February 2007 Archives
U.S. makes case that Iran arms flow into Iraq --A limited number of munitions are displayed at secretive briefing. 12 Feb 2007 U.S. defense and intelligence officials sought Sunday to bolster the charge that Iran was providing arms to Shiite Muslim militants in Iraq, displaying munitions and fragments of weapons that they said constituted evidence that Tehran was contributing to Iraq's violence. They also alleged that a group under the command of Iran's supreme leader was behind the smuggling of weapons across the Iran-Iraq border.
US accuses Iran over Iraq bombs 12 Feb 2007 The US military has accused the "highest levels" of Iran's government of supplying increasingly sophisticated roadside bombs to Iraqi 'insurgents.' Senior defence officials told reporters in Baghdad that the bombs were being used to deadly effect, killing more than 170 US troops since June 2004.
U.S. military: Iran arming Iraq militias 11 Feb 2007 U.S. military officials on Sunday accused the highest levels of the Iranian leadership of arming Shiite militants in Iraq with sophisticated armor-piercing roadside bombs that have killed more than 170 American forces.
Cheney Pushing for Iran Attack, Report Says 11 Feb 2007 Several senior members of the Bush administration are pushing for the United States to attack Iran, the British Guardian newspaper reported over the weekend. The report said that Bush had not yet decided on whether to move forward with the attack, but that Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, among others, was strongly advocating such an attack in order to halt Iran's nuclear weapons development program.
Israel testfires anti-missile system in 'message' to Iran 11 Feb 2007 Israel carried out a successful night-time test of its Hetz (Arrow) anti-missile missile system in what public television described as a "message to Iran".
Arrow missile defense system passes its first nighttime launch 12 Feb 2007 Israel successfully tested the Arrow anti-missile system Sunday night, in its first nighttime trial, intercepting a test target that simulated the warhead of a long-range Iranian surface-to-surface Shihab-3 missile. Apparently coincidentally (because the timing of the trials are determined by weather conditions) the test was conducted on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Iranian revolution.
Iran Softens Tone, Declares Readiness to Resume Talks 12 Feb 2007 Facing the prospect of broader international sanctions, Iran's president and national security chief on Sunday offered to resume negotiations over their country's nuclear program. In Munich, Ali Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, briefly met with European diplomats for the first time since talks collapsed in September and said Iran was willing to return to formal discussions.
Obama blasts Howard on Iraq 12 Feb 2007 US presidential hopeful Barack Obama has blasted as "empty rhetoric" Australian Prime Minister John Howard's attack on Obama's plan to bring US troops home from Iraq. "I think it's flattering that one of George Bush's allies on the other side of the world started attacking me the day after I announced," Mr Obama told reporters in the mid-western US state of Iowa.
GOP Expects Defections as House Debates Iraq Resolution 12 Feb 2007 Three days of intense debate over the Iraq war begins in the House today, with Democrats planning to propose a narrowly worded rebuke of President [sic] Bush's troop buildup and Republicans girding for broad defections on their side.
Victory Is Not an Option The Mission Can't Be Accomplished -- It's Time for a New Strategy By William E. Odom 11 Feb 2007 For the moment, the collision of the public's clarity of mind, the president's [sic] relentless pursuit of defeat and Congress's anxiety has paralyzed us. We may be doomed to two more years of chasing the mirage of democracy in Iraq and possibly widening the war to Iran. But this is not inevitable.
Meters Cost Iraq Billions In Stolen Oil 08 Feb 2007 Atop Iraq's al Basrah Oil Terminal, heavily armed anti-terrorism forces stand guard — while the theft of the century may be occurring right under their noses. [They are 'standing guard' *to* steal the oil.] Millions of dollars' worth of oil is stolen daily in Iraq because of the absence of oil meters, a basic tool for preventing corruption, according to estimates by classified CIA and State Department reports, the Iraq Study Group Report , a former consultant to a U.S. oil company and a former State Department adviser to Iraq's Oil Ministry. A six-month investigation by KTVT found the annual thefts run into the billions of dollars and help fuel insurgents, sectarian militias and corrupt officials [not to mention, US corpora-terrorists].
U.S. Troops Lock Down Much of East Baghdad 11 Feb 2007 American troops locked down a large industrialized area of eastern Baghdad all day on Sunday. American commanders described the operation on Sunday in the Rusafa district as an early taste of large-scale sweeps expected to come in eastern Baghdad to take back some measure of control from militias.
Suicide bomber kills at least 30 12 Feb 2007 A suicide bomber destroyed a police station in northern Iraq, killing at least 30 people, as Iraqi and US troops cracked down on Baghdad in a bid to 'snuff out' [foment] sectarian strife.
Thousands of Army Humvees Lack Armor Upgrade 12 Feb 2007 The Army is working to fill a shortfall in Iraq of thousands of advanced Humvee armor kits designed to reduce U.S. troop deaths from roadside bombs -- including a rising threat from particularly lethal weapons linked to Iran and known as "explosively formed penetrators" (EFP) -- that are now inflicting 70 percent of the American casualties in the country, according to U.S. military and civilian officials.
U.S. Contractor Shot by U.S. Forces 10 Feb 2007 The U.S. military confirmed on Saturday that American forces at Camp Anaconda, the huge air base north of Baghdad, shot and killed a civilian contract truck driver. A spokeswoman for KBR, a contracting [mercenary] subsidiary of Halliburton, said the shooting was under investigation.
U.S. Launches Artillery Into Pakistan 11 Feb 2007 Asserting a right to self-defense, American forces in eastern Afghanistan have launched artillery rounds into Pakistan to strike Taliban fighters [civilians] who attack remote U.S. outposts, the commander of U.S. forces in the region said Sunday.
Ex-Agent Ties Firing to CIA Pressure on WMD 09 Feb 2007 A federal judge has ruled that a CIA agent identified only as "Doe," allegedly fired after he gathered prewar intelligence showing that Iraq was not developing weapons of mass destruction, can proceed with his lawsuit against the CIA.
Libby trial sheds light on White House 11 Feb 2007 Sworn testimony in the perjury trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has shone a spotlight on White House attempts to sell a gone-wrong war in Iraq to the nation and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's aggressive role in the effort. What has emerged: A vice president fixated on finding ways to debunk a former diplomat's claims that Bush misled the U.S. people in going to war and his suggestion Cheney might have played a role in suppressing contrary intelligence. A presidential press secretary kept in the dark on Iraq policy. Top White House officials meeting daily to discuss the diplomat, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, and sometimes even his CIA-officer wife Valerie Plame.
Pentagon plan for Nevada bomb test stirs outcry in 3 states --Residents fear it will expose them to radiation again 11 Feb 2007 At a series of emotional meetings last month in Las Vegas, St. George (UT), Salt Lake City, and the Idaho capital of Boise, people who live downwind of the Nevada Test Site expressed fear that if the government goes ahead with its code-named Divine Strake test, radioactive dust from previous tests will blow their way.
Federal judge blocks Maine hearing on Verizon role in NSA surveillance 09 Feb 2007 The US District Court of Maine has ruled that the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) cannot compel Verizon Communications to disclose whether the telephone company participated in the warrantless domestic surveillance program run by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
Oregon House to consider resolution on Real ID Act 09 Feb 2007 Oregon may join other states with its own resolution on the controversial Real ID Act, which requires states to revamp the way they issue drivers licenses.
Bush may bypass Congress on Medicaid cutbacks 11 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush recommends cutting an estimated $77-billion from government health programs for seniors and the poor. But Bush doesn't need lawmakers' support for some of the changes that he wants to make to Medicare and Medicaid. He could get about $23-billion in cuts over the next five years by issuing new federal regulations. [Start reading.]
McCain Taps Cash He Sought to Limit --Onetime Reformer Calls on Big Donors 11 Feb 2007 In his early efforts to secure the support of the Republican establishment he has frequently bucked, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has embraced some of the same political-money figures, forces and tactics he pilloried during a 15-year crusade to reduce the influence of big donors, fundraisers and lobbyists in elections.
Merck Pushes for Mandate For HPV Vaccination 12 Feb 2007 In Virginia and 17 other states, lawmakers are considering requiring young girls to be immunized 'against' a little-known virus that public health officials say is responsible for nearly 7,000 cases of cervical cancer each year. Legislatures are doing so at the urging of New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., which in June earned approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Gardasil, its new vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV). Merck, which posted revenues of $22.6 billion last year, stands to earn hundreds of millions of dollars annually on Gardasil, according to Wall Street estimates.
Bird Flu Reported in Pakistan Capital 10 Feb 2007 The deadly H5N1 stain of bird flu has been confirmed at a home in the Pakistani capital, the third such case in about a week. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice.]
Bernard Matthews firm could face prosecution over bird flu outbreak 12 Feb 2007 Lorry-loads of poultry products could have been transported out of the British farm which suffered a major outbreak of bird flu, the Government has admitted. An exclusion zone was put in place around the Bernard Matthews plant in Holton when the deadly strain of H5N1 was identified last week. But a diplomatic row was brewing last night between London and Budapest after Hungary said that tons of meat had been sent from Holton to the central European country since the restrictions were imposed.
Bird flu farm continued exports 12 Feb 2007 Cooked turkey products were exported from the Suffolk farm where bird flu was found after the virus broke out. Some of that food was exported to Hungary - where it is thought the UK outbreak could have originated.
Record lack of snow in Japan 11 Feb 2007 Japan has set a record for lack of snow, with this winter marking the latest winter date by which snow has not yet been seen, the Japan Times reported.
Village May Set N.Y. Mark for Snowfall 12 Feb 2007 (Redfield, NY) This village in upstate New York's snowbelt gets a lot of snowfall during the winter, but last week's total _ more than 11 feet [136 inches], unofficially _ might be an all-time record.
Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring --Despite denials, Pentagon plans for possible attack on nuclear sites are well advanced 10 Feb 2007 US preparations for an air strike against Iran are at an advanced stage, in spite of repeated public denials by the Bush regime, according to informed sources in Washington. The present military build-up in the Gulf would allow the US to mount an attack by the spring. But the sources said that if there was an attack, it was more likely next year, just before Mr Bush leaves office.
Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says By Michael R. Gordon [Take with six grains of salt] 10 Feb 2007 The most lethal weapon directed against American troops in Iraq is an explosive-packed cylinder that United States intelligence asserts is being supplied by Iran. [It's probably manufactured by Lockheed Martin and sold to Iran.]
'NYT' Reporter Who Got Iraqi WMDs Wrong Now Highlights Iran Claims By Greg Mitchell 10 Feb 2007 Saturday’s New York Times features an article, posted at the top of its Web site late Friday, that suggests very strongly that Iran is supplying the "deadliest weapon aimed at American troops" in Iraq... It may be worth noting that the author is Michael R. Gordon, the same Times reporter [sic] who, on his own, or with Judith Miller, wrote some of the key, and badly misleading or downright inaccurate, articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.
U.S. weighs divulging Iran-Iraq 'proof' 10 Feb 2007 The Bush regime is haunted by the history of intelligence blunders [lies] about Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction as the United States tries to document that Iran is providing lethal help to Iraqi fighters.
Pentagon office 'misled' on Iraq war 10 Feb 2007 A special Pentagon office created in the run-up to the Iraq war engaged in "inappropriate" activities by providing misleading intelligence to policymakers, according to the US Department of Defense.
The Build-a-War Workshop (The New York Times) 10 Feb 2007 It took far too long, but a report by the Pentagon inspector general has finally confirmed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s do-it-yourself intelligence office cooked up a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda to help justify an unjustifiable war.
Al-Qaeda praying for Obama win, says PM 11 Feb 2007 Prime Minister John Howard has blasted US presidential candidate Barack Obama, saying his policy of withdrawing troops from Iraq will destabilise the entire Middle East. "If I were running al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory not only for Obama but also for the Democrats," Mr Howard said on Channel 9.
Kerry: Bush's plan of more troops for Iraq "ignores" generals' advice 11 Feb 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush's plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq "ignores the best advice from our own generals," Democratic Senator John Kerry said Saturday.
New US general warns Iraq doomed if crackdown fails 10 Feb 2007 The new U.S. military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, said on Saturday Iraq was doomed to continuing violence if a crackdown on 'sectarian strife' [US terrorism] now under way in Baghdad failed.
A private who never complained: the 101st Briton killed in action 11 Feb 2007 The British soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Friday was named yesterday as Private Luke Daniel Simpson of the Yorkshire Regiment, 1st Battalion. He is the 101st British soldier killed in action since the invasion in 2003.
Three US Soldiers Killed, Four Others Wounded In Iraq 10 Feb 2007 The military says three more US soldiers have been killed in Iraq. A statement issued Saturday says the three Task Force Lightning soldiers died in an explosion Friday while clearing a building and looking for a weapons cache in a province northeast of Baghdad. Four other Americans were wounded in the incident.
Court blocks suspect's transfer to Iraq 09 Feb 2007 A federal appeals court blocked the Pentagon on Friday from transferring an American citizen [Shawqi Omar] to an Iraqi court to face charges he supported 'terrorists and insurgents.'
Defense bigs ask '24' to cool it on torture 09 Feb 2007 The grossly graphic torture scenes in Fox's highly rated series "24" are encouraging abuses in Iraq, a brigadier general and three top military and FBI interrogators claim. The four flew to Los Angeles in November to meet with the staff of the show.
Militant Islamic Groups See in Video-Sharing Sites Like YouTube a New Propaganda Front [Bush Regime Sees in Corporate-Owned Media Like Fox News an Old Propaganda Front] Anyone with an Internet connection can watch videos of bombings and sniper attacks against U.S. forces shot and edited by Islamic militants and broadcast on YouTube, the world's largest video-sharing Web site.
Padilla Asks for Delay in Hearing 10 Feb 2007 Attorneys for suspected 'al-Qaida' operative Jose Padilla have asked a judge to delay a Feb. 16 competency hearing, saying they need more time to investigate a report that concludes he is fit to stand trial on terrorism charges.
More troops needed in Afghanistan: US General 11 Feb 2007 The top military commander in Afghanistan says there are not enough troops in the country to maintain 'security.' Despite the assessment, US Army General Bantz Craddock has so far failed to persuade European allies to boost troop numbers.
US presidential hopeful McCain warns Europeans on Afghanistan 11 Feb 2007 Sceptical European allies came under pressure from a leading contender for the US presidency to provide more troops for Afghanistan. Senator John McCain, a Republican [pyschopath], warned that failure in Afghanistan would deal a "grievous blow" to NATO and urged the Europeans to match a 3,000 troop increase in the force already made by the United States.
Pentagon lies with stats (Boston Herald) 10 Feb 2007 The Pentagon is playing a shameful numbers game and this week in Washington. Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) blew the whistle on it. One set of "official" numbers for troops wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq lists the figure at about 23,000. But the actual number of those injured in those two theaters of operation is more than double that - around 53,000... The astonishing thing is that somehow the big thinkers at the Pentagon believe this will perhaps turn around public opinion - maybe make an increasingly misguided effort in Iraq more palatable.
Trial exposes White House crisis machine 09 Feb 2007 David Addington, chief legal adviser to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, says he was taken aback when the White House started making public pronouncements about the CIA leak investigation. In the fall of 2003, President [sic] Bush's press secretary was categorically denying that either Karl Rove or I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was involved in exposing the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA employee married to a critic of the war in Iraq. "Why are you making these statements?" Addington asked White House communications director Dan Bartlett. "Your boss is the one who wanted" them, Bartlett replied, referring to Cheney.
Putin says U.S. wants to dominate world 10 Feb 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin, in one of his harshest attacks on the United States in seven years in power, accused Washington on Saturday of attempting to force its will on the world.
'One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way.' Putin: U.S. policies create arms race 10 Feb 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Saturday that the United States' increased use of military force is creating a new arms race, with smaller nations turning toward developing nuclear weapons.
Hundreds protest U.S. jets in Japan 10 Feb 2007 Several hundred protesters gathered outside a U.S. air base Saturday to oppose the arrival of a dozen F-22 stealth fighters, the aircraft's first deployment outside of the United States.
U.S. Navy Buys Two Additional Northrop Grumman Fire Scouts 07 Feb 2007 The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation $16 million for two more MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical takeoff and landing Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAV) and to assist the Navy in refining the Fire Scout concept of operations. Including this award, the Navy has a total of nine Fire Scouts on contract with Northrop Grumman.
Waxman Sees Potential Coverup in Ship Contract --Faulting Program Managers, He Says Warnings About Design Deficiencies Were Hidden 09 Feb 2007 Managers of the U.S. Coast Guard's $24 billion fleet-overhaul program appeared to cover up a Navy engineering report that highlighted design flaws in a new flagship cutter under scrutiny by government investigators, a senior House Democrat [Henry A. Waxman (D-CA)] said yesterday.
Nuke detectors to ring New York, official says 09 Feb 2007 New York City will be protected by a ring of devices to detect nuclear or dirty bombs before the end of the year, the Department of Homeland Security said Friday.
US bids to give guns to pilots on all flights 09 Feb 2007 The federal body charged with protecting air passengers from terrorist attacks is asking governments around the world for permission to place armed pilots on international flights.
Fired Prosecutor Disputes Justice Dept. Allegation --He Calls Testimony 'Unfair'; Meanwhile, Senate Panel Votes to Limit Attorney General's Power 09 Feb 2007 A recently fired U.S. attorney based in Seattle said yesterday that he was told of no performance problems when he was asked to resign, and he called critical remarks by a top Justice Department official "unfair" and inaccurate. The comments by former U.S. attorney John McKay add to a growing tide of criticism of the Justice Department's decision to fire seven top prosecutors without explanation, and came on the same day the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 6 to limit the attorney general's power to appoint replacements.
Government Seeks to Halt Telecom Spying Suits 09 Feb 2007 Attorneys targeting the nation's largest telecommunications for their alleged participation in the government's warrantless wiretapping program argued today that their cases should also be subject to a landmark ruling in a related case against AT&T, allowing the case to proceed despite the government's protest that it would expose national security secrets.
Judge scuttles Verizon hearing --PUC enjoined from holding hearing and Verizon from responding to any subpoenas the commission has or might issue 09 A federal judge [U.S. District Judge John Woodcock] concluded Thursday that the "potential risk" to national security is significant enough to grant a Justice Department motion to keep the Maine Public Utilities Commission from forcing Verizon to reveal whether it has cooperated with the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretap program. The PUC had ordered Verizon to appear before it today to explain why the communications giant has ignored the commissioners' previous order to affirm under oath statements issued last year in the form of press releases.
Montana House Votes To Deny Federal ID Act 31 Jan 2007 Applause broke out in the House today after lawmakers passed the second of two bills to deny and nullify a Federal Law which increases the restrictions placed on drivers licenses. House Bill 287, by Rep. Brady Wiseman, D-Bozeman, denies the implementation of the Federal ID Act.
Sixth man in court on terror charge 02 Feb 2007 A man will appear in court today charged with a terror offence following raids in Birmingham. Basiru Gassama, 29, from Birmingham, will attend the City of Westminster Magistrates Court in London.
An explosion of disbelief - fresh doubts over 9/11 09 Feb 2007 ...[O]n a fateful September morning in 2001, did America fabricate an outrage against civilians to fool the world and provide a pretext for war on Al Qaeda and Iraq? Why were no military aircraft scrambled in time to head off the attacks? Was the collapse of the Twin Towers caused by a careful use of explosives? How could a rookie pilot - as one of the terrorists was - fly a Boeing 757 aircraft so precisely into the Pentagon? And who made millions of dollars by accurately betting that shares in United and American Airlines, owners of the four doomed aircraft, were going to fall on 9/11 as they duly did? An extremely high volume of bets on the price of shares dropping were placed on these two airline companies, and only these two. In the three days prior to the catastrophe, trade in their shares went up 1,200 per cent.
Obama Formally Launches Presidential Bid 10 Feb 2007 Illinois Sen. Barack Obama formally launched his candidacy for the White House here this morning, invoking memories of Abraham Lincoln and challenging a new generation of Americans to help bridge political divisions and transform the nation.
Obama Seeks to Become First Black U.S. President 10 Feb 2007 Illinois Senator Barack Obama, standing in front of the building where Abraham Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech in 1858 opposing slavery, told Americans he will embrace a new kind of politics as he made his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination official.
