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


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

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April 2005 Archives, Page Two

Rumsfeld Asks Congress to Fund Nuclear-Bomb Study -- Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld pressed Congress on Wednesday to fund research into an earth-penetrating "bunker buster" nuclear bomb that U.S. lawmakers dropped from the budget last year.

Interrogators 'botched hunt for Iraq's WMD' --US arrested innocent scientists, says CIA report --US military interrogators botched the questioning of Iraqi scientists in the search for weapons of mass destruction and their detention "serves no further purpose", a new CIA report has found. The report says that in many cases the wrong people were detained, and subjected to questioning by "inexperienced and uninformed" interrogators. It estimates that 105 scientists and officials suspected of involvement in WMD programmes are still in detention.

Blair accused of 'gross deception' as Goldsmith's advice is published --The Attorney General's doubts about the legality of the Iraq war were finally laid bare after his secret advice to the Prime Minister was leaked. The publication of Lord Goldsmith's report last night could prove to be the "smoking gun" that shows Tony Blair misled Parliament and the country over the war.

Tories accuse Blair of 'great deception' --The Tories today accused Tony Blair of a "great deception" after the leaking of the attorney general's initial advice on the legality of the Iraq war. The document - disclosed to the Guardian - showed caveats and qualifications in Lord Goldsmith's advice to the prime minister on March 7 2003 which had disappeared when what Mr Blair said was a "summary" was presented to parliament 10 days later.

Attorney general told Blair war could be illegal --Secret advice leaked to Guardian --Tony Blair was told by the government's most senior law officer in a confidential minute less than two weeks before the war that British participation in the American-led invasion of Iraq could be declared illegal. Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, spelt out to Mr Blair the dangers of Britain going to war without a second resolution. It is understood that he then went on to warn that British soldiers could be hauled before the International Criminal Court. ...Lord Goldsmith added, a court "might well conclude" that war would be found unlawful without a further UN resolution.

For the first time, the legal advice on war we weren't allowed to see --The following is a summary of the Attorney General's advice 28 April 2005

Channel 4 News reveals legal advice on Iraq War 27 April 2005 --Channel 4 News has obtained a copy of the summary of the confidential legal advice written by the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith and sent to the Prime Minister on March 7th, two weeks before the war with Iraq. The document reveals that Lord Goldsmith warned Mr Blair that failure to secure a second United Nations resolution explicitly authorising military action would force the government 'urgently' to reconsider its legal case. Resolution 1441 had been passed in November 2002 and gave Iraq 'a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations'. [Click here to download the summary as a word document.]

Goldsmith's Iraq Advice 'Warned UK Troops Faced Prosecution' --Channel 4 News this evening broadcast details from a document which it claimed was the Attorney General's secret advice to Prime Minister Tony Blair about the legality of war in Iraq. The programme said that the contents of the document, drawn up by Lord Goldsmith on March 7 2003, differed sharply from the summary of his opinion given to MPs on the eve of war 10 days’ later.

Blix: they should have listened --Inspector says he showed there was little evidence --The head of the United Nations weapons inspectors in the run-up to the Iraq war, Hans Blix, last night undercut one of the main grounds offered by the attorney-general, Lord Goldsmith, in his legal advice to Tony Blair. Lord Goldsmith said there would have to be evidence that Iraq was not complying with the inspectors. But Mr Blix, who has since retired to Sweden, said his inspectors found no compelling evidence that Iraq had a hidden arsenal or was blocking the work of the inspectors. He said there had been only small infractions by Iraq.

The prime minister is a war criminal --Like Chamberlain in the 30s, Blair is an appeaser of a dangerous global power. He should be in prison, not standing for election. --by Richard Gott "Tony Blair has been the worst prime minister since Neville Chamberlain, a figure with whom he shares a number of significant characteristics... The most popular slogan at the moment is 'Blair must go'... It clearly has majority support in the country. Blair is a war criminal who should be locked up behind bars without a vote, not standing for election."

Iraq rebels 'as strong now as a year ago' --There was a three-fold increase in terrorist attacks worldwide last year and Iraqi insurgents have the same capacity to strike that they did 12 months ago, according to the US government and military. [*How many* terrorist attacks were carried out by the world's most dangerous terrorist, George W. Bush?]

Iraqi MP gunned down --Gunmen assassinated an Iraqi female member of parliament on Wednesday in a fresh shock to politicians whose failure to form a government three months after elections has allowed violence to thrive unchecked.

Canadian killed in Iraq was truck-driver from Toronto area --A Canadian man who was killed in Iraq last week – possibly by U.S. troops – lived near Toronto for years and also held Iraqi citizenship, the CBC has learned.

Berlusconi Pressured to Withdraw Troops --A widely respected former Italian president said Wednesday that Premier Silvio Berlusconi would have no choice but to withdraw its troops from Iraq if U.S. soldiers are cleared in an investigation of the "friendly fire'' slaying of an Italian intelligence agent.

Is Rumsfeld responsible for torture? Human Rights Watch calls for investigation of US Defence Secretary --The humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch has issued a report to coincide with the first anniversary of the publication of the first Abu Ghraib photographs, which showed the most horrendous and shocking scenes of torture and disrespect for the human condition since the Nazi concentration camps of WW2. In the report "Getting away with torture? Command responsibility for the US abuse of detainees", the report states that there is "substantial evidence warranting criminal investigations" of Rumsfeld, George Tenet, General Ricardo Sanchez and General Geoffrey Miller (Commander of the Abu Ghraib camp).

NY human rights group: Abu Ghraib abuse part of larger pattern --Muslim prisoners in U.S. custody have been tortured and mistreated at dozens of detention facilities around the world, according to a Human Rights Watch report issued a year after the first images of detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison were made public. In the report, released Wednesday, the human rights watchdog summarized allegations of abuse at U.S. facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba and reiterated its call for a probe into U.S. officials who may have had roles in the mistreatment.

Witness in Marine Case Taken Off Stand --A key witness in the case against a Marine officer accused of murdering two Iraqi civilians was abruptly taken off the stand Wednesday on suspicion of violating orders on giving interviews about the case.

IRAQ: Doctors warn of increasing deformities in newborn babies --Doctors in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have reported a significant increase in deformities among newborn babies. Health officials and scientists said this could be due to radiation passed through mothers following years of conflict in the country.

Fox News produces video valentine for Halliburton (HalliburtonWatch.org) "The Fox News Channel joined Halliburton's latest advertising campaign today with a fluff piece glorifying the company's dining facilities in the Middle East. Fox reporter Gregg Kelly walked through a dining room in Taji, Iraq, interviewing soldiers impressed with KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary which manages the facility and prepares the food."

Troops in 'Stop-Loss' Case to Be Named Under Seal --Three American soldiers who are challenging the U.S. military's "stop loss" enlistment extension policy as "John Does" must file their real names under seal or have their claims dismissed, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. In the same order, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth denied a request by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other senior military officials to disclose the identities of the Doe plaintiffs.

Diplomats: U.S. Alone in Fight to Oust UN's ElBaradei --The United States is alone on the board of the U.N. nuclear watchdog in opposing a third term for agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, diplomats said Wednesday. Heeding a U.S. request, the 35-nation governing board of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delayed a decision until June on whether to give ElBaradei a third term at the high-profile agency, which he has headed since 1997.

Qatar draws up plan to sell off al-Jazeera --The Gulf state of Qatar is considering privatising its satellite TV channel, al-Jazeera, because of pressure from the US and a de facto advertising boycott by Arab countries offended by its critical coverage.

U.S. soldier among dead in Afghan attacks --Taliban fighters ambushed a police chief's convoy in southern Afghanistan, killing four policeman, and a U.S. soldier was killed in a separate ambush, police and the U.S. military said on Wednesday.

U.S. may sell bunker busters to Israel --The Pentagon notified Congress on Tuesday of a proposed sale to Israel of 100 guided bunker-busting bombs, a move that analysts said could prompt concerns about a unilateral Israel strike against Iran.

US wants to sell Israel 'bunker-buster' bombs --The Bush regime has proposed providing Israel with 100 "bunker-buster" bombs capable of destroying underground targets, a move seen as sending a message to Iran to halt its nuclear programme. The Pentagon on Tuesday notified Congress of the possible sale of 5,000lb GBU-28 bombs.

'Hello? Chavez Here, Imperialists Want Our Oil' --Telephone callers at Venezuela's oil ministry are getting the low-down on the country's oil strategy direct from President Hugo Chavez. "What is the reason for the imperialist aggression against our country? Venezuela is the world's top oil reserve and the world's oil is running out," the short, repeated recording of a recent Chavez speech tells phoners as their call is put on hold and transferred internally. [*Awesome!*]

False Alarm Puts White House on Alert --Dictator Bush was rushed from the Oval Office to an underground shelter and Vice pResident Dick Cheney was taken to a secure location [Doesn't coward Cheney *normally* hide in a 'secure location?'] Wednesday on fears that an unidentified aircraft had entered restricted space near the White House. Officials said it was a false alarm. [What a shame!]

Terror threat to U.S. called 'significant' --Official blames increase in reported attacks on deeper review --The fight against international terrorism remains "formidable" for the United States and its allies, with 651 significant attacks taking 1,900 lives worldwide last year, according to two U.S. government reports released Wednesday.

Senate Panel Hears of Chemical Plant Risks --A terrorist attack on chemical plants lacking enough federal oversight could cause mass casualties, a former homeland security adviser to the White House told senators on Wednesday. "The chemicals that we are talking about today are in many cases identical to those used in the battlefield of World War I... [the chemicals] present, in my opinion, the single greatest danger of a potential terrorist attack in our country today," Richard Falkenrath, who left the White House in May, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Jimmy Walter Starts European Campaign: Re-Open 9/11 --Jimmy Walter, an American (currently living in Europe), will tour through Europe this fall, starting in Amsterdam and coming to Berlin on May 20 to point out what he describes as non-truths regarding the investigations of the attacks on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Breaking the Rules to Destroy Our Courts --Remarks as prepared by former Vice President Al Gore, Washington, DC., Wednesday, April 27, 2005 "This fight is not about responding to a crisis. It is about the desire of the administration and the Senate leadership to stifle debate in order to get what they want when they want it. What is involved here is a power grab -- pure and simple. And what makes it so dangerous for our country is their willingness to do serious damage to our American democracy in order to satisfy their lust for total one-party domination of all three branches of government. They seek nothing less than absolute power."

Donations link DeLay, ethics panel --All five Republicans on the House ethics committee have financial links to Tom DeLay that could raise conflict-of-interest issues should the panel investigate the GOP majority leader. Public records show DeLay's leadership political action committee (PAC) gave $15,000 to the campaign of Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Pa. — $10,000 in 2000 and $5,000 in 2002. Hart would chair a panel to investigate DeLay if the committee moves forward with a probe.

Republicans May Clear Way for DeLay Probe --House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert urged fellow Republicans on Wednesday to retreat in a battle with Democrats over ethics rules, which would clear the way for a probe of one of their own -- Majority Leader Tom DeLay, lawmakers said.

Anti-Castro Majority Leader Tom DeLay enjoys a fine Cuban cigar --House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has long been one of Congress' most vocal critics of what he calls Fidel Castro's "thugocracy," which is why some sharp-eyed TIME readers were surprised last week to see a photo of the Majority Leader smoking one of Cuba's best—a Hoyo de Monterrey double corona, which generally costs about $25 when purchased overseas and is not available in this country. [Holy hypocrisy, Batman!]

House OKs Bill Toughening Abortion Consent --The House passed a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal to dodge parental-consent laws by taking minors across state lines for abortions, the latest effort to chip away at abortion rights after Republican thefts ['gains'] in the November elections.

Fla. agency gets teen's abortion blocked --The state's social services agency was granted a court order to block an abortion for a pregnant 13-year-old girl living in a state shelter, prompting an emergency appeal Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union. [Yeah, that would be one less (uninsured) child that Jeb Bush can 'lose' or offer to one of his sexual predator pals in Florida.]

20 million US workers lack health insurance -study --More than 20 million working Americans have no health insurance, with close to one in four employed people going without health care in some states, according to a report issued on Wednesday.

Nevada resolution urges Washington to reject nuclear waste plan --A Nevada legislative panel was asked Wednesday to back a resolution that urges federal lawmakers to oppose plans for storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

U.S. Forest Service sued over logging in Oregon --A group of U.S. Forest Service employees has filed a lawsuit against the federal agency because the workers say it is allowing lumber companies to log forests recovering from wildfires in violation of environmental laws.

Experts: Smallpox could be sent in mail 26 April 2005 --The anthrax letter attacks in 2001 are not the first time an infectious agent has been spread through the mail. A recent article in a scientific journal describes two outbreaks of smallpox in 1901 that were attributed to infected letters, and bioweapon experts said it is possible terrorists could spread the deadly disease in this manner today.

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U.S.: Abu Ghraib Only the "Tip of the Iceberg" --The crimes at Abu Ghraib are part of a larger pattern of abuses against Muslim detainees around the world, Human Rights Watch said on the eve of the April 28 anniversary of the first pictures of U.S. soldiers brutalizing prisoners at the Iraqi jail. Human Rights Watch released a summary of evidence of U.S. abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as well as of the programs of secret CIA detention, "extraordinary renditions," and "reverse renditions."

U.S. Clears Self on Italian Agent's Death --U.S. troops have been cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of an Italian security agent escorting a hostage to freedom in Baghdad last month. A Pentagon official said there will be no disciplinary action taken against the soldiers who opened fire on a car on its way to the Baghdad airport carrying newly freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena March 4.

Outrage in Italy as US clears troops who killed agent escorting freed hostage --Italians have reacted with outrage to news that an inquiry in the United States into the shooting of an Italian secret service agent in Iraq has cleared the American troops who killed him.

Italians Angry Over Inquiry on Iraq Death --Tensions between the United States and Italy surged Tuesday, as Italian politicians and citizens reacted furiously to leaked reports in the Italian news media that a joint investigation into the shooting death of an Italian agent in Baghdad would absolve American soldiers of guilt in the incident.

Italian opposition rejects report on Iraq killing --An angry opposition branded a investigation reported to have cleared U.S. soldiers of blame for killing an Italian agent in Iraq after a hostage rescue an insult to Italy on Tuesday.

Two U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq --A U.S. soldier in Iraq died today after sustaining injuries in a vehicle accident near Muqdadiyah, while another was killed April 25 on patrol in northwest Baghdad by an improvised explosive device.

Official say leading terrorist suspect eluded U-S military [Yes, Bush has eluded arrest to date.] A senior military official says U-S forces believe they just missed nabbing the most-wanted militant in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Was PM trying to cover up his requests to Goldsmith? --Tony Blair did not issue any written instructions asking the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, for his legal opinion on the Iraq war, The Independent has learnt. ...This has prompted accusations that Tony Blair behaved in an excessively casual manner towards the legality of war to try to avoid a paper trail.

Blair warned: More to follow Sedgemore out of the party --Tony Blair has been warned that other former Labour MPs could join Brian Sedgemore by leaving the party after the general election in a concerted protest against his leadership. The Independent revealed yesterday that Mr Sedgemore, who was a Labour MP for 27 years, had joined the Liberal Democrats.

Blair forced on to defensive over Iraq --Tony Blair was forced on to the defensive over Iraq yesterday as he angrily refused to apologise for the war and appealed to his critics to stop questioning his integrity.

Schoolchildren jeer Tony Blair --Prime Minister Tony Blair's spin doctors have mounted a novel defence after schoolchildren appeared to boo him on a pre-election visit, explaining they were actually chanting "boom", an arcane term of approval in British youth slang. [ROFL!]

Iraq: Contaminated flour taken out of bread basket 26 April 2005 --Flour rations included in Iraq's monthly food Public Distribution System (PDS), operated by the Iraqi Ministry of Trade (MoT), were not provided in March and April due to traces of iron found in the flour, officials confirmed.

United States inching towards regime change in Syria --Former US official says Asad’s government may not be able to recover from the blow and consequently begin to unravel --A former US official said on Monday the Bush administration was inching more and more towards a regime change in Syria.

Syrian Forces Leave Lebanon After Three Decades --Syria withdrew its last soldiers and intelligence agents from Lebanon on Tuesday, ending a 29-year military presence in its small neighbor.

Turkey and US sign $1.1b deal on warplanes --Turkey said on Tuesday it had signed a deal worth about $1.1 billion with its NATO ally the United States to modernise 117 F-16 warplanes. The main contractor will be Bethesda, Maryland-based defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp.

Senate Panel Is Widening Its Review on Nominee to U.N. --In a widening of the inquiry into John R. Bolton's nomination to be ambassador to the United Nations, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee intends to conduct formal interviews in the next 10 days with as many as two dozen people, Congressional officials said Tuesday.

Committee Prepares Questions for Bolton --Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepared a list of about 20 questions Tuesday for John R. Bolton, including requests for e-mails and telephone logs relating to confrontations he has had with intelligence analysts, according to Senate staff.

Former U.S. ambassador speaks out against Bolton --A former colleague of John R. Bolton says pResident Bush’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations "has none of the qualities needed for that job." Bolton "has all the qualities needed to harm the image and objectives in the U.N. and its affiliated international organizations. If it is now U.S. policy not to reform the U.N but to destroy it, Bolton is our man," Frederick Vreeland, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, said in an e-mail to the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Report Shows 2004 Rise in Terror Attacks --[Thanks to Dictator Bush,] Terror attacks worldwide more than tripled last year, with much of the increase traced to incidents in Iraq, according to government figures released Tuesday by a senior House Democrat.

EU Pledges to Protect Rights in Anti-Terror Fight --The European Union will put protecting human rights at the heart of its fight against terrorism, the EU's top justice official pledged on Tuesday as watchdogs highlighted abuses inside the 25-nation bloc.

