Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.


Citizens For Legitimate Government
is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush coup d'etat, and to oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

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January 2008 Archives

Huckabee on Iran: 'you will see the gates of Hell' --Iran dominates Republican presidential debate in conservative South Carolina 11 Jan 2008 The wide-open and unpredictable Republican presidential race moved to religiously conservative South Carolina last night with a debate dominated by Iran and Ronald Reagan... Asked whether the American commanders on the scene were right in not attacking the Iranian boats, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said he backed their decisions, before warning Iran: "Be prepared, first, to put your sights on the American vessel. And then be prepared that the next thing you see will be the gates of Hell, because that is exactly what you will see after that."

US military chief warns Iran 11 Jan 2008 The top US military officer warned Iran Friday American warships would defend themselves, amid charges that Iranian speedboats have interfered with their passage through the Strait of Hormuz three times in the past month.

Hormuz incident shows Iran a threat-top US officer 11 Jan 2008 A tense encounter between U.S. Navy ships and Iranian boats in the Gulf shows Iran poses a threat and the United States is ready to counter it, the top U.S. military officer said on Friday. "There's no doubt in my mind that shots would have been fired, had the situation demanded it," said Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Iran hits back over Gulf 'confrontation' 11 Jan 2008 America issued a formal diplomatic protest yesterday over its claims that Iranian boats threatened to blow up a US naval patrol in the Gulf. The announcement came after Iran released a video intended to discredit US claims that its ships were warned that they would "explode in a couple of minutes".

Iran says US video was fabricated 08 Jan 2008 Iran's Revolutionary Guards say the US navy fabricated evidence that a convoy of its ships was harassed by Iranian speedboats in Gulf waters on Sunday. The US has released [phony] grainy footage, apparently showing small boats speeding near the American warships.

US reveals new Iran 'incidents' 11 Jan 2008 Iranian speedboats approached US warships in two previously undisclosed incidents in the Strait of Hormuz in December, a US Navy official has said. The USS Whidbey Island fired warning shots during one of the encounters on 19 December, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He also described a third stand-off on 6 January - that sparked US protests - as the most serious incident.

Report: Musharraf warns U.S. on intervention 11 Jan 2008 Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf warned that any unilateral intervention in his country by coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan would be treated as an invasion, according to an interview with Singapore's English daily The Straits Times published Friday. "Any entry by the United States or coalition forces into Pakistan's tribal areas would be resisted as a breach of Pakistan's sovereignty," Musharraf told the newspaper.

US Would 'Regret' Pakistan Operation --U.S. troops would be regarded as 'invaders' 11 Jan 2008 President Pervez Musharraf said in an interview published Friday that U.S. troops would be regarded as invaders [LOL!] if they crossed into Pakistan to hunt al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] militants. He also said he would resign if opposition parties tried to impeach him after next month's elections.

Chief rabbi thanks Bush for 'war against Iraq' 10 Jan 2008 During a short verbal exchange Wednesday at the Ben-Gurion Airport Terminal, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger thanked President [sic] George W. Bush for the US's military intervention in Iraq. "I want to thank you for your support of Israel and in particular for waging a war against Iraq," Metzger told Bush, according to the chief rabbi's spokesman. Bush reportedly answered that the chief rabbi's words "warmed his heart." [See: 151,000 Iraqis killed in 3 years since U.S.-led invasion 10 Jan 2008.]

US could hand over Iraq's Anbar in March-April 11 Jan 2008 U.S. forces said on Friday they could hand over security in the vast Western province of Anbar to Iraqi forces as soon as March or April, after a remarkable turnaround of security in the one-time insurgent stronghold GOP concerns that Bush's lost war will impact the 2008 'elections.'

Another Wisconsin Soldier Dies in Iraq 11 Jan 2008 A 30-year-old Wisconsin native who recently moved to Minnesota’s Iron Range has died in Iraq. Sergeant 1st Class Matthew Pionk, a native of Superior, is the third soldier from Wisconsin to die in Iraq in five days.

Blair accused of taking blood money over £1m job with US bank profiting from Iraq war 11 Jan 2008 Tony Blair has taken a lucrative job with a U.S. bank which is profiting from the Iraq war. JPMorgan is expected to pay him £1million a year as a part-time adviser. It is the first of a series of posts that could see the former prime minister rake in a staggering £40million. The move brought fierce criticism last night. Reg Keys, whose soldier son Tom was killed in Iraq in 2003, said it was "almost akin to taking blood money".

First snow for 100 years falls on Baghdad 11 Jan 2008 Light snow fell in Baghdad early on Friday in what weather officials said was the first time in about a 100 years. Rare snowfalls were also recorded in the west and centre of Iraq, plunging temperatures to zero degrees Centigrade (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and even colder, an official said.

Snow Day in the Sands of Baghdad 11 Jan 2008 It snowed in Baghdad. The morning flurry Friday was the first in memory in the heart of the Iraqi capital. After weathering nearly five years of war, Baghdad residents thought they'd pretty much seen it all. But as muezzins were calling the faithful to prayer, the people here awoke to something certifiably new.

U.S. appeals court dismisses Guantanamo torture suit 11 Jan 2008 A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that four former Guantanamo prisoners, all British citizens, have no right to sue top Pentagon officials for torture and violations of their religious rights. The decision by a three-judge panel to dismiss the lawsuit was issued on the sixth anniversary of the arrival of the first detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

80 arrested in Guantanamo protest at Supreme Court 11 Jan 2008 Police arrested 80 protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court today during a protest marking the sixth anniversary of the first terror suspects imprisoned at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay. Similar protests were held in Australia, Europe and Africa.

Authorities believe they have found body of pregnant Marine 11 Jan 2008 (NC) Onslow County authorities say they believe they found the shallow grave of a pregnant Marine in the back yard of a comrade she accused of rape. They also think they have found evidence inside his home suggesting that Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach had been killed. Sheriff Ed Brown says investigators are treating the case as a homicide.

ID Showdown Brewing Between Feds, States 11 Jan 2008 A fight is brewing between the Bush administration and state governments over post-Sept. 11, 2001, security rules for driver's licenses. Stuck in the middle are residents of at least 17 states. They may find themselves unable to use their licenses to board planes or enter federal buildings. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said if states want their licenses to remain valid for air travel after May, they have to seek a waiver for more time to comply with the new rules put in place by what's known as the REAL ID Act.

Homeland Security to press ahead with Real ID 11 Jan 2008 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Friday plans to take the next step in getting its controversial Real ID plan off the ground, despite [overwhelming] opposition from numerous states and privacy groups.

Candidates Push for a N.H. Recount 11 Jan 2008 Could New Hampshire be headed for Florida redux? Just three days after Tuesday’s primary election, the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office says it will conduct a hand recount of the votes in both the Republican and Democratic primaries starting next Wednesday after receiving formal requests from two candidates this week.

Kucinich Seeks NH Dem Vote Recount 10 Jan 2008 Democrat Dennis Kucinich said Thursday he wants a recount to ensure that all ballots in his party's contest were counted. The Ohio congressman cited "serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors" about the integrity of Tuesday results.

Experts skeptical of N.H. ballot-count conspiracy theory 11 Jan 2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton did better in New Hampshire precincts where presidential primary ballots were counted by machine and Barack Obama did better where ballots were counted by hand. Those results have prompted speculation, spread on blogs, of ballot-machine tampering in Tuesday's primary and led presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich to ask for a re-count.

Humbled in New Hampshire? Press Needs to Refocus Campaign Coverage (fair.org) 11 Jan 2008 As it stands now, the races for the major party nominations are remarkably close. The most valuable service journalists could provide now would be to illustrate the differences between the candidates on the major issues of importance to voters.

Teachers Sue to Block Hotel Worker's Union Vote in Nevada Caucus 12 Jan 2008 Nevada’s state teachers union and six Las Vegas area residents filed a lawsuit late Friday that could make it harder for many members of the state’s huge hotel workers union to vote in the hotly contested Jan. 19 Democratic caucus in Nevada. The 13-page lawsuit in federal district court here comes two days after the 60,000-member Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Nevada endorsed Senator Barack Obama.

Bank of America to buy Countrywide for $4 billion 11 Jan 2008 Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) said on Friday it would buy battered mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp (CFC.N) for $4 billion, a move that could avert one of the biggest collapses in the U.S. housing crisis.

Bird flu swans 'flew in from Europe' 12 Jan 2008 The strain of deadly flu found in three mute swans at Abbotsbury, Devon, is a close match to the one that infected wild birds in the Czech Republic last summer. Urgent testing is going on at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency to find out the exact match of the virus and to see how far it has spread in the country.

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CIA reveals: We said in 1974 that Israel had nuclear weapons 11 Jan 2008 The Central Intelligence Agency, backed by bodies including the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the Defense Intelligence Agency, determined in August 1974 that Israel had nuclear "weapons in being," a "small number" of which it "produced and stockpiled." Israel was also suspected of providing nuclear materials, equipment or technology to Iran [LOL!], South Africa and other then-friendly countries. This top secret document, consigned to the CIA's vaults for almost 32 years, was released to the public this week.

A bigger threat than al-Qaeda: Pakistanis See U.S. as Greatest Threat 07 Jan 2008 Amid reports that the administration of U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush is considering aggressive covert actions against armed Islamist forces in western Pakistan, a new survey released here Monday suggested that such an effort would be opposed by an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis themselves. The survey, which was funded by the quasi-governmental U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and designed by the University of Maryland's Programme on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), also found that a strong majority of Pakistanis consider the U.S. military presence in Asia and neighbouring Afghanistan a much more critical threat to their country than al Qaeda or Pakistan's own Taliban movement in the tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan.

Doubts grow over Iranian boat threats --Pentagon climbdown over 'you will explode' video --Mystery remains over where voice came from [It likely came from the same lab that edits Osama bin Laden's voiceovers and Adam Pearlman's threats.] 11 Jan 2008 Doubts intensified last night over the nature of an alleged aggressive confrontation by Iranian patrol boats and American warships in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, after Pentagon officials admitted that they could not confirm that a threat to blow up the US ships had been made directly by the Iranian crews involved in the incident.

Iran refutes U.S allegations with video evidence 10 Jan 2008 Iran has shown its own video of an incident in the Strait of Hormuz, in a bid to counter Pentagon accusations that Iranian troops had threatened to blow up American vessels. The footage was released by the Revolutionary Guard, the Iranian force involved in the incident, to contradict Pentagon charges that Iranian speedboats swarmed around U.S warships in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday, radioing a threat to blow them up. The Revolutionary Guard had said the day earlier that the film released by the Pentagon was a bad fake, with the sound and image not properly synchronised.

Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel 10 Jan 2008 Despite the official and media portrayal of the incident in the Strait of Hormuz early Monday morning as a serious threat to U.S. ships from Iranian speedboats that nearly resulted in a "battle at sea", new information over the past three days suggests that the incident did not involve such a threat and that no U.S. commander was on the verge of firing at the Iranian boats. The new information that appears to contradict the original version of the incident includes the revelation that U.S. officials spliced the audio recording of an alleged Iranian threat onto to a videotape of the incident. That suggests that the threatening message may not have come in immediately after the initial warning to Iranian boats from a U.S. warship, as appears to do on the video.

US planes unleash 40,000 pounds of bombs in 10 minutes near Baghdad 10 Jan 2008 U.S. bombers and jet fighters have unleashed 40,000 pounds of explosives within 10 minutes on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, targeting what the military calls safe havens for al-Qaida in Iraq. The attack is part of Operation Phantom Phoenix, a campaign against al-Qaida civilians in Iraq that was launched Tuesday. The military says two B-1 bombers and four F-16 fighters dropped the bombs on 40 targets in Arab Jabour in 10 strikes.

U.S. blitz highlights shaky progress in Iraq 11 Jan 2008 The U.S. military dropped 40,000 pounds of explosives southeast of Baghdad on Thursday in air strikes that underscored the tenuousness of U.S. progress. [The 'surge' has been a complete failure, which is why Bush is perpetrating costlier and deadlier war crimes in Iraq.]

U.S. warplanes pound southern Baghdad outskirts 10 Jan 2008 U.S. warplanes launched their biggest air strike in Iraq since at least 2006 on Thursday, bombarding date palm groves on Baghdad's southern outskirts with more than 40,000 pounds of bombs in a matter of minutes.

Post-invasion death toll in Iraq put at over 150,000 10 Jan 2008 At least 150,000 Iraqis died violently in the 40 months following the US-led invasion in 2003, according to an estimate derived from the most comprehensive survey yet of mortality in post-war Iraq.

Bush urges end to Israeli 'occupation' 11 Jan 2008 US President [sic] George Bush, hardening his tone towards Israel, urged an end to "the occupation" of the West Bank and pushed for a peace treaty to be signed within a year to create a Palestinian state. [Yes, and Bush needs to end his occupation of Iraq.]

Protesters mark six years of Guantanamo 11 Jan 2008 Hundreds of people dressed in orange jumpsuits like those worn by Guantanamo Bay detainees demonstrated in Sydney today to mark the sixth anniversary of the US facility. The event was the start of a series of similar protests planned in cities around the world over the next 24 hours, culminating in Washington DC, Amnesty International said.

Extra U.S. forces for Afghanistan no ticket home for Canadians --Pentagon to send in 3,000 marines for one-time stint 10 Jan 2008 The Pentagon's decision to possibly send in some 3,000 marines to southern Afghanistan for a one-time only, seven-month rotation in no way represents a ticket home for Canada's 2,500 troops in Kandahar. Nor does it end NATO's perpetual struggle to find enough troops and equipment to break the back of a Taliban 'insurgency' in the south, now emerging from its bloodiest year of inflicting casualties on foreign troops and innocent Afghan civilians.

Japan set to force through terror law 10 Jan 2008 The Japanese government is on Friday expected to use its two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament to ram through controversial 'anti'-terror legislation in what would be the first use of such override powers in more than half a century.

US may have given injured British forces infected blood transfusions 11 Jan 2008 The medical records of hundreds of British servicemen seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 have had to be investigated by the Ministry of Defence after the Americans admitted that they may have given some of the injured infected blood transfusions.

Military won’t cover shipment protection costs 10 Jan 2008 (WA) War protesters might encounter less security the next time Uncle Sam decides to use the Port of Grays Harbor to ship military cargo to Iraq. The Department of the Army has soundly rejected the City of Aberdeen’s bill for $165,409 for overtime and additional manpower to provide security outside Port property last May.

Abu Ghraib officer cleared 10 Jan 2008 The Army has thrown out the conviction of the only officer [Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan] court-martialed in the Abu Ghraib scandal, bringing an end to the four-year investigation and drawing complaints from human rights activists of a Pentagon whitewash.

FBI wiretaps dropped due to unpaid bills 10 Jan 2008 Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time. A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations.

Bush land-grabbing for his corpora-terrorist cronies: Border fence deadline passes; fight may shift to courts 09 Jan 2008 The federal government is preparing to go to court to force dozens of property owners in the southwestern U.S. to give it access to their land for possible construction on it of a U.S.-Mexico border fence. The government is readying 102 cases to gain entry to lands along the border owned by private individuals, local governments and others.

Albright: Bush 'One of the Worst Presidencies' in History 10 Jan 2008 Nearly seven years out office, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright pulls no punches bashing the Bush administration’s handling of certain issues - calling it one of America’s "worst presidencies." Albright gave President [sic] George W. Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney very poor marks and listed goals for the next president to do better that include embracing a global view of climate change.

Where Paper Prevailed, Different Results By Lori Price 09 Jan 2008 --2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary Results --Total Democratic Votes: 287,580 - Machine vs Hand (RonRox.com) 09 Jan 2008
Hillary Clinton, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 40.121%
Clinton, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 34.703%

Barack Obama, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 35.756%
Obama, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 38.785%
Machine vs Hand:

Clinton: 5.419% (15,584 votes)

Obama: -3.029% (-8,711 votes)

[The difference between results from hand-counting and machine-counting do not necessarily signify that the machine-counting is wrong. Other factors may be involved. For example, voting machines may have been used in working-class, more traditional Democratic neighborhoods. There may not be a causal connection between machine-counted ballots and differing totals. One cannot assume that machines are necessarily wrong while hand-counting is necessarily right. --Michael Rectenwald]

Kerry Endorses Obama as Campaign Goes Nationwide 10 Jan 2008 Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) endorsed the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama at a rally here on Thursday, the first of several high-profile Democrats expected to announce their support for Mr. Obama in his fight to win the party’s nomination. [Who cares what John Kerry thinks? He's the same John Kerry that conceded an election that Bush obviously stole. He didn't have the guts to fight Bush! So why should we care what he says now? --M. Rectenwald]

CITGO, Venezuela Distribute Oil to U.S. Services --Joe Kennedy Program Delivers to Hordes of NYC Qualified Residents --Provides 112 Million Gallons of Fuel to Social Services In 23 States 08 Jan 2008 For scores of low-income families it will be like the equivalent of winning a small lottery jackpot. A program run by former Congressman Joe Kennedy will deliver free heating oil - donated by Citgo and the Chavez regime administration in Venezuela - to some 200,000 households.

Bernanke says Fed ready to cut interest rates again 11 Jan 2008 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged today to slash interest rates yet again to prevent housing and credit problems from plunging the country into a recession. The Fed chief made clear the central bank was prepared to act aggressively to rescue a weakening economy.

Recession in the US 'has arrived' 08 Jan 2008 The feared recession in the US economy has already arrived, according to a report from Merrill Lynch. It said that Friday's employment report, which sent shares tumbling worldwide, confirmed that the US is in the first month of a recession.

Intel Gets New York Subpoena in Antitrust Inquiry 10 Jan 2008 Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York issued a wide-ranging subpoena to the Intel Corporation on Thursday as part of an investigation into whether the company violated federal or state antitrust laws in the way it priced and sold microprocessors.

Prepare for big flu pandemic economic hit, UN says 10 Jan 2008 Governments around the world need to do more to prepare for the dramatic economic impact of the next flu pandemic, the United Nations influenza coordinator said on Thursday. [See: Flu Lab Set to Open for 1918 Pandemic Virus Reconstruction --Ebola research may resume, pending outcome of appeal 28 Oct 2007.]

