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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May 2005 Archives

New blasts in Iraq push two-week death toll to 400 --Suicide bombers ripped through a crowded market and a line of security force recruits Wednesday as a wave of explosions and gunfire across Iraq killed at least 69 people — pushing the death toll from insurgent [U.S.] violence to more than 400 in less than two weeks.

A Bloody, Devastating Day: Violence Kills 72 --At least 72 Iraqis died across northern and central portions of the country Wednesday. The death toll over the past two weeks neared 400, making it one of the most violent periods since the U.S. invasion two years ago.

One month's toll in Iraq: 67 suicide bombers --US losing battle to stem flow of foreign fighters prepared to die for cause --The number of suicide attacks in Iraq has reached a record high, with more than 67 insurgents blowing themselves up in the month of April alone. New figures revealed by diplomatic and Iraqi security sources yesterday show that of the 135 car bombings that month, which took hundreds of lives and inflicted thousands of injuries, more than half were suicide missions.

Prohibiting Driving Cars Without a Companion in Tikrit --The province council of Tikrit, 180 km north of Baghdad, and its security authorities have taken measures, according to which they prohibited driving cars without the presence of a passenger or more with the driver to prevent the martyrs from exploding bombed cars in the city.

'They Came Here to Die' --Insurgents Hiding Under House in Western Iraq Prove Fierce in Hours-Long Fight With Marines --"They came here to die," said Gunnery Sgt. Chuck Hurley, commander of the team from the 1st Platoon, Lima Company, of the Marines' 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment, that battled the insurgents in the one-story house in Ubaydi, about 15 miles east of the Syrian border. "They were willing to stay in place and die with no hope," Hurley said Tuesday. "All they wanted was to take us with them.''

Japan Considering Exit Strategy From Iraq --Nearly 18 months into its most ambitious overseas military operation since World War II, Japan is now considering whether to join a growing list of countries pulling out or scaling back their operations in Iraq in the coming months.

U.S. Believes Syria Supporting Terrorists --United States military officials have said it is increasingly believed in the Pentagon that the Syrian regime is assisting insurgents on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The Pentagon has not gone public with this assumption for lack of conclusive evidence. [Well, the CIA agents *are* the terrorists! See: Cuba 'plane bomber' was CIA agent]

Iran launches submarine production --Iran on Tuesday officially launched the production of its first locally built submarine, a craft capable of operating stealthily, state-run television reported. Defence Ministry spokesman Mohammad Imani was quoted as saying "the enemy would not be able to detect the submarine." He did not elaborate.

U.S. In Caspian Region and Russia's Position MOSCOW, (RIA Novosti commentator Pyotr Goncharov) "Iran has offered support for a Russian initiative on the Caspian Sea states alone establishing a joint rapid reaction force in the region. 'These Caspian states should come to terms on the establishment of a rapid reaction force,' said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi. Russia's initiative initially envisaged more than efforts to combat international terrorist attacks against the region and to avert other common threats. It was also designed to prevent countries from outside the region, above all the U.S., from becoming involved in the affairs of the region, which the U.S. has included in the zone of its interests."

US 'sent detainees to Egypt' to be tortured --A new report by a leading human rights group says the United States and other countries have secretly sent dozens of Islamist detainees to Egypt, where they have most likely been tortured, in the past decade. The 53-page report by Human Rights Watch said Egypt is the world's main recipient of detainees.

Abu Ghraib victim's statement barred at trial --Testimony from an Iraqi photographed with wires attached to his arms and a hood over his head at Abu Ghraib prison will not be allowed at a prisoner abuse 'trial' [kangaroo court], a U.S. military judge ruled on Wednesday.

4 killed, dozens hurt as Afghan students riot --Shouting "Death to America," demonstrators angry over the alleged desecration of the Quran at Guantanamo Bay smashed car and shop windows and stoned a passing convoy of U.S. soldiers Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan. Police opened fire on the protesters, killing four and injuring at least 71.

U.S. army probes why troops go wild in Colombia --The U.S. military is investigating what has gone wrong with its operations in Colombia, where troops have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs and selling arms to far-right militias, a senior U.S. officer said on Wednesday.

Military judge convicts anti-war sailor San Diego, CA - A sailor turned anti-war activist was convicted Wednesday in a special court-martial of refusing to board the USS Bonhomme Richard as it deployed to the Persian Gulf in December.

Former Army recruit says his life was threatened --More people are coming forward with Army recruiting horror stories after the 11 News Defenders investigation that exposed a recruiting scandal. Will Ammons, 20, signed up for delayed entry at the Lake Jackson Army recruiting station last year. But, he changed his mind before he ever shipped out. That's when, he says, Army recruiters crossed the line and started harassing him. "He told me I pretty much had two options," Ammons said. "I'd go before a judge and get a sentence of 15 years but he had the option to double it. It was either that or they were going to put me in front of seven other people with rifles and shoot me." This is the second time this week that young men have made similar allegations about Army recruiters threatening to kill people going too far.

11 News Defenders report leads to nationwide Army stand-down --Late Tuesday afternoon, 11 News confirmed the U.S. Army will now call for a nationwide stand-down of all recruiting efforts in what a spokesperson at the Pentagon calls a serious step at self-examination. The Army will set aside a full day on May 20 as the day to have every recruiter across America review Army recruiting policies and standards.

From Baghdad to Brasilia --by Pepe Escobar "The 'Declaration of Brasilia' to be endorsed this Wednesday calls for close political and economic ties between South America and the Arab world; demands that Israel disband its settlements in the West Bank, including 'those in East Jerusalem', and retreat to its borders before 1967; criticizes US 'unilateral economic sanctions against Syria', which violates principles of international law; and forcefully condemns terrorism... The declaration also calls for a global conference to define the meaning of terrorism, and defends peoples' rights to 'resist foreign occupation in accordance with the principle of international legality and in compliance with international humanitarian law'." [Gee, it looks like Faux News is going to have to stop calling the Iraqi freedom fighters 'terrorists' - that moniker needs to be reserved for Iraq's occupiers.]

Israeli threat to sue union over college boycott --The dispute between Israeli universities and UK academics intensified yesterday after it emerged that a leading lecturers' union was facing legal action from Haifa University. Last month the Association of University Teachers voted to sever links with Haifa in a wider boycott of Israeli academia, claiming the university had victimised staff who spoke out against Israel's policies in the occupied territories.

Senate panel probing Bolton down to wire --The Senate on Wednesday kept up an investigation of John R. Bolton on the eve of a showdown vote on the troubled nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Democrats who claim he is too hotheaded or unbending say they could try to hold up a final vote in the full Senate.

John R. Bolton Court Divorce Records Show His First Wife Fled Home When He Was Traveling Abroad (larryflynt.com) 11 May 2005 "Court records concerning the divorce of John R. Bolton, the Bush administration's nominee to become the next ambassador to the United Nations, show his first wife fled the couple's marital home when he was traveling abroad in mid-August 1982... Corroborated allegations that Mr. Bolton's first wife, Christina Bolton, was forced to engage in group sex have not been refuted by the State Department despite inquires posed by Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt concerning the allegations. Mr. Flynt has obtained information from numerous sources that Mr. Bolton participated in paid visits to Plato's Retreat, the popular swingers club that operated in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s."

Ridge reveals 'flimsy evidence' to justify terror alerts --The Bush regime periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says. Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.

Fighter jets scrambled to meet 'security threat' plane in Washington --The US Capitol building and White House were evacuated today after a small plane entered the restricted airspace over Washington. War planes were seen flying overhead and security cars rushed away from the buildings. Dictator George Bush was not at the White House at the time.

White House and Capitol evacuated; war planes seen flying overhead -- The Capitol and White House were evacuated Wednesday after a small plane entered restricted airspace over the capital. Within minutes people were allowed back into the buildings. Several other government buildings, including the Treasury Department and the U.S. Supreme Court ordered people to safer locations.

Two in Custody After Capitol Plane Scare --The U.S. Capitol and White House were evacuated Wednesday after a small plane entered restricted airspace. Military jets scrambled to intercept the aircraft and fired warning flares. Two men in the aircraft were later taken into custody at a Maryland airport where the plane landed after a military escort.

Cuba 'plane bomber' was CIA agent 11 May 2005 --Declassified US government documents show that a man suspected of involvement in the bombing of a Cuban passenger plane worked for the CIA. Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban-born Venezuelan and anti-Castro dissident, was an agent and informer. The papers also reveal that an FBI informer "all but admitted" that Mr Posada was one of those behind the 1976 bombing that killed 73 people. Mr Posada, who denies any involvement, is said to be seeking asylum in the US.

Luis Posada Carriles - The Declassified Record --CIA and FBI Documents Detail Career in International Terrorism; Connection to U.S. - National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 153 - 10 May 2005 --Declassified CIA and FBI records posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University identify Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles, who is apparently in Florida seeking asylum, as a former CIA agent and as one of the "engineer[s]" of the 1976 terrorist bombing of Cubana Airlines flight 455 that killed 73 passengers.

Senate Backs Measure to Tighten ID Requirements --The Real ID Act, which the Senate approved yesterday, would affect U.S. citizens... Americans would need an authentic copy of their birth certificate to apply for a new driver's license or renew an old one. The certificates must be verified at the counter by a Department of Motor Vehicles agent, along with other identification, such as Social Security numbers and utility bills.

Bush Mendacity Will Shock Historians --by Bill Gallagher "We're told, in effect, that trampling on civil liberties and eroding freedom are a sure way to protect us from terrorists who envy our freedom. That colossal lie will be one of the lasting stains on this era, and I fear the day coming when the Busheviks or their political heirs, gripped in fascist fever, will silence those who expose the fraud. The latest assault on liberty cloaked as protection is the Republican campaign in Congress for national identity cards. Of course, they don't call them that. Such candor sparks opposition. It's much more benevolent sounding to call the measure the Real ID Act."

Mass. Tracks Sex Offenders Via Satellite --New Technology Can Locate Sexual Predators Around World --Many sex offenders in Massachusetts already wear ankle bracelets as a way of being monitored. On Wednesday, the state put new technology in the field to supplement the bracelets. A satellite, circling 12,000 miles above the earth, will track sexual predators anywhere in the state or the world using satellites and cell phones.

Utah police use church lot as speed trap --City officials have acknowledged police erred when they used a church parking lot to issue speeding tickets to motorists caught in a radar trap last month.

Compton residents outraged over shooting Compton, CA - Angry residents poured out their emotions Wednesday to Sheriff Lee Baca, following a shooting in which 10 deputies fired more than 100 rounds at an unarmed driver.

U.S. conservatives to rally around Tom DeLay --Conservative activists, frustrated by Democratic opposition to some of Dictator Bush's key proposals, gather on Thursday to show solidarity with embattled Republican House leader Tom DeLay and pressure wavering supporters to stay in his corner.

CLG Exclusive: Judge who exonerated Cheney is on payroll from Exxon --Research, commentary by Mary Titus, CLG Contributing Writer "Judge Raymond Randolph is with the George Mason University Law and Economics Center - funded by Exxon! George Mason University, Law and Economics Center has received $115,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. Say Hey! Its good being a judge!"

Court Tells EPA to Stop Tracking Solvent --The government can no longer require chemical makers and users to account for how much methyl ethyl ketone, a widely used ingredient in plastics, textiles and paints, is released into the environment each year. A federal appeals court Tuesday ruled in favor of the American Chemistry Council, which had petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the chemical, known as MEK, from its annual Toxic Release Inventory List.

Agriculture Dept. paid journalist for favorable stories --A third federal agency has admitted it paid a journalist to write favorable stories about its work. Documents released by the Agriculture Department show it paid a freelance writer $9,375 in 2003 to "research and write articles for hunting and fishing magazines describing the benefits of NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) programs."

Memo May Have Swayed Plan B Ruling --FDA Received 'Minority Report' From Conservative Doctor on Panel --Soon after the Food and Drug Administration overruled its advisory panel last year and rejected an application to make an emergency contraceptive more easily available, critics of the agency said it had ignored scientific evidence and yielded to pressure from social conservatives. The agency denied the charge, but an outspoken evangelical conservative doctor on the panel subsequently acknowledged in a previously unreported public sermon that he was asked to write a memo to the FDA commissioner soon after the panel voted 23 to 4 in favor of over-the-counter sales of the contraceptive, called Plan B. He said he believes his memo played a central role in the rejection of that recommendation.

Fairness of Taser study in question --An adviser to a federally funded study concerning the safety of stun guns made by Taser International also is a paid consultant to Taser, the Justice Department acknowledges. The situation is raising questions about potential conflicts of interest in the $500,000 study, which is being done amid reports that dozens of people have died after being shocked with stun guns.

New Panel Will Study Medicaid With Eyes Toward Big Changes --The Bush regime will create an 'advisory panel' [barf] to recommend big changes in Medicaid eligibility and benefits and in the financing of the program, administration officials said Wednesday. By Sept. 1, the panel is to recommend ways to save $10 billion in Medicaid, the federal-state program that insures more than 50 million low-income people. [See: Halliburton gets $72 million bonus for work in Iraq. Maybe cut back on the bonuses for the Halliburton terrorists, and there would be plenty of money to fund Medicaid.]

Official Says Bush's Social Security Plan Would Cut Some Survivor Benefits --pResident Bush's preferred approach for Social Security would mean smaller survivor benefits for middle and upper-income children and widows than they are now promised, a top administration official said Wednesday.

United Gets OK to Dump Four Pension Plans --United Airlines gained a significant financial victory with court approval to dump its four pension plans. It also prompted a renewed warning from some members of Congress that taxpayers may someday have to bail out the deficit-riddled government pension agency, which now will assume an additional $6.6 billion in pension obligations from United. "Taxpayers had better buckle up because we will be in for a bumpy ride of bailout after bailout, as more and more corporations dump their pension plan obligations on the PBGC," said U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., referring to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. that already is operating at a more than $23 billion deficit.

Live Dangerously: Be a Scientist --by Whitley Strieber 11 May 2005 "Another scientist involved in disease control has been killed. David Banks was the principal scientist with Biosecurity Australia and was involved in containing pest and disease threats. He died along with 15 other people when the commuter plane he was traveling in went down in Queensland, Australia... His primary mission was protecting livestock and plants in the country, and keeping diseases from crossing into Australia... Since January of 2004, more than twenty scientists are known to have died in accidents, under suspicious circumstances, or been murdered."

Project's land likely polluted, activists say West Hazleton, PA - Ronald Kripp led a handful of environmental watchdogs and reporters to a site where he said more than 20 years ago, power companies illegally dumped electric capacitors filled with possibly harmful chemicals.

U.S. scientists create self-replicating robot --Self-replicating robots are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Scientists at the Cornell University in Ithaca, New York have created small robots that can build copies of themselves.

*****

U.S. to Expand Prison Facilities in Iraq --The number of prisoners held in U.S. military detention centers in Iraq has risen without interruption since autumn, filling the centers to capacity and prompting commanders to embark on an unanticipated prison expansion plan. As U.S. and Iraqi forces battle an entrenched insurgency, the detainee population surpassed 11,350 last week, a nearly 20 percent jump since Iraq's Jan. 30 'elections.' [Cui bono? Why, Halliburton, of course. They are the no-bid, prison-building contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. See: Conflict of interest for vice president? --by David Lazarus (03 November 2002) "In July, the government announced that KBR had been awarded a $9.7 million contract to build an additional 204-unit detention center at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of 'enemy combatants' have been held since January. This is on top of $16 million received by KBR in February to get the Guantanamo prison facility off the ground, as well as another $7 million in April to expand the compound."]

"More Powerful Than the US Army" - Straight to Bechtel --by Jeffrey St. Clair "For the year 2004, Bechtel [the global construction firm based in San Francisco] brought in more than $17.4 billion, a record haul for the company. That makes two record years in a row... A few days after the war began, the US Agency for International Development handed Bechtel a $680 million contract for the reconstruction of Iraq infrastructure, a by-invitation-only deal awarded in a secret process. That number has been jacked up twice and now totals more than $1.8 billion and may eventually reach as much as $50 billion... Bechtel has gotten a piece of the biggest boondoggle of our time, the $100 billion Ballistic Missile Defense project, AKA Star Wars."

Congress approves additional $82B for wars --Congress approved an additional $82 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan and combating [fomenting] terrorism worldwide on Tuesday, boosting the cost of the global effort since 2001 to more than $300 billion.

Senate passes war-spending bill 100-0 --Bush 'looks forward' to signing $82 billion legislation -- The Senate unanimously approved an $82 billion spending package Tuesday evening to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other projects, including border control and tsunami relief. The House of Representatives approved the measure last week by a vote of 368-58.

Halliburton gets $72 million bonus for work in Iraq --The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it had awarded $72 million in bonuses to Halliburton Co. for logistics work in Iraq but had not decided whether to give the Texas company bonuses for disputed dining services to troops. Halliburton, which was run by Vice pResident Dick Cheney until he joined the 2000 race for the White House, has earned more than $7 billion under its 2001 logistics contract with the U.S. military.

Rumsfeld was on ABB board during deal with North Korea 11.05.2005, CET 05:16 --Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defence, was on the board of technology giant ABB when it won a deal to supply North Korea with two nuclear power plants. Weapons experts say waste material from the two reactors could be used for so-called "dirty bombs". The Swiss-based ABB on Friday told swissinfo that Rumsfeld was involved with the company in early 2000, when it netted a $200 million (SFr270million) contract with Pyongyang. The ABB contract was to deliver equipment and services for two nuclear power stations at Kumho, on North Korea’s east coast. Rumsfeld – who is one of the Bush regime’s most strident "hardliners" on North Korea – was a member of ABB’s board between 1990 and February 2001, when he left to take up his current post.

U.S. inventing threats to justify nuclear build-up --by Richard Gwyn "As part of this continued drive for supremacy, the U.S. has announced it will not ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and, although no decision to test has yet been made, Washington has ordered the national nuclear laboratories to start research on new atomic weapons. While all this is going on, the U.S. is trying to convince Iran and North Korea to halt their minuscule nuclear programs... It's all madness. But clever, cynical, Machiavellian madness. To justify its own nuclear program, from the anti-missile system to the dismissal of international controls, Washington needs a threat. Iran and North Korea, thus, are doing exactly what Washington wants them to do. And they are doing it because Washington is provoking them into doing it."

Secret Service told grenade landed near Bush --U.S. officials are investigating a report that an apparent hand grenade landed about 100 feet from where Dictator Bush was speaking Tuesday in Tblisi, the capital of Georgia, a Secret Service spokesman said. The Secret Service has not yet confirmed whether the object was a real grenade and if so, whether the pin had been pulled, said spokesman Jim Mackin. [Comment to be *absolutely condemned,* by a CLG reader: "Maybe the relief pitcher will..." Shame on that reader!!]

Possible explosive device hurled near Bush --The Secret Service was investigating a report Tuesday that a hand grenade was thrown at the stage during pResident Bush's speech in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Video: A possible hand grenade landed in the vicinity of President Bush in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Officials Say Grenade Thrown at Bush in Georgia --A grenade was thrown within 100 feet of the stage where Dictator Bush was giving a speech today in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, local authorities told the U.S. Secret Service. The device did not go off and no one was hurt, the Secret Service said. Local police told the Secret Service the device was thrown as Bush spoke in Freedom Square in Tblisi, the Georgian capital. The device hit someone and fell to the ground about 100 feet away from the stage, where local authorities grabbed it up, Georgian officials told the Secret Service. ['The intended target is not known at this time,' reported MSNBC. LOL...uh... that's a hard one to figure out. Let us get the detectives from Law & Order: Criminal Intent on the case.]

Marines Push Toward Iraq's Syrian Border --Capitalizing on a lull in fighting Tuesday, hundreds of U.S. Marines pushed through a region on the Syrian frontier after intense battles along the Euphrates River with well-armed insurgents fighting from basements, rooftops and sandbag bunkers. Rebels kidnapped the provincial governor as a bargaining chip.

Suicide car bomb kills 24 in Tikrit --U.S. hunts foreign fighters in western Iraq [?!? Oh. Are they hunting *themselves?* After all, the US invaders are 'foreign fighters in western Iraq.'] --A suicide car bomb exploded in a small market near a police station in Tikrit on Wednesday, killing at least 24 people and wounding 70, police said.

New US laser weapon tested for Iraq --A Pentagon-funded laser weapon prototype - capable of bringing down rockets and even helicopters - is currently under assessment for use in Iraq despite major funding problems. The Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL) was meant to be a defensive laser weapon powered by the combustion of highly volatile chemicals that shoots down artillery projectiles. The laser is powered by toxic chemicals like deuterium and nitrogen triflouride.

