June 2007 Archives
Nuremberg prosecutor says Guantanamo trials unfair 11 Jun 2007 The U.S. 'war crimes' tribunals at Guantanamo have betrayed the principles of fairness that made the Nazi war crimes trials at Nuremberg a judicial landmark, one of the U.S. Nuremberg prosecutors said on Monday. "I think Robert Jackson, who's the architect of Nuremberg, would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on at Guantanamo," Nuremberg prosecutor Henry King Jr. told Reuters in a telephone interview. "It violates the Nuremberg principles, what they're doing, as well as the spirit of the Geneva Conventions of 1949." King, 88, served under Jackson, the U.S. Supreme Court justice who was the chief prosecutor at the trials created by the Allied powers to try Nazi military and political leaders after World War Two in Nuremberg, Germany. [You know you're living in a Reichwing dictatorship when the Nuremberg prosecutor is critical of your regime. --LRP]
Bush overruled on 'enemy combatants' 12 Jun 2007 Dictator George W. Bush cannot order the military to indefinitely imprison a suspected al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operative, who is the only foreign national held in the United States as an "enemy combatant," a court has ruled. The 2-1 appellate ruling was a major setback for Bush's contention in the war on [of] terrorism that he has the power to detain people in the United States without charging them.
'Massive and Systematic Violations of Human Rights' --New Report Cites Proof of CIA Black Sites 08 Jun 2007 In his second report on so-called "extraordinary renditions" of terror suspects, Council of Europe special investigator Dick Marty writes that there is "enough evidence to state" that American secret prisons in Poland and Romania existed. The illegal deportation of suspects by CIA kidnapping teams in Europe amounts to a "massive and systematic violation of human rights," the report says. Marty, who conducted the investigation on behalf of the Council of Europe, accuses the CIA of having committing a number of transgressions: "We believe we have shown that the CIA committed a whole series of illegal acts in Europe by abducting individuals, detaining them in secret locations and subjecting them to interrogation techniques tantamount to torture."
Kuwait says US cannot use bases for any Iran strike 11 Jun 2007 Kuwait, a staunch US ally, said on Monday it would not allow the United States to use its territory as a launch-pad for any attack on Iran over its nuclear programme.
Iran is arming Taliban, U.S. envoy claims --U.S. general earlier said Afghan fighters are showing better training 12 Jun 2007 A senior U.S. diplomat accused Iran on Tuesday of transferring weapons to Taliban 'insurgents' in Afghanistan — the most direct comments [prevarications] yet on the issue by a ranking American official.
Warmonger Lieberman needs the military's attention By Mark Yannone 11 Jun 2007 US Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Israel) said his country should consider a military strike against Iran because of Tehran's alleged involvement with Iraqi "insurgents." "I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them [sic] from killing Americans in Iraq," Lieberman said. [Citing CLG news item] Negative. The United States military should consider a strike against US Senator Joseph Lieberman for violating his oath of office, for advocating the violation of international law, and for threatening the security of the United States.
Iraq rebels deliver final blow to Blair 12 Jun 2007 Tony Blair suffered the final backbench revolt of his premiership over Iraq last night when the Government's majority was nearly halved to 35 as it fought off a Tory call for an inquiry into the war. A Conservative motion calling for a Privy Council inquiry by senior parliamentarians was defeated by 288 to 253 votes after an impassioned debate in which Iraq was described as "worse than Vietnam".
Militants target bridges in Iraq 12 Jun 2007 Iraqi militants [US mercenaries] have shifted their focus to high-profile attacks on bridges in recent weeks, as improved security has made mass-casualty bombings in Baghdad more difficult to stage. Tuesday, suspected Sunni 'insurgents' bombed and badly damaged a bridge over the main north-south highway leading from Baghdad... [The US is arming the 'insurgency.' See: U.S. unit enters an alliance with former insurgents --Soldiers in Baghdad give police powers, guns to former insurgents 09 Jun 2007, before the PentaPost's bosses at the White House have it yanked. US contractors get no-bid contracts to rebuild that which they destroyed - no questions asked. What a deal!]
Afghanistan faces growing civilian death toll in US/NATO war vs Taliban - ICRC 12 Jun 2007 The International Committee of the Red Cross warned today that Afghan civilians were paying the price as increasingly bitter fighting between international forces and Taliban 'insurgents' spreads across Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: Three children hit in attack 11 Jun 2007 Three Afghan children were severely wounded Monday when an alleged 'insurgent' rocket landed near a NATO base in the eastern Province of Paktika.
7 Afghan police killed by U.S. troops in friendly fire --Four others wounded when U.S. helicopter fires rockets, officials say 12 Jun 2007 U.S. forces mistakenly killed seven Afghan police and wounded four others in a friendly fire incident early Tuesday in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said.
1 Canadian soldier killed, 2 wounded by roadside bomb in Afghanistan 12 Jun 2007 One Canadian soldier is dead and two are in hospital after a convoy laden with goods for troops in the field hit an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan on Monday, the military said.
OPT: Patients killed as gunmen storm Gaza hospitals 12 Jun 2007 (IRIN) Patients are dying in crossfire as hospitals have been overrun by gunmen in a new wave of Gaza violence, which the UN has warned is jeopardising the delivery of essential humanitarian aid. The violence has claimed 17 lives and ambulance teams are being prevented from evacuating the wounded from combat zones by checkpoints manned by armed fighters across the Strip, medical organisations said.
'Everybody is shooting at everybody' 12 Jun 2007 Palestinian gunmen battled inside a hospital and fired on the prime minister's office in factional fighting today that killed 13 people and cast fresh doubt over the future of the unity coalition. "Everybody is shooting at everybody," a doctor at the Beit Hanoun hospital in the northern Gaza Strip said as a gunbattle raged between the Islamist Hamas and secular Fatah groups, hours after the latest in a series of ceasefires collapsed.
MoD accused over role in Bandar's £1bn --BBC says officials processed payments --Goldsmith refuses to answer questions 12 Jun 2007 Pressure was mounting on ministers for full disclosure of the government's role in Britain's biggest arms deal last night after claims that the Ministry of Defence directly administered payments of more than £1bn to Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. The MoD refused to address the specific allegations, made in BBC's Panorama, while the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, continued to stonewall questions over his role in the affair. BAE, the weapons manufacturer at the centre of the controversy, remained silent.
Senators want DoD to explain Web limits 11 Jun 2007 A key Senate committee wants a full explanation by Sept. 1 about why Internet access has been limited for deployed troops, including to such popular Web sites as MySpace and YouTube.
Military service 'doubles suicide risk' 12 Jun 2007 Men who have served in the military are twice as likely to kill themselves as men who have not seen combat, a new study has found. US researchers claim their finding highlights the need for doctors to look out for signs of suicidal intentions in soldiers returning from service in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Report: Risk of nuclear warfare rising 11 Jun 2007 The world's top military powers are gradually dismantling their stockpiles of nuclear arms, but all are developing new missiles and warheads with smaller yields that could increase the risk of atomic warfare, a Swedish research institute said Monday.
Global military spending hits $1.2 trillion -study 11 Jun 2007 Global military spending rose 3.5 percent last year to $1.2 trillion as U.S. costs for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan mounted, a European research body said on Monday in an annual study. The United States spent $529 billion, slightly less than the entire GDP of the Netherlands, on military operations in 2006, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its latest year book.
Senate Republicans block no-confidence vote on Gonzales --Democrats fail to get the 60 votes needed to end debate 11 Jun 2007 Republicans blocked the Senate's no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Monday, rejecting a symbolic Democratic effort to prod him from office despite blistering criticism from lawmakers in both parties. The 53-38 vote to move the resolution to full debate fell seven short of the 60 required.
FBI warns colleges to watch for spies 12 Jun 2007 The head of the FBI's Boston office is warning the region's top universities to be on the lookout for foreign spies or potential terrorists who might be trying to steal unclassified, yet sensitive, research. FBI agents met recently with officials at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Massachusetts and other schools to train professors, students and security staff on how to recognize anyone who might be trying to exploit research, Special Agent in Charge Warren Bamford said. More visits are scheduled as part of a larger nationwide program, he said.
Mueller Often Uses FBI Jet Bought for Counterterrorism 12 Jun 2007 When the FBI asked Congress this spring to provide $3.6 million in the war spending bill for its Gulfstream V jet, it said the money was needed to ensure that the aircraft, packed with state-of-the-art security and communications gear, could continue to fly counterterrorism agents on "crucial missions" into Iraq. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the bureau has made similar annual requests to maintain and fuel the $40 million jet on grounds that it had a "tremendous impact" on combating terrorism... But the jet that the FBI originally sold to lawmakers in the late 1990s as an essential tool for battling terrorism is now routinely used to ferry FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to speeches, public appearances and field office visits.
UK jails three men for terror funding 12 Jun 2007 A British judge has sentenced three men to prison, after they pleaded guilty to helping a Libyan terrorist group with funds and logistical support.
Plane forced to land after suspicious statement 11 Jun 2007 A pilot flying a small plane from Oklahoma was forced to land this evening in Clay County after making suspicious comments to an air traffic controller, the FBI said. The FBI received information that the pilot, who was traveling to Kansas City, had made a statement that could possibly indicate the plane had been taken over, and then had suspended communication, FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said. The military scrambled at least one F-16, which intercepted the plane and escorted it to the Clay County Regional Airport in Mosby, where it landed shortly after 8 p.m. FBI agents at the airport interviewed the pilot at length, Lanza said, and determined it was a misunderstanding.
Virginia Tech Shooting 'Oddities' By Lori Price Updated 11 Jun 2007
Armed New Haven Residents Say They Will Patrol Streets 11 Jun 2007 Residents of a New Haven neighborhood said they have had it with crime and are enlisting other residents with weapons permits to patrol the neighborhood. A handful of residents have created a group they are calling the Edgewood Park Defense Patrol and said they will legally be bearing arms and they want neighbors to feel safe.
Experts: NYC About Due For Major Hurricane --Chertoff Warns of Likely 130 MPH Winds, 30-Foot Surge 11 Jun 2007 When we talk about hurricanes, most of the time we talk about when they're going to hit the Southeast. But on Monday, officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Emergency Management talked about a major hurricane hitting our area. Experts say it will happen. They just don't know exactly when. [LOL, the hurricane will hit the same day Exxon Mobil releases its 2nd quarter earnings (breaking every record six ways from Sunday), and MSNBC is told to push the 'aged/lack of refineries' bullsh*t in order to justify the skyrocketed gas prices.]
Lawsuit: Katrina Pets Executed --Investigations, Two Criminal Indictments and a Lawsuit Put the Heat on St. Bernard Parish's Sheriff's Office 11 Jun 2007 For nearly two years, pet owners from the low-lying Louisiana parish of St. Bernard have accused sheriff's deputies of having wantonly killed dozens of dogs they forced evacuees to leave behind during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, without regard to the dogs' size or the potential threat they might pose... One owner said residents became frantic when, they said, they overheard one deputy claim that "once everybody's gone, we're going to have target practice tonight."
Human bird flu suspects in Malaysia quarantined 11 Jun 2007 Health officials in Malaysia say two people have been quarantined in Malaysian hospitals with suspected bird flu and health officials are also looking into the suspected case in an elderly patient in the state of Selangor.
Court goes against labor in pension case 11 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court on Monday decided against imposing a new requirement on employer pension plans. In a unanimous decision, the justices said companies do not have a duty to consider an invitation to merge their pension plans as an alternative to terminating them.
Countrywide loans up 15 pct, foreclosures double 12 Jun 2007 Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, on Tuesday said it made 15 percent more home loans in May as the pace of refinancings increased, though the foreclosure rate doubled.
Suddenly, the bees are simply vanishing --Scientists are at a loss to pinpoint the cause. The die-off in 35 states has crippled beekeepers and threatened many crops. 10 Jun 2007 The puzzling phenomenon, known as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, has been reported in 35 states, five Canadian provinces and several European countries. The die-off has cost U.S. beekeepers about $150 million in losses and an uncertain amount for farmers scrambling to find bees to pollinate their crops.
Global warming and the melting of Greenland 06 Jun 2007 Dr. Konrad Steffen is the director of University of Colorado at Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and a veteran researcher of Arctic climate. He discussed the accelerating melting of Greenland's ice cap and its effects on global ocean levels in an interview with Reuters on May 18 at his field research camp.
US should strike Iran, says Lieberman 11 Jun 2007 US senator Joseph LieberBush said his country should consider a military strike against Iran because of Tehran's alleged involvement with Iraqi 'insurgents.' "I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them [sic] from killing Americans in Iraq," LieberBush said.
Israel launches satellite to spy on Iran 11 Jun 2007 Israel's military has launched a spy satellite aimed at keeping track of developments in Iran, Israeli Radio has reported. According to the report, the satellite, named Ofek 7, is to replace Ofek 5, which has been orbiting for almost five years.
General: Iran aids Karzai, maybe Taliban 11 Jun 2007 Iran gives political and material support to President Hamid Karzai's Western-backed government, but it also may be aiding the Taliban as a way of hedging its bets in neighboring Afghanistan, NATO's top general here said Monday.
Ex-Navy chief 'took private legal advice on Iraq' 11 Jun 2007 The head of the Royal Navy at the time of the Iraq invasion was so worried about the legality of the conflict that he sought his own private legal advice on justification for the war. Admiral Sir Alan West, the First Sea Lord, approached lawyers to ask whether Navy and Royal Marines personnel might end up facing war crimes charges in relation to their duties in Iraq. The extraordinary steps taken by Sir Alan - which The Independent can reveal today - shows the high level of concern felt by service chiefs in the approach to war - concern that was not eased by the Attorney General's provision of a legal licence for the attack on Iraq. The apprehension felt by the military commanders was highlighted at one meeting where General Sir Michael Jackson, the head of the Army, is reported to have said: "I spent a good deal of time recently in the Balkans making sure [the former Serb leader Slobodan] Milosevic was put behind bars. I have no intention of ending up in the cell next to him in The Hague."
British parliament rejects Iraq war inquiry 12 Jun 2007 The House of Commons has rejected a motion by Britain's opposition Conservative Party calling for a formal inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq. By a vote of 288 to 253, the lower house of parliament sided with Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has ruled out such an inquiry while British troops are deployed in Iraq.
US plans to keep 40,000 troops in Iraq after pullout, paper reports 12 Jun 2007 The US military is planning for a long-term presence in Iraq even if there is a big troop withdrawal early next year. The White House press secretary, Tony Snow, declined to comment on reports in The Washington Post at the weekend that outlined a Pentagon plan for a post-occupation force of about 40,000 soldiers.
Richardson: Total Iraq force withdrawal 10 Jun 2007 Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson said Sunday he wanted a total withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq and that American troops are targets in a civil war. "I would leave no troops in Iraq whatsoever," Richardson said. "The difference between me and the other candidates is, they would leave troops there indefinitely, and I would not."
Blast collapses Baghdad overpass, killing 3 GIs --6 U.S. soldiers wounded as car bomb brings down major highway bridge 11 Jun 2007 With a thunderous rumble and cloud of dust and smoke, a suicide car bomb brought down a section of highway bridge south of Baghdad on Sunday, killing three U.S. soldiers and wounding six from a checkpoint guarding the crossing and blocking traffic on Iraq’s main north-south artery. An Iraqi interpreter also was wounded in the attack, according to the statement that gave the casualty toll.
11,000 troops go Awol since Iraq war 11 Jun 2007 (UK) Almost 1,000 soldiers are absent without leave (Awol), according to figures from the Ministry of Defence. More than 11,000 cases of soldiers going on the run have been logged since the Iraq conflict began in 2003.
UK troops receiving 'trigger happy' drug 10 Jun 2007 British troops are being prescribed with a controversial drug which has been blamed for making US pilots "trigger-happy" and causing friendly fire deaths. The Ministry of Defence has admitted that it prescribes the amphetamine dexedrine, which is capable of keeping users awake for as long as 60 hours.
UK soldier dies in Afghan ambush 11 Jun 2007 A British soldier killed in Afghanistan has been named as Guardsman Neil 'Tony' Downes from the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards. He is the 60th member of UK forces personnel to die in Afghanistan since the start of operations in November 2001.
N.C. Marine camp's water under scrutiny 11 Jun 2007 (Camp Lejeune, NC) U.S. health officials here in Atlanta hope to finish a long-awaited study by year's end to examine whether the water tainted with solvents affected the health of children. It will influence the Pentagon's response to at least 850 pending legal claims by people who lived at the Marine base, officials said. The former residents, who together seek nearly $4 billion, believe their families were afflicted by water containing industrial solvents before the Marines shut off the bad wells in the mid-1980s.
Venezuela seizes 2.5 tons of cocaine 10 Jun 2007 Venezuelan authorities seized 2.5 tons of cocaine bound for Africa and arrested nine suspects including four federal police officers and a U.S. citizen [a Bush mule?], the military said Sunday.
Harman demands law to curb CIA torture flights 11 Jun 2007 International law should be changed to prevent UK airspace being used for the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" programme, Justice Minister Harriet Harman said yesterday. The Labour deputy leadership candidate said there was currently no obligation for the Government to be notified if planes carrying terrorism suspects passed through Britain en route to secret foreign jails.
'Rendition flights' row continues 10 Jun 2007 The row over the alleged use of British airports for CIA "torture flights" continued as a police inquiry failed to quell concerns. Human rights campaigners denounced the probe as a "whitewash" while Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond announced he now wanted to study the claims independently.
'We refuse to recognize a claim to power that would so alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic.' Court Says Military Cannot Hold 'Enemy Combatant' 11 Jun 2007 In a stinging rejection of one of the Bush regime’s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism, a federal appeals court ordered the Pentagon to release a man being held as an enemy combatant. "To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians," Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote, "even if the President calls them 'enemy combatants,' would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country. We refuse to recognize a claim to power," Judge Motz added, "that would so alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic."
Court Rules in Favor of 'Enemy Combatant' 11 Jun 2007 The Bush regime cannot legally detain a U.S. resident it believes is an 'al-Qaida' sleeper agent without charging him, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday. The court said sanctioning the indefinite detention of civilians would have "disastrous consequences for the constitution - and the country."
No signs of phaseout for Guantanamo 11 Jun 2007 The Bush regime has transferred three suspected terrorists to the Guantanamo Bay prison since March, despite recent legal setbacks and President [sic] Bush's statement that he would like to close the controversial facility. Two of the recent transfers were captured in a sweeping 'counter'terrorism operation in Somalia. The third is Iraqi.
Huckabee Says Guantanamo Bay Offers Better Conditions to Detainees Than Most U.S. Prisons 11 Jun 2007 Prisoners being held at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on suspicion of connections to terrorism enjoy conditions better than many prisons in the United States, Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee said Sunday. The former Arkansas governor, who has visited Guantanamo, said Arkansas prisoners most likely would prefer Guantanamo to incarceration in Arkansas.
Powell Calls for Closure of Military Prison at Guantanamo 11 Jun 2007 Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he would close down the U.S. military prison for enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "this afternoon" because it has become a major problem in "the way the world perceives America."
Office of Nation's Top Spy Inadvertently Reveals Key to Classified National Intel Budget By R J Hillhouse 03 Jun 2007 The Office of the Director of National Intelligence... appears to have inadvertently released the keys to that number in an unclassified PowerPoint presentation now posted on the website of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). ...[T]he total budget of the 16 US intelligence agencies in fiscal year 2005 was $60 billion, almost 25% higher than previously believed. In the presentation originally made to a DIA conference in Colorado on May 14, Terri Everett, an Office of the Director of National Intelligence senior procurement executive, revealed that 70% of the total Intelligence Community budget is spent on contractors.
Va. Tech Families Demand Role on Panel 11 Jun 2007 Relatives of the Virginia Tech shooting victims demanded representation Monday on a gubernatorial panel studying the killings, saying in a letter that they feel "ostracized." They also questioned the status of a memorial fund that has generated millions of dollars to honor the 32 victims of the student gunman.
Bomb Threat Delays Some Conn. School Openings 11 Jun 2007 Schools in northwestern Connecticut had been advised by state police to implement a 90-minute delay after they received a bomb threat Sunday. This after a bomb threat targeted an unspeciified high school in Litchfield County. The threat targed the 7:30 a.m. hour.
Airport Check-in: Virtual fences around NYC airports --4 main airports getting virtual fences [Great. Now all they need are virtual brains.] 10 Jun 2007 After the thwarted 'terror plot' at John F. Kennedy International earlier this month, officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed details about an ongoing project to erect virtual fences around its four main airports: JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Teterboro. Designed by Raytheon and modeled after a fence around the Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, it'll be equipped with sensors, video motion detectors, thermal imagers and closed-circuit television... The project, begun in 2006, will cost $138 million and be completed next year. [Gee, I wonder if unidicted 9/11 co-conspirator Rudy Giuliani is getting the contract?]
Bush Calls Vote on Attorney General 'Meaningless' 11 Jun 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush dismissed as "meaningless" a planned Senate vote today on a resolution of no confidence in U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, America's top law enforcement officer. It's "a political resolution on my attorney general that's going to have no bearing on whether he serves in office or not," Bush said at a press conference in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Specter says he'll vote against Gonzales 11 Jun 2007 The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee (Arlen Specter, R-PA,) said today he will vote for a no-confidence resolution against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, after long questioning the leadership and independence of President [sic] Bush's longtime friend.
Gonzales faces no confidence vote 11 Jun 2007 US senators are preparing to hold a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Democrats have been trying to force Mr Gonzales to resign over the sacking of nine federal prosecutors last year. He is backed by President [sic] George W Bush however, who dismissed the vote as "political" and said he would determine whether Mr Gonzales was effective.
GOP Loyalists Often Get Immigration Judgeships --Law Forbids Practice; Courts Being Reshaped 11 Jun 2007 The Bush administration increasingly emphasized partisan political ties over expertise in recent years in selecting the judges who decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, despite laws that preclude such considerations, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. At least one-third of the immigration judges appointed by the Justice Department since 2004 have had Republican connections or have been administration insiders, and half lacked experience in immigration law, Justice Department, immigration court and other records show.
