September 06, 2006 ㅡ A dispute between China and South Korea over a 1,000-year-old Manchurian kingdom and its successor state has flared up again. A government research center in China released the texts of research papers that contend the Balhae Kingdom, which was established after the fall of the Goguryeo Kingdom and ruled the area from 698 to 926, was founded by Chinese minorities, was in China's sphere of influence and was, in effect, a Chinese provincial government.
Those claims threaten to trigger the kind of emotional reaction in Korea that appeared two years ago when the simmering dispute over the status of Goguryeo reached a flash point: Koreans accused China of "hijacking its history." Koreans say, with some historical justification, that Goguryeo was a predecessor state of modern Korea with no ethnic links or political subordination to the Middle Kingdom.
News reports here said the government, which intervened with China two years ago, would study the papers before responding.
The Center of China's Borderland History and Geography Research posted on its Web site a summary of 18 research papers that it announced in September 2005 but were not made public until now. One paper deals with the history of the Balhae Kingdom, and contends that it was not organized by descendants of the Goguryeo dynasty's people but by "minor tribes" in China. Another paper contends that Balhae's rulers were named by the Chinese emperor in Beijing, making Balhae a vassal state and saying its history cannot be separated from that of China.
A Foreign Ministry official said the documents are now being studied by the Northeast Asia History Foundation, a research institute set up by Seoul this year in the aftermath of the dispute in 2004 with the purpose of countering further historical claims by China.
In a development that Koreans consider related, Chinese media reported Monday that China is planning a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics on the Chinese side of Mount Baekdu, known as Mount Changbai in China. The mountain, on the China-North Korea border, has mystical symbolism for many Koreans, especially in the North.
WASHINGTON — The House voted Wednesday to require Americans to show proof of citizenship in order to vote, and the Senate moved to build a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border as Republicans sharpened attacks on illegal immigration before the midterm elections.Democrats, of course, are against it-on the grounds that no true American would vote for a Democrat, therefore it's unfair.
The 228-196 House vote on a new photo ID plan and the Senate's consideration of the fence were both part of a get-tough policy on illegal immigrants that Republicans have embraced after Congress' failure to agree on broader legislation that would set a path for undocumented workers to attain citizenship.
House GOP leaders have insisted that tighter borders and tougher laws must precede more comprehensive immigration changes. The House passed the fence bill last week and plans votes Thursday on other enforcement measures: to increase penalties for people building tunnels under the border, make it easier to detain and deport immigrant gang members and criminals and clarify the ability of state and local authorities to detain illegal immigrants.
Republican sponsors of the voter identification bill said it was a commonsense way to stop fraud at the polls. People need photo IDs to board planes, buy alcohol or cash checks, said Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Administration Committee. "This is not a new concept."
But Democrats assailed the legislation, saying it could hurt minorities, the poor and the elderly — groups that tend to vote Democratic — who might have trouble producing a photo identification.How does Ike Skelton react when he's IDed to buy a beer? Does his mommy have to tie his shoes for him when he gets up in the morning? Sheesh! Do they really think people are stupid enough to buy this bullhockey?
"This bill is tantamount to a 21st century poll tax," said Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. "It will disenfranchise large number of legal voters."
Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., said he was initially denied a voter ID required under a Missouri state law because he doesn't have a driver's license and couldn't immediately produce a passport or birth certificate. His congressional ID card was not accepted.
A Missouri court earlier this month struck down the state law, and on Tuesday a state superior court judge in Georgia ruled that that state's law requiring a photo ID was an unconstitutional condition for voting.
The bill would require everyone to present a photo ID before voting in federal elections by 2008. By 2010 voters would have to have photo IDs that certified they were citizens. In response to criticism that this would be a burden for the poor, the bill stipulates that states must provide the identification cards free of charge to those who can't afford them.
Citing growing anti-Semitism around the world, Yale University said Tuesday it has created the first university-based center in North America dedicated to the study of the subject.
The Yale Initiative for Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism will provide a forum for scholars to research contemporary causes of anti-Semitism and ways to combat it, said Charles Small, the center's director. The center plans to offer courses, conferences and seminars, but it is too soon to say whether there will be a degree program, he said.
"Anti-Semitism has re-emerged internationally in a manner that many leading scholars and policymakers take seriously," Small said. "Because of this, there is a need to establish a high-caliber, interdisciplinary, nonpartisan, scholarly institute, so that students and faculty can engage these issues fully."
Sudan's president said on Tuesday his country would never allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur and charged that the West wanted to dismember his country in order to help Israel.At this point, the whole U.N. assembly got up and booed him. Well, at least in my dream they did.
"It is very clear there is a plan to redraw the region," especially after the invasion of Iraq, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told a news conference on the sidelines of a ministerial U.N. General Assembly session.
"The main purpose is the security of Israel. Any state in the region should be weakened, dismembered in order to protect the Israelis, to guarantee the Israeli security," he said.