British memo: U.S. data manipulated for Iraq war --A Michigan congressman is seeking more information from Dictator Bush about a classified British memo, leaked during Britain's recent election campaign, that claims Bush decided by summer 2002 to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and was determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policy. Rep. John Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, is circulating a letter asking Bush for an explanation, an aide said. [See: The secret Downing Street memo SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY -- David Manning From: Matthew Rycroft Date: 23 July 2002 S 195 /02 --Iraq: Prime Minister's Meeting, 23 JULY]

This Is Not the First Time --by Malcom Lagauche "...[T]here is a precedent that went unnoticed and underreported of brutal treatment of Iraqi POWs — the 1991 abuse of Iraqi POWs during and after Operation Desert Storm... The former U.S. Army soldier told me that Iraqi POWs were rounded up and put in barbed wire pens. After a few days, they were shot and/or burned to death by soldiers without any reason or ways of defending themselves. According to the ex-GI, one soldier would shoot into the pen and another, in a seat would keep score."

Pakistan outraged over Koran's reported desecration by U.S. interrogators --Pakistan, a key Muslim ally in the U.S.-led war on terror, has voiced deep concern to Washington over a magazine report that U.S. interrogators in Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Koran. Newsweek magazine, in its latest edition, quoted sources as saying that investigators probing abuses at the military prison had found that interrogators "had placed Korans on toilets, and in at least one case flushed a holy book down the toilet."

An ethical blank cheque --British and US mythology about the second world war ignores our own crimes and legitimises Anglo-American warmaking --by Richard Drayton "The 'good war' against Hitler has underwritten 60 years of warmaking. It has become an ethical blank cheque for British and US power. We claim the right to bomb, to maim, to imprison without trial on the basis of direct and implicit appeals to the war against fascism... After 1945, we borrowed many fascist methods. Nuremberg only punished a handful of the guilty; most walked free with our help... The Gestapo's torture techniques were borrowed by the French in Algeria, and then disseminated by the Americans to Latin American dictatorships in the 60s and 70s. We see their extension today in the American camps in Cuba and Diego Garcia." [a must read]

Marines Recall Combat Vests After Tests --The Marine Corps is recalling 5,277 combat vests issued to troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti after a newspaper article raised concerns that they failed a test to determine whether they could stop a bullet.

Army Recruitee Tells of False Promises (CBS4 Army recruiting investigation) A young man is sharing his story of how recruiters created false documents to get him into the ranks, and a recruiter is talking about the pressure to meet their quotas. False promises were listed among some of the 117 substantiated cases of recruiter improprieties the Army reported for 2004.

Steve Nash's Brilliant Year --Anti-War Hoopster Wins NBA's MVP --by Dave Zirin "By electing Steve Nash the NBA's Most Valuable Player, the pro basketball media made the day of everyone who plays hoops on Friday and protests the US war machine on Saturday... Nash was the first high profile athlete to come out against Dick Cheney's 'war of a generation' showing up at the 2003 All-Star game in 2003 wearing a T-shirt that read, 'Shoot baskets not people.'"

Amnesty may include Taliban leaders --The head of Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation commission, Sebaghatullah Mojadeddi, has offered an amnesty to all rebels fighting US and Government forces, even extending the offer to two of the state's most wanted terrorism suspects: the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, and the renegade warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar... The announcement came as the US military reported more casualties of fighting with suspected Taliban in eastern Afghanistan.

Taliban radio back on the air 11 May 2005 --In April, residents of the southern Afghan city of Kandahar were again able to hear Sharia Zhagh (Voice of the Sharia) - the name used for Kabul's Radio Afghanistan during the Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001. The opening statement of the broadcast in Pashtu told listeners that "Sharia Zhagh radio raises the voice of the Islamic brotherhood against the superpower, United States of America, and its associates who have been insulting the honor of the Muslim world and its religion and who [have] harmed Islamic rule."

State Dept. rebuffs call for more Bolton papers --Dems have accused Rice of ignoring requests on U.N. nominee --The State Department won’t turn over more internal documents requested by Senate Democrats investigating John R. Bolton’s fitness to be U.N. ambassador, a spokesman said Monday.

Court Ruling Favors Cheney in Energy Task Force Case 10 May 2005 --In a major victory for the Bush regime, a federal appeals court today dismissed a lawsuit that sought information about the secret White House energy task force overseen by Vice pResident Dick Cheney in the early months of the administration's first term.

Appeals Court Sides With Cheney in Lawsuit --A lawsuit seeking to force Vice pResident Dick Cheney to reveal details about the energy policy task force he headed and the pro-industry recommendations it made was scuttled Tuesday by a federal appeals court. The lawsuit, filed by the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, alleged that energy industry officials effectively became members of the task force, while environmental groups and others were shut out of the meetings.

Report Backs Up Navy Whistle-Blower --Counsel Says Welder Found Potentially Fatal Carrier Flaws --A Navy whistle-blower uncovered critical welding problems on an aircraft carrier that could have caused aircraft to crash and kill or injure pilots and sailors, according to an Office of Special Counsel report released yesterday... Whistle-blower Kristin Shott said she has been reassigned to more mundane work welding cargo containers, taking her away from her expertise in submarines, airplanes and aircraft carriers.

Judge lets United Airlines shed pension plans --Decision clears way for biggest corporate-pension default ever --A federal bankruptcy judge approved United Airlines’ plan to terminate its employees’ pension plans on Tuesday, clearing the way for the largest corporate-pension default in American history. [Poll: Do you think United should be allowed to shed its pension liabilities? 05:00 GMT snapshot: 8624 responses - Yes, it's the only way the airline can keep flying - 8%; No, executives should be forced to live up to their promises - 92%]

Party Leaders Seek Showdown Over Bush's Judicial Nominees --The Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders called yesterday for a prompt showdown in the impasse over judicial nominations, a move that would undercut moderates' efforts to find a compromise to the long-running dispute.

Frist Expects Showdown Over Filibuster --A long-threatened showdown over changing Senate rules to stop Democratic filibusters of pResident Bush's judicial nominations could come as early as next week, Senate Majority Leader [and Reichwing whackjob] Bill Frist said Tuesday.

Nuclear Option --by David Podvin "Washington’s current simulated death struggle involves the legislative 'nuclear option'. The issue is whether Republicans will change the Senate rules so that George W. Bush can have all of his extremist judicial nominees confirmed, or whether things will stay as they are, in which case Bush must settle for having ninety-six percent of his extremist judicial nominees confirmed... The GOP is sincere about using any means necessary to achieve total dominance of the judiciary... Senate Democrats have already activated the 'betrayal option' by allowing almost two hundred Bush-appointed racist, misogynistic, and homophobic corporate whores onto the federal bench." [a must read]

Last Chance to Stop National ID --by Rep. Ron Paul "Absent a political miracle in the Senate, within two years every American will need a conforming national ID card to participate in ordinary activities. This REAL ID Act establishes a massive, centrally coordinated database of highly personal information about American citizens: at a minimum their name, date of birth, place of residence, Social Security number, and physical characteristics. The legislation also grants open-ended authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to require biometric information on IDs in the future."

Appeals Court Backs Dismissal of Suit on F.B.I. --A federal appeals court agreed with the government on Friday that a suit by an F.B.I. translator who was fired after accusing the bureau of ineptitude could reveal the truth about the Bush regime's complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks ['expose government secrets and jeopardize national security']. The decision, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, effectively ends the suit by the translator, Sibel Edmonds. Her lawyer said, however, that she planned to take the case to the Supreme Court.

Homeland Security Bill may include border patrol for US Virgin Islands --ST THOMAS, USVI: Representative Donna Christiansen's Office has issued a statement that the US House of Representatives' Department of Homeland Security's Authorization Bill now includes consideration for placement of border patrol agents in the Caribbean.

1,300 fake law badges seized --Use could have been 'devastating' to security, official says --Federal agents arrested a man on Monday, charging him with possessing and selling more than 1,300 counterfeit badges representing 35 law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency said.

EPA to Sample Dust From 150 NYC Buildings --Dust samples from 150 New York buildings in lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn are to be gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency to find out how much indoor contamination might remain from the collapse of the World Trade Center.

EPA Puts Mandated Lead-Paint Rules on Hold --The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly delayed work on completing required rules to protect children and construction workers from exposure to lead-based paint, exploring instead the possibility of using voluntary standards to govern building renovations and remodeling.

The Biggest Story of Our Lives --by Jim Lampley "At 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day, I checked the sportsbook odds in Las Vegas and via the offshore bookmakers to see the odds as of that moment on the Presidential election. John Kerry was a two-to-one favorite. You can look it up... NEVER have exit polls varied by beyond-error margins in a single state, not since 1948 when this kind of polling began. In this past election it happened in ten states, all of them swing states, all of them in Bush's favor. Coincidence? Of course not. Karl Rove isn't capable of conceiving and executing such a grandiose crime? Wake up. They did it. The silence of traditional media on this subject is enough to establish their newfound bankruptcy. The revolution will have to start here."

Many in Pennsylvania lack health plans, study says --A new study finds that about 900,000 Pennsylvanians lacked health insurance during 2004, and about half of those without insurance were between the ages of 18 and 34.

LA Deputies Fire 120 Rounds at Unarmed Suspect --At least five Compton homes are left with bullet holes as officers fire 120 rounds at SUV. Ten Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies opened fire early Monday on an SUV they were chasing, discharging 120 rounds in a frenzied crossfire that injured a deputy and the unarmed suspect while sending bullets into nearby homes. The shooting on a narrow residential street in Compton sent residents diving for cover as bullets zipped over their heads and through their windows.

Bird flu strain found in three Chennai poultry workers 11 May 2005 --Scientists from a partner laboratory of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have found the first signs of an Avian influenza virus in three workers from a poultry farm near Chennai. Only specific protein signatures of the "highly pathogenic" H5N1 strain were spotted at ICMR's influenza referral laboratory in Chennai's King Institute of Preventive Medicine-the disease itself has not been detected.

Marburg outbreak now devastating all age groups 10 May 2005 --The outbreak of the deadly Marburg haemorrhagic fever sweeping across northern Angola is now devastating all age groups - and no longer predominantly young children - say epidemiologists on the ground.

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U.S. troops launch attacks against villages along Euphrates --More than 1,000 U.S. troops supported by fighter jets and helicopter gunships attacked villages Sunday along the Euphrates River, seeking to uproot a persistent insurgency in an area that American intelligence indicated has become a haven for foreign fighters flowing in from Syria. [Oh. The Syrian fighters are 'foreign' to Iraq. And, the US invaders are... endemic to the area?]

U.S.: 100 insurgents killed near Iraq-Syria border --Three Marines die as operation aims to stem 'smuggling route' --American forces have killed at least 100 insurgents and foreign fighters in an offensive near Iraq's border with Syria, U.S. military officials said Monday.

Marines surprised by insurgent's preparation for attack --The Marines who swept into the Euphrates River town of Ubaydi confronted an enemy they had not expected to find - and one that attacked in surprising ways... Marine commanders expressed surprise Monday not only at the insurgents' presence but also the extent of their preparations, as if they expected the Marines to come.

Al-Sadr Re-emerges (PINR) 10 May 2005 --A continuation and possible intensification of the interim government's crisis of legitimacy was signaled when 3,000 backers of dissident Shi'a cleric Moqtada al-Sadr clashed with government security forces after they had heard a message from their leader threatening to restart armed resistance if the provisional government did not produce "tangible results," and warning: "We have laid down our weapons but we still exist, and our fingers are still on the trigger."

Suicide car bomb kills at least 7 in Baghdad --A suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle near a U.S. military convoy in central Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least seven Iraqis and wounding 16, police said.

Japanese security worker reported seized in Iraq --An Islamic militant group said it was holding a badly wounded Japanese man after an ambush near a U.S. base in Iraq, but Japan's government said on Tuesday the incident would not affect its troop deployment in the country.

Hostage's family offers donation to people of Iraq --Relatives of an Australian man being held hostage in Iraq are offering to send a charitable donation to the people of Iraq in the hope of saving Douglas Wood's life.

Military: Blues, But Not Green --In case anyone still doesn't understand that recruiting is now the toughest job in the Army, the service missed its April goal by 42 percent. It was the third month in a row that the active-duty recruiting mission was not accomplished.

America's shame, two years on from 'Mission Accomplished' [Original publication, The Independent] --by Robert Fisk Two years after 'Mission Accomplished', whatever moral stature the United States could claim at the end of its invasion of Iraq has long ago been squandered in the torture and abuse and deaths at Abu Ghraib. That the symbol of Saddam Hussein’s brutality should have been turned by his own enemies into the symbol of their own brutality is a singularly ironic epitaph for the whole Iraq adventure... But this is not only about Abu Ghraib. There are clear and proven connections now between the abuses at Abu Ghraib and the cruelty at the Americans’ Bagram prison in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay."

Blix: Washington's Nuclear Moves Lose It Support on Iran, North Korea --Because of its own nuclear moves, the Bush administration has only "muted" support in much of the world in its campaign to condemn and shut down the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs, Hans Blix said Monday.

North Korea has plutonium 'to make six nuclear bombs' 10 May 2005 --The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog has issued a new warning about North Korea's nuclear potential, at a time when the reclusive communist state is reported to be preparing its first known test of an atomic weapon.

Cuba calls United States the 'Fourth Reich' --As world leaders celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany in Moscow’s Red Square on Monday, Communist Cuba held its own parade and accused the United States of using "fascist" policies to dominate the world. The president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon, denounced the world’s only superpower for employing military force unilaterally in an apparent reference to the US invasion of Iraq. "They practice a fascist military doctrine and proclaim their right to attack anyone when they please, using their powerful military machine, without any justification," he said in a speech marking the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Germany’s Third Reich.

George W. Bush: An insult to our collective intelligence --President of the USA is provocative and aggressive instead of conciliatory and diplomatic (Pravda) "On one side, we have a President whose policy is directed towards improving relations with the international community... On the other, a roving cowboy, taming the wilderness with his gun and his Bible, with an absence of tact and diplomacy. Diplomacy, debate, dialogue and discussion are the basic precepts of democracy, a word much referred to by the USA but unfortunately not practised in principle and diplomacy, debate, dialogue and discussion are for sure the four words which summarise Moscow's foreign policy, while Washington's continues to be dominated by bullying, blackmail, belligerence and bullishness."

Electoral reform: Why it's time for change --The Government is facing calls for a wholesale review of the voting system after the general election was condemned as a "travesty of democracy". Politicians from all parties demanded that the first-past-the-post system be scrapped after Labour formed a Government with the smallest share of the vote for more than 100 years. Constitutional specialists said Tony Blair was in charge of an "elected dictatorship" after Labour was able to win a majority with only 36 per cent of the vote. They say the Prime Minister is able to hold power with the support of just a fifth of the British adult population, the lowest figure since the Great Reform Act of 1832. [OMG, at least the UK dictatorship was 'elected.' We have endured an **UN**elected dictatorship since 2000!]

Blair faces growing chorus to quit --Labour MPs have engaged in a fierce war of words over Prime Minister Tony Blair's future in Downing Street. Some backbenchers ignored appeals from Cabinet ministers to rally around Mr Blair, issuing new calls for him to quit No 10 sooner rather than later...

Democrats, State Department wrangle over Bolton --Senate Democrats have demanded more documents in a wrangle with the State Department over the controversial nomination of John Bolton as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Bush Interviewed by Dutch Television in Advance of Europe Trip --Following is the transcript of Dictator Bush’s interview with Dutch TV NOS May 5 at the White House, one day prior to his departure for Latvia, the Netherlands, Russia and Georgia.

Internet Attack Called Broad and Long Lasting by Investigators --Federal officials and computer security investigators have acknowledged that a Cisco Systems network break-in last year was only part of a more extensive operation in which thousands of computer systems were similarly penetrated. Investigators in the United States and Europe say they have spent almost a year pursuing the case involving attacks on computer systems serving the American military, NASA and research laboratories.

Homeland Security's Security Questioned --A Homeland Security network that shares classified information with intelligence and law enforcement agencies was put together too quickly to ensure it can protect the information, according the department's inspector general.

Dogs Deputized for Terror War --Dogs are learning to help out with homeland security at the Canine Training Center for the U.S. Customs Service (search), which is located in a rural Virginia town. "We're looking for concealed humans or potential terrorists [?!? And they are locating 'terrorists' based on...?] coming across the border," said Lee Titus, the director of the Canine Enforcement Program.

NY fire chief criticizes terror response plan --New York's fire chief, citing the Sept. 11 Commission's recommendation of a joint command to deal with chemical or biological incidents, said on Monday Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to put police in charge of the initial response was "dangerous."

US radical right remains a threat --The decline in the [rightwing] militias should not be read as an overall decline in the radical right in the US, experts are quick to add. They are much less public about their activities and some have tried to recast themselves as supporting homeland security efforts in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks.

US's Snow promises terrorism insurance study soon --U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow on Monday promised the Bush regime would complete its study in a timely fashion on whether to reauthorize more corporate welfare ['the government's terrorism risk insurance backstop.']

U.S. Navy SEALs in Indonesia anti-terrorism drill [Holy coincidence, Batman! Polio reemerges in Indonesia immediately after the U.S. shows up for anti-terrorism drills!] U.S. Navy Seals and Indonesian forces are practicing anti[pro]-terrorism drills, including boarding ships and battling pirates [ROFL], in a palm-fringed string of resort islands near Jakarta, officials said on Monday. [See: Polio alarm as virus spreads to Indonesia 04 May 2005 --Outbreak a blow for global eradication programme --The battle to eradicate polio from the globe received another serious setback yesterday with news that the disease has spread to Indonesia as well as Yemen, both of which had been polio-free for nearly 10 years.]

Bie: Soldiers to Attend Seminar On Marburg Fever 09 May 2005 Kuito --Soldiers operating in Kuito city, Central Bie Province, will participate Tuesday in a talk on Marburg haemorrhagic fever, a sickness which has already killed over 260 people, most of them in Bie, Angop has learnt.

Marburg Toll in Angola Rises to 327 (Recombinomics Commentary) 09 May 2005 --The Marburg toll in Angola rose to 327 on Friday when 8 new cases were recorded in the Ministry of Health's daily report.

Ex-FBI translator plans appeal to Supreme Court --An FBI contract employee who was fired after alleging national security breaches within the bureau's translation service plans to appeal to the Supreme Court to lift a gag order that she has been under for almost three years. Sibel Edmonds lost her latest court battle on Friday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court's ruling that dismissed her lawsuit against the Justice Department.

National security employees form whistleblowers coalition 27 April 2005 --More than 50 former and current government officials from more than a dozen agencies have formed a new coalition, the National Security Whistleblower's Coalition, to protect and support national security whistleblowers.

Bush's Call for Vote on Judges Adds Urgency to Filibuster Battle --Dictator Bush yesterday called for an immediate vote on two of his most controversial judicial nominations, increasing pressure on Senate Republicans to consider a historic rule... Despite a flurry of congressional negotiations yesterday, Senate Republicans appear increasingly likely to exercise the "nuclear option" of changing Senate rules to prevent Democrats from filibustering Bush's judicial nominees [Reichwing terrorists].

U.S. Republicans demand votes on judicial nominees --Republicans on Monday marked the fourth anniversary of Dictator Bush's nomination of Priscilla Owen to a federal appeals court by calling on the Senate to finally vote on the Texas Supreme Court justice and six other blocked judicial nominees.

Bush May Destroy Social Security, Not Fix It --by John M. Berry "When the House Ways and Means Committee reopens hearings on the future of Social Security this week, two ideas members should bury are those offered by President [sic] George W. Bush. The sweeping changes Bush has proposed for Social Security, creation of private accounts and progressive indexing of benefits, are far more likely to destroy the program than to fix it."

The Final Insult --by Paul Krugman "Now they're accusing their opponents of coddling the rich and not caring about the poor. Well, why not? It's no more outrageous than other arguments they've tried. Remember the claim that Social Security is bad for black people? ...These are people who denounced you as a class warrior if you wanted to tax Paris Hilton's inheritance. Now they say that they're brave populists, because they want to cut the income of retired office managers."

"Happy Birthday, Mr. President": Our George ain't no Marilyn Monroe --by Jane Stillwater "My friend just said, 'Jane, everyone knows that the presidential election was stolen but Bush is still getting away with it. What can we do?' One thing comes immediately to mind. LET'S STOP CALLING HIM 'MR. PRESIDENT'! Can you imagine Marilyn Monroe singing, 'Happy birthday, Mr. President' to GWB? Absolutely not! Maybe Tony Blair or Jeff Gannon might want to sing it to him but that's another story. Maybe electronic voting machine executives might want to sing it but that's another story too. Maybe the Supreme Court justices would sing it. Or the weapons industry."

