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, Page Two

Bush to seek $70 bln in partial 2009 war funding 29 Jan 2008 The Bush administration will ask the U.S. Congress next week for $70 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and related operations for part of the 2009 fiscal year, the Pentagon said on Monday. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, Congress has approved $691 billion to pay for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and such related activities as Iraq 'reconstruction,' the Congressional Budget Office said last week.

Big blaze sweeps through Iraq's central bank 28 Jan 2008 A large fire ripped through Iraq's central bank building in Baghdad in the early hours of Monday, causing material damage, police said. The fire erupted in three floors of the bank's building on Rashid Road in the centre of Baghdad, a security source told the Voices of Iraq news agency.

Five US soldiers killed in Iraq 28 Jan 2008 Five US soldiers were killed in Iraq today when their patrol was hit by a roadside bomb and then came under small arms fire, the American military said. The attack, one of the deadliest against US troops in months, was in Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, 390km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.

Fort Riley soldier dies of injuries suffered in Iraq 28 Jan 2008 A 19-year-old soldier from Fort Riley has died of wounds suffered from a bomb that detonated near his vehicle during combat in Baghdad, Iraq, military officials said Sunday.

Baghdad blast kills 3 28 Jan 2008 A roadside bomb has struck a minibus in southeastern Baghdad, killing at least three passengers and wounding five, police say. The bomb apparently was meant for a police patrol but missed its target and blew up near the bus, which was carrying a coffin to a funeral, a police officer said.

Family of 3 Stabbed to Death in Baghdad 27 Jan 2008 A former city official was stabbed to death along with his wife and daughter in their home in a neighborhood in northeastern Baghdad, officials said Sunday. Elsewhere in the capital, two American soldiers were killed in separate bombings, the military said Sunday.

Musharraf rejects CIA bid to hunt Taliban 28 Jan 2008 President Pervez Musharraf has rejected an offer of greater American involvement in hunting down 'al-Qa'eda' and Taliban militants in Pakistan, it has been reported. Amid growing concern in Washington over militants' entrenchment in Pakistan's border tribal areas, America's two most senior intelligence officials made the proposal during a secret visit to Islamabad earlier this month.

Turkey says U.S. nuclear policy strengthens Iran 26 Jan 2008 U.S. ally Turkey said on Saturday Washington's efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear programme were undermining reformists in Tehran and bolstering Iranian influence across the Middle East. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said the United States was failing to win broad support for tougher sanctions against Iran, and called instead for dialogue and diplomacy.

Iran to Retaliate in Case of Invasion 27 Jan 2008 IRGC commander says his forces would retaliate against the US military bases in the Persian Gulf if they are involved in any possible future attack on Iran. General Mohammad Ali Jaafari, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, told Arab language Al-Jazeera television on Saturday evening that it is Iran's "natural right to respond'' if attacked by land or air.

McCain Warns: "There Will Be Other Wars" By Sam Stein 27 Jan 2008 The presidential candidate who sang "Bomb bomb Iran" is already looking towards the war after the war in Iraq. Sen. John McCain told a crowd of supporters on Sunday, "It's a tough war we're in. It's not going to be over right away. There's going to be other wars." Offering more of his increasingly bleak "straight talk," he repeated the claim: "I'm sorry to tell you, there's going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars."

Israeli 'Economic Warfare' to Include Electricity Cuts in Gaza 28 Jan 2008 Saying they were waging "economic warfare" against the Gaza Strip's Hamas leaders, Israeli officials told the Supreme Court on Sunday that the military intends to start cutting electricity to the Palestinian territory and continue restricting fuel. The statements by Israel's state attorney, outlining Defense Ministry plans, came in response to a lawsuit filed by Israeli and Palestinian rights groups.

Israel bars aid convoy to Gaza By Rachel Shabi at the Erez crossing, Gaza-Israel border 28 Jan 2008 The Israeli military has prevented an aid convoy organised by Israeli human rights organisations, peace activists, and former military personnel, from reaching needy families in the besieged Gaza Strip. Since Saturday, Israeli groups have braved dipping temperatures and the unusually rain-sodden grounds of the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, hoping that Israeli authorities would allow five tonnes of food through. Israeli, Palestinian unity: The Israeli and Palestinian peace activists first arrived at the Erez crossing in a convoy of about 100 cars and 20 buses that wound its way from Israel's main cities to the border on Saturday. Travelling under the "End the Siege!" banner, the convoy brought about 1,000 demonstrators and five tonnes of food aid to the border.

Man arrested near White House for verbal threat 28 Jan 2008 A man was arrested on Monday for making a verbal threat against President [sic] George W. Bush outside the fence at the White House, the Secret Service said. "We had an individual arrested for making a threat against the president on the fence line," Malcolm Wiley, spokesman for the Secret Service, said. "He left behind a suspicious package," he said. That prompted the area immediately outside the White House to be closed off to the public, he said.

Gas Leak Prompts Evacuation of Senate Day-Care Center 28 Jan 2008 A gas leak in the 300 block of C Street NE temporarily forced the evacuation of a building that houses a day-care center for the Senate. D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services was notified by Capitol Police around 9:30 a.m. that people had reported smelling natural gas in a building just one block from the Hart Senate Office Building, said fire department spokesman Alan Etter.

TSA tester slips mock bomb past [Bush's privatized] airport security --CNN goes along with a TSA tester, witnesses mock bomb slip past security 28 Jan 2008 Jason -- that's the name CNN was asked to call him -- slides a simulated explosive into an elastic back support. The mock bomb is as slim as a wallet; its fuse, the size of a cigarette. He wraps the support around his torso, and the bomb fits comfortably into the small of his back... So Jason shows a boarding pass and an ID to a TSA document checker, and he is directed to a checkpoint where, unbeknown to the security officer on site, the real test begins. He gets through, which in real life would mean a terrorist was headed toward a plane with a bomb.

'We think that this e-mail could be the tip of the iceberg and that we may have many more similar e-mails circulating in federal agencies.' 3 US workers face investigation over Obama e-mail 26 Jan 2008 Three federal employees are being investigated for unlawful political activities after they allegedly sent an e-mail falsely accusing Barack Obama of being a "radical Muslim," the Globe has learned. The US Office of Special Counsel has launched investigations of two employees at one agency and one employee at another agency. All three are believed to have forwarded the erroneous chain e-mail about Obama from their government e-mail accounts... The e-mail questioning Obama's faith and patriotism, recently appeared on a local Republican Party office's website in Washington state.

Make no mistake: The GOP-run media is using race to pick off Clinton first, Obama second. The media is (finally) giving us wall-to-wall political coverage instead of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears - but that of the campaigners and their surrogates, not the issues. 28 Jan 2008 Where is John Edwards? He's as far from Bush as you can get, and so the corpora-terrorists don't want us to hear/see him. After a Bush false flag in the summer of 2008, the GOP troll on tap will gain about 10 points heading into the November 'elections.' When the GOP steals a *third* presidential 'election,' the Reichwing - pushing race as a false front-and-center issue 24/7 - will claim that even though Barack Obama was ahead in pre-election polls, people must lied to pollsters and in fact, decided not to vote for an African American for president, after all! Hint: Do you think we will be getting wall-to-wall coverage of the Kennedys, when the general election campaign begins? LOL, we'll be back to Lindsay and Britney in the blink of an eye. --LRP See: Tell MSNBC to Stop the Misogyny! and Hill-bullies May Bring US Four More Years of GOP Rule By MDR 08 Dec 2008.

'I feel a change in the air,' says Kennedy of Obama 28 Jan 2008 Barack Obama today appeared at a boisterous rally alongside three members of the Kennedy family, America's most beloved political dynasty, to accept the endorsement of senator and Democratic powerbroker Edward Kennedy. "We want a president for those who still believe in the American dream and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal," the senator said. "I feel change in the air. What about you?"

Florida Democratic Primary Florida: Clinton 47% Obama 25% 28 Jan 2008 The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Florida finds Senator Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama by nineteen percentage points, 47% to 25%. That’s little changed from earlier surveys.

Shell set to stir petrol storm with record profits of £13.6bn --Oil group to post highest earnings by British firm 28 Jan 2008 Shell will be at the centre of a political storm this week when it posts profits of almost $27bn (£13.6bn), the highest earnings ever made by a British company. The record-breaking profits, on the back of soaring oil prices, seem likely to stir fresh allegations of profiteering. Texas-based Exxon Mobil, the world's largest privately-owned oil company, is expected to improve on its own previous record on Friday by reporting earnings of $39.6bn, the biggest annual profits that the US has ever seen.

Polar Bear Population In Arctic Sea Endangered 28 Jan 2008 Global warming and oil spills, from oil drilling projects slated to begin February 2008 in the Arctic, may endanger the lives of polar bears. With ongoing global warming, the ice in the Arctic Sea is shrinking, making the animals vulnerable to drowning as they are forced to swim long distances in between the ice or simply starve to death. NASA predicts that the Arctic Sea could be ice-free as early as the summer of 2013.

Bush's moves in Alaska fail 'red face' test By Joel Connelly 27 Jan 2008 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a "delay" in its decision on listing the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. In the meantime, the Minerals Management Service is getting set, on Feb. 6, to throw open 30 million acres of the bears' habitat to oil and gas development. With the skill of a World War II convoy escort, the administration has laid down a smoke screen around its actions... "The U.S. Geological Survey has concluded that polar bears will almost certainly disappear from Alaska by the middle of this century, and that we will have lost fully two-thirds of the world's polar bears by this time," [Reps.] Inslee and Shays wrote.

Navy resumes sonar training off coast 27 Jan 2008 The Navy has resumed sonar training off the coast of Southern California as the government and environmentalists battle in court over how the exercises affect whales and other marine mammals.

Sales of New Homes Fell by 26% in 2007 28 Jan 2008 The housing industry, caught in a maelstrom of sinking demand, rising foreclosures, and bulging inventories, is in its worst slump in decades, a growing body of economic evidence shows. Sales of new homes fell last year by 26 percent, the steepest drop since records began in 1963, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

Ballot measure would phase out rent control laws 28 Jan 2008 More than 100 owners and operators of apartment buildings and mobile home parks spent nearly $2 million to put an initiative on the June 3 ballot to phase out California's rent control laws. About 1.2 million people statewide are covered by such laws.

Japan stocks down 2 pct on exporters, Fed cut eyed 27 Jan 2008 Japanese stocks fell more than 2 percent on Monday, with exporters such as Canon Inc down after U.S. stocks sagged late last week, while investors grew cautious ahead of events including a Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to result in another interest rate cut.

eBay's PayPal to buy Israeli fraud-detection company 28 Jan 2008 An Israeli transaction verification service, Fraud Sciences, is being acquired by PayPal [terrorists] in a $169 million transaction, San Jose-based eBay announced today. The deal marks the first time eBay and PayPal have acquired a security technology company. PayPal, eBay's online payment service, has preferred to build its own 'security' technology until now.

Court rules Arizona must allow 'choose life' license plate 28 Jan 2008 A federal appellate court says Arizona must grant an anti-abortion group's request for a special "choose life" license plate. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the state's system for special plates effectively created a public forum for private speech.

India bird flu disease 'alarming' 28 Jan 2008 The bird flu epidemic has spread further in the Indian state of West Bengal with 13 of the state's 19 districts affected, officials say. An outbreak has been reported from Budge Budge, a suburb of the capital, Calcutta, officials say.

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Iraq moves troops, tanks to northern city Mosul 27 Jan 2008 Iraqi tanks and helicopters arrived in the northern city of Mosul with troop reinforcements on Sunday for a big offensive against 'al Qaeda' militants, Iraqi security officials said. U.S. military officials on Sunday said their own operations around Iraq's third largest city were continuing.

2 soldiers killed in separate attacks in Baghdad: U.S. military 27 Jan 2008 The U.S. military says two American soldiers are dead because of separate bombings in Baghdad. According to a military statement, one soldier died after his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in a northeastern part of the Iraqi capital. The military also says another soldier was killed yesterday by a bomb during a foot patrol in northern Baghdad.

Another US Soldier Falls in Iraq 26 Jan 2008 The US army said a service member was killed on Friday in central Iraq due to what the army described as "non-combat related causes". "A Multinational Division-Center soldier died Jan 25 of non-combat related causes," the army said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq, the Arabic for Voice of Iraq (VOI).

Pakistan Rebuffs Secret U.S. Plea for C.I.A. Buildup 27 Jan 2008 The top two American intelligence officials traveled secretly to Pakistan early this month to press President Pervez Musharraf to allow the Central Intelligence Agency greater latitude to operate in the tribal territories where militants are active, according to several officials who have been briefed on the visit. But in the unannounced meetings on Jan. 9 with the two American officials -- Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, and Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director -- Mr. Musharraf rebuffed proposals to expand any American combat presence in Pakistan, either through unilateral covert C.I.A. missions or by joint operations with Pakistani security forces.

Pakistan's Musharraf Says No US Troops 25 Jan 2008 Pakistan's president said Friday U.S. troops cannot do a better job than his forces in routing the Taliban and al-Qaida [al-CIAduh], and the United States should increase its presence in Afghanistan instead to deal with the growing 'insurgency' there. Pervez Musharraf reiterated that Pakistan opposes any foreign forces on its soil and said "the man in the street will not allow this -- he will come out and agitate."

Anti-terror focus returns to Afghanistan, Pakistan 27 Jan 2008 In a shift with profound implications, the Bush regime is attempting to re-energize its terrorism-'fighting' war efforts in Afghanistan, the original target of a post-Sept. 11 offensive. The U.S. also is refocusing on Pakistan, where a regenerating al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] is posing fresh threats.

Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe 27 Jan 2008 An investigation into the illicit sale of American nuclear secrets was compromised by a senior official in the State Department, a former FBI employee has claimed. The official is said to have tipped off a foreign contact about a bogus CIA company used to investigate the sale of nuclear secrets. The firm, Brewster Jennings & Associates, was a front for Valerie Plame, the former CIA agent. The claims that a State Department official blew the investigation into a nuclear smuggling ring have been made by Sibel Edmonds, a former Turkish language translator in the FBI’s Washington field office.

Transfers to resume once prisons improve: MacKay 26 Jan 2008 News Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Saturday that Canadian soldiers will resume transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities, but only when Canada is confident they will not be tortured.

Giuliani to 'Post': Israel has to be able to defend itself 27 Jan 2008 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani strongly defended Israel's actions toward Gaza in an interview Sunday with The Jerusalem Post. "Israel has to do what it believes is necessary for its safety and security," he said when asked about Israel's response to the rocket attacks that have been launched from the Gaza Strip. "Those are decisions where I think you give a great deal of discretion to the Israeli government."

Chavez: Pull reserves from US 26 Jan 2008 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged his Latin American allies on Saturday to begin withdrawing billions of dollars in international reserves from U.S. banks, warning of a looming U.S. economic crisis.

Veto of Wiretap Measure Is Threatened --Bush Wants to Add Immunity for Phone Companies 27 Jan 2008 The White House warned Democratic leaders yesterday that President [sic] Bush would veto a proposal to extend an expiring surveillance law by 30 days, saying that Congress should quickly approve a Senate bill favored by the Bush administration. The White House and Republicans want the temporary surveillance law made permanent. But many Democrats, spurred on by objections from civil liberties and liberal groups, have balked at the Bush regime's demand to add legal immunity for telephone companies, which face dozens of lawsuits over their role in warrantless wiretaps conducted [before and] after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Missouri Citizen Soliders to Seize Armory in Terror Drill 25 Jan 2008 It'll look real tomorrow when Missouri soldiers work to clear hostile forces out of a Jefferson City armory. There are 70 citizen soldiers involved in the Blue Armory takeover. They'll form four teams and using simulated firearms they'll sweep the armory looking for terrorists.

Cheney's attorneys trying to prevent VP from testifying in lawsuit 25 Jan 2008 Dick Cheney's attorneys want to stop an attempt to force him to testify in a lawsuit where a man claims he was arrested after telling the vice president [sic] his policies in Iraq were "disgusting." Cheney is not a defendant in the lawsuit against five Secret Service agents, but attorney David Lane says he's the best eyewitness in his client's case. Cheney's attorneys filed a motion today in federal court opposing Lane's request to subpoena him.

'Bill Clinton is holding the audience hostage in Missouri.' --D.C. Sniper #2 aka Joe Scarborough (D.C. sniper #1 is Chris Matthews) bashing Bill Clinton during MSNBC's Democratic South Carolina primary coverage. [Earth to MSNBC: We don't want Reichwing 'Morning Joe' on a panel discussing Democratic primaries!]

The GOP-run media is making 'race' the issue in the Democratic primary, so that people are brainwashed into forgetting that Bush is carrying out genocide in Iraq for Exxon, Halliburton and Blackwater while trying to kill as many elderly, poor people and minorities at home, by turning over the National Treasury to same. Don't fall for the media's false front-and-center issue of race, to dissuade people from voting against sociopath John McCain, GOPervert Mitt Romney - or whichever Republican warmonger is on the menu - in November. --LRP

'Yes We Can!' Obama Beats Clinton in S.C. Primary --Record African-American Turnout Carries Sen. Barack Obama to Victory in S.C. 26 Jan 2008 Sen. Barack Obama, vying to become the nation's first black president, has won the South Carolina primary today, boosted by a record turnout of African-American voters. Obama overwhelmingly beat Sen. Hillary Clinton with 55 percent support to her 27 percent, and former Sen. John Edwards, trailing with 18 percent support, with almost all preccints reporting.

Obama rolls to big South Carolina win 26 Jan 2008 Barack Obama easily won South Carolina's bitterly contested Democratic presidential primary with the help of heavy black support on Saturday, dealing a setback to rival Hillary Clinton after a week of political brawling.

Kennedy to endorse Obama, officials say 27 Jan 2008 Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts will endorse Senate colleague Barack Obama for president, party officials confirmed Sunday.

Caroline Kennedy Endorses Obama 26 Jan 2008 Caroline Kennedy has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in a Sunday op-ed in the New York Times, the first time she has weighed in on a presidential race since her uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, sought the White House in 1980.

A President Like My Father By Caroline Kennedy 27 Jan 2008 Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

Romney climbs into Florida tie with McCain: poll 27 Jan 2008 Republican Mitt Romney climbed into a tie with John McCain three days before a critical presidential primary in Florida, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Sunday.

Exxon-Mobil Makes $75,000 a Minute By Young Turks 26 Jan 2008 In the midst of record profits for oil companies we are giving them a $14 billion subsidy. That's insane. That's money straight out of our pockets and into Exxon-Mobil's pockets. Outside of politicians who get their elections financed by these guys, no one in the country should be in favor of this. This is not a conservative or liberal position, this is plain old robbery... And now, because of this insane economic stimulus package, businesses are going to get another $50 billion in tax breaks.

Funding and review of Palin-touted study criticized --Polar Bears: The author is tied to Exxon and groups that hunt the animal. 27 Jan 2008 The state has made an effort to enlist support from a controversial scientific study on polar bears. The study, by polar bear researcher M.G. Dyck and six climate scientists, was published last year as a "Viewpoint" in the journal Ecological Complexity. It rebutted earlier work by Canada's leading polar bear experts linking declines in Hudson Bay polar bear populations to warmer temperatures and shorter sea-ice seasons. The State of Alaska quoted extensively from the study, in opposing a "threatened" listing for polar bears. The Dyck study was especially important because little other science on bears took that side... Rep. Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat and a subcommittee chairman on the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology, raised an alarm because one of the authors, Harvard astrophysicist Willie Soon, said he had been funded in part by Exxon Mobil and the American Petroleum Institute.

Iraq ratifies Kyoto Protocol on climate change 26 Jan 2008 Iraq has formally ratified the UN's Kyoto Protocol on climate change, according to a government statement seen by AFP on Saturday.

Big business says addressing climate change 'rates very low on agenda' --Poll of 500 major firms reveals that only one in 10 regard global warming as a priority 27 Jan 2008 Global warming ranks far down the concerns of the world's biggest companies, despite world leaders' hopes that they will pioneer solutions to the impending climate crisis, a startling survey will reveal this week.

Gardasil A Prime Suspect in Two Deaths 25 Jan 2008 Gardasil has been linked to the deaths of two women in Europe, prompting more concerns about the controversial cervical cancer vaccine. This week’s deaths follow the deaths of three other young women who died in the U.S. days after GardaKILL was administered. FDA documents indicate Gardasil may be responsible for at least eight deaths. Since its approval, there had been 3,461 complaints of adverse reactions to Gardasil.

NY subpoenas Merck and Schering-Plough over Vytorin 26 Jan 2008 New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has subpoenaed Merck & Co and Schering-Plough Corp for documents and information to see whether the companies hid the results of a study on their cholesterol drug Vytorin.

Bird flu spreads to 2 more Bengal districts 28 Jan 2008 The bird flu noose is drawing tighter around Kolkata. After Howrah's Nalpur and Hooghly's Balagharh, samples from Budge Budge in South 24-Parganas tested positive for the deadly H5N1 virus on Sunday.

FCC levies "NYPD" indecency fine 27 Jan 2008 In a sign that the federal airwaves police may ratchet up their campaign against racy programming, the FCC on Friday determined that a woman's naked backside is indecent enough to net ABC a proposed fine of $1.43 million. The fine proposal, announced late Friday, comes as much of the regulatory regime the commission uses to fine stations is under judicial review.

Polar bear cub Flocke learns to crawl 27 Jan 2008 The baby polar bear at the Nuremberg zoo has learned to crawl. Flocke [Snowflake] is five weeks old and is already half a metre tall. She weighs in at almost 3.9 kg - if she stays still long enough for her keepers to be able to read the scales, that is.

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"If Hitler were still alive and walked through Brattleboro, I think the local police would arrest him for war crimes." Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney 26 Jan 2008 Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President [sic] George Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont. The Brattleboro Select Board voted 3-2 Friday to put the controversial item on the Town Meeting Day warning. According to Town Clerk Annette Cappy said residents will get to vote on the matter by paper balloting March 4. [Good! Hopefully, their treason trials will start shortly thereafter, with all possible penalties for treason on the plate.]

Bush Order Expands Internet Monitoring By NSA 26 Jan 2008 President [sic] Bush signed a directive this month that expands the intelligence community's role in monitoring Internet traffic to protect against a rising number of attacks on federal agencies' computer systems spy. The directive, whose content is classified, authorizes the intelligence agencies, in particular the National Security Agency, to monitor the computer networks of all federal agencies -- including ones they have not previously monitored. The prospect of aiming NSA's power at domestic networks is raising concerns, just as the NSA's role in the government's warrantless domestic-surveillance program has been controversial. Lawmakers with oversight of homeland security and intelligence matters say they have pressed the administration for months for details. The classified joint directive, signed Jan. 8 and called the National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23, has not been previously disclosed.

Defunct Spy Satellite Falling From Orbit 26 Jan 2008 A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and propulsion and could hit the Earth in late February or March, government officials said Saturday. The satellite, which no longer be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret. [Gee, wouldn't it be nice if lands on a Blackwater training camp?]

'This may hinge on what people's definition of 'equipment' is.' Taliban seize Nato supplies in Pakistan 25 Jan 2008 The suspected Taliban mastermind behind Benazir Bhutto's assassination [Baitullah Mehsud] has stolen sophisticated Nato equipment by raiding the alliance's supply lines running through Pakistani territory. A senior government official, based near the frontier town of Tank, told The Daily Telegraph that Mehsud's men regularly ambushed container lorries carrying hardware bound for Nato forces in Afghanistan. A Nato spokesman in Kabul did not rule out that material had been stolen in transit through Pakistan, but denied that any weapons or military equipment had been lost. [?!?] "This may hinge on what people's definition of 'equipment' is," he said.

Karzai: Terrorists could regain control [With Bush's help, they already have.] 26 Jan 2008 Unless more is done to tackle growing extremism in countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan could once again fall into terrorist hands with dire consequence for the region and the world, the country's president warned Friday. Hamid Karzai said "misguided policy objectives" of unnamed countries or organizations were continuing to fuel violence in Afghanistan.