Dozen Top Legal Scholars Line Up for Libby Appeal 11 Jun 2007 A dozen of the country's most respected constitutional scholars have leapt to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's aid, asking a federal judge if they could try to convince him about critical legal questions that favor letting Libby remain free while he appeals his conviction in the Valerie Plame leak case. Within hours of Friday's filing from the scholars, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton wrote back. In the teeny-tiny print of a footnote, he said he was delighted to know that such a distinguished group was available to help argue on behalf of criminal defendants on "close questions" of the law. Walton promised he'd ring them up very soon when -- instead of Vice President [sic] Cheney's former chief of staff facing the threat of the slammer -- there might be poor defendants who need big legal minds to avoid incarceration.
Mega barf alert! Majority of Republicans Doubt Theory of Evolution --More Americans accept theory of creationism than evolution 11 Jun 2007 The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. This suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they were generally in sync with the bulk of the rank-and-file Republicans whose nomination they are seeking to obtain.
Rocky Flats workers face likely denial of compensation --Board members say their hands are tied 11 Jun 2007 Barring any "shocking" revelations, there is "little chance" that a White House advisory board will vote Tuesday in favor of immediate compensation for most sick Rocky Flats workers, said the board member in charge of the Flats case. Several board members, in interviews and public comments, said their hands are tied by the way federal health officials have interpreted the law passed in 2000 to help ill nuclear weapons workers across the nation.
Colorado Springs Student Dies From TB --Woman Was International Student At CSU-Pueblo 11 Jun 2007 Tuberculosis was confirmed as the cause of death of a patient who died at Colorado Springs' Memorial Hospital shortly after arriving at the emergency room on Friday. Officials said the patient was put in an isolation room and air flows controlled as a precautionary measure.
Thousands in U.S. claiming vaccine-autism link get their day in court 11 Jun 2007 Since 1999, more than 4,800 families have filed claims with the government alleging their children developed autism as a result of routine vaccinations. Most contend that a preservative called thimerosal is to blame for the impaired social interaction typical of the disorder. The court is being asked to decide whether there is a link between autism and [deadly] childhood vaccines.
The wrath of 2007: America's great drought 11 Jun 2007 America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Or perhaps worse still. From the mountains and desert of the West, now into an eighth consecutive dry year, to the wheat farms of Alabama, where crops are failing because of rainfall levels 12 inches lower than usual, to the vast soupy expanse of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida, which has become so dry it actually caught fire a couple of weeks ago, a continent is crying out for water.
'We have made a deal with the devil.' U.S. unit enters an alliance with former insurgents --Soldiers in Baghdad give police powers, guns to former insurgents 09 Jun 2007 The American soldiers in Amiriyah have allied themselves with dozens of Sunni militiamen who call themselves the Baghdad Patriots -- a group that American soldiers believe includes 'insurgents' who have attacked them in the past -- in an attempt to drive out 'al-Qaeda' in Iraq. The Americans have granted these gunmen the power of arrest, allowed the Iraqi army to supply them with ammunition, and fought alongside them in chaotic street battles.
Gangs of Iraq: military quietly enlisting thousands of active gang members 09 Jun 2007 By Seamus McGraw Lax enlistment standards have inadvertently allowed thousands of gang members to join the military, including young men who belong to the Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings, and various white supremacist groups. But no gang has infiltrated the armed forces as deeply as the Gangster Disciples, a 100,000-member Chicago-based syndicate that has been linked to an assortment of crimes ranging from murder to mortgage fraud. "There’s no doubt about it—the Gangster Disciples are the biggest [gang] in the Army," says Chicago Police Lieutenant Robert Stasch, who has spent 30 years tracking the group’s rise from a handful of street-corner hoodlums to what he calls "the most sophisticated criminal enterprise in the United States." [Well, the *second* most sophisticated criminal enterprise in the United States: The Bush regime is first. --LRP]
Military Envisions Longer Stay in Iraq --U.S. Military Envisions 'Post-Occupation' Force of 40,000 Troops Plus Mercenaries 10 Jun 2007 U.S. military officials here are increasingly envisioning a "post-occupation" troop presence in Iraq that aims for a smaller [40,000+ troops], longer-term force that would remain in the country for years. The centerpiece would be a reinforced mechanized infantry division of around 20,000 soldiers... a training and advisory force of close to 10,000 troops... a small but significant Special Operations unit... headquarters and logistical elements to command and supply such a force would total more than 10,000 troops, plus some civilian contractors [mercenaries].
In Iraq's four-year looting frenzy, the allies have become the vandals --British and American collusion in the pillaging of Iraq's heritage is a scandal that will outlive any passing conflict By Simon Jenkins 08 Jun 2007 Under Saddam you were likely to be tortured and shot if you let someone steal an antiquity; in today's Iraq you are likely to be tortured and shot if you don't. The tragic fate of the national museum in Baghdad in April 2003 was as if federal troops had invaded New York city, sacked the police and told the criminal community that the Metropolitan was at their disposal. The local tank commander was told specifically not to protect the museum for a full two weeks after the invasion. Even the Nazis protected the Louvre.
Arming the Left: Is the time now? --by Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] 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...
Tories press for Iraq inquiry as deaths rise --Prime Minister to avoid crucial debate in the Commons 10 Jun 2007 Tony Blair is to come under renewed pressure over Iraq during his final days in office, with the Tories planning to force a vote in the House of Commons tomorrow on a full inquiry into the invasion and occupation. The Prime Minister will shun the debate, according to Downing Street sources - sparking accusations he is afraid to deal with criticism and is treating MPs with contempt.
Iraq bridge collapse traps U.S. soldiers 10 Jun 2007 An apparent suicide vehicle bomb brought down a section of highway bridge south of Baghdad on Sunday, wounding several U.S. soldiers guarding the crossing and blocking traffic on Iraq's main north-south artery. An Iraqi civilian also was injured, said Donald Campbell, of the private security [mercenaries] Armor Group International, who helped in the rescue.
Bomb in Iraq kills 14 policemen 10 Jun 2007 A suicide truck bomb killed 14 policemen and wounded 42 at a police station north of Baghdad on Sunday in the latest assault by 'insurgents' on Iraq's security forces, police said. They said the bomb largely destroyed the station in the village of Albu-Ajeel in Salahaddin province.
Suicide Bomber Kills 14 Iraqi Soldiers 09 Jun 2007 A suspected al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] suicide bomber rammed a speeding gasoline truck into an Iraqi army checkpoint outside the capital on Saturday, killing at least 14 soldiers as militants hammered the country's shaky security forces.
Latest round of sectarian violence in Iraq leaves more than 30 dead 09 Jun 2007 Carloads of attackers descended on a police chief's house northeast of Baghdad at dawn yesterday, killing the official's wife, two brothers and 11 guards, and kidnapping three of his grown children, Diyala provincial police reported. Elsewhere in northern Iraq, [US] bombings struck a Shiite mosque in a town near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, killing at least 19 people and wounding 25, police said.
Lieberman: Bomb Iran If It Doesn't Stop --Conn. Senator Says the U.S. Should Strike If Tehran Keeps Helping Anti-U.S. Forces In Iraq 10 Jun 2007 The United States should launch military strikes against Iran if the government in Tehran does not stop [allegedly] supplying anti-American forces in Iraq, Sen. Joe LieberBush [I-Israel] said Sunday on Face The Nation.
U.S. senator says military action in Iran possible 10 Jun 2007 Sen. Joseph LieberBush, a long-time supporter of the Iraq war, said on Sunday military force might be necessary to stop Iran from training and equipping extremists who are [allegedly] killing U.S. troops. "I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq," the 'Connecticut' independent said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Taliban rocket explodes near Afghan president 10 Jun 2007 Afghan President Hamid Karzai escaped unhurt after Taliban militants [US] fired rockets at a school where he was meeting with tribal elders, officials said Sunday. One rocket exploded outside the wall of the school, about 150 metres (yards) from Karzai, an AFP photographer at the scene witnessed.
Al-Qaida's new African alliance watched 09 Jun 2007 U.S. 'counter'terrorism officials are paying renewed attention to an increasingly dangerous incubator for extremism: a swath of northern and sub-Saharan West Africa... The centerpiece of terrorism problems in the region is Algeria's Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, GSPC. Late last year, it joined forces with Osama bin Laden and renamed itself al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in the Islamic Maghreb, an Arabic term used to refer to North Africa.
Al-Qaida declares holy war on India 09 Jun 2007 A group claiming to represent the al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] terror network declared a holy war on India over its partial control of the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, Indian officials said Saturday.
US hands over nine military 'copters to Philippines 10 Jun 2007 President [Reichwing terrorist] Gloria Macapagal Arroyo received on Saturday the first nine of 20 military helicopters donated by the United States to help the Philippines defeat a 38-year communist insurgency [?] and al-Qaeda-linked terror groups. The remaining helicopters are to be delivered later this year.
Pentagon Confirms It Sought to Build A 'Gay Bomb' --Air Force lab sought $7.5 million to develop chemical weapon 08 Jun 2007 A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting. Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsequently rejected, building the so-called "Gay Bomb." Edward Hammond, of Berkeley's Sunshine Project, had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.
General who helped redraw the borders of Israel says road map to peace is a lie By Donald Macintyre 10 Jun 2007 Immediately after the Six Day War, 40 years ago, Shlomo Gazit was put in charge of Gaza and the West Bank. Today, the retired general is in favour of talks with Hamas, describes the road map as a "pretext" for Israel not to negotiate with the Palestinians, and thinks the idea that the US can or should veto a peace process between Jerusalem and Damascus is a "nonsense".
Police chiefs accused of 'whitewash' over British links to CIA torture flights 10 Jun 2007 The police have been accused of "spinning" the facts on CIA torture flights after they claimed they had conducted an 18-month inquiry that found no evidence of collusion by Britain... Last weekend, a plane repeatedly linked to CIA torture flights was spotted landing in the UK. The aircraft, which MEPs say has been involved in "ghost flights", was logged arriving at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.
Colin Powell says Guantanamo should be closed 10 Jun 2007 Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay for foreign terrorism suspects should be immediately closed and its inmates moved to the United States.
Pentagon will appeal dismissal of charges against two prisoners 09 Jun 2007 The Defense Department said yesterday that it will ask two judges to reconsider their decisions from earlier this week that stalled the military's attempt to put prisoners at Guantanamo Bay on trial. Last year, Republicans and the White House pushed through legislation authorizing the war-crimes trials at Guantanamo after the Supreme Court threw out Dictator Bush's previous system as illegal and in violation of international treaties.
Italian riot police tear gas protesters 09 Jun 2007 Italian riot police tonight used tear gas against anti-Bush demonstrators, disrupting an anti-globalisation protest in the centre of Rome. The violence broke out after US President [sic] George Bush had concluded his official business for the day during a visit to Italy and had returned to the residence of the US ambassador. More than an hour into the clashes, police charged the demonstrators, chasing them down alleyways to break up the crowd as helicopters circled overhead.
US to tighten restrictions on European tourists 09 Jun 2007 US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he wants to tighten travel rules for Europeans entering the US without visas, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported today. Chertoff said Europeans who are currently allowed to enter the US without visas should register online and fill out a questionnaire 48 hours before they fly to the US, according to an interview with Spiegel newsweekly.
TB Patient Says Officials Are Trying to Blame Him to Cover Mistakes 09 Jun 2007 By the time Andrew Speaker and his wife returned from Europe late last month, government officials and news reports had already branded him as a runaway tuberculosis patient who had deliberately evaded health officials and knowingly put other people at risk by traveling on crowded airplanes... Mr. Speaker and his family have been fighting back ever since, disputing the accounts of local and federal health officials who say he had been warned not to fly because he posed an infection risk to others.
Ten-year-old girl becomes 15th bird flu victim in Egypt 10 Jun 2007 Ten-year-old Mayada Tohami has become the youngest person in Egypt to die of bird flu since the first human case was recorded in the country in March 2006. Hers was the 15th death of the 35 human cases reported to date.
Snow: Bush standing firm behind Gonzales 10 Jun 2007 The White House on Sunday dismissed Senate plans to hold a no-confidence vote on the attorney general and said the outcome will not undermine President [sic] Bush's resolve to keep Alberto Gonzales at the Justice Department.
Internet Doomsday Creeps Closer --Big government pushes for total taxation and restriction on the last great outpost of free speech By Steve Watson 04 Jun 2007 Recent proposals in the U.S. Congress are taking a huge swipe at freedom in America once again by aiming to impose multiple different forms of crippling taxation and restriction on users of the internet.
Microsoft Finds Legal Defender in Justice Dept. 10 Jun 2007 Nearly a decade after the government began its landmark effort to break up Microsoft, the Bush administration has sharply changed course by repeatedly defending the company both in the United States and abroad against accusations of anticompetitive conduct, including the recent rejection of a complaint by Google. The retrenchment reflects a substantially different view of antitrust policy, as well as a recognition of major changes in the marketplace.
CEO compensation skyrockets 09 Jun 2007 A new Associated Press calculation shows that compensation for America's top CEOs has skyrocketed into the stratospheric heights of pro athletes and movie stars: Half make more than $8.3 million a year, and some make much, much more.
Bush's Department of Agribusiness is absof*ckinglutely *useles*: Meat recall expands to 5.7 million pounds over E. coli fears 09 Jun 2007 A meat supplier has again expanded a voluntary recall of beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli. The U.S. Department of Agribusiness said in a statement Saturday that United Food Group LLC had expanded an earlier recall to include approximately 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground beef after a person in Arizona tested positive for E. coli. In all, 14 people in six states have been sickened by beef from the California-based firm.
13 E. coli cases may be linked to beef in expanding recall 07 Jun 2007 Thirteen cases of infection with E. coli bacteria may be linked to a multistate beef recall, the beef producer and Arizona state health officials told CNN Thursday. Four people are hospitalized, according to United Food Group, which greatly expanded the recall on Wednesday. UFG says illnesses were reported in five states -- three in California, four in Arizona, two in Colorado, one in Wyoming, and one in Utah.
Paris will serve 23 days, Michelle Rodriguez got just hours for longer sentence 09 Jun 2007 Michelle Rodriguez spent four hours and 27 minutes in late May, 2007 at the Century Regional Detention Facility out of a 60 day sentence. She was jailed for violating probation for her first DUI by getting another DUI in Hawaii. Her parole violation was arguably more severe than Paris’, her original crime was worse, and her sentence was certainly longer. But she still got out earlier than Paris did... Rodriguez also has more driving-related legal trouble than Paris.
Cheney to have heart defibrillator replaced 08 Jun 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, a survivor of four heart attacks, will have his cardiac defibrillator replaced later this year, his office said on Friday after he had his annual physical checkup. [Let's hope the doctor doesn't break off a piece of Cheney's stony heart while operating! Be careful you don't break anything, doc! I'd put a $50,000 lien on my house for an 'accident.' --MDR]
Bush returns to G8 summit after stomach problem 08 Jun 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush returned to the Group of Eight summit after falling ill earlier on Friday with a stomach ailment, a White House spokesman said. "The White House had a good rest this morning. He's feeling better," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. [What a shame!]
Secret CIA jails said hosted by Poland and Romania 08 Jun 2007 A European investigator said on Friday he had proof Poland and Romania hosted secret prisons for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in which it interrogated top 'al Qaeda' suspects using methods akin to [were] torture.
Report: CIA ran secret jails --Detention centers alleged in Poland and Romania 09 Jun 2007 The CIA ran secret jails in Poland and Romania to interrogate key terror suspects, shackling and handcuffing inmates, keeping some naked for weeks, and reducing contact with the outer world to masked and silent guards, a European investigator said yesterday.
Rome trial challenging CIA extraordinary renditions opens as Bush arrives 09 Jun 2007 The first trial involving the CIA's extraordinary rendition [kidnapping] program opened in Italy on Friday without the presence of any of the 26 American defendants. The case threatens to expose the workings of the U.S. and Italian intelligence agencies.
Suspected CIA agents skip Italian trial 09 Jun 2007 Twenty-six Americans, almost all suspected of being CIA agents, went on trial in absentia yesterday, accused of kidnapping a Muslim cleric in Milan and flying him to Egypt. The court case, highlighting one of Washington's most controversial policies in its war on [of] terror, started hours before President [sic] Bush was due to visit Italy.
U.S. officials back off Iraq progress report 08 Jun 2007 The Bush regime and top military commanders are looking beyond the promised September progress report on Iraq and are preparing Congress and the American public for a long-term presence of U.S. troops in the occupied nation. Officials have started downplaying the importance of the September assessment by Army General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker as they work to lower public expectations about any quick progress in Iraq.
Top Joint Chiefs of Staff leaders being replaced 08 Jun 2007 Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday he has decided to replace the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff rather than have them go through contentious renomination hearings before Congress. Speaking to reporters, and referring to the debate over the war in Iraq, Gates said he envisioned "a confirmation process that would not be in the best interest of the country" were he to renominate Marine Gen. Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Adm. Ed Giambiastiani as vice chairman.
General 'sacrificed' to clear decks on Iraq --Chairman of joint chiefs of staff to stand down --Senate hearings would have been controversial 09 Jun 2007 The Bush regime yesterday attempted to wipe the slate clean on the Iraq war and chart a new way forward with the surprise announcement that it was replacing General Peter Pace as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. The defence chief, Robert Gates, said he had reluctantly decided on the reshuffle - despite his initial support for Gen Pace - to avoid a "divisive ordeal" at the Senate which would have had to approve an extension of the general's term.
Ah, the reason why Pace was jettisoned: Top American General Disputes US Military Claim on Iran By Al Pessin 12 Feb 2007 (Canberra, AU) The top American military officer, General Peter Pace, declined Monday to endorse the conclusions of U.S. military officers in Baghdad, who told reporters on Sunday that the Iranian government is providing high-powered roadside bombs to insurgents in Iraq. General Pace said he was not aware of the Baghdad briefing, and that he could not, from his own knowledge, repeat the assertion made there that the elite Quds brigade of Iran's Republican Guard force is providing bomb-making kits to Iraqi Shiite 'insurgents.'
Pace Contradicted Rumsfeld Over Iranian Involvement In Iraq Posted by Nico 16 Feb 2007 On Sunday, anonymous administration officials presented evidence purportedly showing that weapons have been smuggled into Iraq with "the approval of senior Iranian officials." The next day, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace seemed to contradict this claim, saying that he has not seen evidence that the Iranian government "clearly knows or is complicit" in the weapons smuggling. As it turns out, we’ve seen this exchange before. In March 2006, Pace and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld held a Pentagon press briefing, during which Rumsfeld warned reporters that Iran was "putting Iranian Quds Force-type people" into Iraq. When a reporter asked Pace whether the Iranian forces in Iraq were "backed by the central government," Pace responded frankly, "I do not know." Rumsfeld was then asked the same question, and provided a very different answer: "Well, of course. The Revolutionary Guard doesn’t go milling around willy-nilly, one would think." Transcript
Six killed in attack on U.S. prison in Iraq 09 Jun 2007 Six civilian prisoners were killed and at least 50 wounded when [US] rockets or mortars were fired into the U.S.-run Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq on Saturday, the U.S. military said. Military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Garver said the attack involved an unspecified number of mortar rounds or rockets fired into the prison. About 16,000 prisoners are held in Camp Bucca and Camp Cropper near Baghdad.
Suicide bomber kills 12 Iraqi soldiers 09 Jun 2007 A [US] suicide car bomber struck an Iraqi army checkpoint outside the capital on Saturday, killing at least 12 soldiers in the deadliest of a series of attacks against Iraqi forces. The explosion happened near the gate of the army unit's headquarters in Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of the capital, provincial police spokesman Capt. Muthanna Khalid said, giving the casualty toll.
Gunmen attack Iraq police chief's home, kill 14 08 Jun 2007 [US] Gunmen attacked the home of a police chief north of Baghdad overnight, police sources said on Friday, killing 14 people including his wife, at least one brother and two sons.
Withdraw call as UK suffers 150th military death in Iraq 08 Jun 2007 A British soldier was shot dead in Iraq yesterday, the 150th UK military death in the country since the start of the invasion. The grim landmark was reached when a soldier from the 4th Battalion, The Rifles, was shot during a swoop in the district of al-Atiyah, north-west of Basra, southern Iraq.
Blackwater Heavies Sue Families of Slain Employees for $10 Million By Daniel J. Callahan and Marc P. Miles The lawyers representing the families of four American Blackwater contractors killed in Fallujah make the case that the company's executives are suing the families to keep them quiet and to avoid any accountability. The following article is by the lawyers representing the families of four American contractors who worked for Blackwater and were killed in Fallujah. 08 Jun 2007 The families of four American security contractors who were burned, beaten, dragged through the streets of Fallujah and their decapitated bodies hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River on March 31, 2004, are reaching out to the American public to help protect themselves against the very company their loved ones were serving when killed, Blackwater Security Consulting. After Blackwater lost a series of appeals all the away to the U.S. Supreme Court, Blackwater has now changed its tactics and is suing the dead men's estates for $10 million to silence the families and keep them out of court.
Six police dead in Afghanistan 09 Jun 2007 Bombs and battles have killed six police and left 13 Taliban fighters dead or wounded in separate incidents in southern Afghanistan.
Spokesman: Cobra was accidentally bombed 08 Jun 2007 An AH-1W Super Cobra reported to have crashed while participating in an exercise in Jordan last month was actually on the ground when an AV-8B Harrier dropped a bomb near the attack helicopter, a 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit spokesman has confirmed. A UH-1N Huey on the ground also was damaged in the May 26 incident, Capt. Will Klumpp wrote in an e-mail Friday.
Bush signals missile shield to go ahead 08 Jun 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush thanked Poland on Friday for being ready to host the U.S. missile shield and sent a clear signal he would not scrap the plan in the face of an alternative offer from Russia.