Michigan Republican activist charged with rape in Cleveland 08 Feb 2007 The chairman of a Michigan young Republican group has been accused of raping a 21-year-old woman while both were in Cleveland for a convention last July. A Cuyahoga County grand jury returned a 17-count indictment Wednesday against Michael A. Flory, 32, including charges of rape, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, gross sexual imposition and witness intimidation. [That's about right (Seinfeld intonation).]
FBI Probes California GOP Congressman's Land Deals 10 Feb 2007 A Republican congressman from California [Rep. Gary G. Miller] defended his reputation this week, as FBI investigators look into charges that he improperly delayed paying taxes on several lucrative land deals.
Congress Finds Ways to Avoid Lobbyist Limits 11 Feb 2007 The 110th Congress opened with the passage of sweeping new rules intended to curb the influence of lobbyists by prohibiting them from treating lawmakers to meals, trips, stadium box seats or the discounted use of private jets. But it did not take long for lawmakers to find ways to keep having fun while lobbyists pick up the tab... Instead of picking up the tab directly, lobbyists pay a political fund-raising committee and, in turn, the committee pays the lawmaker’s way.
US HHS Official to Speak at International Bird Flu Summit (email) 10 Feb 2007 New Fields is proud to welcome Dr Robin A. Robinson, Senior Project Officer Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (OPHEP), Office of Research & Development Coordination (ORDC), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) As a Speaker For the 4th International Bird Flu Summit.
BP's Texas refinery 'largest emitter of carcinogenic toxins in US' 09 Feb 2007 A new report has named a Texas refinery owned and operated by BP as the largest emitter of carcinogenic toxins in the US.
British Energy heralds new nuclear age --Generator in talks with rivals to build new reactors 11 Feb 2007 British Energy, the nuclear generator, has held talks with Europe's largest power companies about building a new generation of nuclear reactors in the UK.
Tycoon Offers $25 Million Climate Prize 09 Feb 2007 British tycoon Sir Richard Branson on Friday announced a $25 million prize for the first scientist to come up with a way to extract greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Upstate N.Y. Snow Rises to 110 Inches --After Brief Sunshine, More Snow Falls on Already Buried N.Y. Towns; 110 Inches in 7 Days 10 Feb 2007 (Parish, NY) With more than 8 feet of snow already coating the ground, the blue sky turned gray Saturday, signaling another intense snow squall was about to dump some more... A warning in effect until Monday morning said 2 to 4 more feet of snow was possible with wind gusting up to 24 mph. [Lucky dogs!!]
5-Day Blizzard Buries Western N.Y. --Emergency Declared Over Relentless Lake-Effect Snowstorms 10 Feb 2007 New York's governor has declared a state disaster emergency in Oswego County, where five straight days of lake-effect squalls have dumped nearly 100 inches of snow. The heavy snow started sweeping in off Lake Ontario late Sunday and has pounded the area relentlessly since.
Pentagon unit defied CIA advice to justify Iraq war --'Alternative' agency set up to link Hussein to al-Qaida --Mainstream intelligence was cast aside, Senate told 10 Feb 2007 An "alternative intelligence" unit operating at the Pentagon in the run-up to the war on Iraq was dedicated to establishing a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, even though the CIA was unconvinced of such a connection, the US Senate was told yesterday.
Report Says Pentagon Manipulated Intel 09 Feb 2007 Pentagon officials undercut the intelligence community in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq by insisting in briefings to the White House that there was a clear relationship between Saddam Hussein and 'al-Qaida,' the Defense Department's inspector general said Friday.
Pre-War Intelligence Acts 'Inappropriate,' U.S. Finds 09 Feb 2007 U.S. Defense Department officials prepared pre-war intelligence reports that may have exaggerated links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, the Pentagon inspector general said today.
'Should the Americans wish to negotiate their withdrawal from our country and leave our people to live in peace, then we will negotiate subject to specific conditions and circumstances.' Iraqi insurgents offer peace in return for US concessions --For the first time, Sunni insurgents disclose their conditions for ceasefire in Iraq By Robert Fisk 09 Feb 2007 For the first time, one of Iraq's principal insurgent groups has set out the terms of a ceasefire that would allow American and British forces to leave the country they invaded almost four years ago. The present terms would be impossible for any US administration to meet - but the words of Abu Salih Al-Jeelani, one of the military leaders of the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Resistance Movement show that the groups which have taken more than 3,000 American lives are actively discussing the opening of contacts with the occupation army... He also insists that all agreements previously entered into by Iraqi authorities or US forces should be declared null and void.
Reconstruction Official on Iraqi Billions: "What Difference Does It Make?" By Paul Kiel 06 Feb 2007 What happened to billions in Iraqi funds that were overseen by the Coalition Provisional Authority? That's not "important," according to David Oliver, the former Director of Management and Budget of the agency. A recording of the unfortunately candid remarks, previously made by Oliver to the BBC, were played during this morning's oversight hearing by Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA).
Blackwater admits shooting --Operative killed Iraqi worker 08 Feb 2007 An attorney for North Carolina-based Blackwater USA said Wednesday that one of the company's operatives shot and killed an Iraqi security worker.
Iraqi and US forces push into Baghdad flashpoints 09 Feb 2007 US and Iraqi forces clamped down on flashpoint districts of Baghdad, focusing on [US-funded] 'insurgent' and militia hotbeds as a joint operation to 'restore order' [foment disorder, so Blackwater USA can stay] in the capital built up steam.
U.S. air strike mistakenly kills at least 5 Kurdish allies in northern Iraq 09 Feb 2007 U.S. helicopters targeting 'insurgents' [civilians] mistakenly killed at least five allied Kurdish militiamen in the northern city of Mosul early Friday.
8 Killed in U.S. Airstrike Near Baghdad 09 Feb 2007 A U.S. airstrike killed eight 'suspected terrorists' and destroyed a building south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Friday. The attack occurred Thursday night in Arab Jabour, a mostly Sunni Muslim suburb south of Baghdad.
U.S. faced with a mammoth Iraq refugee crisis 07 Feb 2007 One out of every seven Iraqis has fled his or her home or sought refuge abroad, the largest movement of people in the Middle East since the war that followed Israel's creation in 1948, according to United Nations officials and relief workers. Every day, violence displaces an estimated 1,300 more Iraqis in the country; every month, at least 40,000.
Three U.S. soldiers Killed in Iraq: Military 09 Feb 2007 Three U.S. soldiers died on Thursday of wounds sustained in combat in the western Anbar province, the U.S. military said on Friday.
Roadside bomb kills British soldier in Basra 09 Feb 2007 A British soldier was killed and three others were wounded today when a roadside bomb exploded just outside Basra, in southern Iraq, military officials said.
Coleman: Senate should be 'ashamed' for failure to vote on Iraq 09 Feb 2007 Sen. Norm Coleman said Thursday that the Senate should be "ashamed" of its failure to vote on Iraq this week, when Republicans blocked debate on a resolution critical of President [sic] Bush's plan to send more troops to the war effort.
US think tank urges retreat from Iraq 09 Feb 2007 An independent think tank warned that the situation in Iraq was beyond repair and urged that US forces should be pulled out whatever the result of the current "surge" of troops into Baghdad. A report from Washington's Council on Foreign Relations concluded that a US military victory was impossible in Iraq, where "amateurish" post-invasion rule by American officials had seen Iraq collapse into civil war.
Pentagon to Extend Troops in Afghanistan 09 Feb 2007 The Pentagon plans to extend its buildup of combat troops in Afghanistan, initially announced as lasting until late spring, well into next year, a senior U.S. military official said Friday.
Gates: U.S. Can 'Prove' Iran's Iraq Role 09 Feb 2007 Serial numbers and markings on explosives used in Iraq provide "pretty good" [LOLOL!] evidence that Iran is providing either weapons or technology for militants there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates asserted Friday. Gates said, "I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found [planted]," that point to Iran.
Cui bono? Oil Prices Spike on Iran, Cold Weather 09 Feb 2007 Oil prices rose above $60 a barrel Friday for the first time since early January, lifted by [U.S.-generated] Iran-U.S. tension, [U.S.-generated] violence in Nigeria and frigid U.S. temperatures.
'The government has contracted out oversight of contractors to contractors.' 08 Feb 2007 The chairman of a House investigative committee charged Thursday that the Coast Guard's $24 billion program to modernize its aging fleet has produced only "a series of lemons." Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, took aim specifically at the so-called "Deepwater" program that he said has "cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars."
Army sticks to original date for new body armor 10 Feb 2007 Soldiers waiting for new body armor will have to keep waiting. The Army will not issue new body armor to soldiers earlier than previously planned, Army officials said.
An Iraq Interrogator's Nightmare By Eric Fair 09 Feb 2007 A man with no face stares at me from the corner of a room. He pleads for help, but I'm afraid to move. He begins to cry. It is a pitiful sound, and it sickens me. He screams, but as I awaken, I realize the screams are mine... I assisted in his [the man's] interrogation at a detention facility in Fallujah. I was one of two civilian interrogators assigned to the division interrogation facility (DIF) of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Gitmo Cover-up? 09 Feb 2007 An investigation by the U.S. Southern Command into allegations of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay detention center has concluded that "insufficient evidence exists to substantiate the paralegal's allegations." But Lieutenant Colonel Colby Vokey, the superior officer to the Marine sergeant who filed the allegations, called the investigation "outrageous." "I am aware that the investigators interviewed only the suspects and some witnesses but did not interview any detainees or potential victims," he told ABC News. "Failure to interview those who may have been subjected to abuse is indicative of an incomplete investigation."
Democrats may seek Guantanamo shutdown 09 Feb 2007 Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said Thursday that he may seek to close the Guantanamo prison in Cuba - which is holding more than 300 al Qaida [al-CIAduh] suspects - perhaps by including a requirement in the $100 billion supplemental spending bill for Iraq the Congress will vote on next month.
Military police watchdog to investigate alleged abuse of Afghan detainees 09 Feb 2007 A civilian agency established as a watchdog on the military police says it will look into allegations that Canadian soldiers may have roughed up detainees in Afghanistan.
Hillier orders full inquiry into treatment of detainees --Defence Minister O'Connor vows findings will be made public --Military officials will scour Afghanistan looking for 3 men who had been held by soldiers 06 Feb 2007 Canada's top soldier, General Rick Hillier, ordered a full-blown board of inquiry yesterday to probe detainee treatment in Afghanistan as a political storm shook Ottawa over allegations that captives were beaten while in Canadian custody.
Spain to hand judge documents on secret CIA flights 09 Feb 2007 Spain agreed on Friday to hand a judge intelligence documents about secret CIA flights that transported terrorism suspects to third countries where investigators say they may have faced torture or abuse.
PM to U.K.: Enact law prohibiting IDF officers' arrest in Britain 08 Feb 2007 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked British Foreign Minister Margaret Becket on Wednesday to enact a law preventing the arrest of Israel Defense Forces officers in British territory, during their meeting in Jerusalem.
Big rise in Russian military spending raises fears of new challenge to west --Moscow anxious over US missile defence plans --Hawkish minister outlines $189bn hardware revamp 09 Feb 2007 Concerns were growing yesterday over a new bout of east-west confrontation, after Russia unveiled a big increase in military spending in the wake of the American decision to site parts of its controversial missile defence system in eastern Europe.
Birmingham raids: Five charged with terror offences 09 Feb 2007 Five men will appear in court today charged with terrorism offences following a series of police raids in Birmingham. A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: "Five men from Birmingham have been charged overnight with offences under the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006."
Cartoon Network Head Resigns After Scare 09 Feb 2007 The head of the Cartoon Network resigned Friday following a marketing stunt that caused a terrorism scare in Boston and led police to shut down bridges and send in the bomb squad.
Mystery notes, bombs threaten US financial firms 08 Feb 2007 Pipe bombs sent to U.S. asset management firms in Kansas City and Chicago last week appear linked to an individual known as "The Bishop" who has authored an escalating series of threats to firms over the last 18 months, a corporate counter-terrorism expert said on Thursday.
Judge to Decide Whether NSA Spy Suit Continues 08 Feb 2007 The Electronic Frontier Foundation will argue Friday that the lawsuits over the National Security Agency's spy program should proceed while the government asks a higher court to overturn a judge's decision to continue hearing the case.
ME senator introduces bill to delay implementation of Real ID 09 Feb 2007 A senator from the state that's leading the rebellion against a national driver's license said Friday she will try to delay implementation of the program. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced that she'll sponsor the bill that would give states more time to comply with the Real ID Act as well as a say in modifying the rules.
Canadian, U.S. and Mexican officials held secretive meeting on integration 07 Feb 2007 Canadian, U.S. and Mexican politicians discussed using "stealth" to overcome public resistance to the integration of the three countries at a confidential meeting last year, according to documents just released under U.S. Freedom of Information laws.
Mega barf alert! House Republicans take to the airwaves 09 Feb 2007 House Republicans are taking to the airwaves, hoping that a weekly radio address will help them spread their 'message' [propaganda]. Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), Minority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) officially announced Friday that House Republicans will be taping an address this week that will be distributed to hundreds of local and national radio stations across the country.
Sen. Tim Johnson working from hospital 09 Feb 2007 Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) is reading news clippings and starting to do some office work from the hospital, almost two months after suffering a life-threatening brain hemorrhage.
Oppose Mandatory HPV Vaccination of Schoolgirls (Family Research Council) 09 Feb 2007 Call Texas Gov. Perry at (512) 463-1849 (R-Merck Troll) and ask him to rescind his executive order and allow the Texas state legislature to vote on this issue. [Also, download form from VacRefuse: Refusal of Recommended Vaccines.]
New York will sue Exxon, others over Brooklyn oil spill 08 Feb 2007 New York's attorney general told ExxonMobil and two other oil companies Thursday that he intends to sue them for taking decades to clean up a giant, underground pond of petroleum left by the refineries that once lined Brooklyn's waterfront. Hidden beneath more than 50 acres worth of homes and businesses, the subterranean slick is believed to have been floating on top of the water table in the borough's Greenpoint section for at least half a century.
'Noah's Ark' seed vault unveiled 09 Feb 2007 The Norwegian government has pulled back the curtain on the architectural design of a doomsday arctic seed vault intended to outlast cataclysmic rises in global sea levels and temperature. Situated on an island close to the North Pole, the Svalbard International Seed Vault will be carved into frozen rock to safely house three million seed samples of nearly every crop known to man.
Russia probes smelly orange snow 02 Feb 2007 Russia has flown a team of chemical experts to a Siberian region to find out why smelly, coloured snow has been falling over several towns. Oily yellow and orange snowflakes fell over an area of more than 1,500sq km (570sq miles) in the Omsk region on Wednesday, Russian officials said.
County in N.Y. Nearing 100 Inches of Snow 09 Feb 2007 New York's governor declared a disaster in Oswego County, where five straight days of lake-effect squalls have dumped nearly 100 inches of snow, and even more snow was forecast through the weekend. Parts of the county were getting as much as 3 inches of snow an hour Thursday night, said Dave Sage, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Iraqi official allegedly gave millions to insurgents 08 Feb 2007 U.S.-backed Iraqi forces stormed the Health Ministry and arrested the No. 2 official [Hakim al-Zamili] Thursday, accusing him of diverting millions of dollars to the biggest Shiite militia and allowing death squads use of ambulances and government hospitals to carry out kidnappings and killings.
Iraq Minister Funneled Millions to Militia for Sectarian Attacks, Violence Targeting Civilians --Iraqi, U.S. Officials Detain Senior Health Minister 08 Feb 2007 Iraqi and U.S. officials detained a senior Health Ministry official accused of being corrupt and having close ties with a violent militia group, according to the U.S. military and Iraqi minister of health. Hakim al-Zamili allegedly orchestrated several kickback schemes that funneled millions of dollars to the militia group "to support sectarian attacks and violence targeting Iraqi civilians," the U.S. military said in a press release about the detention Thursday. [Translation: Bush wants his US-funded 'sectarian' violence scaled back to show that his insane 'surge' is working. --LRP]
Army Says It Will Withhold $19.6 Million From Halliburton, Citing Potential Contract Breach 08 Feb 2007 The Army announced during a House oversight committee hearing on Wednesday that it would withhold $19.6 million from the Halliburton Company after recently discovering that the contractor had hired the company Blackwater USA to provide armed security guards in Iraq, a potential breach of its government contract. The Army has said that its contracts with Halliburton, which has a five-year, $16 billion deal to support American military operations in Iraq, generally barred the company and its subcontractors from using private armed guards.
Judge dismisses fraud allegation against war contractor 08 Feb 2007 A federal judge for a second time has tossed out civil fraud charges against a Virginia-based military contractor [Custer Battles LLC] accused by whistleblowers of scamming the U.S. government out of tens of millions dollars in the months following the 2003 Iraq invasion.
How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish --Special flights brought in tonnes of banknotes which disappeared into the war zone 08 Feb 2007 The US flew nearly $12bn in shrink-wrapped $100 bills into Iraq, then distributed the cash with no proper control over who was receiving it and how it was being spent. The staggering scale of the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee. In the year after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 nearly 281 million notes, weighing 363 tonnes, were sent from New York to Baghdad for disbursement to Iraqi ministries and US contractors. Using C-130 planes, the deliveries took place once or twice a month with the biggest of $2,401,600,000 on June 22 2004, six days before the handover.
Oops! Officials Report Sixth Helicopter Downing in Iraq [What a shame!] 08 Feb 2007 A helicopter operated by a 'private security firm' came down in Iraq last week, U.S. officials said on Thursday, an incident that marks the sixth downing of a helicopter in three weeks. [Also revealed: last week's helicopter belonged to the Blackwater USA. Score: Insurgents, 6; Blackwater USA, 0.]
US fears Iraqi insurgents have better missiles as helicopter is downed [Nah, 'ya think?] 08 Feb 2007 Fears that Iraqi 'insurgents' may be using either improved missiles or better tactics mounted after the fifth [now, sixth] helicopter in just over two weeks was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile north-west of Baghdad.
Thousands in Germany, Italy are told they will be deployed in mid-2007 23 Jan 2007 Some 8,500 soldiers from 43 units in Germany and Italy have received official word that they will be deploying to either Iraq or Afghanistan later this year, U.S. Army Europe officials announced Monday.
Iraq Car Bombings Kill 22 People, Wound More Than 60 08 Feb 2007 Two car bomb attacks in Iraq killed at least 22 people and wounded more than 60, as Iraqi and U.S. forces built up their strength in the capital, Baghdad, for a security clampdown.
'This is a clear pattern by VA and DOD to conceal the escalating human and financial costs of the two wars from Congress, the press and the public.' Pentagon Reports Omit Non-Combat Injuries 07 Feb 2007 From the Pentagon Web site to press materials handed out at the opening of an amputee center in Texas last week, the number of wounded in the wars often circulated publicly is around 23,000. That number only accounts for those wounded in combat. When troops from those wars who were wounded in other ways are counted, the number more than doubles, to about 53,000.
U.S. Marine asks to withdraw Iraqi murder plea 08 Feb 2007 A U.S. Marine who had admitted firing several rounds at an Iraqi grandfather after his unit kidnapped the man asked a military court on Thursday to withdraw his guilty plea.
Blair apologises over friendly fire inquest 08 Feb 2007 Tony Blair admitted that the family of the friendly fire victim, Lance Corporal Matty Hull, had suffered further distress because of the delayed inquest... Last night, the US air squadron apologised for the incident.
Woman sues Raytheon over Iraq friendly fire death 06 Feb 2007 The widow of a U.S. Navy pilot who was shot down over Iraq in a 2003 friendly fire incident sued Raytheon Co. on Tuesday, charging that the maker of the missile that took down the plane was liable in the incident.
There were no WMDs in Iraq, admits Spain's Aznar 08 Feb 2007 Former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar has admitted there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, four years after he took Spain into the 2003 US-led invasion and helped topple Saddam Hussein.
US House plans to challenge Bush on Iraq next week 08 Feb 2007 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday vowed to challenge President [sic] George W. Bush's Iraq strategy with a short, simple repudiation of his plan to send more troops to the war.