Zoo to hand rear new polar bear star 20 Jan 2008 A handout picture shows a polar bear cub born by polar bear Vera at the zoo in Nuremberg January 9, 2008. The zoo in southern Germany, under fire for letting a mother polar bear eat its five-week old cub, has bowed to media and public pressure and decided to hand rear its last surviving baby. (Photo gallery)

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US to Send 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan 10 Jan 2008 The Pentagon is preparing to send at least 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan in April to bolster efforts to 'hold off' another expected Taliban offensive in the spring, military officials said Wednesday.

Poland to expand role in Afghanistan 10 Jan 2008 Poland's Defense Minister Bogdan Klich says his country will boost its role in Afghanistan, as it reached an accord with NATO partners. "We have just finished the first round of negotiations on this with NATO. My talks with Defense Secretary Gates would actually only aim to seal the proposal we have been made (by NATO in response to Polish requests)," Klich said.

NATO soldier killed, 1 injured in mine blast in Afghanistan 20 Jan 2008 One soldier of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed and another one was injured when their vehicle was involved in a mine strike in southern Afghanistan, said an ISAF statement received here on Thursday.

151,000 Iraqis killed in 3 years since U.S.-led invasion 10 Jan 2008 Around 151,000 Iraqis died violently in the three years following the U.S.-led invasion of their country in 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday. The estimate, which covers the period between March 2003 and June 2006, is based on a large-scale national household survey conducted jointly by the WHO and the Iraqi government, the WHO said in a statement.

'05 Use of CS Gas by Blackwater Leaves Questions 10 Jan 2008 The helicopter was hovering over a Baghdad checkpoint into the Green Zone, one typically crowded with cars, Iraqi civilians and United States military personnel. Suddenly, on that May day in 2005, the copter dropped CS gas, a [banned] chemical the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders. An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint.

Nine US soldiers killed in Iraq 10 Jan 2008 The US military has said three of its soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack while conducting operations in Salahuddin on Tuesday. Another six soldiers were killed in a house rigged with explosives on Wednesday. The US military said four troops were also wounded in the explosion.

Violence erupts as Bush arrives in Israel 09 Jan 2008 Gazans greeted US President [sic] George W. Bush with more than a dozen Kassam rockets and mortar shells [!] on Wednesday, including one instance in which a mother and baby narrowly escaped death as a rocket slammed in to the Sderot house in which they were staying. Shortly thereafter, Palestinians said, two Gazans were killed and four were wounded by an IAF strike in Bet Hanun.

'Bush visit a black day for Arab world' [for every world] 10 Jan 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush's visit to the Jewish state is "a black day for Arabs and Muslims," Hizbullah secretary general Hassan Nassrallah said Wednesday overnight. The Shi'ite cleric's comments were made during a speech on Hizbullah's Al Manar TV network.

Bush travel plans in Israel changed at last minute due to missile threat 09 Jan 2008 The United States revised travel plans by President [sic] George Bush because of the threat of a Palestinian missile attack. Israeli sources said the U.S. Secret Service canceled Bush's plans to travel by helicopter from Ben-Gurion Airport to Jerusalem on Wednesday. The sources said the Secret Service determined that Bush's helicopter could be targeted by an attacker with a surface-to-air missile.

Bush Strongly Warns Iran on Naval Clash 09 Jan 2008 President [sic] Bush warned Iran of "serious consequences" if it meddles again with U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, opening a Mideast peacemaking mission Wednesday on an ominous note. He told Israel to dismantle unauthorized settlement outposts and demanded that the Palestinians halt rocket attacks from areas controlled by Hamas Islamic militants.

Pentagon 'will use force' 09 Jan 2008 The Pentagon warned on Wednesday it is prepared to use force if its warships are threatened in international waters and dismissed as "absurd" an Iranian claim that it faked a video of an incident in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran Accuses U.S. of Faking Persian Gulf Video 10 Jan 2008 Iran’s Revolutionary Guard accused the United States on Wednesday of fabricating video showing armed Iranian speedboats confronting United States Navy warships in the Persian Gulf over the weekend, according to a report carried by the semi-official Fars news agency as well as state-run [as opposed to corporate-run] television. [See: Report reveals 1964 Gulf of Tonkin attack 'never happened' --NSA report reveals Vietnam War hoaxes, faked attacks 07 Jan 2008.]

US blacklists Iranian commander, Syrian-based TV station 09 Jan 2008 The US Treasury said Wednesday it had blacklisted a high-ranking Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer and a Syrian-based television station for allegedly "fueling" 'insurgent' activity in Iraq. The Treasury said it had slapped financial sanctions on Ahmed Foruzandeh, who it said was a brigadier general in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Qods Force, as well as Syrian-based Al-Zawra television.

US 'plans Pakistan military intervention' 09 Jan 2008 Bush administration officials and intelligence chiefs have met to draw up plans for stepping up military intervention in Pakistan. US President [sic] George W. Bush's top aides - including Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - military commanders and intelligence chiefs had met in secret at the White House to debate whether to expand the authority of the CIA and the military to 'conduct far more aggressive covert operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan,' the Canadian press reported.

Pregnant Marine missing from North Carolina base 09 Jan 2008 A search is under way for a pregnant 20-year-old Marine who has been missing from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, since December 14. Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach could give birth at any time, Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown told the Jacksonville, North Carolina, Daily News on Monday.

Ex-Official Wants Immunity in Tape Case 10 Jan 2008 Attorneys for Jose Rodriguez told Congress the former CIA official won't testify about the destruction of CIA videotapes without a promise of immunity, two people close to the tapes inquiry said Wednesday. Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, ordered that the tapes, which show harsh CIA interrogation torture of two 'al-Qaida' suspects, be destroyed in 2005. Rodriguez is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Jan. 16.

Judge denies detainee request to probe CIA tapes 09 Jan 2008 A U.S. judge denied a request by a group of Guantanamo inmates to investigate the CIA's destruction of interrogation torture videotapes and said on Wednesday a Justice Department probe of the issue would be sufficient. Lawyers for 11 Yemeni prisoners had asked U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy to investigate whether the CIA violated a 2005 court order to preserve documents on the mistreatment of prisoners at the U.S.-run prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They said trusting the Justice Department to investigate the issue would be a "classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse" and called for a broad inquiry into the U.S. handling of interrogation records.

Judge won't inquire into CIA tapes case 09 Jan 2008 A federal judge [U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy] refused on Wednesday to delve into the destruction of CIA interrogation videos, saying there was no evidence the Bush administration violated a court order and the Justice Department deserved time to conduct its own investigation.

Brown gives himself 'wriggle room' on ID cards scheme 10 Jan 2008 The commitment of Gordon Brown to identity cards was in question last night after he declined to say if he personally supported making them compulsory. Under the Government's plans, identity cards would be made compulsory in the next decade following a vote in Parliament.

Air passengers from Israel quarantined in Canada for flu symptoms 09 Jan 2008 About 80 passengers on a flight from Tel Aviv were quarantined for several hours at a Canadian airport late Tuesday after some of them showed flu symptoms, reports reaching here said Wednesday.

'Justices' Indicate They May Uphold Voter ID Rules 10 Jan 2008 There are many ways to lose a Supreme Court case, and by the end of an argument that was before the court on Wednesday, the Democrats who were challenging Indiana’s voter-identification law appeared poised to lose theirs in a potentially sweeping way, with implications for many future 'election' cases. Democrats charge that the true purpose of the laws is to deter participation by some predictably Democratic voters, particularly poor people and members of minority groups who are less likely than others to have driver’s licenses or passports.

Partisanship surfaces in Supreme Court arguments over voter-ID law 09 Jan 2008 The Supreme Court appeared to split along partisan lines Wednesday as the justices weighed a challenge to Indiana's toughest-in-the-nation law requiring every voter to show a photo identification card before casting a ballot.

Cheney Impeachment (Bangor Daily News) 09 Jan 2008 There is another angle on this difficult question [impeachment of Dick Cheney], raised by Rep. Michael Michaud in a Dec. 21 letter to Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "There is no doubt that at the very least this Administration has dangerously expanded the scope of executive authority and flaunted the constitutionally defined separation of powers," Rep. Michaud wrote... The specific alleged abuses of power will, for the most part, fade away when the Bush-Cheney administration leaves Washington. But the "dangerously expanded" powers of the executive branch cited by Rep. Michaud could remain in place.

Giuliani speech delayed by bomb threat 09 Jan 2008 Republican Rudy Giuliani's speech on taxes got sidetracked Wednesday after a bomb threat forced organizers to move to another location. [Was Giuliani the one who called it in?]

Large Nevada Union Backs Obama 10 Jan 2008 Presidential candidate Barack Obama has won the support of the 60,000-member Culinary Workers Union in Nevada, a coup for the Democrat that could boost his candidacy against Hillary Rodham Clinton in the state's nominating contest.

Richardson to End 2008 Presidential Bid 10 Jan 2008 New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson ended his campaign for the presidency Wednesday after twin fourth-place finishes that showed his impressive credentials could not compete with his rivals' star power. Richardson planned to announce the decision Thursday, according to two people close to the governor with knowledge of the decision. They spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the governor's announcement.

Few New Yorkers want Bloomberg for president 09 Jan 2008 Fifty-two percent of New York City voters say Mayor Michael Bloomberg would make a good president but only 34 percent would vote for him, a poll released on Wednesday said.

Nuclear row to escalate after Government backs new plants 10 Jan 2008 A fresh row about the cost and safety of nuclear power will flare today because of a decision by the Government to give the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Mexican trucks allowed deep into U.S. in defiance of Congress, lawmaker says 03 Jan 2008 The Bush administration is allowing Mexican trucks to continue to travel deep into the United States despite what critics say is a congressional mandate to ban the trucks from U.S. highways.

Air controllers say staffing too short 10 Jan 2008 Experienced air traffic controllers are retiring faster this year than the government projected and their union said Wednesday the remaining veterans can no longer safely handle peak volumes in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Southern California.

Groups to Sue for Polar Bear Protection 09 Jan 2008 Three conservation groups notified the federal government Wednesday they intend to sue to get polar bears listed as a threatened species due to global warming. The formal notice filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace is a necessary step before a lawsuit is filed. The notice cited a missed deadline by the federal agencies and officials in Washington on whether polar bears will be listed.

NYC council votes to mandate plastic bag recycling 09 Jan 2008 In a bid to curb the environmental impact of nearly 1 billion plastic bags used by New York City consumers annually, the city's council passed a bill on Wednesday requiring large stores to set up recycling programs.

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White House told to provide e-mail info 08 Jan 2008 A federal magistrate ordered the White House on Tuesday to reveal whether copies of possibly millions of missing e-mails are stored on computer backup tapes. The order by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola comes amid an effort by the White House to scuttle two lawsuits that could force the Executive Office of the President to recover any e-mail that has disappeared from computer servers where electronic documents are automatically archived. Two federal laws require the White House to preserve all records including e-mail.

Report reveals 1964 Gulf of Tonkin attack 'never happened' --NSA report reveals Vietnam War hoaxes, faked attacks 07 Jan 2008 North Vietnamese made hoax calls to get the US military to bomb its own units during the Vietnam War, according to declassified information that also confirmed US officials faked an incident to escalate the war. Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) project on government secrecy, told AFP that probably the "most historically significant feature" of the declassified NSA report was the retelling of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. That was a reported North Vietnamese attack on American destroyers that helped lead to president Lyndon Johnson's sharp escalation of American forces in Vietnam. The author of the report "demonstrates that not only is it not true, as (then US) secretary of defense Robert McNamara told Congress, that the evidence of an attack was 'unimpeachable,' but that to the contrary, a review of the classified signals intelligence proves that 'no attack happened that night,'" FAS said in a statement. [Wait till the documents on 9/11 are someday revealed, and the world wakes up to the fact that the terrorist attacks were an inside job, six ways from Sunday.]

Speaking of the non-existent Gulf of Tonkin incident: Bush Castigates Iran, Calling Naval Confrontation 'Provocative Act' 09 Jan 2008 President [sic] Bush chastised Iran on Tuesday for committing a "provocative act" by confronting United States Navy warships in the Persian Gulf [Iran's waters] over the weekend. The Pentagon released video showing Iranian speedboats maneuvering around the American convoy. [Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --George Santayana]

Bush to press allies on Iran during Mideast trip 08 Jan 2008 President George W. Bush said on Saturday he would use part of a weeklong Middle East trip next week to press allies to help keep Iran's "aggressive ambitions" in check. [What about Bush's 'aggressive ambitions?']

Ex-Marine: Civilians died unnecessarily in Afghanistan shooting 08 Jan 2008 A former Marine Corps intelligence sergeant testified Tuesday that up to 19 Afghan civilians died unnecessarily as his special operations unit responded to a car bomb attack on its convoy. "I really felt there were a lot of people who died who didn't need to," Nathanial Travers said. "They were just driving their cars."

Pentagon Won't Probe KBR Rape Charges 08 Jan 2008 The Defense Department's top watchdog has declined to investigate allegations that an American woman working under an Army contract in Iraq was raped by her co-workers. The case of former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones gained national attention last month. An ABC News investigation revealed how an earlier investigation into Jones' alleged gang-rape in 2005 had not resulted in any prosecution, and that neither Jones nor Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been able to get answers from the Bush administration on the state of her case.

U.S. marine corps forms panel to probe killing of Afghans 08 Jan 2008 Ten months after the killing of 19 Afghan civilians by a U.S. marine corps company, the marine corps set up a special panel Monday to investigate the incident war crime. The panel's job is to find out in the next two weeks whether Maj. Fred C. Galvin, commander of the 120-person unit, and platoon leader Capt. Vincent J. Noble, obstructed the law during the U.S. military's investigation of the case.

(Mis)Handling of Interrogation Recordings Leads to a Defense Request in Padilla Case 08 Jan 2008 Citing disclosures that the federal government had concealed, and in some cases destroyed, videotaped interrogations torture of Al Qaeda operatives, a defense lawyer in the case of Jose Padilla, who was 'convicted' as a terrorism conspirator, asked a federal judge on Monday to disclose any recordings that might bear on Mr. Padilla’s recruitment into the terrorist organization. The judge rejected the request, saying she had reviewed relevant material and concluded that the government had handed over all the required evidence.

U.S. wants life in prison for 3 in terrorism case 08 Jan 2008 U.S. former "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla and two other men 'convicted' last year of conspiring to aid terrorists abroad returned to a Miami court on Tuesday for a hearing to decide whether they will spend the rest of their lives behind bars. Padilla never was charged in any bomb plot. He was implicated by two suspected 'al Qaeda' operatives now held without charge at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One claimed he falsely implicated Padilla under torture at a Moroccan prison. The CIA destroyed interrogation videotapes of the other, Abu Zubaydah, whom news reports said was subjected to a form of simulated drowning known as "waterboarding" and widely condemned as torture. Padilla's lawyers have asked the judge to order the government to turn over any remaining evidence from those interrogations in hopes of overturning his conviction.

US, Iraq Launch 'Anti'-Extremist Operation 08 Jan 2008 The U.S. military launched a countrywide offensive Tuesday against al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in Iraq's efforts to regroup and intensify suicide strikes on civilians who have sided with the Americans against the terror group.

Iraqi Awakening Council members kidnapped, killed 08 Jan 2008 'Insurgents' have kidnapped eight Awakening Council members and killed 14 other people in Baghdad attacks, said an Iraqi Interior Ministry official on Tuesday.

US diplomats critical of Bush Iraq policy-survey 08 Jan 2008 Nearly half of U.S. diplomats who do not want to serve in Iraq say a key reason is because they do not support the Bush administration's policies there, according to a union survey released on Tuesday.

Diplomats Give Rice Low Marks 08 Jan 2008 Only 18 percent of the U.S. Foreign Service think Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is doing a good job protecting their profession, according to a recent survey conducted by the service's union. Forty-four percent rated her performance "poor" or "very poor," the same percentage of respondents who said that "developments of the last few years" had made it less likely they would complete their careers in the Foreign Service.

Bhutto's Son Asks for U.N.-Backed Investigation of Assassination 08 Jan 2008 The son of slain Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto on Tuesday called for a U.N.-backed investigation of his mother's death, saying that Pakistani authorities failed to provide her with adequate security and he did not trust them to solve her murder.

Clinton edges Obama in N.H. primary 08 Jan 2008 Armies of women voters who came out in force to support Hillary Rodham Clinton stopped the predicted tidal wave for Barack Obama cold in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday - a stunning upset that defied the polls and made her the Democratic "comeback kid" of the 2008 presidential race.

Clinton, McCain score stunning wins in New Hampshire --Clinton edges out Obama in down-to-wire race, McCain stages comeback 08 Jan 2008 Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain scored dramatic victories in Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries, besting rivals in hard-fought races that shook up the campaign for the presidential nominations.

New Hampshire Turnout 'Absolutely Huge' 08 Jan 2008 ABC News' Karen Travers Reports: New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan told ABC News that turnout among primary voters today is "absolutely huge" -- and there are concerns about running out of ballots in towns like Portsmouth, Keene, Hudson and Pelham. According to Scanlan, the ballot strain seems to be on Democratic ballots, which suggests that the undeclared voters are breaking for the Democratic primary. New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner predicted that 90,000 undeclared voters would vote in the Democratic primary compared to 60,000 voting in the Republican primary.

Chamber of Commerce vows to punish anti-business candidates --The group indicates it will spend in excess of the approximately $60 million it put out in the last presidential cycle coup. 08 Jan 2008 Alarmed at the increasingly populist tone of the 2008 political campaign, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is set to issue a fiery promise to spend millions of dollars to defeat candidates deemed to be anti-business. "We plan to build a grass-roots business organization so strong that when it bites you in the butt, you bleed," chamber President Tom Donohue said.

Oil $200 Options Rise 10-Fold in Bet on Higher Crude 07 Jan 2008 The fastest-growing bet in the oil market these days is that the price of crude will double to $200 a barrel by the end of the year. Options to buy oil for $200 on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 10-fold in the past two months to 5,533 contracts, a record increase for any similar period.

Drivers face $3.50 gasoline this spring 08 Jan 2008 U.S. consumers will pay record prices for gasoline this spring, with national monthly pump costs peaking near $3.50 per gallon when the busy driving season begins, the government's top energy forecasting agency said Tuesday. [See: Exxon Mobil is world's most profitable company --Royal Dutch Shell is second; BP is fourth 03 Jan 2008.]

