June 2008 Archives
US top court rules against Americans held in Iraq 12 Jun 2008 Federal judges cannot block U.S. military officials from turning over two Americans held in Iraq to local authorities who want to prosecute them for involvement in the 'insurgency' or criminal activity, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. The high court's decision was a defeat for two Americans who say they are innocent and who are being held by U.S. soldiers at Camp Cropper near Baghdad International Airport. Their lawyers say the two men might be tortured or even killed if they are transferred to Iraqi custody and that they should have access to U.S. courts to challenge their detention and to stop their transfer to Iraqi authorities.
UN rights chief welcomes U.S. court ruling on Guantanamo 13 Jun 2008 A UN top human rights official [Louise Arbour] Thursday welcomed a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that the country's constitution extends to foreign prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and that they have the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts.
Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts 13 Jun 2008 The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered its third consecutive rebuff to the Bush regime’s handling of the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, ruling 5 to 4 that the prisoners there have a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention. The court declared unconstitutional a provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which, at the administration’s behest, stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions from the prisoners seeking to challenge their designation as enemy combatants.
Blow to Bush: Guantanamo Prisoners Have Rights in Court --Supreme Court Says Foreigners at Guantanamo Have Constitutional Right to Challenge Detention 12 Jun 2008 The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. The justices handed the Bush regime its third setback at the high court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The vote was 5-4, with the court's liberal justices in the majority.
Brown survives vote on 42-day detention 13 Jun 2008 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has narrowly scraped home in a crucial vote on 42-day detention for terrorism suspects. Just nine votes saved the Prime Minister from an embarrassing defeat as he survived a late backbench rebellion.
Shadow home secretary resigns over 42 days vote 12 Jun 2008 The shadow home secretary, David Davis, today dramatically and unexpectedly announced that he is to resign as an MP and force a byelection over the government's 42-day terror detention plan.
Democrats pounce as John McCain raises permanent Iraq bases 13 Jun 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain has raised the prospect of permanent US military bases in Iraq, similar to those the US maintains in Japan and Germany [!?!], prompting rival Barack Obama's campaign to condemn the Vietnam veteran as "out of touch". Democrats jumped on Senator McCain's response to a request to estimate when US troops would be withdrawn from Iraq. "That's not too important," Senator McCain said yesterday. "What's important is the casualties in Iraq."
McCain's remark sparks an uproar --Democrats pounce after he says it is 'not too important' to set a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq. 12 Jun 2008 Sen. John McCain triggered a tempest over Iraq on Wednesday, saying it was "not too important" to set a timetable for American troop withdrawals from Iraq. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was asked on NBC's "Today" show if he had an estimate for when U.S. troops might leave Iraq.
New Gang of 14 won't back McCain 11 Jun 2008 At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator. Many of the recalcitrant GOP members declined to detail their reasons for withholding support, but Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) expressed major concerns about McCain’s energy policies and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) cited the Iraq war.
Marine expelled, another punished over puppy-tossing video 12 Jun 2008 The Marine Corps said Wednesday it was expelling one Marine and disciplining another for their roles in a video showing a Marine throwing a puppy off a cliff while on patrol in Iraq. The clip shows two Marines joking before one hurls the puppy into a rocky gully. A yelping sound is heard as it flips through the air.
Veterans from 1960s chemical tests press for help 12 Jun 2008 Lawmakers and veterans of secret chemical and germ tests on military personnel demanded help from the Bush administration Thursday, but they got no satisfaction. Officials from the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department said there was no need for legislation to guarantee health care and benefits to the veterans. Thousands of servicemembers were exposed, often without their knowledge, to real and simulated chemical and biological agents, including sarin and VX.
'The Memory of Bush Will Darken America's Image for Years to Come' 11 Jun 2008 German newspaper commentators have launched a scathing attack on US President [sic] George W. Bush's record, saying he embodies "the arrogance of power" and has shattered the world's faith in America. The Iraq war, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, CIA renditions and Bush's record on climate change have tainted not only Bush's image but also that of America for years to come, write Germany's leading newspapers.
Iranian president cuts down Bush [<g>] 11 Jun 2008 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday has said in a speech that US President [sic] George Bush's era is over and he can no longer harm Iran. "Your era is over, and thank God you will no longer be able to even harm one centimetre of Iranian land," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Shahre-Kord, western Iran.
Iranian leader taunts 'wicked' President George W Bush 11 Jun 2008 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taunted "wicked" George W Bush on Wednesday, just hours before the US president [sic] warned that Iran could face military action over its nuclear programme. The two men exchanged barbs on Wednesday morning, with Mr Bush saying on a visit to Germany that "all options are on the table" to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
Tehran denounces Bush's war threat against Iran 12 Jun 2008 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Thursday that the one-sided and stubborn approach of the U.S. president on Iran's legal rights would not make any change in Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. According to a Foreign Ministry press release, Hosseini said that recent irresponsible remarks made by U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush are the continuation of provocative policies adopted by the new conservatives in the U.S. administration who try to make baseless allegations about the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities.
George W Bush builds a coalition against Iran 13 Jun 2008 Too little, too late. That’s how most European governments will judge American President [sic] George W. Bush’s belated efforts to mend fences with his European partners this week as he concludes his farewell tour of Europe by visiting Britain this weekend. ...Mr Bush received strong support for tighter sanctions against Iran from Mrs Merkel, and the European Union is expected to follow Washington’s policy of targetting Tehran’s banking sector.
Rice warns Iran that world has lost its patience 11 Jun 2008 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned on Wednesday that the world has lost patience for Iranian foot-dragging regarding a possible return to bargaining over its nuclear program. Rice said nations with an offer on the table won't let Iran use a fresh diplomatic overture as an excuse for further delay.
Afghan commandos discover 230 tonnes of cannabis in the desert 12 Jun 2008 Afghan officials have announced a world record in the war on drugs after they unearthed more than 200 tonnes of cannabis buried in desert trenches. Two RAF Harrier jets were called in to bomb the 236.8-tonne cache, with a minimum street value of £225m.
police seize drug haul worth $450 mln 11 Jun 2008 The Afghan
government in its
Pakistan's PM condemns US strikes 13 Jun 2008 The deaths of 11 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers from US air and artillery strikes during a clash with 'insurgents' on the Afghan border is likely to complicate the already strained relations between Pakistan and America. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani denounced Tuesday night's attack in parliament and said he had instructed the Foreign Ministry to make a formal protest to US ambassador Anne Patterson.
Pentagon chief regrets any problems from airstrike 12 Jun 2008 Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday he has invited Afghanistan and Pakistan to be part of a U.S. investigation into an airstrike that Pakistani officials say killed 11 of their troops.
INTERPOL clarifies it never determined authenticity of laptops that implicate Venezuela 12 Jun 2008 Representatives of the International Police Organization (Interpol) told Ecuadorian Presidential Adviser Fernando Bustamante in a meeting last week that its investigation of laptop computers which Colombia claims belonged to the FARC "does not determine if the computers provided were found in the guerrilla camp of the FARC during the incursion on March 1st, if they effectively belonged to Raúl Reyes, and even less so their contents," according to a recent missive released by the Ecuadorian Foreign Relations Ministry.
'We further believe that elements within the US government were complicit in the murder of thousands of people on 9/11/2001.' 9/11 Petition Read In Canadian Parliament Posted by civilian35 12 Jun 2008 New Democratic Party Deputy House Leader Libby Davies delivers a Parliamentary Petition signed by over 500 Canadians demanding a new 9/11 investigation, in Canada's House of Commons during Routine Proceedings on June 10, 2008... 'That, scientific and eyewitness evidence shows that the 9/11 Commission Report is a fraudulent document and that those behind the report are consciously or unconsciously guilty of covering up what happened on 9/11/2001. This evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that World Trade Center Towers 1, 2 and 7 were brought down by demolition explosives and that the official theory of the towers collapsing from the airplanes and the ensuing fires is irrefutably false. We further believe that elements within the US government were complicit in the murder of thousands of people on 9/11/2001.
Anti-drug spy plane joins flood fight 12 Jun 2008 A National Guard plane normally used for anti-drug operations and law enforcement surveillance soared over Indiana today to help with flood-disaster recovery. The RC-26, a gray, twin-engine turboprop used by the National Guard in about a dozen states, took off from Indianapolis this morning for flood duty.
FBI director tells Utah agents fighting terrorism is a priority 12 Jun 2008 The FBI's top official [Director Robert Mueller] said Utah's agents will continue making terrorism a priority while still investigating conventional crime.
Ariz. Legislature kills Real ID; critics point to heft costs 12 Jun 2008 Arizona legislators delivered a sharp rebuke Wednesday to federal plans for a uniform standard on state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards. On a 51-1 final vote, House lawmakers sent Gov. Janet Napolitano their House Bill 2677, a measure barring the state from participating in the federal Real ID program. If Napolitano signs the bill, Arizona will become the 10th state to prohibit compliance with the federal program.
Census to fingerprint more than 500,000 workers --The Bush regime asked Congress this week for an additional $546 million to help pay for census preparations. 11 Jun 2008 The Census Bureau said Wednesday it will fingerprint and conduct background checks on more than a half- million temporary workers who will go door to door for the 2010 count, at a cost that could exceed $300 million. The 2010 census is already over budget because of a botched technology contract.
N.Y. police consider giving all officers stun guns 11 Jun 2008 The New York Police Department is considering giving stun guns to officers who walk the city's streets, a police spokesman said on Wednesday, prompting calls for restraint from a human rights group. Spokesman Paul Browne said police supervisors started carrying a compact version of the stun gun, which incapacitates people with a 50,000-volt jolt of electricity, last week.
Northern California jury holds TASER International responsible for man's death By John Andrews 12 Jun 2008 On June 6, a federal jury in San Jose, California, found TASER International, Inc., responsible for the February 20, 2005 death of 40-year-old Robert C. Heston in nearby Salinas, the first trial to establish that the company’s weapon can kill a human being... Amnesty International has called for a moratorium on TASER usage until more is learned about its lethality, and the United Nations has condemned the devices as "a form of torture that can kill."
Another GOPedohpile bites the dust: Judge suspends obscenity trial after report he posted sexual images on his family Web site 11 Jun 2008 The chief judge of the nation's largest appellate court suspended an obscenity trial over which he was presiding Wednesday after a newspaper reported he had posted sexually explicit photos and videos on his own Web site. Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [appointed to the bench by former President Ronald Reagan in 1985] said he thought the material, which included a video of a man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal and a picture of nude women on all fours painted to look like cows, couldn't be seen by the public. Kozinski heads the nation's largest federal appeals court, serving nine western states, the territory of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands commonwealth.
Do you want to see Bush bin Laden impeached? I realize it's not technically 'impeachment' because he was never elected, but: Click here to contact the Judiciary! U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 - 202-225-3951
Lawsuit over polar bears, drilling promised --Conservation groups accuse Bush administration of favoring offshore oil 10 Jun 2008 Two conservation groups plan to sue to protect polar bears from petroleum exploration and drilling off Alaska's coast. The Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Environment gave the federal government formal notice Monday that they will sue under the Endangered Species Act to protect the bears, which were listed as threatened last month by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.
FDA hit for slow progress on improving food safety 12 Jun 2008 U.S. health officials have not followed through on a promise made last year to make the food supply safer, lawmakers and others said on Thursday, as investigators probed the latest foodborne illness. In the past week, a rare strain of Salmonella has sickened 167 people in 17 states who ate certain types of tomatoes.
NY to sue CVS, Rite Aid over expired product sales 12 Jun 2008 New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday that he was taking legal action against the CVS and Rite Aid drug store chains for selling expired over-the-counter medicines and food products.
Gridlocked cities, empty shelves and bloodshed as fury at soaring costs spreads around the world 12 Jun 2008 Worldwide protests over the rising price of fuel escalated today, with the Philippines presidential palace besieged by lorries, fishermen burning their boats in Thailand, and Spanish petrol stations running dry as hauliers blockade major roads. Violence has already claimed lives of lorry drivers on either side of the dispute, while one haulier was nearly burned to death in his cab by strikers.
Thousands who earn $200,000+ avoid income tax 12 Jun 2008 New IRS statistics show 7,389 federal tax returns with $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income reported no federal income taxes in 2005. That's a 161% jump from the 2,833 comparable returns filed in 2004.
In Eastern Iowa, the City That 'Would Never Flood' Goes 12 Feet Under 13 Jun 2008 They said this city would never flood. They talked about 1993, and 1966 and 1851, years when the Cedar River swelled and hissed but mostly stayed within its banks. They thought they were safe. They were wrong. Cedar Rapids is experiencing the worst flooding in the city’s history. And the water is still rising. By Thursday afternoon, the Cedar River was about 29 feet deep, or 17 feet above flood stage, according to the National Weather Service. The water was expected to rise another three feet by Friday morning, and reach a record crest, 12 feet higher than the previous record, set in 1851.
Flooding breaks records set in 1913 flood 09 Jun 2008 Flooding that's swamped cities across central and southern Indiana is breaking records set during the state's most devastating flood in modern times -- a deluge that became known as The Great Flood of 1913.
U.K. rights group: U.S. has photographic evidence of torture 11 Jun 2008 The U.S. government has photographic evidence that a Guantanamo Bay inmate was tortured with a knife after being taken to Morocco by U.S. forces, a British human rights group said Tuesday. Reprieve said their client, Binyam Mohamed, had his genitals slashed repeatedly with a doctor's scalpel while in custody in Morocco after he was flown there from Pakistan by American officials in 2002. It also said his U.S. captors later took pictures of the torture to show authorities that his wounds were healing.
Doctors to Study Iraq Birth Defects 10 Jun 2008 Sky News recently reported on families in the Iraqi city of Fallujah who are calling for an independent investigation into their concerns about a rise in the number of newborn babies suffering from deformities. They raised concerns about the weapons used by American forces in 2004 during the war in Iraq - and are now questioning whether there could be any links with the deformities. As a result of seeing our report, one of the world's leading authorities on foetal medicine, Professor Kypros Nicolaides, has decided to offer three scholarships to obstetricians in Fallujah.
Bush forced to rethink plan to keep Iraq bases --President [sic] offers concessions after furious reaction in Baghdad to American 'colonialism' 12 Jun 2008 Faced with Iraqi anger over a US plan to enable Washington to keep military forces in the country indefinitely, George Bush is offering concessions to the government of Nouri al-Maliki in an effort to salvage an agreement, it emerged yesterday. The proposed terms of the impending deal, which were first revealed in The Independent, have had a predictably explosive political effect inside Iraq. ...Iraqi politicians denounced US demands to maintain a permanent grip on the country through the establishment of permanent military bases.
'It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.' BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions --A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations. 10 Jun 2008 A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq. For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC's Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources. A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations. The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies... In the run-up to the invasion one of the most senior officials in charge of procurement in the Pentagon objected to a contract potentially worth seven billion that was given to Halliburton.
Iranian leader calls Bush a 'wicked man' 11 Jun 2008 Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called President [sic] Bush a "wicked man" Wednesday. Addressing thousands of people in this central city, he said Bush had set out to damage Iran but failed to halt its nuclear program and would not succeed in his goal of attacking the Islamic republic.
Bush doesn't rule out military strike in Iran 11 Jun 2008 President [sic] Bush on Wednesday raised the possibility of a military strike to thwart Tehran's presumed nuclear weapons ambitions, speaking aggressively even as he admitted having been unwise to have done so previously about Iraq. Bush's host in two days of meetings at a baroque castle, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, joined Bush in urging further sanctions against Iran if it fails to suspend its uranium enrichment program.
President Bush seeks German support on sanctions against Iran 12 Jun 2008 President [sic] Bush issued a swift reminder yesterday that he was still willing, if necessary, to use America's military might against Iran, as he sought to prod a reluctant German Chancellor into supporting tougher sanctions and severing economic ties with the Islamic Republic. At a press conference with Angela Merkel, Mr Bush twice stated that "all options are on the table" in punishing Iran's defiance over its nuclear ambitions -- "and the choice is theirs to make".
President Bush regrets his legacy as man who wanted war 11 Jun 2008 President [sic] Bush has admitted to The Times that his gun-slinging rhetoric made the world believe that he was a "guy really anxious for war" in Iraq. He said that his aim now was to leave his successor a legacy of international diplomacy for tackling Iran. In an exclusive interview, he expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood. "I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric."
The Whitehall ban has been immediately condemned as a 'totalitarian act.' Anti-war protesters banned from demonstrating against Bush 10 Jun 2008 London police have announced a ban on anti-war campaigners hoping to protest against President [sic] George Bush's visit to Downing Street this Sunday. The Whitehall ban has been immediately condemned as a "totalitarian act" by the playwright Harold Pinter, while Stop the War organisers are urging people to defy it and to demonstrate nearby in Parliament Square. "In what is supposed to be a free country the Stop the War Coalition has every right to express its views peacefully and openly. This ban is outrageous and makes the term 'democracy' laughable," Pinter said today.
'Hotline to Iran' Aims to Head Off War 10 Jun 2008 Members of Congress joined religious and civil society leaders today in an urgent call to stop the "drumbeat of war" with Iran and open up diplomatic talks to resolve growing tensions between Washington and Tehran. Congresswoman Barbara Lee joined Reps. Ron Paul and Sheila Jackson Lee in a "Time to Talk to Iran" event on Capitol Hill... The event featured 1960s-style red "hotline" telephones that enabled people to speak with ordinary citizens in Iran, including Washington, D.C. tourists attracted by the outdoors event.
Pakistan condemns US for deadly air strike 11 Jun 2008 Pakistan's military commanders have warned the US that cooperation in the so-called 'war on terror' could be jeopardised due to an air strike that has killed eleven Pakistani troops. The attack on a checkpoint in Pakistan's volatile tribal zone has been labelled as 'cowardly' by members of Pakistan's military elite.
Outrage as US Bombs Pakistan Border Post, Killing 11 Soldiers --Pakistan Threatens to End 'Cooperation' In 'War On Terror' 11 Jun 2008 US F-15 jet fighters dropped bombs on a Pakistani Frontier Corps border check point early today, killing at least 11 soldiers and setting off outrage in Pakistan. An official Pakistani Army spokesman condemned what he called "this completely unprovoked and cowardly act," saying it threatened Pakistani's cooperation in the war against terror.
Fort Bragg soldier found dead 11 Jun 2008 A Fort Bragg soldier has been found dead in an Army training area in North Carolina. His body was found after an intensive search of the Hoffman Training Area, about 50 miles west of Fayetteville. Fort Bragg officials said the soldier was taking part in a land navigation test. Officials said the cause of death is under investigation.
Vets taking PTSD drugs die in sleep --Hurricane man's death the 4th in West Virginia 24 Jun 2008 A Putnam County veteran who was taking medication prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder died in his sleep earlier this month, in circumstances similar to the deaths of three other area veterans earlier this year. A Putnam County veteran [Derek Johnson, 22, of Hurricane] who was taking medication prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder died in his sleep earlier this month, in circumstances similar to the deaths of three other area veterans earlier this year.
Secret terror files left on train 11 Jun 2008 Police are investigating after top-secret documents containing the latest government intelligence on 'al-Qaeda' were left on a train. The documents belonged to a "very senior" intelligence official working in the Cabinet Office. A passenger on the train from London Waterloo to Surrey spotted the envelope containing the files abandoned on a seat and handed it to the BBC. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith now faces demands for an official inquiry.
Top secret terror documents left on train 11 Jun 2008 A police investigation has been launched tonight after secret Government documents were left on a train. It is understood that the two documents - both marked "Top Secret" - relate to the activities of terrorist group al-Qa'eda [al-CIAduh] in Pakistan as well as the security situation in Iraq. The documents went missing yesterday and were eventually handed to the BBC who reported details of the security breach.
Brown wins dramatic victory on 42-day detention 11 Jun 2008 Gordon Brown secured a slender Commons victory tonight when MPs voted to approve highly controversial plans allowing terrorist suspects to be detained without charge for up to 42 days. After a day of suspense and intrigue, the government won by a majority of nine.
42-day detention: best of the debate 11 Jun 2008 Senior MPs tonight warned that the 42-day detention plan would diminish ancient British freedoms that would be difficult to win back.
New Criminal Record: 7.2 Million --Nation's Justice System Strains to Keep Pace With Convictions 12 Jun 2008 The number of people under supervision in the nation's criminal justice system rose to 7.2 million in 2006, the highest ever, costing states tens of billions of dollars to house and monitor offenders as they go in and out of jails and prisons.
'The framers, I think, would have been astonished by the absolute passivity, if not the collusion of the Democrats in protecting President [sic] Bush from impeachment. I mean, they created a system that was essentially idiot-proof, and God knows we’ve put that to the test in the past few years, but I don’t think they anticipated that so many members of the opposition would stand quietly in the face of clear presidential crimes.'--Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley on 'Countdown.' 10 Jun 2008
House to Vote on Sending Impeachment Articles to Committee 10 Jun 2008 House members are set to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment against President [sic] Bush to the Judiciary Committee. The 35 articles were offered by Dennis J. Kucinich , D-Ohio, who has pushed his caucus to do more to challenge the White House regarding the run-up to the Iraq War. On Monday, Kucinich spent about four and a half hours reading the full impeachment text into the Congressional Record. Under House rules, the chamber must act on the measure within two days.
Impeach Bush, Wexler says 10 Jun 2008 U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) signed on today to Articles of Impeachment for President [sic] Bush. He called it "a sworn duty" of Congress to act against the president. "President Bush deliberately created a massive propaganda campaign to sell the war in Iraq to the American people and the charges detailed in this impeachment resolution indicate an unprecedented abuse of executive power," Wexler said in a statement.
Kucinich introduces impeachment resolution 09 Jun 2008 Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President [sic] George W. Bush in the U.S. House of Representatives Monday night. Kucinich read into the Congressional Record a litany of alleged illegal and improper acts on the part of the president, The Politico reported.
Impeach! Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich last night introduced 35 Articles of Impeachment against President [sic] George W. Bush in a dramatic presentation of the floor of the House of Representatives that last nearly five hours. 10 Jun 2008
Bush Political Prisoner Gets Her Day in Court By Michael Collins 11 June 2008 American Cassandra: Susan Lindauer's Story --Susan Lindauer, accused "unregistered" agent and the judge who rescued her from forced psychiatric medication, now U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey.