US Senate confirms Gen. Casey despite critics 08 Feb 2007 The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved Gen. George Casey, the outgoing commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, as the next Army chief of staff despite criticism of his performance as a war commander. The Senate voted 83-14 to confirm Casey, who last week told senators he did not believe U.S. policy in Iraq had failed.
Mega barf alert! Senate panel backs Negroponte 08 Feb 2007 A U.S. Senate panel on Thursday approved the nomination of John Negroponte, the outgoing director of national intelligence, to become deputy secretary of state, sending the nomination to the full Senate.
Iran to Strike U.S. Interests if Attacked 08 Feb 2007 If the United States were to attack Iran, the country would respond by striking U.S. interests all over the world, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday.
White House says 'we're not invading Iran' 08 Feb 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush and his administration are not contemplating invading Iran, the White House said on Thursday.
Early signs of progress at North Korea nuclear talks 08 Feb 2007 North Korea is willing to take initial steps towards ending its nuclear arms programme, South Korean officials said on Thursday after the opening of six-country talks in Beijing.
U.S. Declines to Join Accord on Secret Detentions --58 Nations, Excluding U.S., Sign Separate Pact On Child Soldiers 07 Feb 2007 Representatives from 57 countries on Tuesday signed a long-negotiated treaty prohibiting governments from holding people in secret detention. The United States declined to endorse the document, saying its text did not meet U.S. expectations [?!?]. The convention defines forced disappearance as the arrest, detention or kidnapping of a person by state agents or affiliates and subsequent denials about the detention or location of the individual.
Torture Taxi Lawyer Defies Bar, Won't ID His Client --Alleged CIA link 07 Feb 2007 Portland attorney Scott Caplan says "client confidences" prevent him from identifying Leonard Thomas Bayard, a mysterious businessman whose company is linked by human rights activists to allegations of CIA-sponsored torture. The Oregon State Bar is investigating an allegation that Caplan represented the company, Bayard Foreign Marketing, under false pretenses. Bayard once owned a Gulfstream jet that human rights groups say has been used by the CIA to ferry terrorism suspects to countries that allegedly practice torture.
Former U.S. attorney says he was ordered to resign 07 Feb 2007 Former U.S. Attorney John McKay told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his resignation last month was ordered by the Bush administration, which gave him no explanation for the firing. "I was ordered to resign as U.S. attorney on Dec. 7 by the Justice Department," McKay, who had led the department's Western Washington office, said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C. "I was given no explanation. I certainly was told of no performance issues."
Senate Panel Reacts to Attorney Firings 08 Feb 2007 A Senate panel advanced a bill Thursday to curb the Justice Department's power to replace federal prosecutors after seven forced resignations sparked accusations of political favoritism. The Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 to send the measure to the Senate floor, where it is certain to face opposition from Republicans who oppose giving more appointment power to federal judges.
'The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.' - Wm Shakespeare, Henry VI (Act IV, Scene II). The Bush regime's most recent assault on the law -Compilation by Lori Price Updated!
Nuclear terrorism risk seen growing 07 Feb 2007 Western governments must take seriously the possibility of [US] terrorists exploding a nuclear bomb as the necessary materials and know-how become easier to acquire [and the 2008 'election' approaches], security analysts argue in two new reports.
Ground Zero EMT: We Were Told Building 7 Was to Be "Pulled" --New Jersey Emergency Medical Technician asked "how could someone have rigged all these explosives?" before towers collapsed, support columns had been blown out By Paul Joseph Watson 08 Feb 2007 A New Jersey EMT has gone public on how emergency workers were told that Building 7 was going to be "pulled," before a 20 second demolition countdown broadcast over radio preceded its collapse. The ground zero rescue worker also blows the whistle on how he witnessed multiple underground support columns of the WTC towers that had been severed before the buildings imploded.
Britain is a 'police state for Muslims' 08 Feb 2007 One of the nine men arrested under anti[pro]-terror laws has described Britain as a "police state for Muslims". Abu Bakr, one of two suspects released early yesterday by West Midlands Police, said he was "taken aback" when he learned of the alleged plot to behead a Muslim soldier. "It's a police state for Muslims," Mr Bakr told the BBC. "It's not a police state for everyone else, because these terror laws are designed specifically for Muslims," he said.
U.S. asks to arm pilots abroad 08 Feb 2007 For the first time, the U.S. government is asking foreign countries to allow pilots to carry guns in the cockpit when they fly overseas. The Homeland Security Department, working with the State Department, is trying to expand a 4-year-old program that allows thousands of pilots to carry guns on domestic flights.
Airport screeners to get AMBER Alerts 07 Feb 2007 The nation's 43,000 airport security screeners will get notices and photos of abducted children as part of the AMBER Alert network's quest to find missing people, the Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday. Screeners [!?!] will be looking to stop abductors from taking children on planes. Airports are going to start receiving the bulletins starting today.
US Tourism Industry Big Loser As Foreigners Avoid US 08 Feb 2007 A severe economic impact resulting from the enforcement of the rigid US visa policy, whose screws have been tightened after the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, has been that many foreigners feel unwelcome and are consequently avoiding visits.
Exxon Record Profits Also Shows Company Took Less Profit In Run Up to the Election --Exxon, Shell and Marathon Oil Slashed Q4 Refining Margins to Temporarily Lower Pump Prices, Group Says (The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights) 01 Feb 2007 Exxon set the record for the largest annual corporate profit of $39.5 billion last year... The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said today's earnings reports show that industry leaders cut domestic refining profits in the run-up to the November election in order to lower gasoline prices, very likely hoping to influence the mid-term election. The nonpartisan group is calling for Congressional investigations to determine whether Exxon and others manipulated the market to affect the election.
S.E.C. Is Looking at Stock Trading 06 Feb 2007 The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a broad examination into whether Wall Street bank employees are leaking information about big trades to favored clients, like hedge funds, in an effort to curry favor with those clients, executives at Wall Street banks said.
U.S. companies prepare for bird flu pandemic 06 Feb 2007 A few international companies and small regional firms have already made bird flu planning a full-time job, and said on Tuesday they have had to prepare for the unthinkable. "Security is a huge issue," Jay Schwartz, vice president of information systems at North Carolina-based Alex Lee Inc., told a conference in Orlando. Big food trucks may be targeted by bandits. "Maybe we'll have someone riding shotgun for added security," Schwartz told the Business Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza summit, sponsored by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
MSNBC Vote: Should a state require that schoolgirls get the shot 'against' human papillomavirus? 85884 responses No, parents should decide whether or not their daughters are vaccinated. 63%; Yes, the vaccine is best for girls' health. 34%; I don't know. 2.8% [Poll snapshot: 18:14 EST 08 Feb 2007]
Due to pharma-terrorists' vaccines: U.S. says autism rate about 1 in 150 08 Feb 2007 About one in 150 American children has autism, an urgent public health concern, said U.S. health officials Thursday who reported on the largest study done so far on the troubling disorder... The study does not answer whether autism is increasing driven in part by the contention by some parents and advocates that autism is linked to a vaccine preservative.
EU seeks power to jail polluters under new environmental laws 08 Feb 2007 Releasing toxic chemicals, dumping hazardous waste and other serious "green crimes" would be punished by up to 10 years in prison and a €1.5m fine anywhere in Europe, under a plan to be launched tomorrow.
Snow Squalls Bury Upstate New York 08 Feb 2007 (Oswego, NY) Since Sunday, the small towns of Parish and Mexico have recorded more than 6 feet of snow, and forecasters with the National Weather Service say it isn't over yet. Another 2 feet or more of heavy lake effect snow was expected Thursday for the communities along eastern Lake Ontario, and more squalls are likely through the weekend.
Bush budget seeks $7.5m to fund Guantánamo prosecutors, close down domestic challenges 06 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush's budget seeks $7.5 million to fund civilian federal prosecutors at the military trials of the most notorious terrorist suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and to close down the captives' domestic court challenges. A $2 million request by the Justice Department, included in the pResident's 2007 supplemental budget released Monday, also provides the first indication of the Pentagon's plans to seek civilian expertise for what are expected to be 'complex prosecutions' [LOL!] of detainees. [The reason the prosecutions are 'complex' is because the US has *no evidence* and is breaking international law.]
'This is the standard approach, this is what happens when a lawless place like Guantanamo Bay is subject to scrutiny.' Guantanamo a lawless prison: lawyer 06 Feb 2007 Guantanamo Bay is a lawless prison run by the CIA and US interrogators using CIA techniques of subjugation and degradation, David Hicks' Adelaide lawyer said yesterday on his return from Cuba. David McLeod, a conservative military lawyer and decorated army legal reservist, said he was "shirt-fronted" by the US military last week because he talked to the media about the conditions in which Hicks was held. "I [the attorney] was subjected to a rather aggressive interrogation by one of the officials there for talking to the media in the way that I have," he said. "This is the standard approach, this is what happens when a lawless place like Guantanamo Bay is subject to scrutiny." Mr McLeod would not reveal details of the interrogation but said Guantanamo Bay was a lawless place that sought to avoid public scrutiny.
U.S. sent pallets of cash to Baghdad 06 Feb 2007 The U.S. Federal Reserve sent record payouts of more than $4 billion in cash to Baghdad on giant pallets aboard military planes shortly before the United States gave control back to Iraqis, lawmakers said on Tuesday.
After many denials, US Army confirms private security contract in Iraq 07 Feb 2007 After numerous denials, the Pentagon has confirmed that a North Carolina company provided armed security guards in Iraq under a subcontract that was buried so deeply the government couldn't find it. The secretary of the Army on Tuesday wrote two Democratic lawmakers that the Blackwater USA contract was part of a huge military support operation by run by Halliburton subsidiary KBR. Several times last year, Pentagon officials told inquiring lawmakers they could find no evidence of the Blackwater contract.
Iraq water deal illuminates murky world of secret contracting 07 Feb 2007 CIA officers operating in northern Iraq bought drinking water from a bottling plant there for years prior to the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. That changed soon afterward... The water contract, while small on the scale of the billions that flowed into Iraq, raises questions about why U.S. taxpayer dollars went to well-connected businessmen rather than Iraqis who could have benefited from a share of postwar reconstruction business. And the case provides a window into the murky world of covert government business arrangements.
Officials indict 5 in Iraq contract scam 07 Feb 2007 Three Army Reserve officers and a U.S. contractor were indicted Wednesday as part of a bid-rigging scam that steered millions of dollars of Iraq reconstruction projects to a contractor in exchange for cash, luxury cars, jewelry and other pricey goods. The three U.S. Army Reserve officers were responsible for helping to supervise how the U.S.-managed Coalition Provisional Authority spent an estimated $26 billion available for 'reconstruction' projects in Iraq.
Problems Stall Pentagon's New Fighting Vehicle --Costly Amphibious System Not Meeting Expectations 07 Feb 2007 After 10 years and $1.7 billion, this is what the Marines Corps got for its investment in a new amphibious vehicle: A craft that breaks down about an average of once every 4 1/2 hours, leaks and sometimes veers off course. And for that, the contractor, General Dynamics of Falls Church, received $80 million in bonuses.
More U.S. troops died in Iraq over past four months than in any similar period of war 07 Feb 2007 More American troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months — at least 334 through Jan. 31 — than in any comparable stretch since the war began, according to an Associated Press analysis of casualty records.
U.S. soldier to stand trial in absentia in Italy for death of agent in Iraq 07 Feb 2007 A judge Wednesday ordered a U.S. soldier to stand trial in absentia for the fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence agent at a checkpoint in Baghdad, the prosecutor said.
Pentagon Refuses Further Discipline in 'Friendly Fire' Flap 07 Feb 2007 The Pentagon refused to take any further disciplinary action yesterday against the American pilots whose "friendly fire" attack on British tanks in the Iraq war killed a soldier and wounded four others. Despite the leaking of graphic cockpit video and voice transcript evidence of the 2003 strike, Washington said the officers were cleared in an inquiry held within months. It did not have to re-evaluate its position.
British took part in friendly fire inquiry which cleared US pilots --Controversial cockpit video was viewed during investigation although MoD denied it existed 07 Feb 2007 British military officials took part in a US military inquiry into the 2003 friendly fire killing of Lance Corporal Matty Hull, which cleared the two reservist pilots involved, and the pilots are back on active duty, it was revealed last night.
U.S. military spokesman says Baghdad security operation is under way 07 Feb 2007 The long-awaited [dreaded] Baghdad security operation has begun, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq said Wednesday. The Iraqi general who is leading the security drive took over the operation headquarters on Monday, but there had been no announcement until Wednesday that the sweep, the third attempt to crush violence in nine months, was under way.
Oops! Fifth helicopter down - more dead mercenaries: Seven Killed as U.S. Copter Crashes in Iraq 07 Feb 2007 Seven people were killed today when a Marine transport helicopter crashed into an 'insurgent'-heavy region northwest of Baghdad. It was the fifth American helicopter to crash or be shot down since mid-January, and military officials are growing increasingly concerned that Iraqi 'insurgents' are successfully adapting their tactics to be more effective against American aircraft. [Gee, looks like!]
Families sue Blackwater for Iraq deaths 07 Feb 2007 The families of four private guards whose bodies were burned and dragged through the streets by a mob in Iraq told Congress on Wednesday that the security company that hired them failed to provide armored vehicles and other promised protections.
Military Wants More Civilians to 'Help' in Iraq 07 Feb 2007 Senior military officers, including members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have told President [sic] Bush and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that the new Iraq strategy could fail unless more civilian agencies step forward quickly to carry out plans for 'reconstruction' and political development.
Senate stalled but House pledges to act on Iraq 06 Feb 2007 Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday set up a confrontation with President [sic] George W. Bush over Iraq, but the Senate was deadlocked on whether to pass judgment on the unpopular war.
Soldier's Court-Martial Ends in Mistrial 07 Feb 2007 The judge overseeing the court martial of an Army lieutenant [1st Lt. Ehren Watada] who refused to deploy to Iraq declared a mistrial Wednesday, saying the soldier did not fully understand a document he signed admitting to elements of the charges. Military judge Lt. Col. John Head set a March 12 date for a new trial and dismissed the jurors.
US refusenik officer calls Iraq war illegal 07 Feb 2007 An army lieutenant who said he refused to be deployed to Iraq because he believed the war was illegal will take the stand in his own defence, his lawyer said. 1st Lieutenant Ehren Watada, of Honolulu, is charged with refusing to join his unit and with conduct unbecoming an officer for accusing the army of war crimes and denouncing the administration for conducting an "illegal war" founded on "lies".
Russert testifies in Libby perjury trial --Packed court hears NBC newsman deny identifying CIA agent 07 Feb 2007 NBC newsman Tim Russert took the stand and testified against former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Wednesday. Speaking before a packed courtroom, Russert said he never discussed a CIA operative during a July 2003 phone conversation with Libby. Libby has testified that, at the end of the call, Russert brought up war critic Joseph Wilson and mentioned that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.
Military: No Guantanamo Guard Abuse Evident 07 Feb 2007 A U.S. Army officer who investigated possible abuse at Guantanamo Bay after some guards allegedly bragged about beating detainees found no evidence they really mistreated the prisoners, military officials said Wednesday. Col. Richard Bassett, the chief investigator, did not recommend disciplinary action against the Navy guards named by Marine Sgt. Heather Cerveny, who had said that during a conversation in September they described beating detainees as common practice.
'I was told to accept these flights even when the airport was closed.' Remote Polish airstrip holds clues to secret CIA flights 06 Feb 2007 ...In late 2002 and 2003, there was a flurry of unusual activity at Mazury-Szczytno International Airport, a former military facility that happens to be near a Polish intelligence training complex where European investigators suspect the CIA maintained a secret interrogation and detention facility. Planes began arriving from Afghanistan, all of them registered to American companies... Their onward destinations were also unusual: Morocco, Uzbekistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Prodi, Berlusconi won't testify over CIA 'kidnap' 06 Feb 2007 Prime Minister Romano Prodi and his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi will not be called to testify on behalf of Italy's former spy chief, who is accused of helping the CIA kidnap a terrorism suspect, a judge ruled on Tuesday. Prosecutors want to try 26 Americans, most believed to be CIA agents, for grabbing Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr off a Milan street in 2003 and flying him to Egypt, where he says he was tortured.
U.S. moving ahead with plans to train Palestinian security forces 05 Feb 2007 The United States is planning to spend millions of dollars to train Palestinian security forces as part of a renewed effort to strengthen Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas... Critics have charged that military aid could end up fueling, not containing, the street fighting, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives in the last two months. [Right, that's why the Bush regime is funding this terrorism.]
Iran's Guards to hold war games in Gulf, reports say 06 Feb 2007 Iran’s Revolutionary Guards will hold two days of war games in the Gulf and Sea of Oman this week, focusing on launching missiles, Iranian news agencies reported on Tuesday. The exercises will be staged on Wednesday and Thursday by the missile units of the Guards’ naval and air forces, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, citing a Guards source.
Bush orders combat command for Africa 06 Feb 2007 The United States is to establish a new, separate military combat command for Africa [to steal its oil], President [sic] Bush announced Tuesday.
US Army sued for spying on blogs 06 Feb 2007 A US Army unit that monitors thousands of websites and soldiers' blogs has been served with a lawsuit by a San Francisco-based privacy group [the Electronic Frontier Foundation].
Watchdogs say Homeland Security office has delayed probes 06 Feb 2007 Two of the government's top investigators told lawmakers Tuesday that the Homeland Security Department has delayed and complicated their investigations, specifically because of problems they have had with the department's office of general counsel, which is run by Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's son-in-law.
A U.S. Attorney Was Removed Without Cause, Official Says 07 Feb 2007 A top Justice Department official said on Tuesday that one of several United States attorneys forced from their jobs last year was dismissed without a specific cause in order to give the job to a lawyer with close political ties to the White House.
2 terror suspects snagged in Birmingham raids released without charge 07 Feb 2007 A lawyer for two of the nine terror suspects arrested in last week's Birmingham raids, criticised police today as the men were released without charge. After they were freed from Coventry's Chace Avenue police station in the early hours, the men said police had not mentioned to them a plot to kidnap or behead any soldier. Their solicitor, Gareth Peirce said: "They have left the police station without any better understanding of why they were there than when they first arrived. They are convinced that others in the police station must be as innocent as they."
Smartcard not an ID card: minister 07 Feb 2007 (AU) Draft laws paving the way for the government's controversial welfare smartcard will be introduced into parliament today amid concerns it could become an identity card. Government backbenchers yesterday agreed to go ahead with the $1.1 billion project despite ongoing fears it would become a national identity card.
Elections chief in Ohio's largest county resigns after botched primary, mishandled recount 07 Feb 2007 The elections chief in Ohio's most populous county resigned Tuesday, ending a tenure that included the mishandled recount of President [sic] Bush's narrow 2004 'win' [loss] in Ohio that gave him a second term. Under executive director Michael Vu, Cuyahoga County had a botched primary last May and saw the convictions last month of two workers who rigged the presidential recount [!] so they could avoid a more thorough review of the ballots. [Start reading.]
Bush calls for eliminating food program for seniors 05 Feb 2007 For the second year in a row, President [sic] Bush proposes eliminating the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which provides nutritionally balanced boxes of food to about a half-million poor people per month. [Start reading.]
The Quiet Plan to Kill Medicare --The press has failed to notice that the President's proposed 2008 budget includes a plan to do away with Medicare. By Elana Levin 06 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush's new health care proposals have so many destructive features it took DMI nine pages to outline them all in our State of the Union rapid response last month. And we were really trying to brief. But it appears that the President didn't even mention all of the harmful plans he has in store for the nation's health care system. Like getting rid of Medicare as we know it. [Start reading.]
Bird flu tests for ill vet who helped tackle outbreak at turkey farm 07 Feb 2007 A vet who helped to tackle Britain's most serious bird flu outbreak was admitted to hospital last night suffering from a respiratory illness. It was confirmed the State Veterinary Service employee would be tested for H5N1 avian flu. The vet fell ill after working at the Bernard Matthews farm where the outbreak occurred in Suffolk.