Nikkei falls to 18-month low on U.S. fears, yen rise 08 Jan 2008 Japanese stocks fell 1.3 percent to an 18-month low on Wednesday as pessimism about the health of the U.S. economy increased and the yen rose, hitting exporters such as Toyota Motor Co.

Nearly 5% of poultry in Vietnam bear bird flu viruses 09 Jan 2008 Nearly five percent of 15,000 samples from healthy poultry in different cities and provinces in Vietnam have been tested positive to bird flu viruses, local newspaper People reported Wednesday.

Groups cite oil leases in U.S. delay on rating polar bear's status 08 Jan 2008 Environmental groups fear that political meddling and a rush to sell oil leases in Arctic waters are behind the Bush administration's announcement Monday that it will miss a legal deadline to determine whether to list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. Climate scientists predict that floating polar ice will disappear by midcentury, leaving the bear without food and habitat.

WWF Disappointed by U.S. Delay in Listing Polar Bears 07 Jan 2008 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) expressed disappointment over the announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on January 7 that it will delay by up to one month a final decision on whether to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Experts believe that two-thirds of polar bear populations could be lost by 2050. The scientific evidence is clear that polar bears are threatened by climate change-induced loss of sea ice.

No Offshore Drilling in Polar Bear Habitat (Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund) 08 Jan 2008 Sign our petition to urge Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to delay the planned February 6th sale of oil and gas drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea until the impact on the area's polar bears can be adequately determined.

Polar bear mother a danger to her cub 08 Jan 2008 A polar bear cub has been removed from its mother's care out of fear that it might be in danger of being eaten. The Nuremberg zoo, Germany, has announced that it would be bottle-feeding the newborn, who has yet to be named, after another bear in its compound apparently ate her two cubs.

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Bagram detention centre now twice the size of Guantanamo 08 Jan 2008 The United States has quietly expanded the number of "enemy combatants" being held in judicial limbo at its Bagram military base in Afghanistan, a facility which has now grown to more than twice the size of the controversial and much more widely discussed military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Bagram has received just a fraction of the world attention paid to Guantanamo, but the two facilities have prompted very similar complaints – about prisoners held incommunicado for weeks or months, the lack of recourse to any system of legal redress, and persistent reports of prisoner mistreatment that many human rights campaigners have characterised as torture.

"His blood rose and he asked the occupying soldiers to stop beating the woman," they said in the statement. "Their answer through the translator was: 'We will do what we want.' So he opened fire on them." Killer of U.S. Soldiers Becomes a Hero By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail 07 Jan 2008 On Dec. 26, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on U.S. soldiers accompanying him during a joint military patrol in the northern Iraqi city Mosul. He killed the U.S. captain and another sergeant, and wounded three others, including an Iraqi interpreter. Conflicting versions of the killing have arisen. Col. Hazim al-Juboory, uncle of the attacker Kaissar Saady al-Juboory, told IPS that his nephew at first watched the U.S. soldiers beat up an Iraqi woman. When he asked them to stop, they refused, so he opened fire.

2 Fires in Hit Iraqi Refinery; 1 Dead 07 Jan 2008 Two fires broke out Monday in Iraq's largest oil refinery in the northern town of Beiji, killing one person and injuring nine, police and hospital officials said. The U.S. military said two separate fires broke out in the refinery in the town 155 miles north of Baghdad due to a mechanical fault [?].

Fire destroys Iraq refinery's LPG unit - engineer 07 Jan 2008 Iraq's largest oil refinery was continuing to operate on Monday despite a fire that destroyed its liquified petroleum gas (LPG) unit, an engineer at the facility told Reuters. The engineer at Baiji refinery, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the fire had stopped spreading but firefighters were struggling to extinguish the blaze and had asked for reinforcements.

Bush to push Turkey, Iraq on Kurd fighters 08 Jan 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush was to encourage Turkish President Abdullah Gul Tuesday to work with Iraq on a "long-term political solution" to clashes with Kurdish fighters, the White House said.

US almost opened fire on Iranian boats, Pentagon says 08 Jan 2008 The US and Iran have engaged in their most serious military confrontation in recent times, with American warships on the verge of opening fire on gunboats of the Revolutionary Guards which had threatened to blow them up.

Iranian boats confront U.S. warships in Strait of Hormuz 07 Jan 2008 In a confrontation in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, five armed Iranian boats approached three U.S. Navy warships in international Iranian waters, taking aggressive actions in a brief weekend confrontation described by the Pentagon as "reckless and dangerous."

2 Hornets crash in Persian Gulf, crews safe 07 Jan 2008 Two F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets from the carrier Harry S. Truman collided in midair over the northern Persian Gulf on Monday afternoon. Rescue teams saved the three aviators involved in the crash and safely returned all three to the ship.

Mega barf alert! More than 10,000 police will guard Bush during Israel visit 07 Jan 2008 Israeli officials in Jerusalem are to deploy more than 10,000 police officers in a vast security operation ahead of the arrival this week of George Bush, the first US president to visit in a decade. Graffiti are being cleaned off walls, road markings are being repainted and hundreds of American flags are being put up across the city.

Discrimination recorded against Yemenis in Guantanamo Bay 08 Jan 2008 International human rights activists accuse the American government of exercising discrimination against Yemenis by keeping most of them incarcerated in the Guantanamo Bay prison while most other foreign nationals have been returned to their respective home countries. Of the 107 incarcerated Yemenis, only thirteen have been returned.

Heathrow Terror Plot Extremist Jailed 08 Jan 2008 A man arrested at Heathrow Airport has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after he admitted planning to fly to Pakistan with the intention of committing acts of terrorism. Sohail Qureshi admitted three charges of preparing or commissioning terrorist acts, possessing articles likely to be used in a terror act and possessing records likely to be useful in terrorism.

ACLU rips plan to track R.I. students 07 Jan 2008 A tech company with ties to a school district plans to test a tracking system by putting computer chips on grade-schoolers' backpacks, an experiment the ACLU ripped Monday as invasive and unnecessary. [Just destroy the backpacks --problem solved!]

In the toilet: Bush convenes Plunge Protection Team 08 Jan 2008 Bears beware. The New Deal of 2008 is in the works. The US Treasury is about to shower households with rebate cheques to head off a full-blown slump, and save the Bush p_Residency. On Friday, Mr Bush convened the so-called Plunge Protection Team for its first known meeting in the Oval Office. The black arts unit - officially the President's Working Group on Financial Markets - was created after the 1987 crash... The Plunge Protection Team - long kept secret - was last mobilised to calm the markets after 9/11. It then went into hibernation during the long boom.

US recession is already here, warns Merrill 07 Jan 2008 The US has entered its first full-blown economic recession in 16 years, according to investment bank Merrill Lynch. Merrill, itself one of Wall Street's biggest casualties of the sub-prime crisis, is the first major bank to declare that a recession in the world's biggest economy is now underway.

Pending home sales sink 2.6% in November 08 Jan 2008 Sales contracts on previously owned U.S. homes fell by 2.6% in November, a sign that home sales will continue to decline. The pending home sales index, based on contracts signed but not closed in November, fell 2.6% in November and was down 19.2% in the past year, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.

Baltimore Is Suing Bank Over Foreclosure Crisis 08 Jan 2008 Baltimore’s mayor and City Council are suing Wells Fargo Bank, contending that its lending practices discriminated against black borrowers and led to a wave of foreclosures that has reduced city tax revenues and increased its costs.

Bloomberg, Others Urge Bipartisanship --N.Y. Mayor, Former Lawmakers Use Forum to Ask for Unified Government 08 Jan 2008 New York Mayor [GOPervert] Michael R. Bloomberg, declaring once again that he is "not a candidate" for the presidency, joined a bipartisan forum Monday of mostly former elected officials seeking new ways to solve Washington's partisan gridlock. [The Democrats are winning, so the PentaPost urges 'bipartisanship!' The power-brokers who run the US know that the people are starting to demand a curb of Bush-style predatory capitalism, and they can't have that. Hence, the emergence of the 'bipartisanship card.' That's code for surrender to Bush and allowance for the corpora-terrorists to continue to plunder the National Treasury. God only knows, we've had enough of *that* for 7 years. Eliminate the Bush dictatorship; gridlock will end. --LRP]

Obama widens lead over Clinton in New Hampshire 08 Jan 2008 Democrat Barack Obama expanded his lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire to 13 points as voting began in the state's critical presidential primary, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Tuesday.

Obama and McCain get early win in New Hampshire hamlet --GOP gets 7 votes; Dems, 10 08 Jan 2008 Sen. Barack Obama won seven of the 10 votes cast for Democrats in the first balloting of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday in the northern hamlet of Dixville Notch, while Sen. John McCain won the Republican balloting.

Edwards burns the midnight oil 08 Jan 2008 Presidential candidates often call on America to "wake up" but John Edwards is bringing that message to voters literally. The couple launched a 36-hour bus tour of New Hampshire that began on Sunday and ended in the early hours of today - the day that polls open.

Huckabee vows to defy birthright citizenship 08 Jan 2008 Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate -- a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced.

Court Stays Out of Mich. Abortion Case 07 Jan 2008 The Supreme Court turned down efforts by Michigan and an anti-abortion group Monday to revive the state's law banning the procedure opponents call partial-birth abortion.

Scientists: Flu virus must pick lock before entering human 07 Jan 2008 U.S. researchers found that flu viruses must be able to pick a very specific type of lock before entering human respiratory cells, media reports quoted researchers as saying Monday. [And Bush's bioterrorists have the key.]

Polar Bear Fate Undecided --U.S. Agency Says It Will Miss Deadline for Endangered Species Decision 07 Jan 2008 The head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took responsibility Monday for missing a deadline requiring a final decision on whether to give polar bears federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. "Rather than speed up protections for this iconic animal, the Bush administration is speeding up its giveaway of polar bear habitat to big oil," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., in a statement. Markey chairs the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Decision on Listing Polar Bear Postponed 08 Jan 2008 Federal officials said Monday that they will need a few more weeks to decide whether polar bears need protection under the Endangered Species Act because of global warming. The deadline was Wednesday, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it now hopes to provide a recommendation to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne in time for a decision by him within the next month. [Please sign NRDC's petition to add the polar bear to the "threatened" list.]

Pittsburgh basking in 66 degrees in January 08 Jan 2008 According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature for Pittsburgh yesterday reached 66, shattering the old record of 63 set on Jan. 7, 1930, by an almost-balmy three degrees of separation. "And we'll probably break the record again," said Roger Stairs, a meteorologist with the weather service, which is forecasting highs in the mid- to upper 60s today.

Rare winter tornadoes pop up in nation's midsection 08 Jan 2008 A tornado was reported blowing across eastern Arkansas Tuesday, a day after a freak cluster of January twisters sprung up in the unseasonably warm Midwest and demolished houses, knocked a railroad locomotive off its tracks and shuttered a courthouse.

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Al-Qaeda: bombs waiting for Bush visit 07 Jan 2008 An 'al Qaeda' member [Adam Pearlman] warned on a videotape Sunday that U.S. President [sic] George Bush's upcoming trip to the Middle East will meet bombs and booby-traps instead of roses and applause, media reported Monday.

Iran says Bush's Middle East trip aimed at "interfering" 06 Jan 2008 Iran said on Sunday that U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush's planned trip to the Middle East was aimed at interfering in relations among regional states. "We consider such a trip as interference in the relations of the countries in the region and propaganda," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini told reporters during his weekly briefing.

Bush: Iran still a priority 06 Jan 2008 Ahead of a major Middle East tour, President Bush said he would tell Israeli and Arab leaders that isolating Iran is still a priority. Bush leaves Tuesday for an eight-day tour that will encompass Israel, the West Bank, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Navy fighter jets crash in Persian Gulf 07 Jan 2008 Two U.S. Navy fighter jets plunged into the Persian Gulf Monday, after what initial reports suggest was a mid-air collision, a defense official said. All three pilots ejected safely from the planes and were headed back to the USS Harry Truman, the aircraft carrier they were operating from, according to the official, who requested anonymity because the information was preliminary and not yet released publicly.

U.S. says Iranian gunboats harassed warships --Officials describe incident as a 'significant provocative act' 07 Jan 2008 Iranian Revolutionary Guard gunboats harassed three U.S. Navy warships in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday, in what the U.S. military officials described as a "significant provocative act." Military officials told NBC News Monday that two U.S. Navy destroyers and one frigate were heading into the Persian Gulf through the international Iranian waters of the Strait of Hormuz when five armed "fast boats" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard approached a high speed, darting in and out of the formation. At one point a radio message from one of the Iranian boats warned, "You are going to blow up within minutes." [How can you 'harass' a (foreign) warship in your own waters? Its existence in your waters is, in itself, a provocation. --LRP]

Pentagon Says Ships Harassed by Iran 07 Jan 2008 In what U.S. officials called a serious provocation, Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats harassed and provoked three U.S. Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, threatening to explode the American vessels.

Hello, Pot? This is Kettle... Iran should avoid provocative actions: White House 07 Jan 2008 The White House said on Monday that the harassment of U.S. Navy ships by Iran was "provocative" and warned Tehran against taking such actions in the future. "We urge the Iranians to refrain from such provocative actions that could lead to a dangerous incident in the future," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said. [Is illegally invading and occupying a country and killing over one million civilians 'provocative?' Just curious.]

Iraq death rate belies US claims of success 07 Jan 2008 The death rate in Iraq in the past 12 months has been the second highest in any year since the invasion, according to figures that appear to contradict American claims that the troop "surge" has dramatically reduced the level of violence across the country.

MoD accused of 'glamorising' war 07 Jan 2008 Young people are being recruited into the Army with misleading marketing, and the disillusionment which follows has led to a huge number of them leaving the service, a report has claimed. The advertising campaigns used by the Ministry of Defence "glamorise warfare, omit vital information and fail to point out the risks and responsibilities associated with a forces career", says the study. At the same time, promises made to those joining the ranks are often not kept and the recruits are also not told of their legal rights.

Iraq army day attack toll rises to 14 07 Jan 2008 A suicide attack in Baghdad, which three Iraqi soldiers tried to prevent by flinging themselves on the bomber, killed 14 people, government officials said on Monday, updating an earlier toll.

Baghdad Suicide Bomb Kills Sunni Leader 07 Jan 2008 A double suicide attack outside an agency that cares for Sunni mosques and shrines killed at least 12 people on Monday, including the Sunni leader of a U.S.-backed group fighting al-Qaida [al-CIAduh], officials and witnesses said.

Two U.S. soldiers killed in bomb attacks in Iraq 07 Jan 2008 Two U.S. soldiers were killed in separate bomb attacks in Iraq this weekend, the U.S. military said on Sunday. One soldier was killed on Sunday when his vehicle was hit by a bomb explosion in southern Baghdad, the military said in a statement. Three others were wounded in the attack.

Report: FBI translator says Israel planted nuclear 'moles' in U.S. 06 Jan 2008 A Britsh newspaper on Sunday published allegations by a former FBI translator that Israel has planted "moles" in United States institutions dealing with nuclear technology. According to the report in The Sunday Times, Sibel Edmonds worked on translating "thousands of hours of conversations by Turkish diplomatic and political targets" that had been secretly taped by the FBI.

Israeli warplane hits home of dead militant in Gaza 03 Jan 2008 Israeli aircraft struck two targets in the Gaza Strip today, including the home of a senior Palestinian militant killed by Israeli troops last month, Palestinian officials said. Palestinian medical officials said the house was empty, but nine bystanders were lightly wounded.

Two Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan rollover 07 Jan 2008 Two Canadian soldiers were killed Sunday when their light armoured vehicle rolled over about 40 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City.

Secret U.S. detention center at Bagram is expanding 07 Jan 2008 An American detention center, established at the Bagram military base after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is now teeming with some 630 prisoners -- more than twice the 275 being held at Guantánamo... In a confidential memorandum last summer, the Red Cross said dozens of prisoners had been held incommunicado for weeks or even months in a previously undisclosed warren of isolation cells at Bagram, two American officials said. The Red Cross said the prisoners were kept from its inspectors and sometimes subjected to cruel treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions, one of the officials said.

Al-Qaeda videos now on cell phones 07 Jan 2008 Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] video messages of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri can now be downloaded to cell phones, the terror network announced as part of its attempts to extend its influence.

Clinton heightens terrorism rhetoric 07 Jan 2008 Facing the prospect of defeat in tomorrow’s primary, Hillary Clinton just made her strongest suggestion yet that the next president may face a terrorist attack – and that she would be the best person to handle it.

Passenger jets get anti-missile devices 04 Jan 2008 Tens of thousands of airline passengers will soon be flying on jets outfitted with anti-missile systems as part of a new government test aimed at thwarting tempting terrorists armed with shoulder-fired projectiles. Three American Airlines Boeing 767-200s that fly daily round-trip routes between New York and California will receive the anti-missile laser jammers this spring, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is spending $29 million on the tests.

Man arrested with loaded Glock at Logan Airport 07 Jan 2008 A Norwell man heading to Florida was arrested by state police at Logan International Airport Sunday evening carrying a loaded 9mm Glock pistol, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Voter ID case could affect election laws 06 Jan 2008 The League of Women Voters has tried to put names and faces on the people who could be hurt by a strict Indiana voter-identification law that the Supreme Court will take up Wednesday. The league is among the groups backing Indiana challengers to the law who say it impinges on the right to vote and mostly hurts elderly, disabled, poor and minority voters. A Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure in 2005.

Obama gets beefed-up protection 07 Jan 2008 Secret Service presence has increased for Sen. Barack Obama since his dramatic win in Iowa, amid fears over the safety of the man seeking to become America's first black president. The Illinois senator's security now rivals that of President [sic] Bush, with a dozen Secret Service agents wearing dark suits and earpieces leading bomb-sniffing dogs through event venues, sweeping all equipment brought by journalists and flanking the candidate as he plunges into crowds of supporters.

Obama Has 90% Odds of New Hampshire Win, Traders Say 07 Jan 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has a 90 percent chance of winning the New Hampshire primary election and is likely to capture his party's nomination, online traders say.

Obama rockets past Clinton in New Hampshire 07 Jan 2008 Democrat Barack Obama rocketed to a 10-point lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire one day before their showdown in the state's presidential primary, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Monday.