US offers troops to fight in Pakistan 25 Jan 2008 The United States has offered to send American troops into Pakistan to fight Islamic militants. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said the US was ready, willing and able to conduct joint combat operations against Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and Taliban insurgents in the tribal zone near the Afghan border. Previous offers involving direct combat action by US soldiers in Pakistan have been strongly rejected. The regime of President Pervez Musharraf fears an undisguised US military presence in the country would further erode public support and possibly draw new recruits to 'insurgent' ranks.

Bush plan for Iraq would be a first --No OK from Congress seen; Constitutional issues raised 25 Jan 2008 President [sic] Bush's plan to forge a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could commit the US military to defending Iraq's security would be the first time such a sweeping mutual defense compact has been enacted without congressional approval, according to legal specialists. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki have already agreed that a coming compact will include the United States providing "security assurances and commitments" to Iraq to deter any foreign invasion or internal terrorism by "outlaw groups." But a top White House official has also said that Bush does not intend to submit the deal to Congress... "We've got to rein in President [sic] Bush," Sen. Clinton said Monday in a South Carolina debate. "We need legislation in a hurry."

Blasts Hit Baghdad, Including Green Zone --Explosions Reverberate in Baghdad, Including Mortar Round Into US-Controlled Green Zone 26 Jan 2008 A series of explosions thundered in the Iraqi capital Saturday morning, police said, including one from a mortar round that hit the U.S.-controlled Green Zone. One of the explosions was a roadside bomb that targeted a U.S. patrol in eastern Baghdad.

3,000 extra police for restive Iraq province 26 Jan 2008 An extra 3,000 police are to boost forces in Iraq's northern Nineveh province where troops are readying for a new assault on Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] after lethal bombings in Mosul city, an official said on Saturday.

Iraq ready for "final" battle with al Qaeda: PM 25 Jan 2008 Iraqi security forces have begun a(nother) "decisive" final offensive against al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq to push the Sunni Islamist militants out of their 'last' major stronghold in the north, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Friday.

MoD blames army leadership failure for abuse of Iraqis --Troops were kept in dark about ban on hooding --Defence secretary promises further inquiry 26 Jan 2008 Serious failings in army leadership, planning and training - particularly about treating civilians in an occupied country - led to the abuse torture of Iraqis by British soldiers, a Ministry of Defence investigation has found. Soldiers were not told about their obligations under international law or about a specific ban on hooding imposed by the government 36 years ago, said the report by Brigadier Robert Aitken, the army's director of army personnel strategy.

6 Powers Propose New Iran Sanctions 26 Jan 2008 New U.N. sanctions against Iran would require countries to ban the entry of individuals involved in the Iranian nuclear program -- a step up from a previous call for vigilance over their travel, according to a document obtained Friday. The latest round of penalties would also for the first time ban trade in equipment and technology that can be used in both civilian and nuclear programs, according to elements that would form the basis of a new U.N. resolution.

Iran to face travel bans 26 Jan 2008 Proposed new U.N. sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program call for mandatory travel bans and asset freezes for specific Iranian officials and vigilance on all banks in Iran, according to a draft text. The text of "elements" of a third round of sanctions, obtained by Reuters on Friday, was agreed on by Britain, France, Germany, the United States, Russia and China and will be the basis of a resolution intended for the Security Council to pass in the next few weeks.

American Woman Kidnapped in Afghanistan 26 Jan 2008 Gunmen kidnapped an American aid worker and her driver in southern Afghanistan's largest city early Saturday, snatching the woman from a residential neighborhood as she was on her way to work. Cyd Mizell worked in Kandahar for the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation.

Army Rangers, medic arrested on drug, firearms charges 26 Jan 2008 Four active-duty U.S. soldiers -- three of them elite Army Rangers -- have been arrested and charged with planning to rob drug traffickers. They're charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and with carrying firearms in connection with that conspiracy.

ACLU Challenges Cuyahoga's Unequal Voting Technology in Federal Court --New Voting System Unlawful, Will Result in More Uncounted Ballots (ACLU) 17 Jan 2008 The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Ohio filed a lawsuit against state election officials in federal court today challenging the use of unequal, inaccurate and inadequate voting technology in Ohio’s most populous county. Today’s legal action seeks to block Cuyahoga County’s recent shift from using electronic voting machines to a system that lacks the ability to provide voters with notice of balloting errors and an opportunity to correct such mistakes. According to the ACLU, the use of these machines violates the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment as well as the Voting Rights Act.

Record Turnout Expected as South Carolina Votes 26 Jan 2008 Democratic voters were taking their turn Saturday in the first Southern primary of the presidential campaign, the final contest before the race expands into a state-by-state battle for the party’s nomination.

On Friday's 'Hardball,' Chris Matthews asks a(nother) rightwing pundit: 'Do you like that all these guys have chosen her [Hillary Clinton] as their target range?' [It's YOU, Chris Matthews, who has her in YOUR target range! Tell MSNBC to Stop the Misogyny! 'Chris Matthews is like the DC sniper, lying in wait, always on the hunt for Hillary.' --MDR 25 Jan 2008]

Obama: Press 'Manically Focused on Race' 26 Jan 2008 Heading into the Democratic primary in South Carolina, Sen. Barack Obama is banking on a win. He also says the [GOP-run] media is making race more of an issue that it actually is. "The press has been focused, almost, you know, maniacally, on the issue of race, here in South Carolina. But, as we move forward after this contest, I'm very confident that we are going to continue to build the kinds of coalitions that we've been seeing all across the country," Obama told "Good Morning America Weekend" anchor Kate Snow. In recent weeks, media coverage of the Democratic primaries has been dominated by issues of race.

Obama leads South Carolina; McCain up in Florida: poll 26 Jan 2008 Barack Obama expanded his lead on rival Hillary Clinton to 15 points heading into South Carolina's bitterly contested presidential primary, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Saturday.

Senators question why terror tipsters were skunked 25 Jan 2008 Minnesota Sens. Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar asked the State Department on Friday to explain why two flight-school managers whose phone tips led to the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui were passed over for cash rewards. They said those men deserved recognition along with a third employee of the Pan American International Flight Academy, Clarence Prevost, who received a $5 million check Thursday under the State Department's Rewards for Justice program in a private ceremony. Prevost gave Moussaoui ground-school lessons in flying a 747 jumbo jet over two days in August 2001. He testiLIED at Moussaoui's 2006 death-penalty trial that he'd told colleagues and supervisors that he found Moussaoui's behavior odd, but he didn't phone the FBI at the time. [It was the testimony that Bush bought for $5 million.]

Memo Details Objections to Command Center Site 26 Jan 2008 The New York Police Department produced a detailed analysis in 1998 opposing plans by the city to locate its emergency command center at the World Trade Center, but the Giuliani administration overrode those objections. The command center later collapsed from damage in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack after Larry Silverstein gave the command to 'pull it' for insurance purposes. "Seven World Trade Center is a poor choice for the site of a crucial command center for the top leadership of the City of New York," a panel of police experts, which was aided by the Secret Service, concluded in a confidential Police Department memorandum.

GardaKILLs again: Alert over jab for girls as two die following cervical cancer vaccination 25 Jan 2008 A jab that could be given to hundreds of thousands of schoolgirls this autumn was at the centre at a safety scare last night following the deaths of two young women. European regulators are investigating the "sudden and unexpected" deaths of the women who received Gardasil [GardaKILL], one of two jabs to protect against give cervical cancer licensed for use in the UK. It follows the deaths of three young women aged 12, 19 and 22 who were reported to have died in the U.S. days after Gardasil was administered, with 1,700 patients suffering "adverse reactions".

Sixth swan tests positive for H5N1 bird flu 26 Jan 2008 A sixth swan in southern England has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, the farm ministry said on Saturday. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said in a statement that the swan was found in the same area as five previous cases.

Exxon, Shell seen posting record 2007 profits 25 Jan 2008 Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are forecast to, yet again, break corporate earnings records next week when they report their full-year results, as high oil prices continue to outweigh rising costs and taxes. Houston-based Exxon is expected to report a 4 percent rise in fourth-quarter profits to $10.65 billion dollars, according to Reuters calculations. This would push 2007 earnings to $39.6 billion, just ahead of the $39.5 billion Exxon posted in 2006, which set a U.S. earnings record. A Reuters poll of nine analysts forecast Hague-based Shell will report a 10 percent rise in fourth quarter current cost of supply (CCS) net profits, excluding one-off items, to $6.1 billion.

Bad news, bears --White House considers drilling plan (San Francisco Chronicle) 24 Jan 2008 Next month, the Bush White House will choose polar bears or oil derricks in the sea ice off the Alaska coast. The early betting, no surprise, shows a decided tilt toward drilling. One arm of the Interior Department has set Feb. 6 for oil lease sales for 30 million acres of the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, where 20 percent of the world's 25,000 polar bears live... The bears, in all their photogenic glory, are a nightmare for the White House. Their plight is due to global warming... Two-thirds of their numbers may disappear by 2050 as their sea-ice homes melt away... Preserving these animals will be hard enough, given the widespread sources of global warming. But adding oil drilling as an extra pressure only compounds the problem.

HUD OKs diverting Katrina housing funds 25 Jan 2008 The federal government on Friday approved Mississippi's plan to divert $600 million in hurricane housing funds to a port improvement project, angering critics who say tens of thousands of people made homeless by Hurricane Katrina still need help.

US slides into dangerous 1930s 'liquidity trap' 25 Jan 2008 The United States is sliding towards a dangerous 1930s-style "liquidity trap" that cannot easily be stopped by drastic cuts in interest rates, Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz has warned. "The biggest fear is that long-term bond rates won't come down in line with short-term rates. We'll have the reverse of what we've seen in recent years, and that is what is frightening the markets," he told the Daily Telegraph, while trudging through ice and snow in Davos.

Banks 'face a further $300bn sub-prime hit' 26 Jan 2008 The world's financial institutions will have to write down a further $300bn (£152bn) of US sub-prime losses before the crisis is over, according to a study by consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

Senate Looking at Endowments as Tuition Rises 25 Jan 2008 The Senate Finance Committee, increasingly concerned about the rising cost of higher education, demanded detailed information on Thursday from the nation’s 136 wealthiest colleges and universities on how they raised tuition over the last decade, gave out financial aid and managed and spent their endowments.

Turnpike bankrolls PennDOT again 26 Jan 2008 The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has gotten another cash infusion from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, part of a unique "public-public partnership" created by the state Legislature last summer to raise more money for roads, bridges and transit. The agency's indebtedness is to be repaid through a combination of tolling Interstate 80 across the state [!], starting in 2011 with high-tech toll barriers, and raising tolls on the existing turnpike system by 25 percent next year and 3 percent a year thereafter.

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US willing to send troops to Pakistan 24 Jan 2008 The Bush regime is willing to send a small number of U.S. combat troops to Pakistan to help fight foment the 'insurgency' there if Pakistani authorities ask for such help, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

Musharraf losing military backing 25 Jan 2008 There are definite signs that the Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf, is losing the important backing of the military after an influential group of retired officers called on him to step down.

Pakistan tests missile, rejects nuclear safety worry 25 Jan 2008 Pakistan's army chief dismissed on Friday fears that the country's nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist militants as the military test fired a nuclear-capable missile.

Iraq Oil Law Talks Not Taking Place 25 Jan 2008 Negotiations are not taking place in Baghdad on the controversial oil law and other oil disputes, contrary to previous news accounts. UPI confirmed that a top U.S. State Department official tasked with moving the oil law forward is in Washington, not Iraq. Iraq Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which began Wednesday.

Mosul Bombings Prompt Promise of New Offensive 26 Jan 2008 Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki announced Friday that he was sending more troops to Mosul to drive the Sunni 'insurgent' group Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Mesopotamia from what he described as its 'last major stronghold' in Iraq. Mr. Maliki’s remarks came in the wake of successive bombings in the northern capital.

Petraeus to stay in Iraq most of this year: Gates 24 Jan 2008 Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, will stay in his post for most of this year at least, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday. Gates was responding to press reports that Betrayus was being considered for the post of NATO's top commander.

Iraq: Another journalist held by the U.S. military 23 Jan 2008 Reporters Without Borders has voiced concern about the continuing detention of Rashid Majid Al-Sari, the editor of the biweekly newspaper "Al-Fatah", who was arrested by United States troops at his Baghdad home on 18 January 2008... Bilal Hussein, a 36-year-old photographer employed by the Associated Press, has been held by the U.S. military since April 2006.

UN powers agree on more Iran sanctions 24 Jan 2008 Major U.N. Security Council powers have agreed on an incremental increase in sanctions on Iran, including a new restriction on exporters doing business with the country, diplomats said Thursday.

US says Iran sanctions will be 'punitive' 24 Jan 2008 A top US official inisted on Thursday that a new UN sanctions resolution against Iran over its contested nuclear programme would be "punitive." "This is a punitive resolution. I say this because I saw some comments yesterday from Moscow that it wasn't. It is," the US State Department's third highest diplomat Nicholas Burns told reporters after talks with Israeli officials in Jerusalem.

Number 10 rejects Karzai claims 25 Jan 2008 Downing Street has hit back at claims by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the arrival of British troops made security in his country worse. Mr Karzai said the mistake was allowing the US and the UK to replace the province's sitting governor. [Well, the US has to oversee its poppy produciton.]

10 Die in Mistaken Afghan Firefight 25 Jan 2008 At least nine Afghan police officers and a civilian were killed early Thursday in a firefight between American forces and the officers in Ghazni Province, just south of the capital, local officials said.

Egyptian riot police battle to shut Gaza border 25 Jan 2008 Egypt tried in vain to re-establish its border with Gaza as its security personnel were overwhelmed by a flood of Palestinians streaming across the frontier. At one point a phalanx of Egyptian riot police, backed up by others with attack dogs on leads, tried to stop Palestinians crossing near the centre of the Gazan town of Rafah.

Mega barf alert! Paul Wolfowitz named to chair advisory panel 24 Jan 2008 Paul Wolfowitz, an architect of the Iraq war who was forced to resign from the World Bank because of an ethics scandal, will chair a U.S. advisory panel on arms control, the State Department said on Thursday. The former deputy secretary of defense [war criminal] and advocate of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq will head the State Department's International Security Advisory Board, which gives the department independent advice on arms control, disarmament, international security and other matters.

Prodi resigns after losing vote 24 Jan 2008 The Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, has resigned after being defeated in a vote of confidence in the upper house of parliament, the Senate. Mr Prodi, who had led his centre-left coalition for 20 months, was defeated by five votes... Correspondents say the centre-right opposition alliance led by the former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi [!], is regarded as well-placed to win an early election.

Detainees might be stuck in legal limbo, lawyers say --Transfers to Afghan jails suspended, but military won't say where prisoners being held 25 Jan 2008 Battlefield prisoners in Afghanistan may be stuck in the Canadian equivalent of Guantanamo Bay – a legal limbo where they are not charged or granted a lawyer – now that prisoners are no longer handed over to Afghan jails for fear of torture, human rights lawyers say. The federal government revealed Wednesday that the Canadian military stopped sending its prisoners to local jailers almost three months ago after discovering a badly bruised prisoner and the weapons used in his torture on Nov. 5.

Judge releases Blackwater protesters after quiet debate of the issues 24 Jan 2008 (Currituck, NC) Judge Russell Duke gave no additional jail time to seven convicted Blackwater protesters for a demonstration at Blackwater’s Moyock headquarters Oct. 20, a re-enactment of a Sept. 16 shooting incident in Baghdad involving Blackwater security contractors in which 17 Iraqi civilians died. The seven were originally convicted in District Court in December, all but one of them in trials that were closed to the media and the public.

CIA: Hackers shut down power to entire cities 25 Jan 2008 Computer hackers have managed to shut down power to entire cities by breaking into the systems of electricity companies and then demanding money, a senior CIA analyst has claimed. Tom Donahue told a utilities security conference in New Orleans that all the successful hackings occurred outside America.

Like FBI, CIA Has Used Secret 'Letters' 25 Jan 2008 Newly released documents shed light on the use of national security letters by the CIA. The spy agency has employed them to obtain financial information about U.S. residents and does so under extraordinary secrecy, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained copies of CIA letters under the Freedom of Information Act. The CIA's requests for financial records come with "gag orders" on the recipients, said ACLU lawyer Melissa Goodman. In many cases, she said, the recipient is not allowed to keep a copy of the letter or even take notes about the information turned over to the CIA.

Phone Firms' Bid for Immunity in Wiretaps Gains Ground 25 Jan 2008 The Senate signaled in a key vote yesterday that it supports giving some of the nation's largest telephone companies immunity from dozens of privacy lawsuits related to a federal domestic eavesdropping program initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In a 60 to 36 vote -- with 12 DemocRATs joining Republicans in the majority -- the Senate rejected a version of the proposed legislation sponsored by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. That bill omitted immunity for the telecommunications firms involved in warrantless eavesdropping. [From Glenn Greenwald's blog: As usual, just enough Democrats -- roughly 12 -- voted in favor in order to ensure that the Motion passed while enabling Democrats generally to pretend that they opposed it. All GOP Senators voted in favor. The pro-immunity, pro-warrantless eavesdropping Democrats: Rockefeller, Pryor, Inouye, McCaskill, Landrieu, Salazar, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Mikulski, Carper, Bayh, and Johnson. Neither Clinton nor Obama bothered to show up for any of this.]

Senate Defeats 1st Try to Strip Telcos of FISA Immunity 24 Jan 2008 Lawmakers in the Senate defeated an initial attempt Thursday to strip immunity for telecommunications companies out of a bill reauthorizing the federal government's warrantless wiretapping program. Senators approved a motion to table an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that would have removed the immunity provision in the bill.

AG nixes special prosecutor in CIA case 25 Jan 2008 Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Friday he doesn't plan for a special prosecutor to investigate whether the CIA broke the law when it destroyed videotapes of terror interrogations, defying some in Congress who want an independent look at the politically charged case. Mukasey, in a briefing with reporters, also ducked repeated questions about whether he considers waterboarding an illegal form of torture -- an issue expected to be at the top of the agenda when he appears next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Federal judge orders government response on CIA destruction of interrogation videos 25 Jan 2008 US District Judge Richard W. Roberts on Thursday ordered the government to submit a report to the court by February 14 detailing why the CIA destroyed videotapes showing the interrogation of terror suspects, whether other evidence connected to a Guantanamo Bay detainee's lawsuit may have been destroyed, and what steps the government has taken to preserve relevant evidence. Roberts' ruling is in response to a motion filed on behalf of Guantanamo Bay detainee Hani Abdullah asking the court to compel the government to report on its compliance with a July 2005 order issued by Roberts requiring the government to "preserve and maintain all evidence, documents, and information, without limitation, now or ever in respondents' possession, custody or control, regarding the individual detained petitioners" in cases brought by several detainees.

Judge wants answers on CIA videotapes 24 Jan 2008 A federal judge said Thursday that CIA interrogation videotapes may have been relevant to his court case, and he gave the Bush regime three weeks to explain why they were destroyed in 2005 and say whether other evidence was destroyed. The decision is a legal setback for the Bush regime, which has urged courts not to get involved.

Immigration officials detaining, deporting American citizens 24 Jan 2008 Thomas Warziniack was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from Russia. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has held Warziniack for weeks in an Arizona detention facility with the aim of deporting him to a country he's never seen. His jailers shrugged off Warziniack's claims that he was an American citizen, even though they could have retrieved his Minnesota birth certificate in minutes and even though a Colorado court had concluded that he was a U.S. citizen a year before it shipped him to Arizona. [See graphic: U.S citizens detained? See Gallery: Are U.S. citizens being deported to foreign countries?]

Repress U By Michael Gould-Wartofsky 10 Jan 2008 Free-speech zones. Taser guns. Hidden cameras. Data mining. A new security curriculum. Private security contractors... From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to "violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention"--as it was recently dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name--have set out to reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university. Building a homeland security campus and bringing the university to heel is a seven-step mission: 1. Target dissidents. As the warfare state has triggered dissent, the campus has attracted increasing scrutiny--with student protesters in the cross hairs. The government's number-one target? Peace and justice organizations... 7. Privatize, privatize, privatize.

Home Office warns Smith on detention 25 Jan 2008 Jacqui Smith has been warned by her department, the Home Office, that moves to lock up terror suspects for up to 42 days could provoke a backlash among Muslims. The Home Secretary pressed ahead yesterday with moves to increase the detention period from 28 days – the longest in the West – despite opposition among MPs of all parties and civil liberties groups.

Critics slam new UK anti-terrorism plan 25 Jan 2008 The British government's plans to allow terrorist suspects to be held for up to 42 days without charge prompted strong criticism from political opponents and civil liberties groups Friday.

Dr. Rec details the "Tweety Effect." Identity Politics: Sexism, Racism and the Political Imaginary --The Rec Report By Dr. Michael Rectenwald 24 Jan 2008 Obama, the first viable African-American presidential candidate in our nation’s history, has been used to provide a "liberal" Trojan horse for sexists like Matthews to drive their misogyny home. But as divided as the electorate is by the Clinton-Obama clash, liberal activists have not been fooled. I submit that not only is Matthews’s deployment sexist; it is also racist. It’s a cynical use of supposed progressive anti-racism to cut in anti-progressive ways.

'If Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, she'll be running as a team, with Bill Clinton, for president. Specifically: How would you run against Bill and Hillary Clinton, in November?' --Sexist Hill-bully (and Coup 2000 co-architect) Tim Russert, during the GOP debate on MSNBC 24 Jan 2008

Clinton, McCain win New York Times endorsements 25 Jan 2008 The New York Times on Thursday endorsed Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain for their party's nominations to contest the U.S. presidential election in November.

Obama with 13-point lead in South Carolina: poll 25 Jan 2008 Barack Obama has a 13-point lead on rival Hillary Clinton but his support has eroded slightly on the eve of South Carolina's Democratic presidential primary, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Friday.

Ron Paul: No to Mandatory Immunization [Awesome!] 23 Jan 2008 Ron Paul's libertarian ideology is dramatically revealed when you get him started on topics such as the 'War on Drugs,' the FDA and forced immunization that draw on his background in medicine. Paul, a ten-term member of Congress who's hoping to pick up the Republican nomination for president, feels strongly that the federal government, in most cases, shouldn't be telling Americans what they can and cannot put into their bodies. "I don't think anything should be forced on us by the government, [and] immunization is one thing that we're pressured and forced into," he said.

Kucinich to Drop Bid and Focus on Re-election 25 Jan 2008 Representative Dennis J. Kucinich has decided to end his presidential bid, and allowing him to focus on a contested race for re-election in his Ohio Congressional district. Mr. Kucinich, a former mayor of Cleveland and a six-term congressman, has a tough primary fight on his hands in Ohio’s 10th Congressional District. Four other Democrats are trying to defeat him on March 4.

White House, congressional leaders announce deal on economic package 24 Jan 2008 President [sic] George Bush and congressional leaders in the House of Representatives have reached an agreement worth roughly 150 bln usd to boost a slowing US economy, though Senate leaders promised to add additional spending to the measure before sending it to Bush's desk for signature.

Stimulus Gone Bad By Paul Krugman 25 Jan 2008 House Democrats and the White House have reached an agreement on an economic stimulus plan. Unfortunately, the plan -- which essentially consists of nothing but tax cuts and gives most of those tax cuts to people in fairly good financial shape -- looks like a lemon. Specifically, the Democrats appear to have buckled in the face of the Bush administration’s ideological rigidity [As always], dropping demands for provisions that would have helped those most in need. And those happen to be the same provisions that might actually have made the stimulus plan effective.

It's the Friday afternoon environmental bad news dump! The Bush regime does this every Friday afternoon, and the GOP owned & operated media never seem to see the pattern. Bush plans to open 3 million acres in Alaska's Tongass National Forest to logging 25 Jan 2008 1:26 p.m. PT More than 3 million acres in Alaska's Tongass National Forest would be open to logging under a federal plan. Environmentalists fear that the proposal will devastate the forest. The Bush regime released Friday a management destruction plan for the forest. The plan would leave about 3.4 million acres open to logging, road building and other development.