Intel CEO slams U.S. tech and tax policies --Says other countries offer better incentives to business --Attacking U.S. government policies on taxes, immigration and Internet access, Intel Corp. CEO Craig Barrett warned that the U.S. could be left behind when technology companies decide where to make their next big capital investments.

Education bill could send sparks flying as legislative session ends --Cutting Medicaid and boosting business have been the hallmarks so far of the Missouri Legislature's session, which will end this week with a $1 billion battle over school funding.

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Soldier lifts lid on Camp Delta --For the first time, an army insider blows the whistle on human rights abuses at Guantánamo --An American soldier has revealed shocking new details of abuse and sexual torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay in the first high-profile whistleblowing account to emerge from inside the top-secret base. Erik Saar, an Arabic speaker who was a translator in interrogation sessions, has produced a searing first-hand account of working at Guantánamo.

Amidst doubts, CIA hangs on to control of Iraqi intelligence service --The CIA has so far refused to hand over control of Iraq's intelligence service to the newly elected Iraqi government in a turf war that exposes serious doubts the Bush regime has over the ability of Iraqi leaders to fight the insurgency and worries about the new government's close ties to Iran.

Blair set 18-month deadline to quit as cabinet ministers round on him --Tony Blair's most senior Cabinet colleagues plan to urge him to stand down within 18 months because he lost seats for Labour at last week's election.

Election probes raise new fears of postal vote fraud --Fresh concerns over the UK's voting process were raised last night after it emerged that three men are to be charged with defrauding the electoral system in Burnley and that at least 17 police authorities are investigating similar allegations relating to the general election.

Seven U.S. Servicemembers Killed in Iraq --An explosion of insurgent violence killed seven U.S. servicemembers in Iraq over the weekend even as the Shiite-dominated parliament approved four more Sunni Arabs to serve as government ministers.

Bombers Hit U.S. Convoy in Baghdad --Two suicide bombers rammed cars filled with explosives into a U.S. security [?!?] convoy on a busy street in downtown Baghdad Saturday, killing 22 people. Two Americans were among the dead.

Australia Islamic leader pleads for Iraq hostage --Australia's senior Islamic leader has appealed for the release of an Australian held hostage by Iraqi militants, telling the captors in a statement broadcast on Al Jazeera television that he values their holy war.

Defective armor issued despite warnings --The Marine Corps issued to nearly 10,000 troops body armor that military ballistic experts had urged the Marines to reject after tests revealed life-threatening flaws in the vests, an eight-month investigation by Marine Corps Times has found.

Oops! Captured Al-Qaeda kingpin is case of 'mistaken identity' --The capture of a supposed Al-Qaeda kingpin by Pakistani agents last week was hailed by pResident George W Bush as "a critical victory in the war on terror". According to European intelligence experts, however, Abu Faraj al-Libbi was not the terrorists' third in command, as claimed, but a middle-ranker derided by one source as "among the flotsam and jetsam" of the organisation.

White House not on hit-list [!?!] --The group of al-Qaeda's frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has denied that one of its top figures threatened to attack the White House and the Vatican, according to a message posted Sunday on the internet. "Pro-crusader media have reported that a senior leader of the organisation threatened the Vatican and the White House ... We defy them to cite our leaders accurately," said the statement, whose authenticity could not be confirmed.

Karzai's opponent opposes US military presence in Afghanistan --Afghanistan National Congress Party (ANCP), has strongly opposed the proposal of establishing US permanent military bases in Afghanistan, a Kabul-based weekly reported. "The decision of installed regime to have US permanent military bases in Afghanistan is tantamount to the complete occupation of the country," Payam-e-Mujahid quoted a statement of the ANCP as saying.

Kabul blast signals return of forgotten Taliban insurgency --A United Nations employee has been killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, after the worst week of fighting further south in Afghanistan for nine months. About 70 Taliban fighters and 10 government security personnel have also been killed and seven US soldiers wounded in two battles, confounding hopes that the Taliban insurgency may be petering out.

Lugar Expects Bolton to Win Panel Vote for U.N. Envoy --The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said yesterday that he expects John R. Bolton, the contentious nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to win a party-line vote in the committee this week.

Sudan: US rolls out red carpet for Darfur's executioner --by Norm Dixon "Revelations of a covert rendezvous in Washington between top CIA officials and the head of Sudan’s secret police have starkly exposed just how hollow and hypocritical are the US administration’s expressions of concern for the plight of millions of Darfuri peasants, who have been systematically targeted by Sudan’s rulers in a vicious 26-month-long campaign of ethnic cleansing and mass murder. Ken Silverstein, writing in the April 29 Los Angeles Times, reported that US government officials revealed to him that, in the previous week, 'the CIA sent an executive jet ... to ferry the chief of Sudan's intelligence agency [General Salah Abdallah Gosh] to Washington for secret meetings sealing Khartoum’s sensitive and previously veiled partnership with the administration'."

U.S., Indonesia sign $245 mln Aceh highway project -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick signed an agreement on Sunday to build a $245 million road along Aceh's western coast, one of the first of many huge projects to rebuild the Indonesian province after the Dec. 26 tsunami. Tenders for the road project have already gone out and construction is ready to begin soon after the U.S. Congress appropriates the money, which is expected as soon as this month, aid officials said. [US taxpayers are dollars funding Bush's corpora-terrorists for foreign projects, so they will not have to pay taxes on their profits.]

Venezuela to Investigate Oil Companies --Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that foreign oil companies working in the country must pay taxes he insists they owe the country, or else leave the country.

Row of Loosely Guarded Targets Lies Just Outside New York City -- It is the deadliest target in a swath of industrial northern New Jersey that terrorism experts call the most dangerous two miles in America: a chemical plant that processes chlorine gas, so close to Manhattan that the Empire State Building seems to rise up behind its storage tanks. According to federal Environmental Protection Agency records, the plant poses a potentially lethal threat to 12 million people who live within a 14-mile radius. Yet on a recent Friday afternoon, it remained loosely guarded and accessible.

Ashcroft sanctioned for violating gag order in Detroit terror trial --U.S. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft was sanctioned by a federal judge on Tuesday for twice violating a court-imposed gag order in the Detroit terror trial. But Ashcroft, the nation's highest-ranking law enforcement officer, will not face criminal charges of contempt of court.

Bush Administration Claims Presidential Privilege for LBJ Documents --CIA Refuses Release of 35-Year-Old President's Daily Briefs 06 May 2005 --Legal motions and sworn declarations filed in federal court this week have refuted Bush regime claims that the CIA can never release President's Daily Briefs given to President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s because that would damage national security and violate presidential privilege, according to the Web posting of the documents by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Clash Over Judicial Filibusters Nears Boiling Point --The issue of judicial filibusters has simmered ever since, and many lawmakers say they believe it will reach a full boil this month, as conservative activists press Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Terrorist-Tenn.) to try to change Senate rules to bar filibusters of judicial nominees.

Mega Barf Alert! Welcome to the Christian Exodus "ChristianExodus.org is moving thousands of Christians to South Carolina to reestablish constitutionally limited government founded upon Christian principles. This includes the return to South Carolina of all 'powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States.' ...The time has come for Christian Constitutionalists to protect our American principles in a State like South Carolina by interposing the State's sovereign authority retained under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution." [Hit the low road, whackjobs! Take your 'Intelligent (Moron) Design' theory and *go!*]

Aid to Christian School In Alaska Spurs Lawsuit --Over the past two years, Congress has given Alaska Christian College more than $1 million. The school, founded five years ago and affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church, has 37 students. The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing the Education Department to rescind the funding.

US tourism 'losing billions because of image' --The US is losing billions of dollars as international tourists are deterred from visiting the US because of a tarnished image overseas and more bureaucratic visa policies, travel industry leaders have warned.

Police nab activists seeking Bush's nuke suitcase --Dutch police arrested six activists on Sunday who said they wanted to enter Dictator Bush's Netherlands hotel and look for the suitcase which allows him to activate nuclear weapons. The activists, carrying binoculars and wearing signs that identified them as "citizen's inspectors," mimicking the International Atomic Energy Agency's weapons inspectors, were caught by Dutch soldiers as they approached Bush's hotel.

States Propose Sweeping Changes to Cut Billions From Medicaid [and give it to Halliburton] --Governors and state legislators have devised proposals for sweeping changes in order to cut billions of dollars from Medicaid. Under the proposals, some beneficiaries would have to pay more for care, and states would have more latitude to limit the scope of services.

Hundreds protest Bush plan (FL) Young residents oppose Social Security changes --Mobilized Youth is a local organization set on making young people politically aware before many of them are even able to vote. About 20 members representing every Sarasota high school gathered at the corner of U.S. 41 and Siesta Drive to protest pResident Bush's proposed personal-account Social Security plan...

Forbes reports bonanza for world's billionaires --by Simon Whelan "Business magazine Forbes introduced its yearly world rich list with the understatement, 'The rich had a very good year.' The magazine’s compilation of the world’s super-rich has increased to a record 691 people who currently own a combined sum of US$2.2 trillion."

Huge radioactive leak closes Thorp nuclear plant --A leak of highly radioactive nuclear fuel dissolved in concentrated nitric acid, enough to half fill an Olympic-size swimming pool, has forced the closure of Sellafield's Thorp reprocessing plant. The highly dangerous mixture, containing about 20 tonnes of uranium and plutonium fuel, has leaked through a fractured pipe into a huge stainless steel chamber which is so radioactive that it is impossible to enter.

Secret papers reveal new nuclear building plan --The government's strategy to kick-start a huge nuclear power station building programme is revealed today in confidential Whitehall documents seen by The Observer.

Blair demands nuclear power to protect high 'living standards' --Tony Blair has ruled out making changes to "living standards" to tackle global warming, and is drawing up plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions instead.

Britain faces big chill as ocean current slows --Climate change researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream — the mighty ocean current that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing. The weakening, apparently caused by global warming, could herald big changes in the current over the next few years or decades.

The vanishing flowers of Britain: one in five species faces extinction --One in five of Britain's wild flower species is threatened with extinction, according to the most detailed analysis to date of the British flora.

Virus fear over smuggled bushmeat 08 May 2005 --Diseases that pose a threat to humans, such as Ebola, may be entering UK through the illegal food trade --Seizures of illegal meat smuggled into the UK from 'high-risk' countries where infectious animal diseases can pose a risk to human health have spiralled by almost 20 per cent, according to new figures.

Bird flu tests out-of-date, may have missed cases 08 May 2005 --A diagnostic test designed by Canadian researchers and used in Vietnam to detect H5N1 avian flu is out of date, scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory admit -- raising the possibility some human cases may have been dismissed in error.

Less lethal bird flu more likely to become pandemic 08 May 2005 --Vietnamese doctors are reporting that the mortality rate from avian influenza in their country has dropped substantially. But while this is good news for survivors, it could mean the outbreak of bird flu in Southeast Asia is taking an ominous turn. If a disease quickly kills almost everyone it infects, it has little chance of spreading very far, according to international health experts. The less lethal bird flu becomes, they say, the more likely it is to develop into the global pandemic they fear, potentially killing tens of millions of people.

Zimbabweans get Marburg warning 08 May 2005 -- Zimbabwe is warning its citizens against travelling to Angola following the outbreak of the Ebola-like Marburg virus which has claimed 280 lives, the health minister said on Sunday.

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U.S. to Spend Billions More to Alter Security Systems --After spending more than $4.5 billion on screening devices to monitor the nation's ports, borders, airports, mail and air, the federal government is moving to replace or alter much of the anti[pro]terrorism equipment, concluding that it is ineffective, unreliable or too expensive to operate.

US defence budget will equal ROW combined "within 12 months" --Defence expenditure in the US will equal that of the rest of the world combined within 12 months, making it "increasingly pressing" for European contractors to develop a "closer association" with the US, corporate finance group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says. Its report - 'The Defence Industry in the 21st Century' by PwC's global aerospace and defence leader Richard Hooke - adds that "the US is in the driving seat", raising the prospect of a future scenario in which it could "dominate the supply of the world's arms completely".

Labour MPs tell Blair to quit --Pressure on Tony Blair to quit as prime minister intensified this weekend with a growing number of Labour MPs calling for him to leave Downing Street within a year.

I won't quit, vows Blair as cabinet rift opens · Defeated MPs blame leader for poll losses · Blair reveals 2008 timetable for departure --Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were locked in a fierce power struggle last night over the cabinet reshuffle as the newly born partnership stumbled during the first days of the new government.

War Cost 1M Votes --Protesters turned backs on Blair because of Iraq --Labour's missing 1.1million voters punished the Government for ignoring their demand not to invade Iraq, anti-war campaigners claimed last night. The party polled 9.6million votes - down six per cent on 2001 when 10.7million people put their cross in Labour's box. The 1.1million difference mirrors the number of anti-war marchers who protested in London before the war.

Galloway: Bring Blair Before the Hague --"This defeat is for Iraq. All the people you have killed, all the lies you have told have come back to haunt you," declared maverick lawmaker George Galloway following his tight election victory Friday in London's East End district of Bethnal Green. Parading through his newly won constituency in an open-deck bus on Saturday, Galloway told followers: "It is one of my first missions to bring him [Blair] in front of a court in The Hague and behind bars." [Don't forget Bush, Mr Galloway!!]

Upsurge in Iraq bloodshed as US seizes key militants --Military says latest violence is sign of anti-terrorist success [I guess they 'had to destroy the village in order to save it.'] After one of the bloodiest weeks in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, US military officials have claimed that the dramatic upsurge in violence is proof they are close to breaking up the terrorist network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. [I thought Bush was the 'leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq' - he's undeniably their best recruiter.]

Iraq's nine-day death toll crosses 300 --The whirlwind of violence sweeping across Iraq has claimed 17 more lives, taking the death toll beyond 300 following last week's announcement of a partial Cabinet line-up by 'Prime Minister' Ibrahim Jaafari.

Four Americans among 17 dead in Baghdad car bombing --Four Americans were among 17 people killed in a huge car bomb blast in central Baghdad Saturday, security and medical sources said. "According to the latest toll, there are 13 Iraqi civilians killed and four foreigners whose bodies were completely charred," the official said on condition of anonymity.

'Great Crime' at Abu Ghraib Enrages and Inspires an Artist --Fernando Botero, Latin America's best-known living artist... has taken on the topic of the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Forty-eight paintings and sketches - of naked prisoners attacked by dogs, dangling from ropes, beaten by guards, in a mangled heap of bodies - will be exhibited in Rome at the Palazzo Venezia museum on June 16. [During the 2000 presidential campaign, Ralph Nader stated that there was no difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Suffice to say at this juncture - 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians and the US Abu Ghraib's 'Guernica' later - there was, in fact, a *difference.*]

Colombian artist depicts Abu Ghraib torture --In a new series of paintings by famed Colombian artist Fernando Botero, Iraqi detainees are shown being beaten by American prison guards, made to wear women's lingerie and suffering other abuse.

Gonzales: Most detainee abuse reports don't qualify as torture --Many of the accounts detailing abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay by American military and civilian personnel don't meet the definition of torture, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said.

Blast kills two, wounds five in Afghan capital --A bomb exploded at an Internet cafe in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Saturday killing two Afghans and wounding five, police said. The cafe is at the front of a guest house used by Westerners in the heart of the city.

Somaliland accuses US of illegal incursion The Government of Somaliland in north-eastern Somalia has accused the United States of violating its air space. The accusation follows another that US Marines landed in the area looking for terrorists last week. [Check 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.]

Belarus tells U.S. to keep out of its affairs --Dictator Bush said on Saturday free elections should be held in Belarus but the Russian-backed country swiftly accused the United States and its Baltic neighbors of interfering in its internal affairs.

Spy photos spot signs of N Korea nuclear test site --American officials believe that new satellite photographs of North Korea show intensive preparations for a possible nuclear weapons test, it was reported yesterday.

Senate Democrats May Extend Inquiry on Bolton --They say documents they need on Bush's nominee for the U.N. have not been furnished. A Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting took place on the final day set aside for interviews of witnesses as the committee formally wrapped up its investigation of John R. Bolton before a vote scheduled for Thursday. But though Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), the committee chairman, may believe the inquiry has ended, Democrats on the panel said more information was needed. And aides said the Democrats might try to extend the investigation.

In Venezuela, Chavez's Oil Revolution Pumps Money Into Programs for the Poor --Workers are cutting sugar cane on fields that once lay fallow, stitching together T-shirts at state-funded cooperatives and building thousands of homes to replace shantytowns. Venezuela's booming oil wealth is bankrolling its most ambitious effort in decades to help the poor, an integral part of President Hugo Chavez's social revolution.

Meer foto's van de StopBush-demo in Amsterdam chunsa58 (Indymedia NL) 08.05.2005 01:20 --Hier een kort fotoverslagje van de demonstratie in Amsterdam. [Photos of anti-Bush demonstration in Amsterdam]

In N.M., Terror Town, U.S.A. --Simulated attacks in government-contracted town spook residents. With its pristine Spanish-style houses and flowering gardens, this remote town seems an unlikely place to be the most dangerous spot in the United States. But for the past six months it has been under siege by terrorists.

Oops! Idaho nuclear lab can't account for missing computers --The U.S. Department of Energy's nuclear reactor research lab in eastern Idaho can't account for more than 200 missing computers and disk drives that may have contained sensitive information, the agency's inspector general says. The computers were among 998 items costing $2.2 million that came up missing over the past three years at the Idaho National Laboratory, according to a new report.

FBI Releases NYC Teens Detained for 6 Weeks --The FBI has released a 16-year-old girl and will allow another to leave the country after the teens were detained for six weeks amid concerns they were potential recruits for a suicide bomb plot that never materialized. The girls were picked up separately by authorities on March 24 and sent to a detention center in Leesport, Pa.

Fight Over Judgeships Is New Front in Culture War --Texas minister Rick Scarborough is a leader in the growing movement to stock federal courts with judges that reflect conservative Christian values... Now he has set his sights on bigger stakes: pushing Senate Republicans to change the rules so that Democrats cannot block Dictator Bush's judicial nominees.

Filibuster Fight Nears Showdown --With the Senate clock ticking toward a momentous procedural clash over judicial nominees, lawmakers and advocates on each side are readying a final push to win over the few uncommitted lawmakers and frame the fight to their best political advantage.

Feds Bring Rare Vermont Death Penalty Case --Vermont, a famously liberal New England state that abolished capital punishment decades ago, is about to see its first death penalty trial in more than 40 years — a case brought not by Vermont authorities but by federal prosecutors. "It's clear that the state doesn't want it," said Allen Gilbert, executive director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. "Yet the federal government is coming in and imposing it on us. They are imposing a system of justice we rejected."

In Kansas, Darwinism Goes on Trial Once More --Six years after Kansas ignited a national debate over the teaching of evolution, the state is poised to push through new science standards this summer requiring that Darwin's theory be challenged in the classroom.

Expelled worshippers consider legal action --A pastor who led a charge to kick out nine church members who refused to support Dictator Bush was the talk of the town Saturday in this mountain hamlet, with ousted congregants considering hiring a lawyer.

Minister ex-communicates members for not backing Bush (NC) The minister of a Haywood County Baptist church is telling members of his congregation that if they're Democrats, they either need to find another place of worship or support Dictator Bush. Already, the Reverend Chan Chandler has ex-communicated nine members of East Waynesville Baptist Church. Another 40 members have left in protest.

Drug Makers Reap Benefits of Tax Break --A new tax break for corporations is allowing the biggest American drug makers to return as much as $75 billion in profits from international havens to the United States while paying a fraction of the normal tax rate. The break is part of the American Jobs Creation Act [sic], signed into law by Dictator Bush in October, which allows companies a one-year window to return foreign profits to the United States at a 5.25 percent tax rate, compared with the standard 35 percent rate.

Under New Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, Food Stamps May Be Reduced --Elderly people with low incomes may lose some of their food stamps if they sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, the Bush administration said Saturday. When Medicare begins covering drugs in January, older Americans will spend less of their own money on drugs and will therefore have more to spend on food, reducing their need for food stamps, Reichwing terrorists ['officials'] said.

Biology Prof. Resigns Over Gvt. Use of Plant Research (democracynow.org) "We speak Dr. Martha Crouch, a former biology professor at the University of Indiana. She ran a lab dedicated to cutting edge plant research but decided to end her career when she found out that biotechnology companies were co-opting her research for profit."

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The Grand Refusal is Launched! (part1 - part 2) Read The Grand Refusal and Join the Grand Refusal Coalition. CITIZENS FOR LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT (www.legitgov.org) Pittsburgh, PA: November 7, 2004 -- CONTACTS: Michael Rectenwald and Lori Price, clg_news@legitgov.org Citizens For Legitimate Government is calling for the Grand Refusal to begin!!