Kerry: McCain confused, 'unbelievably out of touch' 11 Jun 2008 John Kerry expressed incredulity at McCain's remark this morning that the timing of troops return is "not too important." "It is unbelievably out of touch and inconsistent with the needs of Americans and particularly the families of troops who are over there. To them it’s the most important thing in the world when they come home," he said. "It’s a policy for staying in Iraq." Kerry and Obama aide Susan Rice also both said McCain is "confused" -- a line some in McCain's camp will surely take as a shot at the candidate's age. [NO, it's a shot at the candidate's *sanity.*]
Jim Johnson steps down from VP vetting post in Obama campaign 11 Jun 2008 Jim Johnson, who had been leading Obama's VP search committee, has stepped down from the campaign. "Jim did not want to distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee, so he has made a decision to step aside that I accept," Obama said in a statement. [When John McCain's lobbying rats jump ship, did MSNBC send such items as 'Breaking News,' as well? No, you do not. The McCain free media ride continues, as MSNBC works 24/7 to provide cover for the third GOP coup d'etat. --LRP]
At AIPAC, Obama outlines policy shift to defend US, Israeli interests By Alex Lantier 11 Jun 2008 In his June 4 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israeli lobby group in Washington, presumptive Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama made clear his commitment to the defense of US as well as Israeli imperialist interests, while proposing a more flexible mixture of diplomacy, threats and military force than that employed by the Bush administration.
Obama opens race with edge over McCain: poll 11 Jun 2008 Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has opened the general election campaign with a six-point lead over Republican John McCain, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday. Obama, an Illinois senator, leads McCain among registered voters, 47 to 41 percent.
US government 'failing to protect polar bears' 11 Jun 2008 Two conservation groups say they will sue the US government for not doing enough to protect polar bears from the effects of oil exploration and drilling off Alaska's coast. The Centre for Biological Diversity and Pacific Environment said the Interior Department is violating the Endangered Species Act by exempting oil companies exploring the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas from further regulation.
House Won't Extend Unemployment Benefits --Democratic attempt to give unemployed Americans three more months of jobless benefits fails after White House threatens veto. 12 Jun 2008 The House yesterday narrowly failed to approve a proposal to give jobless workers an extra three months of unemployment benefits, but Democratic leaders said they would bring back the bill for a second vote today. Despite a White House veto threat, 49 Republicans voted with a united Democratic caucus in favor of the measure, which would provide an extra 13 weeks of unemployment checks to all jobless workers and an extra 13 weeks on top of that to job seekers in high-unemployment states such as Michigan, California and Alaska.
Stocks drop as oil prices jump more than $6 11 Jun 2008 Stocks fell Wednesday as oil prices rebounded and shot past $137 a barrel, aggravating concerns that inflation may lead the world's central banks to raise interest rates. Oil was up more than $6 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dropping Tuesday.
An ominous warning that the rapid rise in oil prices has only just begun 11 Jun 2008 The chief executive [Alexey Miller] of the world's largest energy company has issued the most dire warning yet about the soaring the price of oil, predicting that it will hit $250 per barrel "in the foreseeable future".
Home price drop means $4 trillion in lost capital 11 Jun 2008 No one knows when the credit crisis will end. But when it does, U.S home prices may have lost a third of their value, high-yield bond valuations will hit levels close to those seen during the last recession, and what may amount to $1 trillion of Wall Street losses may translate into almost $4 trillion of lost access to capital.
Fears grow that MRSA variant has entered food chain 03 Jun 2008 British people have been infected for the first time by an animal variant of MRSA, the hospital superbug that infects more than 4,000 patients a year.
Tornado Hits Scout Camp; 4 Dead --Between 30 To 40 Injured 11 Jun 2008 A tornado hit a Boy Scout camp in western Iowa Wednesday evening, killing at least four people and injuring between 30 and 40 others, KCCI-TV in Des Moines reported. Courtney Greene, a spokeswoman for Gov. Chet Culver, said the tornado hit the Little Sioux scout camp.
'Now we are being asked to sign for our own occupation.' Iraqi lawmakers say U.S. demanding 58 military bases 09 Jun 2008 Iraqi lawmakers say the United States is demanding 58 bases as part of a proposed "status of forces" agreement that will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country indefinitely. Leading members of the two ruling Shiite parties said in a series of interviews the Iraqi government rejected this proposal along with another U.S. demand that would effectively hand over the power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq. Lawmakers said they fear this power would drag Iraq into a war between the United States and Iran. "The points that were put forth by the Americans were more abominable than the occupation," said Jalal al Din al Saghir, a leading lawmaker from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. "We were occupied by order of the Security Council," he said, referring to the 2004 Resolution mandating a U.S. military occupation in Iraq at the head of an international coalition. "But now we are being asked to sign for our own occupation. That is why we have absolutely refused all that we have seen so far."
Senior official confident of US-Iraq deal in July 10 Jun 2008 A top American official expressed confidence Tuesday the U.S. and Iraq will finalize a long-term security pact on time next month despite strong opposition from Iran and a storm of criticism from Iraqi lawmakers who must ratify the deal. David Satterfield, the State Department's top adviser on Iraq, said both sides were committed to reaching an agreement, which would also provide a legal basis for keeping U.S. troops here after the United Nations mandate expires at the end of the year.
Saddam Hussein tribal head killed in bombing 10 Jun 2008 The head of Saddam Hussein's tribe has been killed in a car bomb explosion in the town of Awja, north of Baghdad. Police officers said the bomb was probably attached to the underside of Sheikh Ali al-Neda's vehicle. The assassination bombing also killed his driver and wounded two of his guards.
Bush, Europe, warn Iran over nuclear program 10 Jun 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush and European leaders warned Iran Tuesday of new sanctions if Tehran refuses to halt a nuclear programme the West suspects to be a covert atomic weapons drive. "Iran with a nuclear weapon would be incredibly dangerous for world peace," Bush said at a joint press conference after his final US-European Union summit. "Now's the time for all of us to work together to stop them."
Iran pulls assets out of Europe banks 09 Jun 2008 Iran has withdrawn a huge sum of its foreign exchange reserves from European banks and has deposited some of it into Asian banks... Iran has abandoned the dollar in oil trading in favor of the yen, citing the weakness of US currency for its decision.
military seeking 'trainers' for Afghanistan 10 Jun 2008 The
Pentagon is scrambling to find
U.S. missile fired in NW Pakistan 10 Jun 2008 A pilotless U.S.
drone was suspected to have fired a missile into a Pakistani area on
the Afghan border on Tuesday, but there was no word on the target or
casualties, a government official said. The missile was thought to have
been fired into northwest Pakistan where this year, U.S.-controlled
Predator aircraft have struck at least four sites used by 'al Qaeda'
operatives, killing dozens of
'Our adversaries understand how to use cyberspace.' Air Force Talks About Missions in Cyberspace 04 Jun 2008 Col. Tony Buntyn has been selected for promotion to brigadier general as vice commander of the Air Force Cyberspace Command. Buntyn, a Texas Air National Guardsman, said the new $5 billion-plus-a-year U.S. Africa Command will be spread out at bases across the country... The service even changed its mission statement, adding "to fly and fight in air, space and cyberspace." Other countries have already written cyberspace into their military war-fighting doctrine, Buntyn said. "Our adversaries understand how to use cyberspace. They use the internet to command and control, to direct their teams, to recruit. They use the electromagnetic spectrum to detonate improvised explosive devices," Buntyn said. "They understand cyberspace. We’ve got to do the same."
Robust global economy drives rise in arms spending 09 Jun 2008 Global weapons spending rose 6 percent last year but a growing consensus on the need for arms control offered hope for disarmament, a Swedish think tank said Monday. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said nations spent $1.3 trillion on weapons in 2007.
Northrop Tanker Deal Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers Billions By Tula Connell 09 Jun 2008 Remember that $35 billion air fleet tanker contract—the one the U.S. Department of Defense gave to European-based firm EADS, which makes the Airbus, rather than to U.S.-based Boeing? Looks like 44,000 jobs... aren’t the nation’s only losses in the Bush administration’s decision to award the contract to an overseas bidder. A new report compiled by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) highlights the corrupt bid-awarding process involved and found the EADS fleet will cost taxpayers money and is likely less safe than the Boeing model. In fact, IFPTE... found the Boeing model could save taxpayers $90 billion over the program’s lifetime.
McClellan to testify before House in CIA leak case 10 Jun 2008 President [sic] Bush's former spokesman, Scott McClellan, will testify before a House committee next week about whether Vice pResident Dick Cheney ordered him to make misleading public statements about the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity. McClellan will testify publicly and under oath before the House Judiciary Committee on June 20 about the White House's role in the leak and its response, his attorneys, Michael and Jane Tigar, said on Monday.
Washington ordered destruction of Guantánamo interrogation records By Bill Van Auken 10 Jun 2008 ...A "Standard Operating Procedure" manual has come to light that explicitly instructs US interrogators at the American prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba to destroy contemporaneous records of their interrogations. The existence of the document was made public by the military defense attorney for Omar Khadr, a Canadian national who has been held for six years since being captured by American forces as a 15-year-old minor in Afghanistan... The document, issued for "intelligence exploitation teams," also known as "tiger teams" operating inside the Guantánamo camp, explicitly orders destruction of evidence to avoid potential exposure of government criminality.
'Baghdad-style' checkpoints in US capital --Police in Washington DC have set up vehicle checkpoints in the American capital in a controversial measure 09 Jun 2008 In a move that critics have compared to the security clampdown in Baghdad, police are stopping motorists travelling through the main thoroughfare of Trinidad, a neighbourhood near the National Arboretum in the city's northeast section. Drivers' identification are checked and those who didn't have a "legitimate purpose" in the area are turned away.
ID needed to enter certain 'high-crime' areas in D.C. 04 Jun 2008 Starting this weekend, police in the District will begin shutting down 'high-crime' neighborhoods and requiring drivers to present identification before they are allowed to pass through checkpoints. The new initiative, called "Neighborhood Safety Zones," [!] allows D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier to designate areas where there have been an 'outbreak of violence.' Once an area is designated, signs and checkpoints will go up and neighbors will be notified. Any car trying to enter the designated neighborhood will be stopped, and drivers and passengers will have to produce identification. They will also have to give an explanation as to why they are there. [Remember Bush's 'First Amendment Zones?' Now there's 'Neighborhood Safety Zones.' It's time for 'Second American Revolution Zones.' --LRP]
Police Close Streets In Trinidad to Steer Drivers to Checkpoint --ACLU says estimated 90 percent of cars turned away 10 Jun 2008 D.C. police set up checkpoints in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast Washington, choking off access to several streets there to force drivers to pass through them, Chief Cathy L. Lanier said. The Montello Avenue checkpoint, where police demanded that motorists account for their presence in the neighborhood, was set up Saturday night, but some drivers circumvented it by using nearby streets to enter Trinidad, Lanier said. Under Lanier's program, which she said she plans to replicate in other troubled parts of the city, only people with a "legitimate purpose" can pass through the checkpoints.
Report on City Police Shootings Urges More Use of Tasers Before Guns 10 Jun 2008 Police recruits and veteran officers could benefit from more frequent firearms training and a wider use of Taser stun guns, according to a [RAND Corporation] study of the New York Police Department’s shooting habits released on Monday.
Hard core of rebels holds key to vote on 42-day detention 10 Jun 2008 Gordon Brown's fate in a crunch Commons vote tomorrow on the power to detain suspected terrorists for 42 days lies in the hands of a small group of wavering Labour MPs. A straw poll by The Independent yesterday suggests that the Government has whittled down the number of potential Labour rebels from 50 to about 40.
Senior police officers attack 42-day plan 09 Jun 2008 Some of Britain's most senior police officers have broken ranks with their colleagues to denounce government plans for detaining terrorism suspects for 42 days without charge, the Guardian can reveal.
Terror: 42 day detention - for and against 10 Jun 2008 As Gordon Brown seeks to persuade wavering MPs to back his plans to extend the limit for detention without charge in terrorism cases to 42 days here is a breakdown of who is for and against the idea.
British public wants 42-day terror detention, poll shows 10 Jun 2008 The British public is overwhelmingly in favour of Government plans to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days before they are charged, a Telegraph poll shows. The YouGov survey found that almost three quarters of the public (69 per cent) support raising the detention limit from 28 days to 42 days "in exceptional circumstances". A quarter (24 per cent) oppose the plans.
3 Net Providers Will Block Sites that Disseminate Child Pornography [What (political) sites are next?] 10 Jun 2008 Verizon, Sprint and Time Warner Cable have agreed to block access to Internet bulletin boards and Web sites nationwide that disseminate child pornography. The move is part of a groundbreaking agreement with the New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, that will be formally announced on Tuesday. The agreements will affect customers not just in New York but throughout the country.
Justices rule against public employee who lost job 09 Jun 2008 Individual government workers generally cannot make a constitutional case out of their workplace discrimination claims, the Supreme Court said Monday in a ruling that leaves public employees with fewer legal options than those in the private sector.
'President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.' Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution 09 Jun 2008 Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich took to the House of Representatives floor on Monday evening to introduce a 35-count resolution to impeach President [sic] George W. Bush. Kucinich claimed Bush "fraudulently" justified the war on Iraq and misled "the American people and members of Congress to believe Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction so as to manufacture a false case for war." "President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office," Kucinich said.
President Met Disgraced Lobbyist At Least Six Times --The White House Had Previously Acknowledged Only Two Meetings 09 Jun 2008 The White House had stronger ties to disgraced superlobbyist Jack Abramoff than it has publicly admitted, according to a draft congressional report released Monday. President [sic] Bush met Abramoff on at least four occasions the White House has yet to acknowledge, according to the draft report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Warning to Sen. Vitter: DC Madam Case Not Over? 09 Jun 2008 Maybe Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) isn't completely off the hook when it comes to the late "D.C. Madam," Deborah Jean Palfrey... Palfrey's civil attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, is claiming that since Palfrey, who was found dead of an apparent suicide on May 1, is now deceased, the judge in the case is required to dismiss criminal charges against her. According to Sibley, the action "could ultimately result in a complete re-trial of the matters raised in the criminal case with the significant difference that the rules of civil procedure would allow broad discovery of information that the government was able to block from use in the criminal matter. That information includes, among other data, the names of 855 customers of the Jeane's escort service and their telephone numbers saved for -- but oddly not used -- in the criminal trial and heretofore never publicly revealed which are presently in the custody of the undersigned."
McCain says using Google to vet VP candidates 09 Jun 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McInsane joked on Monday that Google, the popular Internet search engine, had made investigating his list of potential candidates a little bit easier. "You know, basically it's a Google," he said to laughter at a fund-raising luncheon when asked how the selection process was going. "What you can find out now on the Internet -- it's remarkable."
Senate GOP blocks windfall taxes on Big Oil --High prices at the pump are threatening everything from summer vacations to Meals on Wheels deliveries to the elderly. 10 Jun 2008 Saved by Senate Republicans, big oil companies dodged an attempt Tuesday to slap them with a windfall profits tax and take away billions of dollars in tax breaks in response to the record gasoline prices that have the nation fuming. GOP senators shoved aside the Democratic proposal, arguing that punishing Big Oil won't do a thing to lower the $4-a-gallon-price of gasoline that is sending economic waves across the country.
Senate Republicans block taxes on oil majors --Democratic plan to tax windfall profits of large oil companies blocked 10 Jun 2008 Senate Republicans have blocked a Democratic plan to tax the windfall profits of the largest oil companies. Democrats on Tuesday failed, 51-43, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster of the energy package, and bring the bill up for consideration.
Supreme Court justices sold stock last year 09 Jun 2008 Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, whose investments forced them to sit out cases before the Supreme Court, have significantly reduced their stock holdings, their latest financial disclosures show. Roberts sold all his shares in four companies last year: Becton Dickinson & Co., Cisco Systems Inc., Citigroup Inc., and Merck & Co. Inc.--worth $117,000 to $265,000. Alito sold all his stock in Intel Corp., worth $15,000 to $50,000, and reduced his holdings in three other companies, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Exxon Mobil Corp. and McDonald's Corp.
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves --Larry Matlack, President of the American Agriculture Movement (AAM), has raised concerns over the issue of U.S. grain reserves after it was announced that the sale of 18.37 million bushels of wheat from USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust. 06 Jun 2008 "According to the May 1, 2008 CCC inventory report there are only 24.1 million bushels of wheat in inventory, so after this sale there will be only 2.7 million bushels of wheat left the entire CCC inventory," warned Matlack. "...[T]he U.S. has nothing else in our emergency food pantry. There is no cheese, no butter, no dry milk powder, no grains or anything else left in reserve. The only thing left in the entire CCC inventory will be 2.7 million bushels of wheat which is about enough wheat to make ½ of a loaf of bread for each of the 300 million people in America." The CCC is a federal government-owned and operated entity that was created to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices. CCC is also supposed to maintain balanced and adequate supplies of agricultural commodities and aids in their orderly distribution.
IG criticizes FAA's training of air controllers 10 Jun 2008 An inspector general says the government is hiring so many new air traffic controllers that it cannot efficiently train them. The inspector general said the FAA uses a database replete with errors to manage the training and has failed to implement remedial steps the FAA itself promised in 2004.
Nuclear plans on track --New Callaway plant would cost $6 billion 09 Jun 2008 AmerenUE is moving closer with its plans to build a second nuclear reactor near its existing nuclear power plant in Callaway County, a spokesman for the St. Louis-based utility company said today. Ameren and its partner, Baltimore-based UniStar Nuclear LLC, are in the process of filing an application for a construction and operating license for the proposed $6 billion, 1,600-megawatt plant. [Why aren't people stopping this insanity in its tracks?]
Melting Arctic ice could spur inland warming: study 10 Jun 2008 If Arctic sea ice starts melting fast, polar bears and ring seals wouldn't be the only creatures to feel it: A study released on Tuesday suggests it could spur warmer temperatures hundreds of miles (km) inland. That means a possible thaw in the long-frozen soil known as permafrost, which in turn could have severe effects on ecosystems, human infrastructure like oil rigs and pipelines and the release of more global warming greenhouse gases...
East Coast Heat Wave Bakes Wide Area 10 Jun 2008 The East Coast continued to bake on Tuesday with temperatures in the upper 90s for the fourth straight day. Heat watches and advisories were in effect from southern New England to North Carolina. Temperatures rose to 99 degrees on Monday at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and 96 degrees at Central Parks. Newark Liberty International Airport reported 99 degrees. Tuesday’s highs were expected to approach that level.
Moseley: We Need a Failsafe to Human Error --A day after Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked for and received his resignation June 5, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley gave this exclusive interview to [Defense News] Vago Muradian. 09 Jun 2008 Q. And that was where the problems occurred? Following the Minot incident, I would say more than 95 percent of my focus has been about getting this right, and we had a commander-directed inquiry. I commissioned Maj. Gen. [Polly] Peyer to conduct a blue ribbon review, which gave us 120 or so specific things to address. My fundamental tasking to her was, "Is there something bigger here? Is this just an isolated case of a human frailty or are there systemic bigger issues that we have to find and fix?" Q. So this was right after the Minot incident? A. I started it right after. The secretary went out there and General Welch did an overall study. So those 120, I believe, is a start at getting at where general officers should be. What is the echelon of responsibility?
Gates recommends Schwartz as next Air Force chief --Gates asks Bush to Allow Donley to Start as Air Force Secretary Without Senate Confirmation 09 Jun 2008 Defense Secretary Robert Gates recommended Monday that Gen. Norton Schwartz, a 35-year veteran with a background in Air Force special operations, be the next Air Force chief. In a sweeping shake up of the Air Force, Gates also formally sent former Air Force official Michael Donley's name to the White House to be the next secretary of the beleaguered service. Gates announced last Thursday that he was removing Air Force Gen. Michael Moseley from the chief's job and Michael Wynne as its top civilian. Gates asked Bush to designate Donley as the acting secretary effective June 21 -- a move that would allow him to begin work without waiting for Senate confirmation.
Gates seeks Air Force leadership on handling of nuclear weapons 09 Jun 2008 In his search for new leadership atop the Air Force, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is looking for a "new perspective" that will fix long-standing problems in the handling of nuclear weapons... Gates said at the time that his decision was based mainly on the damning conclusions of an internal report on the mistaken shipment to Taiwan of four Air Force fusing devices for ballistic missile nuclear warheads. And he linked the underlying causes of that slip-up to another startling incident: the North Dakota-to-Louisiana flight last August of a B-52 bomber that was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
US Air Force shakeup may spur spending shifts 09 Jun 2008 The ouster of the Air Force's top two officials may spur even more Pentagon spending on equipment for current wars and end production of pricey F-22 jets designed for potential conflicts with countries such as China.
Iraq to sign deals with foreign oil firms this month: MEES 08 Jun 2008 Iraq intends to sign Technical Support Agreements with foreign oil majors by the end of June to add an eventual 500,000 barrels per day in output capacity, a specialist newsletter quoted the oil minister as saying. Five consortia are in talks with the Iraqi government for the two-year contracts, the Middle East Economic Survey said in its edition to appear on Monday. The agreements cover Kirkuk field (Shell), Rumaila (BP), Al-Zubair (ExxonMobil), West Qurna Phase I (Chevron and Total), Missan province development (Shell and BHP Billiton) and the Subba and Luhais fields (Anadarko, Vitol and the UAE's Dome), MEES said.
U.S. presence is Iraq's main problem: Iranian leader 09 Jun 2008 Iran's supreme leader told visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday that the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq was the biggest obstacle to its development as a united country. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hit out at the "occupiers" in Iraq at a time when Baghdad is negotiating with the United States on a new agreement aimed at giving a legal basis for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq after December 31, when their U.N. mandate expires.
Prime Minister: Iraq will not be used to 'damage' Iran 08 Jun 2008 Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday tried to allay Iranian fears over a planned U.S.-Iraq security pact, saying his government would not allow Iraq to become a launching pad for an attack on its neighbor. Earlier, Iran's state-run news agency IRNA quoted the Iraqi leader as saying that "Baghdad would not allow its soil to be used as a base to damage the security of the neighboring countries, including Iran."
Top security official: Iran ready to restore peace, stability in Iraq 09 Jun 2008 Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili said on Sunday that the Islamic Republic is ready to use all its experiences to help restore peace and stability to Iraq, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.
Meeting takes place between premiers of Iraq and Iran 08 Jun 2008 Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maleki has arrived in Iran to seek Tehran's assistance in restoring peace and stability. The Iraqi premier, heading a high ranking delegation, arrived at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran and was scheduled to meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss the latest developments in Iraq.