O'Malley Attacks EPA Greenhouse Gas Decision --Governors Testify Against Block in Emission Cuts 25 Jan 2008 Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) joined other governors and several U.S. senators yesterday in criticizing a recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency blocking California and effectively a host of other states from cutting greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

Higher Exxon Mobil, Chevron to update earnings 24 Jan 2008 Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. will look for their overseas-refining businesses to provide an extra jolt to their bottom lines as the two oil giants both provide earnings updates next Friday. Analysts expect Exxon Mobil to post an increase in net income to $10.3 billion from $9.84 billion in the year-ago period, according to a survey by Thomson Financial. Chevron is on tap to deliver expected earnings of $4.8 billion, compared with $3.8 billion in the year-ago period.

Tell Your Representative to Put Polar Bears First (NRDC) 24 Jan 2008 We've got to stop the Bush Administration from rushing through the sale of oil and gas drilling leases in Alaska's prime polar bear habitat -- before it makes a final decision about protecting these imperiled bears under the Endangered Species Act. Sign the message and tell your Representative to support the Markey bill (H.R. 5058) that will reverse these new oil and gas lease sales for the sake of polar bear survival.

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U.S. to Insist Iraq Grant It Wide Mandate in Operations 25 Jan 2008 With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire in 11 months, the Bush regime will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors mercenaries immunity from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials. This emerging American negotiating position faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, according to these officials. At the same time, the administration faces opposition from Democrats at home, who warn that the agreements the White House seeks would bind the next president by locking in Mr. Bush's policies and a long-term military presence. The American negotiating position for a formal military-to-military relationship... includes demands that American troops be immune from Iraqi prosecution, and that they maintain the power to detain Iraqi prisoners.

'It keeps going up, up and away.' U.S. war costs in Iraq up-budget report --$11 billion a month 23 Jan 2008 "Funding for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and other activities in the war on terrorism expanded significantly in 2007," the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released on Wednesday. War funding, which averaged about $93 billion a year from 2003 through 2005, rose to $120 billion in 2006 and $171 billion in 2007 and President George W. Bush has asked for $193 billion in 2008, the nonpartisan office wrote.

Bomb kills Iraq police chief as he visits blast scene 24 Jan 2008 A suicide bomber killed the chief of police of Iraq's main northern city of Mosul and two other officers on Thursday as they were traveling to the scene of an earlier blast, the US military said. Brigadier General Salah al-Juburi had previously been reported wounded in the bombing, which struck as he traveled to a three-story apartment block leveled in a bombing on Wednesday which killed 18 people.

Deadly explosions strike northern Iraq 23 Jan 2008 An explosion ripped through an apartment building and surrounding houses in northern Iraq Wednesday shortly after police arrived to investigate a tip about a weapons cache, killing at least nine people. In a separate incident, a suicide car bomber targeted a police convoy near the northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least five civilians and injuring 11, police said.

Infamous WMD report to be made public 24 Jan 2008 An early draft of the government's infamous dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction must be made public, the Information Tribunal said yesterday. The publication of the document by John Williams, Foreign Office press chief, will resolve whether Whitehall spin doctors inserted the claim WMDs could be deployed by Saddam Hussein in 45 minutes to "sex up" the dossier in 2002.

Foreign Office told to give up WMD draft 24 Jan 2008 An early draft of the government's discredited Iraq weapons dossier written by John Williams, a former journalist and head of the Foreign Office news department, must be released, the Information Tribunal ordered yesterday. The government has said the dossier was entirely the work of the intelligence agencies. Williams' role in the affair was not disclosed to the Hutton inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, the government weapons expert who questioned the way the dossier was drawn up.

Truth was first US casualty in Iraq war: study 23 Jan 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush and his top officials ran roughshod over the truth in the run-up to the Iraq war lying a total of 935 times, a study released Wednesday found. Bush and his administration "waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq," said the damning report entitled "False Pretenses." According to the Center for Public Integrity, eight administration officials "made at least 935 false statements" about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, or links to Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh], on 532 separate occasions.

Envoys of six major powers meet on UN Iran resolution 24 Jan 2008 Ambassadors of six major powers dealing with the nuclear standoff with Iran met behind closed doors here Thursday to fine-tune a third sanctions resolution against Tehran, diplomats said. The envoys from the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, plus Germany -- were building on elements of a text agreed by their foreign ministers in Berlin Tuesday, according to two Western diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity.

U.S. commander orders plans on Pakistan --U.S. admiral has plans to 'help' Pakistan through 2015 23 Jan 2008 The commander of U.S. forces in Central Asia has launched planning for more extensive use of U.S. troops to train Pakistani armed forces, a senior defense official said Wednesday. Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, issued a planning order, an internal instruction to lower-level commanders, to propose ideas for a long-term approach to helping Pakistan combat foment what has become an expanding, homegrown 'insurgency' that threatens the stability of the government. [Sending in US troops to... ensure the 'stability of the government of Pakistan.' Now there's one you don't hear every day.]

Rummy Resurfaces, Calls for U.S. Propaganda Agency By Sharon Weinberger 23 Jan 2008 Back in 2001, the Pentagon under his leadership created the controversial Office of Strategic Influence, which was closed down just a few months later after its existence became public. Rightly or wrongly, the Pentagon was accused of creating a propaganda office. Now, the former defense secretary has a bigger vision: he is advocating a "21st century agency for global communications."...According to Rumsfeld, the United States is losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world, and the answer to that, in part, is through the creation of this new government agency.

Army wants to cut war tours to 12 months 23 Jan 2008 Soldiers' battlefield tours would be cut from 15 months to 12 months beginning Aug. 1 [to help the GOP in November], under a proposal being considered by the Army as part of an effort to reduce the stress on a force battered by more than six years at war. The proposal, recommended by U.S. Army Forces Command, is being reviewed by senior Army and Pentagon leaders, and would be contingent on the changing needs for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan [and Pakistan and Iran].

U.S. to join Israel in boycotting UN meeting 23 Jan 2008 The U.S. and Israel will boycott a special United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on Wednesday. The meeting has been set down to discuss the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and military action.

Israel authorises 2,500 new settler homes in Jerusalem 23 Jan 2008 Israel has authorised the construction of nearly 2,500 new housing units in settlements in annexed east Jerusalem, the city authorities said on Wednesday.

Bush Justice Nominee Authorized C.I.A. Torture Techniques 24 Jan 2008 The Justice Department lawyer who wrote a series of classified legal opinions in 2005 authorizing harsh C.I.A. interrogation techniques [torture] was renominated by the White House on Wednesday to a senior department post, a move that was seen as a snub to Senate Democrats who have long opposed his appointment. The lawyer, Steven G. Bradbury, who has run the department’s Office of Legal Counsel without Senate confirmation for more than two years, has been repeatedly nominated to the job of assistant attorney general for legal counsel. Late last year, Democrats urged the White House to withdraw Mr. Bradbury’s name once and for all and find a new candidate for the post after it was disclosed in news reports in October that he was the author of classified memorandums that gave approval to harsh interrogation techniques, including head slapping, exposure to cold and simulated drowning, even when used in combination.

Cheney Calls for Permanent Warrantless Wiretapping --ACLU calls law "Police America Act" 23 Jan 2008 Vice President [sic] Cheney called on Congress today to permanently extend the Protect America Act as the White House launched a drive to secure the tools it says are 'needed' to fight a continuing terrorist threat beyond the law's Feb. 1 expiration. In a speech to the Heritage Foundation, Cheney also said the law must include immunity from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that assisted the U.S. government's electronic surveillance efforts after Sept. 11, 2001.

Labour facing humiliation on terror bill 24 Jan 2008 The government is facing defeat over its legislation to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days without charge, which is to be published today without many of the safeguards demanded by opponents. The detailed legislation is expected to be tougher than originally trailed, with no legal definition of the seriousness of the alleged offence that could trigger an exceptional period of detention beyond the current 28 days without charge.

UK publishes controversial terror bill 24 Jan 2008 The UK government published controversial new counter-terrorism plans on Thursday which are likely to present Gordon Brown, prime minister, with a tough parliamentary test in the coming weeks. Opposition and Labour MPs, along with senior lawyers and human rights groups have criticised a key proposal in the new Counter Terrorism Bill to extend the limit suspects can be held without being charged from 28 to 42 days.

Smith unveils anti-terror plans 24 Jan 2008 Controversial plans to extend the detention period for terror suspects have been published by the Home Secretary, with a pledge to get the legislation passed despite the threat of a backbench rebellion. Jacqui Smith said she is still hopeful of winning cross-party agreement on the need to increase the maximum from 28 days to 42.

AT&T Looking at Internet Filtering --AT&T Looking at How to Monitor Internet Traffic to Prevent Sharing of Copyrighted Content Truth 23 Jan 2008 AT&T Inc. is still evaluating whether to examine traffic on its Internet lines to stop illegal sharing of copyright material, its chief executive said Wednesday. CEO Randall Stephenson told a conference at the World Economic Forum that the company is looking at monitoring peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

Security beefed up at gas sites 23 Jan 2008 (UK) Extra security measures are being rolled out to protect key installations from terrorist attack, raising the prospect of higher gas and electricity prices. The counter-terrorism bill, due to be published on Thursday, is expected to include provisions under which the private sector will finance the deployment of armed military police at four strategic sites in the gas sector. Plans to deploy armed military police to gas pipeline sites have been accelerated over the past year amid fears that al-Qaeda[al-CIAduh]-trained terrorists were increasingly targeting economic sites.

Exxon guns for all-time profit record 23 Jan 2008 Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is within striking distance of setting an all-time profit record - again. Analysts are expecting the company to post solid quarterly and full-year earnings next Friday - and if the results top forecasts, Exxon could end up reporting the highest profit ever for a U.S. company. "Exxon is likely to have record quarterly earnings," said Fadel Gheit, a senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer. "For every $1 [increase] in the price of oil, Exxon makes [another] $125 million for the quarter."

ConocoPhillips' 4Q Net Up 37% Amid Record Prices --ConocoPhillips 4Q earnings $4.37B vs year-ago $3.2B 23 Jan 2008 ConocoPhillips's fourth-quarter net income rose 37% amid record oil prices, better-than-expected refining margins and higher profits from its investment in Lukoil Holdings. ConocoPhillips was the first major U.S. major oil company to report fourth-quarter earnings, setting the stage for a possible strong quarter for Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., which both report on Feb. 1.

Tentative Deal on Economic Stimulus Plan 24 Jan 2008 House leaders and the White House on Thursday reached a tentative agreement on an economic 'stimulus' package of roughly $150 billion that would pay stipends of $300 to $1,200 per family and provide tax incentives for businesses.

Kucinich drops presidential bid 24 Jan 2008 Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich is dropping out of the Democratic race for president. Kucinich will make the announcement Friday at a news conference in Cleveland. In an exclusive interview with Plain Dealer editors and reporters, Kucinich said he will explain his "transition" tomorrow. "I want to continue to serve in Congress," he said.

Obama said oops on 6 state Senate votes 24 Jan 2008 Barack Obama angered fellow Democrats in the Illinois Senate when he voted to strip millions of dollars from a child welfare office on Chicago's West Side. "I was not aware that I had voted no," Obama explained that day in June 2002, asking that the record be changed to reflect that he "intended to vote yes." That was not the only misfire for the former civil rights attorney first elected to the state Senate in 1996. During his eight years in state office, Obama cast more than 4,000 votes. Of those, according to transcripts of the proceedings in Springfield, he hit the wrong button at least six times.

Man Indicted for Violating Civil Rights of Jena Six Marchers 24 Jan 2008 Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, and Donald W. Washington, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, today announced the indictment of Jeremiah Munsen, 18, on federal hate crime and conspiracy charges for his role in threatening and intimidating marchers who participated in a civil rights rally in Jena, Louisiana, by displaying two hangman's nooses from the back of a pickup truck.

Loss of Antarctic ice has soared by 75 per cent in just 10 years 14 Jan 2008 Parts of the ice sheets covering Antarctica are melting faster than predicted, with the net loss of ice probably accelerating in recent years because of global warming, a study has found. A satellite survey between 1996 and 2006 found that the net loss of ice from Antarctica rose by about 75 per cent as the movement of glaciers towards the sea speeded up.

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Tell MSNBC to Stop the Misogyny! 'Chris Matthews is like the DC sniper, lying in wait, always on the hunt for Hillary.' Action alert compiled by Lori Price 23 Jan 2008 CLG's Michael Rectenwald writes to MSNBC top brass: 'Over the past months, I have been horrified at the treatment of Hillary Clinton by Chris Matthews. I find Chris Matthews to be nearly obsessed, in a sick way, with Hillary Clinton. This obsessiveness has not only been misogynist, it has also been downright insane.' [Update: During Wednesday's 'Hardball,' a graphic over Chris Matthews's shoulder during one of his Clinton-bashing segments actually read, 'Can Bill kill for Hill?' Matthews's next graphic was that of John Edwards's head with text about his hair, leading into a special feature on John Edwards's hair and grooming. For his next segment's promo, Matthews intoned, 'Coming up: Who's got the sleaziest friends - Hillary or Barack?']

935 false statements preceded Iraq war: study 23 Jan 2008 A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President [sic] Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements [lies] about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks. The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses." The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism. The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] or both.

False Pretenses --Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. By Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith 23 Jan 2008 President [sic] George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

Iraq Parliament Purges Hussein Vestiges on Flag [Yeah, too bad they don't purge vestiges of Blackwater on planet.] 23 Jan 2008 Iraqi lawmakers adopted a modified version of the national flag on Tuesday, removing three stars that symbolized the Baathist ideals of unity, freedom and socialism, and Saddam Hussein’s handwritten calligraphy of the Koranic incantation "Allahu akbar." [Right, all that's been replaced with a little oil geyser, Halliburton's "H" and the Blackwater grizzly bear claw. --LRP]

Blackwater is a busy little bee: Bodies of seven family members found in Iraq orchard 22 Jan 2008 Iraqi security forces found the bodies of seven family members on Tuesday, all bearing signs of torture and shot execution-style, as they hunted al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] fighters outside Iraq's volatile city of Baquba, police said.

Suicide bomber hits school in N Iraq 22 Jan 2008 A suicide bomber blew himself up on Tuesday near a school in the city of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province in northern Iraq, killing a student and wounding 21 people, police said.

US military sees first Iraq fatality in new armoured vehicle 22 Jan 2008 An American soldier killed in a weekend roadside bomb attack in Iraq became the first fatality in a new-style armoured vehicle designed to protect troops maximize corporate profits, the US military said on Tuesday. "This was the first fatality involving an IED (roadside bomb) attack on a MRAP anywhere," spokesman Major Winfield Danielson told AFP.

UN renews pressure on Iran 23 Jan 2008 Iran came under renewed pressure to suspend its uranium enrichment programme last night, when the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany agreed in principle on a new package of sanctions. A meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin produced a compromise resolution, which slightly expanded existing sanctions on Iranian financial institutions and travel restrictions on government members. It does not, however, include the broader economic embargo sought by the US.

Israel Resumes Fuel Shipments to Gaza 23 Jan 2008 After widespread criticism of its decision to cut off supplies of industrial diesel oil required to run a power station that serves Gaza City and its hospitals, Israel resumed fuel shipments on Tuesday on what it said would be a temporary basis.

Canada Troops Should Stay in Afghanistan, Panel Says 22 Jan 2008 Canada should extend its military mission in Afghanistan beyond 2009 and focus on training the Afghan army and police force, a government-commissioned panel recommended. The panel, led by former Deputy Prime Minister John Manley, also called on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to send about 1,000 more troops to help Canadian soldiers in the Kandahar province as a condition for an extended mission.

Russia bombers to test-fire missiles in Atlantic 22 Jan 2008 Russia on Tuesday sent two long-range bombers to the Bay of Biscay, off the French and Spanish Atlantic coasts, to test-fire missiles in what it billed as its biggest navy exercise in the area since Soviet times.

N. Korea May Be Taken off Terrorism List 23 Jan 2008 North Korea may soon be on its way to being the second country taken off the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism during the Bush administration's war on of terrorism.

Documents reveal evidence of Afghan prisoner torture 22 Jan 2008 According to newly released documents from a court case brought by human rights groups, a Canadian human rights officer discovered last Nov. 5 an electrical cable and rubber hose alleged to have been used by Afghan jailors in the torture of a prisoner turned over by Canadian forces. The officer, in an interrogation room at the secret police facility in Kandahar, examined a 10-centimetre bruise on the man's back. "He ... pointed to a chair and stated that the implements he had been struck with were underneath it," reads the court document in the case brought by rights groups seeking to halt the transfer of Canadian detainees to Afghan prisons. "Under the chair we found a large piece of braided electrical wire as well as a rubber hose. He then showed us a bruise on his back that could possibly be the result of a blow."

'Enemy combatant' receives 17-year US jail term 22 Jan 2008 A US citizen held for more than three years without charge as an "enemy combatant" [Jose Padilla] was today sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison for conspiring to murder, kidnap and maim overseas, including in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia.

Jose Padilla sentenced on terrorism charges --He gets 17 years, four months, in case far removed from 'dirty bomb' 22 Jan 2008 Jose Padilla, once accused of plotting with al-Qaida to blow up a radioactive "dirty bomb," was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years and four months on terrorism conspiracy charges that do not mention those initial allegations. The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke marks another step in the extraordinary personal and legal odyssey for the U.S. citizen who was held [without charge] for 3½ years as an enemy combatant after his 2002 arrest amid the "dirty bomb" allegations. He had faced up to life in prison.

White House Has No Comprehensive E-Mail Archive --System Used by Clinton Was Scrapped 22 Jan 2008 For years, the Bush regime has relied on an inadequate archiving system for stopped storing the millions of e-mails sent through White House servers, despite court orders and statutes requiring the preservation of such records, according to documents and technical experts. President [sic] Bush's White House early on scrapped a custom archiving system that the Clinton administration had adopted under a federal court order. From 2001 to 2003, the Bush White House also recorded over computer backup tapes that provided a last line of defense for preserving e-mails. As a result, several years' worth of electronic communication 'may have been lost,' [!] potentially including e-mails documenting administration actions in the run-up to the Iraq war.

Republicans: FISA authority in Constitution 22 Jan 2008 Authority to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance comes from the Constitution and is vital to stopping foreign terrorist attacks and spies, says a Republican staff assessment of the revised Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

ID card scheme put off until after election --Leaked documents show starting date of 2012 --Pilot plan for foreign nationals to start this year 23 Jan 2008 A compulsory identity card system for British citizens looks as if it will be deferred beyond the next election, according to documents leaked to the Conservatives. As recently as December the Home Office said the ID card system for UK citizens would be phased-in on a voluntary basis from 2009, but a national identity strategy paper, marked restricted, clearly shows the UK-citizens phase of the scheme will now not start until 2012.

'For a polar bear population already stressed due to massive climate change, these activities could be the last straw.' US censors Arctic scientists' findings as it prepares for oil and gas auction 22 Jan 2008 The United States has blocked the release of a landmark assessment of oil and gas activity in the Arctic as it prepares to sell off exploration licences for the frozen Chukchi Sea off Alaska, one of the last intact habitats of the polar bear. Scientists at the release of the censored report in Norway said there was "huge frustration" that the US had derailed a science-based effort to manage the race for the vast energy reserves of the Arctic.

Oil prices point to hefty profits 21 Jan 2008 Oil at $100 a barrel came and went in a flash. But crude prices that hovered at or above $90 through most of the last three months of 2007 are expected to mean pumped-up quarterly profits as the largest oil companies report their earnings in coming weeks. The dramatic increase in oil prices -- an average of about $91 a barrel throughout the fourth quarter, 51 percent higher than the year-ago period -- is expected to produce results that surpass the last three months of 2006. [No worries. On the day that Exxon's next round of record profits is announced, I'm sure another attractive white woman will go missing or Britney Spears will show up at a custody hearing. --LRP]

Supreme Court rejects appeal by Enron investors 22 Jan 2008 The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Enron Corp investors seeking to proceed with a $40 billion class-action lawsuit against investment banks that put together financing deals for the energy trader, which collapsed in 2001.

Stock Tumble Drives 43 Benchmarks Into Bear Market 22 Jan 2008 More than half of the world's biggest stock indexes fell into a bear market as mounting concern about a U.S. recession dragged down banking and retail shares across Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Profit Off 95% at Bank of America 22 Jan 2008 Bank of America said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit tumbled 95 percent because of huge write-downs of mortgage-related securities and higher provisions for future losses in credit card and home equity loans. Net income was $268 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with $5.26 billion, or $1.16 a share, in the period a year earlier.

Fed Cuts Rate 0.75 Percentage Point in Emergency Move 22 Jan 2008 The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate in an emergency move for the first time since 2001 after stock markets tumbled from Hong Kong to London and the U.S. economy showed increasing signs that it's headed into a recession. Today's so-called inter-meeting rate cut is the first since Sept. 17, 2001, when the Fed lowered borrowing costs in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks six days before.

Republican Fred Thompson quits presidential race 22 Jan 2008 Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson quit the Republican presidential race on Tuesday, after a string of poor finishes in early primary and caucus states. Thompson's fate was sealed last Saturday in the South Carolina primary, when he finished third in a state that he had said he needed to win.

Dems on CNN: Most Watched Primary Debate in Cable News History 22 Jan 2008 Last night's Democratic Debate in South Carolina on CNN (8pm-10:05pmET) was the No. 1 most-watched primary debate in cable news history among total viewers and all key demos. The debate averaged 4.9 million Total Viewers and nearly 2 million in A25-54. This is according to Nielsen Fast Nationals (Live + SD).

Internet Provider Mistakenly Deletes 14,000 E-Mail Accounts 23 Jan 2008 Charter Communications said it had erased thousands of e-mail accounts by mistake. A Charter spokesman said an accident during routine maintenance deleted 14,000 accounts.

Review finds no proof that cough meds work 22 Jan 2008 Cough medications have been under scrutiny of late, with concerns that for children, they are ineffective and may actually cause harm. Now, a new review of the products finds that they may not help adults much either.

Whole Foods Chain to Stop Use of Plastic Bags 23 Jan 2008 The Whole Foods Market chain said Tuesday that it would stop offering plastic grocery bags, giving customers instead a choice between recycled paper or reusable bags. The chainwide ban on plastic bags will take effect by April 22, which is Earth Day.

Lake-effect snowstorm buries Oswego County in 3 feet of snow 22 Jan 2008 A state of emergency was declared in this central New York city on Monday after lake-effect storms dumped up to 3 feet of snow on the region and collapsed the roof of the public works garage. The National Weather service reported 37 inches of snow in Fulton, 36 in the town of Mexico and 34 in the lakeside city of Oswego.

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Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, Nato told 22 Jan 2008 The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the "imminent" spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new Nato by five of the west's most senior military officers and strategists. Calling for root-and-branch reform of Nato and a new pact drawing the US, Nato and the European Union together in a "grand strategy" to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world, the former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands insist that a "first strike" nuclear option remains an "indispensable instrument" since there is "simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world". It has been presented to the Pentagon in Washington and to Nato's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, over the past 10 days.

Japanese Stocks Plunge in Biggest Two-Day Rout in 17 Years 22 Jan 2008 Japanese benchmarks plunged, completing the worst two-day drop in 17 years on concern global growth is faltering. The Nikkei dropped 9.3 percent in the last two sessions and the Topix fell 9.1 percent. That was the biggest two-day decline for both gauges since 1990 and erased 39.2 trillion yen ($369 billion) in value from the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board. The loss is more than twice the size of an economic stimulus plan suggested by U.S. President [sic] George Bush.

'I think the blood bank is trawling all broker's floors to recover the blood' Australian shares in freefall --Sharemarket is now officially in a bear market 22 Jan 2008 Australian shares plunged a massive 7 per cent this afternoon as panic selling set in among investors over an expected slowdown in global growth. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index had shed more than 7 per cent, down 393.6 points to 5186.8 points - its lowest since November 2006 - placing the market on course for a record 12th day of declines. The plunge equated to a $90 billion loss of market value. The latest plunge means the sharemarket has now lost more than 24 per cent of its value since hitting a record high last November and is now officially in a bear market.

India's Sensex tumbles 11.5% in early minutes, trade halted 21 Jan 2008 India's Sensitive Index tumbled 11.5% within the first two minutes of trading on Tuesday, forcing a trade halt for an hour. The index stumbled 2,029.05 points to 15,576.30, after slumping 7.4% in the previous session. "It doesn't look good at all. We expected it to fall, but nobody expected this kind of correction," said Sharmila Joshi, a trader with Prabhudas Lilladher in Mumbai.

