March 2010 Archives, Page Two
Discharged soldiers sue for millions over Anthrax experiment --As part of the lawsuit the soldiers are demanding that the state reveal the ingredients of the serum that was given to them. 28 Mar 2010 Sixty-four former IDF soldiers are suing the Defense Ministry for NIS 18 million ($4.8 million) over what they claim is damage caused to them during Anthrax vaccine experiments in the early 1990s. The experiments, which were meant to determine the efficacy of an Anthrax vaccine, were carried out in light of what was then defined at the time as the "strategic threat of a surprise biological attack facing Israel." In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs cited an Israel Medical Association (IMA) report according to which the experiments were unjustifiable. The report revealed that even while the experiment was taking place Israel already had a stock of vaccines.
Obama appoints new chief for war court at Guantanamo --MacDonald repeatedly testified at Congress as bullish backer of tribunal system 25 Mar 2010 In the clearest sign yet that the Obama administration is re-energizing tribunals for captives at a Guantanamo it wants closed, the Pentagon this week installed a retired three-star admiral with national security and international law experience to run the war court. Retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald replaces Susan Crawford as the war court gatekeeper or Convening Authority for Military Commissions. MacDonald's last job in the military was as the Navy's top lawyer.
Ex-Prisoner Unveils Abuse in Bagram 01 Mar 2010 An Afghan national, recently released from the US army jails in Bagram Air Base, said that Muslim prisoners are brutally mistreated by the US forces at the base. Speaking to FNA in Kabul on Monday, Muallem Farouq described conditions in the Bagram jails as "indescribable", and added that during his 6-month term in Bagram, he was fed on leftovers and pork (which is banned food in the religion of Islam). He added that they forced him to stand still barefooted on snow.
Russia blasts US over Afghan drug scheme 28 Mar 2010 Russia accuses the United States of conspiring with Afghanistan's drug producers by refusing to eradicate opium plantations in the country. US marines, stationed in the opium-growing Helmand province since February, told the villagers that they do not intend to cut the production, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Sunday.
British forces to withdraw from Helmand under new US plan for Afghanistan --British forces are to be withdrawn from Helmand and replaced by United States Marines under controversial new plans being drawn up by American commanders. 28 Mar 2010 The proposal, which would have to be approved by a new British government, is facing stiff resistance. Whitehall officials fear that a pull-out from Helmand, where nearly 250 British troops have been killed since 2006, would be portrayed as an admission of defeat. Under the plans, British forces would hand over their remaining bases in Helmand to the US Marines as early as this year.
Obama makes unannounced trip to Afghanistan --The trip, kept secret until Obama was on the ground, was his first to the country as president. He meets with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai to discuss government corruption, benchmarks of progress [aka how well the opium continues to flow, and how many more billion$ can go to the child rapists of DynCorp to 'rebuild' the infrastructure that the US destroyed.] 28 Mar 2010 President Obama flew into Afghanistan's capital Sunday on an unannounced visit, his first trip as president to a country where tens of thousands of new U.S. troops are being deployed this year. Obama last visited the country in 2008 as a presidential candidate. Previous attempts to visit Kabul during his presidency were cancelled because of weather problems, according to White House officials. [See: DynCorp Disgrace By Kelly Patricia O'Meara 14 Jan 2002 "Middle-aged men having sex with 12- to 15-year-olds was too much for Ben Johnston, a hulking 6-foot-5-inch Texan, and more than a year ago he blew the whistle on his employer, DynCorp, a U.S. contracting company doing business in Bosnia (and getting billion$ from Obama for 'work' in Afghanistan).]
U.S. Troop Deaths Double in Afghanistan --57 Were Killed in Action in First 3 Months of 2010, Twice That of Previous Year; Injuries More Than Triple 27 Mar 2010 The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year. Those deaths have been accompanied by a dramatic spike in the number of wounded, with injuries more than tripling in the first two months of the year and trending in the same direction based on the latest available data for March.
Grenade kills UK soldier in Afghanistan 27 Mar 2010 A grenade has claimed the life of another British soldier in southern Afghanistan as the number of casualties for foreign forces continues to mount. The soldier from the Household Cavalry Regiment was on foot patrol near Sangin in Helmand Province, when the grenade was lobbed at him on Friday afternoon, the British Ministry of Defense said.
Roadside bombs in Afghanistan take 11 civilian lives 28 Mar 2010 A series of bomb explosions in Afghanistan has left eleven civilians, including five children, dead. The children were killed in a roadside bomb blast in western Herat province on Saturday, Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed. The ministry also reported the loss of six civilian lives in two similar blasts in south of the country.
No assent given to US drone attacks: Pakistan 27 Mar 2010 Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik says the US drone attacks in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan are carried out without the consent of Islamabad. Speaking to reporters outside the Lahore High Court on Friday, Malik said the controversial issue of US drone attacks was to be raised with Washington during bilateral talks.
Iraq unable to deal with numerous mass graves --84 mass graves discovered last year all held victims of post-Saddam [US] violence 27 Mar 2010 A senior Iraqi official says Baghdad does not have the means and expertise to deal with the high numbers of mass graves discovered. Ayam Sharif, head of the Department of Terror and Victims at the Ministry of Human Rights, said that 84 mass graves were discovered in the country last year and all of them held victims of post-Saddam violence.
Iraq politician targeted in attack 28 Mar 2010 At least six people have been killed and 15 others wounded in an attack on a local politician in the town of Qaim, in Iraq's Anbar province, officials say. Four roadside bombs exploded in quick succession on Sunday near the house of Ghanim Radh, a member of the Development and Reforms Movement, a faction of Iyad Allawi's secular coalition.
Judge permits trial in KBR convoy case 25 Mar 2010 A federal judge has ruled most of the lawsuits claiming Houston-based KBR should have stopped a deadly 2004 truck convoy in Iraq can move toward trial, but a May 24 trial date is off to allow KBR time to file an appeal. The case centers on April 2004 attacks on a convoy of supply trucks KBR ran in Iraq, during which six civilian truck drivers were killed and 14 wounded. The drivers caught in the ambush were delivering fuel under KBR's multibillion-dollar contract to transport supplies... for American troops in the Middle East.
US 'may not veto UN resolution on Jerusalem' 28 Mar 2010 The US is considering abstaining from a possible UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, sources suggest to the BBC. The possibility surfaced at talks in Paris last week between a senior US official and Qatar's foreign minister. The official said the US would "seriously consider abstaining" if the issue of Israeli settlements was put to the vote, a diplomat told the BBC.
Israeli bill favors ex-soldiers as diplomats 28 Mar 2010 The Israeli cabinet is to vote on a new proposal by Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, which states that ex-soldiers should be favored for diplomatic posts. Tel Aviv will discuss the new bill on Sunday, which calls for giving preference to those who have served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and volunteered in the national service when selecting candidates for foreign ministry's posts.
Israel imposes nine-day blockade on West Bank 29 Mar 2010 Israel imposes a 9-day full blockade of the occupied West Bank starting Sunday night, ostensibly as a security measure for the Jewish Passover festival. The lockdown, on the orders of the Israeli War Minister Ehud Barak, will prevent thousands of Palestinian workers based in the West Bank from reaching their places of work.
Israeli forces leave Gaza 28 Mar 2010 Israeli forces have pulled out of the Gaza Strip after two days of fighting. Tanks left the area after Israeli forces began the fiercest gun battle since the Gaza War ended 14 months ago.
Israeli tanks roll into Gaza 27 Mar 2010 Israeli tanks and bulldozers rolled into Gaza Friday while navy ships began firing along the Gaza coast. Tension has been high all week following the deaths of four Palestinian youths. The youths were accused by the Israeli army of throwing stones at them.
French protesters mark 'No Sarkozy Day' 27 Mar 2010 Thousands of anti-government protesters have taken to streets across France to mark a "No Sarkozy Day." The demonstration, which started at the French capital's Place de la Republique, was organized through social networking Internet websites such as Facebook, rather than an official body.
Athens bomb blast kills one and badly injures two --Target of bomb not immediately clear 29 Mar 2010 A teenage boy was killed and his mother and younger sister wounded in a bomb blast in Athens last night, police said. The 15-year-old Afghan boy died after stumbling on a bag in a rubbish bin containing the bomb. The blast also injured his 10-year-old sister and their mother, according to the civil protection ministry. The bomb exploded outside the headquarters of the Hellenic Management Association, a private not-for-profit organisation, a police spokesman said. It was not clear whether this was the intended target, he added.
Seven arrested in FBI raids linked to Christian militia group 28 Mar 2010 At least seven people, including some from Michigan, have been arrested in raids by a FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana as part of an investigation into an Adrian-based Christian militia group, a person familiar with the matter said. The suspects are expected to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Monday. On Sunday, a source close to the investigation in Washington, D.C. confirmed that FBI agents were conducting activities in Washtenaw and Lenawee counties over the weekend in connection to Hutaree, a Christian militia group.
Massive Federal Raid in Lenawee County 28 Mar 2010 The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are all involved in raids around Adrian that may be connected to a religious militia group. The FBI conducted multiple raids throughout Saturday and into Sunday, with one of them centered on a property where known members of a militia live.
Congressman Spit On By Tea Party Protester 28 Mar 2010 Last weekend, as the House of Representatives gathered to debate health care reform while Tea Partiers protested outside the Capitol, word emerged that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had been spit on by one of the demonstrators. Cleaver released a statement confirming the incident, but some questioned his claims. Fox News personality Sean Hannity asked if there was any evidence proving that it had actually happened, and Tea Party groups offered a cash reward for proof. (Video)
Sarah Palin in pornographic portrait shock --Sarah Palin is portrayed using hardcore pornography by the artist Jonathan Yeo, the son of a former Conservative minister. 27 Mar 2010 Jonathan Yeo, the son of former Tory minister Tim Yeo, tells Mandrake that he is currently making a picture of the American Republican using cuttings from hardcore pornographic magazines. "I think she's fair game because it's the Republicans who are, basically, responsible for ------- up the world," he claimed at a party in Belgravia, London. Yeo, who previously made a similarly controversial picture of George W Bush, said the work would go on display as part of an exhibition of his work in Los Angeles this summer. [And, when such portraits emerge, will CLG will link to them? You betcha!]
Republican elite in disarray after David Frum is sacked by think-tank 27 Mar 2010 America’s conservatives were in open disarray yesterday after the abrupt sacking of a leading Republican for daring to blame his party for "the most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s". David Frum, who coined the phrase "Axis of Evil" when he was a speechwriter for President [sic] Bush, was fired by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) after posting a column on his website that called healthcare reform a disaster for Republicans and blamed it squarely on their own refusal to compromise with the Obama Administration.
Court rules Seattle police OK to Taser pregnant woman 28 Mar 2010 Three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in a case that prompted an incredulous dissent. Malaika Brooks was driving her son to Seattle's African American Academy in 2004 when she was stopped for doing 32 mph in a school zone. She insisted it was the car in front of her that was speeding, and refused to sign the ticket because she thought she'd be admitting guilt.
Obama issues 15 recess appointments --George W. Bush had made 15 recess appointments by this point in his presidency [sic]. 27 Mar 2010 President Obama issued 15 recess appointments on Saturday, including two picks for the deadlocked National Labor Relations Board. The picks can only serve through the end of the next Congressional session, meaning the 15 appointed on Saturday will serve through the end of 2011 unless they earn Senate confirmation. In a statement, Obama said the Senate has a responsibility to give up or down votes to his nominees.
pick for transportation security chief is out 27 Mar 2010 President
Barack Obama's second nominee for transportation security chief withdrew
from consideration Friday because of questions over his background as
a defense contractor. Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Harding took himself
out of the running as head of the Transportation Security Administration,
another setback for Obama after his first choice withdrew in January because
'Consultants' getting $722M from city for doomed CityTime computer project 26 Mar 2010 The city is paying some 230 "consultants" an average salary of $400,000 a year for a computer project that is seven years behind schedule and vastly over budget. The payments continue despite Mayor Bloomberg's admission the computerized timekeeping and payroll system - called CityTime - is "a disaster." Eleven CityTime consultants rake in more than $600,000 annually, with three of them making as much as $676,000, city records obtained under a Freedom of Information request show.
Desert Hills Bank shut down by federal regulators 26 Mar 2010 Desert Hills Bank, one of the largest banks headquartered in Arizona, was shut down by banking regulators Friday. New York Community Bank assumed all Desert Hills' deposits, which remain federally insured. Desert Hills' six branches will reopen on Monday as branches of New York Community Bank, which last year took over the Arizona branches of Ohio-based Amtrust Bank when it went under.
bill restores $250 million in abstinence-education funds
28 Mar 2010 A little-noticed provision of the
First A/H1N1 flu case detected in Chile's earthquake devastated zone 27 Mar 2010 The Chilean Health Ministry reported on Friday the first case of A/H1N1 influenza in the most devastated zones by the earthquake on Feb. 27. The ministry said the patient is a 5-year-old boy from Mocha Island, who was taken to Guillermo Grant Benavente Hospital in Concepcion city, where he is recovering.
Two cases with rapid development of drug-resistant 2009 H1N1 influenza reported 27 Mar 2010 Scientists have reported two cases in which people with compromised immune systems who became ill with 2009 H1N1 influenza developed drug-resistant strains of virus after less than two weeks on therapy. Doctors from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have said that medics, who treat prolonged influenza infection should be aware that even a short course of antiviral treatment may lead to drug-resistant virus.
F.D.A. Says Millions Got Unapproved Heart Pills 26 Mar 2010 Doctors in the United States wrote more than four million prescriptions last year for nitroglycerin tablets, heart drugs placed under the tongue to reduce the chest pain angina or to stop a heart attack. But the majority of the drugs sold had not been approved for sale, nor had their safety and effectiveness been vetted, by the Food and Drug Administration. And many doctors, who discovered only last week that pharmacies were giving their patients unproved heart tablets, now say they have no way of knowing whether patients have suffered unnecessarily as a result.
Pentagon wants $33 billion more for war in Afghanistan 25 Mar 2010 The Pentagon wants $33 billion in additional funding to pay for the war in Afghanistan this year and train the Afghan military, but members of Congress want to make sure they’re not writing a blank check. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared before Senate appropriators to defend the war supplemental, which is on top of the $708 billion baseline budget submitted to Congress in February. Most of the war supplemental -- a separate account used to pay for war costs -- will pay for Afghanistan operations. [See: Barack Obama: Change We Can Deceive In --A critique from the Left By Lori Price 19 Aug 2009.]
KBR Bills $5 Million For Mechanics Who Work 43 Minutes a Month By Adam Weinstein 25 Mar 2010 The Department of Defense agreed to pay the megacontractor KBR $5 million a year to repair tactical vehicles, from Humvees to big rigs, at Joint Base Balad, a large airfield and supply center north of Baghdad. Yet according to a new Pentagon report, what the military got was as many as 144 civilian mechanics, each doing as little as 43 minutes of work a month, with virtually no oversight. The report, issued March 3 by the DOD's inspector general, found that between late 2008 and mid-2009, KBR performed less than 7 percent of the work it was expected to do, but still got paid in full.
U.S. looks to export drone technology to allies 25 Mar 2010 Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday he hoped to export coveted U.S. drone technology to allies, despite legal hurdles, and played down the threat from rival drone programs in nations like Iran. Gates, testifying at a Senate hearing, said it was in the U.S. interest to try to help friendly nations get drone technology, despite limitations on exports imposed by an international pact.
Despite 'row,' US seals military deal with Israel 26 Mar 2010 The US gives written consent to generously boost the Israeli military despite Washington's alleged dissatisfaction with Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. Upon agreeing on a relevant deal, the United States agreed to hand over roughly 250-million-dollars worth of Hercules C-130J aircraft to the Israeli army, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper said on Thursday.
Israeli tanks cross into Gaza 26 Mar 2010 Israeli tanks have crossed the border into the Gaza Strip with helicopters and drones reportedly flying over the coastal area. Citing Palestinian sources, Reuters reported that five Israeli tanks and two armored bulldozers entered into the Gaza Strip and started firing towards the central town of Khan Yunis on Friday.