Some fear law would create national ID card --Congress is poised to pass a law that would make sweeping changes to the nation's system for issuing driver's licenses by imposing stringent requirements on states to verify the authenticity of birth certificates, Social Security cards, legal residency visas, and bank and utility records used to obtain a license.

ACLU Urges Conferees to Remove "Real ID" From Funding Measure; Proposal Attacks the Persecuted, Harms Immigrants (ACLU Press Release) "As proponents of the Real ID Act stepped up pressure on legislators, the American Civil Liberties Union today urged Congressional conferees to strip the anti-privacy, anti-asylum, anti-property rights bill from an appropriations measure to fund the war in Iraq and tsunami relief."

For hire: Armed air marshals --The Federal Air Marshal Service is set to begin hiring for the first time since the agency ramped up dramatically in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, MSNBC.com has learned. The hiring announcement could come as soon as next week and would add badly needed new recruits to a rank-and-file membership that has been steadily declining.

Across Nation, Students Getting Paid to Be Informants --The recent deadly shooting at a Red Lake, Minn. has prompted more schools to offer cash and other prizes — including pizza and premium parking spots -- to students who report classmates who carry guns, drugs or alcohol, commit vandalism or otherwise break school rules... James Kinchen, an assistant school superintendent in Houston County, Ga., has started offering rewards of up to $100 for reporting relatively minor crimes like vandalism or theft and $500 for information about a crime, or plans for a crime, involving a gun.

GOP to Reverse Ethics Rule Blocking New DeLay Probe --House Republican leaders, acknowledging that ethics disputes are taking a heavy toll on the party's image, decided yesterday to rescind a [Republican] controversial rule change that led to the three-month shutdown of the ethics committee, according to officials who participated in the talks.

Bush Puts a Criminal [in addition to himself] on Air Force One --In a show of support, Dictator Bush will give scandal-ridden House of Representatives Republican leader Tom DeLay an Air Force One ride to Washington from Texas on Tuesday, a White House spokesman said.

Bush Backs Rep. DeLay Amid Ethics Allegations --pResident Bush lent some political clout to Rep. Tom DeLay on Tuesday by making a rare public appearance with the House majority leader who is battling an ethics controversy.

Republicans Reject Offer On Judges --Senate Republicans rejected a Democratic offer to resolve an impasse over judicial nominees yesterday, as members of both parties said they are under strong pressure from interest groups to hold their ground.

Bush Threatens Veto on Highway Bill --The Bush regime issued a veto threat again Tuesday against a popular highway bill, saying the president would be likely to reject any legislation that exceeds a White House-set spending ceiling or adds to the deficit. [Then why give $81 billion to Halliburton and Monsanto?]

Gov. Bush signs 'force with force' bill --With a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association at his side, Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill Tuesday intended to make it clear that people have a right to defend themselves on the street, meeting "force with force'' without fear of being prosecuted.

Microsoft paying Religious Right leader Ralph Reed $20,000 a month retainer --by Drew (globalnewsmatrix.com) "AMERICAblog.com has learned that Microsoft is currently paying a $20,000 a month retainer to former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed's consulting firm Century Strategies. Which now begs the question of whether Reed was in any way involved with Microsoft's recent decision to abandon its decades long support for gay civil rights in order to curry favor with anti-gay bigots of the radical right."

Manufacturers Praise Asbestos Bill --Setting up a U.S. [*taxpayers*] fund to pay asbestos claims would mean tens of billions of dollars more in compensation for people made ill by the mineral and a bounce in the stock market for companies now being sued, the head of the National Association of Manufacturers said on Tuesday. [Why should *taxpayers* pay for Bush and Cheney's corpora-terrorism?]

Microsoft to add 'black box' to Windows --In a move that could rankle privacy advocates, Microsoft said Monday that it is adding the PC equivalent of a flight data recorder to the next version of Windows, in an effort to 'better understand and prevent computer crashes.' [Yeah, right!]

GAO: Government's Climate Data Inadequate --A federal government report suggests the Bush regime is not providing adequate or timely data on the subject of global climate change as required by Congress.

Climate change poses threat to food supply, scientists say --Worldwide production of essential crops such as wheat, rice, maize and soya beans is likely to be hit much harder by global warming than previously predicted, an international conference in London has heard.

Holy Fox guarding the henhouse, Batman! U.S. Company Wants to Help Fight Deadly Marburg Virus 26 April 2005 --Luanda - A United States of America firm, GenoMed, expressed today its interest in helping Angola to fight [spread?] the heamorrhagic fever of Marburg virus, mostly hitting the northern Uige province, the company's chairman said today.

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Costs of war quietly surpass $300 billion --Congress approves requests from the president and the Pentagon with little resistance and adds a few unrelated projects to boot. The cost of war continues to climb, but despite growing unease, Congress is giving Dictator Bush and the Pentagon whatever they say is needed. ... The $81 billion supplemental war spending bill passed Thursday by the Senate authorized $55 million for a wastewater treatment plant in DeSoto County, Miss., and $25 million for a fish hatchery in Montana, according to private budget analysts.

Real ID Act likely to pass --A controversial bill that would require states to verify the citizenship or legal status of anyone applying for a drivers license will likely become law because Senate Democrats don't have the votes to stop it, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Monday. Aimed at illegal immigrants, the so-called Real ID Act is expected to be included in a final version of an $81 billion spending bill to fund Halliburton and Monsanto ['the war in Iraq'].

Report Finds No Evidence Syria Hid Iraqi Arms --U.S. investigators hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have found no evidence that such material was moved to Syria for safekeeping before the war, according to a final report of the investigation released yesterday.

U.S. Weapons Inspector Finishes Iraq Work; Found Nothing --In his final word, the CIA's top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has "gone as far as feasible" and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.

Ministers braced to defend action if legal advice is leaked --The government is bracing itself for the possibility that the 13 pages of legal advice drawn up by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, in the build-up to the Iraq war will be leaked, as many expect, in the next few days.

Labour MP defects to Lib Dems over Iraq --A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term.

US clears soldiers in Sgrena probe --US investigators have exonerated American troops who shot dead an Italian agent while he escorted an abducted journalist to Baghdad airport soon after securing her release. A US Army official said investigators found that American troops who shot the Italian intelligence officer Nicola Calipari did nothing wrong [Right, as they were acting on terrorist John Negroponte's direct orders].

Reports: Italy, U.S. Differ on Agent Death --Italy and the United States disagree over the findings of an investigation into the 'accidental' shooting death by U.S. soldiers of an Italian intelligence agent in Baghdad, news reports said Monday. One report said Italians on the panel were refusing to sign off on the U.S. conclusions.

Death toll from Iraq attacks rises to 24 --The number of casualties in Sunday's two double bombings in Iraq rose to 24 dead and 58 wounded, Iraqi authorities said Monday.

US says Iraqi insurgent threat grows again --Iraqi insurgents have shown improved coordination and greater tactical sophistication in a new surge of attacks following a sharp decline after national 'elections' in January, US defense officials said. More significant than the number of attacks is that the insurgent attacks are better coordinated than in the past and more sophisticated, said the senior defense official.

Houston, TX - Friday, 29 April 2005 - Halliburton Counter-recruitment! "Join Houston Global Awareness as we will have 2 counter-recruitment "Open Houses" for potential Halliburton/KBR employees at the entrance of their facility at 50 Grove St (south of Clinton Drive) on Friday. One at 8am and one at noon."

Supreme Court Declines to Hear POWs' Case --The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider whether U.S. prisoners of war who say they were tortured during the 1991 Gulf War should collect a $959 million judgment from Iraq.

Turkey agrees US base expansion --After months of delay, Turkey's Cabinet has approved a long-standing US request to have increased access to a strategic air base for flying into Iraq and Afghanistan.

US prepares for nuclear stand-off with Pyongyang --The United States may soon seek a UN Security Council resolution to impose a virtual international quarantine on North Korea to pressure its regime to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions.

Chavez Explains End of Military Program --President Hugo Chavez said a military exchange program with the United States was canceled because U.S. officers in Venezuela were spreading a negative image of his government to the soldiers they were training. He also announced the detention of several Americans and said the United States might be planning to invade his country.

Fuel protesters picket refinery (UK) Fuel duty campaigners are demonstrating outside a Cheshire oil refinery in protest at high fuel costs.

Bush meets Saudi Crown Prince --US Dictator George W. Bush met on Monday Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, saying that he would press his guest on high oil prices [to increase them for ExxonMobil] and increasing the kingdom's output.

Bush, Saudi Fail to Reach Deal to Lower Gas Prices [That *was* the agreement, to *not* lower them!] --Dictator Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah emerged from their meeting here Monday with no agreement that would lower gasoline prices in the near term [Right, the next decrease will be early fall, 2006 - just before the 'elections'], although Saudi Arabia reiterated plans to increase oil production capacity in coming years in an effort to meeting fast-growing world demand.

Ex-employee alleges mistreatment by Bolton --In a new allegation against George W. Bush's nominee for United Nations ambassador, a woman who worked under John Bolton in the early 1980s has complained that he tried to fire her after they clashed over US policy on infant formula in developing nations.

Richardson troubled by Bolton nomination --Governor Richardson (D-N.Mex.) says he opposes George W. Bush's nominee for US ambassador to the United Nations.

Poll: Americans Oppose Rule Change in Senate --Two-thirds reject GOP plan to ease confirmation of Bush judicial nominees. Survey also finds Bush's approval ratings falling. As the Senate moves toward a major confrontation over judicial appointments, a strong majority of Americans oppose changing the rules to make it easier for Republican leaders to win confirmation of pResident Bush's court nominees, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Democrats rally to protect power of the filibuster --More than 100 rallies are planned across America Wednesday in defence of an arcane Senate rule that conservatives and liberals see as the key to the makeup of the US judiciary.

Rove: Bolton will be confirmed; judges deserve vote --Karl Rove rejected a compromise with Senate Democrats Monday on long-stalled nominations for the federal judiciary and strongly defended Dictator Bush's choice of John Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations.

[Sycophant] Reid seeks compromise with Frist on judges --Says he is working on ways to avoid 'nuclear option' --The Senate's top Democrat said Monday he is still working with his Republican counterpart, Majority Leader Bill Frist, in hopes of defusing a standoff over some of pResident Bush's judicial nominees.

Christian Conservatives Take Aim at Filibusters --Conservatives across America were urged to pressure senators to end the use of filibusters against pResident Bush's judicial nominees in an appeal made on Christian radio and television networks on Sunday.

Mega barf alert! In Show of Support, Bush to Give DeLay AF1 Flight --In a show of support, pResident Bush will give embattled House of Representatives Republican leader Tom DeLay an Air Force One ride to Washington from Texas on Tuesday, a White House spokesman said.

DeLay's Banana Republic (Los Angeles Times) "Since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, the U.S. has tried to mold Latin America in its own image. But credit House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and other conservative Republicans for taking a different approach. With their war on the so-called imperial judiciary, they seem intent on importing Latin American ways to the U.S. The region to the south, where authoritarian leaders have more often than not been the rule, continues to have a hazy attachment to the rule of law."

Records: Gannon/Guckert at White House 196 Times [For *what*? To rendezvous with Karl Rove?] --A conservative 'writer' [James D. Guckert, who wrote under the name Jeff Gannon] who quit his job covering George W. Bush amid criticism for his pointedly political questions visited the White House 196 times in two years, the Secret Service has disclosed.

A Scathing Chairman Dean Finds Republicans 'Evil,' 'Corrupt' and 'Brain-Dead' --Since taking over as chairman of the Democratic National Committee earlier this year, the Howard Dean, M.D., has been quoted in newspapers making unusually caustic remarks about Republicans. Dean has suggested that they are "evil." That they are "corrupt." He called them "brain-dead" during a stop in Toronto. He has tagged Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Liar-Pa.) as a "liar." Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that he mimicked a "drug-snorting Rush Limbaugh" at an event there.

More Baggage Taboos, but Little Security Enhancement --Last week, reports from several government departments confirmed what most business travelers and other frequent fliers already knew: after spending more than $5 billion in federal funds on the agency, airport security is hardly any better now than it was before 9/11.

Evidence that the U.S. May Be Losing the Global War on Terror --by Ivan Eland "The Bush administration is attempting to suppress key data showing that its Global War on Terrorism (or GWOT as government bureaucrats have dubbed it) likely has been counterproductive. According to Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and State Department terrorism expert who still has many sources within the intelligence community, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s office is suppressing data showing that the number of major terrorist attacks worldwide exploded from 175 in 2003 to 625 in 2004, the highest number since the Cold War began to wane in 1985."

"Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is being criticized for remarks suggesting the U.S. bears some responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. What do you think?" Pol demands actress apologize for 9/11 remarks --Councilman Tony Avella, who represents District 19 in Queens, today demanded a public apology from actress Maggie Gyllenhaal for remarks she made suggesting the U.S. bears some responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center. ... "I think what's good about the movie is that it deals with 9/11 in such a subtle, open way that I think it allows it to be more complicated than just, 'Oh, look at these poor New Yorkers and how hard it was for them,'" Gyllenhaal said in red carpet comments Friday to cable channel NY1. "Because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way and so I think the delicacy with which it's dealt allows that to sort of creep in," she said. [Exactamundo, Maggie!]

House (TX) approves amendment to ban gay marriage under constitution --Texas House lawmakers have approved a constitutional amendment to ban gay couples from marrying.

With May only days away, snow hits Midwest hard (OH) A rare spring snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Midwest and Appalachians, making for a strange scene in one Columbus neighborhood when automatic sprinklers spit water over shrubs that were already blanketed by snow.

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A government at bay over Iraq war legality --The Iraq war was thrust to the top of the election agenda last night after the Attorney General's advice to the Prime Minister over the legality of the conflict was leaked.

Lib Dems demand Iraq war inquiry --The Liberal Democrats will repeat calls for a full public inquiry into the Iraq war as Charles Kennedy puts the issue at the heart of his election campaign.

Opposition goes on Iraq offensive --No 10 accused of lying over war advice --The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives launched a two-pronged attack on Tony Blair yesterday, accusing the prime minister of having undermined trust in politicians and lied over the Iraq war.

UN investigator who exposed US army abuse forced out of his job --The UN's top human rights investigator in Afghanistan has been forced out under American pressure just days after he presented a report criticising the US military for detaining suspects without trial and holding them in secret prisons.

US guards at Guantanamo tortured me, says UK man --A British resident has claimed he was tortured by US guards at Guantanamo Bay, suffering violent sexual assaults, near drowning and an attack in which he was blinded. The Independent on Sunday has been given a detailed account from Omar Deghayes of repeated abuse by American and Pakistani interrogators over the past three years including electric shocks and sodomy by US guards.

AP photographer freed from U.S. custody --Mohammed Ibrahim, a photographer working for The Associated Press, was released Sunday by the U.S. military, which had held him after a shooting in which a television cameraman working for The AP was killed.

Cameraman Killed In Iraq --A news cameraman working for Associated Press Television News been killed while filming in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul while nine Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a suicide bombing west of Baghdad.

Bomb Blasts Kill At Least 23 In Iraq --At least 23 people have died in a series of bomb attacks near a mosque in Baghdad and outside a police academy in northern Iraq. In the Iraqi capital, insurgents exploded twin car bombs in a market near the Ahl al-Beit mosque in the northern district of Shula.

Bombs Kill U.S. Sailor, Two Soldiers in Iraq --A bomb killed a U.S. soldier in Baghdad Sunday, raising to at least three the number of American military personnel killed in Iraq this weekend, the U.S. military said.

Marines From Iraq Sound Off About Want of Armor and Men --In returning home, the leaders and Marine infantrymen [of Company E] have chosen to break an institutional code of silence and tell their story, one they say was punctuated not only by a lack of armor, but also by a shortage of men and planning that further hampered their efforts in battle, destroyed morale and ruined the careers of some of their fiercest warriors.

Hundreds mourn US woman who fought for Iraq war victims --One week after Marla Ruzicka was killed by Negroponte's death squads ['in a suicide bombing'] in Baghdad, hundreds gathered at a funeral mass where the young American woman was remembered as a hero for her courageous campaign to help war victims.

UN: Syria agreed to sign anti-terror treaty --Syria has agreed to sign a UN treaty aimed at blocking terror financing, UN officials attending a conference in Bangkok told Reuters on Sunday.

White House May Seek Resolution to Quarantine North Korea --The Bush regime is debating a plan to seek a United Nations resolution empowering all nations to intercept shipments in or out of the country that may contain nuclear materials or components, say senior administration and diplomats who have been briefed on the proposal.

U.S. Prison Population Soars in 2003, '04 --Growing at a rate of about 900 inmates each week between mid-2003 and mid-2004, the nation's prisons and jails held 2.1 million people, or one in every 138 U.S. residents, the government reported Sunday. [Oh, but there is room for at least four more: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove.]

Nation's Inmate Population Increased 2.3 Percent Last Year --The nation's prisons and jails held 2.1 million people in mid-2004, 2.3 percent more than the year before, the government reported on Sunday.

In war's name, public loses information --Federal agencies under the Bush regime are sweeping vast amounts of public information behind a curtain of secrecy in the name of fighting terrorism, using 50 to 60 loosely defined security designations that can be imposed by officials as low-ranking as government clerks. No one is tracking the amount of unclassified information that is no longer accessible.

Spying: Giving Out U.S. Names --The National Security Agency is not supposed to target Americans; when a U.S. citizen's name comes up in an NSA "intercept," the agency routinely minimizes dissemination of the info by masking the name before it distributes the report to other U.S. agencies. But it's now clear the agency disseminates thousands of U.S. names. According to information obtained by NEWSWEEK, since January 2004 NSA received—and fulfilled—between 3,000 and 3, 500 requests from other agencies to supply the names of U.S. citizens and officials (and citizens of other countries that help NSA eavesdrop around the world, including Britain, Canada and Australia) that initially were deleted from raw intercept reports.