Naomi Campbell interviews 'rebel angel' Hugo Chavez 06 Jan 2008 British supermodel Naomi Campbell has interviewed Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, describing him as a "rebel angel" who is unafraid to speak his mind but poses no threat to democracy. Campbell was granted an audience with the left-wing leader as part of her new brief as contributing editor for British men's lifestyle magazine GQ.

Supreme Court takes up lethal injection battle 07 Jan 2008 The legal battle over lethal injection, which comes before the U.S. Supreme Court today, has been conducted in unusual secrecy, with courts permitting states across the country to keep from lawyers and the public precisely how death row inmates are executed. In state after state, defense lawyers contending that the execution method inflicts unnecessary pain complain that judges have denied them access to crucial information, including the identity of executioners and details about the drug cocktail used in the fatal injections.

FDA to clear cloned livestock for consumers: report 04 Jan 2008 The U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is expected to declare as early as next week that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring is safe to eat, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Racial disparities persist in U.S. cancer treatment 07 Jan 2008 U.S. blacks continue to get inferior cancer treatment compared to whites, researchers said on Monday in a study showing that disparities first documented in the early 1990s persist despite efforts to erase them.

Polar-Bear Cubs Disappear at Nuremberg's Zoo, DPA Reports 07 Jan 2008 Polar-bear cubs born at Nuremberg's zoo have vanished and are presumed dead, possibly of disease, the German press agency DPA reported, citing zoo director Dag Encke. The missing cubs -- probably two of them -- may have been eaten by their mother, Vilma, DPA said. A second polar bear at the zoo, Vera, also had cubs recently and they may still be healthy, the agency said.

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US military not welcome in Pakistan: army, foreign ministry 06 Jan 2008 Pakistan reacted angrily Sunday to reports that US President [sic] George W. Bush is considering covert military operations in the country's volatile tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. "It is not up to the US administration, it is Pakistan's government who is responsible for this country," chief military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad told AFP.

US weighs CIA, military push in Pakistan 07 Jan 2008 President [sic] George Bush's security advisers are debating whether to authorise the CIA and the military to conduct more aggressive covert operations in Pakistani tribal areas. The debate follows 'intelligence reports' that al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and the Taliban are intensifying efforts to destabilise the Pakistani Government, according to senior Administration officials. The Pakistani military reacted angrily to the reports.

U.S. Considers New Covert Push Within Pakistan 06 Jan 2008 President [sic] Bush’s senior national security advisers are debating whether to expand the authority of the Central Intelligence Agency and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Many of the specific options under discussion are unclear and highly classified. Officials said that the options would probably involve the C.I.A. working with the military’s Special Operations forces. At the White House and the Pentagon, officials see an opportunity in the changing power structure for the Americans to advocate for the expanded authority in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed country. [Hmm... Who benefits from the Bhutto assassination? Do we really need Scotland Yard to figure out who was behind it?]

Pakistan, Iran to finalise gas pipeline project by 25th --Iranian envoy says the two countries cementing economic ties 07 Jan 2008 Pakistan and Iran are set to finalise an agreement on a multi-billion gas pipeline project by January 25 this year, Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mashallah Shakeri said on Sunday. "The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project is one of the most important economic projects in the region, which will bring extensive benefits for the three countries," the envoy said in an interview. [This is the reason for Bush's illegal covert military operations in Pakistan.]

For sale: West's deadly nuclear secrets 06 Jan 2008 A whistleblower has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets. Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office. She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.

Nuclear alert: PM's bribe boosts dumping of waste --Secret deal will be followed by £1bn move to find long-term disposal facility for the most dangerous radioactive waste, so securing the future of nuclear power plants. 06 Jan 2008 Nuclear chiefs are to give Britons millions of pounds of taxpayers' money to accept the dumping of radioactive waste near their home. The operators of the controversial Sellafield nuclear complex have agreed to pay local people in Cumbria some £75m for expanding the only national dump for low-level nuclear waste, in a move that has surprised leading experts. The unprecedented deal – which is being called a "bribe" – is widely thought to be the precursor of a payment of at least £1bn to the community that agrees to take a much more controversial planned repository for infinitely more dangerous waste that will remain toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.

Army Day bomb attacks kill 14: Iraqi officials 06 Jan 2008 A spate of bombings, including a suicide blast which two Iraqi soldiers tried to prevent by flinging themselves on the attacker, rocked Baghdad as it marked Army Day on Sunday, officials said. At least 14 people, among them six security personnel, were killed and 32 wounded in three separate attacks, Iraqi officials said.

Iran slams 'interfering' Bush 06 Jan 2008 Iran has attacked President [sic] George W. Bush’s planned trip to the Middle East next week, saying the landmark visit was aimed at interfering in relations between regional countries. Bush is due to become the first US president to visit Israel in nine years, in a bid to hasten the search for peace with the Palestinians. "We see such a trip as interference in the relations of the countries in the region and propaganda," foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters.

Bush to propose ME plan to combat Iran 05 Jan 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush will work with Middle East allies to develop a security plan to counter Iran during his upcoming visit to the region. In his weekly radio address, Bush said that curtailing Iran's "aggressive ambitions" will be one of the key aims of his trip to the region this week.

Iran expels German diplomat for so called 'undiplomatic' behaviours 06 Jan 2008 Iran expelled a German diplomat for "undiplomatic" behaviour, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday. "Responsible authorities recognized that this person was engaging in undiplomatic behaviour and has to leave Iran," Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters during his weekly briefing.

NATO says two civilians killed in Afghanistan 06 Jan 2008 Two civilians, one a child, were found dead and five others wounded after a clash between 'insurgents' and NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said Sunday. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said troops were attacked by the rebels late Friday. They found the civilians when they returned to the scene of the violence in Uruzgan province on Saturday.

A Scramble At the CIA to Lawyer Up 05 Jan 2008 Attorney general Michael Mukasey's decision to launch a full-scale FBI probe into the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes has sent several alarmed agency employees scrambling to find lawyers. To lead the probe, the A.G. named John Durham, a hard-nosed veteran prosecutor who is assembling a team of deputies and FBI agents. Some CIA veterans fear the move is tantamount to unleashing an independent coun sel on Langley.

American Al Qaeda Leader to Bush: 'We Will Be Waiting For You' --Native Californian Al Qaeda Leader Makes Threats Against Bush Middle East Visit 06 Jan 2008 American Al Qaeda al-CIAduh leader Adam Gadahn Pearlman told his followers to welcome Bush "with bombs and traps" upon his upcoming visit to the Middle East this week. Gadahn Pearlman is the star of the latest al Qaeda propaganda video to be posted online by the group's media wing, As Sahab. [See: Fake Al Qaeda. The FBI lists Gadahn's aliases as Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki, Abu Suhayb, Yihya Majadin Adams, Adam Pearlman, and Yayah. But Adam Pearlman is his REAL name. Adam is the grandson of the late Carl K. Pearlman; a prominent Jewish urologist in Orange County. BTW, actual Faux News headline: 'New al-Qaeda threat: Will it help John McCain in NH?' Al Qaeda always helps the GOP - It's a Bush creation.]

Report calls Israeli courts unfair 06 Jan 2008 Israel's military court system for Palestinian suspects in the West Bank produces almost automatic convictions, an Israeli human rights group charged Sunday. The group, Yesh Din, said in a new report that in 2006 more than 99.7 percent of those accused were convicted, 95 percent in plea bargains.

Why I Believe Bush Must Go --Nixon Was Bad. These Guys Are Worse. By George McGovern 06 Jan 2008 As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president [sic] and the vice president [sic]... Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly "high crimes and misdemeanors," to use the constitutional standard.

Four Illinois residents tested for TB 05 Jan 2008 Health officials have tested four Illinois residents for tuberculosis infection after they shared a December flight from India to Chicago with a woman who was sick with a drug-resistant strain of the disease. Several others are still being sought for testing as part of a national effort to find and check passengers at risk for infection as a result of the flight, officials said Friday. In all, eight people from Illinois were considered at risk by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after traveling on American Airlines Flight 293 from New Delhi to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Dec. 13.

Lebanon on alert after Israel reports bird flu 05 Jan 2008 Lebanon on Saturday said it was increasing its vigilance after a case of H5N1 strain of bird flu that is dangerous to humans was detected in neighbouring Israel. In a statement published on Saturday, the ministry of agriculture called on farmers to remain vigilant and mobilised teams close to the country's southern border.

Jobless rate hits 5 percent, 2-year high 04 Jan 2008 Hiring practically stalled in December, driving the nation's unemployment rate up to a two-year high of 5 percent and fanning fears of a recession. Employers last month added the fewest new jobs to their payrolls in more than four years, according to the employment report released Friday by the Labor Department.

Mega barf alert! McCain Asserts That He Could Beat Obama in Nov. 06 Jan 2008 Sen. John McCain (R-Sociopath-Ariz.) asserted today that he could win a generational-focused November election campaign against Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on the strength of his record combating special interests and his support for President [sic] Bush's troop surge strategy in Iraq.

Poll: Obama, McCain leap ahead in N.H. 06 Jan 2008 Amid frenetic last-minute campaigning, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds the onetime front-runners in New Hampshire lagging as Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have surged to leads before Tuesday's primary. Obama vaulted to a 13 percentage-point advantage over New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton three weeks after they were tied here. McCain gained a four-point edge over Mitt Romney, a former governor of neighboring Massachusetts who has campaigned almost as a favorite son.

Kucinich Files Complaint on ABC Debate 05 Jan 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich filed a complaint with the FCC on Friday after ABC News excluded him, fellow Democrat Mike Gravel and Republican Duncan Hunter from its prime-time debates on Saturday.

Water freezes instead of draining in flooded town 06 Jan 2008 Hundreds of homes sat in as much as 8 feet of water Sunday following a canal rupture as freezing weather spread sheets of ice over yards and streets, hindering efforts to get the water to drain away. As many as 400 homes were damaged when the canal's bank gave way following heavy rainfall produced by the West Coast storm system that had piled snow as much as 11 feet deep in the Sierra Nevada. Thousands of customers had been blacked out in three states and many of them in California could remain in the dark for days because the storm ripped down nearly 500 miles of power lines, utility officials said Sunday.

Polar bear killed after wandering into village 05 Jan 2008 Officials in the village of Noorvik say a polar bear that wandered into the community and tore through some trash has been killed. At least two other bears have been spotted near the village, 45 miles east of Kotzebue. The sightings are unusual because they are miles inland from the bears' normal habitat on ocean ice packs. Jim Dau is the Department of Fish and Game's area wildlife biologist. He says the bear was about 75 miles outside its normal range and had a surprisingly thin layer of fat.

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Israel to brief George Bush on options for Iran strike 06 Jan 2008 Israeli security officials are to brief President [sic] George W Bush on their latest intelligence about Iran’s nuclear programme - and how it could be destroyed - when he begins a tour of the Middle East in Jerusalem this week. Ehud Barak, the defence minister, is said to want to convince him that an Israeli military strike against uranium enrichment facilities in Iran would be feasible if diplomatic efforts failed to halt nuclear operations. A range of military options has been prepared.

Bush: We would defend Israel against Iran 06 Jan 2008 An Iranian attack on Israel isn't imminent, but the U.S. would defend its ally in such an event, United States President [sic] George Bush told Channel 2 television just days before he begins a Mideast visit. If Iran were to strike Israel, Bush said, "We will defend our ally, no ands, ifs or buts."

Israel warns of Iranian missile peril for Europe 06 Jan 2008 Iran is developing nuclear missiles capable of reaching beyond its enemies in the Middle East to Europe, President [sic] George Bush will be warned when he visits Israel and the Palestinian territories for the first time since entering the White House. A senior Israeli cabinet minister has told The Sunday Telegraph that his government is convinced Iran is intent on becoming the first Muslim superpower, with weapons capable of striking not only at Israel but also Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia as well as Greece and other parts of south-eastern Europe.

Army of 8,000 to protect George Bush visit 05 Jan 2008 Military helicopters, a fleet of armoured limousines and 8,000 security personnel form just part of a huge logistical circus to be deployed when President [sic] Bush visits Israel. Israel’s main motorway will close and all flights in and out of Ben Gurion airport will be blocked at about 2pm on Wednesday to stop would-be assassins [!] as he arrives. All rooms at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel are booked out to the presidential party for security.

Special forces win the right to take their secrets to the grave 05 Jan 2008 All members of the special forces are to be guaranteed anonymity in death as well as throughout their lives as part of a new move to raise morale in the country’s most elite military units, The Times has learnt. Defence sources said that the head of the special forces had intervened to demand a new no-identity policy because of concerns that morale was being damaged. Coroners at inquests into the deaths of special forces' members are to be told only to refer to them as Soldier A or Soldier B.

Iraqis resort to selling children 04 Jan 2008 Abu Muhammad, a Baghdad resident, found it difficult to let go of his daughter's hand but he had already convinced himself that selling her to a family outside Iraq would provide her with a better future. "The war disgraced my family. I lost relatives including my wife among thousands of victims of sectarian violence and was forced to sell my daughter to give my other children something to eat," he told Al Jazeera... Ruwaida Saleh, 31, a mother of three, is also praying for her eight-year-old daughter Hala’s safety. Saleh says her daughter disappeared in July 2007 and has not been heard from since. "The police told us to give up, but I cannot. I have nightmares she is being raped," she said. [Hollywood writers can stay on strike, because George W. Bush is providing all the scripts that the producers of Law & Order: SVU will ever need. --Lori Price]

Two US soldiers gunned down on Boxing Day patrol by militant who infiltrated Iraqi army 05 Jan 2008 Two US servicemen were shot dead by an Iraqi soldier "with links to militants" while on a joint Boxing Day patrol. The U.S. military said that the Iraqi soldier killed the two servicemen for "reasons that are as yet unknown" while they were on a patrol north of the capital.

Iraqi soldier allegedly kills two U.S. soldiers in N Iraq 05 Jan 2008 The U.S. military said on Saturday that an Iraqi soldier shot dead two U.S. soldiers during a combined operation in Nineveh province on Dec. 26. Three other U.S. soldiers and one civilian interpreter were also wounded in the attack, a military statement said.

Six dead in Iraq bus bomb blast 05 Jan 2008 A roadside bomb explosion struck a passing minibus north of Baghdad, killing six people and wounding another three, the Joint Co-ordination Centre for the province said.

Padilla Sues Former U.S. Lawyer Over Detention 05 Jan 2008 Jose Padilla, the American citizen who was held in military imprisonment for more than three years as an enemy combatant, filed a lawsuit Friday against a former Justice Department lawyer [sociopath John C. Yoo], who helped provide the legal justifications for what the suit says was Mr. Padilla’s unconstitutional confinement and "gross physical and psychological abuse."

Scotland Yard team arrives in Pakistan 04 Jan 2008 Investigators from Britain's Scotland Yard have arrived in Islamabad to assist Pakistani authorities in investigating the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Bishop warns of no-go zones for non-Muslims 06 Jan 2008 Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops warns today. Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali compares the threat to the use of intimidation by the far-Right [?], and says that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christianity to be the nation's public religion in a multifaith, multicultural society.

Oops! Stolen: Top secret entry codes to 73 police stations 06 Jan 2008 Top-secret entry codes to some of Britain's biggest police stations have been stolen in an astonishing Scotland Yard security blunder. The details - which gave confidential keypad access numbers to 73 police stations across London - were stolen from a car owned by a worker for a vehicle-maintenance contractor.

U.S. State Department Approves RFID Passports Amidst Privacy Concerns --Critics decry the design's increased range 04 Jan 2008 With the original incarnation slammed over security concerns, a new breed of RFID-enabled passports received the U.S. State Department’s stamp of approval last Monday. The new passports are set to launch this spring for U.S. citizens entering the United States through land and sea checkpoints.

Privacy Groups Blast New Passport Tech 31 Dec 2007 Passport cards for Americans who travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean will be equipped with technology that allows information on the card to be read from a distance.

'Vendors argue, the machines are almost always tested by the government [the illegitimate Bush regime] before they're permitted to be used.' Can You Count on Voting Machines? 06 Jan 2008 To this date, many Gore supporters refuse to accept the legitimacy of George W. Bush’s presidency [sic]; and by ultimately deciding the 2000 presidential election first GOP coup d'etat, the Supreme Court was pilloried for appearing overly partisan backing it. In essence, 'elections' now face a similar outsourcing issue to that seen in the Iraq war, where the government has ceded so many core military responsibilities to firms like Halliburton and Blackwater that Washington can no longer fire the contractor.

NH GOP drops sponsorship of FOX debate 05 Jan 2008 The New Hampshire Republican Party dropped their affiliation with a Republican debate sponsored by Fox News tomorrow night because they have limited the number of candidates that can participate. "The first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary serves a national purpose by giving all candidates an equal opportunity on a level playing field," said Republican chair Fergus Cullen. "Only in New Hampshire do lesser known, lesser funded underdogs have a fighting chance to establish themselves as national figures."

Romney wins Wyoming caucuses 05 Jan 2008 Mitt Romney captured his first win of the Republican presidential race, gaining most of Wyoming's delegates at stake in GOP caucuses on Saturday. The former Massachusetts governor won seven delegates.

Clinton, Obama in dead heat in NH poll 05 Jan 2008 Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are locked in a dead heat for the New Hampshire primary, according to a poll released Saturday that underscores the tight Democratic race after his win in Iowa.

US doomed if creationist president elected: scientists 04 Jan 2008 A day after ordained Baptist minister Mike Huckabee finished first in the opening round to choose a Republican candidate for the White House, scientists warned Americans against electing a leader who doubts evolution. The evolution versus creationism debate has crept into American schools and politics, where it is mainly conservative Republicans [morons] who espouse the non-scientific belief.

Mexican trucks allowed into U.S. despite new law to stop them 04 Jan 2008 The Bush dictatorship is going ahead with a controversial illegal pilot program giving Mexican trucks greater access to U.S. highways despite a new law by Congress against it. "They know what the law says," retorted Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who won a 74-24 vote to block the program. "And they're not above the law." Dorgan warned they better follow the law.

Mega barf alert! FDA to Back Food From Cloned Animals --Move Would Defy Congress's Wish for Delay 05 Jan 2008 The Food and Drug Administration is set to announce as early as next week that meat and milk from cloned farm animals and their offspring can start making their way toward supermarket shelves, sources in contact with the agency said yesterday. The decision would be a notable act of defiance against Congress, which last month passed appropriations legislation recommending that any such approval be delayed pending further studies. Moreover, the Senate version of the Farm bill, yet to be reconciled with the House version, contains stronger, binding language that would block FDA action on cloned food, probably for years.