FTSE 100 slumps as market rout deepens 22 Jan 2008 The rout in global equity markets accelerated this morning, with the FTSE 100 slumping more than 100 points in the first few minutes of trading, as gloom about the economic outlook for 2008 deepened. The drop to 5441.1 shortly after 8am comes a few hours after all of Asia's major stock markets plummeted, continuing the bloodbath in share prices that saw London's FTSE 100 yesterday suffer its biggest one-day fall since the 9/11 terror attacks.

£70bn wiped off shares as FTSE plunges 21 Jan 2008 More than £70 billion was wiped off the value of blue chip shares today as the London market suffered its worst one-day fall since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The stock market misery came as fears of a recession in the US intensified. Traders described the losses on the FTSE 100 Index as "incredible", with the Footsie at one stage plummeting by as much as 330.7 points.

Wall St execs collect $US33b bonuses 18 Jan 2008 The Wall Street gurus who presided over the subprime mortgage crisis currently shredding global sharemarkets have awarded themselves bonuses totalling $US33.2 billion ($38 billion). In a concession to the crisis - which has forced America's largest banks to write off billions in bad investments and raise billions more to shore up their capital reserves - the bonuses were down nearly 5 per cent on the previous year.

France Says New Iran Resolution Imminent 21 Jan 2008 The U.N. Security Council's five permanent members and Germany are expected to agree Tuesday on a new resolution to pressure Iran over its nuclear program, a French diplomat said. The senior diplomat, who briefed reporters Monday on condition that he not be identified by name, said an agreement was very close and should be finalized by the six nation's foreign ministers at a meeting in Berlin, Germany. [Oh, great. Bush plunges the world into worldwide recession - so let's get ready to invade Iran! The post-invasion oil prices should *really* help global markets!]

'He's Bush on steroids.' --Conservative pundit Pat Buchanan, referring to John McCain, on MSNBC's 'Hardball'

Blackwater is a busy little bee in Baghdad: Seven unidentified bodies found in Baghdad 21 Jan 2008 Iraqi police patrols on Monday found seven unknown bodies dumped in different parts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a police source said. "Most of the bodies found bore signs of gunshot wounds to different parts of the body, mainly to the head," the source told the independent news agency, Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Iraq suicide attack leaves 18 dead 22 Jan 2008 A suicide bomber, apparently targeting a senior security official, has blown himself up inside a funeral tent in a village north of Baghdad, killing 18 people in the latest of a series of deadly attacks fast chipping away at the [false] notion of a calmer Iraq.

Explosion kills NATO soldier, wounds 5 others in Afghanistan 21 Jan 2008 A soldier of the NATO-led International security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed and five others sustained injures when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in south Afghanistan, a statement of the alliance released here Monday said.

Local lawyer in Khadr case unflinching in fight against U.S. --Important to go on record even if legal battle is unwinnable, Dennis Edney says 20 Jan 2008 For four years Dennis Edney and fellow Edmonton lawyer Nathan Whitling have represented Omar Khadr, the Ontario-born youth accused of killing an American sergeant during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan. Khadr, now 21, was 15 at the time. He has spent a quarter of his life at an American military base in Cuba's Guantanamo Bay -- a base that, Edney says, is fortified with enough weaponry to contain Superman. Khadr is to go on trial this year.

Israel launches sophisticated spy satellite TECSAR 22 Jan 2008 Israel yesterday launched a new sophisticated satellite, the TECSAR, which could boost its intelligence gathering capabilities regarding Iran. The satellite, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was sent into orbit from the Sriharikota Launching Range in India using an Indian rocket.

Israel forced into U-turn over Gaza 22 Jan 2008 Israel has reversed its decision to stop all supplies reaching Gaza after a storm of international protest accusing Israel of "collective punishment" of the territory's civilian population. The closure of all supply lines brought the Gaza Strip, an area that has experienced decades of suffering, close to its worst crisis.

Gazans get emergency fuel for power plant 22 Jan 2008 An Israeli-approved emergency shipment of industrial fuel for the Gaza Strip's sole electricity plant began arriving in the Hamas-ruled territory on Tuesday, a Palestinian official said. The week's supply of fuel was expected to allow for power production in Gaza to resume within 12 hours.

The poor and the sick suffer as Israel cuts power to Gaza 22 Jan 2008 Mansour Rahal's doctor, Kamal al-Geathny, said: "If the fuel runs out for the generators and we have no power, he and six other patients in this unit will die." This was the scene at the hospital before Israel authorised limited supplies of fuel and medicine to Gaza last night after a wave of international condemnation for its act of "collective punishment" in imposing a four-day total embargo, which had left much of the Strip without electricity.

Bad Reviews for Bush in the Mideast 16 Jan 2008 The disparaging of President [sic] Bush's eight-day tour of the Middle East by America's staunchest opponents in the region was hardly unexpected. But Bush was also harshly criticized in countries with close ties to Washington, including some from the very countries that rolled out the red carpet for the visiting President. Only days after he visited Kuwait, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Mohammed Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah was standing beside Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran, declaring: "My country knows who is our friend and who is our enemy, and Iran is our friend."

Failed states can harbour terrorism, says Gordon Brown 21 Jan 2008 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday underlined the dangers posed by "failed states and failing states" by harbouring terrorism and proposed a global network to combat extremists. In a major speech in New Delhi, Brown did not specify any country in the context of failing states but it is seen as veiled reference to Pakistan which is regarded in the West as a breeding ground for terrorism and extremism.

New guidance calls on universities to reject separatism and ban those who preach violence --Fine line between analysis and advocacy: Rammell 22 Jan 2008 Universities with large numbers of Muslim students should consider rejecting demands for separate prayer and washing facilities to prevent their campuses segregating along religious lines and risking a climate where illegal extremist views can flourish, the government will suggest today. Institutions are also being advised to consider sharing information on violent Islamist speakers who should be banned from addressing students on campuses, according to guidelines to higher education institutions on how to combat campus extremism.

MoD admits inquiry into 69 lost laptops --Stolen files not encrypted, Browne tells Commons 22 Jan 2008 The Ministry of Defence is investigating the reported loss of 69 laptops and seven personal computers over the past year, officials revealed yesterday, as Whitehall staff were banned from removing laptops containing sensitive data from their offices. The extent of the lack of security surrounding MoD computers containing un-encrypted information emerged as Des Browne, the defence secretary, announced an inquiry into the latest theft: a laptop containing information on 600,000 people, which was stolen from a naval officer's car earlier this month.

Scientists genetically disarm Ebola virus for 1st time 22 Jan 2008 A team of researchers including University of Tokyo scientists have succeeded in genetically disarming the Ebola virus for the first time ever, they said in the Tuesday issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. [Since the US likely 'armed' Ebola in the first place, 'disarming' it should not be a problem.]

Bird flu: Officials asked to collect random human samples 22 Jan 2008 Worried that the vast swathe of the bird flu virus across West Bengal puts human health at grave risk, the Union health ministry on Monday asked its officials camping in the affected districts to intensify door-to-door surveillance and test anyone showing symptoms of flu.

Unsafe trucks stream out of L.A.'s ports --Pushed by thin profit margins, many drivers rely on shadowy fix-it men or skip repairs as they elude inspectors. 21 Jan 2008 On the morning independent operator Miguel warily watched for the CHP, he had contracted to haul a 40-foot trailer to Rancho Cucamonga. The 80-mile haul, one of two such trips he planned to make that day, would gross him $320. But the emergency repairs needed on the truck -- it has 3 million miles on it, the equivalent of about six round trips to the moon -- would have to wait. Miguel couldn't even afford to visit a lot just outside the gates of the Port of Los Angeles' China Shipping Terminal where truckers can get tread carved into their balding tires by llanteros, or "tire men," before getting on the 110 or 710 freeways.

Interior Stifles Polar Bear Protections From Arctic Drilling Listing Delay Blocks Safeguards Urged by Scientists Contrary to Agency Testimony 21 Jan 2008 The Interior Department has shunned urgent pleas from its own scientists for greater safeguards to protect polar bears from oil spills and other threats entailed in Arctic Ocean drilling plans, according to internal e-mails released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Interior cited the delay in listing the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act as the reason it would not impose "requirements" on oil companies to minimize risks for polar bear populations.

'The memo forbid employees traveling abroad from discussing climate change and its impact on polar bears.' Bears on thin ice in this White House (The Republican) 19 Jan 2008 Executives in board rooms of America's Big Oil companies must have given each other bear hugs when the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service announced earlier this month that it would delay a decision on whether polar bears need protection under the Endangered Species Act because of global warming. At the same time, the Interior Department said it would move forward with plans to sell the drilling rights to oil under the Chukchi Sea - a prime bear habitat - on Feb. 6... The Bush administration agreed to consider more federal protection for the polar bear in December 2006... Shortly after that decision, the administration sent a memo to the Fish and Wildlife Service's Alaska division with the title, "Foreign Travel - New Requirements - Please Review and Comply, Importance: High." The memo forbid employees traveling abroad from discussing climate change and its impact on polar bears. Even without the drilling, a U.S. Geological Survey report says that two-thirds of the polar bear population will be gone by 2050.

Israel Is Set to Promote the Use of Electric Cars 21 Jan 2008 Israel, tiny and bereft of oil, has decided to embrace the electric car. On Monday, the Israeli government will announce its support for a broad effort to promote the use of electric cars, embracing a joint venture between an American-Israeli entrepreneur and Renault and its partner, Nissan Motor Company.

Release of methane protested 21 Jan 2008 (CO) A Western Slope coal mine set to belch massive volumes of methane gas will become a major new source of global warming emissions, and government regulators are doing too little to prevent it, environmentalists say. Several green groups say the gas - perhaps enough to heat 35,000 homes a year for 12 years - should be captured and used instead of vented into the air. Permission to vent the gas is part of a recent U.S. Forest Service decision allowing the West Elk Mine in Gunnison County to begin excavating coal.

Texas Prosecutor Who Castigated Gays In Landmark Sodomy Case Embroiled In Sex Scandal 17 Jan 2008 The district attorney who defended the Texas law criminalizing homosexuality before the US Supreme Court is desperately trying to keep his job following the discovery of e-mails containing sexually explicit videos, racist jokes and what is described as torrid love notes to his executive secretary. Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal (R) is facing a state investigation into the emails which were discovered on his office computer.

'He goes to people and makes them complicit in his revenge.' Crossing Mayor Giuliani Often Had a Price 22 Jan 2008 Rudolph W. Giuliani was a pugilist in a city of political brawlers. But far more than his predecessors, historians and politicians say, his toughness edged toward ruthlessness and became a defining aspect of his mayoralty. One result: New York City spent at least $7 million in settling civil rights lawsuits and paying retaliatory damages during the Giuliani years.

Giuliani trailing on home ground: poll 21 Jan 2008 Former New York City mayor [9/11 co-conspirator] Rudy Giuliani is trailing in the race for the Republican presidential nomination even on his home turf of New York state, a new poll showed on Monday.

Edwards: Dems Need Him to Face McCain 21 Jan 2008 Presidential candidate John Edwards said Sunday that he's the only Democrat who can successfully take on Republican [sociopath] John McCain. McCain 'won' Saturday's South Carolina GOP primary and Edwards, a former North Carolina senator looking to make the Democratic contest here a three-way race, told reporters that a campaign finance advocate like himself is needed to counter McCain on that issue.

Obama stirs hopes in South Carolina 21 Jan 2008 In the cramped stall of her Charleston beauty salon, Vi Heyward knows she can feel it. In the church pew at Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rachel Counts senses it, too. They are African American women and they feel they are living history. They sense that things have changed in the Democratic presidential race and for the first time they believe an African American could be elected to the White House.

Candidates Observe MLK Day 21 Jan 2008 The Democratic presidential contenders spoke warmly of Martin Luther King Jr. - and sometimes of each other, too - on Monday's national holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. In a ceremony on the steps of the state Capitol, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards addressed an annual King Day rally sponsored by the NAACP. Five days before South Carolina's primary, the first this year in which black voters will play a significant role, thousands of people stood shivering in the cold to hear the speeches.

Picture gallery: South Carolina Primary - Clinton, Obama, Edwards at rally celebrating life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By Lynn Sweet 21 Jan 2008 (Columbia, S.C.) The South Carolina Democratic primary is Saturday. John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at a NAACP rally at the steps of the South Carolina statehouse on a frigid Monday, hours before a debate in Myrtle Beach.

Nader to decide soon on possible presidential run 21 Jan 2008 Consumer GOP advocate Ralph Nader said on Monday he will decide soon on whether to make a another bid for the White House in 2008, eight years after playing a key role as a third party presidential candidate whore for Bush.

Whiteouts turn Hwy. 400 into wrecking yard 21 Jan 2008 Winter returned with brutal fury yesterday, turning Highway 400 north of Toronto into a wrecking yard filled with more than 100 vehicles in chain-reaction accidents caused by blinding, wind-whipped whiteouts. "It looks like a scrapyard," said Const. Dave Woodford of Ontario Provincial Police. Motorists told tales of being in sunshine one moment and enveloped in swirling snow the next.

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U.S. says Iran still training Iraqi militias [Right, only the US is allowed to train Iraqi militias.] 21 Jan 2008 The U.S. military said on Sunday there had been a dramatic drop in the number of Iranian weapons being used in Iraq but no let-up in Tehran's training and financing of Iraqi militias. [?]

US says warplanes pound 'Al-Qaeda in Iraq' targets 21 Jan 2008 US warplanes overnight pounded 'suspected Al-Qaeda havens' on the southern edge of Baghdad for the third time this month, hitting more than 30 targets in a 35-bomb blitz, the military said on Monday. The mainly Sunni Arab Jabour rural area was hit with bombs weighing a total of 19,000 pounds (9,000 kilogrammes) during the air raids, a military statement said.

15 People Are Killed Across Iraq on Shiite Religious Holiday 20 Jan 2008 A rocket attack and several bombings killed at least 15 people in central and northern Iraq on Saturday, Iraqi officials said.

Britain 'as inept as US' in failing to foresee postwar Iraq insurgency 21 Jan 2008 The government's top foreign policy advisers were as inept as their US counterparts in failing to see that removing Saddam Hussein in 2003 was likely to lead to a nationalist insurgency by Sunnis and Shias and an Islamist government in Baghdad, run by allies of Iran, the Guardian has learned. The revelation undermines the British claim that it was US myopia which was to blame for the failure to foresee what would happen in postwar Iraq.

Soldiers 'earn' citizenship on eve of deployment 20 Jan 2008 Three Oklahoma National Guard members mercenaries in El Paso, Texas, preparing for deployment to Iraq have become United States citizens. Sgt. Gareth Wilson, Spc. Oyewale Hotonu-Oyerinde and Sgt. Adam Ngotngamwong all gained their citizenship on Friday, expedited by their service with Oklahoma’s 45th Infantry Brigade. An executive order signed by President [sic] Bush shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks means the normal wait required for legal residents of the U.S. is waived for those serving in the military, along with the application fee.

Taliban kills 6 Afghan drivers, guards in attack on trucks 21 Jan 2008 Taliban 'insurgents' attacked on Sunday afternoon trucks contracted with foreign troops for transporting construction materials, killing four drivers and two security guards in Gereshk district of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, a senior local police officer said.

NATO soldier killed in Afghanistan 21 Jan 2008 A soldier with the NATO-led force fighting the Taliban-led 'insurgency' in southern Afghanistan was killed in an explosion that also wounded five other troopers, the alliance's force said Monday. The International Security Assistance Force soldiers were in vehicles that were struck by the blast on Saturday, ISAF said in a statement.

Ottawa reverses torture stance --U.S., Israel wrongly included, foreign affairs minister says of federal government manual 20 Jan 2008 The Canadian government now says Guantanamo Bay, the United States and Israel were mistakenly included as sites of possible torture in a government manual that was inadvertently disclosed last week. Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said yesterday he has ordered the manual be rewritten and assured the U.S. and Israel the document did not reflect the government's position.

In Legal Cases, C.I.A. Officers Turn to Insurer 20 Jan 2008 When Jose A. Rodriguez Jr. came under investigation for ordering the destruction of Central Intelligence Agency interrogation videotapes, one of his first calls was to a small Virginia insurance company that thrives on government trouble. Like a growing number of C.I.A. employees, Mr. Rodriguez, former head of the agency’s clandestine service, had bought professional liability insurance from Wright & Company. The firm is now paying his mounting legal bills. The standard Wright policy costs a little less than $300 a year. The government pays half the premium for all supervisors and certain other high-risk employees, a group that includes hundreds of C.I.A. officers, including everyone at the agency involved in counterterrorism or counterproliferation torture or war crimes.

Pentagon Weighs Top Iraq General as Chief of NATO 21 Jan 2008 The Pentagon is considering Gen. David H. Petraeus [Betrayus] for the top NATO command later this year, a move that would give the general, the top American commander in Iraq, a high-level post during the next administration but that has raised concerns about the practice of rotating war commanders.

US backs Turkey's nuclear plans, seeks partnership 21 Jan 2008 The US has expressed support for Turkey's plans to develop nuclear energy and encouraged Ankara to become a member in an international partnership facilitating the worldwide expansion of nuclear energy in a 'safe' manner, US officials said.

Russia warns of nuclear defence 19 Jan 2008 Russia's military chief of staff has said Moscow is ready to use force, including pre-emptively and with nuclear weapons, to defend itself. Gen Yuri Baluyevsky said Russia had no plans to attack anyone, but it was important that other countries clearly understood its leaders' resolve.

Israel keeps up raids amid blackout 21 Jan 2008 Gaza City has been plunged into darkness after its only power plant was shut down on the third day of a crippling Israeli fuel blockade of the Palestinian territory. But the blackout did not stop Israel from continuing its military offensive, launching air raids in northern Gaza that killed at least two Palestinians late on Sunday.

Lights out in Gaza after Israel blocks fuel 21 Jan 2008 Large parts of the Gaza Strip plunged into darkness overnight when its main power plant shut down after Israel blocked fuel supplies and shut the border to the Hamas-run territory.

Unraveling the Myth of Al Qaida By Peter Chamberlin 13 Jan 2008 The myth of "al Qaida" is built on an expansive foundation of many half-truths and hidden facts. It is a CIA creation... In order to explain away the billions of dollars worth of weapons and training that went into the operation, they chose a rich jihadi, a Saudi millionaire named Osama bin Laden, who had been a faithful recruiter and business agent of the Mujahedeen. He was painted as the sole financier of the entire enormous operation that was centered in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Bin Laden may not even have known that he was playing a part in a deceitful CIA global drama until after the fact.

'Some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge.' CIA Admits Cyberattacks Blacked Out Cities --85% of U.S. critical infrastructure is controlled by private sector --CIA senior analyst 'thoroughly weighed' pros and cons of making information public 18 Jan 2008 The CIA on Friday admitted that cyberattacks have caused at least one power outage affecting multiple cities outside the United States. Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, said that CIA senior analyst Tom Donahue confirmed that online attackers had caused at least one blackout. Paller said that Donahue presented him with a written statement that read, "We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands. We suspect, but cannot confirm, that some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge. We have information that cyberattacks have been used to disrupt power equipment in several regions outside the United States. In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities."

Airports to inspect ID cards with black lights 20 Jan 2008 The newest tool at airport security checkpoints is 3 inches long and costs only a few dollars: a handheld black light. Airport screeners are starting to use them this month to examine driver's licenses and other passenger ID cards presented at checkpoints to spot forgeries or tampering. Passengers with suspicious documents can be questioned by police or immigration agents.

Job Data Passes Threshold Where Recessions Dwell 19 Jan 2008 The Labor Department reported that in December some 7,655,000 people were unemployed, meaning they were both without a job and looking for one. That figure was 13.2 percent higher than the 6,760,000 figure in the previous December. In the past, a 13 percent annual rise has been the sign of a recession every time.

Norris says McCain too old for president 20 Jan 2008 Campaigning for Mike Huckabee, actor Chuck Norris said Sunday that Sen. John McCain is too old to handle the pressures of being president. [LieberBush troll, John McCain, is a flip-flopping sociopath - *that's* why he should not be president.]

Bush's spiritual adviser backing Obama 20 Jan 2008 U.S. President [sic] George Bush's spiritual adviser, the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, has decided to support the presidential bid of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. The leader of Houston's Windsor Village United Methodist Church said Obama's "character, confidence and courage" inspired him to support his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.

Debunking the Reagan Myth By Paul Krugman 21 Jan 2008 Bill Clinton knew that in 1991, when he began his presidential campaign. "The Reagan-Bush years," he declared, "have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect." Contrast that with Mr. Obama’s recent statement, in an interview with a Nevada newspaper, that Reagan offered a "sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

Obama Echoes King's Call For Unity at Atlanta Church 21 Jan 2008 Sen. Barack Obama took the pulpit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s church here Sunday and drew a clear link between King's vision of an America free of segregation and racism and the central tenet of his own presidential campaign, a call for unity after years of partisan rancor and division.

Mega barf alert! Clone companies oppose labels for their animal carcasses, milk --Consumer Groups Doubt FDA's Risk Management Plan Will Keep Pace With Industry 21 Jan 2008 Although the FDA said last week that it will not require special labels on 'foods' from clones, legislation already introduced in the Senate could force the agency's hand. Apart from labeling, some advocacy groups are raising concerns about how the FDA will keep up as the food-from-clones sector grows.

EPA turns over limited documents 19 Jan 2008 Invoking executive privilege [!], the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday refused to provide lawmakers with a full explanation of why it rejected California's greenhouse gas regulations. The EPA informed Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that many of the documents she had requested contained internal deliberations or attorney-client communications that would not be shared now with Congress.

States combat global warming 20 Jan 2008 With proposals to cap greenhouse gas emissions stalled in Congress, more than half the states are moving aggressively to combat the pollution that causes global warming. This year, eight states are slated to release plans to slash emissions of the heat-trapping gases and at least several are likely to recommend specific reduction targets, say state officials and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Seventeen states already have such targets in place.

Polar Bears Wait-Listed as Endangered 17 Jan 2008 On Jan. 9, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Interior Department agency that evaluates endangered species, was due that day to deliver its ruling on the polar bear. Though FWS had already taken over a year to investigate the polar bear's plight -- green groups sued the federal government two years ago to declare the animal as threatened under the Endangered Species Act -- the day before the deadline, the agency announced that it would 'need' another month to decide. Now the bears face another threat. On Feb. 6 -- three days before FWS's new deadline -- the Minerals Management Service (MMS), also part of the Interior Department, plans to lease 30 million acres for oil and gas drilling in the Chukchi Sea bordering Alaska, where one-fifth of the world's remaining polar bears live.

Patriots Are One Game Away From True Perfection 21 Jan 2008 ...The Patriots seized control of the American Football Conference championship game with a fourth-quarter touchdown drive to beat the Chargers, 21-12, and take what has seemed their inevitable spot in Super Bowl XLII. There, the Patriots will play for the only reward that has eluded their three-title dynasty so far: an undefeated championship season, something only one other team -- the 1972 Miami Dolphins -- has accomplished.

Giants Stun Packers and Head to the Super Bowl 21 Jan 2008 With one errant toss from a legendary quarterback, and one kick from the right foot of Lawrence Tynes, the Giants sent themselves from the northern prairie and into the southwestern desert, all the way to the Super Bowl. Tynes’s 47-yard field goal 2 minutes 35 seconds into overtime gave the Giants a 23-20 victory in the National Football Conference championship game.

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Afghanistan war is just beginning: report 19 Jan 2008 The Taliban has seriously rejoined the fight in Afghanistan, an NGO security group said in a report that concluded the country was at the beginning of a war, not the end of one. The Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) said the Taliban's "easy departure" in 2001, when a US-led invasion drove them from power, was more of a strategic retreat than an actual military defeat.