Attorney-general knew of BAE and the £1bn. Then concealed it --Goldsmith hid secret money transfers from international anti-corruption organisation 08 Jun 2007 British investigators were ordered by the attorney-general Lord Goldsmith to conceal from international anti-bribery watchdogs the existence of payments totalling more than £1bn to a Saudi prince, the Guardian can disclose. The money was paid into bank accounts controlled by Prince Bandar for his role in setting up BAE Systems with Britain's biggest ever arms deal. Details of the transfers to accounts in the US were discovered by officers from the Serious Fraud Office during its long-running investigation into BAE. But its inquiry was halted suddenly last December.
JFK 'plot' suspect once in drug setup 07 Jun 2007 The alleged mastermind of a 'terror plot' against John F. Kennedy International Airport briefly gained attention in his native Guyana four years ago. Russell Defreitas was on Guyanese television in May 2003 when he demonstrated outside an airline he blamed for allowing six packets of cocaine to be placed in his luggage on a trip to New York. He discovered the drugs after passing through customs, turned it over to U.S. authorities, and was not arrested because they believed it had been planted, he said.
U.S. Official: Tighter Visa Rules for EU 09 Jun 2007 U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he wants to tighten travel rules for Europeans entering the United States without visas, news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday. "We want to increase our security standard by introducing electronic travel approvals," Chertoff said, according to an advance copy of a Spiegel interview to be published Monday.
FAA says computer malfunction causes flight delays across U.S. 08 Jun 2007 The Federal Aviation Administration says a computer failure in the U.S. air-traffic control system has caused untold flight delays across the country. The FAA says a computer system in Atlanta that processes pilots’ flights plans and sends them to air-traffic controllers failed late Thursday or early this morning.
Dean: Democratic president would end war 09 Jun 2007 The high hurdles faced by congressional Democrats in their efforts to end the Iraq war make electing a Democratic president in 2008 the best way to finish the conflict, Democratic party chairman Howard Dean said Saturday. He noted his party has made little progress toward ending the war, the cause, he said, that returned them to power. "The American people hired Democrats last November to ensure that we end this war," Dean said during the weekly Democratic radio address. "So let me be clear, we know that if we don't keep our promise, we may find ourselves the minority again."
White House Expands Its Legal Team 09 Jun 2007 The White House has expanded its legal team to handle the fights it is having with the new Democratic Congress [charges of impropriety and lawbreaking stemming from 9 million scandals]. Since becoming President [sic] Bush's new lawyer in February, Fred Fielding has created five new positions in the White House counsel's office, expanding the staff to 22 lawyers, the White House said on Friday. Fielding also has filled a handful of empty desks in his office.
Schumer: Gonzales no-confidence vote Monday 08 Jun 2007 Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has led the investigation into the firing of several U.S. attorneys, announced Friday that a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be taken in the Senate Monday.
GOP activist charged in Abramoff probe --Environmental group founder Italia Federici is accused of tax evasion and obstruction of justice in the lobbying case. 07 Jun 2007 The founder of a Republican environmental organization was charged Wednesday with tax evasion and obstruction of justice as part of the continuing federal criminal investigation into lobbying practices in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.
Gingrich Warns of GOP Losses in 2008 08 Jun 2007 Republican Newt Gingrich, in a jab at President [sic] Bush, warned on Friday that the GOP will lose the White House and Congress in 2008 if the nominee is perceived as a continuation of the Bush presidency. Addressing a conservative organization, the former House Speaker never mentioned the president by name, but his political point was clear.
Ala. GOP lawmaker punches Senate colleague 08 Jun 2007 A Republican state senator who punched a Democratic lawmaker in the head expressed regret, saying "that's not the way grown men solve their problems," but he said he won't immediately apologize. Republican Sen. Charles Bishop claimed that Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron called him a "son of a (expletive)" in the Senate chamber on Thursday. "I responded to his comment with my right hand," Bishop said.
Ethics cloud over California Republicans 09 Jun 2007 A disproportionate number of California's congressional Republicans are facing ethics questions that threaten to sink their careers and their party's political fortunes too. Of 201 House Republicans, at least six are known to have attracted the attention of federal investigators — and four are from California. Their woes come in the wake of the lurid corruption scandal that sent ex-GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham of San Diego to prison last year for taking $2.4 million in bribes.
Paris Hilton ordered back to jail; Bush still free 08 Jun 2007 Screaming and crying, Paris Hilton was escorted out of a courtroom and back to jail Friday after a judge ruled that she must serve out her entire [discriminatory] 45-day sentence behind bars rather than in her Hollywood Hills home. [*Why* are Bush, Cheney Halliburton, Rice, Rumsfeld, Rove, Gonzales and 'Scooter' Libby free --while Paris Hilton is imprisoned?]
Baca Fires Back 08 Jun 2007 Citing an overzealous judge and a desire not to make a "criminal or judicial football" out of Paris Hilton, LA Sheriff Lee Baca defended his decision to release the heiress from LA County jail yesterday due to psychological deterioration. Responding to Superior Court Judge Michael Sauer's order requiring Hilton to return to jail after roughly one day in home-detention with an electronic monitor, Baca responded to accusations that Hilton received an early release because of her notoriety. Baca said instead that Hilton would not be in jail at all if not for her celebrity status. Baca implied the judge made an example out of Hilton, calling her a "low-level" offender who would not have been incarcerated at all had she not been a public figure.
Internment fears as MPs hear plan to extend terror suspects' detention --Conservatives back other counter-terror measures 08 Jun 2007 Civil liberties groups last night condemned the government's plan to extend the detention of terror suspects without charge beyond the current 28-day limit as "amounting to internment". The Conservatives announced "support in principle" yesterday for a register of convicted terrorists enabling travel restrictions to be imposed; a move to lift the ban on post-charge questioning of terror suspects, and an urgent Privy Council inquiry into the safeguards needed to allow phonetap evidence to be used in court.
UK Home Secretary Introduces New Measures to 'Fight' Terrorism - Strong Anti-Terror Laws 07 Jun 2007 In a statement to Parliament today, the Home Secretary called for new measures to fight the 'unprecedented threat' of terrorism. Home Secretary John Reid today called on Parliament to pass new 'effective and proportionate' legislation to help anti[pro]-terror units protect the public. Dr Reid called for consultation and discussion on a slate of new measures to stop terror groups from committing violent acts in the UK.
Democrats May Subpoena N.S.A. Documents 08 Jun 2007 Senior House Democrats threatened Thursday to issue subpoenas to obtain secret legal opinions and other documents from the Justice Department related to the National Security Agency’s domestic wiretapping program. If the Democrats take that step, it would mark the most aggressive action yet by Congress in its oversight of the wiretapping program and could set the stage for a constitutional showdown over the separation of powers.
Official: Cheney Urged Wiretaps --Stand-In for Ashcroft Alleges Interference 07 Jun 2007 Vice President [sic] Cheney told Justice Department officials that he disagreed with their objections to a secret surveillance program during a high-level White House meeting in March 2004, a former senior Justice official told senators yesterday. The meeting came one day before White House officials tried to get approval for the same program from then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, who lay recovering from surgery in a hospital, according to former deputy attorney general James B. Comey.
European Report Addresses CIA Sites --Secret Prisons in Poland, Romania, It Says 08 Jun 2007 A European investigator said he has "factually established" that Poland and Romania allowed the CIA to operate secret prisons where alleged 'al-Qaeda' operatives were detained and interrogated, according to documents scheduled to be presented Friday to Europe's official human rights organization. Dick Marty, a Swiss lawyer for the Council of Europe, the continent's human rights agency, said detainees who were considered "especially sensitive" were incarcerated in Poland and those believed "to be less important were held in Romania," the documents said.
CCR Files Lawsuit Seeking Information about "Ghost" Detentions On June 7, 2007, Amnesty International U.S.A. (AIUSA), The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the International Human Rights Clinic of NYU School of Law today filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking disclosure of information concerning "disappeared" detainees, including "ghost" and unregistered prisoners.
The Torture Doctors --These physicians have a strange way of preserving the American way of life By Nat Hentoff 06 Jun 2007 For all the press coverage of abuses, including torture, of our "detainees," most Americans are unaware of the partnership between military interrogators and military doctors and psychiatrists in "breaking" prisoners who refuse to provide information.
Senate moves to restore detainee rights 07 Jun 2007 Guantanamo prisoners and other foreigners got a step closer to regaining the right to challenge their detention in the U.S. courts in a bill approved in a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday. The Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 to send the proposal to the full Senate for debate, with Arlen Specter (PA) the lone Republican joining the Democratic majority.
Marine says he erased photos of Haditha victims --The testimony is the first evidence suggesting that any officer may have engaged in a coverup in the 2005 deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians. 07 Jun 2007 A staff sergeant testified Thursday that he was ordered to destroy grisly pictures of women and children killed by Marines so that the images would not be part of a statement being prepared for an investigative officer and a magazine reporter. The testimony by Staff Sgt. Justin Laughner, taken under a grant of immunity, is the first evidence suggesting that any Marine officer may have engaged in a coverup in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005.
Suicide Attacks, Bombings Kill Dozens in Iraq --College Professors, Journalist Among Shooting Victims 08 Jun 2007 Suicide attackers and car bombs struck targets in central, western and northern Iraq on Thursday, leaving at least 24 people dead and 42 wounded, Iraqi security officials said. [US] Gunmen also shot three professors from Islamic University in Baghdad, killing two and wounding one, and killed the head of the Education Ministry's department of research and development as he drove to work, police said.
Iraqi journalist shot to death in northern city of Mosul, police say 07 Jun 2007 A female Iraqi journalist was shot to death while she was waiting for a taxi Thursday in the northern city of Mosul, according to police and her news agency. Sahar al-Haidari, a 45-year-old mother of four, covered political and cultural news for the independent Voices of Iraq news agency and was the second employee of the organization to be killed in just over a week.
Journalists killed in Iraq 07 Jun 2007 A journalist working with the independent Aswat al-Iraq news agency in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was killed by [US] gunmen on Thursday, the agency said. Following is a chronology of those reported killed in the past six months.
Turkey incursion in Iraq 'US nightmare' 08 Jun 2007 A large-scale invasion of northern Iraq by Turkish forces would be a nightmare for the United States and could destabilise the one part of the country that is relatively calm, analysts said. A website report that 50,000 Turkish troops poured into northern Iraq to fight Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerillas set off alarms in Washington, where US officials scurried [like rats] to try to find out what, if anything, had happened.
Turkey weighs cost of military action in N.Iraq 07 Jun 2007 Turkey's government and army General Staff denied a Web site report on Wednesday that 50,000 troops had crossed the mountainous border to tackle Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels who use the region as a base to attack Turkish targets... Despite the increased army manoevres on the border, analysts say the odds are still against a major Turkish army incursion into Iraq as this would strain ties with the United States, its NATO ally, and the European Union, which Ankara aims to join.
Car bombs kill 15 in southern Iraq town 08 Jun 2007 Two car bombs killed 15 people and wounded 32 in the southern Iraqi town of Qurna on Friday, hospital officials said. Police said the blasts happened in quick succession. They said a bus exploded in a bus terminal in one attack while in the other a car blew up in a market.
Car Bomb Kills 18 in Iraq 06 Jun 2007 In Iraq, a suicide car bomber struck a group of Sunni tribal chiefs in a market area near Fallujah. At least 18 people were killed and 15 wounded. Elsewhere in Anbar province, Iraqi security officials say a suicide car bomber struck a police checkpoint in Ramadi, killing six officers and wounding three others. In all, at least 90 Iraqis were killed or found dead Tuesday. They include 61 bullet-riddled bodies the apparent victims of so-called sectarian [US] death squads.
Twin Bombs Rock Baghdad Shrine Area 06 Jun 2007 Car bombings shook the streets leading to Baghdad's most revered Shiite Muslim shrine Wednesday, and police reported at least seven people were killed and 27 others wounded.
US death toll in Iraq passes 3,500 08 Jun 2007 The four-year US military death toll in Iraq passed 3,500 after a soldier was reported killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad. A British soldier was also shot to death in southern Iraq, as Western forces find themselves increasingly vulnerable under a new strategy to take the fight to the enemy. Iraqis continued dying as well in the many-sided civil war.
Bush Pick for War Adviser Says Consider Withdrawal 07 Jun 2007 Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, a skeptic of the troop increase in Iraq and President [sic] George W. Bush's choice to oversee the war, said withdrawing troops may pressure the Iraqi government to make needed changes. Under questioning from Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Lute said a withdrawal "ought to be considered."
Bush nominee worries Iraq can't do more 07 Jun 2007 The general [Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute] picked by President [sic] Bush to become his war adviser said Thursday he has serious concerns about the Iraqi government's ability to take control of its country, no matter how much pressure is applied by the United States.
Calif. Senate OKs Iraq pullout referendum 08 Jun 2007 The California Senate has voted to include on the state's presidential primary ballot a referendum calling for the withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq. If the referendum appears on the February 2008 primary ballot, then California could become the first state to formally call for immediate withdrawal, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
2 GOP senators back troop reduction in Iraq --Their support for the nonbinding resolution is one more indicator of Republican discontent with Bush's strategy. 07 Jun 2007 In another sign that Republicans on Capitol Hill are impatient with the White House's Iraq strategy, two more GOP senators Thursday got behind legislation designed to encourage the Bush administration to reduce U.S. military involvement. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith are co-sponsoring a nonbinding resolution by Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., that urges support for creating semi-autonomous regions for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq.
Saudi prince 'received arms cash' 07 Jun 2007 A Saudi prince who negotiated a £40bn arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia received secret payments for over a decade, a BBC probe has found. The UK's biggest arms dealer, BAE Systems, paid hundreds of millions of pounds to the ex-Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. The payments were made with the full knowledge of the Ministry of Defence.
North Korea tested cruise missiles: White House 07 Jun 2007 North Korea fired cruise missiles when it test-fired short-range missiles off its west coast on Thursday, a senior White House official said on Thursday.
Bush 'interested' in Putin anti-missile alternative 08 Jun 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin turned the tables on Washington today, suggesting the United States use a Russian-controlled radar instead of US anti-missile hardware in central Europe. At a meeting with US President [sic] George Bush during the Group of Eight summit, Mr Putin proposed that the United States and Russia jointly use a radar in Azerbaijan as part of an anti-missile shield that would protect all of Europe.
NSA extends 'Groundbreaker' IT contract 07 Jun 2007 An industry consortium will continue to handle a variety of telecommunications and IT services for the U.S. National Security Agency. The NSA, which handles critical code-breaking and eavesdropping chores for the U.S. government, this week exercised a three-year option on Groundbreaker, a project that turned a wide range of telecom and IT work over to a venture known as the Eagle Alliance. The option is valued at about $528 million and is an indication that Groundbreaker has worked out well [!] for the NSA even though it was implemented in July 2001, just two months before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Feds May Suspend Border Passport Rule 07 Jun 2007 The Bush regime may suspend a major post-9/11 'security' initiative to cope with increasingly angry complaints from Americans whose summer vacations are threatened by new passport rules. A proposal under consideration would temporarily waive a requirement that U.S. passports be used for air travel to and from Canada and Mexico, provided the traveler can prove he or she has applied for a passport, officials said Thursday.
U.S. VP Cheney to have routine heart checkup 07 Jun 2007 U.S. Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, a survivor of four heart attacks including a mild one shortly after the 2000 'election,' will have a routine heart checkup on Friday, his office said on Thursday.
Edwards takes on Giuliani over terrorism in NY 07 Jun 2007 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards chose Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani's home turf of New York on Thursday to say it was not enough to talk tough on terrorism without addressing its causes. Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and the 2004 Democratic nominee for the U.S. vice presidency, drew Republican ire last month when he dubbed U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush's "war on terror" a "bumper sticker."
Bush Poll Numbers Match All-Time Low --AP: 32 Percent Satisfied With President's Performance; Just 28 Percent Happy With Bush's 'Handling' of War 07 Jun 2007 Public approval of the job President [sic] Bush is doing now matches its all-time low, an AP-Ipsos poll says. The survey, released Thursday, reflects widespread discontent over how Mr. Bush is 'handling' the war in Iraq, efforts against terrorism and domestic issues. In another indication of the public's bleak mood, only 21 percent said they believe things in the U.S. are heading in the right direction, the worst mark since the AP-Ipsos poll began in December 2003.
Bush-backed immigration bill stalls in Senate --Measure would legalize millions of unlawful immigrants but may be dead 07 Jun 2007 A broad immigration bill to legalize millions of people in the U.S. unlawfully failed a crucial test vote Thursday, a stunning setback that could spell its defeat for the year.
Authorities Converge on Ed and Elaine Brown's Home 07 Jun 2007 State and federal authorities have converged on the home of a New Hampshire couple involved in a tax standoff. People are being kept several miles away from the Center of Town Road in Plainfield, where Ed and Elaine Brown live. Neighbors, including some who have been evacuated, reported police SWAT teams, a helicopter and at least one armored vehicle converged on a field near the home Thursday morning.
Morgan Stanley issues triple sell warning on equities 07 Jun 2007 Morgan Stanley has advised clients to slash exposure to the stock market after its three key warning indicators began flashing a "Full House" sell signal for the first time since the dotcom bust.
Treasury 10-Year Note Falls Most in 3 Years as Yield Tops 5% 07 Jun 2007 The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell the most in more than three years after New Zealand unexpectedly raised interest rates, igniting concern other central banks will respond to faster global growth.
EPA to Contract Out Watchdog Functions --EPA Inspector General Shifting Focus to Emphasize Bush Management Agenda (PEER) 07 Jun 2007 The Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning to hire contractors to perform many of its audits while shifting resources away from public health issues, such as air and water pollution, according to an internal e-mail released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In the coming year the EPA Inspector General (IG) wants to concentrate on pursuing Bush administration policies on risk assessment and program evaluation.
Congress considers scrapping California's global warming law 07 Jun 2007 The debate over legislation to curb global warming opened Thursday in the House, where one of the biggest battles will be whether to sacrifice California's landmark law to institute a national standard... The most controversial feature of the draft measure is the preemption of California's tough new law to lower emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The draft legislation would kill the California law, replacing it with a [useless] national standard.
Fuel spill fears off Newcastle coast 08 Jun 2007 Fears are mounting that the grounded bulk carrier Pasha Bulker could break up. A witness on Nobbys Beach, where the Pasha Bulker is being pounded by huge seas, said traces of fuel had begun washing up on the beach.
Groups list 39 'disappeared' in U.S. war on terror 07 Jun 2007 Six human rights groups urged the U.S. government on Thursday to name and explain the whereabouts of 39 people they said were believed to have been held in U.S. custody and "disappeared." The groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, said they filed a U.S. federal lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act seeking information about the 39 people it terms "ghost prisoners" in the U.S. "war on terror."
NGOs list CIA 'ghost detainees' 07 Jun 2007 A group of human rights organisations has named 39 people they say the US has held in secret CIA-run prisons and whose whereabouts are now unknown. The group has called on the US to end the programme of secret prisons for people detained in the "war on terror".
Iraqi Lawmakers Pass Resolution That May Force End to Occupation By Raed Jarrar and Joshua Holland 05 Jun 2007 The parliament today passed a binding resolution that will guarantee lawmakers an opportunity to block the extension of the U.N. mandate under which coalition troops now remain in Iraq when it comes up for renewal in December. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki... may veto the measure. The law requires the parliament's approval of any future extensions of the mandate, which have previously been made by Iraq's prime minister. It is an enormous development; lawmakers reached in Baghdad today said that they do in fact plan on blocking the extension of the coalition's mandate when it comes up for renewal six months from now.
Bush war adviser was skeptical on Iraq 06 Jun 2007 Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, picked by President [sic] Bush as his White House war adviser, said Wednesday he had been skeptical of Bush's decision to send thousands more U.S. troops into Iraq.
UK and US must quit Iraq quickly, says former ambassador 06 Jun 2007 The British and American military presence in Iraq is worsening security across the region and should be withdrawn quickly, the UK's former ambassador to Washington [Sir Christopher Meyer] warned yesterday.
Iraqi oil pipeline workers strike 05 Jun 2007 Workers at the Oil Pipeline Company in southern Iraq began a strike on Monday demanding the government improve their pay, the company spokesman said. Faraj Mizban said about 600 workers are taking part in the strike and that they have shut two main pipelines which carry refined oil products to Baghdad and to the southern cities.
Turkish troops made "limited" operation into Iraq 06 Jun 2007 Turkish troops conducted a "limited operation" into northern Iraq in recent days in pursuit of Kurdish rebels, a military official said on Wednesday. "This cannot be called a cross-border operation, it is a limited operation," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Turkish Officials: Troops Enter Iraq 06 Jun 2007 Several thousand Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq early Wednesday to chase Kurdish guerrillas who operate from bases there, Turkish security officials told The Associated Press.
Iraq says sees no sign of incursion by Turkish army 06 Jun 2007 Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Wednesday there was no evidence that Turkish troops had crossed the Iraqi border to launch a military operation against Turkish rebels hiding in the mountains. "We have checked all along the border and there hasn't been any incursion or military operation inside Iraqi territory," he told Reuters.
4 U.S. soldiers die in Iraq combat 06 Jun 2007 Four U.S. soldiers have died in combat operations in Iraq, the U.S. military reported Wednesday, pushing the U.S. death toll in four years of war toward 3,500.
Afghanistan to trade dead Taliban leader's body for kidnapped hostages 07 Jun 2007 The Afghan government has agreed to make a trade with the remnants of the Taliban, exchanging the body of commander Mullah Dadullah for the release of five hostages.
2 soldiers, reporter are slain in Afghanistan 07 Jun 2007 Afghanistan's recent spate of violence claimed the lives of two more NATO soldiers yesterday, while the death toll in June among militants rose to 200.
Pentagon's acquisition chief resigns 06 Jun 2007 The Pentagon's acquisition chief [Kenneth Krieg] resigned Wednesday, the latest in a recent string of high-level departures from the department.
Rice blamed for staff shortage, low morale among US diplomats 05 Jun 2007 Saddled by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US State Department faces an acute staff shortage amid "worsening morale," according to a study blaming Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for the problem.