Sources: Iran-Contra operative linked to questionable spy program 25 Mar 2010 former high-ranking CIA official who was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal has worked on an alleged ad hoc spy [and assassination] program that the Pentagon is investigating, CNN has learned. Duane "Dewey" Clarridge -- who was pardoned for his alleged role in the Reagan-era scandal by President George H. W. Bush in the waning hours of his presidency in 1992 -- is using contacts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to obtain information for the Pentagon, according to former government officials familiar with the current program.
'Govt not buying electricity from Iran due to US pressure' 26 Mar 2010 There is no valid reason why the government should not be serious about purchasing electricity from Iran especially at a time when the whole country is suffering from load shedding, Senator Professor Khurshid Ahmed said on Thursday, citing US pressure to be the main reason behind the hesitation. Speaking on a point of order in the Upper House, he claimed that an American lobby was working against the interests of Iran, which was also creating hurdles for the Iran-Pakistan Pipeline Project and the provision of electricity from Iran.
Amid pro-Maliki protests, Allawi coalition named winner 26 Mar 2010 The full preliminary results from Iraq's recent parliamentary elections point to the victory of the coalition led by former premier [US-installed oil puppet] Iyad Allawi over its main rival and incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Securing 91 seats in the 325-member Council of Representatives, two more than those won by Maliki's State of Law coalition, Allawi's secular al-Iraqiya Alliance came victorious out of the March 7 elections, Iraqi electoral officials announced on Friday.
Marines Charged in Killings of Iraqis 26 Mar 2010 A look at Marines who were charged in three high-profile cases involving killings of Iraqis: Eight members of the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, were accused murder or failing to investigate crimes stemming from the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.
Gunmen kill engineer in eastern Afghanistan 26 Mar 2010 The acting governor of Khost province in eastern Afghanistan says gunmen opened fire on a group of engineers inspecting a high school, killing one of them. Taher Khan Sabari says three other people were wounded in Friday's attack in Khost City, the provincial capital.
US and Russia seal deal to slash nuclear arsenals by a third 26 Mar 2010 President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, on Friday sealed a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty that they will sign together in Prague next month. After months of deadlock, the deal on a successor to the Cold War-era Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) was hailed as Mr Obama's most significant foreign policy achievement since taking office. The final agreement was reached between the two leaders during a telephone call and commits the world's biggest nuclear weapons powers to slash their arsenals by nearly a third.
Don't hand passport to officials, FCO tells Britons travelling to Israel --Foreign and Commonwealth Office says visitors should not hand documents to Israeli officials unless absolutely necessary 24 Mar 2010 Britons travelling to Israel are warned not to hand their passports over to Israeli officials unless it is absolutely necessary in travel advice issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The advice was posted on the FCO website yesterday... The advisory was issued on the back of information from the Serious Organised Crime Agency. FCO officials admitted such a step was not usual but said it had a "duty" to protect British citizens whose lives might be endangered. It follows Britain's belief that passports were copied by Israel at Ben Gurion airport.
Israel told: no passport promise means no new Mossad diplomat --Miliband demands assurances that identity cloning will never happen again 25 Mar 2010 The Israeli government will not be allowed to replace the senior Mossad station chief expelled from London over the cloning of British passports used in the assassination of a Hamas commander unless it offers a public assurance that UK citizens' documents will never be used again for clandestine operations. The Foreign Secretary David Miliband wants his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, to make the pledge. British diplomatic officials are insisting the situation is not negotiable.
American Terror Suspect Worked for D.E.A. 25 Mar 2010 An American charged with helping plan the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, moved effortlessly between the United States, Pakistan and India for nearly seven years, training at a militant camp in Pakistan on five occasions, according to a plea agreement released by the Justice Department last week... David C. Headley was an informant in Pakistan for the Drug Enforcement Agency in the 1990s. He was in Pakistan for the drug agency from the late 1990s until at least 2001. By 2002, he was training with Lashkar, raising the possibility that he had made contact with the militants while still working for the drug agency.
Bin Laden: We Will Execute Americans If You Harm KSM --U.S. Official: Osama's Threat 'Height of Absurdity' 25 Mar 2010 In an audiotape released Thursday, Osama bin Laden [who likely died of kidney disease in December 2001] threatened to kill any captured Americans if the U.S. government executes accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. U.S. officials are trying to authenticate the message, but believe it is in fact bin laden's message. The message first aired on Al-Jazeera television. In the message, bin Laden said al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] would take revenge against Americans if Muhammad, who has taken credit for planning the 9/11 attacks [after being waterboarded 183 times], or any other al Qaeda operatives in U.S. custody were to be executed. [The 'height of absurdity' is the official explanation of the events of 9/11. Notice how these phony messages are *always* on audiotape? They actually emanate from Langley, VA.]
GOP: We'll Kill the Liars Who Say We Are Inciting Violence --'Where does it say in the Constitution that you can't use the 'n-word?' Satire by R J Shulman 26 Mar 2010 Republican leaders are vehemently denying their tactics and rhetoric have been responsible for the major recent increase in political violence... "The liberal press has it all wrong when they accuse me of telling Tea Party heroes to hang and burn in effigy the tyrant who has occupied the White House," said Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). "I never said nothing about it being in effigy." (Satire)
FBI: NY congressman gets 'threatening' letter with white powder 25 Mar 2010 The office of Representative Anthony Weiner received a letter that "could be interpreted as threatening," the FBI said on Thursday, and local media reported the letter contained an unidentified white powder. Authorities were responding to the office of the Democratic Congressman in the New York City borough of Queens, and no other details were immediately available, said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko.
Death threats plague Democrats who supported Barack Obama's health care bill --Democrats who supported sweeping changes to America's health care system have been subjected to death threats and vandalism as the tide of anger and outrage over the bill grows. 25 Mar 2010 The FBI has been called in to investigate after bricks were thrown through Democrats' windows and menacing phone messages were left for politicians who supported the bill. Four Democratic offices across the country have been targeted and least 10 members of Congress have reported some sort of threat. No arrests have so far been made.
Georgia Attorney General Faces Impeachment Threat After Refusing to File Anti-Health Care Lawsuit 25 Mar 2010 Georgia lawmakers reacted to Wednesday's news that their Attorney General, Democrat Thurbert Baker, would not sign on to a multi-state lawsuit to block the health care bill in his state by filing papers to have him impeached. The blog Peach Pundit reports that the resolution to impeach Baker, also a candidate for Georgia governor, now has at least 30 signatures and is still going forward. Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, petitioned Baker to sign on to the joint lawsuit filed by more than a dozen attorneys general across the country earlier this week that seeks to shield states from the effects of the new health bill...
Former militiaman unapologetic for calls to vandalize offices over health care 25 Mar 2010; 3:52 PM The call to arms was issued at 5:55 a.m. last Friday. "To all modern Sons of Liberty: THIS is your time. Break their windows. Break them NOW." These were the words of Mike Vanderboegh, a 57-year-old former militiaman from Alabama, who took to his blog urging people who opposed the historic health-care reform legislation to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide... Local Democratic Party officials in New York have called for Vanderboegh's arrest, believing he is implicated in the vandalism in Rochester, but Vanderboegh said he has not yet been questioned by any law enforcement authorities.
House passes reconciliation bill on 220 to 207 vote 25 Mar 2010 Congress passed the final piece of President Obama's landmark health-care package Thursday, the last legislative hurdle in a year-long debate over the issue. On a 220 to 207 vote Thursday night, the House approved a reconciliation bill that amends the newly enacted health-care law and includes a major overhaul of the student loan program and expansion of Pell Grants. The bill now goes to Obama for his signature.
Congress Completes Overhaul of Health Care 25 Mar 2010 Capping an epic struggle, congressional Democrats put the final touches Thursday to historic legislation enshrining health care as the right of every citizen. Republicans vowed to campaign for repeal in the fall election season, drawing a quick retort from President Barack Obama: "I welcome that fight." The president spoke in Iowa as the Senate voted 56-43 for legislation making changes, including better benefits for seniors and low-income and middle-class families, to the bill he signed into law with a flourish at the White House on Tuesday.
G.O.P. Forces New House Vote on Package of Health Bill Changes --Senate to return health bill to House 25 Mar 2010 With the Senate working through an all-night session on a package of changes to the Democrats’ sweeping 'health care' legislation, Republicans early Thursday morning identified parliamentary problems with at least two provisions that will require the measure to be sent back to the House for yet another vote, once the Senate adopts it.
GOP Senators Refusing to Work Past 2PM, Invoking Obscure Rule 24 Mar 2010 Senate Republicans fuming over the passage of health care reform are now refusing to work past 2 p.m. -- a tactic they can employ by invoking a little-known Senate rule. On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee was forced to cancel a hearing as was the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Together Again: Palin Campaigns For McCain In Arizona 26 Mar 2010 Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., got some help with his reelection campaign Friday from his former vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin. McCain faces a challenge from former congressman and conservative talk-radio host JD Hayworth and some observers think McCain is facing a tough fight. Palin praised McCain and said Arizona voters need to return "the maverick" to Washington to continue the fight against the "Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda." [I wonder what McCain has on Palin that forced her to campaign for him? It's gotta be *huge.*]
Sharks and polar bears failed by conference --An international conference to protect endangered species has been pronounced a 'disaster' for failing to protect sharks, polar bears and bluefin tuna. 25 Mar 2010 The Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in Doha, Qatar brought together 175 countries to decide the best way to protect endangered animals. But attempts to ban the trade in bluefin tuna and polar bear parts failed. Attempts to increase protection of sharks and coral also failed. Oliver Knowles, Greenpeace international oceans campaigner, said the conference has been a disaster for conservation.
Crisis of disappearing honeybees continues 25 Mar 2010 The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees' pollen and hives laden with pesticides. Two federal agencies along with regulators in California and Canada are scrambling to figure out what is behind this relatively recent threat, ordering new research on pesticides used in fields and orchards. Federal courts are even weighing in this month, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overlooked a requirement when allowing a pesticide on the market.
Earth Hour - climate change campaigners urge global switch-off --The fourth annual lights-out event expects 1 billion participants, and counts for the first time international landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State building and the Burj Khalifa 26 Mar 2010 The biggest turn-off in human history will start at 8.30pm tomorrow in Chatham, a tiny South Pacific island with only 12 street lamps. Almost 25 hours later, but at 9.30pm the same day, it will finish on the other side of the international dateline in the Galapagos Islands, where scientists at the Charles Darwin Research Station will share a candle-lit dinner with several hundred locals and environmental activists.
GOP Lawmaker Poised to Call for Special Prosecutor to Investigate White House 24 Mar 2010 Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight committee, told CBS News Wednesday that he will call for a special prosecutor to investigate the White House if it does not address Rep. Joe Sestak's claim that he was offered a federal job in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary. "If the public doesn't receive a satisfactory answer, the next step would be to call for a special prosecutor, which is well within the statute," Issa told Hotsheet. [OMG! A GOP lawmaker wants to investigate Obama over a *job offer?* Where is the investigation of Bush and Cheney for killing thousands on 9/11 and in Iraq and Afghanistan? Not to mention, war crimes and giving away the National Treasury to Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, Fluor, DynCorp, Goldman Suchs, and a hundred other corporaterrorist cronies under the cover of endless illegal wars and occupations for oil? --LRP]
Terrorists 'could use exploding breast implants to blow up jet' --Breast-implants packed with explosives could be used by terrorists to blow up an airliner, experts have reportedly warned. 24 Mar 2010 'Radical Islamist' plastic surgeons could be carrying out the implant operations in lawless areas of Pakistan, security sources are said to warned. Explosives experts have reportedly said just five ounces of Pentaerythritol Tetrabitrate packed into a breast implant would be enough to blow a "considerable" hole in the side of a jumbo jet. [Only the CIA 'let's spike French bread with LSD' could dream of this one. And the sex offenders that the TSA *loves* to hire are going to have a field day with this one, with all the extra pat-downs and searches.]
113 terror suspects arrested in Kingdom 25 Mar 2010 Saudi security forces have arrested 113 [alleged] Al-Qaeda militants who were planning to carry out terrorist attacks on a number of targets inside the Kingdom including oil installations, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday. Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said his forces had broken up three cells of Al-Qaeda militants, with one cell consisting of 101 people, and two smaller cells made up of six men each.
judge: CIA can keep secrets despite ACLU demand 24 Mar 2010 A
judge for a second time has denied efforts by the American Civil Liberties
Union to force the CIA to release names and documents relating to Sept.
CIA may face prosecution for drones' raids in Pakistan 24 Mar 2010 The US government's refusal to offer legal grounds for CIA's drones bombing raids in Pakistan may result in CIA officers facing prosecution for war crimes. "Prominent voices in the international legal community" were increasingly impatient with Washington's silence on the CIA's bombing raids in Pakistan and elsewhere, Kenneth Anderson, a law professor at American University, told a congressional panel on Tuesday, AFP reported.
US panel debates drone legality --US plans to order over 7000 drones 24 Mar 2010 Unmanned aerial vehicles (UVAs) or drones are remote-controlled aircraft without people onboard, which can carry and utilize missiles. In alleged UVA attacks targeting al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, collateral damage has reportedly claimed the lives of many civilians. As the US plans to order more drones to add to the more than 7000 they already have, there is still no legal framework or set of standards for how to use the new technology. [Since the drones are there to kill, civilians should be proactive and blow them out of the sky before they carry out their daily 'collateral damage.']
private spy ring prompts wider US probe: Pentagon 23 Mar 2010
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a study of US "information
operations" after a Pentagon official allegedly set up a spy network [and
death squads] with
NATO won't destroy Afghan poppy fields 25 Mar 2010 NATO has rejected an appeal made by Russia for eradication of opium fields in Afghanistan, arguing that the sole source of income in the region cannot be removed. Addressing a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday, head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Agency (FSKN) Victor Ivanov said "Afghan opiates led to the death of 1 million people by overdose in the last 10 years, and that is United Nations data. Is that not a threat to world peace and security?"
Bomb attack kills 2 NATO soldiers in southern Afghanistan 24 Mar 2010 NATO forces say two soldiers have been killed by a bomb in southern Afghanistan. The military coalition says in a statement that the attack happened Wednesday but gives no further details.
Two hurt as Nato helicopter crash lands in Afghanistan 23 Mar 2010 A helicopter carrying Turkish soldiers has crash landed in Afghanistan, injuring at least two of its occupants, the Turkish military says. The aircraft came down near the town of Wardak, south of the capital, Kabul. One report said the aircraft had technical problems while landing.
Poll: 73% of Russians view US as aggressor --Only eight [delusional] percent agreed that the United States was "a defender of peace, democracy and order." 24 Mar 2010 Almost three-quarters of Russians view the US as an "aggressor" seeking world domination, according to an opinion poll released by Levada Center polling agency. The survey published on Wednesday indicates 73 percent of respondents agreed that the United States was "an aggressor trying to take control" of all countries in the world.
UN rights body condemns Israel 24 Mar 2010 The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed three resolutions in condemnation of Israel's "grave human rights violations" in the occupied Palestinian territories. The United States, however, voted against the resolutions, which condemned Israel over its policies related to Palestinian and Syrian territories, Haaretz reported.
Britons queued at Ben Gurion airport as Israeli officials cloned passports --Soca report into forgeries used in Dubai killing says personal data was stolen in border checks 24 Mar 2010 Passing through Israel's Ben Gurion airport, a few miles east of Tel Aviv, is a unique experience no first-time visitor is likely to forget. It represents the pinnacle of modern aviation security. Baggage is passed through giant, state-of-the-art machines, and travellers - both arriving and leaving - are frequently subjected to lengthy, personal and repetitive questioning by officials, on their ethnic background and that of any local acquaintances they may have made.
Clone wars: Mossad's London chief expelled over forged passports --New details are revealed showing how Israeli security services stole British citizens' identities. Foreign Office advises travellers to Israel that they risk having their passports cloned 24 Mar 2010 Britain has expelled Mossad's most senior official in London after concluding there was compelling evidence that UK passports used by a hit squad in Dubai were cloned by Israel. The Independent has learnt that the documents were cloned at Ben Gurion airport, and officials then made follow-up calls to check surreptitiously that the travel plans of those whose identities had been stolen would not interfere with the assassination. "Such misuse of British passports is intolerable," the Foreign Secretary David Miliband told Parliament.