The Quagmire --As the Iraq war drags on, it's beginning to look a lot like Vietnam --by Robert Dreyfuss "Iraqi insurgents are stepping up the pace of their attacks, unleashing eleven deadly bombings on April 29th alone. Many of the 150,000 Iraqi police and soldiers hastily trained by U.S. troops have deserted or joined the insurgents. The cost of the war now tops $192 billion, rising by $1 billion a week, and the corpses are piling up: Nearly 1,600 American soldiers and up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, as well as 177 allied troops and 229 private contractors... Even if the United Nations agreed to step in, there is little or no chance that the administration will internationalize control over Iraq. In the face of a full-scale civil war in Iraq, says a source close to the U.S. military, Bush intends to go it alone. "Our policy is to make Iraq a colony," he says. "We won't let go."

Let the treason trials begin! Memo disputes Bush Iraq claims 06 May 2005 --A highly classified British memo, leaked during Britain's just-concluded election campaign, claims pResident Bush decided by summer 2002 to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and was determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policy. The memo, in which British foreign-policy aide Matthew Rycroft summarized a July 23, 2002, meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair with top security advisers, reports on a U.S. visit by Richard Dearlove, then head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service. The visit took place while the Bush regime was declaring to Americans that no decision had been made to go to war. [i.e., Bush lied - thousands died. And, there is no 'runaway bride' today to serve as a Weapon of Mass Distraction. C'mon, PentaPost, do your job (for once) and *cover this story.* The secret Downing Street memo - SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY -- David Manning From: Matthew Rycroft Date: 23 July 2002 S 195 /02 --Iraq: Prime Minister's Meeting, 23 JULY]

Eighty-eight members of Congress call on Bush for answers on secret Iraq plan --Eighty-eight members of Congress have signed a letter authored by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) calling on pResident Bush to answer questions about a secret U.S.-UK agreement to attack Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

Unraveling Iraq's Secret Militias --Ruthless U.S. tactics are propelling the country toward civil war --by A.K. Gupta "Most disturbing, one militia in particular—the 'Special Police Commandos'—is being used extensively and has been singled out by a U.S. general for conducting death squad strikes known as the 'Salvador option.' The Police Commandos also appear to be a reconstituted Hussein security force operating under the same revived government body, the General Security Directorate, that was formerly tasked with suppressing internal dissent. At the highest levels, White House officials consider the Police Commandos as the leading force against the insurgency."

58 die in car bombing at Iraqi market Agencies in Baghdad 07 May 2005 --At least 58 people were killed and 44 wounded yesterday when a suicide attacker exploded a car bomb near a vegetable market in a mostly Shia Muslim town south of Baghdad, hospital officials said.

Iraq death toll tops 270 in 9 days --Latest car bombs kill 24 in towns near Baghdad --Two suicide car bombs killed at least 24 Iraqis on Friday, continuing nine days of violence that have left a death toll topping 270 people.

Market, Police Bus Blasts Kill 25 in Iraq --Insurgent car bombs struck a market and a police bus Friday, killing at least 25 people, and a dozen bodies were uncovered in a garbage dump on the outskirts of Baghdad — some victims blindfolded and shot execution-style. [US death squads are busy little bees!]

Australian's captors set 72-hour ultimatum for Iraq pullout: TV --A militant group holding Australian engineer Douglas Wood hostage in Iraq has given Canberra 72 hours to start withdrawing its troops from the country, Al-Jazeera television said, showing footage of the captive.

Australia stands firm as hostage deadline nears --Australia's foreign minister reaffirmed Saturday that his country won't pull its troops from Iraq – despite a fast-approaching deadline set by militants holding an Australian hostage.

Blair 'was forced' to support Bush's war --Md Patel, whose brother Mr Adam Patel is a Labour member of the House of Lords, said Mr Tony Blair had no option but to support Mr George W Bush in the war against Iraq. But he has also urged withdrawal of troops from Iraq and compensation for its people. Mr Patel, a former Congress member of the legislative assembly in Gujarat, said: "The UK had to maintain a good relation with America... so it (the British government) had no alternative. Any government which was in power in the UK would have supported the Americans in the war." He, however, added: "I do not agree that it was the right thing to do. It was not a right step taken by America and the UK, but once America decided to go in, the UK had no option but to back it."

Slashed majority hamstrings re-elected British PM --A slashed majority in parliament could frustrate the ambitions of freshly re-elected British Prime Minister Tony Blair to push his new Labour agenda through parliament and serve out a full third term in office.

Blair Wins, but His Party Loses Ground --The Labor Party's grip on Parliament is weakened substantially. The prime minister's decision to join the Iraq war is seen as a factor. British voters gave Prime Minister Tony Blair a historic third consecutive term in office Thursday but also sharply rebuked him over his Iraq policy, reducing his parliamentary majority and putting his political future in doubt.

Iraq war batters Blair at ballot box --Labour Party, and US-British relationship, weaker in aftermath of voter disaffection with war --by Jim Bencivenga "When President [sic] George Bush calls to congratulate his closest foreign ally Tony Blair on being reelected to a historic third term as British Prime Minister, the call is likely to be bittersweet."

Bush renews sanctions against Syria, accuses it of 'supporting terrorism' 06 May 2005 --George Bush has renewed a broad series of sanctions he imposed on Syria a year ago, charging that Damascus supports terrorism and undermines US efforts to stabilise and rebuild Iraq.

U.S. beefs up military units in the Pacific --B-2 bombers, F-15E fighters in Guam, Aegis ships in Japan 06 May 2005 --The U.S. military is beefing up its military capabilities in the Pacific by deploying high-tech aircraft and Navy vessels amid worsening assessments of the prospects of an early solution of the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Satellites May Have Detected North Korean Test Site --Or Is It Just a Ruse to Raise Stakes in Nuclear Dispute? U.S. spy satellites have detected what may be preparations for North Korea's first test of a nuclear weapon, although analysts believe it could be a calculated ruse on Pyongyang's part, a U.S. defense official said Friday.

Apocalypse Soon --by Robert S. McNamara "It is time—well past time, in my view—for the United States to cease its Cold War-style reliance on nuclear weapons as a foreign-policy tool. At the risk of appearing simplistic and provocative, I would characterize current U.S. nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, and dreadfully dangerous. The risk of an accidental or inadvertent nuclear launch is unacceptably high...

Charges Filed in Pentagon Secrets Case --A Pentagon policy analyst was arrested Wednesday and charged with disclosing classified information about U.S. troops in Iraq to two members of an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.

MI6 to interview al Qaeda suspect held in Pakistan --Agents from Britain's MI6 intelligence service will interrogate Abu Faraj Farj al Liby, the high-ranking al Qaeda member captured in Pakistan on Monday, because of his links to potential terrorist sleeper cells in the UK.

U.S. says it upholds U.N. torture rules, critics object --The United States said in a report on Friday it was abiding by global anti-torture rules and any abuses of detainees in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars were not systemic but critics charged the report was a whitewash.

CIA Plans to Shift Work to Denver --Domestic Division Would Be Moved --The CIA has plans to relocate the headquarters of its domestic division, which is responsible for operations and recruitment in the United States, from the CIA's Langley headquarters to Denver, a move designed to promote innovation [?!?], according to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials. A U.S. intelligence official said the planned move, confirmed by three other government officials, was being undertaken "for operational reasons." [Is the Bush terror team planning to attack the D.C. area? What on earth is going on at Denver International Airport? Or should we be asking what is going on UNDERGROUND there? Click here for the 'life after Armageddon' murals at DIA -- must-see Webpages]

DHS chief floats idea of collecting private citizens' information --National Journal Call it Total Information Awareness, homeland-style. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff this week floated an idea to start a nonprofit group that would collect information on private citizens, flag suspicious activity, and send names of suspicious people to his department.

Real ID Act edges closer to passage --The Real ID Act, which was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday and likely will clear the Senate next week, would require most license applicants to show a photo ID, a birth certificate, proof of their Social Security number and a document showing their full name and address. All of the documents then would have to be checked against federal databases.

Congress set to impose ID card rules --States would need to verify papers --Congressional negotiators have agreed on a sweeping new system that would nationalize standards for driver's licenses and state identification cards, requiring states to verify the authenticity of every document that people use to prove their identity and show their legal residency.

U.S. blacklists 7 countries for lax port security --Coast Guard to board ships from nations with weak anti-terror rules --Anti-terrorism safeguards are so lax in seven countries that U.S. officials will now board and screen all ships that recently docked in those nations before allowing them to enter U.S. ports, the Coast Guard said Thursday.

Lawmakers introduce homeland security bills --Federal lawmakers targeted homeland security with technology-related legislation introduced this week. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., introduced legislation designed to improve air cargo security by requiring that all cargo carried on passenger and all-cargo carriers be physically inspected before being loaded onboard.

Boom Times For Federal Contractors --Surge in Tech Work Brings Record Profits --Double-digit profit gains and record revenues were commonplace last quarter for firms that specialize in serving the government, a trend largely fueled by ramped-up demand for outsourced technology services in areas such as defense, intelligence and homeland security.

Manhattan Bridge reopens after NY security alert --New York police briefly closed the Manhattan Bridge on Friday while they investigated a suspicious package but the bridge was later reopened to traffic, a police spokeswoman said.

2 Blasts Before Dawn Shatter Windows and Close Third Avenue 06 May 2005 --Two crude yet powerful explosive devices went off outside an office building on Third Avenue in Manhattan early yesterday, injuring no one but damaging a planter, shattering windows and prompting a large force of police officers to halt traffic on several blocks.

C-SPAN2 Book tv, Saturday, 7 May 2005, 2:30 pm EST The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions --David Ray Griffin "David Ray Griffin takes a critical look at the official 9/11 Commission Report. "Professor Griffin argues that 'omissions and distortions' in the report amount to a cover-up by government officials and says that the available evidence suggests that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks."

Reid calls Bush 'loser' --In the course of a discussion on filibusters and Senate rules, Washington's top Democrat expressed his views about the commander in chief [thief]. "The man's father is a wonderful human being," Reid said in response to a question about President Bush's policies. "I think this guy is a loser. "I think President Bush is doing a bad job," he added to a handful of chuckles. "He's driving this country into bankruptcy," Reid said, referring to the deficit. "He's got us in this intractable war in Iraq where we now have about 1,600 American soldiers dead and another 15,000 injured."

Mind Your Own Democracy, says President Putin, defending Russia's and criticizing America's Electoral College system in an upcoming interview --A combative Vladimir Putin tells Mike Wallace he should question his own country's democratic ways before looking for problems with Russia's. The Russian president also says the U.S. shouldn't try to export its democracy, as it is trying to do in Iraq, in an interview to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday 8 May. "Four years ago your presidential election was decided by the court. The judicial system was brought into it..." said Putin. The Russian president also believes the U.S. democratic system does not travel well and that is precisely why he was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. "Democracy cannot be exported to some other place. [Democracy] must be a product of internal domestic development in a society," said Putin.

Some Kan. Board Members Skipped Readings --As a State Board of Education subcommittee heard more testimony Friday on how evolution should be taught in Kansas classrooms, one member [Reichwing moron] acknowledged that she hadn't read all of an evolution-friendly draft of science standards proposed by educators.

Church members say they were kicked out for being Democrats --Nine members of a local church had their membership revoked and 40 others left in protest after tension over political views recently came to a head, church members say. Some members of East Waynesville Baptist Church voted the nine members out at a recent scheduled deacon meeting, which turned into an impromptu business meeting, according to congregants.

North Carolina church EXCOMMUNICATES all Democrats!!! --by Drew "...East Waynesville Baptist asked nine members to leave. Now 40 more have left the church in protest. Former members say Pastor Chan Chandler gave them the ultimatum, saying if they didn't support George Bush, they should resign or repent." [Click here for video of WLOS-TV story. Churchgoers were barred from the East Waynesville Baptist Church (NC) for being Democrats. About forty church members left in protest.]

Lobbyist Had Close Contact With Bush Team --In Dictator Bush's first year in the White House, the administration had roughly 200 contacts with Republican fundraiser Jack Abramoff and his lobbying team as they sought to influence Bush's hires and pressed him to keep the Northern Mariana Islands free from the minimum wage law, documents show.

USA Today's Pentagon Reporter Resigns Under Pressure Squitieri Accused of Plagiarism --A USA Today Pentagon correspondent [Bush media whore], Tom Squitieri, resigned under pressure today after the paper learned he had lifted quotes from another newspaper for a front-page story and used several other quotes, without attribution, that were cut during the editing process.

Bush removes logging barrier --The Bush regime on Thursday overturned one of the most significant land conservation measures of the Clinton presidency: a ban on roads, logging and development on 58.5 million acres of national forests. The move could open large pristine areas to industry.

Environmental Groups Blast New Bush Forest Rule --Environmental groups criticized Dictator George Bush Thursday for reopening 60 million acres of federal forests to logging and road building after the administration formally overturned a Clinton-era rule that protected the land from development. A new US Forest Service final regulation will exempt states from federal restrictions on road construction in environmentally sensitive forest areas unless a governor asks for specific land to be protected. [Oh. This could explain why Bush is *obsessed* with installing GOP governors in every state.]

Critics Fault Medicare Handbook --Draft Explanation of Drug Plan Sows Confusion, They Say --As they gear up to sell the new Medicare drug benefit to 43 million seniors, federal health officials are circulating a draft handbook that elder advocates and insurers say is sprinkled with omissions, inaccuracies and material that could make an already complicated endeavor even more confusing.

Haste Makes Waste --by David S. Broder "The sums involved are staggering; no one can fathom what $2.6 trillion in annual spending means... The budget envisages the national debt increasing by $683 billion next year; by $639 billion the second year; by $606 billion the third year; by $610 billion the fourth year; and by $605 billion the fifth year. As Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee asked, 'Where is the deficit cut in half?'"

Virginia Governor Orders Review of 150 DNA Cases by Crime Lab --A sharply critical independent audit found Friday that Virginia's nationally recognized central crime laboratory had botched DNA tests in a leading capital murder case. The findings prompted Gov. Mark Warner to order a review of the lab's handling of testing in 150 other cases as well.

Police Reopen Atlanta Child-Killing Cases --A police chief has reopened an investigation into four of the child slayings that terrorized the Atlanta area more than two decades ago, saying he believes the man suspected in most of the killings is innocent. Wayne Williams, 47, is serving a life sentence for the murders of two young men. After his conviction, authorities blamed him for 22 of the other slayings but never charged him. Williams, who is black, has said that he was framed and that Atlanta officials covered up evidence of a Ku Klux Klan role in the killings to avoid a race war in the city.

AP: Feds Tested AIDS Drugs on Foster Kids --To gain access to hundreds of HIV-infected foster children, federally funded researchers promised in writing to provide an independent advocate to safeguard the kids' well-being as they tested potent AIDS drugs. But most of the time, that special protection never materialized, an Associated Press review has found.

Canada sends 3rd team to help combat Marburg outbreak, readies 4th rotation 06 May 2005 --Canada has sent a third team of scientists to Angola to help contain the worst outbreak of Marburg fever on record and is readying a fourth team to go later in the month if needed.

Bird flu virus in Vietnam has not mutated yet: newspaper 06 May 2005 --Bird flu virus strain H5N1 has yet to change into a new form that allows human-to-human transmission, but there is still a risk of mutation, according to local newspaper Saigon Liberation on Friday.

Action needed over avian flu threat 05 May 2005 --Governments around the world must stop burying their heads in the sand as the threat of a global avian flu outbreak grows, GP Nigel Higson, writing in the British Medical Journal, said today.

Indonesia to vaccinate 5 million children against polio outbreak 06 May 2005 --Indonesia was yesterday struggling to contain its first polio outbreak in a decade. ...The latest reports came as the government announced plans for a mass immunisation programme in which about 5.2 million children will be vaccinated against [sic] the virus in a single day.

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U.S. Officials Suspected of Embezzlement in Iraq --Nearly $100 million in reconstruction funds is unaccounted for, investigators say. The U.S. government has opened a criminal inquiry into suspected embezzlement by officials who failed to account for almost $100 million they disbursed for Iraqi reconstruction projects, federal investigators said Wednesday.

Missing Iraq Rebuilding Money Prompts Criminal Probe --A U.S. federal inspector says more than 96-million dollars earmarked for projects to rebuild Iraq cannot be accounted for. The report by Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen has prompted a criminal investigation into the missing money.

House Approves $82B for 'Iraq, Afghanistan' --The House easily approved another $82 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan [Halliburton] on Thursday, a measure that includes sweeping immigration reforms and boosts the total spent on fighting [fomenting] terrorism since 2001 to beyond $300 billion.

Blair secures his third term - but how long will he last at No 10? Labour's majority is slashed. War protest bites in London. Tories retake key marginals. Big swings help Lib Dems --Tony Blair saw his majority cut sharply today as Labour was hit by a Tory revival and a protest vote over the Iraq war. The party was still heading for a third successive general election victory for the first time in its history, but suffered a string of surprise defeats.

Labour's dismal performance in London casts a shadow over win --Labour's vote in London slumped dramatically, as the party lost a series of key marginals in the capital. On a mixed night nationally, Labour suffered a disastrous swing of at least five per cent to the Tories in London as opponents of the Iraq war registered their anger with Tony Blair.

Labour loses out in key marginals --Labour has lost five of the key marginal seats in Scotland. The Liberal Democrats took East Dunbartonshire and the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey seat.

Labour loses safest seat in Wales --Labour has suffered a sensational defeat in Blaenau Gwent, its safest Welsh seat, to independent Peter Law. The ex-Labour AM overturned a 19,000 majority to win by 9,121.

Lawmaker Expelled From Labour Re-Elected --A fiercely anti-war lawmaker expelled from Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party won re-election to Parliament as an independent Friday, saying in an angry acceptance speech, "Mr. Blair, this is for Iraq.'' George Galloway, a veteran legislator kicked out of the party after he urged British soldiers not to fight in Iraq, defeated Blair loyalist Oona King in an east London district. He ran as a representative of the Respect party, which he founded to oppose the Iraq war.

George Galloway wins seat --Respect's George Galloway has won the bitter fight for the Bethnal Green & Bow, beating Labour's Oona King by 15,801 to 14,978 votes. Galloway immediately attacked Labour and Tony Blair, telling the Prime Minister: "All your lies have come back to haunt you. The best thing the Labour party could do is sack you tomorrow morning... New Labour plumbed new depths in this campaign." [Click here for Galloway's speech.]

Election night at-a-glance --All you need to know about the general election night, at-a-glance (BBC)

Voters' sit-in at polling station --Police were called out after about 50 people staged a sit-in at a polling station in Norfolk. The protest took place at Watton, part of the South West Norfolk constituency. Voter Sarah Mash told of large queues on each of two visits to the station. Ms Mash told Radio Norfolk the officer in charge closed the station while people were waiting to vote.

Military postal ballots go AWOL --Many British soldiers have been unable to cast a vote in today's election because their ballot papers failed to arrive on time, the Liberal Democrats claimed today.

Straw's seat is a hot-spot of postal vote fraud claims 04 May 2005 --Returning officers will be on alert for possible voter fraud tomorrow after applications for postal votes surged nationwide. It is estimated that six million people, 15 per cent of the electorate, will opt for the post box over the polling booth. In the Lancashire constituency of Blackburn, where the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, is defending his 9,249 majority, the vote-rigging allegations have intensified as polling day nears.

Impeachment Time: "Facts Were Fixed." --by Greg Palast "Here it is. The smoking gun. The memo that has 'IMPEACH HIM' written all over it. The top-level government memo marked 'SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL,' dated eight months before Bush sent us into Iraq, following a closed meeting with the President [sic], reads, 'Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.' ...For years, after each damning report on BBC TV, viewers inevitably ask me, 'Isn't this grounds for impeachment?' -- vote rigging, a blind eye to terror and the bin Ladens before 9-11, and so on. Evil, stupidity and self-dealing are shameful but not impeachable. What's needed is a 'high crime or misdemeanor.' And if this ain't it, nothing is." [Well, it would be... but the problem is we have a runaway bride, a possible juror removal in the Michael Jackson trial, and an alleged affair by 'hit-n-runner' Paula Abdul on American Idol, so the 'mainstream media' is too *busy* to cover the story. --Lori Price]

The secret Downing Street memo --SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY -- David Manning From: Matthew Rycroft Date: 23 July 2002 S 195 /02 --Iraq: Prime Minister's Meeting, 23 JULY

Iraqi commando battalion pulled out of Samarra 05 May 2005 --US officers say battalion of Iraq's elite commando troops withdrawn from Samarra for looting, torching houses. A battalion of Iraq's elite commando troops was pulled out of the rebel bastion of Samarra last month after repeated incidents of looting, culminating in the torching of a home, several US officers said Thursday. The battalion, headed by a colonel named Jalil, was widely perceived as running amok, officers said.

