, already in Afghanistan.
Obama adviser warns automakers to retool
WASHINGTON: A senior adviser to President-elect Barack Obama warned yesterday that U.S. automakers will have to come up with a plan to restructure before the industry receives any federal bailout. "They're going to have to retool and rationalize their industry for the future. And if they don't do that, then there's very little that taxpayers can do to help them," incoming White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on ABC News' This Week. Former Commerce Secretary William M. Daley, another Obama adviser, echoed a point that Democratic congressional leaders are making as well. "They have to do it. The responsibility is on the auto industry and the unions to come back with a plan," Daley said on NBC News' Meet the Press.
Detractors suspect al-Maliki's ambitions
BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has sanctioned politically charged arrests of prominent Sunnis, personally supervised military operations and moved to sideline rivals in recent months, actions that have evoked memories of the country's authoritarian past. His defenders say that al-Maliki is trying to prevent the breakup of Iraq by establishing a strong central state. Detractors, including several Iraqi politicians and at least one Western official, suspect him of having ambitions to become "a benevolent Shiite Saddam." Al-Maliki has broken from the model of a severely constrained central government championed by the Americans since they ousted President Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.
Abuse reports set off Orthodox firestorm
NEW YORK : Since he broached the subject on his radio show this summer, State Assemblyman Dov Hikind says that dozens of people have come forward with stories about children being molested in the Orthodox community, which strictly follows Jewish law. Hikind says as many as four people a day have come to him over the past three months with painful accounts of secrets often kept for decades, accusing more than 60 individuals. He says he wants to focus now on setting up a broader framework for addressing the issue. His campaign has set off a firestorm in the Orthodox community, where people are reluctant to involve secular authorities. "In our community, people don't talk about the things that they've come to my office" and revealed, said Hikind, himself an Orthodox Jew.