New Israeli construction plan undermines talks 24 Mar 2010 Israel announced today that it had given the green light for 20 more homes in a Jewish development in the disputed area of Jerusalem. The announcement came after one of the frostiest meetings between a US president and an Israeli leader. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, had flown to Washington for an emergency meeting with Barack Obama after a trip to the Middle East by Joe Biden, the Vice President, was wrecked by an Israeli plan to build 1,600 new Jewish homes in east Jerusalem.
Gunmen Kill Iraqi Soldiers On Guard In Baghdad 24 Mar 2010 Gunmen shot and killed five Iraqi Army soldiers at a military checkpoint in south Baghdad on Wednesday as the country prepared for election results scheduled to be released Friday. Seven people were killed and 11 others were wounded in Baghdad and in restive areas north and east of the capital. The soldiers were fatally shot by a group of men in three cars [Blackwater?] as they passed through a checkpoint in Radwaniya, a Sunni neighborhood near the Baghdad airport, said a security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Iraqi demonstrators call for recount of ballots 24 Mar 2010 Hundreds of Iraqis have taken to the streets in the southern city of Basra to demand the nationwide recount of votes from the country's March 7 parliamentary elections. The demonstrators who support Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's demand for a manual recount of around 12 million ballots, gathered outside the provincial government's offices in Basra on Wednesday.
Halliburton drops high court appeal in rape case 22 Mar 2010 Halliburton Co. and KBR have withdrawn an appeal asking the Supreme Court to block the trial of a former military contractor from Texas who says she was raped by co-workers in Iraq. Halliburton confirmed today that the appeal was withdrawn. Jamie Leigh Jones says she was raped while working for KBR in Baghdad in 2005. She later sued KBR and Halliburton, which split in 2007. Halliburton and KBR had argued that Jones’ case should be settled in arbitration as required by her contract. A lower court ruled it could go to trial, which is set for May 2011.
Vic police face sack over racist emails 25 Mar 2010 (AU) A series of offensive emails shared among Victoria Police officers are too shocking to ever be released publicly, the state's police chief says. Up to 100 officers are being investigated and could face the sack for sending the emails on work computers. The emails are extremely racist, homophobic and pornographic, officers have told media outlets. The most serious email shows an ethnic man being tortured, The Age reported.
Steny Hoyer: Members are at risk 24 Mar 2010 House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is warning that some of his Democratic colleagues are being threatened with violence when they go back to their districts -- and he wants Republicans to stand up and condemn the threats. The Maryland Democrat said more than 10 House Democrats have reported incidents of threats or other forms of harassment about their support of the highly divisive health insurance overhaul vote.
Words, and now bricks thrown at lawmakers over health care vote 24 Mar 2010 Law enforcement officials are investigating a series of threats against Democrats in the House of Representatives who backed the recent health care legislation, threats that have lawmakers on edge about potential violence against them both in Washington and back home. "We've had some very serious incidents that have occurred in the last 48 to 72 hours," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said at a news conference on Wednesday, adding, "any member who feels themselves at risk is getting attention from the proper authorities."
Gas line cut at home of Va. congressman's brother 24 Mar 2010 Authorities are investigating a severed propane line at the home of a Virginia congressman's brother after tea party activists posted the man's address online. Activists are upset about U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello's (D) vote in favor of the health care reform. Perriello's office said that a line to a propane tank on a gas grill was cut at Bo Perriello's Charlottesville home on Tuesday. Tea party activists had posted the address online thinking it was the congressman's home, telling opponents to drop by and "express their thanks" for his vote. [If you're a corporaterrorist thug and cut a gas line of a Congressman's home or hurl a brick through a window -- you're labeled an *activist* by The Associated Press. POLITICO labeled the act an *incident.* If you're *leftwing* and appeared with a Kerry button at a Bush rally, you were arrested. See: Guns OK Outside Obama Town Hall; Kerry Pins Brought Arrest At Bush Rally By Lori Price 12 Aug 2009 Bush's Waffen-SS arrested (and strip-searched) people with Kerry-Edwards buttons pinned to their T-shirts and paper protest signs at his at his GOP-only appearances. But, when a Reichwinger attends a New Hampshire town hall meeting with a gun -- merely yards from President Obama -- the protester not only gets to remain at the meeting but also gets to be a guest on MSNBC's 'Hardball.']
FBI investigates Virginia incident 24 Mar 2010 Law enforcement authorities are investigating the discovery of a cut propane gas line at the Virginia home of Rep. Thomas Perriello’s (D-Va.) brother, whose address was targeted by tea party activists angry at the congressman’s vote for the health care bill. An aide to the congressman confirmed to POLITICO that a line to a propane tank behind his brother's home near Charlottesville had been sliced. The FBI would not disclose the details of the incident but said that they have been to the home.
Palin's PAC Puts Gun Sights On Democrats She's Targeting In 2010
24 Mar 2010 Sarah Palin is targeting -- yes, with gun sights -- House
Democrats facing tough reelection fights who voted for health care reform.
Palin's Facebook page now carries a map featuring 20 gun sights, one for
each of the Democrats targeted this year by her
State House backs 4-day school week --Proponents say option could help struggling school districts 22 Mar 2010 In an effort to help strapped school districts save money, the House on Monday approved a bill that would let local school boards set four-day weeks for students. Students would still be required to go to school the same number of hours every year... The bill passed the House on an 81-21 vote and goes to the Senate for consideration. [Yeah, let's buy more nuclear power plants for Pakistan instead of funding education in the US. See: Pakistan hands over wish list to US --List includes requests for drones, helicopter gunships, help on energy crisis [?], more intelligence cooperation --Clinton says US will do 'everything' to address Pak financial challenges 24 Mar 2010.]
Rotarix rotavirus vaccine contaminated with pig virus, officials say --About 1 million children in the US received Rotarix vaccine 22 Mar 2010 Federal health authorities recommended Monday that doctors suspend using Rotarix, one of two vaccines licensed in the United States against rotavirus, saying the vaccine is contaminated with material from a pig virus. Rotarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, was approved by the FDA in 2008. The contaminant material is DNA from porcine circovirus 1, a virus from pigs.
Disputed Bay of Bengal island 'vanishes' say scientists --Scientists: Other nearby islands could also vanish as sea levels rise. 24 Mar 2010 A tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say. The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis. Recent satellites images show the whole island under water, says the School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta.
Killer icicles terrorise Russians 24 Mar 2010 Falling icicles and ice blocks have killed five people and injured 147 in the city following Russia's coldest winter in 30 years. The toll has prompted residents and relatives of victims to demand action against those responsible for what they believe to be careless clearing of ice from rooftops. "Every day, I go out into the street as if I was entering a war zone," complained resident Boris Ilinsky, 28. "I've got to keep my eyes on the ground to avoid slipping and I'm also looking up to avoid falling lumps of ice," he added.
US aviation security to adopt Israeli model --US official says Israel's security protocols 'offer blueprint for trying to thwart terrorism plots in aviation system' 24 Mar 2010 Israel News President Barack Obama's nominee to oversee security at US airports said on Tuesday he wants to shift screening closer to the Israeli model to include more behavior detection in a bid to thwart terrorism plots. Retired Major General Robert Harding was nominated earlier this month to head the Transportation Security Administration after serving more than three decades in the military, including a stint as deputy to the Army's chief of intelligence and director for operations in the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Pakistan hands over wish list to US --List includes requests for drones, helicopter gunships, help on energy crisis [?], more intelligence cooperation --Clinton says US will do 'everything' to address Pak financial challenges 24 Mar 2010 Pakistan has submitted a wish list to Washington ahead of strategic talks scheduled to start today, asking for pilot-less drones and helicopter gunships as well as economic and other aid, US and Pakistani officials said on Tuesday. The 56-page document includes requests for more help in dealing with water and energy crises, greater cooperation between the ISI and US intelligence outfits, more helicopter gunships and other military hardware. Pakistan also wants a civilian nuclear energy cooperation deal with the US, and a role in any future peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. [If USociopaths weren't paying for Pakistan's *nuclear* programs (LOL! What happened to the phony fear of 'al-Qaeda' getting hold of Pakistan's nuclear material?), we could have single-payer health care and fix US infrastructure! But no. Instead, US taxpayers have to fund contractors' bl*w jobs in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq - *everywhere* but here, as the Reichwing refuses to allow the people to have anything, under cover of the monstrous deficit (created by George W. Bush). Now, how come the topic of the 'deficit' and 'CBO scoring' isn't raised when the US wants to fund Pakistan's nuclear energy and Afghanistan's roads? --LRP]
US drone attack kills six in Pakistan [Hey, Hillary! Instead of building nuclear plants, why not just stop the daily slaughter of Pakistan's eight-year-olds?] 23 Mar 2010 Two missiles fired from US drones have killed at least six people in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan. According to Pakistani security officials, the two missiles landed in a compound in the suburbs of Miranshah town in the North Waziristan tribal region. Meanwhile, other reports said that two others were injured in the strike.
New Mossad rep to head to UK --Israel to send replacement for diplomat expelled by Britain over passport affair, Ynet learns 24 Mar 2010 On Tuesday, Britain's foreign secretary announced, without saying so explicitly, the expulsion of the Mossad's representative in London in response to the forging of United Kingdom passports -- however, despite the dramatic statement, Israel will soon send a replacement for the expelled representative, Ynet learned. Senior officials in Israel said the government does not wish to escalate the diplomatic confrontation as result of the forged passport affair.
UK expels Israeli 'diplomat' over Dubai terror 23 Mar 2010 The United Kingdom has ordered the expulsion of a senior Israeli diplomat over the use of fake British passports in the terrorist murder of a Hamas commander in Dubai. "I have asked that a member of the embassy of Israel be withdrawn from the UK as a result of this affair, and this is taking place," Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Tuesday. The expelled Israeli 'diplomat' is widely reported to be a Mossad operative in the regime's embassy in London.
Graham Proposal on Terrorist Detention Circulating on Hill 23 Mar 2010 Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina has finalized the details of his proposal to change the nation’s terrorist detention system and White House officials have approached congressional Democrats in the hopes of garnering support for the plan on the Hill, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. In January, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Graham began talks on a deal: the self-proclaimed [under waterboarding] mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Khalid Sheik Mohammed would be tried in a military tribunal, in exchange for Graham’s support for a new U.S. detention center to replace Guantanamo Bay. [Join us in the new CLG Facebook group, Unprivileged Enemy Belligerents.]
Graham proposes framework for handling terrorism suspects, rules governing indefinite detention 23 Mar 2010 Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) has submitted draft legislation to the White House in an effort to create a broad framework for handling terrorism suspects... Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. When Holder does appear, he will testify that the original decision on holding a trial in Manhattan was a "close call," a Justice Department official said, a phrase that he has used before but that in the current debate would signal an impending White House decision in favor of a military tribunal.
Court declines case: US can move detainees without notice --The Supreme
Court declined to hear a case on whether federal judges can require the
US to give 30 days notice of any plan to move Guantánamo detainees to
2010 The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up an appeal by a
group of Guantánamo Bay
secretary orders review of military information programs
--Military 'information' programs have 2010 budget
of over $500 million 24 Mar 2010 Defense Secretary Robert M.
Gates has ordered a review of the military's information operations programs
in response to allegations that
Charges eyed for ex-Blackwater chief 23 Mar 2010 Federal prosecutors
are considering filing weapons charges against former top officials of
the Blackwater Worldwide
US Navy warns ships off Yemen of possible al-Qaida attacks 23 Mar 2010 The U.S. Navy is warning of possible al-Qaida attacks against ships off the coast of Yemen, where an offshoot of the terrorist network has established a significant base of operations over the past year. Yemen became a focus of deep international concern in December when 'al-Qaida' in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility [?] for the failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner, showing the group based in an impoverished and unstable corner of the Middle East had global reach. "Information suggests that al-Qaida remains interested in maritime attacks in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden along the coast of Yemen," said an advisory from the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence.
Spain raises terror alert level 22 Mar 2010 Spain said on Monday it has raised its terror alert level due to "recent events," six days after a French police officer was killed in an attack blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA. The alert went from "low intensity" to "high intensity" within the level two on a scale of four, indicating a "probable risk of a terrorist attack," the interior ministry said in a statement.
Want to Fly Through a Loophole in the No-Fly List? Buy a Plane --TSA Confirms: Current Rules Don't Require Security Checks for Passengers on Private Jets 23 Mar 2010 For the wealthy, a place on the U.S. government's recently expanded terrorist no-fly list has not turned out to be a major impediment to a jet-setting lifestyle. A loophole in the Transportation Security Administration's security regulations does not require any screening for those flying domestically on a privately-owned aircraft, no matter how large. Both TSA officials and FBI Terrorist Screening Center director Timothy Healy confirmed to ABC News last week that the effort to keep U.S. airspace off-limits to terror suspects has not included vetting the passengers and pilots on large private jets.
Airport device follows fliers' phones 23 Mar 2010 Today's smartphones and PDAs could have a new use in the nation's airports. The Transportation Security Administration is looking at installing devices in airports that home in and detect personal electronic equipment. The aim is to track how long people are stuck in security lines. Information about wait times could then be posted on websites and in airports across the country. But civil-liberties experts worry that such a system enables the government to track people's whereabouts.
Policing thought in America: Why can't we discuss the events of 9/11? By James Fetzer 19 March 2010 The brain trust that calls itself The Huffington Post has disgraced itself and shown the "progressive left" is a cowardly fraud by removing a column guest written by Jesse Ventura about 9/11. The official explanation from no less than Arianna Huffington, presumably, is "Editor's Note: The Huffington Post's editorial policy, laid out in our blogger guidelines, prohibits the promotion and promulgation of conspiracy theories--including those about 9/11. As such, we have removed this post." Maybe no one explained to these worthies that if any one were to write about 9/11, they would be writing about a conspiracy theory, since the government’s own "official account" is only the most outrageous.
Walgreen Wishes You'd Get The Flu --Walgreen laments Slow Flu Season 23 Mar 2010 Swine flu might be bad for your health, but it's a boost to drugstore chains like Walgreen. That meant trouble in the most recently completed quarter though, when sales of flu vaccinations and cold remedies, which had surged, dropped off as flu season turned out to be weaker than anticipated. Walgreen doled out just 2 million flu shots in the second quarter, down from 5 million in the previous three-month period, and on Tuesday the company announced its second-quarter earnings fell short of analysts' expectations.
14 states sue to block health care law --All but one of the state officials, LA's Buddy Caldwell, are Republicans. 23 Mar 2010 Officials from 14 states have gone to court to block the historic overhaul of the U.S. health care system that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, arguing the law's requirement that individuals buy health insurance violates the Constitution. Thirteen of those officials filed suit in a federal court in Pensacola, Florida, minutes after Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
President Obama signs landmark health bill into law 23 Mar 2010 President Obama signed a landmark health-care bill into law Tuesday, enacting a sweeping overhaul of the nation's $2.5 trillion health system after a year-long effort that he said shows the United States "faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities." "The bill I am signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see," Obama said before putting his signature on the legislation.
Pinson man urges protesters to throw bricks 23 Mar 2010 An Alabama blogger [Mike Vanderboegh] is taking credit for a brick being thrown through the window of the Democratic Committee headquarters in Monroe County, N.Y. The blog, which takes a "strict constructionist, libertarian point of view" according to its author, encouraged its readers to throw bricks at the windows of Democratic headquarters across the country. A brick was thrown through the glass doors at the committee's Rochester, N.Y., office, either late Saturday night or early Sunday. Attached to the brick was a quote from Barry Goldwater: "Extremism in defense of liberty is novice." [What's good for the rightwing goose is good for the leftwing gander.]
Bricks shatter glass at NY Democratic offices 22 Mar 2010 Authorities are trying to find out [Yeah, right!] who threw bricks through windows and doors at two Democratic Party offices in western New York before Sunday's health care vote. Monroe County Democratic Committee officials say a brick shattered glass doors at the party's headquarters in Rochester on Saturday or Sunday. Rochester police are investigating. A brick was thrown through a window at Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter's district office in Niagara Falls early Friday.