US, Iraqi forces hold nine journalists on suspicion of aiding insurgents --US and Iraqi forces are holding without charge nine Iraqi journalists working for international news organisations, on suspicion of aiding insurgents, the US military said. The local journalists working for seven Western news organisations are currently detained with "some having been held for several months", said Colonel Steve Boylan, a spokesman for US forces in Iraq.

Insurgents kill 26 in surging Iraq violence 05 May 2005 --Baghdad woke up again to a spate of insurgent attacks targeting Iraq's security forces, a day after a suicide bomber killed 46 people at a police recruiting centre in the Kurdish northern city of Arbil. Insurgents killed 26 people in a string of attacks across Iraq, capping a week that has left some 250 dead. Meanwhile, a US audit revealed that Iraq's now-defunct US administration failed to account for nearly 100 million dollars disbursed from a UN-approved fund for reconstruction projects.

Briton's family sues over shooting --The family of an award-winning British film-maker who was shot dead by the Israeli army has launched a civil action against the Israeli government on the second anniversary of his death. James Miller, from Braunton, in Devon, was filming in the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza when he was fatally wounded by a soldier from the Israeli Defence Force on May 2 2003.

Army Pilot Pleads Guilty to Causing Death --An Army helicopter pilot pleaded guilty Thursday to negligently causing his crew chief's death in a Black Hawk crash in Afghanistan last year.

US military backs marine over filmed Falluja mosque shooting --A US marine who caused an international furore when he was filmed shooting dead a wounded and unarmed Iraqi will not face a court martial after the military authorities determined he had not broken any rules [Oh, murder is legal?], it emerged yesterday.

Bush demotes US Army general in Abu Ghraib scandal --pResident George W. Bush on Thursday demoted a one-star general who figured prominently in the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, the U.S. Army said. Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski became the first high-level U.S. military officer demoted in the scandal...

Army Demotes General in Abu Ghraib Scandal --The Army said Thursday that only one general will be disciplined for failed leadership in connection with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and that more than a dozen lower-ranking officers have received a variety of punishments.

Iraq jail abuse trial halted --A military judge has declared a mistrial in the case of Lynndie England, a key figure in the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, after evidence undermined her guilty plea deal.

US 'forced' Shell and BASF to reject bid from Iran --SHELL and BASF succumbed to pressure from Washington when they turned down a €4.4 billion (£3 billion) Iranian bid for Basell, their chemicals joint venture, said the managing director of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC).

American troops accused of arms theft in Colombia 05 May 2005 --Two US soldiers have been detained in Colombia on suspicion of smuggling ammunition intended for American-funded drug control programmes to outlawed paramilitary forces, the authorities in Bogotá said yesterday. Barely a month after five US soldiers were caught trying to smuggle 16 kilos (35lb) of cocaine aboard a flight to Texas, the arrests confronted Washington with a new embarrassment - and one that is bound to deepen local criticism that US forces in the country are able to break the law with impunity.

U.S. Rejects Idea of Ban on Nuclear Attack --The plea heard from the conference floor, from nation after nation, seems simple: Since we don't have nuclear weapons, please guarantee you won't use yours on us. It's the U.S. response - no - that isn't so simple, entangled as it is in the secret plans and dark visions of nuclear strategists. ...The United States wants to retain the right to use nuclear weapons against a country, even a non-nuclear one, that attacks it with chemical or biological weapons.

U.S. Cites Signs of Korean Steps to Nuclear Test --White House and Pentagon officials are closely monitoring a recent stream of satellite photographs of North Korea that appear to show rapid, extensive preparations for a nuclear weapons test, including the construction of a reviewing stand, according to American and foreign officials who have been briefed on the imagery.

Biden Hints at Delaying Bolton Vote --The senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee indicated Thursday that he might try delaying a vote on John R. Bolton's nomination as ambassador to the United Nations if the State Department does not provide additional documents about the embattled nominee.

Blast hits UK Consulate, fans NY security fears --Two homemade grenades exploded outside the British Consulate here in the pre-dawn hours on Thursday just as polls were opening in a general election in Britain, raising concerns about New York's post-Sept. 11 security.

Blasts shake British Consulate in New York --Two small makeshift grenades exploded outside a midtown Manhattan office building housing the British Consulate early Thursday, shattering a glass panel of the building but injuring no one, officials said.

Quick Action! Help defend free speech rights at Foss High School --By Clara Lightner, sophomore at Foss High School (Tacoma, WA) and activist with Students Against the Draft and War "...May 5, we were planning to hold a teach-in against military recruitment in schools. However, under pressure from the JROTC at my school, my principal, Sharon Schauss, informed me today that our meeting would be cancelled. This is a violation of our free speech rights and is effectively denying dozens of students interested in Students Against the Draft and War the right to organize. Meanwhile, military recruiters and the JROTC program have the freedom to regularly push their agenda at my school. I am asking you to call and/or e-mail my principal (253-571-2300) and Superintendent James F. Shoemake jshoema@tacoma.k12.wa.us (253-571-1000), and urge them to respect our free speech rights and allow our meeting to go on as planned."

"Real ID" Tacked Onto Military Funding Measure, Bill Would Enact Broad Changes Without Congressional Review (ACLU Press Release) "Congressional conferees have reportedly agreed on an appropriations bill to fund military operations, and attached the controversial Real ID Act to the bill. The Real ID Act will therefore likely be enacted without being scrutinized by any hearings or debate. The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed its disappointment that the final measure includes this sweeping legislation that rolls back asylum laws, attacks immigrants and sets the stage for a national ID."

Airlines to ask for personal information --Secure Flight system moves ahead despite worries about privacy protection, accuracy --Airline passengers will soon be asked to provide their full names and birth dates when they buy tickets, information the government says it needs for a new computerized screening system. The Bush regime is moving ahead with plans to implement the system, called Secure Flight, even though issues about privacy and other matters raised in a congressional investigation have not been fully resolved.

House cuts Homeland Security budget plan --Lawmakers cut nearly a half-billion dollars from the Homeland Security Department's 2006 budget proposal on Wednesday for what they called repeated failures to update Congress on counterterror spending.

Skepticism of Terrorism Alerts Cited --Report Says Conflicting Messages Hurt Credibility of Color-Coded System --U.S. government officials have issued confusing and at sometimes conflicting statements about the threat of terrorist attack in this country, with the result that the public often doubts the credibility of official pronouncements about terrorism, a congressional report said.

Terror Suspect Gets Bush Fundraiser Invite --A year after federal agents raided his home in a terrorism investigation, Muslim businessman Syed Maswood is lucky to get on an airplane without being detained and searched. But that didn't stop him from getting an invitation to dine with pResident Bush.

Bush Florida 2000 recount committee still owes lobbyist's former firm $314k --White House directs queries to RNC --by John Byrne "There’s a backstory that lurks behind [George W.] Bush’s decision to stand by [House Majority Leader Tom] DeLay. It involves Greenberg Traurig, the firm that employed the powerful lobbyist who paid for palatial DeLay junkets, and Abramoff staffers, who were footsoldiers in the Florida recount. Greenberg Traurig has yet to receive more than $314,000 in legal fees charged to a Bush committee during the 2000 Florida recount, RAW STORY can confirm. As a corporation, Greenberg’s unpaid tab represents a massive in-kind campaign contribution, far larger than anything that went unreported by DeLay."

Hill Leaders Often Take Corporate Jets --Companies Offer Discount Flights and Gain Access --When House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) left Washington last August to attend a friend's funeral in his home state and give a political speech in Ohio, he didn't wait in long security lines for a nonstop commercial flight. Instead, he hopped aboard a waiting private jet at Dulles International Airport that belongs to the corporation that owns Cracker Barrel stores -- just one of about 30 companies with legislative interests before Congress that have provided this service to Blunt.

Poll: Most Want No Social Security Cuts --Most people say they are not willing to give up some of their Social Security benefits to save the poor from having their payments cut. [NO, the question is, should we torch Social Security to fund Halliburton's endless no-bid contracts?]

Bush Opens National Forest to Logging, Mining, Roads --The last 58.5 million acres of untouched national forests, which President Clinton had set aside for protection, were opened to possible logging, mining and other commercial uses by the Bush regime on Thursday.

New U.S. Rule Opens National Forests to Road Building --The Bush regime today issued rules that would open up almost 60 million acres of U.S. forestland to road construction, logging and other commercial purposes. States will have 18 months to protest the changes.

Darwin on trial: Evolution hearings open in Kansas --A six-day courtroom-style debate opened on Thursday in Kansas over what children should be taught in schools about the origin of life -- was it natural evolution or did God create the world? The hearings, complete with opposing attorneys and a long list of witnesses, were arranged amid efforts by some [insane] Christian groups in Kansas and nationally to reverse the domination of evolutionary theory in the nation's schools.

Kan. Board of Ed Begins Evolution Hearings --Eighty years after the Scopes Monkey Trial, Kansas education [sic] officials began four days of trial-like hearings to consider changes to how Kansas students are tested on the origins of life.

Judge Blocks Md. School Health Program --A federal judge on Thursday blocked a county school system from instituting a health curriculum that includes discussions of homosexuality.

Fla. Lawmakers Approve Abortion Regulation --Florida lawmakers passed a bill Thursday to increase regulation of clinics that perform second-trimester abortions - from rules about sterilizing equipment and employee training to post-procedure care.

Officers Suspended After Boy, 5, Cuffed --Two officers accused of handcuffing a 5-year-old boy after a fight on a school bus have been suspended from police duties while the city investigates the allegations, authorities said.

Foster children used in AIDS research were unprotected --Government-funded pharma-terrorists ['researchers'] tested AIDS drugs on hundreds of foster children over the past two decades, often without providing them a basic protection afforded in federal law and required by some states, an Associated Press review has found.

Minn. hospitals to give uninsured patients a break --Several Minnesota hospital systems have agreed to grant discounts to uninsured patients and scale back aggressive debt-collection efforts, under a voluntary agreement to be announced Thursday.

New Yorkers Want Full Term From Clinton --The majority of New York voters said Hillary Rodham Clinton deserves to be re-elected to the Senate next year, but want her to pledge to serve a full, six-year term if she runs, a statewide poll reported Thursday.

*****

U.S. Warns A.F.L.-C.I.O. on Protests About Social Security --The Bush regime has warned the nation's biggest labor federation that union-run pension funds may be breaking the law [?!?] in opposing Dictator Bush's Social Security proposals. [The Bush regime has been *breaking the law* since their first coup d'etat, in 2000.]

U.S. Can't Account for $100M Spent in Iraq --U.S. civilian authorities in Iraq cannot properly account for nearly $100 million that was supposed to have been spent on reconstruction projects in south-central Iraq, government investigators said Wednesday. There are indications of fraud in the use of the $96.6 million, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. [Check Cheney's pockets.]

9 Policemen Killed by Baghdad Car Bombs 05 May 2005 --Insurgents attacked two police patrols in western Baghdad on Thursday morning, killing a total of nine policemen, an official said.

Bomber Kills 60 at Iraq Police Center 04 May 2005 --A suicide attacker slipped into line at a police recruitment center in this usually tranquil northern Kurdish city and blew himself up Wednesday, leaving the streets slick with blood in the deadliest insurgent attack in more than two months, police said. Sixty Iraqis were killed and 150 wounded.

Roadside bombs kill 2 U.S. troops in Iraq --Two American soldiers died in roadside bomb attacks by insurgents in Baghdad, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

Judge Throws Out England's Guilty Plea --A military judge Wednesday threw out Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea to prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, saying that he was not convinced that she knew that her actions were wrong at the time.

Judge Tosses Out Abuse Plea After the Ringleader Testifies --The court-martial of Pfc. Lynndie R. England, accused of abusing naked Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib prison, was declared a mistrial on Wednesday when a military judge threw out her guilty plea over testimony by the convicted ringleader of the scandal and father of her baby.

No Court-Martial in Iraq Mosque Shooting --A Marine corporal who was videotaped shooting an apparently injured and unarmed Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque last year will not face a court-martial, the Marine Corps announced Wednesday.

Bush tries to cool Italian row over Iraq killing --pResident George Bush made a personal telephone plea yesterday to Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, in an effort to end the row between the two countries over the killing by American troops of an Italian intelligence officer. ...One minister in Mr Berlusconi's conservative coalition cabinet said America's account of the killing was "clearly a lie".

Creating Reasons to Go to War --by Congressman John Conyers "The London Times reports that the British government and the United States government had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in 2002, before authorization was sought for such an attack in Congress, and had discussed creating pretextual justifications for doing so. The Times reports, based on a newly discovered document, that in 2002 British Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a meeting in which he expressed his support for 'regime change' through the use of force in Iraq and was warned by the nation's top lawyer that such an action would be illegal. Blair also discussed the need for America to 'create' conditions to justify the war."

Tony Blair Can't Win --A British reporter from America explains why Britons will vote for a guy named 'Brown' - so Blair can't lose --by Greg Palast "The British vote only for their local Member of Parliament. The MPs, in turn, pick the PM... A recent poll showed the British evenly divided: forty percent want Blair to encounter a speeding double-decker bus and forty percent want him stretched, scalded and quartered in the Tower of London (within a sampling margin of four percent). Why? Well, to begin with, Blair lies. A secret memo from inside Blair's coven discovered this week made clear that Britain's Prime Minister knew damn well, eight months before we invaded Iraq, that George Bush was cooking the intelligence info on 'WMD,' but Blair agreed to tag along with his master."

Turkey massing troops along Kurdish areas of Iraq border 03 May 2005 --Turkey was said to have massed troops along its southern border with Iraq. Kurdish opposition sources said thousands of Turkish troops have been gathering in positions near the Iraqi border.

Report: Army Knew Details of Tillman Death --Army officials knew within days of Pat Tillman's death that the former NFL player had been killed by fellow Rangers during a patrol in Afghanistan but did not inform his family and the public for weeks, The Washington Post reported.

Army Withheld Details About Tillman's Death [*No,* PentaPost, not just *details* - the Army withheld the entire incident!] Investigator Quickly Learned 'Friendly Fire' Killed Athlete --The first Army investigator who looked into the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan last year found within days that he was killed by his fellow Rangers in an act of "gross negligence," but Army officials decided not to inform Tillman's family or the public until weeks after a nationally televised memorial service.

Colombia arrests two US soldiers --Colombia has arrested two US soldiers on suspicion of trafficking weapons to right-wing paramilitary groups. Paramilitaries are accused of drug trafficking and mass killings during Colombia's 40-year [U.S.-generated] civil conflict.

Nigeria: Oil giant admits aid policies helped fuel violence --Oil giant ChevronTexaco is to rethink its community aid strategies after acknowledging that some of the policies implemented by its Nigerian subsidiary in the oil-rich Niger Delta have contributed in fuelling violence in the region.

Pentagon analyst accused of spying for Israel lobby --A Pentagon analyst was arrested by the FBI yesterday on charges of passing classified information to the main pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

Pentagon Analyst Charged With Disclosing Military Secrets --Federal agents arrested a Pentagon analyst on Wednesday, accusing him of illegally disclosing highly classified information about possible attacks on American forces in Iraq to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Shareholder Proposal: Insurer to Investigate 9/11 02 May 2005 --Allianz Group published a shareholder proposal on April 20th faulting management for ignoring signs of insurance fraud on 9/11/2001. Allianz carried a significant portion of the insurance coverage on the WTC, and stands to pay a corresponding portion of the $3.5 billion payout currently being litigated in New York. In his proposal, shareholder John Leonard... pointed to reports that building WTC 7 apparently collapsed by demolition, and for no plausible reason related to the 9/11 attacks.

US Eases Saudi Visa Restrictions 04 May 2005 --US Ambassador James C. Oberwetter says changes in the US visa process would ease travel between the States and Saudi Arabia. [Yes, that way, Bush's freelancers, the Osama bin Laden team, can get back into the U.S. a lot easier. But, check out the new Florida drivers' licenses, folks!]

CIA agents told to deliver bin Laden's head on ice --The CIA officer who led the first American unit into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said on Wednesday that his orders included an unusual assignment: bring back Osama bin Laden's head on ice.

Border 'Vigilantes' Pledge to Return --by Bill Berkowitz "An armed private group that patrolled the U.S.-Mexican border last month has gone home with an unequivocal endorsement from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and benign media coverage. Come October, they say, they will return to the border in the tens of thousands... In any event, Schwarzenegger might get his own vigilantes. The Friends of the Border Patrol, a California-based volunteer organisation made up of 300 retired police officers, military personnel, pilots, and other citizens, has offered to set up its own 'Minuteman-style vigil' in August."

Minutemen end border watch, plan to expand --Gov. Schwarzenegger praises group heading to California --The Minuteman Project, feeding on the success of its media attention is expanding. The group’s original organizers have already been to Washington to lobby for support. The group plans to expand to several other states, including California, New Mexico, Texas, Vermont, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington, Deacon said, with early June being a target date for California.

New Fla. Drivers' Licenses to Feature 17 Layers of Security 04 May 2005 --New drivers' licenses become a high-tech ID --New Florida drivers' licenses, which roll out in Pinellas County this week and in the rest of the state by the end of the summer, have 17 layers of security to protect against identity theft and to aid law enforcement and national security. Some features can be detected only under ultraviolet light. Some require specialized security equipment.

Arrest made at Coulter speech; Student arrested, charged with disorderly conduct after 'offensive' question 04 May 2005 --Incessant heckling and shouting culminated in an arrest Tuesday night during a speech by Reichwing whackjob Ann Coulter at the University of Texas at Austin. From The Texan: [summary] Coulter said she supported the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman on the basis that a good woman civilizes and inspires a man to strive for something better, leading to this question: "You say that you believe in the sanctity of marriage," said Ajai Raj, an English sophomore. "How do you feel about marriages where the man does nothing but f*ck his wife up the ass?" UT Police officers approached Raj to arrest him, resulting in a mass exodus of protesters chanting, "Let him go."

Lewd heckler arrested at conservative's Texas college lecture --During a speech last night at the University of Texas in Austin, a 19-year-old UT student was busted after asking Coulter a lewd question, which he followed up with equally inappropriate hand gestures, according to the police affidavit. The student, Ajai Raj, was arrested by campus police and hit with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.

Italian website banned over 'Nazi' pope picture --An Italian website that published a photo montage of Pope Benedict XVI [Pope Rat] dressed in a Nazi uniform was told to suspend its activities on Wednesday for offending the Roman Catholic religion, court officials said. Rome prosecutors accuse the Indymedia Italia site of causing offense to the Catholic religion [?!? The unending documented cases sexual abuse of children by certain Catholic clergy offends *me.*] by publishing the photo montage alongside the caption "Nazi pope". Under Italian law, the offense is punishable by up to one year in jail.

Ottawa worried about bio-terrorism attacks on cattle --Ottawa is looking at ways to dispose of large numbers of dead cattle in the event of a bio-terrorist attack. The federal government is also looking for faster ways to identify exotic animal diseases.

Lobbyist Paid for Ireland Trip for 5 GOP Lawmakers --Aides to Republican lawmakers said Wednesday they are reviewing a 2003 trip to Ireland to determine if a lobbyist paid for it - as congressional records indicate.

Due to Ties, Two on Ethics Panel Won't Probe DeLay --Two Republicans on the House ethics committee will not participate in any investigation of Majority Leader Tom DeLay because they contributed to DeLay's legal defense funds, the committee's chairman said Wednesday.

59.5% Nationwide Call for Tom Delay's Resignation - Poll --According to a national poll by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute, a majority of Americans surveyed, 59.5%, suggest that Congressman Tom DeLay should resign from his position as House Majority Leader.

Kucinich Introduces Gas Price Spike Act --Kucinich Says Gas Companies Take Advantage of Americans --The local lawmaker who wanted to be president now wants to make a law to keep gas prices in check. At his Lakewood office, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) announced his plans Tuesday to introduce the Gas Price Spike Act of 2005.

U.S. Treasury Says It May Reintroduce 30-Year Bond --The U.S. Treasury, faced with record-level budget deficits, said in a surprise move on Wednesday it is considering restarting regular sales of 30-year bonds after suspending them in 2001.

Al Gore wins a Webby --The former vice president will be recognized for playing a substantial role in its development at next month's 9th Annual Webby Awards. Gore will receive the Webby Lifetime Achievement citation "in recognition of (his) pivotal role in the Internet over the last three decades," the awards organizers said. Vint Cerf, a founder of the Internet, will make the presentation.