U.S. Official: Russian Espionage at 'Cold War Levels' (NPR) 06 Jun 2007 U.S. counterintelligence chief Joel Brenner says Russian espionage efforts against the United States are "now back at Cold War levels." Brenner adds, "They are sending over an increasing and troubling number of intelligence officers into the United States."
Venezuela calls for leftist defense bloc 07 Jun 2007 President Hugo Chavez called for the creation of a common defense pact between Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia, while the leftist Latin American bloc announced the creation of a development bank to finance joint projects. Chavez said Wednesday that the four-nation Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, which began as a socialist-leaning trade group, should cooperate militarily to become more independent of U.S. influence.
Pentagon moves another East African detainee to Guantanamo 06 Jun 2007 The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it has transferred an Islamic activist from Somalia to its prison for war-on-[of-]terror captives at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, underscoring what appears to be a growing U.S. interest in terrorist activities in the Horn of Africa. A Defense Department announcement identified the newest arrival at the remote U.S. Navy base as Abdullahi Sudi Arale and described him as a "suspected" al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] member from East Africa who'd served as a courier between the Horn of Africa and Pakistan.
Censorship could 'change internet beyond recognition' 06 Jun 2007 Amnesty International has warned that the internet "could change beyond all recognition" unless action is taken against the erosion of online freedoms. The warning comes ahead of a conference organised by Amnesty, where victims of repression will outline their plights. Amnesty accused companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo of being complicit in the problem.
JFK airport plot 'a US setup' 06 Jun 2007 The four suspects in an alleged terror plot to bomb a New York airport were set up in an elaborate plan by the US Republican party to retain hold of the White House, the daughter of an arrested suspect claimed on Tuesday. Huda Ibrahiim, daughter of Amir Kareem Ibrahiim, one of four men accused of plotting acts of terrorism against the United States, said US justice officials had engaged in entrapment in breaking up the alleged plot... She also said her father was afraid to fly, was not computer literate and does not use the internet.
Canada, U.S. need shared no-fly list: U.S. Homeland Security 06 Jun 2007 A shared no-fly list should be created for Canada and the U.S. to track passengers who pose a health risk to North America, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday. The need for a common list was highlighted by the case of an Atlanta man infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis, who 'avoided detection by U.S. authorities by flying home from Europe to Montreal,' Chertoff said. [NO. The US *allowed* the TB-infected man to travel so that a media-engendered 'outcry' for safety would allow the Bush regime to seek approval for new privacy-violating Homeland 'Security' measures.]
CDC Planes Could Have Transported TB Victim, Avoided Danger 06 Jun 2007 The actions of Andrew Speaker, the XDR-TB patient who flew back to the US from Europe after learning of his disease, were dangerous and inexcusable. They were, however, predictable, and could have been avoided had the CDC decided to send one of its three jets to pick him up. They were used only nine times last year, so it's not like scheduling was a problem.
Criminal Indictments Sought Against Police, Giuliani Staffers Who Had Reporter Arrested For Asking Question --Eyewitnesses describe how Secret Service were directing arrest, intimidation of group By Paul Joseph Watson 06 Jun 2007 Matt Lepacek, the reporter who was kicked out of the CNN press room and arrested after asking Rudy Giuliani's staff a question, has now been released on bail. Criminal indictments are now being pursued against the police involved as well as Giuliani's staffers for their flagrant abuse of the First Amendment, assault and wrongful arrest.
Reporter Arrested on Orders of Giuliani Press Secretary --Charged with Criminal Trespass Despite Protest of CNN Staff and Official Event Press Credentials at GOP Debate in New Hampshire 05 Jun 2007 Freelance reporter Matt Lepacek, reporting for Infowars.com, was arrested for asking a question to one of Giuliani's staff members in a press conference. The press secretary identified the New York based reporter as having previously asked Giuliani about his prior knowledge of WTC building collapses and ordered New Hampshire state police to arrest him. Jason Bermas, reporting for Infowars and America: Freedom to Fascism, confirmed Lepacek had official CNN press credentials for the Republican debate. However, his camera was seized by staff members who shut off the camera, according to Luke Rudkowski, also a freelance Infowars reporter on the scene. He said police physically assaulted both reporters after Rudkowski objected that they were official members of the press and that nothing illegal had taken place.
Electrical glitch worries Giuliani at debate 05 Jun 2007 An electrical glitch at a debate of Republican presidential candidates had Rudy Giuliani joking on Tuesday that he was about to be struck by lightning for differing with a Catholic bishop. An electrical sound interrupted Giuliani, a Roman Catholic, as he was trying to answer a question from debate moderator Wolf Blitzer of CNN about a Rhode Island bishop who compared him to Pontius Pilate for his views on abortion.
headline: 'Rough seas prevent tankers from transporting oil.'
Top Diabetes Doc: Drugmaker Threatened Me --Dr. John Buse Says He Was Warned In 1999 That He'd Be Held Responsible For Hurting Drug Sales 06 Jun 2007 The controversy surrounding GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia grew Wednesday as a medical expert told Congress that executives threatened to sue when he first raised questions in 1999 about the treatment's safety. That testimony, coupled with a recent medical journal analysis highlighting the heart attack risks associated with Avandia, prompted some Democratic lawmakers to rebuke the Food and Drug Administration for failing to protect consumers, and to call for stricter industry regulation.
Consumers feel the heat from rising food prices 02 Jun 2007 Rising gasoline prices have been getting all the attention, but the cost of another, more-important staple is actually rising even more: food. In the past year, food prices have increased 3.7 percent and are on track to jump by as much as 7 percent by year's end.
Five US Reps Support Cheney Impeachment 06 Jun 2007 US Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) has become the fifth total co-sponsor of US Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s (D-OH) bill to impeach Vice President [sic] of the United States Dick Cheney, Atlanta Progressive News has learned. In addition to Kucinich, the additional three Members of Congress who have signed on to H. Res 333 are US Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), and Albert Wynn (D-MD). "This Administration has continued to erode the trust of the American people and enough is simply enough," stated US Rep. Clarke in a press release issued first to Atlanta Progressive News.
Cheney blocked official's promotion 06 Jun 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney blocked the promotion of a Justice Department official involved in a bedside standoff over President [sic] Bush's eavesdropping program, a Senate committee learned Wednesday. In a written account, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey said Cheney warned Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that he would oppose the promotion of a department official who once threatened to resign over the program. Gonzales eventually decided against trying to promote Patrick Philbin to principal deputy solicitor general, Comey said.
Bush aide admits hiring boasts --Says he broke no rules giving jobs to conservatives 06 Jun 2007 A Bush administration official admitted yesterday that he had boasted about hiring conservatives and Republicans at the Justice Department, but he nevertheless insisted that he broke no civil service rules against taking partisan affiliation into account when hiring government lawyers. Bradley Schlozman, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his record as a supervisor at the Civil Rights Division from 2003 to 2006, said he never asked questions about job applicants' political views or partisan affiliation. Under civil service laws, politics cannot be used as a factor when hiring career nonpartisan prosecutors and other lawyers.
Goodling's 'uncomfortable' conversation piques senators' interest 06 Jun 2007 The leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee are seeking answers regarding an "uncomfortable" conversation on the firing of U.S. attorneys between Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Monica Goodling that the former Department of Justice (DoJ) aide described in recent testimony.
Police use water cannons on protesters at G8 summit; airport roads blocked 06 Jun 2007 Police used water cannons to scatter stone-throwing demonstrators Wednesday as several thousand protesters swarmed a 12-kilometre fence surrounding the G8 summit where U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met. An estimated 10,000 demonstrators had reached the fence by the afternoon, police said, while other protesters blocked roads leading from the airport to the summit site of Heiligendamm on the Baltic Sea coast in northern Germany as leaders began arriving on the first day of the three-day summit.
US torpedoes hopes for G8 climate deal 06 Jun 2007 The United States quashed German hopes Wednesday for a binding pact on slashing carbon emissions at a summit of rich nations, as police fought anti-globalisation demonstrators.
Melting Glaciers Flowing Faster 05 Jun 2007 Hundreds of glaciers in the Antarctic peninsula are flowing faster, adding to a rise in sea levels, British experts said on Tuesday as they pointed the finger of blame at global warming. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reported a 12-percent increase in the speed of over 300 glaciers monitored by satellite between 1993 and 2003.
CMU officers pluck feathered friends from sewer --Rescue is just ducky 06 Jun 2007 (Pittsburgh) It didn't take rocket science -- or computer science -- to rescue seven baby ducks that fell through a sewer grate on the Carnegie Mellon University campus Monday night. It did take ingenuity and a lot of patience on the part of two campus police officers and three security guards who spent 90 minutes rolling in the mud to reunite the mallard ducklings with their mother.
U.S. airpower dropping bombs on Iraq at twice last year's rate 05 Jun 2007 Four years into the war that opened with "shock and awe," U.S. warplanes have again stepped up attacks in Iraq, dropping bombs at more than twice the rate of a year ago. The airpower escalation parallels a nearly four-month-old security crackdown that is bringing 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Baghdad and its surroundings... It also reflects increased availability of planes from U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.
Most of Baghdad 'not controlled' 05 Jun 2007 US and Iraqi forces control fewer than one-third of Baghdad's neighbourhoods, according to a review of a security crackdown in the city since February. More than 20,000 US reinforcements are being deployed as part of the campaign.
Petraeus: 'We Haven't Started The Surge Yet' 05 Jun 2007 In April, during the congressional debate over war funding, Gen. David Petraeus pushed back against a withdrawal timeline from Iraq "because we’re only about two months into the surge," assuring Congress that he would be able to report on progress in September: We're only about two months into the surge. We won’t have all the forces on the ground until mid-June and I pointed that out to them, and noted that Ambassador Crocker and I would be doing an assessment in early September and provide that to our respective bosses at that time. But now that the debate on timelines has passed, Petraeus is asking for even more time. Today in an interview with CBS News, Petraeus tried to argue that the surge hasn’t even started yet: We haven't started the surge — the full surge — yet. So let me have a few months.
Police blow up suicide bomber 05 Jun 2007 Iraqi police opened fire on a female suicide bomber as she approached a Baghdad recruitment centre today, blowing up her explosives belt. Security and defence officials said three police were lightly wounded in the attack, but Khalaf could not confirm this.
Car bomb near Iraq's Falluja kills 19: police 05 Jun 2007 At least 19 people were killed and 25 others were wounded when a suicide bomber blew up his car in a market just outside Iraq's western city of Falluja on Tuesday, police said. Hospital sources said most of the victims were women and children.
U.N.: More than 4 million Iraqis displaced --Refugee agency warns number forced to leave because of [US] violence will rise 05 Jun 2007 More than 4 million Iraqis have now been displaced by violence in the country, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday, warning that the figure will continue to rise.
Congressman Kucinich to Receive Statement By Oil Workers Union on U.S. Government’s Role in Privatizing Iraqi Oil 04 Jun 2007 Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a staunch opponent of the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Act, will receive a statement by the Oil Workers Union to BearingPoint tomorrow afternoon. BearingPoint is a consulting firm that received a U.S. government contract to assist the Iraqi government in drafting its oil law, which would privatize control of Iraqi oil. Two top leaders in Iraq’s labor movement, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President of the Electrical Utility Workers Union and Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary of the Iraq Federation of Oil Unions, will begin a 12-city U.S. tour, which concludes in Atlanta on June 29.
Bloodshed is spreading across Afghanistan, warn aid workers 06 June 2007 Bloodshed is spreading to previously stable provinces of Afghanistan, threatening aid efforts as humanitarian workers contend with growing numbers of attacks from 'insurgents' and criminals.
No evidence Iran supplying Taliban-NATO general 05 Jun 2007 While Iranian mortar rounds and other weapons have been found on Afghan battlefields there is no evidence that Tehran is supplying weapons to the Taliban, the U.S. general who leads the NATO war effort in the country [General Dan McNeill], said on Tuesday.
Israeli soldiers kill 2 Palestinians 06 Jun 2007 Israel killed two Palestinian men on Wednesday, one during a raid in the occupied West Bank, and another in an air strike in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics and security sources said. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed both incidents.
Robo-Snipers, "Auto Kill Zones" to Protect Israeli Borders 04 Jun 2007 For years and years, the Israeli military has been trying to figure out a way to keep Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip from crossing over into Israel proper. The latest tactic: create a set of "automated kill zones" by networking together remote-controlled machine guns, ground sensors, and drones along the 60-kilometer border. Defense News' Barbara Opall-Rome reports that "initial deployment plans for the See-Shoot system call for mounting a 0.5-caliber automated machine gun in each of several pillboxes interspersed along the Gaza border fence."
Bush acknowledges growing rift with Russia 05 Jun 2007 President [sic] Bush raised the stakes Tuesday for his upcoming faceoff with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, as he championed a missile defense system Putin opposes and chided Russia for its sluggish pace toward democracy.
US military mulls Guantanamo options 06 Jun 2007 The US military is "considering its options" following the latest setback in its plan to prosecute inmates held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Australia's David Hicks was the military commission system's first scalp when he pleaded guilty on March 30. But Hicks's conviction has been questioned after cases against the next two prisoners to be prosecuted at Guantanamo were thrown out.
Failed Guantanamo terrorism trials leave Pentagon scrambling for next move 05 Jun 2007 Failed attempts to charge two terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay left the Pentagon scrambling Tuesday to determine its next step and emboldened Democrats who said the rulings exposed a flawed military tribunal system.
Time to abandon the absurd charade at Guantánamo Bay (The Financial Times) 05 Jun 2007 For five years, the administration of President [sic] George W. Bush has sought to weave a cloak of legality to clothe the wrongs it has committed in the "war on terror". Earlier this week, that threadbare veil was pierced yet again – as it has been so often in the past – when two military judges at the US detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba rebuked the administration for failing to follow the law. Civilian courts, including the US Supreme Court, have long looked askance at the way the administration has warped and twisted national and international law to give it a free hand to combat terrorism... For five years he [Bush] has struggled to construct an alternative justice system for foreign terrorism suspects. Yet in that time he has convicted no one – and dragged America’s reputation through the dirt.
Where Were the CDC Planes? The CDC's Planes Cost Taxpayers Millions, but They Weren't Used to Bring Andrew Speaker Home 05 Jun 2007 In a new twist in the trans-Atlantic health scare triggered by tuberculosis patient Andrew Speaker, a Senate committee will hold hearings Wednesday to find out why the CDC didn't use one of its emergency jets to bring Speaker home from Europe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has three private jets to use in case of an emergency. They cost $7 million a year for taxpayers, and in the last year, they were used nine times. That has some people asking why one of those planes was not used to bring Speaker home when he was in Rome last month with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis
Pharma-terrorists poised to get $300M windfall: Senators seek jump in TB control spending 05 Jun 2007 A group of U.S. senators on Tuesday sought $300 million in U.S. spending to 'combat' tuberculosis while new tests confirmed that the U.S. man at the center of an international TB alarm is not highly infectious. Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (OH) and Edward Kennedy (MA) and Reichwing whackjob Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) introduced legislation in the Senate to fund efforts to develop new drugs, diagnostic tests, vaccines and other steps.
Fifth International Bird Flu Summit to Be Held In September 05 Jun 2007 Bird Flu experts from around the world meet to address pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. 27-28 September 2007, Las Vegas, NV.
Soldier death from bird flu confirmed 06 Jun 2007 The 19-year-old soldier, who was diagnosed with avian bird flu on May 18, has died, after a group of medical experts failed to save him from physical deterioration, confirmed the Information Office of Chinese Ministry of Health on Tuesday in a fax statement to chinadaily.com.cn.
Feds Say 'Terrorist Plot' Poorly Planned 04 Jan 2007 In the latest 'terrorist threat' to New York City, the alleged terrorists are all middle-aged men. The oldest is a 63-year-old Guyanese immigrant Russell Defreitas who was arrested at a diner in Brooklyn. The feds say he was the mastermind of the plot to ignite the jet fuel farm at John F. Kennedy International Airport. People who know Defreitas however, are astounded at the charge. "For him to be mastermind of this was utterly ridiculous," said Ricardo Johnson, a friend of the suspect. "He's not a leader. He doesn't have the capacity."
Fugitive in JFK 'terror plot' surrenders 06 Jun 2007 Local media reported today that Abdel Nur, the fourth suspect in an alleged plot to blow up pipelines at John F. Kennedy International airport in New York, has turned himself in to police officials in Trinidad. Local law enforcement agents did not immediately confirm media reports that Nur walked into a police station in Western Trinidad, just on the outskirts of the capital city, and gave himself up.
NSA surveillance program may have skirted 1991 law on congressional notification, say Democrats 05 Jun 2007 The Bush administration may have sidestepped a key 1991 law regarding congressional notification of intelligence activities when it chose to alert just a handful of lawmakers of its warrantless surveillance program following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to Democratic sources. From 2002 until 2006, only a tiny club was aware of the top-secret program: the chairmen and ranking members of the intelligence committees, as well as the Republican and 'Democratic' leaders of the House and Senate, known informally as the "gang of eight."
DHS Wants Cell Phones to Detect Chemical, Radioactive Material 04 Jun 2007 The Department of Homeland Security wants American cell phones to sense biological, chemical and radioactive material. Putting hazardous material sensors in commercial cell phones has been discussed in scientific circles for years, according to researchers in the field. More recently, the idea gained support among government agencies, and DHS said publicly in May that it wants businesses to start coming up with proposals.
Libby sentenced to 30 months in prison --Cheney's former chief of staff found guilty of lying, obstructing probe 05 Jun 2007 Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison Tuesday for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, stood calmly before a packed courtroom as a federal judge [Reggie B. Walton] said the evidence overwhelmingly proved his guilt. Walton fined Libby $250,000 and placed him on probation for two years following his release from prison.
Libby Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison, Fined $250K 05 Jun 2007 I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Cheney, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying to investigators about his role in leaking the identity of an undercover CIA officer. The federal judge who presided over the case indicated that he may not be sympathetic to allowing Libby to remain free pending appeal, but scheduled a hearing on the matter for next week.
Letters to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton regarding I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby 05 Jun 2007 Dozens of 'people' seeking to weigh in on the appropriate sentence for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby submitted letters in recent weeks to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton. Most expressed support for probation, although several urged the longest possible sentence to show that no one is above the law.
Letters on Scooter Libby Released by Court 05 Jun 2007 Letters sent to Judge Reggie B. Walton regarding the sentencing of vice presidential aide Lewis I. "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted of obstruction of justice, were released by the court today.
House Democrats expand Abramoff probe 05 Jun 2007 House Democrats are expanding their investigation into ties between jailed GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the White House and have contacted several Abramoff associates recently about testifying to Congress.
An Unacceptable Nominee (The New York Times) 05 Jun 2007 President [sic] Bush’s latest appeals court nominee, Leslie Southwick, has a disturbing history of insensitivity to blacks and other minority groups. The Senate should reject this nomination and make clear to the White House that it will reject all future nominees who do not meet the high standards of fairness that are essential for such important posts. A non-negotiable quality for judicial nominees is that they must be committed to equal justice. Judge Southwick, whom President Bush has nominated for a seat on the New Orleans-based United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, repeatedly failed this test as a Mississippi state court judge. He clearly failed the test when he ruled for a social worker who was rightfully fired for calling a black colleague "a good ole nigger." Judge Southwick is known for siding with employers over employees — but not in this case.
Giordano Pleads No Contest to State Child-Sex Charges 05 Jun 2007 (CT) Former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano (R-GOPedophile), already serving a 37-year federal prison sentence for having sex with children, pleaded no contest to eight state child-sex charges Tuesday. Giordano, 44, was sentenced on federal charges in June 2003 to 37 years in prison for violating the civil rights of two girls that he sexually abused.
New Haven Aldermen Approve ID Cards For Illegal Immigrants 05 Jun 2007 (CT) The Board of Aldermen overwhelmingly approved a plan Monday night that would allow the city to issue identification cards for illegal immigrants and others.
Texas lab finds pain medicine in pet food 05 Jun 2007 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating a Texas laboratory's finding of acetaminophen in dog and cat food, an agency spokesman said Monday. "We're very interested in being able to test these samples ourselves to determine the levels of those contaminants," said FDA spokesman Doug Arbesfeld. "What's significant is these things are there. They don't belong there."
Hot topic marked on World Environment Day --U.N. activities focus on getting climate message to children 05 Jun 2007 The U.N.'s celebration of World Environment Day on Tuesday featured a melting polar bear, youngsters dancing with cardboard fish, children painting shoes to symbolize carbon footprints, and an appeal from the daughter of late wildlife expert Steve Irwin to skateboard or take public transportation to school.
US is building bases in Iraq By Patrick Seale 04 Jun 2007 Last week, almost unnoticed, the war in Iraq entered a new phase. Laconic statements from the White House and the Pentagon confirmed what had long been suspected - namely that the US is planning a long-term military presence in Iraq... It is a clear statement that, in spite of its current difficulties in Iraq... the US firmly intends to maintain control of Iraq and its vast oil reserves.
Turkish forces shell northern Iraq - Iraqi leader 03 Jun 2007 Iraq said Turkish forces shelled a mountain stronghold of Turkish Kurd rebels in the north of the country on Sunday, a day after it urged Turkey to use diplomacy to resolve rising tensions in the region.
Commanders Say Push in Baghdad Is Short of Goal 04 Jun 2007 Three months after the start of the Baghdad security plan that has added thousands of American and Iraqi troops to the capital, they control fewer than one-third of the city’s neighborhoods, far short of the initial goal for the operation, according to some commanders and an internal military assessment.
U.S. Troop Drive Said Faltering in Iraq 04 June 2007 U.S.-led forces have control of fewer than one-third of Baghdad's neighborhoods despite thousands of extra troops nearly four months into a security crackdown, a newspaper reported Monday _ an assessment that came as the U.S. casualty toll soared.