Mine 'safety' regulator keeps his job 04 Jan 2008 The country's top mine-safety regulator will stay on the job despite the expiration of his temporary appointment as assistant labor secretary for mine 'safety' and health. President [sic] Bush designated Richard Stickler as acting head of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration on Friday, only a few days after the expiration of his recess appointment.

Navy must cut sonar use off California 04 Jan 2008 A federal judge in Los Angeles on Thursday ordered the toughest set of restrictions ever imposed on the U.S. Navy's use of mid-frequency sonar off the Southern California coast as part of a protracted court battle to protect whales and other marine mammals from underwater sonic blasts.

Survival of Polar Bears? Million of Acres to Be Opened to Oil and Gas Activities 04 Jan 2008 The Minerals Management Service (MMS), an agency within the Department of Interior (DOI), issued its Final Notice of Intent for the Chukchi Lease Sale 193 opening approximately 29.7 million acres of the pristine Chukchi Sea to oil and gas activities on January 2. This controversial announcement comes just days before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is due to decide if the polar bear should be listed under the Endangered Species Act due to severe habitat loss from melting sea ice in Alaska's Arctic Ocean caused by global warming. If the polar bear is listed, FWS is required to designate critical habitat for the bear, which may include the same waters contained in Lease Sale 193.

Zoo leaves polar bear cubs to starve 06 Jan 2008 Three tiny polar bear cubs are being allowed to starve to death after a zoo took the controversial decision not to rear them by hand if their mother continued to neglect them. Mother bears Vera and Wilma gave birth three weeks and five weeks ago at Nuremberg Zoo in southern Germany. It is thought they have six cubs between them. Wilma is displaying the signs of being a good mother, but Vera shows no interest in her young.

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A Historic Victory (and a New Dynamic Duo) --The Rec Report By Dr. Michael Rectenwald 04 Jan 2008 Barack Obama has already made history. If he goes on to win the presidency, he will make even greater history by being the first black President of the United States. This possibility makes tonight one of the most historic moments in centuries.

Iowa upsets deliver wins for Huckabee and Obama 04 Jan 2008 Barack Obama swept away any sense of inevitability about Hillary Clinton's march to the White House last night, scoring an upset victory in the Iowa caucuses that dramatically alters the Democratic race. Republican voters also rejected the established order, awarding a convincing victory to Mike Huckabee, the Baptist preacher who until two months ago was a virtual unknown outside his native Arkansas.

Huckabee and Obama win Iowa caucuses 04 Jan 2008 Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee swept to victory Thursday night in the Iowa caucuses, dispatching their more established rivals and shredding any sense of inevitability in the 2008 presidential race.

What America saw this morning: Hope By Sam Graham-Felsen 04 Jan 2008 Barack Obama's victory last night was nothing short of historic. Here are some of the front pages from newspapers around the country.

Edwards Makes His Case to N.H. Voters 04 Jan 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards implored New Hampshire voters Friday to repudiate the Iowa caucus results and vote for a candidate "who will fight for the middle class" against corporate interests that he accuses of moving jobs overseas and making health care expensive.

Edwards Vows Vigorous Campaign Vs Obama 03 Jan 2008 John Edwards tried to put the best face on a disappointing loss in the Iowa Democratic caucus, but vowed a vigorous campaign against winner Barack Obama in New Hampshire. "The status quo lost and change won," Edwards told a crowded ballroom of supporters. He said he would go to New Hampshire, which votes Tuesday, "to determine who's best suited to bring about the change this country so desperately needs."

Edwards Statement On the Price Of Oil Reaching $100 A Barrel 02 Jan 2008 "Today's report that the price of oil has reached $100 a barrel is just another example of how corporate greed is squeezing the middle class. This increase shows the urgency of taking on the big oil companies so we can build a new energy economy and transition away from oil to other affordable sources of energy... It's time for us to rise up and take on the corporate greed that is taking over our democracy so we can leave a better America to our children."

Reuters/C–SPAN/Zogby New Hampshire Poll: McCain Leads Romney; Clinton Leads Obama as Edwards Hits 20% --Huckabee a distant third, Rudy fourth 04 Jan 2008 Republican John McCain has leapt into first place in the GOP primary race in New Hampshire, while Clinton holds on to a six–point edge in the first three–day Reuters/C–SPAN/Zogby telephone tracking poll of likely voters shows.

Dodd and Biden both drop out of race 03 Jan 2008 U.S. Sens. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination tonight after each recorded scant support in the leadoff Iowa caucuses.

ABC Cuts 3 From Presidential Debates 04 Jan 2008 ABC News is eliminating Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter and Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel from its prime- time presidential debates Saturday night because they did not meet benchmarks for their support.

AOL Poll: Do You Agree with Removing Ron Paul from the Debate? [No, but I agree with removing George Bush from 'office.' --LRP] Hot Seat By Ed Morrissey 03 Jan 2008 Do you agree with Fox News' decision to exclude Ron Paul from the next debate?

Vehicle ban ordered in Baqouba following series of bomb attacks 04 Jan 2008 Iraqi authorities ordered a vehicle ban in the city of Baqouba on Friday in the wake of a series of deadly suicide bombings and other attacks by al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in Iraq against predominantly Sunni fighters that have allied with the United States. The ban also comes as the US military stepped up operations against al-Qaida cells and networks in Diyala province, of which Baqouba is the capital.

3 U.S. soldiers killed, 1 wounded in operations in Iraq 04 Jan 2008 Two U.S. soldiers were killed in military operations in the province of Diala while a third was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) south of Baghdad, the U.S. army in Iraq said.

Next few days to see date for meeting with Iran – Crocker 04 Jan 2008 The U.S. is having contacts with the Iraqi government to set a date for holding the fourth round of talks with Iran, U.S. ambassador in Baghdad Ryan Crocker revealed on Friday.

Bomber strikes Indian workers in Afghanistan 04 Jan 2008 A suicide bomber attacked Indian road construction workers and their Afghan police escorts yesterday in southwestern Afghanistan, killing seven and wounding 12.

Bhutto had "proof" state, spy agency rigging poll 01 Jan 2008 Benazir Bhutto was poised to reveal proof that Pakistan's election commission and shadowy spy agency were seeking to rig an upcoming general election the night she was assassinated, a top aide said on Tuesday. Senator Latif Khosa, who authored a 160-page dossier with Bhutto documenting rigging tactics, said they ranged from intimidation to fake ballots, and were in some cases unwittingly funded by U.S. aid. Bhutto had been due to give the report to two visiting U.S. lawmakers over dinner on Dec. 27, the day she was killed in a suicide bombing.

CIA in 2003 Planned Destruction of Torture Tapes 04 Jan 2008 A key member of Congress disclosed yesterday that the CIA said in February 2003 that it planned to destroy videotapes of harsh interrogations torture after the agency's inspector general finished probing the episodes, an account that adds detail to recent CIA statements about the circumstances surrounding the tapes' destruction. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) released a declassified copy of a letter she secretly wrote to the CIA in February 2003, in which she quoted then-CIA General Counsel Scott W. Muller as telling her a tape of the agency's interrogation of Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, better known as Abu Zubaida, "will be destroyed after the Inspector General finishes his inquiry."

Lawmaker Told CIA Not to Destroy Tapes 03 Jan 2008 The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee warned in a 2003 letter that destroying videotapes of terrorist interrogations would put the CIA under a cloud of suspicion, according to a newly declassified copy of the letter. "Even if the videotape does not constitute an official record that must be preserved under the law, the videotape would be the best proof that the written record is accurate, if such record is called into question in the future," Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., wrote in a Feb. 10, 2003 letter to then-CIA general counsel Scott Muller. "The fact of destruction would reflect badly on the agency."

Haneef wants to attend inquiry - lawyer 04 Jan 2008 Former terror suspect Mohamed Haneef wants to return to Australia to attend a full judicial inquiry into his case, his lawyer says. Peter Russo said he would speak to Dr Haneef today to discuss his future after his return home to Bangalore, India.

W.Va. OK With Challenged Voting Machines 03 Jan 2008 The West Virginia Secretary of State's office is standing firm in its support of electronic 'voting' machines, despite security and accuracy concerns raised by other states.

Oops! Election Software Lost in Transit 19 Dec 2007 More than a hundred computer chips containing 'voting' machine software were lost or stolen during transit in California this week. Two cardboard shipping tubes containing 174 EPROMs loaded with voting machine software were sent via Federal Express on December 13th from the secretary of state's office in Sacramento to election officials in San Diego County for use in optical-scan machines made by Diebold Election Systems. But on Monday, the two shipping tubes arrived empty.

Stocks plunge on jobless report; Nasdaq off 6.3% for week 04 Jan 2008 U.S. stocks on Friday sank after a jump in the unemployment rate pointed to a possible recession for investors, with the Nasdaq Composite hit with its steepest drop since Feb. 27, 2007. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 256.5 points, or nearly 2%, to 12,800.3, giving the blue chips a weekly decline of 4.3%. The Nasdaq Composite shed 98.03 points, or 3.8%, to 2,504.65, down 6.3% from a week ago.

Pressure mounting for big rate cut --An uptick in the unemployment rate has Wall Street calling for the Fed to lower rates by a half-point. 04 Jan 2008 With unemployment rising to 5 percent in December and jobs growth coming in well below forecasts, economists said the Federal Reserve may be forced to slash interest rates when it meets later this month in order to stave off a recession.

U.S. Jobless Rate Hits Two-Year High --Unemployment Reaches 5 Percent; Employers Creating Fewer Jobs, Conditions Worsening 04 Jan 2008 Hiring practically stalled in December, driving the nation's unemployment rate up to a two-year high of 5 percent and fanning fears of a recession.

U.S. Curtailing Bids to Expand Medicaid Rolls 04 Jan 2008 The Bush regime is imposing restrictions on the ability of states to expand eligibility for Medicaid, in an effort to prevent them from offering coverage to families of modest incomes who, the administration argues, may have access to private health insurance.

Top court to decide death penalty for child rape 04 Jan 2008 The Supreme Court said on Friday it would decide whether the death penalty can be imposed for the crime of raping a child, expanding its review of how capital punishment is carried out in the United States.

Plans to drill for Alaskan oil threaten polar bear numbers 04 Jan 2008 Environment groups are protesting against plans by the US government to open up a vast area of Arctic sea off Alaska for oil exploration, saying it would pose an unacceptable new threat to polar bears and walruses. The Minerals and Management Service, MMS, said it would be seeking bids for petroleum licences in the Chukchi Sea on 6 February.

Alaskan Sea Drilling Plans Condemned 03 Jan 2008 The federal government will open up nearly 46,000 square miles off Alaska's northwest coast to petroleum leases next month, a decision condemned by environmental groups that contend the industrial activity will harm northern marine mammals.

Storm pounds Nevada, Sierra; I-80 may close 04 Jan 2008 A massive winter storm pounded the Sierra and northern Nevada on Friday, creating treacherous driving conditions in the mountains and prompting state officials to warn truckers hundreds of miles away to park where they are and stay put. A blizzard warning remained in effect for the Sierra and Lake Tahoe region along the Nevada-California line, where forecasters said heavy snow and hurricane-force winds would reduce visibility to zero.

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Rec's Wreckage --The Rec Report By Dr. Michael Rectenwald 03 Jan 2008 The phrase "corporate democracy" is meaningless. That is to say, I am not arguing that we don't have what some may call a "corporate democracy," but that such an expression is an impossible semantic contradiction.

US General Predicts Record Poppy Haul 02 Jan 2008 The U.S. general in charge of NATO's Afghanistan 'mission' said Wednesday he expects another year of "explosive growth" in the country's poppy fields, a harvest militants CIA druglords will turn into weapons for use against Afghan and NATO troops. [After Cheney's UNOCAL gas pipeline, what exactly *is* the Afghanistan "mission?"]

Another Bush mission, accomplished: There was a 17 per cent boom in poppy cultivation last year: acre for acre, Helmand is the world's biggest opium producer. British on front line of new Afghan Poppy War 03 Jan 2008 British troops are to be placed in the front line of efforts to eradicate poppy crops in southern Afghanistan, the soldier in charge of international forces in the country signalled yesterday. General Dan McNeill, of the United States, predicted good weather would mean "explosive growth" this year in the illegal opium trade, which is centred on Helmand province and accounts for more than 90 per cent of the heroin on Britain's streets. The Scotsman can also reveal that Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency is to double its presence in Afghanistan.

Suicide Attack in Afghanistan Targets Road Workers, Police 03 Jan 2008 A suicide attack in southwestern Afghanistan Thursday left at least seven people dead and wounded several others. Among those killed were Afghan police and Indian construction workers. The attack took place in Nimroz province.

19 Killed As Afghan Violence Continues 02 Jan 2008 Roadside bombs and military operations in Afghanistan killed 19 people, including 14 Taliban fighters, as the record violence that Afghanistan saw in 2007 continued into the new year, officials said Wednesday.

Giuliani calls for Afghanistan troop 'surge' 02 Jan 2008 Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday called for doubling U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan as part of a broader military expansion. [Gotta protect those poppy fields...]

54 journalists killed in Iraq in 2007 - IJRDA 03 Jan 2008 The annual report of the Iraqi Journalists’ Rights Defending Association (IJRDA) said on Wednesday that working as a journalist in Iraq remains the most dangerous job in the world, noting that a total of 54 journalists and media workers have been killed [by Blackwater?] in the country during 2007.

Suicide bomb at Iraq checkpoint kills 4 03 Jan 2008 A suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint in the city of Baqubah on Wednesday, killing four people, including the Sunni leader serving as the main liaison there between the U.S. military and neighborhood volunteers helping to fight Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], Iraqi police said. Some officials put the death toll as high as 10. As many as 23 people were injured in the blast.

Special forces on standby over nuclear threat 31 Dec 2007 US special forces snatch squads are on standby to seize or disable Pakistan's nuclear arsenal in the event of a collapse of government authority or the outbreak of civil war following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The troops, augmented by volunteer scientists from America's Nuclear Emergency Search Team organisation, are under orders to take control of an estimated 60 warheads dispersed around six to 10 high-security Pakistani military bases.

Musharraf delays election by six weeks --Troops will stay on streets to maintain order, he says 03 Jan 2008 President Pervez Musharraf said yesterday that troops would stay on the streets of Pakistan's tense cities at least until a new 'election' date of February 18. Parliamentary elections, after more than eight years of [US funded] military rule, had been scheduled for January 8, but a controversial six-week delay was announced by the country's election commission.

Pakistan enlists Scotland Yard help 03 Jan 2008 The U.S says it is glad Islamabad decided to seek the help of Scotland Yard to help in probing the assassination of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto. White House spokesperson Dana [Dumb-as-a-Doorstop] Perino suggested that a UN investigation was unnecessary after the intervention of Britain.

Palestinian Rocket Fired 10 Miles into Israel on Eve of Bush Visit 03 Jan 2008 Palestinian militants fired a GRAD-122 rocket, which hit the northern side of Ashqelon in Israel. The rocket, which was launched from north of Beit Lahiyya in the northern Gaza Strip, reached further into Israel than any previous rocket from Gaza - 10.5 miles, approximately 2.5 miles less than its full range.

Mideast violence mounts on eve of Bush visit to region 03 Jan 2008 Violence between Israel and the Palestinians had recently mounted amid preparations for the visit of U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush to Israel and the region next week, where he is scheduled to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to push forward the peace talks between them.

10,000 policemen to secure Bush visit 02 Jan 2008 In one of the largest security operations in years, more than 10,000 Israeli police officers will secure US President [sic] George W. Bush's visit to Jerusalem next week, police said Wednesday.

MoD buys art while essentials are cut 02 Jan 2008 Defence chiefs have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on art while troops face equipment shortages in war zones and decrepit housing at home.

CIA faces criminal inquiry into loss of 'torture' tapes at Guantanamo 03 Jan 2008 The Central Intelligence Agency was last night rocked by the formal opening of a criminal inquiry into the destruction of video tapes of US interrogations of al-Qa'ida suspects at Guantanamo Bay which allegedly included the use of "water-boarding". The US Attorney General Michael Mukasey said he was appointing an outside prosecutor to lead the investigation, which will determine whether criminal charges should be brought.

Justice Dept. Sets Criminal Inquiry Into C.I.A. Tapes 03 Jan 2008 Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Wednesday that the Justice Department had elevated its inquiry into the destruction of Central Intelligence Agency interrogation videotapes to a formal criminal investigation headed by a career federal prosecutor [...whose superiors he is investigating].

Forget the Torture Tapes By Michael Collins 01 Jan 2008 Have you heard or read that 9% or Iraq’s population is either dead or injured to date due to the 2003 invasion? This is rarely addressed by U.S. media or politicians. The announcement that 19% of Iraq’s population now consists of orphans hasn’t hit mainstream media’s radar yet. This shocker seems destined for the same fate as the death and injury figures. Odd isn’t it? All this emphasis on the CIA’s destruction of Abu Zubaydah torture tapes instead of the pervasive and ongoing human loss and suffering visited on Iraq by Bush and Cheney?

New prison: Welcome to Hicksville 03 Jan 2008 He served five years in Guantanamo Bay and six months in maximum security in Yatala prison. But after four days of freedom, David Hicks has discovered he remains a prisoner in his hometown of Adelaide. Welcome to Hicksville. Another day as a free man had begun with Hicks being driven to a local police station to report his whereabouts under a court order governing his release. After six years in captivity - some of it in solitary confinement - Hicks still had the haunted look of a trapped man.

MCC police armed when classes start 03 Jan 2008 (AZ) When students and staff return to Mesa Community College later this month, they'll find armed officers. The seven sworn officers at MCC - five at the main Southern Avenue campus and two at the Red Mountain campus - received firearms training in December. They are carrying .45-caliber Glock handguns issued by the Maricopa County Community College District.

Tories enter 2008 heading for outright victory 03 Jan 2008 David Cameron enters 2008 on course to win an overall majority at the next election, according to the latest "poll of polls" for The Independent. Amid a dramatic slide in Gordon Brown's ratings last autumn, it suggests that Labour faces a tough battle to head off an election defeat by a Conservative Party consistently scoring above 40 per cent in the polls for the first time since "Black Wednesday" in 1992.