Researchers Tested Drugs on Foster Kids --Government-funded researchers [terrorists] tested AIDS drugs on hundreds of foster children over the past two decades, often without providing them a basic protection afforded in federal law and required by some states, an Associated Press review has found.

Cambodia confirms fourth bird flu death 04 May 2005 --Cambodia's health ministry on Wednesday officially confirmed that the woman died in Vietnam last month was killed by bird flu.

Indonesia finds second polio case, more suspected 04 May 2005 --Indonesian health officials said on Wednesday they had found a second case of polio and feared more would be uncovered on Java island, amid fears of an outbreak of the deadly disease.

*****

Quotation for today: "To discuss tolerance in such a society [as ours at present] means to re-examine the distinction between violent and non-violent action. The discussion should not, from the beginning, be clouded by ideologies which serve the perpetuation of violence...But to refrain from violence in the face of vastly superior [socially sanctioned] violence is one thing, to renounce a priori violence against violence, on ethical or psychological grounds is another. Non-violence is normally not only preached to but exacted from the weak--it is a necessity rather than a virtue, and normally it does not seriously harm the case of the strong. (Is the case of India an exception? There...passive resistance [was] no longer passive--it cease[d] to be non-violent)...In historical terms of historical function, there is a difference between revolutionary and reactionary violence, between violence practiced by the oppressed and by the oppressors. In terms of ethics, both forms of violence are inhuman and evil--but since when is history made in accordance with ethical standards? To start applying them at the point where the oppressed rebel against the oppressors, the have-nots against the haves, is serving the cause of actual violence by weakening the protest against it." --Herbert Marcuse, "Repressive Tolerance" (1965)

Frist begins to squeeze the trigger [Gee, we sure hope no one will do the same.] --Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s (R-Terrorist-Tenn.) chief of staff has told conservative activist leaders and business-community representatives that Frist will soon trigger the so-called "nuclear option" to end threatened Democratic filibusters of Dictator Bush’s judicial nominees this month.

House, Senate Agree on $82 Billion War Spending Bill --House and Senate negotiators agreed Tuesday on a measure that would provide $82 billion for Halliburton ['Iraq and Afghanistan']. Overall, the legislation gives pResident Bush most of what he asked for and pushes the costs of two conflicts and other efforts to fight [foment] terrorism worldwide beyond $300 billion since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Iraqi media under attack from [U.S.-installed] authorities in Iraq --A photographer for a Baghdad newspaper says [U.S.-employed] Iraqi police beat and detained him for snapping pictures of long lines at gas stations. ...All these cases are under investigation by the Iraqi Association to Defend Journalists, a union that formed amid a chilling new trend of alleged arrests, beatings and intimidation of Iraqi reporters at the hands of [U.S.-approved] Iraqi security forces.

Italian Press Accuse Berlusconi of Changing Calipari Report --The Italian press has claimed that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has altered a report investigating the death of Italian secret service agent Nicola Calipari, who was killed by US soldiers in Iraq in order not to endanger Washington-Rome relations.

Two U.S. F-18s Collide in Iraq --Body of One Pilot Found; Search Continues for Second Pilot --Searchers located the body of a Marine pilot Tuesday morning, hours after two F-18 Hornet jets apparently crashed during an operation over Iraq, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Insurgents Using U.S. Techniques --In 1965, the U.S. Army published a detailed [terrorism] manual on how to build and hide booby traps, complete with detailed diagrams illustrating various means of wiring detonators to explosives, and advising on the best locations for concealing the deadly bombs along roadways and elsewhere. Two decades later, the Iraqi military issued its troops an Arabic version of the same manual, copying not only the wording but also many of the drawings... With members of Hussein's former military and security groups now powering much of the insurgency in Iraq, U.S. forces find themselves confronting an enemy trained, at least in part, in U.S. military methods.

Australian negotiators arrive in Iraq --A task force of Australian negotiators has arrived in Iraq to begin the job of securing the release of Australian hostage Douglas Wood as new information surfaced that he may have been kidnapped from his Baghdad apartment.

Iraq: Depleted Uranium Causing Increase in Birth Defects --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.

SNP leader raises alarm over depleted uranium --Alex Salmond attacked Labour and the Conservatives yesterday over the firing of depleted uranium shells in south-west Scotland. The SNP leader claimed Labour had a "nuclear obsession" and he accused Peter Duncan, the shadow Scottish secretary, of being "asleep at his post" over concerns about the MoD’s Dundrennan firing range at Kirkcudbright.

Germany Pressures US Over Nuke Removal --Germany will take the opportunity of a meeting in New York on Monday on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to officially increase pressure on the United States to remove its Cold War-era nuclear weapons from German soil.

U.S. Urges Punishment For Iran Nuclear Work --Other Nations Continue to Back Incentives --The Bush regime said Monday that Iran was trying to build atomic weapons in secret and suggested the international community should respond by taking away Tehran's right to nuclear energy technology. [Why does (only) Washington (and Israel) have a *right* to nuclear energy technology?]

Governor fears calls monitored --Gov. Bill Richardson is concerned that some of his phone calls were monitored by a U.S. spy agency and transcripts of them were given to George Bush's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. Richardson called Sen. Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, to express his concerns after Dodd revealed that Bolton had on 10 occasions asked the National Security Agency for the intercepts of phone conversations involving Americans.

Pentagon says Iraq war erodes military's abilities --Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have constrained the military's ability to tackle other potential conflicts, making any future war more likely to be longer and bloodier, according to America's top general.

U.S. military report: Wars straining U.S. power --Future readiness may be hurt by events today, Myers says --After years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military is seriously limited today in its ability to fight in other major conflicts.

Army misses April recruiting goal by 42 percent --The U.S. Army missed its April recruiting goal by a whopping 42 percent and the Army Reserve fell short by 37 percent, officials said on Tuesday, showing the depth of the military's wartime recruiting woes.

DoD to Resume Anthrax Vaccinations 03 May 2005 --The Department of Defense announced today a resumption of its Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP) under the conditions set forth in the emergency use authorization (EUA) issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Jan. 27, 2005.

Millions of Tax Dollars Wasted on Exaggerated Threats of School Terrorism - Expert --Predictions of waves of terrorism targeting American schools were unfounded and resulted in the waste of millions of tax dollars that could have been used to address more pressing school safety needs. That is what Michael Dorn said today in a keynote address at the National Institute for Homeland Security and Antiterrorism Preparedness conference in Biloxi.

GAO: Nuke-Smuggling Security Lax --The Energy Department has installed radiation detectors at only two of 20 high-risk foreign shipping ports, according to congressional investigators.

US airport security 'still not improved' --Two years after investigators revealed they were able to take weapons and fake bombs past screeners in US airports, follow-up tests show that security has not improved.

Ofcom may have to police internet content --Watchdog is uneasy at plans that may hinder UK firms --Media regulators across Europe could be forced to police internet content for taste and decency in the same way as television programmes, according to proposals under consideration in Brussels.

Former GOP lawmaker urges scaleback of Patriot Act --A former Republican congressman urged lawmakers today to limit the government's ability to search for evidence without immediately telling the investigation's target, a part of the USA Patriot Act that Congress is reconsidering.

Driver's license applicants could need 4 IDs --Motor vehicle bureaus would require four types of identification from Americans seeking driver's licenses under a proposed law designed to prod states into verifying the citizenship of applicants. Uniform requirements for driver's license applications were among proposals accepted by House and Senate negotiators trying to resolve differences in their versions of a bill to pay Halliburton ['for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan'].

Assault suspect dies after police use Taser --A 24-year-old man died early Tuesday shortly after Phoenix police subdued him with a Taser, officials said. He is the second person in Phoenix to die after being zapped by the stun gun during a fight [?!?] with police.

Homeland Security chief seeks better liability protection for companies --Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday that his department wants to improve its implementation of a 2002 law meant to speed development and availability of anti-WMD and other anti[pro]terrorism technology. The Support Antiterrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act was intended to spur development by limiting companies' liability against lawsuits related to anti[pro]terrorism products' use. [Right, that's so U.S. police can kill using Tasers, with impunity.]

C-SPAN2 Book tv, Saturday, 7 May 2005, 2:30 pm EST The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions --David Ray Griffin "David Ray Griffin takes a critical look at the official 9/11 Commission Report. "Professor Griffin argues that 'omissions and distortions' in the report amount to a cover-up by government officials and says that the available evidence suggests that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks."

Lawsuits Over Pesticides, Herbicides Allowed --The Supreme Court rules against the White House's pro-business reading of a 1972 law. The makers of pesticides and weedkillers can be sued and forced to pay damages if their products cause harm, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, rejecting the view of the Bush regime and reversing a series of lower courts.

Bush regime prepping for future coups: Rove says GOP ready to keep power for years --White House political operative [and Reichwing terrorist] Karl Rove told a Republican rally in Ohio Monday that Democrats faded from national power because the GOP has claimed the "mantle of idealism" [mantle of fascism] over the past 40 years.

Congress Budget Plan Moves ANWR Drilling Ahead --$2.6 trillion federal budget blueprint approved by Congress late Thursday may clear the way for a Republican plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, according to congressional aides. The budget plan does not specifically mention ANWR drilling by name. But Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican who heads the Senate Budget Committee, indicated its language was carefully crafted to ensure that Senate legislation to give oil companies access to the Alaskan wildlife refuge would not be subject to a filibuster.

Voting-machine maker sues Blackwell --Voting-machine maker Election Systems & Software sued Ohio's elections chief Monday, claiming he delivered a virtual monopoly to Diebold Inc. last month that breaches his deal with ES&S. The lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, charges that Secretary of State Ken Blackwell held secret, closed-door negotiations with Diebold unbeknownst to ES&S and a third certified vendor, Hart Intercivic.

My Election 2004 bad dream --by Josh Mittledorf "...I met Richard Hayes Phillips, a geologist from New Hampshire who was invited to Ohio to study the integrity of the vote, and realized that a complete inventory of lost and miscounted votes was needed. To date, Phillips has analyzed 15 of Ohio's 88 counties, and by his most conservative estimate has found 101,000 uncounted Kerry votes - 136,000 is the margin by which Bush officially defeated Kerry."

GOP Operative Launches Anti-Hillary Clinton Site --A veteran GOP operative launched an anti- Hillary Rodham Clinton Web site Tuesday, complete with an unflattering photo and a warning that she and her husband are trying to "pull the wool over America's eyes once again."

Anti-DeLay billboards erected in Texas --A New England group founded by former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean erected two billboards today near the district of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, highlighting his problems with lobbyist-funded travel. "Lobbyists sent Tom DeLay golfing; all you got was this billboard," says a billboard overlooking a freeway that bends around downtown Houston, identical to one erected in Galveston County.

Fed boosts rate target another quarter point to 3% --Federal Reserve policymakers raised interest rates by a quarter-percentage-point to the highest level in 3½ years Tuesday and repeated that inflation pressures had risen in recent months.

Florida ends fight against abortion for 13-yr-old --Florida dropped its fight on Tuesday to prevent a 13-year-old girl in state care from having an abortion in a case that marked the state's second recent foray into controversial personal rights issues.

Hispanic group calls for apology for false claim --An advocacy group for Hispanics said Tuesday the bride-to-be who skipped town days before her lavish wedding and falsely claimed to be abducted by a Hispanic man before admitting to a case of cold feet endangered Hispanic males across the country.

Brazil spurns US terms for Aids help 04 May 2005 --Brazil yesterday became the first country to take a public stand against the Bush regimes massive Aids programme which is seen by many as seeking increasingly to press its anti-abortion, pro-abstinence sexual agenda on poorer countries.

Polio alarm as virus spreads to Indonesia 04 May 2005 --Outbreak a blow for global eradication programme [But, a financial windfall to Bush's pharma-terrorists - and more deadly vaccines financed by U.S. taxpayers] --The battle to eradicate polio from the globe received another serious setback yesterday with news that the disease has spread to Indonesia as well as Yemen, both of which had been polio-free for nearly 10 years. [Yeah, until the U.S. showed up to 'help' after the tsunami.]

Marburg virus has fatality rate of 89%, officials say 03 May 2005 --The rare Marburg virus has killed 280 people in Angola over the past six months, at a fatality rate of 89 per cent, authorities said.

Marburg kills 280 03 May 2005 --The death toll from the outbreak of the Ebola-like Marburg virus in Angola has reached 280, most of whom succumbed to the disease in the northern Uige province, the health ministry and the World Health Organisation said late on Monday.

*****

Bomb attacks on the rise as 'New Baath party' is born --The scale of the continuing violence in Iraq over the past year was underlined by a US report... that reveals there were 15,527 attacks on occupation forces, largely American, from July 2004 to late March 2005... The report was first issued by the US in a heavily censored form with sensitive information blocked out. But an Italian computer specialist discovered that the censorship was easy to remove. The picture painted by the uncensored military report is in sharp contrast to the more optimistic views given by the Pentagon to the US media.

Halliburton trolling for more corporate welfare: Bush's media whores at the NYT publish lead article regarding Iraq's 'lagging oil production' --A Promise Unfulfilled: Iraq's Oil Output Is Lagging --Two years after Saddam Hussein was toppled, production is limping along at about two million barrels a day, less than before the war, and even at that rate it may be causing long-term damage to poorly maintained fields. American officials had hoped that output at this stage would be at three million barrels a day, generating badly needed funds for reconstruction. ...Despite close to $2 billion worth of American corporate welfare ['technical aid'] to the oil sector has brought only limited gains. [LOL, why, let's give even *more* money to Halliburton, to 'upgrade' the oil fields - only to have Negroponte's terror teams blow them up, again!! See: Shell profit at £1.6m an hour 29 April 2005 --Shell yesterday reported an "excellent" first quarter [*duh*] with a strong financial performance across its businesses. The oil giant, which reported the biggest annual profits in UK corporate history in February, said its income had risen by 42% to $6.7bn (£3.5bn) in the period.]

These are Blair's last days --Iraq is our greatest foreign policy calamity in modern history and the reckoning has only just begun --by George Galloway "When I first called the prime minister a liar on air over his repeatedly denied plans to invade Iraq - in the wake of the Texas meeting with George Bush in spring 2002 - the BBC presenter was aghast at my presumption. Today there can scarcely be a sentient being in the land who would disagree... He lied, and more than 100,000 died: the real blood price of his grotesque special relationship with Bush... There was no al-Qaida in Iraq before the arrival of US and British troops. Now fundamentalists are descending like spores of anthrax on the gaping wounds torn open by the war. It is without doubt the biggest foreign policy calamity in modern history." [a must read]

130 dead since Thursday in Iraq --In latest attack, 6 killed in car bombing in Baghdad --A car bomb exploded in an upscale shopping district of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least six Iraqis and setting fire to an apartment building, in a surge of violence that has left at least 130 people dead since a new government was formed last week.

Car bombs strike Baghdad, killing eight --Three car bombs have killed at least eight people in Baghdad on Monday. The blasts targeted an Interior Ministry official, policemen and a busy shopping district, police said.

U.S. soldier killed by roadside bomb in Iraq --One soldier from the 1st Corps Support Command was killed and another injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) at the Baghdad International Airport on Monday, the U.S. military said in a statement on Tuesday.

Blair faces Iraq families' anger --The wife of the latest British soldier to be killed in Iraq has blamed Tony Blair for his death. Guardsman Anthony Wakefield was killed by a roadside bomb on Monday. His wife, Ann Toward, said Mr Blair should not have sent him to war.

Bomb kills British soldier on Iraq patrol --A Coldstream Guardsman was killed and another injured by the blast of a roadside bomb in southern Iraq late yesterday, the Ministry of Defence said. The dead soldier was named as Guardsman Anthony John Wakefield, 24, from Newcastle upon Tyne, who was married with three children.

Two U.S. F-18s reportedly collide over Iraq --Navy officials said Monday that two F-18 fighter jets apparently were involved in an "air-to-air collision" [?!?] over southern Iraq. There was no immediate word on the fate of the crew members.

Downer asks UN to assist in Australian hostage release --Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has asked the United Nations to assist in securing the release of an Australian held hostage by insurgents in Iraq.

Italy Rebuts U.S. Report That Cleared G.I.'s in Killing --Italy on Monday issued a strongly worded rebuttal to an American report clearing United States soldiers of responsibility for the shooting death of an Italian intelligence agent at a roadblock in Iraq, saying "inexperience and stress" on the part of the soldiers were major reasons for the agent's death.

US guard England admits guilt in Iraq abuse --U.S. Army reservist Lynndie England, the woman pictured holding a naked Iraqi on a leash at Abu Ghraib prison, pleaded guilty to abusing prisoners on Monday and said what she did was morally wrong.

Dereliction of Duty Regarding Iraq --by Scott Ritter "In the months that have passed since Iraq's much-hyped democratic elections, one word keeps creeping into my mind as I assess the tragic events unfolding in Mesopotamia today: Vietnam."

Pentagon Says Iraq Effort Limits Ability to Fight Other Conflicts --The concentration of American troops and weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan limits the Pentagon's ability to deal with other potential armed conflicts, the military's highest ranking officer reported to Congress on Monday.

New to Market: Alliant delivers weapon system to Army --Alliant Techsystems Inc. delivered the first six prototype XM25 advanced air-bursting weapon systems to the U.S. Army for field testing. The XM25 fires a high-explosive air-bursting 25-millimeter round capable of reaching an enemy behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole.

Cache Explodes in Afghanistan, Killing 34 --A cache of explosives stored at a former commander's house exploded Monday in a village in northern Afghanistan, destroying much of the village, killing 34 people and injuring 16, most of them women and children, local officials said.

Army Misses Its Recruiting Goal Again --The Army missed its recruiting goal in April, marking the third consecutive monthly shortfall.

High Court to Review Ban on Campus Recruiters --The Supreme Court announced today that it would decide whether some law schools may curb military recruiters' access to their students in protest of the U.S. armed forces' ban on openly homosexual members.

Army Recruiters Say They Feel Pressure to Bend Rules --Interviews with more than two dozen recruiters in 10 states hint at the extent of their concern, if not the exact scope of the transgressions. Several spoke of concealing mental-health histories and police records. They described falsified documents, wallet-size cheat sheets slipped to applicants before the military's aptitude test and commanding officers who look the other way.

North Korea Calls U.S. 'Kingpin' of Terrorism --North Korea described the U.S. as "the kingpin of state-sponsored terrorism,'' a day after the U.S. government said North Korea launched a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan. [Well-said!]

Rice warns North Korea of American might --Secretary of State [and Reichwing whackjob] Condoleezza Rice yesterday issued a blunt warning to North Korea, which test-fired a missile on Sunday, that the United States can "deter whatever the North Koreans are up to."

Rice to N. Korea: U.S. Can Defend Itself --Talking tough, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informed North Korea on Monday the United States is able to defend itself and its allies against nuclear and missile threats.

3 Ex-Officials Describe Bullying by Bolton --Three former senior government officials have provided new accounts of what they described as bullying and intolerance shown by John R. Bolton to subordinates and other officials who disagreed with his views on policy and intelligence matters.

O.A.S. to Pick Chile Socialist U.S. Opposed as Its Leader --In a rebuff to the Bush regime's efforts to press Latin America to take a tougher stance on Cuba and Venezuela, a Chilean Socialist emerged Friday as the consensus choice to become secretary general of the Organization of American States.

Chavez's Popularity at 70 Percent --A newly released poll gives President Hugo Chavez a 70-percent approval rating among Venezuelans, but his 'critics' [U.S. corpora-terrorists] are increasingly asking where his plans for a new brand of "socialism" will take the country's economy.

Venezuela's Chavez Vows to Fund Companies That Empower Workers --Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his government will help finance companies in need of investment that give workers a bigger role in management.

U.S. Called Unprepared For Nuclear Terrorism --Experts Critical of Evacuation Plans --More than 3 1/2 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the U.S. government has failed to adequately prepare first responders and the public for a nuclear strike, according to emergency preparedness and nuclear experts and federal reports. Two closely held government reports obtained by The Washington Post describe in chilling detail the effects of a nuclear detonation, using the scenario of a strike on Washington. They make clear the need for split-second execution by top officials of the Department of Homeland Security... [This means, Bush would have to actually stop reading My Pet Goat, put the book down, and not continue sitting for a twenty-minute photo op, during the next attack.]

Cheney says al Qaeda is still 'very active' [He should know - it's his crew.] Al Qaeda is still "very active" recruiting and seeking to attack the United States, although it has been hurt since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, Vice pResident Dick Cheney said on Monday.

(Flashback) UK Hijack 'suspects' alive and well Sunday, 23 September, 2001, 12:30 GMT 13:30--Another of the men named by the FBI as a hijacker in the suicide attacks on Washington and New York has turned up alive and well. The identities of four of the 19 suspects accused of having carried out the attacks are now in doubt.