The security industry: Britain's private army in Iraq --The British security guards taken hostage in Baghdad are just four among a foreign legion paid for by you. Yet as we grow more reliant on them, their future is perilous in a country without rules. 03 June 2007 Estimates suggest that there are roughly 40,000 private security employees in Iraq carrying out a variety of duties... Many critics accuse some security companies of being little more than mercenaries - private armies that can operate with virtual impunity in Iraq. A notorious video posted on the web last year appeared to show Aegis employees shooting up civilian cars, with Elvis Presley's "Mystery Train" on the soundtrack. "We know of hundreds of cases reported of random shooting at civilians in cars," John Hilary, director of campaigns and policy at War on Want, told MPs last month.
Attacks Kill 17 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq --Dozens Sickened by Gaseous Cloud in Bombing Outside American Base 04 Jun 2007 A [US] car bomb attack outside a major U.S. military base in Iraq discharged a gaseous cloud that sickened dozens of people Sunday, punctuating a flurry of violence that left 16  American soldiers dead during the first three days of June.
Iraq Insurgent Group Claims It Killed Missing U.S. Soldiers 05 Jun 2007 A Sunni 'insurgent' group released a video on Monday that showed the military identification cards of two missing American soldiers who were captured last month south of Baghdad, and that claimed they had been killed. An American military official with the missing soldiers’ unit said the identification cards appeared to be authentic, suggesting that the group was involved in the attack.
Army in retreat over 'stop loss' --Military told to limit unpopular policy 03 Jun 2007 As the U.S. moves into its fifth year in Iraq and escalates troop levels there, the Pentagon has kept combat units manned by forcing as many as 80,000 soldiers to stay in uniform and in war zones even after their enlistment obligations have been met or their retirement dates have passed [a policy known as "stop loss"].
U.S. Marines move to discharge protesting Iraq vet 05 Jun 2007 A U.S. military disciplinary panel on Monday recommended that a decorated combat Marine [Cpl. Adam Kokesh] be involuntarily discharged after he joined an anti-war demonstration and spoke out against the Iraq war.
Anti-war Marine blasts military 04 Jun 2007 An Iraq War veteran [Cpl. Adam Kokesh] accused the Marine Corps on Monday of causing a "disgusting waste of government resources" by holding a hearing about whether he should be punished for wearing his uniform during an anti-war protest.
Discontent Over Iraq Increasing, Poll Finds --Americans Also Unhappy With Congress 05 Jun 2007 Growing frustration with the performance of the Democratic Congress, combined with widespread public pessimism over President [sic] Bush's temporary troop buildup in Iraq, has left satisfaction with the overall direction of the country at its lowest point in more than a decade, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Almost six in 10 Americans said they do not think the additional troops sent to Iraq since the beginning of the year will help restore civil order there, and 53 percent -- a new high in Post-ABC News polls -- said they do not believe that the war has contributed to the long-term security of the United States.
Firm to be sued over 'torture flights' --Legal papers allege that Jeppesen facilitated more than 70 rendition flights over four years 04 Jun 2007 A former British resident being held at Guantánamo is suing a subsidiary of the Boeing corporation which he alleges was involved in arranging for him to be taken to secret American prisons around the world. Once there, he says, he was tortured. Lawyers for Benyam Mohammed, an Ethiopian national who grew up in Notting Hill, west London, say Jeppesen Dataplan has been providing logistical support for the Central Intelligence Agency's so-called extraordinary rendition [kidnapping] programme.
US loses out in dramatic Guantanamo rulings 05 Jun 2007 The legal front of the US government’s "war on terror" suffered a stunning reversal Monday as military judges threw out charges against a Canadian-born [alleged] 'Al Qaeda' fighter and Osama bin Laden's [alleged] ex-driver. The surprise rulings on Toronto native Omar Ahmed Khadr, 20, and Salim Ahmed Hamdan threatened to torpedo the government’s pursuit of Guantanamo Bay terror suspects through new-look military tribunals. In both cases, the judges found that they had no jurisdiction to proceed with military commission trials, as neither Khadr nor Hamdan had been classified as an "unlawful enemy combatant" as required by a recent US law.
Guantánamo trials in chaos after judge throws out two cases --Technicality applies to all 385 inmates, colonel rules 05 Jun 2007 The Bush regime's plans to bring detainees at Guantánamo Bay to trial were thrown into chaos yesterday when military judges threw out all charges against a detainee held there since he was 15 and dismissed charges against another detainee who [allegedly] chauffeured Osama bin Laden. In back-to-back arraignments for the Canadian Omar Khadr and Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni national, the US military's cases against the alleged al-Qaida figures were dismissed because, the judges said, the government had failed to establish jurisdiction.
Guantanamo judge drops charges against Khadr 04 Jun 2007 The military judge presiding at Omar Khadr's 'war crimes' tribunal dismissed all the charges against the young Canadian on Monday. The judge said he did not have jurisdiction to try Khadr under a new 2006 law authorizing tribunals at Guantanamo for foreign terrorism suspects. Khadr did not meet the exact definition of those eligible for trial, as written in the law. [See: U.S. to try former child soldier at Guantanamo Bay 03 Jun 2007.]
Iran says will not beg for its atomic rights 04 Jun 2007 Iran will not beg world powers for its right to develop nuclear technology and has shown it will not retreat from the "field of danger" to protect such rights, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday.
GOP chief: We need more terror attacks on US soil 'to appreciate' President Bush 03 Jun 2007 The Republican Party of Arkansas, which was beaten decisively in last year's election, needs to dedicate itself to running next time on an anti-tax, pro-highway and pro-education agenda, its new chairman [Bryant businessman Dennis Milligan] said... Milligan said he’s "150 percent" behind Bush on the war in Iraq. "At the end of the day, I believe fully the president [sic] is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country," Milligan said.
Survey: 'government hasn't told truth about 7/7' 04 Jun 2007 A quarter of Muslims polled think the authorities involved with staging the 7/7 London bombings. A Channel 4 News survey of 500 British Muslims, carried out by GFK NOP, has found that nearly a quarter don't believe the four men identified as the London bombers were responsible for the attacks. And a similar number say the government or the security services were involved. Nearly six in ten of those polled believe the government hasn't told the whole truth about the July the 7th bombings - and more than half say the intelligence services have made up evidence to convict terrorist suspects.
JFK Airport Plot Has All the Hallmarks of Staged Terror --Near-retarded "ringleader", paid government provocateur mirrors legion of previous cases By Paul Joseph Watson 04 Jun 2007 An alleged plot to blow up fuel tanks, terminal buildings and fuel lines running beneath Kennedy International Airport has all the hallmarks of being another staged terror alert, having never advanced beyond a rudimentary planning stage while being prodded and provocateured by a paid government informant. In every single major terror sting we have researched in the west since 9/11, not one single plot has been absent the ingredient of a government provocateur, save the cases that were outright manufactured by imaginative government propagandists in alliance with the corporate media.
JFK plot shows 'back door' risk 04 Jun 2007 The foiled plot to blow up fuel tanks at JFK International Airport has highlighted the vulnerability of the U.S. aviation system's infrastructure. Authorities say that the plot was broken up long before it was operational and insist that the fuel tanks at JFK are secure. However, aviation security experts say such infrastructure represents a vulnerable "back door" to the nation's airports.
Bush bioterrorists are trying to get the pandemic party started: U.S. waited more than a week to notify European officials about TB traveller 04 Jun 2007 It took a week and a half for U.S. health officials to notify their counterparts in Europe that an American honeymooner was travelling there with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis, agencies involved in the case told The Associated Press. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was first told that Andrew Speaker was travelling in Europe on May 18, nearly a week after the infected patient and his fiancee flew to Europe for a wedding in Greece.
Food fight leads to felony charge 02 Jun 2007 (Aurora, IL) A colossal food fight broke out Thursday in West Aurora High Schoo's cafeteria — triggering a free-for-all, prompting the Kane County state’s attorney to file felony charges against the instigator and causing school administrators to implement extreme measures... A 15-year-old was charged with mob action and disorderly conduct, and a 14-year-old was charged with assault, according to Aurora Lt. Brian Olsen.
Some 1,000 injured in anti-G8 protests 04 Jun 2007 Nearly 1,000 people were injured in the riots that broke out Saturday during a demonstration against the June 6-8 Group of Eight (G8) summit, according to German police in the northern city of Rostock and protest organizers. Police spokesman Frank Scheulen said that 433 police officers were injured, 30 of whom suffered serious injuries.
Court advisers lean to leniency in Libby's sentencing 04 Jun 2007 Former vice presidential [sic] aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby should be considered for leniency when he's sentenced Tuesday on perjury and other charges, says the office that helps federal judges calculate sentences. Libby qualifies for a lighter sentence than the 15 to 21 months recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, says the U.S. district court's probation office.
Pfizer sued for $8 billion over deadly drug test 05 Jun 2007 Nigeria has filed a lawsuit for $US7 billion ($8.4 billion) in damages from Pfizer over a drug test in which about 200 children were either killed or deformed, court officials in Abuja said. The Federal Government suit says the children suffered various degrees of adverse effects ranging from deafness to muteness, paralysis, brain damage, loss of sight, slurred speech, while 11 died. The federal action follows a similar suit filed last month by Kano, Nigeria's largest state, which is seeking $US2.75 billion from the pharmaceutical giant.
Oil at $70 as cyclone nears Mideast Gulf 04 Jun 2007 Oil surged above $70 on Monday on news a cyclone was headed toward the oil-producing Arabian peninsula with the potential to disrupt shipping and output.
F.C.C. Rebuffed by Court on Indecency Fines 05 Jun 2007 If President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Cheney can blurt out vulgar language, then the government cannot punish broadcast television stations for broadcasting the same words in similarly fleeting contexts. That, in essence, was the decision on Monday, when a federal appeals panel struck down the government policy that allows stations and networks to be fined if they broadcast shows containing obscene language.
Kelo: Supreme Court decision or executive order? By Mark Yannone 04 Jun 2007 Long before [the Kelo decision] was written, the executive branch of the federal government was quietly pursuing its own massive plan to confiscate real estate. By way of Executive Order 12803 and a Waco summit, the two Bush presidents were advancing their New World Order plans in a way that required the Supreme Court to vote as it did. Since private companies will be directly profiting from the construction and operation of the NAFTA superhighway, the most prominent feature of President [sic] Bush's Canadian, American, and Mexican Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, the US Supreme Court's 5 to 4 Kelo decision may have been mandatory...
Bill would block states on auto rules 04 Jun 2007 A dozen states would be blocked from imposing new requirements on automakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a draft energy bill being prepared for a vote later this month. A provision that would bar such a waiver for any action aimed at climate-changing greenhouse gases is tucked deep in the draft bill that was circulated Monday among members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It was drafted by Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., whose Energy and Commerce energy subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on the legislation for Thursday.
Global warming 'is three times faster than worst predictions' 03 Jun 2007 Global warming is accelerating three times more quickly than feared, a series of startling, authoritative studies has revealed. They have found that emissions of carbon dioxide have been rising at thrice the rate in the 1990s. The Arctic ice cap is melting three times as fast - and the seas are rising twice as rapidly - as had been predicted.
U.S. Cuts Back Climate Checks From Space 05 Jun 2007 The Bush administration is drastically scaling back efforts to measure global warming from space, just as the president [sic] tries to convince the world the U.S. is ready to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gases. A confidential report to the White House, obtained by The Associated Press, warns that U.S. scientists will soon lose much of their ability to monitor warming from space using a costly and problem-plagued satellite initiative begun more than a decade ago.
Mafia prosecutor now has Bush in his sights 03 Jun 2007 George W Bush may finally be about to meet the man who could prove his undoing. Preet Bharara is a 38-year-old Indian-American lawyer, who made his name prosecuting the bosses of the Gambino and Colombo crime families in New York. Now the former district attorney has President [sic] Bush in his sights, as well as Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser.
IAEA chief warns of "crazies" seeking Iran war 01 Jun 2007 The United Nations nuclear watchdog chief warned on Friday against the "new crazies" advocating military action to halt Iran's nuclear program and said he did not want to see another war like that in Iraq. "I wake every morning and see 100 Iraqis, innocent civilians, are dying," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview for BBC Radio. "I have no brief other than to make sure we don't go into another war or that we go crazy into killing each other. You do not want to give additional argument to new crazies who say 'let's go and bomb Iran'," he said in a documentary...
U.S. ponders a 'Korea model' for long-term presence in Iraq --Bush envisions 50-year presence 03 Jun 2007 For the first time, the Bush regime is beginning publicly to discuss basing U.S. troops in Iraq for years, even decades to come, a subject so fraught with political land mines that officials are tiptoeing around the inevitable questions about what the long-term mission would be there. George W. Bush has long talked about the need to maintain a U.S. military presence in the region, without saying exactly where.
Former US commander in Iraq: US cannot win, must stave off defeat 03 Jun 2007 At least 14 more American troops were killed in Iraq over the weekend, the military said Sunday, as a former US commander warned victory in the intractable conflict was now beyond reach. Retired army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said the United States could no longer win the war and must find a way to stave off defeat. "I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time," Sanchez told AFP in an interview given in Texas. "I think if we do the right things politically and economically with the right Iraqi leadership we could still salvage at least a stalemate, if you will -- not a stalemate but at least stave off defeat," he said.
Amnesty possible for Iraq insurgents: US ambassador 03 Jun 2007 Washington's ambassador to Iraq hinted Sunday that the United States was open to granting amnesty to former Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] insurgents who fought against it in the blood-soaked country. "As part of a political reconciliation process, amnesty can be very important," Ambassador Ryan Crocker told Faux News television, speaking from Baghdad.
Mercenary firms fear bloodbath in Iraq 03 Jun 2007 Mercenary chiefs are urgently reviewing rules dictating when they can use force in Iraq, amid growing fears that another confrontation between private security operators and police could explode into a bloodbath. Days after four British bodyguards and their client were snatched by bogus police from the streets of Baghdad, the bosses of private security firms have admitted there is now a "serious risk" of shoot-outs between mercenary officials and Iraqi security forces.
Judge Halts Award of Iraq Contract 02 Jun 2007 A federal judge yesterday ordered the military to temporarily refrain from awarding the largest security contract in Iraq. The order followed an unusual series of events set off when a U.S. Army veteran filed a protest against the government practice of hiring what he calls mercenaries, according to sources familiar with the matter. The contract, worth about $475 million, calls for a private company to provide intelligence services to the U.S. Army and security for the Army Corps of Engineers on reconstruction work in Iraq. The case, which is being heard by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, puts on trial one of the most controversial and least understood aspects of the Iraq war: the outsourcing of military security to an estimated 20,000 armed contractors who operate with little oversight.
Bomb releases chlorine in Iraq's Diyala province --At least 62 are made ill. U.S. says seven more soldiers are killed in two days. 03 Jun 2007 A [US] car bomb exploded about 200 yards from the entrance of a U.S. military base northeast of Baghdad today, unleashing a cloud of chlorine that sickened at least 62 personnel but caused no injuries, the military said. The use of chlorine canisters to turn an ordinary bomb into a chemical weapon has become a signature tactic of 'insurgents' fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces in Al Anbar province, west of Baghdad. But today's attack was believed to be the first time the tactic was used in Diyala province, north and east of the capital.
U.S. helicopter forced to land in Iraq 02 Jun 2007 A U.S. helicopter was forced to make a precautionary landing north of Baghdad [Diyala province] on Saturday, but nobody was injured, a military spokeswoman said. [That's why the US dropped a WMD in Diyala province on Sunday - revenge for downing a US helicopter on Saturday.]
Explosions as US warplanes circle Baghdad-residents 02 Jun 2007 U.S. jets and helicopters circled over Baghdad amid the sound of explosions and heavy machinegun fire on Saturday evening, residents said. A Reuters journalist saw at least one air-to-ground missile streak through the air before hitting the ground with a bang and a large flash... Iraqiya state television said U.S. warplanes were bombarding Habibibya, an area in Sadr City.
U.S. forces face bloody start to June in Iraq 03 Jun 2007 Sixteen American troops died in Iraq in the first three days of June, marking a bloody start to the month as the U.S. military presses on with its crackdown on sectarian violence in Baghdad. A total of 127 American troops died in May, the third worst total for U.S. forces since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
14 U.S. soldiers die in Iraq in 3 days 03 Jun 2007 The U.S. military said Sunday that 14 American soldiers were killed over the past three days, including four in a single roadside bombing and another who was struck by a suicide bomber while on a foot patrol.
U.N. Team Still Looking for Saddam Hussein's 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' --Though Work Is Seen as Irrelevant, Security Council Can't Agree to End It 02 Jun 2007 More than four years after the fall of Baghdad, the United Nations is spending millions of dollars in Iraqi oil money to continue the hunt for Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Every weekday, at a secure commercial office building on Manhattan's East Side, a team of 20 U.N. experts on chemical and biological weapons pores over satellite images of former Iraqi weapons sites. "The reality on the ground is there is no WMD there," said Charles Duelfer, a former U.N. weapons inspector who published the landmark 2004 report of the CIA-led Iraq Survey Group, which concluded that Iraq's weapons had been destroyed. "I think they understand the distance their work is from reality."
Moqtada al-Sadr: The man America has in its sights --The US wants to talk to Moqtada al-Sadr. He thinks they want to assassinate him. In this rare interview in Kufa, Iraq, the Shia cleric tells Nizar Latif why. 03 June 2007 Moqtada al-Sadr, the man Washington blames for its failure to gain control in Iraq, has rejected a call to open direct talks with the US military and has accused the Americans of plotting to assassinate him. The Shia cleric told The Independent on Sunday in an exclusive interview: "The Americans have tried to kill me in the past, but have failed... It is certain that the Americans still want me dead and are still trying to assassinate me. "I am an Iraqi, I am a Muslim, I am free and I reject all forms of occupation. I want to help the Iraqi people. This is everything the Americans hate."
Army hero quits over new 'abuse' inquiry 02 Jun 2007 A war hero cleared of abusing Iraqi civilians in custody has quit the army over fears that he could face a fresh investigation. Colonel Jorge Mendonca, MBE, was one of seven soldiers to face a court martial relating to the alleged abuse of Iraqis, one of whom died, after their arrest as suspected 'insurgents' in Basra in September 2003.
Detainee Abuse Was Well Planned 31 May 2007 Many of the controversial interrogation tactics used against terror suspects in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo were modeled on techniques the U.S. feared that the Communists themselves might use against captured American troops during the Cold War, according to a little-noticed, highly classified Pentagon report released several days ago. Originally developed as training for elite special forces at Fort Bragg under the "Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape" program, otherwise known as SERE, tactics such as sleep deprivation, isolation, sexual humiliation, nudity, exposure to extremes of cold and stress positions were part of a carefully monitored survival training program for personnel at risk of capture, all carried out under the supervision of military psychologists. This troubling disclosure was made in the blandly titled report, "Review of DoD-Directed Investigations of Detainee Abuse", which for the first time sets forth the origins as well as new details of many of the abusive interrogation techniques that led to scandals at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere.
U.S. to try former child soldier at Guantanamo Bay 03 Jun 2007 To U.S. military prosecutors, Omar Ahmed Khadr is a committed 'al-Qaeda' operative, spy and killer who must be held accountable for killing Sgt. First Class Christopher J. Speer and for other bloody acts he committed in Afghanistan. But there is one fact that may not fit easily into the government's portrait of Khadr: He was 15 at the time. Defense lawyers argue that military prosecutors are violating international law by filing charges that date from events that occurred when Khadr was 15 and younger.
Pentagon chief visits Afghanistan 03 Jun 2007 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday... Gates's second visit since taking over the Pentagon in December is to assess coordination within the U.S.-led occupation and to try to ensure Afghanistan does not spiral into the kind of bloodletting seen in Iraq. Violence is growing in Afghanistan nearly six years after the U.S.-led invasion.
U.S. base in Central Asia threatened 02 Jun 2007 When Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits next week, he'll find pressure from Russia and China, as well as some Kyrgyz officials, to close this Central Asian outpost of American military might. The Manas Air Base was set up to support U.S. operations in nearby Afghanistan, but it is part of high-stakes contest for political influence being played out across a region with vast natural gas and oil reserves.
Russia ups the stakes in US missile shield row 03 Jun 2007 President Vladimir Putin on Sunday warned that Russia would point missiles at European targets if the US expands its nuclear defences near its borders.
Brown plan to boost anti-terror laws 03 Jun 2007 Gordon Brown is planning to dramatically increase the strength of anti[pro]-terror laws when he becomes Prime Minister later this month. The far-reaching measures include boosting police powers to hold and question suspected terrorists, and allowing wire-tap evidence to be used in British courts for the first time.
Informant plays key role in JFK Airport plot [They always do.] 03 Jun 2007 A convicted drug dealer who agreed to pose as a wannabe terrorist among a shadowy group plotting to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport secretly fed information to federal investigators in exchange for a lighter sentence. His surveillance trips to the airport with the suspects, travels abroad to meet with supporters and assurances he wanted to die as a martyr in the attack on an underground jet fuel pipeline gave counterterrorism agents insight and evidence that was otherwise unattainable. According to court papers and investigators, the informant began working for the government in 2004, after his second drug-trafficking conviction in New York, and he quickly proved to be a credible source [part of the GOP terror team].
Papers Portray Plot as More Talk Than Action 04 Jun 2007 At its heart was a 63-year-old retired airport cargo worker, Russell M. Defreitas, who the complaint says talked of his dreams of inflicting massive harm, but who appeared to possess little money, uncertain training and no known background in planning a terror attack. "Capability low, intent very high," a law enforcement official said of the suspects... There is, too, the question of the role played by the unidentified undercover informant who befriended Mr. Defreitas. The informant is a convicted drug trafficker, and his sentence is pending as part of his cooperation agreement with the federal government, said the authorities.
Nothing Informations --Nine-minute excerpt of film, '9/11: The Explosive Reality' Posted by totalinsidejob 29 May 2007 (video) Four minutes and 15 seconds into the clip, a soldier with a foreign accent says "building's going to collapse, nothing informations" then puts his hand over the camera lens.