Watchdogs [Reichwing whackjobs] Seek Out the Web's Bad Side --Some Groups Target 'Pro-Terrorism' Sites [Seek *this.*] A. Aaron Weisburd slogged up to his attic at 5 a.m. to begin another day combing through tips he had received about possible pro-terrorist activity on the Internet Weisburd said he and his supporters are responsible for dismantling at least 650 and as many as 1,000 sites he regards as threatening [Oh. Has he dismantled whitehouse.gov yet?], especially Islamic radical sites.

Bolton Urged to Withdraw As U.N. Nominee --Dictator Bush's choice to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations should withdraw from consideration or risk embarrassing the pResident, Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said Sunday. The White House said it stood by John R. Bolton.

Bolton's British Problem --Fresh complaints of bullying dog an embattled nominee. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was complaining to Colin Powell about John Bolton, according to a former Bush regime official who was there... Bolton's critics contend that he has consistently taken an extreme and uncompromising line on issues and that he has bullied subordinates and intel analysts who disagreed with him.

Republicans Say Have Votes to Ban Filibusters --U.S. Senate Republicans have the votes to ban any more Democratic procedural roadblocks against Dictator Bush's judicial nominees [Reichwing whackjobs], Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell said on Sunday.

Frist Urges an End to Nominee Filibusters --Democrats decry Senate majority leader's speech and accuse conservatives of injecting religion into the already heated debate over judicial nominees. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist delivered a taped speech Sunday to a nationwide broadcast in which Christian conservatives, during other segments, attacked Democratic senators for blocking judicial nominees described in the program as "people of faith."

Frist Hardens Effort to Stop Filibusters --Majority Leader [and cat torturer] Bill Frist said Sunday it was not "radical" to ask senators to vote on judicial nominees as he hardened his effort to strip Democrats of their power to stall pResident Bush's picks for the federal court.

Judge blocked by filibuster calls it unconstituional tactic --Retired federal judge Charles Pickering of Mississippi, whose promotion to an appellate court was blocked by a Senate filibuster, called the tactic unconstitutional and said it should be ended permanently if it is used again.

Secret Service records raise new questions about discredited conservative reporter --by John Byrne (Raw Story) "In what is unlikely to stem the controversy surrounding disgraced White House correspondent James Guckert, the Secret Service has furnished logs of the writer’s access to the White House after requests by two Democratic congress members. The documents, obtained by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) through a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal Guckert had remarkable access to the White House. Though he wrote under the name Jeff Gannon, the records show that he applied with his real name."

Cheney working on the next 9/11 and raising oil prices for ExxonMobil: Cheney Meets With Saudi Prince in Texas --Vice pResident Dick Cheney met on Sunday with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah ahead of the Saudi's talks Monday at George W. Bush's ranch, where oil prices, terrorism and democratic reforms [LOL!] in the Middle East will top the agenda. The White House refused to provide details about the meeting.

Democrats: Bill Will Boost Gas Prices --The energy bill that passed the House on Thursday will raise gasoline prices and subsidize oil companies but fail to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said Saturday. [Nah, ya think?]

Connecticut Civil Unions Bill Protested --About 3,000 protesters gathered at the state Capitol Sunday to denounce lawmakers who voted in favor of legislation last week that made Connecticut the second state to offer civil unions to gay couples. Meanwhile, about 80 gay rights activists took part in a mock wedding ceremony on the Capitol lawn Sunday, criticizing civil unions as second-class citizenship.

GM industry puts human gene into rice --Scientists have begun putting genes from human beings into food crops in a dramatic extension of genetic modification. The move, which is causing disgust and revulsion among critics, is bound to strengthen accusations that GM technology is creating "Frankenstein foods" and drive the controversy surrounding it to new heights.

*****

Pope 'obstructed' sex abuse inquiry --Confidential letter reveals RATzinger ordered bishops to keep allegations secret --Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had 'obstructed justice' after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church's investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret. The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001. [Instead of assuming the papacy, this whackjob should be investigated by detectives Benson and Stabler on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.']

Mega barf alert! Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Lauds New Pope --pResident Bush is looking to Pope Benedict XVI to provide the same kind of moral leadership as the "spectacular" papacy of John Paul II, George W. Bush's brother said Saturday.

Medicare Change Will Limit Access to Claim Hearing --A new federal policy will make it significantly more difficult for Medicare beneficiaries to obtain hearings in person before a judge when the government denies their claims for home care, nursing home services, prescription drugs and other treatments. For years, hearings have been held at more than 140 Social Security offices around the country. In July, the Department of Health and Human Services will take over the responsibility, and department officials said all judges would then be located at just four sites.

Blair blow as secret war doubts revealed --Attorney General's advice on Iraq is leaked · He cast doubts on legality of invasion --The Iraq war was thrust dramatically into the election spotlight last night after long-sought government legal advice, cautioning that the invasion could be illegal, was leaked. The document appears to confirm for the first time that the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, had serious reservations about the legality of the conflict, only to change his mind as British and US troops massed on the border of Iraq ready to invade.

Rights Groups Reject Prison Abuse Findings --Human rights groups expressed dismay yesterday over the Army's findings exonerating U.S. generals of prisoner abuse in Iraq, and renewed requests for an independent probe to examine the culpability of senior military and civilian defense officials.

Cameraman killed, nine soldiers die in Iraq attacks --An Associated Press Television News cameraman was killed while covering a battle in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul [Oops! I guess Negroponte didn't want coverage of US terrorists in action], while nine Iraqi soldiers died in a suicide bombing west of Baghdad.

Insurgent Violence Intensifies in Iraq --Hundreds of Iraqis and foreigners have died in attacks this month while the nation's new 'leadership' remains in limbo.

Convoys targeted in Iraq attacks --At least 10 people were killed when US and Iraqi convoys were attacked by insurgents near Baghdad, officials say. One Iraqi died and at least five civilians and three US soldiers were wounded when a car bomb detonated near the US convoy on the airport road. Later, at least nine Iraqi National Guard soldiers were killed and 20 wounded near the Abu Ghraib prison, on Baghdad's western outskirts.

13 killed, 49 wounded in Iraq --Thirteen Iraqis were killed and at least 49 people wounded, including three US soldiers, in a spate of bomb and mortar attacks in and around Baghdad on Saturday, security sources said.

U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq --An American soldier was killed Saturday when his convoy was hit by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

U.S. Forces Detain Six Over Helicopter Downing --The U.S. military said on Saturday it had detained six Iraqi men in connection with the shooting down of a DoD-contracted ['commercial'] helicopter this week in which 11 people were killed, including six Americans.

Enrollment in Army ROTC Down in Past 2 School Years --Nationwide enrollment in the Army's Reserve Officers' Training Corps has slipped more than 16 percent over the past two school years, leaving the program, which trains and commissions more than six of every 10 new Army officers each year, with its fewest participants in nearly a decade.

Berlusconi Sworn in As Italian Premier --Conservative Silvio Berlusconi was sworn in as premier of the nation's 60th government in as many years Saturday, after naming a team of ministers that closely resembles the one he led until stepping down earlier this week in a power struggle with allies.

E-Mail Exchanges Reveal More Bolton Battles --Recently declassified e-mail messages provide new details of the bruising battle that John R. Bolton, then an under secretary of state, waged with analysts at the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency in 2002 as he sought to deliver a speech reflecting a hard-line view of Cuba and its possible efforts to acquire biological weapons.

Bolton Finds U.N. Nomination in Jeopardy --GOP support for nominee John R. Bolton cracked during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing early last week, so the chairman decided to postpone a vote that Bolton would have lost. Each new day has brought fresh allegations that Bolton dressed down subordinates or behaved, as one former colleague claimed, "like a madman," when he was crossed.

Rice changed terrorism report --A state department report which showed an increase in terrorism incidents around the world in 2004 was altered to strip it of its pessimistic statistics, it emerged yesterday. The country-by-country report, Patterns of Global Terrorism, has come out every year since 1986, accompanied by statistical tables. This year's edition showed a big increase, from 172 significant terrorist attacks in 2003 to 655 in 2004. Much of the increase took place in Iraq, contradicting recent Pentagon claims that the insurgency there is waning. Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, ordered the report to be withdrawn and a new one issued minus the statistics.

Feds Look Into Fake Hospital Inspectors 22 April 2005 --Federal authorities are looking into three closely bunched incidents in which people posing as inspectors were caught nosing around hospitals in Boston, Detroit and Los Angeles. Homeland Security is monitoring the incidents through local law enforcement authorities and FBI agents also have been called in, officials said.

GOP Volunteer Probed on Role at Bush's Speech --The U.S. Secret Service is investigating whether a Republican volunteer committed the crime of impersonating a federal agent while forcibly removing three people from one of pResident Bush's public Social Security events, according to people familiar with the probe.

Democrats: Bush Social Security plan is 'dead' --Dictator Bush's plan to partially privatize [eliminate] Social Security is dead, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said in a visit to Pittsburgh yesterday. Reid told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board that he had enough votes in the Senate to block Bush's proposal to introduce private savings accounts as an alternative to the existing federal retirement plan.

Democrats Hit Bush on Gas Prices, Energy Plan --George W. Bush should not be forced to ask for favors from Saudi Arabia to help lower near-record prices at American gas pumps, a senior Democratic congressman said on Saturday.

Chairman of Voting Reform Panel Resigns --The first chairman of a federal voting agency created after the 2000 election dispute is resigning, saying the government has not shown enough commitment to reform. DeForest Soaries said in an interview Friday that his resignation would take effect next week.

DeLay Trip Was Charged to Lobbyist's Credit Card --A plane trip to London and Scotland in 2000 by then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Terrorist-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.

Lobbyist Target of Several Investigations --Jack Abramoff's dealings are the subject of tangled criminal and congressional investigations that are attracting outsized interest, in part because of his close ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. DeLay, who took a number of overseas trips allegedly arranged or financed by Abramoff, once famously described the lobbyist as "one of my closest and dearest friends.'' ..."What sets this tale apart, what makes it truly extraordinary, is the extent and degree of the apparent exploitation and deceit,'' Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said at a congressional hearing last fall at which Abramoff repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment.

36 States Face Perchlorate Contamination --RIALTO, Calif. --Like dozens of other towns nationwide, this working-class suburb is facing an emerging threat of uncertain dimensions -- a chemical used in rocket fuel and defense manufacturing that has befouled nearly half its drinking water supply.

Outrage over usage of HIV positive children as Guinea pigs 23 April 2005 --Saying "the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) has perpetrated a 21st century Tuskegee Experiment on nearly 500 New York City children over the course of 15 years," New York State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright (D- Central Harlem/West Harlem) today demanded that the Vera Institute of Justice in conjunction with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services conduct a thorough investigation of ACS policy in light of its enrollment HIV-positive children who are in foster care in clinical drug trials during the late 1980s to 2001.

Evidence in Vioxx Suits Shows Intervention by Merck Officials --In 2000, amid rising concerns that its painkiller Vioxx posed heart risks, Merck overruled one of its own scientists after he suggested that a patient in a clinical trial had probably died of a heart attack.

Federal grand jury focuses on Wal-Mart --Probe targets claims former exec funneled company funds for anti-union activities. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has been on a mission to rehabilitate its public image, suffered a setback Friday when it confirmed it is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation. The probe involves accusations that the former vice chairman at the world's biggest retailer misspent up to $500,000 -- some of it allegedly for widely criticized anti-union activity.

Gay group wants award back from Microsoft --Microsoft's public-relations troubles intensified yesterday as news spread that the company had withdrawn support for state legislation banning discrimination against gays and lesbians. The legislation, House Bill 1515, was voted down Thursday by a single vote in the Washington state Senate.

Bird flu looking more like a pandemic 23 April 2005 --Public health officials in Vietnam fear the South Asian outbreak of bird flu is becoming less virulent and, thus, more likely to spawn a pandemic.

In Vietnam, A Dark Side To Good News On Bird Flu 23 April 2005 --More than a year after avian influenza emerged in East Asia, killing more than two-thirds of the people with confirmed cases, Vietnamese doctors are reporting that the mortality rate in their country has dropped substantially. This news could mean the outbreak of bird flu in Southeast Asia is taking an ominous turn. The less lethal bird flu becomes, international health experts say, the more likely it is to develop into the global pandemic they fear, potentially killing tens of millions of people.

Marburg haemorrhagic fever in Angola, 266 cases, 244 deaths 23 April 2005 --As of 20 April, the Ministry of Health in Angola has reported 266 cases of Marburg haemorrhagic fever. Of these cases, 244 were fatal.

Angola at Critical Stage in Marburg Battle -WHO 23 April 2005 --Angola is at a critical stage in its fight against an outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus and must step up its drive to bring the disease under control, the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) said Saturday.

The Flood starts in Europe 23 April 2005 --Thousands of people have been evacuated because of the flood, which is reportedly the most devastating one in 50 years --Thousands of residents of West Romania are urgently leaving their homes. Heavy rainfall, which continued for several days in a row, resulted in the most powerful flood in 50 years.

Snow Falls in Parts of Michigan, Ohio 24 April 2005 --More than a month after spring's official start, old man winter is coming back to the Midwest for a visit. Snow began falling in parts of the region on Saturday, with up to 1 foot expected in eastern Michigan and northern Ohio by Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service.

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Senate Urged to Probe CIA Practices --Intelligence Panel Should Examine Use of Rendition, Rockefeller Says --Taking to the Senate floor, the vice chairman of the intelligence committee chastised his colleagues yesterday for what he said was their failure to adequately monitor and evaluate the legality and effectiveness of the CIA's detention and interrogation practices. The capture and handling of terrorism suspects must be conducted "within the bounds of our laws and our own moral framework," said Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). "Congress has largely ignored the issue," he said.

Army Clears Top Abu Ghraib Case Officers --The Army has cleared four top officers -- including the three-star general who commanded all U.S. forces in Iraq -- of all allegations of wrongdoing in connection with prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and will not be punished, officials said Friday.

Negroponte's death squads are busy little bees: Corpses keep coming from Iraq's river of death --by James Hider "ABU Qaddum lays out the pictures of mutilated bodies dredged from the Tigris River like a player dealing cards... The shocking images come from Iraq's new killing fields - the small town of Madain, just 32km from Baghdad. In other times the massacre might have prompted calls for international intervention. But there are already 150,000 US and British troops in Iraq and this was done under their noses."

Car Bomb Kills Eight at Baghdad Mosque --A car bomb ripped through a crowded mosque during Friday prayers, killing eight people and wounding 26 in the latest attack...

TV: Militants Threaten to Kill Hostages --Three kidnapped Romanian journalists and their Iraqi-American translator say in a video that they will be killed by their Iraqi captors if Romania does not withdraw its troops within four days, Al-Jazeera reported Friday.

Video Appears to Show Insurgents Kill a Downed Pilot --At 2 p.m. Thursday, a Bulgarian-owned Mi-8 transport helicopter was shot down near the town of Taji, 12 miles northwest of Baghdad, with 11 men aboard. There were three Bulgarian crew members; six Americans working for the security company Blackwater USA, under contract to the United States Diplomatic Security Service; and two Fijian former soldiers employed as door-gunners. A video posted on the Internet by the Islamic Army in Iraq, an insurgent group, included a sequence that showed the execution of a survivor from the crash.

Helicopter crash videos surface, pilot shot in one --Bulgarian company IDs man, U.S. military investigates downing --As U.S. military investigators scoured the site near Baghdad where a 'civilian' [DoD-contracted] helicopter was downed, killing 11 people, a second video purporting to show the downing surfaced Friday and the Bulgarian company that employed the crew said a man fired on in an earlier video was the pilot.

Halliburton ends Iraq contract one-year early amid surging violence (HalliburtonWatch.org) "Halliburton announced today the 'completion' of its contract with the Pentagon to restore Iraq's dilapidated oil infrastructure. The announcement came as a surprise since the U.S. State Department reported last week that Iraq's oil infrastructure is far from restored. The report said guerrilla attacks, the decrepit state of oil facilities and delays in repairs have reduced Iraq's oil exports since last fall."

Venezuela Ends Military Program With U.S. --President Hugo Chavez's government has unexpectedly ended a military exchange program with United States, the U.S. Embassy in Caracas announced Friday.

Delay in Bolton Vote Concerns White House --Administration Fears Postponement May Bring More Public Opposition, New Questions --The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has set a vote over John R. Bolton's nomination as ambassador to the United Nations for May 12 -- a delay that Bush regime officials acknowledged yesterday is increasing their anxieties about Bolton's prospects.

Judge Accepts Moussaoui's Guilty Plea --Zacarias Moussaoui pleaded guilty Friday to helping al CIAduh carry out the Sept. 11 hijackings and said he understood he could be put to death for his role in the deadliest terror attack in American history. [When will Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld plead guilty to their roles in the Sept. 11 attacks?]

Moussaoui Pleads Guilty in 9/11 Conspiracy --Zacarias Moussaoui pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring with the hijackers in the Sept. 11 plot and declared Osama bin Laden personally instructed him to fly an airliner into the White House in a separate assault.

Rice Accused of Suppressing Terror Info --A senior House Democrat who has been sharply critical of State Department reporting on terrorism is accusing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of denying Congress and the public important information about the number of incidents. "There appears to be a pattern in the administration's approach to terrorism data: favorable facts are revealed while unfavorable facts are suppressed,'' Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California said in a letter to the department's acting inspector general, Cameron R. Hume.

New Terrorism Response Plan Angers Fire Dept. --Days before New York City is to make public its plan for managing the emergency response at major disasters, senior Fire Department officials still have grave concerns about the part of the plan that gives the Police Department primary responsibility at the scene of a biological or chemical attack.