Heads up! The GOP is poised to carry out a third coup d'etat. Legal voters thrown off rolls --Database woes could be 'sleeper issue of 2008' 02 Jan 2008 Five years after passage of a federal law to create electronic registration databases to deter voter fraud, the new technology is posing hurdles that could disenfranchise thousands of legal voters, a USA TODAY examination finds. From Florida to Washington, voters have been challenged because names or numbers on their registration forms did not exactly match other government databases, such as Social Security and motor vehicle agencies.

Iowa up for grabs as polls show tight races 03 Jan 2008 With Iowa's Democrats and Republicans set to go to party caucuses on Thursday night, late polls show tight races among the major candidates and a near toss-up in the first test in the U.S. presidential contest.

Months of campaigning come down to final hours in Iowa 03 Jan 2008 After countless visits, dozens of policy speeches, more than $40 million in television advertising, and months -- if not years -- of building statewide political operations, the battle for Iowa comes down to one simple reality: The Republican and Democrat who turns out the most supporters wins the day.

Exxon Mobil is world's most profitable company --Royal Dutch Shell is second; BP is fourth 03 Jan 2008 According to a survey by business magazine Fortune, US oil giant Exxon Mobil is the world's most profitable company. In 2006, Exxon Mobil got even richer. The firm's profits continued to soar thanks to bumper crude oil prices. Its earnings jumped 9.3 per cent, to a whopping $39.5bn, breaking the Fortune Global 500 record that it set the previous year with $36.1bn in profits.

World's 2 worst corporations profit from Bush's predatory capitalism: U.S. Stocks Rise; Monsanto, Exxon Mobil Gain 03 Jan 2008 U.S. stocks rose after the steepest decline in two weeks, boosted by factory orders that increased three times more that forecast. Monsanto Co., the world's largest [deadly GMO] seed producer, led commodity companies to the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index after profit topped analysts' estimates. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the largest U.S. oil producers, climbed after crude traded near $100 a barrel.

Twelve states lack CDC-compatible disease surveillance system 02 Jan 2008 Twelve states still do not have a disease surveillance system that is compatible with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS), according to a report by the non-profit Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) organization.

Lethal avian flu found in Binyamina 03 Jan 2008 (Israel) Avian flu which was found among hens in a petting zoo near a Binyamina kindergarten is of the H5N1 strain which is lethal to humans, the Agriculture Ministry said Thursday.

Another GOPedophile bites the dust: Tenn. judge resigns over torture fantasies tape 02 Jan 2008 A Tennessee judge [Circuit Judge John B. Hagler] resigned last month after making a recording of fantasies so lurid that when the tape fell into the hands of the police and FBI, they thought they were listening to a torture session and believed it might be linked to a murder case.

California Sues E.P.A. Over Denial of Waiver 03 Jan 2008 California sued the federal Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, challenging its recent decision to block California rules curbing greenhouse-gas emissions from new cars and trucks.

Navy, Environmentalists Await Sonar Ruling 01 Jan 2008 A federal judge in California is scheduled to release a decision this week that will outline what the Navy must do to protect whales and other marine mammals from the loud blasts of its sonar equipment.

Helium Supplies Endangered, Threatening Science And Technology 02 Jan 2008 The element that lifts things like balloons, spirits and voice ranges is being depleted so rapidly in the world's largest reserve, outside of Amarillo, Texas, that supplies are expected to be depleted there within the next eight years.

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Economics, Ideology and Rhetoric --The Rec Report By Dr. Michael Rectenwald 02 Jan 2008 In my previous Rec Report, I suggested that political candidates must be seen in terms of three areas or points: economics, ideology and rhetoric... All three terms are interconnected and mutually influencing. As such, a political actor or candidate may be viewed in terms of a triangle, not unlike what rhetoricians refer to as the rhetorical triangle.

Dow tallies biggest first-session-of-year point drop ever --29 of 30 components fall 02 Jan 2008 U.S. stocks on Wednesday started off 2008 with a whimper instead of a bang as escalating commodity prices and a gauge of manufacturing activity fueled worries about the economy, propelling the Dow to its steepest start-of-a-year point drop ever. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) fell 220.9 points, or 1.7%, to close at 13,044, after falling as low as 12,991.4 during the session.

More than 16,000 Iraqi civilians killed in 2007 – ministry 01 Jan 2008 Some 16,232 Iraqi civilians were killed during 2007 as a result of sectarian violence, [US] bombings and mortar attacks, an official media source in the Iraqi health ministry said on Tuesday.

Eastern Baghdad blast casualties up to 68 01 Jan 2008 Casualties from Tuesday's earlier suicide bombing attack in eastern Baghdad rose to 30 deaths and 38 wounded, an Iraqi police source said.

Military use of unmanned aircraft soars 01 Jan 2008 The military's reliance on unmanned aircraft that can watch, hunt and sometimes kill insurgents civilians has soared to more than 500,000 hours in the air, largely in Iraq, The Associated Press has learned.

Suicide Blast at Baghdad Funeral of Bomb Victim Kills Dozens 02 Jan 2008 By the time he reached the front gate of his neighbor's house, just minutes after the blast, Adil Ahmed saw flames leaping off the funeral tent. The guests' cars parked outside were blasted and burned. Some of the mourners were screaming with grief and rage, and many others were scattered on the ground, dead or dying... The explosion killed at least 25 people and wounded 20 others, according to the U.S. military. Iraqi police and ambulance officials told news services that the death toll was at least 32.

Female suicide bomber kills 10 in Iraq 02 Jan 2008 A female suicide bomber killed 10 people in Iraq on Wednesday, the latest in a string of suicide bombings that has seen a major strike nearly every day of the past week. Twenty-eight people were wounded including some women, police said.

Edwards Calls for Quick Pullout of Troops Training Iraqi Forces 02 Jan 2008 John Edwards says that if elected president he would withdraw the American troops who are training the Iraqi army and police as part of a broader plan to remove virtually all American forces within 10 months. Mr. Edwards, the former senator (D) from North Carolina, said that extending the American training effort in Iraq into the next presidency would require the deployment of tens of thousands of troops to provide logistical support and protect the advisers. "To me, that is a continuation of the occupation of Iraq," he said in a 40-minute interview on Sunday aboard his campaign bus as it rumbled through western Iowa.

Giuliani wants to double troops in Afghanistan --GOP presidential hopeful calls for 'surge' 02 Jan 2008 Republican Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday he would immediately double the number of troops under U.S. command in Afghanistan, arguing it would increase the chances of capturing Osama bin Laden and stabilize the region. more stories like this "We need to bring a surge to Afghanistan and make it effective, right now," he said.

21 Killed in Afghan Bombings, Fighting 02 Jan 2008 Roadside bombs and military operations in Afghanistan killed 21 people, including an occupation soldier and 14 Taliban fighters, officials said Wednesday. A roadside bomb hit a U.S.-led occupation vehicle in eastern Khost province, killing a soldier and an Afghan interpreter, the coalition said. The soldier's nationality was not released, but a majority of the troops in the east are American. Two other soldiers were wounded.

Pakistan Postpones Vote Until Feb. 18 03 Jan 2008 Pakistan’s election commission announced Wednesday that parliamentary elections would be postponed until Feb. 18, a delay of six weeks, after the death of the opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and the riots that have damaged some 'election' commission offices and paralyzed parts of Sindh Province.

Scotland Yard to investigate Bhutto assassination 02 Jan 2008 Gordon Brown today agreed to send a police team from Scotland Yard to Pakistan to help investigate the assassination of the opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. The Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, requested specialist help as serious doubts continued over the government's version of events surrounding her death.

Bhutto broke her agreement with the CIA, she wanted to talk with the Islamists 29 Dec 2007 According to the Manar newspaper, the CIA in coordination with Musharraf’s ISI [International Services Intelligence of Pakistan] are behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf briefed the Americans that Bhutto contacted the Islamic movement in Pakistan to reach an agreement for reconciliation leading to future stability of the country and breaking Pakistan link with American war-on[of]-terror... Remember when Karzai told the CNN that he was being held back from serious peace negotiations by the US?

Criminal Probe Opened Over CIA Tapes 02 Jan 2008 The Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes and Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey appointed an outside prosecutor to oversee the case. The CIA acknowledged last month that it destroyed videos of officers using tough interrogation methods torture while questioning two 'al-Qaida' suspects.

'No one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.' 9/11 commission leaders blast CIA on interrogation tapes 02 Jan 2008 The leaders of a US commission that examined the September 11, 2001 terror attacks [chairman Thomas Kean and vice-chairman Lee Hamilton] accused the CIA Wednesday of having obstructed their investigation by withholding information about videotaped interrogations of terror suspects. "Those who knew about those videotapes -- and did not tell us about them -- obstructed our investigation," Kean and Hamilton wrote in The New York Times.

Stonewalled by the C.I.A. By Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton 02 Jan 2008 In a lunch meeting on Dec. 23, 2003, George Tenet, the C.I.A. director, told us point blank that we would have no such access [to hundreds of hours of interrogations of at least two Qaeda prisoners]... As a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the C.I.A.’s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others. What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president[sic], to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.

Mission accomplished: Oil Hits $100 a Barrel for the First Time 02 Jan 2008 Oil prices reached the symbolic level of $100 a barrel for the first time on Wednesday, a long-awaited milestone in an era of rapidly escalating energy demand. Crude oil futures for February delivery hit $100 on the New York Mercantile Exchange shortly after noon New York time, before falling back slightly. Oil prices, which had fallen to a low of $50 a barrel at the beginning of 2007, have quadrupled since 2003. [See: Exxon Mobil Posts Record First Quarter Earnings 26 Apr 2007. See: Exxon, Halliburton Singled Out by Edwards in Iowa Campaign 31 Dec 2008.]

U.S. stocks fall along with manufacturing index --Crude-oil futures hit $100 on New York Mercantile Exchange 02 Jan 2008 U.S. stocks slumped Wednesday, extending the prior session's losses into 2008, as worries about economic growth mounted amid rising energy prices and signs of continued weakness in the manufacturing sector.

Exxon, Halliburton Singled Out by Edwards in Iowa Campaign 31 Dec 2007 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards at campaign events in Iowa is citing Exxon Mobil Corp. and Halliburton Co. as he rails against "corporate greed" and the influence of lobbyists in Washington. At a community college in Spencer, Iowa, Edwards today criticized no-bid contracts Houston-based Halliburton has received for work in Iraq and the record profits earned last year by Exxon Mobil, the world's largest oil company.

Edwards attacks corporate abuses 02 Jan 2008 Democrat presidential contender John Edwards on Wednesday mounted an attack on corporate abuses and excessive executive pay, promising a series of moves that he said would "restore balance between America's corporations and America's working families." In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, the former Democratic senator from North Carolina said that if elected president he would cap untaxed chief executive pay, require companies to enroll employees in retirement plans and force firms to honor pension promises to workers, even in bankruptcy.

My Plan to Stop Corporate Abuses By John Edwards 02 Jan 2008 Forty percent of all economic growth over the past 20 years has gone to the top 1% of American families. The success of our own economy demands that we uphold our country's values: fair reward for work and opportunity for all. To meet these goals, we must renew America's basic bargain with the middle class and remove the stranglehold that entrenched corporate interests have on Washington.

Kucinich urges Obama as a second choice 02 Jan 2008 Barack Obama's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination might have gained a slight advantage Tuesday with Ohio Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich's recommendation to his supporters to back the Illinois senator if there is insufficient support for Kucinich in individual precincts.

Obama leads Clinton on eve of Iowa caucuses: poll 02 Jan 2008 It's looking like it could be a happy New Year for Barack Obama: The Illinois senator is leading closest rival Hillary Clinton in a new poll with just one day to go before the critical Iowa caucuses. In the final Des Moines Register poll before Thursday night's nominating contests, Obama was the choice of 32% of likely Democratic caucus-goers. Sen. Clinton of New York, meanwhile, pulled 25% while former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards garnered 24%.

Huckabee Likely to Cross Writers' Picket Line for Leno 02 Jan 2008 Republican [Reichwing whackjob] Mike Huckabee, a presidential candidate sounding a populist theme in Iowa, likely will be forced to cross a writers' picket line if he appears Wednesday on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. Earlier Wednesday, Huckabee said he supports the writers and did not think he would be crossing a picket line, because he believed the writers had made an agreement to allow late night shows back on the air.

Giuliani's city hall employees speak out against former boss 02 Jan 2008 When he was New York City's mayor, Rudy Giuliani used to say he'd much rather be respected than loved, that it was just too bad if some New Yorkers considered him rude or insensitive, as his success chopping crime, public spending and the dole should speak for itself. But it turns out he was neither liked nor admired by some of his department heads or even a pundit who wrote admiringly of his bull-in-a-china-shop drive to reform city government. In interviews with Guardian America, a small but growing number of former supporters have begun speaking out... many admit relief as polls show Giuliani losing momentum on the cusp of the early state Republican primaries. Their message: Dissent was not an option for underlings when Giuliani was their boss.

Man Wields Hunting Knife In Clinton Campaign Office 02 Jan 2008 A man wielding a knife was arrested inside a campaign headquarters of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton in Decorah, Iowa, police said Wednesday. Christopher James Faris, 42, of Decorah was arrested Monday evening and charged with carrying weapons and with third-degree harassment. Faris was in the Winneshiek County jail on Wednesday, held on a $5,000 bond, The Associated Press reported.

Valium Found in Mall Gunman's System 01 Jan 2008 Only an anti-anxiety medication turned up in toxicology tests done on the body of the 19-year-old gunman who fatally wounded eight people before killing himself last month at a shopping mall. The autopsy report on Robert Hawkins revealed diazepam in his system. The tranquilizer is better known by its market name, Valium.

NASA criticized for handling of airline data 02 Jan 2008 Aviation safety experts and lawmakers lambasted NASA this week for the agency's release of a massive airline safety database in a format that makes it difficult to analyze. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, under pressure from Congress, had promised to make the National Aviation Operational Monitoring Service data public by the end of the year. He did so Monday afternoon but said the data are not reliable and the agency had no intention of studying it.

Bush bin Laden gives away citizens' data to corpora-terrorists: Personal Data Posted Online 02 Jan 2008 In an era when government officials from President [ic] Bush to local sheriffs warn of the growing dangers of identity theft, the full Social Security numbers of untold numbers of Americans can be found in file rooms and on Web sites run by, well, governments.

Huge tanks of gas kept ready for bird flu cull 02 Jan 2007 (Ireland) Two road tankers full of gas are on permanent standby to kill thousands of birds if the lethal H5N1 strain of avian flu is found here. However the Department of Agriculture has declined to give the cost of having the tankers on continuous standby, stating it was "commercially sensitive information". The Garda, Department of Defence and the Civil Defence also remain on standby should outbreak concerns arise.

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Corporate Democracy, Corporate Democrats? --The Rec Report By Dr. Michael Rectenwald 01 Jan 2008 Do corporations hold complete sway over our system of government? My conclusion will be that the domination of our government by corporations is significant, but always incomplete... The fact that we are aghast at the idea of "corporate rule" of our system means that we have ideological commitments that are violated by this notion. That means that our ideological commitments lie elsewhere. In other words, corporate ideology, while operative, has surely not been successful in "brainwashing" America. In fact, it has failed this rather miserably.

Record level of violence in Afghanistan 01 Jan 2008 US military deaths, suicide bombings and opium production hit record highs in 2007. Afghanistan in 2007 saw a record level of violence that killed more than 6,500 people, including 110 US troops -- the highest ever in Afghanistan -- and almost 4,500 militants, according to an Associated Press count. Britain lost 41 soldiers, while Canada lost 30. Other nations lost a total of 40.

110 US Troops Die in Afghanistan in 2007 31 Dec 2007 U.S. military deaths, suicide bombings and opium production hit record highs in 2007. Taliban militants killed more than 925 Afghan police, and large swaths of the country remain outside government control.

Iraq suicide bomber kills 32 at funeral 02 Jan 2008 A suicide bomber has killed 32 men and injured another 34 at the funeral of a retired army officer in Baghdad. It is believed a man loaded with explosives walked into a funeral tent outside the home of Nabil Hussein Jassim in the east Baghdad neighborhood of Zayouna.

Suicide truck bomb kills 12 in Iraq 31 Dec 2007 A suicide bomber drove a truck rigged with explosives into a checkpoint manned by members of a U.S.-backed security 'volunteer' group in a town north of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 12 people, police and a member of the volunteer group said. Another three people were missing, believed blown up in the explosion in the town of Mishada, 20 miles north of the capital, on part of the main highway linking Baghdad to northern Iraq, according a police officer and Adil al-Mishhadani, a member of the volunteer group.

Iraqi citizens kidnapped at fake checkpoint 31 Dec 2007 Thirteen Iraqi citizens have been kidnapped south of the Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk. The incident occurred between the towns of Sulaiman Beg and Tuz Khurmatu where it is believed al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] gunmen set up a fake checkpoint.

Marine avoids Iraq murder charges 31 Dec 2007 The alleged ringleader of US troops who killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2005 in Haditha will not face murder charges, a US Marines spokesman said. Sgt Frank Wuterich, 27, will stand trial for voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, dereliction of duty and other charges, officials said.

British ask Lilly for data on Iraq sales 01 Jan 2008 British fraud investigators are questioning Eli Lilly and Co. and at least two other drug makers about possible kickbacks they paid to trade with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The investigation by Britain's Serious Fraud Office came to light this week when the companies disclosed they have been asked for documents related to corruption in the former United Nations-overseen oil-for-food program in Iraq. The British investigation comes two years after a report was released revealing $1.5 billion in alleged kickbacks paid by 2,200 companies worldwide that did business with Iraq from 1999 until 2003.

Bush was right: The *real* Iraq mission was definitely accomplished. Oil Traders Eye $100 Crude Next Year --3 largest US oil companies, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips, had combined profits of $50.3 billion in first nine months of 2007 31 Dec 2007 Oil prices marked a quiet end to a record-breaking year; rising demand and geopolitical instability are expected to keep upward pressure on energy costs early in 2008. "There's a good chance this week that we'll see some record highs," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Ill. [You can bet Cheney's Secret Energy Task Force on it!]

Crude Oil Closes Year Up 57% 31 Dec 2007 Crude oil prices closed slightly lower on Monday, adding to Friday's modest decline. Light sweet crude for February delivery finished at $95.98, down 2 cents on the final session of 2007. Oil closed the year up $34.93 or 57% from the end of 2006.