Stolen antiquities found in U.S. returned to Iraq 09 Jun 2008 Iraq took delivery on Monday of several ancient artefacts seized by U.S. customs officers in Philadelphia after being looted from Baghdad's national museum during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. At a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, handed over the recovered relics to the country's antiquities minister, Mohammed al-Uraibi.
Iraq suicide bomber kills U.S. soldier, wounds 18 08 Jun 2008 A vehicle driven by a suicide bomber blew up near a patrol base in Iraq on Sunday, killing one U.S. soldier and wounding 18 others, U.S. forces said. Two Iraqi mercenaries were also wounded in the attack in Kirkuk province, about 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement.
Israel tries to play down minister's warning of attack on Iran 09 Jun 2008 Israel yesterday attempted to play down a warning from a senior government minister that an attack on Iran was "unavoidable" if Tehran continued to develop nuclear weapons. The transportation minister, Shaul Mofaz, a key figure in Israel's dialogue with the US on Iran's nuclear programme, raised the prospect of a unilateral Israeli attack against Tehran on Friday, adding that international sanctions had been ineffective.
IAEA slams Mofaz remark that attack on Iran seems 'unavoidable' 08 Jun 2008 Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohammed ElBaradei on Saturday rebuked remarks made by Transportation Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, saying an attack against Iran seemed "unavoidable."
Iran Complains to UN Security Council about Israel's Threat 08 Jun 2008 Iran appealed to the United Nations Security Council on Saturday for protection from Israel after Transportation Minister Sha'ul Mofaz commented that Israel would move to end the nuclear threat if necessary. The former Defense Minister was quoted Friday in the Hebrew-language Yediot Acharonot newspaper as saying that military action might necessary in order to stop Iran's from achieving nuclear power.
Fearing Escalation, Pentagon Fought Cheney Iran Plan 06 Jun 2008 Pentagon officials firmly opposed a proposal by Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney last summer for airstrikes against Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bases by insisting that the administration would have to make clear decisions about how far the United States would go in escalating the conflict with Iran, according to a former George W. Bush administration official. J. Scott Carpenter, who was then deputy assistant secretary of state in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, recalled in an interview that senior Defence Department (DoD) officials and the Joint Chiefs used the escalation issue as the main argument against the Cheney proposal.
Suicide bomb takes British death toll in Afghanistan to 100 09 Jun 2008 The grim milestone was expected but poignant, nevertheless, and raised fresh questions about a seemingly unending war with a rising toll of lives. Three soldiers were killed yesterday in Afghanistan bringing the number of British fatalities to 100.
Canadian soldier killed in fall down a well in Afghanistan 08 Jun 2008 A Canadian soldier [Capt. Jonathan Sutherland Snyder] died yesterday after falling into a well while on a security patrol in Zhari District, west of Kandahar.
Afghan BBC journalist found dead in Afghanistan a day after he went missing 08 Jun 2008 An Afghan journalist working for the BBC World Service was found dead in southern Afghanistan with a gunshot wound to the head Sunday, the BBC and Afghan officials said. The British Broadcasting Corp. said Abdul Samad Rohani went missing in the town of Lashkar Gar in Helmand province on Saturday. His body was found in a cemetery the following day... A spokesman for Taliban militants, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said the Taliban was not behind Rohani's killing. Ahmadi said that the Taliban did not have any problem with Rohani's reporting and that he was upset about the reporter's death.
BBC Afghan journalist shot in head 08 Jun 2008 A missing Afghan journalist working for the BBC has been found shot dead. Abdul Samad Rohani disappeared from Lashkar Gah in the southern province of Helmand. The BBC said his corpse had now been found. He had been shot in the head. He was the second foreign BBC journalist to be killed over the weekend. Naftah Dahir Farah, 26, a freelancer who worked for the BBC and the Associated Press, was shot dead in Kismayo, southern Somalia, on Saturday.
Medicated Army --U.S. troops are going into battle with a
different kind of weapon, one so stealthy that few Americans even know
of its deployment. 05 Jun 2008 For the first time in history, a
sizable and growing number of U.S. combat troops are taking daily doses
of antidepressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours
in Iraq and Afghanistan. The
US Reconsiders Sonic Blasters for China 06 Jun 2008 With the Olympics fast approaching, the US is suddenly concerned about American-made products being used against human rights demonstrators. Of particular concern is a sonic blaster that so far has not been considered a weapon.
Iraq war commander named head of Canada's military By Keith Jones 09 Jun 2008 Canada’s Conservative government has announced that a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officer who helped direct the US-British occupation of Iraq for a year, beginning in January 2004, will become the next head of the Canadian Armed Forces. While seconded to the US Army’s Third Corps, Lieutenant-General Walter Natynczyk served first as the Deputy Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans and then as the Deputy Commanding General of the Multinational Corps--"the tactical unit responsible for command and control of operations" of the US military and its allies "throughout Iraq."
Jailers at Guantanamo urged to destroy interrogation notes: lawyer --US interrogators may have "routinely destroyed evidence" that might have been used to defend prisoners 08 Jun 2008 US interrogators of "war on terror" prisoners were instructed to destroy handwritten notes that might have exposed harsh or even illegal questioning methods at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a lawyer for one of the prisoners said Sunday. Navy Lieutenant Commander Bill Kuebler said in a statement sent to reporters he considers the notes crucial to the defense of his client, Canadian Omar Khadr, during his upcoming 'trial' by a special military tribunal at the US naval base. Kuebler said the instructions were handed down to interrogators from the US Department of Defense as part of a standard operating procedure or "SOP" directive that he obtained from prosecutors last week.
Gitmo Interrogators Told to Trash Notes --Defense lawyer:
US urged interrogators at Gitmo to destroy notes in case they had to
testify 08 Jun 2008 The Pentagon urged interrogators at Guantanamo
Bay to destroy handwritten notes in case they were called to testify
Detailed notes from Khadr interviews destroyed 08 Jun 2008 A formerly secret document shows the Pentagon allowed its Guantanamo Bay interrogators to destroy notes they took of interrogations - a policy Omar Khadr's lawyers say denies them the chance to challenge the legitimacy of any "confessions" he made. Navy Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, Khadr's lead military attorney, stumbled over the interrogation directive as he reviewed prosecution-held documents at the prosecution office of the Pentagon's war crimes commissions.
Terror laws: Police voice concerns over 42-day detention 09 Jun 2008 Senior police officers have expressed concern that Gordon Brown's plans to increase detention without charge for terror suspects to 42 days could make their jobs more difficult. Four senior members of the Association of Chief Police Officers, including Rob Beckley, deputy chief constable of Avon and Somerset, have raised concerns that the likely damage to relations with the Muslim community will prove detrimental to intelligence gathering.
MI5 has not called for 42 day detention, Jacqui Smith admits 09 Jun 2008 Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has admitted that MI5 does not support Government proposals to increase the period terror suspects can be held without charge to 42 days. The admission that the security services have not called for the increased detention limit will add to pressure on Gordon Brown and Miss Smith who face a crunch vote on the issue on Wednesday.
Security chiefs offer late boost to plans for 42-day detention 08 Jun 2008 Gordon Brown's plans to hold terror suspects for 42 days without charge received a late boost yesterday when some of Britain's top police and security officers said the controversial proposals were "workable". The Government is still struggling to convince several of its own backbenchers that the extension from 28 days is a proportionate response to the terror threat facing the nation.
Identity cards 'could be used to spy on people' 08 Jun 2008 Britain is in danger of becoming a "surveillance society" and new safeguards are needed to protect people's privacy, an influential committee of MPs has warned. Fears are growing that the compulsory ID card scheme may be used to carry out surveillance on people and that a new children's database may be used to identify likely future criminals.
Ex-health chief's firm wins 9/11 contract --Bush's former secretary, criticized after attacks, awarded $11 million deal 05 Jun 2008 As President [sic] Bush's health chief, Tommy Thompson proudly trumpeted millions of taxpayer dollars to help workers sickened by the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center, even amid complaints that his agency was not doing enough. Now, Thompson's private company has won an $11 million contract to treat some of those same workers... The contract was awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention... The CDC is part of the Health and Human Services Department, which Thompson headed in Bush's first term. Internal e-mails obtained by the Associated Press show the one-year contract went to Logistics Health Inc., a La Crosse, Wis., company where Thompson is president.
The wife U.S. Republican John McCain callously left behind --'John started carousing and running around with women,' said Robert Timberg. 08 Jun 2008 ...To demonstrate John McCain's commitment to family values, the 71-year-old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children. But there is another Mrs McCain who casts a ghostly shadow over the Senator’s presidential campaign. She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain’s three eldest children.
'Everyone's going to be monitoring every syllable.' --MSNBC's GOP foot-soldier (and Coup 2000 palliator) Timmy Russert, speculating on whether Hillary Clinton will surrender hard enough. By Lori Price 07 Jun 2008 Coup 2008 is well underway, and the GOP-run media already has its scapegoat.
Unprecedented: Gas Hits $4 National Average 08 Jun 2008 The average price of regular gas crept up to $4 a gallon for the first time over the weekend, passing the once-unthinkable milestone just in time for the peak summer travel season. Prices at the pump are expected to keep climbing, especially after last week's furious surge in oil prices, which neared $140 a barrel in a record-shattering rally Friday. [See: Exxon-Mobil Makes $75,000 a Minute By Young Turks 26 Jan 2008 In the midst of record profits for oil companies we are giving them a $14 billion subsidy.]
Top court to hear Philip Morris damages appeal 09 Jun 2008 The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday that it would hear a Philip Morris USA appeal seeking to overturn a $79.5 million punitive damages award won by the widow of a longtime Oregon smoker.
Salmonella outbreak linked to raw tomatoes strikes about 150 --FDA expands warning nationwide 09 Jun 2008 The Food and Drug Administration said Sunday that 145 to 150 people in 16 states have been sickened by salmonellosis, which has been linked to the consumption of raw red tomatoes. The FDA initially issued a warning June 3 about tomatoes in New Mexico and Texas. Saturday, officials expanded the warning nationwide.
Caribbean Monk Seal Gone Extinct From Human Causes, NOAA Confirms 09 Jun 2008 After a five year review, NOAA’s Fisheries Service has determined that the Caribbean monk seal, which has not been seen for more than 50 years, has gone extinct -- the first type of seal to go extinct from human causes.
Bush pushes biometrics for national security --Agencies are required by the directive to make available for sharing with other agencies... all biometric and associated biographical information for individuals about whom authorities have an "articulable and reasonable suspicion that they pose a threat to national security." 06 Jun 2008 The Bush administration has required agencies to increase their capability to share among themselves biometric information on people believed to pose a threat to national security. A presidential directive issued June 5 requires the increased compatibility of methods agencies use to collect, store and share fingerprints, face and iris recognition data and behavioral characteristics to identify and screen "known and suspected terrorists." The directive also applies to other categories of individuals the directive said would be identified soon who may also pose a threat to national security.
Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law 06 Jun 2008 Barclays is using controversial American anti-terrorism laws to shut down the personal bank accounts of British citizens who are working for Iranian-owned businesses, The Times has learnt. The bank has unilaterally enforced anti-Iran sanctions drawn up by the Bush Administration under the US Patriot Act against companies that operate completely legally in Britain. Those affected by the account closures are not directors of the companies but ordinary staff members, including clerical officers, computer engineers and bank tellers.
Public backs 42-day detention plan --Poll boost for PM as he defies the threat of defeat by rebel MPs over stricter terror laws 08 Jun 2008 Gordon Brown will refuse to offer any new concessions to Labour MPs who oppose plans for a 42-day detention period for terrorists, even though the Prime Minister could be defeated in the Commons for the first time over the issue this week. While his leadership could be undermined if the anti-terror legislation vote is lost, Downing Street was buoyed last night by a poll that showed widespread public support for the move.
Groups to monitor D.C. police checkpoints --Checkpoints draw harsh criticism from civil rights groups 08 Jun 2008 Police in the nation's capital set up controversial vehicle checkpoints Saturday, with civil liberties groups considering legal action and closely observing officers. Police in neon yellow vests stopped motorists traveling through the main thoroughfare of Trinidad -- a neighborhood near the National Arboretum in the city's northeast section. Police checked drivers' identification and turned away those who didn't have a "legitimate purpose" in the area. "Trinidad should not be treated like Baghdad," said Mark Thompson, the leader of the NAACP's local police task force.
Checkpoints for All Drivers in Washington Neighborhood 06 Jun 2008 (D.C.) the police here are taking the unusual step of establishing vehicle checkpoints in a crime-ridden neighborhood. Starting on Saturday night, officers will check drivers’ IDs and turn away any who do not have a "legitimate purpose" in the area, a plan that has been criticized by civil liberties groups. Officers will stop motorists traveling through the main thoroughfare of the Trinidad neighborhood. The police will ask motorists to show proof that they live in the area. If they lack proof, drivers must explain whether they have a reason to be in the neighborhood.
Detainee's Attorney Seeks Dismissal Over Abuse --Prison logs show detainee was moved 112 times in 14 days, for no apparent reason. 08 Jun 2008 A military defense attorney [Air Force Maj. David Frakt] for a prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has asked that all charges against his client be dismissed after prosecutors provided him documents that show the detainee was subjected to an abusive technique that had been banned at the facility, calling the treatment a violation of the law of war and U.S. laws and policies. According to Guantanamo prison records, Mohammed Jawad was subjected to the military's "frequent flier program" in May 2004, which meant he was moved repeatedly from one detention cell to another in quick intervals and usually at night, a program designed to deprive detainees of sleep.
U.S. reopens probe of Arar's rendition to Syria --Citing new information, Homeland Security says officials likely knew Canadian would be tortured 06 Jun 2008 The Bush regime is reopening a probe into the rendition of Maher Arar amid calls by Democrats for a special investigation to determine if the U.S. government broke any laws in its decision to send the Canadian to Syria. Richard Skinner, the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, said he could not rule out the possibility that U.S. officials sent Arar to Syria to be tortured, something the administration has denied for more than five years. In his report, he stated officials knew it was "more likely than not'' that Arar would be tortured if he was returned to his birthplace rather than Canada, his country of residence.
Protesters torch US flag in Baghdad, burn Bush in effigy 06 Jun 2008 People torched a US flag in Baghdad's Shiite stronghold of Sadr City after weekly Friday prayers to denounce a proposed agreement to deploy American troops in the country beyond 2008. The protesters also set on fire an effigy of US President [sic- Dictator] George W. Bush and vowed allegiance to anti-US Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, as Iraqi troops watched from rooftops, an AFP correspondent said. A banner read: "The agreement with the Americans is an act of war against the Iraqi people."
Car bombings in Baghdad leave at least 5 dead 07 Jun 2008 A suicide car bomb and another car packed with explosives targeted Iraqi police patrols Saturday on opposite sides of Baghdad, killing at least five people, police said. The suicide attacker rammed into a police patrol mid-afternoon in Nisoor Square on the capital's west side, killing a civilian and a policeman, police said.
Poland to leave Iraq by October: minister 07 Jun 2008 Polish forces will be out of Iraq by the middle of October, Defence Minister Bogdan Klich confirmed in a radio interview Saturday. "At the end of June, I will hand over to the Iraqis responsibility for the whole province" of Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad, Klich told Radio RMF FM.
Blackwater's Private Spies By Jeremy Scahill 05 Jun 2008 In the two weeks directly following Nisour Square [massacre], Blackwater signed more than $144 million in contracts with the State Department for "protective services" in Iraq and Afghanistan alone and, over the following weeks and months, won millions more in contracts with other federal entities like the Coast Guard, the Navy and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center... In April 2006, [Blackwater creator, Erik] Prince quietly began building Total Intelligence Solutions, which boasts that it "brings CIA-style" services to the open market for Fortune 500 companies.
Pentagon Official May Head Air Force 07 Jun 2008 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to recommend the nomination of Pentagon management chief Michael B. Donley to head the Air Force, part of an overhaul of the Air Force leadership designed to improve the service's oversight of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and other matters, a senior defense official said yesterday.
IAEA chief warns against nuclear plant attacks 07 Jun 2008 Threats to attack nuclear plants on suspicion they would one day make bombs could undermine the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said. "Unilateral military action undermines the international treaty framework. We're standing at an historic turning point," Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Der Spiegel magazine.
Gaza Strip pummelled by Israel 07 Jun 2008 Israel has sent aircraft, tanks and ground troops to pummel the Gaza Strip, only hours after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that Israel was seriously considering a large-scale incursion and would abandon truce talks.
Military shoots down missile in test off Hawaii 06 Jun 2008 The U.S. military intercepted a ballistic missile Thursday in the first such sea-based test since a Navy cruiser shot down an errant satellite earlier this year. The military fired the target, a Scud-like missile with a range of a few hundred miles, from a decommissioned amphibious assault ship near Hawaii's island of Kauai.
'This was deliberately created in a laboratory in order to show what might happen.' Bird flu can mix with human influenza virus: research 06 Jun 2008 Mark Colvin: A worrying new research paper has been published in the United States. It proves that H5N1 bird flu... is capable of combining with conventional human flu viruses. A mutated virus combining human flu and bird flu is the nightmare strain which scientists fear could create a worldwide pandemic. The research was conducted in a laboratory by the US Centers for Disease Control. Jeff Waters: Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control in the United States have proven that the very deadly H5N1 virus can also mix with human flu. It's only happened in the laboratory but it's causing concern. Dr. David Smith: I think it's important information for us to understand how pandemic strains may emerge and how bad they may be. Of course this was... deliberately created in a safe laboratory setting in order to show what might happen. [Uh, is anyone else wondering when the f*ckers are going to *go live,* as they did during the drills on 9/11?]
Hong Kong finds H5N1 bird flu in poultry market --Hong Kong working to discover source of infection 07 Jun 2008 Hong Kong has found the feared H5N1 bird flu virus at a poultry stall in one of the territory's many markets and ordered the culling of 2,700 birds, a government spokeswoman said on Saturday.
Lawmaker asks McCain to talk with 9/11 theorists 03 Jun 2008 An Arizona state senator is petitioning presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain to meet with 9/11 'conspiracy' theorists, including an adjunct professor from Scottsdale who has been fasting outside McCain's Phoenix office for more than a week. State Sen. Karen Johnson, a Mesa Republican, delivered a letter to McCain's Senate office Tuesday asking that he sit down with Scottsdale activist Blair Gadsby and a pair of leading members of the 9/11 Truth Movement to consider alternative explanations for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
Clinton Ends Campaign With Clear Call to Elect Obama 08 Jun 2008 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton brought her campaign for the White House to an end on Saturday with a rousing farewell to thousands of supporters here and an emotional and unequivocal call for her voters to get behind Senator Barack Obama, the man who defeated her for the Democratic nomination.
Clinton ends historic bid, endorses Obama --In major speech, Clinton throws her 'full support behind him' 07 Jun 2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her pioneering campaign for the presidency on Saturday and summoned supporters to use "our energy, our passion, our strength" to put Barack Obama in the White House. "I endorse him and throw my full support behind him," said the former first lady, delivering the strong affirmation that her one-time rival and other Democratic leaders hoped to hear...
McCain looks to Bobby Jindal as vice-presidential running mate 07 Jun 2008 John McInsane is putting out feelers to a conservative version of Barack Obama, his White House rival, as a possible vice-presidential running mate. Daunted by the historic appeal of the first black candidate to be nominated for the White House by a major party, Mr McCain has spoken effusively of Oxford-educated Bobby Jindal, 36, the Indian-American governor of Louisiana – and last week described him as a potential future president.
Lieberman Announces New Group 'Citizens for McCain' 05 Jun 2008 Hot off the presses from the McCain campaign, Sen. Joe Lieberman (R-Israel) sent out a mass email to McCain supporters announcing a new group, "Citizens for McCain," of which LieberBush is the creator and chair.
McCain would like to see man on Mars [As long as it's him.] 06 Jun 2008 Presumptive Republican White House nominee Insane McCain said Thursday he would like to see a manned mission to Mars as part of a "better set of priorities" for NASA that would better engage the public.
Franken wins endorsement for Senate in Minnesota 07 Jun 2008 Al Franken won a resounding endorsement for the U.S. Senate on Saturday from Minnesota Democrats, promising a tough challenge to Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
Researchers Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay 08 Jun 2008 A world-renowned Harvard child psychiatrist whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic medicines in children earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007 but for years did not report much of this income to university officials, according to information given Congressional investigators. By failing to report income, the psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Biederman, and a colleague in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Timothy E. Wilens, may have violated federal and university research rules designed to police potential conflicts of interest, according to Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).
Wall Street dives as jobless toll leaps and oil hits a record 07 Jun 2008 Banking stocks on Wall Street bore the brunt of a brutal sell-off across the equity market in New York last night on fears that the United States was facing a 1970s-style stagflation crisis triggered by record oil prices. The Dow Jones industrial average suffered one of its worst trading days this year, closing down 394.60 points – a 3.13 per cent slide – to close at 12209.80.
Major Heat Wave Hits D.C. 08 Jun 2008 Area Forecasters warned us, but the 98-degree reading at 1:12 p.m. yesterday at Reagan National Airport, which tied a record set in 1999, felt more like summertime in Marrakesh than Manassas, more like Khartoum than Kensington.
Wildfire keeps burning NC wildlife refuge 07 Jun 2008 A wildfire that has burned 30,000 acres in eastern North Carolina may smolder for months as it burns decayed vegetation that makes up the soil in the area, North Carolina Forest Service spokesman Bill Swartley said Saturday. The fire, which was about 30 percent contained, continues to burn in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, about 70 miles south of Norfolk, Va.
Stray Iraqi dogs flown to U.S. for adoption 06 Jun 2008 Alishia Leitheiser has rescued animals since she was young, so the U.S. soldier's mother wasn't surprised to be picking up a stray dog from a U.S. airport on Friday that her daughter befriended in Iraq. The black puppy with white legs and white spots -- named Iraqi by Leitheiser -- was one of 24 dogs flown from Baghdad to Newark International Airport in New Jersey this week by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International. The dogs are set to be reunited with U.S. soldiers who adopted them.
Israel threatens war on Gaza and Iran 06 Jun 2008 Israel braced itself for conflict on two fronts against militants in Gaza and an Iranian government persisting with its nuclear programme. Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, said the "pendulum is closer" to a large scale military operation in Gaza after another Israeli civilian was killed by a mortar fired from Gaza on Thursday.
'Unavoidable' attack on Iran looms, says Israeli minister 06 Jun 2008 An Israeli minister has said an attack on Iran's nuclear sites will be "unavoidable" if Tehran refuses to halt its alleged weapons programme. In the most explicit threat yet by a member of Ehud Olmert's government, Shaul Mofaz, a deputy prime minister, said the hardline Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "would disappear before Israel does".