In Portland, Ore., a Bid to Pull Out of Terror Task Force --Citing irreconcilable differences with how the Federal Bureau of Investigation has operated in a post-Sept. 11 world, city officials in Portland, Ore., said yesterday that they planned to pull their police officers out of an F.B.I.-run anti[pro]terrorism task force.

Mayor wants Portland out of anti-terror task force --Mayor Tom Potter proposed that two Portland Police Bureau officers pull out of the anti[pro]-terror task force after he and the Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to resolve their disagreements about how much access city leaders should have to top-secret information.

Homeland security center proposed for Cape Cod base --Gov. Mitt Romney (R) urged Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Friday to establish a homeland security training center near existing military facilities on Cape Cod.

Airline Crash 'Drill/Exercise' In DC Area Set For April 23, 2005 --"BWI [Baltimore/Washington International Airport] is conducting a drill/exercise at the airport Saturday, April 23, 2005. The scenario is a commercial airline crash within the perimeter of the airport."

Activists Ask Who Led Them From Bush Event --A lawyer for three people removed from a George W. Bush town hall meeting - allegedly because of a "No More Blood for Oil" bumper sticker on their car - said Friday he is seeking the identity of the man who escorted the activists out, and plans to sue.

The new McCarthyism --A witch hunt against a Columbia professor, and the New York Times' disgraceful support for it, represent the gravest threat to academic freedom in decades. --by Juan Cole "A member of the U.S. Congress calls for an assistant professor at a major university to be summarily fired... It is not 1953, the Congress member is not Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and the professor is not being accused of being a communist. No, it is 2005, the Congress member is Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., and the professor is being accused of being anti-Israel. The lesson for academics, and American society as a whole: McCarthyism is unacceptable except when criticism of Israel is involved."

Bush's Most Radical Plan Yet --With a vote of hand-picked lobbyists, the president could terminate any federal agency he dislikes --by Osha Gray Davidson "The spending plan that President [sic] Bush submitted to Congress this year contains 2,000 pages that outline funding to safeguard the environment, protect workers from injury and death, crack down on securities fraud and ensure the safety of prescription drugs. But almost unnoticed in the budget, tucked away in a single paragraph, is a provision that could make every one of those protections a thing of the past. The proposal, spelled out in three short sentences, would give the president the power to appoint an eight-member panel called the 'Sunset Commission,' which would systematically review federal programs every ten years and decide whether they should be eliminated. Any programs that are not 'producing results,' in the eyes of the commission, would 'automatically terminate unless the Congress took action to continue them.'"

Cheney Enters Fray on Judicial Nominees --Vice pResident Vows to Ban Filibusters on Judges If His Vote Is Needed to Break a Tie --The White House intervened in Congress's bitterly partisan debate over federal judges yesterday, as Vice pResident Cheney vowed to break a tie vote if necessary to change Senate rules and ban filibusters of judicial nominees.

Ga. Gov. Signs Voter ID Mandate Into Law --Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-Coupmeister) on Friday signed into law a requirement that voters show photo identification before casting ballots, legislation that had prompted most black lawmakers to walk out of the state Capitol. Previously, registered voters could present a Social Security card or other non-photo ID when they arrived to vote.

Orders from above --The Pontiff has shown he is likely to challenge the separation of church and state, writes David Marr. "[Joseph] Ratzinger came to Rome in 1981 when John Paul II appointed the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich as Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith - once known as the Inquisition. The two men particularly saw eye to eye on the church's dogma of sex and family: no divorce, no contraception, no sex outside marriage, no homosexuality, no IVF, no stem cell research. Also, no drugs. Ratzinger's role at the congregation was to enforce this orthodoxy, both in the church and the wider world... Some [the congregation's letters] are addressed to bishops - like Ratzinger's 1988 letter banning safe-sex education and ordering people with AIDS never to wear condoms, not even when sleeping with their wives."

2 Evangelicals Want to Strip Courts' Funds --Taped at a private conference, the leaders outline ways to punish jurists they oppose. Evangelical Christian leaders, who have been working closely with senior Republican lawmakers to place conservative judges in the federal courts, have also been exploring ways to punish sitting jurists and even entire courts viewed as hostile to their cause.

'NYT' Preview: New Public Broadcasting Chief Wants Conservative Viewers --by E&P Staff "In this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Ken Ferree, the new president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, says he wants PBS, long considered a liberal bastion, to attract more conservative viewers. 'Does public television belong to the Democrats?' he asks."

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Condemns Microsoft's Withdrawal of Support for Civil Rights Bill, Asks Company to Return Award (U.S Newswire) "In response to Microsoft's withdrawal of support for legislation that would have outlawed discrimination against gay and lesbian people in Washington, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, which presented Microsoft with its Corporate Vision Award in 2001, is asking the company to return the award."

White House to Enforce Abortion-Fetus Law --The Bush regime said Friday that it would enforce a nearly 3-year-old federal law that requires doctors to attempt to keep alive a fetus that survives an abortion.

Westchester Sex Offenders May Be Tracked By Satellite --WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Westchester County may soon be using a global positioning system to track the movements of convicted sex offenders, County Executive Andrew Spano said Thursday.

Passing the Buck --by Paul Krugman "Why do we put up with such an expensive, counterproductive health care system? Vested interests play an important role. But we also suffer from ideological blinders: decades of indoctrination in the virtues of market competition and the evils of big government have left many Americans unable to comprehend the idea that sometimes competition is the problem, not the solution."

Senators leery of oil deal --ChevronTexaco's plans to buy Unocal need review, they say 19 April 2005 --Ten U.S. senators called on federal regulators Monday to review ChevronTexaco's purchase of Unocal, saying the deal could drive up gas prices. The senators were led by New York Democrat Charles Schumer, who said the $18.4 billion deal would place too much oil in too few corporate hands.

Bush Pushes 'Clear Skies' [sic] Bill --On a stormy day that prevented Dictator Bush from visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, he said "it would sure be helpful" if Congress would pass an air pollution proposal he calls "clear skies legislation." The legislation would give power plants, factories and refineries more time to reduce their air pollution. [In essence, it is 'Dirty Skies' legislation.]

900,000-year-old ice may destroy US case on Kyoto --An Italian expedition to the Antarctic has taken a sample of ice which is more than 900,000 years old and could give scientists evidence of past climate changes which would discredit global warming doubters.

Study Says Antarctic Glaciers Are Shrinking, Sea Levels May Climb --Most of the coastal glaciers along the 1,200-mile Antarctic Peninsula have shrunk as temperatures have risen over the past 50 years, and sea levels may climb if the trend continues, according to a study published today in the journal Science.

First case of human mad cow disease in the Netherlands 22 April 2005 --Authorities in the Netherlands have confirmed they have a patient in hospital with vCJD (the human form of Mad Cow Disease).

*****

Senate GOP Sets Up Filibuster Showdown --Two Bush Nominees Sent to Floor for Test Between Republicans and Democrats --Moving the Senate closer to a historic confrontation, the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee yesterday endorsed two of Dictator Bush's most controversial nominees (Reichwing whackjobs) to federal appellate court, and Democrats vowed once again to use the filibuster to block their confirmation.

House Approves Broad Energy Bill --The House approved a far-ranging energy bill Thursday that would open an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling and shield makers of a controversial gasoline additive from environmental lawsuits - both issues likely to meet strong opposition in the Senate. The bill also would funnel more than $12 billion in tax breaks and subsidies to energy companies.

House Approves $8 Billion Energy Bill --The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday solidly approved an $8 billion energy bill, brushing aside Democratic criticism that the legislation is a giveaway to big energy companies while motorists face record-high gasoline prices.

House approves energy bill allowing drilling in Alaska refuge --The House approved a broad energy bill Thursday aimed at boosting domestic production, including provisions to allow oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge and to shield makers of a gasoline additive from water contamination lawsuits.

US Senate approves $81 billion for Iraq, Afghanistan --The US Senate has overwhelmingly approved $81 billion for Halliburton and Monsanto ['wars in Iraq and Afghanistan'] in a spending bill that would push the total cost of combat and reconstruction past $300 billion.

DoD Helicopter Transporting Blackwater Mercenaries Shot Down --Eleven people, including six American mercenaries from the security firm Blackwater USA working for the United States military, were killed Thursday when a SkyLink Air and Logistic Support helicopter crashed near the capital, according to officials from Blackwater and the company that chartered the aircraft. "We believe it was brought down by hostile fire," Robert Callahan, an official at the American Embassy in Baghdad, said... A statement issued by Blackwater described SkyLink as operating under contract to Blackwater "in support of a Department of Defense contract."

Helicopter shot down in Iraq; 11 dead --A commercial helicopter [contracted by the U.S. Defense Department] was shot down by missile fire north of the Iraqi capital Thursday, killing 11 people, including six American mercenaries, officials said. ...In Washington, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the six Americans were employees of Blackwater Security Consulting — a subsidiary of North Carolina-based Blackwater USA — and were assisting the Bureau of Diplomatic Security in protecting American diplomats in Iraq.

Senate Plans Vote on War Spending Bill --The Senate's $81 billion bill for Halliburton and Monsanto ['wars in Iraq and Afghanistan'] would give Dictator Bush much of the money he requested, just like the version the House passed last month. Still, the Republican-controlled House and Senate were heading for a showdown as negotiators write the final bill, a compromise between the two versions.

Iraq Chief Says a Mass Killing, Under Dispute, Did Take Place --The new US-installed Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, said Wednesday that more than 50 bodies had been discovered in the Tigris River and suggested that they were victims of a mass kidnapping south of Baghdad that other Iraqi officials had insisted was a hoax just three days before.

The shadow Iraqi government --by Pepe Escobar "The ideal White House/Pentagon script for Iraq calls for a pro-American government, total control of at least 12% of the world's known oil reserves and 14 military bases to make it happen... On his latest trip designed to issue orders for the new, supposedly sovereign Iraqi government, [Donald] Rumsfeld, in a splendid Freudian slip, let it be known on the record the US 'does not have an exit strategy' in Iraq: only a 'victory strategy'. This is code for 'we're not going anywhere'."

Army sergeant convicted in deadly grenade attack FORT BRAGG, N.C. --An Army sergeant was convicted Thursday by a military jury of premeditated murder and attempted murder in a grenade and rifle attack that killed two of his comrades and wounded 14 others in Kuwait during the opening days of the Iraq war.

Kremlin disputes Rice's claim on US nuclear inspections --Condoleezza Rice's first trip to Moscow as US secretary of state ended amid disagreement last night when the Kremlin contradicted her claim that Russia was considering letting American inspectors check its nuclear sites.

God help us all: Rice Announces Presidential Run by Mistake --It was a long interview in Moscow, but for just a moment Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared Wednesday that she would seek the U.S. presidency. "One day you will run for president?" Rice was asked on Ekko Moskvy Radio. "President, da, da," Rice readily replied. That, as nearly everyone knows, even if they are not fluent in Russian as Rice is believed to be, means yes.

Negroponte Confirmed By Senate as First Intelligence Director --John Negroponte was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a 98-2 vote as the nation's first director of national intelligence, a job created to coordinate the nation's 15 intelligence agencies and prevent [foment] terrorist attacks.

Bush Backs His U.N. Nominee, but Powell Warns of Volatility --George W. Bush on Thursday issued a strong new defense of John R. Bolton, his nominee as ambassador to the United Nations. But associates of Colin L. Powell, the former secretary of state, said he had expressed reservations about Mr. Bolton in conversations with at least two wavering Republican senators.

Senate Urged to Confirm Bolton Nomination --George W. Bush on Thursday urged the Senate to confirm John R. Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as a key Republican senator signaled he is leaning against the nominee accused of mistreating co-workers. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., said he is troubled by Bolton's behavior and wants to discuss it with other Republican senators.

Religion at Issue in Judicial Fight --As the Senate battle over judicial confirmations became increasingly entwined with religious themes, officials of several major Protestant denominations on Thursday accused the Senate Republican leader, Bill Frist, of violating the principles of his own Presbyterian church and urged him to drop out of a Sunday telecast that depicts Democrats as "against people of faith."

Bush's Rat: Neil Bush, Ratzinger co-founders --pResident's younger brother served with then-cardinal on board of relatively unknown ecumenical foundation --Neil Bush, George W. Bush's controversial younger brother, six years ago joined the cardinal who this week became Pope Benedict XVI as a founding board member of a little known Swiss ecumenical foundation. The charter members of the board were all well-known international religious figures, except for Bush and his close friend and business partner, Jamal Daniel, whose family has extensive holdings in the United States and Switzerland, public records show.

Congressman seeks probe on US terrorism statistics --A Democratic congressman on Thursday demanded an investigation of the State Department's decision to stop releasing annual data on terrorist attacks and accused it of keeping vital information from the public. U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman of California suggested the Bush regime was selectively disclosing only favorable terrorism statistics, which are sensitive because they are one measure of whether it is winning the war on terrorism.

CIA said to have wrongly held German suspect --CIA operatives held a German citizen in a prison in Afghanistan for six weeks even after determining he was not an Osama bin Laden associate and despite an order from then-U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, NBC News reported on Thursday.

US 'to toughen airspace checks' --The US is planning to force foreign airlines crossing its soil to provide passenger lists as part of tougher guards against terrorist attacks. Presently this measure only applies to planes actually landing at US airports.

Air marshal sues Homeland Security chief over speech restrictions --A federal air marshal on Thursday sued Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other officials to block government rules that prevent him from speaking out about possible security lapses.

Judge's warning to media on terror (Aus.) A senior judge has admitted intelligence agencies would never have picked up Sydney terror suspect Zaky Mallah without the interest of the media. But in sentencing the former pizza delivery boy to two and a half years' jail yesterday, Justice James Wood warned newspapers against publishing the views of potentially dangerous religious extremists.

Muslims Detained at Border Sue U.S. Homeland Security --American Muslims detained at the border as they returned from a religious conference in Toronto sued the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday alleging they were targets of ethnic and religious profiling.

FBI Protects Osama bin Laden's "Right to Privacy" In Document Release --Judicial Watch Investigation Uncovers FBI Documents Concerning Bin Laden Family and Post-9/11 Flights 20 April 2005 (Judicial Watch Press Release) "Judicial Watch, the public interest group that fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act ('FOIA') in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation ('FBI') has invoked privacy right protections on behalf of al Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden. In a September 24, 2003 declassified 'Secret' FBI report obtained by Judicial Watch, the FBI invoked Exemption 6 under FOIA law on behalf of bin Laden, which permits the government to withhold all information about U.S. persons in 'personnel and medical files and similar files' when the disclosure of such information 'would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.' (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6) (2000)) ...Many of the references in the redacted documents cite publicly available news articles from sources such as The Washington Post and Associated Press." [Click here for FOIA document, censored.]

Moussaoui Scheduled to Offer Guilty Plea --Judge Finds Terror Suspect Competent --Zacarias Moussaoui is scheduled to step into a federal courtroom in Alexandria tomorrow, stand before a judge and admit a role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, federal court officials and sources familiar with his case said yesterday. [When Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld offer their guilty pleas for the Sept. 11 terror attacks?]

Court Closes FBI Case Arguments to Public --A federal appeals court Thursday barred the public from arguments in the case of a fired FBI contractor who alleged security breaches and misconduct at the agency. Sibel Edmonds' lawsuit against the government was thrown out of a lower court when the Bush regime invoked the state secrets privilege, which allows the government to withhold information to safeguard national security.

Reservist who held migrants at gunpoint won't be prosecuted --Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas won't prosecute an Army reservist who held seven Mexican men at gunpoint at a southwestern Arizona rest stop.

Ohio Nuclear Operator May Face Record Fine --The Nuclear Regulatory Commission proposed a record $5.45 million fine Thursday against the operator of a nuclear plant where leaking acid ate nearly all the way through a 6-inch-thick steel cap on the reactor vessel. The NRC said FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. restarted the Davis-Besse plant in 2000 without completing a cleaning and inspection of the reactor vessel head, then misled the agency about what it had done.

Feds' weather information could go dark --Do you want a seven-day weather forecast for your ZIP code? ...Or weather data beamed to your cellphone? That information is available for free from the National Weather Service. But under a bill pending in the U.S. Senate, it might all disappear. The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Terrorist-Pa., would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites.

Clinton impeachment was retaliation for Nixon, says retiring congressman --Republican Congressman Henry Hyde made some surprising comments Thursday on the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton. He now says Republicans may have gone after Clinton to retaliate for the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Hyde is stepping down after this term.

Election Panel Fines Frist's Volunteer PAC --The Federal Election Commission fined Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's political action committee $10,000 for misstating or failing to adequately report certain financial information.

Poll: Casey Leads Santorum by 14 Points (PA) Democratic state Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr., who hopes to challenge Republican Sen. Rick Santorum next year, increased his lead to 14 points in a poll released Wednesday. Casey, the son of a former governor, was favored in the Quinnipiac University poll, taken amid Santorum's high-profile push of George W. Bush's Social Security elimination ['overhaul'] plan and his backing of the recent congressional intervention in the Terri Schiavo case.

"Diebold is holding the county hostage to try to extort money.'' Voting officials slam Diebold on instant-runoff system --Company accused of moving too slowly to update machines -- Advocates of instant-runoff voting say Alameda County officials and Diebold Election Systems are dragging their feet, preventing a majority winner in a current Oakland City Council mail election and slowing efforts for instant-runoff voting in Berkeley. In addition, several dozen election-reform advocates, including some local government officials, protested outside Alameda County offices in Oakland on Tuesday against what they said was an attempt by Diebold to overcharge the county for implementing instant-runoff voting. "Diebold is holding the county hostage to try to extort money,'' said Dave Heller, a co-coordinator of the successful campaign for instant-runoff voting in Berkeley, where it was approved by voters last year.