'Who in their right minds would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone?' Waste in War: Where Did All the Iraq Reconstruction Money Go? Congressional inquiry probes former Bush official's handling of billions of dollars 06 Feb 2007 Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, the former Coalition Provisional Authority administrator responsible for 'rebuilding' [destroying] post-war Iraq, appeared for the first time before Congress to defend his record... Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif, chairman of the House Government Reform & Oversight Committee summoned Bremer, citing a January 2005 audit report from Stuart W. Bowen, the government's special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, which concluded that Bremer's CPA failed to account for $8.8 billion given to Iraqi ministries. In his opening statement, Rep. Waxman claimed $12 billion dollars were sent to Iraq between May 2003 and June 2004 and is unaccounted for by the U.S. government. Rep. Waxman said that 'bags of money' were taken from the Federal Reserve in New York, loaded onto wooden palettes and put on cargo planes that were flown into Baghdad. "Who in their right minds would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone?" asked Rep. Waxman. "But that's exactly what our government did," he said. [See: 'Iraq was awash in cash. We played football with bricks of $100 bills' 20 Mar 2006. See: It was the largest one-time cash transfer in the history of the New York Fed. It weighed 28 tons and took up as much room as 74 washing machines. It was $2.4 billion in $100 bills, and Baghdad needed it ASAP. The initial request from U.S. officials in charge of Iraq required the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to decide whether it could open its vault on a Sunday, a day banks aren't usually open... The $2,401,600,000 was delivered to Baghdad on June 22, 2004. It was the largest one-time cash transfer in the history of the New York Fed.]
Waxman Raps Ex-Iraq Chief Over Aid Funds 06 Feb 2007 The former U.S. occupation chief in Iraq on Tuesday defended the way he haphazardly doled out billions of dollars in Iraqi funds after the U.S. invasion as Democrats began a two-year effort to scrutinize fraud, waste and abuse under the Bush regime.
Bush's Defense Budget Biggest Since Reagan Era --Iraq, Afghanistan Spending Top Vietnam War 06 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush's defense budget request of $481.4 billion -- an 11 percent boost over last year -- pushes U.S. defense spending to levels not seen since the Reagan-era buildup of the 1980s. In addition, Bush is seeking a projected $141.7 billion in emergency supplemental funding for 2008 for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [Halliburton, Blackwater USA] and for broader anti[pro]-terrorism efforts -- bringing the total spent in those arenas since 2001 to $661 billion, eclipsing in real terms the cost of the Vietnam War.
Bush wants $700bn for military 05 Feb 2007 President [sic] George W Bush on Monday proposed more than $700bn in new spending for the US military - much of it for the Iraq war - in a budget that would curb domestic programmes from health to education.
Bush cuts health care to pay for war 07 Feb 2007 The US President [sic], George Bush, is proposing to slash medical care for the poor and elderly to meet the soaring cost of the Iraq war.
Bush budget plan revives forest sale scheme 05 Feb 2007 Dictator Bush's proposed budget revives a controversial plan to sell up to 300,000 acres of national forests - including 21,500 acres in Missouri - but for the second year in a row, Democrats pronounced the plan dead on arrival.
War tax sought as US Congress debates Bush budget 06 Feb 2007 An outspoken supporter of the Iraq war [Sen. Joseph LieberBush, R-Closeted-CT) on Tuesday called for a new tax to pay for its astronomical cost as Congress opened a debate on President [sic] George W. Bush's $2.9 trillion budget plan for next year.
US should weigh war on [of] terrorism tax - Lieberman 06 Feb 2007 Sen. Joseph LieberBush said on Tuesday that Congress should consider a tax to fund the U.S.-declared war on [of] terrorism and reduce the need to cut domestic programs to pay for security spending.
U.S. military: Iraqi lawmaker is U.S. Embassy bomber 06 Feb 2007 A man sentenced to death in Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies now sits in Iraq's parliament as a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ruling coalition, according to U.S. military intelligence. Jamal Jafaar Mohammed's seat in parliament gives him immunity from prosecution. [LOL! Oh but another dubious suckcess of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom.']
House to Debate Measure Opposing Bush's Iraq Plan 06 Feb 2007 Frustrated by a political breakdown in the Senate over Iraq, House Democratic leaders said today they intend to schedule a debate next week on a resolution denouncing President [sic] Bush’s plan to send more troops to Baghdad.
US Senate deadlock as Iraq security sweep launched 07 Feb 2007 As US and Iraqi military commanders launched the first stage of a new security plan to tackle violence on Baghdad's streets, the Bush Administration's "surge" of American troops was facing stiff resistance at home.
Baghdad showdown looms 06 Feb 2007 Iraqi Lieutenant General Abboud Gambar is familiar with American methods – he was captured by them during the first Gulf war in 1991. Now he’s the officer charged with leading US-backed government forces in what is a make or break effort to end the violence gripping Baghdad.
Crackdown in Baghdad biggest for four years, says US 05 Feb 2007 American commanders have said the planned crackdown on 'insurgents' in Baghdad will begin "soon" and the offensive would be on a scale never seen in four years of war.
Iranian Diplomat Kidnapped in Baghdad by Iraqis With Official ID 06 Feb 2007 An Iranian diplomat was abducted Sunday evening when his convoy was stopped by men with official Defense Ministry identification in the Karrada neighborhood here, senior Iraqi and American officials said Monday.
Paper 'gets friendly fire video' 05 Feb 2007 A newspaper claims to have unearthed the videotape at the centre of a row over the "friendly fire" death of a British soldier [Lance Corporal Matty Hull] in Iraq at the hands of the Americans. The Sun claims to have obtained the recording, thought to be of the moment two American planes opened fire on a convoy of British armoured vehicles. The paper claims that in the recording one of the pilot says "God dammit!", while another says "we're in jail, dude!"
Friendly Fire Pilot: 'We're In Jail, Dude' --Cockpit Video Had Been Classified 06 Feb 2007 The United States has 'agreed to release' [*after* The Sun obtained it] a classified cockpit video showing the dismayed reaction of two American pilots after they killed a British soldier during a friendly fire incident in Iraq, a spokesman for the coroner said Tuesday.
The death toll of 31 days in Iraq --In this war-torn country, nobody is safe from bloodshed. In Ramadi, Kirkuk and Basra, they count the dead as the violence worsens 06 February 2007 From north to south, from east to west, violence and insecurity have gripped the entirety of Iraq. In January alone, at least 2,000 civilians, Iraqi security forces and US and British troops were killed in violence across the nation.
Pace: Not enough equipment for surge 06 Feb 2007 U.S. Marine Gen. Peter Pace admitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday equipment will be a problem when U.S. forces in Iraq are increased.
Portugal probes alleged CIA flights 05 Feb 2007 Portugal's attorney general is opening a criminal investigation into claims that CIA flights, some of them allegedly carrying terror suspects, made stopovers in the country, the state-owned news agency reported on Monday. A report published by a European Parliament committee said information from Eurocontrol, the EU's air safety agency, showed that more than 1,200 undeclared CIA flights had entered European airspace since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
US handling of Hicks poor: PM 06 Feb 2007 Prime Minister John Howard has criticised America's handling of the David Hicks' case as a handful of his backbenchers demanded the Australian terror suspect be returned home.
Israel restricts access to al-Aqsa 04 Feb 2007 Israeli police and army forces deployed on Sunday around al-Aqsa mosque's compound in occupied Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent wide access to the site. Security forces manned barricades and checked Palestinians' identification, allowing only men over 45 years of age and women near the site.
Afghanistan War Crime Amnesty Denounced 05 Feb 2007 A group of lawmakers on Monday denounced a nonbinding resolution passed by Afghanistan's lower house of parliament calling for amnesty for warlords and other Afghans
U.S. government says war objector abandoned unit 06 Feb 2007 The U.S. government began its case against an Army officer [First Lt. Ehren Watada] being court-martialed for refusing to fight in Iraq by accusing him on Tuesday of making "disgraceful" statements and abandoning his unit.
Court-martial judge forbids law experts 06 Feb 2007 The judge trying the first U.S. officer court-martialed for refusing to ship out for Iraq barred several experts in international and constitutional law from testifying about the legality of the war.
Judge Refuses to Block Reporter Subpoena 06 Feb 2007 The judge in the CIA leak trial Tuesday refused to block a subpoena for a New York Times reporter's testimony, a ruling favorable to defendant I. Lewis Libby.
Libby describes relearning CIA operative's identity 06 Feb 2007 On grand jury audiotapes played at his trial on Tuesday, former White House aide I. Lewis Libby said he learned about a CIA officer from Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, forgot it, then learned it again from NBC News reporter Tim Russert a month later.
British Jews break away from 'pro-Israeli' Board of Deputies 05 Feb 2007 A new organisation to represent British Jews is to be launched today in response to a perceived pro-Israeli bias in existing Jewish bodies in the UK.
Unpopular Blair drags party to its worst poll rating since election 06 Feb 2007 Tony Blair's unpopularity has dragged Labour down to its lowest rating since the last general election, according to the results of the latest monthly "poll of polls" for The Independent.
Tories warn firms bidding for ID card scheme: 'We will scrap the whole idea' 06 Feb 2007 The Tories have moved to sabotage the Government's national identity card scheme a year before its launch. The party has also warned firms bidding to run the ID card scheme that their contracts would be cancelled shortly after a Tory election win.
States Buck Fed Plan For National ID --Citing Privacy Concerns, $11B Cost, A Dozen States Oppose Real ID Law; Congress May Repeal 04 Feb 2007 A revolt against a national driver's license, begun in Maine last month, is quickly spreading to other states.
US immigration cavity search ends in agony --Official pulled 'very hard' 05 Feb 2007 US immigration officials insisted the sufferer of an anal infection remove a small piece of medical thread which was being used by doctors to treat the condition. The man required treatment under general anaesthetic as a result.
FEMA Wants Over $300M in Katrina Aid Back 06 Feb 2007 In the neighborhood President [sic] Bush visited right after Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. government gave $84.5 million to more than 10,000 households. But Census figures show fewer than 8,000 homes existed there at the time. Now the government wants back a lot of the money it disbursed across the region. [OK, now let's get the wasted billion$ back from the Iraq contractors.]
Ministers forced to defend handling of flu outbreak 06 Feb 2007 The Government has defended its handling of the H5N1 avian flu outbreak in Suffolk as scientists continue to investigate how the deadly virus penetrated the supposedly bio-secure facility on a Bernard Matthews turkey farm.
Drug company 'hid' suicide link 29 Jan 2007 Secret emails reveal that the UK's biggest drug company distorted trial results of an anti-depressant, covering up a link with suicide in teenagers. Panorama reveals that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) attempted to show that Seroxat worked for depressed children despite failed clinical trials. And that GSK-employed ghostwriters influenced 'independent' academics.
Gore: Bush administration paying scientists to dispute global warming 06 Feb 2007 Former President Al Gore said in an interview on Tuesday the Bush administration is now paying scientists to dispute global warming since the administration can no longer argue against it.
Human rights body reconsiders Inuit climate change petition 06 Feb 2007 In a surprising about-face, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has decided it will hold a hearing to determine whether climate change is a human rights violation... A petition filed by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier and 65 other Inuit in 2005 states the U.S. is violating the human rights of Inuit by refusing to sign any international treaties to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
Brazil's Lula blasts rich nations on climate 06 Feb 2007 Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva blamed wealthy countries for global warming on Tuesday and said they should stop telling Brazil what to do with the Amazon rainforest.
China sweats in warmest temperatures on record 06 Feb 2007 Skating has been banned on the melting ice of Beijing's lakes and trees are blossoming early as China experiences its warmest winter on record. The temperature in the capital hit 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday, far above the historical average of just below freezing for this time of year and the highest since records were first compiled in 1840.
Republicans block Senate debate on Iraq 05 Feb 2007 Republicans blocked a full-fledged Senate debate over Iraq on Monday, but Democrats vowed they still would find a way to force President [sic] Bush to change course in a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 U.S. troops. "We must heed the results of the November elections and the wishes of the American people," said Majority Leader Harry Reid.
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 1st Session 05 Feb 2007 Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 470 ) Measure Title: A bill to express the sense of Congress on Iraq. Vote Counts: YEAs 49 NAYs 47 Not Voting 4
Republicans Urged Not to Block Iraq Vote 05 Feb 2007 A Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is cautioning Republicans against blocking a vote Monday on a resolution opposing President [sic] Bush's troop increase in Iraq, saying it would be a "terrible mistake." "It's obstructionism," said Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. "This is not tolerable in a situation where it's the number one topic in the nation, and the Republican party prevents the Senate of the United States from debating."
Bush Sends Congress a $2.90 Trillion Budget 05 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush sent a $2.90 trillion spending plan to a Democratic-controlled Congress on Monday, proposing a big increase in military spending, including billions more to fight the war in Iraq, while squeezing the rest of government to meet his goal of eliminating the deficit in five years.
Bush seeks Afghan funds as Pentagon renews 'focus' 05 Feb 2007 The Pentagon would spend $8.6 billion to train and equip 'Afghan forces' [Taliban, drug lords] in 2007 and 2008 under the Bush regime's budget plan released on Monday, reflecting a renewed focus on a war long overshadowed by Iraq.
Bush to unveil budget dominated by military, Iraq 05 Feb 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush is expected on Monday to estimate the costs for the Iraq war at nearly $300 billion over the next 2 1/2 years and propose limiting domestic spending for fiscal year 2008.
Officers With PhDs Advising War Effort 05 Feb 2007 Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq, is assembling a small band of warrior-intellectuals -- including a quirky Australian anthropologist, a Princeton economist who is the son of a former U.S. attorney general and a military expert on the Vietnam War sharply critical of its top commanders -- in an eleventh-hour effort to reverse the downward trend in the Iraq war.
'It's going to be an operation unlike anything this city has seen.' Baghdad offensive to begin: U.S. officers 04 Feb 2007 A U.S.-Iraqi campaign to stabilize [destroy] Baghdad will begin soon and the offensive against resistance fighters will be on a scale never seen during four years of war, American officers said on Sunday.
UK death squads running amok: Top secret army cell breaks terrorists 05 Feb 2007 Deep inside the heart of the "Green Zone" lies one of the most carefully guarded secrets of the war in Iraq. It is a cell from a small and anonymous British Army unit that goes by the deliberately meaningless name of the Joint Support Group (JSG), and it has proved to be one of the Coalition's most effective and deadly weapons in the fight 'against' terror. Its members are trained to turn hardened terrorists into occupation spies. Since war broke out ['broke out?'],in Iraq in 2003 they have been responsible for running dozens of Iraqi double agents.
U.S. military in Iraq admit airstrike error 05 Feb 2007 U.S. military officers offered their condolences on Monday to an Iraqi family south of Baghdad in a rare admission of error after killing two innocent Iraqis in an airstrike last Tuesday.
57 die in new Iraq violence 06 Feb 2007 Three car bombs killed 24 people and wounded scores in Baghdad yesterday as war-weary residents awaited the start of a sweeping US-Iraqi 'crackdown on' [fomenting of] sectarian violence in the city... In other violence, 33 more died, including several near the Baquba, in Diyala province, and in Mosul.
British Soldier Killed Is U.K.'s 100th 05 Feb 2007 A soldier killed in a roadside bombing Monday was the 100th British death attributed to hostile action since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to the Ministry of Defense.
Australia 'will harass US over Hicks' 05 Feb 2007 The Australian Government will "harass" the United States to meet deadlines in the trial of terrorist suspect David Hicks, Prime Minister [Bush troll] John Howard says.
Speak up, Mr. Harper – Guantanamo is a disgrace By Joe Clark, Lloyd Axworthy, Flora MacDonald, Bill Graham and John Manley and Pierre Pettigrew 01 Feb 2007 As former Canadian foreign ministers, we are deeply concerned by how the U.S.-run detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, flagrantly violates human rights, undermines the rule of law, and sends a signal to other governments that it is acceptable to abuse the rights of their citizens... Canada has played a key role in defending human rights, but, so far, the Canadian government has been notably silent on this matter. We urge Prime Minister Stephen Harper to speak up... He should appeal to the U.S. to respect the rule of law and close Guantanamo.
Fitzgerald Targets Cheney in Libby Tapes 05 Feb 2007 Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, in tapes played Monday in the CIA leak trial, pressed Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's former chief of staff on whether Cheney had directed him to leak the identity of a CIA operative to reporters.
Testimony in CIA leak case shows Cheney's hand --VP appeared eager to blunt criticism 05 Feb 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's press officer, Cathie Martin, approached his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on Air Force Two on July 12, 2003, to ask how she should respond to journalists' questions about Joseph Wilson. Libby looked over one of the reporters' questions and told Martin: "Well, let me go talk to the boss and I'll be back."
Court-Martial Begins for War Objector 05 Feb 2007 The judge in the case against the first U.S. officer [1st Lt. Ehren Watada of Honolulu] court-martialed for refusing to ship out for Iraq barred several experts in international and constitutional law from testifying Monday about the legality of the war.
Report warns PM over Iran action 05 Feb 2007 Tony Blair faces calls to avert military action against Iran as a broad coalition of organisations warns it would be disastrous. The Prime Minister is urged to pressure the US to enter direct talks with Tehran and avoid the "unthinkable" consequences of war.
Iran sets up 328 centrifuges at big atom site: sources 05 Feb 2007 Iran has set up two cascades of 164 centrifuges each in its underground nuclear plant, laying a basis for full-scale enrichment of uranium and upping the stakes in a standoff with the West, European diplomats said on Monday.
'The evidence points to this being done largely at Washington's request.' Britain blocks islanders ever going home 05 Feb 2007 More than three decades after British islands in the Indian Ocean were depopulated to make way for an American base, the Government will ask the courts today to ban the inhabitants from ever returning home.
Military Shows Off Experimental Heat Ray By David Kestenbaum 05 Feb 2007 The military demonstrates a "heat ray" developed as a way to disperse threatening crowds. Officials say the electro-magnetic device does no permanent damage, but makes people feel as if their skin is burning.
Archbishop in police state warning 05 Feb 2007 The Archbishop of York has warned that Britain was in danger of "coming close to a police state" in the wake of the arrest of suspected terrorists in Birmingham. Dr John Sentamu, who fled Uganda in the 1970s, criticised 90-day detention, likening it with his home country under the tyrannical rule of Idi Amin.
Covert iris scanner 05 Feb 2007 Sarnoff Labs in New Jersey, US, has been working on a clever homeland security system for the US government. It scans people's irises as they walk towards a checkpoint, without them even knowing it. Current systems require a person to stand still and look directly into a single digital camera from close range. The new system will instead use an array of compact, high resolution cameras, all of which point in slightly different directions and focus at slightly different distances.
U.S. Plans NYC Flight Restrictions 05 Feb 2007 Flight restrictions imposed around Manhattan after New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashed his single-engine plane into an apartment tower will be made permanent, government documents indicate.
Bomb Explodes at Capita, Near U.K.'s Scotland Yard 05 Feb 2007 A letter bomb exploded at the offices of Capita Group Plc, the company that runs London's traffic-charging system, on the same road as the U.K.'s Scotland Yard police headquarters, police said.
Firms to Pay $2M in Boston Bomb Scare 05 Feb 2007 Turner Broadcasting Systems and an advertising agency agreed Monday to pay $2 million in compensation for planting blinking electronic devices around the Boston area in a publicity stunt that set off a terrorism scare.
Bush budget trims health care funds 05 Feb 2007 Health care providers would get smaller pay increases when caring for the elderly, poor and disabled under President [sic] Bush's budget plan submitted to Congress on Monday.
Mega barf alert! Shell hires Bush's environmental adviser 05 Feb 2007 Gale Norton, a former interior secretary for the Bush regime and a supporter of opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other sensitive environmental landscapes for oil production, has taken up a senior legal post at Shell.
Mystery deepens over cause of Suffolk bird flu outbreak --Concern over delay in identifying H5N1 05 Feb 2007 The government was last night investigating possible links between the discovery of H5N1 avian bird flu at a Bernard Matthews turkey farm in Suffolk and recent outbreaks of the disease in Hungary.
Government defends bird flu response 05 Feb 2007 The environment secretary, David Miliband, today said he was satisfied that the response to the Suffolk bird flu outbreak had been "rapid, well co-ordinated and appropriate".
Warm weather prompts Corpse Flower to bloom early 05 Feb 2007 Unseasonably warm weather may have tricked the world's smelliest plant into blooming in the middle of the northern hemisphere winter, botanists at the Eden Project where the native of Sumatra is housed, told Reuters.