US to deploy 500 mine-resistant vehicles to Afghanistan 18 Jan 2008 The US military plans to ship 500 roadside bomb-resistant vehicles to Afghanistan amid a reinforcement of 3,200 extra US troops to be deployed to fight Taliban militants. While the mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles remain a top priority for Iraq, where US soldiers face frequent attacks from armor-piercing explosives, more MRAPs will be sent to Afghanistan, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

U.S. forces may be in Iraq for 10 years 18 Jan 2008 As security conditions improve in Iraq, the United States should be able to reduce forces at a slow but consistent pace beyond this summer, but air support and ground troops are likely to be needed for five to 10 years, a top military commander [Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno] said Thursday.

U.S. army, short of soldiers, sends troops with minor injuries to Iraq 19 Jan 2008 Seventy-nine injured soldiers were pressed into war duty last month as the U.S. Army struggled to fill its ranks, but most were assigned to light-duty jobs within limits set by doctors, two Army leaders said. The Denver Post, quoting internal Army e-mails and a Fort Carson soldier, reported that troops had been deployed to Kuwait en route to Iraq while they were still receiving medical treatment for various conditions.

Ailing GIs deployed to war zones --Ft. Carson sent ailing GIs to meet deployment goals, notes say 17 Jan 2008 Fort Carson sent soldiers who were not medically fit to war zones last month to meet "deployable strength" goals, according to e-mails obtained by The Denver Post. One e-mail, written Jan. 3 by the surgeon for Fort Carson's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, says: "We have been having issues reaching deployable strength, and thus have been taking along some borderline soldiers who we would otherwise have left behind for continued treatment."

80 killed in clashes in Iraq 19 Jan 2008 Members of an obscure messianic cult Blackwater fought Iraqi security forces Friday in two southern cities, leaving at least 80 people dead and scores injured, while spreading panic among worshipers marking Shiite Islam's most important holiday.

About 60 rebel targets destroyed in Turkish air strike in Iraq 18 Jan 2008 Turkish warplanes destroyed about 60 Kurdish rebel positions in neighbouring Iraq in a bombing raid earlier this week, the military said Friday. The targets in three regions along the Turkish border included two anti-aircraft posts, four ammunition depots as well as training and logistical bases.

Israel strikes Gaza as lockdown sparks fuel fears --Israeli forces kill two Palestinians --Arab League chief condemns attacks --UN says collective punishment for Gaza is wrong 20 Jan 2008 Israel kept up strikes against Gaza militants on Saturday, killing at least two in a new raid, as its lockdown of the impoverished Palestinian territory started to take its toll on residents. As news of the new measures spread, residents across the Gaza Strip stocked up on diesel fuel, leaving several service stations empty.

Israel flattens Hamas ministry in Gaza Strip 19 Jan 2008 Israel bombed the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza and closed border crossings with the strip on Friday, sharply escalating what it called a campaign to halt Palestinian rocket attacks. The four-storey ministry complex in Gaza City was empty at the time but one woman was killed and at least 30 others nearby were wounded in the air strike, medical officials said.

Coming soon, an X-ray vision gun 19 Jan 2008 The superhero power to see through walls will soon be within the grasp of ordinary mortals, thanks to a new hand-held X-ray scanner. Inventors hope the gadget could revolutionise police work and Customs searches by allowing officers to seek out contraband, weapons, bombs or hidden people.

Canada removes U.S., Israel from torture watchlist 19 Jan 2008 Canada's foreign ministry, responding to pressure from close allies, said on Saturday it would remove the United States and Israel from a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured. Both nations expressed unhappiness [!] after it emerged they had been listed in a document that formed part of a training course manual on torture awareness given to Canadian diplomats. Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier said he regretted the embarrassment caused by the public disclosure of the manual, which also classified some U.S. interrogation techniques as torture. [See: Canada puts U.S. on torture watch list: CTV --Canada's 'torture awareness' watch list includes Syria, Iran, China, Afghanistan, the United States, Guantanamo Bay, and Israel. 16 Jan 2008.]

US and ally on torturers list 19 Jan 2008 Canada's Foreign Ministry has put the US and Israel on a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured and also classifies some US interrogation techniques as torture. The move has embarrassed the minority Conservative Government, which is a staunch ally of both countries. The Foreign Ministry document - part of a training course on torture awareness given to diplomats - cites the US jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where Canadian Omar Khadr is being held.

Switzerland suspends Abu Omar CIA rendition investigation 18 Jan 2008 Switzerland has suspended an investigation into US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents allegedly involved in the 2003 abduction and rendition kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, a spokesperson from the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office said Friday. The Swiss Federal Council authorized the criminal proceedings in February 2007 based on alleged unlawful use of Swiss airspace by US agents in anti-terrorist operations. Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, says he was kidnapped by the CIA with help from Italy's Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) while he was in Milan, Italy in 2003. He says he was then flown to Germany via Swiss airspace en route to Egypt, where he was tortured.

Khadr military trial violates international law on child soldiers: lawyers 19 Jan 2008 Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr on Friday argued that he was a child soldier when he was captured in Afghanistan and that the US military tribunal responsible for trying him lacks jurisdiction over the case. In the motion, filed with US military judge Col. Peter Brownback, Khadr's lawyers asked for the case to be dismissed saying that it violates the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gives special protection to children under 18 involved in armed conflicts. Khadr's lawyers also argued that the US Congress did not grant Guantanamo Bay military tribunals the authority to hear cases involving child soldiers charged with juvenile crimes.

Defence seeks dismissal on grounds Khadr was child soldier 17 Jan 2008 Lawyers for Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr are asking a U.S. military judge to dismiss war crimes charges against their client on the grounds he was a child soldier whose prosecution breaks international law. In a motion to be filed Friday with Col. Peter Brownback, Khadr's military defence lawyers contend the Bush regime's war crimes tribunals have no jurisdiction to try juveniles. They also argue any trial would violate United Nations conventions protecting children in armed conflict.

Smith vows to tackle ideology of violent extremists --Internet industry asked to help curb illegal material --Terror bill proposes new powers against suspects 18 Jan 2008 The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, yesterday promised to tackle the "ideology and ideologues of violent extremism", ahead of next week's publication of the counter-terrorism bill, which extends the limit on pre-charge detention to 42 days. Smith also announced a drive to tackle promotion of violent extremism that relies on the internet.

UK aiming to curb terrorists on internet 17 Jan 2008 Britain has announced a drive to shut down websites inspired by 'al-Qaeda' [whitehouse.gov?], comparing the move with efforts to target GOpaedophiles online. "Where there is illegal material on the Net, I want it removed," British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith declared. But how? And who would do the removing? Smith did not go into details, saying only that she was working closely with the communications industry.

FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft --The FBI has been accused of covering up a file detailing government dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets 20 Feb 2007 THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets. The assertion follows allegations made in The Sunday Times two weeks ago by Sibel Edmonds, an FBI whistleblower, who worked on the agency’s investigation of the network. One of the documents relating to the case was marked 203A-WF-210023. Last week, however, the FBI responded to a freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file.

Accused Terrorist Is Big GOP Donor 19 Jan 2008 The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) won't say what it plans to do with thousands of dollars in campaign donations it received from an accused terror financier. Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari gave $15,250 to the NRCC since 2002, according to FEC records published on the Web site opensecrets.org. On Friday, Alishtari pled not guilty to funding terrorism and other crimes, including financial fraud.

Ex-Congressman Charged in Terror Case 16 Jan 2008 A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations [Mark Deli Siljander, R-Mich.] was indicted Wednesday on charges of working for an alleged terrorist fundraising ring that sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan authorities arrest two over Bhutto plot 19 Jan 2008 Pakistani security agents have arrested a youth who said he had been trained as a suicide bomber to kill opposition leader Benazir Bhutto had other militants failed to kill her, in the first arrests in the case, a security official said. The 15-year-old and his militant "handler" were arrested in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan on Thursday night.

Spanish police arrest 14 in anti-terror raids: interior minister 19 Jan 2008 Spanish police have smashed a suspected 'Islamist' terror cell, arresting 14 people and recovering bomb-making equipment in overnight raids in Barcelona, the interior minister said on Saturday. "During our searches, we found various materials which could be explosives or be used to make explosives," Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told a press conference in Madrid.

US prosecutors seek life term for Padilla on terror charges 19 Jan 2008 Prosecutors on Friday called for a life sentence against US citizen Jose Padilla, claiming the former Chicago gang member convicted of supporting Al-Qaeda had long been "a terrorist diamond in the rough."

Sword-toting gunman nabbed close to Capitol 18 Jan 2008 A man carrying a sword and a shotgun was arrested a block from the U.S. Capitol on Friday but there were no shots fired or injuries, police said. Michael Steven Gorbey was arrested and is charged as a felon in possession of a firearm, police said. Other charges are pending.

Muslim troops at risk after laptop theft 20 Feb 2007 Concerns about the safety of serving Muslim military personnel and recruits were raised yesterday after it emerged that their personal details were among those of 600,000 people held on a laptop stolen from a Royal Navy officer’s car in Birmingham. Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials fear that Muslims are particularly exposed to a potential threat following an alleged plot to kidnap and behead a serving British Muslim soldier in Birmingham last year.

Possible flu pandemic: US government plans to treat sick people "like potential enemies" By Kevin Mitchell 19 Jan 2008 The ACLU report explains that shortly after 9/11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supported a Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, which greatly increased the powers of state governments during a "public health emergency." Among its many provisions was a proposal authorizing mandatory medical examinations and testing. Section 504 of the Act would punish those who refused to be vaccinated: "Individuals refusing to be vaccinated or treated shall be liable for a misdemeanor. [The refusing person] may be subject to isolation or quarantine... An order of the public health authority given to effectuate the purposes of this Section shall be immediately enforceable by any peace officer." ...The proposed act also included provisions that would have exempted public health officials and their underlings from prosecution if their vaccine killed the patient.

90 percent of the county's voting machines failed to turn on when polls opened at 7 a.m. Weather, voting machine issues dog SC 19 Jan 2008 Nasty weather in the north and dysfunctional voting machines in one coastal county marred South Carolina's Republican primary Saturday. Most of the 400 voting machines in Horry County didn't work at the start of voting and residents in at least one precinct were turned away when officials ran out of paper ballots It was not clear how many voters would be unable to make their choice known after up to 90 percent of the county's voting machines failed to turn on when polls opened at 7 a.m.

Nevada GOP dismisses Paul complaint 18 Jan 2008 Ron Paul, other than Mitt Romney the only Republican actively campaigning for Saturday's Republican caucuses in Nevada, called this afternoon for the state party to consider postponing the contest due to "multiple inconsistencies." But the state Republican Party immediately dismissed the allegations and said the caucus would go on as planned.

McCain Defeats Huckabee, Wins S.C. Primary 19 Jan 2008 [LieberBush troll] John McCain won the South Carolina Republican primary Saturday, narrowly defeating Mike Huckabee in the state that dealt a huge blow to his presidential hopes in 2000. [Notice that McCain wins only where electronic 'voting' is used?]

Clinton back in pole position after Nevada triumph 19 Jan 2008 Hillary Clinton today reclaimed her position as the Democratic frontrunner in the race for the White House, defeating Barack Obama in the Nevada caucuses in a campaign marked by divisiveness and bullish tactics.

Romney Extends Delegate Lead 19 Jan 2008 Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won at least 16 delegates in Nevada's Republican caucuses Saturday, extending his overall lead in the race for delegates to the GOP convention this summer, an AP analysis of caucus results showed.

Thompson plans to go on to Florida 19 Jan 2008 Fred Thompson, trailing Mike Huckabee and John McCain in the polls, may continue his presidential bid even if he finishes third in today's South Carolina primary, his campaign said.

Hunter exits presidential race 19 Jan 2008 Rep. Duncan Hunter has abandoned his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the California congressman said in a statement released Saturday evening.

Obama's Dubious Praise for Reagan By Robert Parry 19 Jan 2008 Sen. Barack Obama prides himself in transcending the old ideological chasms that have divided the American electorate for decades, so much so that he recently cited Republican icon Ronald Reagan as a leader who "changed the trajectory of America..." On the domestic side, Reagan oversaw the dismantling of regulatory structures that restrained the excesses of Wall Street investment banks, the energy industry and other economic powerhouses. Many of today's problems – from the mortgage meltdown to the nation's wasteful energy policies – can be traced to Reagan’s contempt for that type of accountability. Meanwhile, regarding Reagan’s approach to the world, the documentary record reveals a foreign policy that was one of the most brutal, most corrupt and least accountable in American history. Reagan’s clandestine dealings with Iran and Iraq remain shrouded in secrecy and deception to this day. Also suppressed has been the full story of how Reagan tolerated drug traffickers who operated under the cover of his favorite covert operations (Nicaragua and Afghanistan).

US Oil Cos 4Q Seen Lifted By High Oil Prices 18 Jan 2008 Over the next two weeks, major oil companies will report banner-headline profits for the fourth quarter of 2007, led by a sharp rise in oil prices. Earnings for the group are expected to be 15% above the same period last year and up 10% sequentially, according to Oppenheimer & Co. research. During the quarter, oil prices jumped from $80.24 on Oct. 1 to $95.98 on Dec. 31. [Lift this.]

Oil Profits Could Spark Some Backlash 17 Jan 2008 Already, Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, has predicted it will earn a bigger profit in the fourth quarter than it did in the third, when it earned $3.72 billion, because of higher energy prices. Last February, Chevron reported its third consecutive year of record profits: $17.1 billion for 2006. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial predict Exxon Mobil [expected Feb. 1] to top its year-ago result and post quarterly revenue of $112.7 billion, a 25 percent jump from the fourth quarter of 2006. Exxon Mobil's $39.5 billion profit for all of 2006 was the largest annual profit by a U.S. company.

Foreigners Buy Stakes in the U.S. at a Record Pace 20 Jan 2008 For much of the world, the United States is now on sale at discount prices. With credit tight, unemployment growing and worries mounting about a potential recession, American business and government leaders are courting foreign money to keep the economy growing. Foreign investors are buying aggressively, taking advantage of American duress and a weak dollar to snap up what many see as bargains, while making inroads to the world’s largest market.

B-r-r utal: Upper Midwest Locked In Deep Freeze --Air Temperature May Hit 25 Below Overnight In Northwest Wisconsin; 14 Below in Minnesota, Minus 3 In Chicago 19 Jan 2008 Bitter, dangerous cold has settled across the Chicago area and its neighbors in the Upper Midwest. A wind chill advisory is in effect for all of northern Illinois and most of Indiana, as well as the entire states of Wisconsin and Minnesota and most of Michigan. The forecast high for the day in Chicago is a mere 7 degrees, with an overnight low of 3 below zero.

Flocke gets a name and a worldwide fan club 19 Jan 2008 A polar bear cub that has become Germany’s latest furry celebrity was named officially yesterday as Flocke, or Snowflake – the moniker originally given to her by her handlers. Keepers at the Nuremberg Zoo took Flocke away from her mother, Vera, last week after she grew restless and kept dropping the five-week-old cub on the hard rock floor of her enclosure.

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Clashes Kill Nearly 50 in Southern Iraq 18 Jan 2008 Violence left nearly 50 people dead in two major southern cities Friday when members of a shadowy, messianic cult [?] attacked police and fellow Shiite worshippers -- a year after a similar plot was foiled during Shiite Islam's most important holiday.

Petraeus Is Undecided About Deeper Troop Cuts 17 Jan 2008 The top American commander in Iraq said that 30,000 American troops would leave the country by July but that he had yet to make up his mind about whether to recommend any additional reductions. [Betrayus is waiting for Rove's input on how to give the biggest boost to the GOP in the November 'elections.']

Israel test-launches nuclear-capable missile 19 Jan 2008 Israel has carried out the successful test launch of a long-range, ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, in what was intended as a clear show of strength to Iran. The lack of public awareness caused a flap when the contrail from the test firing was seen in the skies over Jerusalem causing many Israelis to call the emergency services fearing attack by Palestinian militants.

Wounded Vets Trade One Hell for Another By Aaron Glantz 18 Jan 2008 In January 2006, the military awarded a five-year 120-million-dollar contract to Florida-based IAP, which had already faced scrutiny from Congress for unseemly profiteering after Hurricane Katrina. After the levees broke, FEMA ordered the company to deliver 211 million pounds of ice intended to cool food, medicine and sweltering victims of the storm. Instead, IAP had the ice trucked around the country in circles at taxpayers' expense, with much of it ending up in storage 2,500 kilometres away in Maine... Before going to work at IAP, company CEO Al Neffgen was a top executive at Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, where he was responsible for "all work performed by KBR for the U.S. government". That included being hauled before Congressional committees to testify about why the company... had overcharged U.S. taxpayers by hundreds of millions of dollars while providing support for U.S. troops in Iraq.

Israel urged not to punish Palestinian people over militant attacks 19 Jan 2008 The UN's humanitarian affairs chief, John Holmes, says Israel should not collectively punish the people of the Gaza Strip for rocket attacks carried out by Palestinian militants.

Israel blocks access to Gaza 18 Jan 2008 Israel has locked down the Gaza Strip, closing all crossings into the area for both commercial traffic and individual travellers. Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered the closure of all border crossings and a ministry official said it would remain in effect for several days.

C.I.A. Says Militant Was Behind Bhutto's Death 19 Jan 2008 The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that the assassins of Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister, were directed by Baitullah Mehsud, a Pakistani militant leader in hiding, and that some of them had ties to Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh].

Former Bush official: Waterboarding is torture --'No doubt,' says Tom Ridge, first Homeland Security secretary 18 Jan 2008 The first secretary of the Homeland Security Department says waterboarding is torture. "There's just no doubt in my mind -- under any set of rules -- waterboarding is torture," Tom Ridge said Friday in an interview. Ridge had offered the same opinion earlier in the day to members of the American Bar Association at a homeland security conference.

Terror suspects filmed D.C. landmarks, FBI agent says 15 Jan 2008 Two Americans [Syed Ahmed and Ehsanul Sadequee] who travelled to Toronto and met with some of the 17 people arrested in the 2006 Canadian terror sweep also shot videos of Washington landmarks that were found on a British terror suspect's computer, an FBI agent testified yesterday in Atlanta.

Government stands by its 42-day limit for locking up terror suspects By 18 Jan 2008 Gordon Brown has brushed aside a chorus of protest to press ahead with plans to allow terror suspects to be locked up without charge for up to 42 days, leaked documents obtained by The Independent show. Up to 40 Labour MPs have vowed to oppose any extension of the current 28-day limit, already the longest in the Western world.

Montana Governor Foments Real ID Rebellion [Awesome!] 18 Jan 2008 Montana declared independence Friday from a federal identification rules and called on governors of 17 other states to join him in forcing a showdown with the federal government which says it will not accept the driver's licenses of rebel states' citizens starting May 11. If that showdown comes to pass, residents of non-complying states could not use a driver's license to enter a federal courthouse or a Social Security Administration building nor could board a plane without undergoing a pat-down search... and almost certainly leading to a flurry of federal lawsuits. "Today, I am asking you to join with me in resisting the DHS coercion to comply with the provisions of REAL ID," Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) wrote.

Governor Schweitzer Asks Other Governors to Join Him in Resisting "Real ID" (governor.mt.gov) 18 Jan 2008 Last year, the Montana Legislature unanimously passed, and I signed, a bill to prevent our state from participating in Real ID [Mont. Code. Ann. sec. 61 -5-128 (2007)]. We recognized that Real ID was a major threat to the privacy, constitutional rights, and pocketbooks of ordinary Montanans... Today, I am asking you to join with me in resisting the DHS coercion to comply with the provisions of REAL ID... Please do not accept the Faustian bargain of applying for the DHS extension. If we stand together, either DHS will blink or Congress will have to act to avoid havoc at our nation's airports and federal courthouses.

DHS Suggests a REAL ID Could be Necessary for Medicine By Ryan Singel 16 Jan 2008 A top homeland security policy maker [Stewart Baker] suggests that the recently released mandates for a de-facto national I.D. card could help stop meth labs, if the government required that pharmacy's demand that cold medicine buyers show their REAL ID.

Muslim Athlete Disqualified Over Uniform 18 Jan 2008 A high school track star has been disqualified from a meet because officials said the custom-made outfit she wears to conform to her Muslim faith violated competition rules. Juashaunna Kelly, a senior at the District of Columbia's Theodore Roosevelt High School, has the fastest mile and 2-mile times of any girl runner in the city this winter. She was disqualified from Saturday's Montgomery Invitational indoor track and field meet.

Golfweek Editor Fired for Noose Cover 18 Jan 2008 Ten days after a Golf Channel anchor was suspended for her use of "lynch" in commentary on Tiger Woods, an editor was fired Friday for illustrating the controversy with a noose on the cover of Golfweek magazine.

Supreme Court denies Kucinich ballot bid 18 Jan 2008 The Supreme Court on Friday allowed Texas to print presidential primary ballots without Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich's name. The court refused to step into a dispute between Kucinich and the Texas Democratic Party over a loyalty oath all candidates must sign to make the ballot.

Rivals Blast Obama's Praise for Reagan 18 Jan 2008 John Edwards and Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Barack Obama's praise of the Republican Party and [Iran-Contra terrorist] Ronald Reagan - an anathema for many Democrats, particularly union members considered crucial to winning Nevada's Democratic caucuses Saturday.

Romney's Bain Capital Profited Through Offshore Tax Havens, Closing U.S. Factories, Laying Off Workers (democracynow) 17 Jan 2008 During his campaign, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has preached a message of economic populism by vowing to fight to keep jobs in America. We take a look at Romney’s days heading up the buyout firm Bain Capital with Los Angeles Times reporter, Bob Drogin. He writes, "From 1984 until 1999, Romney led Bain Capital, a Boston-based private equity group that earned jaw-dropping profits through leveraged buyouts, debt hedge funds, offshore tax havens and other financial strategies. In some cases, Romney’s team closed U.S. factories, causing hundreds of layoffs, or pocketed huge fees shortly before companies collapsed."

Wall St drops as Bush rescue plan disappoints 18 Jan 2008 U.S. stocks tumbled for a fourth day on Friday to close out the worst week for the S&P 500 in five years on worry that a White House effort to boost the economy may not prevent a recession.

Bush Calls for Congress to Make Permanent Tax Cuts to Stimulate Economy 18 Jan 2008 President [sic] Bush called on Friday for a $140 billion to $145 billion mix of tax rebates for American families and incentives for businesses [of course] to avert a slide into recession. The president called again for Congress to make permanent the tax cuts that were enacted several years ago and are to expire in the next three years. Democrats had worried that Republicans might try to hold a stimulus bill hostage to their demands on the Bush tax cuts.

New inflation data explain middle-class squeeze 16 Jan 2008 New data from the Labor Department confirm what most middle-class Americans already know: Inflation is squeezing them. As consumer prices rose by 4.1 percent last year, the highest rate since 1990, the prices of basic essentials such as food, gasoline and health insurance climbed far more steeply, explaining why so many Americans are telling pollsters that the economy is their chief concern.

Denver lawyer seeks to depose Cheney in assault case 18 Jan 2008 Secret Service agents have given such varied accounts of what led to the 2006 arrest of a Denver man accused of assaulting Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, the man’s attorney says there may be only one way to clear things up -- depose the vice president. David Lane, lawyer for Steven Howards, said he plans to file a motion in federal court in Washington, D.C., next week to question Cheney under oath. Attorneys for the vice president have refused repeated requests for a deposition, he said.

Secret Service: Detailed Look at '06 Turmoil 18 Jan 2008 The arrest of a man named Steven Howards in June 2006 after he approached Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney at a Colorado ski resort and denounced the war in Iraq might have seemed, at the time, no more than a blip on the vice president’s schedule. But now the blip has become a blowup, with Secret Service agents -- under oath in court depositions -- accusing one another of unethical and perhaps even illegal conduct in the handling of Mr. Howards’s arrest and the official accounting of it.

New Bush Coins --Satire By Dean Opperman 04 Dec 2007 (Video) Now that President [sic] Bush has declared martial law, it will be illegal to own precious metals after the first of the year.

U.S. Lawmakers Hot Over Polar Bear Decisions 17 Jan 2008 Key polar bear habitat should be held off limits to oil and gas drilling until federal wildlife officials have determined whether the species should be listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act, the chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming [Ed Markey, D-Mass.] said today.