CMU says hacker broke into computers 21 April 2005 --More than 5,000 alerted to possible identity thefts --A hacker who tapped into business school computers at Carnegie Mellon University may have compromised sensitive personal data belonging to 5,000 to 6,000 graduate students, staff, alumni and others, officials said yesterday.

Antarctic glaciers in mass retreat --Shifting pattern linked to warming on icy peninsula. Almost all the glaciers that flow into the sea off the Antarctic Peninsula are retreating. The discovery comes from an analysis spanning more than half a century of aerial photographs and satellite images.

Antarctic glacier retreat linked to warming --A new study of glaciers in a portion of the Antarctic finds that 84 percent of them have retreated over the past 50 years in response to a warmer climate.

*****

Warning on spread of state surveillance --Governments are building a "global registration and surveillance infrastructure" in the US-led "war on terror", civil liberty groups warned yesterday. The aim is to monitor the movements and activities of entire populations in what campaigners call "an unprecedented project of social control".

Passenger Lists Sought For Flights Over U.S. --The proposal has angered European, Mexican and Canadian airlines, which operate most of the 500 estimated daily overflights. The U.S. government plans to force foreign airlines flying over American soil to turn over the names of passengers on board or check the names against U.S. government watch lists in an effort to prevent 'terrorists' from entering U.S. airspace.

Former Gitmo Detainees Warned Not to Talk --Seventeen Afghan men released from the U.S. detention center for 'terror' suspects in Guantanamo Bay were turned over to local authorities in Kabul on Tuesday with a warning not to discuss mistreatment at the facility. At least one of the men nonetheless accused the U.S. military of abuse.

Iraq Prime Minister Escapes Assassination Attempt --Iraq's caretaker prime minister Iyad Allawi escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday night when a suicide bomber in a car attacked his convoy near his home, a government spokesman said.

Negroponte's death squads are busy little bees: Dozens of bodies found in Iraq --69 found in river, stadium --The bodies of more than 50 people have been recovered from the Tigris River and have been identified, US-installed 'President' Jalal Talabani said Wednesday. He said the bodies were believed to have been those of hostages seized in a region south of Baghdad earlier this month.

U.S. Military's Elite Hacker Crew --The U.S. military has assembled the world's most formidable hacker posse: a super-secret, multimillion-dollar weapons program that may be ready to launch bloodless cyberwar against enemy networks -- from electric grids to telephone nets. The group's existence was revealed during a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last month. Military leaders from U.S. Strategic Command, or Stratcom, disclosed the existence of a unit called the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare, or JFCCNW.

Yale Divinity Consultants Warned --Yale Divinity School Report Warned of Proselytizing at Air Force Academy Last Summer --Consultants from Yale Divinity School told the Air Force Academy last summer that a Protestant chaplain had promoted Christianity with a fire-and-brimstone warning during cadet basic training.

U.S. Appeals Court Refuses to Rehear CIA Leak Case --A U.S. appeals court refused on Tuesday to rehear a case in which it had ruled that two 'journalists' must disclose conversations with their confidential sources to a grand jury investigating a leak that exposed the identity of a covert CIA operative.

Berlusconi resigns, planning to form new government --Silvio Berlusconi, faced with mounting criticism over Italy's sluggish economy and its involvement in Iraq, resigned Wednesday as premier but vowed to quickly form a stronger new Cabinet to restore confidence in his leadership. [*See: "The Weasel Watch Tracks the Coalition Exodus" by Mary Titus for new Berlusconi rat!!]

Arrest order for Ecuador leader --Ecuador's new President Alfredo Palacio has ordered the arrest of the former leader, Lucio Gutierrez, who was sacked by Congress on Wednesday. After the vote, the army withdrew support for Mr Gutierrez, who left the presidential palace by helicopter. State prosecutors ordered Mr Gutierrez's arrest for the violent crackdown on the demonstrations in which at least one person has been killed.

Blair defiant over Iraq decision --Tony Blair has defended his decision to go to war in Iraq as a tough choice but one that was "the right thing to do".

Murdoch's UK 'Sun' Paper to Endorse Tony Blair For Re-Elect --"The Sun newspaper has decided to endorse Labour’s bid for a historic third term."

GOP Senator Wavers on Bolton --Yes Vote Less Likely, Chafee Signals; White House Defends U.N. Nominee --A key Republican senator signaled yesterday he is less likely to support the embattled nomination of John R. Bolton to be United Nations ambassador after a dramatic meeting Tuesday, and said he would discuss with GOP colleagues whether Dictator Bush should withdraw Bolton's name. Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee that is weighing the nomination, "is less likely right now" to vote to confirm Bolton, his spokesman Stephen Hourahan said in an interview.

White House Works to Shore Up Bolton Nomination --The White House accused Democrats on Wednesday of blocking John Bolton's nomination for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for political reasons, as lawmakers examined fresh information Democrats said pointed to Bolton's abusive behavior.

Bolton Should Step Aside (Los Angeles Times) "President [sic] Bush's nomination of John Bolton to become United Nations ambassador began as an embarrassment and is ending as a disgrace. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was right to delay a scheduled vote and resist being railroaded by the administration into approving him. ...Bolton appears to have willfully and systematically suppressed and misused classified information, including bullying civil service officials who dared to challenge his apocalyptic assessments of North Korean, Iraqi and Cuban weapons programs."

Bishops Move to Counter 'Skewed Vision' of Pope -- Seven U.S. cardinals here today sought in unison to put a kinder, gentler face on Pope [Rat] Benedict XVI, whose election as the successor of Pope John Paul II has drawn mixed reactions from American Catholics.

Back to the future with Joseph Ratzinger --The new Pope Benedict XVI's defence of conservative orthodoxy has not made him popular with more progressive Catholics, writes Stephen Bates --"[Cardinal Joseph] Ratzinger's defence of conservative orthodoxy may have been part of his job, but it hasn't made him popular, especially in more progressive corners of the faith. In western Europe and North America, in particular, there is an acute perception that the church is losing ground and needs to reinvigorate the flock with a less uncompromising hostility to the outside world... [I]t has been revealed that as a very young man, Ratzinger did indeed serve briefly and unenthusiastically ['Unenthusiastically' - Really?] with the Hitler Youth and later a German army anti-aircraft unit, though he has claimed never to have fired a shot in anger." [Nazi pope said: "...[F]rom Marxism to free-market liberalism to even libertarianism, from collectivism to radical individualism, from atheism to a vague religion, from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth." Marxism isn't an "anything goes" relativism, but rather an anti-Nazi Pope, anti-religious ideology, anti-exploitation, pro-human liberation dictatorship of the working class. Marxism has DEFINITE plans for Nazi Popes like "Benda-Dick!" --MDR]

Bush Hails Newly Elected Pope Benedict --George W. Bush on Tuesday called newly elected Pope Benedict XVI a "man of great wisdom and knowledge." [Consider the source, folks-- a moronic idiotic lying dictatorial war criminal calls a Nazi Hitler youth, homophobe and repressive ideologue a 'man of great wisdom and knowledge.' Bush wouldn’t know knowledge and wisdom if, like a pair of rottweilers, they bit him on the ass. --MDR]

The New Pope is a Disaster for the World and for the Jews --Since the days in which he served in the Nazi army in Germany, to his role as the leader of the forces that suppressed the liberatory aspects of Vatican II and purged the most creative leaders of the Catholic Church, Joseph Ratzinger has distinguished himself as a man who disrespects other religions and sides with the most repressive elements in the Catholic world. Jewish Leader Denounces Selection of Cardinal Ratzinger as New Pope --Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the world's largest circulation progressive Jewish magazine, TIKKUN, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in San Francisco, took the unusual step of criticizing the choice made by the Catholic Church for its new Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Nazis active in education ministers secret society --by Cathy Alegbe 16/1/2005 "Neo-Nazis are active inside a 'cult-like' secretive Catholic society linked to newly-promoted Education Secretary Ruth Kelly, Blink can reveal. The fast-rising Labour minister is a member of Opus Dei, an organisation whose former leader supported Adolf Hitler and Spanish fascist General Franco. A Blink investigation has found that links to neo-Nazis does not stop there. We have discovered a senior Opus Dei member in London who is also a member of the far-right National Front."

US terror suspect up for election --A UK citizen wanted by the US on 'terror' charges has announced he will stand as a candidate in the general election. Babar Ahmad, 30, will fight the seat in Brent North, London, for the Peace and Progress Party. His candidature was announced outside Bow Street Magistrates' Court, where he is undergoing extradition proceedings.

Man wanted in United States on terror charges runs for election --A British man wanted by the United States on 'terror' charges is running for Parliament in Britain's national election next month for a party that opposes the U.S.-led war in Iraq, party officials said Wednesday. Babar Ahmad, 30, is a candidate in the London district of Brent North for the human rights party Peace and Progress, which is campaigning for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. [He has my vote!]

US offers $5 million reward for suspected militants --The United States offered up to $5 million in rewards on Wednesday for two men of Tunisian descent whom U.S officials believe have ties to al Qaeda and may plan or launch attacks on the United States or Canada. [Ah, the preemptive arrest]

Homeland Security Violates Civil Rights of Muslim American Citizens --Many Held Overnight After Attending Mainstream Islamic Conference 20 April 2005 (ACLU Press Release) "The New York Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations in simultaneous news conferences in Buffalo and Brooklyn today announced a lawsuit charging that the Department of Homeland Security singled out and violated the rights of American citizens who were returning from a religious conference in Toronto."

RFID establishes positive ID in government --In the government market, Radio frequency identification (RFID) is rapidly moving beyond DOD. The Energy Department, Homeland Security Department, NASA and the Social Security Administration are among the civilian agencies pursuing RFID.

Truckers bristle at anti-terror rules --Con-Way Transportation Services' 12,000-plus drivers soon will have to submit to fingerprinting and FBI background checks to drive their goods around the country... Beginning May 31, the 2.7 million truckers who haul materials that the government deems hazardous will face immigration and criminal background checks before they can renew special commercial licenses.

Probe Finds Overspending for TSA Center --Unethical, Perhaps Illegal, Inspector General Reports --The Transportation Security Administration has failed to stop excessive spending, raising concerns of "unethical and possibly illegal activities" by employees who spent $500,000 on artwork and silk plants for a new operations center, according to a government report released yesterday.

Transportation Security Agency Criticized --The Transportation Security Administration wasted money on an operations office lavishly equipped with artwork, tens of thousands of dollars of silk flowers, expensive kitchen equipment and a state-of-the-art fitness center with towel service, according to a report by the inspector general of the Homeland Security Department that was released on Tuesday. Some of those supplies were improperly bought from a company owned by an acquaintance of the agency's project manager, according to the report.

Prerelease Pirates Could Receive Jail Time --A new bill that would imprison pre-release file pirates for up to three years is just a few procedural steps away from becoming law. The bill, known as the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, which includes the Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005 or the ART Act, was crafted to sentence distributors of prerelease copies of films, songs or other works for up to three years. The bill also would permit companies like ClearPlay to edit films for language and content.

Hundreds protest police brutality 19 April 2005 (NYC) More than 300 protesters gathered outside of City Hall Park yesterday afternoon for Racial Justice Day to remember victims of police brutality and demand an end to policies which allegedly target communities of color, members of the LGBT community, the homeless and those with low income.

Suit filed on county vote machines 8 April 2005 --A contract between Snohomish County (WA) and a private firm is unconstitutional, two Everett men argue in court action. --Two Everett men filed suit Thursday to void the contract between Snohomish County and the maker of its electronic voting machines, claiming the deal illegally shifts control of vote counting from the public to a private company.

House votes for oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge --The House voted late Wednesday to allow oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge as part of a broad energy bill that Democrats said would funnel billions of dollars to highly profitable energy companies while doing little to promote conservation or ease gasoline prices.

Navajo council outlaws uranium mining --WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. --Uranium mining and processing will be outlawed on the Navajo reservation if President Joseph Shirley signs a bill passed Tuesday morning by the Navajo Nation Council.

Some NIH Scientists Hire Law Firm to Fight New Rules --Scientists at the National Institutes of Health who are fighting new rules that would end their financial ties to the drug industry have hired, at a favorable rate, a law and lobbying firm that also represents the companies.

Bush signs new tougher bankruptcy law --George W. Bush signed legislation on Wednesday that makes it tougher for Americans to wipe out their debts and start over.

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy will get tougher soon --George W. Bush signed legislation Wednesday that will make it more difficult for Americans with large credit card and medical bills to erase their obligations.

Prices are surging – and it's not just gasoline --Americans got hit with an economic double whammy last month. They had to pay more for gasoline, clothes, airline tickets and a lot of other products. And their wages did not keep up with inflation. It was the second month in a row that wages, after adjusting for inflation, had fallen.

Nikkei Falls 2.8 Pct on U.S. Economy Worry 20 April 2005 9:21:00 PM ET --Japan's Nikkei share average fell 2.87 percent to four-month lows by mid-morning on Thursday as renewed concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy triggered a broad sell-off.

Dow sinks to 2005 low as inflation fears rise --Blue-chip stocks tumbled to fresh 2005 year lows Wednesday as a jump in consumer prices fanned inflation fears and overshadowed better-than-expected earnings from companies such as Caterpillar and Intel.

Oops! Ameritrade loses backup tape containing 200K client files --Leading online discount broker Ameritrade said Tuesday it has informed about 200,000 current and former customers that a backup computer tape containing their personal information has been lost.

AP: DeLay used lobbyist's concert skybox --House leader's PAC didn't reimburse for use of arena seating --House Majority Leader Tom DeLay treated his political donors to a bird’s-eye view of a Three Tenors concert from an arena skybox leased by a lobbyist now under criminal investigation.

GOP Offers Probe of DeLay's Actions --Democrats Unsatisfied by Rules 21 April 2005 --House Republicans yesterday offered to open an investigation into overseas travel and other activities by Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Terrorist-Tex.) as part of an effort to resolve a three-month impasse with the Democrats that has kept the ethics committee from functioning.

Sen. Jeffords Says He Plans to Step Down --Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.), whose abrupt defection from the Republican Party in May 2001 handed control of the Senate to the Democrats for the next 19 months, announced yesterday that he would not seek a fourth term in 2006 due to his and his wife's health problems.

US accused of trying to block abortion pills --The US government is trying to block the World Health Organisation from endorsing two abortion pills which could save the lives of some of the 68,000 women who die from unsafe practices in poor countries every year.

Connecticut Legalizes Civil Unions for Gay Couples --Connecticut became the first U.S. state on Wednesday to legalize civil unions for gay couples without the prodding of a court, following an overwhelming approval of the state legislature and a prompt signature by (Republican) Gov. Jodi Rell.

Texas May Ban Gay Foster Parents --Texas could become the only state to bar gays from becoming foster parents under legislation passed Wednesday by the House.

All samples of killer flu virus outside USA are now found [What about the samples *inside* the US? We have a stark-raving serial terrorist (Bush) running amok - we need to find and destroy the US samples before the Bush regime spreads bioterror, as they did in October 2001 with the Fort Detrick anthrax!] 20 April 2005 --All samples of the killer influenza virus sent outside the United States have been destroyed except for one in Lebanon, the U.N. health agency said Wednesday. The sample that had gone missing in Beirut "was found at the airport," [?!? LOL!] said Maria Cheng, spokeswoman for the World Health Organization.

Mega barf alert! Bush Regime May Ease 'Downer Cattle' Ban The Bush regime said on Friday it may allow some injured cattle to be slaughtered for human food, easing a regulation that the Agriculture Department adopted 15 months ago after the nation's first case of mad cow disease. [Hopefully, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove will dine on those burgers.]

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New pope intervened against Kerry in US 2004 election campaign --German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican theologian [and former Hitler youth] who was elected Pope Benedict XVI, intervened in the 2004 US election campaign ordering bishops to deny communion to abortion rights supporters including presidential candidate John Kerry.

Former Hitler Youth, Nicknamed "God's Rottweiler," Selected As Next Pope, Future of Catholicism Among Members of the Next Generation Gravely in Doubt (The Nashua Advocate) "In a move certain to further alienate and anger non-practicing, lapsed, and semi-practicing Catholics the world over, the Catholic Church--whose pre-1970 history of anti-Semitism is matched only in its audacity by the Church's sorry history of appeasing Hitler--has selected a former member of the World War II-era Hitler Youth to be the next Pope... Benedict, for his part, has a history of rhetoric, policy, and dogma roughly consistent with the hard-line past which now haunts him as Pope, acting as 'the driving force behind crackdowns on liberation theology, religious pluralism, challenges to traditional moral teachings on issues such as homosexuality, and dissent on such issues as women's ordination.'"

Extreme Homophobe Ratzinger Elected New Pope --by Malcolm Thornberry "Joseph Ratzinger one of the most conservative Cardinals in the Catholic Church was elected Pope on Tuesday. Ratzinger was John Paul's deputy for theology as head of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Congregation was the same organization responsible for the Spanish Inquisition."

Liberal U.S. Catholics Dismayed at Choice of Pope --Liberal U.S. Catholics on Tuesday expressed dismay at the choice of a conservative new pope and doubted he will heal the institution...

Aid worker uncovered America's secret tally of Iraqi civilian deaths --A week before she was killed by Negroponte's death squads ['a suicide bomber'], humanitarian worker Marla Ruzicka forced military commanders to admit they did keep records of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces.

Soldiers' 'Wish Lists' of Detainee [Torture] Tactics Cited --Army intelligence officials in Iraq developed and circulated "wish lists" of harsh interrogation techniques [torture] they hoped to use on detainees in August 2003, including tactics such as low-voltage electrocution, blows with phone books and using dogs and snakes -- suggestions that some soldiers believed spawned abuse and illegal interrogations. [The PentaPost, in deference to its CIA paymasters, avoids the word *torture* to describe extracting information from prisoners via low-voltage electrocution, dogs, and *snakes.*]

Iraqi Lawmaker Says U.S. Soldier Grabbed His Throat --An Iraqi lawmaker accused a U.S. soldier of grabbing him by the throat and shoving him to the ground Tuesday after he parked his car in Baghdad's Green Zone.