Rep. Giffords' Tucson office vandalized after health care vote 22 Mar 2010 The front door was smashed out at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ (D) congressional office last night. At 2:40 a.m., just a few hours after staff left the building after the late-night vote, the alarm system went off, said spokesman C.J. Karamargin. The panel to the front door and the glass panel alongside it were smashed. The perpetrator likely had to hop the gated fence to get access to the door, since it’s not viewable from the parking lot. Karamargin said it was unclear if the glass had been shot with a kind of pellet gun, if it had been kicked or smashed with an object.
disbanding because of money woes, 'scandal' 23 Mar 2010 The once
mighty community activist group ACORN announced Monday it is folding amid
falling revenues -- six months after video footage emerged showing some
of its workers giving tax tips to
Nationwide strikes in France against Sarkozy 23 Mar 2010 Nationwide strikes in France hobbled public services from transport to schools Tuesday, with unions hoping their action would put the brakes on reforms planned by President Nicolas Sarkozy two days after his party's stinging defeat in regional elections.
Right-wing U.S. firebrand Ann Coulter will file grievance with rights panel 23 Mar 2010 Inflammatory right-wing pundit Ann Coulter took aim at a University of Ottawa administrator Monday night, saying an e-mail from the school warning her to use "restraint, respect and consideration" when addressing Ontario students during a speaking tour this week made her a victim of a "hate crime." Speaking to students and academics at the University of Western Ontario Monday, Coulter said the e-mail sent to her Friday by Francois Houle, vice-president academic and provost of the University of Ottawa, targeted her as a member of an identifiable group [of Reichwing whores and sociopaths?] and as such, she will be filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission alleging hate speech.
Polar bears, tuna lose a big one --Global group refuses a ban on hunting two threatened species 23 Mar 2010 A U.N. organization that regulates wildlife trade voted Thursday against bans on hunting polar bears threatened by shrinking Arctic ice and on fishing for the Atlantic bluefin tuna. The U.S. government had backed both proposals at a meeting of the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Doha, Qatar. U.S. officials had argued that polar bears shouldn’t be hunted for commercial trade because they already were threatened by melting sea ice caused by global warming. Canada allows a hunt for polar bears for trade in their pelts and other body parts and for trophy hunting. [*Boycott* Canadian tourism and industry until they stop turning polar bears into rugs!!]
Iraq Inquiry asks to question George Bush's senior officials --The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War could take an explosive new twist after it emerged that leading figures in George Bush's regime have been asked to give evidence to it. 20 Mar 2010 Sources in Washington said the inquiry sent out emails "about three weeks ago" to senior officials in Mr Bush's government including, it is believed, the former president [sic] himself. Other requests are understood to have been made to Dick Cheney, Mr Bush's vice-president [sic], Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, Donald Rumsfeld, the former US defence secretary, and Stephen Hadley, an ex-national security adviser - as well as to their deputies and senior assistants. Members of Sir John Chilcot's panel are believed to be willing to travel to the US to take evidence - almost certainly in private - on the administration's policies between the 2003 invasion of Iraq and 2009.
Bagram air base in Afghanistan 'could be new Guantanamo' -- The United States is reportedly considering whether to detain international terrorist suspects at Bagram air base in Afghanistan after the closure of Guantanamo Bay. 22 Mar 2010 The idea is being considered because without Guantanamo Bay, which President Barack Obama has pledged to shut, it has to either put suspects through its own court system or hand them over to foreign governments. "No one particularly likes any of the choices before us right now, but Bagram may be the least bad among them," a senior defence official told the Los Angeles Times. [This must be the 'change' Obama promised, when he ran for president: Guantanamo to Bagram! When Obama promised to *close Guantanamo,* I *assumed* he meant *all* CIA secret prisons and torture chambers! Silly me.]
Nuclear terror risk to Britain from Al-Qaeda --Britain faces an increased threat of a nuclear attack by al-Qaeda terrorists following a rise in the trafficking of radiological material, a government report has warned. 22 Mar 2010 Bomb makers who have been active in Afghanistan may already have the ability to produce a "dirty bomb" using knowledge acquired over the internet. It is feared that terrorists could transport an improvised nuclear device up the Thames and detonate it in the heart of London. Bristol, Liverpool Newcastle, Glasgow and Belfast are also thought to be vulnerable.
Suspected bomber in lawyer's wig causes terror alert on London Underground --Armed police were called to deal with a terror threat after a suspected suicide bomber wearing a barrister's wig was spotted on the London Underground. 22 Mar 2010 A police surveillance unit was sent to follow the man, who had wires and batteries strapped to his wrists, after a member of the public reported him at Green Park station, central London. Officers, who feared the wiring was a detonator, lost the man as he switched trains but picked up his trail as he left the underground at Finsbury Park, north London.
UK: London 2012 Olympics pose greatest terror risk 22 Mar 2010 An attack on London during the 2012 Olympics poses a major security threat to Britain, the government said Monday in its latest assessment of risks from terrorism. "The government is working on the assumption that the greatest threat to the games is international terrorism and that the threat in 2012 will be high," Britain's Home Office said in its annual report on counterterrorism strategy.
US facing home-grown Islamic terror threat --The United States is facing what has been described as its "most serious instance of domestic terrorism" to date, the FBI has warned. 13 Mar 2010 Officials say a second generation of Somali immigrants is becoming increasingly radicalised and could pose a growing threat to security. The warnings come amid the revelation that 20 young Somali American men who returned to their war-torn homeland have been radicalised by a group linked to al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh].
Heads up! Metro to stage anti-terrorism drills [in the footsteps of the Pentagon shooting drills in February, which actually morphed into the real deal days later --as predicted by CLG!] 22 Mar 2010 (D.C.) Metro will stage simulated explosions on a train and bus this weekend as the transit system continues a series of emergency exercises that test its coordination with other regional agencies. Metro most recently began conducting drills last month, even staging a display of force at Union Station during a morning rush hour. The first drill this weekend will take place at 1 a.m. Sunday when the agency simulates an explosion on a rail car in the tunnel between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn stations. [They are dying to *go live* again!]
Emergency response exercises simulate explosions on Metrorail and Metrobus --Exercises are funded through $1.2 million U.S. DHS Urban Area Security Initiative grant 22 Mar 2010 Metro and its regional partners will participate in two emergency response exercises involving simulated explosions on Metrorail and Metrobus March 28 and 29 to test and practice the multi-jurisdictional coordination and response needed to mitigate such incidents. The first exercise takes place at 1 a.m., Sunday, March 28, and will simulate an explosion on a rail car in the tunnel between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom Metrorail stations. As part of the drill, emergency personnel will be responding to the incident to find a scene representative of hundreds of injured passengers and multiple fatalities. Metro operations, emergency management and police personnel will respond along with police, fire and emergency medical services personnel from Arlington County, the District of Columbia, City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Conservative Blogger Calls For Obama's Assassination On Twitter 21 Mar 2010 Earlier today, self-described conservative blogger Solomon "Solly" Forell posted a tweet that included a call for assassination, as well as this line: "We'll surely get over a bullet 2 Barack Obama's head!" It gets worse: Forell then followed that tweet up with this one: "The next American with a Clear Shot should drop Obama like a bad habit. 4get Blacks or his claim 2 b black... TCOT [Top Conservatives on Twitter]."
Secret Service Investigating Obama Assassination Tweets 21 Mar 2010 As Congress entered the final round of debate Sunday over the controversial health insurance reform bill, a self-described conservative blogger [Soloman (Solly) Forell] used his public Twitter account to urge the assassination of President Barack Obama. U.S. Secret Service spokesperson Max Milien confirms to DailyFinance: "We are aware of the actual posting and are actively investigating."
College grad posts Obama assassination threats on Twitter --Jay Martin, 2009 grad of Vatterott College, is now backtracking after four tweets threatening to kill President Barack Obama 22 Mar 2010 According to Gawker, Jay Martin, who graduated with an IT degree from Vatterott College, expressed his discontent over the government’s plans for health care reform by threatening to murder President Barack Obama not once, not twice, not even for the hat trick at three times, but on four separate occasions.
Gates admits concerns on US assassins in S. Asia 22 Mar 2010 The US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says he is concerned "in principle" about the existence of an alleged private network of assassins in Afghanistan and Pakistan run by the Pentagon. An earlier report by The New York Times suggested that Michael Furlong, a Defense Department official, set up a network of assassins that tracked and killed suspected militants in the region under the guise of collecting intelligence. "Quite frankly, in principle, I would have concerns about that but I don't know enough to know whether... it took place and if so, whether there was value added," Gates said Monday in a joint press conference with his Canadian counterpart, Peter MacKay, AFP reported.
Afghan group in 'secret mission' 22 Mar 2010 A senior delegation representing one of the main Afghan anti-government movements is in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, with a plan for peace talks with the Afghan government, a government official has said. The Hezb-i-Islami group sent a delegation headed by Qutbuddin Helal, a former prime minister and deputy to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the group's leader, the official told Reuters news agency on Monday.
Turns a Blind Eye to Opium in Afghan Town 20 Mar 2010 The effort
to win over Afghans on former Taliban turf in Marja has put American and
NATO commanders in the
CIA chief authorizes every drone strike 22 Mar 2010 CIA Chief Leon Panetta has said the US counter terrorism polices in Pakistan are legal and highly effective and that he is acutely aware of the gravity of some of the decisions thrust upon him. In an interview Wednesday at CIA headquarters, Panetta refused to directly address the matter of Predator strikes, in keeping with the agency’s long-standing practice of shielding its actions in Pakistan from public view... Panetta authorizes every strike [war crime], sometimes reversing his decision or reauthorizing a target if the situation on the ground changes, according to current and former senior intelligence officials.
US drone strike kills five in NW Pakistan: security officials 22 Mar 2010 Missiles fired from US drones Sunday killed at least five militants in a restive Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, security officials said. "A US drone fired two missiles on a militant compound near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. At least five militants were killed," a senior security official told AFP.
Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan 22 Mar 2010 Two members of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed today in separate bomb explosions in southern Afghanistan. A statement by NATO did not reveal the nationalities of the soldiers, nor did it say where exactly in the southern region the attacks took place.
UK soldier from 3 Rifles killed in Afghanistan blast 22 Mar 2010 A British soldier has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has announced. The soldier was from A Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, serving as part of the 3 Rifles Battle Group. The explosion happened in an area 3km (1.9 miles) south of Sangin in Helmand province on Monday morning.
Request for Iraq recount rejected 22 Mar 2010 The head of Iraq's electoral commission yesterday rejected calls from Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, for a recount in the hotly contested general election. Mr Maliki, who is facing intense competition in his attempt to be re-elected, issued a statement late on Saturday saying a recount was needed to "maintain the credibility of the elections".
Defense contractors turning gaze abroad --'Buy American' loophole is big enough for Navistar to drive armored truck through 22 Mar 2010 Only weeks after landing a $752 million Pentagon order for 1,050 armored trucks, Navistar International will close its massive Indianapolis iron foundry in April, dismiss the final 130 workers, and then most likely buy iron engine parts for the military trucks from a Mexican foundry. Although the jobless rate in Indiana remains stubbornly high, Pentagon rules don't prevent Navistar's use of imported castings. Indeed, buying abroad is a course long permitted for defense contractors -- a move that now haunts American workers.
Top US lawmaker: Iran sanctions coming soon 22 Mar 2010 The US Congress will soon take "final action" to approve tough new sanctions on Iran over its refusal to freeze its suspect nuclear weapon, a top Democratic lawmaker said Monday. "We can't expect a change of heart from a regime founded in violence, and in violent disregard for world opinion [the US] -- but we can demand a change of behavior," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told the potent AIPAC pro-Israel lobby group.
Israeli aircraft take out Palestinian house, injure 4 23 Mar 2010 Israeli shells have hit a residence in the Gaza Strip, inflicting injuries on four Palestinians including a woman, a report says. Shrapnel from the projectiles fired from Israeli aircraft caused the casualties east of the Gaza City in the early hours of Tuesday, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said, AFP reported.
Clinton vows 'personal commitment' to Israel's security 22 Mar 2010 The United States Secretary of State says Israel's security has always been an unwavering policy for the White House. Addressing the annual policy conference of the powerful Israeli political pressure group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, Hillary Clinton described US support for Israel's security and future as "rock solid, unwavering, enduring and forever."
Clinton: new Israeli construction hurts peace 22 Mar 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says new Israeli construction on land claimed by the Palestinians threatens peace efforts and undermines America's ability to help end the Arab-Israeli conflict. Speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday, Clinton says that Israel's recent announcement of new housing in east Jerusalem exposed differences between the U.S. and the Jewish state that others could exploit. The Obama administration strongly criticized the step.
EU official to Israel: Jerusalem is not Tel Aviv 22 Mar 2010 European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday to look for ways to pressure Israelis and Palestinians into launching proxy peace talks, amidst fears that the peace process is in jeopardy. Israel's decision last week to approve the building of 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem outraged international opinion and sparked concerns as to whether peace talks could still be viable.
6 Anti-War Protesters to Spend Weekend In Jail 21 Mar 2010 Activist Cindy Sheehan and five other anti-war protesters are spending the rest of the weekend in jail after being arrested outside the White House. A total of eight people were arrested after laying coffins at a White House fence at the end of Saturday's anti-war march. Sgt. David Schlosser says two people were released, but the other six had to stay in jail because they have out-of-state addresses. [!?!] They'll be arraigned Monday in D.C. Superior Court.
Senate panel approves financial overhaul bill 22 Mar 2010 The Senate Banking Committee approved far-reaching legislation on Monday to [pretend to] overhaul the nation's financial regulatory system by a 13-10 vote along party lines. The swift approval marked an abrupt shift from the course set for the legislation after its unveiling last week by committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), who had said he planned to spend the week considering revisions. The move was strongly supported by Obama administration officials, who are eager to move the long-stalled process forward.
Obama to sign health-care bill into law Tuesday 22 Mar 2010 President Obama will sign landmark health-care legislation into law Tuesday without waiting for the Senate to deal with a package of revisions that was also approved by the House late Sunday, administration officials said.
Tea party protesters say they've only just begun 22 Mar 2010 "Kill Obamacare" was a rallying cry that drew thousands of small-government Americans to the fledgling "tea party" movement last year. As the president's plan now becomes law, tea party activists say they don't intend to lose any momentum. Instead, they see this defeat as triggering a broader call to action. They're moving the health care fight to individual states, urging them to try to opt out of the overhaul or challenge its provisions in court. They're also expanding campaigns against incumbent lawmakers who face November elections across the country.
Texas lawmaker: I yelled 'It's a baby killer' 22 Mar 2010 Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer says he was the Republican House member who called out "baby killer" during the chamber's debate Sunday night on the health care reform bill. Neugebauer issued a statement Monday apologizing for the outburst. His statement said he called out, "It's a baby killer," in reference to the last-minute deal between Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak and the White House that secured the support of Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats for the health care bill.
Stupak Called "Baby Killer" for Backing Bill 21 Mar 2010 An unknown [quote, unquote] person yelled out "baby killer" while Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was speaking on the House floor Sunday evening. Stupak announced Sunday afternoon that he would back the Senate bill despite his strong opposition to abortion rights.
Republicans Vow Repeal Effort Against Health Bill 22 Mar 2010 As jubilant Democrats prepared for President Obama to sign their landmark health care legislation with a big ceremony at the White House, Republicans on Monday opened a campaign to repeal the legislation and to use it as a weapon in this year’s hotly contested midterm elections. "We will not allow this to stand," Representative Michele Bachman, Republican of Minnesota, promised Monday afternoon as the House reconvened.
Florida says several states to file healthcare lawsuit 22 Mar 2010 Florida's attorney general will file a lawsuit with nine other state attorneys general opposing the healthcare legislation passed by Congress, a spokeswoman said on Monday. "The health care reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last night clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and infringes on each state's sovereignty," Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican, said in a prepared statement announcing a news conference.
House Approves Health Overhaul, Sending Landmark Bill to Obama 22 Mar 2010 House Democrats approved a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health system on Sunday, voting over unanimous Republican opposition to provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans after an epic political battle that could define the differences between the parties for years. With the 219-to-212 vote, the House gave final approval to legislation passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve. Thirty-four Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill. The vote sent the measure to President Obama, whose yearlong push for the legislation has been the centerpiece of his agenda and a test of his political power.