Dick Cheney Rules (The New York Times) 03 Jun 2007 Americans are accustomed to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney’s waiting out a terrorist threat in a "secure undisclosed location." Now it seems that Mr. Cheney wears the cloak of invisibility in secure disclosed locations. The Associated Press reported that Mr. Cheney’s office ordered the Secret Service last September to destroy all records of visitors to the official vice presidential mansion — right after The Washington Post sued for access to the logs. That move was made in secret, naturally... From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Cheney received "deferred salary payments" from Halliburton that far exceeded what taxpayers gave him. Mr. Cheney still holds hundreds of thousands of stock options that have ballooned by millions of dollars as Halliburton profited handsomely from the war in Iraq. Reviewing this record — secrecy, impatience with government regulations, backroom dealings, handsome paydays — it dawned on us that Mr. Cheney is in step with the times. He has privatized the job of vice president of the United States.
After Sanctions, Doctors Get Drug Company Pay 03 Jun 2007 A decade ago the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice accused Dr. Faruk Abuzzahab of a "reckless, if not willful, disregard" for the welfare of 46 patients, 5 of whom died in his care or shortly afterward. The board suspended his license for seven months and restricted it for two years after that. But Dr. Abuzzahab, a Minneapolis psychiatrist, is still overseeing the testing of drugs on patients and is being paid by pharmaceutical companies for the work. At least a dozen have paid him for research or marketing since he was disciplined.
White House Prepares for Possible Vacancy as Court Nears Summer Break 01 Jun 2007 The White House is developing a short list of possible Supreme Court nominees so President [sic] Bush can move swiftly if a justice retires at the end of June, when the Court breaks for its summer recess, according to sources involved in the selection process. Bush met with top advisers last month, and they discussed possible nominees if a Supreme Court vacancy occurs.
The Next Big Thing in Law? The Harsh Jurisprudence of Justice Thomas By Adam Cohen 03 Jun 2007 In the last 100 Supreme Court arguments, Clarence Thomas has not uttered a word. Court watchers have suggested a variety of explanations. Among the least flattering: he is afraid that if he speaks he will reveal his ignorance about the case; he is so ideologically driven that he invariably comes with his mind made up; or he has contempt for the process. In their provocative new book, "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas," two Washington Post journalists, Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, ponder Justice Thomas’s extraordinary silence, and many other puzzles... With its new members, the court is also likely to make prisons less civilized, and workplaces, elections and criminal trials less fair.
US debt could trigger dollar collapse, UN warns 31 May 2007 The United States dollar is facing imminent collapse in the face of an unsustainable debt [over $3 trillion], the United Nations warned today.
General Says Bosses Knew of '05 Killings in Iraqi Town 02 Jun 2007 The general who was in charge of the Marine division in Iraq [Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck] when infantrymen in the division killed 24 civilians in Haditha in late 2005, said Friday that all his superiors, including Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top commander in Iraq, knew of the event [war crimes] within hours.
Civilian death toll in Iraq nearly 2,000 in May 02 Jun 2007 The number of civilians killed in Iraq jumped to nearly 2,000 in May, the highest monthly toll since the start of a U.S.-backed security crackdown in February, according to figures released on Saturday.
Ultimatum over Britons kidnapped in Iraq June 03, 2007 The five Britons kidnapped in Iraq are safe and well but will not be freed unless the Mahdi Army militia's demands are met, The Sunday Times newspaper said, citing a senior Iraqi government source. Representatives of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Madhi Army have demanded an end to assassination attempts on its leaders, the broadsheet said on its front page.
Insurgents destroy major bridge in northern Iraq 02 Jun 2007 'Insurgents' destroyed a major bridge that connects the Iraqi capital Baghdad with the northern cities of Kirkuk and Arbil early on Saturday, police said. They said the 'insurgents' used explosives to destroy the Sarha Bridge, near the town of Tuz Khurmato on the Chinchal river, some 150 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad. [No worries. A GOP-friendly contractor will secure another no-bid contract to rebuild that which they destroyed.]
The New US Embassy in Baghdad 02 Jun 2007 The pictures were released by the architect on the construction of a massive new US embassy in war-torn Baghdad. The photos have been pulled from the original site but are available here.
Operation Iraqi Police State: A National ID Program for Iraq? 29 May 2007 What would a national ID program entail? The program, as spelled out by some analysts, would provide Iraqis with identification cards, similar to U.S. drivers’ licenses, with biometric data like fingerprints to be presented at security checkpoints. A central database would be created to allow Iraqi or U.S. police or army officers, equipped with portable computer terminals, to run spot background checks.
Gates Warns Turkey Not to Invade Iraq [Right, only the US is allowed to do that.] 03 Jun 2007 Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday cautioned Turkey against sending troops into northern Iraq, as it has threatened, to hunt down Kurdish rebels it accuses of carrying out terrorist raids inside Turkey.
British Iraq pull-out plan 03 Jun 2007 British commanders in Iraq have drawn up plans to allow Gordon Brown to withdraw almost all UK troops by the end of the year. The British commander in southern Iraq, Major-General Jonathan Shaw, produced a "commander’s tactical advice" several weeks ago, senior defence sources said last night.
Britain planning Iraq pullout within a year, focus on Afghanistan 02 Jun 2007 British military chiefs are preparing to withdraw troops from Iraq within 12 months in order to concentrate on Afghanistan, The Sunday Telegraph said citing a senior military official... But the broadsheet said Brown will be told by defence chiefs that Britain should withdraw from Iraq in "quick order" so as to bolster efforts to beat Taliban 'insurgents' in Afghanistan.
Gates won't say who's winning war on terror 02 Jun 2007 Declining to say whether the U.S. and its partners are winning the war on [of] terror, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Saturday for more focus on combating poverty and other underlying causes of extremism.
U.S. warship bombards Somalia 'militants' 02 Jun 2007 A U.S. warship pounded Somalia's remote coastal northeast, targeting 'Islamic militants' hours after a gunbattle with Somali government forces that left eight insurgents dead, officials said Saturday. The fighting late Friday, which the provincial government said included an American militant, appeared to mark the opening of a new front against Islamic militants in Puntland, a semiautonomous region that has remained relatively peaceful [until Bush invaded] through Somalia's anarchy.
Israeli agents 'helped Entebbe hijackers' 02 Jun 2007 An extraordinary claim that Israeli intelligence may have had a hand in an airline hijacking before sending in commandos to rescue the hostages at Entebbe was made to the Foreign Office. It came via David Colvin, the first secretary at the British embassy in Paris, according to a newly released National Archives file. He heard it from a contact in the Euro-Arab Parliamentary Association three days after the Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was seized in mid-air by Palestinians and German terrorists on June 27, 1976. Mr Colvin told his superiors that his source suggested that the attack was carried out by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine with help from the Israeli Security Service, the Shin Bet. It was designed to torpedo the rival Palestine Liberation Organisation's standing in France and to prevent what they saw as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans.
Anti-Terrorism Battalion to be deactivated 02 Jun 2007 This is the end of the road for the Marine Corps' Anti-Terrorism Battalion. The battalion, activated in October 2004 as a rapidly deploying force to 'detect, deter and defend against' terrorism, is being deactivated July 13 and reactivated as 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines.
4 Accused of Plot to Blow Up Facilities at Kennedy Airport 03 Jun 2007 Four men, including a onetime airport cargo handler and a former member of the Parliament of Guyana, were charged yesterday with plotting to blow up fuel tanks, terminal buildings and the web of fuel lines running beneath Kennedy International Airport. One of the suspects was taken into custody in Brooklyn and two others were detained in Trinidad, the authorities said, while the fourth man was still at large.
Terror Plot 'One of the Most Chilling Imaginable' 02 Jun 2007 Federal authorities say they foiled an alleged plot by a retired airport worker, a former Guyanese Parliament member and other 'Muslim extremists' [?] to plant explosives on jet fuel arteries at John F. Kennedy International Airport, triggering massive casualties and economic havoc. Three men were arrested and a fourth sought in Trinidad for reportedly hatching the brazen scheme that they boasted would be worse than 9/11 and put "the whole country in mourning," authorities said.
Alleged terror plot suspect "not a Grade A terrorist" --"There’s a lot more to the story." 03 Jun 2007 One defendant, the former cargo handler, Russell Defreitas, was arraigned yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn. One law enforcement official played down Mr. Defreitas’s ability to carry out an attack, calling him "a sad sack" and "not a Grade A terrorist." One friend of Mr. Defreitas’s expressed shock at word that he had been arrested in a plot to attack Kennedy Airport. The friend, Trevor Watts, 65, described Mr. Defreitas, 63, as not dangerous. His brother helped him land the job Kennedy Airport, filling out his job application for him because Mr. Defreitas had trouble reading, Mr. Watts said... Mr. Defreitas moved from place to place and was homeless for a time, his friend said.
NYPD: 'This plot is similar to others in the past.' [LOL, that's because the same government agencies are behind them! Six months later, on a typical Friday afternoon Bush 'bad news' dump, the facts will emerge: An FBI or DHS agent procured/sold the explosives to the 'terrorists' and encouraged them to carry out the plot. A possible reason for the sudden revelation of the alleged year-long terror plot: DHS wants early passenger info 14 Jul 2006 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has submitted a proposal that will force all international departures heading to the U.S. to submit information about all the passengers aboard the plane prior to take off... Privacy laws in the European Union (EU) have prevented similar legislation being introduced before. In May, the highest court in the EU struck down a proposal to allow airlines to provide the DHS with extensive passenger information, such as fare payment details, phone numbers, and addresses. This directive is currently being redrafted. --LRP]
'The FBI was in on it since January of last year.' --Faux News guest 02 Jun 2007
'It's sort of homegrown. I mean, the guy was from outside the country.' --Faux News guest 02 Jun 2007
Japanese students quarantined at Vancouver airport hotel 01 Jun 2007 A group of 39 Japanese high school students and their two chaperones have been quarantined at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel after one of the students was found to have the symptoms of measles. They were about to board a flight at Vancouver International Airport on their way home when they were detained.
Brown to get tough on terror 03 Jun 2007 Gordon Brown will this week put his personal authority behind a move to allow evidence from telephone taps to be used in court to ensure terror suspects do not escape the law. With less than a month to go before Brown takes over as prime minister, he is determined to take a tough stance in the fight against terrorism and make it one of the priorities of his administration.
Two more states reject Real ID 01 Jun 2007 New Hampshire and Oklahoma have joined Montana and Washington in rejecting the U.S. government's 2005 Real ID Act. The states passed statutes refusing to submit to the program, meaning driver's licenses issued by those states will eventually be disallowed as official identification to board airplanes and enter federal buildings, Stateline.org reported Friday.
146 German police officers injured in violent G8 protests 02 Jun 2007 Masked demonstrators showered police with grapefruit-sized rocks and beer bottles, then were driven back with water cannon and tear gas during a protest march Saturday against the upcoming Group of Eight summit in Germany. The clashes left smoke from burning cars and the sting of tear gas drifting through the harborfront area in the north German port of Rostock. Some 146 police were hurt, 25 of them seriously.
Protesters attack police after Rostock anti-G8 demo 02 Jun 2007 Protesters threw stones and bottles and attacked police officers with sticks in the German port of Rostock on Saturday after a largely peaceful demonstration against next week's Group of Eight summit. A group of around 500 demonstrators set upon police near the harbor after a series of marches through the city in which police said 25,000 people took part. Police officers used tear gas and arrested a number of people, Reuters witnesses said.
'A ticking nuclear time bomb' 02 Jun 2007 Suspended from the ceiling, they are covered in deadly radioactive material that drops off them in lumps to the wet floor beneath. The 20,000 fuel rods contained in three tanks at the Andreeva Bay storage site once held enough nuclear energy to power Russia's entire submarine fleet. Now, cracks in the concrete walls of the dilapidated tanks have allowed seawater and rainwater to seep in and corrode the lethal contents. The situation is so bad Russia's nuclear agency has warned rods at the site could explode in an "uncontrolled chain reaction", according to a Norwegian environmental group, which says it has a leaked copy of a report.
Rove Linked to Prosecution of Ex-Alabama Governor 01 Jun 2007 Alabama's former governor, Don Siegelman (D), stands convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges and faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Siegelman has long claimed that his prosecution was driven by politically motivated, Republican-appointed U.S. attorneys. A longtime Republican lawyer in Alabama [Dana Jill Simpson] swears she heard a top G.O.P. operative in the state say that Karl Rove "had spoken with the Department of Justice" about "pursuing" Siegelman, with help from two of Alabama's U.S. attorneys.
Calling John Ashcroft --The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have asked the former attorney general to testify about his role in a dramatic showdown over a controversial eavesdropping program. Will he play ball? 01 Jun 2007 The Senate and House Intelligence Committees are asking former attorney general John Ashcroft to testify about a March 2004 hospital-room confrontation during which he refused to sign off on a continuation of President [sic] Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program, according to congressional and administration sources.
Edwards calls for probe of oil industry 31 May 2007 Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards on Thursday called for a federal investigation into possible antitrust violations by the oil industry and criticized oil companies for raising gas prices. "There's absolutely no justification for the gas companies to be as profitable as they are and have the taxpayers subsidizing the industry," Edwards said.
Mega barf alert! Thompson takes first formal step toward presidential bid 01 Jun 2007 Republican Fred Thompson took the first formal step toward a widely expected bid for the presidency, establishing a preliminary campaign committee on Friday. The "testing the waters" committee allows Thompson -- a former Tennessee senator and actor best known for his film and television roles -- to raise money, hire staff and gauge support without officially committing to a White House bid and without having to publicly disclose donations or expenditures.
Journalists Arrested Trying to Get Soil Samples At Closed School 02 Jun 2007 A strange twist Saturday to the on-going controversy over tainted soil that has shut down a middle school in Paramus. A large pile of pesticide-laced soil had been removed from next to West Brook Middle School, but Saturday, a reporter and photographer for The Record newspaper were arrested for trespassing on its grounds.
Inches Too Tall for Tunnel, Rig Plies It Anyway 01 Jun 2007 It was just six inches. That was what made the difference at 4:40 a.m. yesterday as Gilberto Cantu, a truck driver from Texas, approached the New Jersey entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel in his big rig, loaded with bathtubs, toilets and plumbing fixtures. The truck was 13 feet 6 inches high. The tunnel has a height limit of 13 feet. Six inches can make a big difference. Mr. Cantu drove the entire 1.5 miles of the tunnel from Weehawken, N.J., to Manhattan, tearing his way under the Hudson River in the tunnel’s center tube and peeling back the roof of his tractor-trailer as if it were a tin can.
Iraq war can't be won: British army chief 02 Jun 2007 There is "no way" the war in Iraq can be won by the United States and its allies, a former British Army commander said as he called for the troops to be withdrawn. General Sir Michael Rose, who commanded the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia-Hercegovina from 1994 to 1995, said coalition forces in Iraq were facing an impossible situation. "There is no way we are going to win the war and (we should) withdraw and accept defeat because we are going to lose on a more important level if we don't,'' he said.
Iraq surge deadline may be too early -US commander 31 May 2007 A September deadline for an official military assessment of President [sic] George W. Bush's troop buildup in Iraq could come too early to be a true measure of the strategy, the No. 2 commander in Iraq said on Thursday.
US scrambles to remove plans for new Baghdad embassy from Internet 31 May 2007 A US architect working on the construction of a massive new US embassy in war-torn Baghdad quickly removed plans and drawings of the proposed compound from its website Thursday after a protest from the State Department, officials said.
Baghdad embassy plans appear on Internet Detailed plans for the new U.S. Embassy under construction in Baghdad appeared online Thursday in a breach of the tight security surrounding the sensitive project. The images posted on the Web site show that the $592 million embassy, expected to be completed in September on prime real estate two-thirds the size of Washington's National Mall, will be a spacious and comfortable facility, albeit dangerous. Identified as the "Baghdad U.S. Embassy Compound Master Plan," the images show palm-lined paths, green grass gardens and volleyball and basketball courts outside the Marine post, as well as the swimming pool. [It's huge - the 'insurgents' will have no trouble finding it.]
Militias act with impunity, despite US troop surge --It is absurd to speak of men dressed as police as if they were gunmen in disguise By Patrick Cockburn 01 Jun 2007 The raid on the Finance Ministry in Baghdad by 40 policemen in 19 vehicles who calmly cordoned off the street in front of the building before abducting five Britons shows how little has changed in the Iraqi capital despite US reinforcements and a new security plan. It has always been absurd to speak of men "dressed in police uniforms travelling in police vehicles" as if they were gunmen in disguise. "Of course they have the uniforms and the vehicles, because they are real policemen," said an Iraqi minister after a similar operation in which 150 people were abducted from the Ministry of Higher Education in the capital last year. [*Who* funds and 'trains' the Iraqi police?! The *US.* It's the US that's funding and executing acts of terrorism across Iraq, to justify the 'need' for the troop surge and the ongoing occupation. --LRP]
UK may seek Iranian help in finding Iraq hostages 01 Jun 2007 Britain is considering a direct approach to Iran for help in discovering the whereabouts of four British security guards and a financial consultant abducted in Iraq and who was responsible for seizing them. The issue was raised yesterday at a meeting of Cobra, Whitehall's emergency committee, the Guardian has learned.
Was Iraq invaded to boost oil prices? Value of Exxon reserves rose by $666bn 31 May 2007 Iraq was invaded in order to limit its oil production and thus keep world oil prices artificially high, a noted investigative journalist reports. "Iraq's output in 2003, 2004, and 2005 was less than produced under the restrictive oil-for-food program," writes Greg Palast in his new book Armed Madhouse (Plume). Oil-for-food allowed Iraq to sell 2 million barrels per day during the 1995 to 2003 period. "Whether by design or happenstance, this decline in [Iraqi] output has resulted in tripling the profits of the five US oil majors to $89 billion for a single year, 2005, compared to pre-invasion 2002," Palast writes.
Iraqi Bombers Thwart Efforts to Shield G.I.'s 02 Jun 2007 American commanders are expressing frustration at the increasing death toll in Iraq caused by makeshift explosives, which have killed 80 percent of the Americans who died in combat over the last three months, despite the billions of dollars [to Bush-friendly, no-bid contractors] being spent to fight the threat.
Rice: U.S. Not Preparing for War Vs Iran 02 Jun 2007 The U.S. is not preparing for war against Iran and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney supports that policy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says, taking a swipe at a U.N. official who says he's worried about "crazies'' who want to start bombing.
Sources: U.S. fires at al Qaeda target in Somalia 01 Jun 2007 A U.S. Navy destroyer off the coast of northern Somalia Friday fired on a suspected al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operative believed to have been involved in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, sources confirmed to CNN.
Cuba Official Wants U.S. 'Regime Change' 02 Jun 2007 A top Cuban official said Friday he hopes the United States will experience "regime change" and stop interfering in the affairs of governments around the globe. In an interview with CNN, National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon was asked to react to comments by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said while traveling in Spain that "there must be a democratic transition in Cuba." Alarcon responded that he hopes "there will be a regime change in your country.''
Putin issues sharp warning to US, vows to counter 'imperialism' 31 May 2007 President Vladimir Putin fired an acerbic broadside Thursday at the United States, condemning "imperialism" in world affairs and blaming Washington for igniting a new "arms race" that Russia would not ignore.
A Senate panel rejects Bush's secret interrogations --As administration lawyers scramble to find a new legal underpinning for "tough" interrogation techniques, the Senate Intelligence Committee slams a once-secret CIA program and its methods. 01 Jun 2007 The Senate Intelligence Committee has signaled to the White House that an infamously abusive secret CIA program to interrogate high-level al-Qaida types may have to be scrapped, given "the damage the program does to the image of the United States abroad." It is a stinging rejection of a program that President [sic] Bush late last year called "one of the most successful intelligence efforts in American history" and comes as administration lawyers are reportedly crafting new, secret rules to govern it.
Senators Seek Legal Review of CIA Methods 01 Jun 2007 The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has demanded a legal review of the CIA's detention and interrogation [torture] program for terrorism suspects as part of its version of the fiscal 2008 intelligence authorization bill. As it has in previous years, the panel called for the president to make public the costs of the national programs whose budgets make up almost three-quarters of the roughly $48 billion proposed for intelligence collection and analysis next year... The Bush regime has strongly opposed such a disclosure.
Guantanamo 'suicide' was in maximum-security cell 01 Jun 2007 The Saudi Arabian prisoner who apparently committed suicide at Guantanamo Bay this week was being held in isolation in the maximum-security Camp Five section. That disclosure can only add to international pressure for the facility to be shut down.
ACLU calls for suicide investigation 01 Jun 2007 The death of a detainee at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay highlights concerns of groups calling for its closure. U.S. authorities discovered on Wednesday the body of a detainee from Saudi Arabia who apparently committed suicide -- the fourth by a suspected terrorist/enemy combatant detainee in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay in the past year. The ACLU called for an independent investigation into the death, saying that the United States has typically downplayed the significance of attempted and successful suicides at Guantanamo Bay.
Plame, publisher sue CIA over memoir 01 Jun 2007 An ex-spy whose unmasking led to the conviction of Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's top aide is suing the Central Intelligence Agency, accusing it of unconstitutionally interfering with publication of her memoir. Valerie Plame Wilson and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in New York on Thursday against J. Michael McConnell, the CIA director of national intelligence, and CIA Director Michael Hayden.
Homeland Security probes TB fugitive case 31 May 2007 The U.S. Homeland Security Department said on Thursday it was investigating how a newlywed lawyer with a dangerous form of tuberculosis slipped through borders despite orders to detain him.
California tuberculosis case sparks alert 31 May 2007 Authorities in the southern Californian city of San Diego on Thursday were on the alert for outbreaks of tuberculosis after a student contracted a mild form of the disease. The student, who was not identified, came down with a less severe strain of the disease than the US lawyer who sparked a global health alert this week by traveling transcontinentally against doctors' orders.
ACLU of Arizona Sues County Officials Over Inhumane Confinement of TB Patient (ACLU) 31 May 2007 The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona today filed a lawsuit on behalf of Robert Daniels, a tuberculosis patient who has been held in the jail ward at the Maricopa Medical Center for the past nine months, charging that treating a severely ill patient like a criminal is inhumane and unconstitutional... "Individuals quarantined because of public health risks are held under civil rather than criminal laws," said Daniel J. Pochoda, ACLU of Arizona Legal Director... Like jailed inmates accused of crimes, Daniels is subjected to intrusive strip searches and he is unable to receive any visits from family and friends.