Secret Service Searches Home of Protester --Renee Jensen of Elkins, West Virginia, likes to express herself. She has put up as many as a dozen signs in her yard over the past year, protesting the war in Iraq, Bush and Cheney, and the crackdown on civil liberties. In the fall, the Secret Service gave her a call... Then on January 11, she had some unexpected visitors.

Congress May Require Closer Scrutiny to Get a Driver's License --Congress is moving quickly toward setting strict rules on how states issue driver's licenses, requiring them to verify whether each applicant for a new license or a renewal is in this country legally. ...Civil rights organizations and privacy advocates say that they are concerned that a standardized driver's license would amount to a national identification card and that a central database would be vulnerable to identify theft.

Evolution on trial as Kansas debates Adam vs Darwin --Evolution is going on trial in Kansas. Eighty years after a famed courtroom battle in Tennessee pitted religious beliefs about the origins of life against the theories of British scientist Charles Darwin, Kansas is holding its own hearings on what school children should be taught about how life on Earth began.

GOP Wins Election Challenge in Washington --The Republicans won an important victory Monday in their legal challenge to the election of Gov. Christine Gregoire when a judge allowed them to use a type of statistical analysis to try to prove illegal votes swayed the race. Republican Dino Rossi is trying to have the election results from November declared invalid. [So are we, whackjob, so are we --the presidential coup d'etat. While we're at it, we need to have the results from the *2000* coup d'etat declared invalid, as well.]

Frist Protest at Princeton Is Lesson in Art of the Filibuster --If only Senate filibusters were this enlightening. Princeton University students and faculty have been talking round-the-clock to protest the legislative strategy of a famous alumnus and benefactor, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Cat Torturer-Tenn.). [See: Dr. Bill Frist, Moral Monster: He'd Do Anything for Pussy --by Alexander Cockburn]

House approves Medicaid changes that would hit poor, disabled (FL) Spending caps on the health care coverage they'll receive each year. Limits on the number and types of medications prescribed. No assurance of getting to see a physician of their choice. Poor and disabled Floridians – beginning with 227,000 of them who live in Broward County – would face harsh changes under a restructuring of the state's Medicaid program that the Florida House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved Monday.

House-Senate committee agrees on Medicaid budget cuts --Missouri state officials estimate the budget would eliminate Medicaid coverage for about 90,604 low-income parents, seniors and disabled over the next year. Numerous others would be forced to pay more out of their pockets through premiums, co-payments and personal medical expenses. Hundreds of thousands of adults remaining on Medicaid would have their benefits cut.

DHHR plans to reshape Medicaid to cut costs (WV) Medicaid recipients would receive only the services they need and would have to show up for medical appointments under a proposed restructuring aimed at cutting costs.

State increases Medicaid co-pays --Many to owe more for certain drugs --About half of Kentucky's nearly 700,000 Medicaid recipients will pay as much as $2 more for each brand-name prescription drug they order because of changes intended to save the state money.

House cuts target Montana's poor 18 April 2005 --Hundreds of Montana residents could lose their food stamps, medical care and welfare checks if the House goes forward with a proposal to cut funding for federal programs for the poor... Montana's Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who voted against the Medicaid cuts, said program supporters can't sit back and relax.

Governor Asks Hospitals to Cut $21 Million In Spending to Help Reduce Deficit --Paul Bengtson, CEO of Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, will head up an effort by Vermont's hospitals to reduce their Medicaid spending.

Tsunami Victims Face Land Grab 02 May 2005 --Thousands of Thais in the six provinces hit by the December 2004 tsunami are now threatened with eviction from land the government or private enterprises claim is not theirs. Many say they could lose property or homes where their families lived for decades, if not centuries. ...Intimidation has been incessant. Recently, five men fired gunshots into the air to scare away Thais and foreign volunteers who came to help residents rebuild their houses, the villagers said.

Polio Detected in Indonesia, Indicating It Crossed an Ocean 02 May 2005 --A case of polio has been detected in Indonesia [Gee, right after the U.S. military showed up to 'help,' in the aftermath of the tsunami. Holy coincidence, Batman! (But, not at all unexpected...)], World Health Organization officials said today. The virus, found in a village in Java, is most closely related to a strain that was found in Saudi Arabia in December, they said, and the most likely explanation is that it was brought back either by an Indonesian working there or by a pilgrim [?!?] who went to Mecca in January.[Yeah, the pilgrim from Fort Detrick.]

Mutated virus raises bird-flu danger level 03 May 2005 --Deadly bird flu is mutating to spread from person to person, bringing a disastrous global pandemic closer, experts fear. The bird flu virus - codenamed H5NI - has crossed the first two barriers, and experts fear it is now about to breach the third.

Avian flu pandemic could be massive disaster – and few are noticing 01 May 2005 --by Tom Saler "Experts are unsure if the bird flu virus will mutate enough to facilitate easy person-to-person transmission. ...According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even a 'medium-level' pandemic in the United States could infect about one-third of the population and cause up to 200,000 deaths. If that same infection rate were applied globally, roughly 2 billion people would fall ill; assuming a mortality rate of just 1% (down from the current 67%), that translates to 20 million fatalities."

Ducks Move Upstream From Treasury Dept. --The Treasury duck has been moved from her prime nesting spot in the midst of heavy tourist traffic a block from the White House to a more peaceful setting along a quietly flowing stream.

Treasury Duck Hatches Ducklings --The Treasury ducklings are hatching. The brown mallard duck, which became Washington's newest tourist attraction a block away from the White House, began hatching her ducklings Saturday afternoon. The Secret Service uniformed division, which normally guards the pResident and other dignitaries, has been protecting the duck and her nest since she laid her eggs in early April, keeping the mother duck safe from throngs of tourists who stopped to snap pictures.

*****

U.S. may allow nuke strikes over WMD --Proposal would reverse 10-year policy --The March 15 paper, drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is titled "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations," providing "guidelines for the joint employment of forces in nuclear operations . . . for the employment of U.S. nuclear forces, command and control relationships, and weapons effect considerations." "There are numerous nonstate organizations (terrorist, criminal) and about 30 nations with WMD programs, including many regional states," the paper says in recommending that commanders in the Pacific and other theaters be given an option of pre-emptive strikes against "rogue" states and terrorists and "request presidential approval for use of nuclear weapons" under set conditions. The paper identifies nuclear, biological and chemical weapons as requiring pre-emptive strikes to prevent their use.

Draft U.S. paper allows commanders to seek preemptive nuke strikes 01 May 2005 (Kyodo) The U.S. military plans to allow regional combatant commanders to request the president for approval to carry out preemptive nuclear strikes against possible attacks on the United States or its allies with weapons of mass destruction, according to a draft new nuclear operations paper. The paper, drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces, also revealed that submarines which make port calls in Yokosuka, Sasebo and Okinawa in Japan are prepared for reloading nuclear warheads if necessary to deal with a crisis.

Revealed: Blair to upgrade Britain's nuclear weapons --PM secretly signs up to new deterrent as UN tries to cut global threat --Tony Blair has secretly decided that Britain will build a new generation of nuclear 'deterrent' to replace the ageing Trident submarine fleet at a cost of more than £10bn - a move certain to dismay thousands of Labour Party loyalists in the approach to polling day.

Revealed: documents show Blair's secret plans for war --PM decided on conflict from the start. Blair told war illegal in March 2002. Latest leak confirms Goldsmith doubts. 01 May 2005 --Tony Blair had resolved to send British troops into action alongside US forces eight months before the Iraq War began, despite a clear warning from the Foreign Office that the conflict could be illegal.

Italy media reveals Iraq details --Italian media have published classified sections of an official US military inquiry into the accidental killing of an Italian agent in Baghdad. The 40-page report was censored by the Pentagon before being officially published on Saturday.

Italy prepares riposte to US report on Iraq death --Italy, stung by a U.S. report it felt put much of the blame on Rome for a "friendly fire" killing in Iraq, will publish its own version of events on Monday that is likely to question the testimony of American troops.New Iraq could become nest of corruption --As the recipient of foreign 'aid' worth close to $US100 billion ($128 billion), the corruption watchdog Transparency International is warning that the new Iraq could become "the biggest corruption scandal in history". Mohammed Jawad, a Shiite with no brief for his former leader, says: "I'd say that about 10 per cent of business was corrupt under Saddam." That's probably an underestimation, but Mr Jawad is making a point: "Now it's about 95 per cent - we used to have one Saddam, now we have 25 of them."

Belgian Doctors Bill U.S. for Treating Iraqi Girl --Belgian doctors sent an Iraqi girl home Thursday after treating her for leg wounds caused by a bomb during the U.S. invasion -- and sent the 51,570 euro ($66,650) bill to the U.S. embassy. Bert De Belder, coordinator of the humanitarian agency Medical Aid for Third World, said he sent the bill to the U.S. embassy because international law dictated that an occupying force was responsible for the well-being of the country's people.

Two years after 'end of war'-Iraq still crippled by violence --"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed," Dictator George W. Bush said two years ago from the deck of an aircraft carrier, just weeks after invading Iraq. ...After two years that saw the rise of a ruthless insurgency and daily car bombings, ambushes, kidnappings and urban fighting, the US military’s death toll tops 1,500 while the Iraqi tally is too high to report accurately.

Insurgents unleash third day of deadly attacks in Iraq --Insurgents launched a third straight day of attacks in Iraq today, including ambushes, car bombs and a drive-by shooting, killing nine Iraqis and wounding more than 20, police said.

35 Iraqis Killed as Insurgents Press Spate of Attacks --Insurgents using car bombs struck a Kurdish funeral near Mosul and American soldiers handing out candy to children [instead of 'handing out candy,' they should stop killing them] in Baghdad on Sunday in the worst of a spate of attacks that killed at least 35 Iraqis and wounded 80.

16 Iraqis, U.S. Soldier Die as Insurgents Launch String of Attacks --Gunmen killed five Iraqi policeman at a Baghdad checkpoint early Sunday after a day of bombings and shootings killed at least 11 Iraqis and an American soldier. Also on Saturday, the U.S. military announced that four other Americans had died in hostilities on Thursday.

PM stands firm as Aussie taken hostage --Prime Minister John Howard says the Government will do all it can to help free an Australian citizen apparently taken hostage in Iraq but will not give in to the demands of 'terrorists.' Mr Howard has confirmed the Government believes Douglas Wood, an Australian who has been living in California since 1992, is the man shown pleading for his life in a video released by Iraqi insurgents.

Iraq hostage's family 'extremely concerned' --The brother of an Australian man being held hostage in Iraq says the family is extremely concerned about his situation but trusts the Government will do all that is reasonably in its power to help. Douglas Wood, 63, has been shown on a video pleading for Prime Minister John Howard to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq. Mr Howard says the Government will not give in to terrorists. [Why? He gives in to Bush *all* the time!]

Unready for combat --After deaths of 13 trained for support roles in Iraq, others say they lack the skills to protect themselves --When Dustin W. Peters, an Air Force supply technician, arrived in Kuwait in January 2004, all he and his fellow airmen knew was that they would be supporting US troops in Iraq. But when their unit received its assignment, they recalled, they were stunned: They would be protecting supply convoys traveling along Iraq's violent roadways.

U.S. military inching to resumption of executions --After more than 40 years without an execution, the U.S. military could soon resume capital punishment as two death row inmates at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., are exhausting their final appeals and their cases move toward the Oval Office for a death warrant signed by the commander in chief [thief].

N. Korea Fires Missile Into Sea of Japan --North Korea test fired a short-range missile that plunged into the Sea of Japan Sunday, the White House chief of staff said, adding he wasn't "surprised by this," noting Pyongyang had conducted similar tests in the past.

Deadlock looms over spread of nuclear arms --Rift between America and Iran threatens to stymie attempts to update non-proliferation treaty --The global spread of nuclear weapons is at stake today as delegates from 190 countries convene in an attempt to salvage the 1970 non-proliferation treaty, but the chances of success look dim.

Anti-Nuclear Demonstrations Held in New York --A coalition of groups opposed to nuclear weapons marched in New York today, just before talks start at the United Nations to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Castro Hammers Bush on Terrorism at May Day Rally --Cuban President Fidel Castro on Sunday used the traditional May Day mobilization in Cuba to press his campaign against the Bush regime for harboring Cuban exiles suspected of terrorism.

US lies about Cuba --by José Fernández de Cossío Cuban ambassador, Letter to The Guardian "David Johnson, the chargé d'affaires at the US embassy (Letters, April 6), reiterates the deceits and manipulations that have been part of the incessant campaign to discredit the Cuban revolution. Since 1959, Washington has used every conceivable method to achieve its stated aim of regime change in Havana, including invasion, terrorist attacks, an economic blockade, plans to assassinate leaders and a campaign of lies."

Iran Plans Defense of Nuclear Program --U.S. Is Set to Deliver Ultimatum at Meeting --Iran is planning to mount a staunch defense of its nuclear energy program at an international conference beginning today and will insist on rights to the same technology afforded to all members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a senior Iranian official said in an interview yesterday.

Iran issues nuclear warning to US --The spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has warned the United States to stay out of his country's nuclear programme. Speaking on a tour of south-east Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said the US was arrogant, rude and deserved a punch in the mouth. [Well-said!]

Iran's Khamenei to US: nuclear programme is none of your business --Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in comments apparently directed at the United States that the Islamic republic's nuclear programme was "none of your business".

Rock on, Bruce Springsteen! Springsteen captivates Glendale crowd with acoustic show (AZ) Bruce Springsteen performed for more than 5,000 people at Glendale Arena in the third concert of his solo acoustic tour... Springsteen ad-libbed a "That's right" after one audience member yelled "(Expletive) the president" at one point.

White House Challenges DeLay Allegations Ahead of Probe --The White House stepped up its defense of embattled Rep. Tom DeLay on Sunday, disputing the merit of ethics allegations against the House majority leader ahead of an expected congressional probe.

Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases --The Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is aggressively pressing public television to correct what he and other conservatives consider liberal bias, prompting some public broadcasting leaders - including the chief executive of PBS - to object that his actions pose a threat to editorial independence.

Group to Launch Ad Campaign to Help GOP --An organization with strong Republican ties intends to spend $1.5 million on television commercials over next two weeks to help Senate GOP leaders in a showdown over President Bush's judicial nominees.

Shell profit at £1.6m an hour 29 April 2005 --Shell yesterday reported an "excellent" first quarter [*duh*] with a strong financial performance across its businesses. The oil giant, which reported the biggest annual profits in UK corporate history in February, said its income had risen by 42% to $6.7bn (£3.5bn) in the period.

Shell profits soar 28% on oil hikes -- Dutch/Shell followed major rival BP in comfortably outstripping City expectations to report a 28 per cent rise in first-quarter profits yesterday, mainly on the back of soaring oil prices.

Medical errors edging up in US, study finds --Hospital-acquired infections are worsening in the United States, even though the problem is widely recognized, according to a report issued on Monday.

Mercury-Laden Clouds Threaten Utah --Mercury-laden clouds from gold mine smokestacks near Elko, Nev., are floating east and could pose a health threat and damage the ecology of the Great Salt Lake. The mines account for as much as 11 percent of total Mercury emissions in the United States.

The legacy of Agent Orange --Thirty years after hostilities ended between the US and Vietnam, relations remain strained by one of America's most notorious weapons during the war, the chemical Agent Orange. Nguyen Trong Nhan, from the Vietnam Association Of Victims Of Agent Orange and a former president of Vietnamese Red Cross, believes the use of Agent Orange was a "war crime".

Nation 'prepared' for flu pandemic 2 May 2005 --Preparations for any potential flu pandemic were not perfect but the federal government was doing all it could, Health Minister Tony Abbott said today. Speaking at an Communicable Diseases Control Conference in Sydney, Mr Abbott said the next flu pandemic could be a "worldwide biological version of the Indian Ocean tsunami".

*****

Blair told war was illegal in 2002 --Tony Blair was hauled back into the row over Iraq last night, amid claims he was warned that a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein would be illegal almost a year before the opinion was confirmed by his most senior legal adviser.

Blair hit by new leak of secret war plan --A secret document from the heart of government reveals today that Tony Blair privately committed Britain to war with Iraq and then set out to lure Saddam Hussein into providing the legal justification. The Downing Street minutes, headed “Secret and strictly personal — UK eyes only”, detail one of the most important meetings ahead of the invasion.

Iraq, the secret US visit, and an angry military chief --The legality of the Iraq war exploded on to the agenda last week, causing chaos to Labour strategy. Here we reveal the key US officials who persuaded Britain that invasion was legal - and the astonishing reaction from our military chiefs.

British military chief reveals new legal fears over Iraq war · Forces head in remarkable 'jail' claim · Top law officer met key Bush officials --The man who led Britain's armed forces into Iraq has said that Tony Blair and the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, will join British soldiers in the dock if the military are ever prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq. In a remarkably frank interview that goes to the heart of the political row over the Attorney General's legal advice, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, said he did not have full legal cover from prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Iraq war sparks recruitment crisis --Defence chiefs have blamed the unpopularity of the war in Iraq for a recruitment crisis that has left 90 per cent of the Army's fighting units under strength, The Telegraph can reveal.

Gunmen Kill Five Iraqi Police in Baghdad Attack --Gunmen killed five Iraqi policemen at a checkpoint in Baghdad on Sunday and the attack was followed by a bomb blast in the area, police said.

Ten U.S. soldiers killed in last 48 hours in Iraq --Ten U.S. troops are dead as a result of bombing attacks from Thursday night through to Saturday. At least 50 Iraqis, mostly police and Iraqi soldiers have also died as a wave of bombings have swept the war-torn country.

U.S. military deaths in Iraq reach 1,580 --As of Saturday, April 30, 2005, at least 1,580 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,199 died as a result of hostile action, according to the Defense Department.

Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantánamo Bay --A high-level military investigation into accusations of detainee abuse at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has concluded that several prisoners were mistreated or humiliated, perhaps illegally, as a result of efforts to devise innovative methods to gain information, senior military and Pentagon officials say.

U.S. Recruits Authoritarian State in War On [of] Terror --even months before Sept. 11, 2001, the State Department issued a human rights report on Uzbekistan. It was a litany of horrors. The police repeatedly tortured prisoners, State Department officials wrote, noting that the most common techniques were "beating, often with blunt weapons, and asphyxiation with a gas mask." ...Two prisoners were boiled to death, the groups reported. The February 2001 State Department report stated bluntly, "Uzbekistan is an authoritarian state with limited civil rights." ...Immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush regime turned to Uzbekistan as a partner in fighting [fomenting] global terrorism. Now there is growing evidence that the United States has sent terror suspects to Uzbekistan for detention and interrogation, even as Uzbekistan's treatment of its own prisoners continues to earn it admonishments from around the world, including from the State Department.

Statement to the Human Rights Conference on Torture --by Sundiata Acoli "...I was rounded up on Sept. 11, 2001, and held incommunicado from my family, my attorneys and the entire outside world. Meanwhile, prison officials torturously interrogated me, looking for any connection on my part to the destruction of the World Trade Center or the later spread of anthrax through the postal system. [That was actually a Cheney troll - one who had access to Fort Detrick - who sent anthrax through the US mail so that the Patriot Act could be rammed through congress.] They openly threatened to hold me in total isolation for the rest of my life, and their implied threat was to seek the death penalty."

Italy to extend death inquiry --The United States and Italy were at loggerheads yesterday over the findings of an investigation into the killing of an Italian agent by American troops in Iraq. US soldiers killed Italian intelligence officer Nicola Calipari on March 4. They had opened fire on a car heading for Baghdad airport in which he was escorting Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who had just been released by kidnappers.

Italy Backs Criminal Probe Into Agent's Killing --Italy asked its state prosecutors on Saturday to step up their probe into the killing of an Italian agent by U.S. troops in Iraq after the two allies failed to reach agreement in a joint investigation.

Troops Who Shot Italian in Iraq Cleared, U.S. Confirms --The U.S. military confirmed on Saturday that it will not discipline troops who shot dead an Italian intelligence agent in Baghdad two months ago.

Western officials secretly met with Arab opposition --U.S. and European officials held secret meetings with opposition groups from eastern Arab countries in Morocco, official sources said. The meetings started on April 17 and ended on April 21, the sources said, adding that the media was banned from covering the talks.

North Korea Labels Bush a 'Dictator' [LOL, so do we!] North Korea lashed out at pResident Bush yesterday for comments he made about the country's leader, Kim Jong Il, at a news conference Thursday, asserting that the North Korean nuclear impasse will never be resolved while Bush remains in office. Bush is "a half-baked man in terms of morality and a philistine whom we can never deal with," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. The statement described Bush as the "world's dictator," who as pResident had "turned the world into a sea of blood."