An attack on health care in the guise of reform By Kate Randall 22 March 2010 The vote Sunday night by the US House of Representatives to approve Obama’s health care overhaul was accompanied by declarations that the measure represents the greatest social reform in generations... After months of closed-door negotiations with insurance CEOs and pharmaceutical executives, Obama made the absurd claim that the measure came "from the bottom up." In fact, the legislation was entirely dictated from the top. It represents the opening shot in a sweeping attack on health care for working people. A staggering level of cynicism has been exhibited throughout the so-called health care "debate." Evasions and outright lies have been utilized to conceal the real content of the bill... In the end, what decided the bill’s passage was pressure brought to bear by the White House, acting on behalf of the most powerful sections of the financial elite.
Climate change threatens most bird species 12 Mar 2010 Climate change poses a threat to 93 percent of Hawaii's bird species, said a report from ornithologists and environmental groups. Birds on Pacific and Caribbean islands are more susceptible to climate change because of their inability to move to new locations, said the report titled "The State of the Birds: 2010 Report on Climate Change."
Under the guise of health care reform aka anti-democratic, wholesale giveaway to the insurance cartel: U.S. may expand use of its prison in Afghanistan --The White House is considering housing international terrorism suspects at Bagram air base, as is done at Guantanamo Bay. 21 Mar 2010 The White House is considering whether to detain international terrorism suspects at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, senior U.S. officials said, an option that would lead to another prison with the same purpose as Guantanamo Bay, which it has promised to close. Although it has been known for some time that the administration was seeking options other than Guantanamo for holding existing prisoners, it has not been reported previously that it was considering Bagram for suspected terrorists that might be captured in the future. [Did anyone else notice that Obama's soaring oratory returned only *AFTER* he ensured that the public option would not be included in the corporaterrorist bailout bill? As soon as Obusha knew that the insurance cartel would be safely ensconced in endless profiteering with no end in sight, he started to give great speeches for the need for quote, unquote health care reform. --LRP]
Taliban say 8 US soldiers killed in Afghanistan 21 Mar 2010 At least 8 US soldiers have been killed in two separate bomb blasts in the eastern province of Khost in Afghanistan, Taliban claimed Sunday. Taliban militants said two roadside bombs targeted convoys of US forces in the region, leaving at least 8 American soldiers killed.
Taliban controlling Marjah by night 18 Mar 2010 Militants are regaining control of Marjah, residents have reported, less than a month after Western military officials claimed to have seized the Afghan town from the Taliban. Marjah is now home to an occupation force numbering more than one Nato soldier or Afghan police officer for every eight residents. But militants are stepping up an underground campaign against officials loyal to the Western-backed Karzai regime.
Blackwater is a busy little bee! Afghanistan blast 'kills 10' in Helmand province 21 Mar 2010 Ten people have been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, officials say. The victims were civilians, killed as a suicide bomber targeted an Afghan army convoy on a bridge, a spokesman for the provincial government said.
Special Forces now Report to McChrystal 16 Mar 2010 Most of the U.S. Special Operations forces in Afghanistan now are under direct control of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in that country said. McChrystal said the decision to bring most of the special operations troops under his control was made in response to high civilian casualties and reports the Special Forces troops were operating as cowboys [well, war criminals], The New York Times reported Tuesday.
US drone attack kills 4 in Pakistan 21 Mar 2010 Missiles fired from US drones Sunday killed at least four militants in a restive Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, security officials said. According to Pakistani officials, the missiles targeted a compound located west of Miranshah in the North Waziristan tribal region. The death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
Clashes leave 32 dead in NW Pakistan 21 Mar 2010 At least 32 people have been killed and several others injured in two separate incidents in troubled northwestern Pakistan. On Saturday, the Pakistani army helicopters bombed what officials called five militant training camps in the Orakzai tribal area, killing at least 10 people and injuring several others, the Press TV correspondent reported.
US-style election theft and vote fraud brought to Iraq with its puppet oil dictatorship: Iraq: Request for ballot recount denied 21 Mar 2010 Iraq's electoral commission said Sunday it would not recount votes from the March 7 parliamentary election, despite accusations of fraud and requests for a manual recount from Iraq's president and prime minister. The 95 percent of votes that have been counted show that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who appealed to a largely Shiite base, is in the lead in a very tight race with Ayad Allawi, whose constituency is largely made up of Sunni Arabs, for the largest electoral bloc in Iraq's future parliament.
D.C. antiwar march draws thousands on seventh-anniversary of Iraq invasion 21 Mar 2010 Thousands of demonstrators protested the seventh anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on Saturday in a march through downtown Washington. Many expressed concern that health care and the dismal economy have begun to overshadow the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iraq War protesters gather near AirFest 2010 at MacDill Air Force Base 20 Mar 2010 (Tampa, FL) Protestors against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan used the popularity of the MacDill Airfest as a way to spread their message Saturday. Members of Veterans for Peace sponsored a vigil for peace. For about four hours, they held signs at the corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Gandy Boulevard near MacDill Airforce Base. Saturday is the anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.
Blair's secret oil links to Mideast revealed --Blair allowed to keep details of deals from public since June 2008 20 Mar 2010 A watchdog in Britain has revealed that former UK Premier Tony Blair has secretly received cash from a South Korean energy company and from Kuwaiti royals. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments says Tony Blair has been receiving cash from the Kuwaiti government and the South Korean UI Energy Corporation which has oil interests in the US and Iraq. The Advisory Committee had allowed Blair to keep details of both deals from the public for 20 months, since June 2008, as the former prime minister claimed the deals were commercially sensitive.
2nd mystery 'hit' --Israeli jet flyover amid Hungary slay 19 Mar 2010 In a possible sequel to the Dubai assassination, Israeli spy planes flew uninvited and unannounced over Budapest the same day a Syrian man was shot to death in his car, Hungarian media reported yesterday. Two Israeli air force Gulfstream V-type jets, equipped with sophisticated intelligence gear, flew more than 1,300 miles over Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania on Wednesday before flying over eastern Budapest and then disappearing, the reports said. The incident occurred the same day Budapest police said a 52-year-old Syrian was gunned down while stopping his black luxury car at a traffic light on the east side of the capital.
Report: Jerusalem drops more construction to avoid U.S. tensions 21 Mar 2010 The Jerusalem municipality has canceled a meeting scheduled for Monday regarding the expansion of a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, according to Army Radio. The municipality would not explain why it has postponed the meeting, but members of the Jerusalem District Building and Planning Committee told Army Radio that the decision was made to avoid tensions during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington this week.
IDF kills Palestinian teen --IDF forces clash with Palestinians at village near Nablus; 16-year-old boy dies after being shot in stomach, another teen in critical condition; Army says it used crowd dispersal means to quell rioters heading to settlement 20 Mar 2010 A 16-year-old boy was killed Saturday and a 19-year-old Palestinian sustained grave head wounds in clashes between IDF troops and Palestinians in a village near Nablus. Army officials said dozens of rocks were hurled at the forces, which were forced to respond with crowd dispersal means.However, doctors in Nablus said the killed teen was hurt by live ammunition.
UC Berkeley student senate votes in favor of divestment 19 March 2010 Early yesterday morning, the University of California Berkeley Student Senate (ASUC) passed a bill to divest from companies that provide military support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Debate began the night before at 9:00pm and ended and six hours later when the vote was held at 3:00am... Ultimately, the bill passed with 16 senators in favor and 4 against.
Partial results show French left wins regions vote 21 Mar 2010 France's opposition Socialists and their allies handily defeated President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservatives in regional elections Sunday, according to partial official results after a vote that helps set the stage for the 2012 presidential race. With 80.2 percent of ballots counted, the Socialist Party and its allies won 53.7 percent of the overall national vote, according to the Interior Ministry.
Dozens arrested as anti-Muslim English Defence League protestors battle rivals 20 Mar 2010 Riot police battled to control thousands of rival demonstrators taking part in an ill-tempered city centre protest organised by a controversial right-wing group. Hundreds of officers, some horse-mounted and armed with batons, separated supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) and members of Unite Against Fascism (UAF). Two officers were injured following ugly clashes... A police helicopter was also dispatched to assist the officers on the ground. There was a total of 67 arrests, 55 of which were UAF supporters and the remaining 12 EDL, police said. [Notice the racist UK police arrested a lot more anti-fascist demonstrators and allowed the anti-Muslim Nazis to run rampant?]
UK anti-militant project stirs Muslim unease 20 Mar 2010 A British anti-radicalization campaign called Prevent is a pressing priority in the European country experts see as the most at risk from Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] attack. But to listen to its critics, the project, aimed mainly at Muslim communities, might more accurately be named Provoke. Security officials are struggling to stem a tide of unease among Muslim communities about the program, which seeks among other things to identify people most vulnerable to recruitment by Al-Qaeda-aligned groups and wean them away from extremism.
Homeland Security seeking clearance to fly drones over Texas 20 Mar 2010 The federal government may soon send unmanned aircraft to scour West Texas and the state's coastal waters in an effort to 'boost border security,' U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a letter to the governor sent Friday. Governor Rick Perry (R) had formally requested the assistance a week ago. Homeland Security has six drones and is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to get the necessary clearance to begin flying over Texas, Napolitano wrote.
Paper in China Sets Off Alarms in U.S. 20 Mar 2010 Larry M. Wortzel, a military strategist and China specialist, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10 that it should be concerned because "Chinese researchers at the Institute of Systems Engineering of Dalian University of Technology published a paper on how to attack a small U.S. power grid sub-network in a way that would cause a cascading failure of the entire U.S." When reached by telephone, Wang Jianwei [a graduate engineering student in Liaoning, China] said he and his professor had indeed published "Cascade-Based Attack Vulnerability on the U.S. Power Grid" in an international journal called Safety Science last spring. But Mr. Wang said he had simply been trying to find ways to enhance the stability of power grids by exploring potential vulnerabilities. ['Alarms set off in U.S.' Translation: The corporaterrorists want their trolls in Congress want to deregulate the electricity industry and make a killing on pseudo-security measures.]
World votes to continue trading in species on verge of extinction 19 Mar 2010 Their sheer size and strength have made them among the most celebrated of endangered species, yet they have all been betrayed -- by vested interests at a UN meeting on wildlife protection. Proposals to ban trade in bluefin tuna and polar bears were overwhelmingly rejected yesterday at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), meeting in Doha, Qatar.
New safeguards for polar bears voted down at CITES meeting --Defenders of Wildlife fears trade will lead to continued population declines for species threatened by climate change --The United States proposal would have banned the international commercial trade in polar bear parts and products --During debate, virtually all parties agreed with the serious threat posed to the polar bear’s survival by climate change DOHA, Qatar 18 Mar 2010 Defenders of Wildlife expressed its disappointment today over the decision by the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) not to give greater protection to the polar bear.
'We're well past 216 now.' Stupak to Vote Yes on Health Care Bill 21 Mar 1010 Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, a strong opponent of abortion rights, has decided to vote in favor of the House version of the health care bill despite his objections to its language on abortion. "We've been able to come up with an agreement to respect the sanctity of life on health care reform," Stupak said at an afternoon press conference, where he was joined by like-minded lawmakers.
'We will be part of history.' Democratic leadership: "We've got the votes" 21 Mar 2010 As the House prepares to convene this afternoon for action on President Barack Obama's long-pursued overhaul of 'healthcare,' the House's Democratic leadership is voicing confidence in passage of the bill. "We've got the votes,'' said Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) in an appearance this morning on CNN's State of the Union. "This is a [sic] historic day, and we are happy warriors,'' Larson said. "We will be a part of history, joining Franklin Delano Roosevelt's passage of Social Security, Lyndon Johnson's passage of Medicare and now Barack Obama's passage of healthcare.''
Republicans denounce racist and anti-gay slurs 21 Mar 2010 Following reports yesterday that black and openly gay Democratic lawmakers were subjected to spitting and epithets from anti-health care reform protesters outside the Capitol, Republican leaders said Sunday that the incidents were "isolated" and "reprehensible." On CNN's "State of the Union," Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) denounced the use of such slurs "in the strongest terms." House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the "isolated incidents" were "reprehensible."
Tea party protesters scream 'nigger' at black congressman 20 Mar 2010 Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted "nigger" Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s. Protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, spat on at least one black lawmaker and confronted an openly gay congressman with taunts. Capitol Police escorted the members of Congress into the Capitol after the confrontation.
Protester spits on Rep. Cleaver 20 Mar 2010 A congressman who was spat on by a protestor on Capitol Hill says he is declining to press charges, but turns out the Capitol Police say they made no arrests. Missouri Democrat Emanuel Cleaver was making his way through a group of angry protestors when the incident occurred. Cleaver, who is black, was also one of several lawmakers who faced racial epithets as they walked to the Capitol to vote.
Brick thrown through window of Rep. Slaughter's office 19 Mar 2010 The "Slaughter Solution" on health care isn't the only thing that has come under attack in U.S. Rep. Louise M. Slaughter's world this week. Sometime early this morning, someone threw a brick through the front window of her Pine Avenue office. The damage was discovered about 12:30 a.m., city police said. Slaughter, D-Fairport, NY, is head of the House Rules Committee, which will structure the debate on health care reform votes set for this weekend.
'I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus.' Members of Congress Called 'Ni**er,' 'Fa**ot,' Spat On By Tea Party Protesters 20 Mar 2010 Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock. Preceding the president's speech to a gathering of House Democrats, thousands of protesters descended around the Capitol to protest the passage of health care reform. The gathering quickly turned into abusive heckling, as members of Congress passing through Longworth House office building were subjected to epithets and even mild physical abuse. A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had been spat on by a protester. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a 'ni--er.' And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a "faggot," as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Clyburn said he had not witnessed such treatment since he was leading civil rights protests in South Carolina in the 1960s.
Tea Partiers Call Lewis 'N****r', Frank 'F****t', At Capitol Hill Protest By Brian Beutler 20 Mar 2010 Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Andre Carson (D-IN) related a particularly jarring encounter with a large crowd of [tea party and anti-healthcare] protesters on screaming "kill the bill"... and punctuating their chants with the word "nigger." Standing next to Lewis, emerging from a Democratic caucus meeting with President Obama, Carson said people in the crowd yelled, "kill the bill and then the N-word" several times, while he and Lewis were exiting the Canon House office building.
State of the health care debate: Talk radio attacks an 11-year old 18 Mar 2010 Conservative talk show hosts and columnists have ridiculed an 11-year-old Washington state boy's account of his mother's death as a "sob story" exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a "kiddie shield" to defend their health care legislation. Marcelas Owens, whose mother got sick, lost her job, lost her health insurance and died, said Thursday he's taking the attacks from [sociopaths] Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin in stride.
Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill By Jane Hamsher 19 Mar 2010 [We] ...have come up with 18 often stated myths about this health care reform bill. Real health care reform is the thing we’ve fought for from the start. It is desperately needed. But this bill falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps... 2. Insurance companies hate this bill - This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009. The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint VP. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.
Grand jury subpoenas GOP in Ensign probe 20 Mar 2010 A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to a Republican campaign committee and Nevada firms in a probe of Sen. John Ensign, under scrutiny for his efforts to find lobbying work for the husband of his former mistress. One subpoena went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, formerly chaired by Mr. Ensign, R-Nev., committee spokesman Brian Walsh said. A Las Vegas TV station reported Thursday that grand jury subpoenas in the Ensign probe went to six Las Vegas businesses it did not name.
Credit Card Firm: We Were Subpoenaed By Feds In Ensign Case 19 Mar 2010 Here's a statement from eCommLink, one of the Nevada companies at the center of the mushrooming John Ensign investigation, acknowledging that it has received a subpoena from the Justice Department: 'eCommLink, like a number of other Nevada companies, has received subpoenas regarding the Federal investigation of Senator John Ensign. We are cooperating fully in this investigation.' KLAS-TV reported yesterday that the company, and other credit card firms, contributed to Ensign's NRSC in exchange for Ensign's help in fighting new regulations.