'The window of opportunity is closing.' Mofaz sees Israeli attack on Iran 06 Jun 2008 Israel will attack Iran if international diplomacy fails to rein in Tehran's nuclear program, Shaul Mofaz said. "If Iran presses ahead with its plan to develop nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The window of opportunity is closing," the Israeli transportation minister, a former defense chief, told Yediot Acharonot on Friday. "The sanctions are not effective. To stop the Iranian nuclear program, an attack is inevitable."
US issues threat to Iraq's $50bn foreign reserves in military deal 06 Jun 2008 The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq's money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent. US negotiators are using the existence of $20bn in outstanding court judgments against Iraq in the US, to pressure their Iraqi counterparts into accepting the terms of the military deal, details of which were reported for the first time in this newspaper yesterday. The US negotiators say the price of Iraq escaping Chapter Seven is to sign up to a new "strategic alliance" with the United States. The threat by the American side underlines the personal commitment of President [sic] George Bush to pushing the new pact through by 31 July. Although it is in reality a treaty between Iraq and the US, Mr Bush is describing it as an alliance so he does not have to submit it for approval to the US Senate. Iraqi critics of the agreement say that it means Iraq will be a client state in which the US will keep more than 50 military bases. American forces will be able to carry out arrests of Iraqi citizens and conduct military campaigns without consultation with the Iraqi government. American soldiers and contractors will enjoy legal immunity.
Did Iranian agents dupe Pentagon officials? 05 Jun 2008 Defense Department counterintelligence investigators suspected that Iranian exiles who provided dubious intelligence on Iraq and Iran to a small group of Pentagon officials might have "been used as agents of a foreign intelligence service ... to reach into and influence the highest levels of the U.S. government," a Senate Intelligence Committee report said Thursday. A top aide to then-secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, however, shut down the 2003 investigation into the Pentagon officials' activities after only a month, and the Defense Department's top brass never followed up on the investigators' recommendation for a more thorough investigation, the Senate report said. The revelation raises questions about whether Iran may have used a small cabal of officials in the Pentagon and in Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's office to feed bogus intelligence on Iraq and Iran to senior policymakers in the Bush regime who were eager to oust the Iraqi leader.
Senate: Iranian intel concealed from CIA, DIA 05 Jun 2008 Pentagon officials in late 2001 and 2002 concealed from the CIA and other intelligence agencies potentially useful information gleaned from Iranian agents, said a Senate report released Thursday. The Iranians told Pentagon employees about a tunnel complex in Iran used to store weapons and move its personnel covertly out of the country, likely into Afghanistan in the post 9/11 war period, according to the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Report accuses Bush of misrepresenting Iraq intel 05 Jun 2008 A new Senate report gives a fresh shot of adrenaline to the election-year debate over the Iraq war. President [sic] Bush and his top officials deliberately misrepresented secret intelligence to make the case to invade Iraq, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee. [Let the war crimes trials begin!]
Turkey, Iran launch coordinated attacks on Kurds 06 Jun 2008 Turkey and Iran have been carrying out coordinated strikes on Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq, a top Turkish general said Thursday in the first military confirmation of Iranian-Turkish cooperation in the fight against separatists there. Gen. Ilker Basbug, Turkey's land forces commander, said the two countries have been sharing intelligence and planned more coordinated attacks in the future against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and PEJAK, the group's Iranian wing.
'Senior American officials ought to go to jail for this' U.S. to reopen Canadian's torture case --Homeland Security's inspector general says new evidence suggests officials may have broken laws by sending Maher Arar to Syria. 06 Jun 2008 top Department of Homeland Security investigator said Thursday that his office would reopen an inquiry into the case of a Canadian engineer who was sent secretly by the U.S. to his native Syria for interrogation because of suspected ties to 'Al Qaeda.' Inspector General Richard L. Skinner, who spoke at a congressional hearing in Washington, said new evidence had emerged that U.S. officials may have broken laws related to torture in the case of Maher Arar... "Senior American officials ought to go to jail for this," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on constitution, civil rights and civil liberties, who has access to the classified version of a redacted inspector's general report on the government's actions. "There was a deliberate plot to abuse the procedures so they could railroad Arar to Syria, where they knew he would be tortured."
Fears for health of Briton staging hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay 06 Jun 2008 There are growing fears for the health of a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay after it emerged that he has begun a hunger strike in protest over American plans to put him on trial for alleged terror offences. Binyam Mohamed, 29, from west London, has been held in American custody since his arrest in Pakistan in April 2002. He alleges the only evidence against him had been extracted under torture and that he will not receive a fair hearing at a US military commission. Yesterday, the Government confirmed that it had asked the American government to investigate claims that Mr Mohamed had suffered torture during his detention in Morocco, including having his genitals cut with a razor.
In Afghanistan, theft still plagues U.S. military --Two years after the U.S. military took steps to get the problem under control, the smuggling of equipment and sensitive material from U.S. bases in Afghanistan continues. 06 Jun 2008 At the market outside Bagram in late May, the Tribune found shops selling everything from army medical kits to small computer memory devices, known as "thumb drives" or "flash drives," containing military records, soldiers' Social Security numbers, maps and other documents labeled with security warnings. The culprits are likely Afghans who work for the Americans inside the base, and the fear is that the lost equipment or information could wind up in the hands of 'insurgents' and therefore pose a danger to U.S. forces.
U.S. House approves $3 trillion FY09 budget 05 Jun 2008 The Democratic-controlled Congress on Thursday adopted a $3 trillion U.S. budget for next year as the House of Representatives put the finishing touches on the measure... The Senate approved an identical measure on Wednesday, embracing Bush's continuation of a military buildup that sets aside more than $500 billion for national 'defense' next year.
U.S. -led airstrike kills 20 militants in Afghanistan 06 Jun 2008 An airstrike has killed at least 20 militants in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Friday. Capt. Christian Patterson, a U.S.-led 'coalition' spokesman, said the airstrike occurred Thursday in Paktika province, which borders Pakistan. He said 20 militants were killed, but provided no details.
Bird flu alert in Warwickshire: tests to find source [Try the CDC.] 06 Jun 2008 Scientists have revealed that the strain of bird flu found on a farm near Warwickshire was the same as the one that led to millions of birds being culled in Europe. The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced yesterday that hens on the farm near Banbury had been infected with the "highly infectious" H7N7 strain of the virus. [See: 'It's like Lego.' CDC mates H5N1 avian flu and H3N2 human flu viruses to see how pandemic is triggered --Study shows hybrids of bird flu and human flu viruses fit well, could occur 01 Jun 2008.]
Bird flu red alert for Warwickshire farmers 05 Jun 2008 Warwickshire farmers are on red alert after an outbreak of bird flu on the county border was described as highly infectious among poultry. Officers from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) were swift to order the cull of 25,000 free-range chickens and impose a 10-kilometre "no-movement" zone around a farm in Shenington, near Banbury, which is near Tysoe in south Warwickshire. The type of virus has been confirmed as a "highly pathogenic" strain which means it could easily be passed on to other birds with deadly consequences.
Kazakhstan holds exercise to hone response to nuclear terrorism threat 06 Jun 2008 Kazakhstan's army held a large-scale military exercise Friday as part of a U.S.-backed program to 'prevent' the use of radioactive materials by terrorists. More than 900 troops and emergency personnel took part in organizing the mock terrorist siege at a nuclear research facility near the Central Asian country's largest city, Almaty.
D.C. Police to Set Up Military-Style Checkpoint --Other checkpoints possible if requested by patrol commanders and approved by police chief --Hundreds of patrol officers to be armed with semiautomatic rifles, starting this summer 05 Jun 2008 D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced a military-style checkpoint yesterday to stop cars this weekend in a Northeast Washington neighborhood inundated by gun violence, saying it will help keep criminals out of the area. Starting on Saturday, officers will check drivers' identification and ask whether they have a "legitimate purpose" to be in the Trinidad area. If not, the drivers will be turned away. "In certain areas, we need to go beyond the normal methods of policing," Fenty (D) said at a news conference announcing the action... "My reaction is, welcome to Baghdad, D.C.," said Arthur Spitzer, legal director for the ACLU's Washington office. [Yeah, we also need an 'insurgency' to fight the Bush occupation. --LRP]
'It's the wave of the future.' 10 airports install body scanners --Devices can peer under passengers' clothes 06 Jun 2008 Body-scanning machines that show images of people underneath their clothing are being installed in 10 of the nation's busiest airports in one of the biggest public uses of security devices that reveal intimate body parts. The Transportation Security Administration recently started using body scans on randomly chosen airline passengers in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Denver, Albuquerque and New York's Kennedy airport. Airports in Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and Miami will be added this month. Reagan National Airport near Washington starts using a body scanner Friday. A total of 38 machines will be in use within weeks.
42-day detention: Home Office rejects Major's criticism 06 Jun 2008 The Home Office today rejected claims by Sir John Major that its plans to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days would increase terrorism. Tony McNulty, the security and counter-terrorism minister, said that MPs ought to trust the police, who backed the measure, rather than the former prime minister, who had been "out of the loop" for the last 10 years.
Sir John Major attacks 42-day terror detention plans 06 Jun 2008 Sir John Major, the former Prime Minister, has attacked the Government's plans to increase the maximum detention without charge period for terrorism suspects to 42 days. In a rare foray into domestic politics, he said Gordon Brown's proposal to extend the detention without trial period would be more likely to boost terrorist recruitment than tackle the security threat to Britain.
Adviser Says McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps 06 Jun 2008 A top adviser to Senator John McCain [Douglas Holtz-Eakin] says Mr. McCain believes that President [sic] Bush’s program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team.
Another GOPedophile bites the dust: Homeland Security officer charged in sex assault of 15-year-old girl 04 Jun 2008 A 25-year-old Olney man [Troy Daniel Fisher], a security officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been charged with third-degree sexual offense for having sex with a 15-year-old Gaithersburg girl, according to charging documents filed in Montgomery County District Court. The girl reported to police that she told the man to "stop," according to the documents.
Obama, Clinton hold talks in Feinstein's living room 06 Jun 2008 Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met privately Thursday night at the Washington home of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a key supporter of Clinton's presidential campaign, Feinstein said Friday. She left them in her living room with nothing other than water and comfortable chairs for what she called a positive meeting. No one else was in the room, and no one is giving details of what was discussed.
DNC will refuse funds from lobbyists, PACs 05 Jun 2008 Barack Obama put his stamp on the party Thursday, announcing the Democratic National Committee would no longer accept donations from political action committees or federal lobbyists. That brings the party in line with his campaign's policy. The DNC also brought in Paul Tewes, who directed Obama's come-from-behind victory in Iowa, to oversee party operations.
Intel Said to Face Antitrust Investigation 07 Jun 2008 The Federal Trade Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation of Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer microprocessors, for anticompetitive conduct, government officials and lawyers involved in the proceeding said Friday.
Dow tumbles 395 points on oil spike --The blue-chip indicator posts its biggest one-day point loss in 15 months, after crude prices see largest one-day advance ever and the dollar slides. 06 Jun 2008 Stocks tanked Friday, with the Dow industrials shedding 395 points, after oil prices spiked more than $11 a barrel and the May jobs report showed a big jump in the unemployment rate.
Oil surges $11 to record $138 --Crude skyrockets on a sliding dollar, geopolitics and a Wall Street report predicting $150-a-barrel oil. 06 Jun 2008 Oil prices shot up nearly $11 a barrel and settled Friday at a record $138.54 - geopolitical jitters, a dollar decline and a forecast that oil would hit $150 by July 4. Friday's spike in the July contract for light crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange marks the largest singe-day increase in oil prices on record. The contract hit an intraday record of $139.12, breaking the previous trading record of $135.09.
ME says Jacobs shot himself twice; no ruling on other victim 06 Jun 2008 Authorities said Friday that a convicted steroids dealer who claimed to have sold drugs to pro football players killed himself [!], and the mother of a woman found dead in his home said she believes he killed her, too. The Dallas County medical examiner ruled David Jacobs' shooting death a suicide, but police in the Dallas suburb of Plano aren't saying whether he shot his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Police said until they receive the medical examiner's final report they can't explain how Jacobs killed himself.
Convicted steroids dealer who gave names to NFL found dead 06 Jun 2008 A convicted steroids dealer who recently met with NFL security officials and gave them names of players he said bought steroids from him has been found dead in his home. Early Thursday morning, Plano police made a welfare check and found David Jacobs and Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell dead. Both had been shot. According to ESPN the Magazine senior writer Shaun Assael, who had been in contact with Jacobs throughout May, Jacobs was reticent and nervous about the information he had and the people it implicated. When explaining why he did not want to go public, Jacobs said: "The kinds of people I know about could put a bullet in the back of my head."
Polar bear shot dead after 200-mile swim 05 Jun 2008 A polar bear that swam more than 200 miles in near-freezing waters to reach Iceland was shot on arrival 'in case it posed a threat to humans.' The bear, thought to be the first to reach the country in at least 15 years, was killed after local police [terrorists] claimed it was a danger to humans, triggering an outcry from animal lovers.
Top Air Force Officials to be Fired --Forced Resignations Come in Wake of Nuclear Screw-up and Contract Mess 05 Jun 2008 Two top officials at the US Air Force, Secretary Michael Wynne and Chief of Staff Michael Moseley, are expected to be fired today, according to a senior defense official. The Air Force leadership has been involved in numerous recent controversies including an incident in which live nuclear bombs were flown over US airspace and for steering a contract to a retired general. The "last straw" however, according to one defense official, was a screw-up that resulted in nuclear fuses accidentally being sent to Taiwan. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' 17 Sep 2007.]
U.S. Air Force's Top Leadership Resigning 05 Jun 2008 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today announced the resignations of two top Air Force officials because of what he said were serious leadership problems involving the security of U.S. nuclear weapons and components. Gates told reporters that he has accepted the resignations of Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and the service's chief of staff, Gen. Michael Moseley, following an investigation that criticized the Air Force over two security breaches.
Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control --Bush wants 50 military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors 05 Jun 2008 A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November. The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country.
New agreement lets US strike any country from inside Iraq --Sources: US army is completing the building of military facilities and runways for permanent bases 03 Jun 2008 A proposed Iraqi-American security agreement will include permanent American bases in the country, and the right for the United States to strike, from within Iraqi territory, any country it considers a threat to its national security, Gulf News has learned. Senior Iraqi military sources have told Gulf News that the long-term controversial agreement is likely to include three major items:
Iraq lawmakers want U.S. forces out as part of deal 04 Jun 2008 A majority of the Iraqi parliament has written to Congress rejecting a long-term security deal with Washington if it is not linked to a requirement that U.S. forces leave, a U.S. lawmaker said on Wednesday. Rep. William Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat and Iraq war opponent, released excerpts from a letter he was handed by Iraqi parliamentarians laying down conditions for the security pact that the Bush regime seeks with Iraq.
Senate panel rebukes Bush, Cheney on prewar Iraq claims 05 Jun 2008 In a long-awaited report, the Senate Intelligence Committee rebuked President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney today for making prewar claims -- particularly that Iraq had close ties to Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] -- that were not backed by available intelligence. The report, which was supported by some Republicans but criticized by many others, accuses the president and other members of his administration of repeatedly exaggerating the evidence of an Al Qaeda connection to take advantage of the charged climate after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Judge allows Blackwater to resume work on San Diego facility --San Diego officials say the company engaged in trickery by applying for permits under different names. 05 Jun 2008 A federal judge Wednesday cleared the way for the controversial Blackwater Worldwide security firm to open a facility to provide weapons training and other "force protection" techniques to U.S. Navy sailors. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff ruled that "the public interest weighs in favor" of allowing the company to open its facility in a 61,000-square-foot warehouse on Otay Mesa near the Mexican border. Still, Huff gave city lawyers a final chance to make their argument that the company, in effect, engaged in trickery by using the name of subsidiaries in applying for permits. A hearing is set for June 17... Among other things, Blackwater would instruct sailors on tactics to use if 'insurgents' assault a ship at sea. [The courts are not going to stop Bush's Waffen-SS, Blackwater, growing faster than Andromeda bacteria in a Petri dish. We need to physically attack their facilities, before the terrorists training in them kill us all. --LRP]
Indicted Saudi Gets $80 Million US Contract --Financier Has Been Indicted For Alleged Role in Scandal Costing US Taxpayers $1.7 billion 04 Jun 2008 The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department. The contract to supply jet fuel to American bases in Afghanistan was awarded to the Attock Refinery Ltd, a Pakistani-based refinery owned by Gaith Pharaon. Pharaon is wanted in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.
Jury acquits Marine of covering up Iraq killings --Officer was accused of ordering troops to delete photos of 24 slain civilians 04 Jun 2008 A Marine intelligence officer has been acquitted of charges that he tried to help cover up the killings of 24 Iraqi men, women and children [Nov. 19, 2005, in Haditha]. A jury of seven officers delivered the verdict Wednesday in favor of 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson after more than five hours of deliberation. Grayson was accused of telling a sergeant to delete photographs of the dead from a digital camera and laptop computer... Prosecutors said Grayson also lied five times to investigators before admitting he ordered the photos deleted.
Olmert Hints U.S. Action on Iran Nukes is Near 05 Jun 2008 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted after his meeting with U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush Wednesday that U.S. action against Iran is imminent. While he avoided saying anything clear and specific on the matter, Olmert did mention a "timetable" and said action would take place before Bush leaves the White House.
More US, Israeli threats against Iran By Peter Symonds 05 Jun 2008 Strident remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Tuesday once again raised the prospect of a military attack on Iran before the end of the Bush administration. Olmert, who met with President [sic] Bush yesterday, bluntly told the pro-Israeli lobby group: "Israel will not tolerate the possibility of a nuclear Iran, and neither should any country in the free world."
Ahmadinejad says market full of oil, prices artificial 03 Jun 2008 The global market is "full of oil" and rising crude prices are being artificially driven by forces trying to further their geopolitical aims, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday. "While the growth of consumption is lower than that of production and the market is full of oil, prices continue to rise and this situation is completely manipulated," Ahmadinejad said in his address to a U.N. food summit in Rome. [Exactly.]
U.S. Military Plans Missile-Defense Test off Hawaii 04 Jun 2008 The U.S. military on Thursday plans to intercept a ballistic missile in its first sea-based missile defense test since the USS Lake Erie shot down an errant satellite in a real-world mission earlier this year. The test, off Kauai, is the latest test of the military's sea-based missile defenses, called the Aegis ballistic missile defense program.
Fulford VS. HAARP By christollinger 29 May 2008 Benjamin Fulford investigates a mysterious plasma weapon seen prior to the Niigata earthquake in July 2007 and Red, White and Blue HAARP lights near the epicenter prior to the recent quake in China. Taiwan satellites measured a 50% drop in ionospheric energy above the Sichuan epicenter on the day before the quake. Both earthquakes targeted nuclear military facilities... coincidence or war crime? (video)
House of Commons votes to let U.S. War Resisters stay in Canada 03 Jun 2008 (CNW) The Opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together today to adopt a recommendation which, if implemented, would make it possible for U.S. Iraq War resisters to obtain Permanent Resident status in Canada. The recommendation was adopted by a majority of Members of Parliament from the Liberal, Bloc Québécois, and New Democratic Parties. The Conservatives voted against the motion.
Police say 42-day detention plan is unworkable 06 Jun 2008 The plan to detain terror suspects for 42 days has become so convoluted and bureaucratic that police fear it will be almost unworkable, senior sources have told The Times. Counter-terror officials have watched the unravelling of the pre-charge detention scheme - through concessions designed to win the support of Labour dissidents -- with increasing alarm.
42-day detention would breach human rights law despite concessions, MPs warn --Lack of judicial safeguards seen as serious problem --Rebels resolve to vote against government 05 Jun 2008 The government's concessions on 42-day pre-charge detention for terrorism suspects have left the legislation in breach of human rights law, the joint select committee on human rights will say today. Its warning, in a hastily written report, comes as 19 Labour backbench rebels met at Westminster yesterday and resolved to vote against the proposals next Wednesday, even if they caused the government short-term damage.
Council snoopers access 900 phone bills 05 Jun 2008 Councils have used laws designed to combat terrorism to access more than 900 people's private phone and email records in the latest example of Britain's growing surveillance state. Town hall spies found out who residents were phoning and emailing as they investigated such misdemeanours as dog quarantine breaches and unlicensed storage of petrol. The news prompted fresh calls from civil rights groups for a reform of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which was originally brought in to combat terrorism and serious crime but is increasingly being used by councils to snoop on members of the public. [Gee, imagine that!]
9/11 trial: alleged mastermind says he would welcome death sentence 05 Jun 2008 The alleged mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks has disposed of the US military lawyer allocated to defend him and told a Guantánamo tribunal that he would welcome being put to death. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] co-conspirators faced a US military judge for the first time today. [Too bad the actual terrorists behind Bush's 9/11 attacks aren't on trial.]
Clinton 'to endorse Obama on Saturday' 05 Jun 2008 Hillary Clinton is ending her historic bid to become the first female president and will back rival Barack Obama on Saturday, capping a 17-month quest that began with the words "I'm in it to win it" with a more humble plea for party unity. Hours after Mr Obama sealed the nomination, Democrats coalesced around his candidacy, sending a strong signal to Mrs Clinton that it was time to bow out.
Clinton Says Goodbye to Campaign Staff --Former First Lady Prepares to End Historic Presidential Bid 04 Jun 2008 ABC News has learned Sen. Hillary Clinton told supporters on a conference call Wednesday that she will appear alongside her supporters on Friday. All indications are that Clinton will concede her presidential race there, two Democratic sources tell ABC News.
Obama appoints team to help find running mate 04 Jun 2008 Barack Obama named a three-person team including Caroline Kennedy to lead his search for a running mate Wednesday while expressing confidence that the Democratic Party would soon unify after a bruising battle for the presidential nomination. "I'm very confident of how we're going to be able to bring the party together," Obama said after a brief conversation with Hillary Rodham Clinton, his vanquished rival.
Ex-Obama Fund-Raiser Is Convicted of Fraud 05 Jun 2008 Antoin Rezko, a once-powerful fund-raiser who helped propel the career of Senator Barack Obama, was found guilty on Wednesday by a federal jury of 16 counts, including fraud, money laundering and bribery in an influence-peddling scheme that touched the highest levels of the administration of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois.
journalist warns against voter irregularities 28 May 2008
The BBC journalist who uncovered
Sen. Byrd released from hospital: spokesman 05 Jun 2008 - Robert Byrd, who at 90 is the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, was released from a hospital on Thursday after three days of treatment for a mild infection, his spokesman said.