Suicide Car Bomb Kills a Dozen Iraqis --Parliament Adjourns After U.S. Forces Allegedly Mistreat Legislator --A suicide car bomb outside an Iraqi army recruitment center and other attacks Tuesday killed a dozen Iraqis and wounded more than 50, police said. Elsewhere in the capital, parliament briefly adjourned after a legislator belonging to a radical Shiite group claimed he had been roughed up at a U.S. checkpoint.

Australia Deploys More Troops to Iraq --Occupation forces in Iraq are welcoming the deployment of 450 more Australian military personnel. The new Australian contingent will bring the number of "Aussies" in Iraq to 1,370, officials at the Australian embassy here said.

Berlusconi faces no-confidence vote --The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was yesterday trying to prevent another ally from leaving his crumbling coalition government and facing a vote of confidence in parliament.

Taliban suspected in 5-tanker attack --Suspected Taliban rebels set off a bomb next to a fuel tanker parked outside the main US military base in southern Afghanistan early yesterday, setting off a chain of large explosions that destroyed five tankers and injured three drivers, officials said.

Rice's Moscow Motorcade Diverts After Bomb Threat -- A bomb threat at the Moscow hotel where Secretary of State [war criminal] Condoleezza Rice was due to stay forced her motorcade to divert after she flew into Moscow for talks on Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said.

Senate Panel Postpones Vote on U.N. Nominee --A surprise last-minute defection by an Ohio Republican [Sen. George Voinovich] forced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to postpone a vote that had been scheduled for Tuesday on the nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. The chairman of the panel, Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, reluctantly agreed to put off any vote until next month to allow a review of what Democrats portrayed as troubling new accusations that cast doubt on Mr. Bolton's temperament and credibility.

Ohio Senator Clashes Over Bush Nominee --The Ohio senator who surprised fellow Republicans on Tuesday with his sudden concerns about Dictator Bush's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations is known as a maverick. Sen. George Voinovich was the rare Republican holdout against Bush's 2003 tax cut plan, a Bush regime priority... This time, Voinovich took another stand against the Bush dictatorship by suggesting the committee delay a vote on Bush's nomination of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador.

Church leaders oppose license-draft link 13 April 2005 --The Oregon Catholic Conference and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon have teamed up to oppose a bill that connects drivers' licenses with a military draft. House Bill 2575 would automatically register young men for Selective Service when they sign up for licenses or state identification cards.

Democrats: Homeland Security Omits Threats From Right-Wing Terror Groups --The Homeland Security Department is focusing on possible terror threats from radical environmental and animal rights activists without also examining risks that might be posed by right-wing extremists, House Democrats said Tuesday.

Lawmaker: Airport Screeners Show No Improvement --Federal airport passenger and baggage screeners have shown virtually no improvement over the past year and the task should be returned to private hands, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House of Representatives aviation subcommittee, said on Tuesday.

Reporters Lose In Appeals Court Leak Case --May Lead to Jail --A federal appeals court yesterday rejected a request for a new hearing by two 'journalists' who could face jail time as early as next week for refusing to disclose their confidential sources to a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's name. The decision by the full U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington accelerates the pace of the conflict between a special prosecutor and the two 'reporters,' Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and [WMD whore] Judith Miller of the New York Times.

Reporters need federal shield law to protect sources, journalists say --A new federal shield law must be enacted to defend reporters' right to protect their confidential sources, a panel of journalists said Tuesday.

Theologian calls for response to 9/11 --David Ray Griffin asks the tough questions about Sept. 11, contending U.S. officials had some knowledge of what was coming and possibly orchestrated the attacks. Griffin, whose book, "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11," came out a year ago, drew an enthusiastic standing ovation from the majority of the 400 or so people who packed his lecture Monday night at Bascom Hall.

Moussaoui Planning to Admit 9/11 Role --Judge Will Weigh Mental Capacity --Zacarias Moussaoui has notified the government that he intends to plead guilty to his alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and could enter the plea as early as this week if a judge finds him mentally competent, sources familiar with the case said yesterday. [When will Bush and Cheney admit their 9/11 roles?]

Argentine Sentenced to 640 Years Over 'Dirty War' --Spain's High Court sentenced an Argentine former navy captain to 640 years in jail on Tuesday for crimes against humanity, convicting him of throwing political prisoners from planes during Argentina's "dirty war." [When will Bush's treason trial begin?]

House Energy Bill Increases Tax Breaks For Energy Corporations --The House this week will consider $8 billion in tax breaks targeted to the energy industry at a time when some of those companies are enjoying soaring profits from high consumer prices. The vast majority of the tax breaks would benefit companies that produce and supply traditional forms of energy, with a large portion going to the oil and natural gas sector. [Iraqi insurgents: where are you when we need you?]

Public Money Funds Social Security Polls --While politicians debated saving Social Security, its federal overseer spent $2 million to poll the public. The Clinton administration wanted to know if people thought the program saved older Americans from poverty. The Bush dictatorship refocused questions on its private investment plan. Taxpayers covered the cost of the polling, according to government documents obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

Protesters Rally Against Worker's Compensation Proposal --A demonstration in front of the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles drew about 500 people, including Attorney General Bill Lockyer. The crowd marched in a long circle, chanting anti-Schwarzenegger slogans and carrying signs lambasting the governor's workers' compensation changes.

DeLay Slams Supreme Court Justice --House Majority Leader (and Reichwing terrorist) Tom DeLay intensified his criticism of the federal courts on Tuesday, singling out Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's work from the bench as "incredibly outrageous" because he has relied on international law and done research on the Internet.

Pharmacies Balk on After-Sex Pill and Widen Fight in Many States --In some states, legislators are pushing laws that would explicitly grant pharmacists the right to refuse to dispense drugs related to contraception or abortion on moral grounds. Others want to require pharmacies to fill any legal prescription for birth control, much like Democratic Governor Blagojevich's emergency rule in Illinois, which requires pharmacies that stock the morning-after pill to dispense it without delay.

Defects In 2004 Balloting Described --The first hearing yesterday of the Commission on Federal Election Reform made it clear that the 2004 election was not without problems... "In the 2004 presidential election, the United States came much closer to electoral meltdown, violence in the streets and constitutional crisis than most people realize," professor Richard Hasen of Loyola Law School said in his written comments. [From his mouth to God's ears! That is the correct response to a coup d'etat.]

Voter ID law looming for Hoosiers Indiana Senate OKs strictest rules in U.S.; Daniels has said he'll sign --A bill that would give Indiana the strictest voter ID requirements in the nation is on its way to Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels' desk -- and, apparently, to a courthouse as well.

Bird flu kills Cambodian woman 20 April 2005 --A Cambodian woman suspected of contracting bird flu has died in a hospital in southern Vietnam, a doctor says.

*****

The CIA's Kidnapping Ring --U.S. ally Uzbekistan teaches interrogators how to boil suspected terrorists to death --by Nat Hentoff "One of the CIA's jet planes used to render purported terrorists to other countries—where information is extracted by any means necessary—made 10 trips to Uzbekistan. In a segment of CBS's 60 Minutes on these CIA torture missions (March 5), former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray told of the range of advanced techniques used by Uzbek interrogators: 'drowning and suffocation, rape was used . . . and also immersion of limbs in boiling liquid.'"

Allure of the blank slate --From Aceh to Haiti, a predatory form of disaster capitalism is reshaping societies to its own design --by Naomi Klein "On August 5 [2004] the White House created the office of the coordinator for reconstruction and stabilisation, headed by Carlos Pascual, the former ambassador to Ukraine. Its mandate is to draw up elaborate 'post-conflict' plans for up to 25 countries that are not, as yet, in conflict. According to Pascual, it will also be able to coordinate three full-scale reconstruction operations in different countries 'at the same time', each lasting 'five to seven years'... Fittingly, a government devoted to perpetual pre-emptive deconstruction now has a standing office of perpetual pre-emptive reconstruction. ...Pascual's office keeps 'high risk' countries on a 'watch list' and assembles rapid-response teams made up of private companies, NGOs and members of thinktanks - some, Pascual told an audience at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, will have 'pre-completed' contracts to rebuild countries that are not yet broken."

U.S. forces abuse and torture female detainees in Iraq --Iraqi female detainees say that they have been illegally detained, raped and sexually humiliated by U.S. occupation forces. A classified investigation launched by the U.S. army, led by Major General Antonio Taguba, confirmed an account by female detainee "Noor" and said that U.S. guards sexually abused female detainees at Abu Ghraib.

US Censoring Letters Written By Children --Letters written by the children of a Bahraini detainee at Guantanamo Bay were censored by US forces before being delivered to him. It has prompted accusations from his lawyers that there are not enough checks on the power being exercised by his American captors.

150 hostages and 19 deaths leave US claims of Iraqi 'peace' in tatters --by Patrick Cockburn "Most violent incidents in Iraq go unreported. We saw one suicide bomb explosion, clouds of smoke and dust erupting into the air, and heard another in the space of an hour. Neither was mentioned in official reports. Last year US soldiers told the IoS that they do not tell their superiors about attacks on them unless they suffer casualties... This makes the official Pentagon claim that the number of insurgent attacks is down from 140 a day in January to 40 a day this month dubious."

How the U.S. murdered a city --Fallujah: The truth at last --by Dr. Salam Ismael (socialistworker.co.uk) "It was the smell that first hit me, a smell that is difficult to describe, and one that will never leave me. It was the smell of death. Hundreds of corpses were decomposing in the houses, gardens and streets of Fallujah. Bodies were rotting where they had fallen - bodies of men, women and children, many half-eaten by wild dogs. A wave of hate had wiped out two-thirds of the town, destroying houses and mosques, schools and clinics. This was the terrible and frightening power of the U.S. military assault."

Iraq defence official assassinated --Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said a senior official was assassinated in his home on Monday, adding they had misidentified the official earlier. They named the dead man as Major-General Adnan Midhish Kharagoli, an adviser to the defence minister. He was killed along with his nephew when 10 gunmen burst into his Baghdad home.

Iraq splits exposed by crisis that never was --The Iraqi army rolled into Madain yesterday, the town the government claimed only the day before was in the hands of Sunni insurgents who would execute dozens of locals unless the Shia population fled. The soldiers met no resistance and not one hostage was to be found. Instead, the town's inhabitants expressed bemusement at the sudden crisis, what the prime minister called a "dirty atrocity", that had supposedly overtaken them.

Human rights group mourns aid worker killed in Iraq --Human Rights Watch paid tribute to the courage of Marla Ruzicka, an American aid worker killed in Baghdad at the weekend when her vehicle was targeted by a suicide car bomber [Negroponte's death squads].

US soldier killed in bomb attack south of Baghdad --A bomb blast killed a US soldier and wounded another south of Baghdad on Sunday, the military said Monday.

Militia chief wants Australian troops out of Iraq --The leader of the Muslim militia group that dominates southern Iraq has called on Australia to pull its troops out of the country.

Senate Asks Bush for Iraq War-Cost Estimates --The U.S. Senate urged the Bush regime on Monday to plan better for the costs of funding Halliburton and Monsanto's privatization campaigns ['combat in Iraq and Afghanistan'] instead of relying on a series of stop-gap spending bills.

Facing Global Sanctions, Iran Uses Oil Fields to Seek Alliances --As it faces the threat of global sanctions from the United States and Europe because of suspicions that it is turning its nuclear program to weapons production, Iran is fighting back with a powerful weapon of its own: its vast oil and gas resources.

Republicans Moving to Advance Bolton to U.N. Post --Senate Republicans on Tuesday were set to advance John Bolton' nomination as U.N. ambassador, despite Democrats' accusations of his abusive behavior and uncertainty that he had enough support for approval by the Foreign Relations Committee.

Bolton Often Blocked Information, Officials Say --Iran, IAEA Matters Were Allegedly Kept From Rice, Powell --John R. Bolton -- who is seeking confirmation as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations -- often blocked then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and, on one occasion, his successor, Condoleezza Rice, from receiving information vital to U.S. strategies on Iran, according to current and former officials who have worked with Bolton.

Italian premier denies resigning to form new government --Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has denied reports that he will resign and form a new government. When asked by reporters if he had handed in his resignation after meeting Italy's president, Berlusconi said "No."

Venezuela tightens grip on Western Oil Companies – tax evasion charges planned – joint ventures required --Venezuela’s Chavez is planning to show his strength by going after international oil companies that operate in Venezuelan oil sector. Chavez is in direct confrontation with the Bush regime. [WTG, Hugo Chavez!]

Papal hopeful is a former Hitler Youth 17 April 2005 --The wartime past of a leading German contender to succeed John Paul II may return to haunt him as cardinals begin voting in the Sistine Chapel tomorrow to choose a new leader for 1 billion Catholics. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, whose strong defence of Catholic orthodoxy has earned him a variety of sobriquets — including "the enforcer", "the panzer cardinal" and "God’s rottweiler" — is expected to poll around 40 votes in the first ballot as conservatives rally behind him.

As Labour pushes for mandatory ID cards and eye recognition technology . . . this report emerges! Holy coincidence, Batman! Terror risk up as UK vote nears --The chance of a terrorist attack on London has risen due to the general election on May 5 and Britain's rigid support of the war in Iraq, according to a private risk assessment published today. The Guardian newspaper said the assessment by Aon – a risk insurance broker – lifted the threat level for the British city to "elevated" from "guarded" – higher than other Western capitals. Iraq is listed as "severe".

Britain at 'Elevated' Risk of Terror Attack --Britain faces an "elevated" risk of terrorist attacks, it was reported tonight. London ranks alongside Baghdad, Kabul and Jerusalem as a "high risk" city, according to a preview of new research due to be released this week.

Top police officer backs ID cards --Met chief Blair urged to stay out of politics --Civil liberty campaigners yesterday urged Britain's most senior police officer to maintain his political independence after he gave his backing to the introduction of identity cards and tighter anti[pro]-terrorism laws.

UK cops seek high-tech anti-terror measures --Britain's top policeman has called for high-tech eye recognition technology to be pressed into use to track Al Qaeda affiliates he claimed were targeting the country. Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, also said he had been won over to the Labour government's call for compulsory ID cards in the week an Algerian man was convicted of a plot to launch chemical attacks in Britain.

Secret FBI Report Highlights Domestic Terror --A secret FBI report, obtained by ABC News, identifies 22 domestic terror organizations as the current subjects of 338 active FBI field investigations. The Aryan Nations, and other white supremacist groups, are cited in the report for hate crimes, fire bombings, threats via mail, as well as robberies and murders. [They should start with the largest domestic terror organization festering at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC.]

Elimination of terror report coincides with substantial increase --The State Department stopped publishing a terrorism report after the terrorism center concluded there were more attacks in 2004 than in any year since the report began in 1985.

More bank data may not aid fight against terrorism --A plan to force banks into disclosing hundreds of millions of wire transfers to help fight terrorist financing would overwhelm bankers and regulators and add questionable value to the war on [of] terrorism, experts and officials say.

Homeland Security a Cash Cow for Maine Departments --Seabrook fire chief, Jeff Brown, asked the Department of Homeland Security only for a sign to direct traffic in the event of a Seabrook nuclear power plant disaster. ...When the 2004 round of homeland security funding was announced, the sign, not on the federal shopping list, was denied. Meanwhile, police and fire departments across the Seacoast were ordering and receiving everything from all-terrain vehicles, digital radios and a decontamination tent, to thermal-imaging cameras, a mass-casualty trailer and a mobile feeding truck.

IRS Flaws Expose Taxpayers to Snooping, Study Finds --Computer-security flaws at the U.S. tax-collection agency expose millions of taxpayers to potential identity theft or illegal police snooping, according to a congressional report released on Monday.

Conn. Crackdown On Illegal Immigrants --Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton has called for deputizing state police officers as immigration agents to crack down on illegal immigrants in Danbury and elsewhere in Connecticut.

Ted Nugent to Fellow NRAers: Get Hardcore --With an assault weapon in each hand, rocker and gun rights advocate [Reichwing terrorist] Ted Nugent urged National Rifle Association members to be "hardcore, radical extremists demanding the right to self defense."

High Court Considering Police Searches --The Supreme Court said Monday it will use the case to clarify when police can search homes... In another case the high court agreed to hear in the term beginning next October, justices will consider the scope of police questioning.

Bush Says Raising Retirement Age a Possibility --Dictator Bush said on Monday proposals to raise the retirement age for Social Security benefits and restructuring those benefits to be 'more generous to low-income workers' [Yeah, right!] are among possibilities for overhauling the country's largest entitlement program.

Energy bill campaign set to roll out today --Republican House leaders are expected to roll out a conferencewide communications strategy today to promote their energy bill and continue to try to shift attention from ethical questions surrounding Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Terrorist-Texas).

US lawmakers pass bill allowing lawsuits against cartels 15 April 2005 --Dubbed "NOPEC", a bill passed by the US Senate Judiciary Committee would allow legal action to be taken against cartels such as OPEC, said Senator Patrick Leahy, one of the bill's co-sponsors.

Bank of America Posts Profit on Acquisition --Bank of America Corp., the nation's third-largest bank, said Monday that first-quarter earnings rose sharply from a year ago, due to the acquisition of FleetBoston, strong results throughout the company's businesses, lower credit costs and gains from the sales of securities.

DeLay Mailing Says He Never Broke Law --In a fresh counterattack, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay told supporters in a mailing made public Monday that he has "never been found to have violated any law or rule by anyone" despite numerous allegations.