Interior Withholding Key Documents On Arctic Drilling --Shell Plans for LNG and Tanker Traffic in Chukchi Sea Barred from Lease Review 17 Jan 2008 The Interior Department limited its environmental review of oil industry plans for drilling in Arctic waters to veil plans for building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and establishing year-round tanker traffic, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The exclusion of these plans from agency environmental reviews allowed proponents to downplay potential effects on a host of marine species, including the polar bear... and other marine birds and fish.

'The Arctic oil isn't going anywhere and we need to make sure the polar bear isn't.' Protect polar bears, not oil corporations (San Jose Mercury News) 28 Jan 2008 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a year ago to list the polar bear as a threatened species because its habitat is rapidly melting away. But on the eve of a final decision, the agency on Jan. 7 postponed it by up to a month. Conveniently for the oil-centric Bush administration, the postponement allowed just enough time to go ahead with the Feb. 6 sale of oil leases in the Chukchi Sea northwest of Alaska, a prime polar bear habitat. But oil drilling could put further stress on a polar bear population whose future is already in doubt.

Germany names new polar bear cub Snowflake 18 Jan 2008 Germany named its latest furry superstar "Flocke", or "Snowflake" on Friday, sending the media into a frenzy which echoed "Knut-mania" in Berlin last year.

Environment Dept. probes strange precipitation in Grant County 11 Jan 2008 The New Mexico Environment Department is looking into what caused a strange milky white rain to fall on Grant County Monday. Area residents noticed the unusual rain as it left white puddles and a white, almost sticky residue everywhere.

India: Bird Flu Spread 'Alarming' 19 Jan 2008 India’s third outbreak of avian flu among poultry is the worst it has faced, the World Health Organization said. The chief minister of West Bengal State, which is trying to cull 400,000 birds, called the virus’s spread "alarming." New outbreaks were also reported this week in Iran and Ukraine.

Bird flu: Matter of grave concern, says Buddha 19 Jan 2008 Admitting that the bird flu situation in the state is a matter of grave concern, West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday asked all district and sub-divisional hospitals to set up special isolation wards to monitor patients coming with symptoms of avian flu.

Bird flu strain claims fifth swan 18 Jan 2008 A fifth swan at a sanctuary in Dorset has tested positive for the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu, environment department Defra has said. The first case of avian influenza was found at the Abbotsbury Swannery, near Chesil Beach, on 10 January.

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Opium fields spread across Iraq 17 Jan 2008 The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops. Afghan with experience in planting poppies have been helping farmers switch to producing opium in fertile parts of Diyala province, once famous for its oranges and pomegranates, north- east of Baghdad. American 'successes' in Iraq over the past year have been largely through encouraging the development of a 70,000-strong Sunni Arab militia, many of whose members are former 'insurgents' linked to [US] protection rackets, kidnapping and crime. [Skyrocketing opium production and oil prices because of Bush's occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq: Mission accomplished!]

U.S. commanders: Iraq could require U.S. military presence for 'many years' --Iraq May 'Need' U.S. Military Help for Years, Officials Say 18 Jan 2008 Senior U.S. military officials projected yesterday that shortages of key personnel, equipment, weaponry and logistical capabilities mean that Iraq's security forces will probably require U.S. military support for as long as a decade. U.S. commanders have agreed that some U.S. forces will probably have to remain in Iraq for as long as a decade -- albeit at a level far lower than the current 160,000 troops. The second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, said yesterday that Iraq could require a U.S. military presence for many years.

U.S. Boosts Its Use of Airstrikes In Iraq --U.S. dropped 4 bombs per day on Iraqis in 2007 17 Jan 2008 The U.S. military conducted more than five times as many airstrikes in Iraq last year as it did in 2006, targeting al-Qaeda safe houses civilians, 'insurgent' bombmaking facilities and [US-provided] weapons stockpiles civilians in an aggressive strategy aimed at supporting the U.S. troop increase by overwhelming enemies with air power. The U.S.-led occupation dropped 1,447 bombs on Iraq last year, an average of nearly four a day, compared with 229 bombs, or about four each week, in 2006.

Suicide Bombing Kills 11 in Iraq 17 Jan 2008 A suicide bomber attacked a mosque in violent Diyala province northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, killing 11 people and wounding 15 as worshippers were beating their chests in observance of Shiite Islam's holiest holiday.

Top Rumsfeld Aide Wins Contracts From Spy Office He Set Up 15 Jan 2008 A Pentagon office that claims to monitor terrorist threats to U.S. military bases in North America -- and was once reprimanded by the U.S. Congress for spying on antiwar activists -- has just awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a company that employs one of Donald Rumsfeld’s former aides. That aide, Stephen Cambone, helped create the very office that issued the contract. On January 7, QinetiQ North America (QNA), a major British-owned defense and intelligence contractor based in McLean, Virginia, announced that its Mission Solutions Group, had just signed a five-year, $30 million contract to provide a range of unspecified "security services" to the Pentagon’s Counter-Intelligence Field Activity office, known as CIFA.

Canada puts U.S., Guantanamo and Israel on torture 'watch list' 17 Jan 2008 Canada has put the United States and Israel on a torture watch list, according to CTV. A Canadian government document cites the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and interrogation techniques that include "forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation."

Canada puts Guantanamo on torture watch list 17 Jan 2008 Foreign Affairs has put Guantanamo Bay on a watch list for torture, despite Ottawa's assertions that it will not intervene with claims that Omar Khadr has been abused while in detention, CTV News reported last night. Mr. Khadr, 21, has been held at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years as he awaits trial for the alleged killing of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan.

Israel Tests Long-range Missile Capable of "Unconventional Payload" 17 Jan 2008 The Israel Defense Forces have confirmed the successful testing of a long range missile which Israeli radio says is capable of carrying an "unconventional payload". A short statement from the Israeli Defense Ministry said "A successful missile launch was carried out within the framework of examining rocket propulsion".

Israel successfully tests new rocket system --Security establishment holds rocket-propulsion test at Palmachim Air Force Base 17 Jan 2008 Israel's security establishment held a successful rocket systems test at the Palmachim Air Force Base Thursday, adding a propulsion system to a test-missile in order to review its operation. "The IDF has conducted a rocket propulsion test at Palmachim as part of its missile development program," the defense establishment said.

Israel: All 'on table' to halt Iran nukes 15 Jan 2008 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that "all options" were open to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, suggesting that Israel was prepared to use military force if it deemed it necessary against Tehran's nuclear program.

Iran President Says Bush Confrontational 17 Jan 2008 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that President [sic] Bush sent a "message of confrontation" during his recent Mideast trip. Bush spent much of his visit to the region, which he wrapped up on Wednesday, rallying support among Arab allies for a strong stance against Iran -- calling the country the world's top sponsor of terrorism. [The world knows that the US is the top (and primary) sponsor of terrorism.]

Could US, Iran Stumble Into War? 17 Jan 2008 Just how close might a military confrontation between Iran and the United States be? Though a war of words eased a bit recently, President [sic] Bush's strong Iran warnings during his just completed Mideast trip, coupled with a ship standoff, are raising fears that a small incident could someday spiral -- even by accident -- into a real fight.

Germany Urges Broadening Iran Sanctions 17 Jan 2008 Germany wants a show of solidarity for other world leaders when dealing with Iran and will push for tougher sanctions at a meeting next week. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to push the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to take a tougher stand on Iran when the countries meet in Berlin on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

France takes on strategic role in key Gulf oil route 17 Jan 2008 France's first permanent military base since the end of the colonial era gives it a strategic role in the Strait of Hormuz bordering Iran, the main supply route for world oil. France and the United Arab Emirates signed an accord during a visit by rightist President Nicolas Sarkozy Tuesday, which calls for Paris to set up a military base in Abu Dhabi.

Cole deploys from Norfolk for international naval exercises 17 Jan 2008 The guided-missile destroyer Cole deployed this morning to take part in an international training effort, Exercise Orion '08, the Navy said today. During the exercise, the Cole -- under commanded of Cmdr. C. Krause -- will serve as part of a British Royal Navy carrier strike group.

'Peace Now' Will Have to Publicize EU Contributions 18 Jan 2008 The Knesset has passed a law requiring the publication on the internet of all contributions from foreign countries to Israeli associations. The bill, proposed by MK Uri Ariel (National Union), stipulates that the foreign donations must be announced not only to the Non-Profit Associations Registrar, as has been the case until now, but also to the public at large, via the internet.

Israel locks down Gaza 17 Jan 2008 Israel locked down the Gaza Strip on Thursday, the same day its air strikes killed seven Palestinians there in a bid to halt near daily rocket fire and as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to keep up raids on gunmen in the impoverished Hamas-run territory. Late Thursday night, Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered the closure of all border crossings between Israel and Gaza.

Israel launches lethal raids into Gaza 16 Jan 2008 Israeli forces using tanks and helicopters yesterday killed 19 Palestinians including the son of a top Hamas leader, in their most lethal raids into Gaza since the Islamic faction's enforced takeover of the Strip last June.

Chavez military strategy worries top U.S. officer [Too bad, hypocrite!] 17 Jan 2008 The top U.S. military officer said on Thursday he was concerned by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's purchases of military equipment, saying they could harm efforts to build greater stability in Latin America. On a visit to Colombia, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, also dismissed the leftist president's claim to be the target of assassination plots by Washington and Bogota. [How come the media whores never refers to a 'rightist' president? Bush can occupy Iraq and Afghanistan - and sell $123m in weaponry to Saudi Arabia - and that doesn't 'worry' Admiral Nutjob? --LRP]

Chertoff: Tougher ID rules for borders 17 Jan 2008 New border-crossing rules that take effect in two weeks will mean longer lines and stiffer demands for ID, including for returning Americans, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday. A driver's license won't be good enough to get Americans past a checkpoint at the Canadian or Mexican border, Chertoff said.

Lawyer: Goss Never Objected on CIA Tapes 17 Jan 2008 Former CIA Director Porter Goss never criticized plans to destroy interrogation torture videotapes, a lawyer said Thursday as the investigation began. Jose Rodriguez, the CIA official who gave the order to destroy the tapes, is at the center of Justice Department and congressional investigations into who approved the plan and whether it was illegal. His attorney, Robert Bennett, said Goss and Rodriquez met several times to discuss the tapes and Goss was never critical of Rodriquez' decision.

White House Study Found 473 Days of E-Mail Gone 18 Jan 2008 The White House possesses no archived e-mail messages for many of its component offices, including the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President, for hundreds of days between 2003 and 2005, according to the summary of an internal White House study that was disclosed yesterday by a congressional Democrat. The 2005 study identified 473 separate days in which no electronic messages were stored for one or more White House offices, said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.).

Revealed! Another 90 million dollar-blow job for Bush's corpora-terrorist cronies: DHS to Replace 'Duplicative' Anti-Terrorism Data Network --$90 Million [Wasted On] System Aimed to Aid State, Local Agencies 18 Jan 2008 The Homeland Security Department spent more than $90 million to create a network for sharing sensitive anti-terrorism information with state and local governments that it has decided to replace, according to an internal department document. The decision was made late last year but was not announced.

Bush doesn't want citizens stopping false flags in their tracks: NYPD Seeks an Air Monitor Crackdown for New Yorkers --A city councilman and the cops don't want you to have that Geiger counter without their permission By Chris Thompson 15 Jan 2008 Richard Falkenrath, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for counterterrorism... and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have asked the City Council to pass a law requiring anyone who wants to own such detectors to get a permit from the police first. And it's not just devices to detect weaponized anthrax that they want the power to control, but those that detect everything from industrial pollutants to asbestos in shoddy apartments. Want to test for pollution in low-income neighborhoods with high rates of childhood asthma? Gotta ask the cops for permission. Why? So you "will not lead to excessive false alarms and unwarranted anxiety," the first draft of the law states.

Edwards Attacks Obama for View of Reagan 18 Jan 2008 The legacy of [Iran-Contra terrorist] Ronald Reagan was invoked in the Democratic nominating race on Thursday when John Edwards attacked Senator Barack Obama for remarks he made to a Nevada newspaper suggesting praise for Reagan. Mr. Obama made the comments in an interview with the editorial board of the newspaper, The Reno Gazette-Journal. He said Reagan had "changed the trajectory of America [toward fascism] in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not."

Congress Asks: Why Isn't Polar Bear Endangered? The Polar Bear's Alaskan Habitat is Melting 17 Jan 2008 A petition has been filed with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to list the polar bear as "threatened" (the first step toward endangered status) and identify its critical habitat in Alaska. But last week the Service said it would miss the deadline on Jan.9, because it needed another month to determine if the habitat is indeed critical. This is the same habitat that another branch of the Interior department is currently considering to lease for gas and oil drilling.

From the same lying sacks of sh*t who brought us the Iraq war: U.S.: Drilling won't hurt polar bears 17 Jan 2008 The directors of two Interior Department agencies said Thursday they're confident oil and gas exploration in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska can proceed without threatening polar bears that depend on the sea ice. The officials appeared before a House special committee on global warming that is examining why the department is postponing a decision on whether to further protect the bear, at the same time it is proceeding with oil lease sales in the Alaska sea. [Yeah, too bad the drilling doesn't take place in Cheney's skull instead of the polar bear's habitat.]

No bears for oil --Why hasn't the polar bear been granted federal protection? Maybe because the Bush administration plans a last-minute handout of oil leases on its habitat. By Katharine Mieszkowski 17 Jan 2008 By 2050, two-thirds of the world's polar bears will have vanished, as a result of global warming melting their icy habitat, according to scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey. There may no longer be any polar bears at all living in Alaska, their only home in the United States. Still, this stark prediction, revealed in September 2007, after a yearlong review of the impact of melting sea ice on the Alaskan bears, hasn't inspired the Bush administration to list the bear as even a threatened species, much less an endangered one, under the Endangered Species Act.

Baby bear gets loads of attention 17 Jan 2008 The polar bear cub being brought up by keepers at a zoo in Germany is enjoying loads of attention from staff there. She now weighs in at 2.9kg. She's been nicknamed Flocke - the German word for Flake - but the zoo's website is asking for people to send in name suggestions for the cub.

Ex-Hospital Patients File Lawsuit Over the Status of Health Care Services in New Orleans 18 2008 A group of former patients of New Orleans’s shuttered public hospital filed a lawsuit on Thursday in a Louisiana state court, saying that medical care for the poor is still woefully inadequate in the city and asking for a return to the level of services the hospital provided before Hurricane Katrina.

Bush's Bernanke talks; Dow tanks --Dow industrials plunge 307 points to 10-month low as Bernanke comments, data weigh 17 Jan 2008 U.S. stocks on Thursday sold off for a third day straight, with the Dow sinking to 10-month lows, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke about the country's economic trouble and a regional measure of economic activity contracted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 307 points, or 2.5%, to end at 12,159.2, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 47.69 points to 2,346.9.

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Canada puts U.S. on torture watch list: CTV --Canada's 'torture awareness' watch list includes Syria, Iran, China, Afghanistan, the United States, Guantanamo Bay, and Israel. 16 Jan 2008 Omar Khadr's lawyers say they can't understand why Canada is not doing more to help their client in light of new evidence that Ottawa has put the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on a watch list for torture. Khadr -- a Canadian citizen who was just 15-years-old when he was captured in Afghanistan more than five years ago and taken to Guantanamo -- has claimed that he has been tortured at the prison. Now, CTV News has obtained documents that put Guantanamo Bay on a torture watch list.

Justice Dept. Cites Obstacles in Blackwater Case 16 Jan 2008 Justice Department officials have told Congress that they face serious legal difficulties in pursuing criminal prosecutions of Blackwater security guards mercenaries involved in a September shooting that left at least 17 Iraqis dead. In a private briefing in mid-December, officials from the Justice and State Departments met with aides to the House Judiciary Committee and other Congressional staff members and warned them that there were major legal obstacles that might prevent any prosecution.

US fails at enforcing prosecution of contractors: Report 16 Jan 2008 The US government has the legal authority to prosecute private contractors mercenaries for [war] crimes they commit in Iraq but often declines to use it, according to a report released today by a leading human rights group. The findings by Human Rights First come amid renewed uncertainty about whether employees of the US security company Blackwater can be prosecuted for a September shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqis dead. The Bush regime has warned that inconsistency in federal law may allow the mercenaries to evade charges, the New York Times reported today.

5,457,348th reason why life under Saddam Hussein was so much better than life under Bush's privatized puppet dictatorship: Iraq's healthcare left in disarray after invasion --Experienced staff emigrate due to lack of protection --Bribery is part of system, says independent report 16 Jan 2008 The full extent of the destruction of Iraq's healthcare system and the devastating impact it has had on its people is documented today in a new report which indicts the allied invasion force for failing in its duty to protect medical institutions and staff. The report, by an independent team of researchers and advisers from Iraq, the UK, the US and elsewhere, says the provision of healthcare "has become increasingly difficult" since the invasion.

US House votes to exempt Hussein's Iraq from lawsuits 16 Jan 2008 The U.S. House of Representatives, bowing to pressure from President [sic] George W. Bush [as they do every day] and the Iraqi government, passed a defense bill on Wednesday that would exempt Iraq from lawsuits dating back to the government of executed former President Saddam Hussein. The House, by a vote of 369-46, approved the measure allowing the exemption and authorizing a range of U.S. military programs. The Senate is likely to pass the bill after it returns from recess next week.

Female Suicide Bomber Kills 9 in Iraq 16 Jan 2008 A woman wearing a vest lined with explosives blew herself up near Shiite worshippers in Diyala province north of the capital Wednesday, killing nine of them. Six people were wounded in the bombing in Khan Bani Saad, a town nine miles south of Baqouba, Diyala's provincial capital, police said.

France to get military base in UAE 15 Jan 2008 Nicolas Sarkozy, the rightist French president, has signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for France to establish its first permanent military base in the Gulf. The agreement reached on Tuesday will make France one of the first Western countries other than the United States to have a permanent base in the region.

How the Pentagon Planted a False Hormuz Story 15 Jan 2008 Senior Pentagon officials, evidently reflecting a broader administration policy decision, used an off-the-record Pentagon briefing to turn the Jan. 6 U.S.-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz into a sensational story demonstrating Iran's military aggressiveness, a reconstruction of the events following the incident shows. The initial press stories on the incident, all of which can be traced to a briefing by deputy assistant secretary of defence for public affairs in charge of media operations Bryan Whitman, contained similar information that has since been repudiated by the Navy itself.

Canadian soldier killed in roadside bombing 16 Jan 2008 Trooper Richard Renaud from Alma, Que., was killed and a second Canadian soldier was injured when their armoured vehicle hit a roadside bomb Tuesday in Kandahar's Zhari district.

47 Killed as Insurgents Take Key Fort in NW Pakistan 17 Jan 2008 Hundreds of insurgent fighters mounted a brazen assault on a key fort in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, seizing it from security forces in a battle that left at least 47 people dead, the military said.

Pakistan expels NY Times reporter 16 Jan 2008 Pakistan has expelled a New York Times Magazine reporter who interviewed Taliban leaders and visited southwestern Baluchistan province. The journalist, Nicholas Schmidle, whose report "Next-Gen Taliban" appeared in the magazine on the weekend, was deported on Friday.

Relations between London and Moscow sink to new low 17 Jan 2008 The British Council suspended operations at its Saint Petersburg office on Wednesday as London condemned the questioning and detention by Russian secret police of employees at the cultural body. The row blew up after Moscow demanded the closure of two of the British Council's branches, alleging irregularities in their status.

U.S. says Europe poses terrorism threat 16 Jan 2008 U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Wednesday that one of the biggest threats to U.S. security may now come from within Europe. In an interview with BBC radio, Chertoff said that American authorities were becoming increasingly aware of a real risk of Europe becoming a "platform for terrorists".

'Al-Qa'eda death threat' to Gordon Brown --'Al-Qa'eda' uses Domains by Proxy. 16 Jan 2008 Intelligence services are investigating a threat on an 'Islamist' website to kill Gordon Brown, adding credence to warnings by the US security chief about the rising danger from home-grown European terrorists. [LOL.] Mr Chertoff said European visitors to the US face tougher security checks Security experts fear the posting in Arabic on www.alekhlaas.net, referring to "the creation of the al-Qa'eda organisation in Britain", may be genuine. [Registrant: Domains by Proxy, Inc., 15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353 Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 United States - Registered through: Real Web Host Domain Name: ALEKHLAAS.NET Created on: 10-Mar-05 Expires on: 10-Mar-08 Last Updated on: 06-Mar-07.]

Scepticism greets "Al Qaeda in Britain" founding 16 Jan 2008 An Internet posting that proclaimed the creation of an 'al Qaeda' branch in Britain is viewed by intelligence officials as typical militant "background noise", a security source said on Wednesday. An unidentified individual posted the claim in Arabic on a password-protected militant forum on January 2, saying the new "al Qaeda in Britain" would carry out major attacks including on political leaders, naming Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his predecessor Tony Blair.

Ex-lawmaker charged in terror conspiracy 16 Jan 2008 A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan. The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

White House recycles backup e-mail tapes 16 Jan 2008 The White House has acknowledged recycling its backup computer tapes of e-mail before October 2003, raising the possibility that many electronic messages -- including those pertaining to the CIA leak case -- have been taped over and are gone forever. The disclosure came minutes before midnight Tuesday under a court-ordered deadline that forced the White House to reveal information it has previously refused to provide. If the e-mails were not saved, the White House might have violated two laws requiring preservation of documents that fall into the categories of federal records or presidential records.

Bush and Cheney reward their Secret Energy Task Force members, agriterrorists: Food, Energy Prices Drive Inflation in 2007 16 Jan 2008 Inflation spiked in 2007, driven by escalating food and energy costs that more than cancelled the wage gains earned by workers over the year. New federal government statistics show the consumer price index rose 4.1 percent over the 12 months ending in December, 2007, compared to a 2.5 percent increase in the 12 months before that. Energy prices, responding to a surge in the cost of oil, rose 17.4 percent over the period. The price of food increased 4.9 percent -- the largest rise in 18 years.

USDA Recommends That Food From Clones Stay Off the Market 16 Jan 2008 The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday asked U.S. farmers to keep their cloned animals off the market indefinitely even as Food and Drug Administration officials announced that food from cloned livestock is 'safe' to eat. Executives from the nation's major cattle cloning companies conceded yesterday that they have not been able refused to keep track of how many offspring of clones have entered the food supply, despite a years-old request [?!?] by the FDA to keep them off the market pending completion of the agency's safety report. [Agriterrorists are not required to keep track of their cow carcasses, but small family farmers are? See: Farmers fear a barnyard Big Brother 14 Jan 2008.]

Ever wonder what's in the chemtrails? Bay Area called hot spot for 'mystery' disease with sci-fi-like symptoms 16 Jan 2008 A major new study of the "mystery disease" known as Morgellons will be launched in Northern California, federal health officials said today. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente Northern California are teaming up to investigate the straight-out-of-science-fiction syndrome whose symptoms include itching, biting and crawling sensations and filaments or fibers reported to emerge from the skin. The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the nation's hot spots for the malady, according to the Morgellons Research Foundation. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology also will assist [!] with the study. [Oh, they've assisted, all right! Who do you think *started* it? Notice these 'mysterious diseases' never originate in a red city? --LRP]

Fourth swan tests positive for H5N1 bird flu in UK 16 Jan 2008 A fourth swan in southern England has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, Britain's farm ministry said on Wednesday. Last week, the ministry confirmed that three wild swans at a bird sanctuary in Dorset had died from the virus.

Study prompts concern over voting machines 15 Jan 2008 Problems with machines and software used to count votes in Missoula have prompted the League of Women Voters of Montana to ask the secretary of state to decertify the suspect election equipment. The flaws came to light in a two-year, $1.9 million study released last month in Ohio.

Democratic Ballot Recount Underway In N.H. 16 Jan 2008 The state on Wednesday began the process of recounting the Democratic ballots cast in last week's primary. Shortly before 8 a.m., the ballots that had been stored in Manchester were loaded onto hand trucks to begin the journey to Concord. The recount was requested by candidate Dennis Kucinich, who paid $27,000 to the secretary of state to begin the recount. [See: Where Paper Prevailed, Different Results By Lori Price 09 Jan 2008.]

Obama Pledges Support for Animal Rights [Awesome!] 16 Jan 2008 Democrat Barack Obama says he won't just be a president for the American people, but the animals too. "I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other," he said. "And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals."