Synagogue Bomb Suspects: Feds Badgered Us to Do It --Lawyers: Alleged NY bomb plot 'hatched and directed' by federal informant 19 Mar 2010 Defense attorneys say an alleged plot to bomb New York synagogues was hatched and directed by a federal informant. Lawyers for four men from Newburgh have filed a motion to dismiss the terror indictment against them. They said the informant badgered the defendants until they got involved in the plot. They said the informant chose the targets, supplied fake bombs for the synagogues and a fake missile to shoot down planes. The motion said he also offered to pay the defendants, who attorneys alleged weren't inclined toward any crime until the informant began recruiting them.
Links with torture countries to go on 18 Mar 2010 Britain must continue to work with international intelligence agencies in the fight against terrorism even if they are not committed to UK standards on the abuse or torture of detainees, the Foreign Office has warned. In its annual report on human rights around the world published last night, the Foreign Office said the UK could not afford the "luxury" of co-operating only with agencies in countries which do not share UK standards on human rights.
MI5 and MI6 have to deal with torturers, government says --The security services "cannot afford the luxury" of dealing only with countries which respect human rights, the government has said. 17 Mar 2010 A report by the Foreign Office said the government could not "reduce the risk to zero" of torture or mistreatment at the hands of foreign powers but had to use intelligence gained from such methods to save British lives. [?!?] The department’s annual report on human rights said the Government has been "absolutely clear that the UK stands firmly against torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment." But it added: "We cannot always have that same level of assurance when [prisoners] are held overseas by foreign governments."
UK has 5,700 "secret agents" --Britain employs more than 2,200 spies to 'protect the country' against terrorism and the threat from foreign enemies, it has been disclosed. 18 Mar 2010 It is the first time that the number of foreign intelligence gathering officers employed by MI6, also known as the Secret Intelligence Service, has been published. The figure was disclosed yesterday in the annual report of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. According to the ISC’s report, there are now 2,252 MI6 officers and it aims to increase that to 2,527 this year.
Russians Give Message to U.S. Generals in Afghanistan: Bribe the Taliban --Minutes of Secret Meeting Between Russian Veterans and Gen. Stanley McChrystal Also Say 'More Troops Won't Make a Difference' 18 Mar 2010 Two Russian veterans of the Soviet Afghan war privately warned Gen. Stanley McChrystal last summer that the key to winning the war would be to pay off the Taliban. The official who wrote a summary of two meetings between the Russians and U.S. military commanders also wrote that one of the "key take-aways" from the meetings was that extra troops were not the key to victory. ABCNews.com has obtained a document summarizing the discussions between two veterans of the Soviet Union's failed Afghan war and McChrystal, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, during an August 2009 video teleconference. [USociopaths are already doing that. See: US to pay Taliban fighters to 'lay down their arms' 23 Jan 2010.]
Defense official says Afghan 'track and kill' program was authorized 19 Mar 2010 Michael D. Furlong, the senior Defense Department employee under investigation for allegedly running an unauthorized intelligence-gathering [and track and kill] operation in Afghanistan, says his now-suspended program was fully authorized by top U.S. military commanders. According to Furlong, the program, which began in late 2008, was requested by Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and approved by the U.S. Central Command.
Taliban rises again in Kunduz, forcing more U.S. troops toward north 18 Mar 2010 The past year has brought such a dramatic Taliban comeback in Kunduz that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is planning to shift some of the ongoing troop reinforcements to the north of the country, the first significant U.S. deployment to the region since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, U.S. officials say.
14 Palestinians injured in Gaza strike 19 Mar 2010 Palestinian sources in Gaza reported Friday that the Air Force (IAF) bombed targets near the airport in the southern Strip, injuring 14 people, two of them severely. The IDF stated that it had bombed a Hamas facility in Dahaniyeh, in response to the Qassam rocket fire towards Israel earlier Friday. Palestinian witnesses say four missiles were fired at structures on the airport grounds and that rescue forces were having trouble evacuating victims due to IAF activity in the area.
Israeli soldiers arrest five Palestinian children 19 Mar 2010 Israeli soldiers detain five Palestinian children in the West Bank city of Hebron (al-Khalil) after clashes break out. The soldiers claim that the children were pelting stones at a building inside the Beit Romano settlement on Thursday during clashes in the West Bank city of al-Khalil. But the parents of the arrested children complain that "the children were playing football in front of their house when suddenly the soldiers came and arrested them."
Heads up! US trolling for Yemen's oil: Yemen preacher urges jihad on United States 18 Mar 2010 A U.S.-born radical cleric linked to shootings at a U.S. army base and the failed bombing of a U.S. plane appeared to urge Muslims to conduct a jihad against the United States in an audiotape heard on Thursday. U.S. counterterrorism officials said in late February they were considering adding Anwar al-Awlaki to the U.S. target list to kill or capture top militants if he appeared to pose a direct security threat. He is believed to be living in southern Yemen.
Gay Dutch soldiers responsible for Srebrenica massacre says US general 19 Mar 2010 A Former American general [whackjob] blamed "open homosexuality" in the Dutch army for the failure to prevent the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. The Dutch government condemned the comments by Gen John Sheehan, a former NATO commander and senior Marine officer, as outrageous. Gen Sheehan made the remarks at a Senate hearing where he argued against plans by President Barack Obama to end a ban on allowing gays to serve openly in the US military.
Secret Document Calls Wikileaks 'Threat' to U.S. Army By David Kravets 15 Mar 2010 Wikileaks presents a "threat to the U.S. Army" and publishes "potentially actionable information" for targeting military personnel, according to a classified intelligence report posted Monday on the whistleblowing site. The 32-page report entitled Wikileaks.org - An Online Reference to Foreign Intelligence Services, Insurgents, or Terrorist Groups? indicates the government’s concern that "current employees or moles" within the Defense Department or the U.S. government "are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks." To stop this, the 2008 report had suggested a campaign to expose and punish those who leak to the site, which was founded in 2007 by Chinese dissidents, journalists and mathematicians.
U.S. Woman Charged in Terror Plot Pleads Not Guilty 18 Mar 2010 The Pennsylvania woman accused of recruiting men on the Internet to wage jihad in southern Asia and Europe pleaded not guilty Thursday to all counts in federal court in Philadelphia. The authorities say the woman, Colleen R. LaRose, is a terrorist sympathizer known by her Internet name, "JihadJane," and had expressed a desire to become a martyr for an Islamist cause. According to a federal indictment unsealed this month, Ms. LaRose, 46, was intent on killing a Swedish artist who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.
Antiwar coalition fined by US government 19 Mar 2010 A US antiwar organization says it has been targeted by the government because it wants US troops to immediately return from Afghanistan and Iraq. The ANSWER Coalition, which stands for "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism," has been a staunch critic of the Bush and Obama administrations for their role in the Iraqi and Afghan war. "The government is increasingly trying to limit or eviscerate or criminalize grassroots organizing itself", said Brian Becker from the ANSWER Coalition, Reported Press TV's Colin Campbell.
'He is also now persona non grata in Barack Obama's supposedly more open and transparent United States.' U.S. Revokes Visa of Irish Anti-Renditions Activist By Jeff Kaye 16 Mar 2010 The North Carolina News Observer reports in a March 15 article that the co-founder of ShannonWatch, Edward Horgan, a well-known Irish activist and former Irish Defense Force officer, has had his 10-year, multiple-entry U.S. visa revoked without explanation. Horgan and others believe it is because of his principled stand against the U.S. use of renditions, and in particular, the use of Shannon Airport in western Ireland as a stopover for U.S. rendition flights. ShannonWatch has documented the use of the airport as a stopover for CIA rendition flights.
EFF Appeals Dismissal of Warrantless Wiretapping Case By Cindy Cohn 19 Mar 2010 EFF today filed its appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals of the dismissal of Jewel v. NSA, the case EFF brought against the U.S. government and government officials on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the National Security Agency's illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing mass surveillance of their communications and communications records. The case arises from the still growing stacks of evidence confirming the surveillance, including the technical documents presented by former AT&T employee Mark Klein that describe the NSA's secret mass wiretapping facility in San Francisco.
Brown calls anti-police booby traps in Riverside County 'urban terrorism' 18 Mar 2010 Describing it as "urban terrorism," California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown joined with Riverside County officials Thursday in asking the public to help find those who tried at least three times to kill officers assigned to a Hemet-based gang task force. "It is incredible and even unprecedented for police officers here to be subject to terrorist attack," Brown said at a Riverside news conference. The attacks have involved booby traps aimed at either the headquarters of the Hemet-San Jacinto Gang Task Force or officers assigned to the unit, officials said.
'9/11 panel was warned not to probe too deeply' --Leaked confidential documents have revealed that senior officials from the former US administration had warned a 9/11 investigation panel against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks. 18 Mar 2010 In a letter obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the 9/11 Commission was refused permission to question terror suspects, with the Bush administration arguing that by doing so the panel would "cross" a "line" and obstruct the administration's efforts to protect the nation. Citing the need to "Safeguard the national security, including protection of Americans from [their] future terrorist attacks," the government officials demanded the Commission not make further attempts at conducting a deeper probe into the September 11 terror attacks. [Right, they didn't want people to know that 9/11 was an inside job. Gibbs and DiNozzo would have had the investigation wrapped up in the first 42 minutes of 'NCIS.' Abby's mass spectrometer would reveal the explosive residue in WTC 1, 2 and 'Lucky' Larry 'the smartest thing to do is pull it' Silverstein's WTC 7 (not even hit by any planes), which was announced on the BBC as having fallen about a half hour before it actually did fall. Oops! McGee would analyze the insider trading (Pre-9/11 Put Options on Companies Hurt by Attack Indicates Foreknowledge) and have the whole kit and caboodle delivered with lots of time remaining for Tony and Ziva to do the flirt thing. I have an entire script penned. CBS: Are you interested? --LRP, (hopefully) invoking humor/sarcasm, including the script-writing comment, since those have been inquiring. It wouldn't take me long, though!]
Federal Judge Orders More Talks on 9/11 Deal 19 Mar 2010 The federal judge [Alvin K. Hellerstein] overseeing litigation between the city and workers at ground zero on Friday rejected a settlement reached by the two sides, telling lawyers that it did not provide enough compensation to plaintiffs and needed to be renegotiated under his supervision. It provided for payouts of $575 million to $657.5 million in cases filed by some 10,000 rescue and cleanup workers who say they suffered health damages from toiling at ground zero after the 2001 terrorist attack.
Genetically modified mosquitos could be used to spread vaccine for malaria --A genetically engineered mosquito that vaccinates as it bites has been developed by scientists. 19 Mar 2010 Experts believe "flying vaccinators" could eventually be a radical new way of tackling malaria. The new approach targets the salivary gland of the Anopheles mosquito. Scientists in Japan have engineered an insect producing a natural vaccine protein in its saliva which is injected into the bloodstream when it bites. [If this is the 'cover story,' what other projects and pandemics are underway by the Pentagon?]
Obama effigy hung at RI school with fired teachers 18 Mar 2010 A teacher at a failing school where he and all his colleagues are being fired hung an effigy of President Barack Obama in his classroom, apparently in reaction to Obama's support of extreme measures to ensure accountability in schools. The teachers union on Thursday condemned the effigy, discovered Monday in the teacher's third-floor classroom at Central Falls High School, saying it was wrong and cannot be condoned under any circumstances.
Pope 'let molesting priest resume work' 19 Mar 2010 Pope Benedict XVI has been accused of turning a deaf ear to repeated warnings about a pedophiliac priest who was later convicted of carnal violation of theological pupils. Werner Huth, the psychiatrist tasked with treating the German priest Peter Hullermann, said on Thursday that he had audibly warned the current Pope about the future convict's immorality, The New York Times reported.
Federal Reserve Must Disclose Bank Bailout Records --Fed must release records of unprecedented $2 trillion U.S. loan program 19 Mar 2010 The Federal Reserve Board must disclose documents identifying financial firms that might have collapsed without the largest U.S. government bailout ever, a federal appeals court said. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today that the Fed must release records of the unprecedented $2 trillion U.S. loan program launched primarily after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The ruling upholds a decision of a lower-court judge, who in August ordered that the information be released.
Fed loses appeal; must disclose bailout details 19 Mar 2010 The Federal Reserve will be required to identify the names of banks that could have collapsed if not for the central bank's emergency lending, a federal appeals court said Friday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled on Friday that the Fed needs to disclose documents in response to Freedom of Information Act requests by Bloomberg L.P. and other news organizations.
Top Democrats predict Sunday passage 19 Mar 2010 Democratic leaders are now confidently predicting victory in a Sunday health reform vote, saying the party will have the 216 votes needed to pass President Barack Obama’s top legislative priority by then. "We'll have the votes when the roll is called," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Friday. The Democrats top vote-counter, Rep. Jim Clyburn, concurred. "I feel very sure that we'll vote on this some time Sunday, and the bill will pass," Clyburn said.
Democratic leaders in fierce negotiations for 'yes' votes on health-care bill 19 Mar 2010 Democratic leaders worked feverishly Friday to round up the votes they need to overhaul the nation's health-care system, as President Obama delivered a feisty closing argument to thousands of youthful supporters in Northern Virginia, declaring that "the time for reform is now." [Right, too bad it's missing from the bill.] In a speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Obama predicted a "tough vote" Sunday in the House of Representatives, where 216 votes are needed to approve the health-care overhaul after more than a year of partisan wrangling.
Polar bear protections rejected 18 Mar 2010 Delegates gathered in Doha, Qatar for a global conference aimed at protecting imperiled species rejected a proposal Thursday that would have banned international trophy hunting and commercial trade in polar bear parts. The United States sponsored the measure, arguing that it is critical to reduce hunting pressure on polar bears at a time when their habitat is eroding due to melting sea ice. [Too bad the polar bears are unable to shoot the sociopaths who want to kill them in a 'trophy' hunt.]
Sleepy Bear Can't Stay Awake Posted by ableiman 29 Apr 2008 Sleepy Asian Sunbear cub falling asleep (CNN Video)
US troops can hold Afghan detainees for 14 days instead of four --Longer detention 'an option' 17 Mar 2010 A controversial policy that gives U.S. forces in Afghanistan four days to question detainees is being changed to give soldiers more time to interrogate the captives, Gen. David Petraeus said Tuesday. Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee that American troops will now be able to hold detainees for up to 14 days before either releasing them or turning them over to the Afghan government. In some cases, longer detention will be an option, he said.
Afghanistan confirms blanket pardon for war crimes 16 Mar 2010 Afghanistan confirmed for the first time publicly on Tuesday that it had enacted into law a blanket pardon for war crimes and human rights abuse carried out before 2001. Human rights groups have expressed dismay that the law appeared to have been enacted quietly, granting blanket immunity to members of all armed factions for acts committed during decades of war before the fall of the Taliban. President Hamid Karzai had promised not to sign the National Stability and Reconciliation Law, when it was passed by parliament in 2007. Human rights groups say they learned only this year that the bill had been published in the official gazette, making it law.
US officials make contradictory remarks on bin Laden 17 Mar 2010 Only a day after a top Obama administration official described the chances of capturing al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader Osama bin Laden alive as "infinitesimal", the top US commander in Afghanistan says the military still wants to capture him alive. Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal said the US military would "certainly" try to capture bin Laden alive and "bring him to justice.." The statement, however, appeared contradicting an earlier comment by US Attorney General Eric Holder predicting that bin Laden will never go on trial in the United States as he will not be brought in alive.
CIA agent alleged to have met Bin Laden in July --French report claims terrorist leader stayed in Dubai hospital 01 Nov 2001 Two months before September 11 Osama bin Laden flew to Dubai for 10 days for treatment at the American hospital, where he was visited by the local CIA agent, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro. Bin Laden is reported to have arrived in Dubai on July 4 from Quetta in Pakistan with his own personal doctor, nurse and four bodyguards, to be treated in the urology department. While there he was visited by several members of his family and Saudi personalities, and the CIA. The CIA chief was seen in the lift, on his way to see Bin Laden, and later, it is alleged, boasted to friends about his contact. He was recalled to Washington soon afterwards.
An Obusha Friday-night-entering-a-holiday-weekend bad news dump looms.
When is Easter?