Foreclosures surge to record high -- and more coming 05 Jun 2008 The foreclosure hammer is hitting ever harder. People lost their homes at the highest rate on record in the first three months of the year, and late payments soared to a new high, too -- an alarming sign that the housing crisis and its damage to the national economy may only get worse.
Fury as police shoot dead polar bear after it floats into Iceland 05 Jun 2008 A Polar bear – one of the species most endangered by climate change – has been shot dead by police in Iceland, despite officers having access to tranqullising drugs that could have saved its life. Animal welfare groups are furious over the officers' decision to kill the bear, which is the first one spotted in Iceland in 15 years. [Email Iceland's Minister of the Environment to protest the action.]
Polar bear swims 300km, police shoot it 05 Jun 2008 Graphic footage of the first polar bear seen in Iceland in 20 years being shot dead by police has been posted on the internet. The bear, an adult male weighing around 250kg, was presumed to have swum some 300km from Greenland or from a distant chunk of Arctic ice to Skagafjordur in northern Iceland.
9 E. Coli Cases Confirmed In Western Wash. 05 Jun 2008 Health officials have linked nine cases of E. coli infection in Western Washington to contaminated lettuce. Four people in Thurston County and six people in Pierce County were infected.
Howard accused of war crimes over Iraq troop deployment 02 Jun 2008 A legal brief has been sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) alleging former prime minister John Howard committed a war crime by sending troops to Iraq. A loose alliance of peace activists, lawyers, academics and politicians is behind the brief, organised by the ICC Action group in Melbourne. Organiser Glen Floyd says Mr Howard should be held accountable for sending troops to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations. "We have produced a 52-page brief of evidence which states to the chief prosecutor of the criminal court that we allege John Howard's actions are war crimes under article 8 of the Rome Statute," he said.
Howard war charges bid [Bush and Blair need to be next.] 03 Jun 2008 An Australian doctors' group is pushing to have former prime minister John Howard charged with war crimes for sending troops to Iraq. The Medical Association for the Prevention of War said the war was illegal because it was not backed by the United Nations. Association spokesman Robert Marr said Mr Howard committed Australian troops to the war on the basis of misleading information about weapons of mass destruction. He said the medical group was supporting a legal brief prepared by International Criminal Court Action Victoria that would be sent to the court. Dr Marr said more than 650,000 Iraqi citizens had died as a result of the war.
Iraq Death Toll 'Above Highest Estimates' By Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail 02 Jun 2008 The real number of the dead is far higher than even the highest declared in death tolls, many Iraqis say. A study... published in the British medical journal The Lancet in October 2006, estimated the number of excess deaths as a result of the occupation at above 655,000... On Sep. 14, 2007, Opinion Research Business (ORB), an independent polling agency located in London, produced a figure of 1,220,580 deaths as a result of the invasion.
Bomb explosion kills deputy dean of Iraqi college 03 Jun 2008 A bomb explosion killed a deputy dean of a college in Mosul University in northern Iraq on Monday, a local police source said. Professor Faris Younis, deputy dean for scientific affairs in the college of agriculture, was killed when an explosive charge planted in his car [Blackwater] detonated in the afternoon, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Gunmen shoot dead senior police officer in Baghdad 04 Jun 2008 Unknown [Blackwater] gunmen shot dead a high-ranking Iraqi Interior Ministry officer in his house in eastern Baghdad, a ministry source said on Wednesday. "Col. Dhafir Ghanim, Inspector General in the Interior Ministry, was gunned down on Tuesday night when armed men stormed his house in the Ghadeer neighborhood," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Truck explosion kills 18, wounds 75 in Iraq 04 Jun 2008 A truck packed with rockets blew up Wednesday in a Shiite area of Baghdad, killing 18 people in the blast... A U.S. military spokesman said the blast appeared to have been an accident [!] that occurred as Shiite militiamen were transporting the weapons through a densely populated neighborhood of northern Baghdad -- possibly to fire at a nearby American base.
Three U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq 04 Jun 2008 Three U.S. soldiers were killed by small-arms fire near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Wednesday, the U.S. military said. The attack took place in the town of Hawija, 210 km (130 miles) north of Baghdad.
Obama says Iraq war makes US, Israel less secure 04 Jun 2008 The war in Iraq has made Iran stronger and the United States and Israel less secure, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday in a speech to Jewish political activists. Only hours after securing his party's nomination, Obama tied his Republican opponent, John McCain, to the Bush regime's Middle East policies, which Obama described as disastrous.
US, Israel: World not doing enough to counter Iran 04 Jun 2008 The United States and Israel said Tuesday the rest of the world isn't doing enough to stop Iran from getting the bomb and accused Iran of continuing a covert drive for nuclear weapons, although U.S. intelligence has said Tehran quit its active warhead program years ago.
More Nato troops needed in Afghanistan, says outgoing chief 04 Jun 2008 Nato's departing commander in Afghanistan has warned that more troops were needed to fight the Taliban. Gen Dan McNeill said he was handing over an "under-resourced" force to his successor, Gen David McKiernan. "This is an under-resourced war and it needs more manoeuvre units, it needs more flying machines, it needs more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance apparatus," said Gen McNeill.
British resident at Guantánamo faces dirty bomb plot charges 04 Jun 2008 A UK resident imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay is to be charged by the Pentagon over an alleged al-Qaida dirty bomb plot. Binyam Ahmed Mohamed, an Ethiopian educated in the UK, is accused of planning to blow up apartment buildings in the US. The Pentagon's chargesheet for the 30-year-old, who had training as an electrical engineer, states he was selected for "a specialised terrorist mission". The alleged aim was to unleash a radioactive dirty bomb against an unspecified US location. Yesterday, his lawyers condemned the charges as part of a US "rush to charge as many people as possible at Guantánamo Bay prior to President [sic] Bush leaving office".
Kids for Khadr: high schoolers protest for release of Canadian terror suspect 03 Jun 2008 A group of high school students chanted slogans, sang songs and waved angry placards in front of the U.S. consulate Monday as they urged U.S. officials to send terror suspect Omar Khadr back across the border to face justice in Canada. The group of about 40 students from St. Mary's Secondary School in Cobourg, Ont. is arguing that Khadr, 21, was a child soldier when he was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan six years ago. They want him freed from the controversial military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he has been in custody since July 2002.
US guards say Canadian Guantanamo detainee a 'good kid' 03 Jun 2008 Canadian Omar Khadr, the youngest prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is a "good kid" and "salvageable," according to his captors, cited in Canadian government files published Tuesday. Khadr was 15 years old when he was arrested by the US army in Afghanistan in 2002 on suspicion of links to 'Al-Qaeda' and of killing a US soldier. Since then, he has been held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and faces an upcoming US military tribunal on terrorism charges. According to two reports written by Canadian Foreign Affairs officials who visited Khadr in March and April, Khadr is a "likeable, funny and intelligent young man."
Smith optimistic she can win over 42-day detention rebels 04 Jun 2008 Jacqui Smith said today that she had had a "reasonably good response" from Labour MPs to her latest concessions over the government's plans to allow terrorist suspects to be detained without charge for up to 42 days.
Only a 'grave threat' would trigger 42-day detention, say ministers 04 Jun 2008 New powers to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days without charge would be triggered only by a "grave and exceptional" threat akin to the 7 July bombings in London, ministers said yesterday as they moved to defuse a potentially devastating revolt by Labour MPs.
UK rights committee attacks Brown's terrorism case 04 Jun 2008 Prime Minister Gordon Brown's move to toughen Britain's terrorism laws came under attack on Thursday from an influential parliamentary committee, less than a week before a vital vote on the issue. Brown wants to extend the maximum time limit that terrorism suspects can be held without charge to 42 days, from 28 days, but opposition parties and sections of his ruling Labor Party oppose the move on civil liberties grounds.
FBI: Some watch-list hits not reported --Police fail to alert bureau of possible terrorism suspects 04 Jun 2008 State and local police officers fail to notify federal authorities about encounters with possible terrorism suspects up to 10 times a day, a senior FBI official said. The rate of failure represents missed opportunities to verify possible matches to suspects on the government's terrorist watch list or to remove individuals from the list whose names had been added by mistake, Leonard Boyle, director of the bureau's Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), said in an interview. Police are asked to contact the center when routine computerized background checks on individuals -- who may have violated traffic rules [!] or been involved in a domestic disturbance -- trigger electronic alerts from the TSC. The alerts indicate possible matches to individuals on the government's watch list of an estimated 400,000 people. Police notifications to the center result in the identification of 40 to 50 verified suspects each day.
Joe Lieberman, Would-Be Censor (The New York Times) 25 May 2008 Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut is trying to pressure YouTube to pull down videos he does not like, and a recent Senate report and a bill pending in Congress also raise the specter of censorship. It is important for online speech to be protected against these assaults... The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, which passed the House last year by a 404-to-6 vote, would establish a commission to study the terrorist threat and propose legislation. The bill, which the Senate has not acted on, has a finding that the Internet promotes radicalization and terrorism... Not only do these efforts contradict fundamental American values, it is not clear if they would help fight terrorism.
US: Republicans prepare to play terror card in 2008 election By Bill Van Auken 04 Jun 2008 The Republican Party and its presidential candidate Senator John McCain are preparing to wage their 2008 campaign on the same essential issue that the Republicans have used to contest the last three national elections: terror. This is scarcely surprising, as the so-called "global war on terrorism" and the events of September 11, 2001 have provided the essential ideological framework for virtually all of the Bush administration’s policies for nearly seven years.
Top Democrats Press for Unity After Obama Secures Victory 05 Jun 2008 With Senator Barack Obama crossing the threshold of delegates needed to win the Democratic presidential nomination, party leaders began to move on Wednesday to bring the lengthy primary battle to a close and unite the party, even as questions swirled about Senator Hillary Clinton’s next move.
Obama Clinches Democratic Nomination After 'Historic Journey' 03 Jun 2008 Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination on the final night of primaries that brought an end to his historic campaign against Hillary Clinton. With a rush of commitments from party leaders and delegates won in South Dakota and Montana today, Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, will become the first black candidate to lead a major U.S. party into the November general election.
Obama Claims Nomination; First Black Candidate to Lead a Major Party Ticket 04 Jun 2008 Senator Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday night, prevailing through an epic battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a primary campaign that inspired millions of voters from every corner of America to demand change in Washington.
Obama's TKO By Jay Cost 04 Jun 2008 ...Obama has won the Democratic nomination not because his voting coalition is larger than Clinton's. As best we can tell, they are of equal size. Instead, Obama has won because his coalition is more efficient at producing delegates than Clinton's coalition. Obama's relatively narrow vote lead has produced a relatively wide pledged delegate lead, which has in turn produced an even wider lead in superdelegates... Obama's voters are worth more delegates. Put precisely, there are 10,237 voters for every Obama pledged delegate and 10,807 voters for every Clinton pledged delegate... Does any of this mean that Clinton, not Obama, "should" be the nominee? No. By our imperfect metrics for measuring the opinions of the public, we must conclude that there is no clear public choice.
Obama Wins Montana Primary 03 Jun 2008 Barack Obama is the winner of the Montana Democratic primary, defeating Hillary Clinton as the curtain rings down on the 2008 primary season. Obama carried the state on the same day he secured enough Democratic delegates for the party's nomination, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
Clinton wins South Dakota primary for president 03 Jun 2008 Hillary Clinton campaigned hard in South Dakota over the past few weeks and apparently it paid off. The senator and former first lady has been declared the winner of the South Dakota Democratic presidential primary over Barack Obama.
Jury Finds Tony Rezko Guilty On 16 of 24 Charges --Political Fundraiser Has Surrendered, to Begin Serving Time Immediately 04 Jun 2008 A prominent fundraiser for Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted Wednesday of fraud and money laundering after a high-profile federal trial... Antoin "Tony" Rezko showed no emotion as the jury delivered a mixed verdict that found him guilty of scheming with the government's star witness to get kickbacks out of money management firms wanting state business, but acquitted him of charges that included attempted extortion.
Mass. state senator arrested after chase 03 Jun 2008 A state senator was arrested Tuesday on charges he attempted to sexually touch a woman in a park, just weeks after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to press charges when another woman claimed he assaulted her. Lowell Police said Sen. James Marzilli (D) was arrested Tuesday afternoon in the city's downtown area after trying to flee. The charges include disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, attempting to commit a crime, assault and battery, and obstruction of justice.
Waxman Urges FBI to Release Bush, Cheney Interviews In CIA Leak Case 03 Jun 2008 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) urged Attorney General Michael Mukasey Tuesday to release FBI interviews of President [sic] George W. Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney as part of the investigation into the leak of the identity of former CIA agent Valerie Plame. Waxman cited new information from the FBI interview of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby--who was convicted in the case--and the recent disclosures in a tell-all book written by former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan.
Did Cheney Tell Libby to Do It? 03 Jun 2008 Former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby told the FBI that it was "possible" that Vice President [sic] Cheney instructed him to disseminate information about CIA agent Valerie Plame to the press, according to a redacted FBI report recently examined by Congressional investigators. In part as a result of that revelation, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today reiterated its request for more Plame investigation documents -- including reports on the interviews investigators conducted with Cheney and President [sic] Bush.
Bush's Enron whore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is dying to privatize the water supply: California governor declares state in drought 04 Jun 2008 After two years of below-average rainfall in California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought on Wednesday. The proclamation in an executive order allows water officials to more rapidly shift water around California, one of the nation's top farm states that also has wilderness areas prone to wildfires.
New satellite photos show Amazon deforestation exploding 03 Jun 2008 New satellite photographs show that the destruction of Brazil's fragile Amazon rainforest has exploded this year, fueling fears that the government's efforts to stop deforestation have been fruitless. Brazil's DETER real-time monitoring system found that more than 430 square miles of forest, an area a bit smaller than the city of Los Angeles, vanished in the month of April, while about 2,300 square miles, larger than the state of Delaware, were destroyed between last August and April.
Subprime debacle may spark 2-year credit recession 04 Jun 2008 A "credit recession" sparked by the U.S. housing market downturn and excesses in structured finance may last more than two years, and the financial sector will undergo "massive consolidation," leading Wall Street strategists said on Wednesday.
They are not amused --How I Spent My Stimulus Posted by Mark Yannone 03 Jun 2008
Bird flu strain 'highly pathogenic' 04 Jun 2008 The strain of H7 bird flu found in chickens at a farm in Oxfordshire is the highly pathogenic type, officials said. The avian flu virus was found on Tuesday in laying hens at the farm in Banbury, and all birds on the site were slaughtered. Further tests are in progress to identify the exact type of the virus, while an investigation is under way to find where the disease came from. H7 strain has been found in Britain on several occasions before now, this is the first time it has been identified in the highly pathogenic, or deadly, form. [See: 'It's like Lego.' CDC mates H5N1 avian flu and H3N2 human flu viruses to see how pandemic is triggered --Study shows hybrids of bird flu and human flu viruses fit well, could occur 01 Jun 2008. See: Flu 'Oddities'.]
Defra confirms H7 bird flu case in Oxfordshire 04 Jun 2008 Chickens in Oxfordshire have tested positive for the highly pathogenic H7 strain of bird flu, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed today. It is the first time a deadly form of the H7 virus has been identified in the UK, but Defra said the risk to humans was low. An investigation into the origin of the outbreak is under way. A temporary control zone was established around the premises when suspected bird flu was first identified yesterday.
Tyson finds chickens with mild bird flu strain 03 Jun 2008 Tyson Foods Inc, the second largest U.S. chicken producer, said on Tuesday it will destroy about 15,000 chickens in Arkansas exposed to a mild strain of bird flu, and while there was no risk to human health the news sent its shares lower. The affected chickens... had antibodies of a mild or low pathogenic strain of bird flu called H7N3. It is the deadly high pathogenic H5N1 strain, which has never been found in the United States, that worries scientists because it has spread to and killed people around the world.
15,000 Ark. hens test positive for bird-flu exposure 03 Jun 2008 Tyson Foods Inc. has begun killing and burying the carcasses of 15,000 hens from a flock that tested positive for exposure to a strain of the bird flu in northwest Arkansas, state officials said Tuesday. Tyson said preliminary tests on the flock indicated the presence of antibodies for H7N3, a less virulent strain of the virus.
Scientists make bird flu breakthrough 04 Jun 2008 A Hong Kong research team has successfully tested a new drug combination that could help tackle the deadly bird flu virus in humans, scientists said in a soon-to-be-published paper. The use of three drugs together dramatically increased the survival rate of mice who had been infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, the University of Hong Kong team said.
Medical Submits Biodefense Contract Proposal to U.S. Government
04 Jun 2008 Aethlon Medical, Inc. announced today that it has submitted
a contract proposal to a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation
entitled; "Application of Platform Technologies for the Development
of Therapeutic Agents for Biodefense." The solicitation represents a
partnership between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases (NIAID) and the recently established Biomedical Advanced Research
and Development Authority (BARDA) to award contracts that fund the development
of innovative approaches to treat bioterror and
U.S. probing Salmonella outbreak in 9 states 03 Jun 2008 Health authorities are looking into an outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning in U.S. nine states, with illnesses blamed in two of the states, Texas and New Mexico, on eating raw tomatoes, officials said on Tuesday.
Superdelegate Declarations Push Obama Closer to Goal 04 Jun 2008 A parade of Democratic superdelegates stepped forward to declare their allegiance to Senator Barack Obama, placing him on the cusp of clinching the party’s presidential nomination on Tuesday evening after surviving an epic battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
British group claims U.S. has a fleet of prison ships 02 Jun 2008 A British human rights group claims that the United States has used military ships to secretly detain and interrogate terrorism suspects. A director from the group Reprieve says the U.S. government has held suspects on a number of ships to keep them "as far as possible from the prying eyes of the media and lawyers."
US reportedly has fully-functioning 'ray gun' --Electromagnetic beam makes skin feel like it's on fire 03 Jun 2008 The US military reportedly has a fully functioning, non-lethal ray gun but is reluctant to deploy it in Iraq or any other war zone. The weapon sends out an electromagnetic beam made up of very high frequency radio waves which causes a burning sensation in the top layer of skin, CBS television's 60 Minutes reports. Officially known as the "Active Denial System" the weapon has been proven to work in tests but has yet to be used in combat.
Iraq at odds with US over troop presence beyond 2008 03 Jun 2008 The Iraqi government Tuesday said it had a "different vision" from the US over the deployment of American troops in the country beyond 2008 and vowed not to compromise national sovereignty. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the cabinet discussed the proposed Status of Forces Agreement which is scheduled to be concluded by next month and insisted that Iraq's national interests must be protected.
Iran vows to persevere on peaceful nuclear program 03 Jun 2008 Iran vowed Tuesday to continue its nuclear program, while rejecting to pursue nuclear weapons, the state television reported. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated the stance in a televised speech at a ceremony honoring Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.
US general takes over NATO command in Afghanistan 03 Jun 2008 The U.S. general who led American troops into Iraq took command Tuesday of the 40-nation NATO-led campaign in Afghanistan. Army Gen. David D. McKiernan took charge of the 51,000-member International Security Assistance Force from Gen. Dan McNeill, who will retire from the U.S. Army after 40 years.
4 Cdn. soldiers, interpreter wounded in Afghanistan --Attack during 'days of tranquility', 1 'very seriously' injured 02 Jun 2008 Four Canadian soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in two separate attacks Monday in the Zhari District, about 30 kilometres west of Kandahar City.
VA denies money a factor in PTSD diagnoses 03 Jun 2008 A Veterans Affairs psychologist [Norma Perez] denies that she was trying to save money when she suggested that counselors make fewer diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder in injured soldiers.
Putin Calls U.S. 'Frightening Monster,' Urges French Solidarity 31 May 2008 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin compared the U.S. to a "frightening monster" and urged France to distance itself from its American ally. "How can one be such a shining example of democracy at home [?] and a frightening monster abroad?" Putin said in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde transmitted live to journalists in Paris yesterday. Putin, speaking the day after meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said the U.S. was creating "new Berlin Walls" in Europe by pushing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to expand into ex-Soviet states Georgia and Ukraine.
Rights court halts mercenary's extradition 03 Jun 2008 A notorious Israeli mercenary [Yair Klein] has successfully appealed to the European court of human rights to postpone his extradition from Russia to Colombia, where he faces an 11-year jail sentence for training rightwing paramilitaries and a private army for the drug barons of the Medellín cartel.
And the winner is ... the Israel lobby By Pepe Escobar 03 Jun 2008 They're all here - and they're all ready to party. The three United States presidential candidates - John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Madam House speaker Nancy Pelosi. Most US senators and virtually half of the US Congress... Such star power wattage, a Washington version of the Oscars, is the stock in trade of AIPAC - the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the crucial player in what is generally known as the Israel lobby and which holds its annual Policy Conference this week in Washington... Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, before his involvement in a corruption scandal, said. "Thank God we have AIPAC, the greatest supporter and friend we have in the whole world."
U.S. to screen visitors before they travel --US to require online registration for visa-free travel 03 Jun 2008 The United States said Tuesday that it will require visitors who are allowed to enter the country without visas to register biographical details online at least three days before they travel. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who announced the changes, said they will help the United States boost the security of its visa-free travel program by allowing the government to screen visitors before they travel.
US security: visitors must give 72 hours' notice 03 Jun 2008 Travellers from 27 countries, including Britain, will be required to register online with US authorities at least three days before leaving to visit America, it will be announced today. This latest measure aimed at bolstering American security is expected to take effect from January 2009.
U.K. Lawmakers May Back Brown's 42-Day Detention Plan 03 Jun 2008 Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is making progress in winning support for the U.K. government's controversial anti-terrorism plan, lawmakers including David Winnick who opposes the measure said today
Terror law: Gordon Brown winning over rebels --Gordon Brown looks likely to win his high-stakes terror law battle after Labour rebels signalled they are ready to back the Prime Minister's plans. 03 Jun 2008 Ministers are sensing victory in the parliamentary struggle over the Counter-Terrorism Bill, which has become the latest test of the embattled Prime Minister's authority. Government optimism is growing after Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, began winning round Labour MPs, raising ministers' hopes of victory in their battle to for new anti-terrorist laws.
42-day detention: Smith reveals details of new safeguards 03 Jun 2008 Jacqui Smith today announced that the government's proposal to allow the detention of terrorism suspects for up to 42 days would only apply in situations where there was a "grave exceptional terrorist threat". The home secretary is going to write the phrase into the counter-terrorism bill in an attempt to avert a rebellion from Labour MPs when the legislation is put to the vote next Wednesday.