Welcome to Hil Force One 16 Jan 2008 Team Clinton unveiled a new campaign plane on Wednesday -- and with it, an honorary member of the flight crew. "My name is Hillary, and I'm so pleased to have most of you on board," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced over the public address system of the 737 aircraft before it took off on its maiden voyage, from Las Vegas to Reno, shortly after 2 p.m. pacific standard time. Welcome to Hil Force One. Or HF1, for short. "FAA regulations prohibit the use of cell phones, blackberries or other wireless devices that may be used to transmit negative stories about me," Clinton said.

Thrifty Huckabee milks free media 16 Jan 2008 Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, lagging far behind his opponents for the GOP presidential nomination in fundraising, has been very successful in maximizing free media exposure and unconventional campaign tactics to get out his message and jump to the top of the polls.

White House Exempts Navy From Sonar Ban, Angering Environmental Groups 17 Jan 2008 The Bush dictatornship jumped into a long-running legal fray in California on Tuesday, exempting the Navy from a law that environmental groups have used to prevent the use of a type of powerful sonar that is believed to harm whales.

Environmental activists protest Stelmach's U.S. visit 16 Jan 2008 Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach tried to reassure U.S. officials Wednesday that increased oilsands production won't have a major impact on the environment, as protesters greeted his visit with chants of "Keep your dirty oil." Stelmach spoke at an energy forum in Washington, attended by politicians and business leaders.

Protecting polar bears --U.S. officials OK oil and gas leases in the Arctic but delay a decision on deeming the animals a threatened species. (The Los Angeles Times) 16 Jan 2008 First things first. The U.S. Interior Department should stick to that useful truism instead of approving oil drilling in polar bear habitat before deciding whether the bears need protection from such drilling. Last week, the agency's Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it was delaying its decision on whether the steady loss of Arctic ice floes, caused by climate change, should qualify the polar bear as a threatened species... Yet there was no delay the week before, when the Mineral Management Service, another arm of the agency, decided to allow oil and gas exploration leases in nearly 30 million acres of the Chukchi Sea off northwest Alaska, prime polar bear habitat that has been among the areas most affected by global warming.

Greenland thaw biggest in 50 years - report 15 Jan 2008 Climate change has caused the greatest thaw of Greenland's ice in half a century, perhaps heralding a wider meltdown that would quicken a rise in world sea levels, scientists said on Tuesday. "We attribute significantly increased Greenland summer warmth and ice melt since 1990 to global warming," a group of researchers wrote in the Journal of Climate, adding to recent evidence of faster Antarctic and Arctic thaws.

Scientists Discover Huge Extinct Rodent [Its name is Bush.] 16 Jan 2008 Imagine a rodent so big it weighs a ton and is the size of a bull. Uruguayan scientists say they have uncovered fossil evidence of the biggest species of rodent ever found, one which roamed South America about 4 million years ago, when the continent was still an island. A herbivore, the beast may have been a contemporary--and possibly prey--of saber-toothed cats in a prehistoric version of Tom and Jerry.

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Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-15 Jan 2008 15 Jan 2008 The daily Iraq violence report is complied by McClatchy Newspapers Special Correspondents in Baghdad from police, military and medical reports. Baghdad: Around 8:30 a.m. two roadside bombs exploded near the national theater in central Baghdad; Gunmen and members of the awakening council clashed in Al Sadriyah area; Four mortar shells and one rocket slammed into the Green Zone today, Iraqi police said; Iraqi police said that American helicopter gunships injured five civilians in Baladiyat; Police found bodies throughout Baghdad, one in Baladiyat, one in Camp Sara, two in Waziriyah, two in Saidiyah... Nineveh: A suicide vest bomber targeted a joint checkpoint of the Iraqi police and local awakening council in Al Shirqat, the members of the checkpoint shot at the suicide and killed him before he reached the checkpoint... Al Anbar: A rocket targeted Fallujah police directorate missed its target and hit a residential house causing damages to the house and no casualties...

Iraqi Official's Convoy Runs Over School Children, Killing 5 15 Jan 2008 Five school children, ages 6 to 10, were killed Tuesday when a car in the convoy of a top judicial official accidentally ran them over while on their way to school in a central Baghdad neighborhood, police and hospital officials said. Speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals, the officials said the incident took place at 8 a.m. at al-Salhiyah district near the Foreign Ministry compound.

7 wounded as IED goes off in central Baghdad 15 Jan 2008 Seven people, including two policemen, were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in central Baghdad on Tuesday morning, police said.

Rice hails 'remarkable' progress in Iraq 15 Jan 2008 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday praised "remarkable" political progress in Iraq, saying during a surprise visit to Baghdad that it represented a time of hope for the country. "Iraq is moving forward in a way that is promising but still fragile," Rice told reporters after talks with Iraq's leaders.

Nasrallah warns against US Iran attack 15 Jan 2008 Hizbullah's leader said Tuesday that any US attack on his patron Iran would be "the biggest folly" in American history. Sheik Hassan Nasrallah's comments came as US President [sic] George W. Bush toured the Middle East on a trip used in part to drum up Arab opposition against Iran, which Bush called "the world's leading state sponsor of terror." Responding to Bush, Nasrallah said Iran would defend itself against any US attack.

King me! 'For us to say that you can't have a democracy if you've got a king is just not right.' President Bush in Saudi Arabia 15 Jan 2008 In Riyadh today, the president [sic] participated in a traditional sword dance with one of the princes of the royal family. It was a public -- and a little awkward -- display of affection, all part of Bush's first visit to Saudi Arabia. The president sat down with "Nightline" at one of the vast royal palaces... The president defended his support of undemocratic regimes in countries such as Saudi Arabia. "The American president doesn't come and lecture somebody... And as I told you, his majesty is, he is modernizing his society. Is it going to meet somebody's standards sitting in Washington, D.C.? Probably not overnight. Can it eventually? Yes.… And for us to say that you can't have a democracy if you've got a king is just not right."

Bush warns Iran not to be provocative in Gulf 15 Jan 2008 U.S. Dictator George W. Bush said on Tuesday that he would hold Iran responsible if it hit American ships and warned the Islamic Republic not to behave provocatively in Gulf waters. "If they hit our ships, we will hold Iran responsible," Bush told a small group of journalists. "They'd better be careful and not be provocative."

Senator Biden Issues Statement on Saudi Arabia Arms Sale 14 Jan 2008 Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) issued the following statement today after the Bush Administration announced that it would officially notify the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today of its intent to sell Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) to Saudi Arabia, as part of the much larger package of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates: "I will explore the formal package very closely. We need to be convinced that the sale makes sense militarily and ensure that it in no way harms our security or those of our allies."

White House offers $123m in weaponry to Saudi Arabia 14 Jan 2008 The Bush regime today offered $123m in "smart bomb" weaponry to Saudi Arabia, giving members of Congress 30 days to try to halt the deal out of concern that it could threaten Israel.

Beirut attack on US embassy car kills three 15 Jan 2008 At least three people have been killed in a bomb attack on a US embassy car in the Lebanese capital Beirut, bringing a bloody end to a week-long Middle East visit by President [sic] George W Bush.

Guantanamo clouds George Bush's Saudi visit 15 Jan 2008 President [sic] George W Bush will face a frosty reception today during a visit to Saudi Arabia amid anger at America's continued detention of the kingdom's citizens at Guantanamo Bay. The US president arrived in Riyadh last night on the latest stage of his tour of the Middle East and was treated to the lavish personal hospitality of King Abdullah.

Official Says Had 'Implicit Support' From CIA Lawyers, Officials to Order Tapes' Destruction 16 Jan 2008 The CIA's then-director of clandestine operations, Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., consulted CIA lawyers and officials, who told him that he had the legal right to order the destruction. In his view, he received their implicit support to do so, according to his attorney, Robert S. Bennett. In a classified response to the station chief, Rodriguez ordered the tapes' destruction, CIA officials say. The Justice Department and the House intelligence committee are now investigating whether that deed constituted a violation of law or an obstruction of justice. ...Officials feared that the agency could be publicly shamed and that those involved in waterboarding and other extreme interrogation techniques torture would be hauled before a grand jury or a congressional inquiry -- a circumstance now partly unfolding anyway.

U.S., Poland hopeful of missile shield deal 15 Jan 2008 U.S. and Polish officials on Tuesday expressed optimism that they can strike a deal which would allow U.S. missiles to be installed in Poland as part of a defensive offensive shield for Europe.

France signs up to £2 billion deal to build nuclear plants in the Gulf 16 Jan 2008 France has agreed a £2 billion deal to build nuclear power stations in the Gulf and in return has secured a military base there. The French base in Abu Dhabi would accommodate up to 500 troops. It would probably serve as a maintenance station for France's naval vessels in the Gulf and could also be used as a springboard to send troops into the troubled region.

Japanese Senator Questions 9/11 By Alan Miller 12 Jan 2008 On January 11th 2008, Fujita Yukihisa made a 30 minute presentation at the House of Councillors (equivalent to the U.S. Senate). He directly questioned the official version of 9/11 in a session with Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo and members of his Cabinet. Fujita is a member of the opposition party, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). He was elected to the House of Councillors in 2007.

Transcript of Japanese Parliamentary discussion of 911 --Transcript of testimony in the Japanese Parliament, broadcast live nationwide on NHK television. The Member of Parliament talking about 911 is Yukihisa Fujita from the Democratic Party of Japan. Yukihisa Fujita: Just before the 911 attacks, i.e., on September 6th, 7th and 8th, there were put options put out on the stocks of the two airlines United and American that were hit by hijackers. There were also put options on Merrill Lynch, one of the biggest WTC tenants. In other words, somebody had insider information and made a fortune selling put options of these stocks. The head of Germany's Bundesbank at the time, who is equivalent to the Governor of the Bank of Japan, said there are lots of facts to prove the people involved in the terror attacks profited from insider information. He said there was lots of suspicious trading involving financial companies, etc., prior to the attacks. The had of the Bundesbank was willing to say this much. I would like to ask the Finance Minster about these put options. Did the government of Japan know about this, and what do you think about this?

Bomb Squad Detonates Pipe Bomb in Parkland 15 Jan 2008 (WA) The Pierce County bomb squad responded to the report of a pipe bomb found near a Qwest phone injunction box on 112th Street South in Parkland Tuesday afternoon. A technician from Qwest discovered the suspicious-looking device and called police, The News Tribune of Tacoma reported. According to officials, they have detonated the device and said they believe it may be a real pipe bomb. [The pipe bomb was likely placed by a contractor, a(nothter) dry run for pre-'election' false flags.]

NTSB finds design flaw caused Minneapolis bridge collapse 15 Jan 2008 Undersized gusset plates in the Interstate 35-W bridge in Minneapolis were "the critical factor" in the bridge collapse last year that killed 13 people and injured 100, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday. Chairman Mark Rosenker said the plates, which connected steel beams, were roughly half the thickness they should have been because of a design error. Investigators found 16 fractured gusset plates from the bridge's center span, he said.

Supreme Court Restricts Securities Lawsuits 15 Jan 2008 Ruling in its most important securities fraud case in years, the Supreme Court on Tuesday placed a towering obstacle in the path of shareholders looking for someone to sue when a stock purchase turns sour.

Romney Wins Convincing Michigan Victory 16 Jan 2008 Mitt Romney scored his first major primary victory Tuesday, a desperately needed win in his native Michigan that gave his weakened presidential candidacy new life. It set the stage for a wide-open Republican showdown in South Carolina in just four days.

NBC Wins Battle Over Debate 15 Jan 2008 The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that MSNBC is not required to include candidate Dennis Kucinich in its scheduled Democratic presidential debate. The seven-member court overturned Monday’s ruling by a Nevada district court judge.

Huck, the Constitution and 'God's standards' 15 Jan 2008 (Warren, MI) Mike Huckabee's closing argument to voters here this evening featured a few new stories and two prolonged sections on illegal immigration and Christian values. These two topics usually feature prominently in Huckabee's stump speech, but last night he got specific, promising to build a border fence within 18 months if elected and elaborating on his belief that the constitution needs to be amended.

Exit polls: Economy was top issue for Michigan voters 15 Jan 2008 The economy was foremost on voters' minds Tuesday as they cast their ballots in the primaries in Michigan -- a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. More than half of Republican voters ranked the economy as the most important issue, exit polls showed. On the Democratic side, 61 percent rated the economy as the most important issue in the Michigan primary,

US banks get $21bn foreign bail-out 15 Jan 2008 Citigroup and Merrill Lynch turned to foreign investors for an unprecedented bail-out on Tuesday, saying they would raise a total of $21.1bn in fresh capital – mainly from outside the US – to shore up balance sheets devastated by the subprime mortgage crisis.

U.S. wholesale prices rise last year by largest amount since 1981 15 Jan 2008 U.S. wholesale prices shot up 6.3 percent in 2007, the biggest advance since 1981, driven by soaring energy costs, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The big increase in wholesale prices, which measure cost pressures before they reach the consumer, followed gains of 1.1 percent in 2006 and 5.4 percent in 2005.

Consumer Spending Drop Raises New Fears 15 Jan 2008 Consumer spending, the critical bulwark that has kept the country out of a recession, is showing signs of cracking. Retail sales plunged by 0.4 percent last month as consumers battered by a sinking housing market, rising unemployment and the credit crunch, handed retailers their worst Christmas in five years.

Cloned microchipped beef: It's what's for dinner. US first to approve food from cloned animals 16 Jan 2008 The US has become the first country to approve meat and milk from cloned cattle, pigs and goats as safe as that from those bred in the old-fashioned way. The Food and Drug Administration has issued three documents that remove the last hurdles before meat and milk derived from the progeny of copies of prize pigs and superstar cows can be sold. [See Farmers fear a barnyard Big Brother 14 Jan 2008.]

Plague, Medieval Scourge, on the Rise 15 Jan 2008 Plague, the disease that devastated medieval Europe, is re-emerging worldwide and poses a growing but overlooked threat, researchers warned on Tuesday.

FCC Asks Comcast About Internet Filter 15 Jan 2008 Comcast Corp. Monday said it has received a letter of inquiry from the Federal Communications Commission regarding complaints that the company actively interferes with its subscribers' Internet traffic. A coalition of consumer groups and legal scholars asked the agency in November to stop Comcast from discriminating against the sharing of certain types of Internet data among subscribers.

Sen. Biden's Wife Involved In I-95 Accident 15 Jan 2008 Authorities said the wife of Senator Joseph Biden was involved in a traffic accident on Interstate 95 Tuesday morning, but no serious injuries were reported. State Police said Jill Biden was driving southbound in the left lane near Route 141 when a tractor-trailer moved into her lane and struck her vehicle. Biden was taken to Christiana Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries and released. In 1972, Biden's first wife, Neilia, and the couple's 18-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed when the family's station wagon was hit by a tractor-trailer at an intersection.

Fisheries Agency says it will release two anti-whaling activists 16 Jan 2008 Japan's Fisheries Agency said Wednesday it has decided to release two anti-whaling activists who have been detained after they boarded one of Japanese whaling vessels operating in the Antarctic Ocean. The agency also said it will temporarily suspend the whaling operations until the activists are freed so that the Japanese fleet will not meet resistance again.

2007 was the warmest on record for Earth's land areas 15 Jan 2008 2007 was another sizzling year for the planet -- the warmest year ever recorded for the Earth's land areas, federal scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center reported Tuesday, with an average temperature about 1.84 degrees above the long-term average. Global weather records began in 1880. For the entire Earth's surface, including the oceans, scientists report that the global temperature was the 5th-warmest on record.

Polar Bear Cub Opens Eyes for First Time 15 Jan 2008 Germany's latest famous polar bear cub opened her eyes for the first time on Tuesday -- and it appears she may be cross-eyed. Though her eyes have just opened as tiny slits, zoo keeper Stefanie Krueger said it appears she is "a little crossed-eyed."

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UK and US consider global terrorist database 15 Jan 2008 British security agencies have been in talks with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over plans for a global database of major criminals and suspected terrorists, police say. The news comes after the FBI told The Guardian daily of its proposed "Server in the Sky" program, which would link the policing networks of the United States' allies in the so-called "war on terror".

FBI wants instant access to British identity data --Americans seek international database to carry iris, palm and finger prints 15 Jan 2008 Senior British police officials are talking to the FBI about an international database to hunt for major criminals and terrorists. The US-initiated programme, "Server in the Sky", would take cooperation between the police forces way beyond the current faxing of fingerprints across the Atlantic. Allies in the "war against terror" - the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - have formed a working group, the International Information Consortium, to plan their strategy. Biometric measurements, irises or palm prints as well as fingerprints, and other personal information are likely to be exchanged across the network.

ID cards for foreigners within three years --Phased introduction begins in November --Critics say scheme has been put back 15 Jan 2008 The introduction of compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals in Britain will take at least three years to complete, ministers are to confirm this month. The pilot scheme will be used to test the technology involved in the "biometric residence permits", which will include an electronic record of the applicant's fingerprints.

Dancing Spychief Wants to Tap Into Cyberspace 13 Jan 2008 Spychief Mike McConnell is drafting a plan to protect America’s cyberspace that will raise privacy issues and make the current debate over surveillance law look like "a walk in the park," McConnell tells The New Yorker in the issue set to hit newsstands Monday. At issue, McConnell acknowledges, is that in order to accomplish his plan, the government must have the ability to read all the information crossing the Internet in the United States in order to protect [?] it from abuse.

Big Brother Really Is Watching --Homeland Security is bankrolling futuristic profiling technology to nab terrorists before they strike. 14 Jan 2008 The year is 2012. As soon as you walk into the airport, the machines are watching. Are you a tourist -- or a terrorist posing as one? As you answer a few questions at the security checkpoint, the systems begin sizing you up. An array of sensors -- video, audio, laser, infrared -- feeds a stream of real-time data about you to a computer that uses specially developed algorithms to spot suspicious people. The system interprets your gestures and facial expressions, analyzes your voice and virtually probes your body to determine your temperature, heart rate, respiration rate and other physiological characteristics -- all in an effort to determine whether you are trying to deceive.

Panel Delays Testimony By Former CIA Official --Immunity Sought in Inquiry Over Tapes 15 Jan 2008 The former CIA official who destroyed videotapes showing harsh interrogation tactics torture has been granted a temporary reprieve by the House intelligence committee, officials said last night. The committee had demanded that Jose Rodriguez Jr. testify before it on Wednesday, but after being told that he would not answer questions without a grant of legal immunity for his testimony, the panel withdrew its demand, according to officials familiar with the arrangement.

U.S. pandemic plans call for military quarantines, forced vaccinations: ACLU 14 Jan 2008 U.S. policy in preparing for a potential bird flu pandemic is veering dangerously toward a heavy-handed law-enforcement approach [police state], the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday. The ACLU said it was worried that the plan called for military and police involvement in enforcing a quarantine. "Pandemic planning today tends to emphasize mandatory vaccination and forced treatment," the ACLU's Tania Simoncelli told a news conference. "It also means that sick people are being treated as criminals and enemies of the state rather than individuals in need of care." [See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack --Is Bush is getting ready to play the Bioterror Card? 11 May 2007 and Flu 'Oddities'.]

ACLU Report: Government Must Abandon Misguided Approach to Pandemic Preparedness (aclu.org) 14 Jan 2008 As fears of a flu pandemic have grown, the Bush administration has pursued a misguided approach to pandemic preparation that relies on a law enforcement/national security approach, rather than a public health approach to the problem, and which exposes Americans to unnecessary risk. That is the finding of an expert report being released today by the American Civil Liberties Union at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Cloned microchipped beef: It's what's for dinner. FDA Finds Food From Cloned Animals Is Safe 15 Jan 2008 "Final risk assessment" effectively removes the last U.S. regulatory barrier to the marketing of meat and milk from cloned cattle, pigs and goats. FDA officials have said they do not expect to require food from clones to be labeled as such, but they may allow foods from ordinary animals to be labeled as not from clones. "One of the amazing things about this," Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the Center for Food Safety said, "is that at a time when we have a readily acknowledged crisis in our food safety system, the FDA is spending its resources and energy and political capital on releasing a safety assessment for something that no one but a handful of companies wants."

Animal Cloning: A Risk Assessment - January 2008 - Center for Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration 14 Jan 2008 (Selected Excerpts) Conclusions Regarding Food Consumption Risks from Bovine Clones and their Progeny

Farmers fear a barnyard Big Brother --A federal database of animals to fight disease outbreaks is a threat to privacy and family operations, critics say. 14 Jan 2008 A Bush regime initiative, the National Animal Identification System is meant to provide a modern tool for tracking disease outbreaks within 48 hours, whether natural or the work of a [Fort Detrick] bioterrorist. The first stage of the animal ID system involves free registration of the "premises" where livestock are kept. That seven-digit number is stored by the federal government, which had registered 440,997 farms as of last week, out of 1.43 million. The second stage, now under way, involves identifying animals with a microchip or a plastic or metal ear tag containing a 15-digit code. The third stage, not yet in effect, would require farmers to report animal movements to the database within 24 hours.

Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater rejoice: Iraq Defense Minister Sees Need for U.S. Security 'Help' Until At Least 2018 15 Jan 2008 The Iraqi defense minister said Monday that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018. "In regard to the borders, regarding protection from any external threats, our calculation appears that we are not going to be able to answer to any external threats until 2018 to 2020," he added. He offered no specifics on a timeline for reducing the number of American troops in Iraq.

Iraq's national grid grinds to a halt 13 Jan 2008 The Iraqi capital Baghdad and other major cities are plunged into darkness due to prolonged disruptions of power supplies from the national grid, a source at the Ministry of Electricity said. The stoppage is the severest to hit Iraq and comes amid reports of further fuel shortages and more acts of [Blackwater] sabotage directed at electricity towers and stations. Nearly four years after the U.S. invasion, the country's power generating capacity has plummeting to levels unseen before despite investments estimated at billions of dollars.

Al-jazeera journalist awaits trial in Guantanamo Bay: report 14 Jan 2008 Cameraman of Al-Jazeera TV channel who was captured six years ago and incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay is still waiting for a fair trial, reports British daily 'The Guardian.' According to the daily, journalist Sami al Haj was one of the first prisoners to be held at Guantanamo Bay and is known as prisoner 345 at the facility. According to the paper's Monday edition, al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al Haj is the only journalist held at Guantanamo Bay. The Sudanese national has been detained as an "enemy combatant" for more than five years without trial.

U.S. sending 3,200 Marines to Afghanistan 15 Jan 2008 The United States will send an additional force of about 3,200 Marines to Afghanistan this spring to help NATO troops and Afghan security forces confront rising Taliban violence, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

Six killed in Iraq booby-trapped house blast 14 Jan 2008 Six people were killed in a massive blast in an explosives-rigged house in central Iraq on Monday during an operation by US and Iraqi forces against Al-Qaeda fighters civilians, police said. In other violence, two policemen were killed in a roadside bomb attack just north of Baghdad while a senior Iraqi judge died in a drive-by shooting in the capital while on his way to work, Iraqi officials said.

Bush Urges Unity Against Iran 14 Jan 2008 President [sic] Bush on Sunday urged wary Persian Gulf allies to rally against Iran "before it is too late," even as the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that the country had agreed, yet again, to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear programs within four weeks.

Bush administration tells Congress of arms sale to Saudis 14 Jan 2008 The Bush regime said on Monday it had notified Congress of plans to sell Saudi Arabia a package of advanced arms in what officials have described as an effort to counter growing Iranian military clout make more money for arms dealers.

Kabul Hotel Attack Leaves Six Dead, Six Injured 14 Jan 2008 A suicide bombing followed by a gunfire attack rocked a luxury hotel in Kabul, killing six people and wounding six others, the Afghan Interior Ministry said. The wounded include other security guards, civilians and two United Nations workers, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashari said.

UK-Russia diplomatic row worsens 14 Jan 2008 A diplomatic row between Russia and the UK has intensified after Britain reopened two regional cultural offices, defying a Moscow order to shut them. Russia accused Britain of "intentional provocation" and said it would refuse new visas to British Council staff.