General Eric Holder Says 9/11 Trial Decision 'Weeks Away' 17
Mar 2010 Attorney General Eric Holder predicted today it was unlikely
asset] Osama bin Laden would ever face a trial in the United States
since he would likely be killed [is
likely already dead]. Holder, appearing before a House Appropriations
subcommittee today, also announced that the Obama administration was "weeks
away" from reaching a decision on how -- and where -- to prosecute alleged
Sept. 11, 2001
Tehran aiding al Qaeda links, Petraeus says 17 Mar 2010 Iran is assisting 'al Qaeda' by facilitating links between senior terrorist leaders and affiliate groups, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East told Congress on Tuesday. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Central Command, also said Iran's nuclear program is facing problems, and as a result, Tehran is not expected to emerge with a nuclear weapon this year.
10 killed in deadly US drone strike in Pakistan 17 Mar 2010 A US drone aircraft has fired several missiles into northwest Pakistan, killing at least ten people and injuring several others. According to Pakistani officials, the missiles targeted a compound located west of Miranshah in the North Waziristan tribal region. The death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
Petraeus paints bleak picture for Afghanistan in 2010 17 Mar 2010 The commander of US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia says 2010 will be a difficult year for US-led forces in Afghanistan. General David Petraeus told lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday that international forces will be involved in intense fighting with the Taliban and will face setbacks this year. He added that the US troop surge in Afghanistan is unlikely to reduce violence in the Central Asian nation.
Two British Soldiers Killed In Afghan Blast 17 Mar 2010 Two British soldiers have been killed in an explosion in Helmand, Afghanistan. The troops were from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment. Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield, said the men were trying to clear 'insurgents' in the Musa Qala District area.
UK premier admits misleading Iraq war inquiry 17 Mar 2010 Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted on Wednesday that he provided false information to the Iraq Inquiry during his recent testimony. When addressing the question of adequate funding for the UK armed forces for their invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, Brown had told the Inquiry on March 5 that Britain's military budget had been "rising in real terms every year."
Iraq: Women Miss Saddam By Abdu Rahman and Dahr Jamail 12 Mar 2010 Under Saddam Hussein, women in government got a year's maternity leave; that is now cut to six months. Under the Personal Status Law in force since Jul. 14, 1958, when Iraqis overthrew the British-installed monarchy, Iraqi women had most of the rights that Western women do. Maha Sabria, professor of political science at Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad, tells IPS that the abduction of women "did not exist prior to the occupation. We find that women lost their right to learn and their right to a free and normal life, so Iraqi women are struggling with oppression and denial of all their rights, more than ever before." [I think *everyone* misses Saddam, except those directly profiting from the US illegal occupation-for-oil.]
Report: US shipping arms ahead of strike on Iran --Expert: 'They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran. US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours.' 17 Mar 2010 Hundreds of powerful US "bunker-buster" bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean ahead of a possible attack on Iran, The Herald reported Wednesday. The Scottish newspaper said the American government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 "Blu" bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures, The Herald reported.
West Bank street named for dead US activist 17 Mar 2010 Palestinians in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday named a street after a US activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in a 2003 protest against house demolitions in Gaza. The dedication ceremony was held on the seventh anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death.
HHS preparing to handle claims of harm from H1N1 vaccine 16 Mar 2010 The federal government has been getting letters from people saying they plan to seek compensation for injuries caused by the injection, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. As of March 11, HHS had received letters from 106 people saying they plan to submit claims for compensation benefits because of problems related to the vaccine, according to David Bowman, a spokesman for HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration.
Five Americans charged with terrorism in Pakistan 17 Mar 2010 A Pakistani court has charged five young Americans with planning terrorist attacks in the South Asian country and conspiring to wage war against nations allied with Pakistan, their defence lawyer said. The men - all Muslims from the Washington DC area - pleaded not guilty to a total of five charges, the most severe of which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Chicago man to plead guilty in terror case 17 Mar 2010 After cooperating with authorities for months, a key figure in the ongoing investigation into the 2008 deadly terror attacks in Mumbai, India, plans to plead guilty this week in federal court. Chicagoan David Headley, 49, has reached a plea deal with government officials that will be made public Thursday before U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber, Headley's lawyer John Theis said Tuesday.
Jump in inmates is biggest in U.S. --State prison population rose 5.3 percent last year 17 Mar 2010 For the first time since 1972, the number of inmates in state prisons in the U.S. has dropped. No thanks to Indiana. Last year, the prison population dipped in 27 states, and a new report to be released today says that drove an overall decrease of 0.4 percent. But in Indiana, the prison population last year swelled by 5.3 percent, the largest percentage increase of any state in the nation.
ABC News: Study Shows Money Flooding into Campaigns for State Judgeships --Justices Ginsburg, O'Connor Say Fundraising Could Corrupt System, Reform is Needed 17 Mar 2010 In rare public remarks last week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the money involved in electing judges remains one of the most pressing concerns facing the American court system. ...ABC News has obtained an advanced copy of a study showing the amounts involved are unprecedented. In the past decade, candidates for state judgeships raised more than $206 million, more than double the $83 million judges raised in the 1990s, according to the soon-to-be released study by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Justice at Stake, two non partisan groups that advocate for reforming the judicial selection process.
Loud Sex Justified Warrantless Search That Led to Drug Bust, Says Court 16 Mar 2010 Screaming too loud during sex can get you or your partner arrested in New Jersey, thanks to an appeals court ruling handed down on Monday. Affirming denial of a motion to suppress drugs found in a Farmingdale, N.J., home, the judges said the screaming reported by a neighbor gave police an objectively reasonable basis to believe that a limited investigation was necessary to determine whether anyone was in need of aid. Even after the occupants gave a plausible explanation -- that the cries were released in the height of passion -- the potential for harm was sufficient for police to search further, the court said in State v. McGacken, A-4527-08.
Switches Vote on 'Health Care' 17 Mar 2010 Representative Dennis
J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, said today that he plans to support the
NYT Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option By Miles Mogulescu 16 Mar 2010 On Monday, Ed Shultz interviewed New York Times Washington reporter David Kirkpatrick on his MSNBC TV show, and Kirkpatrick confirmed the existence of the deal. Shultz quoted Chip Kahn, chief lobbyist for the for-profit hospital industry on Kahn's confidence that the White House would honor the no public option deal, and Kirkpatrick responded: "That's a lobbyist for the hospital industry and he's talking about the hospital industry's specific deal with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee and, yeah, I think the hospital industry's got a deal here. There really were only two deals, meaning quid pro quo handshake deals on both sides, one with the hospitals and the other with the drug industry. And I think what you're interested in is that in the background of these deals was the presumption, shared on behalf of the lobbyists on the one side and the White House on the other, that the public option was not going to be in the final product." Kirkpatrick also acknowledged that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina had confirmed the existence of the deal to him.
States' Rights Is Rallying Cry for Lawmakers 16 Mar 2010 Whether it’s correctly called a movement, a backlash or political theater, state declarations of their rights -- or in some cases denunciations of federal authority, amounting to the same thing -- are on a roll. Gov. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, a Republican, signed a bill into law on Friday declaring that the federal regulation of firearms is invalid if a weapon is made and used in South Dakota... Some legal scholars say the new states’ rights drive has more smoke than fire, but for lawmakers, just taking a stand can be important enough.
Most power plants still spewing toxic mercury, report says 17 Mar 1010 Many of America's coal-fired power plants lack widely available pollution controls for the highly toxic metal mercury, and mercury emissions recently increased at more than half of the country's 50 largest mercury-emitting power plants, according to a report Wednesday. According to the nonpartisan Environmental Integrity Project, five of the 10 plants with the highest amount of mercury emitted are in Texas. Plants in Georgia, Missouri, Alabama, Pennsylvania and Michigan also are in the top 10.
The Biggest Dump in the World --As large as the USA [but not as dangerous], the Great Pacific Waste Patch is the biggest dump in the world. It keeps getting bigger, and could be poisoning us all. By Ed Cumming 16 Mar 2010 The world’s biggest rubbish dump keeps growing. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch - or the Pacific Trash Vortex - is a floating monument to our culture of waste, the final resting place of every forgotten carrier bag, every discarded bottle and every piece of packaging blown away in the wind. ...[S]ome claim it has doubled over the past decade, making it now six times the size of the UK. Dr Simon Boxall, a physical oceanographer at the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton, goes even further: "It’s the size of North America. But although the patch itself is extremely large, it’s only one very clear representation of the much bigger worldwide problem."
Save the Virginia Big-Eared Bat (PEER) 17 Mar 2010 The vast majority of a captive breeding population of endangered Virginia big-eared bats have died due to mishandling by the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center, and the rest are in poor health. Citing its failure to follow shelter, feeding and care protocols spelled out by bat experts, PEER is calling for the immediate relocation of the few surviving bats to a qualified sanctuary before they also expire.
Experts Plead for Surviving Bats to Enter Rehab --Remaining Ten Rare Big-Eared Bats Do Not Have to Die for Science 17 Mar 2010 Bat experts are desperately trying to persuade federal officials to move the last ten bats from a disastrous captive breeding program into rehabilitation so that they have a chance to recover, according to correspondence released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Only ten of the 40 healthy endangered Virginia big-eared bats collected by the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation and Research Center (CRC) are still alive, although these ten are in poor health. "Those bats have suffered enough and deserve a chance to live... For the sake of those animals, just do the right thing one time, before it is too late." --Amanda Lollar, Founder and President of Bat World Sanctuary, in 12 March 2010 email to Fish & Wildlife Service.
Pentagon spy network hired to 'track and kill' --A Pentagon official has been accused of hiring a secret network of private contractors to spy on militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan so they could be hunted and killed. 15 Mar 2010 The employee is said to have paid firms using former members of the special forces and CIA under the cover of an innocuous government scheme to gather tribal and cultural information. Their reports were then passed to military and intelligence units so they could kill militants and target insurgent camps, officials told The New York Times. It was not clear if Michael D Furlong, the Pentagon official at the centre of the accusations, had approval for the scheme but officials said they had become alarmed he was running an off-the-books spy agency. The network is alleged to have been blown when the CIA chief in Kabul personally complained to the US Defence Department. [I am *so sick* of these over-funded lying sacks of sh*t, terrorists and sociopaths -- *and* their enablers. If they were *gone,* we could have HEALTH CARE for all.]
Jason Bournes:' US Mercenaries Hired to Track and Kill Suspected Militants
--The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his
work. Roughly $15 million unaccounted for
14 Mar 2010 Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering
program, a Defense Department official set up a network of
Facebook feds go undercover: Report shows FBI, other agents dipping quietly into social media --Document: U.S. agents are already logging on surreptitiously to exchange messages with suspects, identify a target's friends or relatives and browse private information such as postings, personal photographs and video clips. 16 Mar 2010 U.S. law enforcement agents are following the rest of the Internet world into popular social-networking services, going undercover with false online profiles to communicate with suspects and gather private information, according to an internal Justice Department document that offers a tantalizing glimpse of issues related to privacy and crime-fighting. Think you know who's behind that "friend" request? Think again. Your new "friend" just might be the FBI.
Obama threatens to veto intel bill if oversight is included 15 Mar 2010 President Obama will veto a major intelligence funding bill unless lawmakers remove provisions that would toughen congressional oversight of spy agencies and require more stringent congressional notification of intelligence activities. At the top of the list are Senate provisions that expand congressional notification requirements when the intelligence community changes to covert actions. Obama also took aim at a section in the bill that would give the Government Accountability Office the authority to investigate the intelligence community.
'It concludes with a list of 13 items of intelligence that should be gathered about WikiLeaks.' U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks By Julian Assange 15 Mar 2010 This document (18 Mar 2008) is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN) 32 page U.S. counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks. "The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the U.S. government are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org cannot be ruled out". It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization... The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks--U.S. equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable U.S. violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations against detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
Diego Garcia bunker-busters meant to threaten Iran 15 Mar 2010 The Sunday Herald has reported that hundreds of powerful US "bunker-buster" bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia. In January, the US government signed a contract to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island, the Scottish newspaper wrote on March 14. "The US is not publicizing the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely," the Sunday Herald quoted Dan Plesch, the director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, as saying.
blocks contract to Blackwater to train Afghan police
16 Mar 2010 Federal auditors on Monday put a stop to Army plans to award
a $1 billion training program for Afghan police officers to the
Final destination Iran? 14 Mar 2010 Hundreds of powerful US "bunker-buster" bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 "Blu" bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures. Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.
US backs Israel on synagogue amid alleged rows 16 Mar 2010 Israel has reopened a synagogue in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) in a move backed by the US, igniting angry protests by Palestinians in the holy city and elsewhere in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took pride in the reopening of the Hurva synagogue, around 700 meters from the al-Aqsa Mosque in al-Qud's Old City, as part of Israel's "heritage."
Anti-US rally held in Afghanistan 15 Mar 2010 People in Afghanistan have protested against the killing of civilians by the US-led forces. Protesters took to the streets in the eastern province of Kunar on Monday to condemn the killing of ten Afghan civilians by American troops. They also demanded that the perpetrators of the attack be brought to trial.
One dead in attack on US base in Kabul 15 Mar 2010 One person has been killed in an early morning rocket attack on the largest US military hub north of the Afghan capital of Kabul, NATO says. The US military did not give details of the Monday attack on Bagram Air Field. It also did not say whether the victim was from the military personnel or a civilian at the base.
US Predator crashes in Afghanistan [What a shame!] 15 Mar 2010 An American MQ-1 Predator drone has crashed on takeoff in southern Afghanistan, the US Air Forces Central Command confirms. Early Monday reports said the aircraft was not gunned down by a hostile fire. It was also noted that the accident has left no casualties.
Roadside mine kills 3 Afghan civilians 15 Mar 2010 A roadside mine has killed at least three civilians and wounded three others in Afghanistan's southern province of Ghazni. Police said on Monday that the civilians' vehicle hit the mine while they were moving household goods. In a separate incident, US-led forces announced that a rocket attack killed one person on Bagram Air Field north of the capital city of Kabul.
Bomber kills seven, injures 13 in Iraq 15 Mar 2010 A bomber has detonated his explosives among a group of laborers in the western city of Fallujah, killing seven people, police says. Thirteen people were also wounded in the blast, which occurred at around 9:00 a.m. (0600 GMT) on Monday in the city which is 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, AFP reported.
Heads up! Norad Flight Exercise Planned For Washington, D.C. 15 Mar 2010 North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct a three-day exercise, Falcon Virgo 10-06, beginning Tuesday and ending Thursday in the skies over the National Capital Region. There will be two flights per night on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the first flight scheduled to take place between midnight until 2 a.m.EDT and the second between 4-6 a.m. EDT. There will be one flight on Thursday, which is scheduled between midnight and 2 a.m. EDT.
'At the time it was called a BW test or biological weapons test.' Book Suggests CIA tested LSD On Subways 16 Mar 2010 It was always known that the CIA and the US federal government has conducted experiments with LSD. Now comes word that the CIA may have possibly staged LSD on New York City subways. In a book written by H.P. Albarelli titled 'A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments', declassified documents from the FBI dated from August 25, 1950 unveiled an LSD test was done on the New York City Subway system.
Police investigate 'sudden accidental' death of Labour MP Ashok Kumar 15 Mar 2010 Police are investigating the sudden death of Ashok Kumar, the Labour MP, whose body was found by officers at his home. The Indian-born 53-year-old, a former scientist, was single and had no underlying health problems. Colleagues said that the death of the MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland had come as a "huge shock". Sources said that there was no sign of a break in at his home and there appeared to be no suspicious circumstances or third party involved.
'The gun came from an unlikely place.' AP: Pentagon gun was from Tenn. police 15 Mar 2010 Two guns used in high-profile shootings this year at the Pentagon and a Las Vegas courthouse both came from the same unlikely place: the police and court system of Memphis, Tenn. Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that both guns were once seized in criminal cases in Memphis. The officials described how the weapons made their separate ways from an evidence vault to gun dealers and to the shooters.
Child rape charge rocks TSA --Logan employee pats down air travelers at scan stations 10 Mar 2010 A Transportation Security Agency worker [Sean Shanahan] who pats down members of the flying public was charged with multiple child sex crimes targeting an underage girl yesterday. The bust outraged privacy and passenger advocates who say it justifies their fears about Logan International Airport’s full-body scanner.