Cancers from US nuclear testing set to double: study --Hundreds in the Marshall Islands have developed cancer as a result of US bomb tests, and many more are likely to contract the disease --A US study has found that the number of cancers caused by hydrogen bomb testing in the Marshall Islands is set to double, more than half a century after the tests were conducted in the tiny Pacific nation.

US launches probe into sales of unapproved transgenic corn 23 March 2005 --Syngenta admits 150 square kilometres accidentally [sic] sown with wrong seeds. --by Colin Macilwain "A strain of genetically modified corn that does not have regulatory approval has been distributed by accident over the past four years, Nature has learned." [Iraqi insurgents: where are you when we need you?]

More bird flu cases in Vietnam, H5N1 strain 18 April 2005 --Vietnamese authorities say that a 21-year-old woman and two other patients from northern Vietnam are infected with bird flu (H5N1). The H5N1 strain is the more deadly one.

Experts still baffled by bird flu 18 April 2005 --The bird flu virus which has killed 36 people in Vietnam may not be contained until 2007 because the way it is spreading still baffles experts, officials said on Monday.

Marburg toll up to 235 17 April 2005 --Luanda - The death toll from the Marburg virus epidemic in Angola rose to 235 on Sunday with about 500 people under surveillance after coming in contact with the Ebola-like virus, the health ministry and the World Health Organisation said.

*****

Bush regime eliminating 19-year-old international terrorism report --The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered. ...Click here to read past "Patterns of Global Terrorism" reports. [The terrorist attacks carried out by the Bush regime itself could fill 38 volumes.]

WMD panel threatened resignations --Members of the presidential commission that examined U.S. intelligence failures told White House officials they would resign en masse if Dictator Bush did not ensure that the nation's spy agencies cooperated with their inquiry -- and had to repeat the threat more than once.

Reports undercut Iraq, al-Qaeda link --A top Democratic senator has released formerly classified documents that he says undercut top US officials' pre-Iraq war claims of a link between Saddam Hussein's administration and the al-Qaeda terrorist network. "These documents are additional compelling evidence that the intelligence community did not believe there was a cooperative relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda, despite public comments by the highest ranking officials in our government to the contrary," Senator Carl Levin said today. [Let the treason trials begin!]

Ricin: The plot that never was --A deadly poison said to be at the heart of a terrorist conspiracy against Britain led to a dire warning of another al-Qa'ida attack in the West. The Government was swift to act on the fear that such a find generated. But, as Severin Carrell and Raymond Whitaker report, far from being a major threat, the real danger existed only in the mind of a misguided individual living in a dingy north London bedsit. 17 April 2005 --It was a weapon of mass destruction, a warning that we all needed to be "vigilant and alert". Weeks before the invasion of Iraq, it was presented as the final proof that Saddam Hussein was in league with al-Qa'ida. Anyone wanting to exploit the politics of fear could scarcely conjure up anything more potent than the news that a suspected terrorist cell had been making ricin, one of the deadliest poisons known to man, in a north London flat. But there was no ricin - a fact suppressed for more than two years. There was no terrorist cell, just one deluded and dangerous man who killed a police officer during a bungled immigration raid.

U.N. wants to talk to Guantánamo captives --U.N. human rights envoys met U.S. diplomats in Geneva to discuss their request to inspect the U.S. prison for 'terror' suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Some United Nations fact-finders are seeking permission to visit Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and question U.S.-held captives there as part of a series of international human rights investigations. The U.N. special rapporteur for torture, Manfred Nowak, an Austrian, has been seeking to visit the base for 16 months, said Safir Syed, an assistant at the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Commission.

Negroponte's death squads are busy little bees: Iraqi troops storm town 17 April --Iraqi soldiers fought their way today into a town where Sunni militants had seized up to 80 hostages and threatened to kill them unless all Shi'ites left, an interior ministry official said. "Police forces, backed by coalition forces, entered the town at 9am (3pm AEST) and encountered severe resistance from the terrorists [sic]", a defence ministry official told AFP.

Mortar fire kills three US troops 17 April --Three US soldiers were killed by mortar fire at a US base in the city of Ramadi overnight, the US military said today. Seven servicemen were also wounded in the attack, three of them seriously, the military said in a statement.

Baghdad car bomb kills US humanitarian worker 17 April --Three people, including a US humanitarian worker, were killed by a suicide car bomber on the road to Baghdad airport, the US embassy in Iraq said.

Bombs rock Iraq as top Sunni cleric calls for amnesty 16 April --Inmates riot in largest U.S.-run detention center --Bomb attacks across Iraq killed at least four people as inmates rioted in a U.S.-run prison and an official warned that a new government was at least a week away from formation.

3 killed in Afghan crash worked for Halliburton --Three civilians killed when a U.S. military helicopter crashed in Afghanistan last week were employees [mercenaries] of Halliburton Co., the U.S. military said Wednesday. Fifteen U.S. service members also were killed.

U.N. Nominee Faces New Bullying Allegations --A businesswoman describes belligerent behavior by Bolton. An intelligence analyst's accusations of pressure are further detailed. A Texas businesswoman has written to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that John R. Bolton is unfit to serve as U.N. ambassador because he threatened, berated and harassed her in a dispute over an overseas contract. "His behavior back in 1994 wasn't just unforgivable, it was pathological," wrote Melody Townsel, a businesswoman from Dallas, in a letter to the committee that was made public Saturday by Democrats who opposed Bolton's appointment.

Covert diplomacy --Dark past of Bush's new national intelligence director recalled in Central America --by Tim Rogers "Nicaraguans and Latin America watchers are lambasting US President [sic] George W. Bush’s nomination of John Negroponte as the first US National Intelligence Director, calling the move an Orwellian encore performance of the Cold War. While the mainstream US media has largely whitewashed Negroponte’s grisly past in Central America, many Nicaraguans who recall his stint as US Ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s provide a different take on his service record. 'Negroponte is one of the leading terrorists at the service of US expansionism,' blasted Father Miguel D’Escoto, Nicaragua’s former foreign minister during the government of Sandinista National Liberation Front (1979-1990). 'His nomination is further evidence that Bush is one of the principal terrorists in the world.'"

British Troops May Leave Iraq in Two Years --Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Sunday he expected British troops to leave Iraq within the next two years. In recent months, more than a dozen countries have announced they will pull out or scale back their troop presence in Iraq.

Troops to Quit Iraq 'Within Two Years' 17 April --Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said today that he hoped British troops could be withdrawn from Iraq within the next two years.

Pressure on Berlusconi as party quits cabinet --Italy's Union of Christian Democrats (UDC) party has decided to withdraw from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's cabinet, European Affairs Minister Rocco Buttiglione said on Friday. The move was an apparent bid to make Berlusconi resign and then form a new government with a new policy programme in the wake of a humbling defeat in regional elections earlier this month.

Koreans expose US plan of action --South Korea's National Security Council has disclosed it recently vetoed a US plan to mobilise a joint military operation in the event of North Korea's internal collapse.

Labour heading for victory - polls 17 April 2005 --Labour is heading for a third General Election victory, according to a clutch of recently-published polls. But the projected margin of Tony Blair's victory varied as pollsters put his lead over the Tories at anywhere between one and 10%.

UK's top cop calls for terrorism laws --Britain is being targeted by al-Qaeda and needs new legislation to crack down on terrorist conspiracies, Britain's most senior police officer said. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair also urged "further consideration" of whether to introduce compulsory ID cards, which he said could be used to help track 'terrorist' suspects.

Met chief in new plea for ID cards --Sir Ian Blair, head of the Metropolitan police, called for "further consideration" of the ID cards Bill which was withdrawn before the election... "The documents being produced are identical to the real documents, they're just unauthorised. We now have the technology, through iris recognition ... that would be very helpful."

'No-Fly' List Surpasses 31,000 Names --The no-fly list created by U.S. authorities, which singles out passengers who are potential 'terrorist' threats, is the target of frequent criticism that it's incomplete and unreliable. But that hasn't stopped it from expanding dramatically. Aviation sources say the list has grown to more than 31,000, up from 19,000 last September. And a little noticed incident on April 8, involving a Dutch KLM 747 flight from Amsterdam to Mexico City, may result in the list being used even more aggressively.

Airport screening not improved, reports say --Four years after 9/11 attacks, vulnerability persists --Two upcoming government reports will say the quality of screening at airports is no better now than before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a House member who has been briefed on the contents.

U.S. Lacking Transportation Security Plan --The Homeland Security Department has yet to produce a plan to protect the U.S. transportation system 3 1/2 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and at least two senators are getting impatient.

NY Pays Out to Arrested Convention Protesters --More than 100 protesters arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention that nominated Dictator Bush reached a $230,000 settlement on Friday with New York City.

Swell of support for reservist who held migrants at gunpoint --Patrick Haab, the Army Reservist arrested for holding seven undocumented immigrants at gunpoint at an Arizona rest stop, says he is overwhelmed and encouraged by an outpouring of legal, financial and moral support.

White House Curbs Probe of Commentator's Hiring --Some Bush regime staffers were not allowed to be interviewed by investigators looking into Armstrong Williams' paid role. Education Department investigators looking into the Bush dictatorship's controversial hiring of commentator Armstrong Williams were denied the opportunity to interview some White House personnel because of a White House claim that such interviews could breach long-standing legal traditions.

Inquiry Finds Radio Host's Arrangement Raised Flags --Officials at the Education Department expressed concerns about a contract with the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams last year, even bringing it to the attention of a White House policy adviser when it came up for renewal, according to an internal department report released on Friday.

Frist Set to Use Religious Stage on Judicial Issue --As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader [and cat torturer], has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking Dictator Bush's nominees.

Ex-Lawmakers Accuse House of Protecting DeLay --Ten former Republican U.S. lawmakers on Friday urged a reversal of new House of Representatives ethics rules that they charged were changed to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay from further investigation.

DeLay Borrows $100,000 for Re-Election --The ethics troubles of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay have not hurt his ability to raise money for his re-election. In the first three months of this year, DeLay's personal campaign committee took in $438,235, including $100,000 he borrowed personally for his campaign, according to the latest records from the Federal Election Commission.

Pay for chief executives again on the rise --Raises come despite boards rethinking compensation plans --CEO pay is climbing again, rewarding top executives with the biggest gains many have seen since the stock market bubble.

Stocks Hit New Low for 2005 --IBM's Earnings, Reports on Economy Prompt Major Sell-Off --Stocks plunged to new lows for the year on Friday as investors reacted fearfully to a poor earnings report from IBM and to fresh data suggesting the economy is softening and that consumers, long the bulwark of U.S. economic growth, are beginning to lose confidence. [Nah, ya think?]

Esquire Poll Gives Bush Low Marks for Sex Appeal --A new international survey of women makes certain that Dictator Bush is far from being the sexiest man alive. In a recent online poll conducted by Esquire magazine, 11,000 women in 15 countries were asked to rate Bush's sex appeal on a scale of one to 10, and America's commander-in-chief failed to register much more than a two. [LOL!! How about *negative* 10-to-the-googol power?]

Mega Bulimia Alert! Reichwing Whore Ann Coulter is Time Magazine Cover Story Subject for 17 April --Ms. Right --by John Cloud "She is quite possibly the most divisive figure in the public eye. But love her or hate her, you don't know the real Ann Coulter"

Bush's pharma-terrorists trolling for more corporate welfare in Sunday's PentaPost: Makers Hesitate to Supply Drug Stockpile --It appears that maintaining the Pediatric Vaccine Stockpile has been hampered by the government's crackdown on deceptive accounting practices. Three of the four companies that produce the shots recommended for every American child told the federal government last year that they would not sell their products... Although opinions differ, it appears that the Pediatric Vaccine Stockpile has become an innocent bystander wounded in the government's crackdown on deceptive accounting practices.

Judge Rules Against FDA Ban on Ephedra --Product More Food Than Drug, She Says --A federal judge Thursday struck down the FDA ban on supplements containing ephedra, the once-popular weight-loss aid that was yanked from the market one year ago after it was linked to dozens of deaths.

FDA Orders Levitra Ad Off the Air --TV Spot Doesn't Explain Drug's Side Effects --The Food and Drug Administration has ordered drug giants Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC to immediately pull a television ad for impotence drug Levitra, saying that the commercial does not adequately state the drug's potential side effects and that it cannot substantiate certain claims.

Mutated avian flu may kill millions 17 April 2005 --The threat of a killer flu pandemic is greater than ever because of the spread of the bird flu virus in south-east Asia, the World Health Organisation has warned. The WHO said avian influenza was still spreading across south-east Asia despite efforts to block it, and there was more than a 50 per cent probability it would become a global pandemic that could kill millions of people.

Saudi Arabia, Israel, U.S. Have Missing Vials of Pandemic Flu 16 April 2005 --Most of the samples of a deadly flu virus sent to laboratories around the world by Meridian Bioscience have been destroyed, health officials said yesterday. Bermuda, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Lebanon, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore and Taiwan confirmed that they had neutralized all their samples, along with a newly identified U.S. military lab in Britain, WHO said... Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United States were the only countries still tracing samples, said Klaus Stohr of the World Health Organization.

Deadly flu virus unaccounted for in Lebanon 16 April 2005 BEIRUT: Samples of a deadly flu virus sent by the College of American Pathologists to more than 3,700 laboratories around the world appear to have gone missing on their way to Lebanon and Mexico, according to the World Health Organization on Friday.

Samples of pandemic flu virus sent to Lebanon, Mexico and Chile missing: WHO 15 April 2005 --Three of the vials of pandemic flu never reached their destinations and are still missing, a UN official says. Klaus Stohr, influenza chief for the World Health Organization, said late Friday that vials of H2N2 virus shipped to certain labs in Lebanon, Mexico and Chile could not be accounted for. [Note: Washington Post reported on 16 April "Officials also determined that samples sent to labs in Lebanon, Chile and Mexico that never arrived had either been secured or already destroyed."]

Bird flu outbreak leads to fears of pandemic 16 April 2005 --The threat of a killer flu pandemic is greater than ever because of the spread of the bird flu virus in south-east Asia, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

New Plague Vaccine Agreement Signed 15 April 2005 --A joint, multi-nation project arrangement between the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of National Defence of Canada, and the Secretary of State for Defense of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was announced today for the cooperative development of a vaccine to protect against plague. Under this agreement, the three nations will work together to develop and produce a plague vaccine that will ultimately be licensed for human use.

*****

Feds at Loss on How Flu Strain Got to Labs 14 April 2005 --Federal officials are still at a loss to explain how a potentially deadly strain of influenza could be sent to more than 4,000 labs around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is operating under the presumption that the H2N2 strain was purposefully included in the panels designed to test the labs' proficiency in identifying viruses. [Only a narrow-visioned, gullible *twit* with a lima bean-sized brain would, by now, when all the pieces of the puzzle are nearly assembled, all the Neo-conmen's ducks are in a row - would *not* suspect the US government's complicity in fomenting bioterror! Every piece of legislation spewed by the GOP-controlled congress and Hitler-incarnate himself (that would be *Bush*) have buried in bills submerged in Orwellian monikers, deep in crevices that the Penta-Post dare not cover - full authority to commence quarantines, force inoculations, imprison citizens in internment camps, etc. Hell, the Bush regime is *dying* for it. 70 million+ deaths solves all of the Bush regime's problems (just like their 9/11 attacks paved the way for the illegal invasion of Iraq); they can then seize the last of the world's resources and divvy it up between themselves. In the meanwhile, the Halliburton whores can continue to get rich by building more prisons and internment camps, to house future malcontents. As for me... "We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice." -- artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2. --Lori Price]

Asian Lab Worker Opened Flu Vial: Report 14 April 2005 --Hong Kong media is reporting a lab worker in that city opened vials containing a fatal flu strain before health experts worldwide were warned to destroy the sample.

Killer flu samples shipped via FedEx, DHL 14 April 2005 --Every day, deadly germs are shipped across the country and around the globe, right alongside the books, gourmet foods and birthday presents sent through FedEx and similar couriers. [Federal Express: When your pandemic absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.]

Flu Strain Samples Remain at Large --Health Officials Race to Tighten Rules [Oops! I think the horse has left the barn on that one.] 14 April 2005 --At least four countries and more than 1,500 U.S. laboratories reported they had destroyed all their samples of a dangerous flu virus that had been shipped around the world, but thousands of others remained unaccounted for yesterday as health authorities in 18 countries intensified efforts to prevent a deadly outbreak. [$5.6 billion was allocated in May 2004 for Project BioShield . . . useless is as useless does. --Lori Price]

U.S. Seeks Cause of Flu Virus Mix-up 14 April 2005 --U.S. health officials were still trying to determine Thursday how a lethal flu virus had been 'mistakenly' [LOL!] shipped to thousands of laboratories around the world. Meanwhile, health officials in 18 countries continued to destroy the virus, which had fueled a 1957-58 pandemic that killed between 1 million and 4 million people worldwide, including 70,000 people in the United States.

Local Hospitals Receive A Deadly Flu Virus 14 April 2005 --At least four hospitals, including the Ohio Valley Medical Center and Wheeling Hospital, accidentally received a deadly flu virus from 1957. The Hospitals were among nearly five thousand labs in 18 countries to get the mistaken shipments.

FDA Had Slammed Company That Shipped Flu 14 April 2005 --A company that shipped samples of a deadly flu virus to thousands of labs in testing kits was criticized by the government in 2001 for alleged lax controls that led to a product recall.

"Time Capsule" --by jrec [Warning: explicit lyrics]

Frist Likely to Push for Ban on Filibusters --Failure Risks Conservatives' Ire; Success May Prompt Legislative Stalemate --Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is all but certain to press for a rule change that would ban filibusters of judicial nominations in the next few weeks, despite misgivings by some of his fellow Republicans and a possible Democratic backlash that could paralyze the chamber, close associates said yesterday.