Federal authorities posting billboards looking for Marine suspect, offer $25,000 reward 14 Jan 2008 Federal authorities were posting billboards nationwide with the picture of a Marine wanted in the slaying of a pregnant colleague, and the sheriff announced a $25,000 reward Monday for information leading to his arrest.

Poll: Americans Think U.S. On Wrong Track --Economy and the War Have Americans Voicing Pessimism About the Future of the Country 13 Jan 2008 Assessments of the current state of the nation are grim as Americans have begun to choose who will vie to be the country’s next president. 75% of Americans think the country is off on the wrong track - matching the highest number ever recorded in the CBS News/New York Times Poll - and approval of President [sic] Bush remains low.

GOP Hypocrisy: The party of racism, genocide and treason asks, 'Will racism divide the Democrats?' By Lori Price 14 Jan 2008 Misogynist Chris Matthews, in his daily Hillary Hate Rant, declared on Monday's 'Hardball,' "It's getting really ugly out there, in terms of race."

Kucinich Should Be Allowed to Debate, Judge Rules 14 Jan 2008 A Nevada judge has ordered MSNBC to include Representative Dennis Kucinich, a Democratic presidential candidate, in Tuesday night’s debate in Nevada, the Associated Press reports. Charles Thompson, a senior district court judge for Clark County, Nevada, said he would issue an injunction stopping the debate if Mr. Kucinich is excluded. MSNBC said that they are filing an appeal.

Recount in New Hampshire? MSNBC's Keith Olbermann mentions Citizens For Legitimate Government in Re-Count? on 'Countdown' Friday 11 Jan 2008 (video) It looks like there's an excellent chance of a recount in the New Hampshire Democratic primary...The issue is -- as it was in 2004 -- as it was in 2000 -- as for all we know, it will be in November -- electronic voting machines. The explanation for New Hampshire may be much more prosaic...But what about November? [See: Where Paper Prevailed, Different Results By Lori Price 09 Jan 2008.]

Colo. lawmaker kicks photographer during prayer 14 Jan 2008 Upset that news photographers were taking his picture during lawmakers' morning prayer, a rookie Colorado legislator gave a Denver photojournalist a swift kick in the knee today, the Rocky Mountain News reports. Colorado Springs Republican Douglas Bruce, an anti-tax crusader sworn in this afternoon to fill a state House vacancy, kicked RMN photographer Javier Manzano, who had crouched before Bruce as he stood for the chamber's morning prayer. [See: Bruce alive and kicking in House 14 Jan 2008.]

Edwards's daughter hit by alleged drunk driver 14 Jan 2008 (NC) An alleged drunk driver crashed into a car driven by Cate Edwards in Chapel Hill on Friday afternoon. Cate Edwards is the older daughter of presidential candidate John Edwards (D). According to Chapel Hill Police investigators, Edwards was driving a 2007 Ford Sedan when she slowed down at a red light and was rear-ended by a woman driving a 1989 Toyota. Officials with the Edwards Campaign say Cate was not injured in the crash and calls the accident "minor".

A.P. Says It Wants to Know Everything About Britney Spears 14 Jan 2008 The Associated Press is bolstering its entertainment news coverage. An internal memorandum from The A.P.’s Los Angeles bureau dictating coverage of troubled pop star Britney Spears was published by several media blogs on Tuesday, prompting some punch lines at the news service’s expense.

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Bush urges Arab allies to confront Iran, 'the world's leading sponsor of state terror' pResident accuses Tehran of backing Shia groups --Gulf media highlight uncritical support of Israel 14 Jan 2008 Dictator George Bush yesterday ratcheted up US rhetoric over Iran, lambasting it as "the world's leading sponsor of state terror", and urging America's closest Arab allies to confront it "before it is too late". Giving the only formal speech of his seven-country Middle East tour in the United Arab Emirates, the president [sic] accused Tehran of backing Shia groups in Iraq, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Much media comment in the Gulf in the past few days has cautioned the US not to drag the Arabs into a new war with Iran while highlighting Washington's uncritical support for Israel, with its undeclared arsenal of nuclear weapons entirely outside the international non-proliferation regime.

Bush accuses Iran of "leading state sponsor of terror" 13 Jan 2008 Visiting U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush accused Iran of the world's "leading state sponsor of terror" in a policy speech delivered here Sunday afternoon. In a speech titled "Power is a trust," Bush said that "Iran is today the world's leading state sponsor of terror." [No, Bush is.]

'Iran threats' may have been work of a heckler 13 Jan 2008 Threats to US ships in the Strait of Hormuz heard at the end of a Pentagon-released recording of an incident between Iranian patrol boats and US Navy warships last week may have been the work of a local heckler known as the "Filipino Monkey", The Navy Times has reported.

Iran says US 'lost face' over ship incident 13 Jan 2008 Iran on Sunday said the United States had "lost face" and should apologise over its portrayal of an incident between Iranian and US naval forces in the Strait of Hormuz. Foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini accused the US of exaggerating the incident "to fool the region" during a visit by US President [sic] George W. Bush to Washington's Arab allies. "The Americans have lost face again," he told reporters.

Iran agrees to provide nuclear data 14 Jan 2008 Iran has agreed to answer questions about "secret nuclear activities" within one month, in a pledge made during talks between Iranian leaders with head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iraq war has been terrible, admits minister 14 Jan 2008 The invasion of Iraq and the occupation of the country by US led multinational forces had been "a terrible episode for everybody", a Foreign Office minister admitted yesterday. Lord Malloch-Brown said "a lot of people" had been lost, and no one could feel any sense of triumphalism.

Iraqi appeals court judge killed 14 Jan 2008 Gunmen killed an appeals court judge [Amir Jawdat al-Naeib] as he headed to work in the western Baghdad district of Mansour on Monday, police and the deputy justice minister said. His driver was also killed.

Brit troops in Afghanistan 'for decades' 14 Jan 2008 British Defence Secretary Des Browne says British troops could be in Afghanistan for decades. Mr Brown has told The People newspaper that the United Kingdom cannot risk Afghanistan becoming an ungoverned training haven for terrorists, but there was only so much British forces can achieve on their own.

US attacks UK plan to arm Afghan militias 14 Jan 2008 The US general in charge of training the Afghan police has criticised British-backed plans to arm local militias in an attempt to defeat the Taliban. The remarks by Maj-Gen Robert Cone, the second most senior US soldier in Afghanistan, are likely to deepen the row between London and Washington over how to counter the 'insurgency.' General Cone, who is in charge of rebuilding the Afghan police force, is the second US commander to condemn the initiative.

Taliban kill 10 policemen in Afghan attack 13 Jan 2008 Taliban guerrillas killed 10 policemen on Sunday in a raid in southern Afghanistan, provincial officials said. The pre-dawn attack on the police post took place in a village in Maiwand district of Kandahar province, a stronghold of Taliban 'insurgents.'

Soldier's death in Afghanistan blamed on helicopter fault 14 Jan 2008 A British soldier bled to death in Afghanistan because of faulty equipment, compounded by incompetence, according to a military inquiry into the incident.

Dutch troops kill 4 in friendly fire 13 Jan 2008 Dutch troops in Afghanistan killed two of their own men and two allied Afghan soldiers in friendly fire incidents, the Defense Ministry said Sunday. The Dutch soldiers were killed by their own troops during a nighttime battle Saturday in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan.

Power cuts still leave Kabul in the dark 13 Jan 2008 More than five years after the fall of the Taliban -- and despite hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid for Bush's corpora-terrorists -- dinner by candlelight remains common in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Nationwide, only 6 percent of Afghans have electricity, the Asian Development Bank says. Municipal workers -- under direction from the Ministry of Water and Energy -- funnel what power there is to politicians, warlords and foreign embassies. Special lines run from substations to their homes, circumventing the power grid.

Pennsylvania soldier dies from injuries sustained in Afghanistan 13 Jan 2008 A soldier has died in Texas from combat injuries he suffered in Afghanistan, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard announced Sunday.

Report: 121 Veterans Linked to Killings --Report: at Least 121 Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Linked to Killings in the US 13 Jan 2008 At least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have committed a killing or been charged in one in the United States after returning from combat, The New York Times reported Sunday. The newspaper said it also logged 349 homicides involving all active-duty military personnel and new veterans in the six years since military action began in Afghanistan, and later Iraq.

Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles 13 Jan 2008 The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment -- along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems -- appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.

Government killed Bhutto: poll 14 Jan 2008 Nearly half of Pakistanis suspect that government agencies or government-linked politicians killed Benazir Bhutto, an opinion poll showed, highlighting the popular mistrust of the country's US-allied president ahead of elections next month. Bhutto, an opposition leader and former prime minister, was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack on December 27.

How Britain plotted coup d'état to topple Italy's Communists 14 Jan 2008 Britain and its Nato allies considered organising a coup in Italy in 1976 to prevent the Communist Party from coming to power, Foreign Office papers reveal. The documents, made public after 30 years, were unearthed by an Italian researcher in the government archives at Kew, Surrey.

U.S. military chief: Guantanamo should be closed 14 Jan 2008 The U.S. military chief said Sunday that the detention center at Guantanamo Bay should be shut down because of the damage it has done to America's international standing, media reported. "I'd like to see it shut down," said Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "I believe that from the standpoint of how it reflects on us that it's been pretty damaging." But Mullen also said closing the prison posed major legal problems [?] and a closure decision was not his to make.

Intelligence chief condemns 'waterboarding' as torture 14 Jan 2008 The head of the US intelligence community has come closer than any other official in the Bush regime to condemning the interrogation technique of "waterboarding" as torture, stoking a legal row over its use by the CIA. Mike McConnell, the US Director of National Intelligence, said the legal test for torture should be "pretty simple: Is it excruciatingly painful to the point of forcing someone to say something because of the pain?"

Prisoners 'to be chipped like dogs' --Civil rights groups and probation officers furious at 'degrading' scheme 13 Jan 2008 Ministers are planning to implant "machine-readable" microchips under the skin of thousands of offenders as part of an expansion of the electronic tagging scheme that would create more space [!] in British jails. The Ministry of Justice is investigating the use of satellite and radio-wave technology to monitor criminals. The tiny chips would be surgically inserted under the skin of offenders in the community, to help enforce home curfews.

Terrorism suspect says tape coerced False promise? Lawyer wants interviews to be suppressed in trial on charge of giving "material support" to terrorist group. 14 Jan 08 When federal agents came to terrorism suspect Syed Haris Ahmed's apartment on March 10, 2006, they interrogated him, yet assured him their ultimate purpose was to leave him alone... Five days after the final interview, Syed Haris Ahmed would be arrested and charged with giving "material support" to a terrorist organization. He has been held without bond pending trial ever since.

Scientists fear losing access to intelligence data 13 Jan 2008 The Bush regime plans to abolish the Civil Applications Committee, which was created to review civilian requests for classified reconnaissance information, and create a office in the Department of Homeland Security to review such requests. Scientists are concerned that their requests could be sidetracked or delayed as security and law enforcement needs get priority. The proposed change also has raised concerns on Capitol Hill that military spy satellites and other intelligence assets could be used to give federal and local law enforcement officials data that they could use to target illegal immigrants, among other things.

'From the beginning, Andrew Speaker was of very low risk. Everyone knew that. CDC knew that.' Did CDC make Andrew Speaker a test case? Some experts question whether alert over passenger was ploy for funding 13 Jan 2008 Months before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made Atlanta lawyer Andrew Speaker the unwitting poster boy for drug-resistant tuberculosis, the agency and its advisers discussed a strategy to get more funding by publicizing the deadly strain of the disease, records show. Frustrated that money for combating TB had dwindled as Congress favored newer threats from bioterrorism and bird flu, advisers suggested taking "drastic actions," according to December 2006 meeting minutes from the federal Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis... The CDC has refused for nearly seven months to release documents under the Freedom of Information Act about any role the agency's XDR TB funding strategy played in its handling of the Speaker case.

McCain Moves Into Lead; Obama Gains on Clinton --Giuliani Falls to 4th in National Poll 14 Jan 2008 The first contests of the 2008 presidential campaign have led to a dramatic shake-up in public opinion nationally, with Sen. [sociopath] John McCain now leading the Republican field and Sen. Barack Obama all but erasing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's once-overwhelming advantage among Democrats, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Gold hits record above $900; platinum, silver surge 14 Jan 2008 Gold hit a record high above $900 an ounce on Monday as turmoil in financial markets and expectations of aggressive U.S. rate cuts helped raise the metal's safe-haven appeal. Platinum hit a lifetime high while silver touched a 27-year peak, buoyed by gold's rise.

Fed unlikley to cut rates before next meeting: WSJ 13 Jan 2007 The Federal Reserve is unlikely to cut interest rates before its next scheduled meeting in late January but may consider doing so if the outlook deteriorates sharply before then, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Americans Cut Back Sharply on Spending 14 Jan 2008 Strong evidence is emerging that consumer spending, a bulwark against recession over the last year even as energy prices surged and the housing market sputtered, has begun to slow sharply at every level of the American economy, from the working class to the wealthy.

Antarctic is losing ice 'nearly twice as fast as ten years ago' 14 Jan 2008 The rate of annual ice loss in the Antarctic has increased by almost 80 billion tonnes in a decade, a study has found. Measurements using satellite radar readings revealed that in parts of the continent the rate of loss has speeded up by 140 per cent since 1996. Global warming is thought to be among the most likely factors and the data provides one of the most detailed assessments yet of the changes.

Study: Northeast Winters Warming Fast 13 Jan 2008 Earlier blooms. Less snow to shovel. Unseasonable warm spells. Signs that winters in the Northeast are losing their bite have been abundant in recent years. A study of weather station data from across the Northeast from 1965 through 2005 found December-March temperatures increased by 2.5 degrees. Snowfall totals dropped by an average of 8.8 inches across the region over the same period, and the number of days with at least 1 inch of snow on the ground decreased by nine days on average.

24-foot snake staying at Columbus Zoo 12 Jan 2008 Fluffy, a 24-foot python billed as the largest snake in captivity, is staying put to lure visitors into the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The zoo paid $35,000 to the snake's breeder in Oklahoma to keep the reticulated python on permanent display.

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Oil Crisis As 308,000 Barrels Go Missing, According to Audit 10 Jan 2008 How do you not notice when 308,000 barrels of oil go missing? That's the question government auditors were asking after they looked into the Department of Energy's management of oil received for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a critical program to assure energy stability in the U.S. in case of an oil crisis.

Iraq opens door to Saddam's followers --A bill to restore rights of former Baathists ends a bitter and divisive legacy of American bungling 13 Jan 2008 It is now seen as the most disastrous decision of the US-led occupation of Iraq - the firing of hundreds of thousands of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party from their government jobs in April 2003. Enacted by the Coalition Provisional Authority's head, Paul Bremer, it created a powerful impetus that pushed former Baathists towards rebellion and many took up arms with the 'insurgents.'

Parliament Paves Way for Rehire of Iraq's Baathists --Plan Would Ease Limits on Former Hussein Followers 13 Jan 2008 The Iraqi parliament passed a bill Saturday intended to make it easier for former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to return to government jobs and collect their pensions.

New Baghdad embassy's fire-fighting system is defective 11 Jan 2008 The fire-fighting system in the mammoth new $740 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is defective, according to documents obtained by McClatchy and U.S. officials, who said that their concerns were ignored or overruled in a rush to declare the complex completed. [Oops! Looks like Bush made it easy for insurgents Blackwater to burn it to the ground so that his corpora-terrorists could get more $ to rebuild it.]

FBI Finds Blackwater Trucks Patched to Destroy Evidence 12 Jan 2008 Blackwater Worldwide repaired and repainted its trucks immediately after a deadly September shooting [leaving 17 Iraqi civilians dead] in Baghdad, making it difficult to determine whether enemy gunfire provoked the attack, according to people familiar with the government's investigation of the incident. The repairs sabotage essentially destroyed evidence that Justice Department investigators hoped to examine in a criminal case that has drawn worldwide attention.

Ex-Blackwater employees sentenced to probation 10 Jan 2008 Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide, the beleaguered contractor whose practices in Iraq are under federal scrutiny, were sentenced to probation Thursday on gunrunning charges. Blackwater, the largest private security mercenary firm in Iraq, has been under scrutiny as a federal grand jury in Washington investigates the company's involvement in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians. The firm is also under investigation for possible weapons smuggling allegations.

Bush Willing to Slow Pace of Iraq Troop Withdrawal 12 Jan 2008 President [sic] George W. Bush said he is willing to slow down the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq if his top military commander recommends it.

Bush warns against Syria, Iran fuelling violence in Iraq 12 Jan 2008 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush warned Saturday against Syria and Iran's fuelling violence in Iraq. Bush made the warning while speaking to reporters after meetinghis top political and military commanders in Iraq at the U.S. military base of Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. [Does dropping 40,000 pounds of explosives in 10 minutes near Baghdad by the US constitute 'violence in Iraq?']

US drops 18 tonnes of explosives on al-Qaida 'safe havens' in Iraq 11 Jan 2008 American planes yesterday mounted the biggest recent air strikes of the Iraq war, pounding what the US military called 'al-Qaida' "safe havens" south of Baghdad. US spokesmen said 18 tonnes of explosives were dropped by B-1 bombers and F-16 fighters in 10 minutes on targets in Arab Jabour, a Sunni district of date palm groves on the banks of the Tigris river.

'Filipino Monkey' may be behind radio threats, ship drivers say 11 Jan 2008 The threatening radio transmission heard at the end of a video showing harassing maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the "Filipino Monkey." In the [edited] videotape released by the Pentagon on Jan. 8, the screen goes black at the very end and the voice can be heard, distancing it from the scenes on the water.

A year in Helmand: 4m bullets fired by British 13 Jan 2008 The intensity of fighting in Afghanistan is laid bare today in new figures which reveal that almost four million bullets have been fired by British Forces in less than a year - almost double the number previously reported. The Ministry of Defence has been forced to admit it misled Parliament over the huge amount of ammunition used, after an 'accounting' error.

Afghanistan is long-term - Browne 13 Jan 2008 Britain could be engaged in Afghanistan for decades, Defence Secretary Des Browne has indicated. His comments were the most explicit sign yet from the Government that the UK's commitments in the war-torn country may last more than 20 years.

Dutch soldiers 'killed in combat' in Afghanistan 13 Jan 2008 Two Dutch soldiers have been killed in southern Afghanistan after coming under fire near their base, the Dutch Defence Ministry says. The men, a 20-year-old soldier and a 22-year-old corporal, were killed yesterday by what the ministry called opposing militant forces near the Dutch base at Deh Rawod in Oruzgan province.

Activists Pose as Guantanamo Prisoners 13 Jan 2008 More than 24 hours after he was arrested while kneeling on the steps of the Supreme Court in an orange prisoner jumpsuit and a hood, Tim Nolan stood before a judge yesterday in D.C. Superior Court Room 202 and said the word he'd come to Washington to say: "Fazaldad." Nolan, of Asheville, N.C., was one of 75 people arrested Friday -- the sixth anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison -- for illegally protesting at the Supreme Court. Sixty-seven members of the group were held until late yesterday, most because they wouldn't give their real names and instead identified themselves by the names of Guantanamo prisoners.

In voiding suit, appellate court says torture is to be expected 11 Jan 2008 A federal appeals court Friday threw out a suit by four British Muslims who allege that they were tortured and subjected to religious abuse in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a ruling that exonerated 11 present and former senior Pentagon officials. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the prisoners captured in Afghanistan aren't recognized as "persons" [!] under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because they were aliens held outside the United States.

Mysterious crowd suddenly stopped Bhutto's car, officer says 11 Jan 2008 Two new reports on the assassination last month of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto suggest that the killing may have been an ambitious plot rather than an isolated act of violence and that the government of President Pervez Musharraf knows far more than it's admitted about the murder. A police officer who witnessed the assassination said that a mysterious crowd stopped Bhutto's car that day, moving her to emerge through the sunroof. And a document has surfaced in the Pakistani news media that contradicts the government's version of her death and contains details on the pistol and the suicide bomb used in the murder.

9/11 and the incompetence excuse: Could a bunch of sociopathic screw-ups really pull off the crime of the century? By Warren Pease 09 Jan 2008 Many who deny government complicity in 9/11/01 maintain that some of the best evidence against official involvement in the crime of the century lies in the Bush administration's unbroken record of sheer incompetence, an argument bolstered by the perception that key members of the administration, notably The Commander Guy, spent that entire day running around like headless chickens. On the contrary, they did no such thing. Rather, the administration was highly competent and enormously successful that day -- they just had different criteria for success than would sane people. And they've been highly competent ever since.

Obama's plane touches wings with another at MDW 12 Jan 2008 A plane carrying Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) touched wings with another aircraft early Saturday morning after landing at Chicago's Midway Airport. His campaign described it as a minor incident and said no one was injured.

U.S. corporate elite fear candidate Edwards 11 Jan 2008 Ask corporate lobbyists which presidential contender is most feared by their clients and the answer is almost always the same -- Democrat John Edwards. An Edwards campaign spokesman said on Thursday that inside-the-Beltway operatives who fight to defend the powerful and the privileged should be afraid.

CNN Poll: Clinton or Obama Would Beat Any Republican 12 Jan 2007 CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL Interviews with 1,033 adult Americans, including 840 registered voters, conducted by telephone on January 9-10.

New Hampshire to Recount Ballots in Light of Controversy By Kim Zetter 11 Jan 2008 Both Republican and Democratic candidates have asked the state of New Hampshire to conduct a hand recount of all primary ballots statewide, citing internet rumors about vote discrepancies and voting machine fraud in the primary results. Democratic presidential nominee candidate Kucinich was the first to make headlines in calling for a statewide recount of the Democratic primary results in response to the internet fury around a post made by a woman named Lori Price that someone made online that compares votes counted by optical scan machines made by Diebold Election Systems (now re-named Premier Election Solutions) to votes counted by hand. Thanks to the reader below who wrote in to say that Price didn't create the site where the results appear.

Organs to be taken without consent 13 Jan 2008 Gordon Brown has thrown his weight behind a move to allow hospitals to take organs from dead patients without explicit consent.

The polio vaccine, AIDS, and their US-made viruses By Jerry Mazza 11 Jan 2008 In my 2005... article, I reported that "Dr. Robert Strecker indicated that the AIDS virus was in fact developed by the National Cancer Institute, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), in a laboratory at Ft. Detrick in Maryland. From 1970–74, this laboratory facility was part of the U.S. Army’s germ warfare unit, known as the Army Infectious Disease Unit, or Special Operations Division, also referred to as the Army’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Laboratory. Post 1974, the facility was renamed the National Cancer Institute (NCI). According to researcher William Cooper (former Navy Intelligence officer), noted in Larry Jamison’s article, this work was supervised by the CIA under a project called MK-NAOMI.

The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program --CITGO--There for the Community at Every Turn. (citgoheatingoil.com) As a socially responsible business, we operate as a privilege––not as a right––in the communities we serve. We are committed to being more than your friendly neighborhood gas station; and we strive to set positive examples within the energy industry and throughout the community at large by aligning ourselves with issues that affect both the social and economic aspects of society.

Inquiry Looks at Withholding of Loan Data 12 Jan 2008 An investigation into the mortgage crisis by New York State prosecutors is now focusing on whether Wall Street banks withheld crucial information about the risks posed by investments linked to subprime loans.

Cleveland Sues 21 Lenders Over Subprime Mortgages 12 Jan 2008 Cleveland is suing 21 of the nation’s largest banks and financial institutions, accusing them of knowingly plunging the city into a financial crisis by flooding the local housing market with subprime mortgage loans to people who could never repay.

States Rejecting "Abstinence-Only" Funding Federal --Government Has Spent Millions On Sex-'Ed' Approach, Now 15 States Not Interested 07 Jan 2008 CBS News reports: The government has provided states a $1 billion during the past decade for abstinence-only programs. But many say it just doesn't work, and they point to the teen birth rate's first rise in 15 years as proof. A growing number of states are taking a stand and actually rejecting federal abstinence-only funds. New Mexico just became the 15th.

Nor'easter Threatens I-95 12 Jan 2008 A developing storm along the Atlantic coast will develop into a nor'easter, while tracking northward Sunday into Monday. The storm is forecast to target the northern part of the mid-Atlantic and New England with accumulating snow starting on Sunday night.

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