Pakistan unrest lifts oil prices 31 Dec 2007 Oil prices rose solidly on Monday, pushed higher by concerns about instability in Pakistan and tensions on the Turkish border with oil-rich Iraq, dealers said. The mass unrest in Pakistan following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto last week was leading traders to price in a risk premium, they said.

Bush Sticks With Musharraf as Pakistan 'Democracy' Push Stumbles 31 Dec 2007 George W. Bush's support for Musharraf hasn't changed, an administration official said, adding that the U.S. sees itself as playing a supporting role as Pakistan decides how to move forward on the path of 'democracy.'

Bhutto planned to expose government scheme to rig vote: Party aide 01 Jan 2008 On the day she was killed, opposition leader Benazir Bhutto planned to give two U.S. lawmakers a dossier accusing the [Bush-funded] ruling regime and Pakistan's intelligence service of rigging upcoming elections, an aide said Tuesday. Sen. Latif Khosa, a lawmaker from Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party, said she planned to meet Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island on Thursday evening, a few hours after the rally where she was killed. She was preparing to give the U.S. lawmakers a 160-page report of complaints on "pre-poll rigging" the government of President Pervez Musharraf and the military-run Inter-services Intelligence Service was engaged in, Khosa said.

Lawyer: Police prevented Bhutto autopsy 31 Dec 2007 Rawalpindi's police chief stopped doctors at the hospital where Benazir Bhutto died from conducting an autopsy, according to a lawyer on the hospital's board. It was a violation of Pakistani criminal law and prevented a medical conclusion about what killed the former prime minister, said Athar Minallah, who serves on the board that manages Rawalpindi General Hospital.

US diplomat dies after Sudan shooting 01 Jan 2008 A US diplomat has died after being shot during a pre-dawn attack in Khartoum, Sudan, embassy officials have said. The embassy in the Sudanese capital A driver for the US embassy was also killed in the shooting, but it is not yet clear whether the embassy was the intended target. The man had been working with the United States Agency for International Development [torturer trainers].

Vatican denies exorcist expansion 29 Dec 2007 The Vatican is denying reports it plans to install more exorcists around the world so possessed people can get help quickly. "Pope Benedict XVI has no intention of ordering local bishops to bring in garrisons of exorcists to fight demonic possession,'' Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters in Rome Friday. [Too bad. It may have been our only chance to stop Bush and Cheney.]

Secret reunion brings a hug for Hicks and father 01 Jan 2008 Former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks was secretly reunited with his father yesterday, then spoke publicly for the first time, offering just a handful of words: "I'm doing fine." His former lawyer, Stephen Kenny, who was the first lawyer allowed to visit a prisoner inside the US military's Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, said procedures used there breached the Geneva Convention and were intended to break people.

Civil liberties under threat in major Western countries 01 Jan 2008 As the new year took hold, an international rights group said individual privacy was under threat in the United States and across the European Union, where surveillance and information-gathering measures had been increasing in an effort to secure and control borders.

Privacy groups blast new passport tech 31 Dec 2007 Passport cards for Americans who travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean will be equipped with technology that allows information on the card to be read from a distance [up to 20 feet away]. The technology was approved Monday by the State Department and privacy advocates were quick to criticize the department for not doing more to protect information on the card, which can be used by U.S. citizens instead of a passport when traveling to other countries in the western hemisphere.

A friendly morning encounter has left me linked with terrorism By William JF Paul 31 Dec 2007 I am now associated with the war on terror. Approached by two uniformed British Transport Police officers as I descended the steps into Waverley Station in Edinburgh, I was a little dismayed. "Good morning, Sir. My colleague and I are stopping you under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act..." Following the failed attacks on Glasgow International Airport on the last day of June, the whole of Scotland has been under a Section 44 order. It gives police the authority to stop and search anyone and any vehicle. No reason need be given. Originally authorised for 28 days, the order now remains in place for the foreseeable future.

Minister announces mandatory internet filters to 'protect' children 31 Dec 2007 (AU) Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy says new measures are being put in place to provide greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites. Senator Conroy says it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material. Online civil libertarians have warned the freedom of the internet is at stake, but Senator Conroy says that is nonsense.

Passengers On Flight With TB Victim Sought 31 Dec 2007 A 30-year-old woman infected with a hard-to-treat form of tuberculosis is recovering at a Bay Area hospital, as health officials search for dozens of international air passengers who may have come in contact with her as she traveled back from India. Stanford Hospital spokesman Gary Migdol said that the woman is being treated in isolation and is in stable condition.

Fourth bird flu death in a week in Egypt: reports 31 Dec 2007 Egypt's health ministry said another woman has died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the fourth such death in a week, local media reported on Tuesday.

Top economist says America could plunge into recession 31 Dec 2007 Losses arising from America’s housing recession could triple over the next few years and they represent the greatest threat to growth in the United States, one of the world’s leading economists [Robert Shiller] has told The Times.

Electronic 'Voting' Is Questioned 31 Dec 2007 With the presidential race in full swing, Colorado and other states have found critical flaws in the accuracy and security of their electronic voting machines, forcing officials to scramble to return to the paper ballots they abandoned after the Florida debacle of 2000. In December alone, top election officials in Ohio and Colorado declared that widely used voting equipment is unfit for elections.

TV cuts candidates from debates, angering Paul backers 01 Jan 2008 ABC and Faux News Channel are narrowing the field of presidential candidates invited to debates this weekend just before the New Hampshire primary, in Fox's case infuriating supporters of Republican Rep. Ron Paul.

Three war protesters arrested at Huckabee headquarters 31 Dec 2007 Three protesters seeking a commitment from Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee to end the Iraq war were arrested today for refusing to leave his office. The three are members of a group called Seasons of Discontent: a Presidential Occupation Project, which goes by the acronym SODaPOP. The group says in a statement it was organized by members of the Iowa Occupation Project and the Illinois-based Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

Peace Activists Occupy Huckabee's Iowa Campaign Office By Mike Ferner 31 Dec 2007 With 40 percent of Iowa's Republican caucus voters expected to come from the ranks of conservative Christians, peace activists occupied Mike Huckabee’s campaign headquarters in Iowa’s capital city today with signs asking the former Baptist minister, "Who Would Jesus Bomb?"

Poll: Obama, Huckabee leading rivals 01 Jan 2008 Presidential contenders rang in the 2008 election year with near-constant campaigning on Monday as a poll showed Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee leading their rivals with three days remaining before the Iowa caucuses.

Do polar bears need U.S. protection? A federal agency is poised to say whether global warming means the bear should be added to the 'threatened species' list. 02 Jan 2008 Do polar bears, which have become the poster child for the potential ravages of future global warming, need special protection from Uncle Sam now? [YES.] "The Bush administration always manages to surprise us by ignoring the science at the expense of the environment," says Brendan Cummings, attorney with the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) based in Tucson, Ariz., which petitioned to have the bear listed. [Tell the Bush administration to protect polar bears and their critical habitat.]

100th Times Square ball drop marks 2008 01 Jan 2008 More than a million revelers in Times Square cheered as the giant crystal ball made its 100th drop on Monday night and a ton of confetti rained down on the urban canyon, ushering in the new year.

Times Square ball celebrating centennial 30 Dec 2007 The Times Square New Year's Eve ball is celebrating its centennial by going green. The star of the world-famous holiday extravaganza was revamped this year with more than 9,000 energy-efficient bulbs that use about the same amount of electricity as 10 toasters.

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2007 deadliest for US troops in Iraq 30 Dec 2007 2007 was the deadliest for the U.S. military since the 2003 invasion, with 899 troops killed. The 899 deaths in 2007 surpassed the previously highest death toll in 2004, when 850 U.S. soldiers were killed. The total for 2007 could rise slightly; occasionally the military reports new casualties a few days after they occur.

U.S. soldier dies of non-combat injuries in Iraq 31 Dec 2007 An American soldier died of non-combat related injuries in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Monday. The Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier died on Sunday, a military statement said without providing further details.

Graffiti praises 'hero' Saddam 31 Dec 2007 Black graffiti lauding Saddam Hussein appeared overnight in his home town and small groups of mourners turned out at his grave yesterday, the first anniversary of the former Iraqi leader's execution. "There is no life without the sun and no dignity without Saddam," read one painted slogan in his home town, Tikrit, north of Baghdad. "Paradise for the hero Saddam," read another. The graffiti appeared on buildings including the town's police station and its agriculture and electricity directorates.

Drug firms probed over Iraq cash 30 Dec 2007 GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca have been asked to hand over papers as part of a probe into bribes allegedly paid to Saddam Hussein's former Iraq government. The Serious Fraud Office is examining allegations of bribes paid to secure lucrative contracts in breach of Iraq's 1996 to 2003 oil-for-food programme.

Iraqi cabinet backs pardon for thousands of detainees 27 Dec 2007 The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft law yesterday that will offer a general pardon to thousands of prisoners in US military and Iraqi custody, a government spokesman said. "The cabinet has passed the general pardon law, which will define who is eligible to be freed from all prisons, both Iraqi and American," spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters.

US says Guantanamo prisoner dies of cancer 30 Dec 2007 An Afghan prisoner has [allegedly] died from colorectal cancer at the prison camp at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, authorities said on Sunday. Abdul Razzak, 68, was pronounced dead by a doctor at the base on Sunday morning, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Hicks to ask for reduction in weekly visits to police 31 Dec 2007 The freed 'terrorism supporter' David Hicks is expected to ask a court to reduce the requirement that he report to police three times a week to once weekly. The 12-month Australian Federal Police order under which Mr Hicks can live in the community requires him to begin reporting in person today to an Adelaide police station where his fingerprints will be checked against records obtained hours after his release on Saturday.

Afghan police: Taliban kill 8 in convoy attack 30 Dec 2007 Taliban militants fired rocket-propelled grenades from their vehicles at a convoy of private security guards mercenaries on Afghanistan's main highway, killing six guards and two police officers, a police chief said Sunday.

1 NATO Soldier Killed in Bomb Attack 31 Dec 2007 A roadside bomb killed a NATO soldier and wounded four others in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, while a Taliban ambush left eight Afghan security personnel dead, officials said.

Shady Reputation Trails Bhutto's Husband 30 Dec 2007 Benazir Bhutto's husband, who took effective control of his slain wife's party Sunday, is a former Cabinet minister who spent eight years in prison on corruption accusations and is known as "Mr. 10 Percent" for allegedly taking kickbacks.

Bhutto's Son, Husband to Succeed Her 31 Dec 2007 Benazir Bhutto's 19-year-old son - a student with no political experience - was named symbolic leader of her party Sunday, while her husband took effective control, extending Pakistan's most enduring political dynasty.

Pakistan to decide on poll date on Tuesday 31 Dec 2007 Pakistan's Election Commission will decide on Tuesday whether to postpone a Jan. 8 general election meant to complete a transition to civilian rule, a commission official said on Monday.

Nationwide Rioting May Delay Pakistan Elections --Election Delay Considered In Wake of Bhutto's Killing 30 Dec 2007 Violence after death of Benazir Bhutto kills more than 40; nearly complete shutdown of gas stations and other shops brings business to a virtual halt. [Bush bin Laden is jumping for joy! Having *blown* the 5 billion Bush already spent on miscellaneous Pakistani intelligence agents and assorted al-CIAduh assassins, this can only mean more $$$ to "restore" "democracy!" And, the spineless, useless DemocRATs will just *roll right over,* as they do every other day. --LRP]

Bhutto 'blocked from hiring US bodyguards' 30 Dec 2007 Benazir Bhutto was so fearful for her life that she tried to hire British and American security experts to protect her, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal. But the plans collapsed because President Pervez Musharraf refused to allow the foreign contractors to operate in Pakistan, according to senior aides.

Bhutto murder blamed on Pakistan agents 30 Dec 2007 Factions within the Pakistan intelligence service might have been behind the assassination of the country's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, sources within MI5 told Scotland on Sunday last night. The government has tried to blame militant groups linked to the Taliban and 'al-Qaeda' in Afghanistan, which saw Bhutto's rise to power as a threat. But security sources in the UK say pro-Taliban factions in Pakistan's feared Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency may have been behind the attack on the charismatic politician, who returned to her homeland from exile only two months ago to fight the election.

Bhutto email named killers weeks before assassination 29 Dec 2007 Benazir Bhutto claimed three senior allies of Pakistan's president General Musharraf were out to kill her in a secret email to Foreign Secretary David Miliband written weeks before her death. Astonishingly, one of them is a leading intelligence officer who was officially responsible for protecting Miss Bhutto from an assassination.

Pope's exorcist squads will wage war on Satan 29 Dec 2007 The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism. Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult. They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness." Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession. [Please say they're visiting Bush and Cheney first.]

CDC continues17-state search for passengers 30 Dec 2007 Health officials continued their 17-state search Sunday for passengers who may have been infected with a rare, potentially deadly form of tuberculosis by a woman on an American Airlines flight from New Delhi to Chicago.

Britain rated worst in Europe for protecting privacy 31 Dec 2007 Britain, the country with the world's biggest network of surveillance cameras, has the worst record in Europe for the protection of privacy, according to a report from a London-based international watchdog. The UK is billed as "an endemic surveillance society" alongside Russia, the US, Singapore and China in the survey of 47 countries by Privacy International (PI).

Individual privacy under threat in Europe and U.S., report says 30 Dec 2007 Individual privacy is under threat in the United States and across the European Union as governments introduce sweeping surveillance and information-gathering measures in the name of security and controlling borders, an international rights group has said in a report. Both Britain and the United States fell into the lowest-performing group of "endemic surveillance societies."

Police anger at Commons march 'ban' 30 Dec 2007 Police last night accused the government of attempting to ban 10,000 officers from marching through Westminster in a mass protest over their pay award. The demonstration would be the force's biggest since 1919. [LOL!]

Baggy jeans at mall drag family to jail 30 Dec 2007 (FL) Six members of a family were arrested at The Mall at Wellington Green in an incident that began benignly enough over a pair of droopy jeans but ended like a chaotic scene out of the Cops TV show. An estimated 20 deputies, two canine units and a police helicopter swarmed the area surrounding the mall's food court, shutting down roads, all to arrest a 52-year-old man, his 50-year-old wife and four other relatives, ages 16 to 20, Thursday evening.

Mega barf alert! Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President 31 Dec 2007 Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of launching an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run.

Edwards is even with top rivals --Days before the caucuses, he has gained ground in Iowa, and his chief opponents have slipped, a new poll shows 30 Dec 2007 John Edwards has clawed his way into contention to win Iowa's caucuses Thursday in the first vote for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a new McClatchy-MSNBC poll. The former North Carolina senator has gained strength as rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have lost ground, the poll found.

Edwards to pull an all nighter--says he's restless for change 29 Dec 2007 Democratic hopeful John Edwards is turning his sprint to the finish line into a marathon. Beginning January 1st Edwards will campaign for 36 hours straight leading up to the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd. "I'm looking forward to meeting with Iowans across the state over the 36 hours who are as restless as I am for change," said Edwards.

Is Hillary Clinton a "Corporate Democrat?" - Part 3 By Eriposte 10 Oct 2007...[L]et's compare the Progressive Punch, ADA, AFL-CIO and SEIU progressive scores of Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Chris Dodd, and Sen. John Edwards to see how they stack up against each other... When we look at the overall Progressive Punch score for Sen. Clinton, it is apparent that on the whole, she voted more progressively and more in sync with the most progressive Democrats in the Senate (92%) than did Sen. Obama (90%) and Sen. Dodd (87%).

'Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Don't shoot.' 30 Dec 2007 Clad in an orange and grey hunting jacket and an orange cap, Mike Huckabee raised his 12-gauge shotgun, took aim and fired, bagging a pheasant for the benefit of watching reporters. As another shot flew over their heads, it became too much for one journalist who cried: 'Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Don't shoot. This is traumatising.' Huckabee the hunter said he not only hunted ducks, deer and antelopes but could eat varmint too. 'I figured out you could put grease in a popcorn popper and heat that thing up and you could cook anything,' he said of his student days. 'So we fried squirrel.'

A Lifesaving Checklist By Atul Gawande 30 Dec 2007 A year ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University published the results of a program that instituted in nearly every intensive care unit in Michigan a simple five-step checklist designed to prevent certain hospital infections... The results were stunning. Within three months, the rate of bloodstream infections from these I.V. lines fell by two-thirds. The average I.C.U. cut its infection rate from 4 percent to zero. Over 18 months, the program saved more than 1,500 lives and nearly $200 million. Yet this past month, the Office for Human Research Protections shut the program down.

Judge says Alaska can reject Exxon plan 28 Dec 2007 A judge in Alaska ruled state officials have the right to reject Exxon's development plan for a giant North Slope oil and gas field. The decision was considered a major success for the state which has been fighting the Point Thomson development. But, Exxon has other legal options, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News said Friday.

Rainy Sunday prevents record driest year 30 Dec 2007 The spread was even at Atlanta's National Weather Service office Saturday afternoon. "At this time yesterday, the odds were 50-50 we'd break the record" for driest year ever, forecaster Terry Murphy said. Those who bet on the 1954 record falling to the current drought lost Sunday, when nearly 1.3 inches of rain dropped on Atlanta.

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CDC Tracking Down 44 Passengers In 17 States 29 Dec 2007 Health officials are trying to track down American Airlines passengers in 17 states for testing after a California woman flew while sick with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a California woman boarded an American Airlines flight in New Delhi, India, on December 13th. The flight stopped at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport before continuing on to San Francisco. CDC officials are working on tracking down 44 people who sat within two rows of the woman on the flight. She is being treated in isolation at a California hospital.

Saddam Hussein Provided More Food Than the U.S. 27 Dec 3007 The Iraqi government announcement that monthly food rations will be cut by half has left many Iraqis asking how they can survive. The government also wants to reduce the number of people depending on the rationing system by five million by June 2008... The programme has continued into the U.S.-led occupation. But now the U.S.-backed Iraqi government has announced it will halve the essential items in the ration because of "insufficient funds and spiralling inflation."