First Iraq, Now Global Warming? By Bill Gallagher 06 Feb 2007 ExxonMobil just announced 2006 profits of nearly $40 billion, the biggest in corporate history. For a company with those vast resources to give money to a lobbying group to distort the truth and attempt to perpetuate the lie that global warming is a myth shows us just what kind of scum are running ExxonMobil and its corporate kin. If we had an attorney general who cared about the law, he'd be investigating the AEI slush fund for scientists willing to become whores... Since Bush and Co. won't hesitate to lie to dispel the findings of hard science, they certainly don't fret as they deceive about less precise and measurable ventures such as politics and war.
U.S. Set to Begin a Vast Expansion of DNA Sampling 05 Feb 2007 The Justice Department is completing rules to allow the collection of DNA from most people arrested or detained by federal authorities, officials said, a vast expansion of DNA gathering. The new forensic DNA sampling was authorized by Congress in a little-noticed amendment to a January 2006 renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which provides protections and assistance for victims of sexual crimes.
U.S. Attorney Firings Set Stage for Congressional Battle 04 Feb 2007 Seven U.S. attorneys have been fired by the Justice Department, a move that has prompted sharp criticism from Democrats in Congress and has set the stage for a legislative battle over the attorney general's power to appoint federal prosecutors. A little-noticed provision passed last year allows Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to appoint interim U.S. attorneys indefinitely without seeking approval from the Senate. Fearing an attempted end run around congressional prerogatives, both House and Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to repeal the provision.
Bush's signing statements examined 01 Feb 2007 New House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., used his first oversight hearing Wednesday to say he's starting an investigation into President [sic] Bush's 'possible' [?] abuse of presidential signing statements. Bush has issued 147 signing statements, according to Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Iran showcases nuclear facility to visiting diplomats, journalists 03 Jan 2007 Iran on Saturday opened the gates to a key uranium conversion facility to visiting diplomats and journalists in an effort to show that its disputed nuclear program is peaceful and not a cover for nuclear bomb making.
Iranian nuclear scientist 'assassinated by Mossad' 04 Feb 2007 A Prize-winning Iranian nuclear scientist has died in mysterious circumstances, according to Radio Farda, which is funded by the US State Department and broadcasts to Iran. An intelligence source suggested that Ardeshire Hassanpour, a nuclear physicist, had been assassinated by Mossad, the Israeli security service.
US ex-generals reject Iran strike 04 Feb 2007 Three former high-ranking American military officers have warned against any military attack on Iran. They said such action would have "disastrous consequences" for security in the Middle East and also for 'coalition' [occupation] forces in Iraq.
Labour told: don't mention the war 04 Feb 2007 Scots Labour Party members have been banned from discussing the Iraq war, the future of Britain's nuclear arsenal or any other "non-Scottish" issues in the run-up to the Holyrood elections.
Pentagon alters how wounded are calculated 02 Feb 2007 Statistics on a Pentagon Web site have been 'reorganized' [LOL] in a way that lowers the published totals of American nonfatal casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Michael Kilpatrick, deputy director of force health protection and readiness at the Defense Department, said the previous method of tallying casualties was misleading and might have made injuries and combat wounds seem worse and more numerous than they really were.
Bush Plan Seeks Billions More for Iraq 04 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush will send Congress a $2.9 trillion spending request Monday that seeks billions of dollars more to fight the Iraq war and tries to restrain the spiraling cost of the government's big health care programs.
Who's Counting: How Iraq Trillion Could Have Been Spent --The Cost of the Iraq War: Can You Say $1,000,000,000,000? 04 Feb 2007 The price tag for the Iraq War is now estimated at $700 billion in direct costs and perhaps twice that much when indirect expenditures are included. Cost estimates vary -- Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz puts the total cost at more than $2 trillion -- but let's be conservative and say it's only $1 trillion (in today's dollars). Given how large the war looms, it doesn't hurt to repeat this simple exercise with other examples and in other ways.
In Washington, Contractors Take on Biggest Role Ever 04 Feb 2007 Without a public debate or formal policy decision, contractors have become a virtual fourth branch of government. On the rise for decades, spending on federal contracts has soared during the Bush administration, to about $400 billion last year from $207 billion in 2000, fueled by the war in Iraq, domestic security and Hurricane Katrina, but also by a philosophy that encourages outsourcing almost everything government does.
Iraqi Interior Ministry estimates 1,000 killed in one week 04 Feb 2007 The Iraqi Interior Ministry estimates that about 1,000 people have been killed throughout Iraq in the past week due to gunbattles, drive-by shootings and bomb attacks, a ministry official said Sunday.
At least 77 killed in Iraq violence 05 Feb 2007 At least 37 people died in bombings and shootings in the Iraqi capital on Sunday. In addition, 33 corpses were found across the city and seven more people were reported killed elsewhere in Iraq. Towards nightfall a salvo of mortar shells slammed into Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district, killing 15 people and wounding 56, a medical source said.
1-ton bomb kills 130 in Baghdad market [*Who* has of 1-ton bombs in Iraq? 'Insurgents?' LOL!] 04 Feb 2007 The deadliest single bombing in Iraq since the 2003 invasion killed at least 130 people and wounded at least 300 in a crowded Baghdad street market Saturday, the latest in an escalating campaign of [US] terror targeting shoppers that has claimed hundreds of lives in recent weeks.
Soldiers in Iraq view troop surge as a lost cause 03 Feb 2007 While senior military officials and the Bush administration say the pResident's decision to send more American troops to pacify Baghdad will succeed, many of the soldiers who're already there say it's a lost cause.
U.S. says ground fire brought down 4 helicopters in recent weeks 04 Feb 2007 As Iraqis mourned the victims of the worst single bombing since the American invasion almost four years ago, U.S. military officials acknowledged Sunday that the four U.S. helicopters that crashed since Jan. 20 were all brought down by hostile fire.
US military reports deaths of five more American soldiers in Iraq 03 Feb 2007 The US military has reported the deaths of five soldiers in Iraq.
3 Guantanamo inmates charged 03 Feb 2007 A United States military prosecutor had filed charges against an Australian, a Yemeni and a Canadian held at the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, said the US defence department on Friday.
The view from Guantanamo Bay By Michelle Shephard 04 Feb 2007 It has been more than five years since the first detainees arrived at the base on Jan. 11, 2002... Of the more than 700 who have been held here over those years, about 380 have been released or surrendered to their home governments. But five years has brought new problems, such as the questions about Camp 6 and the effect of prolonged isolation.
Former CIA contractor to be sentenced in fatal detainee beating of Afghan detainee 04 Feb 2007 A former CIA contractor convicted of assaulting an Afghan detainee who later died is scheduled to be sentenced later this month, according to federal court records. David A. Passaro was the first American civilian charged with mistreating a detainee during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
National Day of Action to support Lt Watada --Rally at Fort Lewis Mon. Feb. 5 --Momentum is building across the country in support of Lt. Watada, who faces military court martial on Monday, February 5, 2007. Events and actions are planned throughout the county and the world. Thousands of people are expected to be in the streets to show their opposition of the Iraq war and support of Lt. Watada.
Amnesty on Afghan war crimes approved 05 Feb 2007 The Afghan parliament has approved a bill granting an amnesty from charges of war crimes during the past 25 years of conflict. Critics said the move was to protect [US-installed] warlords who have become MPs and have been accused in the past of human rights abuses.
Britain hands over Afghanistan to US 05 Feb 2007 Britain has handed over the Nato command in Afghanistan to the United States as the country enters what is expected to be a decisive round of fighting in the war with the Taliban.
U.S. in Afghanistan could signal harder line 04 Feb 2007 Gen. Dan McNeill, the highest ranking U.S. general to lead troops in Afghanistan, took command of 35,500 NATO-led soldiers on Sunday, putting an American face on the international 'mission' [What *is* the mission?] after nine months of British command. The transition comes after a year of sharply increased violence following the alliance's push into the Taliban's southern heartland, and military officials said privately they expect McNeill to take a harder line with militants than his predecessor, Gen. David Richards.
British fear gung-ho Americans 04 Feb 2007 Senior defence sources have voiced fears that an imminent push by the United States in Afghanistan will force British soldiers to adopt an overly aggressive approach that will damage relations with ordinary Afghans and play into the hands of the Taliban.
Poll shows Britons believe Blair should quit now 04 Feb 2007 More than half of British voters believe Prime Minister Tony Blair should leave office immediately, an ICM poll for the Sunday Express newspaper shows.
Strategist calls for counter-terrorism institute to be set up (ABC Radio National) 04 Feb 2007 One of Australia's leading strategic thinkers has called for the creation of a national institute for counter-terrorism to confront the generational threat from jihadists. Dr Anthony Bergin, of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, says too much of the research coming from academics regards Australia as the problem [it is], not Islamic militants.
States Challenge National Driver's License 04 Feb 2007 A revolt against a national driver's license, begun in Maine last month, is quickly spreading to other states. The Maine Legislature on Jan. 26 overwhelmingly passed a resolution objecting to the Real ID Act of 2005.
New Jersey School to Test for Students' Weekend Drinking 30 Jan 2007 Starting Monday, students at Pequannock High School in Morris County will soon undergo random alcohol testing that can determine if they've been drinking up to 80 hours earlier... School officials acknowledge the test is sensitive, and false positive readings can be the result of products containing ethanol, including hand sanitizers, mouthwash and Balsamic vinegar.
Bird flu: ministry's slow start attacked 05 Feb 2007 Anger is mounting over the official response to the outbreak of bird flu at a British poultry farm after it was confirmed it was the deadly H5N1 virus. Farmers are bracing for a devastating customer backlash that threatens to destroy the £3.4 billion ($8.6 billion) industry.
Vets working to contain bird flu 04 Feb 2007 Tens of thousands of turkeys are being gassed at a farm in Suffolk in a bid to contain Britain's first mass outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu. A biosecurity zone has also been set up around the Bernard Matthews farm near Lowestoft - where the virus was first discovered - as a precaution.
Scientists hunt bird flu source [Check a U.S. Army lab.] 04 2007 The slaughter of thousands of turkeys on a farm infected with the potentially deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is being completed, as scientists attempt to track down the source of the virus.
World braced for huge surge in bird flu cases 04 Feb 2007 The number of cases of the deadly bird flu virus is increasing around the world as scientists struggle to combat the disease that is now threatening to jump species and infect humans. The news comes as Britain confirmed its first ever case of H5N1 in a farm in Suffolk. [See: Scientists Recreate 1918 Flu and See Parallels to Bird Flu 18 Jan 2007 In 2005, U.S. Army scientists reconstructed Spanish flu virus by extracting genetic fragments from the bodies of victims exhumed from the Alaskan permafrost.]
H5N1: The deadly strain of bird flu is here. But we're told: Don't panic --160,000 turkeys to be gassed; exclusion zone set up; virus likely to spread 04 Feb 2007 The first major outbreak of bird flu to hit Britain was confirmed yesterday, sparking fears that the virus will spread throughout the country and prompting a cull of 160,000 possibly infected birds. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 UK Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice. Animals exposed to this composite were dying within days of symptoms similar to those found in human victims of the 1918 pandemic.]
Bush's Medicare Budget Would Raise Premiums 04 Feb 2007 More and more Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay higher premiums for coverage of prescription drugs and doctors’ services under President [sic] Bush’s 2008 budget, to be unveiled on Monday.
Edwards: raise taxes on wealthy for healthcare 04 Feb 2007 Democratic U.S. presidential candidate John Edwards on Sunday said that he would raise taxes, chiefly on the wealthy, to pay for expanded healthcare coverage under a plan costing $90 billion to $120 billion a year to be unveiled on Monday.
46 nations 'warm up' to global warming environmental threat 05 Feb 2007 Forty-Five nations joined France in calling for a new environmental body to slow global warming and protect the planet, a body that potentially could have policing powers to punish violators. Absent were the world's heavyweight polluter, the US, and booming nations on the same path as the US, China and India.
Republicans Plan to Block Iraq Debate 03 Feb 2007 Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said Friday that his party would unite to block Senate debate next week on a bipartisan resolution opposing President [sic] Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq unless the Democrats allowed votes on at least two Republican alternatives.
UK guilty of sending 'child soldiers' to Iraq 03 Feb 2007 Britain broke a United Nations treaty banning the use of child soldiers by sending underage troops - including 17-year-old girls - to Iraq, it has been revealed. The Ministry of Defence has admitted that army commanders were put under pressure by successive deployments to Iraq and as a result broke international rules by sending soldiers who had not yet reached their 18th birthday.
Mercenaries are second largest force in Iraq: UN 03 Feb 2007 Between 30,000 and 50,000 mercenaries are working in Iraq, making them the second largest military force there after the occupying United States.
Bush seeks $130 billion for U.S. Army 03 Feb 2007 The Army would get a sizable increase under Dictator Bush's 2008 budget that would help ease the strain from the demands of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and meet equipment 'needs.' The $130 billion would include more than $46 billion for personnel, an 8 percent increase, and nearly $24 billion to buy weapons and other equipment, 42 percent more than this year.
Bush Budget Hikes War Funding 02 Feb 2007 Keeping troops in Iraq for another year and a half will cost nearly a quarter-trillion dollars — about $800 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. — under the budget President [sic] Bush will submit to Congress Monday.
Care for U.S. veterans could cost $662 bln: study 02 Feb 2007 Medical costs for U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could range from $350 billion to $662 billion over the next 40 years, as soldiers survive injuries that would have killed them in past conflicts, according to a Harvard University study.
Bush says budget will limit non-defense spending 03 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush said on Saturday that his upcoming budget proposal would emphasize restraint on domestic spending while putting defense and war costs for Iraq and Afghanistan [Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater USA] as the top priority.
Report says Iraq could be torn apart --Analysts see fleeting chance for stability 03 Feb 2007 A much anticipated US intelligence report warned yesterday that the rising violence in Iraq could permanently tear the country apart and, in the worst case, create a state of anarchy with no legitimate authority that combines "extreme ethnosectarian violence with debilitating intragroup clashes."
Intelligence Report Predicts Spiraling of Violence in Iraq 02 Feb 2007 A much-anticipated assessment of Iraq by America’s intelligence agencies describes a worsening cycle of chaos in the country, and predicts that the sectarian strife will continue to fracture the country without bold actions by Iraqi politicians.
Pentagon says U.S. not planning war with Iran 03 Feb 2007 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that the United States has no plan to go to war with Iran, but is determined to stop 'Iran's involvement in Iraq.'
U.S. can't prove Iran link to Iraq strife --Despite pledges to show evidence, officials have repeatedly put off presenting their case. 03 Feb 2007 Bush administration officials acknowledged Friday that they had yet to compile evidence strong enough to back up publicly their claims that Iran is fomenting violence against U.S. troops in Iraq.
Baghdad market bomb 'kills 121' 03 Feb 2007 At least 121 people have been killed and 226 injured in a lorry bombing at a market place in central Baghdad, Iraqi security officials have said. Police say the truck blew up in the al-Sadriya district as people bought food ahead of a night-time curfew.
Car Bomb Blast Kills 1 Near Baghdad 03 Feb 2007 A parked car bomb struck a commercial area south of Baghdad on Saturday, killing one civilian and wounding eight, police said.
Defense Official Resigns Over Detainee Remarks 02 Feb 2007 A senior Pentagon official [Charles "Cully" Stimson] resigned Friday over controversial remarks in which he criticized lawyers who represent terrorism suspects, the Defense Department said. The Bar Association of San Francisco last week asked the California State Bar to investigate whether Stimson violated legal ethics by suggesting a boycott of law firms that represent Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Judges Pose Questions on Bush Detainee Policy 02 Feb 2007 In a series of probing and sometimes testy exchanges with a government lawyer, two of three judges on a federal appeals court panel here indicated Thursday that they might not be prepared to accept the Bush regime’s claim that it has the unilateral power to detain people it calls enemy combatants... "What would prevent you from plucking up anyone and saying, 'You are an enemy combatant?'" Judge Roger L. Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit asked the administration’s lawyer, David B. Salmons.
'And providing material support for terrorism, I don't know what the hell that means.' Hicks charged with terrorism 03 Feb 2007 Guantanamo Bay prisoner, Adelaide-born David Hicks has been charged with terrorism related offences - five years after being detained. Two charges have been laid including providing material support for terrorism and attempted murder in violation of the law of war.
US drafts new terrorism charges against Hicks 03 Feb 2007 The US military has drafted new terrorism charges against Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee, David Hicks. The Chief US military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay wants to charge Hicks with attempted murder and offering material support for terrorism. Both offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The US has dropped previous charges of aiding the enemy and conspiracy.
Murder charge filed against Canadian in Guantanamo --Toronto-born Omar Khadr, a teen held by U.S. military for 4½ years, could face trial in spring 03 Feb 2007 The U.S. military filed a murder charge Friday against Omar Khadr, who is the only Canadian imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay prison and has been there for more than four years.
Travel Logs Aid Germans' CIA Kidnap Probe 02 Feb 2007 German investigators said they received detailed records of the CIA agents' stopovers on the Spanish island of Palma de Mallorca from Spanish police last year. The documents, which included the operatives' passport numbers, hotel bills and aviation records, enabled prosecutors to identify a CIA abduction crew that allegedly kidnapped Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen, in a bungled counterterrorism operation in early 2004.
Video undercuts Libby's defense 02 Feb 2007 Former vice pResidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's defense in his perjury trial relies on his contention that he was made a scapegoat to protect White House political strategist Karl Rove from charges of leaking the name of a CIA officer. But that assertion was dealt a blow Thursday, when jurors were shown videotapes from 2003 of White House spokesman Scott McClellan telling reporters that Libby was not the source of the leak.
Looters still ransacking Afghanistan's treasures, experts warn 03 Feb 2007 More than five years after the 'fall' [?] of the Taliban regime, the plundering of Afghanistan's archaeological sites and museums not only continues but has evolved into a sophisticated trade that could be financing the country's warlords and 'insurgents,' experts say... Some of the artifacts have turned up in fancy auction houses and antique shops in London, Tokyo and New York, The International Council of Museums said. [LOL, it's not the 'insurgents' carrying out the smuggling - it's the US terrorists!]
More UK troops for Afghanistan 02 Feb 2007 Britain's military commitment to strife-torn southern Afghanistan is to be increased by about 800 troops by the end of this summer, bringing the total UK deployment in Helmand province to 5,800, Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, said yesterday.
Pakistan Admits Security Forces Allowed Taleban Raids 02 Feb 2007 Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged that some members of his security forces have turned a "blind eye" to Taleban raids into neighboring Afghanistan. As VOA reports, General Musharraf also says his military will begin fencing nearly 300 kilometers of its border with Afghanistan to prevent cross-border militant activity.
Depleted Uranium, Diabetes, Cancer And You By Dr. Alan Cantwell 17 Jan 2007 DU was first used by the US in the 1991 Gulf War, then in the Balkans in the late 1990s, in Kosovo in 2000, in the war against Afghanistan, in Iraq in 2003, and also by the Israelis in the 2006 war with Lebanon... DU weapons were developed by the US Navy in 1968, and were first given to Israel by the US in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Since then, the US has tested, manufactured and sold DU weapons systems to 29 countries.
'The more they oppose terrorism, the more terror they produce.' Chinese Official Publishes Rebuke of Bush 02 Feb 2007 A senior Chinese government official issued a rare public rebuke of President [sic] Bush on Thursday, accusing him of waging a "unilateral" battle against terrorists that had worsened global tensions.
'I won't quit and I won't plead with anyone over my integrity' 03 Feb 2007 A defiant Tony Blair yesterday declared he will not be driven from office by the cash-for-peerages inquiry, but admitted he sees no point in trying to convince the public his integrity remains intact. The Prime Minister was last week questioned by police for a second time over corruption allegations, a development that has driven many senior Labour figures to despair.
'We don't have any specific threat to this event.' Super Bowl Security a Massive Effort 02 Feb 2007 66 specialized canine bomb teams working as part of a massive local, state and federal security effort to protect one of the world's highest-profile public events [the Super Bowl] from terrorists, foreign and domestic. The dog teams are one element of a 6-inch-thick security plan, which includes jet fighters and helicopters, tactical weapons teams, mobile bomb labs and robots, high-tech X-ray machines and sensors, intelligence databases and hundreds of uniformed police officers.
