Monday, August 31, 2009

Nazis; Madonna in Israel; Bush joins "Today"

SHIAO LIN, Taiwan – The Dalai Lama exhorted Taiwan on Monday to safeguard its democracy, interspersing prayers for the victims of Typhoon Morakot with a challenge to Communist China. The call from the Tibetan spiritual leader appeared to contradict assurances that his five-day visit to comfort the victims of the worst storm to hit the island in 50 years would steer clear of the political — a concern for President Ma Ying-jeou's administration, which is seeking closer ties with the mainland. Kneeling on the ground (see photo below) to pray for the hundreds killed in this remote mountain... More>>
U.S. singer Madonna, center, arrives to visit the Western Wall (seen in background), Judaism's holiest site, Old City, Sunday, 8/30/09. Madonna is in Israel ahead of two Tel Aviv concerts, the final stop on her "Sticky and Sweet" tour (AP/Haim Zach).

JERUSALEM – The Material Girl has opened a visit to the Holy Land with a spiritual touch. Madonna headed to Jerusalem's Old City late Sunday where she toured an ancient tunnel near the Western Wall — the holiest site where Jews can pray. The 50-year-old pop star arrived in a black Mercedes van and was escorted into the tunnel by police. She made no comment to reporters and was whisked away about a half hour later. Madonna isn't Jewish, but she's a follower of Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) and has even taken the Hebrew name Esther. More>>

Hamas leader questions Nazi genocide of Jews
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A Hamas spiritual leader on Monday called teaching Palestinian children that the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews a "war crime," rejecting a reported U.N. proposal to include the Holocaust in Gaza's school curriculum. [Nazi deal with West started WWII; see below.] More»

NEW YORK – NBC's "Today" show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent — former President George W. Bush's daughter Jenna Bush (now Hager). She will contribute stories about once a month on issues like education to television's top-rated morning news show, said Jim Bell, its executive producer. More>>

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, right, kneels and prays for victims and comforts survivors of Typhoon Morakot, at the destroyed village of Shiao Lin, in southern Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 31, 2009 (AP/Wally Santana).

Putin blames WWII on West's deal with Hitler
WARSAW, Poland -- Russia's prime minister Vlad Putin [a yakkha on horseback seen on left), condemned Moscow's 1939 treaty with Berlin that carved up Europe, as well as a British and French pact with the Nazis, in remarks published before the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II. More»