Home Office factsheet on pre-charge detention 03 Jun 2008 Pre-Charge Detention – The Facts - The Government’s revised proposal would enable the pre-charge detention period to be increased beyond 28 days in future in exceptional circumstances... The new proposal continues to provide the police with the power to detain suspects for up to 42 days in future where there is a grave exceptional terrorist threat... The trigger - A grave exceptional terrorist threat is defined as an event or situation involving terrorism which causes or threatens the serious loss of human life or serious damage to human welfare in the UK (through, for example, disruption of energy supplies or transport facilities) or serious damage to the security of the UK. The terrorist attack planned or executed need not have taken place in the UK.
Terror law should allow 42 days' detention, says former police chief Peter Clarke 03 Jun 2008 Police should be able to detain terror suspects for up to 42 days to combat the growing threat from extremists, the former chief of terror investigations has warned. In the strongest defence yet of the Government's plans, Peter Clarke, the former Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, warns that the current 28-day limit will "undoubtedly" soon become insufficient to gather enough evidence to charge a suspect in increasingly complex terrorist investigations.
EU human rights chief renews attack on 42-day detention plan 02 Jun 2008 Allowing terrorist suspects to be held without charge for up to 42 days in the UK could encourage other EU countries to pass similar legislation, Europe's human rights commissioner said today. Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, renewed his criticism of the British government's position, saying that the UK was already out of step with other EU countries in allowing pre-charge detention for up to 28 days.
'Nationally we are developing a UK deradicalisation programme.' New 'deradicalisation' plan to tackle violent extremism 03 Jun 2008 A nationwide "deradicalisation" programme is being developed to tackle people who have been drawn into Islamist violent extremism in Britain, the government will reveal today. The Home Office said the strategy was needed to help bring back those who had "already crossed the line" in terms of ideology and outlook, but not yet committed any clear criminal offence. "Nationally we are developing a UK deradicalisation programme," says the government's new strategy document on preventing violent extremism published today.
Obama Pushes to Lock Up Nomination 03 Jun 2008 Voters in South Dakota and Montana flocked to the polls to cast the final ballots in the protracted Democratic presidential primary campaign, with growing evidence that Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) would clinch his party's nomination over Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) by day's end. The Associated Press reported this afternoon that, based partly on its private soundings of some superdelegates who have yet to publicly declare their allegiance, that Obama has already exceeded the 2,118 delegate total he will need to win the nomination.
Clinton: Open to being Obama's vice president --Says she would consider it to help Democrats win the White House in '08 03 Jun 2008 Hillary Clinton has told congressional colleagues she would be open to becoming Barack Obama's vice presidential nominee, saying she would consider it if it would help Democrats win the White House. Clinton, a New York senator, made the comment on a conference call with other New York lawmakers Tuesday, according a participant on the call.
Obama Looks to Recruit Clinton's Top Fund-Raisers 04 Jun 2008 As Senator Barack Obama edges closer to the Democratic presidential nomination, his campaign is gearing up to recruit many of Senator Hillary Clinton’s top fund-raisers, a move that could provide him with a huge infusion of cash if he wins the party’s nod and the two camps can get past the rancor of the primary season.
Carter to Endorse Obama After Polls Close 03 Jun 2008 Former President Jimmy Carter said he’ll endorse Democrat Barack Obama after the polls close on the final primary contests. "The fact is the Obama people already know they have my vote when the polls close tonight," Carter told The Associated Press after speaking at the Georgia World Congress Center Tuesday afternoon.
Clinton Says She Will Not Concede Tonight 03 Jun 2008 The Clinton campaign just put out this announcement: "The AP story is incorrect. Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination this evening." Aforesaid AP story: "Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials said, effectively ending her bid to be the nation's first female president."
Montana voters go to polls 03 Jun 2008 The historic presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton ends in Montana amid a great deal of excitement. Election officials say they expect high voter turnout Tuesday.
Voters Head to Polls In South Dakota 03 Jun 2008 Polling for one of the two last primaries this election year has begun in South Dakota. Election officials are predicting a record turnout in the predominantly Republican state, fueled by the excitement over the race between Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL).
Fed Chief Signals End to Rate Cuts 04 Jun 2008 The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, signaled on Tuesday that further interest rate cuts were unlikely because of concerns about inflation. High oil prices are a double-edged sword that can both put a damper on already weak growth and spread inflation, he said.
U.S. funds for roads, bridges in short supply, experts warn 03 Jun 2008 The top executives of two national organizations warned that a severe federal funding shortage for roads and bridges is imminent. Unless Congress and the Bush administration deal with the problem before the current federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30, states will receive about one-third -- $13.5 billion -- less during the following 12 months, said Peter Ruane, president and chief executive officer of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. [Oh, but Blackwater, Halliburton, KBR, Bechtel, Fluor, Exxon Mobil and all the rest of Bush's corpora-terrorists get trillion$.]
Water Is a New Battleground in Spain 03 Jun 2008 Murcia is running out of water. Swaths of southeast Spain are steadily turning into desert, a process spurred on by global warming and poorly planned development. Southern Spain has long been plagued by cyclical droughts, but the current crisis, scientists say, probably reflects a more permanent climate change brought on by global warming. And it is a harbinger of a new kind of conflict.
Stranded Polar Bear Shot in Iceland 06 Jun 2008 From NewsCloud's Iceland bureau, the stranded bear mentioned in this article was reported killed in this report today (untranslated). Polar bears are not commonly found in Iceland. As there has been very little drift ice off the coast this winter, this animal seems to have swum a very long distance to the north coast of Iceland. [Warning! Graphic photo of polar bear murdered by government sociopath. Too bad the polar bear couldn't *shoot first.*]
From citizen reporter: I would like to draw your attention to an event happening today in Iceland where a polar bear was spotted walking around in the mountains, an animal that is an endangered species, and probably came to Iceland from Greenland this winter and has therefore probably been here for couple of months without harming anyone. When the bear was spotted, it was decided by the government to shoot it without even trying to put it to sleep first and move it back to where it belongs. The icelandic minister of the environment says that there were no drugs available in Iceland to put the animal to sleep, but according to veterinarians in the area, that is not true...
Prison ships, torture claims, and missing detainees --America may have held terror suspects in British territory, despite UK denials 02 Jun 2008 The controversy over prison ships was first highlighted in June 2005 when the UN's special rapporteur on terrorism spoke of "very, very serious" allegations that the US was secretly detaining terrorism suspects in various locations around the world, notably on vessels in the Indian Ocean. The US authorities have not denied that ships have been used to incarcerate detainees... According to a US Congress report, up to 14,000 people may have been victims of rendition and secret detention since 2001. Some reports estimate there have been twice as many. The US admits to have captured more than 80,000 prisoners in its "war on terror".
US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships --Report says 17 boats used --MPs seek details of UK role 02 Jun 2008 The United States is operating "floating prisons" to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of prisoners. The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President [sic] George Bush declared that the practice had stopped. According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as "floating prisons" since 2001. Prisoners are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.
Blackwater buys Brazilian-made fighter plane: Report 01 Jun 2008 A subsidiary of U.S. military security contractor [Bush's Waffen-SS] Blackwater Worldwide has purchased a fighter plane from the Brazilian aviation company Embraer, a Brazilian newspaper reported Sunday. The 314-B1 Super Tucano propeller-driven fighter -- the same used by the Brazilian military -- was bought for $4.5 million and delivered to EP Aviation at the end of February, according to the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper. The report included the plane's registration number with the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency, and the FAA website confirmed it is registered by EP Aviation. [Two words: Rocket launcher.]
Iran invasion critic Gen. Odom dies of 'apparent heart attack' 01 Jun 2008 William E. Odom, a retired Army lieutenant general who was a senior military and intelligence official in the Carter and Reagan administrations and who, in recent years, became a forceful critic of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, died May 30 at his vacation home in Lincoln, Vt. An autopsy will be performed, but his wife said he had an apparent heart attack. Gen. Odom became a fixture on news programs and never altered his critical stance toward the Bush regime's policies in Iraq and Iran.
McCain's Top Strategist Lobbied For Iran-Linked Firm 02 Jun 2008 In the summer of 2005, John McCain's chief strategist Charlie Black, working for his firm Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey, was paid $60,000 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of the Chinese oil conglomerate CNOOC. At the time, CNOOC was mounting an aggressive bid to buy Unocal, a California-based oil giant, and Black was tasked with churning up congressional support. But the bid ultimately fell through, in part because of objections over the China oil industry's ties to Iran, a country in which it had already invested tens of millions of dollars... Flash-forward nearly three years and Black's old client -- which later scored a $16 billion deal with the Iranian government -- could now create major headaches for his current boss. On Monday, McCain, in a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, called for a broad and aggressive international campaign to divest from Iran.
McCain Campaign Manager's Firm Worked for Ukranian Billionaire with Ties to Iran 30 May 2008 Before Rick Davis began serving as John McCain's campaign manager, his lobbying firm had a pretty cosmopolitan set of clients. For example, Ukranian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, who has several business links to Iran. ...Davis' lobbying shop, Davis Manafort, was doing work for the Ukranian oligarch about the same time that Davis was serving as the president of McCain's Reform Institute. Davis Manafort was helping Akhmetov's conglomerate, System Capital Management Holdings, to develop a "corporate communications strategy" between the beginning of 2005 through the end of summer 2005, the company said. The company's subsidiary, Metinvest, a steel company, has one of its 11 offices in Tehran. And another subsidiary, Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant, sells large pipes to Iran.
War criminals must fear punishment. That's why I went for John Bolton --As long as the greatest crime of the 21st century remains unprosecuted, we all have a duty to keep the truth alive By George Monbiot 03 Jun 2008 If the police, the courts and the state fail to prosecute what the Nuremberg tribunal described as "the supreme international crime", I believe we have a duty to seek to advance the process. The Nuremberg principles, which arose from the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, define as an international crime the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances". [John] Bolton appears to have "participated in a common plan" to prepare for the war (also defined by the principles as a crime) by inserting the false claim that Iraq was seeking to procure uranium from Niger into a state department factsheet...
Australian PM attacks decision to join war in Iraq 02 Jun 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd accused his predecessor of abusing intelligence information to justify entering the Iraq war, saying Monday that the Australian people were misled. In remarks to parliament on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, which began Sunday, Rudd said the nation must learn from the errors of former Prime Minister John Howard, who sent 2,000 troops to support U.S. and British forces in the 2003 invasion.
The impunity of Mr. Mehsud's behavior has outraged the Bush regime, which is pressing the Pakistani government to arrest and prosecute him. Taliban Leader Flaunts Power Inside Pakistan 02 Jun 2008 With great fanfare, the Pakistani Army flew journalists to a rugged corner of the nation’s lawless tribal areas in May to show how decisively it had destroyed the lairs of the Taliban, including a 'school for suicide bombers,' in fighting early this year. Then, just days later, the usually reclusive leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, held a news conference of his own, in the same region, to show just who was in charge. <g>
'It's like Lego.' CDC mates H5N1 avian flu and H3N2 human flu viruses to see how pandemic is triggered --Study shows hybrids of bird flu and human flu viruses fit well, could occur 01 Jun 2008 An experiment mating H5N1 avian flu viruses and a strain of human flu in a laboratory produced a surprising number of hybrid viruses that were biologically fit, a new study reveals. And while none of the offspring viruses was as virulent as the original H5N1, about one in five were lethal to mice at low doses, showing they retained at least a portion of the power of their dangerous parent. The work suggests that under the right circumstances - and no one is clear what all of those are - the two types of flu viruses could swap genes in a way that might allow the H5N1 virus to acquire the capacity to trigger a pandemic. This work, done at the CDC, was conducted to study the reassortment potential of H5N1 and H3N2 viruses. H3N2 is one of two human influenza A viruses that cause disease during flu season.
Gordon Brown Won't Back Down Over U.K. Terrorism Plan 02 Jun 2008 Gordon Brown said he is sticking to his plans to increase the length of time police can hold terrorism suspects without charge to 42 days, defying pressure to back down in the face of a possible parliamentary defeat.
'Since Megatron is holding a gun, I'm not allowed to fly.' Man threatened with arrest at Heathrow for wearing Transformers T-shirt 02 Jun 2008 An airline passenger claimed that a security guard threatened to arrest him because he was wearing a T-shirt showing a cartoon robot with a gun. Brad Jayakody, from London, said he was stopped from passing through security at Heathrow's Terminal 5 after his Transformers T-shirt was deemed 'offensive.'
Home office strikes £8m deal to transport illegal immigrants with man jailed for murder plot 02 Jun 2008 The Home Office paid £8million to a firm run by a man jailed for arranging a murder. The shambolic department failed to make checks on former police officer Mark Ayres. Although he had been released early, his 13-year-sentence still had two years to run when Government officials signed on the dotted line. His firm ITA (Overseas Escorts) collected the cash over two years for handling the deportation of illegal immigrants.
Time Warner Cable tries metering Internet use --Time Warner Cable starts customer trial with metered Internet access in Texas 02 Jun 2008 Would you be willing to pay extra if your home computer goes over its Internet allowance? Time Warner Cable Inc. customers -- and, later, others -- may have to, if the company's test of metered Internet access is 'successful.' [That idea needs to be shot down quicker than Blackwater's new Brazilian fighter plane. --LRP]
Watchdog: NASA misled on global warming studies --NASA's inspector general office alleges "inappropriate political interference" 02 Jun 2008 NASA's press office "marginalized or mischaracterized" studies on global warming between 2004 and 2006, the agency's own internal watchdog concluded. In a report released Monday, NASA's inspector general office called it "inappropriate political interference" by political appointees in the press office. It said the agency's top management wasn't part of the censorship, nor were career officials. NASA downplayed the report as old news on a problem that has since been fixed.
Bush argues against Senate climate bill 02 Jun 2008 President [sic] Bush weighed in Monday against a Senate bill that would require dramatic cuts in climate-changing greenhouse pollution, cautioning senators "to be very careful about running up enormous costs for future generations of Americans." [LOL! Yeah, we don't want to add to the trillions future generations already owe Blackwater, Halliburton, KBR, Bechtel, Fluor, Exxon Mobil and all the rest of Bush's corpora-terrorists.]
World at 'alarming juncture' as leaders gather for FAO summit 02 Jun 2008 World leaders gathered in Rome on Monday for a UN summit on food security, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warning that the world had come to an "alarming juncture." Tejo Pramano, an Indonesian Via Campesina activist, said of the summit: "If they really want to respond to the crisis, the only thing is to support the small farmer (instead of) agribusiness ... which doesn't see food as a right of the people... This is a situation like war," he said.
Former GOP Staff Member Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charge 03 Jun 2008 The chief of staff to a former senior member of the House Appropriations Committee pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to commit fraud, becoming the latest casualty of the scandal centered on disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. John C. Albaugh admitted to accepting gifts... in exchange for helping lobbyists and their clients, according to prosecutors. Albaugh is scheduled to be sentenced in September.
Dick Cheney takes jab at West Virginia --Gov. Joe Manchin seeks, gets an apology for joke about families in his state 02 Jun 2008 West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin has called on Dick Cheney to apologize for remarks he made about the state today at the National Press Club. And indeed the vice president [sic] has apologized. Cheney had spoken of his family history and said he had Cheneys from both sides of his family. "And we don't even live in West Virginia," Cheney said. "You can say those things when you're not running for re-[s]election."
Dick Cheney's Incest Joke Irks West Virginian Lawmakers 02 Jun 2008 Dick Cheney was at the Press Club to congratulate this year's winners of the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. Cheney explained that during the course of researching his family lineage for Lynne's memoir "Blue Skies, No Fences" last year, he learned there were Cheneys on both his father's and his mother's side of the family. There was a Richard Cheney on his mother's side, the vice president [sic] said. "So I had Cheneys on both sides of the family and we don't even live in West Virginia," Cheney quipped. West Virginia politicians aren't laughing at Cheney's little joke, including his fellow Republican, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).
Ickes To Clinton Superdelegates: No Timetable 02 Jun 2008 Harold Ickes, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's liaison to superdelegates, convened a conference call with between 35 and 40 members of Congress loyal to the New York senator this afternoon, a gathering designed to take their temperature on her future in the presidential contest. The tenor of the call, according to a source familiar with it, was largely supportive of the New York senator.
Clinton Spokesman: She Won't Drop Out Tomorrow 02 Jun 2008 A Hillary Clinton spokesman told reporters on a flight over South Dakota that Clinton has no plans of dropping out of the race at her election night celebration in New York City tomorrow night. "She is in this race until we have a nominee, she still believes there is a path for her to become that nominee," said spokesman Mo Elleithee. "I think it's pretty clear that she is not conceding." When asked "Will you deny that she is dropping out tomorrow night?" Elleithee responded, "Yes."
Obama nears win amid signs Clinton may admit loss 02 Jun 2008 Barack Obama pushed close to victory in the marathon Democratic presidential race Monday on the eve of a final pair of primaries amid signs that Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing to acknowledge defeat. Said a confident-sounding Obama: "I told her that once the dust settled I'm looking forward to meeting with her at a time and place of her choosing." That was from a conversation the two rivals had on Sunday night.
Clinton Summons Top Donors, Supporters For Tuesday Speech 02 Jun 2008 Hillary Clinton has summoned top donors and backers to attend her New York speech tomorrow night in an unusual move that is being widely interpreted to mean she plans to suspend her campaign and endorse Barack Obama - if not that night, within a day or two.
Hillary Clinton's aides prepare to concede 02 Jun 2008 Senior advisers to Senator Hillary Clinton have prepared the ground for her to abandon her 2008 presidential ambitions within days and not dispute the Democratic nomination all the way to the party convention in August. Although she won by a wide margin over Barack Obama in yesterday’s Puerto Rico primary, the former First Lady made no mention in her victory speech of taking her fight beyond this week.
Spokesman says Sen. Robert C. Byrd hospitalized 02 Jun 2008 Sen. Robert C. Byrd was hospitalized Monday night at his doctor's urging after suffering from lethargy and sluggishness at the Capitol and, later, at his home, a spokesman for the 90-year-old Democrat said.
Kennedy's brain tumor surgery deemed a success 02 Jun 2008 Senator Edward M. Kennedy's surgery today for a malignant brain tumor achieved its objectives, and he will experience no permanent neurological effects from the delicate procedure, his surgeon [Dr. Allan Friedman] at Duke University Medical Center said this afternoon.
Hugs for pandas shocked by quake --Two of the six pandas that escaped in the earthquake were still missing 03 Jun 2008 Hugs, games and plenty of bamboo. It is an unusual method for handling anxiety, but keepers believe it is helping to calm pandas upset by last month's earthquake in Sichuan. Conservationists hope the arrival of eight of the young animals at Beijing zoo will highlight the damage caused to their habitat and encourage donations to the renowned Wolong reserve, close to the epicentre of the shock and badly hit by the disaster. The earthquake killed four staff members and left a fifth seriously ill in hospital, officials said yesterday. Other workers risked their lives to fetch the tiniest cubs from the breeding centre and carry them to safety.
Air Force Unit's Nuclear Weapons Security Is 'Unacceptable' 31 May 2008 The same Air Force unit at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota that was responsible for mishandling six nuclear cruise missiles last August failed key parts of a nuclear safety inspection this past weekend, according to a Defense Department report. The 5th Bomb Wing was given an "unacceptable" grade in security of nuclear weapons, according to the review by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. In another category, management and administration, it received a grade of "marginal..." Those are two areas where failures last summer allowed a B-52 at Minot to be loaded with six air-launched cruise missiles and flown to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana without the pilots, air or ground crews knowing they contained nuclear warheads. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' 17 Sep 2007.]
Nuclear bomb blueprints for sale on world black market, experts fear --Warning as Swiss destroy documents to prevent leak 31 May 2008 Nuclear bomb blueprints and manuals on how to manufacture weapons-grade uranium for warheads are feared to be circulating on the international black market, according to investigators tracking the world's most infamous nuclear smuggling racket. Alarm about the sale of nuclear know-how follows the disclosure that the Swiss government, allegedly acting under US pressure, secretly destroyed tens of thousands of documents from a massive nuclear smuggling investigation.
Judge critical of Guantanamo war crimes case is dismissed --Army Col. Peter Brownback III had threatened to suspend proceedings unless prosecutors handed over key records to the defense. 31 May 2008 A judge hearing a war crimes case at Guantanamo Bay who publicly expressed frustration with military prosecutors' refusal to give evidence to the defense has been dismissed, tribunal officials confirmed Friday. Army Col. Peter Brownback III was presiding over the case of Canadian detainee Omar Khadr. Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, in his role as chief judge at Guantanamo, ordered the dismissal without explanation and announced Brownback's replacement in an e-mail this week to lawyers in Khadr's case.
'The least the government can do is insist no British resident be charged in a kangaroo court on evidence tortured out of him.' 'Tortured' British Guantanamo Bay inmate on terror rap 01 Jun 2008 A British resident held by the US in Guantanamo Bay was yesterday charged with terrorism offences. Binyam Mohamed, 29, denies the charges and fears he will face the death penalty. Legal action charity Reprieve says he wrote to Gordon Brown pleading for his release. He told the PM the CIA sent him to Morocco for 18 months, where he was tortured and had a razor blade held to his genitals. Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith said: "The least the government can do is insist no British resident be charged in a kangaroo court on evidence tortured out of him."
Fischer: US, Israel will attack Iran 31 May 2008 Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer says Israel is planning to attack Iran in the near future over its nuclear program. He wrote a piece that appeared in today's Daily Star, an English-language Lebanese newspaper, arguing that President [sic] Bush's recent visit to the Middle East was a precursor to a war against Iran. "The Middle East is drifting toward a new great confrontation in 2008. Iran must understand that without a diplomatic solution in the coming months, a dangerous military conflict is very likely to erupt. It is high time for serious negotiations to begin," he said. Fischer said Bush's speech during his address to the Israeli Knesset this month indicated a coming Israeli-US attack on Iran's nuclear program.
Iran warns IAEA on nuclear cooperation 01 Jun 2008 Iran said on Sunday it might have to limit its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, criticizing the agency's report which said Tehran's alleged research into nuclear warheads was a matter of serious concern.