Venezulean leader: U.S. citizens oppressed --Hugo Chavez in Havana for trade talks --Saying that U.S. citizens are oppressed by their own government, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised Friday that he would not visit the United States again until Americans "liberate" their nation.

N.Korea May Carry Out Nuclear Test by June - Kyodo --The United States has warned the International Atomic Energy Agency that North Korea has been preparing to carry out an underground nuclear test since March and could go ahead as early as June, Kyodo news agency said on Saturday.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty faces review --With the 2005 review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) set to kick off Monday at United Nations Headquarters in New York, senior officials Friday stressed the importance of restoring confidence in the landmark accord, some 35 years after it came into force.

Federal Judge Blocks Release of Sept. 11 Report --The federal judge overseeing the prosecution of admitted al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui has blocked an attempt by the Justice Department's inspector general to release a report on FBI missteps prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to a ruling unsealed yesterday.

Colleges' Hottest New Major: Terror --Campuses Altering Courses, Tapping Into Homeland Security Funds --Schools across the country are revamping curricula and research as they try to keep pace with the changes brought on by the 2001 terrorist attacks and take advantage of a large pool of homeland security money. The federal government has pumped cash into this new fight, spending more than $12 billion for homeland security research and development over the past four budget years.

Strip-Searched Teachers Sue Over Arrest at Bush Rally --Two teachers arrested at a 2004 campaign rally for Dictator Bush and strip-searched at a county jail have filed a lawsuit alleging law officers conspired to violate their constitutional rights. The pair were handcuffed, taken to the county jail, strip-searched and charged with criminal trespass. [Arming the Left: Is the time now? --by Charles Southwell "As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against..."]

Bush's War on the Press --by Eric Alterman "Make no mistake: The Bush Administration and its ideological allies are employing every means available to undermine journalists' ability to exercise their First Amendment function to hold power accountable. In fact, the Administration recognizes no such constitutional role for the press. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has insisted that the media 'don't represent the public any more than other people do.... I don't believe you have a check-and-balance function.'"

Civil Rights Commission Closes 2 Offices --Citing mounting debt and projected budget shortfalls, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission announced Friday it will close two of its six regional offices, lay off four staff members and request free rent on its office space for one month.

Alabama Bill Targets 'Gay' Books --Books About Or By Gays Could Be Banned --A college production tells the story of Matthew Sheppard, a student beaten to death because he was gay. And soon, it could be banned in Alabama. Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

Bill Directs Compensation for Oil Leases --A provision in a House-passed energy bill would require federal compensation to private companies for costs associated with oil and gas leases that can't be developed. Democrats and environmentalists complain that could force taxpayers to pick up a billion-dollar-plus tab for undeveloped leases off the shores of California and elsewhere.

Oops! Cracks in decaying shell of Chernobyl reactor threaten second disaster --A leading Russian scientist has claimed that the sarcophagus entombing Chernobyl's broken nuclear reactor is dangerously degraded and he warned that its collapse could cause a catastrophe on the same scale as the original accident almost 20 years ago.

Missouri river at risk of drying to mere trickle --The longest river in America has been so badly affected by drought it could be unnavigable by next year --Two hundred years after its source was discovered, the giant Missouri river is drying up. The longest river in the United States, long nicknamed the Big Muddy, is becoming the Big Empty.

Bird flu mutates and now more infectious 01 May 2005 --Deadly bird flu is mutating to spread from person to person, bringing a disastrous global pandemic closer, experts fear. Evidence from South-east Asia suggests that the virus, which could kill tens of millions of people worldwide, is becoming less virulent, but at the same time more infectious to people.

*****

Homeland Security to Limit Liability Suits --The Homeland Security Department is seeking to shield more anti[pro]terror research companies from product liability lawsuits, Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday. Chertoff, speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the department has "not fully succeeded in exploiting'' legislation that limits the extent companies can be sued for problematic products.

Secret Service Seeks Race of Media Party Guests --The U.S. Secret Service has asked for the race of guests attending a media reception with Dictator Bush before the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday. [We need to ask for the species of Bush instead of the race of the correspondents.]

Italy pursues criminal probe into agent's killing --Italy asked its state prosecutors on Saturday to step up their probe into the killing of an Italian agent by U.S. troops in Iraq after the two allies failed to reach agreement in a joint investigation.

Defense Department Invokes Geneva Conventions to Withhold Torture Photos 29 April 2005 --CIA Improperly Refusing to Confirm or Deny Existence of Documents Reported in the Media, ACLU Says (ACLU Press Release) "In a federal court brief filed late last night, the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the government's claim that turning over photographic evidence of detainee abuse in Iraq would violate the Geneva Conventions."

Detainee Interrogations Were Faked, Book Says --The U.S. military staged the interrogations of terrorism suspects for members of Congress and other officials visiting the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to make it appear the government was obtaining valuable intelligence, a former Army translator who worked there claims in a new book scheduled for release Monday.

Lynndie England to plead guilty at Abu Ghraib court-martial: report --Lynndie England, the US soldier infamously photographed holding a leash attached to the neck of a naked Iraqi inmate at the Abu Ghraib prison, will plead guilty to reduced charges at a court-martial on Monday, US news media reported.

England to plead guilty in Abu Ghraib abuse case --Lawyer: Private will admit to 7 of 9 charges --Pfc. Lynndie England will plead guilty to abusing Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib prison, her lawyer said late Friday, about a year after photos of her sexually humiliating inmates made her the face of a scandal that damaged the credibility of the U.S. military.

Four U.S. Soldiers Killed by Iraq Car Bomb 30 April --Insurgents launched fresh attacks in Baghdad and northern Iraq on Saturday, killing at least 10 Iraqis and wounding more than 30, officials said.

Two Car Bombs Kill 2, Wound 10 in Baghdad 30 April --Two car bombs targeting military patrols exploded in Baghdad on Saturday, killing two civilians and wounding 10 others, police said.

Insurgent Attacks Kill Up to 41 in Iraq 29 April --Insurgents staged a bloody show of strength today, detonating at least 10 car bombs around the country, including six in Baghdad, that killed as many as 41 people and injured dozens more.

7 Killed in Afghanistan Airstrike --An airstrike on a suspected insurgent camp in central Afghanistan killed three civilians and four insurgents, the U.S. military said Saturday.

N.Korea Says Bush Comments Show He Is a Philistine --Pyongyang branded President Bush a philistine and a cowboy on Saturday after he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-il a tyrant earlier this week. The North's official KCNA news agency reported a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying Bush had slandered Kim in Thursday's comments, in which he also called the country's reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il, a "dangerous person." "He (Bush) is a half-baked man in terms of morality and a philistine whom we can never deal with," KCNA cited the spokesman as saying. [I respectfully disagree: Bush is not a man.]

US warns N Korea against nuclear test --A top US envoy has warned North Korea against conducting a nuclear test, after an American intelligence official said North Korea is now capable of arming missiles with nuclear weapons.

Get ready for another Bush 9/11 event: Negroponte Takes Over Daily Briefings --For the first time, new national intelligence director [Reichwing terrorist] John Negroponte stepped into the Oval Office this week to present pResident Bush with his classified daily intelligence briefing.

Lawman likes eye in sky as monitor --If a kite appears to be following you in La Plata, Md., it very well may be. The Charles County Sheriff's Office recently monitored a gathering of motorcycle riders by launching a remote-control aerial camera to watch for emergencies or 'troublemakers.' An official said yesterday the battery-powered spy plane was launched as a test run and that he's not sure whether the agency will buy the craft — but the results were good.

Ore. Police to Withdraw From FBI-Led Team --The City Council on Thursday approved a recommendation to withdraw police officers from an FBI-led anti[pro]-terror task force after federal authorities refused to raise the mayor's security clearance to let him keep closer watch over its activities.

Joy in gallery as Portland quits FBI task force --The City Council votes 4-1 to leave the nationwide anti[pro]terror effort, but the police chief will stay on a panel and get briefings --They may not have won any new friends in Washington D.C., but Portland City Council members heard mostly kudos from their constituents Thursday as they officially ended the Portland Police Bureau's involvement in the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force.

UK Muslims March Against Anti-Terror Laws --With general elections around the corner, thousands of British Muslims were set to march Saturday, April 30, in London against anti-terror laws that stigmatized and demonized the Muslim minority in Britain.

N.C. Wesleyan Professor's Web Site, Course Draw Criticism --The classroom where North Carolina Wesleyan College's only political science professor is teaching a course titled "9/11; The Road to Tyranny" has become the latest battlefront in the ongoing campus culture war. On Tuesday, the six students enrolled in the elective course taught by Jane T. Christensen were to attend the course's final session: "Police State USA (Where Do We Go From Here?)"

In the Name of Sibel Edmonds --Intelligence whistleblowers storm Capitol Hill, asking for the right to be heard. --by James Ridgeway "Galvanized by the case of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, intelligence agents representing more than 50 current and former federal employees—calling themselves the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition—stormed Capitol Hill yesterday to demand Congressional protection from retaliation by their dead beat bosses in the intelligence bureaucracy."

Arctic Refuge Oil Drilling Is Near Fact, Backers Say --After decades of trying to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, backers of drilling said Friday that they were closer than ever now that Congress had adopted a budget. The $2.56 trillion federal budget for 2006, adopted late Thursday night by the House and Senate, includes a provision that Congress can open the refuge by enacting a particular kind of legislation, called "a reconciliation," that is not vulnerable to Senate filibusters, which have been used to kill such drilling measures in the past.

Congress Passes Budget That Cuts Medicaid --A $2.6 trillion budget barely approved by Congress will cut projected spending on Medicaid for the poor, lock in tax cuts [for the rich] and - Republicans claim - put the country on a path toward lower federal deficits. [Yeah, right! Stop giving $82 billion, per quarter, to *Halliburton.*]

House GOP Plans Social Security Draft --House Republicans announced plans Friday to draft Social Security legislation by June as Dictator Bush warned Democratic critics not to "play politics as usual" with his call for sweeping program changes including curtailment of some benefits.

Wisconsin Governor Vetoes Voter ID Bill --Gov. Jim Doyle [Dem.] vetoed a bill Friday that would have required voters to show government-issued picture identification at the polls, saying it would disenfranchise elderly voters.

Secretary Pick Sparks Outcry in California --Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed the superintendent of San Diego schools Friday to be state education secretary, a pick that alarmed the teachers union and signaled continued friction between the governor and organized labor.

Hospitals' profits nearly double --Profits for hospitals in the Pittsburgh region nearly doubled between 2003 and 2004, outpacing gains seen by hospitals across the state.

Florida girl has abortion blocked --A pregnant 13-year-old girl in Florida has been told she cannot have an abortion because she lacks the maturity to make such a decision. A state court granted an injunction which prevents the girl from terminating her pregnancy.

Methodists Reinstate Defrocked Minister --In appeals panel of the United Methodist Church has reinstated a lesbian minister who was defrocked in December after revealing in a sermon to her Philadelphia congregation that she was living with her gay partner.

Experts: New Data Show Global Warming --Climate scientists armed with new data from deep in the ocean and far into space have found that Earth is absorbing much more heat than it is giving off, a conclusion they say validates projections of global warming.

Marburg virus death toll climbs to 257 in Angola 30 April 2005 --The death toll from an outbreak of the rare Marburg virus in Angola has climbed from 244 to 257, Angola's deputy health minister said.

Outbreak of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever: Marburg Virus 29 April 2005 --The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is monitoring an outbreak of Marburg, a viral haemorrhagic fever disease, in Angola. ... A suspected case of Marburg virus in a patient in the Democratic Republic of Congo is currently under investigation.

*****

Pentagon Moves to Bar CIA 'Ghost' Detainees --The CIA will no longer be allowed to hold unregistered "ghost" detainees at U.S. military prisons such as Iraq's Abu Ghraib, the Pentagon's top intelligence official said on Thursday.

Interrogations Faked at Guantanamo, Witness Says --Authorities at Guantanamo Bay staged interrogations of detainees for visiting politicians and generals to give the impression that valuable intelligence was regularly being gathered, according to a former Army translator at the camp.

Ahmad Chalabi Takes Over Iraq Oil Ministry --Iraq failed to name an oil minister for its new government [US-installed regime] on Thursday and controversial politician [thief] Ahmad Chalabi was appointed acting minister of an industry plagued by sabotage attacks and uncertainty.

One-time Pentagon favorite gains key spot in Iraq's new government --One-time Pentagon favorite Ahmad Chalabi has captured a key position in the new government a deputy prime minister's spot and temporary [sic] control of the lucrative oil ministry. With his nephew also installed as finance minister, Chalabi and his family appear to have a firm grip on the country's purse strings.

Ex-CIA chief eats humble pie --A chastened former CIA director, George Tenet, says he regrets telling the White House that it was a "slam dunk" that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, an assertion that provided the Bush regime with its prime justification for the war.

Did Blair mislead us? Two legal experts make their case.

Blair haunted by spectre of Iraq --Tony Blair was fighting last night to prevent Iraq from derailing his election campaign amid signs that renewed controversy over the legality of the war could turn disillusioned Labour voters to the Liberal Democrats.

Blair's spectacular U-turn on legal advice leaves unanswered questions --An attempt by Tony Blair to defuse Iraq as a general election issue by disclosing the Attorney General's private doubts about the legality of war has left a series of questions unanswered. In a spectacular U-turn, Downing Street published a 13-page memo from Lord Goldsmith on 7 March 2003, including crucial caveats about military action omitted from his final legal advice backing the war 10 days later.

Blair, on Defensive, Releases a Secret Memo on Iraq War --In an about-face, Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday published the full text of the advice he received on the legitimacy of the Iraq war, as he tried to defuse a dispute that has derailed his re-election strategy just one week before British elections.

Reports: Berlusconi May Contradict U.S. --Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday that Italy might not endorse U.S. findings on the shooting of an Italian agent by American forces at a checkpoint last month in Iraq, news reports said.

Thirteen Killed in Bomb Attacks on Iraqi Forces --Four car bombs targeting Iraqi security forces killed 13 people and wounded 50 others in Baghdad on Friday...

Iraq Through the Eyes of Unemebedded, Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail (democracynow.org) "Dahr Jamail, one of the few independent, unembedded journalists reporting in Iraq for months, joins us in our firehouse studio to discuss the siege of Fallujah, detention of Iraqis, so-called 'reconstruction' and much more."

Britain says no to U.S. Iranian strikes --Britain will not support the United States in military action against Iran, British Minister for the Middle East Baroness Elizabeth Symons said Wednesday.

Israelis using banned chemicals to poison Palestinian fields --Amnesty International has called on Israeli authorities to investigate recent incidents of poisoning of Palestinian fields. It has also asked authorities to examine what it says are increasingly frequent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villagers in the West Bank.

North Korea capable of firing nuclear-armed missile at US: US official --North Korea has the capability of mounting a nuclear warhead on its missiles that could hit the United States, a senior US defense official said.

Blow to Bush as Bolton panel widens its inquiry --The Senate committee assessing John Bolton's nomination as the next US ambassador to the UN yesterday widened its inquiry to interview several more potentially hostile witnesses, in a fresh blow to the White House. Only months after re-s-election, George Bush's authority is being challenged on several fronts. [Oh, let's challenge it on a whole *lot more...*]

Two Detail Bolton's Efforts to Punish Dissent --A former senior Bush regime official told Senate staff members yesterday that John R. Bolton, the pResident's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, sought to punish two State Department officials for disagreeing with him on nonproliferation issues, congressional sources said. And a former CIA chief, disputing Bolton, said the nominee had tried to fire a national intelligence officer who believed Bolton was exaggerating evidence on Cuba, they said.

Wiretaps in U.S. jump 19% in 2004 --The number of secret court-authorized wiretaps across the country surged by 19% last year, records show. As law enforcement authorities scurried to keep apace of improving technology favored by criminals, not a single application was denied.

Governor endorses Minutemen on border, supports armed volunteers that stops immigrants [GOP-installed] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, just a week after apologizing for suggesting California should "close the borders,'' warmly praised the Minutemen project -- an armed citizens group -- on Thursday for doing a terrific job of stopping illegal immigration from Mexico. Prominent Latinos and legislators immediately assailed the governor's statements as alarming.

C-SPAN2 Book TV, Saturday, April 30 at 10:30 am: The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions --by David Ray Griffin "Description: David Ray Griffin takes a critical look at the official 9/11 Commission Report put out by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Professor Griffin argues that the "omissions and distortions" in the report amount to a cover-up by government officials and says that the available evidence suggests that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks (either by ignoring known threats or through actual participation in the planning of the attacks)."

Another Lost Opportunity --An informant was providing U.S. officials with very specific information about a terrorist attack three months before 9/11. In the spring of 2001, one of the U.S. government’s most valuable terror informants gave the FBI a far more alarming account of Al Qaeda plans to attack inside the United States than has ever been publicly disclosed, according to newly available court documents. ...Fresh documents, released in federal court in Seattle in recent days, shed new light on an issue that dominated last year’s hearings by the September 11 commission: precisely how much did the U.S. government know about Al Qaeda plans to strike inside the country in the summer of 2001 when the attacks on the World Trade Towers and Pentagon were in their final stages?

Texas School Board Adds Bible Class --The school board in this West Texas town voted unanimously to add a Bible class to its high school curriculum. Barring any hurdles, the class should be added to the curriculum in fall 2006 and taught as a history or literature course.

Bush Social Security Plan Would Cut Future Benefits --Dictator Bush called on Congress last night to curtail future Social Security benefits for all but low-income retirees in an urgent new effort to address the popular program's shaky finances.

House Passes Budget That Cuts Medicaid --The House narrowly passed a $2.6 trillion budget Thursday evening that would cut back the Medicaid health care program for the poor for the first time since 1997 in a step toward trimming federal deficits.

Exxon Mobil posts 44% jump in profits 29 April 2005 --Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, has said that first-quarter earnings soared 44 per cent from last year, due mainly to strong crude and natural gas prices.

Exxon Mobil, Shell Profits Soar as Energy Prices Rise --Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company [and Bush paymaster], posted a 44 percent profit gain and Royal Dutch/Shell Group had a 28 percent increase due to the prices of energy and chemicals. First-quarter net income at Exxon Mobil jumped to $7.86 billion, or $1.22 a share, from $5.44 billion, or 83 cents, a year earlier, the Irving, Texas-based company said today in a statement. Shell said its profit excluding gains in the value of oil in storage rose to $5.55 billion from $4.33 billion.

Bush Bumped For Trump; Paris Hilton --The White House learned a painful media lesson Thursday: Do not launch a press conference on the first night of May Sweeps! CBS, NBC and FOX cut off Dictator Bush, mid-sentence, in several time zones, after sacrificing one hour of prime. Bush was left standing on the stage as NBC rushed to Donald Trump, FOX to Paris Hilton and CBS to Survivor: Palau. [Bush would not last one *hour* on Survivor - he'd be gone in four *pico seconds.*]

Bush Holds White House News Conference --pResident Bush urged Congress to enact contentious Social Security and energy legislation and confirm his controversial court nominees Thursday night, prodding lawmakers to act on an ambitious second-term agenda.

The results are in: Bush sucks. How satisfied are you with what Bush said during his press conference? Not at all 63%; Very 29%; Somewhat 8% How would you rate Bush's overall job performance? Poor 58%; Excellent 22%; Good 11%; Fair 8% --Total Votes: 81,843 [AOL poll snapshot, 29 April 04:00 GMT.]

Kansas Anti-Abortion Bill Veto Sticks --Anti-abortion lawmakers failed Thursday to override Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto of a bill imposing additional regulations on clinics that perform abortions.

Romney Files Death Penalty Bill for Mass. --The governor filed a bill Thursday to bring back capital punishment in Massachusetts for such crimes as terrorism, murder involving torture and the killing of law enforcement officers.

7 men sue Florida City Denny's after being called 'bin Ladens' --Seven men of Middle Eastern descent have sued a Denny's restaurant in Florida City, claiming the restaurant refused to serve them.

U.S. panel: Open door to radiation claims --A panel of experts is recommending the government open the door to hearing cancer claims from people in all states who think they were affected by nuclear fallout from 1950s weapons tests in Nevada.

California Logging Protesters Win Lawsuit --Law enforcement officers from two northern California counties were found liable Thursday for using excessive force by swabbing pepper spray in the eyes of logging protesters in 1997.

Vietnam expert warns bird flu may break out again 28 April 2005 --There was likely to be another full-blown outbreak of bird flu this year in Vietnam, where 36 people have died from the disease since late 2003, a health expert warned in state media Thursday.

*****

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