Number of People Stopped by Police Soars in New York 03 Feb 2007 The New York Police Department released new information yesterday showing that police officers stopped 508,540 individuals on New York City streets last year — an average of 1,393 stops per day — often searching them for illegal weapons. The number was up from 97,296 in 2002, the last time the department divulged 12 months’ worth of data.
'Florida is like a synonym for election problems; it's the Bermuda Triangle of elections.' Florida to Shift Voting System With Paper Trail 02 Feb 2007 Gov. Charlie Crist announced plans on Thursday to abandon the touch-screen voting machines that many of Florida’s counties installed after the disputed 2000 'presidential election' [coup d'etat]. The state will instead adopt a system of casting paper ballots counted by scanning machines in time for the 2008 presidential election.
Pharma-terrorists force deadly vaccines on girls in Texas: Perry Orders Pre-Teen Girls to Get HPV Vaccine 02 Feb 2007 Texas pre-teen girls will soon be required to get a vaccination against [with] a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) issued the executive order early Friday afternoon, bypassing Texas lawmakers, and directing the Health and Human Services Commission to adopt vaccination rules for girls, ages 11 and 12.
Emergency measures put in place 03 Feb 2007 Emergency measures have been put in place to shut down the movement of poultry to minimise the risk of bird flu spreading to other animals and even humans. Strict procedures were triggered after an outbreak of the disease was confirmed at the Bernard Matthews site at Holton near Halesworth, Suffolk. Automatic measures include a 1.8 mile (3km) deep protection zone around the infected site and a monitoring area of at least a further 4.5 miles (7km).
Fatal bird flu virus confirmed in Britain 03 Feb 2007 Tests have confirmed that 2,600 turkeys at a Suffolk farm died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu that can be fatal to humans. A restricted access zone of 3km and a 10km surveillance zone will now be set up at the Bernard Matthews-owned farm near Lowestoft, with the farm's remaining 160,000 turkeys to be culled.
Bird flu outbreak on English farm is H5N1 03 Feb 2007 An outbreak of bird flu on a farm run by Europe's biggest turkey manufacturer Bernard Matthews is the highly pathogenic H5N1 version of the virus which can kill humans, the European Commission said on Saturday.
Mega barf alert! Cloneburgers Won't Come With Warnings 02 Feb 2007 Cloneburgers won't come with warnings. When the government approves 'food' from cloned animals, expected in the next year, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't plan special labels.
Unworthy of consideration By Pete Stark 29 Jan 2007 Employers would cancel group plans. Workers could buy individual policies, which have higher costs and more limited access than group plans do... Much like Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, "gold-plated" health insurance is a figment of the president's imagination. Bush's proposal would destroy the very system through which the vast majority of people get their coverage today and fail to replace it with an alternative means of obtaining quality care. It doesn't deserve Congress' consideration.
Bush to cut $1.3bn from levee protection in Louisiana 02 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush is expected to shift $1.3 billion away from raising and armoring levees, installing floodgates and building permanent pumping in Southeast Louisiana in order to plug long-anticipated financial shortfalls in other hurricane-protection projects, a move Sen. David Vitter (R) describes as a retreat from the president's commitment to protect the whole New Orleans area.
Al Gore: Silicon Valley can save earth --Gore says he's on a campaign "more important" than presidential (video) 02 Feb 2007 Speaking at the Silicon Valley Joint Venture event in San Jose, Calif., former President Al Gore said there's still time to combat the expected effects of climate change. He said the investment and innovation that built the high-tech and biotech industries is now needed for green tech.
White House rejects mandatory CO2 caps 02 Feb 2007 Despite a strongly worded global warming report from the world's top climate scientists, the Bush regime expressed continued opposition Friday to mandatory reductions in heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases.
Carbon dioxide rate is at highest level for 650,000 years 03 Feb 2007 Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at their highest levels for at least 650,000 years and this rise began with the birth of the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Global warming: the final warning 03 Feb 2007 According to yesterday's UN report, the world will be a much hotter place by 2100. This will be the impact...
UN delivers definitive warning on dangers of climate change 03 Feb 2007 A terrifying leap in average global temperatures of 6.4C with higher figures nearer the poles could occur over the next century, according to the most authoritative report yet on global warming.
Global warming sees polar bears stranded on melting ice 01 Feb 2007 They cling precariously to the top of what is left of the ice floe, their fragile grip the perfect symbol of the tragedy of global warming. Captured on film by Canadian environmentalists, the pair of polar bears look stranded on chunks of broken ice.
As many as 9 tornadoes struck central Florida 03 Feb 2007 Thousands of people were waking up in shelters on Saturday in central Florida after violent storms swept through the region with little warning, killing at least 19 people and flattening hundreds of homes.
Severe Storms Strike Central Florida, Killing 19 02 Feb 2007 Severe thunderstorms accompanied by at least one tornado ripped through central Florida early today, killing at least 19 people and tearing up houses, trees and power lines and blowing tractor-trailers off Interstate 4.
Bush Wants $245 Billion for War Effort 02 Feb 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush will ask for another $100 billion for 'military and diplomatic operations' in Iran and Afghanistan [Halliburton and Blackwater USA] this year, a senior official said. The administration will seek another $145 billion for fiscal year 2008. The requests will accompany the president's budget, due to be unveiled Monday.
U.S. intelligence sees elements of Iraq 'civil war' 02 Feb 2007 U.S. intelligence experts painted a gloomy picture of Iraq, saying in a report seen on Friday that sectarian bloodshed had surpassed the threat from 'al Qaeda' and warning of the consequences of a rapid U.S. withdrawal.
Iraq at Risk of Further Strife, Intelligence Report Warns 02 Feb 2007 A long-awaited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, presented to President [sic] Bush by the intelligence community yesterday, outlines an increasingly perilous situation in which the United States has little control and there is a strong possibility of further deterioration, according to sources familiar with the document.
Ex-advisers offer revised Iraq plans 01 Feb 2007 President Carter's national security adviser said Thursday the Iraq war was likely to lead to "a head-on conflict" with Iran and other parts of the Muslim world. Zbigniew Brzezinski also told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Bush administration policy was driven by "imperial hubris" and has proved to be a disaster on historic, strategic and moral grounds.
Iran allowing UN surveillance: official 03 Feb 2007 A senior Iranian official said Tehran had allowed the installation of surveillance cameras at a complex where it is set to begin expanding enrichment of nuclear fuel.
No restrictions of inspectors' access to nuclear site: official 03 Feb 2007 Iran denied on Friday it was blocking UN inspectors from a key nuclear site or installing new centrifuges. "Within the framework of Iran’s commitment to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), there is no and there will be no restriction of inspectors’ access," a high-ranking Iranian official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
U.S. Says Iran Meddles in Iraq but Is Delaying Release of Data 02 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush’s national security advisers have ordered a delay in publication of evidence intended to support Washington’s contention that Iran supplies lethal technology and other aid to militias in Iraq, senior administration officials said Thursday.
Useless is as useless does: Sen. Clinton: We must not permit Iran to acquire nuclear weapons 02 Feb 2007 Calling Iran a danger to the U.S. and one of Israel's greatest threats [!?!], U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday no option can be taken off the table when dealing with that nation.
Huge Force Readying Crackdown in Baghdad 02 Feb 2007 U.S. Army engineers [terrorists] have torn down houses and surrounded the newly cleared space with razor wire atop concrete blast walls for neighborhood bases, the first outward signs of the coming Baghdad security crackdown.
Senate edges closer to confronting Bush 01 Feb 2007 The U.S. Senate edged closer to a showdown debate over Iraq with attacks coming from the right and left on Thursday on a proposal to reject President [sic] George W. Bush's decision to send 21,500 more troops to war.
Report: 81 Journalists Killed in 2006 02 Feb 2007 The number of journalists killed or jailed worldwide has reached its highest level in a decade, with arrests rising as governments seek to control the Internet, an advocacy group said Thursday.
Story, photo of sergeant's death threatens embed status of 'Times' journalists 01 Feb 2007 The intimate portrayal of a sergeant's death during Army efforts to clear a Baghdad neighborhood has caused friction between the military and The New York Times, while sparking larger questions about war coverage and media-military relations. Two journalists working on the Times' story were apparently threatened with expulsion from their embed status, a move that puzzled military reporters who've worked in Iraq.
130 killed in attacks across Iraq 02 Feb 2007 A pair of suicide bombers detonated explosives Thursday among shoppers in a crowded outdoor market in a Shiite city south of Baghdad, killing at least 73 people and wounding 163, police said. Bombs and a mortar attack killed at least 17 others in Baghdad. Overall, about 130 people were killed or found dead across the country.
Fourth U.S. chopper to go down in 2 weeks crashes north of Baghdad 02 Feb 2007 A U.S. military helicopter crashed north of Baghdad today amid reports of ground fire, Iraqi police and witnesses said. It was the fourth American chopper to go down in two weeks.
Iraq: Fourth Downed U.S. Helicopter In Two Weeks --U.S. Probes Helicopter Crash Near Baghdad 02 Feb 2007 An American helicopter crashed north of Baghdad Friday morning, the fourth one lost in the past two weeks by the U.S. military and private companies. An Iraqi police official, Major Hatem Al-Dulaimi, said the aircraft was brought down by a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile.
11th-hour bid to halt Iraq war revelations --Foreign Office says envoy's book 'risks damaging morale' 28 Jan 2007 The foreign office has made a last-ditch attempt to stop one of its former senior diplomats from publishing a book claiming that the government knew that Iraq did not represent a significant threat to the West in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Taliban overrun Afghan town 03 Feb 2007 Taliban fighters have overrun a town where British troops pulled out after a peace deal with local tribal elders, witnesses say. Taliban fighters took over the district administration office and police headquarters in Musa Qala on Thursday night.
Pakistan to Fence Border of Afghanistan 02 Feb 2007 President Gen. Pervez Musharraf acknowledged Friday that outgunned Pakistani frontier guards have allowed 'insurgents' to cross into Afghanistan but denied the army or intelligence service was actively helping the Taliban.
Judge: Doctor Can't Treat Terrorists 31 Jan 2007 A doctor accused of pledging to treat [alleged] al-Qaida members can be prosecuted because medical care counts as material support to terrorists under federal law, a judge said Tuesday. Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, an Ivy League-educated doctor, had argued it was unconstitutional to prosecute a doctor for providing medical services. [Right, they can only *torture* them. See: Abu Ghraib doctors knew of torture, says Lancet report 20 Aug 2004. Also, see: US doctors 'aided' Abu Ghraib abuses 22 Aug 2004.]
Protesters demand end of torture at Guantanamo Bay 01 Feb 2007 Orange jumpsuits, black hoods and shackles: the uniform of Guantanamo Bay prison. Amnesty International volunteers dressed in this same outfit stood in -30 C weather in front of the United States embassy in Ottawa Jan. 25 to protest five years of human rights violations at Guantanamo. Using a makeshift jail cell, prisoners were rounded up by guards, interrogated and locked up to simulate the conditions at the highly contentious prison.
U.S. unsure when, if can hand over prisons to Iraq 02 Feb 2007 U.S. forces are taking longer than expected to train Iraqis to run their [KBR-built] prisons and have no clear view of when, if ever, they can entrust security suspects they hold to the overall control of the Iraqi authorities.
German Arrest Warrants for CIA Kidnapping, Torture of Khaled El-Masri Come as US Extraordinary Rendition Scrutinized Around the Globe 02 Feb 2007 (Democracy Now! interview with journalist Stephen Grey) German prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for thirteen CIA operatives linked to the kidnapping and torture of German citizen Khaled El-Masri. The arrest warrants were announced at a time that the US practice known as extraordinary rendition [kidnapping] is coming under increasing scrutiny around the globe.
Feds prepare to charge ex-CIA official, contractor 01 Feb 2007 Federal prosecutors are preparing to seek indictments against a former top CIA official and a San Diego defense contractor linked to the bribery scandal that sent former U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham to prison, two government officials familiar with the investigation said.
PM faces further questions over 'secret' interview "The Prime Minister has been interviewed briefly to clarify points emerging from the ongoing investigation. He was interviewed as a witness, not as a suspect and co-operated fully". - Scotland Yard 02 Feb 2007 Downing Street was yesterday forced to deny fresh allegations of a cover-up following the revelation that Tony Blair was secretly interviewed by police for a second time last week.
No 10 kept Blair's questioning by police secret for a week 01 Feb 2007 Tony Blair’s premiership was on the verge of complete paralysis on Thursday night after it emerged that he was interviewed a second time in secret by police investigating the cash for honours scandal. In an extraordinary twist, the meeting last Friday was kept under wraps at the request of Scotland Yard until Thursday.
'We have to be prepared for a Category 5 pandemic.' U.S. Issues Guidelines in Case of Flu Pandemic 01 Feb 2007 The federal government today issued new pandemic flu guidelines to states and cities. "We have to be prepared [build] for a Category 5 pandemic," said Dr. Martin Cetron, director of global migration and quarantine for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in releasing the guidelines. The guidelines did not suggest using the military to enforce quarantines, as Dictator Bush said he might do when he first mentioned avian flu in 2005.
In outbreak drill, CDC readies for the 'Big One' 01 Feb 2007 (Atlanta) A flu pandemic drill involved close to 300 CDC employees and was designed to run over a 24-hour period, from Wednesday to Thursday. Most of the action was at CDC’s emergency operations center. The drill was designed and run by MPRI, an Atlanta consulting company led by retired military officers. The CDC is paying the company $7 million for its work on the drill, future exercises and some planning work. [Bush will likely 'go live' with the actual pandemic in 2008, before the 'elections.']
Jury rejects terrorism charge 02 Feb 2007 Federal prosecutors said they'd uncovered the secret lives of former grocer Muhammad Salah and business professor Abdelhaleem Ashqar. The men belonged to a U.S.-based terrorist recruiting and financing cell that pumped money through the heart of America and funneled it overseas to bankroll murders, bombings and kidnappings, then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced in 2004... But a Chicago jury on Thursday rejected the government's racketeering conspiracy theory, ending a three-month trial by finding the men guilty of lesser obstruction-of-justice charges.
Dig Yields Surprising Find at Ground Zero 01 Feb 2007 Large steel columns from the fallen twin towers have been found beneath a service road being excavated at ground zero in the search for long-buried Sept. 11 remains, officials said Wednesday. The surprising discovery of World Trade Center steel in the past week raises more questions about what was left at ground zero in the cleanup after the 2001 attacks and how the service road was created in the first place.
Boston mayor says Turner to pay costs of scare 02 Feb 2007 Turner Broadcasting has agreed to pay all costs of a security scare triggered by a marketing campaign that disrupted travel in the city for nearly a full day, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas Menino said on Friday.
Judge OKs Katrina flood suit vs. Corps 02 Feb 2007 Residents whose homes were flooded during Hurricane Katrina can sue the Army Corps of Engineers over claims the agency ignored warnings about defects in a nearby navigation channel, a federal judge ruled Friday.
Right-wing thinktank offering $13,000 to dispute climate report 02 Feb 2007 A right-wing American thinktank is offering $US10,000 ($A12,940) to scientists and economists to dispute a climate change report set to be released in Paris later today by the UN's top scientific panel.
Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study 02 Feb 2007 Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today. Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Report says global warming very likely man-made, to continue 'for centuries' 02 Feb 2007 A United Nations report issued today by the world's top climate scientists said global warning was "very likely" man-made and would bring higher temperatures and a steady rise in sea levels for centuries to come regardless of how much the world slows or reduces its greenhouse gas emissions.
British to Show Gore's Global Warming Film in Schools 02 Feb 2007 Former U.S. President Al Gore's global warming documentary [''An Inconvenient Truth"] will be sent to every secondary school in England as part of a campaign to tackle climate change, the government said Friday.
Eiffel Tower goes dark during protest 01 Feb 2007 The Eiffel Tower's 20,000 sparkling bulbs went dark for five minutes Thursday night and the lights went out at the Colosseum in Rome and the Greek parliament in Athens in a demonstration of concern about climate change across the European continent.
14 Dead As Storms Sweep Through Fla. 02 Feb 2007 Storms carrying what was believed to be the state's deadliest tornado in a decade cut a path across four central Florida counties early Friday, killing at least 14 people, damaging hundreds of homes and littering fields with clothes, furniture and splintered lumber.
Storm Cancels Hundreds of Flights in U.S. Southeast 01 Feb 2007 A winter storm sweeping through the southeastern U.S. today dumped a mix of snow, sleet and ice from Georgia north toward Washington and grounded hundreds of airline flights, the National Weather Service said.
Racist Paris Hilton Video Surfaces Online 01 Feb 2007 A video was posted this week on YouTube, which appeared to show Paris Hilton and her sister making racist and homophobic comments about other guests. AllHipHop.com reports that the video includes Hilton’s use of the "N" word, as well as comments about Jews and racial stereotypes.
US warns Iran to stay away from Iraq [If only the US would do the same.] 01 Feb 2007 Iran is supplying Iraqi 'insurgents' with weapons technology used to kill American troops, a senior US diplomat said, sending another warning to Iran against interfering in Iraq.
Double the Troops in "Surge" 01 Feb 2007 President [sic] Bush and his new military chiefs have been saying for nearly a month that they would "surge" an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq, in a last, grand push to quell the violence in Baghdad and in Anbar Province. But a new study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says the real troop increase could be as high as 48,000 -- more than double the number the President initially said.
Casey: Only Half of Troop Boost Needed 01 Feb 2007 The top U.S. commander in Iraq told a Senate panel Thursday that improving security in Baghdad would take fewer than half as many extra troops as President [sic] Bush has chosen to commit.
Senate Critique of Bush's Iraq Plan Wins New Support 01 Feb 2007 A revised Senate resolution criticizing President [sic] Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq, offered by Senator John Warner, Republican of Virginia, drew new support today as two of the authors of a sterner resolution of disapproval said they would accept the Warner compromise.
Blasts take Iraq deaths to new high 01 Feb 2007 Blasts killed 24 people in Iraq and mortar bombs rained down on a Sunni neighbourhood in Baghdad on Thursday as new figures showed that civilians deaths edged up to another record in January. The data from an interior ministry official, widely viewed as an indicative but only partial record of violent deaths, showed 1971 people died from [US] "terrorism" in Iraq in January, slightly up from the previous high of 1930 deaths in December.
Attacks, Bombings Kill 62 Across Iraq 01 Feb 2007 Two suicide bombers blew themselves up Thursday in a crowded outdoor market in a Shiite city south of Baghdad, killing 45 people and wounding 150, police said.
U.S. hands major weapons supplies to Afghan army 01 Feb 2007 The Unites States handed over thousands of weapons and hundreds of vehicles to Afghanistan's national army on Thursday as part of its strategy to boost local security forces in the fight 'against' the Taliban.
Britain to send more troops to southern Afghanistan 01 Feb 2007 Britain is to send an additional 800 troops to southern Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Des Browne has said, as forces brace for a spring offensive by Taliban insurgents.
Afghan assembly grants immunity for war crimes 01 Feb 2007 Afghanistan's parliament has granted immunity to all Afghans involved in the country's 25 years of conflict, lawmakers said on Thursday, despite calls by human rights groups for war crimes trials.
German arrests loom for CIA agents 02 Feb 2007 German prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents accused of abducting Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese heritage who was kidnapped in the Balkans in early 2004, flown to a secret prison in Afghanistan, and questioned [tortured] for months before his captors decided he had no terrorist ties and released him.
Hicks shown Hussein pictures as 'intellectual stimulation' 02 Feb 2007 The US military says photos and articles of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's execution were shown to David Hicks and other Guantanamo Bay inmates as "intellectual stimulation". Hicks's legal team was outraged during this week's visit to the US prison camp to learn Hicks had viewed photos of Hussein's execution and trial.
Guantanamo inmates shown Hussein hanging photos: lawyer 01 Feb 2007 Guantanamo Bay prison inmates were shown photographs of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein hanging from a rope following his execution, lawyers for Guantanamo inmate David Hicks said on Thursday. "Displaying photos of condemned men to those who may be facing capital charges can only be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate and compel submission under a threat of death and mentally torture an already abused detainee population," Joshua Dratel, the lead American lawyer for Hicks, said in a statement to media in Australia.