Senate Panel Approves Intel Chief Nominee --The nomination of the nation's first national intelligence director, John Negroponte, was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, clearing the way for the full Senate to consider Dictator Bush's pick.

Cheney, Powell UK-Iraq Ricin Claims Were False 14 April 2005 --The claim that traces of the deadly poison ricin had been found in the London apartment of alleged al Qaeda operatives, first broadcast around the world in early January 2003, has been proved wrong, a senior British official said yesterday. ...Vice pResident Cheney, speaking of Hussein and his terrorist allies, told a Chamber of Commerce audience on Jan. 10, "The gravity of the threat we face was underscored in recent days when British police arrested . . . suspected terrorists in London and discovered a small quantity of ricin, one of the world's deadliest poisons." ...In his Feb. 5 speech to the U.N. Security Council, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell put up a slide that linked a "U.K. poison cell" to Zarqawi. [The only 'poison cell' the world has to fear is the Bush regime.]

Terror fear over lost poison 14 April 2005 --An al Qaeda cell in London could still have the poison ricin, police said today. The highly toxic substance was made at a Wood Green flat and has never been found. [Yeah, right!!]

Police made 100 arrests to 'smash' al-Qa'ida --A British-based network of Algerian terrorists with links to al-Qa'ida are suspected of being behind the plot to cause mass panic in the UK with the release of lethal poisons.

Guantanamo Detainee Suing U.S. to Get Video of His Alleged Torture --A detainee at a U.S. military prison alleges that U.S. military guards jumped on his head until he had a stroke that paralyzed his face, nearly drowned him in a toilet and later broke several of his fingers, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court... The lawsuit, filed by his attorneys in federal court in Boston, alleges that the government has probably videotaped Mustafa Ait Idr's beatings and demands that it produce any such tapes and all records of alleged torture and interrogation tactics at the detention facility.

Suit Details Abuse Allegations at Guantanamo --U.S. jailers at Guantanamo Bay beat a Bosnian detainee so badly he suffered facial paralysis and stuffed the man's head in a toilet, repeatedly flushing it until he nearly drowned, a suit filed Wednesday stated.

Interrogator Says U.S. Approved Handling of Detainee Who Died --The dispute over the Bush reigme's treatment of military detainees is playing out in a North Carolina courtroom, where a CIA contractor has asserted that his rough interrogation in 2003 of an Afghan who subsequently died was indirectly authorized by deliberations in Washington at the highest ranks of the Bush regime.

Italy, U.S. Disagree Over Agent Shooting --Reluctance by Italian investigators to accept the U.S. version of the killing of an Italian security agent by American troops in Iraq last month is holding up the conclusion of a joint inquiry into the shooting, Italian newspapers said Thursday.

19 Iraqis Killed and 60 Hurt by Cars Bombs and Gunfire --A string of suicide attacks and armed assaults in central and northern Iraq on Thursday left at least 19 Iraqis dead and 60 wounded in the second consecutive day of renewed bloodshed.

Texas Businessman Indicted in Iraq Oil-for-Food Program --A Texas businessman, as well as a British and a Bulgarian citizen, have been indicted in New York for reportedly paying millions of dollars in secret kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq as part of the United Nations oil-for-food program.

Parents of peace activist killed by Israeli bulldozer target Caterpillar --The Caterpillar fashion range is marketed as upmarket outdoor wear for label-conscious youth. But customers are now being urged to boycott the construction and clothing company because it supplies bulldozers to the Israeli government, which uses the vehicles to destroy Palestinian homes, roads and olive groves. They have also been used to build the controversial "security wall" [Apartheid wall] which has attracted international opprobrium.

Mercenaries to Play Greater Role in Future U.S.-Led Drug Interdiction, Crop Eradication Missions --by Stephen Peacock "The U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD) and the State Dept. are preparing to intensify and expand drug interdiction and aerial crop-eradication efforts in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Based on a review of recently distributed federal-procurement documents, the U.S. government is actively soliciting the help of mercenaries whose sole function will be to locate and rescue missing or captured Drug War personnel... [T]he Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) simultaneously is arranging to buy millions of gallons of jet fuel through 2009 to supply Colombian national police and military posts, camps and stations, the documents show."

Americans Wage E-War on Big Oil Over Fuel Costs --Some Americans have joined an e-mail war on Big Oil to protest record high gasoline prices, calling for a long-term boycott of the nation's leading fuel retailer [corpora-terrorist] Exxon Mobil. [Where are the Iraqi insurgents when you need them?]

Senator to Block Vote on Bush EPA Nominee --Frustrated by the Bush regime's air pollution policies, Democratic Sen. Thomas Carper plans to block the Senate from confirming Dictator Bush's nominee to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. All senators have the power to hold up the confirmation of a nominee.

Bush will sign bankruptcy bill passed by Congress --Bankruptcy legislation making it tougher for heavily indebted Americans to wipe out their obligations won final congressional approval on Thursday and Dictator George W. Bush said he looked forward to signing it into law.

Reichwing Pharmacists sue governor over rule --Two Illinois pharmacists sued Gov. Blagojevich Wednesday for ordering them to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception even if it violates their religious beliefs. [I thought the Reichwing wanted to eliminate the 'lawsuit culture' in Amerika?]

Pharmacist penalty adds up to $20,000 --A pharmacist who refused to fill a birth control prescription or transfer it to another pharmacy will have to pay about $20,000 in legal costs for the proceedings against him, the state Pharmacy Examining Board decided Wednesday with a 6-0 vote. [No worries - I'm sure some Reichwinger will pick up the tab for the conservative 'I-Hate-Lawsuits-Except-When-They-Suit-Me' hypocrite.]

Radio Host Fired For Wondering If Pope Went to Heaven PITTSBURGH --An evangelical Christian talk show host who questioned the beliefs of the Catholic Church and entertained a caller's question about whether the late Pope John Paul II would go to heaven has been fired.

Conservatives near lock on US courts --Senators will consider new judicial nominees Thursday. GOP-appointed judges already control 10 of 13 appeals courts. As Democrats and Republicans in Washington prepare for an expected showdown over the use of filibusters to stall judicial nominees, Dictator Bush is already well on his way to recasting the nation's federal appeals courts in a more conservative mold.

Oregon court nullifies licenses for same-sex unions --The Oregon Supreme Court today nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by Multnomah County a year ago, saying a single county couldn't take such action on its own.

Connecticut House Votes to Allow Gay Unions --Governor Expected to Sign Legislation --Connecticut's House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that would make the state the second to establish civil unions for same-sex couples, and the first to do so without being directed by a court.

Filmmaker Challenges Monsanto to Debate on Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods --Responding to charges from a Monsanto spokesman that her highly acclaimed film "The Future of Food" isn't factual, Deborah Koons Garcia is challenging Monsanto to a debate on the safety of genetically engineered foods.

*****

We've just started in Iraq: Bush --The US Dictator marked the second anniversary of Baghdad's fall yesterday by thanking soldiers who played a major role in toppling Saddam Hussein – and telling them their work in Iraq was far from over. [Yes, there are a few Iraqis who have not died in the US bombings or from the Pentagon's depleted Uranium; there are a few acres of farmland that have yet to be seized by Monsanto - and there are future billions in no-bid contracts left to steal by Halliburton.]

Nuclear War-Fear: Iran nuke commercial hits TV markets --Spot depicting atomic terror attack in NYC to be seen in 20 cities --A commercial produced by an organization fighting for the freedom of Iran that depicts a nuclear terror attack in America – the kind many experts believe is possible should Tehran get the bomb – will run in 20 markets across the country this month.

Don't purge Saddam Hussein loyalists, US tells Iraq --Iraqi MPs close to the new ruling coalition reacted frostily yesterday to a blunt demand from Donald Rumsfeld, the American secretary of defence, to drop plans to purge former Hussein loyalists from the armed forces.

Twenty Iraqis killed in US air attack --Twenty Iraqis have been killed and 22 injured after US helicopters and heavy artillery bombed houses in al-Rummana village, north of al-Qaim city, Aljazeera reported.

UK trio face US terrorism charges --The US has charged three British men with terrorism offences over alleged surveillance of major financial centres in New York, Newark and Washington. The three men are already in custody in the UK, facing similar charges.

US wants British 'plotters' --The US Government has indicted three British men allegedly linked to al CIAduh for what American officials say was a serious and well-advanced plot to attack financial institutions in New York, New Jersey and Washington DC. [That's OK - we want the *American* plotters: Bush, Cheney, and Wolfowitz.]

Chertoff Wants Homeland Security Filled In --The Homeland Security Department must be "full partners at the table" in the U.S. intelligence community, Secretary Michael Chertoff told lawmakers Wednesday amid questions over whether his analysts are left out of the information flow.

Anti-Castro Cuban terror suspect seeks asylum in United States --A Cuban terrorist linked to assassination plots against Fidel Castro and wanted in Venezuela for a 1976 Cuban airliner bombing asked Wednesday for political asylum in the United States, his lawyer said. Cuba and Venezuela contend that the Bush regime would be harboring a terrorist if Luis Posada Carriles is granted asylum. [Holy hypocrisy, Batman!!]

Castro Challenges Bush and Europe over Support for Terrorists --President Fidel Castro challenged Dictator George W. Bush to express publicly if knew of the presence of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in the States United.

Castro accuses U.S. of harboring terrorists, slams EU for keeping mum --President Fidel Castro said the United States was harboring anti-Cuban terrorists and wondered why the European Union kept mum about it while it supported a U.S. move to criticize Cuba for its alleged human rights violations.

U.S. Secret Service Investigates Art Showing Gun to Bush's Head --by Chris "Organizers of a politically charged art exhibit at Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery thought their show might draw controversy. But they didn't expect two U.S. Secret Service agents would be among the show's first visitors. The agents turned up Thursday evening, just before the public opening of 'Axis of Evil, the Secret History of Sin,' and took pictures of some of the art pieces -- including 'Patriot Act,' showing President [sic] Bush on a mock 37-cent stamp with a revolver pointed at his head. The agents asked what the artists meant by their work and wanted museum director CarolAnn Brown to turn over the names and phone numbers of all the artists. They wanted to hear from the exhibit's curator, Michael Hernandez deLuna, within 24 hours, she said." [That's when you say 'Bl*w me,' and don't return the call.]

Patriot Act

Art Exhibit Featuring Bush Stamp Probed --The Secret Service sent agents to investigate a college art gallery exhibit of mock postage stamps, one depicting Dictator Bush with a gun pointed at his head... The exhibit, called "Axis of Evil: The Secret History of Sin," opened last week at Columbia College in Chicago. CarolAnn Brown, the gallery's director, said the agents were most interested in Chicago artist Al Brandtner's work titled "Patriot Act," which depicted a sheet of mock 37-cent red, white and blue stamps showing a revolver pointed at Bush's head.

Fingerprint passports will be 'ID card by stealth' (UK) A national fingerprinting scheme is to be introduced by stealth, claim campaigners, despite the Government's failure to get the go-ahead for a national ID card. The Home Office confirmed that it has plans to fingerprint all passport applicants within the next five years. The prints would then be stored in a chip on the passport.

U.S. to Expel Man in Capitol Bomb Scare --An Australian citizen who was arrested on Capitol Hill after a bomb scare will be expelled from the United States for violating his visa, a U.S. immigration official said on Tuesday.

Senate Committee Delays Vote on Bolton --Dictator Bush's drive to make John R. Bolton the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations got sidetracked Wednesday as Senate Democrats forced a delay until next week of an important confirmation vote.

Bolton Appears Headed for Confirmation --John R. Bolton appeared a step closer to confirmation as ambassador to the United Nations despite scathing testimony Tuesday by a former State Department intelligence chief that he was a "serial abuser" of analysts who disagreed with his hard-line views.

Bolton accused of being 'serial abuser' of staff --Carl Ford, a former assistant secretary of state for intelligence and a self-described "loyal Republican", attacked the reputation of John Bolton, the nominee for US ambassador to the United Nations, in testimony before the US Senate foreign relations committee yesterday. Mr Ford called Mr Bolton a "serial abuser" who scared intelligence staff, whose "abusive" behaviour was even used as a case-example to train staff how to resist untoward pressure.

Former State Dept Official Says Bolton a Bully --Dictator Bush's nominee for U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, was depicted at a Senate hearing on Tuesday as a bully who tried to force an analyst to bend intelligence on Cuba's weapons to fit a speech he was giving.

Bush's U.N. nominee called a 'bully' --Relying on testimony by a former intelligence analyst, Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a second day pursued their allegation that John Bolton, Dictator Bush's nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, is a "bully" who tried to bring about the dismissal of analysts who disagreed with him.

Flu alert as killer strain is sent to labs by mistake 14 April 2005 --Public health agencies around the world have been put on alert for an outbreak of lethal influenza after samples of the deadly virus were sent out 'mistakenly' in testing kits.

Killer flu 'unwisely' shipped to labs 14 April 2005 --Scientists are frantically trying to locate and destroy a deadly strain of flu "unwisely" shipped to 3,700 laboratories worldwide. The Washington Post said the problem arose when Meridian Bioscience Inc. of Cincinnati sent a panel of H2N2 virus samples to about 3,700 laboratories, to be tested as part of routine quality-control certification conducted by the College of American Pathologists.

Several Minnesota labs received 1957 pandemic flu strain 13 April 2005 --Ten labs in Minnesota were among the thousands of sites that received a potentially dangerous flu virus that was mistakenly inserted in routine testing kits, state officials said today.

Labs Urged to Destroy Pandemic Flu Strain 12 April 2005 --Thousands of scientists were scrambling Tuesday at the urging of global health authorities to destroy vials of a pandemic flu strain sent to labs in 18 countries as part of routine testing. The rush, urged by the World Health Organization, was sparked by a slim, but real, risk that the samples, could spark a global flu epidemic. The vials of virus sent by a U.S. company went to nearly 5,000 labs, mostly in the United States, officials said.

Company Thought Flu Virus Was 'Innocuous' --The company at the center of distress over its shipment of samples of a killer flu virus to thousands of labs apparently wasn't even aware it had sent such a deadly virus. The College of American Pathologists, which helps labs do proficiency testing, had asked Meridian Bioscience Inc. in suburban Cincinnati to send test kits of germs to about 4,700 labs - mostly in the United States, but also in 17 other countries. [Insert *bleeping morons* comment here.]

How "Socialist" Medical Lab in Canada Saved the World from a New Flu Pandemic --A Sickening Error --by Dave Lindorff "It's enough to make you sick isn't it? Some $40 billion spent on 'Homeland Security' in 2004 and another $50 billion going into the same sinkhole in 2005, with billions of those dollars specifically targeting 'bio terror,' and a mistake (or stupid decision) by a biological lab made last fall had a deadly flu virus capable of creating a global pandemic getting mailed out to several thousand unsuspecting testing labs... And how was this accidental terror 'device' detected? Not by the alert folks at Tom Ridge's or Mike Chertoff's Homeland Security Department, but by an alert technician working for the 'socialist health care system' in Manitoba, Canada, who tested the virus in the kit and determined that it was the same strain of flu virus that caused a worldwide flu pandemic in 1957 and who immediately alerted the World Health Organization and the U.S. Center for Disease Control."

71% of ducks in southern Vietnam infected with bird flu 13 April 2005 --Initial testing showed that 71 percent of ducks and 21.4 percent of chickens in Vietnam's 11 southern localities in the Mekong Delta are infected with bird flu virus strain H5. Up to 80 percent of 2,000 samples taken from ducks raised in Can Tho city alone, which is home to some 1.5 million poultry, were tested positive to H5... citing results by the country's Regional Veterinarian Centeras.

Legislators hear about possibility of a major flu outbreak 12 April 2005 --It is not a question of whether a major flu pandemic like the three that killed millions of people in the 1900s will surface, but when it will strike, public health experts warned at a State House forum (Boston) yesterday.

Nobel scientist warns on bird flu 13 April 2005 --Avian flu - caught directly from birds, and which kills in seven cases out of 10 - could suddenly sweep through the human population, killing 70 million people according to World Health Organisation estimates, a Nobel laureate warned yesterday.

EU mulls bird flu pandemic fund 13 April 2005 --The European Union should be able to dip into a 1 billion euro (680,000 million pound) disaster fund to buy emergency vaccines and anti-viral drugs if there were bird flu pandemic, the EU executive Commission says.

210 people die of Marburg virus in Angola 13 April 2005 --The death toll from the outbreak of Marburg virus in Angola has climbed to 210 after seven more deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours, according to the Angolan Health Ministry on Wednesday.

U.S. mad cow coverup alleged --American records not credible, former packing plant vet says -- A former American government packing plant veterinarian says the United States government is hiding cases of mad cow disease. Dr. Lester Friedlander said Wednesday that colleagues with the United States Department of Agriculture have told him of cases that the USDA has chosen not to announce.

Indiana Likely to Require ID at Polls --Indiana lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would require most voters to show government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has said he would probably sign the measure, which would be one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the nation.

Mexican Leftist Sees 'Dignified' Jail Time --Mexico's presidential favorite, facing time behind bars in a legal wrangle that has split Mexico, said on Tuesday jail would be a "dignified" place for him to campaign for 2006 elections. "All this farce was for that, because the president's office doesn't want me to participate. This is a setback to Mexico's incipient democracy. We cannot go back to the time when the president said who could and who could not (succeed him)," leftist Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

Feds Indict 15 NYSE Traders for Fraud --Federal prosecutors charged 15 former and current New York Stock Exchange traders with securities fraud, accusing them of costing investors $19 million by putting their firms' interests ahead of the interest of investors.

Microsoft Warns of 5 New Software Security Flaws --Microsoft Corp. warned on Tuesday of five new "critical"-rated security flaws in its Windows, Internet Explorer, Word and Messenger software programs that could allow attackers to take control of a personal computer.

****

CLG News Archives


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