Anti-Crime Teams Sent to 4 More Cities 02 Jun 2007 A violent crime spike in four cities led the Justice Department on Friday to dispatch additional teams of federal agents to combat guns, gangs or surging murder rates in Mesa, Ariz.; Orlando, Fla.; San Bernardino, Calif., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Congressman Wants to Train Spies in College By Luke O'Brien 25 May 2007 Wiretapping is fundamental. An earmark tacked on to a new intelligence spending bill by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) would fund college programs to train future spies. Hastings wants $2 million to finance "centers of academic excellence" at Florida schools that would educate America's youth on snooping and spooking and other intelligence matters.
FBI infrastructure: Less secure than your corporate network By Preston Gralla 31 May 2007 The FBI doesn't use even the most basic network security techniques, such as protecting against insider threats, patching its servers, or using strong encryption techniques, according to a report from the federal Government Accounting Office (GAO). In fact, if the report is to be believed, the FBI's network appears to be less secure than your corporate network.
Man Accused of Parole Violation By Posting On MySpace 01 Jun 2007 (West Haven, CT) A convicted sex offender has been accused of violating parole by creating a profile on the social networking site MySpace.com. State Department of Correction officials took Christopher Montefusco, 30, into custody Thursday.
Ex-aide to Rove resigns amid U.S. attorney flap 01 Jun 2007 The former White House aide whose appointment to a U.S. attorney's post helped fuel the furor over the forced resignations of eight federal prosecutors will resign Friday, according to a news release. Tim Griffin said in a Thursday statement that he is leaving his position as interim U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas to pursue opportunities in the private sector.
Longest-serving Bush aide resigning --Dan Bartlett to leave White House post for private sector 01 Jun 2007 Dan Bartlett, one of President [sic] Bush's most trusted advisers and his longest-serving aide, said Friday he is resigning to begin a career outside of government.
Research Finds That Earth's Climate Is Approaching 'Dangerous' Point 30 May 2007 NASA and Columbia University Earth Institute research finds that human-made greenhouse gases have brought the Earth’s climate close to critical tipping points, with potentially dangerous consequences for the planet. From a combination of climate models, satellite data, and paleoclimate records the scientists conclude that the West Antarctic ice sheet, Arctic ice cover, and regions providing fresh water sources and species habitat are under threat from continued global warming.
Bush climate plan "the classic U.S. line": EU 01 Jun 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush's plan to tackle climate change merely restates U.S. policy which has been ineffective in the past in cutting emissions blamed for global warming, the EU's environment chief said on Friday.
Bush kills off hopes for G8 climate change plan 01 Jun 2007 George Bush yesterday threw international efforts to control climate change into confusion with a [useless] proposal to create a "new global framework"... as an alternative to a planned UN process. A UN-brokered meeting in Bali in December, at which it had been hoped to agree to keep climate change to a 2C increase in temperature, is supposed to provide a successor to the Kyoto protocol. All that was thrown in doubt by the initiative announced yesterday by Dictator Bush.
Bomb threats close major tunnels during downpour, snarling traffic throughout city --For rush hour, the perfect storm 01 Jun 2007 It was a bad day to be driving around Pittsburgh. A bomb threat and a downpour combined to bring rush hour traffic to a standstill yesterday afternoon, causing backups several miles long on the Parkway East, Parkway West and Route 28. The bomb threat called in just before the beginning of rush hour shut down the Fort Pitt, Liberty and Squirrel Hill tunnels, stranding motorists for almost an hour while authorities conducted security sweeps. And while police searched for a bomb, a quick but heavy thunderstorm rumbled over the city shortly after 5:30 p.m., dumping 2 inches of rain in less than an hour.
Tropical storm kicks off Atlantic hurricane season 01 Jun 2007 A tropical storm [Tropical Storm Barry] bearing down on Florida formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, just in time for the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season.
CDC wants to test 107 air passengers; TB patient stayed in NYC 31 May 2007 Health officials around the world were scrambling Wednesday to find about 80 air passengers who sat near a man who spent three days in a New York City hospital with a form of tuberculosis so dangerous he is under the first U.S. government-ordered quarantine since 1963. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Julie Gerberding said Wednesday that the CDC is working closely with airlines to find passengers who may have been exposed to the rare, dangerous strain. Health officials in France said they have asked Air France-KLM for passenger lists, and the Italian Health Ministry said it is tracing the man's movements. [Did the US allow the TB-infected man to travel so that a media-engendered 'outcry' for safety would 'force all international departures heading to the U.S. to submit information about all the passengers aboard the plane prior to take off?' See: DHS wants early passenger info 14 Jul 2006 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has submitted a proposal that will force all international departures heading to the U.S. to submit information about all the passengers aboard the plane prior to take off. Through the new plan, airlines could send the entire list of information on the flight and the people onboard up to 60 minutes before departure or through a constant relay system as passengers check in... The new proposals may also end the practice of international airlines having to screen their passengers against governmental "no fly" lists during check-in or boarding. Privacy laws in the European Union (EU) have prevented similar legislation being introduced before. In May, the highest court in the EU struck down a proposal to allow airlines to provide the DHS with extensive passenger information, such as fare payment details, phone numbers, and addresses. This directive is currently being redrafted.]
Report Says TSA Violated Privacy Law --Passengers Weren't Told That Brokers Provided Data to Screening Program in '04 22 Dec 2006 Secure Flight, the U.S. government's stalled program to screen domestic air passengers against terrorism watch lists, violated federal law during a crucial test phase, according to a report to be issued today by the Homeland Security Department's privacy office... TSA Administrator Kip Hawley said that he supports the use of Secure Flight and that his agency is working closely with other government officials to ensure it protects privacy. "We are working in a transparent way," Hawley said, adding that the agency's "challenging" goal is to roll out the program in 2008.
Secret DHS Agreement to Share Passenger Data in Violation of Agreements Is Confirmed (ACLU) 25 Apr 2006 The text of a secret agreement that the Department of Homeland Security executed with the Centers for Disease Control to share airline passenger data confirms...that the U.S. government is distributing information that it explicitly promised it would not share... In 2003, the United States and the European Union reached an agreement under which the EU would share Passenger Name Record (PNR) data with the U.S., despite the lack of privacy laws in the United States adequate to ensure Europeans' privacy. In return, DHS agreed that the passenger data would not be used for any purpose other than preventing acts of terrorism or other serious crimes. It is now clear that DHS did not abide by that agreement.]
Canadian authorities locate 16 of 28 passengers sought from TB exposure flight 30 May 2007 Public health officials in the United States and Canada revealed Wednesday they have narrowed down to roughly 70 to 80 the number of people on two recent transatlantic flights who were seated in close proximity to a man infected with a rare and potentially deadly form of tuberculosis. Canadian health authorities are trying to find anyone who sat in Row 12 - plus the two rows ahead and behind - of Czech Airline flight 0104 to Montreal from Prague on May 24. The man, who is infected with extensively drug resistant tuberculosis or XDR-TB, was seated in 12 C.
TB patient's father-in-law works at CDC lab --Infected man ID'd, taken to Denver hospital; others on 2 flights sought 31 May 2007 The father-in-law of the tuberculosis patient under the first federal quarantine since 1963 works as a microbiologist at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory that studies TB and other bacterial infections. Bob Cooksey said he gave his 31-year-old son-in-law, attorney Andrew Speaker, "fatherly advice" [!] when he learned he contracted the disease.
DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack By Lori Price 11 May 2007 Is Bush is getting ready to play the Bioterror Card?
Poison used in China is found in U.S.-made animal feed --Private lab finds poison, not U.S. gov't 31 May 2007 U.S. officials said Wednesday that a manufacturing plant in Ohio was using the same banned substance, melamine, to make binding agents that ended up in feed for farmed fish, shrimp and livestock. The problem surfaced after a distributor, concerned about what was in its feed after the reports from China, sent the product to a private laboratory for testing. The melamine was used by Tembec BTLSR, a Canadian forest products company with a small chemical plant in Toledo, Ohio, to make binding agents that keep pellets of animal feed together, said David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food protection at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Bush envisions lengthy U.S. presence in Iraq like S.Korea 30 May 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush would like to see a lengthy U.S. troop presence in Iraq like the one in South Korea to provide stability but not in a frontline combat role, the White House said on Wednesday. The United States has had thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea to guard against a North Korean invasion for 50 years.
Lieberman: 'I see progress.' 31 May 2007 Wearing a pair of sunglasses newly purchased from an Iraqi market, Sen. Joe Lieberman (R-CT) said yesterday: "Overall, I would say what I see here today is progress, significant progress from the last time I was here in December. And if you can see progress in war that means you’re headed in the right direction." [No, progress takes place if the 'insurgents' find Joementum. --LRP]
Iraqi police chief is arrested --Colonel, lauded by U.S. military, is arrested for murder, corruption and 'crimes against the Iraqi people' 30 May 2007 A Sunni police chief praised by U.S. forces for clearing his city of insurgents has been arrested following an investigation into alleged murder, corruption and crimes against the Iraqi people, the U.S. military said Wednesday. Col. Hamid Ibrahim al-Jazaa, his brother and 14 bodyguards were taken into custody Tuesday in the city of Hit, 85 miles west of Baghdad, according to a statement by the public affairs office of Multinational Corps- Iraq.
Suicide bomber kills 20 in Iraq’s Falluja 31 May 2007 A suicide bomber killed at least 20 people and wounded another 20 in the Iraqi city of Falluja on Thursday, police and hospital officials said. Falluja police spokesman Hamid Abid said the bomber, wearing a suicide explosives vest, walked up to a queue of about 150 young men at a police recruitment centre and blew himself up. Abid put the total number of killed and wounded at between 45 and 50.
Iraq's bloodiest month for US troops since Fallujah 31 May 2007 Two more US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, the military announced on Thursday, confirming that May had become the deadliest month for American forces in two-and-a-half years.
U.S. conducts Iraq raids to find 5 kidnapped Britons 31 May 2007 The search for five British civilians kidnapped from an Iraqi government building intensified Thursday with American troops conducting raids in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad and the Iraqi government pledging its support for an investigation. Several residents in Sadr City, the sprawling Shiite stronghold, said U.S. airstrikes killed two brothers in the neighborhood overnight, an assertion the U.S. military denied.
MRAPs can't stop newest weapon 31 May 2007 New military vehicles [that cost US taxpayers $20B] that are supposed to better protect troops from roadside explosions in Iraq aren't strong enough to withstand the latest type of bombs used by 'insurgents,' according to Pentagon documents and military officials. As a result, the vehicles need more armor added to them, according to a January Marine Corps document provided to USA TODAY. [No worries. I'm sure a new a no-bid contract from a Bush-friendly contractor will pretend to address that problem.]
Army seeks $20B for protected vehicles 17 May 2007 The Army has asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to approve spending almost $20 billion for new armored vehicles, a week after Gates called deploying the vehicles the military's top hardware priority. Acting Army Secretary Pete Geren asked Gates for as many as 17,770 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs), according to a memo dated May 15 and obtained by USA TODAY. The vehicles would be shipped to Iraq after production, reaching the goal in July 2009, according to Geren's memo.
Seven killed as NATO helicopter shot down 31 May 2007 Seven NATO soldiers were killed when a helicopter came down in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led force has said, after the Taliban claimed to have shot down the chopper. "Seven ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) soldiers are known dead after a Chinook helicopter flying an ISAF mission went down in Helmand province near Kajaki," it said.
Marine vet faces hearing over protest 31 May 2007 (Kansas City, MO) An Iraq war veteran could lose his honorable discharge status after being photographed wearing fatigues at an anti-war protest. Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh and other veterans marked the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq in April by wearing their uniforms — with military insignia removed — and roaming around the nation's capital on a mock patrol.
The casualties continue to mount after they come home... By Guest Blogger 28 May 2007 Jonathan Schulze, a 25-year-old from New Prague, MN, asked to be admitted to a VA hospital on January 11 because he was thinking of killing himself. Told he was No. 26 on the waiting list, he hung himself at his parents' farm, leaving behind his pregnant wife and a young daughter.
U.S. "imperialism" means new arms race: Putin 31 May 20007 Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a scathing attack on the West on Thursday, accusing Washington of imperialism and of starting a new arms race.
Jeppesen provides added aviation services 30 May 2007 Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., sued by the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday, is a subsidiary of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, which is a unit of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Based in Englewood, Colo., Jeppesen is the world's largest provider of flight information services, such as the navigation charts that pilots use. [See: San Jose Firm Sued Over Alleged CIA Torture Flights 29 May 2007.]
Guantanamo Bay prisoner in 'apparent suicide' 01 Jun 2007 A Saudi Arabian captive committed suicide at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, yesterday -- almost a year after the first suicides at the US detention centre. The US military's Southern Command described the death as "an apparent suicide" and said an investigation was being held. The method of death was not revealed.
Guantanamo Captives and Iguanas Need Equal Rights, Lawyer Urges By David Altaner 30 May 2007 If a soldier runs over an iguana at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, it's a serious offense and draws a $10,000 fine. If he hits a terrorism suspect, it's deemed "mild non-injurious physical contact,'' which carries no penalty. So writes lawyer and human-rights campaigner Clive Stafford Smith in his engrossing account of more than 50 detainees on the base that he says he has represented over the past three years, "Bad Men: Guantanamo Bay and the Secret Prisons.''
Seated suspects don't sit well with scholars 01 Jun 2007 Nine Muslim terror suspects have refused to stand up before a NSW Supreme Court judge, saying their religious beliefs prevented them from the usual mark of respect of getting to their feet. The nine Sydney men, accused of plotting a terrorist bombing campaign in Australia, refused to stand before judge Anthony Whealy yesterday as they entered their pleas of not guilty to the charges against them.
Suspect in Litvinenko poisoning accuses Berezovsky and MI6 of murder 31 May 2007 The suspect in the fatal poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer and Kremlin critic who died last year in London, said Thursday that a British intelligence agency and a self-exiled Russian tycoon had organized the killing and blamed him to create a political scandal. The suspect, the Russian businessman Andrei Lugovoi, also claimed that British intelligence officers had tried recruiting him in an effort to collect compromising material on President Vladimir Putin. "The poisoning of Litvinenko could not have been but under the control of the British special service," Lugovoi said at a media conference here. He added that he had evidence of British involvement but declined to disclose it, saying he would share information with the Russian government about "this dark political story in which British special services play the main role."
Ex-KGB spy: UK tried to recruit me 31 May 2007 The man charged by Britain with murdering former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko denied involvement on Thursday, saying British intelligence and a self-exiled Russian multi-millionaire were far more likely suspects. Britain's chief suspect Andrei Lugovoy rejected Litvinenko's deathbed charge the Kremlin had ordered his poisoning with highly radioactive Polonium 210. "The main role was played by British secret services and their agent Berezovsky," a confident and combative Lugovoy, himself a former KGB agent, told a news conference aired live on state [as opposed to corporate] television. "The poisoning of Litvinenko could not have been but under the control of British secret services," he said. Asked whether he had firm proof of British intelligence involvement in the murder, Lugovoy replied: "Yes".
Miami VA hospital hit by anthrax hoax 31 May 2007 The Miami Veterans Administration Hospital received an envelope marked ''anthrax''' Thursday morning -- prompting a scramble by the FBI, Miami Fire Rescue's hazardous materials team, U.S. postal inspectors and the police bomb squad. It was a hoax.
Anthrax Scare Evacuates VA Building --Threat On Wednesday Targeted At Florida Highway Patrol Building 31 May 2007 (FL) Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue is dealing with another anthrax scare Thursday a day after a similar threat to the Florida Highway Patrol. Thirteen people came in contact with a white powder at the Veterans Administration Hospital on 12th Street and Northwest 16th Avenue Thursday morning. [Update: The anthrax was later determined to be a hoax.]
Suspicious Package Investigated In New Haven 31 May 2007 The delivery of a package containing a suspicious powder prompted New Haven authorities to investigate Thursday. The package was delivered to an office building at 59 Elm St. The FBI, bomb squad, hazardous materials crews and Department of Environmental Protections are all on scene.
Congress doubtful about immunity for phone companies in NSA spying 30 May 2007 Despite the Bush administration’s firm stance on granting immunity to telephone companies, Congress hopes to raise the issue again to find out exactly what the phone companies provided to the government, reports Ars Technica. The Bush administration has asked for retroactive immunity for telephone companies regardless of the legality of their actions. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, intends to hold hearings in order to find out find out exactly what these companies might have done.
DNA kits to trace spitting passengers 31 May 2007 (UK) Bus drivers are to be issued with DNA kits so that passengers who spit on them can be traced by police. The "spit kits" are already supplied at all 275 Tube stations and are expected to be rolled out this summer across London's 7,000-strong bus fleet.
Breakthrough: Company Will Track and 'Fingerprint' AP Content on the Web 31 May 2007 The Associated Press is moving to protect its content by partnering with the technology company Attributor, which will track AP material across the Internet. The arrangement will allow Attributor to "fingerprint" AP copy down to a level where it can be identified anywhere on the Web.
Giuliani Confronted At New York Fundraiser 30 May 2007 A group at a Bronx fundraiser confronted Rudolph Giuliani on Tuesday morning, accusing him of being one of the "criminals of 9/11." A young woman claiming to be the relative of a Sept. 11, 2001, firefighter who died when the towers collapsed, asked Giuliani why he allegedly told Peter Jennings the towers would fall that day, but did not stop the rescue efforts of firefighters and police officers. The woman claims Giuliani knew the towers would fall, and allowed rescuers to go to their deaths. She asked him, "How do you sleep at night?"
Friendly Fire --Raising questions about 9/11 gets an Army sergeant demoted for "disloyalty." By Stephen C. Webster Donald Buswell couldn’t have foreseen that one e-mail could derail his career and put him on his way out of the Army. Sgt. Buswell wants to know: What really happened on 9/11? And he said so in his e-mail. In the few paragraphs of that August 2006 message — a reply not to someone outside the service, but to other soldiers — Buswell wrote that he thought the official report of what happened that day at the Pentagon, and in the Pennsylvania crash of United Airlines Flight 93, was full of errors and unanswered questions. "Who really benefited from what happened that day?" he asked rhetorically. Not "Arabs," but "the Military Industrial Complex," Buswell concluded. "We must demand a new, independent investigation." For voicing those opinions in an e-mail to 38 people on the San Antonio Army base, Buswell was stripped of his security clearance, fired from his job, demoted, and ordered to undergo a mental health exam. (He was also ordered not to speak with the press...) As if all that weren’t enough, Fort Sam Houston’s chief of staff penned a letter accusing Buswell of "making statements disloyal to the United States."
Justice Dept. probes its hirings --Investigating for bias toward conservatives 31 May 2007 The Justice Department has launched an internal investigation into whether Bush administration officials violated civil service rules by favoring conservative Republicans when hiring lawyers in the Civil Rights Division, the department disclosed yesterday in a letter to Congress. The probe will also examine whether the administration illegally used a political litmus test when vetting candidates for non-partisan positions elsewhere in the Justice Department, according to the heads of the department's offices of inspector general and professional responsibility.
Minnesota case fits pattern in U.S. attorneys flap --A prosecutor apparently targeted for firing had supported Native American voters' rights. 31 May 2007 For more than 15 years, Tom Heffelfinger was the embodiment of a tough Republican prosecutor. Named U.S. attorney for Minnesota in 1991, he won a series of high-profile white-collar crime and gun and explosives cases. By the time Heffelfinger resigned last year, his office had collected a string of awards and commendations from the Justice Department. So it came as a surprise — and something of a mystery — when he turned up on a list of U.S. attorneys who had been targeted for firing. Part of the reason, government documents and other evidence suggest, is that he tried to protect voting rights for Native Americans.
It's Official 30 May 2007 The U.S. Justice Department has notified Arkansas's congressional delegation that Interim Eastern District U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin is resigning effective Friday, June 1. Jane Duke will become acting U.S. attorney. (This is the assistant in the office who the Justice Department once had said had to be passed over as an interim appointee because of her pregnancy. Since it's illegal to discriminate on account of pregnancy, Justice had to back off this statement.)
Kyl vows to block open government bill 31 May 2007 Advocates of a bill promoting openness in government are fuming that a Republican senator (Jon Kyl, AZ) is blocking a vote. Dozens of journalism and advocacy groups supporting the Open Government Act argue it would speed up the government's response to public requests for information under the federal Freedom of Information law.
Bush Administration Will Fight Mad Cow Testing 29 May 2007 The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease. The Agriculture [Agribusiness] Department tests less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. But Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wants to test all of its cows. Larger meat companies feared that move because, if Creekstone tested its meat and advertised it as safe, they might have to perform the expensive test, too. U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled in March that such tests must be allowed. The ruling was to take effect June 1, but the Agriculture Department said Tuesday it would appeal -- effectively delaying the testing until the court challenge plays out. [US taxpayers fund Agribusiness Department's efforts to make our food less safe. One can only hope that Bush and Cheney Halliburton eat a *bad burger.*]
Rights group sues Boeing unit over CIA transfers 30 May 2007 The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a unit of Boeing Co., charging that it assisted the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in abducting suspect foreigners to overseas prisons where it says they were held and tortured. The ACLU said it would file a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc. later on Wednesday, accusing the company of providing flight and logistical support to at least 15 aircraft on 70 so-called "rendition" [kidnapping] flights.
San Jose Firm Sued Over Alleged CIA Torture Flights 29 May 2007 CBS 5 has learned that a San Jose company accused of helping the Central Intelligence Agency torture people will be sued by the American Civil Liberties Union Wednesday on behalf of three alleged victims. Peace activists allege Jeppesen International Trip Planning organized secret "extraordinary rendition" flights for terrorism suspects on behalf of the CIA, usually to countries that practiced torture.