US judge shelves Guantanamo lawsuits 01 Feb 2007 Sixteen lawsuits by Guantanamo Bay detainees have been put on hold by a US federal judge who said he may no longer have jurisdiction to hear the cases. US District Judge Reggie Walton said the Military Commissions Act, signed into law in October, has left him unable to consider whether the detainees can challenge being held at the naval base in Cuba.
Former terror suspect to stand at election 01 Feb 2007 Former Guantanamo detainee Mamdouh Habib is to stand for election in the NSW state poll. Mr Habib will run as an independent in the safe Labor seat of Auburn. He announced his candidacy on Thursday morning, pledging to campaign against anti-terrorist legislation - to work for "the right to freedom of expression and in opposition to the anti-terrorist laws, state and federal".
More time sought to hold terrorism suspects 01 Feb 2007 The government plans a fresh attempt to extend the maximum period that police can hold terrorism suspects without charge, arguing a 28-day limit may be insufficient given the growing threat. Ministers wanted to extend the pre-charge detention period to 90 days from 14 in November 2005 but parliament blocked that plan, setting the limit at 28 days.
UK police get more time to quiz terrorism suspects 01 Feb 2007 British police were on Thursday given an extra week to question nine men arrested on suspicion of plotting to kidnap and kill a Muslim British soldier.
2 men released, Boston seeks restitution for marketing ploy 01 Feb 2007 Two men [Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens] who authorities say placed electronic advertising devices around the city were released from jail today, apparently amused with the publicity stunt that stirred fears of terrorism and shut down parts of the city... About a dozen fans gathered outside Charlestown District Court this morning with signs saying "1-31-07 Never Forget" and "Free Peter."
Two men charged after Boston security scare 01 Feb 2007 Authorities charged two men on Thursday with planting battery-powered signs promoting an animated cartoon that were mistaken for bombs and caused Boston's biggest security scare since the Sept. 11 attacks.
All 4 Beaver County bridges reopened after bomb threat 01 Feb 2007 (Pittsburgh, PA) Four heavily used bridges in Beaver County were closed this morning because of bomb threats called in from a phone booth, effectively cutting off traffic in the Beaver Valley. Engineers, bomb-sniffing dogs, members of the Allegheny County Police bomb squad and other law enforcement personnel joined PennDOT workers in sweeping the spans from top to bottom in their search for suspicious-looking devices or packages.
European bank urges US to clarify snooping activity 01 Feb 2007 The European Central Bank (ECB) has called on the EU and the US to urgently clarify the line between data protection and fighting terrorism, saying there is currently no alternative to the SWIFT money transfer system where the US has received personal information on EU citizens since 2001.
Justice Expands on Spy Program Details 01 Feb 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales expanded Congress' access Wednesday to classified documents detailing the government's domestic spying program but still didn't satisfy several lawmakers demanding information about surveillance.
Libby Judge Shows Doubt on Defense's Scapegoat Argument 01 Feb 2007 A federal judge presiding over the perjury trial of Vice President [sic] Cheney's former chief of staff expressed doubt this morning about defense arguments that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was made a scapegoat by the White House in 2003 as the furor grew over the leak of a CIA officer's identity to the media.
Libby Judge Allows White House Tapes 01 Feb 2007 A federal judge allowed Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to play portions of White House briefing room videos Thursday at the perjury and obstruction trial of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Libby Lawyers Pepper Cooper About Rove 01 Feb 2007 Reporter Matt Cooper testified Wednesday he thought I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby had confirmed that a prominent war critic's wife worked at the CIA but acknowledged he never asked the White House aide where he'd heard that. Cooper's appearance allowed defense attorney William Jeffress to ask repeatedly about President [sic] Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, because Cooper identified Rove as the first official to tell him about Plame's job at CIA.
Exxon Mobil breaks its own record for U.S. annual profit 01 Feb 2007 Oil giant Exxon Mobil on Thursday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company — $39.5 billion US — even as earnings for the last quarter of 2006 declined four per cent. The 2006 profit topped the previous record of $36.13 billion US that Exxon set in 2005.
Shell reports record $25bn profit 01 Feb 2007 Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has reported record annual profits of $25.36bn (£12.94bn) for 2006.
Savings At Lowest Level Since Great Depression 01 Feb 2007 People once again spent everything they made and then some last year, pushing the personal savings rate to the lowest level since the Great Depression more than seven decades ago.
Engineers: 122 levees at risk of failing 01 Feb 2007 One hundred twenty-two levees from Maryland to California are at risk of failing, according to a list released Thursday by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Fla. governor looks to replace touch-screen voting in 17 counties 31 Jan 2007 After several elections with disputed results, Florida's new Republican governor, Charlie Crist, has decided to replace paperless touch-screen voting machines in 17 counties with optical scanning voting hardware that will include paper records of the votes cast.
New bird-flu plan advises when to close schools 01 Feb 2007 Future disease pandemics will be scored in the United States much like hurricanes, with the most severe triggering school closings and changes in the workplace, under federal guidelines issued on Thursday. They are the first detailed advice for what states and communities should do before a vaccine is available to control [foment] a flu pandemic, which global health authorities fear could come at any time [Yeah, but most likely October 2008, when Bush will declare martial law, stuff protesters in KBR detention centres and postpone 'elections.' --LRP]
System for handling pandemics revealed 01 Feb 2007 Federal Health officials on Thursday introduced a new system to rank the severity of a pandemic flu outbreak, complete with advice for local communities about when and how long to close schools, quarantine family members and keep people home from work. The "pandemic severity index" developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks flu outbreaks in terms of expected deaths and is modeled after the hurricane ranking system used by the National Weather Service.
Al Gore nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 01 Feb 2007 Former President Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world's attention to the dangers of global warming, a Norwegian lawmaker [Conservative Member of Parliament Boerge Brende, a former minister of environment and then of trade] said Thursday.
Global Warming 'Very Likely' Man-Made 01 Feb 2007 A long-awaited report says global warming is "very likely" man-made, the most powerful language ever used on the issue by the world's leading climate scientists, delegates who have seen the report said Thursday.
UN issues sea level warning 02 Feb 2007 Climate models may have underestimated the rate of sea level rise caused by Greenhouse gas emissions, new research suggests. The study, co-authored by a leading Australian researcher, found sea levels could rise by as much as 88cm by 2100 - about 30cm higher than previous highest forecasts.
Panel: Global warming makes stronger hurricanes 01 Feb 2007 Global warming has made stronger hurricanes, including those in the Atlantic Ocean such as 2005's Katrina, an authoritative panel on climate change has concluded for the first time, participants in the deliberations said Thursday.
Global temperature set to rise between 1.8 and 4 C by 2100: UN panel 01 Feb 2007 The earth's surface temperature will probably rise by between 1.8 and 4.0 C (3.24 and 7.24 F) by the turn of the century, according to a "best estimate" agreed by the UN's top scientific panel for global warming, sources said.
Britain has second warmest January on record 01 Feb 2007 January 2007 was the warmest on record in Britain since 1921, giving further evidence of a warming climate, forecasters said.
The hedgehog with 'global balding' 31 Jan 2007 A nice, soft fluffy coat is of little use to a hedgehog. But poor old Glen is having to make do without any prickles - apparently thanks to global warming. Vets believe his freak appearance was caused by the stress of missing out on his winter hibernation. He was found in Peebles in the Scottish Borders long after he should have nodded off into a deep sleep until spring. He had a few prickles but now even they have fallen out.
U.S.-Iran tensions could trigger war 31 Jan 2007 Citing Iranian involvement with Iraqi militias and Tehran's nuclear ambitions, the Bush regime has shifted to offense in its confrontation with Iran — building up the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf and promising more aggressive moves against Iranian operatives in Iraq and Lebanon.
Shell defies US pressure and signs £5bn Iranian gas deal 29 Jan 2007 Shell has signed an important deal to help Iran develop a major gas field, ignoring growing pressure from George Bush to isolate the country for being part of what he alleges is an "axis of evil".
Pentagon stops F-14 parts sales amid Iran concerns 30 Jan 2007 The Pentagon on Tuesday said it had stopped selling surplus parts for the F-14 fighter jet, saying it was the "right thing to do," given congressional concerns that some parts could land in the hands of Iran.
Investigators: Millions in Iraq 'aid' wasted 31 Jan 2007 The U.S. government wasted tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction aid, including scores of unaccounted-for weapons and a never-used camp for housing police trainers with an Olympic-size swimming pool, investigators say.
US official: US not winning in Iraq 31 Jan 2007 The US may have to lower expectations for Iraq as it embarks on a new war plan, a senior American military official has said. William Fallon, George Bush's choice to become the most senior US military commander for the Middle East, told the senate armed services committee: "What we've been doing is not working."
In Senate, Allies of Bush Work to Halt Iraq Vote 31 Jan 2007 The Bush administration’s allies in the Senate began a major effort on Tuesday to prevent a potentially embarrassing rejection of the pResident’s plan to push 20,000 more troops into Iraq.
Senate Foes of Troop Buildup Join Forces 01 Feb 2007 Two senators [John Warner, R-Va. and Carl Levin, D-Mich] leading separate efforts to put Congress on record against President [sic] Bush's troop buildup in Iraq joined forces Wednesday, agreeing on a nonbinding resolution that would criticize the plan.
Obama wants US troops out of Iraq by spring 2008 31 Jan 2007 The Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is mounting a direct challenge to George Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq. The senator from Illinois yesterday introduced a bill that would require troops to start returning to the US in May and all combat forces to be back by March 31 2008. ['Alternative title' from CLG reader, Terry L. Clark, Esq: Obama: Let's Kill For Another 14 Months]
Attacks kill 36 Iraqi Shia pilgrims 31 Jan 2007 Events around the annual Shia commemoration of Ashura, banned under Saddam Hussein, were marred by bomb and gun attacks yesterday that killed at least 36 Shia faithful and wounded more than 90. A mortar barrage later struck a Sunni neighbourhood in Baghdad, killing at least 17 people and injuring 72.
US 'victory' against cult leader was 'massacre' By Patrick Cockburn 31 Jan 2007 There are growing suspicions in Iraq that the official story of the battle outside Najaf between a messianic Iraqi cult and the Iraqi security forces supported by the US, in which 263 people were killed and 210 wounded, is a fabrication. The heavy casualties may be evidence of an unpremeditated massacre.
Soldiers 'tried frantically to stop US fire' 31 Jan 2007 Frantic attempts were made to call off American aircraft as they targeted a convoy of British tanks in Iraq, an inquest was told yesterday.
Quick action! Iraqis' Endless Nightmare Petition 31 Jan 2007 To: Ban Ki- Moon, The Secretary General, The United Nations; Sponsor: Iraqi Patriots for Media and Culture 'We demand that H.E. Ban Ki - Moon should use his good offices to put pressure on the US and Iraqi government forces and remind them that violating international humatirian law is a war crime.'
Military to begin filing new charges against Guantanamo detainees this week 30 Jan 2007 The U.S. military will begin filing war crimes charges against detainees at Guantanamo Bay this week under new rules for 'trials' that allow coerced or hearsay evidence, the lead prosecutor for the tribunals said Tuesday.
Guantánamo lawyer says captive fears guards 31 Jan 2007 The lone Australian held as a terror suspect at the U.S. Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, refused to meet with a diplomat because he was afraid of retribution from guards, his lawyer said Wednesday. David Hicks, 31, has been held in the military prison camps since January 2002, after his capture in Afghanistan.
Germany seeks arrest of CIA agents 31 Jan 2007 German prosecutors have issued warrants for the arrest of 13 suspected CIA agents over their alleged kidnapping and torture of a German citizen three years ago, officials have said. German NDR state television [as opposed to corporate television] said the 13 suspects were CIA employees, according to its own research. It said the majority of them were in North Carolina in the United States.
German Court Seeks Arrest of 13 C.I.A. Agents 31 Jan 2007 In the most serious legal challenge yet to the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret transfers of terrorism suspects, a German court has issued an arrest warrant for 13 people in connection with the mistaken kidnapping and jailing of a German citizen of Lebanese descent.
MI5 tried to recruit founder of Islamic bookshop it raided 01 Feb 2007 Maktabah al-Ansar, one of two specialist Islamic bookshops raided yesterday by counter-terrorism officers, sells extremist materials online and MI5 once attempted to recruit its founder.
Nine held over terror kidnap plot 31 Jan 2007 Nine men were being held tonight over an alleged terrorist plot to carry out an Iraqi[US]-style kidnapping of a British Muslim soldier. Eight were arrested this morning in a series of dawn raids in Birmingham, with the ninth arrested late this afternoon on a motorway in the city.
U.K. Terror Police Arrest 9 Over Alleged Kidnap Plot 31 Jan 2007 U.K. police arrested eight people in anti-terrorist raids on homes in Birmingham, central England, after uncovering an alleged plot to kidnap a Muslim soldier. A ninth suspect was later arrested on a freeway in the area.
9 Suspicious Packages Planted in Boston 31 Jan 2007 Nine blinking electronic devices planted at bridges and other spots in Boston threw a scare into the city Wednesday in what turned out to be a marketing campaign for a late-night cable cartoon.
Bush administration asks court to end domestic spying challenge 31 Jan 2007 The Bush regime urged a federal appellate court Wednesday to throw out the case against its domestic spying program. The government says the anti-terrorism surveillance now is overseen by a secret independent federal court. It also rejects a federal district judge's ruling last year that the warrantless program was unconstitutional.
Gonzales will turn over secret wiretapping documents 31 Jan 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday he will turn over secret documents detailing the government's domestic spying program, ending a two-week standoff with the Senate Judiciary Committee over surveillance targeting terror suspects.
Bush Is Not Above the Law By James Bamford 31 Jan 2007 Last August, a federal judge found that the president of the United States broke the law, committed a serious felony and violated the Constitution. Had the president been an ordinary citizen — someone charged with bank robbery or income tax evasion — the wheels of justice would have immediately begun to turn... But under the Bush Justice Department, no F.B.I. agents were ever dispatched to padlock White House files or knock on doors and no federal prosecutors ever opened a case.
University goes to war on Bush legacy --Protests grow over plan for library and thinktank in honour of pResident 31 Jan 2007 Here, on the eastern edges of Southern Methodist University, may one day stand the George W Bush presidential library, museum and thinktank, a multimillion dollar complex that could become a beacon of conservative thought. Except that to the considerable embarrassment of the university and the White House, many people, on campus and off, are demanding that Mr Bush take his legacy some place else.
Washington Post Drops Demand to View Cheney's Visitor Logs 31 Jan 2007 The Washington Post [The PentaPost] has quietly retreated from a legal battle with Vice President [sic] Cheney by dropping a lawsuit demanding Secret Service logs of visitors to his office and residence.
"Isolations, quarantines and other 'Draconian public health measures'" Feds' new flu plan to raise fear factor 31 Jan 2007 The federal government will announce two new initiatives tomorrow aimed at warning the public on a potential [US-engineered] flu pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created multiple television ads encouraging Americans to learn exactly what a massive flu outbreak would entail. It also has established new guidelines for public health measures should millions of Americans contract influenza, which will include isolations, quarantines and other "Draconian public health measures," warned Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. [See: Scientists Recreate 1918 Flu and See Parallels to Bird Flu 18 Jan 2007 In 2005, U.S. Army scientists reconstructed Spanish flu virus by extracting genetic fragments from the bodies of victims exhumed from the Alaskan permafrost.]
Indonesia May Declare Bird Flu a National Disaster 31 Jan 2007 Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may declare bird flu a national disaster, enabling the government to set aside money from its budget to combat the virus that has killed at least 63 Indonesians.
Nigeria reports its first cases of bird flu in humans 31 Jan 2007 Bird flu has claimed its first human victim in Africa's most-populous nation, killing a young Nigerian woman due to graduate from university and be married this year, officials and the victim's fiance said Wednesday.
Lawmakers hear of interference in global warming science 31 Jan 2007 Federal scientists have been pressured by the White House to play down global warming, advocacy groups testified Tuesday at the Democrats' first investigative hearing since taking control of Congress. The hearing focused on allegations White House officials for years have micromanaged the government's climate programs and have closely controlled what scientists have been allowed to tell the public.
Chairman: Bush officials misled public on global warming 30 Jan 2007 The Democratic chairman [Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA] of a House panel examining the government's response to climate change said Tuesday there is evidence that senior Bush administration officials sought repeatedly "to mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming."
Only 22 percent in U.S. Say Bush Relies on Facts 31 Jan 2007 Many adults in the United States question their pResident’s motivation in specific policies, according to a poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates released by Newsweek. 67 per cent of respondents think George W. Bush is influenced more by his personal beliefs than by facts in Iraq and other major areas.
Great Barrier Reef 'will be bleached-out wasteland in 25 years' 31 Jan 2007 Global warming could turn Australia's Great Barrier Reef into a wasteland of bleached coral in 25 years, says a scientific report leaked yesterday. The extraordinary diversity of marine life found on the 1,200-mile-long reef could be little more than a memory for future generations unless the emission of greenhouse gases is curbed, it says.
US strike group transits Suez Canal 30 Jan 2007 A US Navy strike group led by the assault ship USS Bataan steamed through the Suez Canal on Tuesday on its way to join the buildup of American forces in the Middle East.
Senators warn against war with Iran 30 Jan 2007 Republican and Democratic senators warned Tuesday against a drift toward war with an emboldened Iran and suggested the Bush administration was missing a chance to engage its longtime adversary in potentially helpful talks over next-door Iraq.
Congress can stop Iraq war, experts tell lawmakers 30 Jan 2007 The U.S. Congress has the power to end the war in Iraq, several high-powered legal experts including a former Bush administration attorney told a Senate hearing on Tuesday. With many lawmakers poised to confront Dictator George W. Bush by voting disapproval of his war policy in the coming days, four of five experts called before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee said Congress could go further and restrict or stop U.S. involvement if it chose.
Feingold Bill Would Cut Off Iraq Funding After Six Months 30 Jan 2007 Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has decided to challenge what he calls the "timidity" of Democratic leaders. He is going to introduce legislation cutting off funding for the Iraq war and he may do it, he told me [The Politico's Roger Simon], as early as this week.
Specter: Bush Not Sole 'Decision-Maker' 30 Jan 2007 A Senate Republican on Tuesday directly challenged President Bush's declaration that "I am the decision-maker" on issues of war. "I would suggest respectfully to the president [sic] that he is not the sole decider,'' Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said during a hearing on Congress' war powers amid an increasingly harsh debate over Iraq war policy.
US must abandon Iraqi cities or face nightmare scenario, say experts 30 Jan 2007 The US must draw up plans to deal with an all-out Iraqi civil war that would kill hundreds of thousands, create millions of refugees, and could spill over into a regional catastrophe, disrupting oil supplies and setting up a direct confrontation between Washington and Iran.
With Iran Ascendant, U.S. Is Seen at Fault --Arab Allies in Region Feeling Pressure 30 Jan 2007 Four years after the United States invaded Iraq, in part to transform the Middle East, Iran is ascendant, many in the region view the Americans in retreat, and Arab countries, their own feelings of weakness accentuated, are awash in sharpening sectarian currents that many blame the United States for exacerbating.
Iraq seeking pilots for new air force 30 Jan 2007 Iraq is launching a recruiting drive for pilots to help rebuild the country’s devastated air force, Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday. The Iraqi defense ministry is seeking recruits with scientific backgrounds to serve 15-year enlistments as pilots.
Bombs Kill 36 in Iraq on Shiite Holy Day 30 Jan 2007 Assailants struck Shiite worshippers in three Iraqi cities Tuesday, killing at least 36 people in bombings and ambushes during the climax of ceremonies marking Ashoura, the holiest day in the Shiite calendar. Police, meanwhile, questioned hundreds of suspects rounded up after a fierce weekend battle aimed at preventing even deadlier attacks.
Benchmarks: Iraq's soaring civilian toll By Martin Sieff 30 Jan 2007 The Web site iraqbodycount.org as of Monday, Jan. 29, said that a minimum of 55,136 civilians had been killed by military intervention in Iraq. It gave its estimated maximum figure as 60,821. ...Iraq Body Count cautions that the real figure is probably far higher.
Guantanamo conditions 'like a Nazi camp' 30 Jan 2007 Accused terrorist David Hicks' US lawyer has described conditions at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held for five years, as "like a Nazi concentration camp". The 31-year-old father of two met his lawyers inside the newly-created [KBR-built] Camp Six at the US military prison in Cuba.