Australian troops end combat mission in Iraq: minister 01 Jun 2008 Australian troops ended their combat mission in Iraq on Sunday and are withdrawing from the country, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said. The 550-strong force will leave their base in southern Iraq, fulfilling a promise made by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ahead of his election last November to bring troops home from the conflict by mid-year. "The Overwatch Battle Group and the Australian army training team formally ceased operations at a ceremony at Camp Terendak at Tallil," the Australian Defence Force said in a statement.
Australian troops end combat role in Iraq 01 Jun 2008 Australian troops have ended combat operations in southern Iraq, as they prepare to return home. The pullout fulfils an election promise by the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to bring the soldiers home this year. The Australian flag was lowered at Camp Terendak in southern Iraq marking the end of the Overwatch Battle Group's mission there.
Remote-controlled bomb kills 1, injures 5 in Afghanistan 01 Jun 2008 A remote-controlled bomb targeting a mini-bus carrying Afghan army personnel went off in Kabul Sunday morning, killing a woman and wounding five others, police said. According to the defense ministry, the woman who died was a civilian as were two of the others who were wounded. Three army personnel were also injured, the defense ministry said. The mini-bus was headed to the defense ministry, as it does twice a day ferrying Afghan National Army personnel.
Iraqi Military Extends Control in Northern City 01 Jun 2008 The recent successes in quieting violence in Basra and Sadr City appear to be stretching to the long-rebellious Sunni Arab district here in Mosul, raising hopes that the Iraqi Army may soon have tenuous control over all three of Iraq’s major cities.
US Iraq deaths 'at four-year low' 01 Jun 2008 US military deaths in Iraq are said to have fallen to their lowest monthly level for four years, after about 20 soldiers were reported killed in May. The figures for Iraqi civilian deaths vary according to different sources, but have also dropped.
Divorces inflict home front damage on US troops as Iraq war drags on --As successive combat tours become the norm, David Smith reports that many exhausted soldiers are returning to be faced with a broken marriage 01 Jun 2008 With the Iraq war in its sixth year, some American soldiers are on their third or fourth combat tour - 15 months away from home with just 18 days' leave. The strain is showing on their relationships and many will return home, exhausted, to find a disenchanted wife has walked out. Divorce rates among the US military are soaring.
We love you, George --Embarrassing flattery showered on Bush shows nature of Israel's elite By Aviad Kleinberg 22 May 2008 The Israeli Presidential Conference attended by Bush could also teach us much about ourselves. ...[W]hat caused my sense of discomfort (not to mention slight nausea) was the absence of any limits, or what I would call lack of self respect. The flattery showered on Bush was embarrassing and exceedingly exaggerated – bowing down to the ground where a handshake would do. Bush was repeatedly presented as a leader who has no equal, a cosmic savior almost... When the prime minister stood by Bush, he couldn't keep his hands off of him. He just didn’t stop hugging him, slapping his shoulders, and shaking his hands time and again. Olmert is in love.
CIA chief lashed for upbeat Qaeda report 01 Jun 2008 Chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee Jay Rockefeller, slams the CIA chief Michael Hayden for his optimistic comments on 'al-Qaeda.' Hayden has recently claimed that al-Qaeda is defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and that the insurgent group is on the defensive elsewhere around the world. Rockefeller said Hayden's upbeat appraisal contradicts the intelligence reports provided to his committee over the past year. "In fact, I have seen nothing, including classified intelligence reporting, that would lead me to this conclusion," Rockefeller said Saturday in a scathing letter to the CIA director, AFP reported.
Pinning the blame for 9/11 --A Phila. law firm wages an epic legal battle to win billions from Saudi Arabia. By Chris Mondics (Pt. 1) 31 May 2008 Less than a mile from the mournful place in Lower Manhattan where the World Trade Center came crashing to the ground, in a hushed federal courthouse, a small band of Philadelphia lawyers is prying loose secrets of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. It is here that the Cozen O'Connor law firm has filed an 812-page lawsuit on behalf of U.S. and global insurance companies alleging that Saudi Arabia and Saudi-backed Islamist charities nurtured and financed al-Qaeda, the author of those deadly attacks.
McClellan: Bush should have fired Karl Rove 01 Jun 2008 President [sic] Bush broke his promise to the country by refusing to fire aide Karl Rove for leaking a CIA agent's identity, said Scott McClellan, the president's chief spokesman for almost three years. "I think the president should have stood by his word and that meant Karl should have left," McClellan said Sunday in a broadcast interview about his new tell-all book, a scathing rebuke of the White House under Bush's leadership.
Ex-attorneys general file brief supporting Siegelman 31 May 2008 A bipartisan group of 54 former state attorneys general from across the country has filed a federal appeals brief supporting former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman's bid to overturn his criminal conviction. Saying the prosecution and sentencing of Siegelman "raised serious First Amendment concerns," the brief asks the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Siegelman's conviction.
Hillary Clinton to be offered dignified exit [The Sunday Telegraph] 01 Jun 2008 Hillary Clinton will be offered a dignified exit from the presidential race and the prospect of a place in Barack Obama's cabinet under plans for a "negotiated surrender" of her White House ambitions being drawn up by Senator Obama's aides. Despite pressure from some Clinton allies, Mr Obama and his advisers do not wish to ask her to be his vice-presidential running mate.
Clinton Puts Up Popular Vote Ad 01 Jun 2008 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) took to the airwaves in South Dakota and Montana today with an ad that pushes the idea that she is winning the popular vote in the race against Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) "Some say there isn't a single reason for Hillary to be the Democratic nominee," says the ad's narrator. "They're right. There are over 17 million of them."
Clinton Wins Big in Puerto Rico 01 Jun 2008 (San Juan, Puerto Rico) Sen. Hillary Clinton won the Puerto Rico primary comfortably on Sunday claiming perhaps her last triumph in a nominating race that appears to have slipped her grasp. Clinton was expected to speak at an oceanfront resort here several hours after the polls closed at 3 p.m.
Clinton's supporters vent their frustration --They converge on Washington feeling robbed -- by Obama, Democratic Party leaders and the media. 01 Jun 2008 Outside the stately Marriott Wardman Park Hotel -- where the 30 Democratic rule makers met Saturday to decide whether rules are rules or whether rules are made to be broken --were clusters of supporters to make what could be a last stand for Hillary Clinton. A civil war -- that's how it felt. Democrat against Democrat. Not long ago, they were united in the cause to wrest the White House from the Bush legacy, end the war, stop global warming, empower the middle class. But now many of them were so angry they said they planned to defect from their party for the first time if Hillary Rodham Clinton did not emerge as the nominee.
Officials Say Fla., Mich. Delegates Will Get Half-Votes --Officials say Democratic party will give half-votes to Fla., Mich. delegates 31 May 2008 Democratic party officials said a committee agreed Saturday on a compromise to seat Michigan and Florida delegates with half-votes after Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton failed to get enough support to force their positions through. Clinton's chief delegate hunter Harold Ickes angrily informed the committee that Clinton had instructed him to reserve her right to appeal the matter to the Democrats' credentials committee, which could potentially drag the matter to the party's convention in August.
Michigan and Florida voters participated in "events," not primaries 31 May 2008 As secretary of the Democratic National Committee, Alice Travis Germond will call the roll of states later this year when the party nominates its presidential ticket at its convention in Denver... Germond -- for many years a key behind-the-scenes player in California's Democratic Party before she moved East -- seemed loath to use the term "primary." Her favored term for the votes: "events" (which drew a chuckle from the committee's audience the first time she used it).
Barack Obama Quits Longtime Church Following Uproar 31 May 2008 Barack Obama quit the Chicago church [Trinity United Church of Christ] he's attended for more than two decades and said the firestorm that erupted around his former pastor is something he "didn't see coming."
Food prices are set to double 01 Jun 2008 Australian food prices could double within a few years on the back of [corpora-terrorists' created] global shortages and soaring fuel prices.
10 states ask delay in same-sex ruling 31 May 2008 The dispute over whether the California Supreme Court should put its ruling legalizing same-sex marriages on hold until voters consider the issue in November was joined Friday by attorneys general from 10 states - all Republicans - who say a postponement might save them from legal headaches over whether to recognize California marriages.
Criminal Inquiry Is Opened in New York Crane Collapse 01 Jun 2008 The Manhattan district attorney’s office has opened a criminal investigation into a fatal crane accident on the East Side, focusing on whether a part of the crane had been seriously damaged last year and then inappropriately put back into service, an official involved in the investigation said on Saturday.
Thousands protest U.S. extended occupation of Iraq 31 May 2008 Thousands of supporters of Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr rallied in the streets of Baghdad Friday to protest plans for a long-term U.S.-Iraq security agreement. The protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers in the capital's Sadr City neighborhood and other cities across Iraq. Sadr called Tuesday for protests against a possible agreement that could lead to an extended U.S. troop presence in Iraq.
US spending in Iraq ignored laws 23 May 2008 An audit of some $8bn (£4bn) paid to US and Iraqi contractors has found that almost every payment failed to comply with US laws aimed at preventing fraud. In one instance, $11m was paid to a US company without any record of what goods or services were provided, the US defence department audit said. US spending of another $1.8bn in seized Iraqi assets was also poorly handled.
Suicide bomber kills at least 10 west of Baghdad 31 May 2008 A suicide bomber blew himself up at a police checkpoint west of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 10 people including the local police chief, an official said. Authorities then imposed a vehicle ban and closed all entrances to the targeted town of Hit.
Iran not seeking to build nuclear weapons: Putin 31 May 2008 Iran is not trying to acquire nuclear weapons but Tehran should avoid "irritating" its neighbours, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Saturday in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde. Putin, who was in Paris for two days of meetings with President Nicolas Sarkozy and other French leaders, said there was no indication Iran was building its own nuclear arsenal.
Afghan suicide bomb kills NATO soldiers 01 Jun 2008 Two NATO soldiers have been killed in a Taliban suicide car bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan, while more than 100 rebels have been slain in military operations in the country's south-west. An AFP reporter said a US Humvee was destroyed in the attack. "It's laying upside down in the middle of the road," he said.
One soldier dead and 6 wounded in Afghan suicide blast 31 May 2008 A suicide car bomber killed one foreign soldier and wounded six other people, including three civilians, in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar on Saturday, the provincial governor said.
Guantánamo former asylum seeker faces death penalty 31 May 2008 The last remaining Guantánamo prisoner with an automatic right to return to the UK is facing the death penalty after being charged with terrorism offences, a legal charity said today. Binyam Mohammed, from Kensington, west London, denies any wrongdoing and claims all evidence against him was extracted through torture by US interrogators in a Moroccan prison after he was "rendered" there from Pakistan.
Guantanamo Briton will face US military court 31 May 2008 Gordon Brown is facing increasing pressure to directly intervene in the case of a British resident being held at Guantanamo Bay who has been charged with terrorism-related offences and may face the death penalty. MPs, human rights lawyers and former Guantanamo inmates have called on the Prime Minister to help secure the release of a 29-year-old Londoner, Binyam Mohamed, who has been held by the Americans for more than six years without trial.
111 nations adopt cluster bomb treaty, but not US 30 May 2008 Diplomats from 111 nations formally adopted a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs on Friday after futile calls for participation by the weapons' biggest makers and users, particularly the United States. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged every nation in the world to sign the painstakingly negotiated pact "without delay." It requires signatories not to use cluster bombs, to destroy existing stockpiles within eight years, and to fund programs that clear old battlefields of dud bombs. However, the talks did not involve the biggest makers and users of cluster bombs: the United States, Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan.
MoD faces huge bill for destroying cluster bomb arsenal after ban agreed 31 May 2008 Britain and the other signatories to a treaty banning cluster bombs will have eight years in which to destroy all their stocks but are forbidden to use the weapons during that period. However, under the terms of the convention, which was formally adopted in Dublin yesterday by 111 countries, British Armed Forces will be allowed to fight alongside American troops who are armed with cluster bombs. The United States took no part in the treaty negotiations.
Bolten memorandum to 'shut down regulation for remainder of Bush administration' 31 May 2008 The Bush administration has told federal agencies that they have until June 1 to propose any new regulations. The White House has also declared that it will generally not allow agencies to issue any final regulations after Nov. 1, nearly three months before President [sic] Bush relinquishes power. The highly unusual directive was outlined in a memorandum that Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff, issued to agency heads without public announcement... John D. Walke, director of the clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, denounced Mr. Bolten’s memorandum as intending to "shut down regulation for the remainder of the Bush administration."
Chertoff: Low threat of WMD terror attack --Homeland security chief reacts to militant Web chatter about nukes 31 May 2008 Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff downplayed the threat of a nuclear terror attack Friday despite recent postings on al-Qaida-affiliated Web sites exhorting militants to pursue weapons of mass destruction for use against the U.S.
Comcast Is Hiring an Internet Snoop for the Feds By Noah Shachtman 30 May 2008 Wanna tap e-mail, voice and Web traffic for the government? Comcast, the country's second-largest Internet provider, is looking for an engineer to handle "reconnaissance" and "analysis" of "subscriber intelligence" for the company's "National Security Operations." Day-to-day tasks, the company says in an online job listing, will include "deploy[ing], installing] and remov[ing] strategic and tactical data intercept equipment on a nationwide basis to meet Comcast and Government lawful intercept needs." The person in this "intercept engineering" position will help collect and process traffic on the company's "CDV [Comcast Digital Voice], HSI [High Speed Internet] and Video" services.
America's heartland is about to be gutted: Multinational corporate takeover of North America By chycho 28 May 2008 In video, the senior-most woman in Congress in her thirteenth term in the US House of Representatives, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who represents Northern Ohio's Ninth Congressional District, talks about the North American Union which is a project to integrated Canada, United States and Mexico under one centralized government. For more than 13 years North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO) and its members have been working diligently towards creating a superhighway connecting Canada, the United States and Mexico. However, the leaders of these countries continue to deny that such a project even exists.
Gates: Obstructed efforts in Myanmar cost lives [Just like the Bush junta did in New Orleans.] 31 May 2008 Myanmar's obstruction of international efforts to help cyclone victims cost "tens of thousands of lives," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday in his strongest condemnation to date of the military government there. U.S., British and French Navy ships off the coast of Myanmar are poised to leave because they have been blocked from delivering assistance to the ravaged country... [See: U.S. (forgetting Katrina) "outraged" by Myanmar's response to cyclone 09 May 2008.]
Democrats consider Fla., Mich. delegate plans 31 May 2008 Supporters for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton staked out competing positions Saturday as Democrats searched for a compromise to seat disputed convention delegations from Florida and Michigan and clear the way for a smooth end to the marathon struggle for the presidential nomination.
Sen. Carl Levin tells committee: all delegates need to be seated 31 May 2008 U.S. Sen. Carl Levin told a key Democratic Party committee that it only scheduled an earlier-than-allowed primary because New Hampshire broke the rules without penalty and argued that the Rules and Bylaws panel needed to seat the full 157-member delegation if it is going to maintain party unity. The Michigan senator noted a party committee ruled there were to be two contests between Iowa and New Hampshire but New Hampshire balked without penalty. To signal its disapproval, Levin said Michigan – which has long battled against the primacy of the two states – decided to file its Jan. 15 primary.
The Famous DNC "Waivers" for the 4 Early States By Big Tent Democrat 28 May 2008 The defense you will hear to my strict DNC rules argument is that the early states received "waivers." In fact, they did not until AFTER they had scheduled their primaries in violation of DNC Rule 11, which was never formally amended. According to the DNC Memo of today, this makes these "waivers" against the DNC Rules. But worse than that, there is nothing in the circumstances of those waivers that are in any way different from the Florida situation. In short, the rules are rules for the DNC, except when they are not... [GOP mole] Donna Brazile has a lot to answer for.
Chief: Officers 'sold their badges' --Two city of Miami police officers who face bribery charges were relieved of duty without pay. 31 May 2008 On Friday, Officer Geovani Nuñez and robbery Detective Jorge Hernandez were charged with accepting bribes to help criminals. The pair, each 13 year-veterans with the Miami Police Department, were granted bond at an afternoon hearing in front of Magistrate Court Judge Ted Bandstra. ''These officers sold their badges and their loyalty to the highest bidder, disgracing themselves,'' said Miami Police Chief John Timoney. Both were relieved of duty without pay, police said Friday.
Tropical Storm Arthur Passes Belize, Heads Into Gulf 31 May 2008 Arthur became the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season today, just before touching the nation of Belize on the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm was centered 125 kilometers (78 miles) northwest of Belize City, and moving west-northwest at 11 kilometers an hour at 4 p.m. local time, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center's latest bulletin.
Iraqi children playing soccer blown up by bomb 30 May 2008 One Iraqi child was killed and two wounded on Friday when a group of children playing soccer picked up a bomb and it exploded, police said. The children, aged about 5 or 6, were playing near a rubbish dump in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, when they spotted a strange object, police said. When they picked it up, the home-made device exploded.
US marine 'lied' to cover up Haditha deaths --Sergeant told to delete photographs of Haditha massacre 29 May 2008 A US marine lied to cover up a squad's killings of 24 civilians in Iraq's city of Haditha in 2005, a US prosecutor has said at the officer's court martial. The prosecutor's comments came during opening statements in the trial of Lt Andrew Grayson in California. Lt Grayson is charged with obstructing justice and making false statements in connection with the case... Lt Grayson is alleged to have instructed a sergeant to delete digital photographs of the incident from his camera.
'They held up pictures of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki dressed as Saddam Hussein.' Thousands of Iraqis rally against U.S. troop accord 30 May 2008 Thousands of people heeded a call from anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to protest talks between Washington and Baghdad on keeping U.S. troops in Iraq beyond 2008... In one of the largest demonstrations, several thousand people took to the streets in the Baghdad district of Sadr City, a bastion of Sadr's Mehdi Army militia. They held up pictures of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki dressed as Saddam Hussein.
Al-Qaeda virtually beaten in Iraq, says CIA 31 May 2008 The CIA has declared that al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] is virtually defeated in Iraq and that the country is seeing its lowest level of violence for four years. The main reason for the drop in violence, which has also seen a big decline in Iraqi civilian deaths, is a ceasefire by the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose forces have been directly confronted by US and Iraqi troops for over a month.
Afghan town recaptured by security forces 31 May 2008 Afghan security forces along with United States-led occupation forces regained control of a district centre in Ghazni province after Taliban militants had captured it overnight, Ghazni Governor Shir Khosti told Reuters on Friday. Taliban 'insurgents' seized the remote Afghan town overnight and patrolled the streets for some hours before withdrawing ahead of the government operation to recapture it, residents and officials said.
Taliban capture Afghan district: officials 30 May 2008 Taliban militants captured a remote [?] district in central Afghanistan, taking prisoner the police and administration chiefs, officials and the militant group said Friday. "Last night Taliban attacked Rashidan district and it fell," said provincial police chief Jan Mohammad Mujahed. "We are trying to decide here now what to do," [LOL!] Mujahed said, adding that he did not know what had happened to the district officials.
US-led soldier killed in Afghanistan, district falls 30 May 2008 A soldier in the US-led occupation and several militants have been killed in separate clashes in Afghanistan, officials said Friday, while the Taliban attacked and captured a 'remote' district. The soldier was killed "in action" Thursday near the western town of Farah, the coalition said in a statement.
'US drones have been violating Pakistani airspace every day.' US helicopters violate Pak airspace 31 May 2008 Two United States helicopters intruded over the Pakistani area of Shawaal near the Pak-Afghan border on Friday. The helicopters hovered over the area, which is 70 kilometres west of Miranshah, for about 40 minutes before returning to the Afghan side without taking any action. According to residents, US drones have been violating Pakistani airspace every day.
Study on Camp Lejeune toxic water continues with Navy money 30 May 2008 The Navy agreed Friday to pay for continued government investigation into whether contaminated water harmed the babies of Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., after U.S. health officials provided additional details about their work. The Marines estimate that 500,000 Camp Lejeune residents may have been exposed to the tainted water, including thousands of Vietnam-bound Marines. Federal health investigators estimate the number is higher.
McClellan: WH wanted him to stay silent 29 May 2008 Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan told NBC's "Today" show on Thursday that he erroneously believed what President [sic] Bush was saying about the war but now is answering to a higher loyalty: "a loyalty to the truth." "The White House would prefer that I not talk openly about my experiences," he said in a lengthy interview. "These words didn’t come to me easy. … I’m disappointed that things didn’t turn out the way we all hoped they would." He added: "I have a higher loyalty than my loyalty necessary to my past work. That's a loyalty to the truth."
Scott McClellan Apologizes for Bashing Richard Clarke --As White House Press Secretary, McClellan Called Clarke's Book on the Bush Administration 'Flat-Out Wrong' 30 May 2008 In an encounter last night in the lobby of a New York hotel, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan apologized for denouncing a former White House colleague, Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism adviser, after Clarke wrote a book highly critical of the Bush administration in 2004. Now McClellan is facing a similar denunciation from the White House for his own highly critical book. Clarke, an ABC News consultant, says McClellan appeared to be "very sorry, repentant" for his role as Bush's press secretary. Both Clarke and McClellan were in New York to promote books.
rejects Iceland's criticism of Guantanamo Bay 30 May 2008 Secretary
of State [war criminal] Condoleezza Rice on Friday rejected allegations
that terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay are abused. Her comments came
a day after Iceland's parliament adopted a resolution condemning
The last Briton in Guantanamo faces death penalty --After being held prisoner by the US for six years, inmate to be charged with terrorism offences despite protesting his innocence 30 May 2008 A British resident who is facing the death penalty in Guantanamo Bay has made a final desperate plea to Gordon Brown to end his six-year ordeal and bring him home today. In a letter delivered to Downing Street, Binyam Mohamed, the last Guantanamo inmate with the automatic right to British residency, calls on the Prime Minister to use his influence with President [sic] George Bush to stop an American military "kangaroo court" sending him to his death.
34 Convicted in Display At U.S. Supreme Court --Protesters Had Decried Guantanamo 30 May 2008 Thirty-four people were convicted yesterday of misdemeanor charges stemming from a demonstration at the Supreme Court in January in which they decried conditions at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The demonstration occurred Jan. 11, the sixth anniversary of the opening of the detention facility, which was set up to house [torture] terrorism suspects.
Inside Job #1: New York Times Perpetuates the Myth that George Bush Won the 2000 Election By Larry Beinhart 29 May 2008 "In 2001 painstaking postmortems of the Florida count, one by the New York Times and another by a consortium of newspapers, concluded that Mr. Bush would have come out slightly ahead, even if all the votes counted throughout the state had been retallied." Alessandra Stanley, New York Times, May 23, 2008, in a review of the HBO television movie, "Recount" That's not true. The New York Times did not do its own recount. It did participate in a consortium. Here's what the consortium actually said: "If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin." Ford Fessenden and John M. Broder, New York Times, Nov. 12, 2001.