Promises, promises: Is gov't more open with Obama? 16 Mar 2010 Federal agencies haven't lived up to President Barack Obama's promise of a more open government, increasing their use of legal exemptions to keep records secret during his first year in office. An Associated Press review of Freedom of Information Act reports filed by 17 major agencies found that the use of nearly every one of the law's nine exemptions to withhold information from the public rose in fiscal year 2009, which ended last October.
Tories revive random roadside breath test --Critics fear racial profiling 11 Mar 2010 The Harper government appears ready to move ahead with imposing random roadside breath testing, which a new federal discussion paper says has produced "remarkable results" in catching drunk drivers in other countries. The proposal has encountered skepticism, however, with civil liberties proponents warning that the new legislation could give police the power to detain drivers without reasonable grounds or suspicion. "The reality is that it creates a bit of a police-state mentality in which an innocent person can be subjected to a whole host of testings," said Edward Prutschi, a Toronto criminal lawyer.
David Cameron's rightwing 'allies' march in Riga to commemorate the SS --Row over SS veterans' parade in Latvia puts the spotlight on Tory links to eastern Europe's far right Nazi sympathisers 14 Mar 2010 In this ethnic Russian suburb of the Latvian capital [Riga], there is disbelief at the prospect of a commemoration to be held this Tuesday by veterans and supporters of the Latvian Legion of the wartime SS. Natalija's uncle "was killed by the fascists", she says, yet "still the Latvians allow a parade of the SS of Adolf Hitler!" ...Ever since David Cameron pulled the Conservative party out of the centre-right coalition in the European parliament to align the Tories alongside rightwingers such as Latvia's Fatherland and Freedom, which helps organise the SS event, an unexpected spotlight has shone on this corner of eastern Europe.
Three US Consulate associates gunned down in Mexico 14 Mar 2010 Unknown gunmen have killed two Americans associated with the US Consulate General in the Mexico's violence-ridden border city of Ciudad Juarez, the White House says. According to a US National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer, the drive-by shooting incident on Saturday that took the lives of an American Consulate employee and her husband, also resulted in the killing of the husband of a Mexican consular employee.
Anti-Berlusconi strike paralyzes Italy 12 Mar 2010 Italy has been hit by a nationwide worker strike following a call by the country's largest trade union, which has protested at Rome's economic and immigration policies. Called upon by the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), various cities saw workers bringing the public services to standstill for an entire day and freezing the public transport networks for four hours, Reuters reported.
Budget Committee approves reconciliation bill
15 Mar 2010 A key House committee voted Monday to advance President Obama's
SJ bank manager accused of bilking elderly 11 Mar 2010 A former San Jose bank manager is accused of bilking his elderly clients. Prosecutors say John Tran lost his job as head of Wells Fargo Bank on Lincoln Avenue last year. After he was fired, Tran solicited several ex-clients at their homes. He may have pocketed $900,000 in funds they thought were being invested in long term accounts.
Comcast Blocks the CLG Newsletter --Comcast has decided that its customers should not receive the CLG Newsletter. 15 Mar 2010 Update, Monday, 5:20 PM ET: Comcast unblocked CLG's webhoster on Monday afternoon. Thank you to *all* CLG folks who worked on resolving this problem! Comcast folks: please let us know if they stop again, or if you have any other oddities w. your newsletter delivery: (firstname.lastname@example.org). The following individual at the Comcast Security Department was MOST HELPFUL. He does not wish to share his name, but would welcome any positive feedback at the following email address: csatech97 at gmail dot com. Please feel free to drop him a note of thanks, as he went 'above and beyond' in his efforts to solve the problem. We need such folks at Comcast! Again, thanks every CLGer who contacted Comcast!
Obama backs national DNA database --President Obama backs DNA test in arrests 09 Mar 2010 President Barack Obama’s embrace of a national database to store the DNA of people arrested but not necessarily convicted of a crime is heartening to backers of the policy but disappointing to criminal-justice reformers, who view it as an invasion of privacy. Others also worry the practice would adversely affect minorities. In an interview aired Saturday on "America’s Most Wanted," Obama expressed strong agreement as host John Walsh extolled the virtues of collecting DNA at the time of an arrest and putting it into a single, national database.
Munawar blames Blackwater for Lahore bombings 12 Mar 2010 Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Syed Munawar Hasan Friday alleged that infamous US security firm Blackwater was behind all terror attacks in Pakistan under the supervision of Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The JI leader alleged that Karachi target killing and Lahore bombings were carried out by Blackwater. The Interior Minister was supervising all the activities of Blackwater across the country, he said. Such incidents, he said, would continue unless the interior minister was removed. The Afghani soil is being used for 'proxy war', he said, adding the United States now wants to use Afghanistan against Iran.
Another blast in Pakistan: 14 killed in Swat 14 Mar 2010 At least 14 people were killed and 52 wounded when a suicide bomber targeted a security checkpost in Pakistan’s Mingora town in restive Swat Valley on Saturday, a day after twin blasts claimed 57 lives in Lahore. Three security personnel were among those killed in the blast.
US troops kill Iraqi reporter, her husband 13 Mar 2010 American forces occupying Iraq have opened fire on a car in Baghdad, killing an Iraqi reporter and her husband, a police official announces. Aseel al-Obeidi, the reporter of Dijla television, an independent Baghdad station, was killed by the US troops on Wednesday as she was travelling with her husband in the Tobchi neighborhood in western Baghdad, AP reported on Thursday. Morgue officials said the bodies of the couple were riddled with bullets.
US soldier killed in central Iraq 14 Mar 2010 An American soldier has been killed and two others have been wounded in an attack on a US military base in central Iraq. The US military said in a Sunday statement that the soldier, who was not named, was killed by indirect fire in a mortar or rocket attack on a base in Diyala province.
'Basically, we follow dirty money.' New Fraud Cases Point to Lapses in Iraq Projects 13 Mar 2010 Investigators looking into corruption involving reconstruction in Iraq say they have opened more than 50 new cases in six months by scrutinizing large cash transactions -- involving banks, land deals, loan payments, casinos and even plastic surgery -- made by some of the Americans involved in the nearly $150 billion program. Some of the cases involve people who are suspected of having mailed tens of thousands of dollars to themselves from Iraq, or of having stuffed the money into duffel bags and suitcases when leaving the country, the federal investigators said. In other cases, millions of dollars were moved through wire transfers.
Escape Marjah Offensive
(NPR) 14 Mar 2010 Afghanistan produces about 90 percent of the world's
supply of opium poppies, the plant used to make heroin. About half of
that supply comes from the Helmand province. Earlier efforts by NATO forces
to destroy the poppy crops were unsuccessful; when the
Afghanistan bans growing of poppies for opium (CBC News) 04 Jul 2001 The United Nations Drug Control Program says the world's biggest heroin producing country, Afghanistan, has gone out of the drug business. A UNDCP report to be released next month will say Afghanistan has completely eradicated cultivation of the opium poppy, the plant producing the resin which is refined into heroin. "We do not grow poppies and we will not grow them. This is a Taliban edict and it must be obeyed," Sheikh Rashimi, leader of the village of Spenghagbarga, told the CBC's Patrick Brown. Spenghagbarga is just a dusty truck stop of a village. It used to be a way station on the long journey from the poppy fields of Afghanistan to the heroin dealers on the streets of Moscow, London, New York and Vancouver. Last year Afghanistan produced almost 4,000 tonnes of opium. This year's figure is zero. Bernard Frahi of the UN Drug Control Program confirms those numbers.
Kandahar rocked once again 14 Mar 2010 A powerful blast has left a Pakistani construction worker killed and six of his compatriots wounded in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar. The bomb hit a vehicle carrying CITA group, a Pakistani construction firm, on a road close to Pakistan's consulate in a district in the eastern part of the city early Sunday, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Dozens Killed as Blasts Rock an Afghan City 13 Mar 2010 At least four strong explosions rocked Kandahar on Saturday evening, causing buildings to collapse and killing dozens of people, according to Afghan and American officials. Two of the attacks occurred near the city’s police headquarters and the Kandahar prison. The other targets were still unclear three hours after the explosions, officials said.
Afghan family killed as special forces defy night raid ban 14 Mar 2010 The wife and son had been shot in the head, each with a single bullet. The engineer had died from a shot to the chest. The precision of the killings, coupled with his failure to find any bullet casings after the raid, led Omar to believe that his cousin was murdered either by US special forces or by an intelligence agency. The sole survivor was the couple’s younger son, aged six, whose upper torso was riddled with puncture wounds from grenade shrapnel... Last week General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan, responded to President Hamid Karzai’s call for a ban on night raids by publicly ordering his troops to curb their use.
Canada wanted Afghan prisoners tortured: lawyer 05 Mar 2010 Federal government documents on Afghan detainees suggest that Canadian officials intended some prisoners to be tortured in order to gather intelligence, according to a legal expert. If the allegation is true, such actions would constitute a war crime, said University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran, who has been digging deep into the issue and told CBC News he has seen uncensored versions of government documents released last year. "If these documents were released [in full], what they will show is that Canada partnered deliberately with the torturers in Afghanistan for the interrogation of detainees," he said. "There would be a question of rendition and a question of war crimes on the part of certain Canadian officials. That's what's in these documents, and that's why the government is covering up as hard as it can."
'The U.S. government has been detaining an unknown number of prisoners at the Bagram detention facility since 2002.' Bagram FOIA 11 Mar 2010 In April 2009, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records relating to the detention and treatment of prisoners held at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. The ACLU is asking the Obama administration to make public records pertaining to the number of people currently detained at Bagram, their names, citizenship, place of capture and length of detention, as well as records pertaining to the process afforded those prisoners to challenge their detention and designation as "enemy combatants."
US rights groups demand release of young Gitmo inmate 13 Mar 2010 Human Rights organizations have demanded that Washington drop military charges against a Guantanamo Bay detainee captured by the Americans at the age of 15. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Human Rights Watch, and Juvenile Law Center organizations have issued a joint letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, urging the release of Omar Khadr, a Canadian national arrested in Afghanistan in 2002 for allegedly throwing a grenade at a US army officer.
Spain predicts Israeli annexation of entire West Bank 13 Mar 2010 Madrid has warned that, if continued at the current rate, the Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian lands would bring about the annexation of the entire occupied territories. Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos cautioned that the advancement would claim the entire Palestinian territories in the West Bank, should the current rate of acquisition survive for another two years, AFP reported on Saturday.
Did the CIA test LSD in the New York City subway system? 14 Mar 2010 "For me, in countless ways the Olson story is a New York City story," said H.P. Albarelli Jr., a former lawyer in the Carter White House, who has written extensively about biological warfare and intelligence matters. "The CIA itself was created and initially composed of wealthy men who came from Wall Street and New York City law firms." Frank Olson was a research scientist assigned to the CIA’s Special Operations Division, at Ft. Detrick, Md., who was performing top secret research relating to LSD-25, a powerful new drug... Albarelli spent more than a decade sifting through more than 100,000 pages of government documents and his most startling chestnut might be his claim that the intelligence community conducted aerosol tests of LSD inside the New York City subway system. [Well, this was startling, too: CIA may have poisoned entire French village 12 Mar 2010.]
US planning big false flag and Internet shut down to stop 'al-Qaeda:' Al-Qaeda Suspect From NJ Worked At 6 Nuke Plants --Mobley had 'vital access' that allowed him into any area of the plants where he worked in New Jersey. 13 Mar 2010 An American seized in Yemen in a sweep of suspected 'al-Qaida' members had been a laborer at six U.S. nuclear power plants, and authorities are investigating whether he had access to sensitive information or materials that would be useful to terrorists. Sharif Mobley worked for contractors at plants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland from 2002 to 2008, mostly hauling materials and setting up scaffolding, plant officials said.
'He's been a matter of some concern for a while.' U.S. citizen accused in Yemen killing had been under FBI watch -- Several U.S. officials said Mobley had been known to U.S. and Yemeni authorities 13 Mar 2010 Sharif Mobley, a U.S. citizen accused of killing a hospital guard in Yemen, is believed to be a homegrown radical who left this country to make direct contact with al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh], according to U.S. counterterrorism officials, making him the latest in a string of such suspects.
Four Released in Ireland Terror Case 14 Mar 2010 Irish police said on Saturday evening they have released all three women who were among seven individuals arrested earlier this week in connection with an alleged plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist. They were released and not charged, police said. Those releases appear to indicate that U.S. national Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, a 31-year-old mother and recent convert to Islam believed to be among the seven initially arrested, is no longer in the custody of the Irish police.
Paperless boarding passes for United take flight at DIA --Travelers still must show government-issued identification to TSA screeners operating the electronic boarding-pass readers. 12 Mar 2010 United Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration launched a program at Denver International Airport on Thursday that will allow many air travelers to download boarding passes to their smart phones and avoid the need for printed ones. United's installation of boarding-pass readers for mobile phones at DIA's three security checkpoints means Denver airline passengers can take advantage of the time-saving technology for the first time.
The New Rove-Cheney Assault on Reality By Frank Rich 14 Mar 2010 In this spectrum, the Keep America Safe crowd is a fringe. But it still must be challenged. As we’ve learned the hard way, little fictions, whether about "death panels" or "uranium from Africa," can grow mighty fast in the 24/7 media echo chamber. Liz Cheney’s unsupportable charges are not quarantined in the Murdoch empire. Her chummy off-camera relationship with a trio of network news stars, reported last week by Joe Hagan in New York magazine, helps explain her rise in the so-called mainstream media.
Blair courts controversial US pastor Rick Warren in bid to unite faiths --Former prime minister builds network of Christian allies as he prepares to launch a religious 'offensive' in North America 13 Mar 2010 Tony Blair is preparing to launch a "faith offensive" across the United States over the next year, after building up relationships with a network of influential religious leaders and faith organisations. With Afghanistan and Iraq casting a shadow over his popularity at home in Britain, Blair's focus has increasingly shifted across the Atlantic, to where the nexus of faith and power is immutable and he is feted like a rock star. [No, the little f*ck is hated here, too.]
Justice's wife launches 'tea party' group --The nonprofit [?] run by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is likely to test notions of political impartiality for the court. 14 Mar 2010 Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court. In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative "core principles," she said. The group plans to issue score cards for Congress members and be involved in the November election, although Thomas would not specify how. She said it would accept donations from various sources -- including corporations -- as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court.
Satire: Texas Legislature Votes to Rewrite Bible By R J Shulman 14 Mar 2010 Fresh from their recent success in passing laws to rewrite school history textbooks to drop discussions of FDR and unions in favor of what they called conservative intellectuals such as George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber, the Texas Legislature passed a law that all Bibles in the state must be updated... The newly approved Bible, 'Bible: King James Dobson Version,' named after the founder of the popular Focus on the Family broadcasts, also adds the following passages: Anyone voting for Democrats must be stoned to death, global warming is Satan's favorite lie, greediness is next to godliness, people who don't speak English should be banished from the kingdom, and that slavery is not so bad if it can keep those people off the streets.
proposes 'No Child' overhaul [Oh great. Now *every* child will
be left behind.] President Obama proposed overhauling the No Child
Left Behind law that was his predecessor's
The Democrats' scam becomes more transparent By Glenn Greenwald 12 Mar 2010 The one last hope for Senate Democratic leaders was to avoid a vote altogether on the public option, thereby relieving Senators of having to take a position and being exposed. But that trick would require the cooperation of all Senators -- any one Senator can introduce a public option amendment during the reconciliation and force a vote -- and it now seems that Bernie Sanders, to his great credit, is refusing to go along with the Democrats' sham and will do exactly that: ignore the wishes of the Senate leadership and force a roll call vote on the public option. So now what is to be done? They only need 50 votes, so they can't use the filibuster excuse... And it seems there aren't enough Senate Democrats willing to vote against the public option after publicly saying all year long they supported it, which means it might get 50 votes if a roll call vote is held. So what is the Senate Democratic leadership now doing? They're whipping against the public option, which they pretended all year along to so vigorously support.
States may hold onto tax refunds for months 12 Mar 2010 Residents eager to get their state tax refunds may have a long wait this year: The recession has tied up cash and caused officials in half a dozen states to consider freezing refunds, in one case for as long as five months. States from New York to Hawaii that have been hard-hit by the economic downturn say they have either delayed refunds or are considering doing so because of budget shortfalls.
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