Sneaking under the wire, the LOL of 2007: Bin Laden accuses U.S. of seeking to control Iraqi oil 29 Dec 2007 Al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] leader Osama bin Laden accused the United States in a statement posted on the Internet on Saturday of having a plot to take control of Iraq's oil. [!] In the statement, bin Laden also accused Washington of seeking to build military bases in Iraq and dominate the region. The United States is making efforts to rebuild a pro-Washington national unity government in Iraq, which is meant "to give the Americans all they wish of Iraq's oil", said the statement, urging Iraqis to reject it. [So, the thrust of the newest bin Laden message from the grave is: If you oppose Iraq's ExxonMobil's oil law, and US KBR's, Blackwater's permanent military bases in Iraq, by God you're standing with Osama bin Laden!!! -LRP]

Turkey ready to stage new raids against PKK in northern Iraq 28 Dec 2007 Turkey said Friday it would continue its military operations against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, after several attacks this month against members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Wilkins encourages Canada to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2009 29 Dec 2007 The U.S. ambassador to Canada says he's unsure how the death of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto will affect Canada's upcoming parliamentary vote on troops in Afghanistan. Ambassador David Wilkins is encouraging Canadian officials to extend the country's military operations in Afghanistan beyond its current commitment that ends in February 2009.

Canadians warned to avoid travel to Pakistan 29 Dec 2007 Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is warning Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Pakistan. The warning was issued Friday, the day after Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.

Pakistani election still US priority [ROFL!! Too bad everyone else's elections are a US priority, but having a legitimate election in the US is not on the agenda.] 28 Dec 2007 The Bush dictatorship is counting on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf going ahead with upcoming parliamentary 'elections' despite Benazir Bhutto's assassination in the hope they will cement steps toward restoring democracy implementing a police state.

Qaeda Network Expands Base in Pakistan 30 Dec 2007 The Qaeda network accused by Pakistan’s government of killing the opposition leader Benazir Bhutto is increasingly made up not of foreign fighters but of homegrown Pakistani militants bent on destabilizing the country, analysts and security officials here say. [Gee, we better get Blackwater and Dyncorp in there quickly to restore democracy! BTW, whatever happened to the five billion-plus dollars Bush bin Laden has given to Pakistan since the 9/11 terrorist attacks?]

U.S. gave Bhutto intelligence on dangers she faced 29 Dec 2007 In the weeks before Benazir Bhutto's assassination, the Bush administration directly provided her with intelligence on dangers she faced from militants in Pakistan, as U.S.-backed President Pervez Musharraf resisted pressure to expand the scope of her security detail, U.S. lawmakers and other officials and Bhutto supporters said Friday.

Pakistan government skips autopsy, shifts story on how Bhutto died 28 Dec 2007 Violence and recriminations grew Friday over the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, as Pakistan's government changed its account of how she died while her supporters charged that the government withheld personal protection she'd requested. As deadly protests continued to rage on Pakistan's streets, the country's Interior Ministry said that Bhutto -- buried Friday without an autopsy -- had died after she was thrown against the lever of her car's sunroof, fracturing her skull.

Clinton calls for probe of Bhutto killing 28 Dec 2007 Democrat Hillary Clinton called on Friday for an international probe of Benazir Bhutto's killing. "I don't think the Pakistani government at this time under President Musharraf has any credibility at all," Clinton said in an interview with CNN as she campaigned across Iowa. "Therefore I am calling for a full independent international investigation."

Britain Drops 'War on Terror' Label 28 Dec 2007 The words "war on terror" will no longer be used by the British government to describe attacks on the public, the country's chief prosecutor said Dec. 27.

US cites threats to businesses abroad 27 Dec 2007 Cyberattacks in Europe, theft of intellectual property in Asia, natural disasters in Latin America and terrorism on many continents were among the threats U.S. businesses faced in 2007, a State Department report said Thursday.

Major cities to get FBI digital billboards 26 Dec 2007 The FBI plans to install new digital billboards in 20 major U.S. cities to disperse information on fugitives or security. The federal agency said Wednesday that through a partnership with the advertising firm, Clear Channel Outdoor, large digital billboards in those major cities would broadcast updated information on a daily basis.

"There are also a number of far-right nationalist groups in Australia who have spoken out about David." Hicks tastes freedom but fears for his life 30 Dec 2007 'Convicted terrorism supporter' David Hicks walked free from Yatala Prison yesterday, a man plagued by fears his life is in peril. Mr Hicks's family said that, despite his relief, he was crippled by fears that he would be a target for Muslim or far-right extremists, or inadvertently breach his plea bargain agreement and be sent back to Guantanamo Bay or be punished by the Australian or South Australian governments if he spoke out or be hounded by the media, exposing him to all these risks.

Australian Guantanamo convict released 29 Dec 2007 David Hicks, an Australian who is the only person convicted on terrorism charges at a U.S. military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, walked free Saturday after more than six years behind bars. The 32-year-old was released from prison in his home town of Adelaide in southern Australia after completing a nine-month sentence struck under a plea deal that followed more than five years' detention without a trial at Guantanamo.

Full text of David Hicks' statement 29 Dec 2007 Full text of David Hicks' statement upon his release from Adelaide's Yatala jail today. The statement was read to media by his lawyer, David McLeod.

Democrats rip Bush's pocket veto of military policy bill 29 Dec 2007 For months, President [sic] Bush harangued Democrats in Congress for not moving quickly enough to support the troops and for bogging down military bills with unrelated issues. And then Friday, with no warning, a vacationing Bush announced he will veto a sweeping military policy bill because of an obscure provision that could expose Iraq's new government to billions of dollars in legal claims dating to Saddam Hussein's government.

Vermont Town Seeks Bush, Cheney Arrests for War Crimes 28 Dec 2007 President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Cheney may soon have a new reason to avoid Vermont: In one town, activists want them subject to arrest for war crimes. A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on the Town Meeting agenda in March that would make Bush - who's been to every state except Vermont as president - and Vice President Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont town.

Florida's new voter ID law on hold 28 Dec 2007 People who show up for early voting next month will be able to use an employee badge or buyers' club card as identification, despite new election laws taking effect Jan. 1 that eliminate their use. In the spring, the GOP-controlled Legislature tightened up the types of photo IDs that could be used by voters, but the new law has been put on hold because the U.S. Department of Justice has yet to sign off on the change. Florida's top election officials this week told election supervisors to ignore a handful of voting law changes because federal authorities are still reviewing them to see if they would adversely affect minority voters.

Edwards Pledges Ban on Lobbyists 29 Dec 2007 John Edwards vowed Saturday that corporate lobbyists would not be allowed to work in his administration, if elected. "When I am president of the United States, no corporate lobbyists or anyone who has lobbied for a foreign government will work in my White House," Mr. Edwards said, speaking at a public library.

Mega barf alert! Conservative William Kristol becomes NY Times columnist 29 Dec 2007 William Kristol, a prominent conservative pundit and magazine editor, has signed on as a columnist for The New York Times, a publication he has often sharply criticized, the newspaper announced on Saturday.

California woman with multi-drug resistant TB isolated 29 Dec 2007 A 30-year-old woman from California has been diagnosed with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and kept in an isolation unit at the Stanford Hospital since December 19. According to reports, the woman, whose name has not been revealed, was diagnosed suffering from the disease during her recent visit to India and flew back home in a commercial passenger.

Testing ... 1,2,3 ... testing: Infection Hits a California Prison Hard 30 Dec 2007 When any of the 5,300 inmates at Pleasant Valley State Prison begin coughing and running a fever, doctors think valley fever... and often they are right. In the past three years, more than 900 inmates at the prison have contracted the fever, a fungal infection that has been both widespread and lethal. At least a dozen inmates here in Central California have died from the disease, which is on the rise in other Western states, including Arizona, where the health department declared an epidemic after more than 5,500 cases were reported in 2006, including 33 deaths.

Fresh bird flu outbreak detected in Myanmar 29 Dec 2007 Military-ruled Myanmar has detected a new outbreak of bird flu among chickens in the country's eastern Shan state, an official and state media said on Saturday.

Why 2008 will be the year of the polar bear By Chantal Kreviazuk 29 Dec 2007 I dread the fact that one day I may have to tell my grandchildren how great white creatures once roamed Canada's North and then disappeared... I feel so ashamed that the actions of man have caused these beautiful animals – the pride of Manitoba – to be subjected to such deterioration... The plight of the bears isn't irreversible, but the time for action is now. Which is why PBI and other conservation organizations have designated 2008 as the year of the polar bear – they hope to inspire people by exposing what the bears face and offering strategies to lessen the damage. [Please sign petition.]

The plastic killing fields --Continents of garbage in the oceans are killing marine life and releasing poisons that enter the human food chain. By Amanda Woods 29 Dec 2007 In one of the few places on Earth where people can rarely be found, the human race has well and truly made its mark. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies a floating garbage patch twice the size of Britain. A place where the water is filled with six times as much plastic as plankton. This plastic-plankton soup is entering the food chain and heading for your dinner table.

*****

Polish Troops Face War Crimes Charges 28 Dec 2007 Reports that Poland's troops in Afghanistan may have committed a war crime against defenseless civilians has shocked the country's public, which remains sensitive to the performance of the Polish military abroad. In August... Polish reinforcements soon arrived and opened fire on a nearby village. The mortar attack on the village of Nangar Khel, close to the Afghan-Pakistani border, killed eight Afghani civilians and left three women crippled. A pregnant woman and a child were among the dead.

Navy JAG Resigns Over Torture Issue 27 Dec 2007 "It was with sadness that I signed my name this grey morning to a letter resigning my commission in the U.S. Navy," wrote Gig Harbor, Wash., resident and attorney-at-law Andrew Williams in a letter to The Peninsula Gateway last week. Williams' resignation stems from the recent CIA videotape scandal in which tapes showing secret interrogations of two 'Al Qaeda' operatives were destroyed. The tapes may have contained evidence that the U.S. government used a type of torture known as waterboarding to obtain information from suspected terrorists. Torture, including water-boarding, is prohibited under the treaties of the Geneva Convention.

UK £70m arms sales to Saddam Hussein's Iraq 28 Dec 2007 Thirty years ago, Britain sold millions of pounds of military equipment to the Iraq's Baathist government. Foreign Office papers, just released by the National Archives in London, show that defence sales to Iraq in 1976 amounted to an estimated £70m. At this time, [CIA-installed] Saddam Hussein was the de facto leader of Iraq.

Eight killed, 66 injured in Baghdad car bombing 28 Dec 2007 At least eight people were killed and 66 others wounded in a car bomb explosion in a crowded central Baghdad area on Friday, an Interior Ministry source said. "A car bomb parked near the Taiyran Square in Bab al-Sharji area detonated in the afternoon, killing at least eight people and wounding 66 others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Bush to Veto Pentagon Funds Over Iraq Provision 28 Dec 2007 President [sic] Bush will veto a huge Defense Department bill because of concerns by the Iraqi government that Iraqi assets in American banks could be vulnerable to claims from victims of Saddam Hussein, the White House said Friday in Texas.

Iraq vet arrested on charges of attempted murder 28 Dec 2007 A U.S. Navy medical corpsman recently returned from combat duty in Iraq awaits arraignment in Cumberland County Jail today on charges of attempted murder. Police deployed a Taser on Thursday when they discovered Victor Perez, 24, chasing his wife with a butcher knife, according to Brunswick police Lt. Shawn O'Leary.

Control order easy after Guantanamo, says lawyer 29 Dec 2007 A control order is unlikely to worry David Hicks after surviving the rigours of Guantanamo Bay, according to his former military lawyer, Major Michael Mori. Major Mori, who is to be sent to Iraq's Anbar province soon as part of a US Marines contingent, would not comment on whether his former client was a serious terrorist or merely a misguided adventurer.

"The man who murdered Osama bin Laden" Frost over the World - Benazir Bhutto - 02 Nov 07 --Sir David interviews former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto. 03 Nov 2007 6:13 into this YouTube video, Benazir Bhutto declares, "Yes, well one of them is a very key figure in security. He's a former military officer. He's someone who's had dealings... and he also had dealings with Omar Sheikh [Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh], the man who murdered Osama bin Laden." [Did Bhutto mean to say Daniel Pearl? If that was the case, she did not correct herself.]

Pakistan agents 'staged escape' of terror suspect 23 Dec 2007 Friends of Rashid Rauf, the man wanted in Britain for last year’s Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, believe that he did not escape from custody last weekend but was kidnapped by Pakistan’s military intelligence agency (ISI). They fear he may be shot. Rauf was arrested in Pakistan in August last year at the same time as 25 men were held in Britain after police uncovered an alleged plot to blow up 12 airliners flying to the United States from Heathrow and Gatwick. Since then, Rauf has been held with other Al-Qaeda suspects in Pakistan's highest-security unit in Rawalpindi until his "escape" last weekend. The officers had allowed him to stop for lunch at a McDonald's restaurant and later in the journey permitted him to pray at a mosque. His handcuffs were removed to allow him to pray freely... Hashmat Habib, Rauf’s lawyer, said his client was being victimised because the Pakistani authorities had been forced to drop all charges against Rauf over the transatlantic flight plot.

Poland to boost Afghanistan troops in wake of Bhutto assassination 28 Dec 2007 Poland will boost its forces in Afghanistan by 400 troops to a total of 1,600 after the assassination of Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Defence Minister Bogdan Klich said Friday.

Poland plans more troops in Afghanistan 29 Dec 2007 Poland's force in Afghanistan will be enlarged by 400 troops between April and May next year, defense minister Bogdan Klich announced on Friday. Klich said the assassination of Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Thursday threatened to destabilize the entire region, including Afghanistan.

Bhutto Buried as Government Orders Virtual Lockdown 29 Dec 2007 As Benazir Bhutto was laid to rest on Friday, Pakistan’s government recast its version of events and announced that it had obtained an intelligence intercept pinning the attack on a militant leader linked to Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. With many of Ms. Bhutto’s supporters openly blaming the government for her death, the Interior Ministry made the surprising announcement that Ms. Bhutto had died not from gunshots or shrapnel but from a skull fracture when she was thrown by the force of the suicide attack and hit her head on a lever of the car sunroof in which she was riding.

Pakistan: Fractured skull killed Bhutto 28 Dec 2007 Benazir Bhutto died from a fractured skull caused by hitting her head on part of her car's sunroof as a bomb ripped through a crowd of her supporters, a spokesman for Pakistan's Interior Ministry said Friday.

Red alert in Pakistan 27 Dec 2007 A red alert has been sounded in entire Pakistan after the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in a suicide bomb and sniper gun attack in Rawalpindi on Thursday evening. Geo News quoted Punjab Home Secretary Khusro Pervaiz Khan as saying that the provincial government has called in the army and contingents of the Rangers to help the police maintain law and order in these districts.

U.S. Brokered Bhutto's Return to Pakistan --White House Would Back Her as Prime Minister While Musharraf Held Presidency 28 Dec 2007 For Benazir Bhutto, the decision to return to Pakistan was sealed during a telephone call from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice just a week before Bhutto flew home in October. The call culminated more than a year of secret diplomacy -- and came only when it became clear that the heir to Pakistan's most powerful political dynasty was the only one who could bail out Washington's key ally in the battle 'against' terrorism.

Ghana President Says Oil Reserves Discovered in Country's Waters [And, according to Cheney, their weapons of mass destruction were discovered about one hour later. <g>] 22 Dec 2007 Ghana's president said Saturday that offshore oil reserves discovered in the West African country's waters total 3 billion barrels. "Ghana has struck oil in commercial quantities," President John Kufuor said, speaking at a ruling party congress in the capital, Accra. "This is only the beginning. The future is very bright indeed." [Not as bright as he thinks - the US knows about it.]

FBI to post criminals' mug shots on digital billboards 28 Dec 2007 The FBI's most wanted bank robbers, violent criminals and terrorists will soon appear on 150 digital billboards in 20 cities nationwide. The agency has teamed up with Phoenix-based Clear Channel Outdoor to begin airing mug shots following a successful test run in Philadelphia that led to several arrests. [The most dangerous robbers, violent criminals and terrorists in the US - that takes care of the top members of Bush regime. Arrest them, and we'll be safe. --LRP]

FEMA hires new public affairs director 27 Dec 2007 The Federal Emergency Management Agency has hired a new director of public affairs [Jonathan Thompson] to replace the official who was in charge during a fake news conference in October.

Sales of New Homes in U.S. Dropped 9% to 12-Year Low 28 Dec 2007 Sales of new homes in the U.S. fell to a 12-year low in November, pointing to bigger declines in construction that will hobble economic growth throughout 2008. Purchases dropped 9 percent to an annual pace of 647,000 and October sales were revised down to a 711,000 rate, the Commerce Department said today in Washington.

Exxon Mobil to seek LNG facility off Jersey coast --COA opposes offshore gas terminal 12 Dec 2007 After Exxon Mobil Corp. announced plans to seek regulatory approval for a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal off the coast of New Jersey Dec. 11, state officials and local activists are speaking out against the plan. In a Dec. 12 letter, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) urges U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen and U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton to deny ExxonMobil's BlueOcean Energy proposal under the Deepwater Port Act.

Huckabee's muzzle control problem By Jim Tankersley 27 Dec 2007 Republican Mike Huckabee took his presidential campaign for a quick pheasant-hunting expedition in Iowa on Wednesday, and at one point, a reporter asked why he hadn’t invited sporting enthusiast Dick Cheney along. "Because I want to survive all the way through this," Huckabee replied, in a chuckling dig at the vice president’s [sic] accidental shooting of a quail-hunting partner last year. Any good sportsman, though, couldn’t miss a distinctly Cheneyesque moment in the press accounts of the former Arkansas governor’s morning hunt: At one point, Huckabee’s party turned toward a cluster of reporters and cameramen and, when they kicked up a pheasant, fired shotgun blasts over the group's heads. [OMG, and the group didn't return the favor?]

Giuliani ad links World War II, 9/11 27 Dec 2007 Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign will begin airing a new television ad Friday in which he equates the resolve and heroism of Americans during World War II with what he witnessed as mayor of New York City after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and in which he asserts that the US will prevail in a war with Islamic terrorists.

WHO confirms inter-human bird flu transmission in Pakistan 27 Dec 2007 Experts with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday confirmed the first case of inter-human transmission of bird flu in Pakistan, but ruled out any risk of a widespread outbreak.

Two Egyptians test positive for bird flu - ministry 27 Dec 2007 Two Egyptians have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, a day after an Egyptian woman died of the disease, Egypt's health ministry said on Thursday.

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