'You are not here for me but on behalf of the Australian Government who are leaving me here.' 'I'm afraid to speak to you': Hicks letter --Hicks alleges an American recently impersonated an Australian official 31 Jan 2007 Australian terrorism suspect David Hicks has written a letter from his Guantanamo Bay prison cell in which he details his distrust of Australian embassy officials. "I don't want to see you," Hicks wrote in the letter to the visiting Australian official. "I am afraid to speak to you." Hicks, who also wrote he is "not well", then detailed in the letter how he had been punished previously for speaking to Australian embassy officials. The Adelaide man also alleges an American recently impersonated an Australian official. "Only last week an American impersonated an Australian embassy official by claiming he was 'from the Australian embassy in Washington'," Hicks wrote. "This deteriorates my trust even further. "In the past I have been punished for speaking to you."
U.S. court reinstates most serious Padilla charge 30 Jan 2007 A U.S. appeals court reinstated the most serious charge against alleged 'al Qaeda' operative Jose Padilla on Tuesday, reviving a murder-conspiracy charge that could imprison the former "enemy combatant" for life. A federal judge in Miami had dismissed the charge on grounds that it duplicated two others pending against him, and therefore violated the constitutional ban on trying someone twice for the same offense. The government appealed and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta reversed the ruling on Tuesday.
Spy chief denies role in CIA 'kidnap' 29 Jan 2007 Italy’s former spy chief [Nicolo Pollari] told a Milan court on Monday he felt like a scapegoat as a judge considered indicting him along with CIA agents on charges of kidnapping a terrorism suspect in Milan, his lawyer said.
Over 1,000 civilians killed in Afghanistan in 2006: Human Rights Watch 30 Jan 2007 More than 1,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2006, most of them as a result of attacks by the Taliban and other anti-government forces in the country's unstable south, a rights group said Tuesday.
New U.S. commander in Afghanistan predicts more suicide attacks 30 Jan 2007 The incoming commander of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan said Monday that he expected [US] Taliban militants to enact more suicide attacks this year than in 2006, when militants set off a record 139 such bombings.
Aussie police to be sent to Afghanistan 31 Jan 2007 Australian Federal Police officers are to be based in Afghanistan to assist local police over the next two years.
Dutch troops will not aid destruction of poppy crops in Afghanistan 30 Jan 2007 Dutch soldiers serving in the NATO force in Afghanistan will not take part in the destruction of opium poppy crops because it is counterproductive to efforts to build public support for reconstruction, a government minister said.
Miller Testifies Libby Told Her About CIA's Plame 30 Jan 2007 Ex-New York Times 'reporter' [Bush whore] Judith Miller testified that Lewis "Scooter" Libby told her in June 2003 that an Iraq war critic's wife was a CIA agent.
Watada lawyer says military dropping two charges 29 Jan 2007 The U.S. government has agreed to drop two charges that carried a maximum of two years in prison against Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, his lawyer said Monday. As part of the agreement, two reporters who had been issued subpoenas to appear before the court-martial will not have to testify, the lawyer said.
Bush Signs Directive to Increase His Power at U.S. Agencies 30 Jan 2007 Dictator Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy. In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president's priorities.
'Call it the vacuum-cleaner approach.' FBI turns to broad new wiretap method 30 Jan 2007 The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed. Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords. Such a technique is broader and potentially more intrusive than the FBI's Carnivore surveillance system, later renamed DCS1000.
Anti-Terrorism Caucus Formed in U.S. House 30 Jan 2007 Today at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Representative Sue Myrick (R-NC), along with Representatives Bud Cramer (D-AL), Kay Granger (R-TX), and Ben Chandler (D-KY) formally announced they have formed a new bipartisan Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus. Myrick, Cramer, Granger, and Chandler are the co-chairs of the new caucus.
Threat level raised for Super Bowl 30 Jan 2007 The National Football League has boosted the law enforcement budget and heightened the security threat level for Super Bowl XLI because of terrorism fears. The Super Bowl has been raised to a level one national security event.
Fighter jets to fly over Super Bowl activities 29 Jan 2007 The Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, is stepping up air patrols in the Miami-Dade area during pregame events and during the game itself on Sunday. Fighter jets will begin making low approaches at several local airports Friday, including Boca Raton, Pompano Beach Airpark, Fort Lauderdale Executive, Opa-locka and Kendall-Tamiami Executive.
EU wants to keep limits on U.S. passenger data use 29 Jan 2007 The European Commission wants to retain existing limits on how the United States uses data on incoming air passengers despite U.S. calls for more flexibility, a spokesman said on Monday.
Airport Security Has Gaping Hole --CBS News Investigation Finds Thousands of Airport Employees Are Not Screened 29 Jan 2007 While passengers, pilots and flight attendants undergo careful screening, a CBS News hidden camera found that it is easy for employees at one of the busiest U.S. airports to get into a secure area: a flash of a badge, no X-rays, no physical screening — no questions asked.
How can U.S. guard its nuclear plants? 30 Jan 2007 Making nuclear power plants impervious to an airliner attack by terrorists is impracticable, and it's up to the military to avert such an assault, the government said Monday. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in a revised security policy, directed nuclear plant operators to focus on preventing radiation from escaping in case of such an attack and to improve evacuation plans to protect public health and safety.
Landrieu: We might have been better off if terrorists had blown up the levees [Terrorists *did* blow the levees!! In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Halliburton received a $500 million, five-year contract with the Navy to provide 'emergency repairs at military installations.'] Louisiana Senator blasts federal response, bias she says that favors Mississippi 29 Jan 2007 Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu had harsh words for the federal government on the eve of hearings into the progress of rebuilding the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Landrieu blamed the government for much of the devastation caused by Katrina and for the slow pace of recovery in Louisiana. "I often think we would have been better off if the terrorists had blown up our levees," she said. "Maybe we’d have gotten more attention." [See: 'We had to federalize Louisiana because she's a white, female Democratic governor and we have a chance to rub her nose in it.' Brown: Politics Played Role in Katrina 20 Jan 2007.]
Texas newspapers sold to Australian interests --Editorial change could silence critics of superhighways 29 Jan 2007 Macquarie, an Australian investment consortium involved in leasing U.S. toll roads, has begun acquiring newspapers in Texas, a move critics say is designed to silence grassroots objection to the planned Trans-Texas Corridor.
A Day Without Guns ... (The New York Times) 30 Jan 2007 Twenty years ago, the Florida Legislature cravenly decided to allow “law abiding” citizens to carry concealed weapons merely by declaring their preference for self-defense. Then last July, at the prodding of the gun lobby, the current crop of state lawmakers proved they could be even more corrupt and cowardly than their predecessors by deciding to make the list of gun-toting Floridians a secret. Fortunately, a local newspaper has given residents of the state a final look at their representatives’ gruesome handiwork.
Now Joining 4th International Bird Flu Summit 30 Jan 2007 The 4th International Bird Flu Summit will take place in Washington, DC, 14 -15 March 2007. The purpose of the summit is to prepare the World to fight [foment] this potentially infectious disease. New Fields is proud to welcome VIASYS as an exhibitor for the 4th International Bird Flu Summit. Other presenters include: Douglas Himberger, Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton; Jeffrey Riggs, President and COO, Biowarn LLC; Michael Martens, Chief of Plans and Operations, US Army Garrison Alaska; Dr. Thomas Monath, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Half of federal scientists report pressure from Bush to alter findings 30 Jan 2007 Congress on Tuesday stepped up its pressure on President [sic] Bush’s global warming 'strategy,' hearing allegations of new political pressure on government scientists to downplay the threat of global warming. Lawmakers received survey results of federal scientists that showed 46 percent felt pressure to eliminate the words "climate change," "global warming" or similar terms from communications about their work. The scientists also reported 435 instances of political interference in their work over the past five years.
Rep. Cooper: White House Barred Negroponte From Saying 'Global' And 'Warming' In Same Sentence 30 Jan 2007 During today’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the political manipulation of climate change science, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) revealed the Bush administration has barred Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte from saying the phrase "global warming." Cooper said he recently attended a dinner party at which Negroponte was speaking, and "word slipped through the crowd he was not allowed to utter the words 'global warming,' at least not in the same sentence.
Reef 'facing extinction' 30 Jan 2007 The Great Barrier Reef will become "functionally extinct" within decades at the current rate of global warming... A confidential draft of a major international report, obtained by The Age, shows that without massive greenhouse gas emission cuts to slow global warming, damage to coastal areas, key ecosystems and the farming sector is likely to cost Australia's economy billions of dollars.
Millions to go hungry, waterless: climate report 29 Jan 2007 Rising temperatures will leave millions more people hungry by 2080 and cause critical water shortages in China and Australia, as well as parts of Europe and the United States, according to a new global climate report.
America 'poised to strike at Iran's nuclear sites' from bases in Bulgaria and Romania --Report suggest that 'US defensive ring' may be new front in war on [of] terror. 29 Jan 2007 President [sic] Bush is preparing to attack Iran's nuclear facilities before the end of April and the US Air Force's new bases in Bulgaria and Romania would be used as back-up in the onslaught, according to an official report from Sofia.
Bush warns Iran against fueling violence in Iraq 29 Jan 2007 [Right, Bush wants to fuel violence in Iraq, all on his own.] U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush vowed on Monday to respond firmly if Iran foments violence in Iraq, but said he had no intention of invading Iran. Washington has accused Tehran of undermining efforts to bring stability in Iraq [LOL!] and of pursuing nuclear weapons. Two U.S. aircraft carriers have been stationed in the Gulf as a warning to Iran.
Bush warns Iran against action in Iraq 29 Jan 2007 Deeply distrustful of Iran, Dictator Bush said Monday "we will respond firmly" if Tehran escalates its military actions in Iraq and threatens American forces or Iraqi citizens.
ElBaradei's Idea for 'Timeout' With Iran Is Rejected by U.S. 29 Jan 2007 The U.S. today rejected a proposal by the head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency for a "simultaneous" freeze on Iran's uranium enrichment and on Security Council sanctions adopted last month.
Iranian Reveals Plan to Expand Role in Iraq 29 Jan 2007 Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad outlined an ambitious plan on Sunday to greatly expand its economic and military ties with Iraq — including an Iranian national bank branch in the heart of the capital — just as the [meddling] Bush regime has been warning the Iranians to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs.
Gates: Troops may target any enemy in Iraq 29 Jan 2007 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is not aware of a change in policy that "allows" Iranian agents in Iraq to be captured or killed. "Our forces are authorized to go after those who are trying to kill them," Gates told reporters Friday. "It's not clear to me it is different. I'm not aware of any change ... of our forces having the authority to go after those who would kill Americans, any foreign fighter in Iraq who would kill Americans," he said. [Can someone please tell the hypocritical *moron* that Americans *are* the foreign fighters in Iraq?]
Contractor deaths in Iraq nearing 800 28 Jan 2007 Laboring in a war with no discernible front line, more than 770 'civilian contractors' [mercenaries] have died in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion began in March 2003.
Injury count in Iraq disputed --Some say Pentagon hides full impact of the war toll 28 Jan 2007 Officially, more than 23,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in combat in Iraq. But if the Pentagon also counted soldiers who were hurt in crashes or circumstances not directly involving skirmishes with the enemy, and those so sick that they required air transport, the figure would come to about 50,000, the Pentagon's own figures show.
Guardsmen find 'torture house' on Iraq patrol --3 injured captives freed, according to unit 29 Jan 2007 A group of Minnesota National Guardsmen on patrol in the Iraqi city of Fallujah this week walked into a [US] "torture house" with bloodstained walls and three badly injured captives — one so horribly abused that he could no longer walk.
Kucinich offers plan to end war 28 Jan 2007 A packed and cheering crowd greeted U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, Sunday at St. Matthias Episcopal Church as he campaigned on a plan to end the war on Iraq.
Veteran peace protester sent to jail despite prisons crisis 29 Jan 2007 A peace campaigner [Lindis Percy] has been jailed for failing to pay a £50 fine, despite the crisis of chronic overcrowding in Britain's prisons.
Israel 'broke US arms deal terms' 29 Jan 2007 Israel probably violated the terms of its arms deals with Washington by using US-made cluster bombs in Lebanon last year, a US government report says. The state department looked into Israel's use of cluster bombs in civilian areas of southern Lebanon during its conflict with Hezbollah. US-made weapons are sold to the Israeli military with restriction on their use.
Cluster bombs wound two Belgian soldiers in southern Lebanon 29 Jan 2007 Two Belgian soldiers were wounded in a cluster bomb blast during a demining operation in southern Lebanon, Lebanese and United Nations sources said Monday.
Germany preparing for likely air warfare 29 Jan 2007 In apparent response to a NATO request for reconnaissance aircraft, Germany has been having its pilots engage in training for possible future combat missions. Germany's Deutsche Welle said that German pilots in the armed forces are engaging in military training with new technology for possible fighting in Afghanistan.
Ex-Bush Aide Contradicts Libby on C.I.A. Agent 29 Jan 2007 The former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer today contradicted the account of I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, on when Mr. Libby first learned the identity of a C.I.A. agent. Mr. Fleischer, testifying in Mr. Libby’s trial under a grant of immunity, said Mr. Libby told him over lunch on July 7, 2003, that the wife of a critic of President [sic] Bush’s Iraq policy worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. That is three days before he told a grand jury that he first learned her name.
Fleischer: Libby talked of CIA officer during lunch 29 Jan 2007 Testifying at the perjury and obstruction trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said today that Libby told him that the wife of an administration war critic worked at the CIA during a lunch in the White House mess one day after the critic went public with his concerns.
Libby Trial Exposes Cheney's Lies By Bill Gallagher 30 Jan 2007 The trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's [sic] former chief of staff, is providing a public autopsy of the lengths [Dick] Cheney went to in order to protect one of his favorite and most effective lies -- that Saddam was shopping in Niger to buy uranium for nuclear enrichment. Like the other "evidence" of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, this was not an "intelligence failure." It was a pure hoax that Cheney and President [sic] George W. Bush would use repeatedly to sell their claim that only an invasion of Iraq could spare the world from Saddam and his mad scientists.
Potshot at Guantanamo lawyers backfires --Big firms laud free legal aid for detainees 29 Jan 2007 Two weeks after a senior Pentagon official suggested that corporations should pressure their law firms to stop assisting detainees at Guantanamo Bay, major companies have turned the tables on the Pentagon and issued statements supporting the law firms' work on behalf of terrorism suspects.
CLP leader rebukes Govt over Hicks case 29 Jan 2007 The Northern Territory's Opposition Leader has publicly rebuked the Federal Government for not doing enough to end the uncertainty around Australian terrorism suspect David Hicks. It is the first time a leader of one of the country's conservative political parties has broken ranks on the issue. Mr Hicks has not faced trial, despite being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for more than five years.
Dutch Citizen Arraigned On Charges of Terrorism Conspiracy Against Americans In Iraq (fbi.gov) 29 Jan 2007 An Iraqi-born Dutch citizen who was extradited from the Netherlands on Saturday made his initial appearance today in federal court in Washington, D.C., to face charges for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to attack Americans based in Iraq, announced Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, Jeffrey A. Taylor, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Joseph Persichini Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office. This case represents the first U.S. criminal prosecution arising from terrorist activities taking place in Iraq.
Lockheed to Support CDC Terrorism-Response Effort 29 Jan 2007 Lockheed Martin of Bethesda won a five-year, $135 million contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support the agency's office for coordinating terrorism preparation [They're preparing it, alright!] and emergency response. Lockheed Martin also will provide communications, training, planning, logistics, administrative, operations and IT support for the Emergency Operations Center, which is the agency's focus when responding to public health emergencies, disease outbreaks and investigations.
Terrorism threat lurking like Jaws, says new police chief 29 Jan 2007 West Yorkshire's new police chief has said the threat of terrorism is out there lurking - just like Jaws. Sir Norman Bettison, who took up his role as West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable on Monday, has urged Calderdale residents to come forward with any suspicions about potential terrorists [such as Bush, the most dangerous terrorist on earth!]. His comments follow last week's raids in Halifax when two men were arrested under the Terrorism Act on suspicion of distributing radical material. "The threat of terrorism is lurking out there like Jaws 2," said Sir Norman.
Men charged under Terrorism Act 29 Jan 2007 Two men held after police searches of properties in West Yorkshire have been charged under the Terrorism Act. Rizwan Ditta, 29, and Mohammad Dilal, 25, both from Halifax, will appear before City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Tuesday. Mr Ditta faces 13 charges connected to possessing computer files [!?!] and Mr Dilal is accused of two offences in relation to a disc, a computer file and CDs.
House Democrat vows scrutiny on homeland security 29 Jan 2007 The new Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives homeland security panel [Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS)] on Monday vowed aggressive scrutiny of Bush administration policies to protect the United States from attack.
Nuclear agency: air defenses impractical 29 Jan 2007 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that nuclear power plant operators should not be expected to stop terrorists from crashing an airliner into a reactor, saying that responsibility lies elsewhere. "The active protection against airborne threats is addressed by other federal organizations, including the military," the NRC said in a statement.
U.S. Park Police Officers Raise Alarm on Safety and Terrorism --Line Cops Cast Resounding No Confidence Vote in Leadership 29 Jan 2007 The officers of the U.S. Park Police lack the funding, force levels and equipment to protect the public, themselves and the national icons in their care, according to survey results released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Surveyed officers also strongly disputed the competence and commitment of their agency's leadership.
Silence over airport security scare 29 Jan 2007 Sydney Airport Corporation is refusing to explain why a passenger who sparked a security scare at the domestic terminal last night could not be found. The unidentified person breached security screening at Sydney Airport's T2 domestic terminal about 6.40pm.
National Security Whistle Blowers: The 'Undead'? By Jeff Stein 26 Jan 2007 Like so many other disillusioned ex-CIA, FBI and other erstwhile spooks, Haig Melkessetian’s career was derailed for telling the truth. Today, he’s another casualty of Iraq, one of the growing number of national security "undead" in Washington’s intelligence demimonde, "entities that are deceased yet behave as if alive," according to Wikipedia’s take on the horror flick creatures—"animated corpses," bureaucratically speaking.
'Terror-Free' Gas Coming to a Pump Near You 29 Jan 2007 The nation's first "terror-free" gas station is scheduled to open in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 1. The Terror-Free Oil Initiative says that big oil companies, like Exxon Mobil, Gulf and Shell, finance terrorism by importing oil from the Middle East.
Russian scientists 'alarmed' as millions of birds begin falling from world's skies 26 Jan 2007 An alarming series of reports from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Influenza Research Institute are reporting today that millions of avian species have succumbed, while in flight, to a rapidly evolving virus linked to the deadly H5N1 Bird Flu variant. Doctor Scientist Oleg Kiselyov, the head of the Influenza Research Institute, states in these reports that a nematode parasite belonging to the 'Superfamily Subuluroidea' has now become a carrier of a 'mutated' H5N1 Bird Flu Virus with 'sub strains' never seen before.
Russia finds H5N1 bird flu strain in southern yards 29 Jan 2007 Russia has recorded its first cases this year of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of bird flu in dead domestic birds, the country's animal and plant health agency said on Monday. Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement the virus was detected in dead birds found in three domestic yards in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia.
US urges scientists to block out sun 29 Jan 2007 The US wants the world's scientists to develop technology to block sunlight as a last-ditch way to halt global warming. The US has also attempted to steer the UN report, prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), away from conclusions that would support a new worldwide climate treaty based on binding targets to reduce emissions.
Experts slam upcoming global warming report 29 Jan 2007 Later this week in Paris, climate scientists will issue a dire forecast for the planet that warns of slowly rising sea levels and higher temperatures. But that may be the sugarcoated version... Many top U.S. scientists reject these rosier numbers. Those calculations don't include the recent, and dramatic, melt-off of big ice sheets in two crucial locations.
Mysterious falling chunk of ice smashes Tampa car 29 Jan 2007 Raymond Rodriguez was changing a tire when an 18-inch chunk of ice plummeted from the sky with a piercing whistle, then a metallic crunch. The ice chunk crushed the roof of a nearby Ford Mustang on Sunday morning... The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing flight schedules to see if the ice fell off a plane.