Inside Job #2: USA Military Officers Challenge Official Account of September 11 22 May 2008 Twenty-five former U.S. military officers have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. They include former commander of U.S. Army Intelligence, Major General Albert Stubblebine, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Col. Ronald D. Ray, two former staff members of the Director of the National Security Agency; Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, PhD, and Major John M. Newman, PhD, and many others. "A lot of these pieces of information, taken together, prove that the official story, the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 is a bunch of hogwash. It's impossible," said Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD, U.S. Air Force (ret). With doctoral degrees in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering, Col. Bowman served as Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
Inside Job #3: FBI Focusing on 'About Four' Suspects in 2001 Anthrax Attacks 28 Mar 2008 The FBI has narrowed its focus to "about four" suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Army's bioweapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland, FOX News has learned. Among the pool of suspects are three scientists — a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist — linked to the research facility, known as USAMRIID. The FBI has collected writing samples from the three scientists in an effort to match them to the writer of anthrax-laced letters that were mailed to two U.S. senators and at least two news outlets in the fall of 2001, a law enforcement source confirmed.
Bird Flu: More lethal than 10 hydrogen bombs: Thusoo --68 Vets and Para vets trained in control, containment ops 31 May 2008 Experts fear the nature of the disease [avian influenza] could be more lethal than ten hydrogen bombs after causing a pandemic. Earlier on Tuesday, Dr Bhupinder Singh Director, Animal Husbandry, Kashmir formally launched the training programme in which 68 vets and Para vets participated... They were also trained in mass vaccination operations in surveillance zones in the eventualities like outbreak of the disease.
'We don't want anyone thinking that we declared martial law or something like that.' Marines to conduct urban warfare training in Indianapolis --Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints [!], reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons. 28 May 2008 U.S. Marine helicopters will land at the old Eastgate Consumer Mall, Brookside Park and other Indianapolis locations when the city becomes a mock battlefield next week. About 2,300 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will conduct urban warfare training from Wednesday through June 19 in and around Indianapolis. Most of the troops will be deployed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Raytheon facility on Holt Road, said Debbi Fletcher of the Indianapolis/Marion County Emergency Management Agency.
Indianapolis to become "Mock Battlefield" --Circle City to be site of three week long urban warfare training By Steve Watson 29 May 2008 Indianapolis will become a "mock battlefield" for the next three weeks according to local press, as over two thousand marines will stage a huge urban warfare training exercise in and around the city. About 2,300 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will conduct urban warfare training from Wednesday through June 19 in and around Indianapolis, reports the Indy Star.
Chertoff keen on Israeli airport security technology 29 May 2008 U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Thursday he will seek to adopt novel Israeli methods, like behaviour-detection technologies, to better secure America's airports. Chertoff, at a conference in Jerusalem for public and homeland security ministers from around the world, signed an agreement with Israel to share technology and information on methods to improve homeland security.
State Police Set Checkpoints for Motorcycles 30 May 2008 (NY) As the Lake George Americade extravaganza approaches, State Police are putting the brakes on bikers who break the rules, starting today with a Northway checkpoint. An electronic billboard will direct motorcyclists to exit at the Northway rest area just before Exit 18 in the Glens Falls area, beginning at 2:30 p.m. There, troopers will inspect helmets, tires, exhausts, inspection stickers, lighting and the bikers' motorcycle license. The checkpoint will last a few hours and be repeated next weekend as those attending Americade leave for home, said Major William Sprague of Troop G in Loudonville.
State police to check motorcycles ahead of upstate NY rally 30 May 2008 State police planned to stop bikers heading to and from the upcoming Americade rally in the southern Adirondacks... A mandatory motorcycle checkpoint began Friday afternoon on the Adirondack Northway in Queensbury, 40 miles north of Albany, on the eve of Americade. Troopers planned another next week for southbound I-87 traffic near the close of the rally, which is expected to draw more than 50,000 riders from around the country to Lake George from Monday through Saturday. They planned to have a helicopter overhead, and acknowledged that while some bikes can outrace police vehicles, they can't outrun radios.
New Agreement on the Trans-Texas Corridor 29 May 2008 Today State Representative Wayne Christian (R-Center), President of the Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC), announces an agreement on vital issues regarding the Trans-Texas Corridor. The Transportation Commission adopted a minute order today reaffirming five statutory requirements proposed by the members of the TCC and issuing two new protections for future transportation infrastructure development.
Seat all delegates, Clinton lawyer urges 30 May 2008 A day before a Democratic panel is to determine how to seat the delegations of Florida and Michigan, the Clinton campaign's chief lawyer said the committee is compelled to seat both delegations fully and not award Sen. Barack Obama any delegates from Michigan.
Clinton expects superdelegates to start deciding 30 May 2008 Hillary Clinton said Friday she expects uncommitted superdelegates to begin making the choice that will decide her marathon Democratic primary race against Barack Obama soon after the Tuesday's primaries.
Obama receives new endorsements while denouncing pastor's statements 30 May 2008 Barack Obama won endorsements from the Texas Democratic party chairman and his wife this morning, as he sought to contain embarrassment over comments from a second pastor at his Chicago church. The nod from Boyd Richie and Betty Richie, two of the last remaining uncommitted superdelegates from the Lone Star state, put Obama within 42 delegates of clinching the nomination, an event expected to occur some time next week.
Activist priest apologizes for mocking Clinton 30 May 2008 An activist Chicago priest and supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama says he's sorry for a sermon at Obama's church in which he mocked Hillary Rodham Clinton's tears just before the New Hampshire primary. The Reverend Michael Pfleger said at Sunday's sermon that Clinton cried because she felt "entitled" and that a "black man is stealing my show."
Flaws stir debate on storm alert systems 30 May 2008 Emergency sirens that have failed to warn residents of severe storms in several communities this year are sparking debate across the USA about how to best alert people about dangerous weather.
Food prices to rise 9 percent a year: analyst 29 May 2008 U.S. food prices will rise a stiff 9 percent a year through 2012, the largest increase since 1979 and the result of record-high crop prices, the head of an economic consulting company said on Thursday.
ICE, ICE, Baby --One piece of legislation is why the price of everything is going through the roof By Ed Wallace 19 May 2008 In the past month we have added 11.9 million barrels of oil into our stock reserves, giving us 32.3 million more barrels of oil than we had on hand January 1. On May 5, we found out that for the second time in as many years, Iran was storing its excess crude oil on tankers in the Persian Gulf, because it had run out of storage space in the desert and was awaiting buyers for its heavy crude. That same day Saudi Arabia cut the discount price for its Arabian Heavy crude to $7.45, hoping to entice more buyers for immediate delivery. We didn’t hear that news, either... ...H.R. 5660, the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000. At first this bill went nowhere in the House, not even up for debate. Then, a few months later, late one night a 242-page bill written by Wall Street lawyers, with the exact same name as the former House bill, was quietly added to an 11,000-page appropriations bill, and the Enron loophole was created. The power behind that bill was one Texas Senator, one Texas Congressman and their wives.
ICE, ICE, Baby, conclusion "Too cold, too cold" By Ed Wallace 22 May 2008 Record high prices without record low oil inventories, analysts saying that so much money flows into oil commodities that it gives the impression of shortages, when in fact no shortage exists. That mirrors the situation in the commodities market for food... When Enron failed and took its private, unregulated energy exchange to the grave, another rose to take its place. The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) was the brainchild of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, British Petroleum, Deutsche Bank, Dean Witter, Royal Dutch Shell, SG Investment Bank and Totalfina. In 2001 ICE purchased the International Petroleum Exchange in London; renamed ICE Futures, it now operates as an "exempt commercial market" under section 2(H)(3) of the Commodity Exchange Act. As the Senate hearings pointed out in the summer of 2006, "Both markets operate outside of any CFTC oversight."
Get used to high food costs, water shortages --Climate report offers a dire look at next 50 years in U.S. 28 May 2008 Shocked by rising food prices? Get used to it -- and be ready for water shortages, too, says a sweeping new scientific report rounding up likely effects of climate change on the United States' land, water and farms over the next half-century.
"Got Organic?": New Study Finds that Organic Milk is Vastly More Nutritious By Rebecca Sato 28 May 2008 Yes, the USDA has been fibbing and it's official: Organic milk is vastly superior to conventional milk. No matter how many times the USDA and the National Dairy Council tell us that there is not a single difference between organic and conventional milk, our taste buds tell a whole different story... Scientists have found that organic milk has such higher levels of nutrients that it’s fairly shocking the dairy industry has been telling us otherwise.
NYC crane collapses into street, kills 2 workers 30 May 2008 A construction crane snapped and smashed into an apartment building with a thunderous roar Friday, killing two workers in the city's second such tragedy in 2 1/2 months and renewing fears about the safety of hundreds of cranes towering over the New York skyline.
Fox News worker sues over bedbugs in office 30 May 2008 A Fox News employee who says she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being bitten by bedbugs at work filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the owner of the Manhattan office tower where she worked.
'The occupier is planting seeds of strife between the Muslims and Christians.' Iraqis claim Marines are pushing Christianity in Fallujah 28 May 2008 "They are trying to convert us to Christianity," said Muamar Anad, a Sunni Muslim like most residents of this city in Anbar province. Residents of Fallujah are abuzz that some Americans whom they consider occupiers are also acting as Christian missionaries. Residents said some Marines at the western entrance to their city have been passing out coins [with a Bible verse] for two days in what they call a "humiliating" attempt to convert them to Christianity.
War in Iraq: US marine reassigned for distributing coins bearing Bible verses 30 May 2008 The US military confirmed yesterday that a marine in Fallujah passed out coins with Gospel verses on them to Sunni Muslims, a military spokesman in the Iraqi city said. The man was immediately removed from duty and reassigned. The coins angered residents who said they felt that the American troops, whom they consider occupiers, were also acting as Christian missionaries in a predominantly Muslim nation.
Did US Army Cause Iraq Birth Defects? 29 May 2008 Families in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are calling for an investigation into their claims of a rise in the number of birth defects. They have raised concerns about the weapons used by American forces in 2004 - when Fallujah suffered one of the heaviest bombardments of the entire war in Iraq... Hikmat Tawfeeq, deputy chairman of the Fallujah-based human rights group Alakhiyar said: "We have around 200 cases of deformities recorded by our society. Most of these cases are birth deformities which have arisen after the bombing of Fallujah."
Green Beret electrocuted in shower on Iraq base --At least 12 U.S. troops have been electrocuted in Iraq from wiring problems 28 May 2008 A highly decorated Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth died a painful death in Iraq this year. He died not on the battlefield. He died on a U.S. base, in his bathroom. The water pump was not properly grounded, and when he turned on the shower, a jolt of electricity shot through his body and electrocuted him January 2. Army documents obtained by CNN show that U.S.-paid contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) inspected the building and found serious electrical problems a full 11 months before Maseth was electrocuted. KBR noted "several safety issues concerning the improper grounding of electrical devices." But KBR's contract did not cover "fixing potential hazards." It covered repairing items only after they broke down.
Turkey attacks Kurdish rebels in Iraq 29 May 2008 Turkish warplanes attacked several Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq on Thursday, Turkey's military said. The fighter jets targeted 16 rebel positions in the Hakurk region, just across the shared border, the military said in a statement posted on its Web site.
Suicide bomber kills 16 people in northwestern Iraq 29 May 2008 A suicide bomber blew himself up Thursday in a crowd of police recruits in northwestern Iraq [Sinjar], killing at least 16 men and wounding 14 others, an official said.
CNN's Yellin: Network execs killed critical White House stories 29 May 2008 On Wednesday night, CNN's Jessica Yellin talked to Anderson Cooper about Scott McClellan's tell-all memoir and agreed with the former press secretary that White House reporters "dropped the ball" during the run-up to war. But Yellin went much further, revealing that news executives -- presumably at ABC News, where she'd worked from July 2003 to August 2007 -- actively pushed her not do hard-hitting pieces on the Bush administration. "The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's [sic] high approval ratings," Yellin said.
House Dem wants McClellan testimony on pre-war White House propaganda 28 May 2008 Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., says Scott McClellan's book is full of "shocking revelations," and the former Bush press secretary should testify to the House Judiciary Committee about the administration's "deliberate efforts to mislead the American people into the Iraq War." Wexler has pushed for the impeachment of Vice President [sic] Cheney.
Bush mounted dishonest campaign to sell Iraq invasion, says ex-White House spokesman --President 'manipulated truth to gain re-election' --Administration stunned by McClellan's attack 29 May 2008 A former senior aide to President [sic] Bush claims that the White House deliberately mounted a dishonest propaganda campaign to sell the Iraq invasion to the US public, in the most damning insider account of the presidency so far. Scott McClellan, who worked for Bush for seven years, including three as White House spokesman, brands the war a "serious strategic blunder" and "not necessary".
Falling out with the President: the devious world of George Bush --As presidential spokesman until 2006, Scott McClellan had the task of defending some of the administration's most unpopular decisions. But his new book reveals what he really thought of his master 29 May 2008 Scott McClellan, White House press secretary for George Bush between 2003 and 2006, has delivered the most wounding critique yet of this unhappy administration by one of its erstwhile senior officials. What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception is a 341-page disquisition on Mr Bush, on his misbegotten war in Iraq, and on his entire conduct of the presidency, which Mr McClellan says was built on the use of propaganda, and on the technique of government as permanent campaign.
Ex-Bush spokesman: White House fed war propaganda to a "complicit" media By Bill Van Auken 29 May 2008 In a stunning blow to what very little remains of the Bush administration’s political credibility, the president’s [sic] former press secretary Scott McClellan has published a book indicting the White House for launching an "unnecessary" war in Iraq based on false "propaganda." Even more telling, particularly coming from an official who was in charge of dealing with the press, is McClellan’s harsh indictment of the American media as a servile and willing accomplice in this process.
Three suspected bomb-makers charged at Guantanamo 29 May 2008 Pentagon prosecutors filed new charges on Thursday against three prisoners accused of operating an al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] bomb-making cell, the latest in a flurry of cases pending in the Guantanamo war crimes court. Saudi Arabian captives Jabran al Qahtani and Ghassan al Sharbi and Algerian prisoner Sufyian Barhoumi were charged with conspiring with al Qaeda and providing material support for terrorism.
Afghan at Guantanamo seeks dismissal of charges --Prisoner allegedly subjected to sleep-disruption at U.S. detention center 29 May 2008 An Afghan prisoner at Guantanamo Bay was the alleged victim of an abusive tactic meant to decrease his resistance to interrogation, a Pentagon-appointed defense attorney said Wednesday in a motion to dismiss charges. Air Force Maj. David Frakt filed the motion to dismiss war-crime charges against Mohammed Jawad because he was allegedly subjected to a sleep-disruption technique that involved round-the-clock cell transfers at the isolated U.S. detention center in Cuba.
NATO bombs militant compound in Afghanistan 30 May 2008 Afghan officials say NATO aircraft have bombed a militant compound in the south-west of the country, killing 30 Taliban fighters.
Twelve people killed in Afghan bomb blasts 28 May 2008 Twelve people have been killed in two separate roadside bomb blasts in Afghanistan.
Fort Lewis soldier killed on Memorial Day in Afghanistan 28 May 2008 A 21-year-old Army Ranger from Fort Lewis was killed Memorial Day in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said Wednesday. Spc. Christopher Gathercole of Santa Rosa, Calif., died in Ghazni of wounds after he was shot during combat.
Army suicides reported up again -- at 108 29 May 2008 The number of Army suicides increased again last year, amid the most violent year yet in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Two defense officials said Thursday that 108 troops committed suicide in 2007, six more than the previous year.
Army suicides reported at 2-decade high 29 May 2008 Pentagon officials say Army suicides is the highest number in almost two decades. Two defense officials said Thursday that 108 troops committed suicide in 2007, the most since 1990.
Senators for McCain Leave 'Vets for Freedom' 29 May 2008 Senators
Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, prominent surrogates for Senator
John McCain’s presidential campaign, stepped down Wednesday from their
positions with an
North Korean nuclear documents challenge CIA assertions 28 May 2008 Thousands of pages of nuclear documents submitted by North Korea earlier this month cast doubt on a U.S. intelligence estimate of how much weapons-grade plutonium the country has been able to amass, U.S. officials and a leading private analyst said Wednesday. An initial review of the documents, they said, provides no evidence that North Korea covertly extracted plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons, from its reactor complex at Yongbyon before 1992.
Lecturers agree to consider boycott of Israeli academics 29 May 2008 Lecturers... last night agreed to contemplate a possible boycott of Israeli universities over the "humanitarian catastrophe imposed on Gaza" and the Palestinians. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) stopped short of voting on immediately severing links with their counterparts in Israel but instead decided to "consider the moral and political implications of education links with institutions".
Olmert urged to stand down over corruption claims 29 May 2008 The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's most powerful coalition partner has called on him to step aside in the face of widespread anger at allegations that he had repeatedly received envelopes stuffed with cash from a US businessman.
No sign al Qaeda has WMD capability: U.S. official 27 May 2008 There's no sign that 'al Qaeda' has acquired the capability to use weapons of mass destruction, a U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday, ahead of an anticipated release of a video by the group urging militants to use such arms.
Exeter Bomb Police Search Muslim Centre 29 May 2008 Police investigating a bombing in Exeter have searched a Muslim centre and a residential address following a third arrest. The centre and the house are in Plymouth where officers have searched a number of properties since the attack on Thursday.
DNC Lawyers Rule Against Clinton 29 May 2008 Sen. Hillary Clinton's prospects of persuading Democratic officials to override party rules and recognize all delegates selected in the Florida and Michigan primaries suffered a setback yesterday after lawyers for the party ruled that no more than half of those delegations could be legally recognized.
Clinton backers to protest outside rules meeting 29 May 2008 The Democratic presidential race is heading into a fractious end game [?] as supporters of Hillary Clinton mobilize for a protest Saturday to demand that the party count two outlawed primaries that favored her. Protesters planned to rally outside the Washington hotel where the party's rules committee will tackle the vexing question of how to punish Michigan and Florida without completely disenfranchising Democratic primary voters from those states.
Obama widens superdelegate lead over Clinton in Ore. 28 May 2008 Oregon's Democratic superdelegates are coming on stronger for presidential contender Barack Obama with two more announcing their support for him on Wednesday. State party Chairwoman Meredith Wood Smith of Portland and Democratic National Committeeman Wayne Kinney of Bend said they would vote for Obama at the party's national convention in Denver.
Secret Service supervisor on Obama's security detail sent racist email --Supervisor has since been promoted to a position at the agency's Washington headquarters 28 May 2008 More racist e-mails have emerged in a Secret Service lawsuit... The lawsuit claims the Secret Service has always had a discriminatory culture -- a claim the agency has consistently denied. Last month an employee found a noose in one of the Secret Service's training centers. Among the 10 e-mails submitted to the court earlier this month in a separate filing were jokes circulated within the agency that referred to: assassination of the Rev. Jesse Jackson... One of the e-mails was sent by a deputy assistant director, who has since been suspended. In addition, one of the supervisors who sent an e-mail was on Sen. Barack Obama's security detail for the past year. The supervisor is no longer on the security detail and has been promoted to a position at the agency's Washington headquarters.
Lawsuit: 'Pattern of Discrimination' at Secret Service --Managers Sent Racially Charged E-Mails, Black Agents Claim Job Discrimination 28 May 2008 The Secret Service flatly rejects the [discrimination] allegations, but the lawsuit has led to the discovery of troubling internal e-mails circulated among senior Secret Service managers. One video e-mail attachment depicts an interracial couple -- a black man and a white woman -- lying on the ground kissing, and then rolling over onto a white sheet. The shot then reveals a group of Ku Klux Klan members surrounding the couple and a burning cross. That video, according to court documents, made the rounds among senior Secret Service agents. One of the agents who was recently on the detail of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is under investigation for allegedly sending a January 2005 e-mail that included a crude sexual joke about blacks and American Indians. That agent has since been promoted.
FBI searches candidate's office --Sekhon's congressional campaign labels action as dirty politics' 29 May 2008 FBI agents served a search warrant this week on the Yuba City home and office of Democratic congressional candidate Dr. Arjinderpal "A.J." Sekhon, a move the candidate called an example of "dirty politics." FBI spokesman Steve Dupre confirmed Friday that several agents from the agency's Sacramento office served the search warrant Wednesday at Sekhon's home and also his office, in which he shares his medical practice with his dentist wife, Daljit.
JFK Customs Agents Accused of Helping Smugglers 28 May 2008 Two Customs and Border Protection Agents at John F. Kennedy airport are accused of taking bribes in exchange for letting drug smugglers and counterfeiters sneak contraband into the U.S., officials told WNBC.com.
'If a student isn't at the right place, the attendant calls parents or police.' GPS system tracks students 14 May 2008 Using satellite technology, a pilot program may be able to turn the tide on Dallas drop outs by 'stopping truancy' in its tracks. [!] It’s called AIM, which stands for Attendance Improvement Management. The program will watch them everywhere they go. This year, nine students in the tracking program carry hand held units that are about the size and shape of a cell phone. When they get to school each morning, they check in by hitting a small button three times. They do the same thing once during lunch and again when they get home each afternoon. The signals show up as yellow dots on a website monitored by an attendant at the school. They are updated every ten minutes. If a student isn’t at the right place, the attendant calls parents or police.
Man says Plano police stole steroids from him during raid 01 May 2008 David Jacobs says he’s ready to name names of police officers who got steroids from his network. "We as people have given them a set of authority to uphold these laws, but they are breaking them right in front of our faces," said Jacobs. Jacobs is talking about officers in five cities: Garland, Richardson, Dallas, Arlington, and Plano. He says the Plano officers stole from him during a raid. "And to steal money from my house, and steal steroids, and steal growth hormones from my house, then put handcuffs on me and then judge me," said Jacobs.
UN Independent Expert On Racism Begins Fact-Finding Mission In U.S. --Official Visit Underscores Ongoing Issues of Discrimination in Florida 29 May 2008 (ACLU) A fact-finding mission to the U.S. by the United Nations special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, makes its way to Miami next week, and is welcomed by several national and local civil liberties organizations.
Judge: Duke Lacrosse Players Can Pursue Lawsuit --Judge: Duke lacrosse players can pursue civil lawsuit against former Durham, N.C., prosecutor 28 May 2008 Three former Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape can pursue a civil lawsuit against the disgraced Durham County prosecutor who led the case against them, a judge ruled Tuesday.
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