Advisers Fault Harsh Methods in Interrogation 30 May 2007 As the Bush regime completes secret new rules governing interrogations, a group of experts advising the intelligence agencies argue that the harsh techniques [torture] used since the 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable. In a blistering lecture delivered last month, a former adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called "immoral" some interrogation tactics used by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon.
Three more journalists killed in Iraq in record toll 30 May 2007 The deaths of three more Iraqi journalists were reported on Wednesday, bringing the monthly total to nine and equaling the worst month on record for reporters in the Iraq war. The monthly total is matched only by February 2004, when nine journalists were also killed, according to figures by Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
219 killed is highest toll over 2 months --Iraq [US] security push drives U.S. deaths 30 May 2007 Increased [US] military activity throughout Iraq has pushed U.S. troop deaths to their highest level for any two-month period of the war. Pentagon records show that 115 troops have been killed so far in May. That raises the total for the past two months to 219, exceeding the 215 who died in April and May of 2004.
Rogue police may have snatched security guards and analyst in Iraq 30 May 2007 A desperate hunt is under way for five Britons who were kidnapped in Baghdad yesterday, amid growing speculation that it was an "inside job" by rogue [US-trained] Iraqi police officers. Four of the group are private security guards working for the fifth man, a visiting computer analyst at Iraq's finance ministry. They were snatched by armed men, some of whom were wearing police uniforms of the commandos from the 'Shia-controlled' ministry, just outside the heavily fortified Green Zone.
Blair pledges help on Iraq kidnap 30 May 2007 British officials will do everything possible to help free five Britons kidnapped in Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Blair has said. The five - a finance expert and four bodyguards - were taken from the finance ministry building in Baghdad. Witnesses and sources told the BBC that the kidnappers wore police uniforms and arrived in up to 40 police vehicles.
Forces conduct raids searching for five abducted British citizens 30 May 2007 Hundreds of Iraqi and U.S. troops cordoned off sections of Baghdad's Sadr City early Wednesday and conducted a series of raids in an apparent effort to find five British citizens abducted from a nearby government building the day before, local residents and police said.
Mortar attacks in Fallujah kill nine civilians 30 May 2007 At least nine Iraqi civilians in Fallujah have been killed by mortar rounds which apparently missed the American base they were aimed at and landed in a residential area. Police and medical officials say at least 15 people were wounded.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated group says it shot down US helicopter in Iraq 30 May 2007 The 'al Qaeda'-led Islamic State in Iraq group claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the downing of a U.S. helicopter that killed two soldiers in the volatile eastern province of Diyala earlier this week.
Lieberman in Iraq on unannounced trip 30 May 2007 U.S. Sen. Joseph LieberBush (R-CT) [and Israeli ambassador] is in the Iraqi capital on an unannounced trip, CNN's Paula Hancocks reported Wednesday. He visited a joint security station where U.S. and Iraqi forces are based, as well as a forward operating base and a local Baghdad market. [Do the 'insurgents' know about this visit?! Let's hope he lives to report on the utterly failed and obscene policy that he supports. MDR & LRP]
Labour deputy candidate calls for Iraq pull-out 30 May 2007 One of the candidates in the race for the Labour deputy leadership has called for British troops to be pulled out of Iraq, as pressure grows on Gordon Brown to change direction over the Middle East.
Wiccan Pentacle Legally Added to Soldiers' Graves 29 May 2007 In Iowa County, a small resting place for U.S. soldiers has taken on national significance following a first-of-its-kind Memorial Day dedication. In April, local members of the Wiccan religion won a decade-long fight to get their symbol, the pentacle, included on veteran grave markers with many other religious symbols, WISC-TV reported.
U.S. 'al Qaeda' militant warns of worse attacks 29 May 2007 The United States will face worse attacks than those on September 11, 2001 if it does not heed al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] demands effectively allowing the group control over Muslim countries, a U.S. Islamist militant said on Tuesday. Adam Gadahn, a California-born convert to Islam and the first American to be charged with treason since the World War Two era, appeared in a video posted on the Internet. Gadahn was previously known as Adam Pearlman and grew up on a goat ranch outside Los Angeles. [Right, now he's Agent Gadahn.]
Terror watchdog warns on human rights 29 May 2007 It would be "extremely unwise" for Britain to opt out of European human rights laws in order to introduce new control orders, the government's terrorism watchdog has warned. Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, who reviews terrorism legislation, said it was "unnecessary" for Britain to opt out of part of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to create tougher regulations.
Private security guards: a weak link in homeland security 29 May 2007 Private security guards paid little more than janitors and restaurant cooks are guarding many of the critical security sites in the United States, usually with minimal or no anti-terrorist training, an Associated Press investigation found. The nation's security industry found itself involuntarily transformed after Sept. 11, 2001, from an army of "rent-a-cops" to protectors of the homeland. But cutthroat competition by security firms trying to win contracts with low bids has kept wages low and high-level training nonexistent.
Plame was 'covert' agent at time of name leak --Newly released unclassified document details CIA employment 29 May 2007 An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was "covert" when her name became public in July 2003.
Fitzgerald Again Points to Cheney By Dan Froomkin 29 May 2007 Special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has made it clearer than ever that he was hot on the trail of a coordinated campaign to out CIA agent Valerie Plame until that line of investigation was cut off by the repeated lies from Vice President [sic] Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Libby was convicted in February of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Cheney lawyer told Secret Service not to keep copies of visitor logs 29 May 2007 A lawyer for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney told the Secret Service in September to eliminate data on who visited Cheney at his official residence, a newly disclosed letter states. The Sept. 13, 2006, letter from Cheney's lawyer says logs for Cheney's residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory are subject to the Presidential Records Act.
Urba Shield Biological Atttack Test Planned 30 May 2007 The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Directorate (PFPA-CBRN), in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Arlington County will conduct a comprehensive evaluation and operational response test to a simulated [Bush] biological release... The test will consist of the release of a dust simulating a biological attack in the Pentagon South Parking Lot and the subsequent clean-up of roadways, people and equipment after the release.
Authorities seeking those on flight 29 May 2007 A man with a rare and exceptionally dangerous form of tuberculosis has been placed in quarantine by the U.S. government [!] after possibly exposing passengers and crew on two trans-Atlantic flights earlier this month, health officials said Tuesday. The infected man flew from Atlanta to Paris on May 12 aboard Air France Flight 385. He returned to North America on May 24 aboard Czech Air Flight 104 from Prague to Montreal. The man then drove into the United States. He cooperated with authorities after learning he had an unusually dangerous form of TB. [See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack By Lori Price 11 May 2007 Is Bush is getting ready to play the Bioterror Card?]
U.S. isolates traveler infected with super-TB 29 May 2007 The United States has placed in isolation a man who may have exposed fellow passengers and crew on two May trans-Atlantic flights to a tuberculosis strain that is extremely hard to treat, officials said on Tuesday. It was first time the U.S. government has issued such an isolation order since 1963, when it took action against a smallpox patient, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
U.S. Government Issues a Quarantine Order --CDC Order is First Since 1963 29 May 2007 A man with a rare and exceptionally dangerous form of tuberculosis has been placed in quarantine by the U.S. government after possibly exposing passengers and crew on two trans-Atlantic flights earlier this month, health officials said Tuesday. This marks the first time since 1963 that the government issued a quarantine order. The last such order was to quarantine a patient with smallpox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [See also: Flu 'Oddities'.]
80 given anti-bird flu drugs 29 May 2007 Staff and patients at a hospital are being treated with anti-avian flu drugs after it emerged a health worker may have been infected with the virus. Almost 80 people at Glan Clwyd hospital in North Wales have received the Tamiflu drug as a precaution [to get the pandemic started]. The move comes after it was confirmed a worker at the hospital was being treated for the H7 flu virus. [See: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu 31 Oct 2005.]
Bush Declares Self 'Mega Decider' --New documents ensure Dubya will rule America, should calamity strike. Free balloons! By Mark Morford 30 May 2007 Should any "decapitating event" occur in America that somehow incapacitates the D.C. power structure, should "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions" take place, well then, all power and decision making would devolve to the White House, which would then attempt to orchestrate our very survival and oversee all essential governmental functions with none other than the president himself as, well, Super-Mega Lord Decider. With extra crayons. You know, a dictator.
National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 09 May 2007 National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51; Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20
Bush nominates Robert Zoellick to head World Bank 30 May 2007 President [sic] Bush on Wednesday nominated former diplomat Robert Zoellick to succeed Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank. Zoellick, currently a vice chairman at Goldman Sachs Group, previously served Bush as deputy secretary of state and as U.S. trade representative.
Rules 'hiding' trillions in debt Liability --$516,348 per U.S. household 29 May 2007 The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year — far more than the official $248 billion deficit — when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The loss — equal to $11,434 per household — is more than Americans paid in income taxes in 2006.
Despite the best efforts of the talking head corporate trolls at MSNBC: Oil Company Greed Seen as Major Reason for High Gas Prices --Majority of Americans expect $4.00 gas prices this summer 30 May 2007 The latest Gallup panel survey finds the public bracing for continued rising gas prices this summer... The public most often mentions oil company greed as the reason for the high gas prices, though it also mentions other more practical reasons such as problems with refineries.
Web site error rocks global oil markets 30 May 2007 World oil prices jumped briefly on Wednesday after a television station in Tulsa, Oklahoma -- the No. 62 U.S. media market -- posted an erroneous story about a refinery fire on its Web site. At 10:14 EDT (1414 GMT), CBS affiliate KOTV reported that a lightning strike had caused a fire at an Oklahoma refinery -- sparking a flurry of excitement among energy traders and boosting U.S. crude prices 40 cents.
High Court Limits Right to Sue Employers --Supreme Court Restricts Workers' Ability to Sue Over Pay Discrimination 29 May 2007 The Supreme Court on Tuesday limited workers' ability to sue employers for pay discrimination that results from decisions made years earlier. The court, in a 5-4 ruling, said that employers would otherwise find it difficult to defend against claims "arising from employment decisions that are long past."
Woman on Oxygen Dies After Power Cut 30 May 2007 (Wellington, NZ) A 44-year-old woman who needed an electric oxygen pump to breathe died after an energy company cut the power to her home because of a $122 unpaid bill, her family claimed Wednesday. Police said they had launched an investigation into Folole Muliaga's death, which happened within two hours of state-owned company Mercury Energy cutting power to her house Tuesday.
NASA: Danger Point Closer Than Thought From Warming --'Disastrous Effects' of Global Warming Tipping Points Near, According to New Study 29 May 2007 Even "moderate additional" greenhouse emissions are likely to push Earth past "critical tipping points" with "dangerous consequences for the planet," according to research conducted by NASA and the Columbia University Earth Institute. With just 10 more years of "business as usual" emissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas, says the NASA/Columbia paper, "it becomes impractical" to avoid "disastrous effects."
Alarm sounded on Atlantic salmon 26 May 2007 Wild Atlantic salmon is on the brink of extinction, according to conservationists, who say only effective federal policy backed by big bucks can save a species that was once plentiful in many Atlantic rivers.
U.S. Africa Command Brings New Concerns --Fears of Militarization on Continent Cited 28 May 2007 The creation of the Defense Department Africa Command has heightened concerns among African countries and in the U.S. government over the militarization of U.S. foreign policy, according to a newly released study by the Congressional Research Service.
US warns Iran over arming Iraqis [Apparently, only foreign invaders - US terrorists - are allowed to arm Iraqis. The arms must be purchased from a US defense contractor.] 28 May 2007 The US has called on Iran to stop arming militants in Iraq at the first bilateral public talks between the two countries in almost 30 years. US envoy Ryan Crocker said his Iranian counterpart had rejected the charges at the four-hour talks in Baghdad, which focused exclusively on Iraq's security.
Human rights in Iraq: a case to answer --Revealed: How Lord Goldsmith advised Army chiefs to deny detainees 'full' legal protection 29 May 2007 The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, is facing accusations that he told the Army its soldiers were not bound by the Human Rights Act when arresting, detaining and interrogating Iraqi prisoners. Previously confidential emails, seen by The Independent, between London and British military head-quarters in Iraq soon after the start of the war suggest Lord Goldsmith's advice was to adopt a "pragmatic" approach when handling prisoners and it was not necessary to follow the "higher standards" of the protection of the Human Rights Act. That, according to human rights lawyers, was tantamount to the Attorney General advising the military to ignore the Human Rights Act and to simply observe the Geneva Conventions.
Car bombings kill 40 in Baghdad --Men in police uniforms abduct five Britons 29 May 2007 Car bombings killed at least 40 people in Baghdad on Tuesday, while five Britons were kidnapped in the capital by gunmen in police uniforms.
Iraq car bomb kills at least 20 28 May 2007 A car bomb in the Iraqi capital Baghdad near one of the city's most revered Sunni mosques killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens more, police said. The bomb went off at 1400 (1000 GMT) in the Sinak commercial district on the eastern bank of the Tigris River.
Leading Muslim calligrapher shot 27 May 2007 One of the Muslim world's leading calligraphers has been shot dead by [US] gunmen in Baghdad. Khalil al-Zahawi was the most famous practitioner in Iraq of the art of writing classical Arabic script. He was outside his house in the New Baghdad district of the city on Saturday when he was ambushed by gunmen and killed.
Several Western civilians abducted from Baghdad ministry 29 May 2007 [US] Gunmen wearing police commando uniforms abducted several western civilians from a Finance Ministry compound in Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi and American officials said, renewing questions about whether elements of Iraq's government are playing an active role in the spread of violence.
Four Germans kidnapped in Baghdad 29 May 2007 Four Germans working for the Iraqi finance ministry were kidnapped in Baghdad on Tuesday by men wearing national police uniforms, a security official said. The economists had just left one of the ministry's departments when they were stopped by a police checkpoint on Palestine street, taken out of their cars at gunpoint and driven off.
Five Britons seized in central Baghdad 29 May 2007 The Foreign Office today confirmed the kidnapping of five Britons in Iraq, as the government's top-level emergency committee, Cobra, met to discuss the incident. Gunmen wearing police uniforms abducted the group from a finance ministry building in central Baghdad.
May deadliest month for U.S. in Iraq this year 29 May 2007 Two U.S. military personnel were killed when their helicopter came down under enemy fire north of Baghdad and six more died when a column of vehicles heading to the crash site was ambushed, the U.S. military said on Tuesday. The deaths on Monday brought the U.S. military death toll in Iraq to [at least] 112 this month, making May the deadliest for 2007 and equalling the record set in December 2006.
U.S.: 10 Memorial Day Deaths in Iraq 29 May 2007 Ten American soldiers were killed in roadside bombings and a helicopter crash on Memorial Day, the military reported Tuesday, making May the deadliest month of the year for U.S. troops in Iraq.
'On this day, let us hold our government accountable.' Decorated war hero compares war in Iraq with Vietnam 28 May 2007 (Bristol, CT) U. S. Army Capt. Paul W. Bucha, a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, delivered an impassioned speech to the attendees of the Memorial Day Armed Forces Tribute on Memorial Boulevard Sunday, comparing the current war in Iraq with the Vietnam conflict.
Sheehan 'Resigns' As Protest Leader 29 May 2007 Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized an anti-war movement with her monthlong protest outside President [sic] Bush's ranch, said Tuesday she's done being the public face of the movement. "I've been wondering why I'm killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush," Sheehan told The Associated Press while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.
"Good Riddance Attention Whore" by Cindy Sheehan 28 May 2007 I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such "liberal blogs" as the Democratic Underground. Being called an "attention whore" and being told "good riddance" are some of the more milder rebukes.
British soldier killed in southern Afghanistan 29 May 2007 A British soldier was killed Monday by "enemy action" in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence reported in London. Monday’s death brings the total number of British soldiers killed since being deployed to Afghanistan in November 2001 to 56.
Bush okayed 'soft revolution' in Iran 26 May 2007 The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) received presidential approval for a covert operation in Iran aimed at destabilizing the Islamic Republic by "non-lethal" means, ABC news reported early Saturday morning. [I'm waiting for someone to okay a soft (or hard) revolution in the US.]
3 Iranian-Americans charged with spying 29 May 2007 U.S. 'academic' Haleh Esfandiari and two other Iranian-Americans have been charged with endangering national security and espionage, Iran's judiciary spokesman said Tuesday.
U.S. missile shield turns Europe into powder keg: Putin 29 May 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday warned that deploying a U.S. missile shield in Europe would turn the continent into "a powder keg," Itar-Tass news agency reported.
Russia tests missile able to 'penetrate' defences 29 May 2007 Russia on Tuesday said it had successfully tested a new multiple warhead ballistic missile designed to overcome air-defence systems such as the US shield planned for deployment in central Europe.
CNN Accused of Lying about Venezuela 28 May 2007 The Venezuelan Government accused CNN on Monday of lying about Venezuela and producing political propaganda, and requested an investigation into local Globovision channel for possible incitement to assassination. Communication and Information Minister William Lara made the denunciation after presenting the Attorney General's Office with a demand to investigate Globovision.
Guantanamo prisoner urges release of BBC reporter 28 May 2007 A TV cameraman held prisoner for years at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has issued an impassioned plea for the release of a BBC journalist kidnapped in Gaza. "While the United States has kidnapped me and held me for years on end, this is not a lesson that Muslims should copy," said Guantanamo detainee Sami al-Hajj of the al-Jazeera satellite television network.
Hain: Danger of 'domestic Guatanamo Bay' 29 May 2007 Peter Hain, minister for Northern Ireland and a front-runner for the post of Labour deputy leader, has voiced concern over plans to extend police search-and-question powers. Speaking on the BBC's Sunday AM programme, Mr Hain said: "We've got to be very careful that we don't create circumstances that are the domestic equivalent of Guantanamo Bay. And Guantanamo Bay, which was an international abuse of human rights, acted as a recruiting sergeant for dissidents and alienated Muslims, and alienated many other people across the world."
Lord Carlile: Judges should not intervene on control orders 29 May 2007 The courts should re-examine their approach to the Government's controversial control orders so that tougher restrictions can be imposed on suspects, the terrorism watchdog has said. Lord Carlile of Berriew QC dismissed suggestions that Britain may need to opt out of part of the European Convention on Human Rights to introduce a new type of tougher control order. In a speech in central London, he said such a move would be "extremely unwise" and "unnecessary".
Blair accuses courts of putting rights of terrorist suspects first 28 May 2007 Tony Blair has hit out at judges and opposition MPs for putting the human rights of terrorist suspects above the protection of citizens. He spoke out as the Government prepares to set out fresh proposals for antiterrorist legislation after three men on control orders went on the run.
Providers move to postcode terrorism cover 28 May 2007 US life assurers are adopting a more aggressive model to reflect the greater likelihood that certain neighbourhoods will fall victim to terrorist attacks or catastrophes. The move, in which the industry has implemented the kind of risk management tools previously restricted to property and casualty insurance, means that life assurers could start to charge clients according to which city or even which neighbourhood they live in.
'Maybe the smartest thing to do is to pull it.' Lucky Larry makes another killing on Bush bin Laden's terrorist attacks: Insurers Agree to Pay Billions at Ground Zero 24 May 2007 The Spitzer administration announced the settlement of all insurance claims at ground zero yesterday, ensuring that $4.55 billion will be available for rebuilding the World Trade Center site. The agreement, which the insurers described as the largest single insurance settlement ever undertaken by the industry, ended a protracted legal battle with insurers over payouts related to the terrorist attack.
Democrats in Washington want to keep impeachment off the table 28 May 2007 The push to impeach President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney is gaining a hearing in some parts of the country, but not in Washington. More than 70 cities and 14 state Democratic parties have urged impeachment or investigations that could lead to impeachment. The most common charge is that Bush manipulated intelligence to lead the country into the Iraq war. Other charges include spying on Americans and torturing suspected terrorists in violation of U.S. and international law.
Protesters, Visitors Flock to Creation 'Museum' 28 May 2007 Adam and Eve fall from grace and Noah survives an epic flood at a new 'museum' that tells the Bible's version of history on a theme-park scale. But it's the life-sized scene near the Creation Museum's front lobby that might stop a puzzled paleontologist in his tracks. There, next to a gurgling waterfall, a pair of ancient children frolic just a few feet away from a group of friendly dinosaurs [!]. As the doors opened, about 100 protesters were outside the front gates, News 5's Brian Hamrick said.
Creation 'Museum' Pairs Bible With Dinosaurs 28 May 2007 A new
theme park that features the Bible as a literal story, albeit one in
which children cavort with dinosaurs, has opened in Ohio. The non-profit
group [Answers in Genesis Ministry] created the US$27 million Creation
'Museum' near Cincinnati.
Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process 29 May 2007 Even as Congressional leaders draft legislation to reduce greenhouse gases linked to global warming, a powerful roster of Democrats and Republicans is pushing to subsidize coal as the king of alternative fuels. Prodded by intense lobbying from the coal industry, lawmakers from coal states are proposing that taxpayers guarantee billions of dollars in construction loans for coal-to-liquid production plants, guarantee minimum prices for the new fuel, and guarantee big government purchases for the next 25 years.
Net taxes could arrive by this fall 23 May 2007 State and local governments this week resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail.
Supreme Court limits gender pay discrimination lawsuits 29 May 2007 The US Supreme [Corporate Whore] Court ruled Tuesday that an employee cannot bring a lawsuit for pay discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for allegedly discriminatory actions that occurred outside the statutory limitations period even when a paycheck is received during the statutory limitations period.
US 'to reject' climate change proposals 27 May 2007 The United States is preparing to reject new targets on climate change at a Group of Eight summit next month, dashing German and British hopes for a new global pact on carbon emissions, according to comments on a document released by the environmental group Greenpeace.
Polar bears lose their grip as the ice below melts 29 May 2007 Time may be running out for polar bears as global warming melts the ice beneath their paws. Restrictions or bans on hunting in recent decades have helped protect populations, but many experts say the long-term outlook is bleak. [See: Polar Bear SOS.]
WWF and Canon Europe launch 'Save the Polar Bear' website for children 28 May 2007 WWF and Canon Europe have launched a 'Save the Polar Bear' website as an educational tool to teach children about the environmental